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Published monthly and distributed thru out the communities of northern Manitoba *(plus) Issue # 28

February 2014


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Manitoba RCMP News

non-life-threatening, police said. Now, police are looking for a suspect wearing a white jacket and driving a 1998 green four-door Honda Accord. The vehicle has the license plate GMX 393. Anyone with information is asked to contact investigators at 204-986-2848 or Crime Stoppers at 204-786-8477.

RCMP seize truck load of pot Stabbed woman saves young daughter durin carjacking

Mounties in Manitoba pulled over a semitrailer truck in Steinbach and found the cab of a truck full of marijuana.

Winnipeg police are looking for suspects after a woman was stabbed and carjacked shortly after loading her six-year-old daughter into her car on. Police said the woman brought her daughter out to the car around 6 a.m. on Marbury Road in West Kildonan.

She put the young girl in the car and began dusting snow off of it when a stranger came up and demanded her keys. When she refused, the man revealed a knife and stabbed her in the lower body, according to police. Before he drove off, the woman managed to get her daughter out of the car. Her injuries were

It happened last month near Steinbach. The semi was heading east. Police found more than 50 kilos of pot. A 48-year-old man from British Columbia and a 51-year-old man from Alberta have been charged with possession for the purposes of trafficking.

Winnipeg police bust $374K grow op A 49-year-old woman is facing several drugrelated charges after Winnipeg police raided a marijuana grow operation in the city’s North Kildonan area.

Police searched the home, in the 300 block of McIvor Avenue, on Wednesday.

They seized 317 marijuana plants with an estimated street value of $355,000, along with a kilogram of dry marijuana worth an estimated $6,000. They also took grow op equipment worth $13,000. The woman has been released from custody on a promise to appear in court at a later date.

Stolen vehicle spree across Saskatchewan leads to Manitoba chase BRANDON, Man. – A three day stolen vehicle spree that started in Alberta on New Year’s Eve ended on Thursday in Manitoba after a number of thefts in Saskatchewan. Police say it began on Tuesday when a Chevrolet Silverado was stolen from Kathyrn, Alta. It was located on the afternoon of New Year’s Day in a ditch near the entrance to the town of Morse, Sask., east of Swift Current. That same morning around 3 a.m., a Dodge Ram pickup was stolen in Morse by two people. It was recovered later that morning in Moose Jaw,

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where a Ford Escape was then stolen from the city. On Thursday morning, Mounties in Indian Head, east of Regina, were alerted to an alarm going off at a gas station in Sintaluta. Moments later, a witness called police who reported a silver Ford Escape had been driven in reverse into the overhead garage door bay. Police believe the driver was attempting to gain entry into the gas station by ramming the door and fled when spotted by the witness. The Escape was located just over an hour later on Highway 1 east of Wapella near the Manitoba border.

Before the discovery of the stolen Escape, a Chevrolet Silverado was stolen from a business in the community and then abandoned near Moosomin, where a Dodge pickup was taken. The pickup was then left in Virden, Man. shortly before 9 a.m. where another vehicle was stolen.

The thieves then took off east on Highway 1 where they clipped a vehicle, causing minor damage. Mounties attempted a pursuit, but called it off for safety concerns. The stolen vehicle was then abandoned and

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page 3 another vehicle stolen in the Oak Lake area. The suspects then headed towards Brandon. Brandon police then pursued the vehicle through the city. The driver clipped another vehicle while attempting to leave the city, sending both into the ditch where officers arrested two people. A 42-year-old man and a 33-year-old woman, both from Calgary, are facing a number of charges and were scheduled to appear in Brandon provincial court.

Fake parka prompts warning from RCMP RCMP Cpl. John Montgomery holds a fake Canada Goose jacket next to a real one.

feathers, which would not keep you warm. Purchasing a counterfeit product could put you in danger because the products are not tested to see whether they meet safety standards. No charges were laid against the buyer.

57 charged in Winnipeg gang investigation A nine-month police investigation into the Manitoba Warriors street gang in Winnipeg has resulted in charges against 57 people and taken drugs, guns, other weapons and ammunition off the streets. Project Falling Star started in April 2013 and focused on "drug cells" in the Manitoba Warriors street gang.

WINNIPEG - A Winnipeg woman is short hundreds of dollars and has been warned by RCMP to not buy counterfeit goods. Border agents opened a box from China heading to a home in Winnipeg and found a fake Canada Goose jacket and some bogus NHL jerseys. “Some people are tricked into thinking they’re buying a good jacket,” said Cpl. John Montgomery with the RCMP federal serious and organized crime division. “The counterfeiters will put an image of an authentic jacket online, you purchase it and of course you get the raccoon dog, duck-feather one.”

Two teens face charges in string of Liquor Mart thefts Police charged two males, 17 and 18, with numerous offences in a string of liquor store robberies going back as far as April 22. Police charged the suspects with 16 robberies between April 22, 2013 and Jan. 10, 2014, police said. They hit Liquor Marts all over the city of Winnipeg, robbing several stores multiple times. They face numerous theft, robbery, weapons and breach of probation-related charges.

Monica Marie Thomas, 34, is wanted by police for trafficking in cocaine and failing to comply with a previous court order.

“It’s easy to tell the difference,” said Dr. Stephen Petersen, head of conservation and research at the Assiniboine Park Zoo. RCMP asked Petersen to get involved and examine the jacket’s fur and filling to determine if it was a fake. “The fur actually matched to a raccoon dog, which is a species from Asia … For a real Canada Goose jacket they use coyote fur, a nice Arctic cold-weather hardy species,” said Petersen. The authentic coats, which are manufactured here in Winnipeg, are filled with down, which is a layer of fine feathers. The fake coat was not filled with down, but Chinese domestic duck

On Jan. 16, 2014, police conducted a search warrant in the 700 block of Main Street and seized numerous items — shotguns, handguns, pellet guns, bulletproof vests, machetes and ammunition. The 57 members or associates charged range in age from 16 to 51. Warrants have also been issued for two more people wanted for cocaine trafficking. "The Manitoba Warriors have been known to promote illicit drug sales and commit numerous acts of violence that is linked to the territorial disputes related to drug distribution networks," stated a release from the police.

Connor Todd Sech, 19, is wanted by police for trafficking cocaine.

Former Manitoba fire commissioner charged with fraud, forgery WINNIPEG - A former Manitoba government official has been charged with breach of trust, fraud and forgery. RCMP Winnipeg's federal organized crime unit says it received a forensic audit report from the provincial comptroller of the Manitoba government. The audit by the office of the auditor general outlined allegations of irregular financial activities that occurred within the Office of the Fire Commissioner between June 2009 and Feb. 2011. Mounties identified accountable advances and/or expense claims which are alleged to have been supported by documents which had been fabricated and or forged. It's alleged that more than $55,000 was paid out on the forged claims. Christopher Jones is scheduled to appear in court in Winnipeg on Feb. 26 to answer to several charges.

Manitoba snowmobilers survive 26-hour ordeal in blizzard Man left with severe frostbite, numbness after snowmobiling trip goes wrong.

Two Manitoba snowmobilers say they never gave up hope after they were stranded for 26 hours in a blizzard during an ordeal that began near Lake of the Woods and ended in Minnesota. Danny McLachlan and his girlfriend, Leandra Mardynalka, went ice fishing with another couple on the lake Jan. 26. But the 20-year-old snowmobilers — along with Torque, their 1.4-kilogram Pomeranian — got lost in blowing snow as they were driving their snowmobile back to their cars. "When we left, it was bad but it wasn't terrible. I thought for sure we could still make it there no problem and I'd be able to find my tracks on the way back," McLachlan said. "But just as soon as we started driving, then boom, it just got real bad and couldn't see nothing." After driving for more than an hour, the Steinbach couple's snowmobile ran out of fuel. "I have to admit, when we were on the ice, starting to run out of fuel, that was my breakdown moment. I got off the snowmobile, I just started crying," said McLachlan. "I completely lost my composure, and Leandra looked over at me and she said, 'You know what? That's not going to get us anywhere. We got to stay calm, stay focused and figure out what we're going to do.'" The pair managed to started a fire nearby and stayed the night. “We didn’t let each other sleep. We let each other close our eyes and just keep talking to each other, “ he said. The next morning, McLachlan decided to head out on foot when he heard the sound of another snowmobile. He followed it all the way to Roosevelt, Minn., where he called for help. “My feet were past frozen. It just felt like I was walking on hooves,” he said. McLachlan was admitted to hospital and treated for severe frostbite to his feet and is still dealing with numbness from the incident. He said he will be much more careful next time he goes ice fishing. continued on page 8

page 4 MANITOBA NEWS + Plus

Drivers find it just takes a second to steal

One-way trip to Mars attracts almost 7,000 Canadians Applicants apply for $6 billion project that some call 'suicide mission'

WINNIPEG - Auto thieves in Winnipeg appear to be getting a helping hand from drivers who feel the need for heat during biting cold weather. Police say that in about one third of the 166 auto thefts last month, the vehicles were left running and unattended when thieves made off with them. In about 20 per cent of the cases, the keys to the stolen vehicles had been taken from jackets, backpacks or purses left unattended in public places In another nine per cent, the vehicles were taken by using a spare key left inside the vehicle. Brian Smiley, a spokesman for Manitoba Public Insurance, says auto theft is a crime of opportunity and the bitterly cold weather is causing people to make unwise decisions. Since 2009, an average of 132 vehicles have been stolen in Winnipeg during the month of December.

Nearly 30,000 crash claims filed with MPI Manitoba drivers could be facing insurance rate hikes after one of the worst months on record for crashes. Nearly 30,000 collision claims have been made over the past six weeks, according to Manitoba Public Insurance. Thousands of those are the direct result of drivers losing control on ice or going too fast for the conditions and not being able to stop. "Driving is challenging under the best of road and weather conditions,” said MaryAnn Kempe, vice-president of community relations for MPI, said in a release. “Winter weather conditions — extreme cold, heavy snow, slush, freezing rain — can change dramatically during a very short period of time. Drivers need to adjust just as quickly. By doing so, a collision could be avoided.” There will likely be another bundle of claims being made after Thursday's crash-filled morning. Gusting winds, icy roads and poor visibility left ditches along highways in the Winnipeg area strewn with vehicles. In addition to the bad road conditions, many accidents can still be blamed on driver inattention, said MPI spokesman Brian Smiley. "I am going to suggest that some of them are still texting, and I am going to suggest that some of them are not paying attention to the task at hand, which is driving," he said. MPI will put in its annual rate application in June with the Public Utilities Board, and it will consider the expenses it faces due to the rash of crashes, Smiley said. "What we are seeing in December and January will be taken into account when we apply for general rate application this summer for 2015-2016. What we are seeing right now, in terms of the high volume of accidents, is not good," he said.

One of many thousand Mars pictures

Why some Canadians want to die on Mars

sues might arise when entering the Mars atmosphere and there could be problems during landing. Connor Martz, 19, thought about the risks, but they did not stop him from applying to join what some have called a suicide mission.

Mars One An ambitious project that aims to put boots on Mars in 10 years may have fallen short of the expected number of Martian wannabes, but there is no shortage of Canadians willing to live on the red planet — and die there. With the Aug. 31 deadline almost here, nearly 7,000 Canucks have applied to join Mars One — a $6-billion project that plans to establish a permanent human colony on Mars by 2023/25. They are among more than 165,000 applicants from 140 countries who have paid an application fee ranging between $5 and $75, depending on the country, in hopes of being selected for the oneway trip. Lex Marion, of Vancouver, is one of them. "My entire life I have always wanted to be a part of something that really makes a huge difference," the 26-year-old said in an interview. "Having my life mean something, for me, is just so important and this is the ultimate expression of that."

Considerable risks Mars One — the brainchild of Dutch entrepreneur Bas Landorp — says the first four settlers would be followed by more groups, every two years. If the project ever makes it off planet Earth — and many are skeptical it will — it won't be without risks. Organizers say there could be an accident during launch, vital components could malfunction during the journey, a number of is-

Canadians who volunteered for a one-way mission to Mars "That part scares me, obviously, never being able to come back or see my family and dying there," he said from his home in Waterloo, Ont. "I think the good outweighs the bad in this case because you have the opportunity to advance mankind in its exploration and colonization of other planets." His mother, Linda Martz, said she is concerned about the no-return aspect of the mission, but hopes her son will grow out

page 5 of the idea. "We are talking ten years from now so he will be 29," she said. "Things change, I don't know where he will be ten years from now, maybe he will change his mind." For now, Connor is getting ready to start first year of university in September to study physics. He said he's been hitting the gym to build up body mass, which could prove vital on a long space voyage. "Every kid wants to be an astronaut at some point and I guess that is where I started," he said.

