There was a time, not too long ago, when most Canadians would tell you that terrorism wasn’t a major issue in their country. After two terrible events last week, that confident lion’s roar has quickly turned into a nervous mouse’s squeak.
First, Martin Couture-Rouleau ran into two Canadian soldiers with his car on Oct. 20 in St-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec. One was killed, and the other remains in the hospital. Police officers immediately pursued Couture-Rouleau and shot him down.
Second, Michael Joseph Zehaf-Bibeau went to the War Memorial in Ottawa on Oct. 22 with a loaded gun. He killed a reservist, Cpl. Nathan Cirillo, went across the street to the Parliament buildings, and got inside after shooting the foot of a security guard.… Seguir leyendo »
King Juan Carlos I of Spain will be abdicating his throne on Thursday in favor of his son, Felipe. The king and his wife, Queen Sofia, will reportedly be allowed to retain their titles.
In the midst of this transfer of royal power, the United Kingdom’s The Guardian newspaper conducted a small experiment. It set up an online poll to see whether readers felt the 88-year-old Queen Elizabeth II should follow the 76-year-old Juan Carlos‘ lead and step down.
The result: 50-50.
The Guardian is a left-wing newspaper with a long-held republican (or anti-monarchical) streak. We should still keep in mind that Queen Elizabeth’s personal popularity has often stood in contrast with a declining interest in the British monarchy.… Seguir leyendo »
Many people were saddened to hear that Nelson Mandela passed away on Dec. 5 at his home in Johannesburg. The 95-year-old anti-apartheid crusader and former South African president’s incredible life had served as an inspiration to different races and religions across the globe.
One well-known admirer was President Obama. He had toured Mr. Mandela’s homeland earlier this year, including the infamous Robb Island prison cell where Mr. Mandela was incarcerated for 18 years. Although Mr. Obama was unable to visit Mr. Mandela in the hospital, the significance of his visit — one nation’s first black president visiting another — was obviously quite remarkable.… Seguir leyendo »
What if I told you the vicious terrorist organization al Qaeda had returned to the national scene, and the White House had reportedly allowed it to happen? Like most Americans, you would be furious at President Obama — and worried about the safety and security of the nation.
Well, here’s the bad news. It appears to be true.
Ali Soufan, an author and former FBI supervisory special agent, recently wrote in The Wall Street Journal that “U.S. intelligence recently intercepted communications among senior al Qaeda operatives suggesting that they are planning attacks this month on embassies and other Western targets.” This probably came as a shock to some people: Mr.… Seguir leyendo »
Did you hear that there’s a new political party in Australia? If not, here’s an interesting fact about its founder: He has a real penchant for leaking diplomatic memos and other classified documents.
Yes, Julian Assange, the Australian-born founder of WikiLeaks, has jumped into the shark-infested political waters. His WikiLeaks Party will reportedly be running three candidates in September’s Senate elections in New South Wales, Western Australia and Victoria. Mr. Assange, who is currently in hiding in Ecuador, will be vying for the latter seat.
According to its website, the WikiLeaks Party will maintain an “unswerving commitment to the core principles of civic courage nourished by understanding and truthfulness and the free flow of information.” This will apparently include “the protection of human rights and freedoms; transparency of governmental and corporate action, policy and information; recognition of the need for equality between generations; and support of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander self-determination,” among other things.… Seguir leyendo »
Pope Benedict XVI’s sudden decision to step down Feb. 28 because of health concerns reverberated around the globe. The eyes of the world surely will be focused on the impending meeting of the conclave and the election of a new pope.
For Catholics, this is understandably a time of great sadness and reflection. The love and respect they have for the 85-year-old pontiff is clear. The feeling of personal heartbreak is genuine.
Yet this outpouring of support isn’t reserved to those of the Catholic faith. Many non-Catholics — and even non-Christians — have long admired Pope Benedict, I among them.
For years, I’ve had a real appreciation for Pope Benedict’s teachings, prolific writings and vast historical knowledge.… Seguir leyendo »
It’s hardly a surprise that President Obama wants to get U.S. troops out of Afghanistan. It is, however, rather shocking to find out the timetable for a withdrawal has been moved up at a blistering pace.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Mr. Obama is planning to “speed up troop withdrawals from Afghanistan.” This shift from a combat to a support mission could reportedly occur as early as mid-2013. It remains to be seen whether the United States will either maintain a small military presence after 2014, or shift to a “zero-option” with no troops whatsoever.
As the president told the newspaper, “Because of the progress that’s been made by our troops, because of the progress that’s been made in terms of Afghan security forces, their capacity to take the lead, we are able to meet those goals and accelerate them somewhat.” He also mentioned the “reason we went to war in the first place is now within reach: ensuring that al Qaeda can never again use Afghanistan to launch attacks against our country.”
If a much earlier-than-expected troop withdrawal from Afghanistan comes to fruition, Mr.… Seguir leyendo »
Earlier this week, Greece held its second set of legislative elections in two months. New Democracy, a center-right party that supports the bailout plan proposed by the eurozone and International Monetary Fund, will form a coalition government. Hence, the shattered Greek economy – and equally unstable European financial markets – will avoid a massive collapse.
That’s what investors and creditors are hoping (and possibly praying) for, anyway. In reality, the Greek elections have provided only an extremely short-term solution to a grave financial situation. Until this country reforms the way it views fiscal prudence, good governance and the importance of free-market economics, nothing has really changed.… Seguir leyendo »
On Monday, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper won his third straight federal election since 2006 – and first majority-Conservative government. This means Canada-U.S. relations will remain strong for another four years.
Many Canadian conservatives rejoiced after Mr. Harper got his majority. In two straight minority Parliaments, the Tories have struggled to get meaningful legislation passed because of the political left: the opposition Liberals, socialist New Democrats and separatist/socialist Bloc Quebecois.
That’s the way the political game is played, and all Canadian parliamentarians and pundits realized this. It didn’t make the situation any less frustrating for the prime minister and his senior staff, of course.… Seguir leyendo »
On Monday, Ann Coulter half-jokingly told a boisterous crowd at the University of Western Ontario that she was a victim of a “hate crime” in Canada. Here’s the funny thing: She’s not completely wrong.
Miss Coulter is currently on a small speaking tour in Canada. The Claire Boothe Luce Policy Institute is reportedly covering the balance of her appearances, and Canadian author Ezra Levant is introducing her at each stop.
One of the cities Miss Coulter was going to visit was Ottawa. But just before her arrival on Tuesday, she received an e-mail from Francois Houle, academic vice president and provost of the University of Ottawa.… Seguir leyendo »