1. #1
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    Default Party Fav's Or Toys For The Kids???

    Seized assault rifles headed for B.C. canada.com

    Friday, December 13, 2002

    ROME (AP) -- Italian police have intercepted a shipment of 6,000 assault rifles that was apparently destined for Canada, news reports said Friday.

    The ANSA news agency said the weapons were found on a boat in the port of Gioia Tauro and were headed for Vancouver via Norfolk, Va.

    Police and customs officials were unavailable Friday night to confirm the reports. The boat, sailing under the Croat flag, declared that it was transporting arms, and said they were antiques, the news agency reported. A police check found that the shipment contained modern Russian-made SKS military assault rifles, ANSA said.

    The crew reportedly said the shipment was legal, and authorities were
    investigating. Police were questioning the captain and other members of the crew, but no arrests had been made, ANSA said.

    Further details on the case were not immediately available.

    Copyright 2002 Canadian Press


    Cellphones take a dive -- literally Norman Gidney Times Colonist Friday, December 13, 2002

    Automobiles, restaurants, on a bus, in any city park -- and now you can add deep underwater to the list of places where you can't get away from cellphones.

    But that's a good thing for divers engaged in sometimes risky work below the surface.

    "It's clear as a bell," said Saanich police diver Todd Lamb, describing his cellphone conversation from almost six metres under water in the saltchuck inside the Ogden Point breakwater.

    At a demonstration of the Victoria-made Divelink Thursday afternoon, Const. Lamb did interviews with a radio show in his downtown studio and TV reporters on the surface.

    The force's dive team has used Divelink equipment for several years to
    communicate from diver to diver underwater, or with a supervisor on the surface.

    Adding a cellphone connection extends their reach, says dive team supervisor Sgt. Barry McLachlan. One scenario might have police divers in an intensive search for a weapon or body, and needing to talk to a forensics expert.

    By cellphone, the diver could get a description of the kind of evidence required, or a more precise picture of what they're looking for on the bottom, he said.

    The conventional Divelink system has been in production for more than a decade and was a big advance over other non-verbal methods, such as tugging on a rope. It allows wireless hands-free communication between divers up to two kilometres apart through a mouthpiece. Divers can also communicate to a supervisor on the surface using a headset and an antenna dropped into the water.

    Divelink vice-president Pete Devine said they developed the cellphone
    version for a Florida radio station which airs a daily dive report and
    wanted a diver to be able to describe live the conditions from different underwater dive sites.

    Company founder Mark Stone modified the circuitry to allow a cell phone to be patched through a Divelink headset. Communications from a diver below the surface is by sound waves, the way whales and dolphins talk. Electronic transmissions, such as radio or cellphone communication, won't work as most radio waves won't penetrate water.

    There are 9,000 Divelink units in use worldwide, mainly by police and fire department and sport divers. Sales have been increasing steadily, says Devine.

    He's a commercial geoduck diver who Stone relied on for product testing and advice who later invested in the company. This year, Divelink equipped Malaysia's search and rescue divers with their
    communications gear, an order worth $1 million.

    The company also shipped a customized floating radio transmitter-receiver to a U.S. Air Force para-rescue unit based in Florida -- the same guys shown in the movie, The Perfect Storm -- that will let a rescue diver talk via Divelink to a circling aircraft or through a satellite.

    Its latest order is from Florida State University which plans to use the headsets in an underwater crime scene course.

    Copyright 2002 Times Colonist (Victoria)
    If you don't do it RIGHT today, when will you have time to do it over? (Hall of Fame basketball player/coach John Wooden)

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    Get it up. Get it on. Get it done!

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    Default FURTHER TO THE "POT" BILL

    Pot penalties out of whack, MPs say in recommending fines for small amounts. BRUCE CHEADLE Canadian Press

    Thursday, December 12, 2002 CREDIT: (CP/Tom Hanson)

    Paddy Torsney, chair of the Commons Special Committee on the Non-Medical use of Drugs, in the House of Commons Thursday. (CP/Tom Hanson)

    OTTAWA (CP) - Current penalties for pot possession are too stiff, a
    parliamentary committee said Thursday, in recommending fines rather than criminal convictions for possessing small amounts.

