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by admin February 16, 2010

Briefs

by admin February 16, 2010

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by admin February 9, 2010

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by admin February 2, 2010

City in Brief

Peel Pub fire
The Peel Pub on De la Montagne St was damaged by a severe fire in the early hours of Sunday morning. It burned for several hours before firefighters were able to bring the blaze under control. Damage was estimated to be between $100,000 to $200,000. The pub had just recently opened, as a second Montreal franchise of The Peel Pub, the first being located on Peel St. The pub, known for serving massive four-litre pitchers of beer and serving cheap pub food, is a popular spot for students and Canadiens fans.

Sainthood for Andre
Pope Benedict XVI is set to announce the canonization of Alfred Bessette, better known as Brother André on Feb. 19, the Globe and Mail is reporting. The announcement will make Bessette, who died in 1937, Quebec’s first saint. Bessette began the construction of the huge St. Joseph’s Oratory by building a chapel in 1904, where his remains rest. In December, the pope declared several instances of healing associated with Bessette could not be explained scientifically, thus declaring them to be miracles, an important step in the process of canonization.

Ridership rise
More Montrealers are using public transit, and less are driving their cars. Ruefrontenac.com reports that a study released by L’Agence metropolitaine de transport indicates that two-thirds of people use public transport to get downtown, and use in general has risen 15 per cent, to a 20-year high. The survey, conducted in 2008, is commissioned every five years, and also found that for the first time since the survey was started in 1970, car ridership has fallen, declining one per cent since 2003.

Pick your channels

The ongoing competition between Bell Canada and Videotron has given a boon to Quebecers, according to the CBC. Bell subscribers in Quebec will now be able to pick which specific channels they wish to pay for, provided they are already subscribing to a basic package. The service is already offered by Videotron. Bell will not be offering the service in the rest of Canada, because, well, until some better competition crops up, they don’t really have to. Bell is in the midst of upgrading its telecommunications networks to compete with Videotron in Quebec’s market, which is home to the lowest prices in the country.

CFS-Q, CFS settle on name

The Canadian Federation of Students has reached a deal with CFS-Quebec Inc. The national student lobby group had sued its one-time provincial branch for trademark infringement, after it refused to stop using the CFS name. The agreement, reached Friday, will allow CFS-Q to keep using the name, but will not allow them to use it if they are criticizing the national group.

Nation in Brief

Liberal gets legislative licking
A Liberal MP was ejected from the New Brunswick legislature on Thursday after refusing to apologize for flipping off the Tory benches. Abel LeBlanc, MP for Saint John Lancaster, was expelled by Speaker of the House Roy Boudreau after he responded to Conservative demands that he apologize for heckling one of its members by twice raising his middle finger to the opposition benches. An allegedly unapologetic LeBlanc targeted Conservative Dale Graham in particular. Making a fist, LeBlanc said that he would “go outside” with any conservative MP and called Graham a “punk.” The legislative proceedings were being televised at the time of the incident.

Shrimp showdown

On Monday, Canada closed its ports to all fishing boats coming from Greenland and the Faroe Islands as a pressure tactic in an on-going dispute over shrimp quotas. A statement was released on Sunday by Fisheries Minister Gail Shea announcing the tactic, saying that the ports will remain closed to the two regions until they start to abide by shrimp quotas determined by the Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization. The two regions allegedly bring in shrimp numbers approximately 10 times higher than the 334-tonne quota they were allocated. Shrimp has become a valuable commodity for Canadian fishermen, bringing in a reported annual sum of $250 million. Canada had already closed its ports to fleets from the two regions in December 2004 before reopening them again in 2008.

Semi carrying explosives crashes
A semi truck loaded with an “inert explosive chemical” was involved in a fatal four-car collision on Highway 40 in Alberta on Monday afternoon, the Vancouver Sun reported.
Initial reports claimed that the truck was filled with dynamite, but police later determined it was loaded with chemicals with explosive capabilities. Police have since confirmed that the chemicals posed no danger to the public in this particular collision, however. Rescue teams were working to free the truck’s driver from his vehicle following the incident and the road was expected to be closed until around 8 p.m. Monday night. One person died in the collision.

