You have to feel for the people of Spain. The people of that beautiful country have experienced wildfires, drought, violent protests, severe economic woes and now intense flooding in 2012.
Heavy rain, in what had been a drought hit region, has caused chaos. The worst hit areas are reported to be the Mediterranean provinces of Malaga in the south and Murcia and Almeria in the southeast of Spain.
At time of writing seven people are reported to have lost their lives. The dead include two young children who drowned in a car. An official spokesperson said "In Malaga province, there are 800 staff working to return things to normal as quickly as possible. The rains are decreasing and seem to be shifting towards Granada and Almeri."
As the flash floods which swept through the affected areas gained momentum a bridge was brought down, cars were swept away and roads become rivers or seas of thick murky mud. The structural damage which will cost a small fortune to put right. Then there is the loss of money to the economy due to closed businesses. All in all a no win situation.
Some of the Spaniards affected have started the big clean up operation. It seems though that they may have jumped the gun. More rain is forecast for this weekend which means they are not out of the woods yet. Not by a long chalk.
Above all the loss of life is the true cost and tragedy of such natural disasters. They cannot be replaced at any price.
The latest massacre in the US has left us wondering if such crimes are on the increase in that country. The majority of US citizens want to protect and keep their "right to bear arms" but at what price? The USA is a vast country with varying laws in each State. This means that gun laws are tighter in some States than others. In an election year both potential leaders of the USA will shy away from tackling the subject of gun crime. There is money in weapons. It is big business. Daring to air views which may come from the heart could add a nail in the political coffin of a presidential candidate. Surely though something will have to be done?
Early yesterday September 27, 2012, an employee was sacked from a Minneapolis sign making company. Later that day he returned to his former place of work, burst in and opened fire. His deadly gun attack killed four people. He then turned the gun on himself. Five deaths for what?
The killer has been identified as Andrew J. Engeldinger, 36. The dead include the owner of the company. The killer however appears to have had some people in mind as targets. It has been reported that when he entered the premised of the Accent company he walked past some people selecting those who he obviously had a gripe with.
Police who have searched the killer's home today found 10,000 rounds of ammunition. That sounds a huge amount to us but look online and it seems that Americans who support their gun policy would disagree. Why though would any law abiding citizen need such an amount of ammunition? If you follow the premise that people own guns for protection then 10,000 rounds of ammunition is a ludicrous amount. It is a tragedy waiting to happen.
In 2012 the US has experienced gun massacres in Aurora, Wisconsin, New York and more. Instead of such tragedies encouraging Americans to turn away from gun ownership it has increased the sale of guns in some places. The Aurora Cinema shootings led to an increase in gun sales as people sought to protect themselves from potential future attacks.
It is like a never ending spiral into insanity. More killings leads to more guns owned and therefore more gun incidents Insanity pure and simple. Whether there have been more gun massacres in the USA in 2012 or not there have been far too many incidents and deaths.
There may be tons of important news out there lately but today PM David Cameron's appearance on the American David Letterman show is making headlines. It sees that he impressed many of the American members of the TV audience with his charm and good nature. Both are qualities he is not renowned for in the UK.
After the event those members of the audience who were asked an opinion on Dodgy Dave Cameron gave positive comments. We well remember former UK PM Margaret Thatcher impressing those on the other side of the Pond. Of course they did not have to live under her damaging policies.
It is odd, isn't it how leaders are often popular in other countries. Many in the UK are still greatly impressed with President Obama but of course we do not live in the US. The same seems true of Cameron in the USA. Leaders of course do have an affect on world affairs and those in other countries but it is each country's leader that directly impacts on their own citizens.
Some in the US were impressed at how Cameron responded to unscripted questioning. They commented that Obama would not allow that. His questions were scripted and rehearsed. We are not 100% sure that Cameron's appearance was not rehearsed or scripted also.
The fact that he did not know what Magna Carta meant was hard to believe. Educated on the playing fields of Eton he would be fully conversant with Latin. Do we believe that he did not know that the Magna Carta was a Great Charter? Do we hell.
It seemed more like a well staged performance rather than an off the cuff interview. As such Cameron would play his part well. After all he is good at acting a part and pretending.
Shame he is no good at running the UK.
Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, wanted in Sweden for alleged sex crimes, has been holed up in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London. He belives that he will soon be extradited to the USA should he give in and allow himself to be moved to Sweden. With that in mind he has no plans to go anywhere. His voluntary incarceration in the Embassy has already lasted 100 days. It now seems that it could last ten years unless the stalemate is broken.
Ecuador have granted Assange asylum in that country but are unable to transport him there. If Julian steps foot outside of the embassy he faces immediate arrest.
This means that the UK is spending a great deal of money and police officer time in order to ensure that he does not manage to flee the UK. When you consider the amount of wrong doers who often escape the law the situation is farcical. For the UK government it has either become a principle or they are working on behalf of the US administration. There are no other conclusions we can draw.
Yesterday Assange spoke by video link to the UN. He again reiterated his belief that it is the US who are his biggest threat. He is in a no win situation. Either way he faces a long period of voluntary incarceration, a life almost on the run in Ecuador or extradition to the USA and or Sweden and jails terms. With no assurances that he will not be extradited to the USA in the future being made Assange will not surrender.
UK Foreign Secretary, William Hague is to meet with the Ecuadorian Foreign Minister Ricardo Patino.at the UN in New York. They will discuss Mr Assange and how both sides can forward in this matter. That will not be easy. The UK is sticking by its statement that Assange will be arrested should he leave the embassy and Ecuador maintains it has made a firm commitment to Julian.
Eileen Kersey manages TEK Staff Blog
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