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by admin January 26, 2010

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by admin January 26, 2010

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by admin January 5, 2010

Briefs

by admin January 5, 2010

Briefs

by admin January 5, 2010

City in Brief

Charge more, earn less
After increasing fines for certain parking violations last year, the city expected to rake in a lot more cash from tickets. But that wasn’t exactly the case, according to Montreal’s director of finance, Robert Lamontagne. In fact, the earnings, which had been included in the 2009 budget, were overestimated by nearly $50 million, La Presse reported. With the fines for some infringements increasing three-fold, the city placed blame for the shortfall on the new electronic ticketing police implemented recently. The police, however, said the new system hasn’t posed any problems and actually allows for quicker ticketing and has reduced the number of contestations.

Laval lab wins gold
A Laval drug-testing laboratory is going to the Olympics. About half of the lab’s staff and some of its equipment will temporarily be moved to Richmond, B.C., where about 1,000 blood and urine samples will be processed during the Games. A team of international experts will round-out the staff and help the World Anti-Doping Agency-accredited lab. An on-site processing lab is required during the Games because of rule stipulating that results must be produced and available within 24 to 36 hours after an athlete competes.

STM rolls into deficit
The Société de transport de Montréal said it will be facing a “crushing” deficit if it doesn’t receive new sources of funding. Presenting its 2010 operating budget to a city hall budget panel last week, the transportation agency revealed a hidden deficit of $40 million. That amount could swell to $363 million by 2018 as the agency continues to upgrade and replace its fleet of buses and metro cars, the transit board’s chairperson said. The ballooning deficit is said to be a result of the STM’s increasing debt. Service improvements on the horizon for this year include a shuttle to Trudeau International, articulated buses, more new regular buses, and increased service on night routes.

Drivers’ ed re-vamped

A new curriculum in the Quebec’s driving schools took effect last week. The updated courses, which was implemented in a bid to increase road safety in the province, include mandatory theory classes and more hours of practical training. Above taking more time to get a license, the new courses will also cost more. With about 80 per cent of accidents caused by “inappropriate road behaviour,” driving schools are going to shift their focus toward teaching how to drive in a courteous manner, using common sense, the Quebec Automobile Insurance Board told CJAD.

Spirited engineers

For the second year in a row Concordia industrial engineering students picked up the school spirit and participation award at the 30th Institute of Industrial Engineers Canada Student Conference, in Windsor, Ont.

Nation in Brief

Body-less homicide
Calgary police investigating a possible homicide were missing a few critical pieces of evidence, including the victim’s body. On Jan. 17, police were called to the home of a man who was believed to have been murdered. Evidence inside the home was enough to lead officers to believe they were at the scene of a murder. A man and woman who were at the scene were taken into custody for questioning. The woman has been released. A QMI article published last week says police are asking the public to help find the victim, weapons and a missing car believed to be connected to the crime. While the public is at it, maybe they can also find the murderer.

Finger lickin’ ouch

An Ontario father is fighting to have KFC warn its customers that when ordering a poutine, they may receive a plate of fries, gravy and cheese that is 8212; wait for it 8212; hot. This comes after the man’s daughter went to the fast food chain’s Acton, Ont. restaurant, where she suffered an epileptic attack and landed face-first into her fresh poutine. The 15-year-old was taken to hospital and treated for second degree burns. Her father said he accepts some blame, since he let his daughter go to KFC on her own. He has stressed he is not looking for a big payout. Rather, according to an article on canoe.ca, he just wants the fast food chain to apologize and say, “Hey, everybody. This food is hot.” The branch has issued an apology. Acton is about 70 kilometres west of Toronto.

First rule of Fight Club
Some students and an employee from the University of Manitoba are being disciplined for their involvement in at least one Fight Club-style fight on university property. School staff first became aware of the fight late last year when men with bloody faces were seen leaving squash courts at a campus recreation centre. Then they found a Facebook page where a little fewer than 100 members were having discussions about fighting. One employee from the recreation facility and four students, all of whom were members of the Facebook group, have been suspended from the facilities for a month. The university decided the other members of the Facebook page were not involved. So, the first rule of Fight Club – don’t talk about Fight Club on Facebook?

Down but not out
Officials at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto said its security team, staff and physicians are working together to see how they can improve safety at the institution. The statement from the hospital came after one of its patients, a paralyzed 22-year-old man, struck a drug deal last week with an undercover cop. A search of the patient’s room turned up a bulletproof vest, a loaded gun, cocaine, ecstasy and marijuana. The man was charged with 11 offences. He was already suing the province and Toronto Don Jail medical staff for $17 million, alleging negligent and humiliating treatment while being held from October to December 2007. The man was paralyzed after getting shot in his spine in the spring of 2007.

World in Brief

Putting the wrong foot forward
Doctors in Peru committed a memorable – and very unfortunate – blunder when they amputated the wrong foot of an 86-year-old man. The man had been in to have an ulcer on his right foot examined, according to the Associated Press. Seeing that it had become infected, they opted for amputation, but somehow removed the wrong foot. Despite eventually realizing their error, they had no choice but to remove the man’s right foot as well to combat the infection. The man’s daughter said she intends to sue.

