Monday, October 31, 2016
Multicultural ethics deficit
After winning the Boston Marathon in April 2014, Rita Jeptoo tested positive for EPO in a September 2014 sample given during training for the Chicago race.
Former Boston and Chicago Marathon winner Rita Jeptoo had her doping ban doubled to four years and was stripped of her 2014 Boston title Wednesday by the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
In its ruling, the CAS judging panel extended Jeptoo’s ban until October 2018 and stripped her of her prize and appearance money dating back to April 17, 2014. The Kenyan runner previously lost her 2014 Chicago victory.
The Boston Athletic Association said in a statement that it supports the CAS’s decision and that it will seek to recoup Jeptoo’s 2014 winnings. The BAA also said it will “initiate a review” of the 2014 race results.
Ethiopian runner Buzunesh Deba placed second in the 2014 Boston Marathon.
Jeptoo had been due to earn a $500,000 bonus for leading the World Marathon Majors series standings for the combined 2013 and 2014 seasons. She won back-to-back Boston and Chicago titles in 2013.
Now 35, Jeptoo tested positive for EPO in a September 2014 sample given during training for the Chicago race.
Last week, Jeptoo spoke of her intention to return to competition once her initial two-year ban expired. But on Wednesday her partner said they were expecting that the punishment might be extended after the IAAF appealed what it felt was a lenient ban imposed by the Kenyan track federation.
"They had said they would add two years and she was aware of that," said Noah Busienei, Jeptoo’s partner. "There is no other avenue available to appeal the decision and we shall decide the way forward."
CAS said it upheld the IAAF’s appeal to increase Jeptoo’s original two-year ban, which was to expire this week. Athletes can be banned for four years over a first offense if there are aggravating circumstances.
"[It] was obvious to the panel that the athlete used EPO as part of a scheme or plan," the panel ruled, citing evidence including her long relationship with the unidentified doctor and "multiple visits to see him" which she hid from her manager and coach.
The "undisputed source" of the red-blood-cell-boosting hormone was an injection by her doctor, the ruling stated.
Jeptoo was also criticized for deceptive and obstructive conduct throughout the [CAS] proceedings." "The athlete provided various differing accounts of the circumstances leading up to the injection and also regarding her relationship with that doctor," the court said.
Jeptoo is the highest profile of dozens of Kenyan athletes to be banned for doping offenses over the last four years. Her case reflects a common issue in Kenya: Doctors providing athletes with banned substances for cash.
Serious problems with Kenya’s anti-doping program — including allegations of corruption among authorities — led to the country being declared noncompliant by the World Anti-Doping Agency in the run-up to this year’s Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.
The IAAF gave the East African nation until the end of the year to sort out its problems or face an international ban like Russia.
A scheduled two-day court hearing for Jeptoo in April was postponed and two lawyers withdrew from representing her.
When a hearing in Switzerland was held in July, Jeptoo initially joined by telephone but "opted to leave the hearing during the opening statements," the court said.
The Kenyan track body also pulled out of the proceedings, CAS said.
Although CAS said that Jeptoo hid her EPO use from her coach and manager at the time, Jeptoo’s former coach is currently facing criminal charges in Kenya, accused of providing Jeptoo and another athlete with banned substances.
Jeptoo’s former manager also faces doping charges, although they relate to him allegedly providing two other athletes, not Jeptoo, with banned substances. Coach Claudio Berardelli and manager Federico Rosa, who are both Italian nationals, deny the charges.
Sweden Bans Christmas Street Lights; To Avoid Offending Muslim Migrants?
Towns across Sweden have banned Christmas street lights in the name of “security,” but the real reason is almost certainly because the country has completely capitulated to Islam after importing countless Muslim migrants over the last two years.
According to an SVT report, The Swedish Transport Administration (Trafikverket) will not allow municipalities to erect Christmas street lights on light poles that the authority manages, meaning that many towns will have no festival lights at all on major streets.
According to Speisa, “The change is a victory for those who want to tone down the reminder of the country’s Christian traditions, but according to the Swedish Transport Administration, the decision for the drastic change is “security”.
