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  • admin 13:39 on 29/07/2019  

    AMMAN, JORDAN – It’s not every day you hear a rap song about public health insurance.

    But for Jordanian artist Amer Al-Taher, shouting lyrics about contradictions Jordan’s health care system is an important public service.

    “I have to give them something helpful for their lives,” he says.

    Story continues below

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    The 26-year-old rapper weaves political messages into his songs, often drawing audiences to a concert with raps about more ordinary topics (“silly commercial songs” as he puts it) and then hitting them with lyrics about issues that affect everyday life.

    Hence the rap about health insurance.

    “When I have the flu, you give me free medicine, but when I need surgery, I should pay for this. How do you expect me to pay for this, while I’m asking you to give me medicines for my flu?”

    And, he says, audiences respond.

    “Whenever I drop a punch line, people are like, ‘Ah!’” he says. “They love that.”

    “We’re not trying to get people out to the streets and cheer for removing the king or whatever,” he says. (Insulting the royal family is illegal in Jordan. Al-Taher, like most others, is careful to abide by that rule)

    “I wish Jordan stays how it is. I don’t have a problem whatsoever with our main politics.”

    Instead, he says he’s interested in improving the standards of living.

    Rap is a great way to spread this message, he thinks: People remember rhymes and verse – he points to the Koran as an example.

    “I believe that rhymes touch you. It can deliver you a specific message,” he says. It’s why he started writing poetry as a teenager in Saudi Arabia, and why he raps now.

    “I can’t be this selfish rapper who talks about myself, my life,” he says. Instead, “I’m trying to help them with my words, to ask for their rights.”

    WATCH: Eskenderella music video for the song “Safha Gedida” – which translates to “A New Page.”

    Before Egypt’s revolution, Alexandrian folk-rockers Eskenderella played songs critical of then-President Hosni Mubarak’s regime. The 13-member band participated in protests in Cairo’s Tahrir Square and elsewhere, both as musicians and as protestors.

    Now that Abdel Fattah al-Sisi – a general under Mubarak who led the overthrow of Egypt’s first elected president, the Muslim Brotherhood’s Mohammed Morsi – is in charge, people aren’t interested in those kinds of critical songs any more, says Hazem Shaheen, the band’s lead singer and oud player.

    So the band sang instead about people’s courage during the revolution, and how they have transformed.

    Music should reflect the circumstances that people live in, Shaheen says.

    The revolution was like “witnessing the birth of a totally new humankind to the Earth,” he says, through a translator.

    Shaheen sees himself as a musician and artist first, however.

    “I think the art is the revolution.”

    Eskenderella’s reinterpretation of traditional songs and poetry is revolutionary, he says, because it’s different than the standard pop that people usually listen to. He hopes that people will listen to better music instead, because “that will be nutrition for the soul.”

    Still, he feels politics has a special place right now in Middle Eastern music.

    “The world will be shaped by the revolutions happening in this region. So that’s why you will find lots of politics and music and they are intermingling together.”

    Continue reading For young Middle East musicians, music is political – National
     
  • admin 13:39 on 29/07/2019  

    REGINA – Most of us have been there, clicking through our inboxes and seeing one unsolicited e-mail after the other.

    Canada’s anti-spam legislation comes into effect on July 1, and you may already be seeing e-mails from businesses asking if they can continue sending you messages.

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    Related

      Spam, spam, spam: Canada’s new email law may pose challenges

    • Consumers about to get protection from spam email

    Under the CASL, if companies don’t have consent, they could face millions of dollars in fines – though enforcement may not be easy, according to University of Regina computer science professor David Gerhard.

    “A lot of our spam comes from places like Russia or Nigeria, for example,” said Gerhard. “Even though this law should apply to those places, it’s going to be very difficult to hold those places to account using this law.”

    There are exemptions for groups like the Alzheimer Society, which sends items like a newsletter to about 7,000 people in Saskatchewan.

    They don’t require the same permissions businesses do, but the society’s chief executive officer, Joanne Bracken, says it is important for charities to only e-mail what applies to each individual.

    “If somebody contacted us about wanting to access our programs and services, we would only send them information about programs and services,” Bracken said. “We wouldn’t necessarily start sending them fundraising solicitations.”

    When you buy something online and provide your e-mail address, some companies may take advantage of that ‘implied consent’ and blast you with e-mails you don’t want.

    The one thing everyone must provide – is a way out.

    “Every e-mail that gets sent has to have that big ‘unsubscribe’ button, and you should just be able to click,” Gerhard said.

    Continue reading New anti-spam law may not kill all unwanted e-mails – Regina
     
  • admin 13:39 on 29/07/2019  

    Watch above: Canadian Tire teams with CHEP to provide fresh food to the community

    SASKATOON – It wasn’t the most ideal day to build a community garden but the rain didn’t stop a number people and organizations from getting their hands dirty on Wednesday.

    Over 75 volunteers helped Fiskars, an American leader in the lawn and garden industry, with it’s Project Orange Thumb.

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    Related

    • City selling plant waste to Saskatoon gardeners

      Saskatoon Food Bank looking for gardeners

    “We go to under-served communities around Canada and around North America and this is our way as being leaders in the garden business to give back and pay it forward,” said Fiskars president Paul Tonnesen.

    Canadian Tire has partnered with Fiskars since 2007.

