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FREEDOM MARCH More than 1,000 protesters marked.


FREEDOM MARCH

More than 1,000 protesters marked the one-year anniversary of Israel’s invasion of Gaza Sunday, December 27, with a march from the Israeli consulate to Dundas Square. Organizers called on the Israeli government to allow an international delegation, including 57 Canadians, into Gaza, where the borders remain closed.


POLL


REALITY CHECK

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Talk about a buzz kill. The Beyond Prohibition Foundation says Senate amendments to the Tories’ mandatory sentencing for drug offences don’t mean medicinal pot users are free to grow weed without fear of going to jail. The group points out that the Senate removed mandatory penalties only where none of the so-called “aggravating factors” are present. Growers beware. One pot plant can still get you nine months in the clink.


COP15 REWIND

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A German Internet service provider has shut down two parody websites set up by U.S. eco activists The Yes Men mocking the Harper government’s environmental record. The sites, part of an elaborate hoax at the Copenhagen Climate Change Summit, focused international attention on the feds’ deplorable eco policies. They were turned off after Environment Canada lodged a formal protest. No word yet on the feds taking action to stave off catastrophic climate change, though.


CITYSCAPE

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This ghost sign on the corner of Davenport and Bedford goes back to the 1930s, when the stretch formed part of the industrial belt of the east Annex. It also happens to adorn the side of the building once occupied by Just Desserts, the café where in 1994 one of the most notorious killings in our history sparked the angriest racial backlash Toronto has ever witnessed. It’s a Subway shop today.


Médicins Sans Frontières Top 10 Humanitarian Crises of 2009

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1 Unrelenting violence stalks eastern DR Congo.1 Unrelenting violence stalks eastern DR Congo.

2 Somalis continue to endure drought and indiscriminate violence.2 Somalis continue to endure drought and indiscriminate violence.

3 The ongoing crisis in Darfur spreads to southern Sudan.3 The ongoing crisis in Darfur spreads to southern Sudan.

4 The final stage of Sri Lanka’s decade-long war leaves thousands injured.4 The final stage of Sri Lanka’s decade-long war leaves thousands injured.

5 Two million displaced by conflict in Pakistan’s North-West Frontier Province.5 Two million displaced by conflict in Pakistan’s North-West Frontier Province.

6 Politics of aid leaves Afghanis cut off from humanitarian assistance.6 Politics of aid leaves Afghanis cut off from humanitarian assistance.

7 Thousands of civilians remain trapped in a sixth war in northern Yemen.7 Thousands of civilians remain trapped in a sixth war in northern Yemen.

8 Woefully inadequate funding undermines gains in the treatment of childhood malnutrition, which claims up to 5 million lives a year.8 Woefully inadequate funding undermines gains in the treatment of childhood malnutrition, which claims up to 5 million lives a year.

9 Funding for AIDS treatment is stagnating despite the G8’s pledge of universal AIDS coverage in 2005.9 Funding for AIDS treatment is stagnating despite the G8’s pledge of universal AIDS coverage in 2005.

10 An estimated 400 million people plagued with tropical diseases. 10 An estimated 400 million people plagued with tropical diseases.

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