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5 May

In the headlines

Labour have made huge gains in the local council elections, putting the party on track for a larger general election majority than Tony Blair in 1997. “The Tories set expectations incredibly low,” says Daniel Finkelstein in The Times, but they “may not have set them low enough”. With results still coming in, the party had already lost 237 councillors and ceded control of 10 councils. Ed Sheeran did not copy Marvin Gaye’s Let’s Get It On when composing his hit Thinking Out Loud, a US court has ruled. The Grammy-winning Suffolk boy, who had threatened to quit music if he was found guilty, told waiting crowds: “It looks like I’m not going to have to retire from my day job after all.” Tube and rail passengers across the country will hear a special message recorded by the King and Queen while travelling this weekend (listen here). “My wife and I wish you and your families a wonderful Coronation weekend,” says Charles. “And remember, please mind the gap.”


Photographer Brad Walls has used aerial drones to capture dancers from the English National Ballet from a new perspective. Hovering his camera above the performers, he was able to hone in on harmonious shapes ordinarily invisible to ballet audiences. After the success of his first attempt, Walls is now snapping the New York City Ballet and the Australian Ballet from similar angles, to incorporate into a coffee table book. See more of his shots here.

Quirk of history

An invitation for the public to swear allegiance to King Charles during the coronation has provoked significant controversy, says The Oldie – and not for the first time. At William the Conqueror’s coronation on Christmas Day 1066, the “Norman goons” posted outside Westminster Abbey were “spooked by the noise of the Anglo-Saxon congregation noisily transferring their allegiance”. Suspecting an uprising, they started setting fire to nearby houses, “smoking out the people in the Abbey and causing a riot”.

Tomorrow’s world

Every hour, across the world, around 742,000 male chicks are born, says Vox. A few hours later, they’re “tossed into a grinder, which kills them instantly, or gassed with carbon dioxide”. The rationale for this poultry mass-murder – some 6.5 billion birds a year – is simple: males don’t lay eggs, and the breeds used for egg-laying don’t grow big or fast enough to be used for chicken meat. But new technology is allowing scientists to identify the chick’s sex while it’s still in the egg, so that the males can be disposed of before they hatch. Up to 20% of Europe’s hen flock now comes from “cull-free hatcheries” that use this method.


Mixologists at chichi cocktail bars are tinkering with the recipes of classic cocktails to include olive oil and vinegar, says Robb Report. Connoisseurs claim the unusual ingredients add “silkiness” to drinks like the sherry cobbler and the negroni, giving them a “velvety mouthfeel”. One bartender at New York’s swanky Jac’s on Bond combines balsamic vinegar with tomato and basil-infused vodka to create a “caprese martini”. “All the flavours in the drink harmonise so beautifully,” he says, “the same way they do when it’s plated as a salad.”

From the archives

Remastered footage of Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation in 1953 shows the moment she was first crowned, as well as shots of her carriage and procession, in full technicolour. See the full clip here.


It’s a 30ft-tall phallic iceberg, spotted floating in the aptly named Conception Bay off the coast of Newfoundland. Canadian photographer Ken Pretty, who fittingly hails from the town of Dildo, snapped a shot of the chilly willy using an aerial camera. “Looking from the land, it wasn’t quite clear,” Pretty told The Guardian. “But once I got the drone out there, it was unreal how much it looked like – well, you know…”


Quote 5.5.23

“A marriage is always made up of two people who are prepared to swear that only the other one snores.”

Terry Pratchett