Monday, June 19, 2017

Around the Globe in 1,095 Days

Canoe makes round-the-world voyage without modern instruments


Paris offers a model to bring swimming to Charles River This is the first in a series exploring initiatives around Boston, the country, and the world that have succeeded or hold great promise, from government to business to culture. 

It will be interesting to see how many handfuls of examples they can come up with, and how much elbow grease they will expend polishing a turd.

Tall Ships draw crowds, despite long lines and humid weather

They only drew thousands? Going to be hard to make that 3 million that was expected, or will we just be lied to yet again?

Coast Guard trying to determine cause of Hyannis ferry crash

Something wicked this way comes?


‘Instameet’: The social media event that’s actually social

""Wonder Woman" fell to second place in its third weekend in theaters, but it's still doing the heavy lifting for the otherwise lackluster summer box office. The third installment in Disney and Pixar's $1 billion "Cars" franchise easily took the top spot, but its estimated $53.5 million in earnings is the worst opening in the series' history -- "Cars" opened to $60.1 million and "Cars 2" to $66.1 million. "Wonder Woman" was second with $40.8 million, while holdover "The Mummy" slid to fourth place in weekend two with $13.9 million. The Tupac biopic "All Eyez on Me" earned $27.1 million to take third place....."

A true feminist life

It's a dog-eat-dog world.

"Last year, LeBron James and his relentless Cavaliers pulled off an improbable NBA Finals comeback to give the city of Cleveland its first title since 1964 as they became the first team to rally from a 3-1 finals deficit by beating the defending champion Golden State Warriors 93-89."

Have you seen his house?

Happy Father's Day

Families, city leaders walk to spread Father’s Day message of unity

Stephen Furst, who played Flounder in ‘Animal House,’ dies at 63

Behind Mystic Valley’s vaunted test scores, a question of equity

Cosby declares victory, but prosecutor undeterred

Woman Tried to Escape Custody by Climbing Into Ceiling

Heroin: Suspected dealer busted at Elmsford hotel

Connecticut man charged with making bombs

Just in time for this (same town, too; talk about a psyop mind-f***):

Alex Jones vows to air unedited version of interview

Didn't see one second, and it looks like this is the end.....


"The 24-story tower that once housed up to 600 people in 120 apartments is now a charred ruin...."

It hasn't fallen into its own footprint, and what's that over there?

At least 1 person dead after van plows into London crowd

Eyewitness Account Says Finsbury Park a Hoax - Voice Over 

Are they ever dancing on your heads over there or what?


"Google says it is creating new policies and practices to suppress terrorism-related videos, a response to U.K. lawmakers who have said the internet is a petri dish for radical ideology. Google will increase its use of technology to identify extremist and terrorism-related videos across its sites, which include YouTube, and will boost the number of people who screen for terrorism-related content, Google’s General Counsel Kent Walker wrote in an editorial in the Financial Times Sunday. The company will also be more aggressive in putting warnings on and limiting the reach of content that, while not officially forbidden, is still inflammatory. “While we and others have worked for years to identify and remove content that violates our policies, the uncomfortable truth is that we, as an industry, must acknowledge that more needs to be done,” Walker wrote....."

No wonder their searches suck these days.

Bye, bye, May!

Macron's their new boy:

"French parliamentary elections give big boost to Macron" by Alissa J. Rubin, Aurelien Breeden and Benoît Morenne New York Times   June 18, 2017

Well, my printed copy is bylined the Washington Post so.... why did the narrative need a rewrite?

PARIS — President Emmanuel Macron of France won a crucial stamp of approval on Sunday as voters gave him and his allies a decisive majority in parliamentary elections, but a record-low turnout cast a shadow over his victory, pointing to the hurdles he will face as he seeks to revive the country’s economy and confidence.

What was the narrow percentage of victory?

Emmanuel Macron was projected to win a large parliamentary majority Sunday, with the centrist party he founded little more than a year ago triumphing at the polls.

