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12 October

In the headlines

Gaza will remain cut off from electricity, fuel and water until the 150 hostages taken in Saturday’s terrorist attack are released, Israel’s energy minister has announced. The UN, which estimates that 338,000 Palestinians have been displaced by retaliatory Israeli airstrikes, says that without power the territory’s “hospitals will become morgues”. Captain Tom Moore’s daughter has admitted she kept £800,000 from sales of his books. Hannah Ingram-Moore said the late army veteran and Covid fundraiser had wanted the cash to go to his family, not his charity, despite writing in his autobiography that the book was a chance to “raise even more money”. Climate change is making beer taste worse. Booze boffins say hotter and drier weather is reducing the quantity and quality of hops, which give the drink its distinctive taste and smell. 🍺🤢


The boss of the jeans firm Levi Strauss never washes his trousers. Real “denim-heads” say you should “never put your denim into a washing machine”, Charles Bergh tells CNBC. “So that’s what I do.” If food or something else gets on them, he spot cleans them. And if they get too whiffy, “if I’ve been out sweating or something and they get really gross”, he simply gets in the shower with his jeans still on, and washes himself as though he weren’t wearing them.

Global update

Criminal gangs are the fifth-largest private-sector employer in Mexico, says The Economist. They boast around 175,000 members in total, over a quarter of whom work for the two big drug cartels, Sinaloa and Jalisco New Generation. Mexico’s National Guard, a militarised federal police force, has just 100,000 officers.


England’s shipwreck treasures will be given forensic marking to ward off underwater thieves, says The Guardian. Historic England will apply a special identifiable chemical to 57 of the most protected sites, including a Dutch warship that sank off Eastbourne in 1672, and a German minelaying submarine that went down off Whitby in North Yorkshire in 1918. “It’s not visible to the naked eye,” says marine archaeologist Hefin Meara, but “if you were to go down and start poking around and lifting things up” you’d end up covered in the stuff.

Gone viral

A video doing the rounds on social media shows a flight from Liverpool to Ibiza being diverted to France because of a passenger suspected of overdosing on ketamine. It’s not the first time Brits have got in trouble on their way to the Balearic island, says Vice. Previous viral clips have shown “excited men” cutting up lines of white powder and offering them to the flight attendant; couples getting down to it in the loos; and, on one occasion, about 70 Scots holding an impromptu rave in the aisle.


Big companies are using some nasty tricks to teach employees about cybersecurity, says The Wall Street Journal. Examples of “phishing tests” to check whether workers will click on dodgy links include emails purportedly from Ticketmaster saying Taylor Swift tickets have become available, alerts that Valentine’s Day flowers are waiting for them at the front desk, and even messages about “updated pay scales”.


It’s a “mating ball” of several horny male frogs trying to get it on with a single female – an unseemly mess the females have learned to escape using some rather cunning tactics. A new study has found that the females try to shake off their pervy pursuers by spinning around in the water, mimicking the sound males make when they’re accidentally groped by another male, and even playing dead by rolling over and stiffening their outstretched limbs. The tactics are fairly effective: of the 54 frogs recorded using these tricks, 25 escaped their suitors.


“Believe nothing until it has been officially denied.”

Journalist Claud Cockburn