World watch

Wednesday 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. Gezza

     /  May 18, 2017

    Afghanistan security situation continues to deteriorate under separate threats from both ISIS and Taliban. Estimates of how much territory Taliban now control vary from about half to two thirds of the country. In some places Taliban fighters have been reported to be defecting to ISIS, in others they are fighting each other. The government is now awaiting the commencement of the usual Taliban Spring Offensive attacks & is seeking more troops from the US & NATO allies to help combat them.

  2. Missy

     /  May 18, 2017

    The Liberal Democrats are due to officially launch their manifesto this evening, however, the Guardian are reporting that opposition to Brexit will be (unsurprisingly) the first priority of Liberal Democrats in Parliament.

    Party sources said that the message to the 48% that voted Remain is unequivocal – Brexit is reversible. It does appear as though they are trying to target the 48% and the young, however, they have some obstacles to get over.

    1. A recent poll showed that over 2/3 of those surveyed think that Brexit is right and support the Government in continuing with Brexit, including over 20% that voted Leave, but now believe the Government has a duty to go ahead with Brexit.

    2. There is a general apathy amongst young voters, it is hard to know if they will get out and vote in the General Election when they couldn’t be bothered voting in a Referendum that was going to affect the rest of their lives.

    3. Polling has also shown that it is unlikely Conservative Remain voters will vote for another party, which means any increase in votes for the Lib Dems will most likely come from Labour voters.

  3. Bill Brown

     /  May 18, 2017

    Wonder is Trump is about to have the shortest Presidential term ever?

    If they moved to impeach I bet he’d just resign and say Washington is a shit hole and it’s not worth saving …..

    • I wouldn’t be surprised if Trump just gives up. He looks to be a long way out of his depth.

  4. Missy

     /  May 18, 2017

    A story from Monday that has largely gone unnoticed here (not sure about in NZ).

    The coalition talks to form a Government in the Netherlands have collapsed. The ruling WD, the D66 party, the Christian Democrats and the GroenLinks have been in talks about forming a 4 party coalition since the General Election.

    Differences in some policy areas are too different for an agreement to be made, the areas mentioned are Migration (this seems to be the main one), Climate Change and Income Policy.

    The chief negotiator will produce a report and make a recommendation on the next steps.

  5. Missy

     /  May 18, 2017

    In other European coalition news, due to disputes between the parties that form the coalition Government in Austria, there will be an early General Election in Austria – set down for 15 October 2017. Austria were originally due to go to the polls in Autumn 2018.

    The Government have been blocked in disputes over reform policies between his Social Democratic Party (SPO) and their coalition partner the People’s Party (OVP). The disputes have been exacerbated by internal problems in the OVP.

  6. Conspiratoor

     /  May 18, 2017

    Anyone see the delightful irony in this one?

    “Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-Md.), the Democratic whip, said Tuesday that any talk of impeachment is premature.
    “We need to get the facts first.”

    • Blazer

       /  May 18, 2017

      the right don’t ..’do’..irony…its quite ..ironic.

      • Corky

         /  May 18, 2017

        I guess you didn’t get the irony..Blazer. Try again tomorrow.

  7. Conspiratoor

     /  May 18, 2017

    Some “real” news to balance the ledger…

    “U.S. industrial output rose sharply in April, the latest evidence that economic growth is picking up following a lackluster start to the year.
    Industrial production—a measure of output at factories, mines and utilities—jumped 1.0% from a month earlier, the Federal Reserve said Tuesday. That was the largest gain in more than three years.”

    • Gezza

       /  May 18, 2017

      Wall Street’s taking a hit:

      “Political turbulence in Washington finally morphed into market risk on Wall Street, putting a dent in the 401(k) account balances of investors who until now had been benefiting from the “Trump Rally.”

      The Dow Jones industrial average closed down 372.82 points, or 1.8%, to 20,607, Wednesday — its biggest daily point and percentage drop in eight months — as mounting political troubles for Donald Trump have raised fears that the president will have difficulty getting his economic agenda passed through Congress.”

      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  May 18, 2017

        Might refocus Republican politicians on their day job.