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a personal view of the week's news from Erithacus
The stock markets showed definite signs of recovery this week, as the FTSE100 index finished up 164.7 at 5766.6. Upward movements on the U.S. stock markets, however, were considerably more pronounced, as the Dow Jones index climbed 3.4% to finish at 10126.94, and the Nasdaq put on a remarkable 14% to close at 1961.43, its second largest weekly gain ever and the first time it has managed four successive days of rises since 1st September last year. While many analysts point to indicators showing the stock markets are still far from the beginning of a sustained recovery, there is a general feeling that the bottom has been reached and investors can look forward to rising share prices in the next few months. Nervousness continues, however, and it seems unlikely we have seen the end of the volatility that has both frightened investors and delighted many traders recently.
Although foot-and-mouth appears to have peaked in the UK, and the
daily number of new cases of the disease has been lessening, the culling
and disposal of infected and at-risk animals continues to pose a major
problem. Disturbing television pictures yesterday (Friday) showed a lone
marksman with a rifle trying to kill a flock of terrified sheep. As the
animals ran in circles to avoid the man, his only shot to come close to
its mark merely wounded a sheep. Holding the rifle in one hand while
steadying the struggling animal with the other, he tried to fire a final
shot to kill it while the rest of the flock ran round in panic.
The local council of Henley-on-Thames have been faced with a dilemma this week. Keen as they are to attract visitors at this time when the tourist industry is in crisis, they were somewhat less keen on a proposal to hold a lap dancing competition in the town. Fierce local objections to the competition have resulted in its cancellation. Henley's mayor, Councillor Tony Lane, said he was outraged at even the suggestion the championships could have been held in the town. "Henley Royal Regatta together with the Henley Festival has an image which I think lap dancing would degrade quite considerably," he added. Indeed, an investigation by Simply Info revealed Henley-on-Thames to be depressingly free from sleaze of any type. Unless, that is, YOU know better – e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
14th April 2001