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THEY want to check your brains. They want to stop the crime before it happens:
Psychological assessments should become part of the UK driving test, a road safety expert has urged.
Robert Gifford, director of a road safety charity, told BBC Radio Five Live the current system failed to root out drivers prone to breaking rules.
He said psychometric tests could help to identify people with the wrong attitude to the road.
Spotter: Nation of Shopkeepers
ANYONE want to hire a pregnant , non-English speaking worker? And pay for her to learn English? It will help the immigrants feel welcome. Yeah, really…
Employers will be told to pay for language lessons for immigrant workers who have a poor grasp of English, under proposals to be unveiled this week.
The Government-appointed commission to improve the integration of ethnic groups will conclude that it is vital that everyone settling in Britain should be able to speak English. Too many groups rely on their native languages and are consequently uncomfortable with public services and people outside their community, its report is set to say.
The Commission on Integration and Cohesion, which was promised by Tony Blair in the wake of the July 7 bombings in 2005, says that moves to prevent immigrants from being marginalised will help to ease racial tensions and fight the appeal of extremist ideologies.
So come on, employ the migrant worker and pay extra to train her. That’ll improve things and end discrimination…
HERE’S the latest theory:
My friend’s brother (who works with [Sheriff Lee] Baca’s assistant sheriffs) told me that Paris was released due to a severe, “stress-induced” herpes outbreak. He also said that he heard that the blisters had apparently spread to her anus and had taken on abcess-like features that required more serious medical attention. Thus, after taking into account jail overcrowding, the increasing liability that Paris presents, and Paris’s lesions, all things weighed in favor of her being put on home confinement.
Is this true?
PAULO Reis writes from Portugal on Madeleine McCann and the Spanish hoax:
Antonio Toscano, the alleged “investigative journalist” who claimed to know the name of Madeleine’s abductor is an hoaxer who introduced himself as an expert in satanic cults in several interviews with Spanish newspapers an TV.
António Toscano was quoted, last week, by the Spanish daily “El Mundo”, saying that he his an “expert in missing children cases”. And yesterday, talking to a Portuguese newspaper, he claimed that his track record his so good that he “found 14 of the 15 missing children cases that he investigated”, during the last years.
Many Portuguese and British newspapers quoted the story published by “El Mundo”, but some of them wrote that Mr. António Toscano was a journalist working with the Spanish daily or a collaborator of that daily.
“Gazeta Digital” talked with Mr. Rafael Moiano, a journalist from “El Mundo” and he confirmed that Mr. Toscano was interviewed and the story was published last week, but denied any link between Mr Toscano and the newspaper: “Mr. Toscano is not a collaborator of ‘El Mundo’, we just published a story, last week, about its investigations.”
Any other journalists of questionable quality in Portugal?
A FRIEND of Hilton’s says:
“It’s not surprising to me that she was melting down because she was cooped up in a tiny cell 23 hours a day. When I heard that, I knew that would happen. I know her well enough to know she must have been flipping out. That’s what happens to her. She can’t breath, her heart races and she feels like she’s going to pass out! I knew it would be bad for her.”
“We were in the store, and she just starting saying, ‘I’ve got to get out of here. I’m going to nose dive!’ Her hands were shaking and she said she felt dizzy, like she was going to black out or something.”
A shop is like a prison? Is Paris turning into a middle-aged man with teenage daughters?
Spotter: Perez Hilton
I see the Bishop of Manchester has lifted his cassock into a twist over some fantasy alien “shoot em up” game apparently set in a building he laughingly calls “gods house”.
No doubt the Bish craves the publicity as it might somehow be favourable to the CofE and get it on the front pages.
This to me says a great deal about this bunch of gormless CofE vicars.
Here we have an organisation which reportedly allows perverts to continue within its ranks. Reportedly effectively does sod all about them. Reportedly allows them to continue to have contact with young and vulnerable people over many years.
When the public and authorities finally get wise to these abusers – because eventually some adherents finally have the courage to go public – the CofE PR spokesmen and women offer trite and condescending words to those affected and to the rest of society which expects and demands much better.
Elsewhere in society strict rules and regulations apply but the church may or may not follow them. But then it is a religious organisation after all.
