Monday, June 30, 2014

Monday Post

Quickly now...

You say it like it's a bad thing:

The Harper government is snubbing officials from a select group of pariah states, ordering its diplomatic missions around the world not to invite them to receptions celebrating Canada Day on July 1.

Should there be a reason to legitimise nations whose human rights abuses are well-known and little resolved?

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford publicly acknowledged his substance abuse problem and apologised:

Mayor Rob Ford ended two months of self-imposed exile Monday when he returned to City Hall from a stint in rehab to resume what mayoral duties he still has, apologizing for his past offensive behaviour, pleading for a second chance, and promising an "unwavering" commitment to living clean.

In a nearly 20-minute statement, Ford spoke passionately of his addictions and his belated realization that they were destroying him.

"For a long, long time, I resisted the idea of getting help," Ford said. "I was in complete denial. I had become my own worst enemy."

Ford heaped praise on the rehabilitation facility he entered two months ago for saving his life and forcing him to "confront his personal demons."

He said he knows he will require treatment for the rest of his life but that getting help had changed him forever.

"I can proudly say I have begun the process of taking control of my life," Ford said.

Ford's role as mayor has been largely symbolic since November, when city council stripped him of most of his power following his admissions of alcohol abuse and drug use during "drunken stupors" that came after months of denials — along with offensive and profane comments he was recorded making.

The mayor apologized to those hurt by his words and actions, saying he regretted some of his past choices but said he blamed no one but himself for his misconduct.

Looking back, he said, "I'm ashamed, embarrassed and humiliated."

The mayor also made it clear he would stay on as mayor and fight for re-election in October.

Flooding in Manitoba:

The Manitoba government says it will start operating the Red River Floodway tomorrow to protect homes in Winnipeg from overland flooding that has forced at least 200 people out of their homes in other parts of the province ...

The southwestern corner of Manitoba, near the Saskatchewan border, has been pummelled by rain since Friday with amounts as high as 151 millimetres.

Israel has found the bodies of three teen-agers kidnapped over two weeks ago:

The bodies of three missing Israeli teenagers were found in the occupied West Bank, and Israel vowed to punish Hamas, the Palestinian group it accuses of abducting and killing them.

"They were kidnapped and murdered in cold blood by beasts," Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a statement after the military discovered on Monday the remains of the Jewish seminary students who disappeared on June 12.

"Hamas is responsible and Hamas will pay," he said.

It's time for Israel to make Hamas regret its child-killing hubris.

Much to the dismay of the perpetually foot-stompy, the US Supreme Court ruled in a 5-4 decision that private businesses with objections do not have to pay for employees' contraception.

North Korea flexes its totalitarian yet impotent muscles by promising to try two American tourists:

(Sidebar: why tour North Korea?)

North Korea said Monday it is preparing to try two Americans who entered the country as tourists for carrying out what it says were hostile acts against it.

Investigations into Americans Matthew Todd Miller and Jeffrey Edward Fowle concluded that suspicions about their hostile acts have been confirmed by evidence and their testimonies, Pyongyang's official Korean Central News Agency said in a short report.

KCNA said North Korea is making preparations to bring them before a court. It did not specify what the two did that was considered hostile or illegal, or what kind of punishment they might face. It also did not say when the trial would begin.

Though a small number of U.S. citizens visit North Korea each year as tourists, the State Department strongly advises against it.

Visit the Fur. You know you want to.

And now, the war was over and the spirit was broken...

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