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Weekend Newsstand: February 2, 2013

Remember: this Saturday is the first Saturday of the rest of your weekend, so use it wisely. Take some news with you: where city councillors stand on a downtown casino, St. Mike's looks at homeless health needs, TDSB reevaluates its Black Panther lesson plan, the Ikea Monkey is still a thing, the Sun gets blocked in Pakistan, and superheroes.

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A lot of councillors are saying casin-NO to the idea of a downtown casino. In an email blast sent Wednesday to every city councillor, the Star asked thoughts on a downtown casino, a Woodbine casino, and any mitigating forces. Of the councillors that responded, only two unambiguously supported the downtown casino. That news should bolster the spirits of the grassroots anti-casino lobby group as it takes on the deep-pocketed pro-casino lobby group.

St. Michael’s Hospital believes it may be setting a standard by appointing the first-ever chair in homelessness, housing and health. Dr. Stephen Hwang will take the seat. He started at St. Mike’s in 1996 and has worked on the hospital’s inner-city health research department. The new research chair aims to better understand the healthcare needs of vulnerable populations.

The Toronto District School Board had to update its website after some bloggers exposed a glowing review of the Black Panthers in an online lesson plan. The lesson plan is heavy on the good things the group did, and not so heavy on the bit about the Black Panthers’ militarism. The TDSB took the lesson plan down for review.

The saga of Darwin the Ikea Monkey rolls on, as his owner was denied the chance to take him home from the animal sanctuary Darwin was moved to in December. He will stay there until the civil trial his owner launched is heard in May.

If it wasn’t already, the Toronto Sun can now place itself in a league with the New York Times and the Washington Post. As big American newspapers reveal they were “hacked” by the Chinese government, the Sun too feels it’s been the target of a foreign state. Along with YouTube and BuzzFeed, the Sun has been blocked in Pakistan. The paper thinks its reporting on stories like Imran Khan’s visit and the recall of a Pakistani diplomat from Toronto led to the ban.

On this, the last weekend of the penny-era, the Star looks at the legacy of “99 cent” prices and how they will go on in the penniless world. Pennies officially go out of circulation Monday.

And before you go off in to the world, comfort yourself by knowing these adorable people are all caped-up and ready to protect us.

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