Juggling First Dates with first-round knock-outs: Fred Sirieix and his secret life as a boxer

Big Fred Sirieix loves a battle in both his restaurant life and in his secret life as a devoted fight fan and boxer.

His new book, Secret Service: Lifting The lid On The Restaurant World, is packed with confrontations, battle metaphors and fearless truths. “I can’t help it! I’m French” he says. He is a big fan of Sun Tzu’s The Art of War, a big fan of understanding the enemy and it was inevitable that the restaurant man fell into a boxing gym.

“It was ten years ago and I went to Clinton’s gym in Herne Hill and then his gym in South Norwood,” said Sirieix. “He asked me what I wanted to do and I said: ‘I want to spar.’ He looked me up and down at first. I don’t think he was very impressed.”

Clinton was Clinton McKenzie, an Olympian and veteran of 50 fights as a professional and arguably one of the best British boxers to never get a world title fight. McKenzie fought between 1976 and 1989, winning and losing the British and European title several times. 


He finished with 36 wins, 14 defeats and once fought a sequence of fights that no modern British boxer would ever contemplate. McKenzie lost on points over ten rounds to an unbeaten fighter in Denmark, three weeks later he lost over 15 rounds for the Commonwealth title in Nigeria and six weeks later lost a European title fight in Italy; a couple of months later he defended his British title.

“We sparred and there was a guy there filming, a weirdo, there are always a few weirdoes in boxing gyms and this guy was telling me to move, to throw punches,” Sirieix recalled. “I should have ignored him; then Clinton hit me with a right hook and he broke my rib. I was really hurt, I could not breathe; I was out for three months and then I went back to spar again.” 

This was not the fancy, safe, saccharine world of brightly-lit keep-fit gyms; Sirieix had wandered across a fine line and was with real fight people and, as he correctly pointed out, a weirdo or two.

“I kept sparring with him and I kept learning. He is a great boxing thinker, a wise man and I learned so much,” continued Sirieix. “We used to spar ten rounds. We don’t spar anymore, he’s 62 now, but we did spar about six months ago. He’s still good.” McKenzie is still capable of breaking a rib.


Nothing changed in the gym when Sirieix started to appear on television as host and star of Channel 4’s First Dates. Big Fred had been sending me boxing emails for years, talking about fights won, lost and hoped for, before I worked out who he was. He was known as the “game French geezer” in a few south London boxing gyms. As I said, it was his secret life away from his duties at the front of the house with customers sipping on £250 brandies and demanding window tables.

“When I’m in the boxing gym it is another world for me, my little bubble and it makes me feel so much younger,” Fred told me last week during a break in his filming schedule somewhere impossibly exotic. “When I’m in the gym it is like I’m living another life. It’s a retreat for me and every single gym I have been in has welcomed me.” 

Sirieix knows a thing or two about welcoming people and his position as the general manager at the Michelin-starred Galvin at Windows in the Hilton on Park Lane is based on excellent service, his secret service. His book is not just about air-kissing wealthy punters on the 28th floor, starching napkins in Monte Carlo and relaying some of his earlier escapades – oiling toilet tops to prevent cocaine use – in various restaurant and bars. Indeed, it offers an alternative peep at Sirieix.

A few months ago Sirieix decided that he needed to push himself in the boxing gym and he made contact with Bradley Skeete, the current British welterweight champion. Sirieix said: “I called Bradley up and asked to spar. I went to the iBox gym and they were all so nice to me and obviously I have no real chance against Bradley. No chance, he’s British champion, but I have to try – I have to push myself, I have to think of ways to win.

“I have to dream. It’s me fighting my fears, knowing I will lose but still trying to win. I watched fights between (Muhammad) Ali and (Joe) Frazier and watched Frazier get close; this I try, I try and use this – I do what Frazier did. Sure, I’m dreaming, but I’m trying to get close. It’s tough and you can’t beat that. I have to listen to my heart,” added Sirieix, who has been thinking like a boxer for a long time. Skeete had to clip Sirieix to keep him honest and this was not a cosmetic round or two for a publicity shoot.

I ask Sirieix if he fancies a white-collar fight, a description that has changed so much during the last decade and now is really just unlicensed boxing in so many instances, and he certainly does, but against just one man.


“In 2012 when I was 40 I organised an event, we raised 50,000 pounds in two weeks and I lost on points to Marcus Wareing,” said Sirieix. “It took me a month to recover from the loss. I was too stressed, too emotional and I lost my head in the fight. I boxed the wrong fight, I got too close and I just lost my head. At the end of the second round I carried on fighting and both corners had to get in the ring to stop it. 

“I called him after and asked for a rematch and he said: ‘No’. That is the only fight I want. I want to fight him again.” I tell him that all great fighters have a Wareing in their boxing careers, a man they desperately want to fight again for a variety of reasons. He listens: “That’s right, that’s right. I don’t like to lose any battles.” That as much is clear.

Secret Service: Lifting The Lid On The Restaurant World by Fred Sirieix is published on 19th October

منبع مطلب : http://www.independent.co.uk/sport/general/boxing/first-dates-fred-sirieix-secret-life-as-a-boxer-swapping-first-round-knock-outs-a8003241.html

Raudha Athif: Family of Vogue model who 'killed herself' in dormitory believe she was murdered

The family of a Vogue cover model whose death in a hostel dormitory was ruled as suicide by investigators in Bangladesh, have suggested she was murdered. 

Raudha Athif, 21, was found dead at the all female facility in the western city of Rajshahi in March. 

Police said she hanged herself from a ceiling fan using a scarf and an autopsy subsequently concluded she had taken her own life.  

But a new investigation by Australian TV show 60 Minutes has suggested foul play may have been involved in the medical student’s death. 

“I know my daughter has been killed already. I know I won’t get her back, but as a father I will get rest only when I get justice to her,” her father Mohammed Athif told the programme. 

Mr Athif has been campaigning for a criminal investigation into her death and earlier this year he won the right to second autopsy after filing a civil complaint. 

Australian forensic pathologist, Professor Joe DuFlou, told 60 Minutes he believed the excess marks seen around Ms Athif’s neck in photographs showed bruising that could have made by a hand and a belt. 

The original autopsy concluded they were birthmarks. 

“I’d have grave doubts that that ligature caused those ligature marks. It just doesn’t match,” he told the programme. “To me, the appearance of those bruises, marks of some type or other, looked very similar to fingers has caused bruising. 

Ms Athif, originally from the Maldives, was studying at the Islami Bank Medical College in western Bangladesh after receiving a scholarship. She had planned to transfer to Australia next year.

She had been discovered as a model after pictures she posted of herself under the title, “Maldivian girl with the aqua blue eyes” when viral.

