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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.

Free speech saves Christian preacher who said all gays must die and Mohammed was a paedo

Is the Bible banned? Are some bits of it, to use the dread word of the age, ‘inappropriate’? Mike Overd has been told that reading bits of the Good Book aloud is offensive.

A Christian street preacher has accused a judge of trying to “censor” the Bible after he was convicted of a public order offence for quoting an Old Testament passage condemning homosexuality.

Mike Overd was fined £200 for quoting part of a passage from Leviticus 20 which condemns same-sex relationships as sinful and calls for gay men to be put to death.

We each of us have our prejudices. Old Mr Anorak would instead quote the bit from Leviticus 19:28 about piercings and tattoos: “‘Do not cut your bodies for the dead or put tattoo marks on yourselves. I am the LORD.”

Anyhow, instead of ignoring or mocking Mr Overd and pitying the pigeons in the precinct forced to listen to him bang on, he was arrested.

He found himself up before District Judge Shamim Ahmed Qureshi. The Beak wondered why Overd chose the passage he did and din’t opt for, say, Leviticus 18 which calls homosexuality as an “abomination” but fails to demand all gays are murdered.

He acquitted the former paratrooper, who regularly preaches on the streets of Taunton, Somerset, of a separate charge for suggesting that the Prophet Mohammed was a “paedophile”.

At which point we should cheer Mr Quershi who despite the censorious, illiberal stupidity of the police and CPS saw what was stake, stating:

“Whilst we all want to encourage public civility, there is a higher principle at stake. As long as there is no incitement to violence, then people should be allowed to speak freely without fearing legal repercussions.

Free speech has one more champion.

Posted: 31st, March 2015 | In: News | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Transfer balls: Liverpool buy Mateo Kovacic after watching him not play

The Daily Mirror says Liverpool are keen on Inter Milan’s Mateo Kovacic. On March 26, the paper reported:

The Reds will send scouts to watch the 20-year-old play for his country Croatia against Norway on Saturday.

The Liverpool scouts had a wasted trip because on the same day Football-Italia reported:

“I saw Kovacic. He has a cruciate knee ligament injury,” chief medic Boris Nemec told 24sata.hr. “He still feels a lot of pain and there is absolutely no chance he’ll be able to play against Norway.”

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Posted: 30th, March 2015 | In: News | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Police helicopter tracks cyclists drinking wine in South Wales

If you wanted something to illustrate how pettty offences are now treated as full-blown crimes, we can point up to the police helicopter tracking a man suspected of riding a bicycle while drinking a bottle of wine in Llanelli, South Wales.

A Dyfed-Powys Police spokeswoman confirms the news:

“A PCSO was on patrol saw a male riding his bike in the centre, he was drinking from a bottle of wine. The PCSO asked him to leave the area and the male became aggressive. The male rode his bike to nearby car park where he threatened the officer and was then arrested. He is currently in custody. During the incident the police helicopter was in the area and monitored activity from the air.”

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Posted: 30th, March 2015 | In: News | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Andreas Lubitz and me: the blind, gay, cheating, mentally ill fitness fantatic I knew

Andreas Lubitz baby

 

Andreas Lubitz smiles from the front of the Daily Mirror, where the story is that the co-pilot of Germanwings Flight 9525 impregnated his lover, Kathrin Goldbach. Jeremy Armstrong says fatherhood “may have led him to crash” the plane and murder 149 people.

We learn that Goldbach planned to leave the “control freak”.

Armstrong adds:

“Friends believe Kathrin’s imminent split from Lubitz and fears he could lose his job due to depression and sight problems may have tipped him over the edge…”

When you see words like ‘believe’ and ‘may’ in the same sentence, you realise that the report is light on facts.

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Posted: 30th, March 2015 | In: News | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Robert Durst: the race against death for a killer TV finale

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Robert Durst has been charged with the murder of  Susan Berman in 2000  Durst is suspected of murdering two more people:  his first wife Kathie in 1982 and Morris Black.

