Though from the map - just north of Banbury Reservoir - I see that this may actually be the River Ching. Which is new to me.
Wikipedia: The river runs through Chingford, but the name of the river is a back-formation from the name of that area, rather than the town being named after the river.
So there you go. A back-formation. Seems about right.
So where are we now with this regrettable saga? Well, UCL have issued a statement to the effect that Sir Tim would not be reinstated: it would "send out the wrong signal following the professor’s remarks over women in science".
The original story, remember, presented Hunt's comments as though he'd said, in all seriousness, that he believed men and women scientists should work separately: if you criticised women they cried - either that or you fell in love with them.
It was obvious, of course, that he was joking. Not, clearly, a side-splitter - a career in stand-up doesn't beckon - but, rather, the awkward self-deprecatory remarks of a man speaking to an audience of female scientists and trying, as it were, to break the ice. Inept? Very possibly. Offensive? Only if you were determined to take offense. That Hunt's critics should choose to make out that these remarks were meant seriously suggests - to put it kindly - a considerable element of mischief-making.
It's been suggested that Connie St Louis, the main figure here, has a less than scrupulous relation with the truth as regards her CV, so... (It is the Mail, mind). Even she, now, seems to have admitted that the words "now seriously..." followed the supposedly offensive comments:
Connie St Louis, a lecturer in science journalism at City University, initially denied that his comments were made in jest, and said that he did not follow them with the words: “Now seriously”. She has now acknowledged that he did.
She said: “Whatever he said after ‘now seriously’, it’s still outrageous. He talks about women as girls . . . you make them cry, they fall in love with you, is he seriously saying that? Is that his own personal story? Why is he calling them girls? And then he goes on to advocate single-sex laboratories.”
"Is he seriously saying that?" No. No, he isn't. Whatever her other problems, she clearly doesn't understand what this "humour" thing might be.
There might, perhaps, be some excuse for all this if the Seoul audience had generally failed to understand Hunt's opening remarks, and were shocked - as Connie St Louis claims she was shocked - to hear this sexist nonsense coming from a leading scientist. What we need is an independent report.
And now we have one (Times £):
Natalia Demina, a Russian science journalist, who was present, tweeted shortly after the speech that “everybody who heard” Sir Tim “understood he was joking”.
She could not be contacted yesterday but wrote online: “For me Tim Hunt’s speech was a joke. I remember that many of my colleagues smiled and applauded . . . I was completely shocked to see the accusations against him.”
So there you have it. The whole wretched affair falls apart. And UCL are left looking ridiculous.
It is, I suppose, possible to feel some sympathy for David Cameron, with his immediate response to the Tunisian massacre. The attack, he said, was "not in the name of Islam. Islam is a religion of peace". He is, after all, Prime Minister. He has to be careful in his pronouncements. He may feel that, with his recent suggestion that some Muslim communities were quietly condoning extremism, and should do more to confront it - remarks which were, inevitably, condemned by Seumas Milne as scapegoating and Islamophobic - he's done his share of "provocative" straight-speaking for the time being.
It does, nevertheless, make him look stupid. And it doesn't help. Melanie Phillips in the Times (£):
In his recent Bratislava speech, David Cameron sounded as if he was finally getting this right. He spoke about the “Islamist extremist ideology” which held that “religious doctrine trumps the rule of law and caliphate trumps nation state”. Crucially, he said this view was being fuelled by those Muslims who, although not endorsing violence, nevertheless bought into some of these prejudices and so gave weight to the extremist narrative.
This is all too correct. Opinion polls suggest that no fewer than one third of British Muslim students support the notion of a caliphate — a global empire based on sharia, in which all Muslims owe total allegiance to the caliph; a similar shocking number support killing to defend, promote or preserve religion.
After the Tunisia atrocity, however, Mr Cameron regrettably regressed to claiming once again that this was “not in the name of Islam” which was “a religion of peace”. This is utterly ludicrous. Islam has a history of violent conquest.
True, millions of Muslims do not support extremist Islam, which aims to turn everywhere into an Islamic theocracy. Nevertheless, this interpretation has dominated the Muslim world (and oppressed Muslims) for decades. Now it is increasingly taking over territory, as the Arab nation state progressively disintegrates into sectarian tribalism.
Isis, which subscribes to the fanatical Salafi school of Islam dating from the 13th century, is motivated by the desire to return to core Islamic doctrine and example. Its belief in the caliphate and the imminent global apocalypse, as well as its ghastly beheadings and crucifixions, are all drawn from Islamic religious texts.
It is not for us non-Muslims to say which interpretation is the true Islam. Our task is instead not just to destroy those carrying out these terrible deeds but also to defeat the beliefs that motivate them. We need to see this rather like the struggle against Soviet communism: a battle of ideas within the Islamic world.
For that battle is now under way. There are brave and isolated Muslims who understand they need to reform their religion. We should be giving them every encouragement and holding our breath that they succeed. For this menace can only be defeated if the Muslim world reforms itself.
