Nathan Lyon equals Dennis Lillees Test record

first_imgLondon: Nathan Lyon has equalled Australian pace legend Dennis Lillee’s record of 355 Test wickets and in the process is now the country’s third highest wicket-taker in the longest format of the game. Lyon on Thursday registered figures of 3/68 that helped him reach the tally. He is still a fair distance away from reaching the second spot which is held by Glenn McGrath with 563 wickets. Shane Warne is the all-time highest wicket taker with a whopping 708 scalps. Also Read – Puducherry on top after 8-wkt win over Chandigarh Lyon got to the mark in 88 matches, 18 more than Lillee who played the last of his 70 Tests in 1984. Lyon however said after Day 1’s play at Lord’s that he feels awkward being in such prestigious company. “I really struggle to see myself up with the likes of Warne, McGrath, Lillee, it doesn’t sit well with me,” Lyon said. “In my eyes those guys are true legends of the game and I’m just some bloke trying to bowl off-breaks and trying to make Australian fans proud of the Australian cricket team.”last_img read more

Afghanistan vows to crush ISIS safe havens after attack

first_imgKabul: Afghanistan’s president on Monday vowed to “eliminate” all safe havens of the Islamic State group as the country marked a subdued 100th Independence Day after a horrific wedding attack claimed by the local IS affiliate. President Ashraf Ghani’s comments came as Afghanistan mourns at least 63 people, including children, killed in the Kabul bombing at a wedding hall late Saturday night. Close to 200 others were wounded. Many outraged Afghans ask whether an approaching deal between the United States and the Taliban to end nearly 18 years of fighting America’s longest war will bring peace to long-suffering civilians. Also Read – Saudi Crown Prince ‘snubbed’ Pak PM, recalled jet from USThe bomber detonated his explosives in the middle of a dancing crowd, and the IS affiliate later said he had targeted a gathering of minority Shiites, whom it views as apostates deserving of death. Both the bride and groom survived, and in an emotional interview with local broadcaster TOLOnews the distraught groom, Mirwais Alani, said their lives were devastated within seconds. A sharply worded Taliban statement questioned why the US failed to identify the attackers in advance. Another Taliban statement marking the independence day said to “leave Afghanistan to the Afghans.” Also Read – Record number of 35 candidates in fray for SL Presidential pollsMore than anything in its nearly year-long negotiations with the US, the Taliban want some 20,000 US and allied forces to withdraw from the country. The US envoy in talks with the Taliban, Zalmay Khalilzad, on Sunday said the peace process should be accelerated to help Afghanistan defeat the IS affiliate. But Ghani on Monday asserted that the Taliban, whom the US now hopes will help to curb the IS affiliate’s rise, are just as much to blame. His government is openly frustrated at being sidelined from the US talks with the insurgent group, which regards the Afghan government as a US puppet. The Taliban “have created the platform for terrorists” with its own brutal assaults on schools, mosques and other public places over the years, the president said. More than 32,000 civilians in Afghanistan have been killed in the past decade, the United Nations said earlier this year. More children were killed last year 927 than in any other over the past decade by all actors, the UN said, including in operations against insurgent hideouts carried out international forces. “We will take revenge for every civilian drop of blood,” Ghani declared. “Our struggle will continue against (IS), we will take revenge and will root them out.” He urged the international community to join those efforts. He asserted that safe havens for militants are across the border in Pakistan, whose intelligence service has long been accused of supporting the Taliban. The IS affiliate’s claim of the wedding attack said it was carried out by a Pakistani fighter seeking martyrdom. Ghani called on people in Pakistan “who very much want peace” to help identify the IS safe havens there. Last month after meeting with President Donald Trump, Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan insisted he will do his best to persuade the Taliban to open negotiations with the Afghan government to resolve the war. Trump on Sunday told reporters he doesn’t want Afghanistan to be a “laboratory for terror.” He was briefed on Friday on the progress of the US-Taliban talks, of which few details have emerged. In a message marking Afghanistan’s independence and “century of resilience,” US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called the weekend wedding bombing “an attack against humanity.” It was one of many international expressions of condemnation pouring in following the attack.last_img read more

Homicide team releases profile of suspected killer of teen in Burnaby BC

first_imgSURREY, B.C. – Homicide investigators say they want to talk to anyone who recognizes suspicious behaviour that could help identify the suspect who killed a 13-year-old girl in a “random attack” in Burnaby, B.C.Marrisa Shen’s body was found in a wooded area in Central Park near her home just hours after she was reported missing last July.A spokesman with the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team said Tuesday that its members have consulted with the RCMP’s behavioural sciences group to develop a profile of the girl’s killer.The profile suggests the attacker likely lived near the park where Shen’s body was found.Cpl. Frank Jang said the suspect may have unexpectedly moved from area after the death, uncharacteristically avoided the park, withdrew from social activities, paid close attention to media coverage of the girl’s death and changed his or her pattern of drug or alcohol use.“Perhaps you live in that area of Central Park, in and around that area, you know somebody who frequents that park and suddenly they don’t walk through that park any more. That might be suspicious. We want to talk to you,” he said.The suspect may have unexpectedly missed work or scheduled appointments as well, Jang said.There is still strong public interest in the case and Jang said significant police resources continue to be used “to tackle everything on this investigation.”Following Shen’s death, police had said they identified 90 persons of interest.Jang wouldn’t say how many people remained on that list, adding it was “fluid” and some names were crossed off while other have been added with new tips from the public.Whether the suspect left the region remains unclear, Jang said, and it’s possible the suspect moved back to the area of the crime.People in the area are cautioned to remain vigilant, but not paranoid, Jang said.“This was a random attack. I know that’s unsettling to all of us,” he said, adding that residents always need to be mindful of their personal safety.Jang said investigators have kept a close relationship with the girl’s family and would have liked to have had answers for them nine months ago.“But in homicide investigations, the way that IHIT operates, we follow the evidence. We don’t make speculations or assumptions.”The profile is the latest effort to solve the murder after the homicide team launched a website in January containing details of the investigation with all available video clips of Shen’s movements before she disappeared.The video shows the girl holding the door open for a man as she walks into a Tim Hortons just after 6 p.m. on July 18.About 90 minutes later, she throws away her garbage and walks out the door.Police had previously said Shen was last seen on the south side of Central Boulevard walking westbound and crossing McKay Avenue in Burnaby at 7:38 p.m.Her body was found in the southeast corner of the park about six hours later. Police have not said how she died.last_img read more

