Thursday, June 16, 2016
QATAR TO DEPORT DUTCH WOMAN CONVICTED OF ADULTERY AFTER REPORTING RAPE.
The Fort McMurray wildfire MWF-009, which came to be known across Canada as "The Beast," was not ignited by a lightning strike, and police are now asking for the public's help to determine whether it was the result of a criminal offence.Provincial wildfire investigators have established that the fire was most likely the result of "human activity."The fire was first sighted about 15 kilometres southwest of Fort McMurray by an airborne forestry crew on May 1.Over the next two days, the wildfire grew rapidly. On May 3, pushed by high winds and fuelled by tinder-dry conditions, the fire raged into the city itself and forced more than 80,000 residents to flee.RCMP focusing on Horse River Trail system-Police have not yet determined how the fire started, but want to speak with anyone who was in the Horse River Trail system between April 29 and May 5.Cpl. Hal Turnbull said this area is popular with hikers and ATV riders."It's not an area that's remote and isolated, it's an area that's frequently accessed by the individuals who reside in and around the Fort McMurray area," Turnbull said.Because of the unique scope and magnitude of the fire, Turnbull said, it's only natural that police would investigate the cause.This investigation needs to be done now, he said, before any physical evidence may be lost."It's not that we have any suspicions or beliefs that there was criminal activity, it's just a natural cause that people will say, 'Have you looked at whether arson was a factor? Or whether any criminal activity may have occurred in the area which would have caused the fire?' " Turnbull said."At the end of the day, we want to be able to say, 'Yes, we did so in a timely fashion, and here are the results of our investigation.'"Anyone with information is asked to call the RCMP's dedicated toll-free wildfire investigation phone line at 1-844-620-9826.The fire destroyed some 2,400 buildings in Fort McMurray.In the six weeks since it started, the fire has moved north and east of the city, and in recent days has shown little growth. It is now more than 80 per cent contained.The fire has burned about 590,000 hectares and has a perimeter of about 1,000 kilometres.
Canada considers European troop commitment as CSIS warns Russia is 'mobilizing for war'-[CBC]-June 14, 2016-YAHOONEWS
The Trudeau government is considering a request to commit hundreds of troops to eastern Europe and take part command of a new NATO force being assembled to deter Russian aggression.Canada’s participation in the Baltic operation was discussed Tuesday by the military alliance’s defence ministers, including Canada's Harjit Sajjan, at a meeting in Brussels.This comes just days after the Canadian Security Intelligence Service quietly released an open-sourced global security analysis warning, among other things, that the hard-line policies of Russian President Vladimir Putin are becoming more deeply entrenched and that Moscow is retooling its military for a fight.The U.S., Britain and Germany publicly committed to the force on Tuesday, but federal sources said that while Canada has not yet made a decision, an answer could come soon and that Canada "supports what NATO is doing in the region.“Up to 4,000 troops are envisioned for the force, but the number coming from Canada, along with the type of equipment and vehicles that would be involved, is still being assessed.The federal cabinet is expected to meet again on Wednesday but it is unclear whether the NATO request is on the agenda. At the moment, just under 200 Canadian troops are involved in a massive drill — Exercise Anakonda — alongside Polish, Turkish and American forces near a base in Poland.The Harper government committed Canada to a regular rotation of ground forces for exercises under the NATO’s Operation Reassurance banner following Russia’s 2014 annexation of Crimea.But the new proposal goes a step further with the creation of four battalions, which would rotate through bases in eastern Europe and the Baltics, and be on standby for emergencies.The contingent would be backed by NATO’s highly mobile, 40,000-strong rapid reaction force.Baltic states could be overrun-Federal sources said Tuesday that it’s not been decided where Canadian troops might be based, although published reports in Europe, quoting diplomatic sources, offered up two possible locations Poland or Latvia.The Rand Corporation, a non-partisan U.S. think-tank, released a report last winter suggesting the proposed NATO force would simply be a speed bump for the Russian army should fighting take place. It said the Baltic states — Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania — could conceivably be overrun with 60 hours unless the West was willing to station several, heavily armoured brigades in the tiny nations.Even before the contingent is finalized, political leaders in the Baltics have privately complained it is too small, according to published reports in Europe.The request by NATO and the U.S. to fill one of the four slots took some in Ottawa by surprise, where the notion wasn’t on the radar as little as two months ago, said one source with knowledge of the file.It is expected the government will signal its intentions before Prime Minister Justin Trudeau goes to the NATO leaders summit in Warsaw next month.The potential commitment is unfolding against the backdrop of an increasingly unpredictable Russian regime, said a security analysis released last week by the Canada’s spy agency.-Russia ‘mobilizing for war' -The report is a distillation of open source academic research and evaluations and not based on internal CSIS assessments.It does however use stark language, and warned decision-makers not to treat Putin’s rearmament drive lightly."Russia is not modernizing its military primarily to extend its capacity to pursue hybrid warfare,” the 104 page report said, referring to the Kremlin’s use of irregular tactics to take over Crimea. “It is modernizing conventional military capability on a large scale; the state is mobilizing for war.”The West has primarily responded to the annexation and Moscow’s support of separatists in eastern Ukraine with economic sanctions.The prevailing wisdom is that fiscal pain will bring Putin around, but the report dismissed that notion, saying two years after war erupted in Ukraine, the Kremlin “appears to be coherent, durable and united” at the centre.“Western assessments that Russia is vulnerable to economic collapse and disruptive internal discontent are exaggerated,” said the assessment, titled 2018 Security Outlook.“Russia is adapting to adversity; the economy is deliberately tilted to security rather than economic freedom.”
