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City in Brief

Belligerent arrest
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.

Mocha-tov cocktails
Two Italian cafés in Montreal were targeted with firebombs last week. The attacks at Café Vegas, on Jean-Talon, and Café Nouba, on St-Laurent, were suspected to be mob-related. The owner of Café 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 café 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

Sausage heroin
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.

Ballsy baby
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.

Bill’India’ires
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.

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City in Brief

Torch in Quebec
The Olympic torch was in Quebec last week, making its way toward Vancouver. Four torchbearers carried the 2010 Olympic torch through the northern village of Kuujjuaq, Que., about 1,500 kilometres north of Montreal. After spending the better part of a week in -40C temperatures, the torch was flown to Gaspe, Que. Tuesday, and made a stop in Sept-Iles, Que. before arriving in Newfoundland and Labrador in time for Remembrance Day. The 106-day torch relay will cover approximately 45,000 kilometres, and stop in over 1,000 communities before ending up in Vancouver for the Games in February.

Nurses nick shots
Two nurses in eastern Quebec are in hot water for taking H1N1 vaccines from work for family and friends. The North Shore health authority is investigating, and the nurses have been issued warnings. The investigation is expected to uncover whether any other nurses or health officials have done the same. Quebec has been experiencing flu hysteria over the past few weeks, as people have worried over delays in getting the shots, which are still only available to priority groups considered more at risk.

Use clause: PQ
The Parti Quebecois has called on the provincial government to use the notwithstanding clause to nullify a Supreme Court decision ruling that Quebec’s Bill 104 is unconstitutional, reported the CBC. Bill 104 was to close a loophole in Quebec’s landmark Bill 101, which restricts access to English-language public education. Those rules could be avoided by transferring from a private school. The government is considering a range of options to avoid complying with the Supreme Court ruling. The notwithstanding clause allows the government to override constitutional laws, though its usage is often accompanied by controversy. It was used to override another court decision that declared English signage laws unconstitutional.

Pricey platform
La Presse reported this week that the renovations to the Lucien-L’Allier train station will cost five times as much as originally projected. It was originally supposed to cost $40 million, but the cost has since skyrocketed to a projected $215 million. The platform is an important transportation node, being located at the Bell Centre and serving as a terminus for three commuter train lines. The renovation, according to La Presse, will see the construction of an overhead shelter designed to give train passengers protection from the elements while they wait for their train, among other things.

Party!
Being ranked behind Belgrade was rarely thought to be a good thing, but that’s no longer the case. Montreal is the second best party city in the world, according to the Lonely Planet’s annual list. The Serbian capital was ranked first, and then Montreal, followed by Buenos Aires and Dubai. Our buttoned-down American neighbours didn’t have a single city in the top ten. The vibrant student life, Old-World style and nightlife were cited as reasons for Montreal’s high ranking.

Nation in Brief

Have a shot, support the arts
ABSOLUT vodka launched its first-ever Canadian-inspired bottle. The Vancouver-inspired bottle features a yellow, blue and white image of the city’s skyline contained inside a stylized letter V, with a sea plane flying above. Vancouver follows in the footsteps of New Orleans, Los Angeles and Boston, all cities that have been immortalized on ABSOLUT bottles. The bottle retails for just under $26, and is available exclusively in Vancouver. The vodka’s Canadian parent company, Corby Distilleries Ltd. said it will donate up to $120,000 of the proceeds from sales of the bottle to local arts projects.

Air Canada goes north
The Canadian airline announced last week that it plans to expand its network with daily, non-stop services to Iqaluit, Nunavut. The service will begin in March 2010, according to Air Canada. The airline’s Vice President responsible for Network Planning said he expects the route to be popular for government officials and those traveling for business, as well as tourists who want a first-hand experience of the Great White North. Flights will leave from Montreal and Ottawa.

Tea for two
Striking museum workers in Ottawa threw a tea party in honour of Prince Charles’ visit last week. Now in their ninth week of picketing, workers from the Museum of Civilization and the War Museum also used the opportunity to serve scones and unveil a new series of stamps called, “Royal Treasures for a Royal Visit.” Each stamp features the likeness of one of the 420 striking workers. Talks first hit a standstill on Sept. 18. They resumed briefly on Oct. 7, but stalled again when the Museum of Civilization Corporation refused to agree to protections against the contracting out of workers’ jobs.

