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We don’t just report off-beat news, breaking news and digest the best and worst of the news media analysis and commentary. We give an original take on what happened and why. We add lols, satire, news photos and original content.

Higher Education Is All About Debt: Pricking The University Bubble

loans students Higher Education Is All About Debt:  Pricking The University Bubble

DID you sign up for Bachelor of… degree? Did you borrow money to pay your fees? The UK is not America – yet, where sky-high college fees are an affront to ideal of freedom. B ut it;s getting that way. Higher education is big business. And you owe it:

It is likely that there are at least as many adult Americans with student-loan debts outstanding as there are living bachelor’s degree recipients who ever took out student loans. That’s right: as many debtors as degree holders! How can that be? First, huge numbers of those borrowing money never graduate from college. Second, many who borrow are not in baccalaureate degree programs. Three, people take forever to pay their loans back.

Some retire before the loan the paid off.

That pension pot is shrinking: 

 “A]n estimated two million Americans age 60 and older … are in debt from unpaid student loans, according to data from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. Its August Household Debt and Credit Report said the number of aging Americans with outstanding student loans had almost tripled from about 700,000 in 2005, whether from long-ago loans for their own educations or more recent borrowing to pay for college degrees for family members. . . . While older debtors account for a small fraction of student loan borrowers, who have accumulated nearly $1 trillion in such debt, the effect of owing a constantly ballooning amount of debt but having a fixed income can be onerous, said Senator Bill Nelson, Democrat of Florida, chairman of the Senate Special Committee on Aging.”

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Posted: 24th, October 2014 | In: Money, News | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Cartoonists Respond To President Erdogan’s Attack On Free Speech

erdogen Cartoonists Respond To President Erdogans Attack On Free Speech

Steve Bright

IN Turkey - the UK and US’s ally – cartoonist Musa Kart has been arrested for “insulting” President Erdogan with a cartoon of the esteemed leader as a hologram looking on as a robbery takes place. It’s refence to a story on corruption in low places.

(If you think hurling an insult should not be a crime, you need to take a look at what passes for law breaking on Twitter. Turkey might not be so different to the UK )

Freedom of Speech is all important. Cartoonists came out on support of Kart on the #erdogancaricature hashtag. Erdogan alleged Kart was guilty of “insulting through publication and slander”.

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Posted: 24th, October 2014 | In: News, Politicians | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Rev Nathan Ntege Survives The Lying Border Police But Is Wounded By The Daily Mail’s Hatchet

ARE the police delibertely stupid? The trial of a vicar accued of presideing over sham marriages has collapsed. Why? Well, the judge thought the ‘The UK Border Agency officers “deliberately concealed important evidence and lied on oath”.  Officers have been suspended from their duties.

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Posted: 24th, October 2014 | In: News | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0


The Harry Roberts Story: He Kills Coppers

PA 1218017 The Harry Roberts Story: He Kills Coppers

The three London police officers shot and killed in Braybrook Street, West London. From left: PC Geoffrey Roger Fox, 41; Temporary Detective Constable David Stanley Bertram Wombwell, 25, and Detective Sargent Christopher Tippet Head, 30

 

ON 12 Dec 1966, Harry Roberts, John Witney and John Duddy were convicted of the murders of David Wombwell, Christopher Head and Geoffrey Fox.

 

PA 10285717 The Harry Roberts Story: He Kills Coppers

Oblivious of the drama that was going on, a small bow hiding his identity under a Dalek suit, was among the very few spectators as John Edward Witney was ushered out of the West London Magistrate’s Court. The boys just went on playing their games.
Date: 31/08/1966

 

The murders were known as the Shepherd’s Bush murders as well as the Massacre of Braybrook Street.

 

shpherds bush murders The Harry Roberts Story: He Kills Coppers

The crime scene, featuring the Q-car and body of DS Christopher Head lying in the road

 

On 12 August 1966:

Harry Roberts, John Witney and John Duddy were sitting in a Standard Vanguard estate preparing for a robbery when 3 unarmed policemen in plain clothes – David Wombwell, Christopher Head and Geoffrey Fox – pulled up near them in a Triumph 2000 Q-car, and started asking questions about their insurance and MOT.

 

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The latest British car – the Triumph 2000, a four-door five-seater saloon – at the Motor Show at Earls Court in London.
Date: 15/10/1963

 

Because they were carrying guns and thought were would be arrested they shot the policemen dead and drove off. A local resident made a note of the van number plate and they were later caught.

