Afternoon Update May 25th, 2015 (10)


#1 — CNews | Miss Universe Canada went from bullied to beauty queen

TORONTO — Newly crowned Miss Universe Canada has come a long way from being an immigrant child who hid in her school’s washroom to escape the bullying and taunting from classmates.


#2 — CTV | Crews make headway against large wildfire raging in B.C.’s Interior

PRINCE GEORGE, B.C. — A wildfire raging mostly out of control over the past two weeks in British Columbia’s Central Interior has been largely contained.


#3 — Global | Japan-Canada trade talks stalled with no meetings in sight

OTTAWA – Trade talks have stalled between Canada and Japan – one of the Harper government’s priority countries for a breakthrough – because the Asian country has lost interest, The Canadian Press has learned.


#4 — Globe | Magna International moving headquarters to King City, Ont.

Magna International Inc. plans to move its global headquarters out of the chateau-like building that came to symbolize the extravagance of company founder Frank Stronach.


#5 — Postmedia | Canadians may belong to al-Qaida’s highly secretive Khorasan faction, intelligence report warns

The day after the United States and its Arab allies launched airstrikes in Syria last September, President Barack Obama advised American lawmakers the targets had included “elements of al-Qaida known as the Khorasan Group.”



#6 — BBC | Poland election: President Komorowski concedes to rival Duda

Polish President Bronislaw Komorowski has conceded the election to conservative challenger Andrzej Duda following the release of exit polls.

They suggested Mr Duda had taken the run-off vote by 53% to 47%.


#7 — CNS | Iraqi lawmaker slams US criticism of Iraqi military

BAGHDAD (AP) — An Iraqi lawmaker says U.S. military commanders are pointing fingers for their own failure to properly support the Iraqi military in the fight against the Islamic State group.


#8 — Fox | New Orleans housing authority cop shot, killed in patrol car

NEW ORLEANS – New Orleans police say a police officer for the Housing Authority of New Orleans has been shot and killed. Officer Garry Flot says the officer was working overtime to guard a public housing construction site.


#9 — DM | The REAL shooting star

Some stars might fire off ‘iron bullets’ when they explode, scientists have claimed – and this may have provided the iron for Earth’s core.


#10 — WT | Patriot Act phone snooping likely to expire after McConnell gambit backfires

At the end, senators were fighting over the chance to be the ones filibustering the Patriot Act in Saturday morning’s dramatic session, underscoring just how unpopular the law is and how difficult a time Republican leaders will have in trying to keep it intact as they race an end-of-month deadline.


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Farage: With friends like these, who needs enemies? (10)

SOMETIMES I am agog with regard to the myopic and zealous strategy the EU seems to enforce.

Of course I have witnessed the fervent nature of the EU in terms of an expansionist ideology.

No more so than the EU’s inclusion of south east European countries such as Romania and Bulgaria in the adoption the of free movement of people.

Anybody could have anticipated the hunger of citizens often locked locked in poverty stricken and democratically questionable communities wanting to up sticks and exploit greener pastures – put simply just wanting to better their circumstances.

The consequences of this were brushed under the carpet, in favour of an unrealistic, naive pan-European ideology that will grind against the interests of its members.


See Also:

#1 — Greek hospitals cannot afford painkillers, scissors or sheets as budget cuts bite

#2 — Downturn in South America Mauls Spanish Companies, Threatens Spain’s “Recovery”

#3 — Spain’s Many Indicted Politicians Undercut ‘Red Line’ Against Graft

#4 — Greece ‘cannot afford IMF repayment’ in June – minister

#5 — Norway Overtakes Russia as Europe’s No. 1 Gas Supplier

Afternoon Update:

#6 — ‘Indignados’ have their day, spanking PP across Spain

#7 — Foreign taxpayers named by Switzerland

#8 — EU citizens not eligible for referendum vote, says No 10

#9 — Greece calls on creditors to compromise as IMF payment nears

#10 — No more ‘quick and dirty’ fixes for Greece

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Anguished cries of mother punctuate Chicago weekend violence (1)

A 4–year-old girl playing outside a South Side party was shot in the head Friday evening after someone opened fire from a passing car. The sun hadn’t yet set on the traditional first night of summer before the anguished cries of a mother pierced the air, and Chicago faced another senseless act of violence against a child.

Twenty people were shot and two people killed around the city between Friday afternoon and late Saturday.

