Portrait of the week

Portrait of the week

17 October 2015

8:00 AM

17 October 2015

8:00 AM

Home

Two groups were launched, one in favour of remaining in the European Union and the other in favour of leaving. Vote Leave drew support from Conservatives for Britain, from Labour Leave and from Business for Britain. Lord Rose, chairman of the new group Britain Stronger in Europe, said: ‘To claim that the patriotic course for Britain is to retreat, withdraw and become inward-looking is to misunderstand who we are as a nation.’ The Metropolitan Police withdrew officers stationed outside the Ecuadorean embassy in London where Julian Assange sought refuge in 2012, a watch that had cost £12.6 million. Marlon James from Jamaica won the Man Booker Prize for A Brief History of Seven Killings, based on an attempt to assassinate Bob Marley in the 1970s.

John McDonnell, the shadow chancellor, infuriated some Labour MPs by reversing the party’s policy of supporting the government’s fiscal charter, which purports to prevent future administrations from maintaining a budget deficit. The meeting at which the U-turn was announced was characterised by Ben Bradshaw MP as ‘a total fucking shambles’. Tom Watson, the deputy leader of the Labour party, told the Commons that he would not apologise for demanding that police investigate sex abuse claims against the late Lord Brittan, who died in January without being told by police that there was no case for him to answer over an alleged rape in 1967. Because of an urgent engagement to eat fish and chips in a pub in Fort William, Jeremy Corbyn, the leader of the Labour party, missed a meeting of the Privy Council and was found still not to have been appointed one of its 650 members. Lord Howe of Aberavon, who as Geoffrey Howe served as chancellor from 1979 to 1983 and as foreign secretary from 1983 to 1989, before helping, with a resignation speech in 1990, to precipitate the fall of Margaret Thatcher, died, aged 88.


The annual rate of inflation, measured by the Consumer Prices Index, fell to minus 0.1 per cent in September, from zero in August; as measured by the Retail Prices Index, it fell to 0.8 per cent from 1.1. Unemployment fell to a seven-year low of 5.4 per cent. The blast furnace at the Redcar steelworks was shut down because no offer to buy the works had been received. Pauline Cafferkey, who had recovered from Ebola caught last year in Sierra Leone, suffered a relapse. When six blocks of flats at Red Road, Glasgow, were blown up by demolition men, two blocks remained partially intact.

Abroad

Two bombs killed at least 97 outside the main railway station in Ankara during a rally calling for an end to violence between Turkish government forces and the militant Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). Ahmet Davutoglu, the Turkish Prime Minister, said that the Islamic State was the prime suspect; some blamed the Kurds, others blamed a group they call the ‘deep state’. SAB Miller accepted a takeover offer from a rival brewer, Anheuser-Busch InBev; together they will sell a third of the world’s beer.

Russia said that its aircraft had carried out more than 60 missions over Syria in 24 hours, and that Islamic State was its main target. President Vladimir Putin of Russia said on television that without Moscow’s support for President Bashar al-Assad, ‘terrorist groups’ might overrun Syria. America and Britain had accused Russia of attacking mainly ‘moderate’ anti-Assad groups. America parachuted 45 tons of small arms, ammunition and grenades by night in Hassakeh province, for rebels fighting the Islamic State in north-eastern Syria. The Dutch Safety Board concluded that the Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 broke up over Ukraine in 2014, killing all 298 on board, because it had been hit by a Russian-made Buk missile. Oppah Muchinguri, the environment minister of Zimbabwe, said that Walter Palmer, the American dentist who shot dead a lion called Cecil with a bow and arrow in July, committed no crime as his permits were in order.

Troops were sent to aid police in some parts of Jerusalem after two people were killed and 16 wounded when two assailants opened fire and stabbed passengers on a bus; in a fortnight, stabbings by Palestinians have left dozens of Israelis dead and wounded, and at least 187 Palestinians have been killed. Jiang Jiemin, the former head of China’s biggest oil company, was jailed for 16 years on charges of bribery. Seoul was overwhelmed by a smell of vomit from the nuts fallen from its 114,000 gingko trees. Reg Foggerdy, aged 62, lost for six days in the Australian outback while pursuing a camel, survived without water by eating ants. CSH

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