Top news from The Times, Daily Telegraph, The Indepedent and The Guardian newspapers
IN the Telegraph: “John Denver karaoke sparks Thai killing spree.”
A gunman in Thailand shot-dead eight neighbours, including his brother-in-law, after tiring of their karaoke versions of popular songs, including John Denver’s Country Roads.
CLIVE DAVIS on Samantha Power: “It’s ironic that an academic who made her name by writing about genocide can’t tell the difference between Hillary and a real monster. Andrew Sullivan thinks Samantha Power was just speaking the truth. Really? Alex Massie insists the Scotsman was right to publish.”
When Power was discussing Hillary Clinton with the Scotsman and said “she is a monster… she is stooping to anything”, she added a hasty “that’s off the record”.
Says Kevin Connolly:
But there are one or two interesting questions in the whole issue too.
First, and most obvious, is the issue of whether that unguarded remark gives us a clue as to the view of Mrs Clinton held inside the Obama camp, and perhaps even by the Illinois senator himself.
The second is the extent to which the strong language is an indication that the Democrats are going to find it impossible to keep up the generally mannerly tone of their race as it goes right down to the wire.
“Obama aide quits over Scotsman interview,” says the Scotsman on its front page.”
The piece features Power’s less-than-convincing apology:
“With deep regret, I am resigning from my role as an adviser to the Obama campaign. I made inexcusable remarks that are at marked variance from my oft-stated admiration for Senator Clinton and from the spirit, tenor and purpose of the Obama campaign. And I extend my deepest apologies to Senator Clinton, Senator Obama and the remarkable team I have worked with over these long 14 months.”
Indeed. It makes you wonder – is she secretly working for John McCain? (Samantha Power is blonde.)
LISA Marie Presley seems to be carrying some extra timber. Lisa Marie Presley has a blog:
” After being the target all week of slanderous and degrading stories, horribly manipulated pictures and articles in the media, I have had to show my cards and announce under the gun and under vicious personal attack that I am in fact pregnant.
Once they got a glimpse of my expanding physique a few days ago, they have been like a pack of coyotes circling their prey whilst eerily howling with delight. Starting with a London publication and then New York and Chicago all writing false defamatory degrading stories about all of the dark possible reasons I could be putting on weight.
Lisa shoud read around. It’s not just the UK tabloids – the Daily Mail says, she is “bloated”. “Looking just like Dad (or why Elvis’s girl must return to slender…)”
The broadsheet Daily Telegraph says: “There may be many advantages to being Elvis Presley’s daughter, but at times your genetic inheritance may not be one of them.” The piece is entitled: “Elvis Presley’s King-sized daughter Lisa-Marie.”
The US tabloids have been calling all day wanting confirmation on all kinds of insane theories. They couldn’t wait to find out if my weight gain was because I was just overeating, in which case It would be open season and they can do the old following in her fathers sad and unfortunate demise story again or less interesting for them and probably much to their dismay, I could just be pregnant and therefore have a legitimate reason for weight gain at which point they should probably wipe the saliva off of their fangs and put them back in their mouths or they may expose the black little souls that they are.
IN: “Ikea’s cheap lines upset the Danes”, the Telegraph reports:
Academics in Denmark have accused Ikea, the furniture chain, of “Swedish imperialism” for naming its cheaper products after Danish towns.
The researchers claim to have discovered a pattern where more expensive items, such as beds and chairs, have been named after Swedish, Finnish and Norwegian towns whereas doormats, draught excluders and runners are named after Danish places.
“The stuff that goes on the floor is about as low as it gets,” said Klaus Kjöller, of the University of Copenhagen, who described the phenomenon as “Swedish imperialism”.
Officials at Ikea’s headquarters in the district of Scania – which once belonged to Denmark – rejected the criticism. “It’s nonsense to say that we did this on purpose. It was a pure coincidence,” said Charlotte Lindgren.
ARE our adult celebrities able to make their own choices? And do we care if they take drugs in private, even if stills of these shock-of-shocks happenings end up as front-page news on the Mirror and Sun?
Anorak went on Sky News and was invited to comment on how Kate Moss should – as a “role model” – behave in a fashion more in keeping with her status. A model who dates a popstar cannot be seen to be taking drugs, as was alleged.
Anorak agreed. Looking at Moss taking drugs will create a false impression. The young and easily led should know that there is little to no chance that they will look half as good as Moss if they take them. The message should be made clear: Drugs do not make you photogenic. Kate Moss is a fashion model. Not a role model.
