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  • CBC reports on how the Hudson Bay port of Churchill could profit from global warming opening up sea lanes but suffer from heaving land wrecking infrastructure.

  • Brett Bundale reports on how Halifax, Nova Scotia, is booming, unlike the rest of the Maritimes.

  • This article describing how the London police remain vague about the number of dead in Grenfell Tower is horrifying.

  • Global News reports on how many in Harlem dislike the idea of renaming their neighbourhood's south "SoHa".

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  • Antipope's Charlie Stross wonders if the politics of Trump might mean an end to the British nuclear deterrent.

  • Centauri Dreams shares Andrew LePage's evaluation of the TRAPPIST-1 system, where he concludes that there are in fact three plausible candidates for habitable status there.

  • Dangerous Minds shares the gender-bending photographs of Norwegian photographers Marie Høeg and Bolette Berg.

  • The Everyday Sociology Blog takes a look at the 1980s HIV/AIDS epidemic in the United States.

  • The Extremo Files looks at the human microbiome.

  • Language Hat links to an article on Dakhani, a south Indian Urdu dialect.

  • The LRB Blog looks at policing in London.

  • The Map Room Blog notes that 90% of the hundred thousand lakes of Manitoba are officially unnamed.

  • Marginal Revolution looks at the remarkable Akshardham Temple of New Delhi.

  • The Planetary Society Blog notes how citizen scientists detected changes in Rosetta's comet.

  • The Power and the Money's Noel Maurer provides a visual guide for New Yorkers at the size of the proposed border wall.

  • The Russian Demographics Blog links to a paper taking a look at the history of abortion in 20th century France.

  • Torontoist looks at the 1840s influx of Irish refugees to Toronto.

  • Understanding Society takes a look at the research that went into the discovery of the nucleus of the atom.

  • Window on Eurasia reports on Belarus.

  • Arnold Zwicky shares photos and commentary on the stars and plot of Oscar-winning film Midnight.

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CBC News' Cameron MacIntosh has a wonderful story examining how Icelandic-Canadians still make vinarterta, a classic Icelandic Christmas cake that is now more popular among descendants of Icelandic emigrants in Canada (and elsewhere) than in Iceland.

Now what actually constitutes a vinarterta is an open and sometimes passionate debate. It's generally accepted that the cake dates back to at least the 1870s, when the first big wave of Icelandic immigration came to Canada.

An estimated 20,000 Icelanders — almost one-fifth of the population — left for North America. They were fleeing poverty, ruthless cold and environmental catastrophe in the form of a volcano that had spewed ash all over the island, rendering its agriculture useless.

By the early 1890s, "New Iceland," located around what is now modern-day Gimli, on the shores of Lake Winnipeg, would become the largest Icelandic settlement beyond the island's own shores.

In the following decades, many of those Icelanders ended up changing their names and losing their language; yet somehow, that cake endured, the recipe passed down from generation to generation as a sort of cultural touchstone.

Purists will tell you it's a round cake, with several very thin vanilla-flavoured, cookie-like layers, bound together, without exception, by a filling made of prune and spices, including cinnamon, cloves and cardamom — ingredients that would have been considered specialty items in 1870s Iceland.

These days, you will find different takes on it — blueberry, strawberry, even maple syrup versions. (My own amma would have scoffed at that.)

Most interestingly, what many in North America believe to be the quintessential Icelandic dish is not all that common in Iceland.
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CBC News' Cameron MacIntosh reports on the continuing economic decline of northern Manitoba. How can Canada call itself a northern nation with issues like these?

It's a long drive, twisting through seemingly endless forest, past lakes, down a long two-lane highway that alternates between patches of broken pavement and gravel.

Eventually Manitoba's Provincial Road 391 comes to an end.

A nearly 1,100 kilometre drive north of Winnipeg, Lynn Lake is just about as far north as you can drive in Manitoba on an all-weather road.

It's also long been at the end of the road economically.

On the final stretch of 391 — Sherritt Avenue, Lynn Lake's main drag — is the Northern Store, one of the few active businesses in town. A group of residents, including Tommy Caribou, is just sitting around outside.

