Portrait of the Week

The Spectator, August 27, 2016 | Go to article overview

Portrait of the Week


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Virgin Trains released videos showing that there were seats available when Jeremy Corbyn, the leader of the Labour party, was filmed sitting on the floor of a railway carriage saying: 'This is a problem that many passengers face every day, commuters and long-distance travellers. Today this train is completely ram-packed.' He then continued his journey in a seat. The RMT union called two more days of strikes for guards on Southern. Sir Antony Jay, the co-writer of the series Yes, Minister and Yes, Prime Minister , died, aged 86.

British competitors returned from the Olympic Games in Rio with 67 medals, of which 27 were gold, beating their performance in the London games of 2012 and coming second in the medal table between the United States and China. Celebratory parades were announced for Manchester and London in October. Persimmon the housebuilders reported a 29 per cent increase in profits for the first half of the year, with 'robust' customer interest since the EU referendum. Drones were intercepted by police over Pentonville prison carrying drugs and mobile phones. After losing £50,000 worth of York stone in a year, Leeds set about spraying its paving with traceable SmartWater.

A jury in Manchester heard that Jalal Uddin, aged 71, was murdered in February by two supporters of the Islamic State because he practised a form of Islamic healing called Ruqya. David Hoare resigned as chairman of Ofsted, the education regulator, after having said of the Isle of Wight that people 'think of it as holiday land. But it is shocking. It's a ghetto; there has been inbreeding.' Tesco removed the flag of Scotland from strawberries grown there and replaced it with a Union flag. Six people died in five incidents during high seas on British coasts. A 17,000-ton oil rig was towed off rocks at Dalmore on the Isle of Lewis, on which it had been aground for a fortnight.

Abroad

Video footage of five-year-old Omran Daqneesh covered in ashen dust and fresh blood, sitting silent on a seat in an ambulance in Aleppo after an airstrike, moved western audiences, but led to no definite action. An Islamic State suicide bombing of a Kurdish wedding at Gaziantep in Turkey near the Syrian border killed 54 people. Turkish tanks moved over the border into Syria after Turkish forces had bombarded Islamic State targets in Jarablus in Syria and at the same time bombarded Syrian Kurdish forces nearby, apparently to stop them from taking Jarablus themselves. …

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