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9 November

In the headlines

“Anger as PM skips sleaze showdown in Commons,” says The Times, after Boris Johnson yesterday visited a hospital in Northumberland instead of attending an emergency debate on MPs’ standards. “Just say sorry for the mess, Prime Minister,” says The Daily Express. More than 11,000 people have caught Covid in hospitals and died after being admitted for other illnesses, says The Daily Telegraph. An injured caver trapped under the Brecon Beacons for two days was clapped and cheered as he was finally rescued. “He’s doing remarkably well when you consider how long he’s been in a cave,” said one of his 250 rescuers. 

Comment of the day


The battle on Europe’s border

Three very different corners of Europe are setting a “disturbing” trend for how rich countries treat climate migrants, says Daniel Trilling in The Guardian. The UK is quietly trying to amend its already “draconian” border laws to give officials immunity from prosecution if they “fail to save lives” at sea. Poland has passed an emergency law letting authorities push back refugees – the latest move in a stand-off with Belarus, which has been “cynically” shipping thousands of asylum seekers from Iraq, Iran and Africa to Poland’s freezing border in revenge for EU sanctions.


Gone viral

A video of Jeff Bezos’s girlfriend cosying up to Leonardo DiCaprio has racked up more than 17 million views on Twitter. Users were convinced that Lauren Sanchez was flirting with the actor, but Bezos wasn’t fussed. He replied with a photo of himself, topless, leaning over a sign saying: “Danger! Steep cliff. Fatal drop.” Bezos added a caption: “Leo, come over here, I want to show you something…” I wouldn’t want to get on the wrong side of the founder of Amazon, wrote one Twitter user: “Leo’s never getting a package on time again.” 

On the money

A botched £14m IT upgrade that led to reduced production at the Walkers factory in Leicester has resulted in a national crisp shortage, as consumers stockpile their favourite snack. A bag of Walkers salt and vinegar crisps, which usually costs about 60p, has been listed on eBay “for a whopping £6.89”, says Holly Mead in The Sun. 


You can count on Tate Britain to cock things up, says The Sunday Times’s art critic Waldemar Januszczak. The curators of its Hogarth exhibition have captioned every one of the featured artworks with “wokeish drivel”. Under a self-portrait of Hogarth in a mahogany chair, for example, they ask: “Could the chair also stand in for all those unnamed black and brown people enabling the society that supports his vigorous creativity?” Yes, I suppose it could. “But trust me, Tate curators, that was not the intention.”

On the way out (of the country)

NHS X-rays, which are increasingly being sent to Australia and New Zealand for analysis. Up to 14% of scans are being outsourced because of staff shortages and “record-long post-pandemic waiting lists”, says the FT. A third of consultant clinical radiologist posts in Britain are unfilled. 


Quoted 09-11

“Nine-tenths of wisdom is being wise in time.”

Theodore Roosevelt

Data update

Britons spent more than £6.6bn on pandemic purchases they now regret, according to a study by insurance firm Aviva. Nine out of 10 people splashed out on “treats” during the pandemic, at a collective cost of £57.6bn. One in 20 UK adults bought a hot tub, one in eight a musical instrument. The report found that 8% of buyers never used what they bought, with a further 9% saying they did so at first, but don’t any more.