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.
MADELEINE McCann: Anorak’s regular looks at the missing child in the media.
The Mirror: “New Madeleine McCann prosecutor has vowed to solve case – bringing fresh hope to her parents”
High-flying investigator Ines Sequeira has taken on the case and British detectives believe her appointment will shake up the investigation
Taken over the Met’s Operation Grange?
A new prosecutor has been put in charge of the Madeleine McCann case – and has vowed to solve it. High-flying investigator Ines Sequeira said she was “utterly determined” to crack the case, bringing fresh hope to Madeleine’s parents, Kate and Gerry.
Encouraging news. Who is she? And why now?
British detectives believe the appointment will shake up the probe and Scotland Yard officers will fly out next week to discuss a shortlist of seven prime suspects with their Portuguese counterparts.
THE Daily Mirror has news of nude hackers:
Of course, it’s not the hackers who are nude (well, only the part of them held in their spare hand), rather their victims.
MICK Hume is right. He writes in the Times about press freedom, linking the police raids on tabloid journalists to the police spying on the Daily Mail’s phones:
The Labour MP Keith Vaz protests that the police phone hackers have “struck a serious blow against press freedom”. Noble words. He is no relation, presumably, to the chairman of the home affairs select committee who, in 2011, lambasted the Met for “not doing enough” to crack down on the excesses of tabloid journalism?
The Liberal Democrat conference has pledged to reform RIPA to “protect responsible journalism”, a policy proposed by the former MP Evan Harris, now a lobbyist for Hugh Grant’s Hacked Off. Nobody has been more “responsible” than Hacked Off for encouraging a contemptuous official view of tabloid hacks, whom the campaign’s executive director branded a “different breed” at the Leveson inquiry.
Nick Davies, of The Guardian, who led the crusade to expose hacking at the News of the World, says that the police have cheated by using RIPA to hunt down sources. Yet to judge by his new book, Hack Attack, Davies’s role in the hacking scandal was to act as the provisional wing of the Metropolitan Police, insisting that a stricter interpretation of RIPA would empower them to arrest more members of the tabloid press.
Read it all.
THE Manchester Evening News has a few words on funny names and nominative determinism:
SO. You’re sat on a busy passenger plane flying from The US of A to the Dominican Republic. You cough. You shout “I have Ebola, you are all screwed”.
At no point does anyone ask him if he’s joking.
Do they check his passport for signs of travel to West Africa, Madrid or Dallas?
HOW did you become a jihadi’s bride? The Sun gives its readers an insight:
AN undercover reporter for The Sun was recruited to become a bride for a British fighter waging war in Syria for terror group Islamic State. The journalist, posing as an unhappy London schoolgirl keen to join IS, was allocated a “husband” during online chats with matchmaker Zahra Halane — one of the Terror Twins who left their Manchester home for the war-torn country three months ago.
We hear from Coverntry’s own Rashed Amani, 19, who told the Sun’s blagger:
“I’d love to pick you up as soon as u come.”
It’s Finbarr Saunders.
He’s further quoted:
“I have fought and in fighting u won’t always tell if it’s you who shot them or someone else but more usually we shoot and its Allah the great kills you see.”
Eh? English is his first language.
Not eveyone is seduced by the chance to shag a priapic jihadi to death:
“I just can’t understand why she’d want to go to Syria,” explains Aisha, also 20, and from Slough. The youngest daughter of parents originally from Kashmir, she’s reading Applied Social Sciences at Goldsmith’s. “The UK has given us so much in terms of education, human rights, equality. Why go from that to Syria where, as a woman, she will face so many restrictions? She won’t even be able to go out on her own to the corner shop.”
On Crikey (Aus), we read:
American writer and psychologist Phyllis Chesler speculates that these women have chosen “unfreedom” in response to a surfeit of choices offered to them in the West. Over on the Quadrant blog, economist Peter Smith writes that Amira Kharroum’s story illustrates that the “moderate Muslims” extolled by multiculturalists are a myth.
Unfreedom? It’s either positive freedom (freedom to do) or negative freedom (freedom from). Unfreedom sounds lot like bondage.
Are women really travelling in droves to meet a dreamy jihadi?
