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.
You can break the law is your cycle too fast. The Mail:
Battery-powered bicycles are being modified to travel at almost 30mph – twice the speed permitted in public places – putting owners and pedestrians at risk.
Cyclists fit devices that override a speed sensor on the bikes that cuts the motor at the legal limit of 15.5mph. Others are being sold bikes with motors that exceed the 250-watt power limit permitted on roads.
The Highway Code (rule 124) states speed limits but there are no figures for bicycles. And why is 15.5mph the maximum? How was that ascertained?
This site says:
Cyclists can’t be booked for speeding, but might be fined for ‘cycling furiously’ or ‘riding furiously’ which is an offence under the 1847 Town Police Clauses Act. However, cyclists can be convicted for ‘wanton and furious driving’ under the Offences Against the Person Act 1861 ( amended by the Criminal Justice Act 1948 (. 58), s. 1()) if they cause bodily harm to any person. They are then guilty of a misdemeanour and could, at the discretion of the court, be imprisoned for up to two years.
You can go fast but not go furious.
Keith Vaz MP is riding high on the news cycle. The Sunday Mirror has news on the Labour politician. It’s a story of sex, drugs and power. By way of a titter, the BBC notes: ‘Mr Vaz has been referred to in the media as the “Teflon” politician and “Vazeline” – because, in the words of the Telegraph, “nothing sticks”.’ The story is of gay sex with two male prostitutes, at leat one of whom is from Romania, allegedly.
The Mirror claims:
He is one of the most influential MPs in the House of Commons and is currently overseeing the biggest shake-up of Britain’s prostitution laws in a generation. But today the Sunday Mirror can reveal Keith Vaz, a married father of two, is leading a double life paying young male escorts for sex.
(As is alleged.)
Was he for or against legalised sex with prostitutes?
Mr Vaz last met two Eastern European prostitutes eight days ago, even though he is chair of a powerful parliamentary group probing vice and drugs. And as the talk ranged from sex to pets, Mr Vaz eventually said: “We need to get this party started.”
Pets? Richard Gere legend stuff? Dunno. But we’ve not seen Gordon the Gopher for a while, and you know how much Vaz loves celebs. But back to the story of sex for hire:
While chair of the Home Affairs Select Committee, Mr Vaz has publicly said he was “not convinced” that men who pay for sex should face prosecution.
“Treating soliciting as a criminal offence is having an adverse effect, and it is wrong that sex workers, who are predominantly women, should be penalised and stigmatised in this way. The criminalisation of sex workers should therefore end.”
Good. What consenting adults do with their bodies is not the State’s business.
In a 90-minute rendezvous on August 27, the former Minister for Europe offered to cover the cost of cocaine if it was brought to the flat – but said he did not want any himself. He is currently heading up the committee which has investigated harm caused by the illegal Class A drug.
Mr Vaz, Labour MP for Leicester East since 1987, also told the pair to bring along poppers – the sex-enhancing drug.
Cocaine? In 2009, Vaz said:
“As part of our investigation into the cocaine trade we want to explore the human cost of drug taking, particularly on users and their families. We are pleased Mitch Winehouse, the father of Amy, has agreed to share with us research for a documentary on the damaging effects of drug abuse and of the effectiveness of drug rehabilitation.”
A touch hypocritical, then? Maybe. There is no suggestion he took any illegal drugs. If adults want to take banned narcotics, well, that too is their own affair. Cocaine should be legal. If what’s alleged is true, Vaz is coming across as a liberal.
Vaz tells the Mail on Sunday:
“I am genuinely sorry for the hurt and distress that has been caused by my actions in particular to my wife and children. I will be informing the Committee on Tuesday of my intention to stand aside from chairing the sessions of the Committee with immediate effect.”
He then said in a statement:
“At this time I do not want there to be any distraction from the important work the Home Affairs Select Committee undertakes so well. Select Committees do vital work in holding the government and others to account. We are due to publish two Reports, one into Anti Semitism and the other into FGM in the next few days, in addition we have a number of key witnesses.
“I will of course inform Committee members first of my plans when we meet on Tuesday.
“My decision has been based entirely on what is in the best interests of the Committee which I have had the privilege of Chairing for the last 9 years.”
Got that? Vaz has stepped down from a committee looking into sex and drugs because it’s alleged he might know about them.
