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Friday, May 23, 2008 Vol 3 No 20 (134)
"True North is for opinion makers"
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Tibetan ‘hero’ rescues female China Daily reporter and seven others trapped in a minivan overturned and crushed by Sichuan earthquake

China Daily reporter Chen Jia receives medical treatment in a hospital in Chengdu on Thursday. [China Daily]

Chen Jia: ‘I broke my promise and cried as I waved goodbye.’

CHENGDU, China — China Daily journalist CHEN JIA was trapped for hours in a crushed minibus that was buried under rubble and was hanging on the edge of a cliff moments after Monday's (May 12) earthquake shook Sichuan. — 834 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.

Or quick and easy and perfectly safe, via Pay Pal. No donation is too small.

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.

A girl holds a candle during a candlelight vigil to commemorate earthquake victims at Hongshan Park of Wuhan, Central China's Hubei Province, May 17, 2008

Editor’s Notes

Kindness, courage, imagination, professionalism
All flowered out of Sichuan’s massive devastation

In my cub days in journalism I always did my best to avoid covering accidents and fires. To this day when news of earthquakes, fires, hurricanes, and famine are reported I turn the page, change stations or channels or simply apply my mind to something else. If I can’t help I don’t want to know about it. However, as an editor I can’t turn away from human misery. In the case of China’s loss of up to 50,000 on the Richter Scale 8 earthquake, I just couldn’t ignore it. So what I did was search for and found stories about how the tragedy brought out the best in the victims and in those who helped. — 313 words.

Judge Harold Wright clears the court
to hear the logic of a Dilbert argument


Health Watch

Lower stress hormone levels may promote
longer life and better health for optimists

China Daily News

BEIJING -- Studies suggest optimists live longer and enjoy better health than pessimists. The mystery is why? — 305 words.

From the Desk of Mike (The Hammer) Garvin

People want something different a
gamble that Ford hopes will pay off

New York - The 2009 Ford Flex was designed for drivers who want something different, something unique. That's how Richard Gresens describes the type of customers targeted by this all-new crossover, which was introduced to the Canadian auto press earlier this week in the Big Apple.

Spirit Quest

‘One can scarcely blame religious “nuts” these days if they believe the end is nigh.’

By Rev. Dr. Hanns Skoutajan

One can scarcely blame religious “nuts” these days if they believe the end is nigh. Biblical writings especially in the Old Testament book of Daniel, a favourite with them, and the Revelations of St. John, the last book in the New Testament present scenarios of end times that resemble our world today.  There are wars, pestilence, storms and quakes. We have it all. — 581 words.

Death toll of Richter Scale magnitude 8.0 quake
may reach 50,000 as bodies pulled from rubble

The confirmed death toll from the disaster had risen to 32,476 by 2:00 pm Sunday, May 18, 2008, and the toll could possibly rise to more than 50,000 as many, still buried in rubble, are feared dead. — 215 words.

Holding on for dear life

73 hours: Mother breathing her husband’s and child’s names
amputates her right leg and drinks her own blood to stay alive

Driven by a mother's love for her son, and a promise to her husband, a 46-year-old quake victim in Beichuan amputated her own leg and drank her own blood to hold out for 73 hours under rubble before being rescued.

Before her ordeal, Gong Tianxiu was known as a faint-hearted person who did not dare sleep alone. — 1,577 words.

Angels in white

Professionalism, heroism, and kindness, flower in the rubble

By Raymond Zhou
China Daily

Medical workers transport an injured earthquake survivor to a makeshift tent from an overcrowded hospital in Shifang, Sichuan province, on May 15. Reuters

The very first news stories in the aftermath of the quake were about medical personnel who moved patients from trembling buildings to safety. Much of the news came from Chengdu, the provincial capital of Sichuan, which had relatively stable broadcasts from news outlets. On the evening of Monday, May 12, medical staff in white gowns evacuating from the Chengdu Maternity Hospital were seen on national television. — 1,300 words.

Teenager hailed as hero after his calm
quick thinking saved fellow students  

Zhu Fumin, a senior high, was respected as a hero for his calmness, courage and wisdom that saved 33 lives. — 595 worlds.

Ping An insurance company satisfies claim within hours

By Hu Yuanyuan
China Daily

The parents of Tang, a 10-year-old primary school student in Chongqing, broke down at the sight of the 20,000 yuan that a Ping An Insurance executive brought for them. — 218 words.

Insurance company adopts all quake orphans
while firms donate millions for rescue work

China Life Charity Fund will cover all the basic living expenses of children who have lost their parents in the devastating earthquake centered in Sichuan province, until they reach 18 years old, chairman Yang Chao said last night. — 371 words.

Foreign rescuers battle for lives in China's quake zone


QINGCHUAN — Foreign rescue teams have joined the front line in the battle to free those trapped after Monday's devastating earthquake in southwest China. — 452 words.

Scientists dismiss claims animals provided quake warning

By Sun Xiaohua
China Daily

Neither the migration of toads, nor unusual cloud formations were clear indicators of an impending earthquake, the country's seismological authority said on Thursday. — 255 words.

