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Showing posts from January 15, 2016

European salmon virus present in B.C. wild salmon, study claims

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[BC Salmon Farmers Association, naturally, disputes everything. *RON*]
Vancouver Observer, 14 January 2016

A study with 'first published evidence that a European variant of the infectious salmon anaemia virus (ISAV) is present in British Columbia is extremely disturbing,' a news release from the Ahousaht First Nation says.

Dr. Alexandra Morton, a biologist with Raincoast Research Society, stated, “This work gives B.C. and our U.S. neighbours the opportunity to avoid tragic consequences.”

“I’m so glad to see this paper finally published. I produced a documentary about exactly this issue in 2013 called Salmon Confidential which documents evidence of dangerous European salmon viruses including ISAV which have been introduced to our wild Pacific salmon through farmed Atlantic salmon eggs imported from Europe ,” added filmmaker Twyla Roscovich. "The film is free to view online for anyone interested in the backstory.”

The peer-reviewed study…

B.C.'s Failure to Consult First Nations Sets Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline Back to Square One

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[Another major setback for Northern Gateway. *RON*]

By Carol Linnitt, DeSmog Blog, 13 January 2016
The provincial government did not fulfill its legal obligation to consult with First Nations on the Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline, the B.C. Supreme Court ruled Wednesday.

The case, brought forward by the Gitga’at and other coastal First Nations, argued the province erred when it handed over decision-making authority for the project to the federal government under a provincial-federal Joint Review Process managed by the federal National Energy Board.

B.C. granted Ottawa authority over the project’s environmental review in a 2010 equivalency agreement. That agreement, however, did not release the province from the legal duty to consult First Nations, the B.C. Supreme Court found.

“It’s a very significant ruling,” Elin Sigurdson, lawyer with JFK Law, said. “The coastal First Nations and Gita’at were very successful in the application to quash the equ…

Crippled Canadian dollar in free-fall, plunges below 69¢

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["A cut in the key rate from 0.5 per cent isn't fully 'priced into' the market, [RBC strategist Adam Cole] warned, which means the loonie’s freefall could speed up even more should the Bank of Canada act. 'If they do cut, we could be well... tumble below 69 cents. 'Conversely, if they don’t, I don’t see much of a recovery.'" *RON*]

Michael Babad, The Globe & Mail, 15 January 2016
Canadian dollar tumbles

The loonie is in free-fall, sinking below 69 cents (U.S.) this morning. And watch out if the Bank of Canada cuts its benchmark interest rate again next week.

The embattled currency tumbled to as low as 68.75 cents, having been as high as 69.72 cents. It rallied to just above 69 cents just after North American stock markets opened, having closed out yesterday at 69.6 cents.

There was a “huge move” in the Canadian dollar just around the time the London market was opening, said Royal Bank of Canada currency strategis…

Uber is getting dangerously close to undermining its own business model

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[The 'sharing economy' and the crapification of labour. The incentives and constraints that Uber sets for its 'independent contractors' (most recently by stealthily coaxing them into working shifts) are making it harder and harder for them to argue - as they are being forced to in court - that these are not 'employees.' *RON*]

By Alison Griswold, Quartz, 12 January 2016

Consult the fine print on Uber’s new earnings guarantees for drivers in more than 100 US and Canadian cities where the ride-hailing servicecut fares this month, and you’ll notice an interesting pattern.

The data above is from SherpaShare, a research and analytics platform for on-demand workers. In each of the 11 cities SherpaShare has detailson, the guarantees vary by time and day of the week—with the highest amounts reserved for periods when demand tends to be higher: Morning rush, evening rush, weekend nights.

That makes sense! Uber expects to get more rid…

Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement: Currency manipulation, trade, wages, and job loss

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[Currency manipulation by Asian nations, China and Japan in particular, is a major cause of the US trade imbalance and job loss. TPP will not help this, and any benefits it may purport to bring will be nullified by its failure to address currency manipulation. In any case, put bluntly, "The TPP isn’t principally about free trade, it’s about providing increased protection for intellectual property rights for pharmaceutical makers, software vendors and others, and stronger property rights for foreign investors, which encourages outsourcing, job loss and the decline in labor’s share of national income." See also: The troubling link between health care and intellectual property in the TPP. *RON*]

By Robert E. Scott, Economic Policy Institute, 13 January 2016

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Summary

Currency manipulation distorts trade flows by artificially lowering the cost of U.S. imports and raising the cost of U.S. exports, and is the leading cause of stubb…

Al Jazeera America to shut down in April

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[Happily, the online version will continue. There are many stories at Al Jazeera that do not get reported elsewhere. "The channel's end appears to have been prompted by the plunging price of oil, which dropped below $30 a barrel on Tuesday for the first time in 12 years. That's significant because Al Jazeera America is owned by Al Jazeera Media Group, which in turn is owned by the government of Qatar." *RON*]

by Tom Kludt and Brian Stelter,   @CNNMoney, 13 January 2016


Al Jazeera America will soon shut down

The ambitious but little-watched Al Jazeera America news channel will shut down on April 30 after a little more than two years on television.

The news was announced at a sudden staff-wide meeting on Wednesday afternoon. As many as 700 staff members could lose their jobs, according to sources at the company.

"There are executives here in tears," said one senior staffer.

One of those executives was Kate O'Brian, …

Time might flow backwards as well as forwards from the big bang

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[I like to read one popular book on current physics every few years - that's as much as my self-esteem can handle - I never understand any of it! In the multiverse, pocket universes could be born with clashing directions of time – the evolving future of one could happen in the rewinding past of another. *RON*]

By Joshua Sokol, New Scientist, Magazine issue 3056 published 16 January 2016.


DON’T pity those in the past – in their own way, they might have a lot to look forward to. From our perspective, events in some universes may seem to unfold backwards. That implies there could be alternate worlds whose future is actually even further in our distant past.

This trippy idea has been suggested before, often with very specific caveats. In 2004, Sean Carroll, now at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, showed it could apply, but only if complex and unlikely physics was involved.

Now Carroll and cosmologist Alan Guth of the Massachusetts…

'Kudatah' against Notley's NDP government sparks social media hilarity

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[This gave me a smile this morning, which has got to be good for something! Anti-NDP Facebook commenter misspells coup d’état. But I still don't know what #ableg means. *RON*]

CBC News, 13 January 2016

Satirical #kudatah Facebook group

(Note: CBC does not endorse and is not responsible for the content of external links.)

The call for a "kudatah" against Alberta Premier Rachel Notley's NDP government has sparked hilarious reaction online, following a Facebook comment that used an interesting spelling of coup d'état.