World watch

Monday GMT


There’s a lot of things happening of interest around the world, from the Brexit split between the United Kingdom and the European Union to Donald Trump’s young presidency in the United States, from the civil war in Syria and the associated surrounding Middle East mess, to growing tensions around North Korea and China.


  1. Trump having recordings of a conversation with James Comey may not be illegal but they could be subpoenaed.

    Fox: Trump ‘tapes’? President likely in legal rights to record conversations

    President Trump may be the only one who truly knows if he has “tapes” of his conversations with former FBI Director James Comey – but if he does, it’s more of a congressional problem than a legal one.

    But if Trump did in fact surreptitiously record his talks with Comey, the act wouldn’t violate Washington, D.C., law or federal law. Both permit “one-party consent” recording, that is, recordings made when only one party to the conversation okays it – which in this hypothetical case would be Trump.

    “The idea is that, even inside your own home, when you divulge information to other individuals, you lose privacy,” Georgetown Law Professor Laura Donohue told Fox News. “And it’s not a violation of your privacy. So that information, for instance, could be used in court.”

    But the president is on far shakier ground when it comes to the probable probing of lawmakers – even those from his own party – who appear eager to subpoena such tapes should they exist.

    “If, in fact, there are such recordings, I think those recordings will be subpoenaed and I think they will probably have to turn them over,” Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, said on “Fox News Sunday.”

      • Gezza

         /  May 16, 2017

        I wonder if you have to surrender your cellphone before you meet with Trumpy in case you’re recording him too?

  2. Alan Wilkinson

     /  May 16, 2017

    As I said, the WannaCry Monday Morning alarmism was just that and fizzled as expected:

  3. Alan Wilkinson

     /  May 16, 2017

    Microsoft president hits out at the real culprits, the US Govt spooks:

  4. High Flying Duck

     /  May 16, 2017

    Good summary of Trump to date:

    A Quick Look at President Trump and the Big Picture
    Posted May 15th, 2017 @ 11:40am in #POTUS Trump

    Let’s take a look at the things that are going well for President Trump, and the things that are not, and see if there is a pattern. Here I will include topics that are not necessarily the president’s accomplishments or faults. I’ll simply describe the current state of things.

    Things That Are Positive:

    – The economy

    – Trade deals

    – China relations

    – Russia (our frenemy) is working with the U.S. on Syria, North Korea

    – China is putting pressure on North Korea

    – Jobs

    – Healthcare progress (more to do)

    – Supreme Court nominee confirmed

    – Tax reform maybe

    – Optimism for an Israeli-Palestinian “deal”

    – Safe Zones coming along for Syrian refugees

    – Illegal immigration down over 70% because of Trump’s persuasion alone.

    – Business confidence high.

    Things that are Negative:

    – Unproven allegations of Russian collusion with Trump campaign.

    – Trump claims he invented the phrase “prime the pump.”

    – Trump tweeted a warning that Comey better be careful what he says because he might have been taped in the White House. But such recordings haven’t been confirmed. Or denied.

    – Critics say Trump is crazy.

    – Trump claimed his campaign had been “wiretapped” by Obama, but it might have been only incidental surveillance. Or not. We’ll probably never know.

    – Critics say Trump is a loose cannon.

    – Critics say “words matter” and Trump is careless with words.

    – Trump’s approval rating is abysmal.

    – There is “chaos” in the White House

    – Trump doesn’t study topics in detail.

    – Trump might fire people on his staff for various reasons.

    – There is in-fighting with Trump’s staff.

    – Trump got two scoops of ice cream when others got one.

    – Trump threatened to end press briefings but probably didn’t mean it.

    – Trump is influenced by whoever gives him the latest article that is sometimes fake news.

    – Trump calls the mainstream media fake news.

    – Trump has criticized the courts, judges, and anyone else you are not supposed to criticize as a president.

    – Health care didn’t get passed on the first try. And still needs work.

    – Trump will be impeached or jailed any day now for whatever.

    – Trump keeps relying on trusted family advisors such as Jared Kushner and Ivanka.

    – Trump fired Comey as both sides wanted, but his timing raised suspicions, and he talked about it wrong in an interview. Also didn’t coordinate with his communication staff.

    – Trump says things that do not pass the fact-checking.

    – Trump doesn’t realize that his business skills don’t translate into government. (This was the same reason people said he couldn’t win the election.)

    Things that Might Be Good or Bad (Depending on your Point of View):

    – Trump is prioritizing jobs over climate risks in the near term.

    – Trump is reducing government regulations.

    – Trump is moving responsibility for several topics to states, per the Constitution.

    Did you find the pattern?

    All the important stuff is trending positive. Trump is not the sole cause of all that goodness, but he hasn’t broken anything important. That counts too. We’ve had plenty of presidents who broke stuff. Think of Nixon’s price caps, Carter’s hostage rescue mission failure, and Bush-the-younger’s Iraq war. When presidents don’t break anything, that’s a big deal

    The topics that are problematic for President Trump include unconfirmed gossip, rumors, fake news, irrational worries, imaginary problems, trivial matters, and simple differences in political priorities.

    As I recently said on Twitter, President Trump’s approval rating is low, but that can be explained two ways. One explanation is that the president is not doing a good job and people can see it with their own eyes. The other explanation is that citizens are actually grading their own cognition and don’t realize it.

    What’s it look like to you?

    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  May 16, 2017

      The Democrats have TDS, a form of PTSD from the election result which blew their world apart. The consequence is that absolutely anything Trump does or is said to do triggers their hysterical melt down as all their helpless fury is recreated.

      • It’s quite unhinged and what’s more it’s getting, quite incomprehensibly, worse. Every day I think that journalists and liberals will wake up and think that maybe today is the day the they take a deep breath and dismount the impeachment horse. No sign