We test the temperature of the nation this week

Fresh attacks in China's Xinjiang Province leave 27 dead
Repossessions in the UK have risen by 48 per cent since last year
Study finds that British terminal cancer patients face postcode lottery over treatment

UN-African Union helicopter comes under fire in Sudan
Biometric passports can be easily cloned, researcher warns
Thames Water announces steep increases in bills

cloud and sun
Evo Morales wins Bolivia's referendum, but is likely to face opposition from richer regions
Release of Silvio Berlusconi's album of love songs delayed
New research brings scientists closer to developing invisibility

Gordon Brown plans £150 windfall for families struggling with fuel bills
125,000 endangered western lowland gorillas are found in Congo Republic
Rebecca Adlington and Nicole Cooke win Olympic gold for the UK

sad face
Summary: Changeable. What the Gord giveth, Thames Water taketh away
Forecast: Turbulence set to continue in Caucasus as violence looms in Abkhazia

This article first appeared in the 18 August 2008 issue of the New Statesman, Superpower swoop