Hiroshima remembered and will England have a new cricket hero?

England batsman Joe Root celebrates his century against Australia during the First Ashes Test in Cardiff. (Photo credit: Nick Potts/PA Wire).
England batsman Joe Root celebrates his century against Australia during the First Ashes Test in Cardiff. (Photo credit: Nick Potts/PA Wire).
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The Edinburgh Festival returns in a week that also marks a sombre Second World War anniversary. Chris Bond looks ahead to who and what is likely to be in the news.

HIROSHIMA ANNIVERSARY

Thursday marks the anniversary not only of a defining moment in the 20th Century, but one that changed the face of human history.

On August 6, 1945, the first atomic bomb was dropped on the Japanese city of Hiroshima by a United States aircraft called the Enola Gay. The bomb contained the equivalent of 15,000 tons of TNT and destroyed more than 60 per cent of the city’s buildings.

Official Japanese figures at the time put the death toll at 118,661 civilians. But later estimates suggested the final toll was about 140,000, out of a population of 350,000.

Three days later, the US launched a second, bigger atomic bomb against the city of Nagasaki. This finally left the Japanese no choice and the country surrendered to the Allies on August 14.

Seven decades on and the momentous decision to drop the two atomic bombs continues to provoke arguments among those who believe it was wrong, and those who believe the Americans had to act to prevent the war from dragging on.

It’s a debate that will once again come under the spotlight in the coming days along with the vexed question of what the world should do with its nuclear arsenal.

MONEY MEN

Mark Carney, Governor of the Bank of England, has enjoyed a smoother journey at the helm than his predecessor Sir Mervyn King.

The dark days of the financial crash of 2008 and its seismic shockwaves are behind us, and while the sea isn’t exactly a millpond the waters are decidedly less choppy.

Last month, all nine Bank of England policymakers voted to hold interest rates at 0.5 per cent, although there were reportedly signs that some Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) members were edging closer to backing a rate rise.

The bank’s bosses meet again this week to discuss interest rates with business investors and homeowners alike waiting to see if there’s any change.

Expect Mr Carney to field any questions from the Press with a straight bat.

VICTORY BECKONS?

Talking of bats, who would have thought it? After collapsing at Lord’s faster than a chocolate teapot in the Sahara, England’s cricketers have made a comeback of Lazarus-like proportions.

Their unexpected victory over Australia at Edgbaston has seen the momentum swing back in favour of Alastair Cook’s team. With two Tests remaining in the Ashes series there is everything to play for as attention now switches to Trent Bridge.

If you’re looking for omens then it was on this ground a decade ago that England clung on to beat Australia by three wickets to put them 2-1 up in the series. The rest, as they say, is history.

If they win again this time round they will go into the final match with an unassailable lead. But they will have to do so without the talismanic James Anderson, England’s all-time Test wicket taker who suffered an injury at Edgbaston.

Who, then, will be England’s hero? Joe Root perhaps?

THAT’S ENTERTAINMENT

It’s that time of year when hotel bosses and landlords in the Scottish capital rub their hands with glee. The world’s biggest arts festival kicks off on Friday with both the Edinburgh International Festival and the Edinburgh Festival Fringe conveniently taking place alongside one another.

Despite the astronomical cost of accommodation there is simply nothing quite like Edinburgh during the festival, and whether you want to see dazzling opera or raucous comedy, for the next three weeks this is the place to go.