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Hundreds of thousands of people are still waiting for their power to be restored after a weekend ice storm wreaked havoc from southwestern Ontario to the Atlantic Coast.
Across Ontario about 350,000 people remained without power early Monday morning, and hydro officials were advising that it could take until Wednesday to get everyone reconnected.
In hardest hit Toronto where the ice splintered a huge number of trees, and turned roads and sidewalks into skating rinks, nearly 250,000 hydro customers were still in the dark by 3 a.m. At a press conference a few hours later, Toronto Mayor Rob Ford said crews had brought that number down to 200,000 customers. Some in the city may be in the dark through Christmas, The Toronto Star reported.
Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne told a Sunday afternoon news conference that the province would provide support to municipal emergency crews as they scramble to do their jobs.
Toronto Mayor Rob Ford called it one of the worst storms in the city’s history, but said he was not yet ready to declare a state of emergency.
The Toronto Transit Commission warned to expect delays on all surface routes and shuttle buses were put into use between some subway stations. The Sheppard Line and Scarborough RT Line were both closed due to bad weather and buses are in service instead.
Buses were also operating betweenWoodbine Station and Kennedy Station Monday morning. Subway trains were also bypassing Yorkdale Station and North York Centre Station due to power outages.
GO Trains were operating on an adjusted schedule to cope with the bad weather.
Air travellers, however, were still being frustrated by numerous flight cancellations and delays at Pearson International Airport. The airport is advising travellers to check with their airline about flight status in advance and to give themselves lots of time.
You can reach Air Canada’s automated flight system at 1-888-422-7533.Travellers flying with WestJet can call 1-888-937-8538.
Flying with Porter? You can find out more about your flight at 1-888-619-8622.
The storm system also coated much of southern Quebec in ice, and continues to produce freezing drizzle in parts of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia.
Some 50,000 customers in Quebec and about 6,000 more in New Brunswick were still without power as of late Sunday night.
A few local photos:
Statoil might have to choose between developing properties in the Alberta oilsands and an offshore find off Newfoundland because of rising costs in the industry.
Stale Tungesvik, president of Statoil Canada, says its Norwegian parent company will decide in February which of the Canadian projects will go ahead.
“We invest more than ever, but we see that it’s much more costly to develop one barrel of oil today than it was earlier,” Tungesvik said in a briefing with reporters Monday.
He said Statoil has to prioritize which projects to develop, because the oil available is more difficult to extract.
Crude oil prices are sitting at about $100 US a barrel, but that’s the equivalent to $30 several years ago, he said.
“Today, $100 a barrel is the same as $30,” he said, adding “the easy barrels” are gone.
“When that will hit us some place in Canada, I’m not sure yet. I’m still fighting for doing both, so that’s my kind of position.But there is the bigger picture. There has to be some changes,” he said.
In August, Statoil and partner Husky Energy Inc. announced a huge offshore oil discovery about 500 kilometres northeast of St. John’s.
It’s the company’s third find in the Flemish Pass Basin in the North Atlantic and promises between 300 million and 600 million barrels of recoverable oil.
It also has plans to develop the Corner oilsands in Alberta and is mulling an expansion to its Leismer property, which began production in January 2011. Both Corner and Leismer have regulatory approval to produce up to 40,000 barrels per day.
Hurricane-force winds disrupted transport and power supplies in Scotland and threatened coastal flooding in England as they closed on northern Europe in what meteorologists said could be one of the most powerful storms to hit the continent in years.
British authorities announced the Thames Barrier, designed to protect London from flooding during exceptional tides, would close on Thursday night and warned of “the most serious coastal tidal surge for over 60 years in England”. Prime Minister David Cameron called a meeting to discuss strategy.
One person was killed as winds of up to 225 km/hr slammed into parts of the Scottish highlands, Britain’s weather office said. More than 80,000 homes were left without power, according to energy company SSE.
