While you were sleeping, and Stanley A. McChrystal was wondering if his next post should be as the France soccer team's manager, innovation was doing stuff. On its iPhone, in pantyhose, and against Ghana.
1. After yesterday's heart-sinking news that the cap on top of the Deepwater Horizon oil leak had been knocked for loose by a cheeky robot, BP has come to the rescue. Er... put it this way, they've managed to replace the cap and arrest some of the flow of oil. The dark brown stuff has spread quickly to Washington, where Obama's ratings have dropped, and oil's next port of call could be Alaska.
2. Buying a phone? Pull up a chair, then. Predictable scenes yesterday as the iPhone 4 went on sale. Enterprising people rented out furniture and tents that they'd cannily put up in the queues and a mild euphoria ensued. However, there's a lot of grousing out there about the new iPhone. Apple, which has upped its patent suit against HTC, released a presser yesterday saying that no white iPhone 4 until the second half of July, as it was proving "more challenging to manufacture." Tippex, guys. The iPhone 4 is also, say some, beset with yellow stripes or spots on the screen. Again, Tippex, guys. Dissenters take note: Steve's got some very powerful friends--here he is with Medvedev, who, next to the rangy CEO, looks like the fourth Matryoshka doll.
3. Australia has a new Prime Minister. She's a woman--yay!--and she's not called Sheila. The departure of her predecessor, Kevin Rudd, seemed almost obscenely hasty--shades of Soviet puschs there, I think. His bailing has something to do with nasty emissions emanating from his office. Once Rudd U-turned over an emissions trading scheme, his position was in jeopardy. Julia Gillard, previously Rudd's deputy, will rule the roost until October, when there is expected to be a general election.
4. We can all breathe a sigh of relief as, thanks to Landon Donovan's last-minute strike, U.S.A. are through to the next round of the World Cup. Let me draw your attention to Gary Lineker's quip after the nail-biting finish. "Well, if that doesn't get America interested in football, nothing will." England also made the cut but finished second on goal difference. Hey ho. So it's U.S.A. vs. Ghana, England vs. Germany. Again. A power outage yesterday led to Londoners missing England's goal, but let's hope their laptops were fully charged at the right time. To tennis now and special mention must be made about the world's longest tennis match. American John Isner and Nicolas Mahut started their first-round match on Tuesday. All day yesterday they toiled in the scorching heat. And now, with the scores at 59-59 in the final set, they're back today. FTW.
5. Transfer news now. While General Stanley McChrystal considers his future after being given the heave-ho by President Obama, the new kid on the Afghani block is General David H. Petraeus. He's got form, having sorted out Iraq two years ago, and is one of the architects of the U.S. military's current strategy in Afghanistan. Over the border in Pakistan, five U.S. citizens have been convicted of terror activities and jailed for 10 years.