Letter From New York 06 29 15 “You’re fired!” and other things from the day…

We are reaching the end of June and I find that a bit mind-boggling but here it is. On this, the penultimate day of June, the sun has come flirting with us at the end of a day of mostly grey with a refreshing warm/cool feel to the air. Coming in to the city today from Claverack, I rode past the Hudson River, churning brown with all the recent storms, just as the creek was as I left the house this morning for the train station. One of the conductors said the Hudson reminded him of the Danube, and I agreed.

It has been a wild day for the international money markets, all seriously rattled as the Greek crisis is playing out in real time. Prime Minister Tsipras of Greece has called for a national referendum on the deal for Sunday. The banks and markets there are all closed. If you are a Greek citizen you are allowed to only withdraw 60 Euros a day. Foreigners are exempt. The German market was down over three percent as was the French CAC 40. London and New York managed to hold to a 2% loss. It will be interesting, exciting and maybe a little frightening to watch what happens the rest of this week.

Tomorrow could be the day when Greece goes into default. Europe is warning Greek citizens a “no” vote on Sunday means an exit from the Euro. We will all be holding our breath, hoping the Greek conflagration doesn’t disrupt the world economy. Greece’s is a small economy, smaller than many of our individual states but the significance of current events is also around what this means for the Euro overall.

Puerto Rico also says it can’t pay its debts. Wonder what is going to come of that?

Sunday was Pride Weekend in New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco with wild celebrations in the cities over the Supreme Court ruling to legalize gay marriage. Not everyone was celebrating. Texas is resisting, to no one’s great surprise, offering to defend clerks who refuse to issue licenses. Texas Senator Ted Cruz is going to make the issue front and center in his campaign for the Republican nomination for President.

Upstate New York is breathing a sign of relief as the second of two escaped murderers was apprehended. David Sweat was captured around 3:20 yesterday afternoon, shot twice when he refused to thrown down his weapon and as he almost reached a line of trees that could have offered shelter. He is in Albany Medical Center in critical condition. His fellow escapee, Richard Matt, was killed five days ago.

Tunisia has arrested some suspected of having offered support and weapons to Seifeddine Rezgui Yacoubi, a 23 year old IS recruit, who gunned down 39 people, 30 of them British. IS has claimed responsibility; Britain is in shock.

While IS has lost a quarter of its territory in its “Caliphate,” it still controls some major cities and has demonstrated its abilities to strike by such actions as the recent taking of Palmyra. And it is exporting its religious terrorism to other places.

Boko Haram in Nigeria, which declares fealty to IS, has been using captured girls as fighters. Some of them have been trained to slit the throats of Boko Haram captives. As some are rescued as Nigeria and its allies experience some military successes, the plight of those who remain in captivity is being revealed.

Egypt’s highest prosecutor, Hisham Barakat, was killed in a bomb attack on his convoy.

“You’re fired,” has become an iconic line in the U.S. due to the popularity of “The Apprentice,” starring Donald Trump, a recent addition to the race for the Republican nomination. He made some choice remarks about Mexicans at the time and today NBC has told him, “You’re fired!” They have dumped his beauty pageants, as has Univision [no surprise] and underscored he will not be part of “The Apprentice” anymore.

And I’m fine with that.

The evening is arriving and I’m going off to have a bite to eat and then continue my consumption of a Louise Penny mystery, “A Fatal Grace.”

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