Darwall: Good-Bye, Treaty

The administration plans to sign a non-binding climate-change accord. Good luck with that.

I am speaking on behalf of the United States of America because my negotiators cannot,” Abigail Borah, a youth delegate to the 2011 Durban climate negotiations, yelled from the conference floor. “I am scared for my future,” she cried, silencing Todd Stern, the Obama administration’s chief climate negotiator. “We need an urgent path to a fair, ambitious, and legally binding treaty.”

Now the Obama administration is signaling that there will be not be a new climate treaty. According to a report in Wednesday’s New York Times, the path to a treaty has come to an end, 14 months before the Paris talks scheduled for next year. Instead, the best deal on offer is a non-binding accord. This is big news.

[Good Read]

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Morning Update August 31st, 2014 (10)

CANADA

#1 — CNews | Alberta privacy commish blasts clinic that lost 620,000 patients’ files

EDMONTON — Alberta’s privacy commissioner has ruled that a network of health clinics violated the Health Information Act by failing to safeguard the personal health data of over 620,000 Albertans that was contained on a laptop stolen last September.

[...]

#2 — CTV | Broadcasters to be required to transmit emergency alerts: CRTC

New safety rules will require broadcasters to transmit warnings during emergency situations, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission announced Friday.

[...]

#3 — Globe | Premiers endorse climate change plan

Ontario and Quebec have seized the leadership of a long-promised Canadian energy strategy, shifting the focus to climate change and clean energy from the pipeline agenda.

[...]

#4 — Postmedia | Harper picks new top advisers for committee on public service

Prime Minister Stephen Harper has picked a former senator and a top banking executive to head his blue-chip advisory committee on managing and modernizing Canada’s public service.

[...]

#5 — Sun | Canada says Russian sanctions working, won’t tip hand on possible further military help

OTTAWA – Despite ramping up its rhetoric against Russia and its actions in Ukraine, the Canadian government has been less zealous when it comes to increasing military aid to the country.

[...]

WORLD

#6 — BBC | Lesotho ‘coup’ forces PM Thabane to South Africa

The prime minister of the southern African kingdom of Lesotho has fled to South Africa, alleging a coup by the army and saying his life is in danger.

[...]

#7 — CNS | Huckabee to Arabs: ‘Get Out of Your Palaces…and Stop This Nonsense Yourself’

(CNSNews.com) – It’s “all fine and good” that Arab League nations are giving minimal support to the effort to stop ISIS/ISIL, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee told Fox News on Thursday.

But they need to do much more than give money:

[...]

#8 — Fox | New challenge for HealthCare.gov: Tax forms

The federal agency that had trouble launching a health insurance website last fall has a massive new project. Any glitches on this one could delay tax refunds for many Americans.

[...]

#9 — DM | Back on the bombing run (great pictures)

For the 55,000 brave aircrew who lost their lives in the Second World War, it would have been their final view of England, soaring high above the North Lincolnshire countryside.

In tribute, one of the world’s last two airworthy Lancasters takes the same route over Bomber Country – where some 389,000 sorties were flown by Bomber Command between 1939 and 1945.

[...]

#10 — WT | Jeh Johnson: No imminent threat against the U.S., despite Britain’s ‘severe’ alert

Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said there was no imminent threat against the U.S., despite Britain’s decision to raise their terrorism alert level Friday.

[...]

WT | Feds issue bulletin on ‘imminent’ attack at U.S. border; Islamic State in Mexico

Posted in Morning Updates | 1 Comment

Miller: Rotherham child abuse scandal – a nation in disgrace (5)

Rotherham, a borough of 250,000 people, sits in England’s industrial north. Photo: Getty Images

Rotherham: When the full extent of child abuse in the South Yorkshire town of Rotherham was revealed this week, a sigh of recognition was quickly followed by a sharp gasp of horror.

There was an element of “not again”, of yet another chapter of the United Kingdom’s still-unfolding paedophile nightmare. But this was something else. It had sheer scale, scope, the length and breadth of the evil unfolded, the malice of the perpetrators and the close-eyed, back-turned, passive immorality of those who let it continue.

A nation is in disgrace. The UK has plunged into a debate over culture, race, immigration, political correctness, class, the politics of welfare, the north-south divide. Almost every fissure in British society seems to crack open at this point, from sheer weight of numbers.

One thousand, four hundred children, said the report by Professor Alexis Jay, a former chief inspector of social work in Scotland. That number, wrote Professor Jay, was “our conservative estimate” of the victim count in Rotherham from 1997 to 2013.

She was close to tears at the press conference announcing her findings.

[Read it all]

See Also:

#1 — Deputy police commissioner quits over Rotherham child sex scandal

#2 — Multiculturalism is to blame for the Rotherham child sex abuse scandal

“POLITICAL correctness is a vile, perverted ideology which is wrecking our society and ruining the lives of the innocent.”

