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Portrait of the week

Portrait of the week

7 March 2015

9:00 AM

7 March 2015

9:00 AM

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The man seen in several Islamic State videos of hostages being beheaded, nicknamed Jihadi John by the British press, was revealed as Mohammed Emwazi, aged 26, born in Kuwait but raised from the age of six in London. He was said to have had help with anger management at his secondary school, Quintin Kynaston Academy in St John’s Wood. An advocacy group called Cage produced a recording of him complaining that MI5 had questioned him after he had to turn back from a ‘safari’ in Tanzania in 2009. General Raymond Odierno, the chief of staff of the US army, said he was ‘very concerned’ about British defence cuts. Lance Corporal Joshua Leakey of the Parachute Regiment was awarded the Victoria Cross for bravery in Afghanistan. The Royal Mint issued coins with a new image of the Queen’s head, the fifth of her reign.

Average household incomes returned to their pre-crisis levels in 2007. Pay for Londoners rose by only 2.5 per cent over the past year compared with the national average of 5.9 per cent. The government opposed the acquisition of a dozen North Sea gas fields by a Russian, Mikhail Fridman. Ed Miliband, the Labour leader, promised that tuition fees would be reduced from £9,000 to £6,000 by a raid on pension allowances. David Cameron, the Prime Minister, said he wanted to offer 20 per cent reductions to people aged under 40 on 200,000 new houses by 2020. A proposal by a group from China to build a replica of the Crystal Palace ran out of planning time.


A gang of seven men of Pakistani and east African origin, imprisoned in 2013, may have abused 373 girls in Oxford, according to a report by the Oxfordshire Safeguarding Children Board, which blamed the council and police for not having acted sooner. The government proposed a new law under which teachers, councillors and social workers who failed to protect children could be jailed for five years. A report into the activity of Jimmy Savile at Stoke Mandeville hospital found that he had sexually abused 60 patients, staff and visitors between 1968 and 1992. Paul Gadd, the pop star Gary Glitter, aged 70, was jailed for 16 years for sexually abusing three young girls between 1975 and 1980. The London Gazette announced: ‘The appointment of Rolf Harris to be a Commander of the Civil Division of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, dated 17 June 2006, shall be cancelled and annulled’, in response to the 84-year-old entertainer’s imprisonment for assaults on girls. Parliament might have to abandon the Palace of Westminster if £3 billion were not spent on renovating it, John Bercow, the Speaker of the House of Commons said.

Abroad

Boris Nemtsov, a leading opposition politician, was shot dead in the street in Moscow, near the Kremlin. In a radio interview before his death he had called President Vladimir Putin a ‘pathological liar’; after the murder, Mr Putin sent a telegram to Mr Nemtsov’s mother saying he would do everything to see the perpetrators punished. Consumer prices in the eurozone showed a fall of 0.3 per cent last month from prices a year before. A journalist for Al Jazeera was fined for flying a drone in Paris while filming a report on the mysterious appearance of drones over Paris.

Iraqi forces and Iranian-backed Shia militia co-ordinated by Iranian commanders moved against the city of Tikrit in Iraq, held by the Islamic State since last June. President Barack Obama of the United States sought agreement with Iran to restrict its nuclear capabilities for a decade in exchange for an easing of sanctions, but Benjamin Netanyahu, the prime minister of Israel, visited Washington to tell Congress that any such deal could ‘pave Iran’s path to the bomb’ and would be ‘permanently destructive’ to relations between America and Israel. Leonard Nimoy, who played Mr Spock in Star Trek, died, aged 83.

General Khalifa Haftar was named head of the Libyan army; a man in his seventies, he has in recent months led operations against Islamist forces in the country. After 80 square miles of forest were destroyed by fire, the head of Argentina’s national fire control agency was sacked on the grounds that his work had been ‘unsatisfactory’. A new character in written Chinese, pronounced ‘duang’ and incorporating the pen strokes for Jackie Chan’s name, was shared by millions in China on the Weibo microblogging site, even though its meaning remained unsettled. CSH


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