7 Days

Lockerbie verdict One of the two Libyan intelligence officers accused of causing the 1988 Lockerbie jumbo disaster got life-imprisonment. The Scottish court, after an 84-day trial held in the Netherlands, found the second Libyan not guilty. The convicted man, Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al-Megrahi, plans to appeal.

Jail basher Sir David Ramsbotham, the chief inspector of prisons, condemned Brixton Prison officers for their "disgraceful attitudes towards those in their care". His report described conditions in the prison, already under investigation by the Commission for Racial Equality for alleged racial discrimination, as "scandalous".

Phone box BT will introduce no more phone boxes. Revenue from the 141,000 boxes, of which 16,000 are the red boxes originally designed by Sir Giles Gilbert in 1936 and synonymous with Britain throughout the world, dropped by 37 per cent over two years. Mobile phones are to blame.

Bad language The Broadcasting Standards Commission announced that violence, sex and swearing on terrestrial and satellite television had reached record levels. A quarter of the incidents of swearing occurred before the nine o'clock watershed. The report singled out satellite broadcasters as being the worst offenders at swearing.

Holocaust Memorial Day Prince Charles, Tony Blair and the Chief Rabbi, Jonathan Sacks, attended a star-studded ceremony at London's Westminster Central Hall - 56 years after the liberation of the Auschwitz concentration camp in Poland - to commemorate those killed by the Nazis.

Bank blues A leaked internal document from the World Bank, the biggest provider of cheap loans to developing countries and a target for critics of globalisation, described its staff as demoralised and fearful of its president, James Wolfensohn. The memo accused the former Wall Street banker of being "isolated from reality".

This article first appeared in the 05 February 2001 issue of the New Statesman, Laughing all the way to No 10?