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.
What do you do when you see racists? Yeah. you remove their targets to a cage. Pies reports on life in go-ahead Ukraine:
The executive director of Dynamo Kiev’s Olympic Stadium has gone on record as saying that segregated stands for black fans may be a “good idea” in the wake of Eastern European football’s latest shameful dalliance with racist abuse. The problem came to the fore once again last week when damning footage circulated of four black fans being attacked in the terraces during Kiev’s 0-0 draw against Chelsea in the Champions League.
Now, in his tireless quest to rid the NSC Olimpiyskiy of such disgraceful scenes, executive Volodimir Spilchenko believes he’s come up with the solution.
“We are trying, maybe, to make a special sector [for black fans] in order to avoid the manifestation of racism,” Spilchenko is quoted as saying in an interview by the Washington Post.
Gob-smacking, isn’t it? You really couldn’t make it up.
Referring to the aforementioned black fans specifically, Spilchenko explained that his administration attempted to make amends on the night but saw their apologetic gestures snubbed. “Representatives of the stadium administration came to these guys and offered them to change seats, even to more expensive ones, but our proposition was ignored,” he added.
Here’s a better idea: let’s segregate Dynamo Kiev from the rest of European football.
Transfer balls: as the Press pile in on Jose Mourinho, the Telegraph says Bayern Munich manager Pep Guardiola, 44, is Chelsea’s first-choice replacement for the argumentative Portuguese.
He is? Says who?
Matt Law reports:
Intermediaries, working independently and not at the request of Abramovich or Chelsea, are already attempting to gauge whether Guardiola would be interested in taking over at Stamford Bridge when his Bayern Munich contract expires at the end of the season. They want to be in a position to hand Guardiola to the Blues owner if Mourinho is sacked.
The Sun: “‘£100,000 fraud’ on Maddie fund – WHISTLEBLOWER EXCLUSIVE: Search money rip-off claim”
THE fund to find Madeleine McCann was ripped off by up to £100,000, whistleblowers claim.
Ripped off by whom?
Documents alleging the huge fraud have been handed to her parents Kate and Gerry.
How do we know this? Why is a claim news?
It is claimed a person connected to the hunt for the three-year-old used public donations to fund his own lifestyle. He is said to have duped the McCanns into thinking the cash was spent looking for their daughter.
How did he do that, then? Is he a private detective? Psychic? Copper?
Two whistleblowers named the man in sworn affidavits which The Sun passed to the couple.
Ok. The Sun has a scoop.
One said: “What made the fraud so disgusting was money came from people who shed tears over her disappearance and wanted to do their little bit.”
There is no suggestion of any wrongdoing by Kate or Gerry who thanked The Sun for the evidence.
We hear from the couple’s spokesman:
“Madeleine’s Fund takes extremely seriously any suggestion monies intended for the search have been obtained fraudulently. Kate, Gerry and the other directors of Madeleine’s Fund will co-operate fully with authorities to ensure these claims are fully investigated.”
No news on the actual child. No news on the search for the innocent girl who went missing in 2007.
The Mirror: “Madeleine McCann detectives examine man’s pictures after Sunday People probe”
It can only be a good thing that the tabloids are investigating.
Wojciech Krokowski’s flat was searched after the three-year-old vanished but he was ruled out and has now given us snaps he took around the time she went missing. Officers are scouring dozens of images from the camera of businessman Wojciech Krokowski, from Poland.
Krokowski’s flat was searched after the three-year-old vanished. Portuguese cops later ruled him out.
They never ruled him in. He never was an aguido.
The images British detectives are looking at is in a batch of hundreds handed over to us by the Pole during an interview.
That’s two mentions of his being foreign in the first few lines of a story of an innocent man helping with enquiries.
It bears a resemblance to the image of a man walking with a sleeping child – an artist’s impression of the kidnap which was released in September 2007.
This one below? A family friend of the McCanns helped with the sketch of the figure on the left. Police have determined it was a father returning his child to an apartment from a late-night creche.
The picture was publicised widely in the hope it would jog memories about Madeleine. But British police agreed the picture was not Mr Krokowski.
Sure. And then this:
Mr Krokowski told our investigators he liked taking pictures of children while he was on trips abroad.
