Tag Archives: Death

Dick Clark dies at the age of 82


Dick Clark dies at the age of 82 after a massive heart attack. According to sources on TMZ.com, Clark was in the hospital for an outpatient procedure but succumbed to a massive heart attack and attempts to resuscitate him were unsuccessful. http://www.thestar.com/mobile

Steve Jobs has passed away – May he Rest In Peace.


Apple chairman and co-founder, Steve Jobs, who pioneered the personal computer; changing the way we used and interacted with the PC, died today. He was a visionary and great innovator. He will be greatly missed by everyone. May he rest in peace! At 56 years old, he is survived by his wife, Laurene, and four children.

Skinheads Supressmiss held over Obama death plot


By Deborah Charles

KKK

KKK and the US election

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Two white supremacist skinheads were arrested in Tennessee over plans to go on a killing spree and eventually shoot Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama, court documents showed on Monday.

Daniel Cowart and Paul Schlesselman were charged in a criminal complaint with making threats against a presidential candidate, illegal possession of a sawed-off shotgun and conspiracy to rob a gun dealer.

The plot did not appear to be very advanced or sophisticated, the court documents showed.

“We’re unsure of their ability or if they have the wherewithal to carry out any of their threats,” said a source close to the investigation.

Obama would be the first black president in U.S. history if he defeats Republican John McCain in the November 4 election. Concerns about Obama’s safety led the Secret Service to provide round-the-clock protection from early in his campaign.

The suspects met over the Internet about a month ago, said an affidavit filed by Brian Weaks, a special agent with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

“The individuals began discussing going on a ‘killing spree’ that included killing 88 people and beheading 14 African Americans,” Weaks said in the affidavit.

The men stole guns from family members and also had a sawed-off shotgun. They planned to target a predominately black school, going state to state while robbing individuals and continuing to kill people, Weaks said in the affidavit.  Read More…

The deadly asbestos trade


Asbestos is a mineral with long, thin fibrous crystals. The word asbestos (῾ἀσβεστος) is derived from a Greek adjective meaning inextinguishable. The Greeks termed asbestos the miracle mineral because of its soft and pliant properties, as well as its ability to withstand heat.

Asbestos is known to have toxicity. The inhalation of toxic asbestos fibers can cause serious illnesses, including malignant mesothelioma, lung cancer, and asbestosis (also called pneumoconiosis). Since the mid 1980s, many uses of asbestos have been banned in many countries.

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Canada’s deadly trade in asbestos

by Mark Bourrie

Canada is starting work this summer on a billion dollar project to renovate its parliamentary buildings and cleanse them of asbestos, which has been found to cause cancer.

The project will take six years to complete but, in the meantime, Canadian government agents are still pushing exports of the fibre. Canada even has gone so far as to argue a challenge at the World Trade Organization that a proposed French ban on asbestos imports would be an illegal trade practice.

Despite recent warnings that asbestos was the cause of 500,000 cancer victims in western Europe alone, Canadian asbestos producers continue to promote and sell their fibre worldwide – especially to developing nations.

Asbestos is used as a binder in cement, as insulation, and in anti-fire walls. It is also a potent carcinogen with a long, well-documented legacy of death.

The danger comes when small asbestos fibres are released and inhaled by labourers. The fibres cause cancerous growths in the lungs, lung lining and abdomen but can take 20 years or more to manifest.

In 1997, Canada exported 430,000 tonnes of asbestos – more than 96% of production – most of it to the developing world. Canada is the world’s second-largest exporter of asbestos after Russia.

Union activists, who have visited India and other developing countries say, however, that the public relations efforts of the government and the asbestos industry are simply window-dressing to hide the fact that most people who work with the natural mineral fibre risk cancer.

Critics of Canada’s asbestos exports say the country is exporting death to protect the profits of a handful of companies and the jobs of 1,600 miners.

“What’s the difference between land mines and asbestos?” asks Dr. Barry Castleman, author of a respected book on the danger of asbestos. “A key difference, of course, is that Canada doesn’t export land mines.”

At the heart of the issue is Canada’s own precarious political situation. All of the asbestos mines in Canada are in Quebec, a predominantly French-speaking province with a separatist government.

Federal and provincial politicians are pushing asbestos exports to prove that they are successful at developing overseas markets, and are protective of Quebec workers. Critics of asbestos exports say the industry would probably be allowed to die if it was centred in any other part of the country.

“Personally, I believe this is all about Quebec politics,” says Canadian Auto Workers Health and Safety director Cathy Walker. “The Canadian and Quebec governments are competing with one another to show just how prepared they all are to protect Quebec jobs.”

The real costs will be borne by the developing world, she says.