Porter pilot scare
A Porter airlines flight leaving from Halifax to Saint John’s, Nfld. had to turn around in mid-flight Saturday, after the pilot passed out. The co-pilot became aware of the situation, took the controls, and was forced to turn back towards Halifax, where the plane landed safely. The pilot, a 39-year-old veteran with 7,000 hours in the air, was taken to hospital with an undisclosed condition. The passengers managed to get to Saint John’s after all, once a replacement was found.

Guard kills moose
Canada’s new policy of allowing border guards to carry guns has finally claimed a victim: a moose. According to the Canadian Press, a border guard and an RCMP officer were driving along a highway in Creston, B.C., where they saw an injured moose alongside the highway and decided to put it out of its misery. The RCMP officer shot it twice in the head. Miraculously, the moose survived. The RCMP officer thought the border guard officer, due to his knowledge of animals, might be better qualified to shoot it. So the border guard did, and killed the animal. It was the first incident since 2007, since guns began being carried, that a Canada Border Service Agency officer discharged a weapon.

World in Brief

You’re not invited
An elite dating service “for beautiful people only” went live across the globe at the end of last month. As of last week, the site had so far rejected nearly 1.8 million applicants, and accepted only 360,000 new members. The total number of memberships of the website, whose company headquarters is located in Denmark, now exceeds 540,000. The company’s founder, Robert Hintze (a very pretty, blue-eyed Dane… Google him), speaking about the backlash against the company said the site “may be morally ugly to our critics, but our growing success is a very beautiful truth.” To be accepted on beautifulpeople.com, hopefuls submit a photo and profile that existing members spend 48 hours voting on. Sweden, Brazil and Norway have the most “beautiful” people; Germany and the UK have the least.

School CAN be fun

According to Manchester’s The Guardian, a region of Spain has introduced new sex education classes designed to teach youth an important new skill: masturbation. The decision by Extremadura, in southwest Spain has provoked laughter and controversy with social conservatives in the region. Despite the lack of support from other regions and parties, the government of Extremadura has decided to go it alone with the program. Beating off criticism, Laura Garrido, president of the Youth Council of Extremadura, told the Guardian the campaign is “simple, clear, natural and easily understood.” Ironically, the region’s name, Extremadura means “extremely hard” in Spanish, and is thought to refer to the difficult conditions of life in the area. Write your own joke.

Wife stings hubby
A 68-year-old married British man thought he was pulling a fast one on his wife when he asked a 14-year-old girl online to meet him for sex. Imagine his surprise when that “girl” was in fact his wife, aged 61, who pretended to be a teenager online so she could catch him red-handed. The man also performed lewd acts via his webcam, which his wife watched a few rooms away while in the same house. After she found out the truth, she called police, who found child porn on his computer, according to the BBC. the man has been sentenced to three years of community service and barred from having any contact with people under the age of 18. Unsurprisingly, Cheryl Roberts is now seeking a divorce.

Doubly fake
A woman in Texas decided to pull a Texas-sized hoax in order to raise money for breast implants. Trista Joy Lahern, 24, decided to fake being a breast cancer survivor in order to raise money for the breast augmentation. She shaved her head to simulate chemotherapy side-effects, and managed to raise almost $11,0008212;enough for the surgery, and also enough to be arrested for theft by deception by local authorities. She was motivated because she thought breast implants would save her marriage, but according to the Waco Tribune-Herald, her husband of seven months has filed for annulment.

Door-to-whoops
A Texas teenager was arrested after a stint of door-to-door salesmanship got him into trouble. The 19-year-old boy was trying to sell pot when, as luck would have it, he knocked on the door to an officer’s house. After deciding he didn’t want 3 oz of weed, the cop showed his badge and arrested the teen.

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City in Brief

Con U wins big

Concordia received just under $80 million in funding from the provincial and federal governments this past year. Most of that money, coming form the government’s Knowledge Infrastructure Plan, will fund new research facilities. Combined, universities in Quebec received $645 million in funding. With about 10 per cent of all university students in Quebec attending Concordia, President Judith Woodsworth said the university got more than its “share of the pie.” Université de Montréal, including Polytechnique but not HEC, received $77 million. McGill received $103 million, but that figure includes funds for imaging equipment at the Douglas hospital.

