7 Days

Minister derailed The Indian railway minister offered to resign over the train crash in West Bengal that killed up to 500 people. Nitish Kumar said that he had a "moral responsibility" to hand in his resignation for the tragedy, in which a train travelling at 50mph crashed into an oncoming express, and blamed "criminal negligence" and a failure to invest in the Indian rail network.

Weakness not malice Hillary Clinton insisted that her husband's infidelity with Monica Lewinsky was a "sin of weakness, not a sin of malice". The first lady blamed a "terrible conflict" between Clinton's mother and grandmother for fuelling his sexual indiscretions.

Doubting George The Archbishop of Canterbury, George Carey, has voiced doubts about the resurrection of Jesus Christ - the central tenet of Christianity - claiming that we "cannot know" that Jesus was "raised by God from the dead". Dr Carey added that the resurrection "goes against human experience and our first instinct is incredulity".

Look away now Des Lynam, doyen of sports presenters, has defected from the BBC to ITV in a four-year deal reputed to net the 56-year-old £5 million. Lynam said he needed "a new challenge" and he was reported to be unhappy at the late Saturday night scheduling of Match of the Day.

Missing in action Lord Irvine, the Lord Chancellor, has ruled that the missing Earl of Lucan cannot be presumed dead, thus stopping his son from inheriting the title. "Lucky" Lucan, who would now be 64, has been missing since 1974 and is wanted by police in connection with the murder of his children's nanny, Sandra Rivett.

She not he An American grandmother of four was cleared of being a man. Kathy Jaeger's gender was questioned when she proved highly successful in the World Veteran Athletics Games in Gateshead.

This article first appeared in the 09 August 1999 issue of the New Statesman, Immortal longings grow again