0

GORDON Brown's wide-ranging speech to the US Congress received 19 standing ovations although Republican legislators did not participate in them all. Mr Brown announced that Queen Elizabeth had given Senator Edward Kennedy A Knighthood. The Bank of England took the unprecedented step of introducing “qualitative easing” (also known, inaccurately, as “printing money”) in order to increase the cash flow tlhrough banks to companies and individuals. The International Criminal Court issued an arrest warrant for President al-Bashir of Sudan for crimes against humanity in Darfur. The President said he would ignore the warrant and ordered the immediate withdrawal of all Western aid organisations working in Darfur. A donors' conference in Egypt raised 4.5million dollars for the reconstruction of Gaza following the severe damage caused by Israel. But, doubts were expressed about who should handle the money - Hamas in Gaza or the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank - and whether Israel would open the check-points to allow supplies through.