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News and Politics

A Canadian First: First Nations to Receive Social Assistance Benefits on Prepaid Cards
Mint Capital Corp., a subsidiary of Mint Technology Corp. and FP Financial Ltd. announced today that the companies have partnered to provide the first prepaid financial services product in Canada used to remit recurring social assistance benefits to Canada's First Nations communities. As a replacement for traditional paper cheques, the FirstPeoples Prepaid Benefits Card program will allow administrators and benefit recipients to take advantage of direct financial savings, convenience and the added safety and security that a traditional credit card offers.
(We all know machines can be hacked, data stolen, ID theft, not to mention computers down at the banks, power outages. What a terrible idea! I am for a cash society, where corporate companies can't buy the information gathered from the use of "cards." Besides I hate waiting in line behind someone who uses these cards, once sold to use on the basis of saving time, yeah right, saving time for who? A_R)

Canadian Parliamentarians Visit DPP Headquarters
A Canadian parliamentary delegation paid a visit to the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) headquarters Tuesday to discuss measures to further boost relations between Canada and Taiwan. The delegation, composed of members of parliament from four major Canadian political parties, is headed by Jay Hill, the Conservative Party's whip in the House of Commons, on its Taipei visit.
Chen Chung-hsin, director of the DPP's international affairs department, told the Canadian lawmakers that the international community should show more support for liberal and democratic Taiwan as it faces an ever-growing military threat from China.

Raytheon collects $13M missile launcher deal
A business unit of Raytheon Co. won a $13 million missile contract for the governments of Japan and Canada.

Homeland Security's Chertoff to visit
Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff is visiting the Sweet Grass Port of Entry today.
Chertoff and Canadian Public Safety Minister Stockwell Day will examine the shared port-of-entry facility at Sweet Grass as an example of the United States and Canada working together.

In Gaza, There's No Milk, No Sugar and Tomatoes are Rotting on the Vines
In a few days there'll be a flour shortage, and if that happens there'll be a conflagration here - but it will be directed against the Israelis, not Hamas," Deputy Minister of Economics in the Palestinian Authority, Nasser Saraj, said yesterday about the closure of the Karni border crossing. The crossing has been completely closed since February 21, and since the beginning of the year it has not been open for more than 12 days.

Legislative session conflicts with Klein's fishing trip
Alberta's premier is asking the legislature move up its next session a few days so he can go on a fundraising fishing trip, a request at least one critic is calling "ridiculous."
The legislature is scheduled to sit for five days beginning on Aug. 30 so politicians can deal with the issue of spending an extra $200 million on health and education.

Katrina audit shows fraud, abuse
The Homeland Security Department wasted hundreds of thousands of dollars last year on iPods, dog booties, beer-making equipment and designer jackets, congressional investigators have concluded. More than 100 laptop computers and a dozen boats also bought by Homeland Security employees are missing, the investigators found.
(Nothing shocks me anymore A_R)

Medical journal says it was misled again by doctors with industry ties
Just days after announcing a crackdown on researchers who do not disclose drug company ties, the editor of a prestigious medical journal says she was misled again - this time by the authors of a study linking severe migraines to heart attacks in women.

Gagged bloggers fume at ban
Having been deprived of their personal space in cyberspace by a government ban on blogs related to Mumbai terror attacks, netizens have slammed the internet censorship through messages expressing outrage in other web forums.

CANADA: RFID promoted through test project
A six-month Canadian pilot project will focus on applying radio frequency identification (RFID) to perishable products, including fresh and frozen goods.

Work begins on Talisman oil platform
Work has started on a wind power project near Talisman Energy Inc.'s Beatrice oil platform off Scotland that could eventually be expanded to supply 20 percent of the region's electricity needs. The cost of the pilot project is 72.6 million Canadian dollars ($64.2 million US), but any expansion in the future would cost substantially less because more of the units would be built, he said.
"It is a prototype of wind power that has two benefits," Talisman Energy president and CEO Jim Buckee told The Canadian Press in an interview Tuesday from Edinburgh, shortly after he visited the offshore project with European Union and Scottish officials.
"By being 25 miles offshore it doesn't have any visual impact and the wind is steadier there," he added. "And the European Commission is making a big push for 20 percent and occasionally 25 percent of renewable energy and this is an important component of that strategy."
The previously announced project is a joint venture between Talisman Energy (UK) Ltd., a unit of the Calgary company, and Scottish and Southern Energy.