World view – Monday

Sunday GMT


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


  1. Gezza

     /  October 15, 2018

    Khashoggi murder problem

    Aljaeera update summary:

    (Their) Sunday, October 14
    Britain to determine course of action if Saudi proven guilty
    The UK’s foreign minister said Britain would have to think about the appropriate response if it were proven that Saudi Arabia was behind the disappearance of Khashoggi.

    “I don’t want to get draw into hypotheticals because we don’t know the facts yet, but we have been very, very clear that if these stories are true, that would be totally appalling and we would have to think about the appropriate way to react in that situation,” Hunt told British television.

    Saudi thanks US for showing caution in Khashoggi case
    Saudi Arabia thanked countries, including the United States, for “refraining from jumping to conclusions” over the fate of the missing journalist.

    The embassy in Washington issued a tweet to clarify an earlier statement in which Saudi Arabia said it would retaliate to international pressure or sanctions with greater measures.

    Saudi Embassy Tweet:
    @SaudiEmbassy USA
    To help clarify recently issued Saudi statement, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia extends it appreciation to all, including the US administration, for refraining from jumping to conclusions on the ongoing investigation.

    Official Source: KSA confirms its total rejection of any threats and attempts to undermine it. #SPAGOV
    . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
    UK, France, Germany call for ‘credible investigation’
    The United Kingdom, France and Germany have called on Saudi Arabia and Turkey to mount a “credible investigation” into the disappearance of Khashoggi, adding they were treating the case with “utmost seriousness”.

    “There needs to be a credible investigation to establish the truth about what happened, and – if relevant – to identify those bearing responsibility for the disappearance of Jamal Khashoggi, and ensure that they are held to account,” foreign ministers from the three countries said in a joint statement.

    “We encourage joint Saudi-Turkish efforts in that regard, and expect the Saudi Government to provide a complete and detailed response. We have conveyed this message directly to the Saudi authorities.”

    US Treasury Secretary to attend upcoming Saudi summit
    Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin is still planning to attend the three-day Future Investment Initiative scheduled to take place on October 23, White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said on ABC’s “This Week.”

    “Mr. Mnuchin will make up his mind as the week progresses and as new information surfaces,” Kudlow said.

    His comments came shortly after Florida Senator Marco Rubio told CNN’s “State of the Union” he believes Mnuchin should boycott the event.
    . . .
    Senator Rubio: ‘US must take action’
    Republican Senator Marco Rubio said the US had to react in response to Khashoggi’s disappearance or face losing its reputation on human rights.

    “If we do not take action, including potentially arms sales, as a result of this, if it turns out to be what they say it is, then we are not going to be able to with a straight face or any credibility confront Putin or Assad or Maduro in Venezuela or frankly confront the Chinese and their human rights violations,” Rubio said on Sunday in an interview with CBS’s Face the Nation.

    Saudi Arabia vows retaliation against possible sanctions
    Riyadh dismissed threats of sanctions over the disappearance of Khashoggi and vowed Saudi Arabia would retaliate against such action.

    “The kingdom affirms its total rejection of any threats or attempts to undermine it whether through threats to impose economic sanctions or the use of political pressure,” an official source said, quoted by state news agency SPA.

    “The kingdom also affirms that it will respond to any action with a bigger one,” the source said.

    Saudi stocks tumble as pressure mounts
    Saudi Arabia’s Tadawul All-Shares Index (TASI) lost more than 500 points on the first trading day of the week on Sunday, wiping out all the gains it had made since the start of the year. TASI is the largest Arab bourse and has shed almost $50bn of its capital value, dropping to $450bn.

    Both economic and political factors caused the drop. The US has raised interest rates and Trump’s attacks on the Federal Reserve, fueling market concerns. Global uncertainty surrounding Khashoggi’s disappearance has also contributed to the dive, Mohammed Zidan, market strategist at Thinkmarket in Dubai, told AFP.

    Investors, journalists and politicians have announced plans to boycott Saudi an important investment conference.

    • Patzcuaro

       /  October 15, 2018

    • Gezza

       /  October 15, 2018

      Aljaz tv 11 am updates:

      The Head of Saudi Intelligence has just arrived in Ankara. This follows a phone call from King Salman to President Erdogan to thank him for agreeing to form a joint Turkish/Saudi team to investigate Khashoggi’s disappearance in Istanbul.

      Erdogan, King Salman stress importance of joint working group
      Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan and King Salman of Saudi Arabia spoke by telephone and discussed the investigation into the disappearance of Khashoggi, according to Turkish presidential sources. They said the leaders stressed the importance of their two countries creating a joint working group as part of the investigation. The king thanked Erdogan for welcoming the Saudi proposal for the joint group, and said no one could undermine their relationship.

      Egypt supports Saudi efforts on Khashoggi
      Egypt said it was following with concern the case of Khashoggi’s disappearance and called for a transparent investigation into the matter. “Egypt stresses the importance of revealing the truth of what happened in a transparent investigation,” its foreign ministry said in a statement.

      Cairo warned against those who sought to exploit the incident politically against Saudi Arabia and stressed its support for Riyadh’s efforts to deal with the situation.

      Britain to determine course of action if Saudi proven guilty
      The UK’s Foreign Minister Jeremy Hunt said Britain would have to think about the appropriate response if it were proven that Saudi Arabia was behind the disappearance of Khashoggi. “I don’t want to get drawn into hypotheticals because we don’t know the facts yet, but we have been very, very clear that if these stories are true, that would be totally appalling and we would have to think about the appropriate way to react in that situation,” Hunt told British television.

