Home Gross Domestic Product grew by 0.2 per cent in the second quarter of 2011, after a quarter in which growth was 0.5 per cent, according to the Office for National Statistics, which took the trouble to mention extenuating circumstances such as the Japanese tsunami and the royal wedding. Boris Johnson, the Mayor of London, urged George Osborne, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, to cut taxes, including the top rate of 50 per cent. BP made profits of £3.2 billion in the second quarter, less than expected. Sales of beer fell in the second quarter by 15 per cent in supermarkets and 4.5 per cent in pubs. Amy Winehouse, the singer, was found dead at home; she was 27. Lucian Freud, the painter, died, aged 88. Fran Landesman, the poet and performer, died, aged 83. Alexander McQueen, the fashion designer who committed suicide last year, left £50,000 in his £16 million will for the care of his dogs.
The High Court, sitting in Birmingham, heard a legal challenge by three families to a Home Office ruling requiring anyone entering Britain in order to join a spouse to speak a minimum level of English. Basildon council trained 100 bailiffs before a £18 million operation intended to evict travellers from 51 unauthorised pitches at Crays Hill, Essex. Two Germans arrested at Dover were charged with terrorism offences.
local forensic science laboratories, despite a promise by the Home Office to delete them from a national database. British Gas was fined £2.5 million by Ofgem because of the way it dealt with customers’ complaints. The M4 in South Wales remained shut for days after a lorry caught fire in the Brynglas tunnels at Newport. Discovery apples reached supermarkets three weeks earlier than normal.
Abroad In Norway, 76 died when Anders Behring Breivik set off a bomb in central Oslo (killing eight) and then spent an hour and a half shooting people with a rifle at a Labour party youth camp on Utoeya island. He was said to have used poisoned dum-dum bullets. He posted a 1,500-page manifesto online before the atrocity, complaining of the Norwegian Labour government’s responsibility for Muslim immigration. Announcing his crime, he wrote: ‘I will put my iPod on max volume as a tool to suppress fear if needed. I might just put Lux Aeterna by Clint Mansell on repeat as it is an incredibly powerful song.’ He was arrested, appeared before a court sitting in camera and was remanded in solitary confinement. The judge said he had admitted the acts but pleaded not guilty of a crime. His lawyer said he was mad. More than 100,000 gathered in the streets of Oslo, and the King and Queen attended a service at the cathedral with tears running down their cheeks.
The DNA profiles of more than a million innocent people in England, Wales and Northern Ireland could be retained by
In the United States the Republican- dominated House of Representatives and President Barack Obama, a Democrat,
the spectator | 30 July 2011 | www.spectator.co.uk tussled on the brink of the deadline to set a budget to allow government spending beyond 2 August. Mustafa Abdel Jalil, the Libyan opposition leader said that Colonel Gaddafi, the ruler of Libya, might be allowed to remain in the country in order to bring the five-month war to an end; William Hague, the British Foreign Secretary, said: ‘Whatever happens, Gaddafi must leave power.’ The Vatican recalled its Nuncio to Ireland after Enda Kenny, the Taoiseach, had blamed the Church in the diocese of Cloyne for downplaying ‘the rape and torture of children’.
Leaders of countries in the eurozone agreed to make 109 billion euros available to alleviate the Greek debt crisis. Greece would have to pay only 3.5 per cent interest on its loans, a rate extended to Ireland and Portugal. Private lenders would also extend repayment periods and reduce interest; the loss of return on their loans would amount to 21 per cent of the market value of the debts. Fitch, the ratings agency, said it would declare Greece in default once the deal came into effect. Some 100,000 people were reported to have arrived in Mogadishu, fleeing famine in areas of Somalia controlled by al-Shabab, the Islamist movement, which is not allowing UN food relief in. A collision between two high-speed trains in China killed 39. Hundreds rioted in Anshun, in Guizhou province, after local officials beat a disabled fruit-seller to death. Mohamed Bin Hammam, who stood in Fifa’s presidental election last month, was banned from football for life by the federation after being found guilty of attempted bribery. CSH