Canada’s Etobicoke North (Ward 1) city council candidates speak

This exclusive interview features first-hand journalism by a Wikinews reporter. See the collaboration page for more details.

Monday, October 30, 2006

On November 13, Torontoians will be heading to the polls to vote for their ward’s councillor and for mayor. Among Toronto’s ridings is Etobicoke Centre (Ward 3). One candidate responded to Wikinews’ requests for an interview. This ward’s candidates include Francis Ahinful, Ted Berger, Anthony Caputo, Suzan Hall (incumbent), Andre Lucas, Rosemarie Mulhall, Brian Prevost, and Sonali Verma.

For more information on the election, read Toronto municipal election, 2006.

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Second Mortgages To Finance Home Renovations

By Bruce Owens

Second mortgages are allowing Canadians to realize their home renovation aspirations. Canadian homeowners have accumulated significant equity in their homes as housing prices have increased year after year in what has been, until recently, the hottest housing market this country has witnessed since the end of the Second World War. Now that the housing market has cooled, however, Canadians are using some of the equity they have built up to finance significant upgrades to their homes through renovations.

The Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation tracks home renovation trends across Canada. Recently released statistics from the CMHC show that Canadians spent close to $19.7 billion last year in the 10 major urban centers that were surveyed. Overall, 37% of the households surveyed reported that they had completed some form of home renovation in 2007. Canadians reported that the main reasons they undertook renovations were to update, add value, or to prepare to sell their home.

Most Canadians- about three quarters – paid for home renovations from their savings; however, 20 per cent of home renovators paid for their renovation project with a credit card or line of credit. Not surprisingly, the average amount spent on renovations paid for with credit was higher than the amount spent from savings – $13,500 versus $11,200.

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Indications are that these trends will continue in 2008, as two out of five respondents in Canada s five largest regional centers Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto, Montreal and Halifax indicated that they were planning on undertaking home renovations in 2008. With a cooling housing market, and house prices forecast to grow only marginally in 2008 and 2009, home renovations represent one way in which homeowners can act to build in value to their homes.

Home renovations make sense either to enhance the enjoyment of one s home or to increase its curb appeal in an emerging buyers market, but homeowners using savings or, worse yet, credit cards to finance major home renovations risk depleting their assets. Far better, to arrange a second mortgage or line of credit secured against your home s existing equity when undertaking a major home renovation project.

While savings or credit card debt can readily finance a minor renovation project such as remodeling a bathroom or painting and wall papering two of the most popular projects according to the CMHC when undertaking a major renovation, like building an addition or finishing a basement, it makes sense to use a second mortgage secured against existing home equity as second mortgages carry a much lower interest rate than most credit cards. Moreover, second mortgages can be structured as construction loans, where money is borrowed in draws or stages as each phase of a major renovation is completed, cutting down the interest you pay during the renovation process.

Second mortgages are available from commercial banks and trust companies, as well as from a wide pool of other financial institutions and private lenders. Generally, they will carry a marginally higher interest rate than a first mortgage, but their carrying costs need not be prohibitive. If you are contemplating major home renovations and plan to finance renovations through a second mortgage, working with an experienced and well-resourced Canadian mortgage broker can help you access favourable terms and interest rates that may not be commercially available from your bank, credit union or trust company.

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Murder, rape of Albert Namatjira’s great-granddaughter makes belated news

Monday, April 3, 2006

Sometime during the night of Friday, January 28, 15 year-old Jenissa Ryan was assaulted and raped in Alice Springs. She was discovered near the entrance of Centralian Senior Secondary College around 10:30 a.m., and a college employee called an ambulance. The attack was not reported in the mainstream national media until this week, when it became known that the victim was the great-granddaughter of famous indigenous artist Albert Namatjira.

In an article published in Saturdays Sydney Morning Herald, Russell Skelton said that the fact that she was an Aborigine, and the location of her bashing, contributed to her death. “If Jenissa had been white, she might be alive today, though the scars of her brutal bashing and rape could never be erased. If she had been bashed and left for dead almost anywhere else, assistance would have been immediate and the outrage strident.” He also said that if her connection to Namatjira had been known, Jenissa’s death would have been a “national scandal.”