When Tunisia’s authorities announced that a stream of young women had been leaving their homes to provide sexual services to Islamist militants in Tunisia and Syria, the statement was greeted with both shock and scepticism. The BBC’s Ahmed Maher went to Tunisia to investigate the reports…
The story is rooted in the Jebel ech Chaambi (Chaambi mountains) area of western central Tunisia, on the border with Algeria… The authorities say they have arrested a number of girls and women in cities around Chaambi, whom they accuse of having sex with battle-weary militants as part of a campaign to improve morale.
We meet the mothr of one women who allegedly services jihadis:
“She has never been to the Chaambi mountains. These are false accusations. She was religious and went to mosque,” the mother told me. She requested anonymity because “this is a sensitive issue in our conservative city.” She wore the full-body veil – we say it’s a sign of chastity, not extremism.”
What’s beneath the veil?
Interior Minister Lotfi bin Jido told the Beeb:
“Tunisian girls are swapped between 20, 30, and 100 rebels and they come back bearing the fruit of sexual contacts in the name of sexual jihad and we are silent doing nothing and standing idle.”
Radio broadcaster Zuhir Eljiis believes the aim is to suggest that the ruling Islamist Enhada party is turning a blind eye to extremism. “The interior minister has not come up with hard evidence. He gave no statistics,” he said. “He’s caused controversy, giving the impression this is a big issue. He is known for his political independence, but I think he might have been caught in a political game between rival parties.”
Is it just a good story?
Another prominent Muslim scholar in Tunisia, Sheikh Fareed Elbaji, told the BBC he personally knew families who had discovered that their daughters had gone to Chaambi and Syria to offer sex in support of the militants, apparently in obedience to fatwas or religious edicts issued on the battlefields of Syria.
And the conclusion?
In largely secular and liberal Tunisia, the idea of sexual jihad comes as a shock. Many dismiss it as a politically motivated hoax. But others, already alarmed by growing extremism in the country, say it cannot be so easily ruled out.
He isn’t sure.
The Daily Mail is sure:
An ever-growing band of young women have left their families in Britain to join the jihadi cause in Syria. Researchers have identified six more such women through their online accounts – and warn this could be the tip of the iceberg.
But we meet only a few:
Academics at King’s College in London said they have seen ‘a big uptake’ in the number of UK women going to Syria. Among them are Salma and Zahra Halane, 16, twins from Chorlton, Manchester, and mother-of-one Khadijah Dare, 22, who is married to a Swedish jihadist. Privately educated radiography student Aqsa Mahmood, 20, from Glasgow, made headline news this week after her sobbing middle-class parents begged her to return.
Can it be that many more young women have left these shores for IS and no-one’s noticed?
The Telegraph looks:
Refugees, women still living under its rule and men who have escaped from its prisons have told Telegraph of the life under the shadow of the extremist group’s black flag. One woman, whose name the Telegraph knows but is withholding, described how she went to the recruiting office of an all-women jihad unit, formed from the women who have flocked to Syria from Europe and elsewhere to serve the cause, some with their children…
“I went inside their headquarters, which used to be the Christian church,” she said. “I asked what the conditions were to join. They said you have to be 18-25, unmarried, and you would earn 25,000 Syrian pounds. But if you joined you had the opportunity to marry one of the foreign fighters. However, they make sure you are a real jihadist.”
What’s the widow’s pension look like?
She said that outside she met four new recruits, three from Tunisia, and one Frenchwoman, who told her she was divorced and had brought her 12-year-old daughter and four younger sons to Syria to join the militants… But the Raqqa woman and other activists from the town say that the imbalance of the sexes means ISIS has begun to “recruit” brides from local schools and colleges.
Among those who resisted, they say, was a 21-year-old student called Fatima Abdullah from a tribal area outside the city, whose brother had joined ISIS and persuaded their father to hand her over for marriage to a Tunisian. She refused, and when her family insisted, killed herself with rat poison. The story was confirmed by other activists from the town.
Are the women simply servants?
Eight months ago, Umm Haritha, a 20-year-old woman from Canada, made her way to Turkey against her parents’ wishes with a half-empty suitcase and $1,500.
Within a week she was in Syria, and a few weeks later she was married to Abu Ibrahim al-Suedi, a 26-year-old Palestinian from Sweden fighting for Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), the Sunni jihadist group battling the Syrian regime.
