Guardian Weekly 15th 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.

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in this issue

2 min
dark days for facebook, turning a corner with covid and counting down to the cop26 climate talks

It’s safe to say that Facebook has had better weeks. It began with a six-hour global outage and finished with one of its most strident critics, the American-Filipino journalist Maria Ressa, being awarded a Nobel prize. And in the middle of it all, the social network’s inner secrets were laid before the US senate by a whistleblower, Frances Haugen, who revealed how Mark Zuckerberg’s brainchild routinely and knowingly puts profits before the public good. In our big story this week, global technology editor Dan Milmo looks at the fallout from Haugen’s explosive testimony, while columnist Jonathan Freedland makes the compelling case that, in knowingly concealing the societal damage caused by its own products, Facebook has become the tobacco industry of the 21st century. The big story Page 10 → The sense that the…

10 min
global report

1 UNITED STATES Republicans try to twist reasons for new debt ceiling Top Republicans are advancing a campaign of disinformation over the debt ceiling as they seek to distort the reasons for needing to raise the nation’s borrowing cap, after they dropped their blockade on averting a US debt default in a bipartisan manner. The Senate last week passed a bill to allow the debt ceiling to be raised by $480bn through early December, which the treasury estimates will be enough to allow the government to temporarily avert an unprecedented default on $28tn of debt obligations. The Senate majority leader, Chuck Schumer, announced the morning before the bill’s passage that he had reached a deal with the Republican Senate minority leader, Mitch McConnell, to clear the way for the vote on a short-term extension…

1 min

Abdul Qadeer Khan Atomic scientist considered to be the father of Pakistan’s nuclear weapons programme and later accused of smuggling technology to Iran, North Korea and Libya. He died on 10 October, aged 85. Abolhassan Bani-Sadr Iran’s first president after the 1979 Islamic revolution before fleeing into exile in France. He died on 10 October, aged 88. Sir John Chilcot British civil servant who chaired the Iraq war inquiry which lasted seven years and gave a damning verdict on Tony Blair. He died on 3 October, aged 82. James Brokenshire British Conservative MP who served as secretary of state for Northern Ireland. He died on 7 October, aged 53.…

2 min
science and environment

ZOOLOGY Māori tribe gives name to newly discovered pipehorse A tiny candy cane-coloured pygmy pipehorse, discovered off New Zealand has been given a Māori name by the local iwi (tribe) – in what is believed to be the first time an indigenous group has formally named a new species of animal. The 6cm fish is closely related to the seahorse, and inhabits rocky reefs off the north-east coast. It is the first pygmy pipehorse discovered in New Zealand. The Ngātiwai tribe worked with biodiversity scientists Dr Thomas Trnski from Tāmaki Paenga Hira Auckland Museum and Graham Short of the California Academy of Sciences to name the pipehorse Cylix tupareomanaia. Cylix is derived from the Greek and Latin words for a cup or chalice; it refers to the cup-like crest on the top of the…

1 min

Report on start of pandemic damns government Britain’s early handling of the coronavirus pandemic was one of the worst public health failures in UK history, with ministers and scientists taking a “fatalistic” approach that exacerbated the death toll, a landmark inquiry has found. “Groupthink”, evidence of British exceptionalism and a deliberately “slow and gradualist” approach meant the UK fared “significantly worse” than other countries, according to the 151-page Coronavirus: Lessons Learned to Date report led by two former Conservative ministers. The crisis exposed “major deficiencies in the machinery of government”, with public bodies unable to share vital information and scientific advice impaired by a lack of transparency, input from international experts and meaningful challenge. Despite being one of the first countries to develop a test for Covid in January 2020, the UK “squandered”…

2 min

Rainbow roof The artist Lakwena Maciver walks across her new installation in central London. For the first time since it was built in 1870, the vast roof terrace on top of Temple Underground station is coming to life as The Artist’s Garden, a project that has taken Maciver four years to realise. MIGRANTS Channel crossings increase as France takes aim at UK More than 1,100 people crossed the Channel in small boats last Friday and Saturday, as France said Britain had not paid promised funds to tackle the problem. After 10 days in which no crossings were possible, 624 people reached the UK in small boats on 8 October – the fourth highest daily tally of the current crisis – and 491 did so the following day. At least 40 boats landed over the two…