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1  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: United Nations Secretary-General selection, 2016 on: September 27, 2016, 03:53:11 am
Fifth Security Council Straw Poll Results (26 September)
Encourage  Discourage  No Opinion
António Guterres12 (-)2 (-)1 (-)
Vuk Jeremić8 (-1)6 (+2)1 (-1)
Miroslav Lajčák8 (-2)7 (+3)0 (-1)
Susana Malcorra   7 (-)7 (-)1 (-)
Danilo Türk7 (-)7 (+1)1 (-1)
Irina Bokova6 (-1)7 (+2)2 (-1)
Helen Clark6 (-)9 (+2)0 (-2)
Srgjan Kerim6 (-2)9 (+2)0 (-)
Natalia Gherman3 (-)11 (-)1 (-)


The sixth straw poll is scheduled for next Wednesday, 5 October.


Quote from: Reuters
The next secret ballot is scheduled for Oct. 5, when the ballots cast by the five veto powers - the United States, France, Britain, China and Russia - will be a different color from the votes of the other 10 council members, though they remain anonymous.
 
This allows candidates to see if they could be facing a veto. While the Security Council would like to choose a candidate by consensus, technically nine votes in favor and no vetoes is all that is needed for a candidate to be recommended.

After Monday's vote, Guterres was the only candidate to obtain more than nine votes. The next ballot will reveal whether either of the two discourage votes he has received was cast by a veto power.

...

Bulgaria said earlier this month it would assess Bokova's candidacy after Monday's vote if she did not come first of second amid speculation the country might instead put forward EU commissioner Kristalina Georgieva for the job. There is no deadline for candidates to enter the race.

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-un-election-idUSKCN11W1TX

2  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: United Nations Secretary-General selection, 2016 on: September 21, 2016, 05:59:16 am
Fourth Security Council Straw Poll Results (9 September)
Encourage  Discourage  No Opinion
António Guterres12 (+1)2 (-1)1 (-)
Miroslav Lajčák10 (+1)4 (-1)1 (-)
Vuk Jeremić9 (+2)4 (-1)2 (-1)
Srgjan Kerim8 (+2)7 (-)0 (-2)
Danilo Türk7 (+2)6 (-)2 (-2)
Irina Bokova7 (-)5 (-)3 (-)
Susana Malcorra7 (-)7 (-)1 (-)
Helen Clark6 (-)7 (-1)2 (+1)
Christiana Figueres  5 (+3)10 (-2)0 (-1)
Natalia Gherman3 (+1)11 (-1)1 (-)

Igor Lukšić withdrew after Round 2.
Christiana Figueres has also now withdrawn.

The fifth straw poll is scheduled for next Monday, 26 September.
3  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: What do I need to know about Australia? on: September 03, 2016, 02:23:59 pm
So, other than what you were told in this thread, what did you need to know about Australia?
4  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: United Nations Secretary-General selection, 2016 on: August 06, 2016, 05:56:07 am
Second Security Council Straw Poll Results (5 August)
Encourage  Discourage  No Opinion
António Guterres11 (-1)2 (+2)2 (-1)
Vuk Jeremić8 (-1)4 (-1)3 (+2)
Susana Malcorra8 (+1)6 (+2)1 (-3)
Danilo Türk7 (-4)5 (+3)3 (+1)
Irina Bokova7 (-2)7 (+3)1 (-1)
Srgjan Kerim6 (-3)7 (+2)2 (+1)
Helen Clark6 (-2)8 (+3)1 (-1)
Christiana Figueres  5 (-)8 (+3)2 (-3)
Natalia Gherman3 (-1)10 (+6)2 (-5)
Miroslav Lajčák2 (-5)6 (+3)7 (+2)
Igor Lukšić2 (-1)9 (+2)4 (-1)

Vesna Pusić withdrew the day before the vote.
5  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Where have you flown this year? on: August 01, 2016, 03:06:56 am
6  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: United Nations Secretary-General selection, 2016 on: July 23, 2016, 11:28:02 am
Quote from: New York Times
Portugal's former prime minister Antonio Guterres topped the first informal poll to succeed Ban Ki-moon as the next U.N. secretary-general on Jan. 1 followed by Slovenia's former president Danilo Turk.

