Thursday, February 28, 2008

British tourist has penis chopped in Caribbean.

A British plumber is recovering after having his penis partially chopped off by attackers while he was holidaying on a Caribbean island. Alan Reed, 43, was found lying in a pool of blood by his girlfriend Ellie Rothery, 21, after a night out in the popular resort of Cabarete in the Dominican Republic. Mr Reed, who claims not to remember very much about his ordeal, is receiving medical attention in a private clinic in the town of Puerto Plata.

He became seperated from Miss Rothery for a couple of hours after she returned to their restaurant table to find him gone. After searching the town and beach for him, she eventually found him lying semi-conscious on their bed wearing only a pair of shorts that were covered in blood. Inspector Contreras, of the Dominican Republic's National Police at Cabarete, said: "We believe this happened at an isolated spot on the beach between the resort and the victim's hotel which is about three miles away.

...Shock, horror, I have been to the Dominican Republic in May 2006 for a holiday 9km from the resort of Puerto Plata where Alan Reed is receiving medical attention. I wrote on my holiday blog...

The hotel site is surrounded by a high fence with barbed wire on the top and the coach pulls up at a gate house with a barrier which is manned by a guard armed with a pistol...Common advice is not to walk out of the complex on your own, which I had agreed with my wife to abide by.

...I am glad I followed the common advice and did not walk out on my own away from our hotel. Friends have said do not go walking off on your own in the Caribbean and now I know why, as Alan can testify. This explains the reason for the high barbed wire fence and the armed guard on the gate of our hotel. That is what I like about the holidays I have had in Greece, Morocco, Tunisia and Turkey - you can walk around on your own without fear of assault. Freedom is important and without that your holiday experience is greatly diminished.

I feel sorry for Alan who was only having fun and a few drinks. Things could have been worse, he could have bled to death as a result of this savagery by the natives. If Alan writes a blog, he may end his holiday post like I did...

I enjoyed the holiday, it was different but I will not ask to go again.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Doctor thrown off Ryanair flight 'for talking'.

A doctor is threatening to take Ryanair to court after he claims he was thrown off a flight for chatting during the pre-flight safety briefing. Dr Paolo Tomasi, 47, was travelling with his eight-year-old son from Alghero in Sardinia to London Stansted after a holiday. He said he was talking to a friend while the plane was preparing for take-off and the cabin crew were giving the safety demonstration.

"I was talking normally, and a steward asked me to be quiet, in a brusque manner," he said. "After five minutes, when the announcements came to an end, another stewardess came up and said that I had been warned and I should have shut up. She asked if I wanted to get off the plane.”

Dr Tomasi, who is based in London, continued: "I was astonished. She said: 'Yes, I am warning you, and I will not warn you again'." The stewardess then informed the captain about Dr Tomasi and the plane was stopped to allow airport security to remove him and his son. A Ryanair spokesman said: "He refused to stop talking during the safety demonstration and was disturbing other passengers. He clearly was not listening even though he was asked to pay attention."

...This is an industry wide problem and not just on planes. The same happens on coaches throughout the UK. Passengers will hear a spoken safety announcement by the driver but many passengers talk over his announcement either amongst themselves or into mobile telephones. The passengers will continue to rabbit on loudly, very often in foreign languages, as though the safety announcement was something to be ignored and talked over like television advertisements. These announcements are routinely ignored by most coach passengers, which is demonstrated by their non compliance with compulsory seat belt wearing. No matter how often the driver advises passengers to flush the toilet by pushing the bar at the base of the toilet bowl on a Caetano Levante, the advice is ignored and waste remains in the bowl. When there is a lot of urine in the toilet bowl it swills about and splashes onto the floor making the floor slippy and smelly.

Operating staff have to accept their passengers' ignorance and simply live with it. You speak into the microphone in the same way that a radio presenter does, professional but knowing that nobody may be listening and that you will get paid the same for your job regardless of the number of listeners. You simply make your safety announcement as part of your job and do not worry that passengers may be thrown through the air in the event of an emergency due to them not wearing a seat belt. If they want to sit with urine seeping under the toilet door then that will simply teach them for their ignorance. Ryanair staff should realise that most passengers will ignore anything they say whether they are talking to each other or not. Passengers are ignorant and staff must accept this. Make your safety announcement as though you were auditioning for a radio presenters job. Do not worry about the passengers not listening because you will know what to do if the plane crashes and it will serve the passengers right for not listening!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

"Come into my tent".

