Report condemns British police over failure to investigate stalking and harassment

In 112 recent cases of stalking and harassment reviewed by UK police watchdogs, "not a single one was dealt with properly," reports the BBC. The report, "Living in Fear," found that victims of harassment and stalking were widely disregard and left at risk, and often told that the harassment they received was their own fault.

One in five women and one in ten men report being stalked in the UK. The Crime Survey for England and Wales (as quoted by the BBC) reports 4.6% of women and 2.7% of men aged 16-59 were victims in 2015-16.

One victim said police made her feel she was to blame for receiving abusive messages on social media. "It was my fault for being on Facebook," she said.

The report also said police officers were failing to recognise repeated signs of a stalker, by treating each complaint in isolation rather than being part of a pattern.

That, in turn, meant police and prosecutors did not see the bigger picture and appreciate the full scale of the harm suffered by the victim.

Helen Pearson, from Devon, reported her stalker to the police 125 times over five years.

"They literally didn't want to know," she said. "I was a nuisance."

One victim publicly refused to accept an apology from Devon and Cornwall Police after being attacked by her stalker with a pair of scissors.

Helen Pearson, 34, suffered neck and face wounds when her neighbour Joseph Willis attacked her with scissors in an Exeter graveyard.

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Piers Morgan owned

Piers Morgan is a British journalist, pundit and Trumpkin who blew his big break in America and now presents breakfast television when not being nasty to women on Twitter. Here he is on Good Morning Britain getting savagely owned by copresenter Susanna Reid.

And here's a supercut of Reidian microexpressions, as she endures day after day of Morgan's vacuous, rambling bullshit:

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Man thrown 30 feet by runaway bus picks self up and enters pub

A fellow in Reading, England, was lucky to survive when a runaway bus plowed into him, sending him flying through the air and landing only inches from where the vehicle's tires barreled past. Fortunately there was a pub only feet away, allowing him to acquire a healing potion within seconds of the incident.

According to the BBC, Mr Smith suffered only minor injuries and said he feels "lucky to be alive". Daniel Fraifeld, 50, who co-owns the Purple Turtle bar, said: "I think he [Simon] pretty much got up, brushed himself down and then an ambulance came and took him to be checked.
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A cloud shaped like Britain

This image, taken by Matt Hallas in the East Midlands, was sent into the BBC's splendid Weather Watchers page, which has many more atmospheric delights. Read the rest

UK Conservatives lose majority in election shocker

The Conservative Party had a startling collapse at the polls in the United Kingdom's general election, falling short of control of the House of Commons and forcing its leader, Prime Minister Theresa May, to cut a deal with the fringe Democratic Unionist Party of Northern Ireland to muster enough MPs to govern and cling to her job.

May called the snap election three years early, in hopes of turning a huge polling lead into a commanding political mandate going into forthcoming negotiations to leave the European Union. But instead of extending the party's slim majority, the Tories' shambolic campaign saw it evaporate as the opposition Labour party surged, led by an unexpectedly effective Jeremy Corbyn.

The general consensus is that May's failure is too great for her to continue as Prime Minister, especially with the chaos of Brexit negotiations looming. But she moved quickly to shore up her position, striking a deal to form a new government with DUP support as Corbyn and others called for her to resign.

With the count all but complete, the Conservaties won 318 seats, the Labour Party 261, the Scottish National party 35 seats, the Liberal Democrats 12 seats, the DUP 10 seats, and others 13. The far-right UK independence party did not win a single seat. Read the rest

Lord Buckethead wins 249 votes in UK general election challenge to Prime Minister May

Lord Buckethead, standing against British Prime Minister Theresa May in the country's Wednesday general election, won a staggering 249 votes. The "intergalactic space lord" who "enjoys planet-conquering" and "dominating inferior species" (and UK TV light entertainment classic Lovejoy) fought for office in the Maidenhead, Kent constituency hitherto and henceforth considered a safe seat for May's Conservative party.

Though Buckethead did well, May retained her seat by thousands of votes.

