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  Attempts to split China 'doomed', says Xi

Separatism from places like Taiwan and Hong Kong , is a no no!

Xi Jinping speaking in parliament

The president painted China as a rising global power and warned separatism in Taiwan would be punished.

Chinese President Xi Jinping has delivered a fervently nationalistic closing speech to parliament, painting China as the rising global power. Mr Xi said "achieving total unity" was the "collective hope of all Chinese people" and any attempts to divide it were "doomed to fail". The speech was a strong warning against any attempt at separatism from places like Taiwan and Hong Kong . Mr Xi also warned China could not be complacent about its development. Meanwhile, Premier Li Keqiang used his once-a-year news conference to say China was committed to global co-operation on trade. He said China would further open up its economy and "ensure that both domestic and foreign firms" were "able to compete on fair terms in China 's large market". Chinese officials have made similar pledges in the past. The premier's comments are a marked contrast to the recent protectionist rhetoric and threats of tariffs from the Trump administration in the US . 'Punished by history' Xi Jinping became president in 2013 and now looks likely to lead China indefinitely, after the National People's Congress (NPC) - a rubber-stamp parliamentary session that meets once a year - voted to remove a two-term limit on the presidency from the constitution.    China's new anti-corruption super agency   How China will change after the NPC   The president who lived in a cave   New anti-corruption super agency    How China will change after NPC   What's behind China-Taiwan divide?   Video Forced holidays for dissidents

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Selected News & Articles Compiled and Comments Written by Josh F. Tanembaum

All what I write here are protected by copyright law, and I am solely responsible for all its contents. You can read yesterdays comments and featured articles from different news dispatches by clicking yesterday's Front Page

Trump congratulates Putin over election

US President Donald Trump says he will meet the Russian leader in the "not too distant future".

Russian President Vladimir Putin meets with co-chairs of his campaign office at the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia, 19 March 2018

US President Donald Trump has spoken to his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin to congratulate him on his electoral victory two days ago. He said they they would meet in the "not too distant future" to discuss the arms race, Ukraine and Syria . Mr Putin was re-elected by a landslide, with more than 76% of the vote, for a fourth six-year term.  But there was no strong challenger with the main opposition leader, Alexei Navalny, barred from the race. Mr Trump said the arms race between the US and Russia was "getting out of control... but we will never allow anybody to have anything close to what we have". But he did not mention the issue that has sparked growing Western tensions with Moscow - the poisoning of ex-spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in Britain . European observers said that while the poll was conducted efficiently, there was a lack of genuine choice.   Putin basks in election he could not lose   Google's most popular Putin search queries answered   'Better than Trump': What young Russians think of Putin   Video Trump 'will probably meet Putin soon'    Video How the election unfolded

France's Sarkozy: 'Bling' and legal woes

Nicolas Sarkozy has been beset by corruption investigations since his 2007-2012 presidency.

Some investigations have been dropped. But police are questioning him and some former associates over allegations that the late Libyan dictator Col Muammar Gaddafi illegally funded his 2007 presidential campaign. Mr Sarkozy, 63, denies wrongdoing, but could eventually face trial in this case or another campaign funding scandal known as Bygmalion. in February 2016 he was placed under formal investigation over the Bygmalion affair. It is alleged that the centre-right party he formerly led - the UMP - connived with a friendly PR company to hide the true cost of his 2012 presidential campaign. His 15-hour stay in policy custody on 1 July 2014 was unprecedented for an ex-president in France . That questioning focused on allegations that Mr Sarkozy had tried to influence senior judges - an investigation that was later dropped.   Police hold ex-president Sarkozy in Libya probe    Sarkozy under investigation   France country profile

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Malta-linked whistleblower held in Greece     Trump congratulates Putin over election    Briton investigated for Nazi war crimes    German city goes red (and green) for Marx    Ireland loses legal bid over 'Hooded Men'    Paris council to rule on sex doll 'broth     India confirms 39 workers killed by IS     Syria strike 'kills children in school'     Turkish-backed rebels looting in Afrin    French official 'smuggled arms from Gaza'     Trump vows to catch 'sick' Texas bomber    Dozens die as rockets hit Damascus market    Anger at teacher 'melon breasts' remarks    Gunman dies after being shot at US school     Malta-linked whistleblower held in Greece    Last male northern white rhino dies    French police hold ex-president Sarkozy    Russian diplomats leave amiy spy row    Down's boy's family sues US Boy Scouts    Au revoir, baguette - Bonjour le hamburger!     German city goes red (and green) for Marx     How to protect your Facebook data    What are opioids and what are the risks?    Who controls the world's most toxic chemicals?     How China will change after the NPC     Could cryonic technicians help bring the dead back to life?

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Dozens die as rockets hit Damascus market

Police say rebels in the besieged Eastern Ghouta region fired the rockets at a government-held area.

At least 35 civilians have been killed in a rocket attack on a busy market in a government-held district of Syria's capital Damascus , state media report. Rebels in the besieged Eastern Ghouta region fired the rockets at Kashkoul, police told the Sana news agency. Six other civilians were injured in a separate attack to the west, they said. Rebel groups have stepped up artillery attacks since pro-government forces launched a major air and ground assault on the Eastern Ghouta a month ago. The intense bombardment of the enclave by the Syrian military and its allies is believed to have left 1,400 civilians dead and led 50,000 others to flee. Earlier, activists said a suspected Russian air strike had killed 15 children and four women sheltering in an underground school in the rebel-held town of Arbin . UN aid agencies meanwhile expressed alarm at the "massive displacement" of civilians from the Eastern Ghouta and warned that many were in a very poor state of health, with children suffering malnutrition, scabies, diarrhoea and respiratory infections.   Doctor: 'We will stay until the end'    Video President Assad's frontline visit    Why is there a war in Syria?   Devastation seen from space

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Au revoir, baguette - Bonjour le hamburger!

The French order more US-style hamburgers than classic jambon-beurre sandwiches, a study suggests.

An employee prepares food orders at the Isla Burger Halal fast-food in Nice, France

French people have bought more US-style hamburgers than their own classic jambon-beurre sandwich for the first time in history, a study suggests. Some 1.46 billion burgers were sold last year, compared with 1.22 billion baguettes filled with sliced ham, according to Gira Conseil consultants. The results suggest the nation known for its culinary pride has had a huge shift in its eating habits. The French ate 14 times fewer burgers a decade ago.  "Jambon-beurre is a French tradition," Gira Conseil director Bernard Boutboul told Reuters news agency. "But the French are now crazy about burgers. You find them everywhere, from fast food to Michelin-starred restaurants," the Paris-based restaurant consultant said. At least one burger is on the menu at 85% of French restaurants - most of which are full-table-service establishments. Only 30% of hamburgers sold are from fast food outlets. The European country's "burger frenzy" has been bubbling over the last few years, with the American sandwich steadily stealing more of the French sandwich's market. "This year, we don't know how to describe the phenomenon. It's just crazy," Mr Boutboul told AFP.   How the 'better burger' is taking over the world    Burger-flipping robot taken offline    The changing face of French lunchtimes     How the 'better burger' is taking over the world

Far-reaching smoking ban leaves some Hampstead residents fuming

The Montreal suburb of Hampstead's decision to ban smoking in all public spaces has prompted a mixed reaction from residents, with some wondering if the bylaw is necessary at all.

Hampstead resident Polina Belkina says she feels smokers are being unfairly targeted by the town's new anti-smoking bylaw.

