Photographer Michal Huniewicz risked detention to smuggle a series of stunning images of everyday life taken in the secretive state of North Korea. He captured the photographs during a trip to the country, before sneaking them out on hidden memory cards.
Having left New York less than 3 weeks after the bombs went off in Chelsea district I felt a little unnerved by what happened. I couldn’t quite work out why, until I remembered how secure I felt as I wandered around the hot and sweaty city – confident that I was more secure here than if I was to walk around a capital city of most European countries. As someone who works in London, and who still remember the events of 7 July 2005 vividly – as I marched through the streets of London, among the thousands of commuters, making my our way home on foot – or to the nearest available bus.
But of course, these days it is foolish to believe that you are 100% safe in any country. Those days, sadly, are a thing of the past and I as someone who even works out where the exits are in a cinemas…just in case….. (usually at the front and therefore difficult to get to) – I had assumed that being in America, far away from lines of desperate migrants trying to find safety in a European home – I’d be far away from the troubles – but I guess, the terrorists desire is that we are never far away.
Luckily the statistics around being caught up in a terrorist incident are quite good “Even if the current level of attacks continues for 80 years (which would be unprecedented), a child born today…would have only one percent of a one percent chance of being killed in one.”
Jason has more reaction to those terrible events over in America as President Obama says the Orlando gunman, who shot dead 49 people at a gay nightclub, was a home-grown terrorist. Omar Mateen’s father has condemned his son – saying he’s “sad” but also “mad” about the attack.
We will hopefully cross live to Orlando and get the latest news and reaction.
After 9pm tonight we talk about another murder – but on British soil and one that happened over 30 years ago. Hilda Murrell was 78 and an anti-nuclear campaigner – when she was abducated from her home – stabbed and left to die in the Shropshire country side. Her nepher, former naval commander Robert Green – insists that she was killed by the state and or nuclear interested parties.
There is the latest music news and we may even hear from Nigel Farage who was in #sittingbourne #kent today.
The featured artist is Paul McCartney who turns 74 on Saturday – after 8pm we have 4 non-stop songs from the man with Wings.
The medieval way in which terrorist organisation ISIS dispatched Muadh al-Kasasbeh, a Jordanian pilot, to his death in January 2015 was something that caused nausea to anyone who cherishes life and believes in human dignity. Of course, not everyone gasped a breath of repulsion with news reports circulating that Isil broadcast the murder on giant public screens to crowds that included young children cheering and chanting in Raqqa, the de facto capital of Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.
Of course, I say medieval – however, one does not need to look back to the middle ages to find tales of atrocious behaviour carried out by man kind up man kind. As is pointed out in the blog “We Are Respectable Negroes”
For almost a century, the United States practiced a unique cultural ritual that was as least as gruesome as the “Medieval” punishments meted out by ISIS against its foes.
What is now known as “spectacular lynching” involved the ceremonial torture, murder–and yes, burning alive–of black Americans by whites.
In fact, the burned to death images of the black body were one of the most popular types of mass culture in 19th and 20th century America.
And who can forget the many atrocities carried out by German’s under the NAZI flag including beastly experiments with victims coerced into participating; they did not willingly volunteer and there was never informed consent. Typically, the experiments resulted in death, disfigurement or permanent disability, and as such are considered as examples of medical torture.
The terror and brutality that is being carried out by ISIS is not new – the speed and method of the delivery of the images is. I’m grateful to have been brought up in the West – in a country where religion is a private matter and the freedom to live life is not dictated by the passages of a religious text or by the gun or knife or a brutal regime that won’t accept dissent. People in Britain must be free to choose to have a religion or not – but it must be a choice and as Allison Pearson writes in the telegraph:
Yesterday came a damning official report by Louise Casey saying that Labour’s Rotherham borough council was “in complete denial” and had failed to respond properly to last year’s scathing report by Prof Alexis Jay. Men of Pakistani origin had been allowed to abuse white girls in part because of “misplaced political correctness”: council staff were terrified of being labelled racist. Cowards and fools, they “decided such issues should be dealt with by people from the Pakistani community”. Good thinking, chaps!
In Rotherham, Casey also found that police had failed to pursue Pakistani perpetrators for fear of “offending the community”.
What community? Not yours and mine, that’s for sure. So desperate is the situation that Whitehall-appointed commissioners are to move in and take over the council. In Rotherham, we see with terrible clarity how the whole edifice of multiculturalism is as rotten as a Tudor monarch’s mouth.
What Allison fails to note is that the kind of abuse that happened in Rotherham isn’t just limited to a particular ethnic group – white men will take just as much advantage of girls as any other race – the worrying element is if the report is true and staff failed to act out of a fear of being racist. And this is why I am strongly against religious schools where children are divided along lines of cultural and often racial background and never mix with anyone who is not of their belief nor race. This cannot be good for our future.
