North Korea's ailing leader Kim Jong-il gave his youngest son his first public title on Tuesday, naming him a general in a move analysts said marked the first stage of dynastic succession in the secretive state.
State media mentioned Kim Jong-un for the first time by name, but without identifying him as the son of the iron ruler, hours before the start of a rare ruling party meeting to elect its supreme leadership.
Kim Jong-il, 68, is believed to have suffered a stroke in 2008, but despite declining health shows no sign of relaxing his grip on power, underlined by his reappointment on Tuesday as secretary-general of the Workers' Party.
Experts say his son is too young and inexperienced to fully take the reins.
"As expected, the dynastic transition is becoming public. So far, they are following the pattern we saw in the 1970s when Kim Jong-il himself was moving to become the new Dear Leader," said Andrei Lankov of Kookmin University.
"The difference is that this time they seem to be in a great hurry."
Regional powers are watching the party conference, the biggest meeting of its kind for 30 years, for any sign of change in the destitute state's policies.
"I would like to carefully watch North Korea's internal situation," Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan said.
Financial markets see the preferred outcome of the meeting as a continuation of the current system and relative stability, even though the economy is in near ruin and the internationally ostracized government is trying to build a nuclear arsenal.
The biggest fear is that the country could collapse, triggering a flood of refugees or even fighting on the divided peninsula. That could hit hard the economies of neighboring South Korea, China and Japan which together account for about 20 percent of global economic output.
Experts warn of potential infighting over the rise of the unproven young Kim.
"Succession of power may lead to factional fighting and incur tremendous economic cost that will make the Korean peninsula a powder keg," said Shotaro Yachi, a special envoy for the Japanese government and former vice minister for foreign affairs.
It is said that the inexperienced Kim Jong-Un faces rivals in the military. The installation of the third son is only avoid a power vacuum and possibly a bloodbath. I believe that might happen anyway. North Korea is a dying country. China must be desperate to want to hang onto it. Even as a buffer state between the American-backed South Korea and Japan (China's erstwhile whipping boy), the rate of defectors, starving people and bleeding economy make it a lemon no one can afford to hang onto. I think South Korea had better prepare a contingency plan for when the dam breaks.
Freed dhimmi of the year:
Sarah Shourd who was recently released following to Iran’s benevolent decision, returned to the U.S. ‘I hope that my arrest lead to close relations between Iran and America.’ She said during a press interview in Washington. Sarah Shourd was arrested last year along with two companions in Iran’s border with Iraq.
‘This event could be an occasion to strengthen the peace in the world as well as improving the relations between Iran and America.’ Sarah Shourd announced in an interview with Al-Jazeera news network, insisting on Iranians’ benevolence such as their pacifism.
‘We can get into conversation with kind, pacifist and philanthropist Iranian people who live relying on Islamic values.’ She added.
Shourd has stayed out of the public eye since being embraced by her mother at a special royal airfield. Few details have emerged of her first days of freedom apart from going to a medical exam and a private tour Saturday of the Grand Mosque in Muscat.
She said she hoped to return someday with Bauer and Fattal — adding the common phrase "Inshallah" or "God willing" in Arabic. A crowd of international media was on hand for her statement in a VIP room with chandeliers and carved wooden doors, but she did not take questions.
Unfortunately, the weird ones are no longer afraid of daylight. Court strikes down anti-prostitution laws:
A court decision striking down key provisions of Canada's prostitution law is being hailed as an emancipation for sex-trade workers.
The Ontario Superior Court ruled today the laws are unconstitutional because they're contributing to the danger faced by sex-trade workers.
The judge found that laws against keeping a common bawdy house, communicating for the purposes of prostitution and living on the avails of the trade "are not in accord with the principles of fundamental justice."
Dominatrix Terri-Jean Bedford says it's like emancipation day for sex-trade workers.
Bedford, one of the women behind the challenge, says the ball is now in Prime Minister Stephen Harper's court.
