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A Successful Demonstration is held in front of Israeli Consulate in Toronto

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MefthiNews: Torontos East African community held a popular demonstration on January 22nd in front of Israeli consulate in solidarity with African

Refugees in Israel. Freedom4Refugees, an Israeli human rights group urged the public for a mass

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Demonstration In Solidarity With African Refugees in Israel Held San Francisco

A Successful Demonstration In Solidarity With African Refugees in Israel Held San Francisco. January 22nd, 2014 (San Francisco, Ca) January 22nd, 2012, several Eritreans and friends of Eritreans from various backgrounds poured out of mostly North Californian cities and merged into the intersection of Market and Montgomery at 10 in the morning. The corner that was designated for this rendezvous was quickly graced by determined people with positive energy and a San Francisco weather that generously lent its delightful sunshine. The organizers of DaEro Bay Area distributed the banners, flags and slogans as well as directions. Upon concluding its preparations at 11:00 am, the crowd was escorted by the accommodating SFPD police officers and were lead, chanting their slogans with fervor, to the doorsteps of the General Consulate of Israel. As the crowd marched through the main streets, there were curious individuals to whom we were able to efficiently and clearly convey our cause through the slogans that were sprawled on the banners, the chants that reverberated through the streets and the flyers that were distributed. Once the crowd reached the designated area in front of the Consulate, utilizing multiple megaphones, it passionately continued to chant the pertinent messages in front of the office and at the surrounding areas. The messages were conveyed for over an hour and a half in English, Arabic, Tigrigna and Hebrew. The details of the messages conveyed as well as the chants will follow; but to briefly state the realities of our brothers and sisters in Israel: at this moment, there are over 56,000 African refugees; from which 36,000 are Eritreans. When they made their journey to Israel, it is with the intent and hope that their human rights and dignity will be safeguarded and respected. However, the horrendous reality they are currently forced to deal with is one that defiles the realms of ones conscience and rejects their rights as refugees. They have not ceased from conducting their demonstrations and since they have not found the kind of attention their unjust reality deserves, human rights advocates and activists everywhere have engaged in a determined initiative to stand on their behalf. The Bay Area activists and seekers of justice have stood to contribute their part in this cause and this is the reason the demonstration was held.

Raj Sekhon





TIME: 7:00PM,SATURDAYFEBRUARY22,2014 LOCATION: HamptonInnTorontoAirportCorporateCentre 5515EglintonAvenueWest,Toronto,ONM9C5K5 CALLTOREGISTER: 18666029555or4167439222 2014TORONTOSEMINARDATES: February22,2014|June21,2014|October25,2014

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A Successful Demonstration . . .
From page 1
demonstrations on January 22nd in solidarity with asylum seekers in Israel. A Toronto based grass-root movement No One Is Illegal and the Eritrean Canadian activists, organized the demonstration in support of the justice seekers. The demonstrators dared the freezing weather and stood in front of the Israeli consulate to chant their slogans. Respect Human Right! We are all refugees, Freedom Yes, Prinson No. They also reminded the State of Israel was one of the first to sign the Refugee Convention, and if it does not intend to respect the refugee convention, they asked to transfer the treatment of asylum requests to the UNHCR. They demanded: Cancel the new amendment to the antiinfiltration law; stop all arrests; and release all asylum seekers and refugees. Check individual asylum claims in a fair and transparent way, according to international standards. Start respecting the human rights of refugees, including social rights, health and welfare. There are over 56,000 African refugees in Israel. 36,000 are Eritreans. They made their journey to Israel, hoping that their human rights and dignity will be respected.

UN Human Rights Council Technical Team Visiting Eritrea

A technical team from the United Nations Office of High Commissioner for Human Rights is currently visiting Eritrea prior to the eighteenth session of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) that is to be held in Geneva from 27 January to 7 February. During their stay, the team will have a series of meetings with several government officials, diplomats, UN Country Team in Asmara, as well as a steering committee that consists of representatives from various government ministries and Civil Society organizations. The team will also access the improvement of the human rights situation on the ground as well as fulfillment of the States human rights obligations and commitments. Eritrea is actively engaging the Human Rights Council including under the Universal Periodic Review Mechanism with the aim of exploring areas of cooperation in the consolidation of human right in Eritrea. It is already working on the implementation of the recommendations it accepted in the first UPR cycle. Fourteen countries including Eritrea are scheduled this week to have their human rights records examined under the UPR mechanism. States under Review are expected to spell out the steps they have taken to implement accepted recommendations posed to them during their first review. Eritrea already submitted its second national report (see below) to the Human Rights Council Working Group and expected to be reviewed this week. Eritrea objects the use of human rights as a tool for political pressure. It rejects the appointment and mandate of the Special Rapporteur while it is engaging the human rights council in the UPR process. The government also criticizes Special Rapporteur Sheila Keetharuth for her lack of impartiality, objectivity, transparency and professionalism in compiling her report on human right situation in Eritrea. Her report always reflects the one-sided allegations and accusations from the same and questionable sources while it systematically avoid reflecting the views of the majority of the people. Even without the cooperation of the government of Eritrea, Special Rapporteur Sheila Keetharuth could have easily verified the one-sided accusations forwarded to her by approaching to some of the over 300 Eritrean diaspora communities that represent nearly 99% of the diaspora population. The UN Human Rights Council was mandated to by the General Assembly resolution 60/251 to undertake universal periodic review based on objective and reliable information with full involvement of the country concerned. Special Rapporteurs methodology and report is therefore in violation of the said resolution in its entirety.

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Eritreans Stranded in Indonesia

Eritrean refugees en route to Australia are stranded in Indonesia after their smugglers abandoned them when they learned Australian coast guard had intensified patrol of the seas. The Eritreans, who originated from Ethiopia, Sudan and Saudi Arabia, are mostly youth escaping National Service, the mandatory military service which was originally designed as an 18-month service but has been extended for indefinite period of time. Reached by telephone, the refugees said that some of them carry several wounds from the EritreaEthiopia wars. Asked to account for all the Eritreans who were on the boat, they provide the following information: At least five of the Eritrean refugees drowned in the

Demonstration In Solidarity . . .
From page 3
When the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was signed and ratified by the United Nations on April 10th, 1948, it was with the unambiguous and resolute intent that the horrific persecution the Jewish people faced in the brutal grips of the brutal Nazi, will never happen again. It is a declaration that Israel, as a UN member, is unequivocally obligated to abide by. It is then disheartening that the law that is meant to protect people from persecution is violated by Israel. Thus, the fundamental theme of our march is for Israel to respect the law that was passed by the UN by respecting the rights of refugees. Tekha Zeggai, one of the board members of DaEro Bay Area, gave a speech that highlighted the objective of the demonstration. A number of members from Jewish Voice for Peace were in attendance and expressed their solidarity. Rabbi Lynn Gottlieb, who was fasting in the name of the African refugees, read a poignant poem written by an African asylum seeker in Israel. The peace and freedom of all beings must be safeguarded she proclaimed, and went on to appeal by echoing the slogan that is reverberating throughout Israel, Prison, No! Freedom, Yes!. Lyndsay Kauffman of Right Now Coalition stated, It is an open secret that the dictatorial regime in Eritrea, the limitless and unreasonable military conscription, and the deprivation of the opportunity to work and get their education has caused thousands of Eritreans into exodus. In Israel today, there are 51,000 refugees and 94% of them are Eritreans. Out of all of those refugees, not a single one is granted either a citizenship or permanent residency. Instead of providing them with health services and opportunities to further their education, the government has resorted to imprisoning them threatening to deport them right back into the place they just fled from. And this, Ms. Kauffman stresses, is a crime against humanity. Dalit of American Friends Service Community stated that when Israel was initially established as a nation, it was with the intention of embracing all who need refuge. And, many have, in fact, found such refuge. Unfortunately, those whose lineage is of a different kind now face persecution and discrimination. DaEro Bay Area has faxed its official letter of appeal to the General Consul of Israel and will earnestly follow up. At the end of the successful demonstration, members of DaEro Bay Area thanked those who participated in the demonstration, the tireless volunteers and the San Francisco Police Department for their cooperation. It also expressed its special thanks to Priority Africa Network, Jewish Voice for Peace, the Right Now Coalition. In correspondence following the demonstration, all of these organizations have reaffirmed their readiness to assist DaEro Bay Area in its future endeavors. DaEro Bay Area is emboldened by their support. In Solidarity, DaEro Bay Area

Sea on their last leg of the trip attempting to sail to Australia; 18 Eritreans remain in remote places in Indonesia, 300 kilometers away from Jakarta, the capital city of Indonesia; Some, who ran out of money, have turned themselves in to authorities and are detained 1,700 kilometers away from Jakarta; A woman (name not given) and her eleven year old child are now living in a camp 2000 kilometers from Jakarta after they were released from jail a week ago;

A certain Mehret Woldu (age, description not given), has disappeared. Indonesia is a large country composed of 17,000 islands and a population of 238 million. Australia is quarantining illegal migrants and refugees in a remote island. Persons who want to assist the refugees in Indonesia can reach them at the following numbers: 62 857 1561 0341 or 62 878 8023 3023.

