Elle 'The Body' Macpherson's phone was hacked by 'News of the World' reporters


Do we still have the power? Electricians striking for a raise promised in pre-downturn 2007 to picket power stations but, so far, we can still make the tea and toast.

America and Russia will still have power too, even after President Barack Obama and President Dmitry A Medvedev signed a nuclear reduction treaty in Moscow. Deterring nuclear programmes in Iran and North Korea "is an urgent issue, in which the United States and Russia have to take leadership", Obama said. "It is very difficult for us to exert that leadership unless we are showing ourselves willing to deal with our own nuclear stockpiles in a more rational way." We can sleep soundly then, safe in the knowledge that the superpowers only have enough weaponry to blow up the planet twice now.


Like most postcards, those Lisbon ones from Minister for Foreign Affairs Micheál Martin will arrive home well before the event itself (later announced for 2 October). The government's plan to inform citizens of the European Council's Treaty guarantees is criticised as "an expensive propaganda stunt" by former Green, now People's Movement, chairwoman, Patricia McKenna. But visiting dignitary Ban Ki-Moon expresses surprise over the "confusion" about the first Lisbon Treaty referendum. That's according to defence minister Willie O'Dea, who said the UN secretary-general told him there was "no incompatibility between what we are doing and what the objectives of the UN are", referring to Ireland's historic participation in peacekeeping and humanitarian aid in the context of concerns over a UN rapid deployment force.

At Michael Jackson's memorial service in Los Angeles, world media make up for lost time by photographing his three children, previously masked, veiled and hidden from public scrutiny. Michael may be gone, but they'll always have Paris.


The Guardian reveals the extent of phone-hacking by News of the World reporters during Andy Coulson's tenure as editor in 2006. Now working as communications chief for David Cameron, Coulson's integrity is not called into question, according to the Tory leader. Apart from obvious targets such as politicians, hackers also read the mobile messages of assorted celebrities, including those of Australia's most celebrated supermodel – Elle Macpherson.

No hacking in Limerick where Rathkeale residents could be having something of a 'Da Vinci Code' moment. A petition is set up to preserve a big tree trunk which the 2,000 signatories believe bears the image of Our Lady. But parish priest Father Willie Russell, is no Dan Brown-style 'symbologist'. He's stumped over the veneration, flatly telling a radio interviewer: "It's just a tree."

More global conflict, this time between superpowers of the information superhighway. Google fires off its Chrome OS to smash Bill Gates 90% dominant Windows system. "The operating systems that browsers run on were designed in an era where there was no web," says Sundar Pichai, Google vice president of new toys (product management). Meanwhile, Microsoft's attempt to imitate its rival is called Bing – a name cynics joke is an acronym for "But It's Not Google".


There is relief all round now that Goal aid worker Sharon Commins is finally allowed make contact with Sudanese and Irish officials. Both she and her colleague Hilda Kuwuki are safe and unharmed since their abduction in Darfur almost a week ago, she says. The kidnappers – described by the Sudanese government as bandits – are demanding a ransom for the women's release.


Opinion columnists complain that striking electricians are holding the country to ransom, but there may be sparks flying elsewhere for the man with the most power of all. Barack Obama is photographed at the G8 summit, alongside an amused President Sarkozy, in what seems to be rear-view mid-ogle of a young woman. He may be innocent of any indiscretion. He might be checking out that clingy dress as an ideal souvenir for someone. It's oddly reassuring, though, that the world's superpower superhero may not be 100% perfect after all.