New town bylaw prohibits smoking cigarettes, cigars on sidewalks and streets

Some smokers in the Montreal suburb of Hampstead say they are being unfairly targeted by a decision to crack down on smoking in public. The town adopted the sweeping bylaw late Tuesday, which prohibits smoking cigarettes, cigars and pipes almost anywhere outdoors,  including streets, sidewalks and parks. Residents will still be able to smoke in their backyards and electronic cigarettes are exempt from the bylaw. Polina Belkina, a casual smoker who lives in Hampstead, said that smokers are being singled out for what she says is a non-issue. "I have been living here for almost seven years, I've never really seen anybody smoking on the street," said Belkina. Hampstead bans smoking on sidewalks, streets  The bylaw is among the most restrictive anti-tobacco legislation in the country, and also prohibits smoking on all municipal property, including in town vehicles, municipal buildings and land adjacent to those buildings. Fines range from $250 to $750 for first-time offenders and up to $1,500 for repeat offenders. The town's public security department will be responsible for enforcing the measures. Hampstead Mayor Bill Steinberg said the tightened rules are aimed at protecting residents from the dangers of smoking. "It's going to help protect our residents from second-hand smoke," he said. Hampstead bans smoking on sidewalks, streets   Hampstead wants to ban smoking in public, even on streets and sidewalks    

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Police call off search in icy river for missing Montreal boy   Reward boosted to $75K for help finding missing Montreal boy   Champion boxer Adonis Stevenson donates $15K as search for missing Montreal boy continues    'If you have our child, bring him back to us': Search continues for missing Montreal boy   Liberals propose tightening Canada's firearms law with new record-keeping practices   Idea of getting firearms vendors to track sales revives old gun control debate   Gang murders bucking trend toward a less violent Canada, summit told   Pair perished in winter storm after ignoring warnings not to drive home, coroner says   Quebec man who died in truck in snowstorm sent final words of love to partner   Tow-truck driver warned 2 men to seek refuge hours before they died in blizzard  More Headlines   Police search homes, vehicles linked to Hells Angels   Snow crab fishery's 'sustainable' label suspended in wake of whale deaths   New restaurant training aims to eliminate food allergy incidents   Quebec man charged with murder in Alberta cold case to remain behind bars for now   It's officially spring, even if it doesn't feel like it   Hampstead bans smoking on sidewalks, streets     Quebec lawmakers waver on anti-pit bull legislation    Charity's board saw exodus before revelations about director    Inquiry should use its powers to fact-find for families of missing and murdered women, advocates say   Hidden camera reveals security breach at Hull Hospital lab video   Make the Metro more comfortable, and commuters will come, researcher says   NDP's emergency motion to study high-alcohol pre-mixed beverages passes   Montreal mayor invites cultural communities to tackle discrimination in city   RECAP Panthers shut out Habs to inch closer to playoffs  U.S. woman charged for transporting 6 people into the country near Quebec border   Cirque du Soleil performer killed in fall remembered as 'terrific person'

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Canada moves to tighten gun laws

The federal Liberals table legislation with new measures that include tougher background checks.

Canada 's federal Liberals have unveiled long-awaited gun control measures.

They include tougher background checks, including screening people with a history of violence. Proposed measures also include making retailers keep records of gun inventories and sales and giving police access to the records when warranted. Crime rates in Canada have been on a long decline but gun-related homicides and gun violence have increased. The party campaigned in 2015 on a promise to make it harder to procure and use handguns and assault weapons. Gun violence in Canada is much lower than in the United States , but higher than in Europe and other many Western countries. Firearm offences have also been on the rise in Canada in recent years. In 2016, here were 2,465 criminal violations involving firearms, an increase of 30% since 2013, according to federal government figures. TorontoCanada 's largest city, has seen a steady increase in gun violence, with 392 shootings in 2017. Of all the murders in the US in 2012, 60% were by firearm compared with 31% in Canada .   NRA sues as Florida signs gun-control law   Trump clashes with Republicans on guns   America's gun culture in 10 charts   The teenagers taking on the US gun lobby

France: Sarkozy held over 'Gaddafi funds'

The former president is in custody for questioning over alleged campaign funding from Libya .


Mr Sarkozy (left) clinched big trade deals for France with Libya 's Gaddafi in 2007 when he was president

Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy has been taken into police custody for questioning over allegations that he received campaign funding from the late Libyan leader Col Muammar Gaddafi. Police are investigating alleged irregularities over the financing of his 2007 presidential campaign. Police have questioned him previously as part of the probe. Mr Sarkozy has denied any wrongdoing. The centre-right politician failed to return to power in 2012. Judicial sources said he was being questioned in Nanterre , a suburb in western Paris . In 2013, France opened an investigation into allegations that his campaign had benefited from illicit funds from Gaddafi. The sources said one of Mr Sarkozy's former ministers and a close ally, Brice Hortefeux, was also being questioned by police on Tuesday.    Sarkozy: 'Bling' and legal woes

US consumer watchdog 'probes Facebook'

  Claims that Cambridge Analytica misused Facebook users' data cause a furore and its chief is now suspended.

A figurine is seen in front of the Facebook logo in this illustration taken, 20 March 2018

The US Federal Trade Commission is reported to be investigating Facebook after allegations that 50 million users' private information was misused by a political consultancy firm. Cambridge Analytica (CA), used by the Trump campaign in the 2016 US election, has been accused of taking the personal data unknown to users. CA head Alexander Nix has now been suspended by the company board.  Facebook is due to brief congressional aides on Wednesday. Its stock has continued to slide, following Monday's steep decline. The British and European parliaments have called on Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg to give evidence to them. Cambridge Analytica, which is based in London , denies any wrongdoing. The FTC, an independent agency of the US government, is tasked with protecting American consumers. Why is the FTC getting involved? The commission is investigating whether Facebook violated the terms of a 2011 decree regarding the social network's privacy protections, an unnamed source "familiar with the agency's thinking and not authorised to speak on the record" told the Washington Post newspaper.   Cambridge Analytica: The story so far   How to protect your Facebook data   Facebook data sharing - time to act?   The story so far   How to protect your Facebook   Facebook data - time to act?

Philippines moves closer to divorce law

The Philippines and Vatican City are the only states which still ban divorce.

Anti-divorce protesters

The Philippines ' lower house of Congress has passed a divorce bill on the third reading, moving the country closer to legalisation. The bill passed despite opposition from President Rodrigo Duterte, who had his own marriage legally annulled. However, for divorce to become legal the Senate also has to pass a bill in favour, and even then Mr Duterte could still use his veto to strike it down. Worldwide, divorce is only illegal in the Philippines and Vatican City . Over 80% of people in the Philippines describe themselves as Catholic, and the church has a powerful influence in the country. Congresswoman Emmi de Jesus said the bill was filed because of a "clamour of women trapped in abusive relationships", who need the government to give them a means out of "irreparable marriages". The Divorce Bill, or House Bill 7303, passed with 134 votes in favour and 57 against, with two abstentions. What can Filipinos currently do to get out of a marriage?   Is Catholic Church's influence in Philippines fading?   Philippine MPs back contraception

Uber halts self-driving tests after death

A pedestrian was killed after being hit by a self-driving Uber car in Arizona .

self drivingVolvo

Uber said it is suspending self-driving car tests in all North American cities after a fatal accident. A 49-year-old woman was hit by a car and killed as she crossed the street in Tempe , Arizona . While self-driving cars have been involved in multiple accidents, it is thought to be the first time an autonomous car has been involved in a fatal collision. Uber chief Dara Khosrowshahi said the death was "incredibly sad news". "We're thinking of the victim's family as we work with local law enforcement to understand what happened," he said in a tweet. Police said the accident happened Sunday night while the car was in autonomous mode. A human monitor was also behind the wheel. Police said the woman, Elaine Herzberg, had not been using a pedestrian crossing. She was taken to a local hospital, where she died. The US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board said they were sending teams to Tempe .   Uber changes app following TfL concerns   Uber to report crimes direct to police   Uber plans shake-up of driver ratings

Venezuelan town issues own currency

With banknotes hard to come by due to hyperinflation, the town of Elorza issues its own.

