The Windsor Star from Windsor, Ontario, Canada on February 9, 2004 · 33
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The Windsor Star from Windsor, Ontario, Canada · 33

Windsor, Ontario, Canada
Issue Date:
Monday, February 9, 2004
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The Windsor Star Monday, February 9, 2004 D5 liDiraiififii art isM Good attitude is no help against the disease, new study suggests Star News Services ATLANTA A positive attitude does not improve the chances of surviving cancer and doctors who encourage patients to keep up hope may be burdening them, according to the results of research released today Optimism made no difference in the fate of most of the 179 cancer patients that Australian researchers followed over five years. Only eight people were GRIM HWY. 11 SCENE: Police stand at a site of a head-on collision near Gravenhurst that left five people dead Sunday. - CP photo: JirnPurnell Collision kills five Star News Services ! GRAVENHURST ' i:' A car going the wrong way on a major highway slammed into a sport utility vehicle Sunday afternoon, killing five people. Police said the sole occupant of a Buick died along with four people in a Honda CRV sport utility vehicle, which was standing on its end after the collision on Highway 11, just south of Gravenhurst. PILOT GETS SUPPORT IN FRIENDLY FIRE CASE Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich is asking federal officials to ensure fair treatment of an Illinois fighter pilot charged in the deaths of four Canadian soldiers in Afghanistan, and wants permission for one of his staff members to attend the pilot's court-martial. The governor's request, made in a letter sent Sunday to Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, came after Blagojevich met Maj. Harry Schmidt's wife, Lisa, last month. "I respectfully urge you and the air force commanders pursuing this matter to ensure that Major Schmidt Is treated impartially and compassionately," the letter reads. Schmidt faces a charge of derelic- . tion of duty for mistakenly dropping a 225-kg bomb on a squad of Canadian troops in April 2002. Schrnidt has said he thought the Canadians' live-training exercise was hostile fire aimed at him and another fighter pilot from the Illinois Air National Guard's 183rd Fighter Wing, based In Springfield. The bombing killed Sgt. Marc Leger, Re. Richard Green, Cpl. Alnsworth Dyer and Re. Nathan Smith, making them the first Canadians to die in combat since the Korean War. -ap Urban ice, Star News Services TORONTO A hand-made sign posted at the foot of a downtown skyscraper warns: "Beware falling ice." A passerby stops on the sidewalk in front of the sign and looks up warily a frequent winter sight in the high-rise canyons of the city's financial district While there haven't been many cases of pedestrians in Canada's biggest city being seriously injured by falling ice or snow, architectural technologist Dave Hornblow says it's just a matter of time. But until then, he says, there's little in either provincial or federal building codes requiring or encouraging building designers to take precautions in their plans to prevent such accidents. still living by the time the study ended in 2001. All the patients studied were suffering from a common form of lung cancer. Small study Although the study was small and dealt with a kind of cancer that offers little chance for survival (about 12 per cent of patients live beyond five years), health experts say it is the first scientifically valid look at optimism and can ,yr-,f ... vn.- 6V J .. J&hTS& ' "I've seen a lot in my 31 years with the fire department, but I haven't seen anything as horrific as this," said Gravenhurst fire chief Lome McNeice. The Buick was travelling south in the northbound lanes when it struck the SUy said police. Tarps were draped over the vehicles and debris littered the highway as police investigated the scene. There were no skid marks behind either vehicle. The northbound lanes of Highway Newfoundlanders studied for body fat Star News Services ST JOHN'S, nfld. Could Canada's chubbiest province be harbouring the secret to weight loss? Newfoundlanders have long held the dubious distinction of being among the heaviest-set people in Canada. .. On average, the province has the highest body mass index in the country just ahead of the Northwest Territories, Nova Scotia and PE.I., according to the most recent report by the Canadian Institute for Health Information. And Dr. Huang Sun is in the belly of the beast, so to speak, to uncover the genetic mystery behind the disproportionate number of ample behinds. "It's clear that obesity is caused not only by environmental factors, not only by what you eat and your physical activity levels," said Sun, a geneticist at Memorial University in St John's. "It also largely depends on your genes." For that reason, it's the size of the