The Week in Review: Home News
Saturday 24 April 1993
Suddenly John Major was being cheerful, John Smith was trying not to sound unpatriotically disappointed and Paddy Ashdown was probably silently cursing his luck with the Newbury by-election only two weeks away.
A spate of economic indicators brought relief to the Government and produced confident predictions about green shoots turning into hefty great trees. One man in the City even said that companies might regret last year's widespread sackings.
Unemployment has dropped by 26,000, car production is up, so is business confidence and house sales are said to be improving. But the surest indicator of all was the alarming sight of Norman Lamont, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, smiling.
There were no smiles in Waco, Texas, where the FBI bungled the end of the seven-week siege of the headquarters of the Branch Davidian sect even more spectacularly than the authorities had the beginning. Among the 86 members of David Koresh's cult who died were 24 Britons.
A mother and her four children from Manchester were among those who died as the FBI smashed holes in the building and pumped in tear gas before the ranch was engulfed by a so far unexplained fire.
In Britain, religious problems are mercifully of a gentler kind. The Anglo-Catholic incense-swinging wing of the Church of England is finding the move towards women priests unacceptable and is heading briskly in the direction of Rome.
As English and Welsh Roman Catholic bishops discussed how to accommodate the discontented Anglicans, including their married priests, Ann Widdecombe, the social security minister, decided not to wait. She received her first communion as a Roman Catholic in the crypt of the House of Commons. The lesson was read by John Gummer, the Minister of Agriculture, who may soon follow her.
Perhaps the most surprising story of the week was the assertion that cold baths, long recommended for calming the more feverish desires of public school boys, may actually increase people's sex drive.
It is not known whether Bill Wyman, the former Rolling Stones guitarist, has ever adopted the chilly treatment suggested by the Thrombosis Research Institute in London, but there is no sign that the old rocker, now 56, is calming down.
On Wednesday, Mr Wyman married Suzanne Accosta, his third wife, and, in the title of the band's hit song, vowed it would be 'the last time'. Meanwhile, his son from his first marriage is to marry the mother of his second wife.
Quite the most unsurprising story of the week was the news that passenger services through the Channel tunnel will be delayed for another year. Everybody involved blamed everyone else so, as they say on the other side, plus ca change.
auctionThe first 23 lots have now gone. But there are 22 more still up for grabs
healthJames Bond's alcohol consumption puts him at 'high risk' of cirrhosis, tremors... and impotence
musicPolice chief rejects rappers' claims that his work is as dangerous as law enforcement or military service
comedy'Fresh Meat' star sees off stiff competition from Alan Carr, David Mitchell, Graham Norton, Lee Mack and Sarah Millican to win top prize
tvSpoiler alert: Find out the result of a heated final show
Beatles rush out 'bootleg' album to defy EU copyright law
Harvey Weinstein reveals his secret weapon on-set
Now that an oil trader's drinking has got him sacked, will we all have to make do with an afternoon latte?
Chiwetel Ejiofor and Idris Elba get nods for Best Actor, which no black Brit has ever won
Geoffrey Macnab reviews The Desolation of Smaug - the meat in Peter Jackson's Hobbit sandwich
peopleWhat advice would David Cameron give to his younger self?
- 1 Nelson Mandela memorial: ‘Bogus’ sign language interpreter made mockery of Barack Obama’s tribute in Soweto
- 2 Mystery of Epping Forest 'big cat' is solved
- 3 French café starts charging extra to rude customers
- 4 Australia incest case: Severely deformed children found in remote farming community after generations of inbreeding
- 5 Physicists discover 'clearest evidence yet' that the Universe is a hologram
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