Democracy Gone Astray

Democracy, being a human construct, needs to be thought of as directionality rather than an object. As such, to understand it requires not so much a description of existing structures and/or other related phenomena but a declaration of intentionality.
This blog aims at creating labeled lists of published infringements of such intentionality, of points in time where democracy strays from its intended directionality. In addition to outright infringements, this blog also collects important contemporary information and/or discussions that impact our socio-political landscape.

All the posts here were published in the electronic media – main-stream as well as fringe, and maintain links to the original texts.

[NOTE: Due to changes I haven't caught on time in the blogging software, all of the 'Original Article' links were nullified between September 11, 2012 and December 11, 2012. My apologies.]

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

This Is How ISIS Makes $3 Million A Day

U.S. intelligence officials revealed last week that they believe the Islamic State, also known as ISIS, is reaping as much as $3 million a day in revenue, making it one of the wealthiest terrorist groups in history.

The group desperately needs the money, for as one U.S. official recently told NBC: "Running a caliphate is not cheap." ISIS needs to pay, arm and feed its brigades. The group also rewards the families of killed militants with a pension, and it needs to cover the costs of governing the territory it has captured.

U.S. Begins Airstrikes In Syria, Pentagon Says

WASHINGTON (AP) — Combined U.S.-Arab airstrikes on the Islamic State group's military strongholds in Syria achieved their aim of showing the extremists that their savage attacks will not go unanswered, the top American military officer said Tuesday. Separately, the U.S. launched strikes against a group said to be plotting to attack the U.S. and Western interests.

The U.S. and five Arab nations attacked the Islamic State group's headquarters in eastern Syria in nighttime raids Monday using land- and sea-based U.S. aircraft as well as Tomahawk cruise missiles launched from two Navy ships in the Red Sea and the northern Persian Gulf.

Fed Web Snoops Don't Have Their Stories Straight

Government and law enforcement warrantless requests for telecom and Internet subscriber information have emerged as a major concern in recent months with revelations of tens of thousands of requests annually. The Supreme Court of Canada examined the issue in June, issuing the landmark Spencer decision that confirmed there is a reasonable expectation of privacy in subscriber data and raising serious doubts about the constitutionality of voluntary disclosures that occur without court oversight.

While major telecom companies such as Rogers and Telus have adjusted their policies in response to the decision, newly released documents reveal that the government's approach to subscriber information requests remains wildly inconsistent.

What's Keeping Door Shut to North Koreans Seeking Haven in Canada?

A group that advocates on behalf of North Korean refugees says it believes it is close to establishing a sponsorship program making it easier for those who originated from the oppressive country to come to Canada.

Toronto organization HanVoice said it has been in talks with the federal government -- mainly the Ministry Citizenship and Immigration -- for some time and almost came to a firm proposal under former minister Jason Kenney.

Religious Conservatives Finally Admit What They Really Want Out Of Hobby Lobby

For two and a half years, the Obama Administration has tried to strike a balance between the health needs of workers and the sensibilities of employers who object to contraceptive care on religious grounds. Just last month, the administration announced its most recent accommodation for these religious objectors — an employer can exempt itself completely from the federal rule requiring employer-provided health plans to cover birth control, so long as it informs the government that it seeks a religious exemption and tells them which company administers their health plan.

Phone, Internet Costs Soar In Canada, StatsCan Data Shows

A little more than a year ago it looked like Verizon was coming to Canada, and the big Canadian telcos were busily slashing prices in preparation for the spectre of some serious competition.

Then Verizon said it wasn’t coming to Canada, and prices started creeping back up.

Let’s rephrase that. Prices didn’t creep up; they soared. According to data from StatsCan, the cost of telephone services, both landline and mobile, shot up 7.6 per cent over the past year.

Anti-Union Bill C-377 Gets Harper OK For Speedy Senate Passage

OTTAWA - The Harper government has thrown its support behind a bid to whisk a controversial anti-union bill through the Senate.

Kevin Sorenson, minister of state for finance, said Monday the government supports the intent of Bill C-377, a private member's bill initiated by Conservative MP Russ Hiebert which would force unions to publicly disclose details of their spending.