When one of their senior members is reportedly alleged to have been drunk and disorderly , chucking toys out of someone else’s car which presumably he wasn’t invited into , the whole episode is hushed up and no further action is taken by the Church leadership.
Compare these recent reportedly factual instances with the current contrived publicity.
A fantasy alien computer game upsets the Bishop. Why? Simply because its imaginary setting seems to have been in a CofE building and its imaginary viloence is a bit , well , violent. Not like real Christian history I suppose.
I suppose we should not expect any better. After all the CofE markets fantasies big time so a fantasy game to them is their bread and butter and probably gets close to their idea of reality.
Whereas reality elsewhere in the UK might include child abuse by unsavoury characters and abuse of ordinary law abiding people by drunken yobs. And the perpetrators in both instances are human , not computer simulations.
They might even on occasion – heaven forbid – be priests.
Judging by its different responses to fantasy computer games and the realities of life, the CofE doesn’t seem to care that much about the real world.
I WAS heard an American toursits go up to a copper at Amsterdam airport and ask where the weed shop was becsue he wanted a smoke. Soon he’ll need a cake shop:
AMSTERDAM (Reuters) – A Dutch smoking ban will come into force in July next year for all restaurants and cafes — including coffee shops where cannabis is the top attraction, the government decided on Friday.
“Coffee shops will be treated in the same manner as other catering businesses. They will be smoke-free,” Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende told NOS television.
“It would have been wrong to move towards a smoke-free catering industry and then make an exception for coffee shops. People would not have understood that.”
Still, the Rijksmuseum is worth a visit…
GEORGE Bush is with the Pope. Let us pray:
ROME (AP) – President Bush, deeply unpopular here and met by boisterous protests, sought to impress Pope Benedict XVI and the Italian public on Saturday with his humanitarian record and downplayed differences with the Vatican over Iraq.
In his meeting with Bush, the Vatican said the pope raised “the worrisome situation in Iraq.”
“He was concerned that the society that was evolving would not tolerate the Christian religion,” Bush explained at a news conference with Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi during the president’s swing through Europe.
“He’s worrisome about the Christians inside Iraq being mistreated by the Muslim majority.”
What did Bush say? Was he speaking in tongues?
Vatican City – US President George W Bush drew gasps at the Vatican on Saturday by referring to Pope Benedict XVI as “sir” instead of the expected “His Holiness”, pool reporters said.
The mystery call that police believe may contain “credible” information on the disappearance of Madeleine McCann has been traced to a mobile telephone registered in Argentina.
Detectives hope that the caller may hold the clue to the whereabouts of the four-year-old, who was abducted from the bed of her Algarve holiday apartment 37 days ago.
Kate and Gerry McCann still hope contact can be re-established before tomorrow when they travel to Morocco in the final of a series of visits to raise awareness of their daughter’s disappearance. They will then remain in Portugal, co-ordinating the search for Madeleine.
Did the McCanns not want the media to now about it? Gerry McCann said this call “turned out to be nothing of interest”. Anorak wondered: “Of course, he could be bluffing, keeping it low-key to not scare off this mystery caller. Better to keep the media out of it, lest they provide too much heat and not enough light.”
Ah, yes the media. Over in the Sun:
MADDIE parents Gerry and Kate McCann raise their heads and their hopes yesterday as they launch a giant Sun appeal across Europe.
They released 1,000 special yellow balloons from Praia da Luz, where their four-year-old was snatched 37 days ago.
The same number were launched at Tower Bridge in London, Real Madrid’s Bernabau stadium in Spain, and Manchester United’s Old Trafford ground.
All The Sun balloons have the 0044 1883731336 hotline number plus labels with a picture of Maddie and the web address”
Makes you wonder who is setting the agenda on this horrible story – the criminals or the Sun?
IN The Guardain, Martin Kettle is looking at Taking Liberties, a film about loss of rights and liberties in Tony Blair’s Britian. He says the but the basic premise simply “does not stand up“.