That number was expected to rise with road connections blocked by fallen trees and debris. A lorry driver was killed and four people injured when his vehicle overturned and collided with other vehicles in West Lothian, police said.
Tidal surge predicted
All train services in Scotland were suspended shortly after 8 a.m. local time until further notice due to debris on the tracks caused by storm Xaver. Glasgow’s Central Station was evacuated after part of a glass roof collapsed, ScotRail said.
Low-lying coastal areas in eastern England were particularly vulnerable to a predicted tidal surge. Sea defences have been built up considerably since storms and flooding killed hundreds on the North Sea coast in 1953.
Authorities in Germany’s northern port city of Hamburg have issued warnings about the dangers of the winds, which some forecasters are saying could be as powerful as a deadly storm and ensuing flood that hit the city in 1962 and killed 315.
The city on the Elbe River was preparing for a direct hit by the storm on Thursday. Many schools and Christmas markets were closed as the storm neared and dozens of flights to and from Germany’s second city were cancelled.
Ferries to Germany’s North Sea islands were kept in ports.
Won’t let up
“Xaver has developed into hurricane force and it’ll be quite dangerous along the North Sea shore,” said Andreas Friedrich, a German weather service meteorologist.
“The truly dangerous thing about this storm is that the winds will continue for hours and won’t let up. The danger of coastal flooding is high.”
Friedrich said people were being advised to stay indoors across northern Germany because of the dangers such as trees being toppled and parts of roofs blown off. The weather service has issued an extreme weather warning for the northern states of Hamburg, Schleswig-Holstein, Lower Saxony and Bremen.
In Ireland, Northern Ireland Electricity said 6,500 homes were without power after severe gale force winds with gusts of 100 km/h damaged the power network while another 10,000 customers lower power but had their services restored during the night.
In the early 1960s, the USSR committed an act of aggression against the US. It provided a smaller nation on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean (Cuba) with the ability to become a nuclear power. As Cuba was near to the US, this arming of Cuba posed a direct threat to the US.
The situation was considered so great a threat to the US that President John Kennedy risked starting a world war to have the nuclear weapons removed.
War was averted (barely), and the US has been patting itself on its back ever since for standing up for its stance on “world freedom from nuclear war.”
That’s essentially the story as it has come down to us.
Today, in the Middle East, we have a situation in which Iran is enriching uranium—purportedly for peaceful purposes. The US government states regularly that this cannot be tolerated—that, if necessary, the US may need to take up arms against Iran to make sure that they never use their uranium to develop an atomic bomb.
This stance is presented to the American people as being in keeping with its former opposition regarding Cuba—a stance for world freedom from nuclear war. (The mind conjures up an image of John Kennedy and Barrack Obama standing together in front of an American flag, waving in the breeze.)
But let’s take a step back here for a moment and ask ourselves if there is a true parallel between the Cuban Missile Crisis and the present stance of the US government.
If we were to rewrite the first paragraph in this article, plugging in the names of countries that are most appropriate, we come up with the following:
The US committed an act of aggression against the Middle East. It provided a smaller nation on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean (Israel) with the ability to become a nuclear power. As Israel was in the Middle East, this arming of Israel posed a direct threat to the Middle East and Russia.
The level of assistance that the US provided to Israel can be debated, but, to be sure, the US has contributed billions of dollars, plus provided extensive military expertise to Israel over the years. Today, although Israel refuses to confirm its possession of nuclear warheads, the best estimates suggest that it possesses close to two hundred nuclear weapons and can reportedly create another hundred weapons if need be.
Although Israel is recognised as the sixth country in the world to develop nuclear weapons, it is not recognised as a Nuclear Weapons State under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). To date they have refused to sign the NPT and, accordingly, are not monitored in any way internationally.
Somehow, the Western press have managed to overlook the rather large elephant in the room.
Astoundingly, it is forbidden for US politicians to even acknowledge that Israel has nuclear weapons (see this video).
