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City in Brief

Carpool cheater
What do you do when you really want to drive in the carpool lane, but have only one friend or coworker willing to ride with you? A Gatineau man thought he found the answer last week when he strapped a teddy bear in a car seat and faked it. It turns out the plan isn’t as brilliant it sounds. Actually, it’s an expensive plan. The man was caught with the teddy bear, dressed in a child’s tuque and scarf, twice this week, earning him a $144 fine each time. The law states that, in order to drive in a carpool, bus or taxi lane, a vehicle must be travelling with three real passengers.

Buses busted

Several Montreal bus drivers got a surprise last week when they were ticketed for driving without seatbelts. Those drivers were slapped with a $115 fine and three demerit points. The union that represents the Montreal Transit Corp said it was upset at the actions, arguing the crackdown came out of nowhere. The law, however, is clear that bus drivers are supposed to be buckled in. Cab drivers are the only exemption to the seat belt rule. One officer handed out tickets to at least 30 bus drivers, according to CJAD. Police said only seven drivers were fined. The union said it will help the drivers contest their tickets.

Police police police
Police procedures following the fatal shooting of Fredy Villanueva in 2008 came under scrutiny as the public inquiry resumed Monday. The inquiry heard that the two police involved in shooting the 18-year-old were treated differently than civilian witnesses. In accordance with standard procedure, the civilian witnesses were kept separated from one another and questioned shortly after the event, in order to prevent them from collaborating their stories. The two officers, however, were not. They had a month to come up with their statement. Sûreté du Québec’s lead investigator said the officers were treated this way as part of an investigative strategy. He said he wanted to obtain lab results and other documents before speaking with the cops.

More early voters

Numbers at the municipal polls are up, according to the city’s returning officer. The advance poll last Sunday drew 57,759 voters, or 5.25 per cent of all who are registered for this year’s municipal election. During the previous election in 2005, voter turnout at the advance poll was just under three per cent. Election Day is Nov. 1, when all polling stations will be open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Bixi hibernates
Stationnement de Montreal will begin taking away Bixi bikes. The service will not be available at all from the end of November until May 2010. With the bikes being used over 900,000 times since it was launched last May, the service is being considered a success. Between 7,000 to 12,000 Bixis were taken for rides each day.

Nation in Brief

Prank fools cops
Cotton cobwebs and Styrofoam headstones weren’t enough for one Newfoundland and Labrador man. To celebrate Halloween, the man parked a minivan halfway through a fence and painted black skid marks on the street, creating the impression the van had smashed head-on into the barrier. Inside the vehicle, limp and lifeless in the driver’s seat, was a mannequin with long, dark hair. A Good Samaritan called the “accident” into 911. Emergency crews realized it was a prank, and that they had wasted their time when they arrived. The resident’s home has been flagged with the 911 call centre.

On the loose
The 1990 murder charges against Kyle Unger were dropped last Friday. Unger spent 14 years in prison for allegedly sexually assaulting and killing a 16-year-old girl. Acquitting a prisoner does not necessarily imply innocence; it does, however, mean there is not enough evidence to hold someone in prison. As Unger’s lawyer said, “in the eyes of the law, he’s an innocent man.” Unger’s acquittal came as the result a new trial, ordered in March 2009. There will be no inquiry into his wrongful conviction, and no compensation. So, someone who beat up, strangled and sexually mutilated a 16-year-old girl at a rock show is on the loose.

Janitor gets paid leave

A school janitor in Halifax was arrested in connection to allegations of sexually assaulting a teenage girl from his church. Police said, however, that the 37-year-old man was not formally charged. So the Halifax Regional School Board suspended their employee with pay. The Board said it has no proof that the janitor’s alleged behaviour had anything to do with his job at the school. Jason Haynes is expected to appear in court just in time for Christmas, on Dec. 15.

Balloon Boy market
A Saskatoon company selling Balloon Boy costumes said the product is flying off the shelves. The company, which specializes in selling remote control aircrafts online, is selling the costume for $19.99. The managing director of the company told the Ottawa Citizen orders have been so substantial, he has had to call all his workers in to make the costumes. The company’s website shows a man dressed in a cardboard box, holding a Mylar balloon on a string. The box has two stickers on it: one that says “As seen on CNN,” and another that says, “Hello, my name is Falcon.”

Snowboarding Liberal
A Canadian Olympian is going to seek nomination to run in the federal Liberal party. Ross Rebagliati won a gold medal in snowboarding at the 1998 Nagano Games. His medal was taken away days later when traces of pot where found in his system. Last week, the retired athlete announced his intentions to seek the nomination in a B.C. riding. He will be going against Minister of Transport Stockwell Day. In a release on his website Rebagliati, 38, said he is ready to tackle what is sure to be a very difficult fight. The release also said he has a “great respect” for Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff.

