Monday, February 29, 2016

Leap Year Post

...for the freak day of the Gregorian calendar...

I'm sure this was all a misunderstanding that can be resolved with more trade:

Police have charged four people and two Canadian companies over their alleged roles in exporting controlled goods and technologies to China that could enhance that country’s satellite cameras.

North Korea parades around an allegedly sorrowful prisoner in front of cameras and, for some reason, Kim Jong-Un is not considered tiresome for this display of bullying:

 North Korea presented a detained American student before the media on Monday in Pyongyang, where he tearfully apologized for attempting to steal a political banner — at the behest, he said, of a member of a church back home who wanted it as a "trophy" — from a staff-only section of the hotel where he had been staying.
 Yes, this guy is clearly nutters but so is the guy who lobs missiles in the East Sea.


The chief executive of SodaStream International Ltd. says he has been forced to lay off hundreds of Palestinian workers after a factory was targeted by an international boycott movement and moved from the West Bank into Israel.

Now what are those Palestinians going to do?

Thanks, crazy anti-Semites.

Justin Trudeau called prioritising Christians and Yazidis "disgusting":

A Yazidi teenager who spent months in ISIS captivity has written a book describing her experience and her time as a sex slave for the terrorist group. ...

ISIS allows its fighters to take Yazidi women and girls as sex slaves and "wives." Shirin was married off nine times, once to a 60-year-old man who impregnated her, she wrote. The last man she was "married" to helped her escape to Germany.

After ISIS captured Shirin, she was taken to a hideout with other women where they were "hit, attacked, raped by men high on drugs," and "left to starve and not given anything to drink," she wrote.

Again - who vets these people?

The documents, released to the Globe under the Freedom of Information Act, reveal that Mr. Tsarnaev, passed the test with only one incorrect answer, and that he also swore his allegiance to the United States and denied any links to terrorism.

Tsarnaev was killed in a firefight with law enforcement days after the April 15, 2013 bombings. He carried out the attacks, which killed three people and injured over 260, with his younger brother Dzhokhar. The younger Tsarnaev was arrested on April 19, and was sentenced to death last May.

The documents, while heavily redacted, have spurred further questions over whether immigration officials missed any potential warning signs during the application process. Tsarnaev began the process after a 178-day trip to his native Russia that federal investigators believe may have helped radicalize him, a trip that he disclosed to immigrations officials, according to the Globe. He also disclosed a 2009 arrest for assaulting a former girlfriend, and that he wanted to change his name to "Muaz," an early Islamic scholar – a move that Russian officials had warned was a sign of radicalization.

Makeshift huts went up in flames on Monday in an angry backlash as workers, guarded by scores of French police, began pulling down tents and shelters in the sprawling migrant camp in Calais.

Police lobbed tear gas in a brief clash with pro-migrant activists and others throwing projectiles at officers forming a security cordon to protect the tear-down operation.

The neighborhood is a patchwork of low-slung buildings scorched and looted at the height of the civil war, a place where the United Nations was supposed to come to the rescue. But in a number of homes, women and girls are raising babies they say are the children of UN troops who abused or exploited them.

“Peacekeeper babies,” the United Nations calls such infants.

“A horrible thing,” says an elfin 14-year-old girl, who describes how a Burundian soldier dragged her into his barracks and raped her, leaving her pregnant with the baby boy she now cradles uncomfortably.

The allegations come amid one of the biggest scandals to plague the United Nations in years. Since the UN peacekeeping mission here began in 2014, its employees have been formally accused of sexually abusing or exploiting 42 local civilians, most of them underage girls.

Withdraw from this wretched organisation today.

A judge has granted BC Hydro an injunction to remove people protesting the Site C dam project at a tent camp near Fort St. John.

The ruling means demonstrators have no right to obstruct the hydroelectric project, which has regulatory approval from both the federal and provincial governments.

It doesn't cost nothing. That money comes from cash-strapped taxpayers:

 Nothing — well, nothing more than the $1.3 billion a year the government already spends on grants for post-secondary students. This straightforward option replaces a bunch of previous grants — some applied to Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP) applications, and some were offered as rebates or as tax cuts.

Calling it a new name doesn't mean that it is cheaper.

A "smidge" you say:
Young transgender children allowed to live openly as the gender they identify with fared as well psychologically as other kids in a small study that suggests parental support may be the key.

Rates of depression and anxiety were equal in the study, which compared 73 transgender kids aged 3 to 12 with 73 nontransgender youngsters. The trans kids also fared as well on both measures as a group of their nontransgender siblings.

Rates of anxiety among trans kids were “a smidge higher” than national averages for children of the same age, but otherwise they matched national norms, said lead author Kristina Olson, an associate psychology professor at the University of Washington.

Far be it for me to challenge this clearly comprehensive study but.... 

Carry on.

So did Voyager use all of their torpedoes, or did they have a few left at the end of the show? One fan was determined to find out.

It could have used some here.

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