Fame comes with a lot of baggage

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ROBERT McNEIL looks back on the events that were making the headlines in the third quarter of 2007.

LET'S start with the good news. Alan Johnston, the BBC journalist abducted in Gaza, was released after 114 days in captivity. Blinking in the light, he said: "It's going to be so good to see the hills of home."

Back home, the canonisation of Smeato continued. John Smeaton had helped to foil an alleged terrorist attack on Glasgow airport by some nutters in a Jeep armed with gas canisters bought at B&Q. The tabloids campaigned to give him a gong, and a website, visited by 500,000 people in 48 hours, hailed the man so hard he made onions cry. The world learned that, whereas in other major cities, citizens are warned not to approach terrorists, in Glasgow terrorists are warned not to approach the citizens.

When Smeato returned to work as a baggage handler, CNN was there to record the event. Stewardesses mobbed him. One got a snog and gushed: "A normal man won't do for me any more. He has to be a superhero."

Meanwhile, the man suspected of driving the blazing Jeep died in hospital. Kafeel Ahmed, 27, an aeronautics engineer from Bangalore in India, suffered 90 per cent burns after dousing himself with petrol and igniting it while chanting "Allah, Allah".

Also in Glasgow, Scotland's first home-grown "wannabe suicide bomber" was convicted, amid fears he had been preparing a terrorist attack in Canada. Mohammed Atif Siddique was found guilty of a string of terrorism offences. However, during his trial, defence and prosecution had argued over whether the 21-year-old IT student had been actively promoting atrocities or was merely a "stupid young man" researching Islamic terrorism on the internet.

On the day the United States remembered the 11 September attacks, Osama bin Laden appeared in a video message praising the 19 "champions" who murdered 3,000 people. Bin Laden mentioned other colleagues who'd "fulfilled their promises to God" by getting killed, before concluding: "And now it is our turn." However, he himself declines to go on suicide missions, preferring to carry out vital work in the rear, earning him the nickname "Captain al-Darling".

Bin Loony looked well in the video, with his beard miraculously black after its previous grey. The al-Qaeda leader hadn't appeared in new video footage since 2004, following a prolonged period of nutter's block, similar to the phenomenon suffered by writers.

Alastair Campbell joined the ranks of the latter when his diaries were published. These dished the dirt on Tony Blair's difficult relationship with Scotland, land of his birth. The former spin doctor called the country's unionist journalists "whingeing Jocks" and revealed the dread the Labour leader felt when dealing with Scotia.

He bleated that the whingeing Js portrayed the pair of them as "ultra-English", when in fact "we are Scottish in so many ways". Oh yes, och aye at the moment.

More worryingly, he described walking into a room in Tokyo and finding the PM "wearing nothing but his underpants and an emergency earthquake helmet". He was "pretending to speak Japanese". The oddness continued when Cherie, Tony's burd, confessed in a BBC documentary that he'd proposed while she was cleaning the lavatory. Maybe he was on a roll at the time. Controversially, Cherie also claimed: "I am not bonkers." She added: "How could I be a successful QC and be that completely stupid?" Donald Findlay. I rest my case.

Speaking of whom, Mr F was cleared of offending Catholics by telling jokes at a Rangers' supporters club in Northern Ireland. A disciplinary tribunal decided his quips about the Pope, a nun and a turnip, or other unspecified vegetable, had not brought his profession into disrepute.

Meanwhile, bigots brought the south Lanarkshire town of Larkhall into disrepute by smashing traffic lights because they were green. The council was forced to erect grilles in front of the lights.

Broon, the Prime Minister, was nearly forced to erect a grille in front of his grim coupon after he tried to bring together England and Scotland by declaring Union flags would be flown from government buildings every day. In the ensuing furore, Scotland was exempted from the plan. SNP MSPs had feared the Union flag would dominate the Saltire. However, unionists now feared the Saltire would dominate the Union flag. So, nobody was happy. Nat MSP Christine Grahame wanted the Saltire flown from Edinburgh Castle, which currently taunts citizens below with the Union flag. She ordered the Queen to give the Saltire a superior position and said the army should be booted out of the castle if it didn't comply. Spirited gal.

Speaking of which, the Queen got an apology from the BBC, which misrepresented her in a documentary. Trailer footage appeared to show her storming off in a huff about something. However, Her Maj had actually been storming in.

