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Ottawa Star www.OttawaStar.com • August 29, 2013 • Volume 1, Issue 5
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Political solution best way for Syria: Canada By Terry Pedwell, The Canadian Press
HELSEA, Que.—A political solution remains the best way to end the civil war in Syria, says Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird, even in the face of what he calls “overwhelming’’ evidence of a chemical weapons attack against civilians in that country. Canada wants to ensure it has all the facts before deciding how to respond to allegations that chemical weapons killed as many as 1,300 people this week outside Damascus, Baird said. “Our first response is to validate the use of these chemical weapons,’’ he said. “The evidence is increasingly building up, and it’s overwhelming.’’ Women light candles during a vigil against the Syrian chemical weapons, in front UN headquarters in Beirut. AP Photo/Hussein Malla
Quebec bares its intolerance towards religious minority By Sid Arya Perhaps Ronald Reagan said it best—‘Here they go again.’ In the aftermath of the widely-condemned ban on turbans by the Quebec Soccer Federation – which had the full implicit backing of the Marois administration – the PQ govern-
ment has upped the ante in their cynical and draconian stance against religious and cultural tolerance in the province, through their possible legislation of the Charter of Quebec Values. This controversial proposal which may be presented in the legislature in the near future seeks to ban, with extreme prejudice, religious symbols such as kippas, hijabs, burkhas, turbans and ‘ostentatious crosses’ for public-sector workers. The official line is that the policy is a secular one in seeking to drive a hard line between private religious faith and the public duties of civil servants. However, any secularist credentials the act claims to be based on are further invalidated by the fact that there is no banning of the crucifix above the Speaker’s chair in the National Assembly. The PQ claims the crucifix is more than a religious symbol, but rather, an important historical piece of the province’s Catholic identity. They seem to be blissfully ignoring the fact that the Assembly crucifix was installed by the Maurice Duplessis administration, five decades after the legislative body came to be, as part of a pact of accommodation with the Catholic Continued on page 11
Continued on page 13
Trudeau’s pot admission is calculated play for voters But as with any calculated risk, the outcome of his manoeuvre is far from certain
By Doug Firby CALGARY, Troy Media—A huge political gamble? Or an opportunistic move? The one thing we know for certain is that Liberal leader Justin Trudeau’s admission that he took a few “puffs” of pot—even during his term as a Member of Parliament—is not an offthe-cuff, reckless comment. Instead, it is a daring, calculated move that pits Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s stodgy old conservatives against the nominally more attuned, youth-focused liberal electorate in a battle for the hearts of core Canadians.
Liberal Party of Canada Leader Justin Trudeau. Photo: Justin.ca.
You don’t have to support the decriminalization of pot to be fascinated by this high-stakes chess game. If you love watching political strategy on a Continued on page 5
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Ottawa Star • August 29, 2013
Ottawa Food Bank focused on restocking shelves after lean summer season By Michael Adams
he Ottawa Food Bank is gearing up for one of its busiest seasons— fall and winter—when its role as partner to 140 agencies citywide peaks in terms of demand for food support. For close to 30 years, the Ottawa Food Bank has served as a behindthe-scenes partner to these agencies that range from school breakfast and snack programs, large downtown shelters and community food banks. These food bank member agencies serve 1 in 18 Ottawans—the majority of whom are children, single parent families, the working poor, seniors and those living with disabilities. Incoming Executive Director Michael Maidment, who takes on the leadership role mid-September says, “Our job every day will be to continue to get food to the hungry and with that, build up the strength, independence and dignity of our neighbours in need.” To meet growing demand, the Ottawa Food Bank completed an expansion at its leased location earlier this year. The food warehouse doubled in
size, with the support of local businesses and the construction community including Robert Construction who oversaw the expansion. The food bank continually searches for partnerships to ensure the food its able to distribute to those in need is representative of the wide range of cultures found in Ottawa. “In response to our agencies’ needs, and the needs of the clients they serve, we’ve long been purchasing rice, lentils, halal ground beef, chick peas and other items,” says Operations Manager Gary McCarthy. The Ottawa Food Bank operates citywide food drives with its grocery store partners, and also supports workplace food drives that take place throughout the year. Its red bin program also allows customers at local grocery stores to make donations of non-perishable food items while doing their weekly shopping. A large-size poster found in the main reception at its 1317 Michael Street warehouse serves as a gentle reminder that ‘Your grocery list is someone else’s wish list’. Last year, food donations and purchases allowed the Ottawa Food Bank to send out more than 7 million lbs. of
Photo courtesy: Ottawa Food Bank
food to its member agencies, representing a value of well over $14 million. The food bank’s team of 23 fulltime and 2 part-time staff, most of whom are responsible for managing the warehouse and food delivery, rely heavily on the volunteer efforts of more than 3,000 individuals each year. Whether sorting donated food, assisting in the office or with events, or lending their professional expertise, volunteers are an integral part of the food bank’s operations. With expansion complete and children returning to school and fall and
winter fast approaching, the Ottawa Food Bank is now focused on restocking its shelves following a lean summer fundraising and food-raising season. Michael Adams is the Chair of Ottawa Food Bank. He is actively involved in several organizations in Ottawa including the National Gallery of Canada Foundation where he is also Chairman of the Investment Committee. He is a former director and treasurer of the Indo Canada Ottawa Business Chamber.. He is the Senior Vice President at Brookfield Soundvest Capital Management—Ottawa’s oldest investment counselor.
ICOBC 2013 Annual Awards of Excellence For the Seventh year in a row, the Indo-Canada Ottawa Business Chamber (ICOBC) is pleased to invite nominations for its prestigious Annual Awards. Four awards for outstanding Indo-Canadian businessperson/professional who excelled in their chosen field. One award for any Canadian individual or company that has significantly contributed to strengthen the socio-economic, business and trade relations between Canada and India For Nomination Forms and Selection Criteria, please contact: Corporatesecretary@icobc.org
Ottawa Star • August 29, 2013
www.OttawaStar.com • PAGE 3
Pride parade returns to Bank Street By Michael Power
For the first time in close to a decade the Capital Pride Parade strutted through Ottawa’s gay village. This year’s parade had record turnout with over 100 groups marching down Bank St. on Sunday, August 25. This was the first time the parade had been held on Bank since it was designated the city’s gay village two years ago. In previous years the parade route rolled along Wellington St., a short stretch of Bank and along Laurier Ave. to City Hall. This year’s route started on Bank at Gladstone Ave. through the so-called “gay-bourhood” before turning on Laurier and finishing at City Hall. Mayor Jim Watson rode in the Ottawa Public Health float The Capital Pride parade was the culminating event in a week of celebration of our city’s vibrant LGBT community. Earlier in the week a rainbow-coloured Pride flag was raised at City Hall to fly alongside the national, provincial and municipal flags. Mayor Watson and Ottawa Centre MPP Yasir Naqvi were onhand for the event on Monday, August 19. The rainbow flag was also unfurled at Ottawa Police headquarters, the city’s paramedic, by-law and fire services’ headquarters and OC Transpo headquarters. OC Transpo provided a rainbow festooned bus to shuttle supporters between each flag raising. Another highlight of the week was the Pride Picnic in the Park on Tuesday, August 20 at Hintonburg Park where LGBT families and supporters of the LGBT community gathered for a free barbecue, games and activites. This year’s parade comes at a time when Russian anti-gay laws are in the spotlight. Several participants in Sunday’s parade wore shirts or carried signs that decried the homophobic law that punishes the propagation of information about “non-traditional” sexual relationships. Over the past several months, the Canadian Olympic Committee has been making efforts to reach out to the nations gay community and this year, for the first time, there were Canadian Olympians marching in the Capital Pride Parade. Former Olympians Patrick Biggs, Scott Cranham, Bill Meyer and Katie Weatherston marched in Ottawa’s Pride Parade on Sunday. The Capital Pride Parade happened to fall on the same day that the hopefuls for Canada’s Olympic men’s hockey team gathered in Calgary. At a press conference several of the NHL stars that hope to represent the nation in Sochi this winter spoke out against the anti-gay law in the host country. Sidney Crosby told the media that “My view has always been that everyone has an equal right to play.” San Jose Sharks defenceman and Ottawa-native Dan Boyle also disagrees with the law.
“On Russia’s stance, I don’t agree with it. I just don’t agree,” said the twotime Olympian and 2010 gold medalist. “I think, gay or not, that shouldn’t change anything. Not a big fan of that.” Ottawa’s Pride celebrations have come a long way from where it started over 25 years ago. It was a secluded and quieter event back then, a far cry from the thousands of people who turned up to line Bank St. this year. “Be loud, be proud” was this year’s theme, and the supporters certainly lived up to their motto.
Mayor Jim Watson (right) speaks with Maurice Tomlinson, Capital Pride’s International Marshal after the Human Rights Vigil on Thursday, August 22.
Mr. Watson addresses the crowd at the Human Rights Vigil at the corner of Elgin and Lisgar St. on Thursday August 22.