Better than “Mt. Knocked Up”

Commercialism has reached new heights in China. According to Reuters, the local government in Hunan Province is renaming a mountain after “Avatar”, the blockbuster film directed by Canadian James Cameron. The mountain, previously dubbed the “Southern Sky Column” will now be named “Avatar Hallelujah Mountain.” In addition to having more blue characters than any other movie in history, the film has broken records amongst the country’s 1.3 billion people, making it the most popular film in China (and internationally) ever. The name change was designed by local tourism officials in an effort to bring in more tourist dollars.

Scot gets knotty
The Scottish Sun reported that William Shaw, a 21-year-old man from Airdrie, Scotland has been banned from the town’s Central Park after trying to have sex in public – with a tree. Above being banned, Shaw, who was described by a neighbour as being a “quiet lad” has been placed on bail pending his trial. He pleaded guilty at a hearing last Tuesday. The news follows the release last week of a report stating that the Scottish drink considerably more than their Irish or English counterparts.

Farmer kills cows, self
A dairy farmer in New York state shot 51 of his cows before turning the gun on himself. The farmer was found dead in a bar Jan. 21. About half his herd were found nearby in their milking stalls, also killed by gunshot wounds. His wife and four children were spared. Though the farmer left a note on the barn door, it held no explanation for his actions. The note merely instructed whoever was at the door to not enter, and call police. The farmer’s widow said she doesn’t know why her husband took his life and those of the cows. Some neighbours said he may have been sparing his family from having to care for the cows; the ones he killed were those who needed frequent milking. Is a joke about spilled milk inappropriate?

Just do it
A British radio DJ is getting blasted, but is refusing to apologize, for playing Van Halen’s “Jump” while police tried to talk a suicidal woman down from an overpass. Police negotiators stopped traffic, resulting in several frustrated commuters, several of whom called the radio station to vent, the DJ said. One of the callers requested to hear the Van Halen tune. A British mental health charity said it plans to bring up the incident with the nation’s media regulator.

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City in Brief

Charge more, earn less
After increasing fines for certain parking violations last year, the city expected to rake in a lot more cash from tickets. But that wasn’t exactly the case, according to Montreal’s director of finance, Robert Lamontagne. In fact, the earnings, which had been included in the 2009 budget, were overestimated by nearly $50 million, La Presse reported. With the fines for some infringements increasing three-fold, the city placed blame for the shortfall on the new electronic ticketing police implemented recently. The police, however, said the new system hasn’t posed any problems and actually allows for quicker ticketing and has reduced the number of contestations.

Laval lab wins gold
A Laval drug-testing laboratory is going to the Olympics. About half of the lab’s staff and some of its equipment will temporarily be moved to Richmond, B.C., where about 1,000 blood and urine samples will be processed during the Games. A team of international experts will round-out the staff and help the World Anti-Doping Agency-accredited lab. An on-site processing lab is required during the Games because of rule stipulating that results must be produced and available within 24 to 36 hours after an athlete competes.

STM rolls into deficit
The Société de transport de Montréal said it will be facing a “crushing” deficit if it doesn’t receive new sources of funding. Presenting its 2010 operating budget to a city hall budget panel last week, the transportation agency revealed a hidden deficit of $40 million. That amount could swell to $363 million by 2018 as the agency continues to upgrade and replace its fleet of buses and metro cars, the transit board’s chairperson said. The ballooning deficit is said to be a result of the STM’s increasing debt. Service improvements on the horizon for this year include a shuttle to Trudeau International, articulated buses, more new regular buses, and increased service on night routes.

Drivers’ ed re-vamped

A new curriculum in the Quebec’s driving schools took effect last week. The updated courses, which was implemented in a bid to increase road safety in the province, include mandatory theory classes and more hours of practical training. Above taking more time to get a license, the new courses will also cost more. With about 80 per cent of accidents caused by “inappropriate road behaviour,” driving schools are going to shift their focus toward teaching how to drive in a courteous manner, using common sense, the Quebec Automobile Insurance Board told CJAD.

Spirited engineers

For the second year in a row Concordia industrial engineering students picked up the school spirit and participation award at the 30th Institute of Industrial Engineers Canada Student Conference, in Windsor, Ont.

Nation in Brief

Body-less homicide
Calgary police investigating a possible homicide were missing a few critical pieces of evidence, including the victim’s body. On Jan. 17, police were called to the home of a man who was believed to have been murdered. Evidence inside the home was enough to lead officers to believe they were at the scene of a murder. A man and woman who were at the scene were taken into custody for questioning. The woman has been released. A QMI article published last week says police are asking the public to help find the victim, weapons and a missing car believed to be connected to the crime. While the public is at it, maybe they can also find the murderer.

Finger lickin’ ouch

An Ontario father is fighting to have KFC warn its customers that when ordering a poutine, they may receive a plate of fries, gravy and cheese that is 8212; wait for it 8212; hot. This comes after the man’s daughter went to the fast food chain’s Acton, Ont. restaurant, where she suffered an epileptic attack and landed face-first into her fresh poutine. The 15-year-old was taken to hospital and treated for second degree burns. Her father said he accepts some blame, since he let his daughter go to KFC on her own. He has stressed he is not looking for a big payout. Rather, according to an article on canoe.ca, he just wants the fast food chain to apologize and say, “Hey, everybody. This food is hot.” The branch has issued an apology. Acton is about 70 kilometres west of Toronto.

