Fear and loathing

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WORLD

In the US, as one standoff appears to be winding down, another is intensifying. Only one of them, though, involves hats.

and of course..

Tonight’s debate may have some competition for viewers.

 

Apres ski, le deluge…

One week until Iowa…

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WORLD

Seems so quaint by comparison, no?

And finally…

Snowpocalypse again

People across the US east coast are preparing to hunker down for the weekend as storm #jonas sweeps in. Remember last time..?

However it plays out, stay safe and warm, everyone.

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WORLD

Talking of which.. as Iowa’s caucuses loom, things are getting increasingly nasty, on both sides.

On the Democratic side, a new Bernie Sanders ad prompted a forceful response from the Hillary Clinton campaign.

Here’s the ad. For its intended function – getting Sanders to win in Iowa and New Hampshire, where if he doesn’t his whole campaign might be in trouble – the ad seems to push all the right buttons.

Meanwhile, hmmm.. desperate much?

 

Blowing hot and cold

The US eastern seaboard is bracing for another weekend storm, #Jonas, set to bring freezing temperatures and “potentially historic” snowfall amounts to major cities and into the southern mid-Atlantic region, which is already feeling the effects of another storm system, #Ilias.

Meanwhile, with perfect timing, 2015 was – officially – the hottest year on record, according to NASA and NOAA.

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WORLD

Thursday sees the release of the report into the death of Russian spy Alexander Litvinenko, who was spectacularly poisoned in London ten years ago. A senior Russian official called the inquiry “lies from start to finish”.

British Prime Minister David Cameron shows up at Davos on Thursday with Europe, migration and, possibly, the Falklands on his agenda.

But he has other things to worry about too..

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BUSINESS

Another rough day…

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SPORTS

The annual Deloitte survey of the richest football clubs is published tomorrow.

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JOURNALISM

Meanwhile, talking of Deloitte… this piece by my brilliant former colleague Lucy Kellaway is well worth your time.

 

 

Palin endorsement sets scene for final Iowa squirmish

The GOP primary campaign continued its metamorphosis into full-blown reality show as former Alaska Governor and 2008 Vice-Presidential candidate Sarah Palin endorsed Donald Trump at a rally in Ames, Iowa. The state casts the first votes in the parties’  nominating contests on February 1st.

During an enthusiastic, yet rambling speech that observers variously described as “post-apocalyptic poetry” or “cut-up Dadaist text” Trump occasionally looked uncomfortable as Tea Party favorite Palin rallied Conservatives with a string of right-wing buzzwords, as well as some words she appeared to have made up herself.

Good try, Reince…

“as other guests’ jaws dropped..”

stupid

Seriously, though…

It will be interesting to see in the remaining days until Iowa whether Trump’s main challenger Ted Cruz will be able to counter Palin’s “star power” with a more effective ground game. 

Cruz meanwhile, is fundraising off comments by Iowa’s GOP Gov Terry Branstad.

and apparently is set to pick up an endorsement of his own..

Finally, and very sadly,

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WORLD

Elsewhere,

Amid slowing growth in China, depressed oil prices and volatile markets, the World Economic Forum is preparing to open its annual gathering in Davos.

 

Supreme Court to rule on deportations

The US Supreme Court is to rule on President Obama’s plan to defer deportations for as many as five million undocumented immigrants. The Court’s ruling is set to happen in the current term, perhaps in June.

But the Court won’t take on the Affordable Care Act.

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WORLD

So, Twitter went down.

And Friends Reunited, although their outage may be more permanent…

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CULTURE

Finally, in what seems to be an unrelenting torrent of talented losses so far in 2016, Glenn Frey, founder member of The Eagles, died aged 67.

And Dale Griffin, drummer for Mott The Hoople, passed away at the same age.

Hell of a band God’s putting together. How about taking five for a while, dude…?

 

In tennis racket, who gets the shaft?

As the Australian Open gets under way, an investigation by BuzzFeed and the BBC has raised allegations of match-fixing at high levels in world tennis.

The methodology of the story is here:

And while there have been plenty of puns to go around, this might be the best:

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WORLD

Britain’s parliament will on Monday debate the unprecedented step of banning a candidate for President of the United States from entering the country.

Last night’s “hidden” Democratic debate in Charleston, meanwhile, was the last scheduled until February 11th, after primary contests in both Iowa and New Hampshire.

In Britain, and talking of immigration, as we likely will be after the Trump debate, David Cameron’s latest idea has sparked plenty of reaction..

And the principle behind the idea might not come as welcome news to a lot of Britons who retired to warmer climes.

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BUSINESS

After last months’ success, a not-so-perfect landing last night for SpaceX.

Meanwhile, turbulence in the markets continues.

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CULTURE

Today is Martin Luther King Jr Day.