Applicant submits poem The application videos, some of which are posted on the Mars One website, range from the wildly absurd to the surprisingly sincere. One Canadian applicant — identified only as Madison, 27 — posted a video talking about what drew her to the program. "A year ago my younger sister died and with that of course came a bunch of questions about why are we here? What is the meaning of all this and what is the purpose in life?" said Madison. "When I read about this Mars One program I thought: 'Wow, here is my chance to find some sort of closure or purpose or meaning in space,' so I couldn't not apply." Another Canadian applicant — known only as Collin, 26, — chose to show off his rhyming chops in his video, submitting a full poem, which included these verses: "I am a scientist, adventurer, wizard and explorer/Philosopher, technician and confidant ninja warrior/My brain is sane enough to sustain itself on such a lengthy trip/I will bond in trust and faith with fellow astronauts on the ship." Kenneth Flack, 53, from Pointe-Fortune, Que., said he wanted to join the mission because he's convinced the Earth "will eventually be destroyed and consumed by the sun." "We have to colonize the rest of the solar system, and the galaxy for that matter, for us to have long-term longevity," he said in an interview. Flack also argues about the need for "old" and "fat" astronauts on his application video, in an effort, he admits, to attract more views.

dience, but more in the way that the moon landing is shared with our audience or the Olympics," he said. However, many of the contestants know that being popular on television may help them advance through the selection rounds. "I don't think it (the Mars One show) will be like "Jersey Shore" or "Survivor" or "Big Brother", said Andrew Rader, 34, from Ottawa, who was among the first Canadians to apply. "It's more like the Discovery Channel." The spacecraft systems engineer — who recently won Discovery Channel's competitive reality TV show "Canada's Greatest Know-it-All' — hopes his communication skills will help him in the race for a spot on the Mars shuttle. Rader also thinks the media-centric independent funding model of the Mars One venture is superior to the traditional government funding for space exploration. "I'm a bit of a libertarian and I think space needs to pay for itself, and if a private company can do things more inexpensively and if it can bring in sources of revenues without taxpayers dollars then I'm all for it," said Rader. ***

Manitoban vies for one-way ticket to Mars A 31-year-old Manitoba woman is willing to give up life on Earth for a one-way ticket to Mars. Julie Perreault, who is from Ste-Geneviève, just southeast of Winnipeg, is the only Manitoban to make the short list for Mars One — a project aiming to set up a permanent human colony on the Red Planet.

Reality show expected Mars One had hoped to attract up to a million people from around the world when it first launched the application process in April. After the Aug. 31 deadline, the group will decide who goes on to the next round of the selection process. The world will likely get to know some of the applicants in an expected television show that will document the selection and training of the final four-member crew. Paul Romer, co-creator of the popular "Big Brother" reality television show was made a Mars One ambassador in April 2012. He will likely be instrumental in the creation of a television program that will go towards funding the Mars mission. But Lansdorp, the group's CEO, said that doesn't mean that a Mars One show will necessarily be a reality TV show. "The mission to Mars is one of the most exciting and inspirational stories of all time and we do want to share that with our au-

The cut is now down to 1,058 with 75 Canadians among them. The Mars One group's first voyage is scheduled to be an unmanned trip in 2018. That will be followed by cargo missions and unmanned preparation of a habitable settlement. The goal is to have crews of four, departing every two years, starting in 2024. Perreault said she was prompted to apply for the project out of fear — a fear of not trying things. "I like to challenge myself and not let fear stop me from doing what I want to do," she said. So what’s next for the present Mars hopefuls? “The next several selection phases in 2014 and 2015 will include rigorous simulations, many in team settings, with focus on testing the physical and emotional capabilities of our remaining candidates," said Norbert Kraft, chief medical officer of Mars One. Perreault said she might not necessarily have the technical skills and knowledge right now to be part of a new planetary settlement, but her love of learning will help push her to that end. "We expect to begin understanding what is motivating our candidates to take this giant leap for humankind. This is where it really gets exciting for Mars One, our applicants, and the communities they’re a part of.” Being from Manitoba, where the frigid temperatures can sometimes compete with temperatures on Mars, could also give her an edge, she joked. "I might have an advantage over people who are used to a warmer climate, but I've also heard that it gets way colder on Mars, so, I don't know," she said. The Mars One group's first voyage is scheduled to be an unmanned trip in 2018. That will be followed by cargo missions and unmanned preparation of a habitable settlement, according to the group's website. The organization said it has agreements with aerospace titan Lockheed Martin as well as satellite company Surrey Satellite Technology to develop mission plans for the 2018 mission. Mars One has several sponsors, is selling merchandise, and has also launched a crowd-funding campaign in order to pay for its missions. Mars One estimates the cost of putting the first four people on Mars at $6 billion, which includes the cargo. For every next manned mission, Mars One estimates the costs at $4 billion.

Saskatoon man makes Mars short list Justin Semenoff wants to take a one-way trip to the Red Planet. Justin Semenoff has made it to the next round of the Mars One project.

"For the first 20 minutes, you know, I was pretty happy, I'm feeling good about myself. Then it hit me, kind of what that really meant," she said. ?The search for Astronauts began in April 2013 and more than 200,000 people from around the world submitted video applications.

A Saskatoon man is one step closer to walking on the surface of Mars. Justin Semenoff has made it to the next round in the Mars One project. The privately-funded space program plans to send 24 astronauts to the Red Planet starting in 2023. continued on page 6

page 6 continued from page 5

This morning, the project announced it had cut down its list of 200,000 applicants to a more-manageable 1,058. Semenoff said he's excited to be on the short list. "Seeing it this morning, and then getting the email that I'm going to the next round has just been ... my heart's still beating," Semenoff said.

Christy Foley, 32, was one of more than 200,000 applicants to the Mars One project, a not-for-profit foundation that seeks to establish a permanent human settlement on the red planet by 2024. An early meeting with Canadian astronaut Roberta Bondar helped solidify Foley’s interest in space life. In an elementary school yearbook, Foley wrote that she wanted to colonize the moon – an ambition she’s now happy to put aside in favour of a much bigger trip. “I don’t mind missing the moon – I get to go to Mars” Foley, a strategic planner with Environment and Sustainable Resource Development, has a background in philosophy, ethics and business administration. On a self-described “mission to save humanity,” she hopes that learning how to live in a more-or-less closed ecosystem with limited means could eventually benefit earth as a whole. As for the one-way nature of the trip – Foley admits the thought is terrifying, but says its worth the risk. “It would be a really cool way to die,” she said, “but it’s a better way to live.” Foley’s husband, Ian Runkle, also applied to the program, but did not make it through the first cut. He plans to reapply, but for the

Despite his excitement, there's a hitch to the plan. The Mars One mission would be a one-way trip and all of the astronauts will stay there for the rest of their lives. "I'm still excited to push forward with it," he said. "I'm still looking at it as something that needs to be sought after." Semenoff is an army combat engineer in the Canadian Forces and has experience as a welder and blacksmith. Once they arrive on Mars, the astronauts plan to set up a colony on the planet. Mars One said the next selection phases will take place over the next two years. According to a press release, they will include, "rigorous simulations, many in team settings, with a focus on testing the physical and emotional capabilities of our remaining candidates." Seventy-five candidates from Canada made it to the next round of the project.

Edmonton woman one step closer to mission to Mars Christy Foley has dreamed of living in space since she was a young child. An Edmonton woman is one of 1,028 people chosen worldwide to advance to the next round of an out-ofthis-world competition. The prize? A one way trip to Mars.

the mission’s medical officer this coming days. What follows the medical is essentially a regional ability and popularity competition between applicants,with the pool eventually being whittled down to 40 finalists who will then train for about seven years before the first group is shipped out. The price tag for the first mission is hovering around $6 billion US.

Calgarian Zac Trolley shortlisted for one-way trip to Mars 'I'm healthy and I'm willing to go,' says Zac Trolley. A 31-year-old engineer from Calgary is one step closer to a shot at space travel. Trolley is one of the 1,000 people who made the short list. "I think I have the skill set that's needed," he said. "I'm healthy and I'm willing to go." Space travel been a lifelong dream for Trolley and he hopes to make the final cut. "With astronauts, even nowadays, they say if you're not a little bit scared you're not telling the truth. These are big machines, these are high risks, but the payoffs are also pretty big, so I'm looking forward to it." Trolley's health will be assessed in the coming months to see if he is suitable for the mission.

meantime, is content supporting his wife’s astronomical ambitions. "Ultimately if she goes I'm going to miss her – there's no way around that,” he said. “But I'm going to be tremendously proud and already am proud – I don't see how anybody could stand in the way of a dream like this."

The next step To apply to the program, hopeful pioneers had to assemble a substantial application package, including multiple essays and a video submission. Foley is one of 75 Canadians to make it past the first round of cuts. Next comes a medical exam for those candidates that have made it through to round two. Foley is anticipating hearing from

Founders of the $6-billion Mars One Mission have turned to crowdsourcing to raise the funds. The plan is to build machinery and train people over the next 10 years before sending the first group of colonizers by 2025.

page 7

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New list of missing, murdered aboriginal women gives families hope Families seeking loved ones hope new database will spark fresh action from the RCMP The number of missing and murdered women in Canada may be much higher than previously believed, new research shows, giving hope to families seeking answers about their loved ones the new figures will spark fresh action from the RCMP. The PhD thesis research by Maryanne Pearce, a federal civil servant in Ottawa, has resulted in a database of missing or dead Canadian women, 824 of whom are identified as aboriginal. Pearce cross-referenced newspaper articles, police reports, court documents and other resources as part of her database. The latest figure is much higher than the 582 names the Native Women's Association of Canada compiled and handed over to the RCMP in 2009. Family members of those who have gone missing or have been killed say they hope the new list will push the RCMP to search harder. "Somebody out there knows where these people are," said Bernice Catcheway, whose daughter, Jennifer, went missing in Manitoba in June 2008. "Somebody stole my daughter, and that's the hardest thing a parent can go through … just not knowing where she is is a nightmare." Nahanni Fontaine, a special adviser on aboriginal women's issues for the Manitoba government, says she hopes the newest figures will bring some comfort to families. "It legitimizes the spirit of their loved one, and that their loved one existed, and that they're not forgotten," she said. The research presents "the opportunity again to galvanize non-aboriginal Canadians and get behind this issue," Fontaine added. "If they had been missed in previous reports, now they're here. And so I think that that really goes a long way with families."

RCMP reviewed hundreds of cases It was revealed this week that the RCMP has completed a "comprehensive file review" of murdered and missing aboriginal women and girls within Mountie jurisdiction. The national police force has reviewed 327 homicide files and 90 missing-persons cases involving aboriginal females, according to RCMP briefing notes obtained by The Canadian Press under the Access to Information Act. "This is of great priority to the RCMP," Supt. Tyler Bates, director of national aboriginal policing and crime prevention services, told CBC News. "We continue to work diligently to resolve any of the outstanding cases that remain, whether it be historical homicides or contemporary ones." Bates noted that some of the cases in the new database will be outside RCMP jurisdiction. The RCMP review represents the latest effort by the police force amid public concern about the perils faced by aboriginal women, and allegations of police inaction. A special parliamentary committee is holding hearings on the issue. Aboriginal groups along with some provinces, such as Manitoba, have been pressing for a full-fledged national inquiry. "What is going to be the action that the RCMP are gonna take? Are they gonna look at these cases, meeting with these families and following through?" asked Bernadette Smith, whose sister, Claudette Osborne, vanished in Winnipeg in July 2008.

Wilfred, left, and Bernice Catcheway have posted a photograph on their truck of their daughter, Jennifer, who went missing in June 2008, along with a police phone number that people can call if they have information about her disappearance.

Smith said she expects the RCMP to follow up on the new names that have come up in the latest database. "When my sister went missing, we were told, 'Oh, she's probably out partying somewhere, she'll turn up.' You know, so we were just kind of just brushed off, and I think that's still happening," she said. Claudette Osborne was 21 when she went missing.

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page 8


across CANADA Las Vegas-Calgary $4.5M cocaine bust A routine traffic stop in Nevada more than a year ago has led to charges against three Calgary men allegedly at the centre of a multimillion-dollar smuggling and trafficking operation.

The Jan. 15 arrests are the result of a joint investigation between Alberta law enforcement teams and the United States Drug Enforcement Administration. Three Calgary men were charged with a number of drug-related offences after a routine traffic stop in Nevada back in October 2012 revealed 45 kilograms of cocaine hidden under the flat bed of a pickup truck. After a 15-month joint investigation between the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and police in Alberta, three suspected bigtime Alberta cocaine suppliers were charged after long investigation.

Calgary men charged after Nevada cocaine bust A fourth Calgary man was arrested after a traffic stop just outside of Las Vegas in October 2012. A drug-sniffing dog led to the discovery of $4.5 US million worth of cocaine, said ALERT’s Mike Tucker. The value of cocaine was estimated by Las Vegas police. In Canada, it would have fetched much more, says Tucker. The drugs were hidden under a hydraulic setup in the flatbed of a pickup truck. "To the naked eye, and even to law enforcement, it’s very dif-

ficult to detect." The driver, who will be tried in the U.S., was a "mule," said Tucker. A partner investigation between ALERT and the DEA led to the "ring leaders" — the three other Calgary men. The men, all in their 30s, have been charged with conspiracy to import cocaine, conspiracy to traffic cocaine, possession, trafficking and possession of proceeds of crime. "It sounds like something out of a movie script or an episode of Breaking Bad," Tucker said.

bally lashed out at their two children. The couple eventually agreed to separate.

Martin Bouchard with his family q

'Economies of scale' "It’s a reality of what ALERT encounters on a regular basis of enterprising individuals, such as the three men who are accused, that will go to any length to bring cocaine across the border into Canada and take advantages of the economies of scale." It appears the three men had no criminal history and no ties to any organized crime groups, Tucker said. Because of its proximity to the border, Calgary is a hub for cocaine in Canada. The three are believed to be major cocaine distributors for southern Alberta, said Tucker. “It’s no secret that the cocaine originates in Mexico — it is controlled by the cartels,” said Tucker, adding that though that’s generally the case, they don’t know yet where this cocaine came from. "A kilo of cocaine in Tijuana, Mexico, will go for between $6,000 to $12,000. When that crosses the border into Los Angeles — which is the North American hub for cocaine — it will go for $20,000 to $28,000," Tucker said. "By the time that hits the streets in Calgary, that same cocaine is going for around $50,000. So you can see the profit motives around that trade." Those figures are in Canadian dollars, said Tucker.

