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Headlines June 25/06

Alberta invades U.S. capital in major push to showcase black gold
WASHINGTON (CP) - There'll be lots of cowboy hats and buffalo burgers. Fly fishing demonstrations and dinosaur digs.
Most telling, though, is the giant dump truck like the ones used at the oil sands parked on the National Mall for Alberta's 10-day stint at the renowned Smithsonian Folklife Festival. The province is invading the U.S. capital next week in the latest sign of its growing profile in an increasingly energy-hungry country.
Barely a week goes by without mention of Alberta's vast oil sands potential on Capitol Hill from legislators worried about U.S. dependence on unstable countries and high prices at the pumps.
Major U.S. media organizations are frequently taking stock of Canada's resource and debating the environmental costs of mining all that black gold.

Canada's Inuits struggle with issues of self-rule
The Inuit of the Canadian Arctic have forsaken their sod houses and dogsleds for satellite television and snowmobiles in less than two generations. Assembling a smoothly functioning government and a solid educational system has been another matter entirely.
The initiative to grant Nunavut, a land of frozen fjords, desolate tundra and roaming herds of caribou, self-rule seven years ago was heralded worldwide as an enlightened attempt to right past wrongs against a suffering aboriginal people.

Canadian warships in Hawaiian waters for multinational battle exercises
Three Canadian warships arrived at Hawaii's famed Pearl Harbor on Sunday to take part in multinational battle exercises due to start Monday.
HMCS Algonquin, HMCS Vancouver and HMCS Regina, along with two embarked Sea King helicopters, are now preparing for the month-long Rim of the Pacific Exercise(RIMPAC).

MIDDLE EAST: Region still lacks support for torture victims, say observers
Beatings, burnings, solitary confinement and the misuse of anti-terrorism laws were some of the abuses cited in the Middle East by human rights activists as the world marks the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture on Monday.Below are a series of articles on incidents of torture and human rights abuse in some countries of the region.

Canada bites ballot bullet, reviews policy on dual citizens running abroad
The federal government will review the practice of allowing Canadian residents to run in foreign elections, just months after sanctioning participation in Italy's national ballot.
The move signals a desire in federal circles to set clear policy and ground rules for Canadian involvement in the political affairs of other countries, especially given Canada's varied ethnic makeup.

Researchers look underwater for energy
As a wave of wind power proposals sweeps across New England, researchers from the electric utility industry have concluded that it makes economic sense to look underwater for affordable electricity.

(He will then travel to Alberta, Canada where he will discuss with Canadian officials the feasibility of jointly developing oil sand reserve, before returning next Sunday.)

>Copps 'spending' column lacks substance
Just when I thought former Liberal cabinet minister Sheila Copps was about to impart some wise words in her review of the Fraser Institute's annual "tax freedom day," she reminded me of why I used to think of her as a politician of the worst kind when she was in office.
Copps, who now writes a column for Sun Media, was always a staunch defender of the right to grow government, giving me the impression as a politician that it was her divine calling to spend my money -- and to confiscate more of it at her pleasure.

He thinks he can stop a hurricane
In a field brimming with optimistic and untested ideas, entrepreneur Peter Cordani has one of the boldest: airdrop 400 tons of super-absorbent powder into an approaching hurricane.The powder would sap water from the hurricane, in theory slowing it, and saving lives and millions of dollars. The project is in its infancy, facing skeptical scientists and daunting challenges. Its creator has spent $1million already and must raise much more.

Do forests have a UN future?
Forests have had a rocky road in the UN since the Environment Summit at Rio in 1992. While there was considerable concern about deforestation and forest degradation and the need to promote sustainable forest management, particularly in the tropics, an international convention like that for Climate Change or Biodiversity could not be achieved. Instead a set of non-binding ‘basic principles’ emerged to guide the implementation of sustainable forest management.The February 2006 meeting of the UN Forum on Forests (UNFF) in New York represented a significant turning point for international discussion on forests.

