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Friday, January 30, 2015 -  For easy access we are Compiling important news and events that occurred the last 24 hours from Canada and around the world everyday 365 days a year. Daily Up-Dates Complete Before 12 Noon. 


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The Tribune Article of the Day

China warns universities on values

China 's education minister tells universities to shun textbooks promoting Western values and block criticism of the political system, state media say.

  File photo: Tiananmen Square in Beijing

China 's education minister has told universities to shun textbooks that promote Western values, state media say.

Yuan Guiren said universities should maintain political integrity and keep criticism of China 's leaders or political system out of the classroom. His comments, reported by Xinhua news agency, came at an educational forum. In recent months restrictions on academics appear to have been tightening. In December, law professor Zhang Xuehong said he was sacked by the East China University of Political Science and Law in Shanghai after refusing to apologise for writing articles criticizing the government. His dismissal followed the expulsion of outspoken economist and free speech advocate Xia Yeliang from Peking University in October. Mr Xia was a signatory to a high-profile document calling for democratic reforms, Charter 08. China university 'sacks law scholar'   China university 'expels economist'

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What's Happening!

Selected News & Articles Compiled and Comments Written by Josh F. Tanembaum

All what I write here are protected by copyright law, and I am solely responsible for all its contents. You can read yesterdays comments and featured articles from different news dispatches by clicking yesterday's Front Page

Verdict due on Srebrenica appeals

The former Yugoslavia war crimes tribunal is set to rule on the appeals of five men over their convictions over the 1995 Srebrenica massacre.

  A Bosnian Muslim woman cries during a mass burial for 775 newly identified victims of the 1995 Srebrenica massacre at the Srebrenica Memorial Cemetery in Potocari, Bosnia and Herzegovina, on 11 July 2010

A judge at the UN Yugoslav tribunal has upheld the convictions of five men for their role in the Srebrenica massacre.

Sentences for four of the men, high-ranking officials in the Bosnian Serb Army in 1995, were also confirmed. They had appealed against their convictions in 2010 for a range of crimes including genocide. About 8,000 Bosnian men and boys were killed in Srebrenica in just three days in 1995 - the worst atrocity on European soil since the Holocaust. Two of the men - Vujadin Popovic and Ljubisa Beara - are among just a few to have been found guilty of genocide. They were sentenced to life for deliberately targeting and destroying groups of people based on their ethnicity. Those life sentences were confirmed on Friday, as were the sentences of 35 years for Drago Nikolic, and 13 years for Vinko Pandurevic. The sentence of the fifth man, Radivoge Miletic, was reduced from 19 to 18 years. The atrocity took place a few months before the end of the Bosnian war, when 20,000 refugees fled to Srebrenica to escape Serb forces.    The horror from the air   Living with the memories    Timeline: Siege of Srebrenica

IOM Condemns Xenophobic Violence Against Foreigners in Johannesburg Townships

Special to The Montreal Tribune - IOM has condemned violence directed against foreign nationals and their businesses by Soweto residents, which has now spread to two other Johannesburg townships – Alexandra and Langlaagte. The violence serves as a painful reminder of the continued vulnerability of migrants in South Africa . As the migration agency, IOM is calling on the government to take urgent measures to protect the safety, the property and the dignity of all South African residents, including foreign nationals.Migrants are disproportionally affected by violent crime, often because of the areas in which they live and work. Negative public perceptions of migrants can make them targets and if they are easily recognizable, criminals and mobs can single them out. "Prejudices and stereotypes about migrants unfortunately fuel the sentiments of those who choose to loot and plunder the shops of hard-working entrepreneurs, simply because of their ethnic background. The misperception still exists that migrants come to South Africa to steal jobs and take advantage of the social system. In reality, many migrants create jobs and generate economic activity, which benefits all South Africans," said Richard Ots, IOM's Chief of Mission in South Africa . IOM is inviting the government to engage in dialogue with migrants and civil society organizations to discuss the role, the position and the image of migrants in the country. "We commend the government for publicly taking a stand against looting, intolerance and discrimination, and we offer our support to help find ways to further promote the inclusiveness and multiculturalism that South Africa is famous for," said Ots. IOM Condemns Xenophobic Violence Against Foreigners in Johannesburg Townships    Migrants Left Behind in AIDS Prevention, IOM Tells Asia-Pacific Leaders   Tanzanian Migration and "Surprising Europe"   IOM Launches #MigrantHeroes Social Media Campaign   Iraq Displacement Continues to Rise: IOM  IOM Trains Costa Rican, Panamanian Border Guards on Protection of Vulnerable Migrants  Video Highlights Dangers of Irregular Migration by Sea from Haiti    IOM Signs New Cooperation Agreement with Ethiopia

Click here to read the latest International News

Other Top Stories - Skeleton sacks baffle India police   Eurozone deflation gathers pace   China warns universities on values   Uber sued over India rape allegation   Balloonists surpass distance record   Philippine mourning for slain police   Saudi king reshuffles cabinet   Man with fake gun disrupts Dutch TV   Also in the News - Burnt koala ready to return to wild with healed paws   Bedtime 'has huge impact on sport'   More News from Around the World   US & Canada   Congress approves Keystone pipeline   Amazon posts modest holiday profits   Latin America   Deadly blast hits Mexico hospital   Funeral held for Argentina's Nisman   Africa   AU backs anti-Boko Haram troops plan   Deadly attacks hit Egypt's Sinai   Asia   Australia 'faces A$4bn abuse bill'   MP quits amid Rahul Gandhi row   Europe   Russia patrols near UK 'routine'   EU extends sanctions against Russia   Middle East   Jordan seeks proof pilot is alive   Hezbollah 'wants no Israel conflict'   UK    Churchill's funeral anniversary marked   Men's pay falls 'more than women's'

Check the News from "That side of the world"

Special reports and analysis on the East Indian Nations & Surrounding countries - By Dr. Naseeb Ullah, Ph D. Media Studies 

Sisi cuts short visit over Sinai

Egyptian President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi cuts short a visit to an African Union summit to deal with attacks that killed at least 26 in the Sinai peninsula .

  File photo of Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, 26 November 2015

Egyptian President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi has cut short a visit to an African Union summit to deal with a series of deadly attacks in the Sinai peninsula . Attacks against military and police targets in North Sinai late on Thursday left at least 30 dead and many more wounded. The militant group Sinai Province , which has pledged allegiance to Islamic State, said it carried out the attacks. Egypt has conducted a major security crackdown in Sinai in recent months. Thursday's attacks represent some of the worst anti-government violence in Egypt for months, and indicate a previously unseen level of co-ordination by militants, correspondents and analysts say. Emergency services were still digging in the rubble for bodies on Friday morning, and two children died from wounds they had reportedly received on Thursday. Militants pledge loyalty to IS   Egypt gives new powers to military  Profile: Ansar Beit al-Maqdis   Egypt profile

Deadly blast at Pakistan Shia mosque

A bomb blast at a Shia religious mosque in southern Pakistan kills at least 20 people and injures many more, officials say.

A bomb blast at a Shia religious mosque in southern Pakistan kills at least 31 people and injures many more, officials say. At least 20 people have been killed in a powerful bomb blast at a Shia mosque in southern Pakistan , officials say. Police said that at least 50 people were wounded in the attack after Friday prayers in the Shikarpur district of Sindh province. The death toll is expected to rise as many of the wounded are in a critical condition. Local media reports suggest that the blast could have been a suicide attack, but police are investigating. It is not yet clear who carried out the attack but Sunni militant groups have targeted the Shia minority in the past. A number of people were trapped after the roof of the mosque collapsed due to the force of the explosion, local media said. Senior police official Abdul Qudoos Kalwar told the Associated Press news agency that four children were among the dead. Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has condemned the incident and ordered an immediate inquiry.   Pakistan's anti-Shia militants  Pakistan country profile  More News from "That side of the world"

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South Africa apartheid assassin given parole

South African apartheid-era death squad commander Eugene de Kock, nicknamed "Prime Evil", is granted parole after 20 years for killing activists.

South African apartheid-era death squad commander Eugene de Kock has been granted parole after 20 years in jail.

He was nicknamed "Prime Evil" for his role in the killing and maiming of activists fighting white minority rule in the 1980s and early 1990s. Justice Minister Michael Masutha said De Kock would be released "in the interests of nation-building". De Kock, 66, was sentenced in 1996 to two life terms in prison and a further 212 years for the crimes he committed.Mr Masutha said the time and place of De Kock's release would not be made public. The justice minister stressed that his decision was guided by South Africa 's constitution. 'Close a chapter' Sandra Mama, widow of Glenack Mama who was killed by De Kock in 1992, said she thought the minister was right in granting parole. Profile of an apartheid assassin NEW   Why de Kock got paroleWatch NEW   The voice of 'Prime Evil'   South Africa profile

Islamic extremism delays permit for Montreal Muslim centre

Montreal city officials will decide Monday what to do about a proposed Islamic community centre drawing criticism because of its ties to controversial Imam Hamza Chaoui.

