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  1. Putin has proven to be a very formidable figure. He has improbably tilted the scales back to Russia, politically. Their cyber warfare and propaganda capability seems to be second to none, and they're flexing military force. He's now just had extremely harsh words for the US about the airfield bombing. Trump is stupid, impetuous and reactionary, which makes him dangerous, but Putin is smart, savvy, ruthless and globally ambitious. And that makes him sinister. Interesting times.
  2. As per @bickster's nudge... We go again! Take yourself away from the Virus thread where people are talking about depressing things like lockdowns, boosters and damaged economies, and cheer yourself by predicting the demise of celebrities. You all know the rules... same as before... You get five names. Five. If you list more than five names then any names from six onwards won't count. 100 points for a dead celebrity. 200 points if that celebrity is below 40 years of age on the day they die. The number of points is divided equally between every person who guesses correctly. If you are the only person to name somebody who dies then you get the full hundred. If five people guess, it's twenty points each. Decimal scores will be rounded up, ie, if three people guess then they get 34 points each, not 33.333 I'll be generous with the deadline. Entries are valid up until 23:59 January 6th 2022. Editing your post after that time will invalidate your entry into the game. If your pick was made before 2022 and they die in 2021, you have until the entry deadline to nominate your substitute People who die before you post, do not score for you. Get your predictions in...
  3. Surely deserving of their own thread by now. Anyway, I expect we'll get to doing a bit of discussing given the current viral outbreak. Just the simple measure of shutting down all flights/trains etc. departing the city of Wuhan, population ~ 11million. ~600 infected, ~20dead thus far with lots of interesting images all over the web of how serious they are treating it in places like Shanghai and Beijing. These numbers should rise rapidly as the infection appears to have a 3-10 day latent period. Media are sure to latch on over here as soon as the first person one of "ours" becomes public, with a single case in Washington State thus far confirmed. The WHO are scheduled to meet again tomorrow, to decide on whether to declare emergency or not, e.g, SARS/H1N1/Ebola level. "Deaths from China’s new flu-like virus rose to 17 on Wednesday, with more than 540 cases confirmed, leading the city at the center of the outbreak to close transportation networks and urge citizens not to leave as fears rose of the contagion spreading." https://www.reuters.com/article/us-china-health-transmission/chinas-wuhan-shuts-down-transport-as-global-alarm-mounts-over-virus-spread-idUSKBN1ZL07C
  4. Very interesting times at the moment. Prince Andrew's involvement with convicted child abusers Prince Philip looks to be on his last legs Prince Harry trying to opt out of the family business and having showdown talks today with the boss.
  5. :crylaugh: How not to restore a classic painting
  6. Chicago is experiencing a savage spike in gun violence, but there was an especially appalling -- although not unusual -- example last night. When you see headlines like this, it makes you wonder how America is so different from Kabul or eastern Ukraine or the favelas of Brazil, you know? Horrifying ... one **** night!
  7. I figure a catchall thread would be good for this part of the world. I'm starting one now because one time hero Daniel Ortega is now a murderous tyrant as 70% of the roads in Nicaragua are currently blocked by protesters who want him to resign. The heady days of the Sandinistas seem a long time ago. Ortega's armed forces are shooting to kill and are killing. He's got a civilian paramilitary carrying out most of it. I wouldn't be surprised if Trump sends the marines in there, it would be an easy win and he can rouse his base with it as the midterm elections near. Reagan invaded Grenada, Bush Sr. invaded Panama. If Bush Jr. didn't invade Iraq, I think he would have invaded Venezuela. It's a cynical quick fix for American presidents.
  8. Pretty bad situation unfolding in London this morning which a huge tower block ablaze and at risk of collapse... Pictures look horrific, given the time it's happened itslikely most people were in bed. Hope they got out before it took hold.
  9. maqroll

    The Balkans

    Growing fears that Bosnia is on the verge of breaking apart. Predictable and sad if it happens. Plenty of hard line paramilitary nutters waiting to have another go.
  10. I read earlier that 50% of the worlds semi-conductors come from Taiwan so that’ll be the next thing to go down the shitter if there’s a conflict. (In terms of the worldwide economy, obviously the loss of life is more serious).
  11. Harvey Weinstein. What a spectacular fall from grace. I'm guessing there are dozens more victims, maybe more than that. Hard to believe some of these "startled" movie stars though, I'm sure they heard stories. Ultimately it was a woman no longer attached to the industry to raise the alarm on him.
  12. To start things off, an incredible press release from Emirates in response to Heathrow telling them to cancel flights. Emirates
  13. Deeply surprised to see this story hasn't even nudged onto UK front pages this week. I thought Panoramas were accorded loads of respect and pan-media coverage in the UK. We're talking about alleged systematic, deliberate killings of unarmed people by the British military, aren't we? Have the MOD put out gag orders or something? Can they? Is the whole thing fuzzier and less clear than it might seem? From Daily Beast: Read it at BBC News
  14. Wasn't sure about this, but thought it deserved a thread, not least since it's a massive story (all flights cancelled today as protesters blocked the airport) and it could be heading somewhere more unpleasant fairly soon: Where do people see the situation leading, short term, medium term and long term?
  15. maqroll

