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Portrait of the week

Portrait of the week

11 October 2014

9:00 AM

11 October 2014

9:00 AM

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Alan Henning, 47, a British volunteer aid worker taken captive in Syria by Islamic State, was murdered, and footage of his death, which included an appearance by a man with an English accent nicknamed Jihadi John, was posted online. David Cameron, the Prime Minister, said: ‘We will do all we can to hunt down these murderers and bring them to justice.’ Four men were arrested in London on suspicion of terror offences; MI5 sources suggested that the arrest might have ‘foiled the early stages’ of a planned attack. A 12-year-old girl in a wheelchair was saved from injury by her arm-braces when two men set a pit bull dog on her in a Northamptonshire wood. Fungicide injections derived from garlic were tried out on trees suffering from ash dieback in Northamptonshire.

Nick Clegg, the Liberal Democrat leader, put mental health at the centre of his party’s election campaign in a speech at its conference in Glasgow. He also said he would insist on the personal tax allowance being raised by £500 to £11,000 in 2016, if the Lib Dems formed part of the government. There were proposals to spend more money on the National Health Service and to take tougher action against discrimination in professional football. A YouGov poll for the Times found that 6 per cent of the electorate planned to vote for the Liberal Democrats. The British National party expelled Nick Griffin, its former leader. Lynsey de Paul, the singer-songwriter who narrowly failed to win the Eurovision Song Contest in 1977 with ‘Rock Bottom’, died, aged 64. Rain failed to wash off as intended some giant lettering with which the National Theatre of Wales had spelt out a poem by Gillian Clarke on a slab of rock on Snowdon.


After meeting Mr Cameron at Downing Street, Manuel Valls, the prime minister of France, made a speech at Guildhall in which he complained of the press portraying France as ‘left-wing and anti-business’. Mr Cameron said in an interview that he did not want the Northern Ireland Executive to collapse. Gallaher’s is to close its cigarette factory in Ballymena, Co. Antrim, with the loss of 800 jobs. Ray Cole, aged 69, from Deal, Kent, was released from a four-month jail sentence in Morocco for having performed homosexual acts with a Moroccan friend, Jamal Jam Wald Nass, who remained in jail. A Halfords lorry bearing the slogan ‘We Fit’ got stuck under a railway bridge in Beckenham, Kent.

Abroad

In Madrid, a nurse who had helped look after two missionary priests who died of Ebola fever became the first person known to have contracted the virus outside west Africa. About 3,400 people, mainly from Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea, have died in the current outbreak. Authors of an article in Science traced the origin of Aids to Leopoldville (now Kinshasa) in the 1920s. Ilich Ramirez Sanchez, aged 64, known as Carlos the Jackal, jailed for life in France in 1994, is to go on trial again for the murder of two people in 1974.

Forces of the Islamic State moved in on the Kurdish town of Kobane on the Turkish border with Syria, from which 160,000 people had fled. ‘We had warned the West,’ said President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey. ‘We wanted three things: a no-fly zone, a secure zone parallel to that, and the training of moderate Syrian rebels.’ Kurds in Turkey demonstrated against government inaction over Kobane. Father Hanna Jallouf, a Franciscan priest, and 20 of his parishioners were abducted by al-Nusra Front, affiliates of al-Qa’eda, in north-western Syria. The fourth US drone in a fortnight to strike North Waziristan, a tribal region of Pakistan, killed at least eight people. Somali and African Union forces took control of Barawe the last port city held by al-Shabab, the al-Qa’eda affiliate. Somalia’s first-ever cash machine was installed in a hotel in Mogadishu, allowing withdrawals only in dollars. The moon was eclipsed.

Demonstrations in the streets of Hong Kong, against Chinese limitations on candidature for elections in 2017 dwindled in number after two weeks. Burma said it was releasing 3,000 prisoners for the sake of ‘peace and stability’. Jean-Claude (‘Baby Doc’) Duvalier, who was proclaimed Haiti’s president for life at the age of 19, on the death of his father, and spent 15 years in power, died, aged 63. Members of the European Parliament questioned Lord Hill of Oareford on his suitability to take up the post of EU commissioner for financial services. A Vietnamese tanker carrying 5,226 tons of oil went missing 40 minutes into its voyage from Singapore.   CSH


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