Like you we are shocked and appalled (surely, sniggering and gossiping – ed). After all, when Paris Brown, then just 17 years old, was chosen to be Kent’s youth police crime commissioner, her Twitter account made waves. There was a comment on drugs – “I really wanna make a batch of hash brownies” – sex – “Worst part about being single is coming from a party/night out horny as f*** and having to sleep alone” – and argy-bargy – “I don’t condone violence but im so pleased that my brother thumped the fat little fuck.”
Teenagers, eh. Exposed in the tabloid Press, Paris soon resigned.
And who was outraged and disgusted by Brown’s mere words? Yep, Keith Vaz, who stated:
“Public money should never be given to anyone who refers to violence, sex, drunkenness and other antisocial behaviour in this offensive manner.”
Paris was getting £15,000 a year as the police wonk. Vaz’s public service earns him far more. Although his alleged comments were made in private, via text.
PS: Think of the children. We look to our MPs as role models. If Keith Vaz is being linked to drugs and sex on the clock, won’t kids follow his example? After all, when he saw the computer game Modern Warfare 2, Vaz was “absolutely shocked at the level of violence in this game”. He asked what steps ministers were taking to ensure that violent games did not fall into the hands of children and young people. “It’s not about censorship,” said dad-of-two Keith, “it’s about protecting our children.”
The big question is: does Harry Potter like Jerrmy Corbyn? The Guardian says he does:
Daniel Radcliffe has endorsed Jeremy Corbyn for leader of the Labour party, saying the veteran leftwinger’s sincerity won him over. The Harry Potter star told The Big Issue that Corbyn’s informal style had excited voters and was a welcome departure from scripted politics.
The Guardian was sticking to the right script, albeit wrongly. The paper later regretted the error:
NOTE: This article was published in error. It was based on social media circulation of an interview Daniel Radcliffe gave to the Big Issue in September 2015. It is not known whether he still holds these views. It originally ran with the headline ‘Daniel Radcliffe endorses Jeremy Corbyn for Labour leader’ and was published at 4.55am on 4 September 2016. The original article read as follows:
Whoops! As the Guardian checks the date of Seamus Milne’s contract (the paper says, he’s “a Guardian columnist and associate editor”; he’s also Jeremy Corbyn’s spin doctor), we look at what Radcliffe told the Big Issue:
“I feel like this show of sincerity by a man who has been around long enough and stuck to his beliefs long enough that he knows them and doesn’t have to be scripted is what is making people sit up and get excited. It is great.”
A days is long time in politics. A year is a lifetime…
The paper cites the work of Professor Denis Henshaw, scientific director at Children with Cancer UK, who tells the Daily Telegraph: ” “These significant rises in cancer cases cannot be explained by improvements in cancer diagnosis or registration alone – lifestyle and environmental causal factors must be considered.”
The Mail adds:
He told the Sunday Telegraph that burnt barbecues, the electric fields of power lines, and hairdryers were contributors to the rise, as well as a pregnant mother’s diet and working shifts.
Over in the Telegraph, we learn:
Modern life is killing children with the number of youngsters diagnosed with cancer rising 40 per cent in the past 16 years because of air pollution, pesticides, poor diets and radiation, scientists have warned.
Modern life gives you cancer?
New analysis of government statistics by researchers at the charity Children with Cancer UK found that there are now 1,300 more cancer cases a year compared with 1998, the first time all data sets were published. The rise is most apparent in teenagers and young adults aged between 15 and 24, where the incident rate has risen from around 10 cases in 100,000 to nearly 16.
Dr Denis Henshaw, Professor of Human Radiation Effects at Bristol University, the scientific adviser for Children with Cancer UK, said air pollution was by far the biggest culprit, accounting for around 40 per cent of the rise, but other elements of modern lifestyles are also to blame.
Among these are obesity, pesticides and solvents inhaled during pregnancy, circadian rhythm disruption through too much bright light at night, radiation from x-rays and CT scans, smoking during and after pregnancy, magnetic fields from power lines, gadgets in homes, and potentially, radiation from mobile phones.
Radiation. Might that be the link. It’s use has risen over the pst two decades. Also, some cruel twist to think that the radiotherapy and CT scan that tests for and treats cancer might be making things worse.
Stay in the bike lane. And stay to the end of this video. It’s not easy.
