HomeNewsGuardian owner apologises for founders’ links to slavery | First Thing

Guardian owner apologises for founders’ links to slavery | First Thing

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Good morning.

The owner of the Guardian has issued an apology for the role the newspaper’s founders had in transatlantic slavery and announced a decade-long programme of restorative justice.

The Scott Trust said it expected to invest more than £10m ($12.3m),with millions dedicated specifically to descendant communities linked to the Guardian’s 19th-century founders.

It follows independent academic research commissioned in 2020 to investigate whether there was any historical connection between chattel slavery and John Edward Taylor, the journalist and cotton merchant who founded the newspaper in 1821, and the other Manchester businessmen who funded its creation.

The Scott Trust Legacies of Enslavement report, published yesterday, revealed that Taylor, and at least nine of his 11 backers, had links to slavery, principally through the textile industry. Taylor had multiple links through partnerships in the cotton manufacturing firm Oakden & Taylor, and the cotton merchant company Shuttleworth, Taylor & Co, which imported vast amounts of raw cotton produced by enslaved people in the Americas.

How did we uncover the Guardian founders’ links to slavery? The process of uncovering where exactly the founder of the Manchester Guardian, John Edward Taylor, and his associates were importing cotton from was a lengthy and difficult one, writes Cassandra Gooptar.

What will the Guardian do now? The Scott Trust expects to commit more than £10m to a restorative justice programme of work over the next 10 years. The fund will support community projects and programmes in the south-eastern US Sea Islands and Jamaica. The fund will increase the scope and ambition of Guardian reporting on the Caribbean, South America and Africa, and on Black communities in the UK and US (up to 12 new editorial roles within the Guardian).

Nashville school shooter legally stockpiled weapons before attack

A memorial to the victims at the Covenant school in Nashville. Six people – three children and three adults – were killed in the attack. Photograph: Mark Zaleski/APThe killer of three children and three adults at a Christian elementary school in Tennessee bought numerous firearms in the weeks leading up to the mass shooting, police have revealed.

Audrey Hale, 28, was under a doctor’s care for an unspecified emotional disorder at the time of the rampage, the Nashville police chief, John Drake, said at a Tuesday afternoon media briefing. Drake said he believed those killed at the Covenant school, including three nine-year-olds, were not specifically targeted.

“We’ve determined that [the killer] bought seven firearms from five different gun stores here legally,” Drake said. “Three of those weapons were used yesterday during the horrific tragedy.

“Law enforcement knew nothing about the treatment she was receiving but her parents felt she should not own weapons. They were under the impression that she sold one weapon and did not own any more. As it turned out, she had been hiding several weapons within the house.”

Will lawmakers take action on gun control? The Republican congressman Tim Burchett answered the question Americans have all but given up asking of their elected officials by telling reporters: “We’re not going to fix it.”

What has Josh Hawley said? He said it was an attack on Christians but a Democratic opponent of Hawley labelled the Republican “a fraud and a coward” after the far-right Missouri senator demanded that the shooting in Nashville be investigated as a federal hate crime despite being the only US senator to vote against a bill to crack down on hate crimes against Asian Americans during the Covid pandemic.

Israel’s Netanyahu rejects Biden’s call to ‘walk away’ from judicial overhaul

Israeli flags are waved during a protest on Tuesday against plans by Benjamin Netanyahu to overhaul the judicial system. Joe Biden has urged him to walk away from the plans. Photograph: Ariel Schalit/APBenjamin Netanyahu has dismissed Joe Biden’s call to “walk away” from a proposed judicial overhaul that has led to massive protests across Israel, with the Israeli prime minister responding that he does not make decisions based on pressure from abroad.

Netanyahu on Monday delayed the proposal after large numbers of people spilled into the streets. The White House initially suggested Netanyahu should seek a compromise but the US president went further in taking questions from reporters on Tuesday. “I hope he walks away from it,” Biden said.

“Like many strong supporters of Israel I’m very concerned … They cannot continue down this road, and I’ve sort of made that clear,” Biden told reporters during a visit to North Carolina.

“Hopefully the prime minister [Netanyahu] will act in a way that he will try to work out some genuine compromise, but that remains to be seen,” Biden said, adding he was not considering inviting the Israeli leader to the White House, at least “not in the near term”. Previously, the US ambassador to Israel, Tom Nides, told local radio that Netanyahu was expected to be invited “as soon as their schedules can be coordinated”.

What did Netanyahu say? Netanyahu quickly issued a statement in response: “Israel is a sovereign country which makes its decisions by the will of its people and not based on pressures from abroad, including from the best of friends. I have known President Biden for over 40 years, and I appreciate his longstanding commitment to Israel,” Netanyahu said. He said the Israel-US alliance was unbreakable “and always overcomes the occasional disagreements between us”.

In other news …

China has warned that a meeting between Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen and the US speaker, Kevin McCarthy, would be seen as a ‘provocation’. Photograph: Ann Wang/Reuters
The Chinese government has threatened retaliation if Taiwan’s president, Tsai Ing-wen, meets the US House speaker this week, and urged the US not to let her transit through the country, saying it would be a “provocation”. Tsai left Taiwan for a 10-day trip to visit Central American allies, Belize and Guatemala.

