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What the Kohli-Kumble saga tells us

Ian Chappell in Cricinfo



Pakistan soundly beat India in the Champions Trophy final, and it has been interesting, to say the least, to witness the aftermath.

Firstly, the Indian coach, Anil Kumble, resigned. Then the Pakistan players - not surprisingly - were welcomed home as heroes. This was followed by an ICC announcement that Afghanistan and Ireland have been added to the list of Test-playing nations, increasing the number to 12.

Kumble's resignation was no great surprise, as he's a strong-minded individual and the deteriorating relationship between him and the captain, Virat Kohli, had reached the stage of being a distraction. Kumble's character is relevant to any discussion about India's future coaching appointments. The captain is the only person who can run an international cricket team properly, because so much of the job involves on-field decision making. Also, a good part of the leadership role - performed off the field - has to be handled by the captain, as it h…
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After the Grenfell fire, the church got it right where the council failed

Giles Fraser in The Guardian

We are an “unsuccessful church”, the exhausted Rev Alan Everett told me, as I persuaded him to take a break and have some lunch. He meant that they only get 30 to 60 people in the pews on a Sunday morning and that it wasn’t one of those whizzy Alpha course churches beloved by London bishops and their growth spreadsheets. Next to us in the church’s sunny courtyard, an extended Muslim family talked openly about their escape from the fire. “Our lungs are full of smoke but at least, thank God, we are all alive.” A church worker told them where to find new shoes and clothes. It felt like a refugee camp. Perhaps it was a refugee camp. And hanging over the whole scene, Grenfell Tower, black and enormous. It stands as a biblical-scale condemnation to a whole society.
In the days after the fire, the church of St Clement’s, Notting Dale, became a hub for grieving families, generous donations of clothes and food – and camera-ready politicians. First Jeremy Corbyn came.…

Older men have geekier sons.

Ian Sample in The Guardian


Older men tend to have “geekier” sons who are more aloof, have higher IQs and a more intense focus on their interests than those born to younger fathers, researchers claim.

The finding, which emerged from a study of nearly 8,000 British twins, suggests that having an older father may benefit children and boost their performance in technical subjects at secondary school.

Researchers in the UK and the US analysed questionnaires from 7,781 British twins and scored them according to their non-verbal IQ at 12 years old, as well as parental reports on how focused and socially aloof they were. The scientists then combined these scores into an overall “geek index”.

Magdalena Janecka at King’s College London said the project came about after she and her colleagues had brainstormed what traits and skills helped people to succeed in the modern age. “If you look at who does well in life right now, it’s geeks,” she said.

Drawing on the twins’ records, the scientists found tha…

Life and death in Apple’s forbidden city - Shame on you Steve Jobs

Brian Merchant in The Guardian


The sprawling factory compound, all grey dormitories and weather-beaten warehouses, blends seamlessly into the outskirts of the Shenzhen megalopolis. Foxconn’s enormous Longhua plant is a major manufacturer of Apple products. It might be the best-known factory in the world; it might also might be among the most secretive and sealed-off. Security guards man each of the entry points. Employees can’t get in without swiping an ID card; drivers entering with delivery trucks are subject to fingerprint scans. A Reuters journalist was once dragged out of a car and beaten for taking photos from outside the factory walls. The warning signs outside – “This factory area is legally established with state approval. Unauthorised trespassing is prohibited. Offenders will be sent to police for prosecution!” – are more aggressive than those outside many Chinese military compounds.

But it turns out that there’s a secret way into the heart of the infamous operation: use the b…

Balance of power deters would-be whistleblowers from rocking the boat

Sean Ingle in The Guardian


A couple of days ago I asked a UK Sport insider why more athletes do not go public with their concerns. “Put yourself in their shoes,” came the reply. “One path is potentially well rewarded. And then there’s another that comes after speaking out. If you are a rational person, do you want to travel down the road of a Brian Cookson or a Jess Varnish? There is a massive disincentive to rock the boat.”

One can see their point. Cookson, having enjoyed a long career in sports administration, is now president of the UCI, earning £235,000 a year. Varnish, having spoken out about the problems in British Cycling – and having been largely vindicated – finds herself marginalised and ostracised. At 26 she also knows her career in elite sport is probably over. What would you do?



British Bobsleigh team told: keep quiet about bullying or miss Olympics


Of course not every complaint is serious or justified. And nor is elite sport a place to hold hands round the campfire and sing …

The Economic Myths of UK's 2017 General Election Exposed

Ann Pettifor

With Grenfell Tower, we’ve seen what ‘ripping up red tape’ really looks like

George Monbiot in The Guardian

For years successive governments have built what they call a bonfire of regulations. They have argued that “red tape” impedes our freedom and damages productivity. Britain, they have assured us, would be a better place with fewer forms to fill in, fewer inspections and less enforcement.
But what they call red tape often consists of essential public protections that defend our lives, our futures and the rest of the living world. The freedom they celebrate is highly selective: in many cases it means the freedom of the rich to exploit the poor, of corporations to exploit their workers, landlords to exploit their tenants and industry of all kinds to use the planet as its dustbin. As RH Tawney remarked, “Freedom for the pike is death for the minnows.”

It will be a long time before we know exactly what caused the horrific fire in the Grenfell Tower, and why it was able to rage so freely, with such devastating loss of life. But it seems at this stage likely that t…