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Broadsheets | Anorak - Part 3

Broadsheets Category

Top news from The Times, Daily Telegraph, The Indepedent and The Guardian newspapers

RSPCA moves to become an unaccountable police force

Your home can be invaded at any tine if you own a pet and a charity suspects all it not well.

The RSPCA wants to be allowed to enter private property to seize pets in England and Wales.

The charity is in talks with the Government and police chiefs to negotiate new powers which will allow it to enter gardens, sheds and outhouses without an officer present.

An private police force in your home is progress?

Under current rules the RSPCA has to contact the local police force and wait for an officer to arrive if they believe an animal is in distress on private property.

Belief should always be questioned. But the RSPA want it enforced.

But if granted special statutory powers, its 33 officers would be able to remove animals from private land without police permission – though the powers do not extend to entering a private home.

First they came for your goldfish…

Spotter: The Indy

 

Posted: 9th, July 2017 | In: Broadsheets, Strange But True | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Arsenal balls: the Alexandre Lacazette fact file

Always good when a new name arrives into the Premier League. The Daily Mail looks for a photogenic lover. And the Daily Telegraph produces insight into the player’s career and life by looking at YouTube videos and the, er, Daily Mail.

The Telegraph has gone big on Alexandre Lacazette, the Frenchman kept out of the France national side by Olivier Giroud – he’s wanted by Everton – and seemingly on his way to Arsenal.

One story asks Tele readers: “Alexandre Lacazette: why are Arsenal buying him, what are they getting and will he be a success?” Readers aren’t sure. Will he be a success? Presumably Arsenal are buying him in the hope he’ll score lots of goals. The paper’s Daniel Zeqiri says Arsenal have bought him to score “goals”. Now we know.

As for other questions, well, they keep on coming:

Why did the club not buy him last summer if they deemed him good enough? Will he play with Alexis Sánchez or is he a replacement? Why does Olivier Giroud play ahead of him for France? Is he really an upgrade on existing options?

Readers of a big national newspaper with large resources might expect answers to those questions to come from someone at Arsenal or Lyon, Lacazette’s current club – or at least be put to them. But the story contains not a single word from the club on their likely new striker.

“Why did Arsenal not sign him previously?” asks Zeqiri. It’s a rhetorical question because he soon replies: “One can only speculate.” If you want to know if he’s any good, you can “glance at the goalscoring charts and the advanced scouting tool known as YouTube”.

Happily, writers have watched short videos of the player and can tell Arsenal fans what he’s all about:

Zeqiri says the Frenchman is..:

…a player who can finish and scores a variety of goals; tap-ins, dinks, side-foot finishes into the far corner à la Thierry Henry and strikes from distance. Lacazette is also quite strongly right-footed…

He is sharp across short distances, but is not really a sprinter capable of shredding defences with speed in behind in the manner of Henry or a young Nicolas Anelka. Lacazette’s movement is more economical, relying on subtle movements in tight spaces, which puts him closer to the van Persie end of the Arsenal striker spectrum.

He sounds fantastic, a combination of former Arsenal captains Robin Van Perise and Thierry Henry, but not all that quick.

Or as the Daily Mail’s Adam Crafton says:

Lacazette is perfectly suited to Arsenal’s needs, with sharp technical instincts and a brutal turn of pace.

And there’s Sachin Nakrani in the Guardian:

“Lacazette is a natural talent,” says Julien Brun, a Paris-based commentator for beIN Sports. “Physically he is not that strong but he is very fast, hard-working and clever.”

Such are the facts.

Posted: 4th, July 2017 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Broadsheets, Sports | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


The Tories are rubbish but poll says we don’t want a Labour government

Labour Tories May Corbyn poll

 

Not much demand to overthrow the Government is there, according to this poll in the Times.

A Tory Party bereft of ideas with an illiberal ‘dead woman walking’ as a leader and yet Labour remains unattractive and less trusted on the biggest challenge. Corbyn’s hollowed-out Labour might be ready to form a government, as he keeps telling us they are, but we don’t want them to.

Glastonbury, however, does. And he’s very much at home in that hard-bordered, middle-class police state.

 

Posted: 23rd, June 2017 | In: Broadsheets, News, Politicians | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Arsenal Balls: Mesut Ozil kisses the badge but Welbeck get Sanchez’s Number 7 shirt

Transfer Balls: The Daily Telegraph no longer exists to report news. It exits to foster rumour on the back of unbelievable fantasy and what it dramatically calls “cryptic messages” –  and the rest of us call tweets. In today’s Telegraph, we read that Arsenal fans are “rejoicing” in the news that “Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez have helped launch the club’s new 2017/18 kit”.

Anyone not reading that with a jaundiced eye hasn’t been using the internet and noticing how newspapers have gone from informing from gathering facts to churning continual denial and assertion. So the fact that two employees of a club bother to model the club’s new kit is a matter of intrigue and guesswork designed to entice.

The paper spins the launch of a new kit into: “The pair’s presence in the promotional material for the new kit will give Arsenal fans renewed hope that they will both extend their contracts with the club.”

 

arsenal balls

 

Arsenal fans rejoice! Just as you rejoiced when before the 2012-2013 season, Arsenal’s then captain Robin van Persie pulled on the latest kit. He left soon afterwards to play for Manchester United.

Oh, and just to ensure all bases are covered the Telegraph then belches this out:

 

arsenal balls

 

No. They don’t accidentally do anything.

Posted: 21st, June 2017 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Broadsheets, Sports | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Peak Clickbait: Arsenal player transfers to Arsenal

Have we reached peak clickbait in the Daily Telegraph? In “Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain to leave Arsenal? Seven destinations and seven replacements”, the paper of record ticks all the boxes in how to create clicks from nothing.

 

clickbait arsenal telegraph

 

Having asked the question to which you’d once-upon-a-time have expected a national newspaper with experts to answer – and the answer is always ‘No’ to any question posed in a headline – the paper then sets about making a Transfer Balls list.

 

The Tele argues that Oxlade-Chamberlain could leave Arsenal for – deep breath – Liverpool, Chelsea, Manchester City, West Ham, Everton, Manchester United and…Arsenal! Can you leave and remain at the same club?

