Libya is now in flames. This might seem to be a rather hyperbolic note on which to begin, but it is true. The country is spiralling out of control, and the city of Benghazi, the former rebel capital in the 2011 revolution against the dictatorship of Colonel Gaddafi, has reportedly been captured by Islamist militants and declared an 'Islamic emirate'.
Though they ended the previous campaign extremely poorly, Newcastle have made significant strides in the transfer market to ensure that they are not in a similar situation again. They appear to have learned from their mistakes to a degree and their eagerness in the window this time around should reap the rewards.
In France, since the European elections of May 2014, and Marine le Pen's breath-taking 25% of the vote - to the ruling Socialists' paltry 13% - she has said very little. She does not need to; between them, the left and the right are opening up a royal road for her to go through to the second round of the presidential elections in 2017...
What a welcome we received the weekend before last for the French League Playoff finals in Le Mans, a city a couple of hours train ride from Paris. Now on the wrong side of 30, I am happily able to say that squash still offers opportunities to seek out new venues and bustling sporting communities in unexpected places.