Wednesday Night #2115

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Shanah tovah and/or Happy Rosh Hashanah to all who are celebrating the start of year 5783!

September 28th is World News Day, the global initiative presented by The Canadian Journalism Foundation (CJF) and the World Editors Forum (WEF) — with support from the Google News Initiative.
4 years after Khashoggi’s murder, assaults on press freedom are getting worse
The global assault on journalists is a pervasive fact of modern life. According to data compiled by the Committee to Protect Journalists, 1,455 journalists have been killed around the world since 1992; 1,979 have been imprisoned; 69 have gone missing. Even as they attack reporters, many of these countries profess support for United Nations norms and offer pledges of human rights.
NB Lisa Laflamme will be the co-host of the Journalists for Human Rights’ annual gala Night for Rights 2022

Hilary Mantel: a glorious original
The author of Wolf Hall will take her own place in history as one of the century’s greatest writers

The Washington Post Wednesday morning news letter “Post Most” sums up most of our major international preoccupations:
Kyiv slams staged votes as ‘propaganda show’ and vows to punish occupiers
The votes were carried out at gunpoint or under other forms of duress, and Western officials panned them as a sham. Russian officials and Kremlin proxy leaders claimed the results showed that more than 95 percent of voters want to become part of Russia. (More on Ukraine and Russia)
Strangely not on the Post’s list, the damage (generally now agreed to be sabotage) to the Nord Stream pipelines must be of equal concern as the imminent annexation of the 4 regions.
Baltic brinksmanship: Pipeline blasts signal potential new front in Ukraine war
If undersea energy and communications infrastructure are now a Russian target, Western navies will have to take rapid action.
Europe’s energy crisis appears to be entering a dangerous new phase.
Should suspicions be confirmed — or simply grow — that Russia was behind explosions that caused [the] three leaks on the two Nord Stream gas pipelines…the security implications for the Continent would be far-reaching.
Nord Stream operator says three offshore gas pipelines damaged in one day
 Three offshore lines of the Nord Stream gas pipeline system on the bed of the Baltic Sea sustained “unprecedented” damage in one day, Nord Stream AG, the operator of the network, said on Tuesday. (More Europe & EU September 2022-)

Putin’s call-up fuels Russians’ anger, protests and violence
Long lines of cars on roads snaking to Russia’s border crossings with Georgia, Kazakhstan and Mongolia, and similar queues at airports. Finland is considering barring most Russians from entering, amid heavy traffic into the country across its southeastern border with Russia, while the Czech Republic said it will not issue humanitarian visas to Russian citizens fleeing the mobilization orders.
Angry demonstrations — not just in Moscow and St. Petersburg — but in the remote far north province of Yakutia and in the southern region of Dagestan.

Bank of England moves to stabilize U.K. finances after pound crashes
Nobody is impressed. [Chancellor Kwas] Kwarteng was sent a direct, uncompromising, unflinching and somewhat humiliating criticism of the government’s fiscal plan by IMF.”
Paul Krugman: Why Is the Pound Getting Pounded? quotes City of London economist Dario Perkins, who declared that the problem with the budget wasn’t that it was inflationary but that it was “moronic,” and that an economy run by morons has to pay a risk premium.
The Economist:How not to run a country
Liz Truss’s new government may already be dead in the water

Women are leading a revolution in Iran.
These women [of all ages] are marching shoulder to shoulder with men [also of all ages], chanting against the whole regime. They are facing guns and bullets and demanding an end to a system of gender apartheid.
Iran Protests Surge to Dozens of Cities
Iranians fed up with oppressive rules and a battered economy have faced bullets, tear gas and arrests to demand an end to the Islamic Republic’s rule.
Jeremy Kinsman and Larry Haas discuss Redefining protests on the street in Iran and at the polls in Italy – what outcomes?. Jeremy is the first commentator we have heard to mention the relevance of Mahsa Amini’s origins in Kurdistan Province.
On Wednesday, Al Jazeera reported that Iranian authorities have accused Iranian-Kurdish separatists based in northern Iraq of involvement in protests in Iran. More on Iran

The last major item on WaPo’s Wednesday morning list was Hurricane Ian
You can follow live online at Washington Post
Hurricane Ian makes landfall, will impact South Carolina, North Carolina and Georgia
Hurricane Ian made landfall Wednesday in southwest Florida near Fort Myers as one of the most powerful storms ever recorded in the U.S. It is moving east across the State and northward, but from current maps, it appears that Gloria in Atlanta will be spared the worst. We are relieved that Chris Goodfellow has returned to Arundel and will be watching Ian’s progress on his webcam.
We are glad that our Wednesday Nighters who winter on the West coast of Florida are safely in Montreal and hope that they will suffer no severe property damage.
Hurricane Ian nears Category 5 as Fla. governor warns of ‘nasty’ days ahead
The National Hurricane Center warned that “catastrophic storm surge, winds, and flooding” are imminent in the Florida peninsula.

