The report below was written Jul 7, 2015 to mark the ten year anniversary of the 7/7 bombings in London but also to acknowledge the ten year fight of one man's family for British justice.
That man was Jean Charles de Menezes who was brutally slain by forces working post 7/7 to keep the streets of London safe.
Wrongly suspecting Jean Charles of being a suicide bomber they blew his brains out, literally, on a tube train in front of other passengers and with no warning.
A young, foreign man in a strange country which used to have a reputation for being a welcoming place to visit, was murdered by those supposed to protect us all.
You can argue it however you like but WE failed Jean Charles.
He was wrongly identified and targeted mainly due to his appearance and no person or persons will ever be brought to justice.
His family in desperation took their case to the ECHR, European Court of Human Rights, but Wednesday that court's judges ruled the British decision not to charge any UK police officer for his fatal shooting was basically fine.
His family will now to try to move on. Lessons may have been learned but that will not help them.
Op-Ed: As we remember the victims of the 7/7 deadly terror attacks in London in 2005 it seems appropriate that we also remember a young Brazilian man living in London who was brutally killed by police officers after they wrongly identified him as having links to terrorism.
Jean Charles da Silva e de Menezes [Jean Charles de Menezes] was 27 when he was gunned down. In the days and weeks following 7/7 the UK was on high alert and people were jittery.
Would more terror attacks be launched in the UK? Were there rogue elements with links to the 7/7 bombers still at large?
On July 21 it looked like another 7/7 was about to unfold. "A smell of burning rubber. Three rucksacks full of explosives ditched at Tube stations. An hour later, the same on an east London bus" and the perpetrators at large. It was a tough time for all in the UK, especially the police and security services but that does not excuse nor explain the brutality involved in killing Jean Charles da Silva e de Menezes on July 22.
Mr de Menezes had been under surveillance but it was a case of mistaken identity.
The authorities believed he had links to the 7/7 bombers but they were wrong.
On July 22, 2005, "He took a bus to Brixton tube station, before boarding another to Stockwell because the tube station at Brixton was closed." That looked like he was trying to 'lose' officers following him; officers who had wrongly identified him as one of the failed bombers, Hussain Osman, a resident in the same block of flats.
"It was shortly after this that Mr de Menezes got off the bus at Brixton, before boarding again. It was this decision which meant the Brazilian, according to the family's lawyer Michael Mansfield QC, was "virtually dead".
Police could have prevented Mr de Menezes from boarding any transport but they did not.
As passengers in one carriage looked on Mr de Menezes was killed as police fired seven bullets into his head at close range. The train was still at the platform with its doors open, having just been evacuated.
Contradictory reports by officers and witnesses followed.
Initial accounts suggested that Mr de Menezes had fled from armed officers by vaulting over barriers before stumbling on to an underground train, where the officers opened fire. One witness in the carriage, Mark Whitby, 47, whose account formed an important part of the subsequent reports, said he had seen a man who looked Pakistani "hotly pursued by what I knew to be three plain-clothes police officers".
Jean Charles da Silva e de Menezes non-white appearance, heightened fears he was a suicide bomber and the decision was made to 'take him out'.
10 years on his family are still seeking justice.
The police force involved did offer an apology describing the incident as "a tragedy, and one that the Metropolitan Police Service regrets but the family rejected this.
Commissioner Sir Ian Blair said immediately following the killing the IPCC, independent police complaints commission, would not be allowed access to the scene; internal investigations, delays, accusations, leaks and more followed.
No person or persons were ever held to account for his death.
At the inquest into his death in 2008 the jury were instructed they could only return a verdict of lawful killing or an open verdict
In June 2015 his family took his case to the European court of human rights (ECHR).
The current Tory government is trying to break free of the ECHR. It is using cases that have been 'shams' to further its aims but the case of Mr de Menezes illustrates why we need to maintain the ECHR status quo.
Rubbing salt into the wounds of the dead man's family "Undercover police 'spied on the de Menezes family' [as they grieved]: Secret probe after Brazilian was shot dead in catastrophic blunder" Daily Mail
July 22, 2015: Social media is remembering Jean Charles da Silva e de Menezes as his family still search for justice. Add #justice4jean and RT reports today "‘Brutal execution’: Jean Charles de Menezes vigil held 10yrs after counter-terror police shooting."
Related reading: July 7 London terror 10 year anniversary
2005 Police under pressure over Menezes leak the Guardian
Footnote: Edits thanks to comments below; please read the comments for detailed information.
And then there were none.
The Two Ronnies was quintessential UK BBC comedy viewing for many during the 70s and 80s.
Hosts Ronnie Corbett and Ronnie Barker were on an equal and yet different footing. Barker was more of an actor and Corbett the funny man though the lines between the two were often blurred.
Both had appeared with David Frost in his political satirical shows of the 60s along with John Cleese of later Monty Python fame. [see footgae above]
Barker also had huge success with TV series Porridge and others including Going Straight.
