DonLever

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  1. The Case of the Missing Saudi Journalist

    One word: Oil. One Hundred years ago there was no Saudi Arabia. The area now known as Saudi Arabia was part of the Ottoman Empire which fell apart after WWI. The British and their allies after defeating Germany, divided up what was left of the Ottoman Empire. One result was Saudi Arabia. One hundred years ago Saudi Arabia was nothing but sand. A poor country with abject poverty ruled by harsh rulers. All of that changed with the discovery of oil in 1938. Now fast forward 100 from now. The world in 2118 will no longer need oil to the extent used now. Once rich countries like Saudi Arabia will go back to what they were before: a nothing country.
  2. The Case of the Missing Saudi Journalist

    You don't need to be Columbo to figure out something bad happened to journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
  3. From CNN: https://www.cnn.com/2018/10/10/middleeast/jamal-khashoggi-disappearance-investigation-intl/index.html (CNN) A little over a week ago, a prominent Saudi journalist walked into the consulate general in Istanbul, intending to get paperwork that would allow him to marry his Turkish fiancée. She hasn't seen him since. Since then, officials and journalists have scrambled to piece together the story of what happened to Jamal Khashoggi, a former Saudi royal insider who became a critic of the regime of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. Turkish authorities have privately said they believe Khashoggi was killed inside the consulate, a startling allegation that is firmly denied by the Saudis. Closed-circuit television footage, flight trackers, intercepted communications and even rumors of a bone saw have served as pieces of a puzzle that has spurred a diplomatic outcry. In the latest developments on Wednesday, Turkish security officials concluded that the "highest levels of the royal court" in Saudi Arabia ordered the assassination of Khashoggi, according to a senior official cited by The New York Times. Turkish officials have said that a 15-person team flew from Saudi Arabia into Istanbul on the day Khashoggi entered the consulate, and they have provided information about two private planes that, they say, were involved in the transit of these Saudis. Aviation data analyzed by CNN backs up evidence of the planes' arrival in Istanbul. The official quoted by the New York Times described the operation as "quick and complex," and that Khashoggi was killed within two hours of his arrival at the consulate. The agents "dismembered his body with a bone saw they brought for the purpose," the official told The New York Times. "It's like 'Pulp Fiction,'" he added. Turkish officials have said that a 15-person team flew from Saudi Arabia into Istanbul on the day Khashoggi entered the consulate, and they have provided information about two private planes that, they say, were involved in the transit of these Saudis. Aviation data analyzed by CNN backs up evidence of the planes' arrival in Istanbul. The official quoted by the New York Times described the operation as "quick and complex," and that Khashoggi was killed within two hours of his arrival at the consulate. The agents "dismembered his body with a bone saw they brought for the purpose," the official told The New York Times. "It's like 'Pulp Fiction,'" he added. Saudi Arabia has repeatedly denied Turkey's account of the story, saying that Khashoggi left the embassy on the same day he arrived. In a statement to CNN on Wednesday, a Saudi official said the kingdom "categorically" denies "any involvement in Jamal's disappearance." "At this stage, our priority is to support the investigation, as opposed to responding to evolving comments not directly related to those efforts. Jamal's well-being, as a Saudi citizen, is our utmost concern and we are focusing on the investigation as a means to reveal the truth behind his disappearance. Our sympathies go out to the family during this difficult time," the official said. But Turkish officials have repeatedly suggested that Khashoggi has been killed. A friend of the journalist, Turan Kislakci, who is also the head of the Turkish-Arab Media Association, told CNN that Turkish officials called him and "offered their condolences and told us to be ready for a funeral." On Wednesday, a senior Turkish official speaking on the condition of anonymity told CNN that "the Saudis are not cooperating fully with the investigation. They are not open to cooperating." In addition, Saudi authorities have asked Turkish authorities to postpone the search of their consulate in Istanbul, Turkey's pro-government daily Yeni Safak reported, citing anonymous security sources. The newspaper report did not mention a reason for the Saudis' request. Saudi Arabia had earlier said it would allow Turkish authorities to search the consulate on the request of the Turkish Foreign Ministry, the newspaper said. CNN reached out to the Saudi consulate in Istanbul by phone for comment. The person who answered the phone said that "the Saudi consulate does not have a comment" on the request for a delay, and hung up. US officials are also attempting to piece together what happened, in particular whether any operation to silence Khashoggi was ordered at the highest levels of the Saudi government, including bin Salman. One US official told CNN that the US is examining communications intercepts to see if it can learn any more about what may have happened. US officials think it's possible the crown prince wanted Khashoggi silenced, but miscalculated the global impact his disappearance would have. The Washington Post -- for which Khashoggi wrote critical columns -- said US intelligence intercepted communications of Saudi officials discussing a plan to capture the journalist. Citing a person familiar with the information, the Post said the Saudis wanted to lure Khashoggi back to Saudi Arabia and lay hands on him there. It was not clear whether the Saudis intended to arrest and interrogate Khashoggi or to kill him, or if the United States warned Khashoggi that he was a target, the source told the Post.
  4. Sure you can but it is illogical to single out only one party when it was an unanimous vote in 2007 to grant honorary citizenship to Aung San Suu Kyi.
  5. It is ridiculous to blame Harper for this when Parliament in October, 2007 unanimously voted to make Suu Kyi a Canadian honorary citizen. From Macleans: Suu Kyi’s honorary Canadian citizenship is the result of a unanimous House of Commons resolution from 2007. At the time, she had spent 12 of the preceding 18 years either in prison or under house arrest by Myanmar’s military dictatorship. Her pro-democracy party handily won a national election in 1990—Suu Kyi was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991—but the junta refused to relinquish power. She had been released from house arrest in 2012 when then-foreign minister John Baird visited her and presented her with a citizenship certificate. In other words, every member of every party voted to make Suu Kyi a honorary Canadian Citizen in 2007 and this week every member of every party voted to revoke her citizenship. Back then, Suu Kyi was the media darling of the world. Not only Canada, but countless other countries gave awards and prizes. Obama and Trudeau were big supporters of her. She sure fooled everyone.
  6. Kavanaugh Hearings

