TIA Sharp: Anorak’s at-a-glance look at the missing 12-year-old girl in the news:
The Sun has issued a £25,000 reward for information that “will lead police to find missing Tia Sharp”. Does the reward get a result? The Sun seems to think so. It selflessly has offered rewards in the cases of missing Joanna Yeates and missing Shannon Matthews. The Sun’s now dead sister paper the News of the World offered a hug reward for anyone who could find Madeleine McCann. All these appeals came with a free poster you can stick on your shops, window or car. Selflessly, all posters carry the newspaper’s logo, co-branding the missing and murdered with a tabloid banner. So what that the Sun’s owners and former editors are in the mire for allegedly hacking the phone of murdered schoolgirl Milly Dowler and perverting the course of justice. The Sun will show one and all how much it cares by offering up some cash.
FIRST the Daily Expresspublished a photo of the bronze medal winning Dutch dressage team as a sign of Team GB’s golden greatness, then the Daily Mirror used the same Dutch in its centre pages, their beaming faces below the headline: “ONLY GOLDEN HORSES – Trotters win gold in South-east London”.
LIKE us, you’ve been wondering who the beach volleyball players are. We looked at the feed from the Press Association and the Associated Press. We wanted to put names to the buttocks. But it proved to be a tricky task. It seems that beach volleyball is just buttocks. Buttocks on legs. Buttocks being pointed at by inverted ‘V’ signs. Sandy buttocks. Most of the buttocks have no faces. Some have a torso.
Without further ado, here is The Who’s Who of the 2012 Olympic Beach Volleyball (sponsored by Club 18-30 holidays and Saucy Seaside Postcards). The captions are all as told by the aforesaid PA and AP news wire services:
“Anastasia Vasina, left, from Russia holds hands with her teammate Anna Vozakova, right, during the Beach Volleyball match against China at the 2012 Summer Olympics, Saturday, July 28, 2012, in London.”
AS the Daily Mail salutes Jessica Ennis and ‘plastic Brit’ Mo Farah, featuring photos of the 10,000 metre gold medalist celebrating with his family before a thrilled crowd and the heptathlon champion (Ennis) wrapped in the Union flag, we look back to what the paper’s Rick Dewsbury wrote on 28 July. Dewsbury watched the opening ceremony. The thing was overtly political. But that did not prevent it from being a great spectacle.
The headline announced:
The NHS did not deserve to be so disgracefully glorified in this bonanza of left-wing propaganda.
ITS as easy as riding a bike. So they say. It turns out that the British are rather good at riding bicycles. We’ve trawled the archives and can bring you the history of British cycling in photos – 1895 to the present:
Bradley Wiggins, winner of the 2012 Tour de France cycling race rides up the Champs Elysees with his son during a parade after the last stage of the race in Paris, France, Sunday July 22, 2012. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)
SIR Chris Hoy and Bradley Wiggins have got us all on our bikes. But a word of warning. “A RIDE OF DEATH” is a brochure from the 1940s, produced by the police Safety Council. Children were taught that just looking at a bicycle would you killed. It’s not just the sharp bits of exploding metal that slice your skin. It’s the cars. The buses. The lights. The night. The transport plane. The pavements that “suddenly appear” and causes death…
WHEN the Spanish water polo coach considered ordering his team to stay in the pool, and South Korean fencer Shin Lam’s refused to leave the platform in protest over the circumstances of her defeat to Germany’s Britta Heidemann, they was following in a long, and sometimes noble Olympic tradition of protest…
1968: Vera Cavlaska
Vera was the gymnastic superstar of her day, and on course for another gold medal until the judges got together for a mysterious conflab, after which they elevated the Soviet silver medalist to joint-gold.
BEFORE we bring you “OH MY GOD. I JUST WITNESSED THE SINGLE GREATEST MOMENT IN HUMAN HISTORY”, a personal recollection of a trip down the Jubilee Line on the London Underground. The train stopped for too long at Willesden Green station. Two knobs sat on the platform’s seats by an open door began to point and laugh at fellow passengers. The lads swore loudly, offered insults aplenty and discussed how they might rush the carriage and batter us all. This went on for minutes. Then it happened. A man a few seats to my right had been reading. He put down his book. Put down his reading glasses. Stepped from the train. And before the lads could finish their address – “Look at this cun…” – had smacked them both in their heads. Hard. He then stepped back onto the carriage. The doors shut and we headed off.
WHO was the mystery woman in red top and jeans, marching proudly at the front of the Indian delegation during the athletes’ parade at the Olympics ceremony? Madhura Nagendra, a member of the Danny Boyle cast, as it turned out.
