Sunday, 16 February 2014



Since posting my article on the horror of FGM earlier in the week, I spotted this headline in today's Mail on Sunday. I'm delighted that this crime continues to be highlighted. I've posted the full article tagged onto my original story. Please scroll down to read.

Police target secret network of travel agents, doctors and taxi drivers who help female genital mutilation continue in Britain
Officers believe the network is allowing the brutal practice to continue. The crime ring uses doctors willing to prescribe pain relief to victims. Despite being banned 28 years ago, no FGM case has come to court. However, Britain's first FGM trial is due to being within weeks


Another subject I also covered earlier in the week was my horror after researching the slave trade (please scroll down to read my posting) after watching the very moving film 12 Years A Slave. In today's Sunday Telegraph they also cover this subject with this headline:

Jamaicans lead Caribbean calls for Britain to pay slavery reparations
Caribbean slave descendants, some of whose ancestors worked for David Cameron's distant family, are calling for an apology and billions of pounds in reparations.
A coalition of 14 Caribbean states, including Jamaicais ready to sue in the courts and has hired Leigh Day, the London law firm that last year won £20 million for Kenyans tortured by the British during the Mau Mau rebellion of the 1950s.
This month it will unveil a list of 10 demands for Britain, France and Holland, including funds likely to total billions, an apology, and assurances slavery will never be repeated,


Today’s Sunday Times headline reads, 250 Jihadis spark UK terror alert.

THE full scale of the terrorist threat to Britain can be revealed today with the disclosure that about 250 British-based jihadis who went to train and fight in Syria have returned home.
Senior security officials say the high number of “returnees” — five times the figure that has been previously reported — underlines the growing danger posed by “extremist tourists” going to the war-torn region.
MI5 and police have already thwarted one serious plot last autumn by a cell of “returnee” jihadis who were allegedly preparing a Mumbai-style gun attack on civilians, probably in a crowded public place in London.
The security services are closely monitoring the 250 returnees, who include several veteran hardliners who have fought in Afghanistan or Pakistan.


I’m delight to see that the BBC paid a tribute to Neil Sedaka. Neil was a guest on my show live from Caesars Palace Las Vegas. After the show I spent a very enjoyable lunch with the legend at Spago’s famous restaurant located in the Forum.

The Sunday Telegraphs Gerard O’Donovan concluded his review of the documentary with the following.
As a documentary, this was more tribute than assessment, with Sedaka doing much of the talking. That said, it had its fascinating moments too, not least relating to Sedaka’s humble Brooklyn origins, his time at New York’s famed Julliard school of music, and most of all his extraordinary magpie-like song writing method which seemed simply to absorb other musical influences and regurgitate them in wholly original form. “I worked hard on the longevity,” he said, and few would say he hadn’t succeeded.


The Independent on Sunday warns us that a Russian satellite Kosmos-1220 to crash to Earth today with ‘very real danger’ to populated areas.

A Russian satellite that could weigh as much as three tonnes is expected to re-enter the Earth’s atmosphere today, reportedly representing a “very real danger” to densely populated areas.
The final movements of Kosmos-1220, a decommissioned Soviet military device, are being monitored by Russian space officials, and Colonel Alexei Zolotukhin told the news agency RIA Novosti that it would begin an uncontrolled descent today.
Though the satellite will largely burn up as it passes through the atmosphere, experts said it was highly likely some fragments will survive to impact the planet’s surface.


Again the Independent on Sunday publishes the following report. Child euthanasia: Too hard to live, too young to die. The decision in Belgium to allow euthanasia for sick children raises questions about the fitness of young people to make life-and-death decisions, and about medical ethics

A dilemma is, by definition, a choice between two unpalatable alternatives. The Belgian parliament by making it legal for any child, at any age, to ask to be killed – if they are "close to death", experiencing "unbearable suffering" and can show they truly "discern" the consequences of what they are asking. The politicians rejected amendments to extend euthanasia to mentally-ill children. But the main proposal was passed with a two-thirds majority. Yet there were those in Belgium with equally compelling arguments against the decision. Some 160 Belgian paediatricians signed an open letter arguing that there was no urgent need for the law.


The Guardian reports: Israel says it is close to developing 'Star Wars' laser missile shield named Iron Beam that will cover entire region Laser shield can intercept drones, rockets, missiles and mortars
High Energy Laser rapidly heats an object until it explodes, makers claim. Rafael Advanced Defense Systems said its lasers destroyed 90% of targets. System is designed to intercept objects current Iron Dome system cannot. Current defense system has destroyed hundreds of Hamas rockets.

