WINNIPEG – #NoMakeupSelfie has gone viral in the last few days.
People — mostly women — have been posting “selfies” — pictures they take of themselves — without makeup on.
The craze is most popular in the U.K., where it’s being used to raise awareness and money for cancer, but now it’s catching on in Canada.
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Since March 17 when the phenomenon hit, the hashtag has been used more than 60,000 times on 桑拿会所 and the Facebook page No Make Up Selfie For Cancer Awareness has gained 237,000 likes since being created two days ago.
“We heard about what was going on in the U.K. over there and the Canadian Cancer Society really thinks it’s great when anyone can raise awareness about cancer,” said Jason Permanand of the Canadian Cancer Society.
But Canadians are taking a different spin on the hashtag and using it to empower women through nominating friends on social media to bare their face.
“I guess I’m a bit self-conscious and I guess a lot of girls may feel that way and they shouldn’t,” said Lindsay Poyser, who was nominated to take a selfie.
Poyser was nominated and Thursday night; with makeup remover in hand, she’ll take the challenge.
“I’m going to not straighten my hair, I’m going to wear no makeup to show who I really am,” said Poyser.
But she’s a little nervous about the online response.
“I hope people still accept me for what I am underneath the makeup and straightened hair,” said Poyser.
Something a University of Manitoba social psychology professor has studied.
“They’re really feeling a lot of social pressure from two difference sources here, so one from the friends saying that you have to do it and one from all of these media images which make us look bad when we look natural,” said Dr. Marian Morry.
But there are also those who feel comfortable in their skin.
“I think it’s great. We don’t have to wear makeup to be who we are, we’re beautiful as we are,” said Victoria Graham.
FREDERICTON – The premier of New Brunswick said he was “disappointed and shocked” when he heard about Alberta Premier Alison Redford’s resignation Wednesday evening.
“We’re so busy here that I wasn’t following what was taking place there, so when I heard about it last night I was very disappointed,” David Alward said to reporters Thursday afternoon.
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What’s next for Alberta following Alison Redford’s surprise resignation
Premier Brad Wall surprised by Redford’s resignation
Alberta Premier Redford touts west-east pipeline project in New Brunswick
Redford visited New Brunswick last summer to promote TransCanada’s west-east pipeline project, which will see 1.1-million barrels of crude oil per day transported from Alberta and Saskatchewan to Saint John.
“This is a living example of why we need to have a Canadian energy strategy, so we can begin to see these very specific economic opportunities,” Redford said to a New Brunswick business audience on June 7, 2013.
Alward said Thursday he’s looking forward to working with the interim premier and that he’s not worried about what this will mean to the pipeline project.
“Any of these projects are larger than one person. But certainly she was a real champion and I believe that she was key in allowing that work that we completed together to get off the ground and to get it moving forward.”
WATCH: Raw video of the film crew searching for buried copies of “E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial” in New Mexico landfill
ALAMOGORDO, N.M. – A documentary film production company has found buried in a New Mexico landfill hundreds of the Atari “E.T.” game cartridges that some call the worst video game ever made.
Film director Zak Penn showed one “E.T.” cartridge retrieved from the site and said that hundreds more were found in the mounds of trash and dirt scooped by a backhoe.
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READ MORE: Search for ‘E.T.’ video games in N.M. landfill put on hold
About 200 residents and game enthusiasts gathered early Saturday in southeastern New Mexico to watch backhoes and bulldozers dig through the concrete-covered landfill in search of up to a million discarded copies of “E.T. The Extraterrestrial” that the game’s maker wanted to hide forever.
“I feel pretty relieved and psyched that they actually got to see something,” said Penn as members of the production team sifted through the mounds of trash, pulling out boxes, games and other Atari products.
