MOSCOW/SEOUL (Reuters) - Russia carried out what it said was its first long-range joint air patrol in the Asia-Pacific region with China on Tuesday, a mission that triggered hundreds of warning shots, according to South Korean officials, and a strong protest from Japan. The flight by two Russian Tu-95 strategic bombers and two Chinese H-6 bombers, backed up by a Russian A-50 early warning plane and its Chinese counterpart, a KJ-2000, marks a notable ramping-up of military cooperation between Beijing and Moscow. While troops and naval ships from Russia and China have taken part in joint war games before, they have not, according to Russia's Ministry of Defence, conducted such air patrols in the Asia-Pacific region together until Tuesday.
Neither Republicans nor Democrats are expecting bombshell revelations when they square off with Robert Mueller on Wednesday in five hours of congressional hearings on the Russia investigation, but both hope to extract enough from the famously tight-lipped former special counsel to advance their respective agendas.Mueller, 74, has made it clear he won't go beyond what he has already said in the 448-page report on Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election and alleged ties between Russia and the presidential campaign of Donald Trump. "The report is my testimony," he said in a nine-minute press conference in May that was his only public comment on the 22-month-long investigation he and a team of lawyers, FBI agents, accountants and intelligence analysts conducted.It's unlikely he'll stray from that commitment, but that doesn't mean the two sides won't try to bend him to their will.For the Democrats — who control the House of Representatives — it's an opportunity to refocus Americans' attention on some of the most damaging details in the report, which came out in April, with a view to influencing public opinion about Trump ahead of the 2020 election. Democrats hope hearings will bring life to 'dry' textMueller concluded there was no evidence that anyone in Trump's campaign conspired with the Russians, but the Democrats say his revelations about the extent of contact between Trump associates and those working to undermine his opponent, Hillary Clinton, are damning enough — they just haven't registered in the public consciousness.The paperback version of the report is still at the top of the New York Times bestseller list, but polls suggest few Americans — including many in Congress — have read it. * Watch the Mueller hearing live starting at 8:30 a.m. ET Wednesday at CBCNews.ca."It's a pretty dry, prosecutorial work product," Adam Schiff, the Democratic chairman of the House permanent select committee on intelligence, said on CBS's Face the Nation. "We want Bob Mueller to bring it to life."Schiff's committee will be the second to question Mueller and will focus on the alleged ties between the Trump campaign and Russia while the judiciary committee will zero in on Volume 2 of the report, which covers allegations of obstruction of justice.With each member getting five minutes and more than 60 members between the two committees, the conditions are not ideal for a thorough examination of the facts and lend themselves more to partisan grandstanding."It is extremely difficult to sustain some type of probing line of questioning," said Paul McNulty, who attended dozens of judiciary committee hearings while serving as deputy attorney general in the George W. Bush administration and as a Republican aide during the impeachment hearings of former president Bill Clinton.On Tuesday, the Department of Justice issued guidelines for Mueller's appearance, asking him to not go beyond the scope of the report, not mention anything pertaining to redacted sections and not discuss individuals who haven't been charged. As a former employee of the department, Mueller is not technically bound by those limits but is unlikely to stray beyond them.Mueller made a last-minute request Tuesday afternoon to have longtime aide Aron Zebley with him during the justice committee portion to provide assistance but not be questioned. Zebley was one of two former Mueller deputies the Justice Department had urged earlier this month not to testify before Congress.Republicans aim to expose bias in investigationMueller arrives on Capitol Hill with an unscathed reputation as a meticulous, apolitical investigator, decorated Vietnam War veteran and career civil servant who has worked under Republican and Democrat administrations.That means Republicans have to walk a fine line between undermining the credibility of the investigation and impugning the former FBI director's character."We have to do more than just question Mueller. We have to expose his biased investigation," Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz, who sits on the judiciary committee, said on Fox News Monday.He and his fellow Republicans are sure to highlight the role of fired FBI agent Peter Strzok, who exchanged text messages with a fellow agent that betrayed their political biases against Trump.They will press Mueller to explain why Strzok was allowed to work on the FBI's Russia investigation, which began in July 2016, when he had also been the lead agent on the investigation into Clinton's use of a private email server."The goal will just be to try to create the impression that this is a partisan fight," said John Nelson, a legal fellow at Just Security, an online forum for legal analysis based at the Reiss Center on Law and Security at New York University School of Law.Steele dossier likely to figure in Republican questioningAnother area where Republicans see Mueller as vulnerable is the Steele dossier, the unverified trove of documents from a former U.K. spy detailing the Trump campaign's contacts with Russians and salacious allegations about Trump's personal life. Their intent here will be to get Mueller to admit that the FBI probe he took over had relied on the unsubstantiated dossier, commissioned as opposition research by the Clinton campaign, and was therefore tainted from the outset.Republicans have also said they want Mueller to lay out exactly when his investigation shifted from collusion to obstruction of justice and why — if he had concluded there was no co-ordination between the campaign and Russia — did he not announce that earlier and clear the president."It's a legitimate overall complaint: the collusion investigation going well beyond the time when you knew there wasn't any because you were looking for obstruction of justice," said D.C.-based attorney Sol Wisenberg, who was the deputy to independent counsel Kenneth Starr during the Clinton impeachment.Democrats, on the other hand, may try to get Mueller to say his investigation was an obstruction probe from the start since part of what prompted the appointment of the special counsel was Trump's abrupt firing of then-FBI director James Comey in May 2017."Both sides can make hay with that," Wisenberg said.Both parties want answer on why no exonerationFor the Democrats, getting Mueller to revisit at least some of the 11 instances of possible obstruction he investigated could serve to highlight the president's conduct and shift focus away from the fact he wasn't found guilty of a crime. That includes the Comey firing and multiple efforts to remove the special counsel, suppress relevant information and dissuade witnesses from co-operating.Mueller is unlikely to walk away without having to explain one of the most quoted lines of the report: "While this report does not conclude that the president committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him. ""That could be another line of questioning from the Republicans because there has been some criticism of Muller's language in his report, which appears to be saying that the president is guilty and needs to prove his innocence." McNulty said.Impeachment not on the horizonNelson says Democrats may try to get around the fact that Mueller felt Justice Department guidelines prevented him from charging the president with a crime by asking whether the department had prosecuted cases of such conduct in the past.They might also ask whether the fact Mueller's team continued investigating the president anyway