At Home: Disputes continue over Canada’s claim in the north
Geologists from Canada, Russia, and Denmark are surveying the land underneath the Arctic Ocean to determine which sections of the underwater area can be claimed by which country.
Canada is hoping to secure thousands of square kilometres of this seabed, not only to finally establish the sovereignty lines of the Arctic, but to gain rights to any oil reserves that might be located there.
Any Canadian claims to the waters will be potentially disputed by Russia and Denmark, which is why careful geological studies must be conducted by each nation to best determine where each landmass logically attaches either to Canada, Denmark, or Russia.
Russia began rigorous surveillance of the area last summer in the hopes of claiming ?extended continental shelf off Siberia’s northern coast.?
The so-called race for Arctic sovereignty has sped up over the last year or so because of global warming; increased heat in the area has caused glacial melting that has uncovered more and more of the seabed prime for oil recovery.
Under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, countries vying for further oceanic sovereignty have 10 years after ratifying the Convention to file their submissions. Canada ratified the Convention in 2003, and the deadline for completing seabed geological surveillance and submitting a claim is 2013.
The Convention will look closely at the proposals of all competing countries and hopefully come up with a concrete decision that will please all nations concerned so that, finally, Arctic sovereignty is determined.
In Foreign News: Drinking banned on London’s Tube trains
The United Kingdom has enjoyed lax laws where alcohol is concerned; public drinking is acceptable anywhere except where signs are posted (children’s playgrounds, for example), and you can buy and consume alcoholic drinks on the train, on the London Underground subway system, or a bus whenever you’d like.
With recent legislation allowing for 24-hour bars, the UK seemed to be completely relaxing its alcohol laws in favour of the idea that if people are given their alcoholic freedom they will eventually learn not to abuse it.
As of June 1, however, the new London mayor, Boris Johnson, enforced a new rule that alcohol could not be consumed on any London transport systems; this includes buses, trams, trains, and the London Underground.
Starting around 8:00 p.m. local time on May 31, the new law inspired thousands of Londoners, and nearby neighbours from cities like Southampton or even Scotland, to jump on the Tube for the ?Last Round on the Underground.?
The rebellion turned into an all-night party as people flocked onto the Tube carriages dressed up for a classy last night of boozing on the subway or wearing party hats.
People crammed into carriages became more and more boisterous as the hours went on, and eventually a few police officers were sent in to try to break up the fun. Fortunately for the drunken subway travellers, however, only a small number of people were forcibly removed from the subway cars.
One anonymous man taking part in the impromptu festivities summed the event up succinctly: ?There’s a lot of problems with London and drinking on the Tube is not one of them. It’s a minor point. It is typical Tory middle class policy. So we are here to say ?there’s nothing wrong with having a beer.??