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  1. #8596

    Re: World News Random, Random

    Quote Originally Posted by suliso View Post


    (I've been to that general area)
    I mean, I've never been there and knew that wasn't the answer. That was all said in jest.

  2. #8597

    Re: World News Random, Random

    Quote Originally Posted by JazzNU View Post
    I mean, I've never been there and knew that wasn't the answer. That was all said in jest.
    Of course. So is my answer
    Roger forever

  3. #8598

    Re: World News Random, Random

    Boris Johnson, Brexit cheerleader, to become Britain’s next prime minister

    By William Booth and Karla Adam July 23 at 12:05 PM

    LONDON — Having decisively won the race to lead the Conservative Party on Tuesday, Boris Johnson will be Britain’s next prime minister within a day. He will immediately face the buzzsaw of Brexit — and he comes into office as controversial, not especially well-liked by most Brits.

    Johnson — a bombastic, Latin-quoting, Oxford classicist with a mop of intentionally mussed yellow hair — made his name as an over-the-top journalist in Brussels and then as London mayor. He galvanized the successful Brexit campaign in 2016 — which won him many fans and many enemies.

    He will walk through the black enameled door of 10 Downing St. on Wednesday, fulfilling what his biographers describe as his relentless “blond ambition” to follow his hero, Winston Churchill, into the top spot.

    In a leadership contest involving only dues-paying members of the Conservative Party, former foreign secretary Johnson faced the current foreign secretary, Jeremy Hunt.

    Johnson captured 92,153 votes to Hunt’s 46,656 — a dominant victory that shows that activist Tories want a leader who promises, above all else, to deliver Brexit.

    These numbers of votes — a mere 139,000 — in a country of 66 million? A lot of Britons feel left out at a pivotal moment. On social media, #NotMyPM was one of the many Johnson-related hashtags trending.


    Trump, who hasn’t been shy about his admiration for Johnson, praised the newly selected leader on Tuesday: “He’s tough and he’s smart. They say the British Trump. They say that’s a good thing. They like me over there. That’s what they wanted. He’ll get it done. Boris is good. He’ll get it done.”

    Iran’s foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, also congratulated Johnson — though the two countries have been in a tense standoff since Iran seized a British-flagged oil tanker last week in the Strait of Hormuz. “Iran does not seek confrontation,” Zarif tweeted. “But we have 1500 miles of Persian Gulf coastline. These are our waters & we will protect them.”

    The transfer of power in London will happen quickly.

    On Wednesday, outgoing Prime Minister Theresa May will host her last question-and-answer session in the House of Commons and then travel to Buckingham Palace to resign. Johnson will follow her to the palace, where Queen Elizabeth II will ask him to form a new government. Johnson will be 14th prime minister during the queen’s long reign.

    The 55-year-old Johnson will take up residence at Downing Street and within hours begin announcing his new cabinet. His 31-year-old girlfriend, Carrie Symonds, a former Conservative Party communications official and a top Tory spinner, may move in over the weekend, according to British press reports. Expect a lot of tabloid press interest in this unprecedented arrangement.

    There is hope among Johnson’s supporters that the charismatic leader will be able to rally a divided Parliament and a divided country in a way that May failed to do.

    But Johnson is widely considered to be something of a “love him or hate him” character. A new YouGov survey put his overall favorability rating at 31 percent; when May became leader in 2016, her overall rating was 48 percent. Johnson’s negative rating in the same poll was 58 percent — a wicked high number for a first day on the job.


    As a sign how the Conservative Party has torn itself apart over Brexit, Tory backbencher Charles Walker asked the audience in the hall where Johnson’s victory was announced, “Can we be kinder to the next prime minister than we have been to the current prime minister?”

    In his brief remarks after the win, Johnson praised Hunt, calling him a “formidable” campaigner who was friendly, good-natured and a “font of excellent ideas, all of which I propose to steal forthwith.”

    Johnson joked with the audience of Tory grandees, top donors and party activists in attendance: “I read in my Financial Times this morning that there is no incoming leader, no incoming leader has ever faced such a set of daunting circumstances, it said. Well, I look at you this morning and I ask myself, do you look daunted? Do you feel daunted? I don't think you look remotely daunted to me.”

