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by Archives January 27, 2009

Local News

Montreal hospital promises regular body counts

A Montreal hospital will be applying stricter measures for its morgue after a stillborn was found in dirty laundry at a laundromat last week. Lakeshore General Hospital director Suzanne Turmel said the baby’s corpse was wrapped in blue flannel and mistakenly tossed down the laundry chute. The new measures will include keeping dead babies in their bassinettes, and doing regular body counts. No disciplinary action has been taken.

Crashed Ice not French enough

Sam Hamad, the Quebec region’s minister, will be asking Red Bull to change the name of its extreme skating competition Crashed Ice to better reflect the city’s linguistic reality. He also said he’d settle for modifying the logo. “If it did have a French name, it’d be even better for us,” he said during a news conference. If you’re really attached to the name, don’t worry – the letter the government sent the company isn’t exactly threatening either. “We are not in any case trying to question the name of your business or sport,” it wrote. Red Bull said in their defence that the event has taken place in many countries and that they like to keep the name consistent.

Rent prices go up

The Régie du logement announced it will be increasing rent rates so that landlords and renters can better discuss prices. According to the Régie’s report, the price of electricity will go up 0.8 per cent, gas will be 1.8 per cent for heated apartments. There will be an increase of 0.6 per cent for non-heated apartments.

Journal de Montréal most widely-read newspaper, really

In other news, its editorial and office employees are now also on lockout. About 250 of the newspaper’s employees have been without a contract since Dec. 31 – they are asking for protection against layoffs, more weekly hours and benefits. President and editor-in-chief Lyne Robitaille said the modernization of the Journal’s business model is being held back by the current collective agreement. Picketing began on Saturday morning. Management will continue publishing through the lockout. Montreal Gazette employees are also threatening to strike.

Be nice

The city of Montreal is considering a bylaw which would make insulting on duty police officers illegalA particular emphasis would be put in place for bar shifts and during protests. The recommendation says officers are “victims of intimidation and threats.” The bylaw could come into effect by the end of the year, yet in remains unclear what would constitute abuse.

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National News

Kadhr (you know the drill)

The Prosecutors of Quebec have announced their denunciation of unjust proceedings in the case of Omar Khadr. The group is a professional association grouping about 400 Crown Attorneys. Khadr is the only Canadian currently detained at Guantanamo Bay. The Prosecutors demanded Khadr’s repatriation so that he may be given a fair trial at an independent tribunal.

Pastor sentenced for marrying 10-year-old

A self-declared Quebec pastor has been sentenced to five years in jail for sexual assault and wedding a 10-year-old girl whom he called his disciple. The pastor, 57, was the head of an evangelical church at the time the incident occurred. He says he was entitled to the sexual relations since they were married.

60,000 turkeys slaughtered

The slaughter of 60,000 turkeys began on Monday at a B.C. farm. Some of the birds tested at the Fraser Valley commercial farm were found to be infected with avian flu virus. Some of the birds had been showing signs of respiratory distress.

Scammers beware

Industry Minister Tony Clement said yesterday that unscrupulous telemarketers better be on the lookout. It seems that a growing number amongst their ranks has been targeting people registered on the new do-not-call registry. Clement says those caught infringing will face severe penalties. Many people on the list have complained they receive more calls now that they are registered. Problems began to arise after it was revealed the CRTC sells the list to companies for a small fee.

Air Canada discriminates against disabled man

The Canadian Human Rights Tribunal has ruled that Air Canada discriminated against a deaf and partially-blind man. The decision, handed down on Monday, says the man should have been allowed to fly on his own, despite affirmations he must be accompanied by an attendant. The man was awarded $10,000 plus interest. Still, the man will not be permitted to fly on his own until his abilities are assessed by the airline.
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International News

Go Oprah!

American Governor Rod Blagojevich is in trouble for saying he has considered offering Barack Obama’s vacated Illinois senate seat to Oprah Winfrey. Blagojevich is currently being impeached for claims he attempted to “sell” the seat. The Governor told ABC he thought Winfrey would probably decline the offer. Winfrey says she was unaware she was even being considered and that she is not interested.

Fair play

Iran’s leading football club has apologized for letting a women’s team to play against a men’s youth team earlier this month. The game was the first of its kind since the Islamic Revolution of 1979. Under normal circumstances, women are not allowed to be present at the grounds while men are playing. Three officials have been penalized. The final score was 7-0 for the men.

Pope in hot water

Jewish officials all over the world are angry at Pope Benedict XVI’s decision on Saturday to lift the excommunication of a British bishop and Holocaust-denier. Bishop Richard Williamson announced only a few days ago on Swedish television that he thought the Nazis had not used gas chambers.

Go forth and multiply

Japanese electronics company Canon has decided to let employees leave early twice a week so they can go home – and re-create. Japan’s birth rate is currently at 1.34 below the 2.0 level required to maintain its population. This can in part be attributed to the fact that the average Japanese workday is 12 hours long. Canon’s spokesperson says the company has a “very strong birth-planning program.”

Guess who’s angry at Obama

The Vatican has condemned President Barack Obama’s repeal of the ban on American funding for foreign pro-choice groups, qualifying the decision as “very disappointing.” Still, no bridges are being burned. On Sunday the Pope sent Obama a warm message of congratulations for his inauguration.

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