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Portrait of the week

Portrait of the week

16 November 2013

9:00 AM

16 November 2013

9:00 AM

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EDF Energy said it would put up prices by 3.9 per cent. BT Sport spent £897 million on the rights to show Champions League football for three years, provoking a 10 per cent fall in BSkyB shares. The rate of inflation fell from 2.7 per cent to 2.2, as measured by the consumer prices index; as measured by the retail prices index, it fell from 3.2 per cent to 2.6 per cent. Unemployment fell by 48,000 to 2.47 million. Barratts, with 75 shoe shops, went into administration. Flybe, the Exeter-based airline, announced plans to cut 500 jobs. Plans were published for an airport on an artificial island off Sheppey in the Thames Estuary, to be called Britannia airport. Sean Conway, 32, reached John O’Groats 135 days after diving into the sea at Land’s End; plagued by jellyfish, he was obliged to grow a beard en route.

A Royal Marine, referred to as Marine A during his court-martial, was convicted of the murder of a wounded Afghan prisoner of war; two others, Marine B and Marine C, were acquitted. David Cameron, the Prime Minister, addressing Marines outside 10 Downing Street, said: ‘We should not let that single incident besmirch the incredible work the Royal Marines have done, not only over decades but over centuries.’ Mr Cameron said in his Guildhall speech that he was going to China next month on a trade mission; George Osborne, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, said he’d delayed the autumn statement by a day till he was back. Sir John Tavener, the composer, died, aged 69.


Accident and emergency departments at hospitals will be divided into ‘major emergency’ and less serious units, under plans by Sir Bruce Keogh, the medical director of the National Health Service. The NHS spent nearly £500 million, a fifth of its maternity budget, or £700 per birth, last year in insurance against litigation, according to the National Audit Office. Sir John Major, a former prime minister, said in a speech: ‘The upper echelons of power in 2013 are held overwhelmingly by the privately educated or the affluent middle class. To me from my background, I find that truly shocking.’ John Cole, the BBC’s political editor from 1981 to 1992, died, aged 85. Nadine Dorries, the Conservative backbencher, apologised in the Commons for failing to register properly income from her appearance on I’m a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here! in 2012. The Environment Agency is to poison all the fish in Cuffley Brook, Enfield, to eradicate the Asian topmouth gudgeon.

Abroad

A storm with sustained winds of 145mph killed thousands in the Philippines. Typhoon Haiyan, called Typhoon Yolanda in the Philippines, drove storm surges from the sea causing widespread damage. Houses were ruined, roads blocked, electricity cut off. The islands of Leyte and Samar in the east central part of the archipelago were the worst affected, with devastation in the cities of Tacloban, population 220,000, and Guian, population 47,000. Baco, population 35,000, in eastern Mindoro, was left three quarters under water. Some 670,000 people were displaced. After the storm, many had no food or water. There was much looting. A state of national calamity was declared by President Benigno Aquino. The US sent the aircraft carrier George Washington; Britain sent the destroyer Daring. The Queen sent a personal donation.

Iran could not reach agreement on its nuclear programme during talks in Geneva with the United States, Britain, France, Russia, China and Germany. Attempts continued to set up peace talks in Geneva on the Syrian civil war. Swiss scientists said that tests showed Yasser Arafat, the late Palestinian leader, had high levels of polonium in his body, but could not tell whether it had caused his death in 2004; ‘Our results offer moderate backing for the theory of poisoning,’ they said. America named a new 100,000-ton aircraft carrier Gerald R. Ford. A triptych by Francis Bacon, ‘Three Studies of Lucian Freud’ (1969), sold for £89 million at auction in New York.

The European Central Bank cut its interest rate from 0.5 per cent to 0.25 per cent. Spanish police arrested 25 people who they said were members of a people-trafficking ring that brought Nigerian women to Europe as prostitutes. In North Korea, 80 people were publicly executed for crimes such as watching videos of South Korean television. The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall made a nine-day tour of India. A camel and its owner in Saudi Arabia were both found to be carrying a coronavirus called Mers (Middle East respiratory syndrome), which has killed 64 people.      CSH


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