City in Brief
A Concordia student was apprehended by police in the Hall building last Thursday after causing a scene at Reggies. Around 8:45 p.m. a student who had “had too much to drink became loud and aggressive,” university spokesperson Chris Mota said. While the bar’s bouncers tried to deal with the belligerent student on their own, the student became more aggressive, to the point that the bouncers called in campus security. Security called city police to the scene, at which time the student was arrested.
Two Italian cafÃ©s in Montreal were targeted with firebombs last week. The attacks at CafÃ© Vegas, on Jean-Talon, and CafÃ© Nouba, on St-Laurent, were suspected to be mob-related. The owner of CafÃ© Nouba told The Gazette he was being targeted because of his ex-business partner’s unpaid debts. Police have yet to determine whether the two incidents are connected8212; either to each other or to the mob. No injuries were reported as a result of the attacks. Montreal has seen a spate of cafÃ© attacks in the past few weeks, with four others having been targeted prior to yesterday.
La Presse-ure cooker
The fate of La Presse, Montreal’s second largest French daily newspaper, is coming down to the wire as unions and management try to hammer out a last minute option. An agreement in principle was reached Friday morning, with three of the four main unions agreeing to around $10 million worth of concessions, according to Radio-Canada. No agreement has yet been reached with distribution. Those agreements must be reached by Dec. 1, the day management is threatening to shut down the 125-year-old paper. La Presse is not the only French daily having difficulties – Le Journal de Montreal, its main rival, has locked out its workers, who now write at ruefrontenac.com.
Magic flu bus
Montreal is ramping up its H1N1 flu vaccination campaign. This week, they began an ambitious program to bus elementary and high school children to flu vaccination centres. The goal of the program is to have all Montreal schoolchildren vaccinated by the time Christmas holidays roll around, when all sorts of new chances to catch or transmit the flu arise. The flu vaccine is being administered through the CLSC and is only available to priority groups, which don’t include university age students. The shot becomes fully available Dec. 7.
Student wins award
A Concordia graduate and former Concordian co-news editor, Siena Antsis, won the Forces Avenir award for her humanitarian work. The award is given out annually to people who make progress towards the greater good. Antsis has worked in Uganda, blogged from the West Bank, reported from Kosovo and is currently in Kenya. She also is the founder of In Their Shoes, a group dedicated to bringing attention to global poverty and other humanitarian causes.
Nation in Brief
A taste of controversy
Canada’s government will be able to chow down on seal meat as soon as hunting season begins. The swanky and private Parliamentary Restaurant will be adding the item to its menu some time in the new year, an MP confirmed last week. The restaurant tried to add seal meat to its menu in 2008, but had trouble finding a supplier, Hull-Aylmer MP Marcel Proulx said. But the executive chef has apparently found a reliable supplier from the Magdalen Islands. Seal hunting, though controversial, is legal in Canada. Proulx said he doesn’t know how the dish will be served.
Women can’t jump
The decision to include women’s ski jumping at the 2010 Olympics is out of the hands of the Vancouver Olympic, British Columbia’s highest court said last week. Women ski jumpers started the legal battle last summer to have their sport included in the Vancouver Games. Though the B.C. Supreme Court said the women’s Charter rights are being violated, it added VANOC could not be held liable since it does not have a hand in deciding which sports are included in the games. The court said it does not have the power to force the International Olympic Committee to do anything. Ski jumping is the only Winter Games sport in which only men compete.
Old people have sex
Canadian snowbirds who spend at least part of their winters in Florida may be taking risks with sexually transmitted infections, according to research from the University of Waterloo. The small-scale study found the percentage of people over 50 with HIV/AIDS in south Florida is growing, but that few Canadians who vacation there bother to get tested. Graduate student Katie Mairs said that of the 299 snowbirds over 50 that were interviewed, most were sexually active, and about half had dated at least one Floridian. Only 17.7 per cent had ever been tested for HIV.
CRTC local/cable tv thing
The Canadian government may wade into the ongoing war between cable and broadcast networks. The two groups have been engaged in a dispute over cable companies broadcasting network signals without paying for them. Networks such as CTV, Global and CBC want cable companies to have to pay for their signals, but cable companies are saying this would hike up consumers’ bills. The Globe and Mail reported this week Harper was considering overruling the CRTC if it rules in favour of the networks. CRTC hearings began this week.
Dats not funny
An aide for Alberta’s Wildrose party was forced to apologize for a tweet making fun of the way Alberta Premier Ed Stelmach speaks. The Calgary Herald reported that after a speech of Stelmach, Stephen Carter tweeted the following: “Just saw da premier making a speech. Dat was quite a speech. Dem media better report it right.” The joke wasn’t apparently as funny as Carter imagined, and he later called it a “lapse in judgment” after he was accused of mocking people of Ukrainian heritage, like Stelmach.
World in Brief
Researchers at Scripps Research Institute in Florida said convenience store food 8212; cookies, Twinkies and chimichangas 8212; are addictive, similar to crack and heroin. The researchers fed rats the high-calorie, high-fat foods, and found the rodents became compulsive overeaters. Like the effects of opiates on the brain, the reward circuits became less responsive, making the rats require more food to gain any pleasure from eating. After 40 days on the delicious but detrimental diet, the rats were switched over to a healthy food pellet. They refused to eat it, despite the fact they were clearly starving.
A 5-year-old Middlesbrough, U.K. girl was awoken when she heard noises coming from her kitchen in the early hours of the morning. When she went downstairs to investigate, she found an 18-year-old burglar wielding a meat cleaver. He pointed the weapon at the child and told her to go back to bed, at which point the girl said, “Put my daddy’s car keys down!” While in a stand-off with the little girl, the burglar smashed a glass, waking the parents. The burglar has since been sent to a young offender’s institution for three-and-a-half years, after he admitted to burglary, two counts of assaults, wielding a knife and possession of drugs.
The number of billionaires in India almost doubled over the past year. There are now 52 billionaires in the country, whereas last year there were 27. The surge has been attributed to the stock market rebound from what has been described as one of the worst global recessions in history. The combined worth of the 100 wealthiest people in India now accounts for almost one quarter of the county’s gross domestic product. That means 0.00001 per cent of the country’s population holds 25 per cent of a trillion dollars. India’s richest, who have a combined $276 billion, beat out China’s richest, who combined, only have roughly $170 billion.
Flush with joy
Last Thursday marked ninth annual World Toilet Day, the day the World Toilet Organizations raises awareness about the importance of toilets. One action on the day involved people worldwide squatting in public for exactly one minute. Worldwide, 2.5 billion people don’t have access to proper sanitation, the group says, which poses risks to health, kills 1.8 million people annually, and strips people of their dignity. And the world’s wealthy aren’t much better off, the organization says. Even those who are well-off don’t have access to hygienic public toilets. Shitty deal.
Irish handed defeat
Thierry Henry, star player for France’s national soccer team, has drawn the ire of Irish fans after he quashed Ireland’s chances of playing in the 2010 World Cup by setting up his team’s winning goal using a handball. The foul in the then tied match went unseen by the ref, allowing France to advance and forcing Ireland out of Cup contention. The incident has provoked huge controversy everywhere but North America as well as dozens of angry anti-Henry videos.