#3 — Rotherham: police spent ‘great deal of time’ trying to disprove victim abuse

#4 — Rotherham abuse scandal: South Yorkshire police face tough questions

#5 — Rotherham Care Worker: We Couldn’t Stop Child Grooming For Fear of Being Labelled ‘Racists’

Posted in Featured | Tagged , , | 9 Comments

Afternoon Update August 30th, 2014 (10)

CANADA

#1 — CNews | Edmonton teacher fired for giving zeros for unsubmitted work vindicated

David beats Goliath.

Usually David gets squashed like a bug. Not this time.

Remember Lynden Dorval.

[...]

#2 — CTV | Ottawa to end ‘unfair’ fees for paper bills: Moore

OTTAWA — The big telecom companies may have agreed to exempt some customers from fees charged for paper invoices, but the federal government says it’s going to end the whole practice.

[...]

#3 — Globe | First Nation inquiry calls give way to roundtable with broad focus

Premiers and native leaders calling for a national roundtable shouldn’t limit their scope to murdered and missing aboriginal women and should instead tackle the systemic failures underlying a range of problems, including the over-representation of aboriginals in jail and in the child-welfare system, a prominent retired judge says.

[...]

#4 — Postmedia | Canadian commandos shopping for new equipment

Canada’s special forces have put together a shopping list of new equipment, ranging from armoured vehicles to radios, that they plan to acquire.

[...]

#5 — Sun | Lev Tahor forced out of Guatemalan village

CHATHAM, Ontario – After fleeing Canada to settle in Guatemala, the ultra-orthodox Jewish sect Lev Tahor is on the move again.

[...]

WORLD

#6 — BBC | George Galloway taken to hospital after street attack

George Galloway has been taken to hospital with a suspected broken jaw after he was attacked on a London street, his spokesman has said.

[...]

#7 — CNN | Convicted Cold War spy John Walker dies in federal prison

(CNN) — John Walker Jr., a former U.S. Navy officer convicted of spying decades ago for the Soviet Union, has died in federal prison, according to the U.S. government.

[...]

#8 — Fox | California Gov. Jerry Brown files appeal over teacher tenure ruling

LOS ANGELES – California Gov. Jerry Brown late Friday appealed a court ruling that struck down tenure and other job protections for the state’s teachers.

[...]

#9 — DM | ‘It’s better not to mess with Russia’

Vladimir Putin last night pointed to Russia’s nuclear arsenal and warned the West: ‘It’s best not to mess with us’ on Ukraine.

[...]

#10 — WT | U.S. weapons land in Lebanon for Islamic State fight: ‘This aircraft is full, chock-full!’

A cache of emergency weapons — including M16-A4 assault rifles and anti-tank missiles — was delivered Friday to Lebanon from the United States at Lebanon’s request.

[...]

Posted in Afternoon Updates | Leave a comment

Rebel MP Douglas Carswell defends joining UKIP amid revelations Nigel Farage is targeting 16 more Tories (10)

Tory defector Douglas Carswell today defended his decision to join UKIP – declaring: ‘I stab people in the front, not the back’.

Mr Carswell returned to his Clacton constituency this morning with UKIP leader Nigel Farage amid speculation many more Conservative MPs have considered defecting.

Today, the multi-millionaire UKIP donor Stuart Wheeler confirmed that he had wined and dined around eight backbench Tory MPs in an attempt to encourage them to switch allegiance. He added that there were ‘another eight I could have easily taken out’.

The former party treasurer said he could not give names but boasted that there were a further eight he could have ‘easily’ invited out to lunch.

Mr Wheeler told Sky News he took the MPs to a restaurant called Serafino, which he said was no longer open.

He said: ‘I didn’t say “Would you defect?”. I would say “Would you like to meet Nigel Farage?”. Some of them said yes and obviously Douglas Carswell was one of them.’

Mr Carswell – who officially stood down from Parliament today – said he was taking a risk by forcing a by-election but denied that he had been disloyal to Prime Minister David Cameron.

He added: ‘I like David Cameron, he’s a nice guy, he’s actually good fun.

‘I don’t think I’ve ever stabbed anybody in the back, maybe I occasionally stab one or two people in the front but I’ve been frank and straight with people.

‘But I think he’s not serious about change in Europe and I’ve put my political career on the line.’

[More]

See Also:

#1 — A wake-up call for Cameron from an Essex man

#2 — The maverick mutineer

#3 — Douglas Carswell’s defection to Ukip is a seismic shock to the British political system

#4 — The House of Commons needs men like Douglas Carswell

#5 — Thank God for Douglas Carswell

Afternoon Update:

#6 — A new NATO for an anxious age

#7 — The problem with sanctions

#8 — Tax burden in Greece among EU’s heaviest, study reveals

#9 — Russian gas cut to Ukraine unlikely to hurt Europe: analysts

#10 — Eurozone inflation falls to 0.3%, as deflation knocks

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Tyrrell: Golf Is Not the Answer (5)

Everyone’s tired of his lousy game.

