Hmm

The current favourite to become the next president of France has been forced to deny rumours that he is enjoying an extra-marital gay affair with a high-profile media chief.
Emmanuel Macron, the 39-year-old former economy minister, has been rumoured to be seeing Mathieu Gallet, the 40-year-old boss of Radio France.
This is despite Mr Macron being married for the last decade to Brigitte Trogneux, who is 20 years older than him.

I do like that “despite” there.

Not really Mo, no

Mo Farah, a runner who was knighted after becoming the most successful track athlete in Britain’s Olympic history, condemned the executive order banning people from certain Muslim countries, saying that “President Donald Trump seems to have made me an alien.”

You have a British passport, don’t you?

BTW, even with one of those in American law you are actually an alien.

Have to admit I wouldn’t do this

Squatters have taken over a £15 million mansion owned by a Russian billionaire in one of Britain’s most expensive and exclusive streets.

The group has allegedly been in the Grade II listed building in Eaton Square for three days.

The property, which was built in the early 1820s, has believed to have been empty ever since Russian oligarch Andrey Goncharenko bought it in 2014.

You never know how much an oligarch has been tamed. Quite how much that important distinction between here’s how we do things at home and here’s how they do things there has sunk home.

On the one hand, Sberbank, close to the heart of the Putinist state. On the other, came up through Troika Dialog, so maybe Bernie Sucher trained him well.

Just not a risk I would take really.

Memo to the White House

True, Donald might well enjoy this but still:

The White House said this week the UK and US could become even “closer” when Theresa May meets Donald Trump on Friday.

If that is to be the case, they might have to start by spelling her name correctly.

The president’s press office sent out a memo highlighting Mr Trump’s Oval Office meeting with the Prime Minister on Friday. However, the release sent to media organisations dropped the h” in all three mentions of her full name.

“In the afternoon, the President will partake in a bilateral meeting with United Kingdom Prime Minister, Teresa May. A joint press conference between the two parties follows,” the first misspelling in the initial email read.

Useful hint:

On the right is Teresa May, a glamour model (not porn star, flaunting assets rather than recording the details of penetration) of a certain comfortable age and a certain comfortable shape. On the left, the British Prime Minister, Theresa May.

We Brits think the difference worth noting. Only one of them is in a position to fuck the country, the other is only about sex.

Integrate or no citizenship

A left-wing Dutch vegan who campaigned against cowbells in the Swiss village where she lives has had a request for a Swiss passport thrown out after annoying the locals.
Nancy Holten, who was born in the Netherlands but moved to Switzerland at the age of eight, is a fluent speaker of Swiss German and has children who are Swiss nationals.
And she wanted a Swiss passport herself, but was refused after locals who were consulted about her request said they were ‘fed up’ of her challenging Swiss traditions by campaigning against the use of cow bells.

The campaign against cow bells by the 42-year-old vegan and animal-rights activist has made her unpopular in the Alpine confederation.

Sensible people the Swiss.

Milos Zeman’s a bit of a joke to be honest

And yet there’s some good sense sometimes:

Czech government tells its citizens how to fight terrorists: Shoot them yourselves

Guns are easily available – I’ve sat having a beer with someone carrying a pistol for example. True, it had to be carried inside a case, not a holster etc, but the laws are sensibly lax:

The Czech Republic already has some of the most lenient gun policies in Europe. It’s home to about 800,000 registered firearms and 300,000 people with gun licenses. Obtaining a weapon is relatively easy: Residents must be 21, pass a gun knowledge check and have no criminal record. By law, Czechs can use their weapons to protect their property or when in danger, although they need to prove they faced a real threat.

Why shouldn’t the populace defend the populace?

Snigger

A contractor in the platinum-rich Greater Tubatse municipality of Mpumalanga has managed to attach the local government’s vehicles and an investment account, according to a City Press report.

Reportedly, it was the the contractor’s last available option after municipal managers delayed paying Mphaphuli Consulting for work it had done on a R231 million village-electrification project called Operation Mabone.

The Polokwane High Court granted the attachment, which City Press reports “has paralysed the municipality’s traffic department with officers not having vehicles to perform their duties this festive season. This could only change if the municipality paid four invoices of R21.1 million, R3.6 million, R1.8 million and R14.6 million. Other vehicles that have been attached include trucks, earth-moving vehicles and the mayoral vehicles.”

Confiscating the cop cars for non-payment…..

All Praise Canada – Or The Canadian Pacific Railroad

This is a fabulous idea.

The Canadian Pacific Holiday Train.

So, take one large Canadian train. Deck it with neon boughs of holly and the rest. Drive it across the entirety of Canada, coast to coast. And when it stops at a station, the box car side drops down and out springs the band to play Run Rudolph Run or some such.

