Obama kicks off Alaska trip with climate change warning

President Obama is making his first trip to Alaska, aiming to focus attention on climate change. Reuters reports:

Obama told a meeting of foreign ministers in Alaska that the United States recognized it played a big part in raising the Earth’s temperatures and “embraces our responsibility” to help fix the problem. “This year, in Paris, must be the year that the world finally reaches an agreement to protect the one planet we’ve got while we still can,” Obama said, according to his prepared remarks.

Obama’s visit, which runs until Wednesday, kicked off with some concocted controversy over the name of Alaska’s – and the nation’s – tallest peak.

Somewhat hilariously,  that annoyed Ohioans, ostentatiously sticking up for their state’s former President, along with, well, pretty much everyone who doesn’t like the current President.

Jennifer Steinhauer writes at the New York Times:

There are also a lot of Americans, all due respect both to the 49th state and to the birthplace of Cincinnati chili, who find this and the debate over whether Denali means the “great one” or “high one” subjects of minimal importance and are far more concerned about the pope’s coming visit to the United States.

Yet, joking aside, there was some considerable criticism of the President’s climate focus for his trip right after his decision to allow Shell to resume drilling in the Arctic.

***

POLITICS

The State Department released another batch of Hillary Clinton’s emails on Monday night, saying that 150 of the 7,000 documents were designated as containing classified information. More details tomorrow, I’m sure.

Wait, what? Gefilte fish?

The latest candidate rankings by The Hill shows how Donald Trump has “utterly transformed the race.” Even though a new poll in Iowa shows him in a tie for the lead with Ben Carson, Trump’s favorability is increasing.

Oh and, yeah, because some people would like that…

***

WORLD

Amid heightened tensions and violent demonstrations in Ukraine, US and Nato forces began military exercises – named Sea Breeze – alongside the Ukrainian navy.

Chinese stocks are off again at Tuesday’s open.

***

SPORT

Tuesday is transfer deadline day in the English Premier League – the window having already shut in other European leagues – and it’s off to an interesting start. After Manchester City’s  signing of Kevin de Bruyne from Wolfsburg yesterday, the red half of the city has swung into action.. ish.

mailspport(Daily Mail/Tomorrow’s Papers Today)

 

 

Advertisements

Malaysia’s PM defiant in face of protests

As Malaysia celebrates its Independence Day, Prime Minister Najib Razak has refused to resign and called for unity after a weekend of protests demanding he step down amid allegations of financial impropriety.

***

WORLD

As Asian markets brace for another potentially difficult week, China announced it had punished a number of people for spreading “rumors” over recent events. Meanwhile, the FT reports that Beijing has apparently abandoned efforts to boost the stock market.

China’s leaders feel they mishandled the stock market rescue efforts by allowing too much information to become public, according to senior regulatory officials speaking at a meeting late on Thursday — an account of which has been seen by the Financial Times.


Instead, authorities are planning to sharpen their focus on investigating and punishing individuals and institutions they believe have taken advantage of the state bailout to make profits or have obstructed the government’s attempts to shore up the market.

European ministers will meet again in two weeks to address the continent’s unprecedented migration crisis.

***

POLITICS

You couldn’t make it up, I suppose. But given what passes for political reality these days, why not?

***

SPORTS

The Chicago Cubs’ Jake Arrieta pitched his first career-no-hitter as the Cubs beat the Dodgers in Los Angeles. It was the 14th no-no in franchise history and the win also leaves Arrieta as the leading pitcher in baseball this season, with 17 victories.

The US Open Tennis tournament starts on Monday in Flushing, New York. The women’s final match has sold out ahead of the mens’.

***

CULTURE

Two sad passings on Sunday, as we lost renowned neurologist Oliver Sacks and movie director Wes Craven.

 

 

This is the story of the Hurricane…

This weekend marks ten years since Hurricane Katrina and subsequent flooding devastated New Orleans and other parts of the Gulf coast.