Buttons burn Giambrone

Toronto resident Sonya Popovich spent Valentine’s weekend handing out free buttons throughout the city that said “I had sex with Adam Giambrone,” the Globe and Mail reported.Popovich had no real problem with the disgraced city councillor’s multiple indiscretions with women other than his long time partner, which came into the public light earlier this month. She was, however, angry at the media treatment of the councillor’s partner, Sarah McQuarrie, and the councillor’s response to the controversy. So, Popovich came up with the button idea and commissioned 500 from designer Nancy Reid. She has since given out 300 to people who promised to display the buttons and said the feedback has generally been positive. Popovich added that she plans on placing the buttons in city councillors’ mailboxes today, including that of Giambrone himself.

World in Brief


Funny money

The general manager of Chile’s national mint has been fired, after it was discovered that thousands of coins were circulated with a slight problem – the country’s name was spelt as “Chiie” on the coins. While he’s being blamed, it seems he’s not the only one who wasn’t paying attention – astonishingly, these coins were minted and circulated in early 2008, with the error only being discovered at the end of 2009. The BBC reports the coins, worth 50 pesos (around 10 cents), are already becoming collectors items in the country, where they will remain in circulation despite their grammatical shortcomings.

A cute and cuddly Hell

Oddly, a woman in Cincinnati is breathing a sigh of relief after her husband recently died. The woman claims that her husband used to abuse her by adopting as many stray cats as he could, and then refusing to let her release them, according to the Cincinnati Enquirer. Tonya Parrish’s husband, before he died of a drug overdose, had managed to accumulate over 65 cats, which forced Parrish to spend virtually all of her time cleaning up and taking care of the animals. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the couple had gotten married two months after meeting through an online dating service. Parrish has given away half the cats, but despite her ordeal, intends on keeping seven.

Fun at the airport
Faced with unpaid bills and the shock of losing his job, 27-year-old Phoenix, Arizona resident Daniel Greene did the only thing that seemed rational. He ran into Phoenix’s Sky Harbor Airport wielding a knife, began throwing things and finally took off all of his clothes before being apprehended by police, reports myfoxphoenix.com. The scare, which didn’t cause any flight delays, was apparently caused by Greene going off of his medicine, which treated his bipolar disorder. He is being charged with reckless endangerment, disorderly conduct and indecent exposure by authorities in Phoenix, who obviously lack a good sense of humour.

A sticky situation

Sweden is in the midst of a controversy because EU health authorities are allowing the use of thrombin, an edible substance used to “glue” different meats together. Sweden’s the Local is reporting that politicians and consumer advocates are raising concerns that unscrupulous meat packagers might glue together smaller pieces of meat, and sell it as a larger piece of meat. This concern is probably overblown, as meats have to be clearly labelled when sold – but on the other hand, the EU hasn’t made clear what in the hell one could properly use “meat glue” for anyway.

Stabby stiletto
A woman in Huddersfield, England found a new and completely gruesome use for her stiletto heel after her and her boyfriend had a heated argument in a taxi cab. The Daily Telegraph reports she swung it at him, stabbing him through the eyeball, with the heel puncturing so deep it even touched his brain. The man is in stable condition in hospital while his dangerous (yet stylish!) girlfriend is facing criminal charges for wounding with intent to cause bodily harm.

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City in Brief

Peel Pub fire
The Peel Pub on De la Montagne St was damaged by a severe fire in the early hours of Sunday morning. It burned for several hours before firefighters were able to bring the blaze under control. Damage was estimated to be between $100,000 to $200,000. The pub had just recently opened, as a second Montreal franchise of The Peel Pub, the first being located on Peel St. The pub, known for serving massive four-litre pitchers of beer and serving cheap pub food, is a popular spot for students and Canadiens fans.

Sainthood for Andre
Pope Benedict XVI is set to announce the canonization of Alfred Bessette, better known as Brother André on Feb. 19, the Globe and Mail is reporting. The announcement will make Bessette, who died in 1937, Quebec’s first saint. Bessette began the construction of the huge St. Joseph’s Oratory by building a chapel in 1904, where his remains rest. In December, the pope declared several instances of healing associated with Bessette could not be explained scientifically, thus declaring them to be miracles, an important step in the process of canonization.

