Portrait of the week

Portrait of the week

30 August 2014

9:00 AM

30 August 2014

9:00 AM

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Theresa May, the Home Secretary, said that Britons who went to Syria or Iraq to fight could be stripped of their citizenship, if they had dual nationality or were naturalised. Her words came during a search for the identity of the British man in a video of the beheading of the American journalist James Foley. David Cameron had returned to London from his holiday in Cornwall to confer with security officials, but decided against recalling Parliament. In revenge the Daily Mail carried photographs of him in a wetsuit, which gave him a phocine look. Lord Dannatt, the former Chief of the General Staff, suggested Britain should deal with President Bashar al-Assad of Syria, but Philip Hammond, the Foreign Secretary, said: ‘That would poison what we are trying to achieve.’ Boris Johnson, the Mayor of London, said that ‘the law needs a swift and minor change so that there is a “rebuttable presumption” (which shifts the burden of proof on to the defendant) that all those visiting war areas without notifying the authorities have done so for a terrorist purpose’. Mr Johnson sought to stand as a Conservative for Uxbridge and South Ruislip in the next election and Nigel Farage for South Thanet in the Ukip interest.

Alex Salmond, the First Minister of Scotland, and Alistair Darling, of the Better Together campaign, shouted at each other on television about the Scottish independence referendum. An instant internet poll of 500 viewers by ICM found that 71 per cent gave the match to Mr Salmond. William Pooley, who contracted Ebola while working as a volunteer nurse in Sierra Leone, was flown back to London. The choice by John Bercow, the Speaker of the House of Commons, of an Australian, Carol Mills, to be the next Clerk of the House of Commons, although she lacks experience in constitutional matters, was criticised by many MPs.


At least 1,400 children were subjected to terrible sexual exploitation in Rotherham, mostly at the hands of men of Pakistani background, between 1997 and 2013, a report commissioned by the council found, while council officials did nothing and police ‘regarded many child victims with contempt’. The report said ‘staff described their nervousness about identifying the ethnic origins of perpetrators’. Kate Bush performed in Hammersmith after a break of 35 years.

Abroad

Walid Muallem, the foreign minister of Syria, offered to help the United States fight the Islamic State. Iraqi government forces resisted an attack on the country’s largest oil refinery. An attack on a Sunni mosque near Baquba killed 70. Car bombings killed 23 in the Shia cities of Karbala and al-Hillah, and a Shia mosque in Baghdad was bombed. The Shia Turkmen town of Amerli was reported to be starving after a siege by Islamic State forces. Hundreds clashed with police in Istanbul during a protest against the number of refugees from Syria in Turkey, thought to be 1.2 million. Another 1.1 million refugees are registered in Lebanon and more than 6 million are displaced inside Iraq. The World Health Organisation said the use of e-cigarettes indoors should be banned.

A long-term ceasefire was agreed between Israel and Palestinians in the Gaza Strip. In Libya, a confederacy of militias, including Islamists, took control of Tripoli’s main airport despite air strikes against them by United Arab Emirates aircraft flying from Egyptian bases. The Italian coastguard rescued nearly 4,000 people trying to cross the Mediterranean over the weekend, including 17 from a boat carrying at least 170 Africans that capsized off Libya. Abubakar Shekau, the leader of Boko Haram, said on a video that it had set up an Islamic state in north-eastern Nigeria. In Iceland the Bárðarbunga volcano was riven by an earthquake, frightening aeroplanes away from its territory.

President Vladimir Putin of Russia shook hands with President Petro Poroshenko of Ukraine in Minsk at talks intended to resolve the fighting in which more than 2,000 had died. Earlier, more than 200 Russian lorries, said to be full of aid supplies, had driven over the border to Luhansk. Captured Ukrainian government soldiers were paraded by rebels through Donetsk. Ukraine captured ten Russian paratroopers who Russia said had strayed over the border by mistake. President François Hollande of France dismissed the cabinet and got Manuel Valls, the prime minister, to appoint less troublesome ministers. At a football game in Algeria, Albert Ebosse, despite scoring his side’s only goal, was killed by a stone thrown by one of its supporters.        CSH

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  • Jackthesmilingblack

    There you have it, disenchant HMG sufficiently and you could be rendered stateless.

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