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In Orlando, Florida, more than 50 people have been murdered in a massacre carried out by one Omar Saddiqui Mateen. The killer struck at a gay nightclub called Pulse. The story goes that he didn’t like gays.
Approximately 50 people were killed inside Pulse, a gay nightclub, Orlando Police Chief John Mina and other officials said Sunday morning, just hours after a shooter opened fire in what appears to be the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history.
At least 53 more people were injured, he said.
Some of the injured are very badly hurt:
The shooter is not from the Orlando area, Mina said. He has been identified as Omar Saddiqui Mateen, 29, of Fort Pierce, about 120 miles southeast of Orlando, two law enforcement officials tell CNN.
Orlando authorities said they consider the violence an act of domestic terror. The FBI is involved. While investigators are exploring all angles, they “have suggestions the individual has leanings towards (Islamic terrorism), but right now we can’t say definitely,” said Ron Hopper, assistant special agent in charge of the FBI’s Orlando bureau.
Mateen was born and raised in the US. His parents arrived in the US from Afghanistan. His father tells media:
Mir Seddique, Mateen’s father, told NBC News, “this has nothing to do with religion.” Seddique said his son got angry when he saw two men kissing in Miami a couple of months ago and thinks that may be related to the shooting.
Nothing to do with Islam.
But why were the The FBI watching him?
The Federal Bureau of Investigation at one point opened an investigation into Mateen but subsequently closed the case when it produced nothing that appeared to warrant further investigation.
The BBC notes:
There are “suggestions” the gunman had “leanings towards” radical Islamist ideology, the FBI says.
There will be more suggestions made.
If you’ll forgive a bit of skepticism on my part, that sounds unlikely. I’m not saying that Seddiqui couldn’t have been anti-gay. (Islamic terrorists aren’t exactly known for taking part in pride parades, after all.) But that’s a pretty violent reaction for having “seen two men kissing.” The guy lives in northern Florida and this is the first time in almost thirty years he’s run across two gay guys engaging in a PDA?
The shooter’s ex-wife adds: “He was not a stable person. He beat me. He would just come home and start beating me up because the laundry wasn’t finished or something like that.”
Much more to follow…
You will remember all that stuff about football fans being “slum people watching a slum sport“. You will remember how casting all football fans as scum who deserved to be caged was what led to Hillsborough, when police sent for the attacks dogs as fans corralled into a too-small terrace not fit for purpose gasped for life.
Football fans were the Untermenschen on which all new methods of control could be tested. One doctor present at Hillsborough said the only difference ID cards could have made that day was to make it easier to identify the young corpses.
You remember that?
As the truth emerged after a mere 27 years years of waiting for the State-sanctioned police lies to dissolve, the Hillsborough campaigners calls for justice were dampened by a wall of sanctimonious bilge about their fight being a great day for Britain, a triumph of law and modernity, how today’s political, police and media elite had “learned lessons” to ensure “it will never happen again”. But we didn’t have to wait long before the same old dislike of football fans to seep out. Guardian readers were told “The authorities failed Liverpool fans at Hillsborough. But so did the real hooligans.”
What hooligans? The fans who ran amuck when Luton Town played Millwall? The Liverpool fans who charged Juventus fans at Heysel, causing a stampede and a wall in a dilapidated stadium to break, killing 39? Yes, we know there were acts of hooliganism. But there was no aggro as the fans at Hillsborough died. The police were not attacked. Fans did not urinate on corpses and rob from the dead, as the Sun claimed (and finally apologised for). In the cages, the innocent begged for help. The police replied by forming ranks, by forcing the desperate fans back into the pens, by looking like an Army. They put on a show of force and menace as the innocent died.
Sticking with the Guardian, in today’s edition Dawn Foster writes beneath the headline “The Queen’s birthday has unleashed a pernicious new patriotism”. Her Majesty is 90. Foster is unimpressed and offended:
“…the celebrations for the Queen’s 90th birthday have crept up; if you’re lucky, you’ll suffer nothing more than a bombardment of Union Jacks this weekend – but many of us will experience something much worse: the performative cheeriness of the street party.
