Sunday, February 23, 2014

Various Updates

Welcome back; Liberals who have returned from the Convention. Teddy here to give you guys a quick recap of what's been going on in the news.

1 - Ukraine
Many changes as of late, and the situation is still very very fluid. It appears, however, the "Sides" are taking shape.

One of the Oblasts (Provinces) in the "Very Pro West" area (the one where the word "Very" is) 'declared independence' the other day; or to be more accurate, independence from Yanukovich. After his ouster, one of the "Very Pro Russia" Oblasts (the one furthest east) did the opposite, declaring it's 'independence' from the non-Yanukovich government. Crimea (the southmost oblast, 'dangling' off into the Black Sea) declared it wants' needs "protection", ideally from Russia. Meanwhile, the two Oblasts neighbouring the east-most one mentioned earlier met in Kharkiv (formerly Kharkov of WW2 battlefield fame) to back Yanukovich.

At this time, all 4 provinces in the "Very Pro Russia" area, plus Kharkiv (the northmost in the "Pro Russia" area) are backing Yanukovich to varying degrees. The three more central "Pro Russia" provinces (the ones where the words Pro Russia are) are moderately supportive as well. I've made another map to *try* to make this more clear.

Lviv and Luhansk have declared "independence" from whatever government they disagree most with.
Kharkiv, Luhansk, and Donetsk were the biggest contributors to members at the so-called "Congress" in Kharkiv.
Crimea asked for Russian "Protection"
Kherson, Zaporizhia, and Dnipropetrovsk sent some, but not all of it's local members to the "Congress"
Vhernivtsi, Vinnytsia, Zhytomyr, and one neighbourhood in Kiev declared the Party of Regions to be illegal within their areas.

The Party of Regions itself denounced the actions of Yanukovich. It is thus unclear exactly where they stand.

Current standings in Parliament are as follows.

131 - PoR (Party of Regions)
88 - Fatherland
42 - UDAR
36 - Freedom (right-wing nationalist)
32 - Communist
118 - Independent

2 - Venezuela
Perhaps buoyed by success in Ukraine, Venezuela is going though it's own set of protests.
It is unlikely that we will see a change of government from these protests, but I recommend keeping up to date on what is going on, as you can never tell how fast things may change.

3 - Rob Ford
Walked into a fire hydrant. I'll let you google this breaking meme yourself if you enjoy Fordenfreude.

4 - Olympics
Canada Finished third overall at the olympics. The website in the link will allow you to review the stats for every event. We managed to lock up the 4 major team ice events; men and womens hockey and curling, winning Gold in each.

Russia continued the trend of winning the most Gold medals at a home Olympics. Canada set this trend in 2010, winning more Golds than any other country at a home Olympics; something that had not been done since 1952 (Norway), and 1932 (USA) before that. The next Winter Olympics will take place in Pyeongchang in Southeastern South Korea in February 2018. The next Olympics will take place in August of 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and again in 2020, in Tokyo, Japan.

5 - Common Ground, Ontario Liberal Party
The top idea - Properly Fund Public Transit - is mine. I'll be speaking more about this in a blog post in very early March. (1st or 2nd)

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