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Review: 2015.5 Volvo V60 T5 AWD Cross Country

Way back in 1998, Volvo introduced a variant of its V70 wagon that has since become nearly as iconic as the Volvo Wagon itself: the Cross Country.A The intervening years saw nomenclature changes eschew the “Cross Country” name, simply calling the vehicle V70 XC, and then XC70.A Seventeen years later, Volvo has revived the Cross Country nameplate […]

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Armchair Executive: Is There A Market For An Analog Luxury Car?

This is the weekly series where you, the Autosavant commentariat, are invited to take the reins of the auto industry, for at least as long as it takes you to write a comment. Itas all the responsibility, with none of the compensation! Being a child of the 1980s, it shouldnat come as any surprise that […]

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Armchair Executive: Where Should We Move Our U.S. Headquarters?

This is the weekly series where you, the Autosavant commentariat, are invited to take the reins of the auto industry, for at least as long as it takes you to write a comment. Itas all the responsibility, with none of the compensation! Scarcely a month after being appointed president of Cadillac, Johan de Nysschen (formerly […]

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Review: 2015 Subaru Legacy 2.5i Premium

Back in 2009, I had the chance to review the all-new fifth-generation Subaru Legacy, and the vehicle I reviewed was the 2010 Subaru Legacy 2.5i Premium. Six years later, I found myself behind the wheel of the sixth-generation 2015 Legacy 2.5i Premium, which is all new for 2015 model year. As with the previous generation […]

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Armchair Executive: What New Safety Feature Would You Push To Be Mandatory In The US?

This is the weekly series where you, the Autosavant commentariat, are invited to take the reins of the auto industry, for at least as long as it takes you to write a comment. Itas all the responsibility, with none of the compensation! Almost a year ago plus a couple days, the National Highway Traffic Safety […]

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Armchair Executive: Why Even Bother With Auto Shows?

This is the weekly series where you, the Autosavant commentariat, are invited to take the reins of the auto industry, for at least as long as it takes you to write a comment. Itas all the responsibility, with none of the compensation! Scarcely a couple of weeks before opening day, news outlets received a terse […]

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Armchair Executive: What Would You Do If The New Car Market Imploded?

This is the weekly series where you, the Autosavant commentariat, are invited to take the reins of the auto industry, for at least as long as it takes you to write a comment. Itas all the responsibility, with none of the compensation! I grew up in a household which, by and large, respected the value […]

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Armchair Executive: Which Untapped Future Automotive Segments Are Ripe For The Picking?

Iad like to introduce a weekly series where you, the Autosavant commentariat, are invited to take the reins of the auto industry, for at least as long as it takes you to write a comment. Itas all the responsibility, with none of the compensation! We live in interesting times. Converging automotive technologies (like drivetrain electrification, […]

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NAIAS 2015 Day One Recap

Day one of the 2015 North American International Auto Show (or NAIAS, or the Detroit Auto Show) is behind us, and we’ve racked up a significant number of steps on our FitBit (13,462 and counting as of this writing) and have seen some awesome cars. You can get details from the press releases and other […]

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Book Review: Incredible Lego Technic Cars, Trucks, Robots & More

Editor’s Note: I have always loved Legos and have built hundreds of models over the years. I have shared that enthusiasm with my sons, ages nine and seven. When offered a chance to reviewA Incredible Lego Technic Cars, Trucks, Robots & More by Pawel “Sariel” Kmiec, I thought it would be fun to have my nine […]

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Labour accuses Sunak of asmoke and mirrorsa budget due to lack of new money

Chancellor concedes only 20% of transport funding boost is new and other commitments in APS26bn spending plans are recycled

Labour has accused Rishi Sunak of presiding over a asmoke and mirrorsa budget after he conceded that just 20% of his biggest single spending commitment unveiled before the speech is made up of new money.

The Treasury has committed to almost APS26bn of spending in a rush of announcements before Wednesdayas budget and spending review. It is expected to contain no tax cuts and the chancellor has sought to reassure anxious Tory MPs that he is a fiscal Thatcherite at heart.

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Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffeas husband on second hunger strike in effort to free her

Richard Ratcliffe seeks to persuade Foreign Office to do more to secure wifeas release from prison in Iran

The husband of the jailed British-Iranian dual national Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe has gone on hunger strike for a second time in an attempt to persuade the UK foreign secretary to do more to bring his wife back from detention in Iran. His hunger strike is to take place outside the Foreign Office in London.

