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Weekend Newsstand: August 9, 2014

The Democratic People's Republic of Korea is currently leading in the women's under-20 FIFA World Cup, with two wins and no losses. If you like watching communist people's republics succeed at sports, best start watching those under-20 women's matches. In the news this morning: Milos Raonic has been eliminated from the Rogers Cup, Salma Abuzaiter has been brought from Gaza to her mother and brothers at home in Brantford, and urban tree cover is trickier to maintain than it might seem.

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We spoke too soon yesterday: Milos Raonic, the last Canadian standing in the Rogers Cup, was eliminated in a quarter-final match against Spain’s Feliciano Lopez.

Salma Abuzaiter, the young girl who travelled to Gaza with her father prior to last month’s Israeli invasion, has returned home to her mother and brothers in Brantford. Eight-year-old Abuzaiter had gone with her father to Gaza and was staying with her grandparents. When the latest round of hostilities began, Abuzaiter’s father Hassan, a doctor, was treating wounded Palestinians and felt he couldn’t leave to accompany his daughter home. But during the ceasefire earlier this week, Hassan escorted his daughter to the Israeli border, where she was placed in the care of Canadian officials and flown home.

The City of Toronto may have committed to increasing urban tree cover from the current 28 per cent to 40 per cent by 2057, but local arborists say it’s more important to focus on the quality of the trees than the amount of sky they cover. “We can’t just stick them [trees] in the ground and then pat ourselves on the back and say ‘There, we’ve done it,’” said Andy Kenney, a University of Toronto forestry professor, to the Globe and Mail. “We haven’t.” Replacing old trees with new ones might keep the numbers even, but a sapling can’t offer the same environmental benefits and is far more vulnerable. Developers are expected to maintain the trees on land they purchase but can—and do—apply to take them down. Years down the road, trees often grow ill and die as developers neglect them. It may be possible to achieve the lofty goals the City has set for itself, and it’s definitely laudable (urban tree coverage is hugely beneficial for energy usage, among other environmental benefits), but experts say there needs to be a more thorough approach.

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