Thursday, 10 January 2008
Wednesday, 9 January 2008
Shafilea Ahmed's body was found on a riverbank in February 2004
A teenage girl whose body was found on a riverbank five months after she vanished was "beaten and robbed" by her parents, an inquest has heard.
The decomposed body of Shafilea Ahmed, 17, of Liverpool Road, Warrington, was found on a Cumbrian riverbank in 2004.
The inquest was told Shafilea was unhappy about her parents' plans for an arranged marriage for her in Pakistan.
Homelessness officer Anne-Marie Woods, from whom Shafilea sought advice, said she feared she would never return home.
There had been a build-up of violence towards me, and my mother told me I was about to go to Pakistan for an arranged marriage
Shafilea Ahmed, in a statement before her death
Ms Woods, giving evidence at the inquest at County Hall in Kendal, Cumbria, said Shafilea alleged her parents beat and robbed her.
In a personal statement written by the schoolgirl, as part of an effort to apply for accommodation away from her parents' home, Shafilea said: ""I had saved £2,000 which they took out of my bank account.
"My parents are going to send me to Pakistan and I'll be married to someone and left there.
"There had been a build-up of violence towards me, and my mother told me I was about to go to Pakistan for an arranged marriage.
"My mother had started to pack and my parents had been in to school to inform them we were going to Pakistan."
Ms Woods said: "She came across as a shy, quiet girl.
"She came across as being genuinely frightened of this impending arranged marriage."
Ms Wood said the teenager turned down accommodation in a Liverpool refuge because she did not want to disrupt her education in Warrington where she was hoping to become a lawyer.
She said the teenager was given emergency accommodation in a hotel and told a flat would be available on 10 February 2003, but chose to go back home.
Ms Woods added: "She had returned to her parents after they had agreed not to take her to Pakistan."
Police arrested her parents on suspicion of kidnap alongside five other relatives from Bradford after her teachers reported her missing in 2003.
But all were later released from bail.
As the opening of the hearing Shafilea's father said he was "surprised" when she went missing.
Pathologist Dr Alison Armour also revealed it was "not credible" that Shafilea died of natural causes.
The medical expert believed the teenager been strangled or smothered to death.
Despite a five-year murder investigation by police nobody has ever been convicted over Shafilea's death.
What Lovely people, This was a beautiful young woman murdered by greedy stupid backward control freaks, I like the way they robbed her as quickly as possible keeping to type their well done.
Yet the British High Commission are interfering with the Justice proceedure just so "the court could consider a social services report from London on the girls"
We already know what they are, They are stupid patois talking Urban R&B & Rap Listening, bling and trainer wearing morons, that would have done it all over again if they had not be caught.
Let the local form of justice follow its normal course and give them 30 years each or better still beheads them,
It might then filter through into the most weed infested brain, smuggling Coke is not a good idea no matter how much "nice trainer and bling de man promise init"
ACCRA (Reuters) - A court in Ghana on Wednesday delayed for a second time the sentencing of two British teenagers found guilty of smuggling 6 kg (13 lbs) of cocaine to allow a social services report to be taken into consideration.
Yasemin Vatansever and Yatunde Diya were arrested on July 2 at Accra airport when Ghanaian anti-drugs officers said they found cocaine worth 300,000 pounds ($620,000) in laptop bags they were carrying as they boarded a flight to Britain.
The two, both 16, were found guilty by a juvenile court in the former British colony last November. They are now due to be sentenced on January 23.
Sentencing had originally been due in early December but was delayed until Wednesday so the court could consider a social services report from London on the girls.
"We got word from the Ghana social welfare department that they have not finished studying the report," British High Commission spokesman Gary Nicholls told reporters.
"Since they are expected to add their comments before submitting it to the court, the judge has agreed to give them a further two weeks," he said, adding the judge would not allow any further delay beyond January 23.
The teenagers, who pleaded not guilty to the charges, have said they were tricked into carrying the bags by male acquaintances in Ghana and Britain, and did not know their content.
The two were arrested under Operation Westbridge, a project set up by Britain and Ghana to tackle drug smugglers using Accra airport as a gateway to Britain and Europe.
LONDON (Reuters) - The parents of missing girl Madeleine McCann have denied media reports that they are planning to turn the story of their daughter's disappearance into a film.
"We can categorically deny that we are considering a movie about Madeleine's disappearance. This is simply untrue," her father Gerry wrote on his blog.
The youngster disappeared last May shortly before her fourth birthday during a family holiday in the Portuguese beach resort of Praia da Luz.
Her parents, whom Portuguese police have named as formal suspects, believe she was abducted from their holiday apartment as they had dinner with friends at a nearby restaurant.
Despite a string of possible sightings and a huge police investigation, the girl's whereabouts remains a mystery.
On Wednesday, most tabloids reported on their front pages that the McCanns were hoping a film might help their search and raise money to pay for a team of private detectives they have hired.