Ms Athif appeared on the cover of Vogue India last year, but told the magazine that modelling was a “hobby rather than a career, since I’m studying to become a doctor”.

Her father said her modelling work had attracted unwanted attention while she was in Bangladesh.

Her brother Rayyan Athif told The Sun earlier this year that he believes his sister was killed, and alleged that “there have been a series of murders in Bangladesh which have been staged to look like suicides and Islamic extremists have been suspected to be behind these atrocities”. 

He claimed his sister was targeted due to the way she dressed. Ms Athif was a moderate Muslim but adhered to the dress code of her college and wore a veil over her face while on campus, he said.

He added that she was criticised for wearing jeans and was told her clothing was “immodest”.

He said: “Other students have also been subjected to this type of bullying.”

منبع مطلب : http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/asia/raudha-athif-vogue-model-kill-herself-murdered-family-bangladesh-a8003046.html

Gender pay gap: UK women are now working 'for free' for the rest of the year

Women in the UK are effectively working for free for the rest of the year as of Monday due to the gender pay gap.

According to Eurostat, the gap between male and female salaries in the UK is 20 per cent. The disparity means that by 16 October men have already been paid the amount it would take a woman doing the same job a whole year to earn.

Across Europe the gender pay gap averages 17 per cent.

Britain has the fifth largest gender pay gap in Europe – higher than Slovakia, Portugal and Switzerland.

New laws introduced by the UK Government in April this year will require all companies with 250 or more employees to publish gender pay figures by April 2018. 

Estonia has the biggest gender pay gap of all European countries, with Estonian women effectively working for free since 23 September despite the Baltic nation closing its gender pay gap since last year.

Working women in Germany were calculated to be effectively working for free from 11 October, while Nordic countries Iceland and Finland fare little better with women effectively working for free from 30 October.

Italy and Luxembourg have the smallest gender pay gap among all European countries at 5 per cent, but women in both countries will still, in effect, work for free for the last two weeks of year.

“This study brings the devastating effects of the gender pay gap into clear focus. It is absolutely astonishing that in the 21st century women are still suffering such financial penalties merely because of their gender” said Adelle Kehoe, senior researcher at business comparison site Expert Market. “I hope this report encourages women across Europe to continue to campaign for gender equality in the workplace and in society as a whole.”

Grace Garland, researcher at Expert Market, said: “For women to know that the man sitting next to them doing the same job could be getting the equivalent of over two more months pay is frankly insulting and an embarrassment to the UK”.

Wage data in September revealed the UK’s gender pay gap at senior level may be much larger than previously thought, with men in top management positions earning £11,606 more than their female peers on average. 

منبع مطلب : http://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/news/gender-pay-gap-uk-women-work-free-rest-year-2017-income-men-sexism-a8003306.html

Manchester United striker Romelu Lukaku to avoid FA action for alleged stamp on Liverpool's Dejan Lovren

Romelu Lukaku will escape any action for his alleged stamp on Liverpool’s Dejan Lovren during Manchester United’s goalless draw at Anfield on Saturday.

The Football Association chose not to pursue a case against the Belgian despite protestations from Lovren during the game that he took a whack to his face.

Lovren tackled Lukaku causing the striker to stumble over his body on the floor as he looked to run into the space vacated by the Croatian but appeared to make contact with the heel of his boot as he tried to escape.

The referee took no action at the time as the game played on and the FA have seen it in the same manner by opting not to charge the player.

It was the second contentious decision Lukaku was involved in during the game after he went through the back of defender Joe Gomez on the half-way line to send him spinning in the air. 

منبع مطلب : http://www.independent.co.uk/sport/football/premier-league/manchester-united-liverpool-news-romelu-lukaku-stamp-dejan-lovren-no-ban-a8003126.html

Two stars crash into each other, wobbling the universe and flinging out huge amounts of gold

Two stars slammed into each other deep in space, sending out huge amounts of gold in an alchemical explosion.

The super-dense stars crashed 130 million light years away, spewing out precious metals and other heavy elements like platinum and uranium, scientists say. And now the explosion has kickstarted a “new chapter in astrophysics”, and confirmed theories about the origin of the mysterious neutron stars.

The huge explosion rocked the fabric of the universe, distorting spacetime. That is a major discovery in itself, marking only the fifth time that gravitational waves have been spotted on Earth.


Scientists not only “heard” the phenomenon by measuring vibrations in space-time, they also used satellite and ground-based telescopes to see light and radiation pouring out of the stellar fireball, dubbed a “kilonova”.

Excited astronomers talked of opening a “new chapter in astrophysics” and unlocking a “treasure trove” of new science.

Every other gravitational wave detection has been traced to black holes crashing together in remote regions of the universe more than a billion light years away.

The new event – though still very distant – was much closer and completely different in nature. It was caused by colliding neutron stars – burned out remnants of giant stars so dense that a teaspoon of their material on Earth would weigh a billion tons.

The two objects, each about 12 miles in diameter, stretched and distorted space-time as they spiralled towards each other and finally collided.

Like ripples from a stone thrown in a pond, the gravitational waves fanned out across the universe at the speed of light.

They were picked up on Earth by two incredibly sensitive detectors in Washington and Louisiana in the US, operated by the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (Ligo).

It was here the first discovery of gravitational waves was made in September 2015, confirming a prediction made by Albert Einstein 100 years ago and earning three pioneers of the project a Nobel Prize.

Two seconds after the Ligo detection, a burst of gamma rays from the neutron star collision was captured by Nasa’s Fermi space telescope.

Astronomers around the world quickly turned their telescopes and dishes towards a small patch in the southern sky and also saw the flash across the visible and invisible light spectrum.

Analysis of the light revealed something astonishing – the manufacture of gold on a cosmic scale, as well as other heavy elements.

Dr Joe Lyman from the University of Warwick, one of many British scientists involved, said: “The exquisite observations obtained in a few days showed we were observing a kilonova, an object whose light is powered by extreme nuclear reactions.

“This tells us that the heavy elements, like the gold or platinum in jewellery, are the cinders, forged in the billion degree remnants of a merging neutron star.”

The origins of gold and other heavy elements have been a long-standing mystery, but recent evidence has suggested that colliding neutron stars could have a hand in their creation.

A third gravitational wave facility called Virgo near Pisa, Italy, also registered a faint signal from the event, allowing scientists to triangulate its position.

The neutron star collision took place 130 million light years away in a relatively old galaxy called NGC 4993. When the gravitational waves began their journey across space, dinosaurs roamed the Earth.

The gravitational wave signal, named GW170817, was detected at 1.41pm UK time on August 17.