Mental illness in the RCMP The RCMP is coming under fire for failing to provide adequate mental health support to members dealing with traumatic situations on the job. The criticism comes from those who have seen the toll on members firsthand, including widows, members, veterans and experts.

Martin Bouchard Martin Bouchard was a proud Mountie who served for 13 years. He met his wife Krista on a blind date. She describes him as funny, a nerd in pants that were too short and a French accent no one could understand. She said that she noticed a change in him after he was stationed in Shamattawa, a remote First Nation in Northern Manitoba. He responded to violent incidences, suicides and he complained the detachment was understaffed. He got a transfer to Alberta and Krista Bouchard hoped it would make a difference but instead things got more volatile at home. The couple had many angry screaming matches and he ver-

Bouchard got some help through RCMP therapists and was diagnosed with PTSD. His time in Shamattawa was partly to blame; he even had an axe thrown at him. He spiralled downward and took his own life on November 8, 2012. He was 45. His wife told Media News she doesn’t want any other families to go through the same thing. “Hopefully, the RCMP will see the importance of making changes to ensure that from their end, they can make as much change as possible,” she said.

Wind turbines a bust Turbines producing far less energy than expected Rink wind turbine program off to 'bad start' A project to save P.E.I. rinks electricity costs by installing wind turbines is proving to be more of a burden than a boost for three of the four rinks. 'If we could get our money back and have the turbine taken out of there we'd be very happy.' - Jeff Reynolds, Northumberland Arena One rink wants the $70,000 residents invested returned and the turbine removed. Jeff Reynolds, board director for Northumberland Arena in Murray River, said the project manager, the Wind Energy Institute of Canada, told him the rink could save at least $1,200 a month on its electric bill. In December the savings were about $17, said Reynolds. He regrets convincing Murray River and Murray Harbour residents to buy in. "We went to these towns and asked them to put up $35,000 a continued on page 10

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piece to get this project to go forward," he said. Reynolds has heard a number of possible reasons from the institute why the turbine isn't performing as well as expected, including poor placement, cold weather, and less wind.

“I think of Yellowknife as a weather champion,” says David Phillips, a senior climatologist with Environment Canada. “You're number one in so many aspects of the weather." Yellowknife topped many winter weather lists, including coldest year round, longest snow cover, most cold days and most extreme wind chill. With average winter temperatures of -28.9 degrees, Phillips says Yellowknife holds lots of cold weather records, including extreme wind chill.

Yellowknife topped 13 categories

But Murray River is not alone. Alan Rennie, a board member for the rink in Alberton, said that rink is having similar problems. Rennie was expecting $15,000 worth of electricity a year, but is getting about a third of that. "It's not paying for itself so we've got to take out of our operating budget money to pay for this thing," said Rennie. "We're cutting as many corners as we can to keep up with our expenses, but it's certainly a burden." Rennie says the Wind Energy Institute has been doing some testing trying to figure out what's wrong. He said if the problems aren't resolved the rink may ask the province for compensation. The manager of the rink in Kensington says its wind turbine is also only producing a third of what was expected. The province promoted the project, investing $100,000 in each of the turbines. That was in addition to the $70,000 invested by the communities and $80,000 from the federal government. Provincial government officials declined to comment, saying the Wind Energy Institute managed the project.

Yellowknife the coldest, sunniest city in Canada Environment Canada looked at 100 Canadian cities and ranked them based in categories, such as longest winter, driest city, and sunniest year round. 'The temperatures here in Yellowknife are a point of pride for people who live here,' says Yellowknife mayor, Mark Heyck. Yellowknife came out on top in 13 of 75 lists.

Coldest winter Coldest spring Coldest year round Most cold days Most hot and cold days Longest snow cover season Most deep snow cover days Sunniest summer Sunniest spring Most heating degree days Extreme windchill Most high windchill days (-30 or less) Driest winter Air The coldest temperature recorded in the N.W.T. capital with the wind? -63.99 Mayor Mark Heyck says it takes a special breed of person to live in this kind of cold. “The temperatures here in Yellowknife are a point of pride for people who live here,” Heyck says. “We hear about the polar vortex and deep freeze that a lot of southern parts of Canada are in and here in YK we call that December through February.” But Yellowknife is not all about cold. The city comes out on top in the warmer months as well. “You have the sunniest summers and the sunniest springs,” Phillips says. “That's something that should be on your bumper stickers.”

In the spring, Yellowknife sees almost 100 more hours of sun than the second place city, Winnipeg. As for the other territories, Whitehorse was on top when it came to the percentage of precipitation falling as snow. Whitehorse was also the driest city, with the driest summer air. Iqaluit didn't make any list. That’s because, with a population of less than 10,000, it wasn't included.

Michael Johnson charged with attempted murder of 4 Alberta Mounties Charges follow shootout near Tofield, Alberta, where 1 officer was run over by a truck. Michael Johnson faces 36 charges after one RCMP officer was run over and another shot during a standoff and shootout at a rural home east of Edmonton on Jan. 6.

The RCMP have now charged a man in connection with a shootout near Tofield, Alta., where two Mounties were injured in January. Michael Leslie Johnson, 33, faces 36 charges, including four counts of attempted murder, break and enter, resisting arrest and operating a motor vehicle that was dangerous to the public. RCMP officers went to a rural home east of Edmonton on Jan. 6, while hunting for a man who had stolen a gun and threatened to kill someone. When they arrived, they found their suspect, but the man managed to slip away from officers before jumping into a truck to escape. RCMP said the man then drove over Cpl. Travis Ogilvie before getting stuck in a snow bank and exchanging gunfire with other officers, grazing one in the arm. Johnson, has a number of gunshot wounds, and is receiving medical care. The Alberta Serious Incident Response Team is now conducting an independent review of what happened that day. Ogilvie suffered broken bones and internal injuries, but is now recovering at home. continued on page 12

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Nova Scotia RCMP to get drones Police drones will soon be whirring through Nova Scotia’s skies. The Nova Scotia RCMP is buying five unmanned aerial vehicles, commonly known as drones. They’ve budgeted up to $165,000 for the purchase, or $33,000 apiece. They will be outfitted with thermal cameras and a video camera that can stream live images back to the operator steering the drone with a remote control. Drone use is regulated by Transport Canada. The RCMP is licensed to use drones for crash scene investigation, traffic accident reconstruction, search and rescue, major crimes investigations and emergency response team calls.

accuracy. They must weigh less than six kilograms and be able to be launched within five minutes. They also must be able to fly in stormy weather, including rain and snow, and face temperatures as low as -25 C. The drone must be able to be operated from at least 500 metres away. Recreational drones can be purchased for as little as $500 but they would be far less advanced than the models the RCMP will be considering. The infrared cameras alone could cost $10,000 apiece, said Richard Van der Put, co-owner of Cape Breton-based SkySquirrel Technologies Inc., which sells drones. Van der Put said modern drones tend to operate for 20 to 40 minutes at a time, can be operated from 25 kilometres away or more, and can hover in place within a margin of mere centimetres.

Jeffrey Boucher mystery:

How to disappear without a trace Private investigator Mark Mendelson says it's easier than you would think Police say Jeffrey Boucher, 52, went jogging early Monday and never returned home. (Durham Regional Police, Ontario) The mysterious disappearance of 52-year-old high school teacher Jeffrey Boucher took another turn this month when police announced they were calling off the search for the Whitby, Ont., man, with one detective commenting that "Mr. Boucher quite simply appears to have vanished.” It raises the question: How does someone just disappear without a trace? Private investigator Mark Mendelson, a former Toronto police homicide detective, said he has encountered cases of people mysteriously disappearing.

Jeffrey Boucher, 52

One privacy expert warns that drones could be used in intrusive ways, such as filming through a house window. “They already do that with binoculars from one building to another,” said McInnes Cooper lawyer David Fraser. “There really are very few limits on what law enforcement can do with respect to tracking, particularly in places that are publicly visible.” Fraser said drones have many helpful uses, such as flying over a forest with infrared cameras to track down someone who is lost. But he said people might have concerns about drones with infrared cameras flying over neighbourhoods looking for marijuana grow-ops, which give off heat. “When it comes to law enforcement using drones I think we need a much better discussion and understanding on what they propose to do with it,” said Fraser. While the purchase is a first in Nova Scotia, RCMP detachments across the country have been buying drones. RCMP in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, the Northwest Territories and Newfoundland and Labrador all use the devices. The local detachment has outlined several criteria for their new aircrafts. They must be able to automatically land and take off vertically. They must be able to hover in a fixed position within one metre of

he wouldn’t be found. The third scenario, which Mendelson said is the most unlikely, is that Boucher is alive and well somewhere and has “gone to great efforts to completely vaporize off the face of the earth.”

Without a trace Mendelson said that staging your own disappearance is easier than you would think and that people have been doing it for decades. In one infamous case, a British soldier named Philip Sessarego faked his own death in 1993, before resurfacing almost a decade later, publishing a book under his new identity, Tom Carew. 'All you need is one piece of identification — albeit fraudulent, but it looks legitimate — that gets you in the door to sort of build a new identity.' “They’re motivated. They’ve made plans in advance in terms of squirrelling away cash, things of that nature, so they don't have to deal with ATMs, banks or whatever,” Mendelson said. Once someone is ready to disappear, all they need is a piece of fake ID, which Mendelson said you can easily find online. He said there have been cases of criminals who disappear for decades, living under the radar, only to be discovered living comfortably in another state, province or country. But in the case of Boucher, Mendelson warns people not to jump to any conclusions and brings up another high-profile case — Mariam Makhniashvili, a Toronto teenager who went missing in 2009. In the months following her disappearance, people reported spotting her in different cities across North America. “She was in Calgary, she was in the United States, she was everywhere,” said Mendelson. “But in actual fact, she was underneath the bridge at the Don Valley golf course (Toronto).” Police believe she took her own life.

Vancouver's housing 2nd least affordable in world Vancouver ranks second only to Hong Kong in having the least affordable housing, according to Demographia's 10th annual survey of 360 housing markets in nine Western countries. The survey divided median housing prices in Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, Ireland, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, the U.K. and the U.S. against median gross household income to come up with its ratings. Under this rating system, homes in Vancouver cost 10 times median income compared with 15 times income in Hong Kong. Three times median income is considered affordable.

Most of those cases do not end in a positive way Mendelson theorizes that Boucher’s case will turn out in one of three ways: First, that the married father of two had a medical issue while jogging and his body was missed in the search, or second, that he took his own life and took steps beforehand to ensure

Struggling with 'sticker shock' Headhunter Craig Hemer says the high cost of housing could affect some people's decision to move to Vancouver for work. "If you're living in a five-bedroom home in one part of the

page 13 country and coming here and bringing your family and expecting to live within the city, costs go up exponentially. And it's a bit of a sticker shock."

of housing in Vancouver may not be a bad thing. "If you've got the most attractive city in the world, it should have the highest price-to-income ratio," says Somerville. "The amenities both force up the house prices because people want to be there and they lower the incomes because employers can get away with paying less."

ChronoMetriq, introduced in Montreal and Gatineau, Que., could soon come to Ontario and Manitoba

Canadian cities 'severely unaffordable' Meanwhile, the problem of housing affordability is not unique to Vancouver. Canada's major metropolitan markets all have a rating of "severely unaffordable," and the report listed Canadian housing as the most overvalued among 20 OECD nations. In addition to Vancouver, the three least affordable metropolitan markets in Canada were all in British Columbia: Victoria, Kelowna and the Fraser Valley. Hemer says companies will have to keep a close eye on housing affordability if they want to keep attracting executives to Vancouver. "Will they have to adjust or change, provide greater incentives, provide housing allowances that offset some of these differentials?

The country's most affordable markets were Moncton and Saint John in New Brunswick. However, when major markets are excluded, Canada's overall housing was rated only "moderately unaffordable," outperforming Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong and the U.K., where housing prices were all higher. "Housing affordability is an important determinant of the standard of living, because higher-cost housing leaves less discretionary income," says the report. "Severely unaffordable markets are also more attractive to buyers seeking extraordinary returns on investment." The report cites London, Vancouver and the U.S. West Coast as prime examples of this trend.

Those are strategies that are used periodically now, that might increase," says Hemer. But UBC business professor Tsur Somerville says the high cost

Hate doctor's waiting rooms? Get a text when it's your turn

The study also cited a recent Royal Bank of Canada report. "Detached housing, which is preferred in Canada," it says, "now requires more than 80 per cent of median household income, 2½ times the 32 per cent recommended by Canada Mortgage and Housing for mortgage eligibility."

ChronoMetriq: How it works Patients who are sick and tired of sitting in waiting rooms at doctors' offices may have the option of going home or running errands as they wait for a doctor. A new system called ChronoMetriq, which already operates in 20 clinics in Montreal, has been launched at Clinique medicale de Touraine in Gatineau, Que. A new system has been introduced in Quebec that allows patients to leave waiting rooms at doctors' offices without losing your spot in line. Once a patient registers at a clinic, he or she takes a number and goes to a touch-screen kiosk. The patient would then pay $3 in Quebec, or $4 in Ontario, to be contacted via call or text message when a doctor is ready to be seen. ChronoMetriq is advertised as a way to eliminate packed waiting rooms, which can spread germs. It is now negotiating with clinics in Ottawa and Toronto to introduce it, but the company hasn’t received a green light from the Ontario Ministry of Health. Patients and doctors at the Gatineau clinic said they were big fans, but one patient advocate said it is not fixing the wait-time problem in Ontario. “So someone’s figured out how to make a buck helping you feel less bad having to wait, but it doesn’t do anything to improve access to care,” said Marlene Riviere, president of the Ontario continued on page 18

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USA A secret court just let the NSA keep spying on your phone records. Again. A secret federal court approved the National Security Agency's bulk collection of telephone metadata for the 36th time on Friday, allowing the agency to continue gathering phone records even as dueling court cases moved forward this week over the controversial program. The government's requests for reauthorization are typically classified. But in a release, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence said it was declassifying its latest petition to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court in light of the public's interest in the metadata program.