USA Today reports that if found guilty of first-degree murder, Durst could face the death penalty.

Durst, a scion of one an America’s big property dynasty worth over $4bn, says he’s innocent. (His own weath is estiamted at $100m.)

But he seems to have confessed on camera in Andrew Jarecki’s HBO’s six-part documentary The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst.

On the final show, Durst is shown an envelope addressed to Miss Berman. The lettering is in Mr Durst’s own handwriting – and it looks very much like the block capital lettering on an anonymous letter sent to Beverly Hills police pointing to a “cadaver” in Miss Berman’s home. That body was Miss Berman. On both letters “Beverly” is misspelled “Beverley”.

Durst suggests that the writer of the first letter must have been Berman’s killer.

Has the TV nailed its star?

Durst starts burping. He then heads to the toilets. The microphone is still on as Robert Durst, 71, mutters: “What the hell did I do? Killed them all, of course… There it is. You’re caught.”

Durst maintains his innocence.

 

GALVESTON, TX - NOVEMBER 10: Millionaire murder defendant Robert Durst (C) sits in State District Judge Susan Criss court with his attorney Dick DeGuerin (R) November 10, 2003 at the Galveston County Courthouse in Galveston, Texas. Durst is being charged for the murder and mutilation of his neighbor Morris Black. (Photo by James Nielsen/ Getty Images)

GALVESTON, TX – NOVEMBER 10: Millionaire murder defendant Robert Durst (C) sits in State District Judge Susan Criss court with his attorney Dick DeGuerin (R) November 10, 2003 at the Galveston County Courthouse in Galveston, Texas. Durst is being charged for the murder and mutilation of his neighbor Morris Black. (Photo by James Nielsen/ Getty Images)

 

Durst might well be confident of securing an acquittal. As the Times notes:

After Miss Berman’s death, Mr Durst moved to Texas, where he lived in a boarding house masquerading as a mute woman. In 2003 he was put on trial for murder after dismembered body parts belonging to his elderly friend and neighbour, Morris Black, were found floating in Galveston Bay.

Mr Lewis told the jury that Mr Durst admitted to shooting Mr Black, and to using a paring knife, two saws and an axe to dismember his body before dumping the remains.

The lawyer argued however that the killing had been in self-defence and that his client had Asperger’s syndrome. Mr Durst was acquitted of murder.

He served three years for bond-jumping and evidence-tampering.

And here’s the other interesting thing. That allegedly incriminating audio was recorded in 2013. Why didn’t HBO tell the police back then? Well, they claim they didn’t notice until an intern was editing the footage for broadcast.

Mr Jarecki tells ABC News:

“I sat there in the edit room with my partners, and we just sort of shook our heads and it took a while to really understand the impact of it. It was so chilling to hear it.”

Which makes us wonder what would have happened had Durst died before the show aired? What if God had beaten HBO to the punchline? What if the jinx had struck again? What then for justice as entertainment?

 

Posted: 29th, March 2015 | In: News, TV & Radio | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Drugs confusion: woman arrested for asking if she could carry marijuana in police car

Florida weed

The confused and absurd US drugs policy (plus stupidity) has caused a woman in West Volusia, Florida, to be arrested. An “extermely intoxicated” Michelle Sanford tried to take marijuana into the patrol car of a sergeant who offered her a ride to a safe place.

The officer, who was responding to reports of a domestic row between Sandford, 36, and her boyfriend, first told her that carrying her open bottle of booze in his car was against the rules.

At which point Sanford’s boyfriend, Thomas Laudenslager, 46, piped up:

“Why don’t you take your weed with you?”

Sanford thought this a good idea. She asked the sergeant if she could take her marijuana in the car and smoke a joint at her father’s house. Sanford then showed her stash to the sergeant, was arrested and charged with possession of paraphernalia and a misdemeanor drug offence.

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Posted: 29th, March 2015 | In: marijuana, News | Comments (4) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Katie Hopkins wants Miliband gassed in the oven: do you see Jews?