Caribou's red cap would be familiar to anyone that's been paying even minimal attention to American politics. The slogan, written in white, is slightly modified: "Make Lynn Lake Great Again."
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The Toronto Star carried the Brandon Sun's report about the end of direct flights between Toronto and Brandon, Manitoba's second city. I have been told that the flights were inconveniently timed, scheduled in the early morning even, so no surprise there. Still, as someone who enjoys the Toronto-Charlottetown link in summer, I'm saddened this tie between Toronto and a city lower in Canada's urban hierarchy has been severed.

Starting next week, WestJet will no longer be offering direct service between Brandon, Man., and Toronto.

The airline says as of Sept. 26, it will remove the run from its schedule because demand for seats has not met expectations.

The four-times-a-week flights began at the end of June to test response to the route.

WestJet then announced in July that it would offer the service on a year-round basis starting late next month.

People who have booked flights on the route will be contacted by WestJet directly to make alternate travel arrangements or to offer refunds.
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The National Post carries this brief Canadian Press article. I hope The Pas has something to fall back on.

A last-ditch offer to save hundreds of jobs in The Pas has failed, at least for now.

Earlier this week, Mayor Jim Scott offered to exempt Tolko Industries from business, property and education taxes for three years if the company would delay the planned closure of the town’s paper mill.

That would have saved the company roughly $2.5 million.

But Scott spoke to company officials on Thursday morning and said they don’t seem willing to budge on their decision to close the paper mill on Dec. 2.

Scott said the company did ask if they could forward the offer on to potential buyers for the mill.
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Scott Gilmore of MacLean's wrote in the atmospheric Abandoned Churchill" about the distress of people in the northern Manitoba port of Churchill, a perpetually promising port on Hudson's Bay, that their port is being shut down.

I flew up to Churchill in a small private plane, with a map in my lap so I could trace our progress north.

This is a good way to appreciate how vast and empty this country is. Churchill is as far from Winnipeg as Toronto is from Nashville. From the cockpit, on a clear August day, the pilot and I could see for more than 100 km in every direction. It was simply forest, muskeg and hundreds of lakes, most left nameless on my map. But it did show the occasional mine, fishing camp or radio tower, and each of these was marked with the same bracketed annotation: (Abandoned).

We began our descent just as Hudson Bay appeared on the horizon. The town sits on a narrow point of land bounded by the sea to the north and the Churchill River to the south and west. The first visible landmarks were the grey stone walls of Fort Prince of Wales (abandoned 1782) and the white grain elevators of the Port of Churchill (abandoned 2016).

The massive superstructure of the port is visible from everywhere, and the main street ends right at its gates. When I pulled up in my rental pickup, these were open—the guard shack empty.

Other than the concrete elevators and the loading gantries there was not much to see. A rusting tugboat sits on blocks. There are no train cars waiting to be unloaded, and no ships to take on cargo. Other than seagulls and the wind, it was quiet.

At 4:30 p.m., though, a few people began to emerge and walk toward their cars. This was the last shift, leaving for the last time.

In the National Post, Brian Hutchinson's "Port in a storm" also looks at length at the dire situation for the town. Without the port--something that might well be useful in time of global warning--what point is there to keep Churchill, isolated in the far north, functioning as a community?

Bobby deMeulles sits at his usual perch, next to a window at the Reef coffee shop, keeping an eye on Churchill’s main drag, and beyond that, the town’s old train station and the tracks.

This time of year, railway cars filled with prairie wheat should be rolling past the station for the port of Churchill, 500 metres down the line on Hudson Bay. There are no grain cars today.

There haven’t been any all summer, because Canada’s only deep-water Arctic port — the only port of consequence along 162,000 kilometres of northern coastline — has suspended all grain shipments, a decision made by its Denver-based owner, OmniTRAX Inc.

DeMeulles figured something was up, long before the company announced last month it was halting port operations, save for the movement of local freight to small communities further along the Hudson Bay coastline, mostly in Nunavut.


A private transportation company with most of its holdings in American short-line railways, OmniTRAX Inc. claims none of its regular grain suppliers wanted to do business at Churchill this year. “The grain season for 2016 has passed the solutions stage,” it says. Townsfolk wonder if it ever really tried to salvage the season.

DeMeulles understands how things are done in Churchill. He spent 60 years working at the port, receiving grain, cleaning it, running the elevator. He retired just four years ago, when he turned 75. “I worked until I couldn’t work no more,” he says. “I was well looked after.”