Newfoundland's genes not the size of its jeans that makes it the perfect place for Sun's research. snow dangers cited "Can the designers look at the design to determine if that kind of thing will occur? Sure, it's a very easy thing to take a look at," Hornblow said from his office in Oakville. "How you're sloping the roofs, how you build your parapets, how you build the walls, what materials do you use" are all considerations that Hornblow said can effect whether snow collects on rooftops to allow gradual melting or goes crashing on to the sidewalks many storeys below. It's going to take a serious accident and a major lawsuit to get ice and snow safety accounted for in the building codes, Hornblow said. "It's really up to the insurance groups," he said. "Right now, if you've got that kind of problem and it's occur-4 cer. The results surprised researchers, who expected optimistic patients to live longer than their hopeless counterparts. Patients are burdened by trying to maintain a positive outlook during their difficult situations, said researchers from the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre in Melbourne, Australia, and five other health centres in an article published today in the journal Cancer. The study found that optimism dimmed when patients experienced the toxic effects of cancer treatment and when they learned more about the realities of the disease. "We should question whether it is valuable to encourage optimism if it ! . 11, a major route into Northern Ontario, were closed for about four hours after the crash. Traffic in the southbound lanes was also backed up for several hours as motorists slowed down to view the collision. Police were still investigating the crash Sunday night and released no other details. Police at the scene said they did not know the ages or identities of the victims. ' Geographically isolated from the rest of Canada, Newfoundland has seen limited immigration. Most of the island's 500,000 residents can trace their ancestry to the original 20,000 settlers. Within this small gene pool Sun hopes he can find the secret to slim. "Obesity has become epidemic in North America," Sun said, and other countries are quickly catching up. "We hope to find some basic genetic factors." Sun is looking for "skinny genes," those that are more active in people who have less body fat. He estimates that's just20per cent of the population. "The hypothesis is that some people easily gain weight and some people don't," he said. Marc Tremblay is a professor of kinesiology at the University of Saskatchewan and one of the country's foremost experts on obesity "If we're looking for a quick fix or something over-the-counter that's going to resolve the fact that we're not living the way that we've evolved to live, I don't think those magic bullets are going to be easy to find," Tremblay said. ring, and you've got claims against the building, the insurance companies are going to have a better effect of having it corrected than the building code," he said. "There's nothing in the building code that would address that kind of problem." But Catherine Taraschuk, a senior technical adviser for structural design at the Canadian Code Centre in Ottawa, said the national building code has provisions for snow and ice safety While Hornblow complained the code is not adequate, Taraschuk maintained "commentaries" attached to the.code must be followed. One of the commentaries requires that "situations in which public safety may be compromised by snow and ice falling from roofs should be avoided," she said. ' I results in the patient concealing his or her distress In the misguided belief that this will afford survival benefits," the study's lead author Penelope Schofield wrote. "If a patients feels generally pessimistic ... it is important to acknowledge these feelings as valid and acceptable." Helps In other ways Although optimism may not help cancer patients live longer, it can help patients in other ways, according to the American Cancer Society, which publishes the journal Cancer. A positive attitude can help lead to healthier eating habits, stopping smoking, drinking less, exercising more and Pension fund should focus oil ethics, MP says Investment in arms firms assailed By Bill Curry canwestnews service OTTAWA The Canada Pension Plan reserve fund, which is predicted to swell beyond $160 billion within a decade, should be forced into ethical investments rather than supporting companies such as military suppliers and tobacco makers, states a new motion tabled in the Commons by the NDP In light of recent reforms to the program to ensure it can support the retiring baby boomer generation, increased premiums have boosted the fund to its current $64.7-billion. NDP MP Pat Martin said the ballooning fund means its investments now have a significant impact on the economy and Canadians should have a debate over whether the Canada Pension Plan Investment Review Board needs guidelines regarding how it invests their money "There are lots of Canadians who refuse to invest in tobacco companies for all kinds of ethical reasons who will be really upset to learn there's nothing stopping the CPP from doing that," Martin : said. CPP funds have gradually been transferred to the board since it was created in 1999 with a mandate to invest in private equities. The NDP MP points out that many Canadians pride themselves for not supporting the U.S.