Police believe that she was attacked by a number of youths her own age while walking home. She continued to walk home, but collapsed unconscious near the entrance to the college. Here, according to police, she was found by three teenage boys, who dragged her out of view and raped her.

Jenissa was still alive when found. Skelton considered it likely that people had seen her during the morning but done nothing. “That means a number of residents of middle-class Grevillea Drive probably noticed. The white T-shirt and striped tracksuit pants were hard to miss,” he said.

She was taken to Alice Springs Hospital, and then flown to Adelaide’s Women and Children’s Hospital.

On February 13 Northern Territory Police charged a 16 year-old male and a 15 year-old female with assaulting Jenissa Ryan. Three other males, aged 14, 15, and 16, have been charged with having unlawful sexual intercourse with Jenissa Ryan. Police expressed gratitude for the assistance they had received from members of the public.

Father Asaeli Raass said that both indigenous and non-indigenous people were in denial about the incident. “Yes, it’s a painful thing, but people are sweeping it under the carpet when they should be confronting the big issues Jenissa’s death raises,” he said. He also said that the initial wave of publicity “never travelled outside Alice Springs.”

Jenissa’s mother, Carmel Ryan, said that her daughter wanted to be a painter, like her great-grandfather. “She wanted to be like him, to make a creative contribution we would all be proud of. Tragically that can never be, but I feel nothing but sorrow for the parents of the children involved in this terrible event,” she said.

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Stock markets worldwide rise on hopes of US economic recovery

Friday, August 21, 2009

Stock indexes worldwide rose on Friday, after US bank chief Ben Bernanke said that the US economy was starting to recover from the recession.

Addressing a conference in Wyoming, the bank chief said that “the prospects for a return to growth in the near term appear good.”

He added, however, that “the economic recovery is likely to be relatively slow at first, with unemployment declining only gradually from high levels.”

The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 155.91 points, or 1.67%, to end the day at 9505.96. The Nasdaq reached 2020.90 points after gaining 1.59%. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index, meanwhile, struck a ten-month high, reaching a level of 1,026.13 at the closing bell, up 1.9%.

The British FTSE index rose about two percent, closing at 4,851. The French Cac index gained 3.1% and the German Dax 2.8%.

“Bernanke was a little bit more bullish than most people were expecting. He’s saying that the global economy is starting to emerge from the recession and that the fears of a financial collapse have receded substantially,” said Jacob Oubina, the currency strategist of

“I think the market is just taking those headlines as extreme positives for the outlook.”

Jean-Claude Trichet, the European Central Bank president, warned that talk of a complete recovery might be premature. “I am a little bit uneasy when I see that, because we have some green shoots here and there, we are already saying, ‘well, after all, we are close to back to normal,’ ” he said.

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Doctor: Hoodies are a health risk

Thursday, November 16, 2006

According to New Zealand doctor, Doctor Glenn Twentyman from Child, Youth and Family Services at Wiri, South Auckland, hoodies can be a health risk because they block sunlight which causes a vitamin D deficiency, thus weak bones and low energy.

Dr Twentyman said: “It’s the hoodies and the hats and the downward glance of the teenagers, shading your face all the time.”

Dr Twentyman said that every young person that he had tested showed a deficiency of vitamin D. Vitamin D helps vital minerals to be absorbed into the bones. Vitamin D is given to our body from the sun. “A lot of these kids stay away from sunshine. They don’t hang out at the beach or in the bush. Some are into drugs and alcohol and a lot of it is indoor activity and night-time activity. They sleep during the day. They are wearing those hoods and literally they don’t get out in the sun.”

Even though vitamin D is usually absorbed through sun it can also be found in: fatty fish, liver, eggs, full fat milk and butter.

