Showing posts from September 5, 2015

Canadian government spins web of lies over Syrian refugee tragedy

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[War=good; refugees, not so much. *RON*]
By Roger Annis,, 5 September 2015

The Russia-hating minister of immigration of Canada has been caught in a string of lies in his efforts to defend Canada's miserable record of refusing refugee applications from Syrian victims of the civil war in that country.

Chris Alexander has suspended his re-election campaign in a Toronto region district in Canada's October 19 federal election following revelations that he turned down a refugee application delivered directly to him in March of this year on behalf of the Syrian family whose tragedy has just exploded into international news.

Early on September 2, Abdullah and Rihan Kurdi boarded a boat at Bodrum, Turkey headed for the Greek island of Kos. With them were their two toddlers, Aylan, three, and Galip, five. Their boat and an accompanying boat sank shortly after leaving the Turkish coast. The mother and children…

Canada 'can move mountains' to save refugees

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[Harper said Canada would accept 10,000 Syrian refugees over three years. In the first half of 2015, BC settled a grand total of 32. Despite his weepy election-trail pronouncement of sympathy and the fact that the immigration department has the human resources to do much more, the Harper government is processing cases at a rate that guarantees they will not meet their commitment. See also: Our Private Sponsorship System Contributed to Alan Kurdi's Death and Refugee Mailouts From Tories Surface Online Amid Crisis In Syria and 'How To Sponsor A Syrian?' Is Canada's Top Google Query On Refugees. *RON*]

Jeff Nagel, Tri City News, 5 September 2015

B.C. took in just 72 government-assisted refugees from Syria over the past two and a half years and advocates say there's room for so many more.

They compare Canada's response to the current refugee crisis, in which Ottawa has pledged to take 10,000 Syrians spread out over three year…

Snowden: Others Get Prosecuted for what Hillary Clinton Did

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[The quality of the front-running candidates for the US Presidency is not cause for hope. See also: Clinton: Use of private email system not ‘best choice’ and Clintons personally paid State Department staffer to maintain server (!). *RON*]
Kim Zetter, Wired, 3 September 2015

THE NSA WAS sloppy about guarding its classified secrets from Edward Snowden, but no one at the agency is in danger of being prosecuted for that security lapse. What Hillary Clinton did with her private email server, however, is criminal, says Snowden.

If any other State Department or CIA employee were using a private email server to send details about the security of embassies, as Clinton is rumored to have done, as well as sensitive meetings with private US government officials and foreign officials over unclassified email systems, “they would not only lose their jobs and lose their clearance, they would very likely face prosecution for it,” the NSA whistleblower said in an…

Canada's job numbers barely treading water

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[Even though our population has grown, Canada is still almost a quarter of a million jobs down from where we were in 2009. Plus, wages have stagnated for such McJobs as there are. *RON*]
By Kaylie Tiiessen,, 4 September 2015

This week's GDP numbers confirmed that Canada experienced a recession in the first six months of 2015 and today's latest job numbers show Canadians looking for steady, good jobs have been feeling the pinch.

During the month of August, Canada created 12,000 new jobs -- switching out 42,000 part-time jobs for 54,000 full-time jobs. The unemployment rate increased 0.2 percentage points to seven per cent.

The real concern here is that the employment rate of 15-64 year olds has not yet returned to pre-recession levels. And job creation has barely kept up with population growth.

In fact, Canada needs to create almost 240,000 new jobs in order to regain the September 2008 employment rate of 73.5 per cent. The current e…

Canadian Court Opens Door to a $9.5 Billion Ecuadorean Pollution Claim Against Chevron

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[I'm sure the fact that this is certain to get Stephen Harper's goat but good is purely coincidental with respect to the Supreme Court's decision! *RON*]
Paul Barrett, Bloomberg, 4 September 2015

The 22-year legal campaign to hold Chevron liable for oil pollution in the Amazon in Ecuador will continue—now in Canada.

The Canadian Supreme Court ruled that Ecuadorean villagers may use Canada's courts to try to enforce a $9.5 billion judgment issued by an Ecuadorean trial court in 2011. Chevron claims that it, not the villagers, is the victim of unlawful conduct and has refused to pay up. The company has no assets that can be seized in Ecuador, so the plaintiffs are seeking to enforce the Ecuadorean judgment in Canada, where Chevron has extensive operations.

In a 37-page ruling, the Canadian Supreme Court said that country's judiciary has jurisdiction to hear the enforcement action. "Canadian courts, like many others, have adop…

Fossil Fuels Losing Cost Advantage Over Solar, Wind, IEA Says

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[We are running out of excuses. No single technology is cheapest under all circumstances; but renewable technologies are no longer cost outliers, International Energy Agency report says.]

Tara Patel, Bloomberg, 31 August 2015

The cost of producing electricity from renewable sources such as solar and wind has dropped significantly over the past five years, narrowing the gap with power generated from fossil fuels and nuclear reactors, according to the International Energy Agency.

“The costs of renewable technologies -- in particular solar photovoltaic -- have declined significantly over the past five years,” the Paris-based IEA said in a report called Projected Costs of Generating Electricity. “These technologies are no longer cost outliers.”

The median cost of producing so-called baseload power that is available all the time from natural gas, coal and atomic plants was about $100 a megawatt-hour for 2015 compared with about $200 for solar, which d…

How bad were things in Ferguson? Police officers tell their stories

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[A surprising open and honest appraisal of just how bad things got. *RON*]
By Matt Pearce, LA Times, 3 September 2015
As stressed-out officers policed last year's protests in Ferguson, Mo., it was sometimes hard for them to know who was in charge as more than 50 law enforcement agencies swarmed the suburb. Sometimes they had confusing directions.

When they got home, some argued with their spouses. Hackers stole officers' identities. As the streets seethed with anger for 17 days over an officer's shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown, authorities were exasperated by opportunistic burglars running amok.

RM2.6 billion is no ordinary donation, but ‘grand corruption’, says Transparency chief

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[This is the nation that Christy Clark is tripping over herself to make an LNG deal with (pardon my participle). Doesn't she feel even a little ashamed and a bit like a sucker? *RON*]

By Sheridan Hahavera, The Malaysian Insider, 4 September 2015

Despite Umno leaders dismissing the RM2.6 billion in Datuk Seri Najib Razak's bank accounts as not a big deal, Transparency International chairman Jose Ugaz said it has all the elements of "grand corruption".
The globally renowned anti-graft fighter said grand corruption has three characteristics: it is committed by those in very high positions of power, involves huge amount of money, and has an impact on human rights.

Speaking at the 16th International Anti-Corruption Conference (IACC) in Kuala Lumpur yesterday, Ugaz said the RM2.6 billion that Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak received in his personal bank accounts was an example of grand corruption.

The funds transfer, Ugaz said,…