• RCMP stepping up presence in 2 Martensville school zones
    RCMP stepping up presence in 2 Martensville school zones
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    MARTENSVILLE, Sask. – RCMP are receiving numerous public complaints about traffic safety near two schools in Martensville, Sask. Their goal is to keep children safe but officers are having trouble getting the message across to drivers.

    Over the last several months, residents have raised concerns in the school zones of Valley Manor Elementary School and Venture Heights Elementary School.

    Traffic concerns include illegal u-turns, vehicles stopped in the middle of the street to let students out and motorists passing school buses while the stop arm is deployed.

    In response, Mounties have partnered up with school administrators and Martensville bylaw enforcement and have increased their presence in these high-risk areas.

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  • Scholarship supports U of S grad student’s career aspirations
    Scholarship supports U of S grad student’s career aspirations
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    “I developed my passion for agriculture growing up on a small farm near Fairlight, in southeast Saskatchewan,” says Andrea De Roo, a graduate student in the College of Agriculture and Bioresources. “The hard work was challenging at times – but I loved every bit of it.”

    It was this passion that brought Andrea to study plant sciences at the University of Saskatchewan. “My research focuses on cleaver weeds in Western Canada,” she explains. “As I learn more about this species my project expands. In fact, it’s grown so much that I hope to convert my master’s thesis into a PhD soon.”

    Andrea notes that she wouldn’t have been able to pursue her educational and career goals without the scholarship support she received. She says, “I had high grades in school and wanted to continue to study, so moving to Saskatoon to study agriculture at the U of S was an easy decision for me – but paying for it was going to be another story.”

    Fortunately, Andrea received student award funding, including an award from the

    Douglas Christie Ferguson Fund, which was established through a bequest gift. “It’s had a profound effect on my life, my studies and my career,” she says. “There is absolutely no way I would be where I am today without this support,” she adds.

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  • Schools work for 21st Century
    Schools work for 21st Century
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    Working towards integration programs for a new generation, Elk Island Public Schools students had the chance to scratch their technological itch.

    More than 300 students from across the division joined to program their own stories, games, and animations during the third annual Scratch Day on April 10 at Sherwood Park’s Bev Facey Community High School.

    Scratch day allows students from Grade 4 to 9 to focus on activities and tasks designed to enhance their computer coding skills.

    Scratch, a drag-and-drop software tool, introduces students to computational thinking and coding processes, and tasks them with redesigning games, creating animations, and coding digital stories.

    “We’ve been hosting Scratch Day now for three years and the response has been amazing,” said David Hay, Scratch Day event coordinator. “It’s a fun day for students that also reinforces learning by focusing on creativity, visual learning, and ways to break down logical steps.”

    read more here.

  • Two Sask First Nations get school construction dollars
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    WHITECAP DAKOTA FIRST NATION — Two Saskatchewan First Nations are among 11 across Canada chosen for school renovations and construction as the federal government acts on its 2014 budget promise to spend $500 million over seven years for on-reserve schools.

    On Thursday, an excavator moved earth for new classrooms to be built onto the Whitecap Elementary School, which will be part of $5.5 million worth of renovations and new construction for the flourishing First Nation just south of Saskatoon.

    The two classrooms and renovations to the 19-year-old Kindergarten to Grade 4 school will cost $2.8 million, Chief Darcy Bear said.

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  • Scholarship supports U of S grad student’s career aspirations
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    “I developed my passion for agriculture growing up on a small farm near Fairlight, in southeast Saskatchewan,” says Andrea De Roo, a graduate student in the College of Agriculture and Bioresources. “The hard work was challenging at times – but I loved every bit of it.”

    It was this passion that brought Andrea to study plant sciences at the University of Saskatchewan. “My research focuses on cleaver weeds in Western Canada,” she explains. “As I learn more about this species my project expands. In fact, it’s grown so much that I hope to convert my master’s thesis into a PhD soon.”

    read more here.

