Our village in the news

We drove through Long Ashton yesterday morning at 7.15, to find six or seven police cars in the main road, and a fire engine. We didn’t have time to stop, and there was nothing on the radio news about it.

We drove back through at about 2.30 p.m. Still lots of police cars, two outside broadcast units, and a huge police incident unit in the Co-op car park.

Very sad case – man set fire to his house, then hanged himself, , 6 year old child died :( I know it’s a clich√©. but I just wouldn’t expect it to happen *here*.

More details from BBC news, and from The Times here.

a good day for free speech

from the Independent:

Environmental campaigners seeking to stage a protest at Heathrow airport this summer claimed a huge and symbolic victory yesterday after a High Court judge massively scaled back the terms of an injunction sought against them.

and

Meanwhile, in a separate victory for free speech, the Lord Chief Justice, Lord Phillips, dismissed an appeal by the Director of Public Prosecutions that could have seen the Parliament Square anti-war protester Brian Haw restricted in his right to protest.

This doesn’t happen nearly often enough, of course, but we can celebrate it nonetheless.

not in my name

An Italian judge has ordered 26 US citizens – most of them CIA agents – to stand trial over the kidnap of an Egyptian cleric in Milan in 2003.

more from the BBC here.

just move it

I’m amused by a letter to the Times today, in response to the Grosvenor Safety Group. Apparently, this GSG consists of about 100 people who think that they are being sacrificed as “collateral damage” because they live so close to the US Embassy, and the police and government should close off the local roads.

this letter to the Times (from M S Crawley) makes the succinct – and laudatory – suggestion that the Embassy should be relocated.

to the Dome.

good plan, I thought.

Meteor!

and where’s Bruce Willis when we need him eh?

well *done*, Barbara Clark

“All women with early stage breast cancer are to be tested to see if they could benefit from the drug Herceptin, the government has announced.”

more here (BBC Online)

natural disasters in a civilised nation

the more I read about the appalling situation in New Orleans, the more depressed I become. This article from The Guardian gives some background into the lack of funding, and what seems to be deliberate and reckless disregard for the views of experts in the field.

it’s all been said before, and probably better, but this is the richest nation in the world, FFS – they failed to protect their citizens before the hurricane, and they are failing them still. People who survived the hurricane and floods are now dying from dehydration and disease. Bodies are lying in the streets, in the water. People are being shot for trying to get drinking water.

it seems that the police are joining the looters. There is no command and control. From the other side, ambulances and rescue helicopters and hospital supply lorries are being shot at and prevented from doing their job. Rape and murder seem to be happening all over. The rescue services are too scared to deliver what is needed.

my heart goes out to those trapped in the city, but the descent into anarchy has been frighteningly swift.

I don’t remember reading any tales of similar behaviour in December when the tsunami hit South East Asia …

not in my name

“Alleged bomb plotter claims two and a half years of interrogation under US and UK supervision in ‘ghost prisons’ abroad.”

more on this from the Guardian here.

well, I suppose it’s a start

West Midlands Police is dismantling ten speed cameras and removing film from another 50 after the first official admission that badly positioned devices could undermine road safety.

more here.

edited to correct broken link – thanks to syllopsium

value for money?

“The Royal Family cost Britons ¬£36.7m last year, equivalent to 61p per taxpayer, figures show.”

more here.

are they worth it?