Cat, pigeons

On a day marred by clashes between police and voters, 2.26 million people took part in the referendum, regional government spokesman Jordi Turull said. That represents a turnout of 42.3 percent of Catalonia’s 5.34 million voters.

Of those who took part, 2.02 million Catalans voted “yes” to the question: “Do you want Catalonia to become an independent state in the form of a republic?”

People aren’t going to risk being beaten by the police to vote no now, are they?

Before the results were announced, he said he would keep his pledge to declare independence unilaterally within 48 hours of the vote if the “Yes” side won the referendum.

This is going to get very messy very fast.

How very, very, Russian

The monument in the heart of Moscow was supposed to be a tribute to Mikhail Kalashnikov, the creator of the AK-47 assault rifle.

Unfortunately, things went wrong, spectacularly so. The etching on the plinth was not of a Kalashnikov but the StG 44 rifle used by the Nazis during WWII.

The mistake was spotted by arms experts, the BBC reported. It left the authorities having to use an angle grinder to remove the offending image.

Big plans and the appalling cock up.

Extremely amusing

So, Milos Zeman is running in the upcoming Czech Presidential election. To do so he’s got to have an open bank account (really open, every transaction must be recorded, publicly, as it arrives).

This lists the amount donated, by whom. And the way he’s set it up is to simply actually show his actual bank account.

Which, as we should know from our own money transfers, has a space for notes in it.

So, in order to post a note to this public document you have to transfer some money into Zeman’s campaign fund. The smallest amount you can transfer into a Czech account is 0.01 of a korunna. There are 29 korunna to the £. This is not therefore a large sum.

At which point, people are doing so. One note was “See ya Pete, off to the pub with Nancy.” Which is now a public note on the campaign site of Milos Zeman and cheap at that price of 0.01 Ks.

It does in fact get better. The smallest euro transfer you can make is 1 euro cent, which is 0.25 of a korunna. But this bank makes no charge for receiving a korunna deposit, and it does for a euro one. Or any foreign currency. About 20 korunna charge in fact.

So, some rather large number of people are transferring 0.25 korunna in in the hopes of bankrupting the President’s re-election campaign.

Jara Cimmerman would be proud.

Good to see a sense of humour here

Just as background, to be an Australian politician you have to be an Oz citizen. Fair enough – but you cannot have any dual nationality either. Which has led to a few re#signing just recently as unknown or even unsuspected other passport rights come to light.

At which point:

Australia’s highest profile New Zealander, Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce, has received the second-most nominations for 2018 New Zealander of the Year.

Nominations officially close next month, at which stage the awards office said it would “assess Mr Joyce’s eligibility based on his citizenship and other criteria”.

The Deputy Prime Minister’s links to the Land of the Long White Cloud have been thrust into the spotlight in recent weeks, amid Federal Parliament’s dual citizenship crisis.

Mr Joyce found he was a dual citizen of Australia and New Zealand because his father was born there, which has led to his eligibility to sit in Parliament being questioned in the High Court.

Mr Joyce was seemingly left speechless when told about the nomination.

“Ha ha ha,” he said sarcastically to reporters in Warwick, Queensland.

OK, that’s a sense of humour failure there but well done to the Kiwis there, well done.

Calling Mr. Newman

“The French have the impression that the Dutch think only of money and are always ready to fight for profit. They are not afraid of anything,” the researchers reported.

“The Dutch think that the French are attached to a hierarchy and political interests which are not necessarily the same as the interests of the company … “

Tim’s comments on French corporate culture would be welcome here.

Harsh but fair, harsh but fair

These are just some of the questions Switzerland is puzzling over after a 25-year-old failed the notoriously tough Swiss citizenship requirements – even though she has lived in the country all her life, speaks fluently in the local dialect and had passed the written part of the exam with full marks.

Well, OK, maybe not entirely fair but this is indeed what localism means:

Since the case emerged, there have been several calls for a reform of the naturalisation process, which is decided by municipal juries comprised of local residents rather than a centralised agency. “The arbitrary nature of the official process has rarely been so visibly on display,” wrote the Tagesanzeiger newspaper.

Given the cantonal and intensely local nature of the country why shouldn’t locals get to decide who becomes, legally, a local?