If we are to learn anything from the atrocities committed by ISIS – is that we must integrate the different cultures and backgrounds that exist within Britain better than we are doing at the moment. What makes a teenage boy or girl think that their life is only valuable when it has a bomb attached to it and they are kill themselves and as many people as they can?
How did we let this situation happen? The Prime Minister David Cameron has jumped in feet first to tackle what they would term welfare scroungers – but what about extremists and extremism? It is lazy to think of this as a muslim probably – any more than suggesting that when the IRA was active on British shores they were a catholic problem.
One of the reasons we elect politicians is to make us safe – so far, they have failed us. But if UKIP is the answer – we’re most definitely asking the wrong questions.
Fox News in America once again show just how cultivated they are when they got a so called “terrorism expert” was giving his perspective on the terror attacks in France.
To be fair -Steven Emerson did come out with a few gems “In Britain, it’s not just no-go zones, there are actual cities like Birmingham that are totally Muslim where non-Muslims just simply don’t go in.” There are many reasons not to go to Birmingham…… (some of them still speak funny) – but being over run by Muslim militants – is certainly not one of them.
He also made another gaff when he suggested that “London is patrolled by violent religious police”- if he’d of just left out the word “religious” -most of us who live in London – would probably agree that he had a point!!!
When you look at the faces above – it is difficult to think of the circumstances and drama – that they saw, sensed and felt in the final moments of their life.
Each person pictured was part of a debate into the story of our lives – one which religion has played a major part for our entire rememberable history.
That they were taken down by a couple of people with guns is not all that surprising. Maybe it should be. But that is not the world we live in. That it was done with such black and dark precision and indifference to extinguishing human life is no longer a shock.
The life of those who loved and believed that it was important was taken away from them by those who didn’t. Imagine- it is a life that belongs to you. Or so you think?
When I look at the faces above – I see a courage that I could not and cannot match. I have no religion – as far as I see – that is their time here done – for them – there is just darkness and rest.
Killed by those who cling on to an existence in another life that is more prosperous and important than the lives they currently lead. Like being poor and forced to stand outside Harrods – to be told that if you want the doors to part and you then be able to enjoy everything for free – you just need to kill someone/people and you will be accepted.
And that is the crunch – in the West we crave the pleasures of the life and materialism that is open to us – if we are good enough. For others – that materialism involves their death and a promise of pleasure comes from ending their own life and taking others with them. But as it includes their death – the ability of investigative journalism to question the accuracy of this – or what life on the other side is like – is not possible. And so there is nothing to halt the flood – the gates are open.
Many people have decided to retweet the pictures that made Charlie Hebdo infamous and have criticised broadcasters such as the BBC and ITV for not showing them.
However, by showing pictures of Mohammed – only serves to offended a large number of people. I don’t think that is the place of the BBC and actually respect their decision. Everything is about choices and what separates us from extremists – is that we mumble, grumble and moan…but we do NOT kill.
Charlie Hebdo must continue and if they want to print material that people find offensive – they MUST be allowed. But at the same time – companies must be allowed to also CHOOSE not to print images that others will find offensive. If they want.
Guess what – it’s part of being human. Nothing, but nothing should result in the scenes we saw in Paris on Wednesday morning. However, I don’t believe it will be the last. And that makes me sad. However, the fact that I am alive and able to write this – you know what – I’m very grateful and happy to be alive and all that life brings.
Monday Matters reporter Bonnie Britain spoke to Noel Sullivan, Lauren Samuels and Dan Fletcher who are embarking on a trek to Mount Kilimanjaro on the 2nd December 2014 for two charities: The lullaby trust and Bliss.
When Noel was younger, his family suffered two devastating tragedies; at only 6 months old, his brother, Dominic, was lost to sudden infant death syndrome. Just three years later, his sister, Alicia-Monique died prematurely aged nine days of complications relating to a brain tumour. Noel wanted to find a way to honour his siblings memory and felt these charities best serve this purpose. He will be joined by both Lauren and Daniel a mammoth 8 day trek to an altitude of 19,341 feet!
The poem is read by Gill Fraser Lee (@AHappyflower) on Jason McCrossan’s Saturday Breakfast show on www.sfmradio.com.
This is one of the most famous and enduring war poems, and it was written at an historic moment … just after the retreat from Mons and the victory of the Marne.
As to how it came to be written, Laurence Binyon, who celebrated his 70th anniversary on 10 August 1939, says: “I can’t recall the exact date beyond that it was shortly after the retreat. I was set down, out of doors, on a cliff in Polzeath, Cornwall. The stanza “They Shall Grow Not Old” was written first and dictated the rhythmical movement of the whole poem.