Tuition hike

Business students opting to take the executive option in John Molson’s MBA will be forking over 31 per cent more in tuition fees. Beginning September 2010, the EMBA will cost $68,000, up from $52,000. This fee increase is not retroactive, meaning students currently enrolled in the program will not be affected. The program initially cost $15,000 when it began in 1985. Tuition in the EMBA has gone up eight times since, with the last increase approved in 2004. Tuition in the joint McGill/HEC Executive MBA will increase from $65,000 to $72,000 next fall. Concordia’s EMBA ranked 80th out of 95 top Executive MBA programs worldwide in this year’s Financial Times of London Rankings.

Con U attracts more students

Enrolment in undergraduate programs at universities in Canada increased this year by 4.1 per cent. In Quebec, the increase was reported at 3.1 per cent. Concordia is ahead of the curve, according to President Judith Woodsworth, who said undergraduate enrolment here is up by 4.6 per cent. Presenting to the Board of Governors last week, Woodsworth said she hopes this hike will result in increased funding from the Government of Quebec. As has been proved in the past, more people tend to go back to school during times of economic recession. Though Woodsworth admitted the increase is partly connected to the recession, she said it can also be attributed to Concordia’s improving reputation. “We’re doing better than our peers,” she said. “So it also speaks to us.”

Show hall to close

Le Medley, a show hall on St. Denis St., announced this week it will be closing its doors at the end of the year. The hall’s owners said they will help promoters relocate events already scheduled for the new year. The building, on the corner of St. Denis and René-Lévesque, originally opened its doors in 1969 as the Old Munich bar, a German-style beer garden with a Quebecois flair. Labatt 50-drinking customers would sit at long picnic tables and be entertained by Lederhosen-clad bands playing Bavarian music. What the building will become in its third incarnation has not yet been decided. The large hall, with a capacity of 1,700, is the area’s second medium-capacity venue to close in as many years. The Spectrum closed its doors in August, 2007.

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Nation in Brief

Toronto Flu Fiasco

Board members at four Toronto hospitals are in hot water after they were given flu shots while only certain priority groups were allowed to receive the vaccine, the Canadian Press reported. Ontario’s Health Minister announced publicly that only those with direct contact with patients were supposed to get the shots. Seeing the need for some wild hyperbole, Sharleen Stewart, a rep for the SEIU, a union representing hospital workers, said the following to CP: “What we are seeing evokes scenes from the Titanic, the privileged pushing to the front and leaving vulnerable women and children to a chilling fate.”

Prince Chuck in Canada

Prince Charles, the heir to the British throne and future Canadian head of state, has been touring his future dominion. Charles arrived in St. John’s on Nov. 2, where he was greeted by a sealskin-wearing Lieutenant Governor John Crosbie. Charles’ trip has been relatively problem-free thus far, with the Prince praising Canadian troops and veterans, and talking about sustainability. Nevertheless, he’s been facing criticism from Quebec separatists like Gilles Duceppe, and questions from much of the country as to whether Canada will ever accept the idea of a King Charles III as their head of state.

Senators, Stoffer squabble

Questions were raised in Ottawa about the expenditures of Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s new Senate appointments, after NDP MP Peter Stoffer presented a report attacking their expenses and claiming these new appointments would ultimately cost Canadians over $177 million. Conservative MP Mike Duffy fired back, telling the CBC that Stoffer was a “faker” and a “very good actor” who billed just as many expenses as Conservative MPs.

Copper Blows Red, Again

A Vancouver RCMP officer has been charged with drunk driving for the second time in little over a month, after he was pulled over by a Vancouver Police Department officer on Nov. 7. The police officer had first been caught over the limit a month earlier, on Oct. 3, and had been suspended from the RCMP pending an upcoming court date. He was spotted Saturday urinating in a beach parking lot, then getting into his car and driving away. He was then pulled over and given a breathalyzer test, which he failed. In addition to criminal charges, he also faced disciplinary action from the RCMP.

Ice Floe Rescue

A 17-year-old Nunavut boy was rescued Monday from an ice floe in Nunavut. He had become stranded on the floe after it broke away while he and a friend were on a hunting trip. The ice floe drifted over 45 kilometres into the ocean before Canadian military rescuers were finally able to spot him and rescue him via helicopter. He had been stranded on the floe with two polar bears, one of whom he unfortunately had to kill with his rifle in order to survive. He had been drifting overnight and was recovering from mild hypothermia at a hospital.à

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World in Brief

Funeral crasher

Mourners in Brazil were shocked last week when the deceased showed up at the funeral 8212; alive. Ademir Jorge Goncalves, a bricklayer who was identified as the victim of a car crash, was said to travel to his funeral as soon as he got word of it. Instead of being on the road and in an accident, the supposed victim was at a truck stop, drinking and chatting with friends. Some friends and family members were reportedly so shocked when Gonclaves arrived at his own funeral, they tried to jump out the window of the funeral home, CNN reported. The corpse was badly disfigured, police said, making it difficult to identify the victim. But the cadaver and Gonclaves were dressed in similar clothing. The body was correctly identified later that day, and has been buried.