Walker just returned from India, where she saw unprotected workers slashing open bags of asbestos fibres. In places where the asbestos was being mixed into cement, clouds of the carcinogenic fibres swirled around workers.

In Britain, the Cancer Research Campaign said in January that its study into the European asbestos-linked cancer epidemic should sound alarm bells everywhere, “particularly in the developing world where uncontrolled asbestos is still very common,” said CRC director Gordon McVie.

Seven of Canada’s top 10 markets are Third World countries. Still, the Canadian government, the asbestos industry and lobby groups are trying to put a good face on the asbestos industry.

Recently, diplomats stationed here were flown to asbestos- producing regions on an all-expense-paid first-class junket.

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Local Canadian Terrorist – B.C. pipeline bombings raise fears from public at community meeting


DAWSON CREEK, B.C. — As members of the RCMP’s national terrorism unit continued to gather evidence at the sites of two gas pipeline bombings in northeastern B.C. this weekend, other officers met with about 200 frightened citizens at a public gathering.

“There is an ongoing amount of concern and definitely a certain level of fear that has been expressed from the public,” said Sgt. Tim Shields.

“This event was an opportunity for the RCMP to explain what is going on with the investigation and to provide a forum for the community to ask questions of the police and EnCana.”

The pipeline operator and police officers met with residents in a hall at the tiny nearby community of Tomslake.

Eric Kuenzl of Tomslake, B.C., was at the meeting at the school in the hamlet near the Alberta boundary.

He says people in the area aren’t venturing out unless it’s absolutely necessary.

“People are on edge. They’re scared,” Kuenzl told The Canadian Press. “They want answers. The meeting was designed to give direction. They ironed out a few things . . . as far as flying over with choppers and looking with infra-red to make sure there’s no other bombs.”

“That makes me feel a little safer.”

Kuenzl was critical, however, of officials locking children in the Tomslake school when news of the bombing came out.

He says the community sits in a low-lying area and the heavy gas from the pipeline could have killed youngsters locked in a school.

“They put all the kids inside and then they closed all the ducts and everything. It’s like building a giant coffin,” Kuenzl said.

“Why wouldn’t you just load them up in the bus and get ’em the hell out of here. I think I’d be safer on the roof of my house than I would be inside my house.”

Meanwhile, members of the RCMP Explosive Disposal Unit and the RCMP National Post Blast Team continue their work at the blast sites.

“Personnel are continuing to conduct a thorough search of the blast area and the surrounding debris field,” said Shields.

“Essentially, these individuals are combing the area looking for any item that is out of place and could provide a clue to investigators. This can include anything from a footprint to a piece of the explosive that was used.”

It’s not yet clear what motivated two attacks on pipelines near Dawson Creek, the first last weekend and the second Wednesday night.

Police believe they’re linked to a letter sent to local media last week calling oil and gas companies “terrorists” that are “endangering our families.”

People living in and around Dawson Creek are quick to condemn the explosions, but they also say the region’s burgeoning oilpatch has had a sometimes uneasy relationship with its neighbours.

In both cases, the pipelines were owned by EnCana (TSX:ECA). The first pipeline did not rupture but the second explosion caused a small leak, one the company said was quickly contained.

The RCMP explosives unit was also at the site Friday, trying to find out what happened, said Shields.

“They will be in the process of recreating the blast in order to determine what type of material was used, how it was used and to gather evidence,” he said.

Terrorism expert John Thompson said the fact the bombings weren’t preceded by other incidents of protest and vandalism suggests they’re likely the work of one or two people working alone rather than organized environmental groups mounting a broader campaign.

“This also suggests that this is a small, amateurish effort by community activists,” said Thompson, president of the Toronto-based Mackenzie Institute.

“It’s either somebody who is particularly torqued off by the oil and gas industry specifically, or someone who is self-actualized as a radical environmentalist with their own strange ideas about how to fight.”

The bombings have brought back memories of Wiebo Ludwig, an Alberta farmer who spent nearly two years in prison on charges related to oilpatch bombing and vandalism in the 1990s.

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The dangerous politics of intimidation and threats in Canada – Car and home vandals aim at Toronto Liberal supporters


Brake lines cut, cars damaged at homes. Toronto police patrolled a midtown area overnight, after vandals cut brake lines on at least 10 cars parked at homes with Liberal election signs on their lawns.

“We’re investigating. Officers are paying special attention to the designated area and we take this very seriously,” Staff-Sgt. Shawn Meloche, from 53 Division, said last night. “This is a danger to life as well as to property. Regardless of the motivation – and there appears to be a connection (to the signs) – this is a public safety issue.”

Affected residents live in the riding of St. Paul’s, in a swath of the city around Eglinton Ave. between Bathurst St. and Mount Pleasant Rd., and had Carolyn Bennett signs on their property. Although Meloche confirmed 10 cases of vandalism last night, Liberal riding headquarters said the number was going up, reporting 14 by 9 p.m.