Ligo’s detectors, consisting of L-shaped tunnels with arms 2.5 miles (4km) long, use laser beams bouncing off mirrors to measure movement across a distance 10,000 times smaller than the width of a proton, the kernel of an atom.

A tight lid was kept on the findings until the publication of a series of papers in journals including Nature, Nature Astronomy, and Physical Review Letters.

The international researchers expect to spend many months trawling through the mountain of data.

One question already answered is the origin of short-duration gamma ray bursts. Gamma ray bursts (GRBs), marked by an eruption of gamma rays lasting milliseconds to several minutes, are the most powerful explosions known.

Scientists now know that one type of GRB is generated when neutron stars collide.

Dr Samantha Oates, also from the University of Warwick, said: “This discovery has answered three questions that astronomers have been puzzling for decades: what happens when neutron stars merge? What causes the short duration gamma-ray bursts? Where are the heavy elements, like gold, made?

“In the space of about a week all three of these mysteries were solved.”

Colleague Dr Danny Steeghs said: “This is a new chapter in astrophysics.”

British Ligo scientist Professor BS Sathyaprakash, from the University of Cardiff, described the new discovery as “truly a eureka moment”.

He added: “The 12 hours that followed are inarguably the most exciting hours of my scientific life. This event marks a turning point in observational astronomy and will lead to a treasure trove of scientific results.”

Professor Bernard Schutz, also from the University of Cardiff, told how his team used the gravitational wave detections to measure the expansion of the universe more accurately than had ever been achieved before.

“What has amazed me … is that with just this one measurement, we got a result right in the middle between the two rather different values that astronomers have measured recently,” he said.

Dr David Shoemaker, spokesman for the Ligo scientific collaboration and senior research scientist at the US Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Kavli Institute for Astrophysics and Space Research, said: “From informing detailed models of the inner workings of neutron stars and the emissions they produce, to more fundamental physics such as general relativity, this event is just so rich.

“It is a gift that will keep on giving.”

Ligo colleague Professor Laura Cadonati, from Georgia Institute of Technology, US, said: “This detection has genuinely opened the doors to a new way of doing astrophysics.

“I expect it will be remembered as one of the most studied astrophysical events in history.”

Additional reporting by agencies

منبع مطلب : http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/neutron-star-collision-gravitational-waves-gold-metal-precious-ligo-a8003146.html

Hurricane Ophelia: Flock of birds circle ominously over Ireland just before powerful storm hits

An ominous video of crows circling the sky before the remnants of Hurricane Ophelia battered Ireland‘s southern coast has been shared widely on social media.

The footage, tweeted by Sarah Kavanagh, who lives in Cork, showed the birds flying away around 8am. 

“Ummmm… think they know there’s something big coming?” Ms Kavanagh asked.

Ophelia, now a tropical storm, claimed its first victim after a woman died when a tree fell on her car in severe winds. 

The Garda said the driver was in her mid 50s and was travelling outside Aglish Village in County Waterford when she was killed.

A female passenger, in her 70s, was also injured and taken to Waterford Regional Hospital for treatment, gardai said. Her injuries are not believed to be life-threatening at this time.

Later, a man in his 30s was killed in a chainsaw accident in Cahir, County Tipperary, when he was trying to clear a tree downed by violent winds.

Gusts of over 96mph (156kph) have already battered the south west coast of Ireland.

Gardai have urged all road users to remain indoors and not to travel unless absolutely necessary.


Trees and power lines have been blown over as the storm makes its way through the Republic of Ireland up into Northern Ireland.

In the Irish Republic, schools, nurseries and colleges have been closed, court sittings postponed, numerous hospital outpatient appointments cancelled and the Defence Forces put on standby.

The Met Office issued an amber weather warning for Northern Ireland and warned of “potential danger to life”.

The differing severity of alerts north and south of the border is more due to differences in the way Met Eireann and the Met Office rate threats, rather than an indication that Northern Ireland will not be hit as hard.

In regard to Northern Ireland, the Met Office said: “There is a good chance that power cuts may occur, with the potential to affect other services, such as mobile phone coverage.

“Flying debris is likely, such as tiles blown from roofs, as well as large waves around coastal districts with beach material being thrown on to coastal roads, sea fronts and properties.

“This leads to the potential for injuries and danger to life.”

منبع مطلب : http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/hurricane-ophelia-birds-ireland-storm-before-hit-republic-damage-flooding-winds-a8003281.html

Huawei Mate 10 hands-on review: An artificially intelligent phone designed to think like a human

Chinese powerhouse Huawei makes smartphones, smartwatches and the hardware that powers mobile phone networks around the world.

Today, in Munich, the company revealed its latest high-end mobile, the Mate 10

Get past the branding, both of the company’s name which can sound like you’ve sneezed (Hwah-way!), and the idea that the phone in your pocket can be considered your mate, and you find a capable, glossy handset from a manufacturer reaching its greatest level of confidence. 

Like Google, which recently announced its Pixel 2 handset, Huawei is betting the farm on artificial intelligence (AI) with a powerful processor, called the Kirin 970. It boasts eight cores and a neural processing unit (NPU).

Richard Yu, CEO of the company’s Consumer Business Group, told me how strongly he feels about the company’s future. “Maybe I’m not so humble, but we can definitely be the best.”

But, I said, there are some countries, most notably the States, which are cautious about letting Huawei in. Senior US lawmakers view Huawei as not trustworthy enough to supply network infrastructure, as potentially a part of the Chinese government, though Huawei is quick to deny this. So far, it’s meant that US networks have resisted carrying Huawei phones. Does Mr Yu worry about that?

“Actually, we could be number one without cracking the US market. But the thing is, the people in the USA deserve better phones! Our aim is to be the best or nothing. So, we should be the best.” 

So, the Mate 10 is pretty powerful, then? “Our processor is much stronger than the A11 Bionic which Apple has just released in its latest iPhones. We have more than double the performance power,” Yu claims. 

The idea of the NPU is that it should be the new brain of the smartphone, enabling it to think more like a human being – a lofty aim indeed.

Yu again: “Our dream is that the smartphone camera will replace the DSLR because it’s not bulky like a professional camera. That’s why we put the AI processor in our phone. With the AI processor we can do more and more things. It means your phone’s camera can be like your eyes, recognising objects and understanding them. The NPU has higher efficiency.”

What does that really mean, in practical terms? Well, there’s the promise of sharper, better night photography as the AI uses motion detection to reduce blur. The object recognition means that there are 14 types of scenes and objects that the processor can recognise. These include food, for instance, and dogs. Cat lovers will be glad to know their favoured species has its own special algorithms, too. 

Huawei has also built in its Born Fast, Stay Fast technology from this year’s P10 phone, designed to keep the phone running at or close to its day one performance eighteen months down the line. 

