Tag Archives: Chaos

Hong Kong faces commuter chaos after rare train derailment

Hong Kong faces commuter chaos after rare train derailmentA rare train derailment disrupted services in Hong Kong on Tuesday, train authorities said, threatening commuter chaos during rush hour in the heart of the Asian financial hub. The disruption to a usually seamless network used by nearly 6 million people every weekday happened after a train derailed while leaving a station in the city’s Kowloon area, rail operator MTR Corp said. Hong Kong’s rail system has been a target of vandalism during recent pro democracy protests in the city with activists angry that MTR has closed stations to stop protesters gathering.



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Call Sign Chaos review: James Mattis pulls a flanking manuever on Trump

Call Sign Chaos review: James Mattis pulls a flanking manuever on TrumpIn a memoir that is part hymn to the constitution, the former secretary of defense offers only veiled criticism of the presidentJames Mattis listens as Donald Trump speaks to the media in the cabinet room in October 2018. Photograph: Leah Millis/ReutersJames Mattis was Donald Trump’s defense secretary for less than two years, resigning in December 2018. The general’s departure came with headlines but little surprise. His resignation letter omitted any praise for the commander-in-chief. “Because you have the right to have a secretary of defense whose views are better aligned with yours,” he wrote, “I believe it is right for me to step down.”Mattis had been on thin ice for a long time. At an infamous cabinet meeting in June 2017, Mattis praised the men and women of the military instead of gushing over the president. Just months later, a White House official told me Mattis had shown insufficient loyalty to Trump. But because North Korea was on the front burner – before “Little Rocket Man” had started sending Trump love letters – the president felt he needed generals around him. In the end, everyone in Trump’s orbit is expendable. Except Ivanka Trump.Call Sign Chaos, Mattis’s memoir, is a readable look at more than four decades as a marine. Co-written with Bing West, a former marine and Reagan Pentagon alumnus, the book spans Mattis’s career, from enlistment through retirement.It contains veiled disapproval of Trump and is sharper in expressing disagreements with his Oval Office predecessors.> Call Sign Chaos takes aim at bigotry and lauds the military service of migrants. It gives full-throated support for NatoOfficially, the book’s title derives from the call-sign bestowed when Mattis became a regimental commander, Chaos an acronym for “Colonel Has An Outstanding Solution”.Mattis comes across as plain-spoken and reflective, a fan of books and history. Abraham Lincoln and Gettysburg receive their due. As a younger man, however, Mattis was not above brawling. In other words, he’s interesting.He repeatedly expresses his regard for America’s institutions and its constitution even as he offers criticism, one thing which sets him apart from the 45th president.“I’ve developed a love affair with our constitution,” Mattis writes.He tells of getting into a fight in Montana with three other men. Then 19, he was rewarded with a brief jail sentence and a sheriff’s escort to a westbound freight train. His brush with the law became a formative experience.Mattis recalls that as a marine recruiter he was confronted with a prospect who had been arrested for a “single use of cocaine”. Channeling his inner Nick Saban on the value of “second chances”, Mattis pushed for a waiver. “There’s a huge difference,” he writes, “between making a mistake and letting that mistake define you.”As Mattis moved up the ranks, interaction with Congress, the White House and civilian Pentagon leadership became a norm, although not necessarily a welcome one. Mattis professes to prefer the field and his troops. DC was not his “cup of tea”. Yet he appears to have overcome that hurdle, to a point anyway, when he was appointed executive secretary to Bill Clinton’s defense chiefs, William Perry and William Cohen.“I gained an abiding respect for those with whom I served and from whom I also learned a new skill set,” he writes. “I had a front-row seat to policymaking as it was supposed to work.”As for congressional oversight and the power of the purse, Mattis “received a pragmatic introduction to article one of the constitution”, a reminder to the reader that it is Congress that is tasked with raising America’s armed forces.Mattis saw action in Afghanistan and Iraq. He blames Tommy Franks, head of US Central Command and an army general, for Osama bin Laden’s escape from Tora Bora, his refusal to deploy the marines a key cause of that debacle. As Mattis frames things: “We in the military missed the opportunity, not the president, who properly deferred to his senior military commander on how to carry out the mission.”But Iraq was a different story, and there Mattis places blame squarely on George W Bush for getting the US into the mess, and on Barack Obama and Joe Biden for the mode of the eventual pullback. As for going to war, Mattis observes: “Invading Iraq stunned me. Why were we fighting them again?”> For Mattis, Iran was an implacable foe. He also believes Tehran came to view the Obama administration as 'impotent'In a chapter titled Incoherence, Mattis acidly mocks and quotes Bush 43’s Freedom Agenda. These days, Iraq is ranked “not free” by Freedom House. Irony abounds.He commends Obama for his intelligence and reserve and Biden for his warmth. Yet he tags them over the pullout from Iraq, Obama’s imaginary red line in Syria and their stance toward Iran. He does not mask his disapproval.For Mattis, Iran was an implacable foe. He also believes Tehran came to view the Obama administration as “impotent”. To the general, proof positive lay in the failure to respond to an Iranian plot to bomb Cafe Milano, a restaurant just miles from the White House, and assassinate the Saudi ambassador.Mattis also takes aim at WikiLeaks, describing it as “new kind of adversary” that “inflicted deep harm” to American interests. Unlike Trump, he never harbored any love for Julian Assange’s creation.To Mattis, American uncertainty and messianism can both have steep downsides. As he saw it, an absence of strategy would engender the sense that the US was “proving unreliable.”“I was disappointed and frustrated,” he writes. “Policymakers all too often failed to deliver clear direction.”Yet Mattis does not grapple with domestic political realities. Lives and treasure aside, Iraq cost the Republicans both houses of Congress in 2006 and paved the way for Obama. Furthermore, casualty counts in Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin were factors in Hillary Clinton’s defeat. Not everything is about Russia.When it comes to Trump, Mattis flanks, avoiding a head-on clash. Call Sign Chaos takes aim at bigotry and lauds the military service of migrants. As in his resignation letter, Mattis gives full-throated support for Nato: “Nations with allies thrive, and those without wither.”In his epilogue, Mattis notes America’s political divide and full-throated tribalism. But he is optimistic. Call Sign Chaos ends thus: “E Pluribus Unum.”



