Recent news from the Arctic is that Greenpeace tried to block the drilling of a prospect well off the coast of Greenland, much to the chagrin of Cairn Energy Plc, the company who holds the lease for oil and gas concessions along that portion of the Greenlandic shore. The Arctic is widely believed to be the last, great unexplored region where resources like oil and natural gas, along with a host of precious metals, will be found in any significant concentrations, and thanks to global c
It's been a busy newsworthy year for Canada, and we are in the international headlines again. After an extended proroguing of parliament and hosting the Olympics, Canada is also hosting both the G8 and G20 summits. From all media reports, we are hearing about increased security which has been heightened and put into place, more than 700 new security cameras installed, and the downtown core has already been designated into a tight red zone area.
It's something we think only happens in far away places and developing countries. A booming black market industry, earning $32 billion dollars annually, more than the worth of Google, Starbucks and Nike combined. Human trafficking for the purposes of selling sexual acts, also known as sexual terrorism, is the use of illicit sex, violence and threats to intimidate or coerce to the state of fear and submission. It's a problem worldwide, but it is becoming more widespread in North America, especially in Canada.
The Supreme Court of Canada handed down its ruling Friday in the case of Omar Khadr, a Canadian child soldier who was captured by US forces in Afghanistan during a fire fight that left one US medical officer dead. Instead of being returned to Canadian authorities, Khadr, then only 15, was sent to Guantanamo Bay where he suffered interrogation and threats of torture.
When putting together my “Stories You May Have Missed in 09” post, I was surprised to see that two of the six news stories I highlighted involved Canada. I suppose that I share the same conceit as many of my fellow Americans, we tend to view our neighbors to the north as just too familiar to really consider them a “foreign” country. Our two lands share the longest de-militarized border in the world, we’ve been at peace for nearly two full centuries since the end of the War of 1812 – save for a little mid-19th century
As 2009 fades into history the urge for anyone with access to a media outlet is to compile some sort of year-end list. I am not going to put together a list of top stories or year end awards, but in the column below I am going to highlight seven stories that I think deserved more attention than they received, either because they challenged the conventional wisdom in international affairs, help to explain where our world is or where it may be heading, or, in the case of the science story at the end, because it is just too bizarre not to note. So without further ado, here is my humble year-end collection:
The US Navy, Climate Change Believers
I had a sinking feeling in my stomach this week when the Canadian Federal Government and Prime Minister Harper's Conservatives voted to bury an inquiry into the abuse and transfer of Afghan detainees. It isn't the first time our military has been accused of a human rights scandal during peacekeeping missions and the move to postpone the inquiry suggests the government wants nothing more than to stop the flow of information and deflect any kind of responsibility.