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BRENDA Leyland continues to make news. Today’s round-up of the woman branded the “Madeleine McCann troll”:
New India Express – yep, it’s an international story:
…No one in the neat village of Burton Overy, Leics, suspected that Mrs Leyland had a cruel bone in her body, let alone the sort of mindset to pursue a vitriolic campaign again the grieving parents of the missing child, Madeleine McCann.
A likeable, churchgoing woman of no obviously strong views, she seemed more interested in gardening, photography and quizzes than any solitary obsession with tweeting. She also had a passionate, innocuous leading role in the village’s annual scarecrow competition.
FACE of the day:
Ray Cole (centre) is greeted by his family at Gatwick Airport in West Sussex as he returns from Morocco following his release from prison for being gay. Cole, 69, was imprisoned for four months with his Moroccan friend Jamal Jam Wald Nass after homosexual images were found on his password-protected phone.
There’s been so much going on I let this one pass. But since you ask, I think it’s pretty indisputable that any religion that can manifest itself in the form of something like ISIS in any period in history is in a very bad way. I know they’re outliers – even with respect to al Qaeda. But, leaving these mass murderers and sadists to one side, any religion that still cannot allow its own texts to be subject to scholarly and historical inquiry, any religion that denies in so many parts of the world any true opportunities for women, and any religion whose followers believe apostasy should be punished with death is in a terrible, terrible way. There is so much more to Islam than this – but this tendency is so widespread, and its fundamentalism so hard to budge, and the destruction wrought by its violent extremists so appalling that I find Affleck’s and Aslan’s defenses to be missing the forest for the trees.
THE NHS Atlas of Risk will tell you the chanes of dying from various things:
This atlas will help you to put health risks and death rates into perspective.
Adverse effects of acute cannabis use
- Cannabis does not produce fatal overdoses.
- Driving while cannabis-intoxicated doubles the risk of a car crash; this risk increases substantially if users are also alcohol-intoxicated.
- Cannabis use during pregnancy slightly reduces birth weight of the baby.
Adverse effects of chronic cannabis use
- Regular cannabis users can develop a dependence syndrome, the risks of which are around 1 in 10 of all cannabis users and 1 in 6 among those who start in adolescence.
- Regular cannabis users double their risks of experiencing psychotic symptoms and disorders, especially if they have a personal or family history of psychotic disorders, and if they start using cannabis in their mid-teens.
- Regular adolescent cannabis users have lower educational attainment than non-using peers but we don’t know whether the link is causal.
- Regular adolescent cannabis users are more likely to use other illicit drugs, but we don’t know whether the link is causal.
- Regular cannabis use that begins in adolescence and continues throughout young adulthood appears to produce intellectual impairment, but the mechanism and reversibility of the impairment is unclear.
- Regular cannabis use in adolescence approximately doubles the risk of being diagnosed with schizophrenia or reporting psychotic symptoms in adulthood.
- Regular cannabis smokers have a higher risk of developing chronic bronchitis.
- Cannabis smoking by middle aged adults probably increases the risk of myocardial infarction.
ANORAK has a soft spot for miserable landlord of cafe owner upset by the state of their clientele.
Bedfordshire pub the Black Lion in Leighton Buzzard has put up a sign offering to nail people’s unruly children to their table. It suggests staff would “happily nail it [your child] to your table… to avoid accident or injury” to the child.
The pub’s manager, Nikki Brodin, said she did not want screaming children running round. The pub encourages customers to talk to each other over board games.
MADELEINE McCann: a look at the missing child in the news media, with Brenda Leyland:
In the Times, Carole Midgley is talking about trolls:
Who could look at the photo of Brenda Leyland with her handsome son, his arm curled protectively around her shoulders, and feel anything but desperately sad? We don’t yet know how or why Ms Leyland died in that room in the Marriott hotel, Leicestershire, but we know a man has lost his mother and we know how history will remember her: as the so-called “troll” accused of tweeting thousands of hate-filled messages about the grieving parents of Madeleine McCann…
EVEN though Kim Jong Un is the Sexiest Man Alive, has a weakness for cheese and was probably born in a lotus flower while scoring a hole in one as a sperm before emerging as a flying baby, let us not forget that he’s completely mental.
