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21 August

In the headlines

Lucy Letby will be sentenced this afternoon for murdering seven babies on the neonatal ward at the Countess of Chester Hospital. The 33-year-old nurse has refused to turn up at court to hear statements from the victims’ families, prompting calls for the government to change the law to force killers to attend sentencing. Donald Trump has confirmed he will not take part in the Republican presidential debates starting this Wednesday. Writing on his social media site, the 77-year-old said: “the public knows who I am & what a successful Presidency I had” and pointed to his already “legendary” lead in primary polls. Spain’s FA chief spiced up celebrations after the country’s 1-0 victory over England in yesterday’s Women’s World Cup final by kissing the team’s top goal-scorer Jenni Hermoso on the lips. Luis Rubiales courted more controversy by entering the players’ dressing room and promising to take the team to Ibiza, where he “will marry” the 33-year-old striker.


Long a staple of sporty dads, the football jersey has become an unlikely star of summer dressing, says Mia Mercado in The Cut. Bella Hadid, Julia Fox and Rihanna have all recently worn them; top-end designers Balenciaga and 3.PARADIS both featured them in recent runway shows. Part of the appeal is their versatility: you can pair with “bitchy little sunglasses” and low-rise jeans for peak streetstyle, or add torn-away jorts and belt the waist for a more feminine take. “Stylistically speaking, everyone’s a footy fan.”

Eating out

“Darkroom-core” is taking America’s trendiest restaurants by storm, says The New York Times. The aesthetic, consisting of “dim interiors lit primarily in red”, is thought to stimulate hunger, diminish the appearance of diners’ blemishes, and evoke a sexy, nocturnal atmosphere. “But red light is not without its drawbacks.” On a recent evening at Bar Valentina in Manhattan, one customer resorted to using his iPhone’s torch to read the menu; a scarlet hue can also turn dishes like spinach an ominous shade of black.

On the money

France may not be a nation of égalité any longer: research by the bank UBS reveals it’s home to more millionaires than any other country besides America and China. There are 2,821,000 dollar millionaires in France (sixth-placed Britain has 2,556,000), and while that’s probably good news for the economy, it doesn’t help Emmanuel Macron’s image as “the president of the rich”.


Russia’s education system is adding some rather specific lessons to the curriculum, says Lisa Haseldine in The Spectator. “Next month, when the new academic year begins, classes will be required to teach teenagers how to assemble, handle and clean Kalashnikov rifles, how to use hand grenades and how to administer first aid in combat.” With Russia’s losses in Ukraine mounting (the UK Ministry of Defence estimates 220,000 casualties), Vladimir Putin clearly has an interest in “creating a new generation of cannon fodder”.


Joan Collins used to be a young wallflower. When she met Woody Allen, the actress told him how much she related to his writing about his own shyness. “He looked down the extremely low-cut dress I was wearing,” Collins tells Cotswold Life, “and replied, ‘I wouldn’t have guessed.’”


It’s the world’s first wind-powered freighter, which this morning embarked on her maiden voyage. The 750ft bulk carrier Pyxis Ocean has been fitted with two 123ft British-made fibreglass “sails”, which should deliver enough propulsion to cut the ship’s emissions by 30%, saving three tonnes of fuel each day. John Cooper, head of the UK firm BAR Technologies who created the cutting-edge wings, says by 2025 “half of new-build ships will be ordered with wind propulsion”.



“The only way to keep your health is to eat what you don’t want, drink what you don’t like, and do what you’d rather not.”

Mark Twain