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.
Last night, the BBC says “thousands of mourners have gathered for the funeral of three Muslim students killed in North Carolina”.
The father of two of the victims told the crowd they were victims of a hate crime and his pain was indescribable… Police say initial indications suggest there was a parking space dispute but they are investigating whether Craig Hicks was motivated by religious hate…
The BBC’s Rajini Vaidyanathan said many mourners feel the murders were sparked by something far deeper than a parking row.
Chapel Hill police chief, Chris Blue, spoke at the service and promised his officers would investigate every lead, including the possibility of hate crime…
Is feeling it was hate crime enough to make it one?
Sarah, who grew up with all three [vcitims] and says she’s experienced Islamophobia, articulated a view many shared: “You have to have a lot of hate in your heart to kill three people in cold blood, and over a parking spot, it’s ridiculous to say this was just that”.
British police take 67 return flights to Portugal as cost of Madeleine McCann search nears £9million
Well, the train does take longer…
British police searching for missing Madeleine McCann spent £16,000 on 67 return flights to Portugal last year, helping the cost of the investigation to soar to nearly £9million.
The trips, which cost more than £1,300 per month, came as the Met Police carried out the biggest ever search undertaken by a team of British police overseas, in a bid to find clues about the young girl’s disappearance.
That’s around £240 a trip. And, in truth, that does seem high, given that they are heading to a resort airport. A £480 round-trip to the Portugal costas should surely cost less. But, then, we don’t have all the details, and shipping equipment costs extra.
In June, police flew to the Algarve to carry out forensic searches around Praia da Luz, focusing on scrubland a few hundred metres from the apartment block where Madeleine was last seen alive.
The tabloid story of Devinder Kainth, Sandro Rottman and not Katie Price nor Princess Beatrice in Sotogrande.
By now you’ll be wondering what Katie Price has been up to. How are the kids and her husband-of-the-moment? Today brings new front page of Katie Price news. In “STAR’S LINK TO PERV” (Sun) and “Katie Price link to the German paedo” (Star) the tabloids lead with photos of Price and Sandro Rottman, a 43-year-old who had the misfortune to be killed in a Spanish eatery.
In 2009, the “killed perv” met Price in Sotogrande, the sprawling golfer holding bay on the Costa del Sol. Both newspapers have a photo of Price posing with Rottman, who very soon after the headlines becomes a “suspected paedophile” (Sun) and “peadophile in inverted commas (Star)
Rottman was arrested in January for allegedly possessing child pornography. He never stood trial.
Price only met him a couple of times when she visited Sotogrande.
And if it is the celebrity angle you crave in this story of brutality and allged child abuse then the Telegraph chimes in with:
Sotogrande is an upmarket resort and has been a favourite of Sarah Ferguson and her daughters Beatrice and Eugenie
Like Price and her children, the princesses never met Rottman.
The Star ups Rottman’s notoriety a notch by saying he “allegedly roamed the Costa del Sol taking snaps of children leading him to being banned from bars in Stotgtande”.
Did it. There is no proof that any bar bans were based on his alleged deviant behaviour.
What he definitely is is dead, having been “attacked by Brit dad Devinder Kainth, 40″ (Sun), who, reportedly, spotted Rottman taking photos of his three children, found more snapshots on the German’s ipad and, allegedly, punched him hard enough to kill him.
The Daily Mail ignores the Sun’s empathetic “Brit dad” and labels Kaith: “Fitness fanatic with matching Range Rovers and blonde bombshell girlfriend held over killing.” Readers are told:
Yesterday, details emerged of the attack on Saturday night. The owner of the Spinnaker restaurant told the Mail: ‘After an afternoon of friendly chatter, the British man suddenly told his family to leave.
‘Devinder looked at Sandro’s iPad and found pictures of his family which had been taken earlier that evening. He was shouting: “Why have you taken these?” Suddenly he told his family to get out of the bar. Five seconds later he hit Sandro so hard he fell to the floor. I think this knocked him out, or at least dazed him.