RCMP showed due diligence on rifles lawyer tells Moncton massacre trial

first_imgMONCTON, N.B. – The RCMP took time arming officers with high-powered carbine rifles because it was doing “due diligence” on the deadly weapon, a lawyer told the Labour Code trial stemming from a 2014 shooting rampage in Moncton, N.B.“Arming general duty members with semi-automatic rifles can have negative repercussions, including increased tensions with the public, which in turn can lead to officer safety concerns,” defence lawyer Ian Carter told Moncton provincial court Friday.“Carbines are designed to kill. Given what is at stake, it was incumbent on the RCMP to analyze the issue thoroughly, not for the sake of appearances, but for the sake of public safety.”Carbine rifles were not available to general duty officers the night of June 4, 2014, when gunman Justin Bourque targeted RCMP officers. Crown witnesses have testified the weapons could have made a difference in the shootings that killed three Mounties and wounded two others.The RCMP is accused of allegedly failing to provide members and supervisors with the appropriate information, instruction, equipment and training in an active-shooter event.The force approved the C8 carbines in September 2011, and Carter said in his opening remarks the force was studying the issue carefully.He noted Crown witnesses have said carbines “could” have made a difference, not “would” have made a difference.“The real issue in this case is due diligence,” he told Judge Leslie Jackson.The force also had to follow a lengthy federal procurement process, he said.“It didn’t matter how quickly the RCMP wanted those carbines, they could not break the law to do it,” said Carter.He said evidence will show the force had high quality training in place at the time of the shooting.Carter also noted that the RCMP is not responsible for the deaths of constables Fabrice Gevaudan, Dave Ross and Doug Larche.“Justin Bourque caused their deaths,” he said, prompting Jackson to note that the Crown also acknowledged that fact in its opening statement.Later Friday, retired deputy commissioner Darrell Madill testified that an independent researcher was hired in 2009 to conduct a needs analysis of the patrol carbine.The 2010 independent report from Carleton University criminologist Darryl Davies recommended immediate phase-in of carbine rifles for all RCMP patrol officers and training for all members.Madill said the report didn’t tell the force anything it didn’t already know and lacked a proper needs analysis — the mandate of the research. He called it an “inventory list” of carbine programs at other forces in North America.“There were no risk assessments. There was no public policy considerations… He didn’t have the ‘why’,” Madill said, adding he didn’t feel he could take the report to his superiors as proof carbines were necessary for general duty members.Madill added the RCMP learned from the 2007 Tasering death of Robert Dziekanski that independent, fact-based research was necessary to support weaponry and bolster public confidence.Under cross-examination by Crown prosecutor Paul Adams, Madill conceded the RCMP was at the time more focused on Tasers and public fallout from the Dziekanski death than it was on moving the carbine program along.“You had the opportunity in your position to put that on the front burner, but you did not,” said Adams. “How many more officers would have to be killed before it would become a top priority?”But Madill cited the importance of studying the carbine issue thoroughly.“We had to have an unbiased, evidence-based review that no one could accuse us of using our beliefs to adopt the carbine,” said Madill, reiterating that the process of adopting a new weapon for the force is “complex” and “extraordinary.”The trial continues on Tuesday.Gevaudan, Ross and Larche were killed, while constables Eric Dubois and Darlene Goguen were wounded when Bourque targeted police officers in hopes of sparking an anti-government rebellion.Bourque was sentenced to life in prison with no parole eligibility for 75 years after pleading guilty to three counts of first-degree murder and two counts of attempted murder.Follow (at)AlyThomson on Twitter.last_img read more

