It’s one of the more remarkable specimens taken into London’s Natural History Museum. It’s certainly one of the most “fantastic”.
The horn comes from an Erumpent, a fictional beast created in the mind of author JK Rowling.
It’s going to feature in a major new exhibition at the South Kensington institution this spring, in which the extraordinary creatures of the Harry Potter universe are used to shine a light on some of the “magical” animals that exist in the real world.
The NHM is describing the show as its most ambitious to date.
It’s a joint venture with Warner Bros, who own the film versions of Rowling’s Potter books and their Fantastic Beasts spin-offs, together with the BBC, whose Natural History Unit in Bristol, will be filming a companion programme.
“We want to show people that the natural world is just as amazing as the mythical, wizarding world,” said Clare Matterson, executive director of engagement at the NHM.
The exhibition will put 50 specimens from the museum’s world famous collections next to props from the Potter movies. Interactive displays will compare and contrast different animals.
“You’ll recall the Erumpent’s mating dance from Fantastic Beasts. We’ll be making comparisons with the peacock spider, which has its own extraordinary movements that it uses to attract a mate,” explained the NHM executive.
“Then there’s something in the magical world called a Demiguise, which, as the name suggests, has ways of making itself disappear. And, of course, there are all sorts of examples in the natural world but one of the most famous is the octopus which can change its colours and camouflage itself, blending into its natural surroundings.”
The exhibition will also point out some of the direct links between fact and fiction.
A good illustration is the giant oarfish, the world’s longest bony fish. This animal is thought to be the inspiration for many of the myths that exist around sea serpents.
It’s a theme that will be picked up in the BBC companion programme, which will be fronted by actor Stephen Fry, best known in this context as the voice of the Harry Potter audio books.
The BBC One special is going to visit places such as the frozen steppes of Siberia and the caves of Madagascar to explore the origins and stories of mythical beasts and to draw the connections with species that are alive today or have not long gone extinct.
Stephen Fry said: “I could not be more delighted to be a part of this magnificent opportunity for us Muggles to show the wizarding world that the fantastic beasts in our world are more than a match for theirs.
“Joining forces with the combined powers of the fabulous BBC, its legendary Natural History Unit and the magical Natural History Museum we hope to be able to bring you closer than you’ve ever been to some of the most spectacular and extraordinary creatures ever seen.”
Clare Matterson added: “Ultimately, what we’re trying to do is get that important message across that we should care more about the animals on this extraordinary planet we inhabit.”
Tickets for the exhibition – Fantastic Beasts: The Wonder of Nature – will go on sale soon.
The show will run for seven months before heading out on an international tour.
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Revellers across the UK have rung in the start of a new decade, with fireworks displays in London, Edinburgh and other major cities.
In London, some 12,000 fireworks lit up the capital’s skyline.
The UK’s “biggest street party” had been promised for Edinburgh as part of the city’s Hogmanay celebrations.
Firework shows are also being held in other cities including Manchester, Cardiff, Newcastle, Inverness and Nottingham.
In London, Big Ben’s chimes sounded the start of the display, despite them being silent this year while renovation work is completed.
Around 100,000 revellers packed into the streets around Victoria Embankment as the roar of football anthems such as Three Lions kicked off the new decade, with the festivities providing a prelude to the Euro 2020 football tournament.
Music from artists including Stormzy, Wiley and Bastille also featured in a display London Mayor Sadiq said would be the best the capital “has ever seen”.
“We may be leaving the European Union, but we’re not leaving Europe. So tonight’s fireworks celebrate us as a global city, us as a European city,” he added.
He stressed that London and the UK need to be brought “together again” in the 2020s.
“I’m not pretending that fireworks and one night can do that, but I think it’s really important [that] we celebrate, tonight, some great things about our city and our country,” he said.
In Edinburgh fireworks have been let off from the castle.
Musical artists including DJ Mark Ronson, Idlewild, Rudimental and Marc Almond have been performing on stages throughout the city centre.
Tens of thousands of people are expected to attend the street party, which covers at least part of more than a dozen streets in the city centre.
The first places to welcome 2020 included the tiny Pacific island of Kiribati, neighbouring parts of Samoa and the Chatham Islands.
Auckland in New Zealand was the first major city to ring in the new decade, with thousands welcoming 2020 at a fireworks display at the city’s Sky Tower.
