Free counter and web stats


..There's a little Samuel Pepys in all of us..

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Seems our Chancellor, George Osborne, is backing the French Economic Minister Christine Lagarde for the now vacant seat at the head of the IMF Boardroom table.. He's backing a horse that has firmly stood behind sweeping austerity measures in her own country.. and who will bring a fresh view of the role of the IMF itself..
But while France itself is's projected rise in GDP at 1.0% for the next fiscal year.. Lagarde has set programs in motion which could shorten the time the French will have to tighten their belts..
With this woman at the helm, countries the likes of Greece, which has defaulted on it's loan already, may find it difficult to get more help without a demonstrable rising trend.. same with Eire.. Portugal.. and soon, Spain..
Lagarde also has a good relationship with Angela Merkel, and that is an imperative for the job...
We'll see..

No group has yet claimed responsibility for a bomb tossed into a Londonderry bank yesterday afternoon.. but it serves well to underscore the fact there are still homegrown terrorists to be dealt with.. What was thought to be yet another device was found in the city centre, but it was nothing after all..
But one has to wonder where this is all leading, when three masked men can run up to a branch of Santander, and lob a bomb in.. And then, they escaped.
Nobody hurt.. the device went off about an hour after the trio had tossed it in..
But when will we get to semtex vests in Eire and Ulster..?

Another Middle Eastern government falls, as Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh says what while this is effectively a coup.. he will step down from office.. This deal was brokered by Gulf Arab mediators.. and following three months of daily protests by the Yemeni people.. with more than 150 killed by government forces..
There's to be an official announcement from the Opposition parties later today, on what the details of the contract signed by Saleh amount to..
However, Saleh's not leaving without warning the West, and the other Arab States, that with him gone, it leaves a clear road open to al Q'aida.. He warns the group could take the country over..
And there's also the problem that the Opposition parties don't have popular support, and if they're left in interim power, the demonstrations may well continue..
We've not seen the end of this Middle Eastern transition..
Not my a long shot..

In Syria.. the death toll has risen above 900.. protesters killed by government forces.. with no sign that condemnation by the UN and the US has had any effect at all on President Assads approach to the popular uprising..
Interesting, that Syria, they've amassed the second largest casualty count in all the Middle Eastern uprisings.. first, of course, is Libya, with perhaps thousands killed by government forces and NATO strikes..
Settle in.. this could be a long time on the boil...
The Arab Co-operation Council has thrown up it's collective hands, and given up on trying to broker a deal for President Assiz to step down with some semblance of dignity, and bring to an end going on three months of bloodshed.. The Opposition leaders signed the deal earlier, but Ali Abdullah said there was no chance..
This means either the UN steps in, or the Syrian people are left on their own..
900 dead so far... amazing..

And in an interview today, when asked about the unilateral strike against bin Laden, Barack said that while he respected Pakistani autonomy, and diplomatic channels.. he said they'd do it again.. he told the BBC's Andrew Marr that his job was to protect the United States, and further operations against al Q'aida in Pakistan would be authorized, if necessary.. without informing the Pakistani authorities.
This will not go down well in Islamabad, where the relationship with the US is already strained following the raid on bin Laden on the 2d this month.. and the obvious reason for the Pakistani government's being kept in the dark about it is that the US doesn't trust them as far as they can be thrown..
And as US/Pakistani relations crumble.. Pakistani/Chinese relations are burgeoning..

Analysts are saying that if something isn't done to lower the price of petrol and diesel soon, it could stall the American climb out of recession..
Prices are climbing towards the six dollar per gallon (4 liters) mark.. and this has some, the likes of those who drive SUVs, paying up to $75 a fillup..
And there's the downstream effect. The average American is paying a thousand dollars more a year on goods which depend on freight carriers.. who depend on oil and gasoline..
Barack says he'll do something about it.. but in effect, the only choice he has at the moment, is to drop the tax at the pumps.. and it's doubtful he'll get that through the House and Congress..

Not quite the end of the world as the Reverend Camping would have had it.. but Iceland's biggest volcano, the unpronounceable Grimsvotn, has erupted again..
The last time was in 2004..
You'll recall back in 2010, clouds of ash from Iceland's even more unpronounceable Eyjafjallajokull volcano, caused weeks of air travel chaos across Europe...the largest closure of European airspace since the Second World War..
It would be interesting to draw a chart of all the anomalous weather we've had over, say, the past ten years..
Who knows.. while Camping is 89.. he might have yet another date in mind..
Third time lucky...
Now, while they've closed their own main airport because of the dusty cloud.. they say this eruption should not cause the same problems we saw a year ago..

No comments:

Search This Blog

Blog Archive