New chair of TDSB; Home for the Games; China welcomes Canuck bacon but shuns pigs; Spend stimulus or lose it say Feds; Monbiot says Canada biggest climate change criminal; UK’s crack rape team; Rwandan genocide banker jailed; Brit sailors freed by Iran

My morning newscast for CIUT 89.5FM – listen to today’s Take 5 show – and my best newscast yet – here

In National News
Last night’s election of Bruce Davis as chair of Toronto District School Board promises to strengthen director Chris Spence’s ambitious plan to makeover the Board with ideas like an all-boys learning academy and a marketing campaign to lure students from private and overseas schools.

A new website – Home for the Games – is matching Whistler and Vancouver homeowners with 2010 Olympic visitors.  Half of the money from renting out their homes will go to B.C. charities for the homeless.

China has lifted its ban on Canadian pork product imports but live pigs are still locked out.  Industry experts say the ban will make little difference because of the rise of China’s homegrown, subsidized pork production industry.

Use it or lose it – Canadian provinces, cities and towns have two months to spend the $62 billion dollars allocated to them by the federal stimulus money or the government will take it back and give it to better shoppers.  The provision came as the Conservatives released their fourth budget update early this morning which found only a fraction of the stimulus cash has been spent.

Canada will cause the world to self destruct
One of the world’s leading climate change campaigners, Guardian columnist George Monbiot, says the harm Canada could do in the next two weeks will outweigh all the good it has done in a century. Monbiot teamed up with Elizabeth May in Toronto last night for the Munk Debate on the urgency of tackling climate change going head-to-head with naysayers Lord Nigel Lawson and Bjorn Lomborg.

He says Canada’s government is about as sophisticated as “a chimpanzee’s tea party” when it comes to the environment and derides it as a “corrupt petro-state.”

He says Canada is the only government to abandon its Kyoto greenhouse gas targets and its anticipated refusal to be punished for doing so make it the nation that is the biggest threat to climate change because it renders the Kyoto agreement null and void.

Roll this together with Canada’s tar sands industry and Monbiot claims the biggest threat to a world peace is not Iran, Saudi Arabia or China – it’s us.

In World News
Scotland Yard says its new $1.4 million dollar, 27-person unit is the biggest rape investigation squad in the world.  The crack team promises to clean up Britian’s horrendous response to rape investigations – the conviction rate for rape in the UK is about six percent.

In Brussels yesterday… Ephrem Nkezabera, known as the genocide banker, has been sentenced to 30 years in prison for war crimes committed during the 1994 Rwandan massacre.

NATO welcomed yesterday’s announcement by U.S. President Barack Obama’s to send 30,000 more troops to Afghanistan and says it hopes other NATO countries will follow suit.

Iran has released five British soldiers that it snatched last Wednesday after they claimed the crew of the Kingdom of Bahrain racing yacht veered into Iranian waters.

Honourable Mentions
Girl Guides’ new motto: We’ll fight if we have to
Celebrating the beginning of the end of bottled water in Canada

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