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Home Pope Benedict XVI was expected to conclude a four-day state visit to Britain with the beatification of Cardinal Newman in Birmingham, after addressing Parliament atWestminster Hall and meeting the Queen in Edinburgh. David Cameron, the Prime Minister, called the visit ‘incredibly important and historic’.The Queen’s Speech, outlining the government programme of legislation, which was expected in the autumn of 2011, has been delayed until spring 2012. Derek Barnett, the president of the Police Superintendents’ Association, said that austerity is likely to lead to ‘disaffection, social and industrial tensions’. Unions at the BBC planned two 48-hour strikes, affecting coverage of the Conservative party conference.A 2,000-year-old Roman bronze helmet with a full face mask and a Phrygian cap, found at Crosby Garrett,Westmorland, is to go for auction in London.

TheCommons Defence Select Committee warned that the speed of the expected cuts in defence spending could put some frontline operations ‘at risk’.A five-year inquiry (costing £30 million) into the murder by Republican prisoners inside the Maze prison of Billy Wright, the leader of the terrorist Loyalist Volunteer Force, in December 1997, found serious failings by the prison service but no ‘state collusion’. A promising treatment for malignant melanoma was reported.The government set out plans to cull badgers in England. George Michael, the pop singer, was jailed for eight weeks after admitting crashing his car while under the influence of cannabis.

Three former Labour MPs, Elliot Morley, David Chaytor and Jim Devine, charged with fraud over their parliamentary expenses, are to take to the Supreme Court their claim that parliamentary privilege protects them from prosecution.A specially convened court heard a challenge to the election by a majority of 103 of Phil Woolas as MP for Oldham East, on the grounds of allegedly false statements in campaign leaflets. Lord Bingham of Cornhill, the former Master of the Rolls and Lord Chief Justice, died, aged 76.Wheat prices hit a 22-month high in August after rising more than 50 per cent since the end of June.

Abroad Aninternational banking agreement known as Basel III was concluded, imposing minimum capital ratios to be phased in between 2013 and 2019, but British,American and Swiss bankers expected national regulators to stipulate stricter requirements. Harrisburg, the capital of Pennsylvania, avoided defaulting on its debts with the help of state funds. Japan energetically sold yen. Cuba announced plans to sack a million of the country’s 5.1 million state employees, half of them by March 2011.Afghanistan’s central bank took control of Kabul Bank, which has been troubled by allegations of corruption. Sarah Shourd, anAmerican arrested by Iran in July 2009 while hiking near the border with Iraq, and accused of spying, was released. The Pentagon is to notify Congress formally of advanced arms sales to Saudi Arabia worth $60 billion. Lady Gaga, the pop singer, wore a dress, hat and shoes made of pieces of meat to a music award ceremony.

the spectator | 18 September 2010 |

Candidates backed by the Tea Party movement won nominations in the Republican Delaware Senate primary and the NewYork gubernatorial primary; this was expected to diminish the chance of electoral victory by the Republicans. A second round of talks began in Egypt between Benjamin Netanyahu, the Prime Minister of Israel, President Mahmoud Abbas of the Palestinian entity, and George Mitchell, the US Middle East envoy. Claude Chabrol, the French NewWave film-maker, died, aged 80.The Fédération Internationale de Football Association investigated a match between Bahrain and a team supposedly from Togo that was unknown to the Togolese; Bahrain won 3-0.

InTurkey, a referendum on constitutional change resulted in 58 per cent of votes supporting the ruling party’s proposals, said to reduce the power of the military and increase parliamentary control of the courts. Riots broke out in the city of Mitrovica whenAlbanians mocked Serbs after their defeat by Turkey in the basketball world championships.The French Senate voted 246-1 in favour of a measure passed by the lower house in July to ban the wearing in public of the full Islamic veil.Viviane Reding, the Luxembourgeoise EU justice commissioner, urged the European Commission to take legal action against France over its deportations of Roma, 1,000 of whom have been sent back to Romania and Bulgaria since late July. South Korea agreed to deliver to North Korea aid including 5,000 tons of rice, 10,000 tons of cement and three million pot noodles. CSH


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