Colin Carrie Says Tory Government Is 'A World Leader' On Climate Change

The parliamentary secretary to the minister of the environment raised eyebrows Monday when he twice argued that Canada's Conservative government is "a world leader in addressing climate change."
Colin Carrie made the statements during question period and was quickly ridiculed in the House of Commons and online.

Google Chairman: ALEC Is Lying About Climate Change And Funding Them Was A Mistake

Google’s controversial decision to fund the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) was a “mistake,” company chairman Eric Schmidt admitted on Monday, saying the group is spreading lies about global warming and “making the world a much worse place.”
In an interview on NPR’s Diane Rehm show, Schmidt said the free-market lobbying group’santi-climate and anti-clean energy positions are harmful to future generations, and a bad investment idea for the company.

The People’s Climate March Was Huge, but Will It Change Everything?

Hundreds of thousands of people filled the streets of New York City on Sunday calling for “climate justice” in the largest mass protest to date against government and corporate inaction to limit the overheating of the planet. Organizers of the People’s Climate March claimed that in addition to the New York march some 2,676 other demonstrations were held in 146 countries, including a march of 30,000 people in London that was televised to the New York crowd on a giant screen set up on Sixth Avenue at 52nd Street. “We said it would take everyone to change everything, and everyone showed up,” said Eddie Bautista, the executive director of the New York City Environmental Justice Alliance, one of the central groups that organized the march.

Canada Missing Out On Green Energy Revolution, Report Says

At a time when investment in clean energy technologies is growing worldwide, Canada is “looking the other way” and risks missing out on trade and growth opportunities, according to a new report from an advocacy group for green energy.

The study from Clean Energy Canada was released Monday to coincide with the United Nation Climate Summit in New York City. It says Canada spent $6.5 billion on the renewable energy transition last year.

Harper’s choice for budget watchdog to hand responsibilities to assistant: source

OTTAWA — The prime minister’s choice to head the country’s budget watchdog office will be formally delegating a majority of the office’s responsibilities and oversight to the assistant parliamentary budget officer, Global News has learned.

According to a source, staff will largely report to assistant parliamentary budget officer Mostafa Askari rather than Parliamentary Budget Officer Jean-Denis Frechette. While the office has, more or less, been operating this way for some time, the office will soon be making it official, the source indicated.

Harper will skip UN climate meetings. Would the other parties?

On Tuesday the world's leaders are meeting at the United Nations to talk about the crisis of climate change -- and what the peoples and governments of the world should do about it.
Canada's Prime Minister is making a rare trip to the United Nations, this week, to address the General Assembly. But he will take a pass on the climate meeting.

CMAJ to Harper: Stop blocking medical evac of Gazan kids

The Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ) is calling on the federal government to stop blocking efforts by doctors, nurses and the Ontario government to bring 100 wounded Gazan children to Canada for treatment.

In an op-ed released today, CMAJ Deputy Editor Matthew Stanbrook is pressing Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s government to grant the Gazan children and their caregivers visas to enter Canada.

Unpaid Academic Internships Called Exploitation By Students

Some students who work long, unpaid college or university internships while paying high tuition fees say they feel exploited and that it’s time they got paid.

While unpaid internships have become a dirty concept in some parts of our economy, salary-free academic internships get a free pass because they happen within the confines of a college or university program where students learn in a real working environment for school credit. These internships are often known as practicums, work terms, work placements or clinical rotations.

ISIS Audio Urges Muslims Everywhere To Kill 'Unbelievers'

ISIS spokesman Abu Muhammad al-Adnani is urging individual Muslims to launch attacks on civilians, including Canadians, in countries opposing the murderous Islamist group.

In the audio, Adnani rallies fighters against the United States and the coalition it is leading in Iraq and Syria.

The speech, entitled, "Indeed, You Lord is Ever Watchful," came in a 41-minute, 44-second audio that was distributed with an English translation on Twitter on Sunday.

