Tuesday, August 23, 2011

It Happened On a Tuesday

Occasionally, it does.

Canada declines an offer to attend Expo 2012 in South Korea because "it can't afford it":

Canada has officially declined an invitation from the South Korean government to participate in Expo 2012, saying it can't afford to attend the World's Fair.

Officials at the Korean embassy in Ottawa confirmed Tuesday they received a letter last month from Heritage Minister James Moore sending his regrets that Canada will not participate in the event.

Korean embassy spokesman Heon-jun Kim said the Republic of Korea tried its best to convince Canada to attend Expo 2012, but was not successful.

"We tried very hard to persuade them to participate in the event next year, but we have to respect their decision making," he said. "We are really sorry about that. We really worked hard to invite them."

Moore's July 14 letter said the federal government is committed to other things.

"At this time, our government is committed to a number of key domestic priorities, including a return to a balanced budget through stringent fiscal discipline that will prevent Canada's participation," said Moore's letter.....

James Maunder, Moore's director of communications, issued a statement about the government's Expo 2012 decision on behalf of Moore.

"Canadians elected us on our promise to return to balanced budgets," said the statement. "This requires difficult decisions. One of those decisions was Canada's participation in Expo 2012. We carefully reviewed the proposal and will not be participating."

A Harris-Decima report commissioned for Heritage Canada following Canada's participation in Expo 2010 in Shanghai, China indicated that Canada is not a top draw at world expositions.

Expo 2010 was attended by 246 countries and international organizations, including a record 73 million visitors, but Canada was not viewed as a priority stop for visitors, said the report.

The pavilions for Japan, United States, France, Germany and England were the major draws, said the report.

Interest in the Canadian pavilion did increase, however, when world-renowned Canadian performers Cirque de Soleil arrived, the report said.

"The shallow understanding of Canada, of Canadians and what is unique about Canada hinders top-of-mind interest in visiting the Canadian pavilion," said the report.

(Sidebar: Really? Would it be Trudeau or those Canadian flags douchebags sew on their backpacks?)

Vancouver businessman David Sinclair said he is working with Korean and Canadian business officials in an effort to overturn the decision.

He says Korean officials he has talked to are offended Canada has rejected the invitation, but are holding a spot for Canada at the fair grounds until next month in case the government changes its mind.

Sinclair builds pavilions for major events, including World's Fairs.

Sinclair said he finds the decision counterproductive at a time when Canada is negotiating a free-trade deal with South Korea and working to improve trade ties with Asian countries.

Oh really? You can afford to give an extra $60 million to the CBC (with a1.7 billion dollar operating budget) and a state funeral to Jack Layton. Way to screw an Asian trading partner that ISN'T China, Canada!

The Koreans: they know how to defeat the Decepticons. Find out how and more at Expo 2012!

Somewhat related: Christie Blatchford on the glorification of an ex-NDP leader and the sad, sick parody post-modern civilisation has made out of grief and sadness. Remember when things used to be dignified? Now we have some quasi-pagan, vulgar display of false grief, teddy bears and really, really bad poetry.

Now, some good poetry by Emily Dickinson.


Graffiti targeting Mayor Rob Ford stopped the new Toronto Rocket in its tracks on Tuesday.

The TTC had to take one of the new Toronto Rocket subway trains out of service after someone spray painted “F*** Rob Ford” inside the train.

Once the graffiti was done, the vandal also spray painted an on-board security camera. When TTC staff were alerted, the train was taken out of service.

We can't all be DB Cooper.

There is a reason why Obama doesn't let Biden out often:

Under fire from angry Republicans, US Vice President Joe Biden's office said Tuesday that he firmly opposes "repugnant" Chinese population control practices like "forced abortion and sterilization."

"The Obama Administration strongly opposes all aspects of China's coercive birth limitation policies, including forced abortion and sterilization," Biden spokeswoman Kendra Barkoff told AFP by email.

"The Vice President believes such practices are repugnant," she said after Republican White House candidates blasted Biden for recent comments he made about Beijing's "one-child" population control policy during a visit to China.

Biden told an audience at Sichuan University in Chengdu, China, Sunday that "your policy has been one which I fully understand -- I'm not second-guessing -- of one child per family."

Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, a leading candidate for the Republican nod to take on President Barack Obama in November 2012 elections, on Tuesday accused Biden of "condoning" a "gruesome and barbaric" policy.

"There can be no defense of a government that engages in compulsory sterilization and forced abortions in the name of population control," he said, charging that Biden's comments "should shock the conscience of every American."

Tough German lady fights off burglars with a cane:

A feisty 90-year-old German woman chased away three would-be burglars from her rural farmhouse with her cane, police said on Monday.

The retired farmer was moving around her house with the help of a walking frame and spotted the intruders -- two men and one woman.
She grabbed her cane and started beating the burglars with it. The trio fled the house in a town outside Muenster.

Nicely done.

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