Venezuelan protesters march again – National

CARACAS, Venezuela – Thousands of anti-government activists marched peacefully Sunday to an upper-class Caracas district shaken by more than two weeks of unrest, trying to maintain the movement’s momentum during a long holiday break.

Afterward, several hundred protesters erected barricades, burned tires and threw rocks and fireworks at National Guard troops, who responded with tear gas in what has become a nearly nightly ritual of clashes since mid-February. No injuries were immediately reported.

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President Nicolas Maduro had sought to dampen protesters’ spirits by declaring a seven-day holiday weekend coinciding with Carnival and historical commemorations and by promoting the Sunday sale of subsidized food at government-run markets.

“Happiness will conquer the embittered,” Maduro said in a TV appearance at a recreation centre. “The Venezuelan people have won because happiness and peace have conquered.”

Whether they headed for balmy beaches or joined the barricades in anti-government protests, many people are fed up with crippling inflation, shortages of food stuffs and medicine, unchecked violent crime and government mismanagement of the economy in a nation with the world’s largest proven oil reserves.

Hundreds queued up at one central Caracas market, an increasingly common sight across the country, where coffee, flour, cooking oil, toilet paper and other staples have been in short supply for a year. Longer lines have been seen at such markets in the provinces.

The unrest is Venezuela’s worst since President Hugo Chavez died of cancer a year ago and the opposition came within a hair of winning the presidency in April’s election, but it remains to be seen if it will spread to include the lower classes who benefited from Chavez’s generous social welfare programs.

Most of the marchers on Sunday, whether students or their grey-haired elders clad in white shirts and wearing hats with the Venezuelan flag’s colours, hailed from the upper classes. But there were some from poorer sectors.

One marcher from the poor district of Catia said many people there had been intimidated into silence by pro-government militias but are now beginning to join the protests. “People there are starting to wake up. The insecurity has become unbearable,” said Liomar Moreno, a 21-year-old graphic design student.

Saturday night had been the first evening in 16 days when the wealthy, opposition Chacao district where Sunday’s march ended was not shrouded in tear gas from pitched battles between young protesters and security forces.

But the confrontations resumed Sunday, and had about them a choreographed dynamic. Protesters, many of them teens, showed up with beer boxes full of Molotov cocktails and shields made of aluminum siding, handles fashioned from garden hoses. National Guardsmen protected themselves not just with plastic shields but also with semi-permanent chain-link barricades. Protesters wore heat-resistant gloves on their throwing hands to hurl tear gas canisters back at guardsmen.

Elsewhere in Venezuela, protesters have similarly maintained burning barricades in cities from Valencia in the industrial heartland to Merida and San Cristobal in the west.

By government count, 18 people have been killed and more than 260 injured in the unrest since Feb. 12.

Early Sunday, the government released 41 people arrested Friday in Caracas’ wealthy east as radicals hurled Molotov cocktails, rocks and bottles at National Guard troops. It said they had all been ordered to appear in court within 30 days.

Others were still in custody, including a top opposition leader, Leopoldo Lopez.

The opposition has spurned Maduro’s attempt to engage in a “peace dialogue” until the government frees detainees. Other demands include creation of a “truth commission” to determine how those who died in protests were killed. Pro-government thugs are accused of gunning some down.

Maduro says the unrest constitutes a coup attempt by “the fascist right wing” and is backed by the United States. Washington denies the accusation and says Maduro is trying to silence the opposition by repressing free speech.

“Nobody is tiring here, and we’re all going to fight until (the government) falls,” said one marcher on Sunday, Carlos Eduardo Vega, who works for the food company Polar.

But 14-year-old Heliot Bello, who lives on the street where Sunday’s street battle occurred, wasn’t optimistic.

“The only thing we’ve gotten out of this in two weeks is blocking the highway a few times and lots of dead students. But what else can you do?” he said.

Chacao’s mayor, Ramon Muchacho, complained of fatigue from the violent tactics of student protesters who have made his district the epicenter of Caracas’ unrest. They lack clearly defined goals, he said.

“The student leaders need to set clear objectives for those in the streets. How are we going to change the government?” Muchacho said. “I think they should be preparing them for a long battle.”

Associated Press writers Frank Bajak and Andrew Rosati and photographer Fernando Llano contributed to this report.

©2014The Canadian Press

Lupita Nyong’o, Jennifer Lawrence among Oscar fashion stars

NEW YORK – That’s a wrap, Lupita Nyong’o, but may all the best dresses keep coming your way.

With a supporting actress Oscar now in her possession, a tearful Nyong’o concluded a red-carpet season Sunday night as a fashion darling for sexy silhouettes and colours that wow.

She didn’t disappoint at the 86th Academy Awards, wearing a pale blue Prada goddess gown and a sparkly gold-and-diamond headband from Fred Leighton.

Actresses Jennifer Lawrence and Lupita Nyong’o attend the Oscars held at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 2, 2014 in Hollywood, California.

