Sometimes something that looks legitimate is not always what it seems.
For example, have look at the clip below were UK police pulled over and booked the driver of an ambulance responder unit. The public would have perceived this as an incredulous situation! But, the ambulance turned out to be a bogus unit.
A quick look a the vehicle should have raised suspicion, as the vehicle clearly has no specific ambulance service markings on it, only than the generic word “AMBULANCE” on the front and rear, and the Battenburg pattern hi-viz pattern applied to the exterior of the vehicle, and the blue light bar on the roof.
What the driver of the vehicle expected to achieve by this subterfuge beggars belief! There is no financial reward as a result of this behaviour. Delusions of granduer, perhaps?
However, senior ambulance officers in Britain’s NHS trusts say the ongoing privatisation of ambulance services has meant “sham” crews are able to operate legally. There is nothing illegal in writing “Ambulance” in bold letters across your car or wearing a flashy jumpsuit with “paramedic” emblazoned on it. The use of blue lights and sirens on public roads would constitute an offence.
John Divall, principal training officer of the Royal Berkshire NHS Trust, who has gathered nationwide reports on paramedic impersonators, said: “The NHS Executive Intelligence Unit are aware of this. They’ve been gathering cases of these Walter Mitty people who seem to want to trade on the prestige of real crews. And there is nothing we can do about it.
The other thing of note here is the quiet professional way the police went about their business. No throwing the “offender” against the vehicle, no raised voices, no slamming of doors, no behind-the-back handcuffing. All very quiet and purposeful.
The offender attended caught and was convicted and was fined for his efforts. I am led to believe that he re-offended, and received a prison sentence. He has since been at it again. refer to this article.
A very sad affair, with a man with clear mental health issues. Hopefully whist in prison he may receive treatment for this.
Sgt Alexander Blackman was filmed by a colleague carrying out the killing in Helmand. MoD/PA
Sergeant Alexander Blackman, formerly of the Royal Marines, is launching a new appeal against his sentence for murdering an unarmed Afghan “insurgent” in 2011. He carried out the killing while inadvertently being recorded by a comrade’s helmet-mounted camera. He quoted Hamlet as he did it.
The campaign on his behalf has gathered considerable steam over the years. It is, in my opinion, based on a number of terrible arguments and hijacks public angst over the very real hardships faced by soldiers and veterans throughout recent British history.
“There you are, shuffle off this mortal coil, you c*nt. It’s nothing you wouldn’t do to us,” he quipped in the grainy video around which his trial hinged.
The recording of the murder, even in the limited form in which it has been made available to the public, is shocking. Because of its inhuman content, but also because of the apparently casual manner in which the wounded man was dispatched. On its own merit Blackman’s conviction is uncontroversial, an open and shut case.
Marine A, as he was known during the trial, was a highly trained, highly experienced senior NCO in one of the world’s foremost infantry units. The fact is he simply cannot have been unaware of the laws of war when he pulled the trigger with a Shakespearean flourish.
The arguments put for his release or pardon have, from the off, been so utterly ridiculous that I resent having to destroy them over and over again.
For example, the wretched idea that he is a hero, that his heroism should absolve him, or that all soldiers, sailors and airmen are somehow heroes and therefore should all be exempt from the law is so flaccid that I should not need to bring it up. Simply put, it is the kind of arguments that one would only expect to hear from child.
Similarly, while I agree with his supporters that Blackman had been under pressure, that he had endured a brutal tour and that he was likely afflicted by post-traumatic stress, it is space cadet territory to suggest any of these factors could feasibly clear him of murder.
Even Blackman’s new argument that this was a “split second decision” gone wrong is dubious. Stressed, he clearly was, but he was obviously capable of reason and logic enough to urge his underlings to keep quiet because he had just broken the Geneva Convention.
Likewise the argument that he is a scapegoat of the establishment (which seems to love nothing more than a spot of extrajudicial killing, if recent drone strikes are taken into account) cannot be taken seriously given that various members of said establishment appear to be fully behind him.