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Ottawa Star • August 29, 2013
Ottawa’s annual Folk Festival back again By Ellen O’Connor
ttawa’s annual Folk Festival is taking over Hog’s Back Park again this summer with a dynamic line-up of musical performances, dance and visual arts sure to please crowds young and old. Set against the green Ottawa landscape, the five-day celebration runs Wednesday, Sept. 4 to Sunday, Sept. 8 with Canadian band City and Colour set to headline the festival’s opening night. Patti Smith and her Band will also join the bill that evening. The band’s singer-songwriter Dallas Green agreed to step in and replace Neil Young and Crazy Horse after it was announced August 19 that Young had to cancel their scheduled performance due to a hand injury sustained by guitarist Frank ‘Poncho’ Sampedro. City and Colour are currently on tour with their fourth album, The Hurry and The Harm, recorded outside of Canada for the first time at Tennessee’s Blackbird Studios in Nashville. The rest of the festival will a mix of performers from near and afar, on two evening and five daytime stages, including Vampire Weekend, Shad, Kendrick Lamar, The Avett Brothers, The Sheepdogs, The Dusty Drifters and more.
Ottawa Folk Festival 2012. Photo: Jake Morrison, Ottawa Folk Festival
Saturday and Sunday offer workshops and master classes in guitar, ukulele, harmonica and ear, nose and throat, along with an information session on the history and evolution of reggae music,
and an interview with Canadian astronaut, Chris Hadfield. Beer gardens, food tents, and artisan and craft vendors will also be spread across the park, along with a merch and autograph tents.
Tickets for the festival are available through ottawafolk.com and at select Ottawa Folk Festival ticket locations with a choice of an adult passport, pick-3 passport, youth wristband, day tickets and VIP tickets.
Dwayne Brown, the loveOttawa project “A positive and creative city for business” A highlight from Dwayne Brown’s loveOttawa project, which can be visited at love-ottawa.com It was really fun photographing creative director Robert Smith in amongst some downtown traffic last night! It was a perfect place to photograph Rob because he’s always right in the middle of the design scene in Ottawa—working on branding and packaging projects for clients like Farmboy and The Royal Canadian Mint, as well as mentoring so many young graphic designers with his teaching and his work with the RGD. Rob like many, wasn’t born here but loves to call Ottawa home—and he really
loves Ottawa as a base to run his creative business Greenmelon from. “Ottawa’s is such a positively charged city for business without feeling like too big of a big city—which makes it such a great environment for business start-ups.” As Rob points out, yes Ottawa is a Government town and yes it’s a high tech centre, but it’s also home to so many other successful and dynamic businesses! When I asked Rob about his favorite Ottawa restaurants or places to hang out, he mentioned the Moonroom on Preston, but really it’s anywhere him and his teenage boys are! To find out more about Rob Smith and Greenmelon you can take a peek at his site at: greenmeloninc.com.
Robert Smith photographed downtown on Wellington. Photo: © dwayne brown studio - the loveOttawa project.
Ottawa Star • August 29, 2013
www.OttawaStar.com • PAGE 5
Trudeau’s pot admission is calculated play for voters Continued from page 1
level that puts the TV series House of Cards to shame, then you’ll love what is unfolding in the polarized battle between chubby old family man Harper versus handsome, hunky young family man, Trudeau. Think of the themes at play. Law and order versus common sense. Rigid adherence to rules versus a little flexibility, because we’ve all been there at some point in our lives. And dare we say it? Self-righteous mendacity versus plain old openness and honesty. Make no mistake. The Liberal party orchestrated this move after looking at some interesting polling numbers. An Angus Reid poll done in the fall of 2012 found that 57 per cent of Canadians support the legalization of the possession of marijuana. Even in the U.S., two states—Washington and Colorado —have voted in favour of legalizing pot, and 19 states have legalized it for medical use. Canadians appear to be, if not firmly in favour, at the very least aloof about the use of marijuana. We do not judge our leaders for admitting they’ve partaken, especially in an era when even the former president of the U.S., Bill Clinton, admitted that he smoked marijuana but (cough, cough) did not inhale. Let’s be clear about this: There is ever-mounting evidence that chronic marijuana use is not good for your health, and for that reason it should not be encouraged. Of course, it is stating the obvious that the same can be said about alcohol, the abuse of which has ruined countless lives. Substance abuse in any form can have devastating consequences. However, Trudeau does not claim to be an “abuser”, only a recreational sampler of a product that many Canadians consider to be no more harmful than liquor. If he claimed to be stoned during party caucus meetings, voters would more likely look askance. Trudeau also is playing well with his comments that scientific studies suggest that the regulation and taxation of marijuana is the best way to keep it out of the hands of youth. For their part, the Conservatives— who have had a very easy ride for the past few years from a disorganized opposition —have stupidly fallen into a very predictable trap. Harper, asked about Trudeau’s admission, said the Grit’s “actions speak for themselves.” Justice Minister Peter MacKay added, “By flouting the laws of Canada while holding elected office, he shows he is a poor example for all Canadians, particularly young ones.” Neither comment is untrue, and in fact will play well with the Tories’ core. But it also reinforces the very impression of the Conservatives that the opposition would like to create—essentially that it is
a bone yard for angry old white guys out of touch with contemporary Canada. Comically, in admitting he had never smoked pot, Harper pointed to his asthma. So, a reader might reasonably wonder, what would his behaviour be if he did not suffer from that ailment? (NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair, it should be noted, also has admitted to smoking pot, although not while in office. But with his party in a polling freefall, how many voters actually care?) As with any calculated risk, the outcome of this manoeuvre is far from certain. It is potentially high reward move,
but it also comes with immense risk. What if the Liberals have misread the electorate? If they are wrong, the miscalculation could have devastating consequences for Trudeau’s credibility. But, on the other hand, if the party has read the voters well on this issue, Trudeau’s move could give the recently all-but-moribund third-place party the momentum it needs to be a contender in the next federal election. Turn off the TV. This real-life drama is much more fun to watch. Doug Firby is Editor-in-Chief and National Affairs columnist for Troy Media.
Liberal Party of Canada Leader Justin Trudeau. Photo: Jean-Marc Carisse.
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Ottawa Star • August 29, 2013
The intricasies of back to school in Canada
By Sangeetha Arya
Multicultural festivals add vibrancy to Ottawa O
ttawa has come to be Canada’s festival capital and it seems to have perfected it. Ottawa may be a city of bureaucrats and technocrats who like to work hard, but also know how to relax and celebrate! The city has been fortunate to play host to a wide array of festivals and fairs each year bringing the tastes and sounds of Haiti, Lebanon, Egypt, India, Southeast Asia, Greece, Armenia, Italy and many more to Ottawa. Tourists and residents are never left asking themselves what to do. In Ottawa, they have a hard time deciding what to do next! No matter what the season there is always something going on. There is so much diversity in the events which range from cultural and ethnic celebrations to major international festivals. This festivals continue to promote Ottawa and the national capital region as a “must go” destination for live entertainment.
For instance, the GreekFest with its slogan “Live a day the Greek way”—this traditional summer festival featured entertainment, singing, dancing, theme days, language lessons, delicious Greek cuisine, and was an event for all ages to enjoy. “We’ll be up and dancing…I’ve always loved Caribbean vibe” was the mood at large that day. Ottawa seems to have an insatiable appetite for festivals with events jamming the calendar from summer to fall and with multiple choices per weekend, many a times Ottawans’ are hard-pressed as to where to go. “Festivals in Ottawa benefit the City tremendously” says Ottawa Festivals President Julian Armour. The Ottawa Festival Visitor Impact Study found that the total economic activity in Ottawa attributable to just 21 of the region’s more than a hundred events was al-
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most $94-million, supporting over 1,100 full-year jobs and returning more than $5.5-million to the local municipal tax base, $14-million to federal and $12-million to the province. The festivals wouldn’t be so hugely successful but for the outstanding army of dedicated and committed volunteers who work behind the scenes. A survey in 2012 found that about 12,000 volunteers contributed more than 140,000 hours so that the festivals, special events and fairs could run smoothly and around 3.5 million people attended festivals last year. Festivals help us travel the world without leaving the city. They foster a space where everyone feels welcome regardless of who you are or where you come from. As someone rightly said, “You’re bringing your part and I›m bringing mine, and with all these pieces, we›re using it to build a better Canada.”
Publisher: Chandra Arya Chief Editor: Sangeetha Arya Editor: Ellen O’Connor Deputy Editor: Michael Power
It’s that time of the year again when the lazy days of summer is coming to an end heralding the beginning of a big change which is popularly referred to as the “back-to-school” time. It’s a happy time as children who are well-rested and rejuvenated return back to school but of late because of all the marketing hype and pressure it has come to be a very hectic, expensive and stressful time. Long gone are the days when a pencil and eraser were all kids needed to begin a new school year. The back-to-school shopping season is the second highest consumer spending event of the year (behind the holidays) The relatively robust economy, more shopping choices, improved consumer confidence and momentum is driving parents to indulge their kids with not only what they need but also what they ask and demand. Canadian retail market is undergoing tremendous transformation with the increased presence of U.S. retailers. They are driving the market with their aggressive marketing strategies, wider choices, greater quality, increased use of social network and strong online deals. Parents are greatly appreciating this and making the best use of the windfall. According to the survey, conducted by Pollara, Canadians plan to spend an average of $428 on back-to-school shopping this year, which is up by 18.2 per cent from $362 in 2012.