  • Lower the risk of heart disease
    Lower the risk of heart disease
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    The cause of heart disease mostly occurs when the arteries thickens. Some causes for heart disease are not preventable such as family, sex or age while there are some things you can do to prevent heart disease. Living healthy today will help to avoid heart disease in future. Take it upon yourself to do something to prevent heart disease other than accepting the myth that heart disease cannot be prevented. Thanks to Toronto Plastic Surgeon: Dr. Martin Jugenburg we are happy to share the following ways to prevent heart disease:

    1. Avoid smoking


    If you have not started smoking, please don’t start and if you are at it please stop. This is because smoking causes narrowing of your arteries. The smoke in the cigarettes contains carbon monoxide which has affinity than oxygen. It replaces oxygen in your blood and this will increase the blood pressure as the heart to supply insufficient oxygen to your body. The more you smoke the higher the higher the chances you have to contact heart disease. Avoid staying close to people who smoke as you will experience what is known as passive smoking. The moment you quit smoking you reduce the risk of getting cardiovascular disease.

    1. Put exercise in your daily to-do list


    Every day we have a routine that we follow. For healthy living we should set aside 30 minutes for exercising. You don’t have to exercise for long so as to get results. It is better to consult your doctor and know which type of exercise will work for you. There are simple exercises that will keep you fit such as walking up the stairs, walking, doing household chores. To prevent heart diseasesconsider exercising for at least 30 minutes every day.



    1. Check your diet


    The type of food you take also affects the risk of getting heart disease. Consider eating a diet that is rich in fruits, vegetables and fibers. Fish and other sources of protein that is low on fat such as beans can reduce the risk. Eat food that is low in fat and cholesterol and you will reduce the risk of getting heart disease.


    1. Take charge of your weight


    In order to lower the chances of high blood pressure it is recommended to lose your weight. Obese people are at the risk of getting heart disease. That is why you should consider taking measures that will reduce your weight. In women abdominal obesity increases the chances of getting cardiovascular disease. Ask your doctor what you are supposed to do in order to lose weight. Losing weight is not a process that takes a day but with dedication you can succeed. If you were looking for plastic surgeons that have actual reviews, there are plenty online, and a fast and fashionable way of losing weight is through plastic surgery.


    1. Find ways of managing your anger and stress


    This life is full of up and downs and there times that we will get angry. You can be stressed out by different issues, which is normal. This does not mean that you should stay stressed and angry for long. This life is short and being stressed will only make it shorter. Don’t waste your time comparing costs of breast augmentation, instead find ways on how you are going to manage your stress. Research shows that when you are stressed you increase the chances of getting hypertension, ulcers and asthma. Avoid being stressed for long and reduce the chances of getting heart disease.

  • Global WTO competition for law students won by the University of Melbourne
    Global WTO competition for law students won by the University of Melbourne
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    The team of the University of Melbourne has won the fifth annual ELSA Moot Court Competition on WTO Law for law students in Geneva yesterday, after beating the team from the University of Hong Kong.

    Organised by the European Law Students’ Association (ELSA), the competition brings together students from around the world each year to contest a case based on the legal system and case law of the World Trade Organization – the global treaty that governs world trade and commerce.

    This year, the case for the competition was on the topic of intellectual property rights and access to essential medicines – one of the most contentious issues in world trade in the past decade. Participating teams played out a dispute between two WTO members – one setting aside a pharmaceutical patent (respondent), the other challenging this on behalf of its industry (complainant).

    Under World Trade Organization rules, a country can sidestep patents by issuing a “compulsory license” – a legal mechanism that allows a country to manufacture or importgeneric versions of patented drugs for public health and national emergencies while paying the patent holder only a small royalty.

    The global finals last week were the culmination of months of national and regional rounds, with eighteen teams from universities in EuropeNorth AmericaLatin America andAsia-Pacific winning a trip to Geneva for the final round. The first semi final was contested by the University of Sydney and the University of Melbourne, while University of Hong Kong and Georgetown University fought out the second semi final.

