Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Mid-Week Post

We would rather be here....
It's the mid-weekiest!

After being embarrassed by Ezra Levant, Alberta Premier Rachel Notley now realises the virtue of a free press:

In an abrupt about-face, the Alberta NDP government says it will not ban any media outlets from news conferences while a review of its policies is underway.

"We've heard a lot of feedback from Albertans and media over the course of the last two days, and it's clear we made a mistake," Cheryl Oates, communications director for Premier Rachel Notley, said Wednesday in a written statement.

"The government has appointed former Western Canadian bureau chief for Canadian Press, Heather Boyd, to consult and give us recommendations on what the government's media policies should be. In the meantime, no one will be excluded from government media events."

The government banned correspondents from The Rebel conservative news site last week, saying "they are not journalists."

The site, owned by right-wing pundit Ezra Levant, has been highly critical of Notley and her government. In a posting on The Rebel Wednesday, Levant said Notley's decision is only a partial victory. 

"But pay attention to that last line: Notley has hired an 'expert' to advise her on how to handle troublesome journalists," he wrote about Oates's statement. "The lifting of the blacklist is only 'in the meantime' Notley may well revert to a policy of government-regulated journalism if her hand-picked advisor can find a way to spin it.

The ban was criticized by journalists and free speech advocates across the country, and was the subject of a scathing editorial in the Globe and Mail that called it "beyond deplorable."

I'm sure Premier Notley wished she had the CBC to shill and cover for her as PM Trulander does. the lack of apology does not erase her flagrant would-be abuse of the free press.

Perhaps she never thought to ask why a press independent of the tiresome usual mouthpieces was necessary?

How embarrassing for her.

Canadian broadcasters have a responsibility to invest in robust news operations and will be held to account for those obligations ahead of license renewals due next year, the head of the country's broadcast regulator said on Wednesday.

Skimping on news? Like Omar Khadr laughing with jihadists online? THAT news?

When did Omar Khadr denounce terrorism? (source)

Canadian Finance Minister Bill Morneau on Tuesday effectively conceded the government could not balance the budget as quickly as promised, saying the return to surplus would be achieved over the long term.

No one saw it coming — least of all protester Bill Clennett who was blocking then-prime minister Jean Chrétien on Flag Day 20 years ago.

In a single decisive move, the then 66-year-old leader grasped the back of Clennett’s head, twisted it around and shoved him aside. The RCMP detail then wrestled the protester to the ground and dislodged a crown in the 44-year-old’s mouth.

The Calgary Board of Education rushed to clean off hateful graffiti on Monday morning, but for far too long this weekend the words "Syrians Go Home and Die" and other slogans stained the brick walls of Wilma Hansen Junior High in southeast Calgary.

The graffiti also targeted Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who took to Twitter to condemn the vandalism.

 One can't upset that voters block! 

South Korea's president on Tuesday warned North Korea faces collapse if it doesn't abandon its nuclear bomb program, an unusually strong broadside that is certain to infuriate Pyongyang.

In a speech at parliament, President Park Geun-hye said South Korea will take unspecified "stronger and more effective" measures to make North Korea realize its nuclear ambitions will result only in accelerating its "regime collapse."

Park made the speech while defending her government's decision to shut down a jointly run factory park in North Korea in response to the North's rocket launch. Pyongyang retaliated by expelling all the South Koreans there, put its military in charge of the area and cut off key communication hotlines between the Koreas.

It is unusual for a top South Korean official to publicly touch on such a government collapse because of worries about how sensitive North Korea is to talk of its authoritarian government losing power. Pyongyang has long accused Washington and Seoul agitating for its collapse.

Remember -  under political multiculturalism, all cultures have something of equal value to offer:

The boy, dubbed Hope, was found emaciated and abandoned after being accused of being a witch.

Anja Ringgren Lovén, an aid worker from Denmark, shared the photos to Facebook, saying, “Thousands of children are being accused of being witches and we’ve both seen torture of children, dead children and frightened children.

“This footage shows why I fight. Why I sold everything I own.” 

After adding that Hope was in hospital and that donations were being accepted to help his recovery, over 1 million Danish kroner (around £103,000) was donated in two days. 

The full story of what happened to Hope is not clear, but it seems that he is one of many young children in the country who are accused of being witches, then tortured, cast out or killed as a result.

The brand’s new LifeWear collection was designed by the British fashion blogger and designer Hana Tajima, taking a more “modest” approach on women’s fashion, with flowing skirts, tapered ankle-length pants, blouses and more traditional items, including the kebaya and hijab. 

Can anyone admire these tapered fashions under the burqa?

 Aaahhh, First-Worlders thinking that they've made a difference... to them.

It's about damn time:

There are only 60,000 Inuit in Canada, but they are divided between nine different writing forms and at least that many dialects. On Friday, language experts are to meet in Ottawa to help bridge that gulf.

"People can generally understand each other, but there are serious limitations for that understanding," said Natan Obed, head of Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, Canada's national Inuit group.

"If we had one unified writing system, we could maximize the ability for us to read in our language and also educate our children and provide them with learning resources."

Inuktitut fractured because it was spoken by widely dispersed groups who rarely interacted. The language splintered further when missionaries developed writing for it.

Syllabics, originally based on characters from Pitman shorthand, are most common in the Eastern Arctic. Roman orthography, the letters of the alphabet most of us recognize, is mostly used in the west.

The dialects have diverged so widely that some use sounds that speakers from other parts of the North can't even pronounce. Obed's group produces a magazine called Inuktitut that native speakers in the far west and the far east just can't read.

The drive to establish a standard writing form dates back to a recommendation in a 2011 report on Inuit education. Last September, experts from the four major Inuit regions began that task and continue their work on Friday.

Israeli archaeologists discover a settlement that is seven thousand years old:

Israeli archaeologists said Wednesday they have unearthed a 7,000-year-old settlement in northern Jerusalem, describing it as the oldest discovery of its kind in the area.

Israel's Antiquities Authority said the excavation exposed two houses with well-preserved remains and floors containing pottery vessels, flint tools and a basalt bowl.

Ronit Lupu, the authority's director of excavations, said the items are representative of the early Chalcolithic period, beginning around 5,000 B.C. Similar developments have been found elsewhere in present-day Israel but not in Jerusalem.

"This is the first time we found architecture of this kind in Jerusalem itself," she said. "We are talking about an established society, very well organized, with settlement, with cemeteries."

She only wants a donut:

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