BBC News – Dubai kissing couple appeal fails

April 4, 2010

Now.. I’m all for decency and good manners but this makes me think we are all NUTS for supporting DUBAI tourism!

I mean why go to a place where a peck on the cheek – or, as alleged on the evidence of a two year old, a kiss on the lips – gets you sent to jail?

BBC News – Dubai kissing couple appeal fails.

“The initial complaint against them was made by a 38-year-old woman who said she was offended by their behaviour at the Jumeirah Beach Residence, where she was dining with her daughter.

The couple’s defence lawyers said the woman – who did not appear in court – had not seen the kiss herself, but had been told by her two-year-old child that the girl had seen the couple kissing.”

Anyone going to DUBAI for a holiday needs their heads examined! Especially when knowing exactly what breaks the law is so difficult. An expert on Islamic law told the BBC:-

“Professor Strawson said the Dubai authorities often turned a blind eye to foreigners’ behaviour, because of the high income that comes from tourists.

But he said Dubai had recently issued new explanations tightening up their laws.”

If it takes an expert lawyer in an obscure religious law to know what is legal and what is illegal and that is coupled with a laxness in the application of the law at the whim of passing policemen.. then what chance has an ordinary tourist of knowing the boundaries?

I suggest that we’d maybe be better off in wet old Ireland than frying in some DUBAI jail.

And if you think that might be easy time.. check out this account by  HAMPSHIRE businessman George Atkinson!

“Every day is a living hell,” said Mr Atkinson.

“I am in a cell with four others. There are two double bunk beds just centimetres apart, pushed right up against the cell door. There are only 122 beds in my block to accommodate 246 men.

So.. caution if you go!


Get OFF the mobile phone: NOW!

December 22, 2007

So.. you have been told that it dangerous and that you can driver.jpgget someone, other than yourself, killed by doing it but there are those who continue with the practice. Don’t say you weren’t warned when you are, quite rightly, chucked in jail.

Read this Guardian report – Jail risk for motorists who use mobile phones while driving – of the latest attempts to get people to stop driving and using their mobile phones at the same time makes interesting reading:-

Motorists who use mobile phones while driving could be jailed for up to two years under new guidelines published by prosecutors yesterday.

Endangering drivers and pedestrians while using a handheld mobile phone, satellite navigation system or iPod at the wheel will now be treated as dangerous driving rather than careless driving. The change means that drivers face up to two years in prison, the maximum penalty for dangerous driving, instead of the £5,000 fine and penalty points under a careless driving prosecution.

And it goes on:- Read the rest of this entry »


Attempted Murder of Catholic Policeman in Derry

November 8, 2007

The normality of Derry’s school run mayhem was destroyed to-day at 8.30am when road-block-1.jpgdissident republicans attempted to murder a Catholic policeman in Bishop Street. The attack took place just after the Officer dropped his child off to school at Lumen Christi College. Despite the attackers firing a shotgun into his car the officer was able to escape and drive to Strand Road PSNI station where he received emergency medical aid before being taken to Altnagelvin Hospital. The officer received pellet wounds to his arms and face. This afternoon he underwent surgery at the hospital and, thankfully, is said to be in a stable condition.

The attack has been condemned by all sides. The BBC carries these quotes:

forensic.jpgDeputy Chief Constable Paul Leighton said “violence like this has no place in our society”.

DUP First Minister Ian Paisley described the attack as “the bottom level of hatred and bitterness”, adding that dissident republicans were “getting angry because they are making no headway”.

Sinn Fein’s Martin McGuinness condemned the attack saying that those responsible “have no popular support and have no strategy to achieve a united Ireland”.

SDLP leader Mark Durkan said: “It is important not only that the policeman knows that the whole community stands behind him, but that those responsible for this attack know that they do not have support from the community.”

Northern Ireland Secretary Shaun Woodward said: “There can be no greater contrast between this police officer serving his community and the criminals who attacked him.”