You may, however, succeed in looking like Amy Winehouse. But be warned: you may not sound as sweet as Winehouse as you give full throat to her protest song of the century and tell mum and dad you are not, not, not going to rehab.
In the Times, Camilla Cavendish respsonds to the UN’s comments on celebrity drug takers:
We won’t end this violence by jailing celebrities or middle-class users. The only way to take back our streets is to wrest back control of the drugs from the criminals, by legalising and regulating their trade.
Imagine if you could buy coke from Boots. Or the aptly named Superdrug. That would drain the glamour from it more effectively than making a martyr of Kate Moss. I don’t imagine her lovely features would adorn state-regulated packets of white powder, hanging next to the corn plasters. Yes, legalisation would make drugs cheaper, in order to undercut the dealers. Yes, usage might increase. But perhaps not much, because it is already widespread. A third of 16 to 24-year-olds routinely admit to having tried drugs, despite knowing that they are admitting to a crime.
The benefits of legalisation could be enormous. Overcrowded prisons would be relieved of people needing treatment rather than punishment (about 15 per cent of prisoners are in for possession or supply). Addicts would not be forced into associating with criminals. Children could be safe in Britain’s playgrounds again.
Nigel Morris on the celebrity drug culture.
WRITES Seamus Milne in the Guardian: “More than 120 Palestinians have been killed in Gaza by Israeli forces in the past week, of whom one in five were children and more than half were civilians, according to the Israeli human rights group B’Tselem.
“During the same period, three Israelis were killed, two of whom were soldiers taking part in the attacks.The Gaurdaina’s MORE than 120 Palestinians have been killed in Gaza by Israeli forces in the past week, of whom one in five were children and more than half were civilians, according to the Israeli human rights group B’Tselem. During the same period, three Israelis were killed, two of whom were soldiers taking part in the attacks.”
But if Milne is to engage in what bloggers call “stat porn” he may wonder this this disparity is because the Israelis fight as an Army in uniform and the Palestianian militia are dressed as civilians and firing from blocks of flats.
And don’t Hamas want to kill all Israelis, and Jews?
Allah, annihilate them completely and do not leave anyone of them.”
Does this include killing all the children?
“Suicide attacks and jihad reinforce national unity in the ranks….Our voice is one of struggle, of jihad and of suicide….Iraq could win if it equipped its citizens with explosive belts and turned them into human bombs.”
(Sheik Ahmed Yassin, interview with the Muslim website Alskifa, January 10, 2003, translated by Israel Defense Forces)
For the bloodthirsty…
JAMES Lovelock says global warming is upon us. We are doomed. Doomed! Doomed!!!
“It’s just too late for it,” he says. “Perhaps if we’d gone along routes like that in 1967, it might have helped. But we don’t have time. All these standard green things, like sustainable development, I think these are just words that mean nothing. I get an awful lot of people coming to me saying you can’t say that, because it gives us nothing to do. I say on the contrary, it gives us an immense amount to do. Just not the kinds of things you want to do.”
He dismisses eco ideas briskly, one by one. “Carbon offsetting? I wouldn’t dream of it. It’s just a joke. To pay money to plant trees, to think you’re offsetting the carbon? You’re probably making matters worse. You’re far better off giving to the charity Cool Earth, which gives the money to the native peoples to not take down their forests.” […]
He saves his thunder for what he considers the emptiest false promise of all – renewable energy.
“You’re never going to get enough energy from wind to run a society such as ours,” he says. “Windmills! Oh no. No way of doing it. You can cover the whole country with the blasted things, millions of them. Waste of time.”
Yvonne Roberts has been an award winning journalist, writer and
broadcaster in newspapers, radio and television for over 30 years. She writes for the Guardian, Independent on Sunday, Observer, Community Care and the internet magazine, The Frist Post.
Yes, my typos are all over the site, but still…
NEWS from the Telegraph’s Court & Social pages that ALAN Duncan, the Conservative’s shadow business secretary, is to enter into a legal partnership with a same-sex partner, James Dunseath.
An Anorak readers responds:
What a shame that Sir Edward Heath is not leader of the party and so able to see this…
Name and address supplied
WAS William Sahlespear anti-semitic. Nine girls at the Yesodey Hatorah Senior Girls School in Stamford Hill, north London, refused to answer questions on Shakespeare because they believe he was anti-Semitic.
