Katrina disaster – criticism now targeted

Former Clinton adviser, Sidney Blumenthal, pulls no punches and firmly lays the blame at Bush’s feet in his colums for today’s Guardian. He was also on the Today programme (R4) this morning discussing the same points with David From – Bush’s “Axis of Evil’ speechwriter.Katrina comes home to roost President Bush is to blame for the scale of the disaster as a result of his administration’s policies and actions Sidney Blumenthal Friday September 2, 2005 The Guardian Biblical in its …

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Your person’s overdue

A major new development in library lending strategies in The Netherlands – it’s taken its lead from a similar project first heralded in Sweden. It might be an interesting way to increase tolerance and understanding of ‘other’ cultures .. but maybe it only works in those countries that have a strong tradition of liberalism and social democratic style of governments….By Guardian Unlimited / Arts and culture 09:44am A trip to the library these days is nothing like those of our …

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Katrina – people beginning to ask questions

Amid the ongoing state of emergency, chaos and destruction, not to mention mortalities, in the three southern states due to Hurricane Katrina, questions are now starting to be asked re possible causes and if the disaster could have been limited if not avoided. Can lessons be learnt to avoid similar calamities in the future?Why city’s defences were down Cuts in spending to raise levees blamed on cost of war in Iraq John Vidal, environment editor, and Duncan Campbell Thursday September …

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Gerry Fitt is laid to rest

His funeral took place today at Westminster Cathedral in central London. In the Guardian’s report it only mentions the presence of prominent figures from the UUP (Trimble) and SDLP (Durkan and Hume) – are we to assume that no-one from SF or the DUP attended?Rivals unite in tribute to Lord Fitt Press Association Wednesday August 31, 2005 Figures from across Northern Ireland’s political divide gathered today to pay their respects to former Social Democratic and Labour party (SDLP) leader Lord …

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Blair backs banned Muslim scholar

Is Tony Blair finally trying to put some ‘clear blue water’ between himself and the White House given that Professor Tariq Ramadam (who has been banned in the US and France) has been appointed to a government taskforce? Also it sounds like the White House is getting increasingly peeved by the fact that Tony still hasn’t gone to pick up his Congressional Gold Medal (highest civilian honour) which he was awarded two years ago.Blair backs banned Muslim scholar Vikram Dodd …

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Lisdoonvarna matchmaking festival

Speed-dating hasn’t hit this part of the world (thank goodness) although it has gone techie and has its very own website. Anyone off to Lisdoonvarna this weekend ??? is it true that Irishmen are the most romantic in the world? Something to ponder over the weekend!  Belfast Telegraph Home > News > Features Love is in the air The sap is stirring in the men of Co Clare, where this week’s matchmaking festival awaits hordes of single women. By Katy Guest 26 August 2005 …

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Past the 50 million mark (England’s population that is)

In today’s Independent there is what some of us might regard as a fitting, if belated, tribute to Malthus’ theory of population control. In the 1830’s the population of the larger island to the East, taken as a whole, was 10 millions. That of its smaller neighbour was 8. It’s interesting to speculate what the combined population of both parts of the island of Ireland would have been if there hadn’t been immigration due to the famine ?Population of England …

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Love thy neighbour?

Latest outburst by evangelical preacher Pat Robertson vis a vis Venezuela President Hugo Chavez seems a little ‘unchristian’ or is it just the new othordoxy?Assassinate Chavez, Pat Robertson tells a stunned America By Andrew Buncombe in Washington Published: 24 August 2005 Pat Robertson, one of the most influential Christian evangelists in the United States, has sparked controversy by calling for the assassination of the left-wing leader of Venezuela. Mr Robertson, who heads the Christian Coalition and has close links to the …

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Mo Mowlam near death

Just seen the Evening Standard’s front page (latest edition) and it’s reporting that Mo Mowlam is close to death and has breathing difficulties. She made a living will and stipulated that she did not want to be kept alive artificially. Let’s hope that her death, when it comes, is peaceful and gentle. She will surely be missed around the Labour party conference circuit and all the campaigns and organisations that she was involved in – including the Integrated Education Fund. …

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Hitler beats Blair in leadership poll

As if things couldn’ t get any worse – just seen this on Sky news website……… Is it possible that the current endless offering of programmes about the Nazis etc could have altered some people’s views of Hitler – another case of revisionism – albeit very slowly?Hitler Beats Blair In Leadership Poll Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler has beaten Tony Blair in a new poll as one of the greatest leaders of all time.A firm asked 1,000 business leaders who they …

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Ireland is now a ‘legitimate’ target

