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Will Arsenal buy a new player in the January transfer window? And will that player take out extra medical insurance? The BBC says Arsenal have “dossiers of holding midfielders” should they need to replace the injured Francois Coquelin.
The Daily Mail says the Gunners have a shortlist of six players: Lars Bender, William Carvalho, Grzegorz Krychowiak, Lucas Biglia, Vincent Koziello and Nampalys Mendy.
Silhan Ozcelik is in a British prison. You might be outraged. You should be.
This is how the Islington Gazetteheadlines the story of the young woman who went to join the Kurds, the people fighting Asad and ISIS.
‘Feckless’ Islington teen convicted over bid to join PKK
A “feckless” teenage girl from Islington has become the first Briton to be convicted of trying to join the banned Kurdish group PKK. Silhan Ozcelik, 18, of Highbury Quadrant, Holloway, was on trial at the Old Bailey charged with engaging in conduct in preparation for terrorist acts.
The court heard she left Britain on the Eurostar in October 2014 and was arrested in January after getting off a flight from Germany at Stansted airport.
She left letters and a video for her family telling them she had gone off to try to fight with the Kurdistan Workers Party, the court heard.
But in her defence, she claimed that was a lie and she actually went to see a man she had formed a romantic attachment to in Brussels.
Young women, eh. In the thrall of hormones and dreamy guys.
The jury deliberated for less than a day to find her guilty and she was sentenced to 21 months in prison by Judge John Bevan QC.
Does that sound like a “feckless” teenager to you? Or does that sound like a very active teenager, a young woman who wanted to join the Kurds in taking the fight to the nihilists and nutjobs? US State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki told reporters:
“We congratulate [Kobane’s] brave defenders. We’ll continue to support [the YPG and the Kurdish Peshmerga] as we look to the coming weeks ahead. This is an important step in the first phase of a long-term campaign to degrade and ultimately defeat ISIS.”
Oddly, the US also says the PKK are terrorists.
Meanwhile in the UK, we’ve slapped our home-grown, would-be defender in prison:
The judge rejected a plea for a suspended sentence, and told her: “You are a stupid, feckless and deeply dishonest young woman. You have lied to your family and this jury.”
If she’s stupid, what is he?
Before she left home, Silhan Ozcelik wrote a letter to her family:
“Believe me this is the right thing for me to do. I am so happy right now that I have become a militant… My fight, my struggle is not just for the Kurdish people, it is for all people, for all women. It must not be misconstrued. This is not a Kurdistan matter. Even if Kurdistan is established today I will not return…”
“The only people defending them over there was the YPG, the PKK. It was amazing, the fact that they were there and they were trying to protect innocent people – I just admired it.”
Is he feckless and clueless? Does he sound like a women without direction?
Asked if she regretted it now, Miss Ozcelik, replied: “Yeah I regret everything – it’s caused trouble for my family and everyone else.”
The paper hears from Commander Richard Walton, head of the Met’s Counter Terrorism Command (SO15). Just to recap: She was going to fight for the Kurds against the West’s common enemy.
“We continue to remain concerned about the number of young women and girls being drawn into all forms of terrorism. We urge parents and families to talk to us at the earliest opportunity if they have concerns about any girl or women being enticed into supporting terrorist groups like the PKK or Isil.”
The PKK or ISIL. One group wants a Kurdish homeland; the other wants your land, your soul and a photo of your decapitated head on a tweet.
David L. Phillips, Director of the Program on Peace-building and Rights at Columbia University’s Institute for the Study of Human Rights, has a few words on the Kurds:
The Kurds of northern Syria, together with the Kurds of Turkey and Iraq, have been at war with ISIS since the latter rose up and declared their so-called caliphate. It was the Syrian Kurds and their Kurdish comrades in Turkey who helped rescue the Yezidis, after they had fled the ISIS onslaught to take refuge in the Sinjar mountains. It was the Syrian Kurds and their comrades in Turkey who liberated the city of Kobani from ISIS.
In short, the northern Syrian Kurds have created and are living a social revolution. It is no wonder, therefore, that the authoritarian and neo-Islamist Erdogan Government of Turkey is doing everything it can to break the Kurds, including providing covert support to the Kurds’ main enemy, to ISIS.
In a recent article in the Guardian, Professor David Graeber of the London School of Economics stated how “Back in August, the YPG, fresh from their victories in Kobani andGire Spi, were poised to seize Jarablus, the last Isis-held town on the Turkish border that the terror organisation had been using to resupply its capital in Raqqa with weapons, materials, and recruits – Isis supply lines pass directly through Turkey.” Graeber added: “Commentators predicted that with Jarablus gone, Raqqa would soon follow. Erdoğan reacted by declaring Jarablus a “red line”: if the Kurds attacked, his forces would intervene militarily – against the YPG. So Jarablus remains in terrorist hands to this day, under de facto Turkish military protection.”
