A national commemoration of murdered teenager Stephen Lawrence is to take place on April 22 each year, Prime Minister Theresa May announces.
It will be known as Stephen Lawrence Day.
The announcement comes on the 25th anniversary of the death of the 18-year-old, who was stabbed to death by a racist gang.
A memorial of Lawrence’s life and legacy took place today.
Lawrence’s mother, Doreen Lawrence, and his brother Stuart greeted guests at the church entrance before the service.
Stephen Lawrence’s father Neville said the annual national commemoration of the murdered teenager’s life is “a mark of what we have been trying to do for years – our son’s memory is going to be enshrined in history”.
Prince Harry and his fiancee Meghan Markle joined the family and other notable figures at St Martin-in-the-Fields in Central London for the event.
Mrs May, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and London Mayor Sadiq Khan were among the 800 people in attendance.
Prince Harry read a message of support on behalf of the Prince of Wales, who in 2000 gave the annual Stephen Lawrence Memorial Lecture which began with a tribute to the Lawrence family.
During the event Sir Lenny Henry interviewed three young beneficiaries of the Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust.
The young murder victim was attacked in Eltham, south-east London, on April 22 1993.
David Norris and Gary Dobson, two of the group of up to six assailants, are serving life sentences for the racially-motivated killing.
Three other men have consistently been accused of the killing but never convicted.
A sixth gang member was thought to be involved in the attack.
Last week, Neville Lawrence, announced that he would consider talking to his son’s killers and had decided to forgive the gang of racists.
He and his former wife, who is now Baroness Lawrence, have campaigned for more than 20 years to get justice for their son.
The murder of the teenager has become a watershed moment in modern race relations in the UK.
Duwayne Brooks, who was with Lawrence during the attack, says he heard the group yell racially abusive language before launching their violent assault on his friend.
A report into the case concluded the police made mistakes and were guilty of “institutional racism”.
The bungled case led to a major public inquiry and eventually a change in the law to allow Dobson to be tried twice for murder.
The Met has admitted the investigation is unlikely to progress without new information.
But focus on the case will continue with an inquiry into undercover policing, probing claims that police moles infiltrated campaign groups supporting the Lawrence family.
Culture Secretary Matt Hancock is to consider intervening in Trinity Mirror’s £126.7m deal to buy newspapers including the Daily Express and Daily Star.
Mr Hancock said in a statement that he was “minded” to issue a public interest intervention notice after the merger was brought to his attention by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA).
The deal, completed last month, gave Trinity Mirror control of the Star and the Express’s daily and Sunday titles as well as celebrity magazines OK!, New! and Star.
It already publishes the Daily Mirror, Sunday Mirror, Sunday People and Daily Record, as well as being the UK’s biggest regional newspaper owner.
Trinity Mirror plans to change the name of the enlarged business to Reach, following the deal to buy the titles from Richard Desmond’s Northern & Shell group.
Mr Hancock announced possible intervention in a statement issued on Monday, on two grounds which he said warranted further investigation.
The first was on the need for free expression and the impact that the transfer of newspapers would have on editorial decision making.
He said that in making the decision he had considered “the issue of formal mechanisms to ensure that editorial independence is maintained at the acquired titles”.
The second ground was on the need for “sufficient plurality of views in newspapers”.
Mr Hancock said the decision took into account that the merged company would own the largest share of national titles in the national newspaper market, with nine out of 20.
It would also become the second largest national newspaper organisation in circulation terms, with 28%.
Mr Hancock said: “I have invited written representations from the parties and will aim to come to a final decision on whether to intervene in the merger shortly.”
Trinity Mirror chief executive Simon Fox said in response to the announcement: “This is a part of the process that we were aware was possible following our acquisition of the Northern & Shell publishing assets.
“We continue to believe there are no plurality or competition issues.
“We would expect any review by Ofcom arising from this DCMS statement would happen in parallel with the CMA review, which we expect to conclude by June 7 2018.”
Ten people are confirmed to have died after a van swerved across four lanes to “deliberately” hit pedestrians on one of Toronto’s busiest streets.
Another 15 people are believed to have been injured on the corner of Yonge Street and Finch Avenue, where the van mounted a pavement and mowed down pedestrians.
Officers have arrested the driver of the van, who has been named as Alek Minassian, 25, from Ontario’s Richmond Hill.