Officials also signaled their willingness to cooperate with a presidential review panel that urged significant limits on the NSA's powers.

"The intelligence community continues to be open to modifications to this program that would provide additional privacy and civil liberty protections while still maintaining its operational benefits," said ODNI spokesperson Shawn Turner. The disclosure comes in the wake of two divergent legal opinions on NSA spying. Last month, Judge Richard Leon ruled against the government in an unprecedented rebuke of the NSA program. That opinion was later countered in a separate case by that of another judge, William Pauley, last week. Both cases are being appealed — one by the Justice Department, the other by the American Civil Liberties Union. "We continue to believe that the NSA's call-tracking program violates both statutory law and the Constitution," the ACLU's Jameel Jaffer said in a statement to the Post. "While the government has a legitimate interest in tracking the associations of suspected terrorists, tracking those associations does not require the government to subject every citizen to permanent surveillance." Meanwhile, pressure on the NSA is mounting in Congress. In a letter to the agency, Sen. Bernie Sanders demanded to know if intelligence analysts had ever scrutinized U.S. governmental telephone metadata or electronic communications. "Has the NSA spied, or is the NSA currently spying, on members of Congress or other elected officials?" Sanders asked. The NSA did not immediately respond to a request for comment.


Marijuana No More Dangerous Than Alcohol

With a majority of Americans now in favor marijuana legalization, President Barack Obama is now saying weed is no more dangerous to individuals' health than alcohol. In an interview with the New Yorker's David Remnick, Obama said while he believes marijuana is "not very healthy," the drug isn't as harmful as some insist. “As has been well documented, I smoked pot as a kid, and I view it as a bad habit and a vice, not very different from the cigarettes that I smoked as a young person up through a big chunk of my adult life. I don’t think it is more dangerous than alcohol," Obama told Remnick. When asked if he believes marijuana is less harmful than alcohol, Obama said it is less damaging "in terms of its impact on the individual consumer." "It’s not something I encourage, and I’ve told my daughters I think it’s a bad idea, a waste of time, not very healthy," he added. Obama said his focus on reforming laws that punish drug users, noting the racial disparity in drug arrests. "We should not be locking up kids or individual users for long stretches of jail time when some of the folks who are writing those laws have probably done the same thing," he said. In August 2013, the Obama administration announced it would not stop Washington and Colorado from legalizing recreational marijuana use, marking a major step away from the administration's war on drugs. In the New Yorker interview, Obama said he believes these new laws are "important."

“It's important for it to go forward because it’s important for society not to have a situation in which a large portion of people have at one time or another broken the law and only a select few get punished," he said.

Small cars fare badly in crash tests Chevy Spark wins Top Safety Pick award from highway insurance group Washington— Nearly all of the smallest vehicles on U.S. roads failed to get passing marks on a tough new crash test from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the Virginia-based group that prods automakers into building safer vehicles through its crash tests, said just one minicar out of 11 tested received an acceptable rating in the small-overlap front crash test. That makes minicars the poorest-performing group of any evaluated so far. General Motors Co.’s Chevrolet Spark received an acceptable overall rating in the small-overlap test, along with good ratings in the IIHS’s four other crashworthiness evaluations, to win a Top Safety Pick award. Introduced in 2012, the small-overlap test replicates what happens when the front corner of a vehicle collides with another vehicle or an object such as a tree or utility pole. In the test, 25 percent of a vehicle front end on the driver’s side strikes a rigid barrier at 40 mph. “Small, lightweight vehicles have an inherent safety disadvantage. That’s why it’s even more important to choose one with the

page 15 best occupant protection,” said Joe Nolan, IIHS senior vice president for vehicle research. In contrast to the minicar group’s performance, most models in the small-car category, which are a little larger, have done much better in the test. There are five good overall ratings and five acceptable ratings among 17 small cars that have been evaluated to date, the IIHS said. GM said minicars present unique challenges when designing for crashworthiness. Spark’s short wheelbase of 93.5 inches required GM to strengthen the car’s front-end structure to better absorb and distribute impact energy around occupants, the automaker said. A cradle extension offers additional support in front collisions. “Spark’s impressive performance in IIHS’s most stringent test yet demonstrates the intensive efforts of our global safety team to deliver big safety in a small package,” said Gay Kent, General Motors general director of Vehicle Safety and Crashworthiness. “Spark’s safety structure makes extensive use of high-strength and ultra-high-strength steels, and its robust passenger protection package includes 10 standard air bags.”

Minicar crash test ratings The Chevrolet Spark was the only minicar to get an acceptable overall rating in the small-overlap front crash test. Unless specified, ratings apply to both 2013 and 2014 models. Chevrolet Spark: Acceptable Mazda2: Marginal Kia Rio: Marginal Toyota Yaris: Marginal 2014 Ford Fiesta (built after August 2013): Marginal 2014 Mitsubishi Mirage: Poor Nissan Versa sedan: Poor Toyota Prius c: Poor Hyundai Accent: Poor Fiat 500: Poor Honda Fit: Poor Source: IIHS Continued on page 18



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NEWS World's first commercial vertical farm opens in Singapore

Today, only 7% of Singapore's vegetables are grown locally. But by virtue of the new facility, it's looking to change the situation. Developed by Sky Greens Farms, the vertical farm consists of 120 aluminum towers that extend over 9 meters (30 feet) in height. In total, the vertical farm is able to produce vegetables at a rate of 0.5 tonnes per day. The company is hoping to attract investors so that it can devote another USD$21M dollars for upgrades. Ideally, they'd like to construct as many as 300 towers — enough to produce two tonnes of vegetables per day. Currently, the farm is able to grow three kinds of vegetables, and they can only be found at the local FairPrice Finest supermarkets, but at a price that's 10 to 20 cents more than vegetables from other sources. But according to Channel News Asia, customers are enthusiastic about the new products and the supermarkets are struggling to keep the vegetables in stock. Moreover, Sky Greens expects the price to drop as the farm ramps up supply.

Nasa says Mars mystery rock that ‘appeared’ from nowhere is ‘like nothing we’ve ever seen before’ Rock like a ‘jelly doughnut’ has left scientists ‘completely confused’

The prospect of growing crops in vertical farms directly inside of cities has been on the collective wish-list of environmentalists, sustainable developers, and futurists for quite some time now. And now it looks like it's finally starting to happen. Land-strapped Singapore has opened its first vertical farm — an innovation that will increase the variety of foods it has available and decrease its dependance on foreign imports.

Picture: A mysterious rock which appeared in front of the Opportunity rover is “like nothing we’ve ever seen before”, according to Mars exploration scientists at Nasa.

Feeding the World in the 21st Century

And indeed, a major problem facing Singapore (and many other cities) today is land scarcity. Located at the tip of the Malay Peninsula, it is an island country that consists of a mere 710 square kilometers (271 square miles) — and most of it is developed and urbanized.

Provide jobs for residents Eliminate use of pesticides, fertilizers, or herbicides Drastically reduce dependence on fossil fuels Prevent crop loss due to shipping or storage Stop agricultural runoff Vertical farms can be built in abandoned buildings and on deserted lots, transforming our cities into urban landscapes which will provide fresh food grown and harvested just around the corner. Possibly the most important aspect of vertical farms is that they can built by nations with little or no arable land, transforming nations which are currently unable to farm into top food producers.

"The vertical farm is a world-changing innovation whose time has come. Dickson Despommier’s visionary book provides a blueprint for securing the world’s food supply and at the same time solving one of the gravest environmental crises facing us today."--Sting Imagine a world where every town has their own local food source, grown in the safest way possible, where no drop of water or particle of light is wasted, and where a simple elevator ride can transport you to nature’s grocery store – imagine the world of the vertical farm. When Columbia professor Dickson Despommier set out to solve America's food, water, and energy crises, he didn't just think big - he thought up. Despommier's stroke of genius, the vertical farm, has excited scientists, architects, and politicians around the globe. Now, in this groundbreaking book, Despommier explains how the vertical farm will have an incredible impact on changing the face of this planet for future generations. Despommier takes readers on an incredible journey inside the vertical farm, buildings filled with fruits and vegetables that will provide local food sources for entire cities. Vertical farms will allow us to: Grow food 24 hours a day, 365 days a year Protect crops from unpredictable and harmful weather Re-use water collected from the indoor environment

Experts said they were “completely confused” by both the origins and makeup of the object, which is currently being investigated by Opportunity’s various measuring instruments. Astronomers noticed the new rock had “appeared” without any explanation on an outcrop which had been empty just days earlier. The rover has been stuck photographing the same region of Mars for more than a month due to bad weather, with scientists at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in California monitoring the images it sends.

Nasa issued a Mars status report entitled “encountering a surprise”, and lead Mars Exploration rover scientist Steve Squyres told a JPL event it seems the planet literally “keeps throwing new things at us”.

page 17 He said the images, from 12 Martian days apart, were from no more than a couple of weeks ago. “We saw this rock just sitting here. It looks white around the edge in the middle and there’s a low spot in the centre that’s dark red – it looks like a jelly doughnut. “And it appeared, just plain appeared at that spot – and we haven’t ever driven over that spot.” Images captured by Opportunity show the mysterious rock 'appeared' on an outcrop that had been empty just 12 Martian days ('Sols') earlier Squyres said his team had two theories on how the rock got there – that there’s “a smoking hole in the ground somewhere nearby” and it was caused by a meteor, or that it was “somehow flicked out of the ground by a wheel” as the rover went by. “We had driven a metre or two away from here, and I think the idea that somehow we mysteriously flicked it with a wheel is the best explanation,” Squyres said. Yet the story got even stranger when Opportunity investigated further. Squyres explained: “We are as we speak situated with the rover’s instruments deployed making measurements of this rock. “We’ve taken pictures of both the doughnut and jelly parts, and the got the first data on the composition of the jelly yesterday. “It’s like nothing we’ve ever seen before,” he said. “It’s very high in sulphur, it’s very high in magnesium, it’s got twice as much manganese as we’ve ever seen in anything on Mars. “I don’t know what any of this means. We’re completely confused, and everyone in the team is arguing and fighting (over what it means). “That’s the beauty of this mission… what I’ve realised is that we will never be finished. There will always be something tantalising, something wonderful just beyond our reach that we didn’t quite get to – and that’s the nature of exploration.” Squyres was speaking at an event marking the 10th anniversary of the arrival of Opportunity and Spirit on the surface of Mars. While Spirit lost contact with Earth and was later declared “dead” in 2010, Opportunity has now roamed the planet far in excess of what was originally planned as a three-month mission. Nasa said that with its maximum speed of just 0.05mph, as of “Sol 3547” (15 January 2014) Opportunity had covered just over 24 miles (38km).

teeth that can really bite”. In December, 70 bathers were bitten by the fish as they tried to cool down when summer temperatures reached an unusual high of 38C (100F). During the attack, the piranhas bit off part of a seven-year-old girl’s finger, while other swimmers suffered deep cuts to their ankles and hands. Experts told the Buenos Aires Herald that the fish are in the area due a combination of high temperatures and lower numbers of caimans, which the piranhas usually prey on. Health authorities in the area have warned that palometas are attracted by wounds and blood.

Energy drinks do as much harm as drugs: Ban them from schools, urges health expert Government adviser John Vincent warns they are 'another form of drugs', and calls for the drinks to be banned from schools. UK, Europe - Energy drinks are as

Ten people wounded by flesh-eating piranhas while bathing in Argentina The fish already injured swimmers cooling down from the heat last month At least 10 people, including a young boy, have been injured by piranhas in Argentina since Thursday, in the second spate of attacks in less than a month. The carnivorous fish, known as palometas, have been attacking swimmers at the popular beach on the Paraná River in Rosario, 185 miles (300km) northeast of Buenos Aires. Federico Cornier, the Director of Lifeguards in the city, described the fish as “a type of piranha, big, voracious and with sharp

harmful as drugs and should be banned from schools, according to a government adviser. Drinks such as Monster, Red Bull and Relentless combine sugar and caffeine in such high quantities that children are becoming hyperactive and difficult to control. Some 500ml cans contain the equivalent of more than 13 teaspoons of sugar and 160mg of caffeine – which is about the same as in four cans of cola. Manufacturers and retailers have a voluntary ban on the sale of the drinks to under16s, but there is no law to stop children buying them. Government adviser John Vincent warned: ‘Energy drinks are effectively another form of drugs.’ Mr Vincent, who co-founded the Leon restaurant group, is part

of a team recruited by the Government to improve the nutrition of meals served to youngsters. He said: ‘The amount of sugar and caffeine in these drinks is in our view effectively allowing drugs into schools. ‘We don’t do that and neither do we think that should be part of school life. It has a hugely damaging effect on their ability to concentrate, how they feel and it is having health effects.’ And evidence from teachers and pupils is that children who drink these cans may report feeling sick, shaky and dizzy. Ian Fenn, headmaster of Burnage Media Arts College in Manchester, has banned the drinks following requests from staff. He told the BBC: ‘Staff came to me and said – at a school where we are very conscious about the nutritional value of what they eat – we cannot allow boys and girls to bring in drinks that are really unhealthy for them and consume not one, but two or three.’ Claire Duggan, a schools public health adviser, said some children report feeling unwell after downing the drinks. ‘They say the rush that it gave them could be quite scary if you drank it very fast,’ she added. A spokesman added that consuming the drinks ‘could potentially lead to short-term effects such as increased excitability, irritability, nervousness or anxiety’. Some children are even opting to have an energy drink for breakfast rather than a bowl of cereal. A survey published in the autumn found that one in 20 teenagers goes to school on a can of energy drink. Brian Lightman, of the Association of School and College Leaders, said: ‘They are in no fit state to be in the classroom. They can be hyperactive, and it can have a very negative effect on their behaviour.’ The British Soft Drinks Association code of conduct states that energy drinks should not be sold in schools. An association spokesman said: ‘We are clear that energy drinks are not recommended for children, and we want to get that message across to young people and parents.’