North Korea’s premier is a man who likes to keep his people under his waddling, hypnotic spell, while plotting constant war. You see, when you have everything and everyone is cow-eyed in your presence, the threat of nuclear war is probably the only thing you’ve got that gets the blood pumping around your regal underpants.
THE fat and rich exercise; the fat and poor take pills:
…a new study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine,researchers from Concordia University looked at the incomes and health habits of more than 3,000 children and teens between the ages of 8 and 19 and more than 5,000 adults over the age of 20.
At least two-thirds of the study subjects reported attempting to reduce food intake or exercising in order to lose weight in the past year. Despite these efforts, the adults in the study gained an average of three pounds, while the youths gained about 12 pounds. The people in the lower income brackets gained about two pounds more than those in the highest one.
One reason for the disparity might have to do with the tactics they used to try to shed pounds: Compared to adults making $75,000 or more, those making less than $20,000 were 50 percent less likely to exercise, 42 percent less likely to drink a lot of water, and 25 percent less likely to eat less fat and sweets. And adults making between $20,000 and $75,000 were about 50 percent more likely to use over-the-counter diet pills, which aren’t proven to work.
Read it all here...
TO Beckenham, Kent, where a Halfords lorry has become stuck under a railway bridge.
A spokesperson for Halfords apologiese:
“We would like to apologise for any delays and inconvenience caused to road and train travellers and will be working with the authorities to carry out a full investigation.”
I was talking to my mom the other night, and she remembered that back when I was a kid, they made her get a chest x-ray before they’d let her back in the the US after a year in Germany. They made us all get re-vaccinated for smallpox, too. And some English friends traveling to Harvard had to spend most of a day at the airport because one of their kids couldn’t prove vaccination. Nowadays, the travel restrictions seem a lot laxer, even as the disease threats are worse.
In 1971, there was a smallpox outbreak in in Meschede, West Germany.
TODAY in cannabis news:
IS it different for girls? It’s not often a male teacher accused of having sex with a student has his looks discussed, let alone made a key part of the story. But the Mirror’s report on Brianne Altice, married 35-year-old teacher accused of romancing a 16-year-old and 17-year-old student leads with news that she’s “blonde”.
John Kelly channels his inner adolescent:
A blonde schoolmistress on trial for having sex with a teenage student is now accused of sleeping with another boy. Stunning English teacher Brianne Altice, 35, was identified by the 16-year-old she was first accused of bedding because he could tell police where she had tattoos and the layout of her house.
YOU know that ebola has been found in the USA? And you know Barack Obama is mixed race? And you know that…
Obama is Infecting Christians with Ebola To Destroy Jesus and Start A New Age of Liberal Darkness
The website Christwire, which sounds like a expletive – CHRISTWIRE! we’re fecked!!! – has news:
‘Abe’ has news you can use:
Barack Obama has used genetics to manufacture the most powerful virus in the history of mankind. The virus is an evolved form of EBOLA, a deadly virus that causes the body to bleed to death in a week…
Keep in mind, Obama-era evolution of Ebola has already killed thousands in Africa, and only moments ago, a person dropped dead in London from Obama-Ebola.
Do no forget, the B.O. in Ebola stands for Barack Obama. The rest of the acronym has been up for debate in the news media community.
Who to blame? Is there an ObArmy?
The virus is easily spread and all of the illegals who have just so suddenly been allowed to come into America, you may ask why is this happening? They are all carriers of the virus. They have the cure already in their bloodstream, but they are contagious. These illegals are the source of the spread and just you watch, in about 30 days the first cases of Ebola will start infecting Americans.
But the government already has the cure. So what is the problem?
The problem is that Obama controls the cure.