in order to, as Mueller said, "preserve the evidence" was done with a view to prosecuting Trump in the future.Mueller said in his May press conference that "the constitution requires a process other than the criminal justice system to formally accuse a sitting president of wrongdoing," but it's unclear whether Wednesday's hearings will advance the Democrats' case for impeachment.It doesn't have broad support within the party or among voters, so Mueller's appearance would have to move the needle pretty dramatically to make a difference."In the Clinton impeachment matter, what we saw was that the public opinion is really critical as to whether or not the committee will ultimately be successful if it wants to move forward," said McNulty, who is currently the president of Grove City College in Pennsylvania.Focus on what's missing, says expertNelson said Democrats could gain an advantage by homing in on some of the questions the report leaves unanswered."If you're looking for a really blatant kind of connection between the Trump campaign and Russia, I think the two good places to look would be Roger Stone and Paul Manafort."Stone, a longtime Trump adviser accused of co-ordinating with WikiLeaks to release hacked Clinton campaign emails obtained by Russia, is one of the 34 people charged during Mueller's investigation and has pleaded not guilty on seven counts of obstruction, witness tampering and lying to Congress. Democrats could press Mueller on why he didn't wait for the outcome of that trial before issuing his report given that the hack was one of the things he was investigating.In the case of Manafort, Trump's former campaign chair, Mueller's investigators found he had passed on internal polling data to Konstantin Kilimnik, a Russian-Ukrainian dual citizen with suspected ties to Russian intelligence, but were unable to determine why.The question to Mueller, says Nelson, could be: "Do you think the reason that you didn't find out why was because they sufficiently obstructed justice?"A central question that has stumped lawyers and laypeople alike is: Why didn't Mueller use the courts to compel Trump to be interviewed by investigators and accepted written testimony instead?Wisenberg says it's not likely that or any other question lawmakers throw at Mueller will put the stonefaced special counsel off his game."I don't think Mueller is fazed by much."WATCH | 'The report is my testimony': Robert Mueller speaks about his findings in May:
VANCOUVER — Japanese Canadians across the country are meeting to discuss how an apology by the British Columbia government could be backed by meaningful action for those who were placed in internment camps or forced into labour because of racist policies during the Second World War.The federal government apologized in 1988 for its racism against "enemy aliens" after Japan bombed Pearl Harbor in December 1941 but the president of the National Association of Japanese Canadians said British Columbia's apology in 2012 did not involve the community.Lorene Oikawa said the association is working with the provincial government to consider how it could follow up on the apology to redress racism. The majority of about 22,000 interned Japanese Canadians lived in B.C. before many were forced to move east of the Rockies or to Japan, even if they were born in Canada."We weren't informed about the apology so it was a surprise to us," Oikawa said about B.C.'s statement, which, unlike with the federal government's apology, did not go further to resolve outstanding historic wrongs that saw families separated and property and belongings sold."We accepted the apology but we just want to have that follow-up piece that was missing so that is what the current B.C. government has agreed to and started with this process of having community consultations," she said of the redress initiative funded by the province.Consultations began in May and by the end of July will have been concluded in Toronto, Hamilton, Winnipeg, Calgary, Edmonton, Vancouver and seven other communities in British Columbia. Online consultations are also being conducted before recommendations will be forwarded to the province this fall.So far, some participants have asked that school curricula include racism against Japanese Canadians as well as initiatives to educate the general public about the intergenerational trauma that families have experienced, Oikawa said.Lisa Beare, British Columbia's minister of culture, said the government is supporting the association as it holds consultations so community members can offer recommendations for legacy initiatives."We recognize that significant harm came to Japanese Canadians as a result of provincial government actions during the Second World War," she said in a statement. "Japanese Canadians became targets simply for their identity, and in many cases lost personal property, jobs and homes."Addie Kobayashi, 86, was born and raised in Vancouver but her family had to leave their home when they were relocated to the Tashme internment camp, the largest in Canada, near Hope, B.C.She said her grandmother and aunt ended up in a holding area at Hastings Park in Vancouver before they too were sent to Tashme, where residents faced brutally cold winters and had no indoor toilets or water as part of what was a "confusing" year and a half for her, starting at age 10."The conditions were harsh, the housing was harsh," she said from a Scarborough, Ont., seniors' residence where she attended consultations about B.C. redress. Kobayashi said her family settled in Montreal because of the discrimination they faced in Toronto, where they wanted to live, though she moved there in the late 1970s.Being interned and doing difficult farm labour changed many people's lives forever, she said, noting her father died at 47 and never did go back to B.C.Kobayashi called on the B.C. government to accompany its 2012 apology with substantial and ongoing education as part of the school curriculum to teach students about policies that uprooted Canadian citizens."I do think they should be held responsible for something more than just an apology," she said.Her daughter, Lynn Kobayashi, president of the Toronto chapter of the National Association of Japanese Canadians, said during the war politicians in B.C. lobbied the federal government to resort to racist policies."It was all driven by B.C. That disempowered and disenfranchised people and allowed what happened to happen," she said.Ryanne Macdonald, 21, a fourth-generation Canadian of Japanese descent, is trying to unravel her family's history with some clues from her reluctant grandmother's stories.She said her grandfather, Ryan Nakade, was 13 when his family's boat business was confiscated by the government and he was forced to labour at a farm in Grand Forks, B.C., over 500 kilometres from his home in Richmond."My grandfather passed away before I was born so I never got to hear the story from him," said MacDonald, who is currently doing a summer internship at the Nikkei National Museum and Cultural Centre in Burnaby, where she's working as an archival assistant."Since I started working there my grandma started talking about her experiences more, which is something she never opened up about before just because she tends to want to talk about it only with other people who've been through the same experience as her because they can relate," Macdonald said.She said she wants to be able to understand what her grandparents went through so those actions can't be repeated."I think it was terrible and it was unfounded fear that they were going off of because they were treating the Japanese Canadians like they weren't citizens. Both my grandparents, they were born in Canada."Macdonald said she learned about racism against Japanese Canadians in a Grade 10 social studies class but the content was "glossed over and it didn't seem as bad as it actually was."— Follow @CamilleBains1 on Twitter.Camille Bains, The Canadian PressNote to readers: This is a corrected story. A previous version had a quote from Kobayashi saying her late uncle, Koazi Fujikawa, ended up an alcoholic and was part of an Alaska Highway work crew. The source has since said that information is incorrect.