As the paper mangles the English language, it also lists 7 players who could replace the underwhelming Ox. One of them is Kylian Mbappe, a striker, which Oxlade-Chamberlain most certainly isn’t.

 

Posted: 20th, June 2017 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Broadsheets, News, Sports | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Times journalist calls everyone who doesn’t vote Labour a ‘c**t’

Times journalist Caitlin Moran has reportedly tweeted: “Obviously there’s more nuanced take on this, but, broadly, voting Labour = not being a cunt.”

 

Caitlin Moran Labour

 

In November 2016, the Sunday Times interviewed Conservative leader Theresa May – a non-Labour voter, like Tobias Ellwood, and millions more ‘deplorables’ who don’t agree with Labour and vote Conservative, SNP, Green, LibDem, Co-operative, Democratic Unionist, Plaid Cymru, Sinn Féin, UKIP, Ulster Unionist Party or no-one. One section in Eleanor Mills’ story stood out:

A few weeks ago, I attended the Women of the Year awards lunch, where May spoke and presented an award to Margaret Aspinall, chairwoman of the Hillsborough Family Support Group, whose son James died in the Hillsborough disaster. Margaret Thatcher once told Aspinall that the police were doing “their job, my dear, their job”. May, by contrast, paid tribute to the families in their long fight for justice. In the queue for the ladies after the lunch, I chatted to another Hillsborough mum and asked what she thought of the prime minister.

“We’ve seen many politicians over the years,” she said, raising her eyes to heaven. “Theresa’s the only one who ever came through for us.”

Moran’s comment is nasty. The unpleasantness of those who claim to be most caring is jarring. To present swathes of people as inferior beings – Untermensch – is not enlightened. We should have more faith in one another. Humanity is underrated. Of course, it’s not only voices on the moralising Left writing off people who disagree with them as trash.
Corbyn the sun bin

This man is rubbish – actual rubbish

One other thing about was noteworthy: it showed that the Times employs writers with differing opinions. You cannot abuse Moran for toeing the line. Yesterday’s Times‘ editorial backed the Tories:
“The Conservatives have fought a poor campaign. Their manifesto includes policies lifted wholesale from Ed Miliband’s Labour platform of 2015, and a headline strategy on social care that was brave in principle but botched in practice.

“Mrs May has been pitched to voters as her party’s strongest asset but she has proved wooden when she needed to show charisma. She has been inflexible when she needed to think on her feet and evasive when she needed to be honest.

“That she is nonetheless by far the best prospective prime minister on offer speaks volumes about the choice voters must make tomorrow.”

In other news: Caitlin Moran’s tweet has been deleted.

Posted: 8th, June 2017 | In: Broadsheets, Celebrities | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Transfer balls: Manchester United agree terms with Griezmann but don’t want him

Transfer balls: Antione Griezmann is not joining Manchester United. United have “shelved plans to sing Grizemann” (Sun); “United interest in Griezmann fades” (Express and Mirror); and “Ant shoved aside as Jose turns to Lukaku” (Daily Star) tells us all we need to know.

 

Griezman united

 

Regular tabloid readers will wonder what happened to the deal Griezmann had agreed to:

 

Antoine Griezman Manchester United

 

Antoine Griezman Manchester United

 

 

 

And then there are the newspapers that co-opt the newsbots into deceiving their readers. Google search engines don’t spot the question marks that punctuate utter balls. They read it as fact.

 

Antoine Griezman Manchester United

 

So why is Griezmann no longer on his way to United? Have they elbowed him aside? No. The Mirror notes that Atletico Madrid have been hit with a transfer ban for signing underage players. This means they Spanish side will “refuse” to sell their star player. So Griezmann stays in Spain.

The Times says he’s tying in Spain because United “decided instead to pursue a target man in light of Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s long-term knee injury.”

Such are the facts.

Posted: 2nd, June 2017 | In: Arsenal, Broadsheets, Sports, Tabloids | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Burqa Babes: Daily Telegraph identifies jihadi bride of the month

Working on the Telegraph’s picture desk is a skilled task. To illustrate the story that “British jihadi brides are returning home after being widowed, or being sent away by husbands preparing to make a final stand with the Islamic State group”, the paper publishes this:

 

 

jihadi brides

 

“A woman believed to be British female jihadi Asqa Mahmoud, 20,” is the figure in the “centre”. She is “pictured with friends”.

Their identities are unknown. Although the one on the right is ringer for Lord Lucan whilst the other could be Shergar.

 

Posted: 31st, May 2017 | In: Broadsheets, Strange But True | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Salma Hayek’s Pizza Hell

salma hayek pizza

 

“I’m a very good stepmum,” Hayek insists. “I always wanted more children, but I couldn’t have another after Valentina. You have to work very hard to please them all. If you are making pizza, there is one who doesn’t like cheese, and another who hates tomato. Our chef sometimes looks so downhearted. He’s always saying, ‘Madam, what are we going to do?’”

Spotter: The Times

Posted: 28th, May 2017 | In: Broadsheets, Celebrities | Comment (1) | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


How British newspapers changed their front pages after the Manchester attack

As the engaging and insightful Liz Gerard writes, the way the Press responded to the attack in Manchester “demonstrates the intrinsic honesty and desire to tell the story that draws most journalists to the trade.

The papers we see every day are the results of hours of debate, discussion, orders from on high. Stories and pictures are often chosen to press an agenda – be it for Left or Right. But when a story like the Manchester bombing breaks late, true journalistic instincts kick in. The “agenda” goes out of the window.

All those hours spent pondering how to portray Corbyn in the worst light, May in the best (or vice-versa) are as nothing when real life intrudes. You just tell the story.

Unless you work for the Express, of course. Then dementia still runs in the family. But on this occasion that’s about lack of investment, rather (I hope) than incompetence.

Today the politicisers will be back in action. The events in Manchester will be spun to suit the agenda. Tomorrow’s papers won’t have this morning’s rough honesty.

The pity is that so few people see these efforts.

Well done my trade.(edited)

Manchester bomb front pages

 

More on the Express’s here.

Follow Liz here and here.

