WhatsApp just provided encryption to a billion people

Written by admin on 16/11/2018 Categories: 老域名购买

Before Edward Snowden shed light on the scope of government surveillance in 2013, it was unlikely the average web user cared much about encrypting their online conversations and data.

But nearly three years and a number of high-profile privacy debates later – including the recent Apple versus FBI court battle – tech companies and social networking providers are being put under more pressure to help users protect their communications.

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On Tuesday, WhatsApp – the Facebook-owned messaging app used by more than a billion people around the world – switched on full end-to-end encryption for all of its users.

From now on, any messages sent through the app are scrambled into complicated code that no one can decode – not WhatsApp, your Internet provider, the FBI, or cybercriminals.

READ MORE: Can law enforcement legally access data on your smartphone in Canada?

In other words – the only person who can read your messages are you and the person you send them to (and maybe the person looking over your shoulder during your commute).

“The idea is simple: when you send a message, the only person who can read it is the person or group chat that you send that message to. No one can see inside that message,” wrote WhatsApp founders Jan Koum and Brian Acton in a blog post.

“All you need to know is that end-to-end encrypted messages can only be read by the recipients you intend. And if you’re using the latest version of WhatsApp, you don’t have to do a thing to encrypt your messages: end-to-end encryption is on by default and all the time.”

How does it work?

Encryption scrambles your messages into unreadable code that requires a specific key to unscramble it again.

End-to-end encryption simply means only the people on each end of the conversation have the key to unscramble the messages.

WhatsApp has used end-to-end encryption since 2014; however, the security feature now extends to every text message, picture, video, voice call and file sent on the platform.

To make sure you are using end-to-end encryption on WhatsApp, you and the person you are chatting with both have to update your app to the latest version.

If you are both using the most recent version of the app you should see a yellow notification at the top of your chat which will read, “Messages you send to this chat and calls are now secured with end-to-end encryption.”

Who else uses end-to-end encryption?

Apple uses similar end-to-end encryption for its iMessage service.

Google uses encryption extensively to stop attackers from trying to read users’ data – but in many cases the company can access the data itself and will turn it over to authorities when presented with legal orders.

READ MORE: Apple vs. FBI is the first fight in a much bigger war

Newer messaging services like Signal and Wickr also use end-to-end encryption. Telegram, a newer messaging service which recently announced it has 100 million users around the world, also offers end-to-end encryption, but users have to opt in to use it.

But WhatsApp’s decision to employ end-to-end encryption makes it the most widely encrypted messaging tool on the web, thanks to its large user base.

Is all my data safe from spies?

While all of your messages, photos, videos and other WhatsApp communications will be encrypted, some allege other information may still be up for grabs.

WhatsApp’s privacy policy reads, “WhatsApp may retain date and time stamp information associated with successfully delivered messages and the mobile phone numbers involved in the messages, as well as any other information which WhatsApp is legally compelled to collect.”

That means a hacker may still be able to see when a message was sent, who sent it and who it was sent to.

A ‘landmark’ decision by WhatsApp

WhatsApp’s decision to provide end-to-end encryption to its users comes on the heels of a highly controversial case of data privacy involving iPhone maker Apple.

In February, the FBI asked Apple for its help in hacking an iPhone belonging to one of the San Bernardino shooting suspects – a request Apple refused to comply with, saying it would create a so-called “back door” into the iPhone and jeopardize user privacy around the world.

But WhatsApp has experienced legal drama of its own. Last month, Brazilian police arrested the vice-president of Facebook in Latin America after WhatsApp refused to give authorities user information to aid a secret investigation involving organized crime and drug trafficking.

READ MORE: The FBI vs Apple case may be over, but the battle is just beginning

In the blog post, Koum and Acton clearly stated WhatsApp’s stance on data privacy, saying that if nothing is done to protect user’s digital information and communication, they will be “more vulnerable to attacks in years to come.”

“While we recognize the important work of law enforcement in keeping people safe, efforts to weaken encryption risk exposing people’s information to abuse from cybercriminals, hackers, and rogue states,” read the blog post.

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Facebook wants you watch more live video

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MENLO PARK, Calif. – Facebook is rearranging the notification panel on its mobile apps in an effort to broaden the audience creating, watching and reacting to live video on its social network.

The shift announced Wednesday is part of Facebook’s effort to turn its live video feature into a marquee attraction as more people use their smartphones to record and share snippets of their lives.

Initially introduced as a tool for celebrities eight months ago, Facebook’s live video option is now available in 60 countries.

