Friday, December 06, 2013

Friday Post

To close the week...

Nelson Mandela is dead. Discuss: love and comfort for dictators, communism and terrorism, the sad state of South Africa and necklacing.

Related: Rob Anders stands apart from the pretentious, adoring crowd.

Wind turbines: useless energy-makers and now bald eagle killers:

Under pressure from the wind-power industry, the Obama administration said Friday it will allow companies to kill or injure eagles without the fear of prosecution for up to three decades.

(Sidebar: under pressure, my @$$.)

The new rule is designed to address environmental consequences that stand in the way of the nation's wind energy rush: the dozens of bald and golden eagles being killed each year by the giant, spinning blades of wind turbines.

An investigation by The Associated Press earlier this year documented the illegal killing of eagles around wind farms, the Obama administration's reluctance to prosecute such cases and its willingness to help keep the scope of the eagle deaths secret. President Barack Obama has championed the pollution-free energy, nearly doubling America's wind power in his first term as a way to tackle global warming.
The US no longer welcomes Sam the Eagle.

A high-level North Korean defection never looks good and wouldn't be good if the world got off its duff and did something about the rogue state:

North Korea could be facing its most serious defection in 15 years as South Korean media said on Friday that a man who managed funds for the ousted uncle of leader Kim Jong Un had fled the isolated country and sought asylum in South Korea.

The aide, who was not named, was being protected by South Korean officials in a secret location in China, cable news network YTN and Kyunghyang Shinmun newspaper said, citing sources familiar with the matter.
South Korea's National Intelligence Service (NIS) had no knowledge of the defection, lawmakers said in Seoul after they were briefed by the head of the spy agency.

U.S. national security officials said the United States is aware of the reports about the aide but cannot substantiate them.

YTN said the man managed funds for Jang Song Thaek, whose marriage to Kim's aunt and proximity to the young leader made him one of the most powerful men in North Korea.

Jang was relieved of his posts last month, according to the NIS, and the television network said the sacking could have followed the aide's defection.

YTN said the aide also had knowledge of funds belonging to Kim and his father, former North Korean leader Kim Jong Il. If true, the defection would likely be the first time in 15 years a significant insider from the Pyongyang regime has switched sides.

Call it what it really is- prostitution:

Sara has stopped listening to news from her hometown, Homs, one of the most heavily bombarded cities in Syria’s civil war. Instead, the 17-year-old waits for word of her husband, Fuad, a Saudi national 25 years her senior.

Last October, Fuad paid her family a hefty dowry of 4,000 Jordanian Dinars ($5,600). He then brought her from the sprawling Zaatari refugee camp near the Syrian border to live with him in the capital, Amman. After their desperate flight from Syria, a better life, he promised, awaited her and her family in Saudi Arabia

But after just a month and half, Fuad left without a word, disconnected his Jordanian cellphone, and left the family “alone here, suffering poverty and neglect,” says Sara’s mother, Arij.

Since the Syrian conflict began in March 2011, more than 1.2 million refugees have poured into neighboring countries, of whom 70 percent are women and children, according to UN estimates. Also showing up in refugee centers: Arab men on the hunt for child brides. 

Aid workers and refugees say that vulnerable teenage women are at risk of sexual exploitation under the pretense of marriage. These marriages are often not consensual, lack legal standing, and can lead to abandonment­–as in Sara’s case–or far worse outcomes, including forced prostitution.

People are foul:

The Lower Mainland's South Asian community is calling for police to investigate online photos showing a man urinating on the Vancouver memorial for those detained in 1914 Komagata Maru incident.

Canada makes its bid for the North Pole at the toothless UN:

The culmination of that research - and a more recent push to generate geological maps, and to map and survey the Arctic polar shelf - is Canada's first formal claim this week to the Arctic Ocean seabed.

The submission to the United Nations aims to secure international recognition of our sovereign rights to resources on and under the continental shelf that extends past 200 nautical miles (370 km) from the coast.

It could give Canada access to a bonanza of resource wealth being opened by climate change. One estimate suggests 22% of the world's oil and gas could be locked in the remote seabed.

The claim would add about 1.75 million square kms to Canada's territory - a region roughly the size of Alaska, or our three prairie provinces - although the full details of the submission aren't yet public.

If Justin Trudeau watched The Walking Dead, he would know damn well what Vladimir Putin would do to Santa Claus.

(Many thumbs up)

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