Posts Tagged ‘BBC’

Letter From New York 07 25 15 Morning musings as the day warms…

July 24, 2015

I feel asleep early last night and woke early this morning, the sun bursting through the windows of the cottage. Getting my coffee, I went outside for a moment but it felt too chill to sit and sip on the deck so I retreated to my bedroom, went over the morning headlines, read the NY Times’ Briefing for today, and then went online to find a recipe for dinner tonight. Friends are coming over and I am grilling, a thing I always do with trepidation.

We will see how it goes, another adventure in the world of cooking.

There was another mass shooting last night, at a movie theater in Lafayette, Louisiana. Three are dead, including the shooter and nine are wounded, one critically. The film that was playing was “Trainwreck.” The suspected shooter, John R. Houser, was a “drifter” from Alabama.

Hours before the shooting, President Obama, in an interview with the BBC said that his inability to get gun laws passed was his greatest frustration.

It was a wide-ranging interview in which Obama also expressed his belief that the UK should stay in the EU that resulted in grousing from Britain’s anti-Euro factions.

He is off to Kenya shortly and said he will speak out “bluntly” on human rights while there.

Scrolling through the news as I write this, I’m glad I’m not flying out of LaGuardia today. A power outage of as yet unknown origin is causing three-hour delays.

Amazon has done something it rarely does: it turned a profit in the second quarter, astounding all and boosting tech stocks ahead of the market’s open. The uptick in its share price now makes Amazon more valuable than Walmart.

Turkey has authorized the U.S. to use its airbases in its fight against IS while at the same time it has begun its own aerial operations against them in various parts of Syria. Earlier this week there was a suicide bombing that killed 32 that has been blamed on IS, motivating Turkey to become more proactive in the fight against IS, something the U.S. has sought for a long time.

Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server continues to haunt her; two inspectors general have requested a criminal investigation. No comment from the Clinton camp and no decision on action from the Justice Department.

I haven’t seen “Jurassic World” yet and may not but it is the third highest grossing film in history and a sequel is planned for 2018. I am a fan of Chris Pratt and suspect he is getting a sizable pay bump for the sequel. I am looking forward, eagerly, for the sequel to “Guardians of the Galaxy.”

Speaking of the pre-historic world, it astounded scientists when they discovered that an ancestor of the snake had four legs, used for grasping. The unusually complete skeleton was found in Brazil and is over a hundred million years old. Personally, I don’t like snakes at all.

Russia has sentenced the leader of a neo-Nazi group to life in prison; he was convicted of ordering the killing of five, including a human rights lawyer. Ilya Goryachev had been hiding in Serbia but was extradited.

Interestingly, on the political scene today, Pew has issued a report saying that Republicans have a dimmer view of themselves than six months ago. Their self-respect has dropped by 18 percentage points since January. 68% of Republicans approve of their party today.

Democrats think as highly of themselves now as they did in January; 86% of them think well of their party.

While many I know look at The Donald with astonishment, from both sides of the political spectrum, he is touching a vein of something in the American psyche. A friend called it “rage.” Whatever it is, it bears looking into because it is powerful, strong and a force in this election.

It has climbed fifteen degrees since I woke up this morning. I have some errands to run and then am off to a lunch with a literary agent that I met two weeks ago in Rhinebeck at the “T Space.” We’re meeting at Earth Foods in Hudson at one. In between there are things to do, places to go, adventures to be had.

Letter From New York 03 20 15 As the snow swirls on the first day of spring…

March 20, 2015

Outside the window of the office where I am sitting, big white flakes of snow are falling today, the first day of spring. I am hoping that by the time I return from India, winter will finally have loosened its grip on the northeast.

It has been a tiring winter and no on will be sorry to see it go.

I have had a busy day, spending the morning packing for India and then off to a couple of meetings, now with a little space between one meeting and the next so I thought to get off today’s Letter.

Part of the time I was in one of my meetings, the conversation turned to all the changes happening on the media landscape. While I don’t think television networks are going to go away anytime soon, especially since “cord cutting” is real but minimal, I do think we have probably hit some kind of tipping point in the television landscape.

During television’s prime time, people watching Netflix, which has emerged as a behemoth on its own, consume a third of the Internet’s bandwidth. Next year, it will spend more money on content than the BBC, which is staggering.

It is reported Apple will launch a TV service with approximately 25 networks, which will probably only accelerate the changes happening – if it indeed happens. Apple has always seemingly had a love/hate kind of thing going with content. This time, though, I am guessing it will happen.

Media is the business being most disrupted these days it seems to me.

The word “disrupted” adequately describes the relationship between Obama and Netanyahu. Now John Boehner, Speaker of the House, is on his way to pay “Bibi” a visit. The press is wondering if the leaders of the US and Israel can pass olive branches back and forth. Right now there are only hard feelings.

Hard times have fallen on Representative Aaron Schock of Illinois, who abruptly resigned recently. It is being reported that the Justice Department is opening an investigation into his affairs. Subpoenas have been issued, according to sources, and served on his staff in Peoria.

The Iranian nuclear talks have broken off but will resume next week. It is getting very close to the make it or break it moment. We will see what happens.

What didn’t happen in Europe today was that the lights didn’t go out. Europe is far ahead of the US in the use of solar energy and there were concerns that today’s solar eclipse could have a huge effect on the European power grid. Thankfully, it didn’t. Fossil fuels rode to the rescue during the time of the eclipse.

The dollar is down and oil is up which resulted in the market trending higher today. As I am writing the Dow Jones is up 225.

Not up but down is the maximum area of Artic Sea ice this year, at its lowest point in recorded history, in fact.

Vanuatu is still reeling from the effects of Cyclone Pam, communications are still patchy at best and the island nation has been transformed from a lush green tropical forest to a dirty brown now that foliage has been ripped away by the winds. Fires are burning all over the islands that make up the country as residents try to clear the land.

While it is still almost two years before the Obamas leave office, speculation is growing as to where they might live once they leave the White House. It is not expected they will return to Chicago. Today, a major Obama supporter and donor, through a series of companies, purchased the home outside Honolulu that was used in the television series “Magnum, PI” back in the 1980’s. In political circles it is being whispered that the Obamas would like to return to Hawaii, at least part time, when finished in the White House.

Outside, the snow continues to fall, thick, white flakes, swirled around by the wind, giving the impression I am looking into a snow globe.