Two diplomats, speaking on condition of anonymity because the vote was secret, said three candidates had the same support for third place — Irina Bokova of Bulgaria who heads UNESCO, Serbia's former foreign minister Vuk Jeremic and former Macedonian foreign minister Srgjan Kerim.

http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2016/07/21/world/ap-un-united-nations-next-secretary-general.html?_r=0


First Security Council Straw Poll Results
Encourage  Discourage  No Opinion
António Guterres1203
Danilo Türk1122
Irina Bokova942
Vuk Jeremić951
Srgjan Kerim951
Helen Clark852
Miroslav Lajčák735
Susana Malcorra744
Christiana Figueres  555
Natalia Gherman447
Igor Lukšić375
Vesna Pusić2112

7  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: If BRTD lived in Northern Ireland... on: July 07, 2016, 02:44:48 pm
There's also a liberal wing of the UUP (like Sylvia Hermon) but it's tough to see myself as a part of that today. Maybe like 20 years ago.

Sylvia Hermon abandoned the UUP years ago.

Feel free to point out any elected UUP politicians that might be reasonably described as 'liberal'.
8  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Ireland General Discussion on: July 02, 2016, 03:40:40 am
Is anyone in Ireland talking about increased immigration from the EU if the UK limits its own immigration?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Identity_Ireland#General_election_results
9  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Ireland General Discussion on: June 19, 2016, 04:24:37 am
Margin of error stuff for everybody, with hilarious increases for the two zombie parties, and no sign of a Howlin Gale for Labour.

Surely it's a Howlin Hurricane that's needed...
10  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: United Kingdom Referendum on European Union Membership on: June 15, 2016, 01:29:13 am
The Sun newspaper, Comes out for Brexit, it's quiet significant as they've always endorsed the winner since 1974

https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/1277920/we-urge-our-readers-to-believe-in-britain-and-vote-to-leave-the-eu-in-referendum-on-june-23/

The Sun in England & Wales may be for Brexit - but The Sun in Scotland and Northern Ireland didn't take the same line.



https://www.theguardian.com/media/greenslade/2016/jun/14/the-suns-pro-brexit-campaigning-doesnt-cross-borders
11  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: What is your favorite board game? on: June 12, 2016, 05:54:51 am
There are a good number of shorter games that I like, though my "favorite" changes quite a bit, as I progressively get sick of games from playing them too much. 

This is pretty much also true for me.

Though I do keep coming back to Kingdom Builder, Dixit, and Ticket to Ride (Nordic) - and others in phases (Dominion, Hanabi, Scrabble).


Machi Koro might be my current favorite, if only because I haven't gotten sick of it yet.

I do like Machi Koro - mostly because Mrs Jas hasn't yet beaten me at it - much like (appallingly) I've not managed to beat her at Qwixx yet.
12  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Reaction to a Trump nomination from the governments of US’s Western allies on: May 31, 2016, 02:45:44 pm
Quote from: Enda Kenny
... if Mr. Trump's comments are racist and dangerous, as they are, there is an alternative in who to vote for.

Irish Prime Minister speaking in parliament earlier today.

13  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Northern Ireland Assembly 2016 on: May 25, 2016, 04:01:27 am
will UUP and SDLP jointly be the official opposition or is it just UUP because they're the bigger party?

By my reading of the Standing Orders, I would expect that they will collectively be the Official Opposition - though with recognised separate leaders of the opposition, per the legislation I cited a couple of posts above.

14  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Northern Ireland Assembly 2016 on: May 25, 2016, 03:56:15 am
Presumably the UUP is trying to position itself to the right of DUP with refusing to join the coalition?

What's the SDLP's game though?


Fundamentally it's the same reason for both parties.
It's not about left-right politics.

