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:


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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  • 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, 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.”


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.


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 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.


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


LISTEN: 10 versions of the Oscar-winning song ‘Let It Go’

TORONTO — Millions of people were familiar with “Let It Go” from the Frozen soundtrack before it was performed at the Oscars by Idina Menzel — after all, the song is featured in a movie that has grossed $1 billion worldwide.

But millions more heard it for the first time on Sunday, when it won the Academy Award for Original Song.

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The song — not to be confused with the ’80s hit of the same name by Canadian singer Luba — has been recorded many times. Whether it’s by a teenage boy alone in his room, a pair of young girls or a guy playing a ukulele, there is probably a version for every taste.

Here is Menzel’s original version from Frozen followed by 10 cover versions and parodies that have popped up this season online:

“Let It Go” performed by Idina Menzel in the movie Frozen

“Let It Go” performed by Demi Lovato from the Frozen soundtrack

“Let It Go” performed by Mr. Freeze (Arnold Schwarzenegger)

“Just Don’t Go” performed by Cincinnati traffic reporter Bob Herzog

“Let It Go” with Vivaldi’s “Winter” performed by ThePianoGuys

“Let It Go” performed by Alex Boye with One Voice Children’s Choir

“Let It Go” acoustic male version performed Gunnar Oden

“Let It Go” mashup (with Passenger’s “Let Her Go”) performed by Sam Tsui

“Let It Go” performed by Maddie and Zoe

“Let It Go” performed by vocal group Cimorelli

“Let It Go” performed on the ukulele by Sungha Jung

©2014Shaw Media

Gates back on top of Forbes’ billionaire rankings – National

NEW YORK – Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates is back on top of the list of the world’s richest people after a four-year hiatus.

Forbes magazine announced its ranking of the world’s billionaires Monday.

Gates, who led the list for 15 of the past 20 years, won the spot back from Mexican telecom mogul Carlos Slim Helu, who had topped the list for the past four years. Gates’ net worth is estimated at $76 billion; Slim Helu follows at $72 billion.

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Spanish clothing magnate Amancio Ortega, known for the Zara retail chain, maintained his third-ranked spot and came out ahead of famed U.S. investor Warren Buffett, who ranked fourth. Larry Ellison of Oracle came in fifth.

Forbes says a record 1,645 billionaires made the list this year, with an average net worth of $4.7 billion. That’s up from 1,426 billionaires last year with a net worth of $4.2 billion. Total net worth of this year’s list was $6.4 trillion, up from $5.4 trillion last year.

David Thomson and his family were the highest ranked Canadians at 27th on the list and the only one to crack the top 100 with a total value of $22.6 billion.

Galen Weston and family were 153rd with $8.5 billion and Jim Pattison was 184th with $7.3 billion.

The magazine said that 1,080 of the billionaires were self-made, 207 inherited their wealth and 352 inherited a portion but are still growing it.

The largest net worth gainer on the list was Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, who more than doubled his fortune to $28.5 billion as the value of his company’s stock soared. He ranks 21st on the list.

The social media giant helped bring a few notable newcomers to the list, including Facebook’s Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg and WhatsApp founders Jan Koum and Brian Acton, who recently sold their business to Facebook for $19 billion.

Forbes said 268 billionaires were new to the list, beating out a prior high of 226 newcomers in 2008. And a record number of women made the list this year, with 172 women joining, up 25 per cent from last year.

Altogether 100 people dropped out of the rankings, while 16 passed away.

The U.S. was the country with the greatest number of billionaires at 492, followed by China with 152 and Russia with 111. Billionaires from four new countries joined, adding Algeria, Lithuania, Tanzania and Uganda to the geographic mix.

University of Ottawa suspends men’s hockey program amid sex assault investigation

Video: The University of Ottawa has suspended its entire men’s hockey team over allegations of sexual assault. The incident happened more than a month ago, when the team was in Thunder Bay, and several players may be involved. Vassy Kapelos reports.

TORONTO – The University of Ottawa men’s varsity hockey program—including its coaches— has been suspended amid a sexual assault investigation.