Posted: 24th, May 2017 | In: Broadsheets, Reviews, Tabloids | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Pippa Middleton’s wedding tips: be shaggable

When Pippa Middleton married James Matthews reporting was split: he was all money; she was all looks. Stood in the supermarket queue a woman saw me looking at the Hello! magazine cover featuring Pippa and her sister Kate (who she?) and asked: “Which one do you think’s more attractive?”

The Telegraph:

Pippa Middleton is due to tie the knot to a wealthy financier today in what is expected to be the society event of the year. The Duchess of Cambridge’s younger sister will marry Chelsea-based multi-millionaire James Matthews at a small, private affair with reportedly just 150 people invited.

The Sun:

pipa midcleton wedding sex

 

Being known for your arse make you pretty unthreatening, no, and thus all the more likeable. In the much lampooned Pippa’s Party Tips, the second Middleton gel showed an apparent acceptance of her role as nice but dim, serving up statements of the bleedin’ obvious beneath a stock photo smile.

But what the Press really love about Pippa is that they give the papers a chance to feature their own photos of Prince George and Princess Charlotte.

Pippa Middleton newspapers Prince George wedding James matthews Pippa Middleton newspapers Prince George wedding James matthews Pippa Middleton newspapers Prince George wedding James matthews Pippa Middleton newspapers Prince George wedding James matthews Pippa Middleton newspapers Prince George wedding James matthews Pippa Middleton newspapers Prince George wedding James matthews Pippa Middleton newspapers Prince George wedding James matthews

 

 

Posted: 21st, May 2017 | In: Broadsheets, Royal Family, Tabloids | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Other parents: keeping up with the Corens

Victoria Coren shares her views on motherhood in the Guardian:

I’m not complaining about the time spent. That’s how I wanted to spend my time. Different people react to parenthood in different ways. Many of my closest friends, who love their children immeasurably and certainly as much as I love mine, need space from them. Quite apart from the financial imperative, they need for their own sanity to create separate professional achievements, maintain separate relationships or just have quiet days off.

That’s not how it’s been for me. To my surprise, it turned out that I find childcare infinitely interesting. It’s more rewarding than anything else I do and there’s no real peace or pleasure in being away from her. I’ve kept working a bit, but only to try and have some sort of skeleton career going for the future.

One other important factor in keeping a media career going is to give your nippers a leg-up and an insider’s views on what is a very competitive business. The Independent noted in an article headlined “Media Families”:

Victoria Coren was born in 1972. By the time she was 14, she was writing a column for The Telegraph on … what it was like to be 14.

Talented Victoria Coren’s father was the late Alan Coren, the esteemed journalist who edited Punch magazine, worked as a television critic for the Times and wrote the Arthur series of children’s books.

As well as being a joy, children give journalists something to write about.

In 2011, Victoria’s brother, Giles Coren, told Sunday Times readers “how to be a dad… Despite thinking parenthood might have passed him by, at 41, Giles Coren is now father to five-month-old Kitty. Here he rewrites the Dad Rules.”

Alan Coren said of his children:

“I’m delighted that they’re successful because they’re very good. They’re smart and charming. They both wrote well from an early age, I suppose because they grew up in a house where a lot of writing was going on – that, coupled with the genes.

“Had they gone into journalism and not been any good at it, that would have been a shame. They haven’t realised their potential yet, but they’re on their way to realising it and I’m very pleased for them.”

The Indy noted in 1997: “Neither is married, so no third-generation wits are yet in the production line.”

Watch that space.

Posted: 21st, May 2017 | In: Broadsheets, Celebrities | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Art Buchwald for the LA Times in 1973 – Nixon (not Trump)

Art Buchwald for the @latimes in 1973.

 

 Art Buchwald for the @latimes in 1973.

Posted: 20th, May 2017 | In: Broadsheets, Politicians | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Everything you read about drinking during pregnancy is wrong

pregnant-wine

 

Everything you ever read about drinking whilst pregnant is wrong. Prohibition for the pregnant is unfair and unfounded. The Telegraph has news:

Advising women not to drink when pregnant is “sexist” and causes “needless anxiety”, senior academics have said.

Pregnancy charities and researchers have called for a change to the “alarmist” official Government guidelines, which warn expectant mothers to avoid alcohol completely.

They say the policy has no basis in evidence and ends up “stigmatising” women and excluding them from society.

No basis. So the dire warnings are wrong? Like this one which appeared in the Daily Telegraph:

 

pregnancy drinking daily telegraph

 

If you want to be truly alarmed you turn to the Daily Mail, which has issued all sorts of dire warnings over drinking and pregnancy.

Just one glass of wine a week while pregnant ‘can harm a baby’s IQ’ – 15 November 2012

Women believe they can drink while pregnant – but one glass of wine could damage your baby for life -19/04/2008

Drinking alcohol while pregnant helps ‘create unruly children’ – 06/11/2007

Women who drink a glass of wine a day during pregnancy affect their child’s growth for nine years – 16/08/2012

 

daily mail drinking pregnant

 

daily mail drinking pregnant

 

daily mail drinking pregnant

 

daily mail drinking pregnant

 

And you can always shame someone with a long lens camera shot:

 

daily mail drinking pregnant

 

Who else needs a drink?

Posted: 18th, May 2017 | In: Broadsheets, Key Posts, Reviews, Tabloids | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Health shocker: water contains less calories than beer

water beer

 

Health News sensation. The Press Association has news: “Swapping a daily beer for a glass of water cuts the risk of obesity by a fifth and aids weight loss, research suggests.”

Yep. It’s true. Consuming less calories can stop you becoming fat. Who knew? The newswire story then gets topped and tiled to become a scoop.

“Switching daily beer for water cuts risk of obesity, study finds,” says The Guardian:

Replacing a beer with a glass of water every day could cut people’s chances of becoming obese by 20% on average, according to a study. Researchers from the University of Navarra in Spain found that the same holds true for sugary soft drinks – having a water each day instead cut the risk of obesity among more than 16,000 participants in the study by 15%.

The Telegraph: “Experts at the world’s largest obesity conference said the simple change is an easy way of beating the bulge.”

We’re also told: “Experts suggested that the fact beer is so calorific may be to blame.”

In tomorrow’s shocking news: Katie Price sleeps on her back!

