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8 February

In the headlines

Volodymyr Zelensky is visiting Britain today, in only his third overseas trip since the Russian invasion. The Ukrainian president has already spoken with Rishi Sunak at No 10, and will later address parliament and meet the King. A newborn baby girl in northern Syria has been rescued from the rubble of the region’s recent earthquakes. The World Health Organisation estimates that the total death toll from the disaster could exceed 20,000. Fawlty Towers is being revived. More than 40 years after the sitcom first aired, a new series is set to begin filming next year. John Cleese will return as an older Basil Fawlty trying to run a boutique hotel with his daughter – played by Cleese’s own child Camilla.


Tokyo-based artist Kohei Matsuno makes “3D latte art”, using foam and chocolate powder to adorn his caffeinated creations. Check out his Instagram here.

Quirk of history

The draughts you get in Victorian houses were “a feature, not a bug”, of their construction, says The Economist. Many fireplaces were converted from burning coal to “town gas”, a “potentially lethal combination of carbon monoxide and hydrogen”. The priority for new homes, therefore, was to “get pollutants out rather than keep heat in”.


Korean car firm Hyundai has launched a UK ad campaign teaching people how to pronounce its name properly: instead of the commonly used “hy-un-dai”, it should really be “hyun-day”. CNBC has gathered a few more commonly mispronounced global brands, including Bvlgari (“bool-gah-ree”), Givenchy (“zhee-vahn-shee”), Porsche, (“por-sha”), Nike (“nai-key”), and Moët & Chandon (“mow-et ey shon-don”). Find out how many more you’ve been getting wrong here.

Gone viral

Tiktokers have entered their “deinfluencing era”, says Dazed. Whereas influencers used to peddle pricey products to their followers for a hefty cut, many are now building audiences by telling people what not to buy. Videos tagged #deinfluencing have racked up more than 100 million views, with creators staring into the lens and warning: “Do not get the Ugg Minis”, “Do not get the Dyson Airwrap”, and so on. Many cite waste and environmental damage as the motivation for their cautionary clips, showing images of overspilling landfills and floating plastic in the ocean. “I’m deinfluencing you,” reads the caption on one video. “No more over-consumption or else 💣💥!😡😤”.

Inside politics

Forming new government departments, as Rishi Sunak did yesterday, can be a minefield, says Paul Waugh in the I newspaper. After the 2005 election, Tony Blair told Alan Johnson he’d be heading up the Department of Productivity, Energy, Industry and Science. The moment Johnson wrote down the acronym – “P… En… I… S…” – he realised it was a “PR disaster in the making”. The “Ministry of Manhood” was swiftly scrapped.


They’re clothes that protect you from being logged by facial recognition software. The Italian start-up Cap_able has used AI to develop patterns known as “adversarial patches”, says Dezeen. When knitted into a garment, they trick cameras into thinking you’re an animal by mimicking, for example, giraffe and zebra prints. Buy yours here.


quoted 8.2.23

“I’ve always thought that my books are more interesting than my life. Unfortunately, the world appears to disagree.”

Salman Rushdie