Loners, preachers, sex workers and sinners: how Alec Soth captured the real America | Art and design

In 1999, Alec Soth set out on the first of a series of road trips along the Mississippi, travelling from his hometown of Minneapolis, which lies close to its headwaters, to Louisiana in the deep south. Eschewing the detached approach favoured by many of his contemporaries, Soth made evocative portraits of the often isolated individuals he encountered along the way, ...

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Hong Kong, activist, 'stapled', Lionel Messi, photo

Hong Kong activist says he was ‘stapled’ over Lionel Messi photo

A Hong Kong pro-democracy activist says he was beaten and had his legs stapled by Chinese agents because he was planning to send a signed photo of Lionel Messi to a dissident’s widow. Howard Lam, a member of Hong Kong’s Democratic party, said he was snatched on the street on Thursday, forced into a car and made to smell something ...

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Blue shark, captured, Mallorca, beach, panic

Blue shark captured following Mallorca beach panic

A blue shark whose presence in shallow waters off the coast of Mallorca caused panic over the weekend and led to the evacuation of beaches on the Balearic island, has been captured. The animal was first spotted on Saturday as it swam close to the beaches at Cala Major and Can Pastilla, near the Mallorcan capital of Palma. Pictures showed ...

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Paolo Maldini, courts, new love, grand band, sport, switchers

Paolo Maldini courts new love to join grand band of sport switchers

It was the kind of story that made one do a double take. The Paolo Maldini? The retired footballer? The five-times European champion, former Italy captain and devilishly handsome H&M model? He’s a professional tennis player now? Are you sure? There was a temptation to assume it was nothing more than a joke that had spun out of control. It ...

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‘Life is like a ball of wool’: how Iranian poetry brought me closer to my father

A couple of years ago I decided to collaborate with a poet on a piece of music I’d written – three melancholy minutes of me on piano, my friend Nick on viola – and my mother made a suggestion. Why didn’t I ask my father, Bahram, to recite some Persian poetry over it? I was surprised the idea hadn’t occurred ...

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Fears, reciprocal, rights, EU, citizens and Britons abroad

Fears grow for reciprocal rights of EU citizens and Britons abroad

Theresa May’s promised “generous offer” on EU citizens’ rights at the start of the Brexit talks this week will fall short of protection of the status quo, meaning a difficult start to the negotiations, officials in Brussels fear. The British government is yet to provide any documents relating to its proposal regarding the 3.1 million EU citizens living in the UK, ...

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Syrian, refugee, children, Greek, detention, island

Abandoned and abused: the forgotten Syrian refugee children on a Greek detention island

Rasha went missing late afternoon last Saturday. Her peers describe hanging out as normal with the 20-year-old Syrian in the Greek refugee detention camp. Then she vanished. Last Tuesday her friend Amira, 15, received a flurry of images on her phone. Rasha was lying naked in bed with a man. Superimposed upon his head were grotesque cartoon faces and an ...

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Naomi Klein, Trump, idiot, underestimate

Naomi Klein: ‘Trump is an idiot, but don’t underestimate how good he is at that’

The fact that Naomi Klein predicted the forces that explain the rise to power of Donald Trump gives her no pleasure at all. It is 17 years since Klein, then aged 30, published her first book, No Logo – a seductive rage against the branding of public life by globalising corporations – and made herself, in the words of the ...

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character, Katy Perry, Katheryn Hudson, scary

‘I created this character called Katy Perry. I didn’t want to be Katheryn Hudson. It was too scary’

In among the typical recording detritus of New York’s Jungle City Studios – boxes of foam ear plugs, rolls of tape, untouched buttons on a soundboard the size of a London studio flat – sits a Febreze candle, its lime-green wax emitting a scent like sweetened detergent. It’s the first thing Katy Perry notices as she suddenly appears behind me. ...

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Jeff Sessions, agrees, appear, Senate, intelligence, committee

Jeff Sessions agrees to appear before Senate intelligence committee

The US attorney general, Jeff Sessions, has agreed to appear before the Senate intelligence committee next week as it investigates alleged Russian meddling in the presidential election. In a letter on Saturday to Senator Richard Shelby, Sessions writes that his decision to appear comes in light of last week’s testimony by fired FBI director James Comey. Sessions had been scheduled ...

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