Instead, every time someone says that Islam is a religion of peace, the reformers’ legs are kicked from underneath them. For if there is nothing wrong with Islam, it follows there is no need to reform it.
The West’s problem is that it just doesn’t get religious fanaticism. It doesn’t recognise its appeal to young Muslims stranded between cultures, and whose idealism is channelled into hatred and violence by a cocktail of religious myth and political paranoia (fed, incidentally, by a western intelligentsia that tells them at every turn the West is an evil oppressor). It also doesn’t understand that, in Arab and Muslim eyes, western weakness is an incentive to further violence. In Syria, the West has stumbled from vacillation to paralysis.
Also, Douglas Murray at the Spectator:
In France, Britain, Germany, America and nearly every other country in the world it remains government policy to say that any and all attacks carried out in the name of Mohammed have ‘nothing to do with Islam’. It was said by George W. Bush after 9/11, Tony Blair after 7/7 and Tony Abbott after the Sydney attack last month. It is what David Cameron said after two British extremists cut off the head of Drummer Lee Rigby in London, when ‘Jihadi John’ cut off the head of aid worker Alan Henning in the ‘Islamic State’ and when Islamic extremists attacked a Kenyan mall, separated the Muslims from the Christians and shot the latter in the head. It is what President François Hollande said after the massacre of journalists and Jews in Paris. And it is what David Cameron said yesterday after 38 people, mainly British, were murdered on a beach in Tunisia and a man was beheaded in France.
All these leaders are wrong. In private, they and their senior advisers often concede that they are telling a lie. The most sympathetic explanation is that they are telling a ‘noble lie’, provoked by a fear that we — the general public — are a lynch mob in waiting. ‘Noble’ or not, this lie is a mistake. First, because the general public do not rely on politicians for their information and can perfectly well read articles and books about Islam for themselves. Secondly, because the lie helps no one understand the threat we face. Thirdly, because it takes any heat off Muslims to deal with the bad traditions in their own religion. And fourthly, because unless mainstream politicians address these matters then one day perhaps the public will overtake their politicians to a truly alarming extent....
To claim that people who punish people by killing them for blaspheming Islam while shouting ‘Allah is greatest’ has ‘nothing to do with Islam’ is madness. Because the violence of the Islamists is, truthfully, only to do with Islam: the worst version of Islam, certainly, but Islam nonetheless....
There seems...some presumption that a diverse society requires greater limitations on speech, whereas of course the more diverse the society, the more diverse you are going to have to see your speech be. It is not just cartoons, but a whole system of inquiry which is being shut down in the West by way of hard intimidation and soft claims of offence-taking. The result is that, in contemporary Europe, Islam receives not an undue amount of criticism but a free ride which is unfair to all other religions. The night after the Charlie Hebdo atrocities I was pre-recording a Radio 4 programme. My fellow discussant was a very nice Muslim man who works to ‘de-radicalise’ extremists. We agreed on nearly everything. But at some point he said that one reason Muslims shouldn’t react to such cartoons is that Mohammed never objected to critics.
There may be some positive things to be said about Mohammed, but I thought this was pushing things too far and mentioned just one occasion when Mohammed didn’t welcome a critic. Asma bint Marwan was a female poetess who mocked the ‘Prophet’ and who, as a result, Mohammed had killed. It is in the texts. It is not a problem for me. But I can understand why it is a problem for decent Muslims. The moment I said this, my Muslim colleague went berserk. How dare I say this? I replied that it was in the Hadith and had a respectable chain of transmission (an important debate). He said it was a fabrication which he would not allow to stand. The upshot was that he refused to continue unless all mention of this was wiped from the recording. The BBC team agreed and I was left trying to find another way to express the same point. The broadcast had this ‘offensive’ fact left out.
I cannot imagine another religious discussion where this would happen, but it is perfectly normal when discussing Islam....
The Jerusalem Post:
According to Hessam Shoaib, a Syrian analyst who shared his revelations with Iran's semi-official FARS news agency, the means and style by which the Islamic State group doles out violence stands apart from the actions of other groups in the region, and is therefore Israel's fault.
"Israel's presence in [Islamic State's] command center is indicated by the savagery of this terrorist group that is based on Talmudic rituals," Shoaib said.
Shoaib did not provide any particular excerpts from the Talmud to corroborate his point, but FARS did juxtapose their commentator's remarks with the latest of the self-styled caliphate's filmed atrocities, among them the drowning execution of five individuals who were locked in a cage before being lowered into a pool.
In another video, three of the group's captives are locked in a car and later shot with a rocket-propelled grenade.
A third segment features seven men bound together, an explosive device attached to their necks. The video then records the decapitation of the men when the device is detonated.
The Islamic State has featured a host of gruesome deaths as propaganda tools meant to galvanize potential recruits from across the world into joining its cause, yet while some Arab Israelis have left the country to join them, Israel's Talmudic sages have yet to send their pupils to consult the jihadists on their tactics.
