News Briefs

Fires, phishing scams, gross misuse of hockey tape and the end of the banana war…

City in Brief
by Matthew Guité

→ Some friendly competition
Montreal will soon have a second English-language AM talk radio station once again, as the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission approved an application on Friday for such a station at 600 AM. The application, filed by a trio of local businessmen who had a French-language AM station approved last year, will have a commitment to fill its programming with 100 per cent local content. The businessmen, Nicolas Tétrault, Rajiv Pancholy and Paul Tietolman, said that both stations are expected to open next spring and will create roughly 150 jobs. According to Tietolman, the English station will be run by Steve Kowch, a former program director at CJAD.

→ A Sherbrooke explosion
An enormous explosion at an industrial plant in Sherbrooke that killed three workers and injured 18 others is still being investigated as its cause remains unknown. The explosion was big enough to be heard for kilometres, and left a large black cloud of smoke hanging over the processing plant for hours. Mayor Bernard Sévigny of Sherbrooke told CBC that it was a tragedy, and that their flag was being flown at half-mast in memory of those injured and killed by the explosion. The hospital director of Sherbrooke University Hospital Centre, where most of those injured were treated, has said that almost all the workers who were brought in have now been released.

→ A new way to remember
A collection of notes, letters and photographs documenting the movements and activities of McGill University staff and graduates involved in World War II was unveiled Sunday for Remembrance Day. The collection was originally compiled by R. C. Fetherstonhaugh, who took on the job for the McGill War Records Office, and was packed away after his death in 1946. Over the past several years, volunteers scanned and uploaded all the information to a digital archive to preserve it. The collection includes article clippings, photographs, and letters and is available online as part of the ‘McGill Remembers’ project.

→ Fire in the Old Port
A massive fire in Old Montreal destroyed the upper levels of a St-Jacques St. building on Thursday, and forced the offices of La Presse across the street to evacuate. The building, located at 31 St. Jacques St. W., was undergoing renovations when the fire started just after 6 p.m., and was therefore vacant. Approximately 70 firefighters dealt with the blaze which started on the sixth floor for unknown reasons. Although asked to investigate, the Montreal Police stressed that this does not necessarily mean the fire is criminal in nature.

– – – – –

Nation in Brief
by Matthew Guité

→ A phishy nation
The Public Safety Department is worried that Canada is becoming a launching pad for malicious cyber attacks according documents obtained by The Canadian Press. The notes say that the origin place for cyber attacks is shifting to more developed countries “with good reputations.” The notes, which were written by Brett Kubicek, manager of research and academic relations of the department, stress that Canada may be moving from being a target to becoming a host. Last spring, Websense ranked Canada as the number two place in the world for hosting phishing sites, with the United States as number one.

→ That’s not what it’s for
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police is investigating an incident at a New Brunswick high school after a teacher allegedly used hockey tape to tape together the arms of two girls who were not getting along. The incident, which left both girls bruised, sparked outrage from their parents. The father of one girl has filed a complaint with the police. The teacher in question declined to comment but Heather Smith, president of the New Brunswick Teachers’ Association, told CBC that she was disturbed by the fact that people were considering the teacher guilty before an investigation.

→ A more thoughtful Canada
More Canadians planned to observe Remembrance Day this year, including attending ceremonies and holding two minutes of silence, according to an Ipsos Reid poll. Apparently 30 per cent of respondents made formal plans to attend a Remembrance Day event, compared to 22 per cent in 2010, and 80 per cent planned to observe two minutes of silence compared to 75 per cent in 2010. Anthony Wilson-Smith, president of the Historica-Dominion Institute, told The Canadian Press that the poll reflected the fact that Canadians were paying more attention than before and that a new generation of veterans from Afghanistan also influenced the increase.

→ A breach of trust
A former psychiatrist has had his license revoked by the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Nova Scotia due to allegations of sexual misconduct. Dr. Bolarinwa Olutosin Oluwole was a staff psychiatrist for two years at the Yarmouth Regional Hospital until he was fired in 2010 after three of his patients alleged that he had engaged in acts of sexual misconduct with them, two citing sexual intercourse. Oluwole was accused of keeping inappropriate sexual items in his office, such as condoms and sexually explicit photographs. The college has removed his name from their register.

– – – – –

World in Brief
by Robin Della Corte

→ The end of the banana war
A twenty-year long trade dispute over the international trade of bananas has finally been resolved. The agreement was reached after the European Union agreed to slowly reduce the tariffs on Latin American bananas. Pascal Lamy, the director-general of the World Trade Organization, claims it was a “truly historic moment” in the battle. The EU and 10 Latin American countries signed the agreement to end eight separate WTO cases. “After so many twists and turns, these complicated and politically contentious disputes can finally be put to bed,” Lamy told BBC.

→ Above and beyond
China plans to launch a manned space mission with a crew consisting of a woman and two men, according to state media. The announcement comes a few months after a Chinese space shuttle took part in the country’s first space docking mission. The shuttle also carried China’s first female astronaut, Liu Yang. The launch could take place as early as next June according the deputy commander-in-chief of the manned space program. China became the third country to send a person into space in 2003.

→ What about BlackBerry?
The Samsung Galaxy S3 outsold Apple’s iPhone 4S for the first time ever in South Korea becoming the world’s best-selling smartphone according to research firm Strategy Analytics. Samsung sold 18 million models in comparison with Apple’s 16.2 million in the third quarter of 2012. While the S3 is popular for now, the iPhone 5 will likely reclaim the throne of the worlds most sought-after phone. Meanwhile, the two companies are locked in contentious legal battles over software and infringement claims.

→ No more Tobacco
It has been confirmed by Sainsbury’s that tobacco will be removed from sales at another six of its supermarkets in Scotland following the government implementing a supplementary tax on stores selling cigarettes and alcohol. The company already had four stores that do not sell these products before the policy came into force on Monday, Nov. 12. Approximately 240 stores in Scotland are going to be affected by the government’s aim to reduce alcohol and tobacco related harm. The charge only applies to stores that are valued at over $475,000.

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