Police deputy Maria Watts, the handler of Bandit the dog, says Armstrong was shouting “Hey dog, hey dog” after leaving the locker room before the game. “Bandit was very agitated. He wanted me to let him go. I imagine with his training and experience he would have gone to his target who was taunting him. I don’t want to speculate on what he would have done.”
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.
Can it be that, as the Mail reports, Charlie Sheen will announce that he is HIV positive on The Today Show?
NBC says Sheen will make a “revealing personal announcement”.
The story goes that Sheen’s interview is scheduled one day before a National Enquirer investigation claims the actor has the virus and, as the Daily Mail alleges, Sheen spent “$5 million to keep the news that he had HIV ‘silent.’”
“Charlie had sex with multiple partners since learning his HIV status without informing them of his potentially deadly HIV infection,” one source told The ENQUIRER.
Adult film star Scottine Ross, who an insider noted didn’t know of Sheen’s HIV status for four months while they had unprotected sex, railed against her ex-fiancé in a video provided to The ENQUIRER: “You exposed me to HIV for a year and a half!” she blasted.
Now Sheen, who doesn’t know how he contracted the virus, “has been tortured by the thought that his acting genius will be forgotten,” explained a source. “Charlie’s worst fear is that he will be remembered not as a great actor, but as someone who contracted the disease.”
Now read on…
The Kurds are at the bleeding edge of the war with Islamists. But the West is not backing them. Shilan Ozcelik, the British woman who allegedly wanted to fight Islamic State, has been dragged through the courts. A Kurdish homeland will free Israel and rid the Middle East of violent racism and misogyny. But the Kurds are not being cheered and championed. Why not?
U.S. officials are trying to persuade Turkey that the Syrian Kurdish fighters are not hostile toward Ankara. To underscore the U.S. commitment to Turkey’s security, Obama sent a squadron of F-15 warplanes in November to protect Turkey’s airspace against a growing number of Russian incursions after Moscow began its military buildup in Syria. At the same time, however, the U.S. has delayed deliveries of weapons Turkey needs to fight Kurdish militants, and many analysts suspect the move is intended to hobble further Turkish attacks on the YPG.
For now, heavier U.S. arms shipments to the Syrian Arab Coalition also appear frozen. A White House official tells Newsweek the administration plans to do more to support the group. But Carter, the defense secretary, recently said he’s still looking for more local forces to work with in Syria; that suggests the low ratio of Arabs to Kurds in the coalition remains a problem for a Raqqa offensive. And until that’s resolved, U.S. military cargo planes won’t be making any special deliveries of heavier weapons.
The Jerusalem Post:
On November 12, in the early morning, more than 10,000 Peshmerga started the military operation to liberate of Shingal (Sinjar) using artillery, tanks and with the help of other countries from the international coalition against Islamic State (IS). Due to the injustice of what had happened to the Yazidi in Shingal, thousands of volunteers from their community from Shingal, Duhok and other areas joined the Kurdish Peshmerga forces to take part in the liberation.
The operation moved slowly as we had to contend with the large number of booby traps, IEDs and TNT explosives on the roads. IS did not put up an efficient defense. One of the Peshmerga commanders jokingly said “if the coalition jets bombed the other IS locations like they did in the past week in Shingal, a week would be enough to clean the whole of Iraq of IS.”
This oddness is summed up beautifully — or horrendously — in the current G20 gathering in Turkey to discuss how to keep IS militants out of Europe in the wake of the barbarism in Paris. Cameron, Merkel, Obama: various world leaders have gathered in Antalya to denounce the assaults in Paris as an ‘attack on the civilised world’ and to promise ‘global efforts’ to smash IS. And they’re doing this while posing for photos alongside Turkish president and G20 host Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who has okayed airstrikes against the Kurdish forces in Syria and northern Iraq that have shown more commitment to defeating IS than all those leaders put together. Our leaders talk war on IS, while green-lighting war on the most implacable enemies of IS.
The dearth of any true solidarity with the Kurds is striking. Of all the wicked things happening in the world today, the terrorising of the Kurds is up there with the worst, yet there’s little anger, barely any protest…
To Florida, where a woman has been shot in the head at the Regency Inn and Suites in Tampa. Tyrone Fields, 21, says he shot her by accident. He says they were in a ‘role-play scenario’. He would hold a gun to her head as they had sex.
Fields says he removed the magazine out of the 9mm semi-automatic pistol but forgot about one bullet in the chamber. He says he lay on top of her, put the gun to her head and then it just went off.
