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Don't worry about Donald Trump starting a nuclear arms race. Do worry about him starting a trade war with China My review of the football year, 2016


NewsHubIn a pattern that may become increasingly familiar, the world has received a jolt in the shape of a tweet from Donald Trump.
“The United States must greatly strengthen and expand its nuclear capability,” the President-Elect tweeted, “until such time as the world comes to its senses regarding nukes.”
Coupled with Vladimir Putin’s comments the same day that Russia must “strengthen the military potential” of its nuclear arsenal, it adds to the worry that we may not look back on 2016 as a year of convulsions – in fact, we may not look back on it at all.
But – strange as it may seem when the words “Trump” and “nuclear weapons” appear so closely together in a news story – on this occasion, the worries are somewhat overstated.
Both the nuclear arsenals of the United States and Russia are suffering from outdated equipment, guidance systems and other maintenance issues. Overhauling those problems makes an accidental exchange of nuclear fire less likely and a second strike less likely, too.
The way that Trump described the launch, civil servants believe, is part and parcel of how generals talk about their spending requests in order to expedite favourable decisions from civilian governments. That speaks to one of the other worries about Trump: that he is, for all his bombast, a man with a tendency to take on the opinions of the last person he spoke to and one desperately concerned with saving face and being taken seriously. That he is still tweeting about Hillary Clinton’s popular vote lead and the celebrity entertainers who are giving his inauguration a wide berth speaks to his fragility.
But there’s a risk that the nuclear issue is obscuring a bigger worry about Trump’s presidency: that of increased hostility towards China. The Sino-US relations have not been in great shape for years but Trump’s actions as president-elect have placed the relationship under greater pressure.
The subject of worry and irritation in Beijing today: the appointment of Peter Navarro to head the new White House National Trade Council. Navarro is the China hawk’s China hawk – the Guardian has collected some of his strongest anti-China remarks – and it has analysts nervous that Trump’s presidency will see a trade war erupt between the United States and China.
Although both countries would suffer damage, it is the US that has more to lose than China. That brings you back to the problem with Trump – that is he is both impressionable and hates to be seen as a loser. What he does if he starts a fight he can’t finish with the world’s other superpower is likely to be the question that dominates all others in 2017.
Halfway through another season. Football, like the academic year and the school year, does not stick to the normal calendar, but any road up, here goes the report on the season, so far.
Surprise of the Season This time last year it was Leicester City surprising us all. This time, it is Leicester City – surprising us all. By not playing as stunningly as they did. But they could still surprise us all. Well, we are easily surprised.
Team of the Season The four at the top of the Prem are separated by just a few points. No one looks like drawing ahead. But I think Chelsea,
who were dreadful last season, might do it. They have such a strong spine, with Costa, Hazard and Luiz, all of them at last coming into form.
Worldwide, All-Star, Amazing, Galactic Team of the Season Carlisle United, of course. They’ve lost only one league game all season. They could well rise to glory come May, leaping out of League Two.
Young Players of the Season There seemed to be so many, early doors, about to thrill us all, with massive reputations and price tags, such as Paul Pogba, John Stones, Raheem Sterling, Daniel Sturridge, but they’ve all done little, moving backwards if anything, while poor old Ross Barkley has practically disappeared. What is the reason? Peaked
too early? Weren’t as good as we thought?
Jack Wilshere A young player who did seem to have peaked, thanks partly to always being injured. He got shunted out on loan from Arsenal to Bournemouth – yet he has played regularly and well for them. Could it be that it was the training and environment at Arsenal that somehow exacerbated his injuries?
Manager of the Season When Mourinho arrived at the beginning of the season at Man United, I told everyone within earshot, which means my four granddaughters and the tortoise, that you mark my words, he’ll be gone by Xmas. I’m now predicting gone by Easter. Are you listening, Tortee? Oh, she’s asleep.
Form is temporary, class is for ever . i s one of football’s oldest clichés. I now think it’s bollocks. Look at Jamie Vardy, considered for most of his career to have little class, and then came a miraculous season. Now he appears to be coming back. Football, like life, is a matter of ups and downs. I got that from a Christmas cracker.
Hurrah for England We’re not so rubbish at football after all. The 30 names on the shortlist for this year’s Ballon d’Or did include one Englishman. Hence dancing in the streets of Leicester. Yes, Wee Jamie was the sole Inglander who made it.
Football Expert of Year Alan Shearer, who else? Usually he gives us his pearls on TV but he graced the radio airwaves when talking to Gary Richardson on the Radio 4 Today programme. Asked about Gareth Southgate getting the England job, Shearer thought and then said: “At this moment in time, we are where we are.”
Commentators’ Clichés
There’s a new one this season which they’re all trying to work in. “Oh, that was a lovely pick-out.” “Pick-out” just means “pass”.
Well Done, Tottingham
Ahead of the game as ever, world leaders in the field. It has been reported that Spurs’ most expensive season ticket in their new stadium will cost £18,000. A bargain. Where else will a fan find such joy for such a small amount of money?
Jok e Which reminds me of an old seaside postcard, one of the vintage saucy ones that local “watch committees” used to ban. It shows a tout outside Wembley Stadium selling tickets. “£10 for a ticket?” exclaims a fan. “I could get a woman for that!” “Yes,” replies the tout, “but not 45 minutes each way and a brass band at half-time.” Note the two period references. Touts have all but disappeared and so have the brass bands who’d march round the pitch at half-time.
Arsena l also done good They have been using performance-enhancing undergarments. What cheaters. It’s to do
with some revolutionary tight, clingy Lycra underpants and vest.

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