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.
Normally the only sounds disturbing the peace of our university towns come from sound systems and pizza delivery bikes, and the only horseshit is that which emanates from the social science department. That all changed this year, with the expansion in operations at UniBaggage.com, a company which hitherto concerned itself with transporting students’ worldly possessions to and from their alma mater. The company now offers a Very Important Fresher service, which allows students to ‘arrive with champagne in hand, to start as you mean to go on’.
MADELEINE McCann is back in the news. Sky News is with “TROLLS” who have abused the missing child’s parents online. There is not a shred of proof Kate and Gerry McCann were involved in their daughter’s vanishing. But people say nasty things online.
Some ‘trolls’ used to say them in the Press. The McCanns were libeled. They won damages.
The media was unable to stick to the most basic facts. This was single thread story being spun. A child had gone missing. That was the only fact.
Today, Sky introduces us to a woman who tweetes by the name “Sleepy Face”. Cameras are outside her home. The voiceover alleges she says vile things “from the heart of this peaceful village”, as if location matters. Sleepyface, a presentable middle-aged woman, tells Sky she hopes she has broken no laws.
THE papers lead with Yusra Hussein. She’s left the UK to join ISIS. Well, so they say. Yusra travelled to Turkey with a 17-year-old. And then we don’t know what she did.
HOW are George Galloway’s moves to make Bradford an ‘Israel free zone’ going? Is Bradford a hotbed of racial intolerance and bigotry? No:
Now, two Muslim women have invited an Israeli-born poet to take part in Bradford’s literature festival this weekend. The festival will also feature a walking tour highlighting the city’s Jewish heritage, which includes the poet Humbert Wolfe and the artist Sir William Rothenstein. Bradford’s Jewish population has now dwindled to 299, according to the 2011 census, compared with 129,041 Muslims.
The Israeli-born poet and playwright Atar Hadari will perform at a multi-faith event in Bradford’s last remaining synagogue, which was saved from ruin last year after a group of local Muslims chipped in to keep it going. The event, called Sacred Poetry, is billed as an “uplifting celebration of divine music and verse from across the religious spectrum”[.]
Budapest has announced that it will freeze its gas deliveries to Ukraine, as the Hungarian prime minister, Viktor Orban, said his country could not afford to run the risk of losing its own Russian gas supplies.
“Hungary cannot get into a situation in which, due to the Russian-Ukrainian conflict, it cannot access its required supply of energy,” Orban said on state radio following threats from Moscow.
Hungary’s gas pipeline network operator FGSZ said late on Thursday that it had suspended supplies to neighbouring Ukraine indefinitely for technical reasons, a move Ukraine’s state-owned gas firm Naftogaz described as “unexpected and unexplained”.
Orban’s statement followed a warning from Moscow that it could cut off European countries that have been re-exporting gas to Ukraine to help Kiev cope with Moscow’s energy sanctions.
The threat came as energy chiefs gathered in Berlin for EU-mediated talks aimed keeping Russian gas supplies to Ukraine flowing and preventing parts of the country being left without winter heating.
The European commission rapped Hungary, an EU member state, for cutting off its so-called reverse flow supplies to Ukraine.
“The message from the commission is very clear. We expect all member states to facilitate reverse flows as agreed by the European council in the interest of a shared energy security,” the commission spokeswoman Helene Banner said in Brussels.
This cannot end well..
TO Cannock Chase, where paranormal investigator Lee Brickley is on a case. He’s received an email telling of the ghost of a black-eyed child. Lee says the ghoul was first spotted in Staffordshire in the 1980s.
Now it’s front-page news:
In 2013, it was sighted again, by a mum and daughter out walking on Cannock Chase. As with previous sightings, the child “has coal-black pits for eye sockets”.
(Is coal-black still a relevant metaphore for the kids to get? How about as black as a jihadi’s flag? As black as balsamic vinegar? As black as Justin Bieber’s alter-ego?)
