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AT least one of the previous Kings of England was a complete booze hound, so we’re told. King Richard III, whose twisted skeleton was found under a car park, drank three whole litres of booze a day. They’ve worked this out by analysing dem’ bones and looking at what the micro-structure tells us about what he ate and drank.
The thing is, there’s not actually all that much surprise about it:
Not only that but the monarch, dubbed a “bunch-backed toad” by Shakespeare, was also partial to a lavish banquet, with research showing he ate exotic meat including swan, crane, heron and egret.
IN Malaysia, nudists are being rounded up:
THREE suspects have surrendered to Malaysian police over their participation in a nudist sports event, a state police chief says… The controversy began after a video titled Penang Nude Sports Games 2014 was uploaded two weeks ago to the video-sharing website Vimeo, triggering an uproar…
The video showed a group of four women and 14 men engaging in activities like body painting, crab-walking and a Gangnam-style dance with one woman riding a man who was on all fours…
WHEN Michael Brown, 18, was killed by police in the Ferguson suburb of St Louis, Missouri, there was outrage. Michael Brown was an unarmed, black teenager. The story goes that Brown and his friend Dorian Johnson, 22, were walking down the middle of the road. It was around noon.
The police car approached. They were told to move.
Dorian Johnson says police yelled: “Get the f*** onto the sidewalk”.
AS ISIS butchers its way across Iraq, we wonder what happened to the Iraqi Army?
Peter Beaumont looks at the arsenal:
After Iraq’s armed forces were disbanded following the fall of Saddam Hussein in 2003, the United States and its allies committed more than $25bn to training and building a new military. With more than 250,000 frontline troops (not counting paramilitary police units), on paper at least the Iraqi military should be effective. It is equipped with almost 400 tanks including US M1A1s and Russian T- series tanks including the T-72. It also has more than 2,500 armoured fighting vehicles and 278 aircraft, including drones, transport aircraft, amphibious aircraft and 129 helicopters.
FACE Of the Day:
This photo taken in August, 2014 shows Associated Press video journalist Simone Camilli on a balcony overlooking smoke from Israeli Strikes in Gaza City. Camilli, 35, was killed in an ordnance explosion in the Gaza Strip, on Wednesday, Aug. 13, 2014 together with Palestinian translator Ali Shehda Abu Afash and three members of the Gaza police. Police said four other people were seriously injured, including AP photographer Hatem Moussa.(AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
Pope Francis prayed for Camilli in front of journalists on the papal plane to South Korea.
“I have to make a silent prayer for Simone Camilli, one of yours, who today left us in service. Let us pray in silence,” said Francis, clearly moved.
“These are the consequences of war,” he added.
MENTAL Illness is our Face of the Day:
Expressive ecstatic emotion of a mental illness shown 1933. (AP)
THE Liberal Democrats has excerpted influence on the Government. The UK will suspend some of its arms exports to Israel if the current ceasefire between Israel and Hamas is broken.
The business department said a review of UK exports to Israel had identified the 12 licences for “components which could be part of equipment used by the Israel Defence Forces in Gaza”. They include equipment for military radar, combat aircraft and tanks.
Vince Cable, the business secretary, said: “We welcome the current ceasefire in Gaza and hope that it will lead to a peaceful resolution. However, the UK government has not been able to clarify if the export licence criteria are being met. In light of that uncertainty we have taken the decision to suspend these existing export licences in the event of a resumption of significant hostilities.
“No new licences of military equipment have been issued for use by the Israeli Defence Forces during the review period, and as a precautionary measure this approach will continue until hostilities cease.”
The export suspension comes after a long and fierce battle within the coalition over restricting arms sales to Israel. The prime minister, David Cameron, and the foreign secretary, Philip Hammond, have been resisting demands from Cable and the deputy prime minister, Nick Clegg calling for the immediate suspension of exports.
WHAT do we see whaen we look at Gaza? Who is showing us what? Are the pictures what Hamas wants the world to see? Is Hamas the filter? The Foreing Press Association has issued a statement allegeding misconduct:
The FPA protests in the strongest terms the blatant, incessant, forceful and unorthodox methods employed by the Hamas authorities and their representatives against visiting international journalists in Gaza over the past month.
The international media are not advocacy organisations and cannot be prevented from reporting by means of threats or pressure, thereby denying their readers and viewers an objective picture from the ground.
In several cases, foreign reporters working in Gaza have been harassed, threatened or questioned over stories or information they have reported through their news media or by means of social media.
We are also aware that Hamas is trying to put in place a “vetting” procedure that would, in effect, allow for the blacklisting of specific journalists. Such a procedure is vehemently opposed by the FPA.
ARE anti-depressants over-prescribed.
Stephen Lawrie, Head of the Division of Psychiatry, Professor of Psychiatry and Neuro-Imaging, Director of PsySTAR at University of Edinburgh, takes a view in The Conversation:
There is a persistent media hype surrounding the notion that the prescription of antidepressants is “at record levels”, and “on the rise”. Yet numerous studies have shown that most people with depression do not get any treatment. How can both be true?
