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healthymagination.com Portrait of the week
Clinton, the former US president visiting Moscow: ‘Your police have let themselves go.’ In a referendum in Kyrgyzstan, more than 90 per cent voted in favour of a new constitution investing legislative powers in an elected parliament. President Dmitry Medvedev of Russia said: ‘I have a hard time imagining that a parliamentary republic could work in Kyrgyzstan.’ The statue of Stalin in his home town of Gori, in Georgia, was removed by night, to be replaced by a monument to those who died in the war with Russia in 2008. Italy appealed to the European Court of Human Rights against a ban on crucifixes in classrooms. Nicolas Hayek, who turned Swatch into the world’s leading watchmaker, died, aged 82. Mr Raila Odinga, the Prime Minister of Kenya, had an operation to remove fluid on the brain.
The government’s committee on public expenditure, otherwise known as Pex or the Star Chamber, gave departments a month to come up with spending cuts of up to 33 per cent. Mr George Osborne, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, said he would spend the summer seeking ways to reduce welfare spending in order to cushion the cuts in other areas. Mr Ken Clarke, the Justice Secretary, proposed fewer short jail sentences, which were ‘costly and ineffective’. Sir Hugh Orde, the president of the Association of Chief Police Officers said that, to preserve essential policing tasks in the face of spending cuts, ‘We must guard against the understandable demand for more and more officers on the street.’ The handling by the Metropolitan Police of the case of Kirk Reid, who sexually assaulted dozens of women, was ‘shameful’ said the Independent Police Complaints Commission; a witness reported one assault in 2004 and gave the registration of Reid’s car, but nothing was done for four years. Mrs Theresa May, the Home
Secretary, announced an immediate limit of 24,100 work visas for non-European Union migrants before next April, a cut of 1,300; most of the 500,000 who entered Britain last year were returning Britons, EU citizens or dependants of migrants. Money from the taxpayer for the Prince of Wales fell from £3 million to £1.6 million last year; he paid £3.5 million tax (up from £3.1 million) and, with the Duchess of Cornwall, undertook 755 public engagements.
T he BBC is to reduce the increase of pensionable salary for its staff to 1 per cent a year, in response to a £2 billion pension deficit. Richard Lambert is to step down as director general of the Confederation of British Industry. A High Court judge ruled that protesters camping in Parliament Square must be evicted by teatime on 2 July. Mr David Cameron, the Prime Minister, has agreed the terms of an inquiry to be led by a judge into claims that officers of MI5 and MI6 were complicit in the torture abroad of suspected terrorists. England was knocked out of the World Cup by Germany in a match it won 4-1. United States diplomats in London have run up more than £4 million in unpaid congestion charges, with Russia leaving £3 million unpaid and Japan £2.7 million. Ann Widdecombe, the former Tory MP, is to be British ambassador to the Holy See from November.
H eads of state and government of the G20 group agreed at a meeting in Canada to halve national deficits within three years, something that the major members had already committed themselves to do. Mr David Cameron met President Barack Obama of the United States for private talks. President Hu Jintao of China invited Mr Cameron to visit China on the way to Seoul in November. China and Taiwan signed a trade agreement removing tariffs on hundreds of products. Mr Tony Hayward, the chief executive of BP, held talks with Mr Igor Sechin, Russia’s deputy prime minister and chairman of the country’s largest oil-producer. ‘We know that Tony Hayward is leaving his position,’ Mr Sechin said beforehand, which BP later denied. Shares in BP, which is struggling to stem oil leaking from a damaged well in the Gulf of Mexico, fell to a 14-year low, then rallied. In Greece and France, unions held one-day general strikes in protest against cuts. The Madrid metro was shut by a threeday strike against cuts. The Queen visited Canada for the 24th time. CSH
T en people were charged in the United States with acting as agents of a foreign government (Russia), which carries a fiveyear prison sentence, and nine of them were charged with money-laundering, which carries a 20-year prison sentence. An 11th suspect was arrested in Cyprus. ‘They couldn’t have been spies,’ said the neighbour of one couple accused. ‘Look what she did with the hydrangeas.’ Mr Vladimir Putin, the Prime Minister of Russia, remarked to Mr Bill www.spectator.co.uk
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