And the AI is also used to manage power, spotting your habitual usage of the phone to save energy automatically, if needed, later on. If it notices that you routinely plug in your phone at 10pm, it will assume that that’s when it needs to make the battery last until.

Anyway, what about the handset?

Well, there are three of them: Mate 10, Mate 10 Pro and a special Porsche Design edition. 

All are smooth, slick mobiles with big, bright displays that feel great in the hand. The subtly enhanced styling of the Porsche Design model is especially successful, though all look great. 

A wide stripe in a subtly contrasting colour surrounding the cameras on the phone’s glass back add a distinctive look that works well. 

The regular Mate 10 has a 5.9-inch display in a 16:9 screen ratio, capable of displaying HDR video. 

There are twin rear cameras which sit flush with the phone’s back and follow Huawei’s previous technique of matching a monochrome sensor (20 megapixels) with a 12-megapixel sensor that captures colour. Both are co-engineered with Leica.

There’s a fingerprint sensor below the cameras on the back of the phone which is noticeably lower in the hope that you won’t smudge the lenses when you’re looking for it. 

The Pro version is water-resistant, too and has a slightly larger display (6 inches) that covers almost the entire front of the phone with a longer, thinner screen ratio of 18:9.

Both phones have big, powerful batteries which last well and charge fast (from zero to 20 per cent in 10 minutes) and are even certified as safe when they charge so quickly.

The phones are out soon – Mate 10 later this month, others to follow in November – and will be ranged as premium handsets, though likely less than the Note 8 or iPhone 8 sticker prices.

منبع مطلب : http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/gadgets-and-tech/features/huawei-mate-10-pro-review-hands-on-first-impressions-artificial-intelligence-a8003056.html

Tom Hanks on his debut book, Harvey Weinstein and Donald Trump

In 2006, when Tom Hanks wanted to get a story published, he sent it to his friend and sometime director Nora Ephron.

Having had my own writing critiqued by her, I know just how daunting that could be.

“Oh, petrifying, horrifying, yes, yeah,” Tom Hanks says, grimacing.

The piece was a sweet paean to his makeup man Danny Striepeke, then 75 years old and retiring, a 50-year Hollywood veteran who had started by giving Elvis Presley his tan in Viva Las Vegas and Laurence Olivier his Roman nose in Spartacus and ended by turning Hanks into a policeman, an astronaut, an Army Ranger, an F.B.I. agent, a Master of the Universe, a Slavic tourist stuck in an airport, Santa Claus and a Harvard professor of symbology.


Hanks sent Ephron the piece — “And she said, ‘Send it to The New York Times. I’ll make some calls for you. It shouldn’t be in the Sunday Styles section but maybe in the Thursday Styles section,”’ Hanks recalls. And after many rewrites and lots of no-mercy Nora editing, like “What does this mean?” and “This is not good” and “Voice, voice, voice” and “Tell people what you’re going to tell them, and then tell them, and then tell them what you just told them,” it was finally published in Thursday Styles.

I hesitate, wondering if now is the moment to break the news to Hanks: He has spent a decade honing his writing and, despite all the other acting and directing and producing he does, and despite being, as the historian Douglas Brinkley calls him, “American history’s highest-profile professor,” he has managed to squeeze in a book of fictional short stories called Uncommon Type. And yet he’s still going to be in Thursday Styles.

And not only that. I will have to ask him about The Times’s first bombshell report about Harvey Weinstein, published earlier this month, and Hollywood’s guilty silence on the incendiary subject. What does Mr. Nice have to say about Mr. Sleazy?

But the man is on a book tour, so first I needed to explore his fiction.

“Were you trying to be Chekhovian?” I ask.

“Boy, Chekhov just always goes right over my head,” he replies.

I confess that I don’t really know what that means, either, but a bookish friend had suggested I ask.

In profiles of Hanks, co-stars including Meg Ryan (You’ve Got Mail) and Sally Field (Forest Gump) have made a point of saying that he is darker and more complicated and even more angry than you would imagine underneath that decent Everyman exterior, but he keeps it to himself.

And it is interesting, given that Hanks and his wife, Rita Wilson are celebrated as the king and queen of Hollywood, that there is a strain of melancholy that runs through many of the stories about small-town characters.


In one, A Special Weekend, a 9-year-old named Kenny is being raised by his moody father and brisk stepmother in a Northern California town — with a throng of siblings and stepsiblings — because his mother, a pretty waitress, broke up with his father when Kenny was little. He gets to spend a birthday weekend with his mother, who arrives in a cloud of perfume, with red lipstick that matches her red roadster.

When Hanks was 5, living in Redding, California, his parents separated. His mother, a waitress, kept the youngest of the four children while Tom went with the other two to live with his father. He was playing with his siblings one night when he was told he had to go with his father. He was a cook who married twice more and Tom had lots of stepsiblings and lived with a lot of upheaval. “By the age of ten, I’d lived in ten houses.”

“By and large, they were all positive people and we were all just kind of in this odd potluck circumstance,” he says, adding that he still vividly recalls the confusion of being that little boy. “I could probably count on one hand the number of times I was in a room alone with my mum, or in a car alone. That is not exactly what happened to me, but there were times when either my mum or my dad — the same thing was true for both — in which being alone with them, I realized, was like, ‘This is a special time.’ For other people, it’s not a special time. It’s just part and parcel to the day.”

He took Ephron’s advice to heart. His voice is recognizably Hanks, with lots of Norman Rockwell phrasing: ‘lollygagging’, ‘yowza’, ‘thanked his lucky stars’, ‘titmouse’, ‘knothead’, ‘atta baby’.

The title of the book is drawn from his love of vintage typewriters. There are 300 or so perched upstairs and downstairs in bookcases in the Santa Monica office of Playtone, his production company, which also boasts a turntable and enviable collection of LPs and 45s. We talk next to rows and rows of rare black and red and green typewriters that do not work but count as “objects of art” for Hanks.

There is also a glamour shot of Ben Bradlee, whom Hanks is portraying in The Post, the Steven Spielberg-directed movie about The Washington Post’s role in publishing the Pentagon Papers. “Ben knew he was the coolest guy in the room,” Hanks says.

In the adjacent room, bookcases are brimming with covered typewriters. Vintage posters of typewriters hang on the walls.

“Typing was the one requirement my dad had for me, going to school,” Hanks recalls. “He said, ‘goddamn it, you’ll take a typewriting course!’ I think that was the sum total of my dad’s advice to a young man.”

One of his characters in the book, an old-fashioned, tri-cities newspaper columnist, lovingly describes the chonk-chonkka of the keys with the ba-ding of the bell and the krannk of the carriage return and the shripp of the copy ripped from the machine.

