Call me Ishmael : @JakeTheWriter

Hi there, this is Jake the Writer with

this week’s Podcast which is another sailor’s yarn from my memory bank

from Dylan Thomas to Herman Melville

Call me Ishmael!

During my rock-climbing days, spending regular weekends hanging from a rock face in the Llanberris Pass and our evenings taste testing the ales in a pub in Capel Curig, I remember one of my chums teasing our barmaid who was the spitting image of Dylan Thomas’s Gossamer Beynon (“O beautiful beautiful Gossamer B”), by telling her in a pseudo Welsh accent “I really love Wales” and when she agreed with a big smile he went on “Yes, honestly, I’ve watched Moby Dick at least ten times”. She didn’t laugh, didn’t even smile, I wonder now if she may have heard it a hundred times before. The gang however thought it hilarious, probably helped by the local bitter. What was it Melville wrote “Better to sleep with a sober cannibal than a drunk Christian.”

Even longer ago, when Nelson was a boy, I was on a cargo boat chugging through the Indian Ocean, miles from anywhere when we came to a shuddering halt when we collided with an enormous Hump-backed whale that had like us been cruising along minding its own business. The collision was hard enough to result in a lot of broken crockery and a poor cabin boy with a broken arm. The damage to the whale was more serious, probably fatal. We stopped to examine our damage and were treated to a remarkable display as we watched the injured whale which was by then spouting blood and making heart rending bleating noises, as its partner appeared alongside it and appeared to be trying to keep it afloat.

We watched the display for ten minutes or so before it was full ahead both and we continued on our way. The incident did not a lot more than give the crew a talking point on a long and boring journey. I was young enough to be upset by the fate of such a stunning beast.

A couple of years later I was aboard a large passenger liner, we made a regular stopover in Capetown and on a run ashore, met up with some of the crew of a Norwegian Whale Factory Ship and over a glass of Tickey Hock ( a local plonk, if I remember correctly a Tickey was slang for a South African Threepenny piece the cost of this brew). I related my own whaling tale. In the way of shipmates who would otherwise pass in the night I accepted their hospitality and returned with them to their ship for a tot or two. . . . . . .

Talk about the little ship of horrors, it was more like Dante’s Inferno. I was treated to a guided tour of the factory ship in full flow.  A flow complete with blood, snot and horror that no-one had prepared this delicate seventeen year old for. The floating abattoir was as busy and noisy as any factory as workmen dealt with the huge carcase of a sperm whale with nothing wasted. Men were slicing huge lumps of flesh and blubber with long fletching knives and tossing lumps of it into huge steaming vats. They were slipping and sliding on bloody slime as they carried out their gruesome tasks. The sight and smell and noise of this steaming hell I will not carry on describing but I am sure that you get the picture.

I didn’t quite run away screaming, I just ran for the guardrail where I leant over for a ‘kit inspection’ of everything that I had eaten and drunk that day. I made my excuses and left.  Memory locked away in a filing cabinet in a folder marked not required on voyage through life.

Until that was, when I read reports in the media that commercial whaling looks set to start up once more after the world had appeared to come to its senses 24 years ago and said goodbye to the bloody slaughter.  I thought that we had become more civilised and had outlawed the hunting of great whales for good and allowed these marvellous and complex creatures to roam our ocean depths in peace.

It now appears that the Japanese, Norwegians and Icelanders are about to convince the world’s politicians that they should be allowed to return to their barbarous ways in the slaughter of the innocents. I’m not sure that I want to still be around if they get their way. Perhaps I will hang around long enough to add my voice in opposition to try to stop this greedy and unnecessary trade.

My God! I’m beginning to sound like a treehugger but I assure you that I am not. I just love whales and Wales.  At least thanks to Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall whom incidentally I read recently is now a millionaire, they will no longer have to throw the wrong species back.  Oh no that’s only fish not the beautiful, nearly inedible mammal, and yes I have tasted it, it was known as snook to us during the war.  I can confirm that it tastes far worse than horseflesh. Nuff said!

Call me Ishmael. “There she blows!–there she blows! A hump like a snow-hill! It is Moby Dick!”  

I’m sorry that my tale has nothing at all to do with the European Union and the Referendum but they bring me in for light relief. You may have gathered though that I want absolutely nothing to do with Bruxelles nor it’s politico-economic union of 28 member states and I urge you to do the right thing when you get the once in a lifetime chance to vote to leave on Independence Day. Thanks for listening.

