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.
THE Mirror reports that “White Widow Samantha Lewthwaite” is “training ISIS female suicide bombers in Syria”. As ever, a British education is best.
Training a suicide bomber is easy. But picking a trainer is hard, given that the best coaches will have the fewest appraisals. Take a look at the Death Coach’s website:
‘Sam was a great suicide bomber coach. I’d recommend her to anyone keen in self-pebbledashing a market place or busload of families’ – Wasim.
‘Before Sam I was insecure and full of self-doubt. I’d failed by HND in business studies and the thought of another day stacking shelves in WH Smith’s filled me with a morbid dread. But with Sam’s guidance I came to realise that I truly was better off dead’ – Philip
‘The last words going though my mind were Sam’s advice to real inhale the vapours and count 100 paces before pressing the button on the jet pack’ – Buzz
A police community support officer who conned air passengers out of thousands of pounds was told she will be separated from her baby as she was jailed for six-and-a-half years today. Alexis Scott told travellers departing from Gatwick that they could not take more than £1,000 in cash out of the country and even held out her hat for them to deposit money.
That is simply brilliant. Softened up by militaristic airport checks, warnings and fear, the uniform needs only ask one more thing: hand over your cash or be detained. Compliance is all.
CHRISTINA Briggs, 26, is fat. And flame-haired. She’s on benefits, too. Give her pair of NHS-supplied false breasts and a ciggie and Briggs would be the nation’s Aunt Sally with her own show on Channel 4. If she’s lucky, she could forge a career as Channel 5’s authentic face of the white working classes, like White Dee did with her stint on Celebrity Big Brother.
The Star leads with Briggs, the “25-stone SPONGER”.
“IT’S certainly not something you see every day,” said Aristobulo Olivarez. “He’d been heckling their balloon bending magic act for some time and it seems they’d had enough.”
‘They’ are Minnie and Mickey Mouse, aka Fazzio and Ticiana Yanez, who were entertining people in a Madrid square. A heckler goaed them. Yanez had heard enough. He ripped off his Mickey Mouse head and went for the heckler. Minnie then waded in.
Politics, journalism, the arts – they are all increasingly controlled by nice people from wealthy backgrounds. And their niceness is strangling us…
Lindsey Macmillan of the Institute of Education found that journalists used to come from families 6% better off than average, whereas now they come from homes that are 42% richer. Indeed, British journalists, the supposed tribunes of the people, now hail from wealthier backgrounds than, er, bankers, an awkward fact that ought to cause embarrassment all round. I look at my younger self today and wonder if he could become a journalist on a serious newspaper. My parents were teachers. They were comfortably off by the standards of 1980s Manchester, but they could never have afforded to rent me rooms in London and cover my expenses while I went from internship to internship. They had to look after my sisters as much as anything else.
AND lo it came to pass: Trinity Mirror has admitted that some of its staff were involved in ilegal phone hacking.
The righteous Daily Mirror – the self-styled “intelligent tabloid” – will compensate Shane Richie, Shobna Gulati, Lucy Benjamin and Alan Yentob for listening into their private phone calls.
The company publishes titles including the Daily Mirror, Sunday Mirror and Sunday People.
And you know who writes for the tusty Mirror? Yep, it’s mullet-thumping, secretary-shagging, love-cheat John Prescott, champion of the surveillance-happy Government that watched us via ubiquitous CCTV, thought ID cards a good idea and brought about the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act.
THE Red Bank Police Department in Tennessee looke dat the footage below. They spoke to the officers involved. And about a month to decree that punching a restrained man about the head is not “excessive”. It’s just routine police work.
This is what the chap looked like after the police had processed him:
You don’t need to be subtle if you expect to get away with it.
A local Liberian artist paints a mural forming part of the countrys fight against the deadly Ebola virus by education in the city of Monrovia, Liberia, Tuesday, Sept. 23, 2014. U.S. health officials Tuesday presented worst-case and best-case scenarios for the Ebola epidemic in West Africa, calculating that as many as 1.4 million people could be sickened in two countries alone by mid-January _ or the outbreak could be winding down by then, if control efforts substantially increase. (AP Photo/Abbas Dulleh)
This June, a man named Jeremy Meeks bewitched the world. You may know him better by his media-dubbed nickname the Hot Felon. Meeks is attractive enough that his prominent cheekbones and alluring mug-shot stare went viral, bringing the previously unknown criminal instant fame. Days later, outlets from Gawker and BuzzFeed to The Washington Post, the Daily Mail, New York magazine and others reported he’d landed a $30,000 modeling contract…
I called his manager (yes, Meeks now has a manager) to confirm—something no other journalist at that point had bothered to do. There was no $30,000 contract. Modeling agencies had never heard of him…
Why do websites of otherwise trustworthy news organizations stoop to such lows? Because journalism’s digital business model, which forces outlets to compete for the same ad space with the most irresponsible websites on the internet, has created a new reality. Journalists, without the time or wherewithal to carry out a bare minimum of investigation under an unprecedentedly short news cycle, are forced to chase viral clicks and the pennies they bring, posting stories engineered toward “virality” to court their new social-media kingmakers. Once, credibility was the linchpin of journalism. Today, as dubiously sourced stories multiply, it’s an afterthought.
