Straw threatens Zimbabwe Jack Straw, the Foreign Secretary, warned the Zimbabwean government that it faces suspension from the Commonwealth should it continue with its attempts to limit people's freedoms. Zimbabwe's president, Robert Mugabe, proposed laws aimed at tightening government controls on the press and the electoral process.
Carey to retire The Archbishop of Canterbury, George Carey, was forced to make public his intention to retire in October, after his plans were leaked to the press. During his 11 years as head of the Church of England, church attendances fell and women were able to be ordained as priests.
Mobile phone theft More than 700,000 mobile phones were stolen last year, accounting for 28 per cent of all thefts in the UK. Teenagers were the prime victims.
Asylum video fails A video, produced by the International Organisation for Migration, depicting the hardships of modern British life overwhelmingly failed to convince potential asylum-seekers to return to their countries of origin. Only 17 of the 17,500 residents at the Red Cross hostel in Sangatte, northern France, decided to abandon their plans to cross the Channel after watching the film, which warned of the exploitation of illegal workers in Britain.
Blair on the road The Prime Minister visited India and Pakistan, but was unable to make significant progress in easing the nations' rift over the disputed territory of Kashmir. He also made a surprise visit to Afghanistan, where he rallied British peace-keeping forces and expressed support for the country's new cross-party government.
Climbie inquiry begins The public inquiry into the abuse and death of eight-year-old Victoria Climbie included the first ever testimony by a convicted murderer at such an inquiry. Marie Therese Kouao, Victoria's aunt, who last year was sentenced to life in prison for her murder, testified.