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“Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of
arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to
skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally
worn out, and loudly proclaiming "Wow! What a Ride!” ― Hunter S.
Thompson, The Proud Highway: Saga of a Desperate Southern Gentleman,
“I hate to advocate drugs, alcohol, violence, or insanity to anyone,
but they've always worked for me.” ― Hunter S. Thompson
“The Edge... There is no honest way to explain it because the only
people who really know where it is are the ones who have gone over.” ―
Hunter S. Thompson, Hell's Angels: A Strange and Terrible Saga
“If you're going to be crazy, you have to get paid for it or else
you're going to be locked up.” ― Hunter S. Thompson
Ozymandias BY PERCY BYSSHE SHELLEY
I met a traveller from an antique land,
Who said—“Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. . . . Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them, and the heart that fed;
And on the pedestal, these words appear:
My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings;
Look on my Works, ye Mighty, and despair!
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal Wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.”
Transcript of AP interview with Trump @AP
Law & Politics
A transcript of an Oval Office interview Friday with President Donald
Trump by AP White House Correspondent Julie Pace. Where the audio
recording of the interview is unclear, ellipses or a notation that the
recording was unintelligible are used.
AP: I do want to talk to you about the 100 days.
AP: I want to ask a few questions on some topics that are happening
toward the end of the interview.
TRUMP: Did you see Aya (Hijazi, an Egyptian-American charity worker
who had been detained in the country for nearly three years) ...
AP: Can you tell me a little bit about how that came about?
TRUMP: No, just — you know, I asked the government to let her out. ...
TRUMP: You know Obama worked on it for three years, got zippo, zero.
AP: How did you hear about this story?
TRUMP: Many people, human rights people, are talking about it. It's an
incredible thing, especially when you meet her. You realize — I mean,
she was in a rough place.
AP: Did you have to strike a deal with (Egyptian President
Abdel-Fattah) el-Sissi over this?
TRUMP: No. No deal. He was here. He — I said, "I really would
appreciate it if you would look into this and let her out." And as you
know, she went through a trial. And anyway, she was let go. And not
only she, it was a total of eight people. ...
TRUMP: Yeah, it's funny: One of the best chemistries I had was with
(German Chancellor Angela) Merkel.
(Crosstalk) AP: Really?
TRUMP: Chancellor Merkel.
TRUMP: And I guess somebody shouted out, "Shake her hand, shake her
hand," you know. But I never heard it. But I had already shaken her
hand four times. You know, because we were together for a long time.
AP: Did you expect you would have good chemistry with her?
TRUMP: No. Because, um, I'm at odds on, you know, the NATO payments
and I'm at odds on immigration. We had unbelievable chemistry. And
people have given me credit for having great chemistry with all of the
leaders, including el-Sissi. ...
TRUMP: So it was a great thing to see that happen.
AP: Do you feel like you have changed the office of the presidency,
how the presidency can be used to effect change?
TRUMP: I think the 100 days is, you know, it's an artificial barrier.
It's not very meaningful. I think I've established amazing
relationships that will be used the four or eight years, whatever
period of time I'm here. I think for that I would be getting very high
marks because I've established great relationships with countries, as
President el-Sissi has shown and others have shown. Well, if you look
at the president of China, people said they've never seen anything
like what's going on right now. I really liked him a lot. I think he
liked me. We have a great chemistry together. ...
TRUMP: Only in terms that it will be a massive tax cut. It will be
bigger, I believe, than any tax cut ever. Maybe the biggest tax cut
we've ever had. ...
@AfDB_Group warns US cuts risk stoking extremism via @FT
US President Donald Trump risks stoking extremism in Africa and
provoking a further exodus of migrants heading for Europe if he goes
ahead with plans to cut funding to the continent, according to the
head of the African Development Bank.
