Lib Dems snatch shock by-election win as Goldsmith’s gamble fails

In a dramatic political night the Liberal Democrats overturned a 20,000-plus majority to win the parliamentary by-election in Richmond Park, with Sarah Olney defeating incumbent Tory Zac Goldsmith, who had resigned in protest at the expansion of Heathrow Airport and was standing as an Independent.

The Lib Dems had made the focus of the contest a verdict on the government’s handling of Brexit. Goldsmith was being backed by UKIP, and the Conservatives did not put up a candidate against him.

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The President-elect held the first rally of his “thank you tour” in Cincinnati. And the perpetual campaign goes on.

Meanwhile at Harvard…

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Finally, as we’ve sadly done all too many times this year…

Close contest in by-election over Heathrow. Or Brexit.

Voters go to the polls Thursday in what is expected to be a close by-election in the south London constituency of Richmond Park, where the sitting MP, Tory Zac Goldsmith,  resigned the seat and his 20,000-odd majority in protest at the expansion of Heathrow Airport.

He is standing as an independent, but is being backed by UKIP.

The Liberal Democrats, who held the seat until Goldsmith was elected in 2010, want the contest to be about the government’s approach to Brexit, with a large majority of constituents having voted to remain in the EU.

But for the Lib Dems there is much at stake. Labour and Green voters, meanwhile, are being urged to vote tactically.

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Yeah…

Meanwhile, coming up in Cincinnati today…

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Brazilians mourn soccer plane crash tragedy

Brazil has begun three days of national mourning for the players of Chapecoense FC and others – including several journalists – who died in yesterday’s plane crash in Colombia.

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Draining the swamp…

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Finally, Happy St Andrew’s Day

God help us

There will be no note tonight because I’ll be traveling. So before I leave, here’s a “special edition” – just an occasional snapshot of where the world is.

It’s not good.

on the upside…

Tensions grow in Dakota pipeline standoff

The Standing Rock protest against the Dakota Access Pipeline looks set to reach some kind of conclusion sooner rather than later after the Army and local law enforcement warned protesters to leave the site by December 5th.

CBS reports:

“We are just not going to allow people to become unlawful,” said Morton County Sheriff Kyle Kirchmeier, a veteran of the North Dakota Highway Patrol and National Guard who was elected to his first term as sheriff about two years ago. “It’s just not going to happen.”

More than 525 people from across the country have been arrested during months of protests over the four-state, $3.8 billion pipeline, all here in support of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe that’s fighting the project because it believes it threatens drinking water and cultural sites on their nearby reservation.

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Cuba libre?

The leader of the Cuban revolution has died aged 90. One of the world’s most iconic and complex political figures, he outlasted ten US Presidents and survived numerous CIA assassination attempts. Predictably, his passing has divided opinion, prompting both celebration and mourning.

Had he succeeded in his aspiration to play professional baseball, the world would likely have been different.

Sublime to the ridiculous

It’s Black Friday, the start of a weekend of insanity and conspicuous consumption across the US and wherever stuff is sold. Appallingly, that now includes the UK, where anything up to two billion pounds is expected to be spent, thankfully most of it online.

Have a peaceful weekend.

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It begins…

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