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Portrait of the week

Portrait of the week: Sarkozy threatens to move the Calais ‘jungle’ to UK

Plus: EU tells Apple to pay more tax in Ireland; burkini bans ruled illegal in France; Gene Wilder dies

3 September 2016

9:00 AM

3 September 2016

9:00 AM


Britain rejected a call by Nicolas Sarkozy, the former president of France who hopes to return to power next year, ‘for the opening of a centre in England to process asylum requests for all those who are in Calais’. More than 9,000 migrants camp at the so-called Jungle near Calais; it was Mr Sarkozy who in 2003 helped implement the bilateral treaty that allowed Britain to place border officials on the French side of the Channel. Southern Rail reinstated 119 of the 341 daily services it cut in July. Katrina Percy resigned as the chief executive of the Southern Health NHS Trust following criticism that the deaths of people with mental illness or deficiencies had not been examined properly. People with hidden disabilities or poor health were offered badges by Transport for London reading: ‘Please offer me a seat.’

Theresa May, the Prime Minister, summoned ministers concerned with the process of leaving the European Union. She was reported to have been told by legal advisers that Parliament’s consent is not required before invoking Article 50 and that she might ‘consider asserting Royal Prerogative’. Lord O’Donnell, the former Cabinet Secretary, said that, with changes in the European Union: ‘It might be that the broader, more loosely aligned group is something that the UK is happy being a member of.’ He also said that Theresa May would be ‘politically unwise’ not to allow MPs a say in the negotiations. David Cameron, the former Prime Minister, was photographed sitting barefoot on a car-park wall in Cornwall, eating chips out of a plastic container.

Foreign companies made a record 2,213 investments in Britain in the year ending April 2016 — 11 per cent more than the previous year. The last 22 BHS shops closed. A concrete pedestrian bridge collapsed on to two lorries on the M20 after it was struck by a digger being carried on a low-loader. Two American pilots for United Airlines were arrested as they tried to check in at Glasgow Airport and charged with having drunk too much. At the Notting Hill Carnival, five people were stabbed and eight policemen needed hospital treatment. Thirty-six per cent of people asked said they had not seen a policeman on the beat for over a year. The Police Federation of England and Wales called for an end to the ban on officers having tattoos on their hands, neck and faces.


The European Commission told Ireland to recover €13 billion from Apple in unpaid tax; both Ireland and Apple appealed. The US Treasury joined in, saying: ‘We believe that retroactive tax assessments by the Commission are unfair.’ A ban on burkinis by the southern French town of Villeneuve-Loubet was declared illegal by the Council of State, the highest administrative court. Some of the other 30 seaside towns that had imposed bans refused to revoke them. In one day, 6,500 migrants, mostly from Eritrea, were rescued from the Mediterranean, 12 miles off the Libyan coastal town of Sabratha. The number killed in the Italian earthquake was found to be about 290, with hundreds of historic buildings, particularly in Amatrice, badly damaged. Lightning killed a herd of 323 reindeer on the Hardangervidda plateau in Norway.

Turkish forces that had crossed into Syria attacked Kurdish forces that had moved west of the Euphrates, instead of attacking Islamic State forces, as the United States had wanted. A car bomb set off by the Islamic State killed at least 60 people at a compound used by the pro-government Popular Resistance militia in Aden, southern Yemen. Islamic State said that its spokesman Abu Muhammad al-Adnani had been killed in Aleppo. Explosives in a lorry outside a hotel in Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia, killed 22 people.

Farc (Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia) agreed to a ceasefire, ending the 52-year civil war in Colombia. Dilma Rousseff, the suspended president of Brazil, defended herself in the Senate during impeachment hearings. Kim Yong Jin, a North Korean vice-premier, was said to have been executed. Singapore confirmed more than 40 cases of locally transmitted Zika virus. Gene Wilder, the comic actor, died aged 83. Residents of Greenville County, South Carolina, complained that people dressed as clowns were trying to lure children into the woods. Two men of the Cree nation discovered that as babies 41 years ago in the town of Norway House, Manitoba, they were sent home from hospital to each other’s families.            CSH

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