Both men could dress as women for their various Two Ronnies comedy sketches and somehow still look like men but also resemble women. Their funny songs that accompanied such sketches were probably not 2016 politically correct but they were not the sexist nonsense of Benny Hill.
They were two funny men who entertained us for years and both will be missed.
Corbett was short and Barker rather plump but they rarely used their physical appearances for their comedy. They did not need to.
Ronnie Corbett was the central character in Timothy in the series Sorry; a series about a middle-aged man still living with his parents and longing to escape.
There are so many funny moments that it is difficult to select just one or two; but we have added a couple of bits of footage from YouTube.
The one thing is their comedy lives on in our memories and the re-runs that =continue to make us laugh.
And Ronnie Corbett had become a cult comedian in recent years admired by the new generation of funny men and women.
RIP Ronnie and Ronnie.
Ronnie Barker died October 3, 2005 and Ronnie Corbett died today, March 31, 2016.
Both were much loved by their families and their fans in the UK.
Op-ed: So Republican hopeful nominee and possibly next President of the USA is warning his fellow Americans not to visit the UK in light of the Brussels terror attacks last week but why now?
This is not the first terror attack in Brussels in recent times and then there were the terror attacks in France and of course the home-grown terrorist Anders Breivik who killed so many in Norway a few years ago.
Could this latest publicity stunt by old fart-face Trump have less to do with the safety of Americans and all to do with his election campaign, appealing to the fear in US voters and offering citizens of the UK a little payback after so many of us signed a petition asking he was banned from entering the UK?
That petition garnered so many signatures, and on the government's official petition website, that MPs were forced to debate it in the House of Commons.
In the end MPs hedged their bets and dismissed it as if we ever end up with POTUS Trump they will have to do business with the guy.
After all the UK and the USA are firm allies right??
According to a fairly right-wing publication in the UK, the Daily Express :
Correct me if I am wrong but surely it is only days ago Trump supporters were making news headlines in the USA and across the world as they responded to protesters with those self-same salutes?
And note it is the far-Right making waves across some parts of Europe; deluded people who believe all people of the Muslim faith are would be or actual terrorists.
Still Trump has furthered that view when for instance he announced that he Donald J Trump was calling for a ban on all Muslims entering the USA which was why people in Britain signed the petition to ban him in their tens of hundreds of thousands.
Verbally attacking the UK may further his campaign for GOP nominee but will it help him become President of the USA? Perhaps, who knows what really goes on in another country?
The USA is so large it is likely that people in different parts of that country know little of what really goes on in others sates so many miles away.
But he is welcome to his view.
He is a man who opens his mouth and spews out abuse at the drop of a hat and some Americans appear to lap it up.
Yes empty vessels like Trump continue to make the most noise.
When all else fails he cites his wealth as proof but of what we have no idea.
When an American Twitter follower asked me 'why not visit the USA' he was not keen on my response. It was this; no I have no yen to ever visit the States; perhaps at one time but not anymore.
The daddy of all terrorist attacks in the West was 9/11 and the people of the USA may feel that security is now tight as hell following that attack.
But me I do not want to visit a country where the cops are armed and for all I know every other person at least is also carrying a weapon. In some States I would know as they open-carry and that scares the hell out of me.
So before Trump gets off his high horse he may like to explain how as a gun supporter he will make his country safe?
Until that changes I for one have no interest in visiting the USA and I am not alone.
I imagine Trump rattled Britons may now stay away from the USA as the Trump motor-mouth carries on in Hitler style talking the talk of hate. Well his father was of German stock.
News alert Trump: few countries are potential terrorist attack free these days.
SUPGV have it right
And we remember Trayvon Martin and so many more; at least in the UK you cannot be murdered and your killer claim self-defence and walk free.
Check out the statistics below from Gun Violence archive and I think we know which country is not safe:
Op-ed: The mainstream media's prime objective is to make money. Along the way they also aim to post impartial news reports but may fail at times on that score.
But with eyeballs on publications and advertising revenue so important what gets reported and to what extent is a mixed bag.
Sunday a brutal and cruel suicide attacker struck at a place where children were enjoying the Easter festival.
A bomber obviously laden with explosives blew himself or maybe herself to kingdom come and took at least 72 innocents, many children, along with him.
Around 280 people sustained injuries.
Easter Monday people have begun burying the dead.
Sad days ahead as parents, siblings, other family members, friends and in some cases colleagues say a last farewell to loved ones stolen from them by cruel fanatics.
The fact that these people were enjoying a Christian festival and in many cases were of the Christian faith played a huge part but no doubt so did their western style of celebration.
The suicide bomber detonated his deadly Easter message near an entrance to Gulshan-e-Iqbal Park, close to a children’s play area, on Sunday evening. The noise of the huge blast was heard for several kilometres.