Posted: 18th, May 2017 | In: Broadsheets, Reviews | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


The Labour Party’s ‘imaginary monkey’

John Trickett – Shadow lord president of the council, standing in Hemsworth. The Times has news:

 

 

the time Labour

 

Spotter: Michael Moran, by Patrick Kidd in The Times

Posted: 17th, May 2017 | In: Broadsheets, Politicians | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


The textbook Theresa May interview

Theresa May must have splinters from sitting on the fence for so long. Talking with the Sunday Times, May gave answers to a questionnaire. They are textbook Theresa May:

 

textbook theresa may interview

textbook theresa may interview

 

Spotter: @MrHarryCole

Posted: 14th, May 2017 | In: Broadsheets | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Madeleine McCann: Yorkshire Ripper IS a bastard and ‘Maddie’ not found in Africa

Today in Tautological Tabloid news we read that Peter Sutcliffe has engaged in a “SICK RIPPER RANT”. Sutcliffe is perhaps better known as the Yorkshire Ripper, a man who in 1981 was convicted of murdering thirteen women and attempting to murder seven others. But what’s “sick” about the mass murderer is what he said about Madeleine McCann.

 

Yorkshire Ripper Madeleine Mcann

 

The story begins:

The Yorkshire Ripper sparked outrage with a sickening slur claiming Madeleine McCann’s parents were involved in her disappearance.

Hanging’s too good for him!

For any reader who gives a shit what the murdering bastard thinks about EastEnders, the price of fossil fuels, Theresa May’s haircut or the disappearance of an innocent child ten years ago, the Sun relays Sutcliffe’s opinions, as shared with a “source” at Frankland Prison:

Sutcliffe – serving life for murdering 13 women – said: “It makes you sick really, keeping it in the limelight. They’ve got a cheek anyway because they made it all up. They were involved. There’s no other explanation. They’ll do anything to try and make money out of a situation.”

What Sutcliffe thinks abut the Sun keeping him in the limelight will doubtless form the substance of another scoop. As for what happened to Madeleine McCann, Sutcliffe’s reported opinions appear based on prejudices, hunches, a murderous hated of women and very possibly psychotic delusions rather than any evidence-based appraisal. The parents are innocent.

To recap: Everyone is innocent. There are no suspects. Indeed, the police have yet to prove what crime if any befell the child. All we know is that a child vanished.

The Sun then adds:

A source said: “He was spouting off to anyone who would listen after Gerry and Kate did the television interview to mark the 10 year anniversary. It was callous and heartless to hear him go on about how the parents were to blame.”

Peter Sutcliffe Sensation! Yorkshire Ripper is ‘callous and heartless’. Says one mum in tonight’s special edition: “He seemed so nice.” Read all about it!

The unnamed source continues:

“It’s awful to hear criticism of them given what they have been through, especially from someone like him.”

Of course, had the killers’ views not been aired in the national Press, the McCanns might well not have heard them.

In other news…

Daily Mail: “Tycoon who flew by £1.5million private jet to Africa to find Madeleine McCann was left ‘shattered’ when tip-off about a lookalike blonde girl proved wrong”

It’s a great shame he didn’t find her. (Is £1.5m expensive for a jet?)

It was revealed last month by the missing youngster’s family spokesman, Clarence Mitchell, that a plane was put on standby after the English-speaking blonde girl was located in Morocco.  But, millionaire Brian Kennedy 50, and his son, Patrick, 32, went one step further by actually taking off and flying across the Mediterranean in a bid to identify her.

Patrick tells the Sun: “They were shattered. You can’t even imagine how they must have felt… We realised very quickly it was not Madeleine.”

Clarence Mitchell adds in the Telegraph:

“All the information coming back to us suggested heavily that it could be Madeleine, so much so that an aircraft was put on stand-by, with its engines running, waiting to fly to pick her up.  Kate and Gerry sat tight. They had learned by that stage to be sceptical, not to give in to natural hope only for it to be dashed. They preferred to wait until the Moroccan authorities had checked it out. And when they did, it became clear she was not Madeleine.”

Such are the facts.

 

Posted: 11th, May 2017 | In: Broadsheets, Key Posts, Madeleine McCann, Tabloids | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Labour activist Bethany Barker gets publicly shamed

Kids, eh. They say the darndest things. Take Bethany Baker, 19, described in the Telegraph as the “student chosen to introduce Jeremy Corbyn at his local election launch”. Bethany Baker has just resigned as general secretary of Nottingham Labour Students. She doubtless had a bright and rosy future in the Labour movement until someone spotted “a series of racist, anti-Semitic and homophobic tweets” on her account.

Take these tweets from 2013:

“I cooked brandon chicken and rice, supporting the n***** race.”

“I hate bbc one, f****** c**** black f****** b**** I hate everyone #mayday.”

There’s another tweet mocking Jews in their unlovely “Jew caps”.

 

bethany barker labour

 

The stars and frosting are used lest any reader not on twitter and therefore not used to such nastiness get offended.

The paper adds:

In response to a tweet about the jewellery firm Pandora knowing “your mood” she tweeted “it’s a jewellery company you f****** f****t it will never know your mood”.

Miss Barker has issued a statement:

“Some screenshots have resurfaced about what I said in the past. I’m absolutely horrified and beyond disgusted about these tweets and they are in no way representative of the views I hold now.

“I have no recollection of writing these tweets and I am unequivocally sorry for the shadow that has been brought over our society because of it.

“These views are in no way what I align with today and I am beyond upset that I could ever say such things.”

You might wonder how someone who says such things gets to be a leading light of Labour student politics? Or you may not. You might see the anti-Semitism as some part of Bethany Barker’s audition to be a Labour activist. Or you may not.

But can we not be sympathetic to Bethany’s plight? The Sun features a line from Bethany’s apology that the Telegraph does not. She writes: “I have changed so much since I was 14, I was not nice and my past is something I am ashamed of.”

The Independent makes her age-at-tweeting a key part of the story:

 

bethany barker

 

 

Fair enough, no? Who at 14 is not a bit of a dick and says ugly things? And who sane wants to be publicly shamed? If we can spend a moment wondering about Bethany Barker’s state of mind rather than the media’s shaming of her, don’t our hot views cool a little? Those tweets stick and prick with stigma. And we wonder how language became more important than deeds?