The traditional fireworks display in Sydney Harbour also went ahead, despite calls for it to be cancelled due to Australia’s bushfire crisis.
European cities, including Paris, Berlin, Madrid and Athens, have also seen in the new year with firework displays.
The uninhabited Baker Island and Howland Island, on the other side of the International Date Line, will be the last to leave 2019 behind.
Christmas dinners have been served to Londoners who are reliant on the city’s homelessness services.
Hairdressers and opticians were also made available at City Hall before guests were given a three-course meal.
Last year, 8,855 people were seen rough sleeping in London, an 18% increase since last year, and more than double the number in 2010.
“Events like this help bring a sense of community back in to London,” Claire, a former rough sleeper, told the BBC.
Claire, who spent 30 years either living on the streets or in prison, said: “It’s the type of event that does matter. It forms partnerships and builds bonds.
“If it wasn’t for the support of St Mungo’s, I’d either be dead or doing what I was before.”
Guests were chosen from the thousands of Londoners that currently receive assistance from services funded by City Hall and delivered by charities St Mungo’s and Thames Reach.
But Claire said services were still “hit and miss”.
“Where I live I’m still waiting for support with my mental health,” she added.
Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “St Mungo’s and Thames Reach are struggling with finances.
“Since I became mayor we’ve more than doubled the amount of money we’ve spent on rough sleeping and the size of our outreach team.
“But we’re just scratching the surface. We’ve not got the money or the resources to do much more – as it is I’m criticised for going outside my remit and my power.
“It is both heartbreaking and shameful that in one of the richest cities in the world we still have the levels rough sleeping that we do.”
Last year 15,470 people were accepted as being homeless by London councils.
There were 55,000 families living in temporary accommodation, such as bed and breakfasts and hostels.
Hundreds more people are estimated to be sleeping on London’s night buses.
Petra Salva, Director of Rough Sleeper Services at St Mungo’s, said: “It’s wonderful that the Mayor has opened the doors of City Hall for this festive event.
“Christmas can be a time of mixed emotions for clients in our services and our staff work hard to support those who stay with us over the holiday period.”
A convicted murderer will be “disciplined” after posting a Snapchat video of himself in prison appearing to “mock” the family of the person he stabbed to death.
Ali Zahawy, 22, was found guilty of murdering Andre Aderemi in Croydon, south London, in August 2016.
A video sent to Mr Aderemi’s mother and seen by the BBC showed Zahawy in his cell saying he was “still banged up”.
The Prison Service said Zahawy would face longer in prison.
Mr Aderemi, 19, was chased around the Monks Hill estate by four men and stabbed 26 times in broad daylight.
Zahawy – along with Rodney Mukasa – was found guilty in May 2017 of Mr Aderemi’s murder following a trial at the Old Bailey.
Both were given life sentences by Judge Zoe Smith and ordered to serve a minimum of 22 years in prison.
Mr Aderemi’s mum, Yemi Hughes, was sent the Snapchat video, which the Ministry of Justice confirmed was recorded inside one of its prisons.
In the video Zahawy swears and says he is still locked up, then adds “but still it could be worse – I could be dead”.
Reacting to the video Ms Hughes – who taught Zahawy at school in Croydon – told BBC London she had a mixture of emotions.
She said: “At first I was really angry by the content of it. It was like he was mocking my son.
“Then I got really emotional – why should I see your face and not my son? Then I felt annoyed.
“I am not for locking them up and throwing away the key, but there needs to be some sort of rehabilitation and some sort of sanction.”
Ms Hughes also called on “better protection for victims’ families”.
She added: “The fact they can video themselves in their cells, what they are up to and how they feel – we should not have to see that.”
A BBC investigation in 2018 found that UK prisons were “awash” with at least 15,000 smuggled phones and SIM cards.
The Prison Service apologised to Ms Hughes for the “distress the video has caused”.
A spokesman added: “We are undertaking cell searches and disciplinary action against Zahawy.
“We are spending an extra £100m on prison security, and anyone found with a mobile phone in prison faces longer behind bars.”
Preston North End ended a run of four consecutive Championship defeats as they beat Fulham in a game which saw both sides reduced to 10 men.
