Top news from The Times, Daily Telegraph, The Indepedent and The Guardian newspapers
LAST year, Gloucestershire became the Venice of the North and everyone in Tewkesbury got a river view. The Independent was certain as to what had brought about this wondrous event:
In “England under water: scientists confirm global warming link to increased rain”, Michael McCarthy, Environment Editor, wrote:
It’s official: the heavier rainfall in Britain is being caused by climate change, a major new scientific study will reveal this week, as the country reels from summer downpours of unprecedented ferocity.
More intense rainstorms across parts of the northern hemisphere are being generated by man-made global warming, the study has established for the first time an effect which has long been predicted but never before proved.
NOw in 2008, the Daily Mail reports in “Freak rain, not global warming, blamed for last year’s devastating £3bn floods”:
The devastating floods that deluged Britain last summer were not caused by climate change, contrary to the claims of politicians and green campaigners, scientists have said.
A major new study says there is no evidence that the “exceptional river flooding” – which caused more than £3billion damage and left thousands homeless – was anything other than a freak “100- to 200-year” event.
And while temperatures have risen in England over the last few decades, there is no proof that flooding in the summer or winter is more common, the researchers added.
No proof. None at all…
THE TIMES: “The hangover Budget”.
The story is underscored by the Times, er, offer: “Eat out for £10.”
THE INDEPEDENT:” MR DARLING AND HIS BOX OF TRICKS.”
The image is or Darling holding his red box up over his face. All that remains of him in view are a body and a tuft of white hair. Is that a rabbit? Or Knut?
Scarlett Keeling has been raped and murdered in India. Two men have been arrested. But the story is of the girl’s mother, Fiona MacKeown, who is to be judged in the media.
DAILY MAIL: “The truth about ‘Good Life’ of murdered teenager Scarlett Keeling”
The truth? Does the Mail know what happened to Scarlett Keeling, who killed her?
An empty milk bottle, tie-dye sheets pinned over the window instead of curtains, discarded black bin liners and a sleeping bag on the floor, and the contents spewing carelessly from a chest of drawers. On top of them the remnants of a lost childhood – a plastic duck and young girl’s jewellery box.
As these pictures show, this is the squalor in which Scarlett Keeling was being raised. It is a million miles from the fantasy world of a wholesome family upbringing painted by her mother Fiona MacKeown in the past two weeks.
Cleanliness is next to godliness.
A mother grieves. Fiona MacKeown wants justice. And the Mail looks at her home. There are pictures of caravans. But no Caravan Club of Great Britain stickers. Not here.
She described their family’s life on a small-holding in Devon, where they grew their own food and kept their own chickens, as a perfect example of The Good Life.
The Good Life, that middle-class dream of nice-looking eco-warriors and self-sufficiency in the suburbs, where the childless erudite couple make their own wine, cheese and gentle humour from their land. They are the rebels. Fiona MacKeown is something else:
She has nine children born to five different men, none of whom plays a day-to-day roll in their upbringing; the family’s only discernible income is from state benefits; her older children, educated largely at home, drink and, in Scarlett’s case, take drugs; and her eldest son, just 19, was left behind in Devon only to break his neck in a mystery car accident currently being investigated by British police.
A dead girl. A caravan. Children. A car accident. “Naivety or negligence? Some would argue that that question goes to the heart of not just this sorry tale but Fiona’s lifestyle in the round.” The Mail is brought to you by the Non-Sequitur Society Of Great Britian.
Yesterday her remaining children finally arrived back in Britain where they will be cared for by their grandmother. Fiona remains in Goa, determined to continue her fight. It is a fight not just for justice for Scarlett, but also to convince a growing army of critics, who believe she fatally let her eldest daughter down.
Does Fiona MacKeown have to convince her critics, and these are critics who may already be critcal of her lifestyle? Does she use her energy to talk to Daily Mail readers? And for these readers is the biggest concern, the ultimate pain, the biggest problem, that Fiona MacKeown does not give a stuff what they think of her. Is that what hurts the Mail’s readers most. Or please them best?
