by MONITOR
IN the Solent Queen Elizabeth reviewed 136 ships from 36 nations, including France and Spain, to mark the 200th anniversary of Trafalgar. The enabling Bill for the introduction of identity cards in Britain was passed in the House of Commons by 31 votes, half the government's potential majority. The Home Secretary, Mr Charles Clarke, described as “mad” and a “fabrication” cost estimates prepared by the London School of Economics for introducing the cards. In a letter toThe Times the Director of the LSE defended the estimates and said it was unfortunate that “on an issue where the civil liberties concerns are so serious, the Government should have chosen to adopt a bullying approach to critics.” In the High Court more than 48'000 shareholders in Railtrack claimed that Mr Stephen Byers, the former secertary of state for transport, was guilty of misfeasance for “expropriating” the company in 2001. Mr Ken Livingstone, the Mayor of London, gave his support to a proposal for a monorail above the south bank of the River Thames. PP In a second–stage election, Mr Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the Mayor of Teheran, was elected President of Iran; photographs were published allegedly showing Mr Ahmadinejad, a former member of the Revolutionary Guard, with US Embassy staff taken hostage during the occupation of their Teheran embassy in 1980. In Iraq, 1'350 people have been killed since April 28 when a national government was formed; there have been at least 480 car bomb attacks in the past year. In a televised address to the American people President Bush asked rhetorically whether the sacrifice of US lives in Iraq had been worth it, and answered that it had although “difficult and dangerous work” was still ahead. France beat Japan in a contest to house a new 7 billion pound research centre into nuclear fusion; half the cost will be found by the EU. New figures from the International Centre for Prison Studies showed that Estonia imprisons a bigger proportion of its population than any other EU country, 339 per 100'000. The United States led the world with 714 prisoners per 100'000; the figure for England and Wales was 142.

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