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Friday, July 25, 2008 Vol 3 No 32 (146)
"True North is for opinion makers"
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Ex U.S. official: Afghan president shields drug trade
British-U.S. military block suppression of opium lords

Cartoon by Jack Ohman
WASHINGTON (Reuters) — The U.S. government's former point man in the fight against the heroin trade in Afghanistan has accused Afghan President Hamid Karzai of obstructing counter-narcotics efforts and protecting drug lords. Karzai on Thursday vehemently rejected Thomas Schweich's comments, saying international criminal gangs were the main beneficiaries and culprits of the trade. Schweich, who resigned last month from the State Department's narcotics bureau, said in an article to appear on Sunday in the New York Times magazine that the Afghan government was deeply involved in shielding the opium trade.

"While it is true that Karzai's Taliban enemies finance themselves from the drug trade, so do many of his supporters," Schweich wrote in article posted on the newspaper's Web site. "Narco-corruption went to the top of the Afghan government," he wrote, adding that drug traffickers were buying off hundreds of police chiefs, judges and other officials.

551 words

"News is what (certain) people want to keep hidden. Everything else is just publicity."
PBS journalist Bill Moyers.

Your support makes it possible for True North to clear the fog of "publicity" and keep you informed on what's really happening in the world today. Please send your donation to:

Carl Dow, True North, Station E, P.O. Box 4814, Ottawa ON Canada K1S 5H9.

True North No Gas Fridays
Don't be shy! Just don't buy!

Join True North No Gas Fridays and hit back at Big Oil price gouging. When enough drivers make the point that they're mad as hell and won't take it anymore Governments will act. You can count on it. Protect yourself with True North No Gas Fridays.

All the way to the bank and back                

hahhaha dont go here

Take care, beware, don't go near that thing on Friday . . . theres a gouger lurking, with a very greedy eye on your hard-earned money.

Editor’s Notes
Friday, July 25, 2008

As Americans exercise stupidity with a stubborn streak
Harper shows signs of a cool breeze on a fevered brain

Like innocent eager tourists in a Morocco bazaar the gang of dishonest dullards in the American White House continue to be led by the proverbial nose with blinders on by the skilful traders of the Arab and Persian worlds. It’s almost breathtaking to observe the occidental gullibles cluck and chatter about the success of the so-called surge. Blinded by their own arrogance, by the contempt with which they hold their adversaries, they’re missing the sea change that has taken place. — 725 words.

From the Desk of Rosaleen Dickson, Contributing Editor

Medical proofreader is found dead at desk after five days

As reported in the Birmingham Sunday Mercury

NEW YORK — Bosses of a publishing firm are trying to work out why no one noticed that one of their employees had been sitting dead at his desk for five days before anyone asked if he was feeling okay. — 220 words

Against background of rising global starvation Canada’s Conference
Board tries to shift blame for high prices away from speculators

By Alex Binkley
True North Perspective
Originally written for Ontario Farmer

Skyrocketing food prices have generated lots of alarming headlines and calls for action by politicians and interest groups. Biofuels, greedy corporations and speculators are blamed for what’s really a complex situation. — 446 words.

Health Watch

International Monetary Fund loans 'lead to TB deaths'
‘Should change name to Infant Mortality Fund’

By Debora MacKenzie news service

The International Monetary Fund could be bad for your health. The organisation loans money to countries with financial problems, and in return requires governments to undertake "structural adjustment" policies aimed at improving their financial management. These usually cut government spending to control inflation. Critics have long charged that this reduces spending on healthcare, so much so that some have called for the organisation to be renamed the "Infant Mortality Fund". — 541 words.

From the Desk of Mike (The Hammer) Garvin

Chrysler ecoVoyager Concept

By Amyot Bachand,
Dodge firmly intends to gain new market shares in the pickup/truck segment despite skyrocketing gas prices. The company's diesel engines already enjoy a solid reputation with the heavy-duty Ram models (2500+). For 2009, the most significant changes were made to the bodywork and cabin. — 597 words.

