Showing posts from June 20, 2015

C-51, controversial anti-terrorism bill, is now law. So, what changes?

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[Here are 5 differences you'll notice now the anti-terror legislation has royal assent, and why people have questioned them. Now we will see how much of an icy blanket this throws over protest and dissent in Canada. How much will the Supreme Court be involved once this law is implemented? See also Top 6 ways you will be affected by Bill C-51, from the Canadian Journalists for Free Expression. *RON*]

By Haydn Watters, CBC News 18 June 2015

Related Stories
Bill C-51: 'No prosperity without security,' Steven Blaney says
Power & Politics' Ballot Box question: Anti-terror law
'Anonymous' says it cyberattacked federal government to protest Bill C-51
Liberal candidate David MacLeod quit Central Nova run over Bill C-51 vote
Why conservatives, libertarians and gun lobbyists oppose Bill C-51

Bill C-51, the Conservatives' anti-terror legislation, received royal assent Thursday afternoon and is now law.

The bill has faced intense …

The Whistleblower's Tale: How Jeffrey Sterling Took on the CIA - And Lost Everything

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[On the human fall-out from Obama's decision to crack down on whistleblowers. Compare this with the treatment Petraeus got. *RON*]
By Peter Maass, The Intercept,  18 June 2015

THIS IS HOW it ended for Jeffrey Sterling.

A former covert officer for the Central Intelligence Agency, Sterling sat down in a federal courtroom with a lawyer on either side, looking up at a judge who would announce in a few moments whether he would go to prison for the next 20 years. A few feet away, three prosecutors waited expectantly, hoping that more than a decade of investigation by the FBI would conclude with a severe sentence for a man who committed an “unconscionable” crime, as one of them told the judge.

In Sterling’s blind spot, behind his left shoulder, his wife tried not to sob so loudly that the judge would hear. A social worker, she had been interrogated by FBI agents, her modest home was searched, she had been made to testify before a grand jury, and she h…

Rick Perry Says Obama Administration Always Overreacts To ‘Accidents’ Like Charleston Shooting

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[Dylann was a poor, befuddled innocent in Rick Perry's version, and Obama is over-reacting against guns. Also from the Most Horrible Reaction department, see: NRA Leader Blames Slain Charleston Pastor for Slaughter of His Congregants. And: It’s Not About Mental Illness: The Big Lie That Always Follows Mass Shootings By White Males. *RON*]

By Kay Steiger, Think Progress, 19 June 2015

In an interview with Steve Malzberg’s Newsmax TV program on Friday, Republican presidential candidate and former Texas Gov. Rick Perry called the shooting deaths of nine black church members in Charleston, S.C. an “accident.”

“This is the M.O. of this administration, any time there is an accident like this — the president is clear, he doesn’t like for Americans to have guns and so he uses every opportunity, this being another one, to basically go parrot that message,” Perry said in response to President Barack Obama’s Thursday remarks, according to a video posted…

Earth 'entering new extinction phase' - US study

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[Not much of what we worry about will matter if this comes true. *RON*]
BBC World News, 20 June 2015

The Earth has entered a new period of extinction, a study by three US universities has concluded, and humans could be among the first casualties.

The report, led by the universities of Stanford, Princeton and Berkeley, said vertebrates were disappearing at a rate 114 times faster than normal.

The findings echo those in a report published by Duke University last year.

One of the new study's authors said: "We are now entering the sixth great mass extinction event."

House rises and the campaign is on. Beware new voting rules!

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[Parliament is adjourned; the campaign has begun. One in five Canadians should prepare to be hassled at the voting booth. *RON*]
By Karl Nerenberg,, 19 June 2015

Nobody in politics is even trying to pretend otherwise.

Parliament is going on a long break and the election campaign is on, full blast.

Some who don’t watch politics daily are surprised to learn that the House of Commons will not sit again before the election on October 19th, four months away.

Depending on the election result, in fact, Parliament may not meet again until 2016.

If the Conservatives get the largest number of seats, but not a majority, they may be tempted to rag the puck for a while, in the hope of discouraging any move by the other parties to unite and form an alternative government.

Charleston shooting: For every criminal killed in self-defence in the US, 34 innocent people die

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[Guns are rarely used to kill criminals. They are 34 times more likely to be used to commit a homicide, and 78 times more likely to use to commit suicide. They are twice as likely to result in an accidental death than to kill a criminal in self-defense. *RON*]

Christopher Ingraham, The Independent, 20 June 2015

"The only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is with a good guy with a gun," says Wayne LaPierre, the vice president of the National Rifle Association.

That's become the kernel of the NRA's response to recent US mass shooting tragedies (such as Wednesday's massacre of nine people in a Charleston church) — if only more people carried guns for protection, the thinking goes, then they would be less likely to be victimised by gun-wielding criminals.

The challenge to that argument is that, data shows, guns are rarely used in self-defence in the US — especially relative to the rate at which they're used in criminal homicide…

Anti-austerity protest: Tens of thousands travel to London to demonstrate against Conservative government's austerity measures

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[Opposition continues to mount. *RON*]

Rose Troup Buchanan, The Independent, 20 June 2015

Tens of thousands are marching through London protesting against the Conservative government’s austerity measures today.

The march, organised and co-ordinated by The People’s Assembly, is anticipated by some to be the largest protest against the Government since the general election and is expected to attract celebrities, sitting MPs and well-known activists.

Social media was buzzing with images and messages of support as people from all over the country travelled to march from Victoria Street to Parliament Square from 1pm today.

“It will be the start of a campaign of protest, strikes, direct action and civil disobedience up and down the country,” said Sam Fairbairn of the People's Assembly.

He added: "We will not rest until austerity is history, our services are back in public hands and the needs of the majority are put first."

The march is intende…