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2018 Jun 16 - World Cup and US-China Tariffs

20180616
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 doubt accompanies by tabloid headlines about the team being Putin their place. Mind you, I keep saying world but the USA aren't in the tournament, nor are the Italians, the Dutch or Chile, China, India. Scotland haven't even qualified for the tournament since France 98, although I guess that at least shows a strong level of consistency, something that many teams, notably England, lack.

Anyway, if football's your thing then all your top footballing stars are there on the telly for you to gaze at. But back to the world of politics, it's not just Luis Suarez who's biting off more than he can chew. Today saw the news that the US is going ahead and imposing tariffs of 25% on Chinese exports accusing Beijing of intellectual copyright theft. In retaliation the Chinese said they'd do likewise with anti-US rate increases of 25%.

For something going down in price though, compare and contrast to the Labour Party's Jezfest music+politics festival this weekend where ticket prices have been slashed by around 70% after people discovered you could apply for free ones if you asked nicely. For once I actually agree with some of the socialists on this one: they're complaining and saying that it's not right for some people to just get given things for free when others have had to work to pay for them.

Anyway, for now I've got some money down on Germany to win the world cup and no money down for the north London socialism festival if either of those things are of interest then enjoy the weekend.
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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 ......

2018 Mar 31 - Russia + Brexit

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It's Easter weekend so maybe you're watching this before heading out to a church service or in many cases, the pub. Just be sure to look out for Russian spies because if you see someone lying in the street in the gutter outside Wetherspoons then it could be that it's in fact a former Russian businessman or outspoken critic of Vladimir Putin. I'm sure that nerve gas is a good excuse if you return home and you're met with questions about why it took 6 hours to go to the shops and why you're now st ......

2018 Mar 24 - Cambridge Analytica

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When it comes to news, this week has been more packed than Boris Johnson's vocabulary or Dianne Abbott's lunchbox. We finally got some headway on Brexit, HR McMaster was sacked and France had another terror attack: woowzers and I thought my local supermarket was bad on a Friday

But in the background has been the slow burning social media data story involving Facebook and Cambridge Analytica. At first I thought Cambridge Analytica was the stage name of one of President Trump's former girlfriends ......

2018 Mar 17 - Rex Tillerson's Gone

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It had been a while since President Trump fired anyone and that's supposed to be his catchphrase after all so this week he decided to get rid of Rex "Texan Exec" Tillerson. The whole thing has been widely described as "unprecedented" in so much has the former oil executive managed to stay in the role for over a year before being shown the door but the two never got on. That seemed a shame really as with Rex's petrochemical background and Trump's famously shoddy regard for building contractors, t ......

2018 Mar 11 - Trump will meet Kim Jong Un

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Big news in the world of diplomacy, bigger than Kim Jong Un's waistline even. It was announced that President Trump and Kim Jong Un are going to be meeting in person. This marks a big shift in diplomacy from both the North Koreans as well as the president who has spent the past year or so conducting international affairs via Twitter with all the dexterity of a drugged horse

The meeting itself could be a set-piece historic event like the Yalta Conference in 1945 when Franklin Roosevelt met with ......

2018 Mar 03 - Snow and Brexit

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It's snow joking matter, the UK's been so cold that pickpockets have been keeping their hands in their pockets and the counter-terrorism police have considered extending their remit to combat both ISIS as well as just regular Ice.

It's been a while since the UK last had a winter, nearly a year in fact and as usual their's the shots of slow moving motorways, roving reporters wandering deserted small town high streets and my favourite, the shot of hundreds of children sledging and hanging out at ......

2018 Feb 24 - Jeremy Corbyn the Spy?

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This week I thought we'd talk about the Jeremy Corbyn spy story. Yes I know that the US school shooting thing is possibly a bigger news story but I try to keep these things funny and the gun control debate is about as light hearted as a poem by Wilfred Owen.

So to quote the security services "let's talk about Jeremy Corbyn." Was he a spy? Or did he think that novel "The Spy Who Came In From The Cold" was something about winter fuel costs and an excuse to re-nationalise the gas industry?

The ba ......

2018 Feb 18 - Russia Update

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Normally when there's a "Russia update" it's means bad news, just ask Napoleon. It's often the one of worst kind of updates you can get, just short of that update that pops up on your computer constantly demanding that you upgrade Adobe Flash.

So to this week's Russia update when Robert Mueller put out a report naming 13 Russians who supposedly set up a troll farm in order to sway the result of the 2016 election. My favourite part of the report was when it talks about the Russians financing the ......

2018 Feb 11 - Market Crash

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The big story of the past week was the stock market which has been dropping faster than pro-democracy candidates in a Russian election.

The FTSE 100 finished the week down nearly 400 points and the Dow Jones put in 2 historic record-breaking falls before recovering to “only” finish the week 1100 points down and if things get much worse, ExxonMobile will have to start laying off congressmen.

Of course, those people who’ve been holding onto their Carillion shares or their Bitcoins probably ......

2018 Feb 03 - FBI Memo Released

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This week Washington DC was looking forward to the release of an FBI memo with the sort of anticipation you'd more readily associate with an launch of a new iPhone or a perhaps the release of a video in which Piers Morgan conveys empathy or genuine selflessness.

In the end, there was a story and it is a scandal but in the past few weeks we'd all been promised something so shocking that the public would see the 'deep state' for what it is and demand that the FBI be disbanded. But so far really t ......
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