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The business of selling war machines

David Innis doesn't seem like a bad guy.

He's got a warm red face, a half decent tie and wants to bring investment and jobs to New Brunswick.

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Canada complicit in Haiti violence

Does the Canadian-promoted “Responsibility to Protect” doctrine include murder, rape and threats of violence? That's the question we should be asking Canadian officials after a study in the prestigious Lancet medical journal released at the end of August revealed there were 8,000 murders, 35,000 rapes and thousands of incidents of armed threats in the 22 months after the overthrow of the elected government in Haiti.

In September 2000, Canada launched the International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty.

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Canadians bearing brunt of coalition casualties

Canadian Forces are incurring a disproportionately heavy burden of casualties among coalition forces in Afghanistan, says Canada's Fallen, a report released today — on a day when four more Canadians have died in a suicide attack — by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives.

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Would that be work to live, or live to work?

Time for a pop quiz. Who is more efficient, the Americans or the French?

Obviously, it must be the Americans. They spend more time at work than the citizens of any other industrial country. And they have the GDP to show for it: $37,500 (U.S.) for every American. That's 35 per cent more than the French (at $27,700 per capita).

But hang on. The average employee in France spends less time on the job than workers in any other country in the industrialized world.

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Rednecks and realists in Australia

Melbourne — Australian Prime Minister John Howard has been the Houdini of politics. He repeatedly gets into tight places, always managing to escape. This month, however, he suffered the most significant defeat of his decade in power. His government had to withdraw proposed new anti-refugee legislation after two Senators from his own side refused to support it.

The bill was targeted at refugees arriving by boat, mainly from Indonesian-controlled West Papua (where independence activists are regularly persecuted by Indonesian police).

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Our squeamishness over world's greatest plague

A group of activists caught some attention at last week's AIDS conference in Toronto by protesting that the attention was too much on “celebrities” — Bill Gates, Bill Clinton, Richard Gere — rather than on the specifics of the disease and its effects.

Activists are always making a fuss, but I must admit that as I sought to make sense of the conference, the thought had already crossed my mind that the exercise is far more about “us” — the dominant people of the Earth — than about “them” — the afflicted.

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Dr. Day's election a disappointment

The election of Dr. Brian Day as president of the Canadian Medical Association must become a catalyst for a renewed campaign to support the gains of public medicare, says the Ontario Health Coalition.

“The choice of the delegates is an unfortunate one for the majority of patients in Canada,” said Natalie Mehra, director of the Ontario Health Coalition. “Brian Day has spent years advocating for the dismantling of the public health system through privatization and the de-listing of health services. These are not innovative ideas.

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The challenge facing Canada's doctors

This week at their annual meeting in Charlottetown, Canadian Medical Association delegates will be asked to make crucial decisions that will affect the future of health care in Canada.

The Council of Canadians, Canada's largest citizens' advocacy organization, has never intervened at a Canadian Medical Association (CMA) meeting before, but this time is different. This time the CMA is considering electing Dr. Brian Day as its next president.

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How green is my machine? The $100 laptop

In December 2005, UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan announced with great fanfare a project to close the so-called digital gap between the children of rich and poor countries.

The way to do it, he declared, is via a small but powerful $100 laptop designed for school-age children in the Majority World. It's an initiative developed by a U.S. organization called One Laptop per Child (OLPC), and the brain-child of computer-booster Nicholas Negroponte.

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When 'boo' sends a powerful message

Montreal was recently in the hearts of several thousand LGBT activists and athletes but also, on the minds of politicians — especially one who was loudly boo-ed by an entire stadium!

Québec's largest city hosted the first ever OutGames, a second LGBT “Olympics” which drew over 12,000 athletes.

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