Saturday, June 11, 2016

Saturday Night Special

I make the hat look good.

Liberals considering putting troops in eastern Europe:

Eastern European NATO allies have been pressing Canada to deploy up to 1,000 soldiers into the region to bolster the alliance’s presence amid continued concerns about Russian aggression.

The Liberal government says it is looking “actively considering options.” However, Eastern European diplomats say Ottawa has so far been giving “contradictory” signals.

“One day we hear we might be pleased with what is coming,” one envoy told the Citizen Thursday, “and the next things do not look good at all.”

The allies’ request has been conveyed through diplomatic channels as well as political meetings between Canadian ministers and their NATO counterparts in recent months. Polish President Andrzej Duda raised the issue personally with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau during a visit to Ottawa in May.
Not bloody likely.

I bet she will:

Premier Kathleen Wynne promises her government will co-operate with an investigation by Ontario’s information and privacy commissioner into the deletion of computer hard drives by executives with Toronto’s Pan Am Games.

Commissioner Brian Beamish announced he would open an investigation after the province’s auditor general said Pan Am executives — including CEO Saad Rafi — had “disposed of” nine of 12 computer hard drives her office had requested.

“My office will be investigating to determine whether TO2015 followed appropriate record keeping and record retention practices,” Beamish said in a statement. “The investigation report will be made public when it is completed.”

Who deleted the e-mails, Kathleen?

A court awards non-diplomatic assets to victims of Iranian-sponsored terrorism:

The Iranian government lost a key court battle Thursday when an Ontario judge ordered the Islamic republic’s non-diplomatic assets in Canada to be handed over to victims of terrorist groups sponsored by Tehran.

The long-awaited ruling by the Ontario Superior Court dismissed every argument Iran’s lawyers had made at a trial held in Toronto in January, leaving Tehran financial responsible for the actions of the terrorists it has backed.

“Terrorism is one of the world’s greatest threats,” Justice Glenn Hainey wrote. “The broad issue before the court is whether Iran is entitled to immunity from the jurisdiction of Canadian courts for its support of terrorism.”

Iran’s diplomatic buildings in Ottawa remain unaffected, but several non-diplomatic properties and the contents of a list of bank accounts were awarded to the victims of the Iranian-supported terror groups Hamas and Hezbollah.

The $13-million case was the first challenge of the Justice for Victims of Terror Act. The 2012 law allows victims to collect damages from state sponsors of terror groups. Canada has designated Iran and Syria state sponsors of terrorism.

Also: the ayatollahs approve not of SpongeBob:

An Iranian soccer player has been banned for six months from playing for Iran’s national team after photos surfaced online last month showing him wearing yellow “SpongeBob pants,” according to the Iranian Students’ News Agency.

The images show Sosha Makani, a former goalkeeper for Iran’s Persepolis Football Club, wearing a blue shirt and tight yellow trousers that Iranian media described as resembling the SpongeBob SquarePants cartoon character.

The Iranian football federation’s morality committee cited Makani’s clothing as “inappropriate” and the cause for his suspension. However, the decision isn’t final, and Makani can appeal through an Appeals Committee.

Ladies and gentlemen, Mr. Hockey:

100,000 people have fled Crimea according to a Ukrainian charity:

Russia’s occupation of Crimea has caused about 100,000 people to flee the territory - twice as many as had been thought - according to new figures compiled by a Ukrainian charity.

The number of fugitives has jumped in the last two months because of "worsening repression."

From the moment that Russian troops fanned out across Crimea and seized the region from Ukraine in March 2014, those who were unwilling to accept the Kremlin's rule began to leave. Most settled elsewhere in Ukraine, including the capital, Kiev.

New evidence suggests this exodus was significantly larger than had been thought. About 21,000 people from Crimea are officially registered in Ukraine as "internally displaced," but many more are known to be undocumented.

The total number of fugitives from Crimea was probably between 50,000 and 60,000, according to the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre, a Geneva-based group.

But Tamila Tasheva, the co-founder and coordinator of Crimea SOS, a Ukrainian charity, said the real figure was as high as 100,000. "There are more and more people leaving Crimea as the repression becomes worse," she said. "Our offices are full of requests and applications for help for people and their children."

The new estimate is based on data disclosed by Ukraine's authorities. Between January 2015 and April this year, there was a net movement of 73,100 people out of Crimea and into the adjacent region of Ukraine, according to the National Border Guard Service.

Because Rex Murphy:

The Sotomayor principle, an identity politics principle, is just a rephrasing of the blind theory that biology is fate, and geography, birthplace, is its handmaiden. It is a regressive principle, one that places unpassable frontiers on human understanding and empathy.

This is the kind of sterile, vapid, chauvinistic alley identity politics draws you into. If we start claiming special and exclusive intellectual and moral capacities because of one’s race or sex, offering those capacities as intrinsic to race and sex, then have we not merely put a happy face on the repulsive and core ideas of racism and sexism?


And now, colourised Russian history. Enjoy.

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