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26 August

In the headlines

The real threat to those fleeing Kabul isn’t the Taliban, says Catherine Philp in The Times. It’s Isis-K, the Isis offshoot that thinks the Taliban is “too soft”. The Foreign Office fears its car bombers may attack the airport within “hours”, fight the Taliban for control of Afghanistan, then target the West. As supermarket shelves empty, pubs run dry and McDonald’s milkshake stocks collapse, the NHS is rationing blood testing due to a test tube shortage. “Let us concede that Brexit and a lack of EU drivers is among various factors responsible,” says The Sun. We need lots more British lorry drivers, paid properly, to get us out of this mess. England’s fearless former cricket captain Ted Dexter has died aged 86. “He squeezed every last drop out of life,” said a more recent successor, Mike Atherton. 

Comment of the day



Bestselling writer Anthony Horowitz admitted to a terrible memory for faces on Paul McKenna’s Positivity podcast. “I remember going up to somebody at a party and saying, ‘Excuse me, what do you do?’ And the person said, ‘I am Prince Andrew.’”

Quirks of history

A letter to The Daily Telegraph from David Miller of Newton Abbot, Devon: “Sir – Referring to the deteriorating situation in Afghanistan, France’s foreign minister, Jean-Yves Le Drian, says that “France does not forget those who have worked for her”. This is demonstrably untrue. In Indochina in 1954, France signed the ceasefire and abandoned the French and indigenous men of the GCMA, anti-guerrilla squads operating deep in enemy territory. They were hunted down and killed by the North Vietnamese over the following three years. In Algeria in 1962, the French abandoned the Harkis, several thousand men who had fought as auxiliaries against the rebels. They, too, were hunted down and killed. The foreign minister should make sure of his history before making such vainglorious pronouncements.” 


The man who was photographed naked as a baby for the cover of Nirvana’s 1991 album Nevermind is suing the band for child pornography, says the Mail. Spencer Elden, 30, has recreated the image four times, most recently for the album’s 25th anniversary. His father was paid $200 for the photo, which was taken at a pool party. Elden is now claiming $2.5m in damages. 

Love etc

Filming kissing scenes was tricky during the pandemic. While shooting Only Murders in the Building last November, Selena Gomez had to wash her mouth out with Listerine after each take – up to 10 of them. “It burned my mouth,” she tells Elle. 


Quoted 26-08

“Three things in human life are important. The first is to be kind. The second is to be kind. And the third is to be kind.”

Henry James

Snapshot answer

It’s Australian sheep farmer Ben Jackson’s tribute to his aunt, who recently died of cancer. Covid state border closures prevented Jackson, who lives in New South Wales, from attending her funeral in Brisbane. So he poured out grain in the shape of a heart, released his ewes and filmed the results with a drone. “My auntie loved coming down to my farm and poking around, so I just thought a heart for her would be very appropriate.”