The reports said the 1.2 million pounds raised by public donations to search for the missing girl has almost been exhausted and that the parents' spokesman Clarence Mitchell had confirmed meeting film representatives.
"Some of the media coverage today has been at its worst since Kate and I were declared arguidos (official suspects)," Gerry McCann said in a blog entry dated on Tuesday.
"As stated today by Clarence, there was a preliminary discussion between a production agency and a representative of Kate and I to discuss the possibility of a documentary about the issues we have faced since Madeleine was abducted."
He said the couple had been approached by "a huge number of media outlets regarding a myriad of projects" but they only agreed to a tiny proportion."Each proposal is considered on whether it is likely to have a positive effect, either directly or indirectly on the search for Madeleine," he said
Tuesday, 8 January 2008
Updated:16:20, Tuesday January 08, 2008
A film could be made about Madeleine McCann's disappearance after talks with a major entertainment company.
Her parents are considering giving permission for IMG to make a movie or documentary.
Their spokesman confirmed to Sky News Online that a meeting with the firm took place last month.
But he said Gerry and Kate McCann did not attend and stressed nothing has yet been agreed.
Clarence Mitchell said a film would only be considered if the McCanns believed it would help raise awareness of the case or help fund the private search for Madeleine.
IMG, the firm behind the award-winning drama-documentary Touching The Void, made the initial approach, it is thought.
The resulting meeting in mid-December discussed the possibility of making the story of four-year-old Madeleine into either a film or a TV drama.
Mr and Mrs McCann were aware of the meeting but did not attend in person.
Instead, Mr Mitchell and another representative of the McCanns met IMG at the firm's London offices.
The spokesman said: "We have only had one discussion with IMG. It may or may not happen.
"If we feel any particular proposal in the media has validity in helping us find Madeleine, we are happy to discuss it."
Mr Mitchell said it was just one of many approaches that have been made by media companies over the missing girl, who vanished from her family's holiday apartment in Portugal in May.
In a statement, Darlow Smithson Productions, a production company owned by IMG, said: "Darlow Smithson had a preliminary meeting with representatives of the McCanns about the possibility of an observational documentary following the ongoing search for Madeleine.
"Discussions are still at a very early stage and the issue of money has never been raised."
Yeah Right, Making Fims and TV shows is a very expensive business, and those engaged in it are NOT noted for their charitable behaviour!
"The Money" will be one of the first things to be discussed so they can work out how much they are going to sell it for and it will sell belive us.
Monday, 7 January 2008
Instead of selling its digital catalogue through the customary sales channels, Sony intends to launch a gift card service called Platinum MusicPass, through which customers will buy a digital album card in shops and download the full-length albums from a website after they type in an identifying number on the card.
"The introduction of MusicPass is an important part of Sony BMG's ongoing campaign to bring its artists' music to fans in new and innovative ways, and to develop compelling new business models," says Thomas Hesse, Sony BMG president, global digital business. (What he actualy means is DRM does not work, it never did, but we never wanted anyone getting their hands on MP3 files, but I think we failed, so we have now come up with this bullshit instead)
The moves makes Sony the last of the big four music labels to drop DRM, following similar actions by EMI, Universal and the Warner Music Group.
Napster has also announced that it intends to start selling MP3s, as the industry increasingly looks to boost sales.
Clarkson stung after bank prank
TV presenter Jeremy Clarkson has lost money after publishing his bank details in his newspaper column.
The Top Gear host revealed his account numbers after rubbishing the furore over the loss of 25 million people's personal details on two computer discs.
He wanted to prove the story was a fuss about nothing.
But Clarkson admitted he was "wrong" after he discovered a reader had used the details to create a £500 direct debit to the charity Diabetes UK.
I was wrong and I have been punished
Clarkson published details of his Barclays account in the Sun newspaper, including his account number and sort code. He even told people how to find out his address.
"All you'll be able to do with them is put money into my account. Not take it out. Honestly, I've never known such a palaver about nothing," he told readers.
But he was proved wrong, as the 47-year-old wrote in his Sunday Times column.
"I opened my bank statement this morning to find out that someone has set up a direct debit which automatically takes £500 from my account," he said.
"The bank cannot find out who did this because of the Data Protection Act and they cannot stop it from happening again.
"I was wrong and I have been punished for my mistake."
Police were called in to search for the two discs, which contained the entire database of child benefit claimants and apparently got lost in the post in October 2007.
They were posted from HM Revenue and Customs offices in Tyne and Wear, but never turned up at their destination - the National Audit Office.
The loss, which led to an apology from Prime Minister Gordon Brown, created fears of identity fraud.
Clarkson now says of the case: "Contrary to what I said at the time, we must go after the idiots who lost the discs and stick cocktail sticks in their eyes until they beg for mercy."