Friends of mine who live in areas where street parties are in the works have, without exception, reported that the people responsible are the perennially furious residents who spend most of their lives in a rage about parking. Shifting their attention from the contentious temporary ownership of asphalt, they have decided the neighbourhood needs to commemorate the birthday of a 90-year-old woman none of the residents have met.
It is all sneery stuff.
The party will follow the usual template: tea, cupcakes, flags upon flags upon flags, wartime slogans and songs, and the performance of a very specific type of Englishness – the Englishness of Fry and Laurie rather than This Is England. One harks back to the empire while the other attempts social realism.
This kind of middle-class nationalism, rooted in a confected history of postwar austerity, has been resurgent in the years since the last royal wedding. The ubiquity of the Keep Calm and Carry On poster is the most obvious symbol…
And then football fans get a kicking. The old hatred is back:
Nationalism now has two faces: that of the far right, signified by a certain sort of caricature of a football supporter and England flags, and now the middle-class right, posh enough to wear chinos while raising a glass to “her maj” in front of a Union Jack. The two aren’t entirely separate: the former is openly racist, the latter a frequent apologist for the British empire.
The football fan wrapped in and England flag and replica kit is “openly racist”, says Foster. In short, the England fans are scum, slum people, the embodiment of everything the knowing liberal elite despise.
Lessons learned? Never again? Nothing of it. The knowing have just found new ways to control the working-classes they deride. Don’t say that. Don’t sing this. Sit down. Pay up. Stay home and watch it on the telly because the seats have been made too pricy for you.
Let’s all have a street party. It’s part of British culture. It’s what the British do. If you want to serve humus, wear a Mexican hat, cheer for the French or tell everyone they’re sad losers, you can. Live and let live is part of the same culture.
Now, where is that flag and Jamie Vardy mask? C’mon In-ger-land. If we win, we’re having a party…in the street, the fountain, the shopping precinct, the hospital…
A Manchester United “ace” is embroiled in a “vice probe”. The player is David De Gea, the Man United goalkeeper. The Sun says he “faces calls to be left out of Spain’s squad for Euro 2016”. The Times talks of “Spanish turmoil”. The Star cranks it up and leads with news that De Gea is “linked to child porn probe”.
But Spain’s manager says De Gea is going nowhere. What turmoil? What calls? As the Guardian notes:
“I think De Gea has given all the explanations he had to give and he has made it clear that he has nothing to do with this issue,” said the Spain coach Del Bosque. “He said that to the whole squad too. We all met up and the lad, calmly and sincerely, has explained that he has nothing to do with this issue. The squad is here to support him at all times and to give him the affection he needs at these times. Everything is normal and we’ll carry on.”
De Gea is not going home. Spain are calm.
So why is “Spain’s main man between the sticks” in the news ?
In “‘IT IS ALL A LIE’ Man Utd star David De Gea denies organising underage sex parties for footie pals”, the Sun delivers the facts. “De Gea has been named by a protected witness in court documents which claim he contracted a prostitute against her will.”
He says it’s all nonsense. “It is all a lie,” the Sun quotes him as saying. “I feel even stronger about staying with the national team… it is all false and it is in my lawyers hands. I never thought about leaving. It gives me more strength to train even harder.” The Sun adds:
Spanish website El Diario reports the stunning allegations were part of evidence given to prosecutors in a high profile case that saw porn baron Torbe, real name Ignacio Allende Fernandez arrested. The pot-bellied director was remanded in custody in April after being accused of running a prostitution ring and using under-age girls for his shoots.
Torbe was remanded in custody in April charged with offences including sex attacks, sexual exploitation and child pornography. The protected witness, who claims she was forced into the prostitution ring, said she was taken to a Madrid hotel and introduced to another girl and two footballers.
Once in a room with the other girl, the witness – known in police interview papers as TP3 – said that she was told by Torbe that she had to comply with the sexual demands of the two Under-21 internationals. When she said she did not wish to take part, she claimed to police that Torbe “grabbed her forcefully by the arm”.
