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7 November

In the headlines

A cheap pill that will prevent thousands of women from developing breast cancer has been approved for use by the NHS. Around 300,000 higher-risk women will be eligible for anastrozole, which costs just 4p a day and has been shown to roughly halve the chances of developing the disease if taken for five years. Israel will have “overall security responsibility” for Gaza for an “indefinite period” after the war, Benjamin Netanyahu has said. In an interview with ABC, Israel’s prime minister also rejected calls for a ceasefire unless hostages were released, but said “tactical little pauses, an hour here, an hour there”, may be possible. Socialite and interior designer Nicky Haslam has unveiled his latest list of things he finds “common”. This year’s selection, printed as always on a tea towel, includes strawberries, podcasts, remote-controlled lawnmowers, Grayson Perry, “Aperol anything”, and saying “more-ish”. See the full list here.

The great escape

Edoardo Flores, a retired UN worker from Italy, has amassed a collection of more than 15,000 “Do Not Disturb” signs from hotels around the world. They include a donut-shaped number from Kenya, complete with snoozing leopard; a circular hanger from a hotel in St Moritz; a cat in a basket-shaped sign from China; and a tag from 1920s Germany with a smiley bellboy holding shut a hotel room door. See more here.

Inside politics

After Benjamin Netanyahu’s brother Yoni died in the 1976 Entebbe hostage rescue, says Scott Long on X (formerly Twitter), the family recruited Max Hastings to write an official biography. In his 2000 memoir Going to the Wars, Hastings recalled sitting at Benjamin’s dinner table listening, in his words, “with crawling dismay” to him talk about the future of Israel. “In the next war, if we do it right, we’ll have a chance to get all the Arabs out,” said the future Israeli PM. “We can clear the West Bank, sort out Jerusalem.” Discussing Israel’s Golani Brigade, which contained many North African and Yemenite Jews, Netanyahu joked: “They’re okay as long as they’re led by white officers.”


Hundreds of Taylor Swift fans in Argentina have been camped out – literally, in tents – at the Buenos Aires River Plate Stadium since June, hoping to secure a spot as close to the stage as possible at her three gigs this week. Most of the campers have general admission floor tickets, says Pitchfork, and they occupy the tents on a carefully planned rotation, with their total camping time logged by self-appointed administrators. “The longer you’ve been in a tent, the higher the chances of being one of the first in line.” On matchdays at the football stadium, police erect a little barrier around the intrepid Swifties.

From the archives

To mark his forthcoming move to Miami, Jeff Bezos has shared a home video, shot by his father in around 1994, of the original Amazon headquarters: his garage in Seattle. Bezos points out his (extremely cluttered) desk, the fax machine, and the cables he rigged up because the garage didn’t have enough power for all his kit. Amazon is now worth $1.45trn. Watch the full clip here.


Thanks to the rise of working from home, more and more Americans have relocated to small towns “far from their big-city employer”, says Insider. For the days they do grace the office, they’re “super commuting” over huge distances. Tech worker Lee Robinson, for instance, takes two flights and an Uber to get from his home in Iowa to his workplace in San Francisco, a journey he does once or twice a month. It takes seven and a half hours door to door, “on a good day”.


It’s a golden loo that was stolen from Blenheim Palace in 2019, a cloakroom crime for which four men have now been charged. The 18-carat khazi, valued at £4.8m, was part of an exhibition by Italian conceptual artist Maurizio Cattelan entitled America. It was fully plumbed-in – visitors to the Oxfordshire pile could use it, as long as they kept their visit to under three minutes – so its theft caused extensive flooding. The top-tier toilet has never been found.


Quoted 07-11-23

“You’re not drunk if you can lie on the floor without holding on.”

Dean Martin