Monday, March 30, 2015

Monday Post

Easter's on its way...

A vote to extend the mission against ISIS is underway in the House of Commons:

The debate about Canada's military campaign against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant returned Monday to the House of Commons as MPs gathered to vote on whether to extend and expand the mission in Iraq.

The Conservatives want to extend Canada's involvement in airstrikes against ISIL militants in Iraq — and expand the mission into Syria — for up to a year, in order to help stop the march of a "genocidal" group they consider a threat to domestic security.

A vote on the government's motion is scheduled for shortly after 8 p.m., but it's likely just a formality, given the Conservative majority in the Commons.

What the polls say:

In anticipation of the government introducing legislation to extend the length – and possibly the scope – of the Canadian Forces mission against ISIS, a new Ipsos Reid poll conducted on behalf of Global News has found that two in three (66%) Canadians ‘agree’ (27% strongly/39% somewhat) that they ‘support extending the Canadian Forces mission in Iraq against ISIS past its current end date of April 7, 2015’. Conversely, one in three (34%) Canadians ‘disagrees’ (15% strongly/19% somewhat) with extending the mission.

Given that conflicts no longer remain stationary, wiping out ISIS (the girl-raping, church-destroying thugs) where they currently stand is prudent.

Iran will retain nuclear material, setting back any loose agreement it might have had with the West:

With a negotiating deadline just two days away, Iranian officials on Sunday backed away from a critical element of a proposed nuclear agreement, saying they are no longer willing to ship their atomic fuel out of the country.

For months, Iran tentatively agreed that it would send a large portion of its stockpile of uranium to Russia, where it would not be accessible for use in any future weapons program. But on Sunday, Iran’s deputy foreign minister made a surprise comment to Iranian reporters, ruling out an agreement that involved giving up a stockpile that Iran has spent years and billions of dollars to amass.

As Iran is not really giving up anything, only moving at a leisurely pace to develop nuclear weapons, this isn't a setback insofar as it is business as usual with Iran.

And how does Obama (RE: 2008 elections, Iran, pre-conditions) feel about this?

In a video recording posted on the White House’s website, Obama said, “Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei has issued a fatwa against the development of nuclear weapons, and President Rouhani has said that Iran would never develop a nuclear weapon.”

We can trust those ayatollahs, can't we?

He went golfing this week-end.

Surprise, surprise.

Saudi Arabia accuses ally of Iran, Russia, of hypocrisy:

Saudi Arabia has accused Vladimir Putin of hypocrisy after he sent a letter to the Arab League supporting the peaceful “resolution of all problems” it claims Russia is fuelling in the Middle East.

In a letter read out to delegates at the summit in Egypt on Sunday, the Russian President condemned extremist groups including Isis for undermining regional security, attacking civilians and destroying cultural heritage.

“We support the Arabs' aspirations for a prosperous future and for the resolution of all the problems the Arab world faces through peaceful means, without any external interference,” he wrote. 

His comments came after Saudi-led air strikes pounded rebels in Yemen, reportedly destroying every one of their fighter jets in the country in bombing that killed dozens of people.

The Saudi Foreign Minister Prince, Saud al-Faisal, reprimanded Mr Putin for Russia’s continuing shipments of arms to the Syrian government.

It has supported President Bashar al-Assad’s forces with weapons including armoured vehicles, drones and guided bombs, throughout the country’s four-year civil war.

Mr Putin defended the flow of arms, which started long before Isis emerged as a separate group, in the wake of numerous allegations of war crimes by al-Assad’s forces. 

“He speaks about the problems in the Middle East as though Russia is not influencing these problems,” Mr al-Faisal told the Arab League after the letter was read out.

“They speak about tragedies in Syria while they are an essential part of the tragedies befalling the Syrian people, by arming the Syrian regime above and beyond what it needs to fight its own people.
“I hope that the Russian president corrects this so that the Arab world's relations with Russia can be at their best level.”

Not to side with Putin, but the Middle East has always been a cradle of inbreeding, tribalism, sectarian violence, indifference to the suffering of others, bigotry and wanton destruction. As loathsome as Putin's support for Iran and Bashar al-Assad is, what does it say about the very people who fund terrorism and act only when they see a threat to themselves?

Results to come in from elections in Nigeria:

Results from Nigeria's elections, potentially the closest since the end of military rule in 1999, were due to start trickling in on Monday after a weekend vote marred by confusion, arguments and occasional violence.

The election pits President Goodluck Jonathan against former military ruler Muhammadu Buhari for the votes of an electorate divided along ethnic, regional and religious lines in Africa's most populous nation.

Even before preliminary tallies were recorded, the opposition All Progressives Congress (APC) rejected the outcome in Rivers state, headquarters of Africa's biggest oil industry, and denounced the vote there as "a sham and a charade".

The INEC election commission said first results from 120,000 polling stations nationwide should be available on Sunday evening but later pushed this back to Monday evening.

Go to hell, Wynne:

Premier Kathleen Wynne says if the Progressive Conservatives want her to drop a lawsuit against two of their members, all they have to do is apologize.

Wynne launched a suit last April against then PC leader Tim Hudak and MPP Lisa MacLeod for saying she oversaw and possibly ordered the destruction of documents on cancelled gas plants.

MacLeod says Wynne filed the suit to quash legitimate opposition criticism, and accuses the Liberals of killing legislation the very next day that would have allowed her and Hudak to challenge the lawsuit.

Wynne says the bill was changed because courts don’t like retroactive changes to laws, adding she was willing to drop the lawsuit if MacLeod and Hudak retracted their statements and apologized.

The premier says she filed the suit because the Tory accusations, which she calls completely untrue, were made on the eve of last year’s election, which saw the Liberals easily defeat the Conservatives to win a fourth term in office.

MacLeod says it looks like Wynne killed her own bill to block strategic lawsuits against public participation for her own political gain, and accuses the premier of acting above the law.


Andreas Lubitz, 27, apparently locked the captain out of the cabin and deliberately flew the Germanwings jet into a mountain, killing 150 people.

The older pilot left to use the toilet and then desperately tried to open the cockpit door during Flight 4U 9525's eight-minute descent, according to the black box voice recorder.

Germany's Bild on Sunday newspaper said he is heard shouting "For God's sake, open the door!" as passengers scream in the background.

And now, the faithfulness of an old friend:

They are known as man's best friend, who will stay loyal to the end.

But as this heartbreaking video shows, dogs are just as loyal to their own - even when put in a dangerous situation. 

In this clip, a golden retriever trots on to a busy motorway in Turkey to protect his friend after he was hit by a car. 

The injured dog lies helpless at the side of the road, but his companion rushes to his aid and pulls him to safety.

He then patiently lies in wait at the side of the busy motorway.  

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