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14 July

In the headlines

Londoners must keep wearing masks on public transport, as well as people in Scotland and Wales, from July 19. It’s a “rebuff” to Boris Johnson, says the Financial Times – the PM is dropping the mask mandate elsewhere in England from Monday. Foreign aid will be slashed after all, following the government’s surprise win in the Commons vote last night. At least 72 people have been killed in rioting across South Africa after the jailing of former president Jacob Zuma. “This is what a failed state looks like,” says the Daily Maverick. Archaeologists have found a stash of 300 Iron Age coins worth up to £60,000 on the HS2 route.

Comment of the day


You’re out of line, Home Secretary

If you’re fighting a culture war you need to be careful, says Daniel Finkelstein in The Times. When Priti Patel was asked about fans booing footballers who were taking the knee, there was an easy answer: I’m never in favour of jeering anyone. Instead she said: “That’s a choice for them quite frankly.” No wonder Tyrone Mings tweeted angrily: “You don’t get to stoke the fire at the beginning of the tournament by labelling our anti-racism message as ‘Gesture Politics’”.


Without independent judges, democracy dies

There is a plague of “would-be strongmen” popping up around the world who want to rule “unconstrained by the law”, says Gideon Rachman in the Financial Times. But the survival of democracy depends on an independent judiciary. Last week, Jacob Zuma, South Africa’s former president and a classic populist, was imprisoned for being in contempt of court. Zuma was “no exception” to the rule of law, said the chief justice who sentenced him. Similarly, Donald Trump’s efforts to overturn the result of last year’s US election were thwarted by the very judges he had appointed to the Supreme Court.



The three billionaires obsessed with going into space – Sir Richard Branson, Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk – are revealing a shared foible when it comes to their spending, says Craig Brown in the Daily Mail. The superrich like to buy expensive sports cars with “cramped seats”, pay a fortune to crouch in brambles on a Scottish moor to take pot shots at deer, and burrow deep beneath their Kensington mansions to create ghastly gyms. And now they’re stuffing themselves into tiny rockets. Why do billionaires want “to be forced into confined spaces, far away from anyone else”?


Almost five years after the actress Zsa Zsa Gabor died aged 99, three-quarters of her ashes have been interred in her native Hungary. A gypsy band played at the ceremony and there were bouquets and wreaths of her favourite yellow and pink roses. Frederic von Anhalt, the last of her nine husbands, carried the urn over from Los Angeles. As per Gabor’s flying habits in life, it had its own first-class seat, and the customary champagne and caviar were served.


A Chinese father has been reunited with his long-lost son 24 years after he was snatched by child traffickers as a two-year-old outside his home. Guo Gangtang scoured the country for Guo Xinzhen, travelling 300,000 miles by motorbike with two banners attached showing photos of the boy. He got through more than 10 motorbikes over the two decades and has become a national hero. “Only by hitting the road looking for my son did I feel I am a father,” he has said. Xinzhen, now 26, was finally put in touch with his father by police, who had traced him using DNA testing. Gangtang said he would regard the couple who bought his son as “relatives”.

On the money

It’s rare to see multimillionaire CEOs working alongside their employees. But Deliveroo boss Will Shu, 41, goes undercover as a rider each week to make sure his £5 billion delivery system is working smoothly. He told The Diary of a CEO podcast that “rude” staff in one restaurant recently told him to “shut up” when he raised concerns that the food was cold. He “100%” plans to raise it with their managers.

Snapshot answer

It’s the Waverley, the world’s only remaining seafaring passenger paddle steamer, sailing downstream on the River Clyde for a full summer of cruising around the Firth of Clyde. Her maiden voyage was on June 16, 1947, but by 1974 she was saved from the scrapyard by the Paddle Steamer Preservation Society, which bought her for just £1. In her lifetime, she has ferried more than six million passengers from ports around the UK.


Quoted 14.7

“I am a marvellous housekeeper. Every time I leave a man, I keep his house.”

Zsa Zsa Gabor