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10 December

In the headlines

“Another day, another lie,” says the Mirror’s front page, after Boris Johnson was accused of misleading a probe into the refurbishment of his Downing Street flat. The PM’s standards adviser, Lord Geidt, is said to be on the brink of resigning in disgust, and the Tories have sunk to their worst poll rating in 11 months. YouGov has the party on 33%, four points behind Labour. WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is a step closer to being extradited from Britain to the US on espionage charges. The High Court overturned an earlier decision that the whistleblower couldn’t be sent to America because of concerns about his mental health. The Sun has come up with a cunning workaround for England’s “batty” new Covid guidelines, which encourage people to work from home, but allow indoor socialising – just say you’re “WFP”, or “Working from pub”.

Comment of the day

Climate change

We won’t die out like the dinosaurs

Most of the dire forecasts of rampant global warming assume “no significant human response”, says Gary Shilling in Bloomberg. The American National Academy of Sciences, for example, has warned that if we do nothing, rising sea levels will flood vast areas of the world’s coastlines by 2100, generating “$55 trillion in total damage”. But while the dinosaurs died out because they couldn’t adapt to climate change, “humans can and will”.


Now I’m 64 – but I don’t feel old at all

I turned 64 this week, says Simon Kelner in the I newspaper. So naturally I’ve been thinking about the Beatles. The band were in their twenties when they recorded When I’m Sixty-Four, a cheerful song about growing old. The lyrics evoke content sexagenarians knitting by fires, pottering in gardens and visiting the Isle of Wight. To the young and famous singers, “64 must have seemed like an impossibly advanced age”. To me, it doesn’t seem old at all.



Tomorrow’s world

A seven-mile-long underwater sculpture park is being built off Miami Beach by Dutch architecture firm OMA, says Dezeen. The sculptures are designed to protect the coastline from climate change and act as an artificial reef. A video shown at Miami Art Week revealed how one of the artworks might look once coral has grown over it.

Inside politics

The Bank of England “swiftly confirmed” any preconceptions about City excess when Gordon Brown made his first visit as Chancellor in 1997. The governor, Eddie George, had a full martini before treating his guests to a lunch of roast beef, “superb claret” and a box of untipped cigarettes, says Patrick Kidd in The Times. “Puritan Brown” was unimpressed by how eagerly his adviser Ed Balls and private secretary Nick Macpherson tucked in. “It’s for the sake of Treasury-Bank relations,” Balls insisted.

On the money

A German man who fell and broke his back while walking from his bed to his home office can claim compensation on his employer’s insurance because he was technically commuting. Germany’s federal social court ruled that the first morning journey from bed to the home office was “an insured work route”.

Quirks of history

Artificial Christmas trees were invented in the 1930s, when the British homeware company Addis repurposed its toilet brushes. Before that, fake trees were usually wire frames decorated with the feathers of geese, swans or turkeys. 


Quoted 10-12

“When one burns one’s bridges, what a very nice fire it makes.”

Dylan Thomas


He’s a chip off the old block – Mick Jagger’s son Devereaux is seen striking a typical Jagger pose in a recent Instagram photo to mark his fifth birthday. It was posted by his mother, the 34-year-old ballerina Melanie Hamrick, who has been dating the 78-year-old Rolling Stone since 2014. Jagger has eight children by five women; the oldest one, Karis, is 51.

Snapshot answer

It’s the world’s biggest cannabis brownie, weighing 385kg and packed with more than 20g of THC, the active ingredient in marijuana – that’s 4,000 pot portions. The Massachusetts-based cannabis company MariMed baked it for 24 hours ahead of National Brownie Day on Wednesday. It contains 1,344 eggs, 113kg of sugar and 55kg of cocoa powder, and is due to be sold to a medical marijuana user.