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14 June

In the headlines

Covid restrictions in England will remain in place for at least four more weeks, the PM will announce this evening, so more people can get a second jab before “freedom day”. It’s “one last heave to freedom”, says the Telegraph. England forward Raheem Sterling scored the winning goal against Croatia in the team’s opening game at the delayed Euro 2020 tournament. The game was played at Wembley, 523 yards from the house where he grew up. Benjamin Netanyahu’s 12-year reign as Israeli PM is over after parliamentarians voted in his successor, ultra-nationalist Naftali Bennett. He will lead an eight-party coalition that includes the far right, the fringe left and Israeli Arabs.

Comment of the day


Taking the knee changes nothing

“Taking the knee is not for me,” says Matthew Syed in The Sunday Times. “I wouldn’t boo” the footballers who do it, of course, but when Crystal Palace forward Wilfried Zaha said it does nothing for anti-racism, and might actually undermine it, “I found myself nodding”. The problem is that millions of fans mistake kneeling for real action. They might tweet virtuous hashtags and enact the “liturgy of anti-racism”, but they aren’t the “engines of progress” they imagine.



Chefs from a popular Cornish beach shack laid on a barbecue for the G7 leaders in Carbis Bay on Saturday night. Simon Stallard and Jemma Glass, from the Hidden Hut, served Curgurrell crab claws, Moorland steak and Newlyn lobster. The world leaders were serenaded by Cornish sea-shanty group Du Hag Owr and wound up the evening sitting around firepits with hot buttered rum and toasted marshmallows. “It’s a brave man who banks on good weather in this country – but then Boris Johnson seems to carry around good luck like an extra body part,” says Alexandra Shulman in The Mail on Sunday. 


At every big football tournament, England’s national anthem bores hundreds of millions of spectators, says the New Statesman’s Stephen Bush on Twitter. We should sing Jerusalem instead. Unlike the incumbent, it passes all the key tests: it can be sung well by choirs, sung well “by an opera singer solo when you’re hosting a tournament” and, perhaps most importantly, “sung well drunk”.

Love etc

A letter to The Sunday Times from Johanna Seccombe, London SW19: “I have bought Scott’s Porage Oats for many years, not only because of the quality but because of the hunky Scotsman on the front of the box. In my local Waitrose today I was dismayed to see its rebrand: gone is the alpha male with the sexy nugget smile, replaced by a strange millennial with no pecs, who looks as though he is holding an invisible selfie stick. I am outraged.”


The new mayor of Bangor, north Wales, is unusual for several reasons: Owen Hurcum is 23 years old, a part-time archaeology student and originally from London. But they also made history by becoming the first openly non-binary mayor of any city in the world, and will therefore be known as “their worship”.


Quoted 14-06

“When people are free to do as they please, they usually imitate each other.” 

Philosopher Eric Hoffer

Snapshot answer

It’s Linoy Ashram, competing at the European Rhythmic Gymnastics Championships in Italy. Rhythmic gymnasts perform floor routines using props such as balls, clubs, ribbons and rope. Ashram, a 22-year-old Israeli, won a silver medal for her head-spinning ball performance and took home three other medals, including a gold in the clubs event.