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13 June

In the headlines

Home Secretary Priti Patel could be blocked from putting Channel migrants on the first deportation flight to Rwanda, says the Daily Mail. Lawyers have tabled a “deluge” of human rights claims for the 31 individuals due to be on the plane tomorrow, meaning it’s increasingly likely there will be “no one to put on it”. US senators have agreed plans for limited gun safety measures in the wake of the Uvalde school shooting. The proposals, including tougher mental health checks for buyers under 21, are supported by 10 Republicans – meaning they have the numbers to be voted into law. Britain is set to be “hotter than Hawaii” at the end of this week, says The Sun, with temperatures forecast to hit the mid-30s. It’s a “summer scorcher”.

UK politics

What are the Tories for?

There’s a lot of talk about who’ll eventually replace Boris Johnson, says Vernon Bogdanor in the FT, but the more important question is how his successor will govern. Because at the moment, it’s anyone’s guess. Johnson himself is “a product of post-2008 politics”. The financial crisis precipitated a resurgence of nationalism and populism across Europe – “the politics of ideas came to be replaced by the politics of identity”. In Britain, that manifested itself in Brexit, which helped propel Johnson to power. But now that we’ve left the EU, the Tories are split down the middle on what comes next.


Millennial life: a solitary pint and a walk in the park

Every generation has its “social and cultural revolutions”, says Poppie Platt in The New Statesman. It was all about optimism in the sixties, rebellion in the seventies, excess in the eighties and hedonism in the nineties. But now? I think our current generation is defined by “boredom”. Struggling with student debt, eye-wateringly expensive housing and soaring inflation, young people simply cannot afford many of the “life-enriching experiences previous generations took for granted”. Saving up for a house deposit, we’re told, means “no foreign holidays, no avocado brunches, no Spotify or Netflix”. We have to bike to work rather than take the tube; watch Glastonbury on TV rather than be there in person. How miserable. Aren’t your twenties and thirties supposed to be fun?

Gone viral

There’s a new “new wordle”: Artle is an online game for picture lovers created by the National Gallery of Art, in which players must guess the artist in four attempts. Try for yourself here.


A century after first achieving literary fame, Agatha Christie is enjoying a Gen Z resurgence, says The Wall Street Journal. On TikTok, #AgathaChristie has racked up more than 26 million views, with users praising her “unique way of storytelling” as “very rare nowadays”. Sales of her books in the US are up 39% compared to last year. The novelist’s present-day popularity has even spawned a market for Marple-inspired merch: one London designer says Gen Zs are snapping up her Agatha Christie pyjamas.


To help parents struggling to choose what to call their children, Ikea has compiled a handy list of all the names it has given to its furniture since 1948. The “name bank” has more than 800 listings, says Associated Press, including Malm, Kivik and Trotten. “After all these years,” said the store, “Ikea has built up a large ‘catalogue’ to pick from.”


A cricket fan got a rude interruption during England’s second Test against New Zealand, when Kiwi batsman Daryl Mitchell blasted a six directly into her drink. “It’s plopped in a beer!” said BBC commentator Phil Tufnell. “It’s plopped right in there!” The unfortunate spectator wasn’t left out of pocket – the New Zealand team kindly shelled out for a replacement beer.


There’s a new “holey grail” of accessories, says The Times: a £1,400 Prada string bag made of open-weave raffia. The tatty tote, sported by the likes of supermodel Rosie Huntington-Whiteley (above), has sold out after being dubbed “the cult Insta accessory to be seen with” by Vogue. The bag does have one fairly major practical problem, though: you’ll need something else to carry your keys, lipstick “or anything small enough to fall through the holes”.


It’s the logo for Russia’s new fast-food company, which has taken over the 850 restaurants McDonald’s ran before quitting the country over the Ukraine invasion. The chain doesn’t yet have a permanent name, but the symbols supposedly represent two French fries and a burger. Some have pointed out that it looks rather like the letter M, and, at a stretch, the golden arches of McDonald’s. The menu certainly has similarities: it will sell chicken “nuggets” (not McNuggets) and a “muffin” (not a McMuffin). The Filet-O-Fish is getting more of a rebrand – it will become “Fish Burger”.


Quoted 13.6.22

“Writing a book is like telling a joke and having to wait two years to know whether or not it was funny.”

Alain de Botton