First rule of Fight Club
Some students and an employee from the University of Manitoba are being disciplined for their involvement in at least one Fight Club-style fight on university property. School staff first became aware of the fight late last year when men with bloody faces were seen leaving squash courts at a campus recreation centre. Then they found a Facebook page where a little fewer than 100 members were having discussions about fighting. One employee from the recreation facility and four students, all of whom were members of the Facebook group, have been suspended from the facilities for a month. The university decided the other members of the Facebook page were not involved. So, the first rule of Fight Club – don’t talk about Fight Club on Facebook?

Down but not out
Officials at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto said its security team, staff and physicians are working together to see how they can improve safety at the institution. The statement from the hospital came after one of its patients, a paralyzed 22-year-old man, struck a drug deal last week with an undercover cop. A search of the patient’s room turned up a bulletproof vest, a loaded gun, cocaine, ecstasy and marijuana. The man was charged with 11 offences. He was already suing the province and Toronto Don Jail medical staff for $17 million, alleging negligent and humiliating treatment while being held from October to December 2007. The man was paralyzed after getting shot in his spine in the spring of 2007.

World in Brief

Putting the wrong foot forward
Doctors in Peru committed a memorable – and very unfortunate – blunder when they amputated the wrong foot of an 86-year-old man. The man had been in to have an ulcer on his right foot examined, according to the Associated Press. Seeing that it had become infected, they opted for amputation, but somehow removed the wrong foot. Despite eventually realizing their error, they had no choice but to remove the man’s right foot as well to combat the infection. The man’s daughter said she intends to sue.

Better than “Mt. Knocked Up”

Commercialism has reached new heights in China. According to Reuters, the local government in Hunan Province is renaming a mountain after “Avatar”, the blockbuster film directed by Canadian James Cameron. The mountain, previously dubbed the “Southern Sky Column” will now be named “Avatar Hallelujah Mountain.” In addition to having more blue characters than any other movie in history, the film has broken records amongst the country’s 1.3 billion people, making it the most popular film in China (and internationally) ever. The name change was designed by local tourism officials in an effort to bring in more tourist dollars.

Scot gets knotty
The Scottish Sun reported that William Shaw, a 21-year-old man from Airdrie, Scotland has been banned from the town’s Central Park after trying to have sex in public – with a tree. Above being banned, Shaw, who was described by a neighbour as being a “quiet lad” has been placed on bail pending his trial. He pleaded guilty at a hearing last Tuesday. The news follows the release last week of a report stating that the Scottish drink considerably more than their Irish or English counterparts.

Farmer kills cows, self
A dairy farmer in New York state shot 51 of his cows before turning the gun on himself. The farmer was found dead in a bar Jan. 21. About half his herd were found nearby in their milking stalls, also killed by gunshot wounds. His wife and four children were spared. Though the farmer left a note on the barn door, it held no explanation for his actions. The note merely instructed whoever was at the door to not enter, and call police. The farmer’s widow said she doesn’t know why her husband took his life and those of the cows. Some neighbours said he may have been sparing his family from having to care for the cows; the ones he killed were those who needed frequent milking. Is a joke about spilled milk inappropriate?

Just do it
A British radio DJ is getting blasted, but is refusing to apologize, for playing Van Halen’s “Jump” while police tried to talk a suicidal woman down from an overpass. Police negotiators stopped traffic, resulting in several frustrated commuters, several of whom called the radio station to vent, the DJ said. One of the callers requested to hear the Van Halen tune. A British mental health charity said it plans to bring up the incident with the nation’s media regulator.

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City in Brief

Monopoly madness
Hasbro Canada is planning the release of a Monopoly Canada game board. The company is launching a nationwide vote to determine which 22 cities will be featured on the board and where each city will be featured. On the fourth day of voting, Calgary was leading the pack, meaning it could be sitting pretty on the highest rent square traditionally held by Boardwalk. Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu was in close second, with Montreal listed in eighth place. Voting is open until Feb. 7.

We’re (tied for) no. 3!
Université de Laval won top honours at the 22nd edition of Jeux de Commerce TD Assurance Meloche Monnex, hosted by Concordia’s John Molson School of Business. The challenge saw some 1,200 students and volunteers from 13 francophone and anglophone universities in eastern Canada compete in case studies, a stock simulation, a debate and athletic events. The theme at this year’s event was responsible management and sustainable actions. The delegation from JMSB tied for third place with École Telfer Université d’Ottawa.

I am a Montréaler
That is how people from Montreal are referred to, according to a Fox News story featuring the city. The feature, perhaps in an attempt to drive home the uniqueness of a French urban space in North America, decided to spell the city using accent. Running with that thought, the Montreal native is referred to as a “Montréaler.” The feature lists five places and activities tourists might enjoy while visiting Montreal. Included in the list is: Visit Old Montreal, shop, eat, skate on Mount Royal and visit the Big O.

Back on TRAC
The Teaching and Research Assistants union of Concordia University has reached a tentative agreement for its first collective agreement for its T.A.s.
The union has been negotiating with the university since 2007. No agreement has been reached for research assistants. TRAC’s VP external Mohammad Sabr said in a media release that though the new contract is not perfect, it was the “best possible outcome of this lengthy process.” Members will attend a special general assembly Jan. 21 to ratify the agreement. Effective Jan. 1, a T.A. who elates a tutorial or lab and is a doctoral student will make $22.94 per hour; A masters will make $17 per hour and an undergraduate will make $13.24 per hour. In general, a T.A who marks, or assists in labs or classes will make $12.30 per hour if they are doctoral students, $11.30 if they are masters, and $10.30 if they are an undergrad.