YOU put your right leg in…
A FLIGHT between Tunisia and Scotland had to be diverted after a drunk passenger attacked cabin crew with her prosthetic leg.
The woman demanded “cigarettes and a parachute” and became aggressive when staff asked her to calm down.
Holidaymaker John Smith, from Falkirk, said the woman slapped a young girl in a neighbouring seat before unfastening her leg and swinging it at flight attendants.
The crew managed to put her in handcuffs while the pilot of Thomson flight 297 from Enfidha to Edinburgh made an emergency landing at Gatwick.
The woman was escorted from the plane by police, as passengers broke into a rendition of the hokey cokey.
You put your whole self out…
WHEN George Galloway called for Bradford to be an “Israel-free zone” - “we don’t want Israeli tourists to come to Bradford” – holidaymakers in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv fretted. What to do? Where to go now? But some had either pre-booked the trip or just decided that Galloway was an utter pillock and anywhere he was needed a bit of relief.
Got my Israeli flag, passport and tee shirt, Bradford here we come! Sorry George Galloway pic.twitter.com/MfVI9Libv2
— Shneur Zalman Odze (@ShneurOdzeUKIP) August 10, 2014
GEORGE Owen Smith is the first victim positively identified from one of the 55 unmarked graves at the former Arthur G. Dozier School for Boys in Marianna, Florida.
Smith was 14 when he was sent to the school in October 1940, and was never seen alive by his family again.
Smith had been sent to the home as punishment for being with a friend in a stolen car.
HAVING reeived the Death Vulture news alert, tweeters responded to the death of Robin Williams by lamenting the very much alive Robbie Williams:
ON a march in Belfast, Republicans and Loyalists use the war between Israel and Hamas to antagonise:
THIS is a picture of Khaled Sharrouf’s son, a child raised in the suburbs of Sydney, struggling with both arms to hold up the decapitated head of a slain Syrian soldier.
In a conflict awash with gruesome images, this single photograph – posted on Twitter by a proud father with the words “Thats my boy!” – may come to symbolise the savagery that has become the hallmark of the Islamic State and the depravity of its army of foreign fighters.
Dad is part of a touring Autralian party:
Australian jihadists fighting with the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham are carrying out massacres of captured Iraqi prisoners and participating in some of the most gruesome war crimes committed during the two-week-old Iraq insurgency.
Convicted terrorist Khaled Sharrouf is among a handful of Australian jihadists believed to have carried out bloody, battlefield executions, in what amounts to a serious escalation of Australian involvement in the Iraq-Syria conflict.
Before his conviction and journey to the Middle Ages - it’s belived he travelled on his brother’s passport - Sharrouf lived on disability benefit.
As Tim Blair notes:
Let’s assume, for the sake of it, that ISIS (Impaired and Subsidised Islamic Soldiers) achieves its aim of overthrowing governments in Iraq and Syria. What happens next? Well, nothing. Nothing at all. These blokes can’t work, and they’ve got the official medical documents to prove it…Sure, they’re great at putting bullets in the back of captured Iraqi soldiers’ heads. But they clearly can’t find any laborers to bury the bodies.
He might not be joking…
PS – In the UK that decaptiated Soldier would be passed for for work.
Faces of the day:
The 2014 Illinois State Fair butter cow is unveiled at the Illinois State Fairgrounds Thursday, Aug. 7, 2014, in Springfield, Ill. The sculpture depicts a cow being milked by a boy who is waving to a woman. The 500-pound bovine is made of unsalted butter. Built from scratch, it has been an unofficial mascot of the fair since the 1920s. Fair organizers have said they’re not changing security procedures after vandals threw paint on a butter cow at the Iowa state fair last year. The Illinois State Fair begins Friday, Aug. 8 and runs through Sunday, Aug. 17. (AP Photo/Seth Perlman)
The Art of Anti-Semitism: The Tricycle Theatre Only Admits Anti-Israel Jews While The National Prefers The Rich Ones
MANY words have been written about demands by London’s Tricycle Theatre that Jewish Film Festival sever all ties with the city’s Israeli embassy.
Indhu Rubasingham, the theatre’s artistic director, said the festival should not accept funding from “any party to the current conflict” between Israel and Hamas. She added the Tricycle had offered to fund the festival itself, in order to replace sponsorship from the Israeli Embassy in London.
The event has been hosted at the Tricycle for some years. But this year the boss wanted Israel excluded. Ms Rubasingham wanted the Jews who run the film week – which features film and debate from all sides – to refuse Israel’s money, some £1,400. She wanted them to hand back Israeli cash and join her in her moral stance against the country. Comply with her demands and these Jews would be allowed in. And the story of how the Jews of Jewish Film Week handed back Israel’s cash would fly.