It’s a Sharming Experience : @JakeTheWriter

I first wrote this article at the end of last year after the Russian airliner had been brought down while taking off from Sharm el-Sheikh. Just in case you would never have guessed, I should make it clear that this isn’t one of my travelogues and also it’s a fact that I’m not too fond of Egypt or Egyptians. As everybody says, “I am not a racist”. I do however speak from my own personal experiences and I have a long memory.

As a travel writer I have spent quite a few visits to many hell holes in the Middle East and North Africa. Out of all of them if I were to recommend giving the world an enema that procedure in which liquid or gas is injected into the rectum in order to expel its contents, the country where I would nominate to insert the tube would be Egypt.

I have every sympathy with those poor souls who perished on the Russian Airbus A321 that was downed over the Sinai desert, probably by ISIS. Incidentally my inquiring, journalist mind finds it very difficult to believe that the plane was blown out of the sky on October 31st and the wreckage was found nearly straight away and by November 10th and with modern technology, the Egyptians hadn’t discovered whether the plane was blown up by a bomb on board, or not.

It doesn’t surprise me that the Egyptians weren’t telling truth, as it’s not in their nature. It’s not as though the wreckage disappeared many leagues beneath the ocean. I have been dealing with lying, thieving Egyptians since the early 1950s when my ship moored at Port Tufic in the Red Sea.

Thank the Lord we only had to endure their hospitality for 3 days on that occasion. The local natives in bumboats swarmed upon us like scavengers and stole everything that wasn’t bolted down. We spent the whole 72 hours of our stay cutting grappling hooks as the dirty Arabs tried to scramble aboard. They used every trick in the book to pillage and steal

If the crew was momentarily distracted or inattentive we were robbed of most of our personal belongings, clothes, cigarettes, cameras, watches and other possessions. Most of the food from the galley disappeared along with every tin of paint together with paintbrushes, tins of jam and packs of rice all disappeared from the holds. I wouldn’t be surprised if that was where the description of a swarm of locusts in the bible came from, or at least where they got the idea from. Weren’t they Egyptian too? The only thing that was untouched was several thousand tons of unrefined Demerara sugar that was battened down in the cargo hatches.

At that time six of our crew were Lascar seamen, all Muslims from the Indian sub-continent all perfectly pleasant men who fitted in with our team. Pakistan hadn’t been invented in those days but I assume that is where their homeland would have been partitioned into. Fellow Muslims or not they were the first and easiest targets to be picked on by the Egyptians and they lost nearly everything they owned.
I made three more trips on different ships passing through the Suez Canal that produced similar raids from marauding Egyptians. So a visit that I made to Egypt in 1956 was far less unwelcome. That time I was aboard HMS Bulwark as a member of the Special Boat Squadron taking part in what was to be known as the Suez Crisis or the Kadesh Operation taking part in an invasion by Israel, Britain and France to take back the control of the Suez Canal and remove President Gamel Abdel Nasser.
The outcome of that SNAFU (That’s a rude Naval term, so Google it yourself) is well known. Once the dust or perhaps it was sand, had settled I just happened to be a qualified underwater demolition specialist in the SBS, and of course on the spot, so we spent just over 3 months clearing the Canal of the ships that Nasser had scuttled in order to block the transit of ships through the Canal. That was just one of his well thought out plans akin to crapping on your own doorstep, rather similar to blowing up your own tourist trade.
At least the thieving Egyptians were too afraid of us and tended to steer clear of us because of our reputation as killers. Even so one of our teams had an outboard motor nicked from one of the RIBs (Rigid Inflatable Boat), slippery bastards.
Since those heady days, I have visited Alexandria, Cairo, and the Valley of the Kings with my Travel Writer’s hat on, but forewarned is forearmed and I have managed to hang on to my valuables. I have witnessed dozens of fellow travellers being relieved of their possessions. So in spite of being an old Egypt hand I have never grown to even have the slightest soft spot for either the country or its people.
Unlike my son and his fellow diving chums, who regularly visit Sharm el-Sheikh for fantastic diving in the Red Sea, although they do now tend to stay aboard a diving boat while they are there! I have made my feelings plain questioning why anyone would want to fly out to a glorified Butlin’s Holiday Camp in Egypt (Spit), where they have scant respect for women and contempt for even basic human rights.
OK so it’s cheap and many holidaymakers have no idea whether they are in Egypt or Eritrea just so long as the sun is shining and the beer is cheap. Many venture no further than the all-you-can-eat salmonella buffet and the swimming pool. The whole point being to drink yourself silly and come home with a radioactive tan and a souvenir stuffed camel.

