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Marine biologist defends humpback whales' removal from Canada's threatened species list

A humpback whale breaks through the water outside of Hartley Bay along the Great Bear Rainforest, B.C. (Photo: Jonathan Hayward/CP)

A humpback whale breaks through the water outside of Hartley Bay along the Great Bear Rainforest, B.C. (Photo: Jonathan Hayward/CP)

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There's been quite a back splash over the removal of the North Pacific humpback whale from Canada's threatened species list. Critics have accused the federal government of caring more about its Northern Gateway pipeline proposal than the whales. However, marine biologist Andrew Trites, who was part of a team of scientists that recommended downgrading the humpbacks, says it's actually "great news."

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Wednesday: Missing Nigerian school girls, Ignatieff WWII intelligence, 8" Tuesdays, and more...

Wednesday: Missing Nigerian school girls, Ignatieff WWII intelligence, 8
Frustrated by the inaction of authorities, desperate to save their daughters, the parents of almost two hundred kidnapped boarding school students in Nigeria start their own search...Michael Ignatieff reflects on recently released British documents that reveal his uncle was part of a spy network in Canada that monitored Nazi sympathizers...a story with a lot of holes in it -- big ones. A B-C golf course launches an easily misinterpreted new weekly event called "Eight-Inch Tuesdays". 

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Ottawa recommends protection downgrade for humpback whales

Ottawa recommends protection downgrade for humpback whales
Environment Minister Leona Aglukkaq has recommended that the 'Threatened Species' status of the North Pacific Humpback Whale be downgraded. That means Ottawa would be exempt from its legal obligation to protect the whale's habitat -- which happens to lie in the middle of the proposed Northern Gateway's oil tanker route.

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What a difference a vowel makes: it's Colombia, NOT Columbia, or #itscolombianotcolumbia

What a difference a vowel makes: it's Colombia, NOT Columbia, or #itscolombianotcolumbia

"U" is wrong. I'm not saying you are wrong. I'm saying the letter "U" is wrong. Although, if you use a "U," the "U" is wrong and you are wrong. Or, to put it more clearly -- when you're talking about the country, it's "Colombia," not "Columbia."

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Tuesday: Humpback whale protection, US middle class, Shakespeare dictionary, and more...

Tuesday: Humpback whale protection, US middle class, Shakespeare dictionary, and more...
The government abruptly declares that the North Pacific humpback whale is no longer a threatened species, but critics say that's a business decision...Of all the middles, we're the top. According to the New York Times, Canada's middle class is now wealthier than that of the United States...and Shakespeare is England's defining writer, and now two American booksellers say they've found the book in which he found his definitions.

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Bottle-kicking: the violent, beer-driven British tradition that draws thousands every year

Bottle-kicking: the violent, beer-driven British tradition that draws thousands every year

Bottle-kicking: it's not an official sport, it has virtually no rules, but it's a British tradition dating back thousands of years. Held each Easter Monday in the village of Hallaton, England, bottle-kicking draws hundreds of participants, each scrambling to move one of three casks of ale across a checkpoint... by any means possible. (However, you might be relieved to know there are rules: no eye-gouging, strangling or weapons are allowed.)

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From our archives: the late Rubin "Hurricane" Carter in his own words

From our archives: the late Rubin
"I refuse to allow those who took 20 years of my life to take away any more than that've already taken." From our archives, here is a 1994 interview with Rubin "Hurricane" Carter shortly after he became a landed Canadian immigrant - and received an honourary middleweight world champion belt from the World Boxing Council.

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Number one, but there's a catch: study says Canadian middle class is doing the best in the world

Number one, but there's a catch: study says Canadian middle class is doing the best in the world

It's always good to be number one, but not at someone else's expense. Today, a study by The New York Times revealed that Canada's middle class is currently doing the best in the world, topping the U.S. for first time in 35 years. But a prominent banking economist says our improved ranking is because the U.S. is doing so badly, and that the state of Canada's middle class is nothing to celebrate.

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Gobbledygook study exposes bogus journals

Gobbledygook study exposes bogus journals
Using a deliberately incoherent research paper created by cutting and pasting alternating paragraphs from a geology paper and a haematology study - Ottawa Citizen reporter Tom Spears set out to test the credibility of so-called predatory, online scholarly journals. Of the 18 he submitted the gobbledygook to, only two rejected it. 

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Setting seeds and farmers free: a group of scientists seeks to make crops open source

Setting seeds and farmers free: a group of scientists seeks to make crops open source

We live in an age where nearly everything is being copyrighted, patented and trademarked. The food we eat is no exception. Hybrid seeds are increasingly being held as intellectual property by the companies that breed them -- companies like Monsanto. Enter the Open Source Seed Initiative, a group of scientists who are out to set our food free.

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Monday - Rubin "Hurricane" Carter obit, Newfoundland marathoners, fake journals, and more...

Monday - Rubin

Rubin "Hurricane" Carter spent his life fighting; first as a boxer, and then -- after being exonerated of a triple murder -- for the rights of the wrongfully convicted. At today's historic Boston Marathon, two Newfoundland men figuratively pushed each other to keep going -- but literally, one pushed the other over the finish line...and a reporter who cobbles together a research paper that's utterly and deliberately incoherent finds a surprising number of dubious journals prepared to publish it.

 

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