HARRY Street was known as Barry Williams when he killed five people in 1978. He had deveoped an irrational hatred of his neighbours, complaining at the noise they made. He was tried, admitted to five counts of manslaughter, was found guilty and rehoused in Broadmoor mental hospital.
He got out in 1993. He changed his name. He got married. He was rehoused, this time in Hall Green, Birmingham. He lived ther with his wife and 18-year-old daughter.
BRENDA Leyland continues to make news. The woman monstered by the media, outed by twitter hunters who allegedly tweeted thousands of often abusive and potentially libellous messages about the parents of missing Madeleine McCann, is dead. This is an at-a-glance round-up of today’s news on her:
It’s never OK to troll anyone – even a troll - Cyberspace is medieval – we no sooner take in an event than put the people at the heart of it in the stocks, be they the McCanns, Brenda Leyland or Sky News…
On so many levels, the story of Brenda Leyland, the church-going Twitter troll who said some ungodly things about the McCann family, makes my heart ache… I can’t stand the idea of this lonely woman with her pathetic double life under the pseudonym of “Sweepyface”; one minute attending church, the next rushing home to spill on to the internet noxious bile about a couple with a missing child. But nor can I bear that she was treated in some quarters as if she herself had abducted Madeleine McCann, and not just acted like a deluded moron with broadband and access to some of the web’s crazier conspiracy theories.
WHAT is the media is saying about Brenda Leyland, the woman “unmasked” as a “troll” by anonymous troll hunters, door-stepped by Sky News and called a “bitch” in the Daily Mirror. Brenda Leyland is now dead. She had 172 followers on Twitter. Her account is closed.
The woman who took her own life after being accused of directing online abuse at Madeleine McCann’s parents had sent more than 4,000 tweets about the couple over the past year. Police formally identified the dead woman today as Brenda Leyland, 63, who was confronted last week by a Sky News TV crew over her apparent “trolling” of the couple… she had used the Twitter handle @sweepyface to attack the McCanns.
… she had used the hashtag #McCann no fewer than 4,220 times since November last year, accusing them of neglect and questioning their version of the events leading up to the disappearance of their daughter in Praia da Luz, Portugal, in May 2007. Reprising many of the accusations used by McCann “haters”, she also regularly accused the couple of using money collected for the Find Madeleine fund for their own personal enrichment. One tweet last week read: “#mccann ” If it stinks like a rotten fish it is a rotten fish ” all connected seem to prosper ??”
DC Comics, makers of Batman, produces this T-shirt that might be a tad sexist. That’s the unamarried Batman who lives with Robin. Stick that shirt on a Wonder Man and it might be nearer the mark. But, then, when Batman was born homosexuals didn’t exist.
FACES of the day:
Joint winner of the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine professor John O’Keefe, a dual U.S. and British citizen, laughs as he is interviewed by The Associated Press in an office he uses at the University College London (UCL), in London, Monday, Oct. 6, 2014. The U.S.-British scientist and a Norwegian husband-and-wife research team won the Nobel Prize in medicine Monday for discovering the brain’s navigation system - the inner GPS that helps us find our way in the world - a revelation that one day could help those with Alzheimer’s. The research by John O’Keefe, May-Britt Moser and Edvard Moser represents a “paradigm shift” in neuroscience that could help researchers understand the sometimes severe spatial memory loss associated with Alzheimer’s disease, the Nobel Assembly said. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)
ON the plus side, the students at ENSOC, the Engineering Society of the University of Canterbury, are not compliant. On th negative, they are utter bellends, who think mocking ebola victims and war between Israel and Hamas.
THE trial of Shrien Dewani is up and running. It’s Day 1 for the the Bristol businessman accused of murdering his wife Anni on their South African honeymoon.
He pleads not guilty.
The prosecution have called Leopold Leisser, a German-born male prostitute. He claims Mr Dewani paid him up to £400 a session for fetishist sex involving racial humiliation and drug taking.