In fact, his chief celebrity backer Frederick Forsythe boasted only recently of his Cold War work for MI6. Forsythe is many things, including a writer of decent thrillers, but he is hardly anti-establishment.
Likewise, Blackman has enjoyed the support of renowned establishment yes-man former colonel Richard Kemp, who commanded of British forces in Afghanistan in the early stages of the occupation, before it all got hairy.
I agree with parts of his latest statements from jail. “I had been sent to a brutal battlefield to fight for my country in an unpopular war,” he says. All true, in my opinion. A pointless, failed, imperial war driven by hubris and arrogance, and conducted to the detriment of the Afghan people, I’d add.
But there is something more at play here, and there is a hint of truth in his complaint, a truth which is being badly abused in an attempt to get the 41-year old soldier released.
They are playing on the idea of the British soldier as a victim, and while Blackman does not qualify in this case, he and many other veterans do in any number of ways.
The idea has weight. British soldiers have always been, and continue to be, stitched up by those who manage them.
The briefest glance through the history books will tell you that the many of the ‘heroes’ of battles as diverse as Waterloo, Rorke’s Drift and the Somme came home to poverty, hardship, mental breakdown and destitution.
This betrayal is expressed today through the thousands of homeless veterans on our streets and a recent spike of veteran suicides. That military men and women are betrayed by their masters is not in question, but as far as Alexander Blackman’s murder conviction goes he is no victim. He is a perpetrator.
A campaign has been launched to review the case of a Royal Marine jailed for life for killing a Taliban insurgent.
Sergeant Alexander Blackman was convicted of murdering the injured captive in Afghanistan but his supporters say it was manslaughter.
Author and campaigner Frederick Forsyth said the court martial that convicted Blackman “stank from top to bottom”.
Joshua Rozenberg, who presents Radio 4’s Law in Action, said it would be “an uphill struggle” to reopen the case.
A new legal team – led by Jonathan Goldberg QC – is seeking a review, arguing that he should have been convicted of the lesser charge of manslaughter.
Blackman, of Taunton, Somerset, was convicted in 2013 and lost an appeal in May last year, but his 10-year minimum term was reduced to eight years.
Blackman’s wife Claire told the Daily Mail: “The fact that he is now serving a life sentence for killing a dying Taliban insurgent is just wrong, this was war.
“Had the roles been reversed that man would have tortured my husband before killing him.
“We will not give up the fight to bring Al home.”
Mr Forsyth, who is leading the campaign, told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme that the evidence that Blackman was “nearly feral with exhaustion” was not produced at court.
“There is a very, very clear case that you can get a fighting man so tired, so consumed by battle fatigue and combat stress that he is hardly even thinking straight and there is provision in British law for that,” he said.
He claimed that at the end of Blackman’s trial, all seven members of the jury “put their caps on and saluted him.”
“Honourable men do not salute a perjurer and a murderer”, he said.
Mr Forsyth said the verdict had been a five to two majority, but Mr Rozenberg said the argument that it was unfair to have a majority verdict was dismissed so “it would be hard to overturn that”.
Campaigners hope the Criminal Cases Review Commission, which investigates suspected miscarriages of justice, will look at Blackman’s case.
Commission spokeswoman Sally Berlin said the organisation has yet to receive an application from the campaigners or legal team, but if one is submitted it will consider the case.
Mr Goldberg said there are three routes to a manslaughter verdict including loss of control, unlawful act manslaughter and diminished responsibility and he said all could be argued.
Mr Goldberg said Blackman suffered from battlefield stress syndrome and this was not presented to “any of the previous courts” as grounds for reducing murder to manslaughter “as we think it should have been”.
He said if Blackman had been convicted of manslaughter he may not have been jailed.
The killing, on 15 September 2011, took place after a patrol base in Helmand province came under fire from two insurgents.
One of the attackers was seriously injured by gunfire from an Apache helicopter sent to provide air support and the marines found him in a field.
Footage from another marine’s helmet-mounted camera showed Blackman shooting the Afghan prisoner in the chest with a 9mm pistol.
Blackman told him: “There you are. Shuffle off this mortal coil.”
