Enid Blyton had racist views. But I still read her | Sian Cain

Criticising past authors for their views doesnt mean we must consign their books to the scrapheap, says Guardian books editor Sian Cain In 1965 the eminent American science-fiction writer John W Campbell wrote an essay titled The Barbarians Within. In it, he recommended that the barbarian and it was clear he meant African Americans be injected with cocaine and heroin in order to be kept under control. It was a plan that, he said, has the advantage of killing him both psychologically and physiologically, without arousing any protest on his part. He also claimed that slavery was a useful educational system, supported segregation, and argued that the Negro race had failed to produce super-high geniuses. Black sci-fi writers were unable …

Which is the most hayfever-prone city and is ‘botanical sexism’ to blame?

Allergy sufferers from Tokyo to London are struggling as pollen levels surge in cities, possibly due to a preference for male trees In 2016, Melbourne experienced a rare and extreme case of thunderstorm asthma that led to ten deaths and 8,500 people being abundant allergenic pollen. Some are dioecious plants, which have their own distinct sex, and some are monoecious plants (those with male and female flowers on the same plant) that have been cloned to be male. The last few times I was in London, for example, almost every single willow tree I saw was now a male clone; almost all of the bay trees being sold and planted were males; virtually all of the many species of poplar …

Senior Tories press May to abandon Brexit deal talks with Labour

PMs Brexit adviser reportedly heads to Brussels to break deadlock as PM told to reject any Labour deal involving customs union Theresa May is under intense pressure to abandon cross-party Brexit talks, after a group of senior Conservative figures, including leadership contenders Boris Johnson and Dominic Raab, issued a strongly worded warning against any deal that involved a customs union. Mays cabinet, and Jeremy Corbyns shadow cabinet, are both due to take stock of the talks on Tuesday, with neither side optimistic about the prospects for an agreement that could secure a majority in parliament. Meanwhile, the prime ministers Brexit negotiator, Olly Robbins, was said to be travelling to Brussels for talks with EU officials on sacked earlier this month …

Senior Tories press May to abandon Brexit deal talks with Labour

PMs Brexit adviser reportedly heads to Brussels to break deadlock as PM told to reject any Labour deal involving customs union Theresa May is under intense pressure to abandon cross-party Brexit talks, after a group of senior Conservative figures, including leadership contenders Boris Johnson and Dominic Raab, issued a strongly worded warning against any deal that involved a customs union. Mays cabinet, and Jeremy Corbyns shadow cabinet, are both due to take stock of the talks on Tuesday, with neither side optimistic about the prospects for an agreement that could secure a majority in parliament. Meanwhile, the prime ministers Brexit negotiator, Olly Robbins, was said to be travelling to Brussels for talks with EU officials on sacked earlier this month …