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READ MORE: Global News gets lightning-quick with Facebook Instant Articles

To help promote it, Facebook is moving the button for its Messenger service so that the new video option can be highlighted on the notification panel. When pressed, the video button will show a directory of live streams from a user’s friends, as well as segments available to anyone on the world’s largest social network.

Messenger notifications will move to the top of Facebook’s mobile apps near the search box.

The app update for Apple and Android devices will be rolled out in phases and take several weeks to complete.

Facebook also is adding filters to live video and making it possible to express more emotions during a presentation by pressing on “love,” “haha,” “wow,” “sad” or “angry” emojis. Those are the same options that supplement Facebook’s “like” button for photo and text posts. During a live video, the reactions will float across the screen to provide more dynamic feedback to the video.

The update underscores Facebook’s commitment to live video as it vies against Periscope, a similar service owned by its smaller rival, 老域名怎么购买. Live video also could help Facebook fend off an emerging threat from the rapidly growing message service Snapchat, which says its 100 million users watch about 8 billion video clips per day.

Facebook’s 1.6 billion users collectively watch about 100 million hours of video per day, most of which isn’t being shown live. The company is now trying to push live video to the forefront of how people share their lives and whatever else they find interesting.

READ MORE: New Facebook feature will help blind people ‘see’ pictures

“We think of this as the power to broadcast from a smartphone to anyone in the world,” Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in a live video presentation Wednesday. “It’s like having a TV camera in your pocket all the time.”

Zuckerberg gave a spontaneous demonstration of live video’s unpredictability when he abruptly ended his broadcast a few minutes after it began, leaving hundreds of thousands of viewers to wonder if something had gone awry.

The mystery remained unresolved until about an hour later when Zuckerberg appeared in another live video. Instead sitting on a couch in an office by himself as he had been in the first take, Zuckerberg was standing in a room filled with the engineering team that worked on the changes to live video.

Facebook Inc. isn’t showing ads in or near live video feeds, but the Menlo Park, California, company isn’t ruling out that option to fuel its revenue growth.

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Trudeau and his staff expensed $2,000 for 2 nights in Toronto area; Harper expensed $0 for Saint Petersburg

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The Prime Minister’s office says its public expense filings contain multiple errors that lump multiple staff members onto one bill.

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    Shortly after Global News reported on the government expense filings on the Privy Council Office website – filings that include $2,000 for two nights in Toronto and Kitchener-Waterloo and upwards of $1,200 for one night in Toronto and Quebec City – the PMO got in touch to say the figures they reported are incorrect.

    At about 5 p.m. Wednesday a PMO spokesperson sent a link to an altered expense filing: $1,196.71 for two nights’ accommodation, down from $1,895.09. The other $700, they said, was for a room used as meeting space.

    The $1,235.59 for one night’s accommodation in February during a trip to Toronto and Quebec City is accurate, the PMO says.

    We’re still waiting for an explanation regarding former Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s travel expenses that appear under-reported or un-reported in these filings.

    The posted expenses indicate a stark contrast between Trudeau and Harper, although at least some of that is due to costs that go unreported in these filings ($0 expensed for Saint Petersburg accommodation, for example).

    They also indicate how difficult it is to accurately track ministerial expenses even when they’re ostensibly posted online: Costs categorized differently can make it seem as though much more or much less was spent over a period of time.

    Trudeau racked up $5,038.11 in the first two months of 2016; Harper reported $4,823.51 for the entirety of 2015.

    Harper’s priciest trip? A $739.54 night in Ottawa for Trudeau’s November swearing in.

    Harper’s expense reports are clearly missing much of the costs of his trips: His trip to Saint Petersburg, Russia in September 2013 reports $0 spent on accommodation or food, and $90 in “other” costs. We’ve asked the Conservative Party about this and are awaiting a response.

    Harper’s meal costs are not reported. And when his accommodation costs are included, they’re pretty low-budget: $252 for two nights in Windsor; $129.16 for a night in Vancouver. (The average for the Lower Mainland, according to Expedia, is $199.)

    Trudeau, on the other hand, spent $1,235.59 on accommodation for a two-day trip to Toronto and Quebec City, and $225.78 on meals during that trip.

    It isn’t clear whether these higher costs are for the entire Trudeau-Gregoire family —; Trudeau’s wife and three children have frequently accompanied him on government trips.

    The actual travel costs of these jaunts are not reported here: The vast majority of the trips are on government aircraft, the cost of which is not included in the expense reports.

