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Portrait of the week

Portrait of the week

23 August 2014

9:00 AM

23 August 2014

9:00 AM

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David Cameron, the Prime Minister, writing of the Islamic State in northern Iraq, said: ‘If we do not act to stem the onslaught of this exceptionally dangerous terrorist movement, it will only grow stronger until it can target us on the streets of Britain.’ Anyone waving an Islamic State flag in Britain would be arrested, he said. He invoked Britain’s ‘military prowess’ but later said: ‘We are not going to be putting boots on the ground.’ British C-130 transport planes were used to drop aid; Tornados were used for surveillance in addition to a Rivet Joint surveillance aircraft; and Chinook helicopters remained on standby. A raider who attacked a jeweller’s in Oxford covered market with smoke grenades and a sledgehammer was arrested by passers-by and died under their weight.

A curious piece of television footage was aired by the BBC which covered by helicopter the searching of a flat owned by Sir Cliff Richard by police responding to a complaint that a boy aged under 16 had been assaulted at an event in which the singer took part in 1985. South Yorkshire Police later said it had been contacted weeks earlier by a BBC reporter ‘who made it clear he knew of the existence of an investigation’ and ‘it was agreed that the reporter would be notified of the date of the house search’. Lord Rennard was reinstated as a member of the Liberal Democrats. John Bercow, the Speaker, nominated Carol Mills, nicknamed the Canberra Caterer, the secretary of the department of parliamentary services in Australia, as the successor to Sir Robert Rogers as clerk of the Commons.


A man was found dead among 35 Sikhs from Afghanistan in a container from Belgium opened at Tilbury docks. A man was arrested in Banbridge, Co. Down, by police investigating the incident. Police found 15 immigrants in a lorry at Ilminster in Somerset. The rate of inflation, measured by the Consumer Prices Index, fell from 1.9 per cent to 1.6; and measured by the Retail Prices Index, from 2.6 per cent to 2.5. Regulated rail fares are thus to rise by 3.5 per cent from January: 1 per cent plus the RPI rate of inflation in July. A man asleep on a Thames-side wall at Blackfriars turned over and fell into the river in the early hours of Saturday, but was rescued by a crew from the Royal National Lifeboat Institution.

Abroad

A man with a British accent was shown beheading an American journalist, James Foley, on a video posted on the internet by the Islamic State. Mosul dam on the Tigris was retaken by Kurdish forces. In the Mosul region, 600,000 people had been displaced, including thousands of Yazidi and Christians. Some Yazidi had fled north into Syria and 15,000 sheltered at a refuge camp near Dohuk. A column of Islamic State fighters were reported to have massacred 80 Yazidi men at the village of Kojo and taken captive the women. Nouri al-Maliki finally agreed to Haider al-Abadi replacing him as prime minister. Twitter closed down accounts used by the Islamic State. Asked about American bombing in Iraq, Pope Francis said: ‘It is licit to stop the unjust aggressor. I underline the verb: stop. I do not say bomb, make war, I say stop by some means.’ In South Korea, 800,000 of the country’s 5.5 million Catholics saw the Pope beatify 124 Koreans martyred in the 18th and 19th century.

Israel resumed air strikes on Gaza after rockets were fired from territory in the Gaza Strip towards the end of a ceasefire. Egyptian mediators has been negotiating with Palestinian and Israeli delegates in Cairo. In the six weeks following the launching of the Israeli operation on 8 July, 2,016 Palestinians (541 said to be children) and 66 Israelis died. Three doctors in Liberia with Ebola who took an experimental drug showed signs of improvement; officially, 1,229 people have died of the virus this year.

In eastern Ukraine there was fighting in the streets of Luhansk and shelling of the rebel headquarters in Donetsk. More than 2,000 people have been killed in Ukraine since mid-April. A convoy of 280 Russian lorries said to be full of aid halted at the border. In Switzerland, sales of cheese to Russia rose in the face of EU sanctions. Police in Ferguson, a suburb of the city of St Louis, Missouri, shot dead another black man after a week of rioting following the shooting of an unarmed black teenager. Bardarbunga volcano in Iceland began erupting more energetically, alarming air companies.           CSH


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