Federer shows his class as he quits. Williams is quite the opposite

In recent times, two international tennis players — Roger Federer and Serena Williams — have said, one in direct terms and the other somewhat less clearly, that they would be retiring from the game.

Federer was the more recent to make an announcement saying in unambiguous language that he would retire after the Laver Cup. He has 20 Grand Slam titles to his name and has never been a man who is obsessed by collecting titles. Continue reading “Federer shows his class as he quits. Williams is quite the opposite”

Loose lips sink ships. Joe Biden does not seem to know that

In 1991, the US, aided by a number of other countries, waged a war given the moniker Operation Desert Storm, to eject Iraqi forces from Kuwait.

Iraq invaded Kuwait on August 2, 1990, after demanding billions from that tiny country which it claimed it was owed because the Kuwaitis had stolen oil from wells which were on the Iraqi side of the border.

Iraq’s demands came after a long and debilitating eight-year war with Iran, during which Kuwait backed Iraq and often suffered attacks to its oil tankers in the Gulf as a result. When Kuwait did not give in, Baghdad’s forces invaded and took over the country in a matter of days. Continue reading “Loose lips sink ships. Joe Biden does not seem to know that”

Old is gold: 1937 crime thriller Death on the Nile is being remade

In recent years, there have been a number of remakes of old films, underlining the fact that people in the industry appear to be running out of good ideas.

That trend will be emphasised in February 2022 when a version of the Agatha Christie novel Death on the Nile is released, with Kenneth Branagh playing the role of the detective Hercule Poirot.

It is worth noting that this film was first made in 1978, with the late Peter Ustinov leading a cast full of big names: Mia Farrow, David Niven, George Kennedy, Olivia Hussey, Angela Lansbury and I.S. Johar.

Continue reading “Old is gold: 1937 crime thriller Death on the Nile is being remade”

When will 9/11 mastermind get his day in court?

Twenty years after the attacks on the World Trade Center in New York, the mastermind of the attack, Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, has still not been put on trial despite having been arrested in March 2003.

KSM, as he is known, was picked up by the Pakistani authorities in Rawalpindi. Just prior to his arrest, the other main actor in the planning of the attacks, Ramzi Binalshibh, was picked up, again in Pakistan, this time in Karachi.

A report says KSM, Ramzi and three others appeared in court on Tuesday, 7 September. KSM was reported to be confident, talking to his lawyers and defying the judge’s instruction to wear a mask.

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War on terror has nothing to do with the rise of Trump

As the US marks the 20th anniversary of the attacks on the World Trade Centre, a theory, that can only be classified as unadulterated BS, has been advanced: the event led to the invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq which in turn led to the emergence of Donald Trump.

Such a narrative sits nicely with Democrats: the election of the worst US president, a Republican, was caused by the actions of another Republican president, George W. Bush.

Part of this logic — if you can call it that — is that Trump’s opposition to the wars launched by Bush put paid to the chances of his brother, Jeb, gaining the Republican nomination.

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Killing people remotely: the fallout of the US war on terror

National Bird is a disturbing documentary. It isn’t new, having been made in 2016, but it outlines in stark detail the issues that are part and parcel of the drone program which the US has used to kill hundreds, if not thousands, of people in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq and a number of other countries.

The use of remote killing was even seen recently after a bomb went off at Kabul Airport following the US withdrawal from Afghanistan. There were boasts that two people responsible for the blast had been killed by a drone – only for the truth to emerge later.

And that was that the people killed were in no way connected to the blast. Using faulty intelligence and an over-quick finger, America had pulled the trigger again and killed innocents.

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Australia is a vassal state of the US. That will never change

The craven manner in which Australia continues to bow before the US is borne of a deep-seated fear that Washington will again choose to interfere in Australian politics as it did in 1975.

That year, the late Gough Whitlam, who was prime minister, hinted that he might have second thoughts about renewing a lease for Pine Gap, a base in Australia’s northern parts which the Americans use for spying on other countries.

Whitlam was sacked by the governor-general John Kerr shortly thereafter. A full account of the affair is here; the CIA’s involvement has never been in doubt.

Continue reading “Australia is a vassal state of the US. That will never change”

Serena Williams has become an object of pity

In August, no doubt, Serena Williams will turn up at the US Open, the last tennis Grand Slam event for 2021, in the hope that she will be able to, at last, equal Australian Margaret Court’s record of 24 Grand Slam titles.

The odds are stacked against Williams, given that she has been unable to win a Grand Slam event since January 2017. That year, she won the Australian Open.

After that, she has played in 18 Grand Slam events and been unable to win any of them. In some, she has even managed to make it to the final, but then stumbled at the last hurdle.

Continue reading “Serena Williams has become an object of pity”

The world has become the domain of liars

There’s a common element to much, if not most, of the news that flits across the TV screens: lies.

People attempt to add a touch of sophistry to lying, by trying to create classes of lies, but in the end it all adds up to the same thing: saying one thing when knowing that the opposite was correct.

One well-known example: the current president of the United States, Joe Biden, came to office promising a US$15 minimum wage for the country. He also promised to provide medical services for all and forgive at least a part of the billions in student debt.

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Something fishy about Trump’s taxes? Did nobody suspect it all along?

Recently, the New York Times ran an article about Donald Trump having paid no federal income taxes for 10 of the last 15 years; many claimed it was a blockbuster story and that it would have far-reaching effects on the forthcoming presidential election.

If this was the first time Trump’s tax evasion was being mentioned, then, sure, it would have been a big deal.

But right from the time he first refused to make his tax returns public — before he was elected — this question has been hanging over Trump’s head.
Continue reading “Something fishy about Trump’s taxes? Did nobody suspect it all along?”