World view – Sunday

Saturday GMT


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


  1. Trump played key role in coordinating hush money payments to Daniels, McDougal: report

    President Trump was heavily involved during his presidential campaign in silencing the stories of women who claimed to have extramarital affairs with him, according to a report from The Wall Street Journal that contradicts repeated denials from Trump.

    Federal prosecutors have gathered evidence that Trump worked with his friend and media executive David Pecker to use the National Enquirer tabloid to buy the silence of adult-film star Stormy Daniels and former Playboy model Karen McDougal, according to interviews the Journal had with three dozen people with knowledge of the transactions.

    Trump was allegedly involved in nearly every step of the process to prevent Daniels and McDougal from publicizing their stories and worked with his longtime lawyer and fixer Michael Cohen to coordinate the deals.

    In August, Cohen pleaded guilty in New York to charges of bank fraud, tax fraud and campaign finance law violations relating to the payments. He said he made the payments at the direction of “a candidate for federal office” without mentioning Trump by name.

    The payments could have constituted campaign finance violations since any funds used to aid a campaign are supposed to come out of that campaign’s coffers, but Cohen paid the women personally and was later reimbursed by Trump.

    Trump has dismissed the payments, telling the Journal in an October interview, “Nobody cares about that.” He described Cohen as a “public-relations person” who “represented me on very small things.”

    Trump lies a lot. It seems inevitable that some of his lies will end up causing him problems, especially legal problems.

    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  November 11, 2018

      Seems bizarre. Surely it is proper for Trump to pay off his own blackmailers rsther than his campaign?

  2. The president was scheduled to pay tribute at a ceremony at the Aisne-Marne American Cemetery in Belleau, about 85 km (50 miles) east of Paris, with his wife Melania. But light steady rain and a low cloud ceiling prevented his helicopter from traveling to the site.

    “(Their attendance) has been canceled due to scheduling and logistical difficulties caused by the weather,” the White House said in a statement, adding that a delegation lead by Chief of Staff John Kelly, a retired general, went instead.

    The decision prompted a rash of criticism on Twitter, with Nicholas Soames, a British member of parliament who is a grandson of former Prime Minister Winston Churchill, saying that Trump was dishonoring U.S. servicemen.

    “They died with their face to the foe and that pathetic inadequate @realDonaldTrump couldn’t even defy the weather to pay his respects to the Fallen”, Soames wrote on Twitter.

    If only they had cancelled the war because of logistical problems and rain.

    • Gezza

       /  November 11, 2018

      Yes. The saddest thing about WW1 one is probably that in the first really industrialised war the out-of-touch generals kept pointlessly sending men into a meat grinder to be mowed down by shells and machine gun fire for sake of a few hundred yards of cratered mud. Like accountants, looking at the disposable assets on their balance sheet. No humanity or common sense. And generals still do it today, although not on that scale.

      • Pink David

         /  November 11, 2018

        “the out-of-touch generals kept pointlessly sending men into a meat grinder ”

        This really isn’t true. 200 Generals were killed, wounded or captured during the war, and the Officers when down faster than the ranks. The Blackadder version of WW1 is a long way from the reality.

        • Gezza

           /  November 11, 2018

          Fuck. You were THERE ?? 😮

        • Siegried Sassoon was aawardd a Military Cross but went on to protest against the war. He blamed the politicians.

          Lt. Siegfried Sassoon.
          3rd Batt: Royal Welsh Fusiliers.

          July, 1917.

          I am making this statement as an act of wilful defiance of military authority because I believe that the war is being deliberately prolonged by those who have the power to end it. I am a soldier, convinced that I am acting on behalf of soldiers. I believe that the war upon which I entered as a war of defence and liberation has now become a war of agression and conquest. I believe that the purposes for which I and my fellow soldiers entered upon this war should have been so clearly stated as to have made it impossible to change them and that had this been done the objects which actuated us would now be attainable by negotiation.