A photo of a 50,000 Elorza bill

Amid an acute national shortage of banknotes, the town of Elorza in western Venezuela has started issuing its own paper currency. Local officials said that the currency would make it easier for residents and visitors to trade during the town's festivities, which start on Monday. They said rampant hyperinflation and a scarcity of bolivares, the national currency, had affected trade in Elorza. The new currency can be bought at the mayor's office via bank transfer. 'Money doesn't flow' The paper bills feature the face of independence hero José Andrés Elorza and, like the town, are named after him. "People don't have bolivares to spend, that's why we have created bills of two denominations... and we've already sold 2bn bolivares worth," mayor Solfreddy Solórzano, from the governing PSUV party, said. Local businessman Canuto García explained that the town came up with the idea after it noticed that at local festivities in nearby cities "money did not flow".   Video Where a coffee costs wads of banknotes   How people live in cash-strapped Venezuela

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Uber halts self-driving tests after death

A pedestrian was killed after being hit by a self-driving Uber car in Arizona .

self drivingVolvo

Uber said it is suspending self-driving car tests in all North American cities after a fatal accident. A 49-year-old woman was hit by a car and killed as she crossed the street in Tempe , Arizona . While self-driving cars have been involved in multiple accidents, it is thought to be the first time an autonomous car has been involved in a fatal collision. Uber chief Dara Khosrowshahi said the death was "incredibly sad news". "We're thinking of the victim's family as we work with local law enforcement to understand what happened," he said in a tweet. Police said the accident happened Sunday night while the car was in autonomous mode. A human monitor was also behind the wheel. Police said the woman, Elaine Herzberg, had not been using a pedestrian crossing. She was taken to a local hospital, where she died. The US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board said they were sending teams to Tempe .   Uber changes app following TfL concerns   Uber to report crimes direct to police   Uber plans shake-up of driver ratings

Venezuelan town issues own currency

With banknotes hard to come by due to hyperinflation, the town of Elorza issues its own.

A photo of a 50,000 Elorza bill

Amid an acute national shortage of banknotes, the town of Elorza in western Venezuela has started issuing its own paper currency. Local officials said that the currency would make it easier for residents and visitors to trade during the town's festivities, which start on Monday. They said rampant hyperinflation and a scarcity of bolivares, the national currency, had affected trade in Elorza. The new currency can be bought at the mayor's office via bank transfer. 'Money doesn't flow' The paper bills feature the face of independence hero José Andrés Elorza and, like the town, are named after him. "People don't have bolivares to spend, that's why we have created bills of two denominations... and we've already sold 2bn bolivares worth," mayor Solfreddy Solórzano, from the governing PSUV party, said. Local businessman Canuto García explained that the town came up with the idea after it noticed that at local festivities in nearby cities "money did not flow".   Video Where a coffee costs wads of banknotes   How people live in cash-strapped Venezuela

Jail for 'most hated man in US' Shkreli

Convicted of defrauding investors, the notorious ex-drug firm boss faces seven years in prison.

Martin Shkreli, the former drug firm executive found guilty of defrauding investors, has been sentenced to seven years in prison. The 34-year-old wept at a hearing as a federal court judge in Brooklyn , New York , handed down the prison term. Shkreli was convicted last year of sending fake account statements to investors while concealing huge losses from two hedge funds he ran. He first became notorious in 2015 for hiking the price of a lifesaving drug. His lawyers had asked the judge to impose a sentence of 12 to 18 months, while prosecutors were seeking at least 15 years. "I've got my begging voice on," Shkreli's lawyer Benjamin Brafman told the judge on Friday, while acknowledging his client could be annoying. "There are times when I want to hug him and hold him and comfort him and there are times when I want to punch him in the face," said Mr Brafman.   'The most hated man in America'?   Wrong medicine? The pressure for US healthcare reform    Drug price-gouging under microscope

Asia-Pacific countries in huge trade deal

Eleven countries have signed on, but what does it do and who are the winners and losers?

Eleven Asia-Pacific countries have just signed the trade pact formerly known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Although the US pulled out last year, the deal was salvaged by the remaining members, who signed it at a ceremony in the Chilean city of Santiago . Chilean foreign minister Heraldo Munoz said the agreement was a strong signal "against protectionist pressures, in favour of a world open to trade". The deal covers a market of nearly 500 million people, despite the US pullout. In the absence of the US , it has been renamed the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP). Extraneous adjectives aside, its supporters say it's hugely significant, and could be a model for future trade deals. What does it do? Its main purpose is to slash trade tariffs between member countries. But it also seeks to reduce so-called non-tariff measures, which create obstacles to trade through regulations. There are chapters which aim to harmonise these regulations, or at least make them transparent and fair.   Video Donald Trump's impact on trade in Asia

US moots exemptions to metal tariffs

US plans to impose tariffs on imports of steel and aluminium face opposition at home and abroad.

Canada and Mexico may be exempt from US plans to impose tariffs on metal imports, the White House says.

Other countries too may also see "carve outs" on national security grounds, press secretary Sarah Sanders said. US President Donald Trump has said steel products will face a 25% tariff, with 10% on aluminium goods. But there are fears the plans could spark a trade war, and it reportedly helped lead to the resignation of top economic adviser Gary Cohn. Mr Trump has railed against the US trade deficit, arguing that other countries have been "taking advantage of" the US for decades. "We expect that the president will sign something by the end of the week and there are potential carve-outs for Mexico and Canada based on national security, and possibly other countries as well based on that process," Ms Sanders told reporters "That would be a case by case and country by country basis but it would be determined, whether or not there is a national security exemption." Peanut butter could be hit      Why Trump is hanging tough on trade

China 'won't sit by' in Trump trade war

The warning comes after Donald Trump announced steel tariffs and said that trade wars were good.

China has warned that it does not want a trade war with the US , but will not sit idly by if its economy is hurt.

Zhang Yesui, spokesperson for China 's National People's Congress, made the comments amid controversy over Donald Trump's announcement of tariffs on steel and aluminium imports. The US president has also threatened to impose a tax on EU-made cars, and earlier said "trade wars are good". US trading partners, the IMF and the WTO have strongly criticised his moves. What does Trump want to do and why? Mr Trump has decried the "$800 Billion Dollar Yearly Trade Deficit because of our 'very stupid' trade deals and policies", and vowed to end it. On Thursday, he said steel imports would face a 25% tariff and aluminium 10%. Then came Saturday's threat on EU-made cars. What would China do in a US trade war?   Five reasons why trade wars aren't easy to win   Steel tariffs: What impact will they really have?   Why trade wars aren't easy to win

Trump says U.S. will impose tariffs of 25% for steel, 10% for aluminum

Canada is No. 1 supplier to U.S. of both commodities, but how tariffs will be applied isn't yet clear

U.S. President Donald Trump has announced hefty new tariffs for imports of steel, at 25 per cent, and 10 per cent for aluminum, to be implemented next week in his attempt to boost U.S. manufacturers. U.S. President Donald Trump has announced hefty new tariffs for imports of steel, at 25 per cent, and 10 per cent for aluminum that are to be implemented next week in his attempt to boost U.S. manufacturers. The president had summoned leaders from steel and aluminum companies to the White House on Thursday morning to discuss the move, the latest flank in his trade war. "You will have protection for the first time in a long while," he told the group. "We'll be signing it next week … it will be for a long period of time," he added.  Details on whether all countries, including Canada , will face the steep tariffs on steel and aluminum have not yet been released. Earlier Thursday, White House officials had said the president was only holding a "listening session" with industry executives to discuss potential taxes, but no decision was expected Thursday. But before that, Trump had taken to Twitter to talk about  U.S. steel and aluminum industries facing "decades of unfair trade.    Why politics is driving a new wave of protectionism: Don Pittis   Stock markets sell off after Trump talk on steel tariffs

Spotify plans public listing

The world's biggest music streaming firm will become a publicly listed company.

Spotify, the world's biggest music streaming service, has filed paperwork to start selling its shares publicly on the New York Stock Exchange. The firm, which launched in 2008, said its shares could be worth up to an estimated $1bn (£726m; €819m). It plans to list shares directly on the NYSE, bypassing the traditional stock offering process. In a typical public offering, companies issue new shares, with the initial price underwritten by investment banks. With a direct listing, current Spotify shareholders will take their shares directly to the market. The US Securities and Exchange Commission filing contains financial details previously shielded from view. The Swedish company's 2017 revenue came in at €4.09bn euros ($4.99bn) compared with €2.95bn a year earlier, Spotify said in its filing. But it still experienced more than €1.2bn in losses. Spotify is the biggest global music streaming company and counts tech giants Apple and Amazon as its main rivals. It has more about 159 million monthly active users and 71 million paid subscribers. Europe is its top market.  Spotify and Tencent Music strike deal  Spotify sued over songwriter rights

Megachurch leader 'tries to flee by sea'

The man was trying to flee before his jail term for fraud, say police in Singapore .

