World view – Wednesday

Wednesday GMT

WorldWatch2

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

68 Comments

  1. Gezza

     /  January 9, 2019

    Erdogan: US ‘seriously mistaken’ on Syrian Kurd fighters’ safety
    Turkish leader blasts US adviser Bolton over security demands for Kurdish militia in Syria in turn for US withdrawal.


    Erdogan also said preparations almost done for new military operation against ‘terror groups’ in Syria

    Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Tuesday denounced comments by a senior American official urging protection for Kurdish allies as “seriously mistaken”.

    US National Security Adviser John Bolton held talks in Ankara with Turkish presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin and other officials on the handling of armed groups in northern Syria and the US’ planned pullout of its forces there.

    A joint press briefing scheduled to take place was abruptly cancelled and Bolton was set to depart Turkey without meeting Erdogan in a likely snub over disagreements about Kurdish fighters.

    During his visit to Israel on Sunday, Bolton set conditions for the US pullout from Syria that included Turkey guaranteeing the safety of the Kurdish militia that spearheaded the fight against Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIL, ISIS).

    “We cannot accept the message Bolton gave from Israel, we cannot be deceived by it,” Erdogan said in a speech to his Justice and Development Party (AK Party) deputies.

    Trump announced the withdrawal of some 2,000 US troops from Syria last month in a statement that shocked many politicians in Washington, along with Western and Kurdish allies who fought alongside the US in the war-torn country.
    https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2019/01/erdogan-mistaken-syrian-kurd-fighters-safety-190108094851818.html

    In fairly extensive coverage from reporters in Ankara, Northern Syria, and Jordan – where Mike Pompeo is currently visiting, & then going onto Saudi Arabia, it seems – Trump’s top two clowns were reported to be dashing around the Middle East desperately trying to convey to various countries the impression Trump’s knows what he’s doing, and that they both know what he’s doing too, even if nobody else does. It doesn’t appear to be convincing anyone, except possibly Bibi, although even that’s not clear.

    Not sure if one of them is visiting Sisi in Egypt, but he’s fuming that a CBS interview showing him sweating & getting caught out telling huge porkies like there are no political prisoners in Egypt was just shown in the US.

    Trump Circus International’s roadies are on the move again. Who’ll be the first to bail out or get the boot next when Trump says the opposite thing to what they’ve just told some Middle Eastern potentate – Bolton or Pompeo?

    • Gezza

       /  January 9, 2019

      Oh – here’s Pompeo’s leg of the Circus Roadshow

      US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo began a visit to the Middle East on Tuesday to talk to regional leaders about ramping up pressure on Iran.

      The trip comes amid confusion over conflicting statements by Trump administration about a planned US troop withdrawal from Syria. His first stop is pro-Western Jordan, followed by visits to Egypt, Bahrain, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Oman and Kuwait.

      Pompeo told reporters he plans to talk to allies about “modalities by which we may continue to apply pressure” on Iran, branded by Washington a sponsor of “terrorism”.

      Pompeo will likely face questions about last month’s surprise announcement that US troops would soon leave northeastern Syria, where they help battle remnants of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS).

      https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2019/01/secretary-state-mike-pompeo-starts-middle-east-visit-jordan-190108090632341.html

    • Gezza

       /  January 9, 2019

      And
      Afghan Taliban cancel peace talks with US officials in Qatar
      The two-day meeting starting Wednesday would have been fourth in a series between Taliban and US special envoy.

      The Afghan Taliban have cancelled peace talks with officials from the United States in Qatar this week, following disagreements over the agenda of the meeting, the group confirmed on Tuesday. The two-day talks were scheduled to begin on Wednesday in capital, Doha. The Taliban had rejected the participation of Afghan government officials in the deliberations.

      The Taliban have rejected numerous requests from regional powers to allow Afghan officials to take part in the talks, insisting that the US is their main adversary in the 17-year war and that Kabul is a “puppet” regime.

      At the request of the US, a Taliban office was established in Doha in 2013 to facilitate peace talks. But the office had to be closed after the Taliban came under pressure for hoisting the same flag at their office that the group used during its rule in Afghanistan. Subsequently, the then Afghan President Hamid Karzai halted all peace efforts, saying the Doha office was presenting itself as an unofficial embassy for a government-in-exile.

      The war in Afghanistan is America’s longest overseas military intervention. It has cost Washington nearly $1 trillion and killed tens of thousands of people. In 2017, US President Donald Trump increased the number of his country’s troops in Afghanistan 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.

