World view – Sunday

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WorldWatch2

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

43 Comments

  1. Missy

     /  September 9, 2018

    Tomorrow Swedish people will go to the polls to vote for members of the Riksdag, the supreme decision making body of Sweden, the Riksdag will then vote for the PM. Up to 349 seats are up for grabs and 175 are needed for a majority.

    Currently Sweden is ruled by a centre left bloc, but there are concerns at the increased popularity of the Sweden Democrats, a right wing, eurosceptic, nationalist party. Some online polling suggests that the Sweden Democrats could emerge as the largest party, however, no other party has indicated they would work with them which could cause some problems for Sweden to form a Government if this polling is correct. The more traditional polling companies have the Sweden Democrats as the second largest party, but these polling companies underestimated the support for the SD in the previous election whilst the online polling was more accurate, which will be a blow for the centre left if this is the case today.

    The EU’s response to these kind of Government’s / Party’s that they disagree with is to threaten with fines, to lecture, and to threaten with withholding EU funding, they are blind to what many see as the cause of the rising far right and Eurosceptic views in Europe.

    They need to look at the last round of elections, Poland, Czech Republic, Austria, Hungary, Italy all have Eurosceptic and far right parties in their Government, the UK voted to leave the EU, these are not anomalies, they are a trend of a move to the right and Euroscepticism, and the EU’s response is not to talk, to understand, or to reform, but to entrench their beliefs and to say they need to work more quickly towards ever greater union.

    • Gezza

       /  September 9, 2018

      Evening Missy. There is obviously a resurgence of nationalism going on in Europe. There are probably a number of factors driving it but I am not surprised it’s happening. Perhaps the refugee/immigrant issue has given it impetus but the notion that Europe could perhaps be a European rough kind of equivalent to the Russian Federation or the United States of America was probably always going to be shaky because they lack a common language & the blending of their centuries of national and ethnic identities, as well as their legal systems, seems to be a lot more problematic than was envisaged.

      It seems to be becoming much clearer to the people in member countries that the European Union & Parliament has its own swamp – serving its bureaucrats more than them?

      • Missy

         /  September 10, 2018

        Morning G,

        Your analysis looks pretty accurate on the face of it. I can only make a guess at what is causing the resurgence of nationalism in Europe, but it definitely seems to have its roots in anti-EU support. It seems that the more the EU work towards some form of federalisation the more that the support for Nationalism grows. I think the EU / Immigration issue is the straw that broke the camel’s back, the nationalism has definitely been growing for longer than the last few years.

        I would agree with what you say regarding the blending of national identities as well as systems being problematic, and it is one of the things that definitely resonates in Britain. No other European country shares the same legal or parliamentary system as the UK, something that many see as being a cultural difference that cannot be overcome, as many in the UK pointed out during the referendum the UK’s legal and parliamentary systems can be dated back 800 years, much longer than many European countries have existed.

        Personally I think it is a wide range of matters that is creating it, mostly centred around the helplessness of the people as they feel their individual cultures and national identities are being lost. The GFC, the immigration crisis, the excesses of the bureaucrats in Brussels are all the more tangible things they can use as an excuse, but I don’t think they are the reasons – at least not fully.

  2. Gezza

     /  September 9, 2018

    Dozens of air strikes have hit the southern areas of the province of Idlib. Syrian state tv is saying their offensive has begun.

    The Syrian government has said that it is determined to take back the province from Jihadist terrorists (of which there are several groups, the largest, approximately 10,000 fighters, is Jabhat Fatah al-Sham (formerly Jabhat al-Nusra) – an Al Qaeda-aligned group which claimed to have cut ties with Al Qaeda but fooled nobody), and Iran and Russia have said they will support the Syrian government.

    Turkey supports some of the rebels & President Erdogan has said Turkey will not stand by if a bloodbath is unleashed.

    Both the UN and Turkey have been trying to get the rebels to leave the towns and cities to spare the civilian population from the onslaught but they are showing no intention of doing so, preferring to try and use civilians as cover and protection.

    Unfortunately the evidence is clear that Russians and Syrians do not let that deter them.