The dead woman, Christina Meagher, 18, of Tampa, had no injuries consistent with sexual battery. Tyrone Fields can now enjoy some more freaky sex in a long prison sentence.
Writing in the Sun, former England football captain Alan Shearer mentions the horror in Paris. He says he was in Paris only recently. It never crossed Shearer’s mind the city was dangerous as he ate dinner at a restaurant. He talks of the thought that all football fans will wonder about their safety at the match. All true.
But then he turns football into a moral force. He recalls the great France side that won the 1998 World Cup, and how its players from a range of backgrounds “brought French people…together”:
“It is even more important now that Euro 2016 does that again and show a united front in the face of those terrorists.”
That France team did not win because the players were black, white or brown. They won because they were the best team. In Shearer’s call for sport to have a public message, the public are cast as bovine, simple minds who know only what they are told.
It’s suggestive of the insecurity that allows the enemy inside the gates; the idea that if France drops or picks a Muslim, Jewish or black footballer there will be massacres and race riots.
The lack of trust in ourselves aligns us with the loons aiming to murder Western ideals and ways of life. The jihadi seeking reason in a death-cult will not be appeased by a quota of Muslim footballers in the France side, just as picking a team to a proscribed, compliant, morally pure, self-conscious agenda fails to show a nation in a positive, liberal, progressive and confident light. One side seeks to annihilate the West; the other to undermine it and bare its uncertain heart, a culture riddled with self-doubt and self-loathing.
If freedom counts for anything, it means freedom to choose; to say what we feel; to pick a football team based on hope not fear.
We’ll sing what we want to. We’ll pick who we want to.
The Daily Express says there are “450 Jihadis on The Loose in the UK”. That’s a precise number. Where are they, and how do we know they are ‘on the loose’?
One line into the story and we read that there are “up to 450 battle-hardened jihadis on the street of Britain after fighting in Syria”. Surely if these people have been to Syria and then arrived or retuned to the UK, the border forces know of them?
The paper’s headline comes from a warning issued by Charles Farr, director of the Office for Security and Counter-Terrorism in a speech last week.
He said that about 750 British citizens “of interest to the security and intelligence services” had travelled to Syria of whom “about 60 per cent had returned”.
What the Express does not note is what Farr said in June:
“It’s not to say the challenges they pose are not significant, they are. But … the more we overstate them the more, frankly, we risk labelling Muslim communities as somehow intrinsically extremist, which actually despite an unprecedented wealth of social media propaganda, they have proved not to be. So I think we need to be cautious with our metaphors and with our numbers.”
In other Express news:
The Express picks up the news that one of the Paris murderers could have been a ‘refugee’ from Syria. It invites readers to respond to a premium-rate phone poll:
Does the Express have an agenda?
As the Express builds fences and divides, the Mirror says 2000 “extra spies” are being recruited to protect the UK”. To which the obvious question is: recruited from where?
Inside we learn that spies will be taken from SAS and SBS troops and seconded to Scotland Yard’s Counter Terrorism Command. These, presumably, would be crack troops not needed on the streets of Iraq and Syria to off the enemy?
The Mirror ads that any Syrian’s entering Britain as migrants are being vigorously screened.
But is it enough? The Mail leads with “THE DEADLY BLUNDERS”. It says suicide bomber Ahmad Almohammad “was waved into Europe posing as a Syrian refugee”. Salah Abdeslam “was in police clutches – but they let him go” – he was stopped and let go by police close to the Belgian border.
Let go? Or followed?
One other murderer attracts the Mails‘ attention – “blue-eyed” Ismael Omar Mostefai. Why his eye colour matters is odd, and something neo-Nazis are free to discuss.
The Mail then thunders: “They ever butchered fans in wheelchairs”.
Again, one for the Nazis.
The Mail then cites the aforesaid Farr: “450 jihadis back in UK but has a single passport been seized?” Like the Express, it too fails to note Farr’s other words on Muslims. But it does say:
Why is that news? Are all Muslims not under suspicion – the man in the newsagents, your friend at work, the bank manger, the wonderful singer Nadine Shah?
Over in te Sun, the message is that it’s “Time for Britain to take the fight to ISIS”.
Better yet, why not just give the Kurds guns and personnel. For some time the (Muslim) Kurds have been protecting Western civilisation from the Islamist nutters. Might be an idea to recognises your allies and back them.
Sky TV’s Kay Burley has news from the carnage in Paris:
Beyond parody. Or is it?
