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May 01, 2003

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A compendium of articles that appeared in the media during the last few weeks quoting members of the SFU community.

Vancouver is break-in capital of Canada
Vancouver Sun, April 28

Property crime is falling along with the rest of the crime rate, but metropolitan Vancouver is still the break-and-enter capital of Canada. In 2001 Vancouver tallied 1,401 burglaries per 100,000 population. Winnipeg was next with 1,152 and Montreal was third with 1,041. And while the rates may be falling, that's no cause for celebration for victims of property crimes. Police resources typically focus on crimes against people, where victims have been hurt. They are often reluctant to do much more than “bureaucratically process crimes that are reported to them for insurance purposes,” says Robert Gordon, who heads SFU's school of criminology. Victims have few options but to get over it and file insurance claims. And traumatic as the experience may be, that's how the system works now and, Gordon says, “most people just want to get paid back.”


Tweens are not tween angels
Global News, April 23

Early maturing is driving the starting point for risky behaviour lower. While it was once generally grades nine or 10 before young people started experimenting with drugs, sex and petty crime, similar behaviour is being exhibited by kids in Grade 7. SFU criminologist Ray Corrado says behaviour patterns for young offenders show up in the tween years. “The strongest predictor of teenage violence is childhood aggression and violence,” he says. “So it shows up in 10- or 11- or 12-year-olds who engage in the types of behaviours as joy riding, stealing cars and smashing them up.” Corrado says the behaviours are so aggressive and excessive at an early age that they may become adolescent life course offenders, carrying the behaviour through their teens and adulthood.


War on climate change goes on
Edmonton Journal, April 23

Canadians haven't conquered the problem of greenhouse gases despite new data from 2001 showing a slight decrease in emissions from the previous year, according to an energy expert at SFU. Numbers released April 22 by Environment Canada show emissions of the gases that cause climate change decreased by 10 million tonnes, or 1.3 per cent from 2000 to 2001. “I'm completely not surprised by this and have seen it happen all over the world,” says Mark Jaccard, who served from 1993-96 on the international intergovernmental panel on climate change. China also recently reduced emissions when it had an electricity glut and temporarily shut its inefficient coal-fired power plants. “There is nothing that has been achieved and it would be a real mistake to misinterpret this as something of a trend,” he says.


Baghdad waltz proves fanatics right
Toronto Star, April 10

The invasion of Iraq may have been carried out to protect the U.S. from future terrorist attacks. But it has only angered Muslims, shown the impossibility of defeating the U.S. through conventional military methods and bolstered the case that the only effective approach is terrorism. “You defeat the security forces of Iraq and what do you prove?” asks SFU military expert Andre Gerolymatos. “You prove that the religious fanatics were right.” Even before the war, secularism was on the run in the Middle East. It was overthrown in Iran, overshadowed by Islamic radicals in Palestine and put under attack in Egypt. But Iraq represents its greatest defeat. As Gerolymatos puts it, the relative ease with which the U.S. and its allies are taking Iraq demonstrates the greatest weakness of the Arab secular state, its inability to inspire. “It can't create the kind of loyalty you need for terrorism or guerilla warfare,” he says.
















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