When the votes were counted, Macron’s party, La République En Marche (The Republic on the Move) and its allies had won 352 seats in the 577-member National Assembly, the lower house of Parliament.

Although the result was expected after an earlier round of voting last week, the rise of Macron’s pro-Europe, pro-business party represented a watershed moment in modern French politics.

Macron, a relative political newcomer who was elected on May 7, had called for a strong mandate to advance his legislative agenda, including plans to loosen France’s restrictive labor laws. Voters swept in many first-time candidates, including some of Arab or African ancestry, and elected more than 200 women, a record in France’s modern history.

In a system that has only ever been governed by the center-left or the center-right, Sunday’s vote marked the beginning of a French “third way,” a government from the center that once seemed impossible.

I feel so sorry for the French people; they got phoqued.

For the two mainstream parties, the outcome was a bleak repudiation: The center-right Republicans and their allies were relegated to a distant second place, with an estimated 135 members for its bloc in Parliament, while the Socialists and their allies, who had a majority in the last election, saw their bloc reduced to an estimated 45 seats.

Macron’s Republic on the Move party was projected to win at least 355 of 577 total seats in France’s National Assembly, according to French polling institutes.

The former Socialist prime minister Manuel Valls appeared to have barely won re-election in his district, by a margin of just 139 votes. His opponent made accusations of improprieties and asked for a recount. Several prominent Socialist representatives, including four who served as ministers in the previous government, lost their seats.

Although the figures were not as high as initially anticipated — and voter abstention approached a record percentage — the victory still represented the emergence of a powerful new political force in France.

Parties on the far left and the far right won more seats — and Macron’s bloc won fewer — than analysts had projected in the past week. Still, Macron “has all the powers,” said Jean-Christophe Cambadélis, who resigned on Sunday as head of the Socialist Party, which with its allies won both the presidential and parliamentary elections of 2012, only to see their popularity erode under the leadership of Macron’s predecessor, François Hollande.

Looks like a rig to me, and at this point, even the WaPo is a rewrite. WTF?

A top Republican official, François Baroin, wished Macron “good luck” but said his party would continue to be heard, as the largest opposition party. Most of the better known Republicans were re-elected, but Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet, a moderate and one the party’s top officials, lost to a Macron-backed candidate in her Paris district.

The record-low turnout, about 43 percent, dimmed Macron’s victory and pointed to the tentative, even ambivalent, view of many French citizens toward his promises to transform France.

“Many people are in a state of uncertainty, a ‘wait and see,’ ” said Luc Rouban, a professor at the Center for the Study of French Political Life at Sciences Po.

“The level of abstention in the second round is a sign that a large part of the working-class electorate are not going to vote anymore,” said Rouban, describing the sense of alienation evident in the abstention as “an invisible fracture” separating the poorest and more modestly off members of French society from the rest.

Macron’s opponents seized on the abstention rate to try to discredit his victory. The leader of the far-left France Unbowed party, Jean-Luc Mélenchon, said the abstention level was “crushing,” adding, “Our people have entered into a form of civic general strike.” He suggested that with such a high number of people declining to vote, the government was robbed of its legitimacy.

After a year that saw landmark victories for populist campaigns in Britain and the United States, Macron’s election in May was widely seen as bucking an international trend

And setting things up for Merkel to steal her fourth term.

A majority of eligible voters did not show up, perhaps because they thought Macron’s candidates did not need their support or, more worryingly for Macron, because they were unwilling to give him their endorsement. Many might have been tired of voting, having been called to the polls not only for the two rounds of the presidential election and then two rounds of voting for Parliament, but also for primary elections on the left and the right ahead of the presidential election.

And now, France has placed its trust in Macron’s ambitious, as-yet-untested political program, giving him a rare carte blanche to make good on his promise to “renew political life.”