Production: Benoit Deneault Joey Sabourin Editorial Contact Editor@OttawaStar.com
Regionally, for the third year in a row, Quebecers plan to spend the most on back-toschool shopping ($501). Albertans are expecting to spend $431 —which is slightly more than the national average in back-toschool shopping this year. “Canadians are approaching the back-to-school season in a savvier way, looking online to help them get what they need for a price they’re willing to pay,” says Dan Arnold, Associate Vice-President, Pollara.” They are logging on to avoid the hassles of the busy retail times, such as, the crowds, the lineups and the cost and time involved in driving to various malls. 87% of shoppers surveyed admitted to “show rooming”—the practice of looking at items in-store before buying them for less online. The back-to-school season is upon us, and once again, as parents when we load our kids’ backpacks with snack packs and school supplies we need to take a moment to reflect on what else we should be giving our kids as they head off to school. It’s a fact that parents who play an active role in their children’s education make a huge difference in their success. In the classroom and outside of it, parents need to encourage children to take chances, to challenge themselves and not be afraid of failure. Strangely enough, giving our kids room to fail may be one of the best ways we can help them to succeed. As someone rightly said, give them roots and wings and then step back and allow them to slowly take responsibility for their own learning and growth. “We don’t want to hover and swoop in each time they have a problem. Teach them how to ride the ups and downs of life.”
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Ottawa Star • August 29, 2013
Gay rights: have far-reaching ethical implications By Sid Arya
The international outrage over the recent Russian legislation championed by President Vladimir Putin—which effectively seeks to ban homosexuality in the country—is a particularly poignant rendering of morality activism. This global ethical campaign is playing out in the midst of the looming Winter Olympics to be hosted in Russia—with some especially vociferous protesters calling for an outright ban on the games. Gay rights are essentially a human rights issue with far-reaching ethical implications. Canada, with its laws legalizing gay marriage, has long been a progressive champion of the belief that accepting gay people and their fundamental rights was the morally right thing to do. However, the gay community is still facing the battle against discrimination;
a group devoid in many countries of legal recognition and affirmation. Russia’s recent legislation is a tremendous step back—targeting a minority and seeking to curb its rights. The fact that the leaders of a country like Russia—a member of the G8 with far-reaching international influence—can seek to and successfully pass such draconian legislature has huge international repercussions. Leaders of the free world, especially Canada and the U.S. have a moral and ethical responsibility to denounce this act and to champion the enshrinement of human rights. Having lived all over the world, and experienced a multitude of socio-political climates I have garnered special respect for the values upheld by Canada on a global stage. The true challenge lies not in recognizing the ethical breaches, but in summoning the courage to confront it and do the right thing. Elie Wiesel, a
Nobel Peace Prize laureate, remarked: “The opposite of love is not hate, its indifference. The opposite of beauty is not ugliness, its indifference. The opposite of faith is not heresy, its indifference.” Fundamental to the Canadian belief system is the recognition that although we, as individuals, may be vastly different from one another, we are bound together by certain unalienable rights. First, everyone is guaranteed certain basic rights—namely those of life and liberty—which have to be ensured at all costs. Second, society has to have at its disposal, democratic machinations that allow it to amend laws and regulations that are unfair in scope and to replace these with ones that are more just. As a country, we are strong champions for the values of liberty and equality under the law—in this case, for the rights of the gay community to have freedom of sex-
ual orientation. We also advocate for the presence of democratic procedures that make it possible to repel laws such as the one passed by the Russian government seeking to effectively ban homosexuality. Finally, it is of critical importance to recognize that ethics and the protection of core human rights is something that transcends legal commandments. The passing of this legislation is a severe setback to the rights of all humans—gay or straight—worldwide. As citizens of one of the most morally upstanding countries in the world, it is our fiduciary duty to stand at guard and protect the sanctity of ethical principles applied on a global scale. It is also part of our imperative duties to constantly question the direction we are taking as a society, and to take bold, decisive stances when required to ensure that our collective moral compass is pointed true North.
Lindhout writes on her days as hostage in Somalia By Chris Purdy, The Canadian Press
After about a year of being starved, beaten and sexually brutalized, Amanda Lindhout decided it was time to kill herself. The Alberta woman, taken hostage in Somalia in August 2008, says she reached her breaking point after spending three days trussed up like an animal, her hands and feet pulled so tightly behind her back that she could barely breathe. When her captors did untie her, they told her it was only a reprieve. They promised to use the same torture technique on her again each day until they got their ransom money. Left alone, Lindhout resolved that she was better off dead. She would take a rusty razor to her wrists. But as she held the blade in her hand, a small, brown bird flew into the doorway of the room where she was being held. It hopped on the dirty floor, looked at her and flew away. It was the first bird she’d seen since shortly after she was taken. “I’d always believed in signs ... and now, when it most mattered, I’d had one,’’ she writes. “I would live and go home. It didn’t matter what came next or what I had to endure. “I would make it through.’’ In an advance edition of a book, which is set for release next month, the 32-year-old details the brutal 15 months she spent in captivity along with Australian photographer Nigel Brennan. Entitled “A House in the Sky,’’ the book is co-authored by Sara Corbett, a contributing writer with the New York Times Magazine. The book reveals how Lindhout and Brennan’s families eventually gave up on the Canadian and Australian governments and co-ordinated the pair’s release themselves. The final price for their lives: $1.2 million.
She had earlier travelled on her own to About $600,000 went to the kidnappers as ransom. They’d originally asked Afghanistan and sold a story to her hometown newspaper, the Red Deer Advocate, for $3 million. The remaining money was and some photos to an Afghanistan magaspent on other costs, including a $2,000 per zine. She thought her career was advancday fee for a private hostage negotiator. ing when she landed a job in Baghdad for The two families split the bill evenly. Press TV, the English division of Iran’s state While Brennan’s family was more well broadcaster, but she says she quickly felt she off. Lindhout’s parents came up with their was “part of a propaganda machine.’’ half with the help of donations. She decided to take a chance on headLindhout says both the Canadian ing to Somalia. “The reasons and Australian governments to do it seemed straightformade the kidnappers an offer ward. Somalia was a mess. of $250,000. It was categorized as “expense’’ money to There were stories there—a maintain official policies of raging war, an impending not paying ransoms. famine, religious extremists It was rejected. and a culture that had been Ottawa officials also largely shut out of sight.’’ tried to enlist the help of She knew it was dangerous but hoped to find a story people in the Somali government, she writes, but its leadthat would launch her career. ership was in constant chaos. Amanda Lindhout She spoke on the phone Source: Wikipedia Lindhout doesn’t conwith Brennan, a former boydemn the federal governfriend she’d met on a previment for failing to save her, but she does ous trip to Ethiopia, and blurted out an write about countries around the world invitation for him to join her and take that quietly pay ransoms, “strike diplophotos while she did TV news. He agreed. matic deals or send in armed commanThey had only been in Somalia a dos’’ for their citizens. few days when they got into a car with “Many, including the Canadian and a hired fixer, driver and security guards U.S. governments, try to provide family and headed for a camp of displaced support while also maintaining a hard line people outside the capital city of Mogadishu. On the way, armed men stopped about further fuelling terrorism and hostage-taking through ransom payments ... and dragged them from the vehicle. Still, try telling that to a mother, or a father, Lindhout says she later learned the or a husband or wife caught in the powergroup had been watching their hotel and less agony of standing by,’’ the book reads. were actually targeting two men also She admits she was naive and instaying there—a writer and photograexperienced, travelling to a dangerous pher working for National Geographic. country for the thrill of adventure. As a The kidnappers were surprised to end up Calgary cocktail waitress, she had saved with a woman, she says. her tips for backpacking trips around the While Lindhout and Brennan were world before turning to freelance jourkidnapped together, they had different nalism to further fund her travels. experiences in captivity. Brennan was
kept in a room with windows, furniture and books to read, but Lindhout was holed up in a dark room with rats. It was simple: he was a man; she was a woman. They both told their captors they wanted to convert to Islam. They recited the Qur’an and prayed five times each day, hoping it would provide them some protection. Back in Canada, Lindhout’s family feared she was being sexually assaulted, but Canadian officials assured them Muslims were unlikely to do such a thing. She says one captor, however, routinely snuck into her room and forced himself on her. Things got worse, she says, when she and Brennan tried to escape in early 2009. The pair used a nail clipper to dig bricks and metal bars out of a bathroom window, then crawled out and ran to a nearby mosque. When some of the guntoting kidnappers caught up with them, no one in the crowd would help - except one older woman. She clung to Lindhout’s arms then threw herself onto Lindhout’s body as the men dragged their hostage out of the building. Lindhout says she later heard a gunshot echo from inside the mosque, though she says she never learned the fate of her helper. The kidnappers blamed Lindhout for the escape, even though it had been Brennan’s idea. The next day, in a prayer room, they put a sheet over her head, stripped down her clothes and took turns violating her body. In November 2009, Lindhout says, she was told she and Brennan were being sold to a more violent, rival group. As they were being passed over to strangers, Lindhout clung to a car door and had to be pulled away, screaming. A few minutes later she realized they were actually being rescued. A ransom had been paid.