Canadians living in the path of hurricane Irma preparing for the worst

first_imgThe house belonging to Audrey Foy, a young woman living in Florida who is originally from Quebec, looked like a bunker Friday.It was hard to find her front door as the facade of her home had been boarded up in anticipation of hurricane Irma, which was scheduled to land on the peninsula this weekend.“I’m thinking the worst,” said Foy, who lives in Hollywood, Fla. “That our roof will be blown off. That we won’t have electricity for weeks or months. And I’m afraid.”Many Quebecers living in and around Fort Lauderdale were preparing to be hit by the biggest hurricane of their lives.Police vehicles circled around the rare gas stations that still had gasoline Friday. Large retail stores were packed with people but were getting ready to close, like most stores in the region.Nancy Teske Wissler, who is originally from Buckingham, Que., and her husband Dean were installing large boards over their windows at their home in Davie. As a nurse, she can’t leave the city because she needs to be at work in the local hospital.Her pool was full of water, though, which she believes will help with flushing the toilets after the storm.“This is very very dangerous,” she said. “The winds will blow everything away. It’s a category 4. It’s a big girl coming.”Back at Foy’s home, her kitchen table was stacked with provisions: baby food for her three-month-old, water and a lot of propane.“We have bread and peanut butter,” she said. “They say we aren’t going to have electricity so we can’t make sandwiches with meat and what not.“We’re going to grab all our belongings that are important. Birth certificates, passports, insurance papers. Anything that can help us just in case the roof gets blown off — at least we’ll have those. We’ll just wait and see.”More than 500,000 people living in the Miami-Dade county, which is in southeast Florida, have received evacuation notices.Sandra Belzile started her hurricane preparations Tuesday but couldn’t find any water in stores that day.So she waited in line in her car at the local Costco for one hour just to get into the parking lot.She purchased the maximum water limit per person: four packs.“I am very scared,” Belzile said in an interview outside her condo in Pompano Beach. “But at the same time I’m reassured because my partner lived through hurricane Wilma (in 2005), which was intense. You just have to be prepared.“If the eye of the storm passes, it becomes incredibly calm inside the hurricane. And that can last up to half an hour. Some people get curious and leave their house — you can’t be like that.”Belzile, who works for Le Soleil de la Floride newspaper, said she would spend Friday boarding up the parts of her house that were still unprotected.Despite the sunny skies, everyone was preparing for the hurricane, but also for its aftermath.Residents were expecting to be without electricity for days and to be unable to travel around due to debris in the streets.last_img read more

Twothirds of Canadian households saving for retirement census suggests

first_imgTORONTO – Two-thirds of households are setting aside money for retirement, taking advantage of either a registered pension plan, an RRSP or a tax-free savings account, Statistics Canada said Wednesday as it released the latest batch of numbers from the 2016 census.Of 14 million households, 65.2 per cent made a contribution in 2015 — the most recent year for which data was available — to one or more of the three major savings vehicles, an apparent counterpoint to the prevailing narrative that too many Canadians take a cavalier approach to retirement.Different generations took different approaches: Major income earners aged 35 to 54 were prone to make use of registered pension plans and RRSPs, while those younger than 35 and those older than 54 were more likely to contribute to a TFSA.Or, in Statistics Canada’s words: “Participation in savings plans followed strong life-cycle patterns.”It’s the first time the census has probed the question, taking advantage of tax data to paint a more accurate picture of just how seriously Canadians take it — a picture which experts say has long been distorted by suspect data and aggressive investment marketing.“I think things in general are still in pretty good shape when it comes to preparing for retirement,” said Fred Vettese, chief actuary at Morneau Shepell in Toronto.“For the most part, when you look at middle-income Canadians they are saving. So one of the problems with the statistics is that they end up being misleading.”Vettese said he’s particularly frustrated by the oft-cited national household saving rate, which landed at 4.6 per cent in the second quarter of this year, compared with 20 per cent in 1980.“That’s the stat that people keep on harping on, and it has dropped a lot — but that household saving rate is a funny number.”For starters, household saving doesn’t include Canada Pension Plan contributions — “for most people, you figure that their CPP contributions are savings for retirement,” he said — which means federal efforts to enhance the pension plan won’t change that figure “one iota.”What’s more, Vettese said, the household saving rate deducts what retired Canadians might take out of their nest egg once it becomes a source of income.“So, with an aging population and more people drawing an income then used to be the case back in the 1990s, obviously it’s going to look like people are saving less.”Research compiled by actuary Malcolm Hamilton of the C.D. Howe Institute suggests that the rate of retirement saving for employed people has actually almost doubled in recent decades.Hamilton’s data-crunching exercise — which sought to correct for household saving’s shortcomings — showed a surge between 1990 and 2012 in contributions to retirement savings plans, even as household saving dropped sharply. Over that 22-year period, contributions went from 7.7 per cent of earnings to 14.1 per cent.“Some of that is public pension saving plans, so employers and employees are both putting money in,” said Vettese. “But some of that is actually people putting money into their RRSPs. And you also have to figure that some of the money in TFSAs will be used for retirement.”The numbers released Wednesday show a clear preference among younger workers for tax-free savings accounts, which were introduced in 2009 by the former Conservative government.Of the 45 per cent of major income earners aged 15 to 24 who saved for retirement in 2015, 33.5 per cent opted for TFSAs, compared to 14.3 per cent who contributed to an RRSP. For 25 to 34 year olds, 42 per cent put money in a TFSA, versus 37.3 per cent for an RRSP.Perhaps not surprisingly, those aged 35 to 54 — a generation more familiar with the RRSP model than with tax-free savings accounts — showed a preference for the former, at more than 45 per cent. They were, however, better savers across the board, with nearly three-quarters of their ranks opting for at least one of the three savings tools.Where young and middle-aged would-be savers are concerned, a dramatic increase in housing prices relative to wage growth has been one the biggest challenges, said certified financial planner Jason Heath.“Double-digit real estate appreciation and one per cent wage growth don’t work long-run on a lot of levels,” said Heath, the managing director of Objective Financial Partners in Markham, Ont., outside Toronto.“This means that more cash flow is being allocated towards home down payments, and it’s taking longer to pay off mortgages. I’m seeing a lot of cases where people are going to have to rely on home equity as part of their retirement plan.”Like Vettese, Heath said he believes baby boomers are largely doing fine when it comes to financing their retirement years.“They bought homes and saved for retirement during a boom time,” he said. “It’s the latter half of the ‘Gen-X’ generation and millennials who are getting squeezed.”A bigger challenge for young and middle-aged Canadians, added Vettese, is the low interest rate environment and the impact that the aging population is having on the balance between savers and borrowers, despite efforts by government to stimulate the economy.“Interest rates are low now and they’re going to be staying low,” he said.“That’s going to be an issue for retirees, because obviously that means they’re not going to get as much of their income from investment returns in retirement as used to be the case.”— Follow @DaveHTO on Twitterlast_img read more