It is not clear whether Umm Haritha’s marriage to Abu Ibrahim was arranged before her travel to Syria. Regardless, it only lasted five months.
On May 5, Abu Ibrahim, whose real name is Taha Shade, was in a car en route to a meeting in Deir ez-Zor with members of rival faction Jabhat al-Nusra. What was meant to be a gathering to finalize a peace treaty between ISIS and al-Nusra turned deadly when an al-Nusra fighter on a motorbike sped up to Shade’s car and detonated his explosive belt.
At the time, Shade was wearing his own explosive belt, which also went off and blew him to pieces.
Two days later, Umm Haritha tweeted about her husband’s death, calling on “Allah” to “destroy those who backstabbed the brothers and resurrect Abu Ibrahim with noor [light] from every piece of his body.”
It’s a bloody puzzle – literally:
The Sunday Times says not:
A 15-YEAR-OLD girl from Bristol who is feared to have travelled overseas to become a jihadist bride may have been recruited by a group of British women who act as religious police for Isis terrorists in Syria. Detectives are investigating postings on social media which suggest that Yusra Hussien was communicating with the women just weeks before she and a 17-year-old friend from London fled the UK.
One message stated: “I yearn to be the wife of a mujahid [holy warrior] and support him and khilafa [Islamic caliphate] all the way.”
Yusra is thought to be the youngest Briton to have joined Isis, also known as Islamic State. Friends have claimed she was radicalised online and recently managed to fly to Turkey, which borders Syria, while her Somalia-born parents thought she was at school.
As many as 70 women and girls are among the 500-plus British Muslims who have travelled to the Middle East for jihad. They include a group which has joined a feared all-female religious police force called the al-Khanssaa brigade in Raqqa, the de facto capital of the self-declared Isis caliphate.
Breitbart, however, is having none of it.
The most barbaric bunch of blood-thirsty misogynists this side of Genghis Khan are yearning for western “brides”—and the “brides,” who will be no more than sex and reproductive slaves, are coming, via an internet campaign, to service ISIS’s male Jihadis in the Caliphate in formation in Syria and Iraq. There is a “marriage bureau” in the northern Syrian town of Al Bab for Western women in a marrying state of mind.
She adds, rather oddly:
The would-be “brides” are given point-by-point guidance on what to expect.” What is coming their way is far darker than Fifty Shades of Grey.
Excited much? A little bit turned on?
Some Jihad Janes are mentally ill and, like Maryam Jameelah (aka Margaret Marcus of Larchmont), may find that becoming ardent spokeswomen for Maulana Abul Ala Mawdudi’s Islamist ideology helps them solve the profound limitations of mental illness.
Some Jihad Janes may have been sexually and physically traumatized by their Western families and seek to escape the country or the culture that allowed this to happen. They may not know that they are jumping from the proverbial fire pan into the fire itself.
The writer seems litle short on face and long on fantasy:
Young, impressionable, naïve, and dreamy girls and women may yearn for a Grand “Arabian Nights” kind of Adventure. I doubt they have ever read the Arabian Nights, which is filled with the most bestial acts imaginable, including that of be-heading virgin brides at dawn, after the marriage has been consummated.
Can you be a virgin after you’ve had sex?
Dr Phyllis Chesler goes on:
She may be expected to undergo female genital mutilation so that she will never be able to experience sexual pleasure; every sexual interaction will be agonizing as will each and every experience of giving birth (Or of urinating, etc.).
Yeah. Maybe. Or maybe not.
The notion of “jihadi brides” travelling to Syria to marry IS fighters has gained currency in recent reports in the western media.
Families in France whose daughters have gone to Syria have received phone calls from Syrian men asking for their daughters’ hands in marriage, and the online accounts of male fighters seem bombarded by requests from women wanting to be their wives.
Mia Bloom from the Center for Terrorism and Security Studies at the University of Massachusetts Lowell provocatively argued that women are seen as little more than “baby factories” in the desire to populate the new “purist” Islamic state.
However this does not mean the young women simply want to find a husband. The “jihadi bride” concept is only part of the story.