‘Then Devinder went crazy and started hitting Sandro. He must have hit him at least 20 times in the face and head. [Sandro] had blood gurgling from his mouth. He was choking and struggling to breathe. He also had a big lump on the side of his head – no other visible cuts – just this big lump. Then he was unconscious like he was in a coma. The waitress started screaming for help. We were all shaking and trembling. When [Devinder] ran out of energy, he calmly got up and walked out the door.’
That is eqiuipped with a photo of Devinder’s lover, the “blonde head turner” Gemma Hawkins and couple’s three children, who appear without faces:
Rottman is said to have once been so drunk he fell into the sea and had to be rescued. He limped and is said to have been treated for a liver problem.
Kainth is a gym fanatic who worked out on most days and did gruelling Crossfit classes. He has a three-bedroom house in the area and once owned a supermarket in nearby Casares, but it has closed, sources said.
A neighbour said: ‘The last time I saw him and his partner here was last August. They had an argument round the pool one day. I couldn’t understand what they were saying but he seemed very aggressive. His girlfriend left in tears and started throwing his clothes out of the window.’
But the Mirror has heard enough. It picks a side, leading with the headline:
Kainth Davinder: Chilling photograph shows suspected paedophile ‘killed by British millionaire dad’ holding young child at pool
We don’t know the identity of the child with Rottman in the July 2013 photo. And because Rottman never was vonvicted of being a paedo, we can conclude that the snapshot is only chilling if you belive he was a danger to the public. You might be more chilled by the thought of having your dinner interrupted by a man being beaten to death at another table.
The Indy sees the same photos taken from Rottman’s twiter account and notes:
Mr Rottman, who was a web designer, recently posted a photo on Twitter of himself at the exclusive resort of El Octogono Beach Club in Sotogrande, holding a young child. He wrote: ‘Just finished a day with the most beautiful girl in the Beach Club of Sotogrande. Hope one day I will have one my own.’
He has other photos, too, like these:
Kermit and the fragrant beauties have yet to tell all.
But Devinder Kainth will go his talking in court. He’s been charged with homicide.
Is the media baised? Is there an agenda? Of course. Which is why we at Anorak look at a variety of news sources. So. Following a triple murder in Chapel Hill, USA, which claimed the lives of three innocent people, all young Muslims, what did the media report?
More on how university is all about being compliant and comfortable. Marquette University are censoring the speakers:
Professor John McAdams is being stripped of tenure by Marquette University for writing a blog post that administrators characterize as inaccurate and irresponsible.
Inaccuaray is bad form. But irresponsible? How? Says who?
McAdams is 69-year-old, a Harvard Ph.D. who taught courses on American politics and public policy.
Marquette University Dean Richard C. Holtz, explains:
The incident that McAdams blogged about happened on October 28, 2014. Cheryl Abbate, a graduate student in philosophy who was leading a class called Theory of Ethics, was teaching undergraduates about John Rawls. She asked for examples of current events to which Rawlsian philosophy could be applied.
“One student offered the example of gay marriage as something that Rawls’ Equal Liberty Principle would allow because it would not restrict the liberty of others and therefore should not be illegal. Ms. Abbate noted that this was a correct way to apply Rawls’ Principle and is said to have asked ‘does anyone not agree with this?’ Ms. Abbate later added that if anyone did not agree that gay marriage was an example of something that fits the Rawls’ Equal Liberty Principle, they should see her after class.”
According to the flow chart there is no scenario where after being accused a man should no longer be presumed guilty. Once the accusation is made the man is presumed guilty, and nothing the accuser does or says should undermine that assumption
Craig Stephen Hicks, 46, of Chapel Hill campus, USA, has been charged with the murders of dentistry student Deah Shaddy Barakat, 23, his wife Yusor Mohammad, 21 and her sister, Razan Mohammad Abu-Salha, 19.
Hicks is a white non-Muslim. The three murdered people are all dark-skinned Muslims.
The police have offered no motive for the killings.
In “German Court Rules Synagogue Firebombing an ‘Act of Protest’”, the Daily Beasttakes up the story of three ‘protesters’ who ‘brought attention to the Gaza conflict” by setting fire to a synagogue.
You might suppose that this was further proof that the West’s shrill, highly selective criticism of Israel (and, of course that country makes mistakes – often bad ones) is rooted in anti-Semitism.
