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7 January

In the headlines

Donald Trump held “a dagger to the throat of democracy” during last year’s riot in the US Capitol, President Biden said yesterday on the anniversary of the unrest. Trump will find it easier to overturn the next election, says The New York Times. Many of the swing state officials who rebuffed his efforts in 2020 have been replaced by partisan Republicans who “openly say the last election was fraudulent”. The squeeze on UK living standards this year “could well be worse than the financial crisis”, says economist Paul Johnson. Inflation is already at 5.1%, its highest level in a decade, says the Telegraph. The Muslim bachelor who advertised for a wife on giant billboards around Birmingham has now received more than 1,000 applications. Former accountant Muhammad Malik, 29, told Good Morning Britain he “might have to use a spreadsheet” to whittle the list down.

Comment of the day


Lithuania is the bravest country in Europe

Lithuania is “one of the poorest and smallest” countries in the European Union, says Ian Birrell in the I newspaper. But it’s far braver than other Western democracies at standing up to Russia. “Inspired by dark memories of Soviet communism”, the country promotes human rights in Russia and offers sanctuary to Belarusian pro-democracy protesters. All the while, Russian troops carry out intimidating military exercises, “practising for invasion”.

 On the way back

Goths, with their all-black outfits and pallid faces, are making a comeback as a reaction against “the preening, gym-honed, Instagram-filtered perfection of the 2010s”, says Rachel Hall in The Guardian. So-called “hot goth girlfriends” like Kourtney Kardashian and Megan Fox are all over social media, while shopping platform Lyst reports spikes in searches for classic goth gear like chokers and fishnet tops.


A newly discovered tropical tree has been given the Latin name Uvariopsis dicaprio, in honour of actor and environmentalist Leonardo DiCaprio. The tree, which is small with glossy yellow flowers, only grows in the remote Ebo Forest in Cameroon, says New Scientist. Lobbying by DiCaprio helped stave off government plans to open up the forest to logging.

Global update

An Italian mafia boss on the run for 20 years has been arrested after being spotted on Google Street View. Investigators already suspected that Gioacchino Gammino had been living in Spain since escaping prison in 2002, says Vice. The Google picture, of the 61-year-old standing outside his grocery shop, confirmed their suspicions and helped them track the fugitive down. “How did you find me?” Gammino reportedly told officers. “I haven’t even called my family for 10 years!”


The popular phrase “no worries” been added to an annual list of “ineffective, baffling or irritating” sayings by Lake Superior State University in Michigan, says CNN. The phrase is used incorrectly by young people in place of “you’re welcome”. One judge said: “If I’m not worried, I don’t want anybody telling me not to worry.”


Quoted 7.1

“I’ve polled 1,000 women asking if they would sleep with Boris. Twenty per cent said: ‘Never again’.”

The pollster Frank Luntz, a university contemporary of the prime minister

Tomorrow’s world

“If you’ve ever felt indecisive about what colour vehicle to buy, BMW may have the car for you,” says The Verge. The automaker has unveiled a colour-changing BMW iX at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. The concept car is covered with “E Ink”, the same technology used for the pages of e-books like Amazon’s Kindle.