Akinwumi Adesina, president of the AfDB, told the Financial Times that
Africa was facing a “triangle of disaster” in high youth unemployment,
extreme poverty and environmental degradation related to climate
His warning comes after Mr Trump proposed a budget last month that
would slash foreign aid and cut the US contribution to the World Bank
and other multilateral development banks, like the AfDB, by $650m
“The development agenda must not be myopic. We must therefore do
everything to support Africa, to create more jobs . . . To do that
requires a lot of financing. We need more resources to do more as a
bank,” Mr Adesina said. “Everywhere you find this triangle of disaster
you always find terrorists.”
Somalia, where al-Shabaab extremists have a strong foothold, has been
hit by a series of severe droughts that many experts link to global
warming. In north-east Nigeria, a region where Boko Haram militants
have wreaked havoc, poverty and lack of job opportunities are often
cited as contributing to young people’s susceptibility to extremism.
Many African countries, particularly commodity exporters, have also
been enduring their worst economic downturns in years.
Last week, the International Monetary Fund reduced its growth
projection for sub-Saharan Africa to 2.6 per cent this year, although
the figure is skewed by the poor performance of South Africa, as well
as big oil producers such as Nigeria and Angola. Still, the IMF warned
that the region was set to record a second consecutive year of output
lagging population growth, meaning per capita incomes are falling in
The potential cut to US funding also comes at a time when some
multilateral institutions, including the World Bank, are running up
against capital limits and being forced to scale back lending. In an
interview with the FT last week, Steven Mnuchin, US Treasury
secretary, was non-committal over whether the new administration would
back a capital increase for the World Bank.
Mr Adesina said multilateral development banks were needed more than ever.
“If you don’t create jobs in Africa fast then the whole terrorism
thing that you see in Africa is just the tip of the iceberg,” he said.
“Look at all the young people heading for the Mediterranean Sea. The
future of Africa doesn’t lie on the bottom of the Mediterranean Sea.
It lies in a more prosperous Africa.”
He also appealed to Mr Trump’s business instincts. The AfDB’s work on
infrastructure and other projects benefited US companies operating in
Africa, he said. US legislation giving African countries preferential
trade access to the US — the African Growth and Opportunity Act — had
helped non-oil African exports to the US reach $4.5bn annually, but
also contributed to $18bn of US exports to Africa, creating an
estimated 210,000 jobs, Mr Adesina said.
Jeffrey Sachs, a development expert, said that while Washington
worried about “wasting our money in Africa”, Beijing was busily
seizing the commercial opportunity.
“China says we’re not wasting our money we’re building a new world
economy. China gets it and Europe and the US have not gotten it,” Mr
Nigeria Said to Let Market Set Naira Rate on Exchange Window
Nigeria’s central bank will let the market determine the naira’s rate
in a new foreign-exchange window for portfolio investors as the nation
struggles to revive its economy amid a dollar shortage. Naira forward
contracts and banking stocks rose.
Governor Godwin Emefiele told senior bankers that he would tolerate
the naira weakening in the window, which started today, according to a
person who attended meetings with the policy maker over the past two
weeks. While that may cause the currency to depreciate to its
black-market level, the central bank probably won’t devalue the
interbank exchange rate, the person said, declining to be identified
because he wasn’t authorized to speak publicly.
The naira has traded at around 315 per dollar on the interbank, or
spot, market since August. The black-market rate plummeted to a record
520 against the greenback in February, but recovered to 390 after the
central bank sold $3 billion to $4 billion on the forward and spot
Three-month non-deliverable forward contracts on the naira rose 0.9
percent to 355 per dollar at 4:14 p.m. in Lagos, the highest on a
closing basis since March 6, suggesting traders see the currency
weakening about 11 percent in that period. Six-month contracts rose
0.7 percent to 374.5.
Zimbabwe's "bond note" surrogate currency will not solve its economic problems, the International Monetary Fund said
"We think that, going down this one (bond) note route, in and of
itself, will not address the challenges that the country has,"
Selassie said, according to a transcript of the media briefing.
"So, it's very important to have a more comprehensive policy package
which also addresses a lot of the fiscal challenges that the country
faces, a lot of the structural reforms that have to be done."
The central bank says it has so far printed $121 million in bond notes
but a high demand for cash has meant that the surrogate currency is
also in short supply.