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Irish soup kitchen operator feeding the hungry shuts premises after jail threat for 'not having planning permission'


"What's that? You want to feed people for free because they're hungry? No, you can't do that because it's against the law..."
The operator of the network of Twist soup kitchens has avoided the threat of jail by shutting down one of his soup kitchens.

Last week, Ennis Town Council told Oliver Williams, a former helicopter pilot, that he could face a six-month prison term or a large fine of up to €12,697 if convicted of operating an unauthorised soup kitchen in the Co Clare town.

In a warning letter, it told Mr Williams his soup kitchen operating at St Flannan's Terrace, Clonroad Beg, Ennis did not have planning permission.

Yesterday, Mr Williams confirmed he has shut down the soup kitchen and would not be seeking planning retention.

"The real losers in this are the people in Ennis who need the service and there is a demand," he said.

Mr Williams was himself homeless while living in London in the 1980s.

"Like everyone else, I've experienced hard times. And you don't have to look too hard to see that the most vulnerable in our society are being hit the hardest by the economic crisis."

The Irish government recently revealed that 10 percent of the population is living in a state of "food poverty."

Arrow Down

New Zealand police sickened by attack on lambs

© Fairfax NZ
Shocking Cruelty: Chocky the pet lamb survived having his throat slashed in what appears to have been an attack.
A pair of pet lambs have been mutilated - one so badly it had to be put down - in what appears to have been an attack by a drunken party-goer.

The attack, which happened sometime on Thursday night at a property in Matamata, has sickened police and traumatised two children who were planning to enter the lambs in their school's agricultural day. On the night of the attack, Jamie and Karen Nicholls had noticed the lambs were more unsettled than usual, because of a party happening next door.

"We really didn't think anything of it," Mrs Nicholls said.

It wasn't until the morning, when the children went out to feed Raspberry and Chocky that they realised something was wrong.

"Our kids came running in saying Raspberry had blood all over him," she said.

"We thought a dog might have got into their enclosure, but the vet confirmed the lambs had been attacked by a person."

Raspberry had been stabbed half a dozen times. His right thigh bone was broken and the skin around his mouth had been ripped from the bone. He was so severely injured, he had to be put down. The other lamb, Chocky, had his throat cut, but was able to be stitched up by the vet.

Matamata Veterinary Services veterinarian Chris Hutchings, tended to the lambs and said it was obvious that the injuries sustained were not from a dog attack.

"Dogs tend to tear and rip. It was very clear that the lambs were stabbed and cut with a sharp object," he said.

He said he had never seen such cruelty inflicted on an animal in his 30-year career.

Arrow Down

Unarmed man, seeking help after apparent car crash, shot dead by North Carolina police officer

Charlotte - An unarmed man who may have been looking for help after a vehicle wreck was shot and killed by a Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officer Saturday as he ran toward him, police said. The officer was later charged with voluntary manslaughter.

A statement issued by police said officers responded to a breaking and entering call on the city's east side around 2:30 a.m. Someone had knocked on the door of a residence, and the homeowner opened the door, thinking it was her husband. When she discovered it wasn't, she closed the door and called 911.

When officers arrived, they found Jonathan A. Ferrell, 24, a short distance from the home, and he matched a description given by the homeowner, police said.

The statement said officers approached Ferrell to investigate the original call. Ferrell ran toward the officers and was hit with a Taser. Ferrell continued to run toward police when Officer Randall Kerrick fired his weapon, hitting Ferrell several times. Ferrell was pronounced dead at the scene.

Investigators said they think a wrecked car discovered down an embankment in nearby woods may have been driven by Ferrell, and investigators say he may have been trying to get help from the resident who called 911.

Take 2

Young man makes anti-Muslim comments in front of U.S. soldier - The soldier's reply? Priceless


It seems that no matter how much money the US govt throws at it, the anti-Muslim propaganda campaign is failing
This powerful social experiment set out to show us a glimpse of the disturbing discrimination many Muslims sadly face every day in America. I began watching this video thinking I would be left feeling disheartened and angry, but the words the soldier says at 5:05 are so powerful that I wish all people who held prejudice could hear him speak.


Russell Brand: Don't trust politicians, don't trust big business and don't trust the media

Last week, Russell Brand was in hot water again after cracking a Nazi joke at the expense of GQ award sponsors, Hugo Boss. Here, he gives his side of the story.
I have had the privilege of scuba diving. I did it once on holiday and I'm aware that it's one of those subjects that people can get pretty boring and sincere about, and sincerity, for we British, is no state in which to dwell, so I'll be brief. The scuba dive itself was numenistic enough, a drenched heaven; coastal shelves and their staggering, sub-aquatic architecture, like spilt cathedrals, gormless, ghostly fish gliding by like Jackson Pollock's pets. Silent miracles. What got me though was when I came up for air, at the end. As my head came above water after even a paltry 15 minutes in Davy Jones's Locker, there was something absurd about the surface. How we, the creatures of the land, live our lives, obliviously trundling, flat feet slapping against the dust.