A suicide bomber detonated an explosive belt in a tent filled with Shia pilgrims walking to one of their holiest shrines south of Baghdad, killing at least 40 of them and wounding 60. People taking part in the traditional Arbain procession to Kerbala, commemorating the 40th day of mourning after the martyrdom of Imam Hussein in AD680, had stopped at a refreshment tent near the town of Iskandariyah 30 miles south of Baghdad. As the pilgrims ate and drank a bomb exploded, spraying metal ball bearings in all directions.

"When we reached the area people invited us into a tent to take some rest and have some food," said Um Hamr, a woman injured by the blast. "When we entered, there was a huge ball of fire and we saw people lying on the ground."

A local official Saleh al-Massoudi said: "The blast devastated the entire tent, which was about 20 metres long and four metres wide."

...When I read the above it really shocked me. When I am on holiday I am used to hearing the cry of "come into my shop" being made my way by shop keepers eager for custom. It has become a catchphrase that I use with friends, family and workmates. This welcome is well known throughout the world and people enter on trust. People in Middle Eastern countries are well known for being hospitable and offering refreshments to strangers. As a tourist you are very often offered refreshments in shops, it is part of their culture.

To guide these pilgrims into a tent for refreshments and then have the tragedy of a suicide bombing shocks me to the bone. Whether the terrorists set this tent up to lure in the pilgrims like lambs to the slaughter we may never know. The suicide bomber may just have viewed the tent as a good net in which to harvest his slaughter.

Muslims claim that they have a holy war - jihad - against non believers. However, Muslims can and do fight amongst themselves, over something that happened over 1,300 years ago when their religion split into the Shia and Sunni sects. Who are the good guys? Neither of them, they both live and die by the sword. They have grown up with this culture and I do not think they are capable of moving on from this "you started it first" mentality.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Call to curb websites that promote anorexia.

Anorexia websites which encourage teenage girls to compete to lose weight and provide tips on fasting should be tackled by the Government, doctors and MPs are demanding. Medical experts fear growing numbers of teenagers in Britain are being "sucked" into a culture dominated by websites that promote anorexia and bulimia as a "lifestyle choice".

Groups encouraging teenage girls to become anorexic or bulimic are also springing up on social networking sites such as Facebook. Some websites display pictures of skeletal girls, or of underweight celebrities to provide "thinspiration".

...For goodness sake, when will our government stop interfering with our peoples' lifestyles. People make lifestyle choices of their own free will and should be left alone to pursue them. They should not be censored from the internet because of the nature of their lifestyle choices. Whether they want to over-eat themselves into an early grave or starve themselves to death - it is their choice and they should be allowed to use the internet for those purposes. That is their human rights and our government should leave off. I do not want our country to turn into a Nanny State. We are not allowed to look at alleged terrorist websites and now our government does not want us to look at thin people. Our government moans at us about rising rates of obesity yet they do not want us to see the other side of the coin. What next, a ban on Bridgend websites in case we all top ourselves?

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Lunch at the Cwrt Rawlin , a Marstons pub at Caerphilly.

We had a lovely lunch today at the Cwrt Rawlin, Nantgarw Road, Caerphilly, CF83 1SN. This is a Marstons pub on the old road going into Caerphilly from Nantgarw - off the A469. It is a modern pub and serves one of my favourite real ales - Marstons Pedigree. We went there with my brother and sister in law, things are very busy in pubs throughout Wales today because of the Six Nations Rugby match here in Cardiff against Italy. I am not interested in rugby but love my food and real ale. You can view all the Marstons pubs on the website and many have their menu's online. We have been to many Marstons pubs before and they are not the same throughout the country. Some menu's are quite expensive, in particular the Summerhouse at Weston Super Mare.

We have eaten at the Cwrt Rawlin before but today I noticed the website address on the menu and because I enjoyed my dining experience so much I thought I would include it on my blog. I arrived with a big appetite after walking our pet dog and a lot of items on the menu really caught my attention. I decided upon the Mega Burger Stack - a huge 16oz burger stack served in a bun with bacon, cheese, sliced tomato, lettuce and mayonnaise with onion rings and 1lb of chips for £7.25 - and boy, it was gorgeous. These burgers are quality and the meal is a feast for a king. Washed down with Marstons Pedigree and I was in heaven. I can recommend this meal to other food lovers.

