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NORWEGIAN woman say she saw Madeleine McCann in Marrakesh. This is her email to British police:
Mari Olli, a Norwegian and a retired social worker, 45 years old, lives in Spain, Málaga, with her husband. The couple has been on hollidays in Agadir, Morocco, when Madeleine was abducted.
They knew nothing about it, as they didn’t watched news, while on holidays.
They were returning to Spain and they stopped at Marrakesh, for the night of May 8 to 9.
Early in the morning, they drove their car to Tarifa, to catch a ferryboat back home. They stopped at a gas station to buy some water and that was the place where Mrs Mari Olli says she saw Madeleine. This is the report that she sent, by email, to British Police, after she tried, without success, to give the information to Spanish Police (and not to Portuguese Police, as some British newspapers wrongly wrote):
“At the petrol station next to Hotel Ibis Palmeraie in Marrakesh (Address, Avenue Abdelkrim Khattabi) Wednesday 9th of May, about 10 am, I saw the girl inside the shop. She was wearing clear blue pyjamas. Some pattern on the top, trousers little darker. Don’t think the trousers had any pattern. She was very small. Under 1 meter. She was with a man.”
“She was standing alone, the man about a meter from her. I looked back at her, she was very sweet. And it was a strange situation because the man didn’t look like her father. And it’s very strange to see a blond small girl standing alone in Marrakesh. She was very small and normally you would hold her in your arms or at least her hand. And he was turning away from her.”
“She looked sad. I looked at her face, she looked at me. Then she turned to the man and said something that sounds like: “Can we see mommy soon?” I am not sure if he reply. I turned around to pay my things, two bottle of water and some hygiene serviettes. I went in our car, looked for if they had a car, but could not see any special. I wanted to tell my husband, but he was busy with the driving to catch the ferry from Tanger to Tarifa. I didn’t know about the missing child at that time. Because I had not watched the news, when I was on holiday.”
“I saw the news on Thursday the 10 of may, in the evening. Then I remember what I saw in Marrakesh. I started to phone the police, Spanish and English. The Spanish police didn’t want to talk to me. I talked to the English (Police). Friday morning I gave my report to Katy Peters from Scotland Yard. She said someone was going to phone me. But I have not heard anything. I have emailed them and phone them several times. But no response. I am very worried and very sure this was that girl. Her face is very special. And that situation was very strange!”
“My mind is on this situation all the time, and I need to know if someone is looking into my report. I am sure the two Moroccan men inside the petrol station can confirm my seeing as well.”
“If I can do anything more to help, PLEASE let me know!
According to Correio da Manhã, the daily Portuguese newspaper that first got in touch with Mrs. Mari Olli, as soon as the information reached the Portuguese Police, through British liaison officers, Portuguese Police contacted Mrs. Mari Olli, for six times, on May 18 and May 21, to get more details from her.
Reporter: Paulo Reis
SHOULD lecturers at British universities keep an eye on radical students?
A union of British academics voted unanimously to reject a government plan to tackle Islamic extremism in universities, likening the initiative to “witch hunts” that would single out Muslim students.
The University and College Union, which represents more than 120,000 British academics, agreed to the motion Wednesday at its inaugural conference in Bournemouth in southern England. The motion calls for members to “resist attempts by government to engage colleges and universities in activities which amount to increased surveillance of Muslim or other minority students and to the use of members of staff for such witch hunts”…
“Lecturers want to teach students,” said Sally Hunt, general secretary of the union. “If they wanted to police them, they would have joined the force.”
You might like to read this:
The court heard that Nassari was born in London in 1979 and lived in Ealing. In 2001 he enrolled on a cognitive science course at the University of Westminster.
But he disappeared between 2002 and 2003 and, although previously described as “friendly, thoughtful and wearing western clothes”, returned to the university a changed man.
Mr Jafferjee said: “He was now sporting long robes and headwear. He claimed he was the leader of the Islamic Society at the campus in Harrow.
“To put it bluntly he was radicalised. Attention to his academic obligations was intermittent and he did not achieve his degree.”