In Sunday’s voting, Marine Le Pen’s far-right National Front party and its allies saw a precipitous drop in support since the presidential election, winning nine seats. Le Pen herself won her race for a seat in a district of northern France, but the No. 2 in her party, Florian Philippot, lost his race.

“It reflects a judgment of the first weeks in power of Emmanuel Macron,” said Dominique Moïsi, a foreign policy adviser at the Institut Montaigne, a Paris think tank close to the Macron campaign.

Mélenchon won his seat in a district in the Mediterranean port city of Marseille. His party and its Communist allies won 27 seats, fewer than might have been expected after Mélenchon’s strong showing in the presidential election, but enough to challenge the Socialists for the status as the main left-wing opposition party.

“They elected him, but they were not sure at first,” Moïsi added. “Then they saw that he was incarnating the republic better than their previous president.”

Predecessor François Hollande, in whose administration Macron briefly served as economy minister, was the most unpopular head of state in modern French history. Following a constant string of terrorist attacks, stagnant unemployment figures and an unresolved migrant crisis, the executive branch plummeted in the esteem of many French voters. In some polls, Hollande’s approval rating reached the single digits

The Left is dead.

By contrast, Moïsi said, Macron — after just one month in office — has asserted himself as a force to be reckoned with on the world stage, projecting the image of a strong and powerful France that recalls the stubborn statesmanship of Charles de Gaulle.

Must be the nostalgia, but will Macron be a Laval?

First, Macron faced off against President Trump in a six-second handshake, and publicly criticized his American counterpart’s decision to withdraw from the Paris climate accords, inviting — in fluent English — American climate scientists and researchers to relocate to France. Then he launched a catchphrase that played with Trump’s campaign slogan: “Make Our Planet Great Again.”

Several days later, Macron stood in the gilded halls of the Palace of Versailles outside Paris next to Russian President Vladimir Putin. Instead of making nice, the 39-year-old French president, the youngest in history, used the subsequent news conference to blast Russia’s state-owned media outlets, such as Sputnik and Russia Today, as “organs of influence and propaganda.”

Yeah, Putin then laughed in his face.

Then there is more than my print gave me.

But at the same time, France’s 2017 elections, which concluded Sunday with the second and final round of voting for parliamentary candidates, reached a different sort of historic mark, as well: Never before has voter abstention been so high, at roughly 58 percent, according to one exit poll.

That called into question the legitimacy of Macron’s otherwise unprecedented mandate. 

Good thing it didn't affect the pre$$ narrative or headlines.

Marine Le Pen, the far-right leader Macron crushed in the presidential election but who ultimately won a parliamentary seat in the Pas-de-Calais region, wasted no time attacking the strength of the president’s mandate in her Sunday victory speech.

“Abstention has broken new records, and mistrust of the republic has reached a peak,” she said. “This abstention considerably weakens the legitimacy of the new National Assembly. To this is added the very serious lack of representation of the chamber elected tonight. It is scandalous that a movement such as ours, with 6.7 million voters in the presidential elections, cannot obtain a group in the National Assembly.”

Including Le Pen, eight members of the National Front were projected to win parliamentary seats, an increase from the two the party held in the previous Parliament.

For weeks, Macron’s opponents and political analysts have worried that Macron’s strong majority will enable him to shove changes through Parliament with little regard for opposition input. 

That is conventionally known as a dictatorship.

In September, for instance, Macron is expected to move a major labor bill through Parliament that would, among other things, give companies the power to lengthen hours and adjust wages on a case-by-case basis, as opposed to having to observe uniform rules. In interviews with French newspapers, the leaders of France’s most powerful labor unions have all warned Macron not to go too far too fast.

Yeah, let's see him deal with some protests and shutdowns.

But if the remarkable rise of Macron — a political unknown just three years ago — represented a drastic overhaul of France’s political system, Sunday’s results suggested that there will, in the end, be some semblance of an opposition. Although each of France’s two traditional parties were greatly diminished, the center-right Republicans took 125 seats, while the center-left Socialists took 49.

