In Truth, Nothing That Interesting Happened This Weekend
In a news year that's seen the death of Osama bin Laden, the phone-hacking scandal, the Japanese tsunami and the worst rioting that England can remember, this weekend was remarkable only for its eventlessness.
Some people won some awards at an awards show no one cares about. Some people said some stuff at a party political conference held by a political party no one cares about. No one famous died. A man who can't feasibly exist has wandered off into the mountains to look for a monster that definitely doesn't exist. Charlie Brooker's column's about nothing.
In other nothing news, Silvio Berlusconi likes having sex; Dominique Strauss-Kahn wants the world to know that he likes having sex, but only when other people allow him to; and… well, that's it: no one else on earth is fucking, because if they were, they would surely have found themselves above the fold on the The Sun's homepage.
What can we learn from this? That for once you were fully justified in not paying any attention to what was happening in the world this weekend.
Congratulations! Read on for a few more stories that might just cajole you into pulling your head out of your ass.
One of Colonel Gaddafi's Sons Liked Kissing Boys
But for some reason, the New York Times didn't want you to know that.
The son in question is Saadi Gaddafi – the one who somehow wound up captaining the Libyan football team in a professional career that took in stints at Italian sides Juventus, Udinese, and Perugia. The real point of interest is not that Colonel Gaddafi's son enjoyed sex with men, but that that detail was redacted from a 2009 Wikileaks cable published by the Times earlier this year.
They did want the world to know that, according to former US ambassador to Libya Gene Cretz, Saadi was "notoriously ill-behaved" and had a "less than sterling reputation" earned through "various scuffles with police in Europe (especially Italy), abuse of drugs and alcohol, excessive partying, [and] travel abroad in contravention of his father's wishes."
But for whatever reason, the NYT left out the part where Cretz accused Saadi of enjoying "profligate affairs with men and women".
"His bisexuality is reportedly a point of extreme contention with his father and partly prompted the decision to arrange his marriage to al-Khweildi al-Hmeidi's daughter," the cable continued.
Other things the newspaper neglected to mention were the Reuters correspondent who worked as a source for US Intelligence teams, and some other stuff that isn't as distracting as the image of Colonel Gaddafi's bisexual son negotiating the sexual and racial politics of an Italian football changing room.
Riot Cops, Bailiffs, Crusties and Gypsies Prepared to do Battle in Essex (via)
The eviction of hundreds of gypsies and travelling families from the Dale Farm site in Essex was due to begin this morning.
VICE's Henry Langston's camped out on the site last night, and he'll be telling and showing you all about what happens there later today.
Police Have Arrested Seven People They Think Might Be Terrorists in Birmingham 'T' stands for 'Terror' (via)
When does a terrorist become a terrorist? Is it enough to think about blowing people up, or do you only get to put it down on your resume once you've slaughtered at least one innocent civilian?
It's a question the police may or may not be asking themselves today, after they arrested six men and a woman in Birmingham in late night counter-terrorism raids.
The men were aged between 25 and 32, and are currently being questioned at a police station somewhere in the West Midlands.
The police refused to go into too much detail about why the men had been arrested, but said that, "it was necessary to take action at this time in order to ensure public safety." Notably, the arrests come after reports that MI5 were looking to boost their pool of intelligence agents in the West Midlands.