National Security Team Discusses TPDM Role in Roundup

In the late afternoon of November 5, Brigadier General Tekle Kifle Manjus presided over a meeting to discuss, among other things, the fallout from the youth round-up that was conducted on the weekend of October 26th where, for the first time, it was disclosed that an Ethiopian opposition group based in Eritrea, the Ethiopian Peoples Democratic Movement (TPDM/De.M.H.T), was engaged in altercation with civilians. The meeting was attended by top security officers including Colonel Fitsum, Colonel Wedi Qeshi (Police Department); Colonel Wedi Isaq (Central Zone (Asmara) police); Colonel Wedi Afwerqi (Office of National Security); Lenin (National Security Office); Colonel Ghirmay (station unknown); and, Major Wedi Halima, battalion leader. Heres a summary of what was discussed as disclosed to our source: Major General Philipos Weldeyohannes, who was supposed to attend the meeting, declined on the grounds that Tekle Manjus is his junior and cannot call him to such a meeting. Tekle Manjus indicated that the meeting was being called under the directive of President Isaias Afwerki. President Isaias Afwerki, reported Manjus, wants a detailed report as to how

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- 20 400 - 2014 ( EYSC) !

National Security Team . . .

From page 6
the sensitive case of TPDM was exposed to the public; In the meeting, Colonel Wedi Afwerki explained that he didnt have sufficient time to organize the youth round-up (giffa) given its unusual urgency and deadline. He also noted that, for days before the operation, there was no electric power in Asmara and, therefore, radio batteries were not charged. This, he explained, resulted in lack of communication with the command center. Therefore, he explained, units were not able to ask for additional forces from the command center especially when a riot erupted near Hamasien Restaurant. Speaking for the police, Colonel Wedi Qeshi and Colonel Wedi Isaq explained that they did not have advance information about the round-up; that they only heard about it when the owner of Bar Mesob Werqi called the police to report the riot. For his part, Wedi Halima, in charge of the battalion that was involved in the roundup, indicated that although his commanders had given clear instructions to TPDM/De.M.H.T. to stay in the background and to have his battalion engage with Eritrean youth, his agelglot (national service) disobeyed direct orders to round up youth, and thats when the TPDM got involved actively. The attendants of the meeting were stunned when Brigadier General Tekle Manjus informed them that President Isaias Afwerki said that he learned about the incident through informal channels. Following the conclusion of the first agenda item, Tekle Manjus moved on to discuss other issues of concern, namely: How to control the civil disobedience that is growing, particularly in the Ministry of Health (especially with the doctors) and the Sports Commission; The importance of sending a strong warning to all secretarial staff, particularly those assigned to senior posts, to refrain from leaking confidential information to the public; That the ministries, particularly Education and Agriculture, should be reviewed carefully as they are disproportionately stacked by individuals from a narrow geographic region (a specific geographic region was mentioned.) Throughout the meeting, Lenin (nom de guerre) listened but didnt comment on anything; while Colonel Ghirmay took notes of the meeting.


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Subscription Costs in Canada $39 for a year and $59 for two years. In USA, it costs $45 for a year and $69 for two years. Articles appearing in assorted columns of Meftih newspaper are intended to generate civil & informed public discussions. You dont have to agree with opinions expressed by the writers. However, that should push you to express your own views. Through that way we generate lively & civil discussions in the community. Rejoinders are not forums for personal insults & we want readers to adhere to these principles.

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Meftih February 2014 Volume 9 Issue 6:

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21 2013 2013 ... .

Debt Advice
By Jordan Rumanek

Ok! You assumed the recession was over last year. So why are you still in as much or more debt than you were two years ago? The answer is not always obvious. You might think everything is well if you are paying the minimum payments on all your credit cards each month. This is not exactly true. If you owe $10,000 on a credit card debt with 18% interest charged it will take you 30 years and 4 months (plus $6.546 of interest) to pay off the card. Miss one payment, make one late payment, buy anything on the card just keep adding months and interest. How do you stop the madness? Plan your recovery properly. Most people have only a vague idea where they spend their money. Start by knowing and reviewing where you stand financially. First, make a list of your debts: 1. Name of debt 2. Amount owed 3. Interest charged 4. Minimum monthly payments Second, prepare a list of any assets you have. Make sure you review life insurance for cash surrender value and RRSPs or if this list includes any assets that can be cashed and used to pay a high interest credit card. This is a first consideration but please make sure there is no income tax consideration such as when you cash an RRSP. Third, make sure you do a budget of your monthly living expenses. This sounds easy but it is not. You might have to monitor your spending for several weeks to determine your true expenses paid by cash. The budget must include allowance for periodic cost like car insurance, clothes, childrens sports that may be paid periodically during the year. I have suggested to many people that a savings account be opened to bank this money each month so it is available when needed. Now the interesting part starts: Do you have a surplus of money left over each month in your budget to make the minimum monthly payments on your debts? If you do congratulations that surplus after making the minimum payments should be used as an extra payments on the credit card that charges you the highest interest. A treat to yourself every once in a while is also a good idea. What if you do not have enough money to make the minimum monthly payments? The first sign of this is that your debts have been increasing for the past few years even though you always have made the monthly payments. If you review past credit statements you will likely find a combination of missed payments, cash advances or charges on your credit cards of expenses that were shown on your monthly budget. Most of us cannot easily increase our income. The only other choice is to lower expenses. This may require help from an outside person. You may have a relative or friend who can help you in preparing, analyzing and revising your family budget. If you have no such person or if you want absolute confidentiality there are many financial advisors and credit counsellors some of whom are fee based and some who are notforprofit. Many fee based companies also offer an initial meeting at no cost.

How to get out of credit card debt

Jordan Rumanek, B. Comm., CIRP, Trustee, Rumanek & Company Ltd,

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Meftih February 2014 Volume 9 Issue 6: page 12

Weighing the truth from Fords facts and figures

TORONTOMayor Rob Ford may have lost his footing in council, but he wants voters to know he isnt going anywhere. In his address on Monday (Jan. 20) to the National Ethnic Press and Media Council of Canada, he touted his fiscal record and mapped out some of his priorities in his bid for re-election. The Globe and Mail and the Toronto Star had asked to attend the round table initiated by the ethnic press council, but an invitation was not extended to them. Since the crack scandal broke, Fords encounters with the press have usually been limited to ambush interviews and scrums. The embattled mayor wanted to focus sights on his accomplishments as, he boasted, the best mayor Toronto ever had. I ran on a platform of saving taxpayers money, being transparent, reducing the size and the cost of government and customer service excellence. Ive fulfilled them all, he said. I eliminated the personal vehicle tax and saved $200 million dollars. Scrapping the $60 registration fee for car owners, which would have brought in an estimated $50 million, meant the city had to find other ways to raise revenue. A hike in user fees for recreational services taking the TTC, a trip to the zoo, enrolling in a class ly on the waiting list. And ONPHAs 2011 figures indicated that childless couples and single people are the largest subset waiting for housing, with the wait time across Ontario averaging to 3.2 years. Ford was later questioned on his administrations efforts to provide a safety net for the citys most vulnerable citizens. He responded, Weve put more money in social services than the previous administration There are less people now on the sidewalks than three years ago. Theres actually been a shortfall in funding for housing support programs since Ford took office. The Wellesley Institute, a nonprofit policy group, noted that citys operating budget in 2010 for shelter, support and housing was $854 million. The recommended budget for 2014 is $636 million. In 2013 the city spent $665 million, down by $128 million in 2012. Last year, Ford refused to back councils motion to increase the number of shelter beds, arguing the city had more than enough in supply. Council overwhelmingly voted, 36-3 to find ways to open 172 emergency beds for extreme weather conditions. If there are vacancies that pop up in the system, those spots are set aside for people who are homeless and have special needs, like seniors and individuals living with a mental illness. The talk later shifted to his hopes of expanding the casino at Woodbine Racetrack to create jobs and to bring in revenue. Theres a casino there, the only thing thats missing are the tables. Im not saying I want three or four, and I never said I wanted one downtown. Last spring, Fords executive committee entertained the idea of opening a casino resort by the waterfront. There were talks of marrying Ontario Place and Exhibition Place to develop it into a casino and convention centre. He also wrote an open letter to the public, claiming that a downtown casino would be a golden opportunity that only comes once in a generation. When someone asserted that casinos tend to attract unsavoury people, he responded, Not everyone who goes to the slots are addicts. Ive been there. You have to have self-control. He also said that hes sure everyone in the room had lied and had made mistakes before. And that everyone should move on including himself. A video taken approximately after midnight that same evening after his meeting with the ethnic press surfaced, showing an intoxicated Ford ranting and swearing, after he promised to stop drinking.