Controlling your money and your life! HSBC won't give me more than £1k (CAD $1800.00) over the counter even after I warned them I needed it – can they block me from my own cash? By LEE BOYCE

Europe, UK - A strange thing has happened in the last few days. I went to withdraw £10,000 (CAD $18,000) cash from my HSBC account in Swindon which is in credit by about £50,000 (CAD $90,000) However, HSBC will not let me take out anything over £1,000 (CAD $1800.00) cash over the counter. I gave them warning, but they say they must know what I will use it for - they want to see evidence of hotel bookings etc. In short, they refuse to give me my cash. HSBC say it is new continued on page 19

page 18 continued from page 13

Health Coalition. So far, the company said half of patients in Montreal and Gatineau have chosen to use the Chrono-Metriq system. Company spokesman Louis Parent said he would like to introduce the program in hospital emergency rooms, which would start in Montreal in a year or two.

Jaring Timmerman, age 104, sets 2 world swimming records Winnipegger becomes 1st swimmer to compete in 105-109 age category

Pan Am Pool was packed with family members, friends and swimming fans who cheered on Jaring Timmerman as he completed the 50-metre backstroke and 50-metre freestyle races.

Jaring Timmerman swims in the 50-metre backstroke race at Winnipeg's Pan Am Pool. Timmerman, who turns 105 next month, established two world swimming records and created a new category for competitors between the ages of 105 and 109. A 104-year-old Winnipeg man swam his way into the record books, finishing two races and becoming the world's oldest masters swimmer.

Simply by finishing, Timmerman — who turns 105 in February — has established two world records and created a new competition category for swimmers aged 105 to 109. Until now, the oldest age group recognized in masters swimming has been 100 to 104 years old. "I'll be the only one that will have a world record at 105 because no one else has it at this time," he said in an interview be-

continued from page 15

anything—my Glass was off," says the man, who wore the Glass in the theater only because it includes his prescription lenses. After extensive questioning, the agents brought in a laptop and an USB cable to check his Glass and phone before finally concluding he had done nothing wrong, he says. An Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokesman confirmed that the agency had questioned a man suspected of using an electronic device, but said he had been free to leave the "voluntary interview" at any time.

Feds yank Google Glass user from movie theater Can Google Glass — which includes a camera — be worn in movie theaters? One theater in Columbus, Ohio, decided not and had federal agents pull a a Glass-wearer from his seat. The agent confiscated the Glass, told the unnamed man he had been busted

Cops to be sentenced in bias probe HARTFORD, Conn. - Two former East Haven officers convicted of violating Latinos' civil rights are facing sentencing. David Cari and Dennis Spaulding are scheduled to learn their fates Tuesday in federal court in Hartford.

fore the meet. Timmerman, who took up competitive swimming when he was 79 and trains twice a week, already holds four world records in the 100 to 104 age category. "It's a challenge. That's what it is, so that's why I swim," he said. Doctors have told Timmerman to stop when he had torn ligaments in his shoulder. "That's what they call a swimmer's shoulder. I got that when I was about 100," he said. But he just changed his stroke and kept going. "I think always having had a goal, and working to achieve something, probably has given him longevity," said his son, Don Timmerman. While he did not take the lead in either race, the elder Timmerman did set a personal record along with the two world records. "3:09:55. That's the fastest he's ever done it," his son said after the backstroke race. Timmerman would go on to beat that time in the freestyle heat, clocking in at 2:52:48. Out of the pool and wearing a black and white track suit, Timmerman told reporters he expects these races to be his last. "It'll be the last one, yeah," he said. When asked if he'll make it to the next age category, he replied, "No, I don't anticipate that."

2012 with harassing and abusing Hispanics. The two other officers pleaded guilty and await sentencing. Cari is asking for a three-month prison sentence, while Spaulding is seeking home confinement and community service. Both were allowed to retire from the force.

To Serv e and Protec t

illegally taping the movie, and took him to a room for questioning. "What followed was over an hour of the 'feds' telling me I am not under arrest, and that this is a 'voluntary interview,' but if I choose not to cooperate bad things may happen to me," he tells tech blog Gadgeteer. "I kept telling them that I wasn't recording

A jury convicted them in October of conspiring to violate the constitutional rights of Hispanics, making false arrests and filing false reports. Spaulding also was convicted of using unreasonable force. They were among four East Haven officers charged in January

Prosecutors want multi-year prison sentences to send a message that no one, not even police, are above the law.

page 19 continued from page 17

internal rules to help prevent money laundering. But for example, what if I want to buy a £5,000 (CAD $9000.00) car? It said I’d have to put down a deposit and show them the receipt first. Cash block: Can HSBC refuse to issue large sums of my money over the counter? I find this outrageous and an invasion of privacy – why do HSBC get to decide what I do with my money? In the meantime I can take out only £1,000 (CAD $1800.00) per day until I shut my account which I shall do and all that time they will be investing my money and gaining interest from it. Lee Boyce from This is Money says: It would be logical for a bank to have a cap on the amount you can withdrawal over the counter without notice – if dozens of people went in asking for large sums, especially in smaller branches, they would risk running out of cash stocks. Calling up a day in advance and giving notice of the amount of cash needed, then entering the branch with a passport and another form of ID should be sufficient. However, in your case, Swindon branch staff have not allowed this and wanted more information.

I understand you feeling that it’s your money and that you should be able to have access to it how you see fit. Last year I saw the rise of courier scams which work by hoodwinking customers into withdrawing money from their bank – and handing it over to a fraudster pretending to represent the bank. However, if you give sufficient notice and want a large sum of cash out and can prove who you are surely the bank has to give it

you? It is your money after all. We asked HSBC if this is the case and whether its policy has changed. A spokesman from HSBC said: ‘We may ask about the purpose of a cash withdrawal when the transaction is large, unusual and out of keeping with the normal running of a customer’s account. ‘In these instances we may also ask the customer to show us evidence of what the cash is required for. The reason for this is twofold, as a responsible bank we have an obligation to our customers to protect them, and to minimise the opportunity for financial crime. ‘Transactions involving large sums of cash have inherent security issues and leave customers with very little protection should things go wrong. ‘So it’s only correct that, when appropriate, we ask customers the right questions and explore whether an alternative payment method might be safer and more convenient for them. ‘There is no restriction on the amount a customer can to withdraw from their accounts electronically, via cheque or banker's draft,’ as long as we know, where the money is going to!

NASA's plan to build homes on the Moon: System will work like a giant 3D printer using a nozzle and moveable gantry Creating structures in space that astronauts can live in has become a priority for Nasa.

With a manned mission to Mars on the agenda, and plans for lunar exploration underway, scientists are increasingly looking towards unconventional construction methods. The most promising of these is 3D printing, which could make building a lunar home in space a matter of pressing a button and letting a robot do the work. Building a home both on Earth and the Moon could soon be a matter of pressing a button and letting a robot 'print' the structure. Nasa has now provided funding to the University of Southern California to develop a specific 3D printing technique known as Contour Crafting.

WHAT IS CONTOUR CRAFTING? A process called Contour Crafting allows computer-controlled machines to build houses within 24 hours. The layered fabrication technology sees concrete, or other material such as lunar soil, applied in a pre-determined design by a nozzle on a moveable gantry. Scientists believe that 90 per cent of the materials needed to build structures on the Moon already exist on its surface. This means the cost of creating lunar buildings would be much cheaper than sending materials from Earth to the lunar service. The few parts that would need to be made on Earth would be folded from a tubular module that can be transported by space rocket. Professor Behrokh Khoshnevis from the University of Southern California claims that Contour Crafting construction methods can build entire lunar houses with all the fixtures and fittings. The nature of the technology means it will also be possible to create curved walls and architecture that is both 'exotic' and 'beau-

tiful', according to Professor Khoshnevis. Aside from creating buildings in space, the innovation could have applications in building simple homes in disaster zones or slum areas. It could also be used to print out customised luxury homes, Professor Khoshnevis said.

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World's 85 richest people have as much as poorest 3.5 billion: Oxfam warns Davos of ‘pernicious impact’ of the widening wealth gap

The 85 richest people on the planet have accumulated as much wealth between them as half of the world’s population, political and financial leaders have been warned ahead of their annual gathering in the Swiss resort of Davos. The tiny elite of multibillionaires, who could fit into a double-decker bus, have piled up fortunes equivalent to the wealth of the world’s poorest 3.5bn people, according to a new analysis by Oxfam. The charity condemned the “pernicious” impact of the steadily growing gap between a small group of the super-rich and hundreds of millions of their fellow citizens, arguing it could trigger social unrest. It released the research on the eve of the World Economic Forum, which brings together many of the most influential figures in international trade, business, finance and politics including David Cameron and George Osborne. Disparities in income and wealth will be high on its agenda, along with driving up international health standards and mitigating the impact of climate change. Oxfam said the world’s richest 85 people boast a collective worth of $1.7trn. Top of the pile is Carlos Slim Helu, the Mexican telecommunications mogul, whose family’s net wealth is estimated by Forbes business magazine at $73bn. He is followed by Bill Gates, the Microsoft founder and philanthropist, whose worth is put at $67bn and is one of 31 Americans on the list. Other well known names include the business magnate Warren Buffett, whose estimated worth is $53.5bn, and Larry Page, the co-founder of Google, with $23bn. The world’s richest woman, Liliane Bettencourt, sits on a fam-

ily fortune of $30bn derived from L’Oréal, the cosmetics company. According to Forbes, the richest person in the UK (and 89th in the world) is the Duke of Westminster, whose property empire has boosted his wealth to $11.4bn. Gap between the rich and poor has widened in the last 30 years. “This massive concentration of economic resources in the hands of fewer people presents a significant threat to inclusive political and economic systems,” the charity said. “People are in-

creasingly separated by economic and political power, inevitably heightening social tensions and increasing the risk of societal breakdown.” Winnie Byanyima, Oxfam’s executive director, who will attend Davos, described the gulf between sectors of society as staggering. “We cannot hope to win the fight against poverty without tackling inequality. Widening inequality is creating a vicious circle where wealth and power are increasingly concentrated in the hands of a few, leaving the rest of us to fight over crumbs from the top table,” she said. Oxfam is calling on the business chiefs gathering at Davos to promise to support progressive taxation and not dodge their own taxes, refrain from using their wealth to seek political favours and demand that companies they own or control pay a living wage. In a report last month the forum warned that income disparity leading to social unrest could have a significant impact on the world economy over the next 12 months. There was a “lost” generation of young people coming of age who lacked jobs and the skills for work, the report said. This could easily boil over into protests over inequality and corruption. Jennifer Blanke, the forum’s chief economist, said: “Disgruntlement can lead to the dissolution of the fabric of society, especially if young people feel they don’t have a future. This is something that affects everybody.”

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Encrypt your Cloud Storage before uploading to cloud storage In this Internet savvy generation, we want all of our data to be secured at some place. Having backups of your data is always a good idea, whether that data is stored in the Cloud or on your computer. But everyone who is following the Edward Snowden leaks of the NSA's PRISM program now pushed to hardening their Mobile devices and computers for security, privacy, and anonymity. There are many Free Cloud storage providers including Google Drive, Dropbox, Box, RapidShare, Amazon Cloud Drive, Microsoft SkyDrive and many more. These services have a limitation that all data is unencrypted, or even if it is encrypted, the encryption keys are still generated by the company's software, meaning the company still has an access to your data. So as an end user, we must think about the security and privacy of our data. We should first encrypt our files on the system level and then upload a copy of it on the cloud storage.

100,000 Refrigerators and other home appliances hacked to perform cyber attack Have you given shed to Zombies in your house? No???? May be you have no idea about it. After Computers, Servers, Routers, Mobiles, Tablets…. Now its turn of your home appliances to be a weapon or a victim of cyber war. Recently Security Researchers from Proofpoint found more than 100,000 Smart TVs, Refrigerator, and other smart household appliances compromised by hackers to send out 750,000 malicious spam emails. As the ’Internet of Things’ becoming smart and popular it became an easy weapon for cyber criminals to launch large scale of cyber attacks. “The attack that Proofpoint observed and profiled occurred between December 23, 2013 and January 6, 2014, and featured waves of malicious email, typically sent in bursts of 100,000, three times per day, targeting Enterprises and individuals worldwide." Previously, such attacks were only drafted theoretically by researchers, but this is the first such proven attack involved smart household appliances that are used as 'thingBots'- Thing Robots. Like your personal computers can be unknowingly compromised to built a huge botnet network that can be used to launch cyber attacks, in the similar way your Smart Household Appliances and other components of the "Internet of Things" can be transformed into slaves by the cyber criminals.