    "Smoking any amount of marijuana is unhealthy, but the consequences of
    conviction for a small amount of marijuana for personal use are
    disproportionate to the potential harm," said Liberal MP Paddy Torsney, chair of the committee.

    Possession of up to 30 grams of marijuana should be treated as a regulatory offence and not land someone a criminal record, the special parliamentary committee on the non-medicinal use of drugs recommended.

    Critics, both in Canada and the United States, were quick to jump on the recommendations.

    But the report got a favourable response from Justice Minister Martin
    Cauchon, who has promised to ease marijuana possession laws early in the new year.

    Cauchon thanked the committee Thursday for its "very interesting, very
    important" recommendations.

    "Let me be clear here," he added. "What we're talking about is
    decriminalization. We're not talking about to legalize."

    Canadian police and the U.S. drug control czar said easing the penalties is a step in the wrong direction.

    "The message this sends to our youth is that we are trivializing the use of marijuana," said Mike Niebudek, vice-president of the Canadian Police Association.

    And John Walters, director of the U.S. office of drug control policy, held a news conference in Buffalo where he warned that softer drug policies in Canada could create border security problems and contribute to an increased flow of Canadian-grown pot to the U.S. market.

    Walters warned of lax attitudes "left over from the Cheech and Chong years of the '60s," and cautioned against "reefer-madness madness."

    The Commons committee was clear, however, that pot should not be legalized. And it excluded hashish and other cannabis-based products from the 30-gram leniency provision.

    But for small amounts of pot - including plants cultivated at home - "fines would be paid without a court appearance and enforcement would not result in a criminal conviction," said Torsney.

    The committee report, which was not unanimously endorsed, also maintains that trafficking in any amount of marijuana remain a crime, a point Cauchon stressed in an attempt to allay U.S. concerns.

    "What we would like to do is be even tougher on those involved in organized crime and smuggling drugs and trafficking," he said. "We want to make sure we focus our resources where it really counts for society."

    The idea of permitting smokers to grow their own would reduce the demand for dangerous grow operations, said Torsney.

    "We would prefer that you have your (own) one plant if you're a Saturday night smoker."

    The report also calls for:

    - Government prevention and education programs, especially for young people.

    - A renewed national drug strategy and a federal drug commissioner to
    oversee it and report annually to Parliament.

    - A stronger emphasis on stopping drug-impaired drivers.

    - $3 million in federal funding each year for the Canadian Centre on
    Substance Abuse.

    The committee did not propose an amnesty for people with records for
    previous possession convictions. An estimated 600,000 Canadians have
    criminal records for possession of cannabis products. The possession law dates from the 1920s.

    Committee member Kevin Sorenson said the 30-gram limit - which translates into an ounce in street parlance and could be used to roll about 50 joints - is too high and that hefty fines should be levelled at anyone possessing up to five grams.

    Hydroponically grown marijuana sells for up to $15 a gram.

    New Democrat Libby Davies, another committee member, says the
    Liberal-dominated committee didn't go nearly far nearly.

    "The NDP sees decriminalization as only a partial solution," she said.

    "These recommendations need a great deal of work if we are serious about removing the intrusive power of police when it comes to personal use of cannabis."

    And marijuana advocate Marc-Boris St. Maurice called the report
    short-sighted.

    "It's a lot of political rhetoric and people getting mileage out of
    marijuana without any real intention to do anything," said the Marijuana Party member.

    "It's just blowing smoke."

