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11 August

In the headlines

A British embassy worker in Berlin has been arrested on suspicion of spying for Russia in exchange for cash. The man, identified as David S, was taken into custody at his Potsdam apartment on Tuesday, said The Independent. The lawyer representing Prince Andrew’s sexual-abuse accuser says the royal risks a “default judgement” against him if he ignores the lawsuit. I doubt that’s making Andrew sweat, says Marina Hyde in The Guardian: he is, famously, “biologically incapable of perspiration”. The Red Arrows’ red, white and blue smoke trails are going green to save the planet, says The Sun. The aerobatics aces currently use a mix of dye and “dirty diesel”.  

Comment of the day



Scandal has struck Saudi Arabia’s fiercely contested annual camel beauty contest, says Samir Salama in Gulf News. In pursuit of perfectly pouting lips and wrinkle-free noses, some competitors in the King Abdulaziz Camel Festival have injected their dromedaries with Botox in an effort to win the top prize. A video showing camels with ruptured lips sparked outrage and officials are now checking for lip fillers with an ultrasound machine. Offenders face a fine of about £19,000.

On the money

Vaccine lotteries save money, according to a study by the University of California. The state of Ohio spent $5.6m on a lottery only the vaccinated could enter. That led to 82,000 more people getting jabbed, at a cost of $68 each. But Covid sufferers spent 5,000 fewer days in intensive care, which costs $13,500 a day – giving the state a saving of $56m. 


Go Jauntly is a unique navigation app – rather than the fastest route from A to B, it plots the most interesting journey. It “names every pub that will let you use their loo, and every major tree along the way”, says Zoe Williams in The Guardian. A walk to St Paul’s from Van Gogh’s house in Stockwell, south London, was full of curiosities, including Charlie Chaplin’s house in Kennington and “the titchy Tinworth Fountain”. 


Quoted 11-08

“The pain of parting is nothing to the joy of meeting again.” 

Charles Dickens 

Snapshot answer

It’s a polka dot-covered pumpkin sculpture by Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama. It’s usually found on a pier on the Japanese island of Naoshima, and has “long been an Instagram darling”, says Daniel Victor in The New York Times. But on Monday a 78mph gust of wind knocked the sculpture into the sea, where it thrashed about “like an enormous and beautiful seashell”. It was eventually fished out and is being restored. 


Love Island has aired its most profane episode to date, with contestants swearing 125 times in one hour. The main culprit was Faye Winter, a 26-year-old lettings manager from Devon, who said “f***” 57 times. That’s almost once a minute. But the ITV2 show is tame compared with The Wolf of Wall Street. Martin Scorsese’s banking drama is the most foul-mouthed film in history, according to Guinness World Records. It contains 687 expletives – an average of 3.81 a minute.