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Thread: In Other News...

  1. #451
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    Re: In Other News...

    Jo Cox, Labour MP, has been murdered today by an aging man shouting "Britain First". Both main campaigns have been suspended.

    http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-36550304

    An MP has died after she was shot and stabbed during an attack in her constituency, police have said.

    Jo Cox, 41, Labour MP for Batley and Spen, was left bleeding on the ground by her attacker. A 77-year-old man also suffered slight injuries.

    A 52-year-old man was arrested near Market Street, Birstall, West Yorkshire Police said. The MP held a weekly advice surgery nearby.

    The MP's death was confirmed at police headquarters in Wakefield.


    Yesterday there was a stand-off on the Thames between Remainers of Momentum, led by Bob Geldof, and foolish, furious fisherman under Farage on his fraudulent flagship.

    http://www.theguardian.com/politics/...ames-flotillas

    The Brexit battle took to the waves on Wednesday as Nigel Farage and Bob Geldof commandeered rival Thames cruiser boats for a campaign stunt about EU fishing policy that quickly turned to mayhem.

    In what at times resembled a naval battle, rival leave and remain fleets skippered in spirit by the Ukip leader and the rock star fundraiser skirmished on the fast flowing river between Tower Bridge and the Palace of Westminster. Before it was over, Farage’s flotilla of angry trawlermen campaigning for leave had drenched Geldof’s boat with hoses and angrily boarded it midstream to the dismay of the river authorities. Geldof’s boat almost shredded the eardrums of those on Farage’s vessel with a high decibel blast of 60s pop music; Geldof called Farage “a fraud” and flicked him the V sign.
    And no, that bit about fraud wasn't a petty bid for alliteration. Sixty million quid isn't petty, after all.

    http://www.greenpeace.org.uk/media/p...fraud-20160615

  2. #452
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    Re: In Other News...

    It has been verified that Cox's murderer is a white supremacist who favoured 'British independence'.

    https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/...tical-activist

    The man accused of murdering the Labour MP Jo Cox gave his name as “death to traitors, freedom for Britain” at his first court appearance, where it was revealed that he allegedly told police officers that he was a political activist when they arrested him.

    Thomas Mair, 52, from Birstall, West Yorkshire, appeared at Westminster magistrates court in London to be charged with murder, grievous bodily harm, possession of a firearm with intent to commit an indictable offence, and possession of an offensive weapon.

    Asked to confirm his name, Mair told the court: “My name is death to traitors, freedom for Britain.” The judge subsequently asked the defendant’s lawyers to confirm that his name was Thomas Mair, which they did.

  3. #453
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    Re: In Other News...

    The UK voted to leave the EU. Smart.

    http://www.theguardian.com/politics/...-david-cameron

    The British people have voted to leave the European Union after a historic referendum in which they rejected the advice of the main Westminster party leaders and instead took a plunge into the political unknown.

    The decision in favour of Brexit, following a bitterly close electoral race, represents the biggest shock to the political establishment in Britain and across Europe for decades, and will threaten the leaderships of both the prime minister, David Cameron, and the Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn.

    The value of the pound swung wildly on currency markets as initial confidence among investors expecting a remain vote was dented by some of the early referendum results, triggering falls of close to 9% and hitting its lowest level against some foreign currencies since 1985. Jeremy Cook, chief economist and head of currency strategy at WorldFirst, said: “Sterling has collapsed … It can go a lot further as well.”
    I hope the EU will manage to quickly bring back financial trade in Euros back from the City.

  4. #454
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    Re: In Other News...

    More than enough exciting stuff has happened since Friday.

