Hillier, who used to be a corporal in the Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry, is a volunteer with the 1st North American Expeditionary Force, a private organization that is providing aid to anyone who wants to help the Kurds in their fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), also known as ISIS or simply Islamic State.
Hillier, who grew up in Carleton Place and is the son of Progressive Conservative MPP Randy Hillier, said he accomplished more good in 20 hours at Tel al-Ward than he did in the past 26 years of his life. read more
David Masciotra, Salon: Put a man in uniform, preferably a white man, give him a gun, and Americans will worship him. It is a particularly childish trait, of a childlike culture, that insists on anointing all active military members and police officers as "heroes." The rhetorical sloppiness and intellectual shallowness of affixing such a reverent label to everyone in the military or law enforcement betrays a frightening cultural streak of nationalism, chauvinism, authoritarianism and totalitarianism, but it also makes honest and serious conversations necessary for the maintenance and enhancement of a fragile democracy nearly impossible. read more
France's Socialist government has detailed a 21 billion-euro ($26.5 billion) cost-cutting plan, the deepest-ever spending cuts in the country's modern history.
Presenting the 2015 budget Wednesday, Finance Minister Michel Sapin said, "These spending cuts are crucial to our credibility in the eyes of the French and Europeans, they'll be fully applied."
A significant part of the savings is to be made on France's generous welfare system. The government plans to cut 3.2 billion euros from health spending, and to cut family benefits by 700 million euros. read more