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Archive 27 April 2007


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The Big Issue Foundation's core ethos is self help. We offer support to homeless and socially excluded people who seek to gain control of their lives and help them move off the streets and into a home and a job.We work with over 2000 vendors across the UK, supporting them with a diverse program of opportunities either delivered through our own services or in partnership with specialist agencies. Each new vendor has a Needs Assessment, and from this an individual action plan is set, which is monitored in supervision sessions with support staff.

Be Tolerant

You have the power to tolerate anyone and any situation. But tolerance is not just suffering in silence.

It means going beyond any personal discomfort you may feel, and giving a gift to whom ever you would tolerate. Give your time, attention, understanding, compassion, care - all are gifts, which paradoxically, you also receive in the process of giving.

And, as you do, you will experience your own self esteem and inner strength grow. In this way you can turn tolerance into strength.

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April 28 2007

Fellowship A way of Living DonInLondon ‘Day In the Life’

Pain, physical and emotional, all part of life. Today has been one of those days where pain from overdoing the walking has really caused me to slow down and be careful. Not a very edifying way to start a journal page maybe, yet true. So its feels right to mention the impact it has had. Less able and less walking and severe back pains.

In the spite of or because of I did get out to meet a friend at the end of the road. At the end of my street is Earls Court Road. Full of places to meet and share time. In a coffee shop not far away, we had a couple of hours to chat about life and things in general. As part of the meet I was asked to cover what the twelve steps of AA do for me, and you can hear all about it on the video.

Its good to be out and doing. And get away from the frustration of pain. Apparently I was very off colour when I met up with my friend. Unnamed as he is in the fellowship, but you know who you are and will be reading this maybe in the morning!

Anyway we had a great couple of hours and liked time to have my say and so did he. We have common problems in some respects, with this whole notion of letting go of hurts and painful experiences. Don’t we all?

And there is something that Ego provides when we are being made to feel the pain, it offers denials and filters and the how dare this be happening feelings. It’s the "I can’t believe it" moments which are part of the denial of truth when truth is hard to get to grips with.

Truth and Reality, the most important elements we need be aware of, and yet we have processes of denial to help us deal with them. Denial is a very useful process for us to come to terms with loss mostly, when we feel loss of people its intense and so denial breaks things down till we find acceptance somewhere along the way.


A particularly good share from a person doing the chair for the first time, well for me it was. Sharing the truth of what its like to see ourselves in all our good and bad parts. The good of recovery is we live better and deal with life the universe and everything so much more evenly and without outrage or intense highs which are impossible to maintain.

And the "Chair" had been a counsellor like me in some respects and done all sorts to make life work, had become addicted and dependent on alcohol and had similar experiences. And this is the reason for listening, to hear others and what they did, how they made use of getting sober and making life work again. This is fellowship we we hear the way out of the pain of addiction.

Living In Fellowship

When we truly live in fellowship we find peace. We also find some people we are naturally drawn to and others who may want more from us than is good for either them or us.

I have many experiences of life, like so many in the fellowship which involve making life work, and at the same time we may be moving on to new living. Sometimes with the best will in the world we need stop our old living, like counselling and get on with other projects. Burn out for me in counselling and the big life of years ago, well it really does me no good to utilise experiences which led to burn out in the past, and truthfully there is only so much we can do before its detrimental to making our own life work at all.

So gone are some opportunities for engagement, and when this is realised, the nature of connection for some diminishes and the attitude of me being a utility makes the end happen sooner than they may have wished. Often people try befriend not just because its what we believe we are best to do, they do it unconsciously to get help and use others. Using others is enriching from the users point of view, its not much fun for those so utilised, like me in this case. Resentment is in the mind of the "utilisers" still, I have seen these past few days. They are not my friends and can only have so much of me. We need not be dragged down by others and their obsessions. We can assist them out and then maybe see what next if friendship is natural and obvious for both in the relationship.

Friendships in and out of Fellowship

Making friends where it matters are unconditional encounters with purpose and fellowship, not utility, like this morning, two friends sharing and sorting out life. Where we share and find equality. Nothing to prove just banter and chat and some serious stuff, and if you read this GD you know its true, smiles here as GD may read this some hours after writing. You know who you are!