To challenge the account in Taking Liberties is not in any way to deny that the Labour government has often treated the criminal law in a cavalier manner over the last 10 – and particularly the last six – years, or to dispute that some of the episodes highlighted in Taking Liberties are anything other than shameful. To see again how Maya Evans and Milan Rai were arrested for reading out the names of Iraq war victims opposite the Cenotaph war memorial in Whitehall (though if they had given the right notification they would not have been), how Walter Wolfgang was detained under the terrorism laws for shouting an objection to a minister’s speech at a Labour conference, or how Gloucestershire police prevented a bus full of anti-war demonstators from protesting outside RAF Fairford (an action overturned by the law lords), is in each case to witness an oppressive denial of the right to protest.
See the words “though if they had given the right notification they would not have been”?
If they had asked the police to exercise their right to free speech they could have spoken freely. And no it is not a police state. As if…
PARIS Hilton in in jail once again. So princess-like is Paris that after hours in chokey she felt the pang of a pea under her matress and developed a rash.
But what occurs in an American jail if you are really sick, and not just an onanistic cry baby like Paris?
Washington, DC: A 27-year-old quadriplegic man sentenced to serve ten days in a Washington, DC jail on charges that he possessed a minor amount of marijuana died while in custody last week due to inadequate health care, including prison officials’ failure to provide him with a ventilator.
The victim, Jonathan Magbie, had been paralyzed from the neck down since the age of four, was unable to breath on his own, and required nursing care 20 hours a day.
PARIS HILTON is better viewing than Big Brother – for tonight at least. As reported:
A judge today ordered a tearful Paris Hilton back to jail, reversing a decision by the Los Angeles County sheriff to release her and keep her under house arrest after she had served only five days of a 45-day sentence.
Paris Hilton on her way to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department on Friday.
Superior Court Judge Michael T. Sauer said that Ms. Hilton will have to serve the entire sentence he had handed down last month for repeatedly violating the terms of her probation on alcohol-related reckless driving charges stemming from an incident last year.
As Ms. Hilton was led away to await her trip back to jail, she turned to her parents and said, “It’s not right!” The Associated Press reported.
IS Michael S. Malone talking about me and you, and all the other writers watching daytime telly?
Can you handle that and still do the work? There’s a video of me, when my kids were young, sitting in a rented house in Oregon on vacation. Barney is on the television, my boys are having a pillow war all around me, my wife is vacuuming, and I am on the couch with my laptop writing a New York Times column, oblivious to the noise, flying objects and general chaos around me. Somehow, over the years, I learned how to focus — despite almost having flunked out of college because I was incapable of studying while wearing music headphones. Can you do that?
What they don’t teach you in media studies…
SAYS George : “I was ashamed I had done something really wrong in putting other people at risk,” he tells the court.
“I’m glad to put this behind me,” he adds. “Now I’m off to do the biggest show of my life.”
Good news for his fans who bought tickets for the show. And for the local community – the singer was sentenced in 100 hours communuty service.
Yes, that’s right, just like Boy George did in New York. Have your rubber gloves at the ready…
FROM the Anorak Forums (Where truth outs) – by AGW:
THE name Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al Megrahi ring any bells?
He is the convicted former Libyan intelligence agent now residing at HM Prison Greenock. A lovely spot high on a rolling hill with panoramic views over the River Clyde. Lovely.
He has a small problem in that the Scottish Government requires him to be kept there or in a similar prison for life.
He was convicted, after a lengthy trial, for his part in the events leading to December 21, 1988, when Pan Am Flight 103 exploded over Lockerbie, Scotland, killing all 259 people on board as well as 11 on the ground. It was clear a bomb had caused the disaster but it took more than eleven years to bring anyone to trial.
Time tends to fade memories a little, so it may help to point out the downing of Flight 103 is the biggest single act of mass murder in British history
Well they are in St Andrew’s House, Edinburgh where the new Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond now rules.
Alex is a former, may still be, top rated racing tipster. He knows his stuff. He measures the odds and it is eight to one on he is totally ticked off Tony Blair (on a world farewell tour) last week sat in a desert tent and signed a document which may lead to one Megrahi being transferred to a prison in Egypt, Liberia, Morocco or even Libya.
There are a couple of issues here:
One. Tone, who bravely steered through Scottish devolution, seems to have not understood the Scots have a totally different Judicial system. So it would have been polite to ask. Alex yesterday said so in a very strong letter.