You should see the hyenas…
Qanta Ahmed says the slaughter in Paris was an attack on Islam. The jihadis are new form to totalitarianism:
To assert that this Islamism is un-Islamic is not a kneejerk response to the atrocities we saw last night, and so many times around the world. It is the only conclusion that can be drawn after serious consideration of its principles. The Damascene Muslim scholar, Bassam Tibi, identifies six tenets of Islamism – all quite new, and none can be honestly described as Islamic.
- Seeking a new world order through a new dictatorial global ‘caliphate’. (It matters little that the word ‘dawla’ — Islam as state — appears nowhere in the 80,000-word document that we accept as the revealed Quran.)
2. The establishment of Islamism within democracies — Islamists are keen to stand for election, but once they get into power they want to shut the democratic gate behind them.
3. Positioning Jews as Islam’s chief enemy, thereby making anti-Semitism central to the Islamist project (as Hamas’s founding charter attests).
4. The mutation of classical jihad into terrorist jihadism — with which the world has, alas, become all too familiar.
5. Sharia law. Not sharia as described by the Quran, but a concocted version used to impose a form of totalitarian rule which is without historical precedent. As the Islamic State regularly demonstrates, mercy has no place within Islamists’ version of sharia. In his searing study of the subject, the British lawyer Sadakat Kadri makes the critical observation that ‘pitiless punishment’, while lacking in Islam itself, has found a comfortable home in much of the Islamist world. Medieval barbarity has become a modern-day reality across much of the modern Muslim world — except that such punishment was unusual even in medieval times. Kadri notes that in five centuries of documented Ottoman legal history, there is only one record of a stoning to death.
6. The Islamists’ concept of purity and authenticity. Any challenge to Islamism is, to them, de facto evidence of an un-Islamic behaviour. As Professor Tibi puts it, this is what makes Islamism ‘a totalitarian ideology poised to create a totalitarian state’ on a par with Nazism and Leninism. ‘Given that Muslims constitute more than a quarter of humanity,’ he concludes, the tension ‘between civil Islam and Islamist totalitarianism matters to everyone’.
Image: Armed police are deployed in Place de la Republique during a false alarm incident on November 15, 2015 in Paris, France. France is currently observing three days of national mourning members of the public continue to pay tribute to the victims of Friday’s deadly attacks. A special service for the families of the victims and survivors is to be held at Paris’s Notre Dame Cathedral. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
The hideous far-right politico Marine le Pen looks at the massacre in Paris and sees her chance to become a credible leader:
France must “annihilate” Islamist radicals and regain control of its borders, the far-right National Front party leader Marine Le Pen said on Saturday after deadly attacks in the French capital. “Urgent action is needed,” Le Pen told reporters the day after 127 people were killed in assaults on cafes, a concert hall and a soccer stadium. “Islamist fundamentalism must be annihilated, France must ban Islamist organizations, close radical mosques and expel foreigners who preach hatred in our country as well as illegal migrants who have nothing to do here,” she said.
Intolerance will not be tolerated! Le Pen has joined the chant “Je suis Charlie”, in honour of the massacre at Charlie Hebdo magazine. She hasn’t a clue what it means. Free speech is just that. She is a face of control.
Islamic State claimed responsibility on Saturday for a coordinated assault by gunmen and bombers at locations across Paris, which President Francois Hollande said amounted to an act of war against France. Polls have been suggesting that Le Pen, known for her strong speeches against immigration, is likely to win regional elections in northern France in December. Surveys also see her making it to the second round of the presidential election in 2017, although not winning the run-off.
Terrifying stuff. Hollande’s next move will be crucial.
Image: French Front National party president Marine Le Pen takes part in a Unity rally ‘Marche Republicaine’ on January 11, 2015 in Beaucaire, France. The French far-right National Front (FN) held their own rally after being excluded from the Paris unity rally. An estimated one million people have converged in central Paris for the Unity March joining in solidarity with the 17 victims of this week’s terrorist attacks in the country. French President Francois Hollande led the march and was joined by world leaders in a sign of unity. The terrorist atrocities started on Wednesday with the attack on the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, killing 12, and ended on Friday with sieges at a printing company in Dammartin en Goele and a Kosher supermarket in Paris with four hostages and three suspects being killed. A fourth suspect, Hayat Boumeddiene, 26, escaped and is wanted in connection with the murder of a policewoman. (Photo by Patrick Aventurier/Getty Images)
What happens are airport security? The Economist takes a look at the panto;
The growing certainty that the mid-air destruction of a Metrojet airliner flying from Sharm el-Sheikh to St Petersburg was caused by a bomb placed in the baggage hold has led to predictable calls from politicians for tighter airport security across much of the world. “What we have got to do is ensure that airport security everywhere is at the level of the best,” said Philip Hammond, Britain’s foreign secretary. “That may mean additional costs; it may mean additional delays at airports as people check in.” The deaths of 224 people aboard the Airbus A321 is a tragedy. But if passengers groan at ever more intrusive security screening, they are right. . . .