It must have been a while since I've attended a fancy, glitzy event because as soon as I got to the GQ awards I felt like something was up. The usual visual grammar was in place - a carpet in the street, people in paddocks awaiting a brush with something glamorous, blokes with earpieces, birds in frocks of colliding colours that if sighted in nature would indicate the presence of poison. I'm not trying to pass myself off as some kind of Francis of Assisi, Yusuf Islam, man of the people, but I just wasn't feeling it. I ambled into the Opera House across yet more outdoor carpets, boards bearing branding, in this case Hugo Boss, past paparazzi, and began to queue up at the line of journalists and presenters, in a slightly nicer paddock who offer up mics and say stuff like:

"Who are you wearing?"

"I'm not wearing anyone, I went with clobber, I'm not Buffalo Bill."

Eye 2

Birmingham woman's shock as snake slides out of her armchair


PCSO Sam Woollaston holds the snake found in Erdington, pictured with Bronya Worrall, of Birmingham Reptile & Pets, and PCSO Carolyn Oates.
A Birmingham woman had the shock of her life when a snake began sliding out of the side of her armchair.

The woman, who has not been named, was enjoying afternoon tea with a friend at her home in New Street, Erdington, when the two-foot long rat snake was spotted.

How the snake came to be at the property remains a mystery that has left everyone baffled.

To the resident's relief PCSO Sam Wollaston was patrolling nearby and she was able to call to him for help.

Sam said: "When we're patrolling the high street we often get shoppers and local residents people approaching us to speak about any concerns they have, but this is certainly the first time I've been approached to deal with a snake on the loose.

"When I got to the property the resident pointed to where the snake had been spotted.


Time Magazine: Sanitized for your protection

Hey, you know Time puts out four covers for four different areas of the word? I didn't know that. But they do. They have a US cover, a Europe/Middle East/Africa cover, an Asia cover, and a South Pacific cover.

Yeah I don't get how they divided the world up myself. But anyway. So they have four covers.

Based on the covers, one person is dominating the world's interest... but not in the whole world.
© Directorblue Blogspot
Here's a suggestion for Time: how about different covers for red states and blue states? You could have Obama or Michelle's guns on every cover in the blues and the latest diversion (e.g., Miley Cyrus) in the reds.

Comment: See also: dumbed down Time magazine covers

Bizarro Earth

Zoo blames idiot mom for death of her 2-year old son mauled by wild dogs

The Pittsburgh Zoo where a two-year-old toddler was torn apart last Nov. 4 when his mother accidentally dropped him into a pit of wild dogs is saying the boy's death was the mother's fault and that the zoo did nothing wrong.

Maddox Derkosh was killed when his mother, Elizabeth Derkosh, lifted him up over a railing designed to keep zoo patrons from stumbling into an exhibit of Lycaon pictus (the so-called "Painted Dogs").

Because the boy had poor vision, she raised him over the four-foot high railing where he could see the dogs better. But she lost her grip on the child. Maddox slipped out her hands and over the rail, fell 14 feet, bounced off the protective netting over the African dog exhibit and into the pit.

Eleven of the dogs descended on the toddler, mauling him to death.


37 dead in fire at Russian psychiatric hospital

Rescuers take away a body bag with a victim of a fire near the charring remains of a burned out psychiatric hospital in the village of Luka in the northwest Russian Novgorod region on Friday.
A pre-dawn fire swept through a Russian psychiatric hospital Friday, killing 37 people, Russia's top investigative agency said. Authorities had long warned that the mostly wooden building dating to the 19th century was unsafe.

It was the second such deadly blaze in less than five months, underlining the widespread neglect of fire safety standards in Russia.

The fire in the one-story hospital in the village of Luka, about 450 km northwest of Moscow, erupted around 3 a.m. Friday and quickly engulfed the structure, the Emergency Situations Ministry said. The Investigative Committee said rescuers so far have recovered 10 bodies. It did not explain how it confirmed about the other deaths.

The agency added the blaze was apparently sparked by a patient.

Eye 2

Giant python kills pet dog, Miami-Dade, Florida

Florida wildlife officials are expanding efforts to find and kill African rock pythons in Miami-Dade County after a 10-foot-snake strangled a 60-pound Siberian Husky.

Miami-Dade Fire Rescue received a 911 call at 10:05 p.m. on August 30. The caller said a python was wrapped around the neck of their Husky named Duke. Six minutes later, Duke was dead.

Fire Rescue arrived on scene and killed the snake, a 10-foot-long, male, African Rock Python. It had bite marks on its back which are believed to be from the dog. The snake was sent to the University of Florida for a necropsy.

"Why worry? They don't belong here, and they are absolutely huge," said Kenneth Kyrsko, a herpetologist at the University of Florida. "These are 15-foot snakes over 150 pounds. Do you want one of those living in your backyard?"