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THIS is how wars begin:
Five British hostages who were kidnapped in Iraq almost a year ago are being held inside Iran by Revolutionary Guards, according to two separate sources in the Middle East and London.
The hostages were handed over to the Revolutionary Guards by their Iraqi kidnappers last November, the sources believe. One of the sources said they were being held in the western Iranian city of Hamadan.
That you Faye?
NO curryhouse is safe. The GLOBAL RICE PANIC.
IN “Snowdon ‘to lose its snowcap by 2020′, says study”, Telegraph readers learnt that “Measurements taken at the University of Wales in Bangor show that snow levels have decreased by about 35 per cent over the past 10 years.”
That was back in December 2004.
Simon Bareham, the senior pollution and climate change adviser for the Countryside Council for Wales, which is also involved in the study, said the changing climate pattern could mean snow will disappear from Snowdon as soon as the 2020s.
“I was shocked when I saw these two photographs. It has been suggested Snowdon may have to be renamed but like other parts of the world it stands as a reminder of what is happening to our planet.” She went on to tell the launch: “We must act now to reduce the emissions of the greenhouse gases that cause climate change and respond to the impacts of the changes already underway as a result of previous emissions.”
Now the BBC reports: “Snow hampers Snowdon cafe build.”
Work on the Snowdon summit building is being hampered by snow, says the Snowdonia National Park Authority.
Workers on the project have had to dig snow off the railway track just to get to work every day.
Boycotting goods is all the rage. The Chinese are doing it to the French (and that deserves a separate posting) and the Macedonians are doing it to the Greeks. News of this comes from Transitions Online, whose journalist, Ljubica Grozdanovska, may know a great deal about the Balkans but seems to be a bit hazy on the United States.
When the French government refused to support the American-led invasion of Iraq in 2003, restaurants in Washington replaced “French fries” with “freedom fries” and the Gallic kiss became taboo. Patriots poured vintage champagne down the drain to show their distaste for the F-word.
Americans may now be eating crow with their fried potatoes and sparkling wines.
I’ve got news for the lady, which she and some other Europeans might like to think about. While French fries have remained available in the States, often called freedom fries, the alternative, known as home fries, are absolutely delicious. Even more to the point, Californian wine is not something to sneer at. Its consistently high quality is pushing French wines out of the world market, boycott or no boycott.
Getting back to Macedonia. As we have written before, Greece will not agree to the country becoming part of either NATO or the EU unless it changes its name, the present one, fully accepted by all except the EU under Greek pressure, apparently indicating that Macedonia may have territorial demands on northern Greece. Macedonia denies this and, to be fair, has, rather unusually for a Balkan country, never given the slightest indication of those demands.
Why can’t we all just agree to blow each other up?
SIMON Carr on Gordon Brown’s formidable strength:
They are amazing, in their way. Admirable, even. The sheer intestinal fortitude it must take to appear in public after all that international humiliation. And then to come back and be humiliated at home. How to go through all that humiliation without being humbled! What a package of qualities you need for public life at this highest level. Of course, lunacy helps and, yesterday, Gordon Brown displayed the strength of 10 lunatics. It is his greatest asset.
Isn’t it really annoying when Lefty think tanks get something right? The New Local Government Network, led by Chris Leslie, who was behind Gordon’s leadership campaign and involved in the dodgy donations scandal with Harman has said that the Greater London Authority should be scrapped because “[i]t is hard to justify employing 25 full-time politicians when local council leaders could scrutinise the mayor as effectively”.
I DID not know that: “100% of FACT: One in every 10,000 boxes on Deal or No Deal says ‘Punch Noel Edmonds in the face'”…
SAYS Windsor Mann on Styropolitics:
In the last two years, one city after another has rediscovered a common pariah in the form of polystyrene foam, commonly known as Styrofoam. More than 100 cities including Portland, Oakland and San Francisco have banned it from restaurants and supermarkets …
Because it is not biodegradable, Styrofoam is a nuisance to dispose of. Each year people throw away 25 million Styrofoam cups, which then make their way into landfills where they linger but do not decay. “Even 500 years from now, the foam coffee cup you used this morning will be sitting in a landfill,” reports the Environmental Protection Agency. Styrofoam is waste that doesn’t waste away.
This fact upsets environmentalists, who, though willing to give fossils and ancient artifacts a pass, abhor foam’s apparent immortality. An oped in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer last year proclaimed Styrofoam to be “an environmental evil” that needs to be eradicated.
