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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.

Arsenal: ‘guilty’ Wenger admits his transfer policy (again)

In “ARSENE WONGA”, the Mirror says Arsenal’s manger Arsene Wenger (geddit?!) “finally admits he treats the club’s money as if it was my own”.  No, he’s not admitting to embezzlement.  Wenger just says he’s cautions with spending tons of cash on players.

 

Arsenal Mirror

 

Of course, Wenger should spend, spend, spend because the Mirror has already told us this will be his last season at Arsenal.

 

Daily Mirror wenger quits Arsenal

 

Wenger has been quoted in Game Changers: Inside English Football, written by former Charlton boss Alan Curbishley: ”

“I personally believe the only way to be a manager is to spend the club’s money as if it were your own, because if you don’t do that you’re susceptible to too many mistakes. You make big decisions and I believe you have to act like it’s your own money — like you’re the owner of the club and you can identify completely with the club, because if you don’t do that I think you cannot go far.”

 

wenger daily mirror 

 

Some revelation there. At least it will be to the Mirror readers who didn’t see the paper’s story from one year ago:

Arsenal manager admits being tight with transfer cash because he feels club BELONGS to him

He has often been accused by his club’s frustrated fans of treating Arsenal’s money as if it is his own…. Now, for the first time, Arsene Wenger has unashamedly pleaded guilty to the charge and given a rare insight into the hurt he feels when his work is questioned at the Emirates Stadium.

 

wenger daily mirror

 

As ever, Wenger was not talking with the Mirror, but with a magazine in France.

The Frenchman said: “I’ll give myself merit for one thing: I’ve always treated Arsenal as if it belonged to me. I have sometimes been criticised for it — because I am not enough of a spender, not carefree enough… My great pride will be to be able to say the day that I leave, that I am leaving behind a good team, a healthy situation and a club capable of performing in the future. I could have said to myself: ‘I am here for four or five years, we win everything’, [then] I leave and leave the club on the verge of bankruptcy. For me, consistency at the highest level is the true sign of great clubs.”

When he ‘admits’ it to the Mirror, that might be the end of the story.

Posted: 24th, August 2016 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, News, Sports, Tabloids | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Shami Chakrabarti: ‘There are no empty seats on Jeremy Corbyn’s Virgin train’

Virgin Trains says Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn was mistaken when he complained about a “completely ram-packed” journey. In his video lament, Corbyn is sat on the floor between carriages.Virgin has now has released CCTV images which appear to show Corbyn walking past empty unreserved seats, and later sitting in one.

 

Corbyn's front bench

Corbyn’s front bench

 

We now await Her Excellency Dame Shami Chakrabarti to lead an investigation into whether or not there are empty seats on Corbyn’s trains and if Hitler was trying to dodge his fair by hiding in the toilets.

 

Posted: 23rd, August 2016 | In: News, Politicians | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Liverpool for sale: China courts the Reds and the media plays ball

When the Sun led with news that Liverpool’s American owners had rebuffed Chinese attempts to buy the club we enjoyed the headline “You’ll Never Wok Alone”.

Readers were told that “Liverpool chiefs will reject moves from the Far East to buy a stake in the club”.

It all looked an exercise in PR. Liverpool’s foreign chiefs are much more in tune with the Reds than other foreigners who want to be chiefs. The club is in safe hands.

The Chinese are a “state-backed group called Everbright”, who “value the club at £700m”. Liverpool chairman Tom Werner, part of the Fenway Sports Group, says the club would work with the right partner and offers are made “just for the publicity”.

Today the Times has more.

Liverpool, or Liwupu as it is rendered in Chinese, has received admiring glances in China. Over the weekend it emerged that China Everbright, a state-backed investment company, was looking into making a bid with Amanda Staveley’s PCP Capital Partners.

You wonder how these things emerge?

The club has also caught the attention of Fosun and Dalian Wanda, Reuters reported yesterday. Both are Chinese conglomerates with a proven taste for western consumer brands with Chinese cachet, counting Club Med and a Hollywood studio among their most recent deals.

How depressing to have your beloved football club bracketed with Club Med and cinema chains.

Liverpool’s owners, Fenway Sports Group, insist that the club is not for sale despite the £800 million approach said to be in the works. However, leading figures have indicated that they would take a proposal for a minority stake seriously from investors who could open doors for the club commercially.

£700million has now become £800m. That figure could go up and up.

Nick Davis, chief executive of Memery Crystal, a law firm that advised on the sale earlier this month of West Bromwich Albion to Yunyi Guokai, said that Chinese interest in Liverpool was part of a trend established at the top of the Chinese hierarchy. Xi Jinping, the president of China who last year posed for a selfie with Sergio Aguero, the Manchester City striker, has said he wants China to become a “world football superpower” that could win the World Cup by 2050.

China buys Liverpool. China picks the Liverpool team?

David Shambaugh, a China expert at George Washington University, said that the explanation was partly domestic. “China has so much pent-up money looking to be invested abroad and the Premier League is a very sound financial investment,” he said. “It also offers excellent opportunities to expand China’s ‘brand’ abroad.”

An £800 million valuation for Liverpool compares with the £300 million paid by Fenway Group in 2010.

Kerching!

And what is China’s brand? Well, Amnesty International says:

A series of new laws with a national security focus were drafted or enacted that presented grave dangers to human rights. The government launched a massive nationwide crackdown against human rights lawyers. Other activists and human rights defenders continued to be systematically subjected to harassment and intimidation. Five women’s rights activists were detained for planning to mark International Women’s Day with a campaign against sexual harassment. Authorities stepped up their controls over the internet, mass media and academia. Televised “confessions” of critics detained for investigation multiplied. Freedom of religion continued to be systematically stifled. The government continued its campaign to demolish churches and take down Christian crosses in Zhejiang province. In the predominantly Muslim Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region, the regional government enacted new regulations to more tightly control religious affairs and ban all unauthorized religious practice. The government maintained extensive controls over Tibetan Buddhist monasteries. The UN Committee against Torture regretted that previous recommendations had not been implemented.

