The Birdman of the Tower of London and the missing ravens

Nothing in Edgar Allan Poe’s majestic poem The Raven prepares you for their smell. But Christopher James Skaife, Yeoman Warder and Ravenmaster of the Tower of London, knows it only too well. “Ravens are quite smelly, especially babies, it’s quite pungent, and I only have a small house tucked into the walls of the Tower of London … the ravens like to walk around our house, and they poo everywhere. That was the first thing my wife moaned about.”

Across the universe

Some historians are thinking big – and they want the rest of us to do likewise. Harriet Marsden reports In the beginning there was David Christian, a Brooklyn-born teacher and originally a scholar of Russian history. In 1989 he was hired to teach a general history introduction at Macquarie University, Sydney, and developed a multidisciplinary course collaborating with colleagues from other academic fields. He called it “Big History”. Biology, physics, geology, politics, history, anthropology,

Child sex abuse, corruption and cover-ups: How football can and must move on from its darkest time

Andrew Woodward has no idea how many times he was raped as a child. In November 2016, the ex-footballer waived his right to anonymity and revealed that he had been a victim of sexual abuse for more than six years in the 1980s. The one-time Crewe Alexandra defender named his former coach, a convicted paedophile who police would later say had “almost an insatiable appetite” for young boys: Barry Bennell.

I went to Nigel Farage's booze-free Brexit celebration with a bottle of vodka and an open mind

They’re certainly not the only European voices I’ll hear through the night, along with American, Japanese and – more surprisingly – Irish, but the crowd is overwhelmingly white and English. It’s a controlled vibe, not too much shoving, but there’s an underlying tension and a lot of angry shouting. That surprises me from a group of people so firmly convinced they have “won” their heart’s desire. There’s the odd waft of gunpowder and a smell of weed in the air. I hope it’s been through customs.

Even for Pussy Riot, gender equality must begin at home

In Pussy Riot, male members are in short supply. But while the Russian punk feminist collective does not have a defined list of participants, one man, Pyotr Verzilov, is usually included. The husband of Nadezhda “Nadya” Tolokonnikova (the group’s most famous member), is well known thanks to fighting with his wife while she was in prison, gatecrashing the 2018 football World Cup final in Russia and the fact that he was poisoned last year, allegedly by intelligence agents.

‘This is not what we fought for’: The battle to end Iran’s ban on female football fans

When Iran beat Cambodia 14-0 in its home qualifier for the 2022 Qatar World Cup last night, only one corner of Tehran’s stadium cheered. A small section, ringed with metal fencing, was packed full of jubilant Iranian women, sporting painted faces and national flags. Hundreds more queued up outside. It was a pocket of celebration in a nearly empty stadium. Because for the first time in four decades, Iran had allowed women to buy tickets to a match. It was too late for Sahar Khodayari. Almost a m

Mourinho fined £1.2m for failing to declare payment

The Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has been fined by the Spanish tax authorities for failing to pay any tax on a remittance of more than £1m by his club to his agent, which he should have declared as a benefit in kind. Leaked documents reveal that tax inspectors last year demanded Mourinho pay £1.22m in unpaid tax and penalties after finding that he had failed to declare £1.4m in payments by his former club Real Madrid to his agent, Jorge Mendes.
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