The project is tied to controversial Imam Hamza Chaoui, who has controversial views on sharia law and ties to suspected radicals. Montreal city officials will decide Monday what to do about the proposed community centre, which would be situated in the east end borough of Hochelaga-Maisonneuve. Although a city permit has not yet been issued, the Moroccan-born Chaoui is promoting it on his Facebook page. Connections to radicals Chaoui has connections to radical Islamists. He has preached at the St-Jean-sur-Richelieu mosque attended by Martin Couture-Rouleau, the Muslim convert who killed warrant officer Patrice Vincent in October. Chaoui was also the leader of a Muslim association at Laval University . One of that association's member, Chiheb Esseghaier, is about to be tried on charges related to a plot to derail a Via Rail train travelling between Toronto and New York two years ago. Who is Martin Couture-Rouleau?   Alleged Via Rail terror plotter Raed Jaser's pardon revocation upheld   Martin Couture-Rouleau case underscores passport seizure dilemma    Who is Martin Couture-Rouleau?    Accused Via terror plotter wants Qur'an cited in defence

Click here to read the latest News in Montreal    Montreal General News and Events Calendar

Drew Love, McGill University Athletics Director, to step down   McGill Redmen football player acquitted of assault, uttering threats charges   McGill suspends Redmen football player for pending assault charges  Montreal weather: Snowy and mild   More Headlines  RECAP Canadiens' Pacioretty scores late goal, edge Rangers video   Black community members testify they feel like 2nd class citizens   Champlain Bridge LRT projections may overstate future ridership   Montreal taxi drivers call for UberX crack-down   Stéphanie Raymond's military sexual assault case to be investigated   Justine Dufour-Lapointe, Mikael Kingsbury win moguls gold   $13.5M-winning lottery ticket bought 7 seconds late invalid, top court decides   Train de l'Ouest backers hopeful for West Island rail by 2020   VIDEOPacioretty looks to erase memory of 2014 playoff loss in New York with win tonight video   Anthony Calvillo to coach Alouettes' receivers   Canadian freestyle ski team nabs $2M investment on Dragons' Den

Headlines across Canada British Columbia   Calgary    Edmonton    Saskatchewan   Saskatoon    Manitoba    Thunder Bay    Sudbury    Windsor    Kitchener-Waterloo    Hamilton    Toronto    Ottawa    New Brunswick   Prince Edward Island    Nova Scotia    Newfoundland & Labrador    North    Nunavut orders health-care review following CBC investigation   Fort Simpson chief Minnie Letcher dies of meningitis

Never lie when applying for Canadian citizenship, read this:   Blatant lying loses family its citizenship — but earns them a $63K bill from Canadian government - There is no statute of limitation on the revocation of citizenship.”

Check Montreal Weather    Drink and Drive? CAA says First offence cost up to $7,000  Linking to free web content is legal

  Nova Scotia Court Rules In Favour of Freedom of Association for Trinity Western University  
The Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms (JCCF) announced today that it was pleased with decision of the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia in
Trinity Western University v. Nova Scotia Barristers' Society.  The Honourable Juctice Campbell found that the Barristers' Society did not have authority to demand that Trinity Western University change its policies.  He further held that the Barristers' Society failed to reasonably consider religious freedom and liberty of conscience. During the court hearing which was held December 16-19, 2014 , in Halifax , the JCCF argued for the Charter section 2(d) right to freedom of association.  Based on its Legal Brief posted a, the JCCF argued that the Barristers' Society violates the freedom of association of TWU students by demanding, as a requirement of entering the legal profession in Nova Scotia, that students abandon their freedom to associate with others at a Christian university that has a Community Covenant. JCCF president John Carpay, who argued JCCF's case, was pleased with the ruling. "The court's decision is a victory for freedom of association, freedom of conscience and religion, and freedom of expression," said Carpay. "All Canadians must be free to peacefully associate with one another under common beliefs and values, without punishment, and this court today upheld those freedoms."  For more information please contact:  John Carpay, JCCF President or (403) 619-8014   Read the Court's Decision in Trinity Western University v. Nova Scotia Barristers' Society  Background information about TWU and the Barristers' Society decision The Barristers' Society disagrees with TWU's Community Covenant, which sets out the standards of behaviour expected of students, staff and faculty at the private evangelical Protestant university in British Columbia.  The Barristers' Society disagrees with the Community Covenant's prohibition on sexual intimacy outside of the marriage of one man and one woman, claiming that this discriminates against gays and lesbians. The Barristers' Society does not require Nova Scotia lawyers to adhere to any particular opinion about same-sex marriage, or about sexual morality. However, the Barristers' Society this past April decided to bar graduates of TWU's law school from entering the legal profession in Nova Scotia, solely because of the beliefs and lifestyle choices of law students at TWU, and their choice to associate together in community.The Barristers' Society demands that TWU change its Community Covenant in order for its law school graduates to be allowed to practice law in Nova Scotia. The Federation of Law Societies of Canada approved TWU's law program in 2013, based on the program's academic credentials and professional standards.  The Federation specifically considered and rejected arguments against TWU's law school, namely that this private institution illegally discriminates against gays and lesbians. In a very similar case in 2001, the Supreme Court of Canada in  Trinity Western University v. B.C. College of Teachers upheld the right of TWU, as a private and voluntary religious institution, to accredit teachers: TWU is not for everybody; it is designed to address the needs of people who share a number of religious convictions. In the 2001 BC College of Teachers  case, the Court cited from previous authority as follows: A truly free society is one which accommodates a wide variety of beliefs, diversity of tastes and pursuits, customs and codes of conduct.  ...  Freedom can primarily be characterized by the absence of coercion or constraint.  If a person is compelled by the state or the will of another to a course of action or inaction which he would not otherwise have chosen, he is not acting of his own volition and he cannot be said to be truly free.  ...  Freedom in a broad sense embraces both the absence of coercion and constraint, and the right to manifest beliefs and practices.  ...  The Charter safeguards religious minorities from the threat of "the tyranny of the majority."  Students who choose to attend TWU, an evangelical Protestant university in Langley , British Columbia , agree to abide by the community's standards of behaviour, called the "Community Covenant."  TWU students pledge to "cultivate Christian virtues, such as love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control, compassion, humility, forgiveness, peacemaking, mercy and justice" and to "live exemplary lives characterized by honesty, civility, truthfulness, generosity and integrity."  One of the Community Covenant's many provisions is that TWU students and staff will abstain from sexual intimacy outside of the marriage of one man and one woman.  The Barristers' Society believes that the Community Covenant discriminates against gays and lesbians, and has therefore barred TWU law school graduates from practicing law in Nova Scotia .  The Barristers' Society does not require lawyers who are now practicing law in Nova Scotia to adhere to any particular beliefs about sexuality and marriage.  However, for law school graduates seeking to practice law in Nova Scotia , the Barristers' Society will ban those who, while studying law, chose to adhere to a community covenant and chose to join a Christian university community. As individuals, evangelical Protestants can maintain and practice their beliefs about sexuality and marriage while attending any law school in Canada , without facing any barrier to practicing law in Nova Scotia .  However, when these same individuals, adhering to the same Christian beliefs and committed to the same Christian lifestyle, associate with each other in a community to study law, the Barristers' Society prohibits them from practicing law in Nova Scotia .  The JCCF will argued that this is a penalty, imposed by a government body on people because they exercise their freedom of association by joining together in exercising their constitutional rights. Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms - #253, 7620 Elbow Drive SW Calgary , Alberta , T2V 1K2  "Defending the constitutional freedoms of Canadians  

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System Trouble Shooters, Computer Fix & Website Management

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Collection of Textile Books for Sale

New Textile Mills and Schools must have: A collection of different weaving and knitting techniques, including yarn count specifications with quality fabric samples in book bindings showing several finishes in solid and printed materials, available to the highest bidder with starting cost of $20,000.00.  This collection is best recommended for textile mills and schools. The collection is not available anywhere else. Please send all inquiries to:

Got a minute? Read reports and analysis from Lyse Doucet

The year of living far too dangerously

There are signals that three al-Jazeera men detained in Cairo may find freedom, but too many journalists still work in all too dangerous times. Read full article

Lyse Doucet

Article written by Canadian Lyse Doucet Lyse Doucet  BBC's Chief international correspondent - More from Lyse 

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Question: Is there any chance for Quebec to become a republic? Answer:  Not in this century; the separatists have to work harder for the next one. 50% plus one says so. It’s now the poorest of all the provinces in Canada. More later....JFT

What did they do? And, is it really worth writing about them?

