Wednesday Night #2133

Written by  //  February 1, 2023  //  Wednesday Nights  //  Comments Off on Wednesday Night #2133

As Putin’s War rages in Ukraine, the upcoming anniversary of the Yalta Conference (4-11 February 1945) is a reminder of the consequences of the failure of the Allies -notably the U.S.- to protect the newly-liberated countries of Eastern Europe from encroachment by the USSR. Thanks to Judy Roberts for recommending the remarkable “Daughters of Yalta” about US Ambassador to Moscow Averell Harriman’s daughter Kathleen, Franklin Roosevelt’s Anna, and Winston Churchill’s Sarah, who joined their fathers at the Yalta Conference. It gives an intimate picture of the thoughts and actions of the three leaders -and their entourages. (Note: Next, The Movie)

Highly recommend new GZERO Daily and Ian Bremmer’s new weekly newsletter
Ian Bremmer: Time favors … Ukraine or Russia?
There’s no end in sight to what seems to be evolving into a war of attrition. Which raises the critical question: Who has the advantage in a drawn-out war, Russia or Ukraine?

On Tuesday’s Diplomatic Community, Larry Haas, who has just returned from Ukraine, spoke of the inspirational indomitable spirit of the many different people with whom he met. However he expressed his concern that the U.S. and Ukraine are not agreed on the end goals of the war. Ukraine is determined to not only push Russia out of the East, but also out of Crimea. For them the war began in 2014. Jeremy Kinsman is skeptical that Crimea can be regained. Both are encouraged by the flow of equipment to Ukraine even including long-range missiles from the U.S. and hopeful that sufficient arms will be in place before the winter stalemate ends.

Turning to the Middle East, the recent flare up of violence in Israel and Antony Blinken’s visit -is a two-state solution still viable? NOT with the current right-wing government in Israel, and nor are the Palestinians in favour. The U.S. has little leverage and continues to support Israel, however Secretary Blinken did meet with Palestinian President Abbas and announced $50 million in new American funding for the UN Relief and Works Agency, which provides aid to the Palestinians.
On 27 January, the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, and International Holocaust Remembrance day, the Jerusalem Post published 10 universal lessons by Irwin Cotler. Much as we admire him personally, his theme of we should ask ourselves: What have we learned in the last 78 years – and more importantly – what must we do? is hard to applaud as his conclusions that make no mention of the intransigence of the Israeli government vis à vis any form of coexistence with the Palestinians, the continuing unlawful and heartless extension of the settlements and policies that only contribute to the escalation of violence.

President Erdogan now says Turkey may accept Finland in NATO, but block Sweden. We don’t suppose he cares about the reports that the demonstration permit for the politician who burned the Qur’an was paid for by a former contributor to the Kremlin-backed channel RT, Chang Frick, who now does regular media spots for the far-right Sweden Democrats. (Burning of Qur’an in Stockholm funded by journalist with Kremlin ties)

Tuesday was the third anniversary of Brexit, Did anyone notice? Polly Toynbee writes Three years on from Brexit, all UK voters are left with is a bitter taste of BregretMost people are now in favour of rejoining the EU, but Labour is right to steer clear of another row over Europe
But plenty of other woes as UK’s teachers and civil servants join mass strike on ‘Walkout Wednesday’

Another anniversary –Myanmar
Two years after Myanmar’s generals ousted Aung San Suu Kyi’s elected government, thousands of people have died in civil conflict and many more have been forced from their homes in a dire humanitarian crisis.

