Home David Cameron, the Prime Minister, insisted on being present, along with leaders of the 10 EU countries not part of the eurozone, at a summit on the crisis surrounding the currency bloc. At an earlier summit of leaders of all 27 EU countries, President Nicolas Sarkozy of France told Mr Cameron: ‘You say you hate the euro, you didn’t want to join, and now you want to interfere in our meetings,’ according to diplomatic sources. Eightyone Conservative MPs (the two tellers included) voted against the government on a back-bench motion endorsing the need for a referendum on EU membership. ‘There’s no — on my part — no bad blood, no rancour, no bitterness,’ Mr Cameron said afterwards. All three main parties had applied a three-line whip against the motion, which was defeated 483 to 111. Mr Cameron had said it was ‘not the right time — at this moment of economic crisis — to launch legislation that includes an in/ out referendum’. Edmundo Ros, the Latin American bandleader, died, aged 100.
Of those arrested in the August riots, 46 per cent were black, 42 per cent white and 7 per cent Asian, according to new Ministry of Justice figures. Ninety per cent were male; 76 per cent had previous convictions or cautions; about half were under 21; 13 per cent were members of gangs (in London 19 per cent). During the riots, 2,584 shops or businesses were looted or vandalised, 664 people mugged, and 231 homes burgled or vandalised; 1,984 people had appeared before the courts. Domestic applications to universities for 2012 were 12 per cent lower than last year, according to Ucas, the admissions service. St Paul’s Cathedral remained closed for the first time since the war because anti-capitalist protesters had pitched tents outside.
Paul and Rachel Chandler, taken captive for more than a year by Somali pirates in 2009, told the Commons foreign affairs committee that the government should have put the police in charge of their case, not the Foreign Office, which could only offer ‘tea and sympathy’. A Metropolitan Police constable working as a 999 operator was sacked after failing to provide a response to 141 cases, including rapes and a suicide threat. Coastguards have rescued cocklers from the Ribble estuary in Lancashire 14 times since the beginning of September. BP reported third-quarter profits of £3.2 billion. Manchester City beat Manchester United 6-1 at Old Trafford; ‘It’s the worst result in my history, ever,’ said Sir Alex Ferguson.
Abroad Doom hung over the eurozone, with the second meeting of European Union leaders in four days attempting to resolve the debt crisis. Finance ministers did not attend the summit because no agreement had been reached. It had been proposed that private lenders to Greece should be prepared to accept only 40 per cent of what they were owed. Banks should be asked to recapitalise to the tune of €100 billion, and the European Financial Stability Facility (guaranteeing sovereign debt) should perhaps stretch its €440 billion resources the spectator | 29 October 2011 | www.spectator.co.uk by an instrument called a special purpose investment vehicle (Spiv). Italy remained a focus of crisis, with Silvio Berlusconi, the Prime Minister, said to have made a secret deal to resign by the end of the year.
Mustafa Abdul Jalil, the acting Libyan leader, said that there would be an inquiry into the death of Colonel Gaddafi, who had been captured alive in Sirte, but shortly afterwards shot dead. His body had been put on public display for some days in a cold-storage unit at Misrata. The body was buried in a secret location in the desert. The transitional government said that within eight months elections would be held for a Public National Conference, which would appoint a prime minister and a constituent authority to draft a constitution within 60 days. If the constitution was approved by a referendum, a general election would follow within six months. ‘As an Islamic country, we adopted sharia as the principal law,’ Mr Abdul Jalil remarked.
The United States withdrew its ambassador from Syria, because of concerns for his safety. Ennahda, an Islamist party, won most votes in Tunisia’s elections. France gave air transport to Kenyan forces entering Somalia to fight al-Shabab, the militant Islamists. At least 450 people died in an earthquake in eastern Turkey, with thousands left homeless in the cities of Van and Ercis in cold night temperatures. Thailand was afflicted by floods. Twenty million bees escaped when a lorry overturned on the Interstate 15 highway in Utah. CSH