Top news from The Times, Daily Telegraph, The Indepedent and The Guardian newspapers
Survey of the day comes to us via the Telegraph, which has great news for non-smokers:
Smoking ban sees 40 per cent cut in heart attacks in UK since 2007 law was introduced
Did smoking cause 40% of heart attacks? We know smoking is bad for you. But really..?
Heart attack rates in the UK have fallen by up to 42 per cent since the 2007 smoking ban…
And then it gets really woolly:
A review of 77 studies found that reduced exposure to passive smoking has caused a “significant reduction” in heart problems across the population.
Did passive smoking lead to so many heart attacks? It turns out the researchers have no proof:
He [Professor Peter Weissberg, medical director of the British Heart Foundation] said the studies were observational and all had their limitations, but it would be difficult to study the effects of passive smoking in a more robust scientific way. Researchers said the evidence was less clear about whether the introduction of bans had actually helped people to give up smoking.
Heart attacks rates have been falling. Links between the smoking ban and heart attacks caused by passive smoking is nonsense.
Transfer balls salutes the Daily Telegraph, which declares: “Everton close in on Niasse.” That’s Oumar Niasse, the Senegal international who has now joined Everton in a £13.5m move from Lokomotiv Moscow.
What’s odd about the Telegraph’s report is that it features on the paper’s “Chelsea transfer news and rumours” page. Niasse has no links to Chelsea – he’s not one of their myriad loaned players. So why is he on the Chelsea page? Helpfully the Telegraph explains:
“What does this have to do with Chelsea?” I hear you ask. Well, quite a bit, actually.
You see, Chelsea are a team who get googled a lot, so if you have the word “Chelsea” in your headline you’ll get lots of clicks and the sweet, sweet literal fractions of pence that accompany each one. I mean, they’re googled enough to warrant a transfer blog all to themselves even though they’re not going to do anything (where’s my SJA nomination, come to think of it?). Anyhow, that means that a bunch of websites are retrospectively making Niasse a Chelsea target when reporting that Everton are going to sign him, even though they’d never mentioned Chelsea’s interest in the past.
This is how transfer deadline day reporting works. Lap it up.
Having earned clicks from Chelsea fans for that report and misleading headline, we wonder what the Telegraph has said about Niasse? Well, on January 9 this year, the paper of record stated:
Chelsea transfer news and rumours: Chelsea poised to make £15million swoop for Oumar Niasse…Whilst Manchester United prepare to launch a £40million bid to sign his compatriot Sadio Mane… Chelsea are hoping to pick up more of a bargain in signing Niasse for around half of that figure.
Having learned that £15m is about half of £40m, readers were also told that Chelsea and Tottenham wanted to sign the player. Mentions of Everton’s interest: nil.
Such are the facts in the Telegraph.
The Daily Telegraph has illustrated an advertorial on Venice with a photo of The Venetian hotel, Las Vegas.
Spotter: Lucy Fisher
Jessica Valenti is writing about gender unfairness in the Guardian. The headline to her story: “Women are overpriced.” Ha!
A report this month on products in the UK found something very similar: when it came to the same products marketed differently for men and women, there was a whopping 37% difference in price. Beauty products, toys, everything. It doesn’t even get better as you age: adding insult to injury, women are even charged more for adult diapers.
Beyond the profound unfairness of having to pay more for the same products (while making less money, to boot!) there’s something quite frustrating about the fact that shopping is something that has long been used to paint women as frivolous and financially irresponsible.
Got that? Women are unfairly portrayed as frivolous, says Valenti, because they didn’t realise (i.e. bother to check) they are over-paying for stuff.
It’s January. Football’s transfer window is open. Manchester United goalie David De Gea has a new Facebook profile photo.
Did you join the dots?
The Telegraph, did. It takes the updated photo as a sign that De Gea is preparing to leave Manchester United, causing “mild panic” to spread among the club’s supporters.
Why all the fuss? Well, chiefly because there’s no United badge on De Gea’s shirt.
De Gea is communicating in code.
