7 Days

Cook in trouble Robin Cook, the Foreign Secretary, imposed a legal gagging order to prevent Paul Grecian, a director of Ordtec, from using secret documents to further a multi-million pound damages claim against Customs and Excise for malicious prosecution. Opponents accused Cook of hypocrisy: when in opposition, he enhanced his reputation by attacking the Conservatives over their use of legal restraining orders against businessmen involved in the arms-to-Iraq scandal.

DJ's drive-by shooting The BBC's Radio1 rap DJ Tim Westwood was injured in a drive-by shooting in south London. The attack, which echoed murderous shootings of famous American rappers, occurred at 8.40pm on 18 July. Two men on a red motorcycle, assumed to be part of a Yardie group, pulled up alongside Westwood's four-wheel drive vehicle and fired at close range through the tinted glass.

Redemption Marine scientists and archaeologists working off the coast of ancient Philistia, now the Gaza Strip, have found the wrecks of two ships loaded with finest-quality goods from Phoenicia, now Lebanon. The findings contradict the Philistines' traditional image as the uncivilised brutes of history. Instead, it seems they had a taste for fine wines, delicate oils and decorative crockery.

A tale of two cities The residents of Reading and Swindon are bitterly competing to be elevated to city status for the new millennium. The row threatened to get nasty when Martin Salter, Labour MP for Reading West, told the Reading Evening Post he had "every sympathy for everyone who has to live in Swindon".

Jackpot crackpot For the second time in Hull, nobody seems to want to claim a jackpot winning ticket. The Lottery operator, Camelot, says the city's mystery ticket-holder has just 11 days to claim £1,234,612. According to one resident, Wayne Maunder, "it could have been a Russian sailor".

This article first appeared in the 26 July 1999 issue of the New Statesman, I took tea with Pinochet