Afternoon Update February 20th, 2012 (10)

CANADA

#1 — CNews | Child, 7, overdoses on date rape drug

VANCOUVER – A seven-year-old Langley, B.C., girl was hospitalized Saturday night after drinking water suspected to have been laced with GHB — commonly known as a date rape drug.

[...]

#2 — Globe | Ripping off grandma: How the elderly are vulnerable to fraud

A few years ago, Mabel Fielding received an unusual phone call.

A man purporting to be her grandson said he had ended up in jail after attending a wedding “down east somewhere” and needed her to send him money right away.

[...]

#3 — MacLeans | Five seriously austere measures that aren’t in the Drummond report

Economists have long warned that current spending patterns have put Ontario on track for a fiscal doomsday. In an attempt to show Ontarians the way to economic salvation, Premier Dalton McGuinty appointed a commission on public-service reform last year, headed by former TD economist Don Drummond. His report, unveiled on Wednesday, is a 362-item long laundry list of cost-cutting (and a few revenue-boosting) measures the provincial government should consider to keep the public deficit from ballooning to $30.2 billion by 2017-18. The prescriptions go far beyond the usual calls for budget freezes and capping wage increases in the public sector; Drummond recommends scrapping all-day kindergarten, increasing class sizes, and shutting down casinos. To make Ontarians feel better about the coming age of austerity, we’ve put together a list of the five most unusual ideas other governments have considered or implemented to fix their own beleaguered finances.

[...]

#4 — FP | Coping with OAS at 67

In spite of some vehement opposition, the government will probably announce in the next budget the raising of the retirement age for OAS pension to 67. We have already been assured it won’t happen at least until 2020 so it will not affect Canadians over 57. The big question is whether this change will increase poverty among seniors.  The answer depends largely on how the increase in retirement age is implemented.

[...]

#5 — OC | Controversy remains about when we need time off — and how much

OTTAWA — As Ontario wakes up to its fifth Family Day, controversy continues to surround the province’s newest holiday.

[...]

WORLD

#6 — BBC | Pakistanis hardline groups stage big Islamabad rally

Thousands of Pakistanis from religious and hardline groups have taken part in a rally in the capital, Islamabad.

Protesters at the Defence of Pakistan gathering chanted anti-American slogans.

[...]

#7 — CNN | The other foreclosure settlement: Millions of homeowners eligible

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) — Millions of borrowers who suffered financial losses because their mortgage lenders played fast and loose while processing their foreclosures now have two ways of getting a payback.

[...]

#8 — Fox | Domestic production eyed as gas prices head toward record-breaking height

President Obama’s re-elect team defended White House energy policy on Sunday as gas prices shoot toward the $4 mark and beyond, a level that could devastate voters’ pocketbooks as well as Obama’s chances for a second term.

[...]

#9 — DM | Wild and woolly, the European bison thriving after being re-introduced to BRITAIN

Deep in the forest, the thunder of mighty hooves announced a momentous arrival. Woolly bison, the largest European land mammal, are back in Britain.

[...]

#10 — Telegraph | Angela Merkel forced to back consensus candidate for German presidency

Chancellor Angela Merkel bowed to pressure and threw her weight behind a popular former East German rights activist for the German presidency, despite opposing him less than two years ago.

[...]

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  • stageleft

    Re: Domestic production eyed as gas prices head toward record-breaking height

    These people at Fox clearly need to decide which angle they want to push – according to WCT discussing one Fox show refineries are operating at less than peak capacity and a significant portion of their product is headed out of the country to meet foreign demand…. thus presumably creating a domestic shortage and driving prices up.

    — and now they have a guy who says that it’s a local crude oil deficit that is causing the shortage, and blaming the government for that.

    • WCT

      Fox News states “… we report, you decide” so we do get a number of opinions! :)

      That said, the article does seem to indicate that lack of domestic supply is driving up the price, that the refineries are significantly down in overall production and that there is exporting of refined product. If there was increased crude oil production thru off shore drilling or opening up Anwar then there “could be” increased refinery action leading to more domestic supply leading to a reduction in price at the pumps. The full channel of oil and gas marketing is a very complex business and one or two changes may or may not change anything.

      • stageleft

        And given the source I would bet that both shows were blaming Obama – right?

        You and I both know that more domestic product will go to the place where profit margins are highest – and if that’s off shore, what changes?

        • WCT

          Obama “might” after the election and Gingrich (no chance) “would if elected” bring in some sort of “National Energy Program” (NEP anyone) that would ensure that domestic crude be refine for domestic use only – especially if it came from the “military reserves”. Canada’s “tar sands” would apply if Obama approved the pipeline.
          Only the results of the election on November 6 will literally determine American energy policy and for Canada – IMO – we will be had thus a northern Gateway solution will be found for the oil sands.

          Often we do agree stage, sometimes tho my written word is not as good as my thoughts think it is!! :)

  • Mary T

    I have a friend who was ripped off for several thousand dollars by a fake g/son who was in jail. Everyone told her is was a scam but she didn’t listen. The bank refused to give her a draft, western union refused to send money, (after the first time). When her g/son phoned she said, you are out of jail, are you ok. He said what are you talking about, hung up and called his mom. Said, go see grandma she is talking weird.
    When she went to the police, she was told that many of the scammers search fb or members of sporting teams that play all over Canada, USA and Europe. They have people who imitate the kids voice. ANd most of those teams are on fb, with info of all the players have been interviewed on tv by some local station. For the past month the RCMP in our town has had a warning published on our local tv and other places warning of a phone scam.
    And a further warning, as it is tax time. Beware of new tax services showing up in malls, who have a head office somewhere else. You give them all your financial info, and in one case I know of, within a few months a lot of seniors were visited by young men and women with a great investment deal. Common stmt when they come in and start talking is, you remind me of my grandma/grandpa, s/he always said that etc.
    A couple of years later the secretary of Bre-Ex was shown giving testimony. She had been the manager of said tax service, that had bought out another one, taking all the files of every client. Midway during tax season I had a new boss, and they had a few new procedures. Everything had to be sent to Edmonton for checking, with all senior tax returns with investment income flagged. Plus the fact of when you become a widow/widower is also on that return.
    I tried to tell the police/rcmp and others how Bre-Ex knew who to con but as it was two years or more in the past, no one was interested.