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2018 Aug 18 - Aretha Franklin & Trump's Military Parade

20180818
This week saw the loss of music legend Aretha Franklin after her final major hit turned out to be morphine. I imagine that she's up there singing, RESPECT while recently deceased Barry Chuckle follows the line "you know what it means to me" with "means to you" Aretha passed away on the 16th which was also the same date that Elvis died and the same date that Pete Best was kicked out of the Beatles, thus loosing out on a lot of money, but at the same time avoiding having to ever spend time with Yoko Ono. Anyway, a great loss to the world of music and so I decided to listen to some Aretha as I drew the cartoon this week, as did my neighbours next door, partly because they too like her music but mostly because I happen to have an insanely loud stereo system and it would be a great shame not to use it once in a while. Lord help the folks down the road when Jimmy Page passes away.

Anyway, once person who came out to pay their regards was President Trump who commented on the business dealings he'd had with her in the days when he was involved in the entertainment industry. I half expected him to follow it up by trying to reach across the racial divide by saying that some of his favourite vinyl records were black. But by that point people were starting to talk about Paul Manaford's trial so the discussion was quickly shifted to that of the much talked about military parade in Washington DC.

The idea for a parade was apparently inspired by a French one through Paris that the president saw. I'm going to be honest, when I think about military forces marching through the streets of Paris, it's not necessarily French troops that spring to mind but Mr Trump insists that the footage was in colour so let's give him the benefit of the doubt. The current estimated bill is $90m which is lot, but it has been nearly 30 years since the last military parade in DC. Anyway, it's now been postponed for a year, officially due to reasons of cost. Unofficially of course though, 2019 would be a better year for it anyway: the 18-month long US election cycle will be kicking into gear then and the president, unable to rely on a despised opponent this time around, might need a jingoistic crowdpleaser to get the country behind him, especially if he can hand the invoice over for congress to deal with.
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2018 Aug 11 - Boris, Burkas and the Space Force

20180811
Two stories this week and just like spellings of the word Colour, one is from the UK and one from America.

Let's first talk about Boris Johnson was embroiled in a row after making comments about women wearing the Burka resembling a postbox, a row possibly inspired by the thought that the next tory leadership election will involve sending out thousands of postal ballots to the party faithful. The comment or joke or hate speech or leadership stump, depending how you view it, attracted support fro ......

2018 Aug 04 - Zimbabwe Election

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Whenever you have a vote to decide something, the losers generally try to undermine and question the result, whether it be something like the EU Referendum result, or a more contentious issue like when work colleagues go for lunch and the one person who doesn't drink decides that they'd sooner admit to selling company property on eBay then have to split the bill evenly.

This takes us onto the topic of the recent election result in Zimbabwe which is being contested by the opposition, who in this ......

2018 Jul 29 - Fires

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The news has been a bit quiet this week in the world of politics although former cricketer Imran Khan won an election and will be in charge of Pakistan if such a thing were in any way possible. But this is the age of celebrity of course where sportsmen become politicians, tv reality show host Donald Trump became the US President and the UK has a prime minister who frankly wouldn't look out of place on Countdown's Dictionary Corner, managing to somehow still misspell things and insist that her an ......

2018 Jul 21 - Trump and Putin

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This week started off with a press conference between President Trump and Vladimir Putin in which Mr Trump fully exonerated the Russian president before saying that he in fact meant to say the opposite. Just like when Theresa May claimed that Brexit meant Brexit.

Since then, there's been talk about Vladimir Putin visiting the US, ideas thrown around about exchanging people for "questioning" and right now Sylvester Stallone is finishing up the 8th instalment in the Rocky franchise so maybe he'll ......

2018 Jul 14 - Will Theresa May Survive?

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Lots of Theresa May news week. I don't think there's been this much activity at Westminster since that time Cyrill Smith discovered it was possible to clear his internet search history. Over last 7 days, MPs had had a bit of time to read the details of the Brexit paper that Theresa May put out last weekend and was about as popular as a rattlesnake in a lucky dip

David Davis resigned, as did Boris Johnson along with a number of lesser known ministers and it's currently a case of seeing whether e ......

2018 Jul 08 - Theresa's Latest Brexit Plan

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If you wanted a great visual analogy for Theresa May's premiership then you could do worse than watch a news report on those kids stuck in a cave in Thailand. They're trapped, in the dark and at risk of not making it to the end of the month, and that's just the Prime Minister. Mind you, because those kids have been living under a rock for the last week so they haven't had watch the round-the-clock build-up leading to a football match. Very similar to those other football matches you get most Sat ......

2018 Jun 30 - New Supreme Court Justice

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Wow, summer's here and it is hot out there, call me Sylvia Plath, because it feels like my head's in an oven. But with spring gone it's not just the weather losing it's cool, the internet is all up in arms because Donald Trump is going to be electing a new judge to the US Supreme Court.

Justice Anthony Kennedy is stepping down after several decades on the bench, although at 81 years old who can blame him. When I'm that age the only bench I'd want to be on would be in a nice park somewhere. I sa ......