But has the Telegraph missed a trick? Our pals at Pies have rotated the De Gea symbol 90 degrees…
Simon Danczuk, the sleazy Labour MP for Rochdale, is wrapped around the news like a randy middle-aged man at a bridal shower. The smart move would be for mired Simon to undergo a sex change and emerge as Margaret, or Cherie, a sultry temptress who can make a decent stab at being Woman of the Year, thus cementing his role as the British man / woman most likely to shag a Kardashian, or become one.
Let’s round-up the news.
Sunday Times (front page): “Wives at war over Disgraced Danczuk”
On the cover we see sportswear enthusiast and nipple wrangler Karen Danczuk, Simon wife Number 2.
The scandal engulfing the Labour MP for Rochdale erupted in sexual claims and counter-claims after both his ex-wives, his former girlfriend and the young woman with whom he was caught exchanging sex messages became engaged in a war of words.
Pull up a chair. This is juicier than a Gwyneth Paltrow dinner party.
Danczuk accused Sonia Rossington, the mother of his two oldest children, of demanding a “six-figure sum” to “dish the dirt on me” by peddling “untrue allegations . . . of a criminal nature”.
In an interview with The Mail on Sunday, Rossington claimed that he had driven her into therapy with drug and alcohol-fuelled bullying and obsessive demands for sex.
More on that later. For now, Simon says:
“She has chosen not to take them to police but to a newspaper instead… She has not moved on and remains embittered to the point where she has prevented me from seeing or having a close relationship with my children. She has also become obsessed with trying to ruin my political career.”
He’s issued a statement:
“Ever since I was elected an MP in 2010 she has been pestering journalists, trying to spread malicious falsehoods and defamatory allegations about me. I am led to believe she’s been trying to get newspapers to enter a bidding war, asking for a six-figure sum for interviews to ‘dish the dirt’ on me.
“Out of respect for the fact she is the mother to two of my children I have not responded to her continual abuse and…”
So says Simon to the media, a man now Danczuk suspended from the Labour party after he exchanged sex texts with the then 17-year-old Sophena Houlihan.And on her:
Last night it was claimed that Houlihan, now 18, has been working as a dominatrix.
You want more on that? Of course you do. The People notes:
She was 17 when Labour MP Danczuk, 49, sent text messages in which he said he was “horny” and asked if she wanted spanking. The teenager claimed to be shocked by those “sexts” – but on a website Sophena called herself Goddess Rosalie Von Morelli, a financial dominatrix.
She used the site to sell used and worn thongs, “frenchies” and knickers for £15 a pair, and offered bras and toe-nail clippings for £10 a time.
Cue Karen Karen Danczuk, who tweets about Sonia:
“Sell your body for sex . . . I’d sit back and think before you speak. An ex friend of someone sent me explicit photos & evidence of ‘escorting’ . . . amongst other things.”
Rossington says she’s not and never has been a prostitute. She says:
“I’m aware of this, he threatened it years ago. Danczuk does smear, it’s quite easy [to] go through intimate marital pictures of us when we were together and create a false incriminating profile of me on certain websites.”
Over pages 6 and 7, Camilla Long tucks into the Danczuks. It’s sex, sex and sex.
A new relationship with a Labour councillor called Claire Hamilton failed after four months of public snogging and a threesome (amazingly not in public) in which Hamilton kissed Karen for “about an hour” while Danczuk took pictures. Hamilton eventually dumped Danczuk after she claimed he cheated on her, saying she had “no idea” how many women he had “been messaging on Twitter”. She guessed “a lot”…
Nearly a year ago, he was caught favouriting hardcore pornography on Twitter while he was out canvassing for the election. He said he was “a man of the world”, so of course he watched porn, but in this case it was an accident. His phone clicked on the porn owing to a fault. He seemed convincing, even though he was an MP blaming his own telephone for driving him to sex…
The Mirror (front page): “DISGRACED MP ‘ CRIED LIKE A BABY”
It’s super snogger Claire Hamilton. Labour Councillor Claire says:
“He craves attention so much from anywhere he can get it, but he’s sunk to a new low this time. He told me he had come up with a plan for 2016 to make more money out of the celebrity and press side of things than from being an MP.”
