7 Days

Egg auction Fertility campaigners expressed outrage after an American businessman began selling human ova online. Ron Harris, a porn photographer, advertises the unfertilised eggs of female models on his website and sells to the highest bidder.

Peer pressure Hundreds of hereditary peers will be ejected from the House of Lords after they voted to end the automatic right to sit in the upper chamber. The bill was passed by 221 votes to 81 and will now return to the Commons.

Last chance Pakistan was threatened with removal from the Commonwealth. The Canadian foreign minister Lloyd Axworthy demanded that the new military government produce a clear timetable for returning Pakistan to democratic rule or face permanent expulsion.

Safe seat Michael Portillo was shortlisted for the Conservative nomination for the Kensington and Chelsea by-election. He and three others hope to defend the seat left vacant by the death of Alan Clark.

Holiday blues A damning report into the Passport Office revealed that over 500 holidaymakers missed departures due to computer system failures this summer. Compensation claims are expected to exceed £160,000.

Booker double J M Coetzee made history when he became the only writer to win the Booker prize twice. The prize is worth £20,000, but winners can expect to reap around £1 million from increased sales and foreign rights deals.

Freewheeling Two environmental protesters became the first passengers on the London Eye. They scaled the 450ft wheel and spent 24 hours there to raise awareness about controversial dam projects in Spain and India.

This article first appeared in the 01 November 1999 issue of the New Statesman, The New Statesman Interview - David Ramsbotham