Most of the crowd left the landfill before the discovery, turned away by strong winds that kicked up massive clouds of dust mingled with garbage. By the time the games were found, only a few dozen people remained. Some were playing the infamous game in a make-shift gaming den with a T.V. and an 1980’s game console in the back of a van, while others took selfies beside a life-size E.T. doll inside a DeLorean car like the one that was turned into a time machine in the “Back To The Future” movies.
Among the watchers was Armando Ortega, a city official who back in 1983 got a tip from a landfill employee about the massive dump of games.
READ MORE: Gamers play Tetris on skyscraper in Philadelphia
“It was pitch dark here that night, but we came with our flashlights and found dozens of games,” he said. They braved the darkness, coyotes and snakes of the desert landfill and had to sneak past the security guard. But it paid off.
He says they found dozens of crushed cartridges that they took home and were still playable in their game consoles.
The game and its contribution to the demise of Atari have been the source of fascination for video game enthusiasts for 30 years. The search for the cartridges will be featured in an upcoming documentary about the biggest video game company of the early ’80s.
A man takes a photo of an E.T. doll in Alamogordo, N.M, Saturday, April 26, 2014. (AP Photo/Juan Carlos Llorca)
A man takes a photo of an E.T. doll in Alamogordo, N.M, Saturday, April 26, 2014.
(AP Photo/Juan Carlos Llorca)
Xbox Entertainment Studios is one of the companies developing the film, which is expected to be released later this year on Microsoft’s Xbox game consoles.
Whether – and most importantly, why – Atari decided to bury thousands or millions of copies of the failed game is part of the urban legend and much speculation on Internet blog posts and forums.
Kristen Keller, a spokeswoman at Atari, said “nobody here has any idea what that’s about.” The company has no “corporate knowledge” about the Alamogordo burial. Atari has changed hands many times over the years, and Keller said, “We’re just watching like everybody else.”
READ MORE: Studio to comb N.M. landfill for bad Atari games
Atari currently manages about 200 classic titles such as Centipede and Asteroids. It was sold to a French company by Hasbro in 2001.
A New York Times article from Sept. 28, 1983, says 14 truckloads of discarded game cartridges and computer equipment were dumped on the site. An Atari spokesman quoted in the story said the games came from its plant in El Paso, Texas, some 80 miles (130 kilometres) south of Alamogordo.
Local news reports from the time said that the landfill employees were throwing cartridges there and running a bulldozer over them before covering them with dirt and trash.
The city of Alamogordo agreed to give the documentarians 250 cartridges or 10 per cent of the cartridges found, whichever is greater,.
Alamogordo Mayor Susie Galea said finding something in the landfill might bring more tourists to this city in southeastern New Mexico that is home to an Air Force base and White Sands National Monument. “Lots of people just pass through, unfortunately,” she said.
The “E.T.” game is among the factors blamed for the decline of Atari and the collapse in the U.S. of a multi-million dollar video game industry that didn’t bounce back for several years.
Tina Amini, deputy editor at gaming website Kotaku, said the game tanked because “it was practically broken.” A recurring flaw, she said, was that the character of the game, the beloved extraterrestrial, would fall into traps that were almost impossible to escape and would appear constantly and unpredictably.
The company produced millions of cartridges, and although sales were not initially bad, the frustrating gameplay prompted an immense amount of returns. “They had produced so many cartridges that were unsold that even if the game was insanely successful I doubt they’d be able to keep up,” Amini says.
Joe Lewandowski, who became manager of the 300-acre landfill a few months after the cartridge dump and has been a consultant for the documentarians, told The Associated Press that they used old photographs and dug exploratory wells to find the actual burial site.
The incidents following the burial remained a part of Alamogordo’s local folklore, he said. For him, the only memories of “E.T.” the game were of an awful game he once bought for his kid.
“I was busy merging two garbage companies together,” he said. “I didn’t have time for that.”
©2014The Canadian Press
LETHBRIDGE- Last year an estimated four million Canadians did not have a family doctor.
The shortage has put added pressure on emergency departments and the health care system as a whole.
