The news at 10 said a lot about our future last night although perhaps I read too much into it.
Huw Edwards was host and we began with house prices which have fallen for the third month in succession, last month by 1.1% according to the Halifax, the first time this has happened since 1995. Evan Davies, BBC Economic Guru, told how this was "the end of an era" in respect of rising values and that basically the good days are over - this was verified by two "experts", one from a website called house price crash which has been forecasting a slump for a year or so, the other a gloomy economist. You can watch the clip here if you are interested.
We stayed on the same subject but went global, firstly to America, where we were reminded of the circumstances of the great depression in the 1930's, along with the prerequisite black and white footage of those bygone days; and then to China, where we met with a young chap who had forsaken the university degree he was studying for, and "stayed in the countryside" in order to pursue a career in the pork industry, farming pigs. It seemed that this was a shrewd move as we were told of rising prices , some cannot afford "meat on the table". This was verified with a tale of three deaths in a supermarket stampede to secure some cut price cooking oil. You can read the BBC article on Chinese inflation here.
John Darwin, "the man who returned from the dead" followed, this was the chap who's canoe was found washed up a number of years ago on the beach and was presumed to have passed away, his "widow" pocketing the insurance cash. Mr Darwin was arrested yesterday. however in the interim, a newspaper has published a photograph of himself and his wife puportedly taken only last year. We heard from the chief of Cleveland police, a formidable character it must be said, he told how Mr Darwin may have amnesia, or he may not, and that the police have questions for him. As regards the photograph, dated 14/07/2006 he told how "it is not difficult to doctor a photograph" nowadays. Ask Dr McCann.
The five soldiers being held hostage in Iraq have somehow been sent a message by their families, telling them that they are missed, and that "everything is being done" to secure their release. Again we saw images from the hostage video, including M16's.
Three new super-prisons are to be built, in order to cope with the growing demand for places, given our prisons are "full to bursting". We heard more of these "Titan" jails and reference was made to America again, where there is an abundance of secure facilities. We saw a pile of Bible's, ready to swear on, before we heard from our Justice Secretary, Jack Straw, who at one point told how he would be relying on "luck and prayer" in relation to the current situation, our intrepid reporter pouncing on the prayer aspect, - "not a great way to run a system"
You can watch it here.
Coming up - Gerry Springer Opera - no prosecutions for blasphemy.
First though, Meredydd Hughes, the chief constable of South Yorkshire police has been banned from driving for 42 days after pleading guilty to driving at 90mph in a 60 limit. This probably would not be too bad other than for the fact that Mr H was in fact the chairman of roads policing at the Association of Chief Police Officers and has spoken out previously about speeding drivers, and even produced a warning video which you can see, along with the feature, here.
A £20,000 reward has been offered for the return of the two missing HM Revenue and Customs child benefit data disks. We saw the acting head of HMRC, David Hartnett, answering questions to a panel of MP's and advising of 7 other serious breaches of security. Police are still hunting for the missing disks, including searching rubbish dumps.
Breaking news - Gunman on rampage in Nebraska, 8 dead, five injured.
As promised, the blasphemy story. This concerned the Gerry Springer opera which was broadcast by the BBC in 2005; subsequently they were taken to court by a group called Christian Voice who protested that the performance was blasphemous, given that it contains scenes of Jesus Christ as a fat man in a nappy. The Christian group lost, but plan to appeal. This feature also tells how "people are scared of Islam" but not of "the Church of England". Worth watching to see how traditional religion and faith is gradually being eroded - and being slowly replaced - although this was not mentioned. You can see the video report here or read about it here.
To close, an advert more that a feature, but what for. It seemed to be for Chanel and Karl Lagerfeld, but note the references to the celebrity endorsement Nicole Kidman and Karl stating that "only clever woman wear his clothes". You can see it here, - clever woman and Scientology perhaps ? Notwithstanding that, this is commercial advertising.
Celebrity endorsement - "new" religion