Headline of the Week!

Who knew overpriced swimwear could be so entertaining?

"Protective army for diamond-studded bathing suit".

It just contains so many elements, doesn't it? A bathing suit, diamonds, the strange but alluring notion of a protective army for an inanimate object. We have Sabah, a Turkish newspaper, to thank for this story -- which comes from the front line of Istanbul Fashion Days. That's right, not Istanbul Fashion Week, just Days. I don't know if they're being commendably literal or just couldn't quite summon the energy to stretch to a week. But I quite like that they call it Days. Call a spade a spade, for heaven's sake.

Sophie Elmhirst is features editor of the New Statesman

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Tim Farron is being unfairly maligned for inviting us to smell his spaniel

The truth behind “smell my spaniel”.

Out on the campaign trail in Cambridge, the Lib Dem leader Tim Farron was caught inexplicably inviting voters to “smell my spaniel”.

Here is the shock footage:

“Smell my spaniel, maybe, maybe… oh, how are you? Good to see you!” he said, while the top political journalists of the nation scratched their heads. “A new Lib Dem slogan?” asked the BBC. The “catchphrase of the general election” declared the Telegraph. A new, surprisingly progressive “theological pronouncement”, was this mole’s first thought.

And he has, of course, been ridiculed online:

But no.

Look closer.

What’s going on is clear. Farron is not inviting voters to sniff his spaniel at all; he is addressing a dog. One of the activists in the huddle he is speaking to is holding a little dog wearing a Liberal Democrat rosette:

And here is said dog with Farron:

Farron is clearly being sniffed by the dog, because he is carrying the smell of his own dog, Jasper the spaniel.

Was Farron actually commenting that the little Lib Dem pooch was sniffing its party leader because he smelt like another dog? In these uncertain times of fake news and eroding trust, let’s get our spaniel sniffing story straight.

I'm a mole, innit.

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