BEIJING — Li Peng, a former hard-line Chinese premier best known for announcing martial law during the 1989 Tiananmen Square pro-democracy protests that ended with a bloody crackdown by troops, has died. He was 90.China's official Xinhua News Agency said Li died Monday of an unspecified illness. His death was not announced until Tuesday evening.Li, a keen political infighter, spent two decades at the pinnacle of power before retiring in 2002. He left behind a legacy of prolonged and broad-based economic growth coupled with authoritarian political controls.While broadly disliked by the public, he oversaw China's reemergence from post-Tiananmen isolation to rising global diplomatic and economic clout, a development he celebrated in public statements that often were defiantly nationalistic."Ridding themselves from the predicament of imperialist bullying, humiliation and oppression, the calamity-trodden Chinese people have since stood up," Li said in 1995 in a speech for the Oct. 1 anniversary of the 1949 revolution that brought the ruling Communist Party to power.One reminder of Li will likely stand for ages to come: During his final years in power, he pushed through approval for his pet project — the gargantuan $22 billion Three Gorges Dam on the Yangtze River, which forced 1.3 million people to leave homes that were swallowed up by its enormous reservoir.Li, who became acting premier in November 1987, triumphed over pro-reform party leader Zhao Ziyang in 1989 after the fellow native of Sichuan province was toppled from power for sympathizing with the student protesters at Beijing's Tiananmen Square."The situation will not develop as you wish and expect," an angry Li told student leaders in a confrontational meeting on May 18, 1989.The next night, Li, flushed with anger, went on national television to announce martial law in Beijing."The anarchic state is going from bad to worse," he said. "We are forced to take resolute and decisive measures to put an end to the turmoil."On the night of June 3-4, troops invaded the city, killing hundreds, and perhaps thousands, of Beijing residents on their way to ending the student occupation of Tiananmen Square.China acknowledged Li's role, but in a positive way, in a lengthy eulogy read Tuesday night by a newscaster on state broadcaster CCTV.Li joined the majority of the leadership in taking "resolute measures to prevent turmoil, quell the counter-revolutionary riots and stabilize the domestic situation," the eulogy read in part. "He played an important role in the great struggle that concerns the future and destiny of the party and the nation."Li stepped down as premier in 1998, becoming chairman of the National People's Congress, China's parliament. He retired from the party's seven-member ruling Standing Committee in 2002 as part of a long-planned handover of power to a younger generation of leaders headed by Hu Jintao.In his later years, Li rarely appeared in public, and was usually seen only at official gatherings aimed at displaying unity, such as the 80th anniversary of the founding of the People's Liberation Army in 2007.As his profile waned, he reportedly began lobbying older colleagues to support his children's political ambitions. One of his two sons, Li Xiaopeng, was the governor of Shanxi province before becoming transport minister in 2016.Li returned to the headlines in 2010 when a Hong Kong publisher announced he had Li's purported memoir on the Tiananmen Square crackdown. The publisher later halted the book's release, claiming copyright problems, but supposed excerpts of the diaries were leaked online.A cautious and uninspiring figure, Li was one of the few leaders to inspire real dislike among the nation's masses, although he was said to inspire loyalty among his subordinates.Born in October 1928 in Chengdu, a city in southwestern China, he was adopted by the late Premier Zhou Enlai after Li's father, an early communist revolutionary, was killed by the rival Nationalists in 1931.He shrugged off questions of nepotism, saying he was one of many war orphans cared for by Zhou and his wife, Deng Yingchao. But he did say that "their ideals and moral influence had a profound influence on my upbringing."Li joined the Communist Party in 1945 after joining Zhou, Mao Zedong and others at their wartime guerrilla base of Yan'an in the northwest.After spending six years as an engineering student in Moscow, Li worked as an engineer for a decade in northeastern China.He was named director of the Beijing Electric Power Administration in 1966, and according to official biographies, was responsible for ensuring a stable power supply to Beijing and Tianjin during the chaos of the Cultural Revolution.Li headed what was called the "power industry family." His daughter Li Xiaolin was a prominent figure in the state power sector. Her retirement as CEO of China Power International Development in 2015 was seen by some as part of current Chinese President Xi Jinping's moves to uproot leaders' children from highly visible positions in the state sector.Li rose quickly after 1979, and in 1985 became a member of the party's decision-making Politburo with an education portfolio.It was in that role that he established himself as a conservative, telling students in 1985 that China can never become capitalist: "To allow bourgeois freedoms would only make our country's affairs chaotic."His tough stance when students staged pro-democracy demonstrations in Beijing, Shanghai and other cities in late 1986 and early 1987 helped him win a post on the powerful Politburo Standing Committee, leading to his showdown with the reform-minded Zhao over Tiananmen in 1989.___This story has been corrected to show that Li was 90, not 91.Ken Moritsugu, The Associated Press
Britain, France, Germany, Russia and China will meet Iran in Vienna on July 28 to discuss how to save the 2015 nuclear deal, the EU's foreign policy service said in a statement on Tuesday. "The meeting has been convened at the request of France, Germany, the United Kingdom, and Iran, and will examine issues linked to the implementation of the JCPOA in all its aspects," the statement said.
