Your election round up of the day…
- ER doctors warn healthcare concerns being oversimplified during campaign
“Representatives of Alberta’s emergency doctors say various political parties have oversimplified concerns about health care. In a letter to the Journal, they say fast-track emergency care, a platform policy of the Progressive Conservatives under Alison Redford, has been done for years to divert simple emergency cases such as broken bones and burns out of the hospital waiting line, and will do nothing to solve emergency department overcrowding… The doctors were also skeptical of the Wildrose party’s promise to deliver wait-time guarantees for people needing 10 key surgeries, the letter details.”
- Sherman urges Albertans to ‘wake up’ rather than vote strategically
“Alberta Liberal Leader Raj Sherman urged Albertans to “wake up” Thursday and “free” themselves by voting for his party rather than trying to strategically vote for the Progressive Conservatives to hold off a Wildrose majority government.”
- Election watchers wonder if some MLAs might consider crossing the floor
“With polls showing a significant possibility of a minority government following the April 23 election, speculation has begun on whether some newly elected MLAs might cross the floor to either the Wildrose party or the Progressive Conservatives. Wildrose Leader Danielle Smith said Wednesday she’s heard some northern Alberta PC candidates have told voters they will switch parties should the Wildrose win the election.”
- Advance polls busy, but who stands to gain from high voter turnout?
“Lineups were reported across the province Thursday, as many Albertans came out to vote in advanced polls ahead of Monday’s election. Some had to wait as long as 40 minutes to cast their ballot. That’s a big change from 2008, which saw the lowest voter turnout in Alberta’s history – with just 4 of every 10 people eligible to vote actually doing so… If voter turnout does increase this election, which party stands to benefit, though? Conventional wisdom says the opposition stands to gain, but events like the Hunsperger controversy this past week could end up work against them, and in the PC’s favour.”
- Leaders battle it out in final Alberta election debate
“Liberal Leader Raj Sherman, struggling for traction much of the campaign, set the tone by suggesting the election has turned into a choice between bullies and bigots… Wildrose Leader Danielle Smith took the lion’s share of heckling from the audience. She was booed loudly by the audience when she said climate change is still up for debate… The debate ended with a discussion on strategic voting — supporting one party to keep another from winning. It’s an issue that has emerged in the final days of the campaign. On Wednesday a website titled “I Never Thought I’d Vote PC” popped up. The site depicts young people saying they are not fans of the Tories, but they will vote for them to keep the Wildrose out. One man on the site says he would rather have his face eaten by rodents than vote PC, but he’s going to anyway.”
Lots to digest, hey?
- Keystone XL pipeline: New route sparks complaints in Nebraska that old concerns not addressed
“When President Barack Obama denied a permit for the Keystone XL pipeline in January, Nebraska cattle buyer Randy Thompson was hopeful his land would be spared from future construction of the massive oilsands project. His spirits sagged Thursday when he learned that TransCanada’s favoured new route for Keystone XL would still cross a 32-hectare portion of his ranch property in rural Merrick County, just below the Platte River… TransCanada’s preferred new route runs the pipeline east around the region — adding 32 extra kilometres to the entire line from Hardisty, Alta. — before heading south to reconnect to the original path. The Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality will now conduct a review of several alternative routes for the pipeline — then a final decision on whether to approve a new route falls to state Gov. Dave Heineman.”
Oh the Keystone XL debate.
- Canada’s oldest person dies at 113 in Alberta
“Cora Hansen, who at 113 had earned the title of Canada’s oldest person, passed away Wednesday in Medicine Hat, Alta.”
Meant to include this in yesterday’s Clicks! What a title to have. I wonder how long I’ll live to be?
- Project Celsius: Montreal drug bust includes enough hashish to drug all of Canada, several times over
“The RCMP says it was involved in a monster international drug bust that nabbed more than 43 tonnes of hashish worth an estimated $860 million. That’s the equivalent of 43 million grams — enough hashish to drug every single person in Canada, more than once. The drugs were seized in several countries including Pakistan, Belgium, Italy and Canada. They were destined for Montreal and Halifax.”
