We Have a Winner!
George McCallum of Georgia has won our crossword puzzle contest for October. Congratulations George! He will receive an autographed copy of Richard Rubenstein's Approaches to Auschwitz.
Many more of you are playing than are entering the contest. Go ahead - take a chance - send in your puzzles! Why not?
Posted on 11/01/2010 7:34 AM by Rebecca Bynum
Baghdad church hostage drama: death toll hits 39
Following Christina's very pertinent comments on my first post about this wicked attack on Iraqi Christians I have an update on the death toll and further details from the Telegraph this morning. I rarely use the Guardian as a source but last night, as Christina pointed out they published more detail of the attack on the church than other sources. Readers who followed the link would have seen descriptions of elderly worsippers leaving the church in shock, carrying children while one of their number searched frantically calling out 'Where is our Father?' as he sought the second of their two priests.
A total of 39 hostages have been killed and 56 people injured during a shoot-out between US and Iraqi forces and al-Qaeda-linked gunmen in a Catholic church in Baghdad. An Iraqi interior ministry official said after the attack said that seven security forces personnel were also killed and 15 wounded, but did not specify if any were Americans. Five attackers were killed and eight arrested, he said, adding there had been more than 100 worshippers at the Sayidat al-Nejat church in central Baghdad when the hostage-takers stormed in.
The gunmen had stormed the church in the Karrad neighbourhood during evening mass after killing two guards at the nearby headquarters of the Baghdad stock exchange.
One of the freed hostages, an 18-year-old man, said the first thing the gunmen did when they entered the church was to shoot the priest. "They entered the church with their weapons, wearing military uniforms. They came into the prayer hall, and immediately killed the priest," said the young man who declined to give his name.
Al-Qaeda's Iraqi affiliate, the Islamic State of Iraq, claimed responsibility for the attack on "the dirty place of the infidel which Iraqi Christians have long used as a base to fight Islam". It said in a statement posted on radical Islamic websites that it was an action against the Christian church in Egypt.
Posted on 11/01/2010 2:39 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Woman stabbed MP 'in revenge for Iraq war support'
The trial of Newham woman Roshonara Choudhary for the attempted murder of her MP Stephen Timms in May began this morning at the Central Criminal Court Old Bailey. This is dash.com the public sector news website and the London Evening Standard.
A woman stabbed an MP twice in the stomach during a constituency surgery in revenge for his vote for the war in Iraq, a court heard today.
Stephen Timms told the Old Bailey he thought Roshonara Choudhry, 21, was coming to shake hands, and she smiled before lunging at him on May 14 this year. Mr Timms, Labour MP for East Ham, was sent "reeling and staggering" before retreating into the men's toilets at the community centre in Beckton, east London.
The MP said: "She didn't go and sit down as she continued to come towards me where I was standing to greet her at that point. I thought she must have been coming to shake my hand. She made as if she was coming to do that. She looked friendly. She was smiling, if I remember rightly.
"I was a little puzzled because a Muslim woman dressed in that way wouldn't normally be willing to shake a man's hand, still less to take the initiative to do so, but that is what she was doing. She lunged at me with her right hand."
Choudhry told detectives she was trying to kill Mr Timms for "punishment" and "to get revenge for the people of Iraq", prosecutor William Boyce QC, said."When asked why she had stabbed him a second time she said 'because I wasn't going to stop stabbing until someone made me'," Mr Boyce added.
Choudhry, who was not in court, is accused of attempted murder and two charges of having an offensive weapon. Jeremy Dein QC, defending, said she did not recognise the jurisdiction of the court and did not wish her lawyers to challenge evidence put before the jury.
Whatever they taught her in PSHE and Citizenship at Plashet School didn't have any good effect, I'm afraid.
Posted on 11/01/2010 8:14 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax