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.
MADELEINE McCann: a look at reporting on the media’s favourite missing child.
The Daily Mail has news:
How is that the “most poignant image this Halloween”?
The photograph was released on Friday to mark Halloween, and appears beside three others of Maddie, including the well-known one of her clutching three tennis balls under her chin. A source close to the McCanns said: ‘The photo which hasn’t been seen before has been put out as part of the campaign and is authorised by Kate and Gerry.’
APPEASING OBAMA has hurt Israel. Well, appeasement never works:
First, the unbridled attacks against Israel’s democratically elected – and popular – prime minister show us that when we are faced with an inherently hostile administration, the wages of appeasement are contempt.
No Israel leader has done more to appease a US administration than Netanyahu has done to appease Obama. Against the opposition of his party and the general public, Netanyahu in 2009 bowed to Obama’s demand to embrace the goal of establishing a Palestinian state.
Against the opposition of his party and the general public, in 2010 Netanyahu bowed to Obama’s demand and enacted an official 10-month moratorium on Jewish property rights in lands beyond the 1949 armistice lines, and later enacted an unofficial moratorium on those rights.
And Netanyahu bowed to Obama’s pressure, released murderers from prison and conducted negotiations with Abbas that only empowered Abbas and his political war to delegitimize and isolate Israel.
And for all his efforts to appease Obama, today the administration abets Palestinian terrorism and political warfare.
WHAT happened to the 200 girls kidnapped by Nigerian Islamist group Boko Haram?
Abubakar Shekau, leader of Boko Haram, says:
“Don’t you know the over 200 Chibok schoolgirls have converted to Islam? They have now memorised two chapters of the Koran… We have not made ceasefire with anyone. We did not negotiate with anyone… It’s a lie. It’s a lie. We will not negotiate. What is our business with negotiation? Allah said we should not… We have married them off. They are in their marital homes.”
Looks like the hashtag failed…
WHEN Panda Bears attack!
TO Bournemouth, Dorset, where a local Church of England vicar is opening the door to trick or treaters and handing them no sweets, but a pamphlet.
TRICK OR TREAT?
The Funniest News Bloopers Of October 2014:
Spotter: A Tiny Piece
THIS Halloween the University of Wisconsin want students to be compoliant. Dominic Lynch of The College Fix claims the following email was sent to students:
Halloween: Questions to Ask Yourself before Donning a Costume
WEARING A FUNNY COSTUME?
Ask yourself: Is the humor based on “making fun” of real people, real human traits or cultures? Though intended to be funny, the “Mental Patient” costume by Disguise was considered demeaning, dehumanizing, and humiliating to individuals struggling with a mental illness and their families. Complete with a “Hannibal” type mask and a straightjacket, the costume reinforced stereotypes and fears about persons with mental illness.
WEARING A SCARY COSTUME?
Ask yourself: Is the “fear factor” based on real forms of violence or grotesque depictions of human traits? “This scary stud can empty out a full house just by walking through the door,” touts the tag line for Fright Catalog’s “Vato Loco” mask. The bandana clad, tattooed, brown-skinned vinyl creation makes light of gang violence, which takes a serious toll on families and neighborhoods across the country. The costume also sends the message that Latinos are violent.
WEARING A HISTORICAL COSTUME?
Ask yourself: If the costume is meant to be historical, does it further misinformation or historical and cultural inaccuracies? The “Indian” get-up prevails each year as culture-turned-costume. But did you know few Native Americans wore buckskin and headbands and even fewer wore them together? Did you know “war paint” and feathers carry religious meaning and were never worn by Native American children?
WEARING A “BEAUTIFUL” COSTUME?
Ask yourself: If the costume is meant to be beautiful, are these characteristics drawn from commercial references, such as movie characters? Too often, beautiful at Halloween means white, blonde, princess masks. What statement does your Halloween costume make about what constitutes beauty — and about who is beautiful and who isn’t?
You want scary? You can’t handle the scary…
Spotter: John J. Miller
REMEMBER the war on fat? Fat was bad. Now sugar is the target of the bansturbators. It’s is like “crack cocaine”.
“Nothing gets me high as that sandwich cookie does. But I love the filling most. I rub it on my roast, mix it in with my coffee, and spread it on my toast. I love the white stuff, baby. In the middle of an Oreo.”
Weird Al Yankovic said that in 1992.