Amanda Marcotte has a message for Trump supporters. She writes in Salon:
A modest proposal: Trump has it all wrong — to prevent crime, we need to do some “extreme vetting” of men
It’s not all immigrants who need vetting. It’s just the male ones. We should only let the women in. At least that’s what she might be saying:
There are, however, two groups of people who really do commit crime, especially violent crime, at wildly different rates: Men and women.
According to FBI crime statistics, men are arrested for roughly three-quarters of all crimes. When it comes to violent crime, the stats are even worse. Nearly 9 out of 10 people arrested for murder are male. Ninety-nine percent of rape arrestees are men. Men are arrested for 8 out of 10 aggravated assaults.
If Trump is right and the crime rate is serious enough of a problem to compel us to abandon basic human rights so as to subject certain groups of people to monitoring and legal intimidation, then it’s not immigrants we should target. It’s men.
Amanda. Spot on. But the forces of law and order already know it. They watch men far more than they watch women (via):
Rather than stating the bleedin’ obvious and missing the truth of it, Amanda might care to campaign for more female police officers (via):
Female cops accounted for just 3.4 percent of officers involved in the “83 most serious lawsuits” against the LAPD from 1986 to 1990. While the stats suggested that female cops aren’t reluctant to use force, the commission reasoned, they’re not nearly as likely to use excessive force. “With some exceptions, female officers interviewed believed they were more communicative, more skillful at de-escalating potentially violent situations and less confrontational,” the report reads. “A suspect’s defiance and disrespect of an officer often gives rise to use of force by an officer. Many officers, both male and female, believe female officers are less personally challenged by defiant suspects and feel less need to deal with defiance with immediate force or confrontational language.”
Policing remains one of the most male-dominated professions in America: in the 1970s, about 97 percent of American cops were men, and in 2013, that had fallen only to 88 percent, meaning that the police force is even more gender imbalanced than the active-duty military, which was 84.9 percent male as of 2014. And while there are way more men than there are women policing American streets, the gender disparity for police use of force is even greater. Paquette reports that of the 54 officers that have been charged with killing someone with a gun while they were on duty, just two have been female.
And sex crimes?
Deborah Friedl has 30 years with the Lowell Police Department in Massachusetts, and she is now deputy superintendent of police there, the first woman to hold that job. For at least a decade, she and an international cadre of women police leaders, including The National Center for Women and Policing in the U.S. have been promoting research showing that the best way to reduce rates of violence against women, sexual assault, rape, and homicide is to hire more women officers.
Maybe the new arrivals could be encouraged to join the Thin Blue Line?
More evidence that there is no anti-Semitism in the Labour Party. The Jewish News reports on Ruth Smeeth, Labour MP:
Counter-terrorism police have launched an investigation into a fanatic who has threatened to hang a Jewish female Labour MP from the gallows. Ruth Smeeth is reportedly receiving special protection from police after receiving the foul-mouthed death threat on Facebook, which included anti-Semitic and homophobic abuse.
The Stoke-on-Trent MP is branded a “yid”, “dyke” and a “CIA agent” in the highly offensive rant which is reported in The Sun.
The abuser finishes the post by saying: “Ruth Smeeth is British and from my perspective since treason is still a capital offence in Britain, the gallows would be a fine and fitting place for this Dyke piece of Yid s*** to swing from”
The threat was issued in July, soon after the MP fled the launch of Labour’s report into anti-Semitism in tears after being accused by a Momentum activist of colluding with the right-wing press.
Ms Smeeth accused Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn of a “catastrophic failure of leadership” for failing to intervene during the incident and said the Labour Party “cannot be a safe space” for British Jews.
Ms Smeeth is quoted in The Sun saying of that incident: “I very much hold Jeremy personally responsible”.
The Facebook rant is captured and reproduced:
The Sun says the ranter is a Corbyn supporter:
We hear from a Corbyn PR:
“Jeremy has consistently spoken out against all forms of anti-semitism and has contacted Ruth Smeeth to express his outrage at the abuse and threats directed against her. Jeremy condemns all abuse, and no one responsible for it is a genuine supporter of Jeremy’s. He has repeatedly called for a kinder, gentler politics.”
