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5 July

In the headlines

Boris Johnson will this afternoon announce his “Big Bang” decision to end most coronavirus restrictions in England on July 19. “Freedom is in your hands now,” says the Daily Mail. The Queen has awarded the George Cross to the NHS, praising workers’ “courage, compassion and dedication”. The health service marks its 73rd anniversary today. The Duchess of Cambridge is self-isolating for 10 days after coming into contact with a Covid-infected person at Wimbledon on Friday. She sat next to Tim Henman and helped prepare strawberry desserts in the Centre Court kitchen. 

Comment of the day



A 31-year-old white British influencer now identifies as “transracial non-binary Korean”, reports Vice, after spending £175,000 on 18 operations to look more like a singer from a K-pop band. Oli London, who previously married a cardboard cutout of Jimin, from the Korean pop group BTS, “came out” on Twitter. Two days later London returned to the social media platform to complain about being cancelled by “woke people”. 


The Royal Navy has been accused of deafening whales and dolphins by blowing up explosives underwater. Divers have carried out 107 such detonations around the UK in the past decade, even though the Ministry of Defence has bought 600 disposal systems that remove munitions from the sea floor without explosions. The Times says not one of them has been used. Explosive vibrations can cause permanent damage to animals’ hearing within a one-mile radius. 

Gone viral

Mark Zuckerberg posted this clip of him wakeboarding on a high-tech $12,000 board, while holding an American flag, on his Instagram feed. Set to the John Denver song Take Me Home, Country Roads, with the caption “Happy July 4th 🇺🇸”, it provoked a backlash on social media. “I wish they could bring John Denver back to life just so he could sue Mark Zuckerberg for this,” one user wrote on Twitter. Another simply wrote: “I saw it, so now you have to see it too. I’m sorry”.  

On the way out

French fizz in Russia. Le Monde says the Kremlin has decreed that only sparkling wine produced in the motherland may be sold as champagne. “War is Peace, Freedom is Slavery, Champagne is not Champagne,” tweeted Dmitry Kozlov, a Russian journalist.


Quoted 05-07

“Those who do not want to imitate anything, produce nothing.”

Salvador Dalí

Snapshot answer

It’s a “water bombing” plane in Cyprus. The aircraft dumped hundreds of gallons of water onto the Troodos Mountains as part of an effort to stem the island’s worst forest fires in decades. The blaze, which started on Saturday afternoon, has killed four people and destroyed 50 homes and 20 square miles of farmland. Police have arrested a 67-year-old farmer on suspicion of arson.