The Atlantic noted:
That concept has been shown before, but remains important. In a 2010 study published in Nature Neuroscience, rats who spent 40 days eating bacon, sausage, cheesecake, and frosting—someone please market that combination; I mean please don’t—became “addicted.” They continued eating even in the face of electrical shocks. Non-addict rats did not. The researchers, at Scripps Research Institute in Florida, likened the brain activity in the addict rats to that of cocaine and heroin addicts.
Biscuits are legal cocaine? They’re a legal high. Ban them!
Sugar is the ‘most dangerous drug of our time’, according to a senior Dutch health official, and should be treated accordingly. Paul van der Velpen, head of Amsterdam’s health service, suggests that food and drink with high-sugar content should come with health warnings. He suggests introducing hard-hitting campaigns similar to the anti-smoking messages found on cigarette packets.
“THERE was a couple in the baby changing room having full blown sex,” says grandmother Maryanne Saunders of goings on in a public toilet in Dawlish, Devon. The man was dressed as Tigger, from the Winnie The Pooh books.
CLIMATE Change Watch: Compre and contrast:
The risk of severe winters in Europe and northern Asia has been doubled by global warming, according to new research… The new research, published in Nature Geoscience, shows that the increased risk of icy winters will persist for the next few decades.
CAN lots of sex reduce the risk of prostate cancer? The NHS asks:
Could sex with 21 women ‘cut prostate risk’?
The Telegraph says it could:
Sex with 21 women lowers risk of prostate cancer, academics find
The University of Montreal has found that men who had sex with more than 20 women lower their prostate cancer risk
Just as the Daily Express gets its weather news from looking at a crystal ball, the ‘World’s Greatest Newspaper’ conjures front-page news of Madeleine McCann from the ether.
The headline tells readers:
Madeleine McCann: 100 strands of untested human hair provide new hope in DNA hunt
Gerard Couzens reports:
Nearly 100 strands of hair tested during the original Madeleine McCann investigation were never DNA-matched, it emerged today. Portuguese forensic experts analysed 444 hair strands they believed could hold the key to the youngster’s May 3 2007 disappearance.
They found 432 were human and 12 non-human. They were unable to DNA-match 98 of them and only obtained partial results from 19 of them, Portuguese daily Correio da Manha reported.
THERE’S something in the human psyche that loves seeing things blow-up. Explosions are even better when there’s no casualties, because you can just enjoy the show without wanting to vomit with the weight of it all.
Yesterday, NASA launched the unmanned Orbital Sciences Corp Antares rocket as part of a $1.9billion contract, however, it didn’t make it out of the atmosphere as it turned into a huge molten fireball seven seconds above the ground, before crashing back into the earth, blowing up everywhere.
THE British Council’s stated aim is to promote Great Britian in its overseas missions. The British Council is big on education:
Our work in education focuses on internationalising education, sharing the UK’s expertise and innovation globally, and bringing partners together to work on collaborative projects.
And it’s got a word puzzle game for scholars.
Yes. If only you were there, EURROPE would be complete. *slow hand clap for the British Council.
THE police said they found footage of a tiger have sex with a women on Andrew Holland’s mobile phone. You read that right. A tiger and a woman having sex. That’s not something most of us will have contemplated. Some of us might even want to see what that involves. But take care because looking at the depraved and bizarre could be a criminal offence.
Mr Holland was arrested. The footage, which he had not directed not taken any part in, was deeemd extreme pornography, and that’s unlawful.
Something is classed as extreme porn “if it shows necrophilia or bestiality, threatens someone’s life or could cause serious injury to anus, breasts or genitals.” It’s also extreme porn if it is deemed to be “grossly offensive”.
He said friends had shared it with him, forwarding the tiger-female sex footage to his account. He had looked at the film for six seconds.
June Steenkamp’s Book Washes Away The Rivers Of Bilge Around Reeva’s Killing And Oscar Pistorius’ Crime
WHEN Reeva Steekamp was shot dead by her famous lover, Oscar Pistorius, the media went into overdrive. Today, the Times features an extract when June Steenkamp’s book, Reeva: A Mother’s Story
The beginning of the nightmare
Dromedaris Road, Seaview, Port Elizabeth. We are up and about before dawn. Barry sets off for the stables at Arlington Racecourse to prepare his horses for their morning exercise. I potter out to the overzealous dogs — and little Moby Dick, Reeva’s dachshund — to give them their breakfast. The sun rises just before 6am. I’m preoccupied with thoughts about the day ahead, about supervising progress at the Barking Spider, a pub we’re building at the Greenbushes Hotel on the Old Cape Road, when my mobile phone rings.