An Israeli arms company has revealed details of a laser defense system with 'Star Wars' style technology which can shoot missiles from the sky with a pulse of energy.
State-owned Rafael Advanced Defense Systems said the futuristic military hardware called Iron Beam was almost ready for deployment.
It works by firing a focused laser at targets which are heated so rapidly they disintegrate in an instant.

The arms maker publicised specifications of its High Energy Laser (HEL) at this week's Singapore Airshow, which is Asia's largest aerospace and defense exhibition.
'It's exactly like what you see in Star Wars,' said company spokesman Amit Zimmer. 'You see the lasers go up so quickly like a flash and the target is finished.'

The radical system is the culmination of five years to work involving solid-state lasers by 15 engineers, the company said.
Iron Beam is designed to intercept close-range drones, rockets and mortars which might not remain in the air long enough for Israel's current Iron Dome missile defense system to intercept.


For those of you who are interested most of the Red Tops headlines are covering the birth of Simon Cowell-s baby who he named Eric Phillip Cowell. Eric after his late father and Phillip after his close friend, billionaire, Top Shop owner Sir Phillip Green.

The Sun on Sunday reported, EMOTIONAL Simon Cowell’s tearful first words to his newborn son were: “I’ve waited all my life for you.”

The 54-year-old TV mogul was overcome with pride as he held baby Eric for the first time following his birth on Friday night.
He was with girlfriend Lauren Silverman, 36, after a frantic jet dash to the New York hospital.
Newborn Eric is set for a life of total luxury as heir to the music mogul’s £250million fortune and vast entertainment empire.

The other BIG story is the 5 year contract that footballer Wayne Rooney has just signed with Manchester United for the reported astronomical amount of somewhere between 60 and 70 million ponds!!!!! That works out at around 300,000 per week take or add a few pence!!!! Is he worth it? Well his boss’s seem to think so. Personally if I was offered that amount I’d be ecstatic and I guess so would you????


Three excellent films I watched this week. Starting off with the Bafta nominated 12 Years A Slave. A brilliant film that I found hugely informative and yet very upsetting. In the antebellum United States, Solomon Northup (Chiwetel Ejiofor) a free black man from upstate New York, is abducted and sold into slavery. It is felt that this film will go away with a handful of awards at this evenings Baftas.

The Butler a top class movie . I’m very surprised not to see it on the Bafata nominations list especially the notable performances of Forest Whitaker and Oprah Winfrey. The film follows As Cecil Gaines (Whitaker) serves eight presidents during his tenure as a butler at the White House, the civil rights movement, Vietnam, and other major events affect this man's life, family, and American society.

On a lighter note I enjoyed the romantic comedy The Hangover which follows the paths of three buddies who wake up from a bachelor party in Las Vegas, with no memory of the previous night and the bachelor missing. They make their way around the city in order to find their friend before his wedding.

On TV: the highlight of this weeks viewing was ITV’s Peirce Morgan’s Life Stories.

Peirce’s guest this week was cricketing legend Sir Ian Botham who opened up to admit he was a “bloody idiot” for cheating on his wife Kath and declared it “nearly cost me everything”.
The superstar who lit up world cricket for a generation told on Friday of his deep gratitude that his marriage is as strong as ever after 37 years.
Beefy ( as he said he likes to be addressed rather that Sir Botham) confessed his bitter regret over an affair in the late 90s with Australian waitress Kylie Verrells, who is 14 years his junior.
He also talked about taking drugs as a young man and his friendship with cricket fan rocker Sir Mick Jagger.
On the affair Sir Ian Sir Ian, who has raised more than £12million and was knighted for services to charity in 2007.
He said: “I don’t know why it started. I know I found it very difficult to get out of it. I pushed myself into a very awkward corner. The children were hurt more than I realised".

As most of know I'm a big fan of the soap Eastenders so of course I was well stuck into that on BBC Monday through Friday's


No Time for Goodbye
by Linwood Barclay

Fourteen-year-old Cynthia Bigge woke one morning to discover that her entire family, mother, father, brother had vanished. No note, no trace, no return. Ever. Now, twenty-five years later, she'll learn the devastating truth

Sometimes better not to know. . . .

Cynthia is happily married with a young daughter, a new family. But the story of her old family isn't over. A strange car in the neighborhood, untraceable phone calls, ominous gifts, someone has returned to her hometown to finish what was started twenty-five years ago. And no one's innocence is guaranteed, not even her own. By the time Cynthia discovers her killer's shocking identity, it will again be too late . . . even for goodbye

I'm loving this book, a real page turner, hard to put down. It's the first book I've read of Barclay's but it certainly wont be the last.

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