The cars were also damaged in other ways; some were scratched and keyed with L signs. Phone and cable lines of some homes were cut.

“There are two child seats in the back of my car,” said Andrew Lane, chief financial officer for Bennett’s campaign. “To cut the brake line on a car like that is just evil. Awful.”

Added Lane, whose children are 6 months and 22 months: “You have to crawl under someone’s car and cut the brake line, knowing that it could kill someone, or their whole family.”

Lane discovered his brakes didn’t work on his silver Saturn View as he tried to pull up at a stop sign near his home yesterday. He kept slamming the brakes and, in a “moment of terror,” narrowly avoided slamming into a bus.

Later, the garage called to tell him it had been no accident. When Lane expressed disbelief, the mechanic told him: “Look, this is a big, heavy rubber hose and it’s been cut through with a very sharp knife. You should phone the police.”

Police later said Lane was not alone and asked if he had an election sign, telling him, “The Carolyn Bennett sign seems to be the one thing linking events.”

“I’m just sick to my stomach about this,” a shaken Bennett told the Toronto Star last night. She spent the day visiting the vandals’ victims. “It is so upsetting. I’ve spent my life encouraging people to get involved in the democratic process and now it would appear they are targeted for doing so.”

Brent Johnston, former chief fundraiser for the provincial Liberals, was backing his Volkswagen Golf slowly out of his driveway when alarms went off. He then discovered brake fluid in his driveway. When he called Volkswagen, they told him he wasn’t the first to call, and to check his car for damage.

He, too, has two young children and shudders to think what might have happened if he had driven the car with a cut brake line.

“This isn’t about party politics. Putting people’s lives at risk is a whole different thing,” said Johnston. “We’re not taking the sign down. We won’t be intimidated. But I am really disappointed this is happening in Canada. It’s beyond comprehension.”

read more | digg story

Harper Tory campaign takes new hit. Candidates who are off the message and out of order. How many more are like this in his party?


In the latest embarrassment for the Conservative campaign, a candidate who blogged after the July beheading on a Winnipeg-bound bus that Canadians should be allowed to carry concealed handguns for protection has resigned from the Toronto Centre race.

Musings on women, gays, native protesters and hate-speech laws.

(1) Law-abiding men and women should be allowed to carry concealed handguns, saying: “If women and gays really wanted to stop being victims of hate crimes, they’d be in support of this, but judging from discussions, they’d rather be helpless and rely on government.”

(2) The end of human rights commissions and hate-speech laws.

(3) His political views were not entirely in keeping with the Conservative party

This is why Harper needs to change the focus to himself. He needs to find a better “pool” of conservative candidates.

read more | digg story

Tainted Chinese milk products in Toronto stores


Yogurt products from two Chinese companies suspected of distributing melamine-tainted milk powder are still being sold in Chinese supermarkets in and around Toronto.

Yogurt products from Mengniu and Yili were discovered by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency in a Richmond Hill import company.

read more | digg story

China formula scare spreads to ice-cream, yoghurt


BEIJING (Reuters) – Hong Kong has ordered the recall of a Chinese company’s products after milk, ice cream and yogurt were found to be contaminated with melamine, the compound responsible for killing four children in a China health scandal.

Tainted milk powder produced in China has made thousands ill, and triggered sackings and detentions and rocked public trust already battered by a litany of food safety scares involving tainted eggs, pork and seafood in recent years.

Now the scandal has spread to milk, ice-cream and yoghurt ice-bars. Hong Kong ordered the recall of a Chinese company’s products on Thursday after tests found that eight of 30 of its products, including milk drinks, were tainted with melamine.

The company, Inner Mongolia Yili Industrial Group Co Ltd, was a Beijing Olympic Games sponsor and is one of 22 Chinese firms implicated in the scandal.

A regional Chinese health authority said on Thursday a fourth child had died at a hospital in remote northwestern Xinjiang. The report on the authority’s website (www.xjwst.gov.cn) gave no further details.

Milk tainted with melamine, a compound banned in food, has killed three other babies, two in China’s northwestern Gansu province and one in eastern Zhejiang.

The health scare erupted after Sanlu Group last week revealed it had produced and sold melamine-laced milk, and a subsequent probe found a fifth of 109 Chinese dairy producers made adulterated products with the substance.

At the latest count, 6,244 children have become ill with kidney stones after drinking powdered milk laced with melamine, with three deaths and 158 suffering “acute kidney failure.”

“It’s just a terrible situation, it’s really scary,” said a 34-year-old father surnamed Zhou, cradling one of his eight-month twins outside a Beijing children’s hospital.