Nation in Brief

Beaver’s new name
“The Beaver,” one of Canada’s oldest magazines, is changing its name to “Canada’s History” – and sexual innuendo is to blame. “Because of the sexual connotations that this next generation of Canadians has adopted for the name, “The Beaver,’ there were some very practical challenges,” the magazine’s publisher, Deborah Morrision, told the Canadian Press. Beaver, which once exclusively referred to a lovable rodent, is now used to refer to a lovable part of the female anatomy. Users apparently started complaining when email newsletters started getting blocked by spam filters, and Internet searches turned up more exciting topics than Canadian history.

To catch a predator
Police in Edmonton are searching for man who tried to lure two girls, aged five and eight, from school with promises of going to the West Edmonton mall and buying them candy. Seeking to confirm the stereotype, the suspect was dressed in a muskrat hat with side flaps, was unshaven, had glasses and blue jeans with holes in them. His attempt was thwarted when one of the two girls he approached screamed, alerting school authorities nearby. The school has promised to beef up surveillance in the coming weeks.

Boy on bus
An elementary school bus driver in St. John’s, N.L is in hot water after forgetting that one of his passengers, a five-year-old boy, was sleeping on the bus. CBC reported the boy was then found walking down a busy street, crying before two women found him and called police. The boy had fallen asleep on the way to school, and the driver forgot to check that the bus was empty before leaving. He will not be allowed to drive children to school anymore, the school board said.

Gamblers lose even more
Most people who lose money at casinos do it at the tables or the slots. But Alberta has found yet another way for gamblers to empty their wallets. According to the CBC, the province has fined four people for having entered casinos after putting themselves on a voluntary ban list. Chronic gamblers who enroll themselves in the program are forced to stay away from casinos under a penalty of fine. Each fine is $250, and one gambler was persistent enough to be fined twice.

Van Doos go to Haiti
The Canadian government announced Sunday it was sending 1,000 troops to Haiti to assist with humanitarian and reconstruction efforts there in the wake on the devastating Jan. 12 earthquake. The Caribbean nation has been thrown into chaos following the natural disaster. The troops will come from Valcartier, Que., and will bring the total number Canadian forces on the island to 2,000.

Fuming At Iggy
Federal Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff’s town hall at the University of British Columbia was interrupted Friday by climate change activists from Greenpeace, the Vancouver Sun reported. They were urging Ignatieff to shut down the Alberta tar sands, which Ignatieff said he wasn’t capable of or willing to do. The town hall resumed after a brief delay.

World in Brief

Robertson raises rage
Pat Robertson, a conservative television evangelist in the United States raised a few eyebrows over the weekend when he blamed the Jan. 12 earthquake in Haiti on an unlikely source: a supposed “pact with the devil” Haitians made over two hundred years ago to gain help expelling the French. The White House characterized Robertson’s statement as ‘stupid.’ Robertson has previously predicted the world would come to an end in 1982, and that a devastating tsunami would hit the United States by 2006.

No kidding matter

A doctor in Minnesota was indefinitely barred from conducting in-house surgery after accidentally removing the wrong kidney from a patient in 2008. The Star Tribune reports that Dr. Erol Uke explained he was distracted by his pager going off, as well as by other patients. He committed another error a few weeks later, when he accidentally took a biopsy from the wrong organ of another patient.

This explains a bit
The Scottish are among the heavier drinkers out there, according to a study. The BBC reports that the average Scot over 18 years of age drinks the equivalent of about 130 bottles of wine per year, which represents 25 per cent more than comparable figures for England and Wales, and well over recommended amounts. The Scottish government is vowing to fight alcohol consumption, and is considering targeting this country’s low alcohol prices. Spoilsports!

Bin Laden lookalike?
According to Reuters, a Spanish MP is upset with the CIA because they used a picture of his face to create an image of what Al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden might look like now. The mistake was allegedly made after the artist was unable to find a suitable photo from within the FBI’s files, and decided to pull one from the Internet. The photo was then posted on the FBI’s Rewardsforjustince.net, but has since been taken down. Gaspar Llamazares, the current parliamentary spokesperson, says he is considering legal action.

Little Rambo
An 11-year-old boy in Palmview, Texas was shot in the hip while defending himself and his mother from a home invasion. Even more remarkable, after he was shot he managed to shoot one of the burglars in the neck, reports valleycentral.com. The man made it to a hospital but was arrested. Both are listed as being in stable condition.

Gatorade prankster caught
An artist in Longmont, Colorado came up with a hilarious idea: go to local grocery stores and replace labels on Gatorade bottles. The artist placed stickers featuring Tiger Woods (who was the face of “Gatorade Tiger” product until recently) on one side of the bottle, and the word “unfaithful” on the other. Food Safety News reports that the ‘artist,’ Jason Eric Kay, was either gutsy or dumb enough to inform Gatorade’s parent company, PepsiCo, about his project in hopes they’d co-operate. Unfortunately for him, the company didn’t want in. He was arrested by local authorities and faces a bevy of charges that could land him in prison for four years with a $450,000 fine.

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City in Brief

Killer building ruled “safe”
Five months after a cement block fell from a building killing a woman, the downtown edifice has been deemed safe. An engineer’s report attesting to the safety of building, which houses a Mariott Residence Inn and a sushi restaurant, was received by the Régie du b’timent. Montrealer Léa Guilbault was dining with her husband at the restaurant, located on the ground floor, when the concrete came loose from the 17th floor, crashed through the glass roof and killed the woman.