Richard Ratcliffe took the radical step in desperation after the Iranian authorities said earlier this month that Nazanin had lost her appeal against a second prison sentence. She will return to jail for another year, and then subject to a travel ban for a further year after that.

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NHS maternity services near breaking point, warns top doctor

Exclusive: UKas most senior gynaecologist is latest clinician to raise alarm about mounting Covid pressures

The NHS could soon be unable to deliver athe care it needs toa for women giving birth if the surge in Covid cases continues, the president of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists has said.

Dr Edward Morris, the UKas most senior gynaecologist, became the latest high-ranking clinician to raise the alarm about the increasing pressures on the health service as Covid cases rise and it battles a huge backlog of 5.7 million patients caused by the first and second waves of the virus.

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Labour calls for inquiry into MPsa safety be extended to councillors

Exclusive: letter to Priti Patel asks home secretary to have review consider safety of others in public life

Labour has written to the home secretary, Priti Patel, calling for an ongoing review into the safety of MPs after the killing of the Conservative backbencher Sir David Amess to be extended to others in public life, including councillors.

Under the proposal by Nick Thomas-Symonds, the shadow home secretary, the review would look into the safety of others such as prominent public servants and journalists.

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Tory MPs back plan to give people a vote on new housing in their areas

Steve Baker and Greg Smith believe local decision-making will encourage public to see benefits of development

Conservative MPs are calling on the housing secretary, Michael Gove, to hand greater decision-making powers over new housing to local people in an attempt to boost acceptance of new developments.

Steve Baker and Greg Smith, Tory MPs in house-price hotspots in Buckinghamshire, are backing a plan to strip councils of decision-making powers over some new developments and incentivise residents instead to approve new schemes.

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Tesco website hit by hackers, leaving thousands of customers frustrated

Consumers unable to book or amend deliveries after aattempt made to interfere with systemsa

Tesco has been hit by hackers, leaving thousands of frustrated shoppers unable to buy groceries online at Britainas biggest supermarket.

The outage leaves its grocery website and app down for a second day, with people unable to book deliveries or amend existing orders. Tesco receives 1.3m online orders every week.

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Mohamed Salah hits hat-trick as Liverpool thrash Manchester United

When the half-time whistle sounded, with Liverpool 4-0 up and everybody inside Old Trafford well aware that it could have been seven, the boos from the Manchester United fans rang out.

At half-time against Atalanta in the Champions League last Wednesday night, with United 2-0 down, there had been a volley of jeers before the support for the team and the manager, Ole Gunnar SolskjA|r, came through. United rallied to win 3-2.

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Vigil held for Halyna Hutchins as asuper unsafea conditions on Baldwin film set under scrutiny

Friends and family pay tribute to the cinematographer as some attendees at vigil call for better safety protocols

Safety procedures on the New Mexico set of the movie Rust were under increasing scrutiny on Sunday as colleagues, friends and family paid tribute to the cinematographer shot dead by the actor Alec Baldwin in what appeared to be an accidental misfire.

A vigil for Halyna Hutchins, the 42-year-old director of photography killed after Baldwin was handed a loaded revolver by the westernas production crew, took place in Albuquerque attended by industry professionals including a number of Hollywood actors including Jon Hamm and John Slattery, who are filming projects nearby.

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Home Office refuses to reveal details of Afghansa resettlement

Complaints emerge of achaotica system as local councils try to find suitable homes for refugees

The Home Office will not say how many of the airlifted Afghans qualify to be rehoused in the UK and has refused to reveal how many families have already moved out of hotels and into homes.

By calling around local authorities and devolved administrations, however, the Guardian has started to build a fractured picture of which areas have stepped up to do their bit.

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James Michael Tyler, who played Gunther in Friends, has died aged 59

Actor revealed he had stage 4 prostate cancer in 2021

James Michael Tyler, most famous for playing Gunther, the manager of Central Perk in the hit sitcom Friends, has died aged 59.

In an interview with NBC in June 2021, Tyler announced that he has stage 4 prostate cancer, which was diagnosed in 2018.

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Colombiaas president hails capture of cartel boss Dairo Antonio Asuga

Asuga, one of South Americaas most wanted men, arrested at rainforest hideout after massive manhunt

Colombiaas president, IvA!n Duque, has celebrated the downfall of athe most feared drug trafficker on Eartha after one of South Americaas most wanted men was captured at his rainforest hideout following a massive manhunt involving hundreds of troops as well as US and British intelligence agencies.

