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Truscott Appeal Live



CBC to televise Truscott appeal live

Last Updated: Thursday, January 18, 2007 | 11:15 AM ET CBC News

The next phase of Steven Truscott’s appeal of his 1959 murder conviction will be broadcast live from the Ontario Court of Appeal, the province’s attorney general says.

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Jaaroverzicht 2006


NOS JOURNAAL – Jaaroverzicht 2006

Sorry this is in Dutch. It is the yearly news recap for 2006. It includes a month by month report, weblogs, and the winner of the news man/women of the year.

News man/women of the year – First place went to the soldiers in Afghanistan, second place to Jan Marijnisen of the Socialistic Party for the building of his party from 9 to 25 seats and third place to Pieter van Vollenhoven, chairman of the ‘investigation into safety committee’ that put together the report for the fire at Schiphol airport that resulted in 11 deaths (of detainees) from the fire, and the resignation of two ministers.

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New Train Schedule


A million travelers will be confronted with the new NS train schedule today. The new schedule went into effect Dec 10th.

So far this morning there has been no incidents and the busiest train station in The Netherlands, Utrecht, reports “business as usual”. There are no reports of chaos.

Passengers are taking a bit longer reading the boards to check out the schedule and there is more NS personnel to assist and answer questions.

Some late departures were reported in several cities. (

*added: Reports came in later of hundreds of complaints, mostly involving the poor coordination of trains and local city busses.

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Traffic Jams


There was 450 kilometer traffic jams throughout Holland this morning due to heavy rain and high winds.

Road works on the A16 towards Rotterdam and an accident on the A2 did not help the situation.

The NS (railroad) changed their schedule yesterday and it looks like people drove their cars instead of taking a chance on being late or stranded. The ANWB do not believe this to be the case. (RTL)

Yesterday my step son had to wait at least half an hour for a bus that was ordered well ahead of time. They also changed companies and it was total chaos. There was much confusion when Johan made the call and I just had a feeling it was going to go wrong.

If you need a bus traveling out of town on a Sunday, you need to phone and make a reservation.

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Wrinkle Fillers

An Argentine doctor was charged and sentenced to 18 months in prison for practicing without a US license and giving illegal injections for wrinkles.

He charged thousands of dollars for injections of substances consistent with industrial grade silicone, used to lubricate auto parts, as well as medical grade silicone which is used for some eye surgeries but is not approved as wrinkle filler.

His clients included Lionel Richie, Richie’s ex-wife Diane and Shawn King, the wife of CNN talk-show host Larry King, according to court papers.

Prosecutors say he gave the illegal injections at various places, including parties, where up to 30 wealthy clients sipped cocktails and were injected with silicone smuggled into the U.S.

He earned a total of US 1.6 Million from 2001 to 2004. (CBC)

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Public Sector Spending (Canada)


Man this is wild!

Leather jackets, DVDs, flowers, chocolates and all-inclusive trips to the Caribbean are just a few of the credit card expenses worth millions that public-sector workers racked up at taxpayer expense, according to Ontario’s auditor general.

Jim McCarter reported Tuesday that few of the suspicious charges claimed by provincial employees such as teachers, power corporation executives and children’s aid society executives were backed up by any credit card slips.

Some examples from the report:

* Hydro One staff bought $127 million worth of goods and services, and Ontario Power Generation staff spent $6.5 million without documentation.
* One Hydro One employee spent $50,000 on items mostly for her boss’s personal use.
* A teacher bought $4,000 in DVDs, eyeglasses and Christmas lights while on school break.
* One employee bought $48 in flowers and sent them to herself on her birthday.
* OPG managers spent $300,000 on gifts, including 40 leather jackets worth $8,000.
* One teacher spent $52,000 over two years, including $4,000 on DVDs, eyeglasses and Christmas lights.
* Another teacher charged $11,000 over two years, including $2,800 on candies, chocolates and household supplies
* Executives at one Children’s Aid Society bought SUVs worth up to $59,000 and trips to an all-inclusive resort in the Caribbean.

McCarter alleges even legitimate expenses sometimes resulted in some costly improper spending. Hydro One contracted a company to do work worth $120,000. Without competitive bidding, the contract ballooned over eight years to $6.7 million, McCarter reports.

He noted that policies are in place to prevent any use of taxpayer funds, and he blamed the abuses on poor supervision.

“It would be management not doing its job,” he said.

More Ont. health cards than people?

McCarter raised alarm bells over an allegation there are 300,000 more health cards in the province than there are people.

According to the report, most of the extra cards belong to people supposedly in the Toronto area or near the U.S. border, and McCarter estimated the users of the extra cards could be defrauding the public of $150 million every year.

Health Minister George Smitherman immediately refuted figures in the report, saying the ministry’s numbers indicate there are 400,000 fewer health cards than the figure in the report.

That means the number of OHIP cards roughly matches the Ontario population, Smitherman said. (CBC)

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World Mayor Awards

Job Cohen

City Mayors

Job Cohen, mayor of Amsterdam is runner-up of World Mayor 2006.

In 2nd place:
Job Cohen, Mayor of Amsterdam, Netherlands
Job Cohen, Mayor of Amsterdam, boasts an enviable record in national and city politics, academia and broadcasting, with plaudits from a range of opinion makers for his inclusive approach to politics and city life. In 2005, Cohen was named one of Time magazine’s ‘European Heroes’ for his stand on the notorious murder of film-maker Theo van Gogh in an Amsterdam street in November 2004. Cohen led the city’s people in street protests, calling for unity and tolerance. Since the murder, which Cohen himself was targeted by the assassin, the mayor has sought to bring together the capital’s immigrant communities to facilitate dialogue against extremism, both by and directed at Muslim immigrants, in order to maintain its famous reputation for tolerance and liberal attitudes. In an essay, which opens with lines from Jacque Brel’s ‘In the port of Amsterdam’, Mayor Cohen writes: “Amsterdam, a modern city with all the problems, opportunities and, above all, its special aspects, is one of the smallest ‘world cities’. Some 170 nationalities make up its 750,000 inhabitants.” One commentator agreed wholeheartedly: “In a city like Amsterdam, with citizens from over 170 national backgrounds and an equally diverse ethnic population, the importance of understanding ethnic relations and their sensitivities cannot be overestimated. Among many Amsterdam people, there have been serious suggestions for Mr Cohen to take up the candidacy for Prime Minister. I’m convinced that Mr Cohen’s role as a mayor will be remembered for a very long time after he completes his term, in a positive way. It would be very good if he became the winner of World Mayor 2006, because it would mean a boost to those who work for harmony and peace – which in the current trends are not widely appreciated by the popular media.”

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