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Fri, 28 Jan 2022
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Canada's treatment of First Nations rapped by United Nations committee

© unknown
Canada's record of dealing with aboriginal people has come under more criticism, this time from a United Nations panel.

Members of the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, made up of human-rights experts, questioned why Canada has not made more progress in closing the gap between First Nations communities and the rest of the country, Postmedia News reported.

"This problem should not continue the same way as it has in the past,'' Noureddine Amir, vice-chairman of the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, said at the panel's meeting in Geneva. "How long will this be ongoing?'

The panel's scrutiny comes amid news reports of the housing crisis at the Attawapiskat, in northern Ontario, and concerns of a health crisis among large numbers of aboriginals addicted to OxyContin.

The committee this week was conducting an examination of Canada's record on combating discrimination and heard from several aboriginal groups, including the Assembly of First Nations.

Catrina Tapley, a senior Citizenship and Immigration Canada official, appeared before the panel and acknowledged that mistakes had been made in the past, Postmedia reported.


Via Train Derailment Began with 'a Little Bump'

Passenger says 'everything was crashing, people were screaming'
© Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press
A Via Rail train is strewn beside the tracks in Burlington, Ont., where crews began the cleanup and investigation early Monday.

Canada, Ontario- Three Via Rail employees, all in the locomotive section, died in a train derailment in the southern Ontario city of Burlington on Sunday afternoon.

"There's no question it's very tragic. We're a relatively small company, we're a family, we know everyone by name," said Via chief operating officer John Marginson, speaking to reporters at the scene.

"We certainly feel for the families of the colleagues that we lost," said Marginson, who added that there was no fuel leak at the site. The derailment involved five cars as well as the locomotive.

"It's very premature to speculate ... but obviously something went very wrong," he said.

One of the engineers who died was a trainee. A fourth Via employee was injured in the derailment.

Halton police Chief Gary Crowell said the bodies of the dead were removed from the train at about 8 p.m. ET.


70 in Hospital after Chlorine Incident at Swimming Pool in British Columbia

© Facebook
Sam Ketcham pool in Cariboo Memorial Recreation Complex, site of this morning's incident
It was supposed to be a busy day at the Cariboo Memorial Recreation Complex where dozens of kids were getting ready for a swim meet Sunday morning when suddenly they started smelling "something weird."

The fumes, caused by what authorities called "a chlorine incident", forced the evacuation of the complex in this central Interior community and sent 70 people to hospital, the majority of them children.

"People just said 'you've got to get out," said Abbi Taylor, a 17-year-old swim coach who was there.

She said the kids, who were mostly under the age of 12, were in the pool at the time, warming up for the meet. A hockey game was also going on in the complex.

Taylor said a "wall of people" began running towards the door after the alert was given.

The children, many still wearing wet bathing suits, were ushered to the adjacent ice arena before the whole building was evacuated and ambulances arrived.


Corruption Fear on New Police Roles

© Google
Sir Norman Bettison expressed concerns that younger chief constables might be influenced by commissioners
One of Britain's most prominent chief constables has warned that the new directly elected Police and Crime Commissioners could be vulnerable to "corruption with a small 'c'".

West Yorkshire chief Sir Norman Bettison, who is a vice-president of the Association of Chief Police Officers, said he fears that those elected could feel obligated to people who helped them win power.

He said he also has concerns about new commissioners undermining operational independence.

In an interview with the Yorkshire Post, Sir Norman accepted that a lot of candidates will stand for election simply because they want to make the world a better place.

But he said: "My fear is that (in other cases) it could be the door that unlocks corruption and anything that does has the potential to destroy public trust in policing. There is potential for some corruption with a small 'c'. What I mean is not the problem of huge frauds and secret banks accounts in Monaco.

Bizarro Earth

Is America a Police State Yet?

police state graphic
© n/a
Like a page out of George Orwell's 1984, the skies of America soon might be filled with the privacy-invasive, Fourth Amendment-ignoring, civilian drones watching us all like we're prisoners needing to be monitored at all times, according to a report from the Associated Press.