The Times says Ignacio Allende Fernández is also being questioned into alleged money laundering and extortion. We get a few more facts:
According to newspaper reports, a witness has come forward to police — who is known only as TP3 — and claimed that she and another woman were taken to a Madrid hotel and forced against their will to take part in sex acts with Iker Muniain, the Athletic Bilbao striker, and another player, who has not been identified, and were victims of both “physical and sexual abuse” at their hands. She claimed the meeting had been arranged by De Gea and Fernández. The 25-year-old former Atletico Madrid goalkeeper was not alleged to have taken part.
Muniain denies any wrongdoing. The other alleged player is unidentified.
Neither De Gea nor Muniain has been accused of any offence or called to give evidence by police or the judge investigating the case, but the police unit conducting the investigation — codenamed “Universal” — say she shows “a high degree of credibility,” it is claimed. They have ruled out the possibility that she is trying to discredit the people concerned for “economic or personal interests”. She has alleged that neither woman was paid for the encounter, although Fernández was.
It’s all a very nasty business. De Gea is accused of having committed no crime. It cannot be good for his morale and focus to be linked to such vile alleged crimes, but to say the entire Spanish team is in turmoil as a result of the case is baseless.
“We have a fantastic security team and we have been informed of all the French security as well. So from our point of view we have nothing to worry about. We are able to focus on what we are here for – and that’s the football.”
And the German “Wimps”?
But nervous German star Jerome Boateng has ordered his wife and children to stay at home during the championships because of terror fears. Bayern Munich defender Boateng, 27, was playing for Germany at the Stade de France the night three suicide bombers blew themselves up outside. He said: “My family and children will not be coming to the stadium. The risk is simply too big.”
What a wimp, eh.
Having shamed Germans for one man’s entirely sane decision not to invite his loved ones to watch the football in a country where last time he was in town Islamists murdered scores of people, the Star tells its readers one day later:
Ex-SAS gunners guard Roy’s Boys from ISIS
ENGLAND’S stars have been assured a crack squad of ex-SAS troops is standing by to whisk them to safety if terrorists strike at Euro 2016.
Brave. That’s the only word for it.
Lock up your sons and daughters – the sex bots are coming. The Mail warns:
Teenagers may lose their virginity to sex robots in the future, a leading expert predicted yesterday. Professor Noel Sharkey, emeritus professor of robotics at Sheffield University, warned that android sex dolls may have damaging consequences for society.
He said that just as the rise of internet porn took the Government by surprise, a similarly seismic robot revolution is on the way – with far-reaching consequences.
Seismic stuff. did the earth move for you?
“It’s not a problem having sex with a machine. But what if it’s your first time, your first relationship? What do you think of the opposite sex then? What do you think a man or a woman is?… It will get in the way of real life, stopping people forming relationships with normal people.”
In Dusseldorf, Germany, a refugee camp has burned to the ground. Why?
Daily Star: “FASTING FURIOUS – A refugee camps was burned down by hungry migrants after they missed their Ramadan breakfast. They claimed nobody work them in time to eat before beginning their Islamic dawn-to-dusk fast.”
The camp is “home to 280 refugees”
BBC: “Ramadan meal row ‘prompted German fire’ at Duesseldorf shelter”
German investigators “say a group of men who were not fasting had complained that their lunch portions were too small.”
Such are the facts.
Good news! The Sun says the dire England Supporter’s Band, players of infernal rackets that puncture the life from England fans lungs, are “banned” from the Euros.
The paper says the band, “known for anthems like the Great Escape” has provided “the soundtrack at Three Lions matches” for 20 years. That’s not journalism – that’s a PR missive from Public Health England, who would soon have all fans, not just the weak-minded ones, dressed in jesters hats and as crusaders, harping on about The Lions and singing State-approved ditties on cue. Message to all: it’s not rugby. Stop it.
The elites, the witless and other no-marks enjoy having their chants provided by the England’ Supporters’ Band, football’s version of trad jazz, that theme music for lost causes. You might not have joined in with 10 German Bombers, No Surrender to the IRA or even In-ger-land, but if you don’t let the fans sing what they want to you end up with the hideously chirpy Great Escape and never will rejoice in the spontaneity of “Let’s all have a disco”.
Ban the band. And never ever let them back.