Dirty, toxic country

Atlanta, GA has been crowned the most toxic city in the United States, according to a Forbes study. Other top rankers included Detroit, Houston, Chicago, Philadelphia, Cleveland, and Los Angeles. The Environmental Protection Agency said it expects $10.5 billion US in federal money will be needed to clean up the country’s environment and initiate clean energy solutions.

Report cards go digital

More school boards in the United States are sending report cards to parents through secure, online accounts, USA Today reported. The paperless trend has been growing since 2008, with Louisiana, Colorado, South Carolina and Texas among the states with districts who no longer use paper report cards. Some parents said they like the idea because they don’t have to rely on their children to bring home the report cards anymore, the newspaper said.

Don’t wait

An American couple decided to wait until being married before having unprotected sex. So on their wedding night in 2005, they had sex without a condom. Then the pain started. The bride, Julie Boyde, told ABC news it felt like someone was sticking needles inside her, and that her insides were burning. When the diagnosis came, it turned out she was allergic to her husband’s sperm. The condition, which is called seminal plasma hypersensitivity and affects an estimated 20,000 to 40,000 American women, can also cause infertility. The woman’s body attacks the sperm, making them unable to inseminate the egg. Boyd underwent a new treatment that aims to desensitize the wife’s allergy and, therefore, calm the reaction. It didn’t work. Due to an agreement Boyd had with a Catholic school where she worked, artificial insemination is not an option, ABC reported.

No hope for Bostonians

Babies’ cries imitate the accent of their mother, according to German researchers. This suggests, they said, that babies pick up accents while growing in the womb. To test the matter, researchers analyzed the cries of 60 healthy babies born to mothers who spoke either French or German. The intonation in the cries of French babies, it was suggested, goes up, while the intonation of German babies’ cries goes down. This difference, the researchers say, mirrors the inflection of both languages.

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City in Brief

Molotovs a blast

Three Molotov cocktails were thrown into three St-Michel area cafés in just over 24 hours. The last attack was at Café Bistro Charland around 4:25 a.m. last Thursday. Two Italian-owned cafés were targeted between 4 a.m. and 4:10 a.m. the previous day. The cocktails caused minimal to minor damage. No one was hurt. Police continue to investigate whether the three incidents are related. No one has been apprehended.

Con U maintains

Concordia University’s place among the top research universities in Canada remained unchanged this year, in 26th place, according to Canada’s Top 50 Research Universities. The university saw an increase of 8.6 per cent in total sponsored research income, slightly above the national trend of a six per cent increase. Concordia’s research income increased from almost $35.6 million in 2007 to over $38.6 million in 2008. University of Toronto held on to its first place berth despite a 1.2 per cent decline in overall research income. Unversité de Montréal placed first among Quebec universities, one spot ahead of McGill University. Thirteen Quebec institutions made the list.

National recognition

There’s that old saying that there’s no such thing as bad publicity. For the sake of Montreal’s reputation, let’s hope that’s true. A story describing the dreadful state of the city made the cover of McLean’s magazine last week. Written in bold, black and red letters above a photo of the city at dusk are the words, “Montreal is a corrupt, crumbling, mob-ridden disgrace. What was once Canada’s most glamorous city is now a disaster . . . Even the mayor fears for his safety.” The reporter, Martin Patriquin likened the city’s current situation to its “bad old days,” but went on to say Montreal has recovered somewhat from its early-20th century reputation for being a city where “every vice and threat . . . could be experienced in abundance.”

Police on defence

Lawyers for Montreal police defended allegations of preferential treatment as the coroner’s inquest into the 2008 shooting of 18-year-old Fredy Viallanueva continued. The inquiry previously heard that police implicated in the shooting were treated differently than civilian witnesses; they were given more time to submit statements and reports, and were not given toxicology tests. When the lead investigator was asked whether there was any reason to suspect the cops had smoked a joint, he said, “No.” Asked whether officers are taught to shoot when fearing for their lives, he said, “Yes.” The inquiry also heard investigators were forced to obtain one of the police reports via Access to Information laws when the officer refused to hand it over.