Winnipeg police officer upgraded to stable condition after stabbing

first_imgWINNIPEG – A Winnipeg police officer has been upgraded to stable condition in hospital after being stabbed at a home in the city.Police say officers were responding to a report of a stabbing on Saturday afternoon when they came across a fight.They say a member of their tactical support team was stabbed in the upper body, causing a serious injury.A tourniquet was applied and the injured officer was transported to hospital in unstable condition.Police say that during the incident, a 33-year-old male suspect was shot by an officer and was transported to hospital where he later died.Manitoba’s police watchdog, the Independent Investigation Unit, has been notified about the incident.last_img

School trustee says parents should review LGBTQ policies before implementation

first_imgCHILLIWACK, B.C. – A British Columbia school trustee has apologized for saying in a Facebook post that provincial education policies aimed at supporting LGBTQ students amount to child abuse.Chilliwack School District trustee Barry Neufeld says in a statement that he believes in a safe learning environment but educational resources should be reviewed by parents and teachers before they’re implemented.Neufeld says he’s critical of a resource, not individuals, and that he apologizes to those who felt hurt by his opinion.The Chilliwack School District also issued a statement saying Neufeld’s opinion doesn’t reflect the views of the Chilliwack Board of Education.It says the board approved changes to its Safe Schools Policy last October in keeping with the B.C. Human Rights Code so all students are free of harassment, including those who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer.Neufeld acknowledged in his statement that his recent Facebook post created a lot of controversy.“Those who have worked with me for over 24 years know that I do believe in inclusion and a safe learning environment for all of our students. They should be protected from all forms of bullying and intimidation.”However, a free and democratic society should have room for respectful discussion and dissent, he said.In his Facebook post, Neufeld said the Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity program instructs children that gender is not biologically determined, but is a social construct.The elected trustee, who has served for two decades, said he believes the program encourages children to question their biological gender and consider gender transition.“Throwing that out there for Grade 4 children to consider, to me, that is not wise and it infringes on the rights of parents to make these decisions,” he said in an interview on Tuesday.The website for the initiative says it was created by educators and leaders from across Western Canada and “equips educators of all backgrounds and experiences with tools and resources for supporting marginalized LGBTQ students.”The program already has provincewide participation in British Columbia, and the site says a new partnership was recently reached with Alberta. National expansion is the next goal.Neufeld says parts of the initiative are good and should be implemented but he wondered why it couldn’t be included in an after-school program that interested students could join if they wished.last_img read more

Rogers and CBC sign new 7year deal for Hockey Night in Canada

first_img“CBC has been an excellent partner over the years and we are excited to extend our relationship,” said Rick Brace, President, Rogers Media. “Hockey Night in Canada is the most celebrated hockey brand in the country and is steeped in tradition. We are committed to working together to ensure it reaches the widest possible audience.”“The strong relationship we enjoy with Rogers Media paved the way for this new agreement. HNIC on Saturday nights is something Canadians have come to cherish and we’re thrilled that this long-standing tradition will continue for many years to come,” said Hubert T. Lacroix, President and CEO, CBC-Radio-Canada.As part of the new deal, CBC will continue to broadcast nationally-televised regular season games on Saturday night plus all four rounds of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. The iconic Hockey Night in Canada brand will continue on CBC and across all Rogers Media platforms on Saturday nights. Sportsnet will continue to produce the games, retain all editorial control, and manage the advertising, with games continuing to be produced from Sportsnet’s Hockey Central Studio at the CBC building in Toronto.Since Rogers’s landmark broadcast and multimedia deal with the NHL began four years ago, Hockey Night in Canada has consistently ranked among the Top 5 programs, reaching on average 7.5 million Canadians each week. This season, Hockey Night in Canada has been the most-watched program in Canada every Saturday night, reaching a total of 18 million Canadians or 50 per cent of the country’s population. Riding the momentum of five Canadian teams making the playoffs last year, ratings continue to rise year-over-year for both the early and late match-ups.“Our priority in coming to this new agreement was to ensure Canadians continue to have access to Saturday night hockey on CBC and an overwhelming majority of our audience told us they want it to be on CBC,” said Greg Stremlaw, Executive-Director, CBC Sports & General Manager, Olympics.“Canadians have a profound love and deep-seated passion for the game of hockey,” said Scott Moore, President of Sportsnet & NHL Properties, Rogers Media. “Sportsnet will continue to fuel that passion by providing full-access coverage to our audiences at every opportunity. It’s a pledge we made to our fans when we won the rights in 2013, and one that we continue to deliver on every day.”Rogers’s 12-year national broadcast and multimedia agreement with the NHL, which began with the 2014-15 season, remains the largest media rights deal in NHL history and provides Rogers with all national rights on all platforms in all languages.In addition to Hockey Night in Canada, Sportsnet will continue to produce and televise national games on Sundays during Rogers Hometown Hockey and on Wednesday evenings with Scotiabank Wednesday Night Hockey.In total, Sportsnet will produce and broadcast more than 450 national and regional NHL games during the 2017-18 season.Rogers is the parent company of 660 NEWS. Twitter Ads info and privacy TORONTO (NEWS 1130) – Rogers Media and CBC have signed a new seven-year sub-licensing agreement for English-language broadcasts of Hockey Night in Canada and the Stanley Cup playoffs, beginning with the 2019-20 season.The new deal, which follows a previous four-year sub-licensing deal and one-year extension, runs through the end of the 2025-26 season which is when Rogers’ 12-year national broadcast rights deal with the NHL is due to expire.  77 Replies View image on Twitter  4242 likescenter_img  2121 Retweets The agreement ensures that Hockey Night in Canada broadcasts continue to reach the maximum number of Canadians every Saturday night on CBC, Sportsnet, and City. In addition, Hockey Night in Canada games are also available on the CBC Sports app, the CBC TV app,, Rogers NHL LIVE and Sportsnet NOW. HockeyNightInCanada@hockeynight CBC extends Hockey Night in Canada partnership with Rogers until 2026 10:31 AM – Dec 19, 2017last_img read more

