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Awol last won the day on June 4

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About Awol

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    Muscat, Oman

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  1. U.S. Politics

    Was Trump's failure to properly condemn domestic terrorism his biggest gaff last week, or is that still threatening nuclear war with North Korea? (I'm assuming his proposal to invade Venezuela was a mere musing... During a live press conference.)
  2. U.S. Politics

    It's a fait accompli. The US isn't going to war with N Korea because you just can't have a proper dust up with a nuclear power, that's why countries want the things in the first place. The question now is how we learn to live with it, not how to remove it. That ship sailed under GWB.
  3. U.S. Politics

    They've missed the window now. The latest launch (missile capable of hitting CONUS as far as Chicago definitely, and probably NYC) came from a launch site that was previously unknown to western intelligence. The gig is up, NK is now a defacto nuclear weapon state and there's nothing the US can do about it without risking catastrophe. That's a lesson that won't be lost on Washington's Iran hawks. Strongly recommend a guy called Arms Control Wonk on Twitter, he's very good on this subject and does excellent podcasts.
  4. U.S. Politics

    If Putin has given up on any great change of Russia/US relations under Trump it's probably worth keeping an eye on Wikileaks..
  5. 2017 European general elections

    Highlight was him barging his way through world leaders to stand next to Trump for the photo op. If a British PM gave a speech remotely like that one above they'd be politically lynched and gone in 48hrs max. If he's not it speaks volumes about standards (and racism more generally) in France.
  6. 2017 European general elections

    Well, it seems Europe's new favourite son has some interesting views on culture and ethnicity... While the UK does national face palms at a Tory MP's casual use of racist epitaphs, President Macron announces it is pointless giving money to Africa until they address their failing civilisations, high birth rates & general poor effort at life. No BS, he really did!
  7. True, but the same Ambo stated that the U.K. had played a key role in driving this particular negotiation forward and that a bilateral deal on similar terms shouldn't be a problem. The advantage of a bilateral deal is that when it comes to the detail (still to be negotiated in the EU-Japan deal) the UK wouldn't have to account for the wishes of 27 other member states.
  8. Jap Ambo to UK on Radio 4 suggested all they have agreed (in 4 years and 3 months) with the EU is a framework for more detailed discussions that will take years of negotiation to complete. Also said a post Brexit bilateral FTA between UK & Japan may even happen first given how long the EU takes over such deals. /amused.
  9. Hence "first" but USMC likely to operate from QE class platforms frequently into the future even after our own carrier air is stood up. Nothing wrong with that and RN assets may operate from their properties platforms too, it's all about interoperability.
  10. Trump's Anglophile acolytes have pointed out that an FTA with the UK is highly attractive to them for a number of reasons: The volume / value of current trade is roughly equal so a deal doesn't unduly benefit one party over another; Convergence in terms of skills and wages means US manufacturing jobs won't flee to the UK a la Mexico or China; It serves as a showcase domestically for Trump Admin to demonstrate they are not anti-trade if the US gets a 'fair' deal in the process; US & UK are already the biggest investors in each other's countries, so lots to build on. Geopolitically it cements a newly liberated (for want of a better word) UK back into the US orbit, a process already taking place in the defence arena - first carrier air group on HMS QE likely to be from the USMC for a deployment to the Pacific. Unless Corbyn suddenly becomes PM or the Democrats somehow take the White House then no reason to think this won't happen. The battle now is between May and Hammond, with the latter pushing for a never ending transition deal that keeps the UK in the EU in all but name.
  11. Former Irish diplomat seems to think Ireland may also end up leaving the EU. Any wide ranging and equitable agreement between the US & UK (which Ireland could expect to join in a post EU future) may see the idea becoming more mainstream.
  12. At the rate the EU progresses FTA's it's possible no one alive today will benefit from it... agreeing Heads of Terms is the easy part, as you know.
  13. Pay review boards are guided by the Treasury so will only recommend awards they are supposed to recommend. There's nowt independent about them - except the MP's pay review body which is of course wholly independent....
  14. More not going against the manifesto commitments they'd just been elected on, i.e. Leave the single market & customs union. They can't do that and remain on the front bench, even if you think Labour voters were bell-ends for endorsing it.
  15. The UK position is that nothing is agreed until everything is agreed, so they can 'agree' on a provisional figure but there won't be a commitment to pay it until HMG is satisfied with the shape of the future trading arrangements. Not 'what the EU wanted' but a realistic position for both sides. Ending the rule of the ECJ post Brexit is a showstopper on the UK side, if that is dropped it'll be because Brexit's been abandoned completely - which seems unlikely.