Five stories in the news for Tuesday, July 23———FOOD GUIDE, BUTTS IN PRE-CAMPAIGN FIGHTConservative finance critic Pierre Poilievre took aim at the Liberals Monday morning for bringing back former prime ministerial aide Gerald Butts to work on their election campaign. An hour later, from the same dais in the national press building, Liberal Health Minister Ginette Petitpas Taylor accused Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer of spewing untrue statements on Canada's new food guide. With three months to go before the federal election and public opinion polls indicating the two are in a neck-and-neck fight for power, the Liberals and Conservatives are drawing clear battle lines: Liberals say they're the party of science and the Tories are the party of pandering. Conservatives say they're the party of honour while the Liberals are the party of self-interest.———CRIME RATE UP IN 2018: STATCANThe rate and severity of crime both ticked up in 2018, for a fourth year in a row, according to Statistics Canada. The national statistics agency said Monday the overall crime rate was up two per cent over last year, with over two million incidents reported by police in 2018. That works out to a rate of 5,488 incidents per 100,000 people. The severity of crime also rose by two per cent, according to a Statistics Canada calculation called the crime-severity index. But Statistics Canada noted both the rate and severity of crime were still substantially lower than they were a decade ago, both down 17 per cent compared with 2008.———COP DAD SAYS 2 MURDERS DEVASTATING FOR FAMILIESThe father of an Australian man who was gunned down with his girlfriend while travelling on a remote British Columbia highway says the deaths are a tragic end to a love story between the inseparable couple. Chief Insp. Stephen Fowler of the New South Wales Police Force said he spoke with his globe-trotting 23-year-old son Lucas Fowler within hours of his leaving on a road trip from northern B.C. with his 24-year-old American girlfriend Chynna Deese. Fowler said his son was having the time of his life travelling the world. He said he had met a beautiful young lady and they teamed up, were a great pair and they fell in love.———EXPERT WARNS OF HUAWEI MONOPOLY IN FAR NORTHOttawa is creating conditions for the telecom giant Huawei to create a monopoly on high-speed internet in Canada's Far North, leaving its residents vulnerable to Beijing's will, says a leading analyst. Michael Byers, an Arctic-affairs expert at the University of British Columbia, said there's no immediate security threat to Huawei Canada's Monday announcement that it will partner with a northern telecom company and an Inuit development corporation to extend high-speed 4G wireless services to 70 communities in the Arctic and northern Quebec. That technology is already common in more populous southern Canada, especially in cities.———MORE HELP NEEDED FOR RIGHT WHALES: MINISTERCanada's fisheries minister says many of the people working to save the dwindling population of North Atlantic right whales are feeling drained by the ongoing ordeal, but he says more needs to be done to protect the critically endangered species. "This work has been labour intensive and ... emotionally and physically exhausting for many of those involved," Jonathan Wilkinson told a news conference Monday at an airport in eastern New Brunswick. Flanked by two red aircraft, Wilkinson said Ottawa recently committed to closing more fisheries, reducing speed limits for ships and increasing aerial surveillance in an attempt to prevent the lumbering whales from being hit by boats or becoming entangled in fishing gear.———ALSO IN THE NEWS:— Assembly of First Nations National Chief Perry Bellegarde delivers opening remarks at the AFN Annual General Assembly. New Brunswick Premier Blaine Higgs is also scheduled to speak.— Justice Minister David Lametti makes a funding announcement on addressing sexual harassment in the workplace.— Young Albertans will receive the Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Awards in recognition of their outstanding citizenship and artistic merit.— Shayla Orthner, 27, of North Battleford, has been charged with first-degree murder, kidnapping, improperly interfering with a human body; and theft of a motor vehicle in the death of Tiki Brook-Lyn Laverdiere. The Edmonton woman went missing in mid-May and her remains were discovered by a police dog in a rural area in mid-July.— The first-degree murder trial before a jury of Oscar Ferdinand Arfmann. He is charged in the November 2017 death of Abbotsford police Const. John Davidson.———The Canadian Press
A South Korean maker of a chemical that is used for producing semiconductors will increase output soon with a new plant coming on stream, helping domestic chipmakers offset export curbs imposed by Japan, a local media report said on Tuesday. The hydrogen fluoride factory operated by SoulBrain Co Ltd will begin operations in September and the company hopes to help replace imports from Japan, online business media MoneyToday reported, citing an unnamed SoulBrain official. Japan earlier this month tightened curbs on exports of high-tech materials used in semiconductors and smartphone displays, threatening to disrupt the global supply of microchips used by the likes of Apple Inc and Huawei Technologies Co.
Four years ago today, the 18 women on Canada's national baseball team were in a quest for gold at the XVII Pan American Games, having just beaten Puerto Rico by one run to earn a berth to the finals.This year's edition of the team won't get a chance to relive that experience — their sport has been dropped from the program for the 18th edition of the games, which officially start Friday in Lima, Peru.While Peru has teams competing in men's baseball, men's softball and women's softball, they don't have a women's baseball team.That's being cited as the reason women's baseball has been omitted from the games, which feature 424 events in 39 sports."It's hard to take," said Amanda Asay of Prince George, B.C. She has been a member of the women's national team since 2005, and she played on Canada's silver medal-winning team that lost to the U.S. in the final in Ajax, Ont., at the 2015 games — the first time that women's baseball was included in the program."It's definitely a hit to [have been] there in Toronto and, at least from our perspective, think it went excellently," she said. "People came to watch. The games were exciting: it seemed like it was a really positive experience.""To sort of feel like [the sport] took a step back is hard, for sure."The Canadian Olympic Committee expressed its disappointment about the exclusion of women's baseball from the games to the Pan American Sports Organization, said spokesperson Photi Sotiropoulos."We believe that in a time where we are striving toward gender equity and keeping young women in sport, removing it could negatively impact long-term participation rates," he said.Daphnée Gelinas, 23, who lives in Quebec City, has played on the national team for five seasons, including last year, when she was named MVP.Though she took this year off, she wanted her teammates to have the chance to compete at the games."I was hoping that we could be part of these games, because it's the highest level of baseball we can have right now," she said."The opportunity is incredible…. It would have been a great success for our team to go there and show the world how baseball can be [played]."The Pan Am experienceAsay, now the team's veteran player at the age of 31, said she remembers walking down the streets of Toronto with some teammates after the closing ceremonies in 2015 and being stopped by people who recognized them not only as athletes, but as members of the women's baseball team."To not be able to experience that again, probably at least for me, is a bit heartbreaking."Ashley Stephenson spent 15 years on the team before moving into a coaching role this year. She said playing in the 2015 Pan Am Games was the highlight of her career.Her favourite memory came after the win against Puerto Rico, surrounded by her family, friends and fellow athletes at Canada House, watching Andre de Grasse win gold in the 100-metre dash."What made it special was you were there with all these other athletes who have trained so hard, and you're all trying to win a medal for Canada. You don't get to experience that in a World Cup."Women's baseball is still developing, said Asay — in the same position as women's hockey was about 20 years ago.Since 2004, players from around the world gather to play in the biennial Women's Baseball World Cup. Five teams participated in the inaugural event in Edmonton. Last year in Florida, there were 12. The games were streamed live online for the first time."You get a lot more exposure to young girls who maybe didn't know what they could do with baseball," Asay said. "They can watch it at home, which is pretty cool, and then they have something to strive for."A return in 2023?The team isn't idle this year, despite their absence in Lima — in August, they head to Mexico to play in a qualifier for next year's World Cup. The next Pan Am Games will be held in Chile in 2023, and the hope is that women's baseball will return to the program.Stephenson said in the past, the Canadian team has travelled to Cuba to hold development camps. While those camps help Canadian players improve, they help bolster the Cuban program, too.The coaching staff is weighing the possibility of travelling to other countries to do the same."It's tough, because in other countries, they might not necessarily promote women's sport as much as we do. But then we are shafted, and we don't get opportunities that our male counterparts get," Stephenson said."So whose lap does that fall in? Does that fall in our laps, to do more work, to push other countries?"At home, Gélinas says she's seen growth in the sport in Quebec — there are more girls playing now than when she was young.She participates in clinics with younger players so they know the national team is something they can aspire to."I feel a kind of responsibility to make sure that there is development for them and that they can see a role model," she said."I feel that we can make a difference, and every sport and everything in life starts somewhere. We're lucky to be the ones who have the [opportunity] to start it in order to make it better for the next generation of baseball players."