    1. David Cameron has announced his resignation and has stated he will not invoke Article 50, leaving this devilish dilemma to the leavers. Boris Johnson is widely expected as the frontrunner, but don't rule out Michael Gove and Theresa May just yet. Cameron will likely go down as the worst British Prime Minister since the Second World War for quite some time.
    2. Nicola Sturgeon has stated that the SNP will seek a new Scottish independence referendum, while investigating other routes to keep Scotland in the EU. She also threatened that Scotland will withhold consent to any invocation of Article 50, although this seems to lack any serious legal force.
    3. Sturgeon and Sadiq Khan are expected to petition for separate seats for Scotland and London at the negotiating table.
    4. The SNP are the largest unified party in the House of Common right now and clearly seek to give an impression of having the only government in control as opposed to the Conservative government. Beware of spin.
    5. A petition started in May by a leave supporter for a second referendum in case of a victory of less than 60% and a turnout lower than 75% has gathered millions of signatures (although a few ten thousands have been found to be invalid). The creator has since decried the 'hijack' of the petition by Remainers, even though the same conditions he suggested still apply. It is unlikely that a significant number of signers are regretful Leavers.
    6. Northern Ireland largely voted to Remain, like Scotland and unlike Wales and England. The election followed sectarian divides to a large extent, but large enough numbers of Protestants backed Remain. Sinn Fein ask for a referendum on Irish reunification, but that is extremely unlikely. Northern Ireland's first minister will seek special safeguards for the region, despite her having supported Leave.
    7. MI5 did not manage to prevent a Leave victory, contrary to Leavers' predictions (read: the tinfoil hat club). Or maybe MI5 ran out of tipp-ex because too many Leavers #USEDPENSSSSSS!!!
    8. Unionist firebrand Ian Paisley Jr., son of, called on his supporters to request Irish passports. (For those very unfamiliar with Northern Irish politics, this is their equivalent of a LSD trip.)
    9. The nasty brand of Brexiteers have seemingly done everything in their power to intimidate everyone whom they regard as 'foreigners'. Reports of xenophobia, Islamophobia and anti-Polonism in particular abound.
    10. Most EU leaders are pushing for a quick exit of the UK. Some leaders (Merkel for instance) have suggested some more time, but I'm not sure whether she is genuine or playing coordinated softball. I think nearly all intend to show the world what the economic effects of leaving the EU are to put the fear of God into continental Europhobes (read: chronically dumb people).
    11. You may have noticed the financial shocks to the UK, the EU and also globally. This is probably one of the least significant results of leaving the EU. The problem is that the UK will almost certainly have less trade with the EU if they do not choose the EEA option and that they will be having fewer investments in that case. This will permanently decrease productivity and growth. There will also be a modest recession.
    12. That wise nematode sage Nigel Farage has proclaimed that the UK had a recession coming anyway and that the events since Friday are completely unrelated to Leave. Presumably the NWO of the Annunakki had this planned for a long time then. A Londoner of my acquaintance in the USA has heard rumours Farage will soon have a speech detailing how 9/11 was an inside job.
    13. Johnson and Gove have been mostly out of the picture, which also applies to other less prominent Leave campaigners like Daniel Hannan. Leave did not have any coordinated plan for a Leave outcome, nor did Cameron's government, while the EU and the Scottish government did have preparations ready.
    14. English-language media have given far too much attention to calls for similar referenda in the rest of the EU. These calls have extremely little support outside fringe parties, while moods are a lot more pro-European in all of these countries.
    15. The next British PM will by the way be elected by around 150,000 members of the Conservative and Unionist Party at most. Taken back democracy indeed.
    16. French people are eager to revoke the agreement to keep refugees on the French side of the Channel, but the French government hasn't suggested to do that yet.
    17. There will likely be a new general election soon, because both Tory and Labour MPs expect that. The Liberal Democrats and the Green Parties will stand on a platform for retaining or regaining EU membership, while the Tories and Labour's Jeremy Corbyn seem to insist the referendum result must be carried out no matter what.

    Now speaking of Jeremy Corbyn, he faced a coup since Saturday evening, when Hilary Benn encouraged members of the shadow cabinet to resign in protest. Benn, a son of the late Tony Benn who was Corbyn's long-time ally and a Eurosceptic, was promptly sacked by Corbyn when he was found out. A lot will depend on whether Corbyn's deputy, Tom Watson, will support him and I wouldn't rule out that Watson had a hand in laying the preparations. His statement so far suggests he backs Benn rather than Corbyn. Watson has openly secret leadership ambitions himself.