    In the grand final at the WTO Centre William Rappard, the University of Melbourne acted for complainant, the Government of Costo (imaginary developed WTO member), while the University of Hong Kong defended the position of the Government of Factoril (imaginary developing WTO member) – respondent in the matter.

    After the two and a half hours of intense debates, the Grand Panel, including Gabrielle Marceau from the WTO Secretariat, Jayashree Watal from the WTO Intellectual Property Division and Werner Zdouc from the WTO Appellate Body Secretariat, decided in favour of complainant. The arguments submitted in favour of protecting the intellectual property rights of the pharmaceutical patent holder were deemed to be better structured and presented which led to the University of Melbourne winning the competition.

    “The subject of the TRIPS Agreement and Public Health has raised a wide range of issues in the public debate. I think the ELSA Moot Court gave a timely opportunity to bright, young lawyers involved with WTO law to reflect upon and debate the complex legal and political issues raised by this subject,” said Jatashree Watal, Counsellor, WTO Intellectual Property Division.

    The students’ debates during the final round in Geneva coincided with the decision of the Government of Brazil to put patients’ interests before patent holder’s interests and issue compulsory license on important AIDS drug. Some parties believe that the economic interests cannot be compared with saving human lives and protecting the public health while others would prefer a more balanced approach to this matter.

  • League table of world universities published: top three from USA
    League table of world universities published: top three from USA
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    The Academic Ranking of World Universities was published for 2007 by Shanghai Jiao Tong University in China. This year the top four universities are HarvardStanford,Berkeley, and Cambridge, compared to last year Cambridge has slipped from second to fourth place with the order of the top three U.S. universities unchanged.

    The league tables began in 2003 as an effort to measure the gap between Chinese and “World class” universities. In 2007 the highest ranking Chinese University is Tsinghua University at equal 151–202nd place, an improvement from 201–250th place in 2003.

    The ranking takes account of factors such as the number of Nobel laureates, highly cited authors and publications in the journals of Nature and Science. Its authors admit that the methodology is skewed towards science over arts and humanities and favours English speaking countries. In the top 19 all are from the U.S. except Oxford and Cambridge from the UK, with Tokyo at 20th the first university from a non-English speaking country.

  • Intel ends partnership with One Laptop Per Child program
    Intel ends partnership with One Laptop Per Child program
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    Microprocessor company Intel Corporation has quit the board of directors for the One Laptop Per Child association (OLPC), a non-profit organization that aims to provide children in developing countries with inexpensive laptops. An Intel spokesman cited a “philosophical impasse” as the reason for the split.

    Intel joined the OLPC board in July 2007, agreeing to give financial and technological support to the project. Development began on a new laptop using an Intel processor rather than the current processor made by Advanced Micro Devices, a rival of Intel. A prototype of this machine was expected to be unveiled at the Consumer Electronics Show in Les VegasNevada, which begins in a few days.

    According to Intel spokesman Chuck Mulloy, OLPC had repeatedly asked Intel to abandon its support for the Classmate PC, a similar laptop designed for children in developing countries, and focus entirely on the OLPC program. “At the end of the day, we decided we couldn’t accommodate that request,” Mulloy said.

    OLPC President Walter Bender said in an interview that Intel’s resignation will have “no impact” on the program. “We never really got much going with Intel to have an impact,” Bender said. He criticized Intel for a “seemingly half-hearted effort” in developing the new laptops and for using the agreement to make “marketing statements”.

  • Wikipedia for Schools goes online
    Wikipedia for Schools goes online
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    Monday saw the latest edition of the vetted version of Wikipedia, which is aimed at educational use, go quietly online. The extensively revised version covers over five thousand topics, targeting the eight to seventeen years age group. Partnerships with the Shuttleworth Foundation and the Hole in the Wall project will see it distributed in South Africa andIndia as well as copies being available globally via the offices of SOS Children UK’s umbrella organisation, SOS Kinderdorf worldwide.