BBC1's controller, Peter Fincham, said: "Mark Thompson (the Beeb's director-general] has sent me a message of support in this, that he doesn't want me to resign." Shortly afterwards, Mr Fincham resigned.

After Jack McConnell resigned, Wendy Alexander became the first woman to lead Scottish Labour. Ms Alexander had initially refused to say whether she would stand, insisting she didn't want to get in the way of "Jack's moment". Moments later, she issued a statement confirming her intention to replace the box-headed poltroon.

Alexander immediately announced she was prepared to embrace radical new ideas on devolution. "Taking a fresh look at the settlement is not something that holds any anxieties for me," she said, trying to stifle a nervous tic in her cheek.

First Minister Alex Salmond, meanwhile, launched a "national conversation" on Scotland's future, acknowledging a range of views on the subject. However, opposition children refused to take part in the "conversation" if it included plans for independence.

The Scottish Government promised to end Scotland's "destructive" drinking culture by banning cut-price offers in supermarkets and shops. Kenny MacAskill, the minister for drunkenness, also wanted stores to stop selling booze all over the shop, which tempted impulse buyers. In Scotland, nearly everybody, including teetotallers, dies from alcohol-related diseases.

Kenny promised a crackdown on knife culture, too, though experts said he was wasting his time.

Already, parents were making their children wear body armour to school, while district nurses had taken to wearing stab-proof vests. Liberal commentators blamed parents, teachers and the media. However, one man, who did not wish to be named, said: "The people with knives must shoulder some of the responsibility."

The Scottish legal system covered itself in glory when a double killer and paedophile was cleared of murdering two teenage girls 30 years ago. Angus Sinclair, 62, was accused of raping and murdering Christine Eadie and Helen Scott in October 1977. Sinclair had already been convicted and jailed for life in 2001 for raping and murdering a Glasgow teenager 22 years earlier. He'd also been convicted of the culpable homicide of seven-year-old Catherine Reehill in 1961, for which he served six years. In addition, he had convictions for three rapes and other sexual offences.

Police believe he may be linked to further unsolved murders. In the World's End case (named after the Edinburgh pub where the girls were last seen), Sinclair was said to have acted with his brother-in-law, Gordon Hamilton, who has since happily died. However, trial judge Lord Clarke upheld a motion of insufficient evidence submitted by Sinclair's heroic defence team. Angry police officers blamed prosecutors for failing to present DNA evidence.

The case took another twist when the lead prosecutor went missing. Out of evil might come some good, such as the prospect of a change in the law allowing the Crown to appeal such decisions. The Scottish Government is also looking at scrapping "double jeopardy", the stupid legal principle that prevents people being tried for the same crime twice.

While in sombre mood, let's remember some who passed away this quarter. Ron Brown, the former Labour MP for Leith and anti-poll tax campaigner, died of liver disease. Ron, who famously smashed the Commons mace during a poll tax debate, was 69. His colourful political life included getting expelled from the Labour Party, associating with Soviet spies (while denying espionage himself), and becoming a confidant of Muammar al-Gaddafi, the Libyan leader.

Luciano Pavarotti, famed for his ebullient performances of Nessun Dorma and other opera classics, died of cancer at his home in Modena, Italy. He was 71. Anita Roddick, Body Shop entrepreneur and ethical consumer champion, died of a brain haemorrhage. She was 61. Dame Anita founded a worldwide cosmetics empire from her home in Littlehampton, before selling it to L'Oral for 652 million.

Thousands lined the streets of Lanark to bid farewell to Colin McRae, the former world rally champion, who was killed, with his five-year-old son Johnny, and two other people, in a helicopter crash. McRae, 39, was loved by motorsport fans around the world for his uncompromising driving style.

In football, Scotland beat Lithuania 3-1 in the Euro 2008 qualifiers, raising hopes we could go through to the next stage. Mighty France was the first obstacle, prompting manager Alex McLeish to say: "We have to change that Scottish psyche, that it's always going to be glorious failure for us."

In a glorious victory, Scotland beat France 1-0, prompting a moderate overreaction throughout the country. James McFadden's stonking goal was credited with laying the foundations for an economic boom. Scottish space missions were discussed. Some citizens had sexual intercourse for the first time since the devolution referendum in 1997. First Minister Eck Salmond announced: "There's an air of optimism sweeping the country." Aye, right.