The Sun’s to-deadline harridan Katie Hopkins invites Labour Party leader Ed Miliband to stick his wife Justine in the oven and gas her.

 

 

katie hopkins gas miliband

 

 

Add in the fact that Ed Miliband is a Jew and you have a little problem with Katie Hopkins’ call to murder…

Spotter: @federicacocco

Posted: 29th, March 2015 | In: News, Politicians | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Did Andreas Lubitz murder for fame? Maria W. should not be believed

Did Germanwings co-pilot Andreas Lubitz see mass murder as his route to eternal fame? The BBC says he did. Maybe. It repeats a line someone billed as Maria W. gave to German tabloid Bild. This source says Lubitz told her:

“One day I’m going to do something that will change the whole system, and everyone will know my name and remember.”

We are left to wonder why such a comment is not fully attributed? If “Maria W”, who says she dated Lubitz for five months, wants to speak to the Press, why not use her full name?

Whatever the truth of her story, the BBC has been willing to amplify it. It should be careful. As USA Today writes on the same matter, the woman is only Lubitz’s  “purported former girlfriend”.  The BBC makes no such claim for circumspection. It simply states that she had been his girlfriend:

 

Maria W Lubitz

 

Behind an internet paywall, Bild’s front-page story makes Lubitz’s apparent words the main reason why he did it and so many people died:

He threatened: “One day, everyone will know my name”

All facts say Bild and the BBC. But USA Today notes:

The claims could not immediately be verified independently.

The Daily Mail reports on Maria’s W’s words:

She said he even warned her that he was going to commit an act so heinous that his name would be remembered for ever.

The woman, known only as Maria W, revealed to German newspaper Bild how he ominously told her last year: ‘One day I will do something that will change the whole system, and then all will know my name and remember it.’

When she heard about the airliner crash, she remembered Lubitz’s menacing prophecy.

‘I never knew what he meant, but now it makes sense,’ she said.

With so many innocent people killed, it would be a sound idea to check the source before reporting her words as fact.

The Telegraph repeats more from knowing Maria W.:

“He did it because he realised that because of his health problems his big dream of a job with Lufthansa; a job as captain and as a long haul pilot was as good as impossible… We spoke a lot about work and then he became another person. He became agitated about the circumstances in which he had to work, too little money, anxiety about his contract and too much pressure.”

Lubitz began work at Lufthanasa back in September 2013. Did he so soon after scoring his dream job job kill 149 people becaue of the pressure? Lubitz had previously worked at a Burger King behind a carwash, “flipping Whoppers and frying fries and talking to co-workers about his dream”. And after working as a fast food wallah he found his dream-job soul-destroying?

Carsten Spohr, chief executive of Lufthansa, has gone on the record:

“The co-pilot interrupted his training for six years, I would be interested to know why. I cannot tell you anything about the reasons of this interruption, but anybody who interrupts the training has to do a lot of tests so the competence and fitness would be checked again.”

Do we believe without question what the ex-lover says?

A Germanwings colleague who worked with Lubitz, one Frank Woiton, contradicts Maria W’s view:

“He wasn’t a person who you thought would commit suicide. He seemed very happy, and he wanted to become a captain for long-distance flights. He was very good at his job.”

Such are the facts…

Posted: 29th, March 2015 | In: Key Posts, News | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Police burning massive pile of marijuana get entire own stoned

weed Indonesia

 

There’s something in the air over Palmerah, a sub-district of West Jakarta. And that something is the smoke from a 3.3-ton heap of marijuana.

When masked police torched the seized mega-stash they didn’t bank on what the smoke would do to air quality. As the cloud drifted over the town, locals got a free blowback.

It turns out that you can dope an entire town without any need for mirrrors.

