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10 May

In the headlines

Donald Trump sexually abused a journalist at a Manhattan department store in the 1990s, a US civil court has found. The former president, who was cleared of a separate charge of rape, has been ordered to pay $5m in damages to E Jean Carroll. Trump has branded the guilty verdict “a disgrace” and says he will appeal. Imran Khan, the former cricketer and Pakistani prime minister, has been arrested in Islamabad on corruption charges. The decision, which sparked nationwide protests, could lead to the 70-year-old being disqualified from standing for election again. A baby has been born using three people’s DNA for the first time in the UK, says BBC News. Most of the child’s genetic material came from the two parents, with around 0.1% from a third, donor woman to prevent the mother passing on “devastating mitochondrial diseases”.

On the money

The greatest horses in racing are “destined to have short careers”, says The New York Times. Why? Because they can earn far more sowing their seed back on the stud farm than they can running around a racetrack. Flightline (pictured), a champion American Thoroughbred stabled in Kentucky, took two years and six undefeated races to earn $4.5m in prize money. After retiring last year, and “doing what came naturally twice a day in the breeding shed”, he matched that total in just 11 days. With 155 mares in his “date book”, he should make around $31m by July.


Baby names have never been more important, says Vox – on TikTok, at least. Influencers have attracted tens of thousands of followers by discussing all aspects of newborn nomenclature: from names that are currently in vogue, to predicting – “sometimes with terrifying accuracy” – which names will soon be everywhere. Viral videos have lists of “old money” names (Caroline, Elizabeth, Charlotte), “main character” names (Blaze, Arrow, Falcon) and “aesthetic” names (Rowan, Wren, Atlas). Many of the top baby name TikTokers offer paid consultancy services where they help indecisive parents-to-be choose what to call their child.


New satellite images have revealed that methane leaks from Turkmenistan’s two main fossil fuel fields caused more global warming in 2022 than the entire carbon emissions of the UK. Previously, a technique known as flaring was used to burn off the unwanted greenhouse gas. But that method is easy to spot – it’s literally a vertical plume of flames – and has been “increasingly frowned upon in recent years”, says The Guardian. Instead, it seems the Central Asian country has been “venting” methane – simply releasing it into the atmosphere – which until the advent of recent satellite tech was virtually impossible to detect.

From the archives

In 2012, a group of TV studios decided to crash a Boeing 727 into a Mexican desert, to see which seats had the best chance of survival. A flight crew of three, accompanied by three professional sky divers, got the plane into the air and on course before parachuting to safety. Three minutes later, the jet slammed into the ground at 140mph, breaking up into several sections. The conclusion of the experiment: always sit at the back. Whereas passengers seated at the front and middle of the plane would have suffered serious injuries, those at the rear would likely have walked away largely unscathed.

Inside politics

One of the fiercest internal battles in the White House is over Joe Biden’s diet, says Axios. His wife Jill is trying to get him to “eat more fish and veggies”. But the president prefers kids’ food: “peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, BLTs, pizza, cookies, spaghetti with butter and red sauce, and ice cream that he occasionally makes into a full sundae”. Given Donald Trump’s penchant for KFC and Big Macs, the 2024 election “could bring a rematch of 80ish-year-olds who eat like eight-year-olds”.


It’s an optical illusion that has been causing a stir online, says The Daily Telegraph, leaving some “unable to believe it’s real”. The snap, captured by Japanese photographer Kenichi Ohno, shows an egret wading in the water in front of a concrete wall, which is casting a golden reflection on the lake. Click here for a picture that shows the scene in context.


quote 10.5.23

“A happy childhood has spoiled many a promising life.”

Canadian author Robertson Davies