The nation as a whole, however, is unexpectedly up for grabs: May, convinced by opinion polls that a snap election would yield a landslide mandate for her Brexit agenda, instead found herself reeling against a resurgent Labour Party, led by the suddenly and unnervingly competent old-timey socialist Jeremy Corbyn. Though her party seems likely to retain the largest vote and perhaps a very slim majority in Parliament, her cred is toast. And Corbyn's success is energizing the left, and not just in Britain...

The far-right UKIP party seems to be utterly vanquished, too, a sweet outcome for anyone left of Mussolini.

That said, given the assumption Corbyn's Labour party will hang parliament without quite gathering enough seats to topple the Tories, are you ready for Prime Minister Boris? Just imagine how great he'll look in photo ops with Trump. Read the rest

Fox News apologizes after inviting on British celebrity racists to call for mass imprisonment of Muslims

Even Fox News has its faintly-drawn limits, and one of them appears to lie a few inches short of "let's have Nigel Farage and Katie Hopkins on to say we should round up the Muslims."

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Britons unbowed by terrorists—or by the hysterical Islamophobes demanding they panic

Here's a video of people in Manchester singing "Don't Look Back In Anger" after a moment's silence for the 22 people killed in this week's terror attack.

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Britain's nastiest landlord refuses to rent to Asians and survivors of domestic violence

Fergus Wilson rents almost 1000 properties in Kent, England, but not to Indians, Pakistanis, or women who are survivors of domestic violence. The BBC reports that this sterling example of British tolerance is getting sued.

He has insisted he is not racist and has rented to "non-white" people, including Gurkhas.

Mr Wilson said: "It is not the colour of their skin, but the smell of the curry.

"The EHRC appears to be saying that the purchaser then must let the house to someone who does cook curry."

Advocacy group Hope Not Hate said: "Mr Wilson needs to join the 21st century.

"It's almost as if he has taken a tick box to offend every vulnerable group in Britain. "We hope these legal proceedings will help him rapidly re-focus his outdated views."

It's almost comical, how his rental criteria measure a disparate but illustrative collection of inane bigoted resentments. Read the rest

Map of where London's train stations go

I lived in Britain for 20 years and am still amazed by Drunk-Scientist's map of London's commuter drainage basins. Read the rest

Reported criminal racial abuse soars 57% on London Underground

London's Evening Standard writes that since Britain's vote to leave the European Union, reports of crimes involving racial hatred on the London Underground have risen 57%.

A total of 468 racially and religiously aggravated offences were reported on the Tube from July to December, compared with 297 in the six months leading up to the referendum in June.

The crimes also surged in the immediate aftermath of the Brexit vote and in the weeks after the election of Donald Trump in November.

Hate offences have increased each year since 2014. British Transport Police recorded a total of 765 last year, 580 in 2015 and 485 in 2014.

British Transport Police make the important point that a nationwide campaign is underway to encourage victims and witnesses to report racial abuse, so it may be that greater awareness is as much in play as increased incidence. The crimes reported include what in the U.S. would be not usually be criminal (e.g. Nazi salutes and slurs) but also assaults, batteries, systematic harassment by tired and emotional solicitors, etc. Read the rest

UK court refuses to let wife divorce husband, tells her unhappiness is to be expected in marriage

In Britain, grounds for divorce are quite specific: adultery, desertion, "unreasonable behavior", the agreement of both parties or five years separation. An appeals court has therefore affirmed another judge's ruling that Tini Owens, 66, is not otherwise permitted to divorce her husband of 39 years.

Judge Robin Tolson ruled against Mrs Owens in the family court last year, concluding that her allegations were "of the kind to be expected in marriage" and refused to grant a divorce petition.

Three appeal judges, led by Sir James Munby, the most senior family court judge in England and Wales, analysed the case at a hearing in London on Tuesday.

Philip Marshall QC, representing Mrs Owens, told the court that the "vast majority" of divorces were undefended in 21st Century England.

He said: "It is extraordinarily unusual in modern times for a court to dismiss a petition for divorce."