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Ottawa Star • August 29, 2013
Discover Toronto like a star during the celeb filled Toronto film festival The Canadian Press
ORONTO—Outside Hollywood, there are few places in North America as overrun with celebrities as downtown Toronto in September. You can thank the Toronto International Film Festival for that - each year the prestigious movie marathon explodes in celebrity visitors, from Clooney to Kidman to McConaughey. As such, it’s prime time for star trackers and film-loving tourists to head to Hogtown, cameras in tow. This year’s fest runs Sept. 5 to 15, but a word to the wise: most A-listers tend to favour the first weekend, when the splashiest premieres and parties take place. Start with a stop at TIFF Bell Lightbox (350 King St. W.), which is ground zero for filmmakers, journalists and fans. It’s also where you’ll find an army of volunteers eager to answer questions. From there, the options are many. Here’s a look at some of the best places to eat, shop and not so casually bump into famous people if you happen to be in Toronto: The films: A surefire way to see a celeb is to score a ticket to their film premiere, where the stars generally sit in the audience and take part in a Q&A afterward. But A-list galas sell out instantly, so if you land in Toronto without a ticket your best bet is the rush line. All TIFF films, even the star-studded galas, release tickets at the venue box office 10 minutes before the screening. Needless to say, the lower the star wattage the better your odds, but be prepared to wait hours in a rush line regardless. And all is not lost for those who can’t make it inside - if you can find a good spot along the red carpet you actually have a better chance of face-time with a friendly celeb. Ryan Gosling and George Clooney have proven to be
among the friendliest on the carpet, obliging group photo requests and even holding a few babies. For the budgetconscious film purists, there’s the festival’s Cinematheque program which features restored classics. Tickets are free, and are available at the Lightbox on a first-come, first-served basis two hours before each screening. Hotel hotspots: Much of a celeb’s time during the festival is spent holed up in hotel rooms at press conferences and interviews. That makes hotels perfect spots to scout out autographs - you can literally wait for an A-lister to just walk by. Think chi-chi in picking your post: the RitzCarlton (181 Wellington St. W.), Four Seasons (60 Yorkville Ave.), Park Hyatt (4 Avenue Rd.) and Shangri-La (188 University Ave.) are all good prospects. But unless you’re a guest, you can’t just ride the elevators hoping for Ben Affleck to serendipitously hop on. Try lingering outside the front doors as stars leave and arrive, or grab a coffee at the hotel lounge where interviews and celeb powwows occasionally take place. In past years, Jude Law and Jay Baruchel have each held interviews at the Intercontinental’s main floor bar (220 Bloor St. W.), while Ralph Fiennes preferred the Park Hyatt lounge overlooking the lobby. Nightlife: Technically TIFF is about the films, but for celeb-watchers it’s really about the after-parties. Where do the celebs unwind after walking the red carpet at their gala movie premieres? The members-only Soho House (192 Adelaide St. W.) offers an elegantly low-key setting. Last year, Jennifer Lawrence and Woody Harrelson were there to celebrate “Silver Linings Playbook,’’ while Keira Knightley
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and Jude Law swung by for the “Anna Karenina’’ after-party. Meanwhile, the bikinis-andbalaclavas pulp flick “Spring Breakers’’ held its shindig at the sleek, chic resto Brassaii (461 King St. W.), where stars Selena Gomez and Vanessa Hudgens were spotted eating popsicles. Of course, studio parties are generally private affairs so you may have more luck rubbing shoulders with celebs who prefer to slum it with the locals at lowkey hipster haunts. The strip around the intersections of Dundas Street West and Ossington Avenue is one such trendy enclave, bookended by Sweaty Betty’s (13 Ossington Ave.), where Drew Barrymore reportedly imbibed during a previous fest, and the Dakota Tavern (249 Ossington Ave.), where Robert Pattinson is said to have lounged. Food: Even celebrities need to eat (well, most of them), and several Toronto eateries have a magnetic pull for the rich and famous. Buca (604 King St. W.) has fed the likes of Bill Murray and Megan Fox, Stock in the Trump Hotel (325 Bay St.) has welcomed Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Emma Watson, while long-running Italian spot Sotto Sotto (116 Avenue Rd.) has hosted Johnny Depp, Natalie Portman and Dustin Hoffman. The Yorkville area is also teeming with celeb-friendly restos, with the French-inspired Sassafraz (100 Cumberland St.) serving as a longtime pillar of see-and-be-seen dining, having previously lured in Matt Damon, Michael Douglas and Colin Firth. As one might expect, these spots are tough on the wallet and there’s no guarantee of spotting a star. Less pricey options for good food near the festival’s Lightbox hub include the bustling Khao San Road (326 Adelaide St. W.) for topnotch Thai, the Burger’s Priest (463 Queen St. W.) for gut-busting burgers (look up their secret menu before ordering), Banh Mi Boys (392 Queen St. W.) for Vietnamese sandwiches and tacos, and the health-conscious Fresh (147 Spadina Ave.), which electronic musician Moby recently tweeted about after a meal there. Celeb-watching workouts: Want to sweat off those TIFF cocktail calories and popcorn pounds? Perhaps the chance of seeing a celeb huffing and puffing alongside you will provide motivation. Several high-end fitness facilities have drawn in famous faces, including
the Mayfair Clubs’ Lakeshore location (801 Lake Shore Blvd. E.), where Bill Murray played tennis during a recent festival and John Travolta dropped in several times while shooting 2007’s “Hairspray.’’ It’s a members-only club, but the company’s website is currently offering a “no-obligation two-visit trial.’’ Meanwhile, folk legend Gordon Lightfoot is on the roster of the all-men’s Cambridge Club (100 Richmond St. W., 11th floor), which is part of a group of exclusive gyms that have catered to celebrities and high-profile athletes. Other Cambridge Group of Clubs venues include the Adelaide Club (1 First Canadian Place) and the Toronto Athletic Club (TD South Tower, 79 Wellington St. W., 36th floor). A spokeswoman says trials are available. And the U.S.-based chain Equinox —a favourite of sculpted stars in New York and Los Angeles—opened its first Canadian location in Toronto (199 Bay St., Commerce Court West) in late April and says it’s already helped famed actors and athletes get their heart rates up. But this is also a members-only club, so you’ll have to use your contacts for access. If all that fails, perhaps a friendly celeb will stage an impromptu public workout session a la Woody Harrelson circa 2003, when he led a massive yoga class on King’s College Circle. Shopping with the stars: And what’s a vacation without at least a little window shopping? For those keen to raid the racks with the rich and famous, luxury department store Holt Renfrew (50 Bloor St. W.) is stacked with designer lines and is a favourite stop for celebrities year-round, especially during the fest. Holts is on the edge of the tony Yorkville district, which includes Chanel, Burberry and Coach all along Bloor Street, just west of Yonge. The area’s more casual stores, including Roots (100 Bloor St. W.) and Over the Rainbow (101 Yorkville Ave.), lure luminaries too. Yorkville also has the upscale mall Hazelton Lanes (55 Avenue Rd.) with supermarket chain Whole Foods Market (87 Avenue Rd.), where Colin Farrell was spotted when he was in town to film “Total Recall.’’ Kensington Market, meanwhile, is more grit than glitter, but the multicultural neighbourhood (bordered by Spadina Avenue and Dundas, Bathurst and College streets) attracts a health-conscious crowd and the occasional hipster star, including Gosling. —by Canadian Press reporters Victoria Ahearn, Nick Patch and Cassandra Szklarski
Ottawa Star • August 29, 2013
Roamio - Fifthgeneration TiVos delivers but at a cost
Entertainment Entertainment news in brief The Canadian Press
Affleck to play Batman in ‘Man of Steel’ sequel LOS ANGELES—Ben Affleck will don Batman’s cape and cowl. Warner Bros. announced Thursday that the 41-year-old actor-director will star as a new incarnation of the Dark Knight in a film bringing Batman and Superman together.
By Anick Jesdanun, The Associated Press
DISON, N.J.—In many ways, TiVo’s digital video recorders have become redundant as cable and satellite TV companies offer their own DVR services. Yet the company that pioneered DVRs 14 years ago keeps churning out new products. Avid television viewers will appreciate that. The fifth-generation TiVos, called Roamio, continue the company’s tradition of giving you much more than you can get from your cable or satellite company. That includes the ability to watch recorded shows when you’re away from home, starting this fall. But you’ll also pay much more for the experience – $400 for the mid-range model, plus a monthly service fee of $15. By contrast, you can often get DVR service through your TV provider for a comparable monthly fee, with no extra equipment to buy. If you don’t watch a lot of television, Roamio isn’t for you. It would be like going to a five-star restaurant when all you want is bread. But Roamio is a worthwhile investment if you have hundreds of television channels and Internet video services and can’t figure out where to start. Like other DVRs, you can pause live television to answer the phone or the door. You can rewind live sporting events and create your own replays. Get home 15 minutes late? You can start watching a show from the beginning as it’s still being recorded. The new TiVo has everything earlier generation products had, plus suggestions on what to watch now, rather than just what to record in the future. It’s based partly on what other TiVo users are watching at the moment or have watched in that time slot in the past. Roamio also lets you customize the on-screen television listings. If you’re in the mood for a movie, you can have TiVo show you just the movies when you scroll through the listings. You can customize that further and scroll through just comedies or documentaries. The base model comes with 500 gigabytes of storage, enough for 75 hours of high-definition recordings. The Plus model, which is the one I reviewed, has 1 terabyte for 150 hours, while the Pro has 3 terabytes for 450 hours. That’s nearly 19 days of TV without any sleep. There’s even more room for non-HD recordings. If you bought a new TiVo recently, you probably don’t need to upgrade. If you want the streaming, you can simply buy the TiVo Stream device. It will get outof-home streaming, too, when that’s available. You can also get a device called the Slingbox, which essentially mirrors over the Internet what’s being shown on your home TV. TiVo has at least one advantage over the Slingbox: It lets you and whoever’s home watch different shows. Roamio isn’t compatible with satellite TV.
www.OttawaStar.com • PAGE 9
Toronto mayor defeats Hulkster
TORONTO—Toronto Mayor Rob Ford rolled up his sleeves and got down to work—defeating his childhood hero Hulk Hogan in a friendly arm-wrestling match.