Michael Buckner/Getty Images

Nor did Jennifer Lawrence in a $2 million, 100-carat diamond necklace from Neil Lane to accent her girl-on-fire orange-red strapless dress from Dior.

Jennifer Lawrence attends the Oscars at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 2, 2014 in Hollywood, California.

Christopher Polk/Getty Images

On Cate Blanchett’s ears were 33 carats of opal in a huge drop design that did justice to her beaded Armani gown in a light tan colour.

Cate Blanchett arrives at the Oscars on Sunday, March 2, 2014, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles.

Blanchett’s heavily embellished gown sparkled under the lights at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles when she collected her Oscar for best actress in Blue Jasmine.

While she’s not under contract by Giorgio Armani, Blanchett does favour the house. “Armani has made donations to the theatre that she and her husband run in Sydney, so she’s very loyal to him,” said Hal Rubenstein, editor at large of InStyle magazine.

Muted colours, like those worn by Blanchett and Nyong’o’s ice blue, were one of the night’s big trends, said Estee Stanley, a stylist who worked with Portia de Rossi, in a regal Naeem Khan halter with beads and lace, and Jessica Biel, dressed in a metallic sparkler from Chanel dripped with diamond jewelry from Tiffany.

Actress Portia de Rossi (L) and TV personality Ellen DeGeneres attend the 2014 Vanity Fair Oscar Party hosted by Graydon Carter on March 2, 2014 in West Hollywood, California.

Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

Jessica Biel attends the Oscars held at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 2, 2014 in Hollywood, California.

Jason Merritt/Getty Images

Fitted, body-conscious gowns prevailed on the red carpet, said fashion bloggers Tom Fitzgerald and Lorenzo Marquez.

“The colours of the night were pinks and blues. Statement necklaces were back,” Fitzgerald said.

But Marquez mused: “A general sameness hung over the whole thing. There was not enough experimentation.”

While some of the necklines plunged, said Rubenstein, “there was nothing overtly sexy. They were all fairly reserved.”

Here’s our five to talk about:

LUPITA NYONG’O

Actress Lupita Nyong’o attends the Oscars held at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 2, 2014 in Hollywood, California.

Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

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Related

  • Gallery: 5 best 2014 Oscar fashion moments

  • ‘Gravity’ dominates but ’12 Years a Slave’ wins Best Picture at Oscars

“I felt Lupita’s dress was glorious,” Rubenstein said. “She’s just not making a mistake.”

He praised her colour choice and the full-pleated gown with a plunging bodice. The colour, he said, was perfect for her dark skin tone. He called her jeweled headband a nice touch of youth and wit.

“There are now so many other awards shows where you can take chances. You can be silly, you can be funny. The Oscars is like coronation night. On Oscar night you look for classic glamour, you look for the glamour that really is defined for us by Hollywood, by the movies that we’ve seen. All those great Edith Head costumes. … The way Grace Kelly was dressed by Hitchcock. That’s what we have drilled into our head as what glamour is and so many people reference that type of glamour,” Rubenstein said.

On this night, Nyong’o was among them.

“She carries herself so beautifully. She has such poise. Such grace,” he said.

Marquez added: “I loved this, full stop. Every single bit of it. The colour is perfect, the way the skirt flows and moves is sublime. She won the entire night as far as I’m concerned.”

Fitzgerald said he “loved it, but not as much. I think the neckline is too plunging and too wide. Everything else about is pretty close to perfect, though. It’s a fresh take on the princess gown, with an even fresher take on the tiara.”

JENNIFER LAWRENCE

Jennifer Lawrence, left, and Channing Tatum shake hands at the Oscars on Sunday, March 2, 2014, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles.

Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP

Ok, so yeah, she tripped again, this time on the red carpet as opposed to running up the Oscar steps to collect a statuette, but she giggled it off and stunned in strapless Dior akin to the bright colour of a Calvin Klein she wore in 2011.

Of a Lupita versus Jennifer smackdown, Rubenstein chided: “C’mon now, they both looked beautiful. Jennifer’s was also a beautiful colour.”

Lawrence, with a swept-back bob, pulled off a bit of ruffle at the hip. It was a form-fitting dress in contrast to her full gown at last year’s Oscars, when she stumbled as she made her way up the stairs to collect her award for Silver Linings Playbook.

“The Dolby is a very big theatre and when you wear a dress with a lot of volume like she did last year, you kind of get lost in that volume,” Rubenstein said. “The more body-conscious dress really focuses on you.”

Fitzgerald and Marquez were not quite as impressed.

“I’ll say it: I’m bored,” Marquez said. “It has none of the drama of last year’s Dior gown. It’s just another slinky gown on a night with more than enough of them.”

Fitzgerald added: “I have to agree. And the red seems kind of done. It just doesn’t feel very fresh.”

SANDRA BULLOCK

Nominee for Best Actress in ‘Gravity’ Sandra Bullock arrives on the red carpet for the 86th Academy Awards on March 2nd, 2014 in Hollywood, California.

ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images

Was it Navy blue? Royal blue? Simply, dark blue? Whatever. It was a deep-tone Alexander McQueen and an example of an edgy fashion house offering up an Old Hollywood-style stunner, Rubenstein said.

Both Rubenstein and Stanley called the look Navy, noting a pleated draping that fell to one side. It was in line with a lot of blue, some green, and not quite so much red as in years and carpets past.

Marquez called it, “Another stunner for the night – and a personal best for her. She tends toward colorless, slinky dresses and pin-straight hair. It’s refreshing to see something with some shape.”

Fitzgerald also lauded her loose, sideswept hair – a deep and dramatic side part another trend of the night.

He called the dress “crazy-dramatic. It’s the kind of look, top to bottom, that makes you step back and say ‘Now, that’s a movie star.”‘

CHARLIZE THERON

Charlize Theron attends the Oscars at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 2, 2014 in Hollywood, California.

Christopher Polk/Getty Images

Black made a reappearance, said Rubenstein, and it remains a dynamic colour.

Theron was elegant in black Dior, paired with a $15 million Harry Winston necklace that had a cluster of diamonds at the centre.

“Her simple dress and massive necklace was a classic yet fresh look,” Stanley said.

The look had invisible straps and a curvy plunge, clinging to her body with a partially sheer train in back.

“As far as I’m concerned, this is the look that won the night,” Fitzgerald said. “She’s serving up serious Madame X here,” as in sexy, dark and mysterious.

Theron’s short hair fell over her forehead from the evening’s popular side part.

AMY ADAMS

Actress Amy Adams attends the Oscars held at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 2, 2014 in Hollywood, California.

Christopher Polk/Getty Images

She wore a blue column strapless by Gucci with a lapel-like, fold-over at the strapless part. It was another Navy and stuck close to the body, flowing into a short train at the hem.

“There were columns, columns, columns,” Rubenstein said of that time-tested silhouette, and Adams was a prime example.

The simple silhouette left plenty of room for her Tiffany jewels. They included rhodochrosite, lapis and turquoise earrings with diamonds in 18-karat yellow gold, worth $35,000, and a $1.4 million yellow diamond bracelet, also in 18-karat yellow gold.

The earrings? “Stunning,” Stanley said.

©2014The Associated Press

Gallery: Canucks fall to Senators in Heritage Classic

The Vancouver Canucks fell 4-2 to the Ottawa Senators at BC Place during the NHL’s Heritage Classic Sunday.

In addition to the action on the ice, the event featured Sarah McLachlan singing the national anthem, a performance by Tegan and Sara and fireworks at the end of the game.

More than 50,000 fans attended the event, which was the first Heritage Classic ever to be played indoors.

PHOTOS: Heritage Classic at BC Place 

The Heritage Classic took place at BC Place on March 2, 2014. Credit: Neil Khare

The Heritage Classic took place at BC Place on March 2, 2014. Credit: Neil Khare

Members of the 1994 Vancouver Canucks team reunited on Sunday at the Heritage Classic game at BC Place. Credit: Neil Khare

The Heritage Classic took place at BC Place on March 2, 2014. Credit: Neil Khare

The Heritage Classic took place at BC Place on March 2, 2014. Credit: Neil Khare

The Heritage Classic took place at BC Place on March 2, 2014. Credit: Neil Khare

The Heritage Classic took place at BC Place on March 2, 2014. Credit: Neil Khare

The Heritage Classic took place at BC Place on March 2, 2014. Credit: Neil Khare

The Heritage Classic took place at BC Place on March 2, 2014. Credit: Neil Khare

The Heritage Classic took place at BC Place on March 2, 2014. Credit: Chris Gailus


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Canada considers joining mission to Ukraine to debunk Russia: envoy – National

Watch above: Russia lays out case for intervention in Ukraine before United Nations Security Council

OTTAWA – Canada is considering taking part in a special observer mission to Ukraine’s troubled Crimea region to debunk Russian claims that people there are at risk, The Canadian Press has learned.

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Ukrainian ambassador Vadym Prystaiko said many governments are looking at how to get into Crimea to see the situation on the ground and to “take this pretext from the Russians,” which they are using to support their invasion of the Crimean peninsula.

“We are open for anyone who wants to come to Ukraine and see for themselves,” he said in an interview Monday at the Ukrainian embassy in Ottawa.

READ MORE: Russia demands Ukraine return to unity gov’t; pro-Russian soldiers hold Crimean ferry

Prystaiko was speaking just as Russia’s ambassador to the United Nations, Vitaly Churkin, told the Security Council that Russian interests faced threats in the region.

He read from what he said was a letter from the fleeing President Viktor Yanukovych that asked for the Russian military “to establish legitimacy, peace, law and order, stability and defending the people of Ukraine.”

Prystaiko said he would like to see Canadians take part in future election observer missions as it has done so in the past, but added:

“The mission to observe the tensions and Crimea (is) … even more important than bringing people to observe the presidential election in May.”

