Sunday, May 23, 2004

Sunday Coffee News Briefs a la Allie

ELECTIONS CANADA: We're off to the races. The "pre-election" spending spree can now become the "election" spending spree, as Prime Minister Paul Martin dropped the Writ today, asking Govenor General Adrienne Clarkson to dissolve parliament and call a June 28th election. Current polls suggest that the Martin government is precariously teetering between majority and minority status, so this could be an interesting election run for Canadians. Hmmm. I think elections in our country are carefully disguised ways to stop Canadians from enjoying our only real periods of anarchy...

The Burning Bush: Top Prize at Cannes. Michael Moore's controversial film, "Fahrenheit 9/11," won the Palme d'Or at the 2004 Cannes Film Festival. The film, which takes a critical look at the Bush administration following the Sept 11 2001 attacks, received a twenty minute long standing ovation after its premiere at the festival. The subject of the movie was to illustrate the corruptive influence of the war on Iraq on americans - and contains previously unseen footage of american soldiers' abuse of Iraqi detainees taken last Christmas Eve. It's bound to encourage some interesting conversation in an election year, that is if, ofcourse, if it is allowed to be distributed in the "land of the free."

Learning from History: Hiding in Shadows. The 72 hour long Israeli troop "rampage" through Rafah last week seems to be drawing to an end while the International Committee of the Red Cross was working to get food, water and medical supplies to 25,000 people. Israeli restrictions on the movement of ambulances have been hindering the evacuation of the wounded. A three year Palestinian girl, Rwan Abu Zaid, was shot in the head just outside of her home Rafah yesterday. Rwan's family was able to bury her, in accordance to Muslim tradition, a few short hours after her death. The bodies of more than 16 Palestinians who died in the beginning of the attacks are still waiting to be buried, the morgue they are in sealed off by Israeli tanks. Israeli Justice Minister Yosef Lapid, a Holocaust survivor himself, called for an end to the demolitions, saying "I saw on television an old woman picking through the rubble of her house in Rafah, looking for her medicine, and she reminded me of my grandmother who was expelled from her home during the Holocaust."

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