Portrait of the week

Portrait of the week

1 August 2015

9:00 AM

1 August 2015

9:00 AM


A man died when 1,500 migrants tried to enter the Channel Tunnel terminal in Calais in one night. The night before, 2,000 had tried. Theresa May, the Home Secretary, spoke of spending money on fences. The Foreign Office warned travellers to the Continent via Calais that they should be prepared to return by a different route, what with migrants and French strikers. George Osborne, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, visited Paris for talks with French ministers about Britain’s place in the European Union. Chris Froome won the Tour de France for the second time in three years, although some spectators threw urine at him and some even suggested that he had a little motor hidden in his bicycle. A woman from Leicester who claimed that a security guard assaulted her while she was breastfeeding in Primark was charged with intent to pervert the course of public justice. This year was beginning to look like the windiest since 1995, said the Met Office.

The British economy grew by 0.7 per cent in the second quarter of the year, compared with an increase (according to revised figures) of 0.4 per cent for the first quarter. The FTSE share index fell to its lowest level since January. Nikkei outbid its rival Axel Springer to buy the Financial Times for £844 million. BP recorded a loss of £4 billion in the second quarter after setting aside £4.8 billion for costs relating to the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010. The Court of Appeal ruled that an estranged grown-up daughter should receive £164,000, a third of her late mother’s estate, even though her will specified that all should go to animal charities, with which she had few connections.

Lord Sewel, aged 69, not a very well-known peer, who had been appointed by Tony Blair and since 2012 had, as a crossbencher, been chairman of committees, resigned from the House of Lords after the Sun published pictures of him apparently taking cocaine and lolling about with prostitutes. Alex Salmond, the former first minister of Scotland, said: ‘I think a second independence referendum is inevitable.’ A Pictish fort discovered on a sea stack near Stonehaven, Aberdeenshire, was found to date from the third or fourth century. Manchester Royal Infirmary detected two suspected cases of Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome, a virus often caught from camels, which do not abound in Lancashire; but it turned out to be a false alarm.


Turkey began bombing Islamic State positions in Syria a week after a bomb killed 32 people in Suruc, near the Syrian border. At the same time Turkey attacked forces of the PKK Kurdish independence movement, which is fighting the Islamic State. More than 1,000 people in Turkey suspected of links with the PKK and the Islamic State were arrested. Turkey allowed the United States to use its airbase at Incirlik. It then called a meeting of all 28 members of Nato to discuss the threat to its borders. The United States sought the establishment of a zone in Syria along the Turkish border that would be free from Islamic State control.

Mullah Omar, the Taleban leader, was reported to be dead. Pakistani police said they had shot dead Malik Ishaq, the leader of the Sunni terrorist group Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, during an attempt to free him from custody. A lorry bomb devastated the five-star Jazeera Palace Hotel in Mogadishu, Somalia, killing 15 people. A court in Tripoli, Libya, sentenced to death Saif al-Islam, the second son of the late dictator Muammar Gaddafi, though the condemned man is still held by a rival faction in Zintan. President Barack Obama of the United States visited Kenya, where his family comes from, and revealed that his grandfather had served as a cook in the King’s African Rifles. The Boy Scouts of America lifted its ban on gay people serving as adult leaders in the organisation, though units run by Catholics and Mormons were exempt.

Chinese shares continued to slide, with the Shanghai Composite falling by 8.5 per cent in one day. A factory on the outskirts of Beijing, said to have made 41,000 fake Apple iPhones, was raided by police and nine people arrested. David Cameron, the Prime Minister of Britain, said in a speech in Singapore that he wanted to stop properties in London ‘being bought by people overseas through anonymous shell companies, some with plundered or laundered cash’. France accused Switzerland of using helicopters to scoop water from the Lac des Rousses in the Jura for its thirsty cows in alpine meadows over the border.        CSH

Got something to add? Join the discussion and comment below.

You might disagree with half of it, but you’ll enjoy reading all of it. Try your first 10 weeks for just $10

Show comments
  • Jackthesmilingblack

    Old Chinese proverb:
    Kill one, terrify 10,000.

    • Yvonne Stuart-Hargreaves

      There is no crisis, just a few hundred opportunists and a lot of spin.

  • bk3467

    Please sign the petition of no confidence in David Cameron regarding the Calais crisis:-