at a community centre, to name a few, was needed. Ford merely relieved certain taxpayers, but then shifted the costs to all others, raking in $20 million from the user fees and $45 million from TTC hikes over two years, amounting to a net gain of $15 million to the citys budget. Fords solution to appease frustrated TTC riders is to effectively reverse the hike of $5.25 on the Metropass over the next year. For one year, I can scale back that transit tax. Second or third year, it might go up. But I can guarantee for one year, Im going to eliminate the transit tax, he said. Among his other promises is to invest 75 per cent of whatever surplus the city has towards capital infrastructure, and the rest to city services, and to fight to reduce councils size from 44 to 22 members. On creating jobs, Ford said the cranes in the city skyline tell a story about the booming economy. We have over 170 cranes in the sky, equivalent to 1,000

jobs. Job creation was a key platform and I have fulfilled that. And its just the beginning. Numbers tell a different story. Torontos unemployment rate ended on a high note in December, hitting 10.1 per cent, according to a city report. Statistics Canada reveals that Toronto actually has the secondhighest unemployment rate in the country, next only to St. Catharines, with a population of 392,184. When pressed on the issue of social housing, regarding the waiting list and the backlog of outstanding repairs, he said his priority is to clean up the housing stock first, before building more. He added: Theres absolutely a waiting list. But there are a lot of bachelor apartments available in the city, but people dont wanna live in them, you gotta be flexible. According to the Ontario Non-Profit Housing Association, theres a shortage in affordable housing for single people, seniors and families. Their annual survey in 2013 showed there are 72,696 people current-

Beatrice S. Paez

Skilled immigrants to be matched with vacant jobs in 2015

New immigration system set to launch in 2015 is being compared to a dating site
The federal government is looking to match skilled immigrants with unfilled jobs, in what its calling a new fast and flexible system of economic immigration it intends to have in place in January 2015. Under this new system, which the government has compared to a dating site, Ottawa would act as chief matchmaker between immigrants who want to move to Canada for work and Canadian employers looking to fill job vacancies. Were looking for an economic match, said Citizenship and Immigration Minister Chris Alexander in an interview with CBC News. Alexander is currently working to build an expression of interest system to manage applications for immigration to Canada. We are moving from defence to offence. Were moving from a passive system to a proactive system. Were moving from a system based on processing whatever applications showed up, to a system focused on recruitment of the people that we know we need, Alexander said on Jan. 23. By next year, Canada will no longer be obligated to process all applications in the order they were received. The new system would work in two stages. First, prospective immigrants would apply to express their interest in coming to Canada. In doing so, they would answer a series of questions about their professional skills, their education, languages spoken, etc. In the second stage, Alexander said, those applicants would see their skills matched with labour needs identified by the provinces and territories, as well as employers. That means provincial governments and employers alike would have access to the pool of applications in essence, an employment database that did not exist before. We will share it with employers in a way that protects privacy, Alexander said. Employers to play key role Under the proposed system, employers would play a key role in searching the pool for prospective candidates, conducting interviews and identifying candidates. Only once a match has been identified would the

Meftih February 2014 Volume 9 Issue 6: page 13

Citizenship and Immigration Minister Chris Alexander

skilled immigrant be invited to apply for permanent residence. This new system of immigration would apply to anyone who has put in a bid through one of five immigration programs: Federal skilled workers. Federal skilled trades. Canadian experience class. Business class. Provincial nominees. Alexander said the federal government doesnt want to pick the winners, per se. We cant socially engineer this ourselves. We need data from across the federal government the provinces, as well as strong input from employers to make these determinations. Its going to give us a much more tailored immigration flow and a workforce that will make itself at home in a Canadian economy much more quickly. Under the new system, the government is proposing to shrink the processing time from upward of two years to six months. According to a report issued by the Ontario Chamber of Commerce earlier this month, employers will buy into the new system only if its fast. Aiming to cut the processing time down to six months, did not appear to win employers over. This wait is far too long for businesses, many of whom have jobs that needed to be filled yesterday, Allan ODette, president and CEO of the Ontario Chamber of Commerce said in the report. Canadas system is said to be modelled after similar systems which are already in place in New Zealand and Australia. Under the Australian model, visas for permanent residence are processed within 60 days. The government must ensure the new immigration system reflects the needs of employers, the report said. Details missing While the system is still a year away from being implemented, its not the broad strokes of the system that worry the opposition parties, but rather the lack of details about a new system that will process the majority of new immigrants to Canada. There are a lot of details missing. We feel that they want to flatter themselves about what theyre doing but at the same time when we are asking for details, we have none, said NDP immigration critic Lysanne Blanchette-Lamothe in an interview with CBC News last Thursday.

Please see page 15

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Mayor Rob Ford, councillor clash in absurd budget debate

The debate at Toronto city council reached new levels of absurdity Thursday in an exchange over the citys budget that began when Mayor Rob Ford introduced a handful of motions aimed at saving money. One of the many motions called on the city to abandon plans to spend $7 million to plant 97,000 new trees. Coun. Mary-Margaret McMahon asked the mayor if he was aware of the benefits of a tree, to which the mayor responded by accusing her of being absent during Decembers ice storm, which caused widespread damage to city trees. Ford went on to say that he believes security guards at city libraries are not being put to good use. Library guards do absolutely nothing Ford says They stand there and do absolutely nothing, I see it with my own eyes and were spending $1 million and more dollars a year, Ford said. I dont think were going to have two six-year-olds battling it out over a dinosaur book, he said. While the mayor said that a security guard could not have prevented the homicide at the Main Street Library, McMahon suggested that their presence could potentially mitigate a disaster or a problem.

shelter and housing offices. dural debate about whether Coun. Josh Matlow accused Do you know that were Finding sponsors to off- or not the motions could be the mayor of intentionally spending $50 million alset costs of the Pan-Am introduced. Ford was ac- introducing the motions at ready on those trees in the Games. cused of not getting the mo- the last minute. ice storm? said Ford, who Eliminating a splash bad at tions properly processed by later said that if the councilthe clerks office in time for Source: CBC NEWS lor wanted to go and plant But the mayor didnt agree. Exhibition Place. Before each motion could Thursdays meeting, a claim trees, knock yourself out, but dont use taxpayers I just cant comprehend be discussed, council be- the mayor denied. money. how you think sometimes, came entangled in a proceCoun. McMahon, Then McMahon asked the sorry, Ford said. mayor about his push to remove security guards from Right back at city libraries. you, ditto, McMahon said. Pointing to a homicide that TWOCAMPUSES;DOMINICAandST.VINCENT& THEGRENADINES occurred at the Main Street Ford also said the Library in 2010, McMahon city should stop LICENSEDGRADUATESINTHEUSA,CANADA,EUROPE&INDIA asked the mayor if he was writing off up to UPto50%TUITIONFEESCHOLARSHIPSAVAILABLE aware at the incident. $3 million each ACCREDITEDMD(MBBS)DEGREEPROGRAM year in unpaid li NOMCATREQUIRED Im aware that there was brary fines, saypeople killed at the Eaton ing that he reguTIME: Centre, on a streetcar, on larly pays fines 7:00PM,SATURDAYFEBRUARY22,2014 sidewalks, so we need secu- that stem from his rity guards on every corner, kids library use. LOCATION: is that what youre saying? HamptonInnTorontoAirportCorporateCentre Ford responded. Other motions in5515EglintonAvenueWest,Toronto,ONM9C5K5 troduced by Ford Its called the police if Thursday include: CALLTOREGISTER: somebody commits a mur18666029555or4167439222 der, it could happen any- Cutting the numwhere. ber of city man2014TORONTOSEMINARDATES: agers at the citys February22,2014|June21,2014|October25,2014



From page 13

Skilled immigrants . . . .
The really important point is to use this expression of interest system to radically speed up our immigration, and its not at all clear that the government has got its sights high enough, said McCallum. But according to Alexander, reducing the processing time to six months is not only doable, its exciting from an economic perspective. After all, the government is looking for a long-term match. We dont want break-ups and divorces in this case. These are people coming here for the rest of their lives, Alexander said. Making that match is more challenging than ever, but when you get it right, the benefits are greater than ever.