Watch below: U.S. ambassador tells U.N. Security Council that Russian intervention in Ukraine is a response to “an imaginary threat.”

The envoy said he planned to meet Tuesday with Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird “to discuss the details.”

“We are consulting with Foreign Affairs,” Prystaiko said, but stressed there’s been no decision by Canada to participate and the matter is simply under discussion.

Baird’s office had no immediate comment.

Prystaiko also questioned the buildup of Russian troops across Ukraine’s northern border.

“We have to confirm it, but the local governments on the Russian side are preparing the refugee camps,” he said.

Prystaiko said he was grateful for the political support from Canadians “of all political parties, the government side, the opposition.”

Asked about last week’s decision by the Conservative government to exclude opposition MPs from a trip to Ukraine, Prystaiko replied:

“Every Canadian politician is welcome nowadays. a If anybody wants to go to Ukraine and had a plan now to help it, we will be more than happy to accommodate the ideas.”

Prystaiko was one of his country’s top negotiators behind Ukraine’s stalled bid to join NATO.

“If we were in NATO now, maybe Russia wouldn’t get so smart,” he said.

He said Ukraine’s bid never came to fruition because “nobody wanted to provoke Russia.”

Still, Prystaiko said he understands why Western countries, including Canada, are taking the military option off the table.

“Nobody wants to fight. Nobody wants their kids and fathers to die,” he said.

“The first ones who do not want it, that’s Ukrainians. Believe me we don’t want to fight and to have war on our own soil,” he added.

“I understand the reluctance of everybody. The only player who seems to be less reluctant is Mr. Putin.”

Earlier Monday, Prime Minister Stephen Harper telephoned his Ukrainian counterpart to offer Canada’s unwavering support.

“Prime Minister Harper condemned in the strongest terms President (Vladimir) Putin’s military intervention in Ukraine,” said Jason MacDonald, Harper’s spokesman. He said Harper spoke to Arseniy Yatsenyuk from Toronto.

“He expressed to Prime Minister Yatsenyuk that Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity must be respected and that the Ukrainian people must be free to determine their own future.”

At an event in Toronto, Harper again called on Putin to withdraw Russian forces. Canada has summoned its ambassador to Russia home for consultations and, along with some major allies, has suspended preparations for the G8 summit that is to be held in Russia in June.

Harper said Monday that Canada was reviewing “all planned bilateral interactions” with Russia.

“President Putin’s actions have put his country on a course of diplomatic and economic isolation that could see Russia exit the G8 entirely,” Harper said.

“We will also continue to work closely with our G7 partners and our allies.”

In his telephone call, Harper said he delivered a direct message to the Ukrainian people from Canadians.

“Canada pledges ongoing friendship and steadfast support for your efforts to defend your sovereignty and to restore economic and political stability.”

Tensions were running high in Crimea as Russia threatened to seize a Ukrainian warship.

Russia’s military invasion of the peninsula sparked concern in European capitals as diplomats met in Brussels, Kyiv and Geneva.

The House of Commons unanimously adopted a motion Monday that supports Ukraine and calls for a Russian withdrawal.

“We, on this side of the House, stand with the government and with Canadians who are condemning these very troubling actions,” said New Democrat MP Megan Leslie.

“We all stand in solidarity with Ukraine’s thirst for freedom, democracy, human rights and the civilized rule of law both domestically and internationally,” said Liberal MP Ralph Goodale.

Prystaiko said his embassy has been flooded with messages, letters, emails and general good wishes from Canadians.

“Sometimes we have up to hundreds a day,” he said. “People are bringing flowers and candles … they support us much.”

©2014The Canadian Press

Sleep machines may be harmful to babies’ hearing, speech: study

Watch the video above: Sleep machines may be harmful to babies’ hearing, speech: study. Crystal Goomansingh reports. 

TORONTO – They may help lull your baby to sleep, but a new study is warning that sleep machines may be hurting your infant’s hearing, speech and language development.

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Canadian doctors at the Hospital for Sick Children are warning that if parents are putting these white noise machines too close to the crib, and on a loud setting, the machines could be causing more harm than good to a baby’s ears.

Some of the devices even exceed the occupational safety standards set for adults.

READ MORE: Newborn baby’s smell is as addictive as drugs or food

“These are so popular. They’re everywhere, they’re on everybody’s what to get for the baby [list],” Dr. Blake Papsin, an otolaryngologist in chief at Sick Kids Hospital, told Global News.

Papsin said that most often, families could be watching TV, cooking, or doing laundry, and parents will play the white noise machine over this background noise to help their babies sleep.

“To have noise in the environment that disturbs your baby’s sleep, and then to put an added noise on to mask it doesn’t make much sense. You’re doubling the dose of actual energy, the sound, and that’s the part that could harm the baby,” Papsin said.

