Magazine article The Spectator

Portrait of the Week

Magazine article The Spectator

Portrait of the Week

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President Barack Obama arrived in Britain for a state visit, having fled Ireland a day early lest the ash cloud from the Grimsvotn volcano in Iceland engulf his aeroplane. In Ireland he met his eighth cousin at Moneygall, where he drank a pint of Guinness, said 'I've come home to find the apostrophe we lost somewhere', and got his armour-plated car stuck on a bump in the road. In London he stayed at Buckingham Palace, attended a state banquet and addressed Parliament. In a joint newspaper article with David Cameron, the Prime Minister, he wrote: 'Ours is not just a special relationship, it is an essential relationship - for us and for the world.' Hundreds of flights were cancelled in Scotland as the ash cloud blew into its airspace.

Ryan Giggs, the Manchester United footballer, was named in the House of Commons, under parliamentary privilege, by John Hemming, a Liberal Democrat MP, as someone who was the subject of an injunction against the reporting of an alleged affair with Imogen Thomas, a former Big Brother contestant. Earlier he had been named by 75,000 people on Twitter.

David Cameron said that the state of the law on privacy was 'unsustainable'. John Whittingdale, a Conservative MP, was to chair a parliamentary committee inquiring into it. The Court of Appeal ruled that the conviction of George Davis for armed robbery and wounding in 1975 was unsafe;

he had been released by royal prerogative in 1976. High winds in Scotland destroyed hundreds of acres of soft-fruit polytunnels.

Higher than expected public borrowing in April took the government's debt to a record £910 billion, 60 per cent of GDP.

Marks & Spencer's pre-tax profits rose by 13 per cent to £714 million. A bomb went off at a branch of Banco Santander in Londonderry, the work of republicans. The Commons energy select committee urged the government to support drilling for shale gas in Britain. David Campbell Bannerman, an MEP, left Ukip to rejoin the Conservative party. Kathy Kirby, whose 'Secret Love' reached No. 4 in 1960, died aged 72.

Research at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine found that vuvuzelas can spread diseases such as tuberculosis.

Abroad

Christine Lagarde, the finance minister of France, received support from George Osborne, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, to become the new head of the International Monetary Fund. …

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