Two things are striking about these events. The first is that, despite the terrorists’ fascination with blowing up airliners, attempts to do so are actually rather rare. Unless the Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 that disappeared last year was brought down by terrorists (the most probable theory remains pilot suicide) the explosion of the Metrojet A321 over Sinai is the first major success they have had against an airline since 2004, when two Russian planes were blown up. The second striking thing is that the enhanced airport security introduced after the terrorist attacks of 2001 played no role in thwarting any of these attacks.
It’s a waste of time.
Image: A sign directs travelers to a security checkpoint staffed by Transportation Security Administration (TSA) workers at O’Hare Airport on June 2, 2015 in Chicago, Illinois. The Department of Homeland Security said that the acting head of the TSA would be replaced following a report that airport screeners failed to detect explosives and weapons in nearly all of the tests that an undercover team conducted at airports around the country.
Kenan Malik looks at the massacre in Paris in “AFTER PARIS“. The killers slaughtered people at the Jewish-owned Bataclan theatre. They hit the Stade de France, where ‘Les Bleus’ were playing.
What the terrorists despised, what they tried to eliminate, were ordinary people, drinking, eating, laughing, mixing. That is what they hated – not so much the French state as the values of diversity and pluralism.
This is not terrorism with a political aim, but terror as an end in itself.
Who leads the response?
An ideal policy would marry the beneficial aspects of the two approaches – celebrating diversity while treating everyone as citizens, rather than as simply belonging to particular communities. In practice, though, Britain and France have both institutionalized the more damaging features – Britain placing minorities into ethnic and cultural boxes, France attempting to create a common identity by treating those of North African origin as the Other. The consequence has been that in both Britain and France societies have become more fractured and tribal. And in both nations a space has been opened up for Islamism to grow.
And her some the next President of the USA. It’s Trump:
Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump says victims of the terrorist attacks in France on Friday would have had a better chance of defending themselves if they were allowed to carry guns.
“When you look at Paris, you know, the toughest gun laws in the world, nobody had guns except for the bad guys, nobody,” Trump said at a campaign rally in Beaumont, Texas, on Saturday. “Nobody had guns, and they were just shooting them one by one.”
The billionaire business mogul said the outcome would have been “different” if citizens were armed.
“And I’ll tell you what, you can say what you want, but if they had guns, if our people had guns, if they were allowed to carry, it would have been a much, much different situation,” he said.
At least 129 civilians were killed in France in a series of coordinated terror attacks Friday. The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) has taken responsibility for the attacks.
Trump also called President Obama’s plan to take in displaced Syrian refugees “insane.”
What an awful idea. One thing we love about living in Britain is that citizens and not routinely armed.
Transfer balls: The Sunday Mirror says Manchester United are looking to make a move for Bayern Munich winger Arjen Robben.
Apparently, Robben is “at war” with team-mate Robert Lewandowski.
Robben will be 32 in January.
Why would he leave winning Bayern, where he’s contracted to until 2017, to play for Louis Van’ Gaal’s also-rans?
The British papers are full of Manchester United shopping at Bayern, but as yet all they’ve secured is early middle-aged Hitler doll model Bastian Schweinsteiger.
Just take this scoop in the Daily Mail:
And in the Express.
Kroos signed for Real Madrid. Robben signed a new deal with Bayern. And Muller “is set to sign a new contract with Bayern Munich”, according to this week’s Daily Express.
The US Registry of Motor Vehicles says Massachusetts woman Lindsay Miller can, as a Pastafarian, wear a colander on her head on her licence photo. The RMV only allows drivers to wear hats in their pictures for a medical or religious purpose. Miller says her Pastafarianism counts.
“As a member of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, I feel delighted that my Pastafarianism has been respected by the Massachusetts RMV,” says Miller. “While I don’t think the government can involve itself in matters of religion, I do hope this decision encourages my fellow Pastafarian Atheists to come out and express themselves as I have.”
She was represented by The American Humanist Association, which said Pastafarians believe the existence of a Flying Spaghetti Monster is “just as probable as the existence of the Christian God”.
“The First Amendment applies to every person and every religion, so I was dismayed to hear that Lindsay had been ridiculed for simply seeking the same freedoms and protections afforded to people who belong to more traditional or theistic religions,” said Patty DeJuneas, a member of the Secular Legal Society, which works with the American Humanist Association. “We appreciate that the RMV recognised the error, apologised, and issued a licence respecting her First Amendment rights, and hope that RMV staff will be trained to respect diversity.”
