• President Barack Obama returns to his hometown of Chicago, pointing to communities with too few fathers involved in children's lives and too few examples of success. He says he wishes he had a father around growing up. (Feb. 15)The long-simmering gun control debate is on full boil in the United States these days, with U.S. President Barack Obama making the issue a key point of his second-term agenda and a keystone to his State of the Union address earlier this week.

    In response to Obama’s call for a vote on new gun regulations, National Rifle Association head Wayne LaPierre, in his own call to arms, urged gun owners to "stand and fight" for the right to bear arms.

    In Canada, where many consider the gun control debate one of moderate degrees, there are advocates just as passionate about the right of gun ownership. Sheldon Clare, president of the National Firearms Association, echoed LaPierre’s sentiment in a recent wide-arching interview with Yahoo! Canada News, calling for a scaling back of gun laws in Canada and defending the NRA’s stance on gun access.

    “The NRA is labeled as extreme by those who take extreme positions,” Clare said. ‘The NRA’s primary purpose and reason for being is to provide skills

    Read More »from Canadian firearms advocate calls gun ownership ‘practical choice’
  • If you live in Manitoba, you almost lost your chance to by a premium rum called Ron de Jeremy when authorities briefly pulled it off the shelves late last week, just nine days after its debut.Let's leave aside the question of why you'd buy booze named after Ron Jeremy, an aging, hairy porn star whose cinematic attributes do not include matinee idol looks.

    But if you live in Manitoba, you almost lost your chance to by a premium rum called Ron de Jeremy (ron is apparently Spanish for rum, get it?) when authorities briefly pulled it off the shelves late last week, just nine days after its debut.

    The label on the 80-proof rum feature's the face of Jeremy, whose nickname is "The Hedgehog" and who is probably the best known male porn performer in the world. The bottle is short and and fat, like him, though I expected the neck to be a lot longer.

    The New York City-born Jeremy's everyman looks and light-hearted approach may account for his broader popularity outside the adult-film world. He's made appearances in mainstream movies and TV shows, has his own clothing line and a 2007 memoir, Ron Jeremy: The Hardest (Working) Man in Showbiz. So a booze brand isn't a a stretch, I guess.

    Read More »from Rum named after porn star back on Manitoba liquor store shelves
  • Following a Human Rights Watch report that alleges RCMP officers abused aboriginal women and girls, NDP MP Niki Ashton says a public inquiry is the only way to get justice for the women and their families.It is troubling times for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police as it fights perception issues on multiple fronts.

    With the release of two damning reports and and expression of dissatisfaction from Canada’s prime minster, the RCMP is facing some tough questions about their role as public protectors.

    The separate investigations, one into the RCMP’s troubled relationship with aboriginal females in British Columbia and the other on the complaints of mistreatment within the force, highlight in two varying ways its troubled image.

    As noted in the latter report, “the simple perception of the existence of systemic poor treatment … has a huge impact on both public confidence and the manner in which the police are regarded."

    There is a stretch of time — and it can feel like an eternity — between the moment charges and allegations are made and the time they are found to be true or false.

    Those people, in this case organization, are innocent until proven otherwise. We must await all the facts before

    Read More »from Damning reports of abuse, mistreatment lend RCMP a perception problem
  • (Photo by Mike Garrett)(Photo by Mike Garrett)The bitter fight over treatment of animals at the popular Marineland attraction at Niagara Falls, Ont., has taken a weird turn with management accusing a critic and former trainer of trying to kidnap a giant walrus named Smooshi.

    Marineland, owned by John Hofer, has filed a trespassing lawsuit against Phil Demers claiming he and fellow activists stormed the marine park during a live stadium show on closing day Oct. 7, the Toronto Star reports.

    Demers strongly denied the allegation Thursday, saying he has evidence he never entered the property during a protest staged outside Marineland that day.

    “The notion that I’m ‘plotting’ to steal Smooshi is absurd,” he told the Star. “I also doubt my second floor apartment would hold a walrus. My hands are full enough with my cats."

    [ Related: Marineland allegations prompt owner to post message defending treatment of animals ]

    Marineland was put on the defensive last summer after the Star published stories, based on interviews with former staff

    Read More »from Marineland lawsuit accuses whistle-blowing trainer of plot to steal walrus
  • A man walks in Stanley Park as the skyline of Vancouver is reflected in water in Vancouver, British Columbia, Friday, Feb. 5, 2010. Vancouver has been ranked as Canada's top-rated city for quality of living, retaining its fifth-place spot globally. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Jae C. HongA real estate marketing company that claims Vancouver condo sales boom around Lunar New Year has apologized after two employees were caught posing as prospective home buyers.

    CTV News reports that two Asian female employees at MAC Marketing Solutions posed as prospective buyers for a news report about the hot downtown condo market.

