Our World This Week: November 14th – November 20th 2014

Our World This Week: November 14th – November 20th 2014 This week, in the United States, the Senate Democrats defeated a bill that would have approved the construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline. This was a narrow vote with the legislation being halted by only a single vote. The vote represented a victory or some and a travesty for others. Regardless of what side you are on, the decision certainly attracted attention and debate in Canada and the United States. Read more about the US Senate decision here.  Also this week, the Philae lander, built by the European Space Agency, detected organic molecules on the surface of its comet. These carbon-containing organics are the basis for life on Earth and may give scientists clues to our planet’s early history. Read more about the Philae lander’s organics detection here. Our World This Weeks brings you this week’s list of trending food for thought from both a Canadian and international perspective: Canada: Alberta's Wildrose party backtracks on equal rights statement – by Dean Bennett Party members voted against a proposed amendment to Wildrose’s human rights policy. By doing so, the party backtracked on a definitive statement it made a year ago to protect equal rights for all. The proposed amendment would have said a Wildrose government would defend the rights of all people “regardless of race, religious belief, colour, gender, physical disability, mental disability, age, ancestry, place of origin, marital status, source of income, family status or sexual orientation of that person or class of persons.” Quebec-Ontario power-sharing shows energy synergy – by Martin Regg Cohn Quebec and Ontario are set to sign a historical electrical power-sharing agreement. The goal of this agreement is to backstop each province’s base load electricity during peak periods. This would go beyond the traditional stop-gap approach of buying and selling power on short-term deals at peak periods. This new approach will lead to ongoing power swaps between the provinces without any money changing hands given Quebec’s peak load is in winter whereas Ontario’s is in summer. World: Inside Islamic State’s oil empire: how captured oilfields fuel Isis insurgency –by Fazel Hawramy in Irbil, Shalaw Mohammed in Kirkuk, and Luke Harding ISIS controls around half a dozen oil-producing oilfields in Iraq. Having consolidated its grip on oil supplies in Iraq, ISIS is now running a sophisticated oil smuggling empire that ships illegal exports going to Turkey, Jordan and Iran. ISIS is earning millions of dollars a week from its Iraqi oil operations. New anti-gay bill drawn up in Uganda – by Aljazeera Ugandan politicians are hoping to present a new anti-gay legislation to the Ugandan parliament by the end of the year. Homosexuality is already illegal in Uganda, and the penal code prescribes jail sentences for those found guilty of homosexual acts. The new draft bill will focus on outlawing the "promotion" of homosexuality. Thought Provoking Read: The Top 5 Foreign Policy Lessons of the Past 20 Years – by Stephen M. Walt “From Russia to China to the United States, from hubris to ultimatums to power plays, the good, the bad, and the ugly of (recent) world politics,” Walt argues that today’s world is filled with conflicting signals. Walt explores what policy maker have learnt over the past twenty years as a result of wrestling with these conflicting signals. Photo of the Week:   Lake effect snow moves through the south of Buffalo, N.Y. lake effect snow storm A ferocious lake-effect storm left the Buffalo area buried under nearly two metres of snow on Wednesday. Many people got trapped on highways or in their homes. Another storm expected to hit the area: sixty and ninety centimetres of snow is forecasted. The storm has been blamed for at least six deaths (Photo: Derek Gee/The Buffalo News/AP photo via National Post).

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