    First launched in 2006 as a 4,000 article edition, the extract of Wikipedia has employed hi-tech distribution methods, as well as offering a website version which has steadily climbed up in ranking to above other reviewed Wikipedia rivals and copies; the 2007 version was available on theBitTorrent peer to peer network to keep distribution costs down and was equivalent to a fifteen-volume printed encyclopedia. Monday’s release is compared to a twenty-volume print edition.


    Our goal is to make Wikipedia accessible to as many people as possible around the world, and SOS Children is a great partner that helps us make that happen.

    —Sue Gardner, Wikimedia Executive Director

    Key to the process for selecting articles is the English National Curriculum and similar educational standards around the world. The initial vision was to bring this wealth of knowledge to schools where access to the Internet was poor or unavailable, but copies of Wikipedia for Schools can be found on many first world school intranets and web servers. Among the compelling reasons to adopt the project are the vetting and additional study materials which overcome the oft-publicised concerns many educators have with the million article plusWikipedia that anyone can edit.


    In today’s press release announcing the launch, Wikimedia Foundation Executive Director Sue Gardnerexpressed delight at seeing the project bring out a new version, “Our goal is to make Wikipedia accessible to as many people as possible around the world, and SOS Children is a great partner that helps us make that happen. Wikipedia is released under a free content license so that individuals and institutions can easily adapt, reuse and customize its content: we encourage others, like SOS Children, to do exactly that.”

    Running 192 schools in the developing world, SOS Children sees Wikipedia for Schools as a key piece in fulfilling the educational aspect of their mission. SOS Children’s Chairwoman, Mary Cockcroft gave us an introduction and, a Wikipedia administrator himself, the charity’s CEO Andrew Cates spoke to Wikinews at length about the project.


    You are part of SOS-Kinderdorf International, can you explain a little about how this works in terms of distributing funds raised in the UK and involving UK citizens in work outside the country?

    Mary Cockcroft: SOS Children[‘s Villages] is a “club” of member charities in 130 countries helping orphans and vulnerable children. The club elects SOS-Kinderdorf International as secretary. SOS is a large organisation whose members in aggregate turned over $1bn in 2007, and whose projects include owning and running 192 schools and family-based care for 70,000 children. However much of these funds are raised locally, with for example the member charities in each of India, Pakistan and South Africa raise considerably more funds in their own country than SOS UK does from the UK. Nonetheless SOS Children UK principally raises funds to finance projects in the developing world, and has only financially small projects in the UK (such as the Schools Wikipedia, which is very low cost because of extensive use of volunteers). This year we expect about 80% of our UK income will leave the UK for overseas SOS associations, and some of the remaining 20% will pay for project oversight. We do not spend money in the UK on Direct Mail or TV advertising. Our UK office is involved in overseeing projects we finance and a small number of high-skilled volunteers from the UK help overseas. However around 98% of SOS staff worldwide are local nationals, as are most volunteers.

    Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png How much work does the UK charity actually carry out within the home country? Are there failings within the government system for orphans and other needy children that you feel obliged to remedy?

    MC: We are deeply unhappy about the situation of children in out-of-home care in the UK. However our care model of 168 hour-a-week resident mothers does not fit with the UK philosophy for children without parental care. Internationally SOS always has a policy of sharing best practice and we are working to improve understanding of our way of working, which appears to us to have far better outcomes than the existing one in the UK. Ultimately though the legal responsibility for these children lies with government and we cannot remedy anything without their invitation.

    Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Who first came up with the idea of doing a vetted Wikipedia extract? What was the impetus? Was it more for the developing world than first world?

    Andrew Cates: I honestly cannot remember who first suggested it, but it came from somewhere in the Wikipedia community rather than from the charity. The original product was very much pitched at the developing world where the Internet is only available if at all over an expensive phone line. I worked in West Africa 1993-1996 and I know well at how thirsty for knowledge people are and how ingenious they will be in overcoming technical obstacles if the need for infrastructure is removed.

    Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png In reading past year’s announcements there’s some pride in the project being picked up and used in the first world, was this expected or a pleasant surprise?

