The Guy Got It Done

The Guy Got It Done

Thanks to Howard Bluecloud for passing this on: F-35 unintentional loop at takeoff on a carrier.

This guy clearly has brass and you know the sailors on the flight deck had a cow when they saw this unfold in front of them. Intentional? Hardly! This is unbelievable! F-35 unintentional loop at takeoff a real “check your laundry” event.

A supremely well-trained US Navy pilot, ice running in his veins instead of blood, fully regains control of his $70 million, F-35 joint strike force fighter, after a problematic vertical take-off attempt… Watch as the rear vertical thruster fires to cause the problem.

There’s nothing about this the pilot enjoys. If he could have ejected at 100′ upside down and lived, he would have. Looks like the afterburner kicks in while still vectored for vertical takeoff.

Lockheed would call this a “software malfunction” and do a little more “regressive testing”. This is a good demonstration of power-to-weight ratio of this aircraft! And talk about stability control… Wow!

If he didn’t come out of the loop wings-level, it probably would have been bad news; maybe taking some of the carrier with him! Add to this flying through your own exhaust, which can lead to equipment malfunctions, as in “flame out”.

The F-35 is single engine aircraft with vertical takeoff/landing capability, but it has the aerodynamics of a Steinway piano at zero airspeed. This is the most unbelievable piece of flying you will ever see in your life.

This guy’s coolness saved a 70 million-dollar aircraft! On the other hand, he might not have had time to react to anything except just ride it. I bet you’ll watch it at least 2 times!

Anders Breivik isn’t mad – he was a man on a mission

There is no dispute that Anders Breivik killed 77 people last July, 56 of them coldly and efficiently with direct shots to the head. Indeed, he is proud of what he did, and has said, with a combination of smugness and defiance, that he wished he could have slaughtered more. The dispute which has arisen centres on his state of mind at the time he pulled the trigger. One psychiatric report declared that he was suffering from paranoid schizophrenia and was therefore not responsible for his actions; a later assessment came to the opposite conclusion, that he knew perfectly well what he was doing. Both opinions will be aired at the trial in Norway which started yesterday.

A diagnosis of schizophrenia would carry the implication that the man was entangled by delusions and hallucinations which controlled his behaviour. Such was the defence advanced before the trial of Peter Sutcliffe, the Yorkshire Ripper, in 1981. It was quickly thrown out by Mr Justice Boreham. One must hope the trial judge in Oslo will take a similar view, for Breivik’s reasoning may be abhorrent, but it is sequential and organised. He has been on the periphery of a society of which he should have formed a part, obeying only his personal code (in opposition to the rest of the community), bereft of any sense of guilt, with a low tolerance of frustration, determined to gratify his own ideas whatever the cost to others. He has had his conscience ripped out. Nevertheless, anti-social behaviour is not a mental disease, however repugnant its consequence.

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Taking police off the streets in order to subsidise operas isn’t charity, it’s insanity

Here’s a phrase you don’t hear all that often: George Osborne is right. The Chancellor’s axing of the 50p tax rate was incomprehensible. His freezing of pensioners allowances callous and inept. But the decision to cut tax relief on charitable donations is ideologically, morally and – if there’s any justice – politically sound.

Like most people, I give a little to charity; the NSPCC and the Royal British Legion being my recent organisations of choice. I also give £10.42 a month to the Labour party, though that’s usually a lost cause, rather than a noble one. But I can honestly say the idea of offsetting my limited acts of philanthropy against tax has never entered my head.

Nor, I suspect, has it entered the heads of most people. “Pound for cancer research?” “Hang on love, let me just check with Ken Livingstone’s accountant.”

I can’t believe I’m the only person who has watched bemused as the great and the good have descended like enraged Transylvanian villagers upon No 11. Don’t get me wrong, I’m no tax junkie; and if you’re reading this from HM Treasury & Customs, my VAT return’s in the post. But until this week I thoug

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The Labour Party and Ed Miliband need to find an answer to the bigger money question

Money talks. As Parliament resumes, the mutter of fractious philanthropists and disgruntled grannies illustrates David Cameron’s dilemma. His government of the rich, as it is perceived, has contrived to alienate the wealthiest while offering little to those on modest means. The PM’s new-found knack of displeasing most of the people for most of the time has put the Tories at their lowest ebb since taking office.

Meanwhile, Labour has established a solid poll lead, Ed Balls is poised to carry on shredding George Osborne’s collapsing Budget, and the whiff of government incompetence grows more pungent. Emboldened by the Tories’ misfortunes, Mr Miliband has come up with a plan to replace plutocratic funders with piggy-bank politics.

