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by Kalina Laframboise November 6, 2012
News Briefs

City in Brief
by Kalina Laframboise

→ Zero tolerance for corruption, collusion and construct
In her inaugural speech on Oct. 31, Premier Pauline Marois emphasized the need to end the misconduct plaguing the provincial government with an anti-corruption bill. The following day, the Parti Quebecois tabled a bill that will impose a rigorous screening process for companies vying for contracts. The bill aims to ensure the integrity of potential contractors and keep tabs on them throughout the construction process. Marois emphasized that the first few weeks of her time as Quebec’s premier would be devoted to ending corruption and condemning dishone

→ I’m never eating there again
Last week, the neurology clinic at the Jewish General Hospital closed due to an outbreak of the norovirus. The infection sprouted from the coffee shop, where hundreds of staff members, patients and visitors eat on a daily basis. Approximately 45 people from the hospital fell ill with flu-like symptoms such as diarrhea, cramps, and fever. After several staff members from the neurology clinic became sick, the clinic was closed for half of Thursday and all of Friday. The coffee shop will remain closed until the specific reason for the outbreak can be determined.

→ Let there be light
Most people working in the theatre don’t choose that path to strike it rich. Usually, it’s the exact opposite. Not for Robert Thomson though. According to CBC, Thomson has been named the recipient of the 2012 Elinore & Lou Siminovitch Prize in Theatre, which is reportedly the largest theatre award of its kind in Canada. In its 12th year, the prize awarded the lucky lighting designer $75,000 and an additional $25,000 for two young designers he works with. Thomson is working on a production of Red at Montreal’s Segal Centre right now, which premieres Nov. 2

→ But Quebec is where the party’s at
New Democratic Party members were split on forming a provincial party for Quebec in a meeting in Montreal this Saturday. Those in favour of the formation argued that it would provide left leaning voters with an alternative to the sovereign parties while other members emphasized the need to focus on dominating the federal election in 2015. The priority for the federal party members is to oust the Conservative Party from power. Party Leader Thomas Mulcair announced the possible creation of a provincial wing but backtracked when the Parti Quebecois won a minority provincial government on Sept. 4 opting for resources to be spent on the federal initiatives instead.

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Nation in Brief
by Robin Della Corte

→ 18 and legal
The Saskatchewan Party is considering changing the province’s liquor laws by lowering the legal drinking age from 19 to 18. Members of the party voted in favour of the new drinking age at the party’s annual convention in Saskatoon last weekend. The main arguments rose from issues of fairness where provinces like Alberta, Manitoba and Quebec have a legal drinking age of 18. Saskatchewan Party MLA Donna Harpauer is not a fan of the idea because she believes teen drinking is a problem and because the majority of 18-year-olds are still in high school. This issue still needs to be voted on in the legislature to become law, CBC News reported

→ Cat city
Toronto’s animal shelters are overcrowded and more cats than ever are roaming the streets of the city due to a warm spring. An estimated 300,000 cats are on Toronto’s streets, Barbara Steinhoff of the Toronto Humane Society told CBC. In a year, there are between 100,00 and 300,000 cats without homes. This year it’s at its extreme high and although shelters are full, dozens of cats arrive each day. Two Toronto shelters are lowering adoption fees to help encourage giving cats a home.

→ Girl look at this body
Sam, a six-year-old lab in Windsor, Ont. shed half of his weight from sticking to a workout regime. Arriving at the Humane Society in January, Sam was overweight at a whopping 174 pounds. A lack of exercise and excessive eating led to Sam’s appearance. Following a vet’s conclusion that there was no medical reason behind his excessive weight gain, Sam was then sent to a foster home where he started an exercise program and ate special food. Sam is now 96 pounds and is active and is able to run and play with other dogs.

→ Halloween horror
She made a vow when she put them on and now, she’s made a vow to never take them off. A woman in Nova Scotia said she will never take off her wedding ring again. While Bonnie Pick-Melanson carved pumpkins with her son, she took off her rings so they wouldn’t get sticky. When they were done, she wrapped up all the newspapers and put them into the garbage, not realizing she was throwing out her rings as well. When she noticed her jewelry was missing, she called Valley Waste Resource Management Hotline and Dale Roberts, the curbside inspector, was able to contact the driver and stop him in the middle of his route. After many staff members were searching frantically for the rings valued at $15,000, they found it with the description Pick-Melanson gave.

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World in Brief
by Matthew Guité

→ Worst building ever
North Korea’s ‘Hotel of Doom’, the multi-storey hotel that dominates Pyonyang’s skyline, may finally open its doors next year after 25 years of construction. The hotel, which began construction in 1987 and slated for completion in 1989, has been a source of embarrassment for the regime following numerous problems with the building. In 2008 Esquire dubbed it “hideously ugly, even by communist standards.” Despite original plans for more than 3,000 hotel rooms and three revolving restaurants, the hotel is now expected to open for about 150 rooms, all of them on the top floor of the building. The group which will be managing the hotel has also stated it expects to house shops and restaurants on the lower levels.

→ Pin-up coffins
A Polish coffin maker has stirred up controversy by putting together a pin-up calendar to help sell more coffins. The calendar features topless models in and around coffins, with one shot featuring a model lounging in a coffin and another with a model pulling out a dead man’s heart. The calendar is intended to highlight “the beauty of Polish girls and the beauty of our coffins” according to Zbigniew Lindner, the owner of the business, who also said that the calendar was his son’s idea. “We wanted to show that a coffin isn’t a religious symbol. Its a product,” he told Reuters. “Why are people afraid of coffins and not of business suits, cosmetics or jewelry?”

→ Where’s the humour in that?
A pair of newspaper reporters are facing criminal charges in Kyrgyzstan after they kidnapped and threatened to kill a popular television presenter as part of a practical joke. They kidnapped Nazira Aytbekova at gunpoint and drove her out to a wasteland where they forced her to strip to her underwear. According to BBC, Aytbekova was ordered to sing and refused. The men then told her they were going to kill her, and told her to say her last words. They used a mobile phone to record the ordeal before finally revealing themselves as journalists. Aytbekova has described herself as being “shaken and humiliated” by the incident. Both journalists have apologized for their actions and have been fired.

→ The price to pay for not paying
A court in Illinois sentenced a man to pay a $1.5-million fine for pirating and torrenting 10 gay porn films, the largest ever fine for such a crime. Kywan Fisher, the man accused of sharing the films, did not defend himself in court, which is believed to be the reason for the steep fine. The studio Flava Works also pursued 14 others for file sharing but the charges were dropped due to lack of evidence. During the trial the lawyer for Flava Works explained that each copy of their movies that is purchased has a secret digital code embedded in it, and that the code in the torrented films all match the codes of the copies that Fisher purchased on their website. The films were downloaded from torrent sites 3,449 times and the damages awarded to Flava Works are for $150,000 for each film that Fisher shared.

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