Good to see that Rastafarians are not touchy about someone lampooning them. No bombs. No cries of how offended they are and vows to attack Miller.
Take it away, Barrington Levy – collie weed for the colandar:
Transfer balls: The Sunday Mirror says Chelsea are ready to sell Diego Costa, 27.
The paper says Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho would have sold Costa last summer had he been able to find a replacement.
Andy Dunn says “a Costa sale was closer than most think”.
Dun’s scoop is not exactly new news. In January 2015, Deportes (Spain) said Chelsea had offered Cost to Real Madrid. That news was translated by the Express:
Although it comes as a shock to the Independent’s Jack De Menezes, who told his readers:
Diego Costa to Real Madrid: Seven reasons why Chelsea have not offered their striker for a transfer
Reasons include: he’s good; he scores; having played for Atletico any move to city rivals Real would see him booed and jeered; and “Francois Gallardo – the Spanish journalist claiming Chelsea have offered Costa to Real – is a bit of a character. He was the source of the rumours that claimed Lionel Messi was on his way out of Barcelona last year”.
Back in the Mirror, Dunn adds that should Chelsea not be able to sell Coast in January – and should they not be able to buy a better replacements – the deal will not go ahead. If that speculation is true, then Costa cuts an unhappy figure. Chelsea want him gone, and he is keen to leave.
The Sunday Express says Chelsea will opt for Antoine Griezmann, but he has just signed a new deal at Atletico Madrid. A bid in the region of £50m is touted.
The Sun on Sunday adds that Chelsea flop Radamel Falcao, 29, (formerly known as Manchester United flop Rademal Falcao) is off to Monaco if Chelsea can work out how to end his loan move.
Why thye ever signed the struggling Colombian in the first place is a discussion Roman Abramovich should have with Jose Mourinho (agent Jorge Mendes) and Falcao’s agent (Jorge Mendes).
Madeleine McCann: a look at reporting on the missing child.
On November 7th, the Sun and Mirror had news.
Mirror: “Gerry and Kate McCann reveal the reasons why they miss Maddie”
Well, she’s their young daughter. Surely we can imagine the reasons, which could go on for pages and pages until exhausted the bereft surmise: everything.
The parents of Madeleine McCann have compiled a heart-rending list of all the things they miss about their long-lost daughter in the run-up to Christmas.
The list accompanies a picture of the couple standing at their front door in Rothley, Leics. The photo, taken for the charity Missing People’s Home for Christmas Exhibition, is among 12 pictures of families who have missing loved ones.
Do we see the other in the Mirror? No.
The exhibition – at The Crypt in London’s St-Martin-in-the-Fields – highlights the plight of thousands of people across Britain who are living in limbo after the disappearance of a family member.
It’s not news, then. It’s charity PR.
A charity spokesperson said: “These powerful images depict families standing by their front doors, symbolising the hopes and fears experienced by those desperately waiting for news.”
As ever, in place of any actual news on the missing child who became the media’s benchmark for all missing people, we get the same old:
The picture of heart doctor Gerry and former GP Kate , both 47, is on public view until November 22. The couple, parents to 10-year-old twins Sean and Amelie, refuse to give up hope of finding their eldest child, who would now be 12.
We don’t get to know the names, jobs, ages of the others looking and waiting for missing people to return.
Missing People’s Jo Youle said: “The exhibition will give the public the opportunity to stand with these families missing a loved one by sharing messages of support.”
Stand with them? But you can’t stand with them. there is no enemy to sand firm against, unless forgetting is the encroaching intruder?
The Sun also the Missing Maddie missing things list, here tastefully presented in the Buzzfeed style:
The 23 things we miss most about our Maddie, by Gerry and Kate McCann
In yer face, Closer:
This is the Sun’s list:
Her sense of humour
Her imitations of people and characters
Her voice, her ‘chat’
That knowing look
Styling her hair
Chasing her round the garden
Sharing her excitement in the run-up to Christmas
Spoiling her on her birthday
Shopping with her
Going to a cafe with her
Holding her, hugging her, kissing the top of her head
Lying next to her
Our complete family of five
We miss her
On Missing People, we see other names of people being sought by loved ones:
On November 11, the Liverpool Echo had more on the missing:
Christmas carol service to be held in Anfield to remember people missing from Merseyside
The story begins:
Madeleine McCann’s mum is encouraging people to support a carol service is to be held next month in memory of Merseyside’s missing people.