However, in a string of admissions through his lawyer, Francois van Zyl, at the Western Cape high court, Mr Dewani pre-emptively confessed to seeing Mr Leisser. He choked back tears and stared at the ground as a video of his wife’s body at the crime scene in Khayelitsha, a Cape Town township, was shown to the court. There were gasps in the court as a policeman opened the car door, revealing Mrs Dewani slumped on the back seat, still in her cocktail dress and high heels, her hair blowing in the wind.
Mr Dewani is represented by Francois van Zyll:
He said the couple had been driving through Gugulethu township, returning from a sushi dinner, when they were hijacked. “The next thing I remember was banging noises coming from the front and the right hand side of the car. There was a lot of shouting in a language I did not understand. The next thing I recall is somebody next to me who told me to lie down. This person had a gun in his hand… he was waving the gun in the air. He shouted: ‘Look down! Lie down!’ We were both terrified and we immediately complied with his demands. I was lying half on top of Anni.”
And this is interesting:
Mr Dewani also explained a secretive drive he had made with Zola Tongo, the taxi driver convicted of Mrs Dewani’s murder, during which Tongo said Mr Dewani asked him to arrange the murder. On Mr Dewani’s account, he was trying to arrange a private helicopter ride over Cape Town as a surprise for his new bride.
He said that he gave Tongo 1,000 rand (£55) after the murder, in a meeting they had in the Cape Grace hotel, because the latter had complained to him that he was being hounded by the media, and Mr Dewani felt sorry for him.
Prosecutors argue that Mr Dewani conspired with Cape Town residents Zola Tongo, Mziwamadoda Qwabe and Xolile Mngeni to kill his wife. The court heard forensic evidence that the fatal shot was delivered “at close range”, with a suggestion that Mrs Dewani might have been grabbing on to “someone or something” at the time she died.
And the sex?
Through defence lawyer Francois Van Zyl, Mr Dewani said he had “had sexual interaction with both males and females”.
“I consider myself to be bisexual,” the court was told.
“My sexual interactions with males were mostly physical experiences or email chats with people I met online or in clubs, including prostitutes,” Mr Dewani’s witness statement said.
Extracts of a letter from Shrien Dewani to Anni, dated May 2010:
I realise we are very different but I have always believed in a relationship you can work through those differences. When we first met I immediately liked you … And no not just because you are pretty … but because you made me laugh.
I have always wanted a girl that I can be friends with. One that understands me – and I know that that is not easy. I know that I am so focussed that some people think I am intense. I am focussed on achieving things in life.
I really do love you, and hence I don’t want you to be unhappy. I want to be with you forever but not if that makes you unhappy … that I could not bear … I really hope we work this out.
I am really sorry that I have made you feel like this. You are so precious to me – I know I don’t always show it. I often find it difficult to show how much you mean to me … But please do not think this is because I don’t love you.
Speak to you later
The Guardian has other news:
Dewani said he met Anni, from Sweden, on 30 May 2009 after a mutual friend gave him her contact details. “On our first date I was instantly physically attracted to her, loved her bubbly personality and sensed that there was mutual chemistry,” he said in the statement. “We fell in love with each other. We were both ambitious and shared a common view of the future. We were both headstrong and often argued with each other.”
In December 2009, he continued, he was informed by an endocrinologist that as a result of abnormally low hormone levels, he may have fertility problems. The specialist recommended that if Dewani wanted to improve his chances of having children in the future he should start testosterone replacement therapy. Dewani said he discussed the problem with Anni.
After a few turbulent months, Dewani hired a private jet to take him and Anni to Paris, where he proposed marriage in June 2010. They were married in India a few months later and went to South Africa on honeymoon.
Prosecutors argue that Dewani then conspired with Cape Town residents Zola Tongo, Mziwamadoda Qwabe and Xolile Mngeni to kill his wife. The three men are already serving jail terms in connection with the murder.
