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

There's one thing on which we can all agree; we're tired of this Brexit panto

SO there we have it, to no ones surprise - least of all the Prime Minister's - Theresa May's proposed Brexit deal has been voted down by Parliament. In an historic defeat of 230 votes as never seen in the democratic era. At least it did, momentarily, bring pro-EU MPs and Brexiteers together, in a game of Lobby football. Before heading back to opposing Commons trenches, to resume knocking seven bells out of each other.
And to think this happened when the premise on which Mrs May encouraged MPs to vote, was built upon a lie. The Prime Minister has consistently said to vote down her deal would destroy voters faith in politics, as though the referendum Leave result had been won on a landslide. To extract a line from Monday's pre-vote speech, from a mug factory in Stoke, she said: "People's faith in the democratic process and their politicians would suffer catastrophic harm".
But just in case people actually remembered the result, and as a clue it wasn't 89-11…

Mrs May's drinks trolley and a fake Brexit traffic jam ends in car crash TV

THE sight of a cavalcade of lorries emerging from the fog early on Monday morning, to take their places in a fake Brexit traffic jam, confirmed what we have all been fearing for some time now - we have reached the part in history our ancestors we think, we made up for the laugh.
But first we must turn to Prime Minister Theresa May who has entered a vital chapter in her own memoirs entitled: "Will she or won't she secure her deal?" as it dawned on her she faced no other alternative but to put her ill-favoured Brexit plan before Parliament, next Tuesday (Jan 15th).
It turns out however, she has a few tricks up her sleeve, including a spot of good old-fashioned schmoozing. Inviting her enemies to a series of drinks receptions at the top end of the week, where she no doubt hoped to lubricate the mood.
She says to her staunchest of critics; take these assurances the EU will agree a trade deal by 2021, that Parliament can have more say in the next stage of talks. Remember if y…

All aboard the pizza ferry, headed for absolutely nowhere new

THIS Reporter wishes to express her fathomless thanks to the Westminster crew, none of whom decided to take upon themselves the tired old trope of making new year's resolutions - on off chance a better version of themselves existed - and instead continue in the exact same farcical way they blundered through 2018.
Because despite the fact ministers had, in theory, laid their dispatch boxes on beds of tinsel for the duration of Christmastide, there is still much for us to catch up with.
First, but by no means foremost, Sajid Javid, Home Secretary - who it has reached This Reporter via the rumour mill likes to call himself "The Saj" - perhaps short for Sergeant but more likely, Sajid - cut short his luxury £1,000-plus a night safari festive break in South Africa to rush back and deal with what he coined a "migrant crisis" but in reality was two brave souls casting out across the Channel in a rubber dinghy.
Nevertheless, Javid called for immediate clampdown on this…

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…

Theresa May's "10 Year Challenge" and Prince Philip Over-Eggs the Metaphor

"TIME is not something I acknowledge", said pop diva Mariah Carey on refusing to play ball on the "10 year challenge", posting two identical photographs of herself in a bikini taken ten seconds rather than ten years apart.
The concept of time is not something Ms Carey is afraid of. She is not freaked out by the ticking of the clock. She is simply impervious to it. It has no meaning. It does not exist. This is where the similarities between her and Theresa May, the Prime Minister, begin, and end.
Sixty-seven days to go until we Brexit. Mrs May is back after surviving yet another no confidence vote by an untriumphant, by nonetheless secure, 19 votes, and immediately launches into "cross party talks". Inviting all major party leaders to "put self-interest aside" and discuss a united way forward to break the Brexit deadlock. It is at this early point in proceedings, she comes unstuck.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, who famously said "it's goo…