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Headlines June 23/06

B.C. deputy health minister resigns
VICTORIA -- British Columbia's deputy health minister offered no reasons for her sudden resignation Thursday in a letter she sent to her staff.

BSE could incubate in people 50 years or more before symptoms show: study
It could take half a century or more for someone infected with prions - the cause of mad cow-like diseases - to start showing symptoms, say researchers, who drew that conclusion after studying a similar illness among Papua New Guinean people who once feasted on their dead.

Business leader issues warning to Canada's large corporations
Large Canadian-owned corporations are becoming an endangered species, threatened by globalization and predation from bigger, stronger multinational competitors, says the head of Canada's last independent bond rating agency.

Youth delegates dragged from convention centre
Three youth delegates to the World Urban Forum complain they were dragged out of the Vancouver Trade and Convention Centre on Wednesday night by security officers.

Bylaw planned to slow CPR
In yet another attempt to slow down or halt Canadian Pacific Raulway’s construction of a railway siding, Council passed first reading of the Rail Yards Bylaw at Tuesday's meeting.

Canada, Russia moving in right direction in ties development - PM
Canada and Russia are moving in the right direction in the development of their bilateral ties, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper said in an interview with Itar-Tass and Russian television.

State helps Canadian aerospace firm set up shop in Plattsburgh
A Canadian company will invest $64 million to construct a 262,000-square-foot hangar at the former Plattsburgh Air Force Base, creating upward of 1,500 new jobs over the next six years. Gov. George E. Pataki announced last Monday the Quebec-based Laurentian Aerospace, a wide-body aircraft maintenance and repair company, is expecting to begin construction this fall, creating 760 new jobs within the first five years of operation.

MINING NEWS: Charges filed against Miramar Mining
Canada hasn’t forgiven the 19,000 liter fuel spill in Nunavut two years ago; company pressing on with gold mine development

New Sector Chief for Vt./Canadian Border
A new sector chief for Vermont's border with Canada was sworn in Friday.
In a change of command ceremony, Swanton Sector Chief Ronald Vitiello was given the reigns of the Border Patrol.
Vitiello had been the Assistant Chief for Headquarters Border Patrol in Washington DC.

No-fault crime laws undermine justice system
Those citizens who believe police and their agents are not above Canadian law should add the Criminal Code to their bedtime reading.
In bold print are law-enforcement justification provisions that give police and people under their direction -- mainly criminals and low-life informants -- the go-ahead to commit heinous crimes such as kidnapping, forcible confinement, extortion, even dangerous driving causing injury or death.

Canfor closing three sawmills for two weeks.
Canfor Corp. announced Thursday it is temporarily shutting down three of its sawmills in B.C. in order to cut costs in the face of sliding lumber prices and the increasing value of the Canadian dollar.The company said the closures will last two weeks at each mill.

Harper inaccurately maligns First Nations accountability - Fontaine
Prime Minister Harper's comments on yesterday's Mike Duffy Live, in which he inaccurately conflated First Nations accountability and First Nation women's rights, are disingenuous at best and malicious at worst.
It appears that Conservative strategists are deliberately attempting to undermine the legitimacy of First Nation governments by falsely claiming that we are not true governments and that we are unaccountable to our citizens. Nothing could be further from the truth. Whether Conservatives want to admit it or not, First Nations are the true and real founding Nations of this country, and we still possess our own governments and legal rights which are enshrined and protected by international law, our Treaties and the Constitution of Canada, whether they will admit it or not.

Tories know more about you than you think
The Conservatives have a pretty good idea about how much money you make, what bugs you about politics, and even what kind of cereal you eat -- and they're hoping to use that information to win you over.
The federal Tories have identified tens of thousands of individual voters for a pre-election charm offensive designed to help them gain a majority government.

CEC leaves for Canada
Chief Election Commission Justice Qazi Muhammad Farooq , on the invitation of Canadian government, Friday left for Canada in order to study Canadian Electoral System during the period from June 23 to July 1.

Canada reassures U.S. on asylum policies
Canadian authorities are struggling to convince U.S. officials and lawmakers that Canadian immigration and asylum policies are not establishing a breeding ground for terrorists on their side of the longest undefended border in the world.

17 postal union members arrested in Ottawa
Seventeen members of the union representing Canada Post workers - including its president - have been arrested after trying to cross police lines Monday at the Crown corporation's headquarters in Ottawa.

SC affirms CA ruling on NAPOCOR's P7.1-M tax
The Supreme Court upheld on Thursday an earlier ruling by the Court of Appeals that the state-owned National Power Corp. must pay the franchise tax amounting to P7.1 million to the government.

With the implementation of Afghanistan's new toll tax system, government annual income might increase from US$3 million to US$44 million, the deputy minister for finance said on Wednesday.
Addressing a press conference here, Deputy Finance Minister Abdul Razaq Samadi said the new toll tax system on vehicles using highways would be implemented on Thursday.
He said finance ministry would distribute special tickets.
The tickets would be valid for a specific period depending upon their prices and drivers could use the tickets until the expiry date, he added.
In the past, drivers were paying taxes by different names, but under the new system the process would be refined, he added.