    “We’ve done Vancouver, we’ve done Calgary, we’ve done Toronto, Ottawa, Halifax and now Saskatoon,” said Michael Magennis, Canadian Tire seasonal and gardening vice president.

    The 6,000 square foot park in the Meadowgreen neighbourhood has some brown patches but before you know it, there will be a lot of green.

    Fruits, vegetables, flowers, trees and shrubs are expected to grow in over 30 garden beds.

    “It’s a great way for communities to come together and for people to come out get some exercise, learn about growing things, about eating healthy,” said Magennis.

    “I think the reason this site was successful, was the big element of a wide variety of people from a lot of different backgrounds. That was important for them and the demand for the garden space,” said Gord Androsoff, CHEP Good Food Inc. community garden coordinator.

    Meadowngreen becomes the 34th community garden in Saskatoon, a growing trend in the Bridge City.

    Since 2007, Fiskars has helped build 17 gardens in North America.

    Continue reading Organizations team up to provide fresh produce for Saskatoon – Saskatoon
     
  • admin 13:39 on 29/07/2019  

    WASHINGTON – General Motors employee Laura Andres was driving a 2006 Chevrolet Impala home when she hit a bump in the road. The engine stalled, and the Impala came to a dead stop. The car behind her had to swerve to avoid a collision. Andres took the car into the shop, and a technician identified the most likely culprit as a faulty ignition switch.

    In an email to 11 GM colleagues, she wrote: “I think this is a serious safety problem … I’m thinking big recall.”

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    Andres wrote the email Aug. 30, 2005. The Impala was finally recalled Monday – eight and a half years after she sounded the alarm. GM said a key with too much weight on it can cause the switch to move from “run” to “accessory” and stall the engine.

    READ MORE: GM recalls 3.4M more cars due to ignition switch problems

    Still, Andres warning came back to haunt GM Wednesday in a congressional hearing into faulty ignition switches that have been linked to 13 deaths and have forced GM to recall 2.6 million small cars, such as the Chevrolet Cobalt and Saturn Ion.

    Rep. Fred Upton, R-Mich., confronted GM Chief Executive Mary Barra with Andres’ email.

    “I was driving 45 mph when I hit the pothole and the car shut off,” Andres wrote. “I don’t like to imagine a customer driving with their kids in the back seat, on I-75 and hitting a pothole, in rush hour traffic.”

    Upton asked Barra what GM would do with such an email if it were sent today. Barra said the company would “take immediate action” if a faulty part caused the car to stall. She said GM’s worldwide recall Monday of 3.4 million large cars, including 2006-2014 Impalas, showed how the company now reacts.

    It was less responsive in 2005. Andres’ warning was brushed off by GM engineer Ray DeGiorgio, who replied that he had recently driven an ’06 Impala and “did not experience this condition.” He also noted that the Impala had “a completely different column/ignition switch” than the ones that were causing the Pontiac Solstice and other small GM cars to stall.

    READ MORE: 10 largest GM recalls this year

    An internal GM investigation, conducted by former prosecutor Anton Valukas and released to the public June 5, concluded that DeGiorgio alone approved the use of switches in the small cars that didn’t meet company specifications. It also found that years later he ordered a change to a new switch without alerting anyone else at GM. DeGiorgio was one of 15 GM employees dismissed in connection with the recall.

    GM declined to disclose any information about Andres’ position with the company when she wrote the email.

    AP Business Writers Marcy Gordon in Washington and Tom Krisher in Detroit contributed to this story

    ©2014The Canadian Press

    Continue reading GM employee saw ‘serious safety problem’ 8 1/2 years before latest recall – National
     
  • admin 13:39 on 29/07/2019  

    UPDATE: The Craft Beer Market at the Olympic Village re-opened at 11 a.m. Thursday morning after being closed Wednesday afternoon due to norovirus.

    Story continues below

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    “CRAFT Beer Market has worked diligently with VCH to ensure all necessary steps have been made to ensure our guest safety and at 11 a.m. this morning we were cleared by Vancouver Coastal Health to re-open the restaurant, says Scott Frank, Owner and operator. “CRAFT’s focus throughout this process has been the health and safety of our guests and staff. Under the direction of VCH we will open our doors to the public at 11 a.m. today.”

    Previous story:

    VANCOUVER – Norovirus has caused the popular Vancouver restaurant, Craft Beer Market, to temporarily close.

    Vancouver Coastal Health says inspectors were called to the restaurant in the Olympic Village earlier in the week after receiving reports six patrons had fallen ill. They ordered the closure today.

    The cause of the illness was employees who were ill and went to work.

    The restaurant says they are now sanitizing and will re-open when it is safe to do so, which may be in a few days.

    On their Facebook page Craft Beer Market posted:

    We take the health and safety of our guests and team members very seriously. A couple of our team members haven’t been feeling well and as a precautionary measure we have closed the restaurant as we work with Coastal Health to identify and rectify any areas of concern. Please note that no causes have been identified at this time. We will keep you posted as the day goes on. Thank you for you understanding and patience.

    However, Vancouver Coastal Health confirmed the cause to Global News as norovirus. They would like to remind food handlers to not report to work if they are feeling ill.

    Continue reading Popular Vancouver restaurant re-opens after closure due to norovirus

     
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