Hannan: Corrupt and incompetent, the UN has no right to lecture us (1)

Rwandan refugees carrying water containers make their way back to their huts at the Benaco Refugee Camp in Tanzania, near the Rwandan border, in May 1994.

Do you know in which country women suffer the worst discrimination?

You might guess at one of the East African states where female genital mutilation is common, or perhaps one of the Asian nations in which thousands of girls are sold into prostitution.

You might say China, where female embryos are disproportionately aborted, or Yemen, where a woman’s testimony is worth half a man’s, or Afghanistan, where honour killings are widespread, or Saudi Arabia, where women are forbidden to drive.

Well, you’d be wrong – wrong, at any rate, according to Rashida Manjoo.

The place with the most insidiously sexist culture on the planet, the United Nations Special Rapporteur assures us, is the United Kingdom.

‘Have I seen this level of sexist culture in other countries? It hasn’t been so in-your-face in other countries. I haven’t seen that so pervasively in other countries. I’m sure it exists but it wasn’t so much and so pervasive.’

What form does it take, this pervasive sexism?

According to Ms Manjoo, whistling in the street and ‘sexist images of women’.

[Read it all]

See Also:

#1 — UN slams convicted procurement fraudster for trying to claim benefits

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Afternoon Update April 18th, 2014 (10)


#1 — CNews | Rob Ford officially launches his re-election campaign

TORONTO — Mayor Rob Ford made it clear Thursday he “won’t back down” from this year’s election fight or standing up for his supporters.


#2 — CTV | ‘We are devastated’: Father of Calgary stabbing suspect speaks out

The father of a man charged with fatally stabbing five young people in Calgary says he’s struggling to make sense of the tragedy.


#3 — LFP | RCMP mum on accused Heartbleed hacker harassment

The RCMP wouldn’t comment Thursday on accusations its officers threatened a 19-year-old London student who is charged with using the Heartbleed bug to swipe taxpayer data.


#4 — Global | TCHC refusing to comment on potentially ruinous report

TORONTO – The Toronto Community Housing Corporation (TCHC) is refusing to comment on a reportedly damning ombudsman report that could lead to the ousting of its CEO.


#5 — WFP | Housing correction would damage Canada’s economy, says BMO report

OTTAWA – A sudden and sharp correction in the housing market could have a devastating impact on the Canadian economy overall, enough to trigger another recession, says a new Bank of Montreal report.



#6 — BBC | South Korea ferry: Third officer ‘had the helm’

The third officer was at the helm of the ferry that capsized off South Korea, investigators said, as divers worked to access the sunken hull.


Fox | South Korean ferry captain taken into custody; rescued school official found hanged

#7 — CNN | 9 dead, 3 seriously injured after avalanche on Mount Everest

(CNN) — Nine Sherpa guides were killed and three others were seriously injured Friday after a high-altitude avalanche on Mt. Everest, officials said.


#8 — Fox | Suspect arrested in string of Kansas City-area highway shootings

GRANDVIEW, Mo. – Police arrested a suspect Thursday in a string of random vehicle shootings on Kansas City-area highways over the past few weeks that have wounded three motorists and frightened many more.


#9 — DM | In a chilling echo of the Holocaust, Jews are ‘ordered to register and list property’ in east Ukraine

Jews have reportedly been told to register with pro-Russian forces in the east Ukrainian city of Donetsk or face deportation.

A pamphlet handed out in Donetsk orders ‘citizens of Jewish nationality’ over the age of 16 to pay $50 to register and be issued special passports ‘marking the confession of faith’.


WT | Pentagon extends deployment of fighter jets to Poland amid Ukraine crisis

#10 — WT | Brain surgery victim struggles with Obamacare: ‘It’s scary’

A New York brain surgery patient who’s stood strong for four separate operations is only now starting to crumble after finding out in February that Obamacare isn’t going to give her easy access to the care or providers she needs.


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Clashes at mass eviction in Rome as crisis bites (10)

Rome (AFP) – Riot police dragged away some 350 squatter families from abandoned offices in Rome amid violent clashes on Wednesday — the latest in a rising tide of forced evictions in Italy fuelled by the economic crisis.

Several people were injured as police used truncheons to break through a large group of protesters outside the building, where squatters had barricaded themselves in and taken to the roof.

An AFP photographer saw between 100 and 150 officers then entering the building — a former state-owned insurance agency — and escorting the residents out, nine days after the occupation began.

The families were loaded into around 10 waiting police vans in the area south of the city centre, which was entirely closed off to traffic for the operation.

“They clubbed us wildly, it was brutal,” Cristiano Armati, a member of the Coordinamento association which had helped occupy the building, told AFP by telephone from hospital.

“It doesn’t end here though. The fight for housing rights will go on,” said Armati, who said he was being treated for a broken elbow and cuts to the head.


See Also:

#1 — Europe’s African Refugee Crisis: Is the Boat Really Full?