  Lucien Bouchard2.jpg Jacques Parizeau1.jpg   Robert Bourassa01.jpg  Bernard Landry2-.jpg

Hey did you hear? We have  two new Saints from Quebec, no, it's not  Lucien Bouchard or Jacques Parizeau nor  René Lévesque or Robert Bourassa and  definitely not Bernard Landry (above pictures are in order from left to right) but here check it out! Pope Francis elevates 2 Quebecers to sainthood Note: All are but a waste except for The Great Rene Levesque, he should have been sainted a long time ago by the Separatists as the real Quebecois who inspired equality for all. Later, more about these nationalists or separatists Quebecois political leaders.

Highlights from Bill 14   New sovereignist group calls for united front   Quebec sovereignty needs rebranding, says former premier  But, Who’s supporting Richard?   Man charged in Quebec election shooting fit for trial   PQ setting up campaign to promote sovereignty goals

Canada Direct

A look at the nation beyond the headlines from BBC


One Square Mile of Canada

Montreal is a French island in a predominantly English-speaking country

It's known as La Main - "The Main" - and it's the lifeblood of Montreal . For the past three centuries this sweeping avenue, Boulevard St Laurent, has shaped the character of a city in the heart of French-speaking Canada . La Main was once the symbolic dividing line between the city's French and English speaking communities, with the boulevard a soft buffer attracting and absorbing waves of new immigrants. Today, it celebrates a cosmopolitan city with its array of little villages, from the Quartier Chinois, or Chinese quarter, to Little Italy and Portugal , along with strong remnants of an historic Jewish quarter.

What does it mean to be Canadian?

 With Asian trade and support for the monarchy rising, what does Canadian identity mean now?

What the Indians are trying to say, The French came as visitors and now they want the country for themselves?”  So they say "over my dead body" before Quebec becomes a republic. After all, they already killed millions of us since they arrived here. This is not a provocation but just letting them know we are still around and Quebec Nation is not going to happen as long as there are still Indians around. Please send your comments to the editor... MP Maxime Bernier defends language-law quip - Quebecers don't need Bill 101, "Not by imposing [French] and by preventing people from making their own decisions in matters that concern their personal lives."   Quebec militia leader faces death-threat charges Patriotic Militia of Quebec's website   Que. militia worries separatists   Death threats target Quebec English rights group    Letters threaten FLQ attacks in Montreal  Oops! Parti Quebecois are falling apart

Canada launches Arctic seabed quest

How much farther can the Separatist push the envelope to preserve a language that's hard to economically maintain? Aren't we bankrupt yet? Send your comments to

Got a second?

1. Integrity and reliability are the most important quality that a public employee especially that of a politician should maintain otherwise the institution gets corrupted. 2. Poor immigrants are the greatest investment a country like Canada should bring in for they are motivated by dreams that money immigrants already have. We brought (in) lots of those money immigrants in the 80s from Hong Kong and surrounding areas, most settled in BC, did they bring their money to Canada ? No, they fried us with our own oil and most of the locals moved to nearby towns where the cost of living is much lower than where those so called investors settled in. But, where are those people now? They are back where they came from with our passports. Would you want to know more and why? Conrad David Brillantes

Oh Canada : How I Love You

The tour was to only last one hour. While the other educator and I waited for their arrival we decided we would not visit the Canadian galleries, since they were in another pavilion at the other end of the museum. We would choose the European Art collection to save time. They arrived twenty minutes late. My group had three mothers with eight children between the ages of two months and nine years old. Two Muslim mothers dressed in hijab and long over-... Quickly it was decided, even though time was limited, that we had to go visit the Canadian galleries. We showed the paintings, sculptures and objects from the Inuit, First Nations along with the first settlers from France and England . The children were mesmerized, listening to the legends and stories of the Canadian people. The mothers asked many insightful questions. As we toured from one gallery to the next, the mother from Benin began unapologetically to nurse her son. She didn’t ask for help or lag behind. She did what came naturally and continued to be an active participant. And the two other mothers? They held the infant’s head as she went to adjust her top and looked after her other child. Mothers from different parts of the world, nurturing, protecting and caring for one another. I witnessed the actions of a community. Being an Art Educator at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts affords me the opportunity to meet and interact with many people from all walks of life. I am very fortunate to live in a country where all people have equal rights and are valued for their uniqueness. Ennutsiak Nunavik 1896 – Iqaluit, Nunavut, 1967 Untitled (Birth Scene with Midwives) By Deirdre Potash, 2779 Honore Mercier Vaudreuil-Dorion Quebec J7V 8P5 (514) 999-8581

What's the difference?

Going overseas? Check this out first! Dangerous travel: Countries to avoid to visit  Or if you need advice before traveling, ask our editor an (experienced) expert on international trade and relation, it's free. Spread it out you never know you could save fellow Canadians. * Private companies and governmental agencies are welcome for seminars on how to behave when visiting countries around the world (*This service is not free)

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  Congress approves Keystone pipeline

The US Senate passes a bill to approve the controversial Keystone XL pipeline, sending it to President Barack Obama's desk for a likely veto.

Republicans speak on Keystone XL during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington,29 January 2015

The US Senate has passed a bill to approve the controversial Keystone XL pipeline, sending it to President Barack Obama's desk for a likely veto. The 62-36 vote comes after weeks of debate and votes to amend the bill after the House approved it. The 875-mile (1,400km) pipeline would carry tar sands oil from Alberta , Canada , to the US state of Nebraska where it joins pipes running to Texas . The White House has previously said Mr Obama will veto the bill. Spokesman Josh Earnest said the legislation would undermine a "well-established" review process. Congress would need two-thirds of each chamber of Congress to overcome a presidential veto. The project has pitted Republicans and other supporters, who say it will create much needed jobs, against many Democrats and environmentalists, who warn the pipeline will add to carbon emissions and contribute to global warming. Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell called the bill "an important accomplishment for the country". Why is the Keystone XL pipeline so disputed?   Obama threatens Keystone XL veto

Also read additional business news -  Amazon posts modest holiday profits   The online retail giant Amazon reports weaker profits for the busy Christmas period, but a 15% rise in sales cheers investors.   EC outlines Amazon tax concerns   Amazon workers in Germany on strike   Amazon's 'Cyber Monday' boom    Eurozone deflation gathers pace    Eurozone deflation deepens in January, as prices fall by 0.6% compared with last year, pushed down by lower oil prices.   Denmark, Deutschland and deflation   What is quantitative easing?   Where next for the eurozone?   Russia cuts interest rates to 15%   Russia has cut its main interest rate from 17% to 15% because inflation "is stabilizing".  EU extends sanctions against Russia   Russia to spend $35bn on rescue plan   Honda cuts profit forecast on recall   Japanese carmaker Honda cuts its profit forecast and sees third quarter earnings drop sharply following a vehicle recall linked to airbags.  Unreported deaths cost Honda $70m   Car production falls at Honda plant  McLaren-Honda unveil 2015 challenger BBC SPORT   Amazon posts modest holiday profits   The online retail giant Amazon reports weaker profits for the busy Christmas period, but a 15% rise in sales cheers investors.   Google profits up nearly 30%   Internet giant Google reports fourth-quarter profits of $4.76bn, up nearly 30% from the same period a year before, but revenue misses Wall Street expectations.  Denmark, Deutschland and deflation  Our economics correspondent Andrew Walker explains how developments in Germany and Denmark are hallmarks of strange times in the eurozone.   BT shares fall holds back FTSE   China tops US for foreign investment   BT earmarks £2bn to pay off deficit   Nikkei rises despite weak Japan data   Shell revives Arctic drilling plans   EU extends sanctions against Russia   Alibaba's sales figures miss targets   Congress approves Keystone pipeline   Sky to launch mobile phone service

Working to Close the Gender Gap in Fantasy Writing

Special to The Montreal Tribune - TORONTO , ON - It seems a sad state of affairs that that we still have to be talking about writing strong female characters as though it’s an anomaly in the genre. But the fact that author Christian Adrian Brown’s recent fantasy oeuvre, Feast of Fates, is being viewed as remarkable precisely because of its strong female characters is a testament to the unfortunate reality of the genre. Fantasy writing has a long and storied history placing women on the backburner when it comes to either plot or character development. They are frequently one-dimensional or are framed solely as the clichéd “damsel in distress.” Brown, the author of Feast of Fates, the first in the “Four Feasts Till Darkness” series, has been praised by readers and reviewers alike for the diverse array of complex and richly-drawn female characters, and he takes umbrage at writers who try to justify sexism in their work: “Many authors use the excuse that since so many of them take place in medieval-like periods that being sexist is just a reflection of those times. Yes, I believe it’s important in fiction to portray real-world issues, such as classism, sexism, violence and poverty. However, as a fantasy writer, I can create whatever world I want! One with predominantly matriarchal figures of power such as Morigan, the Sisters Three and even the deliciously vile Iron Queen.” Unlike many fiction books, Brown made a conscious effort not to fall into the “add women and stir” trap, where female characters are tacked on as more of an afterthought. “It’s not enough to just stick in a bunch of female characters and say ‘there, I’ve got some women, I’m done'. It’s not about ‘catering’ to a demographic, it’s about writing in a way that’s representative and relatable. It’s no less important to write realistic characters in fantasy than in contemporary fiction,” explains Brown. “And at the end of the day, that’s what makes for a good book. People may not like how I write my characters, nor what happens to them in my tales. However, that’s life: as real, raw and ugly as it can be beautiful.” For more information about Christian Adrian Brown and Feast of Fates, visit:

An evening with Garry Kasparov

The 2015 edition of the George Lengvari Sr. Lecture Series will feature Garry Kasparov, former world chess champion, Russian dissident and renowned freedom fighter. See the promotional video or reserve your seat now.