James Kichick makes an analogy:
A group of skinheads torch a black church somewhere in the Deep South. Upon being apprehended by the police, they cite the injustices that Zimbabwean dictator Robert Mugabe has visited upon the white farmers of his country as justification for their arson. Mugabe is black, he rules on behalf of “the black race,” and therefore black people everywhere must be made to feel responsible for his crimes.
Anyone making such a ridiculous argument would rightly be labeled a racist. But change the victims from black people to Jews, and the perpetrators from pale neo-Nazis to dark-skinned Muslims, and a great many people will claim that what is obviously a crime motivated by blatant bigotry is in fact a politically-inspired protest.
So. To Wuppertal, Germany, where two German-Palestinian men are in the dock (the third is too young to be tried in the same court). They are accused of setting fire to a synangogue. CNN would surely say that Muslims could have been the target, perhaps visiting the synagogue for a get-together on spiritual matters, on a school trip or eating in the kosher cafe behind the synangogue’s bulletproof windows. But mostly likely the targets were Jews.
The group (three were arrested – one was aged 18; the others were aged 24 and 29) were armed with home-made firebombs on the night of Sunday July 28th. They all denied involvement. But then the 24-year-old admitted it:
“We threw the bottles, both the others ran away and I stayed. Two bottles hit the door and the wall. Three didn’t reach the building, we were really drunk.”
Leonid Goldberg, chariman of Wuppertal’s Jewish cultural association feels the hatred:
“For years now, our rabbis haven’t worn their kippahs in public as they go through Wuppertal. Jews that do wear their kippah in public attempt to hide it by wearing a hat on top so that they don’t have to hear insults from young Muslims, most of all.”
But this is not 1938, when the synagogue was smashed on state orders. Germany’s Central Council of Muslims has condemend the attacks. Many locals protested in support of the Jews.
Chancellor Angela Merkel says the Jewish way of life “is part of our identity”: “We want [members of the Jewish community] to feel safe in Germany.”
Chairman of the Central Muslim Council, Aiman Mazyek stands tall:
“I am a Jew when synagogues are attacked. I am a Christian when Christians are persecuted for example in Iraq. And I am a Muslim when firebombs are thrown at their places of worship. As a society we have to stand together.”
But intolerance is on the rise:
Germany is experiencing a growing Salafist population, especially in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia. There are around 1,800 followers of the ultra-conservative branch of Islam there. Wuppertal is Germany’s number-one city for Salafists, who preach a very conservative interpretation of Islam and reject any form of democracy.
To make intolerance and racism fester and grow you need willing fools in power. So. The judge finds the men in the dock guilty of arson. But he rules that it was not an attack motivated by racism. He says it was an attack designed to “bring attention to the Gaza conflict”.
Wrong. It was racist. Wholly racist.
And if you’re afraid or too stupid to say it, your words and deeds do not foster tolerance and empathy – they spread division, martydom and hatred.
Few of us in the UK had heard of Charlie Hebdo, the satirical French magazine, before so many of its staff were murdered by Islamists. David Cameron announced on Twitter that he was joining that ‘unity’ rally in Paris “to celebrate the values of Charlie Hebdo“.
Everyone was for free speech and a free Press. The French so love it their creepy sounding Minister of Culture hands state subsidies to French newspapers. With money comes control.
France’s two most prestigious newspapers, “Le Monde” and “Le Figaro”, received more than €16 million in government subsidies each… The catholic newspaper “La Croix” got over €10 million while the communist “L’Humanité” received almost €7 million in public subsidies, the Ministry’s website shows…
The regional daily “Ouest France” follows close behind Le Monde and Le Figaro on the on the list, receiving over €10.4 million in 2013…France’s press sector also benefits from a low 2.1% rate of VAT. In addition, French journalists enjoy advantageous tax privileges which are supposed to compensate for professional expenses… [full list here].
That freedom of the press looks a lot like state control.
Add to that the assaults on free speech on univerity campuses, the attempt to shut down debate on global warming, no debate on gay marriage and – well, you name it – and you wonder what Cameroa and every other leader who declared they are Charlie Hebdo thought they were supporting.
And so to the news that Wiltshire Police “have apologised after an officer visited a newsagent requesting details of customers who bought French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in the wake of the Paris massacre”.
