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.
STACY MCCAIN has a view on why the trouble following the death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, is front-page news in the UK:
Here’s the thing: Stories like this happen all the time.
People get shot to death on a daily basis in America, and if I was required to express an opinion every time somebody died in a shooting, I’d never have time to comment on anything else. The only reason the the Aug. 9 shooting death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, has become The Biggest Story in History of the Whole Freaking World is that (a) Brown was black, and (b) the cop who shot him was white.
That’s it — the whole story.
Criminal suspects getting shot by cops isn’t really unusual. Brown was unarmed, but the policeman who shot him — identified as Darren Wilson — didn’t know that. There was a robbery, and Brown matched the description of a suspect. I don’t know the details of Brown’s encounter with Officer Wilson, and can’t say why he drew his gun and fired. If you forced me to speculate, I’d guess that Officer Wilson believed Brown might be armed, and that Brown made a sudden move that caused Officer Wilson to believe Brown might be reaching for a gun, at which point Officer Wilson made a split-second decision that turned out to be completely wrong. But that’s just speculation, as is nearly 100% of what idiots have been saying about this story.
MADELEINE McCann: a round-up on August’s reporting on the missing child.
There are many things it’s fine to reference at this year’s Edinburgh Fringe. Jimmy Savile, Cliff Richard, missing Malaysian Airlines flight MH370, rape, abortion, Madeleine McCann (yes, still), Michael Jackson (yes, still), the free sugar-free limoncello at Nancy Dell’Olio’s show (yes, really)… Just whatever you do, please don’t mention the Scottish independence referendum.
Once upon a time, an ‘Our Maddie’ joke was tabloid fodder.
Met chief vows no let-up in search for Madeleine…
Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe said: “The investigation is still ongoing and we will not be reducing the team.”
He praised Portuguese authorities for allowing Yard detectives to take part in the summer search.
“A reasonable amount of progress has been made,” he added.
FACE of the day:
A specialist technical abseil team clean and inspect one of the four faces of the Great Clock at the Houses of Parliament, in central London, as they undertake essential maintenance and cleaning of the four faces.
MICHAEL Brown was shot six times by polcie in Ferguson , Missouri. So says a private autopsy.
The New York Times says one bullet pierced the top of Brown’s skull. Four bullets hit his right arm. None hit him in the back.
Brown, 18, was unarmed.
JULIAN Assange is leaving the Ecuadorian Embassy, London. Why? A lack of sunlight is noted. A lack of light has dogged Assange ever since he responded to the allegations of rape by going into hiding.
“I am leaving the embassy soon – but perhaps not for the reasons the Murdoch press and Sky News are saying at the moment. Being detained in various ways in this country without charge for four years and in this embassy for two years which has no outside area, therefore no sunlight … it is an environment in which any healthy person would find themselves soon enough with certain difficulties.”
DID Sainsbury’s remove kosher food in sympathy with Palestinians living under attack from Israel and, many would argue, Hamas in Gaza?
AT least one of the previous Kings of England was a complete booze hound, so we’re told. King Richard III, whose twisted skeleton was found under a car park, drank three whole litres of booze a day. They’ve worked this out by analysing dem’ bones and looking at what the micro-structure tells us about what he ate and drank.
The thing is, there’s not actually all that much surprise about it:
Not only that but the monarch, dubbed a “bunch-backed toad” by Shakespeare, was also partial to a lavish banquet, with research showing he ate exotic meat including swan, crane, heron and egret.
IN Malaysia, nudists are being rounded up:
THREE suspects have surrendered to Malaysian police over their participation in a nudist sports event, a state police chief says… The controversy began after a video titled Penang Nude Sports Games 2014 was uploaded two weeks ago to the video-sharing website Vimeo, triggering an uproar…
The video showed a group of four women and 14 men engaging in activities like body painting, crab-walking and a Gangnam-style dance with one woman riding a man who was on all fours…
WHEN Michael Brown, 18, was killed by police in the Ferguson suburb of St Louis, Missouri, there was outrage. Michael Brown was an unarmed, black teenager. The story goes that Brown and his friend Dorian Johnson, 22, were walking down the middle of the road. It was around noon.
The police car approached. They were told to move.
Dorian Johnson says police yelled: “Get the f*** onto the sidewalk”.
AS ISIS butchers its way across Iraq, we wonder what happened to the Iraqi Army?