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The government introduced the new system in Bill C-4, a budget implementation bill which has since been passed despite the lack of details. Liberal immigration critic John McCallum said that in principle its probably a good idea, but we have some issue with the details. I have come to the conclusion that immigration is becoming much more of a buyers market than a sellers market. Countries like Canada, the U.K., and the U.S. are all in competition for immigrants because we all have an aging population, the Liberal MP said in an interview with CBC News last Thursday. McCallum said the onus is on the federal government to persuade prospective applicants to immigrate here instead of taking their skills elsewhere.

Sponsoring Eritrean Refugees through the BVOR Program

In 2013 there was an overwhelming response from Eritrean communities across Canada to help 75 Eritrean refugees through the Blended Visa Office-Referred (VOR) Program. This year the Canadian Government will refer 250 Eritrean refugees to private sponsoring groups across Canada for resettlement through this same program. The Refugee Sponsorship Training Program (RSTP) would like to invite community members interested in sponsoring Eritrean refugees through the BVOR Program to an information session: Saturday, March 1, 2014 2:00 4:00 p.m. Friends House 60 Lowther Ave. Toronto, ON M5R 1C7 This is your chance to get involved and help those in need! To RSVP for this session, please contact Felisa Ponce at or call (416) 290-1700 ext. 403.

Source: CBC NEWS

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Monsantos Bt-Toxins Found to Kill Human Embryo Cells

By Christina Sarich - January 24th, 2014 (naturalsociety. com) Many individuals have heard it a million times, but for the uninformed, or those just looking to fuel their 2014 fire to finally defeat Monsanto and their cronies, youll be interested to know that Monsantos Bt-toxin is far from safe as the chemical company claimed it would be when filing their papers with the FDA. BT stand for the bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis. New research from Canada shows that BT toxins are showing up in pregnant women, and low and behold they are killing human embryo cells. 2014 is the year of the horse, but were not through beating this one to death. Its called reproductive toxicology, and just like their suicide seeds, these Bt toxins are starting to kill our own unborn children. This is no exaggeration. Hopefully reading further will compel you to take action. It is time to put Monsanto to rest, bankrupt them, and let the world know their secrets near and far. Bt toxins are prominent in genetically altered crops such as corn, soy, wheat, and others, called Cry1Ab and they can be lethal. Not only do these crytoxins target the kidney cells of developing human fetuses, but when Cry1Ab and Cry1Ac are combined with RoundUp, they can delay apoptosis of human cancer cells. Whats worse, glyphosate, the main ingredient in RoundUp, also causes necrosis i.e. the death of human tissue, and this happens even when the substance is found in much smaller amounts than what is currently being used on our agricultural crops. The stuff is still carcinogenic in the parts per trillion range. Read: 5 Steps for Avoiding and Detoxing the Bt-Toxin In its rush to remain the agricultural leader of the world, the US government erected defunct regulatory bodies that have no means to truly examine the ramifications of biotechnology on our food. The National Institute of Health (NIH) is a joke and the FDA gave Monsanto an indefi-

nite hall pass to cause mayhem on the food supply. More people need to file lawsuits against this company until they are without one red cent to continue poisoning the planet and killing our unborn babies. The Organic Seed Growers Association sued Monsanto in 2011, and Idaho wheat growers are suing Monsanto for cross-contamination, but what about parental groups? Mothers Against Drunk Driving was formed when a mom lost her baby to a drunk driver. Perhaps the mothers who face reproductive failure due to Monsantos hand can sue them collectively. The FDAs internal memos about their concerns surrounding GE/ GMO seed crops recently surfaced in one lawsuit, though the public was never meant to see them. GMO foods are not the foods we have always eaten. This is an outright lie. Any lawyers out there willing to go against the monopoly? Id sign a class action suit today. Would you? In the meantime, utilize these 5 tips for avoiding GMOs while you write your local senator, state representatives, congressman, and president. Other Popular Stories: Monsantos Roundup is Killing Human Kidney Cells GMO Protesters Shut Down

California Monsanto Office Monsanto Bt Pesticide Damages Red Blood Cells, Organs Woman Receives Anonymous Threats after Opposing Monsanto Monsantos Roundup is Causing DNA Damage Monsantos Best-Selling Herbicide Roundup Linked to Infertility Comments: Susanne The county here sprays it via helicopter in spring to kill larvae of moths. We are getting attacked from every side Claudio I am willing to sue Monsanto as well because it caused more than 20 food allergies to my baby daughter. We gave only 100% organic food to my second child, and he is perfectly fine. If anyone wants to contact me to sue Monsanto together, he can send me an email to claudiofahmy@ Thank you! ---------------------------From tomorrow: All Monsanto employees and those in the supply and retail chain forcing Monsanto stuff down the throats of people must be forced to only eat what that horror-company produces themselves! ---------------------------The Ultimate Killing Machine -

GE/GMOs Stephanie Relfe (Activist Post) It looks the same the bread, pies, sodas, even corn on the cob. So much of what we eat every day looks just like it did 20 years ago. But something profoundly different has happened without our knowledge or consent. And according to leading doctors, what we dont know is already hurting us big time. What are GMOs? -- GMO stands for Genetically Modified Organism (actually better to call them Genetically Engineered [GE]). Sometimes the initials GM are used, which stands for Genetically Modified. Genetic engineering is very different from normal breeding because it involves taking genes from a completely different species and inserting them into the DNA of another species of plant or even of an animal. For the first time in modern times, bacteria, plants and animals can all be mixed up together. For example, right now the DNA of bacteria is put into food plants. [Addendum by Author Stephanie Relfe: Read the ancient Book of Enoch. Seems we may have been down this path before. The result was not beneficial for the human race.]

The two primary reasons why plants are genetically engineered are to allow them to: Drink poison, or Produce poison The poison drinkers are inserted with genes from bacteria that allow them to survive otherwise deadly doses of herbicides. The main poison is GMOs is glyphosate, the poison that is in Roundup. Biotech companies sell the seed and herbicide as a package deal, and farmers can then use hundreds of millions of pounds more herbicide than would normally be possible without the plants dying. The poison producers are called Bt crops. Inserted genes from the a bacteria produce a pesticide (poison) in every cell of the plant. What kills insects, kills us. This is a pesticide which is INSIDE the plant. You cannot wash it off! More than 70% of the foods on supermarket shelves contain GM foods. Get a magnifying glass and read the list of ingredients. Unless the following words are organic, do not eat it. Corn Soy Canola (Rapeseed. This is toxic and should not be eaten in any case)

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Meftih February 2014 Volume 9 Issue 6:

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From page 16
Cotton seed (This is toxic and should not be eaten in any case) Sugar (beet sugar is GMO. Cane sugar so far is okay) Hawaiian papaya Zucchini & crook neck squash Other countries have or import GMO rice and potato. But it gets worse. Since we now have genetically modified alfalfa, and alfalfa, corn and soy are fed to animals, unless its organic, you must not eat: Dairy Meat Eggs Farm-raised fish or seafood Glyphosate has even been found in the bodies of dairy cows in Denmark, because Europe imports GMO feed! So you know it has to be in the milk. This is why we no longer eat out anywhere. Since no restaurant uses organic, GMO-free food, or gives you a full list of ingredients, you are bound to be eating poison in virtually every restaurant, fastfood joint and school canteen.

Monsantos Bt-Toxins Found to Kill . . .

