Yesterday in his apology Tiger Woods announced that “I will strive to be a better (read faithful) person and the husband and father that my family deserves. For all of those who have supported me over the years, I offer my profound apology.”
Apology aside, whether he will become a better person or not is questionable. He is too young, too famous and has obviously way too much pulling power to make this change easily. In the London Times today, Matthew Syed explains why so many top sportsmen are unfaithful – and Tiger is one of them.
One of the first things you learn as an aspiring sports star is the art of selfishness. It’s all about getting that forehand into a state of perfection, about capturing the next title, about becoming No 1.
As Jenson Button put it rather graphically after driving off with the Formula One World Championship: “It’s all about winning, all about me.”
Read the full story.
Lordy lordy, Jeremy Clarkson is good at a rant.
He’s hating the UK, but can’t think of anywhere better to go (South Africa is too risky):
It’s a lovely idea, to get out of this stupid, Fairtrade, Brown-stained, Mandelson-skewed, equal-opportunities, multicultural, carbon-neutral, trendily left, regionally assembled, big-government, trilingual, mosque-drenched, all-the-pigs-are-equal, property-is-theft hellhole and set up shop somewhere else. But where?
A photograph taken by an embedded AP photographer, Julie Jacobson, on August 14th, showing a dying Lance-Corporal Joshua Bernard, 21, being tended to by fellow soldiers has caused a furore in the US. Bernard was hit by a grenade during a fire fight against the Taliban in Afghanistan. He died of his wounds later the same day.
Against Bernard’s family’s wishes and against the White House’s request not to, AP released this picture (see it after “continue reading”). The picture is powerful. It was published in 20 US newspapers on Friday. None used it on the front page.
Our picture editor, Robin Comley says she would have used the picture, in the US, once the family had been informed of the circumstances of his death. For her it represents the reality of war, and the waste of a young life. This is the side of war which authorities don’t want the public at large to see, and it’s our duty as press to show it. We published the picture today in The Times.
According to the New York Times, Robert Gates, the US defence secretary, had to phoned AP to beg the agency to withhold the picture to spare the feelings of the soldier’s family. He subsequently sent a letter to AP writing “The American people understand that death is an awful and inescapable part of war”. But publishing this photo, he said, goes against the wishes of the family and thus would mark an “unconscionable departure from the restraint that most journalists and publications have shown covering the military since Sept. 11.”
AP defended its distribution of this picture. NYT reports that the editors said they made the decision only after careful review and after sharing the pictures with the family. The AP said it decided “to make public an image that conveys the grimness of war and the sacrifice of young men and women fighting it.”
In the US, the publication of such dramatic and graphic images is rare.
Jarmila Kratochvílová is a former Czech runner who has been holding the 800m world record for 26 years with a time of 1:53.28. That’s a whole two seconds-plus faster than Caster’s 1:55.45.
Dominic Lawson in the Times of London reported this week that at the time a US doctor had said that “This is not a normal physiological female body. I’ve treated Olympic female athletes in 34 countries but I’ve never seen a body like that.”
She’s still the fastest woman, and nobody has doubted that.
A doctor in Gaza says that nearly a 100 children have died in the war. Now, Hamas says that in revenge Islamists will kill Jewish children anywhere in the world.
On the Times Mahmoud Zahar is quoted saying:
“They have legitimised the murder of their own children by killing the children of Palestine. They have legitimised the killing of their people all over the world by killing our people.”
He also declared that “Victory is coming, God willing.”
The Times of London is reporting that “Israel is believed to be using controversial white phosphorus shells to screen its assault on the heavily populated Gaza Strip yesterday. The weapon, used by British and US forces in Iraq, can cause horrific burns but is not illegal if used as a smokescreen.”
Today in the Times, UK, there are two stories about assisted suicide – a subject I find very interesting. Should we be allowed to die with dignity when we want to? After watching somebody I love die slowly, and without dignity, I think I would like the right to choose to die if and when my body fails me.
One of the reports says that the parents of a paralysed rugby player who took their son to Switzerland for an assisted suicide will not face criminal charges. “Mr James’s parents said he had never come to terms with his extreme physical incapacity, and repeatedly said he wanted to die and was determined to do so.” The other story is about three people who have witnessed loved ones die through assisted suicide, and how this decision has affected their grieving process. If you’ve lost somebody close, you’ll find this very moving.
The Sun, UK, reports that tomorrow night an assisted suicide will be broadcast on British television. The documentary Right To Die – The Suicide Tourist will be shown on Sky Real Lives channel and will show scenes of Craig Ewert, 59, who had motor neurone disease, setting a timer to switch off his ventilator before drinking lethal sedatives. Here is an extract from the Sun’s report:
Assisted suicide is legal in Switzerland and Mr Ewert passed away peacefully holding his wife, Mary’s hand.
But TV watchdogs have slammed the decision to broadcast the scenes.
John Beyer director of Mediawatch UK said:’This subject is something that is quite an important political issue at the moment and my anxieties are that the programme will influence public opinion.
I started this day checking that I was in Johannesburg, South Africa. Yes, I did drive down avenues of Jacaranda trees this morning. Yes, the sky was its gorgeous, bright summer blue. And yes, I am in my office at The Times, South Africa.
Ok, I am not in Rwanda in the 90′s. I am in Johannesburg in 2008.
It was hard not to feel sick and horrified by the story about the Youth League’s latest ‘gaffe’! Apparently, in an interview with Al Jazeera, Jason Mkhwane, the chairperson of the league branch in Sedibeng said: “People like Terror Lekota and all those people who want to destroy the history of the organisation (ANC), they behave like cockroaches and they must be destroyed”. And when asked what was meant by ’destroyed’, Sedibeng ANCYL branch secretary Themba Ndaba told the camera: “We must kill them.”
Eish guys this is seriously awful. Do yourselves a favour and go watch Hotel Rwanda?
Watch these clips:
Today Sarah Palin told the Republican Governors Association in Miami: “Let us resolve not to become the negative party, too eager to find fault or unwilling to help in this time of crisis and war. Losing an election does not have to mean losing our way, and for governors, the way forward leads through our own state capitals in reforms we will carry on or begin anew.”
The Times of London said that as rebranding efforts go it was frenetic, confusing, but utterly compelling to watch, as Mrs Palin – to the frustration of her fellow governors – left the rest of them in the shade. And:
In the 48 hours before she appeared for a bizarre eight-minute press conference on the final day of the Republican Governors Association meeting, Mrs Palin had given television interviews in which she hinted at a White House bid in 2012 – and that God would show her the way. She also defended her previous claims that Mr Obama had “palled around with terrorists”, a reference to his past work with William Ayers, the Vietnam-era domestic bomber.
By yesterday morning, however, a different Mrs Palin appeared. “I wish Barack Obama well as the 44th President of the United States,” she said, after a prolonged standing ovation. “If he governs with the skill and the grace and the greatness of which he is capable, we’re going to be just fine.”
Barack and Michelle Obama will visit the White House today – at 2pm (ET) or 9pm (GMT + 2). First couple Bush will give the Obamas a tour of the White House before the president-elect and George Bush meet to discuss governing business. Michelle and Laura will then have their own meeting. This will be a historically symbolic visit: not so long ago, blacks were not welcome in the White House.
George Bush graciously said that Obama’s “journey represents a triumph of the American story,” and added that “it will be a stirring sight to watch President Obama, his wife, Michelle, and their beautiful girls step through the doors of the White House.”
The Times of London noted that “There was a time, not so long ago, when the idea of blacks even crossing the threshold of the White House as anything other than servants scandalised much of America.”