    Saudi Arabia

    I'm assuming this is a crown prince production-
  16. As a depressing ex manager once said, "We go again" Same rules as before... You get five names. Five. If you list more than five names then any names from six onwards won't count. 100 points for a dead celebrity. 200 points if that celebrity is below 40 years of age on the day they die. The number of points is divided equally between every person who guesses correctly. If you are the only person to name somebody who dies then you get the full hundred. If five people guess, it's twenty points each. Decimal scores will be rounded up, ie, if three people guess then they get 34 points each, not 33.333 I'll be generous with the deadline. Entries are valid up until 23:59 January 6th 2021. Editing your post after that time will invalidate your entry into the game. If your pick was made before 2021 and they die in 2020, you have until the entry deadline to nominate your substitute People who die before you post, do not score for you Pinned until entries close on 6th Jan 2021 New Rule: Deathpool only starts when entries close
  17. So there's a terrorist incident today, even though it still hasn't been declared one. Can't be having that getting in the way of the Johnson Rehabilitation Speech
  18. Avaaz Interesting. From the news, one really gets the feeling that the protests and violence and widespread.
  19. stewiek2

    Venezuela

    http://caracaschronicles.com/2014/02/20/the-game-changed/
  20. maqroll

    UFOs

    Highly anticipated Pentagon report to be released next month. I wonder how much information they will withhold.
  21. LondonLax

    Belarus

    Things are looking a bit spicy in Belarus at the moment! Can anyone tell me how this ends? Are we looking at a rerun of Ukraine? https://www.themoscowtimes.com/2020/08/16/belarus-leader-says-putin-offers-help-as-pressure-builds-a71160
  22. This is turning from calamity to crisis. https://www.nytimes.com/live/2021/03/27/world/suez-canal-stuck-ship
  23. What am I missing about this? It seems that Australian news outlets are insisting through their government that anywhere their content appears they want to be paid for it. Google had an argument with them but ultimately decided to pay up to the larger players (read Murdoch). Facebook haven't agreed and have removed Australian news sources from their site - causing a public outcry. Now for me, Facebook is a private website, if they decide they don't want to allow certain content on their site, that's up to them isn't it? If it was happening here, I could still go to the BBC and find my news, but it's being reported as Facebook acting like an authoritarian state and it being a battle between plucky nations and evil tech giants for media control. I don't get it. If it was happening here, would it means that VT would have to pay Murdoch for any link to a story in his papers? Would VT have to pay the BBC for linking to their articles? If that's the case, then I can understand why Facebook are taking this line. With my limited understanding of things, it seems to me that Facebook are the innocent party in this and that the Australian media companies are the villains - that's not how it's reported, so I'm clearly missing the point. Educate me please!
  24. sidcow

    2021

    So not long now before we leave behind probably the worst year the world has seen since WW2. What does 2021 hold for us? What are your hopes, dreams and musings about what 2021 might bring. It seems likely to start off even worse than 2020 ends but hopefully the vaccines can start to make a quick improvement if they can roll them out fast enough. Personally I just want to see people more, go to a pub. My son turned 18 in November and all he has wanted to do is buy me a beer. That is something I look forward to. I hope the economy will bounce back quickly. So many people must be in real hardship, lost jobs peoples dreams of starting their own business lying in ruins. I hope those people can start again. And I want to go to Villa Park and watch Jack Grealish playing like a footballing god in real life, supported by the rest of our fantastic team. I want to sing songs on The Holte. I want to go to an away ground and take the piss out of their stadium and town. I genuinely do want to get into the office and see my colleagues. I want to hug my parents. I hope Brexit works out though I think that might be a dragging factor on our general prosperity at a time we really don't need it. I am worried about what actions the Government will take to pay for Coronavirus, those things will become clearer in the next few months.
  25. It seems that 2 masked gunmen have stormed the offices of French magazine, Charlie Hebdo and have murdered at least 11 people, including apparently two policemen.
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