The light-hearted blend of staged events—part wrestling bravado, part media photo opportunity—was held in a downtown Toronto hotel to help kick off Fan Expo.
Conn. prison officials reverse ban of Lamb book
Wentworth Miller comes out, rejects Russian invite
H A RT F O R D — C o n necticut’s Department of Correction on Thursday reversed its decision to remove a 21-year-old novel written by internationally known author Wally Lamb, a volunteer at one of the state’s prisons. The agency said “She’s Come Undone,’’ a bestselling novel that became widely read after being selected by Oprah Winfrey’s book club in 1996, came up for review after a Mansion Youth Institution inmate ordered it. The department said the purchase was temporarily denied and the book was removed from circulation at the York Correctional Institution library due to “some of the graphic nature’’ of the content.
Celine Dion joins Twitter TORONTO—A new day has come for Canadian pop superstar Celine Dion on social media. The Quebec chanteuse started an official Twitter account Thursday morning, writing in her first tweet: “Hello Twitter! How are you? Excited to talk to you more.’’
Chris Brown concerts in Canada cancelled HALIFAX—The promoter of four Chris Brown concerts in Canada scheduled for this summer says the events have been cancelled, citing the R&B star’s personal and health problems. “After ongoing conversation and consultation with this year’s headline act Chris Brown, and in light of the performer’s recent personal and health-related issues, a decision has been made to cancel all four scheduled
performances,’’ said Stephen Tobin, owner of Drop Entertainment Group, in a statement posted on the company’s website.
• Divorce / Support • Custody / Access • Immigration • Divorce LOS ANGELES—Wentworth Miller is declining an invitation to be an honoured guest at a film festival in Russia because he is gay. The 41-year-old actor said in a letter Wednesday to organizers of the St. Petersburg International Film Festival that he is “deeply troubled’’ by the attitudes toward and treatment of gay people by the Russian government, which passed a law in June against representations of “nontraditional sexual relations.’’
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Ottawa Star • August 29, 2013
1 in 5 who challenge roadside ban win, but adjudication process flawed: lawyers By Vivian Luk, The Canadian Press
ANCOUVER—British Columbia has one of the country’s toughest drunk driving laws, but if drivers choose to challenge a roadside ban and the penalties and fines that come with it, they have at least a one-in-five chance of getting it tossed out. Last year, the government amended the impaired driving legislation that was introduced in 2010. The changes were aimed at bringing the law into compliance with a court ruling that concluded those accused of drunk driving had their rights violated due to their inability to challenge roadside screening tests, and to the lack of a proper appeal mechanism. The Office of the Superintendent of Motor Vehicles says in the year since the amendments, about 22 per cent of the 2,708 drivers who challenged an immediate roadside prohibition got it overturned. A total of 18,888 driving bans were issued in that time period.
While some defence lawyers applaud the successes, they say the appeal process remains unfair because it takes place outside of the court system. Having all appeals take place within the courts would likely lead to immense backlogs, as 6,027 out of 49,000 roadside prohibitions have been challenged since the law came into effect in 2010. The amended law requires police to tell drivers they can have a second test on a different breathalyzer if they
fail the first one. In the past, the second reading would prevail, but now the lower of the two readings will. Officers must also now provide sworn reports to the Superintendent of Motor Vehicles for every roadside prohibition issued, as well as certificates that confirm the calibration accuracy of the breathalyzers they use. Drivers who fail both screening tests will have their vehicle towed and their license taken away immediately. They have seven days to apply for an appeal,
sell items that enable illegal drug use, calling it “a blatant disregard’’ for the safety of the communities. “Kids are confronted with displays of drug paraphernalia that is sold in colourful packaging and for discounted prices,’’ Patterson said. “What’s even more despicable is some of these items are designed specifically to attract kids, like a pretty gemstone box which is actually a grinder for drugs.’’ It is illegal to sell or promote instruments for illegal drug use, and the penalties are significant, ranging from up to incarceration for up to one year and fines up to $100,000 for a first offence. “It’s time for the nudge, nudge, wink, wink ... to stop,’’ Patterson said.
“This is the reason we’re having the debate—society is leading the debate and we feel as physicians we need to actually start finding out what our members feel.’’
and an oral review, done over the phone, usually happens within three weeks. After the 30-minute review, an adjudicator makes a decision based on any statements or evidence that the driver presents, as well as any documents or information provided by the police officer who issued the ban. The costs associated with failing two roadside tests can add up to thousands of dollars for a driver who chooses not to challenge a roadside ban - which, MacLeod pointed out, has resulted in a 51 per cent-reduction in drunk driving fatalities since the law was introduced in 2010. An oral review costs $200, and while the towing and storage fees will be waived or refunded if the driving ban gets overturned, the driver has already suffered consequences, said Doroshenko. “Even if you’re innocent, you’ve already been punished,’’ he said. “Even the people who manage to get their (prohibitions) overturned have already had three weeks, usually, of no license, no car, and potentially a job loss and whatever else flows from it.’’
Canada news in brief The Canadian Press
Parents delaying retirement to pay for kids’ education TORONTO—A poll commissioned by CIBC says many Canadian parents are delaying their retirement and taking on debt to help put their children through school. Of 1,000 Canadian parents with kids under 25 surveyed by Leger Marketing, 36 per cent said they’ve had to postpone their retirement due to their children’s post-secondary education costs. Within that group, 19 per cent were planning to put off retirement by more than five years. A third of respondents said they have taken on additional debt to help pay for their kids’ tuition and other expenses.
Too many corner stores selling drug paraphernalia TORONTO—A growing number of convenience stores in Ontario sell crackpipes, bongs and other illegal drug paraphernalia right beside candy, milk and magazines, a public safety advocacy group said Monday. The Ontario Safety League said its mystery shoppers easily purchased dozens of drug-related items at convenience stores in big and small cities, including Toronto, Ottawa, Windsor, St. Catharines and Guelph. Safety League president Brian Patterson said “it’s irresponsible and illegal’’ for corner stores to openly display and
Little consensus among Canadian doctors on issue of assisted suicide CALGARY—The issue of doctorassisted suicide generated plenty of debate, but little consensus at the Canadian Medical Association’s annual convention Monday. “I do think that Canadians and Canadian physicians are actually quite deeply divided on this issue and we certainly heard in our deliberations that there seemed to be many different viewpoints about how we should approach this,’’ said association president Dr. Anna Reid, after a panel discussion on the issue.
Vancouver project monitors private cellphones to track traffic jams VANCOUVER—Someone else’s cellphone could be helping you avoid a traffic jam. B.C.’s Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure, Transport Canada and TransLink, which runs the Vancouver region’s transit system, unveiled an online map on Wednesday that displays realtime, colour-coded traffic information using data collected from cellphone signals. The information on the map is created by collecting anonymous GPS data from cellphone users who are driving on the region’s highways and major roads to determine the general speed of movement along each route. Roads and highways on the map, which is updated constantly, are coloured red for very slow movement, yellow to signal congestion and green if travel is trouble-free. Translink and DriveBC, the provincial government’s traffic service, have both posted the map on their websites and are encouraging travellers to use the map for pre-trip planning. Privacy advocates raised concerns about the cellphone-based technology used in the new map, as well as by com-
panies such as Google and Apple, saying the public needs more assurances that personal information isn’t being collected. TransLink insisted that any personal data from cellphones is removed before the information is pushed to the map.
What’s it cost to raise a child? Less than you think OTTAWA—A prominent think tank raised eyebrows by releasing data suggesting the financial toll of parenthood has never been lighter. Research from the right-of-centre Fraser Institute found that the cost of raising a child in Canada totalled no more than $4,500 a year per offspring, less than half of more common estimates of $10,000 or more. The research group, which studies economic and social issues from a fiscally conservative perspective, also argued the figure could be lowered even further by penny-wise parents who commit to pruning all unnecessary expenses from their child-rearing budgets. But the Institute’s research was greeted with consternation by many parents who contend the study fails to account for the rigours of modern life. The research deliberately excluded the cost of day-care, housing and extracurricular activities, all of which are vital and costly items in most family budgets, they said.
Ottawa Star • August 29, 2013
www.OttawaStar.com • PAGE 11
How PQ got to where it is now on minority rights By Andy Blatchford, The Canadian Press
ONTREAL—This Parti Quebecois leader was a Harvard-educated urbanite who praised minority accommodation, arguing that the province was an open society built by immigrants, with some of the most progressive human-rights standards in the world. He was crushed in an election. To understand the current Parti Quebecois fixation with religious minorities and the clothes they wear, it’s worth rewinding six years to explore the wreckage of Andre Boisclair’s third-place implosion in the March 2007 campaign. The PQ was leapfrogged by the Action Democratique du Quebec, a perennial also-ran that was propelled ahead during an intense public debate over the accommodation of minorities. Then-ADQ Leader Mario Dumont had suggested Quebec had gone too far in catering to newcomers and, unlike today’s PQ , the leader at the time pushed back against the notion. The result was disastrous enough for the PQ that there were even whispers the party of Rene Levesque might disappear. Within months, with the party rankand-file clamouring for change and new leader Pauline Marois promising to provide it, the PQ began its shift in a new direction. The PQ presented a controversial citizenship bill in the legislature that would have kept some immigrants from holding public office in Quebec. It was part of a PQ goal to recapture votes it had lost to Dumont in the province’s mainly rural, francophone heartland. This week, the now-governing PQ launched the province’s latest debate on minority accommodation after a newspaper reported that public employees in schools, hospitals and other government offices will be barred from wearing religious clothing in the workplace. Past polls have suggested such a plan would be popular in Quebec, but the newly leaked details have drawn a furious reaction from some pundits, members of affected minority groups, and a small number of federal politicians. The details of the PQ’s so-called “Charter of Quebec Values’’ were not entirely surprising - the Marois government had previously promised to put forward such a plan in its last election platform and in its subsequent inaugural speech in the legislature. It was a different story in 2007. In an interview with the French-language CBC, Boisclair affirmed his support for Quebec’s model of immigration and integration. He denounced the “incredible downward slide’’ of the debate on reasonable accommodation that was spreading through the province ahead of the soon-to-be-called election.