China policy on Tibet was not shaken by the March 14 rioting
Financial support to improve life and infrastructure continues

SYDNEY, Australia (Xinhua) — A Tibetan professor said here on Thursday that the riots of March 14 would not alter China’s policy on Tibet. — 452 words.

From the Desk of Anita Chan, Contributing Editor, Australia —

Nike contractor using forced labour

The two faces of NIKE. From the brutal sweatshops of contract labour exploitation in Malaysia to the smiling fresh-faced attendant at your favourite store. An Australian video exposé.

Cuba silent on report of Russian nuclear bombers using
field for refueling: Fidel Castro says there’s nothing to say

HAVANA (Reuters) - Former Cuban leader Fidel Castro on Wednesday said Cuba does not have to explain or "ask forgiveness" about a report out of Russia this week that Russia might use its Cold War ally Cuba as a refueling base for nuclear-capable bombers. He did not address whether the report was true or false, and Cuban officials have made no comment. — 405 words.

Canada panel finds for man falsely linked to 9/11 Muslim victim of racial profiling wins $11,000 award

VANCOUVER, British Columbia (Reuters) — A Muslim Canadian has been awarded C$11,000 over an incident in which a co-worker falsely concluded he was involved in the September 11, 2001, attacks and reported him to police. — 343 words.

Drugstore postal workers fail to meet standards
Outside postal workers take every holiday going
While Canada Post quietly raises rates on parcels

By Barbara Florio Graham
True North Perspective

Denis Lemelin, President of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers, wrote a letter to the West Quebec Post about proposed changes to postal service announced by MP Lawrence Cannon. The union, of course, is opposed to opening postal service to competition. In his letter he says, “Our basic postage rate currently ranks as one of the lowest in the industrial world.” — 643 words.

Chavez wants crude oil price to stabilize at $100 per barrel

LISBON — The price of crude oil should be stabilized at 100 U.S. dollars per barrel, visiting Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said Thursday. — 184 words.

China removes ban on foreign leprosy sufferers
Borders open now, during, and after Olympics

BEIJING — A ban on foreign leprosy sufferers and their relatives entering China was lifted on Sunday, in a bid to end discrimination against them, a quarantine official said Thursday. — 490 words.

Venezuela celebrates 225th anniversary of liberator Bolivar's birth

CARACAS — Venezuela celebrated Thursday the 225th anniversary of the birth of Simon Bolivar with a floral offering in the National Palace to the remains of the "Liberator," as he is called. — 148 words.

Mother's milk of politics turns sour
as Washington turns off alarm until burglars make their getaway

By By Bill Moyers and Michael Winship
t r u t h o u t | Perspective

Bill Moyers. (Photo: Peter Krogh / AP)
Bill Moyers. (Photo: Peter Krogh/AP)
‘But we also get into these terrible dilemmas - where the big guys step all over everyone else and the victims are required to pay the hospital bills - because we refuse to recognize the connection between money and politics.’ Once again we're closing the barn door after the horse is out and gone.

In Washington, the Federal Reserve has finally acted to stop some of the predatory lending that exploited people's need for money. And like Rip Van Winkle, Congress is finally waking up from a long doze under the warm sun of laissez-faire economics. That's French for turning off the alarm until the burglars have made their getaway.

Philosophy is one reason we do this to ourselves; when you worship market forces as if they were the gods of Olympus, then the gods can do no wrong — until, of course, they prove to be human. Then we realize we should have listened to our inner agnostic and not been so reverent in the first place.

But we also get into these terrible dilemmas — where the big guys step all over everyone else and the victims are required to pay the hospital bills — because we refuse to recognize the connection between money and politics. This is the great denial in democracy that may ultimately mean our ruin. — 1,337 words.

American Jews Like Obama Over Lieberman;
Have Higher Opinion of MoveOn Than AIPAC

How does the mainstream media keep reporting against the statistics time and time again?

By Sam Stein
Huffington Post

How does the mainstream media keep reporting against the statistics time and time again?

If Barack Obama has a problem among Jewish voters, then Sen. Joseph Lieberman is in monumental trouble. — 650 words.

