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Friday 8 April 2011
03 April 2011 TRIPOLI — Libya warned on Sunday that NATO-led air strikes could cause a "human and environmental disaster" if they damaged the country's massive Great Man-Made River (GMMR) project.
China Daily News
04 2011 MOSCOW — A Ukrainian nurse who treated Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi dismissed rumors on Tuesday that he had a nurse as a mistress but said the man they call "Papa" gives his staff gold watches every year.
'Their Imperial Highnesses'
Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton
Paul Campos is a professor of law at the U.S. University of Colorado at Boulder.
What if President Obama raised taxes without congressional approval? It sounds preposterous, yet U.S. presidents now routinely wage war on their own—and in Libya, Obama isn’t even pretending Qaddafi poses a threat to us.
2 April 2011 — Suppose President Obama announced that, in order to protect the nation while carrying out his constitutional duties as commander in chief, he was issuing an executive order restoring federal income tax rates to their Clinton-era levels. Suppose he justified this action by referring to the powers the Constitution supposedly vested in him to wage war on his own initiative. Suppose he argued that, since the Constitution grants him this power, it would be absurd to claim that it denied him the necessary concurrent power to raise revenue so that he might fulfill his constitutional responsibilities.
I suspect most lawyers and law professors, although perhaps not the indefatigable professor John Yoo, would consider such an argument preposterous on its face. After all, the Constitution specifically grants Congress the power to "lay and collect taxes." Only Congress has the constitutional authority to impose taxes, an authority it has exercised by enacting the Internal Revenue Code. The president's role in the matter is limited to executing that law faithfully, proposing changes to it, and vetoing proposed changes of which he disapproves.
31 March 2011 (Venezuelanalysis.com) – On Wednesday, March 30, Venezuela authorities formally announced the disbanding of the Metropolitan Police of Caracas (MP), paving the way for the newly-established National Bolivarian Police (PNB) to take over operations in the nation’s capital.
Sarkozy: Statesman or Madman?
The Germans said no thanks and the Russians and Chinese laughed up their sleeves and said, 'After you, my dear Alphonse'
Christopher Dickey is a columnist for The Daily Beast and Newsweek magazine's Paris bureau chief and Middle East editor. He is the author of six books, including Summer of Deliverance, and most recently Securing the City: Inside America's Best Counterterror Force—the NYPD.
An intimate look at the French president and his ties to the incestuous world of French intellectuals who helped launch the war in Libya.
2 April 2011 — In their favored haunts all across the city, at the bar of the Hotel Raphael near the Arc de Triomphe, in the tearooms of the Lutetia on the Left Bank and the Bristol on the Right Bank — a long way, in short, from the carnage in the Libyan desert—the Paris literati banter non-stop about the nuances of French President Nicolas Sarkozy's somewhat puzzling decision to lead their country and the Western world to war. Not a few have been amused, or chagrined, or both, to learn that one of their own, the ever-so-flamboyant (some would say insufferable) philosopher Bernard-Henri Lévy had a pivotal role in prompting the allies' intervention. "I might write a book about it myself," says the man commonly known as BHL—by far the most controversial public intellectual in France — as he settles into the Raphael's dark red-velvet upholstery. — 2,027 words.
Wisdom is a result of a happy marriage between intelligence and experience.
Now the tune is 'Humanitarian Aid' delivered to the whistle of cruise missiles
For the Green Party's Elizabeth May, it's debate-a-vu all over again
Tuesday was a good news/bad news sort of day for the Green Party.
On the one hand, Elizabeth May's band of political upstarts lost their bid to have the Federal Court make an emergency ruling giving her a seat at the table for next week's televised leaders' debates.
On the other hand, if the results of a poll commissioned by the Globe and Mail are to be believed, a significant majority of Canadians either "strongly" or "somewhat" support her presence at the boys' table. — 927 words.
05 April 2011 — Journalists reached their boiling point over the five-questions rule at a recent campaign presser in Halifax last week. Standing behind a yellow barricade 12 feet away from the Prime Minister, journalists peppered Harper but the PM wouldn't budge.
The photogenic Maple Ridge, B.C., couple and their eldest daughter, Abigail, 7, are the face of the family plank of the Liberal platform. A photo of Abigail, a red maple leaf painted on her cheek, was also featured in a Conservative Youtube ad in February trumpeting the party’s Canadian family values. And about a year ago, a colleague at a school where Ms. Comeau was teaching handed her an NDP pamphlet with the family’s picture on it. — 924 words.
"News is what (certain) people want to keep hidden. Everything else is just publicity."
