Depressing news for the nanny state — alcohol consumption falls again 

By Bernard Keane

As nanny statists look to demonise the “alcohol epidemic” in ever more dramatic terms, yet more evidence has emerged that Australians drink responsibly.

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Crikey Worm: plane bomb threat in Melbourne, ‘radical Sunni Islam’ linked to terror 

By Sally Whyte

Melbourne flight forced to turn back after bomb threat, MPs focus on “radical Sunni Islam”, and media bosses schmooze in Canberra. It's the news you need to know, by Sally Whyte and Max Chalmers.

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Silent witness: the outsider art of Susan Te Kahurangi King

By Paula Cocozza

She stopped speaking aged four, and has since communicated only through her acutely detailed drawings. As her first UK exhibition opens, her sister and curator reveal an extraordinary life – and talent

Upstairs at the Marlborough Contemporary, a woman bows over a pad of headed notepaper. She doesn't look up when the door opens. She picks a fluorescent highlighter from a heap in her lap and with the broad side of the nib blocks out a quad of blue or green – close, companionable colours. Then she picks up another pen and moves on to a new quad. She fills the page methodically, a thin white rim around each swatch. She doesn't look up, and she doesn't stop until the paper is complete.

Susan Te Kahurangi King is 66 and she has been drawing since she was a young child. For decades the marks that streamed out of her pen have been her prime means of expression, because at around the age of four, King stopped speaking. By the age of nine she had stripped her verbal communication down to an occasional word. At 10, her grandparents were discussing a funeral they had been to, and Susan broke her silence to say: “Dead. Dead. Dead.” It is the last thing anyone remembers her saying.

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Louder than words: the drawings of mute artist Susan Te Kahurangi King

By Guardian Staff

From Fantaman to Donald Duck and the Queen, the New Zealand artist has spent the last 60 years drawing her own world in detailed and sometimes luridly disturbing works

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Source: Louder than words: the drawings of mute artist Susan Te Kahurangi King

    

Watercolour of Rossetti's long-haired muse to be auctioned in July

By Maev Kennedy

It is expected that the painting, portraying Fanny Cornforth as Lilith, will fetch up to £600,000 in Sotheby's auction

The artist Dante Gabriel Rossetti had a thing about women with long hair – and his first mistress, Fanny Cornforth, had it in abundance. A watercolour portrait coming up for sale at a Sotheby's auction celebrates her beauty, but the final oils version of the scene was her greatest humiliation – when her face was painted out and replaced with that of another model.

“Poor Fanny, it is a story that really makes you feel for her,” Simon Toll, a specialist on Victorian art at Sotheby's, said. “It was unforgivable of Rossetti, but you're a young artist, the patron wants something and you need a bit of money, you do what he asks.”

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Source: Watercolour of Rossetti's long-haired muse to be auctioned in July

    

Homes sweet homes: a brick by brick breakdown of housing manifestos

By Oliver Wainwright

Labour wants to end homelessness. The Tories promise cheap land for councils to build on. And the Lib Dems would give planning power to the people. So which party should you bet your house on?

Like swapping her Vivienne Westwood tartan trouser suit for the geography teacher's tweed jacket, Theresa May's attempt to try on Labour housing policy makes an ill fit. Overturning decades of Tory tradition, May has promised to build “a new generation of social housing”, declaring that private housebuilders will never meet demand “without the active participation of social and municipal housing providers”. Municipal housing providers? It is the kind of throwback language of the welfare state that even Jeremy Corbyn dare not use.

As if trying to prove beyond all doubt that May is no Maggie, the Conservative manifesto appears, on the surface, to be a radical departure from the Thatcherite faith in the free market to solve the housing crisis. Even as recently as the February housing white paper, the government's policies were focused on private-sector housebuilding, with measures designed to free up more sites for developers and getting them to build faster. But now the Tories are promising to enter into new “Council Housing Deals” with “ambitious, pro-development, local authorities to help them build more social housing”. And they even want to let councils pay a lower price for the land to build on, forcing landowners to give up their assets for less.

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Renaissance remixed: street artists add 'their own spin' to the old masters

By Mark Oliver

A new exhibition in New York sees the work of artists such as the Master of Santo recreated in cardboard – but is it supportive or sacrilegious?

The Italian Renaissance painter known as the Master of Santo would surely have been intrigued if he had been able to see a new reinterpretation of one of his paintings, more than 500 years after his death. The era has provided plenty of inspiration for contemporary artists – the work of Jacob Burckhardt, for example – but still, the old master might have been taken aback that the reinterpreter is a street artist living in New York who has reassembled his image with cardboard.

Related: Is urban graffiti a force for good or evil?

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David Hockney retrospective becomes Tate Britain's most popular show

By Mark Brown Arts correspondent

Exhibition receives 478,082 visitors, with demand pushing the gallery to open until midnight over its final weekend

Tate Britain's David Hockney retrospective has become the gallery's most popular exhibition, seen by nearly half a million visitors.

The show closed on bank holiday Monday this week after a 16-week run which was characterised by long queues and busy gallery spaces.

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Hywood whinges about the ABC … the cleverest of headlines … Guardian reporter glasses update … 

By Emily Watkins

Greg Hywood can't stand a little friendly competition, it seems — at least not from the national broadcaster.

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