Wednesday, April 05, 2017

Mid-Week Post


Syrian families killed in their sleep during chemical attack:

Scores of Syrians, many of them women and young children, were killed Tuesday in one of the deadliest chemical attacks of the country’s six-year war, according to doctors, rescue workers and witnesses.

Airstrikes on the northwestern town of Khan Sheikhoun began just after daybreak, delivering an unidentified chemical agent that killed at least 58 people and filled clinics across the area with patients foaming at the mouth or struggling to breathe.

President Donald Trump blamed the attack, which he said was carried out by the Syrian government, on former president Barack Obama, calling it a “consequence” of Obama’s “weakness and irresolution.” The reference was to Obama’s decision not to follow through with a threat to use military force against Syrian President Bashar Assad after a 2013 chemical attack.

Trump has a point. A real leader wouldn't draw red lines but actually do something. Instead of spying on Israelis or starting up a virtual Ponzi scheme for a failed healthcare plan,  Obama - had he any intestinal fortitude or scruples - would have done something to prevent a chemical attack.

But that would just be nutty.

The suspected terrorist who killed fourteen people in Saint Petersburg had been renting an apartment a month prior to the attack:

The main suspect in a suicide bombing on the St Petersburg metro that killed 14 people had rented an apartment in the city a month before the blast, neighbors and a building maintenance worker told Reuters on Wednesday.

A day after Monday's attack, security officials raided the apartment and ordered other residents to leave -- a precaution often undertaken when police believe there may be explosives or bomb-making equipment inside.

Thirty-five former captives of ISIS have been released in Libya:

Libyan authorities released on Wednesday 28 Eritreans and seven Nigerians who were captured and enslaved by Islamic State in Sirte and had been held in detention since the jihadist group lost the city in December.

The group, all but two of whom are women and children, escaped from Sirte, a former Islamic State stronghold in central Libya, while forces from the nearby city of Misrata battled to oust the militants late last year.

Some of the women were on their way to Europe when Islamic State fighters kidnapped and held them as sex slaves.

After they escaped from Sirte, they were investigated for possible ties to the group and held for several months in a Misrata prison.

Reuters has documented how Islamic State used enslaved refugee women to reward its fighters in Libya. In stories published last year, the women recounted how the group forced them to convert to Islam and sold them as sex slaves.

In November, a Reuters reporter visited some of the captives at a military post in Misrata. Their new captors, the women said then, starved and humiliated them. At least one woman, a 16-year-old, was pregnant and in need of urgent care.

The Libyan attorney-general's office announced that it had cleared the women of any wrongdoing in mid-February, but their release was delayed for several more weeks, with no explanation.

(Sidebar: to see, I imagine, if they had PTSD or had turned as Boko Haram turns.)

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in agreement with Trump over North Korean missile launches:

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said on Thursday that he and U.S. President Donald Trump agreed in a telephone call that North Korea's latest ballistic missile launch was "a dangerous provocation and a serious threat."

Abe also told reporters at his official residence that he was watching to see how China would respond to Pyongyang after President Xi Jinping meets with Trump at the U.S. leader's Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida.

In his brief, nationally televised remarks, Abe said Trump had told him that all options were on the table regarding how to handle North Korea.
It's time for Japan et al to nuclearise.

Normal people would call this "grooming":

So what practical effects will the addition of the Human Rights Code list have? Bill 89 itself is exceedingly vague on details, but would give the Minister extensive power to make regulations “governing how service providers, in making decisions in respect of any child, are to take into account the child’s race … sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression”. In short, the Minister gets to decide on the details, without consulting the legislature.  That fact alone should make you uncomfortable. The Minister of Children and Youth Services, Michael Coteau (also the bill’s sponsor) – the one who would have this regulatory power – has given some insight on how he perceives the application of these new and far reaching powers.

Ontario Liberal voters, however, do not.

Laziness ensure Liberal voters, hence the Maritime dependency on hand-outs:

Nat Richard, director of corporate affairs at Westmorland Fisheries, said his company would happily avoid participating in the temporary foreign worker program if it could. “It’s costly and complicated. We are always hiring — we spend a lot of money on radio and print ads — and we have significantly increased wages by 12 per cent on base salaries. We would prefer to hire locally but the reality is it’s tough work and we are forced to supplement our workforce with people from Mexico and elsewhere.”

If Richard is correct, the problem is not foreign workers taking the bread from the mouths of unemployed Canadians, it’s that local people with prior experience in the fish processing industry decide they’d prefer to get by on employment insurance.

On this, the Liberals are culpable. In budget 2016, the new government followed through on the electoral bribe that delivered it every single seat in Atlantic Canada.

Dogs prove once again that they are the better species:

Officials say a dog at a Nigerian wedding party grappled with a suicide bomber until her explosives detonated, killing the animal as well.

Buba Ahmed of Belbelo village, near the northeastern city of Maiduguri, says guests are grateful that the dog sacrificed itself to save their lives.

Terrorists are a superstitious cowardly lot. So my disguise must be able to strike terror into their hearts. I must be a creature of the night, black, terrible...

Also (RE: better species):

The floor looks clean in this high-rise apartment, seven stories above Kuwait City traffic. Not a smudge in sight on the picture window. On the other side of the glass, the maid is hanging on by one knuckle, screaming.

“Oh crazy, come here,” a woman says casually in Arabic, holding a camera up to the maid.
“Hold on to me! Hold on to me!” the maid yells.

Instead, the woman steps back. The maid’s grip finally slips, and she lands in a cloud of dust, many stories below.

The maid – an Ethiopian who had been working in the country for several years, according to the Kuwait Times – survived the fall. The videographer, her employer, was arrested last week on a charge of failing to help the worker.

To reinforce the point, a list of dogs who saved lives.

And now, wisteria in the spring:

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