He said he was amazed he had not been contacted since police reopened the case in 2011. The Pole insisted: “ I am ready to speak to them any time they want.”
So says ‘the Pole’.
Mr Krokowski said he wanted to remove a shadow that has been hanging over him since he became the subject of an international manhunt over Madeleine.
He will remove the stain on his name by talking to the Mirror, which will present him as a Pole who “liked taking pictures of children while he was on trips abroad”.
Mr Krokowski and his wife Anetta, 50, stayed in the Solimar apartments in Burgau just two miles from Praia da Luz between Saturday April 28 April and Saturday May 5 in 2007. We tracked Mr Krokowski to his office in the Polish capital.
Tracked. As in looked up his name on the web. We did it. It took four seconds to “track him down”.
He admitted he enjoys taking pictures of children on holiday but that it was for artistic purposes.
In his first-ever newspaper interview he said: “I take photos of old people, young people, landscapes and I have a lot of pictures from places like Thailand, Greece, Portugal, France, with kids on them. But I never thought about kids as a sexual object. Nothing like this, never, never never. I am a simple man with normal sexual orientations.”
He didn’t say he likes taking photos of kids. He said he likes taking photos of pretty much everything and anyone he encounters on his travels. He did not “admit it”, as one might admit to an addictions, perversion or crime. He merely said it.
Mr Krokowski revealed that although Polish police officers quizzed the couple and searched their apartment and the home of his father, they never confiscated his camera or inspected his pictures.
Goncalo Amaral, the controversial detective who led the original Portuguese investigation before he was replaced, has said he regretted that the Polish police probe into the couple was not taken further and that they did not seize Mr Krokowski’s camera and look at his holiday pics at that time.
But Mr Krokowski, who describes himself as an “obsessive photographer” told us he still had every single picture he took the day Madeleine vanished and handed them over so we could pass them to Operation Grange.
He tells the paper:
“We are not the type of people to lie on the beach so we travelled a lot in that area between Sagres and Burgau and I have plenty of photos from our time there but the police never asked for them. I thought once maybe I should show those photos. They are not just landscapes, there are lots of people. Maybe something in there could be helpful. I collect all my photographs, I still have them from that trip, of course you can have them if they could help in anyway.”
Transfer balls: Is Paul Pogba leaving Juventus to join a Premier League club? Let’s see what the newspapers have been telling us:
June 30 2015: The Daily Express says Pogba has agreed to join Barcelona.
But is £64m too much or not enough? The tabloids were wondering:
On October 24, 2015 the ever trusty Daily Express had an update on that Barcelona agreement:
The agent told us:
“Those who want him should sit with Juventus and then we’ll see. This summer, there were three or four clubs interested, but he chose to stay at Juventus.”
But the Star told us Pogba wanted to play for Chelsea:
Pogba named his price, said the Daily Mirror:
And why stop at Chelsea? The Manchester Evening News reported in August 2015 that Pogba was wanted by Man City:
Juventus chief Giuseppe Marotta says the Italian club are powerless to stop Manchester City target Paul Pogba leaving if he decides to. City last month cooled their interest in in the French midfield ace after Juve demanded a whopping £71m fee.
But the Daily Express told us Chelsea had bid £80m for Pogba:
Manchester United and Manchester City played out a match so dull it must make all those Americans, Chinese and oil-rich sheikhs tuning in wonder if the Premier League is just hype and more hype, less a sport than a televised festival of consumerism. Let’s compare the marketing with the fact:s
Before the match the talk was of passion, history and cash.
Transfer Balls: The Sun on Sundaysays Chelsea’s Eden Hazard, 24, could be on his way to Paris Saint-Germain. Below the rather icky headline “Hazard snatch”, the Sun reports:
French giants PSG are preparing a massive January bid to test the playmaker’s relationship with Jose Mourinho… PSG are willing to offer an improvement on the Belgian’s £200,000-a-week wages and a return to France.
The Daily Star on Sunday then adds that Real Madrid, Barcelona, Manchester City and Manchester United “could” all bid for Hazard.
The Premier League is little sad, no? For all the hype and hoopla, any foreign player worth their salt wants to play in Spain. And the British Press know it.
CHRISTIAN BENTEKE has revealed his pal Eden Hazard dreams of playing for Real Madrid.