In February, Switzerland voted to make it easier for third-generation immigrants to become citizens, rejecting the complaints of rightwing politicians that the proposed measures would pose a security risk.

Restrictions on third generation? Wow!

And in May 2016, a Kosovan family who were long-term residents of the canton of Basel-Country had their application for citizenship opposed by the residents’ committee, in part because they wore jogging bottoms around town.

Now that is fair and it’s not even harsh.

I think we approve of this, don’t we?

An MLA, who belongs to the ruling party in Telangana, paid Rs 50 lakh to two tribal priests to perform a special pooja so that he gets a ministerial berth. However, when the duo failed to give him the promised political fortune, the MLA sent them to police custody.

50 lakh is something like $100,000 US. It’s a significant sum (although, you know, perhaps not for Indian politics).

But yes, approval here. Nothing wrong with offering a service for a fee whether it be the invocation of a sky fairy or whatever. But you must deliver the service for the fee.

Contractual terms might matter here of course. “I will do a pooja for RS 50 lakh” is satisfied by doing a pooja. “You will get ministerial office if you pay my 50 lakh for a pooja” will only be satisfied by gaining office. The thing here being that I think we can all guess that 50 lakh for the pooja wasn’t the offer being made, not at that price.

So, yes, Sue ‘Em Danno!

This is really rather good

From PJ O’R

Possibly as a result of their country’s being upside down, the local dialect has over 400 terms for
vomit. These include “technicolor yawn” “talking to the toilet,” “round-trip meal ticket,” and
“singing lunch.”

What’s so lovely about it is that the idea about all of those words for vomit – including at least one of those there – comes as a joke from Barry Humphries in the Barry McKenzie strip in Private Eye.

Err, yes, yes….

Iran calls London terror attacks ‘a wake-up call’ urging West to pursue extremism’s root causes
The Independent – ‎15 minutes ago‎
Iran has said the London attacks were a “wake-up call” and urged Western states to go after ideological and financial sources of terrorism, state media reported,

The foaming lake of Bangalore

Rains have no doubt brought relief to Bengaluru. However there was a flip-side to it at the Varthur lake. The lake has begun foaming once again. Toxic foam was spilling over to the Whitefield Main Road and commuters had a tough time negotiating traffic on Saturday and Sunday. To make matters worse was the unbearable stench emanating from the lake. The residents say that that the situation is so bad that the froth had reached a mall and a hospital.

That environmental Kuznets curve again:

This is a man made lake, built by Ganga kings over thousands of years ago[2] for agriculture and domestic uses but now the lake is receiving 40% of the sewage water from Bangalore for over 50 years

Bastards! How dare they apologies for saying this?

Quadrant magazine today “unreservedly apologised” to ABC managing director Michelle Guthrie for an online article that suggested it would have been better off if the Manchester terrorist had bombed the public broadcaster’s Sydney headquarters.

The offending piece:

This was a moment when Jones really should have interrupted, asked Krauss if he lies about everything, not just when reality and circumstance intrude on favoured pieties.

But of course Jones was silent. It’s a monstrously absurd and obscene self-evident untruth to claim that refrigerators are more dangerous than terrorists, but it fits with the approved narrative, so not a peep from the man who is paid by the national broadcaster to promote fair, free, frank and factual debate on matters of national importance.

This morning, mere hours after Jones’ guests pocketed their ABC taxi vouchers and repaired to hotel rooms paid for with taxpayer dollars processed through the Sydney Writers Festival, mere children were torn to pieces on the other side of the world.

Life isn’t fair and death less so. What if that blast had detonated in an Ultimo TV studio? Unlike those young girls in Manchester, their lives snuffed out before they could begin, none of the panel’s likely casualties would have represented the slightest reduction in humanity’s intelligence, decency, empathy or honesty.

Mind you, as Krauss felt his body being penetrated by the Prophet’s shrapnel of nuts, bolts and nails, those goitered eyes might in their last glimmering have caught a glimpse of vindication.

A blast of Manchester dimensions must surely knock over the studio’s lunchroom refrigerator. Allah only knows how many innocent lives that shocking incident might claim.

Intemperate perhaps but understandable in the circumstances? The luvvies having a chat among themselves smugly does bring to mind Mencken:

Every normal man must be tempted at times to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin to slit throats.