The future for troubled bank Northern Rock looked pessimistic after Alistair Darling, the Chancellor, assured account-holders their money was safe, prompting panic among savers. Customers withdrew 2 billion in a matter of days. For reasons not even Evan Davis could explain, the company's predicament was caused by a collapse in America's "subprime" mortgage market. Later, the bank blamed the media for everything.

The media couldn't be blamed for the terrible floods which hit England, where 350,000 households lost fresh water. Eight severe flood warnings were declared after some areas had the equivalent of a month's rain in an hour. Meanwhile, mudslides engulfed the Aberdeenshire coastal village of Pennan, famous for locations in the film Local Hero. Villagers fled in the darkness as hundreds of tonnes of waterlogged soil and silt swept down a hillside. Amazingly, the 34 residents of ten cottages in the torrent's immediate path escaped unscathed.

President Mahmoud Ambadanmad of Iran was lucky to leave unscathed when he told his audience at America's Columbia University: "In Iran we don't have homosexuals like in your country. We do not have this phenomenon. I do not know who has told you we have it."

The Borat of the Middle East was responding to a question about the execution of two gay men. Later, he declared his US tour a roaring success, with the New York Daily News describing him as "evil", and Colombia University's president praising him as "astonishingly uneducated".

Back in Iran, two men convicted of murdering a hardline judge were hanged from cranes in a Tehran street. A shout of "God is Greatest" erupted from the crowd, and an official proclaimed through a megaphone: "Death to America!" They've always got to get that bit in, haven't they? Though, for how much longer? Hashemi Rafsanjani, a former "pillar of the revolution", claimed in his memoirs that the late Ayatollah Khomeini, father of the 1979 revolution, had wanted to drop the popular and amusing slogan. However, Rafsanjani was put on a list of banned authors and told to shut up.

Buddhist monks in Burma refused to shut up about repression, leading massive anti-government demonstrations. At first, the sinister junta showed unexpected restraint because of pressure from its ally, China, which didn't want its image besmirched ahead of hosting next summer's Olympic Games. However, soon, the troops went in, the monks disappeared, and everything went quiet.

Ahead of the aforementioned Games, officials in Beijing ordered restaurants to take names of dishes like "burnt lion's head", "government abuse chicken" or "crap in the grass" off the menu. Such names often come from folklore, and sometimes gain something in translation. Other "Chinglish" signs seen around the city included "Racist Park", referring to the Ethnic Minorities Park, and "We can't stand the sight of mattress fragrant grass" – a request to keep off the lawns. A hotel notice for room service advised: "Please take advantage of the chambermaids."

2007 July - September

1 JULY: Police conduct a controlled explosion of a suspicious car in a car park at the Royal Alexandra Hospital in Paisley, Renfrewshire.

Authorities evacuate part of Heathrow Airport while they investigate a suspect package.

Concert for Diana is held at the new Wembley Stadium on what would have been the late princess's 46th birthday.

2 JULY: Police investigation into the Glasgow terrorist attacks focuses on village of Houston, Renfrewshire.

4 JULY: The terror threat level in the UK is reduced from critical to severe.

Alan Johnston, held captive in Gaza for nearly four months, is released.

5 JULY: Two die and seven are seriously injured when a small plane crashes in County Galway. Eleven people are injured after a London Underground train derails.

6 JULY: Bilal Abdulla becomes the first person to be charged over the Glasgow and London car-bomb attacks.

7 JULY:The New Seven Wonders of the World are announced. They are the Great Wall of China, Petra in Jordan, Christ the Redeemer statue in Brazil, Machu Picchu in Peru, Mexico's Chichen Itza Mayan site, the Colosseum in Rome and the Taj Mahal in India.

At least 105 people are killed when a suicide truck bomber attacks a market in Amirli, northern Iraq.

8 JULY: Roger Federer claims his fifth Wimbledon title. He equals the record held by Bjrn Borg.

9 JULY: Alex Salmond announces his intention to donate his Holyrood salary to a trust fund to help community projects in the North-east.

Four men found guilty of conspiracy to murder over the failed terrorist attacks on the London Underground on 21 July, 2005.

11 JULY: The People's Republic of China bans diethylene glycol as an ingredient in toothpaste.

12 JULY: Two British teenagers are arrested at the Kotoka International Airport in Accra, Ghana, for attempting to smuggle 6.5kg of cocaine worth 300,000 back to the UK.