      Reports last month about Trump’s plans to withdraw thousands of troops from Afghanistan triggered uncertainty in Kabul, which depends on the US and other foreign powers for military support and training.

      The US embassy in Afghanistan did not immediately respond to a request for comment, said the Reuters news agency.
      https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2019/01/afghan-taliban-hold-fourth-peace-talks-qatar-190108070441726.html

  2. Missy

     /  January 9, 2019

    The political discourse in Europe is getting more intense as divisions are pushing people more and more to the extremes of left and right…

    Posted: https://yournz.org/2019/01/09/divisions-in-europe-and-the-rise-of-the-extreme-right-and-left/

    • Duker

       /  January 9, 2019

      “Documents found by @Reuters in Iran and Syria ”

      Code for released by CIA

  3. Missy

     /  January 9, 2019

    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  January 9, 2019

      Defies belief that this is allowed to continue.

      • Missy

         /  January 9, 2019

        Wonder if the police have accounted for their drone…..

    • Missy

       /  January 9, 2019

      A caller to the radio has just said that flights are taking off again.

    • Missy

       /  January 9, 2019

      Another caller has just called in to say he saw a drone near the turnoff for Heathrow airport about 40ft off the ground. He saw the drone about an hour ago, and has been trying to call the police on the non emergency number, but he was in a queue.

      Just a note, both the Gatwick sightings, and tonight’s have been initially around 5pm, it is winter and it is getting dark just after 4pm, so by the time these drones are going up it is very dark, and for the Gatwick one it was also raining quite heavily on that night.

      • Kitty Catkin

         /  January 9, 2019

        I’d be dialling 999. It could well be an emergency.

        It’s beyond belief that anyone can buy one of these things, it’s an open invitation to plonkers with nothing better to do.

        • Missy

           /  January 9, 2019

          A drone sighted near a motorway could be an emergency? What emergency? No person was threatened, and when the witness saw it there was no crime in progress. Calling 999 would have been an overreaction based on what he saw and if he had called it he would have been considered a nuisance call. There are guidelines on when to call 999, and that didn’t fit them, he correctly called the non emergency number. It was already on the news that the police knew about the drone so he would have just been calling to provide information on a sighting to help police with determining its origin.

          • Kitty Catkin

             /  January 10, 2019

            Oh well, suit yourself. I’d call a potential plane crash an emergency. The guidelines were probably put in place before the drones were around.

            I wasn’t to know that it was on the news, how could I ? I am sure that the emergency services would rather have stale news and tell the person that it was already known, but thank you anyway, than have people assume that it was and do nothing,

  4. Joe Bloggs

     /  January 9, 2019

    We now know why Paul Manafort didn’t take a salary while working on the Trump campaign. Manafort was working off his debts to Oleg Deripaska by providing the Russians with access and info on the Trump campaign.
    His lawyers failed to properly redact their filing and revealed that Manafort offered to brief the Russians on campaign polling and lied about sharing polling data with Knstantin Kilimnik.

    • Pink David

       /  January 9, 2019

      The Russians spying on Trump? Well now, who would have thought it.

      • Joe Bloggs

         /  January 9, 2019

        Idiot. They were being given data by the trump campaign, i.e. in cahoots with trump.

        In all of the furore over the Trump Closedown, this has slid by under most radars:

        Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya has been charged with obstruction of justice and clearly exposed as an agent of the Kremlin.

        “So that when an offer was made at that infamous Trump Tower meeting of emails from Hillary Clinton, the offer that Donald Jr. said he would ‘love’ if it came at the right time in the campaign, we now know that that’s basically an offer of help from the Kremlin and a violation of American Law, which forbids accepting offers or soliciting offers of foreign help.
        […]
        As far as Manafort is concerned, we now have the umbilical cord that connects all of the Russian-side conspiracies with the American-side conspiracies.”
        -Lawrence Tribe, speaking on MSNBC with Ari Melber.

        Professor Tribe concludes that Donald Trump Jr. and Jared Kushner were, in every sense, soliciting help from the Kremlin.

  5. Patzcuaro

     /  January 9, 2019

    Trump and the Devil aka Alexandria (Sandy) Ocarsio-Cortez on the same page, tax the rich.

