An artist has blasted a gallery as fearful after discovering her nude paintings had been censored with strategically placed strips of paper.
Danuta Gray has removed her three watercolours of naked women from Birmingham's Botanical Gardens
studio two weeks before her exhibition was due to end.
Gallery bosses have stood by their prudery, which was prompted by an easily offended teacher whingeing during a school trip.
nonsense. You can't even see a nipple! They are showing such ignorance.Nudes have been depicted since the fourth century BC. They are present in all cultures. I never thought that the Botanical Gardens would exhibit such hypocrisy, prejudice and fear.
This is England.
The Botanical Gardens management stood by their decision. A spokesprat alluded to political correctness and diversity saying:
The Birmingham Botanical Gardens welcomes diverse
audiences from around the world. We do our very best at all times to ensure everyone has an enjoyable time whilst they are on site. Sometimes we have to adapt spaces for use by different sectors of our audiences at different times
A former mayor of Dudley who viewed pornography on his council computer has revealed he will step down from the authority when his office in term expired next year. he also resigned from the Conservative Party whip.
Councillor Ray Burston was issued
with a formal warning at a Dudley Council moral standards sub-committee meeting after admitting to visiting the adult websites. It was the second time he had been reprimanded for viewing pornography, the previous warning being about 10 years ago.
The Conservative leader on the council, Councillor Patrick Harley, crowed that the right decision had been made. He bullied, moralised and threatened:
Everyone is allowed to make a mistake, but you have to learn from it ...But... when I found it was not the first time Councillor Burston had been warned, I'm afraid there was only one way this could go.
He has fallen on his own sword. It is sad for him, he has not done anything illegal, but he has broken the council code of conduct, and for that he has paid the ultimate price.
It should serve as a reminder
to all members on both sides of the council that no-one should flout the code.
Tottenham Hotspur fans who use the word Yid should not face prosecution, David Cameron has said.
The Prime Minister entered the row after the Football Association last week issued a statement warning supporters they risk receiving a banning
order or even criminal charges if they continue to air the word.
For years Tottenham, who have a strong Jewish following, have been on the receiving end of anti-Semitic abuse from opposition fans. In an act of defiance, some fans started using the
word Yid themselves, and chants of Yids , Yid Army and Yiddos are regularly sung in the home stands at White Hart Lane.
Cameron told The Jewish Chronicle:
There's a difference between
Spurs fans self-describing themselves as Yids and someone calling someone a Yid as an insult.
You have to be motivated by hate. Hate speech should be prosecuted - but only when it's motivated by hate.
Male and female readers of the Sun strongly support Page 3 topless models, according to the chief executive of the paper's publisher News UK.
Mike Darcey said that ultimately any decision on the future of the Page 3 models is up to the Sun's
editor, David Dinsmore, but that he believed customers are very happy with the Sun's editorial offering.
Darcey said that focus groups with those readers showed that both male and female Sun readers are happy to continue to see Page 3 in
the UK's best selling daily.
There are around 12 million people a week who read the Sun and they are very happy with the package that is the Sun. And so they continue to buy it. We ask them, we have focus groups with
them, ask what they think and they very strongly continue to support that. That's true across male readers, female readers. And in the end this is a product people can choose to buy or not to buy.
Madras Cafe is a 2013 Indian action drama by Shoojit Sircar. With John Abraham, Nargis Fakhri and Rashi Khanna.
The film proved controversial in India as it is based on the Sri Lankan civil war where emotions are still running high. Indian prime minister Rajiv Gandhi died when an LTTE suicide bomber detonated a bomb at an election rally in May 1991. A
similar incident has been showcased in the film's trailer. However, the director explained that the film is only partially based on fact:
We have taken that incident which we read in the paper. Rest, whatever is around
it, has been fictionalised in the scripting. But somewhere you may find some historical references in the fictionalised bit too.
Madras Cafe invoked the ire of Tamil activist groups Naam Tamizhar and MDMK. The members have sought a
ban on the film contending that it portrays LTTE cadres as terrorists. Several court cases later, the film was released across India, however cinemas in the state of Tamil Nadu refused to show the film.
Three major cinema companies in the U.K.
decided not to screen Madras Cafe . The film was to have opened in the U.K. on August 28, 2013 in theatres owned by Cineworld, Odeon and Vue.
But on August 24, protests began outside the head office of these theatres, organised by Sri
Lankan Tamil groups led by the Tamil Youth Organisation (U.K.). Carrying placards that said, Inciting violence is not entertainment, Ban Madras Cafe , Ban hate speech , its members shouted slogans and burnt copies of the film's
posters. The protests somehow managed to elude press coverage, despite the dramatic theatricals of posters being burned.