Sean Maguire put the hosts ahead from close range, before Fulham’s Denis Odoi was dismissed soon after for an elbow on Patrick Bauer.
Preston were shown a red card of their own just before the break when Joe Rafferty was sent off for a bad tackle on Joe Bryan.
David Nugent doubled Preston’s lead after the break when he bundled home, while Aleksandar Mitrovic pulled a goal back with a deflected long-range strike.
Defeat was Fulham’s second in a row in the league, having lost against Bristol City on Saturday, and leaves them 10 points behind second-placed West Bromwich Albion in third.
Meanwhile, Preston moved up to sixth thanks to their victory, which gives them a two-point cushion on seventh-placed Sheffield Wednesday.
Preston almost made their player advantage count soon after Odoi’s red card when Maguire fired goalbound, but his effort was parried away by Cottagers keeper Marek Rodak.
That advantage did not last long after Rafferty’s red card on the stroke of half-time, but the hosts scored again after the break and were almost out of sight.
Veteran forward Nugent, who rejoined the club in the summer, scored his first goal for Preston since 2007 as the hosts took control.
However, Mitrovic inspired a late Fulham rally courtesy of his strike that bounced and deflected past North End goalkeeper Declan Rudd.
Preston North End boss Alex Neil told BBC Radio Lancashire:
“We’ve built an expectation up this season, we’ve done really well so far and after our previous defeats it hurts more.
“I still don’t think the balance is quite right, we’re missing that tactician in the centre of midfield. Once we have everybody available I think we’ll be strong.”
[On Joe Rafferty’s sending off] “At the time I thought he had been hard done by. I’ve actually had a word with him now because it was a really bad challenge.”
Fulham manager Scott Parker told BBC Radio London:
“I am disappointed we have not been able to get a result out of the game, but I am disappointed with our performance as well.
“We didn’t defend well and I didn’t think we had enough quality in the final third. At both ends of the pitch we weren’t on it and ultimately we need to improve on that.
“We huffed and puffed and had a few chances, and maybe on another day we can get a draw. But you can’t walk around feeling sorry for yourself, especially in this league.”
Jeffrey Schlupp struck in the second half as 10-man Crystal Palace beat Bournemouth to move up to fifth in the Premier League.
The hosts lost Mamadou Sakho early in the first half when he was sent off for a high challenge on Adam Smith.
Bournemouth dominated possession from that point but failed to make the most of their man advantage as they rarely tested Vicente Guaita in the Palace goal.
Philip Billing hit a shot straight at Guaita at the end of the first half, while Dominic Solanke just failed to connect with a dangerous low ball shortly after the restart.
It appeared as though the first Premier League match to be broadcast on Amazon Prime would end goalless, but instead the hosts snatched victory when Schlupp, on as a first-half substitute for the injured Patrick van Aanholt, weaved his way through the Bournemouth defence before tucking home a low shot.
After a run of five games without victory, Palace have now won their last two having also beaten Burnley 2-0 at the weekend.
Defeat for Bournemouth was their fourth in a row and leaves them in 12th.
Back-to-back wins but at a cost
This was an excellent, disciplined performance from Palace, particularly after a disrupted first half in which Sakho – making his first Premier League start since September – was shown a straight red before Van Aanholt had to go off when he picked up an injury.
But the hosts kept their shape superbly to limit their opponents to few opportunities while continuing to threaten on the counter.
Palace have struggled for goals this season but have usually made the most of their limited chances, and so it proved in this game as they snatched victory with their first shot on target.
It was a smash-and-grab win but another excellent result overseen by Roy Hodgson, who has worked wonders with a limited budget. Palace have won 15 games in 2019 – more than Arsenal, Manchester United and Tottenham.
However, it did come at a cost. With Sakho now set for a three-match ban and Van Aanholt facing a possible spell on the sidelines, Palace are threadbare in defence with Gary Cahill and Scott Dann already absent through injury.
Opportunity missed for Cherries
Three wins in their first six Premier League games gave Bournemouth fans hope of challenging for a top-six finish, but they have lost their way since then with just one win since the end of September.
Boss Eddie Howe felt his side had done enough to win any one of their previous three games, but the same could not be said about this one as they failed to make the most of the extra man.
They lacked urgency and creativity and, as they pushed forward in the closing stages in a desperate bid to end their losing run, left themselves exposed to Palace’s effective counter attack.