-- PBS journalist Bill Moyers.
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From the Desk of Dennis Carr, Sustainability Editor
5 April 2011 — Gary Mar loves to cook. It's his way of relaxing after a hard day's work -- lobbying against U.S. clean energy laws, say, or making "aggressive" oil sands pitches to hostile members of Congress.
So it'll have to be cooking and political campaigning for now. And if he does become premier, which at this point is a real possibility, Mar will have even less time to make tables and chairs.
That he would be considered a frontrunnerfor the Progressive Conservative leadership -- and de facto premier, given the party's 40-year rule over Alberta -- isn't too surprising for some observers.
6 April 2011 — Canadian companies have added tens of billions of dollars to their stockpiles of cash at a time when tax cuts are supposed to be encouraging them to plow more money into their businesses.
Corporate tax cuts are becoming a major issue in the federal election campaign. The Conservatives, arguing that they are the best custodians of an economy that remains fragile after the recession, say tax cuts are crucial to stimulate job creation and make Canada more competitive on the global stage.
No blaming the Easter Bunny this time around: Alberte Villeneuve-Sinclair wonders, does Stephen Harper believe in our values and our democracy?
8 April 2011 — Last year, Easter Sunday was on April the 4th and it was a gorgeous day: 28 degrees Celsius. We shared a beautiful Easter breakfast and egg hunt outdoors. Everything was fine until the men started talking politics. You can read the article that ensued, posted April 9th 2010 in the True North Perspective archives.
Frances Sedgwick's keen eye and ear for the human condition reveals the heart and soul of Parkdale in southwest Toronto, one of the country's most turbulent urban areas where the best traditions of human kindness prevail against powerful forces that would grind them down. True North Perspective proudly presents a column by writer Frances Sedgwick. Her critical observation combined with a tender sense of humour will provide you with something to think about ... and something to talk about.
08 April 2011 — Returning from my Wednesday morning swim I stopped off at one of my coffee shops to read the paper and see and hear what was going on in the neighbourhood.
"Parkdale attack victim is 'getting out of here'", read the headline in the Greater Toronto Section of the Toronto Star.
I was alarmed as I read the details of the latest attack in Parkdale, a block away from my apartment building.
Previous attacks, and one death, had been targeted at people with mental disabilities.
Dan Chiarelli says he can’t move out of Parkdale fast enough.
The 45-year-old man was attacked early Tuesday morning and is the sixth victim in a series of beatings targeting people in the area.
“I am getting out of here ASAP. The first place I can find, I’m gone,” he said in an interview in his Maynard Ave. rooming house Tuesday night.
Chiarelli was just returning home after walking his girlfriend to the Queen St. streetcar at 3 a.m. when he was jumped from behind. As he turned around to look at his attacker, he got a fist in his face, which left him with a shiner.
“He must do boxing or something because it was a pretty hard punch. I can take a hit, but this was an exceptional blow,” he said.
Chiarelli said the pummelling lasted about two or three minutes and stopped only when someone from a nearby building yelled at them and scared the attacker off. — 613 words.
— Winston Churchill
Let's say that news throughout human time has been free. Take that time when Ugh Wayne went over to the cave of Mugh Payne with news that the chief of his group had broken a leg while chasing his laughing wife around the fire. That news was given freely and received as such with much knowing smiles and smirks to say nothing of grunts of approval or disapproval. — 688 words.
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Always looking forward
From the Desk of Darren Jerome, Ottawa, Canada
The Associated Press
8 April 2011 — The secret network of jails, known as "black sites," that grew up after the Sept. 11 attacks are gone.
But suspected terrorists are still being held under hazy circumstances with uncertain rights in secret, military-run jails across Afghanistan, where they can be interrogated for weeks without charge, according to U.S. officials who revealed details of the top-secret network to The Associated Press.
By Michael Whitney
7 April 2011 — Government officials and Quantico Marine base have blocked official visits to PFC. Bradley Manning by Rep. Dennis Kucinich, Amnesty International, and the UN Special Rappateur on torture. According to Manning’s attorney, Kucinich, Amnesty, and UN have been trying to get clearance for “official visits” to Manning at the Quantico Marine brig. — 282 words.
The Pentagon has previously denied operating secret jails in Afghanistan, although human rights groups and former detainees have described the facilities.
U.S. military and other government officials confirmed that the detention centres exist but described them as temporary holding pens whose primary purpose is to gather intelligence.
The Pentagon also has said that detainees only stay in temporary detention sites for 14 days, unless they are extended under extraordinary circumstances.