 

PA 3565278 The Harry Roberts Story: He Kills Coppers

Screens surround the crime scene and a policeman stands guard. The officers, cruising in a police car were shot when they stopped to question men in another car. In the background is Wormwood Scrubs prison. Date: 13/08/1966

 

The hunt for the killers was on:

 

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A small boy and a mother holding her baby look on today as police talk to the householders at the scene of the killing of three policemen by gunmen. Policemen have left their helmets in the road while they seek clues to the killers.

 

The Independent recalled the murders:

As two of the officers started to search the van, Roberts drew a 9mm Luger pistol and shot DC Wombwell through the left eye, and then shot DS Head in the back as he tried to flee. As the dying officer staggered away Roberts tried to shoot him in the head, but his gun jammed twice.

PC Fox had remained in the police car. Duddy fired a revolver at the officer twice from close range through the passenger window. Both bullets missed, but a third shot hit him in the left temple. The shot caused the policeman’s foot to push down on the accelerator and the car jumped forward, running over the body of DS Head and getting stuck there, with smoke pouring from its rear wheels. All three Metropolitan Police officers died from the gunshot wounds.

 

 

harry roberts The Harry Roberts Story: He Kills Coppers

 

Roberts went on the run, hiding on Epping Forest.

 

Screen shot 2014 04 24 at 18.14.59 The Harry Roberts Story: He Kills Coppers

 

Screen shot 2014 04 24 at 18.55.45 The Harry Roberts Story: He Kills Coppers

 

 

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It took 96 days before he was caught after one of the biggest manhunts the British police had mounted.

 

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Mr William Morris, 61, standing near the hay barn on his farm, Blounts Farm, near Bishops Stortford, Herfordshire, where Harry Roberts is thought to have spent the night before his capture. Farmer Morris said he had driven the captured man to Bishop Stortford after his arrest by two armed police sergeants.

 

Roberts knew how to hide. He would later say:

“I was a sergeant and we used to go out on ambushes in the jungle. I would fire the first shot and then everyone would blast away… When I returned to Britain, I took up my old life as a criminal. I teamed up with Witney and we did dozens of armed robberies together – on betting shops, post offices. The most I earned was £1,000 from a single job. Witney was the eldest, the boss: he knew the best places to rob. Duddy joined us later…

“I was only caught because I was stupid. I had been trying to break open a safe at a * * factory and was late getting back to my camp. I had to cross a main road and had a blue holdall with me – no one in the country had a bag like that.”

PA 1774692 1 The Harry Roberts Story: He Kills Coppers

The police sergeants Peter Smith (left) and Oswald Thorne who found Harry Roberts in a storage hanger some 300 yards from Thornley Woods near Bishop Stortford, Hertfordshire. Date: 15/11/1966

 

All three were sentenced to life in prison.

John Duddy died in Parkhurst prison on 8 February 1981.

John Witney was released in 1991.

 

PA 11126607 The Harry Roberts Story: He Kills Coppers

Police and members of the public line Uxbridge, London, as a procession of 14 cars brings the three coffins of the policemen, shot on the 12th August, to St. Stephens Church for the funeral service.

 

Roberts lives. In 2004, he spoke to the media. He had served 30 years and wanted parole:

“I don’t want to be Harry Roberts the cop killer. The media talk as if the shootings were yesterday: this keeps alive this image of me as a 30-year-old cop killer. I’m not that person any more. The Home Secretary is just responding to the media hype about me. When does punishment becomes vengeance? I feel my treatment has turned into institutionalised vengeance.”

 

 

His time in prison had not been uneventful:

 

Screen shot 2014 04 24 at 18.09.01 The Harry Roberts Story: He Kills Coppers

The Times, March 30, 1973

 

In 2009, The Mail alleged that Roberts was no victim:

In April, The Mail on Sunday exclusively revealed how from his cell Roberts orchestrated a five-year campaign of intimidation against Joan Cartwright, 65, and her son, including horrific attacks on her animals. Mrs Cartwright works at an animal sanctuary in the Midlands, where Roberts worked on day release from Sudbury open prison.
When she secretly complained about his behaviour, he was moved from an open prison to a closed one.

But he then initiated his hate campaign in a bid to stop Mrs Cartwright and her son giving evidence against him at a parole hearing. The triple murderer rang Mrs Cartwright up to five times a week for nearly four years from Channings Wood prison in Devon.

