New Delhi: Delhi Police on Friday said that they have arrested a cab driver who turned gun runner and supplied firearms to various gangsters in Najafgarh, Dwarka and Uttam Nagar area as per demand.Police said that the cost of the sophisticated pistol is approx 50-60,000 each and country made pistol is 6-7000. Police identified the accused as Rahul Singh (41). He was nabbed in Sector-13, Dwarka area. Additional Commissioner of Police (Crime) Ajit Kumar Singla said that the accused Singh came to Delhi in search of livelihood and started working as a driver with the cab company,” added Additional CP. During this period, he came in contact with budding criminals of Najafgarh area. They asked him to supply illegal arms for them from Aligarh. Lured by their offer and because of hefty margin in this illegal trade, the accused Rahul Singh started supplying illegal arms from his contacts in Aligarh UP on demand to various gangsters in Najafgarh, Dwarka and Uttam Nagar area. The arrest was made by the team of Dr. Joy N. Tirkey, DCP (Crime). 36-year-old nabbed for killing his ex-colleague A 36-year-old man was arrested for allegedly killing his former colleague over monetary dispute last week, police said Friday. The accused was identified as Ajay Singh Raghav, a resident of West Ghonda, they said.
Kolkata: The junior doctors of NRS Medical College and Hospital and other medical colleges who have been on a strike for nearly a week, have finally responded to Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s invitation and expressed their wish to hold talks with her.Banerjee has called the agitating junior doctors for a meeting at Nabanna at 3 pm on Monday. Sources in the state secretariat said that 28 representatives – two each from the 14 medical colleges and hospitals in the state, have been asked to attend the meeting. Also Read – IAF receives its first Rafale fighter jet from FranceThe junior doctors have demanded that the discussion with the Chief Minister should not be held behind closed doors and the media should be allowed to cover the meeting. Following a general body meeting on Sunday, the junior doctors of NRS Medical College and Hospital said: “We want an immediate end to this impasse through a discussion with the Chief Minister, which, to maintain transparency, shouldn’t be held behind closed doors but open to media under camera coverage.” Also Read – Cosmology trio win Nobel Physics PrizeThe junior doctors said that they were ready to meet Banerjee at a venue fixed by the government. They also placed certain demands saying that junior doctors from all the medical colleges would be representing during the meeting. “We want to resume our work as early as possible in the best interest of the common people. We hope that our Chief Minister will be considerate enough to solve the problems,” reads a statement issued by the junior doctors. Meanwhile, Nabanna sources said that the meeting is likely not to be held in the presence of media as demanded by the junior doctors. However, the agitating doctors can address the media after the meeting. Senior officials from the state Health department will also be present during the meeting. Banerjee on Saturday had again urged the agitating doctors to initiate dialogue to overcome the deadlock that has been affecting thousands of patients at various hospitals. She also clarified that she would not take any coercive steps like implementing the Essential Services Maintenance Acts (ESMA). It has been learnt that the Director Medical Education Dr Pradip Mitra has formally informed Health Secretary Rajiva Sinha about the stand taken by the junior doctors. The matter was immediately informed to the government.
Belgrade: Serbia’s President Aleksandar Vucic said Thursday he was “99 per cent” sure a Paris summit aimed at reviving talks with Kosovo would be cancelled, as the former war foes remain stuck in an acrimonious diplomatic deadlock. Belgrade and Pristina leaders were expected to meet in Paris in early July in an effort to reboot the dialogue aimed at normalising relations. Twenty years after they were divided by war, the Balkan neighbours still have a tense relationship as Belgrade refuses to recognise the independence that Kosovo, a former province, unilaterally declared in 2008. Also Read – Merkel warns UK Brexit deal ‘unlikely’ without compromise: London”I can say with 99 percent certainty that the Paris (meeting) will not take place,” Vucic was quoted as saying by Beta news agency. He said he expected the summit to be cancelled after Kosovo signalled that “Europeans are not the ones who should solve the Kosovo problem.” In recent weeks Pristina leaders have been insisting on the need for involvement from the United States, their top ally, in a dialogue that so far has been mediated by Brussels. Also Read – India, China should jointly uphold peace and stability, resolve disputes through dialogues: Chinese ambassadorOne major roadblock to restarting negotiations has been a 100 percent tariff on Serbian exports that Pristina levied in late 2018. Vucic refuses to talk until Kosovo lifts the tax, while Pristina says it won’t lift the measure until Belgrade shows a willingness to recognise independence. On Monday, Kosovo President Hashim Thaci said he hoped the Paris summit would be “different” than the last meeting in April organised by France and Germany in Berlin. That summit “did not bring anything concrete. There was no coordination with the US,” he said. Serbia lost control of Kosovo after a NATO bombing intervention forced its troops to withdraw from a war with ethnic Albanian separatists in 1999. The conflict claimed 13,000 lives, mainly ethnic Albanian Kosovars. A decade later Kosovo declared independence, in a move recognised by the US and most of Western Europe. But Belgrade and its allies Moscow and Beijing have never accepted its statehood, effectively shutting Kosovo out of the United Nations.