Emma Watson Gives Speech On Feminism To UN, Gets Threatened By 4Chan Creeps

Sometimes celebrities grow up to be exactly who you hope they will be. Case in point: Emma Watson, United Nations Goodwill Ambassador. This weekend, the actress/model/Ivy League grad gave a speech to kick off the “HeForShe” campaign. Feminism isn’t a “women’s issue,” she argued; it’s everyone’s issue. She spoke about the myriad ways in which girls and women are discriminated against in the world and how men, too, suffer from gender stereotypes.

GOP Defrauds Voters

The GOP is working desperately to deny the right to vote to citizens it doesn’t like. You know, poor people, black people, Hispanic people, old people, female people, especially people it believes are inclined to vote for Democrats.

Republican politicians have hatched a multitude of schemes in states across the country to accomplish this gambit, passing laws demanding specific voter identification at polling places, eliminating early voting days and purging voters from registration rolls.

Thousands Of Hong Kong Students Go On Strike In Democracy Battle

HONG KONG (AP) — Thousands of Hong Kong college and university students boycotted classes Monday to protest Beijing's decision to restrict voting reforms, the start of a weeklong strike that marks the latest phase in the battle for democracy in the southern Chinese city.

The strike comes as dozens of the city's tycoons and business leaders paid a rare group visit to Beijing to meet with China's communist leaders, who want to bolster support from Hong Kong's pro-establishment billionaire elites for the central government's policies on the semiautonomous city.

Christie's Pension Overseer Invested New Jersey Money In Fund He Is Linked To Privately

In the context of a New Jersey pension system stocked with $81 billion in assets, here was a transaction that seemed unremarkable. It was 2011, the year after Gov. Chris Christie had installed his longtime friend Robert Grady to oversee the state pension fund’s investments. A former executive from the heights of finance and a national Republican Party power broker, Grady was pursuing a new strategy, shifting money into hedge funds and private equity holdings in the name of diversification and higher returns. He was now pushing to entrust up to $1.8 billion of New Jersey pension money to the Blackstone Group, one of the largest players in private equity.

TV News Misses Yet Another Opportunity To Cover Climate Change

The People's Climate March on Sunday was perhaps the largest climate change protest in history. Hundreds of thousands of people took to the streets of New York City. Celebrities and high-profile politicians were among the marchers. The protest was a huge topic on social media.

All in all, it was a perfect opportunity for some of America's biggest news organizations to cover the topic of climate change, something that usually gets either ignored or badly handled. For Sunday talk show hosts, there was even a nice political hook, since the march was pegged to a UN summit that President Obama will be attending.

Robots Are Not Just Taking Over Jobs -- They're Taking Over Economics As We Know It

Economists have been reacting of late to evidence of prolonged structural unemployment by raising the science-fiction specter of robots taking over all sorts of human jobs. What has attracted far less attention is the way in which robots have been taking over modern economics.

This is not to call the economics profession robotic, but rather to highlight that computers have influenced the way economists think about people and markets, and furthermore, how markets are increasingly coming to be defined by computers. Back in 2002, I described in a book Machine Dreams the ways in which game theory and rational choice was highly informed by the spread of electronic computers. I cited the science studies term "cyborg science" to designate the machine-like turn in orthodox choice theory: treating people as part machine, part human. Now, more than a decade later, the trend has intensified to the point of becoming apparent even to people uninterested in the history of economic thought.

Solar Seoul Shows How Eco-Friendly Cities Can Work

SEOUL -- It is a welcome development that the U.N. Climate Summit has created a forum for major cities of the world to share their best practices and discuss better ways to respond to climate change. Through this forum of exchange and cooperation, world cities can get closer to achieving the goal dear to all of us by setting realistic carbon emissions reduction targets and adopting diverse yet realistic policies. It, therefore, is a special pleasure for the city of Seoul to take part in this global networking opportunity and share our own experience in carrying out eco-friendly energy policies and efforts to build a better and healthier world.

More Proof That Anti-Obamacare States Desperately Need Obamacare

In a lot of big urban areas where a large share of residents lack health insurance, help isn't on the way.

Seven of the 11 large metro areas where the uninsured rate was higher than the 14.5 percent national average last year are located in states that refused to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act. Two are in Florida, three are in Texas, and the others are Atlanta and Charlotte, North Carolina. The metro area with the highest uninsured rate was Miami, at a staggering 25 percent, compared to the national low of 4 percent in greater Boston.

