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.
ews of a teenager stabbed to death outside a Coventry nightclub is reported thus in the Daily Mirror:
Sick revellers ‘took photos of teenager dying from stab wounds and posted them on SnapChat’
Those “revellers” are unlikley have been revelling in a young’s man death outside Society nightclub in Coventry. And as for spotting the sickos, might that not be a word best used to describe the victim’s killer or killers?
Do we know yet which side we are rooting for in the Syrian civil war? Once upon a time we are anti-Assad. Then we realised that some of the barrel-bombing dictator’s enemies were not our friends because they started to decapitate and burn people alive in snuff movies starring Islamic State’s leading video blogger Jihadi John. We had thought out best bet were the Kurds, who if not exactly holding the gates of Vienna were laying claim to land they were prepared to fight for.
And then we read of British teenage girl Shilan Ozcelik, 18. She’s been arrested for allegedly trying to fight for the glorious Kurds against Islamic State.
She might be a hero were it not for the British police.
To St Joseph’s Roman Catholic Primary School in Devizes, Wiltshire, where God is on the phone.
There is talk of “outrage” that headmistress Sheila Jones “humiliated children” by standing in the school’s prayer room and telling God via her mobile phone that the children had misbehaved.
Some parents have called Ofsted, who have asked Wiltshire Council’s safeguarding team to investigate.
The story of Prince Andrew and the underage ‘sex slave’ Victoria Roberts has down the British media’s newscycle. But elsewhere it nags on. Roberts claims to have shagged Prince Andrew three times while working as Jeffrey Epstein’s ‘masseuse’. Andrew denies it. All we know for certain is that they’ve met.
Over in the US, the Daily Caller has more on the billionaire and convicted sexual deviant Jeffrey Epstein:
While Bill and Hillary Clinton may have cut off Jeffrey Epstein, the billionaire convicted pedophile friend of Bill’s, Epstein’s chief procurer of teens for sex with Epstein and his A-list sex crime cronies, a woman named Ghislaine Maxwell, remains an intimate of the Clintons and is running a program funded by the Clinton Slush Fund a.k.a. The Clinton Foundation.
Ghislaine Maxwell, daughter of disgraced tycoon Robert Maxwell who died in mysterious cicumstances, is alleged to have introduced Andrew to Epstein. But as for being a madame, she denies all allegations.
Have we let the murderous goons of Islamic State infect out minds? In Italy, police were called when a local spotted an Isis flag hanging outside an apartment building.
They called the police because they saw a flag. Incredible.
But the really sad thing is that the police responded, racing over to the apartment block in Porto Recanati, on Italy’s eastern coast. The police searched the building and questioned residents. They then noted that the ISIS flag was a jacket that had been blown into the trees after being hung out to dry.
Smiley, a golden retriever, was born without eyes. He lives in Stouffville, Canada, working as a St. John’s Ambulance service dog. Smiley’s owner, Joanne George, rescued him from a puppy mill, when he was about 1 year old.
She introduced him to a deaf Great Dane named Tyler: She says:
“He was very scared, [the dogs] had never been out of that barn… Tyler was so bouncy and crazy and happy go lucky and [Smiley] turned into the same dog. He came out from underneath the tables where he was always hiding.”
She thought Smiley would make a good therapy dog.
“There was this man Teddy, [he had] no speech, no communication at all. [The staff] had never seen Teddy smile before. [He] smiled when Smiley got into his vision.”
If that doesn’t make you feel better about your day, nothing will…
On Flashbak the story of Stetson Kennedy, the campaigning journalist who infiltrated the Klu Klux Klan in the 1940s and exposed their members to ridicule. He didn’t do it alone. He got Superman to help…
Read it all here.
Southampton University’s debate on the State of Israel is called International Law and the State of Israel. The blurb runs:
This conference will be the first of its kind and constitutes a ground-breaking historical event on the road towards justice and enduring peace in historic Palestine. It is unique because it concerns the legitimacy in International Law of the Jewish state of Israel. Rather than focusing on Israeli actions in the 1967 Occupied Territories, the conference will focus on exploring themes of Legitimacy, Responsibility and Exceptionalism; all of which are posed by Israel’s very nature.
And there you are. It is not about peace or the two-state solution. It’s is about a one-state solution which means making Israel an illegal country. It is a biased and bigotted conference more loaded than George Bush at a frat party. But it should go ahead.
Madeleine McCann: a look at reporting on the missing child in the news.
The Daily Star has news on Page 11:
“Dad of Kidnapped Girls: Don’t Give Up Hope Over Maddie”
Morne and Celeste Nurse’s daughter was kidnapped from hospital in 1997 when she was three days old. The woman suspected of stealing the child is “understood” to have suffered a stillbirth before her crime. She is not thought to be a threat to society because she has been released on police bail.