There is an increase in reports of vitamin D deficiency in Oceania. This is most likely because of people trying to cover up because of the higher risk of getting skin cancer due to the ozone hole over New Zealand. His comments come as evidence mounts of increasing vitamin D deficiency in Australasia, partly caused by covering up to avoid skin cancer. Also one student from Tangaroa College, Vincent Wesche, said that he wears a hoodie because “I don’t want to lose my hair,” also referring to rugby player, Carlos Spencer, “Carlos Spencer is starting to lose his hair from the sun.”

Doctor Cameron Grant, from Starship hospital in Auckland, said that he had done a study for four years which found that infants living in Auckland did have a deficiency of vitamin D. “We know that vitamin D deficiency is a health issue in New Zealand. We know that people who are at risk of vitamin D deficiency are for example groups who keep themselves clothed and keep themselves indoors for religious reasons … so his idea is not an unreasonable one.”

Another study also showed that 87% of pregnant woman living in Wellington were vitamin D deficient.

Dr Twentyman said that the people who are most likely to have a vitamin D deficiency are “depressed people and the elderly, such as those kept indoors in rest homes all day.”

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Common Reasons For Undergoing Eyelid Surgery In Wichita, Ks


Sometimes the appearance of an individual’s eyelids causes them to look like they are tired when they aren’t. As people age, their skin loses its youthful elasticity, and one of the first places this occurs is the area under and around the eyes. Thus, the upper eyelid begins to sag or droop and pockets of fatty tissue begin to develop beneath the eyes. Over the years, the muscles weaken and the skin stretches, allowing the fatty deposits to form. In many individuals, there is also a hereditary component involved as well.

Fortunately, many of these issues can be addressed through Eyelid Surgery in Wichita KS. Blepharoplasty, the medical term for eyelid surgery, is mostly performed for cosmetic reasons, however, some cases have medical relevance and as such are likely to be covered by insurance. Medical reasons for eyelid surgery include having an obstructed field of vision due to droopy eyelids or difficulty wearing contact lenses or eyeglasses due droopy eyelids or excessive fat deposits under the eye.

Regaining a youthful experience or obtaining an overall improved appearance are the primary reasons for undergoing this optional surgical procedure. Eyelid surgery is performed under anesthesia on an outpatient basis. A typical procedure involves removing the loosened skin, removing or redistributing fat deposits, and tightening the tissues and muscles.

Droopy eyelids, or ptosis, is the medical term used to describe the condition where the upper eyelid droops downward, affecting one or both eyes. The condition can be congenital, or can develop following surgical eye procedures such as cataracts, where the eyelid is manipulated during surgery, thus weakening the muscles responsible for holding the eye open. Other reasons such as stroke or head trauma can result in ptosis as well.

Click here to learn more about the types of eyelid surgeries that can be performed on either the upper or lower lids, or both, if necessary. Depending on what the surgeon deems is necessary, either excess muscle, skin, or fat may be removed. Incisions are typically performed in the eyelid’s natural crease to minimize any scarring.

Blepharoplasty, or eyelid surgery in Wichita, KS, are primarily done so by ophthalmologists or oculoplastic surgeons (a specialty of ophthalmology). Other medical professionals such as plastic surgeons, ENT surgeons, and oral and maxillofacial doctors are also skilled in performing cosmetic eyelid surgery.

Richard Hammond injured in jet-powered car crash

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Richard Hammond, a British television presenter known for presenting shows such as Top Gear and Brainiac, is in a “stable” condition in hospital following a car accident during filming for Top Gear. He was injured when the jet-powered car he was driving crashed during filming for the former. The car, similar to the “Vampire” which holds the British land speed record, overturned whilst being driven at speeds of up to 300 miles per hour at Elvington airfield near York, in what was suggested to be an attempt at bettering the previous record. It has been suggested that he succeeded in a previous attempt. Emergency services were called to the scene at 5.45pm local time (16.45 UTC).

He was airlifted to the specialist neurological unit at Leeds General Infirmary. A former firefighter who was providing fire safety at the site and witnessed the accident said that Hammond was initially unconscious but able to speak when removed from the wreckage. At the time he indicated some pain in his lower back. Numerous eyewitnesses from the Top Gear crew claimed he was ‘helped into’ an air ambulance, suggesting he was conscious at the time. The ambulance service is reported to have said that Hammond was unconscious when they arrived at the scene, but began to regain consciousness upon arrival at the hospital.

