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5 October

In the headlines

“Hello literally everyone,” Twitter’s official account tweeted last night, as the six-hour outage for Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram drove internet users to alternative platforms. The people trying to fix the problem “couldn’t even physically get into the building”, says The New York Times. The disruption caused Mark Zuckerberg’s net worth to plummet by $6bn. Wage rises alone won’t solve Britain’s “chronic” labour shortages, writes Brexiteer Lord Wolfson in the Evening Standard. Immigration is the answer. Nonsense, said Boris Johnson on Radio 4’s Today this morning (when Nick Robinson wasn’t talking over him): shortages are a sign of “economic robustness”. The PM has admitted that only 127 European tanker drivers have so far been tempted by emergency work visas.  

Comment of the day




Thousands of Germans living in the UK have been sent letters asking them to drive lorries, as German driving licences issued before 1999 are automatically valid for trucks weighing up to 7.5 tonnes. Not everyone is keen on a career change. “We were quite surprised,” a 41-year-old man told The Independent. “I’m sure pay and conditions for HGV drivers have improved, but ultimately I have decided to carry on in my role at an investment bank.”

Eating in

Pea milk is on the rise, says The Hustle, with its global market value expected to rocket to $251.2m by 2027. But it’s not made by “mashing a bunch of peas”. In her book Technically Food, journalist Larissa Zimberoff says peas are shipped to a manufacturing plant – often in China – where the molecules are split into protein, fibre and starch. The milk is then made from a pea protein powder. “You’ll probably be really popular at parties if you share that factoid.”

Gone viral

Dramatic new drone footage shows lava flowing out of the erupting volcano on La Palma, in the Canary Islands, says ITV. The north side of the crater collapsed on Sunday night, causing another stream of molten rock to cascade down to the sea. The lava has formed an 80-acre rocky peninsula in the Atlantic. 

Tomorrow’s world

Each year gravity nudges the Moon about an inch and a half away from Earth, says Marina Koren in The Atlantic. There is no way of stopping this – it’s expected to drift steadily away from us for ever. That sounds like a protracted break-up, but scientists have a delightful term for the phenomenon: lunar retreat. “I’d prefer to imagine the Moon enjoying itself at a relaxing getaway, bending its rocky body into various yoga poses, rather than slowly ghosting Earth.” 


Quoted 05-10

“Nobody ever wrote a good book simply by collecting a number of accurate facts and valid ideas.”

Rebecca West

Snapshot answer

It’s Mick Jagger. The Rolling Stones frontman visited a bar while touring in North Carolina last week and went completely unrecognised. He then posted a photo of his visit on Twitter. The Thirsty Beaver Saloon’s co-owner, Brian Wilson, told CNN that some of the drinkers standing unawares a few feet away had paid “upwards of $400” to go to the gig the following night.