(Gary Rivlin – Simon & Schuster)

(Compass Records)

And…

***

WORLD

The shock of yesterday’s mass deaths of refugees, both in Austria and off the coast of Libya, continues to resonate. Meanwhile the UN has warned of a ‘crisis of solidarity’ among EU governments and has urged a “collective political response.”

***

POLITICS

As this weekend’s DNC meeting kicks off in Minneapolis, front-runner Hillary Clinton’s focus is on locking up “super delegates” well in advance of the first actual vote being cast – both as a deterrent to any potential late entrants and to avoid a repeat of her unsuccessful 2008 campaign.

But her existing opponents are unhappy about the number of debates.

 

Europe’s migrant crisis continues to worsen

“Never before in history have so many people fled their homes to escape war, violence and persecution,” German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said. “And given the large number of unresolved conflicts in our neighborhood, the stream of refugees seeking protection in Europe will not abate in the foreseeable future.”

Thursday was – yet another – very bad day for anyone trying to start a new life.

Even as EU leaders opened another summit in Vienna to discuss the worsening situation in the western Balkans that is having an impact across the continent, Alastair McDonald at Reuters explains how Europe’s failures may be prompting a new way forward.

The failure is evident. Of millions fleeing war, oppression and misery, hundreds of thousands have been desperate enough to brave the sea to reach Europe; thousands have died but their numbers still multiply despite a mostly stony welcome: razor wire, hunger, filth and hosts more intent on blaming each other than on their common duty to help.

That may be changing, although far from certainly and all too slowly for those cradling sick infants in open boats or fighting for air in a Balkan smuggler’s truck.

A reporter and photographer from the New York Times are documenting migrants’ efforts to reach Hungary.

Meanwhile there was some bad news for Britain’s Conservative government in new data showing net migration at a record high.

migrantsmail(Tomorrow’s Papers Today)

***

WORLD

Police in the Chilean capital Santiago tackled separate protests on Thursday – by students over university funding and by truck drivers over protection on southern roads.

Which democratic society allows whoever happens to be temporarily in charge to appoint his friends as legislators? That would be Britain, the mother of parliaments.

Amid continuing sadness and anger over yesterday’s tragic on-air murder of two journalists in Virginia, there was renewed focus on gun control – or the lack thereof – as well as debate among the media about coverage of such an incident when social media is part of the killer’s strategy.

(BBC Newsnight)

***

POLITICS

President Obama delivered a speech in New Orleans to mark the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina.

This was kind of a cheeky photo for the White House to release, though…

Former President Bush, who was in office – and in Air Force One – during the tragedy, will be visiting Gulfport, Mississippi on Friday. Although at least one Democrat thinks Bush “got it right” on disaster response.

 

What’s the first word comes to mind when you think of Hillary Clinton?

Here’s the full list for the Democratic front-runner.

***

CULTURE

The Shepherd’s Crown, the final book by British fantasy writer Sir Terry Pratchett was posthumously released on Thursday. The Discworld creator died in March.

***

SPORT

Usain Bolt again beat Justin Gatlin at the World Athletics Championships in Beijing, this time in the 200 meters final.

Seems like the only thing that can bring him down these days is a cameraman on a Segway.

 

 

 

Just doing their jobs, their whole lives ahead of them

In a world where events too often defy description in their cruelty, I have simply nothing, through my tears, about this.

 

 

 

 

Markets coaster still rolling

A rally in US stocks evaporated at the end of Tuesday’s session, setting up another day of volatility ahead of Wednesday’s Asia open after a Chinese rate cut failed to settle nerves.

***

WORLD

ISIS militants reportedly destroyed historic relics in the Syrian city of Palmyra.

***

POLITICS

Donald Trump’s lead in the GOP primary race grew in a new round of polls on Tuesday.

At a pre-rally press conference in Dubuque, Iowa, Trump had a run-in with Univision journalist Jorge Ramos, leading to Ramos being escorted out.