Organic food is meant to be free of GMOs. But we are starting to find out that even this is not a guarantee. Its way too easy to sneak in. There have been so far at least two instances discovered where GMOs were found in so-called organic food. In each case, this discovery was not made by organizations that should protect you, like the FDA. They were made by independent bodies. Baby food is one. Which is really scary. The only food a baby should have is breastmilk and, when ready for solids, homemade baby food (cook it, strain it, freeze in icecube trays) and reverse osmosis water. Kashi organic cereal is another. The Cornucopia Institute found that Kashi has high levels of GMOs in its organic cereal. You may be less surprised at this once you realize that Kashi is not owned by nature-lovers, but by Kelloggs. Animals Fed GMO Corn for Two Years Grow MASSIVE TUMORS In the first long-term study of GMOs, rats fed a lifelong diet of one of genetically modified corn grew tumors and had multiple organ damage, of the liver and kidneys. Corn is meant to be nutritious. It is not meant to do this ANIMALS FED GMOs Have Sterile Grandchildren When Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) were first created, some people knew they were very bad. But no one really knew just how bad they are. We know that now. Basically, not only are they killing people, because they are so highly toxic, they are also doing something VERY DIFFERENT TO NORMAL FOOD, that in the longer term they will wipe out the human race if not eradicated completely. Because animals fed GMOs do not have great grand children. NO other toxic food does that! This is proof that we are dealing with something completely different. And evil. Here is some evidence of this: Concerning the experiment carried out jointly by the National Association for Gene Security and the Institute of Ecological and Evolutional Problems, Dr. Alexei Surov had this to say. We selected several groups of hamsters, kept them in pairs in cells and gave them ordinary food as always, says Alexei Surov. We did not add anything for one group but the other was fed with soya that contained no GM components, while the third group with some content of Genetically Modified Organisms and the fourth one with increased amount of GMO. We monitored their behavior and how they gain weight and when they give birth to their cubs. Originally, everything went smoothly. However, we noticed quite a serious effect when we selected new pairs from their cubs and continued to feed them as before. These pairs growth rate was slower and they reached their sexual maturity more slowly. When we got some of their cubs we formed the new pairs of the third generation. We failed to get cubs from these pairs, which were fed with GM foodstuffs. It was proved that these pairs lost their ability to give birth to their cubs, Dr. Alexei Surov said. Another surprise was discovered by scientists in hamsters of the third generation. Hair grew in the mouth of the animals that took part in the experiment. GMOs remain inside of us The only published human feeding study revealed one of the most dangerous problems from GM foods. The gene inserted into GM soy transfers into the DNA of bacteria living inside our intestines and continues to function. This means that long after we stop eating GMOs, we may still have potentially harmful GM proteins produced continuously inside of us. Put more plainly, eating a corn chip produced from Bt corn might transform our intestinal bacteria into living pesticide factories, possibly for the rest of our lives. Please, get this information to

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Meftih February 2014 Volume 9 Issue 6:

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Six men and three women join six alpine athletes already nominated to Canadian Olympic Team TORONTO Alpine Canada Alpin today announced the remaining nine alpine ski racers who have been formally nominated to the Canadian Olympic Team for the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games. The six men: Phil Brown (Toronto, ON), Mike Janyk (Whistler, BC), Trevor Philp (Calgary, AB), Morgan Pridy (Whistler, BC), Brad Spence (Calgary, AB) and Ben Thomsen (Invermere, BC) and three women: Erin Mielzynski (Collingwood, ON), Marie-Pier Prfontaine (SaintSauveur, QC) and Elli Terwiel (Sun Peaks, BC), bump the team number up to a total of 15. They join the three men and three women already nominated to the Canadian Olympic Team at events in Toronto and Quebec City earlier this month: Erik Guay (Mont-Tremblant, QC), Jan Hudec (Calgary, AB) and Manuel OsborneParadis (Vancouver, BC), Marie-Michle Gagnon (Lac-Etchemin, QC), Britt Phelan (Mont-Tremblant, QC) and Larisa Yurkiw (Owen Sound, ON). This is a strong team with a mix of experienced podium contenders and talented young racers, said Paul Kristofic, Alpine Canadas Vice-President of Sports. This group has worked extremely hard to earn the


2010 Olympic Champion and defending World Champion Malle Ricker suffered a wrist injury during pre-Olympic snowboard cross training in Aspen, Colorado earlier today. Following consultation with her coach and team staff, Ms Ricker elected to have surgery in Vail, Colorado. While the timing of this injury is very unfortunate, we know that Maelle is an incredibly resilient athlete that has battled back from several injuries over her career to accomplish

right to represent Canada at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games. They will do everything they can to push for the podium and make Canada proud. Alpine Canada has 15 quota spots for the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games. The Olympic qualification window for Canadian alpine racers closed on Sunday after both Thomsen and Pridy punched their tickets to Sochi with breakthrough performances in this weekends World Cup races in Kitzbhel, Austria. The qualification battle went right down to the wire and we saw some racers step up and deliver careerbest performances when the pressure was on, said Kristofic. This is an incredibly talented group of athletes who have all earned the right to don our countrys colours in Sochi, added Marcel Aubut, President, Canadian Olympic Committee. Each of the alpine ski racers nominated today has the potential to compete and win against the worlds best. I look forward to seeing them in action as they take to the Olympic snow in Sochi. The Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games will take place from February 7-23, 2014. The Canadian Olympic Team has set a goal to contend to be the top nation in overall medals won.

great things for Canada, said Steven Hills, Executive Director of Canada~Snowboard. We hope that Maelles surgery is successful and believe that she will have every opportunity to join Team Canada in Sochi with the goal of competing in the

Snowboard Cross event on February 16. Canada~Snowboard will provide an update following surgery and the full assessment of Ms Rickers wrist injury.

Michael Schumacher, former F1 champ, being brought out of coma

since then, although his condition stabilized following surgery after initially being described as critical. Michaels sedation is being reduced in order to allow the start of the waking up process which may take a long time, Schumachers manager, Sabine Kehm, said in a statement. Schumacher was being kept artificially sedated and his body temperature was lowered to between 34 and 35 degrees C, to reduce swelling in the brain, reduce its energy consumption and allow it to rest. Kehm said she was only providing an update now on Schumachers condition to clarify media leaks, and that no further details would be provided. French newspaper lEquipe first reported on Wednesday that doctors had started trying to

Michael Schumachers doctors have started trying to wake up the Formula One great from the medically induced coma hes been in since a skiing accident last month, his manager said Thursday.

The 45-year-old Schumacher suffered serious head injuries when he fell and hit the right side of his head on a rock in the French resort of Meribel on Dec. 29. The seven-time F1 champion has been in an induced coma in Grenoble University Hospital

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Monsantos Bt-Toxins Found to Kill . . .

From page 17
what she was doing to beat it. all your family and friends! GMOs Destroy Organs If GMOs did nothing, then organs of animals fed GMOs should look exactly the same as normal. But they look radically different, as you can see from this photo: If that still does not convince you that it is deadly serious that you become obsessive about getting GMOs out of your diet, heres another pic that proves that GMOs seriously alter the whole body. This photo is a comparison of rat testicles: People are dying at very early ages, and you know from seeing these pictures of totally changed organs, that GMOs are a major, if not THE major cause, behind it. You wont hear about this in the media, because the power of Monsanto goes nearly everywhere. The following are just a few examples that I have collected: My 40 year old female cousin died of breast cancer tonight... Her parents raised her on a healthy diet, totally healthy. They took supplements, had a garden, went to church, didnt drink or smoke EVER...and then one day she finds a lump. She decided to treat it using natural methods like Vitamin C treatments, oxygenation, hydrogen peroxide, changing the body to alkaline, all under the supervision of natural healers and doctors...but she was also getting chemo treatments. She ate an organic diet and cleansed weekly to flush the poison from her body and kept her immune system boosted to fight off infection. She was totally informed about modern day, alternative, cancer treatments and A week and a half ago she was admitted into the hospital with severe pain from fluid gathering around her heart and lungs (the tumor area). Doctors drained her chest and tested the fluid and found it to be full of cancer cells, all of the sudden it spread, it had taken over. A week and a half ago she was a beautiful, youthful 40 year old woman and today she is dead. She looked 80 years old when i say her earlier today at the hospital. From 40 to 80 in a week and a half....What the ---- is going on around here people?! (Note: All you have to do is look again at the pictures of the tumors on the rats, and change to the organs from GMOs, and you will know). On another post I read about a lady who walked into her boyfriends house, and found him dead in the middle of the living room. He was only 40 years old. A lady I talked with in the line at the post office said that 5 people, all close to her and most of them under 50, had all died in the last month. Another poster said that 6 people close to them, none of them particularly old, had all died within several months of each other. Something is causing this. Vaccines are part of the cause, but GMOs are obviously deadly. The lamestream media will not tell you that GMOs are killing people. I urge you to totally get GMOs and all other toxins out of your life. GMOs is just one of the 55 chapters in the book that I spent 2 years writing - Youre not Fat, Youre Toxic - to help you save you and your family. If you dont want to buy it, I suggest that you ask the library to obtain a copy: Youre Not Fat - Youre Toxic Amazon Review by Borce, a Homeopath in Macedonia, who has 500 Holistic Books: The Best Book I have ever Read... The Book of the Century More information on GMOs: GMOs in Beer GMOs by Country GMO genes are jumping species! Boycott these Companies that are Pro-GMO Scientists get Fired for Finding that GMOs are Really Bad for us Kevlar Tires now required to Traverse Spear-like GMO crops GMO Bananas, Rice, Potatoes, Sugar Cane are on the wayThe Non-GMO Project Stephanie Relfe was born in Sydney, Australia in 1960. She has a Bachelor of Science degree from Sydney University where she majored in Histology (the study of cells) and Zoology. Stephanie has had over 200 hours in training in Specialized Kinesiology and over 100 hours training in Clearing, a technology which helps a person to improve their thoughts and actions using a biofeedback meter. She has worked as a professional Specialized Kinesiologist since 1993, both in Australia and the USA. Stephanie has developed her own method of Specialized Kinesiology called Synergistic Kinesiology. She is married to Michael Relfe from the USA and has a son. Her websites include: www.SynergisticKinesiology. com www.YoureNotFatYoureToxic. com

