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India’s second carrier and Toronto’s mayoral ‘show’

China might have one major aircraft carrier, but India now has two, though one is over 50 years old. However, India is building a new one which will come into service in 2017. India is clearly building up its navy which is shaping up to have blue-water (ocean) capabilities, and which in the past lagged behind its army and air force. India isn’t the only Asian nation that is making waves (pardon the pun) recently with its navy. Just a few months ago in August, Japan unveiled a massive destroyer which has a large flat deck that allows it to carry helicopters – a so-called helicopter destroyer or rather helicopter carrier/mini-carrier in disguise.

In something that seems more like a bad comedy movie than reality, Canada’s largest city Toronto has moved into the international spotlight as it remains locked in a tense state of affairs with its ranting, raving, cracksmoking, football-coaching mayor Rob Ford. So much so, the Toronto Star has a complete section “devoted” to him. All the hilarity and smirking aside, it’s unfortunate that this has happened to Toronto, which is a very fine city, and that Rob Ford has turned into this. He was a city councilor when I was in university, and he had a reputation for being outspoken and frugal, especially in hardly using up his office budget which every councilor gets, presumably because he thought it was extravagant and unnecessary. It’s good to be a straightalker when it comes to talking about policies and helping the city, but another to be going on about beating up people, smoking illegal drugs, or even oral sex (not exaggerating).

In sad news, the World’s Biggest Bookstore will close next February. This giant bookstore, which fully occupies a 3-story, former theater in Toronto’s downtown near the landmark Eaton Center, was a favorite place of mine to go to whenever I went downtown. The store was chockfull of novels, nonfiction, comics, magazines and it was a good place to browse and read in. Its great location is precisely what will see it close down since the building is being sold off to a property developer, no doubt to be converted into something much more meaningful such as a 5-star hotel, restaurants or office building.

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