    Some of the progressives who voted for Trump simply hated Hilary Clinton for what she stood for. Despite Clinton self proclaimed leftist leanings, she was part of the establishment with deep ties to lobbyists and big businesses. So they can't bear to vote for Hilary so they voted for Trump as a protest. When it comes down to it, are there be any big differences between Clinton and Trump as President?. On one hand, we now have the idiotic madman Trump in power vs the Machiavellian Clinton who could have been president. Hilary Clinton was never the most beloved politician either on the right or the left. Any other Democratic contender would have beaten Trump.
  7. Another phony politician. The Nobel Committee should revoke her Nobel Peace Prize but of course that will never happen.
  8. From the Star: OTTAWA—Parliament has formally stripped Aung San Suu Kyi of her honorary Canadian citizenship for complicity in the atrocities committed against Burma’s Rohingya people. The Senate voted unanimously Tuesday to strip Suu Kyi, Burma’s civilian leader, of the symbolic honour bestowed on her in 2007. The upper house’s move follows a similar unanimous vote in the House of Commons last week. Since honorary citizenship was granted by a resolution passed by both houses of Parliament, the Senate and the Commons both had to pass motions to rescind the honour. Suu Kyi is the first person to have her honorary Canadian citizenship revoked. Article Continued Below The Senate has also followed the lead of the Commons in recognizing that the crimes against humanity committed by the Burma military against the Rohingya constitute a genocide. “We must recognize this atrocity for what it is,” said Sen. Ratna Omidvar, who tabled the motion to revoke Suu Kyi’s citizenship Tuesday. “It is genocide. We must call it as it is.” Article Continued Below Suu Kyi was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991 for her fight for democracy in Burma. “At that point she was a champion for change and human rights … The world pinned its hope on her as the shining light and hope for a democratic and peaceful Myanmar,” said Omidvar. “As we all now know, that was not to be.” Omidvar said Suu Kyi has denied the atrocities, restricted access to international investigators and journalists, defended the military and denied humanitarian aid for the Rohingya. “We need to send a strong signal here in Canada and around the world that if you’re an accomplice of genocide, you are not welcome here. Certainly not as an honorary Canadian citizen.”
  9. New Party (CAQ) Wins Quebec Election

    The cause for separation is becoming smaller and smaller as the older generation most in favour of separation are dying off. The people of the 1960's and of the 1970's were in the forefront of the separation movement and their time has past. The younger generation are more international in outlook and look at the big picture. It is like Brexit, the older generation was in favour of leaving but young people were not.
  10. New Party (CAQ) Wins Quebec Election