    Signaling that the clock is already ticking, the arch-Brexiteer Nigel Farage reminded Johnson of his pledge to get Britain out of E.U. by Halloween. “Does he have the courage to deliver?” Farage asked. Conservatives hope a Johnson-led government will help to fend off Farage’s Brexit Party, which topped the polls in recent European Parliament elections.

    Opposition Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn didn’t let the hour pass before firing his first salvo on Twitter. “Boris Johnson has won the support of fewer than 100,000 unrepresentative Conservative Party members by promising tax cuts for the richest, presenting himself as the bankers’ friend, and pushing for a damaging No Deal Brexit,” he wrote. “But he hasn’t won the support of our country.”

    Corbyn said that a no-deal Brexit “would mean job cuts, higher prices in the shops, and risk our [National Health Service] being sold off to US corporations in a sweetheart deal with Donald Trump. The people of our country should decide who becomes the Prime Minister in a General Election.”

    When Johnson clocks in for his first day of work in the top job, he will face an overflowing in-tray of daunting problems that need urgent attention, including — but not limited to — a showdown in the Persian Gulf with a belligerent Iran, vexing Brexit, assembling a top leadership team, the survival of his Conservative Party, ministerial resignations, rebels in Parliament and a raft of domestic issues ranging from housing to health care.

    And Trump. The postwar “special relationship” has had a rocky month, as the American president lashed out on twitter against the British ambassador in Washington, calling him “a pompous fool.”

    Kim Darroch provoked the president’s ire when a cache of secret diplomatic cables were leaked to a British tabloid. The memos from Darroch described Trump as “insecure” and his administration as “inept” and “dysfunctional.” Darroch resigned in the aftermath — after Johnson failed to back up, as the tabloids put it, “our man in Washington.”

    [‘Stupefying ignorance’: What Boris Johnson said about Trump when he wasn’t being so diplomatic]

    Also looming are new redlines and deadlines in the mess called Brexit. May’s failure to deliver Brexit on time was the reason her Tory lawmakers ousted her.

    Johnson, who was the face of the winning Brexit campaign in the June 2016 referendum, has vowed, “do or die,” Britain will leave the European Union in October.

    Writing in Monday’s Telegraph, Johnson said, “It is time this country recovered some its can-do spirit.” He said that if the Americans could land men on the moon 50 years ago using hand-knit bits of computer code, then 21st century Britain could imagine a way to provide for frictionless trade across the Northern Irish border, which has been one of the stumbling blocks of the Brexit deal.

    Tony Blair, a former Labour prime minister who opposes Brexit, was not impressed, telling the BBC that “the two things are obviously rather technically different.”

    The Europeans’ top Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier, said his side looked forward to working “constructively” with Johnson to help him ratify the existing withdrawal agreement that May negotiated — and that the Europeans have said they will not reopen.

    Barnier said the E.U. was prepared for some compromise, ready to “rework” the declaration on future relations.

    In his remarks Tuesday, Johnson said Britain was at a crossroads in its relations with Europe. “We again have to reconcile two sets of instincts, two noble sets of instincts. Between the deep desire of friendship and free trade and mutual support in security and defense between Britain and our European partners,” Johnson said. “And the simultaneous desire, equally deep and heartfelt, for democratic self-government in this country.”

    Johnson noted that many say that the two desires cannot be reconciled.

    After his selection, Johnson met behind closed doors with Conservative lawmakers. According to a torrent of tweets from the meeting, Johnson vowed to make Brexit a “towering success,” to build naval ships, to help out the withering shopping streets in small towns, and to supply “broadband into every orifice, of every home,” another joke that kept them laughing.

    Facing Johnson is same math in the House of Commons that defeated May’s Brexit deal three times. The incoming prime minister will have a paper-thin working majority, protected by the Democratic Unionist Party in Northern Ireland.

    As Brexit churns on, the Persian Gulf crisis threatens. The Iranians seized the British-flagged vessel (with an international crew, no Britons aboard) after Britain took an Iranian tanker in the Strait of Gibraltar that London said was heading toward Syria.

