It’s week two of Tory leadership drama and we can’t tear our eyes away. Politics consistently ranked among our most read FT Edit stories over the past seven days so, clearly, you feel the same. The daily knockout ballots have given the whole process an intoxicating layer of sport.
At the time of writing, our next prime minister could be anyone from Penny Mordaunt, the darling of the Tory grassroots, to one-time heir apparent Rishi Sunak. As for the chances of Kemi Badenoch or Tom Tugendhat, Sebastian Payne explains why he thinks the most interesting candidates won’t win.
I’d urge you, however, to spare a thought for Other News Out There. It’s been a marvellous week for science, for example. The James Webb Space Telescope allows astronomers to, quite literally, view the past (within a mere 0.7bn years of the Big Bang) vastly improving our understanding of the universe. Voters don’t have a similar piece of technology, but we do have the internet. Behold this fallen star:
Our favourite pieces
FT Edit was packed with stories about the myriad ways science is attempting to solve society’s most pressing problems. From a feature on vertical farming (“Think Jurassic Park”, writes Joshua Chaffin) to a closer look at the limitations of Pfizer’s antiviral drug Paxlovid, which may not be a miracle Covid drug after all. They’re all worthy contenders for a quick press of the app’s save feature. Here are our personal picks:
• Living overseas gives you a fresh perspective when you return to the UK, and Janan Ganesh, recently returned from the US, cuts uncomfortably close to the bone in this piece about the consequences of British humour.
Malcolm Moore (@malcolmmoore)
Editor, FT Edit
• How are we going to care for the UK’s rapidly expanding ageing population? Sarah Neville’s search for an answer unpicks the failure of successive governments to invest in essential community services and hospital beds. Her curiosity takes her to the Netherlands where they’re much closer to ensuring people live their last days in dignity.
Elizabeth Pears (@BizPears)
Deputy Editor, FT Edit
• One of our guiding principles for selecting stories for FT Edit is they should be conversation starters — no matter how innocuous the subject matter. Rosa Lyster’s piece on the tyranny of hobbies was just that. Does my lacklustre and embarrassingly unfruitful pottering in the veg patch even qualify? Can my boss, Malcolm, really have none at all? And why, exactly, do hobbies get such a bad rap?
Hannah Rock (@HannahRockFT)
Deputy Editor, FT Edit
Our favourite fact of the week …
According to FBI director Christopher Wray, the bureau on average opens a new investigation into China every 12 hours. That’s about 400 this year.
Something to listen to
Rachman Review: Russia’s future: a giant Iran of Eurasia
On the morning of March 1, in Russia, Alexander Gabuev was playing with his son. Before the end of the day he had left the country fearing he would be arrested — he even packed prison clothes. Gabuev is an experienced observer of Moscow and Beijing and offers his view on who really gains in the pair’s budding alliance.
Money Clinic: Fraud
In the UK, £1.3bn was scammed from online banking customers in 2021 alone. Of that, £17,000 belonged to Jenny, who tells the FT’s consumer editor Claer Barrett of her struggle to get her life savings back.
Working It: Friendship in the workplace: It’s lonely at the top
Should we cancel 50 per cent of our work meetings and dedicate the time to making friends in the office instead? This week’s edition of the Working It podcast explores how having a work friend can improve productivity and bring people back to the office.
Something to watch
Credit Suisse handles the fortunes of the world’s wealthiest. But huge losses and a scandal-hit chief are just a few of the crises covered by the new FT film that have diminished the elite bank.
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