World in Brief

Nanny state
Social workers in the United Kingdom took a newborn away from its obese mother, the Times reported. Hours after giving birth by C-section, the woman was told she would not be allowed to bring the child home. The two youngest of six-member brood, aged three and four, have already been taken away under the risk of becoming obese. Before she became pregnant, the woman weighed about 322 pounds, the paper said. When the youngest children were removed, the couple’s toddler reportedly weighed about 56 pounds, and their 13-year-old who weighed over 224 pounds.

Om nom nom nom
Bears living in Yosemite National Park prefer minivans to other cars, according to a study published in the Journal of Mammology. Minivans accounted for 29 per cent of the over 900 cars targeted by bears, even though that type of vehicle represented a mere seven per cent of all that visited the park. Scientists said the bears like minivans more because of all the goodies that children travelling in them leave behind.

German Robin Hoods
A group of rich Germans has begun petitioning to make rich Germans pay higher taxes. One of the 44 rich people who signed the petition told Agence France-Presse he supported the proposal for higher taxes because he had inherited a bunch of money he doesn’t need. The same article quoted one of the supporters, a doctor, saying 2.2 million Germans have bank accounts with balances over 500,000 euros (about $790,000 CAD). He said if each paid five per cent wealth tax for the next two years, the country would earn an extra 100 billion euros. The group says higher taxes will benefit social programs suffering from the economic crisis.

Home is prison
A Sicilian man’s sentence was downgraded from prison time to house arrest. But the man asked to be put back in prison, Italian media reported last week, in order to avoid arguing with his wife. After being placed under house arrest, Santo Gambino was said to have asked police to send him back to jail; he apparently said his wife was accusing him of not helping with the costs of their two children. Police made him go home and make good with his wife. Bets are on for whether he was getting more sex in prison or at home.

Work less, save money
Utah has saved $4.8 million US in the year since it began closing state offices on Fridays. Employees worked longer hours Monday through Thursday to maintain the 40-hour work week. About $4.1 million in savings came from less overtime being paid out. The state found employees were less likely to stick in an extra hour or two at the end of the longer work days. Utah’s former Governor initially shortened the work week in order to cut energy costs. The state saved only about $500,000 in energy costs, falling short of its $3 million goal. Savings on custodial services amounted to $200,000. The state’s new governor has not decided whether the program will be extended.

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City in Brief

Concordia Grad Freed
An Iranian-Canadian journalist and Concordia graduate was released from an Iranian jail over the weekend. Mazier Bahari, who was covering the election for Newsweek, was arrested by the country’s security forces in June, and charged with espionage. Iran’s election, fraught with charges of vote-rigging and fraud, was followed by a government crackdown on protests and journalists. It has been said that Bahari was released on compassionate grounds, as his wife is expecting a child. He had previously made several documentaries about post-war Iraq and the history of the first Iranian Revolution.

Mafia rules roads
Eighty per cent of road repair contracts issued by the province are controlled by the Montreal Mafia, according to Radio-Canada. The French investigative program, Enquête, reported that the Mafia manipulates the bidding process in order to get more lucrative contracts, communicating through a code based on golf terms. A study by Transport Canada found that roadwork in Quebec over the past 60 years cost 37 per cent more when compared to the rest of the country. The Parti Québécois and Action Démocratique du Québec are calling for a public inquiry.

Cirque Performer Dies

A Ukrainian acrobat with the Cirque de Soleil died after a training accident in Montreal, Friday. Oleksandr Zhurov was training on a Russian swing when he fell. The Russian swing, a swinging platform attached to a metal frame, allows the performer to launch himself through the air and then land on another swing or another performer’s shoulders. Zhurov was in his early twenties. “Today, the whole circus is in mourning,” said Cirque founder Guy Laliberté in a statement.

Nordiques comeback?

Quebec City is building a new, $400 million arena to attract another NHL franchise. The city was formerly home to the Nordiques, who moved to Colorado and became the Avalanche after 1994-1995 season. The city’s mayor, Regis Labeaume, met with NHL commissioner Gary Bettman, further fuelling speculation that the provincial capital could be first in line to receive a new NHL franchise. Bettman is known for his attempts to aggressively expand the number of franchises in the NHL, despite the fact that some new franchises, such as the Phoenix Coyotes, are virtually bankrupt. Winnipeg, Hamilton, Kansas City, and Las Vegas are all also reportedly interested in wooing an NHL franchise.

