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Thursday, November 28, 2013

Deputy Prime Minister Slams ‘Elitism’

British Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg accused London Mayor Boris Johnson of “careless elitism” for the content of his speech during the annual Margaret Thatcher lecture at the Centre for Policy Studies, a free-market neoliberal think tank. “Whatever you may think of the value of IQ tests, it is surely relevant to a conversation about equality that as many as 16 percent of our species have an IQ below 85, while about 2 percent have an IQ of above 130. The harder you shake the pack, the easier it will be for some cornflakes to get to the top”, said Johnson. Deputy PM Clegg said that his words were “fairly unpleasant” and that people should not be talked about as if they were “a breed of dogs”. “Much though he is a funny and engaging guy, I think these comments reveal a fairly unpleasant, careless elitism that suggests we should somehow give up on a whole swathe of our fellow citizens”, added Clegg. Asked for Prime Minister David Cameron’s opinion, a Downing Street spokesman said he did not know if the prime minister had read the speech.

North Korea Restarts Nuclear Reactor

The Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Yukia Amano, said on Thursday that activity consistent with an effort to restart a reactor had been observed at North Korea’s Yongbyon nuclear complex through satellite imagery. The facility, technically out of operation for years, is capable of producing plutonium for nuclear bombs, according to experts. “Activities have been observed at the site that are consistent with an effort to restart the 5MW(e) reactor. However, as the agency has no access to the site, it is not possible for us to conclusively determine whether the reactor has been re-started”, said Amano. A satellite image from late August showed steam rising from a building near the hall the houses the reactor’s turbines and electric generators.

World Cup Qualifiers May Have Been Rigged

An alleged match fixer, arrested earlier this week as part of an investigation into match fixing in the lower leagues of British football, has claimed he fixed World Cup qualifying matches. “I do Australia, Scotland. Ireland. Europe. World Cup. World Cup qualifier”, he was recorded as saying earlier this month. He also claimed to control the entire national team of an African country, which the Daily Telegraph said could not be named for legal reasons. In another part of the recording, the alleged fixer said he fixed at least 15 matches during the recent World Cup qualifying campaign. “I bought the match”, he boasted. On a national level, the fixer said he had teams in Belgium and France. In a statement, the UK’s National Crime Agency said that ” “six men have been arrested across the country as part of an NCA investigation into alleged football match fixing. The focus of the operation is a suspected international illegal betting syndicate. The NCA is working closely with the Gambling Commission and the Football Association”.

‘Idiots’ Cleared of Threatening to Blow Up Pakistani Airliner

A judge has described two Pakistani men as “idiots, not terrorists”, for threatening to blow up a Pakistan International Airlines flight travelling from Lahore to Manchester in May. The Boeing 777 was forced to land in Stansted by Royal Air Force fighter jets after the flight’s captain warned that there was a disturbance on board. Tayyab Subhani, 30, and Mohammed Safdar, 42, apparently threatened to kill everyone on board after getting into an argument with the crew on board. But witnesses said that they had not heard a bomb threat and that the men were “laughing and joking”. The judge said the jury should find them not guilty because the case was “tenuous and peppered with inconsistencies”. The case prosecutor said that “in light of the state of the evidence, it has been decided it is no longer appropriate to seek convictions in this case”.

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