Skip to main content

Hello Kitty, Novichok and traffic-stopping sandals

Kon'nichiwa, nyusu ni yokoso, or, to this reporter's non-Japanese speaking friends - hello, and welcome to the news.

And would you Adam and Eve it, Japan is the first stop-off on today's journey, to discuss their Hello Kitty bullet train. Never fear, you have not become embroiled in one of this reporter's umami-induced anxiety dreams. This is real-life news in Japan.

Over the next three months, you can take a trip across the western reaches of this comic-book loving country on the pink and white Hello Kitty bullet train, complete with Hello Kitty-themed carriages and a life-sized Hello Kitty conductress (not one to meet down a dark alley, admittedly).

The hope is the hugely popular feline cartoon character will bring in masses of tourists. And no doubt, once done, the train will be cleaned until sparkling and packed neatly away - in manner of the Japanese changing room when they exited the World Cup, complete with paw-print stamped thank-you note.

The news headlines are in and this reporter is sure we can all be forgiven for thinking it something of a groundhog day regarding news of a second novichok poisoning in Salisbury. Initially it was believed Britishers Dawn Sturgess and Charlie Rowley had taken a contaminated batch of recreational drugs until they started exhibiting some suspicious symptoms.

It has since been confirmed they did indeed have novichok in their system, the nerve agent which was deployed in Salisbury back in March to poison Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia. The counter-terrorism team is in to find out the source of this second poisoning.

Meanwhile, as a woman climbs the Statue of Liberty in protest to Trump's immigration policy, the man himself has been taken down a peg or two by the Merriam-Webster dictionary. Ironically, during a tweet bragging about his writing prowess, the American President was pounced upon by the word buffs for using the wrong "pour" in a sentence.

Trump tweeted that the 'Fake News' likes to "pour" over his tweets for mistakes. Merriam-Webster intervened by pointing out he had in actual fact made yet another mistake, informing Mr Trump, to "pore over" means " to read or study very carefully" and to "pour over" means "to make expensive coffee". Before adding, unnecessarily but quite brilliantly, to "comb over" means "to comb hair from the side of the head to cover the bald spot".

Whilst a veggie burger that "bleeds" fake blood has been accused of posing "existential" threat to New Zealand's beef industry. The 'Impossible Burger', which is being served on flights on Air New Zealand has excited the wrath of acting prime minister Winston Peters who said he is "utterly opposed to fake meat". This reporter is mystified by the fact any non-meat eater would want to eat a burger that bleeds.

Over in Thailand, massive attempts are being made to clear the water from the four kilometres of cave path, which lies between the stranded football team and freedom, after fears monsoon rain predicted for the weekend could leave them trapped down there for months.

In what appears to be 'cave escape plan B', the boys should be able to walk through water up to waist height instead of having to dive, however one chamber of the caves is still flooded up to the ceiling and the question is can it be drained in time? This readers is the epitome of heart in the mouth stuff.

Finally, MPs are being encouraged to leave Twitter because of the levels of abuse they are getting. Conservative MP Nadine Dorries, who's known for a poorly worded tweet or two, let's be honest, said colleagues were being advised to 'close down' their accounts by Parliament's Health and Wellbeing Service. What this reporter can't get over is 600 out of the 650 MPs have a Twitter account. Who knew they were all so "tech-savvy".

In what appears to be rapidly becoming our daily dose of Vogue, the glossy fashion magazine is urging us to part with our Japanese yen for a pair of traffic-stopping sandals - recommending ribbon-tied ankles, beach-ready gladiators or rhinestone sliders "so fabulous they warrant furious applause with every step" (can you imagine).

But it's the "traffic-stopping" headline this reporter is most concerned about. She's not sure what it's like crossing the road by the Conde Nast offices, but she wouldn't rely solely on the power of an eye-catching pair of sandals for safe passage.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Boris Disaggregates the Barney and Rylan Jostles for PM

WELCOME to This Reporter's weekly news round-up and this week there has been a concerted effort on This Reporter's part, not to discuss either Boris Johnson or the Tory leadership contest more generally. Let's see how that pans out.

