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Portrait of the week

Portrait of the Week

A speedy round-up of the week's news

13 September 2003

12:00 AM

13 September 2003

12:00 AM

Britain sent about 1,400 more troops to Iraq, the 2nd Battalion Light Infantry and the 1st Battalion Royal Green Jackets, to supplement its force of 10,000. Another 1,200 may be sent too. A man died during a clash between two factions of Iraqi asylum-seekers and two dozen men using baseball bats, sticks, bricks and knives in the St Ann’s district of Nottingham. Mr Paul Evans, the commissioner of Boston city police department, was appointed by Mr David Blunkett, the Home Secretary, as head of the Police Standards Unit, which monitors local forces. Mr Tony Blair, the Prime Minister, told the press he was going to say, at a TUC dinner, ‘The idea of a left-wing Labour government as the alternative to a moderate and progressive one is the abiding delusion of 100 years of our party. We aren’t going to fall for it again.’ But when it came to it, he did not use those words. Mr Jack Straw, the Foreign Secretary, rejected appeals for a referendum on the looming European Union constitution. Mr Alistair Darling, the Secretary of State for Transport, said that plans had been hatched to evacuate tens of thousands of people from London to camps in the Home Counties in the event of a radiological, chemical or biological terrorist attack on London. Emergency services held an exercise at Bank station, postponed from 23 March because of the war against Iraq, simulating a chemical attack on a train. The Hutton inquiry into the events surrounding the death of Dr David Kelly, the expert on Iraqi weapons, heard evidence from Mr Richard Taylor, a special adviser to Mr Geoff Hoon, the Secretary of State for Defence, that a meeting had been held to discuss what to do if reporters came up with the name of Dr Kelly as the suspected source for a BBC report about the government dossier on Iraq; Mr Hoon was at that meeting. C.H. Sisson, the poet, died, aged 89. Every child in the land would be given an identification number under proposals in a Green Paper to prevent further cases of fatal cruelty to children. Of the 18,000 offenders with a serious drug problem jailed last year, only 4,386 received treatment, according to figures from the Prison Service. The Queen bought back from the descendants of Lord Harcourt an 86-piece S’vres dessert service commissioned in 1789 to mark the recovery of George III from a bout of madness; plates bear mottoes such as ‘Huzzah the King is Well’.

Mr Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen) resigned as Prime Minister of the Palestinian Authority. Mr Ahmed Qureia (Aby Alaa), the speaker of the Palestinian Parliament, was named as a replacement but proved slow to take up the appointment. An Israeli jet dropped a 500lb bomb on the house of Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, the spiritual leader of Hamas, in the Gaza Strip, but he escaped with cuts and bruises. Hamas set off two bombs, in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, killing 16. Israeli aircraft destroyed the house of Mahmoud Zahar, a Hamas leader, injuring him and killing his son. President George Bush of the United States addressed the nation on television and said of Iraq that the ‘enemies of freedom are making a desperate stand there, and there they must be defeated’; he asked Congress for $87 billion to fund the war against terrorism in the year beginning on 1 October; $21 billion of that would go towards reconstruction. Mr Bush asked Mr Colin Powell, the secretary of state, to seek a United Nations Security Council resolution to authorise deployment of a multinational force in Iraq. Mr Mohamed El-Baradei, head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, urged Iran to submit to inspections to allay fears that it is secretly constructing a nuclear bomb. Mr Tung Chee-hwa, the chief executive of Hong Kong, said that plans for an anti-subversion law were being postponed indefinitely; in July 500,000 had marched in demonstration against the law. Leni Riefenstahl, the maker of the film Triumph of the Will, died, aged 101. From October Thailand is to change its method of capital punishment from machine-gunning to lethal injection.

CSH


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