Al Jazeera English Live

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Quite a Week: on ##USElections; @realDonaldTrump; #panamapapers, #Iran & Other Thoughts....

It has been a challenging weekend as the new "beta" site for Daily Outsider went live.   The team has been working to tweak-and it will be a "work in progress."       Here is the new "Beta" site for reference as the team's work continues that I have the privilege to support as a Notation was published earlier today here in our HQ on the World.      

Although the team had decided not to provide guidance on the US Elections until after the Conventions, what I saw from the Boston Globe blew me away:  


This is as they released a very courageous editorial that I made it a point to commend them over my Personal Twitter Feed earlier tonight.    One of the most outlandish of comments was Mr. Trump's comments that the United States was on the verge of a recession which was refuted by Janet Yellin and her three living immediate predecessors.   He also underscored how The United States was poor even though it is still the largest economy in the World despite on-going challenges--including for instance an increase in the monthly deficit as reported by the Congressional Budget Office.   The trench warfare is getting nastier on both sides as they both gear up for what is bound to be one of the most exciting conventions out there.     I was also very shocked by corruption allegations in New York by 4 senior police officers that was serious enough for them to be stripped of their guns and be reassigned.    

Beyond the "Virtual shores" of our network and the US Political Scene,  the World continues to be as challenging as ever.    I was totally surprised by the unannounced visits by the US Secretary of State to both Baghdad and Kabul.    I was not too shocked as I reviewed reports that the team released to the #Outsider Twitter page on bombings in the Kabul Diplomatic Quarter.   I have been told by an old Afghan Friend that it is probably the most secure area in Afghanistan as it is near the Presidential Palace, the Arg--yet the Taliban are able to extend their reach.   It reminded me of Vietnam as I caught "Path to War".   There was a scene where General Wheeler, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs,  was lobbying for more troops and how the Troops were going to be "Trained in the Rear".   He was reminded that there was no rear--and Tet proved it.    Afghanistan is the perfect case right now.   As I was working away, this from +Jonathan Huie  was quite timely:  
  


It isn't enough to talk about peace.
One must believe in it.
And it isn't enough to believe in it.
One must work at it.
- Eleanor Roosevelt

It is not enough to say we must not wage war.
It is necessary to love peace and sacrifice for it.
- Martin Luther King, Jr. 



As I was researching for my column today, Europe was also of focus as Belgium continues to deal with the aftermath of the bombings.    It was great news that the "man-in the hat" was arrested.    However, the broad questions of the viability of Europe itself as Britain is in the midst of a campaign to potentially leave the Union.    It is also of note that questions about the viability of Belgium as a country continues to be questioned.   The situation is as grave as ever in Greece.   I was very jealous as I was witness to the French Economy Minister launching a "third way" political movement.    There  have been movements like it in the United States with "no Labels".   But they have not gained any traction.     I also ran across this wonderful initaitive by Women Without Borders which our team will be featuring over the ensing weeks & months that is being supported by the Austrian Government.    

Beyond the shores of Europe,  I continue to be shocked by the Panama Papers.    +The Guardian   of London has done a great job to provide a primer on it.    Governments throughout the World have begun investigations--including the United Kingdom.  The UK Prime Minister empaneled a Task force after he had to admit he profited from an offshore fund set up by his late Father.   In all the reviews done, no high level US Officials have been implicated that I am aware of.   But the dominoes are continuing to fall--including for instance the Daughter-in-Law of the President of Chile.     The Grand Canyon between the rich and the poor continues to be of profound concern ever more.  Our team will be assessing any Iran connection as the on-going transition continues.    

Iran is also back to work after the holidays of the new year as the Budget is about to be approved and the new Parliament and the Assembly of Experts (Khobregan-Rahbari) is to hold its' session that may see the long-time powerbroker, Rafsanjani, be the Speaker of it again as a new controversy arose after a tweet (taken down) was sent out by him about how Iran had to change and go beyond the belligerent view.    It was quite interesting a talk by President Rouhani recently on the recession in the Housing Market.   He talked like a conservative Republican--especially as his Chief of Staff was the head of the Iranian Chamber of Commerce before being named Chief of Staff.    Iran's National Broadcaster featured an interview with the Minister of Education as he talked about "workforce optimization" and touted how they had a net decrease in their headcount.   Despite such interesting rhetoric as the fight among the various factions intensify, the underlying philosophical foundation of Iran will have to be for another day as I caught up with some of the latest editions of the Voice of America's "last page" (in Farsi)  that focuses on the reality in Iran today up to and including questioning the essence of the Shiite Philosophy itself and how it is just a lie.        

Coming back home, I was personally "virtually breathless" as I was assessing the changing Media Landscape as #outsiders continues onward.     The challenging landscape was underscored by Mashable laying off staff and Yahoo being on the verge of being dismembered   Al Jazeera's challenges that resulted in the realignment of its' operations in the United states and the layoff of 500 Staff Members in Doha.     

What is clear is ever so true:  Never ever a dull moment.....

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