Magazine article The Spectator

Portrait of the Week

Magazine article The Spectator

Portrait of the Week

Article excerpt

Home David Cameron, the Prime Minister, flew to Sochi, on the Black Sea, to talk with President Vladimir Putin, principally about Syria. He then flew to Washington, to support the American tour by Prince Harry and hold talks with President Barack Obama. They said that Britain and America wanted to strengthen the moderate opposition in Syria somehow. In a joint press conference, Mr Obama also said: 'The UK's participation in the EU is an expression of its influence.' Mr Cameron tried to placate Tory MPs by rushing out a draft EU referendum bill, in the face of an amendment in the Queen's Speech debate expressing regret at the absence of such a bill in the government programme. EU officials investigating price-fixing raided the London offices of BP and Shell. Ed Miliband, the leader of the opposition, bravely ran into the middle of the road to save a woman who had fallen off her bicycle.

Abu Qatada said he would go to Jordan for trial voluntarily if Britain ratified a new treaty to prevent evidence obtained through torture being used against him;

Theresa May, the Home Secretary, said that Britain would press ahead with its own plans. Seven men - Akhtar Dogar, Anjum Dogar, Mohammed Karrar, Bassam Karrar, Kamar Jamil, Assad Hussain, and Zeeshan Ahmed - were found guilty at the Old Bailey of rape and assaults against girls as young as 11, organised from Oxford.

Seven other men had already been jailed for up to 18 years for rape and trafficking in underage girls around Telford in Shropshire; although all were of Pakistani ethnicity and all the girls were white, police said that the crimes were not racially motivated. Lord Ahmed resigned from the Labour party on the eve of a party hearing on reports of his having blamed Jews for his imprisonment in 2009 for dangerous driving. Chris Huhne, the former Cabinet minister, and Vicky Pryce, his former wife, were both released from prison after serving 62 days of an eight-month sentence.

The FTSE 100 index rose above 6,600, its highest since 2007. IAG, which owns Iberia and British Airways, made losses of £531 million in the first quarter, thanks to the performance of the Iberia side of things. Moody's downgraded the Co-operative Bank to 'junk' status. Bryan Forbes, the film director, died, aged 86. …

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