As a result the school’s ranking has fallen from first to 274th in this year’s table measuring the progress of pupils between the ages of 11 and 14.
Head teacher Rabbi Abraham Pinter says*: “I think this is very positive. I’m really proud that our kids are prepared to take the consequences of their convictions and I think it is something that needs to be encouraged.”
JON Snow has in an instant shown what is wrong with the self-aggrandizing media elite:
Using the oldest and falsest royal chestnut, he accused the editors who had made the agreement of seeking knighthoods. He must know that, except for a few restricted orders in the Queen’s personal gift, honours come from a system controlled by the Prime Minister.
Then Snow claimed to be horrified that so much fuss was being made to do a special favour to “so small a thing as a prince”. What other free country would connive at such a cover-up, he wondered?
Why, he jeered, did Prince Harry have to be a soldier anyway? “He could do banking.” Were the press so servile, asked Snow, with an absurdity of bad taste, that “if he gets injured or shot dead, the papers wouldn’t report that”?
The three people on the show – the editor who had brokered the deal, a Tory MP and a man who had served recently in the Army – looked at Snow almost with incomprehension.
It was one of those moments when one realised that some media people have no contact with ordinary human feeling. Prince Harry was not being given a privilege. His situation was unique.
PRINCE Harry’s War. Scene II: We rejoin the action on the tarmac at Brize Norton airbase. The UK Media Corps is discussing the news that Prince Harry is returned home a hero after winning the War on Terror.
Now read on…
ALL: THEY say Harry is back. He walks among us…
MEDIA CORPS: Tally-ban!
EXPRESS (Lance Corporal): TARGET HARRY
Shhh! Those “British fanatics” might hear you and take it as a call to arms
MAIL (Lieutenant): TERROR TARGET HARRY
STAR (Private): HARRY IS TOP TERROR TARGET – Prince home but not safe
Quick! To Boujis. It’s a lock in. Hurry!
MIRROR: THE BOY WHO WOULD NOT DIE
They say he is covered in a teflon coating and he has a heart twice the size of a normal man
THE TIMES (Major): The Prince returns a hero and an enemy
TELEGRAPH (Brigadier, retired): Let me go back, please Harry
But, Harry, it’s Boujis. You remmber, Boujis? Oh, how the war changes them
GUARDIAN (Peace Corps): Dirty Harry – dog of war, or prince of public relations?
Harry run. A price is on your head. Max Clifford and the Taliban are after you. Run, Harry, run…
“PREGNANCY rate among over-40s soars as women delay babies for their career,” says the Times. And a piture:
“Times journalist Suzi Godson with her daughter Velvet at their home in London”
A time to put away material possessions…
There are five protestors in all, but the Mail and Telegraph both focus on the youngest female of the group, a 20-year-old blonde-ish woman in a tight pencil skirt and burgundy blouse.
The protestors are demonstrating against plans to expand Heathrow Airport. They are on the roof for three hours.
Says Gordon Brown: “Decisions in the country should be made in the chamber of the House and not on the roof of the Hosue.” This may have been an attempt at humour.
As for the protestors, they are from a group called Plane Stupid, which has a history of telling anyone who flies abroad for their holidays in search of sun and fun that they are stupid.
As such, they have little chance of success. People, in general, do not respond kindly to being called thickos for spending their money as they choose.
And, in any case, their protest is overshadowed by the news that they made it on to the roof “via a spot where Westminster workers go for a cigarette”.
Does health and safety know? And can Gordon Brown be wrong? Is the roof at Westminster the new smoke-filled corridor where business used to be conducted and meaningful allegiances formed.
We should be told!
FIDEL Castro. Crazy name. Crazy guy. Writes Daniel Finkelstein:
I had a strange idea yesterday. I had the idea of inviting Harriet Harman home for dinner. This isn’t a thought that occurs to me often, but I suddenly felt it might be fun.
I’d invite my Dad too. And then, when we’d given Harriet a nice meal (what do you think she likes to eat?), my father could tell her his story.
He could tell her how the Soviets and the Nazis closed in on his home town of Lvov in September 1939 and how the town council chose the Soviets to surrender to. Then he might tell her how the fathers of his friends were taken to the woods at Katyn and shot by the communists.
He might recount the story of his father’s arrest as an antisocial element, of Adolf Finkelstein’s repeated interrogations leading to a trial in his absence and a jail sentence of 15 years’ hard labour. Then Dad could tell the Deputy Leader of the Labour Party about his own experience as a child, exiled to a remote Siberian village. And how he and his mother and his father never saw their home again.