“I recall there was some discussion about what Africa is really like…. [They went for drive.] The next thing I remember was banging noises coming from the front and the right-hand side of the car. There was a lot of shouting in a language I did not understand. The next thing I recall is somebody next to me who told me to lie down. This person had a gun in his hand; I cannot recall which hand. He was waving the gun in the air. He shouted: ‘Look down! Lie down!’ We were both terrified and we immediately complied with his demands. I was lying half on top of Anni. Another person was behind the steering wheel. I do not know where Tongo was at that stage…. I pleaded with them to let us go. I remember my watch going off my right wrist but I am not sure of the exact sequence of the events. At some point the person with the gun shouted, ‘phone!’ and ‘money!’. I gave him all the money which I had on me. At that point I hid my phone in my trouser pocket… He then said ‘phone?’ to me. He searched me and found my phone in my trousers. He got angry. He placed the gun against my left ear and said words to the effect that I should not lie to him or he would shoot me. I heard a clicking noise from the gun which scared me even more. I have never been close to a real gun before. Anni was screaming. They both instructed me to tell Anni to keep quiet. The driver said that they were not going to hurt us, they just wanted the car and they were going to let us go separately. I begged them to let us go together… The next thing I remember, they were both shouting at me to get out. I pleaded with them to let us both go. They refused. The driver said they would leave Anni at the police station. I insisted that we both have to stay together. They became angrier and shouted at me to get out. The one with the gun put it to my head again and threatened to shoot me if I did not get out. I tried to open the door but it would not open. I recall the window opening. I recall hitting the ground and the car speeding away. The last thing I had said to Anni was to be quiet and not to say anything. I said this to her in Gujarati.”
The Telegraph picks up the story:
Mr Dewani suffered post-traumatic stress disorder after the shooting and fought a four-year battle over extradition back to South Africa on the grounds he was not mentally fit to stand trial.
In April, a panel of High Court judges ruled he was fit and since then he has been an in-patient at a psychiatric hospital in Cape Town.
On Monday morning, he appeared in court promptly and appeared composed, only breaking down briefly when a police video was shown of Mrs Dewani’s lifeless body lying in the back seat of the taxi.
More to follow…
THE death of Brenda Leyland is now a matter of education. The BBC consults an expert:
Dr Arthur Cassidy, a psychologist who specialises in social media, said Mrs Leyland appeared to have a middle class upbringing which was unusual in trolling.
Not if you work for the Daily Mail, it isn’t. But go on:
He said: “In this particular case, her whole repertoire of trolling is slightly different from those of well-seasoned trolls because of her uniqueness and the way she has done this. It would signify to me that she has been quite a novice at this.”
Or perhaps we should say that now more of your money is safe in the bank. For the Bank of England has just decided to raise the amount of deposit insurance that we might get if a bank goes bust. The aim here is to make sure that peoples’ worries don’t set off another bank run like that which happened to Northern Rock.
At the moment a deposit of up to £85,000 in a bank is guaranteed by the Bank of England. If the bank goes tits up then you still get your £80k back. This covers all your accounts at the one bank though: so it’s not each account. Now they’re saying that in certain circumstances it could be up to £1 million which is covered:
The Bank of England said on Monday that if someone has a large amount of money in their account for reasons such as buying a house, they will be protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme.
Currently, £85,000 worth of savings are protected in the event of a bank failure, but the Bank said this should be extended. The increased protection, which would apply from six months after the money is transferred, applies to:
• Funds in an account because someone is buying a house
• Pay-outs from life insurance, divorce settlements and retirement or dismissal pay.
• Compensation for criminal injuries or wrongful conviction
I should be said that this isn’t going to make all that much difference to all that many people. And it’s also not going to make much difference to the chances of a bank run either. For it’s not actually that movement of the money that is a problem in a bank run. It’s the queues of people trying to move their money that is. And as there are never all that many people in hte country in the situations above at any one time they’re just not going to end up causing a queue.
So it’s all vaguely interesting but probably is best classified as someone wanting to be seen doing something. Rather than, you know, anything useful or important.
FACES of the day: 14/05/1945, via the brilliant Flashbak.com.
Prisoners at Dachau flirt with girls in women’s ward througha straw fence. The women’s ward used to be used as brothel for preferred prisoners.