LOUGHRAN: Trump attacks London mayor over violence

Monday June 24 2019


A combined picture of US President Donald Trump and London Mayor Sadiq Khan. AFP PHOTOS 

By The Eastafrican

It’s bizarre, isn’t it, the head of state of one nation criticising a city mayor in another nation? In other words, President Donald Trump attacking London Mayor Sadiq Khan, calling him a “national disgrace who is destroying the city of London.”

Trump’s broadside, the latest tweet in a long-running feud, was prompted by news that five violent attacks had taken place in London in less than 24 hours, leaving three men dead and three injured.

Re-tweeting a post by Katie Hopkins, a British right-wing commentator, Trump said London needed a new mayor. “Khan is a disaster and will only get worse,” he charged.

Mayor Khan declined to respond, saying his thoughts were with the families of the victims and he was focussed on supporting the city’s communities.

However, Mr Jeremy Corbyn, leader of the opposition Labour Party, defended Khan, saying it was “absolutely awful” that Trump would use “the tragedy of people being murdered to attack the mayor.”

The president and the mayor have clashed many times in the past. The feud apparently started when Khan criticised Trump during his campaign for the presidency for proposing that foreign Muslims be banned from the United States.


Earlier this month, the mayor objected to a three-day state visit by Trump to Britain, saying the UK should not be “rolling out the red carpet” for him. Trump called Khan a “stone-cold loser.”

Supporters of the mayor concede there has been a steep rise in violent crime in London, particularly stabbings, but argue that many American cities are much worse. According to official figures, this year’s murder rate in Trump’s home city of New York, which has a similar population to London, is twice that of the UK capital.

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When smoking was banned from public places in England and Wales back in 2007, most people said it wouldn’t work. They were wrong.

The air in public houses is now fug-free as smokers stand outside in the rain; nobody would dream of lighting up on a bus or in a theatre; and cigarettes, priced at an outrageous £10.40 for a pack of 20, are wrapped in plain paper and sold from behind sliding panels in tobacconists’ shops.

Now there are signs that heading the same way is sugar, categorised increasingly as the devil’s food, worse than fat and as harmful to humans as cocaine or tobacco.

The Institute for Public Policy Research has called for sweets, snacks and sugary drinks to be wrapped in plain packaging to make them look less appealing, thus less tempting to children. Sugary drinks are already taxed and the IPPR has now called for the tax to be extended to other unhealthy foods.

Campaigners are demanding a reduction of sugar, which they frankly categorise as poisonous, in industrial processed foods for a wide range of meals and snacks.

They highlight numerous areas where they say sugar can be harmful to health, including weight gain, heart condition, acne, risk of diabetes, cancer and depression, fatty liver, skin ageing and energy draining.

IPPR director Tom Kibasi believes wrapping sweets in plain paper could make a real difference. He said, “It would help us all to make better choices and reduce the hassle of pester power on busy parents.”

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You can forget “share and share alike” in most partnerships, at least when it comes to clothes.

A new study shows that most British men are allowed only three drawers and a third of the wardrobe’s hanging space, and some husbands are forced to keep their apparel in the garden shed.

A spokesman for Anglian Home Improvements said the survey discovered that the boot is on the other foot when it comes to “mess.” Eighty-eight percent of women are fed up with the amount of stuff their men keep and nearly one in five have secretly thrown out clothes belonging to their male partners.

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A young lady was crossing the road when she was hit by a car and killed. Arriving at the gates of heaven, she was told by St Peter, “I’m so sorry, we made a mistake. You are not due to die until you are 85.”

Back on earth, the lady decided to make the most of the long life ahead of her. She replaced her workaday clothes with the finest of haute couture, spent thousands in spas, beauty salons and with coiffeur specialists, and bought body lotions, perfumes and skin treatments by the barrow load. Then she was hit by a car while crossing the road and killed. Again.

Arriving furious at the Pearly Gates, the lady confronted the Keeper of the Keys: “You said I would not die until I was 85!” Replied Peter apologetically, “I’m really sorry, Madame, but honestly, we didn’t recognise you.”