Dairo Antonio Asuga, the 50-year-old head of the Clan del Golfo drug cartel, was arrested on Saturday afternoon after heavily armed operatives laid siege to the criminalas jungle stomping ground in north-west Colombia.

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Succession star Kieran Culkin: aJust be unlikable, itas funa

The actor talks to his friend Edgar Wright about rooting for Roman, his ambition to move to London and why head like to have a crack at being Angela Lansbury

New York-born actor Kieran Culkin, 39, made his film debut at the age of eight, alongside his elder brother Macaulay in Home Alone. While still a child he also had roles in Father of the Bride, The Mighty and The Cider House Rules. He later appeared in Music of the Heart, Igby Goes Down and Edgar Wrightas Scott Pilgrim vs the World. He now stars as Roman Roy in HBO drama Succession, which returned to Sky Atlantic last week, a role for which heas been Emmy and Golden Globe-nominated.

One of the many reasons I love Succession is that I always think Iam watching aEvil Kieranaa|
[Laughs] Thatas good to know. Roman might be the most acerbic of the Roy siblings but I still root for him and am willing him to step up. Thatas true for a lot of the characters. I really feel it with Tom [Wambsgans, played by Matthew Macfadyen]. I desperately want him to tell Shiv to go fuck herself and show the family his true self but Tom never does, he just rolls over. Itas so deliciously dissatisfying.

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Diana Rigg remembered: aMa didnat suffer fools: she exploded them at 50 pacesa

Rachael Stirling recalls her motheras last months a and remembers her enormous sense of fun, whether pulling pranks on stage or dancing until dawn on her 80th birthday

When Ma found her cancer was malignant, all the theatres went dark.

aNormally, when one gets bad news like this, one becomes the focus of attention, but in a pandemic, no one gives a fuck!a

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Learning the ropes: why Germany is building risk into its playgrounds

Lofty climbing towers are part of trend away from total safety and towards teaching children to navigate difficult situations

Towering over a woodland playground on the northernmost outskirts of Berlin, the Triitopia climbing frame is the kind to cause worry in any anxious parent.

Children aged six and upwards wind their way through four stacked steel-wire buckyballs and scramble up dangling rope ladders until they reach a platform about 10 metres above the forest floor. Parents can try to keep up with their young mountaineers as they ascend through the rope spiderweb, but they might get left behind in the tightly woven mesh.

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Why the witch-hunt victims of early modern Britain have come back to haunt us

The women killed as witches centuries ago are starting to receive justice. But letas not glamorise the murder of innocents

Lilias Addieas body was piled into a wooden box and buried beneath a half-tonne sandstone slab on the foreshore where a dark North Sea laps the Fife coast. More than a hundred years later, she was exhumed by opportunistic Victorian gravediggers and her bones a unusually large for a woman living in the early 18th century a were later put on show at the Empire exhibition in Glasgow. Her simple coffin was carved into a wooden walking stick a engraved aLilias Addie, 1704a a which ended up in the collection of Andrew Carnegie, then the richest man in the world.

It was no sort of burial, but from the perspective of the thousands of women accused of, and executed for, witchcraft in early modern Britain, Liliasas fate had a degree of dignity.

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Eternals review a magic hour meets PowerPoint in Chloe Zhaoas Marvel yarn

The Nomadland director manages to get some nice-looking shots and personal drama in her superhero debut, but thereas just too much mythology to explain

The Marvel Cinematic Universe as we know it is but a provincial backwater compared to the colossal scope of this latest addition, which covers such vast expanses of space and time that squeezing it all into one movie is almost a scientific breakthrough in itself. Everything about Eternals is huge, which is both its strength and its weakness. In terms of visual spectacle, it gives us cosmic vistas that would not look out of place on a prog-rock album cover or a documentary about the Big Bang. The story spans the entire globe and the entirety of human civilisation, from Mesopotamia to modern-day London, from the Australian outback to ancient Babylon, with innumerable CGI-heavy set pieces along the way. Sitting through the endless credits (which many will do to catch the very last bonus scene) you get the impression every VFX artist in the world was employed in making this. Some of their work is agreeably bizarre; some, it must be said, is downright terrible.