    Click here to view data »

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Nearly 70% of Americans have negative view of Donald Trump: poll

Written by admin on 26/04/2020 Categories: 老域名购买

WASHINGTON – For Americans of nearly every race, gender, political persuasion and location, disdain for Donald Trump runs deep, saddling the Republican front-runner with unprecedented unpopularity as he tries to overcome recent campaign setbacks.

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Seven in 10 people, including close to half of Republican voters, have an unfavourable view of Trump, according to a new Associated Press-GfK poll. It’s an opinion shared by majorities of men and women; young and old; conservatives, moderates and liberals; and whites, Hispanics and blacks – a devastatingly broad indictment of the billionaire businessman.

Even in the South, a region where Trump has won Republican primaries decisively, close to 70 per cent view him unfavourably. And among whites without a college education, one of Trump’s most loyal voting blocs, 55 per cent have a negative opinion.

READ MORE: Obama embracing his role as the anti-Trump

Trump still leads the Republican field in delegates and has built a loyal following with a steady share of the Republican primary electorate. But the breadth of his unpopularity raises significant questions about how he could stitch together enough support in the general election to win the White House.

It also underscores the trouble he may still face in the Republican race, which appears headed to a contested convention where party insiders would have their say about who will represent the Republican in the fall campaign.

“He’s at risk of having the nomination denied to him because grass-roots party activists fear he’s so widely disliked that he can’t possible win,” said Ari Fleischer, a former adviser to President George W. Bush.

Beyond their generally negative perception of Trump, large majorities also said they would not describe him as civil, compassionate or likable. On nearly all of these measures, Trump fared worse than his remaining Democratic or Republican rivals.

Not that voters have all that much love for those rivals. But their negative perceptions don’t match the depth of the distaste for Trump. Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, who is seeking to catch Trump in the Republican delegate count, is viewed unfavourably by 59 per cent, while 55 per cent have negative views of Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton.

READ MORE: Obama says foreign leaders are asking about ‘wackier Republican suggestions’

Another problem for Trump is that his public perception seems to be getting worse. The number of Americans who view him unfavourably has risen more than 10 percentage points since mid-February, a two-month stretch that has included some of his biggest primary victories but also an array of stumbles that suggested difficulties with his campaign organization and a lack of policy depth.

A survey conducted by Gallup in January found Trump’s unfavourable rating, then at 60 per cent in the their polling, was already at a record high level for any major party nominee in their organization’s polling since the 1990’s.

READ MORE: Struggling with female voters, Trump has wife stump at Wisconsin rally

More than 60 per cent of all registered voters and 31 per cent of Republicans said they definitely would not vote for Trump in the general election.

—;

The AP-GfK Poll of 1,076 adults was conducted online March 31-April 4, using a sample drawn from GfK’s probability-based KnowledgePanel, which is designed to be representative of the U.S. population. The margin of sampling error for all respondents is plus or minus 3.3 percentage points.

Respondents were first selected randomly using telephone or mail survey methods and later interviewed online. People selected for KnowledgePanel who didn’t otherwise have access to the Internet were provided access at no cost to them.

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Man charged with uttering threats after heated call to Alberta legislature

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EDMONTON – A man has been charged after staff say someone phoned the legislature office of Alberta Environment Minister Shannon Phillips and threatened to shoot everyone over the carbon tax.

Michael Enright, an oil products salesman from Camrose, says he didn’t make any threats and was simply calling to voice his frustration over the hurt currently being experienced in his industry.

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    “This was nothing. This was me having a bad day,” Enright said when contacted by on Thursday. “I’m a very calm person. Everybody knows me as a guy who never gets upset.”

    Cheryl Sheppard of the Edmonton Police Service said Enright faces one Criminal Code charge of uttering threats.

    READ MORE: Online threats not ‘out of the ordinary,’ says Alberta premier

    The call happened a week ago, on March 31, in the middle of the afternoon.

    “He was calling to express his anger over the carbon tax,” a staffer in Phillips’s office told police in a statement.

    The staffer told police the caller, who refused to identify himself, referred to the minister as a man. When he was reminded Phillips was female, “he told me the NDP only hire people with boobs, not qualified people.”

    “He then said he was going to get his ammunition and gun and come here and shoot us all,” the statement reads.

    Sheppard said Enright was charged later that day with assistance from police in Camrose.

    Enright said Thursday he has not been in court yet.

    He denied making any threats.

    “No, I didn’t say that. I don’t have a gun. I don’t have ammunition. I didn’t say that at all.”

