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.
Mike Iacovetta, 51, says of the slice of tree he keeps in his Denver, Colorado, garage:
“She is the key to my whole life.”
‘She’ is the Virgin Mary Mr Iacovetta says he can see in the log’s rings.
Robert Palmer found a caterpillar with a human face in Toutle, Washington.
“My first thought was to crush it with my cane, then I thought, no, it looks so strange, I’m going to take a picture of it, ” says Palmer. “I’m going to be 70 in November. And I’ve never seen a bug with a human face staring back at me. I’ve sent the picture to OMSI, the Portland Zoo, Fish & Wildlife, the Extension Service, The Master Gardeners. People either don’t respond or don’t know what kind it is. Some people aren’t taking this very seriously.”
Sadly, the creature died.
But he still has the photo.
“I sent a picture to my grandson, he said ‘nice Photoshop grandpa’. I said I can’t even use my smart phone half the time, much less do some special computer effects. I had to have the girls at the Shell station send the picture to the local TV station. He knows I wouldn’t lie about this.”
Do we believe in the bug that looks like Lord Kitchener?
“It’s Bob, he wouldn’t lie about anything. He’s just really intrigued by what kind of caterpillar it is, and getting somebody to figure it out, that’s why he’s always talking about it,” said Kay Hank.
“One woman told it looks like the devil,” says Palmer, “I decided to stay away from her, if she’s actually seen the devil. Haha.”
Satan is a caterpillar. Fact.
News is leading with the report that Whitney Houston and Bobby Brown’s daughter, Bobbi Kristina Brown has died. She was 22. Back on January 31st 2015, Bobbi Kristina was found unresponsive at her home in a bath. Placed in medially induced coma, Bobbi Kristina was after two months transferred to a rehabilitation centre. One month ago she was moved into a hospice. D-listed notes:
The D.A. has reportedly been investigating Bobbi Kristina’s adopted brother/fake husband Nick Gordon, because they believe he may have had something to do with why she lost consciousness. Bobbi Kristina’s conservator has also thrown a lawsuit at Nick for allegedly stealing her money, abusing her and pretending to be her husband.
Her family have released a statement:
“She is finally at peace in the arms of God. We want to again thank everyone for their tremendous amount of love and support during these last few months.”
Her mother’s Facebook page made a anouncement:
Is snuff movie nutjob Mohammed Emwazi on the lam from Islamic State? The Mirror says he is:
Jihadi John flees to Syria fearing ISIS have no further use for him
Jihadi John. They’re still using his nom-de-murder.
He is said to have been terrified by the publicity when he was identified as the murderer of British and American hostages and fears being hunted down.
The 26-year-old Londoner is being hunted down.
The story has travelled. The Jerusalem Post adds:
A source told the British tabloid that Islamic State would drop Emwazi “like a stone or worse if they feel he is no longer of any use to them.”
Emwazi has a knife, a global media presence and the mind of a psychopath. Give it time and his vanity will get the better of him.
The Star has news of a “Legal high alert as teen dies after ‘inhaling hippy crack at party'”.
Reporting on legal highs has been frenzied. Will the Star stick to the facts and provide a direct link between the nitrous oxide and the tragedy?
Cops said the 18-year-old was believed to have been drinking and taking legal high nitrous oxide at the bash in Bexley, south-east London
We don’t know, then, if the teenager died from the so-called hippy crack. All we know is they he died.
The Metropolitan Police say:
“Next of kin have been notified. A post-mortem will be scheduled in due course. At this stage the death is being treated as unexplained pending the findings of the post-mortem.”
Liverpool’s James Milner “turned down £165,000 a week to remain at Manchester City”, writes the Sun. The paper works out that Milner sacrificed £65,000 a week to reignite his career at Anfield.
Is he really on £100,000 a week because the Guardian says Milner is paid £150,000 a week at Liverpool? And that £165,000 a week was based on the top figure, taking into account win and appearance bonuses at City. The Mail says Miler was earning £100,000 a week at City – which would mean he took a pay rise to join Liverpool.
And what of the signing-on fee at Liverpool, of which the Sun makes no mention? As a free agent, the Mirror says any fee would have been “huge“.
The Sun aims is to present Milner as something different to all other top players, the one who does it for love not money. But the facts don’t support the portrayal. Milner earns more at Liverpool than he did at City. The move has not cost him £65,000 a week.
