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July 24, 2009

Lenzr Photo Contest

CANADA - There is a new local photo contest in Toronto for locals only! It is being sponsored by Lenzr, a company that makes digital cameras for phones.

The judging will be done by members of the site, which means anyone could win. All you need is photos of the local area.

There are three ways to win:

Summer in Toronto

Emergency in Toronto

Best Toronto Skyline


Prizes include smart phones, iPhone, BlackBerry or Palm and your choice of cellphone plans so you can get the best cell phone deals.

PERSONAL NOTE:

Of course if you are like me, remembering to take part in such a contest can be a problem. Its not just an issue of time management or procrastination, its that I see contests all the time and forget to take part because I am just too busy.

But in theory there's no rule saying you can't use a photo of the Toronto skyline or Summer in Toronto-ish photo you took years ago... no need to go out and take new shots. The exception to this would likely be the emergency contest, which suggests in my mind that it should be recent.

July 8, 2009

Stephen Harper refuses to eat the body of Christ

CANADA - The shit has his the proverbial fan as Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper refused to eat a communion wafer during the funeral last week for former governor general Romeo LeBlanc. Video of the moment has been posted on YouTube, which shows Harper sticking the communion wafer (basically its a cracker representing the body of Jesus Christ) into his pocket.

The act has infuriated die-hard Christians, the very foundation of the Conservative Party's voters.

Harper himself has normally been pretty preachy when it comes to Christianity, snuggling up to his voter base as often as he can, but this single act suggests to many Christians that Harper is all fig leaf and no balls. (In other words he is a liar who just pretends to be a devout Christian to get votes.)

COMMENTS FROM PEOPLE UPSET BY WHAT HARPER DID:

"If you are going to participate in a cultural proceeding, participate fully. If your beliefs preclude you from taking part, by all means, offer your explanation and act accordingly."

"Honor your hosts and honor yourself; be clear and honest about your intentions and your actions. Steven Harper surely doesn't see this as important."

"This is an affront to all Christians, not just Catholics. Many other sects of the Christian faith also have communion (Lutherans for example). And saying it is not a serious affront implies you don't take those religious beliefs seriously."

July 6, 2009

Chinese government kills 140 protestors

POLITICS - At least 140 people were killed by riot police and more than 800 were injured in bloody ethnic clashes on the city streets of Urumqi in northwest China last night, Chinese officials confirmed this morning.

Chinese state television aired footage today showing cars and buses being attacked, police vehicles overturned and ablaze and riot police trying to restore order.

The death toll is the single largest admitted by the Chinese government since the Tianenmen Square Massacre and a clear indication that anger in the province of Xinjiang – and its capital of Urumqi – has reached violent and explosive levels.

The clash, between ethnic Uighurs and China's dominant ethnic Han, erupted Sunday after a rare public protest expressing Uighur discontent turned violent. Eyewitnesses estimated that as many as 3,000 people participated in the protest.

Uighur students gathered to protest the Chinese government's inaction following a June 26 attack against Uighur migrant workers by ethnic Han in the southern city of Shaoguan. In that incident, at least two Uighur migrant workers were killed and dozens critically injured. Uighur students and others complained publicly that none of the Han combatants involved in the June attack had yet been arrested.

Yesterday, when students gathered in the city's Peoples' Square demanding justice, the Chinese government responded with legions of riot police.

Liu Yaohua, the region's police chief, said today that the death toll stood at 140 and was "still climbing."

The bloody clashes are a dark reminder of those that erupted in Tibet in March of 2008 just months before the Olympics, when ethnic tensions also boiled over.

Significant numbers of Tibetans, as well as Uighurs in Xinjiang, both bridle under Beijing's rule and have movements demanding a larger degree of autonomy for their ethnic minorities.

Many Uighurs refer to the Chinese region of Xinjiang as belonging to "East Turkestan," a region they hope will one day be independent.

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