Seabirds stuck after major East Coast storm pushes them deep inland

first_imgSEAFORTH, N.S. – Seabirds rarely seen on land were stuck, stranded and unable to take flight, after being pushed far inland during last week’s violent East Coast windstorm.Many of the seabirds — including the tiny, black-and-white dovekie — have legs that are further back on their bodies, making them unable to take flight once they’re on land.“When they do get blown to land they can’t get up and take off and head back to the ocean. They have to take off from the crest of the waves or from the ocean itself,” said Hope Swinimer, the founder of Hope for Wildlife in Seaforth, N.S.The centre received more than 350 calls from people who had found birds injured or unable to take flight after the storm, and advised them to return them to the water as possible.“I always tell people to stay around and wait at least 10 to 15 minutes. If they come back up on the beach then you know you have a problem, and you’re going to have to get them into rehab,” she said Tuesday.She said they have treated about 80 birds suffering everything from exhaustion to broken legs, broken wings and head trauma.“I find we’re seeing way more seabirds than we ever have before,” she said.The storm lashed Atlantic Canada with strong onshore winds, rain, snow and storm surges, resulting in coastal damage and power outages.Many of the birds were not able to overcome the extremely strong wind gusts, she said.“Sometimes they smash into things as they’re being blown. So we have a few broken legs, a few broken wings, a couple dislocations and some head trauma,” she said.She said while they’ve seen a lot of gulls, there have also been more unusual seabirds — everything from bluebills to dovekies, a long-tailed duck, and loons.Swinimer said about 70 per cent of their patients have been returned to the ocean.Many just needed a quick checkover by a veterinarian and some time to regain their strength but some of the birds did not recover, she said.Despite the bitter cold temperatures of the past week and frigid windchills, Swinimer said the cold is not an issue for seabirds.“It’s exhaustion, or lack of food or actual injuries that are going to cause the most problems. Cold is not so much the worry.”— By Kevin Bissett in Frederictonlast_img read more

Bodies of father teenage daughter recovered after ATV accident in BC

first_imgCAMPBELL RIVER, B.C. – A search for a man and his teenage daughter who were swept away while crossing a Vancouver Island creek on an all-terrain vehicle has come to an end after both bodies were found.Paul Berry with Comox Valley Ground Search and Rescue says the girl’s teenage friend was also riding on the vehicle when it fell into Woods Creek near Campbell River, B.C. on Sunday.He says neighbours heard screams and pulled the friend safely out of the water while a search was launched for the missing father and daughter.He says the girl’s body was found on Sunday night, and after crews resumed the search on Monday morning, they located the father’s body as well.Berry says the trio had frequently crossed Woods Creek at that spot, which is normally benign, but the creek was raging because of rain and snow from the previous night.He is urging anyone who ventures into the backcountry to be aware of the changing conditions that may turn a familiar area into a dangerous one.last_img read more