The anti-Madras Cafe campaign went on the Facebook page of the Tamil Youth Organisation. An online campaign called on Tamils
to sign a petition against the film, and to telephone theatres to protest the screenings.
When the cinemas complied with this demand, exultant messages appeared on the page. The theatres played down the ban though, perhaps suggesting that they had
little desire to oppose the censorship, and certainly didn't want to take it any further.
A senior executive from Odeon, in response to a question from The Hindu, merely said her company does not wish to cause any offence to any local community
groups and hence took the decision. A Cineworld spokesperson was equally guarded. Our policy is to show a wide range of films to different audiences. However, following customer feedback and after working with the film distributors, we have
decided not to show Madras Cafe.
The issue then sank from public gaze, but a few voices have registered disquiet. It is hard to believe that we are living in a first world country, said a senior media industry executive who did
not want to be named: A group of people created a ruckus in front of Cineworld's offices, and the film is withdrawn! And neither does the U.K. government nor the Indian High Commission intervene.
Conversations with South Asian activists
suggest that they did not want to get involved because they do not wish to mess with the pro-LTTE Tamil groups, which are well organised and militant.
The Guardian itself appears to be becoming increasingly censored, especially on anything sex-related. What had originally seemed like the work of a few puritan journalists now seems to be official editorial policy
Madras Cafe is a 2013 Indian action drama by Shoojit Sircar. With John Abraham, Nargis Fakhri and Rashi Khanna.
The film is proving controversial in India as it is based on the Sri Lankan civil war where emotions are still running high. Director Shoojit Sircar has conceded that his movie may have certain scenes resembling events related to Rajiv
Gandhi's assassination, but he clarifies that the film's story is not a biopic on the former prime minister. Sircar said:
This is not a biopic on him, this is not a story based on him. Yes, you can say that there is a
similarity to that incident. There is a similarity in the facial structure (of the actor who plays the said role).
Rajiv Gandhi died when an LTTE suicide bomber detonated a bomb at an election rally in May 1991. A similar incident has
been showcased in the film's trailer. However, the director explained:
We have taken that incident which we read in the paper. Rest, whatever is around it, has been fictionalised in the scripting. But somewhere you may
find some historical references in the fictionalised bit too.
Madras Cafe is already facing the ire of Tamil activist groups Naam Tamizhar and MDMK. The members have sought a ban on the film contending that it portrays LTTE cadres as
Banned in Tamil Nadu
The film was passed by the Indian film censors but faced court actions calling for a ban in Madras and Tamil Nadu. The court actions failed, but cinema owners took the hint in Tamil Nadu
and decided not to exhibit the movie.
Banned in Britain
Now the film has been similarly banned by British cinemas. UK cinema chains, Cineworld, Odeon and Vue, have banned the film saying in a statement:
Our policy is to show a wide range of films for different audiences ...HOWEVER... following customer feedback and working with the film distributors, we have decided to not show Madras Cafe. We apologise for any inconvenience.
Press reports suggested that some Tamils had complained that the
film was anti-Tamil. The Facebook page of the Tamil Youth Organisation UK has been full of agitation against the film.
The BBFC passed the film 15 uncut for strong violence and injury detail. The BBFC InSight alluded to the emotional impact of the
This is a sombre drama and the violence is depicted realistically, with a strong emotional impact. In the opening scene people are forced off a bus and made to kneel in a field as they are massacred. Blood spurts
are seen as several of them are shot in the back, and in a more distant image a little girl is shot too as she tries to run away. Several executions are shown, including a man tied to a post, his body juddering under fire with lots of blood as he is
A champion of a secret police state, former Metropolitan Police Commissioner Ian Blair, has called for anti-terror laws to be extended to prevent leaks of official secrets. Blair claimed that publication of such material could put lives at risk.
told BBC Radio 4's Broadcasting House programme:
The state has to have secrets - that's how it operates against terrorists.
It has to have the right to preserve those secrets and we have to have
a law that covers a situation when somebody, for all sorts of wonderfully principled reasons, wishes to disclose those secrets.
It just is something that is extremely dangerous for individual citizens to [make] those secrets
available to the terrorists.
He claimed there was a new threat which is not of somebody personally intending to aid terrorism, but of conduct which is likely to or capable of facilitating terrorism , citing the examples of
information leaks related to Bradley Manning and the Wikileaks website. He said:
Most of the legislation about state secrets is in the Official Secrets Act and it only concerns an official.
editor Alan Rusbridger has said: The state that is building such a formidable apparatus of surveillance will do its best to prevent journalists from reporting on it.