Footage has emerged showing the suspect facing off with police, shouting “kill me” and “I’ve got a gun in my pocket” while appearing to point something at the officer.
The police officer tells him to “get down” and can be later seen putting handcuffs on the man.
The actions of the suspect appear to have been intentional, police chief Mark Saunders has said.
The man was not previously known to police, however, and an investigation is considering whether he acted alone. Authorities say there is no evidence at present that the incident was related to a national security issue.
“The events are horrendous but they do not appear to be associated with national security at this time,” public safety minister Ralph Goodale said.
Speaking to Sky News after the incident, witness Diego DeMatos said the white van had driven for about five or six blocks without stopping and apparently purposefully.
“We actually saw when the van hit the last few people that were on the sidewalk,” Mr DeMatos said. “We thought it was just a hit and run. He kept driving… all I could see was dead bodies on the floor.”
Henry Miller, who lives in an apartment overlooking the street, said: “I heard a large amount of honking… and I stepped out on to the balcony to see what was causing the trouble and at this point I saw a lady lying on the floor and the van driving off with people running around trying to help her.”
He described a white van “speeding probably 60-70mph down this major road, swerving to what I would say fairly deliberately hit pedestrians and swerving in and out of traffic before eventually careering off into one of the other side streets and out of view”.
An area of around 1km around the scene was closed down following the incident as part of an ongoing investigation, police said.
Authorities anticipate that officers will be at the scene of the incident for several days, and have appealed to witnesses for further information.
Helplines for people who may be experiencing distress after seeing the carnage have also been made available.
John Tory, the mayor of Toronto, said he wanted to assure resident the city was in “safe hands”.
“This is a time when this community should come together, these are not the kinds of things we expect to happen, we hope they don’t happen anywhere in the world but especially, we don’t expect them to happen in Toronto,” he said.
“We are admired around the world for being inclusive and being accepting and considerate.”
Proposed changes to the way NHS services are provided in England will be challenged at the High Court in Leeds today.
Campaigners are bringing a judicial review of plans to create new regional Accountable Care Organisations (ACOs) to oversee healthcare.
ACOs are part of emerging plans across the country intended to help integrate NHS services, encouraging hospital and ambulance trusts, GPs, local authorities, social care providers and health commissioning groups working more closely together.
NHS England, backed by Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt, says they will help meet soaring demand in the health service, ease pressure on hospitals and provide care in appropriate and cost-efficient settings.
Opponents claim they are vehicles for privatisation and cuts to services, and will argue in court that the proposed contract for ACOs, under which care would be commissioned using a single budget, is unlawful.
The contracts could run for up to ten years and would see tens of billions of pounds awarded to NHS organisations and potentially private healthcare providers.
Under the current system healthcare providers are paid for each patient they treat, with the price determined by the complexity of the procedure.
Under the proposals ACOs would receive a single payment, known as a Whole Population Annual Payment, which opponents say may lead to rationing of care and a focus on the most profitable services.
The first ACO contracts were due to be awarded in Manchester and Dudley this month, but were effectively put on hold in January when, under pressure from concerned MPs, NHS England announced a twelve-week consultation.
999 Call for the NHS said: “[We are] deeply concerned that the contract, if implemented, would threaten patient safety and force hospitals and doctors to restrict treatment, making decisions based on money not clinical judgement.
NHS England has rejected the claim. A spokesman said: “The NHS will strongly resist this mistaken campaign to frustrate the move to more integrated care between hospitals, mental health and community services.
“The inevitable effect would be to fragment care and drive apart the very people who are now rightly trying to work more closely together on behalf of the patients they jointly serve.”
ACOs are part of a radical but largely ignored reform of the NHS directed by NHS England chief executive Simon Stevens.
He believes integrated care is the answer to the problem of rising demand in the NHS, as well as the most appropriate way of delivering the care required by an ageing population with multiple complex needs.
The aim is to relieve pressure on hospitals by providing more appropriate care in the community – either at home, at walk-in centres or other non-emergency settings – and place more emphasis on prevention to try and stem the growth of lifestyle conditions such as diabetes.
In 2014 Mr Stevens asked healthcare commissioners and providers to work more closely in 44 regional Sustainability and Transformation Partnerships, with the most closely aligned ultimately forming ACOs, with the power to commission care.
They have been characterised as an attempt to work around the shortcomings of the 2012 Health and social Care Act without legislation.