The highlight of 2013

By Grace Cherian
January 2014 is over. But Ive been spending a lot of time reflecting on the year thats just gone by. Last year my brother James and I traveled to India where Mom was born. We wanted to learn as much as we could about her. Mom still has three brothers living in India whom weve never met: Uncle Engelbert, Uncle Publius and Uncle Rugus and their families. of Kerala. Uncle Rugus took us to all the key locations in Moms life: the little village of Pulluvila in Kerala where Mom was born, the church where she worshiped, the school where her father served as headmaster, the house in Pulluvila where she lived and the beach she used to go to. Time seems to have stood still in the beach at Pulluvilla. Uncle Rugus told James and me the beach looks almost the same as when he

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All our relatives in India showered us with love. They were extremely gracious, hospitable and generous towards us even though they arent rich. They made us feel so welcomeboth in their homes but more especially in their hearts. James and I stayed with Uncle Rugus, his wife Aunty Sujatha, their daughter Suman and Sumans daughter Amu in Trivandrum, the capital

went there as a child. The beach is still dotted with fishermens thatched-roof huts where they used to store their fishing nets. But no one seems to do any fishing any more. Uncle Cyril, whos in his seventies, now lives in the almost ninety-year-old house where Mom used to stay in Pulluvilla. As a family, weve moved quite a bit. Weve stayed in Sin-

Aaron Berhane

Photographer: Mulugeta Zergaber

Contributors: Mohamed Edris Naza Hasebenebi

Subscription Costs in Canada $39 for a year and $59 for two years. In USA, it costs $45 for a year and $69 for two years. Articles appearing in assorted columns of Meftih newspaper are intended to generate civil & informed public discussions. You dont have to agree with opinions expressed by the writers. However, that should push you to express your own views. Through that way we generate lively & civil discussions in the community. Rejoinders are not forums for personal insults & we want readers to adhere to these principles.

Medhin Ghebreslasie, Amleset Tesfay, Bode Odetoyinbo, Mimi Chandy, Ken Ntiamoa

please see page 21

Meftih February 2014 Volume 9 Issue 6: page 21

The highlight . . .
From page 20
gapore, Malaysia and finally, here in Canada. Uncle Cyril told us that no matter where she lived, Mom regularly sent him money. But she also gave him a list of names of about fifteen people and the amounts of money he should distribute to them. Moms generosity touched me deeply. Because we were poor ourselves. Yet Mom had a heart for her poorer relatives in India. Mom was so frugal and tried to save up money in whatever way she could. For instance in those days in Malaysia, you could hire a maid for $10 to wash the clothes of a family of six for a month. Mom, however, washed all our clothes herself so she could save the $10. She did other things too to save money: she soaked rice, threshed it with a heavy wooden pole and then winnowed it to make her own flour instead of buying it; and she sewed all the dresses my sister and I wore. Through her hard work and thrifty ways, she saved up money from the little Dad sent her each month and supported her poorer relatives. Eventually, though, Uncle Cyril said he lost touch with Mom. Our frequent moves was probably the cause of that. But he cherished the letters Mom sent. Because he had saved the entire stack of Moms letters in his house. We told Uncle Cyril that Mom had died in 2012. My brother took a photo of Mom out of his wallet and showed it to Uncle Cyril. He immediately made the sign of the Cross, prayed briefly and kissed the picture. This story which Uncle Cyril recounted about Mom has inspired me. Now when I make an offering in church, I deliberately designate it for the use of the poor in our congregation All our aunts made sure we were well-fed. Aunty Sujatha, with whom we stayed, served up breakfasts which evoked bittersweet memories for me. It takes a lot of work to make most of the breakfast items which East Indians eat: appam, dosa, puttu, etc. Mom rose at dawn to have all these various items ready for our breakfast because we had to be at school at 7:30 a.m. And that was just the start of her day. Just like Aunty Sujatha, Mom then prepared lunch. At 4:00 p.m. we had tea accompanied with some kind of a snack. And finally we ate dinner. We were essentially strangers to Moms relatives. They met us for the very first time last year. Yet Ive never experienced the kind of hospitality they extended. I call it Kerala hospitality. For both James and me, traveling to India and meeting Moms relatives outshone anything else we did last year. It was the highlight of our year.

5 easy ways to become . . .

From page 22
Using this approach, you know [that] your money is going directly to that particular scientist for that particular study, says Clarke. Set it and forget it The Berkeley Open Infrastructure for Network Computing, a group developed by a team at the Space Sciences Laboratory at the University of California, Berkeley, has an app called BOINC that puts your phone or computer to work studying diseases, predicting global warming or scanning the cosmos any time the device is idle and on Wi-Fi. One project within the BOINC network is the longrunning Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI), in which you can donate computer processing power to help radio telescopes listen for signs of intelligent life in outer space. Clarke says that this kind of crowdsourcing can be invaluable for cash-strapped researchers. Big computing time costs money. You have to purchase that kind of thing from a university and a lot of these projects, of course, are operating on very tight budgets, says Clarke. Surf through photos on the web A leader in the web-surfing brand of citizen science, Zooniverse offers huge databases of still photos that can only be properly mapped by armies of citizen scientists. They have projects that let you search for a new black hole, explore the surface of Mars, watch camera-trap images from the Serengeti or sift through documents from ancient Greece. If still photos dont capture your attention, NEPTUNE Canada has thousands of hours of deep-sea video footage for you to go through. Watch the video in 15-second clips and record all the animals you see with Digital Fishers, through Ocean Networks Canada. If you still cant tear yourself away from games like Candy Crush, theres an online game called Phylo. Hosted by scientists at McGill University in Montreal, its a series of logic puzzles where all you do is match colour patterns. But youre doing more than playing a game youre helping map how animals are related to each other. Those matching colours are actually pieces of DNA that contribute to genetic diseases, and youre helping make connections that even high-powered computers often miss. Join in from home By downloading a smartphone app, users can report their local weather conditions using WeatherMob or check for noise pollution using Noise Tube. Both apps rely on collective environmental reporting to get detailed maps of what its like where people live. One can also find out how many stars are blocked by light pollution with the Dark Sky Meter app for Apple, or the Loss of the Night app for Android, which provide detailed light pollution measurements for scientists that wouldnt be available any other way. For a bit more of a challenge, there are home kits that can bring discovery to the kitchen table. Sift through actual sediment samples in search of fossilized shark teeth from the Atlantic coastal plain, or send in a cheek swab for National Geographic to contribute to an understanding of the origins of modern humans with the NatGeo Geneographic project. Outdoor science Observer-based community projects present opportunities to monitor backyard spaces or volunteer with other citizen scientists. You can get your kids involved and theyre doing real science instead of building a volcano that is going to explode all over your kitchen table, says Clarke. In backyards in North America, CoCoRaHS, the community collaborative rain, hail and snow network, needs people to monitor the amount of precipitation in their area to improve future local weather forecasting. Backyard bumblebee counts like The Great Sunflower Project are also a popular option for the budding naturalist, particularly since North American bee populations seem to be constantly under threat. Volunteer community nature projects are often run for a week or two at a time, and they are constantly changing. But perennial favourites are bird counts, monitoring the spread of invasive plants or river and lake sampling projects. What drives all citizen science projects is the fact that theres an incredible amount of data to be gathered and sorted. We dont know what to do with the fact that were all carrying around mobile sensors [in our cell phones] which could record a plant, or a bird or a weather phenomenon, says Lintott. The way that citizen science is developing is as a response to this, says Lintott, the only way [that scientists] are going to turn all that data into knowledge is by getting as many people as possible to help us. Evelyn Boychuk, CBC News