Gail had the Mega Roast Chicken Dinner - a whole crown of roast chicken breast served with a mountain of new and roast potatoes, carrots, broccoli and peas, sage and onion stuffing, two Yorkshire puddings and a jug of gravy for £6.95 - this was a big dinner for a big girl. She tucked in and demolished it all, bless her. She would have this meal again as she does prefer to have new and roast potatoes rather than chips.

David and Maggie are not such big eaters but enjoyed what they had and the price was right! David had the Golden Greats offer of Steak & Marston’s Ale Pie plus a pudding of Rhubarb Crumble for £3.95 - Maggie had the Lite Bite 4oz Rump Steak with chips and peas for £3.75 - both were happy to have joined us for this pub lunch.

We all enjoyed what we had and would come to the Cwrt Rawlin again. Service was good with high staffing levels. This pub is clean and well managed. The food is good quality and there was no waste on our plates. All our pet dog got from the 4 of us was the skin off Gail's chicken crown.

Oh, what a lovely day it is and as I type this blog Wales are winning 33-8 to Italy.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Speed limits through roadworks an update.

As you can gather from the post below I was rather annoyed by the severe speed restrictions through the roadworks in Derbyshire. So annoyed that I sent an email to Derbyshire Council raising my concerns. Here is a copy of their reply...

Dear Mr Clynes,

Further to your email of 19 February, I have now looked into the matter and can give you a more comprehensive reply.
Temporary traffic management is required on A61 Dronfield Bypass to allow for maintenance works to bridges. The contract allows for a 30mph speed limit to be applied when a contraflow system operates on the dual carriageway. This phase of the works has now been completed and works continue with single lane closures operating in each direction for the next month or so. During this phase of the works the contract allows for a 40mph speed limit to apply. I understand that the change from a 30mph speed limit to a 40mph limit will take place by the end of this week.

Thank you for bringing this matter to my attention.

Paul Robinson

Traffic and Safety Manager - north east area
Network Management Division
Environmental Services Department
01629 580000 ext 7657

...So there we have it, thank you Paul. It appears that Derbyshire Council have a policy of 40 mph for single carriageway roadworks that is reduced to 30 mph if that carriageway is contra-flow rather than barrier protected. However, if you have a team of lazy workmen then the 30 mph signs will be left in place until the whole site has been cleared. This problem with workmen not placing and removing signs properly is a national problem and makes me wonder about their quality of work given their lack of attention to the simple, low tech task of sign placement.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Speed limits through roadworks.

Generally where roadworks are taking place on dual carriageways around the country there is a temporary speed limit of 50 mph imposed to protect the workforce. This seems fair and appropriate. In my neighbouring County of Newport there is a 50 mph speed restriction on the A449 where traffic on this dual carriageway is reduced to one lane in each direction. This seems fair whilst work is taking place and motorists accept this as best or acceptable practice.

However, in Derbyshire through the roadworks on the A617 near Chesterfield there is a 40 mph speed restriction which seems over cautious and a little out of place. Motorists will reduce their speeds but not to 40 mph as this does not appear necessary. Further north of here along the A61 from Chesterfield going towards Sheffield there are more roadworks but here speeds are restricted to 30 mph. This is simply taking the piss and motorists will ignore this restriction because it is inappropriate. Both these Derbyshire roadworks are on a dual carriageway where the traffic is reduced to one lane in each direction.

Are Derbyshire's roads really that dangerous? I doubt it very much and I think some council official is just taking the piss. All these roadworks are in rolling and open countryside with no joining or leaving traffic. It cannot be justified to have different speed restrictions in different parts of our country at a whim. Let common sense prevail and have a nationwide agreed 50 mph roadwork speed restriction, not these potty 40 and 30 mph local restrictions. Trouble is you will get some super observant motorists who will stick to this 30 mph limit and hold up the following traffic at great increased cost to business for an unnecessary and avoidable delay.

Monday, February 18, 2008

When two evils collide.

Here I am sat in the comfort of my own home, safe and warm with my little pet dog having a snooze on the sofa. He is a lovely little dog, he will bark but he will not bite you. He is not a fighting dog, just a lovely family pet. However things are not as peaceful in Afghanistan at the moment...(I have copy/pasted this story in full to reveal the true horror of it all.)...

