Stopping Putin: The Time Has Come for Europe to Act (5)

Vladimir Putin has ignored Western demands that he cease arming and supporting pro-Russian separatists in Ukraine. As such, he shares responsibility for the shooting down of MH17. It is now time for Europe to take tough action.

The Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 crash site is a nightmare, with body parts still lying among the sunflowers. Fully 298 people were murdered here while the entire world became witness to marauding bandits in uniform robbing the dead and taking their dignity in the process.

Here, in the eastern Ukrainian steppe, Vladimir Putin has shown his true face. Once seen as a statesman, the Russian president has exposed himself as a pariah of the international community. The MH17 dead are also his; he is partially responsible for the shooting down of the flight. And now, the moment has come to force him to back down — with severe economic sanctions.

Nobody in the West continues to harbor serious doubts that the plane was shot down with a Buk surface-to-air missile system — one that was almost certainly provided to the pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine by Russia. One separatist leader even admitted that they possessed such a system — and the evidence is substantial.

It may be that the shooting down of MH17 was a tragic error. The fighter who launched the missile didn’t likely intend to shoot down a commercial aircraft. Still, the incident is the direct consequence of the recent weeks Russia has spent arming the separatists. It is a symbol of Putin’s depravity — and for the failure of Western policy thus far. The wreckage of MH17 is also the wreckage of diplomacy.

While the West initially imposed but mild sanctions and demanded a policy of de-escalation, Putin repeatedly escalated the conflict while vociferously proclaiming his irreproachability. He continually insisted that he wasn’t behind the separatists. This web of lies, propaganda and deceit has now been exposed.

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See Also:

#1 — The Ups and Downs of German Green Energy

#2 — Banks accused of rigging silver price

#3 — The Absurdity of Celebrating ‘Successes’ of Bailed-Out Banks

#4 — ‘Corruption and elitism’ fueling inequality in China

#5 — Putin defiant in face of new EU arms sanctions

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Pot seen as reason for rise in Denver homeless (1)

DENVER (AP) — Officials at some Denver homeless shelters say the legalization of marijuana has contributed to an increase in the number of younger people living on the city’s streets.

One organization dealing with the increase is Urban Peak, which provides food, shelter and other services to homeless people aged 15 to 24 in Denver and Colorado Springs.

“Of the new kids we’re seeing, the majority are saying they’re here because of the weed,” deputy director Kendall Rames told The Denver Post (http://dpo.st/1l1vQER ). “They’re traveling through. It is very unfortunate.”

The Salvation Army’s single men’s shelter in Denver has been serving more homeless this summer, and officials have noted an increase in the number of 18- to 25-year-olds there.

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Kives: Welcome to Williston, North Dakota – America’s new gold rush city

Anyone who happened to pass along the northern slope of the Missouri river valley on US Route 2 in 2008, at the start of the global economic recession, would have seen a small city, suffering from the same malaise that was afflicting every other ranching-and-farming community scattered about the immense expanse of the US great plains.

Young people were leaving Williston, North Dakota. The remaining residents were aging and dying off. No new industries wanted to move to an obscure corner of what was already one of the most obscure US states, plagued by a midcontinental climate where the average January night dips down to -18C and the normal July highs are 29C.

If you’d stopped to ask her then, lifelong resident Rena Greaves would have said she dreamed of leaving. “It was so quiet, so boring,” she said.

The constant rumble of Ford F-350 pickups and 18-wheelers means there is very rarely any quiet any more. “I’m not used to the noise. I have a lot of mixed feelings,” said Greaves. “There are new restaurants and places to shop. There are new people from all over and a lot of them are nice.

“But I don’t go out any more. I don’t do anything. You can’t walk into a bar. It’s so overcrowded and you don’t know anyone.”

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Germany insists it hasn’t scuttled CETA: report

The German ministry of the economy has clarified its position on the Canada-EU trade agreement (CETA), saying it will “meticulously” examine the agreement as soon as it’s on the table, Agence France Presse reported Monday.

On Saturday, the Sueddeutsche Zeitung — a German news outlet — cited diplomats in Brussels saying Germany planned to reject CETA if the final agreement contained investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS), which allows investors to challenge governments before independent tribunals and bypass domestic courts.

But now the German government is distancing itself from those comments.

“We’re going to examine the results of the negotiations very closely,” a ministerial spokesperson said at a news conference. “The negotiations are ongoing. We don’t have an official text yet.”

The spokesperson added that they were “stunned” by the report, which they said “doesn’t reflect the position of the government or the ministry”.

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Coren: I hate the hatred

Israel and Gaza. I hate the deaths on both sides. I hate the outsiders on both sides claiming to care. I hate the lack of empathy on both sides. I hate the hatred.

I hate the way the Marxists and their friends who supported Israel in the 50s and 60s now call Israelis Nazis. I hate the way Islamic fanatics pretend to care about the Palestinians when at the same time they slaughter their own people and use those same Palestinians as metaphorical and literal shields. I hate the hatred.

I hate the way sound-bite radicals with no sense of history or context refuse to grasp that Israel is not a product of design but of desperation, and that the Jews of Europe and the Arab world didn’t just decide to take a holiday but fled to anywhere they could be safe. I hate the way liberal Christians obsess about criticizing Israel when if European Christians had genuinely followed Jesus when it came to their Jewish minorities and not slaughtered them, expelled them, persecuted them, gassed them, Israel would not have come into existence. I hate the hatred.

I hate the way some on the right and in Zionist circles refuse to listen to the Palestinian experience and believe Israel can do no wrong. I hate the way some evangelical Christians think the ghastly battle over Israel and Palestine is some sort of Biblical combat and modern Armageddon to be fought vicariously by Jews and Arabs. I hate the hatred.