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Thunder Bay Police believe the alleged sexual assault happened on the weekend of Feb. 1, when the Ottawa hockey team was in Thunder Bay for two scheduled Ontario University Athletics (OUA) division games against Lakehead University.

A Lakehead spokesperson was made aware of the situation Monday, and couldn’t confirm if the alleged incident involved a Lakehead student or took place on campus. The spokesperson said the university had not yet been contacted by police.

READ MORE: University of Ottawa student leader denounces ‘rape culture’ on Canadian campuses

The University of Ottawa would only say the Sports Services department received third party information on Feb. 24 about an unspecified incident involving allegations of serious misconduct on the part of some members of the Ottawa hockey team.

Thunder Bay Police became aware on Feb. 27, and are following up with “involved parties” with the help of the Ottawa Police Service, according to a release.

The hockey rink in the University of Ottawa’s Minto Sports Complex on March 3, 2014.

Vassy Kapelos / Global News

The university has launched an internal review into the Gee Gees hockey team.

“The University is deeply concerned that senior management was only informed about these allegations on February 24, and then by a third party. This will be among the matters examined in the review,” said the release.

Ottawa bartender Ashley Bowen works at the Draft Pub in the sports complex on campus, and said hockey players come into the bar all the time. Bowen said some players were there Friday, and “never showed any sign anything was off.”

Bowen was shocked at the suspension and said the young men were “like a family.”

Ottawa’s Draft Pub–where many Ottawa hockey players frequent–seen March 3, 2013.

Draft Pub Ottawa

Global News contacted members of the Gees Gees but didn’t immediately hear back.

Watch: University of Ottawa spokesman Patrick Charette on when the incident spurring the suspension of the varsity men’s hockey program occurred, and what will be looked at during the school’s internal review.

Police are asking anyone with information to call Thunder Bay Police Service (807) 684-1200, Ottawa Police Service Sexual Assault and Child Abuse Section at 613-236-1222 ext.5944 or Crime Stoppers 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or submit an anonymous web tip at 苏州纹眉学校tipsubmit苏州纹眉学校.

With files from Global News reporter Vassy Kapelos

Follow @Erker

©2014Shaw Media

Gluten-free tops Canada’s hottest food trends for 2014 – National

The local food movement and dark leafy superfoods have been usurped — gluten-free is Canada’s hottest food trend for 2014.

A new survey shows that the gluten-free, allergy-conscious food trend has firmly taken hold in the minds of Canadian restaurateurs and chefs.

According to the Canadian Digestive Health Foundation, more than 330,000 Canadians are believed to be affected by celiac disease (although only 110,000 have been diagnosed).

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The CDHF also says the rate of celiac disease in western countries has doubled in the last 25 years.

Celiac disease is a digestive disorder where the immune system reacts against gluten found in wheat and other grains. For those with celiac disease, exposure to gluten can cause a number of complications including vomiting, chronic diarrhea, chronic constipation, bloating and pain. Health Canada says the only way to avoid these symptoms is a “life-long gluten-free diet.”

“The Canadian diner has a heightened awareness of food intolerances, allergies and ingredients, and chefs are taking note,” said Garth Whyte, Restaurants Canada CEO.

More than 400 professional chefs participated in the annual Restaurants Canada Chef Survey.

Gluten-free knocked reigning food trend champion, the local food movement, from the top spot it held for the previous four years.

After being knocked out of the top ten, quinoa is back in the number two spot.

Top 10 hot food trends in Canada

    Gluten-free/food allergy consciousQuinoaLocally sourced foodsLeafy greens (e.g. kale, Swiss chard, mustard greens, collard greens, dandelion, beet greens)Craft beer/microbrewsFood smokingHeirloom fruit and vegetablesCharcuterie/ house-cured meatsFood trucksInexpensive/ underused cuts of meat (e.g. beef cheek, brisket, pork shoulder, skirt steak)

©2014Shaw Media

Crime in Fort McMurray lower than Canadian average: study

FORT MCMURRAY, Alta. – A study is suggesting that Alberta’s oilsands capital is not the wild and woolly, crime-ridden boomtown it’s sometimes painted to be.

