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CZECH/ELECTIONS – The billionaire businessman Andrej Babis (63) has won the parliamentary elections.  His anti-establishment ANO party vowed to cut taxes, increase investments and curb immigration. The extreme right wing Freedom and Justice party doubled its vote to more than 10%.

NIGER/MALI – Gunmen from Mali killed 13 gendarmes and wounded five more in an attack their base in western Niger. The attack happened a few dozen miles from where militants killed four U.S. soldiers in an ambush on Oct. 4.

EGYPT/SHOOTOUT – 30 police officers have been killed during a raid on a hideout used by the Hasam Movement in the Western desert. Hasam is behind numerous attacks on Egyptian security forces.

ISRAEL/KURDS – Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is lobbying world powers to prevent additional setbacks to Iraqi Kurds according to Reuters. He’s raised the issue with Chancellor Merkel and President Putin. Israel is the only major power to support the Kurdish bid for independence.

PALESTINE/SADDAM – A memorial to Saddam Hussein has been erected in the city of Qalqilya in the Palestinian Authority territories, and a street has been named for him. At the opening ceremony officials said Saddam “was an emblem of heroism, honor, originality and defiance’.

CHINA/CLEAN CARS –  Chinese car maker Chongqing Changan says it will stop selling combustion-engine cars in 2025. China’s goal is to have electric/hybrid cars comprise a fifth of sales by 2025.


The US election/Russia allegations have faded from the headlines but may come back this week (see diary) However, breathless reporting from the big U.S. media beasts rarely seems to come to much on this subject. Of greater interest to the W&Y are rumours that the U.S. military may conduct an exercise soon on how to evacuate U.S. citizens from South Korea. If it happens it may be part of an elaborate bluff to persuade N Korea to back down on its nuclear programme, but it may also be because President Trump really is considering war – and that of course is what he wants Pyongyang to think. Kenya will be very tense ahead of Thursdays’ rerun election, the words out of

Estelada flag.

Beijing at the end of the 19th Party Congress will give China watchers weeks of work, and the biggest story of the week potentially is what happens after the Spanish Senate gives Madrid the green light for direct rule over Catalonia.


Mon – EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini in Washington to address the disagreement between Europe and President Trump over the Iran nuclear deal.

Mon – official results of Japan’s general election expected.

Mon –  Alexei Navalny, Russia’s leading opposition figure, due to be released from prison.

Mon – U.S. Sec of State Rex Tillerson in Pakistan. Moves onto India, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Switzerland.

Mon – Owners of cars older than 12 years must now pay increased fee to drive in central London.

Mon – UN donor conference for Rohingyan refugees held in Geneva.

Tues –  19th Congress of Chinese Communist Party ends.

Tues – World Polio Day. 99% eradicated, but still strikes in parts of Africa and Asia.

Weds –  Donald Trump holds fundraiser in Texas for the 2020 re-election campaign.

Weds – US Senate Intelligence Committee hearing with President Trump’s lawyer Michael Cohen re alleged Russian involvement in the US election.
Weds – Results from Liberia’s election expected. Leading contenders for President are former international footballer George Weah and Unity Party leader Joseph Boakai.

Weds –  Press conference after the 19th Congress of Chinese Communist Party.

Thurs –  Year long period of mourning for death of the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej. Buddhist priests will cremate his remains clearing the way for coronation of King Maha Vajiralongkorn.

Thurs – Re-run of Kenya’s Presidential election. Opposition leader Raila Odinga is boycotting the vote. Demonstrations expected.

Fri – Spanish Senate expected to authorize Government’s direct rule over Catalonia.
Fri –  FitchRatings meets to decide its position on the UK’s creditworthiness. Could be worth watching to see if last week’s positive EU meeting has as effect.

Sat – Iceland; General Election.


2 Comments on "Things We Lost In The Mire – 42"

  1. Landslide victory for Shinzo Abe in Japan, it was pretty plain sailing for him during the campaign bar a minor scare in the polls in the first week when Koike formed her new party. So his gamble on the poor state of the opposition has proved justified. I wish we could have one month election campaigns over here.

    The T-charge seems to me to be a tax raising policy badly disguised as an environmental policy. Residents get the same exemption as they do from the base charge, the trades and deliveries entering the zone will simply add the charge on to their customers.

  2. The EU could be on on it’s way to substantially repairing it’s financial position as it’s anti-trust investigation into the German car industry gathered pace today. Daimler and VW had their offices raided, this coming after BMW received the same treatment last week. Daimler have apparently been first to see the way the wind was blowing and have claimed whistleblower status to avoid a fine that can be a maximum of 10% of global turnover. The combined global turnover of the VW group and BMW is 310 billion euros!. Fines tend to be reduced based on how much each individual firm co-operates with the investigation, but if the EU finds wrongdoing are still liable to be huge. VW owned Scania was fined 880 million euros in September for it’s part in fixing truck prices as it denied any wrongdoing, the five other companies involved collectively settled for 2.9 billion in July with their fines being reduced for cooperation, this included another VW owned company, MAN, avoiding it’s fine completely for blowing the whistle. Not the happiest of times for the German car industry at the moment.

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