Britain has accused Vladimir Putin of “choking off” gas supplies into Europe, hiking energy prices, in an attempt to bully the EU into accepting his controversial Nord Stream 2 pipeline. Russia’s deputy PM, Alexander Novak, says approval of the pipeline would help “cool off” soaring prices. “Vlad’s Putin up gas bills,” says Metro. The Saudi government has bought Newcastle United football club for £305m, ending the contentious 14-year ownership of Sports Direct tycoon Mike Ashley. “The Saudis aren’t the first wrong-uns to own a Premier League team,” says Politico. Dodgy foreign billionaires have been snapping up clubs for years. Now we’ve got “beheaders on the pitch”.
Noma won top spot at this year’s World’s 50 Best Restaurants awards for the fifth time, with another Copenhagen eatery, Geranium, taking second place. British restaurants the Clove Club and Lyle’s came 32nd and 33rd. “Call me a sore loser,” says William Sitwell in the Telegraph, but that list is “overwhelmingly food as theatre”. The best of British dining “has no froths, smears, spherification and not a damn 12-course tasting menu in sight”.
Millennial gangsters in New York have gone soft, say their boomer bosses. Court papers relating to the prosecution of 87-year-old mobster Andrew “Mush” Russo reveal that young mafiosi threaten their victims via text instead of face to face, and lack the stomach for real violence. “Everything is on the phones with them,” grumbled an older mobster.
Shanetta Little arrived at her recently bought home in New Jersey to find the locks changed and a red and green flag hanging from a window. Inside, reports The New York Times, was a member of one of America’s fastest-growing extremist groups: the “Moorish sovereign citizen movement”. Its hundreds of thousands of black members believe that, because of slavery, they are “foreign citizens bound only by arcane legal systems” – and many claim ownership of people’s homes. Little eventually ousted her intruder with the help of a Swat team.
On the money
Opium cultivation in Afghanistan soared during the US occupation, says The Washington Post, rising from 8,000 hectares in 2001 to 224,000 in 2020. Afghanistan now produces more than 80% of the world’s opium and its drug trade “may become a greater threat than terrorism”.
Andrew Lloyd Webber found the 2019 film adaption of Cats so traumatising that he bought a dog. And the composer has found a way to take his “little Havanese puppy” on flights – by claiming he needs it as a “therapy dog”. When an airline asked for proof, he tells Variety, “I said, ‘Yes, just see what Hollywood did to my musical Cats’”. Approval came straight back, with a note saying: “No doctor’s report required.”
“Selfishness must always be forgiven you know, because there is no hope of a cure.”
It’s a floating sauna with Alpine views, moored on Lake Geneva. Created by Danish product designer Trolle Rudebeck Haar, it’s made from local Douglas fir wood, has room for three people and can only be reached by swimming.