Smeeth is quoted by the Press Association:
Ms Smeeth told BBC2’s Victoria Derbyshire programme. “I know that Jeremy Corbyn would condemn this, but it’s not about condemning, it’s about what people are doing in his name. What I need is for the leader of my party, the leader of Her Majesty’s opposition, to make it clear what can be done. He should be naming and shaming some of the worst perpetrators who are doing it in his name, and making it clear publicly that they do not speak for him, that this is unacceptable.
“There is a vile amount of racism and intolerance and abuse online, which then feeds on to our streets and leads to a culture of intolerance that he could actually personally do something about. That’s what I’m asking him to do.”
In other news:
Exclusive: Shadow minister’s aide suspended over Zionist posts.
An aide to shadow international development secretary Kate Osamor endorsed a controversial Palestinian activist’s social media posts
Elizabeth Dudley, who was a member of Kate Osamor’s parliamentary staff, ‘liked’ two Facebook posts from a West Bank activist, who Jewish News revealed yesterday is to speak at an event organised by Newcastle Palestine Solidarity Campaign.
One incendiary post from Iyad Burnat said: “To the American people do not bother to vote in the elections. The Zionists had identified the next president.”
Another post from him that was ‘liked’ by Dudley showed the bodies of dead children with the flag of Israel alongside the swastika. Wording above said: “Is the Zionists terrorists? What is the difference between Zionism and Nazism?”
Osamor told the Jewish News: “Having been made aware of these posts, the member of staff has been suspended with immediate effect.”
Conclusion: There is no anti-Semitism in the Labour Party.
Jeremy Corbyn has appeared on Press TV five times. Press TV is the Iranian regime’s propaganda channel. It used to be broadcast in the UK but it was banned “for its role in filming the tortured forced-confession of Iranian liberal journalist Maziar Bahari.” Bahari has called Corbyn a “useful idiot”, adding:
People who present programmes for Press TV and get paid for it should be really ashamed of themselves — especially if they call themselves liberals and people who are interested in human rights.
The Mail adds:
One Labour MP criticised the party leader’s links to Press TV, and said he should donate all the money to a Jewish charity. In 2011 Mr Corbyn took part in a round-table discussion on the channel with journalist Yvonne Ridley, lamenting the killing of Osama bin Laden.
Mr Corbyn told PinkNews his £20,000 fee for four appearances between 2009 and 2012 ‘wasn’t an enormous amount, actually’.
Is it enough to buy a train ticket?
“Woman breaking wind cuts through sombre silence of Grimsby courtroom” is our local news story of the week.
The Grimsby Telegraph doesn’t say whether Grimsby Magistrates’ Court is famed for its silence, only that during proceedings a woman sat in the public gallery let rip.
Mark Naylor then adds:
One male observer, originally sitting unknowingly next to the culprit on the front row of the public gallery.. hastily moved back a row to provide a bit more distance in the event of a second unexpected event.
He also took cover outside the courtroom door later on during proceedings in a wise pre-emptive bid to avoid being in the firing line in the event of an ear-splitting encore.
He later suffered the indignity of being blamed by others for being the one responsible for the noise in the first place.
Where this man is known to your reporter is unknown, but reputations for chivalry have been built on less.
In the Mail, Adam Crafton has written on his interview with Eder (Éderzão António Macedo Lopes), the Portuguese footballer whose goal won Euro 2016 for Portugal.
His father, Filomeno Antonio Lopes, has been in an English prison since 2003, serving a life sentence for the murder of Eder’s stepmother, Domingas Olivais. Eder falls silent, takes a sip of water and says: ‘OK, let’s talk properly about this.’ Over the half hour that follows, Eder answers questions about his father’s past, relives his upbringing in an orphanage and explains why, just two years ago, he came very close to ending his own life.
There could be a movie in this tale of rags to riches. And there are others. Former Barcelona star Rivaldo lost his teeth to malnutrition.
Diego Armando Maradona… grew up in the shanty town of Villa Fiorito, where he shared one room with seven siblings. Sanitation facilities were somewhat crude and one night, when still a toddler, Maradona fell into the family cesspit after losing his way in the dark. Fortunately his Uncle Cirilo, screaming “Diegito, keep your head above the shit”, was on hand to rescue the youngster. “It wasn’t easy, eh? Nothing was easy,’ recalls Maradona with masterful understatement. One local resident remembers El Diego’s formative years thus. “He had nothing else but football,” says Jose Trotte. “He was not educated, he had no sophistication. He was shirtless and barefooted. He was just this street kid with a gift from God.”
