So much for a metaphorical clean slate, or even the vain expectation of an outbreak of reasonableness.
Tensions are high between Saudi Arabia and Iran – and across the Middle East – following the Kingdom’s execution of an outspoken Shi’ite cleric. After protests in Tehran targeted the Saudi embassy, the Saudis cut diplomatic ties with Iran and expelled its diplomats. This kicked off a regional escalation as the split grew.
not to mention oil prices…
British authorities are attempting to identify an individual in a propaganda video released by so-called Islamic State. (I had no idea until just now there was such a thing as “vein recognition software.)
In Oregon, an armed group took over a federal building in an apparent dispute over the treatment of local ranchers.
The backstory is probably impossible to understand without knowing about why some people are so angry at the Bureau of Land Management.
Even if they’re at pains to make sure the world knows they’re talking about the right acronym…
Generally, though, regardless of the disupte at the heart of the incident, regular people – and Cher – remain confused by one obvious thing…
The incident prompted the hashtags #OregonUnderAttack and, brilliantly, #YallQaeda or #VanillaISIS
(Update – this is just getting brilliantly out of control now…)
Perhaps its time for a reminder from history?
and while there are obviously myriad elements at play, this might offer something of a broader societal contextualization…
MSNBC looks at conclusions from the poll data:
Overall, 52 percent of the country said the idea of the “American dream” no longer holds true. The group most pessimistic about the thought that anyone in the country can work hard to get ahead is Americans between 45 and 64 who are thinking about retirement, the survey found.
More than half of Americans (54 percent) say their financial situation is worse off than they thought it would be. Asked why, a plurality of respondents said it is harder today to succeed than it used to be.
Very rich Americans earning household incomes above $150,000 were the least angry income bracket. The poorest Americans earning less than $15,000 were the most angry.
which leads, perhaps inevitably, to our latest look-in on the GOP primary.
Donald Trump released his first round of ads in Iowa amid questions as to whether he can translate his poll popularity into voter turnout.
Other candidates, including Jeb Bush, did too, sensing a national security “moment”.
All in all, the level of anxiety and anger in the country might not be the most fertile ground for President Obama to move on gun control. Monday is expected to see the start of a fresh bid by the President – including a Town Hall meeting with Anderson Cooper on CNN on Thursday – to take his case for executive action to the public
Accompanied by the inevitable slippery-slopism from critics…
Here in Britain – there’s plenty of speculation on the impending shadow cabinet “revenge reshuffle” in the wake of the Syria vote.
Finally, as it all too often does, the idea of real change in the world for a new year came too late, or not at all.
This week sees the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.
Some people aren’t exactly squealing with excitement.
Over where it’s currently not raining, the Barmy Army (and their South African counterparts the Amla Army) have been in fine form during the Second Test in Durban, dominated by a record-setting innings from England’s Ben Stokes.
On a sadder cricket note, tributes have been paid to Mathew Hobden, the promising 22-year-old Sussex bowler who died at the weekend.
Thirty years gone today. I remember Lizzy at the Ulster Hall like it was yesterday.