Army Improves Tourniquet After 2000+ Years
We all know how tourniquets work. You take off your tie and make a big fat knot just about where your friend’s bloody stump is squirting buckets of blood, thereby saving him long enough so he can tell you “who did this to [him]! Who did this to [him]!”
Well, since the military doesn’t wear ties, they’ve created the CAT, an improved tourniquet with a shorter learning curve and a cooler design.

Secretive TopOff 4 exercise tests multiagency preparedness for WMD attacks
Federal agencies staged joint exercises this week designed to test their preparations for responding to terrorism.
The Homeland Security Department's Top Officials 4 Command Post Exercise (TopOff 4 CPX) involved more than 4,000 people from more than 85 federal, state, local and private partners, said George Foresman, DHS’ undersecretary for preparedness.

WTO draft agreements show big gaps
Senior WTO officials unveiled drafts on Thursday for liberalizing trade in farm and manufactured goods underscoring just how much work needs to be done to salvage a global commerce pact by the end of the year.

Government study group to be announced today
Officials with Lancaster Chamber of Commerce & Industry this morning are expected to announce the creation of Lancaster County Citizens for Government Study.Jim Smucker, a member of the Chamber's executive committee, said the group is a "broad-based" assortment of representatives from local organizations who will lead the petition drive to bring government study to the county's voters.Last week, the county commissioners refused to place on the November ballot a question asking voters if they want a committee to study alternative forms of government in the county.

NHS should be removed from direct government control
Only an NHS free of direct government control, managed by an all-party body with clinical and health service experts, will save the NHS from being used as a political football, says a leading public health consultant in this week's BMJ.
Dr Layla Jader, a member of the British Medical Association's Public Health Committee Wales, argues that the NHS has seen valuable resources wasted in "constant structural changes." She proposes that an independent body, made up of those working in the sector and patients - rather than government advisors - is the best hope to sustain an NHS fit for the 21st century.

People help themselves to housing
South African women living in squatter settlements build new homes, about 18,000 of them. Tens of thousands of new homes and many new police stations are coming up in Bombay slums. Neither is the result of a government programme, or of some kindly NGO. At both places local people have combined with government agencies in bold new ways to improve their homes and their lives. And this is the way David Satterthwaite, a leading expert on city environment at the London-based International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) says cities need to develop.

U.S. missile defense system gains little confidence: paper
U.S. government officials and defense experts showed little confidence in the missile defense system which has cost the Bush administration 43 billion U.S. dollars so far, a newspaper report said on Thursday.
The system would either be hit or miss incoming missiles in case of an emergency, the Los Angeles Times reported.
The system has not undergone a successful test in nearly four years and have been beset by glitches that investigators blame, at least in part, on President
George W. Bush's order in 2002 to make the program operational even before it had been fully tested, said the report.

Israeli letter of support for CUPE
Dear Friends,
On May 27, 2006 CUPE Ontario (Ontario’s largest Canadian labor union) decided to “Support the international campaign of boycott, divestment and sanctions until Israel meets its obligation to recognize the Palestinian people’s inalienable right to self-determination and fully complies with the precepts of international law, including the right of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties as stipulated in UN resolution 194.”
This followed in the wake of other CUPE Ontario actions in recent years, as, for instance, calling for the end of Israeli military action and withdrawal from the occupied territories. The executive of the Canadian Labour Congress, in a 2002 resolution, compared Palestinians in the occupied territories to blacks living under apartheid rule in South Africa.
Sid Ryan, the Canadian Union of Public Employees' Ontario president, said 896 members voted unanimously at its convention in Ottawa on Saturday, to support the campaign, and declared that the boycott ''is not an attack on Jewish people. It's (an objection to) the State of Israel's policies on Palestinians.”

Secret government or a free press?
France, Germany and courts in Japan could teach America a thing or two about one essential aspect of democracy: Their governments are more willing to make sure that journalists have the means to act as watchdogs on the people in power.

U.N. gives rights body dignified burial
Much criticised in later life, the 60-year-old U.N. Human Rights Commission received a dignified funeral on Monday to make way for a protector of the persecuted that it is hoped will be more dynamic.
The Commission, which gave birth to the Universal Declaration on Human Rights in 1948, will be replaced in June by the United Nations Human Rights Council, which advocates say should have more authority to speak out on rights abuses.

Snow: Program Vital to War on Terrorism
The Bush administration said Friday an anti-terrorism program that taps into an immense international database of confidential financial records has adequate safeguards to protect Americans' privacy. Democrats and civil liberties groups said the effort had disturbing similarities to another controversial anti-terrorism program of warrantless spying on telephone calls and e-mails.

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