Blackpool Football Club experience a transfer window like no other

The bold claim from Blackpool F.C. manager Simon Grayson that his club could be the busiest in England during the current transfer window raised eyebrows, not in the least with supporters brought up on the slim mid-season pickings under the now deposed Oyston family, but also elicited no little scepticism as to whether the 50-year…

Ukrainian International Airlines flight PS752 – Tehran to Kyiv

Iran is in effect on a war footing with the United States (US). The US and Ukraine are key allies. Russia, occupying several regions of eastern Ukraine and having annexed the Crimean Peninsula in 2014, is in effect at war with Kyiv. Ukraine International Airlines(UIA) flight PS752 flying between Tehran and Kyiv crashes shortly after…

Turkmenistan: What is behind Germany’s continual dance with the devil?

As one of more than 130 countries participating in the Frankfurt Heimtextil international textile expo Turkmenistan cannot be singled out for favouritism by the host nation Germany, but nevertheless the link between President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedow's closed, authoritarian state and Angela Merkel's Teutonic powerhouse remains strong, but all the while disconcertingly baffling. The Azerbaijan-based AzerNews portal…

Turkmenistan: A hollow facade of neutrality in a country at odds with its own people

It is unclear if Armenian president Armen Sarkissian is completely ignorant of the ruinous cul-de-sac down which President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedow is taking Turkmenistan, or if the content of a recent letter to his despotic counterpart to mark the annual Day of Neutrality was intended to be so ironic that it veered towards black comedy. Intending…

Tirol: Will the onset of Climate Change make sustainable development in the Alps unrealistic?

Architecture, similar to many areas of modern life, has become highly subjective as tradition gives way to the Avant Garde, the controversial, and a general feeling that 'anything goes' in an era of declining standards, moral ambiguity, and disrespect. Even in the Alps there is no longer a uniform design template to which architects must…

The Austrian Tirol makes its money in the Winter but Summer is when it really blossoms

The 'white gold' provided by Mother Nature is in effect the Austrian Tirol's paydirt, oiling the wheels of the local and wider economy and enabling the vast majority living in this stunning region of Central Europe to enjoy higher than national and EU-wide living standards. Notwithstanding the ability of both natural and artificial snow to…

Turkmenistan and North Korea: Autocratic regimes rely on opacity and agendas to oppress citizens and bamboozle those on the outside

Once again we visit Turkmenistan, the land of irony, where truth and fiction become entwined to a point where there can be little to differentiate these polar opposites. Every bad guy needs a patsy, someone who will take the rap when merely following orders - usually on the pain of death, imprisonment or some other…

Turkmenistan: Why are German companies all too eager to overlook the Human Rights abuses committed by the Berdymukhamedow regime?

Call it a love affair, an obsession with, or a shameless dash for cash while there is still some at the country's disposal, Germany's interest in Turkmenistan, a country in the iron grip of a dictator seemingly hell-bent on emulating the Kim dynasty's template for running North Korea, shows little sign of waning. At first…

Kitzbuhel: Hiking from the Hahnenkamm

Frustrated at the first time of asking by extremely poor visibility I hoped that my next attempt to ascend the iconic Hahnenkamm and spend a day walking from the top station of its eponymous cableway, would bear greater fruit. I was indeed second time lucky, at least from a meteorological perspective. Home to the most…

Turkmenistan: A presidential portrait of modern-day narcissism wrapped in despotism

In 2004 the Harvard Business Review called it right. Their take on narcissists concluded that the vainglorious are "unproductive when, lacking self-knowledge and restraining anchors, they become unrealistic dreamers. They nurture grand schemes and harbour the illusion that only circumstances, or enemies block their success". Does all this sound terribly familiar, even in the modern…

Kitzb├╝hel: Shopping, Skiing, Hiking. In that order.

The allure of Kitzb├╝hel to the well-heeled is there for all to see. A short survey of the main street immediately highlights the Tirolean town's slavish devotion to luxury brands, and how those sashaying along its pristine thoroughfares are tacitly judged by their own attention, or lack of, to high-end couture and jewellery. For a…

Oetztal: Crumbling Hochwildehaus hut a sobering, but unheeded, example of local Climate Change

The fate of the iconic Hochwildehaus mountain hut high in the Tirol's Oetztal should serve as a warning to those who continue to deny the onrushing effects of Climate Change, and the short-sighted within Austria's insatiable ski community who insist upon putting financial interests ahead of the core values that have sought to protect unique…