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10 August

In the headlines

Prince Andrew is being sued over alleged sexual abuse. Virginia Giuffre has filed a civil lawsuit in New York accusing him of assaulting her when she was 17. The prince denies the allegations. Nearly half of today’s A-level results are As or A*s, up from just a quarter two years ago. Other grades are fast disappearing, says columnist Rod Liddle; they are “simply the forlorn ghosts from that stain on our lives we call ‘the past’, a time when students were unfairly judged on whether they knew anything or not”. Ikea has made a candle that smells like meatballs for winners of a prize draw in the US. It comes in a jar: no assembly required. 

Comment of the day


Inside politics

Cop26 president Alok Sharma has been criticised for his globe-trotting, carbon-guzzling diplomatic trips ahead of the climate summit in Glasgow this November, but he insists they’re “no holiday”. Sharma and his team have gone through so many Covid tests, they’ve compiled a league table of the most aggressive swabbers: “Germany stands head and shoulders above the rest.” 

On the way out

The word curry, which a Californian food blogger wants us to “unlearn” because it’s rooted in colonialism. It’s believed to be an anglicised form of kari, meaning sauce in Tamil. The food in India “changes every 100km and yet we’re still using this umbrella term popularised by white people who couldn’t be bothered to learn the actual names of our dishes”, said Chaheti Bansal, 27, in an Instagram video that’s been viewed 3.6m times.


Giraffes are “secret socialites”. A study published in Mammal Review reveals they’re not “loners”, as once thought, but socially complex animals akin to chimps and elephants. Female giraffes enjoy lifelong bonds and take turns babysitting and feeding each other’s young in “crèches”. They have “lunch buddies”, says The New York Times, stay close to their mothers and grandmothers, and stand guard over dead calves for days without food and water. 

Quirk of history

The Catcher in the Rye’s author, JD Salinger, was so private, there’s only one known recording of his voice. In 1980 reporter Betty Eppes sneaked a recorder into lunch with him and taped their conversation. I’ve been offered $500,000 for it, says Eppes in Bloomberg, but I feel too guilty: “That tape is not mine to give or sell.” When she dies the tape will be placed with her body – “in the crematorium”.


Quoted 10-08

“If the teachers didn’t give you the A level results you were hoping for, don’t worry. I got a C and 2 Us and I’ve ended up happy, with loads of friends and a Bentley.” 

Jeremy Clarkson on Twitter 

Snapshot answer

It’s a £70,200 painting by Cathy Wilkes, a Turner prize nominee from Northern Ireland, that has been bought to adorn the walls of Downing Street. The money for this, and for another £18,775 artwork, came from the Government Art Collection, which is part-funded by the taxpayer, says The Daily Mirror. It tops the £58,000 refurb with £840-a-roll gold wallpaper demanded by the PM’s wife, Carrie, that caused such a stir earlier this year.