All very fit and proper.

 

Posted: 23rd, August 2016 | In: Back pages, Liverpool, Money, News, Sports | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Brendan O’Neill, Corinne Grant, Cindy Prior and an assault on free speech

Brendan O’Neill asks Corinne Grant a question:

 

 

The story is:

Cindy Prior, an indigenous administration officer in QUT’s Oodgeroo Unit, is using section 18C of the racial discrimination act – the controversial section that former Prime Minister Tony Abbott vowed to repeal – to sue three staff at QUT and five students.

Ms Prior claims she suffered “offence, embarrassment, humiliation and psychiatric injury­” as well as ongoing fear for her safety, because of their actions and comments.

As The Australian has reported, the problems started when three students, who wandered into the Oodgeroo Unit in May 2013 looking for a place to use a computer, were asked by Ms Prior “whether they were indigenous”.

They said they were not, and she said there were other computers they could use.

She asked the students to leave the unit and they went away.

An hour later a Facebook page, called ‘QUT Stalker Space’, featured a post from one of the students, Alex Wood, saying: “Just got kicked out of the unsigned indigenous computer room. QUT (is) stopping segregation with segregation.”

Another student, Jackson Powell, wrote on the Facebook page: “I wonder where the white supremacist computer lab is.”

Another post — “ITT n—ers” — was attributed to another stud­ent, Calum Thwaites, who has emphatically denied that he had anything to do with the post.

Later:

Prior went to a doctor and was medically certified as unfit for work. Her initial doctor wrote: “Cynthia feels unsafe and frightened to return to work.”

Ten days after the students walked into the Oodgeroo Unit, a second doctor issued a workers’ compensation certificate declaring her unfit for work due to “nightmares, fear and sweating”. Four days later, Prior, who has not returned to the unit in the three years since the incident, told QUT she would be taking the matter to the Human Rights Commission. She felt “disheartened and powerless” because the university and its vice-chancellor, Peter Coaldrake, had made public statements about the incident and directed new strategies, which did not go far enough in her view. She felt “the critical issue of how to get me back to work and feeling safe once again” was being avoided.

She…

…is suing the three students and the university for almost $250,000 in lost wages and general damages, plus future economic loss. She later claimed she felt unsafe leaving her home due to fears of being verbally abused and was unable to return to work in a role requiring face-to-face contact with white people.

So. About free speech. What does it cost?

Posted: 23rd, August 2016 | In: Key Posts, News | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Forgers walks free from court after fake lawyer presented bogus documents

New from India’s Mumbai Mirror. The language is as lovely as the story. The duplicitous talents of these guys who made false passports and government documents makes the news.

Two men, who worked in tandem faking government documents and scamming people, used their duplicitous talent to secure bail from a court in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region of Thane, India, last month. The duo, Bashir Mulla, 62, and Mohammed Lukman Shaikh, 48, managed to fool the court by securing bail through fake documents signed by non-existent police officers and guarantors. It is suspected that the lawyer who represented them in the court too was an impostor.

Thane police says there are no traces of the two.

 

Mr and Mrs Smythe-Jones

Mr and Mrs Smythe-Jones

 

Vijay Sanap, a constable attached to Srinagar police station in Thane, explains:

“I have to maintain a record of the accused granted bail by the court, do verification of witnesses by the police station and keep track of the dates of the cases. I knew the court had issued a bail order for the two accused last month but they could not be released as the verification of the guarantors was pending. There is a procedure where the witnesses’ record is checked and only then can the accused be released. This (the bail hearing) was on July 20,” said Sanap. He said, “After that, there was no mention of the case. Three days back, when I was going through the case diary.

“I saw a paper which said that both the accused had been released. The document was signed by senior inspector Kaarkar of Srinagar police station and submitted by one constable RS Patil. As I myself am attached to the same police station I know that there is no one called Patil there and also the name of the senior inspector was different. I enquired with the Srinagar police station and found out that the verification order had not yet reached them, and hence they had not yet approved the release order. They had no idea of the accused having been released.” Sanap then asked the police station to check the papers and then it dawned on all that the two guarantors who had signed the document were fake. The guarantors, Santosh Dongre and Sakharam Khude, were as non-existent as were the constable and the senior inspector who signed their release documents. Also the rubber stamps of the police station were fake.”

The duplicitous duo remain on the lam.

 

Posted: 23rd, August 2016 | In: News, Strange But True | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0


The ‘Muslim bully man’ who wasn’t and the Muslim teens who were

Is the media biased when it comes to reporting on Muslims? The BBC looks at the case of Michael Coe, accused of assault occasioning actual bodily harm and battery. He denies all charges.

 

Muslim bully attack

 

The BBC: “Man ‘assaulted teens over cuddle’ in east London street”

The story begins thus:

A “bully” grabbed a schoolboy by the throat and called a teenage girl a “whore” after spotting them cuddling in east London, a court has heard. Michael Coe, 35, stopped driving and allegedly confronted the 16-year-olds, demanding to know if they were Muslims. When they lied and told him they were not, he grabbed the boy around the neck before throwing him to the floor.

Deep into the story, Mr Coe is identified as Muslim. But Islam is not given as key factor in the alleged crime.

 

Muslim bully attack

 

The Sun: “ATTACKED FOR CUDDLING HIS GIRLFRIEND Muslim convert, 35, ‘grabbed teen by throat’ in London street over ‘cuddle’ with girlfriend.”

