Alternative News

Articles from non-mainstream as opposed to corporate for profit sources.

Take Action to Stop the Energy East Pipeline

Idle No More ...

Read more: Take Action to Stop the Energy East Pipeline

Earth Day for an Oil-Free Coast: Sidney Town Hall




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Dear Friends,

Celebrate Earth Day with us in Sidney for a town hall discussion on Kinder Morgan's proposed Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, which would bring around 400 tankers loaded with tar sands oil through the Salish Sea, right past your doorstep.

Raincoast Conservation Foundation, which has documented the potential reach of an oil spill with their Drift Card Project, will be co-hosting the event with us. Speakers will include myself, Robert Bateman, Chief Vern Jacks and Raincoast's Andrew Rosenberger.

It promises to be a fun night with displays, music, coffee, a slide presentation and some lively discussion on keeping our coasts oil-free.

Apr 22, 2014
7:00 PM (doors open at 6:00 PM) to 9:00 PM
Mary Winspear Centre, 2243 Beacon Ave, Sidney
Entrance by donation.

More information about this event…


Read more: Earth Day for an Oil-Free Coast: Sidney Town Hall

Fracking tied to birth defects: Colorado study

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http://commonsensecanadian.ca/fracking-tied-birth-defects-colorado-study/

Official Study - Birth Outcomes and Maternal Residential Proximity to Natural Gas Development in Rural Colorado

A new study, published last week in the scientific journal Environmental Health Perspectives, draws a correlation between birth defects and maternal exposures to natural gas.

After examining 124,842 births between 1996 and 2009 in rural Colorado, the study found a higher incidence of congenital heart defects (CHDs) and neural tube defects (NTDs) with infants whose mothers experienced higher exposures to natural gas.

The study (download pdf here) was led by researchers from the Colorado School of Public Health and Brown University, with support from The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE). Born out of health concerns surrounding the growth of natural gas development throughout the US, it looked at health outcomes for children born of mothers who lived within a 10 mile radius of natural gas development in Colorado.

The researchers note that natural gas “emits several potential teratogens” – i.e. a substance which causes malformations. They suggest concerns around the health impacts of natural gas exposures are real and require more scientific study:

In this large cohort, we observed an association between density and proximity of natural gas wells within a 10-mile radius of maternal residence and prevalence of CHDs and possibly NTDs. Greater specificity in exposure estimates are needed to further explore these associations. According to the US-based Children’s Heart Foundation, “Congenital heart defects are the leading cause of all infant deaths in the United States,” with over 40,000 babies born every year, suffering from CHD.

Fracking-tied-to-birth-defects-Colorado-study

Congenital heart defects are the leading cause of all infant deaths in the US

Read more: Fracking tied to birth defects: Colorado study

Dead bees. Everywhere.


Bees are dying. It's up to us to save them.
This could be huge: a global retailer might be about to pull bee-killing pesticides from its shelves. If others join, this could be a decisive victory for the bees.

Bees are dying off in their millions around the world, including 37 million (!) on a single North American farm last season. After years of research, scientists finally know the cause. "Neonics" -- deadly pesticides produced by Bayer and other chemical giants. But while the bees are dying, corporations around the world are still selling these bee-killing pesticides.

That's why a global retailer breaking ranks could be a game changer. If they stop carrying the pesticides, it could start a snowball effect and stop bee-killing pesticides for good. But we know the big corporations that profit from these deadly pesticides are fighting back. Bayer is already spending a pile of cash on a huge "bee care tour" designed to buy the trust of retailers and small businesses with false information.

We can't allow the pesticide industry to be the only voice in the room when retailers decide whether to stop selling bee-killers. Many of the largest companies are just weeks or months away from their annual shareholder meetings -- and we need to make sure they hear our message there. That's why we want to fund activist beekeepers who've been watching their bees die for years to take their message directly to the shareholders, and raise a storm outside the meetings too.

Can you chip in $1 to take the voices of beekeepers to these meetings and launch a massive campaign get bee-killing pesticides cleared from shelves worldwide?

Read more: Dead bees. Everywhere.

PAOV, We Have So Much To Tell You!

