Daniel Proussalidis - November 8th, 2013
OTTAWA – Canada’s list of banned terrorist entities is growing, with the addition of two Islamist groups Friday.
The list now includes two more al-Qaida-linked groups: Jabhat Al-Nusra, also known as the Front for the Defense of the Syrian People, and the Signatories in Blood, which is active in West Africa.
Jabhat al-Nusra is one of the rebel groups taking over territory in northern Syria recently, creating new concerns for Western backers of the opposition to Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad.
The Signatories in Blood is believed to be behind a hostage-taking at an Algerian gas plant last January that also included Canadian involvement, along with suicide bombings in Niger in March.
Public Safety Canada says in its regulatory filings for the expanded list that “everyone who knowingly participates in or contributes to any activity of a terrorist group … is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment.”
Daniel Proussalidis - October 24th, 2013
OTTAWA – Amid the global threat of germ warfare, Canada’s military is taking its first steps toward creating a device sci-fi fans might recognize as a Star Trek tricorder.
Defence Research and Development Canada (DRDC) says it wants to develop a “hand-held biological sensor for real-time detection of bioaerosols.”
So DRDC is offering private companies up to $50,000 for a study to determine what kind of device could be developed for soldiers.
John Robson - June 17th, 2013
If you’re wondering how only 8 of 686 would-be candidates were allowed to run in Iran’s presidential election, it’s very simple. The Guardian Council of the Constitution approves candidates… or doesn’t if they’re not sufficiently keen on wholesome principles like death to Israel and death to the Great Satan and an Iranian nuclear bomb and such like. And where does this GCC come from? Again, very simple. The Supreme Leader chooses six members while the Parliament (whose legislation it can veto and whose candidates it can also veto) chooses six from a list prepared by the head of the Judicial Power who is (but you saw this coming) appointed by the Supreme Leader.
Even if you do get to be President, you don’t run the country. That’s the Supreme Leader, chosen by the Assembly of Experts (directly elected from candidates approved by… itself, and vetted by that darn Guardian Council again). Oh, and the Supreme Council of the Cultural Revolution can create things that aren’t laws but are binding and can’t be overruled except by the Supreme Leader… who appoints the SCCR personally.
Which raises the vexed question: Even if you could run for president of Iran, or for its parliament, why would you want to? That so many people would vote for a fake moderate anyway (a “pragmatist” according to the New York Times and we all know what that means) suggests most Iranians wish this question had a better answer than it does. But those who rule them for their own benefit without their genuine consent probably don’t care. Certainly this tangled self-perpetuating institutional framework suggests they don’t.