-led war in Iraq, yet the fund has about $600-million invested in U.S. military contractors, such as Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Raytheon and General Dynamics. "It's absolutely shocking. I mean, part of the (Jean) Chretien legacy was staying out of the war in Iraq. Well, we've been inadvertently participating in the war in Iraq all along through our Canada Pension Plan. It's disingenuous to Canadians.". Weapons, environment, labour The motion introduced by Martin last week calls for the Canada Pension Plan Investment Review Board to be "prohibited from investing in companies and enterprises that manufacture and trade in military arms and weapons, have records of poor environmental and labour practices or whose conduct and practices are contrary to Canadian values." With the current session of Parliament expected to be cut short for an election, the motion is not expected to come to a vote in the near future, but NDP leader Jack Layton has stated that the idea will be part of his party's campaign platform. Martin argues that if the CPP is going to be investing in the stock market, it should use "ethical funds" which have Quake damage - o A mosque is heavily damaged by earthquakes in Nabire, Indonesia, Sunday. Powerful earthquakes hit the remote area Friday, leaving more than 30 people dead and hundreds Injured. ap photo: Dita Aiangkara learning more Information about one's disease and treatment options. Cancer patients have learned to live with therapy, avoid fatigue and even have returned to work, said Dr. LaMar McGinnis, senior medical consultant for the Atlanta-based society "It is disappointing they don't reflect on quality of life," McGinnis said. "We did not have any illusions that optimism influences therapy but we do believe that optimism and hope does influence the quality of life a patient has." On the Net: Cancer study: http:www.interscience. wiley.comcan cer-uewsroom various screens to weed out companies such as military contractors, tobacco and alcohol producers and companies engaged in child labour "The ethical mutual funds have in some cases outperformed the general funds, but what we need to take into account with our pension plan is that we could be achieving necessary secondary objectives that may be more difficult to measure," he said. Build housing Martin's other investment suggestions include using the fund to build social housing and then collecting returns through mortgages, lending money to municipalities for green infrastructure like public transit and generating profit from the interest,, or funding energy retrofits for government buildings and collecting the energy savings. Martin said his motion was inspired by a recent study by the Coalition to Oppose the Arms Trade, which linked CPP mvestmentstotopU.S.mmtarycontrac- I tors. j Fred Ketchen, the Director of Equity ! Trading for Scotia McLeod, questioned j Martin's proposal pointing out that "eth-1 j i ical" mutual funds have traditionally un- 1 1 derperformed traditional funds. Also, Ketchen said maximizing returns for Canada's seniors could be considered a social goal in itself "I know that if s tough for those people who may think that some of their Canada Pension Plan money is being invested in God knows what Rothmans or Mol-sons or Lockheed Martin or Boeing but I thought the Canada Pension Plan was supposed to represent all Canadians," he said. Ketchen said ethical funds will likely always underperform traditional funds because they go against the main rule of investing, which is to have as diverse a portfolio as possibla "I admire people who have that philosophy but if I was nuining a pension plan, I'd be looking for the best results that I could get from all sectors with diversification," he sakL ; Ketchen added that Canadians should not be surprised that the CPP has lost ' money since entering the stock market, ( because it has been a down period for all investors. CPP Investment Board spokesman , John Cappelletti said federal legislation requires the board to focus only on maximizing returns and that changing the legislation would not be easy "It would take more than Parliament," he said, pointing out that Ottawa would ; also have to secure the support of two-thirds of the nine participating provinces representing two-thirds of the populatioa rrtl

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