    Enright said he was driving and listening to talk radio host Danielle Smith, former Opposition Wildrose leader in the legislature, when he called Phillips’s office.

    “I’m listening to Danielle Smith talking just one thing after another about — whatchamacallit — the economy and the coal. I’ve got friends who are losing their jobs, and I phoned in,” he said.

    “I didn’t mean to get upset and I did not threaten anybody at all. All I said was that if they (the NDP government) keep pushing people, people are going to get guns and they are going to revolt.

    “I was talking globally, not specifically. I would never, never, ever threaten anybody. I’ve never hurt anybody. I don’t even have a speeding ticket.”

    Enright said the whole thing has been blown out of proportion.

    “I feel terrible that the person on the other end actually felt threatened by me.”

    He said if he thought it would make amends, he would write the office an apology letter and do even more for the female staff member with whom he spoke on the phone.

    “When this is all done, I’m going to send her flowers.”

    The maximum penalty for uttering threats is five years in prison. None of the accusations has been proven in court.

    Premier Rachel Notley and other members of her cabinet have been the target of threats in recent months. Some people have posted messages on Facebook and other sites threatening to kill the premier.

    There have been no reports of any charges laid as a result.

    READ MORE: Farm Safety Bill spurs death threats against Alberta premier 

    The threats spiked last December when Notley’s government passed legislation mandating safety rules on farms and making paid farm workers eligible for workers’ compensation.

    Energy Minister Marg McCuaig-Boyd tearfully recounted in the legislature that she had been harassed and threatened over the farm bill.

    Phillips has said on 老域名怎么购买 she gets angry and abusive messages daily on social media.

    The carbon tax, set to begin on Jan. 1, is part of a climate-change plan introduced last November by Phillips and Notley.

    The tax, designed to give consumers an incentive to move toward greener energy alternatives, will increase the cost of everything from gas at the pumps to home heating and electricity.

    The province is also moving to shut down all coal-fired electricity plants by 2030. That has led to concerns about job losses and a harmful domino effect on communities.

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Police in Detroit find woman chained to stripper’s pole in ‘house of horrors’

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Police in the Detroit area made a horrific discovery while executing a search warrant related to an identity theft investigation when they found a woman chained to a stripper’s pole, with a padlock around her neck.

The 25-year-old woman told police she was a sex slave along with three other women, the Detroit News reports citing federal court documents. Police arrested the owner of the home 31-year-old Ryon Travis.

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Sex Trafficking Grades Per State | Graphiq

During the search of the home police also found a cellphone with sexually explicit images involving young children in what they called a “house of horrors.”

The Washington Post obtained audio of a March 23 detention hearing where Assistant U.S. Attorney Sara Woodard said Ryon had posted online advertisements claiming he had four girls for sale.

“[The woman] said that if she or the other women refused to dance or perform sex acts, the defendant would be violent with them, and that he would hit them with a closed fist, kick them or push them down,” Woodard said according to the Post.

The case began March 2, when police in the Detroit metropolitan area executed a search warrant at Ryon’s two-storey home in the city’s west side for fraud related to an identity theft case involving “money over $50,000,” according to court filings.

READ MORE: 47 charged with 135 offences in Canada-wide human

The Detroit News reports officers discovered two cellphones on a living room table that contained “images of child pornography.” Authorities allege some of those images depict a man engaged in a sex act with a “very young” girl lying on a distinctive blue and white sheet seen on a bed at Travis’ house.

During a second search conducted March 21, authorities found a stripper pole in the living room and a woman chained at the neck with a padlock, according to court filings.

Authorities charged Travis with several offences including the producing, transporting and possessing child pornography, fraud, and sex trafficking.

Travis made a court appearance April 4, during which he pleaded not guilty to the charges, which could amount to a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison.

According to a 2012 report from the International Labour Organization, three out of every 1,000 people worldwide are in forced labour, amounting to nearly 21 million people.  Of those, 4.5 million are victims of forced sexual exploitation, by individuals or enterprises.

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Five highlights from Nova Scotia cabinet: April 7

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Nova Scotia MLAs discussed everything from the Yarmouth ferry to the recent lockdowns at Halifax schools at cabinet on Thursday. Here are some highlights you should know about.

Premier Stephen McNeil doesn’t rule out 2016 election

The premier didn’t rule out the prospect of calling Nova Scotia voters back to the polling stations this year.

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“I haven’t ruled one out or one in,” McNeil said.

“We’ll introduce our budget, continue to move forward, but I haven’t put my mind to when the election date will or won’t be.”