Two. While Tone may have been able to side-step such Cavalier moves in the past when there was a nice Labour controlled Scottish Parliament there is now a not-so-nice (to him) Scottish Nationalist control.
It is not unusual for Governments to make cosy-up deals such as this one. But if ever a man was run up his own flag pole this is it. Tone , the outgoing Prime Minister, is either two-fingering his own creation as the sham a lot of people think it is or, is totally unaware that Scotland has, and always has had, its own Laws and way of doing things.
Oh, and guess who is the next Prime Minister? One Gordon Brown, Scot, Member of Parliament for a seat on the River Forth, Scotland. It’s another safe bet he’s not too happy with his next door neighbour.
Tone’s friend G.W. Bush won’t be too pleased either when he hears Blair, who is a former Scottish public schoolboy, has been watching one Colonel Gaddifi draw lines in the sand. GW thought the secret talks (on-going for at least three years) between Libya, US and UK would remain secret.
Pan Am 103 was American and most of the victims were USA nationals.
Whether it’s in the best of taste to like Jews better when they’re in concentration camps than when they’re in their own country I leave to less interested parties to decide. But this, I think, is obvious: you cannot proudly present one clean hand and not expect people to wonder what you’re hiding in the other. A person cleared of anti-Semitism might still be guilty of something else. If anti-Semitism is repugnant to humanity, then it is no less repugnant to humanity to single out one country for your hatred, to hate it beyond reason and against evidence, to pluck it from the complex contextuality of history as though it authored its own misfortunes and misdeeds as the devil authored evil, to deny it any understanding (which is not the same as sympathy or succour), and – most odious of all – to seek to silence its voices.
Will someone, in the light of that, explain to me what universities are for? Is not scholarship meant to constitute a sacred bond, an implicit assurance that here at least, in the free academy of the mind, the conversation will always go on no matter how bitter the disagreement, no matter how unorthodox or incorrect or even offensive the views expressed? Can that person be fit to teach, I ask, who closes his intelligence to such an exchange, who seeks to silence opinions he does not share, and who believes the only truth is his?
“YOU are not going to believe this, (but) there is a semi pushing a guy in a wheelchair on Red Arrow Highway,” an unknown caller tells the Michigan State Police.
PAW PAW, Mich. — A 21-year-old man was taken on a wild ride Wednesday afternoon when the wheelchair he was in became attached to the grille of a semi-truck and was taken four miles down a highway at about 50 mph.The man, whose name police did not release, was not injured. The driver was unaware he was pushing the man, according to a news release from the Michigan State Police.
BRITAIN’S social melting pot:
Immigration and older mothers have fuelled a 26-year high in the number of children women are having in England and Wales.
Pregnant women; Rising immigration fuels 26-year fertility high
More older women are having babies
Figures released by the Office of National Statistics show the average number of children has risen for a fifth straight year to 1.87, the highest rate since 1980.
The last decade has seen a 77 per cent increase in births by mothers born outside of the UK, with the figure climbing to almost 150,000, or over a fifth of all babies, last year.
As Britain’s demographics change, Mohammed is expected soon to replace Jack as the most popular boy’s name. It has already pushed Thomas into third place.
THE US presidential campaign goes on for two years. It is a test of endurance, seeing how long the agonists can carry on in a consistent voice and how much the voters can take of Hilary Clinton, Barack Obama and the rest.
Charles Krauhammer writes in the Washington Post:
The final function of the endless campaign, and perhaps the most psychologically important, is to satisfy the American instinct for egalitarianism. We have turned the presidential campaign into a pleasingly degrading ordeal — pleasing, that is, to the electorate. The modern presidential campaign is meant to be physically exhausting and spiritually humbling almost to the point of humiliation. Candidates spend two years and more on bended knee begging for money, votes and handshakes in a diner.
THE contest for the deputy leadership of the Labour Party is is exciting the mindzzzzzz. Or not. Whoever wins will play second fidle to Gordon Brown. But what if the deputy were an interesting character, a vocal and charismatic alternative to Brown’s dullness:
Mr Benn is currently the bookies’ favourite. His surname, his uncontentious job and because, as my colleague David Aaronovitch points out, some voters will think he is a woman will endear him to the membership. But, decent though he is, he is hardly complementary to Mr Brown, and that is what is needed in a deputy leader. We will already have a PM who is deeply serious, earnest and puritan. Do we really want another such as his deputy?
