World watch – Friday

Thursday GMT


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

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  1. Missy

     /  June 16, 2017

    Shadow Chancellor has called on 1 million people to take to the streets to force Theresa May out of office. Whilst he doesn’t (in this case) advocate violence, this is the man that said the 2011 riots were a good thing. Also, the large scale anti-Government protests in the past have often led to violence against police and offensive and intimidatory behaviour.

    • Absolutely disgusting incitement to riot. Another democratically elected government and PM getting the left wing anti-democratic treatment.

      • Missy

         /  June 16, 2017

        Indeed, this comes after a left wing columnist for the Guardian called for civil disobedience after the election result.

  2. Toko Ono retrospectively acknowledged as co-writer of IMAGINE

    “Nearly half a century after John Lennon released “Imagine,” his widow and artistic collaborator Yoko Ono will be listed as a co-writer.

    The announcement was made as the iconic 1971 ode to world peace was declared “song of the century” at a gala Wednesday in New York of the National Music Publishers Association.

    As Oko and their son Sean Lennon came up to receive a trophy, the association announced unexpectedly that Oko would join John Lennon on the songwriting credits.

    The gala was played a BBC interview with John Lennon in 1980, shortly before he was assassinated, in which he said that “Imagine” was inspired in part by lines in Ono’s conceptual art book “Grapefruit.”

    “‘Imagine’ should have been credited as a Lennon/Ono song. If it had been anyone other than my wife I would have given them credit,” John Lennon said.

    Sean Lennon later wrote on Facebook that the announcement was the “proudest day of my life.”

  3. Missy

     /  June 16, 2017

    The EU is heading for an East / West split. Over the last year or so a row has been bubbling along between the EU Commission and three member states, (Poland, Hungary and Czech Republic), over refugees.

    The EU have been running a scheme, agreed to by the majority of member states, to relocate the illegal immigrants to the member states. The EU allocate a quota to each country and the member country is expected to take them in and re-house them. Poland, Hungary, and Czech Republic have held fast, with Poland pledging to take some in 2015 but so far taking none, the Czech Republic have only taken 12 and none in the last 12 months, and I don’t think Hungary have taken any. They have been threatened with punishing fines by the EU in order to try and get them to comply, but the three countries have held fast to their refusal. They all cite security concerns for their refusal.

    This week the EU announced they will be taking legal action against these countries.

    Juncker said that it was about observing EU law, and not about sanctions. He essentially told them that their vote on the matter does not matter as everyone else voted in favour of it, and that it doesn’t matter it is against what their population thinks or wants.

    A former Czech President has said a Czech exit (Czexit?) is better than multiculturalism.

    • Yes, I read that. It seems bizarre that Königin Merkel, the world’s social conscience and her soldiers at arms in Belgium can force individual nations to accept the “refugees” she arbitrarily accepted.

    • Gezza

       /  June 16, 2017

      A Czech Exit is an announced departure.
      A Polish Exit is an unannounced one.

      • Gezza

         /  June 16, 2017

        And I’m with Czechs, the Poles & Hungarians on this one. The EU takes away members’ sovereignty. That would never have been agreed to by their peoples.

  4. This is a deeply tragic situation. Otto Warmbier

    Officials at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center, where Warmbier is being treated, said Thursday he had suffered a “severe neurological injury,” but was in stable condition. Doctors there described his condition as “unresponsive wakefulness.” They said Warmbier opened his eyes and blinked spontaneously, but showed “no signs of understanding language.” They added that he showed no signs of contracting botulism. Physicians said Warmbier showed “extensive loss of brain tissue in all regions of the brain,” but added they had no idea why this happened.

    “This pattern of brain injury, however, is usually seen as a result of cardiopulmonary arrest, where the blood supply to the brain is inadequate for a period of time, resulting in the death of brain tissue,” they said.

    Warmbier’s case also raises questions about U.S. policy toward North Korea. As I’ve previously reported, Warmbier, who arrived in North Korea in December 2015 as part of a tour group, was arrested on January 2, 2016, while he was leaving the country. North Korean officials said he was detained for “anti-republic activities,” and sentenced him to 15 years in prison.

    • Gezza

       /  June 16, 2017

      He was caught on camera in a corridor taking down a regime propaganda poster, I’d guess for souveneir purposes. His father was shown on Aljaz tv speaking this morning, wearing that jacket in the pic above, & saying the Obama administration told them to keep a low profile while they worked to get him back. That he contacted the Trump administration, & at Trump’s direction they got onto working aggressively to get him home.

  5. Can You Obstruct a Fraud?

    A very interesting question indeed. Andrew C. McCarthy opines.

    “The Obama administration and the intelligence community conflated the real threat of Russian interference in the American electoral process with the false narrative of Trump-campaign collusion in the interference. In an explosive announcement that departed from Justice Department protocols against commenting on investigations, then-director Comey gave congressional testimony that induced the media to report, and much of the public to believe, that Trump was a prime suspect in an FBI investigation, focused on a suspected conspiracy between his campaign and Russia to tamper with the election process. The FBI was even assessing whether criminal charges should be filed. Trump knew that this was not true because Comey had repeatedly told him it was not true — both before and after Comey’s March 20 congressional testimony. Yet, in what Trump had to find an exasperating and inexplicable stance, Comey refused to state publicly that Trump was not under investigation, even though — in a deviation from both law-enforcement guidelines and the assurances he had given the president — Comey had led the world to believe that Trump was under investigation.