The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals says Adrian King can pursue claims that officials at Huttonsville Correctional Center illegally threatened him into consenting to the June 2013 surgery, “or risk being segregated from other inmates and lose his eligibility for parole.”
“The interest in bodily integrity involves the most personal and deep-rooted expectations of privacy, and here, the nature of the surgery itself, surgery into King’s penis, counsels against reasonableness,” says the Virginia-based appeals court.
King now complains of “tingling and numbness” when his bellend is touched “or when it rains, snows or gets cold.” Or when he puts it in blender, uses it to mix drinks in a coffee shop, or fills it with ink and uses it as a biro. If King’s penis history is any guide, his knob could end up in all manner of unusual situations.
King adds that officials hurt his feelings whenever they called him “Marble Man”.
King, who is seeking compensatory and punitive damages, is (ball)baring up well.
Married Vernon Kay and Tess Daly put on a “show of strength”. The telly twosome “put on a united front as they stepped out for the first time since his latest sexting scandal”. So says the Daily Star.
Kay, the world’s blandest TV presenter, is allegedly “back in contact”, although not literally, with Page 3 stunna Rhian Sugden. There are no allegations the pair have ever met, let alone shagged. Vernon and Rhian’s alleged relationship is all about texting. Whereas we used to get tales of five-time-a-night romps with love rats, tabloid readers now get to read text messages.
Anyhow, This is all news because Kay and Daly were on a night out at Jimmy Carr’s London home. The Sun also spotted Vernon and Tess. They were walking “hand in hand” as they left’s Carr’s house party. They were “all smiles”.
But over in the Mail, the same story is headlined, “The awkward party.” Victoria Ibitoye says, “Daly was not the only one who looked like she would rather be elsewhere”. Daly “looked far from pleased clutching the hand of Vernon Kay”.
But over on the Mail Online, readers enjoy pictures of Daly and Kay over the caption “Going strong: Tess Daly and husband Vernon Kay looked very much a united couple as they held hands while leaving their friend Jimmy Carr’s house party in London on Monday night” and “Smiling: The pair looked extremely happy as they stayed close to one another.”
Was the Mail at two different parties?
Dr Eva Carneiro turned to the courts when Chelsea failed to take a stand against her co-worker Jose Mourinho, who publicly humiliated her. Having rejected the club’s offer of £1.2 million to shut up and go away, Dr Carneiro continued to sue for justice.
Yesterday she settled her dismissal claim against Chelsea on confidential terms. She had claimed constructive dismissal against Chelsea. In addition she reached a discrimination settlement against Jose Mourinho.
Chelsea said it apologised “unreservedly”for its treatment of its former first-team doctor.
“The club regrets the circumstances which led to Dr Carneiro leaving the club and apologises unreservedly to her and her family for the distress caused. We wish to place on record that in running onto the pitch Dr Carneiro was following both the rules of the game and fulfilling her responsibility to the players as a doctor, putting their safety first.”
Mourinho, who denied calling the medic “daughter of a whore” (she alleged that he did) never issued a public apology. The Chelsea statement merely noted:
“Jose Mourinho also thanked Dr Carneiro for the excellent and dedicated support she provided as first team doctor and he wishes her a successful career.”
But why should Jose says sorry? The Manchester United manager (£15m a year) remains good ol’ Jose in the Mail, whereas the victim is a moody woman who got lucky:
“It’s horrible to think about that now because it pooed everywhere and we were left wondering what we’d eaten. We decided to have the rest on Sunday but when I dropped the leaves on my plate I just saw this thing in my hand. I thought, ‘what on earth is this?’.
“It frightened me to death and my wife was extremely upset. I’ve never seen anything like it in my life.
“I could probably have coped if it was something small, like an ant, but this was more like something from the Bible. I can’t believe it was still alive after all that time in the bag, first on the shelf and then in our fridge.
“It’s worrying because the bag says the salad’s ready washed but they obviously haven’t cleaned it that well. When the shock had passed we just had some cheese sandwiches… I’d like to think the locust might go to an insect expert who can find a use for it.”
That salad sounds revolting – even a locust won’t eat the stuff.