China-NZ free trade agreement bill passed in parliament
Marks first trade pact of China with a developed nation

WELLINGTON, New Zealand — The New Zealand parliament on Thursday passed the third and final reading of the New Zealand-China Free Trade Agreement Bill. — 243 words.

From the Desk of Jamie Kneen
Communications and Outreach Coordinator, MiningWatch Canada

Protect the Earth Summit will focus on Metallic Sulfide, Uranium Mining, Treaty Rights

A "Protect the Earth Summit: On the Shores of Gichigami" will be held the first weekend in August in Marquette, Michigan and on the Yellow Dog Plains, near Big Bay, Michigan. The event will feature speakers from Minnesota and Michigan, as well as Tribal and community leaders from Wisconsin and Ontario who have had success in stopping dangerous uranium exploration and metallic sulfide mining projects around the Great Lakes. The event will culminate with a walk to Eagle Rock on the Yellow Dog Plains and more speakers. — 655 words.

Missing fossils could warn of extreme climate to come

By Anil Ananthaswamy news service

Did the tropics overheat during the Eocene some 55 to 34 million years ago? The answer holds the key to how our planet will respond to global warming, according to one climate researcher.

The Earth went through a prolonged phase of extremely high temperatures during the Eocene, in which even the poles were ice-free. — 489 words.

Did you know?

Homes Quiz – by Mark Kearney and Randy Ray

For many Canadians, their home is their castle.  It’s where they spend the greatest portion of their time relaxing with friends and family, entertaining, tackling odd jobs, or sleeping.  They also spend a large chunk of their income on mortgage payments, property taxes, repairs and upgrades.

But how much do Canadians know about the homes they live in or are planning to buy?  As you tour open houses in search of your dream home this spring, or plan renovations at your existing abode, we invite you to test your knowledge of housing with our trivia quiz.. We’ll pose one question each issue here. You can find the answer at the bottom of the page. Good luck

Which of the following home renovations offers the best payback when a house is sold?

a) kitchen
b) central air conditioning
c) exterior painting
d) bathroom

Randy Ray of Ottawa and Mark Kearney of London, Ont. are the authors of seven books, including Pucks, Pablum & Pingos, a Canadian trivia book, published in April.  Visit their Web site at:

It’s Botox for You, Dear Bridesmaids

‘Not for nothing are some maids known as slaves of honor, but this kind of cajoling is a recent development on the wedding front’

By Abby Ellin
New York Times

Chris McNaught
Karen Hohenstein, left, jokes with her attendants-to-be at a Botox party at the Tiffani Kim Institute Medical Wellness Spa in Chicago. (Photo: New York Times)
After the band was chosen and the napkins color-coordinated to match her shoes, Kacey Knauer, a bride-to-be, had another critical matter to address: her skin, and the skin of the nine women in her bridal party. So Ms. Knauer, the 35-year-old owner of TempTrends, a staffing agency in Manhattan, invited her nearest and dearest — including her mother and future mother-in-law — for a night out at the TriBeCa MedSpa, replete with mimosas and cupcakes. An aesthetician assessed each woman’s face and devised a treatment plan — a quick chemical peel, say, or an injection of a wrinkle-filler.

Or maybe, for a bridesmaid with age spots, a series of Fraxel laser treatments over months, allowing for recovery time.

For Ms. Knauer, who will be married in December, cosmetic interventions for herself and her entourage are as vital as the centerpieces or food. “If I were 25 or 26 and getting married, a bracelet, necklace or matching earrings would be fine,” she said. But at 35? “Giving them a bracelet isn’t as special as spending an evening together. Plus, as you get older, everyone is more conscientious about their skin and appearance,” she said. “Giving them something for themselves — as opposed to something that they’ll never wear again — is more meaningful.” — 1,307 words.

And now for something completely different ...

Speaking of marriage, the inimitable Jackie Mason expounds upon the delights of matrimony. Click here to listen — and don't worry, it will open in a new window so you can keep reading. — Time: 10:02.

