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Canada: Government Considers Back to Work Order as Canada Post Locks Out 48,000 Workers

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© The Canadian Press / Trevor Hagan
A Canadian Union of Postal Workers member pickets in front of the main post office on Graham Avenue in Winnipeg, Manitoba on Friday June 3, 2011. Winnipeg's postal workers will continue to walk the picket lines as their union representatives meet with senior Canada Post management officials later Friday.
Canada Post's lockout of 48,000 unionized workers on Wednesday has prompted Labour Minister Lisa Raitt and her officials to reconsider whether to order an end to service disruptions that began nearly two weeks ago.

With Canada Post deciding Tuesday night to lock-out the workers and suspend all mail service in urban centres, Raitt said the situation has fundamentally changed - although she wouldn't say back-to-work legislation was certain.

Raitt has previously called for the two sides to negotiate a settlement, with the help of a federal mediator, but several major issues remain unresolved after months of bargaining.

"Today we now have a lockout so there's a cessation of mail delivery, that's different than rolling strikes, that's different than cutting back on the mail service," she told reporters Wednesday morning.

"It's time to go back and take a look at the effect on the Canadian public, Canadian businesses and indeed on the national economy."

On Tuesday, Raitt tabled intent to order about 3,800 striking workers at Air Canada (TSX:AC.B) back on the job, citing the impact on a fragile economy.

Canada Post's decision to lock out members of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers may leave lasting scars.

Laptop

UK: Facebook Chat Leaves Juror Facing Jail

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© Agence France-Presse
Joanne Fraill arrives at the High Court in London. Fraill was warned by a judge that she faces jail for contacting a defendant on the social networking site Facebook, causing the collapse of a major drugs trial
A juror was warned by a judge on Tuesday that she faces jail for contacting a defendant on the social networking site Facebook, causing the collapse of a major drugs trial.

In what is believed to be the first case of its kind in Britain involving the Internet, juror Joanne Fraill admitted contempt of court at the High Court in London for chatting online with Jamie Sewart during a trial last year.

Lord Chief Justice, Igor Judge, said Fraill's sentence would be announced on Thursday, but warned the sobbing woman he did not think there were any circumstances under which she could avoid jail.

Fraill, 40, faces a maximum of two years in prison.

The judges also found that Sewart -- who ended up being acquitted during the trial last August -- had also committed contempt by asking Frail for details of the jury's deliberations.

But the judges ruled the 34-year-old would receive a suspended sentence because she had suffered a lengthy separation from her baby during the earlier trial.

Che Guevara

Massive strike to paralyze Prague, Czech Republic

cz strike
© www.dpmj.cz
Prague - From Madrid to Athens, EU governments are currently seeing mounting opposition of some social sectors against austerity reforms.

On Monday 13 June, this protest wave will flood the Czech Republic, and above all its capital, with massive strike and blockades planned by the country's labor unions on the same day. The capital is expected to be totally paralyzed - it is likely that even the subway will not operate.


Comment: Tthe strike was to take place on Monday June 13. After the Prague municipal court ruled it illegal, arguing that the organizers had failed to announce the protest three working days in advance it was moved to Thursday June 16 .

Read more: Czechs protest austerity in largest strike in 20 years
Read more: Czech Rep: Only EU state to increase deficit in 2011?

The strike will be probably the largest protest against the center-right government established approximately one year ago and the austerity reforms it plans. However, rather than by popular protests, the coalition is currently threatened above all by its own internal rupture, and it is increasingly uncertain whether it will be able to complete its full term.

Pistol

US: Louisvillian Charged in Shooting of 12-Year-Old Boy


A 56-year-old man charged with attempted murder in the shooting of a 12-year-old Glenmary boy Monday night was described by a neighbor as "low key."

"I'm shocked," said Ida Buffat, who lives on Hall Farm Drive just down the street from Michael Bishop, who was arrested and charged with shooting the boy.

Police said the boy had been playing a game with other children in which they would run up to a home, ring the doorbell or knock, and then run away.

The boy, whose name is not being released because of his age, suffered a possible buckshot injury from a shotgun, said Dwight Mitchell, a Louisville Metro Police spokesman. He said police are still investigating what kind of ammunition was used.

Arrow Down

Canada: Woman's Lawn Goes Missing

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© Denise Thompson, globaltvedmonton.com
A north-end homeowner is puzzled about her disappearing lawn
Denise Thompson had a beautiful front lawn, thick and green. It was where her four children and two dogs played, and where she drank coffee on sunny mornings.

Then someone stole it. They didn't even leave a note.

"Now my place looks like I'm a farmer who just plowed and is ready to put their seeds down," she said Monday.

Thompson and her children went to visit her husband in Stettler Friday morning. They returned to their Kilkenny neighbourhood home Sunday afternoon. The family entered through the back door and everything seemed fine.