Why Ordinary People Bear Economic Risks and Donald Trump Doesn’t

Thirty years ago, on its opening day in 1984, Donald Trump stood in a dark topcoat on the casino floor at Atlantic City’s Trump Plaza, celebrating his new investment as the finest building in Atlantic City and possibly the nation.

Last week, the Trump Plaza folded and the Trump Taj Mahal filed for bankruptcy, leaving some 1,000 employees without jobs.

Trump, meanwhile, was on twitter claiming he had “nothing to do with Atlantic City,” and praising himself for his “great timing” in getting out of the investment.

Ottawa forced to turn over reports of electric chair use at residential school

For the past year and a half, lawyer Fay Brunning has been fighting to get the federal government to hand over documents about the St. Anne’s residential school.

It’s a school that the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and a judge described as having the worst cases of abuse out of any residential school in Canada. Brunning, who represents survivors, says they were taken away from their parents at age five or six for 10 months a year. They were forced to eat vomit, subjected to sexual and physical abuse and put in an electric chair.

Activists, Journalists Killed In Spate Of Assassinations In Libya

CAIRO (AP) — Targeted killings in Libya over two days left 10 rights activists, journalists, and members of the security forces dead in the country's east, local security officials said Saturday.

Among the slain Thursday and Friday were two activist bloggers, and four current and former military and police officers. The officials said three other people who were targeted survived assassination attempts in the eastern city of Benghazi.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to brief reporters.

The identity of the assailants was not immediately known. Islamic radical militias, however, have been blamed for frequent killings of secular activists, judges, moderate clerics, policemen and soldiers in Benghazi, Libya's second largest city.

Libya is witnessing the worst bout of violence since the 2011 ouster of longtime dictator Moammar Gadhafi.

Original Article

Don't Believe This Misleading Report About Canadian Income Inequality

You'd think that we live in a caste society with an exclusive few perpetually "controlling" the vast majority of wealth given the stream of media stories on a recent report from the Broadbent Institute. Headlines in the Globe and Mail, Toronto Star, and CBC all trotted out the cliché that the rich are getting richer while the poor are getting poorer, giving the impression of a doomsday-like wealth inequality gap. Fortunately, nothing could be further from the truth.

Trudeau gets abortion policy exactly right

“The days when old men get to decide what a woman does with her body are long gone. Times have changed for the better. #LPC defends rights.” This was Liberal party Leader Justin Trudeau’s tweeted response to seven former Liberal MPs who publicly objected to his decision that Liberals must speak with one voice on abortion rights. Anti-choice candidates are no longer welcome in the party and a certain kind of dinosaur objected to this.

Federal government hasn't filled top doctor's job, 15 months later

Canadians has been without a chief federal public health officer for 15 months, while a renowned federal microbiology lab has now gone six months without a leader.

Critics say the government’s tardiness in filling the two key posts – the first vacated in 2013 by Dr. David Butler-Jones, the second held until earlier this year by Dr. Frank Plummer –  is because the Conservatives have undercut the independence and pay of each role, making it difficult to attract the right candidates.

Cabinet committees in midst of ‘intense’ time, reviewing all decisions on road to 2015

Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s Cabinet committees are reviewing everything that will be announced before the next election and are in the midst of an “intense” workload time, say Conservative insiders, but once the budget’s released and as the next election nears, essentially all political strategy and decision-making
will come from the PMO and party headquarters.

“They are the agenda. They’re where the agenda comes from. Part of the reason why it’s an invisible power, other than that the work of Cabinet is appropriately secret most of the time, is that the biggest thing they do is stop bad things from emerging and appropriating more of the taxpayers’ money or distracting from the agenda,” said Chad Rogers, a partner at Crestview Strategies who’s formerly worked on Conservative election campaigns.

BOIE approves House’s high-powered legal fees in fight over NDP court challenge

PARLIAMENT HILL—The powerful House of Commons Board of Internal Economy has approved the use of House funds to pay its legal fees for outside lawyers the Board and Commons Speaker Andrew Scheer retained to fight an NDP court challenge over board rulings that New Democrat MPs contravened House-spending bylaws.

