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Thursday June 19, 2008

Father doesn't know best, court rules in girl's fight to get grounding overruled

First, the father banned his 12-year-old daughter from going online after she posted photos of herself on a dating site. Then she allegedly had a row with her stepmother, so the father said his girl couldn't go on a school trip.

Mandatory sentences blamed for boom in cost of prisons

Imposing mandatory minimum prison terms on criminal offenders is adding approximately $80-million per year to the price of justice, says an Ontario judge privy to correctional statistics and projections.

Pipeline opens new front in Afghan war

Afghanistan and three of its neighbouring countries have agreed to build a $7.6-billion (U.S.) pipeline that would deliver natural gas from Turkmenistan to energy-starved Pakistan and India - a project running right through the volatile Kandahar province - raising questions about what role Canadian Forces may play in defending the project.

Report on Business 

Coal's high price fuels a new ball game

Seven months ago, junior miner Western Canadian Coal Corp. was on the brink of insolvency, worth just $60-million on the Toronto Stock Exchange as it admitted it was rapidly running out of cash.

SEC poised to review foreign broker rules

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission could thrash out within days new rules making it easier for foreign brokers to do business in the United States, a SEC commissioner said yesterday.

Death knell sounds for CDs

The compact disc has less than three years left in its reign atop the music industry in Canada, with new data on music sales indicating the download will officially be king by 2011.

Watchdog says Net regulation must be addressed

The head of Canada's Competition Bureau says policy makers are finally going to have to address the thorny question of regulating the Internet, as converging communications and media change consumer expectations and behaviour.

U.S. futures brokerage probed over BMO trades

One of the world's biggest futures and options brokers has been swept up in an investigation that is focused on trades at the Bank of Montreal, demonstrating that the saga stemming from BMO's energy trading losses is not over yet.

Globe Sports 

Buono remains mum about QB

The competition to become the B.C. Lions' starting quarterback is lasting so long that we're now into Hillary versus Barack territory.For the past two-plus weeks, and one Canadian Football League exhibition game, Buck Pierce and Jarious Jackson have battled to take the reins for the regular-season opener next week in Calgary. Not much has separated the contenders and, according to Lions general manager and head coach Wally Buono, the competition will not end tonight in the exhibition finale against the Stampeders at B.C. Place Stadium.

Toronto loses fourth in a row

A new day, a new game, a little bit of offence, same old result.That just about sums up the night for the Toronto Blue Jays who, despite displaying enough of a pulse to convince some skeptics they are still breathing, still fell to the Milwaukee Brewers, 5-4, at Miller Park last night.


Vancouver CanucksFirst pick: 10th overallNumber of picks: Five. Former general manager Dave Nonis dealt Vancouver's third- and fourth-round selections, meaning new GM Mike Gillis has no picks between 41st and 131st. The 71st selection belongs to Anaheim. It was moved to the Ducks in 2005 along with coach Randy Carlyle. The 101st pick went to the Los Angeles Kings in a 2007 deal for defenceman Brent Sopel.

Lightning will select Stamkos, but not ready to hire new coach

Tampa Bay Lightning general manager Jay Feaster confirmed that his club will select Steven Stamkos first overall at the NHL entry draft tomorrow, but revealed his team won't hire a coach until the new ownership group finalizes its deal to purchase the Lightning.

Moreno thrust into leadership role

A year ago at this time, Hamilton's Zeke Moreno was just one more CFL rookie hoping to earn a job.Now, in just his second season in the CFL, the Tiger-Cats middle linebacker finds himself quickly thrust into a leadership role on defence that is rebuilding not just its personnel, but its identity.

Globe Life 

Even at the top of the news game, times haven't really changed

When NBC Meet the Press moderator Tim Russert collapsed and died suddenly at the age of 58 last week, one of the most poignant comments came from broadcast diva Barbara Walters, who wondered during an interview with NBC whether it was the stress and the strain of the job itself that killed Mr. Russert: ''Maybe we blame this whole business - was he too tired? Did he travel too much? Was this stress? Is this business, in its own way, a killer?''

Weight-loss surgery may cut cancer risk

Obese patients who undergo stomach surgery to lose weight may reduce their risk of developing some cancers by as much as 80 per cent, according to a study by Canadian researchers that provides new evidence eating less could play a critical role in warding off the disease.