Ridership rise
More Montrealers are using public transit, and less are driving their cars. Ruefrontenac.com reports that a study released by L’Agence metropolitaine de transport indicates that two-thirds of people use public transport to get downtown, and use in general has risen 15 per cent, to a 20-year high. The survey, conducted in 2008, is commissioned every five years, and also found that for the first time since the survey was started in 1970, car ridership has fallen, declining one per cent since 2003.

Pick your channels

The ongoing competition between Bell Canada and Videotron has given a boon to Quebecers, according to the CBC. Bell subscribers in Quebec will now be able to pick which specific channels they wish to pay for, provided they are already subscribing to a basic package. The service is already offered by Videotron. Bell will not be offering the service in the rest of Canada, because, well, until some better competition crops up, they don’t really have to. Bell is in the midst of upgrading its telecommunications networks to compete with Videotron in Quebec’s market, which is home to the lowest prices in the country.

CFS-Q, CFS settle on name

The Canadian Federation of Students has reached a deal with CFS-Quebec Inc. The national student lobby group had sued its one-time provincial branch for trademark infringement, after it refused to stop using the CFS name. The agreement, reached Friday, will allow CFS-Q to keep using the name, but will not allow them to use it if they are criticizing the national group.

Nation in Brief

Liberal gets legislative licking
A Liberal MP was ejected from the New Brunswick legislature on Thursday after refusing to apologize for flipping off the Tory benches. Abel LeBlanc, MP for Saint John Lancaster, was expelled by Speaker of the House Roy Boudreau after he responded to Conservative demands that he apologize for heckling one of its members by twice raising his middle finger to the opposition benches. An allegedly unapologetic LeBlanc targeted Conservative Dale Graham in particular. Making a fist, LeBlanc said that he would “go outside” with any conservative MP and called Graham a “punk.” The legislative proceedings were being televised at the time of the incident.

Shrimp showdown

On Monday, Canada closed its ports to all fishing boats coming from Greenland and the Faroe Islands as a pressure tactic in an on-going dispute over shrimp quotas. A statement was released on Sunday by Fisheries Minister Gail Shea announcing the tactic, saying that the ports will remain closed to the two regions until they start to abide by shrimp quotas determined by the Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization. The two regions allegedly bring in shrimp numbers approximately 10 times higher than the 334-tonne quota they were allocated. Shrimp has become a valuable commodity for Canadian fishermen, bringing in a reported annual sum of $250 million. Canada had already closed its ports to fleets from the two regions in December 2004 before reopening them again in 2008.

Semi carrying explosives crashes
A semi truck loaded with an “inert explosive chemical” was involved in a fatal four-car collision on Highway 40 in Alberta on Monday afternoon, the Vancouver Sun reported.
Initial reports claimed that the truck was filled with dynamite, but police later determined it was loaded with chemicals with explosive capabilities. Police have since confirmed that the chemicals posed no danger to the public in this particular collision, however. Rescue teams were working to free the truck’s driver from his vehicle following the incident and the road was expected to be closed until around 8 p.m. Monday night. One person died in the collision.

Buttons burn Giambrone

Toronto resident Sonya Popovich spent Valentine’s weekend handing out free buttons throughout the city that said “I had sex with Adam Giambrone,” the Globe and Mail reported.Popovich had no real problem with the disgraced city councillor’s multiple indiscretions with women other than his long time partner, which came into the public light earlier this month. She was, however, angry at the media treatment of the councillor’s partner, Sarah McQuarrie, and the councillor’s response to the controversy. So, Popovich came up with the button idea and commissioned 500 from designer Nancy Reid. She has since given out 300 to people who promised to display the buttons and said the feedback has generally been positive. Popovich added that she plans on placing the buttons in city councillors’ mailboxes today, including that of Giambrone himself.