“It seems clear, by looking carefully at the best available data, that crime is not rampant in the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo,” writes author Neil Boyd, head of criminology at Simon Fraser University in British Columbia.

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Municipal officials put out a call for someone to do a crime study in Fort McMurray after repeated magazine and news stories suggested the city was a dangerous place to live.

Boyd concluded that while “Fort McMoney” may have a bit of a cocaine problem, violent and property crimes are not only lower than national averages but are falling faster.

A British outlet said Fort McMurray was “synonymous with crime, an explosion in prostitution and the tough, young, bored single men with too much money and little to do, who are fuelling the chaos.” A Canadian magazine used official statistics to rank the city as the eighth most dangerous in Canada.

Those statistics are part of the problem, said Boyd, whose bid to conduct the study was chosen by the municipality.

Federal census figures don’t count Fort McMurray’s so-called “shadow population.” Including people who live in work camps in the area adds 80 per cent to the number, making a huge difference to the crime rate.

“We’re not calculating crime rates on the right population,” said Boyd.

He calculates Fort McMurray’s rates of break-and-enter, robbery and sex assault are substantially lower than seven other similar-sized cities. They are also lower than the Alberta and Canadian average. The city’s sex assault rate is slightly more than half the Alberta average and its robbery rate is three-quarters the provincial one.

And while crime is decreasing across Canada, it’s falling faster in Fort McMurray.

Boyd said his figures show the amount of all Criminal Code violations fell by 47 per cent between 2003-2012 in Fort McMurray. The Canadian average was 28 per cent.

Violent crime in Fort McMurray dropped 44 per cent over that time, said Boyd, while falling 17 per cent in the rest of the country.

The community’s rate of cocaine-related crime was almost four times the national average and its vehicle theft rate approached double. But other crimes such as marijuana possession or prostitution were in line with where they are elsewhere.

Boyd suggests the young, single men who flock to Fort McMurray are there for one reason — work.

“People are either eating, sleeping or working,” he said. “It’s that kind of a life when you’re in the camp.”

Boyd also credits the increasing prevalence of no-alcohol work camps for keeping crime down.

RCMP Supt. Bob Couture agrees that Fort McMurray isn’t the rowdy place it once was.

“It was probably a little rougher than it is today,” he said.

“We see huge improvements in our downtown. We had some well-known facilities that attracted bad behaviour. Those are closed, bulldozed and gone.”

Couture said that over the years “this has developed into a young, sustainable community. People are moving here to put down roots.”

Boyd guesses that the community of Fort McMurray gets tarred with the same brush that taints its main industry —the oilsands.

“People have environmental concerns about the oilsands and they bring those concerns to the community itself.”

Do Oscar winners live longer than nominees? The science on winning

TORONTO – Will Matthew McConaughey live well into his 90s with good old Oscar in his hands while Leonardo DiCaprio and Bradley Cooper wallow in their losses?

For over a decade, scientists have studied Oscar winners and losers. Their findings? Taking home the golden statue gives you four more years of life compared to your nominated peers. And the more you win, the longer you live.

Story continues below



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(There was no link between multiple nominations and multiple losses, as long as you won. That must be great news to Meryl Streep – she has 18 nominations and three Oscar wins.)

The first research was done at the University of Toronto in 2001. Some 1,600 Oscar-nominated actors and actresses were studied next to another 900 actors and actresses.

Noted epidemiologist Donald A. Redelmeier matched the actors up according to age and sex and who had appeared in the same films without being nominated.

“We wondered whether the Academy Awards might shed light on how social status affects all-cause mortality. We chose this event because it generates substantial attention,” the researchers wrote.

Turns out, most Oscar winners lived until 80 years old on average while second-place actors and those who weren’t even nominated at all died by 76, Business Insider reported.

If actors snagged a second trophy, they’d tack on another two years to their lives, marking a six-year disparity.

“We found that they died from the same things we all die from — cancer, heart disease, strokes — but they fought them a bit longer or their onset came a bit later,”  Redelmeier told ABC News.

