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London, UK: Who cares anyway!

A private matter between two individuals is, it seems, being purposefully played out in the mass media.

india Updated: Oct 23, 2006 18:09 IST

You will not, of course, be interested in the details of Heather Mills-McCartney’s divorce papers, apparently leaked to the Press Association and published in the Daily Mail. You just won’t be.

Primarily, you will be paying no attention to the allegations seemingly made by Mills-McCartney that her husband is a wife beater, a drunk, a user of illegal narcotics and a man with intractable holiday plans.

You will not be fascinated by the suggestion that the couple had a fierce falling out over the acquisition of an ‘antique bedpan.’ In particular you will not be wondering why it had to be an antique pan when, presumably, advancements in commode technology might have a made a modern pan a better option.

You will not be wondering about these things. Neither will you be wondering quite why these documents have ended up in the press in an unparalleled breach of legal protocol.

Perhaps the reason why you won’t be thinking of these things — though if you happen to catch a sneaky look at the Mail in the canteen while a less enlightened colleague isn’t looking then, well, what can you do — is because the whole thing is just so dirty.

Dirty because a private matter between two individuals is, it seems, being purposefully played out in the mass media. Dirty, also, because the mass media has readily accepted such information and is repackaging it for public consumption with undeniable relish. And dirty again because, despite it all, you and I should be honest at least that we are interested in the story, and have spent some part of this morning chuckling over the more unconventional details (did Paul really demand that Heather stop breastfeeding their daughter with the words: “These are my breasts?”). And dirty, finally, because you know there is more to come.

So, in an attempt to offset any future temptation to sully yourself, here are a few headline revelations that may yet come to pass. But then again might not. Read them now and avoid disgust later.

MacCa: Heather hid my house keys in the dog Heather: My pleas for Spanish lessons were ignored MacCa: Heather is top al-Qaida strategician Heather: No I’m not. He is MacCa: I knew you’d say that Heather: So what if you did? Beatrice Mills-McCartney: Please, shut up the pair of you!

MOSUL,IRAQ - Fairer sex targeted

Although the 40 students are sitting quietly at their desks, life here at this primary school can hardly be considered normal. After all, the youngsters are still adjusting to the news that unknown gunmen had killed one of their teachers on the first day of class.
Authorities said that the young woman had taken a taxi home from the school on Sept 20. Police discovered her mutilated body stuffed in a plastic trash barrel near the school the next day.

Deadly violence has long been a daily companion for the inhabitants of this northern city. But the apparent targeting of female teachers is a relatively new and alarming development.

Since the United States invasion in 2003, life has become increasing difficult for women in Mosul. They wear veils when they go outside their houses and never travel alone. Local militants have imposed a 9 pm curfew on the city, but the streets are usually deserted much earlier.

One day after the body of the primary school teacher was discovered, two other young female teachers were found slain in the western part of the city.

Sisters Fadhila and Aliye Ahmed were both in their 30s and worked at a local primary school. Aliye was engaged to be married; Fadhila left behind a husband and one child.

Authorities say there is little they can do to protect either students or teachers.

Seam Abid, the acting director-general of the education ministry in Nineveh province, said that violence against teachers appears to be on the increase, noting that two headmasters were recently kidnapped. And he concedes that he has no way to protect his staff.

He insisted, however, that schools in the province would remain open. The education process will not halt in Mosul.

Local security officials appear resigned to the fact that local educators, especially women, have become the insurgents latest targets.

Col. Karim al-Jiburi, a senior police officer in the province, said he lacks the manpower to provide adequate security.

Many here believe that the targeting of female teachers is only the latest effort by insurgents to create havoc in the city. After other professionals, such as doctors and university lecturers, became targets for killings and kidnappings, many of them fled the area.

Hadil Qasim, 24, said: “My brother accompanies me to school everyday with a pistol. We all live in fear and anxiety.”

First Published: Oct 23, 2006 18:09 IST