JENNIFER Ansiton is a blank page. Or not. Is she reading War And Peace. Or MAD magazine? Or Anorak? The Koran? A new play based on Brad Pitt’s meeting with Angelina Jolie? Take a look. And tell us what she’s reading…
WHO wants to see Hillary’s potatoe moment…
COLDWATER, Mich. — Jack Kevorkian, the retired pathologist dubbed “Dr. Death” for claims that he participated in at least 130 assisted suicides, left prison after eight years Friday still believing people have the right to die.
A smiling Kevorkian, now 79, said it was “one of the high points in life” as he walked out with his attorney.
Mike Wallace, the correspondent for “60 Minutes,” whose airing of a Kevorkian-aided suicide led to the charges and his prison term, met Kevorkian outside with an embrace and the words, “Hello, young man.” Kevorkian is to appear in a “60 Minutes” segment on Sunday.
Attorney Mayer Morganroth said his client planned a news conference on Tuesday.
“He thanks everybody for coming. He thanks the thousands who have supported him, have written to him and the enormous amount of people who have really been comfortable in supporting him,” Morganroth said. “He just wants a little privacy for the next few days.”
Throughout the 1990s, Kevorkian challenged authorities to make his actions legal _ or try to stop him. He burned state orders against him and showed up at court in costume.
“You think I’m going to obey the law? You’re crazy,” he said in 1998 shortly before he was accused _ and then convicted _ of murder after injecting lethal drugs into Thomas Youk, 52, an Oakland County man suffering from Lou Gehrig’s disease. Kevorkian had videotaped Youk’s death and sent it to “60 Minutes.”
The conviction earned Kevorkian a 10- to 25-year sentence for second degree murder, but he earned time off his sentence for good behavior.
“Good behaviour”… Patronising. Moi?
EUROPEAN beaches - where to swim and where not to. Beware Greeks carrying data…
Britain’s beaches are cleaner than ever but they still cannot compete with Mediterranean or Aegean countries, according to EU figures released yesterday.
Only two out of 567 British beaches repeatedly failed spot checks for bacteria in the water last summer, down from ten the previous year, making it the best year for meeting basic European standards.
But while four in five British beaches received the top European grading, in Greece not one of 2,047 resorts failed the test, with 96.9 per cent classed as excellent.
The EU website tells us:
Commissioner for the Environment Stavros Dimas said: “It is encouraging to see that the rate of compliance of freshwater bathing areas in 2006 has recovered from the disappointing decrease in 2005.”
Yeah, Stavros… Is the EU getting to be like Eurovision..?
WHY do so many Scots, Northern Irish and Welsh want to leave the UK? (At least that’s what their drum-banging leaders tells us.)
Simon Jenkins says:
Where is the heart of the new “nationalism” sweeping Britain’s Celtic fringe? So far it has seemed little more than a bid to spend British subsidies more generously than the English can. The Scots revel in freeing their students and elderly of fees. The Welsh give away prescriptions. Ian Paisley and Gerry Adams refuse to speak to each other until their mouths are stuffed with English gold. This is pocketbook devolution. Read the nationalist manifestos and they are little more than shopping lists. Take away the British exchequer and I sense they would collapse like scarecrows without sticks.
What good could come of breaking up the United Kingdom?
HENRY Kissinger on Iraq and the lessons on Vietnam:
THE IRAQ WAR has reawakened memories of the Vietnam War, the most significant political experience of an entire American generation. But this has not produced clarity about its lessons.
Of course, history never repeats itself exactly. Vietnam and Iraq are different conflicts in different times, but there is an important similarity: A point was reached during the Vietnam War when the domestic debate became so bitter as to preclude rational discussion of hard choices. Administrations of both political parties perceived the survival of South Vietnam as a significant national interest. They were opposed by a protest movement that coalesced behind the conviction that the war reflected an amorality that had to be purged by confrontational methods. This impasse doomed the U.S. effort in Vietnam; it must not be repeated over Iraq.
