The Kensington Review

18 February 2005

Latest Commentary:

John Negroponte Nominated Intelligence Tsar -- John Negroponte is currently US Ambassador to Iraq. With the elections completed and a government forming there, the president has decided he can be of more use in the US. So, His Excellency will become America’s first intelligence tsar if the Senate approves. Since this same body already blessed his appointment to Baghdad, this should be a formality. There will be whining from the spineless wing of the American left because of the ambassador's behavior in Central America back in the 1980s, but if those stories about him are true, that experience might just be an asset in his new job.

Ulster Bank Robbery Suspects Have IRA Ties -- On December 20 of last year, the largest bank robbery in the history of Northern Ireland brought £26.5 million to the crooks. The gang had taken the families of two officers of the Northern Bank of Belfast hostage, and then forced the bankers to open the vaults. Yesterday, Irish police busted 7 people for the crime, seizing more than £10 million. While their identities have yet to come out in public, newspapers in Eire and Ulster claim at least one is a former elected official from Sinn Fein, the IRA’s political wing. If so, this should guarantee political gridlock in Northern Ireland for a long time.

Japan is Officially in a Recession -- Figures released on Wednesday in Japan say the country is officially in a recession. Prime Minister Koizumi, who has been credited with last year’s 2.6% GDP growth, tried to apply some spin, calling the current period of consolidation “protracted.” Second quarter 2004 saw the economy of Japan shrink (or grow negatively as economists would have it) 0.2% of GDP. Third quarter shrinkage was 0.3%, and the fourth quarter decline was 0.1%. This won’t quite wipe out the 1.7% positive growth in the first quarter, but that was nine months ago. The recession is on.

NHL Stands for No Hockey League -- NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman did on Wednesday what most of the sports world already knew had happened. He formally canceled the entire National Hockey League 2004-2005 season. Well, since no one had played anyway since last spring, it didn’t come as a surprise. What did come as a surprise was the incredible lameness of the breakdown. The deal didn’t break over philosophical issues like salary caps, revenue sharing or the league’s business model. The deal crapped out over $6.5 million per team.

© Copyright 2005 by The Kensington Review , J. Myhre, Editor. No part of this publication may be reproduced without written consent.

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