CSN:AFU Monday’s Top Three News Stories — July 16/07

Voivod: Canadian

Insect“; ‘Negatron‘ (1995)
…it’s loud, so you should probably turn it waaaay up.


The First Three News Stories On 07/16/07


Yesterday’s News Tomorrow: Interesting news cycle for overreactions… apparently the Cold War is back on and there’s a looming health care crisis in Canada from a mystery illness. Also, our Prime Minister hates socialists. Especially the ones in South America.


Page Jump:
BBC World; CBC The National; CTV National News




5.30pm BBC World

1) Britain Expels Russian Diplomats: Every time someone brings up the recent relationship troubles between America, Britain and Russia reporters feel like they must invoke the Cold War. Russia backs out of an arms agreement, so we’re heading back to the Cold War. America wants Poland and the Czech Republic to be a part of the “Missile Shield”, so we’re heading back to the Cold War. Russia has one of their former spies murdered in London with some radioactive material, we’re going back to the blah blah blah… we’re not going back to any Cold War scenario’s. Russia uses Britain, specifically London, as it’s base to attract foreign (re: European) investors, while American and European money (re: American cash) is keeping Russia solvent. In short, there will be no New Cold War because Western Capitalism is keeping Russia from falling apart. It’s doubtful, but it may become something worth worrying aboot, but nothing like the Cold War.

Russia has a negative birth rate, more people are dying than being born. The average life expectancy in Russia is aboot 60-years old. Without their nuclear capability Russia was never a real Super Power, and even most of that capability was on paper only. But, thanks to seventy years of conditioning and brain washing, Russia had a Super Myth of Invincibility… until 1989 when the wall came down, it was that failure of expectations which stopped whatever democracy movement there was. So what Putin and his Gang are doing is trying to live up to the illusions and allusions of the Russian people. They want some of their satellites back, for example, so they cut off gas supplies to Ukraine and put troops on their border with Georgia.

Anyway. The Russians had a former spy assassinated in London — Alexander Litvinenko, a deep insider from the KGB who wrote aboot Putin’s predilection for children — and is now refusing to extradite the only suspect. So Britain reacted today by expelling four Soviet Russian diplomats. The Soviets will respond accordingly. Russians… they’re Russians now. Also, keep in mind there will be elections of a sort next Spring and in Russia, just like the rest of the world, being irrationally anti-American and or British will get you a few extra votes and a visit from Hugo.

2) Palestinians In West Bank To Receive Aid: So now there are two de facto Palestinian States. In one there’ll be clean streets, smoothly run prisons and everyone will be able to walk safely down the street at any time of day or night. The other will have running water, electricity and access to Internet pornography. If this were a competition, and it really, really is, guess which one wins? The Americans are “unlocking” US$190million in cash, and the Israeli government will soon be passing back some of the Palestinian tax money they’ve been holding. Toss in some European and Canadian cash and the West Bank could be receiving aboot $500million in investment over the next few weeks. Israel has also, in a diplomatic move, agreed to stop hunting for 178 mostly Fatah “militants”. Meanwhile, back at Rancho de Gaza, Hamas has run out of British journalists to free and are currently looking at alternative strategies to garner further “good will” from the West. This whole thing has to move quickly. No Palestinian trusts Fatah, the organization has been filtering off money destined for roads and water filtration systems for decades. This, remember, is the party of Arafat and his personal $billion fortune.

In an unexpected and kind of welcome move, Zacharia Zubeidi, head of the al-Aqsa Martyrs brigade, a dude who has survived four assassination attempts by Israeli forces, retired yesterday. According to Zacharia, al-Aqsa is no more and has signed a pledge “to cease attacks against Israel.” His name was on the “178 List”.

3) Libya Postpones Aid Worker Appeal: Five Bulgarian nurses and a Palestinian doctor working in Libya were arrested and charged in 2004 with deliberately infecting 400 children with HIV. The charges, according to most non-brain dead people, are ridiculous. But it’s not like we’ve read the court transcripts. While all six have been convicted and sentenced to death, there is an ongoing appeal… but in a country like Libya each court speaks with the same voice. There is a deal in the works where the six medical professionals will be let go in exchange for each of the families getting $1million from “Europe”.



10pm CBC: The National

1) Canada, Columbia Start Trade Talks: Canada, America and Mexico have had a free trade zone since 1994. There have been occasional attempts to expand the deal into South America — including an aborted attempt to make the Organization of American States relevant. But nothing substantial occurred, mostly because American politics suddenly got more protectionist. So, instead of expanding the NAFTA agreement, America and Canada have been doing side deals — basically one-on-one deals. Canada and Chile, for example, have had a deal since 1997 and Canada and Brazil have been in talks since 2004. So today Canada and Columbia have started negotiations towards the goal of having a Free Trade Agreement. Because Columbia has been in an on-again off-again mini civil war between the elected government, Marxist groups and drug backed militants, these negotiations will be considered… well, controversial. Especially since Columbia has the highest murder rate for trade unionists and “gross human rights violations“. The visit by Harper was the first one by a Prime Minister in fifty years of diplomatic relations between the two countries. Canada currently donates a lot of money towards demining and funding rehabilitation centres in Columbia. There are a lot of political goals in doing this… Canada and America want to sign Brazil to a Free Trade agreement, it’s not crucial, but it’d be nice. Also, I think we’d like to marginalize Venezuela just a little… the whole idea of a “Free Trade Area of The Americas” was something which got a push as a reaction to the European Union, but when we saw the EU stall and fall apart the FTAoTA stalled. Plus the acronym looks stupid.

