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Portrait of the week

Portrait of the week

23 June 2012

6:00 AM

23 June 2012

6:00 AM

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Europe faced ‘perpetual stagnation’ unless leaders acted to resolve the euro crisis, David Cameron, the Prime Minister, said at the G20 summit of leading economies in Mexico. He also said that he would ‘welcome more French businesses to Britain’, where they would pay tax at a lower rate than that imposed by the Socialist government. David Lidington, the Europe Minister, insisted that a proposal by European Union ministers to reduce the British budget rebate was pointless, as Britain would not accept it. Workers paid less than £13,000 a year will no longer be able to claim working tax credits when they are on strike, the government said. Argyll and Bute council reversed its decision to ban Martha Payne, a nine-year-old girl, from photographing her school dinner each day for her blog; publicity over the affair enabled her to raise more than £80,000 for the charity Mary’s Meals in Malawi.

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A ship bound for Syria with refurbished Russian helicopters was stopped off Scotland by having its insurance withdrawn in London. Kenneth Branagh, the actor, was knighted in the Queen’s birthday honours and Tessa Jowell, the politician who served for a spell as the minister for the Olympics, was made a Dame. April Ashley, who underwent a sex change operation in Casablanca in 1960, was appointed MBE ‘for services to transgender equality’. Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, having lost an appeal against extradition to Sweden on sexual assault charges, sought asylum at the Ecuadorian embassy in London. Rolls-Royce won a £1.1 billion contract to produce reactor cores for new British submarines. Russell Brand, the comedian, introduced the Dalai Lama on stage in Manchester.

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Inflation fell to 2.8 from 3 per cent (by CPI) or to 3.1 from 3.5 (by RPI). Lord Prescott, the former deputy prime minister, is to stand for election as a police commissioner for Humberside. The English Premier League is to receive a billion pounds a year for being televised. The England football team qualified for the quarter-finals of the European championships by beating one of the host nations, Ukraine, 1-0. Harry Redknapp left Tottenham Hotspur, which he had managed successfully for four years. The Surrey cricketer Tom Maynard, aged 23, died after being struck by a District Line train at Wimbledon Park station. Gitta Sereny, the biographer of Albert Speer and Mary Bell, died, aged 91. Google removed about 640 videos from YouTube after British police complained about those said to promote terrorism, but it refused Canadian requests to remove a video of a man flushing his passport down the lavatory.

Abroad

The conservative New Democracy party gained the most votes in the Greek general election, beating into second place the leftist Syriza, which wanted to repudiate the international deal to sustain Greece in the eurozone. Antonis Samaras, the leader of New Democracy, said that he would seek changes in the terms of the agreement. Wildfires broke out near Athens. The cost of Spanish ten-year borrowing rose above 7 per cent. In France, the Socialist party won an outright majority.

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Pakistan’s Supreme Court disqualified Yousuf Raza Gilani, the Prime Minister, from holding office. In Egypt, the Supreme Court ruled that last year’s parliamentary elections were unconstitutional, and should be held again. Egypt’s Supreme Council of Armed Forces granted itself wide powers and ruled that elections could not be held until a permanent constitution was in place. The Muslim Brotherhood was much annoyed and said that in any case its candidate had won the Egyptian presidential election. The country’s former leader, Hosni Mubarak, was reported to be critically ill. The UN suspended its observer mission to Syria amid continuing violence. In Yemen, General Salem Ali Qatan, who had led action against militants aligned to al-Qa’eda, was killed in Aden by a man wearing an explosives belt.

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President Barack Obama said that illegal immigrants aged 16 to 30 who had lived in the US for more than five years would be eligible for work permits. Tesco said it was leaving Japan, where it had traded since 2003. The Vatican proposed to the traditionalist Society of St Pius X that it should become a personal prelature if it resolved doctrinal differences. The Nevado del Ruiz volcano in Colombia erupted; when it last erupted in 1985, 25,000 died in mudslides. Allen Stanford, who defrauded investors of £4.5 billion, was jailed for 110 years by a US court; the prosecution had demanded 230 years.   CSH


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