I KNOW a Madeleine. A friend called me and said how terrible it must be for me that Madeleine McCann has gone missing. Every time I hear the name I must feel the pain. Er no…
It’s more like this:
I have not been kept up all night because I’m worrying about Madeleine McCann. My mood doesn’t do a U-turn every time Cuddle Cat is mentioned on ITV News. I care, of course I care, it would be inhuman not to, but if you really want to know, I think the public references to a private thing such as a child’s soft toy are in poor taste, as are the overfamiliar abbreviation of the girl’s name to bring us closer to the scene of this wretched mystery. Worse than the abbreviations are the people who correct the abbreviators: “It’s Madeleine, not Maddy. That’s what the parents call her,” in an offended tone as if they know her, or have been personally affected. People talk about “feeling the McCanns’ pain”, but we do not, and cannot.
As Mick Hume notes:
But perhaps we should first take a look at ourselves, and see what it says about our society that a family tragedy can be turned into a public spectacle, which, unless something dramatic happens, looks set to run for longer than Big Brother this summer.
WHEN Madeleine McCann disappeared the papers instantly spoke of paedophilia. They went into a frenzy.
But there has been no meaningful debate on this heinous crime. Just finger-pointing and talk of “every parent’s worst nightmare” – a nightmare evoked and highlighted by the tabloid press.
What to do? March through the streets looking for paedos?
An amnesty, allowing anyone with child porn to tell the authorities how they came by it so as to catch the profiteers and makers of such stuff? Or:
Paedophiles should be encouraged to seek treatment in the community rather than be threatened with jail terms, according to the police child protection chief.
Jim Gamble of the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP), told the BBC he believed some sex offenders, such as those found with child pornography, should not necessarily be sent to jail.
Mr Gamble said answers needed to be found outside the criminal justice system and that some offenders should receive a police caution, then be managed within the community…
He told the broadcaster: “We shouldn’t be sending everyone that ever commits an offence – particularly of the viewing kind – to prison.
Something needs to be done to tackle the crime…
SAYS VICTORIA Beckham of bloggers and celebrity watchers:
“I think these people are pretty spineless, the way they hide behind pseudo-names,” says Victoria Beckham to Neil Sean of Sky News. “They don’t really know what’s going on in anybody’s lives. They’re just sad people that sit behind their computers.”
You said it, er, Posh. But you might be wrong:
We’re not sad! The fact that David cheated on you (with probably more than one whore) makes us HAPPY!
P.S. Perez may have no spine (and no shame), but you have no talent. What’s worse?
Having talent and not being discovered. That’s the pits…
TRUTH is stranger than Science Fiction:
Looking to prevent the next terrorist attack, the Homeland Security Department is tapping into the wild imaginations of a group of self-described “deviant” thinkers: science-fiction writers.
“We spend our entire careers living in the future,” says author Arlan Andrews, one of a handful of writers the government brought to Washington this month to attend a Homeland Security conference on science and technology.
Those responsible for keeping the nation safe from devastating attacks realize that in addition to border agents, police and airport screeners, they “need people to think of crazy ideas,” Andrews says.
The writers make up a group called Sigma, which Andrews put together 15 years ago to advise government officials. The last time the group gathered was in the late 1990s, when members met with government scientists to discuss what a post-nuclear age might look like, says group member Greg Bear. He has written 30 sci-fi books, including the best seller Darwin’s Radio.
Now, the Homeland Security Department is calling on the group to help with the government’s latest top mission of combating terrorism.
What is a “right”? Are there natural rights? Are any rights inalienable? You can argue till the cows come home, with little likelihood of generating useful insights.
I think the concept is best seen as an instrument of conflict between competing sources of power. In particular, the meaning of ‘rights’ at a particular time represents the ideological position at that time on the issue of state-versus-individual. When we had absolutism, talk was of the absolute rights of the state (monarch). As civil liberties developed during eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, the language of ‘rights’ was increasingly used to express the idea that each individual has their own territory or area of sovereignty.
