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As some of you may notice, we are now getting a "Facebook style" chat added to the site. As it is still early days, I have not rolled this option out to everyone yet, but have started with Staff, Subscribers, Donors, and senior site members. Basically, most of the folks we can thank for assisting us with the recent site renewal.
If things good smoothly I plan to open it up to all users in time (days to maybe a couple of weeks if things go poorly).
There are some issues, but please report anything broken or unpleasant here. In a nutshell, when you are online here, you will be online for chat, but you can mark yourself offline by clicking the gear icon. There are a couple of chat rooms by default, with more to come. You can manage who is on your "friend" or blocked list within your profile:https://army.ca/forums/index.php?action=profile;area=lists
Users from your buddy list will be listed in chat automatically. I'm sure there will be more questions as we move forward, please post your questions here - or in the chat rooms!
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Some are trying to make a fuss over HM's comments on the rudeness of the Chinese diplomats last year and PM Cameron was caught on tape calling Afghanistan and Nigeria corrupt countries. Both comments are spot on and I can't disagree with either. Well, said. When you're right, you're right.
Queen overheard calling Chinese officials 'very rude'
Danica Kirka and Gregory Katz, The Associated Press
Published Wednesday, May 11, 2016 7:08AM EDT
Last Updated Wednesday, May 11, 2016 7:41AM EDT
LONDON -- Queen Elizabeth II has been overheard on video calling Chinese officials "very rude" in a conversation with a senior police officer at a Buckingham Palace event.
The comments, made Tuesday, were unusual because the 90-year-old monarch rarely comments publicly on political matters, and media accompanying her are asked not to eavesdrop on private conversations.
The incident came hours after Prime Minister David Cameron was caught on microphone calling Nigeria and Afghanistan "fantastically corrupt."
The queen's comments, recorded by the palace's official cameraman at a palace garden party and distributed to broadcasters, dealt with a rare state visit by China's leaders in October, an event that required months of detailed planning and was hailed by both sides at the time as an unqualified success.
The video captured police Commander Lucy D'Orsi telling the queen that arranging the state visit by Chinese President Xi Jinping in October had been a "testing time."
Elizabeth responded: "They were very rude to the ambassador."
Asked about the queen's remarks at a daily news briefing in Beijing on Wednesday, Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang declined to address them directly, but said Xi had made a "very successful visit" to Britain last year.
"The working teams from both sides made huge efforts to make this possible. This effort has been highly recognized by both China and Britain," Lu said.
Despite Lu's comments, China appeared to regard the queen's comments as sensitive. Information about the remarks were difficult to find on China's heavily censored Internet and government monitors cut the signal of the British Broadcasting Company when it reported on the comments.
In the video, an official introduced the queen to D'Orsi and explains that the officer was in charge of policing for the visit. The queen responded: "Oh! Bad luck."
The official tells the queen that D'Orsi had been "seriously undermined by the Chinese" in the handling of the visit.
When D'Orsi asked if the queen knew it had been a "testing time," the monarch interjected: "I did."
The officer recalled a moment when Chinese officials walked out of a meeting with Barbara Woodward, British ambassador to China, in which the Chinese told the Brits the trip was off.
"They walked out on both of us," D'Orsi said.
"Extraordinary," the queen said.
"It was very rude and undiplomatic I thought," D'Orsi said.
D'Orsi's mother is by her side during the encounter and tells the queen she is very proud of her daughter.
Both the Metropolitan police and the palace refused to comment on what they described as private conversations. The palace stressed that Xi's visit had been "extremely successful."
British officials laid on dollops of pomp and splendor -- including a state banquet at the palace -- during Xi's four-day state visit to nurture the U.K.'s developing economic relationship with China.
Xi was welcomed with a 41-gun artillery salute, and taken to Buckingham Palace in a royal gilded carriage drawn by white horses.
The queen gave Xi and his wife a personal tour of the Royal Collection at the palace. She gave them a special collection of Shakespeare's sonnets and spoke glowingly of the two countries' "global partnership" at the elaborate state dinner, which featured turbot and venison.
There were no public hints of tensions at the time, although Prince Charles -- the heir to the throne, and a supporter of the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama shunned by the Chinese -- did not attend the gala banquet.
The two countries signed more than 30 billion pounds ($46 billion) in trade agreements during the trip, and Cameron said Britain would be China's "partner of choice" in the West.
British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said the visit "got a bit stressful on both sides" but had been "highly successful."
He said that "our relationship with China is very strong and has been greatly strengthened by the success of that visit."