Judge loosens some of terror suspect Mohamed Harkats release conditions

first_imgOTTAWA – A judge has granted terror suspect Mohamed Harkat more freedom — though not as much as he asked for.In a judgment made public Wednesday, Federal Court Justice Sylvie Roussel gave Harkat permission to travel anywhere in Ontario or Quebec for 72 hours without notifying authorities.The Algerian refugee — who faces deportation on national security grounds — can also report to officials in person just once a month, not every two weeks.Roussel denied Harkat permission to have a laptop computer with internet capability for personal use outside his home. But she opened the door to the possibility of internet access for employment purposes.Overall, the judge found the existing release conditions were “disproportionate with the danger posed by Mr. Harkat” and that they should be relaxed.Harkat’s wife, Sophie, expressed disappointment with the ruling, saying the hurdles set out for internet use at work could scare prospective employers away.At a two-day hearing in November, Harkat asked the court to impose less strict monitoring of his everyday activities by the Canada Border Services Agency as he awaits the outcome of his extended legal saga.Harkat, 49, was arrested in Ottawa in December 2002 on suspicion of being an al-Qaida sleeper agent. He denies any involvement in terrorism.The federal government is trying to deport the former gas-station attendant using a national security certificate — a legal tool for removing non-citizens suspected of ties to extremism or espionage. Harkat fears he will be tortured if returned to his Algerian homeland.Following his arrest, Harkat was locked up for more than three years. He was released in June 2006 under stringent conditions that have gradually been eased.At home with Sophie, Harkat has access to a computer connected to the internet. Prior to Wednesday’s ruling, he was required to report in person to the border agency every two weeks. And, though Harkat could travel within Canada, he had to provide the border agency with five days’ notice of his plans as well as a full itinerary when leaving the national capital. He also had to report to the border agency by phone once a day while travelling.Harkat’s submission to the court said he “presents no threat to Canada or to any person” and that he has diligently complied with requirements. “A continuation of these conditions is not justified.”The couple said the restrictions had caused great stress and hardship.Harkat works part-time as a church custodian. But Sophie testified the limitations on computer use have denied her husband opportunities to be a retail cashier or parcel courier.Roussel said if Harkat is to fully embrace the values of his adopted country, it is “important that he be given the opportunity to obtain gainful employment.”She instructed Harkat and the border agency to discuss the sort of internet-linked devices he could use at work. The agency would approve or reject specific proposals, with the court having final say in a disagreement. Harkat’s employer would be obliged to report any unauthorized internet use to the agency.Sophie Harkat said Wednesday the conditions mean her husband “will continue to be dehumanized around his employers,” adding the couple could be forced into further costly court proceedings.Roussel said she didn’t have sufficient evidence of Harkat’s need for personal internet use outside the home.She also turned down Harkat’s request that he be allowed to travel anywhere in Canada without restriction.Border services officers have followed the couple on trips to a cottage and to the funeral of Sophie’s grandmother.Roussel expressed concern about the “degree of intrusiveness” of the border agency’s physical surveillance, saying there should be better guidance on when and how it is done.Meanwhile, the border agency is in the process of seeking a “danger opinion” as a step toward deportation.A delegate of the immigration minister will determine whether Harkat poses a danger to national security and, if so, whether the risk to Harkat of removing him outweighs the danger or severity of the acts he allegedly committed.— Follow @JimBronskill on Twitterlast_img read more

Liberals poised to tighten controls on sale licensing of firearms

first_imgOTTAWA – The Liberal government is planning to introduce long-promised legislation Tuesday to strengthen controls on the sale, licensing and tracing of guns.The Liberals are bracing for political pushback from the Conservatives, as the bill would repeal some measures passed by the previous government.The bill is expected to fulfil Liberal election platform promises to enhance background checks for anyone buying a handgun or other restricted firearm, as well as require purchasers to present a valid licence.The Liberals also pledged to require vendors to keep records of all firearms inventory and sales to assist police in investigating gun trafficking and other firearms-related crimes.Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale has already earmarked more than $327 million over five years, and $100 million a year thereafter, to address criminal gun and gang activities.The government has stressed that it has no interest in reviving a national long-gun registry — a Chretien-era project that became mired in cost overruns and prompted vociferous criticism from firearms groups.The Liberals are also conscious that any measures unduly restricting the freedoms of gun owners or imposing new administrative burdens could generate a significant backlash, particularly in rural ridings where firearms are part of everyday life.Goodale recently told a news conference during a national symposium on gangs and guns that the goal of the legislation will be to prioritize public safety while ensuring “we are being practical and fair with respect to legitimate firearms owners.”“The whole message around the platform is about illegal handguns and assault weapons,” he said. “So it’s very much focused on the illegal use of weapons and illegal weapons themselves.”If the Conservatives pounce on the legislative package, the Liberals are expected to highlight Tory Leader Andrew Scheer’s promises when running for party leader, suggesting they are out of step with public opinion. Scheer advocated repealing all federal regulations pertaining to firearms ownership, usage and transportation that do not:— ensure Canada’s gun laws respect the rights of honest firearms owners;— recognize the fact that hunting and sports shooting are an important part of Canadian culture history;— and empower police to concentrate on real criminals who pose a public threat.Conservative MP Glen Motz has urged the government to find a way of cracking down on the sale of illegal guns from abroad through the darkest channels of the internet.The number of firearm-related homicides in Canada hit 223 in 2016 — up 44 from 2015, and the third consecutive annual increase. There were 141 gang-related homicides in 2016, 45 more than the previous year. In addition, break-and-enters to steal guns have been rising.There are three classes of firearms: non-restricted (such as hunting rifles and shotguns), restricted (handguns and some semi-automatics) and prohibited (prescribed handguns and fully automatics).Guns are classified through definitions in the Criminal Code or by means of classification regulations.Justice Department briefing materials prepared for a federal advisory committee on firearms note that the regulations have not been substantially updated in more than two decades. “There are many loopholes and inconsistencies within the current firearms classification regime.”Any legislative measures to strengthen background checks for people buying handguns or other restricted firearms would be aimed at ensuring the system “works to protect public safety,” said Goodale, adding “that’s an area where there is broad, broad consensus.”Internal briefing notes indicate the government has also pondered possible measures to more quickly identify people considered unfit to have guns for reasons such as mental instability or violent behaviour.Under the current firearms licence application and renewal process, personal information helps determine whether someone is eligible for a licence. In addition, “continuous eligibility screening” means criminal behaviour can be flagged for the federal chief firearms officer for review and possible investigation.— Follow @JimBronskill on Twitterlast_img read more

