Wednesday Update – February 16, 2011
Here’s your news for this week.
- Controversy surrounding International Cooperation Minister Bev Oda was fresh in the House of Commons yesterday. It stems from a decision not to fund a church backed aid group named Kairos. The problems arise because Oda allegedly had documents altered to support the funding cut to Kairos, and misled a House committee. The PMO states that Oda’s decision was hers, and the government supports it. The opposition claims Oda’s actions were not acceptable. Read more here and here.
- The government has made it more difficult for convicted murderers to get out of jail. On Tuesday, the Senate approved Bill S-6, which ends the ‘faint hope clause’. This allowed convicted murderers to apply for parole after 15 years when serving a life sentence. With that clause dead, convicts will be stuck behind bars for 25 years, at which point they can apply for parole. Read more here.
- A war of words is brewing over what colour to paint Canada’s VIP jet. Yes, this is how your elected officials spend their time. The jet, which is used by the Canadian forces and Prime Minister is currently painted grey, to maintain security, as it often flies into areas of conflict. The Prime Minister apparently wants the jet painted white, with red government of Canada logos, and used solely by his office. Defence Minister Peter Mackay apparently did not support this. As of right now, the jet remains grey, with no official word on its future colour. Read more here.
- A CBS news reporter was sexually abused and physically assaulted while covering the resignation of Egypt’s president. Lara Logan was separated from her CBS crew, beaten and sexually assaulted before being rescued by police. The irony of the situation is that Logan was covering the jubilation of the Mubarak’s resignation when the assault happened. Read more here.
- Yo-Yo Ma, Maya Angelou and President George H.W. Bush all have something in common now… the Presidential Medal of Freedom. President Obama handed out the medal to a total of 15 extraordinary Americans who were deserving of the honour. Read more here.
- Shut up and work with me! That is essentially what President Obama said after delivering his budget yesterday. The budget was aimed at reducing spending, and the ballooning deficit that so many in America hate. The Republicans responded by saying the cuts weren’t enough, and the president is not providing enough leadership. Obama stated that he couldn’t do it alone, and the Republicans have to assist. Read more here.
- Italy’s Prime Minister, Silvio Berlusconi is in trouble once again… anyone surprised? Berlusconi is being charged with sex crimes, alleging he paid for sex with a seventeen year old girl. He will be tried by a jury of women, which could spell trouble for the PM. He has dodged all his previous charges, although those were all business related. Read more here.
- First it was Tunisia. Then it was Egypt. Now who is next? Apparently it is Bahrain. Protestors there are using social media to organize together and demonstrate in favour of better human rights. The success of people power has not been lost on these citizens. Similar protests have also started in Yemen. It is expected that other countries could follow, as the wave of protest spreads through the Middle East and Africa. Read more here.