 

bethany barker

 

Jacob Collier, chairman of the student group, tells us it’s not Labour policy to be a bigot: “We reiterate these comments are not reflective of Nottingham Labour Students members and we will do everything as a committee to ensure that our society is an inclusive and welcoming place for everyone regardless of their background, ability, age, ethnicity, race, religion, gender or sexual orientation.”

 

 

What price many student activists are now hitting the delete button.

Posted: 9th, May 2017 | In: Broadsheets, Politicians | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Arsenal: one player or maybe seven wins the title for Gunners, says Souness

Mystic Meg, eat yer heart out. In his article on Arsenal v Manchester United for the Sunday Times, former Spurs and Liverpool player Graeme Souness begins by tooting his own horn: “I predicted in March in this column that Manchester United and Arsenal would both miss out on the top four and I have seen nothing since to change my mind.”

The man’s got the gift, I tell you.

This is the same Souness who at the start of the season predicted the Premier League title going to Manchester United or Manchester City:

I think it will be one of the Manchester teams. If Ibrahimovic can fire on all cylinders – and I think there is a good year left in him – he will inspire those around him.

He’s someone who I enjoy. I enjoy his arrogance because he’s someone who can back it up. I think he could be the difference.

His Top Four ran: “1. Man Utd 2. Man City. 3. Tottenham 4. Arsenal.”

Whoops!

Having told readers back in August “Obviously it’s our job to make forecasts”, Souness today writes:

Arsenal should be looking at the likes of Griezmann and Bale… Over the past decade their recruitment has simply not been good enough, which is one of the main reasons Wenger should step aside. For seven or eight years they were only two or three top players away from being the team to beat but in the past few years it has not been a question of two or three players they need, it’s six or seven.

Ot as Souness put it in November 2015 – during the 2015-2016 season – just one season ago:

Arsene Wenger’s only major signing last summer was Petr Cech and he alone will give them a major chance of winning the Premier League this season. He could be worth anything up to 10 points for them.

Not two or three players, then. Just the one.

 

 

Posted: 7th, May 2017 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Broadsheets, Sports | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Green Left Weekly: ‘British Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn has done remarkably well’

jeremy corbyn the green paper

 

Australian publication Green Left Weekly aims to deliver “news and ideas the mainstream media won’t”. For instance, it’s the only paper we can find that says “British Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn has done remarkably well since Conservative Prime Minister Theresa May’s April 19 announcement of general elections on June 8.”

Green Left Weekly reported that on May 4. Two days on and the poisonous mainstream media has a different view on Corbyn’s performance.

 

council elections theresa may corbyn newspapers

 

Spotter: Tim Worstall

Posted: 6th, May 2017 | In: Broadsheets, Politicians, Reviews, Tabloids | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Google Translate News: Moscow hack gives Manchester’s fat slags and ‘disgusting’ gays a thrashing

If anyone is going to call British women fat slappers and out homosexuals it’ll be the British press. So when Alisa Titko, a writer for Komsomolskaya Pravda, ridiculed British women and lambasted Manchester for allowing gays to be loving in public, that champion of feminism and homosexual rights the Daily Telegraph was aghast. Chris Graham alerted the paper’s readers to Titko’s “homophobic rant”.

Manchester is a city of “fat people” and “debauchery”, a columnist for Russia’s largest selling newspaper wrote in a homophobic article that described the sight of gay people as “disgusting”.

 

gay putin clown

 

He relays Titko’s words – words she wrote in Russian – to English speaking readers:

Having recently visited Manchester, she wrote: “It is true that there are many fat people in Manchester. Local young women don’t mind when fat hangs down from their stomach and body – and does not fit into their jeans. Whatever, when they go to a nightclub they put on tight fit leggings and mini-dresses.”

Do all East European columnists speak like Alan Partridge’s East European lover?

 

 

Here’s more from Alisha Titko (trans: Alice My-Tit):

“In Manchester there is a whole part of the city for gay people. Nobody told me about it, I have found it myself when I was walking around the town. There is even a plate there saying ‘Gay Village’. It is the most popular place for such couples, there are cafés and clubs there with small rainbow flags. Of course, a young man with a girl can also go into the gay club but they should know that if somebody approaches them, it maybe not just for a chat but for something more deep. Of course, it is hardly possible that men turn gay because girls are too fat and non-sexual. But it can influence it too.”

Who says the mainstream press is dying on its arse?

Over on Komsomolskaya Pravda, you can read Titko’s words in her native Russian. But it’s more fun to shred it through Google Translate. So I did. And it gives us:

Moscow does not need gayest street in Manchester

Look out for the claim that a quarter of men in Manchester are gay, a bride can marry a butterfly and things can go “deep” with just a friendly ‘Wotcha cocker!”:

From his friends in Moscow more often I hear that to homosexual couples should be treated more tolerant. Like, people love each other, and what’s the difference … Let. But we should not talk about it openly, to go around the city by the handles and kissing passionately. Shockingly so. And I never understand. Couple – people of different sexes. Historically, only men and women have children. These are the basic things. Understandable. But here, gays and lesbians have found a way – the children they give birth to a surrogate mother or take the baby to an orphanage.

And on such a quiet talk in the newspapers, on television. But in my head does not fit, when I know that some of our idle singers and actors (never would have thought!), And do not dream of the traditional family, and because they are better men. As a girl I was upset, their female fans, probably, too. And such relations are not only in show business, there are gays and lesbians among stylists, managers, and flight attendants. Yes, and no matter the profession. But it is becoming so commonplace that already scares. Where rolling part of Russian society? Why is it more openly demonstrated, and even citing that in Europe – is the norm.

I saw these your rules. In Manchester, for example, there are a quarter of gay men. And about it I whispered to no one in your ear, I found it myself, walking around town. At the beginning of the quarter even have a label “gay village”. It is like this place for couples. They then its cafes, clubs with small rainbow flags, even in Ukraine, the rainbow will be greater when dokrasyat Arch of Friendship of Peoples. Of course, Manchester geyskoy clubs start up and a guy with a girl. But the single boys and girls need to understand that it may be appropriate to meet and not to just talk, and for more in-depth.

