Magazine article The Spectator

Potrait of the Week

Magazine article The Spectator

Potrait of the Week

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Moussa Koussa, the Libyan foreign minister who flew to Britain on 30 March, made a televised speech in Arabic, saying that Libya could be another Somalia if it was allowed to sink into civil war. He then flew to Doha, the capital of Qatar, for an international contact group meeting on Libya's future. Officers from the Dumfries and Galloway Constabulary had an opportunity to interview him about the Lockerbie atrocity of 1988 before he left. 'The UK has in the last week supplied additional aircraft for striking ground targets threatening the civilian population of Libya, 'William Hague, the Foreign Secretary, told a meeting of EU foreign ministers in Luxembourg. 'It would be welcome if other countries also do the same.' An able seaman was charged with the murder of an officer aboard HMS Astute, a nuclear submarine, during an incident when shots were fired.

Banks will have to 'ring-fence' their retail operations and increase capital reserves, according to the interim report of the Independent Commission on Banking under Sir John Vickers. In calling for more competition it singled out Lloyds, which would have to sell more than the 600 branches already agreed with European regulators. In response to a question from Robert Peston of the BBC, Sir John said: 'I absolutely reject any notion that we bottled it.' The Duke of Grafton died, aged 92.

The annual rate of inflation (measured by CPI) fell to 4 per cent in March from 4.4 per cent in February; by the RPI, the fall was from 5.5 to 5.3 per cent. Food and drink prices had gone down, against a rise a year earlier. The figures led to a fall in the pound against the dollar because investors believed that they made the Bank of England less likely to raise interest rates. Unemployment fell by 17,000 in the three months to the end of February to 2.48 million. Gillian Duffy, whom Gordon Brown had mistakenly referred to as a 'bigoted woman' before the election, met Nick Clegg on a visit to Rochdale. She asked: 'Can you honestly look me in the eye and tell me you are happy with all these policies what have gone wrong for you?'

Abroad

Laurent Gbagbo, the former President of Ivory Coast, was captured by the forces of his rival Alassane Ouattara after French and UN helicopters fired rockets at his headquarters. …

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