Then Thompson opened the blinds on the large picture window in the front room.

"Oh my God," she thought. "Where is my grass?"

Crusader

US: Religious Relic Stolen From Catholic Church In Long Beach


A 780-year-old religious relic of the patron saint of lost causes and missing objects was stolen from a Catholic church near Los Angeles on Monday, just hours after it was put on display to commemorate the feast of St. Anthony, police said.

The relic, which is only brought out on special occasions, was stolen from inside a cabinet beside the altar at the St. Anthony Catholic Church in Long Beach on Monday morning, police Lt. Paul Arcala said.

The Reverend Jose Magana said he decided to bring out the relic this year, on the 780th anniversary of the death of St. Anthony, because many of his parishioners have lost hope in the rough economy.

"It has no financial value, but it's our history, so it's irreplaceable," Magana said. "It belongs to the church, not just the church here in Long Beach, but the entire Catholic church."

The church opened at 6 a.m., and when Magana turned to the relic during the 9 a.m. Mass, it had disappeared. Magana could hear his parishioners gasp when they realized it was gone, but he continued with the service and called police immediately afterward.

Heart - Black

US: Man Dies While Raping Elderly South Texas Woman

Investigators said a man has died while in the act of raping an elderly South Texas woman.

The Refugio County Sheriff's Office identified the man as 53-year-old Isabel Chavelo Gutierrez. Sheriff's Sgt. Gary Wright said the incident happened June 2 after he rode two miles by bicycle from his home to that of his 77-year-old victim in the tiny coastal community of Tivoli.

Wright said the 5'-7", 230-to-250 pound man sneaked into the woman's house and raped her at knifepoint.

During the assault, he said he wasn't feeling well, rolled over, and died.

Gutierrez' body was sent to the Nueces County medical examiner in Corpus Christi for autopsy.

Gutierrez was a registered sexual offender on parole from a sentence for aggravated sexual assault and indecency with a child.

Source: The Associated Press

Heart - Black

US, Philadelphia: Woman Used Facebook to Make $1K Offer for Killing of Her Baby's Father

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© Agence France-Presse
The Facebook website is displayed on a laptop computer in May 2011 in San Anselmo, California. Facebook threw cold water on Tuesday on a report that it had lost users in the United States over the past month
Police in Philadelphia say a 20-year-old woman posted on Facebook an open offer of $1,000 to kill the father of her child and a man responded that he'd do the killing.

Investigators say London Eley posted a message last month saying, "I will pay somebody a stack to kill my baby father."

Authorities say 18-year-old Timothy Bynum, of nearby Darby, offered to do the killing and Eley provided an address and description of her ex-boyfriend, who contacted police.

Officers who searched Bynum's home say they found a .22-calibre handgun.

Eley is charged with solicitation to commit murder and Bynum is charged with attempted murder and conspiracy. Neither has posted bail.

Bynum's mother tells KYW-TV her son is innocent and she's hiring him a lawyer.

Source: The Canadian Press

Family

US: Homeless Epidemic Spreading from Cities to Suburbs, and No Longer Invisible

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Janet is one of those "invisible" Americans who live rough, and seem confused and wanting all the time; "I'm homeless, and I don't have anything any longer," says Janet with both real pain and confusion in her eyes as she stands on the street just after taking a nap in a vacant lot.

The National Alliance to End Homelessness states that "nearly 4 in 10 Americans are living on the street." The Alliance also noted that from 2008 to 2009, "the number of unemployed people in America increased by 60 percent from 8.9 to 14.3 million," and thus this contributed heavily to their homeless situations. Also, Oregon still leads the nation with the highest number of people living without homes, as evident here along the Oregon coast where many hundreds can be spotted sleeping in parks, by streams and on the beach.

Newspaper

Blimp fireball disaster in Germany, Aussie pilot killed

Airship skipper got passengers out safely
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© EPA
A blimp crashes near the venue of the Hessentag festival in Oberursel, Germany, on June 12.

An advertising blimp was destroyed in a ball of fire above Germany on Sunday, killing its pilot. However aircraft captain Mike Nerandzic saved his passengers by ordering them to jump clear as the ship hovered just above the ground.

Reportedly the ship, an A-60 blimp operated by the Lightship Group on behalf of Goodyear, was coming in to land when fire broke out in both engines - possibly the result of propellers hitting the ground. The ship then found itself approximately 2 meters up.

At this point pilot Mike Nerandzic shouted to his three passengers "we're having a crash!", and ordered them to jump out. All three did so safely, after which the ship ascended rapidly - probably due to the loss of the passengers' weight. Flames swiftly engulfed the gondola, killing Nerandzic and then largely destroying the craft's envelope. Only wreckage survived to hit the ground in a nearby field.