Harshaan Ahluwalis,2, dribbles a soccer ball during a friendly soccer match in Montreal. Quebec has launched its next debate on minority accommodation, and this one will make the erstwhile soccer-turban ban look like a leisurely stroll on the pitch. The Canadian Press/Paul Chiasson
“We are being led to believe that Quebecers are racist, violent, intolerant this is not the Quebec that I know,’’ Boisclair told Radio-Canada. Boisclair, whom Marois appointed last year as Quebec’s delegate-general to New York, called the provincial charter of rights one of the most progressive in the world and said Quebec was built by immigrants. The Radio-Canada report said the PQ leader sounded like then-Liberalpremier Jean Charest. That was two election defeats ago. By the time it finally won a campaign, last year, the PQ was being described as
xenophobic by some of its more ardent critics with its litany of public attacks on supposedly excessive minority accommodation in the name of “secularism.’’ In its final years in opposition, there was the proposal to restrict non-French speakers’ ability to run for public office. There was the public broadside against Islam-approved halal meat. And there was the headwear plan —which has survived the transition to government. The PQ confirmed that it intends to move forward with its minorityaccommodation policy, after it had remained silent the first two days fol-
lowing a newspaper report with leaked details of the plan. The government is reportedly determined to make good on its old promise to ban religious symbols such as kippas, hijabs and turbans and ostentatious crosses for public-sector workers. Marois campaigned last year on an emotionally charged promise to introduce a “Charter of Secularism,’’ notably aimed at restricting Muslim headwear in public institutions. The campaign saw identity frequently used as a wedge issue. A few months ago, her government started referring to the plan as the “Charter of Quebec Values.’’
Quebec bares its intolerance towards religious minority Continued from page 1
Church. This blatant double standard is a pernicious gesture, trampling on the fundamental religious rights of the minority whilst at the same time standing at guard over the most sacrosanct symbol of the majority Catholic faith. The political calculus underlying this policy platform can be traced back to PQ’s near implosion in the 2007 provincial elections. At the helm of the party at the time was Harvard educated Andre Boisclair, a leader who openly advocated greater minority accommodation - and espoused as being ideal— a multicultural society. That became a new rallying point for the PQ. The people, however, thought different. Action Democratique du Quebec (ADQ) —a political non-entity for much of its existence had campaigned on an aggressive agenda promising to roll back on what
they deemed to be excessive catering to minority interests—and they won. Boisclair and the PQ were drubbed at the polls – finishing a distant third. The peoples mandate had been heard, and the fate of the party lay in balance. Marois promised change and a return back to the bastions of power. With that pledge – that old paradigm shift – from the politics of righteousness to the politics of electoral gains – reverted back in place. The PQ engaged in a headfirst plunge into the most divisive political platform yet to emerge in the Canadian mainstream. The words of anti-Nazi theologian and Lutheran pastor, Martin Niemöller, have a particularly haunting resonance: First they came for the communists, and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a communist. Then they came for the socialists, and I didn’t speak out because I
wasn’t a socialist. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a trade unionist. Then they came for me, and there was no one left to speak for me. The cruellest repressions mankind has inflicted on itself is incited by those of corrupted ideologies – masked in the veneer of a moral crusade, be it in the name of secularism, fascism or any politically-trending ‘ism’. The Charter of Quebec Values would be a dangerous first step – sweeping away the last remaining bulwarks of Quebec’s moral standing - and more significantly, a giant leap back for Canadian multiculturalism. Remember, today it may be that turbaned man driving the bus or the woman with the hijab working in the public library. Tomorrow, it could be your gay best friend looking to tie the knot. And the day after, it could be you.
PAGE 12 • www.OttawaStar.com
Ottawa Star • August 29, 2013
World news in brief The Associated Press
Unidentified friends of Reeva Steenkamp’s family look on as double-amputee Olympian, Oscar Pistorius appears in the magistrates court in Pretoria, South Africa, Monday, Aug. 19, 2013. Pistorius was indicted Monday on charges of murder and illegal possession of ammunition for the shooting death of the double-amputee Olympian’s girlfriend on Valentine’s Day. (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe)
Departing FBI chief worries terrorists will again target planes, pull off a WMD attack WASHINGTON—The nature of terrorism has changed in Robert Mueller’s dozen years as FBI director, but his concerns for the future are much the same as when terrorists struck on Sept. 11, 2001, merely a week after he had taken over the bureau. As he wraps up his FBI tenure, Mueller worries that terrorists will once again target planes or finally pull off an attack using a weapon of mass destruction. Mueller sees terrorism as a shifting landscape, evolving from Osama bin Laden’s global brand in the aftermath of the Sept. 11 attacks to the splintering threats arising in the fallout from the Arab Spring across the Middle East. Mueller says newly emerging cadres of violent extremists will present threats down the road.
Israel carefully watches Egypt turmoil, quietly maintaining ties with Egyptian military JERUSALEM—Israel is quietly and carefully watching the turmoil in neighbouring Egypt while maintaining close contacts with the Egyptian military amid concerns that the escalating crisis could weaken their common battle against Islamic militants in the Sinai Peninsula, officials said. Israel needs the Egyptian army to maintain quiet along their shared border - and to preserve a historic peace treaty. The 1979 peace treaty, Israel’s first with an Arab country, has been a cornerstone of regional security for three decades. It has allowed Israel to divert resources to volatile fronts with Syria, Lebanon and the Palestinian territories. For Egypt, it opened the way to billions of dollars in U.S. military aid. Although diplomatic relations have never been close, the two militaries have had a good working relationship. These ties have only strengthened since longtime President Hosni Mubarak was ousted in a popular uprising two and a half years ago. With both armies bat-
tling extremist Jihadi groups in the Sinai Peninsula, near the Israeli border, Israeli security officials often say that relations with their Egyptian counterparts are stronger than ever.
Singaporean Muslim man loses immigration status for allowing Buddhists use an Islamic prayer room KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia—Malaysian authorities on Saturday revoked the immigration privileges held by a Singaporean man who offended some Muslims by allegedly letting Buddhists use an Islamic prayer room. Police detained the Singaporeanborn owner of a southern Malaysian beach resort for several days earlier this month after he was believed to have allowed Buddhist tourists to meditate in the resort’s Islamic prayer room. Home Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said the Muslim man has been stripped of his “permanent residency’’ status that enabled him to live and work in Malaysia without visa requirements. Some Islamic groups accused the man of defiling the prayer room. Nearly two-thirds of Malaysia’s 29 million people are Muslims, while the main minorities are Buddhists, Christians and Hindus. The Singaporean’s case is the third in the past two months that involved the detention of people accused of disrespecting Muslim sensitivities.
Move over organic, certified naturally grown is the new name SCHAGHTICOKE, N.Y.—Justine and Brian Denison say they adhere to all the growing practices required for organic certification, yet if they label their beans and tomatoes “organic’’ at the farmer’s market, they could face federal charges and $20,000 or more in fines. So they have adopted an alternative label: Certified Naturally Grown. Started by a group of organic farmers in New York’s mid-Hudson Valley as
a backlash against federal takeover of the organic program in 2002, Certified Naturally Grown has expanded over the past decade to include more than 700 farms in 47 states. Many small farmers previously certified organic by an independent organization have declined to participate in the federal program. They voice a variety of objections: extensive record-keeping requirements; fees that can amount to 6 per cent of a small farm’s gross sales; and philosophical objections to joining a monolithic government-run program that also certifies huge operations that ship produce across the country.
In rare warning, European rights body says UK reaction to NSA leaks may have ‘chilling effect’ LONDON—In an unusual warning, Europe’s top human rights organization said Wednesday that Britain’s reaction to the exposure of the United States’ vast surveillance program had potentially troubling consequences for free expression. Using language usually reserved for authoritarian holdouts in Eastern Europe or the Caucuses, the Strasbourgbased Council of Europe asked British authorities to explain why they ordered the destruction of computer equipment held by the Guardian newspaper - the publication at the centre of the revelations - and the detention of a reporter’s partner at London’s Heathrow Airport. “These measures, if confirmed, may have a potentially chilling effect on journalists’ freedom of expression as guaranteed by ... the European Convention on Human Rights,’’ Secretary General Thorbjoern Jagland said in an open letter to British Home Secretary Theresa May. The watchdog body regularly intervenes on human rights issues across the continent, but the language deployed in the letter was more familiar from council communications to countries with shaky records on the rule of law. Council spokesman Daniel Holtgen said the words “chilling effect’’ had previously been used in reference to situations in Turkey and Azerbaijan.
