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24 November

In the headlines

The government is preparing a £25m public information campaign to encourage people to cut their energy use. The celebrity-led PR drive will include advice to turn down boilers and switch off radiators in empty rooms, potentially saving households up to £420 a year. The 100ml limit for liquids in airport hand luggage is set to be axed by summer 2024, says The Times. Introduced in 2006 after a foiled terror plot involving liquid explosives, the rule will become redundant once UK airports install more advanced security scanners. This is already turning out to be “the funniest World Cup in history”, says the Daily Star. Just a day after Saudi Arabia beat our old enemy Argentina, the Germans lost 2-1 to Japan. “How do you spell schadenfreude?


China’s debt imperialism

The discovery of a secret Chinese loan to finance a Kenyan railway highlights the reach of Beijing’s “debt traps”, says Brahma Chellaney in Project Syndicate. China has become “the world’s largest single creditor”: its outstanding foreign loans now exceed 6% of global GDP, and, through its $838bn Belt and Road Initiative, it has overtaken the World Bank as the largest funder of infrastructure projects. It has also embarked on “massive” bailout lending, with a “staggering” $21.9bn handed out to Pakistan alone. Unlike the IMF, China attaches few stringent conditions to its loans – which simply makes countries borrow even more and sink “ever deeper into debt”.

US politics

Republicans are stuck with Trump

The Republican establishment is desperate to ditch Trump, says Luke Savage in Jacobin, but “they’re probably stuck with him”. In the wake of the GOP’s disappointing showing in the midterm elections, “a swelling cavalcade of right-wing pundits, talking heads, and elected officials” have distanced themselves from the former president and declared that the party’s future lies elsewhere. Even “the most abject and pathetic Trump grovelers”, such as former New Jersey governor Chris Christie and Fox News anchor Laura Ingraham, have abruptly left his side. Mick Mulvaney, Trump’s former chief of staff, has said his old boss is “the only Republican who could lose” in 2024.


GQ has compiled its list of the most stylish people on the planet. Top spot went to supermodel Bella Hadid, who’s tried every trend from “thongs peeking out over tracksuit bottoms” to low-rise jeans with a “cut well below sea level”. Other honoured fashionistas include The Crown’s Emma Corrin, who has a penchant for oversized hats, and the actor Daniel Kaluuya, who wore a fur-trimmed Prada coat at this year’s Bafta awards. See the full list here.

Eating in

Retired boxers Mike Tyson and Evander Holyfield have co-launched a range of ear-shaped, cannabis-infused sweets, commemorating the moment 25 years ago when the former bit a chunk out of the latter’s upper cartilage. “If I was on cannabis,” reasons Tyson, “I wouldn’t have bit his ear.” The “Holy Ears” snacks have been released in time for the Christmas “Holy Daze”, since it’s the “most wonderful time of the ear”.

Gone viral

TikTok is full of “deeply suggestive” pottery videos, says Kate Fowler in Refinery29. Partly inspired by the famous scene in the 1990 film Ghost, users are posting slow-mo shots of them sensuously massaging the clay – one 25-year-old going by the name @potteryboy (pictured) films shirtless videos making “intense eye contact with the camera”. As the chairman of the Craft Potters Association says, “It’s quite a sexy medium. It’s wet and slippery, and it’s very tactile.”


Tehran-based artist Mahnaz Miryani makes miniature culinary arrangements on tiny trays, says Colossal. Crafted from clay, these “itty-bitty” spreads include pastries, cakes and other “dainty morsels”, along with more ambitious fare such as a half-made apple pie. Her next undersized undertaking is a bowl of spaghetti and meatballs. Have a look at her Instagram here.


Argentina’s shock defeat to Saudi Arabia in Qatar wasn’t a surprise to the country’s more superstitious fans, says NPR. Before the 1986 World Cup, the Argentine players sought the blessing of the Virgin of Copacabana at her shrine in the town of Tilcara, allegedly promising to come back and thank her if they won the tournament. They were indeed victorious, but didn’t return – and Argentina haven’t won the World Cup since. In Qatar, it seems, the “Curse of Tilcara” lives on.


It’s a “sneaker closet” belonging to megastar musician DJ Khaled, which will (briefly) be available to sleep in next month for just $11 a night. Guests at the Miami villa will have to spend the night among hundreds of pairs from DJ Khaled’s personal trainer collection, says Sneaker News, which contains more than 10,000 shoes in total. When they’re not inhaling the pong of leather polish and Odor-Eater insoles, visitors will at least be able to relax “under palm trees” in the garden. View the Airbnb listing here.


quoted 24.11.22

“The only time a woman really succeeds in changing a man is when he’s a baby.”

American actress Natalie Wood