Most people can be found walking around this beautiful city, touring the historic city center, the river Neva, and the numerous small canals on foot even after midnight. This is the perfect time to travel to Russia, as you literally have more hours in the day to fit in sightseeing, tours and enjoy the many restaurants late into the night.
What if all this show of Putin's disappearance was anything but botched? What if this mess was exactly what he wanted it to be, a useful distraction from a series of other issues he would rather we not pay as much attention to, like the mysterious murder of his primary opposition critic just outside the Kremlin walls? In other words, careful what you wish for people. In the final analysis, we may still be witnessing the end of Vladimir Putin. Alternatively, it may simply be Putin's wag the dog communications strategy.
The North Pole is a single point on the Arctic map that falls in an area claimed by three countries. Directly beneath this spot, below the polar ice, is the Lomonosov Ridge, now at the centre of a land dispute. Canada, Denmark and Russia are jockeying for exclusive jurisdiction of the submerged mountain range. If the pole went to the country that can best govern it, the winner is Denmark. In second place, Canada would not be bad, especially relative to Russia. But between the two, as one expert told the CBC, "there's absolutely no doubt that the North Pole is most definitely closer to Greenland than it is to Canada." Still, here are some alternative factors to consider:
Have you ever heard of Leon Theremin? If you don't know him but you like electronic music or have ever used a toll road transponder, or even if you've noticed the square tag on the side of a peanut butter jar at the grocery store, you have Leon Theremin to thank. The early 20th century Russian-born inventor developed technologies that have and will continue to change our world.
The Department of National Defence is currently being hounded by Treasury Board, which had designed a system that makes it impossible for DND to manage its budget. As a result, the military keeps falling behind in equipment purchases and capacity keeps declining. The government could put an end to this stalemate if it wished to, but instead seems delighted that it is pocketing the unspent money to meet its deficit-fighting promises. Canadians already have a small military and it just keeps shrinking.
The facts are that Putin is not erratic or crazy, but is rational and predictable. He knows the West is divided and he is executing his plan like the KGB officer that he is. He wants total control over Europe's gas markets, and accompanying influence, and has done, and will do, whatever it takes to achieve this.
The Harper government has mastered the art of selective morality. When it is convenient, Mr. Harper takes cover behind international law to attack those he disagrees with on ideological or religious grounds. And those with whom he has an ideological or religious connection, his government wilfully ignores their indiscretions. This selective application of morality is at odds with the principles of social justice, which all Canadians hold dear.