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The media, even the good ones, have either short memories or doesn't do enough research. This is from the Economist: "IN 2016 it became a common sight in the capital of Zimbabwe to see fearful citizens queuing outside banks, waiting hopefully for cash. It was the most obvious manifestation of anxiety about Robert Mugabe’s latest economic scheme. In November the central bank started printing a new kind of money, in the form of the “bond note”." But it wasn't the first time it had happened, even in recent years: not long ago, during a similar crisis, when sanctions against Zimbabwe caused a shortage of paper to print bank-notes on, the government issued what amounted to IOUs. Same idea, different name. And yet, the article refers to the hyper-inflation that was at the root of the bank note shortage. The article also says "This past weekend Mr Mugabe hosted a lavish 93rd birthday party for himself. He said he wants to stand for another five-year term as president in 2018.... behind the scenes the struggle to succeed him has begun in earnest. " Wasn't that exactly what publications like The Economist said leading up to the previous election? We seem to remember it being a common theme, along with his apparent ill health.



Talking of the media, it's time that newspapers stopped spending so much money on streams of millennials who have one function: to get lightweight news onto the web as quickly as possible. Aside from anything else, there is often proof that Artificial Intelligence (in this case in the form of text checkers, much less fact checkers) isn't ready for use in the mass market. It's time for the return of the sub-editor. See these two silly things from yesterday's Daily Mail.

Consorted? Really? Or did it mean "concerted" ?

Clearly intended to be a click-bait headline, but it's meaningless so that's a failure of journalism. Headlines used to be the primary preserve of Sub Editors.

How many more cock ups can you find at www.dailymail.co.uk ?


Is there any more disgusting story than this: a Singaporean woman married an Englishman in 1992 but, as was usual at the time, she was granted "unlimited leave to remain" in the UK but not citizenship. Some years later, her parents were ill and she, and her husband moved to Singapore to take care of them. After they died, the couple returned to the UK. At that point, they discovered that the "unlimited leave to remain" did have limitations and that she needed to re-apply. She did, and so far as the couple were concerned, that was all settled in 2008. Somehow, it wasn't. Recently, she was arrested, held in an immigration centre and was deported, at only a few hours notice on a Sunday, with literally the clothes she was wearing when she was arrested plus GBP12 in her pocket. Put on a plane to Singapore, she had nowhere to go and nowhere to stay when she landed. Apparently, despite 27 years of marriage, most in the UK, and two children born in the UK, she has fallen foul of recent rules relating to income. Why? Her husband, who is ill, has income that has fallen below the GBP18,600 per annum threshold. Why do we care? There are thousands of long-term spouses in the UK who have not converted their "indefinite leave to remain" to citizenship. While there is a valid argument for applying limits to new arrivals, to apply it to those living in the UK, in long term, stable, legally recognised relationships should not be subject to such inhumane treatment.



Police in New York are anxious about, amongst other things, drones flying around, the risk they make invade privacy, cause plane crashes, be used for drugs drops, for example. So it's important to note that a woman, sitting in her living room, was surprised when a drone crashed through her window on the 27th floor and fell to the floor just feet away from her. It wasn't a cheap plaything: the GoPro Karma Quadcopter. New York does have laws that drones must not be flown except in designated areas and the flat wasn't one. Also, there is a federal law that requires all drones to be registered as aircraft. That's not working: NYC police are trying to identify its owner.



Just in case you'd forgotten: in the Philippines, Abu Sayaaf is still following its evil path, although there is remarkably little publicity given to it, either at home or internationally. They are still chopping up westerners. The latest is a 70 year old German hostage for whom a ransom was not paid. They had already murdered his wife.


There had been some wishful thinking about the emasculation of the group after Malaysian security forces killed Abraham Hamid, an Abu Sayaaf commander who reportedly led the group's kidnapping division. His death, in an offshore shootout, has not significantly hampered the group which has ties to several hard-line Islamic groups that want to impose a caliphate across a large part of South East Asia, to apply Shariah and Hudud law and generally to create a medieval society based on a contorted interpretation of Islam, by both gun and ballot box.




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