World in Brief


Funny money

The general manager of Chile’s national mint has been fired, after it was discovered that thousands of coins were circulated with a slight problem – the country’s name was spelt as “Chiie” on the coins. While he’s being blamed, it seems he’s not the only one who wasn’t paying attention – astonishingly, these coins were minted and circulated in early 2008, with the error only being discovered at the end of 2009. The BBC reports the coins, worth 50 pesos (around 10 cents), are already becoming collectors items in the country, where they will remain in circulation despite their grammatical shortcomings.

A cute and cuddly Hell

Oddly, a woman in Cincinnati is breathing a sigh of relief after her husband recently died. The woman claims that her husband used to abuse her by adopting as many stray cats as he could, and then refusing to let her release them, according to the Cincinnati Enquirer. Tonya Parrish’s husband, before he died of a drug overdose, had managed to accumulate over 65 cats, which forced Parrish to spend virtually all of her time cleaning up and taking care of the animals. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the couple had gotten married two months after meeting through an online dating service. Parrish has given away half the cats, but despite her ordeal, intends on keeping seven.

Fun at the airport
Faced with unpaid bills and the shock of losing his job, 27-year-old Phoenix, Arizona resident Daniel Greene did the only thing that seemed rational. He ran into Phoenix’s Sky Harbor Airport wielding a knife, began throwing things and finally took off all of his clothes before being apprehended by police, reports myfoxphoenix.com. The scare, which didn’t cause any flight delays, was apparently caused by Greene going off of his medicine, which treated his bipolar disorder. He is being charged with reckless endangerment, disorderly conduct and indecent exposure by authorities in Phoenix, who obviously lack a good sense of humour.

A sticky situation

Sweden is in the midst of a controversy because EU health authorities are allowing the use of thrombin, an edible substance used to “glue” different meats together. Sweden’s the Local is reporting that politicians and consumer advocates are raising concerns that unscrupulous meat packagers might glue together smaller pieces of meat, and sell it as a larger piece of meat. This concern is probably overblown, as meats have to be clearly labelled when sold – but on the other hand, the EU hasn’t made clear what in the hell one could properly use “meat glue” for anyway.

Stabby stiletto
A woman in Huddersfield, England found a new and completely gruesome use for her stiletto heel after her and her boyfriend had a heated argument in a taxi cab. The Daily Telegraph reports she swung it at him, stabbing him through the eyeball, with the heel puncturing so deep it even touched his brain. The man is in stable condition in hospital while his dangerous (yet stylish!) girlfriend is facing criminal charges for wounding with intent to cause bodily harm.

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City in Brief

Franciscan in flames
An abandoned Franciscan church was almost completely destroyed by a Saturday morning fire. Whatever was left of the building was dismantled by construction crews. The church had been abandoned for several years, as renovations would have been too costly to revamp it for the few remaining Franciscans, Father Marc Le Goanvec told The Canadian Press. The order had considered demolishing the church or selling it. It was located on René-Levesque Blvd. and Hope Ave., just a short walk from Concordia’s downtown campus.

Longueuil fare hike
Longueuil residents who wish to travel on the yellow line to Montreal are facing a steep fare increase. Starting in July, rather than simply having to pay the regular $70 monthly fare, a $41 increase will see commuters paying $111 per month. According to ruefrontenac.com, the mayor of the South Shore community will withhold transfer payments to Montreal in retaliation, as Laval has done. The Societé de transport de Montréal and the City of Montreal are currently in a dispute with Laval, which had complained, ironically, about in the past having to pay more than Longueuil to use the metro system.

Docs sue government

Two doctors and a dentist in the region of Basse-Côte-Nord are suing the Quebec government for not listening to their complaints of harassment in 2007, according to the station TVA. The three practitioners are suing the government for $3 million, and claim to have filed 18 complaints about a colleague who allegedly took patients’ medical dossiers home then called patients and staff to insult and intimidate them. The doctor in question was removed from the hospital but was allowed to open his own clinic.

Lose money, online
Loto-Québec will be moving to online gaming by September, according to La Presse. The provincial gambling authority said it is now creating a gambling website because after seeing other companies flourishing online and making $80 million a year in Quebec alone. Loto-Québec is reportedly hoping to bring in $50 million a year from the new venture, which will feature poker and other games. The new site will have strict security measures to ensure the privacy of the player, and a weekly spending limit to prevent excessive gambling.