With three of their next four games coming against Liverpool, Chelsea and Arsenal, this was a fixture Bournemouth really needed to get something from.
Man of the match – Jeffrey Schlupp
‘It wasn’t a lucky win’ – what they said
Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson told Match of the Day: “It was a great victory. I’m full of praise for what the players did today. To firstly lose your centre-back to a challenge which the referee deems to be a red card, and then to lose a left-back in an area where we have no cover…
“The last place we could really cover injuries was at the back, but we did and I thought the players showed an outstanding attitude at the back.
“Normally when you win 1-0 with 10 men you think you were lucky, but that wasn’t really the case and we had a few chances of our own so I’m delighted for the players.”
Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe told Match of the Day: “It is a tough one for us to take. We needed to get something from tonight’s game and we are hugely disappointed we haven’t.
“We didn’t do enough with the ball and we didn’t hurt them enough. Credit to them for how they defended in their shape. We should be able to do better and I have to take responsibility for that.
“When you’re in this form, it is a tough one to work out, we could have won all of these games but we have lost them narrowly.”
London woes continue for Bournemouth – the stats
- Crystal Palace have won consecutive Premier League games without conceding a goal in both matches for the first time since August 2018.
- Bournemouth have lost four consecutive Premier League games for the first time since December 2018.
- Since their promotion to the Premier League in 2015-16, Bournemouth have seen their opponents pick up 19 red cards, six more than any other side.
- Crystal Palace received their first Premier League red card since Wilfried Zaha was sent off against Southampton in January.
- Bournemouth have lost their last six Premier League games in London, conceding 20 goals in the process. The Cherries had lost just one of their previous six in the capital prior to this run (W3 D2).
- Since the start of last season, Bournemouth’s Jefferson Lerma has picked 19 yellow cards in the Premier League, more than any other player.
- Crystal Palace midfielder Jeffrey Schlupp has scored in consecutive Premier League games for the first time ever (142 apps, 10 goals).
Crystal Palace head to bottom club Watford on Saturday (15:00 GMT), while Bournemouth host Liverpool at the same time.
Jose Mourinho made a dramatic entrance at his new home as Tottenham came from two goals down to beat Olympiakos and qualify for the Champions League knockout phase.
Mourinho made a low-key entrance for his first game as manager at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium – but then it was drama all the way as he was subjected to all facets of the side he inherited from sacked Mauricio Pochettino.
Spurs were dreadful at the back in the first half, going behind after only six minutes to Youssef El-Arabi’s low drive and conceding a second 13 minutes later when Ruben Semedo scored from close range at a corner.
Mourinho acted quickly, sending on Christian Eriksen for Eric Dier, but it still took a horrendous error from Yassine Meriah to gift Dele Alli a goal in first-half stoppage time to throw Spurs a lifeline they accepted with relish.
Harry Kane levelled from Lucas Moura’s cross five minutes after the break, Mourinho hugging an alert ball boy who helped Serge Aurier take a quick throw-in that caught Olympiakos flat-footed, and the recovery was complete 17 minutes from time when the defender powered home a finish at the far post from Alli’s cross.
Mourinho fist-pumped furiously in delight and he was ecstatic again when Kane wrapped things up with a header from Eriksen’s inviting free-kick.
The England captain broke Alessandro del Piero’s record as the player to score 20 Champions League goals in the fewest games – 24, compared to the Italian’s 26 games with Juventus.
Mourinho makes his mark
There was no fanfare when Mourinho took his seat in the technical area before kick-off, although inevitably banks of photographers were there to welcome him.
He had a distinctly uncomfortable start as this lively Olympiakos side exposed so many of the flaws that led to Pochettino’s sacking and Mourinho’s arrival as Spurs were run ragged early on.
It was then that Mourinho made his impact with a positive – and necessary – substitution as he introduced the creativity of Eriksen for the stability of pivot Dier to try to edge Spurs back into the contest.
This was not a cautious Mourinho but one who knew something had to change, even though only 26 minutes had gone.
Yes, Spurs and Mourinho needed a huge slice of luck, but once they emerged for the second half the mood had changed after Alli’s goal, which deflated Olympiakos and revitalised the home side and their supporters.