Gays and lesbians in the evenings, not hiding emotions, rest not only in private clubs, and even open out onto the veranda. On the walls causing posters. For example, kissing Batman and Superman.

– Do you realize that we have something going with you staring, and they may think that we are not just friends, – told me Anna.

– Well, let’s say that we are not a lesbian, if that – I said to her friend.

At one of the tables was a wedding of two rather large girls, one was a veil, and on the other – the butterfly. We sat next to their mothers and girlfriends. At another table sat a man in a leather mask and pop out of her tongue to lick his partner’s eye. Ahead was a pretty nice guy in stylish jeans and jacket. With him is another. And how I would like to believe that they are just tourists and come here by chance as we are. But no. A friend took his belt and with a playful smile, pulled to itself, and then a couple came in one of the cafes.

– Yes, they are full of women that men are simply disgusting – throw in our conversation with a friend friend Anton. – You’ve seen the same as fast food and potato they eat. A beer of any drink huge glasses. As they say, the result is obvious.

Full in Manchester really quite a lot. And local girls not steamed that fat hanging from the abdomen, flanks , does not fit into jeans. In the clubs, they still pull tight leggings and dresses-mini. Of course, it is unlikely that men become gay because of the fact that the girl thick , not sexy. Although this, too, can influence.

– How good that in Moscow there are no streets. Well, now imagine. Come on Tverskaya , svarachivaem on Chamberlain and Grand Dmitrovka men in leather pants and whips. Oh, no – I can tell your friends after we leave the gayest village. – And if not banned gay parades, all these “free” men in pink, with arrows and bare nipples would be, for example, on the New Arbat.

– How to go there after some ordinary people? – disgust ask about Anna.

– Even so?

I can already imagine that some would say the familiar: “That’s not you they offend They are different This is a limitation of freedom….” Yes, what is freedom? Mom as a child gave a little belt. It is a measure of promiscuity. This is necessary precisely to hide, and not to put on display, and even demand to marry. I like the approach of registry offices in Russia . They say: “The law stipulates that marriage is between a man and a woman, period.”. And what’s more there gay people in Russia – it is bad and shameful.

It’s bad parenting parents, not inspected, not explained. And then the son grows and the mother says, you became a grandmother, but I do not have a wife. Or: “Mom, men – all goats, I love Lena “. Even after five years, they will lead their children to school. And they ask: “Why are the other two parents?” And what to say? There are different family? But the main question: what generation we are waiting for?

PS Let’s be Russian. Create a normal family. Have children in wedlock. And do not confuse love with debauchery.

It’s not fake news – it’s The News According to Google Translate.

Posted: 5th, May 2017 | In: Broadsheets, Key Posts, Reviews | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Press: ‘200 year old wolves return to Denmark’

Wolves are back in Denmark. The Telegraph has the scoop:

At least five wolves, including one female, have returned to Denmark for the first time in two centuries, a zoologist who has obtained DNA evidence said on Thursday.

 

wolves denmark

 

Those wolves sure do live for a long time.

Posted: 5th, May 2017 | In: Broadsheets, Strange But True | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Madeleine McCann: most of the British Press ignores the 10th anniversary

Ten year ago today Madeleine McCann was reported missing. Today the media marks the unhappy truth that a decade of reporting, fund-raising, investigating and watching has added not a single new fact to the original report: child vanishes. This is a round-up of the anniversary’s reporting. It’s a the usual mixture of speculation, name-calling and gawping.

 

madeleine mccann newspapers

 

Daily Mirror (front page): “As the McCanns mark 10 agonising years without their Maddie, how can Portuguese police keep being so vile”

Are feelings of paramount importance when investigating what happened to an innocent child? The Mirror’s front page promises more on pages 13 and 17.

Page 13: We see Madeleine McCann holding tennis balls. She is “THE LOST GIRL”. The headline tells us: “Portuguese cops: Brits’ search for Maddie is a waste of £11m.”

Is that an opinion exclusive to former Portuguese police officer Carlos Anjos, who says the the theory that the child was taken dying a burglary is “absurd”?  He states: “Not even a wallet disappeared, no TV disappeared, nothing else disappeared. A child disappeared.”

Is that “vile”? Isn’t it just a statement of fact? Reading on we are told that Kate and Gerry McCann will attend a prayer service in Rothley, Leicestershire. We get to read a “leaked” 2010 Home Office report, which says: “The McCanns acknowledge a distinct lack of trust between all parties.”

We read of “more bile” from another former Portuguese policeman, this time it’s Goncalo Amaral, who appeared on the telly to tell viewers that the child could have been cremated. He says: “Three figures went into the church. They had a box. It is possible the child’s remains were in the box and cremated a well.” Can he prove his theory? Clearly not. But we get to hear Amaral’s opinion, and we are told how to read it.  It is “vile”. It is full of “bile”. It is a “snub”. It’s speculation. There’s been a lot of that.

Page 17: “Fresh hell adds to Maddie pain.”

Alison Phillips uses her column to record “another agonising anniversary for the McCann family”. She spots the “slug-like” Amaral. She says the chances that the parents will be reunited with Madeleine are “less likely than ever”. Having told of the parents’ hurt and suffering, Phillips says: “Yet as the family mark 10 agonising years without Maddie today, how can some Portuguese cops be so cruel?” Amaral has been “airing his ludicrous claims about her disappearance.” He’s been on “local” TV in Portugal.

On May 10 2007, the Mirror produced “6 THEORIES” of its own. They were: “PAEDOPHILE GANG”, the “LONE PAEDOPHILE”, the “JEALOUS MOTHER”, Madeleine wandering off and “DROWNED”, the “OPPORTUNIST PAEDOPHILE”, the “CHILDLESS COUPLE”.

They never did get to the burglar theory.

Phillips returns to Amaral’s appearance on the TV, where he was “again pointing the finger at Maddie’s parents”, making “ludicrous claims about her disappearance”. Phillips wonders: “Why the Portuguese broadcasters give him airtime is a total mystery”. For those of you missed the show, the Mirror helpfully transcribes parts of it. Why a British newspaper gives him front-page coverage is a total mystery. Phillips says Anjos and Amaral could do “everyone a favour…by keeping their opinions strictly to themselves.” Even if it does give a columnist one less thing to write about.