First night flight lands on ‘roof of the world’ after US$13.2 million
upgrade to Tibet airport that lies some 3,650 metres above sea level

LHASA, Tibet — The first trial night flight in Tibet proved a success when an Airbus A319 plane belonging to Air China recently landed at Lhasa Gongga Airport. — 224 words.

Boy from China's quake area happily recovers in Russian children’s centre

VLADIVOSTOK, Russia — "I like being here, nothing bothers me!" Speaking about his time spent convalescing in the Children's Centre in Vladivostok in Russia's Far East, 13-year-old Xiao Long, from Wenchuan County in Sichuan Province, looks happy and relaxed. — 324 words.

Canada's once-lofty Afghan goals downgraded, defence files show

By Steven Chase
The Globe and Mail

OTTAWA — Just 17 months ago, Canada's war planners had far more ambitious goals in mind for Afghanistan, an internal document from National Defence shows, including significantly reducing the capability of Taliban insurgents and substantially cutting poppy growing and drug trafficking. Today, Ottawa's published goals are more modest. For instance, the Harper government's June release of refocused goals for Afghanistan sets no targets for the strength of insurgents - who are making a comeback in 2008 - or combatting drugs. — 635 words.

What women want: 'Better sex'

When Australia's foremost sexpert asked thousands of women
about their sexual secrets, she learned there's no such thing as normal

By Rebecca Dube
The Globe and Mail

After reading through 7,000 pages detailing the sexual frustrations and joys of women who answered an anonymous survey, Joan Sauers has a message for her gender: Men aren't psychic. — 1,318 words.

"Transport Canada and other senior Government of Canada officials should be mindful of the potential reaction of our U.S. counterparts to Abdelrazik's return to Canada as he is on the U.S. No-Fly List and the Department of Treasury's Specially Designated Nationals and blocked Persons."

Canada feared U.S. backlash over Canadian trapped in Sudan

Officials warned against allowing Abdelrazik to return

By Paul Koring
The Globe and Mail

Senior Canadian intelligence officials warned against allowing Abousfian Abdelrazik, a Canadian citizen, to return home from Sudan because it could upset the Bush administration, classified documents reveal. — 1,091 words.

Spank me, but don't tell my boss

By Siri Agrell
The Globe and Mail

When Colin Wightman was informed by the RCMP last June that he was the subject of a sexual assault investigation, he was forced to make two very uncomfortable phone calls. Upon leaving the police station where he had described a “consensual one-time fantasy encounter” involving bondage and a woman he met on an Internet dating site, he called his wife and asked if he was allowed to come home. The other phone call was to his employers at Acadia University in Wolfville, N.S., where he had worked for a year as a tenured professor and the director of the school of computer science. — 1,288 words.

Politics of destruction has run its course

With the tides shifting, the Conservatives need a bold new program,
something to show the public they can do more than crack heads

By Lawrence Martin
The Globe and Mail

The governing Conservatives have discovered something of late: Their modus operandi - politics as war - isn't working as it used to. In the winter and spring, they had the Liberals running scared from the prospect of an election. But in the soft days of summer, much has changed. A veteran pollster was saying last week that, if an election were held today, the Tories would likely find themselves on the opposition benches. Their game plan, which served them reasonably well, was simple. Leave the ideas to eggheads, visions to dreamers. Use a superior field commander and bigger tanks to crush the opposition. — 699 words.

Quebec Tories swapped ad expenses
Elections Canada alleges

By Tim Naumetz
The Canadian Press

OTTAWA — The Conservative Party shifted thousands of dollars in advertising expenses from two of its top Quebec candidates to other Quebec candidates who had more spending room in their 2006 federal election campaigns, the lawyer for Elections Canada has suggested. A former financial officer for the party confirmed last month in a court examination that expenses incurred by Public Works Minister Christian Paradis and former foreign affairs minister Maxime Bernier were assigned to other candidates. — 652 words.

