• Commander in chief dismisses Netanyahu's address to CongressCommander in chief dismisses Netanyahu's address to Congress

    A metaphorical gauntlet lies in the middle of Pennsylvania Avenue. Thrown by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with his speech to a joint session of Congress on Mar. 3, the gauntlet is the challenge of how to address the Iranian nuclear program and prevent the development of nuclear weapons.

    This is not an easy problem; indeed, it may be an impossible one to solve—short of Iranian regime change (and even that sanguine possibility may well not be a solution).

    Indeed, Iranian nukes are a legacy concern. Although not much discussed, Tehran’s interest/commitment to developing nuclear weapons dates to the Shah’s era. Iran has persisted, for nationalist, geopolitical, and military reasons, in manufacturing fissile material, developing the technical mechanical processes and designs to construct a nuclear warhead, and manufacturing missile delivery systems for such warheads.

    Moreover, Iran sees itself both as living in a dangerous neighborhood and wanting to seize leadership

    Read More »from Obama’s Israel-Iran nuclear problem: The United States has nothing but bad choices
  • In the small ocean of printer’s ink consumed since Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech of March 3rd to the U.S. Congress swim four not-so-imaginary fish.

    The most frightened one is Israel. A 2012 opinion survey by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs revealed that two-thirds of Israelis believed that “if Iran will acquire a nuclear weapon it would use it against Israel.” The strongly peace-seeking Shimon Peres as Israel’s president asked in 2012 how the world could allow the Iranian leadership to “openly deny the Holocaust and threaten another Holocaust.”

    A former Iranian president, Hashemi Rafsanjani, in 2001 claimed that a single bomb would end Israel’s existence. Israelis fear both a direct strike by Tehran and one by a non-state actor with a nuclear weapon provided by it. Many also believe that the Middle East as a whole, with Iran in the lead, rejects Israel’s right to exist as a country.

    Other concerns about a nuclear-armed Iran relate to the toxic consequences

    Read More »from Obama’s Israel-Iran nuclear problem: Tough economic sanctions brought Tehran to the table
  • Photo: ThinkstockPhoto: Thinkstock
    Police are hoping to solve future crimes by doing a little legwork now and enlisting the help of high-tech silent witnesses throughout their communities.

    Saint John, N.B. is among Canadian communities joining the digital crime fighting age through programs like iWatch – a voluntary system that gives investigators witnesses that never sleep.

    Crimes are much easier to solve when police have a dependable witness that remembers precise details – something CCTV systems have been doing in Europe and major cities like London for some time.

    But unfortunately for law enforcement and victims, smaller communities don’t always have the resources to establish and maintain camera systems strategically placed to cover the city.

    Programs like iWatch enlist residents and businesses to register their external surveillance cameras on a mappable database.

    Sgt. Lori Magee says the iWatch registry will assist in reducing the time and resources spent on canvassing for information each time a crime occurs. (YouTube)Sgt. Lori Magee says the iWatch registry will assist in reducing the time and resources spent on canvassing for information each time a crime occurs. (YouTube)"It assists officers in terms of canvassing the area and the time that's required to do that,” Saint John Police Force spokesperson Sgt. Lori Magee told

    Read More »from Police enlist private cameras as silent witnesses to future crimes
  • An investigation found several Canadian communities are under water advisories. An investigation found several Canadian communities are under water advisories.
    More than 1,800 Canadian communities started the year under drinking water advisories, a new report says.

    The investigation by the Council of Canadians found 1,838 advisories in place in January, 169 of them in First Nations communities.

    “There are thousands of people across Canada that aren’t able to drink their water,” said Emma Lui, a water campaigner for the council and author of the report.

    British Columbia accounted for almost 30 per cent of those advisories, with 544 advisories.

    Saskatchewan had 16 per cent, with 294, and Newfoundland represented almost 13 per cent, with 233.

    Ontario’s report includes only boil water advisories, while other provinces include “do not consume” warnings, water quality and other advisories.

    “There’s a lot of gaps in water protection across the country and a big one is having national enforceable drinking water standards,” Lui told Yahoo Canada News.

    “What there ends up being is a patchwork of different standards, depending on what a province has

    Read More »from Thousands of Canadians can't drink their water: report
  • Bill C-51 for Dummies: What you should know

    Explaining the Tories' controversial anti-terror legislation

    The scope of the Conservative government’s anti-terror legislation is broad, and it may be difficult hear what the real issues and concerns are amid the noise and clatter of Ottawa.

    So, as best we can, Yahoo Canada News presents an anti-terror bill 101; or, as we’d like to call it, “Bill C-51 for Dummies.”

    What is Bill C-51?

    Bill C-51 was introduced at the end of January, and sets out to extend Canada’s anti-terror laws beyond legislation the then-Liberal government implemented just after 9/11.

    The bill comes at a time when tension over threats of terrorism on home soil are high. Attacks on two Canadian soldiers in October, as well as the attack on the Charlie Hebdo office in Paris, are often cited by members of the government as justification for tougher laws.

    Bill C-51, according to Public Safety Minister Steve Blaney, is in line with the government’s “firm commitment” to protect Canadians from jihadist terrorists who seek to destroy the values Canadians hold dear.