My Intellectual Journey: From Marxism to Liberalism
by Mario Vargas Llosa

This 85-page trilingual booklet featuring the transcript of a talk delivered on
October 16, 2013 in Montreal by Peruvian Nobel Laureate in Literature Mario Vargas Llosa on the occasion of a conference organized by the Montreal Economic Institute, is now available in Kindle format. In this talk, Mr. Vargas Llosa explains why, in his youth, he believed in communism, like many intellectuals of his generation, and also how, through his disillusionment and his questioning, he discovered another vision, one of liberty, tolerance and democracy.

Private Reinforcements for Public Police Forces?
by Mathieu Bédard and Jasmin Guénette

Policing costs have been rising for 25 years in
Canada , while the number of criminal incidents per officer has fallen. These growing costs can be explained in part by an increase in the number of police officers, which has certainly contributed to a reduction in the crime rate, but also by the fact that those officers perform a growing number of tasks. In order to contain these rising costs while ensuring the same quality and scope of public safety services, the work of police officers should be refocused on their essential duties, and other categories of personnel should be employed wherever possible.

Global Plastic Production Rises, Recycling Lags

New Worldwatch Institute analysis explores trends in global plastic production and recycling

Special to The Montreal Tribune - Washington , D.C. ----For more than 50 years, global production of plastic has continued to rise. Some 299 million tons of plastics were produced in 2013, representing a 4 percent increase over 2012. Recovery and recycling, however, remain insufficient, and millions of tons of plastics end up in landfills and oceans each year, writes Gaelle Gourmelon, Communications and Marketing Manager at the Worldwatch Institute, in the Institute's latest Vital Signs Online article ( Worldwide plastic production has been growing as the durable, primarily petroleum-based material gradually replaces materials like glass and metal. Today, an average person living in Western Europe or North America consumes 100 kilograms of plastic each year, mostly in the form of packaging. Asia uses just 20 kilograms per person, but this figure is expected to grow rapidly as the region's economies expand. According to the United Nations Environmental Programme, an estimated 22-43 percent of the plastic used worldwide is disposed of in landfills, where its resources are wasted, the material takes up valuable space, and it blights communities. Recovering plastic from the waste stream for recycling or for combustion for energy generation has the potential to minimize these problems. However, much of the plastic collected for recycling in Europe, the United States, Japan, and other industrialized countries is shipped to countries with lower recycling standards. And burning plastic for energy requires air emissions controls and produces hazardous ash, all while being relatively inefficient. Most plastic scraps from countries that have established collection systems for the material flow to China , which receives 56 percent (by weight) of waste plastic imports worldwide. Indirect evidence suggests that most of this imported plastic is reprocessed at low-tech, family-run facilities with no environmental protection controls, such as proper disposal of contaminants or waste water. There are also concerns that low-quality plastics are not reused but are disposed of or incinerated for energy in plants that lack air pollution control systems. Through its 2010 Green Fence Operation, the Chinese government has started to work to reduce the number of unregulated facilities. Approximately 10-20 million tons of plastic end up in the oceans each year. A recent study conservatively estimated that 5.25 trillion plastic particles weighing a total of 268,940 tons are currently floating in the world's oceans. This debris results in an estimated $13 billion a year in losses from damage to marine ecosystems, including financial losses to fisheries and tourism as well as time spent cleaning beaches. Animals such as seabirds, whales, and dolphins can become entangled in plastic matter, and floating plastic items-such as discarded nets, docks, and boats-can transport microbes, algae, invertebrates, and fish into non-native regions, affecting local ecosystems. The environmental and social benefits of plastics must be weighed against the problems that the durability and high volume of this material present to the waste stream. Plastics help to reduce food waste by keeping products fresh longer, allow for the manufacture of life-saving healthcare equipment, reduce packaging mass compared with other materials, improve transportation efficiency, and have large potential for use in renewable energy technologies. But plastic litter, gyres of plastics in the oceans, and toxic additives in plastic products-including colorants, flame retardants, and plasticizers (such as bisphenol A, or BPA)-are raising awareness of and strengthening consumer demand for more sustainable materials. Along with reducing unnecessary plastic consumption, finding more environmentally friendly packaging alternatives, and improving product and packaging design to use less plastic, many challenges associated with plastics could be addressed by improving management of the material across its life cycle. Businesses and consumers could increase their participation in collection in order to move plastic waste toward a recovery supply chain, and companies could switch to greater use of recycled plastics. Governments must regulate the plastic supply chain to encourage and monitor recycling. Report highlights: About 4 percent of the petroleum consumed worldwide each year is used to make plastic, and another 4 percent is used to power plastic manufacturing processes. In Europe , 26 percent, or 6.6 million tons, of the post-consumer plastic produced in 2012 was recycled, while 36 percent was incinerated for energy generation. The remaining 38 percent of post-consumer plastics in Europe went to landfills. In the United States , only 9 percent of post-consumer plastic (2.8 million tons) was recycled in 2012. The remaining 32 million tons was discarded. About the Worldwatch Institute:  Worldwatch is an independent research organization based in Washington , D.C. that works on energy, resource, and environmental issues. The Institute's State of the World report is published annually in more than a dozen languages. For more information, visit About Vital Signs Online: Vital Signs Online provides business leaders, policymakers, and engaged citizens with the latest data and analysis they need to understand critical global trends. It is an interactive, subscription-based tool that provides hard data and research-based insights on the sustainability trends that are shaping our future. All of the trends include clear analysis and are placed in historical perspective, allowing you to see where the trend has come from and where it might be headed. New trends cover emerging hot topics-from global carbon emissions to green jobs-while trend updates provide the latest data and analysis for the fastest changing and most important trends today. Every trend includes full datasets and complete referencing. Click here to subscribe today to Vital Signs Online.

5 Innovation Killers That Lurk Within Businesses

The work of innovative thinkers is why the world has smartphones, laptop computers, toaster ovens and numerous other gadgets and creative approaches to problem solving. Yet groundbreaking ideas aren't always welcome in the corporate world or within other institutions.  Instead, those who suggest a different approach often find their ideas shot down by co-workers or blocked by an organizational system that is unwelcoming to change, says international speaker and innovation consultant Dr. Neal Thornberry.  That doesn't mean innovation can't happen, though. "The innovator needs to know how to operate in these less than friendly cultures without waiting for some miraculous transformation in corporate policy," says Thornberry, author of the book "Innovation Judo: Disarming Roadblocks and Blockheads on the Way to Creativity." ( He says there are five innovation "killers" within organizations that a person with ideas can expect to confront. •  People. Sometime it's an individual, sometimes it's a group. Regardless, people often resist innovation, and many times for illogical reasons. "The more rigid people reject innovation simply because they are uncomfortable with the new or don't want to spend the energy to try something different," Thornberry says. They may be quick to point out flaws in your ideas. One way to counteract that, Thornberry says, is to be your own worst critic. Discover those flaws first and highlight them yourself. Then you can address how you plan to mitigate them, thus stealing the critics' thunder, he says. •  Politics. You can usually get around one or two individuals who try to block your idea, but it's more challenging when the organization is rife with politics. "I hate working in highly politicized organizations," Thornberry says. "They make work a lot harder and make you spend considerable time on non-value-adding activities." In fact, Thornberry devotes an entire chapter in his book to "Right Mindedness" so that innovators practicing his seven secret judo skills are not seen as innovating for personal gain or exploitation, but as enablers of company success. •  Organizational design. An out-of-whack organizational design usually is not generated on purpose or with malice, Thornberry says. Instead it develops over time, with one well-intentioned move after another leading to unintended consequences. Often the result is a proliferation of controls, along with structures and processes that create barriers to innovation. When an idea is blocked by layers of decision-making, one solution is to use leverage, Thornberry says. Enlist the aid of a customer who would benefit from the innovation, he says, because paying customers have huge leverage. •  Company values. Here the innovator has both a challenge and an opportunity. Many companies articulate their values, but don't always live by them. "The upside for innovators is that values can be used as leverage for innovation even if they aren't true," Thornberry says. For example, if the company declares, "The customer is No. 1," then it becomes difficult to ignore an innovation that is positioned as being for the customer. •  Corporate culture. The corporate culture essentially is how the people, politics, organizational design and values interact. "The greatest challenge to any innovator, and to embedding and sustaining innovation over the long term, is culture," Thornberry says. To make it even more challenging, often organizations have micro-cultures within the culture. That means, he says, you will need to adapt the use of innovation judo principles depending on which micro-culture you are dealing with at any given moment. "Innovators throughout history have faced both roadblocks and blockheads on their path to creativity," Thornberry says. "And so will you."  But with a little courage and some counterbalancing skills, he says, these challenges can be overcome.  About Neal Thornberry, Ph.D. Neal Thornberry, Ph.D., is the founder and CEO of IMSTRAT, LLC a consulting firm that specializes in helping private and public sector organizations develop innovation strategies that create economic value by increasing an organization's effectiveness and efficiency. A respected thought leader in innovation, Thornberry is a highly sought-after international speaker and consultant. He  also serves as the faculty director for innovation initiatives at the Center for Executive Education at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, Calif. Thornberry, author of "Innovation Judo: Disarming Roadblocks & Blockheads on the Path to Creativity" (, holds a doctorate in organizational psychology and specializes in innovation, corporate entrepreneurship, leadership and organizational transformation.