  6. Alan Wilkinson

     /  January 9, 2019

    Why Trump’s world is happy:
    the gains of the Trump expansion have flowed disproportionately to those who suffered the most in the previous slow-growth era of asset inflation, the very workers Trump identified in his campaign and inauguration speech. Blue-collar wage growth now exceeds white-collar wage growth for the first time in nearly a decade. Those opportunities abounded because manufacturing posted its best year for job growth since the 1990s. Although President Obama and countless economists regularly warned that manufacturing jobs would never return, the evidence now proves that pessimism wrong. Belying the critics who claim that Trump merely inherited growth momentum from the Obama administration, during the first two years of Trump, manufacturing jobs expanded at eight times the rate of the prior two years ending Obama’s tenure.
    https://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2019/01/08/us_manufacturing_jobs_from_carnage_to_confidence_139119.html

    • Kitty Catkin

       /  January 9, 2019

      Yes, the workers who are not being paid looked extremely happy when we saw them on the news.

      They are in a cleft stick; either work for nothing or tell Trump to put his job where the sergeant put the pudding and find themselves unemployed. I bet that there are many combing the Sits Vac every night.

      If the air traffic controllers downed tools, Trump would have to come to his senses, such as they are.

      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  January 9, 2019

        It doesn’t become Trump’s problem until both the House and Senate have agreed on a Bill for him to sign. And the House is refusing to agree to the one the Senate sent back and insisting sending ones that the Senate rejects. So the Democrat House is hurting their own voters.

        • Kitty Catkin

           /  January 9, 2019

          We don’t know who they voted for, but I think that I know who they won’t vote for next time.

          These people are being treated appallingly shoddily. Nearly three weeks without pay !

          • Alan Wilkinson

             /  January 9, 2019

            Blame the Democrats for obstructing the elected Government then.

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  January 9, 2019

              ??? Don’t blame Trump for stopping the pay of all those people for his own vanity?

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  January 9, 2019

              He’s doing it for the same reason as the Dems are trying to stop him: to win the next election.

              Don’t deny such simple truths.

            • Gezza

               /  January 9, 2019

              The Democrats ARE the elected government Alan. So are the Republicans. In various numbers, in both the House of Representatives and the Senate. And the President is a part of the government too.

              The US has the government its Constitution provides for. And, in my opinion, the government it deserves.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  January 9, 2019

              The Dems are part of the elected Government but not the administration.

              I suspect what has happened is that the Federal Govt has become far more involved in people’s lives than the founders ever envisaged (and really had tried to prevent). The division of power has come to delay critical administration rather than just policy and law.

            • Gezza

               /  January 9, 2019

              Tough. The Republicans screwed Obama. Now the Democrats are screwing Trump. It is what it is. Best system of government in the world I’ve been told. Not seeing it. It’s fucked.

  7. duperez

     /  January 9, 2019

    ‘Fact-checkers’ of the world will be well occupied later today.

    In the weekend in White House press secretary Sarah Sanders apparently claimed that about 4,000 known or suspected terrorists had been apprehended at the U.S.-Mexico border. It was fact-checked by “Fox News Sunday” host Chris Wallace.

    A senior administration official told CNN that government data shows only 12 known or suspected terrorists were caught at the border between October 2017 and October 2018.

    Of course fact-checking the fact-checkers will be the next big job. 🙃

    https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/joe-manchin-an-adviser-is-drastically-misinforming-trump-and-should-be-fired

    • Pink David

       /  January 9, 2019

      Your problem is the majority of Americans have more trust in Trump than they do in the ‘fact checkers’.

      • Duker

         /  January 9, 2019

        Your problem is that none of that is True.
        majority of americans voted for Clinton- but the Presidency was decided by the numbers in Electoral College
        Recent elections for House ( only one that covered the whole country and every district showed Democatic candidates had an overall jump in their votes and Republicans had a corresponding drop. 40 seats changed hands even in some long time Republican areas like Orange County Calif.
        60 mill votes for Dems , 51 mill for Republicans
        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2018_United_States_House_of_Representatives_elections

        Wheres your Trump majority?

        • Joe Bloggs

           /  January 9, 2019

          Pinky has no problem with that. He doesn’t deal in truths.

          • Pink David

             /  January 9, 2019

            I don’t see the point in truths when talking about us politics. Nor do they matter to you either, you have demonstrated that time and again.

