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IRAN/KURDS – The Iranian military launched military exercises near the Iraqi Kurdistan on Sunday, the day before the region’s independence referendum. Iran, which has a sizeable Kurdish minority, opposes the vote.

TURKEY/IRAQ – Over the weekend the Turkish parliament renewed a bill allowing the military to intervene in Iraq and Syria if faced with ‘national security threats’. This was seen as a final warning to Iraqi Kurds to call off their independence referendum scheduled for today.

CHINA/N KOREA – China says it will ban exports of some petroleum products to North Korea, to comply with U.N. Security Council resolutions. It will also reduce some imports of textiles.


By now we should know the official results of the German election. The week will be dominated with the fall out and explanations of Chancellor Merkel’s share of the vote and that of the AFD. Talks will now be on to form a coalition government. We’ll also see the fall out of whatever happens re the Kurdish independence referendum, and the moves in Spain ahead of Catalonia’s ‘illegal’ independence vote scheduled for Sunday.


Mon – Saudi Shura Council to vote on ending separate authority for religious police.

Mon –  French truckers strike against President Macron’s labour reform plans.

Mon –  North Korea opens 4 day International Trade Fair.. 

Mon – 4th round of Brexit talks begin.

Tues – President Trump meets Spanish PM Mariano Rajoy in White House.

Tues –  Speech by French President Emmanuel Macron. He may call for the Eurozone countries to further integrate via a Eurozone Parliament.

Tues – UK PM Theresa May meets European Council president Donald Tusk.

Weds – Venezuelan government and opposition holds talks in Dominican Republic.

Weds – Thailand: Supreme Court verdict in trial of former President Yingluck Shinawatra. Ms Shinawatra is not thought to be in the country anymore…

Thurs –  Presidents Putin and Erdogan meet to discuss their plans to enforce ‘de-escalation zones’ within Syria’s Idlib province.

Thurs – EU Heads of Government informal dinner to discuss future of Europe. Tallinn.

Thurs – George Harrison’s sitar, upon which he played Hare Krishna, goes under the hammer. (Not literally).

Sat –  China to shut down trading platforms for the Bitcoin currency.

Sat – Deadline for U.S. Congress to agree a federal budget.

Sun –  Austria. Ban on wearing burka in public comes into force.

Sun –  Germany: Same sex marriages become legal.

Sun –  Germany: New social media law comes into effect meaning eplatforms with more than 2 million German users can be fined if they fail to remove hate speech within 24 hours of being ordered to so do.

Sun –  Opening day of UK’s governing Conservative Party annual party conference. (Manchester)

Sun –  Columbia: Ceasefire between government and National Liberation Army (ELN) comes into effect. Scheduled to end in Jan, unless renewed.

Sun – Catalonia votes in independence referendum.


3 Comments on "Things We Lost In The Mire – 38"

  1. Predictable success for Afd yesterday. They have done well over the past two years in Landtag elections, often in places we were told they shouldn’t have a base, this shouldn’t come as a surprise. Anyone who tries to brush this off and claim that they could never achieve government is daydreaming. It’s less probable than not, but you could say that about quite a few things recently. It would be sods law if the UK ends up remaining in the EU and electing Corbyn, only to find itself as a left wing outlier in what becomes a union of far right states.

    There have now been two incidents on the UK motorways within a week involving suspect packages that have caused long closures to stretches of the M1 and M3, one contained corrosive material, the other flammable. This has echo’s of the IRA’s April 97 campaign but on a much smaller scale. They were able to close multiple motorways, rail lines and half of Londons tube network on a single day by a combination of real bombs, fake bombs and hoaxes. They repeated the exercise a couple of times in the run up to the election and it was causing real problems. Whether these are isolated unconnected incidents or are the start of a wider campaign by persons or organisations unknown will hopefully soon become clear. Let’s hope it’s the former.

  2. One other thought. After Trumps idiotic interjection into the NFL anthem debate, a show of unity from the NFL, it’s teams and owners. However, Colin Kapaernick remains an unsigned free agent, despite easily being good enough to at least make the roster of an NFL franchise even if you don’t like him as a starter. Will anyone put their money where their mouth is and sign him this week?. If not, does this show that Trump’s reading of NFL fans is correct, that they don’t like the protests and no owner is going to risk a backlash by signing the guy who started it.

  3. Within the last two days Guy Verhofstadt has gone out of his way to criticise the British government for deporting a non-EU citizen, and Azerbaijan for cracking down on the LGBT community. On the actions of EU member Spain against the rights of EU citizens in Catalonia he has remained uncharacteristically quiet. This guy is supposedly the leader of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe. Enough said.

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