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Transfer balls: the Sun leads its sports section with news that Manchester United are sure – dead sure – of signing Cristiano Ronaldo from Real Madrid. In an “exclusive”, Neil Curtis says United will see off any offers from Chelsea, whose owner Roman Abramovich has made Ronaldo his ‘No.1 target”.
It’s a little odd that two top side would appear so desperate to sign what would be a 31-year-old player with his best years behind him. Odder still that Madrid would sanction the sale of their greatest star with a few miles left on the clock.
Inside the paper, Curtis says Ronaldo signed for Real in 2009 “making clear he was going to finish his carer with the Spanish giants”.
Curtis then delivers a line so woolly, vagrants keeping warm with newspapers should line their anoraks with his column and snuggle down. Says Curtis:
“If there is any change of heart or Real decide, then United believe they will be in pole position ahead of any interest from Stamford Bridge.”
What about any interest from Sporting Lisbon, where Ronaldo started his professional career? For the hype about the Premier League being Ronaldo’s true home, where his heart lies, there is the fact that United bought and then sold him because Porto needed the money and he proved to be rather good and very keen to play for Real Madrid, his dream team.
Oakland Raiders player Ray-Ray Armstrong is accused of barking at a police dog and pounding his chest. Police stepped in after Armstrong, 24, allegedly lifted his top and woof-woofed in the direction of a police dog before the start of Sunday’s NFL game against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
“The dog was going crazy,” says chief deputy Kevin Kraus said. “The deputy was trying to control the dog the best she could. We were immediately notified about the incident, and we immediately initiated a criminal investigation into the matter.”
No, not to investigate why a hard-to-control police dog is so close to professional athletes, and barking at them. Police are investigating Ray-Ray and his woof-woof.
Police deputy Maria Watts, the handler of Bandit the dog, says Armstrong was shouting “Hey dog, hey dog” after leaving the locker room before the game. “Bandit was very agitated. He wanted me to let him go. I imagine with his training and experience he would have gone to his target who was taunting him. I don’t want to speculate on what he would have done.”
Caitlyn Jenner is telling Buzzfeed of “The Moment She Felt Most Proud To Be A Woman In 2015”.
Jenner, patriarch of the Jenner-Kardashian clan, is now an estranged matriach of that same televised tribe, having become a woman and divorced Kris Jenner. His body changed, but did his mind. Because it sounds not a lot unlike Jenner is mansplaining womanhood to, er, women. Not that the Buzzfeed team noticed, telling readers:
We sat down with Caitlyn Jenner backstage at Carnegie Hall to hear her brilliant words of wisdom, and, unsurprisingly, it was incredibly inspiring.
No fewer than three Buzzfeed journalists gave Jenner an audience – and, boy, were Kristin Harris, Whitney Jefferson, Sydney Scott wowed.
Them: “What was the moment that you felt most proud to be a woman in 2015?”
CJ: “Over the last six months it’s really been a progression. I have found that women have so much unleashed power that they don’t really utilize because they don’t have confidence in themselves about who they are, and what they can do. I have always actually been with and attracted to very strong women, and I think I’ve learned a lot from them. The power of the woman has just not even been unleashed around the world.”
Good job a it wasn’t a man saying that because he’d run the risk of coming across as patronising. And Caitlyn’s not finished.
CJ: “I think that’s to come, but I think that’s gonna come from confidence as these women grow up and get in better positions of authority — I think that will come. So, I am SO glad to be on this team and help it along!”
You see, girls. To get ahead and better understand yourselves you need more men. It was ever the way.
The final words are theses.
CJ: “The hardest part about being a woman is figuring out what to wear.”
Former boy scouts, listen up. Your skills are needed. Tesco is hiring “Christmas Light Untanglers”. If you are “able to untangle 3 meters of Christmas lights in under three minutes” and are “passionate about Christmas”, you can spend your days elbow-deep in flex.
Your roles and responsiblities will include:
• Man and managing the Christmas Lights Untangling stand
• Taking time to listen and help out wherever you can: Every little helps
• Check lights and bulbs for signs of breakage / broken bulbs and report findings to the customer
• Handle customers Christmas lights carefully to keep everything in tip-top condition
• Talking to colleagues, sharing your enthusiasm and helping to create team spirit
• Getting to know your customers, greet them with a smile and serve them with pride.
• Give a brilliant customer experience, making sure you deliver only the best service and put a smile on customers faces
• Successfully untangle customers Christmas lights neatly, quickly and efficiently and in an orderly fashion
• Abide by our Health and Safety policies
• Always be there on time and properly presented
• Be passionate and knowledgeable about the service you are offering
Try not to slit your wrists. Those bulbs can be sharp! Also: strangling.
