By macleans.ca - Thursday, March 14, 2013 - 0 Comments
A weekly round-up from around the world
Up to the task
Jim Flaherty’s decision to scold the Bank of Montreal for dropping its five-year mortgage rate to 2.99 per cent was seemingly out of character. But the pro-competition finance minister was left with little choice after BMO’s move threatened to undo Ottawa’s efforts to cool the housing market and rein in household debt. With England-bound Bank of Canada governor Mark Carney bizarrely declaring the country’s debt worries over, the task of saving Canadians from themselves has fallen to Flaherty. He deserves credit for taking on the unenviable task.
A basic right
A Quebec court judge rejected a preposterous bid by the lawyers of alleged killer Luka Magnotta to have parts of the trial conducted out of the public eye. Though the media is generally prohibited from reporting what happens during a preliminary hearing, at least until the trial is over, Magnotta’s lawyers were hoping to have the public barred from the courtroom entirely, arguing that the high profile nature of the case could jeopardize Magnotta’s right to a fair trial. But in an era when publication bans are increasingly commonplace, the ruling wisely upheld the public’s equally important right to see the wheels of justice in motion.
By Katie Engelhart - Monday, January 21, 2013 at 4:00 PM - 0 Comments
UK says “hands off our islands”
The British government’s latest military manoeuvre seems fresh out of a Monty Python sketch: 150 British soldiers who just returned from a tour in Afghanistan are being redeployed to the Falkland Islands, a land mass roughly the size of Connecticut, almost 13,000 km from Britain.
The saga began this month, when Argentine President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner published a letter in two British newspapers staking her claim on the Falklands (the Malvinas, as they are known there), which are just off Argentina’s coast. “In a blatant exercise of 19th-century colonialism,” she wrote, “Argentina was forcibly stripped of the Malvinas.” Fernández urged the UN to restore the islands’ “territorial integrity.” British Prime Minister
David Cameron didn’t miss a beat, quickly appearing on the BBC to declare his “extremely strong” resolve to keep the islands British. Already, military chiefs have drawn up plans to prevent hostile action by Argentina, London’s Telegraph reports.
Of course, we’ve been here before. And memories of 1982 are certainly guiding Cameron’s hand, says Graham Stewart, author of A History of Britain in the 1980s. That year, prime minister Margaret Thatcher’s firm action during the 10-week Falklands War—which cost 650 Argentine and 250 British lives—helped solidify her political support, and shape her legacy. “Cameron is clearly aware of the legacy,” says Stewart. Continue…
By Colby Cosh - Friday, February 17, 2012 at 3:58 AM - 0 Comments
Argentina, the world press tells us, intends to rename its top soccer league the “Cruiser General Belgrano First Division”, in honour of the Argentine ship sunk by the Royal Navy during the 1982 Falklands War. Far be it from any outsider to prescribe how a country honours its war dead, but honour is not what the move is about: it’s part of a continuing, exhausting barrage of Falklands agitprop from Argentina’s Kirchner government. Kirchner is scrambling to keep Argentine economic growth rolling, barracking businesses and workers in the classic caudillo manner as inflation outpaces the dubious official statistics. She has tried, with some success, to close off Southern Hemisphere ports to boats flying the maritime flag of the Falklands and to weld traditionally UK-friendly neighbours into a regional bloc against “colonialism”. Tensions are high and the Falkland Islanders are feeling besieged. Continue…
By Richard Warnica - Wednesday, February 8, 2012 at 1:39 PM - 0 Comments
Argentina plans to raise Britain’s “militarization” of the Falkland Islands at the UN, the…
Argentina plans to raise Britain’s “militarization” of the Falkland Islands at the UN, the BBC reports. The islands, long a sore spot between two countries, have been the site of increasing tension in recent months. Britain recently sent their newest naval destroyer to the region (along with Prince William, a helicopter rescue pilot assigned to the ship). Argentina, meanwhile—along with other South American nations—closed its ports to ships from the islands in December. Argentine President Cristina Fernandez De Kirchner will launch a formal complaint over Britain’s actions at both the UN Security Council and General Assembly.
By macleans.ca - Monday, February 6, 2012 at 10:10 AM - 0 Comments
Calgary speed skater Christine Nesbitt sets new women’s world record, while Syria’s civil war continues to cause carnage
The virtue of clarity
Alex Salmond’s Scottish National Party unveiled the question it intends to put before voters in its 2014 referendum on independence. Scotland’s voters will be asked for a straightforward yes or no answer to: “Do you agree that Scotland should be an independent nation?” Supporters of unity complained that the SNP had given itself the psychologically easier task of defending the “Yes” side. Salmond has obviously learned from Canada’s successful experience fighting secessionism. His referendum question contains no mention of “sovereignty association” or “partnerships.”
We’re No. 10
Canada regained its hemisphere-leading place in the Reporters Without Borders global press-freedom rankings. The French-based NGO had Canada behind the U.S.A. in 2010’s league table, but Canada’s “almost totally” non-violent handling of 2011’s Occupy protests moved us into a 10th-place tie with Denmark. The U.S. plunged to 47th. According to RWB, Finland and Norway remain leading “engines of press freedom,” while North Korea and Eritrea bring up the rear.