The Taliban has claimed responsibility for Sunday's attack and police are hunting those behind the bomb attack.
This is the latest in a string of terror attacks around the world but the extent of reporting varies.
Is it that some lives are worthless, matter less, the deaths are more worrying as they are closer to home, the victims appear more relevant as they include people of our nationality or just press economics?
The victims in Lahore are believed to have been Christians celebrating Easter but their faith should be immaterial. It is of course the reason the Taliban targeted them.
March has been a deadly month; but at March 28, 2016, the year has been deadly to date with:
Libya January 2016 Suicide truck bombing at a police training camp 60 dead 200+ injured and the perpetrator killed in explosion
The above list from Wikipedia is not exhaustive and does not include the Lahore attack Sunday.
When the USA was attacked on September 11, 2001, news reporting in the UK went into overdrive. It was 9/11 24/7 for months. When France experienced attacks last year we had extended news coverage also.
Other terror attacks have been less widely reported sometimes as in the case of the Tunisia beach attack you have wonder if that is to protect the travel industry and countries involved or because we’re are being kept in the dark.
But however a terror attack is reported the one thing that remains consistent is that all the victims matter and are equal, or they should be.
Op-Ed: Political pundits who had written Democratic contender Bernie Sanders off are having to re-think a little this Easter Sunday.
Saturday Mr Sanders pulled off significant wins in his quest to become leader of the Democrats in the USA.
Sanders comfortably won Hawaii, Washington and Alaska.
Latest figures still show Bernie trailing Hillary Clinton but it is not over, not yet.
To win the Democratic nomination either Mr Sanders of Ms Clinton need 2,383 delegates and 2,049 are still available.
So Clinton has 1,712 delegates and Sanders 1,004 at this time
If Sanders was successful it would maybe hearten Jeremy Corbyn and his supporters in the UK. This fairly new leader of the Labour party has more left-wing policies and views than recent leaders of the party who have veered to the right wing of politics and some would say veered too far.
Sanders and Corbyn have much in common; they have been fighting for what they believe in for many years.
Politics around the world is either lurching to the left or the right in 2016 as the centre ground has lost its voting appeal.
But would a Sanders' nomination help or hinder Republican hopeful and likely nominee Donald Trump?
Trump is a right-winger who along the campaign trail has made wild promises, verbally abused a whole range of groups of people and wants to build walls and create further division.
What he would actually do if he won the nomination and the presidency is not clear as it could be all talk but he is a frightening prospect for sure.
Sadly in the UK, although a huge majority of Labour party voters elected Mr Corbyn as party leader, some of the old guard refuse to give up their own personal vision of what is good for the party and what is electable.
In-fighting is taking up too much time allowing the Tory government to run amok.
Would a Sanders nomination unite Democrats or lead to a period of uncertainty and division in that American political party?
Would the old idea of left is scary, you know 'better dead than red', help a right wing nut job, yes I said that, Donald Trump get the keys to the White House.
Our futures as always are in the hands of voters as well as politicians.
Did Sanders really win big Saturday? Media Falsely Reports on Sanders’ Victories
Op-ed: Do you ever think that for all the modern technological advances WE are going backwards almost into the Middle Ages?
Acts of barbarism fill our news feeds and man's inhumanity to man appears to know no boundaries but then there is animal abuse and cruelty.
If you think the worst of such animal abuse is Asian think again.
This story is not for the faint-hearted.
A female pit bull was brutally raped before she was murdered and left hanging from a tree. The monstrous act happened in Thurston County, Washington, in the United States of America.
The poor dog appears to have been restrained while she was brutalised before being strangled to death.
A $5,000 dollar reward has been posted for any information leading to the capture of this sick individual and group of individuals.
The reward is double the usual HSUS amount due to a separate donation.
The reward has been offered by The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) but surely any decent person would willingly hand over such a vicious criminal.
If the perpetrator will do that to a dog imagine what he may do to a person or a child? You may think he would only attack an animal as that is what floats his boat but you are wrong.
The link between animal cruelty and cruel acts against people has been shown.
I for one would hate to think such a sick individual was living near me.
But what will the authorities do if they catch this killer?
So many times in the UK justice for animals brutalised is weak, inadequate or lacking.
Will the authorities in Washington treat the vile person or people behind the death of this dog appropriately?
For now at least the search is one to find the rapist and killer or killers.
Dan Paul, Washington state director for The HSUS, said: "This is a truly horrific situation in all aspects. To think about the suffering this dog experienced in her final moments, as well as knowing there's an individual or individuals in our state who would perpetrate this type of abuse, is sickening. We are hopeful this reward will bring someone forward with information about this despicable crime."
As animal rights activists show and share images online to highlight abuse and try to stop events such as the Yulin dog eating festival a cautionary note.
Are we unintentionally encouraging some sickos as we try to help animals in need?