Category Archives: World News

Liberal Party Votes To Legalize Assisted Suicide

Liberal Party Votes To Legalize Assisted Suicide, At its convention in Montreal, the party voted in favour of decriminalizing medically-assisted death, but leader Justin Trudeau did not say if he’s running with the idea., Trudeau skips out as Liberal conventioneers vote to legalize assisted suicide, Federal Liberals have voted in favour of legalizing assisted suicide but whether Leader Justin Trudeau will run with the idea is a mystery.

Trudeau was not in the room Sunday when delegates to the party’s national convention passed a resolution urging that voluntary, medically assisted death be decriminalized – although moments earlier he had been just outside the convention hall, cheering as the Canadian men’s hockey team won Olympic gold.

He was in the room later when delegates gave him an overwhelming, after-the-fact endorsement of his decision to kick senators out of the Liberal caucus.

Delegates also passed a raft of potentially costly resolutions that included supporting many big-ticket items:

- An $18-billion-a-year investment in infrastructure.

- Creation of a basic annual income.

- A national transportation strategy.

- Funding for aboriginal education on reserves equal to that spent on provincially operated schools.

- Increased funding for mental health services.

- Expansion and enhancement of the Canada Pension Plan.

None of the resolutions are binding on the leader and, since he gave no closing remarks and did not hold the traditional wrap-up news conference at the convention’s end, it was unclear which resolutions Trudeau believes should make their way into a 2015 election platform or how a Liberal government would pay for them.

He did give a number of one-on-one television interviews – which were taped before the resolutions were voted upon.

In an interview with Global’s Tom Clark, Trudeau, who has promised not to hike corporate or income taxes or the GST, said the debate to come will be over where to spend the surplus the Harper government has forecast for next year.

In an interview with CTV’s Question Period, he declined to give his personal view on assisted suicide, saying he’s waiting for the Supreme Court to rule on some pending cases which could provide guidance on the issue.

He did allude to the “death with dignity” resolution, jointly proposed by the party’s women’s and youth commissions, in relatively positive terms during a keynote convention speech Saturday, but stopped short of taking a clear stand.

The resolution, Trudeau said in the speech, challenges Liberals “to expand our idea of what it means to be a free citizen in a modern democracy” and “to reflect on giving terminally afflicted Canadians the choice to end their pain and suffering and plan their own death with dignity.”

Voluntary, medically assisted death should be decriminalized, states the resolution – after a public consultation to recommend the criteria for allowing terminally ill Canadians to choose to end their lives and an oversight system to protect the vulnerable.

In The Social Media Age, Can Anything Be Truly Private?

In The Social Media Age, Can Anything Be Truly Private?, With over 50 per cent of people of survey repsondents admitting to some form of ‘sexting,’ our ideas of privacy have to change., Electronic spying: In the age of Facebook and Twitter, nothing can be considered private, Privacy is a relatively new “right.” In 1965 the U.S. Supreme Court had to invent a right to privacy to permit access by a married couple to contraception; again, more famously, it arose in 1973 Roe v Wade to protect a woman’s right to abortion on demand. The court pretzeled the 14th Amendment to the Constitution to create this right.

For its part, the Constitution does not mention privacy.

Indeed, the degree of privacy that today’s Americans and Canadians consider the norm would have been risible a generation ago.

Bluntly, “privacy” is a modern affectation. And one which technology now has made electronically irrelevant; the government’s protestations of adherence to law should be skeptically viewed.

Privacy, moreover, is a circumstance that appears less and less relevant to most citizens. Social media is replete with photos and videos that in days of yore would have been regarded as “soft porn.” Users of social media are cautioned against postings that might come back to haunt them if they are applying for jobs and/or security clearances. Or, since the Internet lasts forever, what their children and (heaven forbid) grandchildren might get to see. But actual users appear indifferent; perhaps they implicitly conclude that when actions, such as open sexual activity or the use of mind-altering substances become universal, they are relevant only to the individuals concerned, and general society could care less. With polls indicating that more than 50 per cent of the respondents have engaged in “sexting” and/or explicit sexual language in email, Twitter or other electronic media, it has become the norm rather than the exception. When was the last prosecution in civilian courts for fornication? Adultery?

What remains important, however, are the protections conferred by the U.S. Fourth Amendment to the Constitution which ensures that “the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”

Canada Taking Away ‘Major Selling Point’ Of Citizenship

Canada Taking Away ‘Major Selling Point’ Of Citizenship, Experts say the Tories’ proposed changes could ‘hamper Canada’s efforts to woo’ this group, which contributes $8 billion to the economy., Changing citizenship rule could hurt Canada’s efforts to woo foreign students: observers, As more countries compete for the world’s top talent, some worry that planned changes to the Citizenship Act could hamper Canada’s efforts to woo international students, a group that contributes billions of dollars to the Canadian economy.