Windsor Station sold

Montreal’s historic Windsor Station was sold to a shopping mall developer last week. Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd., which operates the railroad at the station, entered a long-term lease which stipulates it will remain the building’s primary tenant. Cadillac Fairview Corp. Ltd. bought the building and other related properties for $86 million.

Nation in Brief

Floating feet return

Last Tuesday, while two men were strolling along a B.C. beach they found a foot in a sneaker. The right foot, tied into a Nike sneaker, is the seventh foot found on the shores of Southern B.C. since August 2007. Forensic tests quickly confirmed the remains were human. RCMP have said none of the feet support evidence of foul play; each of the feet appears to have separated naturally from the rest of the body. The first foot was connected to a depressed man who had disappeared. Two other sets of feet have been paired up, but remain unidentified. One male foot remains unpaired and unidentified.

Purple perpetrator

Ontario Provincial Police are looking for a big, fuzzy, purple bipedal animal in connection to a robbery. OPP said a man dressed as the Teletubby known as Tinky Winky robbed a woman at gunpoint in London, Ont., Saturday night. The woman was reportedly in the downtown area she was approached by a 6-foot-2 man weighing about 240 pounds, police said. He reportedly demanded cash, got about $40 off her, then ran away. No one was reported injured.

Lost luggage inspires

That musician who had a Youtube hit with his song about United Airlines breaking his guitar, has ammo for another hit. On a flight from Regina to Denver, United lost the singer’s luggage. The irony is the musician, David Carroll, was on his way to give the keynote speech at a conference on customer service. The Nova Scotia singer-songwriter’s first online video, “United Breaks Guitars,” was based on United’s refusal to pay $1,200 to repair the guitar they broke. The video went viral, and currently has almost 5.9 million views on Youtube. His second song, “United Breaks Guitars Song 2,” has been less successful with close to 500,000 views. Carroll got his luggage back later that week.

Killer coyotes

Parks Canada officials are on the prowl for the second coyote involved in the death of a 19-year-old Toronto woman. Taylor Mitchell was hiking in Cape Breton Highlands National Park Oct. 27 when two coyotes attack her. One of the coyotes was shot, but not killed, after the girl’s screams attracted the attention of nearby hikers. Parks Canada officials later tracked down and fatally shot one of the coyotes. The trail has since been closed off. Officials continue to search for a coyote that appears aggressive. Mitchell was airlifted to a nearby hospital after the attack, and succumbed to her injuries the following day.

Bombs away

A hotel in Iqaluit was evacuated after receiving a bomb threat last Wednesday. A sweep of the Hotel Nova found no indication of any explosives or suspicious behaviour, RCMP said. The building next to the hotel, which houses the headquarters for the RCMP V division, was also evacuated. The Nunavut legislative assembly across the street was also evacuated. In other news, there are enough visitors to Iqaluit to warrant a hotel – but somehow we doubt a bomb would be necessary to destroy the building.

World in Brief

Making bad worse

Two people failed at shoplifting $244 US worth of video games from a Kmart in Mount Pocono, PA. When store security caught them and police arrested them, one of the suspects was found carrying hypodermic needles and empty heroin bags, the Morning Call reported. Derek Banks, 37, was said to have ditched some of the drug toys, but police found more in his vehicle. He was charged with possession of drug paraphernalia, tampering with evidence and conspiracy to commit retail theft. His partner, 26-year-old Chassidy M. Rutt, was charged with retail theft and conspiracy.

No satisfaction

An Indian man is suing Axe deodorant spray because he was never once successful in attracting a girlfriend throughout the seven years he used the product. The 26-year-old is suing the product’s parent company, Unilever, citing “depression and psychological damage.” The plaintiff said in his court statement that he felt cheated by the company’s advertisements. Axe ads tend to show beautiful ladies with very little clothing throwing themselves at men who wear the spray. Conflicting reports say the man is suing for anywhere from a little under $46,300 to over $100,000.

Facebook fucks up

The social networking site’s new homepage design has a little frame set aside that reminds you of long lost friends. In principle, it sort of seems like a good idea: a contact’s profile picture appears in the suggestions box, along with ways you can reconnect (“Poke him! Write on his wall! Send her a message!”) However the “Book forgot that some people who had profiles have passed away, causing some bad experiences for some, as reported on consumerist.com.

