Theresa May was ‘quite likely’ to invoke Article 50 in January or February 2017, Donald Tusk, the president of the European Council, said she had told him. A Brexit agreement limiting EU people’s right to work in Britain would be vetoed by Hungary, Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovakia, according to Robert Fico, the Slovakian prime minister. At a UN summit, Mrs May said there should be a greater distinction between refugees and people trying to enter a country for economic reasons. Diane James was elected leader of the UK Independence Party. Two men who sold tooth whitener with 110 times the legal limit of hydrogen peroxide at the Royal Welsh Show in Builth Wells were jailed for 18 months.
Lord Kinnock warned of the disastrous electoral consequences if Labour voted again for Jeremy Corbyn; but supporters of Mr Corbyn took no notice. Some of them launched Momentum Kids for children and their ‘carers’. An inquiry led by Sir George Newman, a former High Court judge, called the action by British troops in Iraq in 2003 that led to a teenager, Ahmed Jabbar Kareem Ali, drowning in a canal, ‘clumsy, ill-directed and bullying’. Mohammed Hussain Syeedy, aged 21, was found guilty of murdering Jalal Uddin, aged 71, an imam in Rochdale, of whose healing practices he disapproved. Nottinghamshire Police included wolf-whistling in its reporting of ‘hate crimes’.
The government approved construction of a nuclear power station at Hinkley Point after imposing ‘significant new safeguards’, such as limiting the ability of France to sell its interest in the venture. Lauri Love, a man with Asperger’s syndrome suspected of hacking into US government systems, was to be extradited from Britain for trial, a district judge ruled; if guilty he might face 99 years in jail for a crime with a maximum sentence of two years eight months in Britain. A giant wasp photobombed the BBC Scottish news.
After the EU summit in Bratislava, Matteo Renzi, the prime minister of Italy, said: ‘I cannot hold a press conference with Merkel and Hollande — I don’t agree with their positions on immigration and the economy.’ Angela Merkel, the Chancellor of Germany, said: ‘We agreed that Europe finds itself in a critical situation after Brexit.’ Nine migrants were arrested after fire destroyed parts of the Moria refugee camp on Lesbos, from which 4,000 were evacuated. French authorities dismantled a makeshift camp in Paris housing 2,000 migrants. Paris saw violent demonstrations against labour reforms. Thousands protested in Germany against the proposed Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) deal between the EU and the United States. Mrs Merkel’s Christlich Demokratische Union did disastrously in Berlin state elections, with 17.6 per cent, against Alternative für Deutschland’s 14.2 per cent. Bayer, the German chemicals company, is to take over Monsanto, makers of genetically modified seeds, for $66.6 billion. A terminally ill 17-year-old became the first minor to apply successfully to be killed under Belgian euthanasia laws.
An American-led air strike on Deir Ezzor in eastern Syria, in which Britain played a part, killed at least 60 Syrian troops. The United States said that it had not meant the outcome and Russia said that it had endangered the ceasefire in Syria that had begun five days earlier. The ceasefire failed to let in aid; indeed, 18 lorries with UN aid were destroyed near Aleppo by an air strike by either Syria or Russia. President Vladimir Putin’s party won elections on a turnout of 47.8 per cent. Bahman Golbarnezhad, an Iranian competitor, broke his neck and died after falling off his bicycle in a road race during the Rio Paralympics.
Ahmad Khan Rahami, an Afghan-born American, was charged after a shoot-out with police pursuing the perpetrator of an explosion in the Chelsea district of New York that wounded 29. Another device was discovered nearby and others had been found or had exploded in New Jersey. A Somali-American stabbed nine people at a shopping mall in St Cloud, Minnesota, and was shot dead by police. Donald Trump called a press conference to say he accepted that Barack Obama was born in the United States. In a separate speech, touching on gun control, he said that Hillary Clinton’s bodyguards were heavily armed: ‘Take their guns and let’s see what happens to her.’ Edward Albee, the American playwright who wrote Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, died aged 88. After two years of marriage the actress Angelina Jolie filed for divorce from her husband Brad Pitt. CSH