Two women spend live in 325 square foot model apartment at a New York museum NEW YORK—Many New Yorkers live in small apartments. Most of them don’t camp out in a micro-unit at a museum to demonstrate the virtues of small-space living. That’s what Challie Stillman and Lina Franco are doing. The two women live in a 650-squarefoot (60-square-meter) apartment in Brooklyn, but for 24 hours they are living in a model apartment half that size at the Museum of the City of New York in Manhattan. The apartment is part of an exhibit that runs through Sept. 2 called “Mak-
ing Room: New Models for Housing New Yorkers.’’ The apartment features space-saving furniture and under-the-counter appliances. The couple invited six friends for dinner. They had food delivered.
Guardian editor: UK spies oversaw shredding of newsroom disks to keep secrets from Chinese LONDON—British agents oversaw the destruction of an unspecified number of the Guardian newspaper’s hard drives in an apparent bid to keep the fruit of Edward Snowden’s leaks safe from Chinese spies, the paper’s editor said. Alan Rusbridger made the claim in an opinion piece published on the Guardian’s website, saying that a pair of staffers from British eavesdropping agency GCHQ monitored the process in what he called “one of the more bizarre moments in the Guardian’s long history.’’ Rusbridger said the destruction wouldn’t curb the Guardian’s reporting, suggesting that copies of the Snowden files were held elsewhere and that reporting would continue outside the U.K. He added that British police’s recent detention of David Miranda - the partner of Guardian reporter Glenn Greenwald - and the seizure of the former’s laptop, phones, and other devices would similarly have no effect on Greenwald’s work. Rusbridger said Monday that the spies were growing so powerful “it may not be long before it will be impossible for journalists to have confidential sources.’’
New robot kit keenly anticipated in Silicon Valley, land of Lego SAN JOSE, Calif.—Few are more excited about Lego’s new Mindstorms sets rolling out next month than Silicon Valley engineers. Many of them were drawn to the tech sector by the flagship kits that came on the market in 1998, introducing computerized movement to the traditional snap-together toy blocks and allowing the young innovators to build their first robots. Now, 15 years later, those robot geeks are entrepreneurs and designers, and the colorful plastic bricks have an outsized influence in their lives. Techies tinker at Lego play stations in workplaces. Engineers mentor competitive Lego League teams. Designers use them to mock up larger projects ideas. And executives stand Lego creations on their desks alongside family photos. The sets are designed for kids over 10 and make it easy to build basic, remote-controlled robots, including a cobra-like snake that snaps Lego brick fangs. Some shoot balls, others drive along colour-coded lines. But for $349, far more expensive than typical building toys, customers get a much more complex and powerful system.
Ottawa Star • August 29, 2013
www.OttawaStar.com • PAGE 13
Egypt’s Islamists target Christian churches, schools By Hamza Hendawi, The Associated Press
CAIRO, Egypt—After torching a Franciscan school, Islamists paraded three nuns on the streets like “prisoners of war’’ before a Muslim woman offered them refuge. Two other women working at the school were sexually harassed and abused as they fought their way through a mob. In the days since security forces cleared two sit-in camps by supporters of Egypt’s ousted president, Islamists have attacked dozens of Coptic churches along with homes and businesses owned by the Christian minority. The campaign of intimidation appears to be a warning to Christians outside Cairo to stand down from political activism. Christians have long suffered from discrimination and violence in Muslim majority Egypt, where they make up 10 per cent of the population of 90 million. Attacks increased after the Islamists rose to power in the wake of the 2011 Arab Spring uprising that drove Hosni Mubarak from power, emboldening extremists. But Christians
have come further under fire since President Mohammed Morsi was ousted on July 3, sparking a wave of Islamist anger led by Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood. Nearly 40 churches have been looted and torched, while 23 others have been attacked and heavily damaged since Wednesday, when chaos erupted after Egypt’s military-backed interim administration moved in to clear two camps packed with protesters calling for Morsi’s reinstatement, killing scores of protesters and sparking deadly clashes nationwide. One of the world’s oldest Christian communities has generally kept a lowprofile, but has become more politically active since Mubarak was ousted and Christians sought to ensure fair treatment in the aftermath. Many Morsi supporters say Christians played a disproportionately large role in the days of mass rallies, with millions demanding that he step down ahead of the coup. Despite the violence, Egypt’s Coptic Christian church renewed its commit-
Coptic Orthodox Cross Reads: Jesus Christ, the Son of God Photo: Sagredo
ment to the new political order, saying in a statement that it stood by the army and the police in their fight against “the armed violent groups and black terrorism.’’ While the Christians of Egypt have endured attacks by extremists, they have drawn closer to moderate Muslims in some places, in a rare show of solidarity. Hundreds from both communities thronged two monasteries in the province of Bani Suef south of Cairo to thwart what they had expected to be imminent
attacks on Saturday, local activist Girgis Waheeb said. Activists reported similar examples elsewhere in regions south of Cairo, but not enough to provide effective protection of churches and monasteries. Waheeb, other activists and victims of the latest wave of attacks blame the police as much as hard-line Islamists for what happened. The attacks, they said, coincided with assaults on police stations in provinces like Bani Suef and Minya, leaving most police pinned down to defend their stations or reinforcing others rather than rushing to the rescue of Christians under attack. Another Christian activist, Ezzat Ibrahim of Minya, a province also south of Cairo where Christians make up around 35 per cent of the population, said police have melted away from seven of the region’s nine districts, leaving the extremists to act with near impunity. The attacks served as a reminder that Islamists, while on the defensive in Cairo, maintain influence and the ability to stage violence in provincial strongholds with a large minority of Christians.
Political solution best way for Syria: Canada Continued from page 1
Baird’s message of political parley may fall on deaf ears when he meets with the head of Syria’s main Westernbacked opposition group. Following the deadly attacks in which he alleges that the Syrian government used nerve gas against its own population, George Sabra, president of the Syrian National Council has dismissed any hope for a political solution to end the bloodshed in his country. Baird strongly suggested that he believes the attacks were carried out by forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar Assad, saying he hopes Assad’s key ally Russia can convince the regime to al-
low United Nations inspectors to visit the location of the shelling spree. “If our colleague (Russian foreign affairs minister) Sergey Lavrov believes that the opposition used chemical weapons against their own people, he should be most enthusiastic to use his influence with President Assad to let those UN investigators in,’’ said Baird. “The fact that Russia - being the chief supporter and chief ally of Syria that has allowed Assad to soldier on can’t convince him to allow the inspectors in, I think, is quite telling.’’ The United Nations has demanded Syria give its chemical weapons experts immediate access to the rebel-held Da-
Is It Time For A Second Opinion?
mascus suburbs where the attacks took place, just a few kilometres from a hotel where the inspectors are staying. They were allowed into the country, but have had their movements limited to other locations. Images broadcast and published around the world have shown scores of people—some foaming at the mouth and dead bodies laid out on floors on the outskirts of Damascus with no visible signs of injury. Rebels in Syria are crying for outside help, and have accused the West of sitting idle while they watch people dying. The Syrian government insists the attacks were not its doing and Moscow has
said rebels may have released gas to discredit Assad. Still, Russian officials have urged Assad to agree to a UN inspection. Britain and France have warned that foreign force may need to be used to end the mayhem in Syria, although Washington has taken a more cautious tone. Baird said Canada would work with its allies to determine what steps, if any, need to be taken to deal with a complicated problem. “If there was an easy solution the (UN) Security Council, Canada and likeminded countries would have tackled it much sooner than now,’’ said Baird. “We’re obviously appalled at the violence.’’
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PAGE 14 • www.OttawaStar.com
Ottawa Star • August 29, 2013
Business news in brief The Canadian Press
Court deals blow to largest private sector union WEYBURN, Sask.—Canada’s largest private sector union has been dealt a blow in its long legal battle with a Walmart store in Saskatchewan that is the retail giant’s only unionized outlet in the country. The Supreme Court of Canada said it would not hear the United Food and Commercial Workers’ appeal of decisions by the Saskatchewan Labour Relations Board on union accusations of unfair labour practices. That means an application to decertify the union at the store in Weyburn will proceed and will include votes already cast by employees at the Walmart in Weyburn. The votes were set aside until the court decision. More than 80 employees at the Weyburn store cast ballots in a decertification vote on Dec. 22, 2010. Subsequently, the votes, cast by employees at the Saskatchewan store nearly three years ago, were counted after a decision by the Supreme Court. Walmart spokesman Andrew Pelletier said there were 51 votes cast against the union and five in favour of keeping it.
Metro to partner with arget MONTREAL—Metro is reorganizing its Ontario grocery store network and will become the exclusive operator of Target’s pharmacies in Quebec as it
continues to adjust to intense competition and dramatic changes in the Canadian supermarket and pharmacy businesses. The Montreal-based company (TSX:MRU) said 15 stores would be affected including six Metro stores in Ontario that will be converted to the Food Basics discount banner and up to three underperforming locations that will be closed over the coming months.
Unions and business speak against Verizon Opposition to U.S. telecom giant Verizon possibly entering Canada’s wireless market continues to grow with the union representing works at Telus (TSX:T) and Shaw (TSX:SJR.B) saying its a “mirage’’ that consumer cellphone bills will be lower. The Telecommunications Workers Union said Wednesday that Verizon’s arrival wouldn’t necessarily mean lower cellphone bills, Instead, it would likely want to operate in lucrative urban markets and ignore rural communities, the union said.