13 JULY: Conrad Black, right, is found guilty of fraud and obstruction of justice in Chicago.

14 JULY: Australian police charge Dr Mohamed Haneef with "providing support to a terrorist organisation" in relation to the Glasgow airport attack and the London car bombs.

15 JULY: Two doctors arrested at the Royal Alexandra Hospital, Paisley, in connection with Glasgow airport attack are released without charge.

16 JULY: At least 86 people are killed and 136 injured in a car bomb and lorry bomb attacks in Kirkuk, Iraq.

17 JULY: Train carrying yellow phosphorus derails in western Ukraine, sending a toxic cloud over several villages.

19 JULY:

Several ministers follow the example of the Home Secretary, Jacqui Smith, and admit having used cannabis in their youth.

Russia expels four British diplomats in the ongoing row over the extradition of Andrei Lugovoi for the suspected murder of the Russian spy Alexander Litvinenko.

20 JULY: Crown Prosecution Service ends its inquiry into the "cash for honours" allegations.

21 JULY: RAF rescues hundreds of people from flooded areas after days of heavy rain.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, the seventh and final volume of JK Rowling's series, is released.

23 JULY: George Galloway, Pictured next page, is thrown out of the Commons and then suspended for 18 days after an inquiry into his Mariam Appeal campaign.

24 JULY: Tony Blair meets Israeli and Palestinian leaders on his first trip to the region as a peace envoy.

25 JULY:

The Tour de France becomes sullied by allegations of drug cheats.

26 JULY: North Korea walks out of talks with South Korea over failure to resolve sea border.

28 JULY: The death toll from the summer floods rises to nine as police find a body near Tewkesbury, in Gloucestershire.

29 JULY: Gordon Brown arrives in the US for his first official meeting with George Bush

30 JULY: One of Scotland's most notorious gangland figures, Tam "The Licensee" McGraw, dies of a heart attack.

31 JULY: The army's 38-year military campaign in Northern Ireland ends.

Rupert Murdoch, picture next page, and his board formally approve a 2.5 billion bid for Dow Jones, with the latter agreeing to the terms.

Bollywood star, Sanjay Dutt, is jailed for six years

1 AUGUST: The bridge carrying Interstate 35W in Minneapolis, Minnesota, collapses into the Mississippi river, killing six people.

2 AUGUST: Kafeel Ahmed, one of the instigators of the Glasgow airport terrorist attack, dies in the city's Royal Infirmary from his injuries.

The Dandy comic is relaunched as Dandy Xtreme.

3 AUGUST: Figures published by the Council of Mortgage Lenders show repossessions shot up by 30 per cent during the first half of the year.

An outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease is confirmed at a cattle farm in Surrey.

4 AUGUST: US army soldier Jesse Spielman is sentenced to 110 years for his role in the rape and murder of a 14-year-old girl in Iraq and the murder of her family.

5 AUGUST: Mortar bombs strike a petrol station in eastern Baghdad, killing nine people and injuring 11.

6 AUGUST: North Korea and South Korea exchange gunfire over the border, the first such incident in a year.


Tests confirm a second outbreak of foot-and-mouth in Surrey.

8 AUGUST: Two fossils found in Kenya challenge existing views of human evolution by showing that homo erectus and homo habilis lived side by side in eastern Africa for half a million years.

9 AUGUST: China temporarily bans exports by two toy manufacturers whose products were banned or recalled.

Billions of pounds are wiped off London's stock market as the FTSE 100 index suffers a sharp fall. The global credit crunch begins.


East Timor faces a humanitarian crisis as hundreds of houses are burned down and villagers flee to the mountains.

11 AUGUST: Voters in Sierra Leone go to the polls for the first time since the end of the country's civil war in 2002.

12 AUGUST: Tiger Woods wins the 2007 US PGA Championship.

14 AUGUST: Alex Salmond launches his "national conversation".

A woman dies and two people are seriously ill from E coli in Paisley. Morrisons withdraws cold sliced meats from two of its stores in the Renfrewshire town.

Mattel recalls mre than 18 million toys made in China that may potentially be harmful to children.

15 AUGUST: Jack McConnell resigns as the leader of the Scottish Labour Party.

17 AUGUST: Relatives of the victims in the Stockline Plastics tragedy, which killed nine workers, call for a public inquiry into the health-and-safety practices.

