Marni blends old and new fabrics looking for beauty in leftovers

Milan fashion week seeks low-waste ways to combine fashion and sustainability

That eccentricity has become a bankable commodity – even within the traditionally molto sexy world of Italian fashion – was proven on at Milan fashion week on Friday, when Marni’s creative director took his post-show bow wearing a giant rabbit’s head.

Nonconformity has always been part of the deal at the brand, which is famous for the jolie-laide aesthetic of thick-soled sandals, highly-patterned skirts and sculptural earrings which made it a cult hit with the gallerist/architect crowd in the late 90s and 00s. But since Francesco Risso joined the label in 2016, the direction has been more challenging still.

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Go to Hell: town offers free weddings but anniversaries will be a problem

Hell, Michigan is offering a limited-time marriage deal: 29 free weddings on leap day, 29 February, at 2.29pm

I have heard it said that there is no point in going to Heaven, because all the cool people will be in Hell. I now know this is probably not true – because not everyone would fit: Hell is a tiny town with a population of only 70,000, in Michigan.

It’s also a place where you can get married for free. Which sounds like a good deal: as the popular Netflix movie Marriage Story makes marriage seem like the seventh circle of Dante’s inferno – so it’s a wonder anyone still pays for the privilege.

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The Guardian view of Boris Johnson: neglecting the nation | Editorial

He ignores the floods while pursuing immigration plans and an attack on the BBC, which are destructive and divisive. The prime minister does not care

Two weeks after Storm Ciara rolled across Britain and Ireland and a week after Storm Dennis did the same, extensive parts of rural Britain remain under many feet of flood water. Heavy rains in the last 48 hours have prolonged the misery. The floods extend from Surrey to Cumbria, and from the Scottish Borders to the Welsh Marches. The counties in the Wye, Severn, Trent and Yorkshire Ouse watersheds are again hard hit. As the climate crisis deepens, such events are likely to be both increasingly common and increasingly severe.

People are extraordinarily resilient in the face of this kind of emergency. But human hardiness, community solidarity and individual kindness are not enough when floods repeatedly lay waste to homes, livelihoods, land, infrastructure and services. Ultimately it is only the state, both at local and national level, that can ensure the scale of preventive and responsive measures necessary to show that the whole nation is committed to enabling diverse ways of life to continue with reasonable security.

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Sally Jones obituary

My mother, Sally Jones, who has died aged 84, dedicated her working life to nursing - and to the nursing profession – and was a campaigner for tolerance and equality.

Sally was born in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, to Nancy (nee Stewart) and Frank Gomersall, a group captain in the Royal Air Force. During the second world war Sally was evacuated from London to Wales. On return she was in the first cohort to sit GCE O-levels in 1951.

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Coronavirus: window of containment ‘narrowing’ after Iran deaths, WHO warns

Virus is spreading in Middle East, with confirmed cases in Lebanon and Israel

Four Iranians have died after contracting coronavirus, with health authorities warning the virus has spread to multiple cities, while Israel and Lebanon declared their first domestic cases as the deadly epidemic spreads across the Middle East.

Asked on Friday if the new cases put the crisis at a tipping point, the World Health Organization director general, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said the “window of opportunity is narrowing, so we need to act quickly before it closes completely”.

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Call for English councils to be given powers to regulate Airbnb

Caroline Lucas urges move to help ease ‘intolerable’ pressure on availability of local housing

Local councils in England must be given powers to regulate Airbnb and other short-term letting sites in order to alleviate the “intolerable” pressure they put on the availability of local housing, the Green party MP, Caroline Lucas, has said.

Her intervention followed a Guardian investigation that found one Airbnb listing for every four residential properties in some hotspots across Britain. Airbnb has disputed the finding.

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Perma-smirking Priti Patel brings the hostile environment in-house | Marina Hyde

It’s the home secretary’s trickiest week since her ‘holiday’ in Israel, but at least she’s visible. Where’s the prime minister?

According to officials from one of her former departments, Priti Patel was given to coming out of her office and inquiring: “Why is everyone so fucking useless?” Very bold. This is a bit like Donald Trump coming out of his office and asking why everyone has spectacularly stupid hair. The perma-smirking Patel has now moved on to the Home Office, where this week she was accused of bullying staff, trying to oust her most senior official, and creating an “atmosphere of fear” within the department. As opposed to outside of it, which is the norm. If nothing else, it’s a failure of management. To get the best out of people who you want to do their worst, you need to create the right working environment. It’s why the offices of S.P.E.C.T.R.E have a great creche, a smoothie bar, and two “I don’t feel like killing” days per annum for every employee.

As for the Home Office, a complex department already regarded as malevolent, it is now in the hands of someone who recently gave an interview in which she repeatedly confused “counter-terrorism” with “terrorism”. This whole “Priti Patel is home secretary” scenario has the flavour of one of those US news stories where some open-carry idiot’s toddler has leant forward in their car seat and pulled a gun out of the backseat pocket. If you’re one of those people who get off on saying “I told you so”, then fine. But really, there are no good outcomes here. One of the more eye-catching Home Office briefings against her this week declared that Patel was “not committed to the rule of law”. Given she’s home secretary, that feels akin to a doctor not being committed to the idea of medicine. Should it not be vaguely disqualifying?

