Roses are red Tony Blair tried to woo the Trade Union Congress in Brighton with a pledge to increase spending on public services . . . and with a poem that he'd penned himself, welcoming them to No 10, "but no beer today, just tea". The rhyming effort was politely received but members agreed that Tony should stick to his day job.
Up in arms Anti-arms trade protesters were indignant to learn that Robin Cook attempted to secure a job for his son with a munitions supplier. Peter Cook refused the offer. Embarrassingly for his father, Cook is a leading light of Campaign Against the Arms Trade, which has campaigned against British arms sales to Indonesia.
Trolley trouble British Airways has confirmed that certain cabin staff have been conning customers with counterfeit goods from the duty-free trolleys. The guilty staff have been switching cheap imitations bought abroad with designer goods, which are then sold privately at a large profit.
All at sea The NHS has commissioned two Royal Navy ships to be used as hospital operating theatres. The floating hospitals will come into operation during the ten months of the year in which they are not needed as warships. The sea beds are being created in an effort to reduce hospital waiting lists, and should set sail in 2002.
Bomb terror Two devastating bomb blasts in four days caused panic in Moscow. Although it is not known for sure who planted the devices, citizens suspect a plot to intimidate the Kremlin into abandoning the conflict in Dagestan.
Safety faked Batches of nuclear fuel rods assembled at Sellafield may falsely have been decreed safe by negligent employees. British Nuclear Fuels has admitted to serious "irregularities" in the manufacture of the rods, which are exported with the highest possible security owing to their hazardous nature. Inspectors have been called in to investigate.