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Call Sign Chaos review: James Mattis pulls a flanking manuever on Trump

Call Sign Chaos review: James Mattis pulls a flanking manuever on TrumpIn a memoir that is part hymn to the constitution, the former secretary of defense offers only veiled criticism of the presidentJames Mattis listens as Donald Trump speaks to the media in the cabinet room in October 2018. Photograph: Leah Millis/ReutersJames Mattis was Donald Trump’s defense secretary for less than two years, resigning in December 2018. The general’s departure came with headlines but little surprise. His resignation letter omitted any praise for the commander-in-chief. “Because you have the right to have a secretary of defense whose views are better aligned with yours,” he wrote, “I believe it is right for me to step down.”Mattis had been on thin ice for a long time. At an infamous cabinet meeting in June 2017, Mattis praised the men and women of the military instead of gushing over the president. Just months later, a White House official told me Mattis had shown insufficient loyalty to Trump. But because North Korea was on the front burner – before “Little Rocket Man” had started sending Trump love letters – the president felt he needed generals around him. In the end, everyone in Trump’s orbit is expendable. Except Ivanka Trump.Call Sign Chaos, Mattis’s memoir, is a readable look at more than four decades as a marine. Co-written with Bing West, a former marine and Reagan Pentagon alumnus, the book spans Mattis’s career, from enlistment through retirement.It contains veiled disapproval of Trump and is sharper in expressing disagreements with his Oval Office predecessors.> Call Sign Chaos takes aim at bigotry and lauds the military service of migrants. It gives full-throated support for NatoOfficially, the book’s title derives from the call-sign bestowed when Mattis became a regimental commander, Chaos an acronym for “Colonel Has An Outstanding Solution”.Mattis comes across as plain-spoken and reflective, a fan of books and history. Abraham Lincoln and Gettysburg receive their due. As a younger man, however, Mattis was not above brawling. In other words, he’s interesting.He repeatedly expresses his regard for America’s institutions and its constitution even as he offers criticism, one thing which sets him apart from the 45th president.“I’ve developed a love affair with our constitution,” Mattis writes.He tells of getting into a fight in Montana with three other men. Then 19, he was rewarded with a brief jail sentence and a sheriff’s escort to a westbound freight train. His brush with the law became a formative experience.Mattis recalls that as a marine recruiter he was confronted with a prospect who had been arrested for a “single use of cocaine”. Channeling his inner Nick Saban on the value of “second chances”, Mattis pushed for a waiver. “There’s a huge difference,” he writes, “between making a mistake and letting that mistake define you.”As Mattis moved up the ranks, interaction with Congress, the White House and civilian Pentagon leadership became a norm, although not necessarily a welcome one. Mattis professes to prefer the field and his troops. DC was not his “cup of tea”. Yet he appears to have overcome that hurdle, to a point anyway, when he was appointed executive secretary to Bill Clinton’s defense chiefs, William Perry and William Cohen.