“Companies focus on page views because they’re quantifiable,” says Jonah Berger, author of Contagious: Why Things Catch On. “So journalists optimize for share numbers, and audiences share juicy headlines without reading the story.”
The consequences—a generation of journalists lacking ethics training, a public that accepts lower standards and a gaping hole in the media’s organizational practices that the unscrupulous exploit—are as far-reaching for the industry’s role in society as they are for the business of news itself.
Haider, whose family arrived in Australia from Afghanistan about 10 years ago, was a conscientious boy until a couple of years ago, when he began associating with people who held radical Islamist views.
Haider’s parents grew worried as he began staying out late at night and would not return home for extended periods. He had been associating with a radical Islamic group called Al-Furqan, though it is understood he had recently moved away from the group.
Based in Springvale, in Melbourne’s south-east, associates of Al-Furqan were the targets of terrorism raids by Victoria Police and the Australian Federal Police in 2012.
Abdul Numan Haider was quiet, gentle and softly spoken, friend says. Youth camp mate says teen terrorism suspect shot dead by police in Melbourne seemed to be looking for answers…
At a Muslim youth camp in Victoria early last year, Abdul Numan Haider attended every lecture, enthusiastically took part in sport and tried his best at camp quizzes. He had to be woken up for dawn prayer but he never complained.
Haider’s cabin mate spent nine days with him and remembers him as “quiet, very gentle, very softly spoken”. The camp catered for young people of all backgrounds, many from disadvantaged families. The theme last year was “The Prophet”.
And then the paper gets confused:
The man, who prefers to remain anonymous, says he remembers, too, that Haider seemed to be looking for answers, and asking questions. He was curious, trying to work out his place in the world, and in Australia, as a young Muslim man.
“I didn’t think he was very learned about the religion. His knowledge was basic, he was not well informed,” he said. “I do remember he was the most gentle, quiet, loving person in the camp.”
To which the paper adds:
For those who knew Haider, what he is alleged to have done is unfathomable. He was a “skinny small boy”, a devout Muslim who prayed at the Hallam mosque in Narre Warren, among other places.
And more confusion:
One man, Mustafa, demanded to see the CCTV footage. Several asked why the police had not shot Haider in the leg rather than killed him. Another said that the cancellation of passports had led to distrust of police and intelligence agencies.
Police and politicians were anxious to calm everyone down and went out of their way to emphasise that what happened on Tuesday night was not about religion or ethnicity, but about allegations about the actions of an individual.
They are nervous about Islamic anger and equally anxious about anti-Muslim sentiment spilling out of control.
Eh? They say it’s not about race but it is about race and religion?
“Victoria police will not tolerate any act of racism and intolerance,” said [Victoria’s police commissioner, Ken] Lay. “Extreme behaviour has nothing whatsoever to do with faith”.
Go that? The Guardian hasn’t. Because it then notes:
The man who shared a cabin with Haider tried to explain the complexity of what many Muslims are feeling. “There’s always a sense of misplacement and doubt over whether you belong,” he said.
Police suspect the 18-year-old man shot dead outside the Endeavour Hills police stationed planned to behead officers and post the images online. Numan Haider used a small knife to attack an Australian Federal Police officer and a Victorian policeman before he was shot dead with a single shot.
When Haider was searched he was found to be carrying a larger knife and an Islamic State flag.
Police believe the plan was to follow instructions from the international terror group Islamic State and behead the officers, cover the bodies in the flag and then take photos to post via the internet.
The airstrike map shown by Army Lt. Gen. William Mayville, Jr., Director of Operations J3, as he briefs the news media on operations in Syria, at the Pentagon in Arlington, Va., Tuesday, Sept. 23, 2014. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen) Date: 23/09/2014
THE US-led attack on Islamic State is leading the news cycle. Every report contains the fact that five Arab states are backing the assault. One of them is Qatar.
A woman belonging to the Self-Defense Council of Michoacan, (CAM) inspects a bedroom in the abandoned home of an alleged member of the Templar Knights drug cartel in Paracuaro, Mexico, Friday Jan. 17, 2014. According to the vigilante group, the owner of the home was nicknamed “El Botas” or “the Boots”. Vigilantes in Michoacan state insist they won’t lay down their guns until top leaders of a powerful drug cartel are arrested, defying government orders as federal forces try to regain control in a lawless region. (AP Photo/Felix Marquez) Date: 17/01/2014
MEXICAN news site MVS has relased a video of two reporters from Mexico’s Michoacan state appearing to accept money from one of the country’s most wanted drug lords, Servando Gomez, leader of the Knights Templar Cartel.
The men then discuss a “communication strategy” to improve the cartel’s image and are heard asking for trucks and cameras.
BARACK Obama has ordered air strikes on Islamic State. Washington, France and five named Arab nations have joined the fight on the jihadists.
“I can confirm that US military and partner nation forces are undertaking military action against Isil terrorists in Syria,” said Rear Admiral John Kirby, a Pentagon press secretary, in a statement. “Given that these operations are ongoing, we are not in a position to provide additional details at this time.”
The Washington Post said the Arab states helping the US are: Saudi Arabia, Jordan, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain. Oh, and Qatar is playing a “supporting role”.