Along with the epic scope comes an equally huge, and refreshingly diverse, cast of characters; these include Gemma Chan, Richard Madden, Angelina Jolie, Salma Hayek and Kumail Nanjiani. There is also an epic mythology to get our heads around: even before a line of dialogue is spoken, three dense paragraphs of text explain how our 10 Eternals came to earth to protect it from the predatory Deviants (sort of skinless, sinewy beasts with prehensile tentacles) at the behest of Arishem, athe Prime Celestiala. If youare lost already, bad luck: thereas plenty more to come, which demands some planet-sized chunks of exposition. At times if feels like you are watching a very sophisticated PowerPoint presentation.

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My mum the nun: why my socialite mother joined a monastery aged 61

Vivacious, wealthy and charismatic, my mother threw an extravagant party for her 61st birthday. She then left her friends and 10 children and spent the rest of her life as a cloistered nun

It was like a beehive. A buzzing mass of 800 guests gathered around the queen, their larder of honey replaced by shrimp croquettes and caviar. It was 32 years ago when my mother, Ann Russell Miller, threw a combination 61st birthday and bon voyage party in the grand ballroom of a San Francisco hotel. Above her floated a balloon, tied to her wrist and emblazoned with the phrase: aHere I am.a She manoeuvred about, dressed elegantly in sparkling black. Her makeup was flawlessly applied, her hair expertly coiffed, her shoes chosen from hundreds of exquisite pairs. But this was her last formal outfit. She would never wear makeup again. The following day her hair would be shorn close to her scalp and forever hidden under a veil. For the next three decades she would wear the simple brown habit, with sandals or work shoes, befitting her new life as a cloistered nun.

As the orchestra played the familiar strains of Happy Birthday, she could doubtless hear the echoes of birthdays past. The song played in Oregon and California during her youth. It was sung by her classmates at the Spence School on East 91st Street in New York. Her 21st birthday was spent newly married and five months pregnant. She would be in that condition more than 90 months of her life. By her 41st birthday she had completed her collection of five daughters and five sons. My father, who died when my mother was 55, was fond of saying that he had wanted 12 children and my mother wanted 10, so they compromised and had 10. She talked nearly nonstop on the telephone and in person. She had the exceedingly irritating ability to nap almost at will and wake up in such a manner as to make one doubt that she had been asleep at all. With charm and eccentricities to spare, she fairly skated through life with the benighted ease of the fabulously wealthy.

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aWeave been hammereda: on the breadline in Burnley

First the pandemic, now the universal credit cut is taking a toll and there is scepticism about alevelling upa

On a wet Monday morning in the middle of Burnley, the Church on the Street is handing out bread: sliced white loaves donated to the organisationas food bank and gratefully received by the 20 or so people who gathered here soon after the doors opened.

They have come here for a variety of reasons: for food, advice on benefits or help with homelessness and addiction. Some need a shower or a haircut, others a hot meal and an hour or two of conversation and company.

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aGreta Thunberg would love it a Shellas CEO less soa: Joe Lycett vs the Oil Giant review

The comic and self-styled consumer champion turns his attention to the aeco-friendlya face of the fossil fuel behemoth. Is he virtue signalling? Yes a but itas hard not to be impressed

There are two kinds of greenwashing. The first involves corporations making us believe that their products are environmentally sustainable. Itas what Derren Brown calls misdirection of attention. For instance, if you based your opinion solely on Shellas publicity material and TV ads a all solar panels, wind turbines and bicycles a you might think it was quite a different company to the one it is. Nor would you guess that only $900m of its annual investment pot of $116bn goes towards renewable energy.

You might think that Shellas vow to go carbon neutral by 2050 shows how environmentally conscious it is rather than this move being the result of a Dutch courtas ruling this spring ordering the company to reduce its emissions by 45% by 2030. You wouldnat know that Fatih Birol, the executive director of the International Energy Authority, recently called on the company to stop drilling for new oilfields, stressing that governments must stop all new oil and gas investments from this year in order to curb global heating.

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UK falling behind most G7 countries in sharing Covid vaccines, figures show

Campaigners call for action after analysis finds only third of jabs pledged to poorer countries this year have so far been delivered

The UK is lagging behind other G7 countries in sharing surplus Covid vaccines with poorer countries, according to newly published figures.

The advocacy organisation One, which is campaigning to end extreme poverty and preventable disease by 2030, described it as shaming for the UK government.

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