First they said you can’t smoke in the bar. Then they said you can’t smoke in the park. East Lancashire NHS Trust bans anyone – the stressed and the suicidal included – from smoking inside and outside its mental-health facilities. Now Washington DC’s Edwin Gray has been banned from smoking inside his own home. No-one he lives with him in what has been the family home for 50 years minds his smoking marijuana or tobacco.
What is the happiest age of your life? No need to answer because the ‘Daily Mail Reporter’ knows. It’s 34.
It used to be 33. But Suzannah Hills’ report for the Daily Mail is past its sell-by date.
We’re agreed, then. 37 it is. We’re happiest at 37. So says Katy Winter in the…Daily Mail:
We don’t know how old the Daily Mail Reporter is but we do know that they are covering their bases. Because they told us that the happiest ages are…38 and 40:
It’s all downhill after 40. Or is it. Because the Daily Mail has great news. The happiest age is… 58!
But what about the older readers? Can they be happy, too? Yes, they can! Because the happiest age is 69 (and 29)!
That’s not old. What about us? What about the 85-year-olds. Can we be happy? Yes!
Such are the facts…
Sarah Ditum writes on Jeremy Clarkson, the journalist suspended from presenting Top Gear amid allegations that he punched a BBC colleague.
She writes in the New Statesman beneath the headline:
We live in a world of stupid and Jeremy Clarkson is its king
Eat yer heart out Jihadi John, Vladimir Putin and Barack Obama. It’s not hate, greed and vanity that rule the world, it’s stupid King Clarkson.
And if he is stupid, then so are you for liking him. All of you:
…Clarkson, the hulkingly recognisable, braying everyman face of a show that’s broadcast in 214 territories worldwide, to an audience of 350 million…
Stupid. All of you.
We also know that a lot of people don’t care whether he lamped his producer, because 350,000 and some (at the time of writing; it will be more, much more, by the end of the day) have signed a Change.org petition demanding his reinstatement. And this is not because they hold a dear attachment to due process, and misguidedly think that any action should only follow the investigation. It’s because they like the fact that Jeremy Clarkson is the kind of celebrity they can imagine punching a much less powerful colleague.
Having stated that people who support and like Clarkson have scant regard for the law, are in favour of bullying, enjoy casual violence and have minds so thin they can each be read by a woman sat at a keyboard – whilst ignoring the facts that this “less powerful collegue” seems powerful enough to have gotten Clarkson banned – Ditum mocks the kind of people who sign shrill online petitions.
At which point we find accord. Anyone who expects change from Change.org is kidding themselves. It’s just an echo chamber for monocular like minds, more akin to the modern Labour Party and Switzerland than a march on Selma.
Then Ditum moves towards the people she says support violence – before charging way, way past them, past even the flaming cages where ISIS nutjobs sit:
I don’t wish to sound extremist, but I have no doubt that if every signatory to this petition were boiled down for biofuel, the world would be a cleaner, smarter place.
To illustrate just how far removed Ditum is from Clarkson’s brand of comedy that mocks the poor and sneers at funny foreingers, she suggests the world would be a better place if 350,000 untermensch were murdered to give her world a pure green light.
Because the in-need-of-killing are “idiots in a world of idiocy”. And she is the snotty, superior judge, jury and executioner. You might not want to live in a Jeremy Clarkson’s world, but you have to wonder what planet Ditum is from?
YOU can libel an entire people, milions and millions of them. Did you know that all Indian males are suspected rapists? The Institute of Biochemistry at Leipzig University in Germany will not accept an innocent male Indian student’s internship application because hs is part of India’s “rape problem”.
Annette G Beck-Sickinger, professor of biochemistry, told the student via email:
“Unfortunately I don’t accept any Indian male students for internships. We hear a lot about the rape problem in India… I have many female students in my group, so I think this attitude is something I cannot support.”
Well, if you hear about it then it is better to err on the side of sense and caution. But in the inrtests if fairness, can Annette not offer him an appeal by castration?
Update: Beck-Sickinger has now apologised for being a monumenal, self-righteous fool. Well, sort of. She apologised for the “misunderstanding”.
Phone hacking: The Mirror ruined Steve McFadden’s love life, drove Paul Gascoigne to alcohol but murdered no-one
The phone hacking scandal calls EastEnders actor Steve McFadden. He says Daily Mirror stories while he was romancing co-star Lucy Benjamin (above) “destroyed” their love affair.
McFadden is at the High Court to help the judges decide the amount of compensation to be awarded against Mirror Group Newspapers (MGN). The trial will determine the range of phone hacking and the amount of damages due.
