While freedom of expression is said to be the cornerstone of democracy, of late it seems to be on shaky ground.
It remains on a steady footing here in Portugal compared to most countries and that is probably because of prevailing moral attitudes as much as the fact that it is enshrined in the Portuguese Constitution.
I read once that there are only two things certain in life; death and taxes. On my last article I spoke about taxes, this time the issue is death, namely what happens to your estate once you are gone.
Paragraph 62 of the Portuguese Civil Code says; “The succession by death is regulated by the personal law of the deceased at the time of the death, which also governs the powers of the inheritance administrator and the executor of the Will”.
Speculation that 30-year-old Scotsman Jon Anderson Edwards may have found his way into a hippie commune in the western Algarve has given his family and friends hope that he is still alive and well after mysteriously disappearing more than two weeks ago.
Edwards may have joined a “wwoofing, workaway” community, one of which says it is involved in “a wide range of activities here from growing organic vegetables and fruit trees in our terraced gardens to walking and feeding our animals.”
Friends and family, and now the police, are searching for Jon Anderson Edwards, a Scot recently arrived in the Algarve who was staying in Lagos. Jon also legitimately goes under the name Jon Anderson Balion and hails from Arbroath.
Jon has not been seen or heard of since September 15 and his mobile phone, passport and personal belongings were found in his shared apartment. His family are desperate for information.
The best-selling authors Anthony Summers and Robbyn Swan have responded to criticisms that their new book Looking for Madeleine, published on September 11, 2014 amounts to a pro-McCann ‘whitewash’ rather than the first in-depth, independent and objective analysis of the disappearance and search for the little girl.
The criticisms come from people who do not accept the theory that Madeleine McCann was abducted.
In part two of Len Port's interview with Anthony Summers and Robbyn Swan, the authors explain more about the background to their new book Looking for Madeleine, their thoughts on the police investigations so far, and what may now lie ahead in this extraordinary case.
I am sure that everyone was shocked to learn about an allegation against Sir Cliff Richard and the search of a property owned by him in the UK. However in my professional judgement more troubling is the fact that the search was televised live resulting in it becoming media headlines and the subject of social media gossip and speculation worldwide. Whatever happens from here Sir Cliff’s reputation has been seriously damaged.
With two futile weeks of ground searching and the questioning of four unlikely suspects still fresh in the memory, a former Scotland Yard commander had a new idea. In a report in the Mail on Sunday he urged detectives to examine an abandoned well “just 875 yards from the apartment where Madeleine McCann vanished.”
The newspaper carried an aerial view of the location and also a close-up photo of the supposed well.