Neither the UUP nor SDLP have been able to exercise any serious influence beyond their own Ministries - and even within their own Ministries have found themselves hindered in their potential actions by the larger coalition parties.

Going into opposiiton will allow both to present the electorate with an alternative to DUP-SF government; something they've been unable to do from within the Executive to date - without all that much loss in influence over the direction of government in NI, as that was really quite limited anyway.

15  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Northern Ireland Assembly 2016 on: May 25, 2016, 03:49:48 am
I don't know whether there would be an "Official Opposition"; there technically isn't one in Scotland although the largest opposition party generally gets more questions at Question Time.  I'd imagine that both the UUP and the SDLP, and maybe also the Alliance, might be treated equally and get equal time in debates and the same number of questions in Question Time; although I'm pretty sure that no one really knows, the Assembly wasn't really designed to have an opposition and I'm pretty sure that they don't have any rules about there being one of significant size, like there is now.

There will be an official Opposition, per the Assembly and Executive Reform (Assembly Opposition) Act (Northern Ireland) 2016.

The Opposition can be formed by one or more qualifying parties in the Assembly. A qualifying party being one which has chosen not to hold a Ministerial office despite being entitled to do so under Assembly rules and has at least 8% of the members of the Assembly.
 
If one party chooses to form the Opposition then that party may nominate a Leader of the Non-Executive Party. Where the Opposition is formed by two or more qualifying parties - as will be the case now - then the nominating officer of the largest party must nominate a person to be the Leader of the Largest Non-Executive Party. The nominating office of the second largest party in this Opposition must nominate a person to be the Leader of the Second-Largest Non-Executive Party.

The Opposition is entitled to “enhanced speaking rights”; a minimum of 10 days per year set aside for Opposition business in the Assembly; the right to chair the Public Accounts Committee; representation on the Assembly’s Business Committee; and there's provision for something akin to Short Money for qualifying Opposition parties.
16  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Northern Ireland Assembly 2016 on: May 25, 2016, 03:37:28 am
I'm hearing that UUP and SDLP won't sit with DUP because DUP backs the UK leaving the EU.

Nonsense.

That's neither an official nor real reason for the decision. It's a non-factor.

It would also be politically misguided; the unionist community strongly supports Brexit (69% Leave, 18% Remain per the latest poll).
17  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Why doesn't Eurovision ever have "melodic indie post-punk scenecore" type music? on: May 17, 2016, 03:31:08 am
Btw, will they continue to take part as regulars now? I remember last year they said it was a one-time event for the 60th anniversary, but here they were this year again.

They'll require an invitation from the EBU and an invitation from the NTU.
The first is a near certainty, the second is probable - but may not be known for some time.
18  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Why doesn't Eurovision ever have "melodic indie post-punk scenecore" type music? on: May 16, 2016, 02:23:09 am
Australia were head and shoulders above the rest of the field (and would have won based on the previous voting system).
19  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Northern Ireland Assembly 2016 on: May 06, 2016, 09:24:27 am
PBP top the poll and take the 1st seat in Belfast West; their first ever seat in the Assembly.

Eamonn McCann could yet take a second seat for them in Foyle.
20  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Coalition forces fired on Doctors Without Borders hospital in Kunduz on: April 30, 2016, 08:21:09 am
Quote from: The New York Times, 28 April 2016
In a heavily redacted report, which runs more than 3,000 pages, military investigators described a mission that went wrong from start to finish. Even after Doctors Without Borders informed American commanders that a gunship was attacking a hospital, the airstrike was not immediately called off because, it appears, the Americans could not confirm themselves that the hospital was actually free of Taliban.



Sixteen American military personnel, including a general officer, have been punished for their roles in the strike, said Gen. Joseph L. Votel, the new top officer of the military’s Central Command, who presented the results of the investigation during a Pentagon news conference.
The punishments for the attack will be “administrative actions” only, and none of those being disciplined will face criminal charges because the attack was determined to be unintentional



General Votel was clear on one point: The hospital was a protected facility that was at no time being used by active Taliban fighters, though some wounded insurgents had been treated there.