The carnage was savage even by the bloody standards of the spiralling and vicious violence in Afghanistan. More than 80 people watching a dog fight on the outskirts of Kandahar were killed yesterday when a suicide attacker detonated his bomb, causing the worst atrocity in Afghanistan since the ousting of the Taliban in 2001.

Among the dead was Abdul Hakim Jan, the leader of a local militia that had been fighting alongside British and Nato forces against the Taliban. The governor of the province, Assadullah Khalid, who survived an assassination attempt last week, had planned to go to the event, but is said to have changed his mind at the last minute.

Dog fighting is a popular form of Afghan entertainment that was banned under the Taliban, but which has enjoyed a resurgence in recent years.

Some residents said they believed that as well as targeting Commander Jan, the Islamist fighters were punishing people for daring to flout their old diktat.

"The two dogs had just started the first match. Suddenly I heard a huge explosion next to a police vehicle. Then I saw lots of people dead and wounded," said Abdul Karim, a spectator .

The death toll is expected to rise, with hospital authorities saying that many of the 30 or more wounded in the blast were not expected to survive. But with 82 fatalities already confirmed, yesterday's attack is the deadliest since the Taliban fell.

Despite the presence of more than 50,000 foreign troops in Afghanistan, some American officials believe that the country is replacing Iraq as the deadliest place for the "war on terror". More than 6,000 people were killed last year in the country in a record 140 suicide attacks, including one at the Serena hotel in Kabul, the city's most prestigious hotel used by international VIPs.

Kandahar, the scene of yesterday's bombing, is Afghanistan's second-largest city and the birthplace of the Taliban, and officials were quick to lay the blame at its door. "Who else would carry out suicide bombings? Obviously the Taliban are the ones carrying out suicide attacks," said Wali Karzai, the brother of Afghan president Hamid Karzai and head of the Kandahar provincial council.

Around 500 people had gathered at a picnic spot to watch the dog fights and place unofficial bets on the winners. The bouts had just started when the bomb exploded. The force of the blast spread dismembered limbs across a wide area, crumpled police vehicles and set buildings alight.

Another witness, Ahmed Gulmai Mohammed, said: "The noise was very, very loud. I thought my eardrums had burst. People had arms and legs torn off.

"We have been hearing that there were Talibs in the area but we did not expect anything like this. People are now frightened, the government and the foreigners [Nato] cannot protect us."

Khalid Pashtun, the MP for Kandahar said: "Hakim Jan was one of the important, prominent jihadi commanders in Kandahar. There were so many people gathered there, and of course the Taliban and al-Qa'ida usually target this type of important person."

Other witnesses said some of Commander Jan's bodyguards had shot into the crowd after the blast, adding to the death toll. "They just opened fire on everyone," said Faizullah Qari Gar, another Kandahari at the fight. "I don't know how many were killed by the bombing and how many by the shooting."

Before this weekend, the deadliest suicide attack had been last November in the northern city of Baghlan, when another bomber killed 79 people, most of them schoolchildren.

The last major attack on a crowd gathered for public entertainment was in January 2006, when a suicide bomber on a motorcycle blew himself up among men watching a wrestling match in the border town of Spin Boldak, near Kandahar, killing a total of 24 people.

...So there you have it, this is what happens when two evils collide. Life can be cheap, very cheap in some parts of the world. Human beings treated no better than dogs. Bodyguards being trigger happy and treating people as litter to be disposed of if they get in the way. It was strange, very strange that the governor of the province, Assadullah Khalid, who survived an assassination attempt last week, had planned to go to the event, but is said to have changed his mind at the last minute. I wonder if he had a tip-off? Still, the Taliban got their man, they generally do in the end. So I suppose Assadullah Khalid will be next to die but the Taliban do not hurry themselves in their jihad, for their god will wait until the time is right.

Friday, February 15, 2008

So much for a Red Route.

Leaving London this afternoon along the main A4 - a Red Route clearway road - the Metropolitan Police closed the road to all traffic in both directions. This added another 30 minutes to my journey as the whole local area gridlocked. This is both a primary and a Red Route, no stopping, no waiting and no parking. Outgoing traffic was forced down Brompton Road with it's junction with Cromwell Gardens. Yet the Police insisted in closing the road with their cars and plastic tape. Preserve the scene - just what is the point. Cause an avoidable nuisance and increased costs to everyone else they certainly did. There was no mention of this on the BBC News website or the London Evening Standard website because this was just another road traffic accident. There were no vehicles blocking the highway, the only obstructions were the Police cars and metres of plastic tape. As I drove off down Brompton Road the Police were moving the only vehicle at the scene, a green lorry that did not appear to have any damage done to it.

