It wasn’t much of a day for good news around the globe on Thursday.
In the Gaza Strip, Israeli forces launched a massive ground offensive that took their 10-day military operation to new levels.
It’s the first such attack in five years and it comes after Hamas launched nearly 1,500 rockets at Israel.
It’s the pointlessness of the attacks that is so sad. Hamas keeps kicking sand in the face of the neighbourhood bully until they are attacked back.
Many of the people who die will be civilians and their deaths will be entirely in vain.
This ground offensive will eventually end and the uneasy stalemate will continue until the next time it flares up again.
Nothing will change but more people will die. It’s an utterly hopeless sentence to write.
And that, of course, leads us to the fiery end of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 in eastern Ukraine on Thursday.
The plane went down with 295 souls aboard, including a Canadian. There were no survivors.
The Boeing 777-200ER plane was apparently shot down at the spot about 40 kilometres from the Russian border without even issuing a distress call.
That suggests a quick, violent end.
Not surprisingly, Ukrainian government officials and pro-Russia separatists fighting in the region all deny any responsibility. What a surprise.
But somewhere in the region a coward knows what happened. We’ll have to hope that karma weighs in on that person.
Once again, it’s unlikely that the deaths of 295 people are going to have any impact on the conflict there.
The sole change might be that international air carriers are now avoiding Ukrainian airspace.
In the United States, Microsoft trimmed 14 per cent of its workforce, cutting an astounding 18,000 jobs.
Since it’s a global business world now, the cuts will affect people in Redmond. Wash., Finland and Hungary.
The cuts are the largest in the company’s 39-year history and largely involve Microsoft’s acquisition of Nokia last September. And every one of those 18,000 cuts will affect lives as good jobs are lost.
In Alberta, the search continues for the remains of a five-year-boy and his grandparents. Volunteer searchers had to briefly call off their efforts on Thursday after erroneous reports on social media suggested that police were upset their work. That led to a firestorm of criticism until everything was sorted out. Again, it’s astonishing how malevolent people can be, even in grim circumstances where volunteers are searching for the truth.
In Ottawa, a sitting Canadian senator now faces 31 charges of fraud, breach of trust and bribery. Whether he is guilty or not, the optics are simply terrible and cast an undeserved shadow on all Canadian politicians.
Let’s hope better days lie ahead.
Prince Albert Daily Herald