The failure to bring any criminal charges was “simply put, inexplicable,” said John Sifton, the Asia policy director of Human Rights Watch.

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/04/30/world/asia/afghanistan-doctors-without-borders-hospital-strike.html?_r=0




MSF Trauma Centre post-attack


Quote from: Médecins Sans Frontières, 29 April 2016
MSF acknowledges the U.S. military’s efforts to conduct an investigation into the incident.

...

However, MSF has said consistently that it cannot be satisfied solely with a military investigation into the Kunduz attack. MSF’s request for an independent and impartial investigation by the International Humanitarian Fact Finding Commission has so far gone unanswered.

“Today’s briefing amounts to an admission of an uncontrolled military operation in a densely populated urban area, during which U.S. forces failed to follow the basic laws of war,” said Meinie Nicolai, MSF President. “It is incomprehensible that, under the circumstances described by the U.S., the attack was not called off.”

The hospital was fully functioning at the time of the airstrikes. The U.S. investigation acknowledges that there were no armed combatants within — and no fire from — the hospital compound.

“The threshold that must be crossed for this deadly incident to amount to a grave breach of international humanitarian law is not whether it was intentional or not,” said Nicolai.



The administrative punishments announced by the U.S. today are out of proportion to the destruction of a protected medical facility, the deaths of 42 people, the wounding of dozens of others, and the total loss of vital medical services to hundreds of thousands of people. The lack of meaningful accountability sends a worrying signal to warring parties, and is unlikely to act as a deterrent against future violations of the rules of war.

At the same time, it has become clear that the victims and their families have neither the option to pursue legal action against the U.S. military, either in Afghanistan or in the US, nor to claim compensation for loss of life and livelihood.

http://www.msf.org.uk/article/kunduz-initial-reaction-to-public-release-of-u-s-military-investigative-report
21  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Irish general election, 26th Feb 2016 on: April 29, 2016, 02:55:07 am
Two notes of update here.

The counting for the Seanad elections is complete.

The 25th Seanad shall comprise:
Fianna Fáil14  (No change on 2011)
Fine Gael13(-5)
Sinn Féin  7(+4)
Labour  5(-4)
Green  1(+1)
Independents  9(+4)

11 Senators are appointable by the Taoiseach - whenever the Dáil gets around to approving one.

The result means that there will not be a governmental majority in the Seanad either - even with 11 appointments in the hands of the incoming Taoiseach.

It also means that observer will be particularly disappointed as Longford's favourite son, James Bannon, somehow failed to get enough support from his fellow politicians to get returned to Leinster House by the back door.

===

On the matter of putting an actual government in place - it seems that a deal between Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil will be agreed shortly.

The end result looks likely to be a Fine Gael-Independent government - that will rely on FF abstentions. The FG-FF agreement is expected to cover 3 budgets.

Some background on the FG-FF negotiations here: http://www.irishtimes.com/election-2016/forming-a-government-anatomy-of-a-deal-1.2627045

22  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: latest Betfair odds on: April 26, 2016, 10:59:41 am
Not sure if this is what Mr. Morden uses, or if it may be helpful to him in reducing his calculation work, but https://primary.guide/ appears to generate the same data.
23  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: Do you live in a bubble? on: April 25, 2016, 01:26:28 pm
47
24  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: Best One-Hit Wonders? on: April 25, 2016, 01:06:26 pm
Take On Me certainly comes to mind.

I've always been partial to The Sun Always Shines on TV. (Though re-watching the video I hadn't recalled the Game of Thrones-esque wall of faces before.)
25  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: Best One-Hit Wonders? on: April 25, 2016, 01:00:30 pm
Video Killed the Radio Star, The Buggles

There She Goes, The La's

I Love You Always Forever, Donna Lewis

(I'd Go The) Whole Wide World, Wreckless Eric

Brimful of Asha, Cornershop (Norman Cook Mix)

Perfect, Fairground Attraction

Steal My Sunshine, Len

74-75, The Connells

Your Town, White Town

Canon in D, Johann Pachelbel
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