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Fri, 30 Oct 2020
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Ambulance

Deadliest Crash in Years Kills 11 in Canada

Hampstead, Ontario -- Ten migrant farm workers from Peru were killed when a flat bed hit a passenger van in rural Canada on Monday afternoon, police and the workers' employer said. The truck driver also was killed.

Three other passengers were critically injured, The Globe and Mail reported.

The crash, the deadliest in Ontario since 1999, will leave at least 10 families in another country without a breadwinner, according to the Globe and Mail.

Police said one survivor was airlifted to a hospital with life-threatening injuries, and two others were seriously injured.

"On behalf of 13 million Ontarians, I want to offer our deepest condolences to those who lost a loved one and to offer our most sincere prayers for those taken to hospital," Premier Dalton McGuinty said in a statement.

No names of the victims have been released. Albert Burgers, who owns the farm where the workers were Monday before the crash, said some had been with his crew for more than 10 years.

Police told the CEO of the truck company, Speedy Transport, that the van apparently went through a stop sign and was hit by the truck.

The impact sent the van hurtling across a lawn before smashing into a house. The van's passenger side was nearly ripped off.

"I've been on the job for 28 years and I've never seen anything like it," Inspector Steve Porter told the newspaper as he stood near the scene after dark.

The Associated contributed to this report.

People

Iran's Middle Class on Edge as World Presses In

Iranian woman
© n/a
Tehran - One measure of the profound anxiety now coursing through Iranian society can be seen on Manouchehri Street, a winding lane at the heart of this city where furtive crowds of men gather every day like drug dealers to buy and sell American dollars.

The government has raised the official exchange rate and sent police into the streets to stop the black marketeers, but with confidence in Iran's own currency, the rial, collapsing by the day, the trade goes on.

"Am I afraid of the police? Sure, but I need the money," said Hamid, a heavyset construction engineer who was standing by a muddy patch of greenery amid a crowd of other illicit currency traders here. "Food prices are going up, and my salary is not enough." Glancing nervously around him, he added that he had converted almost all of his assets into dollars. Like many Iranians, he had also stockpiled months' worth of rice and other staples.

The fuel for this manic trade is not an actual economic collapse - the new European oil embargo has yet to take effect, and there is plenty of food on the shelves - but a rising sense of panic about Iran's encirclement, the possibility of war and the prospect of more economic pain to come. The White House announced a further tightening on Monday aimed at freezing Iranian assets and constricting the activities of Iran's Central Bank.

V

US: Occupy Movement at Crossroads


When the Occupy Wall Street movement came to Austin four months ago, there was a big party. About 1,300 people gathered at City Hall for a celebration with live music. Protesters posed for pictures with smiling police officers.

But Friday night, in a sign of the protest movement's burgeoning identity crisis, police moved in and dismantled the Occupy Austin encampment at City Hall. The city said it no longer could afford the cost of police overtime and site maintenance.

It was a week when authorities across the nation took similar action, from McPherson Square in Washington, D.C., to Thomas Square in Honolulu. It raised once again the question of whether the Occupy movement has a future, and if so, what kind.

Shoe

US: Maryland Mall Evacuated & Locked Down After Sneaker Fight


Brawls break out at a Maryland mall over shoes. And it's not the first time shoppers have gone too far for Nikes. Kai Jackson explains what's driving the chaos.

The store had more anxious customers than they had sneakers for sale - and that was a recipe for trouble.

Valley Mall in Hagerstown is peaceful now, but a sneaker, Nike's new Foam tennis shoe, caused near-riot conditins inside the mall on Saturday, like a melee at another mall in December after Nike released a popular pair of Air jordans.

"Just a fight going on down there at Foot Locker. Arguments; someone said that there was knives pulled," said mall employee Cassandra Jenkins.

Dollar

US: Designer Gear for Obama Raising a Ruckus

Republicans Contend Relatively Low-Cost Items to Be Sold at Fund-Raiser May Amount to Campaign-Finance Violations

Image
© unknown
A nylon tote bag designed by Diane von Furstenberg and selling for $85.

Move over, PACs. The latest campaign-finance flap is about sacks.

At a New York fund-raising event Tuesday called "Runway to Win," President Barack Obama's re-election campaign plans to begin selling campaign-themed tote bags, T-shirts and accessories designed by more than two dozen famous designers.

Attendees can purchase a tote bag designed by Derek Lam for $75. A collectible makeup bag created by Richard Blanch with nail polish in Red-y To Win Red, Victory White and Bo Blue is going for $40. And a silk scarf featuring Mr. Obama's likeness by Thakoon Panichgul is $95. Profits from the sales will go to Mr. Obama's campaign chest.

Republicans contend the sale might violate campaign-finance rules. The gear will sell for a fraction of the price the designers' merchandise typically fetches at department stores. Republicans say that suggests they relied on corporate resources to keep costs low, which could amount to illegal campaign contributions. On Mr. Lam's website, handbags range in price from $340 to $1,890. The three scarves offered on Mr. Thakoon's website go for $325 apiece.

Info

Grading The Online Dating Industry

Online Dating
© Association for Psychological Science
New Scientific Report Finds Some Positives, Many Areas for Improvement

The report card is in, and the online dating industry won't be putting this one on the fridge. A new scientific report concludes that although online dating offers users some very real benefits, it falls far short of its potential.