Former Chelsea team doctor Eva Carneiro is at an employment tribunal. Did former Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho call her “daughter of a whore” who was only suited to working with the juniors or the “ladys [sic]”? Mourinho, now at Manchester United, might not care about the ruling. After all, the case hasn’t prevented him from joining Manchester United.
The Times says Carneiro rejected an offer for £1.2m to settle out of court. She claims constructive dismissal against Chelsea. She also claims, in another case, that Mourinho targeted her for sexual discrimination.
You will recall, of course, how this nasty row started last August, when Mourinho, the then Chelsea boss, hurled abuse at Carneiro as she raced onto the pitch to treat Chelsea player Eden Hazard. Mourinho says he yelled “filho da puta” (son of a bitch). She says he yelled “filha da puta” (daughter of a bitch or daughter of a whore).
What Mourinho did say, after Carneiro was banished from the bench, was, “She works in academy team or lady [sic] team not with me.”
Such are the facts.
And what of the reporting on alleged sexism in football? Well, the Star pretty much carries on regardless. An educated women in her early middle-age is a “girl doc”:
John Oliver is the news king of talk telly. But unlike Oprah, he’s not giving away free cars – he’s burning cash! The host of HBO’s Last Week Tonight is a hero:
“Any idiot can get into it, and I can prove that to you, because I’m an idiot and I started a debt buying company and it was disturbingly easy,” Oliver said. John Oliver forgave nearly $15 million of medical debt with a tap of a giant red button on Sunday night.
No. Wrong. It was cracking TV. But he did not do as CNN said he did. He purchased his lot on the secondary market at a huge discount.
Last Week Tonight spent about $50 to create a debt-acquisition company in Mississippi. The corporation’s name is Central Asset Recovery Professionals Inc – also known as Carp. According to Oliver, soon after its creation, Carp was offered a portfolio of medical debt worth $14,922,261.76 at a cost of “less than half a cent on a dollar, which is less than $60,000”.
Not $15m, then. And at $60,000 it was a marketing and PR bargain.
It’s Euro 2016 and the newspapers are full of fear. Today’s Fear Story is in the Sun, where we learn that the England’s team hotel is next to a dogging site. The Sun says people have had sex in the grounds near the five-star Auberge du Jeu de Paume in Chantilly.
The Sun has seen racy photos posted on a French dogging site. One shows a woman sat by a wall at the Chateau de Chantilly. She is topless. “Art-loving England manager Roy Hodgson is expected to encourage his squad to visit the chateau which houses masterpieces by Raphael, Delacroix and Poussin.” Some are nudes, maybe.
Roy might care to rouse the troops on Wednesday and Fridays, when, as the Sun says, the doggers convene. The paper even produces a map of the area and adds a picture of former England player and now TalkSport commentator Stan Collymore asking, “What time is kick off?” In 2004, Collymore, reportedly, “confessed to having sex with strangers in car parks – an underground practice known as dogging.”
But dogging can occur in both underground and overground car parks. Dogs go free.
In Wales there are dragons. There are also unicorns.Turks know this, which is why Turkey’s customs officers allowed Emily Harris, 98, to pass though customs with a passport identifying her as a unicorn.
The passport belongs to Emily’s toy unicorn, Lily Harris. Emily’s mum, Nicky, handed it to the boarder goons who stamped it and waved Nicky through.
Says Nicky, 43, from Cwmbran, South Wales: “I didn’t realise until I was putting the passports away. There was a moment of panic when I thought someone would come chasing after us, but nothing. The passport doesn’t even look real – it’s got gold teddy bears on the front and was a completely different size from mine and my husband, Allen’s. The man even asked Emily how old she was, and she told him nine, before he stamped it. The picture ID wasn’t even of Emily, it was of a pink unicorn. And to make it worse, the unicorn wasn’t even on holiday with us.
She adds: “It’s a worry to any parent, how easy it would be to smuggle a child through customs and into another country.”
Not to mention child unicorns.
On Vox, news of a problem with Uber:
Partnering with a country that won’t let women drive is a huge PR blunder for Uber
Eh? Women can’t drive in oil-rich Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia’s dictators invest $3.5 billion in a taxi company. Join the dots. Kerching!