Read it all. And then wonder why Silhan Ozcelik is in prison?
The Independent is so independent of thought its writers contradict each other freely. Sometimes they ever contradict themselves in the space of a few minutes. Today the paper has NINE stories on Real Madrid footballer Cristiano Ronaldo.
David Ward writes:
Cristiano Ronaldo to Manchester United: Alex Ferguson ‘99% sure’ forward will return to Old Trafford, says Patrice Evra
Writes David Ward:
Cristiano Ronaldo to Manchester United: Real Madrid star will not leave Bernabeu, claims agent Jorge Mendes
Those November 24 scoops in full: 100% says Ronaldo stays; 99% says Ronaldo leaves.
You will remember Clock Boy, one Ahmed Mohamed. He was arrested after teachers at his Texas school thought the homemade clock he’d brought to class looked like a bomb.
Ahmed and his family have been living in the enlightened and fair society of Qatar since the incident, where the clock is always set to ‘Pre-Enlightenment”.
Well, he’s back. And for his pain and suffering, Ahmed wants seeking $15m (£10m) from his city and school. Ahmed’s lawyers say the incident has left the teenager “deeply traumatised”. Ahmed was “publicly mistreated” and remains scarred by “severe psychological trauma”.
That’s Ahmed who went on the telly and to see Barack Obama at the White House?
The lawyers says:
“Irving Police officials immediately determined that the clock was harmless. The only reason for the overreaction was that the responsible adults involved irrationally assumed that Ahmed was dangerous because of his race, national origin and religion.”
It turns out that he’s just as greedy and demanding as the next teenager.
Trouble at Real Madrid. One bruising defeat to Barcelona and Cristiano Ronaldo, 30, says of manager Rafael Benitez: “Either he goes, or I go.” And that means Ronaldo is off to play for Manchester United.
Well, so reports the Daily Telegraph, in an article headlined: “Rafa Benitez heads for Bernabau exit.”
Writer Oliver Brown links to the source of his scoop that Ronaldo picks Real’s manager.
We follow the link, which turns out to be a second Telegraph story.
…given the snake-eye Ronaldo was casting in Rafael Benítez’s direction, one would be foolish to rule out a parting of the ways, even if Real Madrid were far more likely to bin Rafa than sell Ronaldo. Though ‘it is understood’ Florentino Péérez would be prepared to let him leave if United paid them the £80m fee back.
This story makes not a single mention of Ronaldo’s ultimatum.
To recap: Ronaldo never said it’s either him of Benitez; Benitez is not leaving; and the Telegraph is bullshit.com.
In “GALACTIGO”, the Daily Express says Manchester United are poised to sign Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale. If Real Madrid sell their players, if Manchester United have the money to sign then, if the players want to leave and play at Old Trafford, and if the planets are in alignment, United will get their men.
Bale, says the Express, is not a fans’ favourite at Real. A poll by Marca found “more than 48,000 people thought him the worst player on the pitch” when Real were tonked 4-0 by Barcelona., “closely followed by Ronaldo”.
Over at Marca, we read “Could Real Madrid have won the game?”
Answer: “Absolutely no chance.”
The paper adds:
Raphaël Varane looked like a nervous schoolboy. Toni Kroos returned to his deeper role, but nobody seemed to notice. He was rendered invisible. And Luka Modric was swept away by Iniesta, whose imposing performance was a finger in the eye for all those who assured that his best days were over early on last season.
No word on Bale and Ronaldo. But a few words on the manager are forthcoming:
Rafa Benítez’s dismissal is not a matter of if, but when. The debacle against Barcelona would seem to have made the decision a foregone conclusion.
And now for the poll facts.
Following Saturday’s disastrous result at the Bernabéu, more than 120,000 MARCA.com readers voted and assigned blame for what happened. Although everyone involved shared in the overall blame, Florentino Pérez was singled out as the person most at fault.
The Real Madrid president picked up over 42% of the votes as the person most to blame for the crisis at the club following its embarrassing home defeat to Barça.
Pérez came in a long way ahead of Benítez (31.9%) and the players themselves (26%) when assigning blame for the team’s current situation.
And the players?
One of the most interesting things is that the Bernabéu faithful are most disappointed with the club’s big-name stars. Bale, Ronaldo and Benzema are amongst the players that fans blame most for the historic defeat. Them, and Danilo.