    • Gezza

       /  September 9, 2018

      Everything you need to know about the looming battle for Idlib
      On September 7, a three-way summit in Tehran failed to produce a clear agreement between Russia, Turkey and Iran on the fate of Syria’s Idlib province, the last stronghold of the Syrian armed opposition.

      A ceasefire suggested by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was rejected and a fully-fledged government offensive now seems imminent, in what is expected to be Syria’s deadliest battle yet.

      Idlib is the last barrier standing between the Syrian government and its military victory against a rebellion that began more than seven years ago. The northwestern province bordering Turkey was one of the four “de-escalation zones” agreed by Ankara, Moscow and Tehran in May 2017 during the fourth round of the Astana talks, launched earlier that year with the aim of pursuing a political solution to Syria’s conflict.

      One by one, the other three areas – Homs; Eastern Ghouta; and Deraa and Quneitra – have been captured by the Syrian government forces and their allies. As Damascus clawed back opposition-held territory, thousands of civilians and rebel fighters from those areas were bussed to Idlib, dubbed a “dumping ground” for evacuees.

      Amid persisting uncertainty, three scenarios are likely to emerge in Idlib: a massive onslaught; a protracted offensive; or infighting between rebels followed by a reconciliation deal with Damascus. But whatever actually occurs, it will be the civilians currently trapped in the densely populated province that will pay the highest price.
      More …
      https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2018/09/looming-battle-idlib-180908142026400.html

  3. Gezza

     /  September 9, 2018

    The two leading groups in Iraq’s parliament have demanded the resignation of Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi over the unrest in Basra, where the escalation in violence since Tuesday has seen at least 12 deaths, the Iranian consulate torched and its airport hit by rockets.
    https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2018/09/iraq-pm-asked-resign-basra-violence-escalates-180908143220108.html

    I dunno. The place just hasn’t been the same since the US liberated it.

  4. Yet another Trump campaign investigation.

    Trump Executives Face U.S. Campaign-Finance Probe

    Federal prosecutors in Manhattan are investigating whether anyone in the Trump Organization violated campaign-finance laws, in a follow-up to their conviction last month of Michael Cohen, according to a person familiar with the matter.

    In announcing Cohen’s guilty plea last month outside of federal court in Manhattan, Deputy U.S. Attorney Robert Khuzami said ‘‘we will not fear prosecuting additional campaign finance cases.”

    The inquiry, not previously reported, shows that the Manhattan U.S. attorney’s office doesn’t intend to stand down following the guilty plea from Trump’s longtime personal lawyer.

    The Trump Organization is a stable of private companies heavily invested in real estate that’s been run by the president’s sons, Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump, since he took office.

    Cohen faces five years in prison for five counts of tax evasion, one count of bank fraud and two counts of campaign finance violations involving payments to former Playboy model Karen McDougal and Stephanie Clifford, an adult film actress better known as Stormy Daniels. The president has denied having affairs with the women.

    In January 2017, Cohen sought reimbursement for $130,000 that he had paid Clifford. He submitted an invoice from his consulting firm to Trump’s company for that amount and $50,000 for “tech services” related to the campaign.

    The $50,000 payment for campaign-related services appears to violate campaign finance rules, though Cohen’s guilty plea was limited to the two women’s payments. Prosecutors and FBI agents need to determine if the Trump real estate companies or his trust made campaign-related payments without disclosing them properly to election officials.

    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-09-07/trump-executives-are-said-to-face-campaign-finance-probe-by-u-s

    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  September 9, 2018

      This is what happens when law enforcement is run by politicians and where the only candidates for attorney general elections are Democrats.

      • Yes, there’s an alarming amount of political involvement and interference in US justice.

        That a supreme court appointment should be as a result of partisan spatting and skulduggery is ridiculous.

        • Trevors_elbow

           /  September 10, 2018

          Like how all those Democrat aligned Supreme Court appointments took place Pete?

          Travelling in the States it’s clear Trump still has massive support outside the California and North East bubbles….you see in the ninth Wapo, NYT papers … you hear it in bars and dinners…

          It’s a bit different from what CNN presents that’s for sure

      • Patzcuaro

         /  September 9, 2018

        Why are the only candidates for attorney general Democrats?

        • Patzcuaro

           /  September 9, 2018

          Do the Republicans all have their hands in the cookie jar?