    Johnson doesn’t have the best track record of diplomacy with Iran. When he was foreign secretary, Johnson mistakenly said that Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, a British Iranian woman visiting family, was teaching journalism in Iran. Zaghari-Ratcliffe was jailed for alleged espionage and her family said that Johnson’s comments didn’t help her case.

    The new leader will in short order also choose a top leadership team, likely rewarding those who supported him and disappointing those who don’t get tapped for top jobs


    Johnson has warned that he will require that those who serve be prepared, as he is, to leave the European Union with no deal — a prospect that frightens many economists and leaders of British businesses, fishing and agriculture, who rely on tariff-free trade with the continent for their profits.

    After a chaotic spring that saw Britain blow past its March 29 deadline to leave the E.U., things seem to have calmed down. But not for long.

    After the new leader is installed in 10 Downing Street, he will have just three months to come up with a plan that can win over both E.U. leaders and the British Parliament.

    Nick Hargrave, a former special adviser at 10 Downing Street, argued that the first two days are “overwhelming” for all new governments. But in a series of tweets, he suggested that Johnson quickly make a few key decisions: Does he want a no-deal Brexit? Or cosmetic changes to May’s withdrawal agreement? And is the pathway to get there a general election or a second referendum or a showdown with Brexiteers in his own party?

    Despite the do-or-die rhetoric, Johnson would prefer to leave with an amicable divorce deal, but not with May’s deal, which he called “dead.”

    Unlike his rival Hunt, Johnson didn’t give himself wiggle room on the deadline.

    “Most politicians say one thing but they are actually saying something else, it’s not definite as you might think,” said Steven Fielding, a political historian at the University of Nottingham.

    But in Johnson’s case, he said, “he has given himself no caveats with the 31st of October. That’s it.”

    British parliamentarians have been laying down a marker in hopes of preventing a no-deal Brexit, but it’s unclear how effective they could be.

    The majority of lawmakers in Parliament are opposed to a no-deal Brexit, signaling a potential showdown to come. Some ministers are resigning their posts before Johnson can fire them over their opposition to his willingness to leave the bloc without a divorce deal.

    On Monday, Alan Duncan quit his job as a Foreign Office minister. He said that Johnson “flies by the seat of his pants, and is all a bit sort of haphazard and ramshackle.”

    He told the BBC that a Johnson-led administration could go “smack into a crisis of government.” Philip Hammond, the chancellor, and David Gauke, the justice secretary, also pledged to quit their posts if Johnson becomes prime minister.

    “Things are really about to kick off again in a massive way because the irresistible force of Boris Johnson’s ego is about to meet the immovable force of the House of Commons,” said Rob Ford, a politics professor at the University of Manchester.

    Over the weekend, Simon Coveney, Ireland’s deputy prime minister, said that the Irish government looks forward to engaging with the new British leader but warned against ripping up the existing agreement.

    “If the approach of new prime minister is they are going to tear up the withdrawal agreement, then I think we’re in trouble,” Coveney told the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show. “That’s a little bit like saying, ‘Give me what I want or I’m going to burn the house down for everybody.’”


    https://www.washingtonpost.com/world...=.d371590d5314
    "Even if you dance for your enemy on the rock, he will accuse you of splashing water on him." ~ African Proverb




  4. #8599

    Re: World News Random, Random

    Quote Originally Posted by Ti-Amie View Post
    Mr Johnson has said he would try to use the withholding of payments owed to the EU as leverage to force it back to the negotiating table.
    So, EU still says no to renegotiating, UK crashes out with no deal. And what after this move? Did I miss that the UK has decided to never trade with the EU again? Or anyone else for that matter? Good luck negotiating the cushy trade deals you seem to think are out there with this approach. That Moody's rating must be tumbling as we speak.

  5. #8600
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    Re: World News Random, Random

    About those Indian villages where no girls have been born...

    The saddest part of it all is that the government has by and large done all it can do (outlawing sex determination and trying to restrict access to abortion services for the sole purpose of aborting girls). I guess you could try criminalizing couples who attempt to access sex determination tests or abortion services, but what you'll end up with most of the time is starving infant girls, girls in trash cans, and girls in shallow graves. That is, of course, if the mother-in-law's repeated attempts to cause an induced, but seemingly natural, miscarriage are unsuccessful.