Madeleine McCann went missing in Portugal.
The special service is being organised by UK charity, Missing People, as part of their Home for Christmas campaign…
Liverpool born Kate McCann Kate McCann whose daughter Madeleine has been missing since she disappeared while the family were on holiday in Portugal in 2007, was previously a member of the All Saints congregation.
No name of any other missing person features in the story.
In the Express & Star, Kirsty Bosley wonder why public displays of grief are now commonplace:
I remember back when Madeleine McCann went missing. The people of the small town of Willenhall created a shrine in the marketplace, leaving flowers, teddies, cards and messages for the girl and her family. I couldn’t understand it. I didn’t know how cluttering up a massive space that needed to be used for the practical purpose of trading would make anything better. And I didn’t see how those letters, that would go unread by Madeleine’s parents, were possibly helping the situation. Fortunately, I have never had to go through the horror of what they’re experiencing, and I hope I never will. Unless that happens, I won’t know what difference it can make; that strangers in a place I’ve never heard of dedicate a big chunk of their marketplace to teddies and candles.
You might call it mourn porn.
The Willenhall shrine to Maddie was the scene of much uproar a little while after it’s creation, when a councillor put her foot down and made the decision to clean it up. I understood exactly why she’d make that call, even though it was an unpopular one. At what point do you have to stand back and say enough is enough? If we leave flowers, scarves, shirts and letter memorials everywhere for anyone lost, we’d be trudging the streets knee-deep in the stinking brown sludge normally reserved for the bottom of a grave-top flower holder.
And that’s exactly where I think these memorials should be left, in gardens of remembrance, on graves and at specially-created monuments. There are only so many lamp posts and telegraph poles to decorate.
But newspapers mastheads remain fertile ground for emotive reporting in place of news.
Real Madrid have recommenced their tapping up for Chelsea’s Eden Hazard. Real coach Zinedine Zidane tells media:
“Do I see him going to Real Madrid ? Ask someone else. I love the player and that’s all.”
The Mirror says Zidane “has stepped up Real Madrid’s bid to crowbar yet another player out of the Premier League”.
Crowbar? Is the paper’s Darren Lewis deluded? Crowbar suggests a robbery, an attempt to nick the prize. No Premier League club can rival Real Madrid or Barcelona for glamour. They are European football’s ultimate clubs. Real don’t need a crowbar; they only need to beckon.
Zidane is telling Hazard he would be welcome at the mighty Real. A bid is surely inevitable. Zidane adds:
“After Messi and Ronaldo, Hazard is my favourite player. I love watching him because he is a player who creates things and it is often spectacular to see him play.”
He previously said:
“Obviously, there is Lionel Messi and Ronaldo, both of whom are spectacular, but I like Eden Hazard more. I like everything he does on the field. I like his behaviour, his decisiveness and love to see his progress every year.”
Linsey McGoey has been writing about The Bill and Melina Gates Foundation for the Guardian. The article begins with a rather ghoulish view that the charity would be better were Gates dead:
Would the Gates Foundation do more good without Bill? Philanthropic organisations such as the Rockefeller and Carnegie Foundations have had greater flexibility since their founders died
As Gates wonders whether death would be helpful to his causes, McGoey looks at the living Bill Gates:
What the sociologist Darren Thiel and I term “charismatic advantage” is more than just celebrity pulling power; it is the way one of the most powerful organisations in the world largely escapes negative media attention because Gates has come to signify something sacred about ourselves.
It’s an advantage that Bill Gates did not strategically design, and in many ways, to his credit, he doesn’t necessarily cultivate. But it means that important critical debate doesn’t happen as openly as it should.
Good job the Guardian is there to peer inside and investigate Bill.
At a time when activists are challenging corporate clout, the Gates Foundation is enriching for-profit companies: it has offered tens of millions in non-repayable grants to wealthy corporations such as Mastercard and Vodacom.
We need to challenge this silence. We need loudly to ask an uncomfortable question: do foundations narrow wealth inequalities or simply preserve them? Are foundations at their most radical when they exist to serve a benefactor’s hopes and whims – or when they’re emancipated from such an obligation?
In other news in the Guardian:
Mass murder in Paris. And WikiLeaks attempts to make a point:
If we are all Charlie Hebdo – and we should be; we must be – then this kind of balls by WikliLeaks must be mocked for the apologist bilge it is.
French President Francois Hollande promised early Saturday morning that France would respond to terrorist attacks that killed more than 120 people with a “pitiless” war against the group responsible.
“We are going to lead a war which will be pitiless,” he said at the Bataclan, the site of one of the attacks, according to the Guardian.