4 Tips to Survive the Next Stock Market Crash

Advice on Smart Alternative Investments from Investment Banker

Oil prices are plummeting, taking energy stocks down with them. Meanwhile, financial experts such as Harry Dent and Robert Shiller say the U.S. stock market is overdue for a correction. Shiller recently noted in Forbes that the market is 65 percent overvalued, mainly fueled by "irrational exuberance." "Many investors today are yield-starved savers who are losing their earnings power to inflation, increased taxes, and persistent low interest rates," says Salvatore M. Buscemi, managing director of Dandrew Partners LLC in New York City and author of "Making the Yield: Real Estate Hard Money Lending Uncovered," ( "As a result, they are being forced to take risks by investing against their better judgment into markets where they have little to no control, and for the majority, can't afford to lose their money in another stock market crash as they did in 2001 and 2008." A growing trend among those seeking to beat the bear is to channel investments into real estate, he says. Not the kind of venture that turned many into reluctant landlords during the housing bust, but another type called hard money lending. "Here's how it works," Buscemi says. "Investors act like a bank and make short-term loans to small businesses that buy and repair distressed properties, refinance them with conventional bank loans and repay the short-term loans at higher interest rates, generating more profitable returns for the original lenders." Buscemi reviews ways to get the most out of this lucrative venture. •  Shop local.  All things being equal, private investors are often served by small, perhaps localized real estate private partnerships that throw off real cash flow than by global, publicly listed full-service investment brands where an alignment of interest between investors and these corporations may be deficient or missing. •  Explore crowd funding. With the advent of crowd funding and federal rule changes since the last real estate cycle, more people with less money can participate in deals that they may have never been able to get into before. •  Have a pre-flight checklist. The best time to worry about a real estate loan is before you make it. Always have a list of items to review before committing capital. These include job history, experience in rehab property, education, and most important, credit quality. Always read the entire credit report as the devil is in the details. Also make sure to accept reports from a third party, not the borrower as they can be faked. •  Always ask how your interests are aligned with your borrowers. If they are not going to make any money, neither will you. The loan will default, and you'll both be discouraged. "Individual investors are looking for a more intimate method of managing their own money, insulated from geopolitical shocks," Mr. Buscemi says. "They don't want to wake up in the morning blindsided that they've lost a good chunk of their portfolio because of something that happened overseas. Real estate keeps climbing higher and higher in some markets. And people implicitly trust real estate; it's a very bankable asset class." About Salvatore M. Buscemi  Salvatore M. Buscemi, author of "Making the Yield: Real Estate Hard Money Lending Uncovered," is managing director of Dandrew Partners LLC in New York City ( The company specializes in placing capital from prominent institutional investors into middle-market distressed commercial real estate investments. He began his career at Goldman Sachs, where he worked four years as an investment banker. A frequent speaker on hard money lending, Mr. Buscemi also co-founded Dandrew Strategies LLC, a $30 million real estate solutions provider in the secondary mortgage market specializing in non-performing residential mortgage portfolios.

Changing How You Perceive the Role of Your Investment Advisor

By: Jeff Bucher - On the surface, when people think of an investment advisor, financial planner or retirement planner, what they think of is someone that's going to assist them with making the selections of their stocks, bonds and mutual funds. As you transition into the retirement stage there are many other important areas of retirement that also need to be considered.  Selecting the right retirement guide that will be able to help in all of these areas is crucial for you to have a fulfilling retirement. We call ourselves many different things, Financial Planners, Investment Advisors, or maybe even Retirement Planners.  Regardless of the title, you probably go to us all for the same thing – to use our knowledge and expertise regarding the financial markets to invest your funds for you. On the surface, this describes the role of the advisor.  However, we feel that this limited role of the advisor specifically covers one period of your investment lifetime, the accumulation period, when you are trying to build and grow your wealth.  As you transition into retirement (the portfolio distribution phase), it's important that the advisor begin to take on a larger role when it comes to your financial well-being.  As an advisor that specializes in the distribution phase, the investment selection must be complimented by a strategy of when best to file for Social Security Benefits, a plan to minimize the amount of taxes that will be due, and a sustainable withdrawal strategy to ensure that your needs will be met for the remainder of your lifetime. Fiduciary vs. Suitability When it comes to the investment selection, it's very important to understand what type of advisor with whom you're working. There are two different types of advisors that plan within two different sets of rules. There's the investment advisor, who is held to a fiduciary standard, and then there is the registered representative, or an insurance professional, who is held to a suitability standard. Understanding what standards that they're held to and how they're compensated is part of the investment selection process that, as the consumer, you need to be aware of. The differences are crucial. A fiduciary standard is a legal obligation where the advisor must act in the best interest of their client and puts the client's best interest ahead of their own.  It is the highest standard of care available under law.  Fiduciary advisors can be regulated by the SEC or state regulators.  An example to explain this standard is an advisor with two identical products that have different fees, who must recommend the one that is lower in cost.  They can't recommend the product that makes more money for them or their company.  A fiduciary advisor is often paid by a quarterly fee that is calculated as a percentage of assets. According to the FIRNA Industry Professionals manual, the suitability standard requires that a registered representative or insurance professional must have a reasonable basis to believe that a recommended transaction or investment strategy involving a security or securities is suitable for the customer.  This is based primarily on financial objectives, current income level and age, in order to complete a commissionable sale of a financial product.  There is no requirement to find the best investment for you, only ones that are seemingly suitable for you.  They offer a range of products for sale carried by the company he or she represents.  The way that someone with a suitability standard gets paid is by commissions calculated as a percentage of money invested into the product. Which type of advisor would you like to work with after hearing the differences between the two?  What to expect from a retirement planner  - As we transition into retirement, the investment selection is still part of the process, but there's more to expect from a retirement planner. - Important questions we need to ask include: •  How are we going to create an income/distribution plan of these assets that's going to be reliable and sustainable for as long as you live?  •  How do we select a social security filing strategy that will best meet our needs it?  •  How are we going to protect your standard of living from inflation?  •  How are we going to reduce your tax obligations?  •  How are we going to position these assets in a way that you still have the liquidity that you need for all kinds of emergencies and related discretionary spending?  •  How can we position things in such a way that you have the income stream you need and, at the same time, have the flexibility to handle life's unknowns?  •  How can we help protect you from the risks of a long term illness?  •  How do we select the right health care plan to best meet your needs and resources?  •  How do we protect the legacy that you want to leave behind for your heirs?  Transitioning into Retirement  Again, as we transition into this retirement phase, investment selection is part of the process. But now we need to focus more on an income plan, which encompasses social security planning, tax planning, planning against inflation and health care planning – all of these things are added into the picture. So, during this transition, the perception that you have of your investment advisor needs to take on a new role. Often, with new clients, we find that there hasn't been a transition, which means the client is being greatly underserved. At Citizen Advisory Group, (, our program offers a much more comprehensive approach to the retirement planning side of things. We pull in the investment selection with an income/distribution plan that includes planning for social security, longevity and taxes. We unify all of these different pieces to create a very well-rounded plan. This allows people the safety and security to go out and enjoy their retirement lifestyle and spend their money without the fear associated with running out of money during their lifetimes. About Jeff Bucher  Jeff Bucher is president of Citizen Advisory Group, (, and is an Investment Advisor Representative of AlphaStar Capital Management, an SEC Registered Investment Advisor. He has a life and health insurance license with the state of Ohio . His membership affiliations include the exclusive Ed Slott's Master Elite IRA Advisor Group™, National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors (NAIFA), the National Association of Fixed Annuities (NAFA) and the Forum 400. He has earned Top of the Table honors through the Million Dollar Round Table (MDRT).  Jeff has been featured on the Toledo , Ohio television affiliates for NBC, CBS, FOX, and ABC. Bucher is a former standout wrestler at The Ohio State University, where he earned an athletic scholarship and honed his leadership skills en route to earning four varsity letters

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 Suge Knight questioned by police

Death Row Records founder Suge Knight is being questioned by police after being declared a suspect in a fatal hit-and-run. NEWSBEAT

Suge Knight

Marion 'Suge' Knight surrendered to police, hours after he was declared a suspect in a fatal hit-and-run.

