Inflation has soared to 3.2%, its highest level in nearly a decade. “It’s a serious squeeze on living standards” and leaves egg on the Bank of England’s face, says the Financial Times. The biggest leaps are in food, furniture and restaurant prices. Shamima Begum, the British schoolgirl who ran away to join Islamic State, has begged for forgiveness and to be allowed to come home from Syria. “I regret every, every decision I’ve made since I stepped into Syria and I will live with it for the rest of my life,” she told ITV this morning. The Queen’s 32 horse-race winners have earned her more than £460,000 in her best racing season. “Long to rein over us,” says The Sun.
America’s most senior military commander was so worried about Donald Trump’s “serious mental decline” after the 2020 election he took action to limit the president’s ability to order a military strike. General Mark Milley told Pentagon officials not to carry out a nuclear launch without him being part of the “procedure”, according to a new book, Peril, by journalists Bob Woodward and Robert Costa. He acted after Nancy Pelosi, Democratic Speaker of the House, rang him, saying: “If they couldn’t even stop him from an assault on the Capitol, who even knows what else he may do? And is there anybody in charge at the White House who was doing anything but kissing his fat butt all over this?” Milley allegedly replied: “Madam Speaker, I agree with you.”
On the way out
Cookery programmes. All the best chefs post on YouTube now, Jamie Oliver tells the Radio Times. So does he – the most popular video on his own YouTube channel, a spaghetti carbonara tutorial featuring Antonio Carluccio, has 18 million views. Just don’t tell the producers of Oliver’s new Channel 4 series Together, which started this week.
China reduced 15 skyscrapers to dust in a matter of seconds last week, after they sat empty for eight years because nobody wanted to live in them. Construction on the buildings in Liyang, eastern China, worth one billion Chinese yuan (£110m), started in 2011 but was halted several times after multiple building firms either gave up or ran out of cash. According to China’s state-run Xinhua News, 4.6 tons of explosives were placed at 85,000 points in the buildings, creating a blast area of 500,000 square metres, China’s biggest demolition.
Birds migrating south for the winter soar as high as 26,000ft, says scientist Sissel Sjöberg in The Conversation. She discovered the great reed warbler and great snipe regularly fly between 16,000ft and 20,000ft on their journey from Sweden to sub-Saharan Africa, much higher than the 6,000ft previously thought. Constant flapping and warmth from the sun apparently raise their body temperatures so much they are forced to fly to colder, higher altitudes.
It’s Boris Johnson’s mother Charlotte Johnson Wahl, who died on Monday aged 79. The artist often painted her four children; this work is entitled Johnson Children with Daisies. Of the four, one, Rachel, is a journalist, another, Leo, works for PwC, the accounting firm. The other two – Boris and Jo, a former minister – are stalwarts of the Tory party, though Charlotte once admitted that she had “never voted Tory in my life”.
“People who get nostalgic about childhood were obviously never children.”