And a hand from God, too.
The Jungle refugee camp in Calais is troubling Stella Creasy MP. She writes in The Guardian:
As signatories to the 1951 refugee convention, Britain should share responsibility for helping more people, not just in camps in poorer nations but across Europe too. That means providing more legal safe routes to sanctuary and funding the administrative mechanisms for people to access them.
France is a safe haven for refugees. A refugee has been forced to leave their home by fear. Creasy’s lament scratches the notion of sovereignty. Where does the UK’s powers and and the EU’s power begin? Is a democratic state allowed to say who lives in its country?
If we are for allowing people to live and work in the UK, we should debate it. Creasy writes:
We can’t abandon refugee children – and that includes us, the politicians…
Why wouldn’t it include politicians, the people we elect to make decisions? Who made them something other than us, the mere humans who vote for them?
Refugee camps are not a long-term solution. But demolishing them or hoping other countries will deal with the problem because it isn’t happening on our soil isn’t a sustainable or honourable response.
Instead of meaningful debate about human freedom, the issue is reduced to infantalized virtue signalling over who cares most for the refugees, portrayed either as hapless and saintly or criminal and dangerous.
Time to treat them as adults.
Sorry to see Gawker go? Here are a few words on what they said about the US site:
Denton’s self-starting staff crossed two rich and angry men. One was the wrestler Hulk Hogan, incensed when Gawker published part of a video showing him having sex with a friend’s wife. Hogan took Gawker Media to court and won a total of $140 million in March. Hogan’s suit was bankrolled by Peter Thiel, a billionaire whom Gawker had outed as gay in 2007. At last month’s GOP convention, Thiel told the audience that, “I’m proud to be gay. I’m proud to be a Republican.” Gawker, for its part, went proudly bankrupt.
Gawker, the muck-raking, dirt-digging, mud-slinging internet magazine, has just been forcibly closed down. It was not found guilty of threatening America’s national security, or corrupting the nation’s youth. Instead, Gawker was put out of business for publishing true stories that some people found offensive. One of those offended people happened to be a Silicon Valley billionaire, who used his wealth and power to shut Gawker’s irreverent mouth as surely as if he had been a Third World tyrant sending the cops to close a dissident newspaper.
But this is more than an outrageous tale of a thin-skinned rich boy. Gawker’s demise is only the headline in a bigger story about a campaign to tame press freedom, online as well as in print, and to sanitise the news media. It is a campaign being led on both sides of the Atlantic, not by old-fashioned censors, but by a new alliance of illiberal-liberal prigs who want to ‘ethically cleanse’ the media of whatever is not to their refined taste.
Nick Denton (Gawker publisher):
Peter Thiel has achieved his objectives. His proxy, Terry Bollea, also known as Hulk Hogan, has a claim on the company and my personal assets after winning a $140 million trial court judgment in his Florida privacy case. Even if that decision is reversed or reduced on appeal, it is too late for Gawker itself. Its former editor, who wrote the story about Hogan, has a $230 million hold on his checking account. The flagship site, a magnet for most of the lawsuits marshaled by Peter Thiel’s lawyer, has for most media companies become simply too dangerous to own.
Peter Thiel has gotten away with what would otherwise be viewed as an act of petty revenge by reframing the debate on his terms. Having spent years on a secret scheme to punish Gawker’s parent company and writers for all manner of stories, Thiel has now cast himself as a billionaire privacy advocate, helping others whose intimate lives have been exposed by the press. It is canny positioning against a site that touted the salutary effects of gossip and an organization that practiced radical transparency.
As former Gawker developer Dustin Curtis says, “Though I find the result abhorrent, this is one of the most beautiful checkmates of all time by Peter Thiel.”
That crisis and the editorial changes that followed it did almost as much as the Peter Thiel-funded Hulk Hogan lawsuit to illustrate that what made Gawker great also made it vulnerable. In a word: money. (And an internet that’s become increasingly responsive to it.) Gawker was able to be what it was because it existed at the whim of an eccentric millionaire, not beholden to corporate interests, who was interested in what journalism could be. It was only a matter of time, perhaps, before other eccentric billionaires (like Peter Thiel and Frank VanderSloot) would come along who were more interested in what it couldn’t.