- B.C. police seize motorbike driven at 299 km/h
“Saanich, B.C., police have seized the blue Yamaha motorcycle seen reaching 299 km/h in a viral YouTube video, and they’ve laid down more than $1,400 in fines for the bike’s owner but have yet to charge the driver… The 25-year-old suspected motorcyclist has no valid driver’s licence and no insurance as a result of 27 driving-related convictions including speeding and driving without insurance, Jantzen said. He has had his licence suspended five times. The suspected driver also only had a learner’s motorcycle licence, which was also suspended. Saanich police are looking to lay criminal charges of dangerous operation of a motor vehicle against the motorcyclist.”
Crazy! Kudos to the cops for locating the driver. Pretty ridiculous that he’s been convicted of so many driving-related offenses AND only had his motorcycle learner’s license.
- Dead prison walking: Historic — and notorious — Kingston Penitentiary is slated to close
“Kingston Penitentiary is an artifact, a looming reminder of humanity’s worst impulses. A who’s who of people you never want to meet has and, in some cases, still is incarcerated among the 346 inmates who reside in the maximum-security facility. Almost half of the inmates are serving life sentences.
It is a notorious club, one that will no longer be admitting new members after Public Safety Minister, Vic Toews, announced Thursday that Canada’s oldest prison is slated for closure along with Leclerc Institution, a medium-security facility in Quebec. “Institutions built in the 19th century are not appropriate for managing a 21st-century inmate population,” the Minister said. “We have better options.” No new facilities are to be built, Mr. Toews said. Inmates are to be transferred to existing facilities.”
Interesting. Greatly written, interesting story by the way. Really paints a picture on the Kingston Penitentiary and its inmates.
- Norway killer sharpened aim by playing video game
“Anders Behring Breivik knew it would take practice to be able to slaughter dozens of people before being shot by police. In a chilling account, the far-right fanatic claimed that he sharpened his aim by playing the video game “Call of Duty: Modern Warfare” for hours on end. Breivik told an Oslo court on Thursday he also took steroids to build physical strength and meditated to “de-emotionalize” himself before the bombing and shooting rampage that left 77 people dead. He figured he had no more than a 5 percent chance of not being killed by police.”
Quite the testimony… Also, I hope those against video games doesn’t use this as fuel to bring back the debate over whether video games are bad for society.
- George Zimmerman could go free Friday
“George Zimmerman is likely to be freed on bond Friday – even though behind bars may be the safest place for him. Zimmerman’s attorney Mark O’Mara said he’s confident his client, who has spent a week behind bars for the Feb. 26 murder of Trayvon Martin, will walk out of court after the 9 a.m. bond hearing. But that just opens new problems, O’Mara said. “I just hope we can get my client out to someplace safely. There have been threats on his life,” he said.”
And the case continues.
- Survey: social media evidence soaring in court cases
“Every week the media seems to offer a new account of some dumb crook who is off to the slammer because he posted about his caper on Facebook. It turns out this phenomenon may be even more widespread than we think. A new survey reports that social media played a significant role in nearly 700 cases in the past two years alone and that most of these involved either MySpace or Facebook. LinkedIn and Twitter were the next most common social media sites to produce evidence for the justice system.”
How bragging about doing illegal things on the Internet can get you in trouble… (use your head people).
- XNA is synthetic DNA that’s stronger than the real thing
“New research has brought us closer than ever to synthesizing entirely new forms of life. An international team of researchers has shown that artificial nucleic acids – called “XNAs” – can replicate and evolve, just like DNA and RNA… The implications of the team’s findings are numerous and far-reaching. For one thing, the study sheds significant light on the origins of life itself… The researchers, led by Philipp Holliger and Vitor Pinheiro, synthetic biologists at the Medical Research Council Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge, UK, say their findings have major implications in everything from biotherapeutics, to exobiology, to research into the origins of genetic information itself. This represents a huge breakthrough in the field of synthetic biology.”
Pretty crazy. (Hope this doesn’t backfire on humanity).