New Democrats denounced the secretive board last week for the decision—including payment of legal fees for a lawyer from the $1,000-an-hour environment of prestigious Bay Street law firms in downtown Toronto—saying taxpayers are footing the legal bill for what the NDP has labelled as partisan rulings in secret sessions of the “kangaroo court” that manages internal House affairs.

Be careful what you ask for! Jim Prentice walks away with the Wildrose political play book

As the expression goes: be careful what you ask for! You might just get it.
There is irony -- perhaps even bitter irony -- in what newly minted Alberta Premier Jim Prentice managed to do to the Wildrose Opposition last week and will likely continue to do to them this week as well.
As he attempts to right the leaky Progressive Conservative ship of state, which nearly sank during the inept captaincy of fired premier Alison Redford, he has not only emphatically abandoned a whole gamut of policies once implemented by the Redford Government, he has done what the federal Liberals have done repeatedly to the New Democratic Party.

Mount Polley's Sister Mine: We Must Do This One Right

The highest levels of corporate integrity and responsibility should be the standard for any new mine in Canada, and especially for one with as much potential as Imperial Metals' Red Chris project, situated at the heart of the Sacred Headwaters in remote northwestern British Columbia. Imperial Metals has acknowledged that all exploration, regulation and construction costs will be reclaimed within two years of the mine's anticipated three decades of active production.

BC Libs Drove on with Fundraisers during Teachers' Strike

The tense dispute with British Columbia teachers did not appear to slow down the BC Liberal Party's fundraising efforts, including the opportunity for a foursome to pay $4,000 to golf with Premier Christy Clark.

The Sept. 18 party fundraiser at Predator Ridge Resort outside Vernon was billed as a golf tournament with BC Liberal leader and Premier Clark, but party officials last week declined to say whether the premier would be there or ever planned to attend.

Agriculture Minister and Kelowna-Lake Country MLA Norm Letnick was the advertised host. "Norm is and always was the host of the event given that it's in his riding," said party spokesperson Jillian Stead in an email. "As for the premier's availability, it's not my place [to] discuss that."

Ottawa blocks Canadian from getting Syrian husband out of danger

A Canadian woman and her Syrian husband are speaking out from a Damascus suburb because they're frightened and desperate to flee the escalating danger together. They're distraught because her government is doing nothing to help.

"All we want to do is leave here. We want to just go to Canada and have a normal life," said Anya Sass, who was born and raised in Calgary.

Insecurity State: The Politics Behind the Drama in Ferguson

Watching the citizen protests in Ferguson, Missouri and the massive police overreaction, I couldn't help but think of the old 1960s revolutionary phrase about "heightening the contradictions," the idea that a little subtle and acceptable instigation could prompt the state to expose its own brutality.

My stepfather-in-law used to do that. He and fellow divinity school students and young progressive ministers used to go to protests in the sixties—even on the streets of Chicago at the '68 Convention—convinced that cops would think twice about clubbing their way through a phalanx of clerical collars to get at the hippies. And, well, if the cops didn't, at least there'd be hell to pay on the nightly news.

Thousands March In Moscow Against Ukraine Fighting

MOSCOW (AP) — Tens of thousands of people marched through central Moscow on Sunday to demonstrate against the fighting in Ukraine and Russia's alleged complicity in the conflict.

An Associated Press reporter estimated the crowd at about 20,000, although the city police department put the number at about 5,000.

Whatever happened to real debate in the House of Commons?

On Nov. 18 in Ottawa, Maclean’s will hand out the Parliamentarian of the Year Awards. Before we do, we’d like to have a frank talk about the work and worth of an MP. This week, in our Inside Ottawa series: the debate about debate.

There’s a paradox in the debate over parliamentary debate in Canada. Critics routinely deride the state of debate as largely useless and justifiably ignored, yet insist there should be more of it. When Canadians imagine the House of Commons in action, they usually picture question period. While that daily dose of partisan sparring isn’t always edifying, at least it’s lively and the Commons is full. Routine debate on legislation—in theory, the core job of an MP—typically features monotone discourse echoing in a near-empty chamber.

