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1 June

In the headlines

Australia’s most-decorated living soldier has lost a defamation case against three newspapers that accused him of war crimes. A judge ruled that Ben Roberts-Smith, who was awarded the Victoria Cross in 2011, committed multiple murders while serving with Australia’s SAS in Afghanistan, and ordered subordinates to carry out illegal killings. UK house prices have fallen at their fastest annual pace in nearly 14 years. They dipped 3.4% in the 12 months to May, as rising mortgage rates dampened demand. Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody could have been called Mongolian Rhapsody. Handwritten lyrics from the 1975 song, which are going on auction in September along with other possessions of Freddie Mercury, feature the title with “Mongolian” crossed out and “Bohemian” written above it.


TikTokers are going wild for “sea glass nails”, says Bustle, a type of manicure inspired by the “beautifully smooth remnants of old glass bottles” found on the shore. The glossy look can be achieved in several ways: adding clear drops of glue to simulate tiny water droplets; blending together blue and green hues while still wet to create an ombre effect; and adding flecks of teal glitter to suggest “sparkly sea spray”. It’s a subtle tribute to the beach – a way to embrace “mermaidcore” without having to wear a Little Mermaid-style shell bra.

On the money

American chipmaker Nvidia has been on a monster stock-market tear, says Axios, briefly achieving an ultra-rare trillion-dollar valuation this week. Over the past 10 years its share price has risen more than 10,000%, the best performance of any major firm in that period. But of course, it’s not out of the question that Nvidia is nearing “some sort of sugar-rush peak”. In November 2021, Tesla was up 19,000% on the previous decade; since then, about 10,000 percentage points of that gain have disappeared.

Nice work if you can get it

“There’s nothing like the casual antics of an A-list celebrity’s kid to make you feel like a total loser,” says Danielle Cohen in The Cut. Take Blue Ivy Carter, daughter of Beyoncé and Jay Z, who has just started her summer job. Instead of scooping ice cream for £10 an hour, she’s performing as a backing dancer on her mum’s world tour. Eagle-eyed fans spotted the 11-year-old strutting around during the tracks Black Parade, Power and Alright at Beyoncé’s Paris gig last weekend, which was attended by 80,000 people. “Celebrities may be just like us, but their children absolutely are not.”


Plenty of people don’t understand why so much fuss has been made over Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield, says David Mitchell in The Observer. It’s simple: their relationship never rang true. For years, Holly and Phil made out that they were “devoted buddies”. They went on holiday together; in 2016, they released tongue-in-cheek photos of themselves on the beach with Phil in an “I ❤️ HW” t-shirt and Holly in an “I ❤️ PS” one. Yet something never felt right. It was partly the 19-year age gap – Schofield has, or had, been on telly since Willoughby was four – and partly that it just didn’t seem real. “The audience didn’t buy it and felt patronised. So when the lie is exposed, that’s box office.”


To The Economist:

Bartleby wrote about employers looking for soft skills when they hire someone (13 May). I was always keen on employing the very best people. The most effective way to hire the right match was for me to sweep the parking lot upon the candidate’s arrival, pushing a broom and looking busy. I would say “Hello”, wait and observe. It was much more effective than any of the usual techniques.

André Moncheur de Rieudotte, Idaho


It’s a beluga whale that has been spotted nosing around Scandinavia, prompting speculation that it’s a spy trained by the Russian navy. First seen in 2019, the suspicious sea mammal spent three years tracking down the Norwegian coast and has now moved across to Swedish waters. Marine biologists say he’s unusually relaxed around humans, and was first discovered wearing a harness with a mount suitable for an action camera, bearing the words “Equipment St Petersburg”. 🕵️‍♀️🐳


quoted 1.6.23

“Children begin by loving their parents; as they grow older they judge them; sometimes they forgive them.”

Oscar Wilde