Eurozone’s longest-ever recession comes to an end MADRID—Minube, a travel startup on the outskirts of Madrid, is doing something that many Spanish companies haven’t thought about for years: It’s hiring. The company, which sells bookings as it helps travellers share their experiences using social media, has nearly doubled its head-
count from 17 at the end of last year to 30. Business is booming as customers come in from across Europe—including some places hardest hit by Europe’s economic crisis.
Founder of Wind Mobile will look at buying Mobilicity if Verizon not interested MONTREAL—The head of Wind Mobile says he will take another look at buying Mobilicity if U.S. telecom giant Verizon puts off buying his company and struggling small competitor Mobilicity. CEO and chairman Anthony Lacavera says his AAL Group is taking another look at Mobilicity since there could be one less bidder for it. Lacavera, who owns a 35 per cent stake in Wind Mobile, says no matter who buys Wind, it will become Canada’s fourth national carrier. He also says he believes Verizon is keeping all doors open until it has to put down a deposit on Sept. 17 to participate in the spectrum auction in January. Lacavera says if Verizon takes part in the spectrum auction it could set up a wireless business on its own in Canada without acquiring Wind Mobile or Mobilicity.
Campbell Soup, Heart Association sued over heart healthy label NEW YORK (AP)—A new lawsuit is contesting the validity of the heart-
healthy claims on some cans of Campbell’s soups. At the centre of the federal lawsuit is the “Heart-Check’’ certification by the American Heart Association, and whether it rightfully conveys that a product carries particular health benefits. The lawsuit says the non-profit group lets Campbell and other companies use the “Heart-Check’’ label on products that run counter to its stated mission, in exchange for fees. The American Heart Association says its goal is to fight cardiovascular diseases and stroke. To earn its “Heart-Check’’ certification, the group’s website states that products must have no more than 480 milligrams of sodium per serving. But the website also notes elsewhere that “low sodium’’ is defined as having 140 milligrams or less per serving, the lawsuit notes. “The AHA, for a fee, abandons its general, non-commercial dietary and nutritional guidelines,’’ the lawsuit states. A can of Campbell’s “Healthy Request’’ condensed Chicken Noodle Soup, which bears the certification mark in question, is listed as having 410 milligrams of sodium per half-cup serving. The lawsuit notes that there are two or more servings per can, meaning there would be at least 820 milligrams of sodium in a can.
Ottawa Star • August 29, 2013
Business news in brief
‘Boyfriend Tracker’ smartphone app raises stir in Brazil
The Canadian Press
India announces curbs on investment overseas to help stem rupee’s decline NEW DELHI—India has tightened restrictions on the amount of money Indian companies and individuals can send out of the country, trying to curb a sharp decline in the rupee. The U.S. dollar has risen about 15 per cent against the Indian rupee this year, pushing up costs for oil and other crucial imports, amid stagnating economic growth. The central bank said the measures it announced Wednesday are aimed at “moderating’’ outflows. The limit for overseas investments by Indian companies has been reduced to 100 per cent of a company’s net worth from 400 per cent. State oil companies were exempted. The amount of money individuals can remit overseas was cut to $75,000 each financial year from $200,000. The Reserve Bank said it could grant exemptions to the new limits if a requirement was demonstrated. Asia’s third-biggest economy expanded 5 per cent last fiscal year, which was the slowest growth in a decade, showing the impact of high inflation, weak consumer spending, and delays in economic reforms that dampened investment.
Fewest Americans since 2007 seek jobless benefits WASHINGTON (AP) —The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits dropped 15,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted 320,000, the fewest since October 2007—a sign of dwindling layoffs and steady if modest job growth. The Labor Department said Thursday that the less volatile four-week average fell 4,000 to 332,000, the fewest since November 2007 and the fifth straight decline.
Ontario to address pipeline TORONTO—Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne is promising to address environmental concerns amid protests over a west-east pipeline plan that would transport Alberta oil to foreign markets. Protests that have cropped up in the province include a blockade of an Enbridge pumping station near Hamilton in June.
US Electric bills no longer take-it-or-leave-it affairs NEW YORK (AP)—Electric bills have long been take-it-or-leave-it affairs: Pay one rate for all the power you used the month before, no matter when you used it. But some companies want to shake-up that rigid business model. They are increasingly offering plans that sound like come-ons from mobile phone companies: Free nights, free weekends and pre-paid plans. The more customized plans are made easier by the growing use of digital meters that wirelessly link electric companies and customers, allowing both to track usage in real time. Digital meters have not only spurred competition, they have also enabled traditional utilities to reduce their costs by encouraging cus-
tomers to use electricity during off-peak hours, when it is cheaper.
BlackBerry chief executive could get $55.6 million TORONTO—BlackBerry CEO Thorsten Heins could receive as much as $55.6 million if the company is sold and he is ousted from the top job. Heins would receive $48 million in equity awards, based on the company’s share price at the end of its latest fiscal year, according to a regulatory filing earlier this year. He would also get $7.5 million in compensation for his salary and bonus under the change of control provisions in his contract. The company would pay $72,000 in benefits and retirement savings. BlackBerry announced that a sale of the company was one option that would be considered under a strategic review of the company, which has lost market share to Apple and Android-based phones.
Union wants Crown corporation set up as Canada’s fourth national carrier OTTAWA—A major union is calling on the Harper government to set up “Canada Wireless’’—a Crown corporation that would be the country’s fourth major wireless communications carrier. The Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada is also calling for Ottawa to rescind what it perceives as advantages for U.S. carrier Verizon. The union says if the federal government wants to provide consumers with a fourth major carrier in each market it should acquire one of the struggling small telecom companies, reserve some of the available spectrum that will be up for auction next year and establish a Crown corporation. CEP president Dave Coles says other governments have taken ownership roles in telecom companies. He said New Zealand’s government bought a small Internet provider in 2007 to help strengthen that country’s telecom sector and Saskatchewan’s SaskTel is a Crown corporation that is a leading telecom provider.
Job vacancies in Canada fall slightly OTTAWA—The Canadian Federation of Independent Business says the number of job vacancies dropped slightly during the second quarter, an indication of a weaker labour market.The group representing small and medium-sized businesses says there were 289,800 unfilled jobs in the private sector during the April-July period, a drop of about 5,000 from the previous quarter.
Canadian salaries expected to rise 2.6% in 2014 OTTAWA—A new survey of employers suggests Canadian salaries will be going up next year, but perhaps not by as much as this year.The Hay Group survey found Canadian employees can expect a salary boost of 2.6 per cent in 2014, down from this year’s projection of 2.9 per cent.
www.OttawaStar.com • PAGE 15
By Jenny Barchfield, The Associated Press
IO DE JANEIRO, Brazil—Brazilians were outraged when they learned their country was a top target of the U.S. National Security Agency’s overseas spying operation, with data from billions of calls and emails swept up in Washington’s top secret surveillance program. Yet when it comes to the cloak and dagger effort of catching philandering lovers, all high-tech weapons appear to be fair game—at least to the tens of thousands of Brazilians who downloaded “Boyfriend Tracker’’ to their smartphones before the stealthy software was removed from the Google Play app store last week, apparently in response to complaints about privacy abuses and its potential to be used for extortion or even stalking. The app, called “Rastreador de Namorados’’ (Portuguese for Boyfriend Tracker), promises to act like a “private detective in your partner’s pocket.’’ Functions include sending the person doing the tracking updates on their partner’s location and forwarding duplicates of text message traffic from the targeted phone. There is even a command that allows a user to force the target phone to silently call their own, like a pocket dial, so they can listen in on what the person is saying. Critics say even as advertised, apps like Boyfriend Tracker can violate privacy rights, and they warn that in the wrong hands they could be used for
more sinister purposes, like stalking. Some in Brazil argue it breaks an antionline harassment and hacking law in place since April. The law is named after Brazilian actress Carolina Dieckmann, who had nude photos of herself leaked by hackers in 2012 after she refused to pay about $5,000. However, similar apps popular on Google Play market themselves to parents as a means of monitoring how teenage children use the phone and where they are at any given moment. Matheus Grijo, a 24-year-old Sao Paulo-based developer behind Boyfriend Tracker, says it has attracted around 50,000 users since its launch about two months ago, most since the site began attracting media attention two weeks ago. Grijo insists his lawyer vetted the app and determined it does not violate any Brazilian laws. Despite being removed by Google, it is still available via direct download from his company’s website. A disclaimer on that website stipulates the app is for “social and recreational use’’ and absolves the developer of responsibility for any misuse. The first line of the download instructions says a woman installing the tracker on her boyfriend’s phone should do so “with his consent.’’ “We are waiting for Google’s position on the removal of ‘Boyfriend Tracker’ from Google Play, which we consider an error,’’ read a posting on a Facebook page Grijo set up for the app.
In this Aug. 1, 2013 file photo, Seattle police officers take Caroline Durocher, center, into custody after Durocher sat in a downtown intersection during a protest by fast food workers and supporters in Seattle. Durocher works at a Subway sandwich shop. Washington
the nation’s highest state minimum wage at $9.19 an hour. Now, there’s a push in Seattle, at least, to make it $15. That would mean fast food workers, retail clerks, baristas and other minimum wage workers would get what protesters demanded when they shut down a handful of city restaurants in May and others demonstrated nationwide in July. (AP Photo/ Elaine Thompson)
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