• If you want to make an impression on the hearts and minds of Americans, it turns out smoking crack, lying about it, consorting with known and suspected criminals and occasionally acting like the mayor of Canada's largest city is a pretty good way to do it.

    An exclusive poll conducted by Pollara has found that Toronto Mayor Rob Ford is the second-most recognized international political figure in the United States.

    He ranks only behind Russian President Vladimir Putin.

    Half of the 1,001 respondents to Pollara's online survey saying they are familiar with Ford. This made him more than twice as known as Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

    “This is one of the few times in memory that Americans have taken widespread interest in a Canadian political story,” Pollara vice-president Dan Arnold said in a statement. “Be it CNN or The Daily Show, it’s been impossible for Americans to escape Rob Ford coverage.”

    Here are the most widely recognized international political figures, inside the U.S.:

    • Russian
    Read More »from More Americans know of Rob Ford than they do most world leaders
  • The quotable Nelson Mandela

    Nelson Mandela, addresses a capacity crowd at a rally in Port Elizabeth in 1990.

    Nelson Mandela was incarcerated on Robben Island for 18 of his 27 years in prison. During this time, he contracted tuberculosis and, as a black political prisoner, received the lowest level of treatment from prison workers. In 1990, Mandela was released and immediately urged foreign powers not to reduce pressure on the South African government for constitutional reform.

    Here are some of Mandela's most poignant quotations.

    "I was not a messiah, but an ordinary man who had become a leader because of extraordinary circumstances."

    "I can rest only for a moment, for with freedom come responsibilities, and I dare not linger, for my long walk is not yet ended."

    "For to be free is not merely to cast off one's chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others."

    "If you want to make peace with your enemy, you have to work with your enemy. Then he becomes your partner."

    "Man's goodness is a flame that can be hidden but never extinguished."

    “As we let our own light shine, we

    Read More »from The quotable Nelson Mandela
  • Timeline: Nelson Mandela

    Nelson Mandela became the first black president of South Africa in 1994. A symbol of global peacemaking, he won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993. Here is a timeline of key events during Mandela's life:

    July 18, 1918 - Born Rolihlahla Mandela at Mvezo in the Transkei

    1925 - Attends primary school near Qunu (receives the name ‘Nelson’ from a teacher)

    1939 - Enrols at the University College of Fort Hare, in Alice

    1940 - Expelled

    1941 - Escapes an arranged marriage; becomes a mine night watchman; Starts articles at the law firm Witkin, Sidelsky & Eidelman

    1942 - Completes BA through the University of South Africa (UNISA); Begins to attend African National Congress (ANC) meetings informally

    1943 - Graduates with BA from Fort Hare; Enrols for an LLB at Wits University

    1944 - Co-founds the ANC Youth League (ANCYL); marries Evelyn Ntoko Mase – they have four children: Thembekile (1945); Makaziwe (1947 – who dies after nine months); Makgatho (1950); Makaziwe (1954)

    1948 - Elected national secretary of the

    Read More »from Timeline: Nelson Mandela
  • South Africa will mourn today for Nelson Mandela, the internationally-beloved champion of peace and equality who fought to end racial apartheid. But the world, including Canada, will mourn with them.

    Mandela passed away today at the end of a long battle against his declining health. Before his death, the 95-year-old former South African president gave his life to a struggle for equality in his homeland – a task that saw him branded a criminal and later named South Africa’s first black president.

    The death of Mandela leaves South Africans mourning the loss of a beloved champion, a statesman respected the world over. Mandela was a force of peace. He earned the Nobel Peace Prize, his birthday is celebrated by the United Nations. Monuments and statues stand in his honour in countries the world over.

    Mandela’s loss is felt here in Canada, as well – a country he once called his “home away from home.” In 1990, he chose to mark his release from prison by visiting Canada. He was named a Companion

    Read More »from Nelson Mandela’s death felt in Canada, his ‘home away from home’
  • Fast-food outlets seem to be among the most enthusiastic users of Ottawa's problem-plagued Temporary Foreign Worker Program.

    According to federal statistics, sales and service jobs far outpace other occupations in the program. The government approved more than 70,000 such positions last year, compared with just under 50,000 the year before, representing the largest year-over-year expansion among the program's nine categories.

    It shouldn't be surprising that some employers will take advantage of the vulnerable newcomers who've left their homes overseas in search of work to support their families.

    That's what allegedly happened to employees of a Tim Hortons outlet in the mountain town of Fernie, B.C., CBC News reports.

    Two workers have come forward to claim their employer, Pierre Pelletier, cheated them out of overtime pay.

