7 Days

New dawn or just another dusk? The Reverend Ian Paisley's Democratic Unionist Party said that it would undermine the reinstated Northern Ireland Assembly by disrupting the assembly and seeking to nurture dissent in the Ulster Unionist Party.

Proles v dons The Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott added his voice to the controversy over Oxbridge "elitism", when he threatened Oxford and Cambridge Universities with cash cuts if they do not admit more state school pupils.

Silk oil from a sow's waste Thai scientists developed a means of synthesising oil from human sewage. The process emulates and accelerates the way in which organic matter is turned into fossil fuel.

Fijian fracas The military in Fiji seized power and declared martial law. This follows the undermining of the democratically elected Fijian government by the attempted coup of a local businessman, George Speight - protesting at what he sees as the excessive political influence wielded by Fiji's Indian minority - and the subsequent civil unrest.

The NHS in poor health A computer error at North General Hospital in Sheffield left 154 pregnant women, who had had tests on their foetuses for Down's syndrome, facing uncertainty about their children's health. Further tests are now impossible as this may cause a miscarriage.

Pink or blue? The Scottish Executive dismissed a privately funded ballot urging it not to repeal Clause 28. The Executive insists it will remove Clause 28, which prohibits the promotion of homosexuality in schools.

We spend, you vote The election campaign began in earnest as the Labour government promised to increase general spending by £28bn and to abolish NHS waiting-lists.

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