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Showing posts from January, 2020

Brexit Day and the death of the traditional cuppa

FROM Brexit Day finally upon as we exit the European Union this evening, to the traditional cup of tea falling out of favour, This Reporter brings you the news headlines on Friday 31st January 2020.

Hang out the bunting, strike up the band and wheel your trestle table out onto the streets for a right old knees up, as Brexit Day is at last upon us. The day which marks Britain's glorious ascension out into the promised land, where the pavements are paved with gold and the trees are made from candy cane (or that may be Willy Wonka). The land of the free, where the world is your oyster (as long as you have a hedge fund). Rule Britannia. Land of Hope and Glory. Roll Out the Barrel and up the apples and pears.
Whoops, sorry, wrong press release...It appears all grand celebrations are off.
Due to what is delicately phrased "the division which still remains in this country" the eventuality of our exit at 11pm will be marked in muted style, with Prime Minister Boris Johnson press…

Auld Lang Syne and the owl who was too fat to fly

FROM the strains of Auld Lang Syne accompanying the signing off of the Brexit bill in Europe, to the owl who was too fat to fly through overindulgence, This Reporter brings you the news headlines on Thursday 30th January 2020.

Such scenes at the formal signing off of the Brexit Withdrawal Bill in the European Parliament yesterday (Wednesday) that one could almost be mistaken into believing there simply wasn't a vestige of sanity left.
This was the last big obstacle before we officially Brexit the European Union at 11pm tomorrow (Friday) with gathered MEPs called to vote on the bill. A landslide 621 voted for and 49 against because at this stage the feeling is "what is the point?", though full props to those who voted nay in a bid to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.
EU Chief Guy Verhofstadt said it was sad to see a country leaving that "has twice given its blood to liberate Europe", adding he predicted the UK would eventually rejoin the bloc.
Brexit party…

Trump's Middle East "Peace Plan" and Bisto tin savings rescued from dump

FROM Trump's "win-win" peace plan for the Middle East, to the elderly lady's life savings saved from the rubbish dump, This Reporter brings you the news headlines on Wednesday 29th January 2020.

It comes to something when a reality TV star and his son-in-law draw up a peace plan for the Middle East but this is where we find ourselves, in the year 2020.
Donald Trump, who just so happens to now be American President but hit mega fame as the boss man on the US Apprentice, believes he has come up with a proposal that will end the century-long territorial conflict between Israel and Palestine.
"Ably" assisted by his son-in-law Jared Kushner, who typed up the blueprint, Trump has declared it a "win-win opportunity" for all concerned; the Israelis, the Palestines, and ultimately, brand Trump. The technical hitch being, Palestines' resistance, weighted as the plan is - even to the minds of those least impartial - heavily in favour of Trump's new b…

Auschwitz survivors warn the world against "indifference", and boycott the Brexit coin

FROM Auschwitz survivors calling for an end to world indifference, to a call from author Philip Pullman to boycott the 50p Brexit coin, This Reporter brings you the news headlines on Tuesday 28th January 2020.

Auschwitz survivors at a memorial service yesterday (Monday) to mark the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi death camp, warned the world against indifference to hatred.
More than 200 survivors of the camp joined royalty, presidents and ambassadors in Poland, with many sharing their stories of endurance and hope, as well as their incredulity, to this day, at the Nazi state-sanctioned killing machine, to which the rest of the world appeared largely indifferent.
Marian Turski, who was deported to Auschwitz at the age of 18 because she was Jewish, urged the world to adopt an 11th commandment: "Thou shalt not be indifferent", a reference to the late Nobel writer and Auschwitz survivor Elie Weisel, who wrote: "The opposite of love is not hate, it's indif…

Basketball legend Kobe Bryant dies and Carrie Symonds saves the badger

FROM the tragic death of basketball legend Kobe Bryant in a helicopter crash (and not without a BBC fluff-up), to Carrie Symonds accused of charming Boris Johnson into saving badgers, This Reporter brings you the news headlines on Monday 27th January 2020.

