I wonder if there's any other English-speaking country in the world in which a man called Newt could stand for the highest office and expect to win. After reading today of his demand to his second wife that they have an open marriage, I was going to make some reptilian allusion. But I checked and newts turn out to be bloody amphibians, not reptiles.
So, a possible reason has emerged for Captain Schettino tripping and falling into that handily-positioned life boat. He and a dining companion or two had polished off a decanter of red wine over dinner. One of these companions - the young, blond one - has confirmed that the captain was a hero, saving thousands of lives single-handedly. Before he decided to call it a night, obviously.
The IMF has cut its forecast of global growth this year and encouraged the ECB to boost liquidity in order to stop the eurozone crisis getting worse. This, of course, is not a decision for the eurozone's 27 members but for Mrs Merkel alone. Or as The Economist puts it this week:- The Franco-German tandem has become a unicycle. . . Now the very notion of "Merkozy" sounds hollow. Mrs Merkel, though seems to be unwilling to exercise Germany's power in order to save the eurozone. As the Polish Foreign Minister put it last November:- I will probably be the first Polish foreign minister in history to say so, but here it is: I fear German power less than I am beginning to fear German inactivity.
Finally - and only for cricket aficionados - . . . One of the few pleasures of watching Pakistan humiliate England in a Test match in Dubai this week was learning there are two types of special delivery for an off-spinner - a doosra and a teesra. With the doosra, the bowler delivers the ball with the same finger action as a normal off-break but cocks the wrist so that the back of the hand faces the batsman. This gives the ball spin in the opposite direction to that for an off-break, causing it to spin from the leg side to the off-side to a right-handed batsman. The teesra is a back-spinner disguised as an off-spinner.
So now you know.