This is not the first time British royals have been caught making undiplomatic remarks about the Chinese. Prince Charles branded Chinese diplomats "appalling old waxworks" in a private journal entry that had described the 1997 ceremony to hand Hong Kong back to Chinese rule.
In 1986, Prince Philip reportedly told British exchange students in China they would get "slitty eyes" if they stayed in China too long. In a documentary marking his 90th birthday, Philip said: "But for one particular reporter who overheard it, it wouldn't have come out."
At another palace reception Tuesday, cameras recorded Cameron talking about an anti-corruption summit in London, which he will chair.
"We've got some leaders of some fantastically corrupt countries coming to Britain," Cameron told the monarch. "Nigeria and Afghanistan -- possibly the two most corrupt countries in the world."
Afghanistan's Ashraf Ghani and Nigeria's Muhammadu Buhari are due to attend the London summit and each has contributed an essay on his efforts to tackle graft.
Associated Press writers Isolda Morillo in Beijing and Jill Lawless in London contributed to this report
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, from The Canadian Press:
... Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan, in a conference call from Germany early today, confirmed a formal request for assistance has been received from the Alberta government.
What form that will take — at least on the military side — is still being determined and National Defence is expecting to hear soon from the province about the kind of equipment and personnel required.
The office of Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale, the federal focal point for assistance, is expected to provide more details later today ...
More news on the fire situation in northern Alberta here
(Google News), here
(Twitter) and here
Good luck all involved & stay safe, everyone
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This out yesterday
Today I released the second in a series of three reports which focus exclusively on Canada’s Reserve Force. Here's a link to the report
The first report, The Feasibility of Providing Periodic Health Assessments to All Primary Reservists, looked at Periodic Health Assessments and found that 30% of Canada’s military Reserve Force – roughly 6,000 members – are missing valid medical assessments.
Today’s report examines the processes which ill and injured Reservists must follow to obtain coverage for lost income. We found the application and review processes for Reserve Force Compensation to be too complex and cumbersome, relying on old-school paperwork. Moreover, the three environments of the Reserve Force follow different procedures – some faster than others. In all cases, the weakest link of the administrative chain determined how fast (or slow) an application was processed.
We found there is no tracking or performance measurement system in place to gauge the efficiency and effectiveness of the Reserve Force Compensation process.
Another huge challenge for both individual Reservists and the Reserve Force itself was a low-level of awareness of the available options when Reservists find themselves ill or injured.
The broad recommendations I presented to the Minister of National Defence were:
- Have the Canadian Armed Forces and Department of National Defence improve the governance and administration of Reserve Force Compensation; and
- Improve the knowledge and awareness of the available compensation options.
Specifically, the compensation process should be streamlined by standardizing and simplifying forms, and by identifying one functional authority that is accountable for the entire Reserve Force Compensation process.
Ideally, a 30-day deadline should be applied so that compensation applications are forwarded to the designated final decision maker (Director of Casualty Support Management) in a timely manner. The current ‘In box and Out box’ processing model results in delays of up to six months. This is simply unfair to individual Reservists who are already dealing with health issues. Delays only hurt the individual, not the system.
I am pleased to report that the Minister of National Defence has agreed to the report’s recommendations. As a former Reservist and Commanding Officer of a Reserve unit (The British Columbia Regiment), Defence Minister Sajjan clearly understands the need to fix shortcomings in the Reserve Force Compensation system.
While agreeing to the report’s two recommendations, the Minister also outlined steps the Department of National Defence and Canadian Armed Forces will undertake over the next 18 months. I’ve had an opportunity to review each of the planned measures and I am cautiously optimistic that the handling of compensation cases for ill and injured Reservists will be significantly improved if the changes are indeed made.
My office will continue to track this issue and I will report back on progress in the Fall of 2017.
, and here's a link to the Minister's response
Threads dealing with previous 'Budman reports on reservists here
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OTTAWA — The Liberal government is asking if the military should continue to be involved in search-and-rescue missions, or whether private companies and other alternatives should be relied on to save Canadians in distress instead.http://news.nationalpost.com/news/canada/liberals-considering-privatizing-search-and-rescue-operations-as-part-of-canadian-forces-review
The idea has been raised as part of the government’s defence review, and is sure to stoke strong reactions both inside the military and across the country. The previous Conservative government aired a similar proposal five years ago, before letting it quietly die.
Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan said last week that everything was on the table as he launched consultations with the public, parliamentarians and defence experts on how the military should be structured for the future. Consultations will continue until the end of July, with a new defence policy to be released in early 2017.
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We have crushed the whole force which dared to venture there. They were on the runway at Saddam International Airport. That force was crushed
- Mohammed Saeed al-Sahhaf, The Iraqi Information Minister
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