Showing posts from September 9, 2015

R2P at 10: Looking beyond military intervention

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["...R2P does not begin and end with military intervention." An older article but timely. On the real meaning of Responsibility to Protect: providing asylum should be just as valued as a response in R2P cases, including the Syrian crisis. *RON*]
Jason Ralph,, 21 May 2015

In his 2015 book R2P: A Defense, Alex Bellamy warns us that by operating in the “realm of the imminently possible” we become unaware of “the blind spots in our thinking.” The 10th anniversary of the World Summit provides a moment to reflect on R2P’s blind spots. The refugee crisis in the Mediterranean and elsewhere makes that task depressingly easy.

Few commentators talk about asylum in the context of R2P. This is despite the fact that, as scholars Brian Barbour and Brian Gorlick put it, “[t]here may be no easier way for the international community to meet its responsibility to protect than by providing asylum and other international protection on adequat…

Kim Davis reacts to her release

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CNN, 9 September 2015

[Welcome to the Land of the Ayatollahs. *RON*]

Oregon judge accused of blocking gay marriage applicants, hanging Hitler picture

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[Xenophobia on the rise. *RON*]

By Shelby Sebens, Reuters, 8 September 2015

An Oregon judge who refused to perform same-sex marriages is facing multiple complaints in a state ethics investigation, including that he put up a picture of Adolf Hitler in the Salem courthouse, a state judicial commission said on Tuesday.

Marion County Circuit Court Judge Vance Day is facing an ethics review for screening wedding applicants for gay couples and then refusing to perform the marriages, according to a notice by the Commission on Judicial Fitness and Disability.

A U.S. Supreme Court decision in late June legalized same-sex marriage in all 50 states, but a small number of elected clerks and lower-court judges have voiced opposition on religious grounds, including Kentucky county clerk Kim Davis who was released from jail on Tuesday after refusing to issue same-sex marriage licenses.

In addition to the wedding refusal, Day faces complaints of putting up a pictu…

Oil sector 'has lost 65,000 jobs'

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[Realistic expectations of job creation from oil and gas projects were already low. Now we can see they will be negligible for the foreseeable future. Christy and Stephen, are you listening? *RON*]
BBC News, 9 September 2015
The contraction of Britain's offshore oil sector has already stripped out 65,000 jobs, according to a new report.

The calculation of a 15% drop since the start of last year came from the annual economic impact report of trade body Oil and Gas UK.

It said the number of jobs supported by direct, supply chain and indirect employment had fallen from 440,000 to 375,000.

The cuts came as operating expenditure on existing assets was slashed.

About £800m (8%) of costs have been cut this year and a further £1.3bn (14%) is planned for next year.

Decision in Microsoft case could set dangerous global precedent, experts say

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[US dreams of empire. What does national sovereignty mean in the cloud? "A verdict against the company could be troubling, legal experts warn, as governments consider whether they can require tech firms to reveal private data." *RON*]
Sam Thielman, The Guardian, 9 September 2015
The US government takes on Microsoft in a Manhattan court on Wednesday morning – and if the verdict goes badly for the software giant, the decision could set a dangerous legal precedent across the world, experts warn.

The long-running case concerns a single Hotmail email account, stored on a Microsoft server in Ireland and of interest to the Department of Justice (DoJ), which tried to force Microsoft to recover the emails from its foreign facilities without working with the Irish police.

The case associated with the email account involves narcotics. But the decision about the validity of the DoJ’s warrant could signal to national governments across the globe wheth…

Syrian Refugees Settling In B.C. Get $1-Million Pledge From Province

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[While this is better than nothing, the purpose is mainly to score political points: this is equivalent to the cost of sponsoring a couple of dozen refugees for one year. "You're welcome, British Columbians - it's the least I could do!" says Clark, winking at the cameras. *RON*]
By Geordon Omand, Canadian Press / Huffington Post, 8 September 2015

VANCOUVER — As British Columbia joins other provinces pledging support for displaced Syrians, an immigration expert says that calls for Canada to accept more refugees fail to address the crucial question of who would foot the bill.

University of Toronto sociology professor Monica Boyd said such requests amount to asking the federal government to pay the tab — about $35,000 per refugee family in the first year.

But the topic of funding is absent from the discussion taking place publicly between a growing list of provinces and Ottawa, she noted.

"They're having a conversation in…

How Harper Sows Fear of Muslims in Pursuit of Votes

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[The politics of xenophobia, or, pandering to the nut-bar base. See also: Harper Supporters Heckle Journalists Asking About Feds' Handling Of Refugee Crisis.*RON*]

Faisal Kutty, Huffington Post, 9 September 2015

The past year has been a very active one for the anti-Islam industry in Canada. Leading the charge is none other than Prime Minister Stephen Harper who -- in gearing up to the elections in October 2015 -- has been stoking Islamophobia by pandering to public unease about Muslims. In addition to going after Muslim charities organizations (allegedly defaming NCCM, for instance) and even religious symbols, his jihad against "radical Islam" and search for terrorists under every Muslim bed has profoundly altered the Canadian legal landscape.

Indeed, the bastion of multiculturalism and tolerance witnessed a slew of legislative and policy directives -- overtly or covertly -- targeting Muslims. Due to space limitations, this article …

Water licence for northeast B.C. fracking operation cancelled

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[Cool! Fort Nelson First Nation wins an important ruling against Nexen. Who's on this panel, and how did they get there? Will the province and Nexen fight it? Will other Aboriginal groups bring a bunch of similar cases forward? See also: CNOOC executive under investigation in China for graft (the former deputy general manager of state-owned China National Offshore Oil Corp (CNOOC) is under criminal investigation for accepting bribes). *RON*]

By Gordon Hoekstra, Vancouver Sun, 8 September 2015

The Fort Nelson First Nation has won a potentially precedent-setting decision from the B.C. Environmental Appeal Board that cancels the water licence of a natural gas fracking operation in northeast B.C.

The appeal board — in a decision that took 20 months to deliver — concluded the science behind the licence was fundamentally flawed and the province did not consult the First Nation in good faith.

Both the province and the company involved, Nexen, had argu…