Ghazni (Afghanistan): A Taliban car bomb in eastern Afghanistan killed at least 12 people and wounded scores more Sunday, officials said, in a massive blast that came amid ongoing peace talks in Qatar. The Taliban are meeting with US negotiators and Afghan representatives in Doha as the US pushes to end its 18-year involvement in Afghanistan, but violence from the insurgents and the US military has continued apace. Sunday’s suicide car bomb attack hit the eastern city of Ghazni and targeted an intelligence unit, Ghazni provincial governor spokesman Aref Noori said. Wahidullah Mayar, a health ministry spokesman, said 12 people had been killed.
Rio De Janeiro: At least 57 prisoners have been killed by other inmates during clashes between organized crime groups in the Altamira prison in northern Brazil with 16 of the victims being decapitated, according to prison officials. Para state prison authorities said on Monday a fight erupted around 7 am between the Rio de Janeiro-based Comando Vermelho and a local criminal group known as Comando Classe A. “Leaders of the (Comando Classe A) set fire to a cell belonging to one of the prison’s pavilions, where members of the (Comando Vermelho) were located,” the statement read. Also Read – India gets first tranche of Swiss bank a/c detailsState prisons chief Jarbas Vasconcelos said the fire had spread rapidly with inmates held in old container units that had been adapted for the prison while another building is under construction. The fire prevented police forces from entering the building for several hours, he told a news conference. Two prison staff members were held hostage but eventually released. “It was a targeted attack. The aim was to show that it was a settling of accounts between the two groups, not a protest or rebellion against the prison system,” Vasconcelos said. Also Read – Tourists to be allowed in J&K from ThursdayAuthorities have not found any firearms following the riot, only makeshift knives. Prison authorities said 46 inmates will be transferred to other prisons, 10 of which will go to stricter federal facilities. President Jair Bolsonaro was elected on the promise of curbing widespread violence in Brazil, including in the country’s often overcrowded, out-of-control prisons. The Associated Press obtained a July 2019 report from the National Justice Council that it says was filed by a local judge in charge of the facility, showing that the prison had 343 detainees for a maximum capacity of 163. Yet Vasconcelos said the situation did not meet the official requirements to be considered overcrowded. “It is not a unit that has a prison overcrowding, we consider overcrowding when it exceeds 210 per cent,” Vasconcelos said during the press conference. The judge who filed the report described the overall state of the prison in the city of Altamira as “terrible.” In many of Brazil’s prisons, badly outnumbered guards struggle to retain power over an ever-growing population of inmates who can run criminal activities from behind bars.
San Francisco: Some Apple products like AirPods, Apple Watch, HomePods and iMac computers were likely to get costlier as the new 15 per cent US tariffs on Chinese products came into effect from Sunday. Apple has its products assembled by Foxconn in China. “For products covered by Annex A of the August 20, 2019 notice (84 FR 43304), the rate of additional duty will be 15 per cent on the current effective date of September 1, 2019. For products covered by Annex C of the August 20 notice, the rate of additional duty will be 15 percent on the current effective date of December 15, 2019,” read the statement from US Federal Register. Also Read – Swiggy now in 500 Indian cities, targets 100 more this year Apple iPhones may also be around $100 more expensive in the US once the next set of 15 per cent tariff comes into place from December 15. “TVs, speakers, digital cameras, lithium-ion batteries and flash drives are just a few of consumer electronics that will be subjected to a 15 per cent tariff beginning Sunday,” reports TechCrunch. Apple CEO Tim Cook recently told US President Donald Trump that tariffs on China will help South Korean tech giant Samsung gain more as it does not need to pay any tariffs. Also Read – New HP Pavilion x360 notebook with in-built Alexa in India Trump, in a conversation with reporters, said he has “had a very good meeting with Cook.” “I have a lot of respect for Tim Cook, and Tim was talking to me about tariffs. And one of the things, and he made a good case, is that Samsung is their number-one competitor, and Samsung is not paying tariffs because they’re based in South Korea,” Trump recently told the media. The ongoing trade-war between the US and China has caused Apple’s iPhone production costs to rise as much as 3 per cent because of the new retaliatory tariffs imposed by Beijing. Trump earlier met Cook during a dinner, saying that Apple would be spending “vast sums of money in the US.” “It’s tough for Apple to pay tariffs if they’re competing with a very good company that’s not. I said, How good a competitor?’ He said they are a very good competitor. So Samsung is not paying tariffs because they’re based in a different location,” said Trump. Samsung has most of its manufacturing base in South Korea and Vietnam. “iPhone sales in the US, China and other markets could fall by 8 million to 10 million,” CBS News reported earlier this month. Apple XS Max starts at $1,099 and new 10 per cent tariff would mean a roughly $110 hike. In May, Fortune quoted a Wedbush analyst Dan Ives as telling investors that tariffs on the device’s Chinese-made batteries and other components would increase Apple’s manufacturing cost by 2 to 3 per cent.
