Unheralded Stuff: 31 January 2014

by Lord Sutch

Breaking newsSo if you’re all done reading the myriad articles on Lorde, including our own Jonny Potts’ thinkpiece then you must be thirsting for something of actual news-value. Well we have just the death, destruction and disaster for you. It’s time for Unheralded Stuff.

In Baghdad, Iraq, armed men have staged an assault on the transportation ministry, killing at least 20 and taking hostages. The hostages have subsequently been freed, and four of the eight who stormed the building have been killed. No-one’s taking responsibility for the attack, but it does bear the hallmarks of the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant. Oh and just casually, there was a bombing near a market and restaurant in Kasra and Talbiyah which killed another six people.

Bangladesh has sentenced the leader of the opposition to death because fuck democracy. He’s been found guilty of arms smuggling. To be fair, in 2004, 10 trucks were seized that were loaded with weapons, and while the origin of the weapons was never established publicly it is assumed they were bound for fighters in India.

In Panama, 32 North Korean sailors have been ordered to be released after being detained last July for carrying hidden weapons from Cuba. However the captain and two other crew members will remain to face trafficking charges. It’s great that the majority are being released, but y’know, being held for that long without actually facing charges seems a bit … well shit.

Stem cells no longer required aborted foetus it seems. Which is a sentence that is gross. But new studies published in the journal Nature have described a method of taking mature cells from mice and turning them into embryonic-like stem cells which can be coaxed into becoming any other kind of cell. According to the article it can be as simple as putting the cells in an acidic environment. Oh the future is now!

The biggest company you probably haven’t heard of has reported that profits will be 20% lower than expected. Serco, which runs the private prison in Auckland, as well as a shit-tonne of other public/private partnership-style companies and facilities around the world is currently “co-operating” with the Serious Fraud Office in the UK after allegations it was overcharging for prisoners. Hey who could believe that private companies would try to profit from detaining prisoners? Not me! That’s for sure.

Tony Blair apparently hates democracy. He’s given “staunch backing” to Egypt’s militarily imposed Government after meeting with its leader. In an interview, Blair said that the Muslim Brotherhood, who was democratically elected had “stolen” Egypt’s revolution. That doesn’t even mean anything you hypocritical war-mongering piece of scum.

And speaking of Egypt, prosecutors there have said they will charge 20 al-Jazeera journalists with fabricating news and “tarnishing Egypt’s reputation abroad“. Can you imagine if we had laws that draconian? Say what you like about the press in New Zealand, but when TV3 reporter Tova O’Brien is able to get Labour Muppet David Clark to say publicly his party would ban websites, and she doesn’t suffer any recriminations then you can feel proud that you live in a relatively free country.

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