Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Mid-Week Post

 The flavour-filled centre of the work-week ...

But why are Trump's remarks about Kim Jong-Un controversial? They're true:

In a call last month with the Philippines' president, U.S. President Donald Trump described North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un as a "madman with nuclear weapons" who could not be let on the loose, according to a leaked Philippine transcript of their call.

Trump told Duterte in the April 29 call that the United States would "take care of North Korea," and had a lot of firepower in the region, although it did not want to use it, according to a transcript of their conversation published by the Washington Post and the investigative news site The Intercept.

The document included a "confidential" cover sheet from the Americas division of the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs.

A senior U.S. official said the Trump administration did not dispute the accuracy of the transcript and declined to comment further.

Trump requested Duterte's help in impressing on China, North Korea's neighbor and only major ally, the need for it to help rein in Kim, the transcript showed.

"We can't let a madman with nuclear weapons let on the loose like that," Trump said. "We have a lot of firepower, more than he has, times 20, but we don't want to use it."
Kim Jong-Un had senior officials and even his own relatives purged. His missile launches are becoming increasingly successful.

Is calling him a madman with nuclear weapons inaccurate? Really?

Al-Shabaab has claimed responsibility for a bombing that killed five people in Mogadishu:

A bombing claimed by Islamist insurgents killed five civilians and injured six more in the Somali capital on Wednesday, a spokesman for the city's mayor said, underscoring the militants' ability to carry out attacks despite territorial losses.

Bombings are a near-daily occurrence in Mogadishu. Most are claimed by the al Qaeda-linked al Shabaab militia, which is fighting to overthrow the weak U.N.-backed government and drive out the African Union peacekeeping force that supports it. 

Perhaps the the peace-keeping force would be stronger if its members stopped raping girls.

Terrorists in the Philippines have seized hostages in Marawi, a city in the south:

Islamic State group-linked militants swept through a southern Philippine city, beheading a police chief, burning buildings, seizing a Catholic priest and his worshippers and raising the black flag of IS, authorities said Wednesday. President Rodrigo Duterte, who had declared martial law across the southern third of the nation, warned he may expand it nationwide.
At least 21 people have died in the fighting, officials said.

As details of the attack in Marawi city emerged, fears mounted that the largest Roman Catholic nation in Asia could be falling into a growing list of countries grappling with the spread of influence from the Islamic State group in Syria and Iraq.

The violence erupted Tuesday after the army raided the hideout of Isnilon Hapilon, a commander of the Abu Sayyaf militant group who has pledged allegiance to IS. He is on Washington's list of most-wanted terrorists with a $5 million reward for information leading to his capture.

The militants called for reinforcements and around 100 gunmen entered Marawi, a mostly Muslim city of 200,000 people on the southern island of Mindanao, Defence Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said.

"We are in a state of emergency," Duterte said Wednesday after he cut short a trip to Moscow and flew back to Manila. "I have a serious problem in Mindanao and the ISIS footprints are everywhere."

He declared martial rule for 60 days in the entire Mindanao region — home to 22 million people — and vowed to be "harsh."

"If I think that you should die, you will die," he said. "If you fight us, you will die. If there is open defiance, you will die. And if it means many people dying, so be it."

(Sidebar: one cannot say that Duterte isn't persistent.)

It's time to burn the jungle.

How could this possibly go wrong?
Last March, CSIS director Michel Coulombe testified in front of a Senate committee that, at the time, there were 60 Canadians known to have returned home from going abroad to participate in terror activities.

These included paramilitary exercises, receiving jihadi training, providing logistical support for operations and more. Basically, they went to terrorist training camp. Then they came home. “Ticking time bomb” is the accurate phrase to describe this situation.

U.K. Home Secretary Amber Rudd recently confirmed that Abedi was known to authorities. For specifically what reasons, we’re not sure. The speculation is that it has to do with what he’d gotten up to during a recent visit to Libya.

Coulombe also said last year that there were an additional 180 Canadians who at that time were still abroad engaging in terror-related activities. A year ago. And how many of them have since come home?

These acts are serious Criminal Code violations. So if we’ve identified dozens of Canadians hot for jihad, why on Earth are we letting them move freely?

It can be difficult to build a proper case, terrorism expert and Carleton University Professor Alex Wilner pointed out on my radio show Wednesday morning. If the alleged terror offence took place in countries, such as Iraq and Syria, it’s tough to compile the evidence and get help from what exists of law enforcement in the regions.

Even when they return home to Canada, it takes dozens of officers to perform surveillance on one radical.

(Sidebar: problem right there.)

“We have to dedicate our limited resources to those that we think are the greatest threat,” CSIS deputy director of operations Jeff Yaworski told a committee back in 2014.

Despite all this, it’s clear Canada also just isn’t committed to going all in to charge these guys. RCMP commissioner Bob Paulson confirmed as much in remarks he gave to media last year.

“If we’re not getting the evidence, are we satisfying the safety issues by surveillance and other techniques while we collect the evidence or are there alternative ways of keeping communities safe by direct interventions with the individual or his family?” Paulson said last March. “In other cases, we’ve assessed that they’re back, they’re sorry, they’re working to try to get their heads straight and we’re relying on family members or other professionals.”

That’s right. If jihadists say they’re sorry and their moms promise to keep them on the straight and narrow, the RCMP opt not to charge them. It’s madness.

No one can accuse one of incompetence if one looks like one is working hard:

The brother of Salman Abedi, the suspect accused of carrying out a bombing in Manchester, England, that killed 22 people, allegedly said he knew his brother was going to carry out an attack, but did not know where or when, according to a spokesman for Libya’s counterterror forces.


Police made arrests in Manchester and Tripoli on Wednesday as the investigation into a suicide bomber who killed 22 people at a concert venue packed with children focused on tracking down a network of accomplices who authorities fear could strike again.

Manchester police made four new arrests and searched an address in the city center. A source said British investigators were hunting for anyone who may have helped build the suicide bomb and who could be ready to kill again.

"I think it's very clear that this is a network that we are investigating," police chief Ian Hopkins said outside Manchester police headquarters.

(Sidebar: and you just discovered this? Of course you did.)

Please, British authorities, continue being cross with sharp-tongued columnists and embarrassing leaks:

U.K. Home Secretary Amber Rudd criticized U.S. officials for leaking details about Monday’s terrorist attack in Manchester, warning Britain’s ally that it should not happen again. ...

“The British police have been very clear that they want to control the flow of information in order to protect operational integrity, the element of surprise, so it is irritating if it gets released from other sources,” Rudd told BBC Radio on Wednesday, when asked about U.S. leaks. “I have been very clear with our friends that that should not happen again.”

That, apparently, is more important than sweeping changes needed to safeguard one's country.

Also - Morrissey said this


People voted for this

Ontarians will be paying a net $21 billion over the next three decades to get short-term savings under the Liberal government's hydro plan, which is designed to make the province's bottom line look better, two watchdogs said Wednesday.

Both the financial accountability officer and the auditor general weighed in on the plan to lower hydro rates, which have roughly doubled over the last decade.

A report from the budget watchdog found that the government will spend $45 billion over the life of its hydro plan to save people $24 billion on their bills over the next approximately 30 years.

The $45 billion, however, is mostly the cost of funding an eight-per-cent rebate that took effect in January and assumes balanced budgets. If the government has to fund that rebate through debt, the cost could soar up to $93 billion, the report said.

Only in the mind of Liberals can this be an economic win.

And now,  puppies arguing with humans. Enjoy:

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