UNEDITED TELEVISION SCRIPT
First up today, a look at an opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal by foreign correspondent Bret Stephens - he says that Israel is being pushed towards a pre-emptive strike on Iran because of the Obama administration’s muted response to the nuclear issue.
“This is an abdication of a superpower’s responsibility to outsource matters of war and peace to another state, however closely allied. Obama has ceded the driver’s seat on the Iran policy to Netanyahu.”
In the left-leaning Israeli daily, Ha’aretz, they ask can Israel go to war again given accusations of war crimes during its recent incursion into Gaza. A UN fact-finding mission into the Gaza offensive describes Israel as perpetuating war crimes and as a police state which persecutes minorities. The Hamas leadership in Gaza is tarred with similar accusations.
How can Israel go to war again, the paper asks. The report saps international legitimacy for a similar Israeli operation in the future. “A country considering attacking the nuclear reactor in Iran – which would be followed by rocket fire from Lebanon and Gaza in response - will have to take into account whether the world will give Israel another opportunity for a severe, crushing response.”
The International Herald Tribune features a front page article on women only trains in four big Indian cities. The commuter trains are known as ‘ladies specials’. Sexual harassment is the reason behind this move. One woman told the paper that men often pinch and grope women, shout insults and cat calls. Her friend widened her eyes and added, “Sometimes they just stare at you!”
Men are not too pleased. The “Ladies Specials” are clean with nice seats whereas the other trains are cramped and dirty.The number of working women has doubled in India over 15 years but the traditionally male-dominated society is taking some time to catch up.
A trade union vote in the UK has voted to ban high heels in the workplace, reports the Independent. The move has won support from doctors but derision from women.
A Conservative MP Nadrine Dorries insists the choice should be left up to women despite health concerns over searing stilettos. “Men have killer instinct, we have killer heels!”
To finish, yesterday saw the famous Iraqi shoe thrower released from prison in Baghdad and the Christian Science Monitor asks how ranks amongst footwear misusers. He’s given the number five spot. As for others on the list:
At number three, Maxwell Smart – the bumbling spy in a 1960s American show Get Smart. He used a shoe phone.
At number two its former Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev who famously smacked his shoe at a UN meeting in 1960, this after a Filipino delegate called for the freedom of Eastern European states. He repeatedly banged his shoe off the table demanding that this “toady of American imperialism” be silenced.
The top prize for shoe misuse goes to Richard Reid also known as Abdul Raheem or ‘the shoe bomber’. Reid tried to blow up an American Airlines flight from Paris to Miami in December 2001. His homemade explosive failed and he desperately lit match after match trying to detonate the shoe bomb. He was overpowered by passengers but thanks to Reid, you have to take your shoes off in many airports as you go through security.