Bad rap

Four Utah teens had the cops called on them after they rapped their orders at a McDonald’s drive-through. The teens, who said they were imitating a Youtube video, repeated the first line of an order over and over, slowing down each time. Employees said the teens were holding other customers from making orders. One of the kids said there were no other customers. The cops were able to track the rappers because the McDonald’s manager copied down the license plate number, the Associated Press reported. In a statement, the fast food establishment said the cops were called less because of the rapping, and more because of the stalling. The teens, who left the restaurant without buying anything, were cited for disorderly conduct.

Dumb and Dumber

Two Iowa guys tried to rob an apartment. Figuring a disguise was a good idea, the would-be burglars covered their faces with black magic marker. These awe-inspiringly dumb criminals, aged 23 and 20, were caught after a witness called in a description of their getaway vehicle to police. The car was stopped a few blocks away. When police looked inside, they saw the boys’ “masks.” “We’re very skilled investigators and the black faces gave them right away,” the chief of local police said in an interview on CNN. The men were charged with attempted second-degree burglary. They were released on bail after appearing in court.

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City in Brief

Molotovs a blast

Three Molotov cocktails were thrown into three St-Michel area cafés in just over 24 hours. The last attack was at Café Bistro Charland around 4:25 a.m. last Thursday. Two Italian-owned cafés were targeted between 4 a.m. and 4:10 a.m. the previous day. The cocktails caused minimal to minor damage. No one was hurt. Police continue to investigate whether the three incidents are related. No one has been apprehended.

Con U maintains

Concordia University’s place among the top research universities in Canada remained unchanged this year, in 26th place, according to Canada’s Top 50 Research Universities. The university saw an increase of 8.6 per cent in total sponsored research income, slightly above the national trend of a six per cent increase. Concordia’s research income increased from almost $35.6 million in 2007 to over $38.6 million in 2008. University of Toronto held on to its first place berth despite a 1.2 per cent decline in overall research income. Unversité de Montréal placed first among Quebec universities, one spot ahead of McGill University. Thirteen Quebec institutions made the list.

National recognition

There’s that old saying that there’s no such thing as bad publicity. For the sake of Montreal’s reputation, let’s hope that’s true. A story describing the dreadful state of the city made the cover of McLean’s magazine last week. Written in bold, black and red letters above a photo of the city at dusk are the words, “Montreal is a corrupt, crumbling, mob-ridden disgrace. What was once Canada’s most glamorous city is now a disaster . . . Even the mayor fears for his safety.” The reporter, Martin Patriquin likened the city’s current situation to its “bad old days,” but went on to say Montreal has recovered somewhat from its early-20th century reputation for being a city where “every vice and threat . . . could be experienced in abundance.”

Police on defence

Lawyers for Montreal police defended allegations of preferential treatment as the coroner’s inquest into the 2008 shooting of 18-year-old Fredy Viallanueva continued. The inquiry previously heard that police implicated in the shooting were treated differently than civilian witnesses; they were given more time to submit statements and reports, and were not given toxicology tests. When the lead investigator was asked whether there was any reason to suspect the cops had smoked a joint, he said, “No.” Asked whether officers are taught to shoot when fearing for their lives, he said, “Yes.” The inquiry also heard investigators were forced to obtain one of the police reports via Access to Information laws when the officer refused to hand it over.

Windsor Station sold

Montreal’s historic Windsor Station was sold to a shopping mall developer last week. Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd., which operates the railroad at the station, entered a long-term lease which stipulates it will remain the building’s primary tenant. Cadillac Fairview Corp. Ltd. bought the building and other related properties for $86 million.

Nation in Brief

Floating feet return

Last Tuesday, while two men were strolling along a B.C. beach they found a foot in a sneaker. The right foot, tied into a Nike sneaker, is the seventh foot found on the shores of Southern B.C. since August 2007. Forensic tests quickly confirmed the remains were human. RCMP have said none of the feet support evidence of foul play; each of the feet appears to have separated naturally from the rest of the body. The first foot was connected to a depressed man who had disappeared. Two other sets of feet have been paired up, but remain unidentified. One male foot remains unpaired and unidentified.