“Poles are not designed for the weight of Christmas lights, and we have to remove anything that should not be there,” said Eilin Isaksson, national coordinator at the Swedish Transport Administration.
The argument that the lights are too heavy and pose a safety risk sounds like complete baloney.
Swedes are being asked to believe that lights normally held up by tree branches are now too weighty to be supported by metal poles.
Despite there being no safety issue with the street lights for decades, this new rule has been instituted right after record numbers of Muslim migrants flooded into the country – just a coincidence I’m sure.
In reality, the Christmas lights ban is almost certainly an effort to avoid offending Muslim migrants who are causing chaos in cities like Malmo, where the firebombing of cars and businesses in or near Muslim ghetto ‘no-go areas’ is becoming a routine occurrence.
As we previously reported, a top Swedish Bishop advocated removing crosses from a Christian church and replacing them with Islamic symbols in order to please Muslims.
Last Christmas, it was also announced that a Christmas Eve special broadcast on public television would be hosted by a Muslim woman.
Some areas of Sweden are even capitulating to returning ISIS terrorists by offering jihadists free driving licenses and housing benefits to help them “reintegrate into the job market”.
London’s biggest noise pollution problem isn’t Heathrow, it’s the loud whining of a bunch of rich liberals who won’t put Britain first
It must be great living in London mustn't it? They are the first to have everything; from free concerts to 5G, proper transport to world-class hospitals and city salaries.
In fact, London receives more funding from the public purse than every other English region put together; £5,305 per person, compared to UK average of £3,192 per person.
Despite having more businesses and more start-up businesses than any other region (the capital has 470 businesses and 98 start-ups per 10,000 residents) London still receives the most infrastructure investment.
You get my drift. In my native Devon, we are still communicating via coke cans and bits of string.
A lovely young electrician from an energy company came to fit a Smart Meter into my house (against my advice). He told me it would have to be a dumb meter, because we just didn't have the connectivity.
Frankly, it is surprising we even have sanitation. Most homes have made their outdoor toilet into an extra bit of kitchen.
Many of us still eat road kill to avoid a weekly trip to Sainsbury's.
But I am not complaining because I choose to live here, and commute like a crazy woman to earn a wage.
I choose to put my children in the place of my birth, because I want them to have the childhood I had; beaches, rolling countryside and plenty of smiling old people waiting patiently to die.
And that's the thing about the third runway at Heathrow. Here in the Rest of Britain, (a foreign country to London), we made our choices.
We swapped cheap public transport, for living near family and friends. And gave up decent wages for a better life, lived well.
If you bought your house at a place called Gatwick or Heathrow, expect there to be some planes. If you need a clue, when you go to a house viewing, look up.
In 1930, an aircraft builder, Richard Fairey paid £15,000 to the vicar of Harmondsworth for a 150-acre to build a private airport, the Great West aerodrome. The proposed new runway is in, you guessed it, Harmondsworth.
So I don't wish to be a stickler for detail, but unless you bought your house before 1930, I've little sympathy with your plight. You buy a home near an airport, you can expect it to expand. And if you don't like the sound or planes or the noise of them, an airport locale is not the place for you.
In fact, the government are going to be paying generous compulsory purchase sums to those needing to up sticks and relocate.
In the 13 years since the third runway was proposed, house prices in Harmondsworth have jumped nearly 75 per cent, pushing the compensation cost to home owners up £55 million to nearly £1.5 billion.
People with homes subject to compulsory purchase receiving 125 per cent of full market value for their homes, plus stamp duty, legal fees and moving costs. Where I live, that's called an opportunity.
I've spotted a lovely four bed detached house with a garage and garden in my neck of the woods is £330,000.
So if it's the countryside you're going to miss, move south and you'll be the wealthiest homeowner in the village.
We need to accept there are always going to be decisions the government makes we don't like. These are for the greater good.
My own town has allegedly block-sold social housing to councils in Birmingham, Bradford and other unsavoury places in the country, queue jumping locals desperately in need of a home.