The worst thing with these smart appliances is that it can be easily approached by cyber criminals due to its 24 hour availability on the Internet with an add-on of poorly protected Internet environment i.e. Poor misconfiguration and the use of default passwords. More than 25 percent of the volume was sent by things that were not conventional laptops, desktop computers or mobile devices; instead, the emails were sent by everyday consumer gadgets such as compromised home-networking routers, connected multimedia centers, televisions and at least one refrigerator. No more than 10 emails were initiated from any single IP address, making the attack difficult to block based on location -- and in many cases, the devices had not been subject to a sophisticated compromise; instead, misconfiguration and the use of default passwords left the devices completely exposed on public networks, available for takeover and use.” Now it seems that we have 100's of cyber weapon in our home or in another way 100's of vulnerable dynamites living with us.

Mozilla recommends the use of Open Source Browsers against State Surveillance After the revelations from NSA internal documents leaked by Edward Snowden, the world knows the NSA as the Real Techie Gangster of this 21st Century, with the ability to brutally infiltrate every kind of electronic device, the Internet, and global communications. "It is becoming increasingly difficult to trust the privacy properties of software and services we rely on to use the Internet. Governments, companies, groups and individuals may be surveilling us without our knowledge. " The Inventor of JavaScript & current CTO of Mozilla, Mr. Brendan Eich said in a blog post NSA is not just focused on high-tech exploits, but also specialize in inserting secret backdoor to legitimate products. Its Tailored Access Operations (TAO) unit works with the CIA and FBI to intercept shipments of hardware to insert spyware into the devices. This way NSA is able to keep an eye on all levels of our digital lives, from computing centers to individual computers, and from laptops to mobile phones. It really trouble us when the Government itself force the service providers to Insert backdoors for the purpose of surveillance and made them maintain silence due to gag orders. So, on what users rely on? Most probability the best option left is - Open Source. Brendan Eich suggested not to blindly trust any software vendors, where the products are not Open Source. Because at the end of the day most big companies must comply with the law. "Mozilla has one critical advantage over all other browser vendors. Our products are truly open source" he said. "Every major

browser today is distributed by an organization within reach of surveillance laws." Now what if the law force the vendors to secretly violate their own principles to do things they don’t want to do. The vendors itself are compromising their goodwill and End-to-End trust, and are becoming the part of users' furry. We all know that Microsoft's Internet Explorer is fully closedsource software and Safari, Chrome browsers are using opensource rendering engines or WebKits, but still they are not fully open-source and contain significant fractions of closed-source code. Where on the other hand, Firefox is completely open source, which means its source code is available to everyone and anybody can verify it and can detect flaws. Anyone can verify the official Firefox executable by comparing it with the compiled executable version from the original source code. "Through international collaboration of independent entities we can give users the confidence that Firefox cannot be subverted without the world noticing, and offer a browser that verifiable meets users’ privacy expectations." He said. There's a lot of argument about whether the NSA's tactics have actually prevented much terrorism or otherwise aided the security of the United States only, but Security Guru, Bruce Schneier said, "If we can't trust either our government or the corporations that have intimate access into so much of our lives, society suffers."

BlackPOS Malware used in TARGET Data Breach developed by 17-Year Old Russian Hacker The Holiday data breach at TARGET appeared to be part of a broad and highly sophisticated international hacking campaign against multiple retailers, involving the heist of possibly 110 million Credit-Debit cards, and personal information. Target confirmed last weekend that a malicious software was embedded in point-of-sale (POS) equipment at its checkout counters to collect secure data as the credit cards were swiped during transactions. The Malware called 'BlackPOS' also known as "reedum" or 'Kaptoxa' is an effective crimeware kit, that was created in March 2013 and available in underground sites for $1800-$2000. Investigators from IntelCrawler found a 17-years old hacker who actually developed the BlackPOS crimeware kit. His nickname is 'ree4' and original name: 'Sergey Taraspov' from St.Petersburg and Nizhniy Novgorod (Russian Federation). IntelCrawler's sources mentioned that the BlackPOS malware was created in March 2013 and first infected the Point-of-Sales environments in Australia, Canada and the US. Alleged Russian hacker and malware developer Sergey Taraspov (ree4) sold more than 40 builds of BlackPOS to cybercriminals from Eastern Europe and other countries. BlackPOS is a RAM-scraping malware totally written in VBScript i.e. It copies credit-card numbers from point-of-sale machines' RAM, in the instant after the cards are swiped and before the numbers are encrypted.


page 27

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SAFETY, EFFICIENCY AND INNOVATION ALL ROLLED INTO ONE Modern advances in clean-burning diesel technology have well and truly nailed the coffin lid shut on automotive terms such as "smoky diesel," or"stinky diesel." You won't be making many pit-stops in the Cruze Diesel. The driving range is estimated to be more than 1150 kilometers. Cruze goes beyond your typical compact car. Its modern styling on the exterior hints at the ground-breaking vehicle inside — one so efficient, so safe and so technologically advanced, it redefines the category. With up to 4.2 L/100 km (67 mpg) highway fuel consumption rating, the new 2014 Cruze Clean Turbo Diesel gets the best highway fuel efficiency of any gasoline or diesel car in Canada. Plus, Chevrolet Cruze was the first car in its class with 10 standard airbags, helping it earn a 5-Star Overall Vehicle Score for Safety from the U.S. NHTSA. But this superb vehicle didn’t stop at safety and fuel efficiency. The 2014 Cruze also gives you more cargo space, more technology, more connectivity and more options, with an innovative lineup that features the Cruze Eco and the all-new Cruze Clean Turbo Diesel. Cruze packs more of everything into a stylish compact frame. And as we all know, more is… well, more. Chevrolet's turbo-diesel four-cylinder was conceived in Torino, Italy, and is created in Kaiserslautern, Germany, but it has been educated in the U.S. It's not a new engine, being already used in Opel Astras and various other GM vehicles around the world at a rate of 400,000 annually. Still, the North American version is unique, thanks to the varied driving conditions found on our Continent: 120-degree Fahrenheit Death Valley summer heat, minus-40-degree northern-Manitoba winters, and 14,000-foot Colorado mountain passes.

Tested, and proven, worldwide Cruze has been fine-tuned during more than six million kilometres of testing all over the world. It proved itself in some exceedingly hostile environments, from the heat of the Arabian Desert, to the deep cold of Kapuskasing, Ontario – and from the high altitude of the Alps to the monsoons of Thailand. Then it was put through its paces on some of the best test tracks in the world, including the famed Nürburgring in Germany, a highly demanding track and proving ground generally reserved for the world's high-performance elite. Bottom line – Cruze is one of the most tested vehicles in Chevrolet history, and it's backed by a 5-year/160,000 km transferable Powertrain Component Limited Warranty.

Test Drive I never thought I would hear the sound of a diesel engine emanating from beneath the hood of a GM car ever again. In the late 1970s and early ’80s, Oldsmobile produced an oil burner that was such a disaster it tainted the entire breed. But here I was listening to the dulcet tones of the new diesel engine option beneath the bonnet of the Chevrolet Cruze. It was, much to my surprise, music to my ears and, as the test proved beyond doubt, a delight to my wallet. When it comes to the ride and handling, the Diesel does not feel any different from the regular model. Part of it boils down to the fact the engine, at least for a diesel, is relatively light (185 kilograms), which means it does not introduce any additional understeer when the Cruze is pushed toward the traction limit. Likewise, the suspension is tuned to deliver a comfortable ride even as it limits body roll when attacking a series of sweeping corners. Factor in the P215/55R17 tires and a steering setup that’s commendably poised and polished to the feel, and the Diesel is fun drive. One tends not to think of a diesel-powered ride as being remotely sporty — the Cruze more than qualifies.

page 29 This engine also has a neat overboost mode that, for a span of 10 seconds, bumps the peak torque from 264 lb-ft to 280 lb-ft. On the surface, that seems like a relatively short time advantage, however, it was actually beneficial any time I needed the additional twisting power. You see, it takes the Cruze Diesel nine seconds to get from rest to 100 kilometres an hour and 7.5 seconds to complete the 80-to-120 km/h passing move. As I say, the overboost is ready to do its thing just about any time it’s called upon. It even managed to spin the wheels during an enthusiastic take off. As I know, in Europe, diesel engines have long outsold their gasoline counterparts, thanks mostly to the superior fuel economy and driving range they provide. Graeme Fletcher

A new generation of diesel Get ready for a new wave of technology that marries maximized fuel economy and impressive performance. With a 4.2 L/100 km (67 mpg) highway fuel consumption rating, the 2014 Cruze Clean Turbo Diesel boasts the best highway fuel efficiency of any gasoline or diesel powered car in Canada. It offers the performance torque of a V6 with the efficiency of a 4-cylinder, thanks to the very latest clean diesel technology, which helps reduce emissions without sacrificing power.

Lower emissions

Cruze Clean Turbo Diesel emissions meet the very strict Tier 2 Bin 5 Emissions Standards — a new generation of stringent clean diesel standards. Its technology includes exhaust gas recirculation, selective catalyst reduction, a particulate filter and advanced fuel system components. The Cruze Clean Turbo Diesel has also been designed to reduce the noise and vibration often associated with earlier generation diesel cars.

Join the clean diesel revolution While the U.S. has been slow to embrace the remarkable fuel efficiency and low emissions benefits of the latest clean diesel technology, Canadians have demon-

strated real enthusiasm for it. While it may be unlikely for diesel passenger vehicle sales to surpass the 50 percent mark as they do in Europe, industry forecasts show robust growth and a wide range of new diesel entries making their way onto Canadian roads.

Sophisticated ride and handling These days, so much attention is focused on fuel efficiency – and Cruze has quite a story to tell. But you don’t want to sacrifice performance to achieve better fuel efficiency. With rack- mounted electric power steering and an available Z-link rear suspension, Cruze is a driving experience that just might surprise you.

Enjoy the Ride Refinements such as soft-touch interiors, rich colours and available heated leatherappointed front seats give Cruze a premium feel. And you’ll enjoy a quiet ride with triple-sealed doors and a laminated windshield – it's just one of 30 acoustical treatments designed to help keep outside noise outside. Upgrade to the RS Appearance Package, available for LT and LTZ, and you'll make your Cruze even sportier, with a chrome-accented instrument cluster.

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played on the 178 mm (7") diagonal colour touch-screen. You can stream music, get directions, access your personal contacts and more. Just connect your compatible smartphone via Bluetooth® wireless technology or the USB port. Use voice controls, steering wheel controls and the touch-screen to access features such as hands-free calling and texting, SiriusXM Satellite Radio™, and all your own MP3s. If you have a compatible iPhone®, you can also complete an array of hands-free tasks using Siri Eyes Free. You can text, call, ask for directions, even send e-mail. Just push a button on the steering wheel and direct Siri using voice commands. Article sponsored by 212 Larose Ave., The Pas, MB Toll Free: 1.888.799.0000

page 30

2014 Jeep Cherokee truly deserves to be called an innovator

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The Cherokee nameplate has returned to the Jeep lineup in 2014, offering buyers a smaller crossover experience with loads of luxury and respectable performance both on and off the road. Surprisingly innovative, right now to the revolutionary one-piece waterfall hood and grille featuring slimmer headlights, the Cherokee is shining diamond to the Chrysler brand.

Designed with a distinctive face with three distinct lighting elements flanking a traditional 7-slot Jeep grille, the 2014 Cherokee has aerodynamic styling designed to help maximize fuel economy, according to the automaker. Mindful of preserving approach, breakover, and departure angles, Jeep stylists blended familiar trapezoidal wheel arches and protective lower body trim with LED running lights, LED taillights, and 17-inch or 18-inch wheels, depending on the trim level. It replaces the Liberty in Jeep's lineup and is sold in Sport, Latitude, Limited, and Trailhawk trim levels.

Under the hood The 2014 Jeep Cherokee offers a choice of V6 or 4-cylinder power. The base engine is a 2.4-liter 4-cylinder that produces 184 horsepower and 171 lb-ft of torque. It features FIAT-sourced MultiAir technology, which is an electro-hydraulic means of controlling the intake valves to improve both power and fuel economy. Optional for all versions is a new 3.2-liter V6 engine based on Chrysler's 3.6-liter V6. It makes 271 horsepower and 239 lb-ft of torque. The 3.2-liter V6 engine, which is a downsized version of Chrysler's 3.6-liter Pentastar V6, cuts the zero-to-60-mph time to 7.5 seconds and offers a more refined engine note. There isn't much of a fuel economy penalty with the V6, though, so those who want more power won't have to sacrifice fuel efficiency. Both engines are mated to a new 9-speed automatic transmission with manual

shift capability. Part of the reason both engines are so fuel efficient is the new 9-speed automatic. With so many gears, it lets the engines operate efficiently more often. Also, with either engine, the transmission shifts smoothly and responsively, and gets the most power out during aggressive driving.

A crossover needs space for passengers and cargo, and the Cherokee delivers Passenger room is excellent, thanks to a roomy front seat and a rear seat that slides fore and aft up to six inches. Front-seat passengers sit on comfortable seats and the elevated driving position affords a good view of the road. Cargo space is well thought out and quite useful. With the rear seats down, the Cherokee has 54.9 cubic feet of cargo volume plus Jeep offers some useful features, including a fold-down front passenger seat, storage under the cushion of the front passenger seat, and a rear cargo management system. This system features a track on the side of the cargo area with four utility hooks and a reusable grocery bag. Other items, such as an off-road accessory kit, a cargo bin, a cargo mat, and a foldable cooler, are also available as accessories. Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) with Stop and Go uses radar and video sensors to maintain one of four preset distances between vehicles; it operates the throttle and can apply up to 25% of the car’s braking power to maintain the distance. The “Stop and Go” system can even bring the vehicle to a complete stop in low-speed conditions, such as heavy traffic; the driver can then restart driving by tapping the accelerator or by pressing the “resume” button.

