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29 June

In the headlines

The government’s plan to deport migrants to Rwanda is unlawful, the Court of Appeal has ruled, as the African country is not safe enough. It’s a major blow to Rishi Sunak’s pledge to cut illegal immigration, which relied on the threat of deportation to deter people from making dangerous boat journeys across the channel. More than 150 people have been arrested in France during violent protests after a teenager was shot dead by police. The 17-year-old was killed on Tuesday after refusing to comply with a traffic stop in a Parisian suburb. Latin has become the fourth most-taught language in English primary schools, says The Times, ahead of Mandarin and only slightly behind German. Those who predicted the classical language’s demise “may have to perform a mea culpa”.

The great escape

With Wimbledon around the corner, Tatler has selected the world’s most glamorous hotel tennis courts, for those desperate to avoid SW19 this summer. There’s a quad of clay courts under Aleppo pines at the Hotel Du Cap-Eden-Roc; unbroken views over the Ligurian Sea from the cliffside courts at Belmond’s Splendido in Portofino; eight courts overlooking Lake Como at Villa d’Este’s sporting club; and the Maldives jungle overhanging the incongruous court at Soneva Fushi, where you can play until midnight under the glare of the stars.


If you think that companies deliberately make it hard to unsubscribe from their services, then you’re right. Documents unearthed in a US government lawsuit against Amazon show that the tech giant named the cancellation process for Prime membership “Iliad”, after Homer’s epic about the long, arduous Trojan war. Until recently, cancelling Prime involved four web pages, six clicks and 15 different options.

Staying young

Sometimes, says Rosanna Dodds in the FT, “the best ideas are right in front of you”. For the skincare industry, that turns out to be oxygen. On top of supplying our bodies with energy, oxygen “supports healthy skin by maintaining cell turnover”. But as we age, the oxygen capacity of our skin depletes – about 60% is lost by the age of 40. So enterprising cosmetic makers have started including liquid oxygen in their face creams, and charging a few quid for the privilege. The Natura Bissé Oxygen Complex is £145 for 30ml; Element Eight’s O2 Peptide Firm Perfect Cream checks out at £196 for 50ml. Still, “your skin needs oxygen”. Might be worth it.


“There’s a new ugliest dog in the world,” says America’s Today show: Scooter, a seven-year-old hairless Chinese Crested pup. The unfortunate animal, with his tufts of white hair, protruding tongue and unsteady walk, was described by judges as akin to a “hairy hippopotamus”. His triumph was “perfectly deserved”, says owner Linda Celeste Elmquist, who adopted the peculiar-looking pooch seven months ago. “From the second he sits his hairless little booty and backward legs on your lap, you feel his warm, huggable power to change the meaning of the word ugly!”

Inside politics

Andrew Cooper, David Cameron’s former director of strategy and for years one of the Tories’ most influential political gurus is now “advising Sir Keir Starmer on how to win power”, says Rachel Sylvester in The Times. He’s not alone. Former Tory minister Nick Boles is backing Labour, and Claire Perry, who served in Theresa May’s cabinet, has quit the Conservative Party and praised Starmer. Jim O’Neill, the former Goldman Sachs banker who was a Treasury minister under George Osborne, has just completed a review on start-ups for shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves. “Sensible people,” he tells me, “are coming together in the national interest.” Now Keir just needs to give everyone else “something compelling to vote for”.


It’s a port in Nago, on the Japanese island of Okinawa, says Bloomberg. The area is usually “famed for its beach resorts and crystal clear waters”, but a leak of a coolant used in a local beer factory has turned the water “a gruesome shade of red”. Propylene glycol, the chemical in question, is generally regarded as safe – but it doesn’t make you want to dive in for a swim.


quoted 29.6.23

“You will find the Americans much as the Greeks found the Romans: great, big, vulgar, bustling people more vigorous than we are and also more idle, with more unspoiled virtues but also more corrupt.”

Harold Macmillan