President Donald Trump’s inaugural address ranked highly on consistency. It bore the uncompromising mark of the insurgent sentiments that had pushed Trump from the ideological periphery of the Republican Party – to say nothing of the left-liberal consensus represented by the Democratic Party – to the centre of political power.
As an American living abroad much of the year I have real concerns, like many other millions, about the future direction of the United States and its place in the world as an example of democracy and the fair treatment of all.
Approximately 50,000 lives a year could be saved by 2030 if no new coal-fired power plants are built in Southeast Asia, South Korea, Japan and Taiwan, according to a groundbreaking peer-reviewed study by researchers at Harvard University and Greenpeace International.
Every day brings fresh news of a new depth of depravity plumbed in the case of the South Korean businessman kidnapped, and then killed, by policemen under the aegis of the Duterte administration’s war on drugs and crime.
Many companies and industries have talked about having their “Nokia moment” – referring to the rapid decline of the once market-leading Finnish mobile phone manufacturer as it lost out to a new generation of smartphones and more innovative brands.
Once again, unprompted and unprovoked, President Duterte has raised the spectre of martial law. “ [If I want], and if it [the illegal drugs problem] will deteriorate into something really very virulent, I will declare martial law if I want to. No one can stop me,” he told Davao City Chamber of Commerce.
Rex Tillerson, picked by President Donald Trump to be secretary of state, stirred up a hornet’s nest when he condemned Chinese actions in the South China Sea, comparing the construction of artificial islands in disputed waters with Russia’s seizure of Crimea and saying that China’s access to the islands “is not going to be allowed”.