Jacele Johnson was in critical condition but “responsive” Saturday evening at Comer Children’s Hospital, said her mother, Trennetta Gresham, 29. “She’s opening her eyes. She’s kicking her legs.”

Jacele underwent surgery to remove the bullet from her head, but doctors were not successful, Gresham said.

She said she was sure Jacele could hear her voice, though her daughter wasn’t able to talk.

“I said, ‘Good morning,’ and she squeezed my hand and looked at me,” Gresham said.

The prom party Friday had been fun, but it was time to go, and Gresham went back into the house in the 7000 block of South Justine Street to find her two other children. Jacele was goofing around with her 17-year-old cousin in her mother’s parked car, grabbing the steering wheel and pretending to drive.

About 8 p.m., as Gresham returned, a vehicle drove by and sprayed the parked car with gunfire.


See Also:

#1 — 4 dead, at least 8 wounded in city shootings

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Cyber-Attack Warning: Could Hackers Bring Down a Plane?

The officials from the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) were not at all happy about what they were hearing. An unshaven 32-year-old from Spain, his hair pulled back in a ponytail, was talking about cockpit computers and their weaknesses and security loopholes. Specifically, he was telling the EASA officials how he had managed to buy original parts from aviation suppliers on Ebay for just a few hundred dollars. His goal was to simulate the data exchange between current passenger-jet models and air-traffic controllers on the ground in order to search for possible backdoors. His search was successful. Very successful.

The Spaniard’s presentation took place two years ago in an EADS conference room looking over the rooftops of Cologne. He had been invited after, in accordance with the hacker ethic, he had notified the agency that he was planning to release the results of his years-long study at a hacker conference. Engineers from airlines and airplane manufacturers were also following the Spaniard’s presentation via video. After he had finished, he recalls, they all wanted to know the same thing: “You aren’t really planning on making all of that public, are you?”

Their concern focused on his central finding, which he continues to repeat to this day. “In modern airplanes, there are a whole series of backdoors, through which hackers can gain access to a variety of aircraft systems.”


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Goldstein: Cold worse than heat

A new study published in the British medical journal, The Lancet, concludes we’re 20 more times likely to die from cold than heat.

It says this has “important implications … for predictions of future effect in climate-change scenarios.”

You think?

The researchers, including Canadian scientists, compiled data on more than 74 million deaths in 384 locations across 13 countries from 1985 to 2012, including Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Taiwan, Thailand, the U.K. and the U.S.

They found 7.71% of all deaths were due to “sub-optimal” hot and cold temperatures, but with cold responsible for the vast majority — 7.29% compared to 0.42% for heat.

The study also found most deaths don’t occur during extreme temperatures, but when they are slightly above or below normal, although again, 6.66% of all deaths were related to moderate cold compared to less than 1% for moderate heat.


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Thomson: Notley crew encountering turbulence

Alberta’s new provincial government hasn’t even been launched and already the ship has sprung a leak and the captain has tossed a crew member overboard.

On Friday, Premier-designate Rachel Notley suspended controversy-plagued Deborah Drever from caucus for a year.

That announcement came about the same time the New Democratic Party issued a news release admitting it made a “serious mistake” by trying to use this Sunday’s cabinet swearing-in ceremony as a fundraising event for the party.

Neither controversy is going to sink the boat, but they are making navigation more difficult for Notley.


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Hall: Analysis – Parties playing game of chicken with federal election debates

Britain’s Iron Lady once said she loved argument and debate. But even Margaret Thatcher would find the clash of views now underway in Canada over the number and manner of the leaders’ debates a little bizarre.

If the Conservatives get their way, there will be five. The party will decide which of the 20 or so proposals put forward by potential hosts will be accepted heading into the 2015 campaign.

And, as unlikely as this may seem, the NDP is shaping up as the Conservatives’ ally in re-framing how and with whom the debates will be held. The reason? Both parties are determined to marginalize Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau.

The only real debate now is whether they’ll succeed.


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O’Brien: Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Hillary? (1)

I always thought Democrats were the ones who excelled at being delusional! You know, as in believing that if there were more gun control laws passed, violence would be curbed. Or if yet more money were thrown at our failed educational system, kids would stay in school and graduate with honors. Or if more windmills were subsidized than even Don Quixote could tilt at, the earth would be restored to greenness. Liberals have always considered spending synonymous with solving – as long as it’s somebody else’s money they’re throwing around.

But I’ve noticed lately that a fog of delusionary thinking has settled glumly over too many Republicans. And compared to the unreality of Democrats, who seem unable even to imagine defeat, the Republican brand is marked by an ill wind of pessimism that can only blow no good.

