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1 November

In the headlines

Egypt has opened the Rafah border crossing with Gaza for the first time since the 7 October attacks on Israel. It is thought that 88 injured Palestinians and around 500 foreign nationals will be allowed to leave the territory, which has had its phone and internet services completely cut off for the second time in five days. Boris Johnson believed Covid was “nature’s way of dealing with old people”, the inquiry into the pandemic heard yesterday. Dominic Cummings denied that he had contributed to a toxic atmosphere in government, despite the publication of WhatsApp messages in which he called ministers “useless f***pigs”, “morons” and “c***s”. Sketches thought to have been drawn by Michelangelo when he was hiding from the Medici family are going on show for the first time. From 15 November, the public will be able to visit the so-called “Secret Room”, which is tucked under the dynasty’s chapels in Florence and covered in charcoal drawings of figures and body parts.

Gone viral

Martin Scorsese’s daughter is helping him find a new audience on TikTok, says The New York Times. Francesca, 23, has posted various videos of the 80-year-old director, which have racked up millions of views. In one, he holds an audition for her miniature schnauzer (“Oscar, show me fear. Oscar, show me sadness.”) In another, she tests his knowledge of slang, finding that he knows the meaning of “tea” (“tell all”) and “ick” (“thoroughly repulsed”), but not “sneaky link” (in Francesca’s words, “it’s like a booty call”).

On the money

The devastating Israel-Hamas conflict isn’t all bad news, says Jacobin – not for investors in America’s arms industry, at least. Firms including RTX (formerly known as Raytheon) and General Dynamics have seen a 10% share price boost since Hamas’s attack last month. On a recent earnings call, the chief financial officer of General Dynamics mentioned the “terrible” situation in the Middle East, before continuing: “But I think if you look at the incremental demand potential coming out of that, the biggest one to highlight and that really sticks out is probably on the artillery side.”

The Great Escape

The Aruba Tourism Authority wants visitors to go home from their next Caribbean getaway with “something a little more lasting than a shell necklace”, says Thrillist. The island is offering tourists a free “Aruba-themed” tattoo by a local artist. “When our visitors leave, they take some of the island’s abundant happiness with them,” says local tourism boss Ronella Croes. “What better way to celebrate this lasting feeling than to give away permanent souvenirs?” Apply for the “tattoovenir” programme, which runs from 1 January to 30 June next year, here.

On the way out

Cockney and received pronunciation have all but disappeared among young adults, says The Daily Telegraph. Researchers at Essex University have found that the two “overtly class-based” accents have effectively been replaced by three new voices: the “standard southern British English” spoken by the likes of Ellie Goulding; “estuary English”, as articulated by Adele; and “multicultural London English”, as voiced by Stormzy.


Saudi Arabia is set to host the football World Cup in 2034, says Jawad Iqbal in The Spectator, having received a big helping hand from Fifa. Last month the organisation unexpectedly brought the bidding process forward by three years, giving potential host nations just a few weeks to express interest, and made it clear that the hosts had to come from Oceania or the Asian Football Federation, “to which Saudi Arabia just happens to belong”. The Saudis confirmed they would be bidding “within minutes” of the announcement – and the likes of Australia, which had been considering a bid, sensibly realised that Fifa “has eyes only for the Saudis”.


It’s supermodel Heidi Klum, who donned a peacock costume for her annual Halloween party last night. The iridescent outfit was complemented by a supporting cast of Cirque du Soleil acrobats to represent her plumage – and by her husband, musician Tom Kaulitz, dressed up as a giant egg.



“Blessed is the man who, having nothing to say, abstains from giving us wordy evidence of the fact.”

George Eliot