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Morning Brew: June 13, 2008

Posted by Sisi / June 13, 2008

20080613_portugalwins.jpgPhoto: "Portugal wins again and a huge party at St Laurent and Rachel," by Midnight Poutine Flickr pooler JaxPhotography.

Your morning news roundup for Friday, June 13th, 2008: (Insert Friday 13th joke here.)

Forget tomatoes, vinyl shower curtains are the new health threat. According to a study published by U.S. and Canadian environmental groups, shower curtains and liners made with PVC release over 100 toxic chemicals into the air. Because they're volatile, these chemicals can be inhaled and create problems like "respiratory trouble, damage to the central nervous system, liver and kidneys, nausea, headaches and loss of co-ordination." However, the plastics industry says the "environmental fear-mongering" is baseless and should not be taken seriously. Environmental groups, on the other hand, recommend that consumers avoid PVC curtains and use cotton ones instead, which they claim keep water off the bathroom floor and can be washed in the machine.

13 people and 11 companies were charged yesterday for fixing the price of gas in Quebec, according to the federal Competition Bureau. The companies, which operated in Victoriaville, Thetford Mines, Magog and Sherbrooke, face up to $2 million in fines. The Bureau alleges that the operators in question, who ran gas stations under the banners of Shell, Esso, Petro-Canada and Irving Oil, called each other to agree on prices. One Ultramar employee, Jacques Ouellet, was fined $50,000. The charges are the end product of a 3-year investigation involving wiretaps, informants, and searches. Ongoing investigations are being carried out in other parts of Canada. (Weather forecast: a shit storm of angry consumers.)

News Bytes:

Where's the (food) rush? Few Canadians have changed their menus, cut down on meat, or stopped buttering their toast.

Sorry, Jason: the Dutch have concluded that Friday 13th is statistically safer than an average Friday.

International Flash: 3 months after demonstrations against China, Tibetan monks might have to pass a "patriotic test" as early as September to retain their robes.

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