Skip to main content
The Knowledge logo

10 June

In the headlines

Two British soldiers have been sentenced to death by firing squad in a show trial in Russia-controlled Ukraine. Aiden Aslin, 28, and Shaun Pinner, 48, were captured in Mariupol and convicted of being “mercenaries”, despite joining the Ukrainian army four years ago. “Maybe our supporters have the right idea,” Donald Trump allegedly said of those who chanted “Hang Mike Pence” as they stormed the US Capitol in January 2021. The bombshell line, revealed yesterday at the start of a hotly anticipated congressional hearing, shows Trump’s fury over his vice president’s refusal to block Joe Biden’s election win. In “the most significant maritime discovery since the Mary Rose”, amateur divers have revealed they have found the wreck of HMS Gloucester, says The Daily Telegraph. The ship (below) ran aground on a Norfolk sandbank in 1682 while carrying the future King James II, who only narrowly escaped with his life.

International Relations

The real winner of Putin’s war

Every crisis benefits someone, says Derek Grossman in Foreign Policy. In the case of Ukraine, that someone is Indian prime minister Narendra Modi. Since 2018, India and the US have enjoyed a “blossoming partnership”: they have firmed up security ties and jointly pledged to uphold the “rules-based liberal international order”. But when Russia invaded Ukraine, Modi shunned this commitment for an “ultra-realist policy” of championing Indian interests above all else. India continues to import Russian arms (which comprise about 85% of its military hardware) and is flouting Western sanctions to snap up heavily discounted Russian oil.


The rise of the “Messy Millennial Woman”

If you’ve watched any female-centred TV over the past few years, you’ll be acquainted with “Messy Millennial Woman”, says Rachel Aroesti in The Guardian. She’s the protagonist of shows like Fleabag, I May Destroy You and I Hate Suzie. This week, she has re-emerged in Everything I Know About Love, an adaption of Dolly Alderton’s memoir. Maggie, the lead, is the archetypal MMW. She’s charismatic, “self-destructive, irresponsible, and determined to live life to the full”. And like all MMWs, her life is “emotional chaos”: her relationships are complicated; her family is dysfunctional. She’s an unreliable employee and an only slightly more reliable friend.

Gone viral

This video showing a 2,400ft rainbow waterfall in Yosemite National Park, California has racked up nearly four million views on Twitter. The colourful moment, captured in 2017, was the result of very high winds when the cliff was bathed in sunlight.

Quirk of history

When Ronald Reagan addressed parliament in 1982, says The Times, he said the West’s reluctance to use its resources reminded him of an old war story. It was about an elderly woman who was dug out of her badly bombed home during the Blitz. Her only possession to survive the blast was a bottle of brandy, which one of the rescuers duly opened to offer her a restorative drink. “Put it back,” said the woman. “That’s for emergencies.”


The New York literary scene has always been “borderline crazy”, says James Patterson in LitHub. At the very first party I attended, I heard a commotion in one of the bedrooms. Inside was a large group crowded around two small men about to have a fight. The scufflers, “who looked about as athletic as French poodles”, turned out to be literary heavyweights Norman Mailer and James Baldwin – and they were fighting over “what should be considered good literature”.

Eating out

“Caviar bumps” – in which dollops of the pricey fish roe are eaten (not snorted) off the back of one’s hand – are a new fixture of America’s high-end restaurants and bars, says The New York Times. “People used to get high off of drugs,” says one afficionado. “Now, we’re getting high off the food.” But it’s not just a gimmick: caviar specialists say taking a bump is how they traditionally sample the product, so they don’t muddy their taste buds with accompaniments like blinis or chives.


New Zealand has unveiled a plan to charge sheep and cattle farmers for the greenhouse gases their livestock belch out. Nearly half the nation’s emissions come from agriculture – no surprise, given it’s home to five million humans, but 10 million cattle and 26 million sheep.


Andres Valencia, a 10-year-old wunderkind whose Picasso-inspired pieces sell for tens of thousands of dollars. The painting prodigy, from San Diego in California, first picked up a brush when he was five and uses a step ladder for his larger works. Having shot to fame during Miami Art Week in December, he is making his global auction debut later this month.


Quoted 10.6.22

“Most people don’t grow up. It’s too damn difficult. What happens is most people get older.”

Maya Angelou