When Raul Moat went on the rampage in the UK in July 2010 he left behind a trail of devastation. His actions changed some people's lives forever. One was PC David Rathband who was blinded as he went about his police duties. Shot in the face and shoulder David's life rapidly changed, forever. He faced many challenges and along the way became an author and set up his own charity.
Lately though friends had been concerned about David's state of mind and well being. Today, March 1, 2012, the news broke that David has been found dead at his home in Northumberland. Police were called to his home yesterday evening. The police are not looking for any person in connection with David's death.
David had struggled to resume his life after being blinded by Moat. Last Summer he and his wife separated after reports of violence at his home.On the day in question he had visited the hospital to have more lead pellets removed from his face.
People in the UK were continually amazed by David's charitable work, in aid of oother officers who had suffered terrible injuries, and his bravery. Family members had become concerned about David lately though and it is generally believed that he was suffering from PTSD, post traumatic stress disorder. Did he receive enough support and care?
Tributes have been pouring in for David today including ones from police officials and UK PM David Cameron. David fought bravely to rebuild his life but it was not to be. Murderer Raul Moat in some ways become a hero after his dastardly deeds. Misplaced heroism would not have helped David to cope.
In March of 2011 David was even taunted by one Kelsey Donkin. As he was walking into court to face the trial of Moat's accomplices she showed off in front of friends. She loudly proclaimed, Bang Bang, whilst making shotgun gestures at David. He was understandably upset having to leave the court due to the affect this had on him. Donkin went before a court for her actions. In the end she was fined and received a 12-month supervision order. She reportedly realised that her actions were wrong and had written to David to apologise.
PC Rathband faced "black" every morning as he had no sight at all. It was reported that attempts to restore any sight had failed.
Early reports indicate that David committed suicide.
RIP to a hero and condolences to the family
Media sources are reporting the death of Davy Jones, once a member of that sixties pop sensation, The Monkees. He was aged 66.
Classed as the lead singer of The Monkees. Jones was an established child star prior to finding musical success. He appeared in early episodes of British soap Coronation Street and UK police series Z Cars before moving to pastures new. The Monkees were known as the first "created" band after been put together to perform and feature in a TV series of shows..
Officially no cause of death has been revealed yet but a spokesperson has said that Davy died of a heart attack, in Florida.
Musically snubbed by "proper" bands and musicians, in their prime The Monkees had legions of fans, mainly teenage girls. Although they were a "manufactured band" they all were talented performers. The self titled US shwe, The Monkees, was a hit with young viewing audiences around the globe in the late sixties. The Monkees had nine top 40 hits during their "heyday" but failed to be accepted , except for by their fans.Bio Here
UK political correctness or madness?
In the UK there are many times when we grimace at words, especially when they are directed at us. Different parts of the country have traditionally used "pet" names. This could mean you being called, love, duck, pet, darls, sweetheart and so on. Often it depends who says it, how it is said, the situation and your personal stance as to whether or not it causes offence. For some there is also a little snobbery involved and noses turned up accordingly.
The UK in spite of its many ills is intent on political correctness these days. Yesterday, February 28, 2012, a football supporter was in court for tweeting racist remarks
. He was found guilty of two offences under the Malicious Communications Act and only just escaped a jail term.Racism is one thing though but what about terms such as "old dear?"
Well if you overheard someone calling you an "old dear" you would no doubt be understandably angry, no matter what your age. A new report in the UK is asking that firm guidelines and rules are established. The report calls for ban on the use of patronising language against older people by hospital staff, health care professionals and care workers.
It asks that terms such as "old dear" and "bed blocker" become totally unacceptable. As unacceptable as sexist or racist remarks. The report also states that "compassion" must also be brought back into the care of the elderly. Sky News has reported on the Commission for Dignity in Care, stating "The report calls for an end to 'persistent failings' in elderly care. It says those who fail to show enough compassion towards older people should be barred from entering the health and care professions, even if they have all the required qualifications. It believes the whole system needs fundamental change".
Compassion should go without saying. Too many new entrants into the health care professions do not have the necessary caring skills or desires. They enter health as a means to building a career and financial gain. Whilst there is nothing wrong with wanting to progress and prosper, health care needs a certain level of committment. Plus tt needs caring skills.
However barring all "pet" terms seems extreme. Having been a hospital patient and bereaved relative I know that some times such a word or phrase can offer comfort. It can feel more persoanl and genuine than using your full title and name.
