• Newest member of Team Jennifer Jones says she has 'big shoes to fill' heading into Scotties
    News
    CBC

    Newest member of Team Jennifer Jones says she has 'big shoes to fill' heading into Scotties

    It's a Thursday afternoon in early February, and inside the Granite Curling Club in Winnipeg, champion curler Jocelyn Peterman is perfecting her craft. "Obviously, when Jill retired there were big shoes to fill. She's such a great person and such a great teammate and such a consistently great player," Peterman said.

  • News
    Reuters

    Singapore to Hanoi: The bumpy diplomatic road since Trump and Kim first met

    SEOUL/WASHINGTON (Reuters) - It's been the better part of a year since U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un stood face to face for the first time at their unprecedented summit in Singapore. North Korea still has its nuclear weapons, and Washington has only increased sanctions on Pyongyang so the stakes are high for both leaders who have promised to overcome decades of tension and conflict between the two countries. Here is a breakdown of what Trump and Kim have agreed to, what has - and hasn't - happened since they last shook hands, and what may be on the negotiating table.

  • Short films, Fred Penner and Family Day fun: Calgary entertainment this weekend
    News
    CBC

    Short films, Fred Penner and Family Day fun: Calgary entertainment this weekend

    Let's take a look at some entertainment options around the city. Then on Sunday, you can check out the United Pakistani Calgarians' Family Day celebration at the Castleridge Falconridge Community Hall in the northeast. Details for that event are on Facebook.

  • Deadly blue 'Mexican oxy' pills take toll on US Southwest
    News
    The Canadian Press

    Deadly blue 'Mexican oxy' pills take toll on US Southwest

    TUCSON, Ariz. — Aaron Francisco Chavez swallowed at least one of the sky blue pills at a Halloween party before falling asleep forever. He became yet another victim killed by a flood of illicit fentanyl smuggled from Mexico by the Sinaloa cartel into the Southwest — a profitable new business for the drug gang that has made the synthetic opioid responsible for the most fatal overdoses in the U.S.

  • 19 couples had free Valentine's Day weddings in Kelowna
    News
    CBC

    19 couples had free Valentine's Day weddings in Kelowna

    Standing under a flower arch in Sandhill Wines, Juno and J-Lyn Bebbington, are one of 19 couples saying "I do" for free on Valentine's Day in Kelowna. The nuptials are part of an event called Kelowna4Love, with donations going to the Kelowna Pride Society.

  • Fast staff: Edmonton city workers caught by photo radar in 2018
    News
    CBC

    Fast staff: Edmonton city workers caught by photo radar in 2018

    City of Edmonton employees were nabbed 308 times in 2018 by photo radar for violating traffic rules. Of that number, 111 tickets were handed out to city bus drivers, either Edmonton Transit Services or DATS. Andrew Knack said it's important for all drivers to pay attention to the signs.

  • 'Cookie lady' bakes 140,000 cookies for sick kids, gets recipe in forthcoming storybook
    News
    CBC

    'Cookie lady' bakes 140,000 cookies for sick kids, gets recipe in forthcoming storybook

    "I knew I wanted to volunteer with children in some way," Craig told The Homestretch. When I said that I baked, she asked if I could start tomorrow," Craig said with an infectious laugh. Ten years later, Craig estimates she has baked more than 140,000 cookies.

  • 'Good luck with your fight': Sting supports GM workers battling plant closure
    News
    The Canadian Press