#2 — Out of Ammo? The Eroding Power of Central Banks

#3 — France Moves to Ban GMO Corn

#4 — EU demands 80% reduction in use of plastic bags by 2019

#5 — Practice for a Russian Invasion: Ukrainian Civilians Take Up Arms

Afternoon Update:

#6 — German court jails Somali pirate

#7 — Soldiers on a futile mission

#8 — National Bank of Greece plans senior unsecured bond sale

#9 — Italy asks EU for more time to meet deficit target

#10 — Portugal gets another IMF bailout payment

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Jeffrey: 86M Full-Time Private-Sector Workers Sustain 148M Benefit Takers

Buried deep on the website of the U.S. Census Bureau is a number every American citizen, and especially those entrusted with public office, should know. It is 86,429,000.

That is the number of Americans who in 2012 got up every morning and went to work — in the private sector — and did it week after week after week.

These are the people who built America, and these are the people who can sustain it as a free country. The liberal media have not made them famous like the polar bear, but they are truly a threatened species.

It is not a rancher with a few hundred head of cattle that is attacking their habitat, nor an energy company developing a fossil fuel. It is big government and its primary weapon — an ever-expanding welfare state.

First, let’s look at the basic taxonomy of the full-time, year-round American worker.


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Petshauer: Major Errors Apparent in Climate Model Evaporation Estimates

Guest essay by Richard J. Petschauer, Senior Member IEEE

The physics of evaporation has complications related to what happens at the water / air interface such as wind speed and wave action. However if these factors remain constant, how evaporation changes with temperature and humidity can be estimated with well-known equations based on how water vapor pressure varies with temperature. For example, at a typical ocean temperature of 17 C, it should increase about 6.5% / C if the water vapor increases to maintain relative humidity, that the climate models indicate. If the surface air tracks the water within ± 2 C, the rate varies from 6.2% to 6.9% / C. Data over oceans by Wentz et, al (2007) report values of about 6% / C.

But the complex computer climate models show averages of only about 2.5% / C. There are no claims of reduced wind speeds or wave action or increased relative humidity to explain this. However many papers on the subject claim that the available energy is limiting evaporation in these models. But physics theory tells us that the latent energy for evaporation comes from the temperature of the water itself. The latent heat leaving the surface cools it and deposits heat in the atmosphere, part of which escapes to outer space. This combination causes negative feedback. The reduced net energy from increased CO2 still warms the surface, but this energy can’t be separated from what aids the final increased evaporation. A 6% / C increase applies to the water after the negative feedback is complete. Do the climate models ignore this cooling and feedback process?


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Former Quebec deputy premier says she didn’t help engineering firm win contract

MONTREAL – Former Liberal deputy premier Nathalie Normandeau is rejecting allegations she helped an engineering firm obtain a lucrative contract to build a water treatment plant in exchange for fundraising donations.

Normandeau, who served in the post under Jean Charest, says she is willing to meet with investigators from the Charbonneau Commission corruption inquiry and Quebec’s anti-corruption police squad.

Court documents released Wednesday say police searched the provincial Liberals’ headquarters in Montreal last summer as part of an investigation into the awarding of an $11-million Municipal Affairs Department contract for a water treatment plant in Boisbriand, Que.

Anti-corruption officials allege in the documents that Normandeau intervened in favour of the Roche engineering firm against the advice of civil servants.

The documents also contain allegations that Roche helped to raise funds for Normandeau and the Liberals.

No charges have been laid so far as a result of the allegations.


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Infighting could spell trouble for Liberals on campaign trail, insider says

OTTAWA — Liberal infighting could cost the Grits a byelection victory in Toronto’s Trinity-Spadina riding even before the campaign begins, a party insider says.

“I think this whole fight is leaving a bad taste in more than a few Liberals’ mouths, and they may be just inclined to vote Joe Cressy who is the nominated candidate for the New Democrat party,” said Lisa Kirbie, senior vice-president of Daisy Consulting Group who has held senior positions with Liberal politicians in the past.

The Liberals are caught in a bitter battle over who will carry the party’s banner whenever a byelection is called in Trinity-Spadina — the riding Olivia Chow vacated last month when she resigned as a New Democrat MP to run for mayor of Toronto.

Bad blood among the Grits got worse on Monday when a spurned candidate for the party’s nomination, Christine Innes, launched a $1.5-million defamation lawsuit against Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau and the party’s Ontario co-chair, David MacNaughton.

She alleges the two men ruined her reputation after the March decision to block her from trying to win the Liberal nomination in Trinity-Spadina.


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Duhaime: NDP wades into Quebec politics

Even though the provincial election just ended in Quebec, some are still in full campaign mode.
The New Democrats are considering having their own provincial entity next time around. They have registered the name “Nouveau Parti Démocratique du Québec” with Quebec’s director of elections, according to Joël-Denis Bellavance of La Presse.

NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair had already given his blessing to a provincial wing in August 2012. With the election of a minority and separatist government a month later, the whole project was put on ice. Now with the election of a federalist and majority government, the timing seems much better. The NDPers have four years to build the provincial branch.

There is, however, no shortage of leftist parties in Quebec. There’s the radical left Quebec Solidaire (which includes the Communist Party of Quebec), the leftist Parti Québécois and the moderate left Liberal Party of Quebec.

