Monthly Archives: August 2019

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Remembrance Day silence should be mandatory: Poll

OTTAWA – A majority of Canadians believe observing two minutes of silence on Remembrance Day should be mandatory rather than voluntary, suggests a new poll released to Canwest News Service.

Seven in 10 Canadians who responded to the survey agreed that governments at all levels should enact a law to make everyone stop and observe two minutes of silence on Nov. 11, according to the Ipsos-Reid poll.

The poll surveyed 1,032 people between Nov. 3 and 5, on behalf of the Historica-Dominion Institute.

A further 57 per cent of respondents said all public transit and cars, wherever possible, should stop for two minutes at 11 a.m. on Remembrance Day, which falls Wednesday, to honour this country’s fallen soldiers.

The support for mandatory silence may have more to do with Canadians’ passion to keep a tradition alive than actually wanting it legally enshrined, said Marc Chalifoux, spokesman for the Historica-Dominion Institute.

“There is a growing awareness among Canadians about the importance of remembering those who have served and died under our flag and those who are currently serving in very dangerous places,” he said.

The escalating number of Canadian soldiers who have died in Afghanistan may be a significant reason for the current desire to observe Remembrance Day, he said. Sapper Steven Marshall’s death in Afghanistan on Oct. 30 brought the total number of Canadian soldiers killed in Afghanistan to 133, since their mission began in 2002.

“I think the tragic loss of life in Afghanistan is part of it, but also there’s an awareness that there are men and women out there who are choosing to serve their country and making the ultimate sacrifice,” Chalifoux said.

Legally enforcing a moment of remembrance didn’t quite sit right with one organization that represents Canada’s veterans.

“We don’t need to legislate this,” said Don Leonardo, 48, a spokesman for Veterans of Canada, who comes from a family of three generations of Canadians who fought in wars. Leonardo served as a peacekeeper in former Yugoslavia, while his grandfather and father served in both world wars.

“We need to remember our soldiers have fought for freedoms – freedom of the press, freedom to enjoy the Olympics or the freedom to protest them, and the freedom to observe two minutes of silence.”

Overall, 85 per cent of Canadians said they will observe the tradition. Quebec had the lowest response, with two thirds of Quebecers saying they will stop for two minutes to honour soldiers who have fought for Canada.

Fifty per cent of Quebecers believe that two minutes of silence should be made mandatory for individuals, schools and workplaces, compared to 71 per cent Canadians overall who think so, the poll results suggested.

The survey has an estimated margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

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Nokia to replace 14M phone chargers

HELSINKI – Nokia Oyj is replacing 14 million cellphone chargers which it says could give users an electric shock.

The world’s biggest mobile phone maker said its Chinese supplier BYD would cover the costs of recalling the chargers, for which handset makers normally pay around $1.

Shares in Nokia were 2.3 per cent firmer at 9.04 euros by 1230 GMT and analysts said the impact on Nokia’s brand would be limited.

"The plastic covers of the affected chargers could come loose and separate, exposing the charger’s internal components and potentially posing an electrical shock hazard if certain internal components are touched while the charger is plugged into a live socket," the Finnish firm said.

Three models of charger – AC-3E, AC-3U and AC-4U – made between April and October this year would be affected. Nokia urged users to seek a free replacement (杭州桑拿按摩论坛chargerexchange.nokia杭州夜网/).

BYD Co Ltd’s battery-making arm BYD Electronic said it expects no material impact on its financial and operating conditions or its business prospects.

BYD has become an increasingly important supplier to Nokia over the last few years, helped by its wide offering – from components to manufacturing services.

"We are not aware of any incidents or injuries relating to these three (models of) chargers," said Nokia spokesman Doug Dawson.

The defective chargers were not sold in Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Britain, Chile, China and New Zealand.