City Harvest Church founder Kong Hee (R) and his wife Sun Ho, also known as Ho Yeow Sun arrive at court in Singapore (21 Oct 2015)

A Singaporean man convicted in a megachurch fraud case was caught trying to escape by sea before starting his prison sentence, police say. Chew Eng Han was found in a small boat heading towards Malaysia , police say, a day before he was to turn himself in after exhausting the appeals process. He and a second man in the boat say they were on a fishing expedition. Chew and five others were convicted of misappropriating millions of dollars from the City Harvest Church in 2015. Investment committee member Chew was sentenced to three years and four months. After losing his final challenge, the 57-year-old was due to begin his jail term on 22 February, after the Lunar New Year holiday. A police statement said that preliminary investigations suggested Chew and the other man in the boat were "attempting to depart Singapore illegally," said a police statement. As well as fishing gear, the men were carrying S$5,000 ($3,800; £2,700) in cash and three mobile phones. The scandal was the biggest corruption case Singapore had seen in years.   Much of the S$50m ($35m; £23m) was used to promote the pop music career of the church pastor's wife, Sun Ho.   Inside Singapore's City Harvest megachurch scandal   Inside the megachurch scandal

 Yes, Quebecers really are happy with announced tax cuts

Special to The Montreal Tribune - Montreal , February  2018  – A few weeks from the next provincial budget, a Leger poll released today shows that a majority of Quebecers are happy about the tax cuts recently announced by the government. They also think that their taxes are too high, and that tax cuts are good for the economy. Here are the main results of the Leger poll, commissioned by the MEI: · 63% of respondents agree that the tax reductions announced by the Quebec Finance Minister in his recent economic update are a positive thing.  59% of respondents think that tax cuts are good for the economy.  67% of respondents believe they pay too much in taxes.  In addition, 71% of respondents believe that the additional amounts injected over the past 10 years in health and education have not yielded results. 
(The poll, including the specific wording of the questions, can be consulted on the website of the MEI.) It is worth noting that the favourable opinion of tax cuts and the observation that Quebecers pay too much in taxes echo strongly among respondents who intend to vote for the Parti Québécois in the next election—and even more among those who intend to vote for the CAQ or the Liberal Party. Even among respondents who support Québec Solidaire, over 90% think their taxes are either high enough or too high. "The results of this poll are clear: After years of enduring tax and contribution hikes of all kinds, Quebecers think it's time to give them back some of their money. Quebecers' taxes are too high, and they don't think that paying more will make a difference in the quality of services they receive. In terms of future public policy decisions, and a few months from the next election, our politicians will have to take these facts into account," says Germain Belzile, Associate Researcher at the MEI.  The online poll was carried out from January 8 to 10, 2018 with a representative sample of 1,012 Quebecers aged 18 and older. The margin of error is around + or – 3.1%.  The Montreal Economic Institute is an independent, non-partisan, not-for-profit research and educational organization. Through its studies and its conferences, the MEI stimulates debate on public policies in Quebec and across Canada by proposing wealth-creating reforms based on market mechanisms. 2.07.18

Health care and education: It's not about the money

Special to The Montreal Tribune - Montreal, February  2018 – Contrary to what some would have you believe, spending on health care and education in Quebec have increased substantially in recent years, but these additional sums have had little impact on the quality or accessibility of public services, shows a publication launched today by the MEI. "It is not true that the health care and education budgets have been slashed," notes Germain Belzile, Senior Associate Researcher at the MEI and co-author of the publication. "Not only has spending gone up considerably, but it has grown more quickly than either the general population or the student population." Indeed, from 2008-2009 to 2016-2017, health care spending went from $30.6 billion to $36.4 billion, while education spending (excluding the post-secondary sector) went from $12 billion to $13.4 billion. These increases take inflation into account, which shows that the resources allocated to these two sectors did go up in real terms. "With this kind of spending, we might expect to have seen a general improvement in public services. But this is not what we observe," adds Mr. Belzile. "Performance does not depend on how many billions are spent, and the injection of additional funds would just be an immense waste."  Moreover, a recent poll commissioned by the MEI shows that 71% of Quebecers believe that the additional amounts injected over the past 10 years in health and education have not yielded results.  If spending had simply followed the rates of inflation and demographic change over this period, Quebecers would be paying $4.8 billion less for health care and education today. "It's unequivocal. Even though many commentators have demanded that the money used to lower income taxes be reinjected into public services, it is their organization, their management, and their performance that are at issue, much more than their funding," insists Patrick Déry, Public Policy Analyst at the MEI and co-author of the publication.  The U.S. health care system is a striking example of the fact that performance does not depend on the amount of money spent: It is by far the most expensive in the world, but it is regularly ranked last in comparisons of industrialized countries. "Before injecting additional resources, the Quebec government should re-examine the way it delivers public services; otherwise, there is no reason to believe that it will obtain different results," concludes Mr. Déry.  The Viewpoint entitled "Health and Education: Spending Has Continued to Grow" was prepared by Germain Belzile, Senior Associate Researcher at the MEI, and Patrick Déry, Public Policy Analyst at the MEI. This publication is available on our website. The Montreal Economic Institute is an independent, non-partisan, not-for-profit research and educational organization. Through its studies and its conferences, the MEI stimulates debate on public policies in Quebec and across Canada by proposing wealth-creating reforms based on market mechanisms. 2.07.18  

Quebec is still a corporate subsidy champion

Special to The Montreal Tribune - Montreal Quebec pays out twice as much in corporate subsidies as Ontario , proportional to the size of its economy. This policy does not make Quebecers richer, shows a publication released today by the MEI. While Quebec produces just 19% of the provinces' total GDP, it grants nearly 29% of the subsidies paid out by them. "This disproportionate use of subsidies does not result in a higher level of wealth; if it did, Quebec would be the richest province in Canada, which is far from being the case," notes Alexandre Moreau, Public Policy Analyst at the MEI and author of the publication. Quebec 's GDP per capita was $47,443 in 2016, compared to $74,343 in Alberta and $58,585 for the provinces not including Quebec . "For each dollar Quebec collects from private companies, at least 41 cents are spent on various forms of subsidies," points out Alexandre Moreau. Total corporate subsidies granted by the Quebec government come to a minimum of $3.1 billion in 2016-2017, while government receipts from taxing the income and the capital gains of companies amounted to $7.5 billion. Actually, the total amount of subsidies is likely higher than $3.1 billion. "To evaluate the cost of certain types of subsidies stemming from loan guarantees and portfolio investments, the element of risk has to be factored in, since the government—and therefore the taxpayer—is ultimately responsible if the company is not able to reimburse a loan or if the value of its shares falls," explains Alexandre Moreau The publication also shows that trying to support the economy with subsidies entails adverse effects that undermine growth. "Increasing taxes to finance these subsidies creates distortions in the economy and discourages productive activities. Indeed, the government ends up confiscating money from more successful companies to benefit others that have not succeeded in convincing private investors of their profitability," adds Mr. Moreau. "The harmful effects of subsidies have been known for a long time. The Quebec economy would be in much better shape if the government reduced corporate subsidies, and in return, reduced the corporate tax burden as well. Such a reform would improve the competitiveness of all companies, all while reducing economic distortions," concludes Michel Kelly-Gagnon, President and CEO of the MEI. The Viewpoint entitled "Quebec Is Still a Corporate Subsidy Champion" was prepared by Alexandre Moreau, Public Policy Analyst at the MEI. This publication is available on our website. 1.28.18

Arts & Entertainment

Black Panther takes $1bn at box office

Analysts say the superhero film, which has a predominantly black cast, is a watershed moment.

Marvel's superhero film Black Panther has taken more than a billion US dollars (£794m) at cinemas worldwide.