In Lethbridge, Alberta Health Services has been dealing with a family physician shortage for the past four to five years. For many residents, the struggle to find a doctor seems never ending.
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Family doctor shortage in Nova Scotia
Sarah Burrell has been on the hunt for a family doctor since she moved to Lethbridge six months ago, “We’ve called every clinic and there’s one that is accepting but she told me on the phone, she said by the time you apply and we go through all the papers it’ll be full so she said I shouldn’t bother.”
Her oldest daughter has severe allergies and eczema and without a family physician they’re forced to rely on less than ideal options.
“We can either go to the walk-in which is open at five o’clock in the evening and closes at seven, so if you get there at five-thirty its already full so we don’t make it in time. Then we go to emergency and it’s usually a really long wait. I feel bad that I’m taking up space from an emergency and it’s also frustrating to have to wait there for six to eight hours,” adds Burrell.
And, this seems to be happening throughout southern Alberta. South Zone Medical Director, Dr. Vanessa Maclean says the shortage of family physicians within Lethbridge is directly impacting the health system, “There is pressure in two areas. There is pressure in our emergency department for sure and then a lot of the clinics in town have afterhours access and sometimes they get over whelmed.”
AHS says in order for all residents to have a doctor, 15 family physicians are needed within the community.
“We are starting to see some success. We have, in collaboration with the clinics and the community, recruited eight new physicians to the community, two have arrived and we are anticipating six in the next few months,” adds Dr. Maclean.
Mary Coles manages the Wellness Centre at Lethbridge College. They offer five doctors, four days a week and can hardly keep up with demand, “Our doctors are completely, fully booked almost every week. We put a door counter in and we are somewhere between 17 thousand and 20 thousand visits a year, and we closed for the summer so that is just the fall and spring semester, it is a very busy place.”
AHS says the doctor shortage is a national problem. And recruiting physicians involves three factors; doctors themselves, support from AHS and the community.
“When physicians are looking for a community, they’re looking at it from the perspective of their family. Is there employment for their spous and what are the services like for their children? We’ve got really great support in show casing and supporting what we have available in Lethbridge and surrounding areas,” adds Dr. Maclean.
But for Burrell, she says even with new doctors coming to Lethbridge she worries it’s not enough and feels more clinics are needed, “It’s hard for us because we are a family of six so even if there is someone taking new patients they don’t have room for six, they have room for one or two.
Premier Redford stated yesterday that health minister Fred Horne will be announcing more than 80 new family care clinics in the next two months, but which communities will get them is not yet known.
WASHINGTON – More than 20,000 taxpayers have been targeted by fake Internal Revenue Service agents in the largest phone scam the agency has ever seen, the IRS inspector general said Thursday.
Thousands of victims have lost a total of more than $1 million.
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Edmonton police charge two men with $1M phone scam
Caller poses as police officer in new telephone scam
As part of the scam, fake IRS agents call taxpayers, claim they owe taxes, and demand payment using a prepaid debit card or a wire transfer. Those who refuse are threatened with arrest, deportation or loss of a business or driver’s license, said J. Russell George, Treasury inspector general for tax administration.
Real IRS agents usually contact people first by mail, George said. And they don’t demand payment by debit card, credit card or wire transfer.
The inspector general’s office started receiving complaints about the scam in August. Immigrants were the primary target early on, the IG’s office said. But the scam has since become more widespread.
Tax scams often escalate during filing season, George said. People have been targeted in nearly every state.
“This is the largest scam of its kind that we have ever seen,” George said in a statement. “The increasing number of people receiving these unsolicited calls from individuals who fraudulently claim to represent the IRS is alarming.”
The script is similar in many calls, leading investigators to believe they are connected. The inspector general’s office is working with major phone carriers to try to track the origins of the calls, the IG’s office said.
The scam has been effective in part because the fake agents mask their caller ID, making it look like the call is coming from the IRS, George said. In some cases, fake agents know the last four digits of Social Security numbers, and follow up with official-looking emails.