“… I think the move to Liverpool and to take that mantle of central midfield was more of a selfish move. This is a chance for me to prove something. I want to look back at my career and feel I got everything out of it and was the best player I could be and won as much as I could.
“I don’t want to be sat at the end of my career thinking I could have done more or left something out there.
“I believe I can achieve things here where I could maybe have found myself on the bench at City and just taken the money.”
Now he takes the money and knows he’ll play.
By way of a bonus for niche porno hunters, the Sun tosses in “£200-a-night hookers” (pair of), the line, as delivered by the peer, “What about trying the big one?”, a spot of casual racism (“Asian women look innocent but you know they’re whores”) and news that the video is set in Dolphin Square, a block of flats becoming more notorious by the day.
Sewel’s wife, the Lady Jennifer, does not feature.
Compare and contrast:
Daily Mail, 8 July 1934: “Hurrah for the Blackshirts”:
“If the Blackshirts movement had any need of justification, the Red Hooligans who savagely and systematically tried to wreck Sir Oswald Mosley’s huge and magnificently successful meeting at Olympia last night would have supplied it.”
The Guardian July 25, 2015:
Islamic State is often called ‘medieval’ but is in fact very modern – a horrific expression of a widespread frustration with a globalised western model that promises freedom and prosperity to all, but fails to deliver.
You can read Pankaj Mishra’s dire essay in full. But be warned: it’s 10 minutes of your life you will never get back.
Yesterday we revisited the links between Westminster politicians, MI5 and the scandal of child abuse at the Kincora home.
Today the Times tells readers:
The Westminster politican protected by MI5 when suspected of child abuse was the Conservative MP Peter Morrison, who became one of Margaret Thatcher’s aides…
Morrison died on 13 July 1995. He is unlikely to mount a decent defence.
In 2002, Simon Heffer said of him:
Sir Peter Morrison, was a constant trial to the whips, who were afraid that his late-night cruises around and skirmishes in Sussex Gardens would come to the attention of the press.
In 2012, the Mail reported:
Rod Richards, a former Conservative MP and ex-leader of the Welsh Tories, made the shocking allegation that he had seen evidence linking Sir Peter Morrison to the North Wales children’s homes case, in which up to 650 children in 40 homes were sexually, physically and emotionally abused over 20 years.
Mr Richards also linked a second leading Tory grandee – now dead – to the scandals at homes including Bryn Estyn and Bryn Alyn Hall, both near Wrexham.
He said official documents had identified the pair as frequent, unexplained visitors to the care homes.
Mr Richards – who helped establish the inquiry that unearthed the scale of the abuse – said bluntly: ‘What I do know is that Morrison was a paedophile. And the reason I know that is because of the North Wales child abuse scandal.’
You can read more of the horror and murder in North Wales here.
Today the Times says sources claimed Morrison had “a penchant for small boys”.
The paper says MI5 did question Morrison, the Conservative MP for Chester and deputy chairman of the party. Papers found in Westminster reveal that Sir Antony Duff, head of the Security Service, to Sir Robert Armstrong, the cabinet secretary, said Morrison was not a big deal.
Duff died in 200o. His obituary in The Guardian called him “the epitome of the wise public servant on whom Whitehall’s ship of state has traditionally relied”.
Armstrong lives. He was Cabinet Secretary during the premierships of Margaret Thatcher, John Major and Tony Blair.
Now age 88, he tells the Times:
“My official business was the protection of national security. I have to stress that there was nothing like evidence in this case. There was just a shadow of a rumour. It’s impossible to take investigative action on shadows of rumours.”
These days you accept rumour as fact and beat the dead bodies with sticks.
“If there is some reason to think a crime has been committed, then people like the cabinet secretary are not to start poking their noses into it. It’s for the police to do that.”
But who directs the police?
In July 1990, Morrison was appointed Thatcher’s parliamentary private secretary (PPS).
Peter Wanless, chief executive of the NSPCC, says:
“It is plainly obvious . . . those at the highest level who once strode the corridors of power were putting their fear of political embarrassment above the risks to children.”
His point seems well founded.
Arsenal director Philip Charles Harris, Baron Harris of Peckham, tells the Daily Mail the Gunners are rich enough to buy almost any player in the world.