But things looked bleak, well before OmniTRAX pulled the plug on the current shipping season.

“We’d always know how many ships were nominated (coming to the port) well ahead of summer,” deMeulles explains. “We’d first start to hear about the nominations in March. Grain would starting coming up in railcars around the June 15. If you don’t hear nothing, and you don’t see nothing, and there’s no grain coming, you know something’s wrong.”

He shakes his head. “It’s a terrible thing, for a small town.”
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  • ABC reports on the Sudanese-Australian basketball players who are transforming the game in Australia.

  • Bloomberg reports on the potentially transformative scope of China's New Silk Road project.

  • Bloomberg View likes the new Star Trek movie's shift beyond speciesism.

  • CBC reports on the strength of pro-Trump support among non-voting Amish in Pennsylvania, and looks at a VIA Rail proposal to set up a commuter run in Halifax.

  • Gizmodo reports on Florida's disastrous coastal algal infestations.

  • The Globe and Mail notes a proposal for Ontario-Michigan cooperation and recounts the story of the construction of the Rideau Canal.

  • The Guardian reports on Catalonia's swift progress towards a declaration of independence.

  • MacLean's describes Manitoba's falling crime rate.

  • Open Democracy wonders about Italy's Five Star Movement and looks at the newest African-American hashtag movements.

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  • Bloomberg notes the advance of Catalonian separatism, looks at the economic catastrophes hitting Mozambique, and looks at how Africa is getting more people online by devising apps for non-smartphones.

  • Bloomberg View examines at length the implications of Donald Trump's not quite criminal call to have Russia hack more E-mails.

  • The CBC notes young British Leave voters defending their choices and observes the implications of the shutdown of the Manitoba port of Churchill.

  • The Inter Press Service notes that the Rio Olympics will be a mess.

  • MacLean's notes the dominance of the Canadian economy by the housing bubble.

  • The National Post reports on a team of Turkish commandos sent to kill the president found hiding in a cave.

  • Open Democracy looks at the negative results of the European Union's incoherent policies in Azerbaijan.

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The Globe and Mail carries James Turner's Canadian Press report.

A former member of a religious colony told the first Pride parade ever held in this small Manitoba city how important it is for gay people to speak up and share their stories.

“I expose my life so that others can know that they are not alone they too deserve a happy, fulfilling life,” said Tyrone Hofer before a cheering crowd.

Hofer, a former member of a conservative colony of Hutterian Brethren, said he wished he’d had someone to talk to as he was growing up and struggling with his sexual identity. That’s why, he said, he and other openly gay Hutterites are now speaking publicly.

“Instead of asking yourself, ‘what would Jesus do?,’ ask yourself, ‘what did Jesus do?’ ” he said.

RCMP estimated 3,000 people attended the Pride march, far higher than the anticipated 1,000. Police had to open a second street to accommodate everyone.

The city’s population is roughly 14,000.
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  • Bloomberg notes the decline of Japan's solar energy boom with falling subsidies, suggests 1970s-style stagflation will be back, looks at how an urban area in Japan is dealing with overcrowding, looks at Russia-NATO tensions, and examines how Ireland is welcoming British bankers.

  • Bloomberg View looks at the return of Russian tourists to Turkey, notes Russia is not suffering from a brain drain, looks at the Brexit vote as examining the power of the old, and argues the Chilcot report defends Blair from accusations of lying.

  • CBC reports on the end of Blackberry's manufacturing of the Classic.

  • The Globe and Mail notes that, once, gay white men were on the outside.

  • The Independent describes claims that refugees in Libya who cannot pay their brokers risk being rendered into organs.

  • The Inter Press Service describes the horrors of Sudan and looks at how Russia will use Brexit to fight sanctions in the European Union.

  • MacLean's reports on the opening up of the Arctic Ocean to fishing and looks at Winnipeg support for Pride in Steinbach.

  • The National Post reports on the plague of Pablo Escobar's hippos in Colombia, looks at Vietnam's protests of Chinese military maneuvers, and examines Turkey's foreign policy catastrophes.

  • Open Democracy notes the desperate need for stability in Libya.

  • The Smithsonian reports on how video games are becoming the stuff of history.