The record producer arrived at the West Hollywood police station along with his lawyer. Around 3pm (2300 GMT) on Thursday, a man fitting Knight's description drove to a burger shop and began rowing with two people, said Lt John Corina of the LA County Sheriff's Department. The driver then backed into one of the victims, before running them both over. The Death Row Records founder is said to have left the scene in a red Ford pickup truck, the police said. Knight, 49, was involved in an earlier fight with the pair at a different location, Corina added. One of the victims died in hospital, according to the Sheriff's Department statement - while the condition of the second victim, who was also taken to the hospital, has yet to be confirmed.

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Capturing And Cherishing The Moments When Life Is Well Seasoned

Special to The Montreal Tribune - Memphis , TN , January  2015 - Well Seasoned: Savoring Life's Lessons (Inspire on Purpose) perfectly chronicles the seasons of life through the inspiring prose and the lens of photographer and writer, Rebecca Webb Wilson. When Rebecca's parents gave her a gift of a Kodak Brownie Hawkeye years earlier, they had no idea it would lead to a lifetime of travel and a yearning to capture the perfection of nature and diverse cultures of people in faraway lands. For Rebecca, it all began as a young woman when she used her camera to photograph hawks along the expressway in her hometown of Memphis . While her first job as a flight attendant for PanAm cultivated a love of travel, it was her innate gratitude for the unexpected joys revealed in nature's seasons that fostered her love of photography. Sprinkled with thoughtful quotes and tidbits of poetry, Well Seasoned is about the people that touch our lives, for a moment or forever, and pairs nature's seasons with the seasons of life allowing readers to view the aging process differently and discover their own 'Aha' moments within its pages. The author's unconventional and uplifting philosophy, paired with vibrant, full-color images of places, nature and people, easily transports readers to magical locations around the globe, sharing her journey as she climbs Mount Kilimanjaro and the Swiss Alps part of the Haute Route , or taking the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu . Encouraged to reflect on our own memories, we Rethink, Remember, Renew. Rebecca attended law school at the University of Memphis and served several years as an Assistant United States Attorney. She founded a youth leadership program in Memphis called Bridge Builders, which to date has had 21,000 participants from surrounding public, private, and parochial schools. Named one of Memphis Woman Magazine's '50 Women Who Make a Difference,' she also received the Legends Award from the Women's Foundation for a Greater Memphis in 2010. A graduate of Vanderbilt University , Rebecca serves as a member of its Board of Trust and also serves on the board of directors of Baptist Memorial Health Care Corporation. She lives in Memphis with her husband and they share their time between two sons, two daughters, and nine grandchildren. For more information on this accomplished photographer, author and dedicated humanitarian, visit:  Well Seasoned: Savoring Life's Lessons   Publisher: Inspire on Purpose  ISBN # 978-0-9898008-6-0 Excerpts from five-star reviews:  "Filled with beautiful, full-color photography on almost every page, Well Seasoned: Savoring Life's Lessons, is a majestic reflection on the transient awe of life's treasured moments. Well Seasoned makes a wonderful giftbook." "The author splits life up into 20-year segments and assigns each to a season starting with summer. The photos are superb. One would think that the logical place to begin would be to have the first 20 years correspond to spring...Yet, as you read through the section on spring that corresponds to the last 20 years, the placement of the seasons makes sense. For many people, the years after 60 are a time of relative freedom... so at the end, [readers] appreciate the wisdom of making spring the last season." "With striking color photographs, all pictures are taken from the author during her travels around the world. Wilson explains her personal journey through life with summer discussing a childhood of learning to swim, celebrating the fourth of July, having pets and friends, and falling in love for the first time. In the time of autumn between ages 21 and 40, experiences concentrate on family events and memories while learning to live with changes. By wintertime starting in the 50s, dreams are re-evaluated and altered, grandchildren arrive, and marked differences are established. When spring reappears, it is a time for acceptance of the past, considering new possibilities, and cherishing the days God has given us."

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Child obesity rates 'levelling off'

The rise in childhood obesity, which has left one in three children overweight, may be beginning to level off in the under-10s, a study suggests.

  child obesity levels

The rise in childhood obesity, which has left one in three children overweight, may be beginning to level off in the under-10s, a study suggests. It found a steady rise in the proportion of overweight children in England in 1994-2003, but in the past decade it has remained at about 30%. The King's College London researchers add obesity rates among 11- to 15-year-olds are still rising, however. And Public Health England said there was no room for complacency. Experts believe that being significantly overweight is responsible for a wide range of health problems such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, some cancers and infertility. The number of obese people in the UK has more than trebled in the past 25 years. Obesity levels among children have also been rising during this period. One in three children in the UK is now overweight, while one in five is obese. But data from other sources had previously suggested that childhood obesity levels were now starting to plateau or even fall slightly. Are health messages finally working?Watch   What are the health risks of obesity?   Healthy living: How to live longer   Water 'will help cut child obesity'

 Also read additional medical news -  Bedtime 'has huge impact on sport'  Our internal body clock has such a dramatic impact on sporting ability that it could alter the chances of Olympic gold.  'Lark' or 'owl'?Watch  Body Clock: What makes you tick?   Ebola virus mutating, scientists say  Scientists at the Institut Pasteur in France who are tracking the Ebola outbreak in Guinea say the virus has mutated.  The search for a vaccineWatch   Ebola: Mapping the outbreak   Bank chief warns of pandemic threat   E. coli found in Winnipeg water   Dementia 'link' to common drugs   Double-chin jab approval sought   High cholesterol in mid-life risky   Egypt doctor 'convicted in FGM case'   Ebola vaccine 'shipped to Liberia'   Cosmetic surgery 'popularity falls'   Exercise advice is 'unrealistic'    Oxfam seeks post-Ebola Marshall Plan   Post-traumatic stress 'in 1300BC'

Nursing Home And Assisted-Living Expenses Can Decimate Retirement Savings

Seniors Need To Educate Themselves About Ways To Protect Their Nest Eggs, Financial Advisor Says

Special to The Montreal Tribune - People pondering their retirement years often conjure images of spending more time on a favorite pastime or traveling around the country or the world. Health concerns can intrude on those idyllic scenes, though, not only affecting enjoyment of life but also punching a heavy dent in retirement savings. "As we age, usually our medical or long-term care expenses increase, sometimes depleting our assets to a level of crisis," says financial advisor Jake Lowrey, president of Lowrey Financial Group, ( "It's important for retirees, and anyone planning for retirement, to become educated about what the pitfalls are and what they need to do to avoid losing their life savings." Long-term care especially can burn a hole in savings accounts. In 2012, for example, nursing home care averaged $74,800 a year, according to a report by the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. Meanwhile, assisted living facilities averaged $39,500 per year, and home-health services averaged $21 per hour. More than 10 million Americans need some sort of long-term care, the Kaiser report said. That number covers all ages, even children, but about half are people 65 and older. "Those older Americans had looked forward to enjoying their golden years," Lowrey says. "They should be able to have actual golden years instead of what can end up being scary years, both personally and financially." Certainly, being able to maintain good health is a key factor in protecting savings and making retirement enjoyable and satisfying, he says. But life doesn't always work out that way. Fortunately, there are strategies seniors can use to lessen the impact of expenses brought on by long-term care needs. Lowrey says some of those include: •  VA benefits. Military veterans may be able to offset nursing home or assisted-living expenses through benefits provided by the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs. A veteran's eligibility for long-term care services would be determined based on his or her need for ongoing treatment, personal care and assistance, as well as the availability of the service in the area where the person lives, according to the Department of Veteran Affairs. Other factors, such as financial eligibility, a service-connected disability, insurance coverage, and/or ability to pay may also come into play. •  Medicaid compliant SPIAs. A SPIA is a single-premium immediate annuity. Typically, a SPIA is a contract with an insurance company where you pay the company a sum of money up front (the premium), and the company promises to pay you a certain amount of money periodically for the rest of your life. A Medicaid compliant SPIA is a specially designed annuity that pays out over the person's "life expectancy" and has other specific characteristics. A couple who put money in a Medicaid annuity are able to avoid having the income from that annuity count against the financial assistance a spouse receives for nursing home care. •  Setting up a trust. Trusts can help shelter wealth from the look-back periods in Medicaid requirements and assist in qualifying for VA programs, among other advantages, Lowrey says. About Jake Lowrey - Jake Lowrey is a financial consultant and president of Lowery Financial Group, (, an ethical and professional firm that guides clients to retirement success, including planning for long-term care needs. As a relationship-driven organization, Lowrey and his team educate clients about the newest, most progressive retirement and long-term care planning strategies to assure a brighter financial future.