    We'll never change intergenerational mindsets overnight. And I'm guessing the average person in this region has no clue about China's bare branches. But surely these folks are aware of the villages of men. Skewed birth ratios have been a problem in this region of India for decades.

  6. #8601

    Re: World News Random, Random

    How big is the Indian army? Because invading neighboring countries looking for women is not farfetched to people that in the first place value females so little they abort them as a matter of principle.
    Missing winter...

  7. #8602
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    Re: World News Random, Random

    Quote Originally Posted by ponchi101 View Post
    How big is the Indian army? Because invading neighboring countries looking for women is not farfetched to people that in the first place value females so little they abort them as a matter of principle.
    There's no reason to invade a neighboring country once you realize how easy it is to traffic women and girls in. Even if you're poor, there will always be someone to supply what you demand at a price you can afford. That's how some parts of China are dealing with it. Other places, too, I'm sure.

  8. #8603

    Re: World News Random, Random

    They don't need to invade neighbors, this skewed sex ratio is highly regional in India. All Southern and Eastern States have a normal (103-107 boys/girl) ratio there as some areas in the far North can reach 130-140. All of India is highly patriarchal, but the North in particular (UP, Bihar, Haryana, Punjab etc).
    Roger forever

  9. #8604

    Re: World News Random, Random

    Quote Originally Posted by dryrunguy View Post
    There's no reason to invade a neighboring country once you realize how easy it is to traffic women and girls in. Even if you're poor, there will always be someone to supply what you demand at a price you can afford. That's how some parts of China are dealing with it. Other places, too, I'm sure.
    Mathematics is saying someone somewhere will have to live without...But you are not wrong either, there will be much trafficking and as a result lots of places will have some deficiency instead of few very large.
    Roger forever

  10. #8605

    Re: World News Random, Random

    Italy's League: Russian oil allegations grip Salvini's party

    Corruption allegations are threatening to engulf the party of Matteo Salvini, the populist Italian interior minister whose Euroscepticism and hard line against illegal immigration have made him one of Europe's best-known politicians.

    He is under pressure to address the Senate after prosecutors reportedly began investigating links between his nationalist League party and Russian businessmen.

    While he rejects the corruption claims as "fantasies", they raise new suspicions of Russian money being used to buy influence in the West, in an effort to reverse sanctions imposed since Russia's annexation of Crimea in March 2014.

    What are the allegations?

    Milan prosecutors opened a preliminary investigation, said to be for international corruption, after journalists alleged a secret meeting had been held at a Moscow hotel on 18 October 2018 between three Italians and three unidentified Russians.

    The Italians present at the meeting have been identified as:

    Gianluca Savoini, a former spokesman for Mr Salvini
    Business lawyer Gianluca Meranda
    Financial consultant Francesco Vannucci
    According to l'Espresso, which broke the story on 21 February, the men allegedly discussed an oil deal through which the League would receive payments worth millions of euros.

    A Russian oil company would sell fuel to Italian energy company Eni at a discount through intermediaries, according to a transcript of an audio recording of the meeting published later by Buzzfeed.

    The discount, worth around $65m (£52m; €58m) by Buzzfeed's calculation, would be secretly channelled to the League while the unidentified Russians apparently stood to make millions of dollars for themselves, the website reports.

    A man identified as Mr Savoini is quoted in the transcript as telling the other Italians present that they and he must act as a "triumvirate" (a group of three equals wielding power together).

    "You, me, represent the total connection for both the Italian and their 'political side' [sic]," he is reported as saying.

    Eni says the deal never happened and strongly reiterates that it does not engage "in transactions aimed at financing political parties".


    How do the Italians explain the meeting?

    Mr Savoini was called in for questioning but invoked his right to remain silent, Italian media report.

    However, he insisted on his innocence in an interview with La Stampa newspaper on 11 July. He had attended the meeting, he said, but had understood "nothing at all" of the business discussions, and had been in Russia to discuss cultural exchanges.

    He said he had met the other people at the talks "a few hours before" at a business conference.

    "They recognised me in the hotel lobby and we started talking," he said. "If we had had anything really confidential to discuss, do you really think we would have stayed in the lobby?"

