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World in brief: Residents turn off TVs in protest

A growing number of citizens in Myanmar’s largest city are shutting off the government-run nightly newscast, trying to send the subtle message to authorities that they are tired of listening to their propaganda, residents said Tuesday.

Most are switching off the news for the first 15 minutes of the hourlong broadcast, while some also are shutting off all the lights in their homes.

It was unclear how many people participated in the protest, which spread by word of mouth.

“This is the least dangerous anti-government activity that I can take,” said a resident of Yangon taking part in the protest that began Monday.

Authorities last week cracked down on tens of thousands of protesters, gunning down at least nine demonstrators and a Japanese journalist. They also detained thousands, including many monks who were spearheading the demonstrations that began Aug. 19. They slapped a curfew on Yangon and banned groups of more than five from gathering.


Quebec enacts tax on carbon

Quebec enacted Canada’s first carbon tax on energy companies this week, despite fears it could also target industries that use large amounts of petroleum and carbon products.

The green tax – imposed Monday – will be used to help Quebec reach its Kyoto Protocol targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 2012.

It includes a per-liter levy of about 0.8 cent for gasoline, 0.9 cent for diesel fuel, 0.96 cent for light heating oil and $8 a ton for coal.

The tax is expected to raise about $200 million yearly (in U.S. dollars) to finance the province’s green plan.

Companies will have to pay the tax according to their emission coefficient, and oil companies will be on the hook for most of it.

They will pay about $69.1 million a year for gasoline, $36.1 million for diesel fuel and $43.1 million for heating oil. Natural gas distributors will pay about $39.1 million.

Electricity distributor Hydro-Quebec will chip in $4.5 million for its thermal energy plant in Tracy, Quebec.


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