Aluminum producer Norsk Hydro has managed to ramp up operations at its Alunorte refinery in Brazil despite a cyber attack in March, the firm said on Tuesday, boosting its shares. The Norwegian company's stock rose as much as 6% in early trade after it also reported a slightly smaller than expected decline in second-quarter underlying earnings. "There was no doubt this would be another tough quarter but operationally the company is seemingly on track with the various ramp ups with B&A (the bauxite and alumina division) a notable beat," Credit Suisse said in a note to clients.
Canada is airlifting thousands of salmon upstream after a rockslide blocked the path of the migrating fish, triggering concerns of a permanent loss of fish populations, government officials said. It created a waterfall which is preventing millions of chinook, steelhead, coho and sockeye salmon from swimming upstream to their habitual spawning grounds.
The Town of Lakeshore cleared four truckloads and one trailer of debris following a storm this weekend. According to a July 22 media release, the town's public works department also placed "lighted barricades" where water was across roads, particularly on Island Crescent, Tisdelle Drive and Haven Avenue. The town added berms were created at locations on Albert Lane, Surf Club Drive, Lakeshore Park, Mariners Drive and Melody Drive. Via Rail also pumped out standing water on Valentino Drive, while clearing debris in front of a culvert located on the north side of the railroad tracks.The town said pumps are working normally, while sandbags are available at the Atlas Tube Centre and the Lion's Park in Lighthouse Cove. Residents looking to obtain sandbags must show proof they live on a waterfront property. The town is handing out a maximum of 100 sandbags per property. Sand is also available at: * Lighthouse Cove Lion's Park at 17845 Melody Dr. * Gracey Sideroad at Lakeshore Road 301 * The former Belle River Arena at 304 Rourke Ln. * The Town of Lakeshore's West Public Works Shop at 1089 Puce Rd. * The Town of Lakeshore's East Public Works Shop at 2095 County Road 31 * Golfview Drive Lakefront ParketteLakeshore residents are encouraged to avoid watering their lawns "as it is exasperating the high water table and conditions in downstream areas.""Lakeshore asks the public to be mindful of wakes near waterfront properties," reads an excerpt from a July 22 media release. "Residents can install 'No Wake' signs on their properties."
Daimler and auto supplier Bosch will start valet parking using autonomous driving technology in Stuttgart, Germany, after local authorities gave the carmaker permission to start testing the technology. The automated valet parking service will start at the Mercedes-Benz Museum parking garage, using infrastructure provided by Bosch and vehicle technology from Daimler, Bosch said. It will be the first fully automated driverless system categorized as "Level 4" automation which has been approved for everyday use, Bosch said.
A tiny wireless sensor is now giving cardiovascular surgeons in Calgary a heads up when it comes to the ongoing care of patients who have suffered heart attacks. The CardioMEMS device, implanted in the pulmonary artery, is just 15 millimetres long and measures lung pressure, a key marker of a patient’s heart health. Physicians receive daily reports, allowing them to detect early signs of deteriorating cardiac health. Foothills Medical Centre’s Dr. Brian Clarke was the first in Western Canada to implant the sensor and has six patients that have now had the procedure. He says it reduces the amount of time someone must stay in hospital and patient care is highly individualized. Schoolteacher Michelle Kotelko, who was the first to receive the sensor, says it has dramatically improved her quality of life.
The dean of Cape Breton University's Shannon School of Business says a proposal in support of an $18-million airport in Inverness, N.S., is short on key details.The project is being proposed by Ben Cowan-Dewar, co-owner of the Cabot Links and Cabot Cliffs golf courses.Cowan-Dewar has said the airport will go on Crown land near the community of Inverness, and he has said any profits will be invested in Indigenous and local tourism projects.Late last week, local First Nations chiefs said they had not been consulted, and in an email to CBC News, the provincial Department of Lands and Forestry said it does not have an agreement for a proposed airport on Crown land.George Karaphillis, dean of CBU's business school, said those are major gaps.'Cost estimate is kind of precarious,' says business dean"You can't have a business plan without having those basics covered," he said."The cost of real estate will be very high for this if that's not addressed in it. The whole cost estimate is kind of precarious. In a business model, you have to have your costs fairly firm."Karaphillis said the so-called business case posted online in support of the airport proposal lacks important details.'Not really' a business case"It's not really something that you would call a business case," he said."It's more like highlights that will come out of a pitch, if you were doing an elevator pitch for funding for a startup or something like this."The federal and provincial governments have been asked to share the $18-million cost of the proposed airport, but no decision has been made yet.The project has high-profile supporters, but is meeting opposition from the public. The merits of it might be good ... it's just the process is probably what's turning some people off. \- George Karaphillis, dean of business, Cape Breton UniversityKaraphillis said that might be because taxpayers are being asked to foot the bill without many specifics."The merits of it might be good ... it's just the process is probably what's turning some people off," he said.Karaphillis said the airport is likely a good idea that is just short on detailed planning.The golf courses have been very successful and have attracted private investment in local businesses.An airport will likely do the same for areas outside the community of Inverness, said Karaphillis."I can only see it being positive for Cape Breton," he said. "It's just that if the taxpayers of Canada are going to get their money back, I don't know."In an email, Cowan-Dewar said the airport idea has been around for 10 years, but the latest proposal is fairly new."Given that this project is still in the very early stages, it isn't surprising that a Crown land agreement has not yet been reached," he said."We look forward to working with government as this project advances through all necessary steps."Cowan-Dewar also said he has been working closely with the Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada, based in Vancouver.In a letter to the editor sent to CBC, association president Keith Henry said Indigenous tourism is increasingly in demand, and the Inverness airport proposal would help that grow in western Cape Breton.Cowan-Dewar confidentCowan-Dewar said he is confident the business plan will prove an airport can be viable and the details will come together in time.He said the plan is based on assumptions drawn from Destination Cape Breton tourism numbers, which show that only seven to eight per cent of all visitors come to the island for golf.Initially, the airport would be expected to host two commercial flights a week with 50 passengers per flight, which Cowan-Dewar said would grow over time.MORE TOP STORIES