The players that fans are least disappointed with are Carvajal, Marcelo, Navas, Modric and James, in that order.
Team loses to arch rivals. Monocular fans turn on big name players, manager and president they hope will make them win, letting off steam in an online poll.
Ronaldo and Bale lead Real to champions’ League glory. All is right with the world. And in the UK, the Express says the biggest culprit are of to Old Trafford. Rafa for United it is, then…
Belgium justice min discovers 1 problem w/ letting terrorists take out frustration on Jews: you run out of Jews.
In other news, suspected Paris attacker Salah Abdelslam is at large. a huge sweep in Belgian has resulted in the arrests of 16 suspects in 19 raids.
And the Sun has a poll as front-page news:
NEARLY one in five British Muslims has some sympathy with those who have fled the UK to fight for IS in Syria. The number among young Muslims aged 18-34 is even higher at one in four.
The figures emerged in our exclusive poll conducted after the Paris atrocities led by French and Belgian jihadis returning from the war zone.
Prominent Muslims said the poll was a wake-up call.
Labour London Mayor hopeful Sadiq Khan tells The Sun today: “It is clear that Britain needs to take its head out of the sand and act to tackle extremism and radicalisation at home. Tackling extremism is a challenge for everyone but I believe British Muslims have a special role to play.”
In dangerous times the marginalised pull on the cloak of statesmanship. UK Independence Party Leader Nigel has been talking:
“We have a fifth column that we have welcomed into our country. And what makes me really angry is that the European Union’s common asylum policy is taking a bad situation and making it even worse.
“The thing that makes me angry about what happened in Paris is frankly the fact that it was so utterly and entirely predictable,” said Farage. “I think we’ve reached a point where we have to admit to ourselves, in Britain and France and much of the rest of Europe, that mass immigration and multicultural division has for now been a failure.”
“We have to be frank, every single one of those killers beleived they were doing what they were doing in the name of Islam. And our weakness, the weakness of our leaders, has actually allowed in our country, the creation of a parallel society.”
“A blind eye turned to polygamy, to forced marriage. Now 80% of Muslim marriages are completely outside and unregistered from British law.”
“When I hear there are 400 fresh jihadi fighters, fresh back – battle-scarred veterans from Syria…”
“This dream of the free movement of people, this dream for others of the Schengen area. It hasn’t just meant the free movement of people, it has meant the free movement of Kalashnikov rifles. It has meant the free movement of terrorists, and it has meant the free movement of jihadists.”
“It is time that democratic groups in Britain and right across Europe stood up and fought and gained and strength, and say an end to this! We want back border controls, we want back national security.”
Several weeks after a France Inter headline dismissed as a right-wing fantasy the idea that terrorists could be among Europe’s refugees, the same story’s headline – and part of the story itself – has been re-written:
But the real reason for all this fear and murder is not religion. It’s not nihilists seeking reason in death. No. As Prince Charles says, it’s climate change:
Mad Syrians and dogs go out in the noon-day sun. Says Charles, a man whose resources remain bountiful:
“We’re seeing a classic case of not dealing with the problem. It sounds awful to say, but some of us were saying 20 something years ago that if we didn’t tackle these issues you would see ever greater conflict over scarce resources and ever greater difficulties over drought.
“There’s very good evidence indeed that one of the major reasons for this horror in Syria was a drought that lasted for about five or six years, which meant that huge numbers of people in the end had to leave the land.”
Charles has lots of land. Maybe these people can come and farm it?
Rabbi Aharon Yesayev, 32, from Tel Aviv, Reuven Aviram, 51, from Ramle, Ezra Schwartz, 18, of Sharon, Massachusetts, Yaakov Don, 49, from Alon Shvut, and Shadi Arafa, 40, from Hebron have been murdered in Israel.
How did the BBC report the targeted murder of Jews in Tel Aviv and Gush Etzion?
The BBC does not mention the word ‘terror’ whilst the article about the victims murdered in Paris opens with the words “Tributes have been paid to the 130 people who lost their lives in the Paris terror attacks”. Evidently the BBC’s two-tier system of reporting terror attacks is not only confined to the use of language.”
Whilst stuck in early morning traffic on the way to Manchester airport last Monday I found myself listening to BBC Radio 5 live’s morning broadcast… Listeners were given a range of information which typically included names, ages, occupations, family statuses, places of birth and education and in some cases also heard of the reactions of loved ones. Such information of course enables the listener to get beyond mere casualty figures and goes some way towards helping audiences appreciate the individual personal tragedies of victims and their families.