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Mary Boston obituary

One of the first child psychotherapists to work in the NHS with seriously deprived children

The child psychotherapist Mary Boston, who has died aged 96, was one of the first generation to be trained to work in the NHS in this new profession, which came into being as the health service was launched. She worked with John Bowlby on the development of attachment theory and went on to establish a clinical research specialism working with seriously deprived children, at the Tavistock Clinic in London (now the Tavistock and Portman NHS foundation trust).

In 1948, as the Tavistock became part of the new NHS, she had begun to train as an educational psychologist there when she learned that a new training in child psychotherapy was planned for the following year, under the guidance of Bowlby, chair of the children’s department; Esther Bick, a child psychoanalyst, had been invited to organise the course.

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‘Diversity is now centre stage’: Berlin film festival sets industry precedent

Event achieves gender parity among directors and executives but number of films directed by women falls slightly from 2019

The Berlin film festival has achieved gender parity in some of its most senior positions a year after signing a pledge that commits film festivals to improve representation in relation to diversity.

The Berlin festival, which opened on Thursday, is one of the major events to sign up to 5050x2020, which requires organisations to release information about the gender and race of their directors, members of selection committees and executive boards, and to record similar data about the directors, casts and crews of submitted films.

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Danny Cipriani shares emotional message about Caroline Flack – video

The rugby player Danny Cipriani has posted a heartfelt message on social media about his ex-girlfriend Caroline Flack, saying he 'felt safe with her'. 

Flack, presenter of ITV's Love Island, took her own life and was found dead at her east London home on 15 February. Cipriani said she tried to call him in the days before she died and that he would release a voice message from her

In the UK and Ireland, Samaritans can be contacted on 116 123 or email or In the US, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800-273-8255. In Australia, the crisis support service Lifeline is 13 11 14. Other international helplines can be found at

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JP Morgan economists warn climate crisis is threat to human race

Leaked report for world’s major fossil fuel financier says Earth is on unsustainable trajectory

The world’s largest financier of fossil fuels has advised clients that something will have to change at some point if the human race is to survive the climate crisis, according to a leaked document.

The JP Morgan report on the economic risks of human-caused global heating said it was clear that the earth was on an unsustainable trajectory that risked catastrophic outcomes.

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Alzheimer’s Society ‘paid out £750,000’ to staff amid bullying claims

Exclusive: Charity could be accused of using NDAs to silence staff, whistleblower alleges

The country’s largest dementia charity, the Alzheimer’s Society, has been accused of spending as much as £750,000 on payouts to staff who agreed to sign non-disclosure agreements, according to a whistleblower complaint leaked to the Guardian.

The complaint says the use of the NDAs could be seen as an attempt to silence staff at the organisation, which insiders claim has been beset by allegations of bullying and a toxic management culture.

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Regent’s Park mosque prayer leader returns day after being stabbed

Raafat Maglad says he feels sorry for alleged attacker as concerns raised about security

A Muslim prayer leader has returned to Regent’s Park mosque a day after he was stabbed in the neck in front of hundreds of horrified onlookers, as London’s mayor, Sadiq Khan, urged worshippers to remain vigilant.

Raafat Maglad, who is in his 70s and is the mosque’s muezzin – the person who calls worshippers to prayer – said he was sorry for the alleged attacker, who was wrestled to the ground on Thursday after what one witness described as “30 seconds of mayhem.”

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Bloomberg campaign spends $460m in first quarter ahead of Super Tuesday

Federal Election Commission filings released on Thursday show money is sourced from ex-mayor’s own pockets

Billionaire presidential candidate Mike Bloomberg has now spent $460m on his campaign in just three months. According to Federal Election Commission (FEC) filings released on Thursday, the money is being sourced from his own pockets.

The former New York City mayor and media mogul has claimed his campaign will stay entirely self-funded, drawing criticism from opponents who accuse him of seeking to buy the election.

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Danny Cipriani posts emotional video about ex-girlfriend Caroline Flack

Rugby player says he will release voice message presenter sent to him days before she killed herself

Danny Cipriani has posted an emotional video on social media about his ex-girlfriend Caroline Flack, saying she tried to call him before she died and that he would release a voice message from her.

Flack, who presented the ITV reality show Love Island, was found dead at her east London home on Saturday 15 February, having taken her own life.

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UK weather: weekend rain could cause further flooding

Environment Agency warns of heavy downpours in northern England and the Midlands

Heavy rain over the weekend could bring further flooding, the Environment Agency has warned.

England has so far received 141% of its average February rainfall over the almost continuous wet weather of the past fortnight, the agency said as it warned the deluges were set to continue into next week.

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