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6 November

In the headlines

Israeli troops could enter Gaza City today, having effectively divided the Palestinian territory in two. The military says its forces are carrying out a “significant operation” in the north of the enclave, but that a route remains open for civilians to flee to the south. Elon Musk has launched an AI chatbot. The billionaire businessman says Grok, his rival to services like ChatGPT, has real-time access to X, formerly Twitter, and “loves” sarcasm. “I have no idea who could have guided it this way 🤷‍♂️🤣.” Britain’s loneliest sheep has been rescued, after over two years stranded at the foot of coastal cliffs in the Scottish Highlands. The ewe, named Fiona, was hauled up a steep slope by five farmers, but is now in hiding because of a dispute over where she should be rehomed.


Winners of this year’s Mangrove Photography Awards include pictures of a very well disguised potoo bird on a tree in Colombia; the steely gaze of a Royal Bengal tigress in India; a juvenile lemon shark patrolling shallow waters in the Bahamas; a fisherman navigating a web of roots in Vietnam; and a baby golden-spotted mudskipper poking its head above the water in Thailand. See the full list here.

Inside politics

The best illustration of what Dominic Cummings was like in No 10, says Nadine Dorries in The Mail on Sunday, is the way he sacked Sonia Khan, an aide to then Chancellor Sajid Javid. A source tells me Cummings met Khan in a very small room “in what had once been the men’s loo”. He came in, shut the door, and asked to see her phone. After flicking through her messages, he walked across the lobby to a room “filled with No 10 aides”, and shouted to his secretary to get security. When Khan asked what was going on, he shushed the aides so they were all listening, then said to her: “You’re fired. You aren’t working in here for one more minute.” She was escorted out by an armed police officer. Journalists were told Khan had leaked information about Brexit to the press, but she sued for wrongful dismissal and received a five-figure settlement.

On the money

By the final season of Friends, the six stars were each making a whopping $1,100,040 an episode. And it was basically all thanks to David Schwimmer, says The Guardian. The six were paid the same – $22,500 a show – for the first series. But in season two, Schwimmer and Jennifer Aniston earned more because of growing interest in their characters’ relationship. For season three, Schwimmer “decided it was time to club together”, and convinced Aniston to join him in taking a pay cut so they could all earn the same. In his autobiography, Matthew Perry wrote that he effectively owed his former co-star “about $30m”.

On the way up

Home schooling, “once confined to the ideological fringe”, is becoming increasingly popular in the US, says The Washington Post. In the 32 states where data is available, the “largely unregulated practice” has increased by 51% over the past six years, meaning as many as 2.7 million children now receive their education at home rather than school. Many parents began home-schooling their kids during the pandemic, and – contrary to predictions – didn’t return them to the school system once Covid restrictions were lifted.

Gone viral

Antidepressants or Tolkien is a simple online game, says The Hustle: you have to decide whether a word is the name of a prescription drug or a character from The Hobbit or The Lord of the Rings. Ticklers include Azafen, Elronon and Narmacil. Take the 24-question quiz yourself here.


It’s a Ferrari SF90 Stradale – equipped with three electric motors and a V8 engine – which has sold so well that the firm has for the first time shifted more hybrid vehicles than pure petrol models. In the three months to September, 51% of models delivered by the iconic Italian carmaker were hybrids, up from 43% in the previous quarter, and 19% a year ago. The luxury marque says it is planning its first fully electric sports car by 2025, and aiming to go entirely carbon neutral by 2030.



“One machine can do the work of 50 ordinary men. No machine can do the work of one extraordinary man.”

American writer Elbert Hubbard