A few things:
1 The parliamentary debate on the Ayaan Hirsi Ali/Verdonk scandal went on until 05.30 this morning. The Minister is still in place. The motion against her was supported by the smallest coalition partner, D66, but was rejected by the Christians. She might cling on to power, the Prime Minister definietly will, but they both show what a nonsense poltical responsibility is. At least there was great concern in the House regarding the damage the goings on have had on Holland's image abroad. next time they can also think about the damage done to their reputations in the eyes of the voters.
2 Amsterdam is changing from orange to yellow-green-and-a-little-bit-of-blue as everyone is becoming a Brazilian, in anticipation of that country winning the World Cup.
3 I now remember why I was secretly hoping that Spain would be beaten by France the other night. Racism. Apparently those Spanish supporters were making monkey chants at the, largely black, French team before the match. They did this in the stadium during a 'friendly' whenever a black chap had the ball. Also, the Spanish manager was quoted as having made racist comments about the great Thierry Henry earlier in the season. Best stay out of international football, Spain, until you get yourselves sorted out.
4 I am off to Germany tomorrow... back to Cologne, scene of our ill-fated trip in early March, hopefully to enjoy the thrills of being in Germany during the World Cup, watching on large screens in the centre, with a possible trip to Gelsenkirchen for the England v Portugal quarter final on Saturday.
5 And what intriguing quarter finals we have: Germany v Argentina, a repeat of the 1990 final, Brazil v France, a repeat of the 1998 final, England v Portugal, a repeat of the 2004 European Championship quarter final and Italy against newcomers Ukraine, with Shevchenko matched against his ex-Italian colleagues.
6 And in the meantime, the Italian football trial has started and been adjourned, with four top teams facing demotion to the third division.
7 And back to Somalia, it seems as if the African Union, while meeting in Gambia to discuss a charter on democracy are still pushing for a lifting on the arms embargo to Somalia. Interesting. Both on the count of guns being incompatible with democracy and on the count of there being massive shipments of weapons to Somalia during teh past number of months, if not years. What a load of nonsense.
8 That nasty strong man of Ethiopia seems to be using the Somalia situation, with respect to the progress of the Islamists to get support for himself and have a go at Eritrea, which he claims is helping the Islamists. Not exactly sure how a country as poor as Eritrea could do anything like that or understand why. Paranoid.
9 And Tony Blair is setting up another organisation to monitor how the help the West is giving Africa is actually being useful. A nice try..... but please have a look at how Africans can best help themselves.. and I have a tip here... support freedom and democracy and oppose corruption... and let the Africans do it for themselves
10 Finally, there does seem hope that the AU may start looking more favourably towards Somaliland's quest for recognition, as I read somewhere that this will be discussed at an up-coming meeting.