“Because when terrorists are capable of committing such atrocities, they must be certain that they are facing a determined France, a united France, a France that is together and does not let itself be moved, even if today we express infinite sorrow,” Hollande added.
Does he mean it?
A bizarre take on the situation indeed. Or perhaps not so bizarre considering the fact that HP has been writing about this insidious ideology which has people thinking that any attack on a Western country is richly deserved. That radicalization is an inevitable side effect of foreign policy and that any death at the hands of a terrorist is not the fault of the terrorists but of the government of the citizens who are murdered.
Australian Sam Davies tells us about the Le Carillon:
“This isn’t a tourist area, this is young, hipsters,” he said. “Le Carillon is the hipster ground zero of Paris.
“For me, it’s an incongruous attack. It’s a friendly, vibrant area of young people where all the cafes and bars are opening up.
The butchery in Paris – the latest episode – happened only a couple of hours ago, so there has not yet been time for the soma-peddlers of the professional media to regurgitate the stock line that it is Muslims who are the real victims of an attack that may well have claimed the lives of scores of non-Muslims. Coming soon, as sure as night follows day, there will be denunciations of “Islamophobia”, followed by the insight that food poisoning/sharks/road accidents/pick-your-peril kill many more people than terrorists, therefore it can only be bigots and xenophobes who think of Islam and Western civilization in terms of oil and water.
I am not going to blame Barack Obama entirely for what happened in Paris Friday – but mostly. And that’s not just because he famously called ISIS the jayvee team, when they are now unequivocally the New York Yankees or the Manchester United of terror, repellent as that analogy may be (he started it).
But what is clear from the carnage at the Bataclan Theatre and elsewhere in Paris that we will be studying for weeks or months to come is that the West has no leader in our evident civilizational war – no Churchill, no Roosevelt, no DeGaulle, not even a George W. Bush. It’s certainly not Barack Obama, a ludicrous man who thinks the world’s greatest problem is climate change in the face of Islamic terror. This is the same man who oversaw, indeed instigated, a large scale American démarche for the first time since World War II.
And look what happened. Well, we all know. We are living at a time when the Islamic world is having a nervous breakdown, actually more like a violent psychotic break, in its encounter with modernity and is determined to bring us all down with it.
Among his other coy evasions, President Obama described tonight’s events as “an attack not just on Paris, it’s an attack not just on the people of France, but this is an attack on all of humanity and the universal values we share”.
But that’s not true, is it? He’s right that it’s an attack not just on Paris or France. What it is is an attack on the west, on the civilization that built the modern world – an attack on one portion of “humanity” by those who claim to speak for another portion of “humanity”. And these are not “universal values” but values that spring from a relatively narrow segment of humanity. They were kinda sorta “universal” when the great powers were willing to enforce them around the world and the colonial subjects of ramshackle backwaters such as Aden, Sudan and the North-West Frontier Province were at least obliged to pay lip service to them. But the European empires retreated from the world, and those “universal values” are utterly alien to large parts of the map today.
And then Europe decided to invite millions of Muslims to settle in their countries. Most of those people don’t want to participate actively in bringing about the death of diners and concertgoers and soccer fans, but at a certain level most of them either wish or are indifferent to the death of the societies in which they live – modern, pluralist, western societies and those “universal values” of which Barack Obama bleats. So, if you are either an active ISIS recruit or just a guy who’s been fired up by social media, you have a very large comfort zone in which to swim, and which the authorities find almost impossible to penetrate.
Vive La France!
Paris mourns. And so should we all.
Transfer balls: the Sun leads its sports section with news that Manchester United are sure – dead sure – of signing Cristiano Ronaldo from Real Madrid. In an “exclusive”, Neil Curtis says United will see off any offers from Chelsea, whose owner Roman Abramovich has made Ronaldo his ‘No.1 target”.
It’s a little odd that two top side would appear so desperate to sign what would be a 31-year-old player with his best years behind him. Odder still that Madrid would sanction the sale of their greatest star with a few miles left on the clock.
Inside the paper, Curtis says Ronaldo signed for Real in 2009 “making clear he was going to finish his carer with the Spanish giants”.
Curtis then delivers a line so woolly, vagrants keeping warm with newspapers should line their anoraks with his column and snuggle down. Says Curtis:
“If there is any change of heart or Real decide, then United believe they will be in pole position ahead of any interest from Stamford Bridge.”
What about any interest from Sporting Lisbon, where Ronaldo started his professional career? For the hype about the Premier League being Ronaldo’s true home, where his heart lies, there is the fact that United bought and then sold him because Porto needed the money and he proved to be rather good and very keen to play for Real Madrid, his dream team.