Spotters: reddit Males Banget

Posted: 28th, March 2015 | In: marijuana, News, Strange But True | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0


These racist cakes have caused a row in France

Patisserie racist cake 2

 

To Grasse, France, where the local magistate is eyeing cakes which are an “attack on human dignity”.  Baker Tannick Tavolaro’s “Gods” and “Goddesses” cakes are in the forms of two obese people fashioned from gingerbread and chocolate mouse enrobed in dark chocolate. The tips of their primary sexual characteristics are in a pink fondant.

“It’s pure and simple racism,” says Louis-George Tin from France’s Representative Council of Black Associations (CRAN), a twist on the “obscene slave trade caricatures that tap into the tradition of colonial racism… We are in a country where the word equality is part of the constitution, which means it doesn’t allow for racism. Does he think these treats adhere to the values of the French Republic? We must fight this kind of racism. I cannot imagine what would be said (rightly) if an African baker decided to represent Jesus Christ or the Virgin Mary in a similar way.”

 

Patisserie racist cake 2

 

Tannick Tavolaro is defiant. “At first I thought it was a joke. It’s absurd and hurtful. These pastries have absolutely no racial connotation at all,” he says.

 

Patisserie racist cake 2

 

“They are made of chocolate mousse, which is why they’re black. The characters are little human beings, a man and woman but not a black man and a woman. These people who attack me don’t know my story or my career or who I am. It’s just intellectual terrorism. I am not racist. I do not belong to any political party. I just argue for freedom of speech.”

We’ve been here before:

Posted: 28th, March 2015 | In: News | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Germanwings Flight 9525: Andreas Lubitz’s act of madness

CAN we says that Andreas Lubitz was nuts? What about insane? Mad? What word can you use to describe the man who flew Germanwings Flight 9525 into a mountain killing all 150 people on board? His actions appear to have been deliberate. So. Let’s review another word. This wasn’t a killing. This was murder.

The tabloids pick up on the news that Andreas Lubitz had a history of depression.

Is that relevant? Do you want an ill man to fly the plane?

 

Screen shot 2015-03-28 at 03.20.16

 

We don’t yet know if his politics, religion, sex or favourite books affected his thoughts. Many things could have shaped the man and made him do it. The reason why anyone does anything is never simple. But in the rush to construct a comfortable narrative readers can live with, the media focus is on Andreas Lubitz’s depression. (If he had been black, religious or right wing, say, any of those factors would be the main driver.)

The Mirror and Mail make a direct link between Lubitz’s illness and his actions:

 

Andreas Lubitz mad depressed

 

 

Of course they’re not. Depression is the excruciating crippling black abyss. It is an illness you’d not wish on anyone.

But in looking for clues isn’t it valid to look at the killer’s health and state of mind?

The Sun shifts the tone. It sees not a depressive. It sees a madman.  

 

Andreas Lubitz mad depressed         The man’s actions killed, sorry, murdered, 149 people. Does that sound mad to you? One voice blogs:

I think that the Sun trumped the headlines I have seen this morning, simply writing “Madman in cockpit”. Nice to see them flying the flag for reducing stigma. It seems that the UK press missed the memo this morning that says that tackling stigma is everyone’s business. It would also appear that they momentarily forgot the fact that they can have such a massive impact on people’s perceptions of different issues, mental health included.

Another adds:

…our press have already started having a field day, monstering people with depression, even suggesting that people struggling with mental health shouldn’t be allowed to fly planes (or surely by that account, drive, work heavy machinery, do any kind of job where the lives of others are in their hands). All this is going to do is seriously distress people who are already suffering, make it harder for them to talk to their loved ones about their illness, make it harder for them to seek help. There are probably some people out there who’ve been agonising over whether to go to a Health Professional about their depression or anxiety or panic attacks, who have seen the newspapers today and decided it’s better to try to ignore it or suffer in silence than to be perceived as a potential mass murderer, to have people want to take away jobs that they love, freedoms that they love, responsibilities – children, or other vulnerable family members. These front pages aren’t merely offensive, they’re potentially hugely damaging.

