Updated 5 May 2015

Cartoon attack

REUTERS ARE saying that

“Federal agents for years monitored one of the two gunmen who were shot dead after opening fire with assault rifles at a heavily guarded Texas exhibit of caricatures of the Prophet Mohammad.

Two government sources who asked not to be named said the gunmen were roommates Elton Simpson and Nadir Soofi, of Phoenix. Court documents show Simpson had been under surveillance since 2006 and was convicted in 2011 of lying to FBI agents over his desire to join violent jihad in Somalia.

FBI agents and police searched the two men’s home at the Autumn Ridge Apartments in north-central Phoenix on Monday, cordoning off the complex and evacuating residents for several hours.”

My … my former colleagues get around. If only they had attended the workshop on objectivity


MANY EURO ZONE governments are having difficulties getting their tiny ideological, austerity driven, heads around the concept that Greece’s Syriza government is not too keen on being bound by the promises of the country’s former conservative-led administration. 

Reuters have reported that Syriza prime minister, Alexis Tsipras, has gone so far as to reaffirm his commitment to remaining within his government’s ‘anti-austerity’ mandate. ‘Like it or lump it’ you could say. There have, however, been assiduous moves to sideline Syriza finance minister, Yanis Varoufakis, who we are constantly reminded is a Marxist academic. Shocking!

 Syriza are walking a tactical tightrope (don’t you just love that unorthodox alliteration). Storyboard4 are supporting them. We may not always agree with every tactical nuance they employ. When was the last time you agreed with a comrade 100%?


THE WEIRD and wonderful to start the week. Reuters have reported that a wild female Coyote was restrained and tranquillised (“contained, darted and secured”) outside a bijou Manhattan café. They will be “released into an appropriate wilderness area somewhere in New York City”. That shouldn’t be too difficult. Earlier this month a Coyote was discovered in the Chelsea neighbourhood although whether they were looking for the infamous Chelsea Hotel no-one is quite sure.

DWP stops answering questions

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has carried out its threat to stop answering any questions from the country’s only disability news agency.
The DWP’s chief press officer (disability) had previously warned that he and his staff would stop dealing with Disability News Service (DNS) if it refused to change its procedures.
DWP has repeatedly missed deadlines, but has begun insisting that if and when it finally produces a late comment – even if produced hours after stories have been sent out to subscribers and have been published – DNS should update its website to show the government’s response.
John Pring, the disabled editor of DNS, has pointed out that if he was to do so, he would also have to alert every one of the agency’s subscribers with updates every time a comment arrived after deadline, as well as offering the service demanded by DWP to every other organisation and individual that had been asked to comment on a story that week.
Pring has also told DWP that its habit of frequently missing deadlines and leaving it until the last possible moment to provide a comment has already had a negative impact on his mental health.
The DWPs chief press officer (disability) has said: “Thanks for the opportunity to comment on your forthcoming peer review story but, as discussed previously, we won’t be offering any responses to DNS articles until we can agree on working practices.
“That basic principle is that, if we are to have a working relationship, it should be one which is fair; in which standard conventions are observed; and in which the time and effort that you put into writing your stories and the time and effort that my staff put into answering your questions are given equal respect.”
He added: “I don’t find it particularly surprising that a self-selecting group of your Twitter followers, close contacts and subscribers who have chosen to comment would take your side over ours in this, or indeed any, disagreement.

Abridged from an article by John Pring, 17 April on the DNS site

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