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.
A Chinese man killed an American tourist in Beijing and wounded two other people before committing suicide, the Beijing Municipal Government reported. The attack took place at noon today on the second level of the Drum Tower, a popular attraction, as the Olympic Games got into full swing.
MAKING Online News is a book about online news. And bloggers are behaving like hacks. Writes Paul at OJ:
I’ve recently been reading ‘Making Online News‘ a book of ethnographic studies of online news production. Tucked towards the back of the book is a chapter called The Routines of Blogging by Wilson Lowrey and John Latta. It is one of the few studies I’ve read to look not at journalists, but at the work practices of bloggers – specifically, political bloggers.
And their findings support what I’ve increasingly suspected: “the more relevant bloggers become in terms of audience and influence, the more their production routines resemble those of professional journalists.”
Google has a centre in Milton Keynes where this operation was based in. The drivers just showed up for “a driving job” (his words) and didn’t know it was for Google until the arrived to pick up the cars.
TO the Jakarta Post – “The Journal Of Indonesia Today” – where Ketut Sudra is musing on global warming. He is organising an art exhibition at the city’s Sultan Hotel. The main theme is global warming:
“Global warming is undoubtedly one of the most important problems of the contemporary world. Global warming defies all of the world’s traditional boundaries, including geographical, racial, gender and religious boundaries. Global warming has bound the whole human race with a universal rope of fear and anxiety”
We’re hanging by a thread:
“It means global warming has not only posed a grave danger to the artists’ primary sources of inspiration—the beauty of nature and the splendor of culture—but also to the lives of the artists themselves as members of the human race.”
MICHAEL Gove makes oppotunistic comment. He gets headlines. He triggers debate. We all realise what he does. James Brown counters:
These magazines are designed to provide a weekly splash of fantasy: a world of wags, gags, lads and shags. They are irresponsible, short-term and narrow in their understanding of relationships because their purpose is to offer the reader a distraction from the stress of driving a van or fighting the Taleban.
Better yet, make the Taliban read lads mags with an air drop. Nuts, Front, FHM (Florida Holocaust Museum) and Loaded seem oddly appropriate title…
“Since October 2004, every British citizen born on or before 2 September 1929 has been exempt from application or renewal fees for UK passports in recognition of the bravery of both veterans and civilians during World War II“.
With me luck as you wave me goodbye… Toodle-Sips, Toodle-Peps, Cheerio…
Today, the front page of Information Times, a Guangzhou based newspaper, printed a big photo of a taxi driver in Guangzhou displaying his newly-acquired counter-terrorist equipment: a whistle.
According to the newspaper, over thirty thousand taxi drivers in Guangzhou have signed up to volunteer in a “Safe Olympic Monitor” campaign. Volunteer monitors, who are mostly bus and taxi drivers, are required to report any suspicious incidents to the police immediately. Each of them was issued a whistle so they can blow it as well as call the 110 emergency number.
Pakistan’s embattled President Pervez Musharraf is to be impeached and forced to step down, it has been confirmed. The announcement will be made at a press conference later today.
In the early hours of this morning, the leaders of Pakistan’s main coalition parties, Asif Ali Zardari and Nawaz Sharif agreed to impeach the president and restore dozens of judges fired by him last year.
Maybe Pakistan can boom like India…
Or like China
Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf on Wednesday decided to visit the Beijing Olympic Games despite media reports that the ruling coalition has agreed on steps to remove him.
A death row inmate scheduled for execution in October says he’s so fat that Ohio executioners would have trouble finding his veins and that his weight could diminish the effectiveness of one of the lethal injection drugs.
Lawyers for Richard Cooey argue in a federal lawsuit that Cooey had poor veins when he faced execution five years ago and that the problem has been worsened by weight gain.
They cite a document filed by a prison nurse in 2003 that said Cooey had sparse veins and that executioners would need extra time.
“When you start the IV’s come 15 minutes early,” wrote the nurse who examined Cooey. “I don’t have any veins.”
I don’t think anyone is under any illusions – apart from the British media – as to why Berlusconi has put 3,000 armed troops on the streets of major Italian cities.
Ostensibly a measure to “help cut down crime”, something claimed by both interior minister Roberto Maroni and his defence colleague Ignazio La Russo, this is nothing more than a fig-leaf, the Italians themselves being very well aware that most of the crime in Italy is Mafia-related, which will be untouched by this “crack-down”.
If for “crime”, however, you read “immigrants” – and in particular, the Roma – then the agenda becomes clearer, as does the timescale.
Coming on the back of the programme to fingerprint the inhabitants of the 700 or so immigrant encampments dotted around the major cities, the next move comes in October, when the “census” is finished, when the government plans to dismantle all remaining unauthorised settlements.