Qatar to Deport Dutch Woman Convicted of Adultery After Reporting Rape-[Time]-Amanda Calvo-June 14, 2016-YAHOONEWS
A Dutch tourist, convicted by a Qatari court of having extramarital sex after she reported being drugged and raped in Doha, is to be deported to the Netherlands.The 22-year-old woman, who was on vacation in the Gulf state, has spent the past three months in custody after first notifying local police of the alleged attack in March, the Guardian reports.After a court found her guilty of adultery Monday, the woman was given a one-year suspended prison sentence and fined 3,000 riyal ($825). Her alleged attacker, a Syrian man, was convicted of extramarital sex and drinking alcohol and sentenced to 144 lashes.The woman told police that she had been drugged and assaulted following a night out at the Crystal Lounge in the W Doha Hotel, according to the Guardian. Her accused attacker admitted to having sex with her, but claimed it was consensual, and that she had gone to police following a row.“This is the news I have been waiting for for days,” the woman’s mother told Dutch national broadcaster NOS. “I haven’t slept for nights, but I’m very happy.”The Dutch ambassador to Qatar, Yvette Burghgraef-van Eechoud, said they would “do everything to get her out of the country as soon as possible.”[Guardian].
Boy snatched by gator is presumed dead; Disney beaches close-[Associated Press]-JAY REEVES and TERRANCE HARRIS-June 15, 2016-YAHOONEWS
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (AP) — Walt Disney World closed beaches at its Florida resorts Wednesday while dozens of rescuers searched a lagoon for the body of 2-year-old boy who was snatched off the shore and dragged underwater by an alligator as his father tried to fight off the reptile.Authorities said Wednesday that the child was presumed dead.Wildlife officials removed four alligators from the water and cut them open, but they found no sign of the boy.A Disney representative, speaking on condition of anonymity because the company had yet to prepare a formal statement, said the entertainment giant was closing beaches "out of an abundance of caution."After 15 hours of searching, officials said they planned to continue looking for the child's body."We're going to be here throughout," Sheriff Jerry Demings said.Wildlife officials said the attack was a rarity in a state with a gator population estimated at around 1 million. But it still spooked visitors in a city built on tourism."We have been to Yellowstone and encountered grizzly bears, but this is just freaky. A lizard?" said Minnesota tourist John Aho, staying at the park with his wife, Kim, and their 12-year-old son Johnny.Kim Aho said their son was leery after hearing what had happened."He's a little freaked out about the gator," she said.The family of four from Nebraska was on vacation at the Seven Seas Lagoon inside a Disney World resort around nightfall Tuesday when the child waded no more than 1 or 2 feet into the water and was taken from a small beach, sheriff's and state wildlife officials said.The boy's father desperately tried to save him, suffering lacerations on a hand. Neither could a lifeguard who was nearby, officials said."No swimming" signs were posted at the beach, Williamson said, but the child was wading, not swimming.Demings said there had been no other similar alligator attacks on the lake.Nick Wiley with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission said witnesses estimated the alligator at between 4 feet and 7 feet in length. He said none of the four alligators removed from the water showed any signs of having been in contact with the boy.The beach area where the animal grabbed the child is part of the luxury Grand Floridian resort, across the lake from Disney's Magic Kingdom theme park. The man-made lake stretches about 200 acres and reaches a depth of 14 feet. The lake feeds into a series of canals that wind through the entire Disney property.More than 50 law enforcement personnel searched the well-tended lagoon along with an alligator tracker and marine units equipped with sonar to search the lake's sandy, mostly flat bottom. Divers were available if needed.Though Florida has grown to the third-most populous state, fatal alligator attacks remain rare. There have been 23 fatalities caused by wild alligators in Florida since 1973, according to data compiled by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. Those fatalities were among 383 unprovoked bites not caused by someone handling or intentionally harassing an alligator.Eight children, ages 2 to 16, are among the fatalities. Five died while swimming in lakes, rivers and canals. The youngest victims were killed near lakes, including a 2-year-old girl who wandered 700 feet from her fenced backyard and a 3-year-old boy who left a roped-off swimming area in a county park to pick lily pads.___Associated Press writers Joshua Replogle in Lake Buena Vista, Florida, and Freida Frisaro and Jennifer Kay in Miami contributed to this report.