But in a subsequent un-Trump-like moment of self-awareness, the candidate seemed to realize he’d gone too far and allowed Ramos back into the room, where they had a lengthy exchange on immigration policy.

Interestingly, the Trump campaign announced some key hires in early primary states, including Sam Clovis, who had previously run Rick Perry’s campaign in Iowa. The Washington Post‘s Robert Costa had the scoop.

Trump’s spat with Fox News and its Chairman Roger Ailes over the network’s anchor Megyn Kelly appears to be back on.

And, since the guy “speaks his mind,” according to his supporters, occasionally something comes out that makes total sense. Ben Wofford writes at Politico:

As pundits search for the source of Trump’s resilient appeal, reformers say they’ve long known the answer: the constant emphasis on how his staggering wealth immunizes him from insider influence. It has arguably now become the campaign’s most salient theme. “I don’t need anybody’s money. I’m using my own money,” Trump scoffed at his campaign announcement in June. A month later, he told the Wall Street Journal, “When you give [contributions], they do whatever the hell you want them to do.” And primary voters seem spellbound. “The guys who want to give me a million – I said, forget it. Who cares?” Trump recently told a rapt audience. “All of the money that’s going to Hillary, and Jeb, and Scott and Marco? They’re totally controlled. Totally.”

Finally,

 

Hold tight. Again.

Another day of financial turmoil has begun, with China stocks off more than 6 per cent at the open as world markets continue to grapple with the fallout from fears about the health of the world’s second-biggest economy.

John Cassidy writes:

Obviously, things could get worse. Whether they do or not depends on whether, in the next few days, the turmoil in the Chinese market continues and signs of financial distress emerge here at home—for example a big hedge fund or financial institution getting into trouble. Bull markets, such as the one Wall Street has enjoyed for the past six years, generate a great deal of risk-taking, which often involves using some hidden type of leverage to enhance returns. As Warren Buffett famously remarked, ”Only when the tide goes out do you discover who’s been swimming naked.”

Meanwhile, oil fell below $40 a barrel, its lowest level for six years.

FTchina(Financial Times/Tomorrow’s Papers Today)

***

POLITICS

The GOP candidates seemed to be in no doubt who was to blame for the market meltdown.

While the New York Times reported:

Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey, a Republican candidate who is a moderate on immigration, joined the criticism of China on Monday by saying that the federal debt “has been given to us in large measure by the Chinese” and that “as the Chinese markets have a correction” it will have an outsized impact on the United States.

While the Chinese government is in fact the largest holder of United States government debt, its large purchases help hold down the interest payments that American taxpayers must ultimately bear to service that debt.

Meanwhile on the Democratic side, potential candidate Joe Biden may have had a very satisfying lunch with his boss on Monday as President Obama returned from his two-week vacation.

The HuffPo‘s Sam Stein writes on what’s driving a potential run by a man who’s sought the highest office unsuccessfully twice before.

***

WORLD

Turkey looks to be headed for another inconclusive election after talks over a coalition government appeared to have stalled. President Tayyip Erdogan has called for a fresh election and will meet on Tuesday with Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu to discuss a temporary power-sharing administration.

After Britain re-opened its embassy in Tehran at the weekend after four years, Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond met with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani.

***

BUSINESS

Cheating website Ashley Madison and its parent company were sued over the recent breach and release of user data. Meanwhile, there were reports linking the revelation of user information to two suicides.

Reuters reports that Boeing is looking at “hundreds” of possible layoffs in its satellite division.

 

***

SPORTS

The BBC has an exclusive interview with Fifa President Sepp Blatter, who says, wait for it, that he’s “clean” and there’s “no corruption in football.” Meanwhile, from a perspective of Fifa making friends and polishing its credibility, this maybe doesn’t help…

 

Finally, British IndyCar driver Justin Wilson died of a severe head injury he sustained during Sunday’s race at the Pocono Raceway in Pennsylvania.