Tourism sector in Wales ‘desperate’ as holidays cancelled ahead of lockdown

The two-week Covid firebreak starting on Friday puts even more tourism jobs at risk
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Tourism businesses in Wales are spending Monday cancelling customers’ holidays after the first minister Mark Drakeford announced a two-week national lockdown designed to be a “short, sharp shock to the virus to slow down its spread”.

Under the new restrictions no one will be allowed to travel into Wales and all hospitality businesses will have to close.

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Thomasina Miers’ recipe for oaty ‘risotto’ with pancetta

Dig into this comforting risotto-esque supper with sweet jerusalem artichokes and rich, meaty pancetta

I am fascinated by all the British ingredients that are overlooked. Oats, for instance, are a glorious thing, packed with micronutrients, good fibre and more protein than most grains. While I will always love them for breakfast, cooked into porridge and covered in tahini, toasted sesame seeds, dates and date syrup (right?!), I have also recently started using them in the evenings, too. This deliciously savoury dinner is risotto-esque, and makes for beautiful, local food on your plate.

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Crossword roundup: has ‘toodle-pip’ always been a jokey expression?

Bryan Ferry makes his second unexpected appearance in as many weeks in our pick of the best of the broadsheets’ cryptic clues

In the sample clues below, the links take you to explainers from our beginners’ series. The setter’s name often links to an interview with him or her, in case you feel like getting to know these people better.

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What are you desperate to do before another lockdown? I’ve started compiling my list

If I can’t go to the pub or a field in Surrey where you take antisocial dogs, then I’d like to visit an alternative Britain – a place of optimism, where an end is in sight

Delusional optimists have to live with catastrophising pessimists for balance, but a downside is that it takes you ages to catch up with each other. Mr Z asked me what was on my bucket list. I was thinking, we have 30 or 40 years to figure that out, and I have much more important things on my mind, such as I have just got a 12 quid voucher from Waitrose out of the blue and I’m cock-a-hoop.

He actually meant an activity bucket list, before the full-scale lockdown that now looks inevitable to everyone, but a week ago looked that way only to him. On the spot, I blurted out: “Trampolining.” I recently took up trampoline circuits, a weird fitness subculture where, possibly pandemic-related, everyone laughs wildly for an hour. I don’t want it to end. It is not as if we can break the two-metre rule when we each have our own trampoline. Mr Z looked nonplussed, as if I had failed … well, not at marriage, more a single marital module, which I can retake.

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Rachel Roddy’s recipe for pumpkin and rice soup

A mini tempest in the kitchen and some sage sisterly advice gives life to this comforting bowl of pumpkin and rice soup

Every now and then, my kitchen and I are like a well-oiled wheel. We are a team, high on efficiency. We keep on top of the contents of the fridge and cupboards (not so much tidy as in tune with each other), spinning meals that produce more meals, managing leftovers and cleaning up as we go along. We marvel at how we have made one lasagne for lunch and another for the freezer, poached the fruit that’s threatening to go off and still have the energy to tidy a drawer.

But highs are followed by lows. Creeping ones to start: low irritation and grumbling discontent at the demands we put on each other, the damp above the sink and the sticky shelf. Creeping turns into stomping and, before you know it, I hate everything and have no idea what to cook. I share cooking and domestic tasks equally with my partner – but not discussion, at this point.

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What I learned about male desire in a sex doll factory

If we look at it closely and with compassion, male desire is more complicated than most people assume it to be

As I took in the rows of heads mounted on the wall, my first impression was that I’d stepped into a hunting lodge – only these trophies bore a high-sheen of lip gloss and teased hair. Their static eyes trained on a middle distance, save for one pair, set in an Angelina Jolie-lookalike face, that seemed to be staring right at me. I smiled awkwardly, as if to say “hello”, then quickly stepped away from its lifeless gaze.

I was in the lobby of the sex doll manufacturer RealDoll, beside a pair of busty life-size models propped up by metal stands. This was about what I expected from my visit to the company’s San Diego headquarters: improbable physiques incapable of standing on their own.

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Andrew Wilson obituary

My friend Andrew Wilson, who has died aged 97, was, quintessentially, a journalist and writer – his last article (co-authored with his wife, Nina Bachkatov) was published less than a month before his death.

