Roach vs. the Queen

“I affirm that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, Queen of Canada, Her Heirs and Successors, and that I will faithfully observe the laws of Canada and fulfil my duties as a Canadian citizen.” Just kidding. Of course I don’t. This is,

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Australia’s Dutch disease

Canada is not alone in suffering from the insidious Dutch disease. Australia, too, is feeling the pain. Whereas Canada’s version is caused by booming tar sands production, Australia’s is caused by booming iron and coal production. The resources industry is credited in part for keeping Australia out of recession and

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No more pecker snipping in Germany

With a ruling that circumcising boys constitutes grievous bodily harm, a German court has effectively outlawed the practice in that country. The case was brought against a doctor in Cologne who circumcised a four-year-old Muslim boy on his parents’ wishes. When, a few days after the operation, the boy was

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The windmill next door

As a citizen of Alberta, Canada’s oil province and the birthplace of wind energy in Canada, I have perhaps less innate concern about windmills than citizens from other provinces. Indeed, the first time I walked up to a windmill, I was favourably impressed. Although I found its size somewhat intimidating,

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Drunk driving a capital offense?

If you think that Alberta’s new drunk driving laws are tough, consider Iran. Two Iranians, their names not released by authorities, have been sentenced to death for persistent consumption of alcohol. Not that they weren’t warned. They had been convicted twice before and subjected to 160 lashes each time, but

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Scientists warn, politicians ignore

The Global Network of Science Academies, representing 105 science academies around the world, issued a press release last week highlighting what they referred to as “two of the most profound challenges to humanity—population and consumption,” and went on to call for “urgent and coordinated international action to address them.” They

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Bully for the nuns

I’m no fan of the Roman Catholic Church, or organized religion generally, but when the folks in black do a good deed, I’m prepared to recognize it. And the good sisters of Network, a Washington-based Catholic social justice group, are doing a good deed indeed. They have initiated a nine-state

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If it ain’t one damn thing …

That China’s waterways are badly polluted, is common knowledge. Less well recognized is the increasing pollution of its land. Zhou Jianmin, director of the China Soil Association, reports that, “More areas are being affected, the degree of contamination is intensifying and the range of toxins is increasing.” The main culprit

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