          I have seen and endured the sufferings of the troops and I can no longer be a party to prolong these sufferings for ends which I believe to be evil and unjust. I am not protesting against the conduct of the war, but against the political errors and insincerities for which the fighting men are being sacrificed.

          On behalf of those who are suffering now, I make this protest against the deception which is being practised upon them; also I believe it may help to destroy the callous complacency with which the majority of those at home regard the continuance of agonies which they do not share and which they have not enough imagination to realise.

          • One of my grandfathers may have served in the Welsh Fusiliers. he was shot in the chest, hymn book in his breast pocket probably saved his life.

      • Pink David

         /  November 11, 2018

        “And generals still do it today, although not on that scale.”

        This reminded me of that Foch quote; “It takes 15,000 dead to train a General”.

      • The Consultant

         /  November 11, 2018

        While there’s no doubt that the Generals on all sides did not cope with the realities of this new industrial war, a couple of things should be noted.

        First, the death and casualty rates in the Allied Armies were actually at their worst in the final months of the war when manuever warfare had been re-established and they were chasing the Germans across open country, as they had in the opening phases of the war. After all, it’s when you climb out of the trenches that you are most exposed to enemy fire.

        Second, faced with those losses as the war was clearly being won, it was none other than “butcher Haig” who made it very clear that he did not want the Allied Armies pushing into Germany if their army could simply be induced to surrender where they were, outside the borders of Germany. That’s not the inclination of a callous “butcher” – and Lloyd George and other politicians were keen to deflect blame for the slaughter, even though they could have dumped such generals during the war, so clearly they had no better ideas.

        The irony is that at least two senior generals in the French Army argued with Hague and others that the Allied Armies had to go into Germany, because unless they absolutely crushed the German Army in it’s own nation – in front of their own people, they would never accept that they had been defeated and would arise in revenge. It might cost additional hundreds of thousands of deaths, but it would prevent a major war in the future. In fact one of those generals said there would be another war in exactly twenty years time.

        History proved them right, not just in terms of setting the scene for WWII, but in the fact that in the latter war, that’s exactly what the Allies did, imposing a far worse defeat, occupying the place for years, and leaving it cut in two.

        But there’s been no major European war since then and no prospect of such.

        So, if we could time-travel back to 1918 and be all those Generals – which decision would we make? To me it gives touch of humanity to the “moron” and “butcher” that was Haig, and others like him.

    • Corky

       /  November 11, 2018

      To be fair to Trumpy, the constraints of helicopter operations are very strict. They can’t fly above clouds.

      I don’t know the details, but given the importance of this event, he should(?) have had backup transport and rescheduling.

      He.or his officials, seem blind to the importance of this event..and the consequences.

      But let’s not be too judgemental…remember our minister of Wine &Cheese who didn’t want to get wet at a memeotial service?

    • Gezza

       /  November 11, 2018

      Aljazeera tv had a news item on the celebrations and showed this scene or one like it. They featured a 40 something German man saying that although there are also German graveyards dotted around the countries fought in many of their dead were buried in mass graves and there are no layers of lines of white crosses. Germans have not until recently had national memorial services for their war dead because following their defeats in WW’s 1 & 2 and the national acceptance of the horrors perpetrated on other nations by German soldiers under Hitler and the Nazis, there was a collective sense of shame that meant they could not be seen to grieve for their own war dead.

      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  November 11, 2018

        Yes. I have a German friend who was an infant in WW2 who has told me a couple of poignant stories but there is a sense of being overwhelmed by the horrors of what the Nazis did.

        • I have a German friend (born well after the war) who hates the stigma attached to the wars. They have no responsibility for anything that happened but feel guilt by association.

          • Corky

             /  November 11, 2018

            That would be real guilt, I would imagine. Not like the faux guilt continually expected of European New Zealanders regarding colonisation.

            • I don’t think there’s any real reason for them to feel guilt, but it is there by association. And it has been there by accusation at times too while they have been here (35 years).