    Trump did not do anything to interfere with the investigation of Russia’s interference in the election. According to Comey’s testimony, the president even said it would be good to find out if any of Trump’s “satellites” — his associates — had done anything wrong. What the president appears to have objected to, and to have sought help refuting, was what he saw as the fraudulent claim — subtly advanced by Comey and perhaps others in the intelligence community — that he personally had colluded with Russia in connection with the election, and that he was a criminal suspect. That is not obstruction of an investigation. It is objection to a narrative — a narrative that the intelligence agencies knew was false yet refused to correct, no matter how much it was, and is, damaging Trump’s capacity to govern.

    Read more at:

    • Gezza

       /  June 16, 2017

      I have never formed the impression that Trump directed any collusion with the Russians. Only that it was possible some in his campaign might have of their volition & / or in pursuit of business opportunities for financial gain, unwittingly put themselves, & thus potentially his administration, into compromisable situations.

    • Mefrostate

       /  June 16, 2017

      Seems a pretty slanted take on the facts.

      “director Comey gave congressional testimony that induced the media to report, and much of the public to believe, that Drumpf was a prime suspect in an FBI investigation, focused on a suspected conspiracy between his campaign and Russia to tamper with the election process.”

      Seems a pretty poor interpretation of Comey’s testimony and written statement, where he explains three times that Trump was not personally under investigation at various points in the timeline.

      Of course it is now known that Trump is indeed personally under investigation, since having fired Comey.

      “Comey had led the world to believe that Drumpf was under investigation” & “subtly advanced by Comey and perhaps others in the intelligence community — that he personally had colluded with Russia in connection with the election, and that he was a criminal suspect.”

      The article doesn’t explain how exactly Comey & the IC did this.

      “Comey refused to state publicly that Drumpf was not under investigation”

      What do you personally make of Comey’s explanation that: “the FBI and the Department of Justice had been reluctant to make public statements that we did not have an open case on President Drumpf for a number of reasons, most importantly because it would create a duty to correct, should that change.”?

  6. Joe Bloggs

     /  June 16, 2017

    Now back to reality with news that Jeff Sessions has been outed as liar by a lobbyist for Russian interests who helped craft a policy speech for trump

    An American lobbyist for Russian interests who helped craft an important foreign policy speech for Donald Trump has confirmed that he attended two dinners hosted by Jeff Sessions during the 2016 campaign, apparently contradicting the attorney general’s sworn testimony given this week.

    Sessions testified under oath on Tuesday that he did not believe he had any contacts with lobbyists working for Russian interests over the course of Trump’s campaign. But Richard Burt, a former ambassador to Germany during the Reagan administration, who has represented Russian interests in Washington, told the Guardian that he could confirm previous media reports that stated he had contacts with Sessions at the time.


    • Joe Bloggs

       /  June 16, 2017

      Hard to say what’s more damning. The fact that Sessions hosted dinners that were attended by lobbyists working to advance Russian interests, or that those same lobbyists were helping the trump campaign write trump’s foreign policy speech.

      Someone is lying, and given the Attorney General’s track record of not remembering meetings with Russians, it is a pretty safe guess that the person who is not telling the truth is Jeff Sessions.

      • That’s defamation

      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  June 16, 2017

        Absolutely shocking that Sessions hosted a dinner attended by a former ambassador to Germany. Indict the man. Or that Trump consulted people knowledgeable about Russia and US diplomacy when putting together a foreign policy speech.

        God, your political opinions are stupid, Joe.

        • Mefrostate

           /  June 16, 2017

          It’s the lying about those contacts (read: perjury) that’s the problem, Alan.

          • PDB

             /  June 16, 2017

            This just gets sillier and sillier – it seems clear the so-called Russian ‘lobbyist’ (note he is described as having PREVIOUSLY represented Russian interests in Washington) wasn’t at these functions to act for the Russians and the guy even states Sessions may not have been aware of his past Russian connections.


  7. Gezza

     /  June 17, 2017

    No World Watch – Saturday, so posting here:

    Aljaz tv, gone midnight.

    US White House Reporter Kimberley Halcuttt advises Media are scratching their heads over this one, sent just before The Donald boarded Air Force Trump to fly to Miami where he is expected to announce changes to US policy on Cuba.

    It doesn’t make sense:
    1. if he means Special Persecuter, Robert Mueller, he never told him to fire The Showboat, he wasn’t even on the scene at the time.
    2. If he means Deputy Attorney General, Rod Rosenstein, Trump is on record insisting that he made the decision to fire Comey himself.

    • Gezza

       /  June 17, 2017

      * Kimberly Halkett (sorry Kimbers, spelt it like he said it 😕)

      • Gezza

         /  June 17, 2017

        (Broadcasts like she works for Entertainment Tonight – legend in her own lifestyle – a bit inclined to over-blow trivial matters)