7 Days

Penny on petrol Shell increased its petrol prices by a penny a litre, blaming its decision on the jump in the cost of crude oil. The Petrol Retailers' Association warned that other oil companies might also increase prices, which would cancel out the cut in fuel duty announced in last month's Budget. A blaze at the Conoco oil refinery in Grimsby was said to have added to the rise in prices.

Bag-snatchers kill their victim Elizabeth Sherlock, 42, died after thieves drove over her in their getaway car, having stolen her handbag which contained just £20. Sherlock, a costume designer for the BBC, gave chase after her bag was grabbed as she sat with her husband in a cafe at Euston Station.

US rebukes Israel The Israeli military withdrew from the Gaza Strip after one day, under pressure from the United States. Colin Powell, the US secretary of state, condemned the invasion as "excessive and disproportionate".

Nuns go on trial Two Catholic nuns went on trial in Brussels, charged with complicity in the 1994 genocide of fellow Rwandans. Sister Gertrude and Sister Maria Kisito are accused of helping Hutu soldiers massacre more than 5,000 Tutsis who had come to them for refuge.

Murder suspect caught Francisco Montez became the chief suspect for the rape and murder of 13-year-old Caroline Dickinson following DNA tests. Dickinson was attacked in a French youth hostel in 1996. Montez, a Spanish drifter arrested in Miami, is wanted in connection with a series of assaults on teenage girls across Europe.

Drugs companies rethink policy on Aids Speculation grew that multinational pharmaceutical companies would drop their case against South African legislation that was intended to allow the manufacture or importing of cheaper generic versions of brand-name Aids drugs. The drugs companies have been vilified for putting profit before lives.

This article first appeared in the 23 April 2001 issue of the New Statesman, Blessed are the pure in heart