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Editorial: Firearms law hits the mark

The title of the Tories’ latest proposed gun legislation is on target. The Common Sense Firearms Licensing Act is just that.

While people on both sides of the firearms debate may be unhappy with certain clauses, the changes strike the right balance.

First of all, it eliminates red tape. As the law stands, you need a permit whenever you want to transport a restricted weapon. Under the new law, transportation will simply be included under the licensing process.

This will save paperwork, time and tax dollars. Someone who is already getting a licence for a restricted weapon has clearly shown they’re serious about following the rules, including transportation.

Anti-gun activists who like to bring out the domestic violence argument should be happy with the proposed change that makes it easier for a judge to take away the guns of someone convicted of a domestic assault.

This too is common sense. These people have already outted themselves as high risk.

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Hanson: Why Is the World Becoming Such a Nasty Place?

Border Disorders

Central American parents send their unescorted children northward in hopes of remittances and eventual anchor amnesty for themselves. Our friend Mexico facilitates the exodus through its own sovereign territory (hoping that no one stops along the transit, and happy that the border is further shredded). Central American governments seem happy too. More money will be sent back home. Fewer mouths will be left to feed. Possible dissidents will emigrate. A new generation of expatriates in the U.S. will grow fonder of and lobby for Central America the longer they don’t have to live there.

We utter “the children,” and discussion about proper culpability, cynical manipulation, and disinformation ends. In such a fantasy world, parents don’t manipulate “the children” as pawns; countries don’t try to export what they see as their surplus population; Mexico doesn’t stir the pot; and liberal activists don’t cynically calculate electoral advantage. There are children in need at the border — but there is a great deal more as well. When the president of the United States renders his nation’s immigration laws irrelevant, people notice. And when he establishes a radical expansion in entitlements, those abroad likewise notice. And when he offers a narrative that “they” are culpable and owe much to the exploited, people arrive.

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Editorial: A tip for the UN

If the UN truly wishes to play a constructive role in ending the bloodshed, it should be a part of an international effort to bring about the gradual demilitarization of Gaza.

Surrounded and supported by such moral luminaries as China, Cuba, Pakistan, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Sierra Leone and the United Arab Emirates, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay took action – to defend Hamas.

Concerned that Israel had committed war crimes before and during Operation Protective Edge, Pillay called at an emergency session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva to establish an international committee of inquiry, the goal being to gather as much incriminatory evidence against Israel as possible.

We would have thought that by now the obvious need not be reiterated. Even South African judge Richard Goldstone, principal author of the infamous UN Goldstone Report, came to understand – albeit belatedly – the reality of warfare in Gaza and retracted statements he made blaming Israel for supposedly targeting civilians during Operation Cast Lead in 2009.

But we will reiterate the obvious for the sake of Pillay and her morally sensitive cronies at the UN.

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Morning Update July 29th, 2014 (10)

CANADA

#1 — CNews | First World War: Soldiers then and now

In the First World War, life for soldiers in the trenches was miserable. They were often cold, muddy and rat infested. Compared to the First World War, today’s modern-day troops are set up with sophisticated gear, designed to adapt to the field environment.

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#2 — CTV | Canada’s hidden hepatitis C epidemic

It is a “national scandal” that Canada does not have a national public health strategy to deal with hepatitis C, one doctor says as World Hepatitis Day gets underway.

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#3 — Globe | Canada works to institute a national missing persons DNA databank

Judy Peterson arranged to meet a pair of British Columbia RCMP officers on the side of the road halfway between Courtenay and Victoria. The police opened the back of their SUV, retrieved a DNA collection kit and pricked Ms. Peterson’s fingertip for blood.

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#4 — Postmedia | Man ‘puzzled’ after police charge him

Toronto police have charged a 37-year-old man for offering free beer to anyone who threw eggs or tomatoes at Mayor Rob Ford during the alcohol-free Ford Fest on Friday night.

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#5 — Sun | Some Ontario docs say pay should be public

LONDON — Taxpayers in Ontario are in the dark on how much it pays doctors — something some physicians say should change.

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WORLD

#6 — BBC | Court orders Russia to pay $50bn to Yukos shareholders

A court in the Hague has awarded shareholders in the defunct Russian oil company Yukos the largest compensation package to date.

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#7 — CNS | Scalise: No Funding Cutoff Even If Obama Defers More Deportations

(CNSNews.com) – What will congressional Republicans do if President Obama takes executive action to defer deportation for millions more illegal aliens? “Fox News Sunday” host Chris Wallace asked Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.) that question on Sunday.

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#8 — Fox | 2nd American in Liberia tests positive for Ebola

BOONE, N.C. – A second American aid worker has tested positive for the Ebola virus at the same hospital in Liberia where an American doctor became infected while helping to combat an outbreak of the deadly disease, a relief group official said Sunday.

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#9 — DM | Mystery of the Siberian crater deepens

New unexplained holes have appeared in Siberia following the mystery over a giant crater on the Yamal Peninsula.

A second is in the same permafrost region of northern Russia, and a third on the Taymyr Peninsula, to the east, in Kransoyark region. Both were spotted by reindeer herders who almost fell in.

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#10 — WT | Libya now nation at risk with weak U.S. influence; embassy closes as chaos grows

With violence spreading across Libya and the U.S. Embassy closing in Tripoli, Republican lawmakers over the weekend blasted the Obama administration for failing to stop yet another troubled Middle Eastern nation from descending into complete chaos, and even some Democrats conceded that America’s influence in the world has waned considerably.

[...]

Al Arabia | Second oil depot catches fire in Libya’s Tripoli

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