Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Assumed rapist files charges against victim for not disclosing her HIV infection

The Helsingborgs Dagblad, a local Swedish daily, reported recently that a man who is accused of sexually assaulting a young woman has pressed charges against the woman, for not disclosing she had HIV while he attacked her.

In August 2009 the man and woman took a taxi together in the Swedish town of Helsingborg. He told her she should come up to his flat so he could give her money for the taxi fare. When she arrived upstairs, the man forced her to have intercourse and participate in several sexual activities. She told police she begged him to use a condom, but without success. When she creamed at him she had young children waiting at home, he let her go, according to police records.

The man claimed he believed she was a prostitute and had paid her 3500 Swedish krona (around £315 or $480). He told police the reason she pressed charges against him was that she wanted to save herself. From what is not very clear. Perhaps the fear of being labelled a prostitute? It is not confirmed whether the man has been infected.

Friday, 25 September 2009

Early Christmas for residents of Rochdale

Do not be surprised if you see Santa Claus sometime this month in Rochdale, a suburb just outside Manchester. The local council has begun decorating the city centre for a series of activities, and this year it was decided, in order to save money, the town is also erecting Christmas decorations earlier than normal.

A giant Noel (Christmas) sign, a skiing penguin, images of Santa and holly leaves are among the decorations. Some residents thought the decision was ridiculous; Autumn has not even started properly and the town turns into one big Christmas ornament.

The local newspaper, The Rochdale Observer, spoke to a few residents. "Seeing the lights makes me feel depressed," said one. Another commented, "Absurd. It's the end of summer and they're putting up Christmas lights!" A spokeswoman for the Rochdale borough council responded: "We are merely putting them up and not switching them on. By putting them up now, we will be saving around £10,000".

Wednesday, 23 September 2009

Richmond police remove valuables from unlocked cars

The police in the London borough of Richmond have started removing valuable items from unlocked cars and leaving notes letting the owners know where they can collect their items.

Items like handbags and laptops will be removed and brought to the police station in Twickenham, also in south-west London, where owners can claim their possessions. By doing this the local police wants to encourage people to lock their vehicles and more importantly, to remove valuable items out of sight.

Last year, 1300 in-car thefts or ‘smash and grab’ attacks were reported in Richmond. 1/5 of these cases involved satellite navigation systems. Since July the figures have gone up by nearly 40% so the police decided it was time for swift action. If there are no items on display but the vehicle is unlocked the owner will receive a letter telling them to be more careful.

Monday, 21 September 2009

Johanna's final destination was not on board Air France flight 447

It could be the script of the first ‘Final Destination’ movie, but this time there were no cameras running. Austrian Johanna Ganthaler was on holiday in Brazil when she and her husband Kurt missed their Air France flight in June, the plane that was supposed to take them back to Europe.

Frustrated and angry with Air France staff when the plane took off without them, they were forced to extend their stay in Brazil and wait for the next flight. Their frustration, however, turned to grateful amazement, when their initial flight was Air France Flight 447, which crashed in the middle of the Atlantic, killing all 228 people on board, including a British schoolboy and a large number of Brazilian and French families.

Johanna and Kurt took another flight and arrived safely back on European soil, but they were not home yet. Was it fate, what happened next?

They were driving home in Austria when their car veered off the road into an oncoming truck. While Kurt was seriously injured, Johanna was killed instantly in the collision. It is not clear why they lost control of their vehicle.

Meanwhile, despite having disappeared from the headlines, the search for the black boxes on board of flight 447 continues. A nuclear submarine has been sent to detect the boxes on the bottom of the Atlantic. Time is of the essence, since the pings from the data recorders will stop sending out signals next month.
39 bodies have been recovered so far from the crash site. Authorities hope to use DNA and dental records to identify the corpses.

Johanna’s body was not hard to identify, but her fate was not less doomed. Less than 24 hours after she had missed the ill-fated flight and undoubtedly breathed more than just a sigh of relief, she died. It's the kind of story that makes you wonder about the nature of fate.

Friday, 18 September 2009

Cycling through 35 countries on just $2? It is possible

This week Keiichi Iwasaki finished a tour around the world, on his bike. The 36-year-old Japanese tourist has spent 8 years on his bike, cycling more than 45,000 km across 35 countries. And all with just the equivalent of $2 in his wallet.

Iwasaki headed out for a short cycle tour in 2001, in his home country Japan. He enjoyed it so much he decided to postpone his return home and took a ride on a ferry to South Korea.
His journey was not without problems. In Tibet he was attacked by a rabid dog, he escaped marriage in Nepal, got arrested in India and he was robbed by pirates.

Some of the countries he crossed during his trip around the world include China, Cambodia, Singapore, Pakistan, Iran, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Turkey, Greece, Croatia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Slovakia, Austria, Germany, Netherlands, France, England, Spain, Portugal and Switzerland.

Friday, 11 September 2009

the burqa in the UK

My latest radio 1 show about the burqa, in Dutch. Scroll to 1:23 (1 hour and 23 minutes)

Saturday, 5 September 2009

Live from London

'Manchester school massacre'.

My latest radio 1 show in Holland, September 3. Scroll to 1:16 (1 hour and 16 minutes) for my item

Thursday, 3 September 2009

Latest radio 1 show

My latest radio 1 show in Holland, September 1. Scroll to 1:21 (1 hour and 21 minutes) for my item.