HOW Green is London. Shane Greer:
“A few minutes ago we called Westminster council and spoke to a lovely chap called James who advised us that they do not provide commercial recycling facilities because they are currently running at capacity. Oh dear we thought. But ah, can’t we just use the recycling points dotted around Westminster? I mean, we don’t mind travelling a little bit. Apparently not.
You see the recycling points dotted around the place are for public use, not for businesses, and according to James (who wouldn’t provide a list of where they’re located) we’ll be fined if we’re ever caught doing our bit for the environment using them.
Could always try a post box?
THE killer Sun
IT’S not only East Europeans who are taking advantage of cheap flights and coaches.
Sun readers are being invited to up sticks and flee as the paper introduces its “HOLS FROM £15”.
Having read “Welcome to Boston, Eastern Europe”, Sun readers can pick 21 “parks” from nine “countries”.
A breathalyser test made right after someone has puffed on a cigarette was thought to be unreliable, and thus inadmissible in a court of law.
Le tribunal d’Avignon a relaxé mardi un automobiliste qui avait causé un accident en état d’ébriété, estimant que la mesure de son taux d’alcool n’était pas fiable. En effet, le prévenu avait expliqué avoir fumé une cigarette quelques minutes avant d’être soumis à l’éthylomètre.
You could pretend to be a Pole at the Punch And Judy pub in Covent Garden, where signs of Englishness, such as cross of St George beanie hats, tattoos and thongs, are banned.
But Lisa Rathbone didn’t get the message, and failing to arrive with a hod over her shoulder and a promise to do the job cheaper and better, found her way to the bar blocked.
“We are not thugs,” says she, “we have some out to celebrate St George’s Day and have a normal drink. She then offers the popular refrain: “Who the hell’s country is it now?”
Ms Rathbone understands what it means to be English, offering a traditional complaint.
But she could try harder. Over in Boston, Lincolnshire, a sign in the pub window says “No English”. The Star says the ban sparked a riot. Shops were looted, a police car set on fire and windows smashed by “enraged yobs”.
As the Mirror says: “Here in Boston, Lincs, integration is working.” Boston is in “POLE POSITION”. The paper’s ‘Hope Not Hate’ battle bus is not needed here.
LEGENDS of the Internet:
God smites the people of Ashdod with hemorrhoids “in their secret parts.”
The hand of the LORD was against the city with a very great destruction: and he smote the men of the city, both small and great, and they had emerods in their secret parts … And the men that died not were smitten with the emerods: and the cry of the city went up to heaven. 1 Samuel 5:9-12
A LOOK at the top ten climatology bestsellers at amazon.com:
- Roy Spencer, realist (#116)
- Bjorn Lomborg, realist (#959)
- Fred Singer, realist (#1324)
- Brian Fagan, neutral (#6156), a book about the little ice age
- James Lovelock, Gaia priest (#8706)
- Wallace Broeckner, alarmist (#9202)
- Mark Lynas, alarmist loon (#10308)
- Patrick Michaels, realist (#12027)
- Tim Flannery, alarmist loon (#16135)
- Henrik Svensmark, realist (#16309)
- Dennis Avery and Fred Singer, realists (#19266)
PSS! Wanna buy a semen detection kit. No, not for that. This is marketed for catching cheating spouses and teenagers who have “unruly amounts of autonomy”.
“Given his physical condition and the equipment he was carrying, I would say there is an 80 percent chance that he is still alive,” said Johnny Coelho, commander of the Penha Fire Department, which is searching for the priest.BEYOND Parody: “A Roman Catholic priest who floated off under hundreds of helium party balloons is missing off the southern coast of Brazil.”
We know. There are time when the parodist needs to sit back and clap a higher talent. Reports the Daily Mail:
Rescuers in helicopters and small fishing boats were searching off the coast of Santa Catarina state, where pieces of balloons were found.
The Rev Adelir Antonio de Carli lifted off from the port city of Paranagua on Sunday afternoon, wearing a helmet, thermal suit and a parachute.
The smiling 41-year-old priest was strapped to a seat attached to a huge column green, red, white and yellow balloons, and soared into the air to the cheers of a crowd. He was reported missing about eight hours later after losing contact with port authority officials.
OVER in La Belle France: “The parents of a nine-year old French boy called Islam are to sue a television company for discrimination after it allegedly refused to let him participate in a game show unless he changed his name.”
Angel Productions told the boy that his name “represented a religion that was not liked in France,” according to the parents cited by Le Parisien newspaper.
