Wednesday, 29 April 2009

Alien in Qatar?

A group of shoppers in Qatar, in the Middle East, got the shock of their lives when they spotted a creature which was branded a possible alien, it was reported last night.

A mysterious figure resembling a human being was sighted on the Doha Corniche's parking lot, according to local Arab newspapers. One woman, an Arab expatriate lady who said the had seen the strange figure near the Oryx statue, managed to grab her phone and take a picture, despite being terribly frightened. The results can be found above. The woman was surrounded by a large number of people who confirmed her story and also saw what she saw. A few seconds after the mother of three took the photo the creature took off and disappeared. Qatar police have started an investigation but without any results yet. Was it an alien? Animal? Hoax?

Monday, 27 April 2009

Drunk Obama and Putin won't be seen in Amsterdam(ned)

The organisers of the campaign 'I Amsterdam' came up with a couple of remarkable posters to promote the celebration of Queensday, every year at April 30th in the Netherlands (to celebrate the birthday of the Queen the whole country has a day off, dresses up in Orange and goes out to party).

Obama and Putin are on the poster wearing a t-shirt saying “kiss me, I am drunk“. It is remarkable this particular poster has been withdrawn, because no one has complained. Both the US and Russian embassies in The Hague did not release a statement or did not complaint to the Dutch government or Amsterdam council. The official reason is said to be the fact that Putin does not drink any alcohol and it could be 'highly insulting to someone who does not drink alcohol.'

This makes you wonder since when the feelings of a former KGB agent and ruler with an iron fist prevail over the freedom of press and opinion. Especially when you take into account that a poster featuring the French president, however, has not been withdrawn while the French embassy complained about a poster with Sarkozy's image on it. The French president is shown hugging his Italian counterpart Silvio Berlusconi. The embassy has demanded to stop the campaign immediately, but it was decided to ignore the complaints and release the posters anyway. Hillary Clinton can also be seen on one of the posters, with her hands in the air, celebrating the birthday of Queen Beatrix.

Tuesday, 21 April 2009

Getting drunk without drinking

A new pub in central London does not ask its customers to drink responsibly, but to breathe responsibly. When you enter the cocktail bar customers are literally enveloped in a mist of alcohol, an intoxicating spray of gin and tonic.

After around an hour inside, most customers feel cheerful and tipsy. To avoid smelling like a bottle of gin on your way home, and to protect your clothes, visitors are advised to wear special protective suits inside. The bar, which has place for around 35 customers, is decorated with huge limes and enormous straws to give you the feeling you are actually inside the drink itself. Instead of rock or pop music, a noise of liquid being poured over ice cubes can be heard.
The idea for this new bar came from Harry Parr and Sam Bompas. In Metro newspaper Bompas said: 'It's something we have always wanted to do. If you think of what you do in a bar you might spend 40 minutes per drink, so we've calibrated the mixology to account for that much.' Mr Parr adds: 'Here we've vaporised a cocktail. In the future I would like to make a liquid banqueting table.'

The Alcoholic Architecture Bar is based in Ganton Street (Newburgh Quarter), central London. Its opening hours are limited, between 7 pm and 9 pm and only on selected dates until April 25. Tickets are £5 and customers must be 21 or older. Visit for more information and tickets.
( April 21)

Monday, 20 April 2009

Indians to the polls

The world's largest democracy has started voting. Around 720 million Indians will go to the polls in an election that will take place in five phases. While the first round has already ended, millions will have to wait for their turn until the the beginning or second week of May. 124 constituencies are being contested during the month-long general elections.

The final results are expected on 16 May and a new parliament must be in place by 2 June. The current coalition government, led by the Congress-party and prime minister Singh, is facing one of the biggest challenges in its history, mainly from the opposition BJP-led alliance. Surprisingly, the two main parties are also competing against a "third bloc", mainly consisting of the communist and some regional parties. For now, it is too close to call.
(BBC/CNN, pics: BBC Website)

Tuesday, 14 April 2009

'Dirty French' violently attacked on central Paris night bus

These CCTV images shocked public opinion in France last week. A seven minute video of four youths, smoking and acting aggressive, shows them robbing and badly beating up a 19 year old student in the north of central Paris.
The victim can easily be identified as the young, blond man with the Burberry scarf. Passengers who tried to intervene were also punched and beaten. The CCTV images, shot last December, were put online by an unnamed police officer, and – of course – circulated in no time within the French press. It was announced the police officer who put the images online will be charged for releasing the video, which is a hit among far-right French voters. They see it as proof of how violent and aggressive the kids from the suburbs are, the so-called ‘Banlieus’. At some point you can hear the non-white attackers scream at their Victim ‘Sale francais’, which means ‘dirty Frenchman’.
Although the police said two of the youths were arrested on the spot after the bus driver alerted the police, the RATP Transport Authority said in a statement that ‘its bus drivers have strict orders not to intervene in defence of passengers but to stay at the wheel and press a silent alarm button.’ Many RATP drivers are scared and one was quoted as saying in the French newspaper Le Parisien: "If you do not have money for a taxi on a Saturday night, it's better to stay in the disco and wait for the morning."

If you want to see the video, please click here (warning: it contains violence and might be disturbing to some)

If you are interested in an interview with the victim, the 19-year old student who does not want to be named, please click here:


Thursday, 2 April 2009

Obama, Brown, Medvedev, Sarkozy, Merkel and other leaders in London for G20 Summit

While the American leader Barack Obama and UK’s prime minster Gordon Brown met in Downing Street ahead of the G20 summit, thousands of protestors gathered in the City of London last Wednesday.

Anti-capitalists, anarchists and climate change activists assembled in London’s financial heart on Wednesday morning. A few minor scuffles broke out as they plead for changes in the economic and financial systems. Some windows were broken at a local branch of the Royal Bank of Scotland and a small group of protestors managed to get on to the roof of the central bank, The Bank of England. According to Scotland Yard 23 people were arrested. The 7.5 million security operation compromised of 6 police forces and any leave during the two-day summit had been withdrawn.

Obama (US), Berlusconi (Italy) and Medvedev (Russia)

pics: Huffington post, BBC