2016 pass quietly into this dark night, albeit there is a second to add to your number. The world is a different place for your passing. Things have happened and we are set on a different course.

Who is the winner of 2016? No doubt, it is Putin whose finger prints are writ large on all events. European destabilisation, what tide of refugees has flowed to Russia? – None. Europe has, in the main, showed great acceptance of those disposed by war in their homelands, but it has unsettled the home populations.

America has set a new course – and Putin’s mark is on those happenings. The Middle East is changed and he is there. Syria’s “peace” hovers on the horizon, but it is achieved through merciless bombing and destruction.

It has been a terrible year for so many. What can 2017 bring? Let us see.

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