Home Atthe beginning of the Conservative party conference in Birmingham, George Osborne, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, announced on the radio that from 2013 child benefits would be withdrawn from any family where one parent earns more than about £44,000 a year. He also told the conference that the maximum amount of benefits any family could claim would be about £26,000, the amount ‘the average family gets for going out to work’. Some sort of tax allowance for married couples was also in the offing. Kenneth Clarke, the Justice Secretary, said that prisoners should work 40 hours a week. A systems failure meant that credit and debit cards would not work on Saturday afternoon in Sainsbury’s 872 shops.
Labour MPs set about vmoting for the 19 people to be appointed to the shadow cabinet. Hazel Blears stopped using red dye for her hair.William Hague, the Foreign Secretary, said he would not nominate David Miliband (who left ‘frontline politics’ after his brother was elected Labour leader) for the post of European Union foreign minister; ‘Cathy Ashton is doing a really fantastic job,’ he remarked. Sir NormanWisdom, the comic performer, died, aged 95. From Christmas Eve, the M4 bus lane is to be returned to use by cars, except during the Olympic Games in 2012. Europe won the Ryder Cup after rain stopped play for a day at Celtic Manor, Monmouthshire. Eighty thousand copies of Jonathan Franzen’s new novel Freedom were to be pulped because of misprints.
TheForeign Office warned of a ‘high threat’ of terrorist attacks in France, Germany and other European countries. British security sources had warned of an al-Qa’eda plot to send teams of gunmen to crowded places to kill civilians. The United States had issued advice to its citizens on ‘the potential for terrorists to attack public transportation systems and other tourist infrastructure’ in Europe. In Britain, the nationally determined level of threat indicated that an attack was ‘highly likely’. A 200lb car bomb set off by the Real IRA in Londonderry injured two policemen. Professor Robert Edwards won the Nobel Prize for Medicine for his work on testtube babies.Two Russian-born scientists working at Manchester University, Professor Andre Geim and Dr Konstantin Novoselov, shared the Nobel Prize for Physics for their work on graphene. Hastings pier burnt down.
Abroad Across-border strike from Afghanistan by an American helicopter killed three Pakistani soldiers. Pakistan then closed the Torkham border crossing to Nato lorries supplying Afghanistan. Next day, 27 tankers carrying fuel to Nato forces in Afghanistan were burnt in southern Pakistan.Three days later another 27 tankers were burnt at a depot near Islamabad. On the same day an American drone killed eight al-Qa’eda men, some of them German nationals, near Mir Ali in Pakistani north Waziristan.The drone attacks were said to be intended to prevent an al-Qa’eda outrage in Europe. Faisal Shahzad, an American of Pakistani origin, was sentenced to life imprisonment the spectator | 9 October 2010 | www.spectator.co.uk for attempting to set off a car bomb in Times Square, NewYork. Geert Wilders, the Dutch anti-Islamist MP, went on trial in Amsterdam accused of inciting hatred against Muslims.The Stuxnet worm affected 30,000 computers in Iran; sabotage was suspected.
ThePrince of Wales joined President Pratibha Patil of India at a ceremony to open the Commonwealth Games in New Delhi. Car bombs killed at least 12 in Aubuja, the capital of Nigeria, on its 50th anniversary of independence.Wen Jiabao, the Chinese Premier, on a visit to Greece, said: ‘China supports a stable euro.’ The Irish government said that bailing out Anglo Irish Bank could cost €34 billion, increasing the country’s deficit to 32 per cent of gross domestic product. Jerome Kerviel was jailed by a Paris court for five years and ordered to repay the €4.9 billion that he lost Société Générale by his trading; he appealed.Thieves stole five tons of grapes from vines at a chateau near Sauvian in Hérault, France.
After stepping down as the chief of staff to President Barack Obama of the United States, Rahm Emanuel said he would stand for election as mayor of Chicago.Tony Curtis, the film actor, died, aged 85. Dilma Rousseff, the ruling party candidate, failed to win an outright victory in the Brazilian presidential elections, and faces another round of voting on 31 October.A professional clown called Tirrica won a seat in the Brazilian Congress with more votes than any other candidate, on the slogan: ‘It can’t get any worse.’ CSH