There is another side to their decision to travel. Women are joining IS because it provides a new utopian politics – participating in jihad and being part of the creation of a new Islamic state…
There are images of women carrying AK47’s, wearing a suicide belt and holding a severed head. But they are also cooking, making Nutella pancakes, doing housework, meeting each other for coffee, and being mothers and carers.
It is this combination of violence and domesticity that many find jarring. A female Malaysian medic, now known as Umm al-Baraa, tweeted in January: “Stethoscope around my neck and kalash on my shoulder. Martyrdom is my highest dream”.
This is a video of life in IS:
It might be that – and this is terrifying – many women are make a free and informed choice to live in IS.
THE Sun has been leading with IS, the group the media labels “so-called Islamic State”.
Yesterday the Sun’s cover featured a staged photograph:
In the Guardian Nesrine Malik (no headscarf) opined:
Yes, you there, Muslim – bleary eyed, sipping your coffee, who thought the activities of a militant group thousands of miles away had nothing to do with you – are you standing up to extremism right now? Is your Islam “British”? If not, then you are Part of the Problem.
EBOLA is in the UK. Well, maybe:
The Telegraph says Ebola “may” be in Britain.
THE Mirror has news of the bride-to-be who was impregnanted by a dwarf stripper on her hen night. She had a baby with drawfism, forcing her to reveal all to the loving groom.
The Mirror says the story featured on a ” Spanish news website”. It then adds:
Neither the hospital nor the woman have been named.
AS you may have heard, Ghostbusters 3 is definitely happening.
However, there’s a twist – writer and director Paul Feig says the new film will be an all-female Ghostbusters cast and he will be writing it alongside Kate Dippold (from Parks and Recreation).
Of course, some fanboiz are spitting feathers over this, as an all-female Ghostbusters isn’t what they had in mind at all. However, if the casting is right, this could be a brilliant addition to the franchise.
Feig said on Twitter: “It’s official. I’m making a new Ghostbusters & writing it with @katiedippold & yes, it will star hilarious women. That’s who I’m gonna call.”
So who could Feig cast? There’s a wealth of brilliant and funny actresses out there and everyone will have a shortlist of their own. Here are some of our favourites.
Tina Fey is one of the funniest humans on the planet. Whether she’d take the Ghostbusters role is another matter, but producers should be throwing money at her.
KEVIN Davis murdered his mother, Kimberly Hill, 50, in her Texas apartment on 27 March. He then had sex with ehr corpse. It was his first time.
Davis, 18, says he tried to murder his mother by wrspping the cord from a video game console around her throat.
A GUN THAT Makes And Fires Paper Airplanes.
The A6 V1.0 Paper Airplane Gun Papierfliegerei wins the playground arms race:
RACISM is such a big issue, you wouldn’t think a national newspaper who use it as a cheap way to score hits, would you? So. When we read in the Daily Express of a Jose ‘Mourinho Race Row”, we’re intrigued. Can the Chelsea boss have erred?
Football is used as a cipher for all society’s ill, so maybe he’s it is just a lot of shouting about very little.
The Express‘ story is a link to a story in the Daily Star, it’s sister publication that once supported the EDL.
THE Sun has an interesting story on witchcraft in the UK:
HUNDREDS of British tots are victims of ritual abuse by parents convinced their child is possessed, police said yesterday. The Sun told on Tuesday how people in South London performed a 4am exorcism on a toddler.
In another case outlined at the Met’s Witchcraft and Spirit Possession event, a youngster was starved, beaten and caged as the parents feared evil spirits would jump from the child. One victim told how her aunt force-fed her for being a witch.
And not at all far-fetched.
In 2010, Uganda’s Minister for Ethics and Integrity James Buturo appealed for help. The report:
He appealed to religious leaders regardless of the difference in faith to spearhead the campaigns to wipeout witchcraft and homosexuality in the country.
EBOLA Watch: a look at reproting on Ebola in the news.
The Star focuses on one pupil:
Britain in a state of panic as Ebola virus hits UK school
THE Daily Star has hit upon a theme: Black-eyed children are picking on Strictly Come Dancing stars. They might even be bullying them.
