7 Days

Deal on the Rock Jack Straw, the Foreign Secretary, and his Spanish counterpart, Josep Pique, announced plans to resolve the 300-year-old territorial dispute over Gibraltar by summer 2002. The Gibraltar government boycotted the talks in Barcelona.

High taxes for vices Frits Bolkestein, the European commissioner for the internal market, condemned taxes on smokers and drinkers in the UK as the highest in Europe. He argued that cuts would promote greater tax harmony between EU members.

US promise Colin Powell, the US secretary of state, pledged that his country would engage fully in the Middle East peace process and called for an end to violence. The Bush administration announced that it was sending William Burns, the assistant secretary of state for near-eastern affairs, to the Middle East for consultations.

No turning back from Kabul British Muslims who went to fight with the Taliban or al-Qaeda in Afghanistan will be arrested if they return to the UK. MI5 believes that up to 200 Britons who recently left for the region could face prosecution.

Weekend cocaine OK Sir John Stevens, the commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, rebuked Commander Brian Paddick, the officer in charge of the Lambeth cannabis experiment. Paddick had said he would rather "turn a blind eye" to the recreational use of cocaine and Ecstasy, and focus on crack cocaine and heroin instead.

Bill Gates settles for $1bn Microsoft has promised to donate more than $1bn to impoverished US schools as settlement for more than 100 private antitrust lawsuits.

Danes move right Denmark's liberal reputation was crushed with the election of a centre-right coalition. The far-right Danish People's Party, led by Pia Kjaersgaard, became the country's third-largest political force after pledging a hardline crackdown on immigration.

This article first appeared in the 26 November 2001 issue of the New Statesman, The New Statesman Special Report - The SAS story they want to suppress