Claudia Rankine’s bold new book recounts mounting racial aggressions in ongoing encounters in twenty-first-century daily life and in the media. Some of these encounters are slights, seeming slips of the tongue, and some are intentional offensives in the classroom, at the supermarket, at home, on the tennis court with Serena Williams and the soccer field with Zinedine Zidane, online, on TV-everywhere, all the time. The accumulative stresses come to bear on a person’s ability to speak, perform, and stay alive. Our addressability is tied to the state of our belonging, Rankine argues, as are our assumptions and expectations of citizenship. In essay, image, and poetry, Citizen is a powerful testament to the individual and collective effects of racism in our contemporary, often named “post-race” society.
Mike Boyd looked at Malcolm Gladwell’s rule that 10,000 of practice gets you good at something – and perhaps read Matthew Syed’s book Bounce on how nurture beats nature – and looked at his skateboard. Could he master the kickflip in less time? He worked hard, and after a mere 5 hours and 47 minutes, Boyd cracked it.
Transfer Balls: the Mirror says Chelsea are keen on Napoli’s Gonzalo Higuain.
Any move leaves “bad boy striker Diego Costa fighting for his Chelsea future”.
But he’s not fighting. He’s a bit limp. He’s a bit rumbled. The sniping, feigning, cheating and histrionics have been noted. Costa’s not all that good when asked to simply kick the ball, scoring two Premier League goals this season.
Of course, the Blues also have in their ranks failing Radamel Falcao – represented by the same agent Jose Mourinho uses – and Loic Remy, a good player but no star turn.
So Chelsea are looking to Argentina striker Gonzalo Higuain.
Well, so says the Mirror, which offers no evidence to supports its claim.
Of course, if you get your news from the Sun, Higuain remains an Arsenal player.
We join the action as pregnant Akeela Ali, 25, is carrying out a ‘sex act’ on her husband Fahad Bilal, 26. Their children aged three and five are close by, running around playing in Westfield shopping centre in Shepherd’s Bush, London.
Dads on family shopping expeditions can be trying. But the wife easing tensions with a blow job in public is not the done thing. Even in Aldi.
Now fast forward to see Ali and Bilal, both of Newport, south Wales, stood in the dock at Hammersmith magistrates’ court. They admit the charge of outraging public decency on 23 July.
The couple say they “thought about stopping” when their children interrupted, but carried on. They explained: “It just happened.”
Prosecutor Arlene De Silva narrates:
“On the 23 July this year Miss Ali was at the Westfield shopping centre along with her husband and also with their two children aged three and five. Just after 8pm they were sitting on a sofa in the lift lobby lounge area on the first floor facing three elevators. Mrs Ali sat beside her husband and was clearly engaging in oral sex. This went on for around 10 minutes. They were interrupted several times by the children. The incident was captured on CCTV. When she was interviewed on 22 October she said she had gone shopping with her children. She said she was pregnant and as a result her hormones were everywhere. She said they started kissing as their kids were running around playing. She said ‘it just happened’.
“When their children interrupted she felt what they were doing was wrong but they carried on. She was aware that one of the children was sitting beside Mr Bilal for some time during the incident. She said she regretted the incident and was ashamed. Mr Bilal said it was a human mistake. It was not that busy at the time but he knew it was a public area.”
The couple are banned from London for eight weeks.
Meanwhile, we imagine Fahad gamefully trying to recreate the seductive magic of Westfield shopping centre in the comfort of his own home.
The Mirror leads with news that Paris Saint-Germain are “anxious” to hire Arsene Wenger, the Arsenal manager.
Darren Lewis says PSG have Wenger on a shortlist. Other names on this list are, we’re told, David Moyes, Steve Bruce and the great Eddie Howe. No, of course not. Lewis, as with all journalists, just trots out the names of the usual suspects: Jose Mourinho, and Pep Guardiola.
The story contains not a single word from PSG. We do hear quotes from Wenger that he would never coach another English club if he were sacked from Arsenal before his contract expires in 2017 – and that “my attachment to Arsenal will remain until the end of my days… I do not see today I could have a managerial career elsewhere.”
Someone should tell the PSG list-makers to remove one name from it.
What’s odd about the Mirror’s story is that such palpable balls should feature ahead of a genuine news story. Inside the paper, Lewis has two more pages on Wenger, all based on an interview the manager did for L’Equipe Sport.