A total of 172 coal miners are trapped in a flooded mine in Shandong province in eastern China.

More than 500 people die in an earthquake in Peru.


Jamaica prepares for Hurricane Dean, with the hurricane already responsible for at least eight deaths on St Lucia, Martinique and Dominica.


A China Airlines Boeing 737 explodes less than a minute after all passengers and crew are evacuated shortly after landing at Naha, Japan.

22 AUGUST: An American UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter crashes in northern Iraq, killing 14 soldiers.

23 AUGUST: After 100 days in power, SNP ministers are accused of breaking election promises.

Hurricane Dean is downgraded to a tropical depression over Mexico after killing 20 people.

24 AUGUST: Former Ku Klux Klan member James Seale is jailed for life for his role in the 1964 murder of two black men in Mississippi.

Three British soldiers die in Afghanistan in a suspected friendly-fire incident.

25 AUGUST: A gas cylinder explosion at a food market in India kills 27 people.

26 AUGUST: Wildfires which have claimed scores of lives threaten Olympia in Greece.

27 AUGUST: Angus Sinclair goes on trial accused of raping and strangling two teenage girls almost 30 years ago in what has become known as the World's End murder case.

Residents in the West End of Glasgow are evacuated from their homes shortly before the wall of a tenement collapses.

28 AUGUST: The Supreme Court of Chile confirms a life sentence for Hugo Salas Wenzel, a Chilean general under the former dictator Augusto Pinochet, for his role in the murder of 12 opponents of the regime.

29 AUGUST: The Red Cross reports that at least 17,000 are still missing from conflicts in the former Yugoslavia.

Prison officers call a surprise 24-hour strike.

30 AUGUST: A report into the Virginia Tech massacre in the US criticises staff for not acting quickly enough after Seung-Hui Cho's first killings.

31 AUGUST: Four men are arrested in connection with the death of Emma Caldwell, a prostitute.

Members of the Royal Family and Gordon Brown are among those who gather for a memorial service for Diana, Princess of Wales, ten years after her death, at the Guards Chapel in London.

1 SEPTEMBER: Former prime minister of Pakistan Benazir Bhutto promises to return to Pakistan very soon.

2 SEPTEMBER: Fatah al-Islam fighters attempt an escape from the Nahr al-Bared refugee camp north of Tripoli, Lebanon, with at least 41 people being killed in fighting.

3 SEPTEMBER: British troops in Iraq complete their planned withdrawal from Basra to an airbase outside the southern city.

Panama begins work on its 2.7 billion Panama Canal expansion project.

4 SEPTEMBER: The Klaxons win the Mercury Prize for their album Myths of the Near Future, beating favourites Amy Winehouse and the Arctic Monkeys.

American adventurer Steve Fossett is reported missing over the Nevada desert.

A Eurostar train sets a new record of 2hr, 3min and 39sec for rail travel between Paris and London, on the inaugural journey from the Gare du Nord to St Pancras International on the new High Speed 1 line.

5 SEPTEMBER: Margie Moffat, the co-founder of AT Mays, donates 50 million to charity.

Special prayers are said at the tomb of Mother Teresa at her tomb in Calcutta in honour of the tenth anniversary of her death.

6 SEPTEMBER: British RAF Tornados intercept eight Russian Tupolev Tu-95 bombers as they approach UK airspace.

The death toll from Hurricane Felix in Nicaragua and Honduras rises to at least 98.

7 SEPTEMBER: Portuguese police believe that Kate and Gerry McCann may be involved in their daughter's possible death, with both parents being named as suspects.

US authorities investigate a video that it has obtained, to see if the claims that the man on it is Osama bin Laden are genuine.

At least 80 people die and scores are injured as a lorry and trailers carrying pilgrims plunge into a gorge near the village of Desuri Ki Naal in Rajasthan, India.

8 SEPTEMBER: Ang Lee's spy thriller, Lust, Caution, wins the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival.

At least 18 people are injured in a car bomb in Peshawar, Pakistan.

9 SEPTEMBER: Former prime minister of Pakistan, Nawaz Sharif, boards a Pakistan International Airlines flight from London to Islamabad with his return likely to provoke a confrontation with the president, Pervez Musharraf.

Jamaican sprinter Asafa Powell sets a new world 100 metres record of 9.74sec.

