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the haystack video The Haystack is a new documentary , released today by Scenes of Reason , bringing together leading lights for and against the UK’s Investigatory Powers Bill. This unprecedented piece of legislation, which is now under parliamentary scrutiny, seeks to affirm and expand the surveillance remit of UK security services and other departments, including new powers for the police to access internet connection records — a database of the public’s online activity over the previous 12 months.

The film provides an excellent roundup of arguments on both sides of the tortuous surveillance debate, including Conservative MP Johnny Mercer echoing the well-worn refrain, if you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear. Jim Killock of the Open Rights Group , speaking at the film’s launch, quipped that Mr Mercer might feel a bit different if it were the left-wing government of Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell wielding these powers. Indeed, as far-right parties attract support around Europe and the world, the likelihood increases of tremendous state surveillance becoming the plaything of ever more abusive regimes.

The immense capabilities contained within the bill are unpalatable in the hands of any authority — they are all too easily harnessed to undermine perfectly reasonable political opposition and judicial work. By way of example, the film outlines one such case where the current UK government improperly gained access to privileged details of a court case against it. In this light, the bill seems an intolerable threat to democracy and free expression.

Voices of concern from the security community , such as Sir David Omand, ex-GCHQ chief, explain that precautions against terrorism require more spying. Others reject this, noting that security services have failed to act on intelligence when they do have it — spending enormous sums on digital surveillance only reduces their efficacy in the realm of traditional detective work. Moreover, those costs, to be borne by government and industry, are excessive at a time of cuts to other public services designed to protect us from more conventional enemies, such as disease.

The debate is winding — this film helps straighten things out.

Watch the whole documentary here .

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Poster Angry Birds Movie 2016 Clay Kaytis and Fergal Reilly The Angry Birds Movie is a 2016 Finland / USA family action animation by Clay Kaytis and Fergal Reilly.
Starring Kate McKinnon, Jason Sudeikis and Peter Dinklage. BBFC link IMDb UK: Passed U for very mild bad language, comic slapstick, innuendo, toilet humour after BBFC advised pre-cuts for:

  • 2016 cinema release titled Angry Birds

The BBFC commented:

  • This film was originally seen for advice in an incomplete form. The company was advised it was likely to be classified PG, but that their preferred U could be achieved by removing a couple of examples of word play on strong language. When the finished version of the film was submitted for formal classification, these instances of word play had been removed and the film was therefore classified U.

Promotional Material

In the 3D animated comedy, The Angry Birds Movie, we’ll finally find out why the birds are so angry. The movie takes us to an island populated entirely by happy, flightless birds – or almost entirely. In this paradise, Red (Jason Sudeikis, We’re the Millers, Horrible Bosses), a bird with a temper problem, speedy Chuck (Josh Gad in his first animated role since Frozen), and the volatile Bomb (Danny McBride, This is the End, Eastbound and Down) have always been outsiders. But when the island is visited by mysterious green piggies, it’s up to these unlikely outcasts to figure out what the pigs are up to.

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Deadpool Blu ray Ryan Reynolds Deadpool actor Ryan Reynolds is supporting a Salt Lake City cinema pub being censored by Utah authorities.Brewvies Cinema Pub is a 21 year old movie threaten that serves alcohol. Salt Lake City is persecuting the cinema, threatening a fine and a 10 day closure order just for showing the highly popular film Deadpool.

According to Utah censorship rules, an establishment that serves alcohol is forbidden to show a film that depicts a simulated sexual act, or shows a person being touched on their privates, or displaying genitals. There are numerous simulated sex acts in the film, which were noted by a state investigator.

Brewvies and their civil rights attorney, former Salt Lake City Mayor Rocky Anderson, have filed a federal lawsuit against the state pointing out that the theater’s First Amendment right to free speech has been violated.

The theater has started a crowd-finding campaign at GoFundMe.com to fight against the censorship.

Ryan Reynolds, the actor who plays Deadpool,  has donated to the campaign and joked on Twitter, Thank god, they’ve found a way to legislate fun.

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Netherlands Dutch MPs have called for a parliamentary debate about a letter that was sent out by Turkey’s consulate in Rotterdam calling Turkish organizations in the Netherlands to report people who insult the Turkish President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan.The Dutch Party, SP, demanded a debate on the matter. MP Sade Karabulut described the email as Erdogan’s long arm in the Netherlands and accused the Turkish government of trying to intervene at Netherland’s domestic affairs. A parliamentary majority supported the MP’s call for a debate, though it hasn’t been scheduled yet.