When asked if the government would balance the budget, he said he “certainly” hopes to see a balanced budget this year.

Recent school lockdowns concerning

After three schools in the province were placed in lockdown and one in hold and secure this week, the education minister reiterated that schools are handling the testy situations properly.

“Our department was in constant communication with the school board to make sure that first of all that children and staff were safe, that parents were informed, that the practices and the management programs for emergencies that schools have were followed, and that at the end of the day the resolution was safe,” said Education Minister Karen Casey.

The school boards and RCMP also reassured the public that they take each situation of a potential threat against a school very seriously, and that they’ve been implementing new measures to ensure safety of students and staff.

P3 model being pondered for Victoria General replacement

After months and months of delays in an update on the crumbling Victoria General Hospital, the government now says they’re looking at a P3 model as a way to replace the building.

McNeil said he doesn’t believe the federal government will provide money to help with the health institution.

A P3 partnership, or public-private partnership, sees money given from the government, as well as a private institution, to pay for new infrastructure.

The government has an August deadline to decide what to do with 39 P3 schools they’ve been leasing from the public sector.

No timeline for new cyberbullying legislation

Nova Scotia still has no timeline for when they’ll implement a new law to deal with cyberbullying cases.

The Anti-Cyberbullying Act was struck down in December, after it was determined it infringed on peoples’ charter rights.

Today, Justice Minister Diana Whalen said they still have no idea when a new alternative might be drafted, despite the fact that losing the original Act “certainly left a void.”

Yarmouth ferry management costs to be kept secret

Transport Minister Geoff MacLellan said the management fee for the Yarmouth-Portland ferry will continue to be kept under wraps, thanks to a request from Bay Ferries.

The government announced a 10-year deal with the company last month, and has received extensive criticism since, with many thinking the price tag is much too high.

Maintaining his confidence in the decision, however, he said tickets for the 2016 season could go on sale as early as Monday.

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ISIS kidnaps 300 workers near Syrian capital: report

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Syrian state TV says Islamic State (ISIS) militants have kidnapped 300 cement workers and contractors in an area northeast of the capital, Damascus.

The TV says the workers from the al-Badia Cement Company were abducted on Thursday from Dumeir, an area where militants launched a surprise attack against government forces earlier this week.

State-run news agency SANA quoted a source in the company as saying that there has been no success in efforts to establish contact with any of the workers.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which monitors the Syria conflict, said earlier in the day that contact was lost with dozens of workers in Dumeir.

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1 in 3 trillion chance DNA was someone other than Vader: forensics expert

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EDMONTON – A DNA expert who testified at the Travis Vader double murder trial told court the chances of the DNA found in the McCann vehicle belonged to someone other than Vader is 1 in 3 trillion.

Vashni Skipper, who works in the RCMP forensics lab, told court several items from inside the McCann SUV were swabbed and tested for DNA.

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    DNA found on a Boxer beer can and blood on the centre console arm rest matched the profile designated as “male 2,” later identified as Travis Vader.  The likelihood it was someone else’s DNA is 1 in 3 trillion, Skipper said.

    READ MORE: Travis Vader late again, delays Day 19 of double murder trial

    DNA found on the steering wheel came back as a 1 in 7.4 billion chance that it was someone other than Vader.

    A swab from the front passenger seat turned up more DNA. The likelihood it belonged to someone else was 1 in 12 million.

    The reliability of DNA evidence depends on several factors including the quantity and quality of the sample. Partial DNA profiles were obtained from the steering wheel and front passenger seat.

    READ MORE: Text messages show Travis Vader used McCanns’ cellphone: Crown

    During cross examination, Vader’s lawyer questioned Skipper whether science could determine if a person was inside a vehicle.

    Skipper admitted the forensics cannot determine where a person was located or when DNA material was deposited.

    READ MORE: Witness saw Travis Vader in SUV similar to missing McCann’s vehicle

    Defence lawyer Brian Beresh painted a scenario of someone sneezing or coughing from outside a vehicle through a passenger window and leaving their DNA. Skipper told the court it would be unlikely but it couldn’t be ruled out. She testified it may be difficult to get a sufficient quantity to extract enough DNA to make a comparison, but not impossible.

    Blood spatter found on cans of food that were located in the SUV confirmed a match to Marie McCann. The likelihood the blood came from someone else is 1 in 4.6 trillion.

    The Defense had its own DNA analyst in court to listen to the testimony.

