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Despite criticism, Kenney standing by temporary foreign worker program

OTTAWA - Jason Kenney is defending the government's controversial temporary foreign workers program even as a major fast-food chain freezes its participation and a respected economist casts fresh doubt on the extent of Canada's skills shortage. In Manitoba on Wednesday, the federal employment minister reiterated that employers who abuse the program could face fraud charges and jail time. The program remains under review and further changes will be announced soon, he added.

Replace temporary foreign workers program with immigration, incentives: critics

OTTAWA - How to solve a problem like the federal government's scandal-plagued temporary foreign workers program? Economists and immigration experts say there are solutions at hand as the Conservatives grapple with yet another controversy involving temporary foreign workers. "We have to figure out what we want as a labour market in the end," David Green, an economics professor at the University of British Columbia who specializes in wage and employment issues, said in an interview Tuesday.

Rights group urges Qatar, host of 2022 World Cup, to do more to protect domestic servants

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates - An international human rights group has slammed Qatar for failing to protect foreign maids and other domestic workers from exploitation, adding pressure on the Gulf state over its labour practices as it gears up to host the 2022 World Cup. Amnesty International said in a report released Wednesday that the migrant workers in the natural gas-rich country face abuse including forced labour, excessively long working hours, verbal harassment and physical and sexual violence.

Study in Europe eclipses notion home in the sun equals happiness

LONDON (Reuters) - Sun seekers who leave northern Europe for warmer climes are marginally less happy than those left behind, a study found. A sample of more than 300 migrants from Belgium, Switzerland, Germany, the Netherlands, France and Britain who resettled in Mediterranean countries found that they were slightly less satisfied with life than a much larger sample of 56,000 people living in northern countries.

Saskatchewan restaurant under investigation after dismissing Canadian servers

OTTAWA - The federal government said Monday it is investigating a Saskatchewan restaurant where two long-serving waitresses say they and two others recently lost their jobs to temporary foreign workers. Employment Minister Jason Kenney has asked his department to investigate the Brothers Classic Grill and Pizza in Weyburn, Sask., a spokeswoman for the minister said Monday.

Chelsea Clinton is pregnant with first child

By Barbara Goldberg NEW YORK (Reuters) - Chelsea Clinton announced on Thursday that she is pregnant with the first grandchild of former President Bill Clinton and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. "Marc and I are very excited that we have our first child arriving later this year," said Chelsea Clinton, 34, referring to her investment banker husband, Marc Mezvinsky, 36.

Supreme Court to hear three people-smuggling cases, including Sun Sea appeals

OTTAWA - The Supreme Court of Canada will hear three appeals in cases where people were denied refugee status because they were allegedly involved in people smuggling. Two of the cases involve an individual and a couple who were aboard the MV Sun Sea, which carried 492 Sri Lankan nationals to Canada in 2010. The arrival of two ships off the British Columbia coast led the Harper government to enact its so-called human smuggling law to discourage a repeat of the dramatic incidents.

China sneaker factory strike snowballs as tens of thousands of workers walk out over benefits

BEIJING, China - A strike at the Chinese factories of the world's biggest athletic shoe maker snowballed Thursday to about 30,000 workers, a labour group said, making it one of the largest-ever work stoppages at a private business in China. Workers in the southern city of Dongguan want Taiwanese-owned Yu Yuen Industrial (Holdings) Ltd., which makes shoes for companies such as Nike and Adidas, to make social security contributions required by Chinese law and meet other demands. They've been striking in increasing numbers in on-and-off stoppages since April 5.

U.S. court deportations fall 43 percent over five years: report

(Reuters) - Deportations through U.S. immigration courts have fallen 43 percent in the past five years as the federal government brought fewer cases before those courts, according to Justice Department data analyzed by the New York Times on Wednesday. The figures come as President Barack Obama and House of Representatives Republicans clashed openly over immigration- reform legislation that remains stalled in the Republican-led House.

Remittance 'super tax' costs Africa $1.8 billion a year

Africans are losing $1.8 billion (1.3 billion euros) a year due to high fees levied on funds sent from abroad by relatives, Britain's leading think tank on development said Wednesday. The Overseas Development Institute (ODI) found that Africans face some of the highest charges in the world for international transfers, but global leader Western Union insisted that the fees were down to a range of local factors.
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