Car Takes A Swim

An 86-year-old man accidentally drove his car into a swimming pool in Cote-St-Luc on Sunday. The man had to be rescued by a local teenager who happened to be nearby and pulled him out of the car. Emergency responders arrived and tended to the man, who was admitted to a hospital in critical condition. There was no word on the condition of the car.

Nation in Brief

Hack of the dead
A Halifax girl was surprised to see her deceased mother hawking a colon cleanser on Facebook. The woman had died of cancer nine months ago. But her Facebook status was suddenly updated about three weeks ago. Incidents like this are becoming more common, and seem to be linked to Facebook Mobile, Nova Scotia privacy lawyer David Fraser told the Chronicle Herald. When the family of the deceased contacted the company, CleanseProX, they were told the ad would be removed and apology would be posted online. Two days later, there was no apology, but a new ad on the hacked account.

Tim Hortons at war

Tim Hortons opened a 24-hour restaurant last week in Fort Knox, a U.S. military base in Kentucky. Though this is the company’s first establishment on an American army facility, it already sells coffees and doughnuts on seven Canadian military bases and one in Kandahar, Afghanistan.

Fancy pants robbers

A Saskatoon store was robbed of all its expensive men’s clothing over Thanksgiving weekend. The thief stole thousands of silk ties, shirts, handmade suits, and about 100 pairs of shoes. To avoid tripping the alarm, these ambitious robbers broke through several walls, including one made of cinder-block. Down but not out (aside from the roughly $500,000 in merchandise) the store’s owner told a local radio station he plans to re-stock his store and start up soon.

P.E.I diets
The Western School Board in P.E.I implemented new rules that will restrict levels of sugar, salt, and fat contained in food available in schools, according to CBC. Deep fryers were removed from the kitchens at school cafeterias. The board said the restrictions are being combined with health education in order to ensure that students don’t simply take their unhealthy eating habits to the greasy spoon down the street. Chartwells, which runs most of the school cafeterias in the area, said the restrictions will cause sales to go down.

Beer baron
Pilots grounded a plane en route to Fort McMurray, Alta. from Vancouver mid-flight to boot one of the passengers off. The passenger stole beer from the service cart then tried to flush the empty can down the toilet, police said. The pilot landed the in Kelowna, about 400 kilometres away from Vancouver. RCMP were called to the scene, where they questioned three men. Two were released, while the other was carted away in handcuffs. An RCMP spokesperson told Canwest News Service the 23-year-old man will probably face disturbance charges.

Happy birthday, women

Last week marked the 80th anniversary of when women became persons under Canadian law. Five Albertan women began fighting the legal battle in 1916 when one of them, Judge Emily Murphy, constantly had her rulings challenged on account of her not being a person. In 1927, the Supreme Court of Canada denied a the women’s petition to change the law. Finally, on Oct. 18, 1929, the women won when they took their case to the Canada’s then-highest court, the British Privy Council.

World in Brief

Last laugh
PBR, or Pabst Blue Ribbon, has pulled one over on the hipsters of North America. The beer’s sales were up 25 per cent this year. But so was the price of the beer. PBR used to cost .99 cents, and was a rare gem in a few choice grocers and deps. The brand’s success, which comes in the form of significantly steeper rise in sales than its cheaper Miller and Busch counterparts, began before the recession, experts say. PBR launched a successful word-of-mouth campaign in 2004 that made everybody think it was a non-conformist beer. That year, trucker-hat-and-plaid-shirt-wearing hipsters drove sales up by 17 per cent alone. Now we’re all paying more for it.

Bible burnin’
Nothing like an All Hallow’s Eve Bible burning. A North Carolina Pastor said he plans to burn all Bibles that are not the King James version on Oct. 31. Pastor Marc Grizzard told a local TV station all other versions of the bible are “satanic” and “perversions.” He and other members of his church will be burning some other material on Halloween, like books released by “bad” Christians like Billy Graham, as well as all kinds of music. The church’s website has been taken down, but the Telegraph Journal in the UK said Mother Teresa was included on the site’s list of “satanic” authors.

Show faux pas
Accusations and denials are flying over a recent Depeche Mode show. A Youtube video shows the lead singer saying what sounds like, “Thank you, Chile!” to 30,000 screaming, cheering fans last week. The band was performing in Peru. Long-time rivals, the South American neighbours haven’t been getting along very well since they fought a war in 19th century. Now they argue about anything and everything. The band denies the accusations, claiming the lead singer simply said, “Thank you, good night.”