Achievement unlocked. And the sex…
“He said he’d been messaging this teenage singer on Twitter when he was up late or couldn’t sleep in the early hours about ‘life and music and stuff’. I asked if the messages were friendly or intimate and why text someone so young? He wouldn’t tell me or show me the messages”…
“He was saying ‘I’m sorry, Claire, I’m sorry.’ I packed his bag and gave him it. He was crying like a baby. I went on Twitter straight away and typed ‘Danczuk dumped’. I didn’t want to give myself any chance to go back – it was over, done.”
Twitter is so definitive.
“I felt emotionally drained that he was in touch with someone so young. He obviously thought he had a chance with her because he essentially wanted us to have an open relationship. Having now seen the texts, I feel physically stick to my stomach.”
Pass the toenails…
The Sun (front page): “SEX TEXT MP: I LOVE YOUNG WOMEN”
“Younger women are my Achilles heel. My first wife was ten years younger than me, my second wife was 17 years younger, my last girlfriend is 17 years younger. Some men like older women, some like younger women, some like brunettes, some like blondes.”
Some like having their balls slammed in the car door. It’s a funny old world.
Daily Mail (front page): “My Years of Abuse from Sex Text MP”
It’s Sonia. We’ll skip to the sex:
When she complained about him having sex with her, while she slept at 3am, he told her: ‘You’re my wife. I can have sex with you whenever I want.’ She said: ‘You learned not to cross him. He would say to me “If you get on the wrong side of me I will destroy you”. And he means it – he wants to take you down so you have nothing, not even a way of making a living.
‘I’ve been in therapy for years over this. I was terrified of relationships. I was afraid of so many things. Simon has cast a long shadow over my life.’
It gets sinister:
…when he came to bed he would have sex with me, interrupting my sleep. I would just wake up and it would be happening. It was always in the missionary position.
‘After a few weeks I was so exhausted I said to him “Please stop this” – but he tried to make me believe it was me who was initiating it. I was so confused. I thought I was going mad. I had no recollection of this at all. I started covering up, wearing long johns, pyjamas, socks, anything to make it more difficult for this to happen. I asked him to stop again.
Bit odd, no?
‘But this went on for months. I thought I was going mad. If it was me initiating things why was he always on top? So I decided to stay awake and see what he actually did and try to find out the truth. What happened was sly and awful.
‘He’d sneak into the room, take off his clothes and peel back the bed covers, roll me on to my back, open my legs and start having sex with me. I let him do this a few times, pretending to be asleep and even tried to record it on a camera, but of course it was dark.
‘I confronted him about it later. I said, “I know what you do and I want it to stop. I can’t believe you tried to make me think it was me initiating things.” He said, “It’s a husband having sex with his wife”.
‘He said, “Listen, Sonia. This is the deal. You are my wife and it’s expected from a wife to give her husband sex whenever he wants it. If you don’t give it to me when I want it I’ll go and look elsewhere.” I burst into tears. But after that he carried on for months with a much more careless attitude.
‘He would throw the blankets off and roll me over though he only took 15-20 seconds to finish.’
Simon has mentioned “injunctions” and layers, He says Sonia’s words are “unfounded and malicious”.
To which we can only add: Danczuk for Labour Leader! The campaign starts here…
Did you read the story on the Paris kindergarten teacher stabbed in the neck by a jihadi who told her this “was for Daesh”?
The Independent reported the news as fact, even identifying the weapon:
Loulla-Mae Eleftheriou-Smith had lots of facts:
A hooded man shouting allegiance to Isis has stabbed a nursery school teacher in the throat in his Paris classroom. The attack, which happened a month and a day after the jihadist massacres in France, took place before children arrived at a state nursery school in Aubervilliers, just north of the Paris city boundary.
But CNN reports that the man “made up the attack.” The teacher is in the hospital with wounds but it’s not clear how they were actually caused.
The Independent’s report is complete and utter balls.
Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud is playing very well. Having scored a hat-trick in Arsenal’s 3-0 win over Olympiakos in the Champions League, the Frenchman is feeling confident. But the Daily Star has grim news:
Can it be that Arsene Wenger, the Arsenal manager, is threatening his star turn, the man whose goals saved the Gunners’ blushes? Is he axing Giroud, the player who has scored 11 goals in his last 14 matches for Arsenal?