The changes, which are expected to become law later this year, do away with a provision that eased the path to citizenship for those who live in the country before becoming permanent residents – a rule that benefited foreign students.

“We’re taking away one of our major selling points,” said Debbie Douglas, executive director of the Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants.

“We’re continuing to compete internationally with countries like the U.K., U.S. and Australia increasingly for talent and it makes no sense for us to take away incentives that we knew would bear fruit.”

The move seems to run counter to the government’s pledge to double the number of international students in Canada by 2022.

The impact of the change could be significant, considering the government estimates international students currently contribute more than $8 billion to the economy and support 86,000 jobs.

“We usually have laws to address a problem. I don’t know what the problem was,” Douglas said. “It was a win for Canada, it was a win for people coming here.”

Under current laws, for individuals like international students, foreign workers or live-in caregivers, every day spent in Canada as a non-permanent resident counts as a half day of residence needed for their citizenship application, up to a maximum of two years.

In addition to taking away that provision, the government is simultaneously increasing residency requirements for citizenship from three out of four years to four out of six years.

The change is raising some eyebrows as it creates a potential hurdle for those who typically make well-integrated, sought-after immigrants.

“Increasingly international students are seen as a fabulous talent pool for Canada, they’re golden immigrants,” said Jennifer Humphries, a vice-president at the Canadian Bureau for International Education.

“They can be huge contributors to the Canadian society, Canadian economy. If we create roadblocks to them, what will happen could mean that they could get their education in Canada and end up going to work in the U.S.”

In 2012 Canada welcomed a record number of over 100,000 international students. And over the last three years, more than 23,000 transitioned to permanent residency in Canada.

Observers will be watching closely to see how the changes affect future foreign students, but some who are already in the country say the new rules have put their plans in jeopardy.

Saman Maleki, who came to Canada from Iran as an international student in 2008, is one of them. The 31-year-old became a permanent resident in 2012 and was hoping to apply for citizenship this year, but may now have to wait.

One Of These People Is Oscar-Nominated. Can You Guess Who?

One Of These People Is Oscar-Nominated. Can You Guess Who?, It was a lot less than 12 years ago when you could find this star performing in music videos.,

Oscars 2014 nominees: Embarrassing early roles

They might be up for the biggest gongs in the business, but it took a lot of hard graft for these stars to get to be an Oscar nominee. Not every gig has been award-worthy though, as these embarrassing early roles of Academy Award hopefuls show

One Of These People Is Oscar-Nominated. Can You Guess Who?

How This 23-Year-Old Outsmarted Bill Gates

How This 23-Year-Old Outsmarted Bill Gates, Norwegian Magnus Carlsen challenged Bill Gates in his specialist area – and outwitted him in 71 seconds., Bill Gates obliterated by chess champ in just over one minute, The world’s richest man (or thereabouts) met the world’s best chess player Thursday night on Skavlan, a Norwegian-Swedish television talk show hosted by Norwegian journalist Fredrik Skavlan. Inevitably a board was brought out, at which point fellow Norwegian Magnus Carlsen — who also happens to be a chess grandmaster — took the Microsoft founder to school by achieving checkmate in just 71 seconds.

Gates, to his credit, knew he didn’t stand a chance.

“The outcome is a foregone conclusion,” he said as a chessboard was brought onto the show. But the look of amazement on his face in just how fast he lost is priceless.

Carlsen, who recently beat India’s Vishwanathan Anand to become the official world champ, says Gates fell right into the traps he set, but generously added that Gates had played a good game.

Well, as good a game as you can play in just over a minute.

“He was a bit unlucky and eventually fell to my tactics, but he otherwise made good, healthy moves,” Carlsen said. “I think with a little more time, he could certainly be a pretty good player.”

What’s amazing to watch in this game is how quickly Carlsen makes his moves. Of the game’s 71 seconds, he spent just 18 contemplating and physically moving his pieces — a lightning fast pace. Gates, while certainly playing at a decent clip, can be heard second-guessing himself and muttering about what to do next.

Mum’s Lightning Reaction Saves Her Son’s Life

Mum’s Lightning Reaction Saves Her Son’s Life, When a drunk driver crashed his car through a restaurant window, instinct kicked in., Eagle-eyed mother saves son’s life by pushing him away from drink driver who ploughed through restaurant window, A quick-thinking mum pushes her child to safety – seconds before an out-of-control drunk ploughs his car through a restaurant window.

