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Maggie melts In US he was excellent... 2016 Year in review Modi in Washington 2015 Year in review Move forward in fast forward mode The lions roar to growth... All talk and hopefully, all action The mid-air scare Bitten by the South American bug… A sense of oneness in a foreign land... A person will win. What the country might lose... Worldwatch Institute’s Vital Signs Happy birthday, Sharief London Bridge is falling down Nuclear sabre-rattling takes centre stage Of diversity and inclusion The Japanese will rise again... No longer a shining star Media’s Modi phobia... A success? A failure? Or a fraud? Pakistan – the siege within China's might - India's Weakness The new state of terror When German consumers were paid for power consumed! Auto component exports to UK brighten Two weeks of Trump Big O’s win National Security @ the cost of Privacy Doklam, for the home theatre? Trump and Netanyahu rule the headlines Why the hell are we refusing to learn? East Asian and Indian Trump cards End of an extravaganza Trump unconcerned and immune to scandals And the Nobel goes to… Let’s copy paste Promise of 9 billion pounds in FDI When Americans help yuan to emerge a reserve currency... BBC stars in a vain vitriolic campaign The story of the diminishing value of the pound Forget USA and UK for higher education Relentless hunt for trade deals... Trade prospects promising French elections and more A mixed shopping bag May on back foot, advantage India? Siemens-Mitsubishi rival GE’s bid For Alstom takeover Modi sharpens the look - east policy
 
Trump unconcerned and immune to scandals
Incumbents in the US and the UK have faced a challenging month. In America, the Trump Presidency continues to run into rocky ground with disaster relief, political dissent and the highly incendiary investigation into the president’s former life. In Britain, Prime Minister Theresa May is looking weaker than ever with rebels multiplying within the Tory party ranks.

It would have been a difficult month for even a less mercurial president than Trump. The hurricanes which have battered the east coast culminated with Maria, have wiped out much of the infrastructure on the island of Puerto Rico. The struggle over the territory’s statehood has long been a fixture of US politics, now only to be amplified by Trump’s entry. He accused Puerto Rico of a ‘total lack of accountability,’ claiming that the current situation of the island is the result of long-term bad management.  Puerto Rico’s politicians’ criticism of his politics could well be a reason behind such allegations.

At the same time, he has increasingly come into conflict with his Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, with rumours swirling that the former Exxon Mobil CEO had called the president a ‘moron’ and threatened to resign. This fragile relationship is getting worse with Trump undermining Tillerson through both direct jibes on Twitter and a  stream of bellicose threats aimed at North Korea and Iran, countries in which Tillerson and his department are seen to be investing substantial amounts of resources to win over. 

Another cause of concern amongst them is Trump’s threat to the Iran Deal, which was among President Barack Obama’s crowning achievements. While the rest of the West has been supportive of the Iran Deal, Trump’s refusal of certification has fuelled the tension. By not acting in good faith with the Iranian government, the likelihood of the deal falling through has accelerated. Nikki Haley, the US Ambassador to the United Nations, could have a part in this. Given the possibility of her taking Rex Tillerson’s position, it seems unsurprising that she has taken a hawkish line more consistent with Trump.

At the same time, Robert Mueller’s grand jury continues to undermine the legitimacy of Trump’s political prowess, even as he struggles against Obamacare.  Trump has proven that he is unconcerned and immune to scandals which would fell an ordinary politician.

 

Uncertain future of Europe

The rest of the West has suffered from equal turmoil, with Britain taking the brunt. Prime Minister May’s speech in Europe designed to offer a vision of what the EU-British future would look like, received a lukewarm welcome. If that was poor, her speech at the Conservative conference was in an outright shambles, marred by coughing fits and a prankster who handed her a P45 (a slip for employees leaving work). There is little doubt that senior members of her party have entirely lost faith in her. In fact, her saving grace is that there are no top figures left standing who are seen as trustworthy by the electorate. Both Michael Gove and apparent next-in-line Boris Johnson seem more interested in their own careers whilst also having the disadvantage of campaigning to leave the EU using mostly over-blown promises. Rising star, Jacob Rees-Mogg, who has been propelled by his extremely conservative views, remains a backbencher. Theresa May at least offers the comfort of a known devil.

Europe has its fair share of troubles this month. In Austria, the conservative People’s Party looks likely to break through the polls with over 31per cent of the vote. While a fairly Eurosceptic, anti-immigrant party in and of itself, the greater worry for the EU is in the Freedom Party - a far-right political group, which looks likely to rule in tandem.  In France, the Front National passed to the second round of voting for the second time in its history. In Germany, while the Alternativ fur Deutschland has gained seats in the parliament, more mainstream conservatives under Angela Merkel have lost power. The future for the continent is uncertain, but a shift to increasingly xenophobic politics seems likely. 

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