Friday, April 13, 2007

Random News & Views Roundup

Busy day here so just enough time for a quick roundup...

- It may just be a bit easier for ET to phone home in 2009. Introducing Iris.

- The DND has missed a court deadline and has asked for a 3 month extension in the lawsuit filed by the BC Civil Liberties Association and Amnesty International about the plight of detainees in Afghanistan.

Mr. Champ said the government's letter asked the groups to support the request for an extension. The letter says the Defence Department is currently busy with multiple investigations into allegations of detainee abuse, and that it is difficult to get documents from Kandahar, where the Canadian army is waging counterinsurgency operations against Taliban militants.

How difficult can it be? They have fax machines, don't they?

- It's a conspiracy:

The Liberals and the Green party on Friday confirmed they have agreed to work together to try to oust Foreign Affairs Minister Peter MacKay from his riding in the next federal election.
Dion, who said the move shows his party is serious about addressing climate change, said the Liberals will not run a candidate in the riding where May intends to seek her party's first federal seat.

In exchange, the Greens have agreed not to run a candidate in Dion's Montreal riding.

Layton had to chime in, of course:

Earlier Friday, NDP Leader Jack Layton said the deal was undemocratic and denied Canadians the right to choose who will represent them in Parliament.

Get over it, Jack. Do you want Mackay gone or not? This is politics. Deals happen - all the time. You, of all people, should know that. Predictably, the tories are whining as well because they never ever ever make such deals, as we all know.

- This is interesting: Females outnumber males online in U.S., study finds

An estimated 97.2 million females aged 3 and older will be online in 2007, or 51.7 per cent of the total online population in the U.S., according to a report by eMarketer.
A Statistics Canada study of adults conducted in 2005 found a minuscule difference in usage between the sexes, with 68 per cent of men versus 67.8 per cent of women counting as internet users.

By the way, we online women are not "geeks". I prefer to think of myself as "technologically-enlightened".

- When you read stories about prison abuse in the US like this one, you can't help but remember that convicted Abu Ghraib torturer Charles Graner was a former US prison guard as well - perfect for the job in Iraq, obviously.

- Bombings, gunbattles on rise in Afghanistan. Meanwhile, the German defence minister declares No signs of Taliban "spring offensive". Maybe he doesn't follow the news...

- Let's just broaden the Iraq war, shall we? Turkish Army Seeks OK for Iraq Raids:

ANKARA, Turkey -- Turkey's military asked the government Thursday to approve attacks on Kurdish rebels in northern Iraq, signaling growing frustration over a lack of action against the guerrillas by Iraqi and U.S. forces.

Such action could put an overstretched U.S. military in the middle of a fight between two crucial partners, the Turks and the Iraqi Kurds, and Washington urged Turkish restraint. A recent surge in Kurdish attacks in southeastern Turkey has increased the pressure on Turkey's military to act.

When WH press briefing sockpuppet Dana Perino was asked about this development on Thursday, she said she would have to brush up on the happenings in the region. I suggest she do that PDQ.

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