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8 November

In the headlines

Met Police chief Mark Rowley has rejected calls to ban a pro-Palestine march in London on Armistice Day, saying there is insufficient evidence that the demonstration would risk “serious public disorder”. Labour frontbencher Imran Hussain has resigned over Keir Starmer’s refusal to support a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas. Reaction in Westminster to the King’s Speech yesterday ranges from “kind of muted to quietly scathing”, says Politico. The Daily Mail describes many of the proposals – such as a crackdown on London’s rickshaws – as “either insubstantial, trivial or narrowly technocratic”. The Euclid telescope, which is aiming to create the largest cosmic 3D map ever made, has beamed back its first images. They include the Horsehead Nebula; a spiral galaxy; and the Perseus Cluster, a gathering of over 100,000 galaxies in one frame.

Nice work if you can get it

Scottish rail bosses are looking for trainee drivers for one of the world’s most scenic train routes, says the BBC. ScotRail says new hires would be based in Fort William, and regularly travel the West Highland Line – famous for featuring the Glenfinnan Viaduct that appeared in the Harry Potter films. The route also includes Corrour, the UK’s highest (1,339ft above sea level) and most remote station, which appeared in 1996’s Trainspotting. No previous experience is required, but the successful candidate must be at least 20. Apply here.

On the way up

The figures behind the so-called “youthquake” in Africa are truly astonishing, says The New York Times. While birthrates are “tumbling” in richer nations, Africa’s population is expected to double over the next quarter-century, to 2.5 billion. In 1950, Africans made up 8% of humanity; by 2050, it’ll be 25% – including a third of all 15 to 24-year-olds.


“Sorry, city boys!” says Vogue. The padded gilets so beloved by bankers have now been “co-opted by the fashion crowd”. Sleeveless puffer jackets were all over the front row this fashion week, and if you take a walk around central London right now you can expect to pass “at least half a dozen stylish, gilet-clad individuals”, who also look toasty warm. “Who said fashion and practicality had to be mutually exclusive?”

On the way out

After more than 30 years of The Simpsons, Homer has stopped strangling his son Bart when he gets angry. Though the long-running gag was quietly axed in series 31, before the pandemic, it was only acknowledged on-screen in a recent episode in which Homer says: “Times have changed.” My own young children were distraught about it, says Stuart Heritage in The Guardian, but I explained that a father strangling his son may not be the best TV trope. “They suggested that Homer could punch Bart instead, or maybe throw him around a bit.”


Last week, Israel used its Arrow missile-defence system to shoot down a rocket outside of Earth’s atmosphere – the first combat ever to take place in space. The ballistic missile was launched from Yemen by the Iran-backed Houthi rebels, and flew almost 1,000 miles over the Arabian peninsula towards the Israeli port city of Eilat. Who would have thought, says Eurasia Group analyst Gregory Brew on X (formerly Twitter), that Yemenis would be involved in the world’s first “space combat”?


They’re Nike’s new £45 trainers for babies learning to walk. The footwear company claims its Swoosh 1 shoes “help support our earliest walkers as they take their first steps”. But podiatrists say infants are better off learning to walk barefoot or in socks, so they can feel the ground beneath their feet. Shoes “can offer protection”, Rob Payne, from the London Podiatry Centre, tells The Daily Telegraph, “but introducing them too early may potentially hinder a baby’s gait development”. 👟😵



“The colonised person is a persecuted person who constantly dreams of becoming the persecutor.”

Philosopher Frantz Fanon