Prairie Post

5 things you absolutely must know today

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Anuses of pigeons checked at Tiananmen Square

The Chinese government commissioned members of its national security groups to inspect the anuses of thousands of pigeons hanging out near Tiananmen Square on Wednesday. Guo Chunwei, a Beijing domestic security officer, told media the reason for the butthole checks was to ensure the birds were “not carrying suspicious material,” that could jeopardize the 65th anniversary celebration for the founding of the People’s Republic of China. For some this invasive procedure signals a slippery slope. “The liberty and dignity of citizens are increasingly vulnerable,” wrote columnist Zhang Ping. “The liberty … can be expropriated at any time, like with the pigeons.” [Source: Death and Taxes]

Canada to join anti-ISIS efforts

Canada is expected to join the air-war against the Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham. Prime Minister Stephen Harper is expected to announce the nation’s involvement soon, sending Canadian fighter jets to join the anti-ISIS effort. News reports suggest Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird and Justice Minister Peter MacKay briefed the Conservative caucus on a plan to increase Canadian involvement in the Middle East. On Friday, Harper will propose sending CF-18s and two CC-150s refueling planes overseas, according to a CBC lead. The Prime Minister’s office has not confirmed CBC’s report, instead saying that they have not yet made a decision, but they will let us know when they do. Phew. The U.S. has asked the international community for help, and Harper is considering. [Source: National Post]

Winnipeg’s mayoral race report card

The Canadian Federation of Students has put together a rather impressive-looking mayoral report card to make quick sense of our mayoral candidates and how they stack up against each other. Each mayoral candidate, and their website claims to have such a report card for counselors, too, was interviewed by a Manitoba CFS executive on issues that affect post-secondary students: sustainability, transportation, vision for Winnipeg. From the MB-CFS website: “For far too long, we’ve seen a general trend that shows that post-secondary students don’t engage in municipal issues,” said Mitchell van Ineveld, Deputy Chairperson for the Canadian Federation of Students Manitoba. “We’ve designed this report card to engage students and to inform them of the various positions for all mayoral candidates.” [Source: Canadian Federation of Students]

Walruses huddle close on beach unable to find sea ice

Unable to find the sea ice shelves they usually rest on, about 35,000 Pacific walruses and counting have come ashore on a beach in northwest Alaska, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The walruses were found near the village of Point Lay while NOAA was conducting its annual arctic marine mammal aerial survey. The melt of summer sea ice due to climate change is the reason behind this gathering, according to some researchers. Female walruses give birth on the ice, and both males and females use it as a jumping off point for catching prey.  [Source: National Post]

Protesters in Hong Kong give midnight deadline 

Pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong are clashing with police, according to reports. Student protesters have gathered outside the Hong Kong government office demanding the resignation of Chief Executive CY Leung by midnight. The group is threatening to take the occupy movement into government buildings, if their demand is not met. While protesters, five days in, are starting to show signs of fatigue, and with some having gone home, numbers are expected to bloat again ahead of the midnight deadline. Police have reportedly brought to the scene riot gear and what appears to be rubber bullets. The protesters are fighting for a full democracy, unhappy for China’s plan to vet leadership candidates for the 2017 election. [Source: BBC]


Toban Dyck writes this, and hopes to write something else soon, as well. Follow his antics at @tobandyck 

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