If the Police are not shooting innocent Brazilian electricians they are closing public roads for no sensible reason but to be a bloody minded nuisance to everyone.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Chip and Pin failure .

I went shopping tonight at my usual supermarket, Morrisons at International Way, International Sports Village, Cardiff Bay, CF11 0JP. I dropped Gail off at the entrance to the store and continued around to buy petrol at their filling station. This filling station has a lovely efficient pay at the pump facility that I use. You insert your Chip and Pin card, enter your pin number and draw the fuel. But tonight the pump would not accept my card, I tried 3 times but it did not want to play. So I selected the option to pay at the kiosk but when I presented my Alliance Leicester Chip and Pin Debit Card it came up as "Transaction Cancelled - Not Authorised". So I asked Mohammed the cashier where we would go from here and he told me to walk over to the cashpoint and come back with some cash. At the cashpoint mounted into the outside wall of the Morrisons supermarket the machine accepted my pin number, printed a balance and dished out my cash. So I walked back to the filling station, paid Mohammed and drove back to the store.

We select our groceries and queue at the check-out. A customer in front of us was paying for his groceries and I spotted his distinctive blue card. He entered his pin number but the transaction failed. So I shouted out for him, the cashier and other shoppers to hear, much to Gail's embarrassment, that I had the same problem with my Alliance Leicester card at the filling station and that he will have to use the cashpoint outside to pay this cashier.

I presented my Alliance Leicester Debit Card to this cashier and it failed with the till receipt declaring "Declined - code 5 - Unable to Authorise". So I paid the cashier with the cash I had withdrawn earlier.

I have never had a problem with Chip and Pin before and because it happened to another customer at the same time means that this is a network problem. Whether this is a problem at Morrisons or Alliance Leicester I will never know for sure. The filling station and the store have different Merchant Numbers, the filling station is 4923520 and the store 4923454. Because I had no problems with the cashpoint I am lead to think the problem is with Morrisons rather than Alliance Leicester.

I shouted out loud to the other customer to reassure him that there was not a problem with his account and he had not been fleeced by internet banking robbers. If any other bloggers have had any problems with their Chip and Pin transactions then please leave a comment on my blog. Happy shopping everyone!
Paperback book sizes.

I have got a little bored with newspapers of late and I have been taking a paperback book with me to read during the rest breaks in my day job. I had got very used to regular sized newsprint and changing to paperback books was a big change to reading page size. One of the best ways to buy paperback books is over the internet from a leading website called Amazon . If your order is greater than £15 then you pay no extra for postage and packing. Therefore I sent off an order for 4 paperback books the other day. The postman delivered the books in a regular sized box. On opening the box and checking the paperback books I noticed that each of the 4 books was a different size.

This rather surprised me and I wondered why there was not an industry standard paperback book page size. I am used to regular newspaper page print sizes and the photocopier/printer standard A4 size paper. Why paperback books have not followed a standard is beyond me. This must really annoy the paperback book printers!

If it was down to me there would be a common paperback book page size for all books. I prefer big pages and the regular letter A4 size would get my vote for ease of use as a reader. The important thing about books is the content and messing about with page sizes achieves nothing. Remember the old adage: never judge a book by it's cover. A standard book size would make mail order parcels easier to pack and bookshop shelves easier to stock - a win-win situation. Having a common page size may even reduce the publishing costs a shade too.

Monday, February 11, 2008

The Yacoubian Building.

I have just finished reading the novel called The Yacoubian Building written by Alaa Al Aswany . He wrote this book in 2002 and it became the best selling Arabic novel in 2002 and 2003. Humphrey Davies translated this book into English in 2004 and it was published in paperback in 2007.

The novel is set in Cairo, Egypt around 1990, the time of the first Gulf war, but reflects the culture and problems of the present day. This is a very enjoyable book and you get a feeling of being on a foreign holiday, only you get to meet and know the locals. The book is full of local colour and is done in the style of a soap opera. A kind of Shameless of Cairo. Now that we are a multicultural country here in the UK, this book is accessible to British readers.

The author fully understands human nature and he writes about love, desire, power, corruption and the religious impulse. This book has deserved to become the world wide hit that it has become. It involves a full range of characters that are representative of Egyptian society. You feel as though you have actually spent time living in Cairo by the time you have finished this book. A feeling of been there, got the T shirt. One death occurs but the book finishes on a happy ending. There is a lot of humour in the book and only the most prudish of women could take a tiny offence at some of the content.