So why don’t they?
The story begins: “Arsene Wenger has more than £200m in the bank, says Arsenal director.”
“We would back him to break the club’s transfer record. If he wanted the man, he could have him,” says Harris (estimated wealth: £285m). “Apart from Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, he could have any player.”
Karim Benzema? Eden Hazard? Gareth Bale?
Arsenal’s most expensive recruits have been:
Mesut Ozil – Real Madrid, £42.4m, September 2013
Alexis Sanchez – Barcelona, £35m, July 2014
Andrey Arshavin – Zenit St Petersburg, £15m, February 2009
Santi Cazorla – Malaga, £15m, August 2012
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain – Southampton, £15m, August 2011
Undoubtedly Arsenal are spending more on players than ever before. But surely it’s fantasy to believe they have the same financial muscles as Manchester United, Real Madrid, PSG, Manchester City, Chelsea or Bayern Munich.
“Money was tight when we moved to the Emirates but it’s a lot freer now,” continues Lord Harris. “We could go into the market and probably buy any player in the world, apart from half a dozen who are unbuyable. We get a list of the players that Wenger wants. On the list is a centre forward, but I’m not going to tell you who he is.
“You’ve got to get the other team to want to sell him, but I think he wants to come. It basically comes down to whether the other team can find a superstar to replace him, because they don’t have to sell.”
So. Real Madrid’s Karim Benzema it is, then. Unless PSG, Chelsea, Man City, Man United etc. outbid the Gunners.
Transfer Balls: Watch Ronaldo edge closer to Manchester United in a fantasy row with ‘hombre’ Benitez
Transfer Balls: Is Cristiano Ronaldo heading back to Manchester United?
In “Utd Ron alert Rafa row opens door”, the Sun says Real Madrid’s new manager and and Crisitiano Ronaldo have “clashed“. The pair have a “deteriorating relationship”.
Evidence of a row seems based on a very small incident – well, ok, two very small incidents. With Real Madrid in Melbourne “Ronaldo had a pop at new Madrid boss Benitez during training on Wednesday after having a goal disallowed” for offside”.
Ronaldo, 30, said “vai caralho”. The Sun runs it through Google translate and says it means “‘c**k’ but loosely translated can mean the F-word”.
The story of child abuse among the elite is taken up by the Times. “Child abuse cover-up at the heart of government,” says the headline.
The story will provide a link to the abuse at Kincora Boys Home in east Belfast. Three senior care staff at Kincora -William McGrath, Raymond Semple and Joseph Mains – were jailed in 1981 for abusing 11 boys. At least 29 boys were abused at the home between the late 1950s and the early 1980s.
The British intelligence services allegedly kept a lid on the abuse. Why? Well, one of the convicted men, William McGrath, is widely believed to have been an MI5 agent.
Derek Carr can’t read or write.So he asked his friend Greg Tod to write a robbery demand on the back of a Ladbrokes betting slip. He’d walk into a branch of rival bookies Corals, hand the cashier the note and walk away rich.
It was a great plan with a few flaws.
Darryl Lovie, defending Carr at Livingstone Crown Court, says that his client went to the wrong shop, specifically one selling fish and chips in Blackburn, West Lothian, Scotland:
“The chip shop attendant noticed he had a betting slip in his hand and inquired if he could help him. He then realised Mr Carr was in the wrong shop and told him he was in a chip shop not the bookies next door.”
Lewis Crosby, prosecuting, takes up the tale:
“Carr entered Coral just before 6pm, walked up to the counter where manager Karen Jamieson was standing and handed her the note. It stated: ‘Put the money in the bag or someone will die’. This was read by the complainer who handed the note back to the accused and asked him: ‘Are you telling me you’re holding me up?’ The accused didn’t respond at this time however, he opened the carrier bag and said: ‘Put the money in the bag’. This was overheard by another member of staff who had been on the shop floor.
“Both members of staff pressed the silent panic alarm. The complainer thereafter informed the accused that she was not giving him any money. The accused smirked and said: ‘I was only joking’. He then calmly walked out of the door taking with him his note and the carrier bag.”
Sheriff Peter Hammond called for social work reports to assess Carr’s suitability for post release supervision. The case will call again on July 30.
