Boris Johnson meets Joe Biden at the White House today. He says the pair are already friends. “It hasn’t been a relationship that’s been very long in gestation, but it’s terrific,” he told journalists. Apparently the pair have bonded over trains. “He’s a bit of a train nut, as am I.” Although Britain is facing a gas shortage and gas prices are soaring, business secretary Kwasi Kwarteng told parliament, “there’s absolutely no question of the lights going out”. Happy pandas don’t mate, say scientists in the journal Conservation Biology. If they’re too content with their habitats, the lazy bears don’t roam far enough to find a partner.
Brazil’s president, Jair Bolsonaro, in New York for the UN General Assembly, has been pictured munching pizza on the street with some of his ministers and advisers. Because the vaccine-sceptic leader still hasn’t had the jab himself, he’s not able to eat in the city’s restaurants, says Reuters.
At Sunday’s Emmys, Gillian Anderson won the award for outstanding supporting actress in a drama series for her performance as Margaret Thatcher in The Crown. American reporters were intrigued by her preparation. “Just to kind of continue with the whole Margaret Thatcher thing,” said one, “have you talked to her about this role at all?” No, replied Anderson with a straight face, “I have not spoken to Margaret.” Thatcher died in 2013.
Some of the Taliban are kicking back and relaxing after their conquest of Afghanistan last month. Fighters have been pictured on pedalos in the Band-e Amir lakes in the central Bamyan province, says The Sun. Not that the Taliban have always been fans of Bamyan’s attractions – they infamously blew up two huge 1,500-year-old Buddha statues there in spring 2001, before the US invasion.
China’s Covid numbers are “literally and utterly undeniably unbelievable”, says The Australian’s Terry McCrann. Australia, population 26 million, is about to overtake China, population 1.4 billion, on total Covid cases since the start of the pandemic – 87,134 against China’s claim of 95,738. The lesson, of course, is that you cannot trust “a single figure – on anything – that comes out of China”.
They’re disused Bangkok taxis that have been turned into miniature allotments. Abandoned by their drivers during the downturn caused by the pandemic, the cars have been put to new use by staff at the Ratchapruk and Bovorn taxi co-operatives. Growing the produce, which includes tomatoes, cucumbers and string beans, both feeds the staff and serves as an act of protest. “Business was never this terrible,” says co-operative executive Thapakorn Assawalertkul.
“It is absurd to divide people into good and bad. People are either charming or tedious.”