And, when he’d finished, he could let Harriet speak. And she could explain to Dad why she thinks that Fidel Castro is a hero.
Yet still the Deputy Leader of the Labour Party, the Leader of the House of Commons, a member of the Cabinet, is in love with Fidel. When asked, earlier this week, in an interview: “Fidel Castro – authoritarian dictator or hero of the Left?” she answered unhesitatingly – “hero of the Left”.
Bellfield murdered Amelie Delagrange, 22, and Marsha McDonnell, 19, after they got off buses in south-west London. He also tried to kill 18-year-old Kate Sheedy by twice running her over. He used a hammer. The Yorkshire Ripper Peter Sutcliffe used a ball pein hammer.
Case closed. After months of speculation in such matters as what happened to Madeleine McCann and if the Mad Hatter, Prince Philip or the Easter Bunny murdered Princess Diana, the press can focus on the perpetrator of heinous crime.
But readers are used to playing amateur detective. So rather then celebrating Bellfield’s detection and jailing, they lead with speculation. Did Bellfield murder Milly Dowling? Is Bellfield a Ripper?A look at today’s newspapers:
DAILY MIRROR (front page): “DID YOU KILL OUR MILL?”
Milly Dowler’s parents last night begged bus stop killer Levi Bellfield to reveal if he murdered their girl. Bob and Sally Dowler made the plea over their 13-year-old as Bellfield was convicted of two murders. He is feared to have struck before and will be quizzed over 20 other attacks. Bellfield, 37, is linked to Milly’s kidnap and murder in 2002 by a series of clues.
GLASGOW DAILY RECORD: “Did Hammer Beast Murder Milly Too?”
As Girl With A One Track Mind says: “What strikes me so much about this is not the discovery of evidence of the ‘G-spot’, but of the fact that so much of female anatomy still remains a mystery – to science, men, and, most sadly, women themselves”
Police will be able to seize high-value assets from suspected drug dealers as soon as they are arrested under plans to be unveiled this week by Jacqui Smith, the Home Secretary.
If you are suspected of a crime the [police can seize your assets.
Law-enforcement agencies will be able to take cars, televisions, laptops and expensive jewellery belonging to big-time offenders. Such assets can currently only be seized at the end of a criminal process, by which time drug dealers have often disposed of them.
Perhaps the goods are sold to pay for a decent defence lawyer to escape a wrongful arrest? Perhaps Jacqui Smith, who admits to having smoked cannabis, thinks seizing dugs is better than walking the dangerous streets looking to buy them illegally?
A Home Office spokesman said last night: “Our starting point will be that all criminal gains should be removed from offenders. For example those criminals buying commodities to avoid the circulation of cash could have their assets seized before they have chance to disperse them. Seizing ill-gotten gains is critical to reducing the incentives for crime.”
Great plan. Only, how do the police know which is an–ill-gotten gain and which is not? And if the suspect is found not guilty can they sue the police for depreciation of their assets?
DID you know: “Almost 5m southerners have never travelled north of the Watford Gap – and the cultural barrier has become an equal deterrent in the opposite direction”?
The Times (head office in London) has this facts. And it knows why:
“The findings suggest that rather than unify the country, the boom in cheap air travel has reinforced a historic rift as British holidaymakers head overseas rather than explore their own country.”
For southerners, the north is a desolate landscape of derelict mining villages and fish and chip shops, and is dismissed by three-fifths as “bleak” and “unsophisticated”.
No the North of Spain, nor the north of Italy. But the north of England, that pre-budget airline holiday haven…
The release: “Two pupils from every sixth form and college in the country will be able to visit Auschwitz and learn about the Holocaust thanks to £4.65 million of funding’ (DCSF press release, 4 February 2008)
As the Sun reports: “Mr Cameron complained yesterday that despite a £4.7million boost for trips, schools still had to fork out £100 per pupil.”
Says a Tory spokesman: “School trips to Auschwitz are a brilliant idea. However, by announcing these trips without providing the necessary funding the government has – in classic fashion – hidden the detail in the small print. Under a Conservative government these trips would be funded in full and schools would not have to find £100 per pupil from their budgets.”
