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.
IN MOSCOW: “Activists from the Moscow Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender/Transsexual Alliance are asking Medvedev to bypass a city ban so they can meet at Alexandrovsky Sad park May 31, the Moscow Times reported Monday.
“We, the leaders of the LGBT community of Russia, appeal to you for help in defending our rights as citizens and bring an end to discrimination against sexual minorities on the part of Moscow Mayor Yury Luzhkov,” the group’s letter to Medvedev read.
Hassan Butt sent dozens of British Muslims to training camps in Pakistan, raised money for the Taleban and once boasted of his desire “to kill or be killed for the sake of Allah”. His words and deeds in support of Islamist terrorism were reported widely between 2001 and 2004, yet he was never charged with any offence.
After the suicide attacks on London in July 2005, he embarked on a lengthy and painful reexamination of his beliefs, eventually repudiating violence and emerging as a passionate critic of the cause he once espoused. Since early 2007 Mr Butt, 28, has denounced al-Qaeda in numerous newspaper articles, in international television interviews and in debate at the Cambridge Union.
However, he has been labelled a traitor to Islam by his former comrades and in April last year was stabbed in the street by two assailants.
Ten days ago, as he prepared to board a flight to Pakistan, Mr Butt was arrested – and is still detained – under the Terrorism Act.
Sir, We are gravely concerned that Greater Manchester Police is attempting to use counter-terrorism legislation to force a journalist to reveal all confidential source material from a book he is currently writing.
This legal action poses a serious risk to the future of investigative journalism. The journalist in question, Shiv Malik, is well regarded for his investigative work on terrorist organisations, which has won him praise from Jonathan Evans, the Director-General of MI5.
Journalism like Malik’s is only possible because people are willing to speak out to reporters privately and in confidence. We believe that the police’s attempt to obtain Malik’s materials threatens the future of all publications that seek to expose terrorist organisations to public scrutiny and that if requests like this become routine under counter-terrorism legislation, it would have major implications for media freedom in this country.
Journalists are covered to a certain extent by Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights, which protects the right to freedom of expression. With the incorporation of the convention into domestic law, under the Human Rights Act of 1998, the right is now expressly guaranteed. However, that right is not absolute: interferences with the right to freedom of expression may be permitted “if they are prescribed by law, pursue a legitimate aim and are necessary in a democratic society, that is, satisfy a pressing social need”.
OVER in Iraq, our boys are stapping on fat suits playing Beating the Dog.
The aim of the game is to see how far you can run before an alsation savages your arm. It’s all for the Help for Heroes charity and should not be confused with recreation, chiefly because there is no piece of lit toilet paper trailing from the runner’s backside.
“Everyone wants to have a go. We’re fully booked for the next three weeks,” says Captain Martyn Thompson, commanding officer of the military working dogs unit at Camp Bastion in Helmand province. “Around 50 people have done it, donating around £5 each. The record is around 45 metres.”
To the winning dog the spoils. To the loser, a job with the US Army.
IN the Telegraph the talk is of a “wonder pill” that could “increase sex drive in women and men and outsell Viagra” is being developed by “scientists”.
The medication, which has the potential to boost fertility rates, is also believed to help aid weight loss.
More sex. More people. But not more fat people.
Asks Johann Hari in the Independent: Are there just too many people in the world? Is our planet over-stuffed with human beings? Are we breeding to excess?
Now sure about everybody else, but there are some people who aren’t breeding enough.
There’s an “overpopulation lobby”, says Johann.
“They say with a frown that this global swarming is driving global warming. How can you be prepared to cut back on your car emissions and your plane emissions but not on your baby emissions? Can you really celebrate the pitter-patter of tiny carbon-footprints?”
How can anyone who loves the planet and life have children? It is a view that is beyond parody. But Hari is not alone:
EVERYONE wants Ben McBean in their private army.
McBean is one of the Daily Mail’s Harry’s Heroes, on account of his having been injured in Afghanistan (he lost two limbs) and labelled a hero by Prince Harry Baseball cap.