Shahjahanpur (UP): The student who levelled rape charges against BJP leader Swami Chinmayanand recorded her statement before a magistrate here on Monday.The special investigation team (SIT) probing the case took her to the court, where her statement was recorded before Judicial Magistrate Geetika Singh, official sources said here. She remained in the court for around four hours and told PTI that the magistrate recorded her in 10 to 12 pages. “I have told the magistrate about the rape complaint I gave in New Delhi, my missing spectacles and a chip from the hostel room. I also informed about the bedding and liquor bottles, which were removed from the Chinmayanand’s room,” she said. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM’Meanwhile, a lesser known organisation, Chhatra Shakti Sangathan, has announced a Rs 50-lakh award to anyone who chops off the tongue of Swami Omji, who on Sunday had equated the woman with a “vish kanya”. Self-styled godman Omji was a contestant in the reality TV Show, Bigg Boss. Office-bearers of the organisation also burnt an effigy of Omji and made the announcement before the media. Another organisation, Bhartiya Yuva Parishad, burnt an effigy of Swami Chinmayanand and demanded his arrest. Also Read – Farooq demands unconditional release of all detainees in J&KSwami Chinmayanand’a lawyer Om Singh said a team had been formed for keeping an eye on social media. He said a complaint would be lodged against those making indecent comments against the BJP leader. “Till proven, no one could be termed a rapist,” he said. The Supreme Court-appointed SIT had on Sunday examined three friends of the victim besides some employees of her college. The victim’s friends who were examined included the one who was with her when she was located in Rajasthan after having gone missing last month. The SIT called them to the Police Lines here and recorded their statements, official sources said. The SIT had also examined principals of the two colleges where the girl studied. Two other college employees were also quizzed. A video footage given by the woman to the SIT had also allegedly leaked out. The girl’s father on Sunday had termed it a “conspiracy” and said he would request the court to order a probe into it. “From where have the screenshots and videos appeared on social media? The screenshots have been posted on various social media platforms. These were given to the SIT by my daughter. This is a conspiracy,” he said. The law student had on Saturday given a pen drive containing 43 videos to the SIT to support her allegations after the sleuths asked her to submit whatever evidence she had against the former Union minister. The SIT had taken the woman to Chinmayanand’s bedroom on Friday morning and had collected evidence.
VANCOUVER – The operators of one of Vancouver’s last independent movie theatres say they’re a step closer to saving the property from development after being approved for a mortgage to buy the beloved cinema.Corrine Lea said she’s optimistic about the Rio Theatre’s future after receiving the news from Vancity credit union earlier this week.“It’s a huge relief to be able to give everyone the good news and say that the mortgage has been approved,” she said.Zoning changes in the area attracted developers who wanted to tear down the 80-year-old east Vancouver theatre for a new project, Lea said previously.In February, she announced that the cinema’s operators had put in a multi-million-dollar offer to purchase the Rio, a venue beloved for running independent films and hosting burlesque, comedy, improv and variety shows.A months-long fundrasing campaign has already brought in more than $500,000 for a deposit on the property and garnered support from a variety of entertainers, including filmmaker Kevin Smith, actor Ryan Reynolds and Vancouver-born Finn Wolfhard, the 15-year-old star of “Stranger Things” and “It.”The exact purchase price has never been revealed, but Lea has said it’s above the property’s $4.3-million assessed value.Lea said on Saturday that she’s been working on securing the mortgage for about a month and the final approval comes just before a May 7 deadline for finalizing the sale.“Basically, I was really biting my nails in the last couple of days because if they turned us down and said no, I would have had very little time to find another option,” she said, adding that she was cautious about the cinema’s future until the mortgage was approved.“This is the closest that we’ve been to reaching our goal. And I can see the finish line. And it feels really good.”On Monday, Lea is set to remove subjects on the deal. Then she and her business partner will have 60 days to come up with the $3-million deposit.Lea said investors have vowed to contribute hundreds of thousands of dollars to the deposit, but the operators are still looking to raise about $800,000.A new campaign is in the works that will allow people who aren’t accredited investors to purchase shares in the theatre, she said.“This has been such a huge, amazing community team effort. So I think it’ll be such a huge opportunity,” Lea said.“We’ve all seen so many stories about another beloved Vancouver space gone, another business shut down. And so to just realize that we can make a difference and that this is a good news story, everyone was really wanting to see that happen.”
FREDERICTON – A Canada-wide research study is being launched with the aim of helping members of the Canadian Armed Forces and veterans transition to civilian life.The study, based around a New Brunswick-based program called Shaping Purpose, will examine the experiences of 84 Forces members and veterans.“Of the roughly 5,000 regular force members who leave the Forces each year, about 27 per cent have difficulty with transition due to a loss of identity,” said Andrew Garsch, vice-president of program delivery with Shaping Purpose.Garsch was an engineer officer for 12 years before being medically discharged.“It stripped from me who I was, and it took from me everything that I worked towards for my entire adult life. I became completely isolated and lost all confidence and was completely depressed,” he said.He said until that point he identified himself as a soldier: “I didn’t realize that with that being taken away from me I felt that I had nothing.”The research will build on a pilot project to assist Forces members and veterans define a new purpose in life and plan a way forward. During the pilot project, the participants used existing programs provided by the Canadian Armed Forces Transition Assistance Program and the Veterans Affairs Canada Vocational Rehabilitation program.Garsch said there will be four sessions across the country, starting with 21 individuals in Moncton, N.B., next month. The other sessions will be in Ontario, either Alberta or B.C., and a final location that is yet to be chosen.Kevin McCoy, the president of Irving Shipbuilding, which is helping to fund the study, said he has seen the issues first-hand.“As a 36-year veteran of the United States Navy this is very personal to me. I’ve witnessed the challenges and anxieties that can be faced when transitioning from military to civilian life,” he said.“A career in the armed forces requires some sacrifices and time spent away from family and friends to serve the country. You dedicate your life for the betterment and protection of society. When members leave the armed forces, it’s important that we, as a society, provide support and assistance so that they can continue to contribute to society in meaningful ways,” McCoy said.Bruno Battistini, scientific director of the New Brunswick Health Research Foundation, said participants will be asked to complete a number of questionnaires and go through a four-day program to gather information about them as individuals.He said the researchers will follow-up with participants in the weeks, months and year following.The research study and the evaluation of the program is expected to be completed in December 2018, with the intent to present the findings to the Canadian Armed Forces and Veterans Affairs Canada in the spring of 2019.