That the troops have been put on the streets now, with a deployment that is scheduled to last for an initial period of six months, is clearly – on the one hand – a pre-emptive strike, as unease grows at the scale of the “census”, and – on the other – a preparation for the major upheaval that is to follow in a couple of months.
It is no coincidence, therefore, that in the main, the troops are being stationed mainly in or close to the camps and at the growing number of immigrant holding centres, all on the outskirts of the cities.
When the bulldozers move in during October – as indeed is planned – there is undoubtedly going to be trouble, as upwards of 160,000 gypsies are going to be targeted, even though up to three-quarters of them are Italian citizens.
That this “pogrom” will have the support of the bulk of Italian people is evidenced by a recent incident in Naples (pictured) when the bodies of two Roma girls who had drowned in the sea were left covered with towels while beachgoers continued to sunbathe.
Comparisons are now being made between this government’s action and the census of Jews carried out by Benito Mussolin in 1938, the beginning of a process that put many of them in concentration camps. The Italian government, of course, denies any such connection, but its actions display a rooted determination to clear out what are clearly considered unwelcome “guests”.
And all of this is going to present something of a problem for the “colleagues” in Brussels, who have been soft-peddling on their condemnation of the Rome government’s action. When the troops go into action for real, however, even the EU is going to find it difficult to turn a blind eye. Unless it takes a firm line – where Italy leads, other member states will want to follow.
GERMAN policewomen, and policemen, have tken delivery of a new bullett- proof bra:
It is being dubbed the new “bullet-proof bra”, a new kind of Wonderbra which could help protect thousands of women police officers here in Germany.
It may sound like a joke, but this is a serious matter – the policewoman who came up with the idea said normal bras can be dangerous when worn in combination with a bullet-proof vest.
“The impact of a bullet can push the metal and plastic bits of the bra into an officer’s body, causing serious injury,” said Carmen Kibat, an adviser on equal opportunities for the Hamburg-based Bundespolizei – Germany’s federal police force.
“I always thought normal bras posed a safety risk and I wanted to change that,” she said.
“These new bras are very important and they will help all our women officers.”
RICHARD Branson has a beard. That means she can be trusted:
The Virgin boss’s much trumpeted pledge of €1.9bn to tackle global warming is nothing but smoke and mirrors.
In September 2006, Virgin boss Richard Branson pledged €1.9 billion towards tackling global warming. For the next ten years, he announced, the profits from his aviation and rail businesses would go towards combating the biggest, most complex problem that mankind has ever faced.
The promise earned Branson headlines around the world. Media outlets carried photos of him, Bill Clinton and Al Gore at a Clinton Global Initiative press conference in New York. Adults, Branson solemnly told the assembled media, had a duty to pass a ‘‘pristine’’ planet on to the next generation. Politicians and campaigners were effusive in their praise for his imagination and generosity.
However, a look at the not-very-small print revealed that this amazing gesture would not be a matter of taking the profits from Branson’s polluting industries and using them to protect vast tracts of the Amazon.
In fact, the money would go to a new division of the Virgin conglomerate, called Virgin Fuel. Branson was simply gearing himself up to make more money. But as always, the PR spin was that he’d be doing the rest of us a favour in the process.
The grassroots leaders of the global fight against AIDS didn’t ask for Bono to be their frontman. Its time for Bono to step down. We’ll all pledge donations to the Global Fund, but no pledges are collected until Bono retires from public life. If he wants to moan bland melodies he’ll have to do it quietly in his bedroom. If he want to fight AIDS he can make a direct donation instead of buying a sweatshop GAP T-shirt. As the pledges grow, Bono will have to decide what matters more, fighting AIDS effectively, or him being the movement’s frontman.
THE New York Times. Can you trust it? Can you trust it if you are Chinese?
Say you’re a member of an ethnic minority group that the Chinese government suspects is planning terror attacks during the Beijing Olympics. And say you own a restaurant around the corner from the National Stadium. One day, a researcher from the New York Times shows up and asks if you’d be willing to talk about the harassment you’ve been receiving from the local government. You know better, of course, than to talk to those shady foreign journalists (especially about minority affairs and anything negative about the Olympics), but the situation has become so intolerable that you agree to make a few comments on the condition that the New York Times not identify you. A few days later, the article appears online, with this paragraph:
The owner of the Xinjiang Kashgar Restaurant near the main Olympic venue said he shut down Tuesday after repeated visits from officials who cited health concerns. He said several other Muslim restaurants nearby had received similar visits. The owner, a Uighur, spoke on the condition of anonymity for fear that he would be further harassed by the authorities…
Excellent reporting work. Get the story. And get another story about how the source of your first story was persecurted…
WHAT is advertised in LA? Camilo José Vergara writes in the Los Angeles Times:
Usually, the dead ask questions only in our dreams. In these cases, though, the dead are homicide victims whose killers have not been found. The signs are there because so few witnesses come forth and police departments hope the offer of a reward will break through “witness reluctance.”