2018 Jun 24 - Illegal migrants on the US Border

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Still lots of football going on out there with more passes than Diane Abbott on Mastermind. But elsewhere, this week saw the US involved in what was either described as mass human rights abuses on the Mexican border, or the culmination of decades of mismanagement when it comes to immigration. President Trump was keen to stress that this was actually the continuation of an Obama-era policy which only made the situation more confusing really, what would possess the president to actually embrace on ......

2018 Jun 16 - World Cup and US-China Tariffs

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The world cup has kicked off, or at least the ball has been kicked, the cup itself remains safely in the cabinet, much like David Davis in spite of his threats to the contrary. The football tournament though, that's being held in Russia over the next couple of weeks. If you're an England fan it's not long to wait until that moment when they fail to win and Gareth Southgate is forced to inevitably resign over his sole responsibility for England failing to be the best team in the entire world, no ......

2018 Jun 10 - G7 Summit

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This weekend Canada hosted the G7 conference, a political get-together with a level of expectation and excitement akin to watching the numbers on a microwave ticking down before your substandard dinner. These meetings are supposedly meant to help the worlds biggest economies sort out ideas, which is no doubt why they don't invite China or India to the big economies get-together. To add insult to injury, Germany gets invited twice, once as itself and once as its puppet the EU.

President Trump wa ......

2018 Jun 03 - World News Roundup

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This week I thought I'd do a quick roundup of some of the various news stories from around the world. Like a Chinese buffet of news, except of course with less cat meat.

In America President Trump decided to implement a series of import tariffs on steel and aluminium which may or may not be illegal although I imagine that if it does go to court then the devil will be in the detail and the lawyers will probably spent most of the time arguing about whether the metal is spelled aluminium or alumin ......

2018 May 26 - Korean Peace?

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Breaking news as the Korean Peninsula might be prepared to break out into all-out full-scale peace. Recently a book fell on my head and I only had my shelf to blame, but the the blame for the inability to agree to a peace deal for the past 60 years? Well that's long and complicated and largely above the pay grade of our current generation of politicians. Most recently, President Trump has been keen to sort out a peace deal as a grand plot twist to his real life reality tv series. Actually, when ......

2018 May 19 - Royal Wedding

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It's the weekend of the Royal wedding, the television equivalent of a mandatory powerpoint presentation at work. But crack open some sparkling wine and raise a glass to the thought of a half hour news program featuring no mention of Brexit, Russia meaningful content. For those small shops up and down the land selling small flags and London bus keychains, it's truly a day of celebration. Or if you have zero interest in the whole thing, why not go for a day out at the Legoland in Windsor which I s ......

2018 May 12 - Syria + Iran

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More fun and games in Syria this week, Israel launched an air attack and left the sort of destruction you normally only see when the Daily Mail runs an article about binge drinking and British town centers on a Friday night. In response, Bashar Al-Assad, wanting to look like a strong military leader, no doubt quoted that famous line by Lt. Colonel Custer at the Battle of Little Bighorn, namely "where are all those darned tomahawks coming from?!"

So what's happening then? Well Syria is currently ......

2018 May 06 - Trump Update + UK Local Elections

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The US has spent the week watching the President Trump/James Comey/Stormy Daniels stories continuing to move along with the sort of pace normally more associated with a snail, or a car in London ever since they closed half the roads for bicycle use only. I think the plan is that if Robert Mueller's evidence doesn't turn out to be conclusive enough, Trump will have already been in office for 8 years so he'll have to legally vacate the White House anyway.

So let's talk about London though. There ......

2018 Apr 27 - Royal Baby + Trump + Macron

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This week the UK saw an assault of royal commemorative plates being launched with Kate giving birth to another child and Prince Charles cracking open a tincture of homeopathic champagne to celebrate. The baby weighed just over 8 pounds making it just slightly heavier than the special commemorative supplement you'll be removing from this week's Sunday paper; I guess it's up to you whether you use it for lighting the barbecue or stash it away in a cupboard as an investment, it could potentially tr ......

2018 Apr 22 - North Korea's Stopping it's Nuclear Testing

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On Saturday morning the world awoke to the news that North Korea had promised to give up its nuclear testing and missile launches. And I'm guessing Kim Jong Un woke up with an absolute stinker of a hangover and vaguely remembered making promises the previous night that he maybe regretted the morning after the night before. For him, I imagine phoning up Donald Trump at midnight is his equivalent of phoning an ex-girlfriend 10 minutes before the pub closes.

Maybe I'm being disingenuous and this w ......

2018 Apr 15 - Syria

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One of the problems with Syria is that we can either let President Assad remain in charge or we can force him out and let ISIS fill the power vacuum. It's like in the Star Wars prequels when Liam Neeson helped destroy that droid army but then he died and Jar-Jar Binks became a senator.

Maybe we could force Assad out and have an election in Syria, and the Russians definitely won't try to rig it with the hundreds of personal they have all over the country. If you've ever been to a carnival and wa ......

2018 Apr 07 - London's Violent Crimewave

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A number of years ago in London I saw a sign in the pub warning about thieves operating and after I was asked to pay £7 for a pint I realised that they were mostly standing behind the bar. However, this week saw a violent crime wave epidemic in London coming to world prominence as the city overtook New York's crime rate.

As with many other problems in London like the cost of living or the mostly lackluster performance of football clubs' the Champions League, there are lots of underlying causes ......
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