Scanners at airport
The controversial new full body scanners are now at Pierre Elliot Trudeau International Airport. These scanners have been controversial because they see through a person’s clothing, raising concerns about privacy. In defence of the scanners, the image that appears generally looks like an amorphous translucent blob of flesh, and nothing terribly sexy. The scanners are being brought in across Canada in response to the failed Christmas Day terrorist attack.

Nation in Brief

Salad, steak and sex
A restaurant in Toronto is encouraging customers to have sex in its restrooms on Valentine’s weekend. The Mildred’s Temple Kitchen in the Liberty Village district of the city even proposes its four modern bathrooms will become one of the “101 places to have sex before you die,” and asks on its website “Have you given any thought to moving beyond the bedroom?” Toronto Public Health has said as long as there’s no sex in the kitchen, and the bathrooms are kept sanitary, it’s fine by them.

Timmies bans Jimmy
A Tim Hortons restaurant in New Brunswick banned a customer who complained that the decaf coffee was like “brown burnt water.” The CBC reported that paramedic Jimmy Craig was banned for life from one outlet of the restaurant under the province’s trespass act after its owner Edwin Dow said he was upsetting staff who “went the extra mile” to please him. Craig has since contacted a lawyer to try to get the ban overturned, but for the meantime is brewing his own coffee at home, which he said is “always fresh.”

Finance Minister “deconstructs” igloo
Canadian Finance Minister Jim Flaherty accidentally destroyed an igloo built by Inuit in Iqaluit to welcome officials attending a G7 summit. Flaherty’s hood caught on the entrance archway as he exited the igloo, bringing down part of the structure. The Inuit said the structure could be quickly repaired and a seemingly unfazed Flaherty joked with the media, saying “I’m deconstructing here.”

Homeless hero viciously beaten

Winnipeg’s “homeless hero,” Faron Hall, is in stable, but critical condition after allegedly being viciously attacked and beaten by two individuals in his apartment on Saturday. The CBC reported that the 45-year-old was severely beaten with a piece of furniture to the point where an acquaintance said he was “unrecognizable.” Two suspects have since been arrested by police. Hall received national media attention in 2009 after braving the current and the cold to save a 19-year-old boy from drowning in the icy Red River.

World in Brief

Crime status update
If you love to hate Twitter and Facebook, you have one more reason why. According to the Associated Press, criminal gangs are increasingly using the social networking tools to communicate internally, letting members know of possible stings and informants within their midst. While the rise in Facebook usage allows gangs to coordinate easier, it also allows cops to track down offenders who use the service. Despite the spike in activity, both Facebook and Twitter are apparently still used less than gangsters’ website of choice, Myspace.

Still better than Phil Collins
Karaoke bar owners in the Philippines have to deal with a unique problem: killings brought on by imperfect renditions of karaoke classics, most notably Frank Sinatra’s “My Way,” reports the New York Times. Filipinos have both a natural love for karaoke and a pride in their singing ability, to the point where bad performances can lead to murders brought on by an unappreciative crowd. Because “everyone knows it and everyone has an opinion,” as Rodolfo Gregorio told the Times, the Sinatra classic seems to provoke another degree of disagreement, leading Filipino press to dub a string of incidents the “My Way Killings.”

Struggle over book
Authorities in Germany are debating whether they should start printing a new edition of Adolf Hitler’s Mein Kampf. Bloomberg reports that historians in Germany are working on an annotated new version which they want to see published before 2015, when the book’s copyright will expire, allowing neo-Nazi groups to publish their own versions of the book. The copyright is currently held by the Bavarian government, which allows it to prevent others from publishing it. Mein Kampf outlines the Nazi dictator’s early political philosophy and racial views. Many forms of Nazi symbols and propaganda are currently banned in Germany.

