Wednesday Update – December 1, 2010
Here are some stories of importance, in Canada and around the world.
- Newfoundland and Labrador Premier Danny Williams announced his resignation as of December 3. The surprise announcement raises questions as to why Williams is leaving so suddenly. He stated after completion of a hydroelectric deal, this was a good time for him to leave politics. If you listen closely, you can hear Stephen Harper doing a happy dance in Ottawa. Read more here.
- A disgusting story, it was reported Tuesday that contents from former hockey coach Pat Burns’ widow were stolen. The items include signed jerseys, family photos and memorabilia. The items were stolen from a vehicle the day after Burns’ funeral. Hopefully they turn up before somebody tries to sell them. Read more here.
- Alberta’s healthcare system continues to take a beating. Former CEO Stephen Duckett was released, there are rumours of privatization, Dr. Raj Sherman was kicked out, then a story emerges about a man who intentionally made himself sick in order to receive emergency surgery. He was told he would have to wait until late spring for an operation, so he made himself more ill, in order to have immediate surgery. Read more here.
- The Conservatives have moved further ahead of the Liberals, a new poll has showed. While the numbers are nothing new, they are the reverse of a trend which earlier saw the Liberals closing the gap with the Tories. Either way, the numbers mirror what we have seen for the past 24 months, and are nothing to get very excited about. Read more here.
- Wikileaks gained major attention this past week after it published documents of U.S. diplomatic cables. The site has also published documents on Iraq, Afghanistan and other nations. This is one of the largest security breeches in American history. The site aims to identify government and corporate misconduct, but how far should they go before they begin to seriously compromise national security? Read more here and here.
- So much for working together. Senate Republicans have come together stating they will block every piece of Democratic legislation that does not have to do with tax cuts and reduced spending. Thus far it appears a bipartisan solution to the current economic situation is unlikely. Read more here.
- American automakers GM and Ford announced sales increases compared with last year. Both car companies saw sales gains in November, GM up 11% and Ford up 20%. For GM, the increase was largely based on SUV sales, while Ford’s was boosted by truck sales. The automakers are using the numbers to show their troubled days are behind them, however this should be looked upon with cautious optimism. A reliance on SUV and truck sales is largely what caused problems for both companies in the first place. Read more here.
- Tensions remain high between North Korea and South Korea, after last month’s attack on the South by the North. Some believe another attack is likely and the situation will probably escalate even further. The international community has begged North Korea to show restraint, but those appeals have largely fallen upon deaf ears. Read more here. (On a random note, Sarah Palin stumbled in a radio interview last week, stating the U.S. should stand behind its North Korean allies…oops!)
- Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin stated the country may have to beef up its cache of nuclear weapons if a treaty with the United States is not ratified. An agreement called the New START has been tentatively worked out, but faces difficulty in getting ratified by the United States Senate. Read more here.
- The EU has approved a bailout to Ireland to help the country with enormous debt and a banking system on the verge of collapse. The specific amount equals about 115 billion dollars U.S. This is in hopes of preventing situations like that in Portugal and Spain. Many EU countries are in or near financial ruin at the moment and any default would be very costly for the EU. Read more here.