Electric trains offer the best route to greener transport

Rob Harris on why electric lorries are not the answer, and Prof LJS Lesley on the benefits of electrifying the rail network. Plus Graham Larkbey laments the neglect of an England-Wales border station The experiment with electric lorries on the M180 (UK government backs scheme for motorway cables to power lorries, 27 July) is laughable […]

Away from it all: island hopping around Finland’s Turku archipelago

With Finland now open to vaccinated travellers, the 20,000 pristine islands off its south-west coast make for an appealing post-pandemic tour Finland has dealt with the pandemic much better than a lot of other countries. It still has one of the lowest rates of both confirmed cases (about 103,851 at time of writing) and coronavirus-related […]

‘People want to be useful’: is the Covid volunteering boom here to stay?

The pandemic gave rise to a volunteer army of millions. Now, charities and other organisations are shifting their focus to retaining and developing these new recruits From picking up shopping for neighbours to participating in vaccine studies, the coronavirus pandemic has prompted more of us than ever to donate our time to volunteering. Of the […]

Coronavirus live: US keeps travel ban on UK and Schengen area; Thailand reports record case numbers

White House renews travel ban over fears of the Delta variant; Thailand registers 15,376 new cases – another record rise Europe clamps down amid fears over rapid spread of Delta variant UK to lift quarantine measures for some Britons vaccinated abroad Indonesia loosens Covid restrictions despite record deaths How England’s ‘pingdemic’ took a heavy toll […]

Europe clamps down amid fears over rapid spread of Delta variant

Governments are launching de facto vaccine passport schemes as they try to head off a summer Covid wave like the UK’s Coronavirus – latest updates See all our coronavirus coverage With the school term finally over, Britons are flying to Europe in their tens of thousands, record levels for this Covid year. They are arriving […]

Celtic will not make fortunes from Japan with Furuhashi – it’s a myth

Attacker’s signing sparked more talk about the Asian market but even he succeeds few Japanese will rush to buy a club shirt The idea that Asian players are signed for commercial reasons should be a bit noughties. There was much talk of Junichi Inamoto making millions for Arsenal when the Japanese midfielder arrived in 2001 […]

The Guardian view on restoring the golden age of rail: green glamour | Editorial

The restoration of a Spanish ‘railway cathedral’ reminds us how seductive train travel can be Earlier this month, a 12-metre-long model train carriage was deposited at Barcelona’s El Prat airport, which the Spanish airports authority controversially plans to expand. “More trains, less planes” was the accompanying message from Greenpeace activists, who intend to take their […]

‘It’s getting out of hand’: genocide denial outlawed in Bosnia

Move by international body set up to implement post-war peace deal follows attempts to downplay 1995 Srebrenica massacre The top international official in Bosnia has outlawed denial of genocide in the Balkan country to counter attempts by Bosnia’s Serbs to deny the scope of the 1995 massacre in Srebrenica, Europe’s only post-second world war genocide. […]

Athens appoints chief heat officer to combat climate crisis

Greek capital is first in Europe to create role, which will involve finding new ways to cool the city Athens has appointed a chief heat officer to protect people from soaring temperatures and try to find ways to adapt the city to the heatwaves and extreme weather that are striking the capital more frequently as […]

The zero-waste movement: how a new wave of shops is driving a refill revolution

More stores than ever are doing their bit to cut the impact of shoppers on the environment. Could reusing and refilling be the answer to plastic pollution? Refills make sense. Not only does taking your old detergent bottles back to a store to be replenished help reduce plastic waste, but cutting out unnecessary new bottles […]

Merkel: Germany has not done enough to hit Paris climate targets

Chancellor says record on reducing carbon emissions ‘not sufficient’ as she reflects on 16-year leadership Angela Merkel has conceded Germany’s record on reducing carbon emissions was “not sufficient” to meet the global warming targets of the Paris climate agreement, as the chancellor reflected on the achievements and missed opportunities of her 16-year leadership. Speaking at […]

Catastrophic floods could hit Europe far more often, study finds

Slow-moving storms such as recent deluge in Germany could become 14 times more frequent by 2100 Catastrophic floods such as those that struck Europe recently could become much more frequent as a result of global heating, researchers say. High-resolution computer models suggest that slow-moving storms could become 14 times more common over land by the […]

Syrian economy lies in ruins and China sniffs opportunity

Analysis: War may be winding down, but with Assad in charge for seven more seven years the country remains splintered Standing on a podium on Saturday to take an oath of office, Bashar al-Assad declared himself the only man who could rebuild Syria. His first foreign guest, China’s foreign minister, Wang Yi, seemed to enhance […]

Politicians from across world call for ‘global green deal’ to tackle climate crisis

New alliance urges governments to work together to deliver a just transition to a green economy People around the world need a “global green deal” that would tackle the climate crisis and restore the natural world as we recover from the Covid-19 pandemic, a group of politicians from the UK, Europe and developing countries has […]

Rhik Samadder tries … wakeboarding: ‘I scream underwater with every faceplant’

Everyone needs some novelty right now, so our writer is tackling a new activity each week. First, he gets dragged perilously quickly around a lake I used to ride bendy buses without holding on to the poles, pretending I was in Point Break. Pathetic. Yet the fantasy returned recently, after I decided to stop taking […]

