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Friday, August 02, 2013

Ten Things: Did You Know...?

50 Shades of Grey
The most popular book amongst detainees at Guantanamo Bay?/August 2013

I have said before that when it comes to the daily news, truth is often stranger than fiction. But you couldn't make some of this stuff up.

  1. The late pop star Michael Jackson was once considered for the role of the Doctor in the long-running BBC sci-fi series Dr Who.
  2. The most popular book amongst detainees at Guantanamo Bay is said to be Fifty Shades of Grey (although this was later denied). This closely follows recently disclosed news that JK Rowling's Harry Potter series is a favourite of self-confessed 9/11 mastermind Sheikh Mohammed.
  3. Bradley Manning, the US Army private behind the biggest leak in US military history faces 136-year sentence, despite being cleared of the most serious charge of aiding enemy. Believed to be a hero by freedom of information activists, he is likely to die in prison. (Read more)
  4. The US has labelled Russia's decision to grant asylum to fugitive intelligence leaker Edward Snowden as "extremely disappointing".
  5. A secret US surveillance system known as XKeyscore reportedly enables American intelligence to monitor "nearly everything a typical user does on the internet".
  6. A 25-year old college student was abandoned in a windowless cell for more than four days without food or water in America. Daniel Chong said he drank his own urine to stay alive, hallucinated that agents were trying to poison him with gasses through the vents, and tried to carve a farewell message to his mother in his arm.
  7. An Academy Award winning actor was publicly frisked in the middle of a New York deli after being falsely accused of shoplifting - because of his skin colour.
  8. Black director Lee Daniels has revealed he can't even get a taxi in New York, because they won't stop for him. He sends his white assistant out to get a taxi instead.
  9. When American president Barack Obama tweeted to Muslims "in America and around the world" his hope for a peaceful Ramadan, Scottish comedian Frankie Boyle tweeted back to question whether this included the detainees being force fed in Guantanamo.
  10. While US embassies across the Middle East will shut on Sunday over security threats, US Secretary of State John Kerry has said Egypt's military was "restoring democracy" when it ousted elected President Mohammed Morsi last month.

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