He wants your body

Kenneth Douglas, of Ohio, was sentenced Feb. 2 to three more years in prison after admitting to having sex with three dead bodies at the morgue where he worked from 1976 to 1992. The Cincinnati Enquirer tells us that Douglas, who had already been sentenced to three years imprisonment in 2008 for having had sex with one body, pleaded guilty to crimes against two more corpses. Prosecutors say there are likely many other similar incidents which Douglas has confessed to, but cannot be prosecuted over for lack of evidence. Douglas, for his part, defended himself thus: “If I wasn’t under the influence, this never would have happened.”

Hussies help Haiti

Haitian relief efforts will be getting help from an unlikely source: an Ohio strip club. “Just like everyone, our hearts went out to all the victims in Haiti and we thought, what can we do to help?” Marilyn’s on Monroe manager Kenny Soprano told CNN. The answer? Donate the cover charge from Saturday nights to efforts helping relief efforts. The Caribbean nation was devastated by a Jan. 12 earthquake, which has left hundreds of thousands dead and caused untold destruction.

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City in Brief

TAs’ unions squabble
The Teaching and Research Assistants Union of Concordia is involved in a dispute with its parent union, the Public Service Alliance of Canada. TRAC issued a press release Friday, announcing that it had frozen all activities until a general meeting is called to resolve differences between the two groups. TRAC is accusing PSAC of acting unilaterally and making decisions concerning TRAC’s future without any input from the members of TRAC, calling it a “clear violation of TRAC’s sovereignty and independence.” A contract between Concordia’s teaching assistants and the university is currently in arbitration, after the TAs rejected the tentative agreement Jan. 21.

French dope detection
According to the CBC, a new federal law seeking to crack down on drivers under the influence of drugs other than alcohol – such as marijuana – is being hampered in Quebec because the training materials aren’t available in French. Only 11 officers in Quebec have received the training, which gives an officer the tools to tell if a person in influenced, and to conduct blood, saliva or urine samples to double-check. The RCMP is in the process of translating the manuals into French, with a goal of finishing the translation by the end of the year.

Doctors spied on

Medical workers at l’Hôpital Notre-Dame say their employers, the Centre hospitalier de l’Université de Montréal, are spying on them with secret cameras. Ruefrontenac.com reports that the first camera was found by accident, but four others have been found since. The employees are now angry and the union has drafted a letter to their bosses airing grievances and calling for all the cameras (including undiscovered ones) to be removed. CHUM was non-committal on the number, purpose, or eventual fate of the cameras.

Metro cars delayed, again
A long, drawn-out process to replace Montreal’s aging fleet of metro cars has been delayed once again. The Société de transport de Montréal, along with the provincial government, has been conducting a bidding process for the contract since 2005. They were in the final stages of reaching an agreement with Bombardier and Alstom, but now say they will be accepting bids from other companies beginning March 1. This will likely set the process back several more months at least. CSR Zhuzhou Electric Locomotive Co., Ltd., a Chinese company, has expressed interest in the contract and is trying to convince the STM to adopt steel-wheeled trains, as opposed to the rubber-tired models currently used.

Montreal’s sports fees go up
The city budget recently released by Mayor Tremblay will see everyone paying more to use sport and cultural facilities. The increase is in an effort to raise more money. Prices at the Biodome, Planetarium and Insectarium are all being raised slightly, and the hourly cost of renting out arenas, gyms and other facilities will also see a hike.

Nation in Brief

Fair play for ManCrunch!
A Toronto-based gay dating website is crying foul after an ad was rejected by CBS for its Super Bowl broadcast. The ad, for ManCrunch.com, features two men watching a football game cheering for opposing teams. When their hands brush, they start madly kissing each other. CBS claims there’s no discrimination involved, but is simply concerned about the company’s credit rating. As these things go, traffic to the company’s website has already skyrocketed as people go to see the “banned ad.” The Super Bowl is one of the most watched events on TV annually, with companies spending $2 million to $3 million for a 30-second commercial spot.

Scientists keep busy

Animal psychologists at the University of Victoria found that the direction in which a dog wags it’s tail is indicative of its mood. Scientists observed the way in which 500 real dogs approached a robotic dog when it “wagged its tail” to the right, and when it moved to the left. The researchers found that 56 per cent showed no hesitation in approaching the robot when its tail was wagging to the left. When the tail moved to the right, however, only 21 per cent of the living dogs approached the robot directly. The results can be explained with the established theory that dogs, like humans, have a left-hand bias. There is still no cure for cancer.

