Wednesday Night #2080

Written by  //  January 26, 2022  //  Wednesday Nights  //  No comments

Happy Birthday to Mark Roper OWN, Wednesday Night’s favorite MD and valiant warrior for improved conditions for medical practitioners and patients.

News of the maneuvering by Russia, the US, EU and caught-in-the-middle Ukraine is depressing.
On Wednesday, U.S., NATO sent written responses to Russia on its demands over Ukraine crisis
It is unlikely that the responses will please Mr. Putin.
US offers no concessions in response to Russia on Ukraine
Ukrainian community in Canada on edge as tensions with Russia escalate
Many fear for safety of friends and family — and are asking Canada to do more against threat of invasion
The threat of a possible war is being keenly felt across Canada, which is home to about 1.3 million people of Ukrainian descent, according to the 2016 census.
Global Affairs Canada suffers ‘cyber attack’ amid Russia-Ukraine tensions: sources
“GAC has been the target of a cyber attack but it is not clear if the Russians, the alleged perpetrators, hacked into the system or were able to merely disrupt its service,” a national security source, who spoke on the condition they not be named, told Global News.

More to worry about: As Islamic State Resurges, U.S. Is Drawn Back Into the Fray
“ISIS is not over”: Attacks in Syria and Iraq make clear that the militants have lost neither their will to fight nor their ability to do so.
Kurdish-led forces in Syria recapture prison from ISIL
SDF say they recaptured Ghwayran prison in Hassakeh a week after ISIL fighters attempted a major jailbreak.

And in Africa, the ousting of President Roch Kaboré of Burkina Faso was unsettling but not unexpected – and it is the fourth coup in West Africa in the last 17 months.
Neighbouring Mali has seen two military interventions in that time, fuelled by concerns over an inability to deal with growing militant Islamist violence.
As in Mali, Mr Kabore’s removal was triggered by growing discontent among security forces over his alleged failure to adequately support them against militants linked to both al-Qaeda and the Islamic State group.

The Transparency International (TI) index has just been released – always makes for titillating reading.
The Guardian comments: Britain, with its current leadership utterly devoid of integrity, looks shameful. In the TI rankings, Australia recorded its worst ever score. Countries such as Afghanistan and Somalia still languish at the bottom of the rankings, but the clear signs are that this is an issue for both hemispheres. Two years into the pandemic and this year’s Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) reveals that global progress on ending corruption remains at a standstill.

Oh yes, speaking of Britain: Boris is in even more trouble than last week.

The IMF has issued the World Economic Outlook Update Rising Caseloads, A Disrupted Recovery, and Higher Inflation

Quebec’s pandemic policies maintain their yo-yo character adding stress and strain for individuals and businesses. But nothing will stop the Quebec language police from carrying out their unnecessary job – latest: OQLF tells Montreal bar to change English-only Facebook posts. Anyone think that the employees of the OQLF should be ‘volunteered’ for jobs in healthcare. Jobs where they do not communicate with anyone.

Andrew Caddell‘s column is a glowing review of Graham Fraser’s masterful new work, The Fate of Canada, F. R. Scott’s Journal of the Royal Commission on Bilingualism and Biculturalism, 1963–1971. The book, launched Jan. 25 with an event at McGill University, consists of the journals of Scott, the McGill law dean, socialist, poet, and politician who founded the CCF and NDP, fought Duplessis in court, wrote memorable verse, and was Pierre Trudeau’s mentor.
Tony Deutsch has just finished Anne Applebaum’s book Twilight of Democracy and highly recommends it.
Long review in The Guardian Twilight of Democracy by Anne Applebaum when politics ends friendships will encourage you, should you need it

Astronomy’s Most Dazzling Era Is About to Begin
The James Webb Space Telescope is now about 1 million miles from Earth, and almost ready to scan the cosmos.
Good news continues to flow from NASA as the James Webb telescope successfully completes maneuvers (Orbital Insertion Burn a Success, Webb Arrives at L2)

Job opportunity
Wayne Larsen: Here’s a great new job opportunity for all you ink-stained scribes out there. The Institute for Investigative Journalism is looking for a Managing Editor. It’s a very sweet gig—but even better, you get to work for… me!

Cancel culture is not a thing when it comes to cancelling your subscription
Netflix raising prices for standard and premium plans in the U.S. and Canada
Prices also went up in Canada, where the standard plan climbed to $16.49 from $14.99.
The price increases — the first in those markets since October 2020 — took effect immediately for new customers. Existing members will see the new prices in the coming weeks when they receive their monthly bills. The price increases have not been previously reported.

A Montreal teddy-bear hospital heals beloved toys damaged by time and ‘too much love’
Toymaker Raplapla gets hundreds of stuffed animals that need fixing, and it’s a fine art to know what to replace and what to keep

Long read:
Russia and China’s plans for a new world order
Gideon Rachman
For Moscow and Beijing, the Ukraine crisis is part of a struggle to reduce American power and make the world safe for autocrats
Beijing and Moscow argue that the current world order is characterised by an American attempt to impose western ideas about democracy and human rights on other countries, if necessary through military intervention. The new world order that Russia and China are demanding would instead be based on distinct spheres of influence. The US would accept Russian and Chinese domination of their neighbourhoods and would abandon its support for democracy or the colour revolutions that might threaten the Putin or Xi regimes.

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