A voice introduces himself as Detective Hilton Botha.
“Hello, is that June Steenkamp?”
“Do you have a daughter, Reeva?”
“There has been a terrible accident.”
“What kind of accident?”
“Your daughter has been shot.”
“You’d better tell me RIGHT NOW if she’s dead or alive.”
“I’m sorry. I’m afraid she has passed on.”
He says he thinks it looks like an “open-and-shut” case. “There were only two people present — your daughter and Oscar with the gun.”
KACI Hickox had treated Ebola victims in Sierra Leone. Back in her native US, nurse Hickox was quarantined.
She’s upset at being interrogated “like a criminal” under the strict rules introduced in New Jersey, New York and Illinois.
She was left wearing paper scrubs in a tent outside the main hospital which was equipped with a bed, shower and a non-flushing chemical toilet for a planned 21-day quarantine which the nurse said violated her human rights. She has shown no symptoms and has tested negative for the disease.
TO China for a prelude for the funniest joke in the world. Chi Fang was in a bar when his wife called. She wanted him home fast. So. Fang took a shortcut home over a bridge. He’d drunk a lot and felt ill. He stopped on the bridge to vomit.
He leaned over the railing. And fell head-first into what the bridge was passing over: a septic tank full of human faeces.
THE Sun has news of the tattooed mum from Bournemouth, Dorset, who was “horrified in Marks & Spencer when a shop worker called her tattoos disgusting”.
Natasha Henson, 35, tells one and all:
“I was approaching the till when a shopper ‘tutted’ at me and made a comment about my tattoos. I mentioned it to the lady on the till and she replied, ‘I’m not surprised she tutted. Why on earth would you want to mutilate and disfigure yourself?”
WHO are the West supporting in the Middle East? It’s not the minorities, says Sultan Knish:
The left’s worst crime in the Middle East has been its support for the region’s Arab-Muslim majority at the expense of its minorities. It has supported the majority’s terrorism, atrocities, ethnic cleansing and repression of the region’s minorities. Very rarely has it raised a voice in their support, and when it has done so, it was in muted tones completely different from their vigorous defenses of the nationalism of the Arab Muslim majority.
The left backed the Arab Spring which rewarded the ambitions of Arabist and Islamist activists at the expense of Coptic, African and other minorities. Its great regional obsession is statehood for the Arab Muslims of Israel, (better known by their local Palestinian brand), but has little to say about the Kurds in Turkey or the Azeri in Iran. The million Jewish refugees and the vanishing Christians of the region never come up in conversation. They certainly don’t get their own lefty protest rallies.
The Africans of Sudan could have used an entire UN organization dedicated to their welfare, which the Arab Muslims who had failed to wipe out the region’s Jewish minority are the beneficiaries of. But they had to make do with third tier aid.
Unlike the Arab nationalists and Islamists of Libya, the French, English and American air force did not come to their rescue. It came to the rescue of the Libyans who showed their gratitude in the time honored way of the Arab majority by massacring the African minority and then killing some Americans. But what’s a little genocide between friends?
The left embraced Pan-Arabism, a race based nationalism, in line with the Soviet Union’s expansionist foreign policy. Pan-Arabism’s socialism made it easy for the left to ignore its overt racism along with the admiration of many of its leading lights for Nazi Germany. The same left which refused to see the Gulags and the ethnic cleansing under the red flag, turned an equally blind eye to the contradiction of condemning Zionism for its ethnic basis, while supporting Pan-Arabism, which was ethnically based.
Under Zionism, Israel retained a sizable Arab minority. The Pan-Arabists however drove their Jews out with mob violence, political repression, prisons and public executions. The left’s criticisms of Zionism are rendered moot by their own support for Pan-Arabism, and their own longstanding hostility to Jewish national identity, insisting that socialism demands that Jews assimilate into the dominant race, whether in Russia or Western Europe. In the Middle East and North Africa, Arabization has led to repression of non-Arab minorities and the destruction of other cultures through the insistence on unity through race.
