Saturday, April 30, 2016

Fort McMurray Burning - Update "catastrophic" wildfire destroys 1600 homes

A state of Emergency has been declared in Fort McMurray. The "catastrophic" wildfire has now destroyed 1,600 homes and buildings and has consumed more than 10,000 hectares.

It is expected to rage out of control through the rest of the day.
Fort McMurray has always been about the oilsands, one of the largest deposits of fossil fuels on the planet. Abasands Oil was the first to successfully extract oil from the oil sands through hot water extraction by the 1930s.

In 1967, the Great Canadian Oil Sands (now Suncor) plant opened and Fort McMurray's growth soon took off. More oil sands plants were opened up, especially after 1973 and 1979, when serious political tensions and conflicts in the Middle East triggered oil price spikes. The population of the town reached 6,847 by 1971 and climbed to 31,000 by 1981, a year after its incorporation as a city.
Through booms and bust the city continued to grow. The oil price increases since 2003 have made oil extraction profitable again and today upwards of 80,000 reside in Fort McMurray.
This winter the area experienced virtually no snowfall, and an unusually dry and hot spring made the forest tinder dry.

Temperatures remain exceptionally hot.
The largest evacuation in Alberta history is ongoing as people flee and their homes burn.

As global temperatures soar into uncharted, record territory, Fort McMurray is the new normal. Northern British Columbia and Saskatchewan are experiencing the same conditions and these scenes are very likely to be repeated.

Global jellyfish population exploding

Jellyfish populations the world over are exploding. More jellyfish are coming and that’s cause for alarm. The undulating, translucent creatures are notorious for their stings, which can be lethal. About 40 people are killed by jellyfish every year, compared to about eight killed by sharks.
Pollution and over-fishing may be the biggest culprits. The fewer fish that swim in the seas, the more food — such as plankton — is left for the jellies.

Overfishing also means that jellyfish have fewer encounters with the ocean-dwelling predators such as salmon.
Jellyfish wreak havoc by choking seawater intake valves and drainpipes, and clogging fishermen’s nets. “Jellies” have even been known to capsize fishing boats.

Researchers examined data and anecdotal evidence going back 60 years. They report that jellyfish populations are on the rise virtually everywhere, most acutely in areas with heavy concentrations of human activity. Coastal Europe and Asia and the Black Sea seem hardest hit.

Humans have little love or use for the creatures, which are sometimes called the “cockroaches of the sea.” Very few of the 2,000 known jellyfish species are considered fit for human consumption.

China kicks off military drills in South China Sea

Chinese dredging vessels in the waters around Mischief Reef in the Spratly Islands
China kicked off military exercises in the disputed South China Sea, east Indian Ocean and West Pacific involving advanced warships, helicopters and “special warfare” soldiers. Three naval ships of China’s Nanhai Fleet left a naval port in Sanya, Hainan Province on Wednesday, kicking off a combat drill.

Frigate Yueyang recently rescued a detained fishing boat in South China Sea

Guided missile destroyer Hefei.
The three ships include missile destroyer Hefei, missile frigate Sanya and supply ship Honghu.
Missile frigate Sanya
China claims almost the whole of the South China Sea - a major shipping lane rich in natural resources. Over half of the world’s commercial shipping passes through the waterway.
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Asshole Canadian dairy farmers to get MORE subsidies

Lawrence MacAulay
The Canadian government said on Monday it would compensate the country’s dairy farmers for increased European imports allowed under a pending free trade deal.

The government will meet with the dairy industry within the next 30 days to discuss compensation, said Agriculture Minister Lawrence MacAulay and International Trade Minister Chrystia Freeland. Under Canada’s free trade deal with the European Union, which the affected countries have not yet ratified, European dairies would receive tariff-free access for an additional 17,700 tonnes of cheese, representing about 2 per cent of Canadian cheese consumption according to Dairy Farmers of Canada.

Chrystia Freeland
Wally Smith, President of Dairy Farmers of Canada (DFC), joined a press conference organized by Les Producteurs de lait du Qu├ębec (PLQ) to express their dissatisfaction with the Canadian government.

"I am here today to show that all of Canada's dairy farmers speak with one voice on diafiltered milk. We are collectively disappointed with the lack of action on enforcement of the cheese standards."
Under the cheese compositional standards for Canada, it is required that a minimum percentage of the protein used in cheese making be sourced from milk. Milk protein substances (including diafiltered milk) are ingredients that are less costly.