THE SCOTSMAN: “So what is a mum to do?
Every so often, circumstances conspire to hold up before us that most reviled of creatures: the bad mother. We love a bad mother…
Now it’s Fiona MacKeown’s turn. On the McCann scale of public opprobrium she ought to come off worse – and it may yet prove that she does, because this story is still young.
We have solar panels, and are having photovoltaic panels fitted as soon as we can get hold of them, but the demand is very high …
I am getting my panels in from a Chinese plant, the only one in the world with a really solid eco-record for making them.
DAILY MIRROR: “Hunt for Shannon Matthews is the biggest since the Yorkshire Ripper”
The search is the biggest since the one for Yorkshire Ripper Peter Sutcliffe who murdered 13 women in the 70s and 80s.
DAILY STAR (front page): “SHANNON: BIGGEST MANHUNT SINCE RIPPER”
DAILY EXPRESS: “SHANNON: HUNT IS ON SCALE OF RIPPER”
Chief Inspector Graham Armitage said: “It’s certainly the biggest missing persons inquiry since the Yorkshire Ripper, which I also worked on.”
Ripper. Ripper. Ripper. Is this a new context to place the disappearance of a child in? Is comparison with Madeleine McCann no longer apt?
DAILY MAIL: “Someone I know abducted missing Shannon just to hurt me, says mother”
Matti Vanhanen, Finland’s prime miniter, is partial to:
Matti Vanhanen, 52, prime minister since 2003, has been enjoying a wave of support since the disclosure that he likes to take a sauna before sex and enjoys his favourite meal of beef and baked potatoes afterwards.
Eliot Spitzer prefers donuts:
The rendezvous that established Gov. Eliot Spitzer’s involvement with high-priced prostitutes occurred last month in one of Washington’s grandest hotels, but the criminal investigation that discovered the tryst began last year in a nondescript office building opposite a Dunkin’ Donuts on Long Island, according to law enforcement officials.
Tony Blair likes:
Bananas, Beck’s lager and pistachio nuts – maid who served Blair at Labour conference
Fresh fettucini garnished with an exotic sauce of olive oil, sun-dried tomatoes and capers – NSPCC Islington Cook Book
Fish and chips – Sedgefield Labour Party election leaflet
Indonesia’s Vice President Jusuf Kalla eats out:
“It’s alright to use it as a food seasoning,” VP Jusuf Kalla was quoted as saying by the Jakarta Post daily.
W. T. Mayhall, Jr., John Read, and Democrat Bobby Shows don’t lke watching fat people eat.
Sambhu Mandi, a minister in West bengal, sees food everywhere:
“If there is food scarcity … they will also survive on snakes, rats, toads”
The motion at the Association of Teachers and Lecturers annual conference in Torquay next Tuesday runs: “Conference notes with deep concern that many children in our schools appear unhappy and anxious.”
The adults will debate and discuss why children are so unhappy.
Over the next two weeks, ATL members will discuss several topics relating to the mental health of primary age children and the pressures they face in modern society.
Teachers discussing what makes a young child unhappy is a bit like the jockey asking the horse why his face is long. It might be that – and whisper it – school is the biggest problem. It is school that ruins the child’s pursuit of fun.
Question asked; question answered.
It may also be that the teacher’s idea of happiness is not the pupil’s.
Armani is happy eating chips for breakfast, her teacher is not; Blake’s face lights up whenever he delivers a punch to a smaller child’s arm, his teacher’s does not; Romeo is never happier than when he is picking his nose and firing the oar at the girls, his teacher is not.
Worse: “The idiot had just one hand on the buggy, with a cigarette in the other, as breakers crashed over Brighton’s sea wall.”
Shock: “Andrew Hasson, who saw the dad and a pal, said: “They were stupid and lucky not to be swept away.”
He offers no comment on the cigarette. But a nation is sickened.
