February 21, 2006

Potpourri

Probe into alleged income-trust leak may widen circle of those in the know Dean Beeby, Feb. 19, 06 -- via here , from CNEWS Forum, Anne_mcm, 2/19/2006


OTTAWA (CP) - An internal Finance Department probe into the alleged leak of confidential income-trust policy exonerates senior staff - but also suggests the circle of those potentially in the know may have been wider than previously reported.

[....] Goodale has already indicated he gave advance word of his decision to then-prime minister Paul Martin, who shared it with three aides, and to two cabinet ministers, one of whom - John McCallum - has said that he also shared it with aides.

A spokesman for the Bank of Canada said the RCMP has not interviewed any of the bank's staff.

[....] The Mounties remain tight-lipped about the investigation, which is being handled by one of the RCMP's newly created integrated market enforcement teams [IMET].[. . . . ]





Refugees 'bought' way into country, court told -- Immigration scam -- Woon Lam (Bill) Wong, Liu Wai Keung, Yves Bourbonnais, an Immigration and Refugee Board judge, $10,000


[....] New details of the bribery scandal that led to the laying of 278 charges against 11 Montrealers in 2001 -- including Yves Bourbonnais, an Immigration and Refugee Board judge -- were revealed yesterday in Quebec Superior Court at a pre-sentencing hearing for Liu. [....]

Wong, a prominent businessman and president of Montreal's Chinese Chamber of Commerce, is serving a three-year prison term after admitting to 16 charges in 2004.

Meanwhile, Mr. Bourbonnais is to go on trial on Sept. 12 on 97 charges, including breach of trust, defrauding the government and obstruction of justice. [....]




$1.4-billion Canadian radios fail troops -- Duct tape has come in handy; thanks, Red Green.


Copps? Arbour? LeBlanc? Ignatieff? Liberals casting about for a leader

Ex-Premiers tend not to become Prime Ministers so ex-Premier McKenna's chances are not judged very high; so much depends upon his strength with the powerful who have chosen Canada's PM for the last forty years or so. Think about it.

Dominic LeBlanc's name thrown into mix of possible Grit contenders, Kate Malloy and F. Abbas Rana, February 20th, 2006


Four-term Liberal MP Dominic LeBlanc could enter the race for the leadership of the Liberal Party. But the larger Grit plotting continues. [....]



China's new money covet yachts built with Canadian know-how -- Boat builders seek partnerships with B.C. engineers, designers Wency Leung, CanWest, Feb. 21,06


[....] Boat builders in China want to partner with B.C. engineers, since Canada is known for producing high-quality yachts, according to Seaforth Marine Group Inc. of Maple Ridge, B.C.. The company provides engineering and consulting for a factory outside of Shanghai.

[....] Mr. Erdevicki said he is designing production-line leisure boats for two clients, who aim to build the boats in China. [....]


Why not try to keep the work in Canada? Would a partnership involving ownership by those who build the boats here in Canada be possible to keep the knowledge and jobs in Canada? You know what will happen; once the Chinese have acquired the design and finishing expertise, the jobs will be in China. So will the designer's job.



China hunts abroad for academic talent Feb 18, 2006, Pallavi Aiyar


[....] In this latest bid to raise the country's global prestige, Chinese universities backed by massive injections of governmental funding are spending billions of dollars to attract top foreign-educated and overseas-born Chinese, building cutting-edge research centers, partnering with the world's best educational institutions, and developing new programs taught in the international lingua franca - English.

Under a central government program started in 1998 called the 985 Project [. . . . ]

As a result of its improved pay scales, the Guanghua school currently boasts some 50 "returned scholars" (Chinese nationals who return to the mainland after studying abroad) and more than half of the faculty hold foreign PhDs. "These are not PhDs from any old university," said Zhang, himself a DPhil from Oxford. "We only look at Ivy League or Oxbridge-educated talent." [....]

Zhang said, "We still suffer from too much governmental control and have little leeway to implement reforms without cumbersome permissions and procedures." Chinese universities are unable, for example, to develop new programs or curricula without prior governmental approval. "To do something good and experimental invariably means violating government rules," rued Zhang. He added that university presidents in China remain government appointees and are rarely academics. [....]


Would government appointees also apply to UNBSJ's Beijing Concord Project at the Concord College of Sino Canada in Beijing China (BCCSC)? I have posted on that project within the last month or so.



Terence Corcoran: Self-censorship -- what a sell-out -- re: media treatment of Google-China-censorship vs the media disinclination to publish the cartoons that might raise Muslim ire. The West trumpets free speech but self-censorship is alive and well in the media. NatPost, Feb. 21, 06



The World Is Nuts. , a quote from the Lowell Green radio talk show


[. . . . ] No wonder people think the CTV is “right-wing” simply by virtue of the fact that it’s not state-owned. Over the past few years, it’s become almost generally accepted in this country that profit is bad. Personally responsibility is bad. Competition is bad. Not having a social program to help you with your basic life is bad. Corporations are bad. Tax cuts are bad. Morals and values are bad. And government is good—the more government, the better. That’s what the liberal-left calls “progress”. That’s “progressive”.