Enormous' inventories to keep lid on oil price: IEA-[AFP]-Jürgen Hecker-June 14, 2016-YAHOONEWS
Paris (AFP) - A huge overhang in oil stocks lingering across the world will keep a cap on any further oil price rises, the IEA said Tuesday, even as supply and demand move towards balance by the end of the year.Global demand for oil is steadily rising thanks to solid economic growth, and supply has been curbed by unexpected production cuts due to wildfires in Canada and rebel attacks in Nigeria, as well as falling US shale production, the International Energy Agency said in its monthly oil market report.These factors recently pushed the oil price above the key level of $50 as supply came closer to matching demand, a process known as rebalancing which the IEA expects to be fully in place in the second half of this year.But while market forces play out to help the oil price to continue climbing from its low point of close to $25 at the start of the year, there are still large oil inventories waiting to feed into the market, causing a supply glut that is likely to keep a lid on gains for some time."There is an enormous inventory overhang to clear," the IEA said. "This is likely to dampen prospects of a significant increase in oil prices."Worries about big stocks have caused the oil price to fall back from this year's high of around $51 reached early last month, the agency said, echoing Monday's report from the OPEC oil cartel which said that "speculators became somewhat less interested in long positions" because of the overhang in inventories.- Many moving parts -The benchmark Brent crude contract lost ground Tuesday, slipping to $49.83 in late afternoon European business while US's WTI contract eased to $48.46."Oil prices are due a short-term breather given the recent run up, as the market takes stock of broader macroeconomic developments," analysts at Energy Aspects said.The IEA said there is a "huge number of moving parts" in the current oil market environment, making accurate predictions hazardous.On the supply side, these involve a surprisingly strong return of Iran to the oil market after Western countries lifted sanctions which had been imposed over Tehran's nuclear programme, and questions over the timing of any full resumption of production in Nigeria once Niger Delta security issues are resolved.Iran has emerged as "OPEC's fastest source of supply growth this year", pumping oil at its highest level in five years, the IEA said.OPEC, meanwhile, has done little to correct the market's imbalance, failing earlier this month to agree on any production ceiling at a key meeting and deciding instead to keep oil gushing as the moderate recovery in the oil price eased pressure to limit output.Kingpin Saudi Arabia said at the time that the cartel was "very satisfied" with the market.This stance had at least "provided some clarity to the market", the IEA observed in its report.- 'Mixed messages' -On the demand side, the IEA said relatively weak oil prices will bring more buyers into the market, leading the agency to raise its forecast for 2016 demand growth to 1.3 million barrels per day (mb/d) from a previous 1.2 mb/d estimate.Countries outside the OECD club of highly-developed nations will provide the bulk of fresh demand, with India the world's growth leader, the IEA said.Korea and China are also projected to see strong demand.Following weakness since late last year, demand in the United States has picked up in recent months and will make a "vigorous" contribution to demand growth, it said.Worldwide oil demand is likely to continue to grow by 1.3 mb/d into next year, the IEA said, in its first estimate for 2017."The IEA report has provided mixed messages in the market today," said Dorian Lucus, energy analyst at Inenco.While flagging an expected increase in demand, "the report has also warned of potential lower prices should current offline capacity in both Nigeria and Canada return," he said.The 29-nation IEA, based in Paris, provides analysis on global energy markets.
FLAT EARTH REDICULAS-GOD CREATED THE EARH ROUND.THIS CULT IS JUST AS BAD AS THE END OF THE WORLD ASTEROID-NIBURU-ALIEN-ILLUMINATTI CULT.
Police, firefighters called in after flat Earth debate turns heated-[CBC]-June 14, 2016-YAHOONEWS
A family argument over whether the Earth is flat or round became so heated that one of the participants threw a propane cylinder onto a campfire, prompting an intervention by firefighters.The dispute over a question most considered resolved centuries ago boiled over around 10:30 p.m. Monday at St. Lawrence Park in Brockville, Ont.Police said a 56-year-old Brockville man was at a campsite with his son and his son's girlfriend when the woman began insisting that the Earth is flat.The older man insisted the Earth is round.It's not clear if anyone at the campfire put forth the argument that the Earth's equatorial bulge makes it not perfectly round, but instead a shape known as an oblate spheroid.Nevertheless, police said the man became so enraged he began throwing objects into the campfire, including a propane cylinder.Brockville firefighters were called to put out the campfire. By the time police arrived at the scene, the man had left.Brockville police are looking for the man and say they expect to charge him with mischief.
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