Sunday, May 13, 2018

Sunday Post

A merry Mother's Day to all y'all.

A French national born in Chechnya and on a terror watch-list killed one person and wounded several others in a frenzied knife attack in Paris:

Police on Sunday scoured the background of a Chechnya-born Frenchman who killed a man in a knife attack in Paris, questioning the parents and a friend of the 21-year old, who had been flagged previously as a potential security risk. 

Late on Saturday, the assailant shouted “Allahu akbar” (God is greatest) as he began his stabbing rampage. He fatally knifed a 29-year-old man and wounded four others, among them a Chinese and a Luxembourg citizen, before police shot him dead. 

A judicial source named the attacker as Khamzat A, without giving his full name, which BFM TV and other French media said was Azimov. 

The attack took place in the bustling Opera district, known for its many restaurants, cafes and the Palais Garnier opera. 

It was the latest in a succession of attacks in France since January 2015 in which more than 240 people have died. 

The attacker had since 2016 been on a counter-terrorism watchlist of suspected radicals who may be a threat to national security, government spokesman Benjamin Griveaux said. 

A family that slays together stays together:

A family of six suicide bombers that included two young children carried out deadly attacks on three churches in Indonesia’s second-largest city on Sunday, police said, as the world’s most populous Muslim nation recoiled in horror at one of the worst attacks on its Christian minority.

At least seven people plus the six bombers died in the attacks in Surabaya, according to police. At least 41 people were injured in the attacks, which Indonesia’s president condemned as “barbaric.”

The bombings were the worst to target churches in Indonesia since a series of attacks on Christmas Eve in 2000 killed 15 people and wounded nearly 100. Religious minorities in Indonesia, especially Christians, have been repeatedly targeted by militants.

National police chief Tito Karnavian said that the father exploded a car bomb, two sons aged 18 and 16 used a motorcycle for their attack, and the mother was with daughters aged 12 and 9 for her attack.

Twenty-six people were killed by an "unidentified terrorist group" in Burundi:

Twenty-six people were killed and seven others wounded in an attack by an unidentified “terrorist group” in rural Burundi, the country’s security minister said Saturday.

The attack came shortly before Burundians vote May 17 in a controversial referendum that could extend the president’s term. It was not immediately clear if the attack was related, although some activists said they believe it was.

Speaking at the scene, Security Minister Alain Guillaume Bunyoni told reporters that 24 people were killed in their homes Friday night and two others died of their wounds at a local hospital. He gave no further details about the attack in Ruhagarika community in the northwestern province of Cibitoke.

All in all, I would say that this was a very productive week-end for terrorism.

After outing himself as a butcher on a New York Times podcast, Justin's latest embarrassment wants everyone to know that he is actually a victim:

In early 2014, a young Toronto-area man who went by the jihadi nom de guerre "Abu Huzaifa al-Kanadi" (Abu Huzaifa the Canadian) cleaned out his bank account and left to join the ranks of ISIS.

He was 17 going on 18. His parents were kept in the dark about his intention to join the extremist organization, he said.

Five months after serving as an ISIS enforcer in the Syrian city of Manbij, Abu Huzaifa said he realized it wasn't what he had signed up for and he decided to flee Islamic State in Iraq and Syria [ISIS] and head home.

Abu Huzaifa would only agree to speak to the CBC on condition that his real name and identity not be revealed. Afraid for his life, he said he suffers from nightmares and wakes up in a cold sweat at least three times a week.

(Sidebar: these nightmares? -  “One shot. Clean to the head. Just finish them off,” Abu Huzaifa said on the podcast of executions. “They brought in these men wearing blue jumpsuits…they were blindfolded, handcuffed, came in as a line and sat in front of us.”
Abu Huzaifa casually described how an ISIS execution took place. He said the Sunni Muslim men were non-emotional as they prepared to meet their demise.
To me, they looked like animals (when they were facing me),” Abu Huzaifa told interviewer Rukmini Callimachi. “The guy (in front of us) would give us a cue and then say, ‘Fire!’”)

