Mehdi Kazemi is granted asylum in the UK.
Mehdi, now 20, was studying in the UK when Parham (his boyfriend) was arrested for the crime of homosexuality by the Iranian government. Mehdi was named by his boyfriend and warned he was liable to arrest on his planned return. The UK Home Office denied him asylum [despite a thoughtful campaign by human rights campaigners
] - because it was said he had overstayed his student visa and was therefore not seen as genuinely seeking asylum. So he escaped to the Netherlands. That's where it gets complicated. [more inside]
US has right to kidnap any defendant, anywhere, anytime,
says it's UK lawyer. Until now it was commonly assumed that US law permitted kidnapping only in the “extraordinary rendition” of terrorist suspects. The American government has for the first time made it clear in a British court that the law applies to anyone, British or otherwise, suspected of a crime by Washington. [more inside]
reveals British Police knowingly
employed serial killers
as informers. Or should that be "knowingly employed informers as serial killers
There's a killer on the loose...and he's targetting working girls
in your provincial
English town. Some are in such dire straits that they go back out to work
even after the first body
According to some, sex workers "are more terrified of starving than of murder
In the words of Carrie Mitchell, "It's no wonder when women are thrown off welfare...that they turn to prostitution to survive."
"How do you ask the Police
for help when you may have a warrant out for arrest and an ASBO
Is it really unthinkable to consider the prostitutes claim: "Would decriminalisation really make women safer
Legendary radio DJ John Peel dies of heart attack at 65.
Peel's contribution to modern music and culture was "immeasurable".
Blair on the slide
Charles Kennedy's dreams may come true next spring, it seems [UKfilter].
was the 13th Anniversary of Freddie Mercury's death, whilst [almost] coincidentally, tomorrow marks the occasion of the 13th Mercury Music Prize
, which he had nothing to do with
In that time, we've seen classical-punk piano recitals
nominated, agit-prop rockers repeatedly snubbed
and Radiohead routinely listed but falling short [though not this year.]. It's always a varied list, but are you
really interested in the obscure, the fusion, the orchestral and the jazz?
Listen to 'em all here
, and fill up the gaps here
. A complete list of past nominees and winners can be found here
, and the bookies seem to rate both The Streets
and Franz Ferdinand
worthy of the accolade, according to odds published here
Will ascullion again pick the winner? Listen on the web to find out tomorrow, midnight GMT, or watch on digital TV in the UK .
Previous years' threads here.
BBC Test the Nation: Popular Music.
UK centric [slightly] quiz in the Test The Nation series [- but allows a 'not UK' option.]
write the theme from 'The Office' Handbags & Gladrags
Dial-Up For Murder.
So, you're a typical geeky teenage boy with serious angst and a death wish
. How do you commit the fatal deed?
an older boy by writing 50,000 lines of fantasy, inventing 8 characters, including a female spy offering sex, meet up to buy a blade, and voila! - redefine murder plots
for us all.
It’s not a mass-produced American product.
It's either "a turnaround in American publishing, or... radically wrongheaded" - but it looks like The Guardian may be launching a version in the USA soon.
Could such a venture lead to the demise of the venerable old Fleet Street institution, owned by an independent trust
? Is it overreaching ambition or a daring entry into niche market?
More interesting to me, are there any similar non-profit media organisations in your part of the world (wherever that may be)?
Queen's intervention leads to acquittal in Regina v. Burrell.
Princess diana's butler, Paul Burrell - her 'rock' - is acquitted of theft from Princess Diana after Queen Elizabeth admits her knowledge of his 'caretaking' of Diana's property. This case has always smacked of a class divide - surely we shouldn't let the hoi-polloi be so close to their uppers and betters? Surely Diana wouldn't really let a mere butler have her precious momentos?
Is this farce one more nail in the British Monarchy's coffin? Or, as the popular weakness
of the movement towards the abolition of the uk monarchy
attests, will the Windsors ride this out, as they did the opposition they encountered after the death of 'The Queen of Hearts'?
[More republican links here]
The Bolan Tree
Today is the 25th Anniversary of the accident in which folk-singer turned glam pioneer Marc Bolan died. The tree
his car hit - driven by his partner, soul singer/producer Grace Jones
- has been purchased by a fan group [T-Rex Action Group], who have also contributed a bust sculpted by Canadian Jean Robillard
(with Quebec Government Cultural Attaché to Great Britain attending the unveiling today).
You may not think you know his music, but if you've seen Velvet Goldmine
or Billy Elliot
, watched the NBA Playoffs on TNT [using 'Get It On/Bang A Gong'
], or ever wondered where the ubiquitous '20th Century Boy'
[with the definitive power chord + squeal opening burst] comes from, now you know.
Marc inspired devotion in his fans, and respect from the likes of Bowie, the Damned and Billy Idol in his own lifetime - and influenced musicmakers like The Strokes & The Red Hot Chili Peppers [according to this article in The Philidelphia Enquirer
Dandy's in the Underworld, indeed.
, who once assured us that "ridicule is nothing to be scared of"
, admits pub affray
& has been remanded on bail, after using a fake gun to take revenge on pub-goers that took the piss out of his clothes!
Adam seems to have suffered quite a lot - both before
and after - his heyday, and his behaviour has led to him being compulsorily detained on at least one occasion.
Quite apart from the fact that Police do not seem shy of killing anyone
who could be a threat and might be armed with a pistol
, has there ever been such an exact fall from grace for a celebrity - whose personal 'philosophy' came back to haunt him like a Shakespearean tragedy?
AOL's UK tax break to end...next year?!!?
To those that hath, shall be given.
For some years now, the worlds largest online service
(now part of the worlds largest media co.) has been allowed a $30m./year
exemption from Value Added (sales & services) Tax - VAT. This has been blamed on European Union legislation by Customs & Excise
, who await the Brussels behemoths decision - as we all do - with baited breath.
Is it just a case of sour grapes by their rivals, especially Freeserve
, now owned by one of Europe's largest media companies - Wanadoo - or was there a real distinction between ISP
and Content Provider
Surely, there must be a defence for this - 'Devil's Advocate'