Telemarketing limit

A Stony Point, N.Y. man was arrested after he allegedly lured a Sears employee into his home then beat him up. The defendant, 61-year-old David Adler, said he was sick and tired of the Sears Home Improvement telemarketers’ phone calls. Adler set up an appointment to ask the company to put him on the do not call list. When the employee arrived, Adler cut up the employee’s identification card, then punched him square in the face, police said. Adler was charged with two misdemeanours. We have a feeling he would receive a pat on the back if his case was tried by a jury.

Perverted idiot busted

After a night of drinking, a Brookfield, WI. man without enough cash to pay his bill left his cell phone with the bartender as collateral, according to a local paper. After the customer left, the bartender started poking through information the phone, where he found seven pornographic images of children. When the customer showed up the next day to pay his bill, the cops were already there, waiting to arrest him. A search of the suspect’s home computer found 300 to 400 images of child pornography, Brookfield Now reported.

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City in Brief

Concordia Grad Freed
An Iranian-Canadian journalist and Concordia graduate was released from an Iranian jail over the weekend. Mazier Bahari, who was covering the election for Newsweek, was arrested by the country’s security forces in June, and charged with espionage. Iran’s election, fraught with charges of vote-rigging and fraud, was followed by a government crackdown on protests and journalists. It has been said that Bahari was released on compassionate grounds, as his wife is expecting a child. He had previously made several documentaries about post-war Iraq and the history of the first Iranian Revolution.

Mafia rules roads
Eighty per cent of road repair contracts issued by the province are controlled by the Montreal Mafia, according to Radio-Canada. The French investigative program, Enquête, reported that the Mafia manipulates the bidding process in order to get more lucrative contracts, communicating through a code based on golf terms. A study by Transport Canada found that roadwork in Quebec over the past 60 years cost 37 per cent more when compared to the rest of the country. The Parti Québécois and Action Démocratique du Québec are calling for a public inquiry.

Cirque Performer Dies

A Ukrainian acrobat with the Cirque de Soleil died after a training accident in Montreal, Friday. Oleksandr Zhurov was training on a Russian swing when he fell. The Russian swing, a swinging platform attached to a metal frame, allows the performer to launch himself through the air and then land on another swing or another performer’s shoulders. Zhurov was in his early twenties. “Today, the whole circus is in mourning,” said Cirque founder Guy Laliberté in a statement.

Nordiques comeback?

Quebec City is building a new, $400 million arena to attract another NHL franchise. The city was formerly home to the Nordiques, who moved to Colorado and became the Avalanche after 1994-1995 season. The city’s mayor, Regis Labeaume, met with NHL commissioner Gary Bettman, further fuelling speculation that the provincial capital could be first in line to receive a new NHL franchise. Bettman is known for his attempts to aggressively expand the number of franchises in the NHL, despite the fact that some new franchises, such as the Phoenix Coyotes, are virtually bankrupt. Winnipeg, Hamilton, Kansas City, and Las Vegas are all also reportedly interested in wooing an NHL franchise.

Car Takes A Swim

An 86-year-old man accidentally drove his car into a swimming pool in Cote-St-Luc on Sunday. The man had to be rescued by a local teenager who happened to be nearby and pulled him out of the car. Emergency responders arrived and tended to the man, who was admitted to a hospital in critical condition. There was no word on the condition of the car.

Nation in Brief

Hack of the dead
A Halifax girl was surprised to see her deceased mother hawking a colon cleanser on Facebook. The woman had died of cancer nine months ago. But her Facebook status was suddenly updated about three weeks ago. Incidents like this are becoming more common, and seem to be linked to Facebook Mobile, Nova Scotia privacy lawyer David Fraser told the Chronicle Herald. When the family of the deceased contacted the company, CleanseProX, they were told the ad would be removed and apology would be posted online. Two days later, there was no apology, but a new ad on the hacked account.

Tim Hortons at war

Tim Hortons opened a 24-hour restaurant last week in Fort Knox, a U.S. military base in Kentucky. Though this is the company’s first establishment on an American army facility, it already sells coffees and doughnuts on seven Canadian military bases and one in Kandahar, Afghanistan.

Fancy pants robbers

A Saskatoon store was robbed of all its expensive men’s clothing over Thanksgiving weekend. The thief stole thousands of silk ties, shirts, handmade suits, and about 100 pairs of shoes. To avoid tripping the alarm, these ambitious robbers broke through several walls, including one made of cinder-block. Down but not out (aside from the roughly $500,000 in merchandise) the store’s owner told a local radio station he plans to re-stock his store and start up soon.

