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1 December 2021

This England: Kissinger-a-gram

This column – which, though named after a line in Shakespeare’s “Richard II”, refers to the whole of Britain – has run in the NS since 1934.

By New Statesman

Confusion erupted when an unknown intruder calling themselves “Henry Kissinger” joined an online meeting for members of the Aberdeen City Region Deal joint committee.

After 20 minutes, council officer Alison McLeod said there appeared to be an extra guest. But it was very unlikely to have been the famous 98-year-old former US secretary of state.

Aberdeen Press and Journal (Ron Grant)

Making a splash

Peppa Pig fan Grace Crouch has been crowned this year’s World Puddle Jumping Champion. Inspired by her cartoon hero, the three-year-old won with her technique and “infectious giggle”.

The panel at the event in Kettering were on the lookout for jump height, enthusiasm, splash distance and stickability – the amount of mud clinging to each competitor. Grace won a pair of wellies and a raincoat.

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Daily Mirror (Daragh Brady)

Kill your feed

A man has put a bird box which looks like a speed camera in his garden in an attempt to slow down drivers. Mike Wrathmall said some drivers went at “ridiculous speeds” on the road outside his Billingham home, where the limit is 30mph. Wrathmall has said that his neighbours had been positive about the “camera”.

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“Probably around the area, people know where it is, but in regard to someone outside the area, it may make them think twice,” Wrathmall said. “A bit of doubt is all it needs sometimes, isn’t it?”

BBC North East and Cumbria (Christopher Rossi)

Each printed entry receives a £5 book token. Entries to comp@newstatesman.co.uk or on a postcard to This England.

This article appears in the 01 Dec 2021 issue of the New Statesman, The virus strikes back