OTTAWA – The RCMP is eyeing a policy change for organized crime investigations to better protect the rights of journalists, newly disclosed documents say.The possible move follows revelations in Quebec about surveillance of reporters by provincial and municipal police and growing concern about the ability of journalists to shield sources from authorities.Under a 2003 ministerial directive, the RCMP must take special care in national security investigations involving sensitive spheres such as the media, politics, academia, religion and unions.It means Mounties must seek high-level approvals before engaging in terrorism and espionage probes that touch these sectors.“Recognizing the sensitivity of investigations involving the media, we are currently discussing how to apply this national security related ministerial directive to all RCMP federal investigations, such as those involving organized crime,” internal Mountie briefing notes say.The Canadian Press recently obtained the November 2016 notes through the Access to Information Act.RCMP spokesman Harold Pfleiderer had no additional comment.Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale, the cabinet member responsible for the RCMP, has previously said the government is reviewing the 2003 directive to ensure the language is sufficient to safeguard press freedoms.“That work is ongoing,” said Scott Bardsley, a spokesman for Goodale.“Freedom of the press is a fundamental Canadian value protected by the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and our government will defend it assiduously.”The internal notes say the Mounties do not engage in activities to investigate or disrupt the efforts of journalists that are protected by the charter. “That said, the RCMP does have the mandate and responsibility to investigate criminal activity, which could involve individuals in a variety of professions, including journalism.”The RCMP’s push to broaden the 2003 ministerial directive could spring from a desire within the force to avoid the pitfalls of spying on journalists — such as the current glare of publicity in Quebec, suggested Wesley Wark, a national security expert at the University of Ottawa.In 2007, the RCMP contravened the ministerial directive in conducting physical surveillance of two journalists in an attempt to identify the person who leaked a classified Canadian Security Intelligence Service document.The surveillance was unauthorized and ended once RCMP management became aware.The 2003 directive is “not an immunity provision,” but rather is aimed at ensuring there is not “some lower-level constable who’s running amok,” said Craig Forcese, a law professor at the University of Ottawa.Extending the directive to the RCMP’s organized crime probes could protect journalists who are “collaterally swept into a police investigation,” Forcese said.A related issue is whether journalists can be shielded from having to reveal their sources and essentially becoming proxies for police investigations, he added.Ontario’s top court recently ruled Vice Media reporter Ben Makuch must give the RCMP the background materials he used for stories on an accused terrorist — a case that squarely pits media freedoms against the powers of police.A Quebec senator has introduced a bill he calls the first concrete legislative measure in Canada to protect journalistic sources following a spate of cases in which reporters have come under police surveillance.Conservative Sen. Claude Carignan said in November he was compelled to table the private member’s bill after learning that Montreal police obtained warrants to monitor the iPhone of La Presse journalist Patrick Lagace.The Quebec provincial police force has also acknowledged tracking the communications of journalists.The federal government says it is assessing the “legal, technical and operational impacts” of Carignan’s bill.Under questioning from the NDP in the House of Commons, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said this week that journalists “should always be able” to protect their sources.“That is something we believe in strongly as a government, and that is something we will continue to defend and fight for, not just here in Canada but around the world.”— Follow @JimBronskill on Twitter
Seven stories in the news for Tuesday, May 9———BODY OF MAN MISSING IN QUEBEC FLOODS FOUND; CHILD STILL MISSINGPolice in Quebec say the body of Mike Gagnon, 37, of Saint-Anne-des-Monts, has been recovered not far from where a strong current pulled a car toward a ran-swollen river in eastern Quebec on Sunday. But a two-year-old girl who was also in the car has not yet been found. A search will resume early today to try to find her.———SOLDIERS POUR INTO QUEBEC ON FLOOD DUTYMore than 1,500 soldiers are in Quebec to help residents deal with “historic” flooding that has caused widespread damage and evacuations. Quebec Public Security Minister Martin Coiteux says authorities expect the water to start receding by mid-week. Heavy rains and melting snowpack across Quebec have so far flooded 2,429 Quebec residences, forcing the evacuation of 1,520 people in almost 150 municipalities.