It is clear that the attack enjoys little support from the local community, the city in general or the wider Northern Ireland population. With the PSNI now drawing some 23% of its officers from the road-block-2.jpgRoman Catholic community the attack is obviously aimed at destablising that recruitment campaign. Clearly these attackers would like to see us returning to the death and destructions days before the hard won peace process. Support for the police in Catholic areas is something that is growing as the peace process beds in. It is, however, an expectedly fragile flower which we all need to tend carefully if strong roots are to grow.

The decision by some republicans to carry out this attack is unhelpful. This is 2007, we have moved on significantly, it’s time for EVERY organisation to ditch the guns, cut the crap and get working for our children’s future. A strong economy in a peaceful country is the future we want for our children. We don’t need another generation to experience “The Troubles” anew.

Do you agree?

(Note: the above photographs were taken by a Talkni Staff photographer who visited the scene as the PSNI investigation began.)


Open Season?

November 2, 2007

Sometimes the news here in Northern Ireland is unbelievable, like today as reported on the BBC website…

Youths on roof ‘not prosecuted’

roof2.jpgThe minister of an east Belfast church vandalised by youths has criticised a decision not to bring any prosecutions.

During the summer stained glass windows at St Donard’s in the Bloomfield area were smashed and its roof was damaged.

Pictures of children on the roof were taken, but the Public Prosecution Service has written to the church saying there is not enough evidence.

The rector, Rev Charles McCartney, has said he intends to appeal their decision.

“If the prosecution service don’t do this, then it sends a message to the young men involved that there’s nothing the police can do,” Rev McCartney.

“It says to the local people there’s no point ringing the police, it also says to the police themselves ‘what’s the point in taking a case’.

“Really, we’re back to square one and in a way Bloomfield has been told it’s open season.”

I had a look at the Church of Ireland website and a statement made by the Rev Harold Millar the Bishop of Down and Dromore. Back in September he highlighted issues which included…

  • The abuse of places of worship.
  • The inadequacy of community policing.
  • The lack of common sense.

He stated

The inadequacy of community policing. For whatever reason, the story of policing this past week at St Donard’s is the all-too-common cry of ordinary citizens in their own homes and lives: The lack of visibility of police on the streets, the difficulty in getting hold of police in the community, the slow response in situations which means that it is too late to catch those who are committing the crime, and the perceived response, ‘There’s nothing we can do’.

It leaves decent everyday folk that encounter anti social behaviour regularly with questions like ‘Should we call the police?’ ‘What can the police do anyway?’ ‘Should I seek help to deal with this elsewhere?’


Smoking daughter ‘hit with brush’

November 1, 2007

This BBC story is fascinating – Smoking daughter ‘hit with brush. I think I can understand, in this justice.gifcase, where the parent was coming from when he decided to thump his daughter with a brush shaft. Now.. at first hearing the immediate reaction is to say that the dad overstepped the mark. I mean, come on, taking a brush shaft to a child is way outa line, isn’t it?

But then you read on to discover that the guy has the lung disease emphysema. So I suppose he maybe saw his daughter throwing her lungs away and well … I suppose he saw red. Losing the head is no way to convince a kid not to smoke but, on a human level, you have to understand the frustration he must have felt.

In the end Resident Magistrate Barney McElholme sentenced the man to a month in jail , suspended for a year. Hopefully, they guy won’t go to jail, the daughter will stop smoking and they’ll get back to playing happy families.

What do you think?

Is it ever right to physically punish a child at all? Did Barney do a King Solomon here?


Coming soon: 1 glass of wine or a small beer and you’re banned.

October 23, 2007

pints.jpgIt’s on the way … so get used to it. You know it makes sense!

It is being widely reported that Northern Ireland and the republic will introduce new drink driving limits that will mean a half of beer or a small glass of wine will put a person over the driving limit.

The BBC puts it this way:-

“In both jurisdictions, it is currently 80mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood.

However, Stormont Environment Minister Arlene Foster has told the assembly her department is looking at bringing in a lower limit.

In Dublin, Taoiseach Bertie Ahern is expected to announce measures putting drivers who drink a half pint of strong beer or glass of wine at risk of a ban.

The new 50mg/100ml limit would come into effect in the Republic of Ireland early next year.”

This would bring Read the rest of this entry »