ACOs in particular have proved controversial, in part because they share characteristics, and their name, with an American model.
Earlier this year NHS England changed the terminology to Integrated Care Systems (ICSs), to try and remove the association with the privatised US model.
The judicial review may prove a more fundamental challenge to the transformation of the NHS.
A certain baby gets his first taste of the interest being a royal can attract.
The Daily Mail has a close up of the fifth in line to the throne, a tiny hand poking out from beneath a white shawl. “His first royal wave” says the headline. Coverage continues until page 19.
He is seen in the arms of the Duchess of Cambridge on the front of the Sun, which, conscious of the date, heralds the arrival with the words: “Cry for mummy, England and St George”.
“Welcome to the family”, says the Daily Telegraph, which has an eight-page souvenir supplement.
There’s also global interest in the latest addition to the House of Windsor.
Germany’s Die Welt is shocked at how quickly the duchess left hospital and speculates it is because she wants to be ready for next month’s royal wedding.
“It’s a turnaround time most new mothers could not, and would not, want to achieve,” says the Sydney Morning Herald.
Corriere della Serra in Italy says Arthur or Albert are the most likely names, although since this is the couple’s third child, it says, they could choose something more daring.
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There’s shock and revulsion at events in Toronto, not least in Canadian newspapers.
The Toronto Sun talks of “terror unleashed on innocents from behind the wheel”.
The National Post describes a “scene of devastation” and “blood-stained sidewalks”.
The Edmonton Journal quotes a man who was driving behind the van involved. “I hope he burns in hell, whoever did this,” he says.
Another witness tells the Toronto Globe and Mail: “It was awful. Brutal.”
Playing with fire?
The Guardian and Daily Telegraph foresee a cabinet split over membership of the EU customs union.
The Telegraph wonders why it is still being debated, saying the Conservatives promised in their manifesto to leave the customs union and Labour, until recently, said it would do likewise.
Melanie Phillips in the Times accuses Remainers of “playing with fire”, and the Daily Mail says being in a customs union means Brexit “in name only”.
The Daily Mirror allows two MPs to argue the point.
Labour’s Stella Creasy says staying in would mean being part of the world’s most powerful free trade zone. Tory MP Bernard Jenkin says we would remain bound by EU rules and leaving means we can trade with the rest of the world.
The Daily Mail applauds the prime minister’s creation of an annual Stephen Lawrence Day, in honour of the black teenager whose death 25 years ago was commemorated on Monday.
His murder was “a hideous crime and grievous loss,” it says, “but how far Britain has come since that dreadful day”.
It says there has been a transformation in the way the criminal justice system treats racially-motivated crime, a recognition of how badly black people were being failed by the police, and fundamental reform at Scotland Yard.
The Daily Express announces it is giving its backing to campaigners calling for a change in the law to make those who prey on the elderly guilty of a hate crime.
The paper says around one million older people are victims of physical, financial, psychological and sexual abuse each year and yet criminal convictions are rare and, in its view, too lenient.
Three papers lead on the row over the treatment of the Windrush generation, and the promise by Amber Rudd of British citizenship.
According to the Guardian, the government has struggled to contain mounting pressure on the home secretary and Theresa May.
The Times says Tories fear the scandal could lead to an exodus of ethnic minority support from their party.
The Daily Mirror accuses Mrs May of hiding behind her home secretary.
Finally, a call by the President of the Supreme Court, Lady Hale, to allow couples to divorce online in what is described as a “one-stop shop” is highlighted by the Daily Telegraph.
She argues blame should be taken out of the process as it’s “unjust” and “discriminatory”.
Lady Hale says the current system “adds needlessly to the anger, pain, grief and guilt”, increasing the warring between couples and having an adverse effect on their children.
“We have been in contact with White House representatives and are currently discussing the logistics of an upcoming visit to Washington,” a spokesman for the Eagles said on Monday, acknowledging publicly for the first time that the team had been invited. “We are honored to receive this invitation and view this not only as an opportunity to be recognized for our on-field accomplishments, but also as an opportunity to engage in productive dialogue with the leaders of our country.”
There is no formal routine for the scheduling of White House visits, though most Super Bowl winners receive an invitation soon after the game, and visits are common in March or April, when players are together but their schedules are not as hectic as they would be during the season. Last year, the New England Patriots went to the White House on April 19.
