Nice one, John.
“An Australian aid worker taken hostage in the Iraqi flashpoint town of Fallujah said her capture was terrifying, and she claimed she had been placed in great danger because of “inflammatory” comments by Prime Minister John Howard.

“After her capture, she was questioned by the Mujahadeen fighters, who she said were particularly interested in Australia’s involvement in the war in Iraq.

But she claimed “inflammatory” comments by Mr Howard, which were given wide airplay on Iraqi and Arab television in the preceding days, had placed her in danger.

“I realised quickly that my prime minister, John Howard, had placed me in great danger by making inflammatory comments about the war just a few days ago,” she said.
“I was questioned about Australia’s involvement in the war, about the current role of Australian soldiers and the views of Australians at home. They asked why Australia wants to hurt Iraqi people.
“I felt a great deal of shame about how blindly my government follows the lead of the US in terms of foreign policy.” ”

I’m feeling rather spoilt. It’s a sunny 18 degrees and I’ve just booked tickets for the Pixies at the Move Festival in Manchester. Silly licensing hours notwithstanding, I might get to check out Canal Street as well.

Work might be sending me to a conference in Vienna at the start of November, and I have this crazy idea that I could take some leave beforehand, and fly EasyJet to Ljubljana in Slovenia, then travel by train to Zagreb in Croatia, up through Hungary to Budapest and onto Bratislava in Slovakia before heading to Vienna for the conference.
Then I really stuffed up by Googling it, and getting even more tempted. I even found the timetable from Ljubljana to Zagreb.

Zanzibar’s parliament has passed a bill that outlaws homosexuality and lesbianism. (BBC)
The photo caption says ‘Tourism is blamed for a demise of traditional values’ but it might as well now say ‘Traditional values are blamed for a demise of tourism’.