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30 January

In the headlines

Nadhim Zahawi may not go quietly after his sacking as Tory chairman yesterday, says The Times. An independent ethics inquiry concluded that the multimillionaire had repeatedly broken the ministerial code over his tax affairs, but he is considering publishing a formal response to put across his side of the story. Five thousand new beds will be added to hospitals across England before the end of this year, boosting NHS capacity by 5%. The £1bn investment will also include 800 additional ambulances, increasing the overall fleet size by 10%. A “selfie-crazy” black bear has snapped more than 400 pictures on a motion-activated wildlife camera in Colorado. The photogenic predator was caught testing out a variety of poses, from full-face staring into the lens to side profile and tongue out.


Photographer Chris Hytha uses drones to capture striking images of iconic skyscrapers across the US, says My Modern Met. They include the Baltimore Trust Building, the Guardian Building in Detroit, the Carbide and Carbon Building in Chicago, and the Cathedral of Learning in Pittsburgh. See more of his work here.


Donald Trump’s deceit on the golf course is “legendary”, says The Upshot, whether he’s “booting away opponents’ balls” or claiming “fictional holes in one”. In a recent competition at the club he owns in West Palm Beach, the “commander-in-cheat” missed the first day’s play. So players arriving for day two were “a little surprised” to see Trump’s name at the top of the leaderboard. The former president explained he’d played a “very good round” earlier in the week, and would use that as his first day’s score. The eventual winner of the tournament? Mr Donald J Trump – “a worthy champion!”


Prince Andrew “just cannot help himself, can he”, says Camilla Long in The Sunday Times. Presumably as part of a campaign to reopen his out-of-court settlement with Virginia Giuffre, the Telegraph has presented us with “the photo that ‘clears Duke’ over bath sex”. Organised by Ghislaine Maxwell’s brother Ian, the picture shows two people sitting in the tub in which Giuffre claims Andrew once licked her toes and feet – supposedly proving it is “too small for any kind of sex frolicking”. Yes, that’s right – “they took a picture of two people in a bath to show that two people couldn’t get into it”. Not only that, the two models had pictures covering their faces: one of the Duke, one of Giuffre. How on earth did anyone – anyone – think this was a good idea?

On the way out

Bands are now almost entirely absent from the music charts, says The Observer. Only four new songs by groups made it into last year’s top 100 singles, along with a “smattering of classics” by old timers like Fleetwood Mac and Arctic Monkeys. One factor is social media. Rather than “trying to size up a four-piece performing in a sweaty pub”, record labels are scouting new talent online – and platforms like TikTok and Instagram are much more of an individual pursuit. Another is technology: with today’s kit, solo artists can “release studio-quality music from their bedrooms for less than the cost of an electric guitar and amplifier”.

Quirk of history

Until the late 18th century, it was widely believed that ringing church bells during a storm would stop lightning from striking the steeple, says The New York Review of Books. This had some rather unfortunate consequences: between 1753 and 1786, 386 churches in France were struck by lightning – and 103 bell ringers were electrocuted.



It’s the Rezvani Vengeance, a hyper-secure 4×4 designed to keep baddies out. It’s styled like a “steroidal tank”, says The Guardian, and features include bulletproof glass, electrified door handles and blinding strobe lights. Drivers can also blast pepper spray out of the wing mirrors and release a James Bond-style smokescreen out of the back. Get yours, with all the bells and whistles, for just £400,000 here.


Quoted 30.1.23

“To err is human, but to really foul things up requires a computer.”

Anonymous, from the 1978 Farmers’ Almanac