To Florida, where a man annoyed by the $2 fare headbutted the bus.
Roger Alan Giese is a wanted man. The US citizen is wanted on 19 charges of sexual assault and ‘grooming’. Giese lives in Hampshire, where he goes by the name Jonathan Roberts.
In 2007, he skipped bail and left the US. The FBI began a manhunt. In 2009, Giese was living in the UK. Last year he was arrested in Broughton, where he lives with Linda and works as a digital expert for, among other companies, Thomas Cook.
He wants to stay in Britain. As the Times notes:
Mr Giese argues that if he were returned to the US he could face an open-ended prison sentence known as “civil commitment”. His lawyers say that the punishment — which detains prisoners until it is deemed that they have had enough treatment to prevent them reoffending — could breach Mr Giese’s rights.
A district judge refused the extradition request at Westminster magistrates’ court but the US government appealed and a judgment is pending.
The FBI lists the allegations:
Roger Alan Giese is wanted for his alleged involvement in sexual activity with a 13-year-old boy in Buena Park, California. In 1998, when Giese was a choir director, he met the victim and befriended his family. Giese was able to move into the victim’s home and the sex acts allegedly took place until 2002. Giese was arrested in 2002, but he was released on bond pending trial. From 2002 until 2007, Giese appeared in court as scheduled. However, Giese failed to appear for his pre-trial motions hearing on March 12, 2007, and the next day, he failed to appear for jury selection.
Giese was charged with lewd acts with a child and penetration with a foreign object by the Central Justice Center, County of Orange, State of California, and a state warrant was issued on March 12, 2007, for his arrest. A federal arrest warrant was issued by the United States District Court, Central District of California, on March 16, 2007, after Giese was charged federally with unlawful flight to avoid prosecution.
The OC Register has more:
Authorities said Giese met the then-13-year-old boy in 1998 and soon befriended the boy’s family, attending church with them and inviting the boy and his brother to his house for overnight visits. Giese even moved into their home, and that’s when the molestation started, prosecutors said.
Giese is accused of pretending to be a member of an elite military unit called Delta Force and molesting the teenager under the pretense that the boy could join the unit by providing samples of bodily fluids.
The OC District Attorney adds details:
During the several months of grooming John Doe, Giese is accused of pretending to be a member of an elite military unit, “Delta Force,” and molesting John Doe under the pretense that the child could earn a place in the ellite military unit by providing semen, urine, blood, and stool samples to Giese. He is accused of masturbating, orally copulating, and anally penetrating John Doe, as well as masturbating himself in front of the victim.
The Mail focuses on his ex-wife:
Giese’s wife, Kjersti told The Mirror that prior to disappearing, he told her that he had been warned he might go to prison, and that she would not see him again.
‘We had talked previously as we knew that the criminal trial was coming, that his lawyers were concerned that the way things were going that he would be doing some jail time.
‘And he said that he wasn’t willing to go through that and was leaving.
‘I pleaded with him to stay and see if we can work this out and have faith in the legal system and just hoped that he wouldn’t.’
School music teacher, Mrs Giese, 39, who married Giese in 2003 after meeting him in the 1990s said he had cleared out their bank accounts, and left her with credit card and loan debts, but added that she believed ‘completely’ that Giese was innocent.
She filed for divorce a month after he vanished, and she has not seen him since March 2007.
Should he be kicked out?
In 2012 the British courts rejected the extradition of Shawn Sullivan, another paedophile suspect, ruling that a “civil commitment” punishment would be a flagrant denial of his right to liberty, and that the rules in Minnesota, where he is wanted on child rape charges, were more draconian than in many other states.
Such are the facts.
With a shortage of sharks off the British coast to source as news, the Sun zooms in two people have sex in a Nuneaton phone box. This follows news that a couple bonking in the changing rooms at Japanese retailer Uniqlo could be part of a racy marketing campaign, and we notice the advert for Domino’s pizza smeared on the box’s glass. Stuffed crust, madam?
The Sun reports:
A RANDY couple are so desperate to get connected they have sex in a phone box.
What else does anyone use a phone box for, aside from urinating in? But the best bit is ow we get to see the photos:
A local couple in a passing car spun round half a mile up the road and drove back so they could film and shame them.
It took them half a mile for the shock to sink in before they ‘spun” the car around and went back to take photos.