It is the fifth movie based in Disney's Marvel Universe to hit the milestone. The film stars Chadwick Boseman as the crime-fighting ruler of Wakanda, a fictional African nation with the most advanced technology on earth. Oscar winner Lupita Nyong'o, Michael B Jordan and Daniel Kaluuya play key roles, with The Hobbit star Martin Freeman as CIA agent Everett Ross. The film has been widely praised as game-changing - including by Michelle Obama - for having a largely black cast and a black director, Ryan Coogler. Box office analyst Jeff Bock told the New York Times: "I think about it like a wall crumbling. In terms of Black Panther, no studio can say again, 'Oh, black movies don't travel, overseas interest will be minimal.'"   Video How to speak like Black Panther    'Why black people like me are refusing to be sub-plots

Frances McDormand's Oscar is stolen

A man is arrested for grand theft for taking Frances McDormand's best actress Oscar.

Frances McDormand and Oscar

A man has been arrested on suspicion of stealing Frances McDormand's Oscar after the awards ceremony on Sunday. Los Angeles Police have confirmed Terry Bryant was arrested for grand theft, after the statuette went missing from the Governor's Ball. The 47-year old was booked and has had bail set at $20,000 (£14,400). He will attend court at a future date. The statue has since been returned to the best actress winner. A representative for the actress told USA Today: "Fran and Oscar are happily reunited and are enjoying an In-N-Out burger together". LAPD said Bryant was a ticket holder for the Governor's Ball, which is the official formal dinner after the ceremony. McDormand had already had her name engraved on the statue at the ball before it went missing. The actress was celebrating her win of the award for best actress for her role in Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri .   Shape of Water and McDormand rule Oscars   The 11 BEST moments from Oscars night   When one Oscar dress is just not enough    Why's everyone talking about this outfit?   When one Oscar dress is just not enough

Streep slams 'pathetic' Weinstein lawyers

The women's lawsuit describes Weinstein as a predator and accuses him of widespread sexual misconduct.

Harvey Weinstein and Meryl Streep

Meryl Streep and Jennifer Lawrence have condemned Harvey Weinstein's lawyers for using their names in his defence against a legal action. Six women are bringing a class action lawsuit against the disgraced producer. His lawyers want it dismissed because it is too broad, arguing that actresses such as Streep haven't accused him. But Streep said the way they used the fact he didn't abuse her "as evidence that he was not abusive with many OTHER women is pathetic and exploitative". And Lawrence said he and his company were trying to "take things out of context and use them for their own benefit". The six women are suing Weinstein and the "Weinstein Sexual Enterprise", which they say includes his brother Bob and their film studio The Weinstein Company. Weinstein has been accused of sexual harassment and assault by dozens of women. He denies all allegations of non-consensual sex.

Saudis announce $64bn entertainment fund

Saudi Arabia says it will invest $64bn (£46bn) in developing its entertainment industry over the next decade.

A group of circus performers: one man balances on another's palm,

The head of the General Entertainment Authority said 5,000 events were planned this year alone, including those by Maroon 5 and Cirque du Soleil. Construction of the country's first opera house has also begun in Riyadh . The investment is part of a social and economic reform programme, known as Vision 2030, unveiled two years ago Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. The 32 year old wants to diversify the economy and reduce the kingdom's reliance on oil, including by increasing household spending on culture and entertainment.  In December, the government lifted a ban on commercial cinemas.   Is Saudi Arabia on the cusp of change?   Saudis plan to build $500bn mega city   Profile: Prince Mohammed bin Salman

Trial lawyer seeks halt to Eastwood film

She says her client, accused of a foiled terrorist train attack in France , will not get a fair trial.

Alek Skarlatos, Anthony Sadler, Clint Eastwood and Spencer Stone at California premiere Feb 5

A lawyer representing a man accused of a foiled French terror attack has spoken out against a film by Clint Eastwood depicting the incident. The film - The 15:17 to Paris - is based on events on board a Thalys express train when a gunman tried to attack passengers in August 2015. The film, starring the men who stopped the attacker, opened on Wednesday. A lawyer for suspect Ayoub El-Khazzani has asked for showings to be suspended while a judge reviews evidence. Sarah Mauger-Poliak said the film was a violation of her client's rights because it presents a "fictionalised" and "one-sided" view to the public as fact. "I am aware that my client is not an angel but let justice do its work," she said. Mr Khazzani, from Morocco , was found with a range of weapons including a Kalashnikov assault rifle on board the Amsterdam-to-Paris train. He is alleged to have links to radical Islam.   Clint Eastwood casts actual heroes in film    Suspect profile: Ayoub El-Khazzani

Uma Thurman breaks silence on Weinstein

Actress Uma Thurman has detailed long hinted-at allegations against film producer Harvey Weinstein.

Uma Thurman in June 2017, photographed in front of a wall of white roses

In a New York Times article, she says Weinstein pushed her down and "tried to expose himself" at the producer's hotel room in London during the 1990s, before she managed to "wriggle away". Harvey Weinstein's spokeswoman said the claims about an assault "are untrue". The 47-year-old star also said she was forced into sex as a teenager by an unnamed actor 20 years older than her. Thurman had expressed anger at Weinstein last November, saying: "I'm glad it's going slowly - you don't deserve a bullet."   UK police look into more Weinstein claims

Lady Gaga halts world tour in 'severe pain'

The singer, who has fibromyalgia, says she is "devastated" but needed to put herself first.

Lady Gaga

Lady Gaga has cancelled the last 10 dates of the European leg of her world tour due to "severe pain". In a statement posted on Twitter, the pop star apologised to fans and said she was "devastated", but needed to put "myself and my well-being" first. The Grammy award-winning singer has fibromyalgia, a long-term condition which can cause pain all over the body. Shows in London and Manchester are among those affected. In the statement, it said the "tough decision" had been made on Friday night with "strong support from her medical team". Ticket holders can apply for a refund from 6 February, the statement added.

Bruno Mars grabs all the Grammys

Bruno Mars dominates the Grammy Awards - but female artists are hard to find in the winners' list.

Bruno Mars and Kendrick Lamar stole the show, and most of the awards, at the 2018 Grammys.

Mars provided the night's big upset, taking the album of the year trophy that most critics assumed would go to Lamar's rap tour de force, Damn. In the end, voters found Mars's crowd-pleasing R&B more palatable, while Lamar dominated the rap categories. Alessia Cara won best new artist - making her the only female artist to win a major prize. Stars like Lady Gaga, Kesha, Lorde and SZA were overlooked, with only 17 awards (out of a total of 86) going to women or female-fronted bands.    Fire and Fury over Clinton Grammy cameo   Grammys: The photos you need to see

Dolores O'Riordan inquest awaits 'tests'

A coroner is waiting for the results of medical tests following the Cranberries singer's death.


The inquest into the death of Cranberries singer Dolores O'Riordan has been adjourned while the coroner awaits the results of "various tests". The inquest, at Westminster Coroner's Court, has been adjourned until 3 April. The singer died suddenly on 16 January aged 46. The Irish musician, originally from Limerick , led the band to international success in the 90s with singles including Linger and Zombie. A Metropolitan Police spokesperson said the police were called to a hotel in Park Lane at 09:05 GMT on Monday, where "a woman in her mid-40s" was pronounced dead at the scene. Police confirmed earlier this week that the death was not being treated as suspicious. The parish priest from her home town Friarstown, in Limerick , said her funeral would take place in Ireland . "The plan is for her to be buried here at home. When that will be will depend on when her body is released," he said. The Cranberries shot to international fame with their 1993 debut album Everybody Else Is Doing It, So Why Can't We? and went on to sell over 40 million records worldwide.

Dolores O'Riordan: Voice of a rebel    Asia's enduring love for The Cranberries    Video The Cranberries on the 'massive pressure of fame   IRA victim's father pays tribute to O'Riordan   Video A look back at singer's career    Cranberries star told to give to charity    The Bollywood film breaking the taboo around periods    Music News LIVE: 19 January   Dylan Farrow: 'Woody Allen's been lying so long'    A Year in Provence author Peter Mayle dies     NEWSBEAT Tom Hardy's 90s rap mixtape resurfaces    The Eagles settle Hotel California case     'Shakespeare genius' John Barto

Medical News

 Cancer blood test ‘enormously exciting’

Scientists move nearer to one of the biggest goals in medicine - a universal blood test for cancer.