Program That Gives Military Gear To Local Police Has Serious Flaw

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A Pentagon program that distributes military surplus gear to local law enforcement allows even departments that the Justice Department has censured for civil rights violations to apply for and get lethal weaponry.

That lack of communication between two Cabinet agencies adds to questions about a program under review in the aftermath of the militarized police response to protesters in Ferguson, Missouri.

The Pentagon, which provides the free surplus military equipment, says its consultation with the Justice Department will be looked at as the government reviews how to prevent high-powered weaponry from flowing to the untrustworthy.

The World Spewed More Carbon Pollution Into The Air Last Year Than Ever Before

WASHINGTON (AP) — Spurred chiefly by China, the United States and India, the world spewed far more carbon pollution into the air last year than ever before, scientists announced Sunday as world leaders gather to discuss how to reduce heat-trapping gases.

The world pumped an estimated 39.8 billion tons (36.1 billion metric tons) of carbon dioxide into the air last year by burning coal, oil and gas. That is 778 million tons (706 metric tons) or 2.3 percent more than the previous year.

El-Sissi: Egypt Will Give Any Support Required In Fight Against ISIS

CAIRO (AP) — Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi is feeling vindicated by the world's alarm over Islamic extremism that is fueling wars and bloodshed across the Middle East.

The former army general has faced widespread international criticism for his ouster last year of Egypt's first freely elected president and his ferocious crackdown on Islamists that has killed more than 1,000 and imprisoned more than 20,000. A year later, after el-Sissi's election as president, his critics fear he is leading his country into autocracy, with pro-democracy dissenters jailed or silenced.

Economy Shifting Gears To Service The Rich: CIBC

The world’s businesses are shifting gears to take advantage of the growing gap between rich and poor, and that means more services and products for the biggest earners, CIBC said Friday in a client note.

CIBC chief economist Avery Shenfeld summarized the lessons learned at a recent CIBC investors’ conference in Montreal, and what he found is a commercial environment increasingly focused on serving the wealthy.

Tories revive union disclosure bill in Senate

OTTAWA - Conservative senators are making a bid to cut short debate on private members' business just as the Senate is about to revive debate on a controversial bill that would force unions to publicly disclose details of their spending.

The timing of the two moves has sparked suspicions that the Harper government wants to whisk bill C-377 through the Senate, avoiding the scrutiny that prompted senators, including 16 Conservatives, to gut the bill the first time it came before the upper house.

In June 2013, the Senate sent C-377, sponsored by Conservative MP Russ Hiebert, back to the House of Commons with amendments that effectively eviscerated the bill, which critics have called unconstitutional, undemocratic and an invasion of privacy.

Importing air pollution from China

Perhaps the best explanation I have heard about China’s air problem is from Karl Pilkington, famous as the blunt-talking star of the Sky Television series Idiot Abroad.

Pilkington had just landed — and looking outside, asks the camera operator following him, “Is it cloudy or is it pollution... it's not worth having in HD is it? Nothing looks crisp. Everything is sort of hazy.... like some sort of Kate Bush video or something."

Afghanistan's Election Body Names Ghani New President-Elect

KABUL, Sept 21 (Reuters) - Afghanistan's election commission declared former finance minister Ashraf Ghani as the war-ravaged country's president-elect on Sunday after an acrimonious dispute over fraud, but did not give the final vote tally after a U.N.-monitory audit.

The announcement came hours after Ghani and rival, Abdullah Abdullah, signed a power-sharing agreement to end two months of bitter wrangling over accusations of fraud that undermined confidence in the election and emboldened the Taliban insurgency at a crucial time as most foreign troops prepare to leave.

Independent Election Commission chairman Ahmad Yousuf Nuristani acknowledged grave flaws in the election process and said the U.N. audit could not detect all of it.

Nevertheless, he said that based on the official final tally of votes, the commission had a duty to declare a victor.

"The Independent Election Commission of Afghanistan declare Dr. Ashraf Ghani Ahmad as the president of Afghanistan," Nuristani said.

