Skip to main content
The Knowledge logo

23 August

In the headlines

Surgeons have successfully completed the UK’s first womb transplant. In a 17-hour operation, a 40-year-old woman donated her womb to her 34-year-old sister, who was born without the organ. The recipient told doctors she wants to have “as many children as I can”. India is hoping to become the first nation to land a spacecraft near the moon’s south pole. The Vikram lander is scheduled to touch down on the lunar surface around 1.30pm UK time, which would make India only the fourth country to complete a soft landing on the moon. Britain’s recent hot spell could be the last of the year, according to the Met Office. Temperatures are expected to peak at 27C in some areas today, then drop for the bank holiday weekend and the next few weeks.


Winners of this year’s Nature inFocus Photography Awards include shots of two Nubian ibexes showing off their horns before fighting; a tiger fishing out an Indian softshell turtle from the lake for lunch; an ant sipping honeydew secreted from an aphid; and a brown booby dipping its head underwater to try and chow down on some anchovies. See the rest here.

On the money

Bosses at top firms on the FTSE 100 index received a bumper average pay rise of 16% last year, says the FT. That puts their median earnings at £3.91m, a £530,000 increase on the previous year, and 118 times the median UK wage. The fattest fat cat, AstraZeneca’s Pascal Soriot, took home £15.3m.

Inside politics

Nicolas Sarkozy’s new 592-page memoir includes plenty of pops at his foreign counterparts, says Le Monde. He complains bitterly about Angela Merkel’s “pusillanimity”, describing their discussions as a “waste of time and energy”, and Franco-German relations as “a way of the cross that is as essential as it is boring”. Barack Obama doesn’t fare any better: Sarkozy describes him as “cold, introverted, and only moderately interested in all those surrounding him”.


If you’ve ever bought a bottle of wine en route to a party and found it wouldn’t fit in your handbag, says the Daily Mail, you need a “wine bag”. Designers are hopping on the trend for creating “sustainable and stylish” vino-shaped accessories so you can ditch the ugly carrier bag. Posh plonk-holders include Anya Hindmarch’s seagrass model with large eyes attached (£225); a cork-topped carafe by Ancient Greek Sandals (£200); and Mulberry’s two-bottle carrier in “vintage oak” leather (£495).


Over the past two decades, more than 1,500 items worth millions of pounds in total have been pinched from the British Museum, says The Times. The loot is thought to have been stolen by a single thief – possibly a former employee – who sold many of the artefacts online for a fraction of their true value, or simply melted them down. It’s not the first time concerns have been raised about the museum’s leaky security: in 2002, an undercover reporter for The Sunday Times carried out part of an ancient Greek statue without guards batting an eyelid.


It’s a scoop of ice cream that is believed to be the first food made from plastic waste. Central Saint Martins student Eleonora Ortolani worked with scientists to break down a small amount of plastic and turn it into vanillin, the flavour molecule in vanilla, which she then used to create her inventive dessert. The new synthetic ingredient needs to be approved by food safety bodies before anyone can guzzle on recycled gelato, but Ortolani is already planning to repeat the process to make other molecules for savoury dishes.



The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing.”


Walt Disney