The tabloid makes the Islamic element key to the story. Mr Coe is a “Muslim convert”. Why he is billed as a “Muslim convert” and not simply a “Muslim” is, perhaps, worthy of attention. The Sun begins:

A MUSLIM convert grabbed a schoolboy by the throat and called a teenage girl a “whore” after spotting them cuddling in east London, a court heard.

Later on, readers are told:

Coe allegedly asked if the couple were Muslims – which they are – but they denied it because they were “worried what this defendant would do if they said yes”. At which point the defendant reportedly said: “Why am I wasting my time with you if you are not Muslim?”

The BBC does not include that exchange in its report.

The Evening Standard:

 

Muslim bully attack

 

A Muslim “bully” attacked a 16-year-old schoolboy and branded his girlfriend a whore after spotting them cuddling in the street, a court heard today.

The Mirror:

 

Muslim bully attack

 

Prosecutor Jonathan Polnay described the attack as “completely unjustifiable”. He told the jury: “This case is about what started as unpleasant bullying with religious overtones in the street, followed by an attack by this 35-year-old man on a 16-year-old schoolboy.

“This was followed by a further assault on a schoolteacher, a nearby bystander, who came to his aid when he saw what was going on. The victim was, and is, a schoolboy and, in the early evening, he was there with his girlfriend standing on the pavement in the street, cuddling each other in the street. They had the misfortune that, of all the people to drive by, it was this defendant who was driving by in a car.”

 

The Newham Recorder:

 

Muslim bully attack

 

It is foremost the story of an alleged “Muslim bully”.

 

The Express:

 

Muslim bully attack

 

The “Muslim convert” is in the dock.

The Asian Age:

 

ASian Age muslim

 

The accused is simply a ‘man’.

Nowhere in the Asian Age’s report is Mr Coe identified as a Muslim. you could read this version and come way thinking it was an alleged attack by a man driven by anti-Muslim sentiment.

A “bully” grabbed a schoolboy by the throat and threw him to the ground because he saw him hugging a girl in the street, a court was told. Michael Coe, 35, was driving through east London when he spotted the two 16-year-olds cuddling on the pavement. He allegedly confronted the pair, demanding to know if they were Muslims, before calling the girl a “whore”.

Coe was said to have grabbed the boy by the throat, causing him to black out, before he woke up bleeding on the floor. When passing schoolteacher Boutho Siwela tried to come to the couple’s aid, Coe then allegedly attacked him.

Coe is on trial at Southwark Crown Court accused of assault occasioning actual bodily harm and battery.

Prosecutor Jonathan Polnay described the attack as “completely unjustifiable”. He told the jury: “This case is about what started as unpleasant bullying with religious overtones in the street, followed by an attack by this 35-year-old man on a 16-year-old schoolboy. This was followed by a further assault on a schoolteacher, a nearby bystander, who came to his aid when he saw what was going on. The victim was, and is, a schoolboy and, in the early evening, he was there with his girlfriend standing on the pavement in the street, cuddling each other in the street. They had the misfortune that, of all the people to drive by, it was this defendant who was driving by in a car.”

Coe demanded to know if the teenagers were Muslim and when they lied and said that they were not, he replied: “Why am I wasting my time with you if you’re not Muslim?”

He then called the girl “a whore” before attacking her boyfriend, Mr Polnay said.

“He (Coe) grabbed him around the neck, that’s the last thing the victim remembered,” he added. “The next thing the boy woke up on the floor and he was bleeding. This was completely unpleasant and utterly unwarranted – this is a grown man on a child.”

Mr Siwela heard the girl screaming and took a photo of Coe’s number plate as he was getting back into his car.

Mr Polnay continued: “The defendant wasn’t having that and he comes over to Mr Siwela and said give me that phone. Mr Siwela didn’t want to hand over his phone so the defendant grabbed him and threw him to the floor. He then got in the car and drove away.”

Coe denies the two charges against him. He admits assaulting the 16-year-old boy in Wilson Road, Newham, on April 15 but claims he was acting in self-defence.

The victim, who cannot be named because he is under 18, said he was hugging his girlfriend goodbye when Coe shouted “let that little schoolgirl go”.

He later demanded: “Why are you acting like a punk in front of your whore girlfriend?” before attacking the boy.

“Within seconds of saying that I felt a hand on my neck and after that I don’t remember anything else,” the teenager said.

“I woke up – there was blood on my hands and I could feel blood on my face, my head was throbbing and I was very dizzy and also felt sick.”

The trial continues.

Such are the facts.

 

Posted: 23rd, August 2016 | In: News, Tabloids | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Jamies Oliver names his fifth child after a vegetable

river rocket oliver

‘Leaf me alone!’

Jamie’s Oliver’s fifth child is called River Rocket Oliver. With a name like Rocket, the worry is that the little lamb’s (lettuce) will go off. Nothing goes off like rocket.

PS – River Rocket is a brother to Poppy Honey Rose, Daisy Boo Pamela, Petal Blossom Rainbow and Buddy Bear Maurice.

PPS – There are few things more enjoyable than seeing other parents give their child a name that serves as a signifier of their individuality and cool.

 

Posted: 23rd, August 2016 | In: Celebrities, News | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Austria’s foreign minister wants refugees to work for one euro an hour

Can you force refugees to work for the State? Surely not. The Mail looks to Austria:

Austria could be set to force refugees to do menial work for 87p an hour – or risk losing state handouts from the government.

It’s a populist idea in a country where racism is rife. Surely you cannot force asylum seekers to work?

Foreign minister Sebastian Kurz said many asylum seekers were ‘illiterate’ and should be made to carry out mandatory community jobs to help integrate them into society.

