Here are five of the top stories making headlines this afternoon:
MP Dean Del Mastro wants to know who keeps mocking him on Wikipedia. Someone is using computers in the House of Commons to make disparaging, and potentially libelous, updates to Del Mastro’s Wikipedia entry and he wants to know who it is. A report from the Ottawa Citizen says Del Mastro will ask the Speaker to launch an investigation into Wikipedia updates made using an IP address linked to a government computer. Recently, someone changed Del Mastro’s occupation on his Wikipedia page from “auto dealer” to “Dealer of Used Cars with Bent Frames, Perjurer.” Del Mastro, a former Conservative MP now serving as an independent, is currently on trial for allegedly overspending during the 2008 federal campaign. For anyone who wants to follow along with any future changes to Del Mastro’s account, and others, someone used a data-scraping program to build a Twitter account that tweets whenever users with government IP address update Wikipedia.
Israeli invasion of Gaza getting likely, says official. A ground invasion in Gaza is even more likely today, as Israel urged Palestinians in Gaza who live near the border to relocate. Also today, there are reports that an Israeli air strike killed four young children who were playing on the beach in Gaza. Other adult relatives and children with the group were also injured, says the report. Meanwhile, Hamas continues to fire rockets into Israel. Yesterday, in a televised speech, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the military had permission to use “full force” in Gaza after ceasefire negotiations dissolved.
Canadian economy gets downgrade from Bank of Canada. Canada’s low one per cent interest rate will remain in place, the Bank of Canada said Monday, in a report that also noted the Canadian economy isn’t doing as well as expected. The Canadian economy is expected to return to full strength in mid-2016, three months later than previously predicted, said the report. The reason for the downgrade: mainly a slowing in the American economy from the beginning of this year. The report comes on the heels of this week’s jobs report, in which StatsCan said Canada actually lost jobs in June and the unemployment rate edged up to 7.1 per cent.
Tesla to introduce new, cheaper, Model III. Owning an electric car may not be as far out of reach for an average consumer as of 2017, when Tesla expects to launch its smaller Model III, which will retail for around $35,000. It’s a marked price decline from the Model S, which current starts at about $78,000 in Canada. The price decrease will be due to better Tesla battery technology.
Scientists build pacemaker out of heart cells. Electric pacemakers could soon be a thing of the past after a group of researchers sucessfuly built a pacemaker using actual heart cells. In a paper published today in the journal Science Translational Medicine U.S. researchers outline how they reprogrammed heart cells to becoming beating cells, rather than ordinary heart cells, which are more abundant. So far, the technology has only been tested on pigs, but pig hearts are very similar to human hearts. Human trials could begin within three years.