Europe's top justice official has expressed worries about press freedom in the UK after British authorities' crackdown on the Guardian over its revelations of US spying programs based on leaks by Edward Snowden.
Council of Europe Secretary General
Thorbjorn Jagland has called on British Home Secretary Theresa May to explain the pressure put on the newspaper by the British officials over Snowden case.
And Viviane Reding, the EU's commissioner in charge of privacy rules has backed up this
call. She said on Twitter:
I fully share Jagland's concerns [over the issue].
British Prime Minister David Cameron ordered his top civil servant Sir Jeremy Heywood to collect sensitive material
which has been leaked to the paper by Snowden to be published. Brazilian David Miranda, the partner of the Guardian journalist Glenn Greenwald, was also detained on Sunday at Heathrow Airport, where he was in transit on his way from Berlin to Rio de
Comedian Jeff Mirza has been reported to police for using the word Paki on flyers for his Edinburgh Fringe show.
Mirza was dressed in character as a butcher called Paki Bashir while handing out the leaflets on on the Royal Mile. He was
questioned at a city centre police station after handing a flyer for his show Meet Abu Hamsta and Paki Bashir to a fellow British Asian, who took offence.
However the comedian told police that he was trying to reclaim the word, and was sent
on his way. Mirza said policemen advised him to put his finger over the offensive word when handing out flyers in future. Police said they would take no further action.
More than 1,700 cases involving supposedly abusive messages sent online or via text message reached Britain's courts in 2012, the BBC has learned following a Freedom of Information request.
This is a 10% increase on the figures for 2011, according
to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS).
Nearly 600 charges were brought between January and May 2013..
The revelations come as police say they are investigating abusive tweets sent to MP Stella Creasy. This has resulted in pressure 'to do
something' about abusive messages sent via Twitter.
Del Harvey, Twitter's senior director of trust and safety, blogged that the micro-messaging platform would extend the report tweet function, already available on its iPhone app, to Android
phones and desktops.
Andy Trotter, chairman of the Association of Chief Police Officers' communications advisory group told BBC Radio 4's The World At One:
They need to take responsibility as do the other
platforms to deal with this at source and make sure these things do not carry on. They need to make it easier for victims to report these matters and, from a police perspective, they need to know that they can report these things to us.
A Change.org petition calling for Twitter to add a report abuse button to its service has attracted more than 71,000 supporters.
The question for Twitter is how, having made it easier for people to report abusive tweets, it will cope
with the expected flood of reports.
Apparently responding to PC protest, The Sun's new editor, David Dinsmore, has asked a group of female executives to reinvent Page 3 to supposedly make it more relevant to the 21st century.
Jules Stenson, the ex-features editor of the
News of the World, tweeted: I am told The Sun is planning to 'reinvent' Page 3. No love for it among bosses, but it is a sales fix they cannot live without.
The changes will mean, says one former News International executive, more celeb
pictures, more up-market shoots and less nipples . It is thought the changes are the idea of Dinsmore, who took over as editor last month, rather than an instruction from Rupert Murdoch.
Lisa Clarke of No More Page 3 said the changes were
proof that they were being listened to. She said Dinsmore had been engaging with the group, which by last night had secured more than 108,000 signatures:
We have some fantastic ideas ... about putting female athletes,
artists, people who represent women as we actually are, rather than just standing there in our pants for the entertainment of men. There is a huge moral shift in the zeitgeist and we are very happy to talk to these executives about making Page 3 a more
Tony Miano is a street evangelist from America who was preaching at Wimbledon. He is also a retired veteran of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.
On Monday, his theme was sexual immorality - all forms He talked about sin - heterosexual
and homosexual - without discrimination. As he was preaching, a lady heard him say that homosexuality was a sin, and promptly summoned the police, who duly arrived.
Miano was then arrested for violating Section 5 of the Public Order Act: he was
accused of using homophobic speech likely to cause anxiety, distress, alarm or insult.
He was escorted to Wimbledon police station, where he was photographed, finger-printed and had a DNA sample taken. He was then incarcerated in a cell for seven
Tony Miano explains his side of the story in a video from YouTube
He was released after being told that the police would take no further action.
Why is it that the police arrest people on
the behest of easily offended people in the street? It causes a major trauma to people's life and should not be inflicted on people without at least considering the merits of the claim. This was not an emergency situation. This is not justice.
Don't interpret the Public Order Act as if it were Pakistan's blasphemy act. Don't let the police become the weapons of the easily offended.