Peter Beaumont looks at the arsenal:
After Iraq’s armed forces were disbanded following the fall of Saddam Hussein in 2003, the United States and its allies committed more than $25bn to training and building a new military. With more than 250,000 frontline troops (not counting paramilitary police units), on paper at least the Iraqi military should be effective. It is equipped with almost 400 tanks including US M1A1s and Russian T- series tanks including the T-72. It also has more than 2,500 armoured fighting vehicles and 278 aircraft, including drones, transport aircraft, amphibious aircraft and 129 helicopters.
FACE Of the Day:
This photo taken in August, 2014 shows Associated Press video journalist Simone Camilli on a balcony overlooking smoke from Israeli Strikes in Gaza City. Camilli, 35, was killed in an ordnance explosion in the Gaza Strip, on Wednesday, Aug. 13, 2014 together with Palestinian translator Ali Shehda Abu Afash and three members of the Gaza police. Police said four other people were seriously injured, including AP photographer Hatem Moussa.(AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
Pope Francis prayed for Camilli in front of journalists on the papal plane to South Korea.
“I have to make a silent prayer for Simone Camilli, one of yours, who today left us in service. Let us pray in silence,” said Francis, clearly moved.
“These are the consequences of war,” he added.
MENTAL Illness is our Face of the Day:
Expressive ecstatic emotion of a mental illness shown 1933. (AP)
THE Liberal Democrats has excerpted influence on the Government. The UK will suspend some of its arms exports to Israel if the current ceasefire between Israel and Hamas is broken.
The business department said a review of UK exports to Israel had identified the 12 licences for “components which could be part of equipment used by the Israel Defence Forces in Gaza”. They include equipment for military radar, combat aircraft and tanks.
Vince Cable, the business secretary, said: “We welcome the current ceasefire in Gaza and hope that it will lead to a peaceful resolution. However, the UK government has not been able to clarify if the export licence criteria are being met. In light of that uncertainty we have taken the decision to suspend these existing export licences in the event of a resumption of significant hostilities.
“No new licences of military equipment have been issued for use by the Israeli Defence Forces during the review period, and as a precautionary measure this approach will continue until hostilities cease.”
The export suspension comes after a long and fierce battle within the coalition over restricting arms sales to Israel. The prime minister, David Cameron, and the foreign secretary, Philip Hammond, have been resisting demands from Cable and the deputy prime minister, Nick Clegg calling for the immediate suspension of exports.
WHAT do we see whaen we look at Gaza? Who is showing us what? Are the pictures what Hamas wants the world to see? Is Hamas the filter? The Foreing Press Association has issued a statement allegeding misconduct:
The FPA protests in the strongest terms the blatant, incessant, forceful and unorthodox methods employed by the Hamas authorities and their representatives against visiting international journalists in Gaza over the past month.
The international media are not advocacy organisations and cannot be prevented from reporting by means of threats or pressure, thereby denying their readers and viewers an objective picture from the ground.
In several cases, foreign reporters working in Gaza have been harassed, threatened or questioned over stories or information they have reported through their news media or by means of social media.
We are also aware that Hamas is trying to put in place a “vetting” procedure that would, in effect, allow for the blacklisting of specific journalists. Such a procedure is vehemently opposed by the FPA.
ARE anti-depressants over-prescribed.
Stephen Lawrie, Head of the Division of Psychiatry, Professor of Psychiatry and Neuro-Imaging, Director of PsySTAR at University of Edinburgh, takes a view in The Conversation:
There is a persistent media hype surrounding the notion that the prescription of antidepressants is “at record levels”, and “on the rise”. Yet numerous studies have shown that most people with depression do not get any treatment. How can both be true?
YOU put your right leg in…
A FLIGHT between Tunisia and Scotland had to be diverted after a drunk passenger attacked cabin crew with her prosthetic leg.
The woman demanded “cigarettes and a parachute” and became aggressive when staff asked her to calm down.
Holidaymaker John Smith, from Falkirk, said the woman slapped a young girl in a neighbouring seat before unfastening her leg and swinging it at flight attendants.
The crew managed to put her in handcuffs while the pilot of Thomson flight 297 from Enfidha to Edinburgh made an emergency landing at Gatwick.
The woman was escorted from the plane by police, as passengers broke into a rendition of the hokey cokey.