The car was “very very badly damaged and in many pieces on the runway”, according to BBC News 24, reporting comments made by his colleagues.

A web sitehas been set up for well-wishers enabling them to donate to the Yorkshire Air Ambulance. This site will accept donations until January 21, 2007. As of 23.09 (UTC) 21st September 2006 (day 2) £52,239.90 had been raised, surpassing the original target of £340.00 and well past their target of £51,000 (150 flights) that was set in the past few days.

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Speak With A Professional Adventure Travel Specialist In Mclean Va

byAlma Abell

One of the fastest growing sectors of travel is known as adventure travels. Many people are choosing to take vacations where they can find a bit of adventure in the locations they visit as well as the activities they participate in. However, defining adventure travels can be a little difficult. Some people may find that adventuresome travel is riding a bike up a steep mountainside. Others may consider adventure travel bungee jumping off a bridge spanning a wide canyon or base jumping into a cave. However, whatever you term adventure travel, if you’re looking for the best experience, you’ll need to employ the use of an Adventure Travel Specialist in Mclean VA.

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While the finding adventure travel can be a bit difficult, these types of adventurous vacations are separated into two categories. The first type of adventure travel is considered as hard and the other is soft. Hard adventure travels may include skydiving, bungee jumping, based jumping or cliff diving. These activities will require specific locations and an Adventure Travel Specialist in Mclean VA is going to be able to suggest certain locations depending on the type of activity you’re interested in doing.

In the same way, soft adventure travels can also benefit a great deal from somebody who understands the various levels of adventure you’re interested in participating in. Once again, with their understanding of the different locations whether it’s domestically or internationally you can travel to for a specific activity, makes fulfilling your adventurous vacation much easier. You’ll know where you’re going and you’ll know that the area you’re interested in visiting has specialized activities that fit within your preferences for adventure.

Former Taiwanese President Chen Shui-bian released on bail

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Taiwan’s former President, Chen Shui-bian (???), has been conditionally released on bail, some ten hours after he was indicted for corruption. Speaking to media at the Taipei District Court, he said: “I want to thank my lawyers, members of the Democratic Progressive Party and my supporters who have given me huge encouragement. I am grateful to those who cared for, supported and looked after me so I could get through the hardest and loneliest 32 days of my life in prison.” He earns the historical distinction of being the first ex-president of the Republic of China to be indicted for criminal offenses and could suffer life imprisonment if convicted.

Along with 13 other family members and close associates, including his wheelchair-bound wife, son Chen Chih-Chung, and daughter-in-law Huang Jui-ching, Chen was indicted Friday on charges of embezzling government funds and laundering money or ill-gotten bribes. The panel of three judges ruled he should appear at future court hearings and must not leave the country nor change his address.

Prosecutor Lin Che-hui accused Chen of having “embezzled 104 million New Taiwan dollars ($3.12 million) from a special presidential fund, and received bribes of $11.73 million in connection with a government land procurement deal and a separate construction project; the damning piece of evidence was the presence of NT$740 million ($22.2 million) in cash stashed in a Taipei bank safety vault held by the Chens.” Yuanta Securities director Tu Li-ping said, “she hand delivered NT$200 million ($6 million) in cash to Wu at the presidential residence in 2006 on behalf of executives of an affiliated bank; the money was an incentive for Wu not to interfere with a merger the bank was pursuing.”

Chen insists on his innocence. Contradicting the 100-page indictment, he said that “the $21 million his wife wired to their son’s Swiss bank accounts came from leftover campaign donations. Taiwanese law permits such donations to be kept by political candidates.”

In 1975, Chen married Wu Shu-chen (???), the daughter of a physician. The couple has a daughter, Chen Hsing-yu (???), who is a dentist; and a son, Chen Chih-Chung (???), who, having received a law degree in Taiwan, studied at and graduated with a M.A. degree from the University of California in 2005.