He tried to write his fiction on a typewriter but concedes, “I only made it about five pages in.” That delete key on a laptop is too alluring.


Hanks as Joe Fox and Meg Ryan as Kathleen Kelly in Nora Ephron’s ‘You’ve Got Mail’ ( Warner Bros.)

All different brands of typewriters — Royals and Remingtons and Continentals — make cameos in the stories, with pictures. It’s “The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dogs” version of Alfred Hitchcock giving himself a walk-on in his movies.

When I ask Hanks how he fell in love with typewriters, he tells the basic story in These Are the Meditations of My Heart, noting, “I changed the gender so they wouldn’t all be about confused young men.” It’s a yarn about a young woman who finds a cheap typewriter at a church-parking-lot sale, goes to a Polish repairman to get it fixed and ends by upgrading to a Swiss sea-foam-green Hermes 2000, the Mercedes of typewriters, with an Epoca typeface.

Did his stint on the early ’80s sitcom Bosom Buddies, in which he dressed in drag, Some Like It Hot style, to live in an apartment building restricted to women, help him write in a woman’s voice?

“I’m not sure that Lenny Ripps and Chris Thompson wrote in women’s voices per se,” he says with a smile, referring to the show’s writers. “I think between all the women that I worked for and with and gave birth to and married, they all had a great amount of input.”

That character wants a typewriter because her handwriting is so bad. Hanks says that’s his problem, too, that his handwriting is “horrible, horrible.”

He looks at mine and says it’s just as bad, noting: “If you were up for murder, a handwriting expert would read it and say, ‘Oh, she’s guilty, look at the Ys versus the block Js.”’

I am also curious if the futuristic story on time travel, in which a middle-aged man goes back in time and falls in love with a young woman at the 1939 World’s Fair, was inspired by the fortunetelling machine Zoltar in Big.

“No,” he says, “that really came out of a desire to see the 1939 World’s Fair.”

Hanks eats a sushi lunch, casual in Uniqlo jeans, a James Perse black T-shirt, Ralph Lauren boots, a Filson watch with Smokey Bear on it, a David Yurman silver bracelet and a custom-made class ring from the “School of Hard Knocks” with his children’s initials engraved (both pieces of jewelry gifts from his “fabulous wife”). He’s also wearing a dark Lululemon jacket.


Hanks in Sully as Capt. Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger who makes an emergency landing on the Hudson River  (Flashlight Films)

“Do not judge me,” he comically instructs. “What happened was that on Sunday, Rita said, ‘Let’s get out of the house.’ I had to buy some workout clothes and we went into Lululemon and I saw this and it kind of fit, so I asked, ‘Is it appropriate for men to wear?’ They said, yeah, so I’m wearing Lululemon.”

He looks trim. “It’s amazing what happens,” he says, “when you finally understand you have Type 2 diabetes and start eating like it.”

I had read that he got diabetes from gaining and losing a lot of weight for roles, but he tells me: “No, I got it from a life of the worst diet on the planet earth. I just ate sugar and stuff all my life.”

Although he admits he’s not “impervious to perks” — going on private planes is “literally like crack cocaine” — he said he didn’t have any trouble writing about ordinary people beyond the Hollywood bubble.

“Life here is not like The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills,” he says. “No one wears that much lip gloss 24 hours a day or constantly goes out to restaurants only to have arguments about ‘You didn’t invite me to your daughter’s bat mitzvah.”’

When one of his stories, a whimsical tale set in the future about four friends who build a spaceship and fly to the moon — besides typewriters, Hanks has long been obsessed with flying to the moon — appeared in The New Yorker in 2014, a couple of critics pounced. Slate complained that it was “a mediocre story that breezed past the bodyguards because of its Hollywood pedigree” and another writer in The Chicago Tribune, admitting envy, called Hanks “a dabbler at best.”

“Just don’t read the comments because nothing good can come out of it,” he says. “Have you ever had someone say, ‘I read the greatest review of your book,’ or ‘the most glowing review of your movie,’ and you read it and you say, ‘That’s not a glowing review. This guy takes cheap shots left and right and he didn’t get the point.’ Look, I’m 61. I don’t have time to read about how bad or how good I was at something. Just let it sit out there and they have to deal with the fact that I’m the famous guy who got my name in the paper.”

I ask him if he’s going for a Pegot (Pulitzer, Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony).

He laughs and says that sometimes you just have to take a risk and be bad at something and get outside yourself and have somebody else critique it and throw stuff away and work harder and that’s how you get better. “I went through some things like, Well, it looks like a piece of writing. It’s on a piece of paper with the right format. And it ain’t.”

As he told The Times Book Review, he’s a big reader with stacks of books at home. Does that make him an oddball in Hollywood?


“I think they just assume here you’re a Luddite because the coin of the realm right now is podcasts or obscure shows that are only on for 10 episodes on Hulu or Netflix,” he says. “The dinner party conversation is, ‘I read the most fascinating book about the Civil War’ and they go, ‘Hmm’ and then they move on to some other conversation.”

His favourite book when he was in high school was In Cold Blood, by Truman Capote, but now he prefers Cold War spy stories by Alan Furst and Philip Kerr. He says he’s not interested in murder or conspiracy stories. When he writes, he doesn’t try to get into the head of a psychopath, just a surfer, like himself.

I ask if, as the nation’s designated most likable actor — even his Halloween monster on Saturday Night Live, David S. Pumpkins, is cuddly — he felt pressure to make his fictional characters likable.

“‘Unleash the Charm Monster, damn it, that’s all we want from you,’” he intones in the collective Hollywood voice. But he gets a bit defensive on the issue.

“It’s not a matter of not willing to get dark,” he says. “Look, I played an executioner in a movie. Then the journalist says, ‘Yeah, but you were a nice executioner.’ It wasn’t fun to play a guy whose job it is to put everybody to death. In Road to Perdition, I played a guy who shot people in the head. And you know what they say? ‘Yeah, but you shot him in the head for all the right reasons.’ I’m not interested to play a guy who is some version of ‘Before I kill you, Mr. Bond, would you like a tour of my installation?’ I like stories in which everybody makes sense, so you can hear their different motivations and understand them, as opposed to ‘When this elixir goes in the Gotham City water structure, then the city will be mine!’

“I think the best examples of a bad guy that I would jump to be able to play would be Richard III or Iago. I get that. Richard III is this misshapen guy who’s sick of being treated like a dog and he’s got a shot at being the king of England, and Iago lost out on a promotion. But the vast majority of bad guys — what am I going to do, play Loki? No one wants to see me do that. But I could play Jefferson Davis. The biggest thing I have to consider is: What’s my countenance? I don’t have a great deal of mystery.”

