Friday, 28 August 2009

British teenager sails into history

A British teenager has become the youngest person ever to sail round the world after reaching the coast of Cornwall yesterday.
17 year old Mike Perham arrived at the finish in Cornwall, southern England, after completing 45.000 kilometers on seas and oceans. His fifty foot yacht took him via Portugal, the Canaries, South-Africa, Australia, New Zealand and Panama back to England.
Perham, originally from Hertfordshire, already holds the record for being the youngest person to sail across the Atlantic at just 14, when his father sailed next to him in a seperate boat. He needed to be home by the end of October to beat American rival Zac Sunderland's round-the-world record. The teenager has tackled 50 foot waves and gale force winds during his 45.000 km voyage. Earlier this year on March 16, he celebrated his 17th birthday in the South Indian Ocean.
He told Sky News: "There have been scary moments. You do ask yourself why on Earth you're doing it because you get put in these dangerous situations. But when you get out of them you think 'wow, incredible'. "I'm at one with nature and it's just me thousands of miles away from any help."

Wednesday, 26 August 2009

Microsoft causes racism row over Polish photo choice

Microsoft was forced to apologise for the choice to change a black face to that of a white man. The picture shows smiling employees sitting around a desk and appeared with a black man in the middle on the US website of the software giant.
The Polish website, however, shows a picture where the black man's head was replaced with a white face. Web editors apparently forgot his hands, since they were unchanged.
Microsoft removed the picture from its website yesterday and said in a statement "it would be investigating who made the changes". Many bloggers jokingly suggested Microsoft was attempting to please all markets by having a man with both a white face and a black hand. But the more likely reason why the black man's face was replaced should be sought in the marketing department of Microsoft Poland, who probably found a white man more suitable for the ethnic mix of the Polish population. 98% is white and catholic in Poland.

Wednesday, 12 August 2009

Angela Merkel's revealing neckline promises Germany the CDU 'has more to offer'

German elections are bound to become everything but dull this year. A local candidate in the Berlin district, from Angela Merkel’s CDU party, has spiced up her campaign with an election poster, featuring a picture of the German chancellor in a revealing top. The slogan speaks for itself: “Wir Haben Mehr Zu Bieten” translates as “We have more to offer.”

Europe’s biggest nation will head to the polls in less than two months and fierce campaigning around the country has begun. Vera Lengsfeld, the CDU candidate for the Berlin district of Kreuzberg.
Splashed around the chancellor’s breasts, Vera Lengsfield PR team printed the slogan “We have more to offer”, placing herself next to the German leader. She too is wearing an evening gown with a revealing neckline. The photo of Merkel was taken during the 2008 opening of Oslo’s new opera house, in Norway. It made the rounds in the German media last year (right).

The 57-year old Lengsfled said she “needed to come up with something to even be noticed in Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg.” The reason for this is she is running against Hans-Christian Stroebele, who has twice won the only directly mandated seat for the Greens.

She has clearly achieved her goal. Lengsfled has 20.000 clicks in one day on her election blog and she hung 750 posters in her district, although many have been stolen, according to the German channel ZDF, “because constituents want to have a souvenir.”

The reactions were divided. Some described the poster as “witty, cheeky and fun,” while others rejected it and dismissed it as “shameful and embarrassing.”

One person who will not be amused by Lengsfeld’s action will be the chancellor herself. Lengsfeld has not asked for permission nor did she notify the chancellor’s office in advance. That same office has so far declined to comment.

Another sign sex is returning to German politics is the poster of a centre-left socialist democrat. Candidate Halina Wawzyniak’s poster shows her bare back with the tattoo “Socialist,” and a slogan that reads “Mit Arsch in der Hose in den Bundestag”, a colloquialism that literally means “With trousers full of arse in the Bundestag,” a reference to plucky politics.

Friday, 7 August 2009

Unarmed suspect killed by Indian police in broad daylight

I received these pictures today from a journalist in New Delhi. It is at a market in the north-eastern India city of Imphal, close to the border with Burma/Myanmar. The police arrested someone (it’s not clear why), they bring him from the market building to a pharmacy (photo 1), follow the arrow. He does not seem to resist, nor to try to escape, nor to be armed or attempting to fight the police (photo 2). He calmly follows a police officers who suddenly seems to pull out a gun (photo 3).
Then he is surrounded by officers (photo 4 and 5) to hide the view for the public and one of the officers shoots him (photo 6). In photo 7 he is being carried away and has clearly died. Photo 8 shows him being laid down on a truck and in photo 9 his death body can be seen.
The police declared later they had to shoot him, because he was armed and on the run. The police declared he 'was extremely dangerous and had shot at officers and civilians'. These pictures clearly show this was not the case. Unlawful killings by the police are uncommon in India, but it rarely happens they are caught on camera.

picture 1

picture 2

picture 3

picture 4
picture 5

picture 6
picture 7

picture 8

picture 9
My friend works for the Indian publication Tehelka Magazine (based in New Delhi) and these pictures are published on their website