Watch: Could sleep machines be affecting you baby’s hearing? A new study looks into the issue

[tp_videao id=1183989]

READ MORE: MTV’s ’16 & Pregnant’ may have halted teen pregnancy rate

He was looking after a young patient who had undergone surgery when he first thought of studying white noise machines. A sleep doula advised the baby’s parents to use a sleep noise machine – it was loud and caught Papsin by surprise.

He grabbed one of his students who used a sound pressure metre to measure the noise. It was at 85 decibels. The recommended limit? Fifty decibels.

“I told the parents it’s like a car wash in here, it’s industrial noise. We realized there is very little literature and that prompted us to look more deeply into this issue,” he said.

READ MORE: How a father’s diet, lifestyle affect his baby’s healthy development

In his study, Papsin tested 14 devices and at three different distances: at 30 centimetres, which would replicate the noise machine placed on a baby’s crib; at 100 cm, which would be like placing it on a nightstand beside the crib; and at 200 cm, which would be playing the machine on the other side of the room.

Under occupational health standards, 85 decibels of noise is the limit for adults. After that, hearing loss could occur. But there’s little research on sound exposure on children. Conducting a study would be difficult because scientists can’t tamper with kids’ hearing, Papsin warned.

Almost all of the devices in the study exceeded the acceptable levels of noise for neonatal nurseries. At 30 cm, some of the devices even had sounds emitting at over 85 decibels. One device even clocked in at 93 decibels.

“If we’re exceeding these levels of occupational noise for safety, then we might actually be causing some hearing loss to the infant, especially since we might be underestimating how much noise might be going on. Those are the truest risks,” Papsin said.

Papsin said he doesn’t think medical doctors are routinely using these devices or recommending them for parents.

READ MORE: Childbirth economics: What older moms and teenage pregnancy say about opportunity in Ontario

And parents should let their babies listen to the background noise of their family’s daily lives.

“The developing brain likes the information in the world around. It likes the dog barking and mom coming home from work. It likes the sound of people talking, it’s starting to differentiate,” Papsin said.

“It wants to learn how to live in a complex and rich environment, because as humans that’s what we crave – information.”

For now, Papsin said that parents should decrease reliance on noise machines. He recommends a shorter time frame, on the lowest volume and the farthest distance.

READ MORE: Teen birth rates dip in all but 2 U.S. states, CDC report says

He also suggests that manufacturers shouldn’t be allowed to produce devices that exceed safe levels of noise. There should be warnings on product labels about unhealthy doses of noise and its effect on hearing.

The study was published Monday in the journal Pediatrics.

–          With files from the Canadian Press

[email protected]桑拿按摩
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©2014Shaw Media

Montreal director wins Oscar for short doc ‘Lady in Number 6’ – Montreal

Watch: Selfies and pizza make for memorable Oscar moments

LOS ANGELES – Montreal-based director Malcolm Clarke won an Oscar on Sunday night for his short documentary The Lady in Number 6: Music Saved My Life.

Clarke is British but has lived in Montreal since the mid-1990s.

He shares the win with Nicholas Reed, a Brit who lives in Los Angeles.

READ MORE: Full Oscars coverage at ET Canada

The 38-minute film tells the story of Alice Herz-Sommer, whose devotion to music and her son helped her survive two years in a Nazi prison camp.

At 109, Alice Herz Sommer is the world’s oldest pianist and its oldest Holocaust survivor.

Handout/Academy Awards

She was believed to be the oldest Holocaust survivor before her death last week at age 110.

READ MORE: Oldest-known Holocaust survivor dies at 110

As Clarke accepted the award he said the filmmakers were struck by two things about Herz-Sommer: “her amazing capacity for joy and her amazing capacity for forgiveness.

Filmmakers Malcolm Clarke (L) and Nicholas Reed attend the 2014 Vanity Fair Oscar Party hosted by Graydon Carter on March 2, 2014 in West Hollywood, California.

Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

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“The amazing Alice Sommer died one week ago today,” said Clarke.

“She was 110. She died quietly and so this … is for Alice. She was a woman who taught everyone on my crew to be a little bit more optimistic and a little bit more happy about all the things that were happening in our lives. See the film – she’ll help you live, I think, a much happier life.”

READ MORE: Montreal Oscar nominees keep things in perspective

Clarke previously won an Oscar in the best documentary short category in 1989 for You Don’t Have to Die, about a child battling cancer who inspired other youngsters with the disease.

The Lady in Number Six isn’t technically considered Canadian, because it wasn’t funded by Canadians, but it was made by a crew of Montreal residents.

READ MORE: 5 moments from Oscar night

They include producer Frederic Bohbot, director of photography Kieran Crilly, editor Carl Freed and composer Luc St-Pierre.

©2014The Canadian Press

Jamaica dispatches water trucks to relieve drought in island’s west – National

KINGSTON, Jamaica – Jamaica’s government is dispatching water trucks to the drought-parched west of the island.

The Ministry of Water, Land, Environment and Climate Change says that at least six parishes have been affected, including the one that holds the popular tourist spot of Montego Bay.

READ MORE: Drought forces some California almond farmers to rip out trees

Officials said in a statement Friday that they have approved more than $185,000 for the water trucks.