Doesn’t he ever want to be like Larry David and start yelling at people on the street? It must be hard when everyone expects you to always be nice.

“I think I am! I’m sorry!” he says, laughing. “I think I give everybody a fair shake. But I will tell you this, and there’s plenty of people who can attest to it, don’t take advantage of my good nature, because the moment that you do, you’re gone, you’re history. I mean, look, I’m not a sap. I’m not naïve. At least I don’t think I am. I understand that part of it is my nature, part of it is my DNA, part of it is the sum total of everything I went through, and it came out O.K. But part of it is a choice that just says, How do I want to spend my day? How do I want to spend these hours, pissed off at something or you just kind of let it roll off you. But don’t take advantage of my good nature because if you do, it will come back to haunt you and you will hear from me in no uncertain terms. I’ve yelled at people.” Even used vulgarities.

So now that we’re on the subject of screaming and vulgarities, I segue into the Harvey Weinstein scandal. Talk about a Bonfire of the Vanities, Sherman.

“I’ve never worked with Harvey,” Hanks says, after a long pause. “But, aah, it all just sort of fits, doesn’t it?”

Why did Hollywood help shelter him, if everyone knew about the decades of abusive behaviour?


“Well, that’s a really good question and isn’t it part and parcel to all of society somehow, that people in power get away with this?” he says. “Look, I don’t want to rag on Harvey but so obviously something went down there. You can’t buy, ‘Oh, well, I grew up in the ’60s and ’70s and so therefore. …” I did, too. So I think it’s like, well, what do you want from this position of power? I know all kinds of people that just love hitting on, or making the lives of underlings some degree of miserable, because they can.”

They think their achievements entitle them, he says, noting: “Somebody great said this, either Winston Churchill, Immanuel Kant or Oprah: ‘When you become rich and powerful, you become more of what you already are.’

“So I would say, there’s an example of how that’s true. Just because you’re rich and famous and powerful doesn’t mean you aren’t in some ways a big fat ass. Excuse me, take away ‘fat.’ But I’m not, you know, I’m not the first person to say Harvey’s a bit of an ass. Poor Harvey — I’m not going to say poor Harvey, Jesus. Isn’t it kind of amazing that it took this long? I’m reading it and I’m thinking ‘You can’t do that to Ashley Judd! Hey, I like her. Don’t do that. That ain’t fair. Not her, come on. Come on!’”

I ask him why Hollywood and Silicon Valley are still such benighted places about women’s rights, with conspiracies of silence about raging sexism and marauding predators.

“Look, I think one of the greatest television shows in the history of television was Mad Men because it had absolutely no nostalgia or affection for its period,” Hanks says. “Those people were screwed up and cruel and mean. And, ‘Hey, wait, that’s going on today? Shouldn’t we be on this?’ Is it surprising? No. Is it tragic? Yes. And can you believe it’s happening? I can’t quite believe that” — here Hanks uses an expletive — “still goes on.”

(When I ask about Cam Newton’s gender faux pas, Hanks is more sympathetic. “Now I’ve done that,” he says. “I’m not so far away from ‘Hey, Maureen, how you doing, sweetie?’ ‘Well, look sweetheart.’ ‘Aw, doll baby, I don’t know how to answer that.’ I could have done that in a moment. What’s wrong with having there be a requirement to learn more rules of the workplace?”)

As long as we’re on the subject of Weinstein, a powerful, politically prominent man who got away with bad behaviour toward women for an inexplicably long time, I bring up President Trump.

Hanks says he just listened to the NPR show in which a former producer of The Apprentice admitted that the show made the Trump Taj Mahal in Atlantic City, which was falling apart and, as Hanks says, “stank,” look glossy in an effort to sell the image of Trump, the successful businessman.

“At the time, who cares?” he says. “It’s just a show about a guy. But in retrospect, that is what the official record is of a public figure that holds sway. Making this stuff up is dangerous, man. It’s an absolute, total falsehood.”


Hanks as Mike Sullivan in ‘Road to Perdition’ (DreamWorks)

He says Trump squeaked through because people were tired of the “Bush-Clinton continuum” for 30 years and political “doublespeak.” He realized, even before the 2016 election, when Joe Wilson yelled “You lie!” at President Obama during an address to Congress, that comity was gone.

I ask Hollywood’s top history buff, the man who sent the White House press corps an espresso machine after Trump’s election because he knew they’d need it (he did this for journalists covering the Bush White House in 2004, too): Is this the calm before the storm?

“Let me just read you one thing,” he says, getting up to go into the other room and coming back with April 1865: The Month That Saved America, a book by Jay Winik about the closing weeks of the Civil War: “‘And where abolitionists preached slavery as a violation against the higher law, Southerners angrily countered with their own version of the deity, that it was sanctioned by the Constitution. In the vortex of this debate, once the battle lines were sharply drawn, moderate ground everywhere became hostage to the passions of the two sides. Reason itself had become suspect; mutual tolerance was seen as treachery. Vitriol overcame accommodation. And the slavery issue would not just fade away.”’

He looks up. “Somehow, sometime in the last 20 years of our generation, that’s re-emerged. So, yes, this is the calm before the storm.”

I note that he savors the Philip Kerr character Bernie Gunther, a cynical Berlin detective who sees the Nazis for the beasts they are. Is he surprised the Nazis have crawled out of hell, marching in the open in Charlottesville?

“In Germany, in some of the smaller counties, they’ve got Nazis running for office,” Mr. Hanks says. “And jeez, we’ve got Nazis giving torchlight parades in Charlottesville. Don’t you hope that this is just some kind of doomsday fetishism” that will soon die out?

At a tribute to his career last November at the Museum of Modern Art, Hanks gave a soothing Sully Sullenberger-like speech about the election, with the theme “We are going to be all right.” I ask him if he is sure.

He replies that, except for some bone-headed amendments to the Constitution like prohibition — “that was so friggin’ stupid, completely contrary to human behavior” — America always course-corrects.


“It’s not the first time we’ve had a knot-headed president of the United States,” he says. “We have always corrected something that’s horrible. World War II was fought by a segregated United States of America, except for a few military units. And immediately after that, it altered. But you have to go through things that will alter the consciousness. And normalcy is always being redefined and you just have to have faith and you have to have some degree of patience and you do have to put up with, every now and again, let’s face it, Nazi torch parades surrounding a phantom issue of a statue that was put up in the 1920s.”

I ask where he stands on the removal of Confederate statues.

“Look, if I’m black and I live in a town and every day I have to walk past a monument to someone who died in a battle in order to keep my grandparents and my great-grandparents illiterate slaves, I got a problem with that statue,” he says. “I would say if you want to be on the safe side, take them all down. Put them in some other place where people can see them, in a museum somewhere.”