Is it bias? Is it that the huge impact of the Paris attacks warrants a larger feature? Should every victim be named in the initial report?
Palestinian attacks in Israel and West Bank kill five
Five people have been killed in two attacks in Israel and the occupied West Bank, officials say.
In the first attack, two Israelis were stabbed to death by a Palestinian man at the entrance of a shop that serves as a synagogue in the city of Tel Aviv.
Later, a third Israeli, a Jewish American and a Palestinian were killed in an attack near a Jewish settlement.
A wave of violence over the past two months has claimed the lives of 15 Israelis and dozens of Palestinians. Many of the Palestinian fatalities were knife-wielding attackers of Israelis, shot by their victims or security forces…
Thursday’s first attack took place in a busy commercial building on Ben Tzvi road in southern Tel Aviv.
Witness Shimon Vaknin told the Jerusalem Post newspaper that the afternoon prayer service had just begun at the shop when a man attacked a number of worshippers…
The militant Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas posted a tweet praising “the heroic attack in Tel Aviv”, adding: “We ask the fighters to keep doing so.”
A Palestinian armed with a knife murdered two Israelis and moderately wounded a third during a rampage in a southern Tel Aviv office building on Thursday afternoon.
The victims were named as Aviram Reuven, 51, from Ramle, and Aharon Yisayev, 32, from Holon.
The attack began at around 2 p.m., when 36-year-old Raed Khalil bin Mahmoud, the father of five and resident of Dura in the West Bank southwest of Hebron, walked to the second floor of the Panorama building on Ben-Zvi Street and began stabbing worshipers at an afternoon minha service being held inside a Judaica store.
It’s worth looking at the BBC most recent stories on ‘Israel’.
November 13: “Israelis killed in West Bank as Palestinians shot dead”
The murders and the murdered are all named.
November 10: “Jerusalem: Palestinian youths stab Israeli train guard”
The victim is not named.
October 16: “Palestinian killed by Israeli soldiers in Hebron”
An exasperated Vietnamese-Australian man has shared a photo of his passport to prove his name really is Phuc Dat Bich after he was banned from Facebook several times.
Dats Phuced Up
Mr Phuc Dat Bich, 23, says “nobody seems to believe me when I say that my full legal name is how you see it… I’ve been accused of using a false and misleading name, which I find very offensive. Is it because I’m Asian? Is it?”
Phuc Dat Bich says his Facebook account had been “shut down multiple times” with demands that he “change my name to my ‘real’ name”.
Mr Phuc works in IT. He might be also known as Mr Phuc IT.
ST GALLEN, SWITZERLAND – JULY 25: Marco Reus of Dortmund (R) celebrates his team’s second goal with team mate Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang during the friendly match between Juventus and Borussia Dortmund on July 25, 2015 in St Gallen, Switzerland. (Photo by Daniel Kopatsch/Getty Images)
Transfer balls: News is that Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp is on course to reunite with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, the Borussia Dortmund striker who has scored a mere 19 goals in 16 appearances so far this season.
The Guardian says Arsenal and Barcelona are among clubs to have noticed that Aubameyang is rather tasty, but Liverpool hope the player’s relationship with Klopp, who signed him, will secure a “£42m deal”.
The Sun, however, says Chelsea are leading the hunt, and are”weighing up a £20m bid”.
It all adds up to a lot of guesswork. Like this in the Bleacher Report:
Liverpool are hoping to recruit Borussia Dortmund star Marco Reus, but they will only be able to do so if Arsenal can secure his team-mate, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, at the same time.
According to Heiko Ostendorp of German outlet Sport Bild (h/t Metro‘sGeorge Bellshaw), the pair “have made a pact to not leave the club unless the other is also leaving” with the Reds targeting Reus and the Gunners eyeing up Aubameyang.
That would be the dame Metro that told its readers:
When Usain Bolt broke the 100m world record in 2009, it took him 4.64 seconds to run the first 40m. But it’s been reported that Arsenal defender Hector Bellerin ran the same distance in 4.41 seconds. So could Bellerin beat Bolt in a race?
Over 40 metres, yes. From a standing start: no.
When he was asked if he would like to run against Usain Bolt, Bellerin replied, “Obviously I would fancy it, but there’s nothing I think I could do. He’s a sprinter, he’s the quickest man in the world.”
Who is the quickest man in football this season (speeds measure during a match)?
