The Brazilian president, Jair Bolsonaro, leaving the Palacio da Alvorada presidential residence in Brasilia this week. Photograph: Joédson Alves/EPA Even leaders who thrive by bullying people have realised that they can’t bully a pandemic. But nor does caution fit easily with their macho political image. Their temptation has been to let it run...
Boris Johnson’s necessary U-turn on NHS fees for overseas health and care workers reveals a leader who is no longer in control of policyCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageThe first virtual proceedings of the House of Commons began on 21 April as a result of the national lockdown. They...
Pro-democracy campaigners distribute flyers protesting against China’s controversial national security law for Hong Kong. Photograph: Anthony Wallace/AFP/Getty Images The end of one country, two systems is now clearly in sight. Though Beijing promised to respect Hong Kong’s freedoms and autonomy for a full half-century, it has chipped and then hacked away at them...
The Royal Lyceum Theatre in Edinburgh. This week it has announced all jobs are at risk of redundancy. Photograph: Iain Masterton/Alamy Theatre has brave new thinking in its bones. What is it, if not the imagining and sharing of alternative worlds? But no amount of creative thinking can change the reality that theatre...
‘It was entirely predictable Donald Trump would try to distract attention from his coronavirus fiasco.’ Photograph: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images Donald Trump’s histrionic threat last week to “cut off the whole relationship” with China produced a scornful response from Beijing. “Such lunacy is a clear byproduct of the anxiety the US has...
In the battle against Covid-19, transparency about the facts is key to maintaining public support. The government is undermining its own credibilityThe official documents consisted of line after line of blacked out information. They gave every appearance of top secret cold war papers from which the slightest hint that might be...
The near unanimous view among economists is that the UK is diving into a significant recession. Photograph: Adam Vaughan/REX/Shutterstock To grasp how low are the expectations for the economy, consider this: on Wednesday it was announced that the UK’s national output had just had its biggest drop since the great crash of 2008...
‘Hearing birdsong with such clarity has become for many a small joy and a valuable mental health boost during lockdown.’ Photograph: Alamy One night in April, birdwatchers from around Britain stepped outside their doors and listened intently to something most of them had never experienced before: the fluting, mysterious, melancholy cry of the...
‘It is not enough to invoke “good solid British common sense”, as the prime minister did yesterday, and hope everything works out.’ Photograph: Barcroft Media/Getty Images For more than 30 years, the term “consensus politics” fell out of fashion in Britain. For generations of Conservative politicians schooled in the dogmas of Thatcherism, the...
Nurses wearing protective gear rush out of a care home’s “red zone” for people sick with coronavirus. Photograph: Frank Augstein/AP “I have never written so many death notifications in such a short time,” a care home manager who lost 23 residents to coronavirus in just two weeks told the Guardian last month. “Every...
‘Mr Trump played down the outbreak repeatedly, failed to prepare his country and only declared a national emergency on 13 March.’ Photograph: Stefani Reynolds/EPA The buck, once more, stops somewhere else. Donald Trump has announced he is suspending funding to the World Health Organization. The attempt to shift blame for his disastrous failure...
‘Restoring dignity and status to the labour of the men and (mostly) women who work in social care is fundamental to fixing what has become a national scandal.’ Photograph: Reuters During the past week, the health secretary, Matt Hancock, has been the butt of much-deserved criticism over the mishandling of the coronavirus crisis...
‘Mr Raab was aware that things are beginning to change in some countries. But he gave few clues away about UK government thinking on future easing.’ Photograph: Andrew Parsons/10 Downing Street/AFP via Getty Images The foreign secretary, Dominic Raab, on Thursday confirmed the extension of the UK’s Covid-19 lockdown measures for a further...
A goat outside a church in Llandudno. ‘Animal appearances seem to bring such joy to human hearts that some tales of returning wildlife – such as dolphins in Venice’s canals – have been exaggerated or confected.’ Photograph: Carl Recine/Reuters Few are lucky enough to go wild these days. Under lockdown our horizons have...
A treatment centre being prepared in Sanaa, Yemen, after the first coronavirus case was reported in the country last week. ‘What the developed countries did for their own economies is now desperately required for the poorest nations of the world.’ Photograph: Anadolu Agency/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images As some of the world’s richest...
Dominic Raab, the foreign secretary. ‘A decade of Conservative governments, with an antipathy to the state, has meant it is safer to be in Seoul than London.’ Photograph: Andrew Parsons/10 Downing Street Handout/EPA Coronavirus is a disaster that we should have been prepared for, because it was expected. In 2015, the government’s national...
‘Keir Starmer was decisively endorsed by Labour members and supporters.’ Photograph: Christopher Furlong/Getty Images It was supposed to have been the big political event of April, but the announcement of Labour’s leadership result was a low-key affair yesterday, with relatively little fanfare, overshadowed by the terrifying coronavirus crisis that has swept across Britain. As...
Keir Starmer, the newly elected Labour leader. ‘Sir Keir’s victory does signal a more competent and less sectarian approach.’ Photograph: Aaron Chown/PA Sir Keir Starmer’s arrival as Labour leader is an important moment for British politics. He offers diligence and expertise, not bellowing and finger-pointing. In a crisis this seriousness will be an...
Police in Milan perform checks during lockdown. Italy is expected to extend the restrictions beyond the current end date of 13 April. Photograph: Matteo Corner/EPA Like pacesetters in a deadly long-distance race, Italy and Spain have for weeks charted new and frightening territory, as the coronavirus pandemic grips Europe. Citizens have watched in...
‘Easter eggs are “not essential”, to use a phrase that has become overfamiliar over the past couple of weeks. But they will be deemed desirable by many, and they are definitely purchasable.’ Photograph: Lee Smith/Reuters Last Thursday, millions of Britons stood for a second time on doorsteps and balconies, making their appreciation for...

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