Former Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant, considered one of the greatest basketball players ever, has been killed alongside his 13-year-old daughter Gianna and seven others in a helicopter crash in southern California.
His death, at the age of 41, has left fans around the world devastated and large crowds gathered outside the home of the Lakers, the Staples Centre, to pay tribute.
It was the BBC who, albeit unintentionally, marked the tragedy with a reporting fluff-up, namely on the News at Ten during a segment on Bryant, mistakenly including footage of basketball player LeBron James, who also plays for the Lakers, and to some eyes pays a passing resemblance. Paul Royall, editor of BBC News at Six and Ten, apologised and blamed &q…

Coronavirus hits the UK (potentially) and Cookies in Space

FROM just over a dozen people in the UK being tested for the deadly coronavirus, to cookies being baked for the first time in space, This Reporter brings you the news headlines on Friday 24th January 2020.

Fourteen people have been tested in the UK for coronavirus as it continues to spread across the globe from a livestock market in China. Five tests have come back negative so far but nine people still await their results. Do not fear, however, as Health Secretary Matt Hancock is here to reassure us.
He commented that whilst there was an "increased likelihood" of cases occurring in the UK, we were well-prepared as one of the few countries to have developed a test for the latest coronavirus.
When asked in Parliament whether UK residents should be wearing face masks like they do in China, Mr Hancock replied: "The wearing of face masks is not deemed clinically necessary now, but we will keep that under review and will be guided by the science".
This from the man whose…

UK crosses the "Brexit finish line" and Raining Iguanas

FROM the Brexit Withdrawal Bill being passed into law, to it's raining iguanas over in Florida, This Reporter brings you the news headlines on Thursday 23rd January 2020.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson insists the UK can put "years of rancour and division behind it" after Parliament passed legislation implementing the Brexit deal. The EU Withdrawal Bill is now awaiting royal assent, as Mr Johnson seized the opportunity to declare the country had "crossed the Brexit finish line". The EU's top officials are expected to sign the agreement in the coming days and then it's full speed ahead to Brexit Day (31st January).
In the interests of impartiality This Reporter intends to give two polar - yet she assures - equally valid reactions. Pray silence for the sound of impending doom approaching and huzzah and up yours. Let's go and f**king smash Big Ben with a hammer.
"Hello Prince Charles". "Hello Greta Thunberg". Yes, Prince Charles and t…

Trump's trillion trees and "The Bridge" repainted - but no stunts please

FROM Donald Trump's pledge to single-handedly solve climate change, to the iconic bridge of Nordic noir, TV fame getting a fresh lick of paint, This Reporter brings you the news headlines on Wednesday 22nd January 2020.

As the impeachment trial looks all but set to get Donald Trump off the hook - and it's only been on one day - the US President has told the world's business leaders at the World Economic Forum at Davos to stop listening to "prophets of doom", whilst in contradictory move pledging to plant a trillion trees.
In a swipe at teenage activist Greta Thunberg, who he has clashed with over her climate crisis warnings, he bellowed: "This is not a time for pessimism. This is a time for optimism. To embrace the possibilities of tomorrow, we must reject the perennial prophets of doom and their predictions of the apocalypse. They are the heirs of yesterday's foolish fortune tellers".
And then as though he had been slipped a memo urging him not to …

China's deadly Coronavirus to wipe out the Universe and all aboard the Cruise Ship Lords

FROM China's deadly coronavirus set to (potentially) wipe out the lot of us, to a water-bound solution to the House of Lords, This Reporter brings you the news headlines on Tuesday 21st January 2020.

Four people have now died in China from a new SARs-like virus, which health bods have just confirmed can be passed from person-to person. And as the country prepares for millions of tourists to travel there for its lunar new year celebrations, This Reporter goes where no expert has as yet gone before her with the warning, this could be the one that wipes out the lot of us.
The coronavirus has rapidly been spreading across the country with more than 200 cases now reported across major cities including Beijing and Shanghai, whilst in Australia, a man is currently in quarantine with suspected symptoms, after travelling back from China.
The virus, is a new strain of coronavirus not previously identified in humans and is thought to have originated from infected animals at a seafood and wil…

Hard Megxit and the US Space Force's "Camouflage" Uniform

FROM a hard Megxit for Meghan and Harry, to mockery of the US Space Force's new "camouflage" uniform, This Reporter brings you the news headlines on Monday 20th January 2020.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex will no longer use their matching His and Her's Royal Highness titles, won't undertake any royal duties and pay back the £2.4million of taxpayer's money used to refurbish Frogmore Cottage, as the result of discussions with the Queen about their future outside the senior ranks of the royal family.
And it is fair to say Harry and Meghan have been pushed out of the royal fold far further than they had anticipated, when first they publicly aired their wish to step back from they roles as senior royals and share their time between Canada and England.
Harry, speaking for the first time about the "royal furore", expressed his great sadness at having to step back from royal duties. "Our hope was to continue to serve the Queen, the Commonwealth, and m…

Fury at Johnson's pick for Grenfell inquiry and Sandi Toksvig leaves the Bake Off?

