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Katy Balls

How Labour won back Britain’s millionaires

The battle for the next Labour manifesto is already under way. ‘I will stay up to 2 a.m. if I need to,’ warned one member of the shadow cabinet ahead of last week’s national policy forum meeting in Nottingham. The trade unions and grassroot members were pushing for radicalism, Keir Starmer for moderation. The squeals

Susan Hall: Sadiq Khan is a misogynist

‘I love a fight. I was going to say debate, but it’s more of a fight to be honest.’ Susan Hall is looking forward to taking on Sadiq Khan at the London mayoral hustings. When we meet for her first interview after securing the Conservative nomination, it is five days after the Uxbridge by-election. Hall

Inside Ukraine’s drone army

Kyiv ‘We will end this war with drones,’ says Mykhailo Fedorov, deputy prime minister of Ukraine. We meet at the Ministry of Digital Transformation, which he runs in Kyiv. It has become crucial to the counter-offensive. To reclaim occupied land, Ukrainian troops need to remove miles of landmines, and can do so only if kept

Deus ex machina: the dangers of AI godbots

Something weird is happening in the world of AI. On Jesus-ai.com, you can pose questions to an artificially intelligent Jesus: ‘Ask Jesus AI about any verses in the Bible, law, love, life, truth!’ The app Delphi, named after the Greek oracle, claims to solve your ethical dilemmas. Several bots take on the identity of Krishna

Where has Xi Jinping’s foreign minister gone?

This is the week that James Cleverly planned to be in Beijing to ‘engage, robustly and also constructively’ with China’s communist leaders. But the Foreign Secretary put his trip on hold because the man he planned to engage went missing. Since 25 June foreign minister Qin Gang has vanished without trace, leaving Cleverly twiddling his

Why does the Beano want to cancel itself?

Let’s hear it for the Beano, 85 years old this week. Lucky readers can get a commemorative issue featuring Charles and Camilla, Dua Lipa and Lewis Hamilton. It’s also a chance for those who haven’t read it for decades to register how much it has changed. Lately, the Bash Street Kids welcomed five classmates: Harsha,

Notes on...

Who’s afraid of giant hogweed?

Giant hogweed is a troublesome and expansive species. But it is not, as the tabloids inevitably describe it every summer, ‘Britain’s most dangerous plant’. Many garden favourites – yew, laburnum, castor-oil plant (the source of ricin), for example – can actually kill you. The answer to living with these difficult but beautiful organisms isn’t knee-jerk