Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Mid-Week Post

Water, water, every where,
And all the boards did shrink;
Water, water, every where,
Nor any drop to drink.

(The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, Samuel Taylor Coleridge)

A University of Toronto professor who advised Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne's transition team is facing five child porn-related charges, including making and distributing child pornography, after an investigation involving New Zealand police.

Investigators with the Toronto Police Service's sex crimes unit arrested Benjamin Levin, 61, at his home near Lawrence Avenue West and Avenue Road on Monday morning.

He is charged with two counts of distributing child pornography, one count of making child pornography and another count of counselling to commit an indictable offence. He is also charged with agreeing to, or arranging, a sexual offence against a child under 16.

A spokesperson in the premier's office told CBC News that Levin's work with the Transition Advisory Team, which helped Wynne move from being an MPP to premier, was completed in early June.

Levin was also a former deputy minister of education under the Ontario Liberals led by former premier Dalton McGuinty McGuinty, serving in that post from 2004-09.

The lawyer for one of two Surrey, B.C., residents accused of planning to bomb the province's legislature on Canada Day says the case has elements of entrapment.

Alleged Canada Day bomb plot targeted B.C. legislature John Stewart Nuttall and Amanda Korody were charged earlier this month with knowingly facilitating a terrorist activity, making or possessing an explosive device and conspiracy to place an explosive device with the intent to cause death or injury. Court documents show Korody and Nuttall are each facing an additional charge of conspiracy to murder persons unknown.

Nuttall and Korody briefly appeared in court in B.C. provincial court in Surrey Tuesday morning as provincial court charges against the pair were stayed so the case can move to B.C. Supreme Court for a direct indictment.

Speaking outside the courtroom, Nuttall's lawyer Tom Morino alluded to U.S. police forces being involved in the investigation, but said it could be tough to prove whether police set a trap for the pair.

"Entrapment is a very high hurdle to clear," he said. "I think it's safe to assume there were certain elements of that. Whether or not that officially constitutes the legal definition of entrapment, that remains to be seen."

Morino says he'll ask for a four-week to six-week adjournment after the pair is indicted in B.C. Supreme Court on Wednesday.

Nuttall and Korody smiled at each other in court, and Nuttall appeared to be clutching a Qur'an.

Nuttall, 38, and Korody, who is 28 or 29, are alleged to have turned ordinary pressure cookers into improvised explosive devices filled with rusted nails, nuts, bolts and washers.

Accused Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev pleaded not guilty to setting off a pair of homemade pressure-cooker bombs along with his brother at the race's crowded finish on April 15.

What honesty from a Hollywood celebrity should sound like:

I enjoy earning twenty million dollars for every film I make, even if the film is utter crap and tanks at the box-office. Seriously- I’ve maybe made three movies I’m actually proud of in my entire career and the rest are complete rubbish. I don’t let that get to me because I know there are people who will stand in line and pay to see whatever I’m in. And, yes- I LOVE spending the scads of cash I get on big houses, parties and the white tigers I love so darn much. Money can buy that. I mean- is a cigar still a cigar if it isn’t lit with a hundred dollar bill? I say not. Yeah, I give some money to charity. What of it? Spend a few million on a mansion I don’t need and then balance it out with a million dollars over here to help the starving kids. Don’t you wish YOU could do that?

Actor Chris Evans of The Avengers fame is richer than most. The handsome star is part of two major Marvel franchises--the aforementioned super-group series as well as Captain America.

He recently plunked down $3.52 million for a nearly 4,600 square foot estate in Hollywood Hills, according to the May 27 issue of US Weekly.

Evans will soon be seen in Snowpiercer, Hollywood's latest film demonizing the rich. The movie is set in a future where the well-to-do live in a posh portion of a train circling our doomed planet while the poor are left to a bleak compartment.

Celebrity Apartheid matters.

Chile's president praised an 11-year-old girl Tuesday for her "depth and maturity" after she said in a recent TV interview that she wants to give birth to the baby who was conceived when she was raped by her mother's partner.

President Sebastian Pinera's comments caused anger on social media in a case that has ignited a heated national debate over abortion in one of Latin America's most socially-conservative nations. Abortions, even for medical reasons and in the case of rape, are illegal since general Augusto Pinochet's dictatorship.

One would think that anger would be reserved for the pervert who did this to her.

China has banned its trawlers from fishing in waters off the eastern coast of North Korea, due to a dispute over fuel supplies, the latest irritant in ties between the often uneasy allies.

North Korea decided last month that Chinese ships operating legally in its waters had to buy fuel from its suppliers rather than making their own arrangements as in the past, the Chinese government said late on Monday.

"Our fishing boat owners and companies believe this decision by North Korea will affect normal fishing operations and safety, creating risks and dangers," the government said on its main website (, citing the agriculture ministry.

Waters to the east of North Korea are also especially risky due to the "complex, changeable situation on the Korean peninsula" and their proximity to Russia, Japan and South Korea, the government added.

"Many of our fishing boats operate in North Korean (waters) and if they are not properly managed or well-organised then diplomatic incidents can easily occur," it said.

China doesn't like taking guff from its vassal state.

North Korea said on Wednesday that it would not give up its nuclear deterrent until the United States ends its "hostile policy" towards Pyongyang, but that it was ready to revive international talks on its nuclear program frozen since 2008.

The US (if it had a real leader) should point-blank refuse to deal with North Korea until it can tour its countryside and nuclear weapons' making facilities.

Damn, it feels good to be a yakuza:

Japan's biggest yakuza organised crime group has published a magazine for its members that includes a poetry page and senior gangsters' fishing diaries, reports said Wednesday.

And now, the Calgary Corgi Stampede and a few husky puppies just because.

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