No. It’s balls.
“I think he is in the same league as [the very best],” says Wenger at his Press conference. “He plays for one of the best clubs in Europe and he scores goals. If you look at the number of games and the number of goals, you have to give him credit. I think he’s among the best strikers in Europe.
“He is not only a goalscorer, he’s a guy who puts work in for the team. If you look at his record, I believe he has special qualities that are difficult to find, but of course you want him to be efficient as well.
“Where he has improved a lot is his link play with the other players, and that’s very important in our team. He’s a guy who wants always to improve and he has a positive mentality, and a strong one. I think that’s why he has come back in a very strong way.
“We are in a job where you have to accept that in every game, you are questioned. In his job, as a centre forward, [it’s] even more. If you don’t score for three games, you’re questioned again. That’s part of the job.”
Not threat. No axe. Other than that the Star is spot on.
So how did the Star manage to create the story that Giroud is being dropped from Wenger praising the player’s form and talent? From this?
“He had a breather and came in and out,” Wenger continues. “I think I will have to do that again because it is so demanding now and he has a game that demands a lot of energy. Sometimes you need a breather in that squad.”
Such are the facts.
Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp says he will buy…no-one on the January trasnfer window. He wants to give his existing players a chance.
Well, so says the Telegraph – which is wrong.
But what Klopp actually said was that Liverpool cold buy a player. Maybe.
“It’s much more important to work with people and if you trust them they have to feel it – and not just for two days but for a longer time…
“If we need something we will do it, not talk about it before. In this moment I don’t think about it. No one should be in doubt that we are prepared for any situation. We have 24 hours always at work.
“We always watch players on video but if we take them in winter, in summer or never I don’t know at this moment.”
In short: if we buy anyone, we won’t be advertising the fact in the media.
Manchester United manager Louis Van Gaal has news for the club’s fans: your team isn’t as good as it was when it was winning things season on season.
Man United no longer dominate the Barclays Premier League and target top European honours as they did under Sir Alex Ferguson. Van Gaal says anyone looking at the past and expecting a repeat is in dream land.
He told the Press:
“I am working very hard and my players are working very hard to do everything we can. The problem is that we have to meet with expectations and the expectations at Manchester United are very high. That is our problem. You can see there were a lot of positive things [during the Champions League defeat by Wolfsburg], but if you don’t want to see that, that’s not my problem. I work hard, my players work hard and now we are in the Europa League and we have to work hard to win that. That is not easy, but nobody hears that.
“They don’t want to hear me. They say a club like Manchester United has to win. That’s the past. You have to analyse the club now. [You cannot] compare it with ten years ago, because there has been an evolution in football, European football. It is not as easy as everybody thinks. Now we have many more clubs [in England and in Europe] who have money, and the structure to win things. Next year, all the clubs in the Premier League have a bigger budget than most of the clubs in Europe. That makes a big difference. Every club can buy a player: the difference [in the transfer market] is not so big.
“You think Manchester United has a lot of money, that is true, but the difference [with others] is not so big any more. The confirmation is every week. The bottom clubs can beat the top teams. There is no other league that this happens as often as it does in the Premier League. That makes it very difficult for a Premier League club to match [teams] from other leagues in the Champions League.”
“We shall do everything to win something, but it is very difficult. It is not only difficult for Manchester United. It is also difficult for Manchester City and Liverpool, Arsenal or Chelsea or Leicester.”
Leicester City did not spend more than £250 million on players, as United have done since Van Gaal took over at Old Trafford. Money matter – but it can’t be the only reason teams win.
Oliver Kay tells Times readers:
Does Van Gaal really want to play the money game? OK, Louis, you asked for this. For the year ending June 2015, Manchester United’s turnover was £395.2 million. The corresponding figure for this season has been forecast to break £500 million and, if it falls slightly short, it will only be because their slice of Champions League revenue has dropped as a result of their elimination at the group stage…
By contrast, PSV Eindhoven, who took four points from them in that Champions League group, generated £45 million in revenue in 2013-14 and if their accounts have been swollen since then, it has only been through the £40 million they raised by selling their two most marketable players, Georgino Wijnaldum and Memphis Depay, to Newcastle United and Manchester United.
