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17 June

In the headlines

Fully vaccinated Britons could travel to amber-list countries and not have to quarantine upon return, according to government plans seen by the Telegraph. At least 33 countries, including Germany, France and Greece, already apply the same exemption to travellers. President Biden “politely” read the riot act to Vladimir Putin at the pair’s summit in Geneva, says the FT. He told the Russian leader there would be “devastating” consequences if Alexei Navalny dies in prison. Putin described the three-and-a-half-hour meeting as “constructive”. Health Secretary Matt Hancock was asked by a journalist if he agreed with Dominic Cummings’s assessment of him as “hopeless”. “I don’t think so,” he replied, before his car drove off. 

Comment of the day


Inside politics

Dominic Cummings’s latest Substack post sheds light on Boris Johnson’s approach to running meetings, which are full of jokes and rambling stories. “As soon as things get ‘a bit embarrassing’,” Cummings says, the PM “does the whole ‘let’s take it offline’ shtick before shouting ‘forward to victory’, doing a thumbs-up and pegging it out of the room before anybody can disagree”. Cummings also suggested that Johnson plans to leave office a couple of years after the next election so he can “make money and have fun”.

On the money

Coca-Cola’s share price dropped by £2.8bn after Cristiano Ronaldo appeared to snub the fizzy drink at a Euro 2020 press conference. The Portuguese football star, who has 299 million Instagram followers, moved two bottles of Coke aside as he sat down, then brandished a bottle of water and declared: “Agua!” Coca-Cola is one of the tournament’s official sponsors. A spokesperson for the Euros said: “Everyone is entitled to their drink preferences.” 

Gone viral

Novak Djokovic gives a young fan his racket after winning the French Open on Sunday. It was the Serbian tennis player’s 19th Grand Slam title, but he claimed he couldn’t have done it without the help of a boy in the front row. “I don’t know the boy, but he was in my ear the entire match, especially when I was two sets to love down, he was encouraging me. He was actually giving me tactics as well. He was, like, ‘Hold your serve. Get an easy first ball and then dictate. Go to his backhand.’” 


Airbnb has a secret safety team that spends $50m a year to keep disastrous stories out of the press, says Olivia Carville in Bloomberg Businessweek. An Australian woman was paid $7m not to “imply responsibility or liability” after allegedly being raped at a rental apartment in New York in 2016. Other reported cover-ups include a payment to the family of a woman murdered by a security guard at an Airbnb in Costa Rica in 2018.

Eating in

Wacky food and drink, including salted caramel cheese, Jaffa Cake gin and foot-long sausage rolls, is on the rise, says Harry Wallop in the Daily Mail. It’s because our daily calorie consumption dropped by 98 for men and 10 for women between 2008 and 2019. As we are all eating more healthily, the food industry is battling for a further “share of stomach” with queasy novelties such as double-decker pizzas. “No new flavour or format is too outré to foist on the public.”  


Quoted 17-06

“We know what happens to people who stay in the middle of the road. They get run over.”

Aneurin Bevan

Snapshot answer

It’s an Egyptian vulture, which has been spotted in the UK for the first time in 150 years. The “incredibly rare” bird of prey was seen in the Isles of Scilly this week and is thought to have travelled here from France. Only two other sightings have been recorded in the UK – one in Somerset in 1825 and one in Essex in 1868.