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Posted in: Another new coronavirus case in New Zealand rattles public confidence See in context

Isn't the point of quarantine to prevent infected people from spreading the virus? The quarantine system in New Zealand seems to have worked will in this case, so I don't see what the outcry is about.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Posted in: Hong Kong police fire pepper pellets to disperse protests over security bill See in context

I never understood the point of national anthems. They're either total dirges, like Japan's or the UK's, or ridiculously jaunty, like most of Latin America's. If there was a law in the UK about disrespecting the national anthem I would have been in jail a long time ago, along with many others. The laws in the US against disrespecting the national flag also strike me as absurd. If you've got to legislate against people disrespecting your flag, then you've lost the battle already. Countries like China never seem to understand that.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Posted in: Does virus crisis stoke case for united Ireland? See in context

@Paul

At least get your history right, Paul. Yes, the British did colonise Ireland, but 450 years ago. Colonialism is wrong, but there comes a point when it's absurd to view it in that way. By the same token the US should be governed by Native Americans. The rights of indigenous people and the wrongs against them should be recognised, but you can't return to how things were and ignore those who've lived somewhere for centuries. I think you'll find that poverty amongst protestants in N. Ireland is just as bad as for the catholic community.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: Does virus crisis stoke case for united Ireland? See in context

@BigYen

I would say that the protestants in N.I Ireland have more in common with people in Scotland in terms of language and culture - that's why many Americans are always going on about being 'Scotch-Irish' as they come from a different background than all those people drinking green Guinness on St Patrick's Day.

I accept that the demographics are changing and wonder what will happen when protestants are in the minority.

It's a bit misleading to talk about catholic and protestant these days anyway, as almost nobody goes to church of any kind. On the one hand you have the catholic church famed for fascist support during the Spanish Civil War and WW2, or more recently their cover up of paedophile priests. On the other hand you have the grim life-denying presbyterianism which keeps parties like the DUP in power. The IRA were for the most part very anti-clerical and not exactly loved by the catholic church.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: Does virus crisis stoke case for united Ireland? See in context

@Jimizo

Exactly. And the fact is that the majority want to remain British. People forget that the reason that it is not part of the Republic of Ireland is because a substantial group of people did not want to live in a society ruled by the Catholic church. Until recently every aspect of life, including education and health care, was completely under the sway of that most repressive and undemocratic institution. I never understand why people think that because it's all one land mass there shouldn't be any border there. You may as well say that they should abolish the border between France and Germany for the same reason. All this talk about 'freeing' people is just ignorant and romantic nonsense. It's a bit like telling people in Manchester or Bristol that you're chucking them out of the UK because you want to free them from tyranny.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Posted in: 'Megxit' trumps Brexit and Iran in UK after royal bombshell See in context

Financial independence? They've taken the hard decision of keeping their 'cottage' as a UK base. £2.5 million was spent out of the public purse to renovate it. They want it all ways - they want to keep the good bits of being a royal, but avoid any work or responsibility. Perhaps they could discuss their 'unhappiness' with the thousands in the UK who depend on food banks or are living on the streets.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan calls Ghosn's escape 'unjustifiable' in first official comments See in context

The British press have reported that Ghosn decided to flee after he was informed that his trial had been put back to April 2021. This would mean that he would have been in custody for two and a half years before he even had a chance to defend himself. Ghosn is a pretty unsympathetic character, but there comes a point when it would be foolish to try and cooperate with such a corrupt legal system.

44 ( +49 / -5 )

Posted in: Justin Bieber kicks off 2020 comeback with new single See in context

I'd heard that Bieber was eager to move on from shallow teen pop music and wanted to be treated more seriously as a musician, to reflect the depth of his character and experience. I was sceptical, but, my god, he really seems to have pulled it off with 'You got that yummy-yum'. Take that, you naysayers!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Monty Python collaborator Neil Innes dies at age 75 See in context

They didn't mention his time in Grimms with the Scaffold: Mike McCartney, Roger McGough and John Gorman, and others such as Vivian Stanshall. I saw them live in the early seventies and I just about wet myself laughing. God bless you Neil!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Mausoleum visit See in context

Someone please let Masako wear a beautiful kimono instead of that horrible outfit she's wearing. The Japanese royal family have long been influenced by the British royal family, who are well known for their stodgy, unattractive clothes. In this respect, at least, the Japanese have the option of wearing kimono, one of the most elegant forms of dress there is, and should not try to ape such awful dressers as Princess Anne or, now, the younger new royals who have been forced into lumpish middle-aged styles which please no-one.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Posted in: Japan likely to face shortage of 270,000 nursing staff by 2025 See in context

Great efforts are being made in Japan to develop robots to do a lot of the nursing/care work. Anything to avoid immigrants tainting this wonderful nation's purity. The last thing sick or old people need is human warmth and understanding. Let's have cute humanoids who can kick a ball and lurch lopsidedly up stairs. Kawaii!!!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: George Clooney calls Trump's quip on Kurds 'pretty shocking' See in context