Amazing facts in the Hindustan Times:
According to a new study in the UK, overweight infants consume larger meals but they do not eat more often than healthy toddlers. Hayley Syrad from University of London in the UK and colleagues used parent-reported intake for 2,564 children aged 4-18 months to study meal size and meal frequency in relation to weight.
The BBC has more news from the “experts”:
The report found overweight children were consuming larger meals than their counterparts (141 calories versus 130 calories). Report author Hayley Syrad, from University College, London, said: “The research suggests eating frequency is having no impact on weight and it’s not that parents of larger children are giving them an extra Mars bar or apple – it’s that their portions are bigger.”
Yes, it is true! Fat people eat more than skinny people. Who knew?
Did you know that watching William Shakespeare on the telly is dangerous to any young minds tuning in? As part of the year’s Shakespeare celebration, the BBC is going large on the Bard. In the Times, Russell T Davies, executive producer of the BBC’s new adaptation of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, explains why he’s censored the original script. It is wonderful nonsense, entirely in keeping with the kind of bilge people in the arts spout when they talk about Will. Invariably, they make it all about themselves:
Russell T Davies said that he had excised the scenes in which Helena threatens suicide over her love for Demetrios because he believed that they were not fit for broadcast in the modern day. He said that he did not want the suggestion that a young woman would commit suicide because of thwarted love…
When a member of the audience at the Hay Festival asked whether he would change the ending of Romeo and Juliet, so that a young woman did not herself over love, he described the question as trite, and said he was offended that the comparison had been drawn.
Shakespeare is not set in stone. Adaptation keep it all alive an relevant, not least of all the pupils in class forced to study it, who seek shortcuts to the tricky texts through TV and video. But when you start cutting out the bits you don’t like it all smacks of censorship:
“I don’t care what Shakespeare was thinking, I don’t care, it is my name on it. It was standard in 1590 for a woman in a love story to say that I am about to kill myself. It is not standard now. I am deliberately hoping to get young girls watching. I will not transmit lines in which women are so much in love that they are threatening to commit suicide.”
Exit, pursued by a chicken.
PS – if you want young girls to watch, hire Kim Kardashian to play Bottom.
No-one likes a grass. But no-one told 6-year-old Robbie Richardson from Quincy, Massachusetts.
When young Robbie saw his dad drive through a red light on their journey home, he vowed to call the police. When they arrived home Robbie did as promised, dialling 911 and grassing up his father, Michael Richardson.
“My dad went past the red light and I told him that I was going to call the police,” Robbie told the police. “Red means stop, green means go, yellow means slow.”
Language changes. New words arrive and old words go out of fashion. Some people can’t wait. They want words banned. They want less words. In the Guardian Jessica Valenti writes on Paula Broadwell, a woman best known for her affair with married US military type David Petraeus:
In a New York Times profile, Broadwell talks about her behind-the-scenes campaign to get media outlets to stop using the word “mistress”, a term that has no similar male counterpart.
She wants the word banned.
“On the one hand, I don’t want to define myself by this” she told the Times. “But on the other hand, I’ve been defined by this. So if I can change things for the better because of it, then why not?”
We know what mistress means. It is well defined. Ban it and what will we use instead to describe a woman who dates and shags a married man? Valenti agrees with the ban:
Why stop at “mistress”, though? It’s hardly the only word reserved for women…. A man is a “bachelor” but a woman is a “spinster”. (Please spare me the argument that “bachelorette” is a word ever used outside of reality television and drunken parties.)
So mister is out, then?
We even use “female” words to insult men. On the first day of an English class I took in college, for example, the professor asked us what words were the worst things you could call a woman.
Dear. Call a woman “dear” as in “yes, dear” and watch.
In minutes, the board was filled with misogynist invectives – words like “slut” and “cunt”. When she asked us to do the same thing for men, the board filled up again: all the worst words you could use against a man – “bitch”, “pussy”, etc – were also distinctly female.
Balls. I’d go for knob, prick, dickhead, wanker – and feel free to use them toward women, in the spirit of equality. Or maybe we can ban all those words and just go for the unisex “arse”.