Thee years ago, Benteke said:
“I am not surprised at Eden’s success with Chelsea — and he can do even better. He has the qualities needed to become an even greater player. His dream is to join Real Madrid — so I don’t see why he can’t join them in a year or two.”
In 2015, the Star added:
But in 2014, Hazard said:
“Paris [Saint-Germain] have huge players, but Chelsea have more experience and more players in certain positions. And we also have a better experience in the Champions League. I never said that if I left Chelsea it will only be for Real Madrid. The only club that makes me dream is Chelsea.”
Hazard’s a terrific player. He’s one of the best players in the Premier League. The continuing tabloid tales linking him to Spain and PSG only serve to undermine the fable that the Premier League is the ultimate place to watch football. It isn’t. It’s bloated and greedy. If the actual play matched the hype just imagine how fantastic the games would be.
It shows what Blackwell’s called “the exacting nature” of Tolkien’s creative vision: he corrects place names, provides extra ones, and gives Baynes a host of suggestions about the map’s various flora and fauna. Hobbiton, he notes, “ is assumed to be approx at latitude of Oxford”; Tolkien was a professor of Anglo-Saxon at Oxford University.
The novelist also uses Belgrade, Cyprus, and Jerusalem as other reference points, and according to Blackwell’s suggests that “the city of Ravenna is the inspiration behind Minas Tirith – a key location in the third book of the Lord of The Rings trilogy”.
“The map shows how completely obsessed he was with the details. Anyone else interfered at their peril,” said Sian Wainwright at Blackwell’s. “He was tricky to work with, but very rewarding in the end.”
West Ham United beat Chelsea 2-1, and José Mourinho spent the second half watching from the stand. Why? Because it was claimed that he tried to speak to the referee during the interval, following the dismissal of Chelsea’s midfielder Nemanja Matic.
With such crass behaviour can it be long before Mourinho is given the boot from Stamford Bridge?
“You’re getting sacked in the morning,” sang the West Ham fans at the Portuguese manager, who then put the tin lid on his day out by failing to attend the post-match press conference.
Matthew Syed is not a fan, writing in the Times:
His motivational technique is based upon something very different: me, me, me. It is about the cult of the individual — Mourinho himself. This is predicated, in turn, upon creating a sense of permanent crisis. He sees conspiracies everywhere. The referees, the Premier League, Uefa, the ballboys, the team doctor, Uncle Tom Cobley: whatever it takes to get his players to feel like they are enduring a siege.
In the short term, this technique works. Nobody wants to be in a siege, fighting for one’s life, and so the players respond. But over the long-term, it begins to grate. It is like a narcotic or a sugar rush: you need ever more crises to recruit ever dwindling amounts of emotional response, particularly when the players begin to see through the underlying charade. In the end, it becomes cloying.
Chelsea are the current Premier League champions. Mourinho has talent. But he is so utterly graceless in victory and defeat. Syed adds:
They say that the Real Madrid players eventually became bored of Mourinho, but the truth is that they became ashamed of him. They saw him stab a finger into the eye of Tito Vilanova, his Barcelona rival. They observed him name four referees over whom Barcelona, supposedly, had “special power”. They watched as he was banished from the dugout during a Copa del Rey final and how he stormed out of the stadium without bothering to collect his loser’s medal from the King of Spain. They noted how he insulted the referee again in the car park.
Over three seasons, they saw him traduce, malign and infect — and, in the end, they couldn’t bear it. They were exhausted by the caricature running their club and his juvenile approach to leadership. And with the clarity that comes with time, they saw through it.
If he goes, he won’t be as missed as he think he should be. Well, at least not by fans who don’t support Chelsea. Better than sacking The Special One is to help him with an able sidekick, say, Steve Clarke, Gianfranco Zola or Roberto Di Matteo. Or all three.
Police in Champlin, Minnesota, say a 38-year-old woman was arrested and has admitted sending anonymous threats to a family that said she wanted to taste and lick their children. Police say the woman was upset because the children made noise and left items in her yard. Carrie Pernula was arrested on Friday and faces possible charges of gross misdemeanor terroristic threats and stalking. Word of the threats spread quickly through social media and neighbours say both they and the family were terrified.