Actually, it's not such a strange comment by Trump. I remember my grandfather who was at Dunkirk complaining, 'Where in god's name were the Kurds when we needed them!' It's common knowledge the arrival of the Kurds was the thing Goering feared most in the Battle of Britain.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Posted in: Typhoon heads nearer Tokyo ahead of big Rugby World Cup weekend See in context

Cancelling the game would be very unfair for Scotland. I'm sure they'd have no complaints if they were eliminated fair and square by a defeat, but surely there would be no problem postponing the match for a day or two, even if the crowd was much smaller and tv schedules disrupted a little. Here's hoping Japan do the right thing and refuse a 0-0 result.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Posted in: Lions or lambs? Scotland must roar in Japan See in context

Lions or lambs? I'm not making a judgement about that either way, but I've been stocking up on mint sauce.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Canadian teen Andreescu beats Serena Williams to win U.S. Open See in context

@tooheysnew

Couldn't agree more.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Posted in: 27-year-old man arrested over sexual assault in 2011 See in context

In fact the UK has no statute of limitations for serious crimes. I never really understood why if you've committed rape or murder for example you should escape punishment, just because a long time has passed.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Posted in: Rugby World Cup in Japan not expected to be smoke-free See in context

Unventilated, non air-conditioned enclosed glass boxes with no seating, placed in unshaded areas should do the trick.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: Powerful storm lashes parts of Japan; snarls holiday travel See in context

commanteer

For god's sake, man! Evacuate now! Don't you care about the safety of your family?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Father arrested for attempted murder of 30-year-old disabled son See in context

As the son usually lives in a nursing facility, and was only home for Obon, how could the father be so tired of taking care of him?

11 ( +12 / -1 )

Posted in: 'A star is born!' Golf-mad Japan salutes 'Smiling Cinderella' See in context

I would also like to know why she is called 'Cinderella'. Was she born in poverty, or was she cruelly misused in her youth?

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Posted in: Trump tells Abe he is tolerant of N Korea's short-range ballistic missiles See in context

Trump might not be so sanguine if the missiles were flying over New York or San Francisco.

22 ( +23 / -1 )

Posted in: Man arrested for molesting flight attendant See in context

It's a rather strange request on a plane, or indeed anywhere, for a grown man to ask someone to 'take me to the toilet'. Perhaps he couldn't find any of the numerous toilets at the front/back/middle of the aircraft.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Posted in: Shibuno on brink of fairytale win in first major See in context

What on earth does her nickname mean? I can understand the 'smiling' part, but what about 'Cinderella'? Does she have three ugly sisters, or must she dress in rags while others go to the ball? Does she play in glass slippers? Someone please enlighten me.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Posted in: Guaido returns to Venezuela and a new phase in campaign See in context

I think Maduro is awful, and has no right to be in power in Venezuela. However I don't understand how Guaido can simply declare himself as leader, simply because he is leader of the opposition party. He hasn't been voted in legitimately either.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Posted in: About 40% of teens say school sex education is useless: survey See in context

Sex education isn't for those who already know, presumably the 40% who thought it was useless. It's for the 60% who are still unsure about some things and get useful information from the classes. The internet is hardly a good source. Either it's some god-awful porn site which distorts male female relations or it's social media with the usual bullshitters and nutters who think they know, but have got it all wrong. If you don't know, it's hard to judge what's reliable or not.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Posted in: Miss Philippines named Miss Universe See in context

Miss Philippines has shown to the world that women in our country have the ability to turn dreams into reality through passion, diligence, determination and hard work.

This is a beauty contest. If you're not beautiful it doesn't matter how hard you work, you're not going to win.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Posted in: Crown princess, on 55th birthday, says she is 'insecure' but vows to do her best as empress See in context

I wish they'd give more precise information about Masako's condition. Is it something like fibromyalgia or chronic fatigue syndrome? I know we need to respect someone's privacy, but it might encourage other people with whatever condition she has if they know that someone so high profile is also suffering.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

Posted in: Trump on Manafort pardon: 'I wouldn't take it off the table' See in context

In the so-called 'World' news section of this paper every item is about Trump. I think the man is awful, but there's a lot more going on in the world and not everyone is American.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Posted in: Garden party See in context

I'm fully supportive of Princess Masako, but I wish they'd be more precise about what's wrong with her, rather than a 'stress-induced illness'. She's entitled to some privacy, of course, but it might encourage others with the same condition to know that such a high-profile person shares their problem.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Jimmy Page looks back at 50 years of Led Zeppelin See in context

I once met Robert Plant in Dingwalls in London. This was around 1974. I went to the bar to buy drinks for the group of people I was with and he was standing next to me. Thinking he looked familiar, but unable to place where I knew him from I did what we all do in such situations - I asked a vague question. The following conversation ensued:

Me: How are you getting on? How's the job?

Robert Plant: Not bad, just the same old thing. How are you?

Me: Not so bad. (Drinks arrive.) Well. take care of yourself.

Robert Plant: You, too, mate.

I went back to my group of friends. They were really excited. My god, you spoke to Robert Plant! I felt really stupid. I suppose for him being an international rock star was 'just the same old thing'. I must say he was very nice, given what a prat I was.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

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