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5 June

In the headlines

Moscow says it has thwarted a major Ukrainian attack in Donetsk, killing 250 Ukrainian soldiers and destroying more than a dozen armoured vehicles. One of a series of local offensives launched yesterday, the assault was likely the beginning of Kyiv’s long-awaited counter-offensive, a defence analyst tells the Today programme. Growing turbulence in Britain’s mortgage market could leave 100,000 households facing higher payments by the end of the month, says The Times. Three-quarters of the UK’s 20 biggest lenders have hiked their rates in the past fortnight, with TSB withdrawing all 10-year fixed-rate deals over the weekend. Britain’s beleaguered fish and chip shops could be bailed out by the US with a “World War II-style” rescue package, says the Daily Star. Officials are looking into a £1.2bn deal that would offset rising costs by importing cheaper American hake. If something isn’t done, our chippies will be “battered into extinction”.


A new exhibition at London’s Natural History Museum explores the “frosty geopolitics” of the Arctic, which is becoming more accessible to ships and miners as global warming alters the landscape, says The Economist. Polar Silk Road is the work of Austrian photographer Gregor Sailer, who spent five years documenting power stations and research facilities in the far north. Owing to “the sensitivity of the subject matter”, Sailer was forbidden from including several photos of military sites. Book a free ticket here.

Staying young

You might not think of slapping on suncream before you fly, says Conde Nast Traveller, but you should. UVA radiation, which damages collagen and gives you wrinkles, gets in through the aircraft windows. This is “particularly alarming” for frequent flyers, as prolonged exposure can increase the risk of cancer. Barbara Sturm, the Mayfair-based dermatologist to the stars, uses SPF 50 every time she flies.

Eating in

Gen Zs are obsessed with butter, says Ajesh Patalay in the FT, and a growing band of “tastemakers” reckon one brand beats them all: Kerrygold. Fans of the Irish dairy staple include Stanley Tucci, Sarah Jessica Parker, Oprah Winfrey and Chrissy Teigen; Korean-American author Min Jin Lee keeps several pounds of it in her freezer so that she never runs out. Kerrygold cows graze on fresh grass for up to 300 days a year, giving the butter a rich flavour and a bright yellow colour from the beta carotene in the grass.


Anonymous artist Str4ngeThing uses AI to generate images of shoes inspired by Renaissance architecture, says My Modern Met. The towering heels, chunky boots and slim loafers seamlessly incorporate gothic towers, columns and crenellations. The digital designer says the plan now is to do the same for rings, luggage and backpacks, before moving on to something bigger, like a car.


There are many reasons why young people are so anxious and depressed these days, says Trevor Phillips in The Times, but one we shouldn’t ignore is Britain’s “dramatic loss of self-confidence”. “Imperial jingoism has been replaced by an almost obsessive, even arrogant, degree of self-criticism.” Students today are taught that “virtually all ills in any part of the world can be traced to the British Empire”. Our economy is doing fine, “yet every tiny move in interest rates is greeted as a national humiliation”. Surveys show us to be “easily the most liberal nation in Europe” on immigration and race, yet everything in our media suggests we are a “bunch of bigots”. If we want to reduce the stresses in our society, we should start by dialling down the hysteria.


It’s an ultra-rare black-veined white butterfly that has been spotted in southeast London. The species was first listed in lepidopterology records during the reign of King Charles II, but since 1925 it has been considered extinct in Britain. According to the charity Butterfly Conservation, the imperiled insects – which Winston Churchill attempted to reintroduce in the 1940s by breeding them at his country home – have likely been released by an enthusiast rather than spontaneously travelled to Britain.


quoted 5.6.23

“The trouble with being punctual is that nobody’s there to appreciate it.”

American columnist Franklin P Jones