Guardian Weekly 1st October 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.

United Kingdom
Guardian News & Media Limited
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in this issue

1 min
eyewitness mars

Wish you were here A selfie taken by Nasa’s Perseverance rover shows the vehicle’s tyre tracks in the Martian landscape, which it has been exploring since its arrival on 18 February. A rock in the foreground contains two holes drilled by the rover’s robotic arm during its search for mineral deposits that might indicate whether life ever existed on the red planet. The Guardian Weekly Founded in Manchester, England 4 July 1919 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…

2 min
merkel’s long goodbye, thunberg’s activism and franzen returns

It was billed as Angela Merkel’s grand farewell. But while a narrow election win for the centre-left SPD is likely to lead –eventually – to Olaf Scholz becoming Germany’s new chancellor, protracted coalition negotiations mean Merkel will be around for a few weeks yet. In our big story, Jan Werner-Müller reflects on the highs and lows of Merkelism, while Philip Oltermann unravels Germany’s coalition possibilities after a tense election. The big story Page 10 → Two blockbuster interviews fill our feature pages this week. Simon Hattenstone meets the inspirational Greta Thunberg, who outlines her powerful vision on how to tackle the climate crisis and opens up about the reality of being the world’s most famous activist. Then Lisa Allardice catches up with the great American novelist Jonathan Franzen, who seems as ready…

10 min
global report

1 UNITED STATES R Kelly found guilty of sex trafficking and racketeering A jury found the R&B superstar R Kelly guilty of being the ringleader of a decades-long racketeering and sex trafficking scheme that preyed upon Black women and children. The disgraced singer was found guilty on all nine counts on Monday after decades of avoiding criminal responsibility for numerous allegations of misconduct, in a major #MeToo victory for Black women and girls. The panel of seven men and five women had begun deliberating the charges last Friday at the end of a gruelling six-week trial in Brooklyn, New York, that often presented shocking testimony detailing Kelly’s abuse of women, girls and boys. He remained motionless, eyes downcast as the verdict was read. “To the victims in this case, your voices were heard and justice…

1 min

Melvin Van Peebles Groundbreaking US playwright, musician and director who ushered in the 1970s Blaxploitation wave. He died on 21 September, aged 89. Théoneste Bagosora Former Rwandan army colonel and architect of the 1994 genocide in which more than 800,000 people were killed. He died on 25 September, aged 80. Penny Harrington American expert in women in policing who in 1985 became the first woman in the US to head up a city police department, in Portland, Oregon. She died on 15 September, aged 79. Jonathan Mirsky American historian and journalist who won awards for his coverage in the Observer of the Tiananmen uprising. He died on 5 September, aged 88.…

2 min
science and environment

MICROPLASTICS Babies’ faeces contain more microplastic than adults’ Infants have more microplastics in their faeces than adults, a study has found. The particles, released into the environment from the breakage of bigger plastic objects, do not easily biodegrade, and recent research has found them in dust, food, fruit, bottled water and, as a result, animal and human faeces. They are a health concern, but little is known about its extent. In a small study, researchers from New York University School of Medicine discovered that infants have 10 to 20 times higher microplastic concentrations in their stool than adults. “Children’s products should be made free of plastics,” said Kurunthachalam Kannan, of NYU Grossman School of Medicine and the lead researcher on the study, which was published in the American Chemical Society’s Environmental Science and…

3 min
united kingdom

POLITICS Labour’s divisions lead to resignation at conference After a rocky run-in to Labour’s conference in Brighton, Keir Starmer was hoping Monday would be the moment his party set internal divisions aside and turned to face the voters. Chatting to journalists in the press room, he said his package of rule changes passed by delegates on Sunday would allow Labour MPs to focus on the public instead of looking over their shoulders at angry grassroots members. He praised Rachel Reeves for her speech setting out her stall as Labour’s next chancellor: radical but responsible. Little more than an hour later, however, the show of unity was shattered when Andy McDonald, the last remaining Corbynite on Labour’s frontbench, abruptly resigned. McDonald, who had been shadow secretary of state for workers’ rights, objected to being…