Sneaker giant Adidas has withdrawn a request to US authorities to block the Black Lives Matter movement from trademarking a design featuring three parallel stripes. The German sportswear company had said in a filing on Monday that the Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation design would create confusion. However, Adidas today made an abrupt U-turn, dropping its opposition to the application.

The US Environmental Protection Agency’s internal watchdog division is opening an investigation into the handling of the East Palestine train wreck that caused a toxic disaster in the small Ohio town. EPA’s response to the derailment has drawn intense criticism from residents and public health experts.

A Republican senator holding up more than 100 nominations over Pentagon policy on abortion claimed: “I’m not going to let our military be politicised.” The defense secretary, Lloyd Austin, has asked Tommy Tuberville of Alabama to lift the “hold”, while Democrat Chuck Schumer has issued a firm rebuke.

Stat of the day: Italy-sized chunk of Gulf of Mexico to be auctioned off by the US for oil drilling

A man fishes near docked oil drilling platforms in Port Aransas, Texas. Photograph: Eric Gay/APAn enormous swathe of the Gulf of Mexico, spanning an area the size of Italy, will be auctioned off for oil and gas drilling today, in the latest blow to Biden’s increasingly frayed reputation on dealing with the climate crisis. The department of the interior is offering up a vast area of the central and western Gulf, including plunging deep water reaches, for drilling projects that will stretch out over decades, despite scientists’ urgent warnings that fossil fuels must be rapidly phased out if the world is to avoid disastrous global heating. In all, 73.3m acres (30m hectares),an area roughly the size of Italy, will be made available to drilling companies. The sale, known as lease 259, has the potential to extract more than 1bn barrels of oil and 4.4tn cubic feet of gas over the next 50 years, according to the US federal government.

Don’t miss this: The cotton thread – how we uncovered the Guardian founders’ links to slavery

There is an illusion at the centre of British history that conceals the role of slavery in building the nation. Illustration: Guardian DesignIf you know how a trick is done, if you have peered through the smoke and looked past the mirrors, surely you can no longer be fooled by it? Surely? The smoke-and-mirrors trick I thought I had seen through sits at the centre of British history, how it is generally taught and understood, writes David Olusoga. The illusion in question works like this: it marginalises the histories of slavery and empire, corralling them into separate annexes. It creates firewalls that neatly compartmentalise history, rendering almost invisible the great flows of money, raw materials, people and ideas that moved, back and forth, between distant plantations on colonial frontiers and the imperial mother country. What happened in those colonies is either ignored or dismissed as insignificant, of interest perhaps only to a few minority communities or handfuls of historical specialists, with no broader importance. Here’s how I fell for it.

… or this: Did Gwyneth Paltrow ski into a retired optometrist? I couldn’t care less, but the farce is unmissable

‘Every day Gwyneth has swept in wearing category 5 neutrals, hopefully drawn from her own brand’s Courtroom Casuals line.’ Photograph: Rick Bowmer/AFP/Getty Images“To Park City, Utah, currently scene of one of the great pleasures of modern life: a court battle that you’d be relaxed for either side to lose,” writes Marina Hyde. “Yes, it’s the Gwyneth Paltrow ski massacre trial. Take your seats for a preposterously camp battle between a well-to-do retired optometrist who said the high priestess of fanny-steaming skied into him – and Her Vajesty herself, who says he skied into her. Why is this not happening at The Hague? Sorry, but NO sense of occasion. Before we go any further I want to make a deeply serious point. Something happened that day. Something happened on that mountain in that luxury ski resort, up there in God’s cathedral – and, like anyone who has watched either the plaintiff or the defendant on the stand at any length … I literally could not care less what it was.”

Climate check: Plastics cause wide-ranging health issues from cancer to birth defects, landmark study finds

Analysis of the impact of plastics found disproportionate effects on coastal and ocean-dependent communities while production workers were at increased risk of a range of diseases. Photograph: Munir Uz Zaman/AFP/Getty ImagesPlastics are responsible for wide-ranging health impacts including cancers, lung disease and birth defects, according to the first analysis of the health hazards of plastics across their entire life cycle – from extraction for manufacturing, through to dumping into landfill and oceans. Led by the Boston College Global Observatory on Planetary Health in partnership with Australia’s Minderoo Foundation and the Centre Scientifique de Monaco, the review found “current patterns of plastic production, use, and disposal are not sustainable and are responsible for significant harms to human health … as well as for deep societal injustices”. Coalminers, oil workers and gas field workers who extract fossil carbon feedstocks for plastic production, along with plastic production workers, were at particular risk of harm, the report found.

Last Thing: WeWork mugs for $500 – 10 of the strangest merch items from companies that crashed

A $100 Theranos gift card was on eBay for $10,000. Photograph: Jeff Chiu/APYou’ve just been laid off from your job at a once mighty startup that was going to change the world. The New York Times has exposed your CEO’s fraudulent business model. Investors have freaked. The stock market is hemorrhaging. Your office keycard doesn’t work. What you do next is very important: go raid the merch closet. By now, we’ve all seen enough rise-and-fall documentaries to know how this sort of thing plays out. First come layoffs, then lawsuits, and perhaps a prison sentence for bosses like Theranos’s Elizabeth Holmes. One thing we hear less about: the killer resale market that comes with an era-defining financial disaster. Corny brand merch such as T-shirts and mugs suddenly become hot collectibles. Here are 10 of the strangest on sale from FTX fortune cookies and Theranos gift cards.

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Source : The Guardian

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