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30 September

In the headlines

Susan Everard, the mother of Sarah Everard, told her daughter’s murderer at a court hearing: “Every evening at the same time she was abducted, I let out a silent scream – ‘Don’t get in the car, Sarah. Run!’” Former policeman Wayne Couzens, 48, was today jailed for the rest of his life. Labour leader Keir Starmer’s 90-minute address at the party conference polled better than Boris Johnson’s first conference speech, says Politico. But Starmer’s words will be “long forgotten by the time Johnson opens his mouth in Manchester” at next week’s Tory conference, says Aditya Chakrabortty in The Guardian. There really is a James Bond-style boffin called Director Q designing gadgets for spies at MI6’s headquarters in London, an agent called “Emma” told Radio 4 this morning. 

Comment of the day

Gone viral

More tickets for Yayoi Kusama’s sellout exhibition at Tate Modern, Infinity Mirror Rooms, went on sale at 8.45am today. But it’s no easy feat to get one for the Japanese artist’s immersive light installations – Twitter users have complained of sitting in virtual queues of 40,000 people for more than 24 hours. Don’t take your eye off the ball: when you finally get to the front, you have just 70 seconds to book before you lose your place. 

On the way out

Pens, which are losing out to smartphones and tablets. Nearly one in 10 of us have not picked up a pen in a year, according to a survey by the family history website Ancestry, as gadgets make handwriting obsolete.


Google’s DeepMind AI division has turned its computing might to the weather, claiming it can predict rain in the next two hours more accurately than any other forecaster, says Linda Geddes in The Guardian. This brave new world of “precipitation nowcasting” uses machine learning to turn the most recent 20 minutes of radar data into a short-term forecast.


Comedian Jimmy Carr recalls how he and astrophysicist Stephen Hawking, who died in 2018, would go out for a curry and a musical – they became friends after meeting during the interval at a West End play in 2013. “We’d do shots together sometimes,” he tells The Guardian. “His care team said tequila would be too much, so he’d be on the Cointreau.”


Quoted 30-09

“Anything that is in the world when you’re born is normal and ordinary and is just a natural part of the way the world works. Anything that’s invented between when you’re 15 and 35 is new and exciting and revolutionary and you can probably get a career in it. Anything invented after you’re 35 is against the natural order of things.”

Douglas Adams


Young James Bond fans with £90,000 to spare might be interested in the Oxfordshire-based Little Car Company’s forthcoming two-thirds scale replica of the Aston Martin DB5 driven by Daniel Craig in No Time to Die. An electric engine powers it to speeds of 45mph and gadgets include toy machineguns that emerge from the headlights, a smokescreen and LCD screens that mimic the original’s spinning numberplates.