"We make very clear that we will never accept that behind our back the UK is starting trade negotiations with other countries before the withdrawal."
- EU "Brexit" negotiator Guy Verhofstadt replying to Article 50 Notice
You know what? I think I'll give up. I'm a 40 year old woman with a great job in a large company and I've got here via a career path that included a period being successful in professional practice. You'd think, wouldn't you, that I'd find it easy to meet decent guys both through and at work, even if my social life is a bit rubbish and I refuse to use Tinder. But my latest dismal date is so typical of the kind of nonsense I have to put up with....
We've had the Arab Spring and we've had various anarchist and anti-globalisation, anti-capitalism and even anti-wealth protests around the world in the past ten years but there is a new, culturally valid, development. It would be wrong to call it a movement but there is a discernible trend: protests against corrupt governments. It started in Malaysia with the Bersih movement but it has gained traction when, in South Korea, the demonstrators were highly influential in removing President Park. The latest country to see such protests is Russia. The most fascinating aspect is that the protests are cross-party, combine left and right: they are true people's movements, carefully targeted.
There is good reason to shake heads. A year or so ago, the UK Treasury initiated a consultation in which it issued "A call for evidence to review the UK’s Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Counter Financing of Terrorism (CFT) Supervisory Regime." Aside from the fact that, as a British body it really should get the English right and refer to counter-money laundering and anti-terrorist financing, it was all a bit lacking in balls. At least if the consultation was so afflicted, it's no surprise that the result is largely emasculated, too.
It is, perhaps, ironic that one of Ferrari's most ardent supporters, Bernie Ecclestone, isn't the boss of F1 any longer as the Prancing Horse danced its way into the first victory of the 2017 F1 Grand Prix season in Melbourne, Australia.
Qualifying for the Qatar MotoGP race was cancelled due to bad weather. 24 hours later, the race itself was delayed for half-an hour and then, when the riders went out on a sighting lap, several concluded that parts of the track were too wet to even attempt turn 14. Then the Stewards sent out Laurence Capirossi to check. It was a weird situation.
Now the cars have arrived at a proper race weekend, we can at last see what the cars look like, hear what they sound like and get some comparative data on this year's cars against last year's. And we can see what might be not quite right and that's a long list.
Of course, no one should evade tax. It is and always has been a tenet of tax law that declaring income and assets for tax is the responsibility of the taxpayer. But the OECD has long wanted to gain xray vision into bank accounts and with its "Automatic Exchange of Information" project, every bank account in the world will be subject to "automatic" inspection by "participating jurisdictions." Watch out for blacklists of jurisdictions that argue that there are local legal obstacles to free access to account information.
The pilot of a Bombardier Challenger 604 executive jet has reported that his aircraft suffered "significant loss of altitude, abnormal flight attitudes and accelerations beyond the certificated flight envelope." Damage was substantial. It is reported that a large freighter passed at approved separation (the distance between two aircraft in flight) but that there was significant turbulence resulting. It is said that the freighter was an Airbus A380.