June 2014

Snowden’s interview with NBC corroborates

good intentions say attorney, panel of experts

Image: Screenshot of Edward Snow with NSA logo, via RT.30 May 2014 (RT)A panel of experts sat down with RT Thursday 29 May to analyze the first interview Edward Snowden has given to the US media, a conversation that touched on the NSA whistleblower’s motivation to leak classified documents and how his actions have been misrepresented since.
Norman Solomon, director of the Institute for Public Accuracy, attorney Bruce Fine, and Jesselyn Radack, director of national security and human rights at the Government Accountability Project and one of Snowden’s attorneys, described Snowden as a hero who put his life on the line to expose abuses committed by the surveillance state.. (More)

You can dress him up but please don't take him out

The Prince who would be a tampon has done it again

The British Royal Family are not very bright. During World War II many of them had to be locked away from public contact because they supported Hitler and Nazi Germany. Prince Charles, at his poetic best when romancing Camilla while he was still married to Diana, was heard on a media tap of his cell phone, "I wish I was a tampon." His son Prince Harry thinks it's clever to attend parties with a Nazi armband. Now we have Prince Charles on a very public visit to Canada making the ridiculous allegation that Russian President Putin is like Adolph Hitler.

How much longer will Canadians financially support ($29 million annually, at last count) these descendants of a very tiny, impoverished European gene pool. No matter how intense and extensive the expensive grooming, nothing sensible and decent seems to take hold with this bunch. Prince Charles should at least be made to understand that he and the Royal Family are just part of a public pageant and that he should not venture off his prescribed rôle into waters that are too deep for his personal capacity to understand.Carl Dow, Editor and Publisher.

Prince Charles strikes another blow for the British Republic

By Tony Gosling

Beginning his working life in the aviation industry and trained by the BBC, Tony Gosling is a British land rights activist, historian, investigative radio journalist.

Image: Prince Charles, Prince of Wales feeds a polar bear called Hudson as he visits Winnipeg Zoo on May 21, 2014 in Winnipeg, Canada.(AFP Photo / Chris Jackson)

23 May 2014 (RT) — There is an air of unreality to Prince Charles’ spin-squad attempting this week to prove that the future British Head of State’s comparison of Putin to Hitler, while surrounded by journalists on a royal tour, was said in a ‘private conversation’.

It is not just that his views show how out of touch he and his PR team are with the nation and the real world, but Charles’ flippant remarks draw unwelcome attention to his own and his family’s close connections to Nazis, and related war-mongering.

His father Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh was educated for a time in Nazi Germany and his four sisters married black-uniformed SS officers (three of them, Sophie, Cecile and Margarita, joining the Nazi party). Philip admitted to then having 'inhibitions about the Jews' to an American academic and feeling 'jealousy of their success.' Charles’ great uncle, the abdicated ex-King Edward VIII, was such a swastika-waver that MI6 had to banish him to Bermuda for the duration of World War Two, thwarting his and his Nazi wife Mrs Simpson’s attempts to join Hitler by crossing into occupied Europe. (More)

Harper adds weather forecasters to his government gag

Canadian weather forecasters forbidden from discussing climate change

By Stephen Luntz
IFL Science
Image: Detail of Arctic sea ice melting in Lancaster Sound, Nunavut, Canada. (photo: Louise Murray/Science Photo Library)30 May 2014Weather forecasters employed by the Canadian Meteorological Service have been banned from publicly discussing climate change. The decision has been justified on the basis that years of study of meteorology does not make a person qualified to discuss climatic events longer than a few months.

Since 2006, shortly after Stephen Harper's election as Prime Minister, the Canadian Government banned scientists from speaking to the media about their findings without getting political clearance. This has been conducted in conjunction with a process of shutting down research programs likely to turn up results not in keeping with the Conservative government's agenda. (More)


How cuddling may be the key to a better relationship

By Kendra Mangione
CTVNews.ca Writer

Image: Photo of couple cuddling as sun sets.29 May 2014 — A Canadian study has found that cuddling may be the way to achieve both a better sex life and a closer relationship.

