Monthly Archives: July 2015

Now is the time to assassinate Nasrallah

Click the image


Musical Interlude

PM announces expanded and modernized Free Trade Agreement with Israel

Prime Minister Stephen Harper today announced that negotiations toward an expanded and modernized Canada-Israel Free Trade Agreement (CIFTA) have concluded.

The modernized CIFTA will notably provide expanded market access opportunities for agricultural, fish and seafood products through the reduction or elimination of Israeli tariffs on a large number of products, and duty-free access under tariff rate quotas for certain products.

Four existing areas of the current CIFTA have been modernized, namely market access for goods, rules of origin, institutional provisions, and dispute settlement. In addition, seven new chapters have been included in the areas of trade facilitation, sanitary and phytosanitary measures, technical barriers to trade, intellectual property, electronic commerce, labour, and environment.

This robust CIFTA will support Canadian businesses and investors, deepen trade and investment linkages, and further strengthen Canada’s bilateral relationship with Israel.

A modernized CIFTA will facilitate expanded bilateral commercial flows by reducing tariffs and other barriers, enhancing cooperation and increasing transparency in regulatory matters. A modernized agreement also stands to reduce transaction costs for businesses and create new opportunities for Canadian agriculture, agri-food, fish and seafood companies in the Israeli market.


Catherine Porter: “I made mistakes”

Still doesn’t admit to being a scummy liar.

Explosions hit cars of Hamas officials in Gaza City

Two people have been injured in multiple car explosions in northern Gaza City, Palestinian security sources said.

The sources said six explosions took place at same time on Sunday morning in the Sheikh Radwan neighbourhood.

The cars belonged to officials of Islamic Jihad, Hamas and its armed wing, the Qassam Brigades.

Al Jazeera’s Tamer Almisshal, reporting from Gaza, said that both of those wounded were civilians living in a house near one of the blast sites.

Interior ministry spokesman Iyad al-Buzom released a brief statement in which he accused “vandals” seeking to destabilise Gaza of carrying out the explosions.

He said security officials started an investigation and would pursue the criminals.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attacks but an Al Jazeera correspondent in Gaza noted that Sheikh Radwan witnessed fighting between Hamas security forces and fighters loyal to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) group in early June.

ISIL threatened Hamas in a video shared online earlier this month, vowing to end the faction’s rule in the territory.

Graffiti appearing to show an emblem used by ISIL could be seen behind one of the vehicles targeted in the attacks.

Osama Hamdan, a senior Hamas leader, told Al Jazeera that whoever was behind the attack was working for Israeli interests but the group would not take any hasty actions.

“We have to complete investigations to find who exactly did this and according to the law they (perpetrators) will be questioned and judged,” he said.

“They don’t have any real support in Gaza. ISIL is very strange and people will not accept that.”


Canada Revenue revokes Ottawa-based aid group’s charitable status

The Canada Revenue Agency announced Friday that it had revoked the charitable status of an Ottawa-based agency which claimed to help children and impoverished families in Uganda and Western Kenya.

The CRA ruled that the Canadian Friends of Pearl Children group was operating as a tax shelter, issuing tax receipts totalling more than $167 million for what were deemed as “not legitimate gifts” of cash and pharmaceuticals.

Additionally, the CRA audit showed that, out of the more than $4 million they received in cash contributions, the Canadian Friends of Pearl Children paid $3.19 million to the promoters of the tax shelter.

As a result of the status revocation, the Canadian Friends of Pearl Children will no longer be permitted to issue tax receipts and will no longer be exempt from income tax.


Toronto Star admits Catherine Porter is a liar

Porter acknowledges she fell short here: “I made some mistakes,” she told me.

Editor Michael Cooke concurs: “Catherine Porter especially regrets these failings, and I apologize on behalf of the paper. Lessons learned. The hard way,” he said.”