Celebrity perks

Montreal police have admitted it was wrong for a uniformed Trudeau Airport officer to escort Halle Berry, her model boyfriend and their baby daughter past the long line of passengers waiting to go through security. Insp. Jimmy Cacchione, head of the Montreal police force’s airport unit, admitted the officer’s actions did not follow the protocol typically assigned to escorted line-jumping; the safety of her family was not in question, and nobody in the party suffers from reduced mobility. Though the force does not support the decision and action taken by the airport officer, Cacchione said, he will not be reprimanded.

New library rules
Concordia libraries announced new borrowing policies for students, faculty and staff last week. Undergraduate students can now have 10 items on hold instead of five. The loan period for CDs, DVDs and other media increased by one week, so students have 21 days with the item (conditions apply to this rule). Items can now be renewed three time instead of five, on account of the loan period being increased; the overall time a student has with an item remains the same.

Montrealer keeps head

Following a fatal schoolyard fight in Saudi Arabia in 2007, Montrealer Mohammed Kohail was facing a sentence of death by beheading. But a top Saudi court overturned the sentence last week and ordered a new trial. Kohail, 24, was sentenced in March 2008 for the death of Munzer Haraki, who was 19. The case of Kohail’s younger brother, Sultan, has not changed. He was originally tried in juvenile court. His case was bumped to adult court, where he can possibly face a death sentence.

Metro woes
After only three years, tunnels in the Laval metro stops are already in need of repairs. Over 15 cracks 8212; at least six feet long and a millimetre wide 8212; have appeared in the new tunnel network. the cracks will be repaired within six months, CTV reported. The Agence métropolitain de transport said it was aware of the cracks, but that a team of engineers that inspected them said they were not considered dangerous.

Nation in Brief

Pass the butter
The federal Ministry of Fisheries and Oceans threatened residents in St. John, N.B. with hefty fines after an Atlantic storm last weekend caused lobsters there to wash up on the shores. According to federal law, lobsters may only be caught in traps, by licensed fishermen during the open season. Beachcombers who happen upon some tasty crustaceans are liable to pay a $100,000 fine, according to the ministry. The mayor of St. John, unfazed by the government’s warning, said he and about 1,000 other locals had enjoyed lobster meals since the storm.

Oh, Canada
Doing his part for the city, a drunken man in Barrie, Ont. was arrested Jan. 5 for snow blowing under the influence. The 41-year-old man pushed a snow blower into a rush hour traffic, causing snow to swirl up around him and scatter on the street. Twice, police said, the man was almost hit by passing vehicles. An officer who was passing by arrested the man, who was kept in a holding cell until he sobered up. There is no law against operating heavy machinery while inebriated, though the act is generally frowned upon and considered dangerous. Had the man been riding a bigger snow blower, the machine could have been considered a vehicle, which could have led to charges of drunk driving.

Museum features fakes
The Royal Ontario Museum, in a humbling move, has put its fakes on display. Not afraid to admit they were duped, the curators have patched together an interactive exhibit in which visitors can try to decipher real artifacts from some forged ones the museum has acquired over the years. Most of the fake artifacts were bought in the early 20th century when forgery-detecting technologies and knowledge were less common, a curator told the CBC.

Cost of war

Each Canadian soldier in Afghanistan costs taxpayers approximately $525,000 Canwest News Service reported. The calculation is based on the approximated total cost of the mission for the fiscal year 2009-2010 ($1.5 billion) divided by the total number of troops there (2,850). This number does not take into account soldiers’ salaries and benefits or the billions of dollars of Canadian equipment and infrastructure currently in South Asia.

Disabled man kicked out
The University of Victoria received court permission to evict a disabled man from its student residences. The reason? He graduated almost 13 years ago. Alkis Gerd’son moved into residence when he started at the university in 1991. He completed one Bachelor’s degree in 1993, and another in 1997. Since then, he hasn’t registered for any for-credit courses. Though Gerd’son’s disability was not specified in the court documents, he argued the university was trying to evict him because of it. The university will have to pay the defendant’s legal costs because, the judge ruled, it was not open enough in their communications with him regarding his living arrangement. The university can now evict Gerd’son on a month’s notice. Gerd’son has filed a complaint with the B.C. Human Rights Commission.

World in Brief

Cow fart study
McDonald’s is set to begin a study into what comes out of the bums of the British cattle it uses to make hamburgers. Specifically, the three-year study will examine the methane emissions caused directly by McDonald’s UK cattle on 350 of its farms. The fast-food chain is said to use approximately 350,000 cows each year. The announcement follows a call from the British environmental secretary for the food industry to find ways to cut greenhouse gas emissions. Livestock with gas make up for four per cent of the UK’s total gas emissions.

Technology strikes again
The world’s first sex robot, Roxxxy, was unveiled at the Las Vegas adult entertainment expo. The robots, created by the visionaries at truecompanion.com, took over two years and between $500,000 and $1 million to create. In addition to providing quality robot sexual companionship, the automaton can be customized according to the buyer’s preferences, with a specific type of personality or look, and can even maintain a conversation about soccer. The robot can also be updated to provide greater functionality. Roxxxy will reportedly sell for around $7,000 to $9,000.