Inside and outside my connections and friendship develop as they do in normal life. Some become closer and some distant. Some just have time and around a particular set of issues. And some distant friends we keep in touch with because of mutuality and outlook. Some who would be friends can join in, when self obsession is less and life becomes more straightforward.

Utility can be so unhelpful when someone wants and another does not need go backwards. We are not commodities and sometimes we are so driven by our imperatives we forget our way of life is just so different connections can be chalk and cheese.

Spirit of Fellowship

In the spirit of fellowship I do help and support as much as I can and then I can only go so far before it is truly detrimental and then as I loose grip on reality so too I loose my connection to life. Burning out is not pleasant and not to be a part of my future adventures I trust. And I get feedback from those who know me well enough.

Why so important for me to share these words tonight. Well someone was present today who ignored me, and is in the category of acquaintance and user. I am relieved I find. As truth often means some connections are lost. And this feels neither good or bad, it does not feel. Knowing the silence is there is acceptance for me. I am sad maybe, maybe not. And tonight is does not make me feel bad or good. Letting go, another element when we have no real connection at all. And more easy than letting go hates and resentments had it continued into day to day living. We can only do so much and there are excellent services out there willing to be engaged as any utility can be. Less so me these days.

Have compassion and good conscience been disturbed in these let go processes? Of course and I am human like anyone and need take account of others pain. I need not live it, and the wisdom is do what makes a difference and be compassionate, and ensure we are not pulled into the murk of confluence. It will feel harsh as the silence is acceptance of dislocations. Life is never easy and we have this one only to make the best of what we may.

And enough for today, silence can be golden…

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Iraq militia: we have special unit to target Prince Harry April 28 2007

Shia commander claims insurgents have plan to capture royal officer

Ghaith Abdul-Ahad in Basra, Richard Norton-Taylor

Prince Harry will be a prime kidnap target for insurgents in Iraq, a commander in the Mahdi army, the Shia militia loyal to the radical cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, has told the Guardian.

"One of our aims is to capture Harry, we have people inside the British bases to inform us on when he will arrive," claimed Abu Mujtaba, who commands a unit of around 50 men active in the Mahdi army in Basra.

In comments denounced by British defence sources as "blatant propaganda", Abu Mujtaba told the Guardian: "We have a special unit that would work to track him down, with informants inside the bases.

"Not only us, the Mahdi army, that will try to capture him, but every person who hates the British and the Americans will try to get him, all the mujahideens in Iraq, the al-Qaida, the Iranians all will try to get him."

The Guardian has seen evidence that Abu Mujtaba has a number of men under his command as well as weaponry including rockets, but there is no independent evidence to substantiate his claims that militias have infiltrated British bases, or established a unit to target Prince Harry.

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Times OnLine April 28 2007

7/7 ‘mastermind’ is seized in Iraq April 28 2007

Sean O’Neill, Tim Reid and Michael Evans

The al-Qaeda leader who is thought to have devised the plan for the July 7 suicide bombings in London and an array of terrorist plots against Britain has been captured by the Americans.

Abd al-Hadi al-Iraqi, a former major in Saddam Hussein’s army, was apprehended as he tried to enter Iraq from Iran and was transferred this week to the “high-value detainee programme” at Guantanamo Bay.

Abd al-Hadi was taken into CIA custody last year, it emerged from US intelligence sources yesterday, in a move which suggests that he was interrogated for months in a “ghost prison” before being transferred to the internment camp in Cuba.

Abd al-Hadi, 45, was regarded as one of al-Qaeda’s most experienced, most intelligent and most ruthless commanders. Senior counter-terrorism sources told The Times that he was the man who, in 2003, identified Britain as the key battleground for exporting al-Qaeda’s holy war to Europe.

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Independent OnLine 'Indy' News April 28 2007

Overheating Britain: April temperatures break all records April 28 2007

Will this be the summer when Britain reaches 40°C and the effects of climate change are painfully brought home?

By Michael McCarthy, Environment Editor

The possibility is growing that Britain in 2007 may experience a summer of unheard-of high temperatures, with the thermometer

even reaching 40C, or 104F,a level never recorded in history.