Researchers have found that Inuit from northern Quebec are genetically distinct from any present-day population in the world, and say studying the genes of minority Indigenous populations in Canada can help deliver better health care to these populations.In a study published Monday in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, researchers mapped the complete genetic profile of Inuit in the Nunavik region — what they claim is a first. Researchers then honed in to study the effects these genetic variants may have on disorders like brain aneurysms."That's the novelty of this study," said Sirui Zhou, the primary author of the study and a researcher with the Neuro (Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital).Zhou said only a small group of Arctic Inuit have been genetically profiled around the world, as with most Indigenous populations in Canada."There's a lot to learn from genomes of smaller populations that are understudied," said Patrick Dion, assistant professor at McGill University, one of the study's authors. We're hoping that this study can inspire … a lot more genetic studies on Inuit, Aboriginal people. \- Sirui Zhou, primary author of studyResearchers compared the genetic profile of 170 Nunavik Inuit with "everyone possible" from Asians, Africans, and Europeans to North and South Americans. "They were very different, as was expected," said Zhou.Then researchers compared the profile with those available from other Indigenous populations, from Greenlandic Inuit to Indigenous groups from North and South America, Alaska, and Siberia."[Nunavik Inuit] were still … unique, because they are isolated, homogenous, and not known to have admixed with other populations," said Zhou."They do not share similar genetic components [or] genetic structure to any kind of present-day, worldwide populations."(Below is a relationship tree diagram showing Nunavik Inuit (bottom corner) with other Indigenous populations. Credit: The Neuro)The study found Nunavik Inuit may have genetic components derived from ancient Arctic Indigenous populations."Paleo-Eskimo [genetic] ancestry is almost extinct in all current populations. But Nunavik Inuit probably have the largest component of an ancestry that could be likely derived from [the] Paleo-Eskimo[s]." Zhou said while looking at the exonic regions of the Nunavik Inuit's genome — "the most important regions" which are responsible for coding proteins — she found about 130 unique genetic variations.Zhou said to her knowledge, that seems to be "a substantial amount."Over the course of 25 years, 170 participants were recruited to participate in the study, mainly after physicians referred them to go to Montreal for screenings for brain aneurysms. Some participants were family members of people at risk for the disorder, who were getting proactive screening; others were partners who were married into the family, who wouldn't necessarily have that risk, Zhou said.Participants were from across the Nunavik region from both the Hudson Bay and Ungava Bay area. Ten communities were represented, and many from Ivujivik and Kangiqsualujjuaq, said Zhou.Zhou said the 170 sample size is a fair representation of the population, at approximately one per cent of Nunavik's population according to the 2016 census.Higher risk for brain aneurysmThe study also found a unique genetic variant in Nunavik Inuit that is associated with a higher risk to develop brain aneurysms. It's too early to have practical results with this research. But it's opened the door to go a little bit further. \- Marie Rochette, Nunavik director of public healthZhou said researchers have two hypothesis as to why Nunavik Inuit are at higher risk for this disorder: firstly, because of the small population size, some genetic variants that cause diseases "happen to accumulate in high frequency," increasing the risks. Secondly, Zhou said those same variants may have historically had other beneficial functions for Inuit, like their ability to adapt to harsher environments.Zhou noted that multiple genetic variants and environmental factors are involved in contributing to developing a brain aneurysm.Zhou said knowing the genetic makeup of Indigenous groups could provide better health care for those populations — like helping communities screen people for diseases they're at higher risk for genetically."We're hoping that this study can inspire … a lot more genetic studies on Inuit, Aboriginal people," said Zhou. "So we can actually design health care to suit them better."Genetics only 'part of equation'"It's very promising knowing that there's a specific gene that seems to be related to cerebral aneurysm," said Marie Rochette, director of public health for Nunavik Regional Board of Health and Social Services."On the other side, we have to think about genetics as one part of the equation," said Rochette, who wasn't involved in the research. "We have to be cautious. It's not because you have a specific genetic thread that means you will develop a disease. There are many other risk factors associated." Factors such as diet, substance use habits and living conditions can influence the pattern of the disease, she said.Rochette said the study won't have a direct effect on the 14 communities. She said more research needs to be done."It's too early to have practical results with this research. But it's opened the door to go a little bit further."Rochette added that Inuit are more and more involved in research, and they not only want to be subjects of research, but also be part of how the results are interpreted and used.
NEW DELHI — India sent a spacecraft to explore water deposits on the far side of the moon in a successful launch Monday after a technical problem caused a week's delay.Scientists at the mission control centre burst into applause as the rocket lifted off in clear weather as scheduled at 2:43 p.m. from Sriharikota in southern India. K. Sivan, head of India's space agency, said the rocket successfully injected the spacecraft into orbit.The Chandrayaan, the Sanskrit word for "moon craft," is scheduled to land on the lunar south pole in September and send a rover to explore water deposits confirmed by an earlier, orbiting mission. India would become only the fourth nation to land on the moon, following the U.S., Russia and China.India's first moon mission in 2008 helped confirm the presence of water. The country plans to send its first manned spaceflight by 2022.India's launch coincided with the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission this month. It came at a time when the world's biggest space agencies are returning their gaze to the moon, seen as an ideal testing ground for technologies required for deep space exploration, and with the confirmed discovery of water, as a possible pit stop along the way. The U.S. is working to send a manned spacecraft to the moon's south pole by 2024.Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the country's lunar program will get a substantial boost, writing on Twitter that the country's existing knowledge of the moon "will be significantly enhanced."Sivan said at a news conference that the successful launch of the spacecraft was the "beginning of India's historic journey" to the moon.The launch of the $141 million moon mission last week was called off less than an hour before liftoff because of a "technical snag." Media reports scientists from the Indian Space Research Organization identified a leak while filling helium in the rocket's cryogenic engine. The space agency neither confirmed nor denied the reports, saying instead that the problem had been identified and corrected.The spacecraft that launched Monday is carrying an orbiter, lander and rover that will move around on the lunar surface for 14 Earth days. It will travel about 47 days before landing on the moon.India put a satellite into orbit around Mars in the nation's first interplanetary mission in 2013 and 2014.With India poised to become the world's fifth-largest economy, Modi's ardently nationalist government is eager to show off the country's prowess in security and technology.India successfully test-fired an anti-satellite weapon in March, which Modi said demonstrated the country's capacity as a space power alongside the United States, Russia and China.Ashok Sharma, The Associated Press
A Kelowna taxi driver has been charged with sexually assaulting one of his female passengers.Gagandeep Singh Sidhu, 37, is facing one count of sexual assault for an incident that occurred in May.Kelowna RCMP says they received reports from a woman who claims she was taking a cab during the early hours of May 26 when she was assaulted by her driver. "Police were told that the alleged victim was outside the taxi cab at her final destination when the alleged assault took place," said Cpl. Jesse O'Donaghey.He says the female passenger was not injured, and two days later, she alerted police to what had happened.Mounties arrested Sidhu on May 30. At the time, he surrendered his chauffeur's permit and officers seized it.He was later released on strict conditions pending a first court appearance on July 4.Sidhu is scheduled to appear again at the Kelowna Law Courts on Thursday.