Anorak can exclusively reveal that the black-eyed chidlren are formerly known as Jedward:
Todd Graham writes:
This lost classic short film of 1990 is a post reunification Nihilist allegory of the tensions between the immigrant worker population of Germany and the natives who still long for Heimat. When foreign bullies cajole a young German man into trying to kick an American football. Hilarity ensues.
We all hate you, Charlie Brown!
BRENDA Leyland continues to make news. Today’s round-up of the woman branded the “Madeleine McCann troll”:
New India Express – yep, it’s an international story:
…No one in the neat village of Burton Overy, Leics, suspected that Mrs Leyland had a cruel bone in her body, let alone the sort of mindset to pursue a vitriolic campaign again the grieving parents of the missing child, Madeleine McCann.
A likeable, churchgoing woman of no obviously strong views, she seemed more interested in gardening, photography and quizzes than any solitary obsession with tweeting. She also had a passionate, innocuous leading role in the village’s annual scarecrow competition.
FACE of the day:
Ray Cole (centre) is greeted by his family at Gatwick Airport in West Sussex as he returns from Morocco following his release from prison for being gay. Cole, 69, was imprisoned for four months with his Moroccan friend Jamal Jam Wald Nass after homosexual images were found on his password-protected phone.
There’s been so much going on I let this one pass. But since you ask, I think it’s pretty indisputable that any religion that can manifest itself in the form of something like ISIS in any period in history is in a very bad way. I know they’re outliers – even with respect to al Qaeda. But, leaving these mass murderers and sadists to one side, any religion that still cannot allow its own texts to be subject to scholarly and historical inquiry, any religion that denies in so many parts of the world any true opportunities for women, and any religion whose followers believe apostasy should be punished with death is in a terrible, terrible way. There is so much more to Islam than this – but this tendency is so widespread, and its fundamentalism so hard to budge, and the destruction wrought by its violent extremists so appalling that I find Affleck’s and Aslan’s defenses to be missing the forest for the trees.
THE NHS Atlas of Risk will tell you the chanes of dying from various things:
This atlas will help you to put health risks and death rates into perspective.
Adverse effects of acute cannabis use
- Cannabis does not produce fatal overdoses.
- Driving while cannabis-intoxicated doubles the risk of a car crash; this risk increases substantially if users are also alcohol-intoxicated.
- Cannabis use during pregnancy slightly reduces birth weight of the baby.
Adverse effects of chronic cannabis use
- Regular cannabis users can develop a dependence syndrome, the risks of which are around 1 in 10 of all cannabis users and 1 in 6 among those who start in adolescence.
- Regular cannabis users double their risks of experiencing psychotic symptoms and disorders, especially if they have a personal or family history of psychotic disorders, and if they start using cannabis in their mid-teens.
- Regular adolescent cannabis users have lower educational attainment than non-using peers but we don’t know whether the link is causal.
- Regular adolescent cannabis users are more likely to use other illicit drugs, but we don’t know whether the link is causal.
- Regular cannabis use that begins in adolescence and continues throughout young adulthood appears to produce intellectual impairment, but the mechanism and reversibility of the impairment is unclear.
- Regular cannabis use in adolescence approximately doubles the risk of being diagnosed with schizophrenia or reporting psychotic symptoms in adulthood.
- Regular cannabis smokers have a higher risk of developing chronic bronchitis.
- Cannabis smoking by middle aged adults probably increases the risk of myocardial infarction.
ANORAK has a soft spot for miserable landlord of cafe owner upset by the state of their clientele.
Bedfordshire pub the Black Lion in Leighton Buzzard has put up a sign offering to nail people’s unruly children to their table. It suggests staff would “happily nail it [your child] to your table… to avoid accident or injury” to the child.
The pub’s manager, Nikki Brodin, said she did not want screaming children running round. The pub encourages customers to talk to each other over board games.
MADELEINE McCann: a look at the missing child in the news media, with Brenda Leyland:
In the Times, Carole Midgley is talking about trolls:
Who could look at the photo of Brenda Leyland with her handsome son, his arm curled protectively around her shoulders, and feel anything but desperately sad? We don’t yet know how or why Ms Leyland died in that room in the Marriott hotel, Leicestershire, but we know a man has lost his mother and we know how history will remember her: as the so-called “troll” accused of tweeting thousands of hate-filled messages about the grieving parents of Madeleine McCann…