'Networking is essential to finding employment'
04 April 2011 OTTAWA Canada — “When you’ve had a year of sending in resumes and hearing nothing, you can be like … 'there’s something wrong with me,’” said Kirsten Partanen, who’s just lived through a year of being unemployed.
“Why bother trying if I’m doing everything the way that I should, and nothing’s happening?”
Partanen, 43, sent out dozens of resumes after losing her job in early 2010. She did keep trying though – she’s starting a new job working with children at a local library.
It’s been a hard year for people like Partanen, even with the 322,000 new jobs created nationwide in the last 12 months.
Weary job seekers might be forgiven for wondering and worrying why it’s still so hard to find a job.
Even as conditions apparently improve, unemployment in Ontario still sits at more than eight per cent. That’s slightly above the national average of 7.8 per cent, and more than two percentage points higher than before the recession started in 2008, according to Statistics Canada.
The flight of Vostok 1 – whose 50th anniversary will be celebrated next month – was a defining moment of the 20th century and opened up the prospect of interplanetary travel for our species. It also made Gagarin an international star while his mission was hailed as clear proof of the superiority of communist technology. The 27-year-old cosmonaut became a figurehead for the Soviet Union and toured the world. He lunched with the Queen; was kissed by Gina Lollobrigida; and holidayed with the privileged in Crimea.
Gagarin also received more than a million letters from fans across the world, an astonishing outpouring of global admiration – for he was not obvious star material. He was short and slightly built. Yet Gagarin possessed a smile "that lit up the darkness of the cold war", as one writer put it, and had a natural grace that made him the best ambassador that the USSR ever had. Even his flaws seem oddly endearing by modern standards, his worst moment occurring when he gashed his head after leaping from a window to avoid his wife who had discovered a girl in his hotel room.
'Enormous challenges were laid before Soviet scientists, and they proved themselves up to the task.'
'The existence of nuclear physicists in the Soviet Union was an open secret, but no one knew about the missile-defense specialists who had worked in secret since the 1950s until the collapse of the Soviet Union.'
04 04 2011 MOSCOW — Ordinary Russians see little connection between space exploration and economics. If anything, they see expensive space programs as a permanent drain on the nation's resources. Some are inclined to take it personally, as if the dark vacuum of space somehow sucked the money right out of their pockets.
Space is beyond the realm of the rational and, therefore, beyond the realm of economics. But Russia's space program was built, in part, by ordinary Russians using ordinary steel. Space exploration was considered a national priority in the Soviet Union, with the funding to match.
Elaborate production chains were set up, the necessary infrastructure was built, and state-of-the-art technologies were developed virtually from scratch. Aerospace specialists were paid stable salaries and received good housing, both of which were in short supply in the command economy of the Soviet Union.
The Associated Press
6 April 2011 — A Russian capsule delivered three new astronauts to the International Space Station on Wednesday, doubling the size of the crew just in time for a pair of major space anniversaries.
The Soyuz spacecraft docked two days after blasting off from Kazakhstan. The linkup took place 350 kilometres above the Andes Mountains of Chile.
While under house arrest Egypt's Mubarak
receives monthly allowance of $339. from the state
06 April 2011 Bogata — Colombia will extradite alleged drug lord Walid Makled to Venezuela and not to the United States, which had also requested the extradition, Colombia President Santos announced on Wednesday.
Film documentary review
8 April 2011 — Based on real footage, and old and new interviews, this 2009 documentary by Steven Soderbergh and Marina Zenovich was fascinating. Despite the media frenzy surrounding the now internationally acclaimed Polish-French film director, Roman Polanski, for much of his adult life, there are still some facts that people may not know, such as the devious way his trial was conducted, and the excruciating losses he endured before his child molestation trial in 1977.
From the Desk of Carl Hall, Entertainment Editor
Originally aired on episodes of The Colbert Report and Late Night with Jimmy Fallon
Words of wisdom from a Moscow-based American translator
An eclectic collection of short stories that will stir your sense of humour, warm your heart, outrage your sense of justice, and chill your extra sensory faculties in the spirit of Stephen King. The final short story, the collection's namesake, The Old Man's Last Sauna is a ground-breaking love story.
The series begins with Deo Volente (God Willing). Followed by The Quintessence of Mr. Flynn, Sharing Lies, Flying High, The Richest Bitch in the Country or Ginny I Hardly Knows Ya, One Lift Too Many, The Model A Ford, the out-of-body chiller, Room For One Only and O Ernie! ... What Have They Done To You! The series closes with the collection's namesake, The Old Man's Last Sauna, a groundbreaking love story. All stories may also be found in the True North Perspective Archives.