Two newspapers lead with news of Mohammed Emwazi, although both continue to refer to him as Jihadi John. As Emwazi tells people he is now ‘the murderous loon formerly known as Jihadi John’, the Daily Mail says Emwazi is a victim only of his own free will. No news there. But the Daily Star has something. It says
This suggests that being a jihadi is not a fulltime job. There is considerable downtime. And that means lots of telly. Although Teletubbies and Game of Thrones could be passed off as research for new ways to maim, torture and murder people. (Top Gear is too right-wing.)
Maybe the TV shows are a form of torture? Spooks and goons have used TV music to unhinge minds, so why not the whole shows?
In 2003, we learned that the CIA used music to extract information from internees in Iraq. Rick Hoffman, a veteran of US psychological operations told the BBC that tunes from Sesame Street and Barney The Dinosaur were harnessed to break the will of Iraqi captives. In 1989 American troops surrounded General Noriega’s residence and blasted, among other horrors, the songs of Rick Astley. In 1993 police hit David Koresh’s compound near Waco with Tibetan chants.
These sounds are billed as torture light “futility music”.
Former prisoner Haj Ali said hearing David Gray singing “Babylon… Babylon… Babylon… over and over again. It was so loud I thought my head would burst. It went on for a day and a night.”
Songs can get into your head and stay there.
In Touching the Void, the film based on Joe Simpson and Simon Yates’ epically disastrous attempt to ascend Siula Grande (6,344m) in the Cordillera Huayhuash in the Peruvian Andes in 1985, Simpson’s tired mind is assaulted by Boney M’s Brown Girl in the Ring. He thinks “Bloody hell, I’m going to die to Boney M”:
Psychologists call it an “earworm“. It is a thought that will “arrive without permission and refuse to leave when we tell them to”.
But how can you get them out of your head? Dr Ira Hyman, a music psychologist at Western Washington University has an idea:
“The key is to find something that will give the right level of challenge. If you are cognitively engaged, it limits the ability of intrusive songs to enter your head. Something we can do automatically like driving or walking means you are not using all of your cognitive resource, so there is plenty of space left for that internal jukebox to start playing. Likewise, if you are trying something too hard, then your brain will not be engaged successfully, so that music can come back. You need to find that bit in the middle where there is not much space left in the brain. That will be different for each individual. It is like a Goldilocks effect – it can’t be too easy and it can’t be too hard, it has got to be just right.”
And now on ISTV:
Padge-Victoria Windslowe is the self-styled “the Michelangelo of buttocks injections”. Like you high-brow readers, we know Michelangelo to be a teenage mutant ninja turtle who gets his energy to whoop ass from pizzas. In turns out that Windslowe was referencing the Vatican ceiling painter who made David with the tiny penis.
And it further transpires she was more Travis Perkins or Tony Hart than Michelangelo, because in 2011 Padge-Victoria killed 20-year-old Claudia Aderotimi during an illegal surgical procedure that involved industrial-grade silicone and Krazy Glue.
Windslowe has been convicted of murder.
The Daily Star leads with news of rats. Ginger Rats. Scottish Ginger Rats! It’s news you might miss because the Star’s front-page news is squashed between a riot of colourful adverts for horse racing at Cheltenham and the boast that it now the only tabloid with Page 3 Girls:
News is that the “savage rodents have turned a reddish colour after pet rats were released and bred with wild ones. And they can be seen running wild every day in Lochpark Industrial Estate, Hawick, just 20 miles from England.”
And “the rats have been burrowing towards England”.
The entire story is based on the report of eyewitness Colin, who says: “I’ve seen white rats as well as ginger ones. Someone from the council came up but I’m not sure what stage they are at.”
The story continues in the Express, where the ginger Scottish rats are now “GIANT”. But the photo shows a small, cute rodent – because giant rats massed at the border can be hard to spot:
“There will never be a ni**** in SAE.
There will never be a ni**** in SAE.
You can hang him from a tree, but he can never sign with me
There will never be a ni**** in SAE.”
So sing a few young white students dressed formal wear riding a bus chartered by the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity at the University of Oklahoma. The SAE is a national organisation and its headquarters called the video “inappropriate” and said it was “disgusted” by its singing members.
“In addition, all of the members have been suspended, and those members who are responsible for the incident may have their membership privileges revoked permanently.”
University of Oklahoma President David Boren says the SAE will be kicked off campus. Forget blaming the mentally-negligible singers. Just blame everyone. You can be guilty by listening.
Brad Cohen, the fraternity’s national president, is no less intolerant:
“When we learned about this incident, I called an immediate board meeting, and we determined with no mental reservation whatsoever that this chapter needed to be closed immediately. I am proud of my fellow board members because we mean what we say.”
It’s been closed.
But who recorded the video and uploaded it? Were they an SAE member? If they are, did they seek to expose the bigots or are they too dumb to realise the song’s impact? This site says Oklahoma is the most racist US State. Was the song a celebration?
