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Portrait of the week

Portrait of the week

28 May 2016

9:00 AM

28 May 2016

9:00 AM

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The government published a Treasury analysis warning that an exit from the EU would plunge Britain into a year-long recession and could cost 820,000 jobs. David Cameron, the Prime Minister, speaking with George Osborne, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, at B&Q’s head office in Hampshire, said that leaving ‘would be like surviving a fall then running straight back to the cliff edge. It is the self-destruct option.’ Downing Street said that leaving the EU would make an average holiday for four people to the EU £230 more expensive. Gillian Duffy of Rochdale, the nemesis of Gordon Brown, the former Labour leader, spoke in favour of the Leave campaign. Ed Miliband, the former leader of the Labour party, spoke in favour of the Remain campaign outside a branch of Vision Express in Wigan.

The North Yorkshire County Council planning committee gave permission for fracking at an existing well near the village of Kirby Misperton. Birmingham’s children’s services, which Ofsted has rated as inadequate since 2009, were to be run by a trust. Taxpayers lost £97 million of earning time hanging on for HM Revenue and Customs to answer the telephone, according to the National Audit Office. The Central and Victoria lines of the London Underground would begin to run all night on Fridays and Saturdays from 19 August, Sadiq Khan, the Mayor of London said; but then maintenance workers belonging to the Rail, Maritime and Transport union voted to go on strike. Manchester United sacked Louis van Gaal as its manager in favour of Jose Mourinho.


Stewart Hosie resigned as the deputy leader of the Scottish National Party after publicity about an affair with the same journalist with whom another SNP MP had an affair. A man convicted of murdering a homeless man in 1992 was found wandering in the gardens of Buckingham Palace after climbing the wall and was jailed for four months for trespass on a protected site. After only 40 students enrolled at Aberystwyth University’s new campus in Mauritius in its first two terms, Derec Llwyd Morgan, a former vice-chancellor, said: ‘The venture is madness.’ Burt Kwouk, the affable actor best known for his seven Pink Panther films, died aged 85. Scotland managed to increase its consumption of alcohol, thanks to increased drinking at home, with the average Scot getting through the equivalent of 477 pints of beer a year.

Abroad

A wave of bombings in the coastal cities of Tartous and Jableh, in territory controlled by the Syrian government, killed perhaps 145 people. The Islamic State said it was behind the attacks, which Syria blamed on Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar. Four helicopters and 20 lorries at the Russian T4 airbase, between Homs and Palmyra in Syria, were destroyed by forces from the Islamic State, satellite imagery suggested. About 50,000 civilians were thought to be at risk when Iraqi forces and Iran-backed Shia militias moved in on the city of Fallujah, held by Islamic State since January 2014. Mullah Akhtar Mansour, the leader of the Afghan Taleban since last July, was killed by a United States drone in Pakistan, near the border.  He was replaced by Mawlawi Haibatullah Akhundzada, a Taleban judge.

Greek riot police moved into the camp at Idomeni on the border with Macedonia as thousands of migrants began to be moved to state facilities 50 miles south near Thessaloniki. Debris was recovered from the Mediterranean of the EgyptAir aeroplane that crashed on 19 May with the loss of all on board. A hundred tax officials raided the Paris offices of Google. Petrol stations in France ran dry as oil refineries were picketed by strikers protesting about new laws contemplating a working week sometimes longer than 35 hours. Alexander Van der Bellen, the Green candidate, was elected president of Austria, only 31,000 votes ahead of Norbert Hofer, the right-wing Freedom party candidate, among 4,477,942 votes cast.

President Barack Obama of the United States, on a visit to Hanoi, announced that his country was lifting its embargo on the export of arms to Vietnam. Later he was photographed sitting on a blue plastic stool eating noodles in the company of Anthony Bourdain, the celebrity chef. A judge in Pennsylvania ruled that the actor Bill Cosby, 78, must stand trial on charges of sexual assault. Mpho Tutu-van Furth, the daughter of Archbishop Desmond Tutu, resigned as an Anglican priest after she married a woman. A moth called Tuta absoluta has destroyed 80 per cent of the tomato crop in the Nigerian state of Kaduna.       CSH


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