Oakland Raiders player Ray-Ray Armstrong is accused of barking at a police dog and pounding his chest. Police stepped in after Armstrong, 24, allegedly lifted his top and woof-woofed in the direction of a police dog before the start of Sunday’s NFL game against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
“The dog was going crazy,” says chief deputy Kevin Kraus said. “The deputy was trying to control the dog the best she could. We were immediately notified about the incident, and we immediately initiated a criminal investigation into the matter.”
No, not to investigate why a hard-to-control police dog is so close to professional athletes, and barking at them. Police are investigating Ray-Ray and his woof-woof.
Caitlyn Jenner is telling Buzzfeed of “The Moment She Felt Most Proud To Be A Woman In 2015”.
Jenner, patriarch of the Jenner-Kardashian clan, is now an estranged matriach of that same televised tribe, having become a woman and divorced Kris Jenner. His body changed, but did his mind. Because it sounds not a lot unlike Jenner is mansplaining womanhood to, er, women. Not that the Buzzfeed team noticed, telling readers:
We sat down with Caitlyn Jenner backstage at Carnegie Hall to hear her brilliant words of wisdom, and, unsurprisingly, it was incredibly inspiring.
No fewer than three Buzzfeed journalists gave Jenner an audience – and, boy, were Kristin Harris, Whitney Jefferson, Sydney Scott wowed.
Them: “What was the moment that you felt most proud to be a woman in 2015?”
CJ: “Over the last six months it’s really been a progression. I have found that women have so much unleashed power that they don’t really utilize because they don’t have confidence in themselves about who they are, and what they can do. I have always actually been with and attracted to very strong women, and I think I’ve learned a lot from them. The power of the woman has just not even been unleashed around the world.”
Good job a it wasn’t a man saying that because he’d run the risk of coming across as patronising. And Caitlyn’s not finished.
CJ: “I think that’s to come, but I think that’s gonna come from confidence as these women grow up and get in better positions of authority — I think that will come. So, I am SO glad to be on this team and help it along!”
You see, girls. To get ahead and better understand yourselves you need more men. It was ever the way.
The final words are theses.
CJ: “The hardest part about being a woman is figuring out what to wear.”
Over to you, Marc Jacobs…
The Sun says FA Chairman Greg Dyke ‘fears a string of World Cups have been awarded with a “pile of bungs”‘.
But doesn’t every country bidding to host the World Cup wine, dine, promise and flatter?
England lost out to Russia for the right to host the 2018 tournament, coming fourth in the vote. There is talk that the FA will bid to host the 2026 World Cup finals.
Former boy scouts, listen up. Your skills are needed. Tesco is hiring “Christmas Light Untanglers”. If you are “able to untangle 3 meters of Christmas lights in under three minutes” and are “passionate about Christmas”, you can spend your days elbow-deep in flex.
Your roles and responsiblities will include:
• Man and managing the Christmas Lights Untangling stand
• Taking time to listen and help out wherever you can: Every little helps
• Check lights and bulbs for signs of breakage / broken bulbs and report findings to the customer
• Handle customers Christmas lights carefully to keep everything in tip-top condition
• Talking to colleagues, sharing your enthusiasm and helping to create team spirit
• Getting to know your customers, greet them with a smile and serve them with pride.
• Give a brilliant customer experience, making sure you deliver only the best service and put a smile on customers faces
• Successfully untangle customers Christmas lights neatly, quickly and efficiently and in an orderly fashion
• Abide by our Health and Safety policies
• Always be there on time and properly presented
• Be passionate and knowledgeable about the service you are offering
Try not to slit your wrists. Those bulbs can be sharp! Also: strangling.
The multi-tasking woman is reading Citizen: An American Lyric by Claudia Rankine.
Jacket copy (via Xeni Jardin):
Claudia Rankine’s bold new book recounts mounting racial aggressions in ongoing encounters in twenty-first-century daily life and in the media. Some of these encounters are slights, seeming slips of the tongue, and some are intentional offensives in the classroom, at the supermarket, at home, on the tennis court with Serena Williams and the soccer field with Zinedine Zidane, online, on TV-everywhere, all the time. The accumulative stresses come to bear on a person’s ability to speak, perform, and stay alive. Our addressability is tied to the state of our belonging, Rankine argues, as are our assumptions and expectations of citizenship. In essay, image, and poetry, Citizen is a powerful testament to the individual and collective effects of racism in our contemporary, often named “post-race” society.