The New York Times says the video was uploaded to YouTube by student group the Unheard Movement, which identified the people in it as members of Sigma Alpha Epsilon, although “the group did not indicate how it obtained the video or when it was filmed.”
And what of the singers, notably the man in the tuxedo leading the chant? His nine-seconds of stupidity will now ruin his life. His name is mud. We don’t know the context of this chant. All we know is that very soon he will become the world’s most evil scumbag who should crawl away and die. Tweeters and Facebookers who don’t really care will thrill at his destruction.
The knowing will point to the video of a rare moment of obvious racism and say it is the unmasking of bigger ills that the morally right and uniquely sensitive know to be true.
And it’s rarity is why the video has travelled and gone viral. A few numbskulls singing a racist song are turned into a huge news story. Why? Because it is the kind of story that reflects well on the storyteller, passing as shorthand for your own sound morals.
No need to march, vote, employ a black editor or look beyond race in your own life. No need to note that the frat house has been expelled and universally condemned. Just retweet if you are an anti-racist:
Google never forgets. You, sir, are the epitome of the entitled, white, ignorant racist. And you are a man no longer able to be yourself. In the court of public opinion, you’ve been sent down for life.
Free speech is under attack at Dixie State University in St. George, Utah. A group called Young Americans for Liberty (YAL) says it has been banned from mocking Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama, and Cuban revolutionary Che Guevara. The YAL produced three flyers, one for each leader.
The Washington Free Beacon notes:
The flyers were not approved because the school policy does not permit students to “disparage” or “mock individuals.”
You can’t mock leaders? And one of them’s dead!
William Jergins, the president of YAL, told the Washington Free Beacon the move represented a “blanket denial of the expression of our beliefs in the way that we felt would be most readily understood and accepted by our fellow students”
What with this being America, Jergins and two of his colleagues aren’t just carrying on regardless. They’re suing:
The lawsuit claims Dixie State has “adopted and enforced excessive restrictions on the rights of students organizations, and limited student speech in open areas of the campus.”
Their case is being supported by free speech champions FIRE, whose President and CEO Greg Lukianoff states:
“One has to wonder how Dixie State students can engage in serious political discussions—or any discussion at all—when they are forced to follow the university’s ridiculous policies, which go so far as to forbid any poster in a residence hall that students or administrators can claim creates an ‘uncomfortable’ environment’…
“Dixie State unconstitutionally restricts access to open areas on campus for expressive activities by requiring that students request permission to speak several weeks in advance. And once approved, plaintiffs were relegated to a previously unknown “free speech zone” that comprises only around 0.1 percent of Dixie State University’s 100-acre campus,” states the lawsuit.
A free speech zone? We thought that was called America. But not any more it isn’t.
The college has rules on flyers:
-39 CAMPUS ADVERTISING AND POSTING OF LITERATURE
39.2 All advertising literature must have a stamp of “approved advertising” to be considered legal for campus posting. This stamp is in the office of the vice president of student services.
39.4 Individuals posting “non-approved” literature may be cited for violation of Utah state law and fined for littering and/or violations listed above.
And if that’s not sad enough:
* All advertising materials should be computer generated or professionally produced.
• Materials must be in good taste (FCC guidelines), adhere to campus policy, look professional, and
not detract from the campus appearance. Dixie State University reserves the right to remove any
posted materials that do not meet our posting guideline
* [students display material] “may not single out any individual group(s) or entities in a derogatory manner.”
You need a permit for free speech on campus – the place where students should be challenging ideas. Self-expression needs approval. Your message should be “professionally” produced. Never mind the message, cop a load of that logo.
This would be remarkably pathetic if it were not typical of the West’s war on freedom of expression…
The Sun has a kiss ‘n’ tell. Readers meet Valentina Roth Soracco, billed on Instagram as a 23 year-old “former Olympic gymnast” who loves dancing. She wants to talk about sex with Arsenal striker Alexis Sacnhez.
This is a photo of her vaulting a staue in her native Chile:
ARSENAL star Alexis Sanchez was dumped by his fuming girlfriend after she caught his pals secretly filming them having sex.
Valentina hooked up with him while starring in a Chilean version of Strictly Come Dancing.
She told us: “His friend got hold of my mobile and messaged me to say Alexis wanted to get to know me. I was single at the time, I knew of Alexis, and I thought ‘Why not?’ so told the friend to get him to call. We started texting each other and finally met up a couple of months later when Alexis was home in Chile from Barcelona.”
She says they had sex.
“He took good care of himself. He was vain and waxed every hair on his body so he looked like a baby with muscles.”
