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Canada's military orders 20,000 stress balls

23 january 2012, 10:40
0
©REUTERS/Baz Ratner
©REUTERS/Baz Ratner
Canada's military -- facing belt-tightening, a spy scandal and having recently completed a nine-year combat mission in Afghanistan -- on Friday ordered 20,000 stress balls, AFP reports.

It says it needs the malleable, hand-squeezable toys designed to relieve stress by the end of March, before the start of a new fiscal year, according to a website that advertises government contracts.

Canada lowered its flag in Kandahar and handed over security duties to US and Afghan troops on December 1, marking the end of its deployment in southern Afghanistan and its longest-running combat mission.

The war in Afghanistan cost the lives of 157 Canadian troops, as well as two aid workers, a senior diplomat, a journalist and a military trainer -- and more than $11 billion.

Now Canada's defense department faces budget cuts as part of a larger government effort to trim expenses by as much as 10 percent across the board.

This week a Canadian naval officer was arrested and accused of passing military secrets, reportedly to Russia.

Little other information about the stress ball order was provided, except that the rubber balls must be "orange."

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