1 COLORADO REELS The suspect in Colorado’s movie shootings heads to court today. Shooting suspect James Holmes shot 70 people at a midnight screening of The Dark Night Rises, 12 have died and 11 remain in critical condition. The suspect carried a shotgun, an assault rifle, and a glock. He was dressed in tactical gear and was reported telling the police he was “the Joker”. Holmes was a PhD student in a prestigious neurological program and many see this as an indication of American shortcomings in dealing with the mentally ill.
2 BANDAID On Friday 75 Saskatchewan arts, culture, youth and official-language programs received part of a $4,573,132 federal grant in response to funding applications. The Mackenzie Art gallery was a big beneficiary, receiving $256.000 for upcoming exhibits.
3 ONLY CUTE BECAUSE I WASN’T THERE A one year-old female bear cub was tranquilized and removed from a Pennsylvania mall on Saturday night. No one was hurt, but authorities acknowledged it was unusual to find bears in that area.
4 SYRIAN UNCERTAINTY The fighting continues in Syria, though the clash has been contained by government forces in central Damascus. Russia is holding firm in support of Assad’s regime, and the EU has agreed to impose sanctions. Assad has declined the promise of safe passage by the Arab League countries if he steps down. An interesting power politics take on the situation in the Globe by former Canadian ambassador Michael Bell is a worthwhile read.
5 IRAQ FLARE-UP At least 97 are dead this morning after insurgents launched attacks across the country. It is believed Iraqi Al Qaeda leader Abu Bakir Al Baghdadi warned of these attacks yesterday, calling it part of the new Breaking Down Walls offensive. It has been difficult to conclusively identify his voice, Baghdadi’s broadcast is quoted in Al Jazeera suggesting: “”The first priority in this is releasing Muslim prisoners everywhere, and chasing and eliminating judges and investigators and their guards.”
6 YEAH, ENOUGH OF THAT Sometimes, when I get down, I go to this mostly ridiculous and surprisingly effective site: http://www.happynews.com/. Don’t judge. This weekend was a rough one (see above). You might be in need as well. First Nations’ communities in Connecticut celebrate a rare white bison! Belgian scientists find a way to detect superparasites! See??