She then tells a story about a night out in 2010. No-one saw them leave the club they were in because they left by different exits. They wound up in Alexis’ bedroom. She says they were having sex when she spotted two men watching them from within a wardrobe:
“A few seconds later I heard the door creaking. I jumped up and opened it and saw his friends. They were stood in the cupboard, red-faced, holding up a mobile phone. I grabbed it, ripped out the SIM card, threw the phone to the floor and smashed it to pieces.”
“I was furious. Alexis insisted he had nothing to do with it.”
She then adds, and this is bit odd:
“I dressed and left immediately with a girlfriend.”
We do not get to know where or why the ‘girlfreind’ was there. But she says she smashed the phone and destroyed the video.
“When I see him on the TV for Arsenal I see a player who’s worshipped by millions — but he’s just an immature little boy who would be no one if it wasn’t for his talent with a ball. He needs to think long and hard how he treats women.”
Some reports allege Roth needs money.
As yet there’s been no reply from Sanchez.
Such are the facts…
Robots are just great. The can help defuse bombs, find people trapped under rubble and provide defence when hazard chamicals have been spilled. They can also watch you and control you.
In the Congo, solar-powered aluminium robots are huge loom over the roads in Kinshasa. Equipped with red and green lights these robots regulate the flow of people and traffic and film the scenes, relaying pictures back to police HQ.
But not as creepy as the Knightscope K5 is a five-foot-tall autonomous robot “that roams around your neighborhood, observing and gathering data and trying to predict where and when criminal activity will occur.”
Paul Detrick points us towards other creepy robots in this film:
Kommersant is reporting that the people arrested on suspicion of murdering Boris Nemtsov, Russia’s opposition leader, have already confessed.
Anzor Gubashev and Zaur Dadaev are in the confession box. They are said to be from the North Caucuses, perhaps Chechnya and Kabardino-Balkaria. They have, reportedly, confessed to shooting Mr Nemtsov in the back four times as he strolled within sights of the Kremlin.
In Russian policing is swift and just.
The BBC reports:
Russian investigators have publicly offered multiple motives ranging from Nemtsov’s business dealings to his condemnation of the Charlie Hebdo attack in Paris.
What about suicide?
Nemtsov was killed just days before a march he was organising against the war in Ukraine.
He had also been drafting a report expected to expose covert Russian military involvement in the conflict…
One Russian MP, Nikolai Kovalyov, told Ria-Novosti news agency that the key thing was to “find out who ordered this assassination”.
The British remain insanely jealous of superior Russian policing:
Sky News: “Family Demands Names Of New Child Abuse Files”
The Cabinet Office’s refusal to give details of four new child abuse files has angered many, not least the family of Martin Allen.
Tom Parmenter reports:
The Government’s refusal to reveal the titles of four files related to child abuse has been branded “disgusting” by the family of a boy missing since 1979.
Immigrants Gave Me Diabetes: a look at the news behind this week’s Daily Express front pages:
Monday: “Asylum Bill Hits £726,000 A Day”
The Express says it cost the “taxpayer” £726,000 a day to house and feed asylum seekers”. These are people seeking refuge in the UK. The Express then says this is becasue “of the strong desire by migrants from around the world to live here”. The paper soon turns aslyum seekers and the cost of caring for them into a story on legal migrant workers.
The Government says:
You must apply for asylum if you want to stay in the UK as a refugee. To be eligible you must have left your country and be unable to go back because you fear persecution… You won’t usually be allowed to work while your asylum claim is being considered.
Migrant workers are legal and can work.
The story continues on Page 7. There readers learn “one in three Met arrests is a migrant”.
The Express makes no mention of how many of these arrests end up with a charge or conviction nor how many migrants were arrested more than once. The presumption of innocence until proven guilty seems to have gone out of the window.
The Express then invites a source to opine:
Steven Woolfe, Ukip’s migration spokesman said: “It is inevitable that with high levels of immigration comes a high level of crime.”
A story on asylum seekers has been conflated with evils of migration and immigration. It’s as if the paper and its sources have an agenda.
In 2009, research concluded:
Immigrants from the eight Central and Eastern European countries that joined the European Union in May 2004 are less likely to be claiming welfare benefits and less likely to be living in social housing than people born in the UK, according to a new paper from UCL. What is more, they have made a positive contribution to the UK fiscal system, paying more in taxes than they receive in direct and indirect public transfers (such as benefits, NHS healthcare and education).
Not all criminals, then.
Tuesday: “Paracetamol In New Health Alert”
TAKING a daily paracetamol tablet could put you at risk of deadly heart disease and kidney failure, a new study suggests.
The study was, reportedly, by Professor Philip Conaghan, MBBS, PhD, professor of musculoskeletal medicine, University of Leeds. He was aided by Emmert Roberts, from South London and the Maudsley Mental Health Trust, Maudsley Hospital, London. What the Express fails to note is that Prof. Conaghan told one medical organ:
Because this literature review was based on long-term observational data, there are many potential biases that could influence the results, so it cannot be called ‘hard’ data at all,” study author Philip Conaghan, MBBS, PhD… told Medscape Medical News.