In the twentieth century, the concept swung back towards expressing the claims of the collective (in effect, the state) on individuals. In some cases, spurious terms such as ‘Volk’ or ‘proletariat’ were used to denote the collective.
We see this swing continuing today under Blairism, a philosophy which — for all the criticism directed at it by now from every corner — can readily be interpreted as an ideal expression of the prevailing Zeitgeist. The idea that the individual has a claim to be left alone by society (e.g. to smoke, or to eat supposedly unhealthy foods) has become, it appears, outmoded.
US army are putting videos of war in Iraq on YouTube. Certificate PG:
Standing in a gray room with walls pocked with bullet holes, a quartet of U.S. Army soldiers trade fire with an unseen enemy perched off-screen.
“You’ve just got to aim a little bit higher, kid,” one soldier coaches another firing what appears to be a grenade launcher at a building several blocks away.
“Whew, that smells good,” the first soldier says.
The movie, “Battle on Haifa Street, Baghdad, Iraq,” conjures comparisons to war films from “Apocalypse Now” to “Full Metal Jacket,” but this grainy, jumpy short is not fiction. It is combat footage posted for the world to see by the military on the video-sharing Web site YouTube.
The horror, the horror or The Power and The Glory. Pass the popcorn:
THE dress rehearsal:
WASHINGTON — The Pentagon will hold a special table top exercise targeting a possible crisis involving Iran. The exercise is being scheduled for this summer.
The exercise comes amid growing tensions between Iran and the United States over the Iranian nuclear program and recent media reports of increased US military planning against Iran. The Iranian president has also made threats of using 14,000 suicide bombers against Israel and the United States.
Do you think the exercise will in Tehran?
RUSSIANS are worried about this:
Russia has banned the export of medical specimens after the country’s spy agency allegedly uncovered a Western plot to manufacture a biological weapon that would make Russians sterile.
In a decree that appeared to reflect the Russian state’s growing suspicion of all things Western, the Federal Customs Service forbade the shipment of all human blood, hair, DNA and bone marrow out of the country.
While officials gave no formal explanation for the ban, Russia’s most respected broadsheet suggested that the customs service had been ordered to act after the Federal Security Service, the KGB’s successor, handed an alarming report to President Vladimir Putin earlier this month.
Quoting unidentified sources, Kommersant said that foreign health institutions were using human specimens to create a “genetically engineered biological weapon” capable of rendering the Russian population sterile or even of killing it off altogether.
They don’t want them:
ALGIERS (AFP) – Algeria has 10 million free condoms to distribute but there are no takers, a senior medical official in the conservative Muslim country said Wednesday.
“In Algeria, where AIDS spreads mainly through sexual contact, 10 million free condoms are waiting in warehouses of the national pharmacy but there are no takers,” said Mohamed Mesbah.
Wonder if they’re depressed?
THE result of putting health warnings on alcoholic beverages:
The fact is that the vast majority of adults already “know their limits” (the middle classes, in particular, tend to be boringly word perfect on the unit content of the average bottle of merlot). It’s how we manage to get up and go to work in the mornings and not have houses full of stolen traffic cones.
So that leaves us with binge drinkers, alcoholics and the teenage alcopop brigade. And I hate to break it to Caroline Flint, Minister for Public Health, but such people actually set out to get drunk.
REMEMBER when the West owned Africa? Well, it’s their turn now…
China is conquering Africa as it becomes the preferred trading partner of the continent’s dictators. Beijing is buying up Africa’s abundant natural resources and providing it with needed cash and cheaply produced consumer goods in return.
HAZEL Blears’ campaign for the deputy leadership of the Labour Party is moving on.
Dizzy spots something interesting:
From Hazel Blears Campaign Team to all her Facebook friends.
“Remember if you’re a member of a Trade Union or any other socialist society – you can vote for Hazel more than once! A list of affiliated socialist societies can be found here.”
THE American Spelling Bee is underway. Throwing things is blogging o-n i-t… Spell “pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis” – you never know when you might need to…
I’d like to add another, Mediterranean, perspective to the argument.