- Air Canada pilots to return to bargaining table
“Air Canada and its pilots are going to give negotiations one last try. The two sides say they’ve agreed to return to the bargaining table for 10 days to try to reach a tentative deal. The federal government passed legislation earlier this year imposing a contract and blocking either side from initiating job action. The move was not well received by many pilots, and was followed by pilots calling in sick on a number of occasions, disrupting the airline’s schedule.”
We’ll see how this round goes.
- BlackBerry’s RIM sees a glimmer of hope in Asia with launch of cheaper phone
“The launch in India of a new BlackBerry by Research In Motion Ltd is not just a nod to its lower-end users who love it less for its security, push email and seamless roaming than for its simplicity and its Messaging. It’s a strategy the Canadian company hopes will help fill both a hole in its balance sheet and a half-year wait for its next big thing—the BlackBerry 10 platform. But will it work?”
Good luck, RIM.
- Allegations of e-book price fixing hit Canada
“The e-book price fixing allegations at the heart of a lawsuit by the U.S. Department of Justice are now erupting on this side of the border. A proposed class-action lawsuit filed in B.C. Supreme Court by the Vancouver firm Camp Fiorante Matthews Mogerman alleges that Apple Inc. and a number of publishers engaged in a “conspiracy” to lessen competition and “fix, maintain, increase or control the prices of e-books.” It is the most recent of at least five such suits filed recently in courts in Ontario, Quebec and B.C. The allegations in the Canadian suits echo the allegations in the U.S., where the U.S. Justice Department has launched a high-profile antitrust suit.”
Ohh the drama.
- The top ten fastest-growing industries in America
“The past ten years haven’t been the healthiest for the U.S. economy, to put it lightly. The decade began inauspiciously with the bursting of the dot-com bubble and ended in a financial crisis and a tepid recovery. But the suffering wasn’t evenly distributed. In fact many industries were created during this period, and others found their stride…” including “hot sauce production,” “pilates and yoga studios,” “self tanning product,” “social network game development” and more!
It’s good that some industries are thriving at least. :)
- DNA reveals polar bear’s ancient origins
“The polar bear is much older than previously thought, according to new genetic evidence. DNA studies suggest the Arctic predator split from its ancestor, the brown bear, about 600,000 years ago. Previous estimates put the polar bear at about 150,000 years old. Dr Frank Hailer of the German Biodiversity and Climate Research Centre in Frankfurt, who led the international study, said the genetic information shed new light on conservation issues. ‘It fundamentally changes our understanding of polar bears and their conservation today,’ he told BBC News. ‘They have survived previous warm phases but they carry scars from these times – they must have been close to extinction at times.'”
I hope we can save the polar bears. :(
- Super-polluted city tries to clean itself with smog-eating paint
“Manila is one of the world’s five dirtiest cities, but graffiti? That’s not a problem. It’s not that people don’t paint on the walls in the hyper-polluted Philippines capital, because they do. But they do it with a paint that actually eats smog out of the air. The catalytic paint, called Boysen KNOxOUT, reacts with light and water vapor to filter out nitrogen oxides. An environmental scientist interviewed in this BBC video says it can scrub out 20 percent of polluting nitrogen.”
Weird but… that’s pretty cool. How about we all start painting with Boysen KNOxOUT!
- TGV Cinemas’ Beanieplex: The world’s most comfortable movie theatre
“It looks like the Archipelago Cinema in Thailand (which floats entirely on water) may have some competition in the World’s Coolest Movie Theater department. Earlier this year, TGV Cinemas, a theater chain in Malaysia, introduced the Beanieplex (a.k.a. “the bean bag hall”), which replaced your standard cinema seating with comfy beanbags.”
Looks like it would be a pretty fun experience. :)
Weird News, Other News & Fluff
- [Video]: The hardest job in the world: all parents deserve a gold medal
“Mother’s Day isn’t for another month, but here is a ‘Thank You, Mom‘ video that will make all you do worthwhile. The countdown to the London 2012 Olympics ticks to 100 days today. To celebrate Proctor and Gamble has released a video highlighting the influence parents(moms) have in amateur athletics. Warning: you’ll need tissues.”
I teared up. Great video. I love my mom! (and dad).
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