Magazine article The Spectator

Portrait of the Week

Magazine article The Spectator

Portrait of the Week

Article excerpt

Two new food scares got off to a good start: rats in Aberdeen fed by Professor Arpad Puztai on genetically modified potatoes for 100 days in an experiment were said to have developed reduced immunity; and tests found the presence in milk, even after pasteurisation, of mycobacterium paratuberculosis, credited with causing Crohn's disease, a chronic inflammation of the gut. British Petroleum merged with the American oil group Amoco in a 67 billion deal; it leaves BP shareholders with 60 per cent of the combined company, to be called BP Amoco, and 6,000 jobs are expected to be lost from the combined workforce of 100,000. The Apprentice Boys' march on the walls of Londonderry passed off without too much trouble, though one policeman had to fire into the air when his colleagues were surrounded by nationalists. The government survey ship Mansal IS sent down three unmanned midget submarines to inspect the wreckage of the trawler Gaul, which sank in 1974 in the Barents Sea, 70 miles off the North Cape of Norway; hatches were found open, but no clear conclusion could be drawn. Animal Liberation Front activists released at least 3,000 mink from a fur farm in the New Forest; the animals were blamed for killing owls at a bird sanctuary and are expected to eat many coots and moorhens in the coming weeks. Ted Hughes, the Poet Laureate, was made an OM by the Queen. At Torbay more than 800 people complained of having cut their feet on exposed razor shells on the shore at low tide. England won the first five-day Test series for 12 years in an exciting match against South Africa.

A BOMB exploded at the American embassy in Nairobi at 10.35 a.m. on 7 August and ten minutes later another at the American embassy in Dar es Salaam; at least 192, including 12 Americans, were killed and more than 4,000 injured in Nairobi and ten killed and 80 injured in Dar es Salaam. …

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