    AC: It was a pleasant surprise. I don’t think we had realised what the barriers schools faced in using the main Wikipedia were. It isn’t just pupils posting material about teachers or meeting strangers: the “Random Article” button on every page could potentially deliver an article on hardcore porn. We had already started when discussion broke on banning Wikipedia from classrooms and I am sure we benefited from it.

    Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Can you give an outline of the selection and vetting process? Is it primarily Wikipedians working on this, or are people from the educational establishment brought in?

    AC: It was a long and painful process, even with a really good database system. Articles were taken into the proposal funnel from three main sources: direct proposals for inclusion from Wikipedians, lists which came from the Release Version team and proposals drawn up from working through National Curriculum subjects by SOS volunteers. In a few cases where we felt articles were missing we asked the community to write them (e.g. Portal:Early Modern Britain, which is a curriculum subject, was kindly written just for us): These “proposals” were then looked at by mainly SOS volunteers (some onwiki, some offline). Our offices are in the middle of Cambridge and we get high quality volunteers, who skim read each article and then compared two versions from the article history by credible WP editors a significant period apart (this picks up most graffiti vandalism which runs at about 3% of articles). Once they had identified a “best” version they marked any sections or text strings for deletion (sections which were just a list of links to other articles not included, empty sections, sex scandals etc). A substantial sample of each volunteers work was then doubled checked for quality by one of two office staff (of whom I was one). We then have a script which does some automated removals and clean ups. Once we had a selection we posted it to relevant wikiprojects and a few “experts” and got any extra steers.

    Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Will you be making use of BitTorrent for distribution again this year? Was it a success in 2007?

    AC: BitTorrent was a bit disappointing in that it got us the only substantial criticisms we received online. A lot of people find it too much effort to use. However for the period we offered a straight http: download we had huge problems with spiders eating vast bandwidth (the file is 3.5G: a few thousand rogue spider downloads and it starts to hurt). As per last year therefore our main two channels will be free download by BitTorrent and mailing the DVDs free all over the world. At a pinch we will (as before) put straight copies up for individuals who cannot get it any other way, and we have some copies on memory sticks for on distributors.

    Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Is it your opinion that the UK Government should be encouraging the adoption of projects like this as mainstream educational resources?

    AC: Clearly yes. We have had a very enthusiastic reaction from schools and the teaching community. We think every school should have an intranet copy. We expect the Government to catch on in a few years. That is not to say that Wikipedia is as good as resources developed by teachers for teachers such as lesson plans etc. but it is a fantastic resource.

    Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png You’re a Wikipedia administrator, all too often a thankless task. What prompted you to get involved in the first place? What are the most notable highs and lows of your involvement with the project?

    AC: Funnily the thing I have found most amazing about Wikipedia is not widely discussed, which is the effect of Wikipedia policies on new editors. I have seen countless extreme POV new editors, who come in and try to get their opinions included slowly learn not only that there are other opinions to consider but that elements of their own opinion which are not well founded. Watching someone arrive often (on pages on religions for example) full of condemnation for others, gradually become understanding and diplomatic is one of the biggest buzzes there is. The downside though is where correcting things which are wrong is too painfully slow because you need to find sources. I was a post-doc at Cambridge University in combustion and I know the article on Bunsen burners has several really significant errors concerning the flame structure and flow structure. But sadly I cannot correct it because I am still looking around for a reliable source.

    Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Do you believe schools should encourage students to get involved contributing to the editable version of Wikipedia? Does SOS Children encourage those who are multilingual to work on non-English versions?

    AC: I think older students have a lot to learn from becoming involved in editing Wikipedia.

    Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png To close, is there anything you’d like to add to encourage use of Wikipedia for Schools, or to persuade educators to gain a better understanding of Wikipedia?

    AC: I would encourage people to feed back to the project online or via the charity. The Wikipedia community set out to help educate the world and are broadly incredibly well motivated to help. As soon as we understand what can be done to improve things people are already on the task.

    Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Thank you for your time.

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