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2 September

In the headlines

Dominic Raab has flown to Qatar for talks with its emir about rescuing thousands more Afghans. The Foreign Secretary was grilled yesterday by a select committee on the fall of Afghanistan, but they “barely left a dent”, says Quentin Letts in The Times. The US Supreme Court has refused to block a law banning abortions after six weeks in Texas, after a 5-4 ruling last night. “Reproductive rights are human rights,” tweeted Hillary Clinton. “We’ll fight for them.” Abba are back. The Swedish group will make a “historic” announcement at 5.45pm today. Fans are certain it’s new music, but the band have stayed tight-lipped. 

Comment of the day



A former student from Lincoln has been ordered to read Dickens, Austen, Shakespeare and Hardy as part of a sentence for downloading white-supremacist literature and bomb-making instructions. The judge told Ben John, 21, that he had avoided imprisonment “by the skin of his teeth”. He recommended starting with A Tale of Two Cities and Pride and Prejudice, and told John to return in January, saying: “You will tell me what you have read and I will test you… if I think you are [lying to] me, you will suffer.”  

Tomorrow’s world

Scientists are growing a new strain of wheat in Hertfordshire to make healthier toast. The government-approved programme uses an experimental gene-editing tool called Crispr to block wheat cells from producing an amino acid thought to cause cancer, especially when bread is toasted. Boffins in China and the US have invested heavily in Crispr tech, but strict EU rules on GM foods have slowed research. The UK is using its post-Brexit freedom to push ahead. 

Gone viral

A teenager from Maharashtra, central India, has become the fastest person to “limbo-skate” under 10 bars, says Indian newspaper The Hitavada. Science student Shrishti Dharmendra Sharma, 17, completed the flexible feat in just 1.694 seconds. But she’s not the only limbo skater in town, says Guinness World Records. In 2015 a 12-year-old from China, Li Mingfen, broke the record for the fastest time to limbo-skate under 20 cars – it took her 14.15 seconds.

On the money

Phoebe Waller-Bridge has gone “from Fleabag to moneybags”, says Juliet Conway in the Daily Mail, after Companies House records showed the 36-year-old west Londoner has earned more than £22m in the past two years. “Keen to enjoy the fruits of her labour”, the creator of Killing Eve splashed out on a £5.2m Victorian house in the capital, with a gym, a large bar and a black and marble kitchen. 


Quoted 02-09

“Style is knowing who you are, what you want to say, and not giving a damn.”

Gore Vidal

Snapshot answer

It’s Princess Leonor of Spain on her first day at boarding school in south Wales. The 15-year-old heir to the Spanish throne is starting sixth form at UWC Atlantic – a 12th-century castle on the coast west of Cardiff that’s a big hit with European royalty. Princess Alexia, second in line to the Dutch throne, is also a pupil, and Crown Princess Elisabeth of Belgium left this summer. The £33,500 a year establishment is known as “Hogwarts for hippies” – subjects include Tibetan literature and the theory of knowledge.