Wednesday Update – October 28, 2010
Since I have been pulling my hair out in recent weeks about the lack of current events knowledge that some people have, I thought it might be time to do something about it. It shocks me when a recent event comes up in general conversation, and there is the one person in the room who always exclaims “What, I didn’t know that happened?” Then the story has to stop while everyone explains the details to this one individual. Everybody always says they are too busy, an excuse that has zero salience, since you are only as busy as you make yourself to be, to watch the news. Or they simply don’t care. But either way, hopefully Wednesdays posts can help to inform you about some events of importance in Canada, the U.S. and the world.
-Omar Khadr pleads guilty on five war-crimes charges. Held in Guantanamo, Khadr had professed his innocence, but has now struck a plea deal. He is accused of killing an American soldier in Afghanistan in 2002. The Harper government has refused to get involved thus far. Read more here and here.
-Auditor General Sheila Fraser gave the Harper government good grades for its handling of the economic stimulus plan. In her report out Tuesday, Fraser also commended the Tories’ handling of other services as well. However, the report strongly criticized handling of new F-35 fighter jets, something Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff strongly criticized as well. Read more on Fraser’s report here and Ignatieff’s response here.
-More ducks die after landing on an Alberta tailings pond. The site is owned by Syncrude and comes less than one week after the company was assessed a three million dollar fine for a similar incident in 2008. It renews controversy over Albert’a oil industry. Read more here.
-With midterm elections less than a week away, both parties are campaigning furiously and pulling out their heavy hitters. President Clinton has been very visible for the Democrats in recent weeks, while the GOP continues talk of a landslide victory in the house and senate. President Obama meanwhile has been advocating for high voter turnout, hoping Democrats do not stay home. Read more here.
-A Marie Claire writer is in trouble after writing a provocative piece about overweight characters on a CBS television show. The comments were not received well, and many are calling for a boycott of writer Maura Kelly and the magazine itself. While Kelly apologized, and Marie Claire appears to be standing behind her, the issue has reignited talks of obesity in America and the impact shows like this have. Read more here.
-This past weekend, a technical glitch created a scary situation. A control centre lost contact with 50 nuclear missiles. The problem was rectified and the Air Force is downplaying the seriousness of the situation. Read more here.
-Former Argentine President Nestor Kirchner dies at 60. The former president and husband of current president Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner died Wednesday after suffering a heart attack. He was president from 2003 to 2007 and was expected to possibly run again after his wife’s term is up. Kirchner was arguably the most influential person in his wife’s administration, until his health began to fail last year. Read more here.
-A controversial pension reform bill went into effect in France. It was approved by members of the lower house of parliament. The bill, which raises retirement from 60 to 62 drew enormous crowds of protestors. Read more here.