World watch

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WorldWatch

Post news or views on anything happening of interest around the world.

31 Comments

    • High Flying Duck

       /  May 29, 2017

      So Trump goes to Europe and tells the Europeans they need to stop freeloading on the USA and start pulling their weight.

      Merkel then comes out and basically says the USA is no longer a reliable partner to be freeloaded upon and that Europe needs to pull it’s own weight.

      This is seen as a repudiation of Trump when both people effectively said the same thing. Trump forcefully and the Europeans in more of a whinge as is usual.

      I would say this is a win for Trump in obtaining results. Diplomacy can be restored once he gets what he wants.

      • It’s too soon to tell whether things have changed for the better or not overall (it’s likely to be both better and worse).

        • High Flying Duck

           /  May 29, 2017

          Whether better or worse – it will definitely be different.
          I’m not sure the Europeans know how to handle a non-diplomat – they are sticklers for following protocols.

    • Missy

       /  May 29, 2017

      She reportedly also said the UK will not be a reliable partner after Brexit.

      I would be careful taking this at face value, there are other agendas in the background with this, also she is talking tough leading into the German elections, so it is worth questioning how much is for the domestic electorate.

      Merkel is the EU leader pushing (with Juncker) for greater EU integration, an EU military, EU foreign policy etc, things that are not as popular in much of the EU as it is with the EU Commission, Merkel, and Macron.

      This runs along the lines of a lot of the anti Brexit propaganda from Merkel, Juncker, and Tusk, pushing the view that life outside the EU is bad, and that in order for the rest of Europe to survive and prosper is greater EU integration.

    • Don’t agree with that sentiment. Trump hasn’t destroyed anything. Thingsrae far too fluid in International relations. He’s certainly muddied the waters though, highlighted the deep inequity in trade (US v Germany) and been harsh on military contributions of NATO members. Do these people not remember who instituted the Marshall Plan after saving their entire continent from themselves, and particularly Germany, in WW2?

      I say this only half a tongue in cheek.

      • Missy

         /  May 29, 2017

        Sadly Trav too many in the UK actually seriously believe exactly that.

        This tweet is another one that needs to be looked at in the wider context of agendas and political climate in the UK.

        Nick Cohen is a liberal lefty, EU supporting columnist for the Observer, and is regularly featured in the Guardian, who regularly re-tweets those that blame Brexit on xenophobia and racism.

    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  May 29, 2017

      Fatuous nonsense. When has there ever been Western unity? When has the UK not been tied to the US. This sort of drivelling idiocy parades itself as some sort of Lefty insight?

  1. Germany’s arrogance sounds outstanding, but if you look at it historically, it’s really nothing new.

    Trump’s called them on the massive trade deficit with the USA and their under-investment in military “obligations” . Merkel’ come out fighting and is expressing the sentiment of federation, banding together and such like rhetoric. I believe that’ll only be music to the ears of a very inexperienced and feisty Macron and perhaps Belgium and The Netherlands. The true Europeans, the ones from the North. P.I.G.S, otoh, the countries chewed up and fiscally disgarded by Germany, won’t be quite as thrilled.

    A Europe based on the German model held huge attraction. Poorer countries lapped up the potential transformative economic visions. However, Germany’s attempt to create a Federated Europe in her own image has caused more problems than it solved . Starting with the EURO. Germanys strong economic position, in the main, comes through exporting. This includes to southern Europe, where it also extended huge vendor-financing to the deeply flawed economies of PIGS. When the Germans pullled the credit line, putting austerity in it’s place, those countries were in peril and still are.

    Italy and Greece also have the daily breaching of their shores by economic refugees. Will they be thrilled with the Germans taking the militaristic lead? Will memories of the last century affect their attitude?

    What a different world it must feel like to Merkel. since her greatest admirer Barack left office .

    • Missy

       /  May 29, 2017

      Good Summary there Trav.

      There are some fundamental problems in the EU, and Merkel leads the bullies against those that are not conforming. The latest are Poland and Hungary who are refusing to take any migrants, Merkel tried to bully them into it, and the EU have now fined them thousands of Euros per migrant they turn down.

      Merkel has also said the UK must be punished for leaving the EU so that no other country will want to leave, a view that has been repeated over the months by leaders of the EU and Macron during the French electoral campaign.

      Juncker’s Chief of Staff is a close ally of Merkel’s, and he is being credited with a number of anti UK / anti Brexit leaks out of the EU.

      • They’re desperate Merkel and the Eurocraric lap doggies Missy. That Macron is looking like a dutiful little poodle, keen to do the bidding of Frau M. Wasn’t he weird with the handshake and then showing off about it!!

        • Missy

           /  May 30, 2017

          Absolutely Trav, they are very desperate, and worried. The UK is the second highest net contributor to the EU, most members have said they will not pay more money to cover the shortfall from the UK departure.

          Macron is very inexperienced, and this will show when it comes down to the business of Brexit – and trying to re-negotiate the bilateral border agreement with the UK. He must be hoping that Corbyn will win the UK election.

  2. Gezza

     /  May 29, 2017

    North Korea fires yet another ballistic missile & successfully hits Sea of Japan

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/05/28/north-korea-fires-suspected-ballistic-japanese-waters-latest/

    • Gezza

       /  May 29, 2017

      Defense Secretary Mad Dog Mattis sounding not at all insane.

