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1 October

In the headlines

Sarah Everard’s murder by a serving police officer has damaged the “precious bond of trust” between police and public, says the Met’s commissioner, Cressida Dick. “I am absolutely horrified that this man used his position of trust to deceive and coerce Sarah. His actions were a gross betrayal of everything policing stands for.” Australia will reopen its international border for the first time since the pandemic began. From November, vaccinated citizens will be able to travel. “It’s time to give Australians their lives back,” says PM Scott Morrison. “I don’t have a favourite Bond, but I do think it’s time for a female Bond,” says Labour leader Keir Starmer. How funny, responds Foreign Office minister James Cleverly: “I don’t have a favourite Labour leader, but I do think it’s time for a female Labour leader.”

Comment of the day


Going to the office is good for you

Like many others, I’m making The Great Return to the office and I’m worried I’m about to lose “the sense of wellbeing I’ve often felt during these months of isolation”, says Jemima Kelly in the Financial Times. But UCL researchers say this is what I need: a range of experiences, even unpleasant ones, that can contribute to “psychological richness”. Since the time of Aristotle, the good life has been defined as a balance of “hedonic wellbeing” (fun, joy, good times) and “eudaemonic wellbeing” (purpose and a sense of contributing to your community). This new third way encourages the development of psychological richness by accumulating challenging experiences – in other words, the stresses and surprises of the office life.


Australia was right to snub French subs

On the face of it, Australia stabbed France in the back by deciding to ditch the 2016 submarine deal. But look closer and “you might find your sympathy for the French starting to melt away”, says Ian Lloyd Neubauer in Nikkei Asia. To stand up to China, Australia needs nuclear-powered subs that are able to stay submerged almost indefinitely, and the French diesel ones didn’t pass muster. On top of that, the French submarine team in Adelaide insisted on taking all of August as paid holiday, and were put out “by the Australians’ insistence on being on time for meetings”.

Inside politics

The hard-left wing of the Labour party criticised Keir Starmer this week for refusing to adopt a £15-an-hour minimum wage policy for “party and country”. Yet Guido Fawkes has revealed that at least five full-time staff at Momentum earn less than that. “They should probably fix that.”

Eating in

The human diet was far more diverse a few thousand years ago, says Dan Salidino in his book Eating to Extinction: “Of the 6,000 plant species humans have eaten over time, the world now mostly eats just nine.” Rice, wheat and maize provide 50% of all our calories, with a further 25% coming from potatoes, barley, palm oil, soy and sugar (beet and cane).


A fairground on the outskirts of Kabul has turned into a “jihadi playground”, says Chris Jewers in Mail Online. Heavily armed Taliban fighters aged between 18 and 52 descended on the park this week for a day out. Videos show the group whooping on rickety pirate ships, relaxing on swan-shaped pedalos and shouting: “This is Afghanistan!”

Quirks of history

James Bond probably got his 007 moniker from a bus. When Ian Fleming was writing the books, he lived in Dover, and the bus that trundled past his house was the 007. The service still runs today, says Kent Live. In 2015, before the release of Spectre, passenger numbers rose by 8%.

Snapshot answer

It’s Astro, Amazon’s first wheeled household robot, which is set to be launched in the US by the end of the year. The £740 device can sing, dance and bring you a beer, but a developer tells Vice magazine it will also “almost certainly throw itself down a flight of stairs”. Astro’s security capabilities have been decried as a “privacy nightmare”: when alerted to a disturbance, it enters “sentry mode”, producing a periscope camera from its head.


quoted 1.10

“Diplomacy is the art of letting somebody else have your way.”

Broadcaster David Frost