Hanks concludes about our rocky road to a more perfect union, “It’s going to be ugly periodically, but it’s also going to be beautiful periodically.” And he advises keeping a sense of humour.

“It might be the only ammunition that is left in order to bring down tyrants,” he says. “You know what Mark Twain says: ‘Against the assault of laughter, nothing can stand.”’

Tom Hanks’s book ‘Uncommon Type’ is published by Penguin on 17 October, £16.99

 © ​New York Times 

منبع مطلب : http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/books/features/tom-hanks-uncommon-type-harvey-weinstein-donald-trump-a8002596.html

Influential Sikh youth group associating with far-right EDL founder Tommy Robinson

An influential Sikh youth group has been accused of associating with far-right English Defence League founder Tommy Robinson and allegedly acting to “propagate hatred towards Muslims”.

Sikh Youth UK has arranged for a film allegedly portraying Muslim men as predatory sex groomers to be shown at university campuses and Sikh community centres throughout the UK.

It has welcomed Tommy Robinson to one screening, prompting another Sikh group to say it is causing more concern than the Sikh branch of the EDL, because it is accepted within the community and therefore better able to influence it.

“We are very alarmed,” Balwinder Rana, founder of Sikhs Against The EDL, told The Independent. “By associating with the ex-leader of the EDL who is also a former member of the BNP, Sikh Youth UK is going in totally the wrong direction.”

Mr Rana added that in his opinion, “people like Tommy Robinson only want to use the divide and rule tactic to turn Sikhs against Muslims”.

The apparent warmth of the relationship between Mr Robinson and Sikh Youth UK was revealed when the group welcomed him to a screening in Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, of its film Misused Trust.

After Mr Robinson told his 377,000 Twitter followers “Had an [sic] brilliant night in Huddersfield … Islam is targeting our children”, Sikh Youth UK replied: “It was great to have you … Thank you for your support.”

Mr Robinson has repeatedly publicised the work of Sikh Youth UK, writing on social media about “Sikhs raising awareness among their community about Muslim grooming gangs”, and telling his Twitter followers where they could buy a copy of Misused Trust.

For its part, Sikh Youth UK has sometimes publicised the activities of Mr Robinson, on one occasion announcing on its Facebook feed that the EDL founder would be appearing on a Sikh TV channel to “raise awareness of sexual grooming”.

Mr Robinson, 34, who founded the EDL in 2009 before leaving the street-protest group in 2013, has served time in jail for assault and has repeatedly been accused of stoking Islamophobia.

Immediately after the Manchester Arena attack he said the Muslim population of one area of the city contained “enemy combatants”.

Sikh Youth UK, which began as Sikh Youth Birmingham, has described itself as a “movement that seeks to empower and support Sikh Youth [and] to help prevent the use of alcohol and drugs”.

The group first came to national attention with protests against interfaith wedding ceremonies in Sikh temples.

It has now started to devote some of its energies to promoting what it has allegedly portrayed as the significant danger of Muslim men grooming young Sikh women so they can sexually abuse them.

Earlier this year it made the film Misused Trust, which it said would “help show the signs and tactics that are used to groom Sikh girls.”  

The film tells the fictional story of a Sikh student preyed upon by a Muslim man who pretends to be Sikh in order to seduce her, then blackmails her into having sex with him and his friends.

After she is rescued with the help of a Sikh Youth UK member, the film also appears to show a group of Sikh men taking violent vigilante action against the Muslim groomers.  

They beat up one man and bundle him into the boot of a car, before going to the groomers’ shared house armed with knives, a baseball bat and an axe to attack the Muslim men inside.

The film was condemned by Dr Katy Sian, a Sikh academic who has spent 10 years studying what she has called the “forced conversions narrative” – the idea that Muslim “predators” are lurking on university campuses ready to lure vulnerable Sikh females into Islam. 

Dr Sian, a lecturer in sociology at York University, told The Independent: “This is a story that continues to circulate within the Sikh community. 

“The film therefore acts as another vehicle to further propagate hatred towards Muslims. It is deeply problematic, and reinforces both Islamophobia and patriarchy within the community.

“If they [Sikh Youth UK] are aligning themselves with Tommy Robinson, this could be seen to demonstrate their extremist tendencies.” 

The film is also currently being investigated by Ofcom, which received a complaint that it “advocated retaliatory violence as acceptable” and contained “potentially offensive” references to Muslims.

But Sikh Youth UK has succeeded in having Misused Trust shown all over the UK, especially at university Sikh societies.

Social media evidence would suggest the film has been seen and warmly received by students of at least seven universities including Brunel, Keele, Nottingham Trent, and Birmingham City University.

Dr Sian said: “What I found to be most disturbing was seeing young intelligent Sikhs saying ‘You should all watch this film.’

“These film screenings do not appear to have been challenged by Sikh student societies or the universities themselves. 

“The irony is that universities claim to be complying with the Government’s Prevent policy when it comes to extremist content on campuses, but this case seems to suggest that when the perpetrator is non-Muslim, the same degree of scrutiny is not applied.”

Allegations about Muslim grooming also surfaced when Sikh Youth UK seemed to tie them – and London Mayor Sadiq Khan’s religion – to a dispute about Banghra dancing taking place at a mayoral event to celebrate the Sikh festival of Vaisakhi.

In a Facebook video, a leading figure in Sikh Youth UK, declared: “The Mayor of London [Sadiq Khan] is a Muslim – remember this – and now he’s dictating … that we have Bhangra dancers, young girls dancing around, at our Vaisakhi [Sikh festival] events.

“How we stand up against grooming, how we stand up against these people who have been continuously doing this for generations … They are trying to target our sisters systematically and intentionally, to take them away from their Sikh roots … 

“Today he does it at our Vaisakhi celebrations, he’s dictating what we do.  Tomorrow he’s going to dictate what we do in our Gurdwaras [places of worship].”

Sikh Youth UK has also given awareness-raising talks entitled “Dangers in Modern Society” at venues across the UK.

A talk in Leicester earlier this month appears to have included a slide with the same wording as a headline that had appeared on the far-right website Breitbart: “6,000 child abuse allegations in Muslim grooming gang hotspot Sandwell in five years.”

The Breitbart story was based on a local newspaper report that did not refer to Sandwell as a “Muslim grooming gang hotspot”.

The 6,000 figure was for child abuse cases of all kind, not just grooming incidents

A separate story, in the Birmingham Mail, put the number of people identified as being at risk of grooming in Sandwell in 2012-13 at 35.  Breitbart omitted to mention this figure, but quoted the Birmingham Mail’s other findings that police estimated that 75 per cent of known on-street groomers in the West Midlands were Asian.

