Monday, December 29, 2014

The LuLac Edition #2803, December 29th, 2014

(in countdown form)

Pope Francis continued to be in the news this year. The pontiff traveled to Albania and Turkey and also announced a trip to Philadelphia for next year. In preparation for his visit to the U.S. the Pope made this statement that might have baby daddies and mommas flinching. We now live in a culture of the temporary, in which more and more people are simply giving up on marriage as a public commitment." But perhaps the Pope’s most interesting news came at the end of the year when in a December 22nd statement the Pope blasted the Roman Curia for having “Spiritual Alzheimer's." Look at this: "It is the disease of cowards, who do not have the courage to speak upfront and so talk behind one's back. … Watch out against the terrorism of gossip!" As we enter 2015, let’s just end this segment with an old newscast line, "More to come”.
The games were held in Sochi, Russia, in the tradition of the Winter Olympic Games. The Games were held from 7–23 February 2014, with opening rounds in certain events held on the eve of the opening ceremony, 6 February 2014. Both the Olympics and 2014 Winter Paralympics were organized by the Sochi Organizing Committee (SOC). Sochi was selected as the host city in July 2007, during the 119th IOC Session held in Guatemala City. It was the first Olympics in Russia since the breakup of the Soviet Union in 1991. The Soviet Union was the host nation for the 1980 Summer Olympics in Moscow. In preparation, organizers focused on modernizing the telecommunications, electric power, and transportation infrastructures of the region. While originally budgeted at US$12 billion, various factors caused the budget to expand to over US$51 billion, surpassing the estimated $44 billion cost of the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing as the most expensive Olympics in history
A series of shootings occurred on October 22, 2014, in Ottawa, Canada. At the Canadian National War Memorial. Michael Zehaf-Bibeau fatally shot Corporal Nathan Cirillo, a Canadian soldier on ceremonial sentry duty. He then entered the nearby Centre Block parliament building at Parliament Hill, where members of the Parliament of Canada were attending caucuses. After wrestling with a security guard at the entrance, Zehaf-Bibeau ran inside and was cornered and killed by the Commons Sergeant at Arms, Kevin Vickers, after a shootout with parliament security personnel.[7] Following the shootings, the downtown core of Ottawa was placed on lock down while police searched for any potential additional threats. A Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) investigation into the shootings is ongoing
The attacker, Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, was a 32 year-old Canadian habitual offender and drug addict from Montreal. Considered by several acquaintances to have mental issues, he had been observed by acquaintances and mosque staff exhibiting erratic behaviour.
The European Space Operations Center announced on November 12 in Darmstadt, Germany that probe Philae successfully landed on Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. Before landing, Philae had been flying with its mother ship Rosetta for over 10 years and nearly 7 billion km in pursuit of the Comet 67P. Philae made history as the first human-made object to achieve a soft landing on a comet nucleus. By studying Comet 67P's makeup with the help of the 10 scientific instruments onboard Philae, scientists hope to unlock secrets of the solar system and even the origins of life.
Here is a link to give you an idea of how many times Israel was attacked from the Gaza in 2014.,_2014
Yet to hear the attackers tell it Israel was the aggressor. Since 2001, Palestinian militants have launched thousands of rocket and mortar attacks on Israel from the Gaza Strip as part of the continuing Arab–Israeli conflict. The attacks, widely condemned for targeting civilians, have been described as terrorism by United Nations, European Union and Israeli officials, and are defined as war crimes by human rights groups Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch. Indiscriminate attacks on civilians and civilian structures that do not discriminate between civilians and military targets are illegal under international law.
Israeli defenses constructed specifically to deal with the weapons include fortifications for schools and bus stops as well as an alarm system named Red Color. Iron Dome, a system to intercept short-range rockets, was developed by Israel and first deployed in the spring of 2011 to protect its citizens. God knows how many people in Israel would have been killed without it. Is it any wonder that Israel will and should not trust Hezbollah and everything they stand for?
One of the greatest mysteries this year has been the disappearance of Malaysian Airlines flight MH370. The plane departed Kuala Lumpur International Airport March 8 and was due to arrive in Beijing with 227 passengers and 12 crew members. But Malaysia Airlines lost contact with the plane less than an hour after takeoff and no distress signal or message was sent. Since the planes’ disappearance, millions of dollars have been spent searching for the plane’s wreckage in the Indian Ocean where it is believed to have crashed.
This has been an awful year for Journalists and people of good will. Extremists of all stripes in the Muslim world have targeted aid workers, journalists and average citizens who just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Some have been jailed, many have been beheaded publicly. Videos were shown but not before relatives had to beg for the lives of the victims in vain. The best strategy is to accept any future acts like this as an act of war and as painful as it is to just ignore the diatribes and the taunting. Then isolate their families and attack accordingly. There is no reasoning with this violence and the best way to handle it is with force.
It started with just a few cases in Guinea, and became the deadliest outbreak of Ebola on record. The virus spread throughout West Africa, claiming more than 5,000 lives. In September, the first case of the disease in the United States was diagnosed at Texas Presbyterian Hospital. Thomas Eric Duncan, a Liberian citizen who had recently arrived in the United States, died of complications from Ebola. Two nurses who treated him also contracted the virus but recovered. Duncan’s death raised serious questions about the capacity of U.S. hospitals to effectively treat the disease and to protect health care workers treating the infected.
Anti-government protests continued for more than three months before finally escalating into massive bloodshed in late February, leaving hundreds of casualties. Elected President Viktor Yanukovych was ousted. The country faces the possibility of separation due to the differing stances among ethnic groups. In early March, Crimea voted to join Russia in a local referendum, which was not recognized by Ukraine and major Western countries. In May, the Donetsk and Lugansk regions in east Ukraine declared independence.
Dovetail this with the cnomic downturn in Russia because of decreasing fuel prices and you have a recipe for a meaner, more snarling Russia in the New Year. That will only complicate international relations with the world and the United States.
It was a brutal year in Iraq and Syria, as the terrorist group calling itself the Islamic State, or IS, gained momentum and captured territory throughout the region, killing thousands along the way. The group posted online barbaric videos of beheadings. Two American journalists were among those executed. The United States continues to fight back through air strikes on the group in Iraq and Syria.
Sources: (Wikipedia, The Guardian, LuLac archives). 


At 5:17 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Love the new pope, but for some reason I keep thinking of the Godfather III


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