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Hurricane Ida weakens on path to U.S. Gulf Coast

HOUSTON – Hurricane Ida weakened to a Category 1 hurricane on Monday as it headed toward oil and gas facilities in the central Gulf of Mexico after killing 124 people in El Salvador following floods and mudslides.

Ida’s top sustained winds fell to 90 miles per hour and was expected to weaken further in the next 24 hours, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said. But Ida was still expected to be a hurricane as it approached the U.S. Gulf Coast on Monday night or early on Tuesday, bringing heavy rains.

Ida was forecast to hit somewhere between Louisiana and Florida.

U.S. oil companies were shutting production and evacuating workers from the Gulf in the face of Ida.

Oil rose more than $1 to above $78 a barrel on Monday on fears the hurricane would cut U.S. oil and gas supplies.

Several large producers shut down some oil and gas production as a precautionary measure.

The Louisiana Offshore Oil Port, the only terminal in the United States capable of handling the largest tankers, stopped unloading ships due to stormy seas.

A quarter of U.S. oil and 15 percent of its natural gas are produced from fields in the Gulf and the coast is home to 40 percent of the nation’s refining capacity.

In El Salvador, rivers burst their banks and hillsides collapsed under relentless rains triggered by Ida’s passage, cutting off parts of the mountainous interior from the rest of the country.

El Salvador’s government said 124 people were killed as mudslides and floods swept away rudimentary houses.

The bulk of the Central American country’s coffee is grown in areas far from the worst affects of the flooding but the national coffee association had no estimate of potential damage to the harvest.

LOUISIANA STATE OF EMERGENCY

The Miami-based hurricane center set a hurricane warning from Pascagoula, Mississippi, to Indian Pass, Florida, meaning hurricane conditions could be expected in the area within 24 hours.

A tropical storm warning was in effect for parts of Louisiana and Mississippi, including the city of New Orleans, which is still recovering from the devastation of Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal declared a state of emergency on Sunday, allowing the government to mobilize troops and rescue workers.

If Ida makes landfall in Louisiana, it would be the first storm to strike the state since Hurricane Gustav came ashore in September 2008.

At 4 a.m. EST, the center of Ida was about 285 miles south-southeast of the mouth of the Mississippi River and 375 miles south of Pensacola, Florida. Ida was expected to turn toward the north and move faster toward the Gulf Coast before veering off to the northeast on Tuesday.

Ida swept past the Mexican resort of Cancun on Sunday, doing little damage to the city.

Ida first became a hurricane on Thursday off the Caribbean coast of Nicaragua, where heavy rains forced more than 5,000 people into shelters.

The country’s coffee crop was not directly affected by the storm, according to the local coffee council.

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Leaders hail Berlin Wall fall, vow to topple new barriers

BERLIN — Chancellor Angela Merkel and other leaders hailed the human courage that toppled the Berlin Wall, saying the historic events of 20 years ago showed the world could tackle new challenges, from poverty to climate change.

Ms. Merkel and fellow leaders from Britain, France and Russia spoke to tens of thousands gathered at the Brandenburg Gate to celebrate the anniversary of the collapse of the Wall, which ended the Cold War and paved the way for German reunification.

"Together we brought down the Iron Curtain and I am convinced this can give us the strength for the 21st century," said Ms. Merkel, who grew up behind the Wall herself in communist East Germany.

"Our good fortune obliges us to take on the challenges of our time," she added, mentioning security, economic well-being and protection of the environment as key tasks confronting the world.

The spirit of celebration was dampened somewhat on Monday by a steady downpour, which forced spectators gathered around the illuminated Brandenburg Gate to cover themselves with plastic rain coats and umbrellas.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy said the fall of the Wall was a liberation, but also a call to nations to "fight against repression, to fight against the walls that still exist in our world and which still divide cities, regions and nations."

His Russian counterpart Dmitry Medvedev said the confrontation of the Cold War was in the past and urged the building of a "new, better world" and a common battle against economic crisis, crime, terrorism and poverty.