Some teams choose to visit the White House later in the year, particularly if they can combine it with a trip to play against the Redskins or the Ravens, who are based near Washington.
The Eagles will probably have several prominent no-shows if the team makes the trip from Philadelphia. After their victory over the Patriots in February, some top players, including safety Malcolm Jenkins, defensive lineman Chris Long and wide receiver Torrey Smith, said they would not visit the White House if invited.
In an interview on CNN, Mr. Smith said he would not go to a party if the host were a sexist or a racist or insulted his friends. “So why is it any different when this person has the title of president of the United States?” he said. “It’s really that simple to me. I don’t think it’s really something that I personally feel inclined to be involved with.”
Mr. Smith added that there were “plenty of guys who said they do not plan on going” to the White House, a tradition that became an annual event during Ronald Reagan’s presidency more than three decades ago.
Two members of the Eagles, Mr. Long and LeGarrette Blount, declined to visit the White House last year when they were with the Patriots.
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The Eagles’ owner, Jeffrey Lurie, is considered one of the most liberal in the league, and he is sympathetic to what Mr. Jenkins and other players have been trying to achieve. Long before he bought the team, he earned a doctoral degree in social policy and lectured on topics like incarceration rates. In the lobby at the Eagles’ training complex, he put large photos of Martin Luther King Jr., Nelson Mandela and Jonas Salk, rather than sepia-tone images of the team’s best former players, to remind visitors of the team’s higher mission.
Mr. Lurie openly supported Mr. Jenkins and other players who have protested, though he encouraged them to hone their message and not be sidetracked by people accusing them of being unpatriotic.
According to the Federal Election Commission, in 2015, Mr. Lurie donated $2,700 to Hillary for America, a group supporting Hillary Clinton, as well as to the N.F.L. political action committee.
Mr. Lurie has also made his political leanings known in private league meetings, including last October at N.F.L. headquarters. Weeks after Mr. Trump attacked the league, several dozen owners, players and league executives met to discuss a plan to donate money to an array of groups fighting social injustice. At one point, a player said that it was difficult to trust the owners because they supported Mr. Trump.
Mr. Lurie took exception.
“Another fact I want to throw out there: Many of us have no interest in supporting President Trump,” Mr. Lurie said, according to a recording of the meeting obtained by The New York Times. “Yes, there are some. There are some players who do, too.”
“But this is not where you brandish a group of people because they own assets in a sport we love, supporting what many of us perceive as, you know, one disastrous presidency,” he said, using a vulgarity to emphasize “disastrous,” then adding, “Don’t quote me.”
The Trump White House has been the source of tension with other sports teams. In September, after Stephen Curry of the N.B.A. champion Golden State Warriors said that he and his teammates were considering a boycott of the visit, Mr. Trump announced that the team would not be invited.
The history of sports teams visiting the White House dates to the 19th century, when baseball teams were invited. President Jimmy Carter is believed to be the first to invite an N.F.L. team, when he welcomed the Pittsburgh Steelers in 1980. The visits became a yearly tradition during the Reagan administration, and nearly every Super Bowl champion since then has received an invitation.
The few exceptions include the Giants, in 1991, who did not go because of the first Gulf War, and the Denver Broncos in 1999, presumably because President Bill Clinton was embroiled in impeachment proceedings.
Canadian police are questioning the suspected driver of a rented van that ploughed into pedestrians in northern Toronto on Monday, killing 10 and injuring 15.
Alek Minassian, 25, was not previously known to authorities, police said.
The incident appeared to be deliberate but the motive was not clear, officials added.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said the “tragic and senseless attack” had brought him “great sadness”.
Meanwhile, an officer has been praised for not opening fire during a tense standoff with the suspect, who claimed to be armed.
Video broadcast on CBC News showed a man pointing what appeared to be a gun at officers and shouting “kill me”.
The officer tells the man to “get down” and when the suspect says he has a gun, the officer repeats: “I don’t care. Get down.” The suspect was then arrested without shots being fired.
How did the incident unfold?
Police said the white rental van mounted the kerb on Yonge Street between Finch Avenue and Sheppard Avenue at about 13:30 local time (17:30 GMT) on Monday and drove into pedestrians along a 2km (1.24 mile) stretch.
Reza Hashemi, who owns a video shop on Yonge Street, told the BBC he heard screaming on the other side of the road.
He said the van was repeatedly mounting the pavement and running into people.