Iran might develop a nuclear weapon, and it might not. (Uranium is not used only for nukes—it has other non-military uses.) In addition, creating a nuclear warhead would take them years. To date the only “proof” that Iran might create a nuke is that provided by the UN stating that they have received “intelligence” to that effect from an unnamed country, assumed to be Israel.
Those readers who remember the US foray into Iraq a decade ago will remember that the invasion was based upon the “certainty” from intelligence that Iraq possessed “weapons of mass destruction.” Although no trace of any such weapons was ever found, the US did not bother to apologise for this minor oversight after its goal of conquering Iraq had been achieved.
To add further to this imbalance in the possession of nukes, the Saudis have allegedly purchased nukes from Pakistan (which are available to be delivered at a moment’s notice), leap-frogging them ahead of Iran; yet, the Western world offers no criticism of this potential for aggression. But then, Saudi Arabia is the lynchpin to the petrodollar system.
It has been said by many historians over the ages that when an empire is reaching a stage of economic collapse, its leaders commonly turn to the distraction of warfare in order to remain in power a bit longer. Indeed, this has been the case throughout history, and it has been proven to be an effective ploy.
If a country is on the economic ropes and is due for a fall, there are two major advantages to creating an excuse to go to war.
First, war creates a distraction. It keeps the population’s eye off the economic ball sufficiently enough to allow the government to continue its destructive economic policies a while longer—postponing, but not eliminating the inevitable.
Second, a country at war is, in effect, in an “emergency” situation. Invariably, its government uses the opportunity to “temporarily” remove freedoms (which may not be reinstated after the war). The government therefore has the ability to diminish the rights of its people with impunity, thereby creating a greater control over them.
Although the majority of the people of the US have not supported attacking the Middle East as the government has wished, the government continues to push for war. In the UK, the government has similarly been pressed by its people to stand down.
So, how will this play out? Will the governments drop the scam? Not likely. After all, theyneed their distraction, or the main issue will once again become the economy.
Traditionally, in such circumstances (The Spanish-American War, World War I, World War II, Vietnam, etc.), one of three tactics is employed by a government that is determined to go to war but is having a rather dodgy time convincing its public to move ahead:
- Create a false-flag attack (Spanish-American War, German invasion of Poland, etc.)
- Claim to have been attacked when no attack has taken place (Vietnam—Gulf of Tonkin)
- Prod the opposition until they respond by attacking (World War I, World War II, etc.)
Each of the above is extraordinarily easy to do. It could be as simple as sending an American ship into the Strait of Hormuz, where it is then sunk. It is then simple enough to arrange for “witnesses” to be interviewed who will say they saw an attack by “the enemy.” (Syrians, Iranians, Russians—take your pick.)
The people of a country are rarely fooled into going to war as a “humanitarian obligation.” They are almost always pushed over the edge when they have been fooled into believing that they are under a personal threat of some kind.
We should therefore not expect to see Israel deprived of its nuclear power. Instead, we should expect to see the next World War triggered by some small, questionable event. When that happens, we should also expect to see the rights of those who live in allied countries removed in a way not hitherto imagined.
If the reader currently lives in a country where rights are already eroding rapidly, he may wish to consider the potential for further loss, under the pretext of a “national emergency.”
Editor’s Note: Internationalization is your ultimate insurance policy. Whether it’s with a second passport, offshore physical gold storage, or other measures, it is critically important that you dilute the amount of control the bureaucrats in your home country wield over you by diversifying your political risk. Watch Doug Casey discuss this important topic in a new video interview by clicking here.
- Navy Makes History With Unmanned Carrier Launch (news.usni.org)
- Navy launches 1st carrier drone (utsandiego.com)
- Navy to launch X-47B drone from carrier for first time (wtkr.com)
- Navy to launch unmanned aircraft from carrier (stripes.com)
- Navy to launch first unmanned aircraft from carrier (foxnews.com)