Are we the only people in the UK who are reminded by Muslim behaviour of the crowd waiting for the stoning in "The Life of Brian" the preist only has to mention "Jehova" and they start chucking rocks no matter what the context in which the words are mentioned?
Muslims call for 'no-go' CoE bishop to resign
By Caroline Gammell
Last Updated: 1:29am GMT 07/01/2008
Muslim groups have demanded the resignation of the Bishop of Rochester after he claimed that Islamic radicals had turned parts of Britain into "no-go" areas for non-Muslims.
The Rt Rev Michael Nazir-Ali wrote in The Sunday Telegraph that fundamentalism had made some communities hostile to Christians and those from other faiths.
Crowds of people in London's Whitechapel High Street
Supporters say Bishop Nazir-Ali’s comments have raised valid questions about multiculturalism in Britain
But Mohammed Shafiq, from the Ramadhan Foundation, said: "Mr Nazir-Ali is promoting hatred towards Muslims and should resign."
Ajmal Masroor, of the Islamic Society of Great Britain, said: "It's a distortion of reality. Our communities are far more integrated than they were 10 years ago.
"If the Church of England had an iota of fairness they would take serious action."
But senior figures from the Church of England have backed the Bishop of Rochester's remarks about faith and said Christians in predominantly Muslim areas could feel isolated and nervous about how to express their belief.
The Bishop of Burnley, the Rt Rev John Goddard, said his colleague had raised serious questions about the role of faith, race and culture in British society.
The Bishop of Blackburn, the Rt Rev Nicholas Reade, said it was becoming difficult for Christians to share their faith in areas where there was a high proportion of other faiths.
William Hague, the shadow foreign secretary, said: "I don't think that view is factually correct. I'm not sure where these no-go areas are, I don't recognise that description."
But Bishop Goddard said that Christians, who are outnumbered in many parts of Blackburn, were frightened that their ideas could be misinterpreted by other faiths and seen as a form of oppression.
"It is not fear that there is going to be retaliation but it is a fear that you get it badly wrong and cause hurt to others of integrity of other faith you did not intend," he told The Daily Telegraph.
"When you engage in proclaiming the Christian faith in an area dominated by another religion, I and others tread very carefully so that the message is heard and not seen as some sort of oppression."
Bishop Goddard said Christians in northern towns such as Blackburn and Burnley, where 95 per cent of the Asian population is Muslim, could find life difficult.
"I think they sometimes feel as though they are strangers," he said. "It is a question of how people of different beliefs work together. Of course, the vast majority of Muslims are peace loving."
Endorsing Bishop Nazir-Ali's comments, he said: "Bishop Michael has raised these issues as a start of a debate which has serious connotations.
"The seriousness is how do you enable people of different cultures, races and faiths to live together as one nation, that seems to be at the back of what he is saying."
Bishop Goddard said the increased wearing of the hijab in parts of Britain was a cultural rather than religious phenomenon.
He added: "So many tensions are driven by culture rather than faith. My hope is that we can work effectively across the boundaries of other people then faith can be used as a means to understand each other."
Sunday, 6 January 2008
LONDON (Reuters) - Islamic extremism has turned some areas of Britain into hostile "no-go areas" for non-Muslims, a Church of England bishop said on Sunday.
Writing in the Sunday Telegraph, the Bishop of Rochester, the Right Reverend Dr Michael Nazir-Ali said non-Muslims find it hard to live or work in these separate communities.
Muslim leaders and politicians dismissed the bishop's comments as scaremongering and said there was no evidence to support his views.
The Pakistan-born cleric compared the hostility found in these "no-go areas" to the intimidation associated with some supporters of far-right political parties.
"There has been a worldwide resurgence of the ideology of Islamic extremism," the bishop wrote. "One of the results of this has been to further alienate the young from the nation in which they were growing up and also to turn already separate communities into "no-go" areas where adherence to this ideology has become a mark of acceptability.
"Those of a different faith or race may find it difficult to live or work there because of hostility to them.
"In many ways, this is but the other side of the coin to far-Right intimidation."
He added: "Attempts have been made to impose an 'Islamic' character on certain areas, for example, by insisting on artificial amplification for the Adhan, the call to prayer."
The bishop warned that a "multi-faith mish-mash" without "moral or spiritual vision" was eroding Christianity.
There has been a wide-ranging debate over integration and radicalisation among Britain's 1.8 million Muslims since four UK Muslims killed 52 people in suicide attacks in London in 2005.
Prime Minister Gordon Brown has spoken of the need to integrate communities better and isolate extremists from the moderate majority of Muslims.
A spokesman for his Downing Street office had no comment on the bishop's remarks.
The Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) said Nazir-Ali was "talking nonsense" and had no evidence to support his views.
"This is irresponsible scaremongering," an MCB spokesman said. "Where are these so-called areas that he's talking about?"