The six most pointless summer "news" stories

It's August. There is no news to report, so our newspapers are filling their pages with this guff instead.

Westminster is deserted. School's out for summer. Half the population is on holiday, and given that A-level results are still a week away, newspapers really don't have much to say.

Here are six of the best "stories" written to flesh out today's papers.

1. HOLD THE PRESS! Upminster Cricket club isn’t allowed to flatten its pitch, the Telegraph reveals.

2. The biggest change to law and order for decades: police are being taught how to say “No” the Times tells us.

3. The Daily Mail, on the other hand, features some really cutting edge, insightful gender science.

4. Westminster is rocked by the Times’ revelation that Cameron listens to Bruce Springsteen.

5. Who would have thought it? Chocolate makes you FAT, according to the Telegraph.

6. Read all about it! This one in the Independent just sells itself.

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Cabinet audit: what does the appointment of Liam Fox as International Trade Secretary mean for policy?

The political and policy-based implications of the new Secretary of State for International Trade.

Only Nixon, it is said, could have gone to China. Only a politician with the impeccable Commie-bashing credentials of the 37th President had the political capital necessary to strike a deal with the People’s Republic of China.

Theresa May’s great hope is that only Liam Fox, the newly-installed Secretary of State for International Trade, has the Euro-bashing credentials to break the news to the Brexiteers that a deal between a post-Leave United Kingdom and China might be somewhat harder to negotiate than Vote Leave suggested.

The biggest item on the agenda: striking a deal that allows Britain to stay in the single market. Elsewhere, Fox should use his political capital with the Conservative right to wait longer to sign deals than a Remainer would have to, to avoid the United Kingdom being caught in a series of bad deals. 

Stephen Bush is special correspondent at the New Statesman. He usually writes about politics.