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Hurricane Bill to pass off U.S. east coast

Hurricane Bill, the first hurricane of the 2009 Atlantic hurricane season, is currently threatening parts of New England and eastern Canada.

Bill weakened somewhat on Friday, although it remains a formidable Category 2 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale. As of 11 p.m. AST August 21 (0300 UTC August 22), Hurricane Bill was located within 10 nautical miles of 31.0°N 67.5°W, or about 545 mi (880 km) east-southeast of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina. Maximum sustained winds were near 90 knots (105 mph, 165 km/h), with stronger gusts. Forecasters estimate the storm’s minimum barometric pressure to be around 957 millibars. Read More…


Three Amigos

barack-obama Felipe_Calderon stephen_harper_official_photo
Barack Obama Felipe Calderón Stephen Harper

The leaders of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) met in Guadalajara, Mexico on Sunday and Monday. The leaders of the three countries (Barack Obama of the United States, Felipe Calderón of Mexico, and Stephen Harper) promised to work together on swine flu, organised crime and green issues.

Despite disputes in a number of areas remaining unresolved, the three leaders suceeded in presenting an amiable Three Amigos image. The three leaders expressed solidarity, and an understanding of each others position.

The unresolved issues include the buy American clauses in the US stimulus package, tit for tat reprisals by the Mexican authorities over Canadian visa restrictions on Mexican travellers, and the US ban on Mexican trucks from crossing the border.

Risking the ire of human rights activists back home President Obama expressed support for President Calderón’s war against drugs saying he had “great confidence” in the Mexican authorities.

Supercomputer to probes origins of the universe

The University of Toronto SciNet Consortium goes online Thursday with the IBM System x iDataPlex Supercomputer. U of T’s IBM System x is now the fastest computer outside of the United States, the largest Intel processor based IBM installation internationally and the twelfth most powerful globally.SciNet2009

It will be used for a wide variety of operations, such as analyzing climate change models, aerospace, astrophysics, genetic, bioninformatics, chemical physics, medical imaging research and other highly calculation-intensive tasks.

The C$50 million dollar supercomputer can perform 300 trillion calculations per second and use the equivalent amount of energy which would power 4,000 homes.

The supercomputer will be cooled by outdoor winter air assisted by a water based cooling system during warmer summer months.

The computer will provide computations for the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) that started preliminary experiments on September 10, 2008 at CERN in Geneva, Switzerland. The LHC will produce cataclysmic conditions that will mimic the beginning of time, a re-creation of the Big Bang and the supercomputer’s 30,240 Intel processor 5500 series 2.53 GHz processor cores arranged in 45 file-like stacks will examine the particle collisions.

British Columbia referendum campaigns underway

The provincial election was called today in British Columbia. Alongside with the election, the citizens of the province will also be debating if they should change their electoral system from Single Member Plurality to Single Transferable Vote (STV). The vote for both the election and the referendum is to be held on May 12th.

According to the Angus Reid Strategies online poll, the issues before the candidates this year are the economy, crime and public safety, and health care. Read More…

GM and Chrysler receive Canadian loans

General Motors (GM) and Chrysler will receive bridge loans from the government of Canada and the provincial government of Ontario, however no more will be forthcoming from either Canadian or US governments unless the companies can re-invent themselves.

Stephen Harper

Stephen Harper

“This is a regrettable but necessary step to protect the Canadian economy.

We are doing this on the assumption that we obviously cannot afford either in the United States or Canada a catastrophic short-term collapse.” said Stephen Harper, Prime Minister of Canada .

“We cannot, we must not, and we will not let our auto industry simply vanish.

This industry is, like no other, an emblem of the American spirit; a once and future symbol of America’s success.” said Barack Obama, President of the United States “These companies – and this industry – must ultimately stand on their own, not as wards of the state.” Read More…

Canada announces funding to fight tuberculosis

On Tuesday, World Tuberculosis Day, the Government of Canada committed C$127.4 million to the fight against tuberculosis (TB) worldwide.

Cases of tuberculosis

Cases of tuberculosis

The Minister of International Cooperation, Beverley J. Oda, said “Our government has a comprehensive, long-term approach in the global fight against tuberculosis and Canadians can be proud that our country continues to be an international leader.

We have achieved significant results, as Canada has already contributed to the successful treatment of more than four million tuberculosis sufferers and saved over half a million lives.” Read More…

Canadian PM seeks to abandon gun registry

Stephen Harper, the Prime Minister of Canada, asked hunters and fishermen to contact opposition members of parliament (MPs) to abandon the Canadian Firearms Registry.

Stephen Harper

Stephen Harper

Harper was the keynote speaker at the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters conference held Saturday in Mississauga.

Harper asked those attending the rally to support the bill to abolish the registry. He said, “There are MPs in all these parties that know what we know: that law-abiding hunters and farmers are not part of the crime problem, and that you should be respected and not demonized.

So I challenge you to press these MPs to follow their consciences and do what they know is right, vote to abolish the long-gun registry and fight crime instead.” Read More…