They can’t write their names? Let’s hope they know how to spell Kuntz Kutz Kurz.

They would be required to work between 15 and 30 hours a week for just one euro an hour on work like street cleaning and municipal gardening, Kurz said.

Sebastian Kurz, 29, has been Austria’s foreign minister for the past two years. He is a member of the Austrian People’s Party’s (ÖVP).

More here.

Posted: 23rd, August 2016 | In: News, Politicians | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0


EU and Brexit politicians row over who won the Olympics

MP Heather Wheeler, assistant whip in Theresa May’s government, bigs it up for Great Britain’s post-Brexit Olympians.

 

Heather MP Olympic medals

 

Or as the European Union put it:

 

Olympic medals

 

Dod the British cheer for Australian swimmers? Do Belgian root for German cyclists? Does America always win?

 

Posted: 23rd, August 2016 | In: News, Politicians, Sports | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Gawker let’s us look at the numbers

hulk-hoganFarewell, Gawker. Josh Laurito treats readers to a look inside Gawker, the media group bankrupted by the Hulk Hogan lawsuit verdict. Gawker media now consists of Gawker.com, the other titles being sold to Univision. Gawker will hang up its algorithms this week.

Since it’s not totally clear to me what will happen to the site’s archives or how long I will have access to data about the site, today seems like a good time to jot down some of the numbers we have about our writers, our community, and posts.

Read on…

Gawker subjects Names GAwker writers GAwker

Posted: 22nd, August 2016 | In: News | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Middlesbrough: Adam Clayton’s left testicle says ‘hi’ in changing room photo

Footballers love to take photos of themselves in the changing room. The other day Middlesbrough’s Cristhian Stuani marked his side’s2-1 derby win over Sunderland in the Tees-Wear derby by showing the world a group shot featuring team-mate Adam Clayton’s left gonad.

 

Adam Clayton testicle

 

Stuani later tweeted:

I am Sorry about the picture , we didn’t realize it

We live in censorious times. In the old days the Press used to take the pictures:

 

ArsenalLiverpoolNorwich

here

More here and here.

Posted: 22nd, August 2016 | In: News, Sports | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Transfer balls: Shkodran Mustafi to Arsenal for £21m, £25m, £30m and £42m

Transfer balls: With the business over Paul Pogba to Manchester United sorted to great relief at the Daily Mirror – the paper said Pogba had signed for United three weeks before he did – we look at Arsenal’s pursuit of Valencia’s German defender Shkodran Mustafi.

Daily Mirror, July 28:”Arsenal target Shkodran Mustafi has a release clause of €50million, MirrorFootball can reveal, but Valencia would sell him for half that as they look to recoup losses from missing out on the Champions League.”

Valencia are willing to sell a player worth €50million for €25million. That’s just over £21m.

Daily Mirror, August 11: “Muatfi has a £42m buy-out in his contract and Valencia are ready to accept around £30m, but Arsenal have yet to agree a fee”

Sorry, Arsenal. The fee’s gone up.

Daily Mirror, August 13: “Injury-hit Arsenal set to recall Mathieu Debuchy for Liverpool visit to fill in for trio of absent centre-halves.”

Arsenal have no need to buy anyone new. Debuchy to the rescue. (He was not picked.)

Daily Mirror, August 15: “Arsenal move for Shkodran Mustafi stalls as Valencia demand £25million for German defender”

Is that around £30m?

Daily Mirror, August 16: “Arsenal transfer news and rumours: Jeremy Mathieu emerges as Arsene Wenger’s top target.”

Arsenal no longer want Mustafi. It’s Mathieu for the Gunners.

Daily Mirror, August 17: “Arsenal are hoping to sign Mustafi for around £20million… Valencia have been holding out for closer to £30million for Mustafi.”

Wasn’t it £25m they wanted?

Daily Mirror: August 20: “Liverpool are in full negotiations with Valencia over the German’s availability and could beat the Gunners to the deal.”

Go for it, Liverpool. Arsenal don’t want him.

Daily Mirror, August 22: “Arsene Wenger has been quoted a staggering £50million for Valencia defender Shkodran Mustafi.”

And on its goes…

 

Posted: 22nd, August 2016 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, News, Sports, Tabloids | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Watch the Apollo 11 Moon blast in very slow motion

On July 16, 1969 Apollo 11 blasted into space. In this video the blast off is stretched from 30 seconds of action to over eight minutes of viewing time.

“The Saturn V vehicle produced a holocaust of flames,” says NASA.

Hot!

 

 

via Flashbak

Posted: 22nd, August 2016 | In: News, Technology | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Jessica Hayes and Katie Salmon given life ban for sub-Godiva behaviour at Cheltenham

Jockeying for attention

Jockeying for attention

In ‘LACK OF REMORSE'”, the Sun reports on “Love Island boob flash duo Jessica Hayes and Katie Salmon”.

News is that the topless twosome have been “banned for life from horse racing”. They will never ride a nag at Aintree nor enliven a dull day at Ascot by flashing their nipples. It is the sports great loss.

The paper adds that the pair “bared their boobs again at a nightclub just days after the Cheltenham incident in March”.

It is to their eternal shame that photographers were there to see both incidences.

The British Horseracing Authority says the ladies’ antics were “unacceptable, offensive and detrimental to the good reputation of the sport”.

Indeed they were. As anyone versed in Jilly Cooper’s work and the history of Lady Godiva, full nudity is the true form at the point to point. These ignorant girls must try harder.

And they’re orf!