In death Leonard Cohens voice popping up in hit TV shows violent

first_imgMONTREAL – When it comes to getting permission to use Leonard Cohen’s music, Ubisoft’s bloody Assassin’s Creed trailer gets an enthusiastic green light, while ads, pornography and even the Montreal Symphony Orchestra don’t fare as well.Since his death in 2016, the late Canadian singer’s gravelly baritone has been popping up everywhere from highbrow Montreal art exhibits to the end credits of the hit American TV shows “Billions” and “The Americans.”None raised more eyebrows than Ubisoft, which chose to feature the title track to Cohen’s final album, “You Want it Darker,” on the trailer for its latest version of its violent game franchise, whose target audience was born decades after the singer wrote many of his greatest hits.While the process of obtaining song rights is a lengthy and complex legal process, the final approval falls to Robert Kory, Cohen’s longtime manager and the trustee of the late singer’s estate.The Los Angeles-based lawyer says he considers a variety of factors in making what he calls an “esthetic determination,” including whether the proposed arrangement suits the spirit of the song and whether it will expand the singer’s audience.“My role is to have more people encounter Leonard Cohen, because if they encounter Leonard Cohen they’re going to find to something deeper and ultimately something that will uplift them,” he said in a phone interview.Kory said he was impressed by Ubisoft’s “respectful” approach to Cohen’s music and the company’s willingness to collaborate when developing an arrangement.He also felt the trailer’s structure and violent narrative fit with the song’s dark themes.“You have the character in Assassin’s Creed faced with overwhelming darkness, which is what the song is warning us,” he said.“It’s a warning to the world: ‘I didn’t know I had permission to murder and to maim,’” he said, quoting one of the song’s lyrics.Kory said working with Ubisoft also gave the estate the opportunity to present Cohen’s music to a younger audience.“We’re going to introduce this song to a lot of teenage boys whose parents may have been listening to Leonard Cohen,” he said.“But maybe they hear the song and they’re moved by it and say, ‘wow, Leonard Cohen. Maybe I should listen to something else.’”Kory has less praise for the Montreal Symphony Orchestra’s 2017 arrangement of “You Want It Darker,” which he criticizes as too uplifting.While the orchestra was given permission to perform the song, Kory says the use of harp music was inappropriate for a song which refers to the biblical story of Abraham and Isaac.As a result, he denied the MSO full “synchronization rights” to produce and sell the arrangement.“The Lord is telling Abraham: ‘Kill your son,’ and you have harp music, angelic music. Would you approve that?” he asked.Since the singer’s death at the age of 82, his estate has received daily requests for rights of use, Kory says.The rate of approval depends on the type of use requested and the complicated back-and-forth with copyright holders.Permission to perform a straightforward cover is easy enough to get, he said, while arrangements that change the music or make use of Cohen’s vocal performance are more complicated.Pornographic films, political pieces that don’t reflect Cohen’s beliefs and most major advertisers are shot down.On the other hand, movie and TV proposals tend to be accepted because they are generally presented by people who understand the music, he said.While he sees himself as a protector of Cohen’s musical legacy, Kory says he also tries to be open and to avoid reductionism, “or anyone thinking Leonard Cohen’s work is susceptible to one interpretation and that is the correct interpretation.”Price is a factor too, although Kory insists it’s a secondary one.“We won’t do something that’s wrong for any amounts of money,” he said.While Kory sometimes brings in the singer’s son, Adam Cohen, to consult on musical issues, he says he’s developed the confidence to make decisions based on the faith Leonard Cohen always placed in him.“Leonard kept telling me in the face of my doubts, ‘trust your instincts, Robert. You have a great esthetic appreciation of what I do,’” he said.last_img read more

Canada to boost support for riskier forms of renewable energy minister

first_imgHALIFAX – Canada’s natural resources minister says millions of dollars in subsidies for a Nova Scotia tidal project is just one of the coming announcements as Ottawa boosts riskier forms of renewable energy.Amarjeet Sohi said today at a G7 energy ministers meeting that a $30-million contribution to a $117-million tidal project to harness the immense power of the Bay of Fundy tides will be among “many other” subsidies given to kickstart innovations in the emerging sectors.It’s one of the early investments coming out of the federal Liberals’ $200-million emerging renewable power program.The cabinet minister says the development of onshore solar and wind energy took place thanks to early injections of government aid, and offshore renewables will follow a similar path.During a morning session at the G7 meeting, Paul Simons, the deputy executive director of the International Energy Agency, told delegates that a recent study by his research group indicates that offshore renewables are progressing quickly — particularly offshore wind power.He said other technologies, like giant floating offshore windmills, are also starting to come into their own.last_img read more

Rogers Media buys podcast company Pacific Content

first_imgRogers Media is expanding its stake in the podcast market, as the company announced Wednesday that it has purchased the Vancouver-based podcast company Pacific Content.“Podcasting is a big part of the future of audio,” Julie Adam, the senior vice-president of Rogers Radio, said in a statement.According to Canadian Podcast Listener from May 2018, 26 per cent of Canadians listen to podcasts once a month, while 18 per cent listen weekly.Last year, Rogers launched the Frequency Podcast Network, featuring shows such as The Big Story and Moms in the Middle — the latter co-hosted by Melanie Ng, one of the faces of Breakfast Television in Toronto.Pacific Content, which produces original and award-winning podcasts across North America, was the first branded content podcast business to launch globally. It is now one of the largest on the continent.“We have found an incredibly smart, bold and collaborative partner in Rogers Media,” Steve Pratt, the vice-president of Pacific Content, said.“Both Rogers Media and Pacific Content share a strong passion in driving forward the future of both audio and branded content.”Along with expanding its podcast market, Rogers currently owns 56 radio stations, 29 local TV stations, 23 conventional and specialty television stations across the country, as well as digital websites.Rogers is the parent company of this station and website.last_img read more

