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21 March

In the headlines

The Met Police is riddled with racism, misogyny and homophobia, a damning new report has found. The independent investigation uncovered incidents such as bacon being put in a Muslim officer’s boots and rape evidence being kept in broken freezers. If the force can’t properly reform itself, says the review’s author Baroness Casey, it should be disbanded. America is bracing itself for the potential arrest of Donald Trump, over claims he bribed porn star Stormy Daniels to keep quiet about an affair before the 2016 election. Every New York police officer has been ordered to wear full uniform today, including plainclothes detectives, in case of unrest. Rupert Murdoch is to marry for the fifth time, aged 92, after proposing to his 66-year-old partner Ann Lesley Smith. “I was very nervous,” the media mogul told the New York Post, “but I knew this would be my last. It better be.”

From the archives

“The arrival of a major new face in modelling is always a thrill to behold,” says Edward Enninful in Vogue. “A fresh mood can sweep fashion as someone tilts the very notion of how we want to feel – sometimes, even, of who we are.” In that spirit, the magazine has dug out the first appearances by era-defining supermodels on British Vogue covers, including Kate Moss, Cindy Crawford, Claudia Schiffer, Naomi Campbell, Linda Evangelista and Christy Turlington. See the rest here.

Inside politics

Xi Jinping’s meeting with Vladimir Putin in Moscow this week is the latest affirmation of their “10-year bromance”, says Stuart Lau in Politico. The two have lots in common: they’re just six months apart in age; both their fathers fought in the Second World War; and they both have daughters. They first bonded at a Bali summit in 2013, when it was Putin’s birthday. Xi threw him an “impromptu party”, complete with a cake, and the two reminisced over vodka shots and sandwiches late into the night. “No matter what fluctuations there are in the international situation,” Xi later said of Putin, “he is my best, most intimate friend.”

Staying young

With people increasingly favouring eggs or yoghurt for breakfast – or skipping the meal entirely – cereal makers are looking for a new marketing strategy, says The Washington Post. The latest wheeze is “bedtime cereal”, to be eaten just before you turn in. One product, Sweet Dreams, comes with a description “that reads like a box of herbal tea”, touting notes of lavender and chamomile, along with vitamins and minerals intended to boost production of the sleep hormone melatonin. Other food companies are also trying to get in on the trend, with supposedly “sleep-friendly” biscuits, ice-creams and chocolate bars.

An abandoned weather station in the Arctic. Getty

Scientists have long known that warming temperatures could release vast amounts of carbon trapped in the Arctic’s permafrost. But there’s something else “lurking” in the thawing ground, says The Atlantic: mercury. The silvery element is relatively harmless when it’s “safely locked away” in the frozen earth. But as the ice melts, mercury is finding its way into ponds, rivers and lakes, where it can turn into methylmercury – a neurotoxin that can lead to long-lasting neurological damage. It’s not the only nasty coming out of the deep freeze: in 2016, dozens of people in Siberia were hospitalised and one child died after the melting permafrost exposed a decades-old reindeer infected with anthrax.


A city in Indonesia has launched a controversial pilot scheme in which teens start school at 5:30am. Officials in Kupang, where 10 schools are trialling the rigorous routine for 16- and 17-year-olds, say it will strengthen the children’s discipline. But mums and dads aren’t so sure, reporting that when their exhausted children get home in the afternoon they “fall asleep immediately”.


It’s Ed McVey, The Crown’s hot new Prince William. “Awooga!” says The Cut. With his “tousled blond hair” and “angular jaw”, the 22-year-old is the perfect pick to portray the heir to the throne during his time at St Andrews. The Netflix show’s sixth and final season will see “the royal hunk” head off to Scotland and meet his future wife Kate Middleton, who will be played by Meg Bellamy.


“Every improvement in communication makes the bore more terrible.”

American writer Frank Moore Colby