Ukraine and Poland are hosting the UEFA Football Championships in 2012. The event kicks off, literally, on June 8 in Warsaw, Poland.. On the face of it this is all good news for football fans in the Ukraine and Poland and for the countries as a whole. An increase in visitors and the money which they spend is good news, isn't it?Well in these two countries it may not be.We recently published a report from PETA regarding the killing of dogs in the Ukraine.
According to PETA, "Did you know that in Ukraine, dogs are being shot or poisoned and left to endure agonizing deaths? Watch the new PETA video to see the shocking animal abuse that the Ukrainian government is trying to hide from the rest of the world. The 2012 European Football Championship will begin next month, and host countries Poland and Ukraine are busily preparing for the games. In Ukraine, this preparation includes a barbaric attempt to purge the streets of homeless animals in order to keep the misery of abandoned and neglected dogs out of the public eye. While the clearest solution to animal overpopulation is to promote spay-and-neuter initiatives, homeless animals in Ukraine are being caught and then shot or poisoned and thrown into mass graves or crematoriums to be burned
An email from a concerned animal volunteer today, May 31, 2012, included an update. Elaine has been contacting mainstream news agencies in order to publicise this senseless and brutal killing. Here is what she wrote,
The slaughtering of dogs and cats (mostly dogs and said to be in the many thousands) is still going on in the Ukraine but the
emphasis lately seems to be on the racism of football fans in the Ukraine and Poland. I found this today, it is a Russian forum where they are asking for Russians to go into the Ukraine to finish the job off of "cleaning the streets" and being paid. The translation is not ideal but obvious, You need to scroll down under countries, click on UKRAINE, and then the top topic "Comrades! Need Help with Euro-2012 http://translate.google.com/translate?sl=ru&tl=en&js=n&prev=_t&hl=en&ie=UTF-8&layout=2&eotf=1&u=http://vredy.org/&act=url
This is a new undercover video of the situation
It seems The People newspaper is the only British paper to have done a follow up on this massacre last month!!So what can you do? Sign any petitions you can find online. Contact embassies and get the news out. Use Facebook, Twitter and other means online to make sure this terrible killing is not swept under the carpet. It must be stopped. A boycott of the football would be a good course of action but football fans may balk at that. However just how safe foreign fans will be in the Ukraine and Poland is debatable.In recent days we have seen footage of police in the Ukraine wielding their own rough justice plus neo nazis threatening foreigners to stay away, especially if they are not white skinned.
Ukrainian officials have hit back at allegations of racism but the evidence is there. Even Ukrainian Sex Shops are hoping for a boom in industry but it is worth noting that HIV rates in the Ukraine are the worst in Eastern Europe.So visit the European football competition in Poland or the Ukraine and you could come back home with far more than you bargained for.
UK BBC program Panorama aired earlier this week, showing a stark picture of football violence in the Ukraine but the authorities
have promised to protect foreign visitors.The Ukraine has a terrible human rights record. It needs the UEFA champions to be a success. It needs the money. However unless it cleans up its act it will be far from a success.For this blogger cleaning up the streets by killing dogs will not help their cause. It is unecessary, costly and cruel. Time is running out for the Ukraine and Poland. For too many dogs time has already run out. Stop the killing NOW.Please sign the PETA petition hereTake Action campaign - petition here
On may 11, 2012 six children died in a fire at their home. They died as they slept upstairs. Jade, 10, brothers John, nine, Jack, eight, Jessie, six and Jayden, five, all died in the house fire in the family's Derby home. Brother, Duwayne, 13, died three days later in hospital from his injuries.Parents Mick Philpott, 55, and his wife Mairead, 31 appeared on TV in the days following the deaths. They appeared understandably heartbroken. Something however must have not rung true. On May 29, 2012 it was announced that the police had taken the parents into custody for questioning. Police officers asked for more time to question the couple. Today May 31, 2012 the parents have been charged with murder.Mr Philpott, it has been reported, is the father of 17 children in total. Our earlier report on our UK website said:Some people in the UK may have heard of the Philpotts pre this tragedy. According to the BBC, "The family attracted attention in 2006 when Mr Philpott asked the council for a larger house to accommodate his wife, girlfriend and 14 children. In 2007, former Conservative MP Ann Widdecombe spent a week living with the family as part of an ITV documentary and Mr Philpott also appeared on the Jeremy Kyle Show."
