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ICAO to set up safety task force

ICAO to set up task force in wake of downing of Malaysia Airlines flight
Peter Rakobowchuk, The Canadian Press

MONTREAL - The CEO of the international organization that represents the world's air carriers has targeted military and intelligence agencies, saying they have a moral duty to ensure that innocent people are not put in harm's way.

"All these agencies of government, including intelligence or military defence agencies, have as their overriding responsibility the safety and lives of innocent people," Tony Tyler of the International Air Transport Association said Tuesday.

Canadians more pessimistic on economy, jobs

Canadians grow more pessimistic about economy, jobs... except in the West
Julian Beltrame, The Canadian Press

OTTAWA - Canadians are becoming increasingly pessimistic about the economy and the availability of jobs — except those in the booming West — a new survey suggests.

The Conference Board's latest consumer confidence survey for July shows that optimism is waning or remains at very low levels in most regions of the country, except in the prairies and British Columbia.

Nationally, the Ottawa-based think-tank's confidence index slid one point to 85.9 in July, the third consecutive monthly dip.

Moody's affirms Quebec credit rating

Moody's Investment Services affirms Aa2 credit rating for Quebec
The Canadian Press

MONTREAL - Moody's Investors Service has decided to maintain Quebec's Aa2 credit rating, saying the province has a stable outlook.

The U.S. agency says the rating reflects Quebec's ability to minimize the impact of recent and ongoing deficits, which have accumulated since 2008, on the province's large debt burden.

Moody's noted that the Liberal government elected in April showed it is serious about achieving its budget targets by moving quickly to implement a series of measures, including a 20 per cent reduction in business tax credits.

A list of recent alleged cyber attacks

National Research Council only the most recent victim of computer hacking
The Canadian Press

OTTAWA - The recent cyber attack against Canada's National Research Council was not first time that foreign and domestic entities have been accused of illegally infiltrating Canadian corporate or government computers.

Here is a list of some recent, alleged high-profile attacks against Canadian and other interests:

Ottawa, U.S. governments to announce bridge plan

Canadian, U.S. governments to announce plans for Detroit-Windsor bridge
The Canadian Press

OTTAWA - Transport Minister Lisa Raitt and Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder are expected to make an announcement Wednesday about a new bridge that is planned between Detroit and Windsor, Ont.

The Canadian government has agreed to finance the construction of the $1-billion New International Trade Crossing, which would open in 2020.

The total cost of the project would be about $4 billion, including work on freeway interchanges, customs plazas in both countries and infrastructure work.

Hospital orders tests for weight-loss patients

Montreal hospital testing bariatic surgery patients over possible infection risk
The Canadian Press

MONTREAL - A Montreal-area hospital says it's playing it safe by testing patients who underwent bariatric surgery and might have contracted HIV or hepatitis from an improperly sterilized surgical tool.

The Lachine Hospital says about 150 patients received a letter last February suggesting they get tested.

The tool in question was a liver retractor and officials are describing the sterilization procedure as "incomplete."

Roughly 89 per cent of the 150 patients have been tested and all came back with negative results.

Whale-watching Ontario family stranded at sea

Newmarket, Ont., family recovering after being stranded at sea for 17 hours
Anne-Marie Vettorel, The Canadian Press

An Ontario man who was stranded with his family and about 150 strangers on a whale-watching boat off the coast of Massachusetts overnight says it was like being stuck in a rolling McDonald's — with a side of seasickness.

Craig Bawden's family was among 157 passengers who were forced to spend 17 hours on the vessel after it got caught on a mooring cable Monday afternoon.

It was a "miserable" experience, he said, a far cry from the three-hour whale-watching trip the Newmarket family had expected.

DND considers anti-missile defence system

National Defence looking to protect VIPs from heat-seeking missiles
Murray Brewster, The Canadian Press

OTTAWA - The Canadian military is looking for an air defence system to protect its VIP aircraft, including the one used by Prime Minister Stephen Harper, from surface-to-air missiles.

And one of Israel's top defence contractors, Elbit Systems Ltd., has been working behind-the-scenes for months to get in on the anticipated project. The downing of Malaysian Airlines jet MH-17 may have given defence officials more urgency.

The program is meant to deliver a system that will "defeat modern, man-portable infrared missiles," according to the military's defence acquisition guide.

Hungry cat wakes owner before home burns

Family credits hungry cat with saving them from burning home in Cape Breton
The Canadian Press

NORTH SYDNEY, N.S. - Brian Young gave his cat Berkeley a hearty scratch on the back and a few extra cans of tuna after the hungry feline awakened him just before a fire raced through his home, leaving little time to get his family out.

Young, a former Nova Scotia politician who lives with his wife and two adult sons in North Sydney, said the cat woke him up Monday at about 5 a.m., mewing to be fed and let outside.

Canada plans new sanctions against Russia

Canada plans new sanctions against Russia over aggression in Ukraine
The Canadian Press

OTTAWA - The federal government says it will impose new sanctions against Russia in coming days over Moscow's support of rebel groups in Ukraine.

In a statement, Prime Minister Stephen Harper says Russian President Vladimir Putin's failure to cease backing armed rebels in eastern Ukraine constitutes a genuine threat to international peace and security.

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