Saturday, May 26, 2018

RMC, BACON, BODILY FLUIDS, & THE KORAN

   OTTAWA -- Four cadets from the Royal Military College in Saint-Jean, Que., have been accused of desecrating a Qur'an with bacon and what a senior commander described as "bodily fluids."
  The alleged incident is said to have occurred during a cottage party involving a group comprised largely of first-year students from the military college.

HUNDREDS AIRLIFTED FROM MANITOBA WILDFIRES

Almost 900 people have been evacuated from two fire-threatened eastern Manitoba First Nations, with another 200 expected to touch down in Winnipeg by the end of Thursday, as a 20,000-hectare fire continues to burn toward the communities of Little Grand Rapids and Pauingassi.

MNR CARR BLAMING KINDER MORGAN FOR PIPELINE STALL

  Canada's natural resources minister says there's no guarantee that Ottawa can reach a deal with Kinder Morgan to keep the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project alive.
  Carr said Ottawa doesn't want to see Alberta restrict exports of oil and gas to B.C.
    "No one wants this to happen," he said. "There are politics in these provinces that are influencing the way the leaders of those provinces are acting."
   The federal government's only goal is to see the project proceed, he added. And though the pipeline falls under federal jurisdiction, he said, the path forward appears to have been stalled by Kinder Morgan's response to B.C.'s tactics.

SUZUKI CLAIMS TO WELCOME HEALTHY DEBATE

   Calgary Herald: Although I’m just one of 13 people receiving honorary degrees in June, my award has stirred up controversy. As flattering as it is to be made the fulcrum of debate surrounding fossil fuels, climate change and humanity’s future, this isn’t about me. After all, what I say about economics, planetary boundaries and the need to shift priorities is no different than what economists, scientists, philosophers and numerous other experts around the world have been saying for years.
     If nothing else, it’s good that a healthy debate about corporate influence over academic institutions and issues around climate-disrupting energy sources has emerged from it.
    Too often, though, the discussion has strayed from topics that need attention into personal attacks. If a university, especially one in the heart of oil country, isn’t the place to air a range of ideas about the geophysical, social and economic consequences of profligate fossil fuel use, we should be worried about the future of academic inquiry.
   He conveniently forgets this event from his past.  And this one.

SAUDI ARABIA TRYING TO STOP OIL RALLY

    Calgary Herald:  The world’s largest oil exporter just made quite a policy swerve. Within six weeks, Saudi Arabia has gone from advocating higher prices to trying to stop the rally at US$80 a barrel.
   The U-turn scrambled the outlook for oil markets, hit the share prices of oil majors and shale producers and set up a diplomatic wrangle with other members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries.
     What changed? The supply threats posed by the re-imposition of U.S. sanctions on Iran oil exports earlier this month and the quickening collapse of Venezuela’s energy industry are both part of the answer, but they’re secondary to Donald Trump. On April 20, the president took to Twitter to lambaste the cartel’s push for higher prices. “Looks like OPEC is at it again,” he tweeted. “Oil prices are artificially Very High!”

SPEAKER OF HOC SHUTS DOWN TALK OF $7B SLUSH FUND

   NP:  OTTAWA — It was open rebellion from the opposition as the House of Commons erupted in yelling and desk-slamming Friday morning with MPs protesting the Speaker’s decision to cut off a point of order about the Liberal government’s alleged “slush” fund.
     The extremely loud and unusual ruckus began as opposition MPs rose in solidarity with NDP MP Daniel Blaikie, who was outlining procedural arguments against the government asking Parliament to approve $7 billion of spending all at once in this year’s main estimates. The government says the money will be used on budget promises.
   Speaker Geoff Regan had cut Blaikie off after about 15 minutes, citing his right to move on after he’s heard “enough” on a topic. He then interrupted procedural arguments against that move from Blaikie, Conservative House leader Candice Bergen and Tory finance critic Pierre Poilièvre, before trying to move on to ordinary House business.

Friday, May 25, 2018

NOODLE-SPINED MACRON

    Initial reaction to Macron's speech was one of nearly unanimous disappointment over a missed opportunity. "We were expecting concrete policies," said the mayor of Aulnay-sous-Bois, Bruno Beschizza. "For now, there is nothing practical. I came out empty-handed."
   An estimated six million people - around one-tenth of France's population - live in 1,500 neighborhoods classified by the government as Sensitive Urban Zones (zones urbaines sensibles, ZUS), priority targets for urban renewal.
   Back in Paris, Macron admitted that France has "lost the battle over drug trafficking in many cities." He promised to announce a new plan to combat drug trafficking "by July."
   President Emmanuel Macron has substantially scaled back plans to rehabilitate France's banlieues — poverty-ridden and crime-infested neighborhoods with large Muslim populations — and has instead called on local mayors and civil society groups to find solutions at the grassroots level.