We test the temperature of the nation this week

Threat of mass starvation in Zimbabwe after harvest fails
Nuclear talks with Iran end in deadlock
Unemployment to hit two million for first time since 1997
lRising violence forces aid workers out of Somalia

Thai and Cambodian soldiers continue to face off at border
Chancellor backs down from plans to tax foreign profits
New £35bn scheme will produce only “mediocre schools”, says government architecture body

cloud and sun
Gordon Brown becomes first British prime minister to give speech to Knesset
China to use “green” fireworks for lympic opening ceremony
Painless inventions replace the dreaded dentist’s drill

EU offers to cut agricultural tariffs by 60 per cent
Nelson Mandela celebrates his 90th birthday
British company figures out how to make fuel from household rubbish

sad face

Summary: High pressure for Barack Obama on his closely scrutinised world tour

Forecast: Stormy for Labour as backbenchers grumble over welfare reforms

This article first appeared in the 28 July 2008 issue of the New Statesman, Money rules: Why cash now counts more than class