Vancouver Island cancer patients won't have to travel to the Lower Mainland to receive a PET or CT scan anymore. The B.C. government has announced the new Gordon Heys Family PET/CT (positron emission topography/computed topography) scanner suite is open at the B.C. Cancer Centre in Victoria. In a news release, the province said the project cost $6.5 million and is the first publicly funded scanner outside of the Lower Mainland. "Last year, more than 1,900 Island residents had to travel to Vancouver to receive their scans," said Health Minister Adrian Dix in the statement.The suite is named after Nanaimo resident Gordon Heys, who donated $2 million to the B.C. Cancer Foundation. The province said this donation is the largest private gift ever donated in support of B.C. Cancer in Victoria. 'Critical component' of cancer carePET/CT scanners provide precise images of abnormal or cancerous cells, which can help doctors diagnose cancer at an early stage, according to the province's statement. It said the scanners also help evaluate the effectiveness of treatment by figuring out if a patient's tumours have shrunk, spread or returned. "Approximately half of British Columbians are expected to receive a cancer diagnosis in their lifetime, and timely, effective diagnostics are a critically important part of cancer care and treatment," said Premier John Horgan.Part of the bigger planThe government said the new PET/CT suite will increase capacity for diagnostic imaging on Vancouver Island which builds on the province's surgical and diagnostic imaging strategy. Since launching the strategy last year, the government said over 10,000 more MRIs were delivered in the Vancouver Island Health Authority which is an increase of 28.2 per cent from the previous year. The B.C. government said this year's budget also allocated an additional $105 million over three years to support cancer care services across B.C..It said once the service is fully operational, the new PET/CT scanner is expected to provide over 2,200 scans per year.
A group of friends in Berwick, N.S., are shaken up after an encounter on nearby Harbourville beach.On Sunday, July 14, Mouhanad Abu Marzouk was enjoying a bonfire supper with his friend, Ian Armstrong, along with Armstrong's wife and two young children.The group is Muslim and while they were praying on the beach, they noticed a pair of men watching from afar.The men later approached the group. Marzouk said he recognized one of them as a neighbour and invited the pair to join them."He saw us praying about an hour before that, and he asked Ian, 'Why do you pray to the east?'" Marzouk told CBC's Information Morning.Armstrong said he wasn't sure how to answer the question, and the conversation quickly escalated from confusion to racist slurs and threats."They were swearing quite a bit, and getting quite aggressive," he told CBC's Information Morning.Armstrong said his wife sent their children down the beach to get away from the exchange while she called 911.'Invader religions'"They kept coming back to this idea of feeling threatened when they see invader religions, and at one point said they were prepared to defend our country," he said.Armstrong said the language the men were using reminded him of the mosque attack in Christchurch, New Zealand, that left 51 people dead."[The Christchurch shooter] talked about these invaders that they were going to be shooting to get out of their territory, so we were really worried about what these people were going to do when we heard them talking that way and directly threatening us with violence," he said.'I'll smash this right in your face'As Armstrong's wife was still on the phone with the dispatcher, the men advanced on her."One of them had gotten right up in my wife's face, like just inches away from her, and was staring her down, and behind him, his friend picked up a good-sized rock," he said."I'm still not sure which of us he was speaking to, but he said, 'I'll put the rocks right to you, I'll smash this right in your face.' He didn't, thankfully, but we were quick to back away."RCMP Cpl. Jennifer Clarke confirmed police were called to the scene. She said the matter is under investigation.Marzouk said although one of the men is known to him, he's never had issues with him in the past. The incident did, coincidentally, happen close to the anniversary of another traumatic event from his past.One year ago, Marzouk's brother, Muhammed Abu Marzouk, was the victim of a hate-motivated crime in Mississauga, Ont., when he was severely beaten by two men."He was unconscious for three weeks, and he's still recovering," said Marzouk. "This made me think that if it happened there, it could happen here."Overwhelming community supportMarzouk posted the story to his Facebook page, where it's received over 300 messages of support.Armstrong said the three adults went back to the beach the next day."We wanted to make sure that we didn't let fear start to take over," he said.Marzouk said it's now taking an hour and a half for him to go buy coffee."People stop me in town and they say, 'We're sorry that this happened to you,' and they assure me that they don't feel that way," he said.Both call the support "healing."One community, one loveA couple of Berwick residents are planning a bonfire event — One Community, One Love Bonfire — on Harbourville beach on Saturday at 7 p.m. to support the group.Amy Sentis is one of the organizers. She helps run a local business at which Marzouk has been running workshops."He's such a nice man, we can't say enough about him," she told CBC's Information Morning. "He's just probably one of the most involved community members that we have."Sentis said Marzouk isn't generally active on Facebook, so his long post about the beach incident caught her eye, along with the supportive messages."Something just got riled up in me where I was like, 'We have to stop just offering our thoughts and prayers about things, and we actually have to stand up to this,'" she said.Sentis said there have been other discriminatory acts in the area recently in the form of graffiti. She's hoping the event will give locals a chance to ask questions and better understand their neighbours. "It started off just as a little idea to show some solidarity, and to speak up and say that this just can't happen here, and it's just turned into a complete beast of its own now," she said.MORE TOP STORIES
Italy's ruling 5-Star Movement has suggested using verbal sleight of hand to solve a problem that has been bothering some of its politicians -- a rigid two-term limit on how long members can hold office. As part of this drive, it set an internal rule that no member can hold elected office for more than two terms, an effort to prevent politicians from establishing fiefdoms and to give the party a constant supply of fresh energy. To get around the problem, 5-Star leader Luigi Di Maio has said the first mandate for local councillors should no longer count in the two-term tally.
Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holdings Ltd will allow small U.S. businesses to sell on Alibaba.com, the company said on Tuesday, as it seeks to tap into the business-to-business e-commerce market and fend off rivals like Amazon.com Inc . The change will open up markets to U.S. merchants in countries served by Alibaba, including India, Brazil and Canada. U.S. merchants, previously able to only buy on Alibaba.com, can now also sell to other U.S.-based businesses on the marketplace.
