Nuclear warheads out During his summit in Washington with the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, President George Bush announced that the US would slash its nuclear warheads by more than two-thirds in the next decade.
MPs muzzle watchdog The Parliamentary Commission for Standards, the only independent watchdog investigating allegations of sleaze and corruption against MPs, is to be downgraded next year. Elizabeth Filkin, its head, will be replaced by a commissioner working a reduced schedule for a lower salary.
The fifth terminal Despite objections from local residents and environmentalists, the government has endorsed BAA's plans to build Terminal Five at Heathrow airport, already the busiest in Europe. The £2.5bn project will go ahead next year.
More Scottish scandal In the wake of Henry McLeish's resignation as Scotland's First Minister over "financial irregularities", Jack McConnell, Scotland's education minister, confessed to an affair conducted seven years ago with a Labour Party colleague. McConnell is at present the only candidate to succeed McLeish.
"Victory for prejudice" John Howard, the Australian premier, secured victory for his Liberal Party when he was re-elected for a third term. The triumph followed a campaign dominated by the issue of immigration.
4,000 farmers evicted President Robert Mugabe announced that more than 90 per cent of all white-owned land in Zimbabwe will be nationalised. The move prompted farmers to withdraw their agricultural investment, drastically reducing next year's crop production.
Cholesterol busters Statins, cholesterol-lowering drugs, could prevent more than a third of heart attacks and strokes, according to a study funded by the Medical Research Council and the British Heart Foundation.