The first anonymous threat arrived on Sept. 27 by mail. The two short sentences said: “The children look delicious. May I have a taste?” The family lives in a Champlin neighbourhood and they have two elementary school students. Terrifed, they called the Champlin Police Department and posted on a Champlin community Facebook page, saying in part, “Opened our mail today to this letter. Obviously my stomach started doing somersaults.” Then, the family began to receive magazine subscriptions.
“Instead of a name on the address label it said things like ‘tasty children’ along those lines,” Champlin Deputy Police Chief Ty Schmidt said. Champlin police traced the magazines and last Friday arrested Carrie Pernula. Police say she admitted to the threats. “She was angry because the kids were leaving things in her yard and I think being a little noisy, being kids, the way kids are,” Schmidt said. The neighbourhood is full of families with young children.
Word of the threats spread quickly on social media and families were terrified for their children. Pernula was released from jail on Monday and is believed to be back at her home. Champlin police say its disturbing someone would create such fear. “In this case they went way beyond the bounds of what should be done,” Schmidt said. Pernula, when confronted by investigators, admitted to sending notes and magazines because the children at that house were “always putting stuff on her porch.” She has not been charged. The Champlin city attorney is reviewing her case.
To the East Side of Cleveland, Ohio, where a 49-year-old man has driven himself to the hospital. He tells medics he’s been shot.
He’d been drinking booze, and smoking crack and marijuana when he popped out to top up supplies. In conversation with two drug dealers our hero had a change of heart – he wanted to shop around and see what the competition were selling.
This triggered a fight between the man and the dealers, one of whom ‘shot’ him and stole his wallet. But he didn’t shoot him. He wasn’t shot. The drug-addled patient had been hit in the head with a shovel.
Police are looking for any drug dealers carrying shovels.
Transfer Balls: Manchester Untied will offer Spurs £50m for their striker Harry Kane, says the Daily Star. The paper says United manager Louis Van Gaal is “demanding the Old Trafford top brass” sign the 22-year-old England striker.
The paper says United launched a failed £25m bid for Kane over the summer.
Will Kane and Spurs take the money?
Who know? After all, this is the Daily Star, which told Google News that Kane already plays at Old Trafford:
Mark Steyn celebrates his Sinatra Centenary series with a look at the making of a hit song:
It was 1966. Enter Bert Kaempfert “the German kaiser of kitsch”:
He eschewed the standard 32-bar A-A-B-A song, possibly on the grounds that a middle section was way too much work. Instead, his tunes are built on the slightest of melodic themes, endlessly repeated. Yet they are, as the Germans say, Ohrwürmer – or earworms: maddening tunes that insinuate their way into your head and refuse to get out. “L-O-V-E” is the über-Kaempfert, a tune so simple that its lyricist Milt Gabler turned it into a spelling lesson, an “Alphabet Song” for grown-ups:
L is for the way you look at me
O is for the only one I see
V is very very extraordinary
E is even more…
So Kaempfert had form. And so Jimmy Bowen listens to Hal Fine’s bunch of Kaempfert themes and something called “Beddy-Bye” comes up. And Bowen plays it again, and again. And then he says, “Man, get me a lyric on that, and I’ll do it with Sinatra.”
“Beddy-Bye” sounds to me like yet another minimalist Kaempfert tune: the five-note title phrase, reprised a tone up and a tone down, is about 50 per cent of the tune. Yet a remarkable number of other people claim to have had a hand in its creation. The last time I mentioned the thing in this space David C Tobin of Washington, DC wrote to say that it was composed by Avo Uvezian, a Beirut-born Armenian-American pianist cum cigar manufacturer. He does indeed claim to have written the music, but so does the late Ivo Robić, the crooning Croat, who insisted that he’d composed it for a folk music festival in Split, Yugoslavia. M Philippe-Gérard, the Brazilian-born French composer of “When The World Was Young”, sued on the grounds that the tune was stolen from his “Magic Tango”, but lost in court.
So until these various Croatian-Armenian claims are as litigated as the Franco-Brazilian ones, we’ll stick with the official narrative. In 1966, Bert Kaempfert wrote this tune for his first Hollywood movie score, for the aforementioned A Man Could Get Killed, directed by Ronald Neame. And all it needed now was a lyric and Jimmy Bowen would make good on his promise and get Kaempfert a recording by Frank Sinatra.