 

 

Sources close to the investigation say Lubitz was being treated for depression. They say he concealed his treatment from his employer. Many voices say he did this because depression is so misunderstood and he feared the reaction. Look at the Press coverage, they say, who’d want to be be called mad?

In The Depths: The Evolutionary Origins of the Depression Epidemic Jonathan Rottenberg writes:

Because depression is so unpleasant and so impairing, it may be difficult to imagine that there might be another way of thinking about it; something this bad must be a disease. Yet the defect model causes problems of its own. Some sufferers avoid getting help because they are leery of being branded as defective. Others get help and come to believe what they are repeatedly told in our system of mental health: that they are deficient…

People still feel inclined to whisper when they talk about depression. Depression has no “Race for the Cure”; this condition rarely spawns dance marathons, car washes, or golf tournaments. Consequently, the lacerating pain of depression remains uncomfortably private.

In the Unholy Ghost: Writers on Depression, we read:

Perhaps what we call depression isn’t really a disorder at all but, like physical pain, an alarm of sorts, alerting us that something is undoubtedly wrong; that perhaps it is time to stop, take a time-out, take as long as it takes, and attend to the unaddressed business of filling our souls.

Depression is complex, a debilitating mood of heightened awareness.

But this article is about the media. The Sun didn’t say depression was the trigger for the “killer co-pilot”.  It says a man who, as it seems, consciously piloted a plane carrying 149 other people into a mountain was “crazed”. It does seem odd that we cannot agree that murdering 149 people is an unhinged act of madness.

 

Posted: 27th, March 2015 | In: News | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Daily Star Forum Watch: Mrs Hugh Jarse and and Corrie’s ‘Fat Faye’

Daily Star Forum Watch: a look at highlights from the Daily Star’s ‘FORUM’ page. Today the page turns into an contact magazine for men seeking ‘cuddly’ women. Mrs Hugh Jarse is away:

 

DAily Star forum

 

In other ‘fat women’ news:

 

fat women

 

More every week day…

Posted: 27th, March 2015 | In: News | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0


How the tabloids cover the Cameron v Miliband v Paxman leadership debate

DAvid Cameron paxman

 

Anorak Towers marked the televised leadership debate in much the same way we do the Super Bowl: we went out. What did the tabloids do? Did they feature the big showdown between Labour Party leader ‘Red’ Ed Miliband and Tory Prime Minister ‘Blue’ Dave Cameron? And why was Cameron sat by a skip?

The Sun:

Politics fans need to wait until page 6 for any news of the Channel 4 and Sky show. Over half a page, readers learn that Cameron says he’s “not Chairman Mao”, the dead Chinese leader. Cameron wasn’t refetting to his hairstyle or suit, rather his resolve not to go on and on and on as the country’s political supremo.

As for Miliband, all Sun readers learn is that he won the coin toss and chose to go second. Also, he “flew in a US PR guru to help him”.

Page 10: The Sun’s editorial says Ed Balls is “only the oil rag” to an” economic train crash” powered by “engine drive” Gordon Brown.

Ed Balls was not on the debate.

 

Daily Mirror:

The review covers pages 6 and 7. Readers see three photos of “chicken” Cameron, one with his eyes closed. We learn that he is “clueless on food banks”.  His chat with Jeremy Paxman was “humiliating”.  He is a “lame duck”. It’s not until paragraph 11 that Ed Miliband appears. The Mirror only has one photo of him – and it’s an odd one of him pointing as if ordering the restaurant bill.

The Mirror mentions ‘Cameron’ by name 7 times; and ‘Ed’ just 4 times.

Page 8:  David Cameron is “pitiful” and a “faintheart”. Ed gets no adjectives. He’s just ‘Ed’.

 

Daily Mail:

Wait for it… wait… News appears on Page 12 and 13.

We learn that Ed Miliband “came under pressure” on immigration.

The Mail cites a Guardian poll, saying 54% of people who respond to polls think he won the night.

Quentin Lett’s says Cameron “soaked up Paxman’s aggro, narrowed his eyes.. and refused to respond in kind. Miliband flared right back at the monster…”

But was it really that interesting?

