Cancelling my trip to Russia...heading to Cuba!

Good morning everyone,

Enjoying this weather? I think we all asked for it when we fell in love with 'Frozen'! Ha ha! I feel like Olaf these days!

Today will be warmer (a bit) with a high of 9C and then it'll rain off and on tomorrow. Sunday and into the middle of next week should be sunny, but it won't really warm up. Highs all week will be around 10C.

Sometimes I get a bit caught up in the whole 'Galapagos' thing here in Japan (we feel so far from the rest of the world sometimes), but this week the events around the world really caught my eye.

*Russia is on the brink of economic collapse. The ruble is falling through the floor and any day now there will be a run on the banks (a 'run' is when everyone tries to physically withdraw all their money and causes the banks to collapse). It's not looking good. It's been horribly mismanaged by Czar Putin who relied on big oil money to prop the economy. Now that oil is trading so low, they're in big, big trouble!

*I can't understand why groups like the Taliban, ISIS, Boko Haram target children. In distant places, we seem to be able to let thousands of deaths go by us without noticing, but as soon as children are involved in large numbers, the world wakes up. I know these terrorist groups want attention (terror by definition needs it) but it's the wrong kind of attention. Killing children really pisses the rest of the world off. I don't imagine any Taliban members will be getting any mercy from the Pakistan Army again...ever!

*On a positive note, after more than 50 years, Cuba and the US are normalizing diplomatic relations. What does that mean? Well, up till now, Americans couldn't legally visit Cuba and neither country had an Embassy. From now, people will start being able to visit and trade will grow. Finally, Americans will be able to buy Cuban cigars! ha ha! Seriously though, it's a huge step for the two countries which have been bitter neighbours since the Cold War. Hey! Maybe there's a chance that Japan and its neighbours will start to get on better...what do you think? Nah...probably not any time soon...well, maybe Russia...they're not in a powerful position at the moment...it might be a good chance...

Have a great day!

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