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  • Bloomberg notes the rail boom in Bangladesh, looks at the fall in the value of the pound, notes a German proposal to give young Britons German citizenship and observes Spanish concern over giving Scotland a voice, looks at competition between Paris and Frankfurt to get jobs from the City of London, looks at how a Chinese takeover of an American ham company worked well, and observes that revised statistics show a much rockier economic history in Argentina.

  • Bloomberg View notes that Merkel is Britain's best hope for lenient terms and compares Brexit to the Baltic break from the Soviet Union.

  • The Globe and Mail notes continuing problems with the implementation of tidal turbines on the Bay of Fundy.

  • MacLean's notes that pride marchers in the Manitoba city of Steinbach can walk on the street, and looks at the impact of immigrant investment on Vancouver's housing market.

  • National Geographic notes the endangerment of Antarctica's penguins.

  • Open Democracy compares Brexit and the breakup of the former Soviet Union, looks at water shortages in Armenia, and examines the impact of Brexit on Ireland.

  • The Chicago Tribune looks at urban violence.

  • Universe Today notes the Dutch will be going to the Moon with the Chinese.

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  • Bloomberg notes concern in Northern Ireland's border towns over Brexit, reports that Morgan may shift its offices from London to Dublin or Frankfurt, and looks at the hostile reaction Donald Trump is likely to receive in Scotland.

  • Bloomberg View looks at the vexed issues of American funding for Israel's defense industry.

  • The CBC notes the discovery of a transmissible cancer affecting shellfish.

  • MacLean's takes a sanguine view of millennials in Canada who stay with their parents.

  • The National Post interviews a Muslim woman attacked in London, Ontario, and notes odd institutional issues raised against the Pride parade in Steinbach.

  • The New Republic looks at the impact the collapse of Barnes & Noble would have on American publishing and literature.

  • Open Democracy fears the effect of Brexit on central and eastern Europe.

  • Transitions Online notes the lack of reciprocation for Bulgarian Russophilia.

  • Wired notes that the Brexit referendum is a major inflection point in the European Union's history.

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  • The BBC reports from Asmara, Eritrea's capital, on the eve of war.

  • Bloomberg notes the economic problems of Hong Kong and Singapore, looks at the final day of campaigning in the Brexit referendum, and notes the interim president of Brazil's desire to oust Rousseff.

  • Bloomberg View takes issue with the rejection of nuclear energy in the name of the environment and reports on how Russians are being hurt by their association with Putin.

  • The CBC reports on the ongoing trial of Led Zeppelin over the authorship of "Stairway to Heaven".

  • The Globe and Mail notes the homophobia of a rural Manitoba MP.

  • The Independent notes a poll suggesting most Brexit supporters believe the referendum will be fixed.

  • MacLean's notes the demand of a northern Ontario First Nation for mercury to be cleaned up.

  • At Medium's Mel, Jay Rachel Edidin writes about the fears for their husband post-Orlando.

  • The National Post notes that the Commonwealth is not going to replace the EU for the UK.

  • Open Democracy argues for a right to online anonymity.

  • The Toronto Star notes the visit of Prince Edward and his wife to the Union-Pearson Express.

  • U.S. News and World Report suggests/a> Clarence Thomas may not speak much because he's afraid of his native Gullah surfacing.

  • Wired looks at online mockery of Trump's campaign finance issues.

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  • Bloomberg notes Japan's neglected geothermal potential, looks at one Nobel laureate's concern over Brexit's fallout, examines Thailand's economic success, and looks at how labuor shortages are hindering Swedish economic growth.

  • Bloomberg View looks at the role of Brazil's supreme court in fighting top-level corruption, and suggests the only thing worse than Britain remaining would be Britain staying.

  • CBC looks at homophobia in rural Manitoba.

  • The Inter Press Service notes the barriers rising around the world.

  • MacLean's looks at the state of world refugees.

  • National Geographic notes the repopulation of rural England with giant spiders.

  • The National Post notes the search for a murdered Mohawk woman's killer.

  • The New York Times reports on the spectre of Venezuelan influence in Spain.

  • Open Democracy notes Georgia's stalled progress and looks at British security policy in the context of Brexit.

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CBC News' Éric Grenier considers the prospects for a revival of the right in Canada. He's not convinced there will be much of an upwards bump outside of the Prairies.