Still in North Korea, here's the official KCNA take on South Korea's recent MERS epidemic:
More and more south Koreans are getting increasingly skeptical about the authorities' explanation of the cause of outbreak of MERS in south Korea which is now spreading there at a rapid tempo.
It was reported that in the earliest phase of the south Korean outbreak, 100 south Korean military personnel were quarantined at the Osan U.S. Air Force Base, following the MERS infection of a serviceman.
This indicates that the Osan Base may have been the starting point of the MERS outbreak, not a south Korean who visited a Mideast country.
As already reported worldwide, there is a laboratory for germ warfare of the U.S. forces at the Osan Base.
The U.S. used to conduct dangerous biochemical experiments under the pretext of a military biological surveillance program, etc. in south Korea.
The U.S. openly announced that it recently conducted an experiment of anthrax at the base under the pretence of coping with the "biochemical threat from north Korea".
This fact alone proves that south Korea may turn into a horrible epidemic area and hell of death any time due to the U.S. scenario....
The U.S. is getting frantic to realize the sinister ambition to dominate the world with the horrible biochemical weapons at home and abroad. No doubt, the U.S. will perpetrate such acts without hesitation in its colony south Korea....
The U.S. has always been behind a lot of misfortunes and sufferings of mankind.
The truth behind the suspicious epidemic outbreak is clear and those responsible for it can never escape a severe punishment.
Here, it seems, is the source of their info: one Yoichi Shimatsu, a serial conspiracy-monger, who has interesting ideas, for instance, about lost Malaysian flight MH370 last year. Hint: the Chosen People, through the House of Rothschild's shadowy Red Shield organisation, were involved.
The testing of chemical weapons on political prisoners in North Korea is, meanwhile, well-attested.
But remember, the best defence against a disease like MERS is the North Korean-developed Kumdang-2 - made from ginseng polysaccharides and rare earth elements. With fancy components like that, how could it not work?
In North Korea, June is "Struggle Against U.S. Imperialism Month". The highlight this year, marking the 65th anniversary of the outbreak of the Korean War, was a mass rally attended by some 100,000 in Pyongyang's Kim il Sung Stadium, where they all pumped their fists in the air, to chants of "Defend!"
Here's the AP's Eric Talmadge:
Before attending the "Pyongyang Mass Rally on the Day of the Struggle Against the U.S.," a carefully orchestrated display of angry speeches, fist-pumping and calls for blood revenge, we toured two sites overflowing with soldiers in olive-green uniforms, schoolchildren wearing their bright red scarves and community groups of every stripe.
Both sites were devoted to stories of atrocities, massacres and grisly tortures committed upon the nation, their walls covered by fuzzy black-and-white photos of horrifically mangled bodies, displays of skulls with spikes driven through them and oil paintings of almost cartoonishly fiendish American GIs and crazed Korean "stooges" who collaborated with them.
At the Susan-ri Class Education Center, guide Choe Jong Suk, a somber middle-aged woman in a black-and-white traditional gown, gave a well-practiced lecture on the variety of tortures — 110 in all, she said — inflicted on Koreans by the U.S. that, she said, were "worse than the methods of Hitler."
Ah yes - I knew there was something that picture reminded me of.
Bernard-Henri Levy on BDS:
The world has recently seen a rapid succession of efforts to delegitimize Israel. Earlier this month, the CEO of French telecommunications company Orange declared at a press conference in Cairo his desire to part ways with an American partner that is too closely tied to Israel. In May, Palestinians tried to have the Israeli soccer federation expelled from FIFA. And Britain’s National Union of Students recently approved a resolution supporting boycotts and sanctions against Israel.
Meanwhile, a campaign to ban Israeli products has been gaining strength in the United States and Europe. And then there are the many performers who – following the lead of Brian Eno, Elvis Costello, Vanessa Paradis, Roger Waters, and others – wonder out loud whether or not to appear in "occupied Palestine".None of these developments is, in itself, of great moment. But, taken together, they create a climate – and perhaps form a watershed.
And this is no accident. All of the recent episodes can be traced, more or less directly, to the global Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement, established in 2005 by 171 Palestinian nongovernmental organizations. So they provide a good occasion to remind those who support this campaign of its true nature....
The truth is that the BDS movement is nothing more than a sinister caricature of the anti-totalitarian and anti-apartheid struggles. It is a campaign whose instigators have no aim other than to discriminate against, delegitimize, and vilify an Israel that in their mind never stopped wearing its yellow star.
To activists of good faith who may have been taken in by duplicitous representations of the movement, I would say only that there are too many noble causes in need of assistance to allow oneself to be enlisted in a dubious one. Those worthy causes include fighting the jihadist decapitators, saving the women and girls enslaved by Boko Haram, defending the Middle East’s imperiled Christians and Arab democrats, and, of course, striving for a just peace between Israelis and Palestinians.
But read it all.