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24 August

In the headlines

Wagner warlord Yevgeny Prigozhin, who led a short-lived mutiny against the Kremlin in June, is believed to have been killed in a plane crash north of Moscow yesterday evening. “All the indications point to the fact that Putin has taken him out,” former MI6 chief John Sawers told the Today programme. One Wagner-connected social media channel claims that Russian missiles shot down the private jet, with locals hearing two loud bangs before the crash. There was a sharp decline in passes and top grades in GSCE results released this morning, which are the first to be marked normally since the pandemic. The proportion of exams marked 7 or above (A or A* in old parlance) has fallen to 22%, from 26.3% in 2022, while passes dropped from 73% to 68.2%. An E-Type Jaguar bought for £1 in 2000 is set to be sold at auction for more than £1m next month. The 1961 sports car, below, is the only one of its kind still in existence, and was restored at a cost of around £110,000 by an anonymous enthusiast after being discovered sitting idle in a barn.


Architectural Digest has compiled a list of the 12 most spectacular modern churches, including South Korea’s 13-storey Saemoonan Church, which curves around a front plaza; the Kirchenzentrum Seliger Pater Rupert Mayer in Germany, adorned with 15,000 3D white tiles; Norway’s Våler Kirke, clad in pine and topped with huge skylights; and Mexico’s Parroquia Señor de la Misericordia, a basilica-inspired church featuring a nearly 50-foot-tall nave. See the full list here.

Nice work if you can get it

Most “elite, white-collar professionals” earn far more if they live in big cities rather than small towns, says The Washington Post. But not doctors. The state with the best-paid medics in America is South Dakota, where they earn an average of $524,000 at their career peak, followed by North Dakota, Alaska, Wyoming and Nebraska, all of which average above $450,000. That’s compared to $447,200 in New York state, and just $349,500 in Washington DC. One big reason is competition: doctors out in the sticks don’t have to worry about rivals offering cheaper prices, so they can hike their fees more or less at will.


Beauty fanatics are raving about snail mucin, says Totally The Bomb. The slime secreted by the gooey gastropod contains many of the same ingredients as fancy creams: hyaluronic acid, a natural moisturiser that helps keep skin plump; glycoproteins, which have antioxidant properties; and copper peptides, which can help reduce the appearance of scars and blemishes. It’s also a fair bit cheaper than rival products: COSRX’s Advanced Snail Mucin Power, which contains the slimy substance, retails for about £15. 🫧🐌


This week, Dunkin’ Donuts unveiled an unlikely new venture, says Fast Company: a line of boozy coffees and teas. It’s the latest in a slew of improbable alcohol ranges. Kellogg’s has announced a waffle-inspired tipple; in May, Lipton released a “hard” Iced Tea; and Coca-Cola now sells a “whole bar’s worth” of boozy beverages, including Simply Spiked lemonade and pre-mixed Jack Daniels and Coke in a can.


TikTok and YouTube are filled with “subliminals”, says The Atlantic: videos that claim to change the physical world when you play them. Some promise that if you watch them, your teeth will be miraculously fixed with “virtual braces”, or that a single viewing will leave your skin looking flawless. “Smells like Vanilla in 1 Hour ✧ subliminal”, for example, is an 11-minute video of a cat sitting in a tumble dryer, while soft music plays and someone very quietly says “smells like vanilla”, “wrist smells like vanilla”, and so on. See if it works for you here.


It’s a “miracle house” in the Hawaiian city of Lahaina, says CBS News, which somehow survived the wildfires that destroyed every other building in the area. The 100-year-old home is thought to have made it through the blaze unscathed in part because it was built using naturally fire-resistant California redwood, and because the owners recently installed a metre-wide pebble garden around the house, meaning there were no trees or bushes close enough to ignite the building. Earlier this year the waterfront property was valued at around $3.5m. “Now, in a land of rubble, it’s worth is so much more.”



“One must never set up a murder. They must happen unexpectedly, as in life.”

Alfred Hitchcock