Wednesday, January 04, 2017

Mid-Week Post

Your middle-of-the-week breather...

The gunman who killed thirty-nine people at a club in Turkey has finally been identified:

Turkey has established the identity of the gunman who killed 39 people in an Istanbul nightclub on New Year's Day, its foreign minister said on Wednesday, as police detained suspected Islamic State members of Central Asian and North African origin.

In an interview with the state-run Anadolu news agency, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu gave no further details about the gunman, whom Turkish officials have not named.

The attacker shot his way into the exclusive Reina nightclub on Sunday, then opened fire with an automatic rifle, reloading his weapon half a dozen times and shooting the wounded as they lay on the ground. Turks as well as visitors from several Arab nations, India and Canada were among the dead.

Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the attack, saying it was revenge for Turkish military involvement in Syria.

Turkish media reports have said the attacker is believed to be an ethnic Uighur, possibly from Kyrgyzstan. He appeared to have been well-versed in guerrilla warfare and may have trained in Syria, according to one security source.

Police in the Aegean coastal city of Izmir said they had detained 20 suspected Islamic State militants thought to be of Central Asian and North African origin in raids on three addresses. Fake passports, cell phones, and equipment including night vision goggles and a GPS device were seized.

Police did not say whether the detentions were directly linked to the Istanbul nightclub attack. But local media reports have said the gunman is thought to have entered Turkey from Syria and spent time in Konya, travelling with his wife and two children so as not to attract attention.

At least 36 people have been detained since the attack, according to Turkish media reports. Anadolu said on Tuesday that 14 people had been detained in Istanbul, while NTV reported that two foreign nationals had been held at Istanbul's main airport.

Turkey is a hub of Islamist travel.

And where did a huge chunk of Syrian migrants into Canada come from?


ISIS wants to bargain over the dead body of a Canadian who fought against them:

ISIL is trying to “make a deal” in exchange for handing over the body of a Canadian it killed in Syria two weeks ago, his family said Wednesday.

“Canada’s working on it,” said the sister of Nazzareno Tassone, an anti-ISIL volunteer fighter who was killed when the terrorist group attacked his position on Dec. 21.

Kurdish community leaders in Toronto told the family that ISIL “still had his body and they want to make a deal to hand it over,” Tassone’s sister Giustina said.

She said she did not know the details of ISIL’s demands but “we’ve been told that sometimes they either hand over money or they hand over ISIL bodies.”

The family has spoken to their MP about the matter and the Canadian embassy in Turkey was informed, she said. “They know what’s going on and they’re working on getting him back.”

I don't mean to be insensitive to the family but giving ISIS anything other than a bomb is unthinkable.

But killing our enemies makes them win or something.

This headline needs rephrasing:


It should read:

Knowing Damn Well That Trump Will Scrap NAFTA, Trudeau's Backers Send Him to Plead With the Republican-Controlled Congress

PM "Budgets balance themselves" has already driven a stake into natural resource exploration, will get very little from the China-friendly trade agreements signed last year and is running up deficits that get bigger by the day. Re-visiting or scrapping NAFTA could mean arguing over soft lumber and cattle all over again, something Trudeau has no idea how to do. He expected an American leader similar to Obama and could, therefore, keep the status quo.

Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall is right and said what everyone was thinking:


Oh, surprise, surprise!

While most First Nations continue to comply with Stephen Harper’s controversial financial transparency law, a National Post analysis has found the compliance rate sharply dropped after Justin Trudeau’s government dropped a key enforcement mechanism.

As a result of the Trudeau government’s rule change, some bureaucrats are worried they won’t be able to properly account for and administer the billions of dollars transferred each year to the country’s First Nations.

Moreover, the Post has learned that the drop in the compliance rate to 85 per cent this year from 92 per cent in Harper’s last year may be the fault of the federal government itself which, in some instances at least, may have failed to live up to its obligations under the First Nations Financial Transparency Act (FNFTA).

At the end of 2015, the Liberal government suspended a provision that allowed Ottawa to withhold federal funds for any band that failed to publish audited financial statements and a statement listing how much its chief and band councillors were paid.

Speaking of enormous waste:

President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama will host a goodbye party for close friends and major donors Friday, according to a person with knowledge of the marquee affair. The Obamas themselves confirmed during an interview with People Magazine last month that they’d have one final bash at the White House. The president told a young fan that they’d have a “grown up” party before packing their bags.

It was never about foreign policy. It was always about the parties.

One would think that Duterte would deal with this sort of thing:

More than 100 suspected Muslim rebels stormed a jail in the southern Philippines before dawn Wednesday, allowing 158 inmates to escape in what officials said was the biggest jailbreak in the country.

Indian politicians blame the groping of women on "Western clothing":

In an article headlined “Bengaluru’s Night of Shame,” the Bangalore Mirror reported on a New Year’s Eve party in the southern Indian city that had devolved into an unruly mob in which female partygoers were allegedly molested en masse.

“All hell broke loose close to midnight as hooligans in the garb of revellers started pawing, molesting and passing lewd remarks on women on the streets, forcing some of them to literally take off their stilettos and run for help,” the newspaper reported.

Accompanying the story were pictures of some women looking distressed, of others fleeing the chaos and, later, of baton-wielding police officers facing off against crowds of angry men. ...

In the wake of those reports, even more furor erupted after some politicians spoke out about the Bangalore party, suggesting that the fault of any harassment lay with the women and in what they chose to wear.

Karnataka Home Minister G. Parameshwara blamed the incident on women’s wearing “Western” clothing, Al Jazeera reported.

That's funny. Islamists say the same stupid things.

Here he comes to save the day!

Home security footage emerged this week showing a Utah toddler rescuing his twin brother from underneath a toppled dresser in their bedroom.

The boys, dressed in matching pyjamas, were climbing in the empty drawers early Thursday morning when the dresser fell over, trapping two-year-old Brock Shoff. His brother, Bowdy, wriggled free from the dresser and spent two minutes trying to help. He pushed the dresser, but it didn’t budge. He then climbed on top and crawled to the other side, where he prodded the dresser further. Still, his brother Brock stayed trapped, red-faced and obviously crying. Finally, Bowdy managed to push the dresser a few feet and free his brother. 

Bowdy Shoff, 2, pushes a toppled dresser off his twin brother Brock.
Pictured: Brock and Bowdy Shoff. Place of birth: Krypton.

And now, some things one may not have known about JRR Tolkien:

As a linguist and expert on Old English and Old Norse literature, Tolkien was a professor at Oxford University from 1925 until 1959. He was also a tireless instructor, teaching between 70 and 136 lectures a year (his contract only called for 36). But the best part is the way he taught those classes. Although quiet and unassuming in public, Tolkien wasn't the typical stodgy, reserved stereotype of an Oxford don in the classroom. He went to parties dressed as a polar bear, chased a neighbor dressed as an axe-wielding Anglo-Saxon warrior, and was known to hand shopkeepers his false teeth as payment. As one of his students put it, "He could turn a lecture room into a mead hall."

Linguistics 101

(Paws up and Merci)

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