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Tom’s Daily News & Comment – November 12

News review November 12

Russian doping
Well, seems like the threat of a suspension and banning from the Rio Olympics has got President Putin’s attention.

Putin is now scrambling to show activity – meaningful or otherwise – and that Russia is taking the issue seriously and will conduct its own investigation.

So the IAAF must keep up the pressure and pass a provisional ban – suspend Russia from all international athletics competitions for up to two years, with a review in say 6 months.  This review would see if Russia has changed at all and if it has ‘cleaned-up its act’ then they could participate in the Rio Olympics, if not, they can’t.

Incidentally, if any Russians are reading this, it is not relevant that other nations are allowing doping.  Fact (and it is indisputable) is that Russian athletes were doping.  Fact is that the Russian state supported the suppression of the evidence and findings – they didn’t just close their eyes to it, they actively supported it.

I suspect/suppose that doping is occurring in other countries.  Maybe some of those countries are also ‘doing a Russia’ and, as a state, supporting the suppression of investigations.  That though, in no possible way, excuses Russia.

Russia must be punished so that it and every other country, understands that such cheating will not be allowed.

Refugees
So the solution to stopping the flood of African economic migrants from invading Europe, is to bung $2 billion to their governments!  Who knew?

These are the same governments who have mis-managed hundreds of billions of aid dollars in the past and squandered part of these vast sums on grandiose projects, with suitably large transfers to Swiss accounts.

A health tip for you – don’t hold your breath for this ‘solution’ actually achieving anything.  For a start, given the parlous state of the public finances of many (most?) of the European countries, we can expect that this will not be ‘new’ money but rather diverted from existing aid budgets.  Then of course, since the money won’t filter down to the people of Africa, it won’t achieve the desired effect.

My tip to those European leaders in Malta.  If you want to stop the flood, do two things.  End tariffs on all agricultural exports from Africa to Europe.  This will dramatically increase the benefit of staying on the farm in Africa.  Secondly, send back any and all such migrants.

So carrot and stick!

Kurds and Sinjar
Today the Kurdish Peshmerga, supported with coalition air strikes, are seeking to re-take the strategic town of Sinjar.

This is very welcome news.  This might be a precursor to the re-taking of Mosul.

What would be more welcome though, is if European nations and the US, started arming the Kurds and doing so, in a big way.  The Kurdish Peshmerga have been holding the front line against Daesh since last year, when they halted the advance of this murderous death-cult.  They have been doing this at great cost to their people and without any materiel support from the West.  The West apparently don’t want to offend the Iraqi government, in Baghdad.  I have news for the West, the Kurds can be our friends, while Baghdad is moving daily evermore into the Iranian sphere of influence and control.

I will follow my own tip though and not hold my breath.  Obama is in such thrall to the Ayatollahs in Tehran and Qom that the US won’t be doing the right thing, this side of January 2017!  Europe though, can and should start arming the Kurds.  Consider that the Kurds are doing, in Kurdistan, what might otherwise be happening much nearer to Europe’s own doorstep.

Cameron under impresses
Not a surprise but people have seen the ‘demands’ that David Cameron has sent to Britain’s European Union partners, and found them severely wanting.  They just don’t get us anywhere near where we need to be, in terms of a changed relationship.  Also, why start with such weak demands and have nothing to concede as part of the negotiating position?

I am starting to come to the conclusion that Cameron is either a Euro-skeptic or his fast heading that way!  Knowing he can’t get the German-dominated EU to see the error of their ways, he is putting forward something so weak, that if he doesn’t get that, then he can campaign for Brexit.

Egypt plane crash
We don’t no for sure but is seems pretty likely that the Russian Metrojet airliner was brought down as a result of a bomb, probably loaded into the luggage cargo hold.

People are pointing the finger at lax security procedures at Egyptian airports.  Truth is though, that many airports are vulnerable, in my view.

At the front of airports, we have very extensive (some would say intrusive) procedures to search passengers and their cabin luggage.  Yet, the back-door is potentially left wide open.  These airports are ‘manned’ by hundred and sometimes thousands of workers on minimum wage.  Many of these, in Europe, are immigrant and they may well be subject to local community pressure and/or pressure back in their home country’s and yet the level of security, at the back-door, seems to be quite rudimentary.

Very worrying!

About Tom O'Brien

Profile photo of Tom O'Brien
Tom is an English Conservative Christian currently working as a Finance Manager in Erbil, Kurdistan, Iraq. When not in Iraq, his home is in Grantham, Lincolnshire, United Kingdom; also the hometown of Margaret Thatcher.

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