It allowed Mourinho to join in the celebrations with the Spurs fans, and even hug that ball boy, as a night that started by threatening a serious anti-climax had the perfect conclusion.
Mourinho won’t get carried away
Mourinho stayed on the pitch at the final whistle to congratulate his Spurs players before politely applauding fans behind the technical area and making his way down the tunnel.
This was a good night for Mourinho in the context of the result and Spurs’ performance once they had the encouragement of a goal right on half-time.
They were galvanised and the usual suspects came to the party as Kane struck twice and Alli showed superb footwork to set up the third goal for Aurier.
Mourinho, however, will not get carried away because he will note how Spurs were so easily cut open early on and how defensive uncertainty, and moments of poor communication between goalkeeper Paulo Gazzaniga and his backline, threatened more problems.
He knew he had problems to solve when he succeeded Pochettino and two wins from two will not blind him to the fact they still need addressing.
Man of the match – Dele Alli
Match stats – Mourinho’s biggest Champions League comeback
- Tottenham striker Harry Kane is the fastest player to score 20 Champions League goals, reaching the tally in just 24 appearances and breaking the record held by Alessandro del Piero since 1998 (26 appearances).
- Kane has scored 23 goals in 23 appearances for Tottenham and England this season.
- This was the first time a team managed by Jose Mourinho has come from two goals down to win a Champions League game – he had lost on the previous 13 occasions.
- Mourinho took charge of his sixth different club in the Champions League (Porto, Chelsea, Inter Milan, Real Madrid, Manchester United and Spurs). Only Carlo Ancelotti has managed more teams in the competition (eight).
- Olympiakos have not won in their last 13 Champions League matches (D3 L10), conceding 34 goals.
- Dele Alli ended a run of 16 Champions League games without a goal, scoring for the first time since November 2017 against Real Madrid. All four of Alli’s goals in the competition have come at home.
Tottenham host Bournemouth on Saturday (15:00 GMT) in the Premier League as they look to make it three wins from three under Mourinho.
Tottenham have sacked manager Mauricio Pochettino after five years in charge of the Premier League club.
Spurs have made a disappointing start to the current campaign and are 14th in the Premier League.
BBC Sports Editor Dan Roan believes Jose Mourinho is a strong contender to replace the 47-year-old.
“We were extremely reluctant to make this change. It is not a decision the board has taken lightly, nor in haste,” said Spurs chairman Daniel Levy.
“Regrettably domestic results at the end of last season and beginning of this season have been extremely disappointing.
“It falls on the board to make the difficult decisions – this one made more so given the many memorable moments we have had with Mauricio and his coaching staff – but we do so in the club’s best interests.”
Pochettino was appointed in May 2014 and led the club to the Champions League final last season, where they lost to Liverpool in Madrid.
The Argentine’s assistant Jesus Perez, and coaches Miguel d’Agostino and Antoni Jimenez have also left the club.
Tottenham said in a statement that they would provide an update on new coaching staff “in due course”.
Former Southampton boss Pochettino guided Tottenham to the League Cup final in his first full season while two third-placed finishes sandwiched a runners-up spot in the Premier League in 2017.
As well as leading Spurs to a runners-up finish in last season’s Champions League he also took them to fourth in the league.
He also had to contend with playing home games at Wembley for 18 months while the club’s new ground was built and his impressive results despite this led to links with Real Madrid and Manchester United.
However, Spurs have failed to build on the promise of recent seasons this term. As well as their disappointing league form, they were knocked out of the League Cup by League Two side Colchester and hammered 7-2 at home by Bayern Munich in the Champions League.
“Mauricio and his coaching staff will always be part of our history,” added Levy.
“I have the utmost admiration for the manner in which he dealt with the difficult times away from a home ground whilst we built the new stadium and for the warmth and positivity he brought to us. I should like to thank him and his coaching staff for all they have contributed. They will always be welcome here.
“We have a talented squad. We need to re-energise and look to deliver a positive season for our supporters.”
Right decision, wrong time?
BBC Radio 5 live’s football correspondent Ian Dennis:
There will be some supporters who are not surprised – they’re on their worst run since George Graham was in charge in 2000-01.
But what is a surprise will be the timing – why was the decision not made at the start of the international break?