Although the Mirror cannot resist the urge to present the interview as if it were its own:
Wenger is quoted:
“I’ll give myself merit for one thing: I’ve always treated Arsenal as if it belonged to me. I have sometimes been criticised for it — because I am not enough of a spender, not carefree enough. I credit myself for having had the courage to apply my ideas and fight for them. Aside from that, I can understand why people might not agree.
“My great pride will be to be able to say the day that I leave, that I am leaving behind a good team, a healthy situation and a club capable of performing in the future.
“I could have said to myself: ‘I am here for four or five years, we win everything’, [then] I leave and leave the club on the verge of bankruptcy. For me, consistency at the highest level is the true sign of great clubs.”
Arsenal fans are blessed to have ben led by a man of talent, vision and belief.
What does he not like?:
“To be, after every single defeat, despite the consistency that we have put into our work at the highest level, questioned about everything that has been done; the ‘Everything down the pan’ reaction. A balance must be found between your masochistic capacity to put up with what you are forced to endure and your delight in accomplishment.
“Expectations have become much more important. The philosophical definition of happiness is when what you want and what you have align. And what you want changes as soon as you have it — always more, always better, to the point where it becomes difficult to satisfy.
“An Arsenal fan, when you finish fourth, will tell you, ‘Hey, for 20 years now we have been in the top four. We want to win the league!’ They don’t care that Manchester City or Chelsea have invested 300 or 400 million Euros. They just want to beat them.
“But if you finish fifteenth for two years, they will be happy if you finish fourth after that.”
And a word for those clubs who only chase the big names:
“To have arrived in London facing such great scepticism. My first championship title, my first Double. From ‘Arsene who?’ to he who became a pioneer — the first non-British manager to succeed in England.”
Sky News subtitles were running over an item on dress size changes over the past 20 years. The item was a day late lift on a Daily Mail story. The claim is a 10 dress size today would have been a 14 a couple of decades ago.
A gushing Sky commentator repeats the Mail’s headline which compared Kim Kardashian to the ultimate blonde bombshell which was converted by Sky’s superfast text translator as:
” Like comparing Marilyn Monroe to Kincardineshire“
Transfer Balls: The Daily Star leads with news of a “Man Utd £45m deal”.
Wow. Manchester Untied have agreed to sign a player for £45m? No. Jonathan Green’s stort is utter balls:
Manchester United are backing Wayne Rooney to come good again as his massive wages mean no club would want to sign him, according to the Daily Mail.
Dang! And just when Real Madrid were looking to sign Rooney, too.
The United captain’s contract runs until 2019 and means the 30-year-old is effectively owed £45m in wages.
Er, no Jonathan. That is total balls. Rooney’s contract runs to 2019 but that is not to say he will be playing or Manchester United in 2019, nor be able to pick up all those bonuses for goals scored, shirts sold and matches player.
Rooney has struggled for form this season, scoring just two goals in the Premier League and on Saturday he failed to touch the ball in the Crystal Palace box. But Louis van Gaal will stand by his man as Rooney’s wages, let alone a transfer fee, would put other clubs off signing him.
If Rooney’s dropped then his wages will be reduced. If he’s dropped, then he will surly seek playing time elsewhere. That’s when Manchester United will sell him. And Rooney is a talented player, easily good enough to play on for a few years in the top flight.
In fact, one newspaper has said Rooney could be quitting Man United. Yep, it was the trusty Daily Star…
Is there more to the tomb of King Tutankhamun than Howard Carter and his time-travellers found? An infra-red scan alludes to a hidden chamber behind a decorated wall.
Cairo University’s Faculty of Engineering and Heritage, Innovation and Preservation employed infrared thermography to look through the stone.
“The preliminary analysis indicates the presence of an area different in its temperature than the other parts of the northern wall,” announced Egypt’s antiquities minister. The difference in temperature might mean there’s an open space behind that section of wall, according to Discovery.
Mamdouh Eldamaty, Egypt’s Antiquities minister, said that more experiments will now take place to confirm the result.
British archaeologist Nicholas Reeves hopes to find the resting place of Queen Nefertiti in the space, though not everyone shares his belief that King Tut, who died young, thereby had to share a tomb with his mother.
Did you see the “MASS WALKOUT” at Anfield as Liverpool lost to Crystal Palace?
What happened was that as the game wound down fans started to leave. This is pretty routine.
Jurgen Klopp admitted he was left feeling ‘pretty alone’ as he witnessed an Anfield exodus after losing his unbeaten record.
The Liverpool manager looked around the stadium in the moments after Scott Dann’s header had secured a 2-1 win for Crystal Palace and was visibly taken aback by the sight of supporters heading for the exits rather than staying behind to try and launch a late rally.