Sharm el-Sheikh has gained a reputation as being a relatively safe holiday destination thanks largely to the fact that it is heavily guarded by the Egyptian Military. It is heavily guarded because Egypt is full of Islamist Nut-Jobs looking for a chance to kill infidels.

Why would anyone in their right mind choose to holiday in a resort that has to have a round the clock guard by the army. After all you wouldn’t choose to go for a holiday in Afghanistan or Iraq. If it does prove to have been a bomb planted by ISIS I wonder if their intention was to hammer the nail in the coffin of Egypt as a holiday destination for good. Talk about fouling their own doorstep. Good thinking Mussulman!

In God they trust : @jakethewriter

Today’s podcast from retired travel writer and commentator Jakethewriter is on travel through America; with a few words of advice for Barack Obama on his interference in the British Referendum on the European Union. Buddy you ain’t doing Bro Cameron any favours. In fact it would help him more if not only you kept your advice to the British people to yourself but you stayed away until after Independence Day.

In God they trust – it says so on the dollar bill…

The United States is a country that challenges the world traveller to adjust to its scale. Little slumdog children in India are told tales that its streets are paved in gold. Cartoon books the world over mock the culture’s lack of refinement. Newspapers around the world speculate on the effects of the American administration. Incredible landscapes, hidden throughout the vast continental mass, counterpoise the endless parade of WalMarts and McDonalds. While every preconception one has about the “U S of A” is valid, the challenge to the traveller is to accept this country for its gems. And here the gems are the brightest and largest, as Americans will tell you, ‘We’re number one!’

America, doubtlessly, is the First World and yet a visit to Katrina-devastated New Orleans or to the jaggedly backwards Appalachia makes one wonder whether the term First World even has any meaning. In this land of the free you had better not drink until you reach 21 years of age. The richest nation in the world does not provide its citizens proper affordable health care, and it has the highest proportion of lawyers and jailed criminals per capita.

All things are the best in America, but money does all the talking. The poor backpacker, scrounging to try and see this country on the cheap, is likely to be treated like something the dog left on the pavement. But for those with pluck, a thick skin, or a little money saved, the United States opens her doors.

For such a large country, America has an appalling sameness and a very monotonous culture from east to west thanks mostly to national television. And yet there are quite a few States that are like separate countries themselves – such as California, Texas and New England among many. The east coast, boasting a sprawling mega-metropolis from Boston to Washington, carries a sense of urgency in the atmosphere and there is no doubt something always going on in the city.

The South with its Bible belt states like Alabama and Mississippi slow down the pace a lot and race hangs heavy in the air. Along the Pacific a new braver breed of a people, with no history to speak of, cling to their mountain bikes or Louis Vuiton handbags depending on their personal market-influenced consumer choice.

Somewhere buried in all of this, perhaps invisible to the naked eye, is the heartbeat of a fresh continent that existed here even before the Natives came tens of thousands of years ago. This is the land of Walt Whitman’s plaintive singing, the land where technological marvels continually spring up in unlikely places and the country of highways carry such solitude that Bob Dylan and Jack Kerouac canonized them.

The struggle for equality continues in the United States, too, and for every Bush and Nixon you have a John F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr. to impart some hope. Echoes of the spirit of the ’60s can be heard, a time in history as powerful as any. 

When I listened to Obama’s “Yes We Can” speech I thought that there is hope. If he can impress a white, dyed-in-the-wool, English Tory like me I thought that he must have something. But like virtually every politician it turned out that it was mostly smoke and mirrors. He, like an old girl friend, promised much and performed little. I read somewhere, probably in a Republican newspaper that Barack Obama is close to having played more rounds of golf since 2009 than Tiger Woods. Unlike me, who has an opinion about everything, I am not going to put my nose into American politics. They appear to be a mystery even to most Americans and to this Brit they will stay that way.