            • Duker

               /  January 9, 2019

              Words like majority of Americans has a meaning.
              You’re full of what used to be called poppycock

  8. Missy

     /  January 9, 2019

    I have just seen this, so will have to have a look tomorrow to see if I can find anymore info on it. But it seems the US Govt have downgraded the EU’s diplomatic status in Washington to the of an organisation not a nation state.

    • Missy

       /  January 9, 2019

      And it seems the EU are not happy.

    • Duker

       /  January 9, 2019

      Big deal . Its just affects ‘protocol’ and such arcane things that dont really matter.

      • Missy

         /  January 9, 2019

        I don’t know how the US works regarding diplomatic missions, but in some countries the level of diplomatic recognition impacts level of diplomatic protection the members of the mission get. It could also impact things around whether they are able to have a vehicle with diplomatic plates which could impact things such as taxes and parking, there is also the issue around access to legislators, and those in the state department, reduced access impacts a lot for the EU. It is about relationships and this shows a great cooling in the relationship between EU and the US.

        If it was only about protocol then why would the EU have spent years working with the state department to get nation state diplomatic status? This is a huge insult to the EU and it will probably impact more than just ‘protocol’ that you think doesn’t matter.

        Your comment shows your ignorance of how diplomacy works, and how important for a mission to have the right diplomatic status.

  9. MaureenW

     /  January 9, 2019

    Trump’s wall – what’s the bet he’ll call a National Emergency and have the military build the wall?
    https://www.stuff.co.nz/world/americas/109805159/can-donald-trump-actually-declare-an-emergency-to-build-his-wall

    • Duker

       /  January 9, 2019

      A wall is hardly an emergency, as their reasons about all the ‘terrorists stopped’ applies only to WORLDWIDE airports- hardly any were terrorists either , just people on no fly lists

    • Pink David

       /  January 9, 2019

      I doubt he will, and that power should not be used to set such a precident. It has ugly ramifications if you allow a president that power.

      • Duker

         /  January 9, 2019

        He will. Hes got an Oval Office speech set for tonight-
        A national emergency used to be used a lot by Presidents before congress clamped down on it in the late 70s. Same goes for using military to ‘build it’, legislation prevents them from doing that sort of thing for the government.

        • Pink David

           /  January 9, 2019

          “He will”

          Do all your predictions fall apart so quickly?

      • Corky

         /  January 9, 2019

        3PM our time according to one news source. Be strong and resolute, Mr President.

  10. Joe Bloggs

     /  January 9, 2019

    There’s no crisis at the US border – unless you are an asylum-seeking child fleeing violence, or an American citizen seeking lawful, competent leadership.

    Yet Mike Pence and Kirstjen Nielsen said the word crisis 36 times in just one news conference about border security this week.

    That a handful of questionable individuals were halted at the border suggests the current system works. Not a crisis.

    If funding has been the problem and the theater of angrily shutting down the government was intended to force funding approval, why didn’t the GOP fund it while they had a majority in the House? Why didn’t they fund it when they were in lame duck? Why didn’t they make a point of knocking down the massive $2.1 trillion tax cut by $5 billion to fund the wall?

    If aliens breaching the border is a crisis, why have government services including border security been shuttered instead of finding an alternative method for funding the wall?

    And if aliens crossing into the U.S. was such an emergency, why did Trump’s campaign fund a broadcast TV ad placed during CBS’ 60 Minutes this past Sunday night, bashing Pelosi and the Democrats about wall funding?

    No, the real crisis is somewhere else. In 2016 alone, over 42,000 Americans died of opioid overdoses, and 49,000 in 2017.

    But not a word today about that crisis.

    Then there’s the skyrocketing cost of insulin, up by between 800% and 1,200% in the last 20 years

    But not a word today about that crisis either.

    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  January 9, 2019

      The Dems are just playing politics trying to stop Trump from implementing his election promise. The rest is just hot air.

      • Duker

         /  January 9, 2019

        The Republicans had 2 years to implement Trump’s promise…… Boo hoo
        Why has he chosen now to say I must have this.
        As well the shutdown started before the Dems changover occured…..
        Doesn’t sound like Trump’s ever had legislative support for his promise

        • Alan Wilkinson

           /  January 9, 2019

          Been thru that already with you, Duker. Don’t be stupid all over again.

    • MaureenW

       /  January 9, 2019

      To be fair, Trump has spoken of the drug crisis – but if you didn’t catch it, today’s address was about border security.

      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  January 9, 2019

        Why on Earth would we expect Joe to be fair, Maureen? She’s an A Grade Lefty Trump-hater.