7 Days

Flying royal British Airways is in grave danger of becoming Lady Thatcher's favourite airline again after it announced plans to drop its ethnic tail fins just two years after their £500 million introduction. BA found that British customers share Lady T's misgivings, and will restore the Union flag.

Duty bound The Danes and the Dutch became the betes noires of Europe's smokers and drinkers after they foiled attempts by various European governments to rescue duty-free from being phased out. Northern Europe's killjoys have called last orders for 30 June.

Frank gets the blues A bad week for Frank Dobson. First junior doctors agreed to a ballot on industrial action over working conditions. Then latest figures showed a rise in NHS waiting lists, which Dobson blamed on staff holidays. If they rise again over the summer, Dobson will be able to blame irresponsible, striking staff.

Treble chance In a last-ditch attempt to engender some enthusiasm for the European elections, Labour played its strongest card: Alex Ferguson. The Manchester United manager joined Mick Hucknall, Jeremy Irons and the nursery heroine Lisa Potts in a party broadcast.

Luvvie Labour's lost? Lord (David) Puttnam has brought himself into direct conflict with the government after calling for an end to the "reign of terror" of the chief inspector of schools, Chris Woodhead. Puttnam said it was time to replace confrontation with a new loving and caring regime.

Least favourite son Jonathan Aitken's humiliation was complete after he was given an 18-month prison sentence. Life, however, may improve for the disgraced former cabinet minister away from the public gaze. Indications suggest that Aitken will be transferred to Ford prison, the "Club Med of the prison service". And his book, Pride and Perjury, is out later this year.

This article first appeared in the 14 June 1999 issue of the New Statesman, Kosovo: a rich and comfortable war