P.E.I diets
The Western School Board in P.E.I implemented new rules that will restrict levels of sugar, salt, and fat contained in food available in schools, according to CBC. Deep fryers were removed from the kitchens at school cafeterias. The board said the restrictions are being combined with health education in order to ensure that students don’t simply take their unhealthy eating habits to the greasy spoon down the street. Chartwells, which runs most of the school cafeterias in the area, said the restrictions will cause sales to go down.

Beer baron
Pilots grounded a plane en route to Fort McMurray, Alta. from Vancouver mid-flight to boot one of the passengers off. The passenger stole beer from the service cart then tried to flush the empty can down the toilet, police said. The pilot landed the in Kelowna, about 400 kilometres away from Vancouver. RCMP were called to the scene, where they questioned three men. Two were released, while the other was carted away in handcuffs. An RCMP spokesperson told Canwest News Service the 23-year-old man will probably face disturbance charges.

Happy birthday, women

Last week marked the 80th anniversary of when women became persons under Canadian law. Five Albertan women began fighting the legal battle in 1916 when one of them, Judge Emily Murphy, constantly had her rulings challenged on account of her not being a person. In 1927, the Supreme Court of Canada denied a the women’s petition to change the law. Finally, on Oct. 18, 1929, the women won when they took their case to the Canada’s then-highest court, the British Privy Council.

World in Brief

Last laugh
PBR, or Pabst Blue Ribbon, has pulled one over on the hipsters of North America. The beer’s sales were up 25 per cent this year. But so was the price of the beer. PBR used to cost .99 cents, and was a rare gem in a few choice grocers and deps. The brand’s success, which comes in the form of significantly steeper rise in sales than its cheaper Miller and Busch counterparts, began before the recession, experts say. PBR launched a successful word-of-mouth campaign in 2004 that made everybody think it was a non-conformist beer. That year, trucker-hat-and-plaid-shirt-wearing hipsters drove sales up by 17 per cent alone. Now we’re all paying more for it.

Bible burnin’
Nothing like an All Hallow’s Eve Bible burning. A North Carolina Pastor said he plans to burn all Bibles that are not the King James version on Oct. 31. Pastor Marc Grizzard told a local TV station all other versions of the bible are “satanic” and “perversions.” He and other members of his church will be burning some other material on Halloween, like books released by “bad” Christians like Billy Graham, as well as all kinds of music. The church’s website has been taken down, but the Telegraph Journal in the UK said Mother Teresa was included on the site’s list of “satanic” authors.

Show faux pas
Accusations and denials are flying over a recent Depeche Mode show. A Youtube video shows the lead singer saying what sounds like, “Thank you, Chile!” to 30,000 screaming, cheering fans last week. The band was performing in Peru. Long-time rivals, the South American neighbours haven’t been getting along very well since they fought a war in 19th century. Now they argue about anything and everything. The band denies the accusations, claiming the lead singer simply said, “Thank you, good night.”

Telemarketing limit

A Stony Point, N.Y. man was arrested after he allegedly lured a Sears employee into his home then beat him up. The defendant, 61-year-old David Adler, said he was sick and tired of the Sears Home Improvement telemarketers’ phone calls. Adler set up an appointment to ask the company to put him on the do not call list. When the employee arrived, Adler cut up the employee’s identification card, then punched him square in the face, police said. Adler was charged with two misdemeanours. We have a feeling he would receive a pat on the back if his case was tried by a jury.

Perverted idiot busted

After a night of drinking, a Brookfield, WI. man without enough cash to pay his bill left his cell phone with the bartender as collateral, according to a local paper. After the customer left, the bartender started poking through information the phone, where he found seven pornographic images of children. When the customer showed up the next day to pay his bill, the cops were already there, waiting to arrest him. A search of the suspect’s home computer found 300 to 400 images of child pornography, Brookfield Now reported.

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City in Brief

Pay delays
Retroactive salaries supposed to be paid to part-time faculty members at Concordia were delayed until last week. The reason, posted online, was that the university and the Concordia University Part-time Faculty Association hadn’t finished translating their collective agreement into French. The document contains a clause stipulating that retroactive salary payments were to have been two weeks ago, provided the translation was completed and signed, the university’s provost David Graham said. Payments were made Oct. 8, he said.

Canadian nabs Nobel
A McGill and Lower Canada College alumnus is being honoured with a Nobel Prize in physics. Willard Boyle will share the award with American George Smith and Chinese native Charles Kao. Together, the three have been dubbed the “Masters of Light.” These are the men you can thank for being able to take digital photos then upload them to your computer. Boyle and Smith are credited with an invention that became an integral part of all digital photography. Kao’s research in the 1960s led to fibre-optic telecommunications. Kao will receive half the $1.4 million US prize; Smith and Boyle will split the other half.