That Thiel succeeded in destroying Gawker by secretly funding Hulk Hogan’s lawsuit is a serious sign in a media landscape that’s already lost most of its biodiversity. But Gawker’s closure is a loss for its own sake. And ours.
Until the news broke that tech billionaire Peter Thiel was funding former pro wrestler Hulk Hogan’s suit against (now-defunct) gossip blog Gawker for outing him as gay nearly a decade ago, most people were unaware that third parties — traditionally, hedge funds — could bankroll a lawsuit against a person or business
As a result, start-ups in the field of litigation-finance investment have gained prominence, with a simple pitch to investors: Put up as little as $5,000 to fund lawsuits, and make money.
What price free speech?
Is this Tom Baker talking in an outtake for an advert he was recording? YouTuber campfreddie thinks it might be:
Tom Baker is over here.
In among the headline figure of £1.165bn spent by desperate Premier League clubs in the transfer window is news of Liverpool’s Mario Balotelli. He’s singed for Nice. And Liverpool let him go for free. Well, so go the media headlines. But what Liverpool did was to save themselves £90,000 ever week in the wages Balotelli earned nicking a living (although the Mail says it was £125,000-a-week)
Balotelli, 26, made 28 appearances for Liverpool, scoring four goals, since joining from AC Milan for £16m in 2014.
It might be worth looking at what they said when Balotelli signed for Liverpool:
Balotelli: “I’m happy to be back because I left England and it was a mistake. I wanted to go to Italy but I realised it was a mistake. English football is generally better. English football is beautiful.”
Brendan Rodgers: “This transfer represents outstanding value for the club and I think we have done a really smart piece of business here.”
Robbie Savage: “Mario Balotelli to Liverpool: Robbie Savage on why the signing would be a masterstroke by Brendan Rodgers…Life won’t be dull at Anfield when Balotelli is around. And after turning Suarez into a £75 million player, who’s to say Rodgers won’t repeat the trick with another exotic striker?”
“I memorised what it looked like and as soon as I got home I started drawing it.,” says Steve Swatton, 60, who saw the Beast of Dartmoor in a Plymouth field. “I used to be quite good at sketching and I just kept changing the drawing until I got it right.”
“It was very sleek and about the size of an Alsatian. It was like looking at a shadow as it was jet black, as black as you can get. It was very powerful looking and its tail was very long too. What struck me about its tail was where it hung down its hindquarters it was very long and the same thickness all the way down. It was a perfect bow shape – if you put a piece of string across it, it would look like a strung bow. It was watching us and I think we spotted each other at the same time as we were about 50 – 60 yards away.
“Then all of a sudden it disappeared and hopped over a hedge into the scrub land which leads into the forest. I ran up there as I thought there might be a chance of seeing it, but it was gone. It was probably more scared of us than us of it. I wasn’t that scared at the time but thinking about it now if I had been cornered it could have got a bit nasty, as it probably weighs about 60/70lbs – heavy enough to bring a deer down.”
So they say…
He appears to be foremost a paedophile. There is no word that Islam played a part in his crimes. Maybe culture did?
A refugee jailed over the sickening rape of a 10-year-old boy told authorities that it was culturally acceptable to sexually assault children in his homeland.
Mufiz Rahaman, 20, slumped forward in the dock at Downing Centre District Court yesterday as he was sentenced to five years in jail, with a non-parole period of three years, after pleading guilty to aggravated sexual assault of the boy in the child’s bed on January 8 last year …
In sentencing Rahaman, Judge Andrew Scotting said the community from which the offender came from “had demonstrated a lack of proper morality”.
Do citizenship lessons include a section on morals? And isn’t raping boys why so many Western men travel to south-Eastern Asia?
Big news for Sun readers. Tom Gillespie has produced a guide for web users keen to watch porn for free.
IF work’s giving you the blues and you’re in need of some light relief it might be time to celebrate FREE PORN DAY… after all Christmas is still four months away.
Is it also Masturbate at Work Day? Yeah, why wait until Christmas to experience the guilty pleasures of Home Alone?
It’s: “A HANDY GUIDE Free Porn Day is coming and adult websites Evil Angel, Vivid and Kink are inviting users to watch sex all day for free.”
Who knew anyone paid for porn?
The tabloids love nothing more than the story of a wayward footballer. In “FOOTIE ACE WALKS FREE” we read of the “Player who left girl, 14, in coma after slipping ecstasy into her mouth when they kissed”.