    'Good luck with your fight': Sting supports GM workers battling plant closure

    OSHAWA, Ont. — Sting told autoworkers at General Motors in Oshawa, Ont., that he stands in unity with them as they fight the planned closure of their local plant.The singer joined thousands of GM employees who gathered Thursday to hear him perform a free acoustic concert as a gesture of support.The British musician played two songs by his former band, The Police — "Message in a Bottle" and "Every Breath You Take" — as well as selections from his musical "The Last Ship," about a shipyard that closes when it's deemed not profitable enough."We are telling your story and it's important that your story is heard.... This can't be buried under the political carpet," he said in a press conference after he wrapped a concert at a local community centre."Canada needs to get behind you."Autoworkers lined up outside the venue, some holding signs of support or wearing shirts that read "Save Oshawa GM," before they were ushered in for the hour-long performance. The cast of "The Last Ship" joined Sting in delivering a line-up of rousing numbers from the show, which is being held at the Princess of Wales Theatre in Toronto.When Sting hit the stage the crowd jumped to their feet to give him a hearty welcome."Good luck with your fight," Sting told the crowd as the performance finished. "We're with you."Songs from "The Last Ship" were written by Sting based on his experiences growing up in an English shipbuilding town roiled by the collapse of its main industry. The singer drew parallels between his tale of labour strife and the plight of Oshawa autoworkers as they face off with GM executives.His musical is set in a town that's under siege by economic policies introduced by Margaret Thatcher, who served as Britain's prime minister from 1979 to 1990."There's nothing there now," Sting said of his hometown in Wallsend, England."There's some heavy industry coming back, but the town was devastated for a good 30 years by one industry just failing, and not being supported by the government."Sting addressed the relationship between GM and its Canadian employees, saying the company has a duty to support a community that's worked hard for it."It should be a mutual support system. It's about loyalty. These workers have loyally given their lives to the company. It's a two-way street — you can't just walk away," he said.Unifor president Jerry Dias says with Sting drawing more attention to what's happening in Oshawa, he anticipates the pressure on executives will intensify."GM right now is sitting there and my guess is they're not drinking champagne behind their desks — there's no question we've gotten their attention," he said"They are hoping we'll go away but the chance of that is zero.... Ultimately GM can fix this. They can change their mind." Follow @dfriend on Twitter.David Friend, The Canadian Press

  • Chicago police dispute reports 'Empire' actor investigated for staging attack
    News
    Reuters

    Chicago police dispute reports 'Empire' actor investigated for staging attack

    Chicago police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said there was no evidence to support a report by Chicago ABC7 television, which cited sources familiar with the investigation. "Media reports about the Empire incident being a hoax are unconfirmed by case detectives. Supt Eddie Johnson has contacted @ABC7Chicago to state on the record that we have no evidence to support their reporting and their supposed CPD sources are uninformed and inaccurate," Guglielmi said in a tweet.

  • Prominent investors stock up on eBay, then activists flex muscle
    News
    Reuters

    Prominent investors stock up on eBay, then activists flex muscle

    Baupost Group, run by Seth Klarman, and BlueMountain Capital both made new investments while Hudson Bay Capital Management and Adage Capital Partners expanded their bets with sizable purchases during the fourth quarter, regulatory filings and data compiled by Symmetric.io show. Banking giants UBS AG, Citigroup Inc, JPMorgan Chase and Morgan Stanley, which invest for retail and institutional clients, also purchased millions of new shares, the data show. For these investors, the nearly 30 percent gain in eBay's share price in the first seven weeks of trading this year represents a sizable windfall that was likely fueled by behind-the-scenes moves of two activist hedge funds that also built stakes recently.

  • Province vague on details for Red Deer hospital expansion
    News
    CBC

    Province vague on details for Red Deer hospital expansion

    With a provincial election looming, the Notley government is making some vague promises about a long-awaited hospital expansion in Red Deer. "What we are committing to is if we are re-elected this spring, that we'll be moving ahead to continue funding for a major hospital redevelopment," said Health Minister Sarah Hoffman. "We know that the staff there have been punching above their weight and it's been the third busiest hospital in the province, and we know how important it is that Red Deer-area residents have the care they need, and also other people who spend time or live in central Alberta.

  • Alberta missionaries trapped inside compound amid Haiti riots
    News
    CBC

    Alberta missionaries trapped inside compound amid Haiti riots

    Two dozen missionaries from southern Alberta are stranded at a compound in Haiti due to violent street demonstrations that have been ongoing for a week. "The roads are blocked, tires are burning, there are boulders on the road and people are blocking the highway," James Roberts with the charity Haiti Arise, told CBC Calgary. Roberts says about 24 people from southern Alberta on a mission in Grand Guove — just west of the Haitian capital Port-Au-Prince — were planning to come home Wednesday.

  • The Latest: Paddleboarder dies in storm-swollen channel
    News
    The Canadian Press

    The Latest: Paddleboarder dies in storm-swollen channel

    The storm pounding California may have claimed a second life. Authorities in Escondido, northeast of San Diego, recovered the body Thursday of a man who witnesses say had been paddle-boarding down the surging current in a concrete-lined waterway. Earlier, a woman who was rescued from a storm channel east of Los Angeles died after suffering cardiopulmonary arrest.