On the other hand having had experience, of the working kind, of a ward where every elderly patient was referred to as Bed 1 or Bed 2 and the like, i know all is not well. When you say to the member of staff, " but yes, what is the man's name in Bed 1" and they have no idea, it is time for change.
What we need to do however is find a happy compromise. The report said, "Like many others, we have been deeply saddened by the reports highlighting the undignified care of older people in our hospitals and care homes. In too many cases, people have been let down when they were vulnerable and most needed help.That of course should not be happening. However there is much more to fix than using the term "old dear"
Liberal Democrat MP Chris Huhne was a serving minister in the UK Coalition government. He resigned from the role of energy secretary, early in February 2012, to fight criminal allegations. He is accused of asking his now former wife to take penalty points on to her driving licence, instead of having them applied to his. This is illegal in the UK. It would mean that his licence and his freedom to drive would not be affected.
When the "heat" intensified Huhne opted to resign, although still maintaining his innocence. The former Mrs Huhne had in effect instigated the allegations but that action has back fired on her. Yes, Hell hath no fury,
like a woman scorned. She too however is now facing criminal charges.
Today however the news about Mr Huhne is in relation to a claim for severance pay that he has decided to make.
If you a resign from a post it escapes me just how come you can claim severance pay. It your hand was forced, and in many ways it was a constructive dismissal, that is a different matter. You would probably have a legal claim but no doubt that would have to go through the courts.
However, once again we are learning that whilst the UK government continue to preach austerity and a whittling down of rights they do not practice what they preach. Sky News has reported Mr Huhne as,
- As a Minister, he earned £68,827 a year on top of his MPs' salary of £65,738.
- Chris Huhne has requested a £17,000 payoff after leaving the Cabinet to fight allegations he committed a criminal offence.
- Huhne is personally wealthy after a career as a financial journalist and City economist and reportedly owns eight properties.
It turns out that other Ministers have taken severance pay in the past, but not all who have been eligible have done so. Some it seems do still have principles. Labour MP John Mann mirrors public anger at the severance pay claim. He wants such severance payments scrapped. Mann is proposing a Bill to do just that. He said, "This is outrageous. We should be asking Mr Huhne why he considers it appropriate to accept this money when the country is facing deep cuts. Mr Huhne should repay this undeserved bonus immediately. Now is the time for Parliament to back my Bill and ban these payments. I am also calling on David Cameron and Ed Miliband to back the Bill because there is no sense in making massive payouts to disgraced cabinet ministers."
Surely the nation will agree with this? What a disgrace. More political hypocrisy. Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg has chosen to sit on the fence yet again. His comments on the severance pay news were, "It's his decision. It's an individual decision. He's decided to take that severance pay.Pressed further, he added: "It's a decision which he has taken and he has taken alone."
Not good enough Mr Clegg. Not by a long chalk.Huhne and his former wife will appear in court on Friday March 2, 2012.
65-year-old Christopher Tappin
was extradited to the US last week.from the UK. He is a British Citizen but Home Secretary Theresa May signed the extradition warrant without regret. Tappin had fought a two year battle against extradition but in the end there was no escape. Such is the extradition treaty that there is no easy way out.Today Tappin appeared in a court in El Paso
. It was a brief appearance which will be followed up with a bail hearing on Friday. It is generally believed that he will enter a plea bargain. The alternative could be financial ruin and a longer jail term. He does however maintain that he is innocent. It is alleged that he illegally exported weapons parts to Iran. It is claimed that there is a strong case against Mr Tappin who was apparently caught out in a US sting operation. Tappin maintained that the parts he was exporting were to be used in cars.Today Mrs Tappin
appeared before the UK Commons home affairs committee. Attorney General Dominic Grieve QC told the MPs that problems with the UK US treaty were "not readily curable" Perhaps then some effort should be made to do so.
He went on to say "I think there's a lack of public confidence in the US justice system, which is a rather wider issue and more complicated than the minutiae of the treaty agreement. "There are perceptions in this country that the US criminal justice system can be harsh, its penal policy can be harsh, and its sentencing policy can appear disproportionate by European and British standards. There are aspects of it therefore which tend to make people uncertain and uneasy, and I'm not sure that that's readily curable."Of course in the UK it was noted that, the country is unable to deport Abu Qatada, wanted in Jordan for crimes, as it may breach his human rights.
He is not a British citizen.Mrs Tappin tearfully told the committee
"of her despair that nobody was prepared to listen to his defence before "carting him off"".
More hereUK petition to withdraw from extradition treaty here
Obama Privacy Bill of Rights: Is It What the U.S. Needs Or Not?
