Monthly Archives: November 2017

Vice Media fight with RCMP headed to the Supreme Court of Canada

Canada’s top court agreed on Thursday to weigh in on a case in which the ability of journalists to do their work conflicts with the ability of police and prosecutors to do theirs.

The Supreme Court of Canada decision to grant Vice Media leave to appeal follows a ruling by Ontario’s highest court that reporter Ben Makuch turn over background materials to the RCMP related to interviews he did with a suspected terrorist.

“Oh, man, very relieved,” Makuch said moments after learning of the leave decision. “This is an extremely important matter that our country’s highest court needs to hear.”

The materials at issue relate to three stories Makuch wrote in 2014 on a Calgary man, Farah Shirdon, 22, charged in absentia with various terrorism-related offences. The articles were largely based on conversations Makuch had with Shirdon, who was said to be in Iraq, via the online instant messaging app Kik Messenger.

With court permission, RCMP sought access to Makuch’s screen captures and logs of those chats. Makuch refused to hand them over.

RCMP and the Crown argued successfully at two levels of court that access to the chat logs were essential to the ongoing investigation into Shirdon, who may or may not be dead. They maintained that journalists have no special rights to withhold crucial information.

Backed by alarmed media and free-expression groups, Makuch and Vice Media argued unsuccessfully that the RCMP demand would put a damper on the willingness of sources to speak to journalists.

The conflicting views will now be tested before the Supreme Court.

Woman details terrifying encounter with legendary music producer and Occupy Wall Street champion, Russell Simmons

The article writer uses the word “encounter” — I’d change that to rape.

Brown University to allow students to ‘self-identify’ as persons of color

Brown University is implementing a change to its graduate school application that will allow applicants to “self-identify” as persons of color.

The policy comes as a result of complaints made by graduate students on the Graduate School advisory board that international and Asian American students are not treated as members of historically underrepresented groups by the university, according to The Brown Daily Herald.

Senior Fatah official: Iran the key source of Palestinian division

In an interview with the Saudi satellite station al-Arabiya, Ahmad, in rare full-throated criticism of Iran by a senior Palestinian official, pointed to the Islamic Republic as the key cause of tensions between the two main Palestinian factions.

“Iran is the number one sponsor of the division… the number one financier,” he said.

He added that “it seems one of the conditions for the return of Iranian support [to Hamas] is the continuation of the division.”

Sodastream launches sparkling wine

Israeli sparkling water manufacturer Sodastream International Ltd. (TASE: SODA; Nasdaq: SODA) has launched ‘Sparkling Gold,’ a fine alcoholic concentrate to be added to sparkling water. The new alcoholic beverage resembles the taste of a fruity Riesling wine.

Sodastream says that an independent market research test conducted in Germany in October 2017, found that 76% of those surveyed enjoyed the taste of SodaStream ‘Sparkling Gold’ as much as, or more than French champagne brands ‘Moet & Chardon’ and ‘Veuve Clicquot’.

Canada vows to assist Montreal woman who joined ISIS


Heterodox Academy

We are a politically diverse group of social scientists, natural scientists, humanists, and other scholars who want to improve our academic disciplines and universities.
We share a concern about a growing problem: the loss or lack of “viewpoint diversity.” When nearly everyone in a field shares the same political orientation, certain ideas become orthodoxy, dissent is discouraged, and errors can go unchallenged.
To reverse this process, we have come together to advocate for a more intellectually diverse and heterodox academy.