He said that it was Gwyneth Paltrow and her tearful speech after her 1998 win that inspired him to conduct this research.

“She seemed so much more alive than any patient I had looked at in my practice,” Redelmeier told ABC. “She looked more full of life than anyone I had seen.”

Redelmeier also went on to study directors and found that if they won an Oscar, they’d live two years longer than their statue-less counterparts. Winning screenwriters didn’t find a boost in life longevity at all.

So what is it about the Oscar that extends a celebrity’s life? Redelmeier suggests it has to do with success and the high status that comes along with it.

“Movie stars are often subjected to personal scrutiny that far exceeds their dramatic achievements. They often need to preserve their image by continually avoiding disgraceful behaviours and maintaining exemplary conduct,” the researchers wrote in their now 13-year-old study.

They have managers, personal chefs, trainers, nannies and other staff working on their team. They need to deliver some wins to prop up their high status, the study suggests.

“The main implication is that higher status may be linked to lower mortality rates even at very impressive levels of achievement,” the researchers concluded.

But Redelmeier didn’t have the final word: a follow-up study in 2006 re-examined the study and came up with a totally different conclusion.

This time, a McGill University statistician said that the study was misunderstanding a key component, what’s called an “immortal time bias,” according to Forbes. It’s not that actors live longer, it’s just that they have more time to win an Oscar, the follow-up research suggested.

By 2011 – yes, this was studied for a third time – another journal article concluded: “There is not strong evidence that winning an Oscar increases life expectancy.”

In between this heated debate about winning Oscars and living longer, researchers also looked into the age differences between male and female nominees (women were always younger than male nominees) and what’s been dubbed the “Oscar curse.”

In that case, University of Toronto researchers said that a long line of best actress winners all saw the demise of their marriages shortly after taking home their awards. The list of broken marriages? Reese Witherspoon, Halle Berry, Kate Winslet and even Sandra Bullock.

But what does this mean for Cate Blanchett? The Blue Jasmine lead won the coveted best actress award Sunday night, and has been married to playwright Andrew Upton for 16 years.

[email protected]苏州纹眉学校
Follow @Carmen_Chai

©2014Shaw Media

Quebec government and doctors brace for Bill 20 hearings – Montreal

QUEBEC CITY – An explosive piece of legislation will land in MNAs’ laps next week. Bill 20 forcing doctors to work more hours or risk losing pay will be dissected in committee hearings starting Tuesday.

Health Minister Gaétan Barrette first tabled the bill on Nov. 28. In December, hundreds of general practitioners took part in emergency meetings in Montreal and Quebec City. They are outraged they would be required to take on a minimum of 1,000 patients or risk losing up to 30 per cent of their pay.

“The workload of a family physician in Quebec is 50 per cent higher than the workload of a family physician in Ontario or elsewhere in Canada,” said Louis Godin, President of the Quebec Federation of General Practitioners.

Barrette responded that on the contrary, 60 per cent of general practitioners in Quebec work less than 25 weeks a year.

Gaetan Barrette is pictured in Quebec City, August 12, 2012.

Jacques Boissinot/The Canadian Press

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    Family doctors in Quebec release ads against Bill20

On Friday, the Coalition Avenir Quebec (CAQ) predicted the war of numbers – and the emotion surrounding the issue – will make for an explosive debate at the National Assembly.

“We’ve talked about structures and governance, now we’re really heading into the crux of the matter – accessibility,” said the party’s Health Critic, François Paradis. “It’s an extremely important issue for Quebecers.”

The CAQ will suggest the minister instead adjust doctors’ pay according to the number of patients they see and change the law to allow doctors to delegate more work to paramedical staff. The opposition party will also ask that Bill 20 be split in two, because the other part of the bill – restricting access to in vitro – is equally important and needs to be thoroughly studied.

READ MORE: Quebec doctors say Bill 20 will jeopardize future of family medicine

“Our concerns are the ones that our members feel because they are part of the population, they’re the middle class, they want to have good health services,” said SPGQ union spokesperson Richard Perron.

