Wednesday, July 08, 2015

Mid-Week Post

Paul Watson, who wrote about the discovery of the HMS Erebeus, has resigned from the Red Toronto Star because the newspaper allegedly refused to the story about it:

Paul Watson, who won a Pulitzer prize in 1994, has quit the Toronto Star over that paper’s “refusal to publish a story of significant public interest” — an allegation the paper denies. ...

The article Watson says he couldn’t publish at the Star centres on the search for the lost ships of the 1845 Franklin expedition, an initiative led by Parks Canada that had significant input and personal investment by Prime Minister Stephen Harper. The discovery of one of the Franklin ships, the HMS Erebus, was announced by the prime minister in September of 2014.

Watson says experts and civil servants who worked on the 2014 Victoria Strait Expedition that found the wreck of the Erebus are outraged at what they see as “distorted and inaccurate accounts” of that discovery, which allegedly originated with a person close to the Prime Minister’s Office who also has influence within the Star.

Watson’s says his efforts to report on that person’s influence were stymied, and that editors put him under “a six-week reporting ban” he only broke free of upon his resignation.

“People are sick and tired of a government that is destroying our democracy by intimidating experts into silence so the politically connected and the powerful can fill that information vacuum,” Watson said in an interview posted on the Canadaland website on Wednesday.

“You might have thought this was a simple feel-good story, an effort to answer a mystery the world has been following for the last 170 years. But you’d be shocked at how much political sleaze that can generate,” Watson added.

One would think that the Toronto Star would take any potshot at Stephen Harper. Most so-called journalists and special-interest groups do.

Related: the Fils opens his mouth about something in order to get back potential votes he has lost:

Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau says the federal government has "abandoned its responsibility" to a First Nation cut off from the outside world and living under one of the longest boil-water advisories in Canada.

Maybe the trust-fund baby would like to sponsor these reservations himself?

More reasons to withdraw from the UN today:

The Canadian Human Rights Commission has told a United Nations panel that the plight of Canada's aboriginal people is one of the country's most urgent civil rights issues.


Russia has vetoed a United Nations resolution that would have described the 1995 massacre in Srebrenica as "genocide."

I'm sure this all just a coincidence:

The New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) was taken offline on Wednesday at 11:32 a.m. due to an alleged glitch in its networks. While officials said a cyberattack is not suspected, many in the cybersecurity community said they’d need more evidence to be able to fully write off foul play.

Among the skeptics is the hacker collective Anonymous. A prominent member of the group, who goes by the moniker “Strudalz,” said attacks such as this “are becoming more and more frequent, and when there’s even the tiniest of gap for information disclosure, these serious issues for the most part come back to China.”

The NYSE wasn’t the only major network taken offline on Wednesday. United Airlines and the Wall Street Journal suffered similar outages.

NYSE announced through Twitter that a cyberattack is not suspected, and CNN reported “based what’s known now, it’s highly unlikely to be the result of a coordinated cyberattack.”

(Sidebar: not that Anonymous is a bastion of honesty or proper conduct or anything.)

While all Western eyes remain firmly focused on Greece, a potentially much more significant financial crisis is developing on the other side of world. In some quarters, it’s already being called China’s 1929 – the year of the most infamous stock market crash in history and the start of the economic catastrophe of the Great Depression. 
In any normal summer, a 30pc fall in the Chinese stock market – a loss of value roughly equivalent to the UK’s entire economic output last year – after an ascent which had seen share prices more than double within the space of a year would have been front page news across the globe. 
The dramatic series of government interventions to stem the panic – hitherto unsuccessful, it should be added – would similarly have been up there at the top of the news agenda. Yet the pantomime of the Greek debt talks, together with the tragi-comedy of will they, won’t they leave the euro, has relegated the story to little more than a footnote - even though 940 companies, more than a third, have now suspended trading on China’s two main indices. 
Some insight on this developing economic train wreck:

Why should China’s leaders feel so uneasy? Incredibly, they publicly took credit for rising stock prices—a bubble unconnected to corporate earnings or economic growth—even when it was evident that there would be a reckoning at some point. Now that prices are in fast retreat, they do not want the blame that inevitably follows.

Not worth a Slut Walk:

Two Yazidi women have told of the unimaginable cruelty they suffered at the hands of ISIS fighters who kept them as their sex slaves after raiding their homes in Iraq.

One, a 19-year-old mother, says she allowed her first captor who 'bought her' to rape her 'whenever he wanted' because he would beat her one-year-old baby son if she resisted. Her son was the only thing stopping her from taking her own life. Her second jailer raped an elderly mother and her daughter.

The second woman, 25, was sold again and again to a string of cruel fanatics who tied her to the bed and drugged her with morphine to keep her 'silent'. She was beaten so badly that she could not walk for two months.

Ten years after the July 7th attacks in Britain killed fifty-two people, Britain shows little sign that it will ever tackle Islamism:

Polling company ICM conducted a poll for the newspaper of 2,016 people, who rated their feelings on the Islamic State.

Support for the world’s most notorious terrorist group had risen compared to last year’s poll. Last year, two percent rated their feelings towards ISIS as ‘very favorable’ with five percent regarding the group ‘somewhat favorably.’

This year those numbers have risen with three percent feeling ‘very favorable’ towards the Islamic State and six percent feeling ‘somewhat favorable.’  

Oh, please. Putin has journalists killed all the time:

Russian investigators have upgraded the charges against Nadia Savchenko, the Ukrainian helicopter pilot jailed in Russia, as her lawyers said they expected her trial to begin this summer.

Savchenko, 34, now stands accused of the murder of two Russian journalists, investigators in Moscow have said.

She was previously charged with complicity in the deaths of Igor Kornelyuk and Anton Voloshin, two employees of Russia’s state owned VGTRK television holding who died while covering the war in Ukraine last year.

“They have toughened the charges — the prosecutors have changed their concept,” Ilya Novikov, one of Savchenko’s defence lawyers, said on Tuesday.

Savchenko, a lieutenant in the Ukrainian army and the country’s first female combat pilot, was captured by pro-Russian separatists while fighting alongside the Aidar volunteer battalion near the city of Luhansk on June 18 last year. Russian prosecutors say she subsequently voluntarily crossed the border and attempted to seek asylum in Russia, where she was arrested and charged with acting as a spotter for a mortar attack that killed Kornelyuk and Voloshin on the same day.

The new charges were announced as investigators moved to bring the case to trial after a year of pre-trial detention. Russia’s chief investigator said on Monday that the investigation had been completed and had been sent to prosecutors for confirmation of the indictment before submission to a court for consideration.

Vladimir Markin, the head of Russia’s powerful Investigative Committee, said Savchenko’s case had been made part of a broader criminal investigation into “acts of genocide and use of illegal weapons and methods of warfare by the Ukrainian armed forces.”

And now, tough talk from some cinematic bad-@$$es and just in time for Shark Week, it's Shark Wahlberg:

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