News for the unnewsed

By Morgan Haigler

Tenured professor loses job over teaching practices

University of Ottawa professor Dr. Denis Rancourt recently lost his job due to questionable teaching practices. He was suspended from teaching and banned from campus for telling his fourth-year physics class that they were all getting an A+ in Dec. 2008.

After showing up on campus two weeks ago and getting charged with trespassing, he was let go. Rancourt also received complaints and grievances from the university and staff members after teaching activism in his physics course and encouraging student input on course curriculum over the past couple years.

Merciless robots will fight future wars

Defence researcher at Brookings Institution Dr. Peter Singer warned that robot technology is progressing to a point where robot armies will one day be doing battle in place of humans.

Robots have no emotions and no mercy making them more ideal to do violent work, which Singer finds disturbing. He pointed out many military superpowers already use robots such as attack drones and bomb-handlers in battle and that nations are continuing to expand their robotic technology research. Although Singer is not sure when robots will completely replace humans in war, he predicted that U.S. military units will be half-robot by 2015.

Sixty-year-old Calgary woman gives birth to twins

A 60-year-old Calgary woman became a first-time mother Feb. 3 after giving birth to twin boys at Foothills Hospital. Ranjit Hayer is believed to be the oldest woman to give birth in Canada.

The story has sparked debate as to whether Hayer is too old to be a mother. She was refused in vitro treatment in Canada because her age posed a significant threat to the health of her and any fetuses. She received the treatment in her homeland of India.

Despite criticism, both Hayer and her husband are ecstatic about the birth of their sons.

India wants Pakistan declared a terrorist state

India is urging the international community to declare Pakistan a terrorist state in light of the country’s release of Abdul Qadeer Khan, a nuclear scientist. Khan was placed under five years of house arrest after confessing to selling nuclear secrets to Iran, North Korea and Libya in 2004.

The Indian government argued the lack of punishment proves Pakistan is becoming an increased security threat and fears that nuclear technology will become more accessible to terrorists.

Expansion of Alberta parks concern environmentalists

The Alberta government is planning to expand and create new provincial parks. The recent population increase in Alberta and the demand on the parks are the main reasons for this plan.

However, some environmentalists are concerned the government is focusing too much on the recreational purposes of provincial parks and not on the protective function they serve.

Calgary Mountie faces 17 criminal charges

Constable Hoa La, a Calgary-based RCMP officer, is facing 17 criminal charges including extortion, harassment, fraud over $5,000 and perjury. The RCMP began their investigation of this unusual case involving purchases of residential properties in 2006. La will make an appearance at a Red Deer court Feb. 24.


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