News Roundup: May 1

Good Morning, today is Monday, May 1 and here are the stories that interest me.

Programming Note: As I start a new job next week, I may be shifting the time of this post to the evening. (think of it like the evening news). It takes a bit for me to compile the right stories, and I want to do it justice. Your thoughts are appreciated.

Wikipedia has been block in Turkey, under the cover of a law that bans websites that are obscene or poses a threat to national security. The move came this weekend as almost 4,000 government workers were fired in the latest round of purges to consolidate power for Turkey’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan after a failed coup attempt last year.

Commentary: The issue with this situation is that Turkey is vying for attention from several regional powers and the US. Russia, the EU, and the US want Turkey on its side, and Erdoğan wants to stay in power. Russia (and now the US) will turn a blind eye to his power grab, while the EU is the odd person out. The US needs Turkey’s airbases, and it seems like the current Administration is approving of his actions, and Russia needs access to the Mediterranean Sea, so they will not stand in Erdoğan’s way. Unfortunately, we are seeing the final stages of authoritarian takeover of Turkey.

Teresa May and the Conservatives are maintaining a 11-13 point lead in the latest polls ahead of the June 8 election. While down from last week’s shock 25 point lead, the Conservatives still maintain a commanding lead over Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour party and the smaller opposition parties within the UK. Prime Minister May has called for the snap election to maintain the mandate for Brexit negotiations.

Commentary: It is very hard to see Corbyn being able to manage a win in this situation, from his own party establishment fighting him, it is going to be a hard slog. I did think that last weeks 25 point lead as a little much, but as the election draws closer, I expect a further tightening. I suspect however that Conservatives are going to rue this election in the future, the crud of the party is starting to show, and while they can ride the nationalist wave a bit, at some point, they are going to have to stop blaming immigrants, and start solving the problems that were there long before immigration became an issue.

The Ringleader in a Maple Syrup Heist has been sentenced to at least 8 years in Prison and a 9.4 Million dollar fine in Canada.  The man, Richard Vallières, was sentenced in court with the proviso that if he could not pay the fine, he would serve an extra 6 years. The heist happened in 2012 when Vallières and several others, stole 3,000 tones of syrup from the Quebec Maple Producers, the regulatory group that manages the supply and trade of maple syrup. An inspection lead to the discovery of an empty barrel of syrup, which lead to the wider discovery. Identified as the ringleader, Vallières has proclaimed his innocence, and he is fighting through appeal.

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