Bill 20 proposes that in vitro fertilization be limited to women between the ages of 18 and 42. And even then, only artificial insemination would continue to be covered by medicare. All other procedures would have to be paid by the patient upfront, and tax credits would be offered.

READ MORE: Opinion: Bill 20 will turn every patient in Quebec into a number instead of a person

The PQ accused the Liberals Friday of bulldozing through their reforms.

“Currently, in all corners of Quebec, people feel they are not being consulted, they are being bulldozed,” said PQ MNA Harold LeBel.

Hearings kick off Tuesday with the Quebec Bar Association. At least 50 groups will be heard over the next four weeks.


City estimates Saskatoon’s population over quarter million – Saskatoon

SASKATOON – The city has estimated that Saskatoon’s population has topped a quarter million people by the beginning of March.

By using the latest Statistics Canada figures up to July 1, 2013 and applying a three per cent annual growth rate, city planners calculated the population reached around 253,000 as of Saturday.

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  • City launches website for shaping booming Saskatoon

“Based on the information from Statistics Canada, we have increased by a rate of 40.4 per thousand, which hasn’t been achieved by any other census metropolitan in more than 15 years,” said Alan Wallace, the city’s planning and development director.

“Our growing, thriving, economy and high quality of life make the city an attractive place for new residents and recent Canadians to call home.”

READ MORE: Saskatchewan population reaches new all-time high

Using the same calculation for the Saskatoon Census Metropolitan Area (CMA), which includes surrounding rural communities, it is estimated to have nearly reached 300,000.

Planners regularly calculate population estimates using StatsCan information to assist the city in identifying future needs.

Does Rob Ford’s California trip flout conduct rules? – Toronto

Watch the video above: Councillors worried mayor ‘set up’ by Kimmel. Jackson Proskow reports. 

TORONTO – Mayor Rob Ford’s trip to California for a late-night appearance on the Jimmy Kimmel show might put him at odds with the city’s integrity commissioner.

Councillor Denzil Minnan-Wong, who spearheaded an effort to strip the mayor of his powers, said Monday that when he was offered a plane ticket by CNN to appear on the network, the integrity commissioner told him it would violate the municipal code of conduct act.

Doug Ford told Global News Sunday that the Jimmy Kimmel show provided part of the cost for the trip that brought him, the mayor, their brother Randy and the mayor’s press secretary to California.

Watch: Rob Ford makes brief appearance on the Jimmy Kimmel show

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But Amin Massoudi, the mayor’s press secretary, said in an email that Kimmel only paid for one dinner.

The city’s code of conduct rules clearly states “no member shall accept a fee, advance, gift or personal benefit that is connected directly or indirectly with the performance of his or her duties in office.”

It’s not clear whether the trip or the alleged dinner partially paid for by the Jimmy Kimmel show qualify as a gift. The integrity commissioner has not confirmed whether the ticket qualifies as a prohibited gift.

Ford said Sunday their main priority while in Los Angeles, apart from appearing on Kimmel, is to promote Toronto as “Hollywood of the north.”

“Everyone we talk to, everyone the mayor talks to, we’re just promoting and pumping Toronto. Advertising on ABC is going at $1.8 million for every 30 seconds and we’re going to get more than 30 seconds I’ll tell you that,” Ford said in the telephone interview. “And if we’ve invited one person, we’ve invited ten thousand people to Toronto and we’re going to continue promoting the greatest city in the world.”

His brother, Mayor Ford, said he is looking “forward to meeting with some actors and actresses tonight and telling them how great [Toronto] is.”

The mayor has run afoul of the city’s code of conduct legislation before. Most notably, in 2010 when the city’s integrity commissioner, Janet Leiper, ruled the mayor had contravened the conflict of interest act by participating in the debate and vote in which he had a financial interest. The vote ended up being taken to court where the mayor was originally ousted from office before that decision was overturned through appeal.

©2014Shaw Media

The promise and peril of a connected world – National

BARCELONA, Spain – We’re in the beginning of a world in which everything is connected to the Internet and with one another, while powerful yet relatively cheap computers analyze all that data for ways to improve lives.