By the time they returned the woman had partly pulled her leggings up — but they were still at it.
One of the drive-by shag spotters is quoted:
“We have a five-year-old who luckily was not in the car. It was pretty disgusting.”
But thanks to mum and dad, Junior can now see the photos of the “disgusting'” sex on the web.
Ryan Byrne, 34, is an idiot. We know this because after being mistakenly freed from jail he has taken to posting pictures of himself on the web. Photos include one of him stood by a police van in what looks like London’s West End.
Byrne was found guilty of robbing £3,800 from a branch of Boots the chemists in Ruislip, West London, in 2007. He was sentenced to nine years prison.
He should still be behind bars. But he was released by mistake from Wandsworth Prison, South West London. He’s an idiot. But he’s still managed to remain one step ahead of the justice system.
The South Carolina Klux Klux Klan Nazi mash-up protest has a theme song.
Tke it away, super sousaphonist, Matt Buck and the farty Ride of the Valkyries:
Keeping Up With The Danczuks: in today’s instalment of the twitter-based reality TV show, MP Simon Danczuk says:
“I must have been hell to live with. I’d say horrible things to Karen”
Simon and Karen Danczuk are doing their bit to change perceptions of their native Rochdale. Once a place where secrets of sex and power were locked away to fester, Rochale is now where dirty laundry is hung still moist and run up the flagpole.
Carol Midgley meets Simon in Manchester. Will the Danczuks be reconciling?
“I don’t think that’s going to happen,” he says, sadly. “No, we’ve been through too much; too much water’s gone under the bridge. It’s not going to happen — but that’s life.”
Was it all a stupid stunt, the sex video filmed inside a changing room at an outlet of the Japanese clothes chain Uniqlo? Can naked people sell clothing? Of course they can. Sex can sell anything.
And this video is a hit. The Chinese regime says the sex tape breaks “socialist core values”. How’s that for a tagline?
It might even launch the career of its female star, a young woman we will call ‘Kim’.
Paul Pelton is accused of “vehicular trespassing”. But what he did is a question of morals. When Pelton saw a car accident he went over to check it out. The Honda sedan had jumped railway tracks and hit a house.
Mr Pelton did not try to help the stricken driven, one Zachary Goodin, or his passenger, Cameron Friend, who later died in hospital. He just piuleld out his mobile phone and pressed ‘record’ At one point he opened a car door to film inside.
He then tried to sell the video.
Detective Buddy Sivert, of Lorain police, says:
“We searched to try to find anything to charge him with. It is not a crime to stick a camera where a kid is dying or try to sell it. He went right in after the crash, before the rescuers or police arrived.”
According to the Media Group quoting a police report: “He opened a back door and leaned in to film the boys and then walked around to the front door as he continued recording. At no time did he try to help either of the boys.”
Denise White, who lived close to the accident, told WOIO television that she was trying to help the teenagers and saw Mr Pelton filming.
“To take that video and put it on Facebook, it just shows you have no principles. It’s disgusting,” she told the station. The dead boy’s “mom probably had to see that,” she said.
Police produce a statement:
“The Lorain police department would like to remind citizens that they are allowed and encouraged to help one another in emergencies if they can do so safely, and that rendering aid or comfort to a dying young man and his severely injured friend is a commendable and kindly act.
“Persons are not, however, allowed to trespass into a person’s vehicle criminally and without permission for the seemingly singular cause of filming a young man’s dying moments, for profit.”
Fine if he gives it way for no profit, then? Fine if a TV crew films the scene and sells it to a TV station that punctuates the news with ads (or is it vice versa?). Not fine if a citizen journalist does it. Not fine if the injured are in a car and not in a foreign field.
What if Mr Pelton had called the emergency services first and then filmed the scene? Would that still be a crime?
Matthew Daley, 34, is accused of murdering Donald Lock, 79, after their vehicles collided in a minor prang. Mr Lock was knifed repeatedly in the head and neck on the A24 at Findon, near Worthing, West Sussex.
Daley stood in the dock at Crawley magistrates’ court. He confirmed his name, address and date of birth. He was then remanded in custody in readiness for an appearance at Hove crown court tomorrow.
Matthew Daley, 34, of St Elmo Road, Worthing, has been charged with murder and possessing a knife in a public place.