The court martial board in Bulford, Wiltshire, found Blackman guilty of murdering the insurgent. Two other marines were acquitted.
It was the first time a member of the British armed forces had faced a murder charge in relation to the conflict in Afghanistan, which began in 2001.
Blackman was also “dismissed with disgrace” from the Royal Marines. He had served with distinction for 15 years, including tours of Iraq, Afghanistan and Northern Ireland.
Blackman had denied murder, claiming he believed the victim was already dead and that he was taking his anger out on the corpse.
A Ministry of Defence spokesperson said: “We respect the authority and decision of the court.”
The Mail claims crucial evidence was deliberately withheld from the original court martial and says it will reveal “extraordinary and compelling new evidence” in the “coming days”.
The paper reports that it has seen confidential papers which claim panel members who convicted Blackman were “deliberately kept in the dark”.
The paper claims the court martial was never given evidence of alleged operational failings by Blackman’s commanders, which meant his troop was “isolated, under-manned, under-resourced and under daily Taliban assault”.
All of this was “directly affecting his state of mind at the time of the shooting”, which led to Blackman not receiving a fair trial, it is claimed.
Blackman, 41, told the Mail: “I made a split-second mistake, but I had been sent to a brutal battlefield to fight a war for my country.
“At the end of my trial, the establishment lined up to portray me as evil, because it suited them… to show the world how politically correct we are.
“I have been made a scapegoat.”
Blackman’s case is due to be discussed in the House of Commons on 16 September.
Consider the above Youtube video. A car passes a cyclist, the cyclist thinks he is too close and decides to pursue the car driver!
I think the cyclist is the road rager here! He actively pursed the car driver through numerous streets through town before catching up with him. The cyclist nearly collides with pedestrians during the pursuit! He deserves being verballed. How much room did the cyclist think he needed and how much room was actually available? Camera wearing cyclists, contrary to their belief, do not own the roads! I know who the Old Bill would be charging. It wont be the car driver!
What do you think?
And it’s not the first time that this camera toting cyclist has had “incidents” with car drivers!
A South Korean court Friday suspended the prison term of the former Korean Air executive whose onboard “nut rage” tantrum delayed a flight last year, immediately ending her incarceration.
Cho Hyun-ah, who is the daughter of the Korean airline’s chairman, did not violate aviation security law when she ordered the chief flight attendant off a Dec. 5 flight, forcing it to return to the gate at John F. Kennedy Airport in New York, according to the Seoul High Court.
Photo: Associated Press
The upper court sentenced Cho to 10 months in prison and then suspended the sentence for two years. It said she was guilty of assault. A lower court had earlier sentenced Cho to a year in prison. She has been locked up since her December arrest.
She achieved worldwide notoriety after an onboard tantrum triggered when a first class flight attendant served her macadamia nuts in a bag instead of on a dish. Cho, head of the airline’s cabin service at the time, had a heated, physical confrontation with members of the crew.
Swarmed by reporters at the court, she made no comment in front of the TV cameras, bowing her head and burying her face in her hands as the media pressed in and yelled for her to say something.
The incident was a lightning rod for anger in a country where the economy is dominated by family-run conglomerates known as chaebol that often act above the law.
Kim Sang-hwan, head of the three judge upper court panel, said that even though Cho used violence against crew members, she should be given a second chance. The judge also cited her “internal change” since she began serving her prison term as a reason for lessening the sentence.
The upper court also took into consideration that Cho is the mother of 2-year-old twins and had never committed any offence before. She has resigned from her position at the airline.
And it seems that chaebol justice has prevailed yet again! Not only was her sentence reduced to 10 months, and then suspended for teo years, they cite that people using violence against others is OK, and should be given a second chance.
In Korea, as in Japan, the class system is alive and well. This judgement has shown once again that the upper classes, the chaebol, can do whatever they like and skirt around the judicial system with impugnity.
Had a lesser person carried out these acts, I’m sure they would be languishing in a U.S. Federal Prison for an undetermined period.
While considering the recent insurgent action in the northern Macedonian city of Kumanovo which resulted in the deaths of eight police officers, I found myself thinking that this was not an action for the Macedonian police (PM), but rather an action which falls under the purview of the Army of the Republic of Macedonia (ARM).