———VOTERS IN B.C. HEAD TO THE POLLS TODAYVoters in British Columbia head to the polls today at the end of a sometimes bruising 28-day campaign fought on jobs, the economy and the influence of big donors in provincial politics. The B.C. Liberal party has been in power for 16 years and is attempting to build on four straight majority governments by running on the party’s record of economic growth and financial stability. The polls are open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. PST.———ONTARIO SELLS FINAL TRANCHE OF HYDRO ONE SHARESThe Ontario government is selling what it expects to be its final offering of shares in Hydro One, a move it says could raise more than $3 billion for the province. The government and Hydro One say they have an agreement with a syndicate of underwriters for some 120 million common shares. When all is said and done, the province will continue to hold about 49.9 per cent of the company.———INQUEST INTO FIREFIGHTER DEATHS SET TO BEGINAn inquest into the deaths of two Ontario men who lost their lives during firefighter training exercises five years apart is set to begin today. Thirty-year-old Adam Brunt, a firefighting student from Clarington, Ont., died in February 2015 after getting trapped under the ice during a rescue exercise. His death came five years after a similar incident near Sarnia claimed the life of volunteer firefighter Gary Kendall.———MOTHER OF DEAD TODDLER ATTACKED ON SOCIAL MEDIAMembers of an indigenous community in Alberta are angry that strangers are using social media to attack the mother of a toddler who was found dead near an Edmonton church last month. The body of 19-month-old Anthony Raine was discovered April 21 outside the church. His father and his girlfriend have been charged. But some people on social media have blamed the boy’s biological mother and her family for his death.———EX-MONTREAL CANADIENS OWNER JOHN DAVID MOLSON DIES AT AGE 88John David Molson, the former president and owner of the Montreal Canadiens and prominent member of the Molson family of brewers, has died at the age of 88, the team announced Monday. Molson was born in Montreal and joined the family business, Molson Breweries, in 1949 and held various positions until he became vice-president in 1964. The Habs won five Stanley Cups during Molson’s time as club president.———ALSO IN THE NEWS TODAY:— Various Quebec cabinet ministers and police forces will provide an update on the floods in the province.— Look for financial results today from Valeant Pharmaceuticals, George Weston Ltd., Sleep Country Canada, among others.— Energy ministers from Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba hold a panel discussion in Regina.— Statistics Canada will release the March figures for building permits.— Former U.S. intelligence officer and whistleblower Edward Snowden will give a lecture via webcast at the University of Winnipeg.— Two indigenous women from Papua New Guinea will hold a news conference in Ottawa to discuss violence at the Barrick mine.— Canada Post will unveil the fourth of 10 stamps highlighting Canadian history.
WINNIPEG – The lawyer for a Winnipeg woman convicted of hiding the remains of six infants in a rented storage locker is trying to get the case dismissed.Greg Brodsky has filed a motion to have the case thrown out because it has taken 33 months to conclude.A Supreme Court ruling last year said legal proceedings can be presumed to be unreasonably delayed if they take more than 18 months in provincial court or 30 months in a higher court.Andrea Giesbrecht was arrested in October 2014 after the remains were found in a U-haul storage locker she rented.Medical experts testified the infants were Giesbrecht’s, were at or near full term and were likely to have been born alive.She was convicted earlier this year and a judge is to decide her sentence on Friday, but Brodsky says he will be in court that morning to try to have the case thrown out.“I’m filing the motion because we think it’s taken too long,” Brodsky said Wednesday.“Whether it’s heard or not on Friday is a matter that is not in my control. The transcripts … of the proceedings have been ordered. Whether they’re here or not by Friday, I don’t know.”How the infants died remains a mystery. Medical experts testified the remains were so decomposed, a cause of death could not be determined. Giesbrecht did not testify and the defence did not call any witnesses.Giesbrecht, 43, was convicted of six counts of concealing newborn remains — an offence that carries a maximum penalty of two years for each count.At a sentencing hearing last week, Brodsky asked provincial court Judge Murray Thompson to spare Giesbrecht any more time in custody beyond the 168 days she spent between her arrest and when she was granted bail.Crown attorney Debbie Buors asked for an 11-year sentence minus time served — one year for the earliest infant remains and two years for each of the other five, to be served consecutively.The judge’s decision Friday afternoon is to be livestreamed on media. He will first have to decide whether to hear immediately Brodsky’s motion to dismiss, reject it outright or postpone matters and hear the motion at a later date.