She then notes – get his  – “…these men know every smear or suggestion will be lapped up and repeated by sickos and saddos on social media.” There are some nasty sods on twitter and Facebook. Perish the thought that the mainstream media would stoop do low as to point the finger and whisper.

Daily Star (front page): “MADDIE: Parents Kept Info From Cops.”

The story begins:

“Madeleine McCann’s parents withheld information from police that had been gathered by private investigators hunting for her, says a Home Office report. The couple believed their treatment by Portuguese police was ‘inhumane’.”

Page 9: “Maddie’s parents did not trust them”

Jerry Lawton writes that the parents “did not truth detectives handling the case after they were declared suspects… Though the couple’s ‘arguido’ status was lifted in 2008 and the case archived as unsolved, the McCanns withheld details unearthed by their private eyes from both them and their local Leicestershire  force , the report states.”

Daily Express: nothing. Not a single word is published on the child who has featured on the paper’s cover many times.

Telegraph (page 23): Allison Pearson says it is “miracle” of faith and fortitude that the McCanns are still together. She then embarks on a ‘Maddie & Me’ story:

My own children were small when she was taken and, for a while, my son was obsessed with her. I had to answer endless questions. “No, they didn’t find her yet, sweetheart. Yes, it’s very sad. No, a bad man will not take you. Because Mummy and Daddy will keep you safe, that’s why.”

In the past decade, how many parents have mentally run the “Madeleine safety test” before daring to leave their children even for a moment? It’s no consolation to the McCanns, but that may be her lasting legacy.

The Sun (page 6): “MADDIE BRUSH’S RERURN”

“A hairbrush belonging to Madeleine McCann has been returned to her parents on the tenth anniversary of her disappearance.”

Are the two moments linked, the brush’s return and the anniversary? Surely this isn’t some kind of macabre tribute?

The brush was in the possession of Danie Krugel, a private investigator. It was “handed” to the ex-cop after he offered to help the search for the the child. The McCanns spokesman, Clarence Mitchell, says: “Gerry did give a hairbrush to Mr Krugel at the time to assist in his work. He eventually returned to  South Africa and the hairbrush slipped their minds. But they were delighted to get one of Madeleine’s possessions back.”

The paper goes on to refer to Amaral and his “vile suggestion Madeleine’s body had been frozen before being cremated”. Mitchell says the claim is “deeply offensive”.

Daily Mail (Page 31): “McCanns fell out with Portuguese and UK police”

Madeleine McCann’s parents fell out with both the Portuguese and British police investigating her disappearance, a leaked report revealed today. Gerry and Kate McCann’s relationship with detectives became so poor that they refused to share information dug up by their own private investigators.

A Home Office report ordered by then Labour minister Alan Johnson before the 2010 election shows that the couple’s ‘turbulent relationship’ with police led to a breakdown in trust.

It says that the McCann’s felt badly treated by the Portuguese authorities who closed the investigation into Madeleine’s 2007 disappearance.
But when the Met Police came in they then fell out with police in Praia de Luz – and later the McCanns too, the report says.

 

madeleine mccann theories

 

The Mail says its report is rooted in a Sky News scoop. Over on Sky, alongside a story on – yep – 6 theories on what happened to Madeleine McCann, we read:

The revelations are contained in a report ordered by the then Home Secretary Alan Johnson who wanted to know if it was worth getting Scotland Yard involved after Portuguese officers closed their first investigation. The report said: “It is clear that from the beginning the McCanns felt there was a lack of clarity and communication on the part of the Portuguese police. Despite the involvement of British consular staff, they were, by their own accounts, left for long periods without any updates or communication with the investigators. They state they were taken to the police station on more than one occasion and then left for hours waiting to speak to someone who never materialised.

“They describe this situation as inhumane, with no real consideration for their emotional and physical wellbeing.”

The report, written by the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre, also said too many UK law enforcement agencies had rushed to help and caused chaos, and that frequent criticism of the Portuguese investigation led to accusations the UK was acting like “a colonial power”.

The report said: “Clearly, the McCanns have had a turbulent relationship with both Portuguese and UK law enforcement. They now openly acknowledge that there is a distinct lack of trust between all parties.”…

The report said: “It is clear that the McCanns and the private investigators working on their behalf have gathered a large amount of information during the course of their enquiries. This information does not appear to have been shared fully with the Leicestershire constabulary or the Portuguese authorities.

“It is imperative that they are encouraged and persuaded to share this information.”

What happened to Madeleine McCann? She vanished. And that’s the sum of the facts.

Posted: 3rd, May 2017 | In: Broadsheets, Madeleine McCann, Tabloids, TV & Radio | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Madeleine McCann: the Met’s 10th anniversary PR exercise ‘COULD’ be news

Madeleine McCann: 10th anniversary news round-up.

The Daily Mail (front page): “MADDIE POLICE CHASING ‘CRITICAL LEAD'”.

 

maddie mccann daily mail

 

That Madeleine McCann remains front-page news 10 years after her vanishing – and after ten years of no evidence of what happened to her emerging – is remarkable. As for the news, we learn that police are “chasing a critical leader”. How critical? Well, it “could crack the Madeleine McCann case”. So only potentially critical, then.

What of the “mysterious new clues”, then, that “could explain why the three-year-old vanished in May 2007″?

We hear from Mark Rowley, a Metropolitan Police assistant commissioner, who tells us that the “latest lead” is “worth pursuing”. He says: “It could provide an answer, but until we’ve gone though it I won’t know whether we are going to get there or not.”

That’s three “coulds” on the front page alone. So much for the “critical lead”. Rowley says – without irony – “I’m not going to discuss…because it is very much a live investigation”.

The Mirror makes “COULD” part of its front-page lead. It could just as easily says ‘Could Not”.

daily mirror maddy mccann

 

Millions of pounds invested in the search for answers and still none are forthcoming. Ten years of looking and the Met are in full PR mode. They “don’t want to spoil it by putting titbits of information our publicly,” says Rowley as he chucks a tasty morsel to the Press. Indeed, this isn’t a hunt for alleged VIP sex criminals. There will be no televised raids and no airport arrests. So can Rowley tell us anything? “We don’ have evidence telling us if Madeleine is alive or dead.” says Rowley, “but as a team we are realistic about what we might be dealing with.”