GSK plans £400m life sciences campus in Stevenage

Pharmaceuticals firm thinks creating cluster of companies at its site could result in up to 5,000 jobs GlaxoSmithKline is seeking to create a £400m campus in Stevenage for new life sciences companies that it believes could result in up to 5,000 jobs over the next decade. The pharmaceuticals company has kicked off a process to […]

Health warnings as Death Valley scorches in 54.4C heat

Severity of hot spell in western US underlines dangerous impact of human-caused climate disruption Excessive heat warnings remained in place across swathes of the western US on Monday after Death Valley in California registered what could prove to be the highest reliably recorded temperature on Earth. After a cascade of record heatwaves in Canada, north-west […]

Talking Horses: how Galileo and John Magnier changed the game | Greg Wood

The sport will be a different place without the 23-year-old stallion, who made a fortune for John Magnier’s Coolmore stud When Galileo was put to sleep on Saturday morning after sustaining a “non-responsive, debilitating” injury on his left fore foot, Europe’s champion stallion for 12 of the past 13 years had sired 91 individual winners […]

Irish people in Great Britain to get green light to visit friends and family

Ireland’s ban on non-essential travel to be lifted, allowing up to 400,000 people to return Up to 400,000 Irish people in Great Britain are to be given the green light to visit family and friends at home for the first time in six months as Ireland prepares to lift the strictest border controls in Europe. […]

History offers little guide to how we should escape from Covid’s clutches | Mark Honigsbaum

Herd immunity is this pandemic’s exit route, but passing the moral buck over to citizens is a dangerous strategy• Coronavirus – latest updates• See all our coronavirus coverage When at the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic China placed a cordon sanitaire around Wuhan and then quickly extended it to eight other Chinese cities, placing 45 […]

‘The sea was milky white’: how the Southern Water sewage scandal unfolded

Company has been issued with a huge fine but those affected by its actions are finding it hard to celebrate Southern Water fined £90m over sewage Timeline: privatisation to pollution fines The town of Whitstable sits on the north Kent coast, home to the oysters that have brought it worldwide fame from waters that are […]

Raffaella Carrà, Italian cultural institution and LGBT icon, laid to rest in Rome

Thousands in streets to mourn television star, actor and singer as funeral is broadcast live on TV In Italy’s week of mourning for Raffaella Carrà, one image summed up her universal appeal: a rainbow flag – the symbol of the LGBT movement – next to her coffin in a Catholic church. Carrà, who died on […]

EU votes for diplomats to boycott China Winter Olympics over rights abuses

Non-binding resolution also calls for governments to impose further sanctions on China as tensions rise The European parliament has overwhelmingly passed a resolution calling on diplomatic officials to boycott the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics in response to continuing human rights abuses by the Chinese government. In escalating tensions between the EU and China, the non-binding […]

Delta variant fears send shares down sharply in London and Europe

Investors worry resurgence of Covid-19 cases will slow economic growth and stall global recovery Coronavirus – latest updates See all our coronavirus coverage Fears that the fast-spreading Delta variant of Covid-19 will hurt the global recovery sent stocks sliding on Thursday, as investors worried that economic growth could be slowing. Shares fell sharply in London […]

Beers and beating Germany: Henrik Larsen on Denmark’s Euro 92 triumph

Danish top scorer from 29 years ago says McDonald’s and staying up to 6am helped a relaxed team conquer Europe Game by game, the impossible has seemed just a little bit more possible. Every tournament Denmark have entered since winning the Euros in 1992 has been prefaced with a “surely-it-can’t-happen-again” feeling in the country, a […]

Boris Johnson to revoke Covid rules on 19 July

PM will make England most unrestricted country in Europe despite saying cases could soar to 50,000 before date is reached Coronavirus – latest updates See all our coronavirus coverage Boris Johnson will revoke hundreds of Covid regulations and make England the most unrestricted society in Europe from 19 July despite saying new cases could soar […]

Imposing ‘imaginary’ values risks EU collapse, Slovenian PM claims

As Slovenia takes over the EU presidency, its prime minister warns that the west cannot impose its liberal views on central Europe Slovenia’s prime minister Janez Janša, a rare EU ally of Hungary’s right to outlaw the promotion or portrayal of homosexuality to children, has claimed that imposing “imaginary European values” on central Europe could […]

UK school skiing trips to EU could be wiped out by Brexit visa rules

Extra cost of permission for British temporary staff to work in resorts likely to be prohibitive for firms School skiing trips that rely on British personnel to staff their EU winter camps could be wiped out by Brexit after it emerged they are facing the same obstacles as the music and theatre sectors. Just like […]

Britons with Indian-made AstraZeneca vaccine face extra EU travel hurdle

EU vaccine passport scheme omits Covishield jab, despite it offering same protection as UK-made one Coronavirus – latest updates See all our coronavirus coverage British travellers hoping to visit Europe this summer face an extra hurdle as it emerged that those vaccinated with Indian-manufactured AstraZeneca jabs would not automatically skip quarantine. Under the EU vaccine […]