Investigation of QuadrigaCX cryptocurrency debacle turns up 28 million in assets

first_imgHALIFAX — The accounting firm trying to recover more than $200 million owed to users of the now-defunct QuadrigaCX cryptocurrency platform has turned up only $28 million in assets — virtually all of it in cash.Ernst and Young, which is overseeing bankruptcy proceedings, has issued a preliminary report saying it may not be possible to complete a full review of QuadrigaCX’s finances, given the poor state of the company’s bookkeeping.The report says the investigation has also been hampered by a lack of co-operation from some of QuadrigaCX’s business partners and the sheer volume of transactions under scrutiny, which number in the millions.The accounting firm says that as of last month, QuadrigaCX and its associated holding companies owed 76,000 creditors a total of $215.7 million.The online exchange offered an unregulated platform for users to store and trade digital assets like Bitcoin, Litecoin and Ethereum.Vancouver-based QuadrigaCX was shut down in January after its founder and sole director, 30-year-old Gerald Cotten of Fall River, N.S., died Dec. 9 while travelling in India.The entire enterprise was thrown into a tailspin when it was revealed Cotten was the only person who knew the passwords to gain access to the company’s offline cryptocurrency reserves.The Canadian Presslast_img read more

Canadas chief of defence summoned to cabinet meeting in wake of Norman

first_imgOTTAWA — Canada’s top general and the deputy minister of national defence are briefing the federal cabinet this morning a week after the criminal case against the military’s former second-in-command fell apart.Gen. Jonathan Vance, the chief of the defence staff, and deputy minister Jody Thomas would not stop to discuss the matter on their way into the weekly cabinet meeting this morning.Vice-Admiral Mark Norman was suspended in January 2017 and then charged with breach of trust for allegedly leaking secret information about a navy contract to Quebec’s Davie shipyard.The charges were stayed last week when prosecutors said new information they’d received from the defence made them believe they had no reasonable prospect of securing a conviction.Questions are now circling about how the case was handled by both the military and the RCMP after former Conservative minister Peter MacKay said Norman had cabinet approval to speak to Davie about the contract.Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale says he will not comment on the RCMP investigation.The Canadian Presslast_img read more

Manitoba wants to attract Quebec civil servants worried about clothing law

first_imgWINNIPEG — The Manitoba government wants to recruit civil servants from Quebec who are concerned about a new law banning religious symbols.Premier Brian Pallister says Manitoba has a shortage of bilingual civil servants and will reach out to Quebec public-sector workers to tell them Manitoba has no, quote — “clothing police.”Pallister says letters will soon be sent to professional organizations in Quebec as well as colleges and other training centres.The Quebec law bans teachers, police and other public servants in positions of power from wearing religious symbols, and critics say it unfairly targets Muslims, Sikhs and other religious minorities.Pallister raised his opposition to the Quebec law at a meeting of Canada’s premiers earlier this month.Quebec Premier Francois Legault has said the bill is supported by a majority of Quebecers and fulfills a campaign promise.The Canadian Presslast_img read more

BC motorist fined for driving with bowl in one hand chopsticks in

first_imgKELOWNA, B.C. — A provincial court judge has served up a searing decision to a driver in Kelowna, B.C., who was spotted eating with chopsticks in one hand and a bowl of spinach in the other.Judicial justice Brian Burgess handed down the ruling in Kelowna traffic court in August, finding the “egregious” offence took place in the city last November as Corinne Jackson drove past a roadside vehicle enforcement operation.The RCMP officer who flagged Jackson’s vehicle testified she was travelling at an estimated 60 km/h while “shovelling” food into her mouth with the chopsticks and not once did she place a hand on the wheel during the entire five to six seconds he observed.However, Jackson testified she gave due care and attention to her driving because she was going “no more than 10 km/h over” and had three fingers of her left hand on the steering wheel while holding the bowl with her thumb and index finger.Burgess rejected Jackson’s testimony as contradictory and criticizes her for the common misconception that 10 km/h over the limit is not speeding, noting the law says even one kilometre an hour over the limit is considered speeding.Jackson was found guilty of driving without due care and attention and the judge declined to reduce her fine of $2,000 and six penalty points, although the average ticket for the offence is $368.“Holding a bowl in one hand and using chopsticks in the other hand to eat while driving, even if three fingers of the hand holding the bowl were in contact with the steering wheel, is not giving one’s full attention to driving,” Burgess says in the ruling posted online.His ruling says he didn’t find that all those who eat while operating a vehicle are operating without due care and attention.“The minimum standard of a reasonable and prudent person, as implied by the Crown, would be to have at least one full hand on the steering wheel while the vehicle being driven is in motion. The hand that is on the steering wheel should not also be holding some other object.”Jackson assumed a risk by actively eating while speeding, Burgess says.“The risk was that Ms. Jackson was betting with her own safety and life and the safety and lives of other users or potential users of the road as she drove her vehicle while both of her hands were holding foreign objects not related to diving and eating at the same time.”Jackson has been given until the end of October to pay the ticket.The Canadian Presslast_img read more