More here: Audio Video Vault




There He Goes Again.... FrontPageMagazine.com February 21, 2006


[....] In a Washington Post op-ed yesterday entitled “Don’t Punish the Palestinians,” America’s Worst Ex-President declared it was morally and strategically wrong to withhold funds from the Palestinian Authority’s new government, led by Hamas.

[....] Jimmy Carter had no problem cutting off funding to America’s historic ally and the Middle East’s only democracy ten years ago, but today he demands American taxpayers and Israeli government officials pony up for jihadists. This reflects Carter’s pro-Islamic history. As head of the heavily Saudi-financed Carter Center, the former president has ghostwritten speeches for Yasser Arafat. He even called a secret summit with Hamas leaders in Cairo in the mid-90s to ask if they would strengthen Arafat’s PA government. (Hamas cancelled on him at the last minute.) [. . . . ]


That's the ex-President who allowed the ones Castro sprung from jail to flee to the US; remember the Marielitos. How can it be ethical for an ex-President to accept money from the Saudis, to write for Arafat, then to offer opinions on foreign policy that affect Israel and the Palestinian Authority? Carter is part of a group that includes former ambassadors (maybe others) who returned from Saudi Arabia and then were highly remunerated by the Saudis for work they would not have had, if they had not had previous connections to Saudi Arabia's government ... which, incidentally, happens to fund Wahhabi schools and jihadis / jihadi regimes. Sounds like a quid pro quo to me.



September 2005

Taliban militia takes control of South Waziristan, Pakistan South Asia Tribune, 14/9/2005, URL: http://www.india-defence.com/reports/348


That peace, as is now turning out, is purely on the terms of Taliban and its armed fighters, who have reorganized and emerged as the de facto rulers of the area. Some 60 notable Maliks and elders of the region, who collaborated with the US and Pakistan Army, have been shot dead in the last 18 months.

The groups, led by trained Taliban commanders have taken physical control. New offices have been opened all over the Agency to recruit youngsters and fighters for 'jihad' inside Afghanistan, Kashmir and against the Pakistan Army.

It is thus no surprise that attacks against government installations have now become a routine affair. ....

[....] None of the tribal sources wanted to be named due to fear of persecution. Armed with heavy weapons, the Taliban patrol the streets of Wana and other towns to ensure that no music is played and only the religious and inspirational cassettes and CDs are sold, as was the case in parts of Afghanistan during the Taliban regime.


I just read somewhere that Pakistan's General Purvez Musharraf may lose his position as unrest rises.





The Taliban's bloody foothold in Pakistan Syed Saleem Shahzad, Feb. 8, 06 -- Syed Saleem Shahzad is Bureau Chief, Pakistan Asia Times Online.

[. . . . ] The Taliban and their supporters plant roadside bombs on the routes used by the Pakistani paramilitary forces, and virtually every day one or two vehicles are blown up. This measure is aimed to keep the security forces away from the actual tribal areas of Waziristan. In short, the writ of the Pakistani political agent (the central government's representative) barely extends beyond Miramshah Bazaar and Wana Bazaar (the official headquarters). Everywhere else, the Taliban are calling the shots.

Asia Times Online has viewed a video disc released by the Taliban that illustrates their control in North Waziristan. [. . . . ]

The video also includes the "official" announcement of the establishment of an Islamic state in Waziristan [. . . . ]


Lengthy, worth reading




Afghan opium: License to kill Pierre-Arnaud Chouvy, Feb. 1, 06
Pierre-Arnaud Chouvy is a geographer and Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique research fellow, and produces www.geopium.org

[.... The] global prohibition of opium and certain other drugs has largely failed, in spite of, or maybe because of, more than 30 years of the "war on drugs" launched in 1971 by the administration of US president Richard Nixon.

[....] In such a context, where both interdiction and development have failed to solve the "opium problem" in Afghanistan, because interdiction without development amounts to further deteriorating the livelihoods of opium farmers, and alternative development is far from having been implemented with adequate economic means and political determination, a rather new, but unrealistic, proposal has emerged: the licensing of Afghan opium for production of pharmaceutical morphine.

It is alternative livelihoods that must be promoted, in a way that counter-narcotics objectives are mainstreamed into national development strategies and programs, if the causes of opium-poppy cultivation are to be addressed and illicit opium production eventually curtailed. [....]


Worth reading

Subheadings:

Supply and demand of opioid analgesics
Indian licit vs Afghan illicit opium production
Shortcomings of opium licensing in Afghanistan

There was a meeting of the World Bank in London during the first week of Feb. to tackle development issues for Afghanistan, particularly, "how to deal with Afghanistan's opium fields, which last year produced about 4,200 tonnes of raw opium." What was the outcome?


Superbug passed to people by pets -- Maybe it's revenge for this.

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