One witness told City News that the driver was “hitting anything that comes in the way”.
“People, fire hydrants, there’s mail boxes being run over,” said the unnamed man, who said he was driving behind the van during the incident.
As the van continued, the man said he sounded his horn to try to warn pedestrians. “I witnessed at least six, seven people being hit and flying in the air, like killed, on the street,” he said.
Skip Twitter post by @JustinTrudeau
The @TorontoPolice and first responders faced danger without hesitation today, and I want to thank them for their courage and professionalism. We’ll continue working with our law enforcement partners as the investigation continues.
— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) April 24, 2018
End of Twitter post by @JustinTrudeau
Pictures from the scene showed bodies covered in orange sheets along the van’s route. Debris and items of clothing were scattered across the pavements and road.
The van was brought to a halt by police several streets away and was quickly surrounded.
What is known of the suspect?
Very few details have been released about the man being questioned.
Police said Alek Minassian was from the northern Toronto suburb of Richmond Hill.
Toronto Police Chief Mark Saunders told a news conference that he was not previously known to authorities.
“The actions definitely looked deliberate,” he said, adding that it was too early in the investigation to say whether the incident was terror-related.
“We don’t rule out anything. What we have to do is to follow what we have because it’s very early in the investigation,” he said.
Standing alongside him, Canadian public safety minister Ralph Goodale said there “would appear to be no national security connections”.
Canadian broadcaster CBC, citing government officials, said Mr Minassian was not associated with any known terror groups.
What else is known?
Van rental company Ryder System Inc confirmed that one of its vehicles was involved and said it was co-operating with authorities.
The incident happened while foreign ministers of the G7 leading industrialised nations – Canada, the US, Britain, France, Germany, Italy and Japan – were holding talks in Toronto.
Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland said the G7 meetings would continue on Tuesday as planned.
“The work of the ministers obviously goes on. This is a very sad day for the people of Toronto and the people of Canada,” she said.
City Mayor John Tory urged residents to remain calm.
“This kind of tragic incident is not representative of how we live or who we are or anything to do with life in the city on a day-to-day basis,” he said.
A statue commemorating the life of the suffragist, Millicent Fawcett, will be unveiled opposite Parliament later.
She campaigned for women’s right to vote during the early 20th Century and is seen as one of the most influential feminists of the past 100 years.
The bronze casting, which has been created by the artist Gillian Wearing, features her holding a banner reading “courage calls for courage everywhere.”
It is the first statue of a woman to be erected in Parliament Square.
Prime Minister Theresa May, who will attend Tuesday’s unveiling, said the work would serve as a reminder of Dame Millicent’s extraordinary life and legacy.
The statue was commissioned as part of this year’s centenary of the 1918 Representation of the People Act – which gave some women over the age of 30 the vote.
It followed a campaign by the feminist writer and activist Caroline Criado Perez, who also led last year’s successful effort to get Jane Austen to appear on the 10 pound note.
She said she came up with the idea for the statue when she was out running on International Women’s Day in 2016 and realised the only historical figures commemorated there were men.
The 11 existing statues include Winston Churchill, Nelson Mandela, Abraham Lincoln, William Gladstone and Mahatma Gandhi.
Dame Millicent Fawcett formed the National Union of Women’s Suffrage Societies in 1897. The organisation used peaceful tactics to campaign, including non-violent demonstrations, petitions and the lobbying of MPs.
They shared the same aims, but had different methods, to the suffragettes – the more radical group led by Emmeline Pankhurst.
Dame Millicent died in 1929, a year after women were granted the vote on equal terms to men.
Tuesday night brings a state dinner, the Trumps’ first. (On the menu: spring lamb and Carolina gold rice jambalaya.)
On Wednesday, Mr. Macron will address Congress, hold a town-hall-style meeting at George Washington University and conduct a solo news conference.
• A manhunt that set Nashville on edge is over.
The police arrested Travis Reinking, 29, above, the suspect in a shooting at a Waffle House restaurant early Sunday that killed four people. What we know so far: His family had expressed concerns about his delusional behavior (he believed Taylor Swift was stalking him).
And his guns had been confiscated last year, after he was detained near the White House, but they were returned to his father.
The victims of the shooting were all in their 20s. More could have died if a customer, James Shaw Jr., had not wrested away the gunman’s AR-15 rifle. “I’m not a hero,” he said. “I’m just a regular person.”