How do you fend off carjackers? On YouTube, we find an answer:
When this foot switch is pressed, two things happen. One, a 14-thousand volt spark would appear here in this nozzle, and then you have these four jets here shooting out gas. Liquid gas from the gas bottle in the boot. Liquid gas, as soon as it exits over the spark here, will ignite and a ball of flame will shoot out of both side of the vehicle. Incapacitating the hijackers immediately.”
Amazingly perhaps, the system’s legal in South Africa – provided the driver is acting in self defence as depicted in this mock-up.
Joseph Fuller, 65, picked up the wrong child went he meant to collect his grandson from Edisto Primary School in South Carolina on May 19.
He was not alone in this case of mistaken identity:
The report said the grandfather approached the boy, gave him a hug, and said he was there to pick him up early. He asked the boy, who he thought was his grandson, if he was ready to go and the little boy said “yes.” A teacher’s assistant told deputies that she asked the student, “Was this your granddad?” and the student said “yes.” At that point, the report said, the student and the man went to the front office so the boy could be signed out. According to the school, the grandfather was on the approved list of people who can pick up students. The report goes on to say the grandfather put the child in his car and his wife, without turning around in the car, handed the boy a Happy Meal.
When they got home, Fuller looked at the child again. “He had a tooth missing in the front, and I know my grandson did not have a tooth missing in the front,” he says. “Immediately, I brought him back to school, and I am very sorry.”
One more reason to vote to leave the European Union arrives. “The internet is a place for free speech, not hate speech,” says Vera Jourova, the EU commissioner responsible for justice, consumers and gender equality.
Jourova was born in 1964 Czechoslovakia. She grew up under Communist rule. You might suppose she’d know better than to meddle with hard-won freedoms. She says she understands what freedom means. Vera Jourova loves free speech. But Vera Jourova wants to censor free speech, to shackle it. The bits she does not like, she calls hate speech. These parts of free speech, says its champion, must be banned. And because the undemocratic EU works the way it does, what she says goes for every country in the bloc.
There’s a lot about European regulations, or regulatory intentions, that U.S. Internet giants don’t like. They hate being described and treated as monopolies, and a mention of paying taxes where they operate — as European countries have long wanted them to do — instantly puts them on the defensive. Yet ask Facebook, Microsoft, Twitter and YouTube to censor their content, and they will happily oblige. Of all the U.S. rules that have allowed them to get as big as they have become, freedom of speech appears to be least important.
The four U.S. companies have accepted a European Union-dictatedcode of conduct, which obliges them to “review the majority of valid notifications for removal of illegal hate speech in less than 24 hours and remove or disable access to such content.” The reviewing is to be done by “civil society organizations” and “trusted reporters”: the EU and its member states are to “ensure access” to them…
Laws limiting free speech have a tendency to change in response to terrorist attacks, electoral upsets, changes in public attitudes. Russians and Turks can attest to how quickly anti-terrorist legislation can turn into a system of censorship and suppression. Europe is not immune to versions of these developments. The U.S. giants’ willingness to work with governments and advocacy groups to uphold speech limitations makes them unreliable as platforms.
On Twitter, a few see the dangers:
You can vote to change this. You can vote ‘out’.
On the day the two women who murdered two-year-old Liam Fee ride high on the news cycle, the Guardian features the words of Professor Mirko Bagaric, Director of the Centre for Evidence-Based Sentencing at Deakin University, Melbourne. His story is entitled:
Why we should close women’s prisons and treat their crimes more fairly
Liam Fee was murdered by his mother and her wife, who also tortured two other boys.
Women almost never scare us; commit random acts of serious violence; violate our sexual integrity; or form organised crime networks and yet their prisons numbers are now the highest in recorded history.
Women “almost never scare us”.
The homogeneity of the human species breaks down when it comes to criminal behaviour. Women, who constitute slightly more than 50% of population, commit only about 20% of all crime. They commit even a lower portion of all serious crime.
Serious crime is a full-time job. Maybe the women involved with serious criminals prefer to run the home. And do we talk about serious criminals’ mothers yet?
Moreover, when it comes to sexual offences, rounded off to the nearest whole number, women constitute 0% of all offenders – that’s right, zero.
Liam Fee was beaten to death. The other boys were forced to strip, tied to chairs, caged and told they would be castrated by a drill the women kept hidden.
