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10 October

In the headlines

Around 75 Russian missiles have “rained down” on Kyiv and other Ukrainian cities, says The Daily Telegraph, after Vladimir Putin accused the country’s forces of blowing up a key bridge linking Russia and Crimea. President Zelensky says Putin is trying to wipe Ukraine “off the face of the earth” by shelling urban centres. Liz Truss is embarking on a “charm offensive” this week to try and save her premiership, says The Times, hosting a raft of “policy lunches” with backbenchers to get mutinous MPs back on side. She is also expected to abandon a plan to cut benefits by raising them below the rate of inflation. Hotels in Liverpool are cashing in now that the city has been chosen to host the next Eurovision Song Contest. They’ve started cancelling old bookings to make room for guests willing to pay well over the going rate. A three-bedroom Airbnb in Liverpool that normally costs £900 night is being advertised for £7,993 on 13 May, the last night of the competition. “Total chancers,” says one cancellation victim. “Prices now are insane.”


The joys of the domestic life

When I was young, women were encouraged to act like men, and “unpleasant, ruthless” men at that, says India Knight in The Sunday Times. It led to “depressing and bizarre situations” where professional women were embarrassed to be seen to care about “domestic life in general and the parts involving children in particular”. We applauded female executives already back behind their desks, “still bleeding”, just 48 hours after childbirth. And if a woman dared enjoy “cooking, or pottering about at home making things look pretty”, she was dismissed as a “tragic, birdbrained throwback”. Domesticity was a “dirty word”, symptomatic of a “mistakenly nostalgic longing” for the “oppressive drudgery” of housework.

UK politics

What the left can learn from the free market philosophers

When Liz Truss and Kwasi Kwarteng drew up the plans that led to the turmoil of recent weeks, says Owen Jones in The Guardian, they were working to a blueprint devised in a Swiss mountain resort in 1947. Gathered there were the economists Friedrich Hayek and Milton Friedman, and the philosopher Karl Popper, and they were all “profoundly depressed”. The “central values of civilisation” were in danger, they declared, thanks to a “decline of belief in private property and the competitive market” after the Great Depression and two world wars. What turned their ideas into government policies was turmoil. “Only a crisis – actual or perceived – produces real change,” said Friedman. “When the crisis occurs, the actions that are taken depend on the ideas laying around.”

On the money

The UK’s most expensive house – a 45-room, seven-storey “private palace” overlooking Hyde Park – is once again up for sale, says The Guardian. Chinese billionaire Cheung Chung-kiu forked out a cool £205m for the Knightsbridge pad, which has more living space than an American football pitch, back in 2020, but is now selling off an array of assets after his business shares tanked.

Eating out

A San Francisco restaurant has introduced a $75 tasting menu for dogs. The appropriately named Dogue only serves canines, offering pooch-friendly pastries and “dogguccinos” during the week. But on Sundays, says the Los Angeles Times, it offers a three-course feast of seasonal dishes, including organic beef steak with beets, and mussels with carrots and wheatgrass.

Love etc

Couples are trialling a new male contraceptive that works by reducing the man’s sperm count. Nestorone gel is smeared onto men’s shoulders, releasing a hormone that halts sperm production, achieving roughly the same level of protection as the female pill. “It is, effectively, reversible sterility,” says The Times, and has no serious side effects – although it does take between one and five months to start working. And “you have to be patient” after applying the substance, says one trial participant, “otherwise it sticks to your clothes”.


“Forget any Wall Street associations”, says Vogue: striped shirts are officially a 2022 fashion staple. The “borrowed-from-the-boys” look perfectly encapsulates the minimalist aesthetic that’s dominated runways this year, with A-listers and influencers alike embracing the casual trend. Not only that: it’s the perfect piece for October’s in-between temperatures. “Win-win.”

Tomorrow’s world

California has legalised “human composting” as an environmentally friendly alternative to coffins and cremations, says the New York Post. In the controversial burial method, human remains are placed in a steel vat along with wood chips or other biodegradable materials, then “aerated” to encourage bacteria to break down the organic matter inside. After around 30 days the body will have fully decomposed into nutrient-rich soil, which can be given to loved ones to plant things in.


It’s a flight map in the shape of the Queen’s profile, as flown by amateur pilot and charity fundraiser Amal Larhlid. The 250-mile journey took just under two hours and formed a portrait 65 miles high and 40 miles wide. Larhlid says the hardest part of the journey was the crown, which required staying “laser-focused on the flight plan” to execute the necessary tight turns while being buffeted by 30-knot gusts.


Quoted 10.10.22

“If I’m in step with fashion something’s gone very wrong.”

Jacob Rees-Mogg