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5 September

In the headlines

Hype over the weight-loss drug Wegovy, which went on sale in the UK yesterday, is causing a “genuine threat to patient safety” because of possible misuse, the chairwoman of the Royal College of GPs tells The Times. Novo Nordisk, the Danish company which makes the medication, has become the most valuable firm in Europe, dethroning the French luxury group LVMH. Kim Jong-un will visit Vladimir Putin in Moscow to discuss selling weapons to the Kremlin, according to US intelligence officials. North Korea’s stocks of artillery shells and anti-tank missiles would come in useful for the Russian army, which is trying to repel a Ukrainian counter-offensive. Burning Man attendees have finally started to leave the festival, having been stranded for days after heavy rains turned the Neveda desert into mud. The twice-postponed burning of the “man”, a wooden effigy, took place yesterday evening.


The Natural History Museum’s Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition has given The Atlantic a preview of some of this year’s highly commended images. They include ghost goby fish swimming through a bright coral reef in Indonesia; a bison kicking up flurries of snow in America’s Yellowstone National Park; a Mediterranean monk seal off the coast of Greece; and a snow leopard hunting a Pallas’s cat in China. See the rest here.

The great escape

The practice of “skiplagging” – booking a flight with a layover in the city that’s your real destination, and not getting on the second leg – can often be cheaper than buying a direct ticket. But it could land you in trouble, says The New York Times: airlines usually prohibit the practice in their “contracts of carriage”, and getting busted can result in a lifetime ban or the loss of all your airmiles. For those willing to take the risk, two of the most popular sites on which to search for these hidden deals are Kiwi and Skiplagged.

Gone viral

This video of Polish skydiver Maja Kuczyńska appearing to walk through the air – and perform an ambulatory loop-the-loop – has racked up nearly four million views on X (formerly Twitter). See more of the 23-year-old Pole’s airborne acrobatics here.

Quirk of history

In 1948, says Vintage Everyday, a restaurant in Los Angeles introduced an innovative new drive-through system: a series of conveyor belts leading from the kitchen to the car park. Drivers would write down their order, stick it in a small, rail-mounted bin, and press a button to whizz it over to the chefs. They were sent the bill as their dishes were being prepared; once that had been settled, the food and any change would be sent back down the rails. The best part? As a sign on the building made clear: “no tipping”.


The first Danish edition of Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 was given a different title to reflect local sensibilities, says QI on X (formerly Twitter). It was called 233° Celsius.


Olaf Scholz, the German Chancellor, is wearing a black eye patch to cover injuries he sustained after falling during a jog. It “looks worse than it is”, he wrote on social media, adding that he was “excited to see the memes”. The 65-year-old’s spokesman said the photo was released “so that everyone can get used to how he will look in the next week or two”.


quoted 5.9.23

“A work of art does not answer questions, it provokes them.”

Leonard Bernstein