“You expect small brands to have quality issues, but these are big brands, name brands. The authorities need to improve their oversight,” said Zhou, queuing to have his children examined.

read more | digg story

Statscan Censorship?


An interesting post on The Progressive Economics Forum

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Censorship in Canada

Censorship in Canada

Once again, there seems to be a heavier hand in editing Statistics Canada’s releases.  This morning The Daily reported that:

“Spending on research and development in the higher education sector amounted to $9.6 billion (current dollars) in the fiscal year 2006/2007.”

but there was no word on whether this was an increase or decrease from the previous period, which Statscan releases almost always have.

The year 2006/7 was the first year that the Harper government was in office.  Investment in research and development is essential to increase our economy’s productivity, which hasn’t increased since the start of 2006 (and has grown at a dismal rate since 2000).

Canada has some of the most generous tax incentives for private R&D in the world, yet Canada has one of the lowest rates of investment in R&D among OECD countries thanks to both low rates of government and business investment in R&D, accoridng to Industry Canada’s Science and Technology Data tables.  Canada’s investment in higher education R&D had recently been relatively good, but it looks like the current federal government may soon rectify that.

The Harper government is laying off federal scientists and forcing departments to slash their R&D budgets .  It is deregulating food safety inspection and transferring or selling off federal labs to the private sector, intent on further commercialization and privatization. They eliminated the national science advisor and have instead appointed Preston Manning among others to help advise on science issues.  This approach to science recently earned the Harper government scathing criticism in an editorial in Nature, one of the most respected science publications in the world.

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Families torn by grief because of a drunk driver on the 403 going in the wrong direction. This madness must end!


This is why the laws must be changed. A life has been snubbed out because of a possible drunk driver. I am not sure how one can justify going in the wrong direction on a provincial highway? The way the laws stand he will probably get a “slap on the wrist”, if convicted in Ontario. I am not sure how anyone can condone these actions anymore. If any political leaders are listening, its time for the laws to change, now and protect the public against this serious and unforgiving offense.
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Several years ago, before he moved to Canada, met his wife and had two beautiful daughters, Herminio Del Valle was told in a dream not to drive.

So he never bought a car, thinking all the while he was preventing a horrible accident.

To get to work, he turned to long-time pal Pablo Guzman, who had also emigrated from the Dominican Republic and got Del Valle his job at a Burlington aluminum factory. A trusted employee, Guzman was given the keys to the factory to open the shop early each morning.

That’s how the two men found themselves on Hwy. 403 in Mississauga around 4:45 a.m. Friday, when an allegedly drunk driver in a pickup truck going in the wrong direction hit their car head-on. “He was always driving people here and there,” Guzman’s friend, Patricia Moreno, said inside his Woodbridge home yesterday, Guzman’s crying wife, Rocio, and three children sitting next to her.

“Especially widows. He was always helping them,” she said, her voice drowned out by sobs. “Now, she’s a widow.” About 15 km south in North York, Del Valle’s widow, Carmen, sat with daughters Catherine, 9, and Natalie, 7, surrounded by family who had flown in from the U.S.

“Everything was for his family,” a shattered Carmen said in Spanish with a family member translating. Carmen had arrived at the Guzman home hours after the crash Friday with condolences, only to learn her husband was also dead.

“My dad was the best daddy,” Catherine said, tears rolling down her cheeks. “He used to try to get me the stuff that I need.”

Each of Guzman’s children — Victor, 8, Gleny, 6, and Santiago, 4 — have been coping in different ways.

“Where’s daddy?” Victor asked Moreno yesterday. “Heaven,” she said.

“I want to go to the CN tower to be closer to daddy,” he replied.

Gleny was found in her closet Saturday, holding a dress her dad had just bought for her.

Santiago clutched a toy truck in his hand while he sat on his mother’s lap.

“He knows it was a truck,” Moreno said. “So he says that truck killed his dad.”

read more | digg story

The Segregation of Native People in Canada: Voluntary or Compulsory?


Originally posted by Michèle DuCharme

Canadian Natives listening to the Prime Minister of Canada

Canadian Natives listening to the Prime Minister of Canada Stephen Harper during an official apology

The history of the Indian people for the last century has been the history of the impingement of white civilization upon the Indian: the Indian was virtually powerless to resist the white civilization; the white community of B.C. adopted a policy of apartheid. This, of course, has already been done in eastern Canada and on the Prairies, but the apartheid policy adopted in B.C. was of a particularly cruel and degrading kind. They began by taking the Indians’ land without any surrender and without their consent. Then they herded the Indian people onto Indian reserves. This was nothing more nor less than apartheid, and that is what it still is today(1).

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Update: For those who are interested you can also read an entire series by the Globe and Mail called Canada’s Aparteid.


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