The calls included terrifying veiled threats that coincided with the attacks on her animals. In the worst incident, a horse’s head was hacked at with an axe the night before Mrs Cartwright and her son were due to give evidence.

Another of Mrs Cartwright’s horses had to be put down days after her husband Peter had resisted giving Roberts a character reference. Other assaults between 2002 and 2006 led to a horse losing an eye; a donkey dying after its pelvis was shattered, probably with a baseball bat; the family’s pet cat being electrocuted, and a peacock being strangled.

Roberts also coerced Mrs Cartwright to visit him in jail, so he could repeat his threats to her face.

Not nice. But Roberts’ is a folk hero to some, well at least to those who want to cock a snook at the cops. His name continues to be evoked in song:

“Harry Roberts is our friend, is our friend, is our friend / Harry Roberts is our friend, he kills coppers.”

 

 

The band Chumbawamba replaced Hare Krishna with a tribute to Harry Roberts:

 

 

You can buy a Harry Roberts T-shirt:

 

Screen shot 2014 04 24 at 17.35.10 The Harry Roberts Story: He Kills Coppers

 

And you can watch the TV show of the novel:

 

he kills coppers The Harry Roberts Story: He Kills Coppers

The Times reviews:

He Kills Coppers, confidently adapted by Ed Whitmore from the Jake Arnott novel, is based on the story of Roberts, a small time, semi-deranged crook who knew how to use guns because he had handled them in the Army.

 

 

The Times again:

He Kills Coppers is superior, feel-the-lining-on-this stuff – bafflingly good for ITV1. Spall is a low, sure, hypnotic note – a cocksure, slightly bent rookie detective in 1966; all fags, Brylcreem and tarts. The great casting continues with the mesmeric Kelly Reilly as a prostitute who is both fragile and brassily capable: a certain kind of working-class girl you got in “the olden days”, who was a feminist before feminism was invented

After the deaths come the myth and the glamour…

The article first apepared on Flashbak.

Spotters: National Archives, Black Kalendar

Posted: 24th, October 2014 | In: Key Posts, News | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Boko Haram Kidnap More Innocents: Release The Hastags!

PA 20890747 Boko Haram Kidnap More Innocents: Release The Hastags!

Boko Haram loons have abducted more innocents in Nigeria.

The New York Times:

Scores of young women have been kidnapped in new abductions by Islamist militants in Nigeria, according to local journalists, a Roman Catholic bishop and news reports…

The kidnappings took place Saturday in a mountain village near the border with Cameroon, a Boko Haram stronghold, said Bishop Stephen Mamza, who is from the area but now officiates in the state capital, Yola.

The bishop described a situation much like the one last April when more than 200 schoolgirls were taken from Chibok in neighboring Borno State, a kidnapping that attracted worldwide attention. The fate of those girls still seems unresolved, despite government claims that a deal for their release is in the works.

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Posted: 24th, October 2014 | In: News | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Overshare Is Word Of The Year

PA 21242328 Overshare Is Word Of The Year

WORD of the year is OVERSHARE:

Described as “beautifully British”, the “subtle yet devastating” put-down “overshare” was today named word of the year by the Chambers Dictionary. Collins, however, has plumped for “photobomb” as its choice, citing the word’s 100% increase in usage over the past year.

“Photobomb”, defined by Collins as “to intrude into the background of a photograph without the subject’s knowledge”, also made the final shortlist for Chambers, but was edged out by “overshare”. Used to condemn everything from Kim Kardashian’s closeups of her anatomy to public displays of affection on Facebook, “overshare” is defined by Chambers as “to be unacceptably forthcoming with information about one’s personal life”.

Whats your favourite word?

Posted: 23rd, October 2014 | In: News | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Smoking Marijuana Won’t Rot Your Mind As Fast As Alcohol And Poverty Do (Study)

DOES smoking marijuana make you dumb? In The Washington Post Christopher Ingrahams takes look at the data in a British study:

Even heavy marijuana use wasn’t associated with IQ.

“In particular alcohol use was found to be strongly associated with IQ decline,” the authors write. “No other factors were found to be predictive of IQ change.”

The UK study does find evidence, however, of slightly impaired educational abilities among the very heaviest marijuana users. This group of students scored roughly 3% lower on school exams taken at age 16, even after adjusting for confounding factors.