The author briefly touches upon the topic of personal privacy and our rights as citizens, all the while covering the topic as if the only concerns anyone should have are those of safe operation among other airborne craft. But no, the real concerns are our rights to privacy as Americans. We let our freedoms slip away inch-by-inch, as if not a drop of blood was ever shed for any of them.

These drones range in size from the 116-foot-wingspan "Global Hawk" down to the "Whirly Bird," as small as a maple leaf seed -- "equipped with imaging sensors." While these devices can have many productive, beneficial uses for farmers and businesses, the great majority of the demand is for use by law enforcement. And remember, here in the new America -- you're guilty and not allowed to prove yourself innocent.


Wikileaks: Global Intelligence Files Released

© Wikileaks
On Monday February 27th, 2012, WikiLeaks began publishing The Global Intelligence Files, over five million e-mails from the Texas headquartered "global intelligence" company Stratfor. The e-mails date between July 2004 and late December 2011. They reveal the inner workings of a company that fronts as an intelligence publisher, but provides confidential intelligence services to large corporations, such as Bhopal's Dow Chemical Co., Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon and government agencies, including the US Department of Homeland Security, the US Marines and the US Defense Intelligence Agency. The emails show Stratfor's web of informers, pay-off structure, payment laundering techniques and psychological methods.

Monkey Wrench

Monsanto's Minions Attack California's Right to Know About GMOs

© organicconsumers.org
You can't argue with consumers' right to know what's in our food. That's why 9 out of 10 people support labels for genetically engineered food. But, money talks, and companies like Monsanto that have gotten rich hiding GMOs in our food are already on the attack in California, where a movement to label GMOs is working to get the issue on the November 2012 ballot.

Monsanto found an ally in Dan Morain at the Sacramento Bee who tried to find fault with the CA Right to Know/Label GMOs coalition. Here are Morain's points, along with our rebuttal.
#1 "Although there's no proof that genetically modified food has caused anyone's nose to fall off, labeling is not a terribly bad idea. People like to know what they're eating."
Guided by common sense, Dan Morain can't help but to agree with us.


Shocking Abuse of Power and Human Rights: Family Invaded after daughter draws picture of gun at school

© The Record/Peter Lee
Arrested: Jessie Sansone was arrested at his daughter's school after the 4-year-old drew a picture of a gun.

A Kitchener, Ontario father is upset that police arrested him at his children's' school Wednesday, hauled him down to the station and strip-searched him, all because his four-year-old daughter drew a picture of a gun at school.

"I'm picking up my kids and then, next thing you know, I'm locked up," Jessie Sansone, 26, said Thursday.

"I was in shock. This is completely insane. My daughter drew a gun on a piece of paper at school."

The school principal, police and child welfare officials, however, all stand by their actions. They said they had to investigate to determine whether there was a gun in Sansone's house that children had access to

"From a public safety point of view, any child drawing a picture of guns and saying there's guns in a home would warrant some further conversation with the parents and child," said Alison Scott, executive director of Family and Children's Services.


Philadelphia Priest Says Catholic Cardinal Ordered Child Abuse

child baptism
© iStock
The highest ranking cleric charged in a Philadelphia pedophilia scandal asked a judge on Friday to dismiss his case because his boss - the late Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua - ordered a list he made of predator priests be shredded.

Lawyers for Monsignor William Lynn, 61, filed the motion to dismiss conspiracy and child endangerment charges as jury selection in the case was underway in Common Pleas Court.

Lynn, who served the Philadelphia Catholic Archdiocese as secretary of the clergy during Bevilacqua's time as archbishop from 1987 to 1998, would be the first church official to stand trial in a child sex abuse case if opening arguments begin as scheduled on March 26.

As clergy secretary, Lynn on his own initiative reviewed secret church archives and created a list of 35 priests who had been involved in abusive conduct or were classified with a sexual disorder, Lynn's lawyers said in court documents.

He handed the list over to Bevilacqua in 1994. Bevilacqua soon afterwards, in a handwritten note, ordered the document destroyed, apparently by Lynn's then supervisor Monsignor James Molloy, the lawyers said. Molloy died in 2006.


Depleted Uranium In America's Wars

A prominent investigative journalist says the United States is using illegal weaponry - particularly depleted uranium - during its wars in the Middle East.

Interview with Gareth Porter, investigative journalist.