10 SEPTEMBER: Prosecutors face accusations of serious incompetence after the collapse of the World's End murder trial.

Upon his arrival in Pakistan, Nawaz Sharif is detained by commandos.

11 SEPTEMBER: Bruce Golding is sworn in as prime minister of Jamaica, following the victory of his Jamaica Labour Party.

Lawyers for Nawaz Sharif file a petition in the Supreme Court of Pakistan against his deportation to Saudi Arabia.

12 SEPTEMBER: Scotland celebrates after the national football team triumphs 1-0 in a European Championship tie against France at Parc des Princes in Paris.

A cholera epidemic occurs in northern Iraq, with 7,000 infected and ten deaths so far.

14 SEPTEMBER: Thousands of savers queue outside branches of Northern Rock to withdraw a total of 1 billion after the Bank of England announced an intervention package to rescue the beleaguered bank.

At least 13 people are confirmed dead and hundreds of homes damaged as a result of earthquakes in Sumatra.

15 SEPTEMBER: World Rally Championship champion Colin McRae dies along with his son and two others after his helicopter crashes near his home in Lanark.

Nineteen people are killed in Sri Lanka as a result of a roadside bomb and fighting between the Sri Lankan Army and the Tamil Tigers.

16 SEPTEMBER: OJ Simpson is charged with six felonies in relation to an alleged armed robbery of sports memorabilia from a Las Vegas hotel room.

Andrei Lugovoy, the former KGB agent accused by British authorities of murdering Alexander Litvinenko with a radioactive isotope in London, says he will run for parliament on the party list of the Liberal Democratic Party of Russia.

17 SEPTEMBER: Mohammed Siddique, 21, from Alva, Clackmannanshire, is found guilty at the High Court in Glasgow of being a "wannabe suicide bomber", who provided training material useful to terrorists via websites that he set up and ran.

A new species of bat, the Mindoro Stripe-Faced Fruit bat, is discovered on Mindoro Island in the Philippines.

Scores die in a plane crash in Phuket, Thailand

18 SEPTEMBER: More than 1,000 Buddhist monks march peacefully in Myanmar as part of a wave of anti-government protests.

19 SEPTEMBER: Four fossil skeletons of early human ancestors are discovered in Georgia.

Jos Mourinho, the manager of Chelsea FC, leaves the club by mutual consent.

20 SEPTEMBER: American cyclist Floyd Landis is officially stripped of his win in the 2006 Tour de France and banned from competition for two years after an arbitration panel finds him guilty of doping during the 2006 Tour.

21 SEPTEMBER: Mattel admits that most of the toys recalled in recent safety scares had "design flaws" and that Chinese manufacturers were not to blame.

22 SEPTEMBER: A case of bluetongue disease is confirmed on a farm near Ipswich in Suffolk.

23 SEPTEMBER: Some 15,000 Buddhist monks and laymen march through the streets of Rangoon in the sixth day of escalating peaceful protests against the Burmese military regime.

24 SEPTEMBER: A series of freak tornadoes hit communities in parts of Britain, damaging property and uprooting trees.

The president of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, speaks at Columbia University stating that Americans should look into "who was truly involved" in the September 11,2001 attacks, defending his right to denial of the Holocaust, and denying the existence of gay Iranians.

25 SEPTEMBER: Warren Jeffs, the leader of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, is found guilty of two counts of rape in the US state of Utah.

Halo 3, the most eagerly anticipated computer game ever, is released.

26 SEPTEMBER: A photo possibly showing the missing Madeleine McCann in Morocco is being examined by British experts.

Burmese police baton-charge a crowd of 700 anti-junta protesters, including Buddhist monks and students.

27 SEPTEMBER: Miles Cooper, a former school janitor, is found guilty of sending letter bombs to Ipswich organisations relating to road transport and forensics.

The spacecraft Dawn is launched by NASA on a mission to explore mainbelt asteroids Vesta and Ceres.

28 SEPTEMBER: John Reid is to become the new chairman of Celtic.

Nobel Peace Prize laureate Desmond Tutu urges China to intervene in the protests in Myanmar, or he would "join a campaign to boycott the Beijing Olympics" next year.

29 SEPTEMBER: A bomb explodes in Mal, the capital of the Maldives, injuring 12 tourists.

30 SEPTEMBER: Former world chess champion Garry Kasparov is selected as presidential candidate for the Other Russia party.

Lewis Hamilton wins the Japanese Grand Prix.