Lead author Amy Muise focused on the period after engaging in sexual activity as an "important time for bonding and intimacy."
Muise found that people who reported a longer duration of post-sex affection reported higher relationship satisfaction. (More)

More than 21 thousand Paraguayans

have been treated by Cuban eye surgeons

19 May 2014 HAVANA (ACN) More than 21 thousand Paraguayan citizens improved or recovered their sight after undergoing surgery applied by Cuban specialists at the Cuban Eye-treatment center operating in Paraguay.

Center director Boris Carballo told local media in Asuncion about the free-of-charge eye treatment program underway in that nation, which has been welcomed by the Paraguayan people.

A group of 50 thousand Cuban health workers are currently offering their services in different countries of the world, while about one thousand Paraguayan youths have graduated from Cuban medical schools or are taking medicine courses on the island.


The Old Man's Last Sauna
by Carl Dow
'Life is scary, frustrating and sometimes funny. All of these themes are explored in Carl Dow’s collection of short stories, told with the pristine elegance that we haven’t seen since the likes of Stephen Leacock or even Pierre Berton.'
— Award-winning author Emily-Jane Hills Orford
Image: Link to BumblePuppy Press Amazon store

Click here for True North Humanist Perspective

The Santa Barbara mass shooting, Elliot Rodger

and Aggrieved White Male Entitlement Syndrome

When an entire social structure has been erected to reinforce the lie that white folks are "normal" and "Others" are "deviant," it can be very difficult to break out of denial.


Understanding what motivates the reenergized Russian Bear

and how the West is blindly plunging on to ultimate disaster

On the ‘Authoritarian' label: Putin and the fraud of American Exceptionalism


Boko Haram burst onto the world stage

by kidnapping 300 girls to sell as slaves

Boko Haram is Muslim and spreading terror in northern Nigeria
In southern Nigeria a secular gang is in league with the oil companies


TrueNorth Humanist Perspective


True North Perspective publishes in
the best traditions of Canadian journalism
If you think it's too radical, please read
Wisdom is a result of a happy marriage between intelligence and experience.
© Carl Dow, Editor and Publisher, True North Perspective.
True North Perspective
Vol. 9, No. 6 (348)
June 1 2014
Editor's Notes

The strange world of Canadian politics

Image: True North Perspective Editor and Publisher Carl Dow. Photo by the Phantom Phographer.For more than half-a-century in Canada it has been apparent that you can't judge a political party by it's name. For example, in what became decades you had in Ontario the Progressive Conservative Party, 1949 to 1961 under Leslie Frost, John Robarts, 1961 to 1971, ending with Bill Davis, 1971 to 1985, governing like Liberals.

Today you have Liberal Kathleen Wynne in an election campaign with a platform that should belong to the New Democrats. There is New Democrat Andrea Horwath running to the right of the Liberals and having (not so private, as it turns out) meetings with corporate czars telling them that if she is elected she will rein-in government employees. Then you have Tory Tim Hudak with his Made-in-America plan not to rein-in government employees but to kill 100,000 public sector jobs with the bizarre claim based on false analysis that out of the ashes he will create one million jobs.

It's a political scenario gone mad. (More)


New Democratic Party veteran lays it on the line to Ontario

leader Andrea Horwath in open letter in The Globe and Mail

Do progressives even have a place in the Ontario NDP?

This is an open letter from Gerald Caplan, who has worked with the New Democratic Party at the provincial and federal levels and writes a weekly online column for The Globe and Mail, to the current leader of the Ontario New Democratic Party, Andrea Horwath.

Wednesday 23 April 2014

Dear Andrea,

Image: Detail of photo of Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath, by EK Park in 2011.In last week’s column I pointed out the obvious dangers of Tim Hudak winning the provincial election on June 12 and asked: How do Ontario voters go about ensuring it doesn’t happen? Which of the other two parties do they vote for? Do they go for the party of the squishy centre or do they put their faith in the more progressive party? And how do they know which of the two is which.

It hurt me to write that final sentence. The NDP exists for a reason: to express certain principles and to represent certain voters. Today it is not easy to say what the Ontario party’s principles are or for whom it speaks.

