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13 October

In the headlines

The Israeli military has said the 1.1 million people living in northern Gaza should relocate to the south of the Palestinian territory within 24 hours, for “their own safety and protection”. In an unprecedented move, Israel has also published a photograph showing the mutilated corpse of a baby murdered by Hamas. “We need each and every one of you to know,” reads the caption. “This happened.” Prisons in England and Wales are set to run out of space “within days”, says The Times. Ministers are drawing up emergency measures to deal with the crisis, including telling judges to temporarily stop jailing criminals for offences that would ordinarily warrant sentences of under a year. The Royal Mint has revealed the eight new designs for British coins. The first official coinage of King Charles III’s reign (below) celebrates British flora and fauna including a hazel dormouse, a red squirrel, and an oak tree leaf.


The finalists in this year’s Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards include snaps of a kangaroo appearing to strum an air guitar in Australia; two birds having what looks like an argument in Poland; a pair of dancing grizzly bears in Alaska; a swamp turtle balancing a dragonfly on its nose in Israel; and a monkey reclining in a Balinese temple. See the rest here.

Tomorrow’s world

We’re used to hearing about the dangers of artificial intelligence, says Myra Anubi on the BBC’s People Fixing the World podcast, but we don’t often hear about its positive uses. So here are three. Ecologists think AI could give humans a much deeper understanding of how animals communicate – researchers in Tel Aviv are already using it to decode the “language” of bats. In Nigeria, scientists have used the technology to work out how best to encourage new mums to vaccinate their children, pushing inoculation rates from about 40% to 75%. And in the US, where just 5% of household plastic waste gets recycled, companies are developing AI-powered robots to improve the sorting process.

On the way back

Vintage porn magazines are being sold for massive mark-ups on Etsy, with titles that originally cost £1.95 now going for £25, and a Men Only collection on sale for £225. Clearly the bottomless pit of online porn has “sparked a nostalgia for retro analogue erotica”, says Carol Midgley in The Times. As one happy seller put it: “I’ve been sitting on a goldmine and didn’t know it.”

Gone viral

This clip is from a montage of the bizarre ways ships are launched, which has racked up more than 360,000 views on X (formerly Twitter). As one user says: “Seems like there should be a better way.” See the others here.


Most people are familiar with a few of the nicknames used to call out bingo numbers, many of which are either rhymes or relate to the shape of the digits: “knock at the door” (number four), “two fat ladies” (88), and so on. But even more enjoyable are the random ones. They include “the Lord is my Shepherd” for 23, because that’s the start of Psalm 23; “Heinz varieties” (57); and “Ghandi’s breakfast” for 80, because he ate nothing – or eight nothing. See the full list here.

Snapshot answer

It’s a portable wind turbine that folds down to the size of a water bottle and can be set up anywhere for a quick hit of electricity. Made by Canadian start up Aurea Technologies, the 1.4kg Shine Turbine is intended for use in emergencies and on camping trips. It can generate enough juice to charge about three phones every hour, and is “more efficient than any comparable solar panels, thermoelectric stoves or water turbines”, says Dezeen. That’s because of wind’s “cubic relationship with power”, apparently – as wind speeds double, power output increases eight times.


“The easiest kind of relationship for me is with 10,000 people. The hardest is with one.”

Joan Baez