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Edition # 9
World news through our eyes
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AT THIS TIME OF JOY..empty space gif

As the tinsel blizzard of Christmas consumerism blows wild across our foreheads, those among us with a vestige of common sense seek peace and respite among the madness. Yes, this is a time for giving and togetherness but, as John Lennon himself once said, "Imagine all the people living in a Norwegian wood". More poignant words have rarely been spoken as the children of our nation swing their cricket bats of innocence against the googly balls of terrorism and credit card debt.

To those who see Christmas as no more than an excuse for mulled wine and office parties, I say think of Jesus impaled on a cross of wood and begging for an ambulance while the decadent looked on and laughed. I say think of our boys in the badlands of Iraq, patrolling in berets amid searing temperatures and missing the familiar hearty chill of a British Christmas. I say think of the white Zimbabwean farmers whose land and livelihoods have been so cruelly repatriated by Robert Mugabe and his militant war veterans and think most of all of the nurses and patients in discreet clinics where festive decorations and paper lanterns ring hollow among the poignant sobbing of the innocents.

Yes, Christmas is a time of cheer. Yes, it is a time for reflection and joy. But yet, too, this time of the year must surely prompt pause for thought and silent prayer for those whom God has chosen to ignore.

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The editor speaks

John Crow (above) speaks eloquently of how the tinsel blizzard of Christmas consumerism must not distract us from the plaintive cries of those whom God has chosen to ignore. However, while our thoughts at this time are with those of us less fortunate than ourselves, none of this should distract us from the very real threat of two British political parties trying to outfox each other by stealing the ideas of their opposition and causing the populace to become dizzy trying to remember who stands for what.

When New Labour gained power from the Tories in 1997, many of us anticipated a new society based on trust, joy and unity. However, the recent election of Michael Howard as Tory supremo and his subsequent despatch box call for compassion for the children of asylum seekers has left many of us with a total head-fuck situation where we don't know which bunch of these fools is more duplicitous then the other.

It is an indictment of our political system when the citizens of the UK hear party leaders call for the end of spin and we suspect that that call is itself a form of spin. To whom should we look for leadership when even David Blunkett's guide dog is more right wing his predecessor's guide dog - and his predecessor wasn't even blind but only used a phony guide dog to garner the touchy feely dog lover vote ?

Perhaps we should turn to Scotland's First Minister Jack McConnell, who this month marked himself apart from the common Commons herd with this passionate and truly uplifting speech:
" I for one would like to make it clear that I am glad that Saddam Hussein no longer has access to weapons of mass destruction because Saddam Hussein is no longer in power."

A landmark of oratory.

The editor speaks again...

Thanks from us to all who've been getting wreckered and coming back to us each month as we've flexed and grown over 2003. And thanks also to the occasional freelance drunks who have submitted stuff now and again for the magazine. This month we carry a story in the Newsbox by US correspondent Garin Pirnia and, below, a terrifying report submitted by Rupert Eden. Thanks and best wishes also to Keith, Jim, Dylan and Val for their input earlier this year.

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Animals are heeding a universal "Tarzan call" to terrorise humans as a punishment for failing to take care of the earth.
Special correspondent Rupert Eden reports.

Vegetarianism could see a massive comeback as animals the world over, both wild and domestic, are uniting in order to exact revenge for cruelty inflicted on them by bigoted humans. While testing pioneering
communications software scientists at MIT have discovered a high frequency bandwidth which animals could be using to co-ordinate attacks. Using this astonishing new technology a pattern or code can be deciphered reading millions of animal's brain-waves. On closer monitoring of these brain-waves is seems that animals are suddenly communicating en masse and their message is not likely to be peaceful.

Just in the last few months report of maulings, grizzly attacks and any number of biting and beatings have rocketed. In a recent case to hit the headlines a doctor has hailed the survival of American entertainer Roy Horn as a miracle after the magician's neck was gored by a 42-stone tiger. Roy Horn of the Siegfried & Roy show that has thrilled Las Vegas tourists for years was the latest victim at what has been a string of nightmare incidents involving big cats and other dangerous animals. The 59 year old entertainer is miraculously alive and is now able to move his feet and hands and is responding to treatment. It seems that the rare white Siberian tiger had enough humiliation which made Horn a millionaire.

empty space gifIn a separate attack a 28-stone tiger named Ming went for its taxi-driver owner who had it cooped up in an illegal makeshift zoo constructed in his New York flat. The owner claimed, "He didn't really attack me. He got confused and I got caught in the crossfire.", but we can exclusively reveal that the attack was not confused but part of a carefully orchestrated plot to put ignorant humans back in check. The Taxi-man's defence lawyer Raymond Colon said his client lied to hospital doctors in New York, saying he had been bitten by a pit bull, because he feared authorities would destroy his tiger. Colon added: "There was no criminal intent here, and he tried as much as possible not to be reckless." He was of course referring to the cabbie, not Ming.


empty space gifAttacks are occurring more frequently and with increasing ferocity. Earlier this month a squirrel chased a primary school class out of their room and then chased them back inside - an apparent copycat attack which has occurred in numerous schools across the U.S. The head teacher of the Valley of Enchantment school in Crestline, California described the squirrel as "wacko". Police were called to the school but found no trace of the horror squirrel. Sheriff's detective Chuck Wyatt told reporters, "Staff stated there was a vicious squirrel on campus. It didn't injure anyone." Head teacher Terry Stanfill says around 20 first-year children were in a portable classroom with the door open when "the squirrel waltzed in". Staff are now considering posting security guards on classroom doors.

Zoos have also been warned to be extra vigilant after a string of incidents including a gorilla which injured a two-year-old girl after escaping from a Boston zoo for the second time in two months. In a vicious attack the 21-stone gorilla, known as Little Joe, grabbed the child, threw her to the ground and jumped on her. Zoo New England President John Linehan calmed public fears saying, "Little Joe roamed Franklin Park Zoo and nearby Boston for nearly two hours before being sedated with tranquilliser darts". In similar incidents in Miami a zookeeper was knocked down by a 20-year-old elephant which repeatedly kicked him into a pile of rocks and a 635-kg camel knocked its handler to the ground before rolling and stomping on him.

Attacks are not confined to the United States. In Scotland a 74-year-old died having been gored by a Highland cow, a Japanese man had to use a judo throw to scare off an Asiatic black bear and in India man-eating wolves killed six children in a forest. In London a sleeping four-year-old girl has been attacked by a fox after the animal crept into her bedroom. Ignoring roast chicken leftovers in the kitchen, it walked up the stairs to the first floor and into Jessica's room to commit the attack. Another fox attacked a 14-week-old baby as he slept next to his mother in Dartford, Kent, in July 2002.

So what is going on and where will it end ? Each day seems to present new challenges for farmers, animal entertainers, zoo-keeper and wildlife enthusiasts. The message is clear ,"Steer Clear, Tread Carefully - The Animals Are Back.

Rupert Eden

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