The Spectator

Portrait of the week | 4 August 2016

Portrait of the week | 4 August 2016
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The Court of Appeal overturned a ruling that four Syrian refugees living in Calais’ jungle camp could come to Britain because they had relatives here. The Appeal Court judges said that they should have claimed asylum in the first country they came to; the judgment will not affect the refugees, who are already in Britain. The High Court ruled that the NHS was wrong to say it lacked the ‘legal power to commission Prep’, or ‘pre-exposure prophylaxis’ drug, which is effective in 86 per cent of cases in preventing HIV viruses from multiplying; the drug costs £400 a month and is taken by men who practise anal intercourse but do not use condoms. The number of armed police in London was to increase by 600 to 2,800.

EDF, the French energy company, formally agreed to build the Hinkley Point C nuclear power station, and the menus had been printed for a celebratory lunch with British officials and Chinese backers, but the government surprised everyone by saying it would not make a decision until the autumn. Xinhua, China’s state-run news agency, said: ‘What China cannot understand is the “suspicious approach” that comes from nowhere.’ Ofgem, the energy regulator, said that from April four million customers using pre-pay meters would be protected by a cap on charges. Sir Julian King, who has been British ambassador in Paris since January, and was nominated as Britain’s new European Commissioner by David Cameron when he was prime minister, is to be ‘commissioner for the security union’, Jean-Claude Juncker announced. The EU said that Britain should pay the pensions for 1,730 British EU officials, making up 8 per cent of 22,000 pensioners, who receive £1.2 billion a year. A family in Monmouthshire won £61,102,443 in the EuroMillions lottery.

Theresa May, the Prime Minister, chaired the cabinet’s new Economy and Industrial Strategy Committee, which seeks a ‘strong’ industrial strategy. David Cameron was criticised for some of the 48 names on his resignation honours list, leaked to the Sunday Times, which included a knighthood for Craig Oliver, his former director of communications, and an OBE for Isabel Spearman, employed as a special adviser to Samantha Cameron, but widely described as her stylist. A man caught speeding at 154mph on the A11 at Icklingham in Suffolk was banned from driving for 56 days. One half of a road bridge over the railway at Barrow upon Soar in Leicestershire collapsed on to the line. A woman in the West Midlands rang the police on the 101 number because she had seen excrement in her garden, saying: ‘I’m wondering whether it’s dog or human.


A few dozen people left the besieged city of Aleppo along humanitarian corridors, but 300,000 were left in rebel-held areas and food is expected to run out next week. A Russian military helicopter was shot down in the northern Idlib province of Syria, killing all five on board. The United States carried out air strikes against the Islamic State in the city of Sirte in Libya. The number of people killed by the Islamic State bomb in Baghdad on 3 July rose to 324. The Tunisian parliament passed a vote of no confidence in Habib Essid, the Prime Minister. More than 10,000 Indian nationals laid off in Saudi Arabia did not have enough money to buy food, according to the Indian foreign minister.At Rabat zoo in Morocco an elephant threw a stone from its enclosure, killing a seven-year-old girl.

On the eve of the Olympic games, Aparecida Schunck, 67, mother-in-law of Bernie Ecclestone, the chief executive of the Formula One, who was abducted from her home in São Paulo, was released after nine days. In addition to Russia’s track and field team, 22 of its 28 rowers and all its weight lifters were barred from competing because of drug-testing irregularities. In the Yamalo-Nenets region of Siberia hot weather thawed an old reindeer carcass, leading to an outbreak of anthrax that killed 90 people and 2,300 reindeer.

Spain remained unable to form a government, even after its second general election since December. As many as three million people attended an open-air mass in Krakow celebrated by Pope Francis at the end of his five-day trip to Poland for World Youth Day; he had walked alone in Auschwitz. The French minister of the interior attended the funeral in Rouen cathedral for Fr Jaques Hamel, the priest killed by two 19-year-old followers of the Islamic State.           CSH