Magazine article The Spectator

Portrait of the Week

Magazine article The Spectator

Portrait of the Week

Article excerpt

Home The Duchess of Cambridge gave birth to a boy, weighing 8lb 6oz, an heir to the crown, third in line to the throne. Great public excitement was expressed by taking photographs of an official notice of the birth posted on a gilt easel inside the railings of Buckingham Palace. Bells rang and gun salutes were fired. Mel Smith, the comedian, died, aged 60. Thunderstorms cut off power and disrupted train services after a fortnight of hot weather reached temperatures of 33.5C in London, the highest since 2006.

Many-fruited beardless moss, found in only four locations in the world, may have disappeared from two places in Cornwall.

George Osborne, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, announced that tax on profits from the production of shale gas would be cut from 62 per cent to 30 per cent, which he called the 'most generous' terms in the world. Mr Osborne encouraged mortgage providers to make use of the second stage of his Help to Buy scheme, which from January will underwrite loans of up to £600,000 to people who can raise a 5 per cent deposit to buy existing houses. He then flew to Moscow. Public borrowing for 2012-13 was found to be £2 billion less than had been estimated, amounting to £116.5 billion, or 7.4 per cent of GDP, although the national debt has risen by 42 per cent to £1.2 trillion under this government. Export activity reached a level unseen since 2007, according to the trade index compiled by the British Chambers of Commerce.

The number of Premium Bond prizes of £100,000 was cut from five a month to three.

Black teenagers (34 per cent) are now more likely to apply for a university place than white ones (29 per cent), according to the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service. Nicholas Jacobs, 44, of Hackney, was charged with the murder of PC Keith Blakelock at Broadwater Farm, Tottenham, in 1985. Pavlo Lapshyn, a 25-year-old Ukrainian student, was charged with the 'terrorism-related' murder of an 82-year-old Muslim man who was stabbed to death in April in Birmingham.

Five prison officers were suspended after Michael Adebolajo, charged with the murder of Drummer Lee Rigby, lost two teeth while being restrained. The Home Office is to pay for vans to drive through Barnet, Hounslow, Barking, Ealing, Brent and Redbridge, bearing posters urging illegal immigrants to go home. …

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