In her ruling, Justice Susan Himel said it now falls to Parliament to "fashion corrective action."
"It is my view that in the meantime these unconstitutional provisions should be of no force and effect, particularly given the seriousness of the charter violations," Himel wrote.
"However, I also recognize that a consequence of this decision may be that unlicensed brothels may be operated, and in a way that may not be in the public interest."
While the ruling strikes down those key Criminal Code offences — which deal with adult prostitution — it does not affect provisions dealing with people under 18.
Prostitution was not illegal in Canada, but the Ontario Superior Court struck down three provisions that criminalized most aspects of prostitution.
"These laws, individually and together, force prostitutes to choose between their liberty interest and their right to security of the person as protected under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms," Himel wrote her in decision.
These women have opened up the floodgates of forced prostitution and commercialization of the human body. They've taken it upon themselves to normalise the abuse of women and minors. Let us not pretend this the ultimate libertarian dream or "Pretty Woman". In 2006, an Angus Reid poll suggested that sixty-eight percent found that prostitution was "immoral". In Winnipeg, children as young as eight years old (usually aboriginal) walked the streets, selling themselves. Rape crisis centres, such as one in Vancouver, have pointed out the flaws in legalising prostitution. An estimated seventy-nine percent of trafficked people were subject to sexual exploitation. Allowing this dignifies the abuse of women and children and gives a carte blanche to those who would sell people. Who would monitor these things closely? Judge Himel has given yet another reason why judges should be elected by the public and not appointed.
Naked man challenges anti-nudity laws:
An Ontario man who court heard went through fast food drive-thrus while naked and pretended to get a wallet out of his non-existent back pocket is challenging Canada's nudity laws as unconstitutional.
Brian Coldin is facing five charges for incidents near a clothing-optional resort he operates in Bracebridge, Ont., and incidents at an A&W and a Tim Hortons.
The laws infringe upon charter rights and suggest that somebody in a state of undress in a changing house at a public beach could be criminally charged, Coldin's lawyer Clayton Ruby said outside court.
"This pretty clearly limits the expression of a naturist, somebody who wants to have a relationship with the world that is without impediment," he said.
Ruby said the laws should be struck down so Parliament can tailor them, if it so chooses, because right now they're overly broad.
One witness wept while testifying about seeing Coldin nude at a drive-thru. Another witness testified about his children being upset by seeing Coldin near his resort.
But Ruby suggested no real harm came to them, as they didn't seek counselling.
"If someone's annoyed, well that's just too bad," Ruby said outside court. “That's not what the criminal law is concerned about."
Coldin, a slim man wearing a baggy suit, suggested the witness and the children were crying about other things and not his nudity. At his resort people seem more uncomfortable when a Muslim woman is swimming in the pool wearing a burka than when people are swimming completely nude, he said outside court.
"We shouldn't prosecute or harass a Muslim lady for wearing all her clothes in a pool... and why should we prosecute a naturist for being in a state God created us in?" Coldin said.
What's worse is the shame people feel about their bodies that make them uncomfortable with nudity in the first place, he suggested.
"That's disgusting," he said. "Talk about mental abuse."
In Canada it is illegal to be nude in a public place, or while on private property but exposed to public view.
Under the Criminal Code, a "person is nude who is so clad as to offend against public decency." The attorney general's consent is needed to proceed with prosecution.
Another case of an over-confident yet unattractive guy making others uncomfortable and invoking the idea of liberty so as to make others sick. Also keep in mind that Clayton Ruby (whose consideration for others appears to be be nil) defended Tony Dooley, who beat his son, Randal, to death and stepped up to bat for Abdurahman Khadr and a G20 "protester" (among other things). Apparently, nothing makes him ill.
Schools in Saskatoon will no longer penalise students who plagiarise or turn in an assignment late:
Why not just give them a judicial position in Quebec?
Actually, Quebec is a really nice province; it's just the politicians, judges and corporate yahoos who are jerks.
And now, bunny noses.