On the far left, the French Communist Party and France Unbowed, the radical leftist coalition founded by Jean-Luc Mélenchon last year, were expected to win 11 and 19 seats, respectively.

Like Le Pen, Mélenchon, another defeated presidential candidate who represented a political extreme, took aim at Macron’s mandate, especially with regard to the president’s proposed market revisions.

“This bloated majority in the National Assembly does not in our eyes have the legitimacy to perpetrate the anticipated social coup, the destruction of all public social order by the repeal of the labor law,” Mélenchon said.

For others, however, the results suggested a lesson that, in the political landscape of 2017, was perhaps counterintuitive: The center can hold, and the center can grow.

“It’s interesting that 2016-2017 has seen a dual revolution,” Moïsi said. “In the same sense that no one could have predicted the election of Donald Trump, no one could have predicted the election of Emmanuel Macron.”

I did. 


"Bombing at Colombia mall kills 3, including French woman" Associated Press  June 18, 2017

BOGOTA — Colombia’s president, Juan Manuel Santos, vowed to capture those responsible for detonating a homemade bomb that killed three people, including a French woman, in a busy shopping mall over the weekend and threatened to undermine years of security gains.

Santos offered a reward of around $35,000 to anyone with information about Saturday’s attack at the upscale Centro Andino in the heart of the city’s tourist district. The bomb, placed behind a toilet in a second-floor women’s bathroom, went off as the mall was filled with Father’s Day shoppers.

Much attention has focused on the National Liberation Army, the last major rebel movement still active in Colombia, which has carried a spate of recent attacks against mostly police targets in the capital.

But leaders of the group have repudiated the bombing and Santos refused to feed speculation on the possible perpetrators to not interfere in the investigation in its critical, early phase.


Who knows if it was real? There have been so many mall sieges that have turned out to be drills or fake, and if it did actually happen it is most likely a false flag. In the unlikely event that it is none of those things, well, the drug war is at full throttle down there so.....

Remember Kenya and the guy running away with the blood spot separating on the back of the shirt (never mind the fake blood; had he been shot in the torso he wouldn't be running)?

"2 dead in suspected jihadist attack on Mali spa" Associated Press  June 18, 2017

BAMAKO, Mali — Suspected jihadists attacked a hotel resort Sunday in Mali’s capital, taking hostages at a popular tourist spot. At least two people were killed and about 30 people escaped, authorities said.

Gunfire first rang out at the Campement Kangaba on the outskirts of Bamako in the late afternoon, according to a security official with the UN mission.

‘‘I heard gunfire coming from the camp and I saw people running out of the site,’’ said Modibo Diarra, who lives nearby. ‘‘I learned that it was a terrorist attack.’’ 

I used to believe in the U.N., but that was more than 10 years ago.

Malian soldiers later entered the resort area, according to Commandant Modibo Traore, a spokesman for the Malian special forces in the former French colony. He estimated there were three or four assailants.

Mali’s security minister later confirmed at least two deaths, including a dual French-Gabonese citizen. One of the suspected attackers who was wounded in the attack escaped, the ministry added.

Gee, French under attack in Mali and Colombia. This will pose a test for Macron!


I'm channeling something else:

"Raging forest fire kills 61 in Portugal, including drivers trapped in cars" by Raphael Minder New York Times  June 18, 2017

MADRID — A raging forest fire enveloped a stretch of road in central Portugal over the weekend, killing at least 61 people, including about 30 motorists who were trapped in their cars.

The fire, which was still burning Sunday, has brought “a dimension of human tragedy that we cannot remember,” Prime Minister António Costa said during a visit to the scorched area around Pedrógão Grande.

The blaze started Saturday, and the flames spread along four fronts with “great violence,” said Jorge Gomes, secretary of state for internal administration. By Sunday, five infernos were raging in central Portugal, he said.

