Letter From New York 03 19 15 Hard to believe…

It is a little after eight in the morning and to my left is the Hudson River with morning sun glinting off the water as we roll south. I am heading into the city for a few meetings and to organize for my departure to India. Most of the clothes I will be taking are in the apartment in the city and I need to sort and organize them, deciding what I will take. I have been warned to bring sweaters and a jacket or two as the nights will still be cool.

It is definitely still on the chill side today in New York. Sometime this winter will end but it is not today. It is good though that the sun is out and the day is bright; it lightens the feel of the day against the cold. Snow will come tomorrow, the first day of spring.

While I find it hard to believe after the winter the Northeast has had, this has been actually the warmest winter on record.

The front page of the NY Times is filled with exegesis of the victory of Netanyahu in Israel and attempts to parse what directions he will take as well as what twists and turns will come in his relationship with President Obama.

There is still a manhunt in Tunisia for accomplices in the killing there of 19 outside a museum. No one has claimed responsibility. Just now, as I was searching the news, my iPhone sent a breaking news alert from the BBC announcing that four people had been arrested.

The UN has stated that IS may have committed genocide against the religious minority Yazidis. There were about a half million of them, living mostly in the plains of Nineveh province in Iraq. They captured the world’s attention last year when many fled ahead of IS to Mount Sinjar where they remained trapped until the US led coalition managed to break the siege via aggressive airstrikes coupled with an offensive from the Kurdish Pesh Merga.

Hundreds have been killed. Women have been given to IS soldiers “as spoils of war.” That’s if they were lucky; many, including girls as young as six, were regularly raped. Boys as young as eight have been abducted and sent away to train as IS soldiers.

On the other side, the Iraqis have not been so innocent either if UN reports are correct. They have been taking revenge on Sunnis for the killings of Shia.

The land between the Euphrates and the Tigris rivers, the “cradle of civilization,” is a bloody mess.

The British have sent 35 trainers to Ukraine to help Ukrainian forces in defensive tactics. Putin’s spokesman has said this does not “strengthen trust.” He says it with a straight face, too.

In other British news, Charles, Prince of Wales, and Camilla, his wife and Duchess of Cornwall, are making a visit today to the Oval Office.

Office productivity will probably take a nosedive today as March Madness descends on America. There are sixteen games today and sixteen tomorrow. Many will be hunched over their computers, not working but watching the games stream.

Apple is part of the Dow Jones index, as of today. The Times noted that blue chip stocks in the index tend to underperform. Not happy news, I’m sure, to my friends who have Apple stock.

In Basel, Switzerland, Buddy Elias passed away. He was the closest living relative of Anne Frank, who left behind a diary before being transported to Auschwitz, where she died.

The French are considering legislation to set minimum body index measures for models to fight anorexia. Over the last few years several models have died, including a French model that weighed 55 pounds at one point.

I am finishing this in the Acela Lounge, where I retreated after arriving in New York. The day is going to be a busy one and it would be challenging to find another time to write.

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