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The Guardian
  • Scripps National Spelling Bee 2016: championship finals – live!

    If you’re interested in playing along at home, ESPN has you covered. The network is once again offering a special Play-Along telecast of tonight’s bee, which can be accessed through the WatchESPN app. Via ESPN PR:

    Throughout the competition, ESPN3 on WatchESPN will feature a second-screen, multiple-choice Play-Along version, presented by Sony Pictures and Rovio Animation’s The Angry Birds Movie, that gives fans a one-in-four chance to pick the correct spelling of the given word, allowing fans to try their hand at competing along with the spellers. This year’s Play-Along version has been enhanced, adding a fourth multiple choice answer to create a more integrated and immersive experience. It will still feature informational boxes highlighting the word’s etymology, definition and part of speech, as well as live tweets, the speller’s bio and more.

    Five minutes until ESPN’s telecast begins. Meanwhile, the finalists enjoy a moment of levity backstage.

    The Finalists ready to go on stage! #spellingbee #spellfie pic.twitter.com/n8Gz2MSWS4

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  • Justice system is failing witnesses and victims of crime, say MPs

    Public accounts committee report says courts and prisons are ‘overstretched and disjointed’ and victims are subject to a postcode lottery for access to justice

    Witnesses and victims of crime are being failed by a criminal justice system that is approaching breaking point, parliament’s spending watchdog has said.

    The public accounts committee found that courts and prisons are “bedevilled by long standing poor performance including delays and inefficiencies, and costs are being shunted from one part of the system to another”.

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  • Leaving EU 'could cause catastrophic worker shortages'

    Thinktank report finds that most EU workers in Britain would not qualify for a work visa under current rules

    Leaving the EU could cause catastrophic staff shortages in some sectors, as 88% of EU workers in Britain would not qualify for a visa under the current rules, remain campaigners have warned.

    A report from the Social Market Foundation thinktank has found that the majority of the 1.6 million EU workers in the UK do not meet the skills and earnings criteria that those from outside the bloc need in order to qualify for a work visa.

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  • Triplet threat: the Estonian sisters who will run in Rio Olympics

    Marathon running sisters set for Olympic history by becoming first identical triplets to compete against each other

    Leila, Liina and Lily Luik from Estonia will make Olympic history when they cross the start line for the women’s marathon in Rio. Twins competing in the same event is not uncommon at the Olympic level. But the Luiks are believed to be the first identical triplets to compete against each other.

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  • Facebook and Microsoft to build private internet highway underwater

    Projects to install undersea cables from US to Spain would ensure fast enough connectivity for tech companies’ virtual reality and live video services

    Facebook and Microsoft are going underwater.

    The two technology companies announced on Thursday they are to install an undersea cable from the east coast of the US to Spain to help speed up their global internet services.

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  • Alice Through the Looking Glass review – large as life and twice as phoney

    Helena Bonham Carter has fun as the Red Queen, but this ignores Lewis Carroll in favour of machine-tooled CGI fantasy fare with a tiresome Johnny Depp

    A boisterous turn from Helena Bonham Carter as the pugnacious Red Queen saves this Alice sequel from flatlining utterly. Using only the title and some characters from Lewis Carroll’s own 1871 sequel – in fact called Through the Looking Glass, and What Alice Found There – this new movie is just machine-tooled CGI fantasy fare. We start in the real world, where Alice (Mia Wasikowska) is a daring sea captain who is threatened with betrayal by the corporate landlubbers who own her ship. So she escapes through a mirror in the proprietor’s mansion and finds herself slap bang in Wonderland again.

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