Sunday, August 06, 2006

News Items

Fun-loving and Scrabble-obsessed Scottish revolutionary Tommy Sheridan, mentioned on this blog a couple of weeks back, won his libel case against the News of the World, and was compensated to the tune of 200,000 stg, over allegations that he visited swingers' clubs, and used prostitutes, among other depraved activities. Few expected him to win as such libel cases are difficult to resolve in Scottish courts, based as they are on Roman law, and sacking his counsel mid-way through the case was a maverick act that seems to have paid off, quite literally. While I do not think that Tommy is quite as retiring and nerdy as his wife painted him out to be in court, it is nice to see someone on the Left put one over the Murdoch press.

A cover story in Libération has claimed that the French government covered up for years the links between thyroid cancer in French Polynesia (about 500 cases) and the continuous nuclear tests on the nearby Mururoa Atoll, the last of which took place in 1995. A researcher passed information on to French Polynesian President, Oscar Temaru, who then made the story public. Temaru is a supporter of independence for the islands, which are still officially part of France, as a territoire d'outre-mer, so a separate political agenda is at play. But nobody can be too surprised at the story. Nor is it likely to cause any heads to roll.

Arthur Lee of Love, followed fellow tortured soul Syd Barrett to the great psychedelic happening in the sky, dying of leukemia at the age of 61. No lengthy eulogy from me, though I am a big fan of Love's masterpiece 'Forever Changes'. Here's one from Pitchfork, on the same page is news of the break-up of Death From Above 1979 and Johnny Marr's confirmation as a new member of Modest Mouse. Well, he has to eat just like the rest of us.

Martin O'Neill has been named new manager of Aston Villa; surely they can't fuck up that very sensible appointment? Meanwhile here in France the season got underway, Seanachie's beloved St-Etienne suffered a defeat away to the very modest Sochaux, but pleasure was to be drawn from Paris Saint-Germain's 3-2 defeat at home to newly-promoted Bretons Lorient. L'Équipe won't be happy with that.