ON International Women’s Day, an update on the Rochdale rape case at Liverpool Crown Court.
Kabeer Hassan, 24; Abdul Aziz, 41; Abdul Rauf, 43; Mohammed Sajid, 35; Adil Khan, 42; Abdul Qayyum, 43; Mohammed Amin, 44; Qamar Shahzad, 29; Liaquat Shah, 41 and Hamid Safi, 22, are in court. They all deny conspiracy to engage in sexual activity with children under the age of 16. Also a 59-year-old man, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, denies the same charge and two, among other thing, two counts of rape.
The 11 accused are all men. That is the first thing we see.
In court, one of the men’s alleged victims tells strangers and a jury that when aged 15 she work form a drunken slumber to find a man raping her.
Among the pledges in the convention, which has already been signed by 18 countries including Germany, France and Ukraine, is one to pass legislation or other measures to criminalise or impose other sanctions for “unwanted verbal, non-verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature with the purpose or effect of violating the dignity of a person, in particular when creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment”.
Unwanted? How do you qualify unwanted?
Better to rebrand the wold whistle to something less predatory, like the frog whistle or the teddy bear whistle. Wolves don’t whistle. But rabbits might.
DO newspaper rewards aide the hunt for missing persons and criminals? Or are they just splashy adverts that show how much the organ cares, or pretends to? The News of The World’s £1,5m reward for Madeleine McCann remains unclaimed (did it die with the paper?). So too does the Daily Express’ £1million reward for information on what happened to Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman.
As it did with Our Maddie and Jo Yeates, the tabloids likes to slap their logos on the faces of the missing. As the Sun said:
We also produced posters featuring this picture of the girls, in the Manchester United shirts they were wearing when last seen. The Sun pledged £100,000 of the reward and the News of the World £50,000.
“Barnes was so successful at transferring virtual reality cultivation into the real thing that his first crop had a street value of nearly £7,000.”
Is this the Facebook business model?
Andrew Church-Taylor, defending, adds:
“There was so much he had actually destroyed some of the crop.”
Barnes pleaded guilty to producing cannabis. For his pains he was given a 26 weeks prison sentence suspended for 12 months, made subject to a 7pm to 7am curfew for 16 weeks and ordered to pay £85 costs.
A curfew? Why? Why keep the man who grows weed at home at home? The nonsense gets more nonsensical when we read:
Mr Church-Taylor said Barnes was a full-time carer for his wife and rarely went out of the house.
So. A curfew will teach him to obey the letter of the law on drugs – a letter than allowed puffing David Cameron to become Prime Minister.
The law on weed is so utterly pathetic, so weak and vindictive it could drive a man to drink (which is heavily taxed)…
WITH its leafy streets lined with charming brownstones, Park Slope is one of New York’s most desirable neighbourhoods. The name comes from the neighbourhood’s location on the western slope of Prospect Park – Brooklyn’s green oasis.
In the family-friendly Park Slope, also nicknamed “Stroller City”, yummy mummies brush shoulders with actors, directors and authors. Tom Hanks has a house here, as does Steve Buscemi and celebrity couple Maggie Gyllenhall and Peter Sarsgaard. Vintage shops, restaurants serving locally-sourced food and fair-trade coffee, community gardens and farmers’ markets cater to the well-to-do residents’ every need and PC preoccupation.
At the heart of the neighbourhood is the Park Slope Coop, a members’ only supermarket selling organic fruit and veg, artisan cheeses, supplements and vitamins, environmentally-friendly cleaning material and more. The coop has over 15,000 members, most of whom work at the shop once a month in exchange for discounts on groceries – and the buzz they get from feeling morally superior to their fast-food chomping peers.
DID Janaka Basnayake, 24, break the world record for being buried alive? We may never know. Firstly, there is no official record. Secondly, Lord Lucan has yet to appear for his hiding place. And lastly, we do not know the precise moment when Mr Basnayake died under the ground in Kantale, Sri Lanka.
Also, it is only alleged that Mr Janaka Basnayake buried in 10foot-deep trench sealed with wood and soil. It is only alleged that his family and friends helped him, er, live his dream.
ARE these racy photos of actress Olivia Munn leaking all over the internet? Olivia Munn says no. TMZ reports:
Sources tell TMZ, several of the shots are legit — namely the black bra, the bikini, the v-neck … all of which Olivia has previously posted on her blog or Twitter. But according to sources, the ones where you can’t see her face are 100% fake … including the nude shot.