Mr and Mrs Philpott were remanded in custody at Southern Derbyshire Magistrates' Court May 31, 2012. They are to appear at the Nottingham Crown Court Friday June 1, 2012.The hearing at Derby court was not without its drama. One couple were ejected from the court for abuse. Mr Philpott blew a kiss to supporters in the public gallery and shook his head during the reading of the charges, according to the BBC.A fund has been steadily growing since the deaths of the six children. People have given generously to help fund their funerals. The total has passed the £10,000 mark but donations will still be gratefully accepted. The funerals are still being organised but Derby Cathedral has agreed to hold a Catholic service.RIP
Ten days ago seven people were killed in an earthquake in Italy. Famous landmark buildings were damaged in the 5.8 tremor. Today another earthquake in Italy has this time killed 15.This second quake has struck the same region as the earlier tremor. The Emilia region of Northern Italy
had nt had time to recover from the first earthquake before this second one struck. More people have been displaced and Italy is facing an added burden on its already stretched economy.There were 6,000 people made homeless before today but this figure is estimated to have risen to 14,0000. PM Monti has pledged help but it will not be easy. Early reports
claimed that many people were buried under rubble. Searcg and rescue is under way. Good luck to all involved.RIP
The footage below relates to the same incident but tells a very different story. It is up to you to decide who you believe. Whoever was responsible there is no escaping that more than 100 people were summarily executed on May 25, 2012, in Houla, Syria.
Many were children some of whom had their skulls smashed in and or their throats cut.
World leaders joined forces to condemn the killings. Russia and China's continuing UN veto means that taking action will not be straightforward. Today however May 29, 2012, many countries in the West have utilised their diplomatic option.
In the UK Syrian officials have been expelled from Great Britain. Other countries such as Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Australia and Canada have done the same. It may be a drop in the ocean against the Syrian regime but it is a start.
Bashar Assad's wife holds a UK passport. Her father is a leading Cardiologist in the UK. In an attempt to persuade Mr Assad to desist petitioners are pleading with Mrs Assad
. Her father has already questioned just what is going on. Whilst some people in Syria suffer oppression and worse she enjoys a lavish lifestyle spending money as if it were going out of fashion. How much longer she can ignore what is happening is hard to guess. If she does know the truth then in the end she will be in as damned a position as the regime leaders.
Expelling diplomats will be the start of what could prove to be a very long road for Syria and the World.
The Voice UK semi-final result show
aired at 7.15pm Sunday May 27, 2012. The show got off to a great start as the remaining eight acts performed together showing both their diversity and their talent. Unlike previous song contests the result show was not dragged out interminably. It still ran for 45 minutes and was padded out with look backs at earlier performances and more.
First up was team Danny with Bo and Max. Through to the final was Bo. No surprise there then.A few backstage interviews to pad out the proceedings then it was Jessie J's acts, Vince and Becki. A hard one to call as both were very good. In the end it was Vince who has been consistently good.
First tears of the night by Becki but she was gracious in defeat.More spiel, forward looking this time also to the final next week, and then it was
Team Tom. Ruth and Leanne are two mighty divas with age difference separating them more than anything else. Who would the public vote for? First surprise of the night, it was Leanne. She has worked hard for it though improving each week.Sir Tom looked gutted. He promised sincerely that he would do what he could to help
Ruth's musical career and you could see he was telling the truth. Way to go Tom. Before the final two of the night veteran pop sensation Kylie Minogue strutted her stuff as she mimed her way through her latest release.Last but not least was Team Will.i.am with Tyler and Jaz. Both excellent performers
Tyler was given a task and a half for the semi-final having to perform Bohemian Rhapsody. On the semi-final performance it should be Jaz through to the final but was it?OK so play the fanfare. It was the second surprise of the night, Tyler.Check back next week for a review of the final and of course those all important results.
Whilst the West quite rightly condemns the Syrian Regime for the latest civilian deaths
in that country, yet more civilians have died at the hands of NATO forces in Afghanistan. Yes we all know that in War such things happen but once again we are playing a hypocritical role.Hilary Clinton has taken to air to condemn Syria but as usual Afghanistan is brushed under the carpet.