    Copyright 2002 The Canadian Press

    U.S. warns pot plan to clog border Drug czar accuses Liberals of naive 'Cheech and Chong' notion of dangers of marijuana

    Bill Curry, with files from Carl Hanlon, Global National
    National Post, with files from Global National


    Friday, December 13, 2002

    OTTAWA - U.S. drug czar John Walters warned yesterday that Canadians could face problems at the border if Ottawa proceeds with the decriminalization of marijuana.

    Mr. Walters travelled to the Canada-U.S. border at Buffalo to deliver his message on the same day a Commons committee called for the possession and cultivation of less than 30 grams of marijuana to be decriminalized.

    Mr. Walters, the director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, said RCMP officials recently told him that 95% of all marijuana grown in Vancouver is sent to the United States.

    "The RCMP informed me that many of the organizations, some of them
    ethnically based, Vietnamese organizations and others, that are doing the grows in British Columbia are now moving groups across Canada to Ontario and Quebec to begin to supply larger parts of the United States," he said.

    "It's bad for people in Canada and the consumption and dependence problems it creates, but also, their estimates are the bulk of that marijuana is headed for the United States and it's large quantity, high-potency and it builds on the threat that we now believe we have underestimated and we're trying to address.

    "It makes security at the border tougher because this is a dangerous threat to our young people given what we see and it makes the problem of controlling the border more difficult," he said.

    Mr. Walters dismissed claims marijuana is not addictive or a serious drug, saying the level of psychoactive THC is much higher than it used to be. "That's archaic views of what marijuana was, left over from the Cheech and Chong years of the '70s," he said, cautioning against "reefer-madness madness."

    Even as Mr. Walters was warning of trouble at the border, news emerged of co-operation on security issues. Global National reported last night that the two countries are close to signing an agreement that would enable police in each country to instantly access criminal records of the other country's citizens using cutting-edge fingerprint-scanning technology.

    In Ottawa, Wayne Easter, the Solicitor-General, responded to Mr. Walters' speech by stating that Canada is free to make its own laws.
    Mr. Easter said he will raise the issue when he meets with John Ashcroft, the U.S. Attorney-General, next week. "[Mr. Walters] is entitled to his opinion. We make our laws in this country based on the decisions and the debates in the House of Commons. Laws change as time goes on," Mr. Easter said.

    On the fingerprint front, the Global National report cited senior government officials in Ottawa and Washington who confirmed that Mr. Easter would discuss fingerprint sharing with Mr. Ashcroft during a meeting of the countries' top lawmakers in Washington on Tuesday. The report said a deal to swap criminal records could be signed at that time.

    The "live-scan" technology allows law enforcement officers to obtain
    fingerprints via an electronic scanner. The information can then be
    instantly cross-referenced against criminal-records databases.

    The technology is in use at a number of U.S. border crossings, but the new agreement would give officials the option of effectively merging the two countries' criminal databases, allowing law-enforcement officers to access records in either country. "It really is just going to check against whatever database the two countries decide to check against, it will pop up on the screen," said Linda Howard of Identix Inc., a U.S.-based maker of identification-scanning systems. "You do it on a computer and it is in a digital mode."

    Canadian and U.S. police forces already share criminal-record information, but the exchange of data occurs only after requests have been filed with the appropriate authorities -- a process that usually takes a number of days.

    The initiative is the latest effort to integrate security forces between the neighbouring countries amid global terrorism fears. Washington is moving ahead with plans for its National Security Entry-Exit Registration System, a program that will require travellers to the United States to register at the border.

    The U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service is required to establish the entry/exit system by the end of next year at all airports and seaports. The 50 largest land points of entry are to be included a year later and by 2005, the system is supposed to cover all 162 official land crossings.

    The project came under fire when it was announced that certain visitors -- those born in select Middle East countries -- would be fingerprinted and photographed at the border, even those with Canadian citizenship. Officials in Washington backed down from that requirement, but said the program will proceed on schedule.

