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2 February

In the headlines

The Bank of England has raised interest rates for the 10th time in a row, from 3.5% to 4%. But it’s not all bad news, says the BBC: analysts believe the rate will peak at 4.5% in the summer, lower than what was predicted after the chaos of last year’s mini-Budget. Speaking of which, says the I newspaper, Liz Truss is planning a return to frontline politics, in a move that could spark a “fresh Tory civil war”. The former PM is setting up a new group of like-minded Tory MPs to lobby Rishi Sunak to back her “pro-growth” policies. Gillian Anderson is asking women to (anonymously) send her their sexual fantasies. The actress wants to create her own version of My Secret Garden, a cult 1973 book about female sexual desires. Submit yours here.


In 2025, London will get “its own answer to New York City’s High Line”, says Bloomberg: a 1.2km elevated walkway along disused train tracks in north London. The £14m Camden Highline secured planning permission last month, and will run from Camden Town to King’s Cross. With greenery to dampen noise pollution, the stretched-out park could become a “thread of calm” in the city – providing “it doesn’t get too popular”.

On the money

A letter to The Guardian:

Nesrine Malik tells us the system is rigged in favour of the 1% by wealth. Entry into the global 1%, by the definition used by Oxfam, requires $1m in assets. As the Office for National Statistics tells us, that’s around the 75th percentile of British households by wealth. In other words, 25% of British households are in the top 1% of the global wealth distribution. I’d be willing to bet a substantial sum that 25% of the Guardian’s readership is too. As Pogo said in Walt Kelly’s strip cartoon for Earth Day in 1971: “We have met the enemy and he is us.”

Tim Worstall, senior fellow at the Adam Smith Institute


Coffee lovers looking for a strong pick-me-up should head to Costa: its cappuccinos deliver 325mg of caffeine, the equivalent of four cans of Red Bull and a whopping five times as much as Starbucks’s 66mg offering. Research by Which? Magazine found that Greggs and Pret a Manger delivered the second- and third-strongest cups of joe, at 197mg and 180mg respectively, while Caffè Nero ranked second weakest with around 113mg.


Disco is back, says Anna Murphy in The Times, but now in the daytime. The latest trend among women of a certain age – fiftysomething fashionistas, basically – is to liven up office outfits with all manner of ballsy blue sequinned jackets and gaudy gold trousers. Shiny shoes “are the most subtle way to add some Summer, by which I mean Donna, to your look”. Or why not just go full throttle? “There are no rules about what to wear anymore,” says one disco devotee. “People will stare anyway, so it is better to blind them with sparkles.” Quite right.

Gone viral

This clip captured by a camera drone descending Dubai’s 830m-tall Burj Khalifa has racked up more than 400,000 views on Twitter. “Feels like I’m falling off it,” comments one user. See the full clip here.


It’s the face of a bear on the surface of Mars. The astronomers who spotted the ursine portrait, which was taken by Nasa’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, say it is probably just two small craters (the eyes), a partially collapsed hill (the nose), and a filled-in crater (the outline of the circular face). Whatever the explanation, says NPR, it’s a good example of “pareidolia”, the word for “recognising images or patterns where they don’t exist”.


quoted 2.2.23

“I do not have to forgive my enemies. I have had them all shot.”

19th-century Spanish PM Ramón María Narváez, when asked on his deathbed if he forgave his enemies