While I make that statement I am equally certain that British and European politics and even world politics are an equal mystery to Barack Obama. In fact during his first term of office he took such little interest in world affairs we were even wondering whether, like very many Americans he even possessed a passport. This being the case no-one in this country can begin to imagine why he is getting involved in our referendum. In actual fact if he imagines that he is doing ‘Bro Cameron’ a favour let me tell him that his intervention in a matter that does not concern him will probably be the straw that broke the camel’s back, for the ‘Remain in Team’. End of political rant!

Yes the United States has much to offer for the traveller to see and attempt to understand. The vistas of the Grand Canyon are as mysterious as Mona Lisa’s smile, the city of Las Vegas that rose out of the desert is so artificial and enveloping, Los Angeles destroys pedestrians, the Great Plains are as flat as a pancake literally. The list could go on indefinitely. Hated for its imperialism and ignorance, America is still a great country and worth a traveller’s time.  

You will hear stories of rude U.S. Customs and Immigration officials and long queues as you attempt to get into the country; then when they eventually get in it seems as though everyone there with a menial job is an illegal immigrant.  I am always puzzled as to how they got in but honestly things haven’t changed simply because of 9/11.

In the mid-1950s I was a deck apprentice on a cargo boat when we sailed into San Pedro, California.  I was a well brought up English lad whose politics have not changed lot over the years and would put me slightly to the right of Attila the Hun.

I was just 16 years old and I was subjected to the most bullying type of grilling imaginable by an immigration official before being allowed to go ashore.  Incidentally the ship had already called at Tampa, Florida and Houston, Texas where I had gone ashore without any problems, and my documents were stamped as such.  I was asked no less than 5 times whether I was or had ever been a member of the Australian Labour Party even though he had all of my documentation in front of him and could see that at that time I had never visited Australia.

I was a very frightened boy by the time that this cross-examination had ended and he had signed my papers to allow me to visit the land of the free.  I have told this tale many times since, you see the name of this officious, sorry I mean official, and U.S. Immigration Officer was one Herman Hoestetter. Sixty years on, that ‘Pig’s Orphan’s name is still burned in my memory. (A pigs orphan is a naval term that describes the bully to a T)

Obviously that proud, All-American boy thought that he was employed by the Witch-finder General, Senator Joe McCarthy.  As I matured I realised that America wasn’t at all like that self important, overbearing jobsworth and I have spent lots of time there as a visitor and love the place. I’ve crossed from East to West and North to South by car, coach, plane and train over many, many years. I still find the place and the people fascinating.

I query what the driving force behind Obama’s decision to use a visit to the U.K. this Spring to urge the British public to vote to remain inside the EU at the upcoming referendum. Does he not know that the E.U is unraveling? What are his advisors thinking of? Oh well it can only help Brexit on Independence Day.

What did the Moody Blues tell us? Nothing changes and nothing stays the same and life is still a simple game. Thanks for listening; I’ll see you again next week.

Travel that broadens the behind : @JakeTheWriter

Hello! This is sort of retired, travel writer and commentator Jakethewriter with today’s Podcast it was inspired by what I call my ‘real travel blogs’ written after I no longer had an editor paying my wages. Ain’t that the truth! . . . . . .

Warning this item may contain some fat related issues. So if you may be offended DONT LISTEN ME!

Travel that broadens the behind

This was motivated by a story that hit the internet recently about a morbidly obese lady who had set up an online begging bowl to pay for her weight reducing operation, new knickers elastic, rubber band or whatever they call it. In spite of being broke and unable to pay for her operation, the National Health Service had now let her down. Her sad story was that the NHS were going to do it but had now decided she didn’t qualify and were refusing to pay for it. She had gone ahead and booked it private anyway for around ten grand. She was hoping her story would touch the hearts of the charitable public.

Her troubles had now got worse, ahh! The media sniffing around for a story that would touch their readers hearts and kick the cruel NHS at the same time, discovered that the fat lady was not singing quite the same song and they discovered that her husband had inherited some cash, about enough to pay for his roly-poly wife to have her desired operation but . . . and here’s the rub, they had spent their windfall, wait for it. . . . . . . . on booking a luxury holiday cruise. Here endeth the fat lady’s tale as far as I am concerned along with her all hopes of a free operation.

I wrote a while back of a travel brochure that broadens the behind; it’s called a Cruise Brochure.  They say that travel broadens the mind but I think that travelling on a Cruise Ship just broadens the backside.