• As Google and Facebook deal with a privacy backlash, new European regulations on data collection may not be as damaging to the two tech giants as they appear. In fact, they could strengthen their hold on the internet.
Meanwhile, the Cambridge Analytica researcher at the heart of the Facebook scandal will testify today before a British panel investigating fake news and the use of social media in the weeks before the country voted to leave the E.U.
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• Windmill giants: Come with us inside the engineering marvels that are making clean energy mainstream.
• Accused of bribery, Ilmars Rimsevics, Latvia’s widely disliked central banker, seems headed for a fall, along with one of the nation’s largest banks.
• European regulators are investigating Apple’s proposed acquisition of the song-identification app Shazam over concerns the company would get access to data on competitors like Spotify.
• Haliburton, the global oil services company, wrote off its remaining investment of $312 million in Venezuela.
• U.S. stocks were weaker. Here’s a snapshot of global markets.
In the News
• “Hip hip hooray! It’s a boy, born on St. George’s Day!” We talked to royal enthusiasts outside the hospital where Catherine, the duchess of Cambridge, gave birth to her third child with Prince William. Such gatherings have become a modern tradition. [The New York Times]
• The Roman Catholic Church has made it its mission to apologize for past sins under recent leadership, but Pope Francis will not be apologizing for forcing 150,000 Indigenous children in Canada to attend boarding schools in an effort to wipe out their cultures and languages. [The New York Times]
• “I feel whole again.” After a 14-hour operation, a young veteran maimed by a bomb received a penis transplant. [The New York Times]
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• Armenia’s prime minister was forced to resign after days of demonstrations, ending a decade in power. Protesters throughout Armenia were angered by Serzh Sargsyan’s effort to prolong his tenure and demanded that he step down. [The New York Times]
• In a bid to compete with the United States and China, a group of scientists announced plans for a European institute dedicated to artificial intelligence research. [The Guardian]
• What’s that smell? It could be … we’ll let you fill in this planetary pun, thanks to a new discovery. [BBC]
Tips, both new and old, for a more fulfilling life.
• Spot and overcome your hidden weaknesses.
• How to protect yourself from new scammers who pose as “tech support.”
• Recipe of the day: If you’re into baking, try this rich crumb cake with juicy, tart grapefruit.
• The landscape of Islay has remained largely unchanged since Alfred Barnard traveled the Scottish island for a whisky odyssey in the 1880s. But the industry has: In 2017, over 85 million cases of Scotch were consumed globally. Our writer revisits his journey, and the “pilgrimage worthy” destination.
• Can an ancient Roman settlement help save a vanishing Spanish village? That’s what the residents of Driebes (population 339 and not growing) are hoping. They’re relying on the discovery of ruins to bring tourism, and economic recovery, back to the area.
• The entrance to Platform 9¾ is now on Broadway. “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” gives vibrant responses to “what if” scenarios of the wizard’s past, a process that makes “dreams feel eternal, and more vivid than reality,” our critic writes.
Continue reading the main story
It contains 167 million items and 838 miles of bookshelves, and it adds 12,000 articles of history daily.
The Library of Congress is one of the largest libraries in the world. It was established on this day in 1800 with the same sweep of President John Adams’s pen that moved the federal government from Philadelphia to Washington.
As its name suggests, the library was originally for members of Congress, but its role as the leading research arm of the government has expanded. Anyone 16 and older may get a library card and use the collections on site.
While its main office is in Washington, the library has offices around the world. Its collection includes materials in 470 languages.
The library is home to a Gutenberg Bible and a 1507 world map that is the first known document on which “America” appears (over what is now Brazil).
The Librarian of Congress is a title that has been held by 14 librarians since 1800. Carla Hayden, the current librarian, is the first woman and first African-American to hold the post.
“If you can absorb information yourself and make your own decisions, that’s a freedom,” Dr. Hayden told The Times last year.
Your Morning Briefing is published weekday mornings and updated online.
Check out this page to find a Morning Briefing for your region. (In addition to our European edition, we have Australian, Asian and U.S. editions.)
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The meat industry is a major contributor to carbon dioxide emissions and deforestation, and a huge consumer of water. But can lab-grown veggie alternatives wean us off our addiction to red meat? Silicon Valley tech companies are betting on it.
Evan McCormack, 19, is staring a big juicy burger on his plate at a local cafe. It looks like meat. It smells like meat. It even bleeds like meat. But it’s not.
