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Portrait of the week

Portrait of the week

20 July 2013

9:00 AM

20 July 2013

9:00 AM


Jeremy Hunt, the Health Secretary, put into ‘special measures’ 11 hospitals among the 14 with the worst death rates examined in an inquiry by Professor Sir Bruce Keogh. Professor Sir Brian Jarman, a contributor to the report, said: ‘If you don’t have enough trained nurses, as with doctors, you get higher death rates.’ The government announced that the Liverpool Care Pathway (for the dying) would be phased out after a review headed by Lady Neuberger found that the strategy, which can entail withdrawal of food and drink, was being ‘misused’. The government decided not to press ahead with legislation to impose plain packaging for cigarettes. The BBC announced that it had so far spent £4.9 million on three inquiries set up in the wake of the Jimmy Savile scandal. England won the first Ashes Test by 14 runs. In Australia’s first innings, Ashton Agar, the 11th man, scored 98.

A cap of £26,000 was imposed on the total amount of benefits that non-working people aged 16 to 64 could receive in England, Scotland and Wales. Unemployment fell by 57,000 to 2.51 million. The rate of inflation, as measured by the Consumer Prices Index rose to 2.9 per cent in June, from 2.7 per cent in May; as measured by the Retail Prices Index, it rose to 3.3 per cent from 3.1 per cent. Britain had 2,346 bankers earning more than a million euros in 2011, compared with 739 in the rest of the European Union, according to the European Banking Authority. Alan Whicker, the television journalist, died, aged 87 by his own account. An Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 787 Dreamliner caught fire at Heathrow airport while no one was aboard. Heathrow  announced details of its plan for a third runway. The building of an airport in the Thames Estuary would allow Heathrow’s site to be developed into a garden city, Boris Johnson, the Mayor of London, said.

A government paper called the Trident alternatives review gave Liberal Democrats the opportunity to say that Britain’s nuclear-armed submarines should be reduced from four to three, a change which Philip Hammond, the Conservative Defence Secretary, said would be ‘naive or reckless’. Police were attacked with blast bombs, a pipe bomb, petrol bombs and masonry by ‘loyalists’ during several nights of rioting after the Parades Commission banned an Orange Order parade from marching past Catholic housing at Ardoyne in north Belfast. A bomb left on a disused railway line scattered nails outside the Kanzul Iman mosque at Tipton, in the West Midlands. A survey of young people not in education, employment or training found that 37 per cent rarely left their homes. Two Territorial Army soldiers died on the hottest day of the year during a selection exercise for the SAS. The Meteorological Office issued a ‘Level 3 heat health watch criterion’.


President Vladimir Putin blamed the United States for stranding Edward Snowden, the fugitive from American justice, in the transit area of Moscow airport, from which he applied for temporary asylum in Russia. A day’s general strike was held in Greece in protest against austerity measures. A train crash at Brétigny-sur-Orge, south of Paris, killed six. French police arrested Varg Vikernes, a Norwegian black metal musician (imprisoned in 1994 for murdering Euronymous Aarseth, the guitarist of Mayhem) on suspicion of preparing a ‘major terrorist act’.

A Florida jury found George Zimmerman not guilty of the murder of Trayvon Martin, a black man whom he shot, it was found, in self-defence. ‘I know this case has elicited strong passions,’ said President Barack Obama, ‘but we are a nation of laws, and a jury has spoken.’ The United States may produce as much oil as Saudi Arabia by 2020, according to an estimate by the International Energy Agency. Panama seized a North Korean-flagged ship bound from Cuba said to be carrying ‘sophisticated missile equipment’.

Seven died during a night of clashes between security forces and supporters of the deposed President Mohammed Morsi of Egypt. In Iraq at least 34 people died in bombings on the first Sunday in Ramadan, 21 the day before. More than 2,500 had died there since the beginning of April. Pilgrims to Mecca were advised to wear face masks against the Middle East respiratory-syndrome coronavirus, which has killed 38 in Saudi Arabia. In China, the Jibaozhai Museum in Erpu, Jizhou, closed in the face of internet ridicule at the number of its exhibits that were fakes. A man in bed died when a cow fell through the corrugated roof of his house in Caratinga, Brazil. – CSH

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