Ben McBean is part of the Mirror’s “Honour the Brave” slogan, which seeks to equip each retuning injured serviceman with a medal.
He’s a leading player in the Sun’s “Help for Heroes” campaign, the one backed by actor Ross Kemp, he of ITV’s Ultimate Force show, and so well placed to explain what being a soldier is all about. Kemp spoke at the City Salute, addressing the injured, McBean included.
And here is Mr McBean in the Sun, receiving tribute on behalf of the Armed Forces and a Sun Global Recognition Award, sponsored by Walkers crisps.
Gordon Brown is there, shaking hands, being wowed and talking about a return to the values of cheese and onion.
The “terrifying” fact that children are taking weapons into school illustrated by a “youngster with a knife”.
The knife is about nine inches long and looks like something you’d find in a kitchen. The Star has seen the police figures and says a third of all such weapons are knives.
The figures go back to 2005. Indeed, dear reader, that is the time of Jamie’s School Dinners, the TV show featuring Jamie Oliver took running the kitchen meals in Kidbrooke School, Greenwich, for a year.
DREW Burrows gives hope to nerds:
It’s simple to behold — a single mattress, tucked into a dark, curtained back room of the showcase space. On it: a lithe brunette. She’s perfectly quiet, but once you sit or lie down, she responds to your every move. Lie on your back, she snuggles up right next to you in a log position. Curl up in the fetal position, she spoons. The only hitch: She’s 2-D. “Yeah, you can’t feel the girl. That’s the thing,” Burrows explained as he demonstrated his invention, an “infrared sensitive” light projection (meaning it reacts, and the projected woman moves, based on an infrared sensor) called INBED. “Still, it’s so nice if you’re tired and worn out to have someone to curl up with.”
4:09 p.m. A red-haired man with a beard and mustache stole a clove of garlic from an I Street cooperative supermarket, or so the staff believed. When he came back, an employee tried to take his picture, but the clovenapper reportedly tried to knock the camera out of his hand and in doing so, struck the employee’s arm. Police were asked to find the versatile garlic grabber/camera knocker/arm whapper and tell him not to visit his versatility at the store any more.
He came back – what for?
A high school in Staten Island high school has banned female students from attending their prom without a male date.
It’s an all-girl school…
Press Gazette – Johnny Vegas sues Guardian and Observer over ‘grope’ story: Comedian Johnny Vegas has begun libel proceedings against Guardian News & Media over two articles which claimed he had molested a woman during a stand-up performance. At the centre of the libel claim is a piece by Mary O’Hara, published in the Guardian’s G2 section on 1 May, headlined: “Since when is sexual assault funny?” O’Hara, who was in the audience at Vegas’s gig at the Bloomsbury Theatre in London, claimed in her report that the comedian “gratuitously groped a woman on stage”. The comedian is also suing over a follow-up comment piece in the Observer on 4 May, written by comedian Jackie Clune and headlined: “Sorry, but that really isn’t funny, Johnny”. Vegas has hired law giant Schillings to bring the action against the Guardian and Observer publisher. The two pieces have since been removed from the Guardian website.
GUIDO Fawkes is ablogger. THE Indy:
As reported here two weeks ago, police arrested the thirsty Guido – real name Paul Staines, 41 – after catching him with bloodshot eyes and beery breath, drink-driving without insurance in his wife’s VW Golf. Yesterday, he narrowly escaped being jailed when he appeared at Tower Bridge Magistrates Court. District Judge Timothy Stone told him he was “fortunate not to be going to prison” and added: “You cannot help yourself, can you? You drink four bottles of wine a week, for a start. Do you realise what a danger you are to the public?”
Staines replied: “I do realise.”
Four bottles a week..
THE NHS is the envy of the world, so we are told. And private patients are the envy of the NHS:
The National Health Service has refused to pay for an operation to prevent a pensioner’s agonising migraines because the woman paid privately for earlier treatment.
DAILY MIRROR: “Exclusive: Shannon Matthews’ mum sends desperate letter to parents begging ‘Help me’”
It’s Karen Matthews. It’s her “desperate letter”, “her “emotional letter” from jail to her mum June and dad Gordon.
