Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Mid-Week Post

Putting it out there...

Embarrassed into acting, the Calgary police have charged a fourth person in a violent attack that took place on July 18th:

A fourth person has been charged with assault in connection to a pro-Palestinian rally outside Calgary City Hall in July.

Two other men and a teenager have already been charged over the fights that broke out when pro-Israeli supporters showed up at the demonstration.

Only July 18, about 400 or 500 Palestinian supporters were on one side of the street while a handful of Israeli supporters were on the other. 

Police say they are still investigating and are looking for a man who may have more information.

"He was wearing jeans and a white T-shirt with a DULUX logo on it, with white runners and a tan baseball cap," said police in a release. "His clothing and hands were stained with white paint."

The 18-year-old man charged today is expected to appear in court on Sept. 16.

What? A Liberal Party-supporting union is butting heads with Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne? Say it isn't so!

The head of the powerful Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario said Monday the last thing his union wants is a repeat of the labour turmoil of two years ago. 

Sam Hammond steered clear of fighting words against the Liberals after a speech in which he cheered his union’s work to help defeat Tim Hudak’s Conservatives, whose policies he said threatened teachers’ wages and unions in general. 

Although Hammond did warn the 800 delegates to the annual meeting in Toronto that “it will be a challenging year,” bargaining “with a government intent on holding the line on public sector wages, and we are ready,” he used conciliatory tones with reporters afterwards and praised the Liberals for their investments in education.

“The last thing I want, the last thing my members want, and I know the last thing the government or OPSBA (Ontario Public School Boards’ Association) want is to go through what we went through the last time. 

I hope Hammond loses everything he has and then some.

Why not finish off Hamas for once and for all?

Israel and Hamas agreed to extend a temporary cease-fire for five days, Egyptian and Palestinian officials announced Wednesday, permitting the sides to continue to negotiate a substantive deal to end the war in Gaza.

Yet even as the extension was announced just minutes before a previous truce was set to expire at midnight, violence spiked, with Palestinian militants firing five rockets at Israel and Israel targeting sites across the Gaza Strip in response. It was not clear if the fighting was isolated or might shatter the truce.

Egypt's foreign ministry and the head of the Palestinian negotiating team announced the extension, which began at midnight local time. A spokesman for Israel's prime minister had no immediate comment.

The cease-fire extension is meant to grant both sides additional time to negotiate a longer-term truce and a roadmap for the coastal territory.

American military and humanitarian personnel arrive in Iraq:

A team of U.S. military and humanitarian aid personnel landed on Iraq's Mount Sinjar early on Wednesday to assess how to evacuate thousands of civilians under siege from Sunni militant fighters, a U.S. official said.

The United States has not ruled out using American ground forces in an operation to extract the trapped civilians, but they will not engage in combat, the White House said.

The U.S. team flew in darkness early in the morning to Mount Sinjar, where thousands of members of the Yazidi religious minority fled to escape an advance by Islamic State fighters, the official said.

"They were there last night and they did an assessment," the official said.


The forced exodus of native Christian and Yazidi populations is a direct result of the American withdrawal from Iraq in 2011. Action taken now is no more than window-dressing unless the complete vaporisation of ISIS occurs immediately.

The Neskonlith Indian Band plans on evicting a gold mining company:

A British Columbia First Nation plans to issue an eviction notice to Imperial Metals Corp. (TSX:III) — the company behind a massive tailings pond breach at a gold and copper mine last week — over a separate project in the band's territory.

The declaration from the Neskonlith Indian Band is the latest sign that last week's tailings spill at the Mount Polley Mine in central B.C. could ripple across the company's other projects and possibly the province's entire mining industry.

The Neskonlith band said the notice, which its chief planned to hand-deliver to Imperial Metals in Vancouver on Thursday, orders the company to stay away from the site of its proposed Ruddock Creek zinc and lead mine, which is located about 150 kilometres northeast of Kamloops.

The mine, which is still in the development phase and has yet to go through the environmental assessment process, would be located near the headwaters of the Adams River, home of an important sockeye salmon run. The Neskonlith band opposed the mine long before the Mount Polley tailings spill.

"We do not want the mine developing or operating in that sacred headwaters," Neskonlith Chief Judy Wilson said in an interview Wednesday.

"Our elders have stated very clearly that they do not want anything poisoning our water or our salmon."

Well, you poison the water, you can clean it up.

And now, puppies: is there anything they can't do?

Thanks to her faithful puppy, 3-year-old Karina Chikitova is now safe and sound after surviving on wild berries and river water for 11 days in a Siberian forest.

According to the Siberian Times, Karina's mother assumed the little girl had gone with her father to his home village on July 29. Karina's father thought the 3-year-old was with her mother.

Karina's mother wasn't able to contact her husband for four days. When she did, she discovered Karina and the family dog were both missing, likely having wandered off in pursuit of her father who didn't know the girl was following him.

Days later, Karina's puppy returned to her village. That's when rescuers assumed the worst.

"That was the moment when our hearts sank, because we thought at least with her dog Karina had chances to survive — nights in Yakutia are cold and some areas have already gone into minus temperatures. If she was to hug her puppy, we thought, this would have given her a chance to stay warm during nights and survive," Afanasiy Nikolayev, a spokesman for the Sakha Republic Rescue Service, told the Siberian Times.

"So when her dog came back we thought, 'That's it' — even if she was alive — and chances were slim — now she would have definitely have lost all hopes. Our hearts truly and deeply sank."

To their surprise, the puppy led rescuers straight to Karina, who "was conscious and looked surprisingly well" after living in the wild for 11 days.

This little guy may one day save your life.

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