They request prepaid debit cards because they are harder to trace than bank cards. Prepaid debit cards are different from bank cards because they are not connected to a bank account. Instead, consumers buy the cards at stores, and use them just like a bank card, until the money runs out or they add more.
Watch above: emotions ran high at a forum in Langham over a proposed metal processing plant
LANGHAM, Sask – It was more of the same Wednesday night as Fortune Minerals held another open house with Langham, Sask. residents over a proposed metal processing plant.
It was loud and clear before the meeting even began that the plant isn’t welcome after approximately 200 people filled Affinity Town Hall demanding answers from the company.
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Corman Park council hears about proposed mineral plant
Saskatchewan government approves Langham metal processing facility
Langham project raises environmental concerns
“If this community had something like CNH which was going to expand out here, maybe a malt plant like they have in Biggar or something like that, a canola crushing facility, you wouldn’t have a meeting like this,” said Dusty Dear.
Fortune Minerals plans to build the Saskatchewan metals processing plant two-and-a-half kilometers from the town.
“We know there’s always going to be opposition to a large industrial project, we’re basically speaking to the silent majority that are interested in jobs and the economic opportunity that are coming with this project,” said Robin Goad, president and CEO of Fortune Minerals.
The plant would process copper, cobalt, bismuth and gold transported from the company’s mine in the North West Territories. Residents are concerned about potential pollution, air quality, land value and their water supply.
“We’ve had intense scrutiny of both the sites, the mine in the concentrator in the Northwest Territories … as well as the process facility that’s planned for this site,” said Goad.
Watch below: raw video from the forum in Langham over a proposed metal processing plant
The environmental process with the Saskatchewan government has been approved. Fortune Minerals plans to continue with the zoning process and intends to break ground later this year.
Fortune Minerals had considered Flin Flon and Brandon, Man. before settling on Langham, citing better economic opportunities in Saskatchewan.
ABOVE: A video of the mayor ranting and making death threats made headlines last year. Now Rob Ford is saying he wasn’t threatening anyone’s life – instead, he was preparing for an arm-wrestling match with pro wrestler Hulk Hogan. Jackson Proskow explains.
TORONTO – Rob Ford denies that the target of his rant in a video in which he threatens to kill someone was his sister’s ex-boyfriend.
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Ford is one of the targets of a lawsuit filed by Scott MacIntyre, who alleges the mayor conspired to have him attacked in jail to prevent his illicit behaviours from becoming publicly known.
READ MORE: 5 questions Rob Ford has yet to answer
In a statement of defence filed Wednesday, Ford says the footage was recorded without his consent or knowledge and shows him “discussing and imitating, as a joke, the pre-match rant of a professional wrestler.”
He says the private conversation happened at a friend’s home in anticipation of a charity event in 2013 that would pit Ford against a “well-known, retired professional wrestler.”
WATCH: Rob Ford rages on video
Ford faced off in an arm-wrestling match with Hulk Hogan that summer.
The mayor previously said he was drunk at the time and called the incident an embarrassing mistake, but he wouldn’t name the target of his rage.
The mayor previously said he was drunk at the time the video was taken and called the incident an embarrassing mistake, but he wouldn’t name the target of his rage.
The video is mentioned in MacIntyre’s statement of claim, in which he accuses the mayor of arranging for jail staff to facilitate the beating.
In statement of defence Rob Ford says, was talking abt Hulk Hogan. But that’s not what he told Kimmel: https://t.co/iEg6VLkltE #TOPoli
— Peter Kim (@PeterKimGlobal) March 20, 2014
MacIntyre was sent to jail in early 2012 after being charged with threatening the mayor, for saying he would expose his “unsavoury activities,” MacIntyre says in his statement of claim.
MacIntyre alleges video surveillance in the area had been “inexplicably disabled” before the attack and the guards stationed to watch the area didn’t come to his aid, MacIntyre alleges.
