Portrait of the week

Portrait of the week: BBC drops songs, museum drops Sloane, and KFC and John Lewis drop slogans

29 August 2020

9:00 AM

29 August 2020

9:00 AM


Nicola Sturgeon, the First Minister of Scotland, made pupils wear face-coverings in school corridors. It didn’t take long for the UK government to follow suit in England, for secondary pupils in areas of high transmission. The chief medical officers of England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales said that the fatality rate for those aged five to 14 infected with coronavirus was 14 per million, lower than for most seasonal flu infections. Sally Collier resigned as chief regulator of Ofqual, which had been caught up in the chaotic assessment of A-level and GCSE candidates. It was ‘vitally important’ for children to go back to school, said Boris Johnson, the Prime Minister. He, Carrie Symonds, their baby Wilfred and dog Dilyn broke off a holiday at a cottage in Applecross in the Scottish Highlands after photographs were published.

At the beginning of the week, Sunday 23 August, total deaths from Covid-19 stood at 41,423; a week earlier the running total had been 41,361. One in eight patients who had received hospital treatment for coronavirus had caught it in hospital, according to a study by King’s College, London. The government gave powers to local authorities to restrict freedoms in areas such as Birmingham, under a statutory instrument, the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) (No. 3) Regulations 2020, drawing on public health acts from 1984 and 2010. Harry Maguire, the captain of Manchester United, was given a suspended sentence of 21 months by a Greek court on charges of assault and attempting to bribe police after an altercation on Mykonos when his sister was said to have been injected by a group of Albanians and lost consciousness; he will appeal but was dropped from the England squad. On the fifth day of the final Test against Pakistan, James Anderson became the first fast bowler to take 600 Test wickets.

Appledore shipyard is to reopen under new owners. Tesco said it expected many of the 16,000 new permanent jobs in its online business to go to people who took temporary jobs at the start of the pandemic. The John Lewis chain decided to drop the slogan ‘Never knowingly undersold’, used since 1925. The Chancellor’s half-price ‘eat out to help out’ scheme was used more than 64 million times in three weeks. The number of migrants to have crossed the Channel in small boats this year passed 5,000. The British Museum removed from its pedestal a bust of Sir Hans Sloane, donor of its founding collection, because he made money from Jamaica plantations. The Last Night of the Proms would feature only instrumental versions of ‘Rule, Britannia’ and ‘Land of Hope and Glory’, the BBC announced, but ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ found a place, to make the event ‘inclusive’.


The total number in the world who had died with coronavirus reached 807,954 by the beginning of the week; a week earlier it had been 772,753. India saw a large increase in fatalities to more than 58,000. The Indonesian island of Bali, due to have opened again to foreign tourists in September, will remain closed for the rest of the year. Africa was declared free of polio, now found only in Afghanistan and Pakistan. A video of three teenagers discovering the remains of two murder victims in suitcases on a beach in Seattle was removed from the TikTok app after being viewed 30 million times since June.

More than 100,000 people demonstrated in Belarus, calling for President Alexander Lukashenko to resign over the rigged elections of 9 August. Lawyers for Prince Mohammed bin Nayef, detained in Saudi Arabia five months ago, said his whereabouts were unknown. General Khalifa Haftar, the leader of a rebel force in Libya, dismissed a ceasefire announced by the UN-backed government based in Tripoli. Lionel Messi asked to leave Barcelona football club.

The Berlin hospital treating the Russian opposition leader, Alexei Navalny, aged 44, said he appeared to have been poisoned with a cholinesterase inhibitor. He had been flown from a hospital in Tomsk, having fallen seriously ill after drinking tea at Tomsk airport. Kellyanne Conway resigned as a senior adviser to President Donald Trump of the United States. More than 7,000 wildfires raged in California, where a million acres of land had been burnt. Buildings and cars were set alight in demonstrations after a black man was paralysed when he was shot seven times by police at Kenosha, Wisconsin. Kentucky Fried Chicken dropped its slogan ‘Finger-lickin’ good’. CSH

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