World watch – Thursday

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WorldWatch2

For posting on events, news, opinions and anything of interest from around the world.

18 Comments

  1. Gezza

     /  March 15, 2018

    Aljaz tv midnite news:

    Turkish President Erdogan announced to a convention today that he expected Turkish-backed Free Srian Army troops to take the city of Afrin within hours. A later correction by a spokesperson said that in fact it was expected that these forces will have completely surrounded the city by Wednesday (our Thursday) evening.

    Reporter Alan Fisher said that despite other Kurdish YPG & Kurdish civilisns having come to Afrin as requested, this has not hindered the SFA/Turkish encirclement, & that when the city is surrounded he was expecting Turkey to tell the YPG it was time to leave – hoping that they will be persuaded to move out, including by international pressure via the Security Council, rather than create a humanitarian crisis by forcing a direct attack on the city.

    There are 100s of thousands of people in the city, it now has no power, no water, no internet. Fisher thinks it likely that if the impasse is not resolved the city will be attacked.

    The Kurdish YPG presence in the area was originally supported by the US. Seems unlikely they will want to get directly involved though.

  2. Patzcuaro

     /  March 15, 2018

    Democrat has narrow lead in election to replace Republican congressman in Pennsylvania’s 18th disrtict which was wo by Trump by 20% in 2016

    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-election-pennsylvania/in-warning-for-trump-democrat-claims-too-close-to-call-pennsylvania-vote-idUSKCN1GP0DG

    • Joe Bloggs

       /  March 15, 2018

      Lamb just flipped a GOP Safe House seat in a heavily gerrymandered district trump won by 20 points sixteen months ago, even though the outside GOP groups outspent Lamb by 2 to 1. There are 119 House seats where trump’s margin was narrower than that 20 pt spread.

      Historically, the president’s party loses about 32 seats on average during the midterms and the Dems now need to win just 23 more to take back the House.

      If Republicans weren’t gnawing off their nails already, PA-18 should have done the trick.

      • High Flying Duck

         /  March 15, 2018

        Yep – it’s a damning indictment of Trump – I mean how did he win…oh yeah, but distancing himself from the Democrats and running on the Trump agenda.

        “House Republicans called the race unique, noting Lamb, 33, a U.S. Marines veteran, had distanced himself from his party’s leaders and staked out positions to the right of many Democrats.

        “I don’t think you’ll see another candidate like Lamb,” said Republican Representative Chris Collins of New York.

        Representative Mike Kelly, who represents Pennsylvania’s 3rd District, said Lamb was “more like a Republican.”

        “I thought Conor Lamb ran a very good race because he ran on the Trump agenda,” Kelly said.”

        • Joe Bloggs

           /  March 15, 2018

          Oh so now Republicans are counting a Dem win as a win for themselves??? Hahaha, you really know how to tickle my sensitive bits HFD. Lamb ran on these issues:

          1. For universal health care
          2. Against Trump’s tax cut
          3. For expanded background checks
          4. For stronger unions
          5. Against cuts to Social Security
          6. For a woman’s right to choose
          7. For medical marijuana

          Does that sound like a Republican to any honest person?

          Just a few talking points for you to ponder:

          Congressional districts don’t swing 20 points in little over a year without a major national shift. Trump hurt Saccone. He and his high profile admin went to the district twice, and Saccone lost. Any generic Republican should have cruised to victory in PA-18… but they lost. Saccone lost because he embraced trumpism..

          The Nancy Pelosi attack didn’t work, even though Pelosi’s name was mentioned more than Saccone’s in Republican advertising.

          The Dark Money failed. The Republicans called Lamb a Pelosi liberal. They claimed that he was soft on drug dealers and weak on immigration. The outside groups spent US$11.9 million in the Pittsburgh television market, and their strategy failed.

          PA-18’s gerrymandering was part of the reason it was supposed to be impossible for Democrats to win. This is a seat that used to be so solidly Republican that Democrats didn’t even bother competing in it.