KFC helps whitey

An Australian advertisement for KFC was pulled from the airwaves after some viewers said it was racist. The ad features a white fan of cricket using fried chicken to subdue and befriend a crowd of black West Indies fans. Once a copy of the television ad made its way to the United States, some national media raised a stink about it, saying it was racist and pushing stereotypes. In a statement KFC Australia said the ad was not intended for an American audience. “The ad was reproduced online in the U.S. without KFC’s permission, where we are told a culturally-based stereotype exists, leading to the incorrect assertion of racism,” the statement said. Still, the company pulled the ads. Chicken.

Yogi’s monster cousin
Residents of Incline Village, California, are dealing with a new and dangerous enemy: a mammoth black bear, the San Francisco Chronicle reported. A 700-pound bear is terrorizing their community. The black bear is not only twice the size of an average bear, he’s smarter too, apparently having learned to avoid feeble bear traps. Oh, and bullets don’t hurt him either. He has been shot at least twice, with one bullet actually ricocheting off his skull and causing no damage. The bear has broken into around 40 or 50 homes, according to local residents. Authorities are waiting for him to show up again, so they can trap and kill him. Our money’s on the bear.

Mexicans fight Starbucks
The Mexican government is asking Starbucks Corp. to pay for the pre-Hispanic images the company used on a line of coffee mugs. The mugs, which feature images of the Aztec calendar stone and the Pyramid of the Moon from ruins located near Mexico City, have been removed from Starbucks stores, the company said. Starbucks has said it is trying to find a solution quickly. Next week, a Mexican government archaeological agency will decide whether the coffee giant will have to pay any fees.

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The women’s basketball team had a strong showing at last week’s Concordia Reebok Tournament. They were undefeated until losing 74-59 to top ranked Simon Fraser in the final. The Stingers’ Anne-Marie Prophete and Jill Vershesen were chosen for the tournament All-Star team. The Concordia women’s hockey squad hosted the Theresa Humes tournament during the holidays. They had a tough showing, and dropped all three games.

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City in brief

Girl still missing

A reward for a missing Quebec girl expired on New Year’s Eve without any advancements in the case. Cédrika Provencher disappeared in July 2007 from Trois-Rivières, where she lived with her parents. Though initial investigations produced some clues, no leads brought police closer to finding the girl, who was nine years old when she vanished. The reward of $170,000, donated by a number of anonymous sources, expired at midnight on Dec. 31. The funds will be returned to the donors.

Show hall closes

The walls at Montreal’s Le Medley show hall have heard their last tunes. The 100-year-old building on René-Levesque Blvd. and St. Denis St. closed its doors Jan. 1. The show venue will now be demolished in order to make room for a 10-storey condominium building, the CBC said. Owners of Le Medley said the building was becoming too expensive to maintain, and that the venue was not turning a strong profit. Before closing the venue, the building needed about $10 million in renovations.

Stabby Christmas!

Four people were stabbed in 48 hours during the holiday in Montreal. Early in the morning on Christmas Day two brothers were stabbed 8212; one in the chest and the other in the thigh 8212; by a group of four or five men in Rosemont, the Gazette reported. Both were taken to hospital where they remained in stable condition. On Christmas Eve, a 23-year-old man was stabbed several times in Park Extension. He was also taken to hospital. Paramedics at the time said his life did not appear to be in danger. Early the previous day, a woman was stabbed when she became involved in an argument with the man who is said to share her rooming house.

Boxing Day riot

The actions of the Montreal police were called to question following a near-riot that broke out in the metro on Dec. 26. The trouble began when a group of people began fighting at McGill metro, then continued the argument as the train travelled on to Place des Arts. When cops arrived at Place des Arts metro, they tried to force an evacuation of the station. Some bystanders who were caught up in the scuffle said they were struck by police with night sticks. Though Montreal police didn’t deny they may have struck some bystanders, they defended their actions, saying they were necessary. Without those actions, police said at the time, the rumble could have turned into a full-scale riot.

Nation in Brief

Dog bites cat

An 18-month-old golden retriever saved his 11-year-old owner from a cougar attack last Saturday, RCMP said. The boy was said to be gathering firewood in his backyard when the cougar approached and charged across the yard. The dog stepped between the cougar and the boy, and immediately started to fight the cat. Police arrived within minutes to find the cougar attacking the retriever and biting its neck. When two gun shots in the cougar’s hindquarters didn’t scare it, the officer moved in and shot the animal twice more, killing it instantly. The dog survived with minor injuries, and the boy was unharmed.

Back in business

The Toronto Humane Society began operating again Monday, a little over one month after workers there were charged with animal cruelty. The charges, laid following a raid on Nov. 26, were the result of a six-month investigation. At the time, the lead investigator said some animals were left to die of infections in their cages rather than being euthanized. About 100 cats and 20 dogs were available for adoption at the location at the re-opening.

Hate in Hamilton

Montreal isn’t the only Canadian city where people have an itch for throwing firebombs. A mosque in Hamilton, Ont. was hit with a Molotov cocktail in the early hours of Monday, police there said. After a rock was thrown through the window, police said, the cocktail was either tossed through the hole or placed inside. The fire extinguished itself and caused about $3,000 in damage. The broken window looks into the principal’s office at an Islamic school that is part of the mosque. Hamilton police arson and hate crimes units are investigating the event.

