Canada changed in 2015, and Marshall McLuhan’s global village did too : Part II .. Merkel, refugees, Athens, refugees

Dec 24th, 2015 | By | Category: In Brief

Gate 4 entrance to the Global Village exhibition in Dubai, November 6, 2014–April 11, 2015.

This is the second part of our four-part year-end review for what a counterweights editors general meeting has  decided will be our second last year of publication.

For more general background see “Canada changed in 2015, and Marshall McLuhan’s global village did too : Part I .. Paris, Alabama, Baltimore, Havana.”

As noted in Part I, we’re covering Associated Press top international news images up front on our home page. For the more domestic news from our own articles readers can click on “Read the rest of this page” and/or scroll below.

To anticipate an ultimate conclusion (again), all of us here agree that 2015 has been some kind of seminal year. And Part II for Marshall McLuhan’s global village begins immediately below :

(5) Angela Merkel Person of the Year 2015 ?? This past Wednesday, December 9 the Associated Press reported that “German Chancellor Angela Merkel has been named Time’s Person of the Year, praised Wednesday by the magazine for her leadership on everything from Syrian refugees to the Greek debt crisis.”

As noted in Part I, our own counterweights choice for this honour in 2015 is US President Barack Obama. And our fifth AP photo (and accompanying caption) for the seminal year 2015 shows how “German Chancellor Angela Merkel speaks with US President Barack Obama at Schloss Elmau hotel near Garmisch-Partenkirchen, southern Germany, Monday June 8, during the G7 summit …  (AP Photo / Michaek Kappeler).”

(6) Syrian refugees in Turkey … In Canada we have our own good reasons for remembering 2015 as a year when the plights of various refugees from the troubled Middle East and North Africa and especially war-torn Syria became a growing international issue.

Our sixth AP photo (and accompanying caption) for the seminal year 2015 shows how “Syrian refugees walk into Turkey after breaking the border fence and crossing from Syria in Akcakale, Sanliurfa province, southeastern Turkey, Sunday, June 14, 2015. The mass displacement of Syrians across the border into Turkey comes as Kurdish fighters and Islamic extremists clashed in nearby city of Tal Abyad …  (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis).”

(7) Troubled pensioners at a bank in Athens … “Greece’s debt crisis began in 2010,” according to a recent update in the New York Times (“Greece’s Debit Crisis Explained”). But “Greece faced a particularly heavy debt-repayment burden during the summer” of 2015. Greek Lawmakers finally cleared the way for “its third bailout in five years” a few days before the Canadian federal election in October. Many Greek voters faced and still face hard times.

Our seventh photo and caption shows how :  “Pensioners try to get a number to enter inside a bank in Athens, Wednesday, July 1, 2015. About 1,000 bank branches around the country were ordered by the government to reopen to help desperate pensioners without ATM cards cash up to 120 euros ($134) from their retirement checks. (AP Photo/Daniel Ochoa de Olza.)”

(8) Syrian and other refugees in Greece …  Western and/or central Europe has been the holy grail for refugees and other migrants from the Middle East and North Africa in 2015.  (Even if some of a vastly numerous crowd — said to be more than a million —  are now having to settle for Canada across the ocean.) Once they made it to Turkey, they continued their journey to the ancient fountain of European culture in Greece.

In our eighth photo and caption : “Migrants on a dinghy arrive at the southeastern island of Kos, Greece, after crossing from Turkey, Thursday, August 13, 2015. Greece became the main gateway to Europe for tens of thousands of refugees and economic migrants, mainly Syrians fleeing war, as fighting in Libya made the alternative route from north Africa to Italy increasingly dangerous. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko.)”

Well … to repeat an earlier notice by way of an initial conclusion : For the more domestic news from our own articles readers can click on “Read the rest of this page” and/or scroll below.

(Oh and of course, Season’s Greetings, whatever your season may or may not be, 2015.)

* * * *

Here is Part II of the particular Canadian (+ North American) branch of our year-end review, from the counterweights archives for the second quarter of 2015:

(4) “All those things that don’t change in Alberta .. or do they, at last — blowing in the four strong winds ??”  … Apr 29th, 2015 … by Randall White … One sad thing about 2015 on this site : Dr. White kept hoping for a progressive coalition (Lib-NDP, NDP-Lib, whatever) that never happened, in an unusually long Canadian federal election campaign.

Alberta NDP leader and ultimately Premier Rachel Notley.

Part of the crucial background here was also covered in “A new moment of truth for Justin Trudeau .. what will he do? … Apr 17th, 2015 … by Randall White …  This past Wednesday Éric Grenier almost dramatically announced on the CBC News site : ‘Justin Trudeau’s Liberals lose lead to Tories for 1st time in 2 years.’”

(5) “Three new October orange wave in Ottawa theories .. Alberta surprise, UK repeat, progressive coalition ??” … May 25th, 2015 … by Randall White … See above on the progressive coalition syndrome.

For the other part of the same crucial background see also “Can anyone believe a New Democrat majority? Welcome to the 21st century Alberta .. and the rest of Canada too!” … May 6th, 2015 … by Randall White.

(6) “Streetcar fun in big city .. is this what’s happened to Rob Ford’s Toronto?” … Jun 5th, 2015  … by L. Frank Bunting … adventures of an aging white male in Canada’s current largest metro downtown … even in the age of a new more sane and sober mayor …

Amy Walsh-Harris : "1st Layer. Heading west on Queen E. oil on canvas 12''/12''."

And for the crucial Canadian federal election background at this stage, see also “Getting by in the northern North American stormy weather, with a little help from Kathleen Wynne? … Jun 28th, 2015 | By Randall White … The subtext here of course is such recent headlines as : ‘NDP widens lead in new Forum poll … Thomas Mulcair’s New Democrats leading in electorally all-important provinces of BC, Ontario, Quebec four months from election’ ; and ‘NDP consolidates hold on first place … Nearing majority, with stronghold in BC … In Ontario, the three parties are tightly tied (Conservative – 32%, Liberal – 32%, NDP – 33%).’”

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