I hope you’re not under the illusion here that I’m speaking only for myself, or even for other out-of-touch old-timers. Nothing could be further from the truth. Did you listen to the CBC phone-in show? Have you read the many puzzled analyses by commentators who have no axe to grind? Do you talk candidly with your own candidates? (More)


'Kathleen Wynne is best choice by far

as New Democrats, Hudak's PCs turn right, far right'

'Given her personal and political qualities, and the significant failings of her opponents, Kathleen Wynne is the best choice for premier'

By Haroon Siddiqui
The Toronto Star
Image: Photo of Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne.01 June 2014Destroy the village to save it. That was the American logic during the Vietnam War in burning My Lai and massacring 400 women and children.
Kill 100,000 jobs in the public sector to create 1 million new jobs. That’s Tim Hudak’s plan to save the Ontario economy.
It has been dismissed by respected economists as “bogus,” “an absolute disaster” and “utter nonsense.” They say that Hudak and the right-wing American economists who advised him have got their math all wrong. That gutting the public service by 10 per cent might take more money out of the system than his proposed 3.5 per cent corporate tax cuts would put in. That his tax cut would, at best, create 20,000 jobs, not 120,000 — assuming that his assumptions are correct, which they are not. (More)
Tony Blair is no hero to emulate. He went to bed with George W. Bush
Why has Andrea Horwath recast herself as a tax fighter, crime fighter and pension postponer? Is it NDP oppositionism, opportunism, or both?
By Martin Regg Cohn
The Toronto Star
31 May 2014 Andrea Horwath dropped by the Toronto Star on Friday to talk about her NDP election platform.
Why subject herself to a grilling, in the heat of a campaign, from a skeptical editorial board?
Politicians of all stripes visit newspapers in search of endorsements. While many assume the Toronto Star is twinned with the Liberal Party, there’s always hope for aspiring politicians.
Fun facts: The Star endorsed the late Jack Layton, then leader of the federal NDP, in the 2011 election (you know, that populist). It backed his predecessor, Ed Broadbent, in 1979 (ah yes, that pragmatist). And it sort of supported Horwath’s predecessor as provincial NDP leader, Howard Hampton, in 1999, calling him “our preferred choice.” It even backed Tory Bill Davis in 1981.
So why not Horwath? After all, her party has offered some fine progressive ideas over time. (More)
Alex Binkley is a foremost political and economic analyst, whose website is www.alexbinkley.com. Readers will be aware that his columns in True North Perspective have foreseen political and economic developments in Canada. This week in ...

The Binkley Report

By seriously shouldering the problem of bee deaths

the Senate could prove its worth as a useful chamber

By Alex Binkley
True North Perspective

Image: Cover of Humanity's Saving Grace, a novel by Alex Binkley. Click to purchase at Amazon.ca

01 June 2014 The latest stalemate in the quest to reform the Senate is Prime Minister Harper’s huffy assertion that the provinces should agree to changes in the Upper Chamber’s role, preferably the kind he wants.
That came after the Supreme Court of Canada told Harper he had to follow the constitution in fixing the Senate.
Meanwhile the Senate agriculture committee, which faithful readers have probably never heard a peep about in the media, have been showing just how the Senate can play a useful role.
Several months ago, the committee started hearings on the health of the bee population. In case you have missed the hullabaloo over bees, a quick recap.
During the planting of the 2012 corn and soybean crops in Ontario, a lot of bees died. The prime suspect is neonic pesticide that is coated on the corn and soybean seeds before planting to kills bugs in the soil that would eat the seed. The type of planting machines used for those crops generates dust from the coating as the seed is buried. Some bees, foraging for food in the early spring, ingest enough of the pesticide to be fatal. There’s still disagreement how widespread the die off was in 2012 but no one argues it wasn’t significant. (More)
From the Desk of Dennis Carr, Sustainable Development Editor

Kinder Morgan says oil spills can be good for the economy

While it is true that a massive oil spill in the Strait of Georgia likely would create a demand for "clean-up service providers," an oil company leading off their analysis of the socioeconomic effects of oil spills by pointing to all the jobs that would be created is as absurd as leading off an analysis of the effects of a recession by pointing out it will lead to a boom in demand for repossession service providers. (More)

27 B.C. climate experts rejected from

Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain Pipeline Hearings

Image: Detail of photo of workers with pipeline.