This is what she said she saw:
“We instantly started running towards the noise,” she said. “We couldn’t find the child anywhere and so stopped to catch our breath. That’s when I turned round and saw a girl stood behind me, no more than 10 years old, with her hands over her eyes.It was as if she was waiting for a birthday cake. I asked if she was OK and if she had been the one screaming. She put her arms down by her side and opened her eyes. That’s when I saw they were completely black, no iris, no white, nothing. I jumped back and grabbed my daughter. When I looked again, the child was gone. It was so strange.”
“MY intentions were never to cause any ill feelings or trouble. I feel it is an asset and enhances the area and I am aware that many people are enjoying its presence,” says Peter Nelson, 49, talking about the 9ft high crucifix at the top of a Workington slag heap.
THE Telegraph brings news that one in 10 bishops “could be secrely” gay. Or to put it another way, one in 10 bishops could not be secretly gay.
In the Telegraph, John Bingham reports that in his new book (More Perfect Union – Understanding Same-Sex Christian Marriage), Bishop Alan Wilson of Buckingham claims that almost 10% of Church of England bishops “might be gay”. The Bishop observes:
Particular attention sometimes falls on one vulnerable group with especially complex needs – gay Church of England bishops… By 2014 there were said to be a dozen or so gay bishops. By definition, these men are outstanding priests who have managed to navigate the complexities of a structurally homophobic institution well enough to become its iconic representatives. They may well have a bigger investment than others in keeping the closet door tightly shut…
Many who have publicly resisted same-sex marriage also have a dog in the fight arising from personal experience. This can arise from ambivalence or guilt about ways they have handled family members who have come out as gay, as well as their own sexualities… They have more on the line than some others. They also have greater status and security, but some of them may end up among the last people able to understand the need for change and bring it about. This can be expected to be the case especially for gay evangelical bishops, with their historically less well developed networks and support systems.
AN intrepid reporter went undercover to book a ‘Happy Ending’ massage:
“Any ‘rules’ restricting female sexuality are dying as fast as Sex and the City repeats can slay them, and it was only a matter of time before women embraced the notion that ‘quick releases’ aren’t just for men. . . . The bottom line: We like massages and we like orgasms, so why shouldn’t the two sometimes, er, come hand in hand?”
HONG Kong is a scene of anti-government protest. The FT:
The Chinese government faces its biggest challenge since Tiananmen, as tens of thousands of people on Monday joined the huge democracy protests in Hong Kong. Peaceful protesters poured into Admiralty – the scene of Sunday’s tense stand-off – on Monday after the Hong Kong government withdrew platoons of riot police whose use of tear gas generated sympathy for the demonstrators.
The BBC is live-blogging.
We know Donald Trump is a bit thick, but today he excelled himself… and that’s saying something.
In the past, he’s spat that Barack Obama isn’t a real American, demanding to see passports and all that, while back in the ’70s, he was accused of being a massive racist when he called for the death penalty in full page adverts of three black teenagers who were accused of raping a jogger, but exonerated. Oh, and in a book, John R. O’Donnell – former president of Trump Plaza Hotel & Casino – said that Donald once uttered that “laziness is a trait in blacks”.
This isn’t all old news though. Only last year, Trump tweeted that: “According to Bill O’Reilly, 80% of all the shootings in New York City are blacks-if you add Hispanics, that figure goes to 98%, 1% white”.
He’s also made wild claims that vaccines are related to autism, which has been proven to be a complete crock.
GUNS in America: Vaughan Foods Chief Operating Officer Mark Vaughan, a reserve sheriff’s deputy, had a handgun about his person when Alton Nolen beheaded Vaughan employee Colleen Hufford. He shot Nolen twice.
Nolen had brought a knife to a gun fight.
Will Vaughan’s actions increase support for ‘bring gun to work’ laws?
Moore Police Sgt. Jeremy Lewis told the Associated Press that Vaughan’s decision to carry a weapon to work made a big difference in the outcome of the attack. The situation ‘could have gotten a lot worse’ if Vaughan didn’t have this gun, said Sgt. Lewis. ‘This was not going to stop if [Vaughan] didn’t stop it.’”
THIS is just great. A CCTV operator has been convicted of voyeurism.
