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15 November

In the headlines

The Supreme Court has ruled that the government’s plan to send asylum seekers to Rwanda is unlawful. Britain’s highest court found that there was a “real risk” deportees would subsequently be returned to their home countries, where they could face persecution and inhumane treatment, in breach of the European Convention on Human Rights. Israeli forces have entered Gaza’s largest hospital. Israel has accused Hamas of running a command centre in tunnels underneath al-Shifa, a claim backed by US intelligence. UN humanitarian chief Martin Griffiths says he is “appalled” by the military operation, adding: “Hospitals are not battlegrounds.” UK inflation has dropped sharply to 4.6%, the lowest figure for nearly two years. The fall is largely due to cheaper energy, with the price of gas now almost a third less than it was 12 months ago.


Now that the “low-interest-rate-fuelled” property buying spree is over, many of Manhattan’s super-expensive “trophy apartments” are languishing unsold, says Curbed. On “Billionaires’ Row”, a group of luxury skyscrapers near Central Park, about half of all properties are on the market. This means some (relative) bargains are available. In MoMA Tower, sales this year have averaged a 20% discount off their multi-million-dollar asking prices, while Central Park Tower’s 17,545 sq foot penthouse – a “once-in-a-generation residence” – has had 22% knocked off its original $250m listing fee.

Staying young

Though some ultra-processed foods (UPFs) increase your risk of developing cancer, heart disease and diabetes, others are good for you, says The Guardian. New research into the “demonised foodstuffs” suggests breads and cereals actually reduce the risk of these conditions, thanks to their fibre content. Eating other types of UPFs – including ready meals, savoury snacks and plant-based meat alternatives – does not appear to increase the risk of having more than one of these chronic conditions at the same time. But the likes of sugary drinks and processed meats are still best avoided.

On the way back

The uninhabited Caribbean island of Redonda was once filled with wildlife, says the I newspaper – until 1865, when European miners introduced rats and goats, which ate all the native vegetation. But since 2016, the Antigua and Barbuda government has worked on restoring Redonda’s habitat. The rats were killed with poisoned bait and the goats herded up and removed. Plants slowly began to grow again, and now “Redonda’s whole ecosystem has rebounded on every level”. Researchers are required to clean their clothes and shoes before setting foot on the island, lest they carry over even a seed.


Gen Alpha, the cohort born between 2010 and 2025, have now begun a “generational rite of passage”, says The New York Times: befuddling their elders with new slang. A “rizzler”, for example, is someone who is excellent at flirting. A “Fanum tax” is when you take a bite of someone else’s food, in reference to the popular YouTuber Fanum. Then there’s “gyat” – which rhymes with “yacht” but with a hard “g” at the start. “There’s no cute way to say it – it’s just a word for a big butt,” says Alta, a 13-year-old in Pennsylvania. “If someone has a big butt, someone will say ‘gyat’ to it.”


It’s a laser display projected on the hand of someone using an Ai Pin, a much-hyped new device made by American startup Humane. The AI kit – created by two former Apple employees and worn like a badge on the owner’s chest – can also be controlled by talking to it, but it has no screen, so no endless scrolling. That doesn’t stop the $699 device from being able to send text messages, answer questions, play songs, snap photos, make calls and even translate real-time conversations into different languages. The aim, says The New York Times, is “liberating the world from its smartphone addiction” – albeit with more technology.


Quoted 15-11-23

“If you don’t find a way to make money while you sleep, you will work until you die.”

Warren Buffett