SASKATOON – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says now, more than ever, Canadians must stand together against racism and Islamophobia.Trudeau made the comments in Saskatoon while delivering remarks recognizing the beginning of Eid al-Adha, a Muslim holiday.“Whether we are in a big city or a small town, we must continue to stand together, united against racism, hatred and Islamophobia,” Trudeau told the crowd.“This is just who we are as Canadians. We are there for each other. We stand up for each other.”Trudeau thanked those gathered for their interfaith work and community building, calling it truly important.The prime minister also met Friday with the Saskatoon Tribal Council, which delivers social programs and services to seven First Nations within a 200-kilometre radius of Saskatoon.Trudeau announced in a cabinet shuffle this week that he is preparing to shift his government’s handling of the Indigenous Affairs file, a plan designed to lead to the eventual creation of two separate ministries to replace the existing department.“This is an important part of the work we have to do together,” Trudeau said after taking part in a smudge ceremony.“It’s a big job for Canada. It’s a big job for Indigenous and non-Indigenous people and we walk forward on the path of real reconciliation and partnership and friendship and shared responsibilities. It’s not something we can do on our own. It is something that must be driven by, led by this partnership. It’s an opportunity to sit down and hear from you, listen to concerns and talk about how we’re going to move forward together.”Tribal council Chief Felix Thomas said reconciliation won’t be possible without co-operation.“It’s going to be hard work and no one side can do it. We can’t do it all alone on our First Nations side,” Thomas said.“We do have a partner on account of treaty rights and that partner is Canada and we need to work together.”Trudeau was scheduled to take part in a discussion with co-op students at the Gordon Oaks Red Bear Student Centre at the University of Saskatchewan before he left for Whitehorse.Follow @BillGraveland on Twitter
SASKATOON – Saskatchewan’s education minister says school divisions should review safety measures at schools that are close to ponds after a kindergarten student died in Saskatoon.But Bronwyn Eyre said it’s too soon to know what led to the death of the five-year-old boy or whether something could have been done to prevent it.“I understand that there are a number of schools, and certainly public spaces, that have that type of pond or catchment pond near where children play, so I think that’s something that everyone should be looking at,” Eyre said Tuesday at a school opening in Regina.The boy was found in a pond near Dundonald School after recess ended Monday morning. He was pronounced dead in hospital.CTV Saskatoon quoted unnamed sources as saying the boy was a newcomer to Canada from Somalia who spoke limited English and needed extra supports.Police have said the boy’s death is not suspicious. The coroner’s office is investigating.The pond was built four years before the public school in 1983 to catch storm water and was converted to hold water permanently in 2005. It’s about 120 metres from the school property line.Eyre, who was a public school board trustee in Saskatoon, said she hadn’t heard any concern about the pond before Monday.“Obviously, now it’s top of mind for people, which I completely understand. As I say, I have a son, he goes to school, and I can completely understand why parents are as concerned and upset as they are today,” she said.There are many questions about why there was no fence around either the pond or the school, and about supervision at recess.One Facebook post from someone named Jenn Lange said: “This is not a blame game time. Fence all schoolyards, bottom line. You cannot watch children 100% of the time.”Another from Krista Carignan said: “This is awful…. HOW did this happen…. If you have a POND near a school play area then you better have sufficient supervision!!!!! An avoidable tragedy, how sad for all involved!”Angela Gardiner, acting general manager of transportation and utilities with the city of Saskatoon, said none of the city’s ponds has a fence.The ponds are meant to be amenities within neighbourhoods and are often used for activities such as skating in the winter or canoeing in the summer. They’re also part of the storm water infrastructure aimed at reducing flooding in neighbourhoods.But a fence around the school yard could be part of talks with school boards, she suggested.“Those are some of the discussions we’ll be having over the next little while,” said Gardiner.“And one of the other things is reviewing the report and the recommendations from the chief coroner. So we will be co-operating with those and we are open to measures that will improve safety of students and residents in and around the city.”A Catholic school also backs the same green space.Gardiner said the city will also talk to Greater Saskatoon Catholic Schools board.Meanwhile, the president of the Saskatchewan Teachers’ Federation said it’s too early to say what can be done to prevent similar deaths.“Even as far as a fence, I mean, there’s bodies of water all over the city in Saskatoon and certainly it’d be very difficult to fence the entire Saskatchewan River system,” said Patrick Maze.“So, it’s too early to be jumping to conclusions as to what the solution is. I think that will come out in the end, some recommendations, but right now it’s important just to support the family and support that community.”Maze did not know the supervision schedule at Dundonald School.The director of education for Saskatoon Public Schools has said the staff-to-student ratio during recess is adequate — eight staff members, plus additional educational assistants assigned to certain children.Barry McDougall said in a letter to parents on Monday the division is also looking into the incident internally.— By Jennifer Graham in Regina
OTTAWA – A group of international scientists meets today to try to convince parliamentarians there is no longer any doubt that common agricultural pesticides are toxic chemicals which are killing off honey bees.In fact, says Jean-Marc Bonmatin of the French National Centre for Scientific Research, neonicotinoid pesticides kill a lot more than just bees, posing a deadly risk to frogs, commn birds, fish and earthworms.The scientists represent a task force on pesticides within the International Union for Conservation of Nature, which in 2015 released a comprehensive review of more than 1,100 peer-reviewed research studies on neonicotinoids.Today they will release an update to the report.Neonicotinoids, also known as neonics, are nicotine-based pesticides commonly used by farmers to help keep everything from field crops to fruit orchards free of pests like aphids, spider mites, slugs and stink bugs.After beekeepers started sounding alarm bells about mass deaths of honeybees, scientists began to zero in on neonics as one of the culprits. Bees were consuming pollen contaminated with neonics as well as flying through chemical-laden clouds of dust from farm fields.But bees, said Bonmatin were only the most “visible part of the problem” because beekeeping is a big business and without bees, billions of dollars of farm crops would go unpollinated.“Beyond honey bees, there are all the wild bees, all these pollinators and behind all these pollinators there are some other invertebrates, the ones living in the soil, flying invertebrates, the ones in the water,” said Bonmatin.“Nobody cares about that. There is no money in these invertebrates. However they are giving a huge service to the quality of soil, to all the ecosystem services that we need.”Research suggest neonics can affect reproduction, growth and movement for these species, as well as make them more susceptible to disease.Bonmatin, vice-chair of the task force, said evidence from Europe suggests these chemicals don’t actually help farmers much. Since Europe clamped down on their use four years ago, there hasn’t been a substantial reduction in farm yields.Lisa Gue, a senior researcher with the David Suzuki Foundation which is involved in the release of the updated report, said Canada has to catch up to Europe and ban the use of all neonics.Since 2013 the European Union hasn’t allowed the use of the three most common neonics in any crops which attract bees and is looking at extending that to additional crops. France is phasing in a complete ban on all agricultural uses of neonics, with the full ban set to take effect next year.A year after Ontario’s bee industry recorded the loss of 58 per cent of its honeybees in the winter of 2013-14, Ontario began phasing in limits on use of neonics but only for corn and soybeans. Quebec proposed similar regulations earlier this year. Vancouver and Montreal have both banned their use entirely within city limits.Health Canada’s Pest Management Regulatory Agency has been studying neonics since 2012 and last fall came to a preliminary conclusion that one of them — imidacloprid — should be banned from use almost entirely after finding it was building up to toxic levels in surface and groundwater and killing aquatic insects that are a source of food for fish and birds.Health Canada isn’t expected to make a final decision until at least December 2018. It is looking at the other two most commonly used neonics and is expected to release initial findings in December 2018 and final decisions in June 2019.Gue said even if Health Canada decides next year to ban imidacloprid that phase-in isn’t scheduled to even start until 2021.“I do have hope policy-makers and regulators in Canada will see the report as a wake-up call,” she said.—follow @mrabson on Twitter.