Every ounce of milk in Canada is governed by a complex tangle of rules and regulations because of a cumbersome and expensive system called supply management, which protects existing farmers. Fluid milk consumption has been on a steady decline in Canada: from 91 litres per capita in 1994 to 76 litres in 2013. Paradoxically Canadian milk prices have risen substantially and are among the highest in the world.
Canadian Dairy farmers meanwhile enjoy a large and steady increase in their incomes. When Canada opened a tiny 3.25 per cent of Canada's dairy market to far cheaper foreign products, the Dairy Farmers proudly trumpeted "No negative impact and supply management preserved for the next generation." The Stephen Harper government soon announced a $4.3 billion compensation scheme to soothe the dairy industry. There are less than 12 thousand dairy farms in Canada, and their total net farm annual receipts only reach $6.07 billion.
Canada's dairy industry is politically influential. Even with the number of dairy farms dropping by 91 per cent in Canada since 1971, they have managed to retain massive influence over politicians to protect and enhance their monopoly.

The lobbyist registry shows that dairy lobbyists have had more meetings and communications with federal representatives than any other industry. Most recent figures show the national dairy lobby have had almost three times as much communication with designated public office holders than Enbridge, TransCanada and the Canadian Energy Pipeline Association combined. It is estimated that the collective national dairy lobby spends $100 million a year on lobbying.
The Government of Canada says that income guarantee payments are "calculated based on expected domestic production levels." This means supply, not market demand dictates payments. This is key, since the industry chronically over-produces and then dumps excess product. The Dairy Farmers of Ontario alone produced 5.4-million litres of excess skim milk in one month and this spring they dumped roughly 800,000 litres of milk into manure lagoons due to low demand.

Friday, April 29, 2016

Oz Hells Angels declare War - on Redbubble T-Shirts

THE Hells Angels outlaw bikie gang has passed the hat around its members, raising $30,000 in a bid to keep its lawsuit against a hipster T-shirt website afloat.

Browns Plains-based Hells Angels Motorcycle Corporation (Australia) – declared a criminal organisation by the Queensland Government in 2013 – has sued website Redbubble for breach of intellectual property after its fearsome logo appeared on three T-shirts and one poster purchased from Redbubble in 2014.
The club says it members are 'distressed'. The club points to a $31 T-shirt with the Hells Angels crest on it, a “Hells Angels Maths Club” T-shirt and a “Hells Angels Movie” T-shirt, and a poster of a bikie wearing his colours sitting with a girl.
The club says its “skull” logo is “highly valued by club members” and should only be worn by those who belong.

"Stop a Douchebag" - Oh, Marat!

"Stop a Douchebag" - is a Russian youth movement that attempts to enforce traffic regulations in Russia. Facebook: Twitter:

Dog Chit piling up in Public Parks

Kelowna Parks Services Manager Ian Wilson has called on pet owners to clean up after their pets, noting that waste matter can be washed into Okanagan Lake.

Leftover dog poo is a big problem, he said. Each of the area’s 38,000 dogs deposits about 124 kilograms of waste per year, and approximately 40 per cent of that is left behind by owners.
The problem is the same in Vancouver. Metro Vancouver staff said nearly 500 tonnes of dog waste is deposited in regional parks every year — an amount that would require 50 dump trucks to haul it away.

One writer estimated in 2012 the annual weight of dog poo in the city of Vancouver at 18,000 tonnes, more than 1.5 times the weight of B.C. Ferries’ biggest ship. Park Supervisor Tom McComb said a lot of people ask him what the big deal is. “The problem is, dog owners see only their dog, where we see the cumulative effect of dogs.”

Lawson Michael Schalm, 19, of Mayerthorpe, faces 18 counts of arson.

RCMP have arrested and charged Lawson Michael Schalm, 19, of Mayerthorpe, in relation to a recent rash of fires in the area, including the blaze which destroyed a CN trestle bridge. He faces 18 counts of arson.

Schalm is the son of former Mayerthorpe mayor Albert Schalm. The town, which is located 120 kilometres north of Edmonton, saw the local fire department called for 17 fires in the area over a period of just six days.
Schalm is also a junior firefighter with the Mayerthorpe Fire Department and was standing alongside firefighters battling the trestle bridge blaze. Schalm will remain in custody until he makes his first court appearance on May 4 in Stony Plain Provincial Court.

RCMP said they aren’t looking at any other suspects in the Mayerthorpe arsons.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

80 perverts arrested across Ontario in child exploitation investigation

Ontario Provincial Police say they have laid more than 270 charges against 80 people as part of a massive investigation into sexual abuse and online exploitation of children. The charges include making, distribution and possession of child pornography, as well as sexual assault.

During the investigation, 20 victims were identified, the OPP said in a news release. Police were also able to rescue nine minors who were working in the sex trade against their will, “including 14, 15, and 16-year-olds.”
As part of their investigation, the OPP identified more than 2,000 unique IP addresses across the province that were either “download candidates” for suspected child pornography, or showed that the user had visited a child exploitation website.

Police said the arrests send a critical message to those who make, share and access child abuse material online.