Dr Sian said Sikh Youth UK’s apparent echo of the Breitbart headline was an example of how “incredibly flimsy evidence” was being used to “fearmonger and spread anti-Muslim hatred.”

She said she had never found a verified example of a Muslim man disguising himself as a Sikh in order to groom a Sikh girl:

“As part of my research I have engaged with police officers, and tried to locate Sikh women who have been subjected to this alleged treatment.  No empirical evidence has emerged. 

“So much around this story appears to consist of sensational rumours and hearsay. After publishing these findings, I have faced a torrent of abuse and trolling from members of my community.” 

In 2013 four Muslim and two Hindu men were jailed in connection with the grooming of a “vulnerable and damaged” 16-year-old Sikh girl in Leicester (although it is not believed the men disguised themselves as Sikhs to trick their victim).  

With many known incidents having involved white girls, the Leicester case was described in news reports as producing the first high-profile convictions for grooming a Sikh victim.   But a BBC documentary reported that a Sikh group claimed to have investigated more than 200 reports of grooming in the UK, many involving Muslim men.

The BBC said there were no official statistics to verify this claim.

It offered the explanation that in an honour-based culture, people did not want to tell the police they or their daughters had been grooming victims, for fear of the news becoming public, “tarnishing” the girl and wrecking her chances of getting married. 

The BBC also spoke to a man claiming to be a reformed ex-grooming gang member who said abusers saw Sikh girls as “easy targets” because they would be too ashamed to talk about what had happened to them, and “their parents would not even report it if they were to find out”.

Dr Sian, however, said she did not buy the argument that widespread abuse of Sikh girls by Muslim groomers was going undetected by the authorities because of concerns about “honour”.

She said: “I would never dismiss any claims of sexual violence, and understand the tremendous difficulties that all women face when reporting such sensitive issues to the authorities. 

“However, to suggest this is simply about shame and honour is to play on outdated, cultural stereotypes of South Asian communities. If we are really led to believe that a daughter’s marriage prospects are seen to be more important than her safety and wellbeing, then we are pandering to frankly racist beliefs that Sikh parents are unfit. 

“I do not believe that Sikh parents love or care for their daughters less than any other group of parents.” 

She added that the main reason why the Sikh community have been receptive to tales of “forced” conversions and grooming by Muslim men is because of historic conflicts arising during the Mughal era, and more recently the 1947 Partition of India. 

Stories about grooming, she said, provided “the perfect conduit for far-right figures to exploit animosities between Sikh and Muslims for their own racist agenda.” 

Her fears were echoed by Mr Rana, of Sikhs Against The EDL, who said: “I would strongly advise Sikh Youth UK that Tommy Robinson is not a person they should be friends with.  He is only using them.

“Sikh Youth UK is doing good work in some areas, but by associating with this character they are negating their positive achievements.”

He added that Sikh Youth UK had the potential to be far more influential than far-right groups like the Sikh Division of the EDL, which tended to have more white followers than Sikh and had never been accepted within the community.

He said: “What Sikh Youth UK is doing is in a way more of a cause for concern, because the people of the Sikh Division of the EDL were not based within the Sikh community, whereas this group is.

“And unlike the Sikh Division they haven’t totally sided with or joined the EDL.  They [Sikh Youth UK] have only associated with [EDL founder and former member] Tommy Robinson, so people aren’t as wary of them.”

Sikh Youth UK declined to comment.

When news of the complaint to Ofcom first emerged, the film’s producer Kaldip Singh, of Birmingham, said it was a work of fiction which did not encourage violence of sectarianism.

He said the film was not suggesting people should take the law into their own hands or resort to vigilante action, explaining that a scene where people first went to the Police about the grooming was not included because “it would have included an extra £5,000 to make it.” 

He told the Birmingham Mail: “Of course if the victim is underage or has been raped then they should go to police, but our experience shows that in the past the authorities have ignored the problem of Sikh girls being groomed by Muslim men in this country for more than 40 years.”

The start of the film also included the disclaimer that it was a work of fiction and that: “Sikh Youth UK does not support, condone or encourage the use of drugs or violence.  Scenes depicting such acts are included solely for entertainment purposes only.”

منبع مطلب : http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/sikh-youth-uk-muslim-film-university-tommy-robinson-edl-sex-groomers-islamophobia-racism-a8002526.html

North Korean propaganda leaflets declaring 'Death to old lunatic Trump!' dropped over Seoul

Propaganda fliers presumed to be from North Korea and calling US President Donald Trump a “mad dog” have turned up across central Seoul, including near the presidential Blue House, according to posts on social media and people who found them.

“Death to old lunatic Trump!” reads one poster, with a North Korean soldier with rifle in hand, crushing what looks to be Trump’s head with his tongue dangling out of his mouth. Near the soldier’s head is the line: “Complete obliteration.”

Another poster shows Trump with the body of a dog being decapitated by an axe. Blood is shown splattered on the axe in the poster, which states: “Let’s behead mad dog Trump for the future of a peaceful and warless world and mankind!”

Both were in colour.


An anti-Trump leaflet believed to come from North Korea by balloon reads “Death to an old crazy guy Trump!” (NK News/Reuters)

It is not difficult to find North Korean propaganda posters in South Korea, usually flown by balloon over the highly fortified demilitarised zone. Military images and anti-US threats are common in North Korea propaganda as Pyongyang demands the United States cease what it says is its preparations for invasion.

But the new series of fliers posted recently on Twitter and other social media target Trump specifically.

Trump last month, in a speech to the United Nations, threatened to “totally destroy” North Korea if needed to defend itself and allies and called the North’s leader Kim Jong-un a “rocket man” on a suicide mission.

“I am pretty sure it came from North Korea by balloon, since the prevailing winds during October have been from north to south and we’ve been getting reports of others finding them throughout Seoul,” said Chad O‘Carroll, managing director of NK News, a Seoul-based news subscription service, who found the leaflets while jogging in central Seoul.

In an apparent jab at Trump’s UN speech, one of the propaganda posters featured Trump standing behind a podium with a rocket in his mouth painted with the words “totally destroy North Korea”.

Again, Trump is depicted as a dog with a human face and labelled as “mad dog Trump”.

Men in suits with surprised looks on their faces are shown in the poster saying “He’s gone completely insane” and “If we let him be, there will be war”.

Reclusive North Korea, which has carried out a series of nuclear and missile tests in defiance of UN sanctions, and the rich, democratic South are technically still at war because their 1950-53 conflict ended in a truce, not a peace treaty.

The North regularly threatens to destroy the South and its main ally, the United States.


منبع مطلب : http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/asia/north-korea-anti-donald-trump-propaganda-leaflets-seoul-south-nuclear-stand-off-a8003111.html