Sexy time, all the time

If you want to get in shape, it goes without saying you should exercise regularly.To become a proficient musician or golfer, practise makes perfect.But when it comes to sex, is repetition really the path to success?

Portrait of a couch potato: young, male and obese

Canada's couch potatoes come from two different worlds. The biggest television watchers are typically single, unemployed high-school dropouts who probably live in the country, according to a new Statistics Canada report that provides a snapshot of screen time among adults. Most are over 75 years old.

Exodus of Alberta's public health leaders reveals a sad reality

In the coming weeks, Alberta will lose its top public health officials. The contracts of Karen Grimsrud, the acting provincial health officer, Gloria Keays, the deputy provincial health officer, and Ameet Singh, a consultant on infectious disease, are not being renewed. (A fourth senior official, Shainoor Virani, left earlier in the year.)

Globe Review 


ART and MUSEUMSRoyal Ontario MuseumAny thieves roaming about are probably more interested in the invaluable content inside the museum (stunning Wedgewood ceramics to July 5, for example), but you can feel secure locking your two-wheeler to one of the artsy new bicycle racks outside. $14 to $20. 100 Queen's Park Cres.,

'The Holy Grail of archival collections'

Pick a momentous event in the history of the Canadian West, from the Gold Rush to the building of the railway to the Red River uprisings, and Sir Sam Steele was there, like a law-enforcing Zelig. Now, one of the country's most famous Mounties is finally coming home, or at least his journals, letters, sword and uniform are.

Toronto guys bring Jersey Boys home

The boys are back in town, and they've brought with them the story of four musical giants from New Jersey, a story audiences around the world can't take their eyes off.

We just love to suffer for our trendiness

The curious thing about fashionable restaurants is that their very popularity makes them less pleasant. The same applies to opening-night movies and band-of-the-moment concerts; novelty almost always involves discomfort. I went to a new restaurant last weekend, inspired by the praise of magazines and acquaintances, and unpleasantly conscious of having become that kind of Torontonian who is eager and excited to taste the newest culinary excess. (Honestly, conversations about food here are nearly as boring as conversations about real estate, and there's a kind of person who can only veer between the two; I swear I am not one of those.)

Introducing the new kid on the block

A new chapter and perhaps a new era in the country's secondary art market kicks off tonight in Toronto with the first live auction of significant Canadian art by Bonhams, the world's third-largest auction house after Christie's and Sotheby's.


Out of proportion to the threats

Six months after an independent watchdog urged the RCMP to tweak its policy on taser use, and was immediately told to buzz off, here is that same watchdog, Paul Kennedy, back with the same timorous, irrelevant proposal.

Just say no

Nobody relishes the idea of men or women under the influence of drugs or alcohol operating buses, subways or other public-transit vehicles. But the notion of trampling over Canadians' civil liberties, as the Toronto Transit Commission is considering doing in response to one or two apparently isolated incidents, is no more appealing.

Scrimping on memory

The federal government's decision to withhold funding for the Dominion Institute's acclaimed program that brings veterans into classrooms to talk about their wartime experiences is inexplicable, indeed bizarre. The Institute may now have to radically scale back its Memory Project Speakers' Bureau, a highly successful program that provides 1,500 aging veterans with the means to talk with upwards of 175,000 kids each school year. Tens of thousands of children could miss the opportunity to learn from veterans about Canada's proud military history.


Don't bully the Irish - just fix it so the EU speaks with one voice

After the Irish No vote, the question Europe faces is: Does Germany really want to remain in this European Union? Yes, Germany.I write as someone who thinks the EU needs the institutional reforms in the Lisbon Treaty and regrets that a majority of Irish voters rejected it - from a gallimaufry of motives, it seems, some having little to do with the real content of the treaty. But I was shocked by initial reactions from the German foreign and interior ministers, the tone and implication of which was: Silly little Irish voters, go away and come back with the right answer. Or we Germans, French and other good Europeans will go ahead on our own, in a ''core Europe.''

For the Conservatives, McCain's timing could be better

In coming to speak in Ottawa tomorrow, John McCain is only doing what most smart politicians would do. He's taking advantage of a splendid opportunity presented him by the free-trade debate and the controversy over the leaked Canadian memo.

