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Canada: Toronto Community Housing Corporation Citizen Board Members Resign En Masse

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© CBC News
TCHC CEO Keiko Nakamura is not assenting to Mayor Rob Ford's demands that she resign. Chair David Mitchell, right, tendered his resignation with six other citizen board members on Thursday.
Spending shows 'blatant disregard': auditor general

Seven of the nine citizen board members of the Toronto Community Housing Corporation have tendered their resignations in the wake of a scathing report that uncovered questionable spending and millions in improperly tendered contracts.

The seven, including TCHC Chair David Mitchell, said they were stepping down at a public meeting Thursday morning.

"The appointees take full responsibility for the finding in the ... report," Mitchell said, adding the members felt they couldn't work with Mayor Rob Ford, who has demanded their resignations.

X

France: Ban on Wearing Face Veils to Come into Effect April Despite Concerns

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© Reuters / Amit Dave
Indian Muslims wearing niqab (face veils).

French authorities will begin enforcing a new ban on wearing full Islamic veils in public in April, officials said Thursday. Women wearing coverings that hide the face will be asked to remove them or pay a fine.

France will start enforcing a ban next month on full Islamic face veils, officials said on Thursday, meaning any veiled woman can be summoned to a police station and asked to remove her face-covering or pay a fine.

Officials say the law is mainly symbolic and police will not call in every veiled woman they see to avoid stigmatising Muslims.

But a Paris imam said forcing veiled women to present themselves at a police station would be just as uncomfortable.

When France passed the ban on full face veils last year, Muslim leaders voiced concern it could lead to veiled women being unfairly treated by police or singled out for harassment.

Heart - Black

Belgium: Toddler Found Wandering Streets: While Mother Attended Parenting Class

Police say a 2-year-old boy was found wandering on the streets of Charleroi.

The toddler had no shoes or jacket when a passer-by noticed him walking into the street as a car approached.

Investigators say they went door-to-door and found the people who were supposed to be watching the child.

The boy's mother told police she'd left the boy and a 4-month-old girl in the care of two others while she attended parenting classes. She is not charged but police say endangerment charges are pending against her boyfriend's father and sister.

Crusader

US: Paterson Pastor Accused in Stabbing Attack on Fellow Minister

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© unknown
The Rev. Edward Fairley, right, is accused of stabbing The Rev. Simone Shields
Both are ministers - he, a popular preacher, respected by his peers but bearing a violent past; she, a former schoolteacher with a taste for poetry.

They worked at the same church at some point and, according to police, were in a relationship.

It took a brutal turn Tuesday morning when, authorities and a witness say, the Rev. Edward Fairley stormed into an Eastside home and, without a word, stabbed the Rev. Simone Shields several times in the face and torso, leaving her to lie in a pool of blood on the kitchen floor.

Shields, 52, was eventually rescued by police and taken to St. Joseph's Regional Medical Center. She remains in critical but stable condition, police said.

Arrow Down

US: New York Man Convicted of Stabbing Motivational Speaker to Death

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© The Associated Press
Prosecutors said Locker had been looking for someone to kill him
A New York man has been convicted of murdering an indebted motivational speaker who prosecutors said paid his attacker to stab him dead in his car.

Kenneth Minor testified that he held the knife against the steering wheel while author and business coach Jeffrey Locker plunged his body on to it.

Locker was deep in debt and hoped to stage his own murder so his family could collect $18m (£11m) insurance.

"This was murder for money, not a mercy killing," prosecutor Cyrus Vance said.

Minor faces life in prison after a jury found him guilty on Thursday of second-degree murder.

On 16 July 2009, Locker, 52, was found stabbed to death in his car in the East Harlem neighbourhood of New York City's Manhattan borough, his hands tied behind his back.

Minor was arrested five days later. Surveillance video showed him entering Locker's car the night of the killing and using the dead man's bank card later.

Heart

An Inseparable Pair: Dog Collapses and Dies After Army Handler is Killed

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© Ministry of Defence/PA
Liam Tasker training his spaniel, Theo, last month at Camp Bastion, Afghanistan.
Tributes flow in to the British soldier who worked with his dog to defuse bombs in Afghanistan

Colleagues said army dog handler Liam Tasker was inseparable from his spaniel, Theo, and so it was to the end. When Lance Corporal Tasker was shot dead in southern Afghanistan, his dog survived the shooting only to suffer a fatal heart attack when it returned to the British base at Camp Bastion.

