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9 June

In the headlines

Economic growth in the UK is set to “grind to a halt” next year, says the FT. The OECD forecasts that soaring inflation and further tax rises will make Britain the worst-performing economy in the G20 bar sanctions-stricken Russia. In another blow to the nation’s finances, petrol prices rose by 2.2p on Tuesday to more than 180p a litre – the largest daily increase in 17 years. The cost of filling up an average family car is expected to hit £100 for the first time today. “Anxious” archaeology students at the University of York are being given trigger warnings that they will be exposed to images of “human remains” and funeral rituals, says the Daily Star. “I want my Mummy!”


The unspoken secret of Denmark’s success

Denmark is often hailed as the world’s ideal country, says Ed West in his Substack newsletter. It’s the least corrupt, the third most equal and the third freest. “Getting to Denmark” is sometimes used as a shorthand to mean “reaching the pinnacle of political development”. Yet the “sting in the tail”, for liberal admirers, is its “almost comically right-wing” stance on immigration. If rejected asylum seekers refuse to leave, they are locked in “return centres” until they change their mind. The government is doing everything it can to kick Syrian refugees out of the country. And Britain’s Rwanda resettlement policy was originally thought up by Denmark.


Zero-Covid is as mad as killing sparrows

After more than two months in lockdown, Shanghai is opening up again, says Austin Williams in UnHerd. But “horror stories” abound. Employees were locked in offices for months. A woman walking her neighbour’s dog was “snatched” and taken to a quarantine hotel, where she was kept in one room, with the dog, for 10 weeks. Health workers barged into people’s homes, drenched their belongings in disinfectant and sent them off to “detention camps”. Not only have these mad zero-Covid policies battered the economy, they have also angered locals – germinating “the seeds of dissent that the Chinese Communist Party has spent decades carefully suppressing”.


In When Harry Met Sally…, the heroine is a famously fussy eater. “I’d like the pie heated and I don’t want the ice cream on top, I want it on the side,” says Sally, ordering apple pie à la mode. “And I’d like strawberry instead of vanilla, if you have it, and if not then no ice cream, just whipped cream, but only if it’s real, if it’s out of a can then nothing.” The trait was inspired by the film’s writer, Nora Ephron, who was similarly picky. After its release in 1989, Ephron once gave her precise order instructions to an air hostess. The woman, unaware of who Ephron was, replied: “Have you ever seen the movie When Harry Met Sally…?”

On the way out

Passwords. Apple recently announced that from September, users will be able to set up “digital keys” on websites via fingerprint or facial recognition, the same tech currently used to unlock iPhones and iPads. Until then, says Wired, keep your passwords “long and strong”.

Love etc

A German man’s attempt to propose to his girlfriend at Disneyland Paris was ruined when an employee interrupted them, grabbed the ring and directed the couple down some stairs to another area. “She said yes,” the stunned tourist told him. “Yes, that’s great,” replied the romance-killing jobsworth, “but over here, it’s going to be even better.”

Gone viral

A self-proclaimed “posing coach” in California has racked up more than four million followers on TikTok by teaching people how to look better in pictures. David Suh, 27, believes anyone can take a decent photo, so long as they know their angles. His top tips include tilting your hips to emphasise your curves, extending your arms to look taller, and jutting your chin out to accentuate your jawline – even though, Suh warns, “you might feel like a turtle”.


Real-life tomb raiders aren’t as glamorous as Indiana Jones and Lara Croft (above), says the I newspaper. The “sordid reality” is a collection of gangsters, terrorists and common thieves who use academic publications, state registers and satellite navigation systems to loot archaeological sites and sell off their spoils to the highest bidder. Last December, billionaire hedge funder Michael Steinhardt surrendered 180 stolen objects valued at £55m to US authorities. Even a former director of the Louvre, Jean-Luc Martinez, has been charged with trafficking stolen ancient Egyptian antiques worth £7m.


It’s a Boris Johnsonyuk, a croissant that a trendy Kyiv bakery has made in honour of the British prime minister. The pastry has a meringue topping, crowned with a scoop of vanilla ice cream – supposedly to represent the PM’s blond locks. The tasty treat apparently sells out every day, says The Daily Telegraph. “Boris Johnson is not just a prime minister,” wrote Zavertailo Cafe on Instagram, “but is also now a croissant.”


Quoted 9.6.22

“I never travel without my diary. One should always have something sensational to read in the train.”

Oscar Wilde