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Democrats square off in debate on gun control, healthcare, and Wall Street

Democratic candidates Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders sparred over healthcare, gun control, and big banks this weekend during the party’s fourth presidential debate. Sanders had a clear edge on Clinton over a plan he released shortly before the debate detailing plans for all American business owners to cover the Medicare costs of their employees. Clinton’s rebuttal was a clear defensive play, arguing such reforms couldn’t even pass through a Democrat-run Congress. Sanders then attacked Clinton on Wall Street reform stopping short of saying she’s in the pocket of the big banks for the $600,000 she received from Goldman Sachs for speaking fees. Clinton gained some ground over gun control blaming the far-left Sanders of being quite conservative on guns, recalling his 1993 yah-vote for “loophole” policy that allows guns to be purchased without a completed background check. [Source: Guardian]

Astronomers dedicate constellation to David Bowie

Belgian astronomers have dedicated a constellation in the shape of a lightening bolt to the rock legend David Bowie, aka “Starman,” who succumbed to cancer last week at the age of 69. The seven-star grouping found and connected at Belgium’s MIRA Public Observatory is close to Mars, which, for a Bowie tribue, is quite appropriate. “It was not easy to determine the appropriate stars. Studio Brussels asked us to give Bowie a unique place in the galaxy. Referring to his various albums, we chose seven stars—Sigma Librae, Spica, Alpha Virginis, Zeta Centauri, SAA 204 132, and the Beta Sigma Octantis Trianguli Australis—in the vicinity of Mars,” MIRA’s Philippe Mollet said. “The constellation is a copy of the iconic Bowie lightning and was recorded at the exact time of his death.” [Source: Rolling Stone]

World’s wealthiest getting wealthier, the rest getting poorer: Oxfam study

According to an Oxfam report, the 62 richest people in the world own as much wealth as half of the world’s population. The release of the study comes shortly before the World Economic Forum in Davos, where many one-percenters are expected. The report said the collective wealth of the world’s poorest 50 per cent dripped by 41 per cent between 2010 and 2015. This, despite a 400-million-person population increase. Between those same years, the wealth of the richest 62 people in world increased by $500-billion. The study calls for urgent action to deal with this widening disparity. “It is simply unacceptable that the poorest half of the world population owns no more than a small group of the global super-rich – so few, you could fit them all on a single coach,” said Oxfam GB Chief Executive Mark Goldring. “World leaders’ concern about the escalating inequality crisis has so far not translated into concrete action to ensure that those at the bottom get their fair share of economic growth. In a world where one in nine people go to bed hungry every night, we cannot afford to carry on giving the richest an ever bigger slice of the cake.” [Source: Guardian]

Six Canadians and 22 others killed in Burkina Faso attacks

Twenty-eight people, including six Canadians, were killed and 56 injured after Islamic State militants attacked the Splendid hotel in the Burkina Faso capital of Ouagadougou, which is a popular tourist destination. Local and French security forces joined together to end the attack. According to the security minister, all 176 hostages were freed. The attacks took place Friday evening and targeted the luxury hotel, a café, and another hotel nearby. Witnesses report gunfire and multiple explosions. The sites are known as tourist destinations as well as hubs for visiting government and UN officials. The prime ministers of Burkina Faso and Mail met on Sunday, and have agreed to put their minds together to coordinate a response to the growing threat of Islamic militants in west Africa. “There is a very strong political will on the part of the two states to combine our efforts to fight terrorism,” Burkina Faso’s Paul Kaba Thieba said. [Source: BBC and Guardian]

Video: parkour in Manitoba’s Pukatawagan First Nation in -30C weather

Eighteen-year-olds Justin Bighetty and Anthony Francois, from Pukatawagan First Nation in northern Manitoba, learned parkour by watching YouTube videos. They shot the video, linked to as source article, on Friday in -30 C conditions. Click here for video.


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