It’s front-page news, along with the paper’s offer for a free copy of Little Miss Trouble, a book.
“Dear Mum and Dad, I am writing this letter to let you know I am OK, I hope you and dad are fine. I miss you both so much. I just wish I would have listened to you about him, but I didn’t. I am really sorry. You both warned me.”
She can spell, can Karen Matthews. But who is him? Who he?
“I did not hurt any of the kids. You know I was a good mother to my kids until I got with him.”
Him is Craig Meehan, Little Mr Trouble.
THE Hadron Collider opens a stargate to allow Satan to return:
IS Waltham Forest London’s most rotten borough?
BEER company Becks are looking for a “charismatic blog writer with a nose for offbeat news”.
“I expect to get a lot of money,” she said. “This is a rock. It’s not like it’s a piece of cheese.”
AS Hamrah has had enough of Cannes:
It’s not just that celebrities are dull. More and more, there’s also something about them that fills us with revulsion. It used to be that a celebrity sighting was cause for celebration. You’d phone the wife and kids: “Hey, I just saw Robert Stack walking into the Automat!” Now it’s more an occasion for jeering.Or, more accurately, a chance to feel a deep queasiness about what’s happened to our culture. The celebrity is quickly becoming a harbinger of nausea, a delivery system for Weltschmerz, there to remind us that things, actually, are what they seem: pathetic.
Still beats watching some of the films…
The indictment of Lori Drew in the MySpace suicide case brings a small sense of satisfaction to Richmond-area blogger Sarah Wells.Wells is credited with being the first person to identify Lori Drew publicly as the person allegedly responsible for creating a fake MySpace account from which cruel messages were sent to Megan Meier, 13, of suburban St. Louis.Though Megan killed herself in October 2006, allegedly in response to the messages, the case didn’t become public until an article was published in the St. Louis-area Suburban Journals newspapers on Nov. 11, 2007. Wells posted Drew’s name Nov. 13 on her blog, bluemerle.blogspot.com.
CHUCK Norris, famous for punching people in the throat, is addressing Liberty University’s graduating class.
“I wound up drifting from my faith,” says Norris. “I had been in films and I had fame and fortune, but I was very unhappy and I couldn’t figure out why.”
Then his Gena was reading the Bible to him: “It’s like the Holy Spirit hit me and said, ‘Chuck it’s time to come home’. I was hot for the Lord, and I still am to this day.”
JAPAN news ages you:
REPORTS the BBC: “Obese people are contributing to the world food crisis and climate change, experts say.”
Death to the fat! Death to the larger than life. Death to the big boned!
The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine calculated the obese consume 18% more calories than average.
They are also responsible for using more fuel, which has an environmental impact and drives up food prices as transport and agriculture both use oil.
The result is that the poor struggle to afford food and greenhouse gas emissions rise, the Lancet reported.
They also take up more space – just the other day a fat person encroached onto the chairman of the Statistical Society of Great Britain’s train seat, causing a kerfuffle and the invaded party to demand £23.32 for the portion of unusable seat.
It is our position that the fat should be milked at mobile lipo clincis and used as a source of fuel. The alternative is too terrible to contemplate…
A DUTCH cartoonist working under the name Gregorius Nekschot has been arrested on suspicion of violating hate speech laws.
Nekschot is “known primarily for cartoons mocking Muslims and leftists”, though the spokeswoman said he is a satirist who targets “any strong ideology.”
But what of his dread works? As reported, a recent cartoon on his web site caricatured a Christian fundamentalist and Muslim fundamentalist as zombies who met at an anti-gay rally and now wished to marry.
Mr Nekschot wants to keep his identity secret to retain a sense of mystique and rebellion but Anorak’s in-house profilers mark him out to be a fifteen year old white boy with a nascent weed habit and uncertain sexuality.
He may also be locked in an intense rivalry with Danish cartoonists, whom he despises. And the enemy are still getting headlines and stirring passion among they who seek victimhood above all else: