7 Days

Crash cause An official inquiry into the Hatfield train crash revealed that Railtrack knew of problems with tracks in the area in 1998 - at least a year before it officially admits that it found the faults. Four people were killed in the accident last October.

Trimbling on the brink The Northern Ireland First Minister, David Trimble, threatened to resign if the IRA fails to comply with the disarmament process by July. His move was condemned by Peter Robinson, deputy leader of the Democratic Unionist Party, and Martin McGuinness of Sinn Fein, who described it as "disastrous".

Road to Damascus Pope John Paul II undertook a historic journey to Greece, Syria and Malta, to promote reconciliation between the Catholic and Orthodox Churches. He became the first pope to visit predominantly Orthodox countries since 1054, when the "Great Schism" divided Christianity, and the first to visit a mosque - the Ommayad Mosque in Damascus.

Esso boycott Environmental pressure groups embarked on an international campaign against Esso, the world's largest oil corporation. Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth are asking consumers to stop buying petrol and other products from Exxon Mobil - known as Esso in Britain - until the company reconsiders its position on issues related to global warming.

The people's bank Britain's main high street banks plan to create a universal banking service in collaboration with the government. The scheme, which aims at offering basic services to those who are currently excluded from the banking system, will enable people to open an account regardless of their credit record.

Pax for Macedonia? Macedonian political parties are holding talks on forming a government of national unity. The talks are part of an effort to settle conflicts with ethnic Albanian rebels, who have seized control of villages near the border with Kosovo.

This article first appeared in the 14 May 2001 issue of the New Statesman, We Tories must change, or face eternal oblivion