“For example, one confounder that is impossible to measure is the use of over-the-counter medicines, which are usually not recorded and can include drugs with significant side effects, such as ibuprofen. Of course it’s almost impossible to get long-term data from clinical trials: They usually don’t run for many years, so we are dependent on this sort of imperfect data to explore long-term potential drug side-effects…
“[W]e should consider the benefit-risk ratio for particular conditions, and would need to see where paracetamol has demonstrated benefits. A recent study in Lancet suggested paracetamol wasn’t effective for treating acute lower back pain, although its safety was good over the 4-week period of that study,” Dr Conaghan said.
Such are the facts. And why let them stand in the way of a scary hadline?
Wednesday: “Arthritis Cure Is On The Way”
Just as it was in 2012.
The story tells of cartiledge replacements within five years. Great news. It cannot come fast enough. But nowhere in the study is “five years” mentioned. And Giles Sheldrick’s front-page scoop is a rehashed press release from Arthritis Research UK.
Thursday: ‘How Statins Can Cause Diabetes”
But it is ok becasue in 2014 the Express reported that Diabetes has been cured. Now the paper leads:
“Pills raise the risk of getting disease by 46% say experts”
One expert says:
London cardiologist Dr Aseem Malhotra said: “Although the benefits are clear in reducing the risk of death in those with established heart disease this is not the case for a low-risk population. Millions see them as a magic pill but they are not. This research shows you are more likely to develop irreversible Type 2 diabetes than prevent a non-fatal heart attack if you are at low risk.”
If you are at low-risk…
The Express fails to record this from the research’s senior author Markku Laakso, MD, from the University of Eastern Finland and Kuopio University Hospital:
“Even if statin treatment is increasing the risk of getting diabetes, statins are very effective in reducing cardiovascular risk. Therefore I wouldn’t make a conclusion from my study that people should stop statin treatment, especially those patients who have a history of myocardial infarction or so on.
“But what I would say is that people who are at the higher risk, if they are obese, if they have diabetes in the family, etc, should try to lower their statin dose, if possible, because high-dose statin treatment increases the risk vs lower-dose statin treatment,” he continued.
And another expert adds:
Asked to comment, Alvin C Powers, MD, from Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, Nashville, Tennessee, explained that there were limitations to the conclusions that could be drawn from this study.
Speaking as part of the Endocrine Society, he said: “The first thing is that this study did not examine the benefits of statin therapy, it examined only the risk of diabetes.”
Dr. Gil Ross had these thoughts: “Based on several studies over the past five years, I’d come around to the belief that there was indeed an increased risk of diabetes consequent to statins — in the 10-15 percent range.”
Friday: “Keep Positive to Live Longer”
“Staying postive is the key to a longer life, scientists hve found”
The British Heart Foundation (BHF) and University College London studied the mental attitudes of 369 patients admitted to hospital with unstable angina and heart attacks and monitored their health for 46 months…
Professor Andrew Steptoe, who led the study, said: “Our research shows optimistic people are more likely to take advice about lifestyle changes on board, like quitting smoking and eating more healthily, and this results in better outcomes.”
So positive thinking is not the secret of long er life. Getting ill people to quit smoking and eat better might be.
“Our findings could be used to identify pessimistic patients and encourage them to make the necessary changes to their lifestyle that can ultimately lead to better health.”
Another medic adds:
“Suffering from a serious condition such as angina or heart attack can take a drastic emotional toll, which we know can lead to depression, further lowering the chances of a full recovery.”
In their decade-long study, the researchers found 37 per cent of the most pessimistic patients went on to suffer further heart attacks, heart surgery or death in the four years after they were discharged from hospital compared with 19 per cent of the most optimistic.
This reserch – which involved asking patients who they felt about things – comes ahead of No Smoking Day on 11 March, when the BHF are urging smokers to quit for good. The Express does not mention that.
Professor Steptoe works with the British Heart Foundation. On their website you learn:
Professor Steptoe and team have found that people from lower socio-economic groups tend to suffer the biological effects of stress for longer than more affluent people, which in turn influences heart health. The researchers are now studying if a person’s socio-economic position, work stress, social support and social isolation might be important risk factors for developing heart disease.
There might be reasons why peopls are more or less positive.
Such are the facts…
Westminster paedophiles: a look at reporting on allegations that VIPs operated a murderous child abuse ‘ring’ in London’s Westminster.
Today we hail the return of Harvey Proctor, the former Essex MP who in 1987 admitted “spanking sessions” with male prostitites. Proctor was MP for Basildon in Essex from 1979 to 1983 and Billericay from 1983 to 1987. He was popular.