The Art of Solace - Fifteen Tips for Pushing through the Discomfort and Truly Connecting with a Chronically Ill Person
Few of us know how to act around a very sick person. And yet, what we say (and don’t say) makes a huge impact. Here are some practical skills for caregivers, family members, and anyone else who wants to make a meaningful difference in a very difficult time. By Walter St. John, Ed.D. 

Medical Words - Explained -  Do you want to know what those medical terms means at all? Like, E. coli infection   Ankylosing spondylitis   Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder   Hepatitis B or C    Schizophrenia   Click the above link and you shall find out. Keep this vital info into your note book, so,  from time to time you’d know what medical science people are a talking about. The listing is from A to Z. Check it out now! (cdb)

Milestone in medical human 'cloning'?

What's a stroke?   Stem cell stroke therapy assessed   Click here for the latest news on stroke Soy may benefit stroke patients Helping stroke patients to speak    Music 'can aid stroke recovery'  Stroke risk peaks every 12 hours   Heart drug may help threat stroke   Stroke struggle: 'They said I would never become a doctor'   Stroke patients to test sensors   What's Killing Canadians?   What's the "Marburg" Virus?  More disease cures check archives   Magnetic field 'aids coma victim'  Institute of Food Research British Nutrition Foundation   Mind power moves paralyzed limbs  Surfing the web is good for your brain   Fatty acids clue to Alzheimer's Western diet 'raises heart risk'    Drug may reverse MS brain damage  'One-stop' embryo test unveiled  Purple tomato 'may boost health'   Lithium tested for impact on Motor Neurone Disease  What is motor neurone disease?    Cancer genetic blueprint revealed    

The Seven Medical Beliefs that's not true  Medical myths 'debunked'   Survey shows contraception myths    TV ad 'busts heart attack myth'    'Medical myths' exposed as untrue Drink at least eight glasses of water a day     We use only 10% of our brains    Hair and fingernails continue to grow after death    Reading in dim light ruins your eyesight    Shaving causes hair to grow back faster or coarser    Mobile phones are dangerous in hospitals    Eating turkey makes people especially drowsy.

It's Just A Question ©
By Conrad David Brillantes

Seriously, ask me!: Got a question? Anything in mind that bothers you because no one seems to listen? Send them in and I will try to find the answers. Your name will be kept confidential if requested, and no one will ever know.

The Montreal Tribune and its publishers are not responsible for all contents in this section. All Rights reserved. Copyright 2007 Conrad David Brillantes. All Questions or inquiries submitted are not edited...posted as they are received. Question: Why on earth the Separatist government of  the late Rene Levesque created the language law known as Bill 101? Answer: Actually, Robert Bourassa, Quebec Premier then started the controversial language law (Bill 22) which was duplicated and made it more complicated by government of Levesque. Note that Bill 101 was declared not valid by the Supreme Court of Canada but because of the veto option given to all provinces under the unfinished Canada constitution headed by Brian Mulroney, precipitated when Pierre Trudeau, prime minister of the day brought home the BNA (British North America Act - Canadian Constitution) to Canada, Quebec was able to maintain the law (Bill 101) ...  

Bringing back the glory that of Montreal

Everything is irrelevant when talks about making Montreal a solvent city again without considering lowering of taxes, especially on commercial, as well as private properties and most of all changing the language law, in permitting the free use of English in business. Otherwise, the city will run out of energy to support its existence. Everything that started good fifty years ago to becoming the most economically stable cities in the world had been taken down by the hatred sentiment of the so called nationalists who basically put a great number of residents in poverty mostly composed of the French Speaking Quebecois. And hey,  labor unions played most of the problem. Look around commercial areas and you'd see the gloomy picture of the city and that of the suburbs, plus the more than 30,000 homeless people in the city. Speak up people! cdb  

The day the economic dim light hits Montreal

Looking back at 40 years of French as Quebec's official language

The passage of Bill 22 in 1974 may have been in response to language tensions in St-Léonard, a predominantly Italian-immigrant neighbourhood in Montreal . However, it fanned the flames between Anglos and Francos, leading to what is arguably Quebec 's most hotly debated piece of legislation ever: Bill 101. (Radio-Canada archives)  On July 31, 1974 — exactly 40 years ago — French became the only official language in Quebec . A war of words and principles raged between anglophones and francophones at the time. Anglophones fought to preserve their rights while more and more French-speaking Quebecers lobbied for better protection of their language, particularly with regard to the francization of immigrants. That edict, introduced by Robert Bourassa and his Liberal government, was meant to remove any ambiguity about language in the province. It was known as Bill 22, the precursor to Bill 101 that came three years later. “The 1960s were a time of major changes in Quebec , like elsewhere around the world. Here, we became aware of some gaps in the protection of the French language,” said Office québécois de la langue française spokesman Jean-Pierre Le Blanc. Groundwork on bills 22 and 101 was laid during the Quiet Revolution of the 1960s. The Parti Québécois was created in 1968 amid the language turmoil; a year later, the Union Nationale government led by Jean-Jacques Bertrand adopted Bill 63, which would go on to become An Act to promote the French language in Québec. St-Léonard Conflict The flames of language debates in the province were stoked by what has come to be known as the St-Léonard Conflict, which came to a head in 1968. The conflict began when an act was passed to phase out English instruction from schools in the predominantly Italian-immigrant neighbourhood. Bill 63 was passed in 1969 as an attempt to smooth out thorny relations between Montreal ’s Italian community, the province and Quebec francophones. That law had provisions promoting French in education, including offering French courses to new immigrants. It also permitted parents to choose whether their children received English or French instruction. That law was superseded by Bill 22. FROM THE ARCHIVES | Riots in St-Léonard

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A what? A $15 per hour minimum wage? For Quebec it's bad news for business - Montreal is already bankrupt. Given another 10 years, half of the city is going to be deserted, yes, just like Detroit ...Government should create a commission composed of business and economics students headed by professors to find out how the province can get out from it's present economic predicament.

What happens in a US debt default?

Bills, bills, bills: how does the US government pay its debt?

20 dollar bills and hand

By Kim Gittleson BBC business reporter, New York

What is a US debt default?  At its most basic level, a default is when a person or an entity cannot repay a debt on time. For instance, when a person can't make a payment on a mortgage or a car loan. When a country does this, it's known as a sovereign default. This is when the country cannot repay its debt, which typically takes the form of bonds. So if the US were to default, it would essentially stop paying the money it owed US Treasury bond holders. A quick refresher: the US government spends more money than it collects in taxes. So to make up the shortfall, it raises funds by asking investors to buy US Treasury bonds. Investors, such as the Chinese government and pension funds, do this because these bonds are seen as a safe place to invest money. What are the consequences of a US default? No one really knows exactly what would happen, but the likelihood is that markets around the world would plunge and global interest rates would rise. This is because if the US government could not repay the money it owed bondholders, the value of the bonds would decrease. And the yield - the return the government pays to an investor - would rise. This is because it would be perceived as a less safe investment. This would prompt interest rates around the world, which are often tied to those of US Treasuries, to spike. Furthermore, the impact on the US 's creditors could be dire. Japan , for instance, owns about $1.14 trillion of US debt - which is equivalent to 20% of its annual economic output. In the US , Goldman Sachs estimates that $175bn would immediately be withdrawn from the US economy and it could lead to a very deep recession. Top 5 foreign holders of US debt :   Mainland China $1,27 Trillion  *  Japan $1.4 Trillion  *   Caribbean banking centres: Bahamas , Bermuda , Cayman Islands and others $287 Billion  *  Oil exporters: Venezuela , Iran , Iraq , Kuwait , Oman , Qatar , Saudi Arabia and others $257 Billion  *  Brazil $256 Billion  *   SOURCE: US TREASURY     Will the Fed get back to normal?   How bad are US debt levels?   Q&A: What is the debt ceiling? 

Do you agree or you don't agree on the "The consequences of a US default"? Our editor an economist don't agree, saying it instead a clever manipulation on the protection of the dollar, instead of just printing them. Why? Go ask him at

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  Forger jailed for bogus paintings   Munch's The Scream sold for $120 million

Are you interested to own this Bauer Painting?

Bauer Painting - 34" Height X 24" Width - Open Bidding at US$100,000 is required (  

Georgia O'Keeffe work sets female art record

A floral painting by late US artist Georgia O'Keeffe sells for $44.4m (£28.8m) at auction, setting a record for an artwork by a female artist.

Jimson Weed/White Flower No 1 by Georgia O'Keefe

Georgia O'Keeffe painted the simple white blossom of a weed

The piece smashes the previous record of $11.9m (£7.5m) for an untitled work by Joan Mitchell, set in May. Sotheby's in New York said the $15m (£9.5m) estimate on O'Keeffe's work was shattered after an intense bidding war between two rivals. The art auction record is $142.4m (£90.8m) for a Francis Bacon piece. The British artist's triptych, Three Studies of Lucien Freud, was sold at auction last year. O'Keeffe, who died in 1986 at the age of 98, was celebrated for her large-format depictions of flowers which she painted as if they had been seen in close-up. Her Jimson Weed/White Flower No 1 smashed her previous best of $6.2m (£3.9m) set in 2001, and was one of three works which were placed in the sale. It was offered at auction by the O'Keeffe Museum in Santa Fe , New Mexico , which holds a large body of the artist's works. The proceeds of the sale will be put towards the museum's acquisitions funds. Andy Warhol's Elvis sells for $82m  Manet £40m sale beats artist's record

Van Gogh's poppies sells for $61.8m

A floral masterpiece by Vincent van Gogh, painted in the closing stages of his life, sells in New York for $61.8m (£38.7m).

