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Weekend Roundup

Had a very nice long weekend — big BBQ and watching the fireworks on Friday, some bodyboarding and bodysurfing on Sunday. Very relaxing. Now back to work. :(

Ben Hammersley notes ‘the All Time Perfect Daily Mail Story’: Asylum Seekers Eat Queen’s Swans:

A major investigation has been launched by Scotland Yard into claims that the Queen’s swans are being stolen in their hundreds by gangs of asylum-seekers who are cooking and eating them.

The probe comes after a group of men were caught red-handed by police in an east London park. The asylum seekers were barbecuing a duck and officers found two dead swans, ready to be roasted, concealed in bags.

A police spokesman said today: We are appealing for information over the disappearance of swans. There have been incidents of swans being killed, and it appears to be the work of eastern European gangs.

It’s a classic of the genre — combining (a) the queen, (b) cute animals (c) fear of immigrants. That covers all the bases except one. Oh, here it is, bingo! — it’s not entirely true:

Yesterday Scotland Yard stated: ‘There is no police report.’ While there is concern fuelled by a drop in the swan population, the police spokeswoman added: ‘There appears to be a perception that this may be attributable to Eastern Europeans. We stress we have no evidence of this.’

A police spokeswoman … added that, despite some efforts, they could not back up published claims that asylum-seekers had been caught in east London barbecuing a duck with dead swans concealed near by ‘ready to be roasted’. Andy Fisher, head of the wildlife investigation unit, appeared equally baffled. ‘I don’t know where they have got that from – not the Metropolitan Police.’

It’s clearly silly season time again.

Quick Iraq roundup: some photos from Baghdad from Gee, another Iraqi blogger (Gee not in the irish slang sense BTW!); MI6 chief was the BBC’s source for ‘sexing-up’ allegations (Observer).

Also, Guantanamo Bay’s military tribunals are hitting the non-US news media again, now that the death penalty has been raised as a possibility. These Observer and Guardian stories note, regarding the two British citizens who’ve been imprisoned for 18 months (one for 12 months in Bagram airbase): ‘If this treatment happened for an hour in a British police station, no evidence gathered would be admissible’.

Next, A left-wing US soldier blogs from Baghdad.

the iraqi’s who are working for the u.s….doing what ever task we throw at them…are not to upset with us…some of them have family members in the states and they hope that someday they will be able to join them…they don’t hate america at all…and they are conscious enough of what is really going on to make their own decisions…they think that we really are trying to help…they are afraid of the ‘militants’ because when ever the ‘militants’ show up and attack us in their neighborhoods we end up destroying everything…many of the guys say that they chase the ‘militants’ out with any weapons they have…they are just trying to get by…they fear that the ‘militants’ are using horrible tactics to enlist more support…they are using our retaliation against us…for every home…or car…or newsstand…or coffee shop we destroy trying to protect ourselves another ‘freedom fighter’ is born…

He talks about Chomsky, links to Michael Moore — so of course, the neo-con warbloggers reckon he doesn’t exist. ;)

Totally down with the new pronunciation of RSS BTW. Waiting for the dust to settle. ho hum.

Finally, Fergus Cassidy, Sunday Tribune tech journo, has a website. Good reading…

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