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3 June

In the headlines

Boris Johnson has “failed a generation of children”, says his outgoing educational recovery tsar. Kevan Collins resigned after the PM promised schools an extra £1.4bn. Collins had asked for £15bn. The government’s proposed funding works out at £50 extra per pupil per year, compared to £1,600 in the US and £2,500 in the Netherlands. A multi-party coalition has reached a deal to oust Israel’s PM, Benjamin Netanyahu. A few Caribbean islands could be added to the holiday green list today. But don’t hold your breath for France, Italy, Greece or Spain, says Politico. 

Critical race theory

The assault on western liberalism

To understand the moral panic about “white supremacy”, says Andrew Sullivan in The Weekly Dish, we first have to define its intellectual bedrock, “critical race theory”. That isn’t easy, because it’s full of jargon and “deliberately impenetrable”. But its target is clear: the core ideas that form the foundation of liberal democracy. Among these ideas are “fallibilism”, the belief that anyone can be wrong; and objectivity, the rejection of any theory that cannot “be proven or disproven by reality”.

Inside politics

No one is more surprised by Theresa May’s £100,000-a-pop speechmaking career than Donald Trump, says Piers Morgan in The Spectator. When I told him how much the former PM earned from each talk, “he exploded into mocking laughter and spluttered: ‘Are you kidding me? I’d pay £100,000 not to hear her talk!’”

Tomorrow’s world

There are plans afoot to build the world’s largest and deepest pool near Newquay, Cornwall. Its purpose? To train astronauts. It will be used to simulate the International Space Station and cave systems, stage aquatic film sets and test underwater robotics. The £150m pool will be 50 metres long and 50 metres deep, and will hold as much water as 17 Olympic swimming pools. 

On the money

Yemeni fishermen have found a huge lump of ambergris – a whale secretion used to make perfume – in a sperm whale’s carcass. It weighed 127kg and was worth more than £1m. The 35 men have split the proceeds and donated funds to needy people in their village. Many plan to get married or buy a house with their share. “The smell wasn’t very nice… but lots of money,” said one.


Quoted 03-06

“If everything on earth were rational, nothing would happen.”

Fyodor Dostoevsky 

Snapshot answer

It’s a 1960 Jaguar XK150 S that has just been sold for $127,552 at auction. This is a rare “drophead” model: only 50 were ever produced. It remained in a garage, untouched, after a former owner crashed it into a tree in 1996, wrecking it. “The car is still in a salvageable condition,” claimed the auction house’s listing, “and offers enormous potential as a rewarding project car.”