“The goal was on 82 minutes – 12 minutes to go – and I saw many people leaving the stadium. I turned around and, I watch my team and I felt pretty alone in that moment. We decide when it’s over. But between 82 and 94 minutes you can make eight goals if you want and we have to work for it. It feels so bad because it was not necessary.”
What the Mail fails to report is what else Klopp said. The Guardian fills in the blank:
Klopp said his frustration was not with the early leavers but his team’s inability to convince supporters that a point could be salvaged against an impressive Palace team. “I am not disappointed about this,” he clarified.
“They have reasons [for leaving] and maybe it is easier to go out, I don’t know. Don’t make a big thing about this but we are responsible that nobody can leave the stadium before the final whistle because anything can happen.”
In the file marked “What could go wrong?’, we learn that medical marijuana users can now buy weed while filling up their gas tanks in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
“Gas & Grass” in Colorado Springs has two entrances – one for the weed store Native Roots; one for petrol. Anyone buying their marijuana at. Native Roots will get discounts on the gasoline.
Patients who register their medical card with Native Roots will receive a free tank of gas, as well as a discount card with gas discounts of .15 per gallon for each subsequent visit, regardless of purchase.
Medical patients not registered with Native Roots will receive a discount gas card at the time of marijuana purchase. The gas discount is .05 for patients not registered with Native Roots. In addition, a purchase is required. For those not purchasing marijuana products, gas will be available at standard prices.
But remember: don’t drive drugged. The police in the UK have road-side drug detection kits:
The blood limits for heroin, cocaine, ketamine and THC are so low that they are likely to register in users long after any impairment to their driving ability has worn off. Conversely, users of the eight prescription drugs (six benzodiazepines and two opiates) will be allowed blood levels likely to imply current impairment, so long as they can show a prescription or pill-bottle at the roadside. I can understand the impulse to treat illegal and prescribed substances differently, but isn’t this meant to be a question of road safety?
It is worth comparing heroin and its legal – and highly profitable – substitute Methadone. Heroin users will be caught out with only 5 micrograms per litre of blood, while methadone users are free to drive with up to 500 micrograms per litre. Regardless of our prejudices against heroin addicts, are we supposed to believe that there is a hundredfold difference in the effects of these two drugs? If not, then what is the purpose of the new regulation?
More than 900 motorists have been arrested on suspicion of drug-driving since a new offence was introduced in March, figures suggest. The figures, which cover most police forces in England and Wales, are the first to be released since the new laws came into force. The Met Police had the most arrests, with 214 between 2 March and 11 May. Home Office Minister Mike Penning said the government was “determined to tackle the menace of drug-driving”.
But who is being targeted?
Even if a driver passes the roadside check, officers will still be able to test at a police station for ecstasy, LSD, ketamine and heroin, as well as other drugs.
Being stoned behind the wheel is not conducive to good driving. But this purge on drug driving is surely designed to catch illegality. After all, you can still have a pint of beer and get behind the wheel….
Arsenal drew 1-1 with Spurs in the Premier League yesterday. The Mirror leads with “GET A ROOM BOYS”, a comment based on a picture of Tottenham’s Vertonghen with his hand close to Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud’s crotch.
The Mirror says this is “just like” when Vinnie Jones grabbed hold of Paul Gascoigne’s balls. But it isn’t. Vertonghen never takes hold of Giroud’s tackle nor appraises his target by calling him “fat boy”.
But sticking with the foreplay theme, the Sun thunders: “Gunners will never win title with fluff-it Oli up front”.
From fluffed to fluffer, Giroud is the subject of Steven Howard’s opinion that Arsenal will “win nothing with Olivier Giroud as the main striker”. All true – if you don’t notice that Arsenal won back-to-back FA cups with Giroud as the, er, main striker. And all true if you fail to spot that with Danny Welbeck and Theo Walcott injured, Giroud is Arsenal’s only fit striker with a goal scoring record. Yes, there’s Joel Campbell but he’s a makeweight, filling in on the right-wing as seven more accomplished first-team Arsenal players keep the medics busy.
The chief problem with Giroud is that he’s not English. Whereas the Frenchman is rubbished (goals this season in the PL: 6), Harry Kane of Spurs is “immaculate” (goals this season in the PL: 6). Kane scored one. He also missed a chance that would have put Spurs two up. He’s a very good player. But he’s not perfect.
One page back and the Sun’s Charlie Wyett also heaps praise on Kane. We learn that Kane” bullied Arsenal’s defence”. He didn’t. If any Spurs player did, it was Erik Lamela (not English), whose “terrier-like harrying” (Times) and all-round play is a massive upturn in performance from the player who joined Spurs for £25m in the post Gareth Bale shopping spree.