This is a terrible tragedy, but fire is fire. It knows not violence. To ascribe a human emotion and action to it is to serve some other agenda, lighting a fire to trigger something in your mind.

The death toll stood at 61, according to Lusa, the national news agency. Officials said they expected the number to rise.

Half of the people killed died in their cars, Gomes confirmed, after being hemmed in by the flames while driving through the densely forested area between Figueiró dos Vinhos and Castanheira de Pêra.

That must have been a horrifying experience.

Officials said they had found 17 bodies near the road, possibly those of people who had tried to escape on foot once they realized that there was no way to continue driving. Two people were also killed in a car crash related to the blaze.

Several houses were destroyed by flames. Portuguese TV showed people scrambling to leave their homes early Sunday, escorted by firefighters and rescue teams, as huge flames engulfed hamlets across the dry, cracked terrain.

Several roads were cut off by flames and thick smoke as firefighters tried to prevent the fires from spreading.

About 1,600 firefighters, assisted by airplanes and helicopters, were working to contain the damage. Police and military units were called in to help, and EU officials in Brussels activated the bloc’s civil protection mechanism to send reinforcements. Spain sent two planes to help contain the fires.

An investigation into the cause of the fires is likely to look into why motorists were left stranded on the road, and whether authorities cut off all of the access roads quickly enough to prevent drivers from inadvertently heading toward the blaze. 

I was going to ask earlier, but I thought it would be in bad taste.

The cause of the initial fire near Pedrógão Grande was not immediately clear. Officials had suggested it was started by lightning during a dry thunderstorm, in which lightning strikes but there is no rain.

José Maria de Almeida Rodrigues, national director of Portugal’s judicial police, told Lusa Sunday, “Everything points very clearly toward natural causes.”

Portugal, where summer wildfires are common, has been experiencing a heat wave for days, with temperatures climbing above 100 degrees.

And though fire experts said it was difficult to say for sure how the fires had spread so rapidly, environmentalists warned that the country needed to urgently improve its forest management and fire monitoring.

Domingos Xavier Viegas, a fire expert who is a professor at the University of Coimbra, said the speed of the fire’s progression suggested it had started simultaneously in different places and that its advance was probably aided by the gorges and ravines that cut through the area’s terrain. They can help fires progress, Xavier Viegas told Lusa, creating new pockets of fire that “easily catch people by surprise.”

Wildfires are unpredictable, experts say, especially when high temperatures, low humidity, and a particularly dry landscape create a vast tinderbox in large wooded areas.

João Branco, president of Quercus, an environmental association, said the fires in Portugal reflected “a situation of negligence” and a flawed approach to forestry that has led to the large-scale replacement of pine trees with eucalyptus trees in areas around Pedrógão Grande. Eucalyptus contains an oil that burns easily.

Branco said the government had regularly promised to improve Portugal’s forestry policies but “everything continued in the same way.”

The blaze is Portugal’s worst forest fire in more than half a century. In 1966, 25 soldiers died while trying to put out a fire in the hills near Sintra.

President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa paid tribute to the firefighters, saying they faced the toughest conditions possible: “temperature, wind and zero humidity.” He spoke of solidarity displayed by those caught in the tragedy, and sent a message of “comfort and support.”

I'm sure that fell on deaf ears.


Just wondering why the car didn't melt.


Also see: Sunday Globe Goes to Cuba

"Mired in scandal, Trump governs like he’s president of the 35 percent" by Annie Linskey Globe Staff  June 16, 2017

WASHINGTON — President Trump [is] drawing from a positive political feedback loop he enjoys with the disenchanted voters who fueled his rise and election victory, [and] he’s lavishing his time and attention on shoring up those who already like him — but will this be enough to sustain a presidency over the long haul, not to mention put him in position to win reelection in 2020?

OMG, they are already wistfully looking toward 2020!