My friends have changed the name of the new development from Cranbrook to Crimebrook in their honour.
Other parts of the country are equally impacted. Fifteen, four-hundred-foot wind turbines in Greater Manchester are either recommended for planning application approval or being built.
Local residents are furious. They bought their houses completely unaware they were near a future green energy paradise.
One minute they were walking their dogs admiring the view. The next a bunch of liberal do-gooders who recycle their used tea bags into tampons had whacked up thundering great turbines in their back yard, to meet our carbon commitment to the E.U.
A cute little village of 6,000 locals where I used to take violin lessons as a child, about as multicultural as Cornwall, has just accepted 70 'kids' from Calais (most of whom have beards and arthritis).
Stuck in the middle of nowhere without a passing truck for distraction, I am at a loss how this decision was ever made.
My point is that these things happen. To all of us. And most don't buy our house with the subtle hint of a flight taking off and landing every 45 seconds to give us due warning.
It is all very well for Zac Goldsmith to throw his teddies out of his pram and flounce off to the warm embrace of his wealthy London constituents, resigning his seat in Parliament.
I am pretty sure this has less to do with principles than swerving a tonne of wealthy widows in Waitrose, bating for his blood.
In his area, average second-hand sale prices in the year to May 2016 were £975,000, against £566,000 in London as a whole. A four bed semi-detached house near the town centre costs £2million.
So I can tell you Zac - from the Rest of England - we don't feel your pain. Your problems are more first world than Beyoncé's.
He says the airport will be bad for noise pollution, bad for air pollution and bad for London. Tough luck Sadiq. It is time London took one for the team. Look at it as a payoff for the extra £2,000 per head of public spending Londoners receive.
The Airports Commission have estimated that Heathrow expansion will create up to 179,800 jobs and up to £211billion in regional benefits across the UK by 2050.
Finally, the Rest of Britain will see their share of the pie. Heathrow has proposed six new routes to Belfast International, Liverpool, Newquay, Humberside, Prestwick and Durham Tees Valley.
Given house prices in Richmond and London as a whole, I think a little extra noise in the city is a small price to pay.
And if the taxpayer is paying for your council house, then perhaps this is a good opportunity to move somewhere quieter and more affordable for hard-working Brits who pay your rent.
I asked the Rest of Britain what they thought about politicians and Londoners dithering over the third runway at Heathrow.
Seventy per cent said 'quit bleating and get it built'.
Remoaners, this is the Brexiteers speaking - build us a third runway. Put up, shut up or get up and move.
The Asian [Muslim] sex grooming scandal in Rotherham continues: Now a court has given lifetime anonymity to four men who preyed on a vulnerable girl for years. What IS going on?
A strange and troubling drama reached its conclusion behind the red-brick façade of the Civil Hearing Centre in Leeds on Tuesday, involving two QCs (both publicly funded), a High Court judge, several more barristers and solicitors, four Asian men and a vulnerable white girl in her teens known only as ‘Child G’.
The case was highly delicate: Rotherham Council was seeking to prevent this girl, who lives in the South Yorkshire town, from what it believed was the very real risk of sex abuse and exploitation at the hands of the four men.
Child G’s tale stretched back to early childhood when she was born into a chaotic, impoverished and broken home. According to the judge, Mr Justice Cobb, she had suffered ‘physical, emotional and sexual abuse from different quarters over a number of years’.
In 2012, her situation came to the attention of social workers after she’d persistently played truant and run away from home, and was found to be regularly self-harming and taking drugs. By 2014, it was feared she was also involved in inappropriate and perhaps illegal relationships with a number of older Asian men.
In particular, the teenager (then still under the age of consent) embarked on what Justice Cobb called ‘personal and sexual relationships’ with three of the four individuals at the centre of this week’s proceedings.
Even more worryingly, the adult men soon began to be physically abusive towards her.