The vehicle jumped a red light in Orlando, Florida, before smashing into a Ford Focus and then crashing through the window of a Popeye’s fast food restaurant.

But the eagle-eyed mother, who spots the wayward drunk from a few metres away, leaps into action with a fraction of a second to spare and ushers her child out of harm’s way.

Surveillance video shows the pair enjoying their meal before darting out of the way just seconds before the rented van ploughs into the corner table where they were sitting.

The driver of the Ford, two women and an eight-year-old boy were rushed to hospital, but the mother and son escaped life-threatening injuries. Amazingly, noone else inside the restaurant was seriously hurt.

Phillip Brown, 26, was charged with driving under the influence with serious bodily harm, driving on a suspended license and failure to obey a traffic control device.

Mr Brown did not require hospitalization for his injuries.

An arrest report cited by the station said he was uncooperative and swore at police officers at the scene.

According to the police reports, officers could smell alcohol on his breath and had slurred speech. He also had trouble keeping his balance, refused to participate in sobriety tests and didnt’t answer any questions.

What Mindanao’s First Cardinal Will Do

What Mindanao’s First Cardinal Will Do, Cardinal-elect Quevedo says he prayed that he “can contribute to the good of the people here in Mindanao.”, First cardinal from Mindanao to focus on peace, While still surprised over his election as a cardinal, the newest Filipino “prince of the church” said he will continue to support the peace process in Mindanao.

Cardinal-elect Orlando Quevedo, 74, the archbishop of Cotabato, is the first prelate from Mindanao to be named part of the group deemed as pope’s inner circle.

“I prayed that I can contribute to the good of the people here in Mindanao,” the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines quoted Quevedo as saying.

The new Filipino cardinal also highlighted the “dialogue being undertaken by the people of various faith in Mindanao specially with the Bangsamoro.”

Among the bishops, Quevedo is said to be the most exposed to the peace talks, having led CBCP amid armed conflicts between the government and Moro rebels.

CBCP President Soc Villegas said Quevedo as a cardinal “will be able to assist the Pope in reaching out to the marginalized in Mindanao.”

A paper delivered by Quevedo argues that injustice is the root of the Mindanao conflict which has lasted for decades and stunted growth in the region.

“Justice to the Moro identity and sovereignty must be seriously respected” to solve the conflict, Quevedo emphasized in his widely quoted paper.

Both Muslim and Christian leaders play a role in this, he added, saying “Both the Koran and the Bible teach respect, understanding, reconciliation, and love.”

Aside from the Mindanao conflict, however, the new Pinoy cardinal said he hopes to shine a light on the issues of poverty and corruption in the country.

“I prayed that I can also contribute in promoting the formation of righteous political leaders in our country,” Quevedo said in a radio interview.

This, even as he noted that his election into the college of Cardinals came as a complete surprise to him. “I was not thinking all about it,” Quevedo said.

The archbishop will formally be made a cardinal along with 18 others during a consistory on the Feast of the Chair of St. Peter, February 22.

“I thank the Holy Father for recognizing the people in Mindanao specially the places where there are great problems of peace,” Quevedo was quoted as saying.

Gov’t Bares ‘Tool For Good Governance’

Gov’t Bares ‘Tool For Good Governance’, Could an online portal be the door that leads us to the proverbial “tuwid na daan” the President promised?, New gov’t website seen as antidote to corruption, Could an online portal be the door that leads us to the proverbial “tuwid na daan” promised by President Benigno S. Aquino III?

The website, Open Data Philippines, went live on Thursday morning, Jan. 16. The administration is tagging it as “a tool for instituting good governance.”

In fact, during his speech at the recently held Good Governance Summit held at the Philippine International Convention Center in Pasay City, Aquino had explained, “Open Data Philippines is a website for publicly available, up-to-date national data-from the total enrollment in public secondary schools over a certain period of time, to the aforementioned budget and procurement data and everything in between.”

Aquino emphasized that the website, which can be accessed at data.gov.ph, “will not only serve as a repository for national government data made accessible to the public, it will also use reader-friendly visualizations to make statistics understandable.”

The website boasts of data sets, which include charts and infographics that present all kinds of data in user-friendly format.

In an interview with ANC, Department of Budget And Management Undersecretary Richard Moya explained, “We currently have 650 data sets in the website. They contain data which we collated, curated, and posted.”

Among the data found in the site are lists of the prices of commodities.

There are also easy-to-understand charts discussing various processes, such as the procurement of goods and services.

The site also offers free apps that cover the most common concerns of citizens-from the traffic situation to how the government spends money.