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14 October

In the headlines

The government is throwing £250m at GPs to force them to see more patients face to face. Name-and shame league tables and “hit squads” will target doctors who don’t, says the Daily Mail – before the pandemic the average GP earned £100,000 for just over three days a week. GP Jess Harvey told the BBC she didn’t know “anyone in general practice who isn’t working their knuckles to the bone”. A 37-year-old Muslim convert has been arrested for killing five people with a bow and arrow and “other weapons” in the Norwegian town of Kongsberg. The Rolling Stones have dropped Brown Sugar from their touring set list after criticism of the song’s references to slavery. “I’m trying to figure out with the sisters quite where the beef is,” bemused guitarist Keith Richards told the LA Times.  

Comment of the day



Inside politics

Two drug dealers have been arrested in Parliament, reports Jonathan Reilly in The Sun. The arrests occurred in the 12 months up to March, despite the Commons being in Covid lockdown for much of the year. In the same period, police also arrested eight people in Parliament for possession of cannabis and a further five for unspecified drugs. 


A letter to The Daily Telegraph from Captain Colin Cummings of Northamptonshire: “Sir – Tim Stanley is concerned that British Airways staff will stop addressing their passengers as ‘Ladies and Gentlemen’. He would be even more distressed to learn that most aircrew already refer to them as ‘self-loading freight’.”

Gone viral

North Korean state media footage shows bare-chested soldiers putting on a show of toughness: smashing stone blocks with their heads and bare hands, bursting out of chains and bending iron rods with their necks. The full video of their macho display, watched approvingly by Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un, can be viewed here

Staying young

The Kent village of Detling has the highest life expectancy in England, says The Times. Women typically live until 95, well above the national average of 83, and men until 86. Margaret Cooke, 89, says it’s all thanks to the tap water, which comes from a local reservoir. The village is on a steep hill – “a challenge for legs of any age” – and banned smoking in 2002, five years before the rest of England.


Quoted 14-10

“If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.” 

JRR Tolkien

Snapshot answer

It’s the Romantika, one of two Estonian cruise ships hired as emergency hotels for next month’s Cop26 climate summit in Glasgow. Demand for accommodation from the 25,000 delegates is so high that Airbnbs normally listed at £42 a night are going for £1,400. It’s not the ideal fix, says The Independent: an overnight stay on a cruise vessel requires about 12 times more energy than a night in a hotel.