      • Gezza

         /  October 15, 2018

        (One commenter on Aljaz tv last night noted that Turkey is in a major financial hole. Qatar has promised them US$12 billion, but they need about US$100 billion. I imagine the Saudis might now be happy to help – in the right circumstances.)

  2. Corky

     /  October 15, 2018

    President Trumpy is prayed over. Good stuff, but a little too late. I do that regularly on this blog. What a strange life this president leads..dictators, rappers and evangelists. The president covers all bases.

    Meanwhile American unemployment figures are the lowest since 1969. If those figures are correct, that’s phenomenal.

    God speed, Mr President. Please deliver the West from our enemies, both domestic and non domestic.

    • Gezza

       /  October 15, 2018

      They’re very good at “thoughts and prayers” over there.

      • High Flying Duck

         /  October 15, 2018

        Amen to that Gezza!

        • Corky

           /  October 15, 2018

          Too true, High Flyer. Faith can move mountains. Trumpy is proof of that. He has faith in himself. Others have faith in God to guide Trumpy as he relieves the suffering of fellow Americans.

          Unfortunately in Aotearoa we are too secular. We have nothing to fall back on. No uniting principle….except the All Blacks.

  3. High Flying Duck

     /  October 15, 2018

    China’s foolproof strategy for creating a “strong” economy:

    • Blazer

       /  October 15, 2018

      what do the figs refer to? %

      • High Flying Duck

         /  October 15, 2018

        Click through the link and read the thread on twitter.

  4. Gezza

     /  October 15, 2018

    Afghan Taliban officials: ‘US agrees to discuss troops pullout’
    US agrees to discuss pullout of troops from Afghanistan as part of talks to end 17-year war, Taliban officials say.

    Doha, Qatar – The United States has agreed to discuss the withdrawal of its troops from Afghanistan in a direct meeting with Taliban representatives in Qatar, officials from the armed group said.

    In a preliminary meeting in Doha on Friday, Taliban representatives and US envoy Zalmay Khalilzad discussed the Taliban’s conditions to end the 17-year war in Afghanistan, two top Taliban officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, told Al Jazeera. “Six US delegates arrived in Doha to have a meeting with our (Taliban) leaders [and] agreed to discuss all issues, including the pullout of foreign troops,” one of the officials said.

    “But, it was a preliminary meeting and all issues were discussed in general, not in detail,” he added, saying more talks were expected to take place in the near future.

    Last year, US President Donald Trump increased the number of US forces in the country as part of a new strategy against the Taliban. There are now about 14,000 US soldiers in the country. The Taliban has previously said the presence of foreign troops was the biggest obstacle to peace in Afghanistan.

    In addition to the withdrawal of foreign troops from Afghanistan, the Taliban’s conditions include the lifting of sanctions on its leaders, the release of their fighters imprisoned in Afghanistan, and the establishment of an official political office.

    We’ll see. Always a bit suspicious when anyone is “speaking on the condition of anonymity”, and the US hasn’t said anything yet.

  5. sorethumb

     /  October 15, 2018

    Bavarian Election Exit Poll: Merkel Allies See Huge Losses As Greens and Populists Surge

    The Greens have a good brand but really the populists represent immigration control; the Greens in NZ have given us modern Auckland and Queenstown. Populists therefore need to refocus.

  6. Gezza

     /  October 15, 2018

    An interesting look at the “hidden genius” of Bibi’s boy Jared (according to Nikki Haley).

    When US President Donald Trump chose Riyadh to make his debut on the world stage last year, he was placing a bet on Saudi Arabia, which serenaded him with military bands, dazzled him with a flyover of fighter jets and regaled him with a traditional sword dance.

    The mastermind behind that wager – the White House adviser who convinced Trump to visit Saudi Arabia for his maiden foreign trip and who choreographed a veritable lovefest between the new president and the desert kingdom’s white-robed ruler, King Salman bin Abdul Aziz – was Jared Kushner.

    The president’s son-in-law has carefully cultivated a close partnership with the heir to the Saudi throne, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, whom Kushner has championed as a reformer poised to usher the ultraconservative, oil-rich monarchy into modernity.

    Mohammed and Kushner became close early on in the Trump administration. They struck up a friendship at a White House lunch in March 2017 and had private, one-on-one phone calls that took senior intelligence leaders by surprise and worried career national security officials because note-takers were not always present, according to multiple people familiar with the relationship.

    One Trump adviser said it was “insane” how much Kushner spoke with Mohammed. The contents of some of those conversations remain a mystery.

    Administration officials said that since those early months, Kushner has had key national security officials present for his conversations with Mohammed or has later briefed them.

    “Jared has always meticulously followed protocols and collaborated with colleagues regarding the relationship with MBS and all of the other foreign officials with whom he interacts,” said a White House official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss Kushner’s practices.

    Nevertheless, anxiety grew among some US spies when they learned that foreign officials in at least four countries had privately discussed ways to manipulate Kushner by taking advantage of his complex business dealings, financial difficulties and lack of foreign policy experience, according to current and former US officials familiar with the intelligence about those discussions. One of the countries was the United Arab Emirates, a key Saudi ally.