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18 October

In the headlines

Joe Biden has held talks with Benjamin Netanyahu after landing in Israel this morning, and said the hospital explosion in Gaza yesterday appears to have been the responsibility of “the other team”. Palestinian officials blame Israel for the blast, which is thought to have killed at least 200 people, but the Israelis say it was caused by a misfired militant rocket. Laughing gas will become illegal in the UK next month. Serial recreational users of nitrous oxide – nicknamed “hippy crack” – will face up to two years in prison, and the maximum sentence for dealers will be doubled to 14 years. In another blow for hedonists, boozy Brits could be banned from the Balearic Islands for drunk and disorderly behaviour. Officials are considering blacklisting holidaymakers who break existing regulations, which in some areas include six-drink-a-day limits at all-inclusive hotels and bans on pub crawls.


The “Breakfast Martini” might sound like the “classiest possible way to be a full-blown alcoholic”, says Robb Report, but in fact it’s neither a martini nor, officially, a morning drink. It was invented in 1997 by Salvatore Calabrese, a “leading light of the London cocktail scene”, after his wife forced him to try marmalade. He took the citrus spread into work and “riffed on it” until he found the right formulation: gin, orange liqueur, lemon juice, and a healthy dollop of orange marmalade, spooned into the cocktail shaker and shaken with ice. It’s delicious “at whichever time of day it most suits you”.

Inside politics

A tongue-in-cheek rumour has long floated around Canadian politics that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is the secret lovechild of Fidel Castro, says X (formerly Twitter) user @uncle_deluge. What is true is that Trudeau’s father Pierre, also a Canadian PM, knew Castro quite well. At Trudeau senior’s funeral in 2000, the Cuban communist was one of his honorary pallbearers – along with Jimmy Carter, Leonard Cohen and the Aga Khan.


Goldman Sachs CEO David Solomon has officially pulled the plug on his DJing side hustle. In recent years, the top banker has played dance music sets at festivals around the world, including Lollapalooza and Tomorrowland. But with Goldman’s profits plunging, colleagues haven’t looked too kindly on the hobby. “Music was not a distraction from David’s work,” a spokesman tells the FT. “The media attention became a distraction.”


The forthcoming final series of The Crown will reportedly feature the ghost of Princess Diana appearing to Prince Charles and the late Queen. I’ve long taken an interest in the activities of the paranormal princess, says Marina Hyde in The Guardian: the actresses Naomi Watts and Kristen Stewart, for example, both said they felt her “presence” while preparing to play the royal on screen. Over the years, Diana’s ghost has also apparently cropped up in the Rose, an Oxfordshire pub; communed with a Japanese psychic and an Australian anti-masker; and informed her former “energy healer”, Simone Simmons, that she was a fan of Brexit.


It’s Pepper X, the new hottest chilli in the world. Guinness World Records has certified its spiciness at “a whopping 2.69 million Scoville heat units”, says New Scientist – around a million more than the previous record holder, the Carolina Reaper. Both were bred by South Carolina’s Ed Currie. “I was feeling the heat for three-and-a-half hours,” he says of trying one. “Then the cramps came.”