With Hurricane Ian threatening the Florida peninsula, NASA opted to transport its 321-foot-tall Space Launch System to the Vehicle Assembly Building where the Artemis rocket and Orion spacecraft will be safe from potentially damaging winds. On Saturday, NASA scrapped its plans to perform the third launch attempt of its SLS rocket due to a tropical storm brewing in the Caribbean. … NASA could aim for a third launch attempt on October 2 to finally initiate the agency’s return to the Moon.
The worst hurricanes in Florida’s history as Ian takes aim

Meanwhile, the Maritimes and Magdalen Islands are surveying the devastation wreaked by Fiona, following her visit to Puerto Rico (Puerto Rico’s Recovery From Hurricane Maria Was Years Behind Schedule. Then Fiona Hit.)
East Coast beginning long road to recovery from the devastation post-tropical storm Fiona left behind
Considered the most powerful tropical cyclone recorded in Canada, Hurricane Fiona left its terrible mark on a huge area that included southwestern Newfoundland, eastern mainland Nova Scotia, Cape Breton, Prince Edward Island, southeastern New Brunswick and the Magdalen Islands.
Fiona’s insurance bill could hit $700M — but most damage won’t be covered – Flood damage from storm surges not covered by most insurance policies
The situation is still dire in some parts of Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia and P.E.I., where thousands of residents are still without power and roadways have been rendered impassable by storm debris.
At a press conference in Ottawa, Defence Minister Anita Anand said more Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) personnel have been deployed to help with the cleanup and support hydro workers as they restore power to wide swaths of the region still in the dark days after the storm ripped through.

As we lack the bandwidth this week, for a quick survey of current federal government issues and actions, including the economy and inflation, we recommend the Politico Ottawa Playbook

See Quebec for elections and other news

But how would they hold up against hurricanes?
Is Finland’s Wood City the future of building?
Engineered woods like CLT have been used in Europe since the 1990s, but they have had a resurgence in Finland thanks to a government-backed wood-building programme designed to ensure 45% of public buildings use wood as a key material by 2025. Developers can apply for grants and get help with tasks such as procurement and risk communication. “I think every company [here] is doing wooden buildings today,” says Ms Airaksinen. “The pressure is on for sustainability.”
This is so bizarre I could not think of another heading that would be suitable.
Meloni supporters inspired by J.R.R. Tolkien (audio)
Giorgia Meloni’s path to power has been a long one, starting in the political summer camps of her youth. You might call it an “Unexpected Journey,” which is a nod to the subtitle from “The Hobbit,” J.R.R. Tolkien’s classic fantasy novel about good vs. evil. Meloni, and many in her far-right coalition are huge “Lord of the Rings” fans to this day, and attended Hobbit Camp as youth. And, as Gerry Hadden reports, the mythological world Tolkien created underpins their world-view.

And on a lighter note:
Jack Russells, Bluebell & Beth, Will Be First Rescue Dogs To Live At Buckingham Palace

Long reads

Three Conversations With Donald Trump
The first excerpt from Maggie Haberman’s hotly anticipated new book, “Confidence Man: The Making of Donald Trump and the Breaking of America”, published by The Atlantic.

The Bonfire of the Headscarves
For Iran’s protesters, the fight for women’s freedom of choice is now synonymous with a desire to end the rule of the ayatollahs.
By Roya Hakakian

What Mobilization Means for RussiaThe End of Putin’s Bargain With the People
At the very least, mobilization will bring politics back to Russia. … Political pressure will come to the Kremlin not just from opponents of the war but also from those dismayed by the military’s startling incompetence and seeming lack of determination.

The Golden Road to Samarkand
What is it for? This is the question that the media in Russia, China, Iran and half a dozen countries were posing all last week in the wake of the summit in Samarkand that brought their leaders together as members or aspiring members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO).

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