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25 April

In the headlines

Joe Biden has officially announced he is running for a second term as US president, saying he wants to “finish the job”. The 80-year-old is already the oldest leader in American history; a recent poll found that over half of Democrats don’t think he should seek re-election. RAF planes are evacuating British nationals from Sudan, amid reports that a temporary ceasefire between rival armed factions is breaking down. The more than 4,000 UK citizens believed to be in the country have been warned they need to make their own way to an airfield outside Khartoum, the Sudanese capital. Employees at a French chateau owned by a demanding Chinese investor are revolting against their boss. Vineyard workers at Château Larteau in Bordeaux have been using spades to smash clocking-in machines, recently installed in a bid to make them work Chinese-style 12-hour days.

On the way back

“Boobs are back,” says i-D magazine. After years of flatter-chested figures dominating screens and runways, there’s a new vogue among celebs for buxom bosoms. Actresses Megan Fox and Nina Dobrev have both reportedly had breast augmentations; Khloé Kardashian has admitted she wants implants; Euphoria star Sydney Sweeney has called her D-cups the “best tits in Hollywood”. And the big-boob resurgence isn’t just confined to America: according to the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS 🤨), the number of implant ops is up 67% from this time last year.


To The Economist:

Your article on the mistakes made by Richard Beeching when he reshaped Britain’s railways in the 1960s reminded me that not everyone in that decade disapproved of his parsimony. Beeching also had his admirers. By the late 1960s the Beatles’s record label, Apple Corps, was out of control financially and losing so much cash that John Lennon decided that one solution was to meet Beeching in the hope he would take control of the business and apply his famous cost-cutting skills. The meeting did not go well. Beeching told Lennon to “stick to making records”.

Chris Drake, Leicester

On the way out

Cheap flights are a thing of the past, says Bloomberg. Plane tickets between the UK and continental Europe this summer are a third more expensive than last year, and “this isn’t just temporary turbulence”. From next year, airlines flying within Europe will have to pay more to compensate for their emissions under EU rules; by 2026, their carbon costs are “effectively going to double”. And to reach net zero by 2050, European airlines will have to spend an estimated €820bn – a “whopping” investment that will undoubtedly push up ticket prices.


On the outskirts of Milan, the Fisogni Museum is dedicated to antique petrol pumps. The founder, Guido Fisogni, began his collection in the early 1960s when he found an old five-litre Bergomi model abandoned in a quarry. He says he “decided immediately to recuperate and restore it”, and has since built a collection that industrial art experts consider “unique and particularly rich”. See more here.

Tomorrow’s world

ChatGPT is causing amusement across the Channel, says Patrick Kidd in The Times. When a Frenchman says “GPT” it sounds like “J’ai pété”, or “I have farted”.


They’re crushed cans of Miller High Life, which were destroyed by EU authorities because the beer is labelled “The Champagne of Beers”. Belgian customs seized a shipment of 2,352 cans of the American lager at the port of Antwerp, at the request of the Comité Champagne trade group, before pouring them out one by one. “We respect local restrictions around the word ‘champagne’, but we remain proud of Miller High Life,” said the North American brewing giant Molson Coors, who make the trademark-busting tinnies. “We invite our friends in Europe to the US any time to toast the High Life together.”


quoted 25.4.23

“A leader is a dealer in hope.”