She said the marriage was loveless, desperately unhappy, and that she was left in a wretched state by his manner, tone, insensitivity and mistrust.

Her complaint reads like the script of a grim British cringe-humor sitcom: yelling at her in an airport after her failure to buy the right crystal tchotchke from duty free; nasty remarks during dinner with guests; endless passive-aggressive sighing and tutting, etc.

He reprimanded the Respondent saying, “can I say something without you flying off the handle? I have said this before that when you put cardboard in the skip, do it properly and not without any thought about what will happen to it.
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Four killed in attack at UK Parliament

Four people, including an assailant and a police officer, were killed today in an attack at the Houses of Parliament that authorities say was an act of terrorism.

Ministers of Parliament were locked in after police shot and killed a man who reportedly ran at the gates by Parliament square and stabbed an officer. Moments earlier, a car had run five people over on nearby Westminster Bridge, leaving at least two dead and twenty injured.

Prime Minister Theresa May is to chair an emergency meeting of ministers today, writes the BBC.

BBC Radio 5 reports that "around three shots" were heard.

Update: the BBC posted a map of the area and the events as reported, with a detailed eyewitness report. Read the rest

Trump humiliated: administration apologizes to Britain for saying it wiretapped him for Obama

Another day, another Trumpwreck.

The BBC:

The US has agreed not to repeat claims the UK's communications intelligence agency wiretapped Donald Trump during the presidential election campaign.

GCHQ rejected allegations made by White House press secretary Sean Spicer, that it spied on Mr Trump, as "nonsense".

No 10 has now been assured by Mr Spicer he would not repeat the accusation.

CNN on the apology:

The White House has apologized to the British government after alleging that a UK intelligence agency spied on President Donald Trump at the behest of former President Barack Obama.

National security adviser H.R. McMaster spoke with his British counterpart on Thursday about press secretary Sean Spicer's comment from the White House podium about a Fox News report that said British intelligence helped wiretap Trump Tower during the 2016 campaign, a White House official said Friday.

The official described the conversation as "cordial" where McMaster described Spicer's comment as "unintentional."

I have to admit, I didn't expect it to be Theresa May to be the first international leader to publicly humiliate the dumb orange bastard like this, but it's not like she had to do any work. He gave it to her on a silver platter—or rather a gold-painted plastic one that plays the James Bond tune with a little beeper.

UPDATE: According to Buzzfeed, Trump admin insiders insist they did not apologize, but won't go on the record.

But US officials have been disputed whether the Trump administration had gone as far as an apology.

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69 Cock Lane is yours for £449,950, but is it Britain's naughtiest address?

The Evening Standard's Tom Marshall reports that 69 Cock Lane, a nondescript semi-detached house in Fetcham, England, might be "Britain's rudest address." I beg to differ, but there are sadly no more Gropecunt Lanes in the age of that word's offensiveness. Read the rest

British railway guard kicks racist off train

Alexander MacKinnon thought it would be "my word against hers" after he directed racial abuse at Sanaa Shahid on a train out of London—the sneering solicitor said she shouldn't be in the country, let alone first class. Unfortunately for him, he was overheard.

The train guard then approached MacKinnon and told him: "It's not just your word against hers, it's mine as well because I heard it all."

The guard added: "We're not going to accept it. You're drunk and racist and you need to get off the train."

Writing on her Twitter page, Mrs Shahid said she could not speak highly enough of the train manager who helped her and her son.

She added: "Sat with us until the guy was taken off by [British Transport Police]".

He was fined £1,154, plus £50 compensation to Shahif.

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Is this the best UK comedy sketch of the 1970s?

Dave Allen was an Irish comedian popular in the UK from the 1960s until his death in 2005. His reputation is as a cantankerous irreligious fellow, but this family-friendly moment is widely held to be his best sketch. Someone on YouTube thinks it's the best British TV comedy sketch of the 1970s. There's some pretty stiff competition on that front, if you ask me. (Mastermind, from The Two Ronnies, is the best British comedy sketch of the 1980s. Dead Parrot was 1969.) Read the rest

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