Posted: 22nd, August 2016 | In: Celebrities, News, Sports | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Beer made from yeast swabbed from Roald Dahl’s chair

What did Roald Dahl taste of? We can soon find out becsaue the 40FT Brewery, in Dalston, north east London, and Bompas and Parr are creating Mr Twit’s Odious Ale. You don’t have to be Twit to buy the stuff, just a hipster or some other kind of fetishising tw*t.

 

Roald DAhl beer

Ales of the Unexpected

 

And apparently it’s what Dahl would have wanted:

With permission from The Roald Dahl Literary Estate and The Roald Dahl Museum in Great Missenden, Buckinghamshire, swabs were taken from the authors writing chair, preserved for posterity at the museum. The beer is to be brewed in the Polish Grätzen style.

Get Bucks the beer has “a light golden colour with relatively high carbonation”- like a runny fart.

 

So give me a bug and a jumping flea,
Give me two snails and lizards three,
And a slimy squiggler from the sea,
And the poisonous sting of a bumblebee,
And the juice from the fruit of the ju-jube tree,
And the powdered bone of a wombat’s knee.
And one hundred other nasty things as well
Each with a rather nasty smell.
I’ll stir them up, I’ll boil them long,
A mixture tough, a mixture tough, a mixture strong.
And then, heigh-ho, and down it goes,
A nice spoonful (hold your nose)
Just gulp it down and have no fear.
‘How do you like it, Granny dear?’
Will she go pop? Will she explode?
Will she go flying down the road?
Will she go poof in a puff of smoke?
Start fizzing like a can of Coke?
(I’m glad it’s neither you nor me.)
Oh Grandma, if only you knew
What I have got in store for you!’

Marvellous.

Posted: 22nd, August 2016 | In: Celebrities, News, Strange But True, The Consumer | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Dalian Atkinson: Black Lives Matter, stereotypes and blaming football

Dalian Atkinson: a look at repotting on the former Aston Villa footballer who died after being hit by police tasers.

The Guardian: “Dalian Atkinson death asks hard questions of police and football”

Can football be blamed for one man’s death in unusual circumstances?

Death of former Aston Villa striker focuses spotlight on Taser use, racial stereotyping and support for ex-professionals

Are we in danger os stereotyping the police? Atkinson was black. Press TV, the biased Iranian broadcaster, leads with: “Two British police officers are under criminal investigation over the death of black English footballer Dalian Atkinson.” The Guardian has linked Atkinson’s death to the Black Lives Matter movement.

For the past year, the 48-year-old had been receiving hospital treatment for a serious liver and kidney condition, with his family making increasingly desperate pleas for help from the football community.

What is the football community? Atkinson played for Ipswich Town, Sheffield Wednesday, Aston Villa, Manchester City, Real Sociedad, Metz, Fenerbahçe, Al-Ittihad, Daejeon Citizen and Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors. Manchester City, for one, are not exactly hard up. The BBC says “Sociedad fans applauded throughout the ninth minute as a tribute to their former striker Dalian Atkinson.” A sign behind the Aston Villa dugout reads: “Dalian Atkinson – Never Forgotten.”

 Geoff Scott, the CEO of the football welfare charity Xpro Life After Sport, told the Guardian that Atkinson’s family had sought financial assistance for his medical care and wanted help to move him to a private hospital.

The charity could not help. But the Professional Footballers’ Association arranged his travel to hospital for more than a year. Atkinson spoke personally to Gordon Taylor, the PFA chief executive, last Friday.

He had been due to see a specialist on Monday, the day he died after being Tasered by police on his father’s doorstep in the quiet Telford suburb of Trench, in Shropshire.

The paper then sees fit to add:

Neighbours have described how Atkinson, who also played for Ipswich Town and Sheffield Wednesday, pulled up outside his father’s house in his Porsche 4×4 around midnight on Sunday.

Nice car. Sounds pricey. But why mention the make and model?

The Sun does the same:

The retired striker, who drove a Porsche, had spells with Ipswich, Sheffield Wednesday and Manchester City and joined Villa for £1.6million in July 1991.

The Birmingham Mail: “Dalian Atkinson new witness: Ex striker was struck with a baton after being tasered”

It has been reported that Atkinson had stumbled towards officers shouting, “I am the Messiah”, before a Taser, capable of 50,000 volt shocks, was used.

We hear from Dave Lewis, who lives across the road from Dalian Atkinson’s father. He says:

“It’s very easy to be wise after the event, but everything had to be done in a split second. The officer who used the Taser had a very difficult decision to make.”

It is. That’s why police are trained to make the right decision.

In the Sun “a man who claimed to be Dalian’s nephew, Fabian Atkinson” says:

“If the police are turning up to a scene where someone is having an argument, they have to be prepared to calm that person and not just go straight for the taser. As soon as you deploy the taser they have to call an ambulance straight away, and try to find out the person’s medical history.

“My uncle was having kidney dialysis, which would have made his heart weaker. The police knew nothing about that. How can they taser someone without calling an ambulance first?”

Is is because “everything has to be done in a split second”? As we wonder why the Sun bothered with that quote, the Birmingham Mail returns to Dave Lewis:

His account differs dramatically from that of another witness, described as a neighbour in national newspapers… Mr Lewis, who lives directly opposite, says he saw one officer draw back a foot as if to land a kick but, if that was the intention, he says it was never carried out. Despite reports that the Taser was used five times on 48-year-old Atkinson, he only saw it used once.

But she heard “boots kicking him”. Mr Lewis:

“His dad let him in and the police came. There was a policeman and a policewoman, no blue lights, and one backed away. It was one-to-one with the other officer. If I was that police officer, I’d have a very difficult decision to make. He was approaching the policeman. If someone rushes at you and they’ve already smashed a door in and the state they are in… well, you’ve got a difficult decision to make.

