Friday, August 20, 2010

Where's Irealnd?

The Economist magazine had an interesting artilce about the rapid increase of beer consumption in Asia featuring this picture:

I was shocked that the graphic didn't include Ireland's beer consumption. I know they have a relatively small population, so their total consumption might not be huge. Still, out of deference to Ireland's history and status as the world's biggest beer exporter (I think - correct me if I'm wrong), one might expect that they'd at least make the chart.
Oh well, Ireland fared better than Australia which is completely covered by a second chart.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

No Sympathy for Khadr

"Don't look at me - anyone could have thrown that grenade." That's the line Omar Khadr's defence took at his trial today. Given that there's video evidence of Khadr assembling an improvised explosive device, eye witness accounts that he threw a grenade killing an American soldier and he himself confessed to throwing the grenade and being a terrorist, I've got a pretty good idea of how this trial might turn out.

The drama surrounding the trial including Khadr's lawyer's collapse today and Khadr's age at the time of the murder are red herrings. What matters are the substantive arguments that have been made so far. The Washington Post reports:

Because conviction requires proof beyond a reasonable doubt, the defense contends that the other fighter's presence makes it impossible to know who threw the grenade.

To counter that doubt, the prosecution plans to introduce Mr. Khadr's interrogation statements indicating that he threw the grenade. The defense contends those statements were taken under abusive conditions and are unreliable.

The government also introduced a videotape showing Mr. Khadr assembling roadside bombs among joking and bantering al Qaeda militants.

These are the arguments that matter and I'm hoping the trial resumes soon so that Khadr can face justice.