11 April 2014This week a group of climate experts published a letter detailing the climate impacts of the proposed tripling of the Trans Mountain pipeline which carries oilsands diluted bitumen and other fuels from Alberta to the Port of Vancouver.
The group represents 27 climate experts – a mix of economists, scientists and political and social scientists – from major British Columbian universities who were recently rejected from the pipeline hearing process because they proposed to discuss the project’s significance for global climate change. (More

By Geneviève Hone

Where There Is A Family

There's always advice from Granny Witch

How can parents best help their children learn from their

mistakes? Consider 'Time-Withs' instead of 'Time-Outs'

Hone, small image.

Image: Detail of drawing, Forgiven, by Julien Mercure.Dear Granny Witch,

I feel really bad just now, guilty, worried and confused. We’ve just sent our six year old boy in time-out for the rest of the day and we’ve informed him that he won’t get to play with his cousin tomorrow. You see, Granny Witch, we discovered that yesterday he stole his sister Michelle’s favorite doll and deliberately destroyed it. His excuse is that he needed to see what made the doll cry when you pressed her belly button. So he worked on removing her head and opening her chest, and of course he wrecked the thing. He knew he had done wrong because he hid the doll underneath other stuff in the recycling bin where we found it this afternoon.

Granny Witch, I feel guilty and confused because I don’t know if we have been too harsh on Damien (not his real name) or too soft. Every time my husband and I have to punish the kids, we do it blindly, so to speak. We’ve read a couple of parenting books, and the authors recommend being fair and persistent while punishing a child. But these authors don’t actually live with a doll-wrecker who has excuses for every bad behavior he engages in. The worst part is that I’m not even certain that Damien will learn his lesson. I feel we should have handled this differently, but I don’t know how. I’m afraid I’ve damaged the good connection I have had with Damien.

Granny Witch, what is the best method for punishing children? (More)


Bits and Bites of Everyday Life

In praise of Justin Trudeau and his firm pro-choice stand

By Alberte Villeneuve-Sinclair
True North Perspective

Alberte Villeneuve-Sinclair is the author of The Neglected Garden and two French novels. Visit her website to learn more www.albertevilleneuve.ca.

Image: Detail of photo of Alberte Villeuneuve-Sinclair

Image: Detail of Photo of Justin Trudeau with family01 June 2014 Here we are, slowly heading for the summer of 2014 … or at least I hope we are because you really can’t tell with the constant variations in weather. But weather is what it is and it eventually settles to what it should be. I can cope with that!

What really bothers me is unresolved issues that drag on and on and never seem to get settled once and for all. Take a woman’s right to choose abortion if need be! I wrote an article in April of 2010 called “Blame it on the Easter Bunny” about that very right. At that time, Pierre Lemieux, our Conservative MP in Prescott-Russell, had asked his constituents to write to the Governor General and ask her to repeal Henry Morgentaler’s Order of Canada award. And that wasn’t all! He went around visiting the local churches on Sundays and asking parishioners to sign a petition against abortion.

Below, I will offer the article once more so you can see how little has changed since 2010. (More)


Prayer is the first step in acting for a better world

By The Rev. Dr. Hanns F. Skoutajan
True North Perspective

Image: Detail of photo of Karl Barth, photographed by Hans Lachmann in 1956, via Wikipedia.. “To clasp one’s hands in prayer is the beginning of an uprising against the disorders of the world.” So wrote the late Karl Barth, the eminent Swiss Reformed theologian. Time magazine placed his picture on the cover of their weekly news magazine on April 20, 1962 and referred to him as the most important theologian of the 20th century.

Barth was born in Switzerland in 1886 and died there in 1968. He taught theology in several German universities including Muenster where I did postgraduate studies, albeit long after his time. His magnum opus: Church Dogmatics (13 large volumes) was required reading for any theological student in Germany.