Gyno exams on the D.L.
Medical students at many teaching hospitals in Canada are performing gynecological exams on patients who are under anesthesia. The exams, performed without consent, fall under the Canadian guidelines that say consent to such procedures are implicit. Guidelines in the United States and Britain, by contrast, require that the patient consents specifically to pelvic exams. Though the practice may be standard, few women who have undergone a gynecological exam while under anasthetic from another procedure are aware they have.

Only in Winnipeg
A boy had to be put on life support after having tonsil surgery at the Winnipeg Children’s Hospital. Though the November surgery appeared to go well, the 12-year-old boy started coughing up blood about five days later. Ever since, the boy has been in a persistent vegetative state on life support. The hospital has said the case is being investigated, while advocacy groups for First Nations in southern Manitoba are asking that an independent investigation be launched.

To Wong Fu

In a sting to end all stings, a Windsor, Ont. policeman dressed in drag caught an alleged serial purse-snatcher. The cop dressed up as a vulnerable granny 8212; complete with a wig, a cane and all 8212; to nab the snatcher who had targeted 15 old ladies over the past three months, CBC reported. Several uniformed officers watched the granny-cop walk along a street until a teenager ran up, pushed him to the ground, and grabbed the purse. The teen was taken into police custody. Granny-cop sprained his wrist and scraped his knee.

World in Brief

Eat “til you’re drunk?
A bar in Iowa City came up with a clever way to try to avoid being fined for having sold some vodka Jell-O shooters to underage customers. According to the Iowa Press-Citizen, the Union Bar’s owner argued at the hearing that because the vodka was mixed with Jell-O, it could no longer be considered a liquid and that the charge of selling alcoholic beverages didn’t apply. The judge didn’t buy it.

Murphy’s Law
After trying to return his recalled Toyota truck last week, a Louisiana man accidentally crashed his vehicle into the dealership, Baton Rouge police said. Local media reported that the man wanted a refund on his truck because of the recalled accelerator, but the dealership said it couldn’t give one. After being turned down, the man got into his vehicle and tried to drive away. As he moved forward, the accelerator stuck, propelling the pickup truck into the dealership. The truck suffered extensive damages, but no injuries were reported.

Missing the point

A pastor from Alcoa, TN has been accused of trying to get his son to attend church more. He threatened his son with a gun. The local paper reported that Michael Colquitt filed an order of protection against his father, Joe, after an argument over Michael’s church attendance got out of hand. Michael claims that his father pulled a gun and pointed it at him, then threatened to kill him. The father denies threatening to kill anybody, but admits to pulling out a gun. Would Jesus have done that?

Teaching the Book
The Tennessee Board of Education approved guidelines that will allow schools there to teach the Bible as part of a secular curriculum. The guidelines state that literature from other religions must be available to students. An American Civil Liberties Union representative said she was unsure of many details in the guidelines, and so couldn’t comment on whether the courses would be constitutional or not. “The devil is in the details,” she said.

Hollywood hates religion
According to a new opinion survey commissioned by the Pew Research Center, Americans tend to view Hollywood, the media and scientists as unfriendly towards religion. Hollywood was considered the most unfriendly, with 47 per cent of Americans saying it has negative attitudes toward religion. Thirty-five per cent of Americans also said that they thought the media was harmful to religion – which isn’t true at all. If you fold this newspaper correctly, it makes a great collection plate!

Just a little creepy
Britain’s Daily Mail reported that a hypnotherapist in Hardwick, England was sentenced to 10 months in jail after fondling a hypnotized patient. The court heard that Stephen Barker, 61, convinced a 31-year-old patient to remove her top, then began groping her sexually before she ran away. Barker claimed he was helping her to overcome a sexual issue, and told her “we could have had sex but I wanted to keep it professional at the moment.” He also claimed that it was consensual. If you have to hypnotize her first, it’s probably not consensual.

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