The Metropolitan Police encouraged people to celebrate VJ Day despite reports in the Mail on Sunday (picked up from an investigation by Sky News) of plans by Islamic State commanders to blow up the Queen. The RMT union announced two more strikes on the London Underground for the last week in August. Network Rail was fined £2 million by the rail regulator for delays in 2014-15, many of them at London Bridge. A tanker carrying propane gas caught fire on the M56 motorway near Chester. England won the Ashes series after beating Australia by an innings and 78 runs at Trent Bridge; Australia had been bowled out for 60 before lunch on the first day.
Unemployment rose by 25,000 in the second quarter to 1.85 million. More than 300,000 households in Lancashire were told to boil drinking water after the parasite cryptosporidium was found. Dairy farmers complained about losing 14p on every litre of milk they produced; Morrisons launched a four-pint container at 102p from which an extra 23p would go back to farmers. A woman wearing a ‘distinctive cow-print onesie’ reportedly robbed a man at gunpoint in Belfast city centre. Police prevented an anti-internment parade from entering central Belfast, using water cannon against marchers, who threw petrol bombs and stones.
Labour debarred 1,200 people from voting for its next leader on the grounds that they supported other parties: 214 people from the Green party, 13 Tories, seven from Ukip, one from the BNP, and Ken Loach, the film director, a member of the Left Unity group. Jeremy Corbyn, the leading candidate, suggested that the party should consider securing for workers by hand or by brain the full fruits of their industry through the common ownership of the means of production, distribution and exchange, saying: ‘I think we should talk about what the objectives of the party are, whether that’s restoring the Clause IV as it was originally written or it’s a different one.’ Lord Janner, the former Labour peer, aged 87, who has dementia, was told by Westminster magistrates that he would have to appear in person for a hearing over child sex abuse charges relating to the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s. A court in London rejected a demand from Spain for the extradition of Karenzi Karake, the head of Rwanda’s intelligence and security service, for his alleged role in massacres after the 1994 genocide.
In July, 49,550 migrants were recorded to have entered Greece, more than for the whole of last year. There was chaos on Kos as police tried to get migrants to register at a football stadium. The Foreign Office accused Spanish customs vessels of repeated incursions into British Gibraltar territorial waters. French scientists found that the carnivorous Sarracenia pitcher-plant was partial to the much-feared Asian hornet. South Korea blamed North Korea for planting three mines close to a South Korean border post, leading to an explosion in which one South Korean soldier lost both legs and another lost one leg. North Korea, in commemoration of the defeat of Japan in 1945, changed its time to 8hr 30 min ahead of GMT, the arrangement before Japan colonised it in 1910.
Three Taleban bomb attacks killed 50 people in Kabul in one day; two days later a bomb killed five at the airport. At least 42 people were killed by two bombs near Baquba. Four Turkish policemen in an armoured vehicle were killed by roadside explosives in the town of Silopi near the borders with Syria and Iraq. Turkey bombed positions of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which accused Turkey of protecting thereby forces of the Islamic State. The Islamic State said it had been behind a suicide bomb attack on a mosque in Saudi Arabia, near the border of Yemen, that killed 15 people. Angola set about destroying 11 million illegally imported eggs, to encourage home production.
China devalued the yuan by 1.9 per cent on one day and 1.6 per cent the next. Google reorganised its business, adding a parent company called Alphabet. James Holmes, who shot dead 12 people at a screening of a Batman film at Aurora, Colorado, in 2012, was spared the death penalty because the jury was not unanimous. Three million gallons of water from an abandoned mine turned the Colorado river mustard-yellow. A million people in Burma were affected by flooding. Tony Abbott, the Prime Minister of Australia, refused to countenance the rationing of Vegemite despite reports that in some Aboriginal communities it was being used to manufacture liquor. CSH
Subscribe to The Spectator Australia today for a quality of argument not found in any other publication. Subscribe – Try a month free