Unheard of just twenty years ago, online dating is now a billion dollar industry and one of the most common ways for singles to meet potential partners. Many websites claim that they can help you find your "soulmate." But do these online dating services live up to all the hype?

Not exactly, according to an article to be published in a forthcoming issue of Psychological Science in the Public Interest, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.

In the article, a team of psychological scientists aims to get at the truth behind online dating, identifying the ways in which online dating may benefit or undermine singles' romantic outcomes.

Lead author Eli Finkel, Associate Professor of Social Psychology at Northwestern University, recognizes that "online dating is a marvelous addition to the ways in which singles can meet potential romantic partners," but he warns that "users need to be aware of its many pitfalls."

Many online dating sites claim that they possess an exclusive formula, a so-called "matching algorithm," that can match singles with partners who are especially compatible with them. But, after systematically reviewing the evidence, the authors conclude that such claims are unsubstantiated and likely false.

Handcuffs

US: One Nation, Under Guard

police fish-eye
© n/a
from the with-liberty-and-justice-for-some dept

Bad news about the impending police state here in America: it's already here. From the indefinite detention (without trial) of terrorism suspects both foreign and American to the escalating militarization of our nation's police forces, there's little to indicate that any level of government is willing to "walk back" the overreach of law enforcement, much of which stems from the Patriot Act's anti-terrorism aims.

The New Yorker recently published a piece on incarceration in America, highlighting some very disturbing facts about the "land of the free:"
The accelerating rate of incarceration over the past few decades is just as startling as the number of people jailed: in 1980, there were about two hundred and twenty people incarcerated for every hundred thousand Americans; by 2010, the number had more than tripled, to seven hundred and thirty-one. No other country even approaches that. In the past two decades, the money that states spend on prisons has risen at six times the rate of spending on higher education.

More than half of all black men without a high-school diploma go to prison at some time in their lives. Mass incarceration on a scale almost unexampled in human history is a fundamental fact of our country today-perhaps the fundamental fact, as slavery was the fundamental fact of 1850. In truth, there are more black men in the grip of the criminal-justice system-in prison, on probation, or on parole-than were in slavery then. Over all, there are now more people under "correctional supervision" in America-more than six million-than were in the Gulag Archipelago under Stalin at its height.

Book

Italy: Pope 'Exorcised Two Men in the Vatican', Claims New Book

Pope benedict
© Getty Images
Pope Benedict unwittingly performed an exorcism of two men possessed by the Devil in the very heart of the Vatican, according to the Catholic Church's best-known exorcist, Father Gabriele Amorth.

In a new book, Father Amorth, the exorcist for the diocese of Rome, gives a bizarre account of how he and two assistants brought a pair of "possessed" Italian men to one of the Pope's weekly audiences in St Peter's Square in May 2009.

In his book, The Last Exorcist - My Fight Against Satan, he claimed the mere presence of the pontiff cured the men of their demonic afflictions.

Father Amorth said his two female assistants escorted the two men into St Peter's Square as the Pope was driven between crowds of faithful in the white "Popemobile" jeep.

The women managed to obtain seats for the two men in an area of seating normally reserved for the disabled.

As the Pope approached them, the men, identified only as Marco and Giovanni, began to act strangely, Father Amorth wrote.

Crusader

Roman Catholic Leaders Criticise Barack Obama Over Healthcare

Image
© Rex
Barack Obama has been accused of backtracking on an assurance that he made in a 2009 speech at the University of Notre Dame.
Roman Catholic leaders have furiously criticised President Barack Obama for approving new regulations that compel religious organisations to include morning-after pills and other contraceptives in employee health insurance coverage.

New rules, introduced under Mr Obama's overhaul of the US healthcare system, mean that religious charities, universities and other groups must now provide contraception in staff insurance packages.

Failure to do so would result in fines being levied by the federal government that larger Catholic organisations claim would cost them millions of dollars a year.

At least 153 US bishops have spoken out against the change. A letter from a leading bishop, accusing the president of waging a "severe assault on religious liberty", has been read to dozens of congregations.

"We Catholics will be compelled to either violate our consciences, or to drop health coverage for our employees and suffer the penalties for doing so," wrote Alexander Sample, the Bishop of Marquette.

Phoenix

3 Tibetan Herders Self-Immolate in Anti-Chinese Protest

In a fresh illustration of growing turmoil among ethnic Tibetans in Sichuan Province, three livestock herders have set themselves on fire to protest what they saw as political and religious repression at the hands of the Chinese authorities, according to a Tibetan rights group and an ethnic Tibetan living in Beijing.

The latest cases bring the total self-immolations by ethnic Tibetans over the past year to 19. They were also apparently the first by lay people, rather than current or former members of the clergy, suggesting that self-immolation may be gaining popularity as a form of dissent. The self-immolations took place Friday in a remote village in Seda County, once a center of Buddhist teaching, but reports did not surface until the weekend because the government had cut off Internet and telephone connections to the area, said Tsering Woeser, a Tibetan poet in Beijing.

She said that one of the three men had died and that the two others, believed to be about 30 and 60 years old, were severely injured.

The Chinese government has sealed off a number of counties in the region and intensified security in an attempt to curtail the largest outbreak of unrest among ethnic Tibetans since the 2008 riots in Tibet's capital, Lhasa, and elsewhere.