This story did have one of the most absurd observations from a reporter on any topic in a long, long time… Keith Boag, the CBC Parliamentary reporter — and generally a decent one — finished with “[it shows that] by engaging [right wing] Columbia, Canada doesn’t approve of South American socialism.” I actually did a double take. We’re in talks with Brazil, we’ve already got a deal with Chile… not to mention Canada, even with a Conservative Government, is more socialist than any South American country, not including Venezuela I guess. It was a leap of logic that is still flying. 

2) Conrad Black Shoots His Mouth Off: Explaining Conrad Black will take a separate post. Basically he’s a rich guy who may have gotten there by bending some rules he shouldn’t have. He was just convicted in an American court on four out of the 13 counts he was initially charged with. They got him on three mail fraud charges and one obstruction of justice charge. Compared to what they charged him with, he pretty much got off, and probably will on appeal. Conrad, who gave up his Canadian citizenship to become a British Lord, owned a whole lot of newspapers and famously said “all reporters are lazy.” He was right. Despite facing the possibility of life behind bars, on Monday Conrad sent emails to several Canadian reporters basically talking aboot how he’ll get off and how he’s not worried aboot… well, anything (I’m assuming I didn’t get one because he spelt my name wrong, remember it’s [redacted], not [redacted]).

3) 6.2 Earthquake In Japan: Seven people were killed, another 900 injured, when the earth moved back and forth, rapidly, in Japan. It happened on the first day of a national holiday, and also in the middle of an election campaign… which was hilarious because the President showed up on site wearing a blue dress shirt with an open neck… it’s like a virus. The first time I saw it was — I think — during Bill Clinton’s first campaign. Then you couldn’t get our Prime Minister, Jean Chretien, out of his. Japan is, apparently, the most earthquake-prone country on earth. There was also a short lived low-level radiation leak at a nuclear reactor, but the reactor itself was undamaged.



11pm CTV National News

1) Mystery Illness Spreading Across Canada: Great story, with fantastic headline potential, no wonder it was their lead story… too bad it was misleading and not really that immediate. The “mystery illness” gets covered aboot twice a year by the national news in Canada, and gets all kind of coverage in the United States. It’s called “Lyme Disease”, it’s spread by a specific type of bug — the Black Legged Tick, aka: the Deer Tick — and has recurring symptoms similar to a flu. There are aboot fifty cases diagnosed in Canada per year, but there seems to be a consensus that because the disease is so rare it often gets misdiagnosed by Canadian doctors. So there could be, according to the CTV medical reporter, up to 2000 additional cases. How she picked that number, she didn’t say. The disease leaves distinct ring-like rashes, and causes considerable pain. It can be treated, if diagnosed properly, with a quick hit of antibiotics. Apparently Canadian testing is inadequate to the job, and there are calls to get the American system in place here. There must have been a Press Release from a Lyme Disease Group, because the same story popped up in Britain and in a few States using the same type of numbers.

2) The Pickton Serial Murder Trial: Robert Pickton has been accused of murdering 26 prostitutes who disappeared from Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside over a twenty to twenty-five year period, ending in late 2001. He is currently on trial for the murder of six of those women: Sereena Abotsway; Marnie Frey; Andrea Joesbury; Georgina Faith Papin; Mona Wilson and Brenda Ann Wolfe. On Monday one of Picktons friends, Andrew Bellwood, gave testimony during which he gave a pretty graphic description of Pickton acting out one of the murders. Pickton, he said, claimed he would kill them after sex, bleed them, gut them and feed the remains to his livestock. Bellwood, an admitted crack addict and alcoholic, claimed he could remember the night Pickton confessed to him because he was sober that night… “my mind was absolutely clear.”

3) School Teacher Murder Update: A 40-year old popular principal at an elementary school in British Columbia, Shemina Hirji, was murdered in her home last week, just days after marrying Narinder Pal (Paul) Cheema. Her husband claimed it was a violent home invasion by three masked men, during which he suffered minor injuries. Well, guess what? According to “unidentified sources” Cheema was arrested yesterday for the murder, but later released. He has been told not to go anywhere, and police are no longer investigating the home invasion. Ends up, aboot 12-years ago, he kidnapped another woman — his then fiancé — at knife point then, after he had done his time, he tried it again but this time with a gun. Just as a point of interest, because of her religion and ancestry and how close it occurred to her wedding, the initial speculation was this was an “Honour Killing”.





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About Gabriel

I’ve lived in more than fifty places. I've been paid to pick stones out of fields, take backstage photos of Britney Spears, and report on Internet privacy issues. My photos have been published in several newspapers, and a couple of magazines.
This entry was posted in Canada, Canadian News, Canadian Politics, CBC News, CSN:AFU Monday's News, CTV News, European Union, globalization, Israel, Middle East Politics, Punk, US Middle East Policy. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to CSN:AFU Monday’s Top Three News Stories — July 16/07

  1. Dead Robot says:

    My friend got a tick bite last year and his doc put him on heavy handed medications (anti-biotics? pro-biotic yoghurt? can’t remember).

    We were hiking and he suddenly yelled, dropped his shorts (“Kenny? I didnt know you cared…?”) and clawed at his inner thigh. The damn thing was painful, it seems. You’ll know when you’ve been bit by one.

  2. Nita says:

    Sorry to write this comment here..but i was looking for the search box?
    Well actually I was looking for that conversation we had on your blog about the medical systems of Canada and India. Was thinking or writing a post on it…can you send me the link?

  3. Gabriel says:

    Nita, you can always leave a message anywhere you want on anything you want. I found two health care related discussions we’ve had recently. One on abortion, and the other on the actual system itself.

    This is the abortion post, and this is the “CSN:AFU Week 17” post.

    If you need anything else please don’t hesitate to ask. I’ll leave the “Search” widjit just below the “Top Posts” and just above your RSS Feed.

  4. Pingback: CSN:AFU Week 23 In Review « …cultural snafu.

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