“I gained an abiding respect for those with whom I served and from whom I also learned a new skill set,” he writes. “I had a front-row seat to policymaking as it was supposed to work.”As for congressional oversight and the power of the purse, Mattis “received a pragmatic introduction to article one of the constitution”, a reminder to the reader that it is Congress that is tasked with raising America’s armed forces.Mattis saw action in Afghanistan and Iraq. He blames Tommy Franks, head of US Central Command and an army general, for Osama bin Laden’s escape from Tora Bora, his refusal to deploy the marines a key cause of that debacle. As Mattis frames things: “We in the military missed the opportunity, not the president, who properly deferred to his senior military commander on how to carry out the mission.”But Iraq was a different story, and there Mattis places blame squarely on George W Bush for getting the US into the mess, and on Barack Obama and Joe Biden for the mode of the eventual pullback. As for going to war, Mattis observes: “Invading Iraq stunned me. Why were we fighting them again?”> For Mattis, Iran was an implacable foe. He also believes Tehran came to view the Obama administration as 'impotent'In a chapter titled Incoherence, Mattis acidly mocks and quotes Bush 43’s Freedom Agenda. These days, Iraq is ranked “not free” by Freedom House. Irony abounds.He commends Obama for his intelligence and reserve and Biden for his warmth. Yet he tags them over the pullout from Iraq, Obama’s imaginary red line in Syria and their stance toward Iran. He does not mask his disapproval.For Mattis, Iran was an implacable foe. He also believes Tehran came to view the Obama administration as “impotent”. To the general, proof positive lay in the failure to respond to an Iranian plot to bomb Cafe Milano, a restaurant just miles from the White House, and assassinate the Saudi ambassador.Mattis also takes aim at WikiLeaks, describing it as “new kind of adversary” that “inflicted deep harm” to American interests. Unlike Trump, he never harbored any love for Julian Assange’s creation.To Mattis, American uncertainty and messianism can both have steep downsides. As he saw it, an absence of strategy would engender the sense that the US was “proving unreliable.”“I was disappointed and frustrated,” he writes. “Policymakers all too often failed to deliver clear direction.”Yet Mattis does not grapple with domestic political realities. Lives and treasure aside, Iraq cost the Republicans both houses of Congress in 2006 and paved the way for Obama. Furthermore, casualty counts in Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin were factors in Hillary Clinton’s defeat. Not everything is about Russia.When it comes to Trump, Mattis flanks, avoiding a head-on clash. Call Sign Chaos takes aim at bigotry and lauds the military service of migrants. As in his resignation letter, Mattis gives full-throated support for Nato: “Nations with allies thrive, and those without wither.”In his epilogue, Mattis notes America’s political divide and full-throated tribalism. But he is optimistic. Call Sign Chaos ends thus: “E Pluribus Unum.”



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Fire, tear gas and petrol bombs as Hong Kong engulfed by chaos

Fire, tear gas and petrol bombs as Hong Kong engulfed by chaosChaos engulfed the heart of Hong Kong on Saturday night as police fired tear gas and water cannon at protesters who set large fires and threw petrol bombs, defying a ban on rallying — and mounting threats from China — to take to the streets for a 13th straight weekend. As evening fell, violence ricocheted through the city’s commercial centre, with a minority of hardcore protesters unleashing a barrage of petrol bombs and rocks at riot police.



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British Airways Bank Holiday chaos as thousands of holidaymakers spend hours on the phone trying to salvage plans