“I didn’t see the other officer touch him with a boot. The officer did draw a baton, though, and hit him with the baton. Right after that, the sky went blue with the lights from all the police cars and vans.”

Daily Mail:  “Dalian Atkinson: The tragic final days of Aston Villa hero who died after being Tasered by police”

Sportsmail can reveal that the Dalian Atkinson struck by the 50,000-volt weapon was a fragile, ill man, suffering not only from kidney and liver problems but also from pneumonia, who had become convinced that only a doctor across the Atlantic could help him.

The Times: “The tragic silence of Atkinson’s final years”

He had arrived at the house that he had bought for his parents in Meadow Close, Telford, in the early hours of Monday morning. According to his father, Ernest, and his brother, Kenroy, he claimed that he had already killed his siblings and attempted to throttle his father. Kenroy told The Sun that his brother was “in a manic state and depressed, out of his mind and ranting, not in his right mind.” Ernest said he “did not know if he was drunk, or on drugs”.

A neighbour called the police, concerned “for the safety of an individual”. When officers arrived, they struck Atkinson with a Taser, reportedly on as many as three occasions.

And before that.

Atkinson got in contact with the Professional Footballers’ Association (PFA), the body that looks after players during and after their careers. He applied to their benevolent fund for help covering rent. On his behalf, they struck a deal with his landlord that he would pay three months’ rent but be allowed to stay in New Woodhouses for six.

Football did not let Dalian Atkinson down. That narrative is too simple.

Posted: 22nd, August 2016 | In: News, Sports | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Caster Semenya is clean: the’dilemma’ of being yourself

Well done, Caster Semenya for winning Olympic gold in the women’s 800m. Much has been made of Semenya’s gender.

Presented her Olympic gold medal by the same organisation that will look to restrict her future in the sport, Caster Semenya stood on top of the podium and smiled broader than ever before.

The finest 800m runner the world has seen for almost decade, there was little doubt that she would depart these Rio Olympics with a gold medal round her neck.

There were three people in that race with what can be termed ‘intersex’ characteristics.

AP says the “result that will only stoke the complex debate over whether women with much higher levels of testosterone than normal should be allowed to compete unchecked.”

Asking:

Do women who have much higher levels of natural testosterone than normal have an advantage over other women in athletics, and if so, is it unfair?

The athlete said in 2010:

“I have been subjected to unwarranted and invasive scrutiny of the most intimate and private details of my being. Some of the occurrences leading up to and immediately following the Berlin World Championships have infringed on not only my rights as an athlete but also my fundamental and human rights.”

NBC calls her competing a “dilemma”. The New Yorker called her “breathtakingly butch”.

The Atlantic:

No one is accusing Semenya of using illicit substances. Quite the opposite: Some have suggested she should be taking drugs in order to bring her hormone levels more closely in line with those of average women.

Semenya was raised and identifies as female. But according to a leaked medical test, Semenya’s testosterone levels are three times as high as those of most women, and she has internal testes instead of ovaries.

Is surgery the solution? The New York Times:

At the London Olympics, four female athletes, all 18 to 21 years old and from rural areas of developing countries, were flagged for high levels of natural testosterone. Each of them subsequently had surgery to remove internal testes, which produce testosterone, as well as procedures that were not required for resuming competition: feminizing vaginoplasty, estrogen replacement therapy and a reduction in the size of the clitoris.

Olga Khazan wonders:

Still, it’s not considered unsportsmanlike to simply be strange-looking. Countless Olympians are celebrated for unorthodox features that give them an edge in their sports. Much has been made of Michael Phelps’s preternatural wingspan and ultra-flexible feet that turn into “virtual flippers.” Biostaticians have said Usain Bolt’s 6-foot-5-inch height and fast-twitch muscle fibers make him perfectly suited to sprinting. Other athletes have less obvious advantages, like high levels of hemoglobin or diminutive heights tailor-made for tumbling passes.

What to do? Can you make a new division of competition: men, women and intersex?

Posted: 21st, August 2016 | In: News, Sports | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Brexit: Wile E Coyote does a runner

Jeremy Warner should bone up on low culture. He’s writing about Brexit for the Telegraph:

The image that springs to mind is the cartoon character Road Runner, who keeps on running long after he’s left the edge of the cliff as if still on firm ground, only to look beneath him, realise he’s motoring on thin air, and plunge into the void.

 

Brexit

 

No. The EU are Brexit voters seeing the chance to escape. The trapper is Wile E Coyote. Or is it the other way around?

Posted: 21st, August 2016 | In: News | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Media Balls: Arsenal fail to pay penalty at Leicester

Media Watch: a look at monocular football reporting. In today’s match we look at biased views on Arsenal’s away draw at Leicester City. The game ended o-0.

THE PENALTY CLAIMS

Leicester Mercury:

Leicester City…can feel aggrieved they weren’t awarded a late penalty. Hector Bellerin appeared to trip substitute Ahmed Musa inside the penalty area but referee Mark Clattenburg, who had earlier waved away City’s appeals for a penalty after Danny Drinkwater went down in the area, again said no.

Should it have been a penalty, or two?

Islington Gazette:

There was drama on 42 minutes after Drinkwater appeared to have been tripped by Koscielny as he burst into the box following Cech blocking a Vardy burst, but referee Mark Clattenburg decided it was a fair challenge – much to the displeasure of the vociferous home fans and their execrable paper clappers that seem to be needlessly encroaching on our game. It has to be said the referee made the right decision – just.

Only one penalty claim is mentioned.

The Times:

Drinkwater claimed a penalty, but replays suggested Mark Clattenburg made the right call.

No mention is made of the second penalty claim.

Leicester City FC website:

The loose ball fell to Danny Drinkwater, and while the midfielder appeared to be tripped by Laurent Koscielny in the area, there was nothing given.