Alien rights
A Raelian man will return to his job in Granby, Que. after being laid off for wearing a T-shirt that read, “God does not exist – www.rael.org.” A judge ruled the actions of the man’s employer, Transformateurs Delta, went against the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The employee will receive full compensation for lost salary and will be permitted to wear clothing that advertises his religious beliefs. Raelism is a UFO cult that believes aliens created all life on earth using advanced technology, and sent prophets like Jesus and Buddha to Earth in order to guide humanity.

Vive le Francais

In a move to defend French language rights in Quebec, the NDP introduced a private members bill to make French the official working language at federal institutions and businesses operating in the province. The bill, introduced by deputy leader Thomas Mulcair, would amend the Canada Labour Code, applying provincial rules laid out in Bill 101 to federal companies in Quebec. The bill stipulates that languages other than French are not prohibited, just that French must take precedence.

Appeal thrown out
After only 15 minutes of deliberations, three judges threw out the appeal of Martin Morin-Cousineau, who was convicted in April 2006 of second-degree murder. He argued he didn’t intend to kill girlfriend Kelly-Anne Drummond, a former Concordia student. Morin-Cousineau, 35, said a knife flew out of his hand while the couple was arguing, landing in her neck. Quebec Court of Appeals judges said the knife wasn’t heavy enough to land with such force. The blade of the knife was found in the 24-year-old woman’s neck, and the handle was found on the counter, one of the judges said. Morin-Cousineau will have to serve 13 years in prison before he is eligible for parole.

Nation in Brief

Problem #1
Toronto is “seriously unaffordable,” according a report from the Toronto Community Foundation. The report, which has been released annually for the past eight years, assesses 11 key indicators of quality of life in Toronto. Canada’s largest city has, however, made improvements in terms of the environment and safety, according to the report. The president of the foundation said a lack of affordable housing is the biggest deterrent to young families and immigrants wanting to live in the city. Sure, that’s why.

No smoking
Halifax is going to ban smoking in over 475 areas of the city like parks, athletic fields and ice rinks. The city’s council voted unanimously for the ban which will carry a $500 fine to anybody who lights up in these areas. Specific zones have not yet been decided upon. The idea behind the ban is to limit the amount of smoke in areas frequented by children.

Drink up
The New Brunswick government was giving away bottles of whiskey to boost its brand of beer. Yes, the government has its own brand of beer. It was launched last March. Sales of Selection and Selection Light dropped significantly since it first hit shelves. So as an incentive to get people to buy the beer, a free 200-millilitre bottle of whiskey was offered to customers who bought a case. The offer, of course, boosted sales considerably. Cases of the government’s beer cost $18.67. This is the lowest price according to a law that was enacted in order to discourage binge drinking.

Canadian as a defence

A Sheboygan, WI man was caught driving a stolen car, then told police he was Canadian and should be considered a “terrorist threat,” according to the Sheboygan Press. The 45-year-old man allegedly told police he hated all Americans on account of his being Canadian, and said he would kill his probation officer when released. When Jeffery Goelzer was stopped early in the morning last Friday, he said he had been driving the vehicle for three days, ever since he had stolen the keys from a building.

Sleep tight
A 26-year-old British Columbian was set on fire when he was said to have decided to take a nap on a curb-side couch after a night of drinking. Police said someone in the area saw three men standing over the sleeping man last Saturday, spray something on him, then light him on fire. The witness ran to the victim and fought with the three assailants who eventually ran away when a second witness came to help, according to police. The victim was taken to hospital, suffering from minor burns. No arrests have been made. Whatever happened to drawing penises on someone’s face with a Sharpie?

Google stalks Canada
Google Street View launched in Canada last week. Montreal, Quebec City, Vancouver and Calgary are among the cities covered. The service has already been criticized for spelling certain street names the “wrong” way (Park Ave. versus Avenue du Parc). And there are a surprising number of Canadians who flipped the bird to the Street View car. Go, find some funny or sketchy pictures of your neighbours.

World in Brief

Plastic beauty
A contestant’s hopes were dashed at Miss Plastic Hungary 2009 when her fake breasts apparently made her tip over, fall to the ground and tear a ligament in her foot. This pageant, created to tout the benefits of being surgically enhanced, celebrated only women who had been under the knife, the Associated Press reported. Contestants’ surgeons, who were also honoured, said the pageant helped demonstrate that plastic surgery is more than huge boobs and cat eyes.

