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20 June

In the headlines

Rescue teams are racing against time to find a submarine that went missing during a tour of the wreck of the Titanic. British billionaire and explorer Hamish Harding is one of the five people on board the craft, which has only about three days’ worth of oxygen left. Boris Johnson “wants a ceasefire with Rishi Sunak”, says The Times, after only seven MPs voted to oppose the findings of the report that said the former PM misled parliament over Partygate. Johnson has now “all but given up on making a political comeback before the next election”. Liz Truss has said the Daily Star lettuce stunt during her 49-day tenure as PM was “puerile” and “unfunny”. The tabloid, which successfully predicted that the green vegetable would last longer than Truss in No 10, has hit back at “wet lettuce Liz”, saying she needs to “leaf it out”.


Life as a professional hand model is full of variety, Ashly Covington tells Vice. “I’ve held $30m diamonds, and I’ve held snakes. My hands have been covered in slime, dunked in milk and covered in feathers.” But the job comes with restrictions: avoiding sun that might tan your hands and sports that might bruise them or break a nail. It also involves a lot of moisturising. “I carry a bottle of olive oil around and constantly reapply.” A few nights before a big shoot, Covington adopts a strict routine: she lathers on olive oil, cocoa butter and Vaseline, then slips her digits into some socks before nodding off. “This trick,” she says, “will give you the softest hands.”

Inside politics

“Many Americans find the whole concept of political dynasties distasteful,” says Michelle Cottle in The New York Times – and Barbara Bush, despite being married to one president and the mother of another, seemed to agree. In 2013, when Washington was waiting for her son Jeb (George W’s younger brother) to run for high office, she said: “There are other people out there that are very qualified, and we’ve had enough Bushes.” This maternal wisdom proved “painfully on point” for poor Jeb, whose bid for the presidency in 2016 failed miserably.

Staying young

Most frequent fliers have a “list of personal tricks” to avoid jet lag, says Condé Nast Traveller: go for a run the moment you disembark; skip the in-flight meal; avoid booze. But Qantas may have ended the debate for good. To prepare for the launch of its nonstop routes from New York and London to Sydney – both of which will take up to 22 hours – the Australian airline ran test flights with volunteers hooked up to biometrics monitors. The conclusion? Eat plenty of chilli and chocolate. They encourage a healthy sleeping pattern, giving you a better chance of adapting to your new time zone.

Tomorrow’s world

Apple’s new iPhone will come with an optional feature that automatically blurs out unsolicited nudes until you confirm whether you want to see them, says Mac Address. Other nifty features include a “visual look-up” function that lets you select an object in a picture and search for it online – perfect for identifying a celeb’s outfit – and an option to automatically delete all those two-factor verification codes that clog up your inbox.


Pet owners in the US are turning to an unorthodox method to dispose of their animal companions after they have passed away, says The Atlantic: “aquamation”. The body is put under a stream of alkalised water for several hours, liquefying the creature’s proteins and fat into eco-friendly matter. All that’s left are the bones, which can either be pulverised or – if that’s your thing – returned to the owner. Aquamation is said to have about one-tenth of the environmental impact of regular cremation. And it’s not just for animals; the body of none other than Archbishop Desmond Tutu underwent the process last year.


It’s a politician being dunked in the freezing waters of the river Adige in northern Italy, as part of the annual re-enactment of an ancient punishment for medieval blasphemers. During the week-long celebration in Trento, says My Modern Met, a mock “court” nominates those who have caused “controversy or dishonour” during the year. They then debate whose crime is the most egregious, settle on the dunkee – and into the water he or she goes. Nominees in recent years include four provincial presidents who delayed the building of a new hospital, and two officials who opposed a concert by Italian pop star Vasco Rossi.



“You never know what worse luck your bad luck has saved you from.”

Cormac McCarthy