Green groups condemn UN plan to use $136m from climate fund for large dams

An alliance of green groups have called out plans for UN-backed hydro projects in Nepal, Tajikistan and the Solomon Islands, saying they will have “tremendous negative impacts” on ecosystems and indigenous people. Touted as a renewable energy source, large dams account for up to a billion tonnes of greenhouse gases a year due to rotting vegetation in the water, say critics. The Guardian U.K. reports.

Why Dalai Lama’s visit to Arunachal has India asserting itself to China

While guest of honour at the Namami Brahmaputra river festival, the Dalai Lama spoke of the spiritual link to the Brahmaputra, which originates in his homeland Tibet. China’s blocking of a tributary of the Brahmaputra for the construction of a hydropower project has long been a sore spot in India-China relations. CNN-News18 reports.

Canada deports hundreds to China each year with no treatment guarantee

The lack of a formal extradition treaty has not stopped Canada from expelling people to China without assurances they will not be tortured or otherwise mistreated, according to statistics obtained by The Globe and Mail. Former Canadian ambassador to China, David Mulroney, told the newspaper that the “murky and worrisome” justice system people were returning to meant that Canada might be enabling unfair prosecutions.

Bombardier nabbed $3.7B in subsidies, yet the mob demands we punish its executives

The current exec pay hooha is a timely reminder about the real scandal here: the willingness of politicians to hand over billions of dollars in subsidies to a few favoured companies. What is Bombardier really selling? Itself as a recipient for government funds. As for planes, “it is selling the making of planes, or more particularly conspicuous government support for the making of planes, or perhaps just the idea of making planes,” writes Andrew Coyne, tongue firmly in cheek, for the National Post.

Big Brother open for business

As China braces itself for the possibility of an omnipotent digital dystopia — a credit rating system aimed at reducing the resources, choices and activities of every citizen to a single trustability score — one Chinese newspaper has revealed a Big Data menace already underway. For a small fee, anyone in China can invade your private data sphere.

The Law Society of Upper Canada expresses grave concern about the sentencing of human rights lawyer Xia Lin in China

In response to the harsh sentencing of a respected lawyer on what many claim are trumped-up charges, the Law Society of Upper Canada, in a public statement released this week, urged the People’s Republic of China to comply with its obligations under international human rights laws, including the United Nations’ Basic Principles on the Role of Lawyers.

Freedom of Information in Canada

Since it was devised in the 1980s, Canada’s Freedom of Information law has not been significantly updated or reformed to reflect the needs of the data revolution. On the heels of the 250th anniversary of Sweden’s freedom of the press act last week, TVO’s The Agenda looks at the state of FOI law in Canada.

Joy as China shelves plans to dam ‘angry river’

Environmentalists celebrate as Beijing appears to abandon plans to build mega dams on its Grand Canyon of the East. Although dam-building isn’t off the table in other parts of China, activists say Beijing is deterred in this case by growing concern for the environment, the wisdom of dam construction in areas of high seismicity and – most importantly – the economics of large-scale dams that no longer make financial sense in a slowing Chinese economy, in combination with the scale of difficulty in transmitting electricity from remote regions to the rest of the country.