Killjoy
A town in Pennsylvania has, for all intents and purposes, cancelled Halloween. Kids in Bobtown will not be allowed to trick-or-treat since town officials decided to ban the activity this year. Instead, kids can attend a four-hour Halloween party at the town’s fire station. The assistant fire chief said he was surprised the trick-or-treating ban was getting so much negative reaction from parents and kids, according to a local radio station. He defended the move, saying kids will be safer and old people, who have been afraid of break-ins will have greater peace of mind.

Playcartoon
Following in the footsteps of Marilyn Monroe, Farrah Fawcett, and Drew Barrymore, Marge Simpson will be gracing the cover of Playboy magazine. A spokesperson for the magazine said the decision to feature Marge on the cover 8212; the first time a cartoon character has ever had the distinction in the publication 8212; is an attempt to appeal to twentysomethings. On the cover, the Simpsons matriarch is sitting on a chair shaped like the Playboy bunny, the nose and ears of which are hiding her private parts.

Blame Israel
The Anti-Defamation League criticized the ousted Honduran president and his supporters for being anti-Semitic. President Manuel Zelaya started the trend when he said he was being attacked with poison gas and radiation allegedly shot at him by Israeli mercenaries while in refuge at the Brazilian embassy. His followers repeated claims that Israel was supplying Hondurans with materials to mess with Zelaya’s head and poison his body. A radio personality commenting on the situation said, “There are times when I ask myself if Hitler was or was not correct in finishing with that race in the famous Holocaust. If there are people that do damage in this country, they are Jewish, the Israelis.”

Berlusconi Loses Immunity

Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has lost his legal immunity. The decision will leave him open to prosecution for having allegedly bribed his former tax lawyer to lie in court for him. Berlusconi has been extremely outspoken about the decision, calling himself the greatest prime minister in history, as well as saying “I am the most legally persecuted man in the whole history of mankind.” Berlusconi, who has been PM of Italy intermittently for seven years, has seen his public image take a beating after sex scandals, with his longtime wife filing for divorce.

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City in Brief

Pay delays
Retroactive salaries supposed to be paid to part-time faculty members at Concordia were delayed until last week. The reason, posted online, was that the university and the Concordia University Part-time Faculty Association hadn’t finished translating their collective agreement into French. The document contains a clause stipulating that retroactive salary payments were to have been two weeks ago, provided the translation was completed and signed, the university’s provost David Graham said. Payments were made Oct. 8, he said.

Canadian nabs Nobel
A McGill and Lower Canada College alumnus is being honoured with a Nobel Prize in physics. Willard Boyle will share the award with American George Smith and Chinese native Charles Kao. Together, the three have been dubbed the “Masters of Light.” These are the men you can thank for being able to take digital photos then upload them to your computer. Boyle and Smith are credited with an invention that became an integral part of all digital photography. Kao’s research in the 1960s led to fibre-optic telecommunications. Kao will receive half the $1.4 million US prize; Smith and Boyle will split the other half.

Alien rights
A Raelian man will return to his job in Granby, Que. after being laid off for wearing a T-shirt that read, “God does not exist – www.rael.org.” A judge ruled the actions of the man’s employer, Transformateurs Delta, went against the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The employee will receive full compensation for lost salary and will be permitted to wear clothing that advertises his religious beliefs. Raelism is a UFO cult that believes aliens created all life on earth using advanced technology, and sent prophets like Jesus and Buddha to Earth in order to guide humanity.

Vive le Francais

In a move to defend French language rights in Quebec, the NDP introduced a private members bill to make French the official working language at federal institutions and businesses operating in the province. The bill, introduced by deputy leader Thomas Mulcair, would amend the Canada Labour Code, applying provincial rules laid out in Bill 101 to federal companies in Quebec. The bill stipulates that languages other than French are not prohibited, just that French must take precedence.

Appeal thrown out
After only 15 minutes of deliberations, three judges threw out the appeal of Martin Morin-Cousineau, who was convicted in April 2006 of second-degree murder. He argued he didn’t intend to kill girlfriend Kelly-Anne Drummond, a former Concordia student. Morin-Cousineau, 35, said a knife flew out of his hand while the couple was arguing, landing in her neck. Quebec Court of Appeals judges said the knife wasn’t heavy enough to land with such force. The blade of the knife was found in the 24-year-old woman’s neck, and the handle was found on the counter, one of the judges said. Morin-Cousineau will have to serve 13 years in prison before he is eligible for parole.

Nation in Brief

Problem #1
Toronto is “seriously unaffordable,” according a report from the Toronto Community Foundation. The report, which has been released annually for the past eight years, assesses 11 key indicators of quality of life in Toronto. Canada’s largest city has, however, made improvements in terms of the environment and safety, according to the report. The president of the foundation said a lack of affordable housing is the biggest deterrent to young families and immigrants wanting to live in the city. Sure, that’s why.