Canada watches like the proverbial global village idiot
while foreign companies plunder our finite resources

By Andy Hoffmann
The Globe and Mail

For anyone planning on weighing in on the debate over whether Canada has made a grave mistake by allowing its most precious resource assets to be sold to the highest foreign bidder – don't bother. According to the chairman of the world's largest mining company, the discussion is over. Canada has already been reduced to an industry “branch office,” largely irrelevant on the global mining stage, as far as BHP Billiton Ltd.'s Don Argus is concerned. — 508 words.

The Ambulance Driver

Ottawa author launches novel

Quebec City, 2000. Marie Rioux flings law career and burning causes into the wake of her dead marriage to sail for England and the grand voyage of inner discovery we all secretly crave. But Marie already knows herself; it’s her forbears who are closeted in obscurity.

Three generations in England and Quebec answered ‘the call’, caring amidst the carnage of the Boer, ‘Great’, and Second World Wars; their lives and kinship exist only in hints and whispers. — 332 words.

Barbara Florio Graham is a brilliant writer with an international
reputation who has sold again to a Nowegian publisher. Here she
backgrounds the story of her story Voices in Time.

This Story Has a Story

By Barbara Florio Graham
True North Perspective

I recently sold my Christmas story to yet another foreign textbook. Voices in Time was published this spring by Cappelen Damm AS in Norway, intended for high school students studying English. — 624 words.

Spirit Quest

‘Surely if men and women can be persuaded to become suicide bombers we can
also persuade them to become loving and caring human beings.’

By The Rev. Dr. Hanns F. Skoutajan

Ever since the airing of the Khadr interrogation video depicting the wrenching experiences of a teenager in a heartless and illegal prison, I have been trying to remember what it was like for me when I was 15 years of age. Undoubtedly my life was radically different from his.

The circumstances of my early years were certainly not easy. Mother and I managed to escape from the Nazis who had taken over my homeland and were looking for my father. We had left behind all our possessions and family. I had the advantage of facing this adversity in the company of a loving and devoted mother who sought to protect me physically and emotionally. We travelled together through alien territory and across dangerous borders until we were finally reunited with my father. — 779 words.

From the desk of Contributing Editor Rosaleen Dickson

The United States and Biological Warfare:
Secrets From the Early Cold War and Korea

By Stephen Endicott and Edward Hagerman

Review by Brian L Evans
Canadian Journal of History

One of the more sensational events of the early Cold War in Canada was the allegation by the Reverend James G. Endicott that the United States had resorted to germ warfare in pursuing the war in Korea under the banner of the United Nations.

This allegation, made in the early months of 1952, based on Endicott's observations in Northeast China and reports from the Chinese, was quickly dismissed by the Canadian government and efforts were made to discredit Endicott's charges and to undermine his credibility. Resorting to the method, later known as "plausible denial," the Canadian and American governments heaped scorn on the man who was seen as no more than a mouthpiece for the Red China regime. — 607 words.

New web site may be path to success
for authors, publishers, and companies

Prolific best-selling Ottawa author and publicist Randy Ray has developed a new Web site to promote his publicity services, which he offers to authors, publishers and companies. Mr. Ray has helped many clients get their message out across Canada on CTV, CBC Radio, CH-TV, A-Channel and Global TV, and in the Globe and Mail, Toronto Star, Ottawa Citizen, Ottawa Sun, Halifax Herald and many Ottawa-area weekly newspapers. Mr. Ray's web site is: He can be contacted at: (613) 731-3873 or

Link not working? Story not loading? Can't click on the links? Got another computer problem? Never fear! Carl is here!

If you have any problems with accessing the newsletter or problems with your computer, send an email to Carl Hall , and he will be more than happy to assist you.

Answer to Homes Quiz Did You Know?

a) kitchen, which pays back 68 to 73 per cent of renovation costs


Carl Dow, Editor and Publisher
Geoffrey Dow, Managing Editor
Yvette Pigeon, Associate Editor
Mike Heenan, Literary Editor
Benoit Jolicoeur, Art Director
Ian Covey, Director of Photography
Carl Hall, Technical Analyst and Web Editor
Contributing Editors
Anita Chan, Australia
Rosaleen Dickson
Tom Dow
Randy Ray
Harold Wright