Army of the Republic of Macedonia (ARM)
The role or charter of the ARM is
To protect the lives and the personal safety of the people;
To guarantee the independence and the territorial integrity of the state;
To guarantee the material wellbeing and the prosperity of the people.
Defending the country in case of an aggression;
Uniformity and conformity in the international co-operation in the area of defence.
The Republic of Macedonia maintains a defensive potential and combat readiness of its Armed Forces which function as a deterring factor in case of a potential aggression in accordance with our capabilities
The written role or charter of PM is a little harder to identify. In part their role is to obey and enforce the laws of RoM for the people. It also manages entry, exit and visa activities at international borders point, and international airports, provides security for foreign embassies and consular buildings, and manages and issues passport and passport renewals. It provides policing on the lakes of Macedonia which form international boundaries with Greece and Albania. Again, this is seen as an army role, as they manage the country’s borders generally. Some of these roles are not policing in nature, and can (or should) be managed by other agencies. The Police of the Republic of Macedonia also works closely with the NATO peacekeepers in patrolling areas with high numbers of ethnic Albanians along its borders with Kosovo and Serbia.
It has been stated in the media that the rebel uprising was led by five Kosovars supported by ethnic Albanians from the Kosovo region. As it would appear that this threat arose in a foreign or neighbouring country, repelling it would be a matter for ARM rather that PM.
However, PM sees itself as the superior or premier law enforcement organisation in RoM, with the ARM playing a very clear and distinctly minor secondary role in defence of the country. In the case of this rebel uprising from Kosovo it is clear the police saw this as their role to manage rather than that of the ARM. PM is largely an inefficient, inflexible, authoritarian organisation, political in nature, with many ideas and functions relating to its socialist past. However its role is purely domestic in nature, protecting the citizens of the Republic.
Eight police officers and 14 alleged members of an armed group were killed in fighting in a northern Macedonian town of Kumanovo authorities have said, amid increased concern about the political stability in the Balkan nation that has a history of minor ethnic hostilities.
Interior ministry spokesman Ivo Kotevski said another 37 police officers were wounded in the clashes that started on Saturday. By Sunday Kotevski stated that the police operation was now over and that “one of the most dangerous terrorists groups in the Balkans has been neutralised”.
He said police stated the 14 individuals were believed to be members of the armed group. Some of the killed wore uniforms with insignia of the disbanded Kosovo Liberation Army. No identification documents were found on the deceased.
Macedonia has announced two days of official mourning for the eight PM officers killed in action.
Macedonia says five Kosovars led the armed group which was involved in deadly clashes with security forces in the northern town of Kumanovo.
Eight officers and 14 gunmen were killed in the fighting, Interior ministry spokesman Ivo Kotevski said.
Those named were members of the now dismantled Kosovo Liberation Army.
Mr Kotevski said the operation near the Serbian-Kosovan border was now over and the armed group had been “neutralised”, with a large amount of weapons seized.
Last month, about 40 ethnic Albanians from Kosovo briefly took over a Macedonian police station in the village of Gosince near the border, demanding the creation of an Albanian state within Macedonia.
In 2001, rebels demanding greater rights for the ethnic Albanian minority launched an uprising against the government, and tensions have continued despite a peace deal.
About a quarter of Macedonia’s two million population are ethnic Albanians.
Macedonian police officer on duty.
Sami Ukshini, Beg Rizaj, Dem Shehu, Muhamet Krasniqi and Mirsad Ndrecaj were the leaders of the armed group that clashed with police in a suburb of Kumanovo, some 40km (25 miles) north of the capital, Skopje on Saturday, the interior ministry spokesman said. Only one of the 14 uniformed bodies had been identified – that of another Kosovo national, named Xhafer Zymberi, said the spokesman.
“More than 30 terrorists, mainly Macedonian nationals and one from Albania, surrendered yesterday [Saturday] to the police forces,” Mr Kotevski added. He said 37 police officers were also wounded in the clashes.