It was through his attendance at various Ford family events and social gatherings that MacIntyre became aware of the mayor’s “habits and lifestyle,” he says in the document filed in January.
MacIntyre’s statement of claim and Ford’s statement of defence contain allegations not proven in court.
The mayor admitted late last year he has tried the illegal drug, likely while “in a drunken stupor.” He has also admitted to drinking too much on occasion, but denies being addicted to either substance.
In his statement of defence, Ford denies he “conspired with others to either injure the plaintiff or threaten to cause harm to the plaintiff in any way” or that MacIntyre has any intimate knowledge of his habits.
The idea that Ford is “somehow capable of manipulating the operation of such a correctional facility” is “beyond any rational possibility or air of reality,” the mayor says.
Ford says he has “no or insufficient knowledge of all other allegations” contained in the suit, which he condemns as a “frivolous and vexatious” publicity stunt.
The suit also names Ontario’s Ministry of Correctional Services, which is responsible for the province’s jails, as well as Payman Aboodowleh and Aedan Petros.
MacIntyre is seeking $1 million in damages from all of the defendants, plus $100,000 from each of them for aggravated, punitive and penal damages. He is also seeking another $100,000 from the ministry, who he alleges breached his charter right to life, liberty and security of the person.
©2014The Canadian Press
OTTAWA — The Conservative government could be moving too quickly to implement some of the contentious cuts announced in the 2012 budget, planning documents suggest.
The Conservatives have long promised cuts to “back office” operations, costs associated with human resources, information technology, communications and records management.
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Budget cuts at watchdog offices part of ‘systematic attack’ Opposition says
Budget Highlights 2012
PBO Kevin Page and Flaherty still at odds over federal budget deficit
But it was only in Budget 2012 when they said a majority of their $5.2-billion spending restraint program would target these costs, without affecting services to Canadians.
Two years later, bureaucrats at the Treasury Board Secretariat are warning the cuts may be going ahead too quickly and without enough direction.
“There is a risk that the complexity and pace of the transformation agenda may exceed the departments’ and the Secretariat’s capacity to drive standardization and consolidation,” the report reads, later describing the process as a “challenging area of work.”
The warning comes in a recently-tabled report on plans and priorities from Treasury Board, the department responsible for managing federal spending.
Former parliamentary budget officer Kevin Page said the language in the report is “informative,” especially since the Conservative plans to balance the budget before the next federal election at lest partly hinge on making these cuts.
“For me, it strongly suggests that the government’s fiscal strategy … came before, and possibly without, the development of a business transformation plan,” he said Thursday.
This means departments will have to absorb the cuts regardless of whether they are able to maintain current service levels to Canadians, he said.
“It looks to me like the government and the Treasury Board are flying at night without radar,” Page said. “This is very poor fiscal management by the government and public service.”
A spokeswoman for Treasury Board President Tony Clement said departments are required to evaluate any perceived risks as part of the monitoring process, but the analysis is “not reflective of the actual situation.”
But the actual situation is quite chaotic, according to New Democrat Treasury Board critic Mathieu Ravignat, who said he’s spoken with members of the public service involved in the process.
“My read of the situation is that they don’t know what’s going on,” he said in an interview Thursday. “It isn’t clear what they need to do, it isn’t clear how they’re supposed to report it, and it isn’t clear that it’s creating efficiencies.”
Adding to the chaos, he said, is the fact these public servants are under “enormous pressure” to rush the initiative in order to be able to book the savings before the next election.
The potential consequences of that, Ravignat said, are two-fold: that intended savings either won’t materialize or will be exaggerated, and that any haphazard cuts could end up affecting services to Canadians.
Clement’s spokeswoman did not respond to an email asking whether the drive to balance the books is causing the rush to consolidate back offices.
A 2013 report from then-Parliamentary Budget Officer Page challenged the government’s assertion that 70 per cent of the austerity program would come from cutting overhead rather than front-line services.
