Friday, 1 February 2008

Feb 1st

International news

Abu Laith Al-Libi, a senior al-Qaeda leader has been killed in Afghanistan after a US missile strike in the North Waziristan area. Now I don’t wish to sound cynical but – I AM. I’ve never heard of this guy, I didn’t know we were looking for him. Really sounds to me like it could just be that there hasn’t been much “good” war news for a while so the next time the army kills a couple of local peasants they get a call “Hey, guys, yeah we need some good news. Just make up a name and a location and make sure it’s got some Als at the beginning and a Stan at the end and we’ll get it out in the press and pretend it matters.” OK boss so Al-Ronaldo Mac Al-Donaldo has been killed following serious fighting in the Cheese-On-Toast-istan area”. Incidentally can you tell I’m hungry writing this...

In a vain attempt to make us think we might have heard of him, they explain “He has appeared in a number of al-Qaeda videos” which is like saying “we’ve shot the dark-haired ugly one on the right in the Boyzone videos” – NOOOO! Shoot Ronan, go for Ronan!

Now they’re saying this dude is in the top half-dozen figures in al-Qaeda that we’re looking for. So I think they should publish a big list of the others, maybe in a big Blue-Peter-style patronising graphic. Like a big test tube which gradually fills up with terrorist blood every time we kill one.

Of course the graphic we really need is a big see-saw showing how many jihadi terrorists we’ve killed versus how many we’ve created with the blindly aggressive shoot-em-up we have the misfortune to call our foreign policy.


And the UK is experiencing a surge in cases of gout. Add this to the recent reports of rising syphilis levels and seems like everybody’s got an 18th century illness. I might develop consumption just to join in.

Experts blame the rise on an increase in the amount of sugary soft drinks being consumed. That’s the gout rise, the syphilis rise is probably more closely correlated with the consumption of sugary alcoholic drinks.


A bizarre new mammal has been discovered in Tanzania. The creature, a type of elephant shrew is described as having a long flexible snout and a bulky body with spindly legs. So it could be the bastard love child of Barry Manilowe and Vanessa Feltz. OK, sorry, didn’t mean to put anyone off their lunch!


A judge in Rio has banned a carnival float which was to have depicted holocaust victims and a Hitler figure. The story has echoes of Britain in 2003 when Felixstowe carnival was forced to apologise for it’s Fred West theme float, sponsored by Wilson and Son Patio Tilers.


A Chinese shopping list thought to be 300 years old has been found in a vase in a York stately home. Archaeologists are now studying the list to see what it can teach us about life in the 18th century far east. One day our shopping lists could be discovered and analysed the same way so lets all plan to put one weird item on each shopping list we write just to confuse archaeologists of the future. Milk, eggs, pasta, giraffe dildo, muesli. Obviously don’t leave that list out for your Mum to get for you when she goes to the shops ... it could backfire.


A DNA survey has revealed that everyone alive today with blue eyes is descended from a single common ancestor. Which means I’m related to Cameron Diaz, Angelina Jolie and Uma Thurman, shame none of them inherited the rest of my good looks.


The Daily Mail has a rather confusing front page caption “And the award for best prime minister goes to...” underneath a photo of David Cameron, who has never been prime minister and Margaret Thatcher, the worst prime minister ever. In fact Mrs Thatcher was being given a lifetime achievement award sponsored by investment bank Morgan Stanley who we all know are the people with the interests of the British public most closely at heart. Cameron took the opportunity to describe Mrs Thatcher as “one of the greatest prime ministers of all time”, saying she had rescued people from “despair”. That would be the despair of having a job, the despair of the protection of trade union membership over pay and conditions and the despair of not being at war.


South Wales police are to adopt American-style phone answering methods in an effort to speed up dealing with 999 calls. In the past they’ve been too polite to ask what the problem is and have had to spend the first five minutes making small talk about the weather. “Lovely day to be out getting mugged isn’t it...” They hope the measures will have the added effect of reducing calls from non-emergencies. Recent – genuine – 999 calls have included people asking for help retrieving £1 deposit from a supermarket trolley and asking whether it’s safe to leave a chicken in the oven overnight.

Lets hope though that the American style of policing doesn’t spread across all aspects of the service in Wales, how scary would this be: [welsh accent] “Up against the wall and assume the position, you cocksucker”


15% of pupils in a survey said Winston Churchill worked in insurance. Their teachers responded (all together now) Oh no, no, no, no, no...

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