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5/26/16

The US Presidency::A Psychologist Analyzes Donald Trump’s Personality - by Dan P. McAdams

The Next US President ?
In 2006 Donald Trump  made plans to purchase the Menie Estate, near Aberdeen, Scotland, aiming to convert the dunes and grassland into a luxury golf resort.

He and the estate’s owner, Tom Griffin, sat down to discuss the transaction at the Cock & Bull restaurant. Griffin recalls that Trump was a hard-nosed negotiator, reluctant to give in on even the tiniest details.

But, as Michael D’Antonio writes in his recent biography of Trump, Never Enough, Griffin’s most vivid recollection of the evening pertains to the theatrics. It was as if the golden-haired guest sitting across the table were an actor playing a part on the London stage.
 
“It was Donald Trump playing Donald Trump,” Griffin observed. There was something unreal about it.

The same feeling perplexed Mark Singer in the late 1990s when he was working on a profile of Trump for The New Yorker. Singer wondered what went through his mind when he was not playing the public role of Donald Trump. What are you thinking about, Singer asked him, when you are shaving in front of the mirror in the morning? Trump, Singer writes, appeared baffled. Hoping to uncover the man behind the actor’s mask, Singer tried a different tack: “O.K., I guess I’m asking, do you consider yourself ideal company?”

“You really want to know what I consider ideal company?,” Trump replied. “A total piece of ass.”

I might have phrased Singer’s question this way: Who are you, Mr. Trump, when you are alone? Singer never got an answer, leaving him to conclude that the real-estate mogul who would become a reality-TV star and, after that, a leading candidate for president of the United States had managed to achieve something remarkable: “an existence unmolested by the rumbling of a soul.”

Is Singer’s assessment too harsh? Perhaps it is, in at least one sense. As brainy social animals, human beings evolved to be consummate actors whose survival and ability to reproduce depend on the quality of our performances. We enter the world prepared to perform roles and manage the impressions of others, with the ultimate evolutionary aim of getting along and getting ahead in the social groups that define who we are.

More than even Ronald Reagan, Trump seems supremely cognizant of the fact that he is always acting. He moves through life like a man who knows he is always being observed. If all human beings are, by their very nature, social actors, then Donald Trump seems to be more so—superhuman, in this one primal sense.

Many questions have arisen about Trump during this campaign season—about his platform, his knowledge of issues, his inflammatory language, his level of comfort with political violence. This article touches on some of that. But its central aim is to create a psychological portrait of the man. Who is he, really? How does his mind work? How might he go about making decisions in office, were he to become president? And what does all that suggest about the sort of president he’d be?

Trump’s personality is certainly extreme by any standard, and particularly rare for a presidential candidate; many people who encounter the man—in negotiations or in interviews or on a debate stage or watching that debate on television—seem to find him flummoxing. In this essay, I will seek to uncover the key dispositions, cognitive styles, motivations, and self-conceptions that together comprise his unique psychological makeup.

Trump declined to be interviewed for this story, but his life history has been well documented in his own books and speeches, in biographical sources, and in the press. My aim is to develop a dispassionate and analytical perspective on Trump, drawing upon some of the most important ideas and research findings in psychological science today.
 
Read the full report : A Psychologist Analyzes Donald Trump’s Personality - The Atlan

5/25/16

EU Refugee Crises: Germany has got their act together

Germany's push to integrate migrants - http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-36382703

Read the complete report click here

Greece Wins Pledge for Debt Relief as IMF Bows to Euro Plan - by Ian Wishart, Corina Ruhe, Nikos Chrysoloras

Greece’s creditors reached a preliminary accord to ease the country’s debt burden but left the important details to be hammered out after Germany’s federal election next year.

At a meeting of euro-area finance ministers in Brussels that ended early Wednesday, and paved the way for a 10.3 billion-euro ($11.5 billion) aid payout, the International Monetary Fund retreated from its hard-line stance for concrete and generous measures on Greece’s debt, allowing creditors to announce a “breakthrough” despite giving no figures or real commitments.

