The General Medical Council said it was dropping cases against four doctors who worked at Stafford Hospital at the height of the scandal of neglect and abuse there. Bail until October was given to eight people, including five policemen, arrested during investigation of an incident last year in which Andrew Mitchell, the former chief whip, was accused of calling police ‘plebs’, which he denies. Two men were charged with the computer theft of £1.3 million from Barclays Bank in Swiss Cottage, north London. A photograph was published of the Queen in a cardigan entertaining the prime minister of New Zealand at Balmoral in a room with a tartan carpet, an electric fire, a stuffed toy corgi and twin beds for the real thing. Scotland’s women footballers beat the Faroe Islands 7-2.
In a speech of more than an hour without notes, Ed Miliband told the Labour party conference that if his party won the general election, it would give the vote to 16-year-olds, freeze energy and electricity prices for 20 months, raise the minimum wage in line with inflation, cut business rates for the country’s 1.5 million small businesses and build 200,000 new homes a year by 2020. He said ‘Britain can do better than this’ 17 times. Ed Balls, the shadow chancellor, threw doubt on the High Speed 2 rail project. Iain Dale — the publisher of new memoirs by Damian McBride that describe internecine briefings under the previous Labour administration — in a tussle to keep Stuart Holmes, a nuclear protester, out of camera-shot during a television interview, rolled on the Brighton seafront with him and his dog, which bit them both alternately.
Godfrey Bloom, an MEP, resigned from Ukip after being suspended from the party when he joked in a conference fringe meeting that women who didn’t clean behind the fridge were sluts. Shops in town centres were found to have closed at a rate of 18 a day in the first half of the year, compared with 20 a day a year ago. Preston bus station, an emblem of concrete brutalism that costs £300,000 a year to maintain, was listed Grade II. Villagers in Varteg, Monmouthshire, expressed concern about new signs spelling its name Farteg.
Terrorists from Al-Shabaab, the Islamist group aligned with al-Qa’eda, killed at least 67 people (with bodies being found under rubble) and wounded 170 in a grenade and gun attack on the Westgate shopping mall in Nairobi. Hostages were taken, and shooting was heard for four days. The attackers were said by the Kenyan foreign minister to include more than one American and an English woman, though Al-Shabaab denied women were employed. At least six Britons were among the 18 foreigners killed. The attackers used Twitter to demand that Kenya withdraw troops from Somalia. In Yemen, al-Qa’eda in the Arabian Peninsula killed 30 soldiers with a bomb in Shabwa province and shot dead another 10 soldiers in the town of Maifaa.
A Taleban bomb killed at least 85 people outside All Saints church in Peshawar after Sunday morning service. More than 250 died in an earthquake in southern Pakistan. Qadri Jamil, the deputy prime minister of Syria, said that he had not meant to tell the Guardian newspaper that the civil war had reached stalemate or that the Syrian government would call for a ceasefire. President Hassan Rouhani of Iran visited the United Nations in New York and said that he was willing to take part in ‘time-bound and results-oriented’ talks on Iran’s nuclear programme. A Cairo court banned ‘all activities’ in Egypt by the Muslim Brotherhood. A Chinese court gave the disgraced politician Bo Xilai a life sentence on charges of bribery and corruption. In Cambodia, Hun Sen, in power since 1985, began another five-year term as prime minister. Churchmen should forget legalism and constant harping on sexual morality, the Pope said in a remarkable 12,000-word interview with Civiltà Cattolica.
Blackberry, the Canadian smartphone company, which had cut 4,500 jobs to counter losses, was bought by a consortium led by Fairfax Financial for £3 billion. Apple sold nine million of its new models of iPhone in three days. The US Federal Reserve decided to maintain quantitative easing at $85 billion a month. US house prices rose 12.4 per cent in the 12 months to the end of July, the biggest annual increase since 2006. In the German elections, Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats were just short of an overall majority, meaning she had to find coalition partners. Boeing has tested an F-16 fighter in flight with no pilot aboard. CSH
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