Residents returning to the city are finding many of their homes damaged as a result of the fighting, one Reuters reporter at the scene says. “It’s total destruction. Thank God we’re safe,” Haki Ukshini said after finding his home largely destroyed.
The men who surrendered would face Macedonian justice, Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski said.
Македонија вели декапет Косоварипредводешевооружена групакојабеше вклучена восмртоноснитесудирисо безбедносните силивосеверниот градКуманово.
Осумполицајции 14вооружени лица беаубиениво борбите, изјави портпаролот на Министерството за внатрешни работи, Иво Котевски.
Оние што се именуванисечленови на сега веќераспуштенатаОслободителна војска на Косово.
Г-динКотевскирече дека операцијатаво близина насрпско-косовската граница есега повеќеивооружена групабиле “неутрализира”, соголемо количество оружјезапленето.
Минатиот месец, околу 40 етнички Албанци одКосовократкоја презедемакедонскиполициската станицаво селотоГошинцево близина на границата, барајќи создавање на албанскадржава воМакедонија.
Во 2001 година,бунтовницитекои бараа поголеми праваза етничкото албанскомалцинствозапочнавостание против владата, а тензиите продолжијаи покрајмировниот договор.
Околу една четвртинаод двамилиони жителина Македонијасе етнички Албанци.
Macedonian police officer on duty.
СамиUkshini, БегРизај, DemШеху, Мухамет Красниќи иМирсадNdrecajбиле водачи навооружената групакојасе судрија со полицијатаво предградието наКуманово, некои 40 километри (25 милји) северно од главниот град, Скопје, во саботата, портпаролот наМинистерството за внатрешни работирече. Самобиле идентификуваниеден од 14-униформирани тела –на другаКосовонационална,именуванXhaferZymberi, изјави портпаролот.
Жителитесе враќаат воградотсе најдатмногу однивните домовиоштетени како резултатна борбите, еденновинарна Ројтерсна местото на настанот, вели. “Тоа ецелосно уништување.Фала му на Боганиесме безбедни“, рече ХакиUkshiniпо наоѓање нанеговиот домво голема мера уништен.
Мажитекоисе предадоаќе се соочи сомакедонското правосудство, рече премиерот НиколаГруевски.
Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran. Photo: Anta Kesuma
Australian Catholic University will create two scholarships named after executed drug smugglers Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran for Indonesian students to study in Australia.
The scholarships will provide full tuition fees to the student’s chosen course over four years and be awarded to those who write an essay based on the theme of “the sanctity of human life”.
Vice-chancellor Professor Greg Craven said the scholarships would be a fitting tribute to the “reformation, courage and dignity” of the two Bali 9 ringleaders.
“In a small but symbolic way, the writing by Indonesian students on the sanctity of life would be an ongoing contribution toward the eventual abolition of the death penalty in Indonesia,” he said in a statement.
Before facing the firing squad, Chan and Myuran Sukumaran said they wanted their legacy to be a renewed push across the globe to abolish the death penalty.
However Indonesia has shown no sign of ending the practice, with plans already in place to kill five murderers. Up to 50 drug felons are also slated to be killed this year.
Professor Craven said that hope remained for a reprieve for other prisoners around the world on death row.
“The death penalty is a violent, cruel and immoral punishment that has no place in our society. And yet it persists,” he said.
They’ve got to be kidding, right?
Irrespective of your view on capital punishment, these men are convicted drug couriers and whose actions should not be glorified in this way. They are not martyrs, they knew what they were doing, were aware of the penalties, but took the risk for quick profit and got caught.
The actions of the Australian Catholic University will have NO influence on the Indonesian government, or its view on how it feels it should deal with perpetrators of drug crime.
I don’t see the ACU trying to influence the United States on its capital punishment policies, or naming scholarships after its death row inmates.
I found this article published by John D. Moore, PhD. I found that I agreed with the sentiment he expresses in his piece, and it is reproduced here at his request to share his post with others. Use the link at the bottom of the page to view his original article.
Many of us are just beginning to absorb the unthinkable loss that has happened as a result of the apparent actions of the co-pilot in command of the Germanwings Airbus 320 Flight 9525 from Barcelona to Dusseldorf.