Born in Herne Bay, Kent, to Florence (nee Spindler), a nurse, and Andrew Wilson, a retired military officer, he was educated at the King’s school, Canterbury. He volunteered on his 18th birthday and served in the Buffs (Royal East Kent Regiment), becoming a captain commanding a squadron of Crocodile flame-throwing tanks. Flame Thrower (1956) is his moving account of their battles from Normandy through France, Belgium, and Holland and into Germany. Demobilised in 1946, he read philosophy, politics and economics at Exeter College, Oxford.

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A double edged sword: hopes and fears for children as fast internet reaches Pacific

New fibre-optic cables to Pacific islands have been cautiously welcomed amid warnings over harassment and violence linked to online platforms

From the narrow bay of Sydney’s Tamarama Beach, a cable twice as thick as garden hose, carrying optic fibre thinner than human hair, stretches along the ocean floor linking Australia to Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands.

The Coral Sea cable will provide, for the first time, fast internet to Australia’s near Pacific island neighbours. A similar link, called Manatua One Polynesia – connecting Samoa, Niue, the Cook Islands and French Polynesia – was declared “ready for service” in July.

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Revealed: chaining, beatings and torture inside Sudan’s Islamic schools

Two-year BBC News Arabic investigation uncovers horrific conditions, with boys as young as five facing violence and sexual abuse

An April evening in the suburbs of Khartoum. After months of undercover work, I had learned to time my visits to khalwas, Sudan’s Islamic schools, to coincide with evening prayers. I entered while the sheikhs (teachers) and 50-odd boys dressed in their white djellabas were busy praying. As they knelt, I heard the clanking of chains on the boys’ shackled legs. I sat down behind them and started filming, secretly.

I began investigating after allegations emerged of abuse inside some of these schools: children kept in chains, beaten and sexually abused. Khalwas have existed in Sudan for centuries. There are more than 30,000 of them across the country where children are taught to memorise the Qur’an. They are run by sheikhs who usually provide food, drink and shelter, free of charge. As a result, poor families often send their children to khalwas instead of public schools.

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US Senate elections: the key races that will determine power in Washington

The Democrats face a tough challenge to reclaim control of the Senate, up against the Republicans’ 53-47 majority. With 35 seats up for re-election it will probably come down to seven key races

While the world’s attention is on Donald Trump’s attempt to win re-election as president over challenger Joe Biden, the battle for the US Senate that will culminate on 3 November is equally dramatic.

Even if Biden defeats Trump, he will be unable to pass legislation on key issues such as healthcare, immigration and climate change unless the Democrats simultaneously seize the Senate, where the Republicans now have a 47-53 majority.

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‘It is serious and intense’: white supremacist domestic terror threat looms large in US

From the frequency of attacks to the scope of ambition, racist terror groups – encouraged by the president, are showing unparalleled activity in the modern era

On 6 October Chad Wolf, the acting secretary of homeland security, released his department’s annual assessment of violent threats to the nation. Analysts didn’t have to dig deep into the assessment to discover its alarming content.

In a foreword, Wolf wrote that he was “particularly concerned about white supremacist violent extremists who have been exceptionally lethal in their abhorrent, targeted attacks in recent years. [They] seek to force ideological change in the United States through violence, death, and destruction.”

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Bars in Paris before and after Covid curfew – in pictures

On Saturday, Paris went under a night-time curfew that will last at least a month. France has reported another record for new coronavirus cases, with more than 32,000 registered in 24 hours

A bar on the Rue de Seine

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Landscape photographer of the year 2020 – in pictures

From dramatic seascapes to misty woodlands, to urban street scenes, cityscapes and detailed closeups, the winning photographs in the Landscape photographer of the year awards aim to inspire visitors to explore and discover the wonders of Britain’s countryside. A shot of Woolland Woods on a spring day in Dorset made Chris Frost the 13th overall winner

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Another Round wins top award at London film festival

Tale starring Mad Mikkelsen as binge-drinking teacher voted best film at Covid-affected event

The story of a middle-aged teacher who turns to drink in order to cope with life has won the most prestigious award at this year’s London film festival, although several other highly rated movies were not eligible owing to changes imposed because of Covid-19.

Thomas Vinterberg’s Another Round, which stars Mads Mikkelsen as a disillusioned teacher who along with a small group of colleagues decides to drink every day, won best film at the UK’s first major film awards since the start of the pandemic.