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Liberals promised to empower budget watchdog, haven’t responded to his budget request

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Jean-Denis Fréchette just wants someone to return his calls.

Last week the Parliamentary Budget Officer asked the federal government for additional details regarding its 2016 budget. He wanted that info by Tuesday, April 5 at noon.

The response? Crickets.

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Fréchette says he got no response at all from Deputy Finance Minister Paul Rochon, to whom his request was addressed. When Global News spoke to him Thursday morning he hadn’t heard back or received an acknowledgment they got the request.

“That, for me, is kind of serious.”

Finance Canada, for its part, says it has been in touch and is working to fulfill its request.

“The department has been in communication with the PBO regarding this request and is diligently working to respond as soon as possible,” a spokesperson wrote in an email late Thursday afternoon.

(Fréchette said he hasn’t heard from the department, but “has no doubt” they’re “working hard to respond.”)

READ MORE: Watchdog rips into Liberal budget

“I’m not a difficult person,” Fréchette says.

“I much prefer to receive something on the deadline saying, ‘I’m sorry, I don’t have the information’; … ‘It’s not in the format in which you requested it’; ‘I’m sorry, I need an extension.”

“I much prefer to receive at least some kind of acknowledgment of my request than nothing.”

And he’s had no problem getting responses from other federal departments under the new Liberal government: National Defence and Indigenous and Northern Affairs, among others, have responded quickly, he says.

Fréchette published a scathing report Wednesday on the budget’s opacity, which he said makes it tougher for parliamentarians to scrutinize government spending.

“They should show the complete global picture of their fiscal plan,” he said Thursday.

“That would have helped parliamentarians and ourselves to do a better analysis.”

Everyone knows future numbers are estimates, he says: “They will change. That’s not a problem. But … you want to have some kind of sense of where you’re going to be in five years.”

Transparency’s particularly crucial in the Liberals’ first budget, Fréchette said.

“At the beginning of a new government, they should show the complete, global picture — just to establish some kind of … transparency. To be really clear about the objectives they want to achieve.”

The Liberals ran on a platform of openness, promising to give the Parliamentary Budget Officer independence and teeth he currently lacks.

They also promised to reform the 33-year-old Access to Information Act. That’s now slated to begin in 2018.

“I’m not furious. I’m just surprised … because I was expecting to have all the information for the five years,” Fréchette said.

Government transparency, especially when it comes to money, has been an issue in the past.

The federal Conservatives created the Parliamentary Budget Officer, a promise of their 2006 campaign. Years later, that officer — Fréchette’s predecessor Kevin Page — took them to court over their refusal to divulge financial information.

But in some ways this Liberal budget is less transparent than its Tory predecessors, Fréchette said.

“The previous government had an objective. They showed it in the budget.

“If this government has a five-year objective … they should indicate all the measures there would be.”

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60% of Americans don’t know enough about the threat of Zika virus: Poll

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WASHINGTON – Americans don’t know a lot about the Zika virus that is linked to birth defects and creeping steadily closer to the U.S., according to a new poll that found about 4 in 10 say they’ve heard little to nothing about the mosquito-borne threat.

Even among people who’ve been following the Zika saga at least a little, many aren’t sure whether there’s a vaccine or treatment — not yet — or if there’s any way the virus can spread other than through mosquito bites.

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READ MORE: How this Canadian-led research team is using old tires to fight spread of Zika

Still, with mosquito season fast approaching, more than half of the population supports a variety of efforts to control summer swarms — from spraying pesticides to releasing genetically modified mosquitoes, says the poll conducted by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research.

The government is considering a field trial in the Florida Keys of male mosquitoes, which don’t bite, that are genetically altered so that when they mate with wild females, the offspring quickly die. The poll found 56 per cent of people would support introducing such mosquitoes into areas affected by Zika.

“I think it’s kind of the wave of the future, to be honest,” said Janis Maney, 63, of Pensacola, Florida, who sees mosquitoes nearly year-round in her warm climate. She’s open to “anything that would control those little buggers.”

READ MORE: Canadian travellers: paralyzing disorder cases spike in Zika affected countries

The Zika virus has exploded throughout Latin America and the Caribbean. While adults typically suffer mild, if any, symptoms, there’s an increasingly strong link between infections in pregnant women and fetal death and devastating birth defects — babies born with small heads that signal a damaged brain.

U.S. health officials are warning pregnant women and those attempting to conceive to avoid travelling to Zika-affected areas. More than 300 cases of Zika have been diagnosed in the U.S., all so far associated with travel.