And who does the Globe turn to for poll analysis? None other than the inventor of code words and push polls, Frank Luntz. I'm also told Trump had an opportunity when he was first elected to forge ties with Democrats, but that moment has evaporated. 

They were too busy attacking him and failing to come to grips with November at that time.

Trump still has the ability to surprise. The administration offered an olive branch to the left Friday with the decision that Trump will not deport the so-called Dreamers, the young immigrant adults brought to this country as children whom he had pledged to kick out during his campaign, but such a play to mainstream centrists of his own party or potential swing Democrats is rare.

“There are times you think: ‘Does he even want to run for reelection?’ ” said Peter Barca, a member of the Wisconsin State Assembly and a Democrat. “He doesn’t seem to like the job. He’s had such a confrontational attitude, and he just thinks his base wants him to be combative with everyone around him, whether it’s his staff or the intelligence community that works for him.”

Two-thirds of the president’s domestic travel for public events has been to states that he won, including all of his travel this month.

So far in June he’s been to Ohio, Wisconsin, and Florida, and he plans to visit Iowa next week. He’s also held four campaign-style rallies since being president, all in states that voted for him. His few trips to blue states seem mostly happenstance, because they are home to government facilities Trump visited.

Barack Obama, too, favored visits to states that supported him, and in his first six months in office he traveled mostly to states that he won, according to a tally kept by Mark Knoller, with CBS News. 

Oh, I'm sorry. That means this article is nothing more than a political hit job. Led the whole paper, too. 

If, you know, the article is drawing a positive political feedback loop in Bo$ton and beyond, and well, lavishing its time and attention on those who already like you, that is okay!

Trump’s chief strategist Stephen K. Bannon keeps a list of such pledges on a whiteboard in his office. Big ticket items that the base wants — such as repealing the Affordable Care Act and overhauling the tax code — have proved to be elusive, making smaller-bore policy changes all the more important to highlight.

Representative Jim McGovern, a Massachusetts Democrat who was instrumental in forging closer relations with Cuba, said Trump is partly motivated to make the change because of his dislike of the former president. “He wants to erase Obama’s legacy in any way he can,” McGovern said.

Democrats believe that Trump is cementing ties to his base out of a hope that they can help save his struggling presidency: An excited base helps him keep congressional Republicans in line.

“He knows he’s in trouble. He knows he needs the Republicans in Congress to stay with him, including if things get dicey,” said former Pennsylvania governor Ed Rendell, referring to the investigations into Trump’s possible campaign ties to Russia and a reported probe into whether the president obstructed justice.....

What's Fa$t Eddy up to these days anyway?



Trump ‘is not under investigation,’ his lawyer insists

The Globe compares the alleged election interference to the long-forgotten October Surprise. Only problem is, the Iranians initiated nothing. It was the Reagan-Bush campaign that reached out and cut a secret deal with them, ultimately leading to the Iran-Contra scandal.

Boston posts data that disappeared from EPA’s website

Thousands shun heat in Southwest but tourists jam Death Valley

You don't have to tell me twice

Or do you?

Trump's tests:

"Taliban storm Afghan police compound, kill 5 police" Associated Press  June 18, 2017

KABUL — The Taliban stormed a police headquarters in eastern Afghanistan on Sunday after striking it with two suicide car bombs, killing at least five police, officials said.

Another nine police and nine civilians were wounded in the attack, said Sardar Wali Tabasim, spokesman for the police chief of Paktia province.

He said one of the attackers detonated his suicide vest and two others were shot to death by police as they tried to enter the compound, which houses the regional command for Afghanistan’s eastern provinces.

The last attacker held out for hours inside a dining hall as security forces worked to remove kitchen staff sheltering nearby, Tabasim said. The gunman was eventually killed later in the afternoon, he said.

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid claimed responsibility for the attack in a statement sent to media.

Meanwhile, in neighboring Logar province, gunmen shot and killed the head of the police’s criminal investigation department, said a spokesman for the provincial governor.


