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3 August

In the headlines

Boris Johnson has dumped the “amber watchlist” and tweaked the sensitivity of the NHS Covid app to reduce the number of people having to self-isolate. The chief of the Joint Biosecurity Centre, which advises on travel rules, has quit, adding to “days of chaos” at No 10, says The Guardian. The Afghan general in charge of defending Lashkar Gah, the capital of Helmand province, has warned that a victory for the Taliban will increase extremist attacks in Europe and the US. “This is a war between liberty and totalitarianism,” General Sami Sadat told the BBC. Britain has won two Olympic sailing golds in the 49er and Finn classes. “Britannia rules the waves,” cheers the Telegraph. A Buckinghamshire farmer is kitting out his cows with Fitbits to track their movements, the Daily Star reveals in a “moos flash”.

Comment of the day


Inside politics

Scottish police dropped the codename Operation Bunter while drawing up plans for protecting Boris Johnson to avoid causing offence. The name was generated at random for a prime ministerial visit to Scotland, but a police insider told The Sun: “Several people pointed out the foolishness of calling it after a fat, posh English public schoolboy – not least given the PM is known for being a bit portly.” Author Charles Hamilton created Billy Bunter, a fictional tubby, lazy and vain 15-year-old at Greyfriars public school, more than a century ago.


Why does no one like Novak Djokovic, wonders Yiannis Baboulias in The Spectator. There was a “palpable sense” of satisfaction among tennis fans when he lost his Olympic bronze-medal match, smashing two racquets in frustration. That temper is part of the reason, but there’s also “pure snobbery” at play: the Serbian is a scrappy “kid from the Balkans”, less suave than Roger Federer and not as good-looking as Rafael Nadal. Off court Djokovic is “perfectly jovial and warm”, and his family has donated more than $1m to help fight Covid in Serbia. 


These intricate dioramas are part of Miniature Calendar, a series by the Japanese artist Tatsuya Tanaka. He has been creating the pieces, which reflect the seasons and world events, every day since 2011. They have been exhibited around the world, attracting more than 1.5 million visitors, says Digital Synopsis. 


Quoted 03-08

“I’m sure the universe is full of intelligent life. It’s just been too intelligent to come here.

Arthur C Clarke

Snapshot answer

It’s Osama bin Laden’s half-brother Ibrahim, who has put his seven-bedroom Bel Air mansion in Los Angeles on the market for $28m. The 7,100 sq ft property needs doing up, says the New York Post – Ibrahim has not lived there since 9/11. He was holidaying abroad at the time of the terrorist attacks masterminded by his half-brother and never returned to the US, “fearful of the notoriety his last name would bring”.