Sunday, June 28, 2015

Sunday Post

Why Justin Trudeau's proposal regarding ISIS is just wrong:

The EU needs to kick Greece out:

Greece will introduce capital controls and keep its banks closed on Monday after international creditors refused to extend the country's bailout and savers queued to withdraw cash, taking Athens' standoff to a dangerous new level.

The Athens stock exchange will also be closed as the government tries to manage the financial fallout of the disagreement with the European Union and the International Monetary Fund.

Greece's banks, kept afloat by emergency funding from the European Central Bank, are on the front line as Athens moves towards defaulting on a 1.6 billion euros (£1.13 billion) payment due to the International Monetary Fund on Tuesday.

Greece blamed the ECB, which had made it difficult for the banks to open because it froze the level of funding support rather than increasing it to cover a rise in withdrawals from worried depositors, for the moves.

Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said the decision to reject Greece's request for a short extension of the bailout programme was "an unprecedented act" that called into question the ability of a country to decide an issue affecting its sovereign rights. "This decision led the ECB today to limit the liquidity of Greek banks and forced the central bank of Greece to propose a bank holiday and a restriction on bank withdrawals," he said in a televised address.

Amid drama in Greece, where a clear majority of people want to remain inside the euro, the next few days present a major challenge to the integrity of the 16-year-old euro zone currency bloc. The consequences for markets and the wider financial system are unclear.

Scratch that. The EU needs to dissolve. It's looking more and more like Germany and Some Hangers-On.

The top suspect in the beheading of a businessman that French authorities are calling a terrorist attack took a "selfie" photo with the slain victim and sent the image via WhatsApp to a Canadian mobile phone number, officials said Saturday.

French investigators were working to determine the recipient's identity, but weren't able to immediately confirm media reports that it was an unspecified person now in Syria, where the radical Islamic State group has seized territory, the security officials said.

The revelation added a macabre twist to an investigation that has not turned up a solid link to radical or foreign groups, but has revived concerns about terrorism in France less than six months after deadly attacks in the Paris area.

Top suspect Yassine Salhi, a truck driver with a history of radical Islamic ties, as well as his sister and wife remained in police custody in the city of Lyon, a day after he allegedly crashed a truck into a U.S.-owned chemical warehouse and hung his employer's severed head on a factory gate, officials said.

Protests in Armenia over electricity:

Police in Armenia's capital on Sunday ordered thousands of demonstrators to disperse, moving to end a protest against higher electricity rates that has blocked a main avenue in Yerevan for nearly a week.

Some protesters obeyed and left for a nearby square, but thousands remained on the street after dark in defiance of both the police and the main protest organizers.

Riot police lined up across the road banged their truncheons against their shields in warning, but made no immediate move. Behind them stood water cannons and armoured vehicles.

Protest organizer Vaghinak Shushanian appealed to the demonstrators on Sunday to end their standoff with police in response to a promise by the Armenian president to suspend the 17-per cent rate hike pending an audit of the Russian-owned power company.

The unrest is the most serious that the impoverished former Soviet nation has seen in years, posing a challenge to President Serzh Sargsyan and causing great concern in Moscow. Russia maintains a military base in Armenia and Russian companies control most of its major industries.

After a week in which the number of protesters grew steadily to reach about 15,000, Sargsyan announced late Saturday that the government would bear the burden of the higher electricity costs until an international audit of the power company could be done. The protesters claim the Russian-owned utility is riddled with corruption.

(Sidebar: is that so?)

Maybe the people should blame the Electric Company.

Ukraine seeks to fill the media void with Canadian programming after removing biased Russian programming:

"The Littlest Hobo," "Anne of Green Gables," maybe even "Flashpoint" could find a new lease on life in Ukraine as the country's broadcasting council scrambles to fill TV screens with something other than Russian programming, says a senior Ukrainian official.

To counter — both real and perceived — propaganda throughout the war-torn country, President Petro Poroshenko's government pulled the plug on the Russian signals, leaving a dramatic hole in entertainment and information schedules, said Iurii Artemenko.

The country needs both hardware to improve its own radio and television signals and replacement programming.

"We try to find something," Artemenko said in an interview with The Canadian Press. He recently returned from a trip to South Korea, where he was pleading for content.

"We need high-quality content, shows, dramas, movies, cultural programs," he said at the same time as expressing his fondness for Quebec cinema.

Artemenko says Canadian programs — dramas and comedies — would welcome and an important uplift for an anxious population. ....

(Sidebar: "The Littlest Hobo" was our Lassie and he was awesome!)

Just in time for Canada Day Week, a Canadian geography quiz:


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