    All political parties in Quebec have some degree of anti-immigrant to them. Remember, in Quebec, Quebec identity is utmost to most everyone. Unlike the rest of Canada, multiculturalism is not how they view society.
  11. from CBC: Coalition Avenir Québec will form a majority government in Quebec, CBC News projects. Polls for the provincial election closed at 8 p.m. ET and as of 8:36 p.m. the CAQ was leading in 64 seats and the Liberals were leading in 31. The Parti Québécois had seven seats and Québec Solidaire had five. The right-of-centre party, which promises to lower taxes, privatize some aspects of the health system and cut the number of immigrants, capitalized on an appetite for change among Quebec voters and is favoured win the most seats. The party, founded in 2011, was the favourite heading into the campaign. But Legault stumbled badly at times, particularly when pressed to explain his party's immigration policy. Despite Legault's missteps, opinion polls suggest the CAQ has managed to hang on to the all-important lead among francophone voters, which could power him to a majority in the National Assembly. The Liberals, led by Philippe Couillard, campaigned on their strong economic record and a promise to improve the everyday lives of Quebecers. But they were subjected to criticism for their deep cuts to education and health care in the first two years of their mandate as they wrestled to balance the budget. Scant talk of sovereignty For the first time in decades, the question of whether Quebec should become independent hasn't figured prominently in the campaign. Either the federalist Liberals or the pro-independence Parti Québécois have held power in the province since the defeat of Union Nationale in 1970. New Who is François Legault, Quebec's next premier? But with support for sovereignty waning, the PQ, led by Jean-François Lisée, said it would put off holding a referendum until a second mandate. Polls suggest the PQ could lose votes to another sovereignist party, the smaller, left-wing Québec Solidaire, led by two popular "co-spokespeople," Manon Massé and Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois. The party's platform, including a series of bold environmental proposals, is particularly popular among young voters. When the election was called, the Liberals held 68 seats, the PQ held 28, the CAQ 21 and Québec Solidaire three, along with five independents in the province's 125-seat National Assembly.
  12. From the Vancouver Sun: As Vancouver’s first “sex doll brothel” prepares to open its doors in November, an economist at the University of B.C. says similar businesses and future versions of the nascent technology it plans to rent by the half-hour could soon be commonplace. But the would-be brothel could find itself in a battle with the City of Vancouver, whose staff say they have received no business licence applications from any company seeking to operate such a business. Posters for a company called Bella Dolls recently appeared taped to streetlights around town, depicting a well-endowed, silicone-looking doll in a too-small shirt and the teaser statement: “Make all your sexual fantasies a reality … pre-booking available now.” The business, which has a target opening date of Nov. 1, would be the first in the province to rent relatively realistic sex dolls to customers at prices that start at $60 for 30 minutes. There is no municipal bylaw that would prevent such a business from operating in Vancouver, according to a statement from the city. But standard zoning rules would apply for it to operate legally in a commercial area, and permits and licences would be required. Property use inspectors would ensure that safety and licensing regulations were being met, according to the city. Marina Adshade, a professor at UBC’s Vancouver School of Economics, who recently wrote a chapter in a book titled Robot Sex: Social and Ethical Implications, said that while the existing technology is more blow-up doll than sex robot, she expected to see shops that rent them proliferate. “We will see it all over the place. Right now, the dolls are very expensive, so it’s kind of prohibitive for somebody to buy one to use in the home,” Adshade said. The cheapest dolls are somewhere around $7,000 and those being used in “brothels” are as much as $12,000, Adshade said. If those costs go down and the technology improves, the dolls could see widespread adoption. “I think we will see some very real societal shifts happen about the way that we kind of view relationships, (and) about the way that we view our interactions with technology,” Adshade said. Meanwhile, sex doll brothels could offer a service that is safer and less exploitative than traditional sex work to patrons who may not have access to intimate relationships with other people, Adshade said. “These might be people who normally would use sex workers, but they’re going to try sex dolls — maybe because they’re worried about risk of disease, maybe they’re worried about exploiting real live women,” Adshade said. Asked whether use of sex dolls encouraged objectification of women, Adshade replied that “objectification of women is absolutely everywhere. “We have so much online porn, we have all of these cam girls that have appeared in the last couple of years — literally thousands of women performing that function — and we have a strip club in downtown Vancouver. … So, to get upset now that there’s a brothel that has a handful of dolls, I don’t really think it warrants any additional concern beyond how we already feel about women being projected and perceived.” Bella Dolls’s website offers photos and descriptions of “featured women.” Among them is “Deja,” who is characterized as “naughty, kinky, rough” and who “doesn’t care if (you) hurt her.” The site tells patrons they are in complete control and encourages them to “forget the restrictions and limitations that comes with a real partner.” Ally Chan, a marketing director at Bella Dolls, said those words and sentences were written by a creative director to attract men to their website and give the dolls a realistic feel. “I think we’re not trying to promote aggression or anything. … (They are) just words for you to kind of imagine your fantasy,” she said. Chan said the founders of the company wished to remain anonymous, but that the Vancouver location would be their first such brothel. The “Bella Dolls mansion” address will be given to those who make bookings, but Chan would not disclose it. It is “not necessarily a residential mansion,” she said. Chan said she is aware there is a negative stigma around the industry, but hoped people could see the positive aspects to it. “People don’t know how many other men, females, whatever they are, are actually very deprived when it comes to sex,” she said. “We actually are here to bring happiness.” The company has been “flooded” with pre-bookings, she said. Sex doll brothels made headlines recently in Toronto’s North York area, where a company called Aura Dolls had sought to open shop. That business was shut down before it even opened after protests by residents and a city councillor who ultimately found an old bylaw that prohibited “adult entertainment” parlours from opening in the area. Part of the concern over Aura Dolls was with objectification of and violence against women. Toronto’s first sex doll rental business, Kinky S Dolls, opened in May 2017. Its owner told Postmedia earlier this month the company does not tolerate “rape fantasies” or violent behaviour toward the dolls.
  13. NCIX Customer Data Sold Online