Ciaran McCleave, 51, of Newtownabbey, Northern Ireland, worked at Antrim Road police station. He spent 79 minutes over a 26-day period staring into the windows of a woman’s home. He spied on the woman for his own “sexual gratification”.Judge Ramsey QC said McCleave’s spying was a “flagrant and wilful abuse of the trust placed in you by the public as a CCTV operator”.
TURKEY is the model for the Arab Middle East, says Roger Scruton:
The Middle East is, as we are discovering, not one thing: on the contrary, it is a patchwork of communities whose peaceful coexistence depended on conditions that no longer exist. And many of those communities are in the habit of producing the two greatest scourges of the human race: young men without women, and puritanical rage …
Thanks to Ataturk polygamy was abolished in Turkey and women were encouraged to enter public life. Their status as the unspeakable ‘secret’ was removed, their faces were revealed, their soothing presence was everywhere perceivable. Thanks also to Ataturk the other great solvent of social tension – alcohol – was permitted and, while drunkenness is rightly viewed with anger all across the Middle East, the example of Turkey has helped many of those ancient communities to let their hair down and relax together over a bottle.
Remove wine and women, however, and the tension quickly escalates.
THE Mirror reports that “White Widow Samantha Lewthwaite” is “training ISIS female suicide bombers in Syria”. As ever, a British education is best.
Training a suicide bomber is easy. But picking a trainer is hard, given that the best coaches will have the fewest appraisals. Take a look at the Death Coach’s website:
‘Sam was a great suicide bomber coach. I’d recommend her to anyone keen in self-pebbledashing a market place or busload of families’ – Wasim.
‘Before Sam I was insecure and full of self-doubt. I’d failed by HND in business studies and the thought of another day stacking shelves in WH Smith’s filled me with a morbid dread. But with Sam’s guidance I came to realise that I truly was better off dead’ – Philip
‘The last words going though my mind were Sam’s advice to real inhale the vapours and count 100 paces before pressing the button on the jet pack’ – Buzz
BIG bellied men make the ebst lovers. Of course they do. Who wants to schtup a lump of gristle?
FAT sex experts atErciyes University in Kayseri, Turkey, tudeied 200 men. They wanted to link body mass index (BMI) and sexual performance.
WHAT is the power of nightmares?
Argentinian cartoonist has created the delicious What There Is Before There Is Anything There: A Scary Story.
CHEMICAL X turns pills into art.
Police Support Officer Jailed Over Gatwick Money Scam Gets Longer Sentence Than Thieving Politicians
THE most effective crimes are the simplest.
A police community support officer who conned air passengers out of thousands of pounds was told she will be separated from her baby as she was jailed for six-and-a-half years today. Alexis Scott told travellers departing from Gatwick that they could not take more than £1,000 in cash out of the country and even held out her hat for them to deposit money.
That is simply brilliant. Softened up by militaristic airport checks, warnings and fear, the uniform needs only ask one more thing: hand over your cash or be detained. Compliance is all.
The scam earned her £13,500.
CHRISTINA Briggs, 26, is fat. And flame-haired. She’s on benefits, too. Give her pair of NHS-supplied false breasts and a ciggie and Briggs would be the nation’s Aunt Sally with her own show on Channel 4. If she’s lucky, she could forge a career as Channel 5′s authentic face of the white working classes, like White Dee did with her stint on Celebrity Big Brother.
The Star leads with Briggs, the “25-stone SPONGER”.
WHEN Numan Haider was shot dead by police in Australia, to some he became a martyr. To other, he was an 18-year-old Islamist and IS fan who’d stabbed one policeman in the neck and slashed another.
Alyse Edwards repots for ABC on abuse spray-painted across the entrance to an Indonesian community mosque in Rocklea, Brisbane. The graffiti opines:
“Muslims are evil and have no respect for our ways”.
“IT’S certainly not something you see every day,” said Aristobulo Olivarez. “He’d been heckling their balloon bending magic act for some time and it seems they’d had enough.”
‘They’ are Minnie and Mickey Mouse, aka Fazzio and Ticiana Yanez, who were entertining people in a Madrid square. A heckler goaed them. Yanez had heard enough. He ripped off his Mickey Mouse head and went for the heckler. Minnie then waded in.
IDIOT cop shoots man who was reaching for his driving licence: