IN England and Wales A-level and GCSE examination results showed their usual annual improvement amidst the usual annual controversy over whether the exams were easier or the pupils brighter; Rachel Grandy, from a Middlesbrough comprehensive school, achieved 15 A-stars and two Agrades; results from the controversial City Academies were mixed. Confusion continued over what had actually happened when the police shot dead the Brazilian student Jean Charles de Menezes at Stockwell undergrond station on July 22. However, Home Secretary Charles Clarke said, “I am very happy with the conduct not only of Sir Ian Blair, but the whole Metropolitan Police in relation to this inquiry”. Mr Tony Blair sent a similar message of support from Barbados where he had been discovered on holiday.

The Mayor of London, Ken Livingstone, also gave his unqualified support. Some 200 loyalists (Protestants) and an equal number of nationalists (Catholics) fought each other in east Belfast in the early hours of a Sunday morning; it was reported that the Police Service of Northern Ireland did not intervene. In Iraq there were further deadlines and delays in the drafting of the country's constitution; the Sunni representatives found themselves at odds with the Shi'ites and Kurds on several issues. In Bangladesh 434 small bombs were set off in one day but casualties were few.

The Bishop of Harare, Zimbabwe, the Rt Revd Nolbert Kunonga, who is a supporter of President Mugabe, was brought before an ecclesiastical court on charges including incitement to murder. Foreign Secretary Jack Straw urged the English cricket team to cancel its scheduled visit to Zimbabwe in 2008. The American evangelist Mr Pat Robertson said on television that the left-wing President Hugo Chavez of Venezuela should be assassinated since “it's a whole lot cheaper than starting a war”; he later said that he had been misunderstood.

At the United Nations the newly-arrived US Ambassador, Mr John Bolton, made his presence felt with a letter to his fellow ambassadors seeking 750 amendments to a report on UN reforms which had been months in the preparation. The Israeli army and police successfully removed some eight thousand Jewish settlers, and thousands more of their supporters, from Gaza where some had been living for 30 years.