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  • Writer's pictureJohn Foulis

Newsletter 21st June 2020

The "I thought a million people were coming?" edition

Fighting on top of the world

Looks beautiful doesn't it, so perhaps it's no surprise that the China-India conflict over the area has turned deadly.

There is a long history of conflict in the region. At one point President Kennedy had to intervene, while also handling the Cuban Missile Crisis. This time both sides have rejected Trump's offer to mediate.

The bad news for India is that Chinese ambitions in the area run all the way from the mountains to the sea.

"Excuse me, sorry, I think you left this..."

As always gold is performing well as a safe-haven in a crisis, which makes it all the stranger that someone is reluctant to claim 200 grand's worth they left on a Swiss train.

The latest commodity to have a bad crisis is sugar, as sitting at home means we aren't consuming as much of the sweet stuff.

Coffee's problems aren't limited to lack of demand. It turns out not just anyone can pick those beans - it's skilled work. Hopefully Britain's Brexit negotiators are taking this into account on behalf of their vegetable farmers.

Malaysia's tradition of rubber production means its glove-makers are coining it in. Seems obvious in hindsight, should have bought shares.

One commodity in demand is saffron, at least if this case is anything to go by.

They blew up a liaison office in Kaesong last night

Our authoritarian friends are defying lockdown and getting restless again.

North Korea indulged in a bit of provocative arson, which makes the Kim-Trump love-in seem a long time ago. He probably doesn't even write anymore.

The long-suffering Kurds are on the sharp end of further aggression from Turkey having out-lived their usefulness to everyone else.

It's motivated by just as much cynical self-interest as everything else, but the EU's agreement with Turkey on handling the Syrian refugee problem is a more constructive example than most and credit is due, especially if it continues.

Which is more than can be said for the Iran nuclear agreement which could be on its last legs.

It's good to talk

One of the things that may convince people to turn their backs on working from home and drive them back to the office is the desire for gossip, a bit of chit-chat, some face-to-face human contact for god's sake.

Some people are confident the office isn't going anywhere, but here is some advice before you open up again.

Once you get there you need to start plotting, literally. This is one of those things you think nobody sane would do, then you find out everyone is at it and you're the fool!

You give me fever

Not only is Corona killing off old people, it is preventing them being replaced by new babies. [Warning: this article may extrapolate tenuously to headline-grabbing numbers]

If you're feeling public-spirited, or suicidal, you can always sign up to be infected with the virus.

For more gentle relief in the time of Covid, and if you are really missing that airport experience, you can pretend to catch a flight in Taiwan. No, really!

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