In Brief

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A selection of short but sweet features from across The Week

1

Wit & Wisdom

“When we ask for advice, we are usually looking for an accomplice.”
Saul Bellow, quoted in The Browser

“In life as in dance, grace glides on blistered feet.”
Alice Abrams, quoted in Forbes

“If you want to help people, tell them the truth; if you want to help yourself, tell them what they want to hear.”
Thomas Sowell, quoted in The Daily Telegraph

2

On this day

10 August 1793: The Louvre opened in Paris with an exhibition of 537 paintings. It later became the most-visited museum in the world.

3

Spirit of the age

A congressman in the Philippines has declared that being “ghosted” is so hurtful, it should be made an offence. Arnolfo Teves Jr says that the practice – which involves cutting off all communication with no explanation, often after a date – is a form of “emotional cruelty”, and should be punished. However, his bill is not likely to pass. One voter told The Times that it was the most “ridiculous bill ever written”.

4

Poll watch

Two-thirds of people who voted Tory in 2019 agree that “academically able children should be given the opportunity to apply for a school that better suits their needs, even if children who do not get in do less well as a result”. However, under half support the building of more grammar schools, along with only 20% of Labour voters and 27% of Lib Dems.
JL Partners for the Onward think tank/Daily Telegraph

84% of Tory Party members think that Kemi Badenoch should have a job in the new PM’s cabinet; only 8% think she should not.
YouGov/Times

56% of voters think that whoever wins the Tory leadership race should call a snap general election.
Savanta/Independent

5

Good week for

Booksellers, who were invited to apply for a job running a bookshop on a luxury desert island resort in the Maldives. As well as managing inventory and accounts, the successful candidate would recommend books to the high-net-worth guests on the island of Kunfunadhoo – where no shoes may be worn, newspapers are frowned upon, and staff have a private beach.

Elizabeth Johnson Jr, who was cleared of being a witch, 329 years after her trial in Salem, Massachusetts. Johnson was sentenced to death in 1693, but later granted a reprieve. She was the last person convicted in the witch trials whose name had not been cleared. Her case had been taken up by children at a local school, who had lobbied for three years on her behalf.

6

Bad week for

British Airways, which was forced to suspend the sale of shorthaul tickets from Heathrow until at least mid-August, to comply with a new cap on numbers. The suspension affects domestic and European routes, as well as flights going via Morocco and Cairo.

Snorkellers, after a woman suffered a suspected shark bite while swimming off the coast of Penzance. The unnamed woman was on an organised trip to see blue sharks when she was bitten in the leg. She later issued a statement saying that she’d loved seeing these “majestic creatures in the wild”, and didn’t want this “freak event to tarnish the reputation of an already persecuted species”.

Commuters, with news that staff on the London Underground and Overground have voted to go on strike on 19 August, in the same week as a national rail strike.

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