O.K. a Cruise Liner may put on half a dozen lectures, force feeding culture to the masses with classical civilisations and the history of mankind etc. but travelling universities they ain’t.  These lecture rooms are laid on to give a bit of interest to overfed passengers whilst they rest their bloated, sun-burned bodies in a cool air-conditioned theatre, between meals.

When the Liner anchors offshore and crew members help the more adventurous passengers out of their sun loungers, where they have been relaxing after a vast lunch, down the accommodation ladder to sit their fat bottoms on comfortable seats in the ferry boats and then ashore to be helped into a comfortable air-conditioned coach seats, where they can relax as they are taken to view the volcano at Etna or Stromboli (no its Thursday so it must be Vesuvius) from a safe distance.

They then retrace their steps until safely back on board to their cabin to change in time for dinner.  What a dinner? “More larks tongues or perhaps a few slices of roast swan, Madame?”  I don’t pen this as a travel writer but as someone who was fattened regularly on the great Cape Liners and even once on the greatest of the Queens, (I also met a few of them ducky), this particular one was the RMS Queen Mary crossing the Atlantic.  My goodness! I got so sick of eating Italian Truffle shavings and caviar; even now I cannot look a foie gras in the belly.  I even prefer the humble crab to a lobster.

My job as an Extra, Extra, Junior fourth officer was to put my good training as a ship’s navigator to good use by showing the rich, over weight and over fed passengers around the ship, having to flirt with their trophy wives and then join them at their dining table to dine right royally.  Heigh Ho! It’s a hard life at sea.

It was a long time ago and both the Cape Liners and the Atlantic Liners carried richer and fatter passengers than modern day cruise liners but the recipe is the same.  Ask any ship’s steward and he will tell you that most of the sea-sickness is due more to over indulgence than to motion.

The Roman’s had a good idea when they set aside a room next to the dining area which they named a “vomitorium” so that they could binge and purge, “excuse me while I throw up, but tell the waiter chappie, that I’ll have another crepe suzette when I get back”.

Lie back and relax, pass the gin old boy, the sun is over the yard arm somewhere on one of the oceans.  I bet that when Freddy Mercury sang of Fat Bottomed Girls he had met them on a cruise ship.

Going back to my original Fat Lady’s troubles perhaps she can spend her time while laying on the sun-deck (I don’t think that she could fit her rather broad backside into a deckchair) writing further begging letters about her plight after her life was ruined by the rotten Mejia for letting the cat out of the bag and the horrible travel company who wouldn’t let her cancel and give her money back when she was found out.

I know just what she means because as a former journalist and a former travel agent normally we are such suckers for a sob story; in fact we would usually have been the first to donate to GoFundYourself or whatever it’s called.

I’ll leave you with the words of one of my favourite sea shanties “Come all you no hopers, you jokers and rogues. We are on the road to nowhere let’s find out where it goes. It might be a ladder to the stars, who knows” Thanks for listening see you next week.

Oops, there goes another one! : @JakeTheWriter

Today’s Podcast from Jakethewriter, nearly retired Travel Journalist and Commentator, it’s more to date than many taken from my blogs in fact I wrote it and recorded it while another lapse in airport security was actually happening

Timeline Tuesday 29th March 2016

Oops, there goes another one!

I am writing this while watching live TV pictures from Larnaca airport in Cyprus where Egyptair Flight MS181 has landed after being hijacked from Alexandria. It had been on an internal flight in Egypt between Cairo and Alexandria and was hijacked by an individual, later named as Saif Elin Mustapha who was threatening to blow up the plane with a bomb.

My initial thoughts were, that couldn’t have happened on an El Al flight because the pilot could have confidentially said “You’re not the Messiah, you’re a very naughty boy” or words to that effect. He certainly would have been able to refuse his demands by saying “You could not have boarded this plane with a bomb so you are bluffing and if you do not immediately surrender you are about to be shot by one of our Marshalls”.

The difference between airport security in Israel and America or Europe is that the Israelis do not just go through the motions of security; they are looking primarily for the terror suspect, whereas the American and Europeans are looking for weapons, bottles of water or illicit liquids. The Israelis are advocates of what is known as profiling – building pictures of both passengers and airline staff – not in the manner of stereotyping such as looking for young Muslim men. Instead it is based on behaviour both prior to flying i.e. when, how and where a ticket is purchased and behaviour at the airport itself.

