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14 October

In the headlines

Liz Truss has sacked Kwasi Kwarteng as chancellor as part of a major U-turn on her economic strategy. The PM will hold a press conference later today where she is expected to reverse her pledge to scrap a planned rise in corporation tax. The committee investigating the 2021 US Capitol riots has voted to subpoena Donald Trump, meaning he is legally compelled to testify before Congress. The former president has labelled the committee a “giant scam” and “total BUST”, adding that the ruling will “further divide our country which, by the way, is doing very badly”. Thirty-nine years after it last produced electricity, Battersea Power Station has reopened today as a luxury leisure and living complex, following a 10-year, £9bn renovation project. Inside are 100 shops and 255 homes, with a six-bedroom penthouse costing £18m.

Behind the headlines

The Liz Truss experiment is over

Warren Buffett famously said that “when the tide goes out, you see who is swimming naked”. Now that interest rates have risen and the “tide of easy money” has receded, says James Forsyth in The Spectator, the UK has been exposed. Even before the disastrous mini-Budget, the amount the government owed in debt interest alone was over £100bn. This has only worsened, which is “extraordinarily politically painful” because higher interest payments buy nothing: “no new police officers, doctors or hospitals”.


The winners of the 2022 Small World Photomicrography Competition have been announced. Honourable mentions went to a close-up of an ant by Eugenijus Kavaliauskas; a snap of an anemone larva by Wim van Egmond; and one of some moth eggs by Ye Fei Zhang. Grigorii Timin and Michel Milinkovitch were awarded the top prize for their pic of the embryonic hand of a Madagascar giant day gecko. See the full list here.

From the archives

The discovery of more than 90 “lost recordings” of Radio 4’s Desert Island Discs in an attic in Suffolk opens a window to a “bygone era”, says BBC News. It’s not just the “clipped, formal” voices: the luxury items guests request are also relics of a different time. Ballerina Margot Fonteyn asks for the kind of mask that “skin divers” use for swimming. Movie star Dirk Bogarde asks for John Singer Sargent’s “haunting” portrait of the Sitwell family, “pointing out that he could turn it into a tent or a raft if he needed to”. And comedian Bob Monkhouse wants a “large colour picture of Marilyn Monroe”. Why? “To remind me of what I’m supposed to forget.”

Tomorrow’s world

Scientists have used stem cells to grow a mini human brain in a lab and taught it to play the 1970s video game Pong. The 800,000-cell entity, known as DishBrain, was hooked up to two-way electrodes that let it know the position of the ball, and picked up the electrical signals it produced in response. “It often missed the ball,” says the BBC, but its success rate was far better than random chance. Boffins say the next step is, quite literally, “beer Pong”: getting the brain drunk and seeing if its performance worsens.

Quirk of history

In 1934, at the age of 60, Winston Churchill was filmed launching himself headfirst down a waterslide on the French Riviera. In the frothing water created by his submersion, a pair of black swimming trunks can be seen floating away.


It’s a Balenciaga bag styled on a packet of Lay’s crisps, which will reportedly go on sale for $1,800. Many have pointed out that this is “approximately 450 times” the price of a typical bag of crisps, says The Cut, but that hasn’t stopped fashionistas drooling over the kooky clutch. Frankly, however, they are “not very convincing replicas”: there’s a “very visible” metal zipper, and since they’re made out of leather, they “do not crinkle nearly as loudly or satisfyingly”.



When I want a peerage, I shall buy one like an honest man.”

Alfred Harmsworth, later 1st Viscount Northcliffe