A mum-of-seven who launched a GoFundMe appeal to feed her children has defended her partner after a scathing attack by her own mother. Ryan Rodgers, 26, and his partner Jenny Grimes, 25, say they are struggling to survive on £480 a month after their benefits were slashed. In desperation, they said they were forced to appeal for the public for help, and have so far raised more than £3,000. But after their plight was widely reported, Jenny's mum Shelly Grattan went on the attack. She told the Daily Mail that Ryan - who describes himself as a 'full time daddy' - is "a feckless liar" trying to "con" the public. She claimed all the cash would be spent on booze, and said the dad "has not done an honest day's work since he left school". Jenny, however, was having none of it. Posting on Facebook after her mum shared a story about the appeal, Jenny wrote: "Get this off your page. These aren't your grandchildren!!! "You've never been there for me or MY children you've always tried … [Read more...] about Mum of 7 who launched appeal to help feed kids defends partner after online claims
Ashamed to ask for help
Fifteen minutes west of the cobbled streets and chic boutiques of Aarhus old town in Denmark, on a bleak road of prefabricated warehouses and low-rise industrial units, is a former ice-cream factory that now houses the Grimhojvej mosque. In this squat, drab building, at prayers or in its Muslim youth group, 22 young men – regular high school and university students and first-jobbers – heard something last year that persuaded them to abandon their families, studies and careers to make jihad in Syria. Now, many are coming back, and Denmark’s second city is giving them an unconventional welcome. Most western countries, fearful of the threat they could pose, are cracking down on returning fighters. In France, tough new anti-terror legislation allows authorities to seize passports and ID cards from would-be jihadists “likely to jeopardise public security on their return”. Britain has arrested at least 60 returnees; … [Read more...] about How do you deradicalise returning Isis fighters?
"Get inside the house!" I say, in a low growl, which I hope the neighbours can't hear. "No," replies George. "Listen, you brat" – tempers are frayed – "I know I promised a trip to the ice-cream place, but Auntie died two days ago and we are too upset, too busy. We'll go another time." In the emotional-manipulation game, I've played my trump card. Now George plays his: "I don't give a fuck that Auntie died." I stare at my eldest child, who meets my apoplectic gaze with blank defiance, and the thought hits me like a saucepan to the head: I don't like you. How did we get to this? George is 10 and reminds me of Two-Face in Batman. He has a capacity for gentleness, is kind, generous and sensitive at heart. Yet his innate goodness – that soft, precious side – is these days mostly hidden beneath an arrogant, flinty exterior. His teacher likes his intelligence and wit, but confesses that her assistant finds him cocky and rude. I agree. I feel a gouging ache of … [Read more...] about I really didn’t like my son
The Italian castle where the poet Ezra Pound retreated in the 1950s to work on his epic poem The Cantos could scarcely be more remote, perched on a sheer rock outcrop against snowy peaks on the Austrian border. More than half a century later, Pound's 86-year-old daughter still savours the isolation of Brunnenburg castle's lofty wood-panelled and book-lined rooms, where she reads the poem to visitors and mulls over her extraordinary upbringing by the renegade US poet. But Mary De Rachewiltz's peace has been shattered by the murky world of Italian neofascist politics and the fallout from a bloody shooting spree through Florence's ancient piazzas that left two immigrants dead in December. Angered by the decision of a rising fascist group called CasaPound to name itself after her father in honour of his support for dictator Benito Mussolini, De Rachewiltz is seeking through the courts to force the group to drop the name, and has accelerated her efforts after a CasaPound sympathiser shot … [Read more...] about Ezra Pound’s daughter fights to wrest the renegade poet’s legacy from fascists