News Briefs

City in Brief
by Robin Della Corte

→ Old quarrels
Prime Minister Stephen Harper threw up his hands and said, “What can I say?” after being asked about the situation with the Canadian flag being removed from Quebec’s National Assembly. Le Soleil reported that the Parti Québécois has asked for the Canadian flag to be removed from the national assembly. Quebec Liberals believe it is “shocking and totally unacceptable,” CBC reported. When Harper made an appearance in Quebec City last Friday, he stated that he didn’t want to get involved with old quarrels and would rather focus on the economy.

→ A McDonalds stabbing
Police discovered a double-stabbing inside a McDonald’s restaurant on the corner of Villeray St. and St-Michel Blvd. at 4 a.m. Sunday that lead to the hospitalization of two men in their 20s, with one in critical condition. “[There are] many witnesses to meet with, and also in this case investigators will try to understand a little more about this conflict that degenerated between these three men,” Anie Lemieux, spokeswoman for the Montreal Police told CBC. The suspect, also believed to be in his 20s, fled the scene before police had arrived. Earlier that night, police were also called to a shooting near the intersection of Fleury St. and J. J. Gagnier St. in the Ahuntsic-Cartierville borough.

→ Lawyer up, Quebec
The provincial government is being taken to Quebec Superior Court this Thursday by several large retailers for the requirement to adopt French versions of their commercial trademarked names. The Office Québécois de la Langue Française want retailers to change their names to a generic French name or provide slogans explaining what their products are. While the law requires companies to have French names, this usually does not apply to brand names. Gap, Best Buy, Costco, Old Navy, Walmart and Guess will be represented by two law firms.

→ A lucky break
On Sunday afternoon, a resident of Laval was able to walk away from a helicopter crash northeast of Ottawa with little injuries. While police state that the 48-year-old man crashed into Lac Britannique before 1 p.m., the reasons for the crash are still unclear and he was the only person inside the helicopter. After the crash, the man was able to escape the helicopter and swim to shore. Lac Britannique is located approximately 70 kilometres northeast of downtown Ottawa, close to the small town of Saint-Sixte, Quebec. An investigation is now taking place from the transportation Safety Board.

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Nation in Brief
by Robin Della Corte

→ Mo’ money mo’ problems
There have been reported problems with ticket machines in Toronto, Vancouver and Edmonton. Individuals across Canada are discovering that the new $20 bills aren’t accepted everywhere. The new bill that was released earlier this month can’t process in certain machines. Both TransLink and Toronto’s GO Transit don’t accept the new bill. GO Transit discovered the problem while testing the bills and will need to upgrade their software in order for the machines to accept the new bills. New five and $10 bills are scheduled to be released by the end of 2013.

→ I beliebe
Thanks to a special gift from a generous young man, six-year-old Aleisha Hunter from Toronto will get to see Justin Bieber, her idol. Hunter, who was diagnosed with breast cancer at three years old, told CBC that listening to Bieber helped her endure her treatments. Thanks to five-year-old fellow Bieber fan, Jacob Leon, Hunter will get to see her idol perform on stage when he comes to Toronto. Leon said he gave his tickets away because he wanted to make somebody else happy. “Jacob is a different kind of five-year-old,” said his mother Devon. “He is the most giving, caring, helpful child.” It began when Jacob raised money for Pencils of Promise, a charity Bieber supports and led Leon to the idea.

→ Energy high
After a scare in the U.S. in relation to health problems associated with the 5-Hour Energy drink brand, Canada wants to renew calls for strengthened supervision on energy drinks. The American Food and Drug Administration has categorized many situations potentially linked to the 5-Hour Energy drinks (and others) associated with death and cardiac arrest since 2009. “We’ve been quite concerned about overuse or abuse of these seemingly natural products that are not as regulated as we want them to be. We want some regulation,” said Dr. Paul Roumeliotis, the CEO for the Eastern Ontario Health Unit. Health Canada has already started regulating new standards and energy drinks, reporting that as of this year, caffeine content will be mandatory.

→ Some constructive criticism
Marisol Simoes, the owner of an Ottawa restaurant, was sentenced to three months in jail and a two-year probation after she was declared guilty of libel against a food critic. Simoes was found guilty in September for sending offensive emails to the boss of Elayna Katz after Katz had published bad reviews of Simoes’ restaurant, Mambo Nuevo Latino, in 2009. Following the verdict, Katz told CBC that cyberbullying doesn’t only affect adolescents. Simoes has to take an anger management course, receive counseling and perform 200 hours of community service.

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World in Brief
by Matthew Guité

→ Tensions mounting
Renewed attacks between Israel and Gaza have left dozens dead and the death toll mounting each day. Israel began bombarding Gaza and has prepared troops for a possible ground invasion, and Gaza has continued to fire short-range rockets into Israel. Israel claims to have hit over 200 targets in Gaza, including political offices, rocket sites and military bases. The United Kingdom and Egypt have both warned Israel against a ground invasion, but U.S. President Barack Obama said that his government is “fully supportive of Israel’s right to defend itself.”

→ Like giving crack to a baby
Don’t throw the cocaine out with the trick-or-treaters. That may not be how the saying goes but it is the reality of one man in the United Kingdom who was arrested for accidentally giving out bags of cocaine to children on Halloween. As if that wasn’t bad enough, the children’s father was an off-duty policeman. Talk about bad luck. The 23-year-old defendant was ordered to complete 130 hours of community service as well as paying a fine of 145 pounds.

→ Adopt a gargoyle
A cathedral in Milan has put its gargoyles up for adoption in the hopes of raising much-needed funds for renovations. Anyone who wishes to ‘adopt’ a gargoyle will have their name engraved underneath for a donation of at least 100,000 euros. The cathedral’s management are hoping to raise 25 million euros after the government cut its funding to the cathedral as part of ongoing austerity measures. Eight donations have already been made.

→ A deadly collision
Up to 50 children died in Egypt after a school bus taking them to kindergarten was hit by a speeding train. Barriers had not been lowered when the train was about to pass, resulting in the bus driving through just as the train arrived. The crossing guard who was allegedly asleep at the time has been arrested and Egypt’s transport minister has resigned along with the head of the railway authority. Eyewitnesses said that the force of the crash tore the bus in two. Families of the victims have begun searching for their children’s remains, but reports from the crash site indicate that many of the victims are unrecognizable.

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