The Mirror’s Dave Kidd hails the best player on the pitch: Arsenal’s Mesut Ozil, who has for the first time in PL history provided assists in six straight games. The German is also the Sun’s man of the match.
In the Express, Matthew Dunn mentions Giroud’s “nightmare”.
The Mail’s Martin Samuel says “Arsenal got away with it”. And they can thank Mesut Ozil, also named as the Mail’s man of the match. In a hyped Premier League, Ozil is one of the few players with genuine quality.
To Poland, where coffin company Lindner is seducing stiffs to its product range with a calendar full of topless babes.
“We enjoy showing our beautiful coffins, and what better way than including beautiful girls?” says company owner Zbigniew Lindner. Before you shout ‘Got wood?’ he continues?
“We wanted to show that a coffin shouldn’t be a sacred object – it’s furniture, it’s the last bed you’ll ever sleep in. It isn’t a religious symbol. It’s a product.”
Sex sells. But the idea of a coffin as furniture is one that Linder should develop. Why not full the thing with aspic, cut away the sides and create novelty pole dancing podiums for the lounge, nursing home or cellar? Pour in dead uncle Bojan, roll him on his side, cut a hole and you’ve got somewhere for grandma to hang her fur coat.
Transfer balls: Arsenal target Karim Benzema set to make transfer to England, says Jamie Sanderson.
Sanderson writes for the Metro. He told us that Benzema has already joined Arsenal – which he hasn’t.
Another Metro writer agreed:
Now we learn via the trusty Sanderson:
Fichajes says he’s set to be moved on in the coming months following news he’s been charged in a blackmail plot against Lyon star Mathieu Valbuena. It’s claimed that Madrid feel he’s damaged the club with a series of incidents, including this one involving Valbuena, and he’s now likely to move to England.
Number of quotes from Madrid players, staff, fans or even unnamed ‘sources’ in the Fichajes story: none.
Diego Costa was soon penalised for bear hugging Erik Pieters. Costa then got away with a back heel against a fallen Ryan Shawcross as they tussled near the by-line, earning a stiff rebuke from the Boothen End if not the referee…
Howls of derision were being hurled Costa’s way after he tried to foul Shawcross with a barge on half-way, but only succeeded in hurting the ribs he damaged here 11 days ago…
A needless Shawcross hand off felled Costa in no man’s land and rightly earned the Stoke skipper his side’s second booking
Stoke City beat current Premier League champions Chelsea 1-0 at the Britannia Stadium. Mark Hughes has turned a team of bruisers and hoofers into a decent passing side. And what prise does he get? What word on stock City’s achievements in making the PL look a little less like a procession?
Sunday Telegraph: “Chelsea Crash.” Why is losing to Stoke a crash, an accident?
The Indy: Chelsea “in freefall”. Mourinho is”deep trouble”. And Mark Hughes, the former Manchester United and Chelsea player…? He’s nowhere.
The Mail: news is that the players still “back Jose”. And is that Eden Hazard trying to deliver a kiss?
Express: “Jose near the edge”. Is that the same as “the brink”?
The Mail (again): not one but two Joses. No sign of a Stoke city player. No sign of Stoke being good. Just news that Chelsea are “bad”.
Chelsea – we can remember when they weren’t all that good.
Funny, isn’t it, how newspaper love to talk about a man’s job and have us guess when he’ll be out of one.
TheSunday People says Jose Mourinho will be handed his P45 because Chelsea are keen on hiring Argentine coach Diego Simeone, 45. He is, says the paper of record, set to quit Atletico Madrid in the summer.
That’s too late for the paper, which speculates: “If Simeone, 45, does arrive at the West Londoners, he could be taking over from former Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers — who is being considered as a possible interim coach if Mourinho is sacked”
If. Could. This is guesswork presented as fact. What’s odd, of course, is for a newspaper mired by the phone hacking scandal to be talking about a man losing his job for a drip in form. Mourinho’s crime is losing a few matches., The Mirror’s board have other issues but no-one calls them role models or demands their heads. Football is a business like no other. The manager is exposed and rubbed raw by brickbats and thorny bouquets.
There’s more speculation in the Sunday Express, which says Jose is “on the brink” – this is the paper that said Mourinho would sacked if he lost to Liverpool (he lost; he stayed). Lacking any wit or knowledge of world football, the paper sees the next manger as any one of former Blues staffers: and Roberto Di Matteo, Guus Hiddink and Brendan Rodgers.
Mourinho’s mired. Chelsea are playing below par. But don’t believe the hype: it’s not yet a crisis.