"It seems very much like an agreement of convenience more than anything else,” Peter Rosenstreich, head of market strategy at Swissquote Bank told Bloomberg TV. “Greece needed the money now -- they were already behind on payments. Europe really needed to show a stable hand” before the June 23 referendum on whether the U.K. should stay in the European Union, he said.

Read more: Greece Wins Pledge for Debt Relief as IMF Bows to Euro Plan - Bloomberg

5/24/16

EU Refugee Crises: Merkel’s Austria Problem, Merkel’s Turkey Problem - by Judy Dempsey

Austria and Turkey have two things in common. Both are undergoing major political changes. And both are needed by Angela Merkel to stem the flow of migrants and refugees wanting to reach Germany. The political shifts in both countries do not augur well for the German chancellor.

In Austria, society has become deeply polarized, as the presidential election that took place on April 24 and May 22 confirmed. Immediately after the second-round runoff, Norbert Hofer, who represents the right-wing Freedom Party of Austria, was running neck and neck with Alexander Van der Bellen, a former Green party leader. The result was decided by postal votes: Van der Bellen squeaked through.

The outcome matters for Merkel and for Europe. Although Hofer lost, his wide appeal—and his ability to push the established conservative Austrian People’s Party and center-left Social Democrats out of the presidential race—has shaken Austria’s comfortable postwar consensus.

The traditional political elites were so taken aback by Hofer’s dramatic rise that the Social Democrats’ Werner Faymann was forced to resign as Austria’s chancellor on May 9.

Faymann had forged a close relationship with Merkel and had cooperated with her at the height of the refugee crisis. But the Freedom Party was able to tap into the growing fears and anxieties of a country that was taking in many refugees from the Middle East. As a result, Faymann, with the agreement of governments in the Western Balkans, closed off the route through that region used by refugees. Yet that wasn’t enough to save his political career, as the presidential campaign showed.

Read more: Merkel’s Austria Problem, Merkel’s Turkey Problem - Carnegie Europe - Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

Belgium: Tens of thousands march against Belgian austerity reforms in Brussels

 ens of thousands of people took to the streets of Brussels on Tuesday, opposed to the free market policies of the centre-right government.

The austerity reforms will see cuts to public services, a real wage cut of 2% , enforced flexibility in the weekly hours worked and a reduction in pensions as well as a raising of the pension age.

“Today we have roughly a comfortable pension, but tomorrow are they going to do the same that they did to the Greek pensioners, that is cutting it by 20% and then another 20%?” said one protester.

Trade unions say the planned reforms cut into the foundations of Belgium’s welfare state.

A small number of protesters clashed with police, throwing rocks. At least one policeman and several demonstrators were injured

More demonstrations and national strikes are planned in the coming months.

Read more: Tens of thousands march against Belgian austerity reforms in Brussels | euronews, brussels bureau

France - strikes hit fuel supplies: Here is where France is hit hardest by fuel shortages

With 2,400 petrol stations across France either empty or running out of fuel, here's a look at which parts of the country are the most affected.

Key points 
- 2,400 petrol stations empty or running low
- PM warns the French not to panic
- Total says 509 of its 2,200 stations empty or running low

Authorities have tried to quell all talk of any fuel shortages, but 2,400 petrol stations out of 12,000 petrol stations around the country - that's one fifth - had either run out of fuel or were running very low.
And as the map below shows, it's looking extremely grim.



French oil giant Total said 54 percent of its stations in Brittany, 46 percent in Normandy, and 43 percent in the Pays-de-la-Loire region are totally or partially out of fuel.

In Nantes it’s proving almost impossible to find fuel. Posters announcing that pumps are empty greet motorists at almost every station. It’s a similar case in Vannes, where almost all stations are out of fuel.  

Read more: Here is where France is hit hardest by fuel shortages - The Local