But Barth was no mere academic he was also deeply involved in the political situation of his time. He is said to have insisted that the preacher mount the pulpit with the Bible in one hand and the newspaper in the other. He is well known to have called upon prewar German Christians to give allegiance to God rather than the state, which of course annoyed Hitler and his followers and made him a marked man. He was deeply involved in the formation of the Confessing Church along with Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a movement that stood against the fascist ideology of the time. (More)

Frances is hot on the Ontario elections trail
doing her best to stop Hudak and the Tories
By Frances Sedgwick
True North Perspective
Frances Sedgwick's keen eye and ear for the human condition reveals the heart and soul of Parkdale in southwest Toronto, one of the country's most turbulent urban areas where the best traditions of human kindness prevail against powerful forces that would grind them down. True North Perspective proudly presents a column by writer Frances Sedgwick. Her critical observation combined with a tender sense of humour will provide you with something to think about ... and something to talk about.

ParkTales Image, small

Already armed by previous knowledge and experience, canvassing in the current provincial elections campaign has reinforced my understanding of the dire lack of affordable housing in Toronto.
To quote from a 26 May article in The Toronto Star, "Canada is a signatory to the United Nations International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, which recognizes the right to adequate housing and commits the government to address homelessness and inadequate housing."
But government here has the audacity to claim that "housing is not a right".
And yet none of the major parties in this provincial election are addressing this issue in a serious way.
There is an urgent need for affordable housing and immediate relief for tenants who are being charged outrageous rents by greedy landlords. There are no meaningful laws to stop unscrupulous landlords from gouging tenants. (More)

Homeless plead for day in court in landmark Charter case

Canada’s homeless deserve their day in court, human rights lawyers argue before Ontario Court of Appeal in landmark homeless Charter case.

By Laurie Monsebraaten
Social justice reporter
The Toronto Star

Image: Detail of photo of Leilani Fatha.26 May 2014 — Janice Arsenault believes the lack of federal and provincial affordable housing policies led to her becoming homeless, drug addicted and no longer able to care for her two sons after her husband died suddenly a decade ago.

“Had I had access to adequate affordable housing after Mark died, I would have been able to look after my sons,” Arsenault says in her affidavit in a landmark Charter case launched in 2010.

“I wouldn’t have slipped so far that I started using drugs to numb my extreme grief and anxiety as my life fell apart around me,” she says. “Nor would my sons have suffered the trauma of being homeless and losing their mother.”

But after four years of legal wrangling, Arsenault and three other precariously housed Torontonians are still fighting for their day in court. (More)


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From the Desk of Darren Jerome

A continuing update on the war against WikiLeaks transparency

Please be advised that the below is not just the same old thing. By clicking on it you'll find the petition in support of Julian Assange and discover fascinating on-going reports and videos related to one of the most important events in modern history, and the desperate attempts to put a lid on information that everyone should know. Don't miss this special opportunity to stay informed.

There can be no life without laughter

Bush/Blair sex tape to be leaked

Image: Photo of Georrge W. Bush making eyes at Tony Blair.An agreement has been made between a Government inquiry, Cabinet Secretary Sir Jeremy Heywood and Electric Blue (the soft core porn show), to release the infamous footage of the British electorate ‘getting shafted’.

While elements of the transcript will be withheld, the ‘chilling’ Chilcot Tape contains graphic footage of democratic accountability ‘taking it every which they can’ by George ‘You know what the W stands for’ Bush, Tony ‘Lovelace’ Blair and a soiled copy of the US constitution.

Read the full story now at NewsBiscuit.com.


By Mark Kearney and Randy Ray

Mark Kearney of London, Ont. and Randy Ray of Ottawa are the authors of nine books about Canada, with best-seller sales of more than 50,000. Their Web site is: www.triviaguys.com

Big Book of Canadian Trivia cover


1. If your school is fortunate enough to host a visit by the Queen, how should you address her?

a) Your Majesty
b) Your Royal Highness
c) Ma'am
d) any of the above
2. Approximately how many parts are found in the average automobile?