“I like how juicy and crunchy it is, compared to a lot of other veggie burgers,” he says. “I think the texture is a big part of it.”
Made from ingredients such as wheat, coconut oil and potatoes by Impossible Foods in Silicon Valley, this burger might even fool his meat-loving friends at college, he believes.
The firm’s chief executive Pat Brown has ambitious plans to replace animals completely as “a food production technology” by 2035.
His main motivation? The environment.
He views farmed animals like little factories, and seethes about the existing meat, fish and dairy industries.
“That technology is the most destructive technology on earth – more than fossil fuel production, the transportation system, mining and logging,” he claims.
BBC World Service: The Food Chain, Should We All Be Vegans?
“It’s a major source of greenhouse gases, and the biggest user and polluter of water.”
He has a point. Livestock production is responsible for 18% of total greenhouse gases, according to the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO). And animal protein requires 11 times the amount of fossil fuel to produce compared to plant protein, says the Centre for Agriculture and Bioscience International.
Ancient forests in the Amazon and elsewhere are being decimated to make way for pasture land and feed crops.
But the industry also employs more than a billion people and provides a third of the world’s protein, the FAO says. Meat production was 229m tonnes at the turn of the Millennium, but is forecast to double to 465m tonnes by 2050.
So Mr Brown has his work cut out for him.
The Impossible Burger may be proving popular with the environmentalists and vegetarians of Silicon Valley, but for now it’s only available in select restaurants across the US.
The company produces about 500,000 pounds of burgers a month at its Oakland factory and plans to ramp up production for supermarkets by 2020. It’s also working on fish products.
Mr Brown’s team of biochemists has found a way to mass-produce heme – a plant-based protein that resembles blood. It’s literally the “secret sauce” that gives the burger its competitive advantage.
The team has adapted existing technologies, such as gas chromatography-mass spectrometry and texture probes, to analyse the smell, taste and texture of meat. It then replicates it in the lab using plant-based proteins.
Impossible claims tests among meat lovers have shown their burger to be indistinguishable from meat 47% of the time. They’re striving to break the 50% barrier.
“We have to produce products that do a better job of pleasing consumers than the current technology does or we fail,” says Mr Brown.
Scaling up is a big challenge, so the company is eagerly looking for partners.
Another way of producing meat is literally to grow it in the lab from animal cells. This “in vitro” or “clean meat” approach is being pursued by two Silicon Valley companies – Memphis Meats and Just Inc.
At the Just lab, automation engineer Chingyao Yang introduces me to the robots that speed up analysis of molecular interaction. Essentially, they’re fast-tracking molecular recipes.
“We’re using data and algorithms to increase the probability of discoveries,” says Mr Yang.
Then senior scientist Vitor Espirito Santo shows off shelves of fridge-like containers agitating flasks filled with cells marinating in experimental “growth cocktails.”
An artist rendering shows a Brave New World vision of tall vats and slabs of steak on conveyor belts.
“This is our farm for the clean meat production,” says Mr Espirito Santo. “The scale matches the biggest slaughterhouse in the US, but instead of cows it has 200,000 litre [50,000 gallon] bioreactors.
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“Bioprinting will make products like steaks, chicken… everything you can imagine in terms of meat.”
He says the company will release its first ground meat later in 2018, with higher complexity products coming over the next few years.
“Kobe beef and chicken breast is at the end of the road …we’ll get there,” he says.
Across the San Francisco Bay, Memphis Meats is famous for its $18,000 “clean” meatball. Chief executive Uma Valeti tells me his mantra is: “Better meat, less heat!”
By growing meat in the lab, he hopes to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from meat production by up to 90%.
With funding from Bill Gates and Richard Branson, as well as traditional meat suppliers Cargill and Tyson Foods, Memphis Meats has some serious money behind it.
And the meat substitute market generally is forecast to grow 8.4% a year from 2015, says Allied Market Research, reaching a value of $5.2bn by 2020.
But can these tech start-ups really take on the formidable might of the global meat industry?
Back at the cafe, Evan McCormack’s father Richard, who’s been vegetarian for decades, is less enthusiastic about the Impossible Burger than his son. He thinks it’s indistinguishable from other veggie patties.
“It’s three dollars more than the standard burger!” he complains. “Why? Because it has a little red flag in it?”