It is with great sadness that the Ministry of Defence must announce that the soldier killed in yesterday’s incident in Woolwich, South East London, is believed to be Drummer Lee Rigby, of 2nd Battalion The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers (attached to the Regimental Recruiting Team in London). The soldier’s details are being released at this stage pending formal identification from the Metropolitan Police Service.
Drummer Lee Rigby, or ‘Riggers’ to his friends, was born in July 1987 in Crumpsall, Manchester. He joined the Army in 2006 and on successful completion of his infantry training course at Infantry Training Centre Catterick he was selected to be a member of the Corps of Drums and posted to 2nd Battalion, The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers (also known as “Second Fusiliers” or “2 RRF”).
His first posting was as a machine gunner in Cyprus where the Battalion was serving as the resident Infantry Battalion in Dhekelia. Having performed a plethora of tasks while in Cyprus, he returned to the UK in the early part of 2008 to Hounslow, West London. Here, Drummer Rigby stood proudly outside the Royal Palaces as part of the Battalion’s public duties commitment. He was an integral member of the Corps of Drums throughout the Battalion’s time on public duties, the highlight of which was being a part of the Household Division’s Beating the Retreat - a real honour for a line infantry Corps of Drums.
In April 2009 Drummer Rigby deployed on Operations for the first time to Helmand Province, Afghanistan, where he served as a member of the Fire Support Group in Patrol Base Woqab. On returning to the UK he completed a second tour of public duties and then moved with the Battalion to Celle, Germany, to be held at a state of high readiness for contingency operations as part of the Small Scale Contingency Battle Group. In 2011 Drummer Rigby took up a Recruiting post in London where he also assisted with duties at Regimental Headquarters in the Tower of London.
An extremely popular and witty soldier, Drummer Rigby was a larger than life personality within the Corps of Drums and was well known, liked and respected across the Second Fusiliers. He was a passionate and life-long Manchester United fan.
A loving father to his son Jack, aged 2 years, he will be sorely missed by all who knew him. The regiment’s thoughts and prayers are with his family during this extremely difficult time. “Once a Fusilier, always a Fusilier.”
(Photo: Win Mcnamee / Getty Images)
Four months and four days after the Newtown shootings, the U.S. Senate has indefinitely shelved major gun legislation.
The move follows the 54-46 defeat of a compromise to expand background checks, the most critical of a series of amendments that failed to pass the Senate on Wednesday.
Forget Gun Control—Let’s Ban the Senate.
Above: Seriously, fuck these guys. Photo via Rex USA
By now, you’ve probably already heard that the Senate voted down a gun control proposal yesterday—actually, they voted down a lot of different proposals, but the one that got the most attention was an amendment, proposed by Joe Manchin, a Democrat from West Virginia, and Pat Toomey, a Republican from Pennsylvania, that would have essentially mandated background checks for everyone who buys a gun.
The argument for the Toomey–Manchin amendment was pretty easy to explain, even to a child: “Well, Timmy, guns might be tools for hunting, they might be collected and handled safely by millions of hobbyists and enthusiasts, but it’s also really, really easy to kill people if you have a gun—it would be a good idea to make sure that the people who were buying guns weren’t crazy or criminals.” [tousles Timmy’s hair playfully] The arguments against the amendment were mostly that criminals wouldn’t obey the law anyway, that background checks wouldn’t have stopped the Newtown massacre, and that the amendment was actuallytoo pro-gun—all of which would seem to indicate that we need more restrictions on gun ownership, not fewer. As many as 91 percent of Americans supported expanded background checks at one point; if anything had a chance to pass through the world’s greatest deliberative body, it was that piece of mild, mostly symbolic legislation.
That it didn’t pass isn’t an example of cowardice on the part of senators who didn’t vote for it, or some fatal flaw on behalf of its sponsors. It’s just another case of the Senate being cripplingly, pathetically gridlockedand unable to do anything for anyone.
It should be pointed out, repeatedly, that most senators voted for the Toomey–Manchin amendment—54 out of 100—but you need 60 votes to pass anything, and the reasons why are much harder to explain to a child than the reasons for the amendment itself: “You see, Timmy, although the Founding Fathers stipulated that bills could pass either house of Congress by a simple majority, they also put this thing in there that let any senator stall a vote by making a speech, and uhhhh, thanks to a series of procedural reforms enacted over the years, now a senator can just stop a bill by saying no once, and it takes 60 votes to overrule that no. This is good because, um. Fuck you, that’s why. Go play your Xbox.”
FBI releases photos, video of suspected Boston Marathon bombers
Authorities for the first time have unveiled the suspected perpetrators of Monday’s terrorist attack in Boston - two men, whose identities are unknown, seen in the video above.
The FBI considers the two armed and dangerous, and urged citizens not to pursue any action beyond alerting authorities.
The duo is seen walking together, and in additional images below:
Beyond those images, and additional photos released on the FBI’s site, authorities cautioned that “other photos should not be deemed credible.”
For those with any information relevant to the case, the FBI can be contacted at 1-800-225-5324.
Photo, video: Federal Bureau of Investigation
Boston police are guarding a “possible suspect” who had been wounded in the blasts, federal officials tell NBC News. Local hospitals confirm dozens admitted with injuries as witnesses report “unspeakable horror.”