Purple perpetrator

Ontario Provincial Police are looking for a big, fuzzy, purple bipedal animal in connection to a robbery. OPP said a man dressed as the Teletubby known as Tinky Winky robbed a woman at gunpoint in London, Ont., Saturday night. The woman was reportedly in the downtown area she was approached by a 6-foot-2 man weighing about 240 pounds, police said. He reportedly demanded cash, got about $40 off her, then ran away. No one was reported injured.

Lost luggage inspires

That musician who had a Youtube hit with his song about United Airlines breaking his guitar, has ammo for another hit. On a flight from Regina to Denver, United lost the singer’s luggage. The irony is the musician, David Carroll, was on his way to give the keynote speech at a conference on customer service. The Nova Scotia singer-songwriter’s first online video, “United Breaks Guitars,” was based on United’s refusal to pay $1,200 to repair the guitar they broke. The video went viral, and currently has almost 5.9 million views on Youtube. His second song, “United Breaks Guitars Song 2,” has been less successful with close to 500,000 views. Carroll got his luggage back later that week.

Killer coyotes

Parks Canada officials are on the prowl for the second coyote involved in the death of a 19-year-old Toronto woman. Taylor Mitchell was hiking in Cape Breton Highlands National Park Oct. 27 when two coyotes attack her. One of the coyotes was shot, but not killed, after the girl’s screams attracted the attention of nearby hikers. Parks Canada officials later tracked down and fatally shot one of the coyotes. The trail has since been closed off. Officials continue to search for a coyote that appears aggressive. Mitchell was airlifted to a nearby hospital after the attack, and succumbed to her injuries the following day.

Bombs away

A hotel in Iqaluit was evacuated after receiving a bomb threat last Wednesday. A sweep of the Hotel Nova found no indication of any explosives or suspicious behaviour, RCMP said. The building next to the hotel, which houses the headquarters for the RCMP V division, was also evacuated. The Nunavut legislative assembly across the street was also evacuated. In other news, there are enough visitors to Iqaluit to warrant a hotel – but somehow we doubt a bomb would be necessary to destroy the building.

World in Brief

Making bad worse

Two people failed at shoplifting $244 US worth of video games from a Kmart in Mount Pocono, PA. When store security caught them and police arrested them, one of the suspects was found carrying hypodermic needles and empty heroin bags, the Morning Call reported. Derek Banks, 37, was said to have ditched some of the drug toys, but police found more in his vehicle. He was charged with possession of drug paraphernalia, tampering with evidence and conspiracy to commit retail theft. His partner, 26-year-old Chassidy M. Rutt, was charged with retail theft and conspiracy.

No satisfaction

An Indian man is suing Axe deodorant spray because he was never once successful in attracting a girlfriend throughout the seven years he used the product. The 26-year-old is suing the product’s parent company, Unilever, citing “depression and psychological damage.” The plaintiff said in his court statement that he felt cheated by the company’s advertisements. Axe ads tend to show beautiful ladies with very little clothing throwing themselves at men who wear the spray. Conflicting reports say the man is suing for anywhere from a little under $46,300 to over $100,000.

Facebook fucks up

The social networking site’s new homepage design has a little frame set aside that reminds you of long lost friends. In principle, it sort of seems like a good idea: a contact’s profile picture appears in the suggestions box, along with ways you can reconnect (“Poke him! Write on his wall! Send her a message!”) However the “Book forgot that some people who had profiles have passed away, causing some bad experiences for some, as reported on consumerist.com.

Bad rap

Four Utah teens had the cops called on them after they rapped their orders at a McDonald’s drive-through. The teens, who said they were imitating a Youtube video, repeated the first line of an order over and over, slowing down each time. Employees said the teens were holding other customers from making orders. One of the kids said there were no other customers. The cops were able to track the rappers because the McDonald’s manager copied down the license plate number, the Associated Press reported. In a statement, the fast food establishment said the cops were called less because of the rapping, and more because of the stalling. The teens, who left the restaurant without buying anything, were cited for disorderly conduct.

Dumb and Dumber

Two Iowa guys tried to rob an apartment. Figuring a disguise was a good idea, the would-be burglars covered their faces with black magic marker. These awe-inspiringly dumb criminals, aged 23 and 20, were caught after a witness called in a description of their getaway vehicle to police. The car was stopped a few blocks away. When police looked inside, they saw the boys’ “masks.” “We’re very skilled investigators and the black faces gave them right away,” the chief of local police said in an interview on CNN. The men were charged with attempted second-degree burglary. They were released on bail after appearing in court.

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