It's OK, Adele's baby is probably not the Antichrist - 10 Things
The future of the noble art of ringing someone up to make them look needlessly silly on air is in doubt, since it's looking like the UK police are about to get involved in last week's 2DayFM incident. You know the one, where Mel Greig and Michael Christian rang the King Edward VII Hospital impersonating the Queen and asking about Kate Middleton's health status, which was all fun and games until Jacintha Saldanha, the nurse who transferred the call, seemingly committed suicide in shame when she realised what had happened. Parent company Austereo have suspended the pair, advertising has been halted and "immediate action" has been promised, and it's hard to think of action other than "hey, let's not be jerks to people on air", really. Now, it's worth pointing out that there's no way that Grieg and Christian could have reasonably predicted this tragic outcome, but those young people hoping for a career in the bullying-people-on-air trade might need to look at a plan B.
The Ambassador Wears Prada? It's looking more and more likely that the unlikely-sounding rumour that legendarily no-nonsense Vogue editor Anna Wintour is being considered for a top diplomatic position - rumoured to be US ambassador to either Britain or France - is actually legit. Supporters of the claim point at her success as a fundraiser for Obama's election campaigns and ruthless efficiency at rallying public support. Detractors cough and point at Vogue's flattering profile of Asma al-Assad, wife of Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad, published just in time to coincide with hubby's decision to get his military to open fire on his own citizens. Still, Meryl Streep might want to start polishing up her icy hauteur ahead of the call for the sequel.
The Grammy nominations have made exactly no-one happy, it would appear: there's the usual bleating from folks who didn't get nominated about how their absence undermines the legitimacy of the awards (Justin Bieber's management have been on the Twitter warpath, as have fans of the similarly-snubbed One Direction; Grizzly Bear's Ed Droste has been sending tongue-in-cheek tweets to Justin "Bon Iver" Vernon asking what he's doing wrong – and whither Psy?). However, the biggest question the Grammys has raised this year is "does anyone have any freakin' idea what they're nominating?" Take the EDM category: sitting there alongside Skrillex, Calvin Harris, Avicii and Swedish House Mafia is a less familiar name: Al Walser. As you'll discover when you watch this video, no-one can work out how the keytar-sporting Liechtenstein native got a nomination: the best theory is the Walser spammed the hell out of the Grammy365 social network and that the resultant vague name recognition was enough to make the voting members give him the nod in the category that is, after all, mainly for the The Young People. But watch this video. Seriously. Keytar.
Maybe Psy was snubbed from the Grammys less because the awards are a transparent farce and more because of catchy lyrics like "Kill those Yankees who have been torturing Iraqi captives/Kill those Yankees who ordered them to torture/Kill their daughters, mothers, daughters-in-law, and fathers/Kill them slowly and painfully." Those lines (allegedly) are translated from the song 'Dear America', written by Psy and South Korean metal band N.E.X.T in 2002 after two Korean girls were crushed by a US tank. Psy has issued an apology, but we think he's worrying unnecessarily: if there's one thing Ice-T has taught us it's that writing a song calling for the death of authority figures just means you end up playing one on TV 15 years later.
If there's one thing you can rely upon in the unpredictable rough-and-tumble hurly-burly of Italian politics, it's this: Silvio Berlusconi really, really likes being Prime Minister. He likes it even more than having sex with underage prostitutes or carrying out large scale tax fraud, which are things that have gotten him before the courts in recent times, and the latter of which may yet see him jailed (again). But he's not letting little things like "being a convicted criminal" slow him down, and the current Italian PM Mario Monti has now resigned after Berlusconi announced he will be seeking re-election. Silvio's party, the Freedom Party, have announced they will block any legislation passing through the parliament, effectively bringing Monti's government to a standstill, forcing an election in 2013. The news has been greeted with scepticism by most observers, and rapturous joy by the nation's predominantly Berlusconi-owned press. Well, if a bastard actually owns all the media, it just makes it even more efficient at keeping him honest, right?
Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi has decided that fine, people of Egypt, he won't ask for all those sweeping powers giving him complete immunity from the courts for anything he fancies doing if you're all going to be such dicks about it. All he wanted to do was ride roughshod over the rule of law but nooooooo, you had to have your "due process" and your "we didn't sweep you into power to become exactly the sort of dictator that you replaced". So fine, Egypt, we hope you're satisfied. The announcement came after the military advised that not doing so would risk "disastrous consequences", which is the diplomatic equivalent of having ones armed forces saunter into the Parliament and "accidentally" knock over a vase before airily adding "nice government you've got 'ere - be a real shame if anyfink was to 'appen to it".
Australia is edging closer and closer to winning the war against the environment this week with two major victories against the ecosphere that so callously sustains us. First up, Port Phillip Bay is getting two and a half million tonnes of contaminated silt dumped in the middle of it as part of the redevelopment of the Port of Melbourne - and the State Government have explained that there's no need for an environmental impact study because what's the Bay going to do about it, nothing is what. And secondly, Australia's decision to sign on to an extension of the toothless Kyoto Protocol is "doing the right thing not only by Australian industry but by the planet", as federal Trade Minister Craig Emerson said with a straight face on the ABC last night. The recent UN environmental conference in Doha agreed that everyone really should start looking at knuckling down and doing something about the environment in 2015 - but why look at conceding in a few short years when our subjugation of the planet's defiant permafrost is already in sight? Onwards, forces of industry - onwards to victory!
Why hasn't Adele registered her baby? That's the question that no-one seems to be asking in the wake of the news that the offspring of the multi-platinum popstress and fiancé Simon Konecki has not been officially stamped within the legal 42 day deadline under UK law. Could it be that, having just had their first baby, they've been a bit distracted and just haven't gotten around to it yet, like literally millions of other couples - or is it because the nameless child is actually some sort of winged daemon, hellspawned and terrible, and the terrified parents are locked in a struggle against their own foul creation for the very future of humanity? OK, fine, it's probably the former. But can we be certain?
Israel's gotten in some top-notch sabre rattling recently, so it's reassuring to know that Palestine are getting some provocative acts in too, including a rally of tens of thousands of Hamas supporters in Gaza City to welcome the return of exiled leader Khaled Meshaal. Meshaal vowed that "Palestine is ours, from the river to the sea and from the south to the north. There will be no concession on an inch of the land… We will never recognise the legitimacy of the Israeli occupation and therefore there is no legitimacy for Israel, no matter how long it will take," before saying some stuff about fighting Zionists who take their holy places. So yeah, looks like stuff's unlikely to escalate there.
And finally, it's always good to start your week discovering an unsettling new thing about fish: specifically, that they're eating birds now. Here's a French video of freshwater catfish stalking and eating pigeons on the Tarn river, showing that those finny bastards are no longer content with the bounty of their watery domain and are even now regarding this Earth with envious eyes, and slowly and surely drawing their plans against us. Starting with pigeons.