Guardian Weekly 7th May 2021

The Guardian Weekly magazine is a round-up of the world news, opinion and long reads that have shaped the week. Inside, the past seven days' most memorable stories are reframed with striking photography and insightful companion pieces, all handpicked from The Guardian and The Observer.

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3 min
modi’s massive miscalculation, a guardian milestone and the possible flowering of green politics

The Covid wave that spread rapidly and disastrously across India last month took many outside observers by surprise. But not the Booker prize-winning author and political activist Arundhati Roy, whose excoriating essay for us this week lays the blame squarely at Narendra Modi’s door. As Roy points out, the prime minister’s gloating about how his government had supposedly defeated the virus has come back to haunt him. Judging by his party’s poor showing in West Bengal’s regional elections, it’s a view that may be increasingly shared by India’s voters too. The big story Page 10 → Two hundred years ago this week, a four-page weekly edition of the Guardian newspaper was published in Manchester for the first time. More than 54,000 editions – and several million articles – later, we are still…

10 min
headlines from the last seven days

1 UNITED STATES Biden sets out $1.8tn plan to rebuild in Congress address Joe Biden argued that “America is on the move again” in his first address to Congress, where he unveiled a $1.8tn package for families and education and pitched his “blue-collar blueprint” to re-build America. Flanked by two women – Vice-President Kamala Harris and House speaker Nancy Pelosi – for the first time in US history, the president gave his speech on the eve of his 100th day in office as the country continues to fight the coronavirus pandemic. Due to social distancing measures, only 200 people, mainly politicians, attended rather than the usual 1,600 guests. The supreme court’s chief justice, John Roberts, was the only member of the high court present. The address centred on the administration’s ambitious economic plans, but…

1 min
global report deaths

Michael Collins Astronaut and pilot of the command module Columbia during 1969’s Apollo 11 mission that landed his colleagues Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin on the moon. He died on 28 April, aged 90. Queen Mantfombi Dlamini The traditional ruler of South Africa’s Zulu nation who only assumed the role a month ago following the death of her husband, King Goodwill Zwelithini. She died on 30 April, aged 65. Olympia Dukakis Stage and screen actor who won an Oscar for her role in the 1987 film Moonstruck. She died on 1 May, aged 89. Marcel Stellman Composer and creator of daytime TV classic Countdown. He died on 2 May, aged 96.…

2 min
science and environment

GLOBAL HEATING Loss of 10% of mountain glacier ice ‘already inevitable’ A tenth of the world’s mountain glacier ice will have melted by the middle of this century even if humanity meets the goals of the Paris climate agreement, according to figures compiled exclusively for the Guardian. The loss is equivalent to more than 13,200 cubic kilometres of water, with knock-on effects on highly populated river deltas, wildlife habitats and sea levels. Scientists said the overwhelming bulk of this melt-off, which does not include Greenland or Antarctica, is unavoidable because it has been locked in by the global heating caused by humans in recent years. DRUGS Non-hallucinogenic psychedelic found Researchers have identified a psychedelic that does not trigger hallucinations, a key discovery that could accelerate the development of easy-to-use treatments for mental health and neurological…

3 min
united kingdom

UK NEWS Noel Clarke has shows cancelled over allegations Allegations of sexual harassment and bullying made against the actor-producer Noel Clarke prompted two broadcasters to cancel popular shows he stars in and launched a debate about the treatment of women on sets. The allegations against Clarke also led to questions about the decision by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts to give the actor a special award for outstanding British contribution to cinema in March. ITV cancelled plans to show the final episode of the primetime drama Viewpoint after the Guardian revealed it had spoken to 20 women with allegations against Clarke, including that he secretly filmed naked auditions. Sky halted Clarke’s involvement in any of its productions, effective immediately, as six more people came forward with allegations. They include former students at…

23 min
‘it’s a crime against humanity’

DURING A PARTICULARLY POLARISING ELECTION CAMPAIGN IN THE STATE OF UTTAR PRADESH IN 2017, India’s prime minister, Narendra Modi, waded into the fray to stir things up even further. From a public podium, he accused the state government – which was led by an opposition party – of pandering to the Muslim community by spending more on Muslim graveyards (kabristans) than on Hindu cremation grounds (shamshans). With his customary sneer, he stirred up the crowd. “If a kabristan is built in a village, a shamshan should also be constructed there,” he said. “Shamshan! Shamshan!” the mesmerised, adoring crowd echoed back. Perhaps he is happy now that the haunting image of the flames rising from the mass funerals in India’s cremation grounds is making the front page of international newspapers. And that all…