Experts say European virus behind Lake Erie fish deaths
A virus from Europe caused fish to die off in Lake Erie this spring, but it poses no threat to public health, officials said.
Viral hemorrhagic septicemia, or VHS, was discovered after the deaths of freshwater drum in the lake's western basin in early spring and perch in its central basin in May, said Roger Kenyon, a Great Lakes fishery biologist for the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission.

Looking to soak up lake's potential
Tap water drawn from Lake Michigan and specially filtered at a Coca-Cola plant in Milwaukee sells for $1.59 a bottle. Brand name: Dasani.
Fertilizer pellets made from the city's sewage bring in $7 million a year. Brand name: Milorganite.
A Brookfield company founded in 2002 makes sensors that measure the chemicals in water. Sales already have hit $1 million a year, with significant growth in Asia, particularly China. Name: AquaSensors LLC.
All are examples of how the Milwaukee region has commercialized a resource that local leaders say is critical to the area's future: the fresh water of the Great Lakes.

Summit to Discuss Transient Air Pollution That Kills Thousands a Year in Ontario
The United States exports more than $150 billion in goods to Ontario every year - along with enough pollution to kill 2,700 people and sicken 14,000.
Those casualties, along with the annual $5.2 billion pricetag for related health care and environmental damage, are reasons for the Shared Air Summit 2006, a meeting of the minds on Monday to discuss the trade in transboundary air, which sees pollution produced in one place before being carried in the air across borders.

Senate panel to hold public meetings on gas deal
The Senate Special Committee on Natural Gas Development will hold a series of public meetings in the coming weeks on Gov. Frank Murkowski's proposed natural gas contract with the state's three big oil producers.
Committee chairman Sen. Ralph Seekins, R-Fairbanks, said he will go ahead with meetings in Fairbanks and Anchorage even though the governor on Thursday announced a second special legislative session to begin July 12.
(The article aslo states: John Manly, the governor's spokesman, said the next round of meetings will likely be held in Anchorage, Fairbanks, the Matanuska Valley, and Kenai during the week of July 17-21. Many lawmakers have already requested that week off to attend an energy summit in Canada.)

Workers risking lives in Asia
When the big ships come to Asia to die, they often take lives with them. Upendra Shethi knows.
He was one of an army of laborers hired by an Indian ship-breaking yard to strip the 50-year-old China Sea Discovery for scrap four months ago. The ship suddenly caught fire, burning at least five men alive and injuring 15 more.
"In a matter of five minutes, the entire ship was in flames and there was complete chaos in the yard," the 29-year-old Indian said.
The conditions that so quickly turned the Chinese- and Canadian-owned luxury liner into a death trap have long been familiar along India's grimy west coast beaches. Now they are stirring a worldwide controversy that has stung the Indian government into taking action and led to the drafting of an international agreement to police the industry.

Polar bear deaths have scientists concerned
Two polar bears have starved to death and two others were found dead this year in the region where scientists previously discovered unprecedented cannibalism within the population.
Scientists were stunned to discover that two mother polar bears had been stalked, killed and eaten near their Beaufort Sea dens, and that much larger male bears cannibalized a young male during the spring of 2004.

This Will Be 'a Make-or-Break Mission'
More than three years after the shuttle Columbia disaster, NASA's troubled space shuttle program is stalled at a crossroads.
The closely watched attempt to rebound from the tragedy produced a setback last year when a chunk of fuel-tank insulating foam ripped away as the shuttle Discovery lifted off.
The foam tumbled alarmingly close to the right wing, where it could have caused the same kind of damage that led to the disintegration of Columbia and its crew. The rest of the mission succeeded but left doubts about the safety of the fleet, during launch or otherwise.
A second comeback attempt aboard Discovery, scheduled for launch this Saturday, will bring the $1.3 billion roller-coaster recovery to a satisfying crest if the 12- to 13-day mission unfolds without a replay of the foam-debris scare.