    If a leadership battle will result, the Parliamentary Labour Party (mostly New Labour and Blue Labour) will try to prevent Corbyn or any Corbynite MP to stand. If that happens, the party will likely be decimated in any imminent general election and Momentum will never let "the Blairites" get away with it (most of the opposition to Corbyn is really Blairite, by the way, but not all are). Any realistic endgame must face that Corbyn will have massive influence on policy through the activists of Momentum.

    Several press reports have emerged that suggest Corbyn or his office worked to make a Leave outcome maximally probable, though these wouldn't pass a historian's criterion for reliable source at all. Actual tunnel vision seems to prevent an exploration of other explanations.

    http://www.theguardian.com/politics/...-gathered-pace

    The fireworks began at 9.59pm on Saturday when an article outing Hilary Benn as the chief plotter against Jeremy Corbyn was published by the Observer.

    The Labour leader’s aides scrambled on to a conference call to work out a plan to deal with the rebellion. It did not take long for Benn to be bombarded with a stream of messages from Katy Clark, Corbyn’s political secretary, asking him about the truth of the story.

    Shortly afterwards, Corbyn texted his shadow foreign secretary, the son of his political hero Tony Benn, directly to ask if they could speak.

    During that calm call, Benn told his boss that he no longer had confidence in him to lead the Labour party and could not continue to serve in the shadow cabinet under him. The only thing he denied was having leaked details of the insurrection to the Observer. Corbyn sacked him straightaway.

    It had not unfolded as either the plotters or the leadership team had expected, even though a small group of Labour MPs and advisers had been telling journalists for months to “expect movement” against Corbyn on 24 June.

    Their plans had been based on the assumption that the UK would vote to remain, and hopes were not high that an overwhelming number of MPs would back a coup or that ousting him would be successful.

    But Brexit changed the whole calculation, as many Labour MPs woke up on Friday furious with what they saw as Corbyn’s lacklustre campaigning for remain and refusal to address the concerns of voters about immigration.
    Last edited by Villerar; July 27th, 2016 at 04:02 AM.

  5. #455
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    Re: In Other News...

    The air plane Solar Impulse completed its journey around the world.

    http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-36890563

    The first round-the-world solar powered flight has been completed, after the Solar Impulse aircraft touched down in Abu Dhabi.

    Bertrand Piccard piloted the plane for a final time, steering it safely from the Egyptian capital Cairo to the UAE.

    He has been taking turns at the controls with Swiss compatriot Andre Borschberg, with the mission aiming to promote renewable energy.

    It brings to an end a voyage that began in Abu Dhabi on 9 March last year.

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    Re: In Other News...

    The number of agreements required by the Leave vote are more than most media have let on (and four more than I though). A total of six will be needed.

    http://www.prospectmagazine.co.uk/wo...-deals-fta-wto

    Negotiations and more negotiations, year after year. That will be the main business of Theresa May’s government for the foreseeable future. Britain’s exit from the EU will require at least six interlocking sets of negotiations, and they will take much longer and be far more complicated than most British politicians realise. One negotiation will cover Britain’s exit from the EU, the second a free trade agreement (FTA) on future economic ties, the third interim cover for the British economy before the FTA enters into force, the fourth accession to the World Trade Organisation (WTO), the fifth a set of deals to replace the 53 FTAs that bind the EU and other countries, and the sixth an agreement on co-operation in foreign, defence and security policies.

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    Re: In Other News...

    Iceland will have new parliamentary elections in October (and it looks like it will go into either a right-wing or an anti-establishment cul de sac).

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/20...ake-of-scandal

    Iceland has announced early parliamentary elections triggered by the Panama Papers scandal that forced the prime minister to resign.