FACES of the day:
Soaked pedestrians shelter from the rain under the Millennium Bridge, Southwark, London, as the remnants of Hurricane Bertha swept across parts of the country. Jonathan Brady/PA Wire
DID you hear Barack Obama making statement about Iraq airstrikes? Somewhere Bill Murray is waking up in a hotel room at 6AM to Sonny & Cher’s ‘I Got You Babe’.
WHY do protestor angry at Israel and the war with Hamas call the Jewish state and its people Nazis?
Alex Ross has a view:
Leaving aside the monstrousness of the Nazi comparison on both historical and moral grounds…you’d have though that these people could at least be a little more creative with their references. It’s not like the past century doesn’t offer up a whole range of references to genocide or barbarism…yet we don’t see placards saying “Israel = Khmer Rouge” or “Israel = Suharto’s Indonesia” or “Israel = al-Bahir’s Sudan”.
You’d almost think that they wanted to deliberately single out the most traumatic episode in Jewish history and use it as a means to taunt and berate.
What is most chilling is that these sentiments are not just consigned to a weird old man with a placard. I hear them from supposedly intelligent people over dinner in NW London. Why haven’t they [the Jews] learned from their own history?? As if the Shoah was simply some pedagogic exercise to make Jews behave better.
Other couch their accusation as “irony”:
OUR politicians are at last speaking about the terror, torture, mass murder and genocide being meted out upon Christians and other minorities by the Islamic State in Iraq, writes Cranmer. Their assessment of the situation ranges from “completely unacceptable” to “barbaric”. Cardinal Vincent Nicholsastutely calls it “a persecution of immense proportions”. The Archbishop of Canterbury calls it “evil”. And not only is it evil, but “part of an evil pattern around the world where Christians and other minorities are being killed and persecuted for their faith”. And he refers specifically to Northern Nigeria, Syria, South Sudan and the Central African Republic.
It doesn’t take a genius to work out that his subject is radical Islam and the malignant Saudi-backed Salafist strain.
DO British Airport workers read the Daily Mirror? We ask becsue today the Star leads with news of a strike over Ebola fears:
The story goes that baord staff are “Terrified”:
An insider told the Daily Star Sunday: “There is panic. It takes one person to come into this country with Ebola and all hell will break loose. Workers are being told to look for passengers who appear unwell and to raise the alarm immediately. But given how dangerous it seems to be, that doesn’t seem enough.
“People are scared and you can’t blame them. Many aren’t confident we are going to be kept safe and this has led to strike talk among some staff.”
MEANWHILE….in Sevenoaks, Kent:
ARE you an anti-Semite? If so, join the band of the righteous. These are good times. Israel is at war with Hamas in Gaza. Hamas are keen to take the war to Israel, firing rockets into the country. But they lack the ground troops and air cover to launch an invasion. Israel has the guns and the personnel to fight the war on Hamas’ turf.
It’s a foreign war between two unequally armed sides. The best outcome would be for the Islamists and Messianics to be forced to the extremes and for the people to unite as one State. But that’s unlikely.
So. We look at the now. And we see that this war has Jews with the better weaponry. And that upsets some onlookers in the West. Why? Brendan O’Neill wonders:
Such are the double standards over Israel, so casually entrenched is the idea that Israeli militarism is more bloody and insane than any other kind of militarism, that many Western liberals now call on their own rulers to condemn or even impose sanctions against Israel. That is, they want the invaders and destroyers of Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and elsewhere to rap Israel’s knuckles for bombing Gaza. It’s like asking a great white shark to tell off a seal for eating a fish. America must ‘rein in Israel’, we are told. ‘The international community should intervene to restrain Israel’s army’, says a columnist for the Guardian, and by ‘international community’ he means ‘a meeting of the UN Security Council’ – the Security Council whose permanent members are the US, UK and France, who have done so much to destabilise and devastate vast swathes of the Middle East and North Africa over the past decade; Russia, whose recent military interventions in Georgia and Chechnya suggest it is hardly a devotee of world peace; and China, which might not invade other countries but is pretty adept at brutally suppressing internal dissent. On what planet could nations whose warmongering makes the current assault on Gaza look like a tea party in comparison seriously be asked to ‘rein in’ Israel? On a planet on which Israel is seen as different, as worse than all others, as more criminal and rogue-like than any other state.
THIS is one of those little stories that can make you very worried indeed about the future of the human race. Some Twitter hashtag about Gaza (the place being bombed) was mistaken by fans of retired alcoholic footballers to be about Gazza. Confusion ensues:
Fans of former England footballer Paul Gascoigne, popularly known as ‘Gazza’, were left confused and fearing for his future as a Free Gaza campaign took off online.
Tweets with the hashtag #freegaza have been trending on Twitter in response to the violence in the Middle East, with users using their posts to urge Israeli forces to stop their assault on the Gaza Strip. The conflict, which started on July 8, has led to the deaths of more than 1,200 people.
But followers of the troubled player, who has become known for his battles with alcohol and drugs, mistakenly thought that he had been arrested and that the campaign was in support of his freedom.