EDMONTON – A man who drove his pickup down a highway near Edmonton with two dogs on top of the truck-bed cover will not face charges.The Alberta SPCA says an investigator has checked the dogs and determined they weren’t hurt.The officer also spoke with the driver about the dangers of driving with dogs in the back of his truck.Spokesman Roland Lines says the Alberta SPCA is confident that the man understood the message and won’t do it again.On Sunday, a couple who watched the man drive at speeds of more than 110 km/h along the Yellowhead Highway filed a report to the SPCA that included photos and video.Lines says some people will be upset with the decision not to lay charges.“I have spoken to people who have witnessed the tragic outcomes that can result from unsafe transport, and I have received many messages demanding we lay charges,” Lines said Thursday.“It is extremely frightening and frustrating to see animals transported in this manner, but that doesn’t mean charges are appropriate.”Alberta’s Animal Protection Act states that animals must be contained in a compartment and protected from possible harm.The law also has rules around footing for animals and not being exposed to undue danger.Lines said the Alberta SPCA hopes what happened will increase public awareness about the need to transport animals safely.Spruce Grove RCMP also investigated, but no charges were laid.
Ontario provincial police say post mortems confirm that three people who were found dead in a Ryerson Township home last Friday, and the man suspected of killing them, all died from gunshot wounds.The bodies of Ulla Theoret, 55, Paul Theoret, 28 and Raija Turunen, 88 were found at their rural home about 300 kilometres north of Toronto along with the suspected shooter, 58-year-old Mark Jones.Police had earlier said they found a handgun and a long gun in the Theorets’ house but have not yet indicated why they were killed.Thomas Theoret, who lost his mother, brother and grandmother, said Monday that his loved ones were killed by a neighbour who had been “stalking” his parent.Theoret said Jones and his mother had known each other for a while before their relationship soured.Theoret said one of his other brothers, who lives in another Ontario community, eventually told Jones to leave the family alone.“My mom didn’t really date (Jones) but I think they were just friends for a couple months,” he told The Canadian Press. “Then he started acting kind of strange and kind of stalking her.”The bodies of Theoret’s family members and Jones were found by a friend who stopped by the home for a pre-arranged visit around 7:30 p.m. on Friday, police have said, noting that the deaths took place sometime between Wednesday evening and the time of the discovery.
HALIFAX – Halifax police say they will likely have “more to say” about a case involving a 19-year-old man who has denied he had malicious intent when he downloaded files from a government website.Last Wednesday, Supt. Jim Perrin said the young man was arrested during a search and given a notice to appear in court on June 12, with police intending to lay criminal charges of unauthorized use of a computer.Police alleged the teenager was involved in a “data breach” of the government’s freedom of information portal.In a news conference Wednesday, Perrin said police have yet to provide a sworn information to provincial court and also said, “when the investigation is concluded we’ll probably have more to say about it.”“We’re not finished collecting the evidence in this particular case,” he said on Wednesday.Last week, Perrin had said that his investigators would “forensically examine” computers and software that were seized in the April 11 search of the Halifax residence where the 19-year-old and his family live.Since the search, the young man and his family have told the CBC he thought he was accessing public files from the freedom-of-information portal, and had no intent to take personal information. The teenager told the broadcaster he was looking for information from public documents about a teachers’ labour dispute last year.He said he wrote a few simple lines of code to download files, rather than transferring them one by one.Experts on cyber law have said if the teenager’s account is correct, the arrests and the family’s allegations that 15 officers descended on their home and left it in disarray may be a case of police “overreach,” when the real issue is a lack of basic security on the site for private files.Perrin said police don’t intend to enter an argument over the quality or merits of their investigation.“The police aren’t going to get into a public dispute over what a suspect in an incident has to say. Obviously there has been a lot of opinion on social media and other news sources,” he said.Perrin was asked whether it was correct, as the family has said, that 15 officers were involved in the search, and whether police had first done research to determine they were raiding a family residence.“We wouldn’t confirm our deployment numbers,” he said.“What I can tell you is that every search we do, there is risk analysis done around that. That could be for scene security, transporting of suspects, physical searches, subject matter experts with respect to digital evidence.”“There are a number of officers that have to go to any search.”The superintendent has already stated that it’s rare for police to make an arrest under section 341.1 of the criminal code, which prohibits unauthorized uses of computers “with intent to commit an offence.”“It may be the first time that we’ve investigated an offence that met this particular section. Cyber crime is not new but … we haven’t had a lot of similar type investigations.”Michael Geist, a University of Ottawa law professor who specializes in internet law, had said Tuesday that if the young man’s account is accurate, it appears the province set up a website with private information that could be accessed by people with basic computer skills.He said if the 19-year-old’s account is correct, police may have overreacted in setting a court date before first conducting further analysis of what occurred.David Fraser, a Halifax privacy lawyer, had said if the youth wrote a few lines of computer code to collect materials on a publicly accessible government website that’s unlikely to suggest criminal intent, as this is done commonly by people ranging from journalists to archivists.About 700 people were affected by the breach of the 7,000 documents accessed between March 3 and March 5, according to the province. Many of the documents are files they’ve applied for under freedom-of-information requests.The province’s minister of Internal Services, Patricia Arab, told reporters Tuesday that about 250 contained sensitive personal information such as birth dates, social insurance numbers, addresses and government services’ client information.