No smoking
Halifax is going to ban smoking in over 475 areas of the city like parks, athletic fields and ice rinks. The city’s council voted unanimously for the ban which will carry a $500 fine to anybody who lights up in these areas. Specific zones have not yet been decided upon. The idea behind the ban is to limit the amount of smoke in areas frequented by children.

Drink up
The New Brunswick government was giving away bottles of whiskey to boost its brand of beer. Yes, the government has its own brand of beer. It was launched last March. Sales of Selection and Selection Light dropped significantly since it first hit shelves. So as an incentive to get people to buy the beer, a free 200-millilitre bottle of whiskey was offered to customers who bought a case. The offer, of course, boosted sales considerably. Cases of the government’s beer cost $18.67. This is the lowest price according to a law that was enacted in order to discourage binge drinking.

Canadian as a defence

A Sheboygan, WI man was caught driving a stolen car, then told police he was Canadian and should be considered a “terrorist threat,” according to the Sheboygan Press. The 45-year-old man allegedly told police he hated all Americans on account of his being Canadian, and said he would kill his probation officer when released. When Jeffery Goelzer was stopped early in the morning last Friday, he said he had been driving the vehicle for three days, ever since he had stolen the keys from a building.

Sleep tight
A 26-year-old British Columbian was set on fire when he was said to have decided to take a nap on a curb-side couch after a night of drinking. Police said someone in the area saw three men standing over the sleeping man last Saturday, spray something on him, then light him on fire. The witness ran to the victim and fought with the three assailants who eventually ran away when a second witness came to help, according to police. The victim was taken to hospital, suffering from minor burns. No arrests have been made. Whatever happened to drawing penises on someone’s face with a Sharpie?

Google stalks Canada
Google Street View launched in Canada last week. Montreal, Quebec City, Vancouver and Calgary are among the cities covered. The service has already been criticized for spelling certain street names the “wrong” way (Park Ave. versus Avenue du Parc). And there are a surprising number of Canadians who flipped the bird to the Street View car. Go, find some funny or sketchy pictures of your neighbours.

World in Brief

Plastic beauty
A contestant’s hopes were dashed at Miss Plastic Hungary 2009 when her fake breasts apparently made her tip over, fall to the ground and tear a ligament in her foot. This pageant, created to tout the benefits of being surgically enhanced, celebrated only women who had been under the knife, the Associated Press reported. Contestants’ surgeons, who were also honoured, said the pageant helped demonstrate that plastic surgery is more than huge boobs and cat eyes.

Killjoy
A town in Pennsylvania has, for all intents and purposes, cancelled Halloween. Kids in Bobtown will not be allowed to trick-or-treat since town officials decided to ban the activity this year. Instead, kids can attend a four-hour Halloween party at the town’s fire station. The assistant fire chief said he was surprised the trick-or-treating ban was getting so much negative reaction from parents and kids, according to a local radio station. He defended the move, saying kids will be safer and old people, who have been afraid of break-ins will have greater peace of mind.

Playcartoon
Following in the footsteps of Marilyn Monroe, Farrah Fawcett, and Drew Barrymore, Marge Simpson will be gracing the cover of Playboy magazine. A spokesperson for the magazine said the decision to feature Marge on the cover 8212; the first time a cartoon character has ever had the distinction in the publication 8212; is an attempt to appeal to twentysomethings. On the cover, the Simpsons matriarch is sitting on a chair shaped like the Playboy bunny, the nose and ears of which are hiding her private parts.

Blame Israel
The Anti-Defamation League criticized the ousted Honduran president and his supporters for being anti-Semitic. President Manuel Zelaya started the trend when he said he was being attacked with poison gas and radiation allegedly shot at him by Israeli mercenaries while in refuge at the Brazilian embassy. His followers repeated claims that Israel was supplying Hondurans with materials to mess with Zelaya’s head and poison his body. A radio personality commenting on the situation said, “There are times when I ask myself if Hitler was or was not correct in finishing with that race in the famous Holocaust. If there are people that do damage in this country, they are Jewish, the Israelis.”

Berlusconi Loses Immunity

Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has lost his legal immunity. The decision will leave him open to prosecution for having allegedly bribed his former tax lawyer to lie in court for him. Berlusconi has been extremely outspoken about the decision, calling himself the greatest prime minister in history, as well as saying “I am the most legally persecuted man in the whole history of mankind.” Berlusconi, who has been PM of Italy intermittently for seven years, has seen his public image take a beating after sex scandals, with his longtime wife filing for divorce.

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