9,500 b) 29,000 c) 14,000
3. The trillium is Ontario's official flower; what is the province's official bird?


Randy Ray, publicist / speaker agent / author
www.randyray.ca  www.triviaguys.com

 (613) 425-3873 - (613) 816-3873 (c)

O Canada! Getting to know you!

This is one of a series on the heartbeat of Canada

Lives Lived

Rosemary Gosselin’s Eulogy of Poet Michael Heenan

17 May 2014 - Poet’s Hill, Beechwood Cemetery, Ottawa

Image: Detail of photo of Mike Heenan, by David Mahoney

The night before Michael died, I had a dream. The dream was set in MacLaren’s Landing, and featured a healer called Dr. Grace.
This whole journey of discovering my brother since his death has been, for me, laced with grace. 
Deep thanks to Evelyn, who has known our family since we were in grade 5 together, walking my little brother to kindergarten at Osgoode Street School.
Evelyn called me in April and read Kelly Egan’s article about Mike over the phone, holding my hand as she walked me through the story of my brother — “Lost and Found”.
My thanks to Kelly Egan and the Ottawa Citizen for opening the door to connecting with Kevin Dooley; thanks for the gentle music, too, Kevin and friends…. Kevin has helped me to know Michael in the later part of his life and done so much to make today possible and beautiful. It warms my heart to know Michael drew such special people around him.
Is this not a gorgeous place for a poet to be laid to rest? (More)
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-- PBS journalist Bill Moyers.
Your support makes it possible for True North to clear the fog of "publicity" and keep you informed on what's really happening in the world today. Please send your donation to:
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A Canadian Marxist crank or just plain common sense

America’s Middle-Class Defeat:

How Canada shamed the wealthiest nation on earth

Want to understand what's causing the decay of the American dream? Take some lessons from our Canadian friends to the north.

By Edward McClelland

Image: Canadian flag flies over water overlooking city. (Hannamariah/Shutterstock.com)31 May 2014A few summers ago, I spent six weeks in Canada, as part of a 10,000-mile Great Lakes Circle tour. From Pigeon River on Lake Superior to Kingston on Lake Ontario, I drove and camped my way across Ontario. On Manitoulin Island, I went on a fishing charter captained by a retired nickel miner named Tom Power. The Nickel Belt is a stronghold of Canada’s most socialistic party, the New Democrats. When the conversation turned to politics (as it often did with Canadians during the George W. Bush years), Tom made a statement that would have tabbed him as a Marxist crank on the other side of the lakes.

“I don’t understand why anyone has to earn more than $200,000 a year,” he said. “I mean, honestly, what are you going to do with all that money?” (More)

Media Watch 

20 horrifyingly sexist headlines about female celebs

(and the shocking results of taking out the sexism)


Here’s what headlines would look like if women weren’t treated like objects

By Alyssa Figueroa
Associate Editor AlterNet.org
Image: Photo of Amy Adams, with 2 different captions.7 May 2014 — A celebrity goes grocery shopping — not exactly the red carpet at the Oscars. But what happens if it’s a she not a he?
The mainstream press loves to hurriedly assess her exterior: What's with that outfit? Is her hair just-rolled-out-of-bed sexy or hobo-chic? Doesn't that Golden Delicious apple clash embarrassingly with her beige eye shadow?

That’s why the editors at Vagenda, a UK-based online magazine confronting sexism in the media, thought it would be a good idea to challenge its Twitter followers to “take a snarky headline and turn it around.” They received a huge response.

“We expected our usual followers to get involved, but we were pleasantly surprised by the quite literally thousands of other people who also jumped on board,” said Holly Baxter, an editor at Vagenda. “Some of them came up with some truly brilliant, deadpan alternatives to the sensationalized headlines we keep seeing and passively digesting in everyday media.” (More)

Media Foreign-Agents Bill brought to Russian parliament

The Moscow Times
A division of the New York Times
Image: Photo of a woman perusing magazines at a newsstand.30 May 2014 MOSCOW — A bill registered with the Russian State Duma aims to force media outlets with funding from abroad to register as foreign agents.