    “The

    Read More »from Bill C-51 for Dummies: What you should know
  • “What was that?”

    “Turn down your music, you’ll ruin your hearing!”

    “WHAT?”

    “I couldn’t hear you, my music was too loud.”

    This scenario has been playing out between parents and kids for eons. But the risks for young people are higher than ever now that they can blast their music on portable devices all day.

    The World Health Organization (WHO) recently warned that about “1.1 billion teenagers and young adults are at risk of hearing loss due to the unsafe use of personal audio devices, including smartphones, and exposure to damaging levels of sound at noisy entertainment venues such as nightclubs, bars and sporting events.”

    Playing loud music has long been a rite of passage for young people. Ever since the Walkman first hit the market in 1979, music fans of all ages have been able to listen to their tunes via headphones wherever they go. Walk down the street today and it seems like most teens and young adults do nothing but listen to music. (As they simultaneously text and watch cat

    Read More »from Turn it way down: WHO finds 1.1B young people at risk of hearing loss
  • Toronto’s Georgina Rayner has been trying to retire for years now.

    At 67, she’s successfully raised her own two kids, both of them with special needs, and seen them go on to achieve professional and personal milestones.

    For 30 years, she’s used her own experience to advocate on behalf other parents whose kids are in danger of falling through the cracks in the education system.

    Trouble is, every time Rayner tries to step away from her unpaid work, she hears from another desperate family in need of help and she just can’t stop herself from getting back up on the soapbox and fighting for change.

    “Every child has the right to learn and to work and become something,” she told Yahoo Canada News. “It really irks me, because it seems like (special needs programming) always becomes the whipping post for all the budget cuts.”

    Her comments come as Toronto’s school trustees axe 22.5 support staff positions affecting those who work with special-needs students. The cuts come after the province

    Read More »from Budget cuts to special needs support staff a hit to Toronto’s most vulnerable students
  • Photo by Dina Rudick via the Boston Globe. (Curbed)Photo by Dina Rudick via the Boston Globe. (Curbed)

    Ever dream of being an innkeeper? Here’s your chance.

    The owner of the Center Lovell Inn and Restaurant in southwestern Maine is set to retire — and is ready to give away the 210-year-old country inn, valued at $905,000, to the winner of an essay contest.

    Applicants are to outline both their eagerness to run the business and their qualifications to do so in a 200-word essay, owner Janice Sage told Reuters earlier this week. The conditions to winning the contest include agreeing to operate the inn for at least one full year, and keeping the inn painted white, with green or black roofing and shutters.

    “I would really like it to go to somebody where it’s something they really want to do and they’ll carry it on for a while,” she told the Toronto Star.

    The winner should also be prepared for hard work — and 17-hour work days.

    “Unless you raise 14 kids, you’re not going to be used to this,” Sage told the Boston Globe of caring for seven rooms a day, seven days a week in high season. “Look,

    Read More »from Maine country inn could be yours — for 200 words
  • In this supplied photo, a boat is seen which collided with a grey whale on Mar. 12, 2015. (AP)In this supplied photo, a boat is seen which collided with a grey whale on Mar. 12, 2015. (AP)

    The death of a Canadian woman after a grey whale crashed into a tourist boat in Mexico is likely a terrible and totally random accident, say whale-watching tour operators in Canada.

    But it does raise questions about the regulations and training that govern the tourism industry and whale-watching in particular, they said.

    “It’s very, very sad,” said Debbie Davis, who operates Prince Rupert Adventure Tours with her husband on the north coast of British Columbia, to Yahoo Canada News.

    “Whales are unpredictable. People have to be cautious – it’s a wild animal.”

    Early accounts of the accident differed.

    Firefighters said the whale breached and landed on the boat near Cabo San Lucas, while the tour company said the operator had to make a sudden movement to avoid the surfacing whale, which still hit the side of the vessel.

    Individual whales are like people. Some are very social and some are anti-social.
    —Michael Gatherall, Gatherall's Whale and Puffin Tours

    The 35-year-old woman, whose

    Read More »from Canadian tourist's whale breach death must be freak accident, say tour operators
  • Smiley the golden retriever was born with dwarfism and without eyes.

    A fortunate rescue from a puppy mill gave the pup a second chance at life, and now the blind canine pays it forward by cheering others up.

    Stouffville, Ontario, dog trainer Joanne George adopted the dog when he was still young, around one to two years old.

    The scarred dog often cowered at the sounds of other dogs eating, was “extremely destructive” and had no housetraining.

    “He was nervous and had many anxieties about coming into a home,” George wrote on her blog.

    Over time, however, Smiley learned to trust his new owner, and even befriended a deaf Great Dane named Tyler.

    “Smiley was the one who changed my way of training,” George wrote. “He did not know one verbal command — I communicated only through my energy to him. He did not see my body language — he used his nose and his keen sense of hearing to get around. His best teacher was Tyler — a young, boisterous partially deaf Great Dane. Life was grand to Tyler —

    Read More »from Golden retriever born without eyes fetches rave reviews as a therapy dog

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