Red faces all round, but no harm done.
In the end, the whole business was a storm in a teacup – one of the few British pastimes, incidentally, to NOT get a name-check in Boyle’s eccentric celebration.
THE 2012 Olympics commenced at … ah, we have a problem. HM The Queen declared the Games open at 12:18am on July 28, 2012. But the Olympic Cauldron was lit at 12:35am. The starting moment is crucial to an accurate horoscope; fortunately, both times produce very similar charts in this particular instance. So, let’s go with 12:18am given it’s the time of the Queen’s command. I have used the Equal House system.
This gives us a chart ruler of Venus with Taurus rising; and Venus itself is in the 1st house – very well aspected, trining Mars and Saturn, underscoring an essential harmony to the intense rivalry at the heart of the Games. Venus also rules the Olympics’ 5th House in which Mars is located, and H6 via Saturn, under Libra.
TO Lord’s cricket ground where an “Asian” G4S worker providing security for the archers has called a soldier, a veteran of the Afghan war, a “baby killer”. He then spits at him. The Sun adds that the soldier, from the 35 Engineers, had asked to search the guard. Why? We don’t know.
It’s a horrible story. The guard is an obnoxious thug. But a soldier whose seen live action on the battle field can take bit of name calling, surely. Or not. The Sun call upon ex-Helmand commander Colonel Richard Kemp to thunder:
“This is an absolute disgrace. A soldier shouldn’t have to put up with this terrible insult. If there’s any possibility of a prosecution, then it should go ahead.”
TEN years ago. Ian Huntley murdered schoolgirls Holly Well and Jessica Chapman. The murders in Soham were massive news. The ghoulish media is keen to relive the story. Soham: A Parents’ Tale will be broadcast on ITV1 on Friday at 9pm. Goodbye, Dearest Holly – Ten Years On by Kevin Wells can be purchased on all internet bookshops. The Daily Mailtells its readers:
“We can only conclude with heavy hearts that there will not be a happy ending for the McCanns”: Holly Wells’ parents on Madeleine and why they will never get over the death of their own daughter.”
Given that the parents of Madeleine McCann have stated their desire for one and all to believe their child is alive, Mr Wells’ comments will surely be deemed unhelpful. Kate and Gerry McCann may even be “disgusted“. Looking for a dead child was pretty much the crux of the original Portuguese police investigation, the one slammed by the McCanns.
Wells goes on to say that Madeleine McCann’s vanishing helped him, in a way:
The media spotlight on Soham has thankfully diminished over the years. I believe the principle reason for Soham’s retreat from centre stage is the disappearance of Madeleine McCann. The search for Madeleine dominated tabloid coverage for a long time.
It was a desperate story for Nicola and me to follow, but follow it we did, praying for a positive outcome throughout. We were constantly asked for media interviews but chose not to intrude on someone else’s tragedy.
Despite many leads, Madeleine remains missing. As outsiders to this tragedy, we can only conclude with heavy hearts that there will not be a happy ending. Please do not think about criticising the McCann family.
Why would anyone think that?
They have been forced to use the media of the world solely to raise awareness of their missing daughter. Some of the media comment and speculation they have had to endure, on top of dealing with their private grief, is nothing less than shameful.
See a man whose daughter was murdered by a deviant opining that the child is dead. Mr Wells has suffered greatly. It’s odd that he would invoke Our Maddie in his anniversary piece for the Mail. It’s almost as if – as if! – the Mail has encouraged him to mention that bemchmark of misisng children. “Any views on Madeleine McCann, Mr Wells?” asks the Mail’s hack.
My wife Nicola and I believed, but more importantly hoped, that the ten-year anniversary of the ‘Soham Murders’ would somehow slip under the radar.
Says Mr Wells in the Daily Mail.
This industry in mourn porn continues in the Sun, wherein we meet Reece Jarvis:
Holly was very girly and Jessica helped me spell… I’ll never forget
Jessica: “She was really sporty. I think of the Olympics and wonder whether she could have been there. Both of them were really clever.”
Holly: “Holly was a girly girl. I’m sure she would have been really pretty and broken a lot of hearts.”
Funeral: “I asked my parents if I could go to the funeral. I remember those two coffins and crying throughout.”
Huntley: “Reece, now a qualified joiner, refers to the man who haunted his dreams for years only as ‘him’ or ‘he’.”
Maxine Carr (Huntley’s former lover and accomplice): …a “nice, friendly person who used to bring us chocolates”.
We then met a woman in Soham:
One woman said: “We don’t ever talk about him, no one does. Only strangers mention his name.”