Oilers party in Cow Town

The Edmonton Oilers, their wives and girlfriends drank and ate away their sorrows after losing to the Calgary Flames Dec. 31. About 45 people were entertained in the private room of a posh Calgary restaurant. It was all fun and games until the Oilers refused to pay their $16,796.39 bill. Though the team eventually paid the bill once $6,000 was knocked off, the province is investigating the restaurant now, following an anonymous complaint that the Oilers were served too much alcohol that night. The complaint is based on a new program that came into effect Jan. 1 which stipulates anyone serving alcohol must receive training to know when someone should be cut off and how to handle customers.

Sask. prison woes continue

A fight at the Saskatchewan Penitentiary in Prince Albert last Monday left one inmate dead and another in hospital. The name of the deceased will not be released until next of kin are notified. The brawl follows on the heels of the prison accidentally releasing a prisoner in late December. In October 2008, prisoners were released from a courthouse instead of being returned to jail. In August 2008, six inmates escaped a correctional centre in Regina. Last March a provincial jail in Saskatoon accidentally released another inmate.

World in Brief

New cigarettes spark concern

Cigarette vendors in Florida are now required to sell “fire-safe” cigarettes that extinguish themselves when left unattended. There have been reports that, since the rule came into effect Jan. 1, smokers are worried the new cigarettes may have unhealthy chemicals in them. The Coalition for Fire Safe Cigarettes, however, says the new ones are no more dangerous than their predecessors.

Happy new yeeeaaarrr

Some Brits decided to ring the new year in at the “highest” pub in the land. Then they got snowed in and had to stay for three days. The pub, called the Tan Hill Inn, stands 1,700 feet above sea level. In an interview with the BBC, the pub’s DJ said the employees and patrons managed to “keep their spirits up.” One guest said all those stranded pitched in to peel vegetables for supper, wash dishes and shovel snow. They even had quiz games. No mention of whether (or when) the taps ran dry.

Up, up and away

The tallest skyscraper in the world officially opened its doors last Monday. The Burj Khalifa in Dubai stretches 828 metres into the sky, eclipsing Toronto’s CN Tower by about 275 metres. Construction on the mega skyscraper began in September 2004. The building cost a reported $1.5 billion to build. With 160 floors, that means each cost more than $9.3 million. Though some apartments in the building were selling at $2,700 per square foot during the peak in 2008, prices have tumbled to half that.

Grammar Nazis lay down law

After a decade of not being sure what to call the year we were in, the National Association of Good Grammar has stepped in. If you’re calling this year, ” two thousand ten,” you’re wrong. This is “twenty ten,” the Association says. They’ve also thought ahead, making sure the public is ready for “twenty eleven,” “twenty twelve” and “twenty thirteen.” The logic behind this is that every year in the 20th century was “nineteen” something.

American milestone

December marked the first month no U.S. soldier was killed in combat in Iraq. Though three U.S troops were killed in December, the deaths were not related to combat. The Associated Press said 149 U.S. troops died in Iraq in 2009, both in and out of combat, which the lowest number recorded since the war began in 2003.

Stop the presses

Twenty-nine per cent of women say they would get more pleasure out of fitting into an old pair of jeans than from sex, according to a recent poll. The same survey found that more women fantasize about being able to get back into that pair of “trophy jeans” than they do about attractive Hollywood men. (Oh yeah, the survey found that 35 per cent of women own a pair of these trophy jeans they keep around in hopes of one day fitting into them.) But how, oh how, will these women finally be able to fit into their jeans and feel young and wonderful again? Let’s just ask the company that conducted the survey: Special K.

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City in brief

Girl still missing

A reward for a missing Quebec girl expired on New Year’s Eve without any advancements in the case. Cédrika Provencher disappeared in July 2007 from Trois-Rivières, where she lived with her parents. Though initial investigations produced some clues, no leads brought police closer to finding the girl, who was nine years old when she vanished. The reward of $170,000, donated by a number of anonymous sources, expired at midnight on Dec. 31. The funds will be returned to the donors.

Show hall closes

The walls at Montreal’s Le Medley show hall have heard their last tunes. The 100-year-old building on René-Levesque Blvd. and St. Denis St. closed its doors Jan. 1. The show venue will now be demolished in order to make room for a 10-storey condominium building, the CBC said. Owners of Le Medley said the building was becoming too expensive to maintain, and that the venue was not turning a strong profit. Before closing the venue, the building needed about $10 million in renovations.

Stabby Christmas!

Four people were stabbed in 48 hours during the holiday in Montreal. Early in the morning on Christmas Day two brothers were stabbed 8212; one in the chest and the other in the thigh 8212; by a group of four or five men in Rosemont, the Gazette reported. Both were taken to hospital where they remained in stable condition. On Christmas Eve, a 23-year-old man was stabbed several times in Park Extension. He was also taken to hospital. Paramedics at the time said his life did not appear to be in danger. Early the previous day, a woman was stabbed when she became involved in an argument with the man who is said to share her rooming house.

Boxing Day riot

The actions of the Montreal police were called to question following a near-riot that broke out in the metro on Dec. 26. The trouble began when a group of people began fighting at McGill metro, then continued the argument as the train travelled on to Place des Arts. When cops arrived at Place des Arts metro, they tried to force an evacuation of the station. Some bystanders who were caught up in the scuffle said they were struck by police with night sticks. Though Montreal police didn’t deny they may have struck some bystanders, they defended their actions, saying they were necessary. Without those actions, police said at the time, the rumble could have turned into a full-scale riot.

