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Portrait of the week

Portrait of the week: 49 shot dead in Orlando gay club by Islamist gunman

Cameron says Brexit is a threat to pensions ‘triple lock’; England football fans battered by Russians in Marseille

18 June 2016

9:00 AM

18 June 2016

9:00 AM


David Cameron, the Prime Minister, threatened pensioners who voted in the referendum for Britain to leave the EU: ‘If we leave, the pensioner benefits would be under threat, and the “triple lock” could no longer be guaranteed.’ He also said he might take away their ‘free bus passes and TV licences’, even though the latter are paid for by the BBC. George Osborne, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, said he would put up taxes if there was a vote to leave the EU, but 57 Tory MPs said they would vote against what they called a ‘punishment budget’. Jeremy Corbyn, the Labour leader, thanked immigrants for the ‘fantastic service’ they gave to the NHS. Tom Watson, the deputy Labour leader, said ‘woe betide’ his party if it ignored public concern about immigration. Lord Leach of Fairford, Rodney Leach, who in 2005 set up the think tank Open Europe, died aged 82.

Ten thousand people had a sandwich lunch in the rain in the Mall to celebrate the Queen’s 90th birthday. The sun came out as she and the Duke of Edinburgh passed in an open-topped car. In the birthday honours, among the 1,149 recognised were Dame Vera Lynn, 99, Companion of Honour; Rod Stewart and Roger Scruton, knighted; social worker Louise Casey, made a Dame; Alastair Cook, the England cricket captain, appointed CBE, Ant and Dec and Brian Blessed OBE. In the overseas list the astronaut Tim Peake was made a Companion of the Order of St Michael and St George.

Migration Watch said that Britain could expect net immigration of 275,000 a year over the next 20 years if it stayed in the EU. A woman in Newcastle was found to have had 17 children taken from her care by the local authority over a 30-year period. The annual rate of inflation remained unchanged in May at 0.3 per cent as measured by the Consumer Prices Index, and rose a touch to 1.4 per cent from 1.3 in April as measured by the Retail Prices Index. Unemployment fell by 20,000 to 1.67 million. Sir Philip Green, the former owner of BHS, who sold it for £1, gave evidence on its demise to a Commons inquiry, despite having said in a letter that he would ‘require’ the immediate resignation of Frank Field MP from it.


Omar Mateen, aged 29, shot dead 49 people and wounded 53 more at a gay nightclub called Pulse in Orlando, Florida, where he was said to have been a regular visitor. He declared in a phone call to 911 that he bore allegiance to the Islamic State. Police freeing hostages shot him dead. A US citizen, born in New York to Afghan parents, he had been interviewed twice by the FBI in 2013, and had worked as a security guard for G4S since 2007. At Magnanville, in the Ile-de-France, Larossi Abballa, who had been sentenced in 2013 to two-and-a-half years in jail for recruiting jihadists to fight in Pakistan, was killed by police after murdering a man and a woman, both police employees, in front of their three-year-old child, having declared allegiance to the Islamic State. In Libya, forces supporting the UN-backed unity government in Tripoli said they had retaken the port city of Sirte from the Islamic State. In Syria, a bomb killed 12 near the Sayyida Zeinab shrine in a suburb of Damascus, which houses the tomb of one of Mohammed’s granddaughters.

A group of 150 determined Russians rushed at England supporters in the Stade Vélodrome in Marseille at the end of a 1-1 Euro 2016 draw. Fights in the street took place before and after, and four people were seriously injured; six England fans were jailed, although French prosecutors said that 150 Russians ‘well prepared for ultra-rapid, ultra-violent action’ were involved. Uefa gave Russia a suspended disqualification from the championship. Nato defence ministers approved a new multinational force of 4,000 troops from the United States, Canada, Germany and Britain to defend Poland and the Baltic states.

Chinese forces prevented 15 Filipinos from hoisting the Philippines flag on an island called Huangyan, or Scarborough Shoal, in the South China Sea. Warcraft: The Beginning, a film of a popular computer game, took £109 million in the first five days after opening in China last week. Microsoft bought LinkedIn, the professional networking website, for just over £18 billion in cash. A man fell through a crust of rock into a hot spring in Yellowstone National Park and was boiled to death.        CSH

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