In a press release accompanying the study, lead author Claire Mokrysz noted that “this is a potentially important public health message- the belief that cannabis is particularly harmful may detract focus from and awareness of other potentially harmful behaviours.” Reviewer Guy Goodwin of Oxford University agreed: “the current focus on the alleged harms of cannabis may be obscuring the fact that its use is often correlated with that of other even more freely available drugs and possibly lifestyle factors. These may be as or more important than cannabis itself.”

Puffing weed never did many of our elected leaders any harm, allegedly…

Posted: 23rd, October 2014 | In: News | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Murder In Canada: Islam And Dead Soldiers Race For Victimhood

Mark Steyn writes on murder and mayhem Canada.

There have been two recent incidents.

One: The NY Times:

The shootings in the heart of the normally placid Canadian capital came two days after two members of the Canadian armed forces were injured in a hit-and-run crash in a small Quebec city that the authorities considered an act of terrorism.

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Posted: 23rd, October 2014 | In: News | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Thought Crimes: Middlesbrough Man Sentenced For Possessing Dirty Cartoons

PA 20144641 1 Thought Crimes: Middlesbrough Man Sentenced For Possessing Dirty Cartoons

In this May 27, 2008 file photo, a visitor to the Tokyo International Anime Fair looks at cartoon figures on display in Tokyo. Japan’s parliament has passed a law which bans possession of child pornography, but excludes sexually explicit depictions of children in comics, animation and computer graphics. The upper house voted Wednesday, June 18, 2014 to approve the law, which was passed by the lower house earlier this month. (AP Photo/Katsumi Kasahara, File)

 

ROBUL Hoque, 39, stands in the dock at Teeside Crown Crout. He’s accused of 10 counts of possessing prohibited images of children. It’s a typical case of depravity, right? Wrong.

His barrister Richard Bennett explains:

“These are not what would be termed as paedophilic images. These are cartoons.”

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Posted: 22nd, October 2014 | In: News | Comment (1) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Man Finds Large Rat’s Head In His Chilli And Hard Beans

rats head chilli Man Finds Large Rats Head In His Chilli And Hard Beans

 

IT’S protein a-go-go at the Golden Corral in Florida, where Billy Wilson has found a large chunk of extra meat in his chilli dinner.

He tells the media:

“It’s usually pretty great. I go maybe once a week. The first bite I took out of it was a crunch, and at the time I was like, maybe you know, sometimes you get a hard bean inside of the chilli.”

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Posted: 22nd, October 2014 | In: News, Strange But True | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0


French Opera Fascists Refuse To Sing For Woman In Niqab

PA 14097235 French Opera Fascists Refuse To Sing For Woman In Niqab

 

TO Paris, where a woman on holiday form The Gulf has been ordered to remove her niqab or else be ejected from the Bastille opera house.

During the second act of La Traviata, members of the cast spotted the “Muslim veil” and stopped singin. They would begin again when the woman removed it.

The Times:

The spectator, from the Gulf, was in one of the most expensive seats in the front row of the stalls, just behind the conductor, with her head and face fully shrouded by a niqab.

“They alerted me in the second act,” Jean-Philippe Thiellay, the deputy director of the opera, said. “Some chorus members indicated that they did not want to sing.”

Mr Thiellay said that the unidentified woman was told that she was breaking French law, which since 2010 has prohibited the covering of the face in public spaces. Offenders are liable to a fine of up to €150 (£119).

“It is never very pleasant to ask someone to leave the theatre, which is governed in principle by openness and understanding,” he said. “But in this case there was ignorance of the law and either that lady obeyed it or she had to leave.”

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Posted: 21st, October 2014 | In: News | Comment (1) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0


RIP Selfie Guy: Man Falls Into Dock On Live TV

SHOULD we laugh? Wince? Upload the video then call an ambulabnce? Whilst attempting to take a selfie, this man fell into the dock. A TV camera crew captured the moment.

We’ll know if he lived when the video he uploads his own video.

Spotter: Tastefully Offensive

Posted: 21st, October 2014 | In: News, TV & Radio | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Hurricane Gonzo Arrives In The UK (Photos)

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pa 21242625 Hurricane Gonzo Arrives In The UK (Photos)
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Man 'O' War bay next to Durdle Door in Dorset just after sun rise, as the remnants of Hurricane Gonzalo blew into Britain, causing rush-hour travel misery for road, rail and air travellers.