          This is the second time in the past three months that Republicans have lost a congressional race in an area that went overwhelmingly for trump in the 2016 presidential election.

          If you think Lamb’s a one-off Repub-lite candidate then ponder this – Special Elections and their Dem Swing compared to 2016 presidential election results:
          California 34th +18 swing
          Kansas 4th +23 swing
          Montana At-Large +16 swing
          Georgia 6th +6 swing
          South Carolina 5th +16 swing
          Utah 3rd +3 swing
          Alabama Senate +31 swing
          Pennsylvania 18th +22 swing

          Average swing +17% to the Dems – that’s what a failed presidency looks like.

  3. Interesting that there is apparently no support in the UK press (apart from the Morning Star) for Mr Corbyn supporting the Russian line about the poisoning. Maybe this is Theresa May’s Falklands moment.

  4. Blazer

     /  March 15, 2018

    What did Russia have to gain if the attack was in fact by them?Did any other party have anything to…gain?Join the…dots.

    • High Flying Duck

       /  March 15, 2018

      “Beneath this bluster, however, is cool calculation. Skripal and his daughter Yulia were poisoned in Salisbury with a Moscow-made military nerve agent, developed during the 1970s and 1980s during the cold war. Whoever wanted to murder him might have used a subtler weapon. Instead, his assassins picked novichok. How it was deployed remains unclear.

      Sergei Skripal scandal has sent UK-Russia relations tumbling. What next?
      Read more
      One former employee of the Russian special services said nerve agents were used only if the goal was to draw attention. “This is a very dirty method. There’s a risk of contaminating other people, which creates additional difficulties,” he told the Kommersant newspaper, adding: “There are far more delicate methods that professionals use.”

      In other words, novichok was a gruesome calling card. As those who organised the hit must have known, the trail goes directly back to Moscow. The incident even took place down the road from Porton Down, the government’s military research base, which swiftly tested and identified the toxin.

      All of which means Vladimir Putin and his FSB spy agency have probably sought to engineer a confrontation with the UK. Why now?”

      https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2018/mar/13/spy-poisoning-why-putin-may-have-engineered-gruesome-calling-card

      • David

         /  March 15, 2018

        “Whoever wanted to murder him might have used a subtler weapon.”

        They might have also used a weapon that actually worked too.

        • Kitty Catkin

           /  March 15, 2018

          IF it was someone else, and I wouldn’t be surprised if it was, they have succeeded brilliantly at making trouble.

  5. Gezza

     /  March 15, 2018

    • Kitty Catkin

       /  March 15, 2018

      Mongler ?

      • Gezza

         /  March 15, 2018

        Didn’t notice that. Not one of my efforts. Amazing how a smickers can grow ya sideboards tho.

        • Gezza

           /  March 15, 2018

          * snickers. Possible freudian slip there.

          • Kitty Catkin

             /  March 15, 2018

            It makes the hair grow lower, changes the shape of the mouth and does other things, too. Poor old Kim.

            Mongler is an anagram of mongrel. If I ever have a mongrel, he will be called Glenmor (short for Glenmottrum) My dog should have been called Meatles.

  6. Joe Bloggs

     /  March 15, 2018

    Are these numbers the first signs of wider deficits to come?

    The U.S. recorded a $215 billion budget deficit in February — its biggest in six years — as revenue declined.

    Fiscal income dropped to $156 billion, down 9 percent from a year earlier, while spending rose 2 percent to $371 billion, the Treasury Department said on Monday. The deficit for the fiscal year that began in October widened to $391 billion, compared with a $351 billion shortfall the same period a year earlier, according to the Treasury report.

    The data underscore concerns by some economists that Republican tax cuts enacted this year could increase the U.S. government debt load, which has surpassed $20 trillion.

    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-03-12/u-s-posts-biggest-budget-deficit-since-2012-as-tax-income-falls

    • Kitty Catkin

       /  March 15, 2018

      Squawks of ‘fake news’ from Trump !

  7. duperez

     /  March 15, 2018