Who is this “ace” player? He must be a star name to be an “ace”?
Well done to anyone who guessed Stefan MacRitchie, a 20-year-old player with the mighty Highland league side Strathspey Thistle (founded 1993; stadium capacity: 1600; 150 seated). He used to play for the still mightier Fort William.
At court in Inverness, it’s found that the girl did not know Ritchie was going to slip her the drug at a party on December 31, 2013, nor what it was until she asked him.
MacRitchie was ordered to carry out 200 hours of community work and must remain under the supervision of a social worker for 18 months.
But the mother of his victim, who cannot be named for legal reasons, slammed the sentence and said: “I’m shocked. Deep down inside I thought there’s no way they’ll let him walk away from this. Obviously, it would have taken my daughter to die and a murder charge for him to be put behind bars. We were lucky she survived. One of these days he will really harm someone. I’m shocked and disgusted. Petty criminals get put in jail for less.”
She tells the Daily Record:
“She was black and blue. We were holding her, trying to keep her safe, but she was hallucinating, thinking things were coming out of the walls to get her.”
MacRtichie is a scrote. What he did was dangerous and pathetic. But why wasn’t he jailed? Well:
Sheriff Gordon Fleetwood decided against jailing the footballer because the girl had a cocktail of other drugs in her system. He said the girl had told hospital staff who treated her that “she had been given them by an adult at the party and not Stefan MacRitchie.” Analysis showed that the teenager had also consumed amphetamine, meth-amphetamine and an anti-depressant on top of the ecstasy, the court heard.
We don’t know if all or any of those drugs were given to her without her consent, although the Mail says “she told [hospital] staff she had been snorting white powder at the party”. News is that she had also been drinking.
As for MacRitchie, well, drugs changed him. Before he became a criminal, he was never an “ace” footballer. He only became when one of them when the Press wanted to bash the national sport.
France’s prime minister, Manuel Valls, wants French women to be like Marianne. “Marianne has a naked breast because she is feeding the people,” he declared. “She is not veiled, because she is free! That is the republic!”
As the Guardian notes, “Marianne officially became a symbol of the French Republic in 1848, after the fall of the monarchy”, who preferred crowns and fur-lined robes.
The paper than quotes the oft-ridiculous UN then wades into the debate over burkini bans – the UN Human Rights Committee features some unlikely members.
The UN human rights office welcomed a decision last week by France’s highest administrative court to suspend one of the burkini bans, ruling it “manifestly illegal”. This decision is likely to set a legal precedent. But most of the mayors who have banned burkinis are still refusing to withdraw the restrictions and four face further legal action from rights groups this week.
Is it “manifestly illegal” to make a woman wear a headscarf in Saudi Arabia, then, and ban them from wearing certain items of clothing in public?
Nora Mulready takes a view:
I have by now read countless tweets, articles, facebook posts etc with reference to some variation of “a woman was forced to strip at gunpoint by the French police.” I’m sorry, but this didn’t happen. The French police carry guns. If they give you directions, did they tell you to tourner à gauche at gunpoint? No, of course not. There was never any threat that the woman would be shot, and to suggest there was is either deliberately dishonest or genuinely daft. This is France, where they subscribe to Human Rights law, it’s not the wild west of an ISIS’ ‘caliphate’. She was never in any danger from the police. Further, there was no ‘force’. A woman was asked to comply with a publicly advertised dress code, or leave the beach. She was given a choice. She choose to stay on the beach. In Venice recently I wasn’t allowed to enter St Mark’s Basilica without covering my shoulders. I had a choice, wear a shawl given by the church security, or don’t come in. I wanted to go in, I made a choice, I complied. It’s infantilising to suggest that women are incapable of making such a choice without feeling mortally offended, feeling vulnerable, feeling violated. We’re pretty robust, rational creatures these days, capable of weighing up our options and making decisions.
The Enlightenment continues.
Good news. Facebook has reconsidered. The picture of 16th-century theologian Desiderius Erasmus’s fingers is not offensive. When Stephen Ellcock posted the image on his Facebook page, Facebook banned him, suspending him from posting for 30 days.
Facebook soon blamed it on “human error” by one of its employees and reinstated his account.