Which makes you wonder at United’s transfer policy. It’s not just about having more money than your opponent – thank God – it’s about what you do with it. And right now, United are investing badly.
PS: Man United play Bournemouth today in what will be the first league meeting between the two clubs. Annual turnover (2013-14) Bournemouth £10.1m v Man United £433m. Easy, then.United will win by 40 goals to 1.
Who can be blamed for Manchester United crashing out of the Champions League in the group stages? It’s worth noting that this is an improvement on last season, when United failed to even qualify for European football’s biggest tournament.
The Mail says the buck starts and stops with United manager Louis Van Gaal, who is “hammered for his abysmal tactics”. Martin Samuel says United lost “because they could not not pick ip an old-fashioned big lad in the penalty area at set-pieces”.
As Van Gaal admits to his side going “backwards”, Chris Wheeler says United’s owners, the Glazer family, want to extend his contract beyond 2017.
No evidence that they do. But just saying it is enough to start that most wanted to tabloid aims: a heated debate.
Overall, though, the papers are split between leading with a dejected Van Gaal…
…or a his over-paid, under-talented side:
Any United fans in need to a laugh – or at best a distraction – can look to the Mirror, where David McDonnell delivers a tortuous intro:
And so it proved Emission Impossible for Manchester United as their Champions League campaign spluttered to a halt.
Wolfsburg may have been rocked by the emissions scandal that has engulfed sponsors Volkswagen, but last night it was the Reds who were left on the hard shoulder of European football.
As you wince at that, better, perhaps, to turn to the Times, where Henry Winter is in his pomp:
Embarrassing. Manchester United deservedly departed the Champions League because they defended like amateurs, not like elite professionals. They were drawn in an easier group than Manchester City yet find themselves in the Europa League. Welcome to Thursdays. Excruciating.
And Van Gaal?
Van Gaal’s reputation was damaged here. For United’s biggest game of the season, he took two eye-catching decisions. Guillermo Varela, the 22-year-old Uruguayan who made his debut against West Ham United on Saturday, started at right back; he made a couple of good tackles, but betrayed his inexperience by getting dragged into the centre, gifting André Schürrle space outside.
More controversial was Van Gaal’s decision to field Marouane Fellaini alongside Bastian Schweinsteiger with Michael Carrick kicking his heels on the bench and having to wait until 20 minutes from time for his 70th Champions League appearance. Fellaini lost the ball twice in the opening five minutes and did little to stop Wolfsburg’s counterattacks.
Which can all be summed by two words from the Sun: “Van Damned.”
Yesterday Bournemouth beat Chelsea 0-1 at Stamford Bridge. It was cracking result for the south coast club playing for the first time in the Premier League.
But in the Times, Rory Smith has a word to the wise:
More Jose Mourinho sacking news now. The Times leads with a story that the Chelsea boss is “in last chance” to save his job.
Matt Hughes says José Mourinho has been told that “he must guide Chelsea into the knockout stages of the Champions League this week to safeguard his position as manager”.
Win a single point against Porto on Wednesday and Chelsea qualify for the round of 16 – “Defeat, though, could bring the end of Mourinho’s second spell as manager at Stamford Bridge.”
From a headline stating Mourinho has one chance, to a story beneath it that the Portuguese could be given more last chances. The Times has no idea.
And neither does the Daily Mirror, which reports that Chelsea “could sack manager Jose Mourinho whether or not they beat Porto in the Champions League on Wednesday”.
The Sun hedges its bets, giving Mourinho two games to save his job. It sticks a wet finger in the air and discovers that Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich “may act if the Blues lose to Porto and then against leaders Leicester in the Premier League next weekend”.
Or else, he may not.
Such are the facts.
In articles published in September and November last year we suggested that the holiday companions of Kate and Gerry McCann might have covered up the true facts concerning Madeleine McCann’s disappearance and/or misled the authorities investigating her disappearance.
IT’S 2030 and the Scotsman exists as a free pamphlet given out at King’s Cross station and churches in the area.
