VENEZUELA/MERCOSUR – The South American trade bloc has suspended Venezuela indefinitely, called on President Maduro to restore democracy, and to dismantle the ‘Constituent Assembly’ created by the recent referendum.

TURKEY/KURDS – Turkey has sent extra heavy armour, including tanks, to its Kilis province. Kilis borders the Kurdish-controlled Afrin region of Syria scene of increasing Turkish/Kurdish clashes in recent weeks.

SYRIA/ISIS –  Government troops and allies have taken the town of al-Sukhna, the last major Islamic State-held town in Homs province. Islamic State is losing ground in several areas and it appears a matter of time before it is out of the town of Raqqa province.

RWANDA/KAGAME –  President Paul Kagame has won a 3rd term in office with almost 100% of the vote.

USA/NIGERIA – The U.S. State Department has approved the sale of A-29 Super Tucano attack planes to Nigeria despite opposition on human rights grounds. Nigeria is expected to use the planes against Boko Haram. The deal is worth $593 million.

IRAN/SANCTIONS – Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has reacted to the recent U.S. sanctions against Iran by saying the country will “never accept isolation imposed by its enemies”. He also formally endorsed President Rouhani’s 2nd term in office.

Supreme Leader Khomeini


The actual vote isn’t until September 24th but the German general election campaign officially kicks off on Sunday. Chancellor Angela Merkel will jump the gun on Saturday however and be out campaigning in North Rhine Westphalia.  She’s well ahead of her rivals, but 6 weeks is a long time in politics….  Between now and then we can expect little progress on Brexit talks –  only after the election is out of the way can we expect to see Germany begin to focus of Brexit.


Mon – Partial eclipse of the moon visible in Europe, Africa, Australia, the Pacific, south asia and South East Asia.

Tues – 50th anniversary of ASEAN – the ten-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations – a massive fireworks display will be held in Manila.

Tues – It’s ‘marching season’ in Northern Ireland and Protestant youths plan a giant bonfire in the heart of a catholic area of Belfast.

Tues – Election in Kenya. Main contenders for the job of President are the incumbent – Uhuru Kenyatta, and the incumbent Prime Minister Raila Odinga.

Tues – Yet another (9th) no-confidence vote for President Zuma in Parliament. This time the vote may be in secret.

Tues – Latin American foreign ministers meet to discuss Venezuela and what many are calling the ‘illegitimate vote’ of last week which resulted in a new ‘constitutional assembly’ designed to support President Maduro.
Sat – Say goodbye to Usain Bolt’s athletic career, and hello to whatever comes next.

Sun – Official start of German general election.

Sun –  It’s International Left-handers day. The day is used as a reminder that left handed people are still disciminated against in some parts of the world.


3 Comments on "Things We Lost In The Mire – 31"

  1. As a lefty I can well remember getting gyp off virtually anyone who happened to have been born before WW2 when I was kid, it does seem to have died with them here in the UK though. They tried to force my mam to write right handed at school and eventually had to give up, but I don’t think it helped her education or confidence much from what she said. As for these international days, the only one I look forward to is international talk like a pirate day, which as a wit once remarked is everyday in Cornwall.

    As for the A-29 story, I wonder if I am the only one who can’t quite believe that there is still a role for propeller based warplanes today. Apparently though, in certain environments and against low tech level enemies they really can be the best tool for the job of sustained close air support.

  2. The Latin word for left, ‘sinister’. Then again, most artists are supposed to be left handed and it didn’t seem to do my father any harm.

  3. A report from Reuters today about a shortage of workers due to Brexit said that an 18 month low in labour availability had caused starting salaries to rise at the fastest rate for 20 months. Seems to fly in the face of left leaning think tank wisdom which says there is no correlation between supply, demand and prices.

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