Wednesday, September 11 2013
U.S. Intelligence agencies and diplomatic personnel around the world are on high alert this morning. Sources say there has been chatter picked up from al Qaeda suggesting the possibility of another attempted terrorist attack on this, the 12th anniversary of the attacks on The World Trade Centre, the Pentagon and the downing of Flight 93 in Shanksville, Pennsylvania.
9-11 is a symbolic day for al Qaeda and its sympathizers and they've frequently planned attacks to coincide with that date including last year when the American ambassador was killed in Benghazi, Libya.
It was interesting to note that during his 16-minute speech to the American public last night, President Barack Obama made no reference to 9-11 and the ongoing threats to America...but he did lay out his case for military action against Syria for allegedly using chemical weapons against women and children.
There was nothing new in the speech that we hadn't heard already including the possibility of a diplomatic breakthrough to get Syria to open the way to transferring its chemical weapons to international control and monitoring.
The likelihood of a diplomatic deal is already starting to fade. At the UN Security Council, France and the U.S. are trying to craft a resolution which would secure UN authorization for a military strike if Russia's attempt to get a deal with Syria fails.
There's also a great deal of scepticism about whether handing over control of the weapons stockpile is even possible. CBS correspondent Elizabeth Palmer notes that experts believe Syria has a thousand tons of chemical weapons in hideouts throughout the country.
There are so many hurdles to a diplomatic resolution that, in my view, this will fail. Then what happens. Will Obama order the strike on Syria. After last night's speech, I doubt he's changed many minds. No matter how compelling his argument may have been, the bottom line is people no longer trust their politicians....period. This is especially true of Americans who have seen their country sucked into wars over and over again and when its your neighbours kid coming home in a body bag or your son or daughter, that is the compelling interest.
The answers are starting to come in and if you are a Toronto taxpayer you're not going to be happy about the Wynne Government's solo act to build a subway extension to the Scarborough Town Centre, supposedly for 1.4-billion dollars.
Rob Pritchard, chair of the provincial transportation agency, Metrolinx has written a letter to TTC chair Karen Stintz saying if the current master agreement to build an LRT in Scarborough is changed, it would cost hthe city roughly 85-million dollars, plus the cost of re-negotiating the agreement. In addition, he says the city would have to pick up the tab for shuttle buses that would be needed for years while the subway extension is built and the city would be on the hook for cost overruns.
Karen Stintz goes to Queen's Park this afternoon to have a private meeting with Premier Kathleen Wynne about all this.
This is Stintz on NewsTalk 1010 Saturday evening with Megan Harris discussing that meeting
By all accounts he was a loving father and husband....which is all the more reason for the grave concern for the fate of Christopher Peloso. He's the husband of George Smitherman....one time politician. No one has heard from him since Monday afternoon.
The Parti Quebecois government has now presented it's so-called "values charter"....a ham-fisted attempt to get get religion out of public institutions by banning the wearing of most religious garb.
This has already ignited a national debate...the feds threatening to go to court to have it struck down as being in violation of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
Ottawa might want to step back a bit because this is a political bomb waiting to go off. Wait until this comes to a vote in the Quebec National Assembly. the PQ is in a minority government. The opposition parties have already said they are opposed to it...so it'll die an ugly death in Quebec City without the rest of the country injecting itself.