The East Coast of the United States and Canada was slammed by a “bomb cyclone”, a low-pressure weather system similar to a hurricane which brought snow, ice, and strong winds even to places that rarely snows like certain parts of Florida, Georgia and South Carolina.
The extreme cold weather froze parts of the running water of the Niagara Falls, which turns it into a beautiful natural winter wonderland.
Please click the photos for larger images:
Visitors take pictures near the brink of the ice covered Horseshoe Falls in Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada, January 3, 2018. REUTERS/Aaron Lynett
Ice hangs from the top of the American side of Niagara Falls on January 3, 2018. The cold snap which has gripped much of Canada and the United States has nearly frozen over the American side of the falls. / AFP PHOTO / Geoff Robins (Photo credit should read GEOFF ROBINS/AFP/Getty Images)
Ice and water flow over the American Falls, viewed from the Canadian side in Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada, January 3, 2018. REUTERS/Aaron Lynett
TOPSHOT – Ice coats the rocks and observation deck at the base of the Horseshoe falls in Niagara Falls, Ontario on January 3, 2018. The cold snap which has gripped much of Canada and the United States has nearly frozen over the American side of the falls. / AFP PHOTO / Geoff Robins (Photo credit should read GEOFF ROBINS/AFP/Getty Images)
A building covered in ice sits at the base of the Horseshoe Falls in Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada, January 2, 2018. REUTERS/Aaron Lynett TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Ice and water flow over the American Falls, viewed from the Canadian side in Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada, January 2, 2018. REUTERS/Aaron Lynett
Photo credit to Express.co.uk
A lone visitor on the United States side of the Niagara River watches as ice chunks and water flow over the brink of the Horseshoe Falls in Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada, January 3, 2018. REUTERS/Aaron Lynett
Water flows over ice forming at the base of the American Falls, viewed from the Canadian side in Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada, January 3, 2018. REUTERS/Aaron Lynett
The overall winner of the competition was Canadian photographer Don Gutoski. The judges were moved by his picture of a red fox clutching a lifeless arctic fox in a rare example of the two larger of the two foxes hunting its smaller cousin. The picture was taken in the far north of Canada, where global warming has forced the two species to live in the same areas and compete for the same prey. (Don Gutoski / Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2015)
Wildlife Photographer of the Year Award, developed and produced by the Natural History Museum in London announced their winners.
Dan Gutoski from Canada was the overall winner for capturing a photo of a red fox eating an Arctic fox.
Malaysia is supposed to sign the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement or TPPA by the end of this year.
The agreement seems good since it is claimed that it can boost Malaysia’s economy by “enhance trade and investment among the TPPA partner countries, to promote innovation, economic growth and development, and to support the creation and retention of jobs.”
But in reality, the agreement can challenge our rule of laws, our Federal Constitution and the sovereignty of our country because through Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS), foreign companies that operate in Malaysia can take Malaysia as their host country to the International Court Of Arbitration if they are not happy with our local laws.
The case of Bilcon, using the ISDS mechanism against the government of Canada is a very good example of how a foreign company can challenge the rule of laws and the sovereignty of its host country for their own benefit.
Bilcon cannot take the government of Canada to a foreign court if Canada did not sign the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) because Canada is a sovereign country.
I would like to refer to the case of Duff Development Company v Government of Kelantan (1924), where the court in England rejected the the case since Kelantan is a sovereign independent State; meaning Duff Development Company cannot take a sovereign country to another country’s court.
So if Malaysia sign the TPPA, Malaysia may face what the government of Canada faced in the Bilcon case where the Canadian government has no control over what is right and fair to its own people and country.
Through ISDS, International Court of Arbitration can also challenge the Articles 3(1), 11(4) and 153 of the Federal Constitution of Malaysia which means a foreign invasion on the sovereign of our country.
Is it worth to open the doors to foreign invasion on the sovereign of our country for economic gains?
In fact, many economic experts have warned us that TPPA is more profitable and gives more power to bigger foreign corporations than our small local industries and it is not fair for our small local industries because they must compete with much bigger companies in an open market.
I am afraid that TPPA will give bigger chances to powerful countries to control the economy of smaller and less powerful countries like Malaysia; something like a new way of invading another country like what had happened in the old times.
Signing the TPPA would be a step backwards for Malaysia as a a sovereign independent State.
TPPA opens the doors to foreign companies to make profit in another country without respecting the local laws, customs, religions, environment and the benefit to their host countries because like what happened in the case of Bilcon, the company is only interested in making profit and has no obligation to make sure that the local people and the country really benefit from its operation.
Lao Airlines plane crashed into the Mekong River in the southern city of Pakse, near the border with Thailand, just before 16:00 (ICT) on Wednesday.
Lao Airlines Flight QV301 crashed in the Mekong River, killing all 49 passengers and crews.
The state-run Lao Airlines said in a statement that the plane took off from the capital Vientiane and “ran into extreme bad weather conditions” as it prepared to land at Pakse Airport.
AP reported that 17 of the victims were from Lao, seven from France, five were from Australia five from Thailand, three from Korea, two from Vietnam and one person each from Canada, China, Malaysia, Taiwan and the United States.
The airline said it had yet to determine reasons for the crash of the ATR-72 aircraft which was virtually new and had just been delivered in March.