The move was not well received by many in Turkey too. The Dutch offices of Turkish opposition party CHP received numerous calls from concerned Dutch citizens with Turkish origins. CHP chairman Axu Ozalp said to the Volkskrant newspaper:

People are afraid because they once responded to something critical on Facebook or Twitter for example. They worry about whether they can still go on holiday to Turkey with peace of mind or will they be stopped at the border. This is very worrying and we therefore also emphatically disapprove of this call.
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Star Wars Awakens Limited Artwork Star Wars: The Force Awakens is a 2015 USA action Sci-Fi fantasy by JJ Abrams.
Starring Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher. Youtube link BBFC link IMDb UK: Passed 12 uncut for moderate violence, threat for:

  • 2016 Walt Disney Steelbook R0 Blu-ray at UK Amazon released on 18th April 2016
  • 2016 Walt Disney RB Blu-ray at UK Amazon released on 18th April 2016
  • 2016 Walt Disney [No Bonus Features] R2 DVD at UK Amazon released on 18th April 2016

Second Class Citizens

UK-based Star Wars fans are furious that the new DVD release of The Force Awakens fails to include much-publicised deleted scenes or a download link to watch the movie online.

Amazon listings for the DVD don’t make the shortfall very clear. They jsut don’t meantion anything about extras.  Some other retailers, such as Tesco, are less clear as to whether their products feature the additional content.

Disney said iit was commonplace for extras to be included only on Blu-ray and digital-only editions. A Disney spokesprat said a few fancy words about treating DVD viewers as second rate:

As a company we are committed to seeking out the best ways to provide audiences with access to Disney content. Each territory is different, and we evaluate and enact distribution strategies on a market-by-market basis. In the UK this means we do not include extras across our DVD products.

Product Description

Visionary director J.J. Abrams brings to life the motion picture event of a generation. As Kylo Ren and the sinister First Order rise from the ashes of the Empire, Luke Skywalker is missing when the galaxy needs him most. It’s up to Rey, a desert scavenger and Finn, a defecting stormtrooper, to join forces with Han Solo and Chewbacca in a desperate search for the one hope of restoring peace to the galaxy.

Bonus Features on DVD

There are no bonus features on the DVD

Bonus Features on Blu-ray only:

  • Secrets of The Force Awakens: A Cinematic Journey – for the first time, discover the complete story behind the making of The Force Awakens, revealed through in-depth footage and exclusive interviews with the actors and filmmakers in this feature documentary
  • The Story Awakens: The Table Read – cast members familiar and reflect on the memorable day they all first came together to read the movie’s script
  • Building BB-8 – see how the filmmakers brought the droid to the screen, creating an instant fan favourite in the Star Wars universe
  • Crafting Creatures – watch movie magic as the filmmakers bring a cast of creatures to life
  • Blueprint of a Battle: The Snow Fight – go deeper into the epic, climactic lightsaber battle between Rey and Kylo Ren
  • John Williams: The Seventh Symphony – the legendary composer shares personal insights of his work on Star Wars and The Force Awakens
  • ILM: The Visual Magic of The Force – an insider’s look into the remarkable digital artistry of the movie’s visual effects
  • Force For Change – heroes come in all shapes and sizes. See how the Star Wars: Force for change initiative has united Star Wars fans all over the globe to help others

Plus deleted scenes

  • Finn And The Villager
  • Jakku Message
  • X-Wings Prepare For Lightspeed
  • Kylo Searches The Falcon
  • Snow Speeder Chase
  • Finn Will Be Fine
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Scooby Doo: The Movie Scooby-Doo is a 2002 USA / Australia comedy mystery adventure by Raja Gosnell.
Starring Matthew Lillard, Freddie Prinze Jr and Sarah Michelle Gellar. BBFC link IMDb

All UK releases rated PG after BBFC category cuts. Uncut and MPAA PG rated in the US.

Summary Notes

The Mystery Inc. gang have gone their separate ways and have been apart for two years, until they each receive an invitation to Spooky Island. Not knowing that the others have also been invited, they show up and discover an amusement park that affects young visitors in very strange ways. Fred, Daphne, Velma, Shaggy and Scooby soon realize that they cannot solve this mystery without help from each other.

See video from YouTube

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yvette cooper Online harassment and abuse is stifling debate and ruining lives , according to Yvette Cooper , who is calling on police and prosecutors to follow the Guardian’s lead in unmasking the true extent of the problem.The Labour MP claimed that misogyny, racism and homophobic abuse were all growing online.

The comments come after the Guardian launched a major series called the Web We Want , which revealed the darker side of online comments on its own website, generally disagreeing with the extreme PC nonsense peddled by Guardian writers.

Cooper called for online threats, harassment and stalking to be included in the Crime Survey for England and Wales, and said other media providers should carry out research similar to that done by the Guardian.

Cooper has also launched a campaign called Reclaim the Internet , which will hold a conference in late May. It is an allusion to the feminist campaign, Reclaim the Night. It will focus on how police and prosecutors can tackle hate crimes, threats and intimidation. It will also look at how social media platforms can be persuaded to be more proactive about censorship.