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Portrait of the week

Portrait of the week

22 November 2014

9:00 AM

22 November 2014

9:00 AM

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David Cameron, the Prime Minister, said: ‘Red warning lights are once again flashing on the dashboard of the global economy.’ He then offered £650 million to a ‘green climate fund’. In a speech in Singapore, Mark Carney, the Governor of the Bank of England, said that fines for banks over rigging foreign exchange rates showed that ‘it is simply untenable now to argue that the problem is one of a few bad apples. The issue is with the barrels in which they are stored.’ Official figures showed that the number of British Army reservists has been boosted by a recruitment drive in the past year from 19,290 to 19,310. Friends of the Earth went to law to secure the future on the river Otter of a family of beavers living wild there.

‘Rotherham was not an outlier and that there is a widespread problem of organised child sexual exploitation in England,’ said a report by the Commons Communities and Local Government Committee. The General Synod of the Church of England voted for canon law to be changed so that Canon 33 should begin: ‘A man or a woman may be consecrated to the office of bishop.’ Two men in Cardiff died of meningoencephalitis after receiving a transplanted kidney infected with the parasitic worm Halicephalobus gingivalis. Some 6,000 birds were killed at a duck farm in Nafferton, East Yorkshire, after the detection there of the H5N8 strain of avian influenza (very infectious to birds, rarely to human beings).


The Conservative party contemplated the defeat of its candidate by Ukip’s in the Rochester and Strood by-election. Greg Dyke, the chairman of the Football Association, demanded that Fifa should publish in full a report into alleged World Cup corruption. It had published a summary which cleared Russia and Qatar of wrongdoing, but Michael Garcia, the American lawyer who spent two years on the inquiry, said the summary ‘contains numerous materially incomplete and erroneous representations’ of what he had written. MPs voted by 284 to 259 for an amendment to the Small Business Bill to allow pub landlords to buy their beer on the open market. Royal Mail complained that, since rivals profited from parcel delivery, it could hardly continue universal delivery of letters. Jay Sabanal, who, with his daughter Bella, survived the total destruction of their house in Southampton by a gas blast said: ‘It is really a miracle, maybe a guardian angel.’

Abroad

In a speech in Berlin, Sir John Major said: ‘There is a serious possibility that our electorate could vote to leave the EU.’ The Italian former stand-up comedian Beppe Grillo and his allies in the European Parliament gathered enough votes to table a motion of censure against Jean-Claude Juncker, the president of the European Commission, who is accused of involvement in engineering tax-avoidance schemes for many big corporations by the Luxembourg authorities. The European Commission got rid of Professor Anne Glover, its chief scientific adviser, who had said there was ‘not a single piece of scientific evidence’ to support bans of genetically modified crops. The Philae landing-craft detected organic chemical compounds on the comet 67P.

Two Palestinians armed with a pistol and meat cleavers killed five Israelis in a synagogue in west Jerusalem before being shot dead. The Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, responded by saying: ‘We are in a battle over Jerusalem, our eternal capital.’ The Islamic State posted a video online showing their beheading of (Peter) Abdul-Rahman Kassig, a captured American aid worker, and of 18 Syrian troops. Iraqi forces were reported to have entered the country’s largest oil refinery at the Baiji, which had been besieged by the Islamic State for five months. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey said: ‘Muslim sailors arrived in America in 1178.’

President Vladimir Putin of Russia flew home early from the G20 meeting in Brisbane after other leaders reminded him of his behaviour in Crimea and Ukraine. Stephen Harper, the prime minister of Canada, was reported to have greeted him by saying: ‘Well I guess I’ll shake your hand, but I only have one thing to say to you: you need to get out of Ukraine.’ The Japanese economy dipped into another recession, and the prime minister called a snap election two years early. Romanians elected Klaus Iohannis, the Lutheran, German-speaking, centre-right mayor of Sibiu in Transylvania, as president in preference to the expected victor, Victor Ponta, the Socialist prime minister. The people of Ireland protested against having to pay for water. CSH


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