Skip to main content
The Knowledge logo

9 May

In the headlines

Pharmacies in England will be allowed to prescribe antibiotics and antivirals for sore throats, earache and other common illnesses, as part of a plan to free up nearly 30,000 GP appointments a day. Patients will also be able to book physiotherapy sessions without having to see their family doctor first. Vladimir Putin has said the world is at a “decisive turning point” in remarks at a Victory Day parade in Moscow this morning. The event, commemorating the defeat of Nazi Germany, came after Russia launched its biggest drone attack yet on Ukraine, on Sunday night. The official Coronation portraits have been released by Buckingham Palace (below). Zoom in on the Queen’s dress, says Valentine Low in The Times, and you’ll see embroidered golden dogs near the hem – “a tribute to her rescue Jack Russells, Beth and Bluebell”.


Among the many sights of Japan, some require you “to look down when you walk”, says My Modern Met. Since 1980, the country has decorated its manhole covers in a bid to encourage local tourism. Scrap metal is melted into a circle and meticulously painted by hand, with designs featuring everything from Mount Fuji to Pokémon characters. See more of the colourful coverings here.

Inside politics

Keir Starmer’s claim that last week’s local election results put his party on course for a thumping election win are total nonsense, says William Hague in The Times. And I speak “from my own electoral experience”. Analysts put Labour’s lead at about 7% on a national basis, which certainly sounds impressive. But when I was Tory leader in 2000, we won the local elections with an 8% lead over Tony Blair’s Labour. “You might recall that Blair did not have much difficulty beating me in the general election the following year.”


There’s one photograph from the coronation that “blows almost every other arresting image of the Coronation out of the water”, says Celia Walden in The Daily Telegraph. It’s of the Princess of Wales arriving at Westminster Abbey, giving a look that is both “stately and unwavering” – a look that confirms her transformation from “Waity Katie” to “perfect Princess”. How does this “daughter of two party planners from Berkshire” get it so right? It’s not just that she follows the royal mantra: never complain, never explain. It’s that no one has the faintest clue what she’s thinking: what makes her happy or sad, what she really thinks about Prince Harry. “Who else in public life can we say that about?” In our emotionally incontinent world, it’s a truly winning trait.

Gone viral

TikTok creator @TanaraDoubleChocolate has carved out a quirky niche, says Eater: narrating other people’s terrible cooking videos. Among the most disturbing concoctions are a DIY microwave lasagne made with rice, ketchup and mayonnaise; macaroni cheese mixed together – in a sink – with bags and bags of grated cheese; and a terrifying-looking burger face, with an egg yolk for its eyes and mouth. She typically begins or ends her videos enthusing: “Everybody’s so creative.” Watch her in action here.

On the money

If you ever want investment advice, you could do worse than asking ChatGPT, says the FT. Analysts at the comparison website Finder asked the AI chatbot to create a theoretical fund of more than 30 company stocks, based on a range of investing principles taken from leading money managers. Eight weeks in, the AI’s portfolio has risen a very healthy 4.9%. Over the same period, the 10 most popular funds on UK platform Interactive Investor have suffered an average loss of 0.8%.


It’s Mark Zuckerberg on his way to winning gold and silver medals at his first Brazilian jiu-jitsu tournament, in Redwood City, California. The 38-year-old Facebook founder got into the sport during the pandemic, and now competes with a team called Guerrilla Jiu Jitsu. He’s not the only celebrity fan of the martial art, says The Guardian: Ashton Kutcher took it up a decade ago and has a brown belt; Jason Statham has a purple belt; and Tom Hardy has won competitions in Wolverhampton and Milton Keynes.


quote 9.5.23

“Rage and frenzy will pull down more in half an hour than prudence, deliberation, and foresight can build up in a hundred years.”

Edmund Burke