The likelihood of such a "forty degree summer" is being underlined by the tumbling over the past year of a whole series of

British temperature records, strongly suggesting that the British Isles have begun to experience a period of rapid, not to say

alarming, warming. This would be quite outside all historical experience, but entirely consistent with predictions of climate


The Met Office's Hadley Centre for Climate Prediction and Research, in a joint forecast with the Climatic Research Unit of the University of East Anglia, has already suggested that 2007 will be the hottest year ever recorded globally.

Its long-term forecast for this summer in Britain is much more cautious, merely predicting that temperatures this year will be "above average". However, the suite of new records for the UK established in the past 12 months, culminating in an April of unprecedented high temperatures, is pointing to something new happening to the British climate.

The incredibly warm April days we have been experiencing are not just wonderful, they are downright weird when seen in their seasonal context. Some of them have been 10C hotter, or more, than they should be at this time of the year.

Average maximum temperatures at the end of April in southern England are traditionally about 13C or 14C. This weekend in London and the South-east, the thermometer may hit 26C or even 27C - 79F to 80F.

An air temperature of 80 in April seems to belong to fantasy land. In the childhood of anyone aged over 40, it was a rare enouh temperature in August.

Even with its end not yet here, this month is certain to be the hottest April ever recorded. But that's just one of a cascade of British temperature records which are now falling.

Spring 2007 (defined as March, April and May) will probably be Britain's hottest spring. It has followed the second-warmest winter in the UK record (December, January and February) and the warmest-ever autumn (September, October and November 2006).

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BBC OnLine News April 28 2007

PM 'must act' over medic training April 28 2007

Tony Blair must step in to avert more chaos over an online job-application system for doctors, the British Medical Association has said.

It comes as junior doctors gather in London to debate a motion of no confidence in the team running the Medical Training Application Service.

The MTAS was suspended amid concerns that the personal details of junior doctors could be accessed online.

The government says it is working hard to ensure the security of the system.

Now, BMA chairman James Johnson has written to Tony Blair warning doctors' anger will grow if the government does not address the problems with MTAS "with the level of urgency they deserve."

He said the mistakes had the potential to damage patients' confidence in the proposed new database of individual health records.

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BBC OnLine History April 28 2007

April 28 1986: Soviets admit nuclear accident

The Soviet Union has acknowledged there has been an accident at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in Ukraine.

The report, from the official news agency, Tass, said there had been casualties but gave no details of numbers. It said aid was being sent to the injured.

The report said that one of the reactors had been damaged in the accident, but gave no further details beyond saying that measures were being taken to "eliminate the consequences of the accident". It also claimed the accident was the first at a Soviet power station.

The report was the first confirmation of a major nuclear catastrophe since monitoring stations in Sweden, Finland and Norway began reporting sudden high discharges of radioactivity in the atmosphere two days ago.


The accident is believed to be the most serious in the history of nuclear power, worse even than that at the Three-Mile Island power station in the United States in 1979, when there was some release of radioactivity but nobody was injured.

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There come to us moments in life when about some things we need no proof from without. A little voice within us tells us, 'You are on the right track, move neither to your left nor right, but keep to the straight and narrow way.

A person falsely claiming to act under divine inspiration or the promptings of the inner voice without having any such, will fare worse than the one falsely claiming to act under the authority of an earthly sovereign. Whereas the latter on being exposed will escape with injury to his body, the former may perish body and soul together.

You have to believe no one but yourselves. You must try to listen to the inner voice, but if you will not have the expression"inner voice", you may use the expression "dictates of reason", which you should obey, and if you will not parade God, I have no doubt you will parade something else which in the end will prove to be God, for, fortunately, there is no one and nothing else but God in this universe.

For me truth is the sovereign principle, which includes numerous other principles. This truth is not only truthfulness in word, but truthfulness in thought also, and not only the relative truth of our conception, but the Absolute Truth, the Eternal Principle, that is God. There are innumerable definitions of God, because His manifestations are innumerable. They overwhelm me with wonder and awe and for a moment stun me.

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