Two provinces are heading to the polls in April, and in both cases the main right-of-centre party on the ballot is expected to win: the opposition Progressive Conservatives under Brian Pallister in Manitoba and Premier Brad Wall's governing Saskatchewan Party in Saskatchewan.

Both parties hold wide leads over their nearest rivals and look set to bring the losing streak of conservative parties in Canada to an end. But the comeback may be short-lived.

The safest bet in the two provincial contests may be on the re-election of Brad Wall. He is Canada's perennially most popular premier, scoring an approval rating of 60 per cent in the most recent survey from the Angus Reid Institute.

And in the last poll to come out of the province, conducted in mid-November by Insightrix Research, the Saskatchewan Party garnered 54 per cent support, against just 25 per cent for the opposition New Democrats.

Though these are the lowest levels of support that Wall or his party has managed since his landslide victory in 2011, they're still numbers that any premier facing re-election in less than four months' time would gladly take. The biggest obstacle for the NDP may simply be that public opinion has hardly budged in the province in years.
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CBC's Rosanna Deerchild has an interesting story about how old native entrepreneur is dealing with a "food desert" in part of downtown Winnipeg by opening up an indigenous-theme grocery store.

Neechi Commons sales and marketing coordinator Kelly Edwards says the indigenous-owned supermarket is bringing healthy, affordable food - and jobs - to one of Winnipeg's poorest neighbourhoods.

An indigenous-owned supermarket is succeeding in one of Winnipeg's poorest neighbourhoods, at a time when other businesses have long left for the suburbs.
Neechi Commons is an aboriginal worker co-op housed in a 35,000-square-foot converted brick warehouse located at 865 Main Street — a strip notorious for its run-down hotels.

"We have a supermarket that includes a bakery and produce section, meats and pretty much all of the groceries that you can find anywhere else," says Kelly Edwards, the store's sales and marketing coordinator.

"We also have a restaurant, we do catering, and we have an art store that features over 200 artisans."

While the price of meat skyrockets across the country, Neechi Commons has boldly slashed their prices by as much as 50 per cent. The move not only helps provide healthy, affordable food to an area known as a food desert — it's also providing jobs.

There's more, including a feature more than five minutes long, at the site.
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CBC News' Don Pittis reports on this experiment by the Winnipeg Free Press.

Despite its name, regular readers of the Winnipeg Free Press can no longer see articles for free.

Paywalls are nothing new in the world of online newspapers, but this summer, the "Freep," as it is affectionately known, introduced a method of charging for online "print" media that everyone thought was dead: micropayments.

After a free trial period of one month, anyone interested in reading the Free Press has two choices. As with other papers, readers can buy a subscription at the standard rates.

Or, they can do something regular daily newspaper readers have never been able to do before. They can pay a one-time fee for the individual article they want to read.

"There are all these readers out there who want to read what we have," says Free Press publisher Bob Cox.

"You go to Amazon, you buy one at a time. You go to the Apple iTunes store, you buy one at a time. This is the method people use online for purchasing things."
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This CBC report about complaints lodged against a Tintin graphic novel for its allegedly racist stereotypes of First Nations people surprises me only in that it came so recently to light.

A First Nations educator asked a Winnipeg Chapters to pull the comic Tintin in America from its shelves on Saturday, citing "the impact of racist images and perpetuating harmful narratives." At first, Chapters pulled the book, but it is now back on the shelves after the chain determined it does not violate its policy.

The cover image depicts stereotypical images of indigenous people in buckskin, and a chief brandishing an axe over his head while Tintin is tied to a post in the background.

Tintin comics have sold hundreds of millions of copies since they were first serialized in 1929 by their Belgian creator, Hergé, and many of them contain cultural stereotypes of the past.​

"The manager told us that the company doesn't feel like there is anything wrong with the imagery or the content of the book," Tasha Spillett posted Sunday morning on her Facebook page after attempting to have the book removed from the Winnipeg store.

[. . .]

In an email received by the CBC on Monday, Chapters vice-president of public affairs Janet Eger said the chain has a clear policy regarding which books it will or won't carry.

In order for Chapters to not carry a book, it must meet one of three criteria: child pornography; material with instructions on how to build weapons of mass destruction; and "anything written with the sole intent of inciting society toward the annihilation of one group."


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