Jamaica’s dry season runs until late March.

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  • NASA scientists turn their technology and research to help manage California’s drought

  • Wine grape growers in California say extended drought hurting crops

  • Canada’s pullout from drought fighting convention ‘regrettable’: United Nations

©2014The Canadian Press

Property tax relief program helps Calgary flood victims – Calgary

CALGARY – The City of Calgary has launched a Property Tax Relief Program to help support those impacted by June’s devastating flooding.

The program is for flood victims whose homes or businesses were severely damaged, causing them to be uninhabitable for at least 90 days after the date of the flood.

It applies to all property taxes and enables all those who are eligible to apply for a property tax break for the time their property was impacted.

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“The March 3 launch date gives property owners time to apply for the program so that The City can process tax relief credits before the general mail out of property tax bills in May,” said Pat Brown, Coordinator Tax Account Maintenance.

The city has already mailed out 3,400 letters and applications to people they thought were affected by the flood.

Those who qualify will be required to complete an application and provide proof that their property was uninhabitable for over 90 days.

“The application outlines eight different potential documents they could submit,” explains Brown. “Some of them are kind of hard to come by.”

“The last option that is available to them, if they don’t have any of the documentation, is a statutory declaration. They can submit that along with their application,” adds Brown.

The City of Calgary says it’s a three year program, which allows people to apply until the end of 2015.

If you didn’t receive a letter from the City of Calgary, you can call 311 or visit 杭州夜生活calgary桑拿按摩/taxrelief.

Property owners are encouraged to submit their application and documentation online. However, application forms and documentation can be submitted by:

• Mail: The City of Calgary, Finance & Supply, Tax & Receivables
P.O. Box 2405 Stn M, Calgary, AB T2P 3L9
• Fax: 403-268-1564
• In person: 3rd Flr., Calgary Municipal Building, 800 MacLeod Trail, S.E.

Business owners whose businesses were closed for an extended period due to the 2013 June flood can contact the Business Licence Registration (BLR) at 403-268-5311 to inquire about adjustments to their Business Tax.

Bean and maple syrup pie recipe

White beans, also called navy beans or white pea beans, add nutritional value to this traditional maple syrup pie.

Bean and maple syrup pie

250 ml (1 cup) well-cooked (or canned) white beans125 ml (1/2 cup) maple syrup2 eggs75 ml (1/3 cup) brown sugar75 ml (1/3 cup) melted butter125 ml (1/2 cup) raisins or chopped pecans1 unbaked pastry shell (23 cm/9 inches) or 18 unbaked tart shellsPecan halves (optional)

Heat oven to 180 C (350 F).

In a food processor or blender, puree beans with maple syrup until smooth. Add eggs, sugar and butter and mix just until well blended.

Sprinkle raisins over bottom of pastry shell or tart shells. Pour filling over top. Garnish with pecan halves, if desired.

Bake pie for 35 to 40 minutes or tarts for 20 minutes or until set in centre. Let cool.

Serve at room temperature plain or with whipped cream or ice cream.

Makes 1 pie or 18 tarts.

Nutrition (for 1/10th of a 23-cm/9-inch) pie: 276 calories; 4.3 g protein; 13 g fat; 37.1 g carbohydrates; 2.5 g fibre.

Source: Ontario Bean Growers (ontariobeans桑拿按摩)

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  • Healthy cooking on a budget? Beans are economic nutritional stars

  • Recipe for family-friendly lazy perogies with pureed beans

  • Healthy lunch recipe: Chickpea pasta salad

  • Recipe for lentil raspberry bars

©2014The Canadian Press

Healthy lunch recipe: Chickpea pasta salad

This large vegetarian salad, featuring chickpeas (also known as garbanzo beans), would be great on its own for lunch or as a side dish for dinner. The recipe is easily cut in half.

Chickpea pasta salad

1 l (4 cups) cooked corkscrew pasta, drained and cooled1 can (540 ml/19 oz) chickpeas, drained and rinsed375 ml (1 1/2 cups) chopped celery375 ml (1 1/2 cups) shredded carrots2 sweet red peppers, chopped4 green onions, finely chopped50 ml (1/4 cup) crumbled feta cheese75 ml (1/3 cup) light Greek salad dressing

In a large bowl, combine pasta, chickpeas, celery, carrots, red peppers, green onions and feta. Toss lightly to mix well. Add dressing and toss to coat well. (Make ahead: Pasta mixture can be prepared a day in advance. Refrigerate overnight and toss with dressing before serving.)

Makes 13 servings (250 ml/1 cup each).

Nutrition information per serving: 149 calories; 5 g protein; 2 g fat (1 g saturated fat); 3 mg cholesterol; 27 g carbohydrates; 4 g fibre; 227 mg sodium.