    The countries developed a 30-point action plan following the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks intended to ensure continued freedom of travel and transport while enhancing security. That plan included provisions ranging from issuing permanent resident cards to all new immigrants to Canada and enhancing visa policy co-ordination between the two countries to speeding commercial shipments and sharing information on terrorist assets.

    Yesterday's report from the Commons committee on non-medical use of drugs says cannabis should continue to be illegal, but possession of less than 30 grams should be punished with fines instead of criminal charges.

    Paddy Torsney, the Ontario Liberal MP who chaired the committee, said they also call for decriminalization of small levels of cultivation to reduce users' dependence on organized crime.

    "We would prefer you have your one plant if you're a Saturday night smoker." Meanwhile, Supreme Court of Canada judges have written a letter questioning whether they should proceed with a federal case against pot smoking today, given that Martin Cauchon, the Justice Minister, says he plans to decriminalize marijuana. Three pot smokers, two from B.C. and one from Ontario, are challenging the government on constitutional grounds.

    Copyright 2002 National Post


    We actually have a guy in our neighbourhood who grows the stuff for "medicinal purposes", on behalf of someone else, even has papers to prove the "legality" of it too. This also ties in nicely with NJ's report on the 9yr olds getting caught while trying to sell the stuff.
    Last edited by MalahatTwo7; 12-13-2002 at 08:40 PM.
    If you don't do it RIGHT today, when will you have time to do it over? (Hall of Fame basketball player/coach John Wooden)

    "I may be slow, but my work is poor." Chief Dave Balding, MVFD

    "Its not Rocket Science. Just use a LITTLE imagination." (Me)

    Get it up. Get it on. Get it done!

    impossible solved cotidie. miracles postulo viginti - quattuor hora animadverto

    IACOJ member: Cheers, Play safe y'all.

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    Well now, 6000 SKS's huh? Sounds to me like you guys are planning a little something up there. What's been going on up in the mainland? Secret meetings and some conspiracy eh? Maybe thinking about storming the Peace Arch or reclaiming Point Roberts? Or is this a revolt to get the PACE lane back? Come on now Malahat, confess.

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    Oh a whole new twist to the story now, BC Bud and 6000 SKS's.....hmmmmmm

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    But wait, perhaps this is merely a plot by Vancouver to take over the lucrative teahouse business in Victoria eh?

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    Default CANADIAN "PRESIDENTIAL ASSASSINATION" ATTEMPT - CANADIAN STYLE

    Man Arrested after leaving grenade at prime minister's office.

    Canadian Press Thursday, December 12, 2002

    OTTAWA (CP) - A Toronto-area man is under arrest after a grenade was dropped off at the prime minister's office Wednesday. The Mounties said a man left the training grenade at a guard's desk at the main entrance of the building that houses Prime Minister Jean Chretien's office and then left. The building, across from the Parliament Buildings, was evacuated and the RCMP bomb squad determined the device did not contain explosive material.

    RCMP Const. Nathalie Deschenes said the man, whom she wouldn't identify, has not been charged yet.

    The Canadian Alliance raised the matter Thursday, voicing concerns about security on Parliament Hill.

    Alliance MP John Reynolds wondered how the man, who is known to police, managed to get away.

    The prime minister's office refused to discuss the incident, saying it doesn't comment on security matters.

    Copyright 2002 The Canadian Press


    Ya I know whatcher all thinkn' now.... "Those Dang Canucks just can't do nothin' right." Well ya see, this was just a test to see how wide awake the Commissionaire at the counter was....
    Last edited by MalahatTwo7; 12-13-2002 at 08:33 PM.
    If you don't do it RIGHT today, when will you have time to do it over? (Hall of Fame basketball player/coach John Wooden)

    "I may be slow, but my work is poor." Chief Dave Balding, MVFD

    "Its not Rocket Science. Just use a LITTLE imagination." (Me)

    Get it up. Get it on. Get it done!

    impossible solved cotidie. miracles postulo viginti - quattuor hora animadverto

    IACOJ member: Cheers, Play safe y'all.

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