Take, for example, the 2016 election. And while you’re at it, why not just hand it over to Hillary as a fait accompli? “I’m afraid she’s going to win,” said a long-time Republican friend who called the other day from Arizona – which has trended Republican in recent elections. From a conservative Connecticut pal came an e-mail with this admonition: “Hillary is running around as if she were already the president. I’m afraid.”

[Interesting Read]


Don’t miss this comment.

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Williamson: Gates, Gays, and the Boy Scouts

The soul of a bureaucrat

Robert Gates has long been surrounded by men in uniform, first as secretary of defense, now as president of the Boy Scouts of America. His time at DoD coincided with the repeal of the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy on homosexual soldiers — a repeal effectively imposed by the courts — and as the leader of the Boy Scouts he is calling for a repeal of that organization’s policy banning homosexual adults from serving as troop leaders or in other leadership roles.

Gates, whose likeness appears in Webster’s with the entry for “bureaucrat,” says that the Boy Scouts’ policy on homosexuals is “unsustainable.” He warns that attempting to maintain it would mean “the end of us as a national movement.” This sentiment expresses a great deal of what is wrong with the leadership culture of the United States.

Not because Gates is taking a friendlier attitude toward homosexuals than his predecessors have. There is, in fact, an excellent moral argument to be made for the inclusion of homosexual adults in leadership positions within scouting — but Gates is not making that argument.

Instead, he argues from organizational self-interest — never mind if it is right or wrong, the policy puts Scouting Inc. in a tough position, so best to abandon it. Duty to God and country? To heck with that — management always has its own priorities.

Depending on your point of view, Gates is either doing the wrong thing for the wrong reason or doing the right thing for the wrong reason.


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Morning Update May 25th, 2015 (10)


#1 — Veteran answers need for PTSD services

OTTAWA — After he returned to Canada from a tour in Afghanistan in 2007, Trev Bungay suspected there was something wrong with him.

“I returned a different person in many ways,” he says.


#2 — CTV | Sask. wildfire prompts evacuation, open-fire bans

Hot, dry weather in Saskatchewan has prompted officials to issue a province-wide open-fire ban, as firefighters struggle to extinguish a two-kilometre-wide blaze near Torch River, Sask.


#3 — Global | Yukon temperature records torched, weather expert says trend to stay

WHITEHORSE – Temperatures have been hovering above 20 C in Whitehorse during the past week, melting long-standing weather records, and forcing locals to turn on sprinklers and don sandals and shorts.


#4 — Globe | High-profile condo marketer calls for B.C. speculation tax

B.C. should impose a speculation tax on people who flip their properties within six months of purchase, says B.C.’s best-known condo marketer.


#5 — Postmedia | RCMP to release ‘as much detail as possible’ on response to Hill shooter

The RCMP will make public a summary of reviews into police actions during the Oct. 22 attack on Parliament Hill, Assistant Commissioner Gilles Michaud says.



#6 — BBC | ‘Beautiful Mind’ mathematician John Nash killed in crash

US mathematician John Nash, who inspired the Oscar-winning film A Beautiful Mind, has died in a car crash, local media has reported.


#7 — CNS | Defense Secretary: ‘Iraqi Forces Showed No Will to Fight’ for Ramadi

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Islamic State group’s takeover of Ramadi is stark evidence that Iraqi forces lack the “will to fight,” Defense Secretary Ash Carter said, in the harshest assessment yet from a high-ranking Obama administration official of the U.S. effort to bolster Iraqi forces to retake their territory from extremist militants.


#8 — Fox | Final votes on Patriot Act, trade deal bill set dramatic stage for Congress’ return

The Senate’s failure to extend the USA Patriot Act will bring the legislation on NSA phone-record collection and other key surveillance activities perilously close to expiring on June 1, forcing senators to return early from recess for a rare Sunday session.

The Senate vote was just one of two this weekend that set the stage for dramatic showdowns on Capitol Hill in the coming weeks and months.


#9 — DM | Could self driving cars cause internet traffic jams?

Self driving cars could lead to a whole new type on traffic jam, researchers have warned.

They say cars packed with entertainment, safety and navigation features vie for airwaves with smartphones, tablets and networked features in other vehicles could cause chaos.


#10 — WT | Ala. joins coalition of states calling for convention to limit federal power

Alabama became the fourth state on Thursday to pass the legislation calling for a convention of states to limit the power and jurisdiction of the federal government.


