About 98% of my Facebook friends and Tweeps have posted this, so you've probably seen it, but it's so sweet I had to join in. I am so sick of people saying animals don't have emotions. Take a peak. (And by the way, when I looked at this yesterday afternoon, it had received under 2,000,000 views. Now check the number!)
Group of Eight leaders had to soften a statement urging Israel and the Palestinians to return to negotiations because Canada objected to a specific mention of 1967 borders, diplomats said on Friday.
Canada's right-leaning Conservative government has adopted a staunchly pro-Israel position in international negotiations since coming to power in 2006, with Prime Minister Stephen Harper saying Canada will back Israel whatever the cost.
Diplomats involved in Middle East discussions at the G8 summit said Ottawa had insisted that no mention of Israel's pre-1967 borders be made in the leaders' final communiqué, even though most of the other leaders wanted a mention.
"The Canadians were really very adamant, even though Obama expressly referred to 1967 borders in his speech last week," one European diplomat said.
A spokesman for Harper would not comment on the line Canada had taken, saying only that the final communiqué would make positions clear.
In the final communiqué, a copy of which was obtained by Reuters, the leaders call for the immediate resumption of peace talks but do not mention 1967, the year Israel seized the West Bank and Gaza from Jordan and Egypt during the Six-Day War.
During the nationally televised press conference, Harper also introduced Liam McGraw, the chairman of the Canadian Maple Syrup Safety Commission, who assured reporters that Canada's top chemists and maple syrup physicists were diligently working to improve reactor performance by studying the sugary material and eliminating any possibility of leaks.
"As you can imagine, we have numerous fail-safes in place in case of emergencies," said McGraw, gesturing toward several diagrams. "These include protective barriers consisting of thick steel, concrete, and batter-cake walls with indented lattice patterns that soak up and contain the sweet, sticky liquid."
McGraw also said concerns that trace amounts of sucrose had seeped into the water supply of the United States were unfounded.
"We've learned our lesson from the 1998 Winnipeg incident," McGraw said of the infamous core meltdown, which released dark amber material into the environment, coating vegetation and wildlife in the viscous liquid. "If there were a disaster, we'd be prepared for it. We have protective flapjack fortifications in place to ensure containment."
There is a lot in this Economist article with which I don't agree -- for example, I am rather tired of the false notion that Americans are unforgiving puritans about their politicians while Euro-types are supposedly great sophisticates who don't care about their leaders' private lives. This is simply not true. But where the analysis is worth reading is where it discusses privacy laws and, above all, in its closing paragraph:
Beyond such differences in legal cultures, one fact is inescapable. In America a modest African immigrant has obtained a swift response from the police to her complaint of sexual assault. Mr Strauss-Kahn’s innocence or guilt will be determined in court. But New York’s authorities have not shirked from arresting the head of one of the world’s leading international bodies, nor from demanding that he be kept in jail on remand. It is worth asking: would this have happened in Paris or Rome?
(Emphasis mine.) This is why I will always love America.
As for the rest, while I think the same woman would have received a swift response from the cops in both Paris and Rome, I am not convinced a DSK-level figure in either place would be prevented from bolting.