7 Days

West Side story Talks began in Sierra Leone with the renegade militia, the "West Side Boys", to negotiate the release of 11 British paratroopers and one Sierra Leonean being held hostage. The group demanded the release of one of its leaders, who was captured two months ago.

New Labour - old idea Lord Owen, a founder of the Social Democratic Party in 1981, claimed that there is "hardly an innovative policy new Labour espouses that wasn't advocated by the SDP between 1981 and 1990". He said that he had contemplated "New Labour" as a name for his own breakaway party.

Police handbook All 25,000 officers and civilians working for the Metropolitan Police were issued with a handbook, Policing Diversity, which contains recommendations on how to behave towards people of all faiths, ethnic origins and backgrounds.

BSE invisible New evidence suggests that cattle and other animals may harbour mad cow disease (BSE) for years without showing any symptoms. The same may be true of variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD), the human form of BSE.

Carnival death The Notting Hill Carnival, which attracted 1.5 million visitors, ended on a tragic note with two deaths, the first in three years. A black man was fatally stabbed and an Asian man died in hospital after being beaten up during the annual festival.

UNwelcome The Australian government said that it would restrict visits by UN human rights inspectors after the UN Human Rights Committee found that mandatory sentencing laws discriminated against Aborigines earlier this year.

Silk bows out George Carman QC, one of Britain's most famous lawyers, shocked the legal world when he announced his resignation due to health problems.

This article first appeared in the 04 September 2000 issue of the New Statesman, The New Statesman Essay - Cheated of their vodka and cake