Pakistan is also in dire straits. The mosque attack leaving 100 dead, rising inflation, food scarcity …

Is there any good news? Yes, Record turnout as Pavel sweeps to victory in Czech Republic‘s presidential elections

Are you following the ChatGPT debate? It is intense. Check out some of the entries on Society, Social Media, Science & Technology March 2022-


Rogers-Shaw merger deadline extended to Feb. 17 as companies await government approval
The deal requires the final approval from Industry Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne for the transfer of spectrum licenses held by Shaw’s Freedom Mobile unit to Quebecor Inc’s Videotron.
The sale of Freedom Mobile to Videtron has been key in resolving antitrust concerns around the Rogers-Shaw merger that will create Canada’s No. 2 telecoms operator. The sale is also now expected to close by Feb. 17.
Last Wednesday (25 January) Key players and close watchers of Rogers Communications Inc.’s proposed takeover of Shaw Communications Inc. shared their views on the $26-billion deal at a House of Commons committee.
Critics of the deal, including academics and competitors, used the industry and technology meeting to argue that Champagne should either block the deal entirely or impose stricter conditions on it, while also raising concerns about the enforceability of the criteria he has already set out

Beryl Wajsman: Trudeau should heed Garneau warning on English rights
It was…heartening to hear the eloquent and courageous call by NDG-Westmount MP the Hon. Marc Garneau — a former Trudeau Minister — taking the government to task and warning that, “It would be an error to give Quebec free rein on language. It is discriminatory to the anglophone minority.” His attack on the Trudeau Bill should be a clarion call to all elected officials of character and conscience.

A look at the environmental and health effects associated with gas stoves
There’s been a heated debate lately about gas stoves and potential government regulation. The fire was lit last week after a member of a federal consumer agency suggested the government might ban them in newly built homes. That was quickly shot down by the White House but there’s still a new focus on the health impact and possible alternatives. Miles O’Brien reports.

Reality check
Reality check: Marie Kondo Admits Her Home’s A Mess Now ― Kondo says keeping her home neat is no longer a priority now that she has three children

Travel/baggage chaos
Afraid to check a bag? Canada’s missing baggage woes explained
Transport Minister Omar Alghabra says airlines need to improve their baggage delivery services
Study: Best way to get rid of a body is to check it as luggage with Air Canada
“Checking in bodies with Canada’s largest air carrier is the most convenient way to get rid of unwanted contents and move on with you life,” said a local organized crime syndicate who conducted the study. “The evidence will be sent to another airport whether it be Mexico, Paris, or Whitehorse. You’re never going to see it again!”
and renewed calls for high-speed raiil
Monsieur Trudeau, réveillez-vous et construisez un TGV !

Industry committee delves into Rogers-Shaw merger as fate of deal rests with Minister Champagne

Bloomberg CityLab features a Sauvé alumnus success story: Tel Aviv’s E-Scooter Transformation thanks in large part to Yaniv Rivlin

Geriatric marine mammal medicine – who knew? The Navy’s Dolphins Have a Few Things to Tell Us About Aging – a long, interesting piece about a little-known medical practice.

Josh Freed: Myriad streaming services are causing subscription overload
In a poll, nearly half of respondents say they can’t keep track of where or how they signed up for their subscriptions — or often what they pay. …When you look up the company online, it’s the name of that “free trial” channel that has now cost you $24 for one episode you didn’t like. Which is exactly what many specialty channels count on, because nobody actually subscribes to them — they make all their money from forgotten free trials. …cancelling that subscription requires a college course in “Over-subscription Management”.

We saw Andrew Caddell‘s Hill Times column of last week too late to include it.
Everyone is talking about the two-drink limit
A recent Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction study may have overstated its case, but it has at least opened up a discussion about restraint.
In a week of stories about the Kraken variant of the COVID-19 virus, the continued fighting in Ukraine, and mass murders in the United States, everyone was talking about a study by the Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction (CCSA) about alcoholic drink limits. The study presented a list of health risks linked to drinking, including breast and colon cancer, heart disease, and stroke. It recommended limiting oneself to one to two drinks per week.
From coast to coast to coast, everyone had an opinion.
This week’s column, Newspapers should be treasuredThe growing ignorance of the population and the rise in marginal ideas can be directly linked to the decline of quality media. comes in the wake of the Postmedia announcement of yet more layoffs, is an eloquent tribute to newspapers and a plea for their rescue from the greedy paws of hedge funds.

To end with a smile: The Puppy BusThese dogs in Alaska ride their own “puppy bus”
This “puppy bus” in Alaska picks up these fur babies every day — and takes them on adventures.

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