The Press feasted off the story:
So. Harvey Proctor is back on the news cycle.
His name resurfaced in a 2014 story in the Daily Mirror:
Two senior ministers in the Thatcher government exposed by the Sunday Mirror last week for indulging in sex parties with underage rent boys were named in a damning paedophile dossier compiled in the 1980s.
Sir Keith Joseph and Sir Rhodes Boyson were cited in the “VIP” paedophile document drawn up by Labour’s Barbara Castle. Other MPs, senior policemen, head teachers and clergy were also named.
Joseph: died in 1984. Boyson: died in 2012.
And today we can also reveal disgraced former Tory MP Harvey Proctor has been named by witnesses in connection with sex parties and faces being questioned by a Government inquiry.
Special branch officers seized Baroness Castle’s file in 1984.
The Daily Mail looks at the latest news:
The investigation into claims of a VIP paedophile sex ring widened dramatically yesterday after police raided the home of a disgraced Tory MP. Harvey Proctor, 68, had been named on a list of politicians passed to police by campaigning Labour MP John Mann. Scotland Yard officers spent two days searching his grace-and-favour home at Belvoir Castle in Leicestershire after a police team arrived on the estate on Wednesday.
The Times: “I’m in a Kafkaesque trap, says ex-MP over child sex claims”
Writes David Brown:
A former Conservative MP has described being trapped in a “Kafkaesque fantasy” after his home was searched by police investigating claims that a Westminster paedophile ring killed children. Harvey Proctor, who left parliament in 1987 after being charged with gross indecency with male prostitutes, denied being part of a “rent-boy ring” or attending sex parties with prominent figures.
A “rent-boy ring”? Is that a pun?
The Scotland Yard investigation centres on claims that politicians and others in the Establishment abused children at the Dolphin Square apartment complex near parliament in the 1970s and 1980s. One witness has claimed that a paedophile ring murdered three children.
But we have seen no evidence to back the claims up. All those column inches and appeals for witnesses but still no evidence. To be linked to vile crimes so publicly. To have your home searched. Those are no easy, small matters. They create a stink. But when the cloud of obvious police action has passed, what’s left is a merely a stain on the target. He’s not been arrested, let along charged.
Mr Proctor, 68, was prosecuted after a newspaper revealed that he had taken part in the spanking of male prostitutes aged between 17 and 21 at his London flat. He was fined £1,450. He now works for the Duke and Duchess of Rutland and lives with his partner in a house within the 16,000 acre grounds of their home, Belvoir Castle, in Leicestershire.
Mr Proctor told BBC Radio 4:
“I find myself in a very Kafkaesque fantasy situation. The police have said basically that they are investigating historical sex abuse allegations going back to the 1970s and 1980s. I have never attended sex parties at Dolphin Square or anywhere else. I have not been part of any rent-boy ring with cabinet ministers, other members of parliament or generals or the military… The last thing I would have dreamt of doing was talking to other MPs or ministers or anyone else about my private life. It wasn’t that I was ashamed of being a homosexual, it was that I didn’t think it mattered a damn to the work I did on behalf of my constituents.”
It a story high on impact but low on fact. The ‘rent boy ring’ gave us one sticky-fingered adolsescent snigger and now comes another:
Mr Proctor, who ran a shirt shop after resigning as an MP…
Proctor got the joke, hanging a sign in his Richmond shop window declaring: ‘Shirt lifers will not be prosecuted.’
On October 30 1994, the Independent’s Peter Victor profiled the shop:
SENIOR Tory politicians including Michael Heseltine, President of the Board of Trade, and Lord Archer have invested more than pounds 100,000 in a loss-making shirt shop owned by the disgraced former Tory MP, Harvey Proctor, perusal of the register of members’ interests reveals to the curious inquirer.
The register discloses the fascinating fact that no fewer than 11 current MPs have shareholdings in a little-known clothes retailer, Cottonrose Ltd…
Lots of former chums chipped in. Besides multimillionaires such as Lord Archer and Mr Heseltine, they included the present Paymaster-General, David Heathcote-Amory; Mark Lennox-Boyd, a former junior Foreign Office minister; and MPs Sir Nicholas Bonsor (Upminster), Richard Shepherd (Aldridge-Brownhills) and David Evans (Welwyn Hatfield).
Several MPs who, like Mr Proctor, have suffered public reverses to their political careers also coughed up at least pounds 5,000 each. They included Neil Hamilton, forced to resign as Northern Ireland minister last week after allegations that he was rewarded by Mohamed Al Fayed, owner of Harrods, for helping in his battle with Tiny Rowland; Tim Yeo, the former Environment minister who was forced to resign after news broke of his adultery with Julia Stent, a Hackney Labour councillor, who bore his child; Michael Brown, who resigned as a Tory whip last May after a tabloid newspaper reported his homosexual affairs with a youth and a Ministry of Defence civil servant; and David Ashby, who suffered unwelcome publicity after admitting sleeping with a man but denying having sexual relations with him.
