Thursday, November 24, 2016

For a Thursday


Oh, dear...

A car bomb tore through a gas station south of Baghdad on Thursday, killing at least 56 people, including 20 Iranians, in an attack claimed by the Islamic State group.

Police and hospital officials confirmed the toll and said another 45 people were wounded in the attack, which almost completely destroyed the gas station, several nearby stores and set several cars on fire. The station is located on a major highway.

The blast knocked out power at the station, forcing relatives looking for the remains of loved ones to use the glare of their mobile phones to guide them. Body parts that remained unclaimed were gathered in a blue bag and placed on the sidewalk outside the station. Large sections of the station were covered in blood.

Iran's Deputy Foreign Minister Hassan Qashqavi was quoted by the semi-official Tasnim news agency as saying that 80 people were killed, including 40 Iranians. Conflicting death tolls are common in the aftermath of large attacks.

The Islamic State group claimed the attack in a brief statement carried by its Aamaq news agency, saying it was a suicide truck bomb.

A gunman who held French monks hostages is -as of this writing - on the loose:

Local reports suggest that at least 59 of the monks have now been freed with police storming the building. The attacker is believed to still be at large.

The restoration of the prime minister's home will cost taxpayers more than quoted:

A report from iPolitics says restoration and repairs to the prime minister's residence at 24 Sussex Drive, including building a new annex with private quarters and a pool, could cost almost $38 million.

No one cares what you think, Hair-Boy:

Africa and the rest of the world will never achieve peace and stability without empowering women and girls — and encouraging men to support them, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Thursday on the first day of his visit to Liberia.

Trudeau refused to call various practices of his favourite voters block "barbaric". His self-important moral preening is irrelevant, just like him.

Carry on.

Look - if Chinese businessmen were to - let's say - leave cash in a brown paperbag in Trudeau's private washroom and Trudeau were to find it, hey! That kind of thing happens all the time:

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Thursday he has no ties to a foundation set up in his father's name — an organization that received some $200,000 in donations from Chinese billionaires shortly after they hosted him for a private dinner.

Now let's have no more talk about this bizarre coverup.

Speaking of cover-ups....

The Liberal government is rolling back a number of controversial changes to Canada's voting process.

Maryam Monsef, the minister for democratic institutions, has introduced legislation that will allow voters to use the voter information card as valid ID to cast a ballot.

The government is also restoring the ability of voters to vouch for other citizens who lack identification, permitting them to vote, and restoring the chief electoral officer's voter education mandate.

The previous Conservative government tightened voting rules with its controversial Fair Elections Act, which critics said was aimed at suppressing the vote of people unlikely to support Conservative options.

Still conspiring to lie to the public, eh, Monsef?

It's only money:

New York investment banker David Mars never wanted to force the long-suffering taxpayers of Canada to write him and his “very high net-worth” U.S. investor friends a cheque for $28 million, as ordered by a NAFTA panel, in exchange for a wind turbine project they never built. 

Mars would also rather not travel to Toronto next week to talk to the Ontario Provincial Police, who have asked him to answer questions as part of a probe into the destruction of evidence by former staff in the office of Ontario’s premier.

All Mars and his fellow investors in Windstream Energy LLC wanted was to erect 130 wind turbines in the eastern edge of Lake Ontario near Kingston and sell the power to the grid.

But that simple project has become a tangled saga involving the police, Canada’s largest-ever NAFTA litigation defeat, deleted emails and terse, vague statements from governments in both Ottawa and Toronto.

Because Ottawa, not Ontario, signed NAFTA, federal taxpayers must compensate the investors. And if Windstream’s project never sees the light of day, they will likely have to pay the New Yorkers a lot more than the $28 million the NAFTA panel said they already owe — possibly closer to the $568.5 million that Windstream initially sought in its NAFTA case.

Could Trump fast-track the Keystone Pipeline?

Advisers to Donald Trump are exploring ways he can green light the Keystone XL oil pipeline on the day he is sworn into office, including by rescinding a 48-year-old presidential order.

Russia kiboshes plan to put more sanctions on North Korea:

The United States and China have agreed on new U.N. sanctions to impose on North Korea over the nuclear test it conducted in September, but Russia is delaying action on a draft resolution, a senior Security Council diplomat said on Wednesday.

Put sanctions on China instead.

But... but... global warming!

Antarctic sea ice has barely changed from where it was 100 years ago, scientists have found after poring over the logbooks of polar explorers such as Robert Scott and Ernest Shackleton.

Experts were concerned that ice cover at the South Pole had declined significantly since the 1950s, in a process driven by man-made climate change.

But new analysis suggests conditions are now virtually identical to when Scott’s Terra Nova and Shackleton’s Endurance sailed to the continent in the early 20th century, indicating that declines are part of a wider, natural cycle.

Egyptian archeologists found a seven thousand year old city:

Archaeologists in Egypt have discovered a city and cemetery–dating back more than 7,000 years to its First Dynasty–in the southern province of Sohag.

The discovery was made by a mission associated with the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities just 400 meters away from the temple of Seti I, an Egyptian pharaoh who reigned in the 13th century BCE, across the River Nile from the southern city of Luxor, the Egypt Independent reported.

The ministry said in a Wednesday statement reported by Reuters that the unearthed city could provide more information about Abydos, one of ancient Egypt’s oldest cities and which is thought to have served as the country’s capital towards the end of the predynastic period—which concluded around 3100 BCE—and during the first four dynasties, a period that ended around 2500 BCE.

Tokyo receives a snowfall for November, the first time in fifty-four years:

Ladies and gentlemen, Mr. Bing Crosby.

No comments: