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Much scarier when they have nukes

Opinion Piece

Conflict between nuclear-armed enemies India and Pakistan kept the world on edge last week, while a much-heralded summit between Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un ended with both going home early.

Once again the scene of the conflict is Kashmir, the area contested by the two states and divided by a line of control, which has been the cause of three of four wars fought between them since the partition of India in 1947.

India accused Pakistan of supporting Jaish-e-Mohammed, a terrorist group responsible for a suicide attack in Pulwama, Kashmir that left 40 Indian troops dead.

In response, India bombed what it said were terrorist camps in Pakistan and the Pakistanis shot down two Indian aircraft. Tensions eased after a captured Indian pilot was released, but shelling between the two armies continued.

Trump’s meeting with Kim ended in a stalemate, with the President saying that sometimes you had to walk away. In any case, he had pressing matters at home where his former lawyer Michael Cohen had accused him of criminal actions.

Republicans quickly pointed out that Cohen is a convicted liar.

New Zealand politics continue to entertain, with former Cabinet Minister John Tamihere having his Labour Party membership declined. Tamihere is standing for mayor of Auckland. The present mayor Phil Goff, whom Labour supports, has just confirmed he will stand again.

There was more bad news for the construction industry with another major company, Arrow, collapsing and fears more could follow. At least this time retentions were held in trust for sub-contractors, as is law now, and workers were able to get their tools off sites before the receivers arrived.

Meanwhile the directors of Mainzeal, another failed construction company, have been ordered by the High Court to pay $36 million in damages for trading while insolvent — including $6m for its chairwoman, NZ’s first woman prime minister Jenny Shipley.

Amidst all this Simon Bridges reached his first anniversary of becoming National Party leader last Wednesday. It has been a difficult start for a number of reasons and he will be hoping things can only get better.