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Portrait of the week

Portrait of the week

7 July 2012

6:00 AM

7 July 2012

6:00 AM

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Bob Diamond resigned as chief executive of Barclays a day after he said he wasn’t resigning. Marcus Agius resigned as chairman of Barclays, and a day later was appointed ‘full-time chairman’ to seek a replacement for Mr Diamond. The imbroglio followed a £290 million fine (£59.5 million by the British Financial Services Authority and the rest by American authorities) for Barclays’ having filed false information on its borrowings in connection with the setting of the London Interbank Offered Rate (Libor). Barclays said that, in a telephone call in 2008, Paul Tucker, the deputy governor of the Bank of England, had passed on to Mr Diamond queries from Whitehall about why Barclays’ Libor submissions were so high; Barclays said that the enquiry was interpreted by Jerry del Missier, its chief operating officer, as an instruction from the Bank of England not to keep Libors so high. Mr del Missier resigned this week. David Beckham was not selected to represent Great Britain in the Olympic football competition.

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David Cameron set out his ideas about a referendum on the European Union: ‘Just as I believe it would be wrong to have an immediate in-out referendum, so it would also be wrong to rule out any type of referendum for the future.’ Liam Fox, the former defence secretary, said: ‘Life outside the EU holds no terror.’ Ian Brady, 74, the Moors Murderer, who has been tube-fed for the past 12 years after refusing food, was taken to hospital after a seizure. Two RAF Tornado jets crashed in the Moray Firth, with the loss of a pilot and navigator. June proved the wettest since records began in 1910. The East and West Coast rail lines were mended after being cut off by landslides.

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BAA said that non-EU citizens were again taking 90 minutes to pass through UK Border Agency immigration controls at Heathrow airport at peak times. The High Court ordered the UK Border Agency to return £674,920 in cash seized from a South African billionaire leaving London City airport. The coalition decided to delay a decision on building new runways in the Southeast. Damon Hill, the racing driver, said: ‘Most people aren’t safe to drive over 55mph.’ John Constable’s ‘The Lock’ (1824) was sold in London by Carmen, Baroness Thyssen-Bornemisza, for £22.4 million.

Abroad 

Syrian government helicopters joined an attack on Douma on the edge of Damascus. Western diplomats failed to persuade Russia and China to support a call for President Bashar al-Assad of Syria to relinquish power. Islamist militants killed 15 people in churches in the Kenyan town of Garissa near Somalia. Islamist militants controlling Timbuktu in Mali began destroying centuries-old tombs of Sufi saints. Yitzhak Shamir, Prime Minister of Israel 1983–84 and 1986–1992, died, aged 96. Scientists at Cern (the European Organisation for Nuclear Research) said that, using the large hadron collider, they had found a new sub-atomic particle which fitted the description of the Higgs boson.

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Enrique Peña Nieto, the candidate of the Institutional Revolutionary Party, which ruled Mexico from 1929 to 2000, was elected its president. Iceland elected Olafur Ragnar Grimsson to a fifth term as president. On the 15th anniversary of its handover by Britain to China, Hong Kong saw a protest by tens of thousands during a visit by President Hu Jintao. Police investigating allegations about Nicolas Sarkozy’s 2007 presidential election expenses searched his house and offices. Didier Migaud, the head of the national audit body in France, the Cour des Comptes, said that ‘the country is in the danger zone. The risk of a surge in the debt cannot be excluded.’ Spain beat Italy 4-0 in the final of the Euro 2012 football competition.

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An Afghan policeman killed three British soldiers in Helmand, the 18th attack on Nato troops by Afghan forces this year. The United States said that Pakistan would re-open supply routes to Nato forces in Afghanistan after Washington apologised for killing 24 of its soldiers in November. In the United States, Mitt Romney, the Republican presidential candidate, said that if he was elected he would on his first day repeal President Barack Obama’s healthcare legislation, which the Supreme Court had ruled was not unconstitutional. Wildfires drove 32,000 people from their homes in Colorado Springs and destroyed hundreds of houses. In Washington DC storms left three million without power in temperatures of 102°F. An extra second was added to 30 June to keep time synchronised with the rotation of the Earth.


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