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It's a Long Letter Today!

Dear PAOV,

There is so much happening at the BCCLA that we want to share with you!

  • Members: AGM & Report to Community is coming up soon!
  • Spying: our legal complaints get the attention they deserve, and we launched a class action lawsuit against Canada's spies.
  • The BCCLA was before the House of Commons, the Senate, and all over Canada this week.
  • Nominations for 2014 Liberty Awards are now open! Celebrate freedom and justice with us on June 19, 2014.

With so much going on, aren't you glad to be a BCCLA supporter? We're so thankful that you are.

Talk soon,

Josh Paterson and the BCCLA team

Report to Community & Annual General Meeting

Join the BC Civil Liberties Association for our 2014 Report to Community and Annual General Meeting.

BCCLA members and friends are invited to hear highlights of the BCCLA’s work over the past year, as well as our key priorities into the months ahead. If you're a member in good standing, vote for our new Board of Directors members.

Learn more here

Spying on activists: BCCLA complaints move to next level

Two legal complaints filed by the BCCLA against the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) and the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) are moving to the next level of investigation.

“It’s clear that the RCMP complaints commission is taking this spying complaint very seriously, by investigating the complaint itself rather than leaving the job to the RCMP,” said Josh Paterson, Executive Director of the BCCLA. “Police spying on peaceful activists should not be tolerated in a democratic society."

Read more here

Stop Illegal Spying: BCCLA Files A Class Action Against CSEC

In October BCCLA filed a lawsuit asking the court to strike down laws that allow CSEC to collect Canadians’ private communications and metadata.

Now we have filed a class action, as a companion to our existing lawsuit, so that Canadians may have a remedy for the violation of their rights.

Read more: PAOV, We Have So Much To Tell You!

The USA “Cuban Twitter” Propaganda is a Drop in the Bucket

By 4 Apr 2014, 6:15 PM EDT

https://firstlook.org/theintercept/2014/04/04/cuban-twitter-scam-social-media-tool-disseminating-government-propaganda/

This week, the Associated Press exposed a secret program run by the U.S. Agency for International Development to create “a Twitter-like Cuban communications network” run through “secret shell companies” in order to create the false appearance of being a privately owned operation. Unbeknownst to the service’s Cuban users was the fact that “American contractors were gathering their private data in the hope that it might be used for political purposes”–specifically, to manipulate those users in order to foment dissent in Cuba and subvert its government. According to top-secret documents published today by The Intercept, this sort of operation is frequently discussed at western intelligence agencies, which have plotted ways to covertly use social media for ”propaganda,” “deception,” “mass messaging,” and “pushing stories.”

These ideas–discussions of how to exploit the internet, specifically social media, to surreptitiously disseminate viewpoints friendly to western interests and spread false or damaging information about targets–appear repeatedly throughout the archive of materials provided by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden. Documents prepared by NSA and its British counterpart GCHQ–and previously published by The Intercept as well as some by NBC News–detailed several of those programs, including a unit devoted in part to “discrediting” the agency’s enemies with false information spread online.

The documents in the archive show that the British are particularly aggressive and eager in this regard, and formally shared their methods with their U.S. counterparts. One previously undisclosed top-secret documentprepared by GCHQ for the 2010 annual “SIGDEV” gathering of the “Five Eyes” surveillance alliance comprising the UK, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, and the U.S.–explicitly discusses ways to exploit Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and other social media as secret platforms for propaganda.

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The document was presented by GCHQ’s Joint Threat Research Intelligence Group (JTRIG). The unit’s self-described purpose is “using online techniques to make something happen in the real or cyber world,” including “information ops (influence or disruption).” The British agency describes its JTRIG and Computer Network Exploitation operations as a “major part of business” at GCHQ, conducting “5% of Operations.”

The annual SIGDEV conference, according to one NSA document published today by The Intercept, “enables unprecedented visibility of SIGINT Development activities from across the Extended Enterprise, Second Party and US Intelligence communities.” The 2009 Conference, held at Fort Meade, included “eighty-six representatives from the wider US Intelligence Community, covering agencies as diverse as CIA (a record 50 participants), the Air Force Research Laboratory and the National Air and Space Intelligence Center.”

Read more: The USA “Cuban Twitter” Propaganda is a Drop in the Bucket

Nestle vs. basic human decency

Nestlé is privatizing our water. It's up to us to stop them. Chip in $1 to stop them

Imagine being so thirsty that you drink water contaminated with raw sewage.

According to the World Health Organization, over a billion people in the developing world lack access to sanitary drinking water, and 2 million people die every year as a result -- most of them children under 5 years old.

But now Nestlé is going into poor countries like Pakistan and buying up whatever clean water is available so they can sell it in plastic bottles to Europeans, Australians, and Americans.

This is just appalling. SumOfUs was created to use the collective power of consumers worldwide to stop corporate abuses -- and it doesn't get any worse than this.

These are the poorest people in the world -- and they have no chance against a corporate giant like Nestlé unless the rest of us stand with them.

Nestlé's annual meeting is next week in Switzerland, and we urgently need to get campaigners on the ground as senior management and shareholders arrive. Can you chip in $1 to make sure Nestlé hears our message?

Yes, I'll donate $1 to stop Nestlé's predatory exploitation of water resources in developing countries.

Lack of access to clean drinking water is one of the top killers in the world. And Nestlé is making that problem worse.

For instance, in the small Pakistani village of Bhati Dilwan, villagers have watched their water table sink hundreds of feet since Nestlé moved in, and now children are getting sick from the foul-smelling sludge they’re forced to drink.

People in wealthy nations are waking up to the fact that bottled water is in most cases no more healthy or clean than tap water. But it's the way Nestlé is stealing the last clean water from the poorest countries in the world that will really turn people off bottled water for good.

Millions of children are dying for lack of clean water. We can't let Nestlé steal what little they have.

Read more: Nestle vs. basic human decency

Game over for Nintendo?

Nintendo products are made using minerals which may have been mined by slave labour. Other manufacturers like Intel are already cleaning up their supply chain.

Tell Nintendo to commit to making a conflict mineral-free product in the next year.

Sign the Petition

It’s shocking to realise that the minerals used to make phones and computers are mined by slave labour in sub-Saharan Africa. Campaign groups like Walk Free are fighting to get companies to take responsibility for their supply chains and help end slavery, child labour and human rights abuses.

Nintendo are the world’s biggest console producer and are way behind other companies in cleaning up their act. Intel have already committed to creating conflict-free products and want others to follow suit.

Tell Nintendo to stop using conflict minerals.

Nintendo’s 2013 report, ‘Bringing Smiles to the Community’, lists all the children’s health, education and human rights charities supported by its offices around the world - but it hasn’t committed to cutting out conflict minerals, mined by slave labour and by children in horrifying conditions.

Read more: Game over for Nintendo?

Nominations Closing in 5 days / La période de




Français à suivre

Nominations are closing in 5 days

Are you interested in building a fair democracy in Canada?
Interested in making all votes count?

Join Fair Vote Canada’s National Council!

THIS IS THE SECOND CALL FOR COUNCIL NOMINATIONS: With Fair Vote Canada’s AGM on the horizon, it’s time to open the doors to new volunteers. Our new 2015 campaign is gaining momentum and we’re looking for passionate and energetic individuals with ideas and time to help advocate for Proportional Representation.

Every year, FVC elects five members to a three-year term on our national board of directors, the National Council. There are fifteen directors in all. This year, we are also electing three members to a two-year term. The election will be conducted by mail and online using the Single Transferable Vote, a proportional voting system. The first five candidates elected will have three-year terms. The next three candidates elected will have two-year terms.


Important Dates:

Feb. 26: last date for new members to join in order to be eligible to run or vote.

April 12: Deadline for nominations and candidates statements (candidates are self-nominated).
Interested candidates should provide a short candidate's statement (300 words maximum) to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by Saturday, April 12, 2014.

April 26th: Voting begins. Members in good standing (membership paid by Feb. 26th) of Fair Vote Canada will be eligible to cast votes in the election of FVC’s National Council.

May 16: Voting closes. Result announced.

To vote by mail, you must request a mail-in ballot. Contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or leave a message at 416-410-0434 if you want to be sent a mail-in ballot.

Those interested in running or with questions are invited to contact the Elections Committee at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Read more: Nominations Closing in 5 days / La période de

PowerShift-ed

Last weekend, PowerShift Atlantic brought over 500 youth together in Halifax for the largest climate and social justice summit in the Atlantic. Over 4 days we built connections, shared skills, trained and strategized to take on the Energy East tar sands pipeline, to stop fracking, divest from fossil fuels and build solutions for a just and sustainable world.

Check out this full rundown of what happened over the weekend and share!

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Then on Monday, PowerShift turned to action. We mobilized to support two Mi'kmaq women who disrupted a meeting between Nova Scotia Energy Minister, Andrew Younger, and representatives of the fossil fuel industry. Over 150 youth rallied to support the disruption with amazing visuals, banner drops from the hotel, and eventually occupying the hotel where the meeting was taking place. Read more here and here and check out this video of the action.

Read more: PowerShift-ed

Bobby Kennedy Jr: Canada losing its way


Bobby Kennedy Jr: Canada losing its way - This Weeks Dose of Common Sense r33 Damien GillisIn a recent speech to industry and environmental leaders in Vancouver, global Waterkeeper Alliance President Robert F. Kennedy Jr. chronicled the erosion of Canada's environmental laws due to increased corporate influence on our governments. "Canada has always been the moral paradigm for nations...until you elected Stephen Harper," he reflected.

"You used to have this great law called the Fisheries Act...but now that law is gone."

On that note, columnist DC Reid shares the weak response he received from Fisheries Minister Gail Shea, defending DFO's lack of action on the $26 million Cohen Commission's recommendations for protecting wild salmon from the impacts of fish farms, among other threats.

Meanwhile, a reflection of the watering down of Canadian environmental assessments in recent years, the review panel for the proposed Kinder Morgan pipeline to Vancouver excluded over 80% of applicants to testify at the hearings, which begin in August.

Finally, new Common Sense Canadian contributor Mark Taliano deconstructs the deceptive language of corporate power, which has taken hold of Canadian politics and democracy, as Kennedy notes.

Read more: Bobby Kennedy Jr: Canada losing its way

Sierra Life: Kids need to play and learn outside, in parks without pipelines


Sierra Life: Kids need to play and learn outside, in parks without pipelines r33

Paving Paradise

Bill 4 (the Park Amendment Act) has become law, paving the way for pipelines and other development in B.C. parks. We join British Columbians across the province demanding that Bill 4 be repealed and our parks protected again. Facebook Twitter Reddit LinkedIn

The Secret World of Karst

Our new guest blogger Charly Caproff is crazy about all things karst. Read on and learn more about this fragile, hidden ecosystem.Facebook Twitter Reddit LinkedIn

BC Education Plan Keeps Kids Inside

Proposed curriculum changes will slash environmental education from B.C. classroom materials. We encourage anyone who is concerned about depriving our kids of an environmentally aware education to express their thoughts to the government. Facebook Twitter Reddit LinkedIn

Read more: Sierra Life: Kids need to play and learn outside, in parks without pipelines

This week @ rabble.ca: The end of Canada's health accord

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rabble.ca - News for the rest of us

04 Apr 2014

Hey rabble readers!

On March 31, there were events of worldwide consequence and others of great importance for Canada. A new report makes the most dire climate forecasts yet, there is no more health accord in Canada, and the (un)Fair Elections trucks on. Parliamentary reporter Karl Nerenberg rounds up the top news that should be making headlines, instead of the backstabbing and f-bombs capturing mainstream attention.

This week, the Nova Scotia government passed essential services legislation, Bill 37, which restricts the right of all health-care workers to strike and puts an end to the province's nurses' strike. Our bloggers consider what it means for the health system when health-care workers have their voice taken away.

An exciting new blog by rabble books and blogs intern Christina Turner promises to examine the...

Read more: This week @ rabble.ca: The end of Canada's health accord

Salmon are in danger from the proposed Pebble Mine

40 million salmon are in danger from the proposed Pebble Mine in Alaska, which threatens to pollute miles of pristine streams and wetlands.