Nation in Brief

Dog bites cat

An 18-month-old golden retriever saved his 11-year-old owner from a cougar attack last Saturday, RCMP said. The boy was said to be gathering firewood in his backyard when the cougar approached and charged across the yard. The dog stepped between the cougar and the boy, and immediately started to fight the cat. Police arrived within minutes to find the cougar attacking the retriever and biting its neck. When two gun shots in the cougar’s hindquarters didn’t scare it, the officer moved in and shot the animal twice more, killing it instantly. The dog survived with minor injuries, and the boy was unharmed.

Back in business

The Toronto Humane Society began operating again Monday, a little over one month after workers there were charged with animal cruelty. The charges, laid following a raid on Nov. 26, were the result of a six-month investigation. At the time, the lead investigator said some animals were left to die of infections in their cages rather than being euthanized. About 100 cats and 20 dogs were available for adoption at the location at the re-opening.

Hate in Hamilton

Montreal isn’t the only Canadian city where people have an itch for throwing firebombs. A mosque in Hamilton, Ont. was hit with a Molotov cocktail in the early hours of Monday, police there said. After a rock was thrown through the window, police said, the cocktail was either tossed through the hole or placed inside. The fire extinguished itself and caused about $3,000 in damage. The broken window looks into the principal’s office at an Islamic school that is part of the mosque. Hamilton police arson and hate crimes units are investigating the event.

Oilers party in Cow Town

The Edmonton Oilers, their wives and girlfriends drank and ate away their sorrows after losing to the Calgary Flames Dec. 31. About 45 people were entertained in the private room of a posh Calgary restaurant. It was all fun and games until the Oilers refused to pay their $16,796.39 bill. Though the team eventually paid the bill once $6,000 was knocked off, the province is investigating the restaurant now, following an anonymous complaint that the Oilers were served too much alcohol that night. The complaint is based on a new program that came into effect Jan. 1 which stipulates anyone serving alcohol must receive training to know when someone should be cut off and how to handle customers.

Sask. prison woes continue

A fight at the Saskatchewan Penitentiary in Prince Albert last Monday left one inmate dead and another in hospital. The name of the deceased will not be released until next of kin are notified. The brawl follows on the heels of the prison accidentally releasing a prisoner in late December. In October 2008, prisoners were released from a courthouse instead of being returned to jail. In August 2008, six inmates escaped a correctional centre in Regina. Last March a provincial jail in Saskatoon accidentally released another inmate.

World in Brief

New cigarettes spark concern

Cigarette vendors in Florida are now required to sell “fire-safe” cigarettes that extinguish themselves when left unattended. There have been reports that, since the rule came into effect Jan. 1, smokers are worried the new cigarettes may have unhealthy chemicals in them. The Coalition for Fire Safe Cigarettes, however, says the new ones are no more dangerous than their predecessors.

Happy new yeeeaaarrr

Some Brits decided to ring the new year in at the “highest” pub in the land. Then they got snowed in and had to stay for three days. The pub, called the Tan Hill Inn, stands 1,700 feet above sea level. In an interview with the BBC, the pub’s DJ said the employees and patrons managed to “keep their spirits up.” One guest said all those stranded pitched in to peel vegetables for supper, wash dishes and shovel snow. They even had quiz games. No mention of whether (or when) the taps ran dry.

Up, up and away

The tallest skyscraper in the world officially opened its doors last Monday. The Burj Khalifa in Dubai stretches 828 metres into the sky, eclipsing Toronto’s CN Tower by about 275 metres. Construction on the mega skyscraper began in September 2004. The building cost a reported $1.5 billion to build. With 160 floors, that means each cost more than $9.3 million. Though some apartments in the building were selling at $2,700 per square foot during the peak in 2008, prices have tumbled to half that.

Grammar Nazis lay down law

After a decade of not being sure what to call the year we were in, the National Association of Good Grammar has stepped in. If you’re calling this year, ” two thousand ten,” you’re wrong. This is “twenty ten,” the Association says. They’ve also thought ahead, making sure the public is ready for “twenty eleven,” “twenty twelve” and “twenty thirteen.” The logic behind this is that every year in the 20th century was “nineteen” something.

American milestone

December marked the first month no U.S. soldier was killed in combat in Iraq. Though three U.S troops were killed in December, the deaths were not related to combat. The Associated Press said 149 U.S. troops died in Iraq in 2009, both in and out of combat, which the lowest number recorded since the war began in 2003.

Stop the presses

Twenty-nine per cent of women say they would get more pleasure out of fitting into an old pair of jeans than from sex, according to a recent poll. The same survey found that more women fantasize about being able to get back into that pair of “trophy jeans” than they do about attractive Hollywood men. (Oh yeah, the survey found that 35 per cent of women own a pair of these trophy jeans they keep around in hopes of one day fitting into them.) But how, oh how, will these women finally be able to fit into their jeans and feel young and wonderful again? Let’s just ask the company that conducted the survey: Special K.

Leave a Comment

The women’s basketball team had a strong showing at last week’s Concordia Reebok Tournament. They were undefeated until losing 74-59 to top ranked Simon Fraser in the final. The Stingers’ Anne-Marie Prophete and Jill Vershesen were chosen for the tournament All-Star team. The Concordia women’s hockey squad hosted the Theresa Humes tournament during the holidays. They had a tough showing, and dropped all three games.

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