16 FEBRUARY 1991, Page 4


The IRA launched a mortar attack on 10 Downing Street from a van parked in Horseguards Avenue. One bomb exploded in the garden behind No 10, and the War Cabinet adjourned to another room. Siber- ia sent to Britain the worst winter weather for four years with heavy snow and temper- atures down to —14°C near Hereford. Road, rail and air traffic was disrupted, and in Warwickshire police installed tea urns in their patrol cars. Supermarket stocks were depleted by panic-buying, even in the heart of London. The Govern- ment announced a relaxation of rules covering cold weather payments to the indigent. Sir Alan Walters, formerly eco- nomic adviser to Mrs Thatcher, and five other economists gave warning of a slump of 1930s proportions if interest rates were not cut. On the same day the interest rate was cut by half a per cent. The Prime Minister defended the Royal Family from criticism that it was not supporting the war effort. British Airways announced that it was cutting 4,300 jobs and sending another 2,000 home on half pay due to poor business caused by the recession and the Gulf war. A transatlantic fares war began, initially involving BA and TWA. John

Taylor, a black barrister, was retained by a large majority as Conservative parliamen- tary candidate in Cheltenham after an attempt to de-select him. The DPP decided to drop questionable scientific evidence against the 'Birmingham Six'. Hill farmers were given an extra £17.5 million in sub- sidies. A survey showed that the British had less confidence in their educational system than any other Western European country. The double-glazing industry re- ported that it had lost orders worth £200 million because of the slump in property prices.

AFTER a visit to Baghdad by Mr Yevgeny Primakov, a Soviet envoy, President Sad- dam Hussein said he would discuss peace if the allies would stop bombing his country, but made no reference to withdrawing from Kuwait. The allied bombardment of Iraq continued. US spokesmen said that more than 750 of the enemy's 4,500 tanks in Kuwait and 650 of their 3,200 artillery pieces had been destroyed. Douglas Hurd, the Foreign Secretary, said the allies would not be pressured into an early ground war, and the Defence Secretary, Tom King, went to Washington to discuss its timing

with President Bush. The number of Iraqi prisoners of war passed 1,000. US pilots shot down Iraqi planes trying to escape to Iran. Iraq continued to send Scud missiles to Saudi Arabia and Israel. A government- run Syrian paper urged Iraqis to kill Saddam Hussein. Members of 15 non- aligned coUntries met to consider peace proposals for the Gulf. The Soviet news agency Tass said it was feared that food price rises would reach 150 per cent. Mr Valentin Pavlov, the Soviet prime minis- ter, accused Western banks of trying to oust President Gorbachev by flooding the country with roubles and causing hyperinf- lation. Lithuanians voted overwhelmingly for independence. Nelson Mandela, depu- ty leader of the ANC, said he was no Messiah to lead South Africa out of its political problems. Two witnesses for the trial of Winnie Mandela for kidnap and assault said they were too scared to give evidence. Another witness was said to have been kidnapped. Inkatha spokesmen blamed the ANC after 17 of their suppor- ters were killed on their way from a peace rally. Albania allowed its people, for the first time, to own cars.