El Al employs people who have been trained in psychological observation techniques to interview every passenger before he or she is cleared to go through physical screening. Anyone who arouses their suspicion is then subjected to a further grilling and may be refused permission to fly. It is thought, (by me), that some of their profiling techniques may be politically unacceptable in Europe. El Al just shrug and say “It works”

In Great Britain and Europe the prohibition on carrying liquids onboard was introduced in response to the method of mixing chemicals to explosive effect revealed by a 2006 plot. If security staff find illicit liquids they deliver a ticking off and confiscate the containers, but still allow the passenger to fly. Discovery of a gun, by contrast would result in immediate arrest. Despite the mild consequences nobody has been apprehended trying to get bomb making liquids aboard in a decade.

This is not really because such measures have deterred terrorists from trying such methods again. The same likewise with passengers having to remove their shoes when no shoe bomber has been detected after Reid’s cack-handed attempt at being a shoe bomber. The terrorists have succeeded in causing upheaval at every airport with what they did so its mission complete for them.

Both the U.S. and U.K. security is purely a theatrical performance intended to reassure passengers and lull them into a false sense of security. In fact the American Transportation Administration have proved the inadequacies in spotting determined passengers attempts to get hazardous items on to an aircraft. A team of Homeland Security succeeded in getting fake bombs and weapons through the standard screening process in 67 out of 70 tests in various airports in America. Tests carried out by Special Forces teams have had similar results in the UK.

I wonder why? – The security screening process is an incredibly boring job. Nearly all alerts and warnings are false alarms. It is incredibly hard for people to remain vigilant in that sort of situation and sloppiness is inevitable. Disassembled weapons have a good chance of getting through.

I had a lot of brickbats to throw at Sharm el-Sheikh airport security when the Russian Airbus was blown out of the sky, but it is no worse than others at vetting staff. British airports employ those who follow Jihadist social media sites and at some big American airports, employees are not screened on their way into work if they have an identity card.

Some clue as to how easy it is to put a bomb into somebody else’s bag is shown from the number of valuables stolen from check-in luggage. In the past 4 years prior to 2014 (last available figures) passengers made more than 30,000 reports of missing property. This year police at Miami International Airport used a hidden camera to film baggage handlers rifling through bags in a plane’s hold and stealing whatever took their fancy. Security experts reckon such practice is widespread worldwide.

El Al spends more than other airlines on different types of security with armed Marshals on every flight. Hold baggage is subjected to pressure testing. Elsewhere better technology might improve the performance of conventional screening. Giving everyone a pat down is for too predictable and a waste of resources. Terrorists don’t like unpredictability. Confiscating my wife’s nail file and hand cream is too theatrical even for the most bored jobsworth, even if it did relieve his boredom.

Simply offering more airport security by rote also seems a poor idea. There should be far more emphasis on dealing with insider threats through better vetting and more intrusive vetting of staff. Plus far more, less predictable screening of passengers like swab tests and more sniffer dogs et al.

Keeping a sense of proportion – statistically everyone will tell you that flying is the safest form of travel. You are more likely to be fatally crushed by furniture than killed by a terrorist. Terrorism is effective in doing what it’s name says – Inspiring profound fear. But despite unremitting coverage of the Paris and Brussels attacks an objective examination of the facts shows that terrorism is an insignificant danger to the vast majority of people in the West.

The last couple of years have been especially bad in plane safety with the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines flight 370, the shooting down of MH17 over Ukraine and the recent crashes of Transasia Airways and Air Algerie Planes and the Russian Airbus A321 out of Sharm el-Sheikh but back to the sense of proportion – A look at the most recent atrocities will highlight that many more people travel by buses and trains, attend open air concerts and sporting events. These are all potential targets for terrorists yet receive not even a fraction that air travellers get. No-one confiscated my Swiss Army knife when I went to a recent Status Quo concert.

On a personal note I would add that enhanced security on airport staff would at least make me feel that far less valuables would be stolen from our luggage. That could see a reduction in our travel insurance, yeah you wish. Finally I am pleased to report that the hijack of a domestic Egyptian flight that caused it to be diverted to Cyprus has ended with all hostages released no-one injured and the hijacker Mr Saif Eldin Mustapha surrendering. No-one was injured. Thanks be to God! Thank you for listening.