80,000 blondes meet in a football stadium for a “Blondes Are Not Stupid” Convention.
The leader says, “We are all here today to prove to the world that blondes are not stupid. Can I have a volunteer?”
A blonde gingerly works her way through the crowd and steps up to the stage.
The leader asks her, “What is 15 plus 15?”
After 15 or 20 seconds she says, “Eighteen!”
Obviously, everyone is a little disappointed. Then 80,000 blondes start cheering, “Give her another chance! Give her another chance!”
The leader says, “Well, since we’ve gone to the trouble of getting 80,000 of you in one place and we have the world-wide press and global broadcast media here, gee, uh, I guess we can give her another chance.”
So he asks, “What is 5 plus 5?”
After nearly 30 seconds she eventually says, “Ninety?”
The leader is quite perplexed, looks down and just lets out a dejected sigh – everyone is disheartened – the blonde starts crying and the 80,000 girls begin to yell and wave their hands shouting, “GIVE HER ANOTHER CHANCE! GIVE HER ANOTHER CHANCE!”
The leader, unsure whether or not he is doing more harm than good, eventually says, “Ok! Ok! Just one more chance — What is 2 plus 2?”
The girl closes her eyes, and after a whole minute eventually says, “Four?”
Throughout the stadium, pandemonium breaks out as all 80,000 girls jump to their feet, wave their arms, stomp their feet and scream… “Give her another chance! Give her another chance!”
On November 25, 2018, a summit meeting of the 27 remaining countries of the European Union approved the Brexit deal agreed with the UK’s Theresa May. At the end of the summit, President Macron gave a press conference in which he announced how he would abuse the deal to blackmail the UK, thereby making approval of the deal in the UK Parliament unthinkable. This deal must be the shortest-lived treaty in history.
From the moment that Theresa May first presented the proposed Brexit deal to her cabinet on November 14 and to the House of Commons the next day, opposition to it has steadily risen among the MPs of her own Conservative Party. Also the Democratic Unionist Party of Northern Ireland (DUP), the coalition partner that gives her a small majority in the Commons, is unanimously opposed. May has earned respect for the resolution with which she promotes the deal amid a cacophony of opposed voices that offer no coherent alternative, but also amazement at the stubbornness with which she rejects any change to the deal, thereby ensuring its failure.
The Sticking Point
At the risk of repeating what everyone knows, let us explain the structure of the deal and the main sticking point that makes it unacceptable to many in May’s own party. The deal consists of two documents, whose cumbrous titles we shall abbreviate as the Withdrawal Agreement (November 14, 2018) and the Framework for the Future Relationship (November 22, 2018; this is the final version of a shorter provisional text that was made available on November 14). The first document has itself, basically, two parts. What we can call the Main Part consists of 185 Articles occupying the first 300 pages, together with the nine Annexes occupying pages 504-585 (the end). The other part consists of pages 301-503, containing three Protocols on Ireland/Northern Ireland, Cyprus and Gibraltar, which pertain to European issues arising out of the earlier history of the UK.
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: A heated debate is underway in Tehran over whether or not to remain in the JCPOA following the US withdrawal. President Rouhani believes the cost of leaving is too high, but hardline Iranian conservatives – who never wanted the deal to begin with – want out. It remains to be seen what Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei will decide.
Following the US withdrawal from the Iran nuclear agreement formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), President Donald Trump has re-imposed unilateral sanctions on Iran, targeting the country’s core banking system, oil sales, and conduits to the global financial system. The most onerous sanction of all is preventing Iranian banks from using the Belgium-based Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT) network, the largest electronic payment network in the world.
The harsh measures have set the stage for a revival of political infighting within Iran’s complex and opaque political structure. A heated debate is going on among political elites and in the Farsi media in Tehran over whether to remain a party to the nuclear agreement or withdraw from the pact. A review of Farsi media outlets indicates that President Hassan Rouhani and his followers believe Tehran should remain because “the cost of leaving the deal is too high for the country.” But his rival force, the conservative camp, is preparing to exit the nuclear agreement – which it opposed in the first place.
Malaysia and Indonesia tried to strong-arm Australia into calling this off. So it is good of Morrison to stand up to this intimidation and not give in to it, as all establishment counterterror analysts would have recommended.
“After months of conjecture Scott Morrison makes announcement on embassy in Israel,” News.com.au, December 15, 2018:
Prime Minister Scott Morrison has formally announced his intention to move Australia’s embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to West Jerusalem, ending months of speculation on the controversial issue.
In a speech this afternoon, Mr Morrison formally recognised West Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and announced the government would set up a Trade and Defence Office in the city.