Portrait of the week the Pakistani tribal village of Mohmand on the border with Afghanistan. In the north of Afghanistan, 11 Afghan police were killed on one day. Three British soldiers were killed and four injured by an Afghan soldier in Helmand province. The French lower house of parliament passed a law against women wearing a burka or niqab in public, punishable by a E150 fine, or a year in prison for a man who makes his wife wear one. President Nicolas Sarkozy of France denied receiving illegal donations from Mrs Liliane Bettencourt, the rich owner of L’Oréal; Mr Eric Woerth, caught up in the scandal, resigned as treasurer of Mr Sarkozy’s RMP party. Hours after they pleaded guilty in a United States court to being agents for a foreign country, ten Russians were flown to Vienna and exchanged for four Russians imprisoned by Russia on espionage charges.
Behind closed doors
General practitioners, operating in consortia under an independent commissioning board, are to take charge of 70 per cent of the National
Health Service budget by 2013, with the abolition of all England’s ten strategic health authorities and the 152 primary care trusts, according to a White Paper. The annual rate of inflation measured by the Consumer Prices Index fell to 3.2 per cent for June, from 3.4 per cent for May, and, as measured by the Retail Prices Index, to 5 per cent from 5.1. Unemployment fell a small amount to 7.8 per cent, and the percentage of workers in part-time jobs rose to 27, the highest since 1992. A cull of about 1,500 badgers in Pembrokeshire was halted by the Court of Appeal. A man with a metal detector found a pot containing more than 52,000 bronze coins dating from the third century ad in a field near Frome in Somerset. Lord Mandelson had extracts from his memoirs, The Third Man, serialised in the Times. He said that in October 2009, when Miss Harriet Harman urged in Cabinet that Labour’s campaign motto should be future, family and fairness, he, Mr Douglas Alexander and Mr Alistair Darling proposed instead the words futile, finished, and f***ed.
Three policemen were shot and wounded on the eve of the Orange Order march- es in Northern Ireland; rioting, with petrol bombs and gunfire, continued on succeeding nights. ‘We saw the outpouring of recreation- al rioting with a sinister edge,’ said Mr Matt Baggott, the Chief Constable of the Police Service of Northern Ireland. Mrs Theresa May, the Home Secretary, announced that police would no longer be allowed to stop and search people without reasonable sus- picion, under Section 44 of the Terrorism Act 2000, after a ruling by the European Court of Human Rights. Raoul Moat, aged 37 (who shot and wounded his former girl- friend and shot dead her new boyfriend, two days after being let out of prison, then shot and wounded a policeman the next day), shot himself a week later, after being discovered by police who had been searching for him in Rothbury, Northumberland. The General Synod of the Church of England voted for the drafting of laws to allow the ordination of women as bishops; a provision backed by the Archbishops of Canterbury and York, to allow parishes the pastoral care of a male bishop, was defeated. A guide to Ramadan by Staffordshire council recommended that swimming lessons in some schools should stop during the month, lest Muslims swal- low water during the day.
BP removed the lower marine riser pack- age cap on its leaking oil well in the Gulf of Mexico and replaced it with a capping stack to shut off the oil. The company said it had spent $3 billion on the disaster so far; but it was expected to pay $10 billion less tax over the next four years. ExxonMobil eyed BP with the possibility of a takeover. South Korea unexpectedly raised its interest rates for the first time since August 2008, from 2 to 2.25 per cent. The Chinese government renewed Google’s licence to operate in the country after a compromise over its redirec- tion of users to an unfiltered search site in Hong Kong. Switzerland rejected a request from the United States for the extradition of Mr Roman Polanski, 76 (who was charged 30 years ago with sexual intercourse with an underage girl), and freed him from house arrest. Spain won the association foot- ball World Cup after beating Holland 1-0, with yellow cards being awarded 5-9, and one Dutch player being sent off. New Zealand remained the only unbeaten side in the con- test. CSH
Two bombs killed 74 in a rugby club and an Ethiopian restaurant in Kampala, where people were watching the World Cup final. The Somali Islamist group al-Shabab said it was behind the murders. At least 50 people were killed in a suicide bombing in www.spectator.co.uk
THE SPECTATOR 17 July 2010 7