Probably not totally unexpected, but deeply depressing nevertheless, The Belfast Telegraph reports that Anjem Choudary, who has close links to the infamous hate preacher, Omar Bakri Mohammed, said the use of Shannon Airport as a stop-off for US warplanes justifies Ireland being attacked. Are we well equipped for this after 30 years of ‘home grown’ terrorism and conflict which have left an indelible mark in the hearts and minds of people both North and South?Belfast Telegraph Home > News Islamic cleric says …

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Bush the bookworm

Some interesting and surprising titles on Dubya’s holiday reading list – well he is off for 5 weeks. Just hope he doesn’t try and read them upside down!Bookworm Bush’s holiday reading Jamie Wilson in Washington Wednesday August 17, 2005 The Guardian George Bush: all booked up. Photo: PA   George Bush has never had a reputation as a bookworm, but for a man derided by his critics as an intellectual lightweight the president’s holiday reading list packs a punch. As …

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Nazi group rears its ugly head in NI

According to a report in the Belfast Telegraph, it looks like Combat 18 has a presence in Garvagh (Co. Derry/Londonderry). As NI society is slowing becoming more diverse in terms of ethnicity and culture is it inevitable that this will also be reflected in a rise of racist violence and attitudes and if so how can this bigotry be stemmed?Nazi posters spread fear in a quiet village Garvagh targeted by fascist group By Linda McKee 16 August 2005 A sinister …

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NI Priest to stand trial in Kenya

Co. Fermanagh priest is to stand trial in Kenya for organising a lands right protest. He was put in prison but released on bail on Monday. Interesting to see what actions will be taken by the Catholic hierarchy to campaign on his behalf.Last Updated: Monday, 15 August 2005, 21:58 GMT 22:58 UK E-mail this to a friend Printable version NI priest to stand trial in Kenya A priest from County Fermanagh is to stand trial in Kenya after he organised …

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From Buerk to a Berk?

BBC newsreader Michael Buerk has obviously got a bit ‘hot under the collar’ about the prominence of women in the BBC and beyond and bemoans the fact that it is no longer a man’s world. Is he just out of step or is he reflecting some widely held male fears/beliefs?Men are now ‘unemployable sperm donors’, says Buerk Claire Cozens and agencies Tuesday August 16, 2005 Former BBC newsreader Michael Buerk has risked provoking the ire of his bosses by claiming …

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The Bill Clinton Collection

A Bill Clinton compilation CD has been put together (available in 5 weeks) and one of the 11 tracks on the CD is Phil Coulter’s ‘The Town I Love So Well’ . Is this setting a (dangerous) precedent for political leaders?CD launch for Bill Clinton tunes Former US President Bill Clinton has often spoken of his love for music A compilation CD featuring some of former US President Bill Clinton’s favourite rock ‘n’ roll, jazz and gospel songs is to …

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Fly Fly Away

Plans afoot for a local N.I. -based, budget airline to fly from Belfast and Dublin to Continental Europe. Can only be good as they say travel broadens the mind!  Belfast Telegraph Home > News Ulster’s own airline set for take-off next year By Nigel Tilson 15 August 2005 A group of Ulster entrepreneurs is hatching plans to launch a new airline that will be based in Northern Ireland, The Belfast Telegraph has learned. Sources close to the group said it has secured …

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Guy Fawkes anniversary party?

Given recent events in London and the general mood re the ‘war on terror’, it’s probably unlikely that the origianl plans to do something in the Palce of Westminster. However York seems to be more than happy to celebrate one of its most famous sons….York celebrates its famous son (the one who tried to blow up Parliament) Ian Herbert North of England Correspondent Published: 15 August 2005 The delicate issue of how to commemorate the 400th anniversary of a terror plot …

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Smoking ban coming to a public house near you?

It looks like it’s only a matter of time before pubs in Britain and NI follow the example of the ROI and become smokefree. Will it be as smooth a transition?Majority of MPs ‘support pub smoking ban’ Have your say in the government’s consultation Matthew Tempest and agencies Monday August 15, 2005 More than two-thirds of MPs want the government to go further than its planned anti-smoking legislation and ban smoking in all pubs, a survey found today. The government …

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Mo Mowlam moved to hospice

Just seen this on the bbc’s website. It looks like Mo’s condition is worsening. Let’s hope she’s able to put up a brave fight.Mo Mowlam transferred to hospice Ex-cabinet minister Mo Mowlam is widely popular Critically ill former Northern Ireland Secretary Mo Mowlam has been moved from hospital to a hospice in Kent to be closer to her family. Ms Mowlam, 55, was taken to hospital in London two weeks ago. Hospital officials say her condition is still “critical but …

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