Source: Pulse Canada (杭州夜生活pulsecanada杭州夜网)

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Related

  • Healthy cooking on a budget? Beans are economic nutritional stars

  • Recipe for lentil raspberry bars

  • Recipe for family-friendly lazy perogies with pureed beans

  • Bean and maple syrup pie recipe

©2014The Canadian Press

Recipe for family-friendly lazy perogies with pureed beans

This family-sized dish has all the best ingredients of perogies, with the healthy additions of pureed beans and spinach.

Lazy perogy recipe

To make bean puree, rinse and drain a 540-ml (19-oz) can of beans. Place in a food processor, add 50 ml (1/4 cup) hot water and puree until the mixture is very smooth, adding more water in small amounts to reach desired consistency (similar to baby food), about 5 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. Refrigerate or freeze unused bean puree for your next batch.

375 ml (1 1/2 cups) mashed potatoes375 ml (1 1/2 cups) great northern or pinto bean puree250 ml (1 cup) shredded low-fat cheddar cheese500 ml (2 cups) cottage cheese (1 per cent MF)50 ml (1/4 cup) finely chopped green onion1 egg, beaten1 ml (1/4 tsp) salt2 ml (1/2 tsp) pepper1 l (4 cups) chopped fresh spinach9 lasagna noodles, cooked or oven-ready375 ml (1 1/2 cups) diced onion50 ml (1/4 cup) unsalted margarine125 g (1/4 lb) cooked and crumbled bacon
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Heat oven to 180 C (350 F). Spray a 33-by-23-cm (13-by-9-inch) baking dish with non-stick vegetable spray.

In a bowl, combine potatoes, bean puree and cheddar cheese.

In a separate bowl, combine cottage cheese, green onion, egg, salt and pepper. Add spinach and mix well.

Place 3 lasagna noodles on bottom of baking dish. Spread bean-potato mixture over first layer of noodles and cover with 3 more noodles. Spread cottage cheese/spinach mixture over second layer of noodles. Cover with remaining noodles.

In a skillet, saute onion in margarine until translucent. Remove from heat and spread over top layer of noodles.

Cover with foil and bake on middle oven rack for 1 hour and 15 minutes.

Remove from oven and garnish with bacon. Bake uncovered for 5 minutes. Then remove from oven, cover and let cool for 10 minutes before serving.

Makes 8 servings.

Source: Pulse Canada (杭州夜生活pulsecanada杭州夜网)

©2014The Canadian Press

Recipe for lentil raspberry bars

Many people don’t think of beans as a dessert ingredient, but lentils add nutrition and fibre to these tasty bites.

Lentil raspberry chews recipe

Base

325 ml (1 1/3 cups) whole-wheat flour75 ml (1/3 cup) sugar2 ml (1/2 tsp) baking powder2 ml (1/2 tsp) cinnamonPinch salt125 ml (1/2 cup) reduced-fat margarine1 egg, slightly beaten125 ml (1/2 cup) raspberry jam

Filling

250 ml (1 cup) cooked lentils (canned or cooked from dry)175 ml (3/4 cup) brown sugar75 ml (1/3 cup) all-purpose flour7 ml (1 1/2 tsp) baking powderPinch salt2 ml (1/2 tsp) vanilla2 eggs, beaten175 ml (3/4 cup) unsweetened shredded coconut125 ml (1/2 cup) chopped pecans (optional)

Heat oven to 190 C (375 F).

Base:

In a bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Cut in margarine until coarse crumbs form. Stir in egg and mix thoroughly. Press dough into a 33-by-23-cm (13-by-9-inch) baking dish and bake for 10 minutes until firm.

Let cool and then spread a thin layer of jam over base.

Reduce oven temperature to 180 C (350 F).

Filling:

In a blender, puree lentils with about 50 ml (1/4 cup) water until smooth (about the consistency of canned pumpkin).

In a separate bowl, combine sugar, flour, baking powder and salt. Mix in lentil puree, vanilla and eggs. Add coconut and pecans, if desired. Spread mixture on top of jam.

Bake until firm, about 35 minutes.

Let cool and cut into 18 bars.

Makes 18 bars.

Nutrition information per serving (one bar): 218 calories; 4.1 g protein; 9.75 g fat (6.05 g saturated fat); 31 mg cholesterol; 30.5 g carbohydrates; 3.3 g fibre; 131.45 mg sodium.

Source: Pulse Canada (杭州夜生活pulsecanada杭州夜网)

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  • Healthy cooking on a budget? Beans are economic nutritional stars

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©2014The Canadian Press

Healthy cooking on a budget? Beans are economic nutritional stars – Winnipeg

LONDON, Ont. – In the world of fine dining and sexy, sophisticated foods, dry and canned beans probably don’t rank very high, if at all.

But for home cooks who value nutrition and economy, beans are stars, even called a “superfood” in some quarters.

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Collectively, dry peas, edible beans, lentils and chickpeas (or garbanzo beans) are called pulses, defined as “the edible seeds of plants in the legume family” by Pulse Canada, a Winnipeg-based umbrella organization for Canadian bean growers. This does not include soybeans, which are classed as a grain, or green beans and green peas, which are vegetables.

