This week’s international news agenda –

COMING UP

All eyes on the UN, White House, Downing St and the Elysee Palace as the fallout from the chemical weapons attack in Syria continues. President Trump already talking of a ‘big price’ to pay. Recently President Macron said France might take action if such weapons were used. There’s a sense in the Western international community that unless there is a swift and coordinated response the use of chemical weapons might become considered the norm. The Saudi Crown Prince is in France and will make his anti-Assad views known to President Macron.

John Bolton begins work as the U.S. national security advisor this week, and the CIA director Mike Pompeo is expected to have his Senate confirmation hearing. Both are ‘hawkish’ on foreign affairs.

The announcement in Moscow, in the Duma, of the foreign and domestic agenda for President Putin’s 4th term, is worth looking at. While we may not get detail such as ‘Weds – invade Estonia’ it should provide a framework for understanding the big picture.

Today we should be able to pick through the details of the Hungarian election. By what margin has Orban won? What was the turnout? How did the extreme right Jobbik party do? etc.

What’s in a name? The Greeks and Macedonians mee again this week to discuss the Macedonia name issue.

DIARY 

Mon – Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman on an official visit to France.

Mon – John Bolton begins new job as U.S. National Security Advisor.

Mon – UK PM May to discuss Brexit with Danish PM Rasmussen and Swedish PM Loven.

Mon – Philippine President Duterte in China to see President Xi Jinping. 2-day visit, then he goes on to Hong Kong.

Weds – Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg to testify to Congress regarding data privacy practices.

Sat –  South African state funeral for Winnie Madikizela-Mandela.

Sun –  U.S. President Trump meets Colombian President Santos in Colombia.

Sun –   Delayed Arab League summit should take place in Riyadh.

Sun – Deadline for Russian Duma to submit National Goals, laying out domestic and foreign agenda for President Putin’s 4th term.

Sun – ‘Day of the Sun ‘also known as the birthday of North Korea’s founder Kim Il Sung.

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8 Comments on "Things We Lost In The Mire – 15"

  1. richard braverman | 9th April 2018 at 6:29 am | Reply

    weapons of mass destruction !
    weapons of mass destruction !
    weapons of mass destruction !
    the sky is falling !
    the sky is falling !
    the sky is falling !
    wolf !
    wolf !
    wolf !
    THE EMPIRE HAS NO CLOTHES !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. The moustache had me scratching my head for a while. John Bolton I presume?.

    • Sorry. I couldn’t resist. 😉

      • Don’t be sorry, on the contrary I applaud you for highlighting the mark of evil that lies on his top lip ;-). Hitler, Stalin, Himmler, Genghis Khan and now John Bolton. To think, if air strikes occur tonight it will have taken Bolton just one day on the job to get the bombs falling.

        • Must surely be a record if they do. Not that I think he’ll have much say in the matter. This all comes down to Trump. Whilst his crackpot style might produce results with North Korea and China over nukes and trade, respectively, I’m not sure that the Middle East is solved by the Nixonian madman strategy.

          • Quite, an intervention that prolongs the conflict in Syria is bad news all round, one that doesn’t is pointless gesturing. The US just needs to get over the fact that this is one proxy war that it isn’t going to win.

          • I’m pretty much of that opinion since I can’t see what the solution is. Ignore that much of this is to do with Trump’s relationship with his father (his obsession over authority figures, need to be surrounded by generals, and his bullying nature which obviously does nothing to disguise from the fact that he’s a very weak man), I assume that America is worried about losing a foot in the Middle East as well as countering the influence of Iran. Yet I don’t know how they do that in Syria unless they genuinely intend to go about toppling Assad (which they initially looked like they wanted to do until they decided they couldn’t be bothered).

            And, despite all of that, it still feels like Syria is about to be bombed because of Stormy Daniels…

  3. As Theresa May considers military action against the Syrian government, the UK’s newspaper editors have a stellar idea on how to articulate this, namely by putting a photo of the PM wearing a headscarf on their front pages. Utterly bizarre.

    Meanwhile a Times opinion poll reports that only 22% of Britons surveyed support military strikes in Syria, not that it will make any difference.

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