Guardian Weekly 21st 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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Guardian News & Media Limited
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1 min
eyewitness united states

The X-factor Brood X cicada nymphs crawl through a tree well in Washington DC, prior to shedding their exoskeletons after having spent 17 years underground during their long and remarkable life cycle. Trillions of the bugs are set to hatch and mate across the northeastern and midwestern US in the coming weeks. The Guardian Weekly Founded in Manchester, England 4 July 1919 Vol 204 | Issue No 22 Guardian Weekly is an edited selection of some of the best journalism found in the Guardian and Observer newspapers in the UK and the Guardian’s digital editions in the UK, US and Australia. The weekly magazine has an international focus and three editions: global, Australia and North America. The Guardian was founded in 1821, and Guardian Weekly in 1919. We exist to hold power to account in the…

2 min
conflict in jerusalem, the threat of a variant and chime for change

Violence erupted again last week between Israelis and Palestinians, sparked by a (since delayed) court ruling over Jewish land rights in the east of Jerusalem. While the roots of this seemingly interminable cycle of conflict go back to Israel’s foundation in 1948, the current tensions also look suspiciously expedient for ruling politicians in Israel, Gaza and Iran, while the new Biden administration in Washington seems to have been caught completely off-guard. Our team of Middle East reporters recount how the region spiralled into violence, while on our Opinion pages Jonathan Freedland says the futile normality of attrition between Israelis and Palestinians must be challenged. The big story Page 10 ➔ England’s great leap forward from lockdown had the uneasy feel of two steps back, as an outbreak of the India variant B.1.617.2…

10 min
global report

1 UNITED STATES Abortion rights face major rollback by supreme court The US supreme court agreed on Monday to consider a major challenge to reproductive rights, saying it will take up Mississippi’s bid to enforce a ban on almost all abortions after the 15th week of pregnancy. It will be the first abortion case to come before the court since the confirmation of Justice Amy Coney Barrett, a devout Catholic, gave conservatives a 6-3 majority. It could lead to the landmark Roev Wade precedent being stripped back after nearly half a century. The court will hear arguments in the case in its next term, which starts in October, and may not arrive at a decision until the spring or summer of 2022 – setting up a politically explosive showdown. Progressives said it illustrated the need…

1 min

Norman Lloyd Actor best known for his roles as the villain in Hitchcock’s Saboteur and as the kindly Dr Daniel Auschlander on TV’s St Elsewhere. He died on 11 May, aged 106. Spencer Silver The corporate scientist who co-created the Post-It note discovered the unique adhesive that allowed notes to be easily attached to surfaces and removed. He died on 8 May, aged 80. Helmut Jahn Architect known for his flamboyant, postmodernist buildings in Chicago, Berlin and other cities around the world. He died on 8 May, aged 81.…

2 min
science and environment

ARCHAEOLOGY Sediment analysis dates Cerne giant to Saxon era The huge, naked, club-wielding giant carved into a hillside in Dorset, England has been thought prehistoric, Celtic, Roman or even a 17th century lampoon of Oliver Cromwell. But after 12 months of hi-tech analysis, the National Trust says the enigmatic Cerne Giant is late Saxon, possibly 10th century. Geoarchaeologist Mike Allen, who has been researching microscopic snails in the sediment, said: “Everyone was wrong. That makes these results even more exciting.” Samples were studied to find out when individual grains of sand were last exposed to sunlight. Material from the deepest layer suggest a date range of 700-AD1100. The lack of references to the giant during that period suggests it was forgotten about, perhaps overgrown, until someone noticed its outline. ENVIRONMENT Stratosphere thinning from effects of greenhouse…

4 min
united kingdom

CORONAVIRUS MPs call for Covid inquiry to be fully independent A cross-party group of MPs called on Boris Johnson to ensure that the chair and panel of the public inquiry into Covid-19 is not “hand-picked” by the government, in order to avoid accusations of “political bias”. The All-Party Parliamentary Group on Coronavirus also warns the prime minister that the current timetable under which the inquiry will not begin until spring next year will mean vital lessons go unlearned ahead of a potential third wave. Johnson announced last week that the public inquiry would be launched next spring to investigate “rigorously and candidly” what mistakes the UK government made during the coronavirus pandemic. The inquiry must also examine whether Boris Johnson’s decision to delay adding India to the travel “red list” of countries was influenced…