Appropriately for Halloween, we see Blair trick-or-treating. According to Wikipedia 'Trick-or-treating is a custom for children on Halloween. Children proceed in costume from house to house, asking for treats such as confectionery, or sometimes money, with the question, "Trick or treat?" The "trick" is an idle threat to perform mischief on the homeowners or their property if no treat is given.'
Blair is shown as a monster dripping with blood (a reference to his role in the Iraq War?). He's holding a pumpkin under his arm. The pumpkin has the face of Gordon Brown, the British prime minister, who backed Blair's EU candidacy. Blair is holding out a bag with the words 'In the bag' on it (if you say something is 'in the bag', you mean that you are certain you will get or achieve it). However, the EU door has been slammed in his face, a clear metaphor for his rejection by EU leaders. The Brown pumpkin comments ironically, "Maybe you should have made more of an effort and dressed up."
Three weeks before he died in Afghanistan, a senior officer warned in an email that a shortage of helicopters was putting him and his men at risk from roadside bombs, the Daily Mail says. Full story >>
VOCABULARY If you foresee something, you expect and believe that it will happen. • Abraham Lincoln, who is said to have foreseen his own death, is reportedly the most frequent ghostly visitor. The prefix "fore-" often has the meaning "before" or "prior to". Examples include forecast, foreshadow, foreplay, foresight, foretaste, foretell and forewarn.
The Daily Telegraph reports that Fentimans, a traditional Victorian lemonade enjoyed by British drinkers for more than a century, has caused a row after an American teenager had a bottle confiscated in school for its tiny alcohol content.
The offending bottle of lemonade was taken from the school pupil after he confessed to his school principal that the bottle contained 0.5 per cent alcohol.
Following the incident, the school Principal of Houlton High School in Maine contacted the police, leading to a series of complaints from subtance abuse programmes in the state, who argued the lemonade should be classed as "imitation liquor" and not sold to anybody under 21, the legal drinking age in the United States.
But the soft drinks company, based in Hexham, Northumberland, is set to benefit from an unexpected sales surge as enquiries from US wholesalers across 30 states have increased tenfold following the incident.
Fentimans has argued that the 0.5 per cent alcohol level means the drink qualified legally as a soft drink. Full story >>
COMMENTS An interesting example of how a random incident can have a spectacular effect on sales. You couldn't buy that sort of publicity. The Guardian also reports this story.
Blair is shown dressed as a king. He is wearing a blue robe and carrying a crown and sceptre. He asks the doorman, "Well? Are they ready for me yet?" A footman sticks his head out of the door of the room where the EU leaders are meeting. We can hear a chorus of 'Yes' and 'No' in different languages, suggesting that opinions about Blair's candidacy are divided.
Tony Blair's hopes of becoming the first president of the EU are fading as he fails to win the backing of France of Germany, reports The Guardian. Full story >>
VOCABULARY If something sinks, it disappears below the surface of the water. • An object will sink if it weighs more than the water it pushes away. Here the word is used metaphorically to describe Tony Blair's receding chances of becoming EU president.
Iceland is to lose its three McDonald's outlets after the country's financial crisis made operating there too expensive. The restaurants import almost all of their ingredients, but the collapse of the Icelandic krona has almost doubled import costs. Melanie Wray reports.
The Daily Express leads with the killing of a puppy - apparently stamped to death by yobs. Full story >>
VOCABULARY You can refer to a violent person or criminal as a thug. • Two thugs who kicked a man unconscious in a violent attack at a train station have been jailed for 12 months each.The English word "thug" is a truncation of 'thuggee'. It is one of many Indian words borrowed into English during the British colonial period.
For some unknown reason, I completely missed the International Day of Climate Action on October 24th. So to make up for that unforgiveable omission, I thought I'd share this with you—strictly in the interests of saving the planet, you understand. (Click through to see the HD version. It's worth it.)