Justin calls for a by-election in Quebec after leaving $60 million on the table:

(Sidebar: he probably just forgot that he left it there.)

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has called a byelection for the Quebec riding of Chicoutimi-Le Fjord, only days after pledging $60 million in federal funding for an aluminum-smelting project in the area.

Voters in the riding will head to the polls on June 18 to elect a new member of Parliament, after first-term Liberal MP Denis Lemieux announced his resignation due to family reasons late last year.

Trudeau announced the byelection on Sunday, three days after visiting the riding with Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard, where the two offered financial support for a $558-million prototype aluminum smelter.


News that several Quebec Liberals won’t seek re-election this year has fuelled speculation the governing party’s boat is sinking, but former politicians caution against assuming that is the main reason behind the impending departures.

No fewer than 14 Liberal members of the legislature, including five cabinet ministers, have announced they won’t seek re-election. Four others, including two ministers and the Speaker, are also said to be considering their political future ahead of the Oct. 1 vote.

While Premier Philippe Couillard’s party is completing just its first mandate, the Liberals have been in power for 13 of the last 15 years and are polling consistently behind the Coalition Avenir Quebec. ...

In late 2015, the legislature unanimously adopted a law removing the automatic right to a cash payment for retiring politicians.

Politicians in Quebec are given a so-called transition allowance based on their salary and time spent in office.

A veteran politician who has served in cabinet is eligible to receive up to about $167,000 in a lump sum payment or divided over a period of up to 36 months.

Before the rule change, some members would run for a second, third or fourth term and quit during their mandate, collecting the money and triggering a costly byelection.

The new rules stipulate departing members can only collect transition allowances if they complete their term in office, with strict exceptions. ...

“That is clearly, for some of them, why they are leaving now. If you step down before the end of your four-year mandate you get squat.”

This knee-jerk outrage has only given Doug Ford more votes from people who are frustrated and tired that their tax dollars are being wasted instead of spent on them, as they assumed they would be:

Facing criticism for suggesting Ontario has to "take care of our own" before pushing for immigrants to move to northern Ontario, Progressive Conservative Leader Doug Ford repeatedly refused to explain his comments, instead saying he is supportive of new Canadians and immigration.

At a news conference Saturday, Ford was asked four times to explain what he meant by the remarks, but would not elaborate. Instead, he slammed his opponents for seizing upon the remarks he made at the northern issues leader's debate Friday.

"My opponents are playing politics — you know that," Ford said. "There's no politician that probably has more support out there for new Canadians. Ford Nation's full of new Canadians."

Ford said that if he's elected June 7, his government will create more spaces for apprenticeships and break down barriers that keep credentials held by new immigrants from being recognized.

"We take care of new Canadians," Ford said. "We take care of immigrants coming to this country. They call me personally on my phone. If you they have credentials from other countries, we will make sure that we do everything in our power ... to recognize those credentials and speed up the process."

(Sidebar: one would assume within reason.)

It's just money:

A federal judge has approved a multimillion-dollar settlement for Indigenous people who were taken from their families and placed in non-Indigenous foster homes in the so-called ’60s Scoop.

Justice Michel Shore made the ruling in Saskatoon after two days of hearings in which survivors spoke for and against the proposal.

The settlement includes $750 million for the survivors, $50 million for an Indigenous healing foundation and $75 million for legal fees.

I believe that I pointed this out:

North Korea on Friday announced a plan to close down its nuclear test site ahead of summits with South Korea and the U.S., but the site is in fact already unusable. 

As a result of the six nuclear tests from 2006 until last September, experts believe the Punggye-ri test site is now so unsafe and the ground so unstable that no further tests can be conducted there. 

Although the granite of Mt. Mantap, where the tunnels were dug for nuclear tests, is still stable, many tunnels caved in and there have been several alarming aftershocks.

Some 200 people died when a tunnel collapsed during construction after the sixth nuclear test, Asahi TV reported last November.

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