Great photos here and some drone footage

Apparently they run two, one across the US, one across Canada each year.

OK, so it’s about awareness of food banks and such like. But I would love to have been in that planning meeting two decades back.

“Boss, we’re going to run a train festooned with neon across the country”

“Whut?”

“Yeah, and when it stops at a station then the band leaps out to play.”

“Whut? You been at the liquer chocolates already?”

“No boss, it’ll be great, great big Christmas train right across the prairies.”

“Well, it’ll have to be for charidee…”

“Food banks, whatever, big train, neon, Christmas!”

“And holidays, not Christmas”

“Whatever, but big train! Woo Hoo!”

“Yep, go get them other box of them chocolates too.”

Trivial when there’s so much suffering in the world? Sure. Those diesels pollute the planet too.

And what a frabjous day it is when I find out that someone actually does this. A large, official, organisation, goes out of its way to do this.

Yep, I think we’ll keep this species.

But we’re the racists of course

According to CID sources, Dr Ghosh was connected to the Sri Krishna Nursing Home on College Street from 1994 to 2012. The nursing home was directly involved in selling babies of unmarried, poor women to couples for a massive sum depending on the gender and complexion of the baby.

Britain today doesn’t really have racism quite as deep seated and pernicious as India does …..that caste system is rather more racist than anything we’ve done for some time now….

I wouldn’t worry about this

Why I Left White Nationalism
By R. DEREK BLACK

I grew up in a family that embraced extreme views. I’ve moved on. The country can, too.

I wouldn’t worry because the country has moved on. Is it perfect? Nope, not at all. But is it a lot less racist than it was? Yup.

A sober analysis would probably tells us that the most racist remaining part of the US is the union run education system.

They were Ugandan negotiations, honest!

SEOUL, Korea, Republic Of — Little blue pills in South Korea’s presidential Blue House?
President Park Geun-hye’s office on Wednesday confirmed revelations by an opposition lawmaker that it purchased about 360 erectile dysfunction Viagra pills and the generic version of the drug in December.

While the report has created a frenzy on the internet, Park’s office said the pills were bought to potentially treat altitude sickness for presidential aides and employees on Park’s May trips to Ethiopia, Uganda and Kenya, whose capitals are 1 to 2 kilometres (0.6 to 1.2 miles) above sea level.

This isn’t the most powerful complaint ever

India changes high value bank notes to get at the tax evaders and the black money. This is going to cause a political problem:

The prime minister last week outlawed 500- and 1,000-rupee notes in a drive to rein in corruption and a shadow economy that accounts for a fifth of India’s $2.1tn gross domestic product.

With no state election funding, illicit cash is the lifeblood for political parties that collect money from candidates and businessmen, and then spend it on staging rallies, hiring helicopters and on “gifts” to win votes.

Spending on the Uttar Pradesh election is forecast to hit a record 40bn rupees ($590m), despite the cancellation of big denominations.

Modi’s banknote change has so far proven popular among increasingly aspirational voters who are tired of corruption, although views among the broader population and economists are divided over the efficacy and fairness of the move.

Opposition politicians have united to decry it.

“We will have to plan the entire election strategy all over again,” said Pradeep Mathur, a senior Uttar Pradesh leader of the Congress opposition party that was trounced by the BJP in national elections in 2014.

No, not that powerful a complaint really.

Court politics

Russia’s economy minister Alexei Ulyukayev has been detained over a $2-million bribe allegedly received for a “positive” assessment, which led to oil producer Rosneft acquiring a 50 percent stake in Bashneft , the country’s Investigative Committee said on Tuesday.

Ulyukayev, who was appointed economy minister in 2013, is the highest-ranked Russian statesman arrested since the failed coup in 1991.

“This is about extortion of a bribe from Rosneft representatives accompanied by threats,” Svetlana Petrenko, a spokesperson for the Investigative Committee, told Ria Novosti news agency.

The correct question to ask here is not what is going on here, but who did he piss off?

For in that milieu that’s about the price of two of the watches they favour. Trivia.

Wouldn’t this be a fun job?

Shah is one of hundreds of thousands of Indians who have taken classes with a new cadre of professional image consultants who teach the social graces and etiquettes associated with old, upper-class Europe. While the finishing schools of the 19th and 20th centuries are now outdated in the west, an industry of manners worth more than 6bn rupees (£70m) has mushroomed in the east in the last five years, as young, urban Indians prepare to embark on global careers.

Which fork to use, etc. Don’t use the knife to eat your peas……

Tee Hee

We were in Victoria dredging for gold, me and Derek, and there was a total eclipse,” says the storyteller.

“We were in the Beechworth pub, I was only 17 … He drank everyone’s beer in the bar while they were out looking at the eclipse.”