Police were told, for example, that two of them had assaulted her, while one had also ‘caused criminal damage’ to her home. At one point, according to Justice Cobb, Child G told officers that she was particularly ‘fearful’ of one of the men, who had a criminal record for ‘offences associated with drugs and violence’.
For a while, therefore, Rotherham Council used the Children’s Act to take her off the streets and into secure accommodation.
But matters came to a head on August 12 when Child G went missing. After a brief search, police found the teenager in a cheap hotel, alongside one of the three older men, who was referred to in court as LL.
‘Among the items found with them in the hotel were vodka, cannabis, condoms and Asian female clothing,’ said the judge.
Police quickly established that another older man, referred to as MM, had visited the hotel earlier that day, before leaving.
There was no record of the girl having previously met MM, leading to serious concerns about what he might have being doing at the hotel, and the judge said that ‘officers attending at the scene believed that she was the victim of child sexual exploitation’.
The police, he added, decided to immediately arrest both LL and MM ‘on suspicion of trafficking’.
Temporary injunctions were immediately sought and obtained preventing all four of the Asian men from seeking to contact the girl, who was taken to a safe house.
This month, some 60-odd days later, Rotherham Council was — quite understandably — seeking to have the temporary injunctions made permanent at the family court hearing in Leeds.
To that end, proceedings began last Wednesday.
However, they almost immediately took a series of odd and deeply worrying turns, and the case would soon end in disarray, at huge cost to the taxpayer, with the Asian men once more allowed to fraternise with Child G.
We shall consider these events in proper detail later. First, though, a crucial point: that on the streets of Rotherham, the troubling story of Child G happens also to be appallingly common.
For the town has been at the centre of a notorious child-grooming scandal, which since the late Nineties has seen an estimated 1,400 underage girls raped, sexually abused and, in some cases, forced into prostitution, usually by gangs of much older British-Pakistani men.
Like Child G, the vast majority of these tragic victims are white, working class, and emotionally vulnerable, with dysfunctional family backgrounds.
Typically aged 11 or 12 when first targeted, the stories of their abuse tend to be strikingly similar.
Usually they begin with the girl being befriended by an older Asian teenager in a local park or shopping centre, or even at the school gate.
Flattered by the attention, the girl agrees to exchange phone numbers. Messages are shared and a relationship — soon sexual — ensues.
Before long, the older man starts plying his underage victim with alcohol, drugs, cigarettes and other ‘rewards’. After a time, he frequently decides to coerce her into sleeping with adult friends and members of his extended family.
Eventually, he may even demand payment in exchange for allowing acquaintances to sleep with her, effectively turning the girl into a child prostitute.
In case after case, young girls caught up in such relationships have ended up being subjected to more serious abuse: beaten, driven hundreds of miles to be sexually abused by groups of men they barely know, set on fire. At least one has been murdered.
Other crimes identified in official investigations, including a damning 2014 report by Alexis Jay — recently named as the latest head of the Government’s troubled inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse — have included ‘rape with a broken bottle and girls being ordered to kiss perpetrators feet at gunpoint’.
For the hundreds of victims, the trauma of such abuse was for years compounded by the apparent indifference of Rotherham Council, social services and police force to crimes happening under their nose.
Social workers first identified the problem of Asian gangs targeting troubled white girls in the late Nineties. But a climate of political correctness in the Labour-run town meant that they refused to take it seriously, for fear of being called ‘racist’.
Also, it is suspected that Labour politicians don’t want to offend the Pakistani community, who form a sizeable proportion of their voters.
Over ensuing years, evidence was shamefully withheld from official inquiries. Reports detailing the problem, including a hard-hitting one in 2002 by a lawyer called Adele Weir, were buried by the authorities. Critical case files were lost or stolen, including a crucial tranche which disappeared from the office of a local youth charity called Risky Business in an unsolved burglary.
Even when underage girls approached the police or social workers for help, they were often dismissed as ‘slags’ or — since they looked older than their years — treated as hardened prostitutes.
At times, the Labour council seemed almost complicit in abuse.