FROM Boris Johnson's pick for the Grenfell inquiry raising an impartiality query, to whether presenter Sandi Toksvig is really leaving the Great British Bake Off, This Reporter brings you the news headlines on Friday 17th January 2020.

One would have thought out of all the potential panellists for the Grenfell Tower inquiry, Boris Johnson would have found one without links to the cladding firm who, arguably, accelerated the tragedy, but it does appear, such is life.
The Prime Minister has picked Benita Mehra, an engineer, to assist retired judge Sir Martin Moore-Bick, who is leading the inquiry into the fatal fire, despite the fact Mehra previously ran an organisation which received a £71,000 grant from Atomic, the US conglomerate that made the cladding panels used on Grenfell.
The inquiry has already found Atomic's panels were "the principal reason why the flames spread so rapidly up the building" and survivors and the bereaved said the grant created a conflict of i…

A&E targets to be scrapped and the Brexit Celebration party

FROM government plans to scrap A&E targets, to Nigel Farage's for a Brexit Celebration party, This Reporter brings you the news headlines on Thursday 16th January 2020.

Plans to scrap the four-hour A&E waiting target have sparked a furious backlash from medical staff, as well as anyone with half a brain. Government ministers led by Health Secretary Matt Hancock have revealed proposals, which would see patients treated in a, widely up-for-interpretation, "clinically appropriate" manner, rather than sticking to the current targets that aim to see 95 per cent of people arriving at A&E in England, treated within four hours.
The plans follow the revelation in recent days that hospitals across the country fell woefully under the specified target over the festive period, to 63 per cent. So the question we have to ask ourselves when we get down to the brass tacks of the matter is, do we really believe the new proposals are in the "best interests of the patient&q…

The £500,000 Big Ben Brexit Ding Dong and Udder Chaos on the Rails

FROM Big Ben's Brexit ding dong escalating to the tune of £500,000, to the cow who caused "udder chaos" on the railway lines, This Reporter brings you the news headlines on Wednesday 15th January 2020.

The Brexit Big Ben bong story has ratcheted up the rankings from irreverent news filler to front page fodder, due to Prime Minister Boris Johnson wading in during his BBC Breakfast interview yesterday and hedonistically pronouncing, let's crowd fund for the £500,000 required to do it and call it "bung a bob for a Big Ben bong".
To recap just a moment, Brexiteers had felt all but ignored in Parliament when they previously broached the subject of Big Ben, currently undergoing a lengthy refurbishment, chiming at 11pm on Brexit Day (31st January) to mark the inauspicious occasion.
MP Mark Francois had been left particularly incensed at the overall vibe in the Commons being, Brexit Day was not such a worthy occasion and the cost to strike the bell far too prohibit…

Huawei 5G: the spy who bugged me and mystery of the cash wads, solved

FROM the UK warned using Huawei 5G would be "madness", to the village who solved the mystery of anonymous bundles of cash, This Reporter brings you the news headlines on Tuesday 14th January 2020.

The US has warned Britain that including Huawei's equipment in future 5G mobile networks would be "nothing short of madness". This comes amid fears the Chinese telecoms firm would compromise the UK's personal data, secret information and the like.
Senior Washington officials have repeatedly stated the US would reassess intelligence sharing with the UK if they start using the Chinese technology. Despite this, Prime Minister Boris Johnson is still seriously considering using the contentious equipment and as recently as this morning on BBC Breakfast blustered to Huawei's critics: "well show me an alternative then".
The Queen has given her "reluctant blessing" for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex to step away from their lives as senior royals fol…

Sandringham Summit and Fly Me to the Moon

FROM the Queen's emergency summit to decide Meghan and Harry's fate to the Japanese billionaire looking for love in space, This Reporter brings you the news headlines on Monday 13th January 2020.