Bowen had never made such a pledge before – for a fairly obvious reason: He was in no position to promise any such thing. “Obviously,” he explained subsequently, “nobody knows what Frank is going to do till he says what he’s going to do.” But he knew that that “Beddy-Bye” theme smelled like a hit, and Hal Fine took him at his word. He farmed the tune out to various writers, and submitted a couple of lyrics. Jimmy Bowen didn’t like either of them.
So Hal Fine tried again, this time with Eddie Snyder and Charles Singleton….
For “Beddy-Bye”, Eddie Snyder took his cue from the film and the James Garner/Melina Mercouri characters: They’re strangers, exchanging glances, and, by the time the tune’s reprised in the final moments, you know that, as the song says, they’re “in love forever”. “We had the scene,” recalled Snyder. “A man is sitting across from a girl in a bar. That was it.” But that was all they needed:
Strangers In The Night
Wond’ring in the night
What were the chances
We’d be sharing love
Before the night was through…
To Missouri, where former police officer David E. Cerna, 34, advertised on Craigslist for straight men to blow. Cerna posed as a woman keen on giving men anonymous oral sex. Men accepting the invitation were invited to pop over to Cerna’s home, and stick their troublemaker through a hole so that the shy ‘woman’ could administer oral sex.
No-one would be that desperate or stupid, right? Wrong. At least 60 men did this.
Cerna filmed the sex and posted the videos online, leading to a charge of invasion of privacy.
It’s further alleged that Cerna abused children. Attorney Gonzalo Fernandez says:
“In fact the contact would often be initiated by him performing some sort of traffic stop. Some of these people are minors… I know one of them was as young as 16.
“David Cerna kind of took it upon himself to walk through various bedrooms of the house by himself, which at the time seemed strange to the family and now knowing what they do about his propensity for clandestine filming, you wonder.”
Gary Monk is magic! The Swansea City manager really is magic. He can make himself disappear. Yesterday the Mirror’s John Cross tweeted:
Garry Monk misses training as pressure mounts at Swansea
Monk missing. Pressure mounting. Two plus two equals… Sacked?!
The Mirror duly reported why Monk was missing:
Garry Monk did not go into training at Swansea today. It is understood that he missed the session because of personal reasons.
Or as Swansea City put it:
Had Monk reappeared, as if by magic?
The Mirror’s John Cross went back to work:
Garry Monk is under mounting pressure at Swansea. The Swans have been on a winless run of six games…. Swansea today moved to deny that Monk missed training by posting pictures of their manager taking a session at the club’s Fairwood HQ. But they confirmed that Monk did miss the team’s warm-down session on Tuesday following the defeat to Stoke the night before.
He missed the warm-down session at Stoke City? Do you even need a manager to supervise that? Did it miss it for “personal reasons”? And ‘moved to deny” sounds a lot like denying and saying the Mirror was wrong.
In China you can buy a Nazi figuring that looks like Manchester United’s German midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger. Yeah, that’s what we thought: who in China buys Nazi figurines? This one costs HK$958 (£80).
Schweinsteiger is upset enough to set his lawyers on the Hong Kong-based company, makers of ‘Bastian’, the one-sixth lifesize doll. They say it’s pure coincidence the doll looks like him. all Germans look the same, see.
“We have no figure which is based on a football player,” Patrick Chan tells Bild (not to be confused with the Vőlkischer Beobachter). “It was pure coincidence that the ‘Bastian’ figure looks like Schweinsteiger. The figure is based on the typical German. We believe that all Germans look like this.”
They do. Stick this one in a dress and it’s Heidi Klum.
News is that Eden Hazard wants to leave Chelsea. The Belgian fancies joining Real Madrid says L’Equipe. As is so often the way with these things, Hazard has told friends, family, pals, dogs and parrots that he wants to move. For some reason, they all decide at once to tell the Press. Hazard says nothing in public, preferring to let his football do the talking, which it is – quietly.
The Indy takes up the story:
The report comes in the same week that Hazard seemed to ‘like’ a post on Instagram linking him with a move to Real Madrid.
At at once we see the plan. Hazard is no longer playing his best in order to avoid winning a man-of-the-match bottle of champers and being made to speak in public. He now only communicates through nameless cousins and ‘likes’.
Of course, Hazard’s potential moves have been in the news for some time: