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Haiti dominates today's news, also obesity, proroguing, polygamy, Toronto 18 trial (Jan. 13)

Today's Canadian headlines are consumed by the deadly earthquake in Haiti.  CBC News has reported that the Haitian Prime Minister estimates the death toll may be over 100,000. Canada has pledged support and the Canadian DART team has been assessing the urgent needs.

While this catastrophe is so great as to put other news far into the background, there were other stories of interest in the media today.

Proroguing hurts Tories' popularity says poll

In the ongoing furore over Prime Minister Harper's decision to prorogue Parliament, a poll conducted by The Strategic Counsel says the Conservatives' popularity has dropped to the point where they are almost equal to the Liberals. In another poll by Angus Reid, it appears Canadians are paying attention to prorogation and some 63 percent disagree with it, reports The Globe and Mail.

Toronto Star, "Shutdown leaves Tories, Liberals nearly tied: poll
Conservative support drops in wake of PM's decision to prorogue Parliament", by Susan Delacourt, Ottawa Bureau.

The Globe and Mail, "Prorogation hammers Conservative support in polls", by John Ibbitson.

Toronto 18 trial

The Toronto Star also reported on the trial of Shareef Abdelhaleem.  Arrested in June 2006 after an alleged failed plot by the so-called Toronto 18 to detonate bombs in Toronto, Abdelhaleem has pleaded not guilty to terrorism-related charges.  The trial will continue for approximately three weeks.  Today's evidence included details from an informant about how the alleged bomb plot included plans to blow up the Toronto Stock Exchange.

Toronto Star, "Bomb plot targeted TSX, court hears
Would-be terrorists hoped truck bomb would devastate blocks of downtown core, informant tells Brampton trial"

Canadians getting fatter

Statistics Canada released a report from the Canadian Health Measures Survey, telling us what many of us already feared or are perhaps in denial about: we are fatter and less fit than in 1981.

Statistics Canada, "Canadian Health Measures Survey"

Vancouver Olympic ski hill closes

A little bit of a weather worry for the Vancouver Olympic organizers: it's too warm.  When Calgary held the winter Olympics in 1988, there were the same worries about not having enough snow, but everything worked out in the end.  Nature to be commanded must be obeyed.  In Vancouver they've been stockpiling snow.

CBC News, "Warm weather closes Vancouver Olympic ski venue"

"Unlawful prosecution" claimed by Winston Blackmore following polygamy charges

Winston Blackmore, known as a leader of a fundamentalist religious sect in Bountiful, British Columbia, reportedly has at least 25 wives and 101 children.  Charges of polygamy against him did not proceed last year.  Blackmore is now reported to be suing the B.C. government for unlawful prosecution. 

The relationship between the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the law against polygamy is the subject of a separate constitutional legal case brought by the B.C. Attorney General, which has yet to be decided. Until then, the question of whether polygamy is a matter of religious freedom protected by the Charter remains open.

Canada.com, "Polygamist sect leader sues B.C. government", by Keith Fraser, Canwest  News Service

How you can help victims of the earthquake in Haiti

All media outlets have ongoing coverage of the disaster in Haiti as the casualty count rises.

You can donate to the Red Cross Haiti Earthquake Fund online, or by phone 1-800-418-1111.

To be informed of new Canada Headlines stories, you can follow @CanadaHeadlines on twitter.com, or subscribe to the articles by RSS feed or e-mail, using the buttons at the top of this story.

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