Prairie Post

5 things you absolutely must know today

No mercy for Snowden

Clemency has been rejected for fugitive intelligence analyst Edward Snowden, the White House and U.S. lawmakers ruled Sunday.

Senator Dianne Feinstein implied a different outcome for Snowden had he reported privately, quietly to her committee.

“We would have seen him and we would have looked at that information. That didn’t happen, and now he’s done this enormous disservice to our country,” Senator Feinstein said in an interview on CBS television.

Snowden sought asylum in Russia in June after divulging details of U.S. telephone and Internet espionage.

“Though the outcome of my efforts has been demonstrably positive, my government continues to treat dissent as defection,” Snowden wrote in a statement to the German government, expressing his readiness to brief them on NSA matters. This move came after a surprise visit last week from a German MP. “Speaking the truth is not a crime.”

Since June, details have slowly leaked of the staggering scope of NSA’s surveillance of U.S. foes and allies.

Secretary of State John Kerry admitted last week that the scope of U.S. spying had crossed the line, in some cases, and vowed to help Obama keep NSA accountable. [Source: BBC]

BlackBerry sale falls through

Embattled, beleaguered, long-suffering BlackBerry Ltd. announced it’s abandoning its plan to sell. It’s looking instead to raise $1-billion and replace some of those currently steering the ship.

Current chief executive Thorsten Heins will be replaced by John Chen, former CEO of Sybase, Inc., on an interim basis. This move is being hailed as something that should have happened long ago, when Balsillie and Lazaridis retired.

The smartphone maker had been trying to find a buyer for the last few months. FairFax financial Holding expressed interest to purchase the BlackBerry Ltd., for $4.7-billion, and had until today to finish due diligence pouring over the company’s financial records.

FairFax has significantly amended its initial offer, saying it will help find the company $1-billlion.

“The BlackBerry Board conducted a thorough review of strategic alternatives and pursued the course of action that it concluded is in the best interests of BlackBerry and its constituents, including its shareholders,” Barbara Stymiest, former chair of BlackBerry board, said in a statement following the announcement. “This financing provides an immediate cash injection on terms favourable to BlackBerry, enhancing our substantial cash position.”

The company fell as much as 19 per cent in premarket trade Monday after the announcement.  [Source: CTV News]

Drunk youth steal circus llama and post pictures to Twitter

A group of drunk, French teenagers were arrested recently for stealing a circus llama, and taking it out for a night to remember, according to Sud-Quest.

Photos of their debaucherous time together were posted to Twitter.


The five arrested were reportedly exiting a club Thursday evening when they noticed a nearby circus closed-down for the night. They then found Serge the llama, 8, and hijinks ensued.

“[We] love animals; it walked it with us as a good dog would have done,” said one of the youths, Sud-Quest identified as Mathieu.

Their escapades came to a halt after authorities were alerted of reports of a llama on board a train.

A posted video looks to show Serge in the subway, and being tethered to a lamppost. [Source: The Daily Dot]

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Katz fills EPC vacancies 

Winnipeg Mayor Sam Katz has appointed St. Norbert councillor Justin Swandel and St. Charles councillor Grant Nordman to his executive policy committee Monday.

The move comes after the councillors Dan Vandal and Scott Fielding left the EPC, each for specific, distinct reasons: Fielding, over property-tax increases, and Vandal, to focus on federal Liberal nomination.

Swandel returns to EPC as chair of infrastructure renewal and public works after leaving the inner circle a year ago when he declared it broken.

Nordman is joining the “perceived boys club” as a non-committee member with responsibilities, according to the Winnipeg Free Press. [Source: Freep]

 Sask., liberals to wait for anti-conservative movement before choosing new leader

The Saskatchewan Liberals are waiting to see if the poison turning Canada against the federal conservative has a similar affect on the Premier Brad Wall before it chooses a new leader.

Greg Gallagher, the interim leader of the province’s liberals, made the announcement during a party convention Saturday, admitting the disfavour sinking the conservatives, federally, has yet to appear in Saskatchewan. But he thinks perhaps waiting a year could change the political climate in the party’s favour.

Brad Wall’s Saskatchewan Party currently holds 49 seats; the NDP, nine; the Liberals, none. [Source: Global News]

Toban Dyck wrote this while eating left-over pizza and burned coffee, if that helps to explain anything. He also gets a kick out of the llama story, secretly wishing it was his to tell.

For more, follow him @tobandyck, or Spectator Tribune @spectatortrib.