After the leaders spoke, they watched the symbolic toppling of a chain of giant brightly coloured dominoes set up along a 1.5-kilometre stretch where the Wall once stood and where Berliners from East and West celebrated on Nov. 9, 1989.

Backed by the Soviet Union, the East German government began erecting its "anti-fascist protection barrier" in the early hours of Aug. 13, 1961, to end a mass flight of its citizens into capitalist West Berlin.

Initially a makeshift fence of barbed wire, it was gradually built up into an imposing 156-kilometre barrier that encircled the three western sectors of the city and was patrolled by guards who were ordered to shoot anyone who tried to escape.

According to a study published this year, at least 136 people were killed at the Berlin Wall between 1961 and 1989 while trying to flee.

But not a single shot was fired when the Wall fell and the night turned into a giant city-wide party with easterners roaming the streets of West Berlin in disbelief and residents from both sides of the Wall embracing each other impulsively.

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Full Smitherman statement

Yesterday I advised Premier McGuinty of my decision to resign from his Cabinet.

This was an important step for me as I begin to make the transition to being a candidate for mayor of Toronto. While I will no longer serve in the

Cabinet, I will continue to serve as the MPP for Toronto Centre in the Ontario legislature for the time being.

I have appreciated the opportunity to work with a premier, and with a government, that has delivered real and positive change for the people of Ontario. It has been an honour to work alongside Premier Dalton McGuinty, a leader who continues to lead the province with distinction.

I am also proud of my own role in delivering on significant parts of the government’s agenda and leaving a lasting legacy. It is now time for me

to turn my attention elsewhere. I’ve made no secret of the fact that I have been considering entering the race for Mayor of Toronto.

I am a son of this city. It is where I was born, where I was raised. It’s a city that has been a source of great pride and a place where I’ve devoted

a great deal of my energy trying to help build a stronger community. Toronto has had an amazing history, of which we should all be proud. I

believe it can have an even brighter future.

However, one decade into the 21st century, this city is facing tremendous challenges, challenges that threaten to limit our great potential. Toronto is in desperate need of strong leadership if it is to address these challenges and build an even stronger city.

I believe that I can deliver the leadership that Toronto needs. I have the experience, the energy, the passion and record of accomplishment to lead

this city in a new direction with confidence.

I’ve never been one to simply tinker with the edges when what’s required is bold action. During my time in the McGuinty Cabinet, I have tackled

some of the government’s most challenging files and have demonstrated the ability to lead major transformation. As Ontario’s health minister, I led

major change initiatives that resulted in lower wait times, more nurses, improved community health care, and provided more Ontarians with

access to a family doctor.

While I am proud of these accomplishments, I am even more proud of the changes I made to introduce accountability and sustainability into healthcare, particularly in addressing the significant cost pressures faced by hospitals.

Similarly, as energy and infrastructure minister, I led some of the government’s most critical environmental and economic initiatives. The Green Energy Act, which is the first of its kind in North America, holds the promise for real environmental and economic transformation that will make our air cleaner, contribute to the solutions to climate change, and create new jobs and economic growth for Ontarians.

Recently, I was privileged to celebrate 30 years of political activism surrounded by friends, family and political supporters. It reminded me of how many people have been there to have helped me in life’s journey and I am truly touched by the support that they have offered me over the years.

This is particularly true of those closest to me, particularly my family and my husband, Christopher. It has been an honour to have been able to work on behalf of the people Ontario. Today, however, I am looking to turn my focus exclusively on the needs of the City of Toronto as I prepare to enter the race for mayor. I hope to soon have the honour of serving the people of Toronto in that capacity, as their mayor.

In closing, I want to thank my friend and leader, Premier Dalton McGuinty for the opportunity to have been part of his government. I also want to thank the people of Toronto Centre who, in three successive elections, have shown their confidence in me to serve as their representative in the Ontario legislature.

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