The post here was written in February 2012. Today July 11, 2012 there is news which relates to the article. Find it at the end of the report, after you refresh your memories as to the original content.
This blogger receives updates from various companies online. The latest included information on possible Internet privacy changes. It seems that many Western countries are intent on preventing us maintaining our Internet freedoms. Recently TEK reported that the Canadian government were looking at making changes. The UK has limited its users freedoms also. The latest email contained information about proposed US changes. Here is what it said:"The Obama Administration announced a privacy plan last week in hopes of increasing protections for consumer privacy. The Administration has been working toward this effort for several months and has created a framework consisting of a Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights, a multi-stakeholder process to determine how the rights will apply to the context of business, an adequate enforcement model, and a commitment to strengthen interoperability between the privacy standards in the U.S. and its global partners.
While privacy advocates welcomed the proposal, for the most part, some of them have voiced concerns about the enforcement of the plan. Others, including Adam Thierer, a senior research fellow at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, have also spoken out in opposition of the White House’s proposal.
According to Thierer, the intentions at the core of the plan appear to be good, but the consequences that may result instead could be very harmful. For instance, he believes the framework is strikingly similar to the privacy laws and regulations in Europe.
He told us that, if fully executed, the Administration’s approach could be damaging to consumers and competition for Internet businesses. In addition, Thierer said the plan could limit new services and lead to more government regulations over the Web.
In the White Paper released, the Administration asks Congress to adopt the Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights and give the FTC and state attorneys general the power to enforce them. However, given the election year and other pressing issues, Thierer pointed out that it was unlikely that anything would happen in this regard this year.
Do you think the U.S. needs “Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights”? We’d love to hear your opinion"
There you have it. It is for you to decide how this may affect you and whether you find it acceptable.
July 11, 2012, RT has reported that last Friday US President Obama "quietly" signed an Executive Order allowing the White House to control all private communications in the country in the name of national security. What! The full RT report can be found here.
A pertinent line or two that you may find interesting reads, In explaining the order, the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) writes that the president has authorized the DHS "the authority to seize private facilities when necessary, effectively shutting down or limiting civilian communications." Make of that what you will!Tags: SOPA, internet privacy, Obama signs order, US President Obama, US privacy
As US politicians move from election mode to severe election mode, all are out to gain some political ground. Political leverage is what it is all about. Deciphering what is simply spin or hype, as opposed to what could be principles, is not easy.The White House website, and President Obama, are on the 2012 Election bandwagon too. Here is one the latest reports from the White House, which for this blogger, is a great one.
As Barack Obama is the first black US President a meeting with inspirational African Americans from a previous era must have made for a great day: "
President Obama invited six special senior citizens to visit the White House to honor as unsung heroes, in recognition of Black History Month. These individuals strengthen their communities through extraordinary everyday acts of service -- reliably committed, but seldom recognized. During Black History Month, we pause to salute and reflect on the contributions African Americans have made to the rich fabric that makes up the United States. There are many untold stories that reveal the best of Americans who stepped up when duty called, broke color barriers, or quietly made their communities better one person at a time. In tribute, President Obama recently invited six special senior citizens to visit the White House to honor as unsung heroes. These unsung heroes are individuals who strengthen their communities through extraordinary everyday acts of service done with reliability and commitment, but who seldom receive recognition. Among those who visited with President Obama were pioneers in the struggle for racial equality, educators who changed their communities through the classroom, and people who believe that a lifetime serving others is a life well spent. The honorees were: Theodore Peters, one of the first African Americans to enter the U.S. Marines and train at Montford Point, NC, after the corps desegregation and a community leader in his South Side Chicago neighborhood. Gladys Reid, a Cleveland, OH, volunteer who feeds the hungry twice a week and volunteers at local hospitals, often caring for patients who are 20 years her junior. Velma Lois Jones, the first black classroom teacher elected to serve as president of the Tennessee Education Association and a local leader in the areas of civil rights, politics, community service, and education. Columbus Preston Holmes, a former class valedictorian, World War II veteran, postmaster, sports commissioner, Selective Service board member, community leader, and active member of Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Mound Bayou, MS, since joining the church 84 years ago. James “Alley Pat” Patrick, a member of the Tuskegee Airmen during World War II, radio and television broadcaster, and Atlanta bail bondsman who came to the aid of many jailed activists during the Civil Rights movement, including Martin Luther King Jr. Marguirette Levere, a church missionary, volunteer, adviser, and role model to her rural Maryland community – roles she filled while tending to daughter Barbara, who has cerebral palsy and has been severely disabled since her birth 77 years ago. Remarkably, Marguirette doesn’t wear glasses or take any medicines at the age of 106. Stories of African Americans like these honorees do not have a singular narrative, but most contain common threads of resilience and perseverance. These Americans are shining examples of a legacy that keeps our nation strong and makes our country great. To learn more about these amazing individuals, check out the Root’s “Salute to Unsung Heroes”"
Last week a US journalist and a French photographer were killed in Homs, Syria. So often we underestimate the risk reporters take in making sure the World keeps up to date with current affairs, especially from war torn regions.