 

Daily Express:

Page 9: The news is all about immigration. There is one picture of Cameron. There is not a single photo of Miliband.

Number of mentions of ‘Cameron’ by name: 6

Number of mentions of Miliband by name: 1

 

Daily Star:

The only front-page story on the debate. And the story is that “Paxo has stuffed Ed and Cam”. They both lost.

Page 2: It was a “snore draw”.

It was “drab”.

 

Verdict: the Daily Star nails it.

Note: The Guardian manages to conjure 11 stories from the debate. Does anyone read them?

 

Posted: 27th, March 2015 | In: News, Politicians | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0


CNN produces this tasteless report on the Germanwings crash

So. How does CNN repoft the news that the co-pilot locked the pilot out off his cockopit and steered German A320 Airbus flight 4U 9525 from Barcelona to Duesseldorf and killed all 150 people on board?

French investigators say co-pilot Andreas Lubitz sent it into a dive intentionally.

Families of the victims might like to look away:

 

erman A320 Airbus flight 4U 9525 from Barcelona to Duesseldorf came down in a remote mountain valley in France on Tuesday 24 March, killing all 150 people on board.

Posted: 26th, March 2015 | In: News | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Daily Star Forum Watch: Mandy the Page 3 belly dancer

The Daily Star ‘FORUM’ is the most rewarding page in British newspapers. In today;s ediution, ‘cornish blue’ shares his thoughts on ‘mandy page 3′:

 

daily star

 

mandy page 3 would also make a very good cup of tea…

Posted: 26th, March 2015 | In: News | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0


The biased BBC protected biting Mark Thompson but chewed off Jeremy Clarkson

Jeremy Clakrson arrested

 

So. Jeremy Clarkson, the BBC’s Gripper Stebson*, has been driven from the BBC. He leaves behind a bombshell-sized hole in the Beeb’s talent pool, a Top Gear producer with a split lip and dull-to-deadline James May and perky and predictable Richard Hammond to take the show forward.

Papers lead with news that sacked Jeremy Clarkson faces a “police quiz” (Daily Star and Daily Mail), “police probe” (Sun), “cop grilling” (Daily Mirror) and “police action” (Daily Express).

You cannot hit a BBC underling and get away with it. Well, not always you can’t. You see, in 2005, Richard Kay reported on an incident for the Daily Mail. The then BBC director general Mark Thompson had bitten newsroom colleague Anthony Massey.

Thompson’s 44-year-old victim suffered clear bite marks through his shirt, and immediately reported the incident. Their bosses were so determined to hush up the affair, however, that Massey was promptly sent to Rwanda on a perilous assignment. And Thompson, then a rising star, was allowed to continue his soaring career unhindered.

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Posted: 26th, March 2015 | In: Key Posts, News | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0


‘Jackie’s Story': the myth that only pro-rape activists seek proof of a crime

jackie story longo uva rolling stone

 

The fallout from ‘Jackie’s Story’ of barbaric gang rape in a campus frat house continues to haunt Rolling Stone magazine and the University of Virginia. The magazine apologised for Sabrina Rubin Erdely’s story allegedly coerced from the hesitant ‘victim’.

Jackie’s Story was used to beat “lad culture“, sticking to the narrative of male sexual violence running unchecked. Circumspection and facts had no place in the lurid tale of depravity. We were all told to push back the “sea of misogyny“. Guilt was assumed. The frat boys were invited to prove their innocence in kangaroo courts.

Stuff elightenment. Although not a lynching, the story had echoes of the Scottsboro Boys. No proof needed when you have the usual suspects in the crosshairs.

We might never know what really happened to Jackie. But the feeling is that, whatever it was or wasn’t, it’s not as Erdely presented it.

