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5 April

In the headlines

Nicola Sturgeon’s husband, the former SNP chief executive Peter Murrell, has been arrested. He’s a suspect in an investigation into claims the party used £600,000 of donations for day-to-day costs, rather than the second independence referendum campaign they were intended for. Donald Trump has pleaded not guilty to 34 counts of falsifying business records. After his appearance in a Manhattan courtroom yesterday, the former president flew back to his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida, where he made a speech describing the “fake case” as an “insult” to America. Camilla will now be known as Queen rather than Queen Consort. Invitations to the coronation on 6 May, which echo the colourful design of the one specially made for a four-year-old Charles ahead of his mother’s coronation in 1953, are in the name of “King Charles III and Queen Camilla”.


Dormice glow bright purple under ultraviolet light, researchers at the University of Tallinn have found. If the UV light passes through a yellow filter, the rodents appear red, with green feet and noses. The phenomenon, known as “photoluminescence”, appears in a few other animals, says Nature, but scientists “don’t yet know why it happens in dormice”. It might be a way to signal to each other, or to avoid predators by blending in with a particular plant. “Or it could just be a side effect of something they ate – no one is really sure.”


Americans are vastly better off financially than Europeans, says John Burn-Murdoch in the FT. “A car-wash manager in Alabama can now earn $125,000, about 50% more than the head of cyber security at the UK Treasury.” But they’re much worse off when it comes to health. The average American has the same chance of a long and healthy life as someone living in Blackpool, the most deprived town in England. An incredible “one in 25 American five-year-olds today will not make it to their 40th birthday”.

Love etc

Rupert Murdoch has reportedly called off his engagement to 66-year-old radio host Ann Lesley Smith (pictured together above), only a fortnight after the news was announced. Whatever happens, his children know rather more about the 92-year-old media tycoon’s love life than they’d like, says Popbitch. A while back, as part of a “family fitness challenge”, they all synced up their health-tracking devices so they could see when their heart rates were up. All fun and games – except it meant they were informed every time their father was “engaged in some after-hours ‘activity’ with his latest girlfriend”.

On the money

Tony Blair’s son Euan, 39, was once found “drunk and incapable” by police in Leicester Square after his GCSEs, says the Evening Standard. He’s not doing too badly, though. His education startup Multiverse was recently valued at nearly £1.4bn, making his 25% share worth £343m – almost seven times Tony’s own fortune. Euan’s £22m five-storey west London townhouse is worth twice the value of his dad’s pokey £10m pad.

Inside politics

Stormy Daniels is lucky Donald Trump paid her at all, says Petronella Wyatt in The Daily Telegraph. Before he was president, I was invited along to a dinner with him at a “shriekingly chic” restaurant in Mayfair. All I remember is that he told me a meandering story about a red golf ball that made him sound like a “recruiting officer for an insane asylum”, and that he hadn’t brought any cash. I had to lend him a tenner for his taxi fare. “He never paid me back.”


It’s Britain’s largest sewer, which has been dug under the Thames to divert the capital’s waste to a treatment plant in east London. The 23-foot-wide, 15-mile-long tunnel cost £5bn to build, but it’s long overdue, says the BBC. “For decades, London’s Victorian-era sewers have discharged raw sewage into the River Thames after heavy rain.”


quote 5.4.23

“I love criticism just so long as it’s unqualified praise.”

Noël Coward