Toothbrushes tell your mirror to remind you to floss. Basketball jerseys detect impending heart failure and call the ambulance for you.

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  • Connected ‘things’ face hacking on Internet

At least that’s the vision presented this past week at the Mobile World Congress wireless show in Barcelona, Spain. The four-day conference highlighted what the tech industry has loosely termed “the Internet of things.”

Some of that wisdom is already available or promised by the end of the year.

Fitness devices from Sony and Samsung connect with your smartphones to provide digital records of your daily lives. French startup Cityzen Sciences has embedded fabric with heart-rate and other sensors to track your physical activities.

Internet-connected toothbrushes are coming from Procter and Gamble’s Oral-B business and from another French startup, Kolibree. The mirror part is still a prototype, but Oral-B’s smartphone app does tell you to floss.

Car makers are building in smarter navigation and other hands-free services, while IBM and AT&T are jointly equipping cities with sensors and computers for parking meters, traffic lights and water systems to all communicate.

Internet-connected products represent a growth opportunity for wireless carriers, as the smartphone business slows down in developed markets because most people already have service.

With the technological foundations here, the bigger challenge is getting people, businesses and municipalities to see the potential. Then there are security and privacy concerns – health insurance companies would love access to your fitness data to set premiums.

At a more basic level, these systems have to figure out a way to talk the same language. You might buy your phone from Apple, your TV from Sony and your refrigerator for Samsung. It would be awful to get left out because you aren’t loyal to a single company. Plus, the smartest engineers in computing aren’t necessarily the best in clothing and construction.

Expect companies to work together to set standards, much the way academic and military researchers created a common language decades ago for disparate computer networks to communicate, forming the Internet. Gadget makers are starting to build APIs – interfaces for other systems to pull and understand data.

Building everything is too much for a single company, yet “they want all this stuff to work together,” said Jim Zemlin, executive director of the Linux Foundation, a backer of the Tizen project for connecting watches, cars and more. Samsung’s new fitness watches will use Tizen, and tools have been built to talk with Samsung’s Android phones.

As for persuading customers, IBM executive Rick Qualman said the emphasis now is on pilot projects to demonstrate the benefits, such as better deployment of equipment and personnel during a natural disaster.

At the wireless show last week, Zelitron, a Greek subsidiary of Vodafone, showed how retailers can keep track of refrigerators used to dispense bottled drinks. The system tracks temperatures and inventory, and knows if a fridge is inadvertently unplugged.

Meanwhile, Cityzen hired athletes to demonstrate its connected fabric by playing basketball. Data get sent to a smartphone app using Bluetooth wireless technology.

Gilbert Reveillon, international managing director for Cityzen, said he’s had interest from a U.K. car insurance company and Chinese hospitals. Health data can tell you whether you’re fit to drive and can call paramedics in an emergency.

Some customers might worry about security, given recent breaches compromising credit and debit card numbers at Target and other major retailers.

Determined hackers seem to constantly find loopholes. Imagine someone spying on you remotely through security cameras in your home or tricking your home security system into believing your car is approaching, so it opens your garage door automatically.

AT&T emphasizes that it uses encryption and other safeguards for its connected services, which include security monitoring and energy-efficiency controls in homes. Glenn Lurie, AT&T’s president of emerging enterprises and partnerships, said the U.S. wireless carrier goes through extensive security certification and exceeds industry recommendations.

Reveillon said any data sharing by Cityzen will be in aggregate form, with users’ identities removed. He said individual users could decide to share more, but that would be up to them. He said French regulators are quite strict on that.

But U.S. regulation isn’t, and a government subpoena is typically enough to override any promises of privacy. Once the information is available, privacy advocates say, it’s tempting to find other uses for it.

Jonathan Zittrain, a law professor at Harvard University, said it’s difficult for people to say no when presented with immediate benefits because any potential problems are vague and years away.

“Information seems harmless and trivial at the moment, but can be recorded forever . and can be combined with other data,” he said. “I don’t think we’ve come to terms with that yet.”

©2014The Associated Press

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