In the US of A, universities are clamping down on uncensorsed chatter.
Chapel Hill, N.C. — The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is considering banning a smartphone app that some say encourages hate speech, but other schools say free speech among students needs to be promoted. Yik Yak allows users post anonymously to a local bulletin board, and those posts can be seen only by people in a certain geographic area.
“People have been saying some very racist, very hurtful things,” said Ashley Winkfield, a senior at UNC-Chapel Hill who has kept a running tab of “yaks” that she finds troubling.
I find Winfield troubling. She’s a censor. If the law is broken, then Yik Yak can let the authorities know. But she’s a bansturbator.
During the height of the “Black Lives Matter” protests on campus last fall, for example, one person posted, “I really hate blacks, I’m going home where there aren’t any.”
Another poster said, “the way blacks are acting right now kind of justify a slavery.”
To New York’s East Village, where you can buy edible chocolate Jesus, Moses, Buddha, Lord Ganesh and the Virgin of Guadalupe.
The edible Mohammad is there somewhere on the shelves, most likely, but spotting him as hard, what his image being banned, and all.
But not everyone is happy:
Bond Street Chocolate storeowner Lynda Stern was recently asked to discontinue her Lord Ganesh chocolate by Universal Society of Hinduism president Rajan Zed. In a press release, Zed stated, “Upset Hindus urge withdrawal of Lord Ganesh-shaped edible chocolate”…
Stern has dismissed the criticism, saying, “All spiritual icons are treated equally in my shop…with honor and respect to the religion.
The New York Times spoke with Queens-based Hindu Temple Society of North America, president Uma Mysorekar. Said he:
“We Hindus look at the universe as eternal and god almighty as one…so we would not say that the lord resides only in that little piece of chocolate. It’s more like when they eat it, the lord comes back to us — he is within us.”
Go for the head first, followed by the trunk, legs and beard.
In “DEPORTATION SCNADAL”, the Sun focuses on dentistry at Dover immigration removal centre, aka The Citadel.
“£4m Dental Suite Built For Illegals”
Deportation scandal sees migrants leave with gleaming teeth
As the deported bare their new teeth, the Sun reports:
They are seen within six days at the surgery at Dover Immigration Removal Centre. But locals face a six-week wait at nearby public surgeries. The suite is run by five NHS dentists backed up by over-the-phone interpreters. It was built after detainees complained it was too much hassle being cuffed and escorted to off-site appointments…
Sharon McNeill, 46, waited weeks to have a tooth out. She said: “The way we cater to their needs is out of control.”
The media heard Prince Charles’ words on race relations. Discussing the radicalisation of young Britons, Prince Charles told BBC radio:
“Well, of course, this is one of the greatest worries, I think, and the extent to which this is happening is the alarming part. And particularly in a country like ours where you know the values we hold dear. You think that the people who have come here, [are] born here, go to school here, would imbibe those values and outlooks…
“Christianity was founded in the Middle East which we often forget. From a morale point I hope it showed they were not forgotten. I wish I could do more. Many of us do wish we could do more. I think what doesn’t bear thinking about is people of one faith, a believer, could kill another believer. That’s the totally bewildering aspect in our day and age.”
Prince Charles risked provoking a new political and religious storm yesterday when he said Muslims living in the UK should follow British values.
Not quite. The Mail adds:
Prince Charles last night called for a halt to the persecution of Christians by Islamic State and other militant Islamic groups, telling them bluntly: ‘We were in the Middle East before you.’
And that is pretty much the views of the Jews and the Kurds, to name but two peoples, whose claim to land is that they were there first.
The Prince is speaking in terms of unity and understanding. He is for both. He is not atacking Muslims. But the tabloids are. Just as the Mail makes all British Muslims part of the problem, so too does the Daily Express in a phone poll vote more loaded than George Bush at a frast house party:
So. Should UK Muslims ‘abide by British values’ – values we took to be about tolerance, understanding, the right to free speech and presumed innocence.
Yes or no? Calls cost 36p.
