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Jul 142013

Thirty arrested so far as tensions increase in New Brunswick protests.

by Dallas McQuarrie

On June 15, 63 RCMP officers arrested 12 protesters near Rogersville NB,  just after dawn. My wife Susan and I were among them. Like the Maliseet First Nation Elder who became my cell-mate, we were praying on the highway when arrested.

Susan and I are both senior citizens who have never been arrested before. A surreal moment occurred when an RCMP officer, who had taken my cane while I was on my knees praying, had to help me up before he could arrest me and put me in the paddy wagon.

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Jul 132013

Senator Bernie Sanders says kids go hungry while corporations get huge tax rebates.

"Exxon Mobil made $19 billion in profit and received a $156 million tax rebate."

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Jul 112013

Rail shipment of petroleum products soars in Canada and US.

11 July 2013  |  Bloomberg

By Jim Efstathiou Jr. and Angela Greiling Keane

The train hauling millions of gallons of crude oil that slammed into a Canadian town got there with a crew of one — staffing permitted by law though opposed by labor leaders who've warned of the risks.

The union representing workers at Montreal Maine & Atlantic Railway Ltd. fought the company policy that allowed a solo operator to drive and park the train for the night and says the disaster points to the dangers of manpower cuts.

"It's unfortunate that it takes such a terrible, terrible, terrible situation like this to realize how vulnerable we are in this country," Guy Farrell, assistant to the Quebec director of the United Steelworkers Union, said in an interview.

In the US, crews of at least two people are the norm — down from five 50 years ago. Some non-union short-line railroads are using one-person crews and others are pushing to do so, Dennis Pierce, Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen national president, said.

The safety of moving oil by train is drawing attention as production soars in areas not fully served by pipelines, such as North Dakota's Bakken Shale where the doomed Canadian train took on its freight. Carloads of crude and refined petroleum products carried by rail in the US rose 48 percent in the first half of this year, compared with the same period in 2012, according to the Association of American Railroads. In Canada, car loads of fuel and crude oil surged 74 percent in the first four months of this year, compared with the year-ago period, according to Statistics Canada.

Investigators are combing through the wreckage to determine how the MM&A train, with more than 70 tankers, rolled away from its parking spot July 6 after the engineer left it for the night. The train jumped the tracks as it reached Lac-Megantic, about 250 kilometers (155 miles) east of Montreal, incinerating 30 buildings in the town's center. Twenty people have been confirmed dead and scores more are missing and presumed dead…

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Jul 082013

See cats leaping, prancing, stretching, purring, and attacking.

by oohzwoo

Cat lovers share their favourite views of their pets.

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Jun 272013

Expect information pickets at Gap and Walmart this weekend.

from the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers

Labor unions, activists and students have declared Saturday, June 29, 2013, an International Day of Action to End Deathtraps.
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Jun 272013

Old trick has new surprises.

from Sun Gazing

Just push the toggle and see what happens.

Jun 222013

Beaver Lake Nation lawsuit charges breach of treaty rights.

by Brandi Morin

A First Nation from Alberta is hailing a court victory in its fight against expanded oil sands development near traditional territories and hunting grounds with the dismissal of a government appeal attempting to block their case.

Beaver Lake Cree Nation first went to court against the provincial and Canadian governments in 2008 alleging breach of treaty rights. The Canadian and Alberta governments joined forces to get the lawsuit dismissed, but lost a year ago when the Court of the Queen’s Bench upheld the lawsuit despite the provincial and federal governments’ attempts to throw it out, on grounds that it was frivolous. In her decision last year, Justice Beverley Browne said the case raises issues and questions about aboriginal consultation overall that need to be addressed. (Related: Beaver Lake Cree Nation Allowed to Continue Lawsuit Against Province and Feds)

The two governments appealed. The April 30, 2013, Court of Appeal of Alberta decision puts the case one step closer to proceeding to trial…

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Jun 202013

Largest US anti-homosexual organization closes, admits its actions were wrong and hurtful.

from Exodus International

IRVINE, CA, June 19, 2013 —  Exodus International, the oldest and largest Christian ministry dealing with faith and homosexuality announced tonight that it’s closing its doors after three-plus decades of ministry. The Board of Directors reached a decision after a year of dialogue and prayer about the organization’s place in a changing culture.

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