Showing posts from November 10, 2015

Manhattan Project sites get National Park status

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[Interesting move; the Manhattan Project certainly redefined the 20th century. *RON*]

By Matthew Daily, Associated Press / PBS News, 10 November 2015
WASHINGTON — More than 70 years ago scientists working in secret created the atomic bomb that ended World War II and ushered the world into the nuclear age.

On Tuesday, Interior Secretary Sally Jewell and Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz formally established the Manhattan Project National Historical Park, as they sat in a federal building near the White House where plans for the bomb were developed.

The park preserves three sites where work on the bomb was completed: Oak Ridge, Tennessee; Hanford, Washington; and Los Alamos, New Mexico.

Jewell and Moniz say the park will not glorify war or nuclear weapons. It will tell the story of the three important historical sites and bring greater awareness of the development of nuclear energy and weapons to a worldwide audience.

Israel says EU is 'emboldening its enemies' with labelling plans

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[Binyamin Netanyahu says proposals to amend packaging on goods from settlements in Palestinian territories is tantamount to a boycott. 'Obviously people won't buy a product if they know it is from the Israeli settlements. Therefore it is anti-semitic not to hide this fact, and we demand that it not be allowed.' *RON*]
Peter Beaumont, The Guardian, 10 November 2015

Binyamin Netanyahu has written a strongly worded letter to the European parliament president, Martin Schulz, voicing concerns over a proposed EU move to label products from illegal Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories.

Netanyahu said the plan was “discriminatory” and “emboldening” those who seek to “eliminate Israel”. According to widespread reports in Israel, an announcement on labelling of settlement products is expected within days, perhaps as early as Wednesday, although late on Tuesday some sources in Brussels were suggesting a statement might be de…

Liberals inherit deficit that could jeopardize budget goals: study

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[Harper cooked the books and has left a structural debt that may make it impossible for Trudeau to keep his financial promises. *RON*]

Bill Curry, Globe and Mail, 10 November 2015

The new Liberal government is inheriting a structural deficit that could make it harder to return to balance by 2019-20, according to new economic and fiscal projections from the Parliamentary Budget Officer.

Tuesday’s PBO report is an effort to update the Conservative government’s April budget forecasts in light of the more recent developments in the economy, which has largely underperformed expectations.

The PBO report does not attempt to factor in the policy changes promised by the Liberal Party during the election campaign.

Simply updating the economic data would translate into a five-year string of deficits starting next year, according to the PBO.

B.C. human-rights complaint continues to percolate against Tim Hortons

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[Do you really want to buy that double-double? Human rights issues and abuses of the Temporary Foreign Worker program have been long-standing complaints against Tim Hortons. The is the same company that, just three days ago, was also in the press for pretending to the public that it recycles while actually dumping recyclables in the garbage. *RON*]
Keven Drews, Canadian Press / Vancouver Observer, 10 November 2015.

VANCOUVER — Canadian coffee giant Tim Hortons and franchise operators in two British Columbia communities have lost their bids to toss out separate human-rights complaints lodged by the United Steelworkers Union and Mexican workers.

In decisions posted online, the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal ruled recently that the complaint by the union on behalf of Filipino workers in Fernie, B.C., and parts of a separate complaint by Mexican workers in Dawson Creek, B.C., will proceed to hearings.

The complainants, employed under the Temporary Foreign …

Conservative aides lead list of those fined by ethics commissioner

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[Organizational attitudes start at the top and work their way down. Unsurprisingly, the Conservatives were the ones least concerned with upholding ethical standards and this failing had no discernible impact on their re-appointments. *RON*]
By Elizabeth Thompson | Nov 10, 2015 11:28 am |

Aides to former Prime Minister Stephen Harper and other cabinet ministers led the list of officials found guilty of failing to file reports under Canada’s Conflict of Interest Act over the past six years, according to a new study.

Moreover, the proportion of ministers or ministerial staff fined for not respecting the Conflict of Interest Act has risen steadily since 2012, accounting for 60 per cent of cases flagged by the ethics commissioner so far this year, according to data accumulated by law firm Fasken Martineau.

Overall, the number of officials who failed to file the requisite reports increased after the Conservatives formed a majority government, reaching a …

Canada's Newspapers Were In The Tank For Harper, Media Analysis Finds

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[95% of Canadian newspaper endorsements were for Harper in 2011, and 71% in 2015, putting them far to the right of the Canadian public. The mainstream media are the 1%. See also: Canadian publisher attacks rival for deciding who to support in election. *RON*]
By Daniel Tencer, Huffington Post, 10 November 2015

Canadian newspapers overwhelmingly supported Stephen Harper’s Conservatives in the past two elections, much more so than they would have if they had reflected public opinion, a new study finds.

The report from the Canadian Media Concentration Research Project found that 95 per cent of newspaper endorsements in the 2011 election went to Harper. That’s every daily in Canada that endorsed a party, except for the Toronto Star, which endorsed the NDP that year.

It was “roughly three times [Harper’s] standing in opinion polls at the time,” Carleton University Prof. Dwayne Winseck wrote in the report.

In the 2015 election, things weren’t quite as…

Portuguese MPs force minority government to quit over austerity

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[A leftist, anti-austerity alliance of socialists and communists has brought down the centre-right coalition government less than two weeks after their general election. *RON*]

Agencies in Lisbon, The Guardian, 10 November 2015
Portuguese MPs have forced a minority centre-right government to resign after rejecting its austerity policies less than two weeks after it was sworn in.

The coalition of the prime minister, Pedro Passos Coelho, had emerged as the largest party in a general election on 4 October but lost its outright majority in a public backlash against austerity measures adopted following a €78bn bailout in 2011.

The vote to bring it down follows the moderate Socialist party forming an unprecedented alliance with the Communists and their Left Bloc allies, giving the grouping 122 seats out of 230 in Portugal’s parliament.

Long working hours and risk of coronary heart disease and stroke: a systematic review and meta-analysis of published and unpublished data for 603 838 individuals

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[Via my friend Mary-Doug. "Employees who work long hours have a higher risk of stroke than those working standard hours; the association with coronary heart disease is weaker. These findings suggest that more attention should be paid to the management of vascular risk factors in individuals who work long hours." Compare this with the article we re-posted a couple of weeks ago in which Sweden has mandated a six-hour work day with full pay, and this one, in which a famed and independently wealthy Republican Presidential candidate who need never work a day in his life opines that American peasants employees do not work long and hard enough. *RON*]
Prof Mika Kivimäki, Markus Jokela, Solja T Nyberg, et al. Published Online:19 August 2015.
Open Access article distributed under the terms of CC BY. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

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Long working hours might increase the ri…