In 2013, its former deputy leader, Jahangir Akhtar, was forced to resign after it emerged that he’d brokered a deal with police in which a violent offender who’d impregnated a missing 14-year-old girl would go unpunished provided he handed her over at a petrol station.
The offender, who was later jailed for multiple child sex offences, turned out to be a relation of Akhtar.
When Jay’s highly critical report was published in 2014 — tearing shreds out of council staff who were afraid to raise ‘ethnic issues … for fear of being thought racist’ — Rotherham found itself caught up in a national scandal.
Since then, two major court cases have seen some of the worst offenders punished, with 12 men and two women convicted so far.
In one, which ended in February, six members of a gang led by three brothers — Arshid, Basharat and Banaras Hussain (aged 40, 39 and 36 respectively) — were jailed for a total of 102 years, after being found guilty of 52 offences against 15 teenage girls.
During the trial, jurors were told of a shocking incident when police discovered Banaras Hussain receiving oral sex from a teenage girl in a town centre car park, but ignored it.
‘When, shortly afterwards, a police car pulled up alongside them and asked what was going on, Banaras Hussain shouted “She’s just sucking my c**k, mate”. The police car drove off,’ the court was told.
A fortnight ago, another eight men were found guilty of 19 charges related to the abuse of three teenagers. The main complainant, now grown up, had been 13 years old when she was ‘subjected to acts of a degrading and violent nature’.
The ringleader, 30-year-old Sageer Hussain, was the brother of Arshid, Basharat and Banaras. He played a key role in ‘befriending young girls’ who were then ‘passed to his friends, elder brothers, and associates’.
Fast forward to last week and with the future of Child G, who is now in her late teens, at stake, Rotherham Council hired a QC, Frances Heaton, and a second junior barrister to argue that the four Asian men ought to continue to be prevented from contacting her.
Also in the family court that day were legal representatives of South Yorkshire Police, including Cathryn McGahey, a QC, and a second barrister, along with a second police barrister representing the vulnerable girl.
In addition to these publicly funded lawyers, there were also two journalists in court: one from The Times, the other from the Press Association.
No sooner had proceedings kicked off than Heaton, the counsel for Rotherham Council, asked for everyone apart from Child G’s barrister to be removed from the room — including, crucially, the journalists — so she could conduct a secret meeting with the judge.
This meeting, later chronicled in Mr Justice Cobb’s ruling, saw Heaton announce that ‘having considered with South Yorkshire Police the evidence filed for the final hearing, [her client] no longer considered it appropriate to pursue its applications for the injunctions’.
In other words, having brought an extremely important case to court, at huge expense to the taxpayer, Rotherham Council was, at the last minute, seeking to drop it due to a supposed lack of evidence.
So what on Earth was going on? It is hard to be entirely sure, though one possible explanation emerged after reporters were allowed back into court.
At this point, having abandoned its efforts to prevent the Asian men from seeing Child G, Rotherham Council said that it would like all four of them to be granted lifelong anonymity.
What is more, the council (supported by South Yorkshire police) wanted its arguments in support of this bid to be heard in private, with newspapers banned from reporting them.
Here, they were out of luck: Mr Justice Cobb said he regarded that level of secrecy, over a case which carried huge public interest, as ‘unnecessary’.
However, on the other count, Rotherham got its wish: on Tuesday, the judge controversially ruled that the men’s identities should be kept secret for ever, on the grounds that naming them might lead to the identification of the girl.
The judge also said there was a risk that ‘given the strength of feeling in Rotherham about those who engage in child sexual exploitation, they would be pilloried and/or targeted in their communities’.
All of which means that Rotherham Council has just spent four days in court pursuing an extremely expensive legal case which had only one substantive outcome: preventing the Press from naming four Asian men suspected of inappropriate relations with a very vulnerable teenage girl.
No one is able to explain why they so suddenly abandoned their — on paper, very sensible — attempt to prevent the four men from ever contacting this Child G.
It is a shambolic state of affairs, which cost a huge sum and may have left the vulnerable girl more, rather than less, at risk than she was previously.