Nutritionally, they are high in protein and fibre, says Deb Campbell, a professional home economist from Exeter, Ont. “And within themselves, there’s not the fat content that we have from animal protein sources.”

RECIPE: Lentil raspberry bars

Beans also have high levels of minerals such as iron, zinc and phosphorus, plus folate and other B vitamins.

There’s not much difference in the comparative nutritive value of various types of beans, says Campbell. Nor is there much difference between dry and canned beans, except for the higher sodium content of the canned products.

“But you can eliminate a lot of the sodium of canned beans by “simply putting them in a sieve and running them under cold water.” This also prevents the dark sauces on canned black beans or red kidney beans from affecting the colour of the food you’re cooking, she says.

In terms of the budgetary benefits of beans, Campbell sums it up in one word: “Brilliant.

“Because you’re looking at plant-based protein, it’s not nearly the same cost as animal-based protein. Beans are extremely economical.”

RECIPE: Lazy perogies with pureed beans 

The shelf price of beans is “fairly stable throughout the year,” says Erin Morgan, general manager of Ontario Bean Growers in Stratford, Ont. Another advantage is that most of the beans sold in Canada are grown and processed here. The 2013 crop, harvested last fall, is starting to show up in grocery stores now.

Ontario’s specialties are white beans (also called navy beans), black beans, three types of kidney beans (white, light red and dark red), two Japanese varieties (adzuki and otebo), cranberry or romano beans (white with a pink speckled pattern) and small red beans, Morgan says.

Crops that prefer dryer conditions – field peas, lentils and chickpeas – are primarily grown in the Prairie provinces. About 75 per cent of Canadian pulse crops are exported, according to Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada.

RECIPE: Chickpea pasta salad

Versatility is also a hallmark of beans, Campbell says. They can be used to create appetizers and dips, in main courses, added to soups, stews, pizza or chili and even to make desserts.

Adding 125 millilitres (1/2 cup) of mashed cooked lentils to a chocolate chip or oatmeal cookie recipe adds fibre and “will boost the nutrition of the cookies,” she says. And nobody has to know they’re there.

Dry lentils and split peas should be rinsed before cooking but do not have to be soaked. Dry beans, whole peas and chickpeas must be soaked as their “coats do not readily absorb water,” says the Pulse Canada website (杭州夜生活pulsecanada杭州夜网).

There are three soaking methods, each requiring 750 millilitres (three cups) of water for every 250 millilitres (one cup) of beans.

First remove any shrivelled or broken beans and any foreign matter and rinse under cold running water. Then the beans can be soaked for 12 hours or overnight in the refrigerator.

RECIPE: Bean and maple syrup pie

For a “quick soak,” bring beans and water to a boil in a saucepan. Boil gently for two minutes, remove from heat, cover and let stand for an hour.

For a microwave soak, combine beans and water in a microwaveable dish, cover and microwave on high for 10 to 15 minutes. Let stand for an hour.

In all cases the soaking water should be discarded and the beans rinsed well under cold running water before cooking.

To cook dry beans that have been soaked, combine them with water and five millilitres (one teaspoon) of oil to prevent foaming. Seasonings can be added, but acidic ingredients such as tomatoes or vinegar should not be added until the beans are cooked. You need a large, heavy saucepan because the beans will double or triple in size when cooked.

Bring the pot to a boil, cover tightly and reduce heat to a simmer. As a general guide, beans will take 45 minutes to an hour, whole green lentils 30 to 45 minutes and chickpeas one to 1 1/2 hours.

Of course, when you’re talking beans, the elephant in the room is that they cause gas and bloating for some people.

But according to Pulse Canada, if you eat them more often, your insides “adapt to the higher fibre and carbohydrates, decreasing these effects over time.”

Other steps you can take to mitigate the problem include changing the soaking water once or twice during a long soak, not using the soaking water to cook with, cooking the beans thoroughly as undercooked starch is harder to digest, thoroughly rinsing canned or presoaked beans before cooking or using a commercial anti-gas product.

Tips and facts about beans

There are many varieties, shapes and colours of beans or pulses, as they’re collectively known, including lentils and chickpeas.Boiling can cause skins to split, so simmer beans gently.Cook beans until just tender if they are to be cooked again in a recipe (they will double or triple in size).500 ml (2 cups) dried beans is equal to 1.25 to 1.375 l (5 to 5 1/2 cups) cooked.454 g (1 lb) dry beans is equal to 500 ml (2 cups) dry beans.Cooked beans can be kept four or five days covered and in the fridge and up to six months when frozen in airtight freezer containers.Stored dry beans are best used within one year because they lose moisture over time and take longer to soak and cook.Dry beans should be stored in a dry, airtight container at room temperature and not in the fridge.Bean flour is gluten-free.Canned beans in water or sauce are already cooked and therefore only need to be reheated.

Source: Ontario Bean Growers, ontariobeans.on桑拿按摩.

©2014The Canadian Press

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