You better get those US troops there ASAP.

"Iraqi forces begin assault on Mosul’s old city" by Michael R. Gordon New York Times   June 18, 2017

WASHINGTON — A US fighter jet shot down a Syrian warplane Sunday after the Syrians struck local ground forces supported by the United States, the first time the US military has downed a Syrian aircraft since the start of the civil war in 2011, officials said.

That, my friends, is AN ACT OF WAR!

The combined air and ground confrontation represents a further escalation between forces supporting President Bashar Assad of Syria and the United States, which has been directing the military campaign in Syria and Iraq against the Islamic State.

An American F/A-18 warplane shot down a regime warplane south of the town of Tabqah, on the same day that Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Corps launched several midrange missiles from inside Iran at targets in Syria, hoping to punish Islamic State forces responsible for last week’s terror attacks in Tehran.

The Guards Corps said it “targeted the headquarters and meeting place and suicide car assembly line” of “ISIS terrorists” in the province of Deir el-Zour, where Islamic State forces surround an estimated 200,000 people in a government-held section of the provincial capital of the same name.

US officials said there appeared to be no direct connection between the two events, but they underscored the complexity of a region in which Syria, Russia, Turkey, Iran, Israel, and the United States with its allies have carried out air or missile strikes, albeit in pursuit of different and often competing objectives.

Syria is where WWIII was prophesied to begin, and here we are.

For the United States, the main focus has been battling the Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL. This month Syrian Kurdish and Arab fighters, supported by US advisers and air power, began the battle for Raqqa, the militants’ self-declared capital.

In Iraq, US-backed forces on Sunday began penetrating the narrow streets and warrens of Mosul’s heavily populated old city, in the last phase of a monthslong battle against the Islamic State militants that US commanders have described as one of the toughest in urban warfare since World War II. 

(Blog editor shrugs shoulders with palms turned upward)

The assault began at dawn, with airstrikes and a push by Iraq’s counterterrorism forces into the neighborhoods of the old city. It was met with fierce resistance by ISIS fighters, according to commanders, suggesting that the battle could go on for weeks.

Is it ever going to end?


At least GE is going to make a killing:

"General Electric Co. is looking at opportunities to invest in transportation in the Middle East and Africa after signing a $575 million railway deal in Egypt, and expects growth in all sectors there. The company is interested in railway opportunities in Turkey and Algeria as well as the next phase of Egypt’s transport expansion, GE Vice Chairman John Rice said in a phone interview from Cairo. GE has tenders under discussion in several countries. It signed a letter of intent with Egypt on Saturday to supply 100 Light Evolution Series locomotives to be used for either passengers or freight, making it GE’s biggest deal with the Egyptian National Railways. “Demand for infrastructure continues unabated, the region is shifting to renewables, which is becoming more and more important, and health care is significant,” said Rice, who is also president and chief executive officer of GE Global Growth Organization. “We see tremendous opportunities for growth and we don’t expect that to change.” The accord includes a 15-year agreement for supplying parts and technical support for the Egyptian National Railways’ new and existing fleet. Egyptian railways currently has about 80 GE locomotives. GE’s investments in the Middle East range from aviation to transport to health care and oil and gas. During U.S. President Donald Trump’s visit to Saudi Arabia in May, the company signed memorandums of understanding worth $15 billion. Orders from the Middle East increased at double-digit rates in recent years to $15 billion in 2016. GE expects annual total order growth from the region of 5 percent to 10 percent over the next three to five years and double-digit expansion this year in its international business outside the U.S., Rice said. The company will finance the Egypt deal with the help of Canada’s export-credit agency, Export Development Canada, Rice said, calling the agreement “evidence that Egypt is open for business.” 

There is the trip and then the residue.

Also seeSleeping sailors on USS Fitzgerald awoke to a calamity at sea

Time for me to take a nap.