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2 June

In the headlines

It’s “70 not out” for the Queen, says the I newspaper, as the platinum jubilee celebrations get under way this morning with Trooping the Colour and an RAF flypast. Despite fears of a washout, forecasters say the weather will be sunny and warm. Johnny Depp has been awarded more than $10m in damages after jurors in Virginia found that his ex-wife Amber Heard defamed him by describing herself as a victim of domestic abuse. Heard won one of her three counter-claims, but was awarded only $2m. Just six weeks after 21-year-old TobyKeith was named the oldest dog in the world, an even older pooch has been found. Pebbles, a toy fox terrier, turned 22 earlier this year. It all goes to show, says Guinness World Records, “anything is paw-sible”.



Beijing’s falling star

China has shown “how easy it is to lose a region in 10 years”, says Andreea Brinza in Nikkei Asia. When Beijing’s representatives first turned up to central and eastern Europe in 2012, they were received with “open arms” by so-called CEE governments desperate for investment in their infrastructure. But in just a few years, “China’s reputation has turned 180 degrees”, with more and more countries disillusioned with Beijing’s failure to deliver on its shiny Belt and Road promises. One striking symbol of China’s reversing fortunes in the region: out of six countries that shipped Covid vaccines to Taiwan, four are in the CEE.

Quirk of history

In 1977, to honour the Queen’s silver jubilee, Penthouse featured a Union Jack on its cover. Not to seem too forelock-tugging, the top-shelf magazine also ran the official assassination wish list of the Provisional IRA.

Tomorrow’s world

Singapore’s water agency has launched NEWBrew, a craft beer made from purified sewage, to raise awareness about the city-state’s water scarcity issues. The drink is produced with NEWater, the same recycled liquid that Singapore pumps into industrial plants and air-conditioners.

Gone viral

Across the Irish Sea, jubilee celebrations will probably be rather more muted. This description of British attitudes by Irish Times columnist Patrick Freyne has racked up almost 200,000 likes on Twitter: “Having a monarchy next door is a little like having a neighbour who’s really into clowns and has daubed their house with clown murals, displays clown dolls in each window and has an insatiable desire to hear about and discuss clown-related news stories. More specifically, for the Irish, it’s like having a neighbour who’s really into clowns and, also, your grandfather was murdered by a clown.”

Staying young

Most TikTok influencers living together in “collab houses” are barely old enough to legally sign a lease, says The New York Times. But the Old Gays, four California housemates in their 60s and 70s, are proof that “recording viral videos under one roof isn’t reserved for the young”. The crusty quartet have 7.2 million followers and TikTok has become a full-time job: they meet up by the pool each weekday around 10.30am to rehearse and film videos, often in their underwear, that a (substantially younger) friend edits and posts online.

Love etc

A new dating app called Ilios matches users on their astrological compatibility. Star-crossed singles enter their zodiac birth chart – not just their star sign, but a ten-part chart with “moon signs” and “rising signs” – and are then presented with potential partners scored on their celestial suitability. Lexi, a 23-year-old Aries, is delighted with the idea, says The New York Times. After a string of Scorpio exes, she’s sworn off dating anyone with that sign. “It’s just like the stock market – you predict what’s going to happen based on trends.”


It’s cloud bread, TikTok’s most popular recipe. Videos with the hashtag #CloudBread have racked up 3.4 billion views, says You Magazine. The fluffy loaf needs only four ingredients – egg whites, sugar, cornflour and food colouring – and is rather more like meringue than bread. “Essentially, don’t try to slice this up and stick slices of ham and cheese between it.”


quoted 2.6

“Translation is like a woman. If it is beautiful, it is not faithful. If it is faithful, it is most certainly not beautiful.”

Russian poet Yevgeny Yevtushenko