First of all, the campaign is bringing the issue of child abuse and abduction into the public arena in Catholic and Orthodox countries where awareness is low – and not because it isn’t relevant either.
Parents of previously abducted children, though rueful that they didn’t get this kind of coverage, are in fact grateful to the McCanns because they are rattling the cage.
On the issue of the Pope, I have to admit I groaned a bit loudly when I saw the Pope Show go on the road on this issue. Many dissident Catholics like me find the media adulation of the Pope hilarious. A very elderly Benedictine monk emailed me his own epitaph on John Paul at the time of the mindless tabloid sanctification of the late JP who did nothing useful for any of the worlds oppressed peoples. It ran: “The Higher the Monkey he climb, The better you can see he arsehole.”
Anyway we are waiting to see if there are any signs of connected earthly life in Benedict and this is an interesting development – although it is not that easy to see how his action will pan out. One thing is for sure – his audience with the McCanns will have a huge impact in Catholic countries.
What I am hoping for very fervently from Benedict today is an “It is not too late for redemption” message, which might just get someone to act on what they know. It is also just possibly the start of a brave move on B16′s part to address paedophilia in a modern context, and use his considerable intellect to try and bridge the gap between the Church’s teachings on sin and the possibility of forgiveness and modern science’s understanding of sexual pathology.
From the McCanns point of view, if Madeleine or her abductor is in a Catholic country they can’t do better than get the Pope involved. And I sincerely hope that their prayers are answered.
Setting aside all the ribaldry and cynicism because of scandals associated with the church there is a role that priests can play because of their vows of confidentiality.
A thing that has bugged me for a long time is this question: If a young man finds himself attracted to children presumably in the vast majority of cases it is not a happy discovery and many must try to suppress it. What is freaky to me is that in the prevailing climate of a witch hunt, hatred and fear there is simply no place for a man like this to go and seek help. The Church has given advice in the past but it was bad.
If (and it is a very big IF) Benedict can begin to extract the church from it’s entrenched ostrich position on sexuality in general then there is great potential for the good they could do in Catholic communities. For this I will be watching his words with interest. But I am not optimistic.
CALIFORNIA slacker turned Al-Qaeda propaganda chief Adam Gadahn has released a new video press release on behalf of his organisation.
Gadahn says that al-Qaeda is being really done in and would like to surrender. Kidnapping, beheadings and racism are overrated. Wars out, let’s go surfing.
Of course not. These videos never say anything new. We have become bored by them. But Gadahn still has to say his thing.
“You are losing on all fronts and losing big time,” saya Gadahn. “”You are losing on all fronts and losing big time.” Big time? Do terrorists say “big time”?
While Gadahn brushes up his vitriol, get a load of thizzzzzzz (say hi to mom):
THE Internet is changing the way we live.Google’s CEO, Eric Schmidt, says the company’s ambition is to know so much about us all, it will be able to answer the question: “What should I do tomorrow?”
Google is now “the man”. Although we could stymie the corporate plot by exercising our free will…
Or legislate against Google. What does the Internet mean for politics?
Currently, geography matters a lot: we vote in the areas we physically inhabit. But if millions of people are linked by MySpace, why is that not a political community? I can foresee a future in which national diasporas, for example, operate the way territorial societies do now. If ever there is a peace agreement to ratify, perhaps the entire Palestinian people, dispersed across the world, would take part in a referendum. The current iron link between democracy and territoriality might grow weaker.
So a world along the lines of the web? Not an orignal idea there. Freedland should know that on the web there are no new ideas – just new ways of repackaging the old ones…
AMERICA and Iran are on speaking terms again.
It’s the beginning of a beautiful friendship:
Within minutes they were probably flicking through a Which Execution magazine together. The Iranians would have been fascinated by the modern models, cooing “Ooh, what’s that one?” And the Americans would boast, “Ah that’s a plasma screen lethal injection chamber, high definition so you get to see every drop of sweat.”
Great days ahead…