NDP activists in Quebec tend to like QS but sometimes have issues with the fact the party is officially a separatist one. They wish to build a federalist version. Mulcair himself is an exception as a former provincial Liberal minister who still supported his former party last week.


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Richter: Housing Bubble 2.0 Veers Elegantly Toward Housing Bust 2.0

They’re not even trying to blame the weather this time. “Housing affordability is really taking a bite out of the market,” is how Leslie Appleton-Young, chief economist for the California Association of Realtors explained the March home sales fiasco. “We haven’t seen this issue since 2007.”

In Southern California, the median price soared to a six-year high of $400,000, up 15.8% from a year ago, as San Diego-based DataQuick reported. It was the 24th month in a row of price increases, 20 of them in the double digits, maxing out at 28.3%. Ironically, prices per square foot are increasing faster at the bottom third of the market (up 21%), versus the middle third (up 15.9%) and the top third (up 14.3%).

Ironically, because at the bottom 65%, sales have collapsed.

People, wheezing under the weight of their student loans and struggling in a tough economy where real wages have declined for years, hit a wall. Private equity firms and REITs, prime beneficiaries of the Fed’s nearly free money, gobbled up vacant homes sight unseen in order to convert them into rental housing, and in the process pushed up prices – exactly what the Fed wanted. But now high prices torpedoed their business model, and they’re backing off. So sales of homes priced below $500,000 plunged 26.4%, and sales of homes below $200,000 collapsed by 45.7%.


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Williamson: The Rule of the Lawless (5)

Deserts always feel like my natural habitat, and I am very fond of them. That being said, I have, for my sins, spent a fair amount of time in Clark County,Nev., and it is not the loveliest stretch of desert in these United States, or even in the top twelve. Protecting the pristine beauty of the sun-baked and dust-caked outskirts of Las Vegas and its charismatic fauna from grazing cattle — which the Bureau of Land Management seems to regard as an Old Testament plague — seems to me to be something less than a critical national priority. At the same time, the federal government’s fundamental responsibility, which is defending the physical security of the country, is handled with remarkable nonchalance: Millions upon millions upon millions of people have crossed our borders illegally and continue to reside within them. Cliven Bundy’s cattle are treated as trespassers, and federal agents have been dispatched to rectify that trespass; at the same time, millions of illegal aliens present within our borders are treated as an inevitability that must be accommodated. In practice, our national borders are a joke, but the borders of that arid haven upon which ambles the merry Mojave desert tortoise are sacrosanct.


See Also:

#1 — How Did Harry Reid Get Rich?

#2 — The Problem with Cliven Bundy

#3 — After Nevada ranch stand-off, emboldened militias ask: where next?

#4 — Sen. Reid calls supporters of Nevada rancher Bundy ‘domestic terrorists’

#5 — The United States of SWAT?

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Morning Update April 18th, 2014 (10)


#1 — CNews | New mandatory vaccinations for Ontario students

The Ontario government will require children who attend elementary or secondary school this fall to be vaccinated against three additional illnesses.


#2 — CTV | Animal rights groups begin legal action over Ontario’s spring bear hunt

TORONTO — Two animal rights groups are heading to court after the Ontario government announced a pilot project for a spring bear hunt this year.


#3 — LFP | Jericho wind project approved

Energy company Nextera has been given the green light to start building a 92-turbine industrial wind farm in Lambton and Middlesex counties.


#4 — Global | Security expert says Ottawa hard drive seized in gas plant scandal

TORONTO – An Ontario government IT expert testifying before a legislative committee probing the gas plants scandal says a computer hard drive was seized last August in an office building in Ottawa.


#5 — WFP | Supreme Court to hear three people-smuggling cases, including Sun Sea appeals

OTTAWA – The Supreme Court of Canada will hear three appeals in cases where people were denied refugee status because they were allegedly involved in people smuggling.



#6 — BBC | Putin cautious on ‘right’ to send troops into Ukraine

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said he has “a right” to send troops into Ukraine but hopes he will “not have to exercise that right”.


#7 — CNN | MH370: Long undersea search could cost nearly quarter billion dollars, official says

(CNN) — A prolonged undersea search for the Malaysian jetliner could cost nearly a quarter billion U.S. dollars if private companies are used, Australia’s top transport official said Thursday.


Fox | IRS emails indicate Tea Party groups could have faced ‘criminal’ charges, Republicans say

Republicans say newly released emails show that if the IRS’ targeting of Tea Party groups hadn’t been stopped, those organizations could have faced “trumped up criminal charges” — since ex-IRS official Lois Lerner and the Justice Department were apparently coordinating just days before the scandal was exposed.


#9 — DM | ‘Ukraine is being dragged into the abyss’: Putin

Vladimir Putin has accused Ukraine of committing a ‘grave crime’ by using the army to quell unrest in the east, warning leaders in Kiev that they risk dragging the country into the abyss.


WT | Putin to Snowden: We don’t collect droves of data on everyone like the U.S.

#10 — WT | Multinational naval fleet to depart Germany for Baltic Sea within days

A multinational naval force is expected to depart for the Baltic Sea from Germany within days as part of a NATO military contingent intended to counter Russian provocation in the Ukraine.


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