It’s worth recalling what Prince Charles also said:
“No, I didn’t describe myself as a defender: I said I would rather be seen as ‘Defender of Faith’, all those years ago, because, as I tried to describe, I mind about the inclusion of other people’s faiths and their freedom to worship in this country. And it’s always seemed to me that, while at the same time being Defender of the Faith, you can also be protector of faiths. It was very interesting that 20 years or more after I mentioned this – which has been frequently misinterpreted – the Queen, in her Jubilee address to the faith leaders, said that as far as the role of the Church of England is concerned, it is not to defend Anglicanism to the exclusion of other religions. Instead, the Church has a duty to protect the free practice of all faiths in this country. I think in that sense she was confirming what I was really trying to say – perhaps not very well – all those years ago. And so I think you have to see it as both. You have to come from your own Christian standpoint – in the case I have as Defender of the Faith – and ensuring that other people’s faiths can also be practised.”
Well said. Those are this country’s values. The Daily Express and Daily Mail should repeat them as mantra.
The good news is, of course, that there are no anti-Muslims race riots in the UK; Muslims are not treated as Jews were before and during World War 2 – in 2006, Birmingham City councillor Salma Yaqoob told Guardian readers: ‘[Muslims in Britain] are subject to attacks reminiscent of the gathering storm of anti-Semitism in the first decades of the last century”; Islamophobia remains hyped; not every al-Qaeda inspired atroicity is followed by an “Islamophobic backlash”, and only a relative few gurning loons and wannabe jihadis poison British Islam.
And that’s not going to change any time soon beause Charles – for all this faults – gets it…
Clare Lyonette of the Warwick Institute for Employment Research interviewed 36 women and 12 men, all of whom worked full-time; all of the couples also had at least one child younger than 14. In their interviews, nearly every person expressed their belief that men and women should share the household chores equally, even if that’s not what actually happened in their own homes.
Remember when Tony Blair took the country to war in the Balkans? Just as in Iraq, this too was a moral crusade to spare the world from evil. Britain’s part in the Blakans war chimed with Tony Blair’s aim to give the country a unifying identity based on sound morals. In 1999, the then Prime Minister opined:
‘We need to find a new national moral purpose for this new generation. People want to live in a society that is without prejudice, but is with rules. Government can play its part, but parents have to play their part. There’s got to be a partnership between Government and the country to lay the foundations of that moral purpose.’
Blair was talking abour the young and pregnant, who needed to be made aware that their choices were morally wrong. But he could have easily been talking about Iraq and the Balkans. Blair was hawkish on war against the Serbs and their leader Slobodan Milošević.
Blair explained why?
There were big strategic interests that would have justified intervention in their own right. But I felt that this was the closest thing to racial genocide that I’ve seen in Europe since the Second World War. I didn’t feel that we could simply stand aside from that if we had the means, which we did, to intervene and to stop it.
(Clockwise from top left) Mohsin Khan, 21, Razwan Razaq, 30, Adil Hussain, 20, Zafran Ramzan, 21, and Umar Razaq, 24, from Rotherham
PC Hassan Ali was killed crossing a Road in Sheffield. He was stuck by a blue Vauxhall Corsa on January 28. PC Hassan Ali served with South Yorkshire Police as neighbourhood policing officer based in Rotherham. He had 18 years service with the force.
He wasn’t on duty at the time of his death. We can’t be certain what was going through Mr Hasan’s mind before he was killed. But this Sky News headline encourages us to guess:
Rotherham Abuse Scandal Policeman Dies
That is followed by:
The death of PC Hassan Ali, who was reportedly being investigated by the police watchdog, is not being treated as suspicious.
South Yorkshire Police said Pc H assan Ali, 44, died today after he was involved in a collision in Sheffield last month when was off-duty. It is understood that complaints had been made about Pc Ali which related to the scandal involving the sexual exploitation of children in Rotherham and he was under investigation by the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC).
The Daily Express explains to its readers why they can no longer recall why they buy ‘the world’s greatest newspaper’ and fail to spot the same stories appearing year after year on its cover: they lost their grapes.
Inside the paper, this front-page news becomes: “Red wine and peanuts can help boost your memory say scientists.”
RED grapes have emerged as key in the battle to prevent Alzheimer’s disease, research shows.