    CTV news last night had the NCIX Data Breach story. Check out the video. https://bc.ctvnews.ca/mounties-investigating-claims-servers-with-personal-info-for-sale-online-1.4104822
  14. How can you vet someone in a war torn country when half the infrastructure has been destroyed along with any records? Plus do you expect any co-operation from the Assad government in checking someone's background? The only possible background check the Canadian government can do is see if the person is on any known terrorist list. Besides that, what can the Canadian government do besides question the person. And do you think the applicant will admit to a criminal background or that he committed sex crimes before? Of course not, the person will lie and the Canadian government will never find out.
  15. From CKWX: SURREY (NEWS 1130) – There’s been a major breakthrough for investigators and the family of a 13-year-old girl whose body was found in Burnaby’s Central Park last summer. Ibrahim Ali, 28, has been charged with first-degree murder in the death of Marrisa Shen. He was arrested in Burnaby on Friday and remains in custody. “We still believe that this crime was a random act, meaning Marrisa did not know the suspect and vice versa,” says Superintendent Donna Richardson, Officer-in-Charge of IHIT. Ali is a Syrian national who came to Canada 17 months ago as a refugee. He is a permanent resident in Canada and has been living and working in Burnaby. He does not have a criminal record. Richardson hopes people don’t jump to any false conclusions about refugees, following this arrest. “I would hope that we look at this incident for what it is. It’s a one-off situation.” Investigators say Ali came to their attention two weeks ago, but won’t say why. “This file has become IHIT’s largest active investigation and one of the largest that we have handled to date, with over 2,300 investigative tasks being completed,” says Richardson. Police have spoken to more than 1,300 people in the area surrounding the park and conducted over 600 interviews. OVer 2,000 persons of interest were identified over the course of the investigation. More than 1,000 hours of video footage from over 60 nearby locations was reviewed. Richardson adds police have spoken with Marrisa’s family. “Our commitment to them have not wavered. We know that their loss remains extremely difficult to understand.” “It’s a huge sense of relief for us in law enforcement and for the family, to bring some justice to them, if you will.” Timeline of events Shen’s body was found in a wooded area of the park on July 19, 2017. Surveillance footage shows Shen outside the apartment building where she lived near the park on July 18, 2017. At 5 p.m., Shen sent a text from her phone, although it’s unclear to whom the message was sent or what it was about. About an hour later (6:02 p.m.), Shen was seen again on surveillance footage, leaving home. Investigators said it did not appear she was in distress. Shen was dressed in shorts and a t-shirt, the same clothes she’s believed to have been discovered in. At 11:30 p.m., Shen’s mother called police to report her missing. Shortly after 1 a.m. on July 19, 2017, her body was found in the brush on the southeast side of Central Park. Officers were able to track the girl’s phone, leading them to her body. Police have said they were confident Shen was killed in the park, however a cause of death has not been released. Shortly after her death, police said the killing was “random.”