Travel broadens the mind, just like this book does.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Shrove Tuesday or Pancake Day to you and me.

What a lovely day off work today I had - a pub lunch with lovely real ale followed by beer and biscuits at a friends' house. When we got home, Gail - my Christian wife - insisted on cooking some pancakes that I ate with some Cornish Ice Cream. They were very nice indeed and form a very nice supper for an Atheist!

What a daft tradition this is and who am I to stop her in our kitchen? The joys of our multicultural society!

Monday, February 04, 2008

Don't mention Islamic terrorists, says guide.

Whitehall officials have been issued with a guide on how to talk about Islamist terrorists without offending Muslims. One thing they should not do is call them Islamist terrorists but instead ministers and civil servants have been told to refer to them as "criminals". Now the language has been codified into a phrase-book issued to departments.

The guide tells civil servants not to use terms such as Islamist extremism or jihadi-fundamentalist. Instead, they should refer to violent extremism and criminal murderers or thugs to avoid any implication that there is an explicit link between Islam and terrorism.

...Dear, oh dear, our government does not want our public to understand the threat posed to our lives from Islam. Our government wants our public to forget the history of Jihad within Islam over the centuries. We cannot ignore the fact that Jihad is part of Islam and their holy sacred book the Koran. It is part of Islamic culture and we all have to deal with this fact. This is history and Muslims throughout the world indentify with Jihad in their quest against the infidels. To call Islamic terrorists by the relatively tame and bland name of criminals simply waters down your message. It is wrong to mislead the public about the threats to our society posed by Islam, we are not talking about anti-social behaviour. Islamic terrorists do not stand about street corners dropping litter, spraying graffiti and playing loud music. Islamic terrorists kill innocent people, this is not anti-social behaviour it is murder.

For our government to want us not to use the accurate term Islamic terrorist is wrong and shows that it is a denial of Jihad. It is like an alcoholic claiming they do not have a drink problem. We have a problem in this country with Islamic terrorists and the quicker we recognise and address this problem the better and safer for us all. We cannot deny that Islamic terrorists exist in our country and they should be called exactly that and not thought of as anti-social nuisances.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Baghdad market bombers 'mentally impaired'

Two women with Down's Syndrome were used to deliver remote-controlled bombs to the heart of Baghdad's thriving markets, killing at least 93 people and shattering the Iraqi capital's fragile peace. Disturbing details of the "brutal and barbaric" attacks emerged last night, with Iraqi officials claiming the women may not have known they were on a suicide mission.

Instead, they may have unwittingly become part of al-Qa'eda's campaign to kill off any semblance of normality in the Iraqi capital. "Both women were mentally impaired," said Major General Qasim Ata. "The explosives were detonated by remote control."

Investigators last night said they had found mobile phones used to detonate the bombs - each weighing up to 33lbs and laden with metal slugs which became missiles when the bombs were detonated. They were hidden under the traditional garments worn by the women, whose identity and nationalities were unknown.

In the first attack, a woman walked into the popular al-Ghazl pet market in central Baghdad, which was thronging with locals who have ventured back into the streets after a recent return to relative calm in the capital. A witness said the bomber called out, saying she had birds to sell. A crowd gathered, then the bomb was detonated, killing scores of people around her.

Just 20 minutes later, at al-Jadida, in the south-east of the city, an almost identical attack took place.

...This very sad story was also covered in The Times and The Independent . It has all the hallmarks of Al Qaeda and they have used these women as cannon fodder. Whenever these terrorist acts are become difficult to mount the terrorists find new ways to attack. The terrorists are very good at recruiting sane people with their fiery rhetoric but to use 'mentally impaired' suicide bombers is doubly evil. The terrorists are treating these recruits like lambs to the slaughter - you will never know if they were truly consenting adult suicide bombers. OK - suicide bombers must have a screw loose and cannot think straight but what happens if the terrorists break into a psychiatric hospital and train all the patients to be suicide bombers? I can imagine The Sun headline now, "Nutters on the loose". This is not a level playing field and just shows how low these terrorists can go. When you think the violence in Iraq is finally decreasing, BANG it goes off again, in yet another crowded public market place. Remember, not all the lunatics are in the asylum.

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