      • He’s reserved, thoughtful and thought provoking. Glad he’s in charge there

        • Missy

           /  May 29, 2017

          He is a great choice for Sec of Defence, and with any luck will remain in post.

          He is also well respected in military’s around the world – including NZ.

          I have heard from some friends with connections to the US military that Mattis loves NZDF, and apparently has enormous admiration for the NZSAS.

    • ..and I hope one is Kim Jong Un and another is Vlad

      • Gezza

         /  May 29, 2017

        I had to go up the Rest Home at 1.30 today & discuss further medical management options for Dad because as his dementia progresses he’s started constantly getting out of bed and wandering about disoriented from around 10 pm onwards, so he’s another madman who’s been keeping other people awake at night too !

        • Alan Wilkinson

           /  May 29, 2017

          It’s a miserable way to end a life, G. Hope we are all spared it. Roll on a cure for these horrors.

          • Gezza

             /  May 29, 2017

            Yeah, it is Alan. The recommended treatment is to raise his dosage of medication, which increases his risk of stroke or heart attack, but doing nothing raises his risk of more falls (he’s had 3 in 5 days) & hitting his head, which could do the same. The old chap’s still athletic enough that when they put a rail on his bed he just climbed over it & still fell. It’s not really a life any more, just an existence.

        • MaureenW

           /  May 29, 2017

          @ Gazza .. from the time I spent visiting a family member in the same situation as your Dad, there was a bit of a stampede around 10pm, so hopefully he isn’t alone.

          • MaureenW

             /  May 29, 2017

            Gezza, sorry

          • Gezza

             /  May 29, 2017

            They’ve given him a lowered bed so when he climbs out now he just slides down on to the mat on the floor which triggers an alarm. I can still see the humour in it Maureen. I spoke to one of his caregivers last week & he said “We put his radio on when we put him to bed, & and it usually sends him sleep within an hour. But then he gets up to turn it off & has a tumble.” I said, “Why don’t you just leave it on?” And he said “Well, we tried that, but then he woke up & had another tumble when got up to turn it off !”.

  3. Missy

     /  May 29, 2017

    Despite the last week being dominated by the Manchester attack, over the weekend there has been some campaigning, and more than a couple of car crash interviews.

    * Jeremy Corbyn was first off the blocks on Friday when he was interviewed by Andrew Neil. Corbyn denied meeting with IRA members, despite it being on record that he has met with Gerry Adams on more than one occasion, and had invited those suspected of the Brighton Bombing to Parliament a couple of weeks after the bombing. Corbyn then backtracked claiming he was working towards peace in Northern Ireland and he (and his supporters) claim he was instrumental in getting all parties to the table. However more than one senior person involved in the peace process have reportedly said that they never heard of Jeremy Corbyn (at the time of the talks), and a leader of the SDLP (Social Democratic and Labour Party) said that Corbyn was not involved in the peace process, and was perceived by all involved to be working on the side of the IRA. Over the weekend more information has been unearthed showing Corbyn’s previous support for terrorists of other groups, including the fact that just before he became leader of the Labour Party he attended a wreath laying service for one of the terrorists involved in the 1972 Munich attack at the Olympics.

    * Corbyn has been criticised heavily for suggesting in a speech on Friday that the Manchester attack was the result of Britain’s Foreign Policy. Those that criticised have been of two thoughts. The first say that he is trying to politicise the attack, and his speech was insensitive – but they do not necessarily disagree with him. The second group are criticising him for saying that it is the UK’s fault for the attack. When asked by Andrew Neil what foreign policy has caused the attacks in Sweden, against the gay people murdered, attacks against other muslims, in Egypt by ISIS, Corbyn could not answer.

    * Sir Michael Fallon fared little better in a car crash interview at the weekend. The interviewer provided some quotes saying that terrorism in the UK is the result of Foreign Policy. Fallon condemned the comments believing they were quotes from Jeremy Corbyn’s speech, but was left looking unprepared at best, incompetent at worse, when it was revealed the quotes were from Boris Johnson.

    * However, neither Corbyn nor Fallon have insulted the electorate as much as Diane Abbot (Shadow Home Secretary) in her latest car crash interview. When asked about some quotes of hers from the 80’s where she was supporting the IRA, Abbott said that it was 34 years ago and she had quite an impressive afro then (she didn’t) and her hairstyle has changed since then, and so have her views. When asked if she now regretted her comments she continued to say that her hairstyle has changed, and so have her views. This comparison of views on terrorists with a hairstyle has not gone down well, it is seen to be patronising the electorate, and insulting the victims of the IRA. Her comments have been described as being vacuous, flippant, and shallow.

    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  May 29, 2017

      However it seems Labour has made significant gains in the polls? With support from women?

      • Missy

         /  May 29, 2017

        The gains are generally considered to be a result of the Conservatives disastrous social policy and picking up some support from those that are deserting the Liberal Democrats. Much of Labour’s support is coming from urban areas such as London, Manchester etc. Labour are still losing in traditional heartland areas, and they are not gaining a lot off the SNP in Scotland (the Conservatives are, and are expected to pick up a few seats from the SNP).

        Though it is interesting the focus on the polls here, I am not sure how much the polls will mean for the end result, there are still many that are expecting the Conservatives to get a large majority due to the First Past the Post system.

        It will also be interesting to see how this weekend’s revelations will impact the polls, so far all the polls have been prior to this latest round of interviews.