The Guardian:

A draw is probably the right result overall, though Leicester should certainly have had a penalty in the 88th minute.

Daily Mirror:

Leicester City had two penalty appeals turned down – one in the first half, which he [the referee] got right by ruling that Koscielny poked the ball away from the feet of Drinkwater. But in the second half he got it horribly wrong. Substitute Musa skipped past Bellerin and the Spanish defender brought the winger down with a clumsy challenge.

The Star was watching a different match:

Shame referee Mark Clattenburg got booed off by home fans. He’d hardly put a foot wrong but has to be said his decision to turn down penalty appeals when Musa was clipped by Holding near the end, looked dubious.

Such are the facts.

Posted: 20th, August 2016 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, News, Sports | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Media Balls: Liverpool robbed by Burnley

Media Watch: a look at monocular football reporting. In today’s match we look at biased views on Liverpool’s away defeat to Burnley. The game ended 2-0.

CLYNE’S ERROR

Liverpool Post:

Ragnar Klavan’s cross-field pass didn’t do Nathaniel Clyne any favours and as Burnley pressed, the full-back coughed up possession cheaply.

The Times:

Nathaniel Clyne, Liverpool’s England full-back, was badly at fault, with a poor pass deep in his own half finding only Gray who, in turn, fed Vokes.

Burnley Express:

Gray picked up the pieces from Nathaniel Clyne’s poor pass, fed the ball in to his strike partner and, with Dejan Lovren or Ragnar Klavan not even in close proximity, Vokes swept the ball beyond Simon Mignolet from the edge of the box.

Liverpool FC website:

Nathaniel Clyne’s pass infield from the right flank was stolen by Gray

Clyne was not at fault. Clyne was robbed!

Posted: 20th, August 2016 | In: Back pages, Liverpool, News, Sports | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Media Balls: Chelsea benefit from ‘stunning’ ‘poor pass’ to beat Watford

Media Watch: a look at monocular football reporting. In today’s match we look at biased views on Watford’s home defeat to Chelsea. The game eded 1-2.

THE WINNING GOAL

Watford Observer:

The difference was to be two mistakes. Heurelho Gomes let a Eden Hazard shot squirm away from his body which substitute Michhy Batshuayi pounced on for the equaliser and with three minutes of normal time remaining, a poor pass from Adlene Guedioura was seized on by Cesc Fabregas and within seconds Diego Costa had netted the winner.

A poor pass and a mistake led to the second Chelsea goal, says the Watford local newspaper.

Chelsea FC website:

Fabregas was the instigator, winning possession on the edge of his own box and instantly threading a beautiful, bending pass that sent Diego Costa racing clear. The striker kept his cool as he bore down on goal, slipping his shot under Gomes and putting the Blues ahead very late on. He was quick to thank Cesc for the stunning through ball.

A great pass and cool led to the second Chelsea goal, says the Chelsea FC website.

THE NEW PLAYERS

The Times:

Yet, as if they were Hertfordshire’s most ardent Trotskyists, Watford exist in a state of permanent revolution and yet more change is afoot: before kick-off new arrivals Younes Kaboul and the Argentine winger Roberto Pereyra were paraded to muted delight.

Watford Observer:

An already upbeat atmosphere was lifted when new signings Roberto Pereyra and Younes Kaboul were paraded on the pitch before kick-off

Such are the facts.

Posted: 20th, August 2016 | In: Back pages, News, Sports | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Transfer balls: Lukaku wants Chelsea, commits to Everton, goes nowhere

Transfer balls: The BBC says Everton striker Romelu Lukaku, 23, “will turn down Chelsea to stay at Goodison Park for at least another season”.

The BBC claim links to the Daily Mirror, which is adamant:

Romelu Lukaku is staying with Everton… The news is a massive boost for new boss Koeman.

All good news, then, for Everton fans. Much better than when the Mirror told them:

29 Jul 2016 – “Chelsea closing on transfer of Everton’s Romelu Lukaku as Toffees accept the striker wants Stamford Bridge return.”

27 June 2016 – “Arsenal transfer news and rumours: Romelu Lukaku wants Gunners move – but is the price too high?”

 

mirror lukaku everton

 

And:

Chelsea have had a £57million bid for Romelu Lukaku rejected by Everton – but are confident of agreeing a deal to re-sign him this summer. The two clubs are haggling over a fee, with the Toffees holding out for a club-record £75million. But they have finally accepted the 23-year-old striker is determined to rejoin the club they bought him off two years ago.

All wrong. Lukaku is a Toffee.

But hold on. The BBC has more news:

But Koeman has admitted that he is preparing a Plan B, in case the Belgium forward leaves the club.

That story links to the Daily Mail, which says:

Everton are planning for life without Romelu Lukaku in the eventuality their striker departs this month. Chelsea are heavily interested in the 23-year-old and Ronald Koeman has targets lined up should they bow to a mega offer, as with John Stones and Manchester City.

Such are the facts.

 

Posted: 20th, August 2016 | In: Back pages, Chelsea, News, Sports | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Dog passes the fermented herring test (video NSFL)

This is a Not Safe For Lunch video of a dog being treated to its first encounter with fermented herring:

 

Malin Jonsson from Umeå in northern Sweden spotted her French bulldog, six-year-old Ella, begging for food during a recent surströmming party.  But after only sniffing a piece of the fermented herring offered to her, the pet seemed to speak for many people with the way she reacted.  “Eating surströmming is an important tradition in my northern family this time of the year. I have an older bulldog, Ernst, who is an avid surströmming lover and shares the delicacies with us every year. When Ella had been begging loudly for a while she got the chance to taste it. We know how strong the craving can be,” she said. “I was very surprised by her reaction. I had expected that she would enjoy it, obviously,” Ella added.

