I spent a few weeks this year near the Berri-UQAM Metro station on Rue Sainte-Catherine, heart of downtown Montreal. There are a LOT of homeless people. It reminds me of a major American city in that way.
One survey (Douglas Mental Health University / 800+ volunteers) counted 3,016 homeless in the city. 10% aboriginal. 10% immigrants. Veterans 6%.
Other guesstimates have been 10 times as high.
I was there during warmer months. During winter these folks need to find someplace heated.
A harsh and boring life, seems to me. They all seem to have cigarettes. Somehow.
Not sure what can be done to reduce the numbers. A guaranteed minimum income experiment — or new kinds of free housing — could be tried.
In 1994 his the dictator’s eldest son and successor Bassel had just died in a car accident. Hafez turned to his his younger son Bashar.
It’s Bashar al-Assad who’s killing Syrians in 2017.
Once seen by the international community as a potential reformer, al-Assad has few friends left. Russia continues to protect al-Assad in the the UN Security Council.
In June 2014, Assad was included in a list of war crimes indictments of government officials and rebels handed to the International Criminal Court. …
Nobody knows exactly how much money Assad and family have extracted from Syria. One estimate says Syrian president Bashar al-Assad has amassed up to $1.5bn (£950m) for his family and his close associates. Hidden out of the nation, of course.
Sooner or later al-Assad will be gone. What comes next may be even worse — the tiny impoverish, war torn country the spoils of many different warlords.
Leonard Cohen, the hugely influential singer and songwriter whose work spanned five decades, died at the age of 82. …
Cohen was the dark eminence among a small pantheon of extremely influential singer-songwriters to emerge in the Sixties and early Seventies. Only Bob Dylan exerted a more profound influence upon his generation, and perhaps only Paul Simon and fellow Canadian Joni Mitchell equaled him as a song poet. Cohen’s haunting bass voice, nylon-stringed guitar patterns, Greek-chorus backing vocals shaped evocative songs that dealt with love and hate, sex and spirituality, war and peace, ecstasy and depression. He was also the rare artist of his generation to enjoy artistic success into his Eighties, releasing his final album, You Want It Darker, earlier this year. …
Just back from my 3rd trip overseas in 2016, everyone I meet abroad hates Donald Trump.
Paul Thomas – New Zealand Herald in July, 2015
Trump personifies everything the rest of the world despises about America: casual racism, crass materialism, relentless self-aggrandisement, vulgarity on an epic scale. He is the Ugly American in excess. …
More needs to be done. Imagine a world where Drumpf – and this even worse egomaniac – both have access to nuclear weapons. 😦
… On Mr Obama’s watch the nuclear-weapons and missile programme of North Korea has become steadily more alarming. Its nuclear missiles already threaten South Korea and Japan. Sometime during the second term of Mr Obama’s successor, they are likely also to be able to strike New York. Mr Obama put North Korea on the back burner. Whoever becomes America’s next president will not have that luxury. …
North Korea is thought to have a stockpile of around 20 devices. Every six weeks or so it adds another. …