Monday 24th June and Jeremy Hunt is leading the call for his Tory leadership rival Boris Johnson to come clean about the incident with his girlfriend at her London flat on Friday evening. Cabinet ministers, backbenchers and major party donors, not to mention the public, are all expecting Johnson to give some kind of explanation after police were called out by concerned neighbours who heard his girlfriend Carrie Symonds screaming "get off me" and "get out of my flat", accompanied by the sounds of slamming doors and smashing glasses.
Mr Hunt said Mr Johnson needed to show "he can answer difficult questions", before accusing him of appearing willing to "slink through the back door" of No 10 by "pathetica…

Neil Fromage, Scrapping the Sin Tax and Fantastic Arctic Fox

Monday 1st July and Labour is calling for an investigation into an anonymous leak to the Times newspaper that Jeremy Corbyn was too frail to be PM. Corbyn's team have refuted the allegation their leader is not "firing on all cylinders", with a spokesperson elaborating: "Jeremy Corbyn is as fit as a fiddle - people 20 years younger struggle to keep up with him". The leak is believed to have come from civil servants who have been accused of undermining democracy.
Tory PM wannabe Jeremy Hunt meanwhile has said he was prepared to look family businesses in the eye and say their sacrifice was worth it, should they go bust as a result of no deal Brexit. These words came as he insisted a no deal would be necessary, if a deal could not be struck by October, to show the world the UK listened to its people.
Accompanied by the sounds of a whale chorus, TV naturalist David Attenborough made a surprise appearance on stage at Glastonbury to thank the crowds for making the fes…

Slugs and snails and puppy-dogs' tails - How we made Boris Johnson

"Beware those men, the jokers and the tricksters and the clowns. They will laugh us into hell" - Years and Years

Monday 17th June and the PM hopefuls took part in a televised debate on Channel 4 on Sunday evening. With the principle objective for Jeremy Hunt, Sajid Javid, Dominic Raab, Michael Gove, and Rory Stewart being, trying to prove more charismatic and interesting than an empty chair, as shoe-in Boris Johnson failed to turn up. It took until after the ad break for Mr Hunt to address the situation, saying: "I just want to say, where is Boris?" Whilst Rory Stewart, speaking of the leadership contest, gave us the profound: "It reminds me...I was trying to cram a whole series of rubbish bags into the...rubbish bin. And my wife said 'you're never going to get those three huge bags of rubbish in'. And I was tempted, like Michael, like Dominic, to say "believe in the bin! Believe in Britain! Right? It's nonsense", and the conspiratoria…

"Wacky Ambassador", #AbolishEton and Snowball the Dancing Cockatoo

Monday 8th July and incoming Prime Minister Boris Johnson has jabbed his whetted finger into the air, like a reverse dipstick, to test the latest mood swing of the nation and decreed this week he would best serve himself by backing a no deal Brexit. So here he goes saying he is going to make Britain "match fit" for a no deal departure "come what may", continuing, he was fed up with people claiming it cannot be done. "I have had enough of being told that we cannot do it - that the sixth biggest economy in the world is not strong enough to run itself and go forward in the world".
Over the weekend more than 30 Tories mumbled, in main part, anonymously, that they would block a no deal Brexit, should it be forced through Parliament. Rory Stewart, who became approximately two-eighths living legend for his earlier show in the PM leadership contest, for truth-saying, has gone a little off method with this more revolutionary idea. He declared he would organise an …

Rudd's resignation, Trump's visit and Kat Von D's indestructible eyeliner

You better watch out. You better not cry. Better not pout. I'm telling you why. Donald Trump is coming to town.

More about that later. First, some serious news. (This reporter puts on her most sensible of news reading glasses). The Guardian reports today (Monday) that Amber Rudd has "dramatically" resigned as home secretary after "repeatedly struggling to account for her role in the unjust treatment of Windrush generation migrants."

The documenter of our times continues: "The home secretary was forced to step down after a series of revelations in the Guardian over Windrush culminated in a leak on Friday that appeared to show she was aware of targets for removing illegal migrants from Britain.

"The pressure increased late on Sunday afternoon as the Guardian revealed that in a leaked 2017 letter to Theresa May, Rudd had told the Prime Minister of her intention to increase deportations by 10 per cent - seemingly at odds with her recent denials that she w…