The Spectator

The Spectator’s portrait of the week | 22 October 2014

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A hundred firemen could not prevent wooden cooling towers at Didcot B gas-fuelled power station in Oxfordshire from burning down. A consortium said it could power 2.5 million houses in Britain by 2018 with solar energy generated in southern Tunisia. The Bank of England indicated that interest rates would stay low for longer because of a poor outlook for the global economy. Government borrowing rose to £11.8 billion in September: £1.6 billion more than a year earlier. HSBC offered a mortgage at 0.99 per cent interest. The government is to pay a bounty of £55 to GPs for every patient they diagnose with dementia. English hospitals near the Welsh border are under ‘absolutely intolerable pressure’ from patients crossing over to get treatment, Jeremy Hunt, the Health Secretary, said. The Duchess of Cambridge is expecting her second child next April.

David Cameron said that before Christmas he would set out further plans to curb the rights of EU migrants to work in Britain. Not enough of the 10,650 foreign prisoners in Britain are being deported, according to the National Audit Office. Among those to be created peers were Sir Andrew Green, head of Migration Watch, and Sir Robert Rogers, the former Clerk of the House of Commons. A flock of sheep at Merstham, Surrey, devoured £4,000-worth of cannabis that had been dumped in their field.

Britain will fly unmanned drones over Syria. The Royal Fleet Auxiliary vessel Argus continued its passage to Sierra Leone to support action against Ebola; the hospital on board will not be used for Ebola patients. A man from Turvey, Bedfordshire, withdrew his daughter from school because it would not let her wear a face mask against Ebola. Tens of thousands of people in London, Glasgow and Belfast demonstrated in favour of higher pay, adopting the TUC slogan: ‘Britain Needs a Pay Rise’.

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