    The trove of leaked documents revealing the vast extent of global tax evasion implicated several senior Icelandic politicians. Then-PM Sigmundur David Gunnlaugsson resigned after the leak in April, becoming the first major figure to fall from grace over the scandal. Rarely seen protests erupted on the streets but his government remained in place.

    On Thursday his replacement, Sigurdur Ingi Johannsson: “We intend to hold the election on 29 October.

    “Judging by how matters progressed in parliament this spring and summer, we expect that that will happen.”

  8. #458
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    Re: In Other News...

    French magistrates refuse to release a woman who has been pardoned by president Hollande.

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/20...busive-husband

    A French court has refused to release a woman pardoned for killing her abusive husband, prompting an outcry over a case that has become a cause célèbre.

    Jacqueline Sauvage received a pardon from president François Hollande in January for the 2012 killing of her husband Norbert Marot, a violent alcoholic who she said raped her and her daughters.

    She was sentenced to 10 years in prison in 2014 for the murder of her husband who she shot three times in the back a day after their son hanged himself.

  9. #459
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    Re: In Other News...

    A man who was in charge of destroying local Islamic heritage in Timbuktu has been heard before the ICC, pleading guilty.

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/20...al-destruction

    The first defendant to plead guilty at the international criminal court has apologised to Mali and to mankind for destroying religious monuments in the ancient city of Timbuktu.

    Ahmad al-Mahdi admitted directing the destruction of nine mausoleums and a mosque door in 2012, when Timbuktu was controlled by rebels and members of al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb.

    At the opening of his trial for war crimes in The Hague, he expressed his “deep regret” to the people of Timbuktu, to whom the monuments had been of great religious and cultural importance.
    The trial has been criticised for focusing on destruction of cultural heritage, while there have been no ICC trials for typical war crimes, like murder, torture or rape.

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    Re: In Other News...

    An article on the ways a Clinton presidency could change America through Supreme Court appointees.

    http://www.vox.com/2016/8/22/1248400...iberal-clinton

    Odds are that very soon, the Supreme Court will become something it hasn’t been in nearly 50 years: made up of a majority of Democratic-appointed justices.

    Ever since Abe Fortas’s resignation in 1969, the Court has either been split down the middle or, more often, made up primarily of Republican appointees. Some of those Republican appointees nonetheless turned out to be liberals, but even taking that into account, the Court hasn’t been majority liberal since 1971, when William Rehnquist and Lewis Powell joined.

    That hasn’t stopped the Court from evolving in a progressive direction at times. In 1973, GOP appointee Harry Blackmun authored Roe v. Wade, drawing only two dissents; from 1996’s Romer v. Evans to 2015’s Obergefell v. Hodges, Anthony Kennedy and the Court’s liberals steadily expanded the rights of LGBTQ Americans.

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    Re: In Other News...

    Chinese repression in Hong Kong has fostered a fledgling independence movement.

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/20...elections-loom

    When Edward Leung closes his eyes and dreams of Hong Kong’s future he pictures a utopian metropolis of skyscrapers and social justice, “where people can do whatever they want as long as it isn’t harmful to others”.

    ...

    Leung is one of the leaders of a small but increasingly visible independence movement in the former British colony that is setting the agenda before key elections for Hong Kong’s Legislative Council parliament on 4 September.

    The movement was catapulted into the headlines in early August when the semi-autonomous city – which returned to Chinese rule almost two decades ago, in 1997 – saw the first pro-independence rally in its history.

    Several thousand protesters took to the streets after six pro-independence candidates, foremost amongst them Leung, were barred from the upcoming election in what critics condemned as an act of political censorship designed to snuff out opposition to Beijing’s authoritarian rule.

    “They try every means to oppress us,” complained Leung, one of the leaders of Hong Kong Indigenous, a so-called “localist” political group founded in the wake of 2014’s umbrella movement protests to combat what its members see as China’s erosion of the city’s way of life.


    Deflation is again worsening in Japan.

