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Anders faces opposition

The latest challenger to Calgary West MP Rob Anders got a boost this past Saturday. In the annual election for the riding's Conservative Party board of directors, 27 of 30 positions were won by a slate calling itself "Free Calgary West" and supporting corporate lawyer Donna Kennedy-Glans. One position was won by a candidate from a slate of Anders' supporters, while two candidates elected appeared on both slates. Over 600 people stood outside the Montgomery Community Association for up to 90 minutes to vote on the board of directors, which oversees the riding's nomination process. Kennedy-Glans declared her intention to challenge Anders for the party's nomination in the next election.

Humanoid hits the runway

Cutting edge fashion took on a whole new meaning when the world's first humanoid robotic model hit the catwalk during Tokyo's 2009 Fashion Week. Weighing only 95 pounds, the 5'2" robot HRP-4C resembles a Japanese woman with anime-like features. Battery powered motors lacing the body and face of HRP-4C allow her to form facial expressions, speak and mimic the poses of a typical model.

Designer Masayoshi Kataoka has not, cleared the HRP-4C for work alongside humans.

Earth Hour a 'success'

The World Wildlife Foundation has deemed Earth Hour Two a global success. Households, businesses and global landmarks in over 88 countries dimmed their lights Saturday night in support of the fight against global warming.

Edmonton and Toronto boasted 5.2 per cent and 15 per cent drops in energy consumption. Provincially, British Columbia and the maritimes dropped about one per cent while Manitoba reported a small surge in energy use. Calgary made improved slightly over the previous year's performance with a one per cent decrease in consumption.

E-cigarettes on hold

New electronic devices marketed as healthier alternatives to smoking have been given the thumbs down by Health Canada. In an announcement last Friday, Health Canada banned the import, sales and advertisement of e-cigarettes and other electronic nicotine products until research can deem them safe to use.

These devices mimic real tobacco products, but use electronic vaporizing systems and nicotine solutions.

North Korean nuclear negotiations

The United States, Japan and South Korea have entered into trilateral co-operative talks in order to further the progress of North Korean nuclear disarmament negotiations. This push towards greater co-ordination is in response to North Korea's plans to launch a communications satellite in early April. The U.S., Japan and South Korea believe this launch will actually be a ballistic nuclear missile test.

Among the issues discussed were response strategies in the case of a North Korean missile test and how China and Russia could improve the six party disarmament process.

Free music in China

Google and several major recording companies have joined forces to launch a free downloadable music initiative in China. Funded by advertising revenues, the download service is an attempt to counteract the thriving piracy market in Asia.

The site will be operated in part by Top100.cn, an existing Chinese website.

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