Muammar Gaddafi, head of Libya and one-time coup d'etat champion of the world (1969, refuses to rule out a comeback) has spoken out against attempts to overthrow him (This would be less deeply ironic if he himself were not in power because of a regime change in Libya.) with dread warnings of civil war or US occupation. For starters, if the US wanted to invade Libya, they would have done it when Libya was voted "Most Mental Regime" at the annual UN vote (Most likely to succeed: India. America was the Prom Queen and Britain was the elder headmaster who ruled an empire of nations that all graduated in the 20th century), and, you know, bombed and stopped any planes flying into its airspace, rather than now, where Libya is "Most likeable trade partner, with a regime we despise but cannot do anything about." (Close seconds included Egypt and Tunisia. Seeing a pattern?). Secondly, if there were a civil war, people would be dying on the streets, killed by soldiers implementing orders, with soldiers who refuse burned in their barracks. Can you imagine such horrors in Libya? "What do you mean that's exactly what's happening now?" replied Colonel Gaddafi at a press conference. "Lalalala I can't hear you!" he sang. I swear, the middle east is in such a mess I'm afraid to click the Mid-East tab on cnn.com. Recently, Gaddafi has come out fighting, by completely denying that the protests are happening. He is genuinely going with a little-known dictatorial tactic "Ignore it and hope it goes away". Never used successfully by any dictator, but Gaddafi is a maverick like that. He's genuinely said he's loved by all of his people, except those ones protesting on the streets, and spreading rumours of his death. If there is a rumour you were shot, you are not well-liked (Unless it's just a light-hearted practical joke, but that sort of died out when that whole "We've assassinated the Archduke!" jape panned out so badly in 1914). The defence of "they all love me" is weaker than a lawyer at a court case going "You know he, uh, he don't look like he done it. The defence rests." whilst pointing at the accused in the face of a four day testimonial from the victim, a DNA expert and a witness all saying he did it.
Iran, jealous of the attention being fostered on mental world leaders, has hit back strongly in their bid to be "Most easily offended nation 2011" (If that Top Gear bit about Mexico was funny, I would have added in a joke about Mexico being strong contenders, but since it wasn't, we can knacker that joke off) with the revelation that the 2012 Olympics logo is racist. If you're wondering "How is that racist?!" then you're not mental. Well done. If you think "It spells Zion! LOOK AT IT! Of COURSE that's racist!" then you are hereby promoted to Iran's think tank on unusually mental acts (Including the recent gem to ban all foreign food television programmes (Real) and also to declare Coca-Cola an enemy of the state (Made up)) and given the role of "Executive director of insanity". The fact it's taken 4 years for them to spot it suggests that's it not a massively overt racism (Unlike the 1936 Berlin Olympics which had the logo of a persecuted minority being gassed and the 1904 St Louis games, owner of the iconic logo featuring a lynching) so we can assume it's unlikely to have been deliberate.
Traditional, home-grown good news story now (None of the high transfer price foreign news imported from other leagues) with the discovery of a new Enid Blyton book. It's not a continuation of her other series, including "Famous Five", slightly less successful "Secret Seven" and the almost unheard of "Nonchalant Nine*". All of which revolved almost exclusively around smugglers being quite bad. Enid Blyton actually infiltrated and stopped a heroin trafficking ring in 1922 under the assumed alias of Pete "White Heat" Jackson (She also infiltrated a heroine trafficking ring in 1924, from where she took Anne and George into safety). The recently found story is called "Mr Tumpy's Caravan" and, surprisingly for a book which revolves around a magic caravan, was not published, unlike the 1972 novel "Sprite", about a caravan which turned into a magic pixie at night and had adventures with little Tommy Elddis around the campsite, of course a allegorical tale to demonstrate that two large caravan manufacturers need not war over the fickle caravanner-market, which eventually won the author a Man Booker prize for stunning market insights relayed through a children's tale. (This is dependent on you knowing Sprite is a brand of caravan. I fully understand if you don't. However if you don't know Elddis is a make of caravan, shame on you)
There has been another legal appeal launched to get prisoners the vote. Britain, historically against giving prisoners the vote (Possibly on the basis that convicted rapists (The man appealing IS a convicted rapist, I'm not generalising) aren't best placed to decide the government of a nation) so this UN ruling is pretty against what we do round here, and how we roll. Fundamentally speaking, prison is a punishment. You don't get sent to your room for getting extra good grades and not punching people in the face. Rehabilitation and the associated efforts are nice (Although 40.1% reoffended as of 2008 Q1) that's not why they are there. If someone cannot make good decisions, and they have PROVED they cannot by virtue of being in jail, I don't want them voting. It's why the insane aren't allowed to vote. And Lords (Bop. That's what you get for trying to filibuster a bill to make it miss its deadline, you nonces. Feel that? That's the burn of righteous retribution). Also, this paper on reoffending rates has the alarming statistic on "Violence (Non-serious)". What's that, when you stab someone in a jokey manner? Jeez.
Non-news list of nun puns based around music. Don't say I'm not catering to a wide market.
Finally, I just watched Nuns Aloud, and, excluding the fact that it was terrible, I'm surprised the BBC didn't take a more creative pun over their simplistic wordplay. Perhaps "Nun Direction" to appeal to the youth? "Nun DMC" to appeal to the older hip-hop fans? Perhaps to appeal to the older mods, they should have gone with "The Nunkees"? Perhaps they want the 1990's Nirvana staple genre, Nunge music. Perhaps Nuns 'n' Roses would do a cover of their famous song, "Welcome to the Nungle". When do monks have their dinner? Nunchtime. Perhaps they should do a series about grammar? Call it System of a Noun! God, I'm on fire today. I feel like Attila the Pun.
*Another Footnote! The Nonchalant Nine was my particular favourite crime fighting team. "We've uncovered a smuggling ring Timmy!" "Tsk, whatever. I mean, so what, right?" and other gems including "We have you trapped!" "I guess you do. What do you expect us to do now, eh?" "Scream for help?" "You really thought we'd do that?" "...I guess not.". But only because they were more alliterative than the Apathetic Eight. Speaking of alliteration, I liked her Sibilant Six novels, in which every word began with s. For your own pleasure and delectation I have provided a list of alternative alliterative titles for future books about groups of kids.
Egregious Eight, who fail spectacularly in every book.
Disdainful Duo, a pairing who laugh in the face of the criminals. Literally. And chastise them for eating with the fork in the right hand.
Furtive Five, five people who solve crimes in increasingly secretive and complex ways.
Tricksy Trio, a group of young magicians foiling prison escapes with sleight of hand.
Fabulous Four, a group of excessively camp men solving crimes... of FASHION.
Spurious Seven, who just make up stories about them infiltrating smuggling rings, and waste police time.
Neglected Nine, who go out in their rags and accidentally discover a drug ring, but become "Mules" for money.