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/20...nomics-falters

    Japan’s consumer prices have dropped for the fifth month in a row in July dealing another blow to prime minister Shinzo Abe’s attempts to fight deflation and revive the world’s third-biggest economy.

    Figures released on Friday showed a 0.5% drop in July – worse than a 0.4% fall in June - and marks the biggest annual fall in consumer prices for more than three years.

    The disappointing data comes as Japan looks to the Federal Reserve chair, Janet Yellen, for signs that the America is preparing to increase interest rates amid more upbeat assessments for the US economy.

    The monthly decline in Japan’s consumer prices was the biggest fall since March 2013, a month before the Bank of Japan (BoJ) began its massive monetary easing programme in an attempt to reach Abe’s so far elusive 2% inflation target.

  12. #462
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    Re: In Other News...

    The United States government decides it does stand for tax evasion after all, as it objects to EU cases where it was decided or may be decided that tax agreements amounted to illegal state aid:

    https://www.theguardian.com/business...s-apple-amazon

    The US has been accused of “behaving like a tax haven”, in an escalating war of words between Washington and Brussels over the European commission’s anti-trust cases against Apple, Amazon and Starbucks.

    On Wednesday, the US Treasury threatened retaliation if Europe continues its tax crusade against American multinationals.

    Margrethe Vestager, Europe’s top anti-trust regulator, is expected to conclude her state aid investigation into Apple as early as next month. If her ruling goes against the Californian tech group, it could be ordered to hand over as much as $19bn (£14.4bn) in unpaid taxes to the Irish government.

    A white paper commissioned by the US Treasury secretary, Jack Lew, accused Europe of targeting American companies disproportionately and behaving like a “supranational tax authority”. The claims have now prompted a swift rebuttal from MEPs and the European commission.

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    Re: In Other News...

    Stephen Bannon, Breitbart chief and Trump campaign leader, who grew fat on alleging massive voter fraud by ethnic minorities and Democrats, seemingly violated residency rules and thus committed voter fraud in Florida.

    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/...e-donald-trump

    Donald Trump’s new presidential campaign chief is registered to vote in a key swing state at an empty house where he does not live, in an apparent breach of election laws.

    Stephen Bannon, the chief executive of Trump’s election campaign, has an active voter registration at the house in Miami-Dade County, Florida, which is vacant and due to be demolished to make way for a new development.

    “I have emptied the property,” Luis Guevara, the owner of the house, which is in the Coconut Grove section of the city, said in an interview. “Nobody lives there … we are going to make a construction there.” Neighbors said the property had been abandoned for several months.

    Bannon, 62, formerly rented the house for use by his ex-wife, Diane Clohesy, but did not live there himself. Clohesy, a Tea Party activist, moved out of the house earlier this year and has her own irregular voting registration arrangement. According to public records, Bannon and Clohesy divorced seven years ago.
    That same Bannon was also charged with domestic violence in the 90s, but the case was dropped after his then-wife didn't testify (which isn't evidence of the falsehood of those allegations). They divorced soon after.

    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/...p-campaign-ceo

    Stephen Bannon, the head of the Donald Trump presidential campaign, faced domestic violence charges after a fight with a woman he was married to 20 years ago, in which she accused him of grabbing her by the neck “violently” and destroying a telephone when she tried to summon police.

    Documents from the Santa Monica, California, police department relating to the case were first published by Politico on Thursday. The case was eventually dismissed.

    “She complained of soreness to her neck,” wrote a police officer who responded to the incident. “I saw red marks on her left wrist and the right side of her neck. These were photographed.”

    Police arrived at the home on New Year’s Day, 1996, after a call was made to 911 and the line went dead, the police report says.

    The report draws on an account by Bannon’s then wife, whom he had married eight months earlier, three days before she gave birth to their twins.


    A local ban on burqinis in a town near Nice has been terminated by the French state council.

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/20...n-in-test-case

    France’s highest administrative court has suspended a ban on the burkini in a Riviera coastal town after a challenge by rights groups.

