What a pleasing number, and welcome! May it be an auspicious day for all of you.
The Euro is very strong against the Pound. In Spain, in effect, 1 euro is like 1 pound.
Meanwhile in the Stans
The mujahideen movements remain strong and committed, with heavily-won successes against international troops in Afghan, and routing Pak forces in several areas. Now everyone is talking about the "Haqqani network", but of course Haqqani and now sons has been one of the most important figures since forever (interview with Siraj, conducted by Rahimullah Yusufzai, such an nice and avuncular old guy... "Tell me, Siraj, what is the name of that gun you are holding?" - "What, this? This is Kalakov..." - "Is it a good rifle, Siraj?"...)
I guess without any specific information that Gulbuddin's HI is just holding and running its areas like a giant mafia syndicate of sorts, with desultory operations against international and govt forces. And the Taliban of course. Well, there is obviously at least one major political divide in the Taliban proper, right now, between northern and southern (Peshawar and Quetta) shuras... but it gets complicated after that... here a letter where Haqqani elder seems to challenge Mullah Omar's supreme authority...
Things to look out for: the first nuclear suicide bombing against international targets in Afghan, as soon as someone gets their hands on a missing nuke in a destabilised Pakistan.
Critic and writer Ishmael Smith is caught in a dilemma in his newest semi-autobiographical work, a writer's meditation on whether to write a novel about or whether to live the adventure that life has forced on him, when there is no choice but to make a choice, one way or another.
He waxes acerbic at boring length about the English island mentality, in his newest article in a linguistic journal, pointing out that "desde el extranjero means from overseas. Only in English do auslander, ulkomaalainen, khoreji, or what you will, translate as over seas".
Goodbye, and please do join us again