David Cameron, the Prime Minister, toured Europe trying to gain support for reforms to favour Britain’s position in the European Union. Angela Merkel, the Chancellor of Germany, said she did not rule out treaty changes in Europe and would be a ‘constructive partner’ of Britain in seeking reforms. Nick Clegg, the former deputy prime minister, was found to be on a list of 89 figures from the EU banned from entering Russia. Jeremy Hunt, the Health Secretary, said he would do something to reduce the cost of agency staff for the NHS in England, which amounted to £3.3 billion last year. The government, which has reduced its stake in Lloyds bank from 41 per cent to 19 per cent, said it would mount a sale of Lloyds shares to the public in the next 12 months. Marks & Spencer was to become the first British retailer to add vitamin D to its packaged bread.
Charles Kennedy, an MP from 1983 to 2015, when he was defeated for the seat of Ross, Skye and Lochaber, who led the Liberal Democrats from 1999 to 2006, died, aged 55. Twenty-one long-finned pilot whales stranded themselves on the shore of Skye. The Speaker of the House of Commons rebuked Scottish National MPs when they applauded a speech, saying: ‘The convention that we do not clap in this Chamber is very, very long established and widely respected.’ The Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority stood by its recommendation of a pay rise for MPs from £67,060 to £74,000. Four people were seriously injured when two carriages crashed on a rollercoaster ride at Alton Towers in Staffordshire.
Eight men were arrested in Oxford by police investigating child sexual exploitation. One of the postage stamps issued to commemorate Magna Carta bore the legend: ‘Gender equality and women’s empowerment are essential components of human development and basic human rights.’ Rail strikes planned by the RMT union were suspended after an offer of a 2 per cent pay rise this year. Trains were delayed by fallen trees in high winds. Matisse, a dog that won Britain’s Got Talent, was found to have been substituted by another dog during a difficult tightrope-walking display in the finals.
Italy rescued 3,300 migrants from the Mediterranean in one day. France and Germany said that revisions were needed to a European Commission plan to distribute 40,000 asylum seekers throughout the EU. Greece stumbled from deadline to deadline in its debt crisis. The annual rate of inflation in the eurozone rose to 0.3 per cent in May after five months of falls or stagnation. Hundreds of thousands of padlocks, weighing 45 tons, which had been attached by lovers to the Pont des Arts in Paris, were removed by workmen with cutters.
Sepp Blatter, aged 79, agreed to resign as President of Fédération Internationale de Football Association, only four days after being re-elected for his fifth term. ‘My mandate does not appear to be supported by everybody,’ he said. His re-election had come after the arrest of seven Fifa officials by the FBI amid allegations of multi-million dollar international corruption. John Kerry, the US Secretary of State, aged 71, broke his leg when his bicycle hit a kerb in the French Alps. Helmut Kohl, the former Chancellor of Germany, aged 85, was critically ill after surgery on his intestine. The Spanish singer Enrique Iglesias injured two fingers when trying to grab a drone camera during a concert in Mexico. Two people in South Korea died from Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, a coronavirus generally spread by camels. A cruise ship carrying 456 people capsized on the Yangtze river, but few more than 15 survived. Animals were slaughtered ahead of an annual dogmeat festival held on the summer solstice in Yulin, Guangxi province, during which 10,000 dogs are cooked and eaten. The body of an old woman was found in a suitcase in a left-luggage locker at Tokyo’s railway station.
In America, Rand Paul, a Republican senator, blocked an extension of the Patriot Act, which authorises bodies such as the National Security Agency to collect citizens’ telephone data. In Iraq, Islamic State suicide bombers killed 45 policemen at a base in Anbar province. Soldiers of the Islamist group al-Shabab from Somalia occupied the village of Warankara in north-eastern Kenya. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey sued an opposition leader who had suggested that lavatory seats in the presidential palace were made of gold. Police in Argentina arrested four men who had 200 large pieces of meteorite hidden under the seats of a lorry. CSH