He did not give the final percentages and took no questions. (Reporting by Kay Johnson; Editing by Mark Potter)

Original Article
Author: Reuters

Iranian Foreign Minister: America Helped Create ISIS And Is Taking The Wrong Approach ... Again

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said Wednesday that the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq created the extremist group the Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL. Further foreign military presence, he said, will only create new terrorists.

“If you look at the essence of ISIS, it’s the product of foreign invasion,” Zarif said during a discussion at the Council on Foreign Relations. “Foreign presence in any territory creates a dynamic for demagogues like ISIS to use the resentment in the population of being occupied.”

Kurdish Fighters From Turkey Head To Syria To Fend Off ISIS Attack

BEIRUT (AP) — Hundreds of Kurdish fighters raced from Turkey and Iraq into neighboring Syria on Saturday to defend a Kurdish area under attack by Islamic State militants. As the fighting raged, more than 60,000 mostly Kurdish refugees streamed across the dusty and barren border into Turkey, some hobbling on crutches as others lugged bulging sacks of belongings on their backs.

Ottawa revoking passports of Canadians who join extremist groups: Alexander

Canadians who travel overseas to join extremist groups can expect to have their passports revoked, the government is warning.

Citizenship and Immigration Minister Chris Alexander said Saturday that Ottawa has begun revoking travel documents for those who travel to places such as Iraq and Syria to fight with the Islamic State and other militants groups.

“If we have evidence – and I mean substantive, incontrovertible evidence – that someone has left Canada with the intention of committing what would be an indictable offence here, including terrorism, then we can revoke, suspend or invalidate their passport,” Alexander told CTV News.

Canadian soldiers may be hiding health problems to protect pensions

About one-sixth of Canadian Forces soldiers discharged from the military due to medical reasons are released before qualifying for their pension, CBC News has learned, leading some to fear that soldiers may be hiding health problems to protect their income.

Documents obtained through a CBC/Radio-Canada access to information request show that approximately 1,100 of the 6,200 soldiers discharged because of health conditions since 2009 left the military before serving the years required to collect a full pension.

Glen Kirkland, a former corporal and designated marksman who served in Afghanistan, said that many soldiers continue to suffer from physical and mental injury in silence for fear of losing their source of income, and that the consequences of the Canadian Forces’ pension policy could be dire.

St. Louis Police Academy Promotes ‘Highly Entertaining’ Course On Michael Brown Shooting

The deadly police shooting of Michael Brown, an unarmed teenager, in Ferguson promptednationwide outrage and weeks of protests. But police in the area apparently still have a lot to learn.
The St. Louis County And Municipal Police Academy, which encompasses Ferguson, is offering a “Continuing Education” course in October entitled “OFFICER-INVOLVED SHOOTING — YOU CAN WIN WITH THE MEDIA.” The class is billed as “fast-paced class is jam-packed with the essential strategies and tactics, skills and techniques” and includes a “detailed case study of Ferguson.”

Jean Chretien: Iraq Mission 'A Done Deal'

OTTAWA - Former prime minister Jean Chretien says the federal government's decision to send special forces to northern Iraq to help fight an extremist group could pull Canada into further commitments in the region.

In an interview with CBC radio, Chretien says Canada is now fully a part of the action being taken against the extremist al-Qaida splinter group known as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL.

Eric Frein's Neighbors: 'We're Prisoners In Our Own Homes'

CANADENSIS, Pa. -- Jill Nobles is a single mother living in the backwoods of Pennsylvania, seven miles from the home of alleged cop killer Eric Frein. Less than two weeks ago, she felt safe -- now she clutches her pepper spray when she leaves the house, unsure if cops will block off her route back when she returns at night.

Alibaba’s Massive I.P.O. Reveals Wall Street’s Rigged Game

Alibaba, the massive Chinese e-commerce company that is the functional equivalent of Amazon, EBay, Uber, PayPal and a bunch of other companies combined, made its debut on the New York Stock Exchange this morning. It was the largest initial public offering in U.S. history, raising over $21.8 billion.
It was also a powerful example of how Wall Street, oftentimes, is a rigged game.