Showing posts from February 17, 2015

Dead teen linked to Halifax Valentine's Day mass murder plot ID'd

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[Wow! A white suburban teenager who plots a mass killing in a local mall is not a terrorist. After all, he wasn't "cultural": read Muslim, Aboriginal or even an environmentalist. Notice also how not-national this story is: it doesn't fit the accepted government script. *RON*]

QMI Agency,, 16 February 2015

A young man and woman have been charged in an alleged plot to gun down shoppers at a Halifax mall on Valentine's Day and then kill themselves, Mounties said Saturday.

Lindsay Kantha Souvannarath, 23, from Geneva, Ill., and Randall "Randy" Steven Shepherd, 20, of Halifax, have been charged with conspiracy to commit murder, Cpl. Angela Corscadden said in a statement.

Police arrested the pair early Friday at the Halifax International Airport.

"We do not wish to give these individuals further notoriety so will not be referring to their names again," she said.

On Thursday night, police found a third 19-ye…

Three worrisome facts about B.C.'s job market on the eve of Budget 2015

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[Fewer people are working for fewer hours making less money. Mission accomplished Christy Clark! But the budget is balanced, and we're smiling, so vote for us because we're financially responsible. *RON*]
By Iglika Ivanova,, 17 February 2015

2015 marks the sixth year of B.C.'s recovery from the recession. But it's been a slow and largely jobless recovery in B.C.

1. B.C. needs 93,000 more jobs to return to our pre-recession employment rate (the proportion of working-age British Columbians who have jobs).

Only 71.2 per cent of working-age British Columbians have jobs today. This is practically the same share of workers with jobs as when the BC Jobs Plan was launched, and has barely improved since the recession.

In other words, the new jobs created in B.C. since 2009 have just kept up with population growth without replacing (or recovering) the jobs lost during the recession.

In order to return to B.C.'s pre-recession emplo…

Fat Tuesday B.C. budget will leave a sour taste in some people’s mouths

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[The class war continues in BC: tax breaks for the rich; fee hikes and service cuts for everyone else. Our government, doing its level best to increase income inequality. "...the rich will get their tax break, while everyone else gets whacked with hikes to Hydro, ICBC, ferry fares and Medical Services Plan premiums. For many, it will leave a dent in their wallets and a sour taste in their mouths." *RON*]

By Michael Smyth, The Province, 16 February 2015

For B.C.’s wealthiest residents, maybe it’s appropriate this year’s provincial budget falls on Mardi Gras, also known as Fat Tuesday.

It’s a day when people traditionally eat a lot of rich, fatty food. And if you’re a rich British Columbian, you’ll certainly be able to afford a super-fancy meal.

That’s because Tuesday’s budget will confirm a nice, juicy tax cut for B.C.’s highest wage earners.

By year’s end, the provincial income tax rate will be chopped by about two percentage points for pe…

Iraq mission has so far cost Canada $122M

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[This statement was released ahead of an expected report by the parliamentary budget office. I'm certain that, should anyone ever be allowed to access the full accounts, that the costs will in fact be far higher. It would be great to have an analysis of which corporate friends of the Conservatives were profiting most from this war. *RON*]

CBC News, 16 February 2015

Canada's military mission in Iraq has so far cost $122 million, according to estimates Defence Minister Jason Kenney says he will table in Parliament this week.

The incremental costs are "entirely reasonable" for a mission that's "having a meaningful impact against this genocidal terrorist organization, the so-called 'Islamic State,'" Kenney said in a statement Monday.

"We just saw this savage organization behead 21 people for the crime of being Christian in Libya this week, [and] burn a Jordanian air force pilot alive last week," he said.

NSA Has Ability To Hide Spying Software Deep Within Hard Drives: Cyber Researchers

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[Today our TVs watch us, our laptops listen to us, our phones follow us, our cars track us, etc. Everyone denies knowledge, complicity. *RON*]
By Joseph Menn, Reuters / Huffington Post, 16 February 2015

SAN FRANCISCO, Feb 16 (Reuters) - The U.S. National Security Agency has figured out how to hide spying software deep within hard drives made by Western Digital, Seagate, Toshiba and other top manufacturers, giving the agency the means to eavesdrop on the majority of the world's computers, according to cyber researchers and former operatives.

That long-sought and closely guarded ability was part of a cluster of spying programs discovered by Kaspersky Lab, the Moscow-based security software maker that has exposed a series of Western cyberespionage operations.

Kaspersky said it found personal computers in 30 countries infected with one or more of the spying programs, with the most infections seen in Iran, followed by Russia, Pakistan, Afghanista…

Ottawa just makes income inequality worse

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["On the international stage, Canada solemnly agrees that a small minority has acquired too much of the world’s wealth. Back home, Ottawa does nothing to stem – or even slow – the trend.... That formula hasn’t worked for five years. It isn’t working anywhere else. The rest of the world is waking up while Canada continues to slumber." *RON*]
Editor, The Star, 17 February 2015

Canada’s Joe Oliver joined finance ministers from the world’s 20 most influential countries last week promising to “ensure that growth is inclusive, including through policies that address income inequality.”

The ritual was familiar, the outcome predictable: On the international stage, Canada solemnly agrees that a small minority has acquired too much of the world’s wealth. Back home, Ottawa does nothing to stem – or even slow – the trend. The gap between rich and poor has increased sharply on Stephen Harper’s watch. The Prime Minister’s policies – spending cuts, tax…