- LIVE VIDEO: NBC News special report
- Images from scene of Boston Marathon explosion
- Obama informed of Boston explosions, pledges administration assistance
- NYC, DC increase security in wake of Boston explosions
- Slideshow: Boston Marathon bombing
- ‘Pandemonium’: Witness accounts of the Boston Marathon bombing
- What clues should authorities be looking for?
- Horror in Boston: Video of marathon-finish explosion
- Witnesses tell of chaos, terror
I’m sort of thrown off today. it’s hard to be motivated to bring you science when there’s Reality going on.
When something hits us upside the head like the Boston Marathon explosions, we can feel dizzy, disoriented … left swirling in a dust-storm of rapidly beating hearts, furrowed brows, held breath and shaking heads. That’s how I feel, anyway. I’ve been sitting here, repeatedly muttering statements that begin with “What the f…” and simultaneously cheering and cursing the power of social media to communicate painful news. I keep looking through Twitter and blogs, knowing exactly what I’ll see and don’t want to. So powerful, but so unfiltered.
It’s not the first time in the past year that this message from Fred Rogers has been appropriate, and that’s perhaps the ultimate tragedy. But he’s right. Every photo of violence and blood in the streets of Boston that we won’t unsee is full of people running in to help. And if we have to look, that’s what we should focus on.
My thoughts are with Boston.
FJP: Agreed. A very wonderful thought from someone who works on a very wonderful program. Our thoughts are with all those in Boston and all those who have a loved one who traveled there for the marathon. If you’re looking for someone or have information about someone, try Google Person Finder.
It’s April Fool’s day but we decided against the clever pranks and opted to celebrate the return of Game of Thrones into our screens instead by allocating clubs to their GoT House counterparts. We were only aware this morning of some articles going around doing the same as well, but we decided to take it a step further and make pretty of it.
It goes as follow:
Arsenal - House Stark
Stark motto: “Winter is coming”
We chose the north-dwelling Starks to be Arsenal’s parallel mainly because of the tragedy the house has endured. Arsenal too, are a classic case of cataclysm. Ned Stark was also a proud and stubborn man - something we see of Arsene Wenger all too often. The family prides itself in having close-knit relationship, also something the club attempts to engrain in their players.
The motto is clearly a dig at their ‘next season we’ll win!’ mentality.
Chelsea - House Lannister
Lannister motto: “Hear me roar”
For those of you who do watch GoT - this may be quite obvious considering the common saying associated with the Lannisters: “A Lannister always pays his debts”. It’s easy to see that what the two have in common is a very healthy bank account. But, it’s also worth noting the Lannisters, like Chelsea, are ruthless when it comes to preserving their reputation (though many would ask: what reputation?).
The motto is once again a play on their over-reliance on a never-ending bankroll.
Liverpool - House Targaryen
Targaryen motto: “Fire and blood”
It may be quite funny at first to allocate Liverpool with the exiled Targaryens but hear us out. Both Liverpool and House Targaryen are ousted from their days of glory by two successful forces (Stark and Baratheon/United and Arsenal) and still long the return of what once was. Unfortunately, they both have ran into untrustworthy partners on their attempt to the top (Gillet and Hicks/Daxos and Pree).
The motto is a playful attempt to make fun of Liverpool’s obsession with their history (and subsequently their claim to success).
Man City - House Tyrell
Tyrell motto: “Growing strong”
With the way Man City are paying left and right, it would be also appropriate to put them with the Lannisters. However, what we think is the difference in Man City is their blatant aspirations in social-climbing - the kind of thing we see the Tyrells are always doing. The Tyrells, like the Lannisters are also ruthless, though subtle. We think this is similar of Man City who try to weasle their way into power without attracting too much hatred.
The motto is a response to the obscene wages they pay their players.
Man United - House Baratheon
Baratheon motto: “Ours is the fury”
United is the team we struggled with the most. They are successful, cunning, and will do everything in their power to reach their goals. While the Baratheon are indeed successful they do not show the same malevolence as the Lannisters. However, we remembered about Stannis Baratheon and the influence Melisandre, the fire priestess, has over him. This is quite similar in the way Alex Ferguson has been alleged of manipulating the game using means outside of the sport (paying referees, etc.)
The motto is a direct comment on the deceitfulness often accused of Man United.
Spurs - House Greyjoy
Greyjoy motto: “We do not sow”
Like House Greyjoy, Spurs is the unfateful side people often understimate. Furthermore, the Greyjoys’ animosity towards Starks is nicely appropriated to the North Lodon rivalry. Spurs are seen as rather miserable, unexciting, and way past their prime. Despite this, a new and exciting generation is paving the way for a 70s era return, parallel to the activities brewing up in the Iron Islands led by Theon and Yara Greyjoy.
The motto is a cheeky dig at their reputation for being a middling club.
Taking a break from his crusade against sugary soft drinks, NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg took some time during his weekly radio broadcast last week to downplay an issue that’s been at the forefront of privacy concerns in a growing number of US states: the use of unmanned aerial drones for ubiquitous police surveillance. “What’s the difference whether the drone is up in the air or on the building?” asked an incredulous Bloomberg, now in the final months of his heavily-lobbied third term in office. “I mean, intellectually I have trouble making that distinction.”
Image via Dailymail
Serbia got by with a little help from their Scottish friends. Despite a heavy snowfall at Karadjordje Stadium, the FIFA World Cup qualifier between Serbia and Scotland was able to be played. Thanks to the efforts of the Tartan Army, fans of Scotland’s national…