PRINCE Harry has made it to the Bahamas. There he was presented with a portrait of himself. It wasn’t a caricature done by a precinct Picasso in black ink, with Harry smoking a massive refer, scarfing a rum punch and squiring a lovely bevy of lovelies. No, no. Wait for the photos. This is a neat portrait of Harry looking demure, as befits his role as one of the patriotic flag bearers for this year of Great British greatness. 2012 is the year of the Great British London Olympics and the Great British Queen’s Golden Jubilee. Lucky old Harry gets to escape the place for a while and build up his tolerances before the real pomp begins…
Prince Harry visits the Mayan temple at Xunantunich , Belize, on the second day of his 10 day tour to Belize, Bahamas, Jamaica, and Brazil. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday March 3, 2012. See PA story ROYAL Harry. Photo credit should read: Mark Large/Daily Mail /PA Wire
THE father of Baby Peter Connolly – for now and for ever the tabloids’ Baby P – has been awarded £75,000 against the publishers of The People. The newspaper said he was a child rapist who had attacked a 14-year-old girl.
The paper was wrong.
Mr Justice Bean said it was “difficult to think of any charge more calculated to lead to the revulsion and condemnation of a person’s fellow citizens than the rape of a 14-year-old girl”.
“The Scottish government had no interest whatsoever in Mr Al-Megrahi’s appeal being abandoned. I had no involvement in Mr Al-Megrahi’s decision to drop his appeal against conviction — that was entirely a matter for him and his legal team… Scottish government officials were present throughout my meeting with Mr al-Obeidi [Libyan government minister]. At no time did I or any other member of the Scottish government suggest to Mr al-Obeidi, to anyone connected with the Libyan government, or indeed to Mr al-Megrahi himself, that abandoning his appeal against conviction would in any way aid or affect his application for compassionate release.”
Prosecutors said the bomb which destroyed Pan-Am Flight 103 was in a suitcase loaded on the island. Previously secret documents, seen by BBC Scotland, detail the explanations of Abdelbaset Ali al-Megrahi, 59, for his presence on Malta….[The Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission's] 821-page report has never been published, but it has now been seen by BBC Scotland.
“As a Libyan Arab Airlines employee and as someone well known, both at Tripoli airport and at the airport in Malta,” he told the lawyers, “I could get away with not using a passport or an identification card at all, but simply by wearing my Libyan Arab Airlines uniform.
“This may sound ridiculous but it is true. If I wanted to do something clandestine in such a way that there would be absolutely no record at all of me going from Tripoli to Malta and back again, I could do it.”
A Maltese shopkeeper, Tony Gauci, identified Megrahi as the man to whom he sold clothes which were later found in a suitcase which had contained the bomb.
The SCCRC document says:
He told them he could not have sex with his wife.
“It was possible therefore that the reason for his visit to Malta on 20 December was to meet a woman for this purpose,” the SCCRC report said. ”The woman in question was the same one that he had suggested he might have met during his visit to Malta on 7 December. He had had sexual relations with her on a number of occasions over several years, until 1989 or 1990.”
Megrahi was released from a Scottish prison in August, 2009. He had three months to live.
In the Scotsman Dr Jim Swire sees his letter published:
Maybe I am just getting too old to relish the challenge, but recent noises from the No 10 direction could hardly be more hostile, with David Cameron claiming that John Ashton’s book Megrahi: You Are My Jury is an insult to “the relatives” of the Lockerbie bomb victims – and that before he could possibly have read it: is he Prime Minister of the UK or the US?
The inquiry route, as that proposed by the Justice For Megrahi campaign group, remains before the Holyrood justice committee. How else can we support JFM? My personal view is that there are sufficient material and powers within Scotland to unseat the Scottish verdict and that until that is done Whitehall, let alone the international arena, will remain obdurate…
The relatives seek answers to the question of who did carry out the atrocity and why were they not prevented from doing so, rather than the simpler question of “was Megrahi guilty or not?” But the verdict is the obstruction that bars our progress, and the heavy lifting gear to get rid of that obstruction is within Scotland.
The two entities needing to be in the cross-hairs are the Crown Office and the Dumfries and Galloway Police. Ashton’s book puts both of them on the back foot. Once the court proceedings at Zeist, in the Netherlands, are shown to have been corrupted – no matter by whom – it should be for Scotland to set aside her verdict. There is a scientifically verifiable divide between the fragment PT35b and the Mebo timers. Let us not waste time on wondering where the fragment came from and who made it. It appears the differences between the two types of circuit boards are scientifically irreconcilable. If that’s so and can be made to stand up in court, there is no other evidence of a timer used to enable the long journey from Malta to the skies over Lockerbie.
With full analysis of the proven genuine fragment, the prosecution case collapses. Once that happens, Whitehall and the Americans ought to have to answer for their roles in all this, but that probably won’t happen in my lifetime.
Besides, it is wrong that an innocent man, Megrahi, and his family should remain under such overwhelming and unjustified blame a day longer. That also is evil and it has been done in the name of Scottish justice. Addressing the far greater evil of the murders themselves must follow the destruction of the verdict, surely?