Scientists have taken a step towards one of the biggest goals in medicine - a universal blood test for cancer.

A team at Johns Hopkins University has trialled a method that detects eight common forms of the disease. Their vision is an annual test designed to catch cancer early and save lives. UK experts said it was "enormously exciting". However, one said more work was needed to assess the test's effectiveness at detecting early-stage cancers. Tumours release tiny traces of their mutated DNA and proteins they make into the bloodstream. The CancerSEEK test looks for mutations in 16 genes that regularly arise in cancer and eight proteins that are often released. It was trialled on 1,005 patients with cancers in the ovary, liver, stomach, pancreas, oesophagus, colon, lung or breast that had not yet spread to other tissues. Overall, the test found 70% of the cancers. Dr Cristian Tomasetti, from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, told the BBC: "This field of early detection is critical. "I think this can have an enormous impact on cancer mortality."  'Exciting' blood test spots cancer a year early       Test spots cancer a year early   Prostate test 'targets treatment'      Blood tests spot ovarian cancer early

Prostate cancer blood test 'helps target treatment'

Blood tests could help target precision drugs at the right people with cancer

Prostate cancer cells

Scientists have developed a blood test that could pick out which men with advanced prostate cancer would benefit from a new drug treatment. The test detects cancer DNA in the blood, helping doctors check whether precision drugs are working. Cancer Research UK said the test could "greatly improve survival". But larger studies involving more men needed to take place to confirm if doctors could rely on the test, the charity said. Blood samples from 49 men with advanced prostate cancer were collected by researchers, as part of the phase II clinical trial of a drug called olaparib. This type of precision drug is seen as the future of cancer medicine but because it is a targeted treatment, the drug does not work for everyone.  Researchers from The Institute of Cancer Research and the Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust said the test could help target treatment better and also reduce its side effects.  They used it to identify men who were not responding to the treatment in four to eight weeks and also to pick up signs that the cancer was evolving and becoming resistant to the drugs. 'Major impact'  Prof Johann de Bono, consultant medical oncologist at the two organisations, said: "From these findings, we were able to develop a powerful, three-in-one test that could in future be used to help doctors select treatment, check whether it is working and monitor the cancer in the longer term.

Adolescence now lasts 'from 10 to 24'    Puberty age 'affects many diseases'   Angelina Jolie gene testing for all?   Cancer survival 'unaffected by faulty gene'   'I had a pre-emptive double mastectomy'  Chemistry 'Van Gogh' could help with cancer    Employers urged to 'normalise' menopause    Man ruptures throat by stifling a sneeze    London's January air 'best in 10 years'    Black Death 'spread by humans not rats'     Cycling 'not harming men's sexual health'     Smaller bottles of Coca-Cola to cost more    'I became a mother aged 14'    Salmonella baby milk 'affects 83 countries'    Singing 'can h

Salmonella baby milk 'affects 83 countries'

The boss of French firm Lactalis says up to 12 million boxes of formula are now subject to a recall.

More than 12 million boxes of powdered baby milk have now been recalled in 83 countries in a salmonella scandal involving French company Lactalis. The dairy firm's CEO, Emmanuel Besnier, confirmed the extent of the contamination risk to French media. The products have been subject to a recall since December, after salmonella bacteria was discovered at a factory. Lawsuits have been filed by parents who say their children became unwell after drinking the formula. A spokesman told the BBC that all the countries affected had been informed, in Europe , Asia , Latin America and Africa . The UK , US and Australia were not affected, he added. The Lactalis group is one of the world's largest producers of dairy products, with annual sales of €17bn ($21bn; £15bn), It has 246 production sites in 47 countries and employs 15,000 people in France alone.

  Gaza conjoined twins survive separation

Baby girls Farah and Haneen, joined at the abdomen, are separated after surgery in Saudi Arabia .

Palestinian conjoined twins lie in an incubator at the nursery of the Shifa Hospital in Gaza City (02 October 2017)

A life-saving operation to separate a pair of Palestinian conjoined twins from Gaza has been successful, doctors say. The baby girls, named as Farah and Haneen, underwent surgery at King Abdullah Children's Hospital in Riyadh . They shared a leg but had separate hearts and lungs. The girls were flown to Saudi Arabia with their father after doctors warned their lives would be at risk if they remained in the Gaza StipLiving a conjoined life  The girls, who were born in October, were joined at the abdomen and lower body.  Doctors announced that the surgery had been a success in a statement carried by the Saudi Press Agency.  The agency said the operation required separating the intestine, liver and pelvic wall, and involved nine stages.   Living a conjoined life

India separated twin 'opens eyes'

 A team of 30 doctors carried out the operation - One of the twin boys who were conjoined at the head has opened his eyes four days after a historic surgery to separate them in India , a doctor says. Two-year-old Jaga has also responded to simple commands, including moving his limbs. He is on a ventilator and needs daily dialysis due to kidney problems. His brother, Kalia, is not yet conscious and has suffered seizures. The boys were born with shared blood vessels and brain tissues and a 16-hour surgery separated them.   A team of 30 doctors carried out the operation - the first of its kind in India - at a state-run hospital in the capital, Delhi . Both boys are stable and doctors are satisfied with their progress so far, Professor Deepak Gupta, who was involved in the operation, told the BBC.

More Medical News

Breast implants 'skew heart attack test'     Breast implants get safety barcodes   How safe is the cosmetic surgery boom?   Cholesterol jab to stop heart disease    'Huge advance' in fighting biggest killer   Prostate cancer test 'targets treatment'   'Milestone' prostate cancer drug   Coconut oil 'as unhealthy as beef fat'     Medicine information leaflets 'too scary'    Court orders Charlie Gard life support    Huge drop in EU nurses since Brexit vote    Bid to 'train' viruses to tackle cancer     NHS sleep disorder testing doubles    NHS cyber-attack 'came from N Korea'    Ebola nurse meets survivors on first return since disease    Pregnant women smoking rates 'concern'    Bye bye fake tan! Drug makes a real one Drug shrinks ovarian tumours in trial    IVF doctor accused of using own sperm    Global diarrhoea deaths down by a third   Hands washed in cold water 'as good as hot'    Children die in S Sudan vaccination error    Africa's newborn twins at risk

Milestone in medical human 'cloning'?

What's a stroke?    Video 'Never thought it would happen to me'   Video How to spot the signs of a stroke?   Stem cell stroke therapy assessed   Click here for the latest news on stroke Soy may benefit stroke patients Helping stroke patients to speak    Music 'can aid stroke recovery'  Stroke risk peaks every 12 hours   Heart drug may help threat stroke   Stroke struggle: 'They said I would never become a doctor'   Stroke patients to test sensors   What's Killing Canadians?   What's the "Marburg" Virus?  More disease cures check archives   Magnetic field 'aids coma victim'  Institute of Food Research British Nutrition Foundation   Mind power moves paralyzed limbs  Surfing the web is good for your brain   Fatty acids clue to Alzheimer's Western diet 'raises heart risk'    Drug may reverse MS brain damage  'One-stop' embryo test unveiled  Purple tomato 'may boost health'   Lithium tested for impact on Motor Neurone Disease  What is motor neurone disease?    Cancer genetic blueprint revealed    

The Seven Medical Beliefs that's not true  Medical myths 'debunked'   Survey shows contraception myths    TV ad 'busts heart attack myth'    'Medical myths' exposed as untrue Drink at least eight glasses of water a day     We use only 10% of our brains    Hair and fingernails continue to grow after death    Reading in dim light ruins your eyesight    Shaving causes hair to grow back faster or coarser    Mobile phones are dangerous in hospitals    Eating turkey makes people especially drowsy.