Pochettino at Spurs – highs and lows
- Pochettino was named Tottenham boss on 28 May, 2014 after taking Southampton to their best-ever finish in the Premier League.
- After a fifth-place finish in his first season at the club, he led them to third in 2015-16 – their highest final position in the Premier League.
- He became the first opposition manager to beat Pep Guardiola in England when Tottenham beat Manchester City 2-0 in October 2016.
- Spurs continued to progress, finishing second and third respectively in the next two seasons.
- Led Tottenham to the last 16 of the Champions League in 2017-18 and was rewarded with a five-year contract in May 2018.
- Lost FA Cup semi-final to Manchester United in April 2018 – Tottenham’s eighth successive defeat at that stage of the competition.
- However, Spurs reached the Champions League final for the first time the following season after a memorable comeback against Ajax.
- Lost 7-2 to Bayern Munich in the group stage of this season’s Champions League.
- Departed Spurs on 19 November 2019 after just three Premier League wins this season.
‘Should’ve backed him not sacked him’ – reaction
Reigning Premiership and European champions Saracens are facing a 35-point deduction and a £5.36m fine for breaching salary cap regulations.
The punishment, which Sarries have described as “heavy handed”, is suspended while the club appeal against the decision.
Should the appeal be rejected, Saracens potentially face a battle to avoid relegation rather that challenging for more silverware.
BBC rugby union correspondent Chris Jones looks into the questions facing a club which boasts senior England players Owen Farrell, Maro Itoje and Billy and Mako Vunipola in their squad, and the potential fall-out.
What’s the background?
This story revolves around Saracens’ owner Nigel Wray’s business co-investments with a handful of senior players, with the panel judging that the club have in essence been paying players outside the salary cap.
Wray disputes this and insists these dealings are all above board and are helping set up his players for life after rugby.
He says investment is not the same as salary. Either way, Saracens were found not to have disclosed the full details of the financial arrangements, which they have put down to an “administrative error”.
How long has it been going on?
In 2015, Saracens were one of two clubs who reached confidential agreements with Premiership Rugby Limited – the league’s governing body – over salary cap issues.
The league was accused at the time of turning a blind eye to any misdemeanours, and wrote the slate clean to the dismay of some clubs.
Therefore, while Saracens have been under scrutiny for a while over their management of the cap, the latest findings only apply to the last three seasons and do not take into account the investigation of 2015.
But there certainly was a widespread determination amongst others clubs and players for Saracens not to get away with it twice.
Could the club lose their titles?
As it stands, no. The punishment only applies to this season and not retrospectively. Saracens are confident they will not be losing any of their eight major titles – five Premiership crowns and three European Champions Cups – won in the past decade.
Can Saracens win their appeal?
The Premiership Rugby statement suggests Saracens’ chances of a successful appeal – or review – are slim.
This has been a nine-month investigation conducted by independent legal experts, who have already considered and dismissed Saracens’ defence.
So unless the review finds there has been some basic unfairness or procedural error, then it will be upheld. But at the moment the sanctions are suspended.
What will happen to Saracens’ squad?
Saracens believe there will be no squad upheaval, and they won’t be precluded from signing players either.
Whether they will be able to retain their young talent as well as their existing stars remains uncertain, however.
Each club did recently receive a windfall from private equity giants CVC of around £14m, which would soften the blow.
What would relegation do to Sarries?
Relegation would be catastrophic for a club that is full of England internationals – and could have a negative impact on the national side.
Going down would cause major upheaval as leading players on long-term deals consider their futures, while the commercial impact of relegation would be stark.
Saracens would, however, still retain their shares in Premiership Rugby Limited and in the process a sense of financial security.
But in the five seasons Saracens have finished as Premiership champions, a 35-point deduction would have meant them not reaching the play-offs by finishing in the top four, but would also not have seen them relegated.
They would have finished 10th last season had the same punishment been imposed.
What do rivals think?
The clubs that have spoken out publicly are fully behind the decision and the sanction.
Exeter chief executive Tony Rowe feels the panel haven’t gone far enough and thinks Saracens should have been kicked out of the league.
Players at other clubs have privately expressed that view and feel Saracens’ achievements and success have been tainted.
Are other clubs under scrutiny?
As it stands, there are no plans to investigate or punish any other clubs. But the severity of this decision will shine a light on the dealings of others.