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Alberta Premier Rachel Notley says ‘bring it on’ to Kevin O’Leary’s resignation bribe

Alberta Premier Rachel Notley says “bring it on” to Kevin O’Leary’s offer of a $1M investment in the oil patch if she steps down. O’Leary, smug, told a Toronto news station that Notley is not smart enough to develop oil policy and that her being in power in Alberta is crippling the industry. “You know, the last time a group of wealthy businessmen tried to tell Alberta voters how to vote, I ended up becoming premier,” said Notley at a news conference Tuesday. “So, if now we’ve got a Toronto wealthy businessman who wants to tell Alberta voters how to vote, I say bring it on.” The wealthy businessmen Notely was referring to she calls “The Monopoly Men,” a group of five corporate leaders connected to the PCs. They held a conference just before the election, warning Albertans of the dangers of voting NDP. They misread the electorate, just as Notley claims O’Leary is now. [Source: Globe and Mail]

Obama gives final State of the Union address, speaks out against fear

U.S. President Barack Obama gave his final, heartfelt and articulate State of the Union address on Tuesday, deriding Republican campaigns of fear, hatred, and intolerance. Obama blamed himself for not being able to end the infantile squabbling U.S. politics nearly always becomes, saying “a president with the gifts of Lincoln or Roosevelt might have better bridged the divide.” He spoke to the political framework the Republicans are building, urging the American people to be smarter than all that. “As frustration grows, there will be voices urging us to fall back into tribes, to scapegoat fellow citizens who don’t look like us, or pray like us, or vote like we do, or share the same background,” Obama said. “We can’t afford to go down that path. Will we respond to the changes of our time with fear, turning inward as a nation, and turning against each other as a people? Or will we face the future with confidence in who we are, what we stand for, and the incredible things we can do together?” Without naming Donald Trump, Obama also asked everyone watching to resist stigmatizing Muslims, and there was also a jab aimed at Ted Cruz in his one hour and 40-minute address. It was light on policy’ more of a introspective recap of his presidency. [Source: NYTimes]

Lego reverses brick-use policy after Chinese artist Ai Weiwei’s order rejection went public

Chinese artist and outspoken human rights advocate Ai Weiwei’s request to purchase a large amount of Lego blocks for an installation was rejected by the Danish toymaker on the grounds of policy stating the company will not sell in bulk nor donate its bricks for use as part of a political agenda. The backlash against Lego from rights groups hearing about the rejection was severe enough to force change. Lego said in a statement it will no longer ask people what they plan on using the blocks for. Ai has used Lego for his art before, having built effigies of dissidents such as Nelson Mandela and others. [Source: Guardian]

South Korea fires warning shots at drone hovering over DMZ

South Korea soldiers fired about 20 warning rounds at a suspected North Korea drone hovering near the DMZ. The surveillance drone, which retreated following the warning shots, was spotted Wednesday flying from the north into the Demilitarised Zone separating the two Koreas. Officials say the drone was likely sent to scout South Korea’s bolstered military presence at the border following North Korea’s alleged hydrogen bomb test last week. Since that test, South Korea has called upon China to increase sanctions against North Korea, claiming peace on the Korean peninsula depends on such punitive measures. “I am certain that China is very well aware if such a strong will isn’t followed by necessary steps, we will not be able to stop the North’s fifth and sixth nuclear tests and we cannot guarantee true peace and stability on the Korean peninsula,” said South Korean President Park Geun-hye in a statement. “I believe the Chinese government will not allow the situation on the Korean peninsula to deteriorate further.” [Source: BBC]

Taiwan church made in shape of shoe built to attract female worshippers

A church made in the shape of a blue, glass slipper has been built in Taiwan’s Ocean View Park, according to The 55-foot tall, 36-foot wide structure made out of 320 pieces of blue-tinted glass was completed this week. And here’s the sad-making part: apparently, it was designed this way to attract female worshippers, and it contains 100 female-oriented features. The shoe church is scheduled to be open to the public before Feb. 8, the Lunar New Year. It’s not immediately clear what kind of church or denomination this place of worship will be. [Source: Mashable]


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