His scheme for a ban on big union donations and a £5,000 annual cap on any gifts to party coffers may be opportunistic, since the Tories would stand to lose three times as much from such a limit. Mr Miliband’s plan, however, concerns more than cash. Despite being unfairly caricatured as the creature of TUC paymasters, he has had an unusually fraught relationship with the union barons.

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Syria ceasefire ‘fragile’, Russia claims

The claims came as activists said the Assad regime widened shelling attacks on opposition strongholds, in a fresh sign that the ceasefire is quickly unravelling.

“There really are those who are interested in the failure of Kofi Annan’s plan and they actually mentioned that (opinion) even before this plan was made public,” Mr Lavrov said without naming specific countries.

Russia has previously condemned some Arab states for agreeing to provide funding to the opposition Free Syrian Army.

“There are countries – there are outside forces – that are not interested in the success of current UN Security Council efforts,” Mr Lavrov said.

Russia and China jointly blocked two UN Security Council resolutions on the 13-month crisis before backing on Saturday a decision to send observers to monitor the two sides’ co-operation with Annan’s six-point initiative.

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New treatment for prostate cancer gives ‘perfect results’ for nine in ten men: research

It is hoped the new treatment, which involves heating only the tumours with a highly focused ultrasound, will mean men can be treated without an overnight stay in hospital and avoiding the distressing side effects associated with current therapies.

A study has found that focal HIFU, high-intensity focused ultrasound, provides the ‘perfect’ outcome of no major side effects and free of cancer 12 months after treatment, in nine out of ten cases.

Traditional surgery or radiotherapy can only provide the perfect outcome in half of cases currently.

Experts have said the results are ‘very encouraging’ and were a ‘paradigm’ shift in treatment of the disease.

It is hoped that large scale trials can now begin so the treatment could be offered routinely on the NHS within five years.

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China Comes To Dave

MORNING BRIEFING – By Benedict Brogan (Daily Telegraph)

He’s back from Derbyshire, and today, the main event in the Prime Minister’s diary is a meeting with Li Changchun, the head of the Chinese Communist Party’s propaganda department, at No 10 for talks about the death of British businessman Neil Heywood (no, Dave’s not looking for a replacement for Craig Oliver).

Our online story is here. As James Kirkup reports: “By raising the case so publicly, the British government hopes to put pressure on the Chinese authorities to investigate Mr Heywood’s death thoroughly.”

But the internal politics of China is also clearly a concern for No 10. Mr Li is also due to meet William Hague and George Osborne, while yesterday, Jeremy Hunt visited the V&A with Liu Yandong, another member of the Chinese Politburu. As China’s power base shifts, it’s clear that the British Government is busy making sure it still has friends.


In No 10, they’re calling it the ‘omnishambles’, as U-turn mounts up on U-turn. Yesterday, we had two in the space of a few hours: first on tax relief for charities and then on the “conservatory tax”.

On the charities tax, Dave has offered a consultation with charities – not quite a U-turn, but certainly an admission of error. No 10 points out that the change was not going to be introduced until year anyway, and so there’s plenty of time to consult, but more cynical types see the long grass approaching.

Then on the Green Deal, as The Guardian reports , the compulsory elements of the “conservatories tax” that would require homeowners to make their homes more energy efficient are to be scrapped, though the bulk of the Green Deal (a Conservative policy, remember), which is not compulsory, will be retained.

A government source said: “The idea that people are going to be forced to improve their energy efficiency or install a new boiler because they want to extend their garage or make their house better is not going to happen. It is not policy now. It is out for consultation, but the prime minister is opposed to it, and it will not become policy. It is not fair to ordinary people trying to improve their homes.”

Eric Pickles gets his way then, and Andrew Stunell, the Lib Dem minister in DCLG, is overruled, despite the fact that the Green Deal proposals were agreed by both Tories and Lib Dems.

But the happiness of the Lib Dems will be the least of David Cameron’s concerns today. The Times (£) has a front page story on the impressive slump in the government’s popularity (read Poll Watch below for more).

In her column in The Times, Rachel Sylvester looks at the growing No 10, No 11 split over a lot of these issues: “The truth is that the Budget has exposed fundamental unresolved ideological disagreements within the Government that are only partly a result of its being a coalition.”

But in the FT (£) , which has a report on the dark mood rising among Dave’s party, Nadine Dorries adds this to her series of outbursts against the Government: “The person to blame is George Osborne – he’s got Gordon Brown-itis and he wouldn’t want to hand over the role of managing the Conservative party to anyone else”.