Yesterday a British soldier was killed in Afghanistan by an IED, improvised explosive device. Deaths in the military or civilian life in Afghanistan are all to be condemned.What we often choose to forget though is the ordinary man, woman and child in Afghanistan who has been trying to live a semblance of normal life since 2001, when NATO forces entered that country. It was not a war in the traditional sense. There was no declaration of war between at least two parties. Terrorists were ruining Afghanistan and once the West began to feel the brunt of terrorist attacks it claimed
that military action was a necessary "fight against terrorism".That made it easy to convince people in the West that this phoney war was valid, but not all were convinced.As we all know people become terrorists for many reasons, not least if they have viewed oppression by outside forces
and an invasion of their country. The USA and their fight against terrorism is ironic in many ways. Many in the USA not only applauded terrorists in Ireland and their bombing campaign against the UK, some even funded the violence. There was no talk of beating terrorists then. These people will say that the Irish terrorists had a valid cause one presumes, but we cannot choose to live by the sword without consequences, can we?Imagine the UK or USA invaded by a foreign force. One that wants you to give up your way of life and adopt theirs. One that has no respect for your religion or way of life. Would you happily play ball with these invaders? We think not!There are many insurgents in Afghanistan. Some will be nothing more than criminals. However there are many ordinary people who we are supposed to be helping not murdering. Not so long ago, supposedly one rogue US soldier, SSG Bates, entered the homes of Afghan civilians and killed 17 people, including children. The breaking news today, May 27, 2012, is that NATO forces have now killed eight civilians in their own home. The death toll is a family and so includes children. Six in fact.In 2011,
3,021 Afghan civilians were killed as insurgents notched up their bombing campaign.Would these people have been killed with or without foreign forces beig in Afghanistan?. According to the official figures of these deaths 77% were down to insurgent attacks and 14%% to what is often termed "friendy fire". This means almost 500 of the deaths may be attributable to foreign forces.In one year remember.Many countries are finally racing for the exit door from Afghanistan. That is both good abd bad news. A handful of coutries such as the UK and USA will be left "holding the fort". The situation is not stable and has not improved enough to guarantee a positive outlook for Afghanistan.This week world leaders will waste money once more as they meet to discuss Syria. How many more meetings do they need? Much rightly will be made of the deaths but what about Afghanistan? When will be hear some news on the accused SSG Bates and the results of investigations into the many killings of civilians in Afghanistan.Where do we go from here? You tell me.
Mainstream media is today reporting on the Syrian massacre Friday May 25, 2012, and many are including terrible images. Syria is proving a tricky one for world leaders to resolve. In some ways it would seem that the West has turned a blind eye to the civil war raging in that country.Part of the problem is what to do and how. Russia and China continue to use their veto at any UN votes on intervention which leaves few options. Of course world leaders could choose to wade in as they have done in the past in countries such as Iraq but the outcome this time could be more than damaged reputations.
UK PM Tony Blair lost all credibility once he joined forces with US President George Bush and untilised Bill Clinton.If you coldly look at the crisis in Syria it is plain to see that many world leaders fear action. Most of these leaers are facing elections this year and people have no stomach for yet another damaging War.
In some ways then the UN vetoes give these leaders a breathing space. However, in truth, they could be wringing their hands, frustrated that they are unable to act further.But all of this of course does nothing to help the people of Syria.In Houla Friday more than ninety people were killed including 32 children.
Images displayed on the front page of Sunday Tabloids in the UK show the terrible truth. They include bodies with their throats cut and skulls split open, What is the truth is still hard to ascertain though. The Syrian regime are still attempting to blame ongoing killings on terrorists or insurgents whilst the rebels claim the regime is responsible. The military are still using heavy weaponry in residential areas which has been widely condemned.Friday's massacre came after skirmishes between Syrian forces and protesters. A protester was killed which led to both sides fighting on the streets.