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The secret world of diary hunters

Would you mind if someone read your diary? And what if it was then sold on eBay? From the unvarnished to the salacious, Amelia Tait dips into a private world where people trade the diaries of strangers

Sally MacNamara has long told her four children that if there’s a fire in her Seattle home, they should rescue Olga first. Olga isn’t the youngest family member or a beloved pet – in fact, MacNamara has never met Olga in person. The “Olga” that is so precious to the 63-year-old online seller is a 118-year-old diary written by a woman of the same name. Beginning in 1902, the diary chronicles the experiences of a young immigrant who was raised in a strict religious environment in America. “She did not care what she wrote, which I love about her,” MacNamara says. She purchased the diary online in 2005 – it is now one of her most prized possessions.

Over the past 35 years, MacNamara has read more than 8,000 strangers’ diaries. As a child, her mother would take her “dump diving” to salvage objects – when she discovered an old, handwritten piece of paper in the trash one day, she was immediately intrigued. MacNamara’s father killed himself when she was 13 and he left behind a locked trunk of papers that has now been lost. “I didn’t want that to happen to other people, so I started collecting and keeping people’s diaries and letters,” she says. “I fall in love with people I haven’t even seen.”

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Nadiya Hussain: ‘I want to blend in. But the truth is, I’m never going to blend in’

Five years after winning Bake Off, she’d love to just talk about baking and cookbooks. But then there’s diversity in TV, mental health, the pandemic…

Nadiya Hussain has never published a baking book. She has never fronted her own baking show before either, having had her life changed by appearing on the big one, the one which put her under the national spotlight as she transformed from a shy, uncertain home cook into a Great British Bake Off winner, the best-loved winner in the history of the series. Now, after five years of fame, her career, which has encompassed books, documentaries, cooking shows, a memoir, an MBE, and much, much more, has come full circle, and she is ready to focus on baking again. Surely someone has tried to get a baking book out of her before this?

“It was my choice. I chose not to go straight into baking,” she says. She is in her conservatory at home in Milton Keynes, the week before her three children are due to go back to school. It doubles up as both her home office and the cats’ room; her son is drawing at the kitchen table. Ordinarily, she’d be out in the world, meeting people, and she misses it terribly. “I really miss people. I miss hugging people. Even a handshake would be nice right now. I always overrun on everything, because I’m talking about something else. Shoes, a flavour, it could be anything.” I’m not even wearing shoes, I tell her. “I mean, I put on a bra just for you today,” she grins. She got up late, for her, because she’s been staying up into the early hours, watching Schitt’s Creek in bed. Not that you’d know it. She is as lively and warm as you’d expect from her on-screen persona, happy to dole out advice to this terrible home baker, but she has a pleasing, simmering defiance to her too, that has evolved since her 2015 TV debut.

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Thirty books to help us understand the world in 2020

The climate crisis, gender, populism, big tech, pandemics, race… our experts recommend titles to illuminate the issues of the day

A distinguished climatologist and geophysicist, Michael Mann is director of the Earth System Science Center at Pennsylvania State University. He is the author of more than 200 peer-reviewed and edited publications tagias well as four books, including 2012’s The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars and his forthcoming The New Climate War: The Fight to Take Back Our Planet, due out in January 2021 (Public Affairs Books).

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Not waiting for Godot: new show tackles Beckett’s ban on women

Female and non-binary performers deal with issue of playwright’s instructions

A dead man’s voice can travel a long way. In 1988, Samuel Beckett sued a Dutch theatre company for casting women in his existential drama Waiting for Godot. When Beckett died a year later, responsibility for his estate was passed down to his nephew Edward, who has since continued to throttle any production that sways from his uncle’s precise instructions.

More than three decades and multiple court cases after Beckett’s death, the gender rule still stands. With a new show asking who art belongs to, a group of female and non-binary performers are once again challenging the Beckett estate’s rigidity.

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Rhonda Fleming obituary

American actor who enjoyed success in many striking Hollywood films of the 1940s and 50s

It would be difficult for filmgoers now to appreciate the impact that Technicolor had on audiences during and after the second world war, and how certain film stars, especially female ones, seemed to be made for colour. Among the redheads who benefited from their visually striking presence were Rhonda Fleming, who has died aged 97, Maureen O’Hara and Arlene Dahl.