Join and get paid The Book & Film Club Critics of Montreal limited membership only

Check out The Newly Released Books   

New Year Resolution

Los Angeles, CA, December 11, 2017 ― This New Year's Eve, Dr. Levi Harrison is hoping that people everywhere will resolve to make 2018 their healthiest year yet by incorporating fitness into their daily lives in a way that is both effective and sustainable. True fitness is about much more than a gym membership, Dr. Levi emphasizes. It's about adopting a lifestyle that balances mind, body, soul and spirit. Dr. Levi is an orthopedic surgeon specializing in hand, wrist and shoulder injuries. He is passionate about overall health and fitness and has developed a multi-faceted, multi-media approach to sharing his healthy lifestyle strategies. Every Wednesday at 10 a.m. PST on the Dr. Levi Show (available on YouTube, iTunes and iHeart Radio), Dr. Levi addresses emotional and spiritual aspects of wellness during interviews with a variety of motivational and inspirational guests. And his YouTube channel, @DrLeviharrison, is chock-full of videos demonstrating innovative stretches, strengthening and rehabilitative techniques for repetitive stress and sports injuries. His first book, The Art of Fitness: A Journey to Self Enhancement, is an encyclopedia of core-stabilizing and body-building exercises, with easy-to-follow instructions and photographs. The DVD, The Art of Fitness Cardio Core Workout, is a great accompaniment to the book. The DVD demonstrates aerobic, core and abdominal exercises that can elevate and improve any fitness level, with a bonus workout, Perfect Abs, for those who want additional abdominal work. Dr. Levi also provides ESPORTS coaching, motivational speaking and nutritional counseling. Dr. Levi Harrison earned his medical degree at The University of California at Davis School of Medicine and completed his fellowship at the internationally renowned Indiana Hand to Shoulder Center in Indianapolis . His practice in Los Angeles is a center of excellence for sports-related upper extremity and shoulder injuries as well as hand rehabilitation. He has appeared as a medical authority on The Dr. Oz Show, CNN, Fox TV, Studio 11 LA and the KTLA Morning News. Dr. Levi has also been featured in multiple gaming communities, including Yahoo Games, Kotaku, Geek & Sundry, Vice's Motherboard, Machinima, IGN, XM Radio and countless others for his groundbreaking work in preventing repetitive stress injury in the competitive ESPORTS community. For videos and more information about Dr. Levi, please visit The Art of Fitness: A Journey to Self Enhancement Publisher: Brio Press  ISBN-10: 1937061825  ISBN-13: 978-1937061821 Available from Available from 12.13.17

Canada Direct

One Square Mile of Canada

Montreal is a French island in a predominantly English-speaking country

Montreal skyline

Montreal is The Best City In The World ?

It's known as La Main - "The Main" - and it's the lifeblood of Montreal . For the past three centuries this sweeping avenue, Boulevard St Laurent, has shaped the character of a city in the heart of French-speaking Canada . La Main was once the symbolic dividing line between the city's French and English speaking communities, with the boulevard a soft buffer attracting and absorbing waves of new immigrants. Today, it celebrates a cosmopolitan city with its array of little villages, from the Quartier Chinois, or Chinese quarter, to Little Italy and Portugal , along with strong remnants of an historic Jewish quarter.

What does it mean to be Canadian?

 With Asian trade and support for the monarchy rising, what does Canadian identity mean now?

What the Indians are trying to say, The French came as visitors and now they want the country for themselves?”  So they say "over my dead body" before Quebec becomes a republic. After all, they already killed millions of us since they arrived here. This is not a provocation but just letting them know we are still around and Quebec Nation is not going to happen as long as there are still Indians around. Please send your comments to the editor... MP Maxime Bernier defends language-law quip - Quebecers don't need Bill 101, "Not by imposing [French] and by preventing people from making their own decisions in matters that concern their personal lives."   Quebec militia leader faces death-threat charges Patriotic Militia of Quebec's website   Que. militia worries separatists   Death threats target Quebec English rights group    Letters threaten FLQ attacks in Montreal  Oops! Parti Quebecois are falling apart


If anyone wish to say anything please forward your comment to of this page

Canada launches Arctic seabed quest

How much farther can the Separatist push the envelope to preserve a language that's hard to economically maintain? Aren't we bankrupt yet? Send your comments to

Oh Canada How I Love You

The tour was to only last one hour. While the other educator and I waited for their arrival we decided we would not visit the Canadian galleries, since they were in another pavilion at the other end of the museum. We would choose the European Art collection to save time. They arrived twenty minutes late. My group had three mothers with eight children between the ages of two months and nine years old. Two Muslim mothers dressed in hijab and long over-... Quickly it was decided, even though time was limited, that we had to go visit the Canadian galleries. We showed the paintings, sculptures and objects from the Inuit, First Nations along with the first settlers from France and England . The children were mesmerized, listening to the legends and stories of the Canadian people. The mothers asked many insightful questions. As we toured from one gallery to the next, the mother from Benin began unapologetically to nurse her son. She didn’t ask for help or lag behind. She did what came naturally and continued to be an active participant. And the two other mothers? They held the infant’s head as she went to adjust her top and looked after her other child. Mothers from different parts of the world, nurturing, protecting and caring for one another. I witnessed the actions of a community. Being an Art Educator at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts affords me the opportunity to meet and interact with many people from all walks of life. I am very fortunate to live in a country where all people have equal rights and are valued for their uniqueness. Ennutsiak Nunavik 1896 – Iqaluit, Nunavut, 1967 Untitled (Birth Scene with Midwives) By Deirdre Potash, 2779 Honore Mercier Vaudreuil-Dorion Quebec J7V 8P5 (514) 999-8581

What's the difference?

Going overseas? Check this out first! Dangerous travel: Countries to avoid to visit  Or if you need advice before traveling, ask our editor an (experienced) expert on international trade and relation, it's free. Spread it out you never know you could save fellow Canadians. * Private companies and governmental agencies are welcome for seminars on how to behave when visiting countries around the world (*This service is not free)

It's Just A Question ©
By Conrad David Brillantes

Seriously, ask me!: Got a question? Anything in mind that bothers you because no one seems to listen? Send them in and I will try to find the answers. Your name will be kept confidential if requested, and no one will ever know.

The Montreal Tribune and its publishers are not responsible for all contents in this section. All Rights reserved. Copyright 2007 Conrad David Brillantes. All Questions or inquiries submitted are not edited...posted as they are received. Question: Why on earth the Separatist government of  the late Rene Levesque created the language law known as Bill 101? Answer: Actually, Robert Bourassa, Quebec Premier then started the controversial language law (Bill 22) which was duplicated and made it more complicated by government of Levesque. Note that Bill 101 was declared not valid by the Supreme Court of Canada but because of the veto option given to all provinces under the unfinished Canada constitution headed by Brian Mulroney, precipitated when Pierre Trudeau, prime minister of the day brought home the BNA (British North America Act - Canadian Constitution) to Canada, Quebec was able to maintain the law (Bill 101) ...  


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Hey did you hear? The Marketplace  is soon to open. If you have something to sell or buy please send them to contact@montrealtribune.comJosh F. Tanembaum

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Poland buys famous da Vinci at discount

Poland buys the Czartoryski collection of about 86,000 artefacts for about 5% of its market value.

a woman posing for pictures beside a painting entitled "Portrait of Cecilia Gallerani" (The Lady with an Ermine) by Italian artist Leonardo da Vinci, London

The Polish government has bought a world-famous art collection, including a rare Leonardo da Vinci painting, for a fraction of its market value.

The Czartoryski collection was sold for €100m ($105m; £85m) despite being estimated at about €2bn. It includes Rembrandt and Renoir works, and da Vinci's Lady with an Ermine. The head of the Czartoryski family, which owned the collection, said it was a "donation", but the board of its foundation resigned in protest. The Czartoryski Foundation's management board said it was not consulted about the sale, which was negotiated between Poland 's culture ministry and Adam Karol Czartoryski, a descendent of Princess Izabela Czartoryska, who founded the collection in 1802. Mr Czartoryski, the foundation's head, said he was following his ancestors who "always worked for the Polish nation". "I felt like making a donation and that's my choice," he said. The collection is made up of about 86,000 artefacts, as well as 250,000 manuscripts and books. Most of the artworks are housed in the National Museum in the southern city of Krakow . All are now the property of the Polish state.  Scans reveal hidden Leonardo works

Stolen Van Gogh paintings found in Italy

Italian police have recovered two famous Van Gogh paintings stolen from an Amsterdam museum in 2002, officials say.

