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10 March

In the headlines

“Glad to see you again,” says Libération, as Rishi Sunak meets Emmanuel Macron today in Paris for the first UK-France summit in five years. The pair are set to unveil a £200m deal on the Channel migrant crisis, with the UK pledging annual payments to French security forces to help stop small boats “at source”. Motorists were stranded in their cars for six hours overnight as blizzards hit northern England. Drivers on the M62 were trapped in eight miles of gridlock, with 15 inches of snow and 50mph gales. Mystic Meg’s final horoscope “eerily” predicted her own death, says Metro. The 80-year-old psychic wrote that she and her fellow Leos could expect to take a journey “towards [their] soulmate” before her passing on Thursday. Nigel Moores, the man she called “the love of her life”, died 46 years ago.


Although the last major manufacturer, Sony, stopped making them in 2010, says Wired, floppy discs remain crucial in some remarkable places. The antiquated data storage devices are still used in several commercial planes, including 747s, 767s and the Airbus A320. San Francisco’s subway system couldn’t run without them. And perhaps most alarming, they were an essential part of the US nuclear weapons programme until 2019.

On the money

If nominees don’t nab an Oscar at Sunday’s ceremony, says The Guardian, they’ll at least be able to console themselves with a luxury £100,000 goody bag. This year’s hamper, created by a Los Angeles marketing firm, will provide each of the hopefuls in the acting and directing categories with 60 gifts. They include silk pillowcases, Japanese milk bread, a three-night stay in rural Ottawa, a facelift courtesy of celeb surgeon Dr Konstantin Vasyukevich, and a plot of land in Australia – “size and location unknown”.

Inside politics

Donald Trump is publishing a book of 150 private letters sent to him by various celebrities and statesmen. Letters to Trump, which will cost $99 (or $399 for a signed edition), will include correspondence from Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Princess Diana, Liza Minnelli and Kim Jong-un. In one 2000 letter from Oprah Winfrey, in response to him saying she would be his “first choice for vice president”, she writes: “Too bad we’re not running for office. What a team!”

Quirk of history

When old military planes were overloaded with cargo or fuel, they were fitted with rockets for what was called a “jet-assisted take-off”, or JATO. The technique has largely become unnecessary thanks to improved engines, but it is still occasionally used in exceptional circumstances.


“The French love to translate movie titles from English to… English,” says Juan Buis on Twitter. Broadly, they fall into two categories. Either the names are massively simplified: The Hangover becomes Very Bad Trip; The Other Guys is changed to Very Bad Cops. Or, rather more on-brand for the French, the sense of l’amour is ramped up. So Step Up 2 becomes Sexy Dance 2, What’s Your Number? translates to Sex List, and No Strings Attached becomes the rather less subtle Sex Friends. See the full list here.


It’s a 3D-printed basketball that doesn’t need to be inflated. Designed by Wilson, the hi-tech sphere is made by layering a newly developed “elastomeric polymer” in a see-through lattice structure. It’s the same size, weight and bounce as a regular basketball – but can’t go flat. Although the ball is printed as one solid piece, it has seams and eight panels to ape the original’s famous design.


Quoted 10.3.23

“Nothing is as permanent as a temporary government programme.”

Milton Friedman