BIRD FLU The B.C. government invoked emergency measures and is looking for creative solutions such as cement kilns instead of its first choice—garbage dumps—to dispose of as many as 340,000 diseased chickens and other fowl stricken by a fast-spreading bird virus. An estimated 19 million chickens in the Fraser Valley will be destroyed to try to contain the virus. Most of these are healthy and will enter the normal food supply.
DEFENCE Paul Martin made a rare prime ministerial visit to a military base in New Brunswick to announce three new support ships for the navy, total cost $2.1 billion, and 600 fresh troops and air force personnel to maintain a Canadian presence in Afghanistan after the 1,900-strong main contingent pulls out in August.
The University of Toronto will rename its venerable conflict studies school the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies with the blessing of the late prime minister’s two sons. Uof Thopes the Trudeau name will help it raise $4.3 million for scholarships and visiting academics.
MEAN STREETS Homeless women between 18 and 44 were 10 times more likely to die than women in the population at large, usually because of drugs, disease or suicide, a study in the Canadian Medical Association Journal reported. While the rate was similar to that for homeless men, in the general population women of that age are less likely to die than men.
MEDIA Toronto’s feisty CHUM Ltd. became the country’s third largest privately held broadcaster by buying out Western-based Craig Media Inc. for $265 million. If approved, the deal would add Craig’s four western stations to CHUM’s eight independent stations from Victoria to Toronto, and may also set up CHUM as a takeover target in a period of media realignment.
JUSTICE A sign of the times: police informants in Quebec have formed an association to lobby for better protection and other guarantees. Its spokesman wore a mask while he outlined the group’s demands.
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