Islam Alaouchiche had been shortlisted for a place in a youth game show called “In ze boite” (In the box) on Gulli, a children’s channel. But when he turned up for the final audition with his parents, who have Algerian nationality, they were told by a casting agent: “There’s a problem, your son cannot keep his first name. Being called Islam if you are a boy is like a girl wearing the (Islamic) veil.” The woman suggested Islam use “another Arab name” such as Mohammed or Sofiane. But his mother Farah refused.
SHE doesn’t know any better: “A Florida man is facing elder abuse charges after he allegedly filmed his senile 85-year-old grandmother wearing a ski mask and holding a gun for a “Gangstas and Thugs” street DVD series. Michael Alfinez, 18, was arrested yesterday by Palm Beach sheriff’s deputies, who began their probe after a troubling video was seized earlier this year during a traffic stop.”
a) Send a Royal to Iraq to flush out the enemy and so facilitate an easier slaughter (Done)
b) Be Jewish
c) Sell Anorak’s Ez-Wire beard trimming kits at a discount to virgins
d) Form Al Qaeda
Or e) Build a Disney-style them part in downtown Baghdad.
Llewellyn Werner and his private equity associates plan to bring you The Baghdad Zoo and Entertainment Experience, a sprawling American-style amusement park.
As the Times reports, the terrorist magnet will feature a skateboard park, rides, a concert theatre and a museum. It is being designed by the same firm that developed Disneyland.
Says Mr Werner: “The people of Iraq need this kind of positive influence. It’s going to have a huge psychological impact.”
Indeed it is. But the plan is clearly a ruse to attract the enemy and as they step aboard the Magic Carpet Ride screaming “Death to Amerika” blow them to smithereens.
RIAZAT Butt, the Guardian’s religious affairs correspondent and the presenter for the Guardian’s Muslim podcast, is on a pilgrimage:
I was sexually assaulted three times in Mecca – the least distressing incident took place near the Ka’aba when a male pilgrim mistook my breasts for a balustrade and used them to hoist himself up the stairs – and was met with indifference when I complained. Being sexually assaulted is, I learned, an almost occupational hazard for the female pilgrim. It will happen to you or someone you know and incidents go unreported because of apathy from the security guards on duty
THE Star leads the way with all things St George, but how do the others follow?
The Express and Mail both take a typically miserable view of this sceptred isle. Both have articles about Boston in Lincolnshire – a symbol, it seems of all that is wrong with our dear old country.
The Express helpfully prints the town’s coat of arms, which bears the historic legend: “TWINNED WITH LAVAL, FRANCE.”
But that’s the least of Boston’s problems. The headline calls it “The English Town where 25% of the people are from Eastern Europe”. The Mail prefers a snappier banner: “The market town where they speak 65 languages… and a quarter of the people are East European migrants.” And in case you missed the point, that makes it “A CORNER OF ENGLAND THAT’S BARELY ENGLISH”.
“The once decaying port has even developed a continental café culture,” complains Britain’s leading quality tabloid. Wot no Little Chef?
Well that’s really put a wet blanket on our celebrations. Surely the Sun can cheer us up on the day of our patron saint?
Sacre bleu! What’s this? “Fury at new Euro names for UK regions.”
Yes, you heard it right: “Gordon Brown will today fly the flag of St George over Downing Street – as the EU plots to carve up Britain into a United States of Europe.”
It’s true, they are indeed going to “carve us up” – into administrative blocs for the purposes of handing out their filthy subsidies to our once proud citizens. Depending on where in the UK you live, you will be in the TransManche, Alantic or North Sea region. And may God have mercy on your soul.
DAILY STAR (front page): “SHANNON’S £10K AID VANISHES”Police “want to know what happened to up to £10,000 said to have been donated by the public to help find the nine-year-old. Neighbours desperate to help stuffed cash through the letterbox of the council house Shannon shared with mum Karen Matthews, 32, and stepdad Craig Meehan, 22.
“A family pal said “through the door” donations totalled £6,000. Up to £3,000 also flooded into the Shannon Matthews Fund.
£6,000 plus £3,000 equals…
Roger O’Doherty, neighbourhood manager of local community group Dewsbury West Pathfinder, says the family had not received “as much as a ha’penny’’ from the official fund he had set up. Says he: “I can’t say precisely how much is in the fund but I think it is around £2,000. We were in the process of applying for charitable status which would have meant it would have been administered by trustees. I wasn’t one of them.
£6,000 plus £2,000 equals…
“As far as I am concerned now all the money will go towards helping the children and families living nearby, which was one of the original aims.”
THE SUN: “Inmates terrify Shannon mum”