Even Commies can get it right occasionally. The Chinese government has officially banned effeminate men (“sissy men” or “girlie guns”) from television, ordering broadcasters to provide traditional masculine role models. A side-by-side comparison of Russian and U.S. army recruitment ads that hit the Internet in May brought peals of laughter or howls of protest. The Russian ad showed tough-looking Slavic dudes with shaved heads resolutely doing sit-ups, loading guns and jumping out of airplanes. The dialogue includes phrases like: “Your new life,” “Find the limits of your potential,” “To hell with limits” and “There is no victory without battle.” — slogans which would have appealed to the Greatest Generation. The U.S. Army ad (which must have Sgt. York gyrating in his grave) should be called “Private Benjamin Has Two Mommies.” In it, Cpl. Emma Malonelord, describes how she was born in California (where else?) and “raised by two moms.” As if that wasn’t PC enough, “I also marched for equality” — the perfect credentials for Biden’s New Woke Army. The recruitment ad for the Chinese army makes its Russian counterpart look like a PSA for the American Friends Service Committee.
Climate zeal decides an election in Norway. The main thing you need to know about the results of last week’s Norwegian elections is that the international media and political elites were absolutely thrilled — just like when Joe Biden won. “America is back!” they cheered in the world’s corridors of power last November. Similar sentiments greeted the news that Norway’s left-wing parties had secured a majority of parliamentary seats, ousting the conservatives. In a time when China and Russia are saber-rattling, when the COVID lockdown has decimated economies, and when the dire process of Islamization continues in Europe, the top issue in the Norwegian election was — what else? — climate change. No surprise. The nation’s state-run media corporation […] has been pushing the existential-threat, time-is-running-out line for years. This time around, deluged with Greta Thunberg-style campaign rhetoric, a significant number of voters listened. Why? Partly because many Norwegians are highly susceptible to save-the-world pitches: this is, after all, the “peace nation,” which derives much of its sense of identity from brokering accords and being a founding member of the UN.
It’s naturally part of every human space exploration but remains taboo. Here’s what we do and don’t know about cosmic sex. German astronaut Matthias Maurer breezes through interviews, rarely missing a beat when he answers journalists’ questions around his upcoming six-month trip to the International Space Station (ISS). But one topic throws even Maurer off momentarily: sex drive in space. “We haven’t talked about this, because it’s a professional environment,” he replied to DW’s question on whether astronauts exchange insights on how to handle their desires. Thanks to commercial space flights, more people are entering the cosmos than ever before. Just this past week, SpaceX launched four tourists through the Earth’s orbit. Ten years from now, the first crew of astronauts will likely set off on a mission to Mars that could last multiple years. Sexuality is intrinsic to human nature and inevitably factors into space missions. But while space science is progressing, our understanding of sex in space is still basic. NASA, the US’s National Aeronautics and Space Administration, insists that no humans have had sex in space, and American astronauts famously avoid the topic.
Consumers should throw away their Chinese phones and avoid buying new ones, Lithuania’s Defence Ministry has warned. A report by its National Cyber Security Centre tested 5G mobiles from Chinese manufacturers. Researchers identified that one Xiaomi phone had built-in censorship tools while another Huawei model could be vulnerable to cyber-attacks. Huawei said no user data is sent externally. “Our recommendation is to not buy new Chinese phones, and to get rid of those already purchased as fast as reasonably possible,” said Defence Deputy Minister Margiris Abukevicius. Xiaomi’s flagship Mi 10T 5G phone was found to have software that could detect and censor terms including “Free Tibet”, “Long live Taiwan independence” or “democracy movement”, the report said. It highlighted more than 449 terms that could be censored by the Xiaomi phone’s system apps, including the default internet browser. In Europe, this capability had been switched off on these models, but the report argued it could be remotely activated at any time.
If incumbent Prime Minister Justin Trudeau wants to get anything done with the new mandate Canadians handed him during Monday’s election, he’ll need to find a dancing partner among the opposition parties. That’s because, while Trudeau has a plurality of seats, he doesn’t have enough Liberal votes in the House of Commons to pass legislation without securing the support of a handful of opposition members. That’s the exact same position Trudeau’s Liberals faced when he called the election back in August. “We’re right back where we started,” said Nelson Wiseman, professor emeritus in political science at the University of Toronto. “We got the same results, although it was a draw on the federal treasury — $610 million, and (it) meant a lot of us had to wait in line to vote.” Before Parliament was dissolved, parties took turns playing kingmaker as various issues emerged. Often, it was the NDP that kept Canadians from heading to the polls when issues of confidence hit the floor of the House of Commons. The progressive party also teamed up with Trudeau to pass beefed up legislation on matters like pandemic benefits.
Canada will begin allowing direct flights from India early next week while requiring additional COVID-19 measures for those travellers, the federal government said Tuesday. Transport Canada said the ban on all private and commercial passenger flights from the country, which was set to expire Tuesday, will be extended until 11:59 p.m. ET on Sept. 26. After that, travellers eligible to enter Canada will need to have proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken within 18 hours of departure from India. Travellers will also have to upload their vaccination information to the ArriveCAN app prior to boarding. The agency said in a statement it will be testing the new system on Wednesday by allowing three flights from India to arrive in Canada “to ensure the new measures are working.” Anyone coming to Canada from India via an indirect route will still need to obtain a negative COVID-19 test from a third country other than India within 72 hours of departure before continuing on to Canada. The ban on flights from India was first put in place on April 22 due to the spread of the COVID-19 Delta variant in the country.