Mr Ellcock, 59, tells the Times:
“I’ve had death threats, I’ve had stalkers. I have received threatening messages from photo agencies and American academic institutions warning me of dire consequences if I didn’t stop posting copyrighted material… What I’m trying to do is create an online museum in the same way Uber is a cab company without any cabs.”
We’re delighted to say that Stephen Ellcock will soon be contributing to flashbak.com.
Is the University of Iowa’s Athletics mascot, Herky the Hawk, a little lacking in emotional depth?
“I believe incoming students should be met with welcoming, nurturing, calm, accepting and happy messages,” Resmiye Oral, a clinical professor of paediatrics at UI, writes in an email to UI athletic department officials. “And our campus community is doing a great job in that regard when it comes to words. However, Herky’s angry, to say the least, face conveying an invitation to aggressivity and even violence is not compatible with the verbal messages that we try to convey to and instill in our students and campus community.”
Oral is big on words. She wants to “bring diversity” to how Herky emotes.
“UI athletic department officials are aware of this request and are in the process of formulating a response in regard to Herky,” replies Steve Roe, the department’s director of communications.
Says Herky: “I have no regrets about using Botox. But I deny having had cosmetic surgery. My face is my fortune.”
North Korea finds a use for its vast haul of bullets:
Two senior North Korean officials were executed with an anti-aircraft gun in early August on the orders of Kim Jong-un, South Korea’s JoongAng Ilbo newspaper reported, citing people it did not identify.
Unless North Korea is saving every bullet it can and the officials were beaten with the anti-aircraft gun or it was dropped on them?
Ri Yong Jin, a senior official in the education ministry — possibly minister — was arrested for dozing off during a meeting with Kim and charged with corruption before being killed, the paper said. Former Agriculture Minister Hwang Min was purged over a proposed project seen as a direct challenge to Kim’s leadership, it said.
Sleeping in class is a crime:
Since taking over after his father’s death in late 2011, Kim has carried out a series of executions of party and military officials. The most high-profile was the December 2013 execution of Jang Song-thaek, Kim’s uncle and former political guardian. Another high-profile execution was that of Hyon Yong-chol, North Korea’s former defense chief, who South Korean intelligence said was executed by firing squad in April 2015 on charges of dozing off during a meeting attended by the supreme leader.
Remains are then tossed to the dogs. Well, maybe. The source for this story offers no evidence. In fact, we never see any evidence of Mr Kim’s toughness:
In late April , the Committee for Human Rights in North Korea uncovered “a ghastly sight” at a military firing range: analyzed satellite images showed six anti-aircraft gun systems being fired upon a small target at short range last October. The group assessing the bizarre scene decided it was an execution that had been watched by high-level officials who’d driven in from the capital of Pyongyang.
“Anyone who has witnessed the damage one single U.S. .50 caliber round does to the human body will shudder just trying to imagine a battery of 24 heavy machine guns being fired at human beings. Bodies would be nearly pulverized,” the report reads. “The gut-wrenching viciousness of such an act would make ‘cruel and unusual punishment’ sound like a gross understatement.”
He’s a vicious sod is Mr Kim. Well, so they say…
The victims of this brutality are unknown, but there is no shortage of past examples. In 2012, a shocked international press reported that a military officer was sentenced to death for drinking during the official mourning period for Kim’s father, Kim Jong Il. The method of execution was reportedly by short-range mortar firing squad. According to a source talking to South Korean newspaper Chosun Ilbo, it was ordered that “no trace of him [be left] behind, down to his hair.”
Show me the body.
Breaking news from Australia. A man has been attacked. His wounds are ‘not serious…just life threatening”.
The Times says “Chelsea’s new stadium has been delayed by “quiet assassins on the wing”. Surely the noise police don’t have a problem with Chelsea expanding their ground. That place has been quiet ever since the old die-hards were priced out of the place.
The story is not about people who enjoy the quiet. It’s about creatures who are quiet:
A colony of bats in the neighbouring Brompton cemetery, a Grade I-listed Victorian burial ground…threatens to derail the project and make the proposed completion date of 2020 appear optimistic.
The local council, Hammersmith and Fulham, has asked the club managers to explain how they propose to protect the cemetery and the denizens of its catacombs before approving the new stadium, which the architects claim is inspired by Westminster Cathedral.
Easy. Rebrand the cemetery as a stand. The bodies should up the crowd for those mid-week matches.