One company has already pulled out -- tell Rio Tinto to reject the mine that will destroy the largest wild sockeye salmon run in the world.

Sign the Petition

The proposed Pebble Mine in Alaska will destroy the largest sockeye salmon run in the world -- and mining giant Rio Tinto holds the key to saving it.

If built, the Pebble Mine would be the world’s largest open-pit copper and gold mine. It’s vital that we stop this mine -- for the sake of the wild salmon, and for Alaskans who depend on local salmon to survive.

Rio Tinto owns a huge share of Northern Dynasty Minerals, the company that will operate Pebble Mine if the US government approves it. But there’s some good news -- one company has already dropped out, and Rio Tinto may be reconsidering its holdings in Northern Dynasty.

In two weeks, Alaskan native leaders are attending Rio Tinto’s annual shareholder meeting in London, and we have asked them to bring the voices of hundreds of thousands of SumOfUs members with them. Can you add your name to the petition?

Tell Rio Tinto to pull out of the mine that will destroy the largest wild sockeye salmon run in the world.

Read more: Salmon are in danger from the proposed Pebble Mine

Weekly Labour news on rabble.ca

rabble.ca - News for the rest of us

rabble.ca weekly e-news for April 4th, 2014

This is your daily dose of our Editor top picks! For more new rabble content, visit www.rabble.ca-->

 

Labour This week's news about labour, unions and the workplace. For more on labour visit our topic page: http://rabble.ca/issues/labour


Is this the end of unpaid internships? April 4, 2014 | By Cynthia Spring Cynthia Spring is one of the unpaid interns let go from The Walrus last week. Frustrated with much of what is being said, Spring captures the contradictions and complexities of unpaid internships.

Unifor delays vote, escalates campaign to unionize Toyota workers April 3, 2014 | By John Bonnar On Thursday evening, Unifor held another press conference to announce the next step in the Toyota unionization drive.

Jim Sinclair: 'We support the rights of migrant workers in B.C.' April 3, 2014 | By Jim Sinclair Jim Sinclair, President of B.C. Federation of Labour, responds to the issue of supporting Temporary Foreign Workers and migrant workers' rights in B.C. and states that BCFED supports these workers.

Nova Scotia nurses are pulling the red cord on health care April 3, 2014 | By Larry Haiven The threat of a strike is one of the only ways workers have of voicing that something's wrong with a system running all over them. And now the government wants to take that away that voice.

Read more: Weekly Labour news on rabble.ca

Weekly Environment news on rabble.ca

rabble.ca - News for the rest of us

rabble.ca weekly e-news for April 4th, 2014

This is your daily dose of our Editor top picks! For more new rabble content, visit www.rabble.ca-->

Environment This week's top news about the environment, from analysis of the climate crisis to solutions for saving our planet. For more on environmental issues visit our topic page: http://rabble.ca/issues/environment
Activist Toolkit roundup: Inspiration for your activism this spring April 4, 2014 | By Megan Stacey With warmer weather comes an incredible variety of opportunities to take your activist efforts to the next level. Lickspittle Harper government helps Big Oil sabotage climate action April 3, 2014 | By Linda McQuaig Discussing the world's failure to tackle climate change, psychologist and death denial theorist Sheldon Solomon suggested it's because we're in death denial and busy distracting ourselves. Does Earth Hour actually produce environmental change? April 3, 2014 | By Nick Fillmore What are the pros and cons of Earth Hour? Organizers say the event is celebrated by 'millions' of people. Even if this is true, is it actually increasing awareness and 'saving' on electricity? 'I meant to do that': Local community shuts down Goldcorp's Los Filos mine, company claims it was suspended on purpose April 3, 2014 | By Jennifer Moore Goldcorp’s announcement Wednesday that it is suspending operations at its Los Filos mine in Mexico is a belated and misleading admission. IPCC report: Take action on climate change to prevent a grim future April 3, 2014 | By Amy Goodman The world's leading group of climate-change experts, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, has issued its latest report, and the prognosis is not good. London, Ont. unleashes a 30-foot black snake at the Forks of the Thames April 3, 2014 | By Michael Butler This week, the London Chapter of the Council of Canadians took matters into their own hands and demanded action on the major threat Line 9 poses to hundreds of communities across Ontario and Quebec. System change not climate change April 2, 2014 | By Redeye Collective Richard Smith argues it's impossible to both maximize profit and save the planet. Smith has written extensively on ecology and capitalism for New Left Review, Monthly Review and other magazines.