However, Fleming’s best films were in monochrome. These included Alfred Hitchcock’s Spellbound (1945), in which she had a small role as one of psychiatrist Ingrid Bergman’s patients – she said she had to look up nymphomaniac to understand the role – and two terrific films noirs: Out of the Past (1947) and Cry Danger (1951), in both of which she played two-timing women. Fleming was paired with Dahl as good and bad sisters respectively in Slightly Scarlet (1956) and, although it was in colour, the cinematographer John Alton played it down cunningly by stressing shadows to give it a noir look.

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Physiotherapists on the functional exercises everyone should do from home (and they do themselves)

Regular strength training can help prevent injury – and you don’t have to leave your house to do it. Four physios share their go-to moves

For the sake of our physical and mental health, GPs recommend that we exercise five times per week. But there can be more to think about than just getting our heart rate up – physiotherapists say it also pays to work on strengthening our muscles.

Related: An apple a day? Four GPs on the top health advice they give and follow

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White noise as sleep aid may do more harm than good, say scientists

Review finds quality of evidence is poor and noise may lead to more disrupted sleep

Whether it is nature sounds, the whine of a hairdryer or the incessant hum of a ceiling fan, white noise apps have been downloaded by millions of people around the world in the hope of getting a better night’s sleep. However, research suggests there is no good evidence that they work, and may even be making things worse.

True white noise is the hissy fizzing sound of all the frequencies that humans can hear being fired off randomly and at the same intensity. In recent years, numerous apps and devices have been developed that use it – or other “relaxing” sounds such as the hum of a fan or crashing waves – to help people fall asleep.

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Bubbles, bacteria and me: Sandor Katz on why fermentation isn’t a fad

The American author explains why he has been extolling the virtues of kimchi, sourdough and pickles for 25 years. Plus an extract from his new book, Fermentation as Metaphor

When people meet Sandor Katz and learn that he writes about and lectures on fermentation, they often give him “the face”. Katz, on a video call from rural Tennessee, wrinkles his nose like he’s smelled a fart. “They’re thinking kimchi,” he says. “They’re thinking roquefort cheese. They’re thinking of the more extreme manifestations of fermentation and they say, ‘Oh, I don’t like fermented foods.’”

Back when he was starting his life as “a fermentation revivalist”, around 25 years ago, Katz would have been polite, even sympathetic. Now his reaction is more combative. “I say, ‘Well, poor you!’ Or, ‘That’s amazing, I wonder how you eat food in a restaurant if you don’t eat vinegar.’ And, ‘Oh, you don’t like chocolate? You don’t eat things with vanilla in them?’ Just so many foods that are intrinsic to our western traditions and to traditions in other places are part of fermentation.”

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Nik Sharma: ‘Cooking techniques have foundations in science’

In the kitchen, Nik Sharma still draws on his training as a biologist. Cue brilliant masala hash browns, roasted fruit with miso tahini, plus the ultimate roast chicken

Around four years ago, when he was working as a food photographer at a San Francisco-based meal delivery startup, Nik Sharma’s bosses delicately informed him that they were unhappy with his work. The problem? Well, his images were far, far too good. “The photos I was taking looked better than what people were getting delivered,” remembers Sharma with a laugh. “Customer expectations didn’t match what showed up. So I was told to tone down the quality of my photos and make them more realistic, which was a very bizarre thing to be told.”

It’s a story that confirms what devoted fans of this Mumbai-born, California-based cook and food writer have known for some time. Sharma – as evidenced by the tactile, painterly self-taken photographs that tend to accompany his recipes – has an innate visual understanding of culinary desirability. Sunset-yellow mango pudding appears sprinkled with pistachios; honey swirls onto figs in glistening strands; brown hands scatter flour in moody, Caravaggio lighting. Whether through his acclaimed blog, A Brown Table, or in Season – his debut cookbook from 2018 – the 40-year-old’s signature is food that unites earthy, cross-cultural abundance with uncommon good looks. He has, to put it another way, a feeder’s heart and an aesthete’s eye.

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Mussels, haddock and more: recipes from Scotland’s Seafood Shack

Dishes from the Ullapool restaurant’s fresh-off-the-boat-menu, including smoked haddock macaroni cheese and creamy crab linguine, are compiled in a new cookbook

“We can eat langoustines whenever we want,” says Fenella Renwick. “We’re lucky.” Renwick is at the Seafood Shack in Ullapool, on the north-west coast of Scotland, which she co-owns with Kirsty Scobie. It’s 9am, Scobie’s partner, a creel fisherman, has dropped off crab claws and langoustines, and they’re sketching out the day’s menu. Renwick thinks they should fry the langoustines in plenty of garlic butter, sprinkle over some thyme and serve them with a chunk of bread. “They’ll fly out,” she says. “People love them.”

