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Tight spot for sponsors for Women's World Cup

Corruption charges put sponsors of Women's World Cup in tight spot: expert
Ian Bickis, The Canadian Press

CALGARY - Corruption allegations against senior FIFA officials have put sponsors of the upcoming Women's World Cup in Canada in a tight spot, says a sports marketing expert.

With less than two weeks to go until the tournament starts, national sponsors including Bell Canada, Labatt Breweries of Canada and Trend Micro have little choice but to go on with the show, says Vijay Setlur, an adjunct sport marketing professor at York University in Toronto.

Below-average hurricane season predicted

Canadian Hurricane Centre predicts below average hurricane season
Aly Thomson, The Canadian Press

HALIFAX - This year's hurricane season will likely be quieter than average due to the so-called El Nino effect and cooler ocean temperatures, but the Canadian Hurricane Centre warned Wednesday that Canadians shouldn't let their guard down.

Meteorologist Bob Robichaud said even quieter hurricane seasons, which run from June to November, can generate potentially damaging and deadly storms.

Lifespan of MS patients still shorter: study

Lifespan lengthening for people with MS but there's still a 7.5-year gap: study
Helen Branswell, The Canadian Press

TORONTO - Life expectancy for people who have multiple sclerosis is lengthening but is still about 7.5 years shorter than that of people who do not have the disease, a new study suggests.

A team of researchers led by Dr. Ruth Ann Marrie of the University of Manitoba looked at health system billing data and death records in that province over a 27-year period covering the fiscal years 1984 to 2011.

Backdated gun law rewrite no concern: Clement

Concerns over retroactive law akin to angels on a pin head says Tory minister
Bruce Cheadle, The Canadian Press

OTTAWA - Treasury Board President Tony Clement says concerns over a Conservative move to retroactively rewrite the law in order to stop an investigation of alleged RCMP wrongdoing are akin to angels dancing on the head of a pin.

The latest omnibus budget bill from the Harper government quietly inserted amendments, backdated to October 2011, that wipe clean any complaints about the handling of long-gun registry data before Parliament passed a bill to end the registry the following year.

Discovery learning blamed for declining math skills

Discovery-based learning to blame for students' declining math skills: Report
Michelle McQuigge, The Canadian Press

A new report suggests that Canada's math teachers need to shift their focus away from discovery-based learning and move back towards traditional methods.

The report from the C.D. Howe Institute says that Canadian students' math performance in international exams has been declining between 2003 and 2012.

The report says that all but two provinces showed statistically significant declines on the exams administered by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development.

Largest animal seizure in Calgary history:official

More than 1,000 animals seized from Calgary property; charges pending
The Canadian Press

CALGARY - The Calgary Humane Society says it has seized more than 1,000 animals from a property.

It says staff, along with police and fire crews, took 1,123 animals from the property in northeast Calgary on Tuesday.

Most of the animals were domesticated mice, along with three dogs, three cats and 80 fish.

Many of the mice were in poor health and 275 animals had to be euthanized.

A health inspector deemed the property uninhabitable due to unsanitary conditions.

Hazelnut blight opportunity for Ontario

Ontario hazelnut growers look to pick up slack from blight-stricken B.C.
Peter Henderson, The Canadian Press

TORONTO - Ontario farmers are stepping in to feed Canadians' appetite for hazelnuts as the industry deals with a worldwide shortage, sky-high prices and the spread of nut-killing blight in British Columbia.

The Ontario Hazelnut Association says Ontario farmers will harvest more than 240 hectares of the crop this year, up from 40 hectares last year.

Central bank keeps key interest rate at 0.75%

Bank of Canada holds key rate at 0.75% despite questions about U.S. weakness
Andy Blatchford, The Canadian Press

OTTAWA - The Bank of Canada is keeping its trendsetting interest rate locked at 0.75 per cent even as recent weakness in the United States raises questions about the economy here at home.

The central bank said Wednesday that it's standing pat because inflation has been in line with projections and consumption has held up relatively well — even amid the net negative effects of lower oil prices.

Reiki to transplants: A look at pet health services

Cat kidney transplants? A look at some of the health services available to pets
The Canadian Press

CALGARY - Acupuncture is not the only human-type health care available to pets. Some other medical services include:

Ex-Tory candidate Zajdel pleads guilty to fraud

Ex-Tory candidate Zajdel pleads guilty in Montreal to fraud-related charges
The Canadian Press

MONTREAL - A former Conservative candidate and longtime Montreal city councillor has entered guilty pleas to breach of trust and corruption charges.

Saulie Zajdel won't serve any time in jail after pleading guilty Tuesday to two of the five charges he faced stemming from land deals in a borough where he was an elected official.

Zajdel was given an 18-month suspended sentence and must perform 240 hours of community service during that period. He also has to donate $10,000 to various goups.

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