And as the Guardian puts it elsewhere:
Such are the facts.
Rachel Telfa, 31, and Nayomi Fee, 29, murdered their two-year-old son, Liam Fee, by beating him to death in March 2014. The couple were in a civil partnership. Telfa was the child’s birth mother. Both women denied killing Liam. There is every chance they still think they did nothing wrong. Indeed, as Trelfa was found guilty of murdering her son, she mouthed “I did not”. The tabloids report:
Daily Mirror (front page): “MOTHERS OF ALL EVIL”
That’s an odd headline given that the women were the mothers not of evil, rather an innocent child.
Page 4-5: “NOW CAGE THEM”
Well, that seems likely. The women – or one of them; the court could not decide which – hit Liam so hard in the abdomen his heart ruptured. Fee and Telfa tried to pin the blame on a six-year-old boy, one of two boys other than Liam who seem to have been living with the couple in Fife, Scotland. The women were found guilty of abusing the two other boys, including keeping one in a cage, forcing them to eat dog poo and vomit, and mentally torturing them. Fee told one she had killed his father with a drill she kept to castrate young boys.
In order to implicate the innocent boy in Liam’s murder, Fee shoved his hands into the dead’s boy’s mouth to leave traces of his DNA on the corpse. When paramedics arrived she told them Liam had been strangled by the other child.
We then get to know more of the killers’ lives. The Mirror says the women got drunk “and watched Shameless on TV”. It wasn’t all bad telly because the paper says Telfa kept a horse at riding stables. We get the lowlights, but the normality escapes reporting. It is the ordinary that helped mask their crimes.
In Voice of The Mirror, the women are labelled “monsters”. They are not. They are human beings. That’s what makes them terrifying.
The paper than tries to make some point. It says the killers “demonstrated sadistic women can be as depraved as violent men”. Why not violent women and sadistic men? Why is this even worth saying? The story has nothing to do with men behaving badly. Indeed, the only men to feature in it are the judge who found the women guilty and Liam’s father, Joseph Johnson, 33, who “sobbed uncontrollably” in court.
The Sun (Page 9): Tortured to death”
Liam was killed my his mum and “her lesbian partner”. He had more than 30 injuries, including “two broken legs and fractured arms”. As they were found guilty, the women “showed no emotion”. But the Times said Trelfa spoke out.
The Sun says the innocent 6-year-old framed for the killing “initially admitted he had strangled” Liam. It was only under questioning by police that the whole story came out. The child – not social services – cracked the case. He said Fee would make him lies on the floor. She’d place his foot on his next until he passed out. She beat him often.
Daily Express (Page 21): ” Lesbian loves face life for savage murder of Liam, 2″
The killers’ sexual orientation is to the fore. Sadly, the facts are less certain from there. The Express says the boy bullied into claiming he had killed Liam is age 7. Fee told one boy she killed his father not with a drill, as the Sun claims, rather with a “saw”. Fee and Trelfa are not merely “lovers”, they are a married couple, tying the knot in 2012.
Daily Mail (Page 6-7): “Lesbian couple battered son, 2, so brutally his heart ruptured”.
The Mail places the State in the dock:
Horrific failings by social services were exposed yesterday as a mother and her civil partner were found guilty of murdering her two-year-old son.
Liam was failed.
Karen Pedder, a manager with Fife Council, told the court a caseworker had been assigned to investigate reports of abuse after the concerns were first raised in January 2013.
But a social worker and a police officer sent to visit the family had accepted the ‘plausible explanation’ given that he had simply bumped his head. The social worker who had been dealing with Liam’s case then went off sick in April and it was not looked at again until the nursery got in touch in June, she said.
During cross-examination, Rachel Fee’s defence counsel Brian McConnachie asked: ‘What seems to have happened here is basically, as far as Liam is concerned, this case just went off the radar?’
Mrs Pedder replied: ‘It did. Yes.’ She said a case would normally be reviewed after about four weeks, but this had not happened.
Hideous stuff. And what also hurts is that Liam Johnson was renamed Liam Fee, forced to carry the name of his abuser. Our thoughts must be with his father.