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warns the driver with audible and visual alerts; it prepares the brakes for emergency braking. If action isn’t taken, the system further alerts the driver with a quick burst of braking power. If action is still not taken, additional braking power can be applied to help the driver avoid or mitigate the incident. Park-Sense Active and Front/Rear Park Assist uses ultrasonic sensors to scan parallel parking spaces once the turn signal is turned on. When an appropriate space has been found, the driver is alerted. Once parking starts, the driver controls speed and shifting, and the system controls the steering. The Cherokee will automatically guide the vehicle into the parking space. Also, using its ultrasonic sensors, if it is determined that a collision is imminent, the system will inform the driver by providing a momentary application and release of the brakes.

Cherokee buyers get the latest in in-car connectivity The base trim comes with a 5.0-inch touch screen with voice controls, and higher-line versions come with Chrysler's 8.4-inch Uconnect touch screen and a 7-inch TFT customizable instrument display. The 8.4-inch screen is one of the best infotainment systems on the market. The layout is intuitive, the large screen makes the virtual buttons easy to access, and the reaction times are pretty quick. The customizable instrument display also lets drivers choose the information they want to view at a glance.

The new Cherokee may be a dramatic departure from the old one, but it's also one of the best reasonably Forward Collision Warning Plus uses radar and video sen- priced crossovers on the market. If you're shopping in sors to see when the car is approaching an obstacle too rapidly, and this segment, you have to take a spin in Jeep's latest.

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Blimplike surveillance craft set to deploy over Maryland heighten privacy concerns Raytheon - Two aerostats, which look like white blimps, are to be set aloft at Aberdeen Proving Ground about 45 miles northeast of Washington in Maryland, for a three-year test slated to start in October 2014.

They will look like two giant white blimps floating high above I-95 in Maryland, perhaps en route to a football game somewhere along the bustling Eastern Seaboard. But their mission will have nothing to do with sports and everything to do with war. The aerostats — that is the term for lighter-than-air craft that are tethered to the ground — are to be set aloft on Army-owned land about 45 miles northeast of Washington, near Aberdeen Proving Ground, for a three-year test slated to start in October. From a vantage of 10,000 feet, they will cast a vast radar net from Raleigh, N.C., to Boston and out to Lake Erie, with the goal of detecting cruise missiles or enemy aircraft so they could be intercepted before reaching the capital. The U.S. Army says the aerostats being deployed near Washington will not be equipped with cameras as ones in Afghanistan were. The Post's national technology reporter, Craig Timberg, explains how aerostats work and how powerful their radar and camera sensors can be. Aerostats deployed by the military at U.S. bases in Iraq and Afghanistan typically carried powerful surveillance cameras as well, to track the movements of suspected insurgents and even U.S. soldiers. When Army Staff Sgt. Robert Bales murdered 16 civilians in Kandahar in March 2012, an aerostat above his base captured video of him returning from the slaughter in the early-morning darkness with a rifle in his hand and a shawl over his shoulders. Defense contractor Raytheon last year touted an exercise in which it outfitted the aerostats planned for deployment in suburban Baltimore with one of the company’s most powerful high-altitude surveillance systems, capable of spotting individual people and vehicles from a distance of many miles. The Army said it has “no current plans” to mount such cameras or infrared sensors on the aerostats or to share information with federal, state or local law enforcement, but it declined to rule out either possibility. The radar system that is planned for the aerostats will be capable of monitoring the movement of trains, boats and cars, the Army said. The prospect of military-grade tracking technology floating above suburban Baltimore — along one of the East Coast’s busiest travel corridors — has sparked privacy concerns at a time of rising worry about the growth of government eavesdropping in the dozen years since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. “That’s the kind of massive persistent surveillance we’ve always been concerned about with drones,” said Jay Stanley, a privacy expert for the American Civil Liberties Union. “It’s part of this trend we’ve seen since 9/11, which is the turning inward of all of these surveillance technologies.” The Army played down such concerns in written responses to questions posed by The Washington Post, saying its goal is to test the ability of the aerostats to bolster the region’s missile-defense

capability, especially against low-flying cruise missiles that can be hard for ground-based systems to detect in time to intercept them. The Army determined it did not need to conduct a Privacy Impact Assessment, required for some government programs, because it was not going to collect any personally identifiable information, officials said in their written responses to The Post. “The primary mission .?.?. is to track airborne objects,” the Army said. “Its secondary mission is to track surface moving objects such as vehicles or boats. The capability to track surface objects does not extend to individual people.” Even the most powerful overhead surveillance systems, experts say, struggle to make out individual faces or other identifying features such as license plates because of the extreme angles when viewing an area from above. But privacy advocates say location information can easily lead to the identification of individuals if collected on a mass scale and analyzed over time. Researchers have found that people vary their movements little day to day, typically traveling from home to work and back while also regularly visiting a small number of other locations, such as stores, gyms or the homes of friends.

Aerostats’ range The aerostats planned for Maryland will have radar capable of detecting airborne objects from up to 340 miles away and vehicles on the surface from up to 140 miles away — as far south as Richmond, as far west as Cumberland, Md., and as far north as Staten Island. The Army declined to say what size vehicles can be sensed

from those distances. “If it’s able to track vehicles, that is problematic,” said Jennifer Lynch of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a civil liberties group. “You could imagine a scenario in which the location information can reveal where you go to church, what doctor you’re going to,

page 33 whether you’re cheating on your wife or husband, all those types of details. .?.?. Once a surveillance technology is put up, it’s very tempting for law enforcement or the military to use it for reasons they did not originally disclose.” Technologies developed for battlefields — weapons, vehicles, communications systems — long have flowed homeward as overseas conflicts have ended. The battles that followed the Sept. 11 attacks have produced major advances in surveillance equipment whose manufacturers increasingly are looking to expand their use within the United States. Aerostats — basically big balloons on strings — grew popular in Iraq and Afghanistan and also are used by Israel to monitor the Gaza Strip and by the United States to eye movement along southern border areas. Even a rifle shot through an aerostat will not bring it down, because the pressure of the helium inside nearly matches the pressure of the air outside, preventing rapid deflation. TCOM, a Columbia, Md.-based company that Raytheon hired to manufacture the aerostats planned for the upcoming deployment, said business is growing for smaller, tactical systems that can be used in sensitive border or harbor areas. “When you need persistent surveillance in a particular area, there is no better solution than the aerostat because it’s there all the time,” said Ron Bendlin, TCOM’s president. The Defense Department spent nearly $7 billion on 15 different lighter-than-air systems between 2007 and 2012, with several suffering from technical problems, delays and unexpectedly high costs, the Government Accountability Office found in an October 2012 report. (2013 report is coming up shortly) The system planned for Maryland is called JLENS, short for Joint Land Attack Cruise Missile Defense Elevated Netted Sensor System. The system has had setbacks, including rising costs and an accident in 2010 that damaged one of the aerostats at a facility in North Carolina. A GAO report in March put the total development costs for JLENS at $2.7 billion. Once expected to provide 16 systems, each consisting of two aerostats and accompanying ground controls, only two of these systems have been built, the one scheduled to fly in Maryland and a second sitting in storage in Utah. Raytheon, the prime contractor on the project, declined numerous interview requests about the JLENS system and, after requesting questions in writing, also declined to answer those. The military has no concrete plans to build more JLENS systems, though supporters of the program have not given up hope of reviving support. “They are bringing this to the East Coast, close to Washington, to get the Pentagon guys and Congress to say, ‘Whoa, we could really use this,’?” said Daniel Goure of the Lexington Institute, a military think tank with ties to the defense industry. “This is re-purposing. You’ve already spent the money.”

Tests in Utah The JLENS aerostats can stay in the air continuously for up to 30 days and have shown the ability in tests to track fast-moving objects in flight. The JLENS radar systems also can detect what security experts call “swarming boats,” the kind of small, agile watercraft that, when loaded with explosives, can threaten ships. The aerostat system destined for use outside Baltimore has spent the past few years based at the Utah Test and Training Range, in the vast, parched salt flats west of Salt Lake City. Residents of the area complained less about privacy issues than the militarization of the airspace. Testing of the JLENS involved small aircraft that raced through the sky, mimicking the flight of missiles. The radar systems were supposed to track them and help firing systems home in on the moving targets. The aerostats themselves were not armed. The Army said similar tests will not be conducted while the aerostats are deployed in suburban Baltimore. As the aerostats hover above the area, they will be visible — at least faintly — for dozens of miles in any direction. To fans seated in the stands behind home plate at Orioles games in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor, more than 15 miles away, they will probably appear as two white dots hovering in the sky beyond the historic brick warehouse at Camden Yards. The JLENS system will require pilots to take precautions in flights through the area; the Federal Aviation Administration is creating a “special use airspace” for the three-year test period, the Army said. There also will be “minor adverse impacts” on the bald eagle population in the vicinity of Aberdeen Proving Ground, which sits among the highest density of nests for the iconic birds in the Chesapeake Bay region, according to an Army environmental assessment. One of the two base stations for the aerostats will breach a 500-meter perimeter established to protect a nest used by a pair of bald eagles. The environmental assessment says that if those eagles are disturbed or killed because of the proximity of the JLENS base station or related construction, it would qualify as a legally permissible “incidental take” of the species. In a bid to demonstrate the long-term utility of JLENS to potential customers, Raytheon organized and paid for an exercise at a Utah test range in which it outfitted an aerostat with a spherical MTS-B sensor, often used by the Air Force and Customs and Border Protection to conduct overhead surveillance from drones. The exact capabilities of the MTS-B are classified, military officials said, but engineers familiar with the technology said its electro-optical and infrared sensors probably can detect individuals from more than 20 miles away.

For the Raytheon test, the MTS-B spotted a person pretending to be a terrorist planting an improvised roadside bomb, even though the view was obscured by smoke from a nearby forest fire, according to a Raytheon news release from January 2013. Operators could see live feeds of “trucks, trains and cars from dozens of miles away.” The Army described the MTS-B test as “a contractor conducted demonstration” and said that only Raytheon could provide details. The company declined to do so, referring all questions to the Army. Activists in Utah critical of the aerostat testing there said they were never alerted to the testing or to potential privacy issues for the test of Raytheon’s surveillance sensors. “I’m positive that was never raised,” said Steve Erickson of the Citizens Education Project, based in Salt Lake City. “Privacy was just not an issue, in part because of the remoteness of the place.” This is the beginning of total surveillance.

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Amazon announces delivery by DRONE: Online retailer claims airborne robots will bring packages to your door in 30 minutes. Amazon reveals plan to start delivering your purchases BEFORE you decide you want to buy them. Firm plans to ship items to local distribution centres and even apartment blocks - ready for when the customer clicks 'buy'. The technique could mean deliveries arrive within minutes - or could even be waiting for buyers when they decide to buy.

Top Technology News when an order is placed. To minimize returns, Amazon said it might even consider giving customers discounts, or convert the unwanted delivery into a gift. 'Delivering the package to the given customer as a promotional gift may be used to build goodwill,' Jeff Bezos said. In deciding what to ship, Amazon's patent reveals it will consider previous orders, product searches, wish lists, shopping-cart contents, returns and even how long an Internet user’s cursor hovers over an item. 'It appears Amazon is taking advantage of their copious data,' Sucharita Mulpuru, a Forrester Research analyst, told the NY Times. 'Based on all the things they know about their customers they could predict demand based on a variety of factors.' Amazon said it is working on unmanned flying vehicles that could take small packages to homes directly from its warehouses. The Internet shopping giant’s chief executive Jeff Bezos says that he wants to use octocoptors to replace postmen and cut delivery times to just 30 minutes. Customers would have their order dropped onto their front lawn by the machine which would fly through the air from a nearby warehouse with it clasped in a metal grabber.

The James Bond gadget that turns you into a FISH: Mask lets you breathe underwater without oxygen tanks. It’s the James Bond gadget on everyone’s wishlist.

Amazon's CEO Jeff Bezos says that he wants to use octocoptors (pictured) to replace postmen and cut delivery times to just 30 minutes - and now has plans to begin sending orders before customers even click buy.

HOW IT WILL WORK According to Jeff Bezos, the packages could wait at the shippers’ hubs, on trucks or even in an apartment building until an order arrives. Packages would be shipped without an exact address, which could be added once an order is made. This would allow Amazon to quickly ship copies of items such as popular book on the day it is published, for instance. According to the patent, the packages could wait at the shippers’ hubs, on trucks or even in an apartment building until an order arrives. Using its vast data stores, the firm could target those most likely to buy - and begin the delivery process even without a firm order. 'A delivery address could be completed while the package is in transit,' the patent says. It also discusses a system for delivery firms like UPS, who could hold packages of popular items on board then simply deliver

The rebreather, a system that lets you breathe underwater, has got Mr Bond out of some tricky situations. Now one South Korean designer has taken inspiration from the spy’s device to create a concept gadget that claims to instantly transform the user into a human fish.

How does it work?