Posted: 21st, October 2014 | In: News | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Porno Titties For Breast Cancer

 Porno Titties For Breast CancerThis might be the finest offer of corporate sponsorship ever. It is simply, in it’s initial form, so perfect that the refusal of the donation is absurd. For what one of the porn sites on the web did was offer a donation to one of the charities dealing with breast cancer. More than that, it offered a sum of money for each video of boobies watched in the relevant, let’s all be aware of breast cancer, month:

In 2012, the Susan G Komen Foundation declined a donation from Pornhub.com which had raised one cent for every boob video viewed on the site,

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Posted: 21st, October 2014 | In: Money, News | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Israeli Hospital Treats Daughter Of Hamas Leader Ismail Haniyeh

PA 17337391 Israeli Hospital Treats Daughter Of Hamas Leader Ismail Haniyeh

INTERESTING news from Israel. The Times of Israel reprots that Hamas might not want the State destoyoed just yet?

An Israeli hospital confirmed Sunday that it had treated the daughter of Hamas’s top leader in the Gaza Strip, weeks after a brutal war between Israel and the Islamist group.

Avi Shushan, a spokesman for Tel Aviv’s Ichilov Hospital, said the daughter of Ismail Haniyeh was hospitalized for “a number of days” this month. He did not disclose what she was treated for.

A spokeswoman for the Israeli military also confirmed the hospital stay. She spoke Sunday on condition of anonymity because she was not authorized to release the information otherwise. Hamas officials were not immediately available for comment.

Haaretz:

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Posted: 20th, October 2014 | In: News | Comments (2) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0


The Breaking Bad Action Figures Come With Free Crystal Meth But No Atomic Bomb

Screen shot 2014 10 20 at 10.22.37 The Breaking Bad Action Figures Come With Free Crystal Meth But No Atomic Bomb

 

THE Sun says TOYS R Us has been “blasted for encouraging kids to ‘play with meth’ by selling Breaking Bad toys.”

Doubtless the shop could offer a 2-4-1 deal with its Toy Chemistry Kits.

 

meth The Breaking Bad Action Figures Come With Free Crystal Meth But No Atomic Bomb

But that’s not necessary, the Sun adds that the meth is already supplied:

The retailer is flogging dolls of the show’s main characters, which come with gas masks and bags full of drug money and crystal meth.

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Posted: 20th, October 2014 | In: News, The Consumer | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Bedfordshire Dad Scared Of Ebola Sends Daughter To School In Goggles And Mask

dad ebola Bedfordshire Dad Scared Of Ebola Sends Daughter To School In Goggles And Mask

 

OTHER parents presents Jon O’Brien, of Turvey, Bedfordshire, who is “insisting” his 13-year-old daughter wears a face mask to Sharnbrook Upper School.

Ha-ha. Dad insists teenage daughter does what he says when in school. Dad is living in a dream world.

But Jon’s world is the stuff of nightmares:

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Posted: 20th, October 2014 | In: News | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Ebola: CDC Issues Flawed Advice As Dead Bodies Vanish From Liberia’s Streets

EBOLA: The CDC advice is flawed. It might be an idea not to touch the gloves:
dcd poster  Ebola: CDC Issues Flawed Advice As Dead Bodies Vanish From Liberias Streets

 

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Posted: 19th, October 2014 | In: News | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Hong Kong: The Taking Of Mong Kok In Photos

THE pro-decmoracy protests in Hong Kong are being dismantled. Police are ripped down barriers in the Mong Kok district of Hong Kong. Police cleared protesters.

We’ve photos of the umbrellas, the police and how big sticks win:

 

PA 21192017 Hong Kong: The Taking Of Mong Kok In Photos

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Posted: 19th, October 2014 | In: News | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Snotty @hawkeandco Mock Their Customers On Social Media: Epic Fail

WHEN brands are jerks to their customers on public social networks, you get this.

 has now many followers?

 

Screen shot 2014 10 19 at 11.11.46 Snotty @hawkeandco Mock Their Customers On Social Media: Epic Fail

 

They are:

Hawke & Co is a lifestyle brand designed for the Modern Explorer.

Dickheads are as dickheads do.

Spotter: @Glinner

Posted: 19th, October 2014 | In: News | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Bratislav Stojanovic Lives In A Grave (Photos)

PA 15816322 Bratislav Stojanovic Lives In A Grave (Photos)

 

Homeless Bratislav Stojanovic is seen near the grave where he now dwells in a cemetery in the city of Nis, Serbia. The homeless man from this southern Serbian city has been dwelling at a local cemetery for more than fifteen years, turning one of the underground tombs there into a place of his own. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)

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Posted: 19th, October 2014 | In: News | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0