Vincent van Gogh, View of the Sea at Scheveningen, 1882     Vincent van Gogh, Congregation Leaving the Reformed Church in Nuenen, 1884 - 1885

Italian police have recovered two Van Gogh paintings stolen during a dramatic raid on an Amsterdam museum in 2002.

The works were recovered from the Naples mafia, they said. The Van Gogh museum in Amsterdam said the works were found during a "massive, continuing investigation" by Italian prosecutors and organised crime officials. The paintings were taken when thieves used a ladder and sledgehammers to break into the museum. They were among assets worth millions of euros seized from the Camorra group, Italian reports said. Image copyrightVAN GOGH MUSEUMImage captionVan Gogh's father was a minister at the Reformed Church in Nuenen The theft of the two works, described as priceless, led to criticism of security at the world's major art museums. The thieves broke into the museum through the roof during the night of 6-7 December 2002 and used sledgehammers to break a first-floor window. 

  Forger jailed for bogus paintings   Munch's The Scream sold for $120 million

Painting sale sets $300 million record

Gauguin painting breaks sale record at nearly $300m

Two women look at the painting "Nafea faa ipoipo" (When will you marry?, 1892) by French painter Paul Gauguin on display in the Fondation Beyeler in Riehen, Switzerland, 06 February 2015  

The Gauguin painting has been on public display for decades     Are you interested to own this Bauer Painting?  Bauer Painting - 34" Height X 24" Width - Open Bidding at US$100,000 is required (  

Van Gogh's poppies sells for $61.8m

A floral masterpiece by Vincent van Gogh, painted in the closing stages of his life, sells in New York for $61.8m (£38.7m).

Still Life, Vase with Daisies, and Poppies by Vincent Van Gogh

Van Gogh's striking canvas is dominated by the red of the poppies

A floral masterpiece by Vincent van Gogh, painted in the closing stages of his life, has sold in New York for $61.8m (£38.7m). Still Life, Vase with Daisies, and Poppies exceeded its estimate of up to $50m (£31.3m) at the Sotheby's auction. A 1951 piece by Swiss sculptor Alberto Giacometti fetched more than $100m (£62.7m), but fell just short of the record $104.3m (£65.3m) for the artist. A sculpture by Amedeo Modigliani set a new benchmark for his work. Tete, an elongated head created in 1911-12 from a block of limestone scavenged from a Paris building site, was sold for more than $70m (£44.2m). Van Gogh's painting was created at the French home of his doctor just months before his death in 1890 and was one of the few works he sold during his lifetime. But it fell far short of the auction record for a piece by the Dutch artist, which stands at $82.5m (£51.6m). Sotheby's said the painting was bought by a private bidder from Asia . Portrait of Dr Gachet - the physician whose flowers he captured in this latest work to sell - went under the hammer for a record in 1990.

Germany to release confiscated art   -   Owner gives up on 'Chagall' painting    Stolen Rembrandt found 15 years on

Matisse's Femme Assise  Chagall Painting  Rembrandt's painting Child with a Soap Bubble

A 17th Century painting by Dutch master Rembrandt is recovered in France , 15 years after it was stolen. - The painting measures 60cm by 49cm and was said to be in a good condition

A 17th Century painting by Dutch master Rembrandt has been recovered in France , 15 years after it was stolen. L'enfant a la bulle de savon (Child with soap bubble), valued at 3.2m euros (£2.7m), was taken from a museum in the southern city of Draguignan in 1999. Two men were arrested in Nice on Tuesday, according to the Agence France Presse (AFP) news agency. Police said they received information that a transaction was due to take place in a hotel the following day. The men, aged 46 and 53, one of whom was described as a former insurer, appeared in court in Nice on Thursday, AFP said. They were reported to be known to police for previous petty crimes. Police are still looking for other suspects.

Anyone looking for this painting?


Accepting Open bidding for the "Flower"

Monet and Picasso among art theft

Paintings by artists including Picasso, Matisse, Monet, Gauguin and Freud have been stolen from a museum in Rotterdam . Police in the Netherlands said the works were taken from the Kunsthal Museum early on Tuesday morning. The museum is showing works from the Triton Foundation as part of its 20th anniversary celebrations. The paintings include Monet's Waterloo Bridge , Picasso's Tete d'Arlequin, Matisse's La Liseuse en Blanc et Jaune and Freud's Woman with Eyes Closed.  Monet water lilies sells for $43 million    Monet artwork bequeathed by reclusive heiress  "Madame Leon Clapisson": The visualization (right) is produced using advanced image processing software - Conservation scientists in Chicago produce a stunning visualization of how they think a Renoir painting might have looked before its colors faded. Researchers in Chicago have produced a visualization of how they think a Renoir could have looked before its colors faded. The picture of Madame Valentine Clapisson was painted by the great French Impressionist more than 130 years ago. The original's impact has been degraded and dulled by the action of light. But by using the latest analytical tools, conservators have been able to recover a sense of Renoir's rich reds."When we first brought this picture into the conservation studio for examination and removed the frame, we noticed that at the top and at the left-hand side there was a sliver of very intense colour," recalls Dr Francesca Casadio from The Art Institute of Chicago. "This tipped us off to the fact that the mood of this painting that is now pretty cool and restrained with light purples and blues was once far more vibrant," she told BBC News.

Bankruptcy may not be the answer

Did you borrow too much money and now cannot afford to pay creditors anymore? There are so many con artists or scammers that will tell you that they can wipe your record clean if you pay them for their service... This is not true... no one can clean your record but yourself. But before filing bankruptcy, check with us... There's nothing to pay (us). Definitely nothing to pay... it's a free service to everyone if you live in Quebec. Contact us for  assistance. All inquiries are strictly  treated confidential. Your name will never be passed around,  Or Check directly with the provincial court if you want to do it yourself by logging on to Quebec Government Justice

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Check criminal records of online daters, experts say       Hard to check criminal records of others    Online dating client check debate grows 

Buying a used car in Quebec? Check it out first, it could be owned by someone else!

Important note if you have a Bank Card: If you are forced by anyone to withdraw cash from ATM machine, do not resist for your safety, enter your PIN number backward or reverse... say your number is 1234, then enter 4321. Do not worry, the machine will give you the cash but automatically alert the police. Pass this on to anyone you know. This was shown on National TV but never repeated again. Anyway, now you know. Also, if  someone calls to tell you that he is from the bank investigating about a charge in your credit card, hang up and if you want to know why they phoned, call your branch to verify. That's it and if you want to read more scams click the above link.


Pass this on to people wishing to immigrate to the best country in the world. Apply directly! You don't have to pay any consultants ...It's FREE! Avoid dealing with con artists and scammers; they are all around the world advertising their schemes… Canadian Immigration officers are gentle public servants and not arrogant.. Not like what you would experience from the mightiest country in the world (as they say) ... so, don’t be scared of them. Visit the Canadian government website… it's the Canadian flag that's seen on the top side of this site, click that and when you see search… type immigration, then send your request for application, if not, visit the nearest Canadian consulate in your region and while you are already there check the jobs and list of professions that Canadian employers are looking for.  If you still have anything else to ask e-mail the editor. Meantime Click here for the New Canada Citizenship Study Guide

Are you in the Fashion industry?    

Lots of restrictions has been amended on imports...sell your products and services directly to Canadian Buyers, here’s  our  Previous Issue of Canadian Fashion & Textile Buyers Guide, you can down load it for free but if you want  the NEW and  up-dated version  place your order now, it's US$50 per copy payable by money order or credit card. also don’t forget to inquire about the Industry Textile Book known as The Shmata Business, used world-wide by manufacturers, designers, teachers and students, priced at US$50 per copy.

We are now accepting interested parties to be listed in the International Garment and Textile Suppliers' List.

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To All... Including Overseas: Independent Motion Pictures and Musical Record Producers

Thousands of films or motion pictures and musical recordings are produced every month and the most that reach market are less than 10%. So how do you find a way to the very complicated market of this industry? Get help or assistance from a trader that knows how it works. If you are or a company that’s in this situation, give us a shout by forwarding your e-mail to TPI Communications

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