  • Ottawa spending $12 million to upgrade remote airport near site of 2017 crash
    News
    The Canadian Press

    Ottawa spending $12 million to upgrade remote airport near site of 2017 crash

    The federal government says it will spend $12 million to improve safety at a remote northern Saskatchewan airport near where a plane crashed in December 2017 shortly after takeoff. All 25 people on the West Wind Aviation plane were injured — nine seriously — and 19-year-old Arson Fern Jr. later died in hospital. Some of the upgrades to Fond du Lac's airport are to include runway rehabilitation, replacing airfield lighting and installing a visual aid system that helps pilots make their approach when landing.

  • Ride along with a trucker protesting Ottawa's oil policy in pro-pipeline convoy
    CBC

    Ride along with a trucker protesting Ottawa's oil policy in pro-pipeline convoy

    This pro-pipeline truck driver just started a four day journey to Ottawa to protest its handling of the oil downturn. He is joining the around 160 others in the convoy.

  • Crowded Edinburgh Elementary School rejects idea of sending students to an annex
    News
    CBC

    Crowded Edinburgh Elementary School rejects idea of sending students to an annex

    Edinburgh Elementary School has decided to reject the idea of an annex at another location and instead, is asking for modular classrooms and an extension. The English Montreal School Board offered an annex at the former St. Ignatius facility on Coronation Street in Notre-Dame-de-Grâce.

  • Explainer: Why is the Philippine government accused of going after media?
    News
    Reuters

    Explainer: Why is the Philippine government accused of going after media?

    Rappler CEO Maria Ressa, who is free on bail, is charged with cyber libel in the latest case against the website filed by agencies of the government, which denies stifling the press. WHAT IS RAPPLER? Ressa and associates started Rappler (www.rappler.com) on Facebook in 2011 and it became a news website in 2012.

  • Australian miner Fortescue says two driverless trucks involved in low-speed incident
    News
    Reuters

    Australian miner Fortescue says two driverless trucks involved in low-speed incident

    Fortescue is retrofitting 100 huge mining trucks with autonomous haulage systems (AHS) at its remote Chichester hub, aiming to more than double its self-driving fleet. "This was not the result of any failure of the autonomous system," Fortescue Chief Executive Elizabeth Gaines said in the statement. "No manned vehicles or people were involved." Analysts said that minor accidents with autonomous vehicles had been reported in the mining industry before.

  • How to slide some fun into your winter workout
    News
    CBC

    How to slide some fun into your winter workout

    You'll hear them before you see them, squealing with delight as they race down the icy slope of one of Ottawa's most popular sledding hills in the pre-dawn. On the first Friday of the month, whether it's 1 C or –31 C, the Arboretum Hill Club convenes at 6:29 a.m. sharp.

  • As temperature rises in Toronto, police warn of falling ice
    Global News

    As temperature rises in Toronto, police warn of falling ice

    Temperatures continue to climb in Toronto and with the warmer weather comes the threat of falling ice. As Erica Vella reports, police are asking Torontonians to remain vigilant.

  • SNC-Lavalin city's top choice for $600M LRT expansion
    News
    CBC

    SNC-Lavalin city's top choice for $600M LRT expansion

    SNC-Lavalin is the City of Ottawa's top choice to build the $600-million Trillium Line extension during the second phase of Ottawa's light rail project, CBC News has learned. The Montreal-based company, currently embroiled in political controversy, is one of three pre-qualified bidders for the southern extension, which would add 16 kilometres and eight new stations, including a spur to the Ottawa International Airport, by 2021. According to multiple sources with knowledge of the issue, SNC-Lavalin has emerged from a competitive bidding process against two international consortia as the city's preferred proponent.

  • 'Decide what you want to do over Brexit, and hurry up!': French minister
    News
    Reuters

    'Decide what you want to do over Brexit, and hurry up!': French minister

    PARIS (Reuters) - Britain should decide what to do regarding its exit from the European Union as soon as possible, French European Affairs Minister Nathalie Loiseau said on Friday. "I am telling our British friends that it is about time to decide whether to leave on friendly terms or abruptly," she told RTL radio. "It is a purely British choice. What we are saying is : hurry up!" Britain is due to leave the EU on March 29. ...

  • Sexual health clinics grapple with hike in birth control prices
    News
    CBC

    Sexual health clinics grapple with hike in birth control prices

    Sexual health clinics in southwestern Ontario that offer low-cost birth control say they've had to increase the price of a number of their products—sometimes by nearly threefold—due to an increase in manufacturer costs.The clinics at the Middlesex-London Health Unit (MLHU) and the Huron County Health Unit are aimed at patients who have barriers that restrict their access to birth control, such as those who don't have family doctors or who aren't eligible for a drug benefit plan."When these costs go up, absolutely we start to wonder whether people will be able to access these medications in the same way," said MLHU associate medical officer of health Dr. Alex Summers.At the Middlesex-London Health Unit (MLHU), the products affected are: * Birth control pills Alesse and Minovral which have increased from $7 to $15 a month. * Birth control pills Demulen and Synphasic, which have increased from $7 to $20 a month. * Depo, a contraceptive injection, which has increased from $25 to $35 a month.At the Huron County Health Unit, public health nurse Kate Underwood said the products affected are: * Alesse, which has increased from $7 to $17 a month. * Demulen and Minovral, have increased from $7 to $20 a month.At the Huron County Health Unit, the new prices came into effect January 2, 2019. At the MLHU, the new prices will be effective as of March 30, 2019. Pfizer Canada, which manufactures the products affected, told CBC News in an e-mail statement that the company has had contractual agreements with Canadian women's health clinics for more than 10 years, but said those agreements are changing."Due to changes in the reimbursement landscape and the availability of many contraceptive options, including a wide range of patented and generic options, Pfizer Canada is announcing this week that it will no longer offer the previously contracted pricing," said Heather Bisset, senior manager of corporate affairs, in an email statement February 12.Pfizer Canada said it continues to make their products available to clinics at the list price, and supports clinics through patient education.Why low-cost birth control is importantAs a business, Pfizer Canada has a responsibility to its shareholders to maximize profits—but that doesn't mean its decisions don't have an impact on the wider community, said Lauren Cipriano, an assistant professor at the Ivey Business School who studies health policy.Cipriano pointed out that although the "reimbursement landscape" in Ontario has changed in recent years to offer drug coverage to those under 25, young people aren't the only ones who need low-cost birth control."I think the women who are going to be affected here are working low-wage jobs without benefits, contract workers and the self-employed," said Cipriano, who pointed to hairdressers, child and eldercare providers and home cleaners as examples."This is a large group of women who fall between the provincial drug plans and coverage through work-provided plans, generally associated with higher income and secure employment."What's more, Cipriano said the same women who may not have work-provided coverage for birth control are also less likely to have access to maternity leave if they do have an unplanned pregnancy."And so this would be a significant additional hardship I would imagine for those families," she said.Barriers to birth control take on an added level of complication for those living in rural areas, said Underwood. The community where she works doesn't have a transit system, which means patients at the birth control clinic need to access a vehicle potentially take time off work in order to get there, Underwood said."All of that comes with a cost," said Underwood. "It kind of creates a domino effect."What comes nextThe MLHU and the Huron County Health Unit have plans to respond to the cost increases.Dr. Summers and Underwood say they're working to connect patients with benefit plans they may not realize they're eligible for, and to offer them alternative forms of birth control if they're a good fit.For instance, Underwood said her clinic has brought in a cheaper, generic version of Alesse, which is a popular birth control choice for many patients. Still, Underwood said she wants patients to be able to take the contraceptives that work best for them—not strictly the ones that are cheapest. "As much as the brand name and the generic are fairly similar in their production, there can be some differences, and everyone's body is a little bit different," said Underwood. "They would rather have a product that works for them, versus having to choose something that's cheaper and they're not getting that cycle control and they could have an increased risk of pregnancy."For Cipriano, the situation speaks to a broader need for universal pharmacare in Canada. Cipriano said unplanned pregnancies are costly to women and to society, and that investing in low-cost birth control would be a good value proposition for Canada as a whole. "National pharmacare isn't just a conversation about high-cost, rare drugs needed in more extreme health conditions in our lives, but also part of our everyday preventive health," she said.

  • Germany looks into tax move on foreign internet firms: report
    News
    Reuters

    Germany looks into tax move on foreign internet firms: report

    Germany's finance ministry is looking into the possibility of a 15 percent special tax on online advertising revenue collected by foreign internet companies such as Google or Facebook from German operators, Wirtschaftswoche magazine reported on Friday. This move could entail treating payments for online advertisements in the same way as license fee payments, which would make the German companies subject to withholding tax being deducted. The German companies, which choose to place online advertisements, will have to recover this withholding tax from the internet firms as the revenue would be their original tax liability, the report said.