The proposed law follows similar legislation aimed at non-government organizations enacted in 2012. That law has been widely condemned by human rights organizations, with Amnesty International describing it as "the Russian government's assault on independent civil society."

A bill widening the "foreign agent" net to include any news outlet that receives more than 25 percent of its funding from abroad and engages in political activities was registered in the Duma on Thursday by a group of lawmakers that includes the Liberal Democrat Mikhail Degtaryov and United Russia's Yevgeny Fyodorov. (More)


Sunday Times's World Cup scoop

about Qatar sets the news agenda

By Roy Greenslade

Image: Qatar skyline with World Cup statue?

02 June 2014 — I cannot remember the Sunday Times publishing 11 straight pages on one story before. Its scoop that secret payments helped Qatar to win the 2022 World Cup bid was an agenda-setting revelation.
It was the lead to TV and radio bulletins throughout yesterday and is followed up by every daily paper today.

The phrase in its splash, "a bombshell cache of millions of documents", was surely justified, as was clear from the details it was able to catalogue.

And it promises more in the coming weeks. (More)

Science — From the Desk of Bob Kay, Contributing Editor

Israeli team designs prosthetic fin to save turtle

Inspired by design of US warplane, team of Israelis design prosthetic fin for badly injured sea turtle, enabling him to move freely once again.

Image: Yaniv Levy, director of Israel's Sea Turtle Rescue Center, back, and Shlomi Gez, an industrial design student, take photos of 'Hofesh' (Photo: AP)

17 June 2014 (Associated Press) — A badly injured sea turtle's prospects are looking up – thanks to a new prosthetic fin designed by an Israeli team and modeled after the wings of a US fighter jet.
The green sea turtle, named "Hofesh," the Hebrew word for "freedom," was caught in a fishing net off Israel's Mediterranean coast in early 2009.
With his two left flippers badly wounded, rescuers had to amputate, leaving him with a pair of stumps that made it difficult to swim. (More)

Health Watch

5 myths about gluten that keep circulating

There's a lot of misinformation out there about gluten.


Image: Photo of bread on shelf labelled 'Gluten Free'.10 May 2014It feels like everybody’s going gluten-free these days, but the fad diet has also spread quite a bit of misinformation about the g-word.

Some people -– even those who claim to follow gluten-free diets -– don’t even know what gluten is. And if you’re one of them, that’s OK. We won’t tell anyone your secret.

We’ll even help you out: Gluten is a word used to describe the proteins found in wheat, rye and barley. You’re welcome!

Here are a few myths that have been circulating lately. (More)


Why we kiss

Evidence suggests that the first romantic kiss serves as a way to assess the long-term potential of a mate

By Jennifer Verdolin, Ph.D.
Image: Photo of couple about to kiss, by Aliaksei Smalenski.21 May 2014Whether given as a greeting, a sign of affection, or tentatively in those first stirrings of attraction, kissing is universal. In many cultures, kisses on the cheek are a common form of saying hello or goodbye. Despite my European upbringing, I have always been a little wary of kissing strangers, even if it's just blowing air or a light peck. There is that uncomfortable moment where you may not be so keen to engage in the ritual and you risk offending a newly made acquaintance. Yes, I am speaking from experience. Maybe for me, kissing, whatever form it takes, is more personal and intimate. A gesture reserved for ‘special’ occasions.
Given that some kind of lip-smacking isn’t just for us it begs the question, why do so many animals kiss? When it comes to greeting one another, be it through a kiss or a sniff, many species exchange a wealth of information about who they are, how healthy they are, what their hormone levels are, where they have been, and what they have eaten. Such is the power of even the simplest of kisses. Take prairie dogs, for example. Prairie dogs are known for their “greet-kiss” and it goes a little like this: two prairie dogs approach, they lock teeth, swap some saliva, and then inevitably, one of two things happens. They fight or they go about their business. When they fight, is this because one of them was a poor kisser? Not likely. It's because those individuals don’t belong to the same social group. (More)