Still Life, Vase with Daisies, and Poppies by Vincent Van Gogh

Van Gogh's striking canvas is dominated by the red of the poppies

A floral masterpiece by Vincent van Gogh, painted in the closing stages of his life, has sold in New York for $61.8m (£38.7m). Still Life, Vase with Daisies, and Poppies exceeded its estimate of up to $50m (£31.3m) at the Sotheby's auction. A 1951 piece by Swiss sculptor Alberto Giacometti fetched more than $100m (£62.7m), but fell just short of the record $104.3m (£65.3m) for the artist. A sculpture by Amedeo Modigliani set a new benchmark for his work. Tete, an elongated head created in 1911-12 from a block of limestone scavenged from a Paris building site, was sold for more than $70m (£44.2m). Van Gogh's painting was created at the French home of his doctor just months before his death in 1890 and was one of the few works he sold during his lifetime. But it fell far short of the auction record for a piece by the Dutch artist, which stands at $82.5m (£51.6m). Sotheby's said the painting was bought by a private bidder from Asia . Portrait of Dr Gachet - the physician whose flowers he captured in this latest work to sell - went under the hammer for a record in 1990.

Manet £40m sale beats artist's record

A celebrated portrait of a Parisian actress by Edouard Manet sets a new auction record for the French impressionist.

Le Printemps (Spring), Edouard Manet

French actress Jeanne Demarsy is cast as an allegory of Spring

A portrait of a Parisian actress by Edouard Manet has set a new auction record for the French impressionist. Spring sold at Christie's in New York for $65 million (£40.6m), almost doubling the previous record of $33.2 million (£20.7m) for a work by Manet. The oil painting, which has been owned by the same family for more than 100 years, depicts actress Jeanne Demarsy in a floral dress and bonnet. The 1881 masterpiece had been estimated to sell for up to $35 million (£21.9m). The allegorical painting has been on loan to Washington 's National Gallery of Art for the past 20 years. It was intended to be one of a series of four paintings, but Manet only completed Spring and Autumn before his death in 1883, aged 51. Snicket books to become TV series   Arterton praises 'Dagenham ladies'

Swiss museum to accept 'Nazi art'

  Switzerland 's Bern Art Museum has agreed to accept hundreds of artworks bequeathed by German Nazi-era art hoarder Cornelius Gurlitt. Many of the works are expected to remain in Germany until their rightful owners can be identified. Mr Gurlitt, the son of Adolf Hitler's art dealer, amassed a priceless collection of works, including pieces by Picasso and Monet. He died in May aged 81 with the Bern museum named his "sole heir". The Bavarian authorities seized some 1,280 artworks from his Munich flat as part of a tax evasion probe in February 2012. The find, which was not made public until November last year, has triggered legal disputes surrounding works taken illegally by the Nazis. In pictures: Gurlitt art hoard   One lonely man and his hoard of Nazi art   The unfinished art business of World War Two

Germany to release confiscated art   -   Owner gives up on 'Chagall' painting    Stolen Rembrandt found 15 years on

Matisse's Femme Assise  Chagall Painting  Rembrandt's painting Child with a Soap Bubble

A 17th Century painting by Dutch master Rembrandt is recovered in France , 15 years after it was stolen. - The painting measures 60cm by 49cm and was said to be in a good condition

A 17th Century painting by Dutch master Rembrandt has been recovered in France , 15 years after it was stolen. L'enfant a la bulle de savon (Child with soap bubble), valued at 3.2m euros (£2.7m), was taken from a museum in the southern city of Draguignan in 1999. Two men were arrested in Nice on Tuesday, according to the Agence France Presse (AFP) news agency. Police said they received information that a transaction was due to take place in a hotel the following day. The men, aged 46 and 53, one of whom was described as a former insurer, appeared in court in Nice on Thursday, AFP said. They were reported to be known to police for previous petty crimes. Police are still looking for other suspects.

Anyone looking for these paintings?

  Madame Leon Clapisson, 1883

Accepting Open bidding for the "Flower"  (left)

Monet and Picasso among art theft    Scientists recapture Renoir's reds

Paintings by artists including Picasso, Matisse, Monet, Gauguin and Freud have been stolen from a museum in Rotterdam . Police in the Netherlands said the works were taken from the Kunsthal Museum early on Tuesday morning. The museum is showing works from the Triton Foundation as part of its 20th anniversary celebrations. The paintings include Monet's Waterloo Bridge , Picasso's Tete d'Arlequin, Matisse's La Liseuse en Blanc et Jaune and Freud's Woman with Eyes Closed.  Monet water lilies sells for $43 million    Monet artwork bequeathed by reclusive heiress  "Madame Leon Clapisson": The visualization (right) is produced using advanced image processing software - Conservation scientists in Chicago produce a stunning visualization of how they think a Renoir painting might have looked before its colors faded. Researchers in Chicago have produced a visualization of how they think a Renoir could have looked before its colors faded. The picture of Madame Valentine Clapisson was painted by the great French Impressionist more than 130 years ago. The original's impact has been degraded and dulled by the action of light. But by using the latest analytical tools, conservators have been able to recover a sense of Renoir's rich reds."When we first brought this picture into the conservation studio for examination and removed the frame, we noticed that at the top and at the left-hand side there was a sliver of very intense colour," recalls Dr Francesca Casadio from The Art Institute of Chicago. "This tipped us off to the fact that the mood of this painting that is now pretty cool and restrained with light purples and blues was once far more vibrant," she told BBC News.

Bankruptcy may not be the answer

Did you borrow too much money and now cannot afford to pay creditors anymore? There are so many con artists or scammers that will tell you that they can wipe your record clean if you pay them for their service... This is not true... no one can clean your record but yourself. But before filing bankruptcy, check with us... There's nothing to pay (us). Definitely nothing to pay... it's a free service to everyone if you live in Quebec. Contact us for  assistance. All inquiries are strictly  treated confidential. Your name will never be passed around,  Or Check directly with the provincial court if you want to do it yourself by logging on to Quebec Government Justice

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Check criminal records of online daters, experts say       Hard to check criminal records of others    Online dating client check debate grows 

Buying a used car in Quebec? Check it out first, it could be owned by someone else!

Important note if you have a Bank Card: If you are forced by anyone to withdraw cash from ATM machine, do not resist for your safety, enter your PIN number backward or reverse... say your number is 1234, then enter 4321. Do not worry, the machine will give you the cash but automatically alert the police. Pass this on to anyone you know. This was shown on National TV but never repeated again. Anyway, now you know. Also, if  someone calls to tell you that he is from the bank investigating about a charge in your credit card, hang up and if you want to know why they phoned, call your branch to verify. That's it and if you want to read more scams click the above link.


Pass this on to people wishing to immigrate to the best country in the world. Apply directly! You don't have to pay any consultants ...It's FREE! Avoid dealing with con artists and scammers; they are all around the world advertising their schemes… Canadian Immigration officers are gentle public servants and not arrogant.. Not like what you would experience from the mightiest country in the world (as they say) ... so, don’t be scared of them. Visit the Canadian government website… it's the Canadian flag that's seen on the top side of this site, click that and when you see search… type immigration, then send your request for application, if not, visit the nearest Canadian consulate in your region and while you are already there check the jobs and list of professions that Canadian employers are looking for.  If you still have anything else to ask e-mail the editor. Meantime Click here for the New Canada Citizenship Study Guide

Are you in the Fashion industry?    

Lots of restrictions has been amended on imports...sell your products and services directly to Canadian Buyers, here’s  our  Previous Issue of Canadian Fashion & Textile Buyers Guide, you can down load it for free but if you want  the NEW and  up-dated version  place your order now, it's US$50 per copy payable by money order or credit card. also don’t forget to inquire about the Industry Textile Book known as The Shmata Business, used world-wide by manufacturers, designers, teachers and students, priced at US$50 per copy.

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Thousands of films or motion pictures and musical recordings are produced every month and the most that reach market are less than 10%. So how do you find a way to the very complicated market of this industry? Get help or assistance from a trader that knows how it works. If you are or a company that’s in this situation, give us a shout by forwarding your e-mail to TPI Communications

Humor Anyone?

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Worked hard  and got successful?  Let's record the time of your life. If you want to document your experience but didn't have time to write, have a professional do it for you. Your story might have a great commercial value for a book or even a movie. All inquiries are treated confidential. Contact TPI Communications.

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