Meet Vancouver's next mayor

The next mayor of Vancouver is a bicycle-riding environmentalist who is super fit, loves the outdoors and has a passion for social justice. In his hippie phase, he went back to the land, became a farmer and grew organic produce. City councillor Peter Ladner winces at this list of typical West Coast cliches. Ruefully, he admits they're all true. The trouble is, they're also true of his opponent, Gregor Robertson. One or the other is going to be elected Vancouver's Olympics mayor this fall (unless Carole Taylor, who says she's not running, changes her mind).

We don't just want the best

Every Canadian generation seems destined to face the same excruciating decision: Should we search the world for workers or for citizens?Since the 1960s, the standard answer has been that Canada's immigration policy is about choosing citizens. People from around the world compete for 260,000 spots annually and are chosen through a points scheme that ranks their abilities to fit into the Canadian way of life. After three years of on-the-job training, they can become citizens.


'People couldn't say no' to department-store president

For close to half a century, Harry Levine was head of what was once considered the largest family-owned department store east of Montreal. But it was his charitable work where he felt his true calling.


Mary Anne Cree of Toronto writes about James Reaney, whose obituary appeared Friday.


Tony Schwartz, who helped create the infamous ''Daisy'' commercial that ran only once during the 1964 U.S. presidential race but changed political advertising forever, died Sunday. He was 84.


David Mitton, a director and screenwriter who adapted the children's favourite Thomas the Tank Engine for television, died May 16 of heart failure. He was 69.Born in Scotland, in 1939, he served in the Royal Air Force before starting a career in children's television in the early 1960s. In 1984, he directed a pilot for a show based on Rev. Wilbert Vere Awdry's stories about Thomas, a plucky blue train engine, and his locomotive friends. The show became an international hit and, later, a marketing phenomenon. Mr. Mitton went on to direct more than 180 episodes, many of which he wrote.


I do not regret this journey, which has shown that Englishmen can endure hardship ... and meet a death with as great a fortitude as ever in the past.Robert Falcon Scott 1862-1912

Globe Real Estate 

Court tosses out injunction barring property sale

The Federal Court of Appeal has struck down an injunction preventing the sale of two government buildings in downtown Vancouver that are part of a disputed land claim by the Musqueam Indian Band.

Uplifting bin's empty, so here's my bummed-out list

We would like nothing more than to serve up a column chock full of uplifting tidbits about the economy and financial markets. After all, there are enough bad things going on in the world, right?


Why bad boys get girls

The bad boys get more girls. You always suspected it was true and now a psychological study backs it up.Research done by Peter Jonason at New Mexico State University says it's all to do with the ''dark triad'' - a trio of otherwise negative characteristics combining the narcissist's sense of entitlement, the non-clinical psychopath's high impulsivity and thrill-seeking nature, and the manipulative skills of Machiavellianism.

Study finds start pistol causes unfair advantage

It's a sport where a fraction of a second can mean waving from the podium or going home empty-handed, and new research suggests the pistol that sets its gears in motion tends to pick favourites.


Delayed funding decision threatens veterans' visits to schools

The head of a national program that places war vets in classrooms is warning that schools may be out of luck this Remembrance Day because of federal foot dragging.The Memory Project Speakers Bureau, run by the Dominion Institute, keeps track of more than 1,500 veteran volunteers and places them in schools.

N.B. firm on stopping early immersion programs

The New Brunswick government is standing firm on its decision to overhaul French education in the province, despite calls for delays and the Education Minister's resignation.Education Minister Kelly Lamrock, under fire for scrapping the popular early French immersion program, turned aside requests yesterday for another year of public consultation on the controversial move.

Aboriginals and the 3 R's

Tom Flanagan's article is specious, misleading and ignores a number of crucial issues in regard to the residential school experience itself, and aboriginal education in general. The article minimizes the devastating physical, sexual and cultural abuses to which generations of aboriginal children were exposed and suggests that perhaps the residential schools - in spite of the massive damage they inflicted on students and families - were perhaps the least worst educational alternative at the time.

Aboriginals and the 3 R's

After all the emotionally-charged coverage of the government's apology to former students of native residential schools, Tom Flanagan's article (The Worst Choice - Except For All The Others - June 18) comes as a refreshing breeze of rational thought.

Teacher who criticized shoddy schools detained

A retired Chinese schoolteacher who criticized the construction of schools that collapsed in last month's powerful earthquake has been detained, a Hong Kong-based human-rights organization said yesterday.


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