    The ruling from the state council suspends a single decree against full-body swimsuits issued by the mayor in the southern resort of Villeneuve-Loubet, near Nice. But it is likely to set a precedent for other towns that have banned the swimwear on their beaches.

    The state council ruled that the mayor did not have the right to issue a burkini ban – stating that local authorities could only restrict individual liberties if there was a “proven risk” to public order. It believed that proven risk had not been demonstrated.

    The bans – made in the form of short-term mayoral decrees – began to be issued in a series of beach spots following the Bastille Day attack in Nice and the murder of a priest in Normandy.
    Last edited by Villerar; August 26th, 2016 at 11:44 AM.

  14. #464
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    Re: In Other News...

    Rousseff's impeachment vote will happen soon. She'll likely be ousted from office.

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/20...eachment-trial

    Brazil’s first female president, Dilma Rousseff, put up a fight in keeping with her Marxist guerrilla background on Monday with a powerful denunciation of the politicians who are poised to eject her from power within days.

    Testifying in her own defence before a predominantly opposition senate, the Workers’ party leader said she had withstood torture in her fight for democracy and would not back down even though she is widely expected to lose a final impeachment vote likely to occur within the next two days.


    A petition critical of Barroso, the former president of the European Commission, that was launched by staff of EU institutions has been signed quite widely. Barroso has found a new home at Goldman Sachs.

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/20...dman-sachs-job

    More than 75,000 people have signed an EU staff petition calling on former European commission president José Manuel Barroso to forfeit his pension for bringing the European Union into disrepute by joining Goldman Sachs.

    The petition, organised by a small group of EU officials, accuses Barroso of “irresponsible” and “morally reprehensible behaviour” for joining the American investment bank. Although Barroso is not the first former ex-commissioner to join Goldman, his appointment has sparked anger among rank-and-file staff, who have highlighted the bank’s role in mis-selling sub-prime mortgages, as well as lending money to the Greek government before the country’s debt disaster exploded.

    In a scathing denunciation of their former boss, the officials describe the Goldman job as “a disastrous symbol” for the EU and “a gift horse for europhobes”. “It is a further example of the irresponsible revolving-door practices, which are highly damaging to the EU institutions and, even if not illegal, morally reprehensible.”

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    Re: In Other News...

    About a more noteworthy email scandal, but for some reason the outrage is absent.

    http://europe.newsweek.com/george-w-...-emails-497373

    For 18 months, Republican strategists, political pundits, reporters and Americans who follow them have been pursuing Hillary Clinton’s personal email habits, and no evidence of a crime has been found. But now they at least have the skills and interest to focus on a much larger and deeper email conspiracy, one involving war, lies, a private server run by the Republican Party and contempt of Congress citations—all of it still unsolved and unpunished.

    Clinton’s email habits look positively transparent when compared with the subpoena-dodging, email-hiding, private-server-using George W. Bush administration. Between 2003 and 2009, the Bush White House “lost” 22 million emails. This correspondence included millions of emails written during the darkest period in America’s recent history, when the Bush administration was ginning up support for what turned out to be a disastrous war in Iraq with false claims that the country possessed weapons of mass destruction (WMD), and, later, when it was firing U.S. attorneys for political reasons.

  16. #466
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    Re: In Other News...

    A review and long exposition of a book with a somewhat pessimistic take on the rationality of the average voter, in particular the swing voter.

    http://www.vox.com/policy-and-politi...y-for-realists

    On September 11, 2016, the political media’s attention was firmly fixed on Lower Manhattan, where Hillary Clinton unexpectedly ducked out of a 9/11 memorial event. Video soon surfaced of her looking very unwell as she was assisted into a waiting SUV and whisked off to her daughter’s apartment. It turned out she had a case of pneumonia that she’d been hiding from the press.

    It’s not the kind of thing that politically sophisticated people base their votes on — there are broad and significant ideological gaps between the candidates and the parties, after all — but it certainly seems like the kind of thing that could make a difference.