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Darwall: On Climate, Science and Politics Are Diverging (5)

Climate change science is becoming ‘blind’ to green bias which risks suppressing research which challenges man-made global warming, scientists have warned

The good news for global-warming alarmists is that they can pretty much be guaranteed that there will always be something happening somewhere in the world to get alarmed about. “It has been a really bad week for the ice shelves of the quickly warming Antarctic peninsula,” the Washington Post’s resident alarmist Chris Mooney wrote a week ago. In a few years, a very warm summer will see the Larsen B ice shelf shatter into thousands of smaller icebergs, a researcher told him. However, Mooney did not report that the same team that had detected Antarctic warming also said that the warming had not been reproduced by climate models. “Until the past warming can be properly simulated, there is little basis for prediction that rapid warming will continue in future,” according to the British Antarctic Survey.

Neither does the alarm extend to the total area of ice floating on the seas surrounding Antarctic and the North Pole. There was a sharp recovery from the low recorded in 2012, and global sea-ice area is currently above the 1979–2008 average. The National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) reckons that Antarctic sea ice has expanded at an average of 4.1 percent per decade since 1979. This slightly more than offsets shrinkage of the larger area of sea ice at the North Pole, which the NSIDC says has declined by 2.4 percent a decade.

[Interesting Read]

See Also:

#1 — Clues to Prehistoric Global Warming Locked in Subterranian Caves

#2 — Former UN Lead Author: Global Warming Caused By ‘Natural Variations’ In Climate

#3 — Oops! Updated NASA Data Reveals No Global Warming Polar Ice Retreat

#4 — Obama Pushes ‘Serious Threat’ of Global Warming Days After Fall of Ramadi; Networks Yawn


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Afternoon Update May 24th, 2015 (10)


#1 — CNews | Canadian sets record for farthest flight by hoverboard

A Canadian inventor may have conquered one of the last frontiers in superfun, totally cool transportation.


#2 — CTV | Hundreds of Vancity debit cards compromised after skimming scam

Hundreds of customers have been warned to replace their debit cards after learning their accounts may have been compromised in Metro Vancouver.


#3 — Global | Number of Sask. wildfires continues to grow

REGINA – The hot dry weather continues to be a major concern for Saskatchewan wildfire crews as the number of forest fires in Saskatchewan continues to climb.


#4 — Globe | Supreme Court ruling blocks adults from exploiting apparent teen consent

More than a decade after the Supreme Court allowed teenagers to record their own sexual activity for private use, it has moved to ensure that adults cannot exploit the apparent consent of young people in order to make child pornography for themselves.


#5 — Postmedia | Innovation in Space: Canadian companies planning for humanity’s future among the stars

For generations of Canadians, knowledge of space-age technology doesn’t go much farther than the long-standing rivalry between Star Wars and Star Trek. But hundreds of scientists, engineers and astronauts came together in Toronto this week to get a glimpse of some futuristic ideas that may — or may not — one day be a reality.



#6 — BBC | Poland election: Komorowski and Duda in run-off vote

Poland will go to the polls on Sunday to choose its new president in a run-off vote.


#7 — CNS | NSA winds down once-secret phone-records collection program

WASHINGTON (AP) — The National Security Agency has begun winding down its collection and storage of American phone records after the Senate failed to agree on a path forward to change or extend the once-secret program ahead of its expiration at the end of the month.


#8 — Fox | Operator of pipeline in Calif. oil spill defends shutdown procedure

LOS ANGELES – The pipeline that leaked thousands of gallons of oil on the California coast was the only pipe of its kind in the county not required to have an automatic shut-off valve because of a court fight nearly three decades ago, a county official said.


#9 — DM | What happens when a star EXPLODES?

Astronomers have observed how the most common type of supernovae in the universe occurs.


#10 — WT | Rolling Thunder on a Saturday night: Harleys, good will, dedication and talk of the big ride

Perfect, spotless Harley Davidsons were lined up by the hundreds around several northern Virginia hotels on Saturday night – chrome polished to mirror finish, American flags in abundance, good will in the air. In 10 hours the nearby Pentagon parking lot would begin to fill up – the only area large enough to use as a staging area for Rolling Thunder’s 28th annual “Ride for Freedom,” the inimitable event that draws attention to veterans and military issues, plus POWs and those missing in action. When the time comes, several hundred thousand motorcycles typically gather; they roll, and there is indeed thunder. Much thunder.


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