The Express has a keen interest in Alzheimer’s, the illness featuring on its front page 14 times in 2014. Back then readers were told that coffee, spicy food and drugs ‘BEAT’ Alzheimer’s. Now it’s grapes.
As readers set about replacing the sugar in their mug of coffee with two spoons of chicken vindaloo and a glug of Thunderbird, the Express notes:
Scientists have discovered that the fruit – found in a daily glass of red wine – and peanuts both contain a wonder anti-oxidant called resveratrol.
The compound, which protects cells against damage and helps prevent age-related mental decline, also mops up chemicals responsible for causing blood clots – the primary cause of coronary disease. Experiments showed that giving older rats the compound led to apparent improvements in learning, memory and mood.
Back to that front-page headline, which now reads:
GRAPES FIGHT MEMORY LOSS IN RATS
The story adds:
The research said resveratrol may even be able to help people afflicted with severe neurodegenerative conditions such as Alzheimer’s, for which there is no cure.
And that’s from the Express, which told us:
But so long as you Express-reading rats have not eaten your grapes, you won’t remember any of that…
When a passenger plane crashes anywhere in the world the news is delivered in facts: flight number; number of passengers; the dead; the survivors; and departure time.
Soon after the talk turns to the black box flight recorder. Will it tell us what really happened?
And so it is for TransAsia ATR 72-600, which yesterday crashed shortly after take-off from Songshan airport in northern Taipei, striking an elevated road as it banked sidelong towards the Keelung River.
It was captured on camera.
So much for the facts. What about the stories?
The Toronto Sun makes it sound like a moment of childlike joy:
At least 23 dead as Taiwan plane cartwheels into river after take-off 134
It’s Health Tuesday (delayed) in the Daily Mail. Let’s look at new ways to fall ill and die in the paper of terror:
Page 3: “Stop that binge jogging! Three times a week is best for you…and too much is as bad as doing nothing”
“Heavy joggers are as likely to die as those leading a sedantry life, according to scientists”
So writes Jenny Hope, “Medical Correspondent”. Well, Jenny, we are all equally as likely to die: fat, thin, rich and poor. We’ve seen the science.
Page 25: “Craze for skinny selfies is ‘fuelling eating disorders'”
Well, no. An exert says:
“Dr Alex Yellowlees, medical director and consultant psychiatrist at the Priory hospital group, said more and more young women suffering from eating disorders are taking pictures of themselves and sharing them with friends.”
They already have eating disorders before the selfies.
This news is illustrated by photos of five young women in their skimpies.
Page 45: “Baby boys and a dillema for every parent – Some experts now says ALL boys should be circumcised. But are they ignoring worrying risks?”
Not really a problem for ‘every parent’ is it?
And the obligatory cancer scare stories:
“Why fizzy drinks (and even sparkling water) are WORSE than you thought”…
Women who have more than three sugary drinks – fizzy or otherwise – a week may have an increased risk of developing breast cancer.
Orange squash give you cancer!
Last year, researchers from Laval University in Quebec found that the more sugary and fizzy drinks consumed by women, the greater the density of their breasts – a known risk factor for cancer.
But before you throw all your cordials and fuits juices away:
It is not clear how the two might be linked and more research is needed.
Der Unterrichter (The Teacher), c. 1980 (drawing for Rigor Mortis, published in 1983 by Diogenes Verlag AG, Zürich)
“When Yik Yak was created it was intended to give everyone an equal voice. No one user would have an advantage over another based on followers or popularity and post,” so says the website for Yik Yak, a new app. where users can post anonymously.
While Yik Yak activity at the University of Wisconsin has not become troublesome enough to warrant any response from officials, it is not the case at other institutions such as Clemson University, where, in response to concerns over racial insensitivity, the administration is considering a ban on the app, according to The Tiger News, Clemson’s student newspaper.
What are they saying?:
“I feel like it is really an outlet for people in the sorority system to make themselves feel better about what sorority they are in by putting down other ones,” she said. “It was very disheartening. We’d go to chapter and hear girls talking about what people said [about us on Yik Yak].”
She said the anonymity of the app caused people to write comments that are far more offensive than on other sites. “No one would ever tweet out or Facebook post the stuff they said on Yik Yak,” she said.