Immediately after his telephone call consoling the Foley family on their son’s grisly murder at the hands of Islamofascists, President Barack Obama took a powder. He headed for the golf course. Yes, the golf course! He had golfed eight times in eleven days, as the world was in tumult the likes of which we have not experienced since the late 1930s. There is something very odd about this man. He seems to think he can duck his obligations by lolling on the golf course. Does he believe no one is looking?

In his brief life, my guess is, he has been posing all along. He had no role model as a father. He had no lasting role model as an adult. Now he has to produce. No one else can serve as his hidden adviser. He has to lead and he has not a clue as to what to do. Thus, to the golf course he goes, no matter how his critics complain or how a growing number of journalists express their dismay.

As he swings his driver and puts his putter, the press seems to sense something is amiss. Yet even the sensible minority in the press corps does not know quite how to respond. Out there on the golf course the President is displaying his emptiness. There has never been such a display of presidential emptiness in American history. Moreover, it is taking place just as the world is gravely menaced by a threat that is at best ambivalent towards destroying the world in the name of Allah. Its adepts have the money and the manpower to strike the modern world a deadly blow. All they need is a bomb. Will they get it?

[More]

See Also:

#1 — Burger King and the Whopper About Taxes

#2 — Louvain, ISIS, and Evil

#3 — Want to get rid of U.S. citizenship? Fee just quadrupled – to $2,350

#4 — Iraqi Yazidis Are Still Stranded And Say They ‘Need Weapons Now More Than Food Or Water’

#5 — Navy with a mission in mind

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How We Can Get Submarines to Travel at Supersonic Speed

Chinese researchers say they are developing technology that would allow submarines to travel more than 750 mph. That’s faster than commercial aircraft fly, and yes, it is possible.

The technology is called supercavitation, and it’s been around for decades. The idea is to increase the speed of an object like, say, a submarine or torpedo by creating a bubble around it, reducing drag as it moves through the water. The nose of the vehicle typically is designed to create the bubble, and gas often is used to shape the bubble. The Soviets used this trick on the Shkval torpedo in the 1960s and ’70s; it was capable of 230 mph but for no more than a few miles.

Obviously, the concept is proven. But there are practical problems. “The devil is in the details,” says Dr. Roger Arndt, a University of Minnesota professor who works with the university’s terrifically named Cavitation and Bubbly Flows Research Group.

One of the stickiest wickets is steering a submerged craft that has little in the way of control surfaces in the water. A traditional submarine is controlled by a rudder, much like a conventional boat. Steering a supercavitating vessel requires having control planes pierce the bubble, producing great drag. These planes also would be under tremendous force and pressure at speed, and would need to be extraordinarily strong.

[More]

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Stafford: New Technology Could End The Debate Over Pipeline Safety

Who could have ever imagined that North America would surpass Saudi Arabia as the world’s largest producer of oil and natural gas liquids? A decade ago, that would have seemed laughable.

Yet that’s exactly what has happened; and it’s not just Saudi Arabia that has been left in North America’s dust — Russia has, too.

The surge in North American oil and gas production is arguably the most important development in energy over the last decade. That’s the good news. The not so good news is that North America doesn’t have nearly enough oil and gas pipelines to accommodate its 11-million-barrel-a-day output level.

The famously unresolved proposed Keystone XL pipeline would carry oil from Canada to the U.S. Gulf Coast, but its future is in legal and political limbo. The controversial Northern Gateway pipeline, proposed as an alternative to Keystone XL, would connect Canada’s oil sands to the Pacific Coast, allowing greater volumes of oil to be shipped to Asia, but it, too, is still on the drawing board.

[More]

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Robinson: Give Albertans the power to recall rather than term limits

Well, if Alison Redford weren’t example enough, Jim Prentice has helpfully stepped forward to prove the point that to get through law school, you don’t have to be that sensible.

Although he certainly learned how to talk like a lawyer – which is defined as the ability to describe an outrageous falsehood as the truth in support of an argument.

Prentice knows he is trying to leverage a hostile take-over of a political party whose current popularity falls somewhere below shower curtain mold and above the Ebola virus.

He also no doubt looks at the caucus he is fighting so hard to lead and thinks: “Hmm. What’s the opposite of ‘Dream Team?’”

So he plans to introduce an accountability act to restrict MLAs to three terms and Alberta’s premier to merely two.

He says the point is to constantly renew the party, to ensure an endless supply of new vigor and ideas – mostly I guess by periodically grabbing MLAs by the collar and pulling their faces out of the trough.

[Good Read]

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