Image of the week: Autumn in New York
Strong The Thick of It/In the Loop vibes abounded as Liz Truss, the new British prime minister, was seen arriving with her delegation for the 77th UN General Assembly in New York, including UK national security adviser Tim Barrow, pictured laughing on the right. Fresh from the state funeral of her namesake queen, Truss was in town for a light trickle of bilateral meetings, including the first with French president Emmanuel Macron since she decreed “the jury is out” on whether France is the UK’s friend or foe. She also gave an address to the UN assembly in which she waffled on about her government wanting people “to keep more of the money they earn, because we believe that freedom trumps instruction” – an interesting choice of verb to use in America, for sure. The specifics of low-tax Trussonomics have yet to be made clear at the time of writing, but give her a chance. It takes time to fully wreck an economy.
In numbers: Hollywoodland makeover
Litres of paint and primer that will be splashed on the “Hollywood” sign in the Los Angeles hills, in its first refresh since 2012.
Height since 1978 of the white capital letters in the sign, which has been refurbished several times over its 99-year symbolisation of the film industry.
Original number of letters in the sign, which started life in 1923 as “Hollywoodland”, an advertisement for real estate development in the area.
Getting to know: David Malpass
US economist David Malpass is the president of the World Bank group, a position to which he was nominated by Donald Trump in 2019 despite, or perhaps because, he had been a critic of the development lender in the past. He is also, according to Al Gore, a “climate denier”. The former US vice-president, a long-term climate campaigner, accused him of such this week, calling for new leadership. Malpass rejected Gore’s criticism that the World Bank wasn’t doing enough to finance clean-energy projects in developing nations, but when asked at the same New York Times climate event if he accepted the science that man-made emissions from the burning of fossil fuels was dangerously warming the Earth, he could not find it within himself to say yes. “I don’t know. I’m not a scientist,” said the man who served as chief economist of investment bank Bear Stearns in the years before its 2008 collapse. This wasn’t the only thing he didn’t know. Gore may “present as a climate person”, Malpass declared. “I don’t know what impact that’s having.”
The list: Toy time
It is now 92 days until Christmas, which means every self-respecting retailer has been out touting their lists of this year’s allegedly hot toys. So what’s destined for the foot of a tree near you?
1. Bluey playhouse, Bluey everything: The animated Australian preschool television show has got merchandise, lots of it, for the toddlers in your life, including a much-tipped Bluey Ultimate Lights & Sounds Playhouse.
2. Squishmallow octopus: Squishmallows were 2021′s non-tech holy grail, and this year the plush toys/decorative pillows are back, with Argos identifying the pale blue octopus as its potential star of the season.
3. Pokémon trading card game: The Pokémon craze will outlive us all.
4. Barbie 3-in-1 DreamCamper: Notwithstanding her reputation as a high maintenance sort of girl, Mattel’s doll heroine has her own camper van. It has room for four Barbies (sold separately), plus a pop-up shower, wash basin and toilet (phew!).
5. Cards Against Humanity, Family Edition: The key words for parents here are “family edition”. If they are not on the box, don’t open it.