7 Days

Musical chairs The government shuffled and Keith Vaz, MP for Leicester East, was made parliamentary under-secretary at the Lord Chancellor's Department. He is thought to be Britain's first minister of Asian origin. Appointments included John Reid as Scottish Secretary and Helen Liddell as transport minister, while Geoff Hoon was promoted to the Foreign Office.

Labour victory The lisping ex-commando Ehud Barak swept to victory over Binyamin Netanyahu in the Israeli general election. The outgoing prime minister promised to spend time with his family while considering his future. Palestinians, who blame the Likud party for paralysing the Middle East peace process, welcomed his downfall.

Payback time Kept women may soon be able to claim maintenance and an old age pension from their lovers, under changes being considered by the Law Commission. The proposals require a mistress to prove that her contribution was more than just a bit on the side.

Job stress Despite 23 years' service in the rough, tough world of the army, the former prison officer, Lynn Armstrong, claimed the five weeks she spent guarding the serial murderer, Rosemary West, had ruined her life. Alleging her duties brought on a nervous breakdown, she is suing the Home Office for £50,000.

Tot swots Babies are to get their own version of the Booker prize for literature, with authors competing for a £2,000 jackpot. The aim is to give the under-ones the idea that books are fun; entries will be rated for their durability and thick pages of a child-friendly size.

Muslim scapegoat Merve Kavaci, a Turkish MP, has been stripped of her citizenship. She could lose her parliamentary seat, and her political party, Virtue, may be banned - all because she wore an Islamic headscarf.

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