Philip Johnston’s column in today’s Telegraph notes yet another of the unexpected bombs George Osborne buried in the details of the Budget: the decision to levy VAT on improvements to ancient heritage buildings. As Philip notes:

“The Treasury says it is ending an “anomaly” that allows millionaires to install swimming pools without paying VAT just because they happen to own a Jacobean manor house,” but “Many of the buildings that have benefited from the zero rate are the very fabric of our nation” – including churches, cathedrals and 400,000 listed properties.


Meanwhile, the row over what to do with Abu Qatada continues in the Sun. The paper, which has been campaigning about the case continually for over a month, reports today that Theresa May is doing something: making a statement in Parliament.

The Sun’s report notes that: “May will say she believes a deal with Jordan will let the UK deport the al-Qaeda suspect t”. But the key detail is that the Government won’t appeal the original ECHR decision to block the deportation, which will become final at midnight tonight.

As Alan Travis explains in the Guardian , the decision not to appeal was made because officials feared that if Britain lost the case in Strasbourg, it could lose the ability to deport terror suspects to countries who offer diplomatic assurances that there will be no torture.


After Ed Miliband’s call to remove big money from politics on Sunday, the FT (£) reports that one of Labour’s largest donors, Assem Allam, has suggested that big donors should qualify for tax relief if they put money into both the main parties to “support democracy”.

Incidentally, Allam is same donor that Ed was spotted with at the Hull v Ipswich Town match when he was supposed to be at health reforms rally. Let’s hope Allam’s generosity doesn’t extend to football tickets for Cameron too.


Gorgeous George Galloway’s maiden speech yesterday caught the attention of the sketch-writers. The Telegraph’s Michael Deacon called him a “delighted walnut,” while the Guardian’s Simon Hoggart reported that the “egregious self-aggrandising” in his speech was modest by “Galloway’s standards”. Here’s what the man actually said:

“It’s great to be back but I’m just the advance party. There is an army mustering in the North, in the great industrial and post-industrial cities of this country, an army of discontented, alienated people”

Enjoy it George – usually, you only get this level of surveillance when you appear in the Big Brother House.


The London mayoral race has taken another colourful turn with the Times’ (£) reporting that Ken Livingstone has accused Boris of “ignoring the interests of millions of Londoners”, by barely mentioning black people in five chapters of his manifesto. Boris’s team responded saying that it had not yet published the full manifesto and accused Ken of playing “one group of Londoners off against another group”.

This is an interesting move from Livingstone whose recent comments on the Jewish community attracted criticism.


Latest YouGov/Sun poll: Conservatives 32%, Labour 43%, Liberal Democrats 8%, Ukip 9% – which rather underlines how bad things are for the Tories and the Lib Dems.

A Populus poll reported on the front page of today’s Times (£) also shows that confidence in the government has plummeted. The poll asked voters how they thought the coalition was doing overall: 37 per cent now saying the coalition is going “well” against 61 per cent saying “badly”; 24 per cent believe that the coalition is doing “very badly”.

This is a shocking slide in comparison to September’s results when 48 per cent said that they thought the coalition was doing “well”, against 51 per cent who felt that it was doing “badly”.


Angie Bray, Conservative MP for Ealing Central and Acton, (and Francis Maude’s PPS), is reaching across the political divide: “I have just found one thing I have in common with Ed Miliband – I haven’t seen the film Titanic either.” Keep it that way, Angie.


In The Telegraph

Mary Riddell: The Labour Party and Ed Miliband need to find an answer to the bigger money question

Philip Johnston: George Osborne puts the fabric of Britain at risk with the ‘heritage tax’

Leader: Carry on fracking

Leader: Nato still has its work cut out in Afghanistan

Best of the rest

Rachel Sylvester in The Times (£): Power exposes the Tories’ internal tensions

Polly Toynbee in the Guardian: On charity George Osborne must stand up to the self-interested super-rich

Philip Stephens in the FT (£): Philanthropy is no alternative to paying tax

Ewan Crawford in the Guardian: A Scottish earthquake that could bury Ed Miliband


9.15am: Nick Herbert gives a speech on the criminal justice system at the Reform conference, Clifford Chance, 10 Upper Bank Street, London, E14 5JJ.

9.30am: Inflation figures for March and the latest house price index are published by the Office for National Statistics.

110.30am: Health Select Committee hearing on alcohol. Committee Room 8, House of Commons.

10.30am: Jack Straw gives evidence on the impact of the Freedom of Information Act to the Commons Justice Committee. Thatcher Room, Portcullis House.

12.15pm: Scotland Yard Commissioner Bernard Hogan-Howe to give evidence to MPs on racism claims, House of Commons.

1.30pm: David Cameron meets Li Changchun of the Chinese Communist Party at Downing Street.

2.30pm: Foreign Office questions.

3.30pm: Andrew Mitchell appearing in front of the International Development Select Committee.