At Home: Harper and Obama to meet, possibly disagree over NAFTA
Although spokespeople for the Obama administration cannot give details on the agenda or specify a date, they have announced that once Barrack Obama becomes president of the United States on January 20, his first international trip will be to Canada. The current president-elect has either not cemented his own reasons for the Canadian visit, or has decided that it is in the best interests of his administration to withhold the information until after his inauguration.
According to Yahoo News, one of the major issues that will likely be on Obama’s Canadian agenda is NAFTA. Prime Minister Stephen Harper has confirmed this likelihood, but also states that ?I don’t think his administration will question NAFTA in any fundamental way.? Harper himself has few reservations concerning the 14-year-old trade agreement that encompasses Canada, the United States, and Mexico, and admits that in his own mind, it would be best to leave most NAFTA rules in place.
In fact, Harper went so far as to cite the Depression in his steadfast support of NAFTA: ?One of the great dangers in a global recession is that people start erecting trade walls or tariff walls. That is one of the things that turned the stock market crash of 1929 into a depression.?
Obama’s Democratic administration can easily be said to have more liberal views on trade and foreign affairs than Harper’s Conservatives. However, citizens of North America will have to wait a little longer before learning the true nature of Obama’s intentions concerning the agreement. On our own piece of the continent, Canadians will just have to guess how the Prime Minister will react to what could well be a radical new US establishment.
In Foreign News: Fed up with religious propaganda, European atheists start to advertise
Comedienne Ariane Sherine has started a campaign via London’s ubiquitous red buses to combat what she feels is a depressive battering of tourists and Britons from religious propaganda. The campaign began after Sherine spotted several buses sporting an Internet address for people to go to who were worried about spending eternity in ?torment in hell.? The Christian advertisements were directed at believers whose indifference toward God was, in religious terms, destined to send them to hell to pay for their sins.
Sherine was supported by the British Humanist Association (BHA) as she gathered donations from people throughout London to place her own ads on the buses, ads that were meant to reassure and inspire viewers to think more positively about their time on earth.
Several heavyweight atheist organizations and individuals have been attracted to the campaign, which saw the phrase ?There’s probably no God. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life? gracing buses throughout London. The appearance delighted many Britons and tourists, and Sherine hopes that, believer or non-believer, people will take this message as intended: lighthearted and comforting.
The phrase is soon to be put to use in Spain as well. According to Spanish transport authorities, atheist groups in Barcelona will be following Sherine’s example and pasting their own denial of God on two buses driving major routes through the city.
Arguably a more devout nation than Britain in terms of Christianity, Spain has made a smaller start to the campaign but still managed to show its support and even its comedic qualities by jumping onboard. Still to come on the red London buses are BHA-supported quotations from leading historic individuals that lend themselves to the no-God theory.