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29 June

In the headlines

Ghislaine Maxwell has been sentenced to 20 years in prison for sex trafficking minors. The 60-year-old British socialite said meeting paedophile Jeffrey Epstein was “the greatest regret of my life”. Scotland Yard has been put into special measures by the police watchdog. The country’s largest force will be subject to more inspections and could be asked to meet special crime-fighting targets. Sweden and Finland are joining Nato, after Turkey dropped its objections to the historically neutral countries becoming members. Donald Trump had to be physically restrained by Secret Service agents because he was so desperate to join his supporters ahead of the January 6 attack on the Capitol. A former White House aide told a Congressional committee that Trump tried to grab the steering wheel of his presidential limo, shouting: “I’m the f***ing president – take me up to the Capitol now.”


Tomorrow’s world (or not)

Animator Hashem Al-Ghaili has created a CGI mock-up of a floating “hotel of the future” – a huge, cruise ship-esque plane that could carry 5,000 passengers and stay airborne for years at a time, thanks to 20 nuclear-powered engines. Attractive as the concept is, there are some potential obstacles to it becoming a reality. “If physics and aerodynamics didn’t exist,” one person commented on YouTube, “then this vessel might actually be able to take off.”

Inside politics

British politicians aren’t taken seriously by Americans, says Rory Stewart on The Rest is Politics podcast – at least not by American security guards. When I travelled to Washington with some fellow MPs, it was a real struggle to convince them that we were actually politicians. Whereas American senators are usually over six foot tall with brilliant white teeth and swanky suits, our lot were all “five foot six or eight, a bit tubby, a bit dishevelled”. The Americans couldn’t see how such pathetic men could possibly be important.


In Britain, when politicians go on their summer holidays and news slows down, we call it the “silly season”. But in Czech, Danish, Dutch, Hebrew, Hungarian, Icelandic, Norwegian, Polish and Slovak it’s known as “cucumber time”. This is because historically, cities would empty while the refreshing green vegetables were in season. Germans, Estonians and Croatians go one step further – they call it “pickled cucumber season”.

Gone viral

This video of a yoga-loving pooch has received thousands of approving “upvotes” on Reddit. “Seriously,” commented one user, “if there was a gym that had dogs on hand to be yoga partners then I would actually go.”

Staying young

Paul McCartney’s energetic Glastonbury set had people “marvelling at his stamina”, says The Times. Apparently the 80-year-old’s secret is daily eye yoga. McCartney says “some yogi” taught him the technique in India in the early 2000s, and he’s been doing it ever since. You keep your head still, look up as far as you can for the count of three, eyes back to the middle, then look down as far as you can for three. Repeat this sideways and on a diagonal, “like the Union Jack”. “I don’t know if it’s why I don’t need glasses when reading a newspaper,” says the laser-eyed Liverpudlian, “but it makes sense.”


It’s a single open-air hotel room next to a petrol station in Switzerland. The zero-star hospitality isn’t meant to help you get a good night’s sleep – the concept artists behind the spartan lodgings, the Riklin brothers, want guests to stay up pondering the horrors of life. “What’s important is reflecting about the current world situation,” says Frank Riklin. “Staying here is a statement about the need for urgent changes in society.” Book your miserable night here.


quoted 29.6

“Take risks; love deeply; have no regrets; and always, always have rebellious hope.”

Cancer campaigner Deborah James, who died yesterday aged 40