 

fermented herring dog

 

Posted: 20th, August 2016 | In: News, Strange But True | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Culture Kalash: Pakistani tribe doesn’t like Muslim migrants

There is trouble in Pakistan. The Kalash tribe is threatened:

Hidden up in the mountains near Pakistan’s border with Afghanistan, the Kalash tribe loves homemade wine and whiskey, dances for days at colorful festivals, and practices a religion that holds that God has spirits and messengers who speak through nature…

But over the past century, Muslims from modern-day Pakistan and Afghanistan began moving in. Now villagers say their Kalash culture and religion are threatened by forced conversions, robberies and assaults.

New arrivals not wanted by locals. The BBC says the Kalash was founded by settling armies of Alexander the Great.  Adding:

“Unlike most of Pakistan, where even eye contact between unrelated men and women can be taboo, the Kalash express themselves freely. Children of both sexes play together and women breastfeed in public.”

Right-on!

 

Kalash

 

CNN has more:

Loveless liaisons hold no appeal for the spirited Kalasha women: “We choose our husbands, and if they don’t treat us well, or it doesn’t work out, we can leave and find a new partner,” says Gul, as her two friends, teenage mothers Farida and Asmar, nod and blush.

Back to the issue:

“We are scared,” said Yasir Kalash, the manager of a hotel here in Pakistan’s northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. “They capture our lands, our pastures and our forests, and sometimes take our goats and women …

“We are afraid in the next few years we will be finished.”

In 2009, the Telegraph reported:

While Sikhs, Hindus, and Christians were slowly driven out of Pakistan’s North West Frontier Province by Muslim militants, the Kalash were free to drink their own distilled spirits and smoke cannabis. But the militant maulanas of the Taliban have finally caught up with them.

If you need to forcibly convert anyone to your beliefs, you are wrong.

Time to revisit Christopher Hitchens’ 10 Commandments for 21st Century living:

I: Do not condemn people on the basis of their ethnicity or color.
II: Do not ever use people as private property.
III: Despise those who use violence or the threat of it in sexual relations.
IV: Hide your face and weep if you dare to harm a child.
V: Do not condemn people for their inborn nature.
VI: Be aware that you too are an animal and dependent on the web of nature, and think and act accordingly.
VII: Do not imagine that you can escape judgment if you rob people with a false prospectus rather than with a knife.
VIII: Turn off that fucking cell phone.
IX: Denounce all jihadists and crusaders for what they are: psychopathic criminals with ugly delusions.
X: Be willing to renounce any god or any religion if any holy commandments should contradict any of the above.

Amen.

Posted: 20th, August 2016 | In: Key Posts, News | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Jew stabbed: media turns Islamic terror into a mental health issue

In Strasbourg an Hassidic Jews has been stabbed. News is that the attacker has “mental health issues”, much like the knifer in Russell Square, London, did. Does failing mental health lead to stabbing people in the street? Of course not. But the media reports suggest it does. Dangerous stuff:

The Express: “Rabbi knifed by man shouting Allahu Akbar in French religious attack

A JEWISH rabbi has been stabbed by an attacker shouting “Allahu Akbar” in the city of Strasbourg, sparking fears France has fallen victim to another Islamist-inspired terror attack.

Not to be confused with a Hindu rabbi.

The attacker, who is understood to have been arrested, shouted the Islamic phrase meaning God is great during the attack, according to reports in French media. The 62-year-old victim, who is described as belonging to the orthodox Hasidic sect, was injured in the attack in the Jewish Quarter, 500 metres from the Great Synagogue of Strasbourg.

Was the attacker an Islamic Islamist?

Named locally as Chalom Levy, he took refuge in a nearby bar before being taken to hospital.

The Telegraph: “Jewish man in Strasbourg injured by knife attacker who ‘shouted Allahu Akhbar’

Jewish man wearing a skullcap was stabbed on the street in the eastern French city of Strasbourg by an attacker who reportedly cried “Allahu Akbar” (God is Greatest) as he carried out his assault.

A skullcap. He’s a Hassidic Jews. He was wearing more than a yamukah to identity his ethnicity.

The 62-year-old named Chalom Levy, regarded as a “local hero” by his community after pulling a woman out of a blazing car some years ago, had just stepped out of his home in the Jewish district to do some shopping for the Shabbat, the Jewish day of rest on Saturday.

The Indy:

He has been taken to hospital to be treated for a stab wound to his abdomen, which missed any vital organs.

After visiting his friend, Mr Samama said: “He’s in shock, when I spoke to him he was crying. He told me he thinks it’s a miracle, he told me ‘I think God saved me today’.”

“A man with a knife ran up to him and shouted ‘Allahu Akbar’ and then stabbed him in the stomach,” a local rabbi and friend of the victim, Mendel Samama, told the Telegraph.

“He tried to stab him again – he clearly wanted to kill him – but Chalom somehow managed to get away,” he said.

And then the inevitable excuse:

The suspect, said to be mentally ill, is believed to be known to police in relation to another attack on a Jewish victim in 2010.

Mental illness forces you to stab Jews in the street?

The Daily Mail:

A rabbi has been stabbed in Strasbourg, allegedly by a Muslim.The attacker, who has been arrested, shouted ‘Allahu Akbar’ — God is great — as he stabbed…

The attacker is believed to have a history of mental health issues.

A source to the investigation told French station BFMTV that terrorism has been ruled out, however they are unsure of the man’s motive.

Officers have ruled out a terror motive for the attack and believe the suspect has suffered serious mental health issues.

When did poor mental health become an excuse for attempted murder?

Posted: 19th, August 2016 | In: News | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0