Tuesday, January 08, 2008

News Podcast 8th Jan

Extra material (especially any controversial bits) by Mr Cru.

Click here to get your own player.

International News
And no big thing but well it turns out that Iran and the US sort-of nearly started a little bit of a war. Luckily for, well, the future of humanity, it all boiled down again, hopefully in the form of Egypt jumping in the middle and shouting “leave it George, he’s not worth it” or possibly “we’ve all had a drink now, oh no, not you Ahmedinejad”. Anyway don’t have trouble sleeping, it was nothing really, just nearly the apocalyptic world war Hollywood has been warning us about all these years, but it’s off now, a misunderstanding, nothing, shhh!
Panasonic has unveiled the world’s biggest plasma TV. The new device measures 6 foot by 150 inches. At the press launch the screen was showing a sumo wrestling match – perfect if what you want for Christmas is two larger than life obese angry wrestlers in your living room. Personally if I had one I’d rather use it to watch majestic wildlife documentaries – sweeping vistas of the last true wildernesses on the planet – except of course that at 3,000 watts to power the thing, each time I switched on there’d be less and less wilderness left. And you’d have to hope it came with extra-powerful speakers to play the cries of the drowning polar bears.
Gordon Brown has hit back at criticism of his plans for the NHS. He said he wanted a “personal and preventive” service – which is a phrase I think he copied off the back of one of the packets of free condoms he got on his last visit. He also said he wanted to push ahead with plans to issue people vouchers to the value of their “personal health budgets”. So presumably if you’ve been in an accident you can choose whether to have your head sewn back on or some therapy to talk through the issues of headless living. Surely your personal health budget should be – whatever you need until you’re better. Mr Brown is also proposing more screening programmes to identify those at risk of heart attack, stroke and cancer, this comes less than two weeks after he announced a reduction in resources to fight those very conditions. Presumably the plan is then to encourage those most at risk to move elsewhere in Europe or maybe Cuba before their condition develops.
Kenny Richey – the Scottish man who has spent 20 years on death row in Ohio, has been freed. He was originally scheduled for release last month but that was delayed after he became ill. So they kept him in prison because he was ill. Nice. His lawyer said Richey has been effectively cleared of murder and arson and that “the prosecutors are [now] charging him with essentially failing to baby-sit”. Blimey, let’s hope the couple from down the road from where I lived as a teenager don’t read that, I would be convicted in a heartbeat of nothing short of GROSS failure to baby-sit. Free the Smurthwaite one!
Back in the UK
The Home Office is deporting a man who has lived in the UK since he was 4 years old for breaking the terms of his ASBO. The 20-year-old has been sent to the Philippines where he knows no-one. The only language he can speak aside from English is Welsh, not a major tongue in the Philippines – on indeed even in most of Wales. A spokesman for the Home Office said “foreign nationals are expected to obey the laws of this country in the same way as everybody else” except of course that everybody else doesn’t get deported to the Philippines for staying out late after bedtime.
David Cameron has said he thinks the long-term unemployed should be forced to do community work if they are to continue to claim benefits. Work and pensions secretary Peter Hains said the proposals to have people WORK FOR FREE would be “hugely costly”. David Cameron denied that these proposals made his party “the nasty party”. And I agree, the conservatives are definitely positively not THE NASTY party in the UK. Far from it, they’re one of THE MANY NASTY PARTIES in the UK.

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