Skip to main content
The Knowledge logo

25 July

In the headlines

There’s “no end in sight” to disruption at the Port of Dover, says The Times. Though the weekend’s 21-hour queues have now eased, similar chaos is expected throughout the summer. French politicians have denied responsibility for the mess, noting that UK ministers recently rejected a proposal to double the number of passport booths. The NHS is facing the “greatest workforce crisis” in its history, according to a report by MPs. With exhausted workers quitting in droves, the health service has a shortage of 12,000 doctors and more than 50,000 nurses and midwives. Elon Musk has denied reports he had an affair with the wife of Google co-founder Sergey Brin last year, prompting the couple to split up. “I’ve only seen Nicole twice in three years,” the Tesla boss tweeted. “Haven’t even had sex in ages (sigh).”

Get The Knowledge in your inbox

signup box

We scour the world’s media sources and bring you the best – all in one place. Sign up to our five minute daily newsletter here.

The Royal Family

The “dream nanny” slandered by the BBC

It’s a disgrace that it has taken 27 years for Tiggy Legge-Bourke, adored nanny to Princes William and Harry, to “wring an apology from the BBC”, says India Knight in The Sunday Times. It has been perfectly obvious for years that Martin Bashir and Panorama lied about her to secure an interview with Princess Diana. The poor woman has spent nearly half her life knowing large numbers of people believe the “malicious slur” that she became pregnant during an affair with Prince Charles and was forced to have an abortion. Diana became “obsessed” with the idea, even saying “Sorry about the baby” to her at a party.

UK Politics

It’s the small lies that get you

Historians will find the “swift fall” of Boris Johnson puzzling, says Simon Jenkins in The Guardian. He was brought down by lies, but politics “has long been a conspiracy of mendacities”. Johnson seized power, after all, by lying about the benefits of freeing Britain’s economy from the EU’s single market – and history might imagine this played a part in his departure. But no: he is going because he lied about parties and what he knew of the misbehaviour of his deputy chief whip.

Tomorrow’s world

A chess-playing robot deployed a rather unorthodox move at a tournament in Moscow, says The Verge: it grabbed and broke the finger of its seven-year-old opponent. The unfortunate boy, who had violated safety rules by not waiting for the robot to finish its move before responding, had to be freed from the grip of the machine by a crowd of adults. “The robot broke the child’s finger,” confirmed Sergey Lazarev, president of the Moscow Chess Federation. “This is of course bad.”

Inside politics

Winchester College, Rishi Sunak’s alma mater, has produced six chancellors but only one prime minister: Henry Addington, back in the 1800s. A friend tells me there’s a simple explanation, says Charles Moore in The Daily Telegraph: Wykehamists (as alumni are known) tend to be “so clever that they miss the point”. Sunak clearly has a much greater grasp of his departmental brief than Liz Truss does, but that doesn’t mean he has the “more versatile, instinctive decision-making abilities that a prime minister needs every single day”.

Eating in

Jelly is dismissed as kids’ food today, says Felicity Cloake in The New Statesman, but the wibbly wobbly treat was once considered a gastronomic luxury. Big occasions often had “centrepiece jellies”: in 1407, a feast celebrating the appointment of the Bishop of London featured “a demon arguing with a doctor of divinity in a jelly-filled castle set in a custard moat”.

Gone viral

A new generation of Italian mobsters has swapped shadowy dealings and coded notes for brash TikToks. Videos of gangsters swigging expensive champagne and flashing designer watches are all over the app, says The Times – as are threatening messages aimed at rival gangs. Older, more discreet bosses aren’t happy: a wiretap has recorded Antonio Abbinante, a Neapolitan mobster, complaining about the increased police pressure brought on by the TikToks of younger associates. “I am going to split open the head of whoever did this,” he says.


As president, Donald Trump frequently claimed the liberal “deep state” was thwarting his ambitions, says Axios. Now his team has developed a plan to dismantle it if he wins a second term. Using a presidential decree known as “Schedule F”, Trump would strip as many as 50,000 civil servants of their job protection rights, so some (or all) of them could be replaced by those “committed to Trump and his agenda”. Databases of potential recruits are already being drawn up for this very purpose.


It’s Britain’s largest radio telescope, the Lovell, which had a starring role in the Bluedot music and science festival over the weekend. Spacey images of the sun and other stars were projected on to the 249ft dish in Cheshire, with musical accompaniment from a recording of a pulsar, a spinning neutron star.


quoted 25.7.22

“I am a marvellous housekeeper. Every time I leave a man, I keep his house.”

Zsa Zsa Gabor