The Queen will meet with senior royals at an emergency summit at her Sandringham estate in Norfolk today (Monday) to discuss the future of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. ("Off with their heads".)
The meeting will be attended by Prince Charles, Prince William and Prince Harry, with Meghan expected to drop in via Skype, due to being ensconced back in Canada with son Archie.
It will be the first time they have all met since the "Sussex crisis" exploded last Wednesday with the bombshell news Harry and Meghan wanted to step back from their roles as senior royals and live a more independent life.
It is thought the Queen will not make it easy for Harry, though rumours swirl that the Duke and Duchess may threaten a reveal-all interview with Oprah, should they not get what…

Trump's Warmongering Powers Curtailed and Big Ben's Brexit Bong

FROM Donald Trump's power to independently declare war, curtailed, to an MP's push for Big Ben to bong on Brexit Day, This Reporter brings you the news headlines on Friday 10th January 2020.

The US House of Representatives has approved a resolution asserting President Donald Trump  must seek approval from Congress before engaging in further military action against Iran.
The restrictive measure couldn't be any more timely as evidence emerged to back suspicions the Ukrainian passenger plane which crashed early on Wednesday morning, killing all 176 passengers on board, had indeed been hit by an Iranian missile.
A missile, presumably marked 'property of Iran', for clarity, was discovered near to the crash site and investigators from Canada and the US are now working to determine whether the plane had been shot down intentionally or it had been "an accident".
Furthermore, Trump was heard to bellow at crowds gathered at a campaign event in Ohio yesterday (Thurs…

Meghan and Harry's "Megxit" and Westminster Staff Hailed Heroes

FROM Meghan and Harry announcing plans to "step back" from the royal family to the Westminster security staff who saved a drowning man, This Reporter brings you the news headlines on Thursday 9th January 2020.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have announced, via instagram, that they plan to "step back" from their positions as senior royals and instead make their own way in the world. The decision comes amid Harry and Meghan's increasing distress at the media meddling in their family life.
It also became swiftly clear the couple had not consulted any members of the royal family before announcing their decision, with reports the Queen is said to be "furious" and William and Charles "incandescent with rage" - whether out of anger at not being briefed or because they did not think of it first, has not been specified.
The tabloid press, rather missing the point, have led with front page splashes on the Sussexes' abscondment, dubbing the story &…

Iran Strikes Back and Stormzy's Slippers

FROM Iran striking back by launching missiles at US bases to Stormzy's slipper slip-up live on the BBC, This Reporter brings you the news headlines on Wednesday 8th January 2020.

Iran has launched more than a dozen missiles at Iraqi bases hosting US troops, in retaliation for the killing last week of top general Qassem Suleimani. Al-Asad air base in Iraq's Anbar province and at least one other base in the northern city of Erbil were targeted in the early hours of Wednesday morning. US President Donald Trump tweeted in the immediate aftermath that "All is well!" and "so far so good" at the news there appears to have been no casualties.
War Watch 3 descends into murk here, as it is not clear whether the incident of an Ukraine passenger plane, which crashed killing all 176 people on board just minutes after take off this morning, is somehow connected to Iran's vengeance. Though the most probable cause so far appears to be engine failure.
Foreign Secretary …

The UK's Most Prolific Rapist and Seagull In Court

FROM the most prolific rapist in UK legal history to the seagull court case, This Reporter brings you the news headlines on Tuesday 7th January 2020.

A man decreed "Britain's most prolific rapist" after raping 136 young men in Manchester has been served a 30 year jail spell but may never be safe to release.
Reynhard Sinaga, a mature student from Indonesia, is thought to have abused more than 195 men over a two and a half year period. Manchester Crown Court heard how the 36-year-old would hang around outside nightclubs at midnight for the inebriated to fall out of them, lure them to his flat under the guise of offering them a bed for the night, drug them and attack his victims after they passed out.
Sentencing, Judge Suzanne Goddard QC, described Sinaga as a "dangerous, deeply disturbed and perverted individual with no sense of reality".
To the segment dubbed by This Reporter, "are we nearly at war yet?", shortly to be abbreviated to "War Watch 3&…