Wednesday, 29 October 2008

The nature of the beast

In Somalia a woman accused of adultery was killed on Monday evening by public stone throwing. The brutal sentence was carried out in the port town of Kismayu which is held by Islamic rebels.
Hundreds of local people, including several members of the woman's family, are said to have gathered in a public square to witness the execution.
The woman, Asha Ibrahim Dhuhulow, 23, was bound by the hands and legs and placed screaming in a hole in the ground. Several men then threw stones at her head.
Some reports claim that Dhuhulow was removed from the hole and placed back in it at least three times before her executioners were satisfied that they had completed their abhorrent task.
A child who may have been running towards the woman was shot dead by a guard.
Reports from various sources, including Amnesty International, now say that Dhuhulow was aged only 13 years and that she was in fact a rape victim.

Sunday, 26 October 2008

Playing the sympathy cards...the Ace of Hearts, the 3 of Bishops

Jörg Haider, the right-wing Austrian politician perished at the wheel of his official Volkswagen Phaeton motor car. We were told by the media that the tragic accident had happened as he was on his way to celebrate the 90th birthday of his mother.
A great funeral was held in the capital of the Austrian province Carinthia. Three bishops in their pink skull caps were prominent on the front row of the black mass of mourners sitting in rows in the city square. Steel helmeted green soldiers were on parade. A gun carriage carried the coffin. The wife picked up fallen rose petals. The President and all the political leaders were there to pay their respects. It was doubtless a moving spectacle.
Haider, 58, trumped in the recent elections by the young and virile populist - the boy Strache, who took 40% of the youth vote and finished 3rd close-up behind the two main parties, was said to have been considering a re-merger of his BZÖ (orange is a lighter shade of brown) with his protege's rapidly ascending xenophobic FPÖ (bright and breezy blue).
Conspiracy theories now abound; a Mossad assassination or a Slovenian terrorist acting alone are two popular scenarios. The fact of the matter is that Haider was drunk. Witnesses in a popular gay bar a few miles from the crash site have spoken of how the politician drank a bottle of vodka in less than an hour and of how he walked unsteadily to his car shortly after 1am on the fateful morning and drove away after refusing a lift home.
Three questions the conspiracy theorists and the rest of us should be asking are these:
Why did the Austrian authorities delete the SMS messages on Haider's telephone?
Why did Haider's deputy, Petzner, get out of Haider's VW a few minutes after the duo left a Velden night club together earlier that night?
Why did Haider feel the need to get drunk?
The time has come for all players in this bizarre game of cover-up to lay their cards, face up, on the unholy altar of truth.

Tuesday, 14 October 2008

Que Cera ...Cera?

Austrian 2008 Tour de France rider Bernie Kohl (trans. Cabbage), 3rd on the podium in Paris and overall winner of the red polka-dot King of the Mountains jersey is the fourth Tour de France rider to test positive for the banned substance Cera*. Stefan Schumacher, Kohl's Gerolsteiner teammate and roommate on Le Tour is one of the others to have tested positive.
Kohl (trans. Cabbage) received a letter containing a 20-page document with the results of two positive 'A' samples (tested: 3rd July and 15th July) on Friday. On Monday he met with Andi Schwab, head of Austria's Anti-Doping Commission, in a Klagenfurt hotel and was suspended from competitions pending the results of his 'B' samples. Said Schwab, "I am not happy. Once again Austria is making negative international headlines."
Italian cyclist Riccardo Ricco who injected himself with the blood-booster before the start of Le Tour has been banned for two years. Ricco, who was advised to use Cera by the banned physician Carlo Santuccione won stages 6 and 9 of Le Tour in spectacular fashion. Ricco tested positive on July 17th. The case against teammate Leonardo Piepoli is still pending. Both riders have been shown the door by the Saunier-Duval team.
Bard on the Run, who dopes on bananas and beer, applauds the work of Wada (World Anti-Doping Authority)!
The organization now has the technology and expertise to check blood samples taken as long as eight years ago. In the fight against the cheats the latex gloves are being pulled on. The dopers may run but now there's no hiding place.
The International Olympic Committee has given Wada permission to test 969 blood samples taken at the Beijing Olympics.

*Cera - Continuous Erythropoiesis Receptor Activator - from Hofmann-La Roche produces increased levels of red blood cells and therefore gives an obvious advantage to drug cheats in endurance events. Cera was developed to help patients in hospitals and on dialysis.