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Large tornado touches down for nearly three hours in Manitoba

A tornado, with an estimated girth reaching more than one kilometre, touched down north of Piers0n, Man., on Monday evening and stayed on the ground for close to three hours, etching a path over 80 kilometres long, according to reports from Environment Canada and professional storm chaser Greg Johnson. The incredible phenomenon tore up asphalt, damaged a bridge near Melita, and ripped through farmyards on its way north of Virden, where it retreated. Greg Johnson was there, taking video and posting photos to his Twitter account. He issued this warning: “My heart is going out to folks in SW Manitoba tonite. We intercepted a very large, violent and damaging tornado around 7:30pm north of Pierson Manitoba. Several farm yards were destroyed, power poles torn down, asphalt ripped from the surface of the highway and at times the tornado was up to a kilometer wide and had multiple suction vortices. We will be posting video shortly but for now a few photos of the event. Please share with your friends and lets hope everyone escaped injury. Tornadoes are still being reported and the path his heading directly for Reston and Virden Manitoba. Anyone in these areas should be seeking shelter underground immediately.” Severe weather warnings have ended, but a heavy rainfall warning remains in effect for much of central Manitoba. I think it needs to be mentioned that Greg Johnson has, perhaps, one of the coolest jobs in the world. [Source: Facebook, Global News]


Belfast hotel sells Newfoundland iceberg water for $53 per bottle

The Merchant Hotel, a five-star chain in Belfast, is selling water “harvested” from an iceberg in Newfoundland for $53 per bottle. The hotel employs a water sommelier available to guests eager to spend time and money learning about what makes some waters better than others. The chain offers a wide selection of expensive options, but the Newfoundland water called, Iceberg, Still is tops, as “Isolation has made its source totally inaccessible to man,” according to Michael Tanousis, the hotel’s water importer, told the Daily Mail, “We live in a sophisticated society which gives people the opportunity to spend their money as they see fit.” Touche, Tanousis. Touche. [Source: Postmedia]

Rural hotels in Manitoba closing at fast rate

Rural hotels in Manitoba are closing at a rate of nearly one every six weeks, according to Angelo Mondragon, a hotel owner in Notre Dame, Man., and the president of Rural Hotel Owners of Manitoba. During one week this May, establishments in Elm Creek, Waskada, and Boissevain all shut their doors. And Mondragon believes it’s largely due to the province keeping more than its share of the VLT and liquor sales revenues. “We do the work and the government makes the lion’s share of the profit,” Mondragon told Postmedia. “You tax the crap out of me and then you tell me it’s my fault that I’m failing.” Manitoba Liquor and Lotteries said it is working with the association to find a solution, but added that an increase in shares is unlikely the answer. Owner of the always-tempting-to-stop-at-on-my-way-home-from-Winnipeg Brunkilld Bar and Grill, Gary Desrosiers, told news sources if nothing changes, “You’re going to see a huge number of rural hotels go out of business. I can’t afford a bartender so I work most of the hours myself.” And I, for one, don’t want to imagine a world without the Brunkild Bar and Grill. [Source: Postmedia]

Tripoli court sentences Gaddafi’s son to death

A court in Tripoli has sentenced Muammar Gaddafi’s son, Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, to death charges related to the 2011 revolution, including incitement to murder and rape. The mass trial, which has been called out by human rights groups over suspect standards, also sentenced eight other people from the Gaddafi dictatorship to death. It’s unclear whether his death will be carried out, as the militia that seized him during his attempt to flee Libya near the end of the war has yet to release him. [Source: Guardian]

Reputation Institute says Canada is the most “reputable” country in the world

The Reputation Institute (yes, there is such a thing in this world as the Reputation Institute) has released its rankings. And we’re tops, apparently. Canada is the world’s most reputable country, according to the 48,000 people the Institute polled, beating out last year’s winner, Switzerland. What does this mean? I still don’t really know. But the news source for this brief said RI asked its sample questions related to “effective government, appealing environment, and advanced economy.” Canada is also tops when it comes to quality of life, according to the very same poll. [Source: Globe and Mail]


Follow Toban Dyck at @tobandyck.

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