  • These slimy, hungry blobs may have been the Earth's first creepy crawlies
    News
    CBC

    These slimy, hungry blobs may have been the Earth's first creepy crawlies

    Scientists think they've found evidence of extremely ancient organisms that could crawl and wriggle their way through the mud — extraordinary at a time when simple bacteria were previously thought to be the only living things on Earth.The researchers discovered what appear to be fossilized tunnels bored by hungry blobs creeping through the mud on the floor of a shallow sea 2.1 billion years ago, about a billion years before animals evolved.Those may have been similar to modern day slime molds — single-celled organisms that sometimes bunch together into a blob or "slug" to crawl in search of food, reports the international team led by Abderazak El Albani of the centre national de la recherche scientifique and the Université de Poitiers in France. They published their findings in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences earlier this week.The tunnels appear near and between thick mats of bacteria that may have made a tasty lunch, said Luis Buatois, a University of Saskatchewan researcher who co-authored the paper."That's consistent with the idea of searching for food," he added. He and his wife, fellow University of Saskatchewan researcher M. Gabriela Mangano, are experts in "trace" fossils. While most fossils we're familiar with come directly from the bodies of organisms, trace fossils come from other evidence such as tracks or tunnels.El Albani contacted Mangano and Buatois a few years ago for help figuring out the origin of strange worm-like cords of the mineral pyrite in some 2.1 billion-year-old rocks. He had found them snaking among fossilized bacterial mats in a rock formation near Franceville, Gabon, in Africa. El Albani shared detailed CT scans of the structures, some of which were as long and as thick as a pencil."We were immediately amazed by what he had," Buatois recalled.Earliest multicellular organismsEl Albani proposed in a 2010 study that some of the fossils found in the same rock formation belonged to the earliest multicellular organisms — suggesting such complex organisms evolved hundreds of millions of years earlier than previously thought.What was striking about the worm-like fossils was that they seemed to cross different layers of sediment and appeared to have pushed the sediment around. That's quite different from what's seen in specimens that are dead or immobile when buried — they tend to sit in a single layer."We have evidence of organisms that were able to move. That's significant," Buatois said.What was tricky was trying to imagine what kind of organism could have made the tunnels. They're unusual, as they change in width along their length and sometimes fuse together from the same direction — impossible for a single organism such as a worm, but similar to the tracks left by slime molds made of blobs of cells that can join, separate and reshape themselves."The similarities are remarkable," Buatois said. Watch as Princeton professor explores slime mold:While they may have been similar to a slime molds, they were almost certainly unrelated — slime molds didn't evolve until about 1.5 billion years later.Pyrite proof?The idea that the fossils were made by biological organisms is supported by geochemists such as Kurt Konhauser, a University of Alberta professor who also co-authored the study.Organisms typically ooze slime as a lubricant as they tunnel through mud, Konhauser said. When the tunnel is later filled in with new sediment, bacteria eat that slime, producing a mineral called pyrite that's otherwise only found in volcanic rock: "You don't get pyrite unless you get bacteria eating organic carbon."And pyrite is what the worm-like features were made of.A big question that remains is whether the organisms that made the tunnels had a lasting impact on the evolution of living things.Konhauser suspects they didn't: "Most likely, whatever it was went extinct."That's because it lived at a very special time in Earth's history, shortly after photosynthetic bacteria evolved and filled the atmosphere with about half the concentration of oxygen we have today — way more than there was before.That didn't last, though. Oxygen levels soon plummeted and didn't rise again significantly until around 650 million years ago, which is when multicellular life really took off and became obvious in the fossil record.Evolutionary biologists think that means oxygen was a requirement for complex life. But then why did complex life not evolve the first time oxygen levels peaked?"What this shows," Konhauser said, "is that in fact, it's quite likely that you did get complex life at that time."Controversial discoveryNot everyone is convinced that the fossils show evidence of multicellular organisms or organisms that could move.Juergen Schieber, a geology professor at Indiana University who has studied how slime trails left by burrowing organisms get fossilized, called both claims "dubious."In an email, he agreed that organic matter would have been needed to form the pyrite cords, but suggested they were more likely to be rolled up bacterial mats.Buatois said that was one possibility his team considered, but it didn't seem to match up with the fossils' positions relative to the layers of sediments."I know that it's a controversial issue," he said. "But we've been through every possible alternative explanation, and we rejected them all."