Angelina Jolie weighs 83lbs. We know this because the National Enquirer leads with the weighty issue on its cover page. The NE loves to talk about Jolie’s weight. Her love-rival, former Mrs Brad Pitt, Jennifer Aniston, sucks the tabloid straw marked ‘Womb News”; Angelina gets “Thin” and “Death”. Brad, well, no-one ever mentions his luxuriant, post-ubiquitous-hat age-defying hair, odd for a middle-aged man seemingly in a state of perpetual “WORRY”.
Lest anyone reading think 83lbs an enviable weight, the NE tells us that Jolie has been on the wrong end of a “Doc’s DEADLY DIAGNOSIS”. It is a “heartbreaking medical crisis”. And Jolie’s not going alone or quietly because Brad Pitt “fears she’s a ‘WALKING TIME BOMB’.
The Sun leads with news that Spurs will invest £25m in tying Dele Alli and Harry Kane to long term deals. The money won’t come in one hit. As the paper says:
Striker Kane, currently on £45,000 a week, is likely to be offered a deal worth £70,000 a week. Alli would double his pay from £12,500 to £25,000 a week.
Good money. Great money for young men doing what they love. But compared to the £300,00o-a-week Wayne Rooney earns at Manchester Untied or the £200,000-a-week Raheem Sterling earns over the same period at Manchester City, not much.
Spurs fans eager for their club to hang onto two bright prospects will not be comforted by the numbers. Any idea that Kane will stay put out of loyalty (the Spurs fans hopeful chant that Harry is “one of our own” is sweet and desperate) is undermined by pictures of the young Harry wearing an Arsenal kit.
In his first newspaper interview as a Tottenham Hotspur player, Dele Alli said “unreal” and “surreal” on a number of occasions. Then again, he was speaking after making his first start for the club, in the showpiece friendly against Real Madrid at Bayern Munich’s Allianz Arena, in front of 70,000 fans and, 24 minutes in, he had nutmegged Luka Modric.
Alli said that he and Real’s superstar midfielder had “had a laugh about it in the tunnel afterwards”.
That’s Modric, who used to play for Spurs before a bigger club beckoned him over. He plays with Gareth Bale, who made the same move from White Hart Lane to Madrid. Alli joined Mauricio Pochettino’s Tottenham squad in February 2014 for £5m.
“It is the same situation as with Harry Kane last season. Be careful with the young players that arrive in the Premier League. It is not easy. You can see that Dele is very mature and a player who shows great quality. He has a great personality and good character. But it is too much of a rush to talk about bigger steps for him. Always in football, you need to take it step-by-step, game-by-game.”
Until a big club with vast sums of money comes calling.
Parents stood by the school gates at Dover’s Eythorne Elvington Community Primary pupils are being told off. The school’s headmistress, Liz Bird has issued parents with a directive: stop swearing and smoking by the gates.
“I think it came out that a child had heard some parents swearing. They brought it to the school council where they can share their concerns and can discuss them. They feel very strongly about these things.”
In her newsletter she tells parents:
“We ask that smoking takes place well away from the school and appropriate language is used in the vicinity… The children at the school have a strong sense of what is right and what’s not right.”
Why is an adult smoking outside the school, stood on the pavement in the great outdoors, not right? The smoke from cigarettes can be harmful – but these adults are not puffing away in class and giving the kids blowbacks. The risk of infection is tiny. So why are the parents being banned? Because the Kinder Kops have bought into the idea that smoking must be wiped out and smokers made into the enemy of the right-minded. Foul-moths will not be tolerated.
Arsenal could be without Laurent Koscielny for their next Premier League match at West Bromwich Albion. The Sun says in “WENGER’S PARIS FEARS OVER KOSCIELNY” that the Gunner’s French manager Arsene Wenger “fears” the player is “too traumatised by the Paris attacks to play tomorrow”.
That’s the same player who a couple of days after the mass murder in Paris played for France at Wembley.
What Wenger actually said was – and this was him responding to a question:
“I’ll look how deeply they [Koscielny and his France team-mate Olivier Giroud) are affected. You look for resilience and them showing a desire to play… West Brom is a big game for us so I will talk to him [Koscielny] to see if he is completely recovered and focused… If not I will not play him.”
Fair enough. The player is a human being. But there is something crass about inviting speculation on his mental state and yelling “Star traumatised”. If Koscielny is stressed, surely a back-page headline – being elevated to the biggest story in world sport – is not what he needs.
A human skull keeps watch over US soldiers encamped in the Vietnamese jungle during the Vietnam War. (Photo by Terry Fincher/Getty Images)
In We Gotta Get Out of This Place: The Soundtrack of the Vietnam War,Doug Bradley and Craig Werner, professor of Afro-American studies at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, narrate the story of the music that whirled about the heads of American fighters.