Technology & Science

5 easy ways to become a freelance scientist

Have you ever wanted to be a scientist, but didnt think you had what it takes? Well, put your doubts aside, because science needs you. Whether its counting galaxies or birds at the backyard feeder, scientists are looking to average citizens for help in documenting the natural world or finding breakthroughs in their mountains of data. Projects vary widely, from monitoring local weather to using your computer to scour the sea floor or explore the cosmos. Citizen science is really a new word for an old thing, says Chris Lintott, an astronomer at the University of Oxford and the principal investigator for the Zooniverse citizen science projects. Its the involvement of people who arent professional, paid scientists in the scientific process. You dont have to quit your day job to be a citizen scientist -- even donating two minutes of your spare time at lunch or in the evening can contribute to scientific data collection in a meaningful way. In the last few years, scientists have gotten very good at collecting information about the world. New technologies, new cameras, new connectivity [it all means] we get a lot of information, says Lintott. Without the involvement of hundreds of thousands of ordinary people, most of the information locked away in images or in video wont be accessible in a useful form to scientists, says Lintott. Participating in citizen science projects has an interesting effect on people [when they] realize that theyre doing science, says Lintott. [It] changes how people think about science. Its no longer an unattainable dream, he says. Depending on how much time and energy you want to invest, theres a variety of projects to choose from, says Chandra Clarke, a citizen science blogger in London, Ont., and author of Be the Change: Saving the World with Citizen Science. These projects show people that all you need to get started, to make a real impact, is to tap into your own curiosity and give it a try. The projects are designed in such a way that even if you get it completely wrong, they have [safeguards] built in to fix it, says Clarke. Finding the right project requires a bit of clever internet searching, but it all starts with a decision about the commitment youre willing to make and the kind of science youre interested in. Here are 5 ways average people get involved in scientific projects. Donate money instead of time Like Kickstarter, theres crowd-funding for specific scientific studies, says Clarke. Many companies or institutions use a website called Microryza, where they can set funding goals for research projects, which only become a reality once the specific target has been reached. For example, a researcher from the U.K. is asking for funding to research whether microbes are melting the Greenland Ice Sheet. Another researcher from New Orleans wants to find out if safe levels of BPA in plastics are really safe.

Karygiannis Welcomes Veterans Fighting to stop the Closure of the VAC Centres

Meftih February 2014 Volume 9 Issue 6:

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OTTAWA - The Honourable Jim Karygiannis, Member of Parliament for ScarboroughAgincourt and Liberal Critic for Veterans Affairs, welcomed a group of veterans who are fighting to stop the closure of the eight Veterans Affairs Canada (VAC) Centres and the laying off of 89 case workers in Corner Brook, Charlottetown, Sydney, Thunder Bay, Windsor, Brandon, Saskatoon and Kelowna on January 31. 2014 We asked these people to put their lives on the line for us; they do; and, when they come home they have to fight for access to the services we promised them. said Mr. Karygiannis. These veterans are fighting for the 17,000 veterans who will be affected by the VAC Center closures. The Conservative Budget 2012 announced that the Veterans Affairs Canada offices in Corner

Brook, Charlottetown, Sydney, Thunder Bay, Windsor, Brandon, Saskatoon and Kelowna would be closing on January 31, 2014. Over the past several months, veterans have been protesting the closure of these centres and asking the Minister of Veterans Affairs to reconsider his decision. Today, Mr. Karygiannis asked the Prime Minister the following question: Will the Prime Minister commit today that he will reverse the callous decision and provide the necessary funding to keep the Veteran Affairs Centers open? Further, will he assure Veterans that the new budget will provide the necessary funding to ensure that all of our veterans have ready access to trained case managers and that they can receive the necessary health service they require in a timely

manner? Unfortunately, the Prime Minister dodged the question and I received the same old bland talking points we will cut their grass, clean their homes and shovel their snow - from the Minister of Veterans Affairs. Mr. Karygiannis stated. This is just not good enough. In a meeting with the Leader of the Liberal Party of Canada, Justin Trudeau, Mr. Trudeau made a commitment that a Liberal government would re-open the VAC Centres and would open more Centres, if needed. I have promised these veterans that I will continue to work with them to make sure that they, and their brothers and sistersin-arms, receive the necessary assistance and services so that they can live their lives in hope with dignity and respect. Mr. Karygiannis commented.

Harper Government . . .
From page 23
backbone of the Canadian economy. Under the Global Markets Action Plan, the government is working with Canadas critical SME sector to grow its footprint in emerging markets to meet the following targets: Grow Canadas SME export presence in emerging markets from 29 percent to 50 percent by 2018. This would grow Canadas SME footprint in emerging markets from 11,000 to 21,000 companies. This growth would create over 40,000 net new jobs. Since 2009, the Harper government has eliminated close to 1,900 tariffs, including the elimination of all tariffs on imported machinery, equipment and manufacturing inputs, to make Canada the first tariff-free manufacturing zone in the G-20. The Canadian Federation of Independent Business likens dealing with red tape to death by a thousand cuts. SMEs with fewer than 100 employees make up 86 percent of all exporting companies. The Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) will eliminate 98 percent of all EU tariffs, which will translate into increased profits and opportunities for Canadian SMEs in every part of the country.

Please see page 21

Meftih February 2014 Volume 9 Issue 6:

Three years after Tahrir, democracy eludes Egyptians

Montreal, January 28, 2014 -CJPME laments that three years after the massive protests that eventually toppled authoritarian president Hosni Mubarak began in Tahrir Square, democracy is still eluding Egyptians. According to a January 23 Amnesty International (AI) report, at least 1400 people had been killed in political violence since the military ousted elected president Mohammed Morsi July 3. AI says that Egypt has witnessed state violence on an unprecedented scale over the last seven months. In addition, on Saturday, January 25, 49 anti-government protesters were killed, and another 1079 were arrested, according to media reports. The current situation is rooted in the coup, and is unlikely to improve until the military are forced from power and subjected to elected civilian rule, says CJPME President Thomas Woodley. CJPME notes that in addition to the violence, the harsh anti-protest law, release all journalists and peaceful protesters currently detained and allow democratic elections. Earlier this month, a constitution reinforcing the militarys power was passed by 98 percent in a referendum to which the turnout was estimated by some independent monitors to have been as low as 11 percent. Drafted by a people appointed by the military government, the constitution does not allow the elected president to appoint the minister of defence and permits trial of civilians in military courts. It also provides guarantees for the militarys economic activities; the military currently control 30 percent of the economy. Transparency International noted that government officials openly promoted a vote in favour of the amendments, while private and public media provided one-sided coverage in favour of the draft constitution, and the government harassed, arrested, and prosecuted peaceful critics. Liberal and left-wing politicians who had opposed Mubarak and also been critical of Morsi have found themselves marginalised since July. Nobel Prize winner Mohamed elBaradei, once seen as a potential presidential candidate, and Wael Ghonim, whose Facebook postings were instrumental in mobilizing anti-Mubarak protesters, are now in exile, and many other activists are in jail. The military crackdown has not, however, brought security to Egyptians. On January 24, an Islamist group based in the Sinai peninsula conducted four bombings in Cairo targeting police institutions, killing six people and causing panic among the citys residents.