With the story out there, Charlottesville Police Department investigated. They came up with nothing. On Monday Police Chief Timothy Long addressed the public:

“Unfortunately, we’re not able to conclude to any substantive degree that an incident that is consistent with the facts in the article occurred at the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity house, or any other fraternity house for that matter. I want to be clear: that doesn’t mean that something terrible didn’t happen to Jackie on the evening of September 28, 2012…So this case is not closed – it’s not closed by any stretch of the imagination.”

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Posted: 26th, March 2015 | In: News | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Daily Star Forum Watch: Alex Jones off The One Show and other topless stunnas

The Daily Star is now the only mainstream British daily newspaper with a topless stunna on Page 3. The Star is proud of this, using the fact as its main selling point:

 

DAily Star Page 3

 

But readers want more. Topless Lucy is not enough. On page 20, the Daily Star ‘FORUM’ features a few readers’ letters. We’ve picked out the highlights.

Grant is precise.

 

IMAG0095

 

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Posted: 25th, March 2015 | In: News | Comment (1) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0


#NUSWomen15: jazz hands are the new clapping and other beyond parody motions

nus women

 

#NUSWomen15: Putting Policy into Action. So runs the slogan for the National Union of Students get together:

This year, on March 24 until the 26, hundreds of women will be descending upon Solihull for the best three days of the year: Women’s Conference.

Alongside debates on sex work (it should decriminalised) and money, motions to be debated include:

Motion 101: Putting pronouns on the cards
Submitted by: NUS LGBT Committee
Conference Believes:
1. Pronouns are used in the English language to replace nouns in order to make conversation easier. An example of the use of a pronoun is when referring to somebody instead of using their name.
2. The current delegate name badges at all NUS conferences and events simply state the delegate’s name, their constituent membership and if they attend an HE or an FE institution.
3. Delegates who use gender neutral pronouns currently have to write this on their badges themselves to ensure other delegates use their correct preferred pronouns.

Conference Further Believes:
1. Delegates currently having to manually write their pronouns on their badges may make them feel uncomfortable, othered, or outed as trans* (despite the safe space policy).
2. NUS Women’s Campaign is open to all who self-define as women, including (if they wish) those with complex gender identities which include ‘woman’, and those who experience oppression as women. The campaign affirms that self-definition of gender identity and pronouns are at the sole discretion of the individual in question.
3. Delegates to NUS Women’s conference may use pronouns that are not she/her, and encouraging all delegates to specify their pronouns will foster a culture of not assuming pronouns based on gender presentation and help ensure that everyone’s preferred gender pronouns are upheld.
4. All delegates specifying their pronouns and asking each other for pronouns may help to ensure that delegates are not misgendered, as this can make delegates feel unsafe or trigger gender dysphoria.
Conference Resolves:
1. To ask all delegates attending NUS conferences and events for their pronouns at the point of registration (this would be a blank box which text could be typed into).
2. To print pronouns on all delegate’s badges.
3. To continue to reiterate when establishing the safe space policy that all delegates should respect and uphold each other’s pronouns.

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Posted: 24th, March 2015 | In: Key Posts, News | Comment (1) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0


The Ashya King ‘miracle’ hits the Coalition with a £250m NHS proton therapy lie

proton therapy nhs

 

When Brett and Naghmeh King told the story of their son Ashya King’s treatment to the Sun, the scoop was front-page news. Readers wanted to know what happened next to the desperatly ill child – Ashya is age 5 –  who went on the run from the NHS in search of alternative proton beam therapy treatment.

The front page declares that the Kings were “hunted like criminals”. They were. Hampshire Police obtained a European arrest warrant for the parents on the issue of ‘neglect’. The papers told readers the boy had “hours to live“. The Mirror said it was “24 hours”. The Sun said it was “weeks“.

The message was that the parents were placing their child in mortal danger.

One journalist billed them as weirdos who belonged to “a millennial religious cult“.

The Daily Mirror reported:

Missing Ashya King has been spotted with his parents at a Spanish holiday resort, an expat said, as police battled to find the terminally ill boy.