The military brought out the big guns and waded in causing mayhem in a residential area. UN observers are finding that their work in Syria is unmanageable. They appear to be having little impact but things could be much worse without their presence.The Syrian regi
me continues to say that it will respond to violence with violence. Propaganda is rife and determining the truth is almost impossible. There is no denying the deaths in Houla though and the thousands more who have died since the Syrian uprising in 2011.RIP
Links to full story in the Independent
The Voice UK semi-final
aired May 26, 2012, a little before Eurovision 2012. Whilst the BBC in the UK was concentrating on a musical evening ITV had live International football. Norway v England was to be the first outing for new England Manager Roy Hodgson. It may have been billed as a friendly but a win, and a sound win at that, is important.As the football kicked off, literally
, The Voice UK semi-final was drawing to a close. The voting lines opened and the results show is on air Sunday May 27, 2012.There were some powerful, strange and bland performances on the show. Just who will go through to next week's final? It is a hard one to call as what the voting public may like could differ from who the professionals would like to go through.Bo as usual gave a special performance but is she perhaps becoming a little boring? Ruth sang her heart out but perhaps a little too much? Tyler's peculiar performance of Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody was downright strange.
It was simultaneously good and bad, if that is possible. What will the voting public think?The post show predictions are that Bo and Jaz should be safe, but who can really tell?The show ended with a performance by former Girls Aloud star Cheryl Cole. That girl can sure move. She was understandably out of puff by the end of the performance. Much had been made before of the show that she would be performing live. Well that proved to be untrue. She may have recorded a special version for The Voice UK but she was obviously miming.The results show tomorrow will include a performance by pop princess Kylie Minogue. Perhaps she will actually sing.Check back for a review and the results tomorrow.
As Greek turmoil continues it seems many have advice for the troubled Greeks. Austerity is the name of the game but how much suffering can you expect a nation to endure. It is a Western nation used to at least some of the modern niceties of 21st Century living and as such can you expect the people to want to live in the dark ages?
Cutting a country back to the bone often provides a backdrop to uncertainty, civil unrest, revolution or war. Germany may hold the purse strings right now but it should not forget how it came to its privileged position. Yes the German people have fought hard to rebuild but it was the same people who cost the World dearly. This blogger's father, a World War Two veteran, would often comment in the fifties how different it was in the UK to Germany. How the winners of that war became the financial losers after in effect bailing out Germany.
It seems that when the boot is on the other foot Germany does not want to know.
With one week to go to the Diamond Jubilee
many people in the UK are preparing for a weekend of celebrations. It will be hard to escape what could be jubilee madness as UK TV schedules will be swamped with all things Jubilee. The festivities could be a big winner for the UK due to memorabilia sales and an increase in tourism but will the celebrations ultimately lead the UK into more debt? British people do have a "spend" mentality these days which is almost a compulsion. All too many people follow the live now pay later premise. Gone are the days in the UK when people would budget well and stay clear of debt. From the early days of Hire purchase or as some called it "buy now pay later", to the advent of credit cards,
the British journey into a love affair with debt has been swift and far reaching. Now times are tough once more many Brits are struggling to make ends meet.Another sign of the changed face of the UK
is the fact that Hospitals will be on Red Alert for the Jubilee weekend, expecting an influx of drunks and related accidents. If the weather is kind the UK is set to hold many "street parties" and celebrations such as garden parties and barbecues. Most will be an excuse to get drunk. Queen Elizabeth's coronation parties and street parties of the past have been somewhat restrained serving tea and sandwiches. In 2012 there will be some that are alcohol fuelled excuses for a blow out.The long weekend will mean that UK workers can let their hair down big time. Workers in some areas of employment will not benefit from the extra days leave but on the whole Great Britain is about to Party. Economists expect the effects of the extra days leave to cost UK industry dearly. So much so that they believe the damge will far outweigh any positives for the economy. Currently manufactirer's of Jubilee related souvenirs have been experiencing a boost in profits. Sales of these goods abroad have been improving all year. In these times of austerity though we all need to get away from this feeling of "see it buy it".
Most of us have far too many items around the home that we do not need or really want. Apart from the financial cost, the cost to the environment is often huge.To those who are looking forward to the Jubilee celebrations, have fun. Queen Elizabeth's Diamond Jubilee is a remarkable achievement
and shared only with one previous British Monarch, Victoria. We Brits do pomp and ceremony remarkably well. We should do after all these years, when all is said and done.Times have changed though and perhaps it is not appropriate in 2012.
Visitors from other countries will of clourse love the spectacle but they will not be footing the Bill, will they?. Will the Jubilee prove a finacial success or plunge the UK into yet more debt? We shall soon know.