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A Busy Week in the News...

Canada wants to extend Afghan mission to 2009
Canada’s new minority Conservative government plans to extend the country’s 2,300-soldier mission in Afghanistan by two years to 2009, opposition politicians and the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. said on Monday.
They said Parliament would debate the matter for six hours starting at 3 p.m. (1900 GMT) on Wednesday and then hold a vote. When contacted by Reuters, the chief spokeswoman for Prime Minister Stephen Harper declined to comment.

Stephen Harper cloaks the real agenda on fixed election dates inclusive of "Senate reform"
According to published accounts in Canada's mass-media, Prime Minister Stephen Harper seeks fixed election dates which include "Senate reform" for "democratic accountability". The neo-conservatives who own Canada's daily newspapers and other media outlets, would like Canadians to believe that this declared objective is the "sum total" of this prevailing "Conservative" minority government's interests. However the supposed pursuit of "democracy", is nothing but an apparent convenient cover story. Indeed, the promotion of democracy, is the last thing that the well-financed backers who pour money into the Conservative Party treasury actually seek.

China's top general visits US to boost military ties
Anil K Joseph, Beijing, As Chinese President Hu Jintao met his US counterpart George W Bush today in St Petersburg, Beijing sent its top general to Washington to enhance mutual trust between the two militaries in the first such visit since the tense military standoff in 2001.Gen Guo Boxiong, Vice Chairman of China's Central Military Commission (CMC), left Beijing today for a visit to US at the invitation of US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld.

Christina River oil spill spreads to the Brandywine
A broken hose was responsible for a spill that may have dumped up to 5,000 gallons of waste oil into the Christina River, greeting weekend fishermen and boaters with clumps of oil and a rainbow-colored sheen.“This is sick,” said Eric Diaz, a fisherman who arrived at Christina Park along 7th Street about 10 a.m. and saw a big blob of oil float past. “I want to know what they’re going to do about this. There’s a lot of stuff that’s living in these waters and don’t know what’s going on.”

U of A student sits tight in Lebanon
As Israeli missiles pound southern Lebanon and thousands flee the country for Syria, a University of Alberta political science student says he’s actually pleased to be in the midst of the latest Mideast crisis.

Little room for Africa at G8 rich club summit
The select G8 group of the world's richest nations promised to help build a peaceful and democratic Africa but disappointed aid agencies by announcing no big initiatives or new relief.
In a statement at their summit in Russia's second city, the leaders pledged to pursue existing efforts to shore up democracy, support aid work, increase debt relief and help Africa achieve a fair trade balance.