But the mosquitoes capable of spreading Zika live in parts of the U.S. And while experts don’t expect an epidemic here, they worry that small clusters of cases are likely, particularly in Florida or Texas, if the insects bite returning travellers and then someone else.

READ MORE: Edmonton starts getting mean with mosquitoes, says dry conditions helping

“We have only weeks to prepare before the mosquitoes, and perhaps the virus, get ahead of us,” said Dr. Edward McCabe of the March of Dimes.

Leah Zeleski, 27, of Lincoln, Nebraska, said she won’t travel too far south this summer. A nursing student, Zeleski calls this a “very scary” time for women of childbearing age and wonders what scientists will discover next about Zika’s risks, unknown until the current outbreak began in Brazil last year.

Zeleski said she’ll wear insect repellent and cover up during mosquito season.

READ MORE: Why health officials are relying on Elmo, Sesame Street friends to stop Zika virus

The AP-NORC Center poll found that among people who’ve heard about Zika, 90 per cent know mosquitoes can spread it but there are some other key gaps in knowledge:

—About 1 in 5 couldn’t say whether Zika was linked to birth defects.

—Zika also sometimes spreads through sexual intercourse, but 14 per cent wrongly thought it couldn’t, and another 29 per cent said they didn’t know. That’s worrisome, because the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says men who’ve travelled to Zika-affected areas either should use condoms with their pregnant partners or avoid sex until the baby’s born.

—More than half didn’t know if there was a vaccine or treatment for Zika — there is not — or a diagnostic test. There are tests but they’re not perfect, and they’re being used primarily with pregnant women.

More public education is needed before there are any homegrown Zika infections, said Gillian SteelFisher of Harvard’s school of public health, whose own polling has found even more misconceptions about Zika.

READ MORE: US health officials urged to get ready for Zika

“We have an opportunity, before there’s a case, to get people to worry where they need to and not where they don’t,” SteelFisher said. “With good information, people can take the right steps to protect themselves.”

The poll found few people — 16 per cent — are very worried that the U.S. will experience much Zika.

“I’ve kind of grown numb” about outbreak warnings in recent years, said Valerie White, 24, of Montgomery County, Maryland, who doesn’t plan to travel during her pregnancy. “Once people realize it’s a problem, there’s usually a quick response, so I’m not worried.”

READ MORE: Suspected zika virus case in Saskatchewan could be a Canadian first

Only a quarter of people said U.S. athletes should withdraw from the Olympics in Brazil this summer.

When it comes to those genetically modified mosquitoes, some activists in Florida have argued against them — but the new poll found only 16 per cent of Americans overall are opposed to the strategy to control Zika, and 26 per cent are neutral. In previous surveys, genetically modified food ingredients have generated more public concern.

The AP-NORC poll of 1,004 adults was conducted March 17-21 using a sample drawn from NORC’s probability-based AmeriSpeak panel, which is designed to be representative of the U.S. population. The margin of sampling error for all respondents is plus or minus 3.8 percentage points.

Respondents were first selected randomly using address-based sampling methods, and later interviewed online or by phone.

Zika Virus Disease Overview | HealthGrove

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Most Canadian hockey fans will be tuning in less come playoff time: poll

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With no Canadian NHL teams in this year’s playoffs, more than half of the country’s hockey fans who normally watch the postseason will be tuning in less this year, according to a new online poll.

For the first time in more than 40 years, all seven of Canada’s NHL hockey teams have been shut out of playoff action, and according to results of a new poll from the Angus Reid Institute, 54 per cent of Canadians who say they normally watch the postseason will be watching less this year.

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According to the poll, 35 per cent of respondents who say they usually watch the playoffs will be watching less and 19 per cent won’t be watching at all.

Only 30 per cent said they will watch about as much hockey action as they normally would.

READ MORE: No Canadian team in NHL playoffs is bad for business

Last month, with the prospect of having no representation of Canada in the playoffs, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman expressed hope that fans will still tune into the games.

“As long as the hockey is entertaining and exciting and competitive we’re hoping and expecting that fans will tune in and watch great hockey,” the commissioner said.

Sorry Bettman, but even those who identified themselves as a “diehard” hockey fan (131 respondents), almost half said they will be watching less this year and 12 per cent said they won’t watch at all. Only eight per cent of the group said they will be watching more playoff action.

So, for those who are watching, what team will they cheer for?

The poll results suggest 46 per cent will be supporting the defending champions, the Chicago Blackhawks, while the Boston Bruins and the Pittsburgh Penguins tied with 26 per cent.