    [ Related: Ottawa to change temporary foreign worker program ]

    Heidi Kibanoff and her boyfriend, Richard Pepito, say Pierre Pelletier hired them and other Filipinos under

    Read More »from Tim Hortons OT allegations highlight flaws in temporary foreign workers program
  • Canada Border Services Agency's 'Most Wanted' website (Screengrab courtesy CBSA)

    Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) has had its knuckles rapped by the federal privacy watchdog over its showcase "wanted" list of foreigners it's seeking for deportation.

    The Office of the Privacy Commissioner found the CBSA broke the law by labelling people as war criminals when sometimes they hadn't been convicted of anything, The Canadian Press reports.

    The commissioner also found the agency was leaving up postings on its "Wanted by the CBSA" web page for too long after subjects were collared and had failed to consider the privacy implications of the program before launching it.

    The CBSA launched the program in 2011 to get public help in identifying and apprehending people who were in Canada illegally and were facing deportation.

    It was part of a makeover for the agency to show it's aggressively protecting Canada's borders by doing more than poking through travellers' luggage looking for contraband.

    The effort has included co-operating with the producers of Border Security, a COPS-like

    Read More »from CBSA chastised for labelling some on its ‘wanted list’ as war criminals
  • Mayor Ford attends an executive committee meeting at Toronto's City Hall. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young

    Toronto Mayor Rob Ford says he still has plans to become Canada’s prime minister and claims his brother will be Ontario premier some day. And if those days come, don’t be surprised if the first order of business is to kill Canada’s healthcare system.

    Ford panned America’s move toward universal healthcare and promoted a two-tier healthcare system in Canada during a wide-ranging interview on a sports radio show in Washington, D.C. called "The Sports Junkies."

    While first declining to discuss anything but sports, Ford eventually shared his thoughts on President Barack Obama, particularly his criticism of Obamacare.

    "I’d be a Republican if I was down in the states. So I don’t believe in all this public-funded health care, because we gotta pay for it. (Canada) can’t afford it," Ford told the sports radio show.

    “If you want health care, you pay for it. It’s going to cost you guys a fortune to put in Obamacare.”

    More on the Rob Ford scandal:

    Mayor Rob Ford calls latest allegations an ‘outright lie’

    Read More »from Toronto Mayor Rob Ford opposes publicly-funded healthcare
  • What makes where you live great? Chances are, some sort of public space makes the list. It’s easy to take them for granted, but these shared areas are vital in creating a sense of community, particularly if you live in an urban centre.

    Join Yahoo Canada News as we take a look at Canada's cities, discussing the year’s trends, pet peeves and what might come next. We’ll be speaking with Matthew Blackett, publisher and creative director of Spacing magazine, which marks its 10th anniversary next week.

    The discussion will take place on Twitter on the @yahoocanadanews account Dec. 6, 2013 at noon EST. Follow along with the hashtag #publicspaceCA and feel free to send in your questions or thoughts by tweeting with it. (You can also leave a comment on this blog post.)

  • The latest details from a drug investigation linked to Toronto Mayor Rob Ford include more allegations of drug use, claims that Ford attempted to purchase the notorious crack video and a deepening understanding of the relationships that linked the Mayor’s Office to a violent street gang known as the Dixon City Bloods.

    The final details from a police document released to the public by the courts further bind Ford and his friend, alleged drug trafficker Alexander Lisi, to a variety of sordid characters, and apparent illegalities.

    Lisi has been charged with trafficking marijuana and extortion, but Ford has not been charged with anything. None of the allegations made in the document, containing information from police investigations and gleaned from wiretaps, have been proven in court.

    The Ford brothers originally tried to paint the whole affair as an obsessed police chief determined to take the mayor down.

    But nowadays the questions have turned to exactly why police haven't moved against

    Read More »from Is it any surprise Toronto Mayor Rob Ford has not been charged?
  • The morning after newly-released police documents suggested Rob Ford tried to purchase a video of himself smoking crack, a sports talk radio show in Washington, D.C., got the exclusive scoop on what the Toronto Mayor thought of the latest allegations.

    In short, everything is a lie.

    Ford had previously agreed to appear on the aptly-named "The Sports Junkies" program on 106.7 The Fan Thursday morning. Between his acceptance of the offer and his appearance, more information released by the courts in a police document alleged Ford tried to buy the notorious crack video for $5,000 and a car some two months before its existence came to light.

    The information details an apparent rift between Ford and a group of alleged Dixon Road gang members. More details on that are available here.

    More on the Rob Ford scandal:

    Is it any surprise Rob Ford hasn't been charged?

    Rob Ford to appear weekly on Washington sports radio show

    Marion Barry threatens to phone police when asked about Toronto mayoral scandal

    Read More »from Mayor Rob Ford calls latest allegations an ‘outright lie’ on Washington sports radio


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