In November 2006, Chen’s wife Wu Shu-chen and three other high ranking officials of the Presidential Office were indicted for corruption, charged with misappropriating NT$14.8 million (USD$450,000) of government funds using falsified documents. Due to the protection from the Constitution against prosecution of the sitting president, Chen could not be prosecuted until he left office, and he was not indicted, but was alleged to be an accomplice on his wife’s indictment.

Chen’s term as President of the Republic of China ended in May 2008. Immediately thereafter, prosecutors began investigating him regarding allegations that he misused his discretionary “state affairs fund”, as well as his connection to the first family’s money-laundering activities. He resigned from the Democratic Progressive Party on August 15, 2008, one day after admitting to falsifying past campaign expenses and wiring campaign contributions to overseas accounts.

In November 2008, Chen was escorted by a security staff, into the Taipei prosecutor’s office for questioning. After 6 hours, he left the Supreme Court prosecutor`s office in handcuffs, was arrested and detained. The charges each carry a minimum penalty of 5 years imprisonment. Following a 6 day hunger strike while in detention, Chen collapsed and was rushed to Taipei’s Far Eastern Memorial Hospital, where he was later transferred to Panchiao Hospital for force-feeding. Despite Chen’s lack of interest in appealing, his lawyer Cheng Wen-long completed a motion seeking his release from detention and filed a notice of appeal of the court’s decision, along with a petition for constitutional interpretation to restrain actions violative of the Constitution.

Prosecutor General, Chen Tsung-ming said that after Chen’s case had been removed to the Taipei Local Court, he would re-file a petition for Chen’s detention. Chen and the main opposition DPP have accused President Ma Ying-jeou‘s administration of “using the scandals to plan a political plot against the former leader.”

Meanwhile, The Straits Times reported that “prosecutors are to investigate former President of the Republic of China and Chairman of the Kuomintang from 1988 to 2000, Lee Teng-hui on suspicion of money laundering, based on allegations made by Chen during his own questioning recently that his predecessor transferred large funds abroad through dummy accounts.” Mr. Lee angrily denied the accusations concerning “a suspected transfer of 50 million Taiwan dollars (US$2.26 million) to Mr Lee from a local stock investor via overseas dummy accounts.” Charges also included transactions made at the end of Lee’s tenure and at the beginning of Chen’s term, including “one billion Taiwan dollars that had been wired to various countries including Singapore.”

The China Post calls for calm and urges fair trial for Chen. “All the people should wait patiently for the outcome of the trial … They shouldn’t do anything to influence the judges in any way, because the rule of law in Taiwan is at stake. We should show the world that Taiwan is a democracy where anybody who commits a crime, be he a man on the street or a former president, is duly punished.” it said.

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Chilean actor Oscar Garcés accused of sexual abuse

Friday, April 23, 2010

Chilean actor Oscar Garcés was arrested last Saturday morning by Carabineros in Calama after a 25-year-old woman accused him of sexual abuse.

Garcés, who was the boyfriend of Francini Amaral, was traveling with Cristián Vidal and Francisco Schilling to Calama. A few hours before the incident, he had attended an event in the “Sala Murano” disco.

Prosecutor Pablo Medina reports that Garcés went at 5:00 AM to the Sonesta Hotel, and called the reception desk to request room service. Soon after, he was involved in a fight with a female hotel worker. The victim accused Garcés of forcibly attempting to kiss her and trying to molest her. Medina later said: “The detained was accused of sexual abuse against a woman.”

After the incident, the woman called Carabineros and later verified her lesions at the Carlos Cisternas Hospital. Police subsequently informed Medina, who ordered that Garcés be arrested. Medina reported the investigation will take about 80 days. Garcés is currently free with some restrictions.

“The accused cannot come within a 200-meter radius from the victim”, Medina said. He also explained that Garcés could be imprisoned from three to seven years.

After being set free, Garcés came back to Santiago, saying: “I’m very sad. I don’t want to say anything until I can talk with my lawyer,” La Cuarta reported.

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