READ MORE: Canada’s NHL playoff drought could lead hockey fans to look for love

Which team will break Canada’s Stanley Cup drought?

Well, according to the poll respondents, 26 per cent said it will be the Montreal Canadiens, the same Canadian team to last win the cup back in 1993. Eleven per cent said it will be the Toronto Maple Leafs, followed by the Edmonton Oilers at 10 per cent. Interestingly enough, three per cent said no Canadian team will ever win the cup again.

The Angus Reid Institute conducted an online survey from March 28 – 31, 2016, among a representative randomized sample of 1,522 Canadian adults who are members of the Angus Reid Forum. For comparison purposes only, a probability sample of this size would carry a margin of error of +/- 2.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20. Discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding. The survey was self-commissioned and paid for by ARI.

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How much money does Bombardier owe Canadians? It’s a secret

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Bombardier owes Canadians hundreds of millions of dollars but we don’t know exactly how much because the federal government won’t tell us.

The Quebec-based company, which has asked Ottawa for $1 billion in aid to match the Quebec government’s commitment, has received $1.3 billion in “repayable contributions.”

As of this week, Industry Canada says, Bombardier has repaid $590.5 million of that. (On March 14, repayments to date totalled $584.6 million.)

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    That would appear to leave close to three-quarters of a billion dollars left for Bombardier to repay. But we don’t know for sure because both the interest rate and the repayment schedule are secret.

    “The amount that has been repaid to date does not reflect the total amount that will eventually be repaid,” Industry Canada spokesperson Stéfanie Power said in an email late Thursday afternoon.

    The conditions on Bombardier’s “repayable contributions” from the Canadian government is considered an industry secret.

    “Under the Access to Information legislation, information related to anticipated repayments, the repayment schedule and interest is third party competitive information and cannot be disclosed,” spokesperson Hans Parmar wrote in an email to Global News.

    Taxpayers loaned about $543.8 million of that $1.3 billion total in the past 20 years, between April 1995 and February 2016, Industry Canada says.

    In that same time period, the feds have also given Bombardier $46.2 million in “non-repayable contributions.”

    WATCH: Trudeau in no rush to make decision on Bombardier rescue package

    Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says his government’s still weighing whether to match the Quebec government’s billion-dollar loan to Bombardier.

    The aerospace giant is going through a rough patch: The company missed its fourth-quarter earnings target; its stock dipped below $1 for the first time in a quarter-century earlier this year.

    The federal government has spent almost half a million dollars on a financial assessment of Bombardier, ordered in August.

    But Bombardier will cut Canadian jobs no matter how much money it gets: The company has said it will cut 2,830 Canadian jobs over the next two years.

    Air Canada’s intention to buy 45 of Bombardier’s CSeries 300 planes is seen as a good sign; the bankruptcy of a major CSeries customer, less so.

    The Canadian and Quebec governments have given Bombardier $467 million toward this project.

    WATCH: Bombardier announces 7,000 layoffs, wants bailout

    READ MORE: Ontario gave 109 companies $765M over 8 years. Where are the jobs?

    It’s possible Bombardier will get millions from two levels of government while being sued for millions by another: Toronto is considering suing the company, which is months behind its delivery schedule for new streetcars.

    The city ordered 204 new “low floor” streetcars from Bombardier for just under a billion dollars in 2009.

    According to an April, 2014 schedule, the TTC says, Toronto was supposed to have 55 new streetcars in service by the end of 2015.

    That projection was reduced to 27, then 14.

    Last month the Toronto Transit Commission asked council for an extra $34.1 million to refurbish an aging fleet that should have been replaced by now.

    WATCH: Transport Minister says government didn’t pressure Air Canada to buy Bombardier jets

    Bombardier has also had trouble with other projects: Its contract to do work on London, UK’s, subway system was “nothing short of a disaster for London,” according to a March report from the London Assembly that blames the city’s transit agency for “grossly” mismanaging the project.

    READ MORE: Bombardier blasted for ‘shameful’ performance in UK report

    While Transit for London’s strategy was “fundamentally wrong,” the report says, it is not kind to Bombardier.

    “As the Mayor explained, Bombardier ‘totally stuffed it up,’” the report reads.

    “Even more damning [than] Bombardier’s inability to deliver the programme are claims by [Transit for London] that it was duped by Bombardier from the outset about its expertise and experience.”

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    READ MORE: Ontario gave 109 companies $765M over 8 years. Where are the jobs?

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