Ed Balls, Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families, issued his won press release:
“This is a truly disgraceful remark by David Cameron and he should apologise immediately for the offence he has caused. Anyone who has seen the horrors of Auschwitz at first hand knows what a life-changing experience it is. To call the announcement I made of £4.65 million to fund visits by school children over the next three years a ‘gimmick’ just beggars belief. In trying to make this issue into a matter of party politics, David Cameron has shown once again that he not only lacks judgement but also a basic sense of decency.”
It’s not about party politics, says Ed Balls in a, er, Labour Party press release.
Arbeit Macht Frei. Even the Germans can do irony…
Guido Fawkes: “The Tories now say that they support the educational Auschwitz trips and that they would fully fund them via the Lottery fund. Whatever the substance of the matter, somebody is going to get a bollocking for the original press release…”
RedBox: “Almost unbelievably, as at 2.40pm, the Tories are trying to defend its inclusion. They say the funding annoucement doesn’t add up and they weren’t trying to say the trips themselves were gimmicks, just the government spin. Doesn’t matter: they put “Visits to Auschwitz” under a list of “gimmicks” (itself a gimmick). They should have seen the politics of this
Earlier today CCHQ emailed out a list of “gimmicks” associated with Gordon Brown’s time as PM:
Community kitty for every neighbourhood
Funding for flooding
Honours for sportsmen
Trips to Auschwitz
New Border Police
Reversing 24-hour drinking policy
Police to confiscate alcohol from teens
Engaging the public in policy making
1,300 new train carriages
Protecting Public Spaces against terrorist attacks
British jobs for British workers
Deep Cleaning of hospitals
Screening tests: cervical cancer
Screening tests: C.difficile
1,000 troops home before Christmas
Deportation of foreign nationals
Tenants forced to work
Five hours of culture a week
Netball to be introduced for the 2012 Olympics
A NURSERY for junior. Alice Miles achieves a notable first in the Times:
The pack then refers parents to additional policies on demand: a Student Placement Policy, Staffing and Employment Policy, Special Educational Needs/Disability Policy, Health and Safety Policy, Food and Drink Policy, Equipment and Resources Policy, and The Non Collection of Children Policy, which involves social services. It would have been hard to make the nursery sound less welcoming, but Ofsted ought to like it – fingers crossed.
We are due a visit from it shortly. We had the early years person round to check all was in order. She looked through it all, nodded her approval, paused. “But you haven’t,” she said, “got a Going Out For a Walk Policy.” No kidding.
Amazing stuff. Not once in the article does the writer mention the name of her child or children.
Peaches Geldof is rumoured to be “well impressed”…
This is a “huge brain drain”, says the paper. “The exodus is revealed at the same time as concerns at home grow about record numbers of migrants arriving to find jobs in Britain.”
These facts are absed on a report by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).
Says the Telegraph: “We already knew, courtesy of the Office for National Statistics, that emigration from this country is running at higher levels than at any time since before the First World War, with 200,000 British citizens a year departing these shores.”
“So why the exodus?” the apper asks? Better pay? Wunderlust? Cheaper housing? Less chance of meeting Noel Edmonds?
No need to guess. The Telegraph knows: “Scratch an expat in any of the 100-plus countries that have sizeable British communities and you will rapidly find out… One thing will be mentioned more than any other: that unchecked immigration over the past decade is creating a country many Britons no longer feel comfortable in.”
The brainiacs are leaving the UK to live overseas because they don’t feel comfortable living among foreigners.
And they’re the clever ones…
PRUDES. Banstabation. Prigs: “Some social critics go on about The Permissive Society, but what we are really facing is The Priggish Society currently being created by busybody politicians and other authority figures… Going out for a night in a bar with close friends is now denounced as “binge drinking”. Smoking an occasional joint means you are a “drug addict”.
The Telegraph says that other “veteran television journalists”, including Anna Ford, Angela Rippon and Selina Scott have also accused the BBC of sexism in relation to older presenters. Ford rose to fame as the BBC’s first obese female newsreader. Miss Rippon was known for her pot-marked face and monobrow. Selina Scott was TV’s “black Jimmy Hill”.
Says Flanders, a one-eyed, hooked nosed, spotty 39-year-old: “Having lived there [USA], I am struck by the comparison with the US, where the likes of Barbara Walters and Diane Sawyer can carry on – admittedly, still incredibly glamorous women.”
She adds: “I feel strongly about this and hope that the perception that you can’t advance beyond 50 will be seen as nonsense.”
We’ll see how Ms Flanders looks hold up…