Another friend still belongs to the Soham Fenland Majorettes where Holly was a keen member. Leader Nikki Richards revealed: “Their parents gave us a ‘Holly and Jessica Commemorative Cup’ which is presented every year.”
And then the Sun talks about gardening:
…a pearl pink rose — called the Soham rose — was later created in Holly and Jessica’s memory. As you walk along the quiet streets of this small Cambridgeshire village you can see it growing in people’s gardens, a fitting tribute to two beautiful girls.
Madeleine McCann is missing. She is not yet a flower…
AS the German team appeared in traditional pink and sky blue suits, in the crowd a German dignitary gave his nation’s athletes the time-honoured Nazi salute.
Kenneth Brannagh and all that rugger had threatened to run the show in a cunyfest. But, then, William Beveridge – The Musical got underway and the show became a melange of Friday night British sit-com (Mr Bean reminded of Chariots of Fire when listening to, erm, Chariots of Fire), Her Majesty The Queen’s big acting break, humour, heart, youth culture and great telly.
THE Olymics got off to a jittery start this week, when the North Korean women’s football team walked off in protest after the South Korean flag was mistakenly displayed at Hampden Park.
The organisers apologised, explaining that the faux pas was a case of human error rather than deliberate snub, and David Cameron was swift to step in and smooth ruffled feathers. But it will come as some consolation to know that it is a rare Olympics indeed that passes off without some kind of cock-up…
FOR a few hours Liam Cocoran-Fort was the coolest kid in Manchester. The Cock of the North had, at just 11 years of age, given his mum, Mary, the slip as she shopped in Asda Wythenshawe, headed to Manchester Airport and boarded a flight to Rome. He had done this with no ticket, no passport, no money and no great plan.
And then the Sun showed us that the 11-year-old boy wonder had made the journey without his big teddy. Rather than being a hero to adolescents and adults who hanker for halcyon carefree says of their youth and demand that children watch less telly, Liam Corcoran-Fort is “little Liam Corcoran-Fort”, a smiling child in a Ben Ten T-shirt cuddling his teddy bear.
THE BBC’s biasagainst Israel is welldocumented. You should be able to write what you like, so long as you are private outfit. But the BBC is funded by public money. It should stick to the facts. But even the most obvious facts is ignored. The BBC has obliterated Israel’s capital city from its Olympic coverage.
The BBC Sport website features profiles of all the competing countries. But when it comes to Israel, the capital it is gone. According to the biased BBC, Israel has no capital city. Oddly, this ‘error’ is compounded by the BBC’s statement that the capital of a country called ‘Palestine’ is East Jerusalem.
THE FA have charged Arsenal player Emmanuel Frimpong with improper conduct for a tweet in which the injured player called a Spurs fan “Scum Yid”. That was in response to the Spurs fans tweeting Frimpong: “I prayed you break your arms and legs.”
As the Spurs fan reels in pain at the mean name calling, doubtless too traumatised by the sheer horror to check his inbox, the FA go on the record:
“Arsenal’s Emmanuel Frimpong has been charged under FA Rule E3 for improper conduct in relation to recent comments made on Twitter. The allegation is that Frimpong posted comments amounting to improper conduct and/or which brought the game into disrepute, which included a reference to ethnic origin, faith or race.”
HATS off to busy Seb Coe, who has taken time out form running the London Olympics to tell us about soem exciting research. It turns out that using twitter make you a loser, affecting performance:
“I have found quite a close correlation between the number of tweets at competitive times and the level of under-performance. I have found a direct correlation between the amount of activity an athlete enters into on social media and their ultimate performance when it really matters…”
Olympic boss Lord Coe put his well-shod foot in it this week by announcing that people wearing the wrong logos would not be permitted access to the Games.
He was referring to Pepsi t-shirts rather than ordinary punters wearing non-adidas trainers, and the real subject of his concern was ‘guerrilla’ or ‘ambush’ marketing – the attempt by non-sponsors to invade the cordon sanitaire that is placed around venues to protect companies that pay millions of pounds to endorse sporting events. All the same, he has been accused of overreaction in many quarters. (Others, of course, argue that protecting sponsors allows the games to thrive.)
JAMES Eagan Holmes, 24, shot 71 peoples in the Denver suburb of Aurora as they watched the Batman film The Dark Knight Rises. Twelve are dead.
What else do we know?
* Ben Leung, 27, lived neat Holmes. He tells the Times: “Nobody really knew him…He wouldn’t acknowledge you when you passed him in the corridor.”
* The Times looks for a pattern: “The Century 16 cinema where Holmes attacked his victims row by row is less than 20 miles from Columbine High School, the scene in 1999 of one of America’s worst mass shootings.”