We shall all be guilty of failing to fight both those evils if we do not rise up in Scotland to overturn the verdict now…
Sometimes it is hard also to resist the temptation to seek revenge against those who have misused the trust we placed in them to solve this case, but revenge was the fuel for Lockerbie, and to succumb to it would be to hand a further victory to those who murdered and those who have deceived. That cannot ever be right.
TO Pakistan, where 15-year-old Ghazi Muhammad Abdullah is helping the country’s valiant Pakistan Telecommunication Authority’s anti-online porn drive by compiling a list of 780,000 porn sites to block.
The PTA’s Director General, Law and Regulations had responded to Ghazi’s offer to help:
“If there is any specific website that you wish to bring into the knowledge of PTA, it is requested that PTA may be informed of the same accordingly for further necessary action at our end.”
Young Abdullah went to work. In a selfless act of online searching, he compiled the ultimate porn list. He was aided by his friends.
BEFORE keep-fit videos and DVDs, the would-be fit listened to LPs. We’ve compiled a gallery of some of the greatest, as found in Old Mr Anorak’s Bangkok Gym ‘n’ Gin Studios. It was all leotards, Miss Piggy, aerobics, Jane Fonda know-how, June La Salvia’s “How The Waist Was Won’, dancing for Christians and other ‘firm’ believers, Crystal Carrington, Nutricize and the chance to be like “GLORIA and her Six Daughters”. As the keep-fit industry grew so did we. Fatter. And fatter. The conclusion is simple: exercise products make you fat…
IN “Whitney’s secret affair with Jackson”, the Sun leads with news that Whitney Houston had a “secret affair” with…Big Brother star Jermaine Jackson. Having been told earlier that Whitney wanted to marry Michael Jackson, we enter the realm of mistaken identity.
Pinning down what Michael Jackson looked like was akin to hitting a moving target. Thoughts are that had the King of Pop lived longer, he’d have been mistaken for Joe Jackson and be a freckle away from EastEnders harridan Bianca Jackson.
Says the Sun:
The romance explains why 56-year-old Jermaine — a married man at the time — was so devastated by pop diva Whitney’s death in a Los Angeles hotel last month.
SAMANTHA Lewthwaite, 28, is being sought by the CIA, Scotland Yard, Kenyan Police and more agencies of justice. Samantha Lewthwaite is from Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire. She is the widow of Jermaine Lindsay, who killed himself and 26 passengers on a Piccadilly Line train in July 2005.
It is alleged that she is a terrorist, a mum of three funded by Somali pirates and training local Islamists how to make bombs in readiness for an attack on Western targets in East Africa.
She is suspected of being a paymaster, scout and reciter for the al-Shabaab terror group, part of the al-Qaeda network.
DOBBIN(G)-GATE: The best comments on David Cameron’s ride on Raisa, the horse the Met lent to Rebekah Brooks. Before the horse died, Rupert Murdoch’s tame tabby Rebekah Brooks let David Cameron have a ride on it – to go for a hack, as it were. Thanks to Murdoch, even right-wingers are agreeing with the Guardian. The media mucks out:
Michael Crick, Channel 4:
#horsegate In Commons in 2004 Cameron attacked plans for horse passports. He said they’d affect “every child’s pony, every happy hacker.”
JOHN Kafunda and Reece Donovan have been convicted by jury of mugging injured Malaysian student Ashraf Rossli, 21, in Barking during last August’s London riots.
Beau Isagba had broken Rossli’s jaw and stolen his bike when the heroes arrived.
At Wood Green Crown Court, Kafunda 22, of Ilford, was convicted of robbery and violent disorder. Donovan, 24, of Romford, has been convicted of theft, violent disorder. He would go on to burgle a Tesco store.
JUSTIN Bieber is legal to have sex with. No tabloid countdown clock preceded this move. But if you want to shag Bieber, you now legally can. To mark the happening Bieber went on the Ellen Degeneres show. Ellen, took time out from being a member of One Direction (Niall Horan) to help a steaming mountain of praise on the singer for his selflessness and good deeds in face of mass fame and wealth accumulation. She invite someone named Scooter to give Bieber a $100,000 Fisker Karma.
TODAY, Kate Middleton went shopping with Queen Elizabeth II, the Duchess of Cornwall and the Queen at Fortnum and Mason in London. The royal guests met military personnel involved in the Gifts For Troops scheme, which sends packages to soldiers serving in Afghanistan. Our Boys an Girls get tea and biscuits (Hobbing Nobs) if they’re out there during the Diamond Jubilee weekend. They might even get some foie gras and candied peel. Fortnums is the posh shop that sells tortured goose fat. It being one of Kate Middelton’s top five sources of fat, the other four being: lamb chops, KitKats, suet and custard creams …