Harper Government Reducing Red Tape to Create Jobs and Opportunities

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Ed Fast, Minister of International Trade

The Honourable Ed Fast, Minister of International Trade, and the Honourable Maxime Bernier, Minister of State (Small Business and Tourism, and Agriculture), alongside the Honourable Tony Clement, President of the Treasury Board, today outlined how the Government of Canada is eliminating red tape to help small and mediumsized enterprises (SMEs) expand and succeed here at home and in new markets around the world. Our government is committed to making it easier for Canadians to do business abroad because we understand clearly that this helps create jobs and prosperity here at home. Mr. Fast said. Thats why, through our ambitious trade plan, we are reducing or eliminating red tape for our world-class businesses around the world. And through the Global Markets Action Plan, were looking to double the number of SMEs exporting to emerging markets by 2018, which will create 40,000 net new jobs. For example, in cases where two export permits are required for the same product, the Government of Canada is moving to eliminate the duplication. Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada has also proposed streamlining export permits for dual-use goods and technologies to certain destinations. Further red tape was eliminated recently to help Canadian manufacturers, producers, distributors and purchasers of imported steel and steel products. They are no longer required to obtain individual permits; instead, they use general import permits for all steel imports covered by the Federal Import Control List. This eliminated the need for some 270,000 permits a year, resulting in savings of up to $10 million annually. Minister Fast also highlighted how the coming into force of the CanadaEuropean Union agreement will further reduce barriers to trade between Canada and the largest and most lucrative market in the world. Red tape reduction measures to help SMEs in the agreement include eliminating tariffs, locking in fair and predictable conditions for business, creating mechanisms to reduce unnecessary red tape and ensuring that each side treats the others companies and goods the same way as they treat their own. All of these measures help ensure that world-class Canadian workers and businesses are able to realize the full benefits of this historic agreement. Reducing red tape is in keeping with the governments priorities under the Canada-United States Regulatory Cooperation Council and the Beyond the Border Action Plan. Quick Facts Accounting for 99.8 percent of all Canadian companies, SMEs are the

military government has passed a harsh anti-protest law, conducted mass arrests and shut down media outlets. According to the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), since July, at least five journalists have been killed, 45 assaulted, 11 media outlets raided, and 44 journalists detained without charge in procedures that have at times continued for months. Among those detained are Canadian-Egyptian journalist Mohamed Fahmy-a respected former CNN journalist now working for Al-Jazeera-and two other Al-Jazeera journalists. CJPME urges Canadian MPs of all stripes to press the Egyptian government to rescind the

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Meftih February 2014 Volume 9 Issue 6:

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Canada Taking Strong Action Against Key Ukrainian Government Officials

Ottawa: Canadas Citizenship and Immigration Minister Chris Alexander and Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird today issued the following statement: Recent actions by members of Ukraines ruling elite in the face of popular and growing protests have been utterly deplorable, and compel us to take targeted and meaningful action. Given the violent repression of legitimate protest and the intimidation of opposition voices, we will be restricting entry to Canada effective immediately for key government figures as a direct result of their actions in recent days. Although Canada welcomes the recent developments in Ukraine, more needs to be done. The Ukrainian government must address the fundamental demands of the people, including accountability and a full embrace of democratic principles. We believe it will take more than words to establish trust with the people, and Canada will continue to stand with the Ukrainian people, who courageously continue to speak out in support of democracy. Canada will continue to monitor developments in Ukraine, and, with our international partners, consider further options if necessary.

Michael Schumacher, former F1 . . .

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wake up Schumacher. Experts said it was a good sign that Schumachers doctors were trying to bring him out of the coma and that the first 24 hours would be critical. It means they have probably seen the pressure in his skull reduced, said Dr. Clemens Pahl, a brain trauma expert at Kings College Hospital in London. Pahl warned that if Schumacher hasnt recovered enough to wake up on his own, doctors might need to put him back in the coma. It could be that swelling in his brain hasnt come to an end yet so they might need to increase the medications again, he said. Pahl said that wasnt uncommon in patients with brain injuries and that sometimes it took several attempts to bring someone out of an induced coma. Brain experts said it will be fundamental to determine whether Schumacher was aware of his surroundings and could respond to basic commands from doctors, like raising his hand. This is a test to see what his function is like, said Dr. Anthony Strong, an emeritus chair in neurosurgery at Kings College London. He said that once the sedatives wear off, Schumachers doctors would see if he can breathe on his own and if he responds to mild pain stimulus, like gentle pressing on his eyebrows. Doctors will want to see if he can say `hello, if he probe his recollection of events and to see if he can recognize family members and remember his own identity, Strong said. If Schumacher doesnt respond to their voice, they will also look to see if he tries to pull out any of the tubes in him or rip the dressing off his wounds which would be a sign that he is aware of where he is. Still, experts said it would likely be months before Schumachers prognosis becomes clear and that lasting brain damage was a possibility. If he pulls through, he may not be the man he was, said Dr. Tipu Aziz, head of neurosurgery at Oxford University. Given the length of time hes been in (intensive care), he has clearly had a very severe head injury, he said. Its too early to know how intact he will be, but I would guess there is going to be some kind of lasting damage. Schumacher earned universal acclaim for his uncommon and sometimes ruthless driving talent, which led to a record 91 race wins. He retired from Formula One in 2012 after garnering an unmatched seven world titles. His accident happened on a family vacation in the Alps as Schumacher was skiing with his 14-year-old son.

Grassy Narrows requests environmental assessment of logging plan Clearcutting will elevate mercury poison in fish
Grassy Narrows Grassy Narrows First Nation is calling for a thorough environmental assessment of the newly approved plan for clearcut logging on their Territory an important test of Ontarios environmental laws. Grassy Narrows is concerned that the planned logging could harm the health of their families by raising mercury poison levels in local fish. The logging plan makes no mention of mercury, even though Grassy Narrows Territory is the site of Canadas most infamous case of mercury poisoning arising from 9,000 kg of mercury that was dumped into a local river by a paper mill upstream in the 1960s. Scientific studies indicate that clearcut logging in the boreal forest can raise mercury in fish to unsafe levels. Ontario has ignored our voices, and is planning to force more devastating clearcuts on our people, said Joseph Fobister, a Grassy Narrows hunter and businessman. Our people will become even more sick if the government knowingly allows the logging industry to poison the fish that we eat. Grassy Narrows request is an important test of Ontarios environmental laws. Logging plans in Ontario are generally exempt from Environmental Assessment, but concerned people and groups can request an Individual Environmental Assessment (IEA) of a plan if they believe that environmental and human health are not being protected. Such requests have almost ever been granted. Grassy Narrows request will either set a precedent as one of the first logging plan subjected to an Individual Environmental Assessment in Ontario, or it will expose a glaring gap in the application of Ontarios laws to protect our health from the harmful impacts of industrial activity in our forests, explained Amber Ellis, Director of the grassroots environmental group Earthroots, which is supporting Grassy Narrows in this request. On December 23rd the Wynne government quietly approved plans for another decade of clearcut logging in Grassy Narrows Territory against the will of this Indigenous community. The Whiskey Jack Forest Management Plan 2012-2022 plans for dozens of large clearcuts on Grassy Narrows Territory, some nearly the size of pre-amalgamation Toronto. This logging will further erode the Aboriginal and Treaty Rights of the community which depends on the forest to sustain their families and to practice their culture through fishing, hunting, trapping, medicine harvesting, ceremony and healing for all generations. The formal request cites scientific literature indicating that clearcut logging raises mercury levels in fish to dangerous levels. One study found that 100% of walleye and pike in clearcut lakes had mercury levels above the limit for safe human consumption. Premier Wynne visited Grassy Narrows in the summer of 2012 as Minister of Aboriginal Affairs, saying that she wanted to rebuild Ontarios relationship with Grassy Narrows to get it right. Instead Ontario has unilaterally pursued this clear-cut logging plan against the will of the community and without consent. The Supreme Court of Canada will hear Grassy Narrows case against Ontario on May 15, in a legal action which argues that Ontario does not have the right to unilaterally permit logging on Grassy Narrows land north of the English River due to promises made by Canada in Treaty 3. The new logging plan takes effect on April 1. Grassy Narrows is the site of the longest running native logging blockade in Canadian history - an ongoing grassroots action that recently celebrated its 11th anniversary. Grassy Narrows youth, elders, women, and landusers put their bodies on the line to stop logging trucks from passing. Logging in Grassy Narrows Territory has largely been suspended since June 2008 when Boise and AbitibiBowater (now Resolute) bowed to the pressure of protests, blockades, boycotts, and legal actions by ceasing to source wood from Grassy Narrows Territory without consent.