    Two women claimed to be sisters, named Chris and Amanda Lee, and told news organizations they were looking to buy a hip downtown condo, adding that, "usually Chinese people like to buy during this time."

    The two were used as examples of a growing trend, with MAC Marketing Solutions suggesting Vancouver's real estate market gets a bump from Asian buyers around the Lunar New Year.

    The condo building being hawked in the news piece happened to be represented by MAC.

    If that sounds a bit like a savvy marketing company trying to create an attention-grabbing trend, you are not alone.

    [ Related: Real estate marketer admits to deceiving Vancouver reporters ]

    An

    Read More »from Vancouver real estate firm admits employees posed as buyers for media
  • Two of Yahoo! Canada's editorial cartoonists, Wes Tyrell and Terry Mosher (also known as Aislin) discuss the importance of editorial cartoons, and the impact they can have on Canada's political landscape.

    Visit Yahoo! Canada News for a new cartoon every day. Check it out on our homepage, or go through all our comics in our gallery.

  • Raw: Meteorite Falls in Russian UralsA meteor streaked across the sky above Russia's Ural Mountains on Friday morning, causing sharp explosions and reportedly injuring around 100 people, including many hurt by broken glass. (Feb. 15)

    A massive meteor came streaming through Earth’s orbit early Friday morning, blazing across Russia and shattering above a central city, leaving hundreds of people injured in its wake.

    Scientists estimate the flaming projectile weighed as much as 10 tons when it entered Earth’s atmosphere. The impact comes on the day that astronomers will be watching space for a massive asteroid passing near Earth.

    Reuters reports that more than 500 people were injured when the meteorite exploded over central Russia.

    The meteorite flew directly above the city of Chelyabinsk, where several citizens captured the streaming fireball on video.

    "I was driving to work, it was quite dark, but it suddenly became as bright as if it was day," Viktor Prokofiev told the news

    Read More »from Massive meteorite strikes Russia, leaving hundreds injured
  • B.C. residents and tourists are sometimes fortunate to see killer whales and even grey whales surfacing in West Coast waters but John Buchanan saw something even more rare last week: a working Canadian navy submarine.

    Buchanan, caretaker with the Squamish Environmental Society, was driving down the the Sea-to-Sky Highway that runs along Howe Sound north of Vancouver when he spotted the sub.

    "It was just the freakiest thing. I’ve never seen a submarine before in my life," Buchanan told the Vancouver Province. "I looked over at Anvil Island and there’s this bloody submarine. This thing is huge, eh?"

    Buchanan pulled over to take some photographs and video, which shows crew members moving on the vessel's sail (aka conning tower), as well as its radar rotating and the periscope retracting.

    The sub has been identified as HMCS Victoria, one of four diesel-electric Upholder-class boats (yes, it's big enough to be a ship but subs by tradition are referred to as boats) that Canada purchased

    Read More »from Rare sighting of Canadian navy sub in B.C.’s Howe Sound caught on video
  • Toronto Mayor Rob FordToronto Mayor Rob Ford

    Toronto Mayor Rob Ford has apologized for disparaging remarks he made about the city’s chief medical officer last year, ending another of the controversies that marred his first two years in office.

    It is a nice gesture, and Dr. Dave McKeown has already accepted the apology, according to a report from the integrity commissioner.

    But the past nine months suggest Ford’s apology may ring hollow. That, or he really has turned over a new leaf since surviving a conflict of interest lawsuit that nearly had him removed from office.

    Ford attacked McKeown on his radio program last April, after the city’s public health department released a report on the health benefits of walking and cycling.

    [ Related: Ford apologizes for criticizing city's medical officer of health ]

    The report, which cost $60,000 to complete, recommended lowering speed limits as part of a plan to promote cycling and walking in Toronto. Other recommendations were made, but that’s the one that captured the most attention.

    An

    Read More »from Toronto Mayor Rob Ford clears deck with apology to chief medical officer
  • Health Canada statistics show the number of medical marijuana possession and production licences went from 9,097 in 2011 to 24,963 in 2012.
    The number of people licensed to either possess or grow medical marijuana tripled in British Columbia last year, with the home of B.C. Bud now accounting for more than half of all licences in Canada, the Vancouver Sun reports.

    The Sun says Health Canada statistics show the number of medical marijuana possession and production licences went from 9,097 in 2011 to 24,963 in 2012.

    Licences to legally possess cannabis totaled 13,362 at the end of last year, while the number of residents licensed to grow their own pot rose to 9,369 from 2,987 just 11 months earlier, with the number of licensees allowed to grow pot for others almost doubling, the Sun reports.

    Health Canada, oversees the licensing of medical marijuana growth and possession, announced proposed new regulations to tighten the licensing system, effective next year.

    [ Related: Health Canada plan to treat marijuana like other medicines ]

    "We have heard real concerns from law enforcement, fire officials, and municipalities about

    Read More »from B.C. leads all provinces in licensed pot growers and users

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