Sunday Times photographer, 47-year-old Paul Conroy faced a similar fate when he was in effect trapped in Homs, and injured. Media footage had showed him appealing for help and an escape and yesterday there were reports that his wife wanted authorities to break any necessary protocol and get him home. In the same situation wouldn't we all make such demands?
Today the good news is that he is reportedly out of Syria and in the Lebanon. The BBC has reported that Paul was smuggled out of the devastated city by Free Syria Army members and opponents of the Assad regime.
Mr Conroy had been trapped with French journalist Edith Bouvier who's whereabouts are not known. Homs continues to take a battering from the regime forces and the political wrangling and war of words continues too.
In what will be seen as a controversial move the UK is set to offer free NHS treatment for foreign nationals who have HIV. Campaigners for the move claim that the government backed initiative will in the end save money and lives. Without treatment the risk of passing HIV to others, including British citizens, will be high. At a time of budget restraints on the NHS others will see this move as yet a further strain on stretched resources.
Free treatment for migrants is already in place in Scotland and Wales.The BBC reported that,
"Public Health Minister Anne Milton said: "This measure will protect the public and brings HIV treatment in to line with all other infectious diseases. Treating people with HIV means they are very unlikely to pass the infection on to others."
Yusef Azad, director of policy at the National Aids Trust, said: "If someone is tested and treated early, it is much cheaper than them presenting themselves in hospital with a much more serious, complex condition that can cost tens of thousands of pounds to treat."
Professor Jane Anderson, chairwoman of the British HIV Association, said: "This is good news for people living in the UK who are HIV positive and also for public health in general."
Critics claim the decision could prompt so-called health tourism and put the NHS under further financial pressure.
But the government pledged tough guidance to ensure the measure is not abused.
The Department of Health said it would be difficult for somebody to come to the UK specifically for treatment as the process took months to administer and monitor.".The Telegraph has reported the cost as, "It typically costs up to £7,000 a year to treat someone diagnosed with HIV and an average of £300,000 per patient over their lifetime with the disease".
Oscar night proved to be a success especially for The Artist. This black and white, silent movie continues to entertain and has justly been rewarded. Harping back to the Golden era of Hollywood audiences have taken it to their hearts. For the Oscars it takes the ceremony in many ways back to its roots and the first Academy awards in 1929.
Of course the Oscars is as much about "star gazing" as the films. Check out the Red Carpet for who wore what. Jennifer Lopez during the after show interviews, the Vanity Fair event, was noticeable for a revealing dress which left little to the imagination.
Oscar Winners 2012:
BEST PICTURE - The Artist
BEST DIRECTOR - Michel Hazanavicius - The Artist
BEST ACTOR - Jean Dujardin - The Artist
BEST ACTRESS - Meryl Streep - The Iron Lady
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR - Christopher Plummer - Beginners
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS - Octavia Spencer - The Help
BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM - A Separation - Iran
BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY - Midnight in Paris - Woody Allen
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS - Octavia Spencer - The Help
BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM - A Separation - Iran
BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY - Midnight in Paris - Woody Allen
BEST ANIMATION - Rango
BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY - The Descendants - Alexander Payne, Nat Faxon and Jim Rash
BEST ART DIRECTION - Hugo
BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY - Hugo
BEST SOUND MIXING - Hugo
BEST SOUND EDITING - Hugo
BEST ORIGINAL SONG - Man or Muppet from The Muppets - music and lyrics by Bret McKenzie
BEST ORIGINAL SCORE - The Artist
BEST COSTUMES - The Artist
BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE - Undefeated
BEST DOCUMENTARY SHORT - Saving Face
BEST FILM EDITING - The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
BEST ANIMATED SHORT FILM - The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr Morris Lessmore
BEST LIVE ACTION SHORT FILM - The Shore
BEST VISUAL EFFECTS - Hugo
BEST MAKE-UP - The Iron Lady
So there you have it for another year. The Glitz, the glam goes on. Congratulations to The Artist and our favourite Meryl Streep.