He was offered a right to reply:
Asked about it yesterday, amid the gold cufflinks and Tino Cosma accessories, the silks and the satins, Mr Proctor’s response was more of the sackcloth variety. ‘I don’t talk to lying newspapers,’ he said. ‘That is my quote. If you don’t leave my shop I shall call the police.’
To sell to the public surely implies that Mr Proctor remained popular after his Westminster defenestration. But aside from the cash flow, there were naysayers:
The Times, 2nd March 1993 (via), reported:
A TORY minister had his nose broken when he went to the aid of a former MP who was being attacked by two men, a court was told yesterday.
In July last year, Neil Hamilton, a trade minister, and his wife, Christine, were visiting a shirt shop in Richmond, southwest London, owned by Harvey Proctor, who resigned as MP for Billericay in 1987 after being involved in a sex scandal. Isleworth Crown Court, west London, was told that James Coomber and David Parker entered the shop and became abusive, asking Mr Proctor: “Have you any ties for tying up rent boys before you spank them?”
As Mr Proctor tried to usher them out, they began throwing punches. Mr Proctor was punched in the face and had his little finger broken. When Mr Hamilton tried to come to Mr Proctor’s aid he was punched in the face three times and knocked to the ground. He needed surgery for a broken nose.
This is, of course, a highly serious matter. The allegation of child abuse and even murder requires a sober mind. It also requires some facts and proof. Right now we have heard claims and reviewed the lives of a fair few dead men. But we have seen no proof. Proctor is alive. And in the fevered story of alleged Westminster paedos, that’s a rare thing.
As he says:
“I believe the number of victims grows by the day, and the number of alleged perpetrators — through death — diminishes. That is a problem. It’s certainly a problem for me. My problem is that I am still very much alive. I’m sure that some of the allegations are true, but I am also sure that a lot are pure and utter fantasy.”
The Times then adds a key fact:
Mr Proctor emphasised that his four guilty pleas related to homosexual activity with men who he believed to be above the age of consent of 21 that existed at the time, and who were older than the present age of consent of 16.
As he says:
“I pleaded guilty to four charges of gross indecency in 1987. Those offences related entirely to the age of consent to homosexuality. That age has been reduced first to 18 and now to 16. The offences I committed in 1987 are no longer offences and there is legislation on the statute book which would allow me to wipe them clean if I wished to do so.”
Gays were prejudiced against in law. That bigotry has now been righted.
Andrew Pierce reviwes the life of Proctor in his article for the Mail, a story headlined:
Spanking parties and the Enoch fan too right wing for Maggie
The spanking has been dealt with. We now get a dose of the politics:
…his views on immigration were considered so far beyond the pale that while serving as an MP he was beaten unconscious at a demonstration in Scarborough, had red paint thrown over him when addressing Coventry University, and burning papers were thrust through the letter box of his tiny terrace home in Billericay.
People do move on. Times change. The Mail, which once cheered for the Black Shirts, should recognise that. Mr Proctor’s politics are not washing about in the Metropolitan Police’s Operation Midland Petri Dish. His mind and genitals are.
Urging the abolition of the Commission for Racial Equality, he demanded the forcible repatriation of 50,000 ‘coloured’ immigrants a year, proposing a £7,000 payment to encourage them to go… he attempted to halt the growing tide of political correctness by launching a campaign to save the golliwog.
To those readers unaware of the golliwog, here is a poitted history of the children’s toy:
The original Golliwog (spelt Golliwogg) was based on a “Negro minstrel doll” and appeared in a book by Florence Kate Upton in 1895. He is described as “a horrid sight, the blackest gnome”. Nevertheless, he is “lovable” and basically benign.Half a century later, Enid Blyton’s Gollywog books appeared, relating the adventures of three little fellows called Golly, Woggy and Nigger, who liked nothing better than to stride along, in Blyton’s own words, “arm-in-arm, singing merrily their favourite song – which, as you may guess, was Ten Little Nigger Boys”.Then there were her Noddy books, in which they feature once more. In one incident, Noddy is attacked by golliwogs, who steal his car and leave him stranded.The publishers of Agatha Christie’s 1939 novel Ten Little Niggers made the symbolic connection completely unambiguous. The cover showed a lynched golliwog hanging from a tree.
In 2009, Maggie’s daughter Carol Thatcher sat on a BBC sofa and referred to a tennis player as a “golliwog”.
It can take a long time for attitudes to move on.
But however foolish the law, innocence must always be presumed.