Significantly, in this context, the judge criticised a ‘failure of collective responsibility’ by the police and the council to ‘work in partnership’ on the case.
‘If they didn’t have enough evidence even to try to pursue the case, or even to ask the judge to keep the four men away from this girl, why did they let it get so far?’ asks one observer of proceedings.
‘What was really going on? How much did this all cost? And why did they try to keep everything secret?
The truth is that it’s impossible to be entirely sure.
In a statement, Rotherham Council blamed the complex nature of such litigation, saying: ‘Work with young people who are at risk of or experiencing child sexual exploitation is very complex, and solutions are often difficult to achieve, particularly where the young person is at the age of consent and is unable to recognise potentially exploitative situations.’
One source with knowledge of proceedings says the bid to prevent the four Asian men contacting Child G was dropped because Rotherham’s legal team discovered, as they were walking into court, that the council’s request wouldn’t be supported by South Yorkshire Police.
‘Quite why the council’s in-house solicitors never bothered to speak about this with their colleagues from the police until moments before they turned up in court, I will never know,’ the source says.
Yet other, cynically minded observers wonder if the case was also dropped in order to avoid Press scrutiny.
Recent history in Rotherham certainly suggests a theme here.
For Rotherham Council has repeatedly smeared and undermined news organisations which have attempted to shed light on child sex grooming in the town.
The ugly scandal was first properly reported in 2010, by the Mail’s Sue Reid, who following a shocking court case in which five local men of Asian origin were jailed, wrote a report on the ‘troubling taboo’ of such exploitation.
Disgracefully, Reid was called a liar and a racist, and accused of making up stories that had, in fact, been told to her by victims and their families.
In 2012, a number of police and social service files, detailing awful abuse of girls in Rotherham, were then published by The Times newspaper.
In response, South Yorkshire police accused the paper of exploiting victims.
Rotherham Council, for its part, had previously attempted to obtain a gagging order preventing a Times story from being published.
When that failed, they complained of a ‘politically motivated’ attack on a Labour council by the Right-wing Press. They then launched an inquiry — not to examine its own misconduct, but to find and punish the source of the leak.
It was not until August 2013, when The Times published the story of a girl called Jessica, who before her 16th birthday had been twice impregnated by a convicted criminal allowed daily contact with her by Rotherham’s social services, that a proper investigation, the Jay Inquiry, was ordered.
With this in mind, the former Liberal Democrat MP John Hemming, who has campaigned against secrecy in the family courts, smells a rat about recent events.
‘Rotherham has a track record of trying to stifle Press scrutiny of what they are up to, and have often behaved as if their priority is covering their backs, rather than protecting children from sexual exploitation. Whatever their agenda in this particular case, they have spent an enormous amount of money on a legal process which achieved very little in terms of protecting a vulnerable girl.’
Following the Jay Inquiry’s publication two years ago, council leader Roger Stone, chief executive Martin Kimber and director of children’s services Joyce Thacker all quit, and councillors resigned en masse.
South Yorkshire’s police and crime commissioner Shaun Wright, who had been councillor in charge of Rotherham’s children’s services from 2005 to 2010, quit three weeks later.
Since then, massive resources have been put into hunting down the men who abused girls with impunity in Rotherham for so many years. A National Crime Agency operation, Operation Stovewood, expected to run for around eight years and costing £30 million, is pursuing 91 offences involving 82 victims. A total of 69 officers were said to be on the inquiry this summer, with funding for another 48 approved by the Home Office.
Their work is supposed to ensure that girls in Britain never suffer at the hands of such evil men again.
Yet vulnerable teenagers are still finding themselves in the sights of Rotherham’s vile gangs. And this week’s court case shows that, despite everything that has happened, the local authorities would appear to be far better at gagging the Press than they are at protecting innocent victims such as Child G.
Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.
American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of other countries. The only real difference, however, is how much power they have. In America, their power is limited by democracy. To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges. They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did: None. So look to the colleges to see what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way. It would be a dictatorship.
For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and DISSECTING LEFTISM. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here.