For reasons we are may never truly understand, it appears this person made the decision to end his life and the lives of all 150 souls on board.
I’ve written about mass grief and public tragedy in the past. When horrific events occur like the one being discussed here, it touches all of to our core. The particulars of what may have led to this terrible incident are still being investigated. It may take some time for us to get a better ideal of the dynamics that were at play.
Sadly, we have seen similar incidents in the past, including the events of 9/11. Here are five you may not know about:
1. Silk Air Flight 186 (1997)
104 people perished after the plane crashed under a cloud of speculation that it was intentional. To this day, there remains dispute over what truly may have happened.
2. Egypt Air Flight 990 (1999)
217 people were killed after the aircraft plunged into the Atlantic Ocean. Speculation of pilot suicide remains a point of discussion for many impacted by the crash and in the aviation community.
3.Mozambique Airlines Flight 470 (2013)
The flight crashed en route from Angola to Mozambique. 33 people died. As time went on, information surfaced that suggested the crash may have been intentional.
4. Royal Air Morac Flight 630 (1994)
Flight 630 was a scheduled passenger flight from Agadir, Morocco to Casablanca using an ATR 42 type aircraft. It was determined by the commission investigating the crash which killed 40 that the pilot intentionally disconnected the auto-pilot system.
5. Pacific Airlines Flight 773 (1964)
This aircraft crashed en route from Reno to San Francisco killing 44 people. It was later determined the cause of this tragedy was a murder suicide. Investigators determined that the identified shooter, Francisco Paula Gonzales, purchased over $100,000 of life insurance the day prior to the incident.
My purpose in writing this post is to simply speak to the unthinkable grief that has settled in among the family and friends of the passengers on-board flight 9525 and to the deep feelings of loss felt in Germany, here in the United States and around the world.
The emotional impact of this event reminds all of us of our very human vulnerability and that tomorrow is not promised. Life is such a precious gift – as are the people who touch our hearts each day.
Never forget this and be mindful of your relationships. All of us should hug our children today, our spouses, friends and other loved ones and remind them how important they are to us.
On Angels Wings
More information will no doubt become available over the next several days and weeks about Germanwings Flight 9525.
For now, I am lighting a symbolic candle here at home in memory of all who were lost on the flight and as a way of showing my support. Please do the same and feel free to share this post with others.
Truly, the innocent lives lost on flight 9525 are on angel’s wings.
George Brown is a decorated soldier and health professional and 40 year veteran in the field of emergency nursing and paramedical practice, both military and civilian areas. He has senior management positions in the delivery of paramedical services. Opinions expressed in these columns are solely those of the author and should not be construed as being those of any organization to which he may be connected.
He was born in the UK of Scottish ancestry from Aberdeen and a member of the Clan MacDougall. He is a member of the Macedonian community in Newcastle, and speaks fluent Macedonian. While this may seem a contradiction, it is his wife who is Macedonian, and as a result he embraced the Macedonian language and the Orthodox faith.
His interests include aviation and digital photography, and he always enjoys the opportunity to combine the two. Navigate to his Flickr site to see recent additions to his photo library.
Џорџ Браун е украсени војник и професионално здравствено лице и 40 годишен ветеран во областа на за итни случаи старечки и парамедицински пракса, двете воени и цивилни области. Тој има високи менаџерски позиции во испораката на парамедицински услуги. Мислењата изразени во овие колумни се исклучиво на авторот и не треба да се толкува како оние на било која организација тој може да биде поврзан.
Тој е роден во Велика Британија на шкотскиот потекло од Абердин и член на Kланот MacDougall. Тој е член на македонската заедница во Њукасл, и зборува течно македонски. Иако ова можеби изгледа контрадикција, тоа е неговата сопруга кој е македонски, и како резултат научил македонскиот јазик и ја примија православната вера.
Неговите интереси вклучуваат авијација и дигитална фотографија, и тој секогаш ужива во можност да се комбинираат двете. Отиди до неговиот Фликр сајт да видите последните дополнувања на неговата слика библиотека.