A teacher from the Giovanni School of Music in Edmonton is hopeful that he can walk and play music again after he learned he has a cavernoma, a rare malformation of his spinal cord vessels. One morning in April this year, Riccardo Baldini woke up and couldn't feel his legs. He was taken to the University of Alberta Hospital and underwent a four-hour surgery. Doctors told him he had a cavernoma, which was bleeding and causing his body to be paralyzed from the chest down.Baldini, 25, said it's hard to believe how his life changed that day.He's now classified as a T5 paraplegic, according to the International Standards for Neurological Classification of Spinal Cord Injury. He can move his arms and hands, but not his legs."You want to remember how walking was because over time you can forget this and it's painful trying to remember, because you remember that you don't have it, but it gives you that hope," Baldini said. He said he's hopeful that one day he can walk and play music again. "I really believe that and I'm fighting toward that direction," he said. "You keep going forward and try to recover as much as you can. It's difficult psychologically but I'm trying to manage." Baldini said the cavernoma might bleed again, and in that case, he would need another operation. "It's a danger for me," he said.Music as a 'first language' Baldini's learned how to play piano when he was five; his father taught him."It's something I carried all my life. I learned first to read notes, it's kind of my first language," he said. He was teaching piano for two years at the Giovanni School of Music before becoming paralyzed. His students ranged from five to 50 years old. You keep going forward and try to recover as much as you can. It's difficult psychologically but I'm trying to manage. \- Riccardo BaldiniPamela Lintick, director of the Giovanni school, said Baldini is a reliable, fun and patient teacher. "He's already got students who are anxious to have him back," said Lintick. "I told him he would definitely have a job here anytime he wants it back." Baldini is planning to teach again in September.He also wants to resume studying for his master's degree in forestry at the University of Alberta. He started last September and wants to finish it next year. His friends and family are raising money for his recovery expenses online, through GoFundMe. Their goal is $40,000 to fund his rehabilitation sessions, a lightweight wheelchair, medical equipment, home modifications and a paraplegic piano device that would allow him to activate the pedals with his mouth.So far, the fundraising effort has raised more than $17,000."It's been crazy. I didn't expect so much help and energy from all around the world. I can feel the energy coming to me and that's something that's so powerful," Baldini said."It makes me believe even more. I'm so thankful for that."
Lebanese church leaders have demanded the cancellation of a concert by Lebanese band Mashrou' Leila on the grounds its songs are blasphemous, leading the group to say it is the target of a campaign based on fabrications to crush freedom of expression. In a statement on Monday, the Maronite Catholic Eparchy of Jbeil (Byblos) said most of the band's songs "violate religious values" and it was not becoming for Byblos to host concerts "that are directly at odds with Christian faith". Mashrou' Leila, in a statement posted on social media, noted that it had played all over Lebanon in the past and said it was "odd that there's been a backlash to one of those songs now, knowing that it doesn’t actually try to offend anyone, or their value system(s).
The Municipality of Leamington, Ont. launched a new competition Friday offering businesses a chance to a win a year's worth of free rent in the uptown core.Dubbed 'Reinvent This Space' the competition calls on entrepreneurs — 19 years or older — to submit their business ideas."We're hoping to attract those people that have that business idea in their head that they've always wanted to start and just needed a little push. We're hoping that a year's rent will be that push," said Leamington Mayor Hilda MacDonald."The challenges of running your own business are usually the expenses when you're first getting out of the gate," said MacDonald, who previously ran her own business. "And until you start to develop a customer-base, it's always managing your cash flow and rent ... Your monthly rent is always a concern because it doesn't come cheap."'Rent is ridiculous in Leamington'Nina Alwan, owner and operator at Final Touch Haircare Service, said the competition would give entrepreneurs a head start and alleviate some of the costs of running a business."The rent is pretty ridiculous in Leamington," said Alwan, who has run her business with her sister for 14 years.This is the first year the municipality is running this competition, but other cities and regions have launched similar competitions, including Harrow, Ont. and Peterborough, Ont.Nadine McCallen, a grand prize winner of Peterborough's 2018 Win This Space compeition, said it's been challenging to open up her first store."I'd say that I'm working harder now than I was working two years ago before I won the contest. It hasn't been easy. It's been exciting, but it hasn't been easy at all," she said.McCallen also said it's important to keep in mind such initiatives are a means to fill vacancies, which MacDonald highlighted as well."We have a number of empty storefronts," said MacDonald, adding it's a concern to fill them.'Think outside the box'MacDonald said those who are interested in entering the competition must be creative with their proposals and business ideas."If you want to be noticed, you have to do something that the crowd isn't doing. You have to have a slightly different point of view and a slightly different way of delivering," said MacDonald."The mood seems to be very optimistic for buying local, shopping local. I think it's an ideal time for a business person to venture out," said MacDonald. "It calls on people to be different, to think outside the box."So far, no one has submitted any proposals yet, but MacDonald said she has seen a lot of people showing interest on social media."Opportunities like this don't come along often. It's almost like winning the lottery and giving yourself the hand up," said MacDonald.A panel of seven people of different professional backgrounds, including MacDonald, will review the proposals and offer professional advice to finalists.The competition runs until the end of August. MacDonald hopes to launch the it again next year if this year's run is successful.
"Reasons to Be Cheerful" (Little Brown and Co.), by Nina StibbeFor some people, life begins when you turn 18. Whether you choose to leave the nest, or you're kicked out, it's a time when you're expected to experience the world. In "Reasons to Be Cheerful," author Nina Stibbe offers an intimate look at this uncertain time as the protagonist becomes a young adult.In this story, Lizzie Vogel ignores the part of an advertisement that asks for a "mature lady" and applies for a job working in a local dentist's office. She doesn't feel the need to mention that she doesn't have any knowledge of dentistry. (Lizzie is a quick learner.) Plus, the position includes an apartment above the practice.The dentist is gruff and firm. He insists that Lizzie's hyper co-worker Tammy holds his cigarettes so his fingers don't smell like nicotine. While Tammy and her boss' odd relationship provide daily entertainment for Lizzie, she also manages to learn a few light dentistry skills.When she's not assisting in the surgery room, or answering the phones, Lizzie watches for Andy Nicolello. Andy is peculiar, but Lizzie doesn't mind. She develops a friendship with him and as the months pass, she falls head over heels for him. She's not sure if Andy notices, but he sure hangs around a lot for someone who may not be interested. At times, she considers herself Andy's girlfriend. In other instances, she's mystified about their status.Along with navigating through teen romance, Lizzie learns to manoeuvr other milestones that are part of becoming an adult. She learns to drive, hosts her first dinner party and takes her first step into maturity when challenges arise.Stibbe proves she can channel the mind of a young woman and takes the reader on a coming-of-age journey that plucks at the heartstrings of every emotion.Lincee Ray, The Associated Press