Argentina hikes interest rate to 60%, the highest in the world, as its currency plunges. (CNN)


Tuesday,  Sept 4, 2018

Senate begins Supreme Court hearings for Brett Kavanaugh The Senate Judiciary Committee begins confirmation hearings Tuesday for President Trump’s second Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh. Democrats are expected to press Kavanaugh on his views on abortion rights, gun rights, executive powers, campaign finance laws, and regulation, all issues on which Kavanaugh has staked conservative or very conservative opinions, according to his available public record. Democrats are demanding more of Kavanaugh’s record from his time working in George W. Bush’s White House. They have seen only about 20 percent of Kavanaugh’s more than 3 million documents, and Trump has blocked the release of more than 100,000, claiming broad executive privilege. This will be the first confirmation hearings after Senate Republicans ended the filibuster for Supreme Court nominees, meaning Kavanaugh is likely to be confirmed. Source: NPR

New Yorker Festival ditches Bannon as headliner after uproar On Monday, Stephen Bannon was announced as one of the headliners at this year’s New Yorker Festival. A few hours later, he was disinvited, after a number of high-profile participants dropped out of the festival over his participation. New Yorker editor David Remnick told staff that “the reaction on social media was critical” but “some members of the staff, too, reached out to say that they objected to the invitation, particularly the forum of the festival.” Bannon, who was President Trump’s campaign chairman and White House chief strategist after heading up Breitbart and Cambridge Analytica, said “David Remnick showed he was gutless when confronted by the howling online mob.” Source: The New York Times

Nike taps Kaepernick for ‘Just Do It’ ad campaign Nike is making former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick one of the faces of its 30th anniversary “Just Do It” ad campaign. Kaepernick’s attorney, Mark Geragos, announced the news via Twitter on Monday, and Kaepernick posted a Nike ad featuring his face and wrote: “Believe in something, even if it means sacrificing everything. #JustDoIt.” Kaepernick protested against police mistreatment of African Americans by kneeling during the national anthem. He is suing the National Football League, accusing owners of conspiring to keep him off the field. He is a civil rights hero to many, but critics responded to news of the Nike move with calls for a boycott. Some posted photos and videos showing them burning Nike shoes and other gear. Source:  Bloomberg

Monday,  Sept 3, 2018

 More than 40 people, including civilians, have died in clashes in the Libyan city of Tripoli. (BBC)

An explosion at a Rheinmetall munition depot near Cape Town, South Africa, kills at least eight people. (Al Jazeera)

Two Reuters journalists jailed in Myanmar are sentenced to seven years in prison for violating the Official Secrets Act, prompting international condemnation. The pair was investigating reports of mass graves at the village of Inn Din when they were arrested in Yangon for attempting to obtain classified documents, which they contend were used as bait to entrap them. (The Guardian)

Sunday, Sept 2, 2018

 A massive fire destroys most of the Paço de São Cristóvão, which houses the National Museum of Brazil, in Rio de Janeiro. The museum holds important archaelogical and anthropological objects, including the remains of the Luzia Woman, Marajoara vases and Egyptian mummies. (G1) (Reuters)

Tens of thousands of people attend the funeral of Alexander Zakharchenko. Yesterday, Sergei Lavrov said that the murder was a provocation and that it would derail the stalled Normandy format peace process. (Deutsche Welle)

Ireland protests in response to the Venezuelan government seizing a Smurfit Kappa production plant, with Dublin liaising through its Mexican embassy to secure its return and the release of imprisoned managers. (Financial Times)


Saturday,  Sept 1, 2018

Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates say that the bombing of a school bus in Yemen by Saudi Arabian aircraft, which killed 51 people, was “unjustified”. (Al Jazeera)

Utair Flight 579 overruns the runway and catches fire while landing at Sochi International Airport, injuring 18 people. (BBC)

Colombia is preparing to declare an economic and social emergency in the region of La Guajira, which borders Venezuela. (La República)


Friday,  Aug 31, 2018

The leader of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic, Alexander Zakharchenko, is killed in a blast at a café in Donetsk. (BBC)

Two U.S. citizens are seriously wounded after a knife attack in Amsterdam Centraal station. The attacker was shot and wounded by the police. (The Telegraph)

The Coca-Cola Company agrees to buy British multinational coffeehouse Costa Coffee for £3.9 billion. (BBC)

Ahead of an expected U.S. announcement that it will cut all aid to the UNRWA, which supports more than 5 million registered Palestinian refugees, Germanycalls on European Union states to help bridge the expected US$217 million deficit. Yesterday, Jordan made a similar appeal to the Arab League. (Ynetnews)

The President of the unrecognized Republic of TransnistriaVadim Krasnoselsky, announces a visit to Moldovan President Igor Dodon for talks on 6 September. (TASS)

The European Union announces an aid package of €35 million ($40.6 million) for Venezuelans, both inside the country and for those displaced in neighbouring countries. (Yahoo News)

A court in Cambodia sentences Australian film director James Ricketson to six years in prison after he was found guilty of espionage for flying a drone at a Cambodia National Rescue Party rally. (Reuters)

The European Commission is proposing to end the practice of adjusting clocks by an hour in spring and autumn after a survey found most Europeans opposed it. The Commission proposal requires support from the 28 national governments and MEPs to become law. (BBC)

Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales announces that he will not renew the mandate of the International Commission against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG) and orders the immediate transfer of functions to the Public Ministry and the Ministry of the Interior. The mandate of the UN anti-corruption commission ends on September 3, 2019. (Reuters)

President Morales deploys the armed forces near the headquarters of the International Commission against Impunity in Guatemala. (ABC News)

The third impeachment against President Jimmy Morales for illicit electoral financing during his electoral campaign in 2015, is discussed in the Congress. It is the third impeachment that was requested by the Attorney General and the CICIG. (Insight Crime)

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau reaffirms his support for the Trans Mountain expansion project after the Federal Court of Appeal rules suspension of the project. (Cheknews) (CBC CA)


Thursday, Aug 30,  2018

Wonga, the largest payday lender in the United Kingdom, collapses into administration. (BBC)

The petro, a Venezuelan government-backed cryptocurrency, has not been trading and is not publicly accessible, despite government claims that it has sold $3.3 billion worth of units and the fact that it is linked to the nation’s physical currency and wages. (Reuters)

European Commissioner for Trade Cecilia Malmström proposes to reduce all European Union import tariffs, also on automobiles, to zero if the United States reciprocates. President of the United States Donald Trump threatens to quit the World Trade Organization. (Le Soir)

Protesters against Mayor of London Sadiq Khan plan to fly a balloon of him in which he is wearing a yellow bikini over Parliament Square, London on 1 September in the same spot where the Donald Trump baby balloon was flown on 13 July. (Chicago Suntimes) (Inquistr)

A Canadian court overturns Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s decision to expand the Trans Mountain Pipeline. (The Guardian)

The Japanese space agency announces their schedule for the exploration of 162173 Ryugu by their Hayabusa 2 probe. (BBC)



The End Tuesday