Will any of them dare to be interesting?
WOULD turning Britain into an Islamic state rid the nation of those social ills, like binge drinking, broken families and Anthea Turner?
Mick Hume wonders:
Problem posed by all our political leaders: how to stop us appalling Brits bingeing and make us more health/environment/charity/education-conscious. Possible solution? Let’s impose a nice little Islamic state!
What do you mean, a mad idea? You’re so passé. This week’s cover story in Time Out, cultural bible of trend-setting liberal Londoners, tells us frankly that “an Islamic London would be a better place”. Apparently under Islam we would turn “all the city’s pubs into juice bars”, eat halal food to “free us at a stroke from our addiction to junk food”, exercise (by washing five times a day), recycle, focus on our children’s education, give to the poor and respect racial and religious equality.
If you could trade Stephen Harper for another G8 leader, who would you want to become Canada’s new Prime Minister?
Total votes: 22021
Votes for Tony: 11170 votes
THEY burnt books in Nazi Germany. EU Ref writes:
ONE should be grateful for the existence of Poland. What other country can provide us with quite so much entertainment in quite such a short period of time?
The latest news, as reported by Der Spiegel is a fight about literary syllabus in schools. Well, yes, now that you ask, there are countries and quite a few of them, where children have a literary syllabus in schools. Amazing, isn’t it?
Last week Roman Giertych, the Education Minister, announced that numerous classics of world literature (yes, m’lud, they are studied in schools in various countries) would be dumped in favour of well-approved, morally sound and, above all, Catholic writers.
Thus “the works of Goethe, Dostoyevsky, Kafka and the Polish-born Josef Conrad were to be dumped in favor of nationalist or Catholic authors like Henryk Sienkiewicz and the late Pope John Paul II. The aim was to instill patriotism in Polish youngsters.”
Other candidates for the scrap heap were modernist writers, including Polish ones, such as Witold Gombrowicz and Stanislaw Witkiewicz. Someone should tell the Education Minister about modern European history. After all, we have been here before and, actually, not that long ago. June 6 is a good day to remember what it was that so many, including the Poles (whose lives are now being offered up in sacrifice for the square root of the voting numbers in the European Council), fought for.
There was an immediate outcry in Poland and Prime Minister Jaroslaw Kaczynski in a rare attack of sanity, went on radio to announce that this may have been a joke but was in very poor taste. The classics, he insisted, will stay on the Polish school syllabus. Children will go on reading Goethe, Dostoyevsky, Kafka and Josef Conrad.
I wonder if we might persuade the Poles to come over to this country to put together a literary syllabus for our schools that would include the classics of Britain and the world.
MATTHEW Parris has followed Anorak on to the Jeremey Vine show on BBC Radio 2 to talk about Madeleine McCann. I was also on Radio 4.
Vine reminds Parris that the story is popular on the internet. But Parris thinks the media can and should turn the volume up and down.
The fact is that ever since the little girl’s sad and horrible disappearance, there has been no news. Nothing has been learnt. Nothing has emerged. Tomorrow, five weeks will have elapsed during which there has been no fact worthy of the name to report.
Yet the story has dominated the news, and several innocent people have been indelibly defamed.
What good has this done? Nobody questions the motives of those who have worked to keep it in the headlines, but the confluence over a protracted period of heavy and continuous news coverage with a complete absence of news ought to prompt some soul-searching. You may say “mystery” is in itself a story, but I’m afraid this is not really a great mystery. There is something faintly but unmistakably sick in this prolonged churning of public sentiment and public fascination.
It gets us back to who sets the news agenda – the audience or the editors? And how in this new media age the readers are beginning to get their voices heard.
DOES Angelina Jolie smoke? Does Madonna? It’s just that the health police think its better a child remains in council care rather than find love in a family where someone smokes tobacco:
Smokers will be banned from adopting children under the age of five in an attempt to protect young people from health risks such as asthma and lung cancer.
The ban, approved by council chiefs in Portsmouth, Hants, will also mean that children who need a home are not placed with parents more at risk of developing tobacco-related illnesses.