What else of 2030? “It’s…
“…A chilling world where licences are required for having children and questioning global warming is a crime could be ushered in by climate change”.
Why wait. Bring it on.
The scenario is one of five potential responses to climate change described by a panel of 60 experts in the study by Forum for the Future, a sustainable development group.
Not sure if we get a vote on which world we want, but know that the “five possible futures for mankind are”:
CREDIT Crunch news of the day: Simon Jenkins lets the poor eat words…
Yes, some people are poor and some are out of work, but not everyone; not even a majority. Keynes was right. The most important thing in a recession is for those with money to keep spending it. Those without can cite Aquinas and remember that the best things in life are free.
Talk is cheap. The Times costs 80p. Anorak is free…
The Guardian would like to garner your thoughts on the BNP.
“Does the BNP speak for you?”
You put down your white (guilt) coffee and look at the canvasser’s laptop. You click through to politic-poll.com. and see a picture of BNP leader Nick Griffin.
Ken Livingstone, former London mayor and still former London mayor, turns to Sky New’s political editor Adam Boulton and asks:
“Have you ever had sex with an animal?”
Boulton declined to comment, forgoing the obvious answers:
Is that an offer? Read the rest of this entry »
Read the rest of this entry »
INTERNATIONAL HERLAD TRIUBIUNE (France): “Billionaire retailer Green shops for a bargain”
Mark Pootter says Philip Green is on the hunt for a knock-down-once-in-a-lifetime- I’m-cuttin’-me-own-throat-guv’nor-honest-to-goodness bargain.
And who is Philip Green? Why…:
THE wife of a convener of the Australian Conservation Foundation is being charged with the alleged removal of 150 trees on the couple’s Blue Mountains property.
The thieving plonkers!
We’re back to those default swaps again, and the reason why they have nothing to do with insurance and everything to do with speculating on other people’s property; Simon Evans in the Independent reports today, the 12th October:
‘It is like Joe Public buying an insurance policy on someone else’s house and pocketing the full value if it burns down.’
Ring any bells?
On the 25th September I wrote:
‘Anorak could take out a vast insurance policy on Anorak Towers, and if it burned down Anorak would get lots of dosh but no Anorak Towers.
Insurers won’t let me take out a vast insurance policy on Anorak Towers, because I would have a clear interest in setting fire to Anorak Towers and collecting lots of dosh.
Of course, I wouldn’t have Anorak Towers, but then I didn’t have Anorak Towers in the first place.’
My highly reputable lawyers, Messrs Sue, Sue and Suesomemore, will no doubt be in touch with the Indie’s briefs…
ICESAVE is dead. Britain is at war with Iceland. And the Guardain is scoring points on the Express, its pet target:
“If you are lucky enough to have some spare money, now could be the time to cash in,” said the ever-informative Daily Express, addressing the credit crunch yesterday. “Icelandic bank Icesave pays 7.06% on £1,000 or more on its one-year bond.” Yeah, right – October 8, 2008
Ten of the best … savings accounts
An unexpected bonus from the financial crisis is banks raising their savings rates to attract customer cash. Harvey Jones picks a selection of the best buys on offer
Hear ye, hear ye… Any idea what’s No.1?
In the beginning was the word. And the word was “Maddie”…
THE INDEPENDENT: “Religion vs science: can the divide between God and rationality be reconciled?”
And on the eighth day the media was created and Our Maddie did come to the fore…
‘A clergyman in charge of education for the country’s leading scientific organisation – it’s a Monty Python sketch,” pronounced Britain’s top atheist, Richard Dawkins, recently. The problem was that Reiss, as well as being an evolutionary biologist and population geneticist, is a non-stipendiary priest in the Church of England.
CREDIT Crunch news of the day: Gabby Logan on the joys of poverty
“But I believe that the credit squeeze is going to be good for grassroots sport and therefore good for all of us in the long run – as long as we do not end up homeless” – Gabby Logan, The Times
Aside from a property, what’s the most expensive thing you’ve ever bought?
Paintings – the most I’ve spent on one was £7,000.
More credit crunch insight as it comes in…