NEW WESTMINSTER, B.C. – A psychiatrist treating a man accused of stabbing two girls at an Abbotsford, B.C., high school says he believes his patient has schizophrenia, is psychotic and experiencing delusions.Dr. Marcel Hediger told a B.C. Supreme Court hearing Wednesday that Gabriel Klein also told him he killed one person and seriously hurt another.Klein is charged with second-degree murder in the death of 13-year-old Letisha Reimer and is accused of the aggravated assault of another teenage girl in what police have described as a random attack in November 2016.Klein was 21-years-old when he was arrested. He did not speak or respond to questions in his first three court appearances.A B.C. Supreme Court judge has to decide if the man is mentally fit to face the charges at trial.Hediger said he has done two assessments of Klein and determined that at those times the man was “not unfit” to stand trial.But the psychiatrist noted that Klein’s mental state is variable and very fragile.It’s “fairly likely” that the stress of a drawn-out trial would cause his state to deteriorate to a point where Klein would be unable to follow the proceedings or communicate with his lawyer, Hediger said.“Mr. Klein is actively psychotic,” he told the court. “It wouldn’t surprise me if he were struggling to follow this active proceeding here.”Both Crown counsel and Klein’s defence lawyer are expected to make arguments Thursday about the man’s fitness for trial.Outside court Wednesday, defence lawyer Martin Peters declined to comment on what his submissions will include, but he noted that if Klein is found unfit, a trial scheduled to begin on May 7 will be put on hold.Klein would then we kept at the Forensic Psychiatric Hospital in Coquitlam, and it would be up to a review board to reassess him within 30 days.“It becomes a bit of a Yo-yo process,” Peters said.Last June, the Abbotsford School District released a report that made 31 recommendations on how safety at the school could be improved in the wake of the stabbing.The report said a man entered the school through the adjoining public library and it recommended creating a physical barrier between the two facilities.
MONTREAL – There’s a flap in Montreal over the Quebec flag.Two Montrealers are accusing the city of violating rules set out in provincial legislation that state the Fleur-de-lis should have “precedence over any other flag or emblem” and be displayed in certain designated places.A lawyer for the two retired Montreal journalists championing the cause says legal action could ensue if the city fails to act.Lawyer Hugo Vaillancourt said he and his clients looked further into the matter after they approached him.“We did an analysis to know whether Montreal was respecting the laws,” said Vaillancourt. “What we found was that there were numerous infractions in the city.”Vaillancourt said one obvious violation was the absence of the Quebec flag from Montreal’s council chamber.He says the Fleur-de-lis was also missing from several recent official events involving dignitaries and that the order of the three flags that fly in front of city hall is incorrect.“According to our interpretation (of the law), that means for Montreal’s city hall, when there are three flags displayed, the Quebec one must be in the middle,” Vaillancourt said.On Thursday, the Canadian flag was flying in the middle with the Quebec and City of Montreal flags flanking it. In contrast, the Quebec flag is on the middle pole outside city hall in Quebec City.The provincial Justice Department confirmed it sent a letter to Montreal’s director general last January outlining the fact that rules weren’t being followed.A letter provided by the department written by deputy justice minister France Lynch noted the flag wasn’t displayed during official events.“Allow me to remind you of the importance of complying with the protocol,” Lynch wrote.A city spokesman said it has taken note of the government’s correspondence and that the policy is under review.“We are currently analyzing the different historical and legal elements related to flag etiquette,” Gonzalo Nunez said in an email. “The city’s flag policy dates back to 1996, so the current administration has pursued the policy of previous administrations.”Vaillancourt said other municipalities might also be flouting the rules, but it would require further investigation.In the case of Montreal, a formal notice letter has been drafted and will be fired off if nothing changes.“It’s a reminder that Montreal is in the province of Quebec and it must respect the Quebec law,” said Vaillancourt. “It’s not up to a municipal official to make distinctions to the law where there aren’t any.”