More beach shots as on the Times. A man is airborne. In his hand the remnants of an umbrella. The sea to his right. The soft wet sand beneath. No cigarette. He might make it yet.
This is “HURRICANE BRITAIN” says the Express on its cover. Had only BBC weatherman Michael Fish been an Express reporter in 1987, he’d not have poo-pooed warnings of a hurricane. He’d have screamed it. And he’d have continued screaming it every day, just in case he was right.
A SOLIDER is said to have tried to sell pictures of Prince Harry in Afghanistan to The Sun. The paper declined to publish them until Harry was on his way home:
British media, including The Observer, agreed not to report Harry’s deployment throughout his time in Afghanistan. ‘Obviously people in theatre knew about it, and it was extremely unlikely that no one would attempt to try to leak stuff. There were never any guarantees,’ said one source. ‘But all in all it went pretty well.’
Troops serving alongside Harry were warned not to tell their families at home about the royal in their midst. Harry himself later admitted that there had been a couple of occasions when the deal might not have held without behind-the-scenes help from the British media in alerting officials to potential leaks.
One soldier. One. A united army. A united media. Things mgiht not be so bad…
Times Online has got the builders in. We’ve closed for a couple of hours to make some improvements to the site.
That’s the image.
Make it greeneer – or else. Go Green Team.
SUNDAY PEOPLE: “Maddie’s parents in cash offer
“DAY 19 OF HUNT FOR MISSING SCHOOLGIRL.. AND FRIEND TELLS OF HER HEARTBREAK.”
Are there shades of a melodrama in this story?
“The parents of Maddie McCann yesterday pledged cash to boost the hunt for Shannon. Gerry and Kate, whose daughter has been missing for 10 months, are “deeply concerned” at the plight of Shannon’s family. Kate, 39, said: “My heart goes out to them. We always hoped and prayed that no other family would have to suffer like we have.”
The McCanns are the media voice of missing children. Providers of the easy quote.
“Money from the Find Madeleine Fund could perhaps pay for a massive poster campaign.”
McCann family spokesman Clarence Mitchell said: “Kate and Gerry have no control over the money. The board will want to know what it is needed for.” The fund now stands at £544,000.
GLASGOW SUNDAY MAIL: “Maddie Parents Pray For Tragic Mari’s Family.”
“THE parents of Madeleine McCann yesterday offered prayers for the family of tragic Mari Luz Cortes.”
Their McCanns’ spokesman Clarence Mitchell says: “Gerry and Kate are extremely sad. They had developed a sense of unity with Mari Luz’s parents as both families were going through similar agonies.”
Mari Luz is dead. Her body has been found.
As the Sunday Mirror screamed: “Spanish ‘Maddy’ Mari Luz Cortes found dead in river.”
SUNDAY MIRROR: “’Two women broke into our home and tried to snatch our little girl. I had to fight them off.. I thought of Madeleine’.”
This is: “EXCLUSIVE BRITISH MUM’S COSTA TERROR.”
Another “Spanish Maddy”?
A British mum told yesterday how she fought off two intruders who tried to snatch her toddler daughter in Spain – in a chilling echo of the abduction of Madeleine McCann.
Madeleine McCann went missing in Portugal. It has not been established what happened to her. Her parents have been named as suspects in her disappearance. So too has a Robert Murat.
To Moraira, Costa Blanca…
Brave Adele Spencer, 28, wrestled with the Moroccan-looking women when they broke into her home and tried to pluck 18-month old Annabelle from her high-chair.
And last night aides to Kate and Gerry McCann said they are keen to find out more about both cases – to see if there are any links to four-year-old Madeleine’s abduction in Praia da Luz, Portugal, last May.
Yesterday tearful Adele cuddled her blonde daughter and admitted: “If I had been 10 seconds later she would have been gone. I’m just thankful I managed to get to Annabelle in time to save her. “I never thought we would come close to suffering the same fate as Madeleine’s parents. You read about horrific stories like theirs but you don’t expect it to happen to you.”
Adele’s fiancé is called Carl. Says he:
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…