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13 January

In the headlines

Joe Biden will face a special counsel investigation after a second cache of classified files from his time as vice president was found in his garage. The discovery has “shattered the political glow” the President has enjoyed since the Democrats’ strong midterms performance, says the FT, and could complicate plans to launch his re-election campaign in the coming weeks. The UK economy unexpectedly grew by 0.1% in November, boosting hopes that Britain could avoid a recession. Output was nudged up by growth in the services sector, an increase in pub outings to watch World Cup matches and early Christmas shopping. Chester Zoo has announced the birth of a western chimpanzee, the world’s rarest species of chimp. In line with tradition, the new addition will be named after a pop or rock star: previous primates welcomed there include Dylan (Bob), Alice (Cooper) and Annie (Lennox).

Gone viral

This video, taken in Kenya’s Masai Mara reserve in October, shows more than a dozen tourist-carrying jeeps surrounding a cheetah in the seconds after it made a kill. Behold, says the Twitter user who first posted the clip, “your once-in-a lifetime safari”: a gripping chase, followed by “the mass Toyota 4×4 migration”. Watch the full horror here.

On the money

California has passed a new law requiring companies with 15 or more employees to give salary estimates for all job postings. Much like when New York City introduced similar legislation last year, says Bloomberg, some firms are “taking a liberal interpretation” of how wide a pay range can be. Tesla has one job available paying between $83,200 and $417,600, depending on experience. At Netflix, a role is listed at $90,000 to $900,000.


M&S cafes are selling a new “Magic Coffee”, says The Times, which the company claims will be “bigger than the flat white”. The drink, which hails from coffee mecca Melbourne, looks like a cortado, an espresso mixed with roughly the same quantity of milk. But the Magic Coffee has a “ristretto” base – essentially an espresso with finer-ground beans and half the amount of water – which allows for more milk on top. The supermarket’s bosses are so convinced it will become a hit that they’ve already trademarked “Magic Coffee” to stop rivals hopping on the trend.


“What is going on with Austin Butler’s voice?” asks Danielle Cohen in The Cut. Ever since the actor played Elvis in Baz Luhrmann’s biopic last year, he has refused to drop the rocker’s distinctive drawl. At the Golden Globes on Tuesday, the 31-year-old sounded like he was “possessed by a southern ghost with laryngitis”. Butler insists all this is entirely natural, claiming his DNA “will always be linked” to Elvis after immersing himself so fully in the role. The whole saga is ridiculously poncy, and “I can’t think of anything more Hollywood”. Listen to a before-and-after comparison here.

Quirk of history

The term “spinster” for unmarried women used to apply only to those aged 23 to 25 – anyone older was called a “thornback”. When this unflattering term resurfaced in 2019, one Twitter user imagined an extended classification for single ladies: “Venus deathtrap” for 29-35; then “lady of the blade” (35-40); “fanged dowager” (40-45); and for those 45 and older, “terrified silence, shifting eyes, if you speak of her she will know and she will show you no mercy”.


It’s a man in Japan who spent more than £18,000 on a full-size wolf suit to fulfil his “childhood dream” of being an animal. Made by specialist animatronics firm Zeppet Workshop, the grey and white outfit is modelled on a timber wolf. “It only took about three days from the final fitting to the delivery,” says the lucky (unnamed) recipient, “but the three days felt very long. It was a kind of excitement I have not felt for a long time.”


quoted 13.1.23

“They say golf is like life, but don’t believe them. Golf is more complicated than that.”

American golfer Gardner Dickinson