The mask, dubbed Triton, acts like a fish gill to extract oxygen from water so that the user can keep on breathing while under the sea.

bTo use Triton, swimmers would bite down on a plastic mouth piece. bTwo arms, which branch out to the sides of the scuba mask, have been developed to function as gills. bThe scaly texture on the arms conceals small holes in the material where water is sucked in. bChambers inside separate the oxygen and release the liquid so that the user can breathe comfortably under water. bUsing a very small but powerful micro compressor, the system compresses oxygen and stores it in tanks. bTriton is powered by micro battery which is around 30 times smaller than a current AAA battery that can recharge 1,000 times faster. While it may not be as slick as a rebreather, designer Jeabyun Yeon, who came up with the concept, believes it will change the

way people approach water. Mr Yeon describes it as ‘a future product’ that could replace complicated scuba equipment.

page 35

Fishing in space ! Japan to test ‘magnetic net’ to clean up space junk circling Earth. Space might seem like a vast, empty expanse, but in reality the area surrounding Earth has become congested with junk. This junk – which can include anything from old rockets, abandoned satellites to missile shrapnel - will soon make it difficult for spacecraft to leave the planet. Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) has now teamed up with Nitto Seimo, a company that manufactures fishing equipment, to build a ‘magnetic net’ that can fish out space debris. The first test of this equipment is scheduled for late February when a Japanese rocket will be launched to deploy a satellite made by researchers at Kagawa University. Once the satellite is in orbit, it will release a 300 metre-long wire net that will then generate a magnetic field strong enough to

attract some of the debris in orbit. Both the net and its contents will burn up as they enter Earth's atmosphere. The possibility of a satellite crashing into a hunk of space debris has worried scientists for years. One collision could send thousands of pieces of debris spinning out, potentially destroying other satellites. There are around 22,000 objects in orbit that are big enough for officials on the ground to track and countless more smaller ones that could do damage to human-carrying spaceships and valuable satellites. Television signals, weather forecasts, global-positioning navigation and international phone connections are just some of the services at risk. A recent Nasa report said that the amount of space junk orbiting earth had reached a 'tipping point'. In 2009 there was a major crash between a U.S. communications satellite and a defunct Russian military probe over Siberia. The collision at speeds of at least 15,000mph created a cloud of 1,500 pieces of space junk that the International Space Station then had to manoeuvre to avoid. A Chinese missile test in 2007 left 150,000 pieces of junk in the atmosphere. These two events encouraged the U.S to support the United Nations when it issued guidelines that urge companies and countries to stop cluttering Earth's orbit.

WHAT IS SPACE JUNK? Since the first object, Sputnik One, was launched into space 53 years ago, mankind has created a swarm of perhaps tens of millions of items of debris. The rubbish circling the planet comes from old rockets, abandoned satellites and missile shrapnel. There are around 22,000 objects in orbit that are big enough for officials on the ground to track and countless more smaller ones that could do damage to human-carrying spaceships and valuable satellites. It is estimated that there are as many as 370,000 pieces of space junk floating in Earth's orbit, traveling at speeds of up to 22,000 mph. One major source of debris in the past was the testing of antisatellite weapons carried out by both the U.S. and Soviet Union in the 1960s and 1970s. Accidental events have also contributed to the problem. In February 2007 for instance, a Russian Briz-M booster stage exploded in orbit over South Australia.

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page 37 While walking down the street one day a "Member of Parliament" is tragically hit by a truck and dies. His soul arrives in heaven and is met by St. Peter at the entrance. 'Welcome to heaven,' says St. Peter. 'Before you settle in, it seems there is a problem. We seldom see a high official around these parts, you see, so we're not sure what to do with you.' 'No problem, just let me in,' says the man. 'Well, I'd like to, but I have orders from higher up. What we'll do is have you spend one day in hell and one in heaven. Then you can choose where to spend eternity.' 'Really, I've made up my mind. I want to be in heaven,' says the MP. 'I'm sorry, but we have our rules.' And with that, St. Peter escorts him to the elevator and he goes down, down, down to hell. The doors open and he finds himself in the middle of a green golf course. In the distance is a clubhouse and standing in front of it are all his friends and other politicians who had worked with him. Everyone is very happy and in evening dress. They run to greet him, shake his hand, and reminisce about the good times they had while getting rich at the expense of the people. They play a friendly game of golf and then dine on lobster, caviar and champagne. Also present is the devil, who really is a very friendly & nice guy who has a good time dancing and telling jokes. They are having such a good time that before he realizes it, it is time to go. Everyone gives him a hearty farewell and waves while the elevator rises.... The elevator goes up, up, up and the door reopens on heaven where St. Peter is waiting for him. 'Now it's time to visit heaven.' So, 24 hours pass with the MP joining a group of contented souls moving from cloud to cloud, playing the harp and singing. They have a good time and, before he realizes it, the 24 hours have gone by and St. Peter returns. 'Well, then, you've spent a day in hell and another in heaven. Now choose your eternity.' The MP reflects for a minute, then he answers: 'Well, I would never have said it before, I mean heaven has been delightful, but I think I would be better off in hell.' So St. Peter escorts him to the elevator and he goes down, down, down to hell. Now the doors of the elevator open and he's in the middle of a barren land covered with waste and garbage. He sees all his friends, dressed in rags, picking up the trash and putting it in black bags as more trash falls from above. The devil comes over to him and puts his arm around his shoulder. 'I don't understand,' stammers the MP. 'Yesterday I was here and there was a golf course and clubhouse, and we ate lobster and caviar, drank champagne, and danced and had a great time. Now there's just a wasteland full of garbage and my friends look miserable. What happened?' The devil looks at him, smiles and says, "Yesterday, we were campaigning.. ... Today, you voted."

Interrogation Dawn in Moscow, 1953. The head of KGB Lavrenti Beria is walking to the Kremlin when he sees a very drunk deputy-chairman Molotov stumble out of a pub swearing at the top of his lungs: “Death to the moustachioed tyrant, may he burn in hell!” Beria immediately arrests him and brings him to Stalin. “Comrade chairman, I caught deputy-chairman Molotov slandering your name in the street. He said ‘Death to the moustachioed tyrant!’” Stalin glances up from his desk and says to Molotov: “Who did you mean by that, comrade?” Molotov squares his shoulders and replies, “Why, Hitler, of course!” Stalin raises an eyebrow, lights a pipe and reclines in his chair. Then he turns to Beria: “And you, comrade, who did *you* mean?”


An ordinary citizen driving an old Chevette rear-ends a luxury black Lincoln carrying two thugs. The driver is paralyzed with fear, but decides that he’s a dead man either way. So, he gets out of the car, finds a crowbar in the trunk and starts wailing on the Lincoln. He breaks all the windows, dents the hood, destroys the headlights. Finally, he looks at the damage he’s caused, smiles incredulously, gets in the Chevette and speeds away. The thugs look at each other with their mouths agape. Finally, one swallows and says: “Holy crap, imagine what he’d have done to us if we’d hit him!”

Rabbits VS Wolves

Two rabbits were being chased by a pack of wolves. The wolves chased the rabbits into a thicket. After a few minutes, one rabbit turned to the other and said, "Well, do you want to make a run for it or stay here a few days and outnumber them?"


The wolf went to the river and saw tha rabbit washing a banana rind. - Why are u doing this? - Give me $1 and i will tell you. The wolf give him $1. - Now tell me why are u washing it. - Just to be clean. - You are very stupid. - Stupid, stupid, but i earn $30 a day.


A man was driving when he saw the flash of a traffic camera. He figured that his picture had been taken for exceeding the limit, even though he knew that he was not speeding. Just to be sure, he went around the block and passed the same spot, driving even more slowly, but again the camera flashed. Now he began to think that this was quite funny, so he drove even slower as he passed the area again, but the traffic camera

again flashed. He tried a FOURTH TIME with the same result. He did this a FIFTH TIME and now was laughing when the camera flashed as he rolled past, this time at a snail's pace. Two weeks later, he got FIVE tickets in the mail......for driving WITHOUT A SEAT BELT.


Someone calls the RCMP: "Hello is the the RCMP?? I'm calling about my neigbour Antoine Smith. He is hiding marijuana in his firewood!" The next day the RCMP descends on Antoine's house and search the shed where the firewood is kept. They bust open every piece of firewood, but find no marijuana. They apologize to Antoine and leave. The phone rings at Antoine's.. "Hey Antoine, did the RCMP come to your house?" "Yep" "Did they chop all your firewood?" "Yep" "Happy Birthday Buddy!"

Horoscope Aries

(March 21 - April 19) If a longed for wish inspires you this month, look for ways to give it a voice and you may find others in the same emotional tune. Sparks can fly between you and a partner around the 21st, but they’re not of the argumentative variety, more of the sensual passionate variety. This makes relationships dynamic rather than confrontational, and you couldn’t be happier. Try to find the blueprint for this and save it. It pays to be tolerant of dissenting opinions. Swing into motion when the time is right. Think positive. Believe.



(April 20 - May 20) Negotiations and communications start to show some sign of strain around the 15th February, so the advice would be to proceed with caution. Consultations with the experts provide useful information after the 20th. If travelling keep an eye on where you’re going as it would be easy to get lost. Work to reach a compromise that makes everyone happy. Use your intuition and insight to tune into subtle intangible signals in communications and you’ll be surprised what you can learn. Keep your eye on long term ambitions and know you’re working towards your goals.


February Gemini

(May 21 - June 21) Emotional impulses influence your perspective about money, income, spending and security. This is vitally important at the moment so don’t get rattled or shaken by edgy resistance. Think long term, keep goals in sight and count to ten before you say anything you’ll regret. Your road ahead isn’t exactly paved with gold, but it is lined with potentially strong excellence and success. Remember, keep your emotions out of the equation when dealing with money. February brings new people with new business ideas. Listen well.


(July 23 - August 22)

(August 23 - Sep. 22)

Once you make your mind up it takes a controlled explosion to change it. No longer are you going to be content to lurk in the shadows as this month you emerge and make work and opportunities happen for yourself. Also, it seems you want attention from others, the more the better it would seem. You’re one smart cookie and you know it, and this makes you persuasive and charming, which will help you so much in negotiations of any kind. Even if the going gets tough. Don’t let your pettiness get the better of you. Don’t leave loose ends untied.

Stand back and take a minute to examine friendships. Ask yourself if you’re getting what you want, or are giving too much, then try to bring things into a better balance. Use your instincts and psychic antenna to help you know what to do and say for the best this month. You’re restless and in the mood for change socially, but will that mean you have to change your circle of friends too? Does this apply to relationships too do you think? Go cautiously. Don’t burn bridges. A bright idea has potential. Your mind is always working. Use it!

You start the month able to muster terrific enthusiasm for just about anything really. But, ideas that germinate during this month wont actually materialise into anything, but at least you’ve got a blueprint for things when the time is right, so its not all been a waste of time. The work versus home battle for supremacy might be on going at this time, and might leave you running out of steam and getting tired of trying to please both camps. Avoid stress at work and home. Be calm. Follow your dreams.Your sign needs fresh air and change.




(Nov. 22 - Dec. 21) Emotional struggles over financial issues seem to be ubiquitous. Be realistic and try to realise you can only tackle things one at a time. Unstable moves could deplete your security, so take your time. Tackle the most pressing first, then the rest should follow naturally. There might be a very strong connection going on right now over what you possess and what you’d like to. If making decisions, or being pushed to make decisions, be conventional. Your quick thinking saves the $ and you’ll avert a crisis. Don’t lend money to a friend . Be alert.

(Dec. 22 - Jan. 19) You could find yourself attracting lots of attention this month, which can be nice, but even better can be helpful if you’re trying to get ahead at work or play. Just make sure you handle things correctly and don’t get carried away with your passions. Also, it’s a favourable time for signing agreements or making long term commitments so don’t be afraid to put your name on the dotted line. New goals bring you and partner together. Don’t be too quick to share your secrets. Keep quiet there. Control impatience or recklessness. Stay focused.

(Sep. 23 - Oct. 23)

(Jan. 20 - Feb. 18) The pace at work is erratic and ragged, so it’ll be up to you to make sure things run smoothly. Don’t jump to conclusions. Put off major decisions until all the facts are in place, and don’t even be tempted to share damning opinions, control them, and you wont stand on anyone’s toes or rock the boat. Ask pertinent questions and be open to answers you get. Leave problems on the doorstep when you get home. There are intense experiences afoot, some of which you may try to hold back on. Keep your eye on longterm goals.You’re walking a fine line.


(June 22 - July 22) February is one of those months where you’ll need to tread carefully, even though you don’t know why yet. It seems you may have to work round an emotionally turbulent, explosive situation. Disturbing trends give you a few jolts and test your ability to adapt to change. Your sign shows that there’s a positive trend developing, one that could help you find solutions to the on-going problems in your life. Good advice could come surprisingly through a child or teenager, so don’t be too quick to palm them off. Listen. Take a breath and rethink plans.


(Oct. 24 - Nov. 21) In February, be cautious about taking advice from others, especially someone who doesn’t have your best interests at heart. Be mindful of what is going on beneath the surface. Time to make your plans, but do so carefully. Creative thinking and imaginative concepts will only work if you take the necessary steps to actualise them. You may be able to anticipate a future need, or opening in your career, but tread carefully. Don’t fall into the trap of obsessing so much over one thing that you miss a new opportunity right in front of your eyes.


(Feb. 19 - March 20) Great month where things go your way. Also, period of great change over your hopes and dreams for the future. And it’s important that you keep and eye on the long-term and don’t lose sight of giving into your heart’s desire. There’s a lot of fun to be had this month. Keep together end goals in sight. Don’t back down just to keep the peace. Focus on the needs of children or loved ones. Don’t be afraid to ask for a helping hand. Time to give and take and others will follow your example. You’re doing all the right things these days. Keep it up.




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