As the sun of Pan-Arabism sets, the left has turned its attention to Pan-Islamism with equal enthusiasm. While Pan-Arabism allowed Christian Arabs some representation, Pan-Islamism excludes based on religion. Having endorsed a racial tyranny, the left has fallen so low that it now champions majority theocracies.
The left’s fledgling support for Kurdish nationalism has faded as Turkey has gone from a secular ally of the Western powers, to an Islamist tyranny dreaming of empire. This perverse twist of affairs has the left abandoning the national struggles of an oppressed people when their rulers align themselves more closely with the bigoted regional majority.
The War on Iraq, which the left hated, removed a tyrant aligned with the region’s Sunni majority and the Libyan campaign, which the left supported, removed a tyrant who had deviated too far from the positions of that majority. So too in Egypt, where Mubarak’s excessive tolerance for minorities, led the left to endorse the Pan-Arabist and Pan-Islamist calls for his overthrow. And in Tunisia, where a government tolerant of minorities has been replaced by the Islamists.
The pattern repeats itself over and over again as the left rises in support of racial and theocratic rule. And for all the left’s critiques of American and European foreign policy, its own foreign policy which endorses racial and theocratic rule and works to bring it about is a true crime and blot on the region.
It is no coincidence that the one country in the region that the left hates above all else, is neither Arab nor Muslim. Just as it is no coincidence that the Arab Spring replaces regimes tolerant of minorities with Islamists and Arabists. The left’s true regional agenda is the racist agenda of its Arab members. The Arab Socialists and the Islamists who have defined its regional positions have turned the left into a vehicle for their racial and theocratic agendas.
For the left to shout racism when Americans empowered the Kurds in Iraq, or when Israeli soldiers stand watch over tiny strips of land where the region’s oldest and most frequently oppressed minority finds shelter is the height of hypocrisy. It is the left which is racist. It is the left which backs theocracies and always supports the majority’s oppression of the minority.
The idiots in their Keffiyahs eager to give everyone a lesson on the Middle East think the Assyrians vanished in ancient times, have no idea who the Circassians are, or the Arab Gypsies, think the Zoroastrians are a traveling circus, and couldn’t begin to tell you anything about the Druze, the Bahai or the Ahmadis– except that American foreign policy or Israel are probably to blame.
In the meantime they proudly wear a garment associated with the Pan-Arabists and their rejection of Turkish reforms– while stupidly believing that it’s all-purpose garments of revolution. But why should they care that they’re endorsing a romanticized neo-feudalism that led to mass murder and the rise of a theocratic reactionary movement disguised as nationalism. Or that these movements have inevitably led to the repression of minorities and the ethnic cleansing and attempted genocide of the region’s native inhabitants by their Arab Muslim conquerors.
The so-called two-state solution is a crock. One state for all the people.
PARENTS can remove their children from class during term time and not be branded criminals under new guidelines. The Sunday Times looks at acceptable excuses:
These include going to family weddings or funerals, recovering after a personal or family crisis, attending a religious event or visiting a relative who is seriously ill. Parents will, however, still be barred from taking advantage of cut-price breaks in term time.
WHAT is dyslexia? Why is it treated as a handicap? What are dyslexics “suffering”, as the boy above was? Carola Binney writes on the search for dyslexic spooks:
GCHQ’s policy is a recognition that intelligence is a multi-faceted thing, and that diversity is about more than gender, race and sexual orientation. We complain that top companies don’t have enough female perspectives in the boardroom, but employing more dyslexics could perhaps bring an even deeper diversity to the table. As the Oxford-based dyslexia researcher Anna Pitt told the Guardian this week, we should look to dyslexics like Einstein or Richard Branson: their condition ‘forced them to challenge the norm and find a new way of doing things. Sometimes this results in a solution which is better than the regular one.’
Of course, my dyslexia has its downsides. My history degree is made harder by the fact that I struggle to notice that ‘1789’ and ‘1879’ are different numbers. I’m so embarrassed about my spelling that, even if I’m only writing a Postit note to a friend, I put it through the spellchecker first.
And for many people there’s no bright side to being dyslexic at all. ‘Dyslexia’ is a rather meaningless label, covering a huge spectrum of conditions. When severe or coupled with other learning difficulties, it’s often seriously disabling. Even in mild cases, dyslexic kids need support at primary school to become literate and numerate and remain engaged with education. But GCHQ are right – sometimes it helps to be dyslexic.
Don’t treat difference with suspicion and pity. School must not be all about conformity…