    Meanwhile, a few miles north, the New York Jets were facing off against the Cincinnati Bengals in a drama with no apparent relationship to politics. Yet there is strong political science evidence that football wins boost the president’s approval rating in the winning team’s media market while depressing it in the losing team’s market. The effect is short-lived, so the Bengals’ one-point win back in September won’t deliver Ohio to Clinton on Election Day, but it is true that if the Steelers and Eagles both win their November 6 games, that could meaningfully improve Clinton’s chances in a key swing state.

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    Re: In Other News...

    Not only isn't the NHS going to get its promised boost of money (well, we all knew that was malign fantasy from the start), May is oblivious to the fact that she's going to starve the service at this rate.

    https://www.theguardian.com/politics...s-health-chief

    Theresa May has told the head of the NHS that it will get no extra money despite rapidly escalating problems that led to warnings this week that hospitals are close to breaking point.

    The prime minister dashed any hopes of a cash boost in next month’s autumn statement when she met Simon Stevens, the chief executive of NHS England, senior NHS sources have told the Guardian. Instead she told him last month that the NHS should urgently focus on making efficiencies to fill the £22bn hole in its finances and not publicly seek more than the “£10bn extra” that ministers insist they have already pledged to provide during this parliament.

    She told him the NHS could learn from the painful cuts to the Home Office and Ministry of Defence budgets that she and Philip Hammond, the chancellor, had overseen when they were in charge of those departments, according to senior figures in the NHS who were given an account of the discussion.

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    Re: In Other News...

    Paul Ryan present a doom scenario of Bernie Sanders as chair of the Senate budget committee. Sanders uses that to raise almost $2 million for Democratic challengers in House and Senate races, in just two days.

    http://www.vox.com/policy-and-politi...bernie-sanders

    A specter is haunting Speaker Paul Ryan — the specter of Bernie Sanders controlling the Senate budget committee.

    Speaking at an event with College Republicans in Wisconsin earlier this week, Ryan warned that letting the Senate slip back into Democratic hands might give Vermont’s democratic socialist one of the most powerful positions for shaping the federal budget.

    “If we lose the Senate, do you know who becomes chairman of the Senate budget committee?,” Ryan said, according to the Nation. “A guy named Bernie Sanders. Ever heard of him? That’s what we’re dealing with here if we lose control of the Senate.”

    Ryan’s hit on Sanders backfired, badly. Citing Ryan’s comments in a fundraising blast, Sanders was able to raise just under $2 million in two days for about a dozen Democratic Senate and House candidates — furthering his chances of actually becoming budget committee chair.
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/...e-contenders//

    Bernie Sanders can still apparently pack a punch when it comes to fundraising.

    The senator from Vermont raised just shy of $2 million in two days online this week for 13 like-minded U.S. Senate and House candidates, according to his campaign committee.

    As a Democratic presidential candidate, Sanders was able to raise eye-popping sums over the Internet from small-dollar donors, remaining on a competitive footing with the party’s eventual nominee, Hillary Clinton.

    This week, Sanders tapped his massive donor list, sending out emails asking his fans to support candidates blessed by Our Revolution, an organization he launched after exiting the race.
    It wasn't particularly likely that Sanders would get this post, and some party mandarins reiterate it still isn't, though who knows what may happen if he provides significant down-ballot funding.



    In similar news, his brother Larry failed to win David Cameron's old seat in a by-election. Unsurprising, as it was a Conservative safe seat.

    http://www.cnbc.com/2016/10/21/berni...m-cameron.html

    Bernie Sanders' oldest brother was placed fourth in a by-election on Thursday, failing to secure a seat at the U.K. parliament.

    Larry Sanders, who was standing as a Green party candidate to represent the U.K constituency of Witney, only obtained 3.54 percent of the votes.

    The place, which was left vacant by former Prime Minister David Cameron, who quit politics after losing the Brexit referendum, was taken by the Conservative candidate, Robert Courts.

    However, the Tories lost a significant share of the vote. Their previous majority of 60 percent went down to 45 percent.


