The Week so Far

1. UK

The Defence Secretary, Liam Fox, opened the Defence and Security Equipment International arms fair in London on 13 September. He said he was "proud" that the UK is the world's second-largest arms exporter. The sector employs more than 300,000 people.

2. North America

Rick Perry and Mitt Romney became the front-runners in the race to become the Republican presidential nominee, following a series of TV debates. Michele Bachmann is trailing in third place.

3. Middle East

Turkey's prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, visited Cairo on 13 September to offer support for Egypt's transition to democracy. The trip included a stop in Tunisia, whose ousting of President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali in January inspired popular movements across the region.

4. Africa

Libya will be a democratic state based on "moderate Islam", said Mustafa Abdel Jalil, head of the National Transitional Council, in his first speech since Muammar al-Gaddafi was deposed.

5. Entertainment

The comedian David Walliams raised more than £1m for charity after swimming 140 miles along the River Thames in eight days. He was advised not to swim the London section after Thames Water diverted 500,000 cubic metres of raw sewage into the river following heavy rainfall. "We're not public health experts, but I wouldn't recommend swimming through it," said its spokesman Richard Aylard.

6. Business

The Vickers report recommended that banks raise their capital levels and separate their retail and riskier investment arms, in order to prevent another taxpayer bailout of the system. The Chancellor, George Osborne, said the report answered questions that "should have been asked a decade ago".

7. Technology

Supercomputers could be used to predict revolutions, researchers say. Studying millions of news articles can map changing sentiments and their locations, according to a paper published in the online journal First Monday. Keywords such as "terrible" and "horrible" became more frequent in specific places before the Arab spring revolutions started, both inside and outside affected areas.

8. Science

Cats that glow in the dark could help in the study of HIV. Eric Poeschla of the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, inserted the green fluorescent protein gene, originally found in jellyfish, into cats to monitor the function of genetic material related to the feline immunodeficiency virus, a close relative of HIV.

9. People

James Murdoch will be recalled to the Commons culture, media and sport select committee to give further evidence on phone-hacking. Murdoch, who oversees News International, the owner of News of the World, will face new questions about the paper's "rogue reporter" defence.

10. Health

Disaster victims trapped in collapsed buildings could be rescued by detecting chemicals in their breath such as ammonia and acetone. The findings, published in the Journal of Breath Research, could be used to develop an "electronic sniffer dog".

This article first appeared in the 19 September 2011 issue of the New Statesman, Meet the next Prime Minister