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Heroes and villains

Otters | A mountaineer | Finland’s PM


Singapore’s roving gangs of otters, one of which attacked a British man while he was out for a walk, pinning him down and biting him “26 times in 10 seconds”. The victim, Graham George Spencer, said a posse of 20 otters lunged at him, biting his ankles, legs and bottom. “I actually thought I was going to die,” he told The Straits Times. “They were going to kill me.”


A mountaineer who stumbled on a treasure trove of emeralds, rubies and sapphires that had been buried for decades in a glacier near Mont Blanc – and handed them in to authorities. The conscientious climber was rewarded this week when authorities gave him half the jewels, worth about €150,000. On hearing the news, he told Le Parisien he did not “regret having been honest”.

Emmanuele Contini/Getty Images


Sanna Marin, Finland’s 36-year-old PM, who sensibly left her work phone in the office while she went clubbing in Helsinki until 4am, thereby missing a Covid alert advising her to quarantine. Opposition politicians demanded that Marin apologise, but “I see nothing to be sorry about”, says Claire Carusillo in Gawker. She didn’t break the rules, and any woman who “values relaxing with the honeys over her career… sounds about right to me”.


Ben John, the 21-year-old white supremacist from Lincoln who was ordered by a judge in August to read classic novels as punishment, but hasn’t made much progress. “I’ve got them,” John told the Substack newsletter Scout. “I’ve not got to grips with any of them.” The books are “buried somewhere” in his bedroom.