“Fenella will have them for breakfast,” Scobie says, “straight out the pan.”

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Charlotte Mensah: ‘Hair became a form of healing’

Charlotte Mensah is the undisputed queen of black hairdressing, with clients including Zadie Smith and Michaela Coel. Here, she tells Funmi Fetto about ‘good hair’, pushing boundaries and the joy of her salon community

Would you like some cake?” I stare, slightly perplexed, at the sizeable sweet treat being presented to me at Hair Lounge. A few questions race through my head. To get through that mammoth piece, how long will I need to leave my mask off? At what point does that become illegal? After over-indulging pre, during and post lockdown, should I really be eating more cake? Overwhelmed by my thought process, I politely, reluctantly, declined. Being served homemade nutmeg cake at a hair salon might seem unusual but this is Charlotte Mensah’s salon. It has a reputation not simply as the place where storied clientele come to have their hair done, but as a place people come for community, conversation and, yes, cake. “I love to bake,” smiles the softly spoken Mensah on the afternoon we meet. “It’s something I got from my grandmother. She had a massive clay oven in her compound in Accra, in Ghana, where she would bake a lot of cakes and breads. She also knew how to do hair.”

To know Mensah is to know that the “doing hair” gene has most definitely been passed down. But to say Mensah does hair is akin to saying the pope does religion. In Afro hair circles, she is a legend. Her experience as a stylist spans three decades and countless awards, including winning British Afro Hairdresser of the Year three times. In 2017, she became the first black woman to be inducted into the British Hairdressing Hall of Fame.

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Alaska’s new climate threat: tsunamis linked to melting permafrost

Scientists are warning of a link between rapid warming and landslides that could threaten towns and tourist attractions

In Alaska and other high, cold places around the world, new research shows that mountains are collapsing as the permafrost that holds them together melts, threatening tsunamis if they fall into the sea.

Scientists are warning that populated areas and major tourist attractions are at risk.

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From Sudan to the Park Inn: the tragic story of a migrant’s killing

A mass stabbing in Glasgow in June revealed the plight of asylum seekers crammed into hotels during lockdown

On the last Friday of June, at about midday, Badreddin Abadlla Adam left his room at the Park Inn hotel in Glasgow, walked down to reception, and stabbed six people. The 28-year-old, an asylum seeker from Sudan who had been placed in the hotel as part of the UK government’s emergency response to the coronavirus pandemic, stabbed and seriously injured three other residents, two staff members and a policeman who arrived on the scene. Adam was shot dead by armed officers shortly afterwards.

The incident, which took place as Scotland was still under stringent lockdown, was initially reported by some media outlets as a potential terrorist attack, although police later dismissed this explanation. It was immediately seized on by rightwing activists, to claim that the country was threatened by an influx of “illegal” immigrants.

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Why there is hope that the world’s coral reefs can be saved

From coral farming to 3D printing, scientists are using novel methods to save a vital part of our ecosystem

For most of us, the colourful, otherworldly marinescapes of coral reefs are as remote as the alien landscapes of the moon. We rarely, if ever, experience these underwater wonderlands for ourselves – we are, after all, air-breathing, terrestrial creatures mostly cocooned in cities. It is easy, therefore, not to notice the perilous state they’re in: we’ve lost 50% of coral reefs in the past 20 years; more than 90% are expected to die by 2050 according to a presentation at the Ocean Sciences Meeting in San Diego, California earlier this year. As the oceans heat further and turn more acidic, owing to rising carbon dioxide emissions, coral reefs are tipped to become the world’s first ecosystems to become extinct because of us.

Just because we don’t see them doesn’t mean we won’t miss them. For, as we are belatedly discovering, the nice, dry human world that we’ve made for ourselves is dependent on the planet’s natural systems and coral reefs are no exception. They protect our coastlands from erosion, they are the nurseries for the fish we eat and they harbour the plankton that produce the oxygen we breathe. Globally, coral reefs support a quarter of all marine life and the livelihoods of a billion people.

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