7 Days

Bad sports The executive board of the International Olympic Committee recommended that six committee members be expelled. Three members had already resigned and three others are under investigation in the £500,000 bribery allegations over the choice of Salt Lake City for the 2002 Winter Olympics.

Imam wanted In a letter to Tony Blair, Yemen's President Ali Abdullah Saleh requested that Abu Hamza al-Masri, an imam at Finsbury Park mosque in London, be extradited to face charges of sabotage. He is accused of sending five British Muslims to Aden on a bombing mission. Hamza said he would fight the request.

Stalemate continues Western military intervention in the Kosovo crisis came closer after a further massacre near Rakovina. Witnesses told the ethnic Albanian-run Kosovo Information Centre that Yugoslav security forces were responsible, while the Serbs claimed that the area where the bodies were found was controlled by the Kosovo Liberation Army.

Gay rights won The House of Commons voted in favour of the lowering of the age of consent for gay sex from 18 to 16.

Tit for tat American aircraft carried out at least five air strikes on Iraqi targets. Baghdad said 11 civilians, including women and children, were killed. The US claimed that Iraq had begun a build-up of air defences in both the southern and northern no-fly zones. Britain and the US have more than 200 aircraft patrolling southern Iraq.

Biggest quake of century The death toll reached more than 2,000 in the earthquake that devastated western Colombia, flattening the cities of Armenia and Pereira. The quake measured 6.0 on the Richter scale.

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Is anyone prepared to solve the NHS funding crisis?

As long as the political taboo on raising taxes endures, the service will be in financial peril. 

It has long been clear that the NHS is in financial ill-health. But today's figures, conveniently delayed until after the Conservative conference, are still stunningly bad. The service ran a deficit of £930m between April and June (greater than the £820m recorded for the whole of the 2014/15 financial year) and is on course for a shortfall of at least £2bn this year - its worst position for a generation. 

Though often described as having been shielded from austerity, owing to its ring-fenced budget, the NHS is enduring the toughest spending settlement in its history. Since 1950, health spending has grown at an average annual rate of 4 per cent, but over the last parliament it rose by just 0.5 per cent. An ageing population, rising treatment costs and the social care crisis all mean that the NHS has to run merely to stand still. The Tories have pledged to provide £10bn more for the service but this still leaves £20bn of efficiency savings required. 

Speculation is now turning to whether George Osborne will provide an emergency injection of funds in the Autumn Statement on 25 November. But the long-term question is whether anyone is prepared to offer a sustainable solution to the crisis. Health experts argue that only a rise in general taxation (income tax, VAT, national insurance), patient charges or a hypothecated "health tax" will secure the future of a universal, high-quality service. But the political taboo against increasing taxes on all but the richest means no politician has ventured into this territory. Shadow health secretary Heidi Alexander has today called for the government to "find money urgently to get through the coming winter months". But the bigger question is whether, under Jeremy Corbyn, Labour is prepared to go beyond sticking-plaster solutions. 

George Eaton is political editor of the New Statesman.