7 Days

Art imitates life? The shamed Tory peer Jeffrey Archer was charged with perjury and perverting the course of justice, following allegations that, during his 1987 libel action against the Daily Star newspaper, he asked Ted Francis to devise an alibi for him. Lord Archer also made his acting debut in his courtroom thriller The Accused, in which he plays a doctor accused of murdering his wife, and the audience plays jury using electronic keypads. They let him off on the first night.

Women's cancer figures Deaths from lung cancer among women reached an all-time high of 12,765 in 1999, a rise of 36 per cent over the past 20 years, according to a new report. For the first time, they exceeded breast cancer death rates. The rise is thought to be the delayed effect of the peak in female smoking in 1966, when 46 per cent of women smoked.

Greek ferry tragedy At least 40 people were reported dead when a ferry sank after hitting a reef in the Aegean sea off the island of Paros. Only two-thirds of the 511 passengers have so far been counted as survivors.

Firestarters India and Pakistan both pledged to test their latest ballistic missiles soon. Previous nuclear tests in 1998 and continuing clashes over Kashmir have raised international fears about the safety of the region.

Fergie aide arrested A former aide of the Duchess of York, Jane Andrews, was charged with murder after her millionaire lover, Tom Cressman, was found stabbed to death in west London. A police hunt tracked down the jewellery sales assistant in Cornwall.

Golden greats As we go to press, Britain has so far claimed six gold medals at the Olympic Games in Sydney, the highest tally since the 1956 Melbourne games. Steve Redgrave, 38, rowed his way into the record books with his fifth consecutive gold.

This article first appeared in the 02 October 2000 issue of the New Statesman, Nightmare on Downing Street