'Regionalisation to replace globalisation in geoeconomic realignment'
New Delhi: If the 20th century was hijacked by ideology: communism, Nazism, World War II and the cold war, the 21st century will be characterised by much higher degree of pragmatism and more uniform distribution of power as emergence of a tripolar system promises a more stable world economy than one where there is one or two superpowers in irreconcilable conflict with each other, says a new book.

GMP buyout plan presents risks, benefits
Chris Dutton admits that the first reaction most people have to the planned sale of the state's second-largest electric utility to a Canadian power company is emotional. The Green Mountain Power Corp. chief executive officer is right. It is unsettling to think about a Vermont company, which provides power for about 90,000 homes, falling under ownership of the much larger Montreal-based Gaz Metro Limited Partnership. That is the proposal before GMP shareholders and government regulators

Security clearance a must for coal gas exploration licence
The federal government has made security clearance mandatory for the companies intending to start reconnaissance survey for exploration and production of Coal Bed Methane (CBM), hydrocarbon gas contained in coal seams, official sources told Business Recorder."The CBM exploration and production companies should only be given specific timeline for the proposed work programme, subject to security clearance by the government organisations concerned for carrying out reconnaissance survey," the sources quoted the Economic Co-ordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet as directing the petroleum ministry.The ministry had submitted a summary to the ECC in the case of the Cathay Oil and Gas Limited (COGL), a Canadian incorporated company, which intend to conduct aerial reconnaissance survey covering an area of 40,000 square kilometers of the entire Indus Basin by applying USA's BellGeospace technology using USGS aircraft with the US government's approval.

High Profile Transboundary Air Pollution Committees to Tackle Ontario's Shared Air Issues
The Ontario government has formed two new committees to help combat transboundary air pollution in Ontario, eastern Canada and the Northeast United States, Environment Minister Laurel Broten announced today.
The Executive Committee on Transboundary Air Pollution, chaired by Dr. Ted Boadway and the Advisory Committee on Transboundary Science, chaired by Dr. David Balsillie will give critical advice to the province on how to manage transboundary air pollution

Indian origin scientist gets premier Canadian post
Bhubaneswar: An Indo-Canadian scientist from Orissa has been appointed to a coveted post in Canada's premier aerospace research institute - the first Indian origin person to bag such a job.Prakash Patnaik, who hails from Berhampur in Ganjam district, has been appointed director Structures and Materials Performance Laboratory, at The National Research Council of Canada Institute for Aerospace Research (NRC), a premier science and technology research organisation in Canada.

'Hams' Show Off Vital Communications Capabilities
Groups of people who provide a communications lifeline in the worst of emergencies tested their capabilities at various locations over the weekend.
Local amateur radio operators took part in a nationwide event called "Field Day." It's a 24-hour disaster drill that showcases the desire and ability of ham radio operators to serve the public.

African, Canadian local authority organs sign pact
The Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) and the United Cities and Local Governments of Africa (UCLGA) Friday signed a memorandum of understanding to formalise an ongoing joint project, which started four years ago.The memorandum, according to FCM`s regional manager for Africa and Asia, Carol Kardish, is the first between the two organizations.It aims at strengthening continental, regional and national associations of local authorities, with emphasis on gender mainstreaming and eradication of endemic diseases - two of Africa`s most challenging Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

Adobe, Alienware, Appro, world+dog, Wal*Mart get Intel, AMD subpoenas
WHILE WE were away covering Computex, the legal wheels continued to grind in AMD's antitrust case against Intel.
Unlike millers, the lawyers are probably threshing a fair old profit out of these legal shenanigans.
A group of publishers, concerned about the implications of documents being held in camera, decided to file a letter to the special judge attempting to arbitrate the comings and goings related to "confidential" matters, non disclosure agreements, and the like. The world+vendor dog in this case do not wish all the documents to be made available to the plebs