Tasker, 26, was on patrol north of Nahr-e-Saraj in Helmand province on Tuesday with the spaniel, which was trained to search for arms and explosives, when they were caught in gunfire. He died from his injuries.

He was described as having a "natural empathy with dogs". His successful operations "undoubtedly saved many lives", the Ministry of Defence said. The army has about 400 dogs trained to sniff out explosives and weapons but the ministry declined to say how many were deployed in Afghanistan.

Born in Kirkcaldy, Fife, Tasker joined the Royal Army Veterinary Corps after starting his career as a vehicle mechanic. A member of 1st Military Working Dog Regiment, he was attached to 1st Battalion Irish Guards in Afghanistan.

Attention

Gaddafi's Forces Capture Dutch Marines on Rescue Mission

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© John Moore/Getty Images
Libyan rebel fighters celebrate after driving back Gaddafi's forces in Brega.
Three marines seized in Libyan port while trying to evacuate Dutch workers

Three Dutch marines are being held in Libya after they were captured by forces loyal to Muammar Gaddafi while trying to rescue Dutch workers.

The marines were surrounded by armed men and captured on Sunday after landing near Sirte in a Lynx helicopter that was on board a navy ship, HMS Tromp, which is anchored off the Libyan coast to help evacuations, Dutch defence ministry spokesman Otte Beeksma said.

Dutch officials were in "intensive negotiations" with the Libyan government to secure the marines' release, he said.

"We have also been in contact with the crewmen involved. They are doing well under the circumstances and we hope they will be released as quickly as possible."

Asked if the Dutch government considered the marines hostages, Beeksma said: "They are being held by Libyan authorities."

Dollar

Why the Dollar's Reign Is Near an End

dollar
© Flickr
For decades the dollar has served as the world's main reserve currency, but, argues Barry Eichengreen, it will soon have to share that role. Here's why - and what it will mean for international markets and companies.

The single most astonishing fact about foreign exchange is not the high volume of transactions, as incredible as that growth has been. Nor is it the volatility of currency rates, as wild as the markets are these days.

Instead, it's the extent to which the market remains dollar-centric.

WSJ's David Wessel sits down with three senior experts in international finance - Edwin M. Truman, Joseph E. Gagnon and Eswar Prasad - for a discussion on the major issues facing currencies and the global economy.

Consider this: When a South Korean wine wholesaler wants to import Chilean cabernet, the Korean importer buys U.S. dollars, not pesos, with which to pay the Chilean exporter. Indeed, the dollar is virtually the exclusive vehicle for foreign-exchange transactions between Chile and Korea, despite the fact that less than 20% of the merchandise trade of both countries is with the U.S.

Info

Libya Stalemate Presents Diplomatic Challenges

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© Reuters
Rebels in eastern Libya have mobilised to stop the advance of pro-Gaddafi forces

Every move in the diplomatic play-book has so far been thrown at the embattled Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi and yet he is still hanging on to power.

Assets have been frozen, an arms embargo applied, and legal proceedings are being investigated by the International Criminal Court.

There's even been talk of an internationally enforced no-fly zone to prevent the Libyan leader using his air force to attack his own people.

Nobody, of course, believed that the machinery of international condemnation alone would topple the Libyan leader. That looked as though it was well in hand by Libyan opponents of his regime.

But as the fighting around Brega underscores, neither side seems to have the knock-out punch capable of defeating the other. Col Gaddafi appears unable to re-capture the eastern part of his country. And for now, his opponents seem unable to mount a major offensive against Tripoli.

Bomb

Libyan Rebels Push West as Gaddafi Receives Crimes Warning

A rebel soldier runs
© Reuters
A rebel soldier runs while holding a pistol and a rocket-propelled grenade (RPG) in Brega, March 2, 2011
Libyan rebels pushed west on Thursday, extending their grip on a key coast road as Muammar Gaddafi received a warning he would be held to account at The Hague for suspected crimes by his security forces.

Venezuela said the Libyan leader had agreed to its proposal for an international commission to negotiate an end to the turmoil in the world's 12th largest oil exporting nation.

But Gaddafi's son Saif al Islam said there was no need for any foreign mediation in the crisis, a leader of the uprising rejected talks with the veteran leader, and the Arab League said cautiously the plan was "under consideration."

In Paris, French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe said France and Britain would support the idea of setting up a no-fly zone over Libya if Gaddafi's forces continued to attack civilians.