Read more: Weekly Environment news on rabble.ca

The Best Of #AdsForKitimat

Wednesday, April 02, 2014 by Edie Irons

The Best Of #AdsForKitimat

The Best of #AdsForKitimat

Last week stories of Enbridge employees descending upon Kitimat to sway the Northern Gateway plebiscite vote dominated news headlines, so we asked you to help balance the scales and get creative by urging people to vote "NO" with your own ads. Voting started today, so we've compiled some of the highlights from this crowd-sourced ad campaign -- way to go everyone!

There's still time to make your own ad in any medium, and post it to social media with the hashtag #AdsForKitimat. With a barrage of Enbridge advertisements and employees being flown in to knock on doors, we thought folks up there could use a dose of humour and encouragement to vote no. Voting continues next Wednesday April 9 and Saturday April 12, so it's time to get creative and get your message out there!

View image on Twitter

This incredible video says it all:

Read more: The Best Of #AdsForKitimat

Urgent action: Tell oil giant to leave uncontacted Indians alone


We help tribal peoples defend their lives, protect their lands and determine their own futures.

Urgent action

Tell oil giant to leave uncontacted Indians alone.

Brazilian state oil company Petrobras has started exploring for oil in a remote part of the Amazon inhabited by isolated and uncontacted tribes.

The company has installed 15 barges loaded with machinery on the Tapauá River in western Brazil, and is exploring close to the lands of several very vulnerable tribes, such as the uncontacted Hi Merimã.

An influx of oil workers would be disastrous for the Hi Merimã, whose lack of immunity to common diseases could see them wiped out. Similar work in the Amazon has decimated tribes – half the Nahua tribe of Peru died in epidemics after their territory was opened up to oil companies.

Read more: Urgent action: Tell oil giant to leave uncontacted Indians alone

International Living Future Institute Newsletter: April 2014


The International Living Future Institute's monthly newsletter shares r33

April 2014

Living Building Challenge Taking Hold in Asia

The restorative framework of the Living Building Challenge is resonating with more people in more places than ever, particularly in Asia. In recent months, the Challenge saw its first projects registered in China and in India.

In addition, we've teamed up with GIGA, a Chinese materials research foundation and open source database, to conduct materials research with local projects and encourage Chinese manufacturers to enroll in Declare, the Institute's ingredients label for building products.

By gaining traction in China and India, the world's largest and third-largest construction markets respectively, the Challenge is poised to shift building practices with massive ecological, economic and social implications.

Read more: International Living Future Institute Newsletter: April 2014

RAVEN - Celebrating year 5! Plus some key updates...


banner-fl-000 Dear RAVENers,

April 1st was a landmark in RAVEN’s history! It was 5 years ago that a group of individuals came together and decided that something had to be done about the extreme unfairness in the Canadian justice system with regards to protecting First Nations rights.

Here are 5 reasons, one for each year of our existence as to why we feel we are doing important work!

1. We are Effective: From our days of only two programs, we have now expanded to multiple campaign communities including the Tsilhqot’in Nation, Beaver Lake Cree, Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation, Gitga’at Nation, Gitxaala Nation, Haisla Nation, Lake Babine First Nation. We have had many successes, most recently with saving Teztan Biny (Fish Lake) a second time with the federal rejection of Taseko Mines Ltd.’s proposed “New Prosperity Mine” was rejected. RAVEN was all in for the first round on that project as well! RAVEN also proudly assisted Beaver Lake Cree Nation to fend off two concerted efforts to have their historic legal action against the expansion of the tar sands from being thrown out of court. The case is now moving to trial. And we were behind a successful judicial review aimed at saving the endangered woodland caribou in northeastern Alberta.

Read more: RAVEN - Celebrating year 5! Plus some key updates...

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