  5. A modest American:

    • Patzcuaro

       /  September 9, 2018

      Blind faith?

      • Corky

         /  September 9, 2018

        It’s the truth. Full stop. Whether it maintains that position over the coming years is the question.

        • Gezza

           /  September 9, 2018

          Damn straight. Prevailed in Vietnam. Afghanistan. Somalia …

          • Gezza

             /  September 9, 2018

            😮 Ooo – shit !

            No. Wait … 🙎‍♂️

          • Corky

             /  September 9, 2018

            And who takes notice of those countries? What power do they have to shake world affairs?

            ”Prevailed:
            verb
            prove more powerful or superior.”

            I would add: despite losses on a journey of perpetual greatness.

            • Gezza

               /  September 9, 2018

              And who takes notice of those countries?
              America. And every other suck up lapdog country they suck in to their arrogant belligerence.

              What power do they have to shake world affairs?
              The proved the Yanks royally fuck things up for other countries. A lot. Without the Yanks there’d be no ISIS. They’ve been shaking the yanks up in Afghanistan for 17 years. Hopeless idiots.

            • Gezza

               /  September 9, 2018

              *They

            • Corky

               /  September 9, 2018

              ”America. And every other suck up lapdog country they suck in to their arrogant belligerence.”

              Past tense. America has moved on. Win or lose America can just move on.

              ”They proved the Yanks royally fuck things up for other countries. A lot.”

              As if America is the only player on the global stage who’ve caused deleterious damage to some countries.

            • Gezza

               /  September 9, 2018

              America’s the only one that thinks it hasn’t.

            • Gezza

               /  September 9, 2018

              Past tense. America has moved on.
              Still in Afghanistan. Getting whooped by goat-herders.

            • Corky

               /  September 9, 2018

              ”Still in Afghanistan. Getting whooped by goat-herders.”

              Only because it’s of strategic importance for America with its fight against terrorism..and because of that lucrative poppy production that helps fund black projects.

            • Gezza

               /  September 9, 2018

              America’s been the principal cause of most terrorism in the West.
              Wake up.

            • Gezza

               /  September 9, 2018

              Hard to know what’s the best response to that one.

            • Gezza

               /  September 9, 2018

              Wrong place.

          • sorethumb

             /  September 9, 2018

            If Vietnam had invaded the US?

            • Gezza

               /  September 9, 2018

              Other countries don’t invade the US. The US invades other countries. It’s just what they do. That, and arms sales.

            • Conspiratoor

               /  September 9, 2018

              When it comes to the next big power showdown you will probably want to snuggle up to the great satan G. Unless of course you believe in the tooth fairy and could ask to be excused …or perhaps you prefer a chinese version of freedom

            • Gezza

               /  September 9, 2018

              They got no show against our Corky.

            • Conspiratoor

               /  September 9, 2018

              Is that the same cork that was lodged in a pigs arse by a couple of renowned scientists who left it there for 3 weeks to see what happened when they took it out?

            • Gezza

               /  September 9, 2018

              Hard to know what’s the best response to that one.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  September 9, 2018

              Avoidance, G. Don’t go near it.

            • Blazer

               /  September 9, 2018

              a non aligned country far away from the rest of the world would have little to fear.

              Hang out with the hated bully of the globe and you might cop something.

            • Corky

               /  September 9, 2018

              You might like to read some of the accounts Tibetan Lamas gave regarding the invasion of their homeland by the hated Chinese.

  6. Joe Bloggs

     /  September 9, 2018

    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  September 9, 2018

      1.5% avg growth rate over 8 years is dire. (For those who can’t read a chart.)

      • Joe Bloggs

         /  September 10, 2018

        Obama achieved 2.1% annualised real GDP growth from first quarter in office to last quarter.

        That’s real GDP growth AFTER correcting for inflation and coming out of the GFC (for those that don’t understand economics)

  7. PDB

     /  September 9, 2018

    Apparently sexism is the reason Serena lost and not her poor sportsmanship and abuse of the umpire including calling him a ‘thief’…

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/sport/tennis/106946237/chair-umpires-sexist-power-play-ruins-powerful-us-open-womens-final