    Before being questioned in turn, Mr Meranda wrote to another Italian newspaper, La Repubblica, to confirm he had also attended the meeting but as "general counsel of an English-German investment bank... interested in purchasing Russian oil products".

    He insisted he had "never dealt with political party funding".

    Police searched documents belonging to Mr Vannucci after he came forward, Italian media report.

    Who is Gianluca Savoini?

    He has known Mr Salvini 25 years and has been a member of the League since the early 1990s, he has told La Stampa.

    He also describes himself on his Twitter profile as a journalist and expert in geopolitics who heads the Lombardy-Russia Association, which presents itself as a non-party cultural association that identifies with the values of President Vladimir Putin.

    On several occasions, he has accompanied Mr Salvini on visits to Russia. He told La Stampa he had had "no mandate to negotiate anything whatsoever on the League's behalf".

    But the League's leader seems to be distancing himself from him.

    On 4 July, Mr Savoini tweeted a video clip of Mr Putin at a government reception in Rome attended by Mr Salvini and other Italian leaders, saying it had been a "great pleasure" to be there.

    A clearly exasperated Mr Salvini said later that Mr Savoini had not been invited by his ministry.

    What impact is this having on Salvini?

    The interior minister, who is also deputy prime minister in Italy's ruling coalition, has never made any secret of his own admiration for Mr Putin but denies ever taking "a rouble, a euro, a dollar, or a litre of vodka in Russian funding" for himself or his party.

    He was also in Moscow at the time of the hotel meeting but there is no suggestion he was involved in the discussions.

    Can Italy trust Matteo Salvini?

    However, he is under mounting political pressure over the affair that Italian media have dubbed "Russiagate" (a play on "Watergate) or "Moscopoli" (a play on Tangentopoli, the bribery scandal that rocked Italian politics in the 1990s).

    His year-old populist coalition with the Five Star Movement was already trouble, even before the allegations arose.

    And last year an electoral payments scandal landed the League with a court order to repay the state €49m.

    Is Moscow trying to buy political influence?

    The Kremlin has denied offering money to any Italian politicians "either directly or from some sort of deals".

    Mr Savoini likened the media storm over his talks in Moscow to the discredited accusations of collusion between Donald Trump and Russia.

    All you need to know about Trump Russia story

    While there is no proof the Kremlin covertly funds political allies in the West, France's far-right Front National in France legally took out Russian loans worth €11m (£9.4m) in 2014.

    Earlier this year, the head of Austria's far-right Freedom Party, Heinz-Christian Strache, resigned as vice-chancellor after being caught on camera discussing a deal to offer public contracts to what he thought was a Russian investor in return for the investor buying a stake in an Austrian newspaper.

    Mystery of the honey-trap video that shook Austria

    Meanwhile, Italy proceeds with its preliminary investigation, overseen by a veteran anti-corruption prosecutor.

    If anyone can get to the bottom of what happened in Moscow last October, it's probably Fabio De Pasquale, whose previous corruption investigations led to the conviction of two Italian prime ministers, Bettino Craxi in 1994 and Silvio Berlusconi in 2012.

    https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europ...alflow_twitter
    "Even if you dance for your enemy on the rock, he will accuse you of splashing water on him." ~ African Proverb




  11. #8606
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    Re: World News Random, Random

    Quote Originally Posted by suliso View Post
    Mathematics is saying someone somewhere will have to live without...But you are not wrong either, there will be much trafficking and as a result lots of places will have some deficiency instead of few very large.
    I see it on Kiva all the time. Single men in Albania, Armenia, and Georgia who are in their 20s or 30s, unmarried, and lots of mentions in loan descriptions about how these guys have not yet been able to find a wife. You also see lots of loans for older men and older women but not that many loans for young women. Loans to young men easily outnumber loans to young women. Part of that could be related to geography because boy preference is not a country-wide thing in either Albania, Armenia, or Georgia. It's regional.

    Yet, when you look at the total loan volume on Kiva, roughly 70% of all loans are marked as loans to women while about 30% are marked as loans to men. But that also may be related to the fact that Kiva has actively marketed itself as a platform for supporting women's entrepreneurship.

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