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13 July

In the headlines

Junior doctors in England are beginning a five-day strike, the longest walkout of its kind in the NHS’s history. The government is expected to offer young medics a 6.5% pay rise over the next few days, considerably less than the 35% bump they are demanding. Huw Edwards is in hospital receiving treatment for his mental health, his wife said last night, confirming that he is the BBC presenter at the centre of the explicit pictures scandal. The Sun, which has come under growing criticism for its reporting of the story, has promised not to publish any more allegations. Nasa has released a stunning new image of a “stellar nursery” to mark the first year of operations by the $10bn James Webb Space Telescope. The snap (below) is of the Rho Ophiuchi cloud complex, which at only 390 light-years away is the nearest star-forming region to Earth.


It’s not just humans who use “baby talk” with their kids, says National Geographic – dolphins do it too. Recent analysis of wild female bottlenose dolphin whistles found that they had a higher range of frequencies – the high pitches were higher and the lows were lower – when their babies were nearby.

Inside politics

If Labour win the next election, says The Economist, the Cabinet will probably have the fewest privately educated members “since at least 1945”. Just 13% of Keir Starmer’s current frontbenchers went to private school, a much lower proportion than the first cabinets of Tony Blair (32%), Harold Wilson (35%) and Clement Attlee (25%). In Rishi Sunak’s, it was 61%.


The latest online beauty fad is the “snatched jawline”, says Hannah Marriott in The Guardian. The phrase, which has racked up more than 210 million TikTok searches, describes the type of taut, smooth jaw on the faces of models like Bella Hadid and Lily-Rose Depp. Creators are sharing elaborate methods to achieve this angular look, from “chin liposuction” to bizarre-looking chewable balls and “mastic chewing gum” which supposedly tighten facial muscles. For those who don’t fancy all that faff, try “mewing”: pushing your tongue against the roof of your mouth to tighten up your jaw.

On the money

In 1999, says business journalist Jon Erlichman on Twitter, Larry Page and Sergey Brin tried to sell Google to a rival search engine called Excite, for $1m. They were rejected. In 2005, MySpace turned down the chance to buy Facebook from Mark Zuckerberg for $75m. In 2000, Netflix tried to engineer a sale to Blockbuster for $50m and were “laughed” out of the building. Netflix is now worth $197bn; Blockbuster went bust in 2010.


Only a couple of other European countries besides Britain – such as Norway and Sweden – use the expression “It’s all Greek to me”. The Greeks, along with the likes of the French and the Spanish, prefer some variation of “It’s Chinese to me”. For Italians, it’s Arabic; for Ukrainians, it’s French; for Icelanders, it’s Hebrew. Germans, possibly because it was the phrase their soldiers most wanted to hear at the end of World War I, tend to go for something totally different: “Ich verstehe nur Bahnhof”, or “I only understand train station”.


It’s Burger King Thailand’s new offering: a bun containing no meat, just 20 slices of American cheese. “The Real Cheeseburger” – which costs £2.50, compared to £8.40 for a normal hamburger – was added to the menu on Sunday, and quickly went viral on Thai social media, with many TikTokers posting videos of them trying the new dish. “This should be a crime,” commented one Twitter user. “Who tf would even try to eat this??”

“Failure is not the falling down, but the staying down.”

Mary Pickford