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No-spoiler review: Star Wars has changed forever

No-spoiler review: Star Wars has changed forever

Entertainment
A long time ago, I gave up on Star Wars. Grew tired of bad acting and vague catchphrases. "What this franchise needs is a rebel," I thought. Now it has found one.Light and darkness. Good and evil. Empire and rebellion.There is a reason why this binary vision of the world is the cornerstone of any nutritious blockbuster. Kids love it because they get it, while older fans accept being tricked into seeing the world as black and white.That's why we have heroes and villains. Sometimes the hero breaks bad but, once that happens, there is seldom any hope left for him.Since the Star Wars franchise was reinvented nearly two decades ago, it has been plagued by cliches and bad characters.Video:Questions The Last Jedi needs to answer::The Last Jedi: First reactions to the new Star WarsEpisodes went fo...
The lecture that changed biology

The lecture that changed biology

Science
Sixty years ago this week, one of the greatest British scientists, Francis Crick, gave a lecture in London in which he accurately predicted how genes work, setting the course for the genetic revolution we are now living through. Here, evolutionary biologist Professor Matthew Cobb from Manchester University unpicks the predictions that set a new course for how we understand the very stuff we are made from. In one lecture, it has been said that Francis Crick "permanently altered the logic of biology". Only four years earlier, he and the young American Jim Watson had solved the double helix structure of DNA, using data gathered by Rosalind Franklin. Aged 41, Crick was still five years away from winning the Nobel Prize for this work, but he had a reputation as a powerful and profound thinker....
Philip Hammond says public sector pay has not changed

Philip Hammond says public sector pay has not changed

Business
Philip Hammond has insisted pay policy has not changed and the "right balance" must continue to be struck in terms of what is fair for workers and taxpayers.The chancellor, who is under pressure from colleagues to lift the 1% public pay cap, said he understood people were "weary" after seven years of austerity. But speaking in London, he rejected calls to "take the foot off the pedal".Government must "hold its nerve" in the face of calls for a "different path" of higher taxes and borrowing, he said.Mr Hammond is facing a growing chorus from within his own party for him to reconsider the 1% limit on increases in public sector salaries, which has been in place since 2012.Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson became the latest senior figure to express his support for a rethink on Monday, with sourc...