As the Met gets realistic about theories, the Mail moves on to look at the parents. Over pages 4 and 15, we get “10 YEARS OF PAIN”.

Pages 14-15: “Maddie’s bedroom is piled high with a decade of unopened gifts. Kate’s given up work to care or their twins – while Gerry’s now a world-renowned heart doctor. As police reveal a ‘significant’ new line of inquiry… 10 YEARS OF HOPE AND HEARTBREAK”.

What a parent looking after their own children has to do with the case is moot, moreover the husband’s job. But this story always was laced with a middle-class thread. The blonde child. The medical professional parents. The upmarket holiday camp destination. It all overshadows the fact that police only might have a significant new line of enquiry. We don’t know. They don’t know. All we know is that Kate McCann is a “fitness fanatic” who “finds finds comfort in daily work-outs at he gym”; Gerry McCann “was recently praised for saving the life of former footballer Alan Birchenall after he suffered a heart attack and ‘died’  for seven minutes”; and “they have coped in different ways with the tragedy”.

 

daily express maddy mccann

 

Daily Express (front page): “VITAL NEWS CLUES IN MADDY HUNT.”

No. They could be critical clues. They might not be of any value at all. The Express notes that Operation Grange, the police investigation, has cost £11m.

Page 5: “Yard reveals ‘critical lines of inquiry’ in Maddy case.” It did. And it didn’t. The Met mentioned the leads and then said they were secret.

The paper does have some news, though. We learn that in 2013, “officers identified four people as possible suspects but they have now been ruled out.”

The Telegraph prefers to lead with a question: “Madeleine McCann: Are the police any closer to knowing the truth?” As Betteridge’s law of headlines states: “Any headline that ends in a question mark can be answered by the word no.”

This is Mark Rowley’s statement in full – delivered to deadline. The Met calls it “AC Mark Rowley reflects on the tenth anniversary of the disappearance of Madeleine McCann.” It reads like mixture of school report and therapeutic journey:

As an investigation team we are only too aware of the significance of dates and anniversaries. Whatever the inquiry, we want to get answers for everyone involved.

The disappearance of Madeleine McCann is no different in that respect but of course the circumstances and the huge public interest, make this a unique case for us as police officers to deal with. In a missing child inquiry every day is agony and an anniversary brings this into sharp focus. Our thoughts are with Madeleine’s family at this time – as it is with any family in a missing person’s inquiry – and that drives our commitment to do everything we can for her.

On 3rd May 2017, it will be 10 years since Madeleine vanished from her apartment in Praia Da Luz, a small town on the Algarve. In the immediate hours following her disappearance, an extensive search commenced involving the local police, community and tourists. This led to an investigation that has involved police services across Europe and beyond, experts in many fields, the world’s media and the public, which continues to this day. The image of Madeleine remains instantly recognisable in many countries across the world.

The Met’s dedicated team of four detectives, continues to work closely on the outstanding enquiries along with colleagues of the Portuguese Policia Judiciária. Our relationship with the Policia Judiciária is good. We continue to work together and this is helping us to move forward the investigation.

We don’t have evidence telling us if Madeleine is alive or dead. It is a missing person’s inquiry but as a team we are realistic about what we might be dealing with – especially as months turn to years.

Now is a time we can reflect on an investigation which captured an unprecedented amount of media coverage and interest. The enormity of scale and the complexity of such a case brings along its own challenges, not least learning to work with colleagues who operate under a very different legal system. The inquiry has been, and continues to be helped and supported by many organisations and individuals. We acknowledge the difference these contributions have made to the investigation and would like it known that we appreciate all the support we have and continue to receive.

Since the Met was instructed by the Home Office to review the case in 2011, we have reviewed all the material gathered from multiple sources since 2007. This amounted to over 40,000 documents out of which thousands of enquiries were generated. We continue to receive information on a daily basis, all of which is assessed and actioned for enquiries to be conducted.

We have appealed on four BBC Crimewatch programmes since April 2012. This included an age progression image which resulted in hundreds of calls about alleged sightings of Madeleine; an appeal for the identity of possibly relevant individuals through description or Efit; and information sought relating to suspicious behaviour or offences of burglary. These programmes collectively produced a fantastic response from the public. The thousands of calls and information enabled detectives to progress a number of enquiries. This was in addition to over 3,000 holiday photographs from the public in response to an earlier appeal.

The team has looked at in excess of 600 individuals who were identified as being potentially significant to the disappearance. In 2013 the team identified four individuals they declared to be suspects in the case. This led to interviews at a police station in Faro facilitated by the local Policia Judiciária and the search of a large area of wasteland which is close to Madeleine’s apartment in Praia Da Luz. The enquiries did not find any evidence to further implicate the individuals in the disappearance and so they are no longer subject of further investigation.

We will not comment on other parts of our investigation – it does not help the teams investigating to give a commentary on those aspects. I am pleased to say that our relationship with the Portuguese investigators is better than ever and this is paying dividends in the progress all of us are making.

We are often asked about funding and you can see that we are now a much smaller team. We know we have the funding to look at the focused enquiry we are pursuing.

Of course we always want information and we can’t rule out making new appeals if that is required. However, right now, new appeals or prompts to the public are not in the interest of what we are trying to achieve.

He says publicly.

As detectives, we will always be extremely disappointed when we are unable to provide an explanation of what happened. However the work carried out by Portuguese and Met officers in reviewing material and reopening the investigation has been successful in taking a number of lines of interest to their conclusion. That work has provided important answers.

Answers? But there was only ever one question: what happened to Madeleine McCann?

Right now we are committed to taking the current inquiry as far as we possibly can and we are confident that will happen. Ultimately this, and the previous work, gives all of us the very best chance of getting the answers – although we must, of course, remember that no investigation can guarantee to provide a definitive conclusion.

However the Met, jointly with colleagues from the Policia Judiciária continue the investigation into the disappearance of Madeleine McCann with focus and determination.

No progress, then. The Met is looking back – just as it always has done.

Posted: 26th, April 2017 | In: Broadsheets, Key Posts, Madeleine McCann, News, Reviews, Tabloids | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0