    Walloon stalling has caused the Canadian trade minister to drop out of the CETA negationations (Wallonia is the southern, French-speaking and minority German-speaking part of Belgium). It is very unlikely that this is the end of CETA, however.

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/20...ster-walks-out

    A landmark trade deal between the European Union and Canada is in meltdown, after Canada’s trade minister walked out of talks with the Belgian regional parliament that has been blocking the deal.

    The Canadian trade minister, Chrystia Freeland, was on the verge of tears on Friday as she announced the “end and the failure” of talks with the Walloon government.

    Leaving the Élysette, the home of the Walloon government in Namur, Freeland said: “It seems obvious that the EU is now not capable of having an international agreement, even with a country that shares European values such as Canada, even with a country that is so kind and patient.

    “Canada is disappointed. I am personally very disappointed. I have worked very very hard. We have decided to go home. I am truly very, very sad.”
    Which is really too bad, because CETA, like TTIP, includes ISDS mechanisms. I'm all right with updating the FTA with Canada, but not with undemocratic way to change policy or new corporate privileges.



    South Africa withdraws from the International Criminal Court after Burundi, ostensibly to protest its allegedly anti-African bias but transparently to keep regional war criminal-dictators (Zuma's kind of men) securely seated. As if protecting genocidal freaks like al-Bashir is the right thing to do.

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/20...document-shows

    South Africa says it is pulling out of the international criminal court, making the country the second this week, after Burundi, to move to leave the tribunal that pursues the world’s worst atrocities.

    The ICC’s obligations are inconsistent with domestic laws giving sitting leaders diplomatic immunity, the country’s justice minister, Michael Masutha, said.

    Pretoria said last year it planned to leave the ICC after receiving criticism for ignoring a court order to arrest the visiting Sudanese president, Omar Hassan al-Bashir, who is accused of genocide and war crimes. Bashir has denied the accusations.

    On Friday at a press conference in the capital, Masutha said: “The implementation of the Rome statute of the International Criminal Court Act 2002 is in conflict and inconsistent with the provisions of the Diplomatic Immunities and Privileges Act 2001.”

    Under the Rome statute, countries have a legal obligation to arrest anyone sought by the tribunal. Any move to leave would take effect one year after notice is formally received by the United Nations secretary general, currently Ban Ki-moon.
    Last edited by Villerar; October 28th, 2016 at 12:25 PM.

  19. #469
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    Re: In Other News...

    From the perspective of South Africa at least, the reasons for withdrawing from the ICC look incredibly flimsy.

    https://theconversation.com/south-af...e-add-up-67481

    The government of South Africa intends to withdraw from the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC). It had already notified the United Nations secretary-general to explain its intentions, and its withdrawal will take effect one year after the notification.

    According to a government press release, the South African Cabinet reached the decision to withdraw from the ICC for three main reasons: a desire to preserve diplomatic immunity for incumbent leaders; umbrage at the court’s incompatibility with South Africa’s diplomatic mandate; and the ICC’s supposed bias against African states.
    Gambia also withdrew, and Kenya may do the same.

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    Re: In Other News...

    The British government cannot invoke Article 50 without parliamentary controls, a judge has ruled.

    https://www.theguardian.com/politics...ble-says-no-10

    Theresa May’s plan to trigger Brexit by the end of March will not be derailed by a high court ruling that parliament must vote on the decision, No 10 has insisted.

    May’s official spokeswoman confirmed the government would appeal against the decision in the supreme court, while claiming there would be no delay to the process of leaving the EU.

    However, the ruling that parliament has to approve the triggering of article 50 has already sparked excitement among many formerly pro-remain MPs, who see the opportunity to put the brakes on any move towards a “hard Brexit”.

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    Re: In Other News...

    The presidential elections have been called for Donald Trump, while Clinton still has a shot at the popular vote.

  22. #472
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    Re: In Other News...

    Have a nice column by Krugman on useful idiocy in American politics and media.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2016/12/16/op...ts-galore.html

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