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Posted: 24th, March 2015 | In: Key Posts, News | Comment (1) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Transfer balls: Chelsea and Liverpool fight to spend a fortune of Manchester United’s Radamel Falcao

Talking Balls wonders how much Manchester United’s Radamel Falcao is worth? The Colombian earns £265,000-a-week at Manchester United. Given that Harry Kane is on around £35,000 a week at Spurs, it’s looks like failing Falcao is the world’s most-overpaid footballer.

Barring a massive change in form and United manager Louis Van Gaal losing his mind, it’s pretty unlikely United will stump up the £43million to make Falcao’s loan deal permanent. So. If not United for Falcao, then what?

Today the Daily Mail says Falcao will be “offered” to Liverpool. That conversation should go a little like this:

Falcao agent: “Dear, Liverpool would you like to blow a massive chaunk of your transfer budget on Falcao and £1m a month in wages?”

Liverpool: “No.”

The Daily Mirror adds: “Radamel Falcao ‘wants to leave Man United in the summer – even if offered a permanent deal'”

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Posted: 24th, March 2015 | In: News | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Kenya’s ‘Chinese Restaurant’ bans entry to black Africans after 5pm

Chinese restaurant Kenya
Diners at the ‘Chinese Restaurant’, at the junction of Galana and Lenana roads in Kilimani, Nairobi, a politely requested not to be black after sunset.

No black Africans are allowed to enter after 5pm.

The only Africans allowed into the compopund are those driving Chinese, European or Indian patrons. Although restuarant manager Ms Esther Zhao does allow Nairobi Senator Mike Sonko and former Cabinet Minister Raphael Tuju inside to eat. They are “loyal” African patrons who have spent Sh20,000 at the restaurant over set time.

Says Zhao:

“We don’t admit Africans that we don’t know because you never know who is Al-Shabaab and who isn’t. It is not like it is written on somebody’s face that they are a thug armed with a gun.”

Maybe a no guns policy should have been first tried?

 

Posted: 24th, March 2015 | In: News | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0


University Safe Zones are places where the normal and boring can say ‘It’s all about me’

safe space

 

Safe spaces: Writing in the New York Times Judith Schulevitz takes up the story of university safe spaces, those zones of intolerance where diverse views of a diverse society are banned, where everything is ‘normal’.

She begins by looking at the work of Katherine Byron, a member of Brown University’s Sexual Assault Task Force. In her safe zone rape will be a taboo. No, not illegal. Rape is an abhorrent crime. This is a ban on anything that could upset rape victims.

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Posted: 23rd, March 2015 | In: Key Posts, News | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Nazi bunker found in Argentina: but why bother keeping it a secret?

1961:  Austrian Nazi war criminal Karl Adolf Eichmann (1906 - 1962) on trial in Jerusalem.  (Photo by Central Press/Getty Images)

1961: Austrian Nazi war criminal Karl Adolf Eichmann (1906 – 1962) on trial in Jerusalem. (Photo by Central Press/Getty Images)

 

Have they found a secret Nazi hideout in Argentina? Researchers at the University of Buenos Aires have found old German coins dated between 1938 and 1941 and bits of ‘Made In Germany’ china in buildings deep in a remote part of the jungle. Were these buildings in Teyu Cuare park in northern Argentina near Paraguay where Adolf Eichmann and his fellow Nazis hid out?

Eichmann was captured in Buenos Aires in 1960.

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Posted: 23rd, March 2015 | In: News | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Media bias: anti-Semitic attack on London synangogue was just a ‘break-in’

 

So. What do we know about the attack on a synagogue in London’s Stamford Hill, a building and a place with notable Jewish populations?

The BBC says police have made six arrests following the attack.  The BBC says the attack is “what police have described as an ‘anti-Semitic’ incident.”

We don’t get to know what the BBC describes it as – maybe it was ‘an interrupted stroll in the world’s most vibrant city’, ‘football-related violence’ or ‘an incident linked to Israel’s actions in the Middle East’?

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Posted: 22nd, March 2015 | In: News | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0