You put your whole self out…
WHEN George Galloway called for Bradford to be an “Israel-free zone” - “we don’t want Israeli tourists to come to Bradford” – holidaymakers in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv fretted. What to do? Where to go now? But some had either pre-booked the trip or just decided that Galloway was an utter pillock and anywhere he was needed a bit of relief.
Got my Israeli flag, passport and tee shirt, Bradford here we come! Sorry George Galloway pic.twitter.com/MfVI9Libv2
— Shneur Zalman Odze (@ShneurOdzeUKIP) August 10, 2014
GEORGE Owen Smith is the first victim positively identified from one of the 55 unmarked graves at the former Arthur G. Dozier School for Boys in Marianna, Florida.
Smith was 14 when he was sent to the school in October 1940, and was never seen alive by his family again.
Smith had been sent to the home as punishment for being with a friend in a stolen car.
HAVING reeived the Death Vulture news alert, tweeters responded to the death of Robin Williams by lamenting the very much alive Robbie Williams:
ON a march in Belfast, Republicans and Loyalists use the war between Israel and Hamas to antagonise:
THIS is a picture of Khaled Sharrouf’s son, a child raised in the suburbs of Sydney, struggling with both arms to hold up the decapitated head of a slain Syrian soldier.
In a conflict awash with gruesome images, this single photograph – posted on Twitter by a proud father with the words “Thats my boy!” – may come to symbolise the savagery that has become the hallmark of the Islamic State and the depravity of its army of foreign fighters.
Dad is part of a touring Autralian party:
Australian jihadists fighting with the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham are carrying out massacres of captured Iraqi prisoners and participating in some of the most gruesome war crimes committed during the two-week-old Iraq insurgency.
Convicted terrorist Khaled Sharrouf is among a handful of Australian jihadists believed to have carried out bloody, battlefield executions, in what amounts to a serious escalation of Australian involvement in the Iraq-Syria conflict.
Before his conviction and journey to the Middle Ages - it’s belived he travelled on his brother’s passport - Sharrouf lived on disability benefit.
As Tim Blair notes:
Let’s assume, for the sake of it, that ISIS (Impaired and Subsidised Islamic Soldiers) achieves its aim of overthrowing governments in Iraq and Syria. What happens next? Well, nothing. Nothing at all. These blokes can’t work, and they’ve got the official medical documents to prove it…Sure, they’re great at putting bullets in the back of captured Iraqi soldiers’ heads. But they clearly can’t find any laborers to bury the bodies.
He might not be joking…
PS – In the UK that decaptiated Soldier would be passed for for work.
Faces of the day:
The 2014 Illinois State Fair butter cow is unveiled at the Illinois State Fairgrounds Thursday, Aug. 7, 2014, in Springfield, Ill. The sculpture depicts a cow being milked by a boy who is waving to a woman. The 500-pound bovine is made of unsalted butter. Built from scratch, it has been an unofficial mascot of the fair since the 1920s. Fair organizers have said they’re not changing security procedures after vandals threw paint on a butter cow at the Iowa state fair last year. The Illinois State Fair begins Friday, Aug. 8 and runs through Sunday, Aug. 17. (AP Photo/Seth Perlman)
The Art of Anti-Semitism: The Tricycle Theatre Only Admits Anti-Israel Jews While The National Prefers The Rich Ones
MANY words have been written about demands by London’s Tricycle Theatre that Jewish Film Festival sever all ties with the city’s Israeli embassy.
Indhu Rubasingham, the theatre’s artistic director, said the festival should not accept funding from “any party to the current conflict” between Israel and Hamas. She added the Tricycle had offered to fund the festival itself, in order to replace sponsorship from the Israeli Embassy in London.
The event has been hosted at the Tricycle for some years. But this year the boss wanted Israel excluded. Ms Rubasingham wanted the Jews who run the film week – which features film and debate from all sides – to refuse Israel’s money, some £1,400. She wanted them to hand back Israeli cash and join her in her moral stance against the country. Comply with her demands and these Jews would be allowed in. And the story of how the Jews of Jewish Film Week handed back Israel’s cash would fly.
FACES of the day:
Soaked pedestrians shelter from the rain under the Millennium Bridge, Southwark, London, as the remnants of Hurricane Bertha swept across parts of the country. Jonathan Brady/PA Wire
DID you hear Barack Obama making statement about Iraq airstrikes? Somewhere Bill Murray is waking up in a hotel room at 6AM to Sonny & Cher’s ‘I Got You Babe’.