March 20th – 26th 2015

This week, Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced his support for forty-two new infrastructure projects across Quebec. These projects include small craft harbours and regional airports. Harper posits that these projects will generate jobs and economic growth in Quebec. Read more about the federal government’s projects here. Also this week, Italy’s highest court, the Supreme Court of Cassation, overturned Amanda Knox’s murder conviction. Complete exoneration is an extremely rare decision for this Court; the Court’s reasoning will be released within ninety days. Read more about Amanda Knox’s former charges here.

Our World This Weeks brings you this week’s list of trending food for thought from both a Canadian and international perspective:

Canada

Students in Grey-Bruce face suspension over immunizations – CTV London

The Grey-Bruce Health Unit issued suspension notices to over 1,800 students in the Grey and Bruce counties. Parents must provide proof of immunization (or exemption); if they don’t, their child will face a twenty day school suspension. Parents have until April 20th 2015 to update their child’s immunization information.

Anti-terror Bill C-51 to be changed as Tories respond to criticism – CBC News

In response to widespread criticism, the Federal Government proposed amendments to Bill C-51. Two notable proposed amendments include narrowing the scope of what is captured as terrorist-related activity and clarifying that CSIS agents will not have the power to arrest individuals. Other changes include limits to information that is shared and adjusting the Public Safety Minister’s powers over air carrier use.

World

Israel says it will release frozen tax revenue to Palestinians – Reuters

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office says it will release millions of dollars of frozen income tax revenue to the Palestinian Authority. The release comes three months after Israel’s freezing of the payments, which coincided with the Palestine Authority’s application to join the International Criminal Court. Netanyahu’s office says the funds are being released “based on humanitarian concerns and in overall consideration of Israel’s interests at this time.”

Oil Prices Surge After Saudi Airstrikes in Yemen – VOA News

On Thursday, Saudi Arabia and its allies began a military operation in Yemen. The result was a four percent surge in crude oil prices; the price per barrel rose to fifty-nine US dollars. Yemen is a crucial shipping passage between the Arab Gulf and Europe. It is estimated that 3.8 million barrels a day of crude oil pass through Yemeni waters per year. On Thursday, Yemen’s major shipping ports were closed.

Thought Provoking Read

Canadians spend the most time online: Study – Julia Alexander

A study released by comScore Canada, an analytics firm that assesses Internet use, reports that Canadians use the Internet more than any other country. Canadians spend an average of 36.3 hours on the Internet per month and visit approximately eight websites and three-thousand webpages in that time. The study shows that most Canadians access the Internet through mobile devices and visit primarily social media and online shopping pages.

Photo of the Week

On Thursday evening, several hundred students gathered outside Quebec’s National Assembly, in Quebec City. The students protested the latest provincial budget’s austerity measures and cuts to social services. The protest started off peaceful, but escalated quickly. One student was seriously injured (Photo: Francis Vachon/The Canadian Press Via Global News).