From the Desk of Joan Kuyek, National Coordinator, MiningWatch Canada

First Nations plan peaceful National Day of Action at Queen’s Park

Kitchenumaykoosib Inninuwug (KI), Ardoch Algonquin, and Asubpeeschoseewagong Netum Anishinabek (Grassy Narrows) First Nations have released a letter directed to the Honourable Steve Peters, Speaker of the House in the Legislative Assembly of Ontario notifying him that the communities and their supporters will conduct traditional ceremonies on the front lawn of the Legislature from May 26 to May 29.  — 345 words.

Wary Canadian companies cool heels as
Venezuela stops open-pits and gold mines

Chavez ‘especially tough on foreign companies but typically pays a fair price for nationalized assets.’

By Reuters

CARACAS — Mineral-laden Venezuela on Thursday shut the door to new gold projects and threatened other mining and logging concessions in a step by leftist President Hugo Chavez to tighten control of natural resources. — 417 words.

Hillary revealed that women can be nasty, deceptive candidates too

By Barbara Ehrenreich

In last week's New York Times, Susan Faludi rejoiced over Hillary Clinton's destruction of the myth of female prissiness and innate moral superiority, hailing Clinton's "no-holds-barred pugnacity" and her media reputation as "nasty" and "ruthless." Future female presidential candidates will owe a lot to the race of 2008, Faludi wrote, "when Hillary Clinton broke through the glass floor and got down with the boys." — 800 words.

World's strangest creature? Part mammal, part reptile

SYDNEY, Australia (China Daily News) — The platypus sports fur like a mammal, paddles its duck feet like a bird and lays eggs in the manner of a reptile.

The world's first platypus twin puggles born in captivity are shown at Taronga Zoo in Sydney in 2003. The task of laying bare the platypus genome of 2.2 billion base pairs spread across 18,500 genes has taken several years, but will do far more than satisfy the curiosity of just biologists, say the researchers. [Agencies] 

Nature's instruction manual for this oddball, it turns out, is just as much of a mishmash. — 578 words.

Associated Press IMPACT: While U.S. Military looked on
tens of thousands murdered in 1950 by South Korean ally

‘Through the postwar decades of South Korean right-wing dictatorships, victims' fearful families kept silent about that blood-soaked summer. American military reports of the South Korean slaughter were stamped "secret" and filed away in Washington. Communist accounts were dismissed as lies.’ — 2,208 words.

Major New Surge in China!

‘Despite series of natural disasters China economy thrives’

By Martin D. Weiss, Ph.D.
Money and Markets

Jupiter, Florida

I'm home on this beautiful Florida morning, but my mind is on China. Despite the tragic earthquake, the overall economy is not being negatively impacted. Quite the contrary, a major new growth phase is now underway, and I wanted to give you this brief heads up. — 382 words.

From the other side of the fence

Reflections by Fidel

Two hungry wolves and a Little Red Riding Hood

One basic idea has been occupying my mind since my old days as a utopian socialist. It came from nowhere, with the simple notions of good and evil inculcated in everybody by the society in which they are born, full of instincts and lacking in values that parents, particularly mothers, begin to sow in any society or epoch. — 1,202 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!

Each of the following entrepreneurs provides products for the home.  Which one did NOT found a Canadian company?

a) Ablan Leon b) John Inglis c) Emmett Culligan d) Aris Alexanian

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:

Focus on Real Estate

Focus on Real Estate is a new feature in True North Perspective. Each Friday we’ll bring you news and analyses on the subject from throughout the world. Due to logistic reasons it will resume publishing Friday, May 30, 2008.

Random Acts of Poetry

By Mike Heenan
Literary Editor

It’s outstanding when a city our size produces such a plethora of fine poets. It’s even more unusual when many of our poets are blessed with perfect pitch and the training & ability to use it.

David Angus Mahoney is just such a one who has thrilled audiences throughout The Ottawa Valley with his repetoire of Celtic Bel Canto. David possesses a rare voice that ranges from the baritone to the peaks of the high Irish tenor. —433 words.

The Book End

A Window of Opportunity

Every Friday in this spot True North will feature a book by a Canadian writer. The presentation will not be a review. It will include a profile of the author written by him/herself and about the product of the author’s literary labours. If a reader wants to file a review we’ll publish it. Today we offer A Window of Opportunity by Chris HumphreyMike Heenan, Literary Editor. (For book cover, synopsis, and author profile please click here.)

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?

c) Emmett Culligan, a native of Yankton, South Dakota, founded Culligan International Co., which since 1936 has provided soft water service to homes and businesses. Ablan Leon founded Leon’s furniture in Welland, Ont; Aris Alexanian started Alexanian Carpet and Flooring in Hamilton, Ont. and John Inglis founded a Guelph, Ont. firm that eventually began manufacturing appliances.


Carl Dow, Editor and Publisher
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
Rosaleen Dickson
Geoffrey Dow
Tom Dow
Randy Ray
Harold Wright