That report came at the height of tensions between the office and Conservative government, as Page and his staff tried to analyze the sweeping cuts only vaguely outlined in Budget 2012.
According to that report, one the Conservatives vehemently refuted, the bulk of the cuts would be felt in programs and services, not the back office. Page’s calculations indicated a mere 15 per cent of the $5.2-billion in spending restraints would come from internal government savings.
BSE shook the livestock industry when it showed up in a cow eleven years ago. The disease did not remain in Canada’s herd but work to prevent it intensified.
BSE is a prion disease. Prions are a problematic protein associated with BSE in cattle, chronic wasting disease in deer and elk and scrapie in sheep. Work at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s Lethbridge Research Centre has helped make Canada a leader in prion science.
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For seven years Tim McAllister and his team at the Lethbridge Research Centre examined what composting does to prions that cause BSE. They studied them in compost in an indoor containment area as well as outdoors.
“Within the containment area, about 99 percent of the prions were degraded as a result of the composting process,” McAllister said. “When we did the larger scale composting here it was much higher than that, probably less than .01 percent of the prions were still viable after that period of time.”
He also found that mixing the manure with chicken feathers, as a source of keratin to enrich the microbial levels in the compost, further enhances degradation of the prions.
“It certainly puts some science that prions are in fact not stable in the environment forever, that there are means of degredating them using biological approaches such as composting,” said McAllister.
The research also explored chronic wasting disease prion’s potential for uptake and transmission by plants. If they do, could plants transmit CWD among wild deer and elk.
Researcher Jay Rasmussen said, “It looks like it isn’t occuring to a large extent, like there isn’t a large accumulation of protein in the plant but further studies probably need to be done in order to determine definitively is there is a lower level that actually is transported.”
The research centre’s work shows composting degrades prions that cause BSE and and other prion diseases however it is not the regulatory body that approves or disapproves their use. McAllister says that will be up to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.
In addition, a recent animal infectivity study between McAllister’s group and the CFIA showed that proper composting reduces the infectivity of prions to the point where they no longer present a significant disease risk.
Watch above: Why are these Calgarians “coming out” on stage? Jill Croteau reports.
Taking to the stage in front of hundreds of people isn’t always easy for everyone, even for actors. But imagine being centre stage and telling your own personal story.
A group of performers are coming out from behind the curtain to share their experiences of coming out of the closet.
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At Calgary’s John Dutton Theatre this week, 19 individuals are taking part in the fifth annual Coming Out Monologues.
Among them is Dr. Sambuddha Banerjee, who said it was important for him to take part in the performance because there are “certain races that don’t exist on the gay map.”
“India falls in that blank zone,” he said.
Banerjee said growing up in India, he buried himself in books and studying science, while trying to find his place.
“I thought there was something wrong with me,” he said. “One friend came to me and said, ‘You’re so nice. You never think about girls.’ And I said, ‘That’s my problem.’”
The performances are designed to expose audiences to diversity in what many perceive as conservative Calgary.
Most of the people aren’t professionals, but rather ordinary people.
“Most come to audition and are like, ‘I’ve never been on stage,’” said organizer Madeleine Hardy.
But, that’s exactly what the Coming Out Monologues is all about.
Susan Anderson-Coyle and Nancy Anderson-Dolan appear on stage together. The sisters revealed they are lesbians decades ago.
But the coming out process is not one that ends in a single instance. It’s a constant process and the sisters both felt it was time to come out all over again, but for different reasons.
“I used to be quite an activist,” Anderson Dolan said. “Then I had kids and retreated into suburbia and anonymity. So, suddenly I needed to come out again.”
But, her sister points out another important reason for sharing her story.
“Senior lesbians disappear,” Anderson-Coyle said. “I think that’s dangerous and I think that younger people need those sort of role models to look up to.”
The Coming Out Monologues wraps up Friday Night.