British Airways Bank Holiday chaos as thousands of holidaymakers spend hours on the phone trying to salvage plansThousands of British Airways passengers faced Bank Holiday chaos as they spent hours on the phone trying to rebook cancelled flights in the wake of the pilot strike. The pilots are on 9, 10 and 27 September, but the airline also told customers with tickets booked on other days that their flights were cancelled. However, it later admitted that these emails were sent in error, after many passengers had already rebooked flights at their own expense. As so many passengers were affected, the phone lines were jammed all day, with customers spending up to four hours on the phone during the hottest Bank Holiday August weekend on record. Some said they had tried to call the airline up to 200 times – and received no reply. The BBC's North America editor, Jon Sopel, was caught up in the chaos. He tweeted: "Dear British Airways. "This morning you wrote saying our flight was cancelled from Washington, and that we needed to rebook. We rebooked. Now you’ve written to say our flight is not cancelled after all. So what the ….. are we meant to do now? Thanks". BA said it received nearly 40,000 calls in the first 24 hours and had put on 70 extra members of staff to deal with the chaos. Ellie Kormis, from Surrey, spent almost £2,000 rebooking the flights for her family holiday to Greece – only to be told her original flights hadn't been cancelled. She told the BBC: "You're left in a situation where you can't speak to anyone – and you fear you'll either lose your holiday or be left out of pocket." The chaos happened on Sunday, on the centenary of the business, and frustrated customers who visited the Twitter page of the company were greeted with a screen full of animated balloons. Travel expert Simon Calder said: "British Airways: on the airline's 100th birthday, thousands of prospective passengers are stressed, upset and out-of-pocket as a result of BA's botched communication about the impending pilots' strike." Adam French, consumer rights expert at Which?, said the issue had caused "a lot of confusion and anxiety". "It is vital that the airline ensures that any customer who was initially informed that their flight was cancelled and has booked an alternative flight is not left out of pocket," he said. A British Airways spokesperson told The Telegraph that all those who had rebooked flights after the email error are eligible for a refund. She added that customers should keep all records and receipts handy for the refund process. BA has told passengers that they can request a full refund, rebook the flight for another time in the next 355 days, or use the value of the fare to fly to a different destination. Rival airline Virgin Atlantic attempted to get some business out of the chaos, and wrote on social media: "Has British Airways cancelled your flight on the 9, 10 or 27th September due to their pilot strike? We’d love to help keep your travel plans on track." The British Airline Pilots Association (Balpa) said on Friday the strikes were a "last resort" born out of "enormous frustration" with airline management. Balpa said more strike dates could yet be announced, adding that they were "a last resort and with enormous frustration at the way the business is now being run". Pilots have rejected a pay increase worth 11.5 per cent over three years, which the airline put forward in July.



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Inside locked down Kashmir, a reporter finds fear and chaos

Inside locked down Kashmir, a reporter finds fear and chaosOn a normal day, it would have been a smooth journey from the airport in Srinagar, the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir state, to my family home in the northern town of Baramulla. The part that India controls is now under an unprecedented security crackdown to prevent an uprising after the central government in New Delhi unexpectedly stripped the region’s special constitutional status, the last vestige of real autonomy for the predominantly Muslim region that is claimed by both India and Pakistan.



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Blockade, beating, pepper spray on second day of Hong Kong airport chaos

Blockade, beating, pepper spray on second day of Hong Kong airport chaosChaos gripped Hong Kong’s airport for a second day Tuesday as pro-democracy protesters staged a disruptive sit-in that paralysed hundreds of flights, saw police fire pepper spray, and a mainland journalist beaten. Demonstrators defied warnings from the city’s leader, who said they were heading down a “path of no return”, and US President Donald Trump called for calm, saying his intelligence had confirmed Chinese troop movements toward the Hong Kong border. The latest protest led to ugly scenes at one of the world’s busiest airports, where small groups of hardcore demonstrators turned on two men they accused of being spies or undercover police — and as desperate travellers pleaded in vain to be allowed onto flights.



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WRAPUP 5-China says U.S. currency manipulator labelling could cause chaos in financial markets

WRAPUP 5-China says U.S. currency manipulator labelling could cause chaos in financial marketsBEIJING/SHANGHAI, Aug 6 (Reuters) – China’s central bank said on Tuesday that Washington’s decision to label Beijing as a currency manipulator would “severely damage international financial order and cause chaos in financial markets”. Washington’s decision to ratchet up currency tensions on Monday would also “prevent a global economic and trade recovery,” the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) said in the country’s first official response to the latest U.S. salvo in the two sides’ rapidly escalating trade war.



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Hong Kong protesters disrupt train services, cause commuter chaos

Hong Kong protesters disrupt train services, cause commuter chaosHundreds of Hong Kong protesters blocked train services during the morning rush hour on Tuesday, causing commuter chaos in the latest anti-government campaign to roil the former British colony. What started three months ago as rallies against an extradition bill that would have allowed people in Hong Kong to be sent to mainland China for trial, has evolved into a wider backlash against the city’s government and its political masters in Beijing. Protests have occurred almost daily, sometimes with little notice, disrupting business, piling pressure on the city’s beleaguered government and stretching its police force, which some have accused of using excessive force.



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Right-wing protesters, 'antifa' clashes bring chaos to streets of Portland, Oregon

Right-wing protesters, 'antifa' clashes bring chaos to streets of Portland, OregonOrder was restored to the streets of Portland, Oregon, after protests that clogged streets, crippled public transit and left at least 8 people hurt.



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