• We may be headed towards an air fare war on trips between North America and Europe after Dublin-based discount carrier Ryanair announced its intention to break into the transatlantic market.

    According to European media reports, Ryanair’s board of directors this week approved plans to fly between 14 European cities such as London, via Stansted, Dublin and Berlin, and 14 U.S. hubs, including New York, Boston, Chicago and Miami.

    “European consumers want lower-cost travel to the USA and the same for Americans coming to Europe,” the company said in a statement reported by the Guardian. “We see it as a logical development in the European market.”

    Ryanair’s transatlantic service won’t get off the ground for five years, as it works to acquire the aircraft it needs for the long-haul trips. But its reputation for deep-discount airfares on European routes will doubtless have competitors preparing to defend their share of the market.

    “That would put pressure on at least the very price-sensitive

    Read More »from Irish discount airline Ryanair prepares to cross the Atlantic
  • (Photo via user B3ng Jam on Twitter)(Photo via user B3ng Jam on Twitter)

    It looks just like the car decals that denote new drivers, but it bears a “C” and the words “Chinese driver” in smaller type beneath.

    The drivers donning the stickers around Metro Vancouver are mostly young people of Chinese heritage.

    To some, it’s an inside joke; a take-down of an all-too-common racist stereotype. To others, it’s just offensive.

    “It’s obviously a joke,” said Hanson Lau, a prominent radio personality and advocate for the Chinese-Canadian community.

    “I don’t take it as a joke because I’m aware of the history in B.C.”

    That history includes race riots, the 1885 Chinese Head Tax and laws designed to prevent Chinese-Canadians from owning property in certain areas of Vancouver.

    From 1923 to 1947, the Chinese Immigration Exclusion Act barred Chinese settlers and Chinese, as well as South Asian and Japanese, Canadians from acquiring citizenship until 1947.

    “The people who buy these would appreciate the message it’s trying to send,” said Lau, an advocate for reconciliation

    Read More »from Racist or funny? 'Chinese driver' decals spark debate in Metro Vancouver
  • (Photo via Corbis/Yahoo Shine)(Photo via Corbis/Yahoo Shine)

    The story of a teenage boy in the U.K. diagnosed with testicular cancer after taking a pregnancy test got shared thousands of times online.

    It sounds like an urban legend, but there is some truth to it. Pregnancy tests detect beta-hCG (human chorionic gonadotropin), which turns out to be the same hormone that is elevated in some men who have testicular cancer.

    The U.K. teen said medical professionals used a pregnancy test to check his hormones. After being diagnosed and undergoing treatment he says he is now cancer free. Many commenters on the story have jumped to the conclusion that all men should go out and buy a pregnancy test to screen themselves.

    Not so fast.

    “Absolutely not, it could give false reassurance,” Dr. Padraig Warde, staff radiation oncologist at Princess Margaret Hospital in Toronto, told Yahoo Canada News.

    Dr. Nicholas Power, chair of the medical advisory board for Testicular Cancer Canada, agrees: “It’s not a recommended screening tool.”


    Related stories:

    Pregnancy

    Read More »from Pregnancy test not a surefire testicular cancer test, despite teen boy’s success
  • OPP union headquarters (CBC)OPP union headquarters (CBC)

    It has all the markings of a TV drama – RCMP raiding anotherpolice force’s union office, sealed court allegations of money laundering, members of the union executive facing criminal investigation, suspension and a scandal that has rocked Ontario Provincial Police.

    Unfortunately for the OPP, these allegations of allegations of fraud, breach of trust and money laundering are aimed at top union managers, who are all still OPP officers.

    The headlines in Toronto newspapers screamed:

    “OPP union brass investigated over fraud allegations

    “Key players caught in OPP union scandal”

    As a result of a complaint, 13 search warrants were executed on March 6 at a number of locations, including at the OPP Association’s head office in Barrie, Ont., and at a number of people’s homes.

    The OPP Association issued a news release the following Monday.

    “The RCMP is conducting a criminal investigation and believed that evidence to support its investigation could be found in the OPP Association Head Office as

    Read More »from RCMP investigating OPP union brass caught up in alleged money laundering scandal
  • A viral video of a motorcyclist leading B.C. RCMP on a high-speed chase through the streets of Surrey initially had police scrambling to find not only the driver, but how the police video became public.

    Now that it has been seen by about a quarter of a million people, it turns out the RCMP accidentally released it themselves.

    The video was shot February 20 and was released by Live Leak and uploaded to YouTube on March 13 after police accidentally made it public, Surrey RCMP spokesman Sgt. Dale Carr told Yahoo Canada News in an email interview.

    "The video is shared with investigators using a site that offers both private and public sharing," Carr explained. "In this case the 'private' checkbox had inadvertently been overlooked.

    "We are looking into how that occurred and whether the practice of using that particular site should remain as a standard practice."

    The video was edited together for use in the investigation, Carr said, adding that some or all of it might have been released at

    Read More »from Police inadvertently released viral video showing motorcycle chase through B.C. mall
  • SkyTrain light rapid transit cars in Vancouver, B.C., May 1, 2014. (CP/Bayne Stanley)SkyTrain light rapid transit cars in Vancouver, B.C., May 1, 2014. (CP/Bayne Stanley)

    Vancouver writer Jessica Barrett chalked up a minor victory for Millennials this week when, over Sunday brunch, she convinced a friend to switch her vote in the West Coast region’s hotly debated transit-tax referendum from a “no” to a “yes.”  

    No one likes to pay more taxes, and saying “yes” means regional residents will pay an additional half per cent on the existing seven per cent sales tax to fund sweeping transit expansion plans across the fast-growing region.

    “No” means keeping more money in your own pocket – a powerful lure for the 1.5 million voters living in the country’s most expensive urban centre, and particularly so for younger adults, many of whom are under-employed and struggling to keep financially afloat.

    But Barrett, 32, believes firmly that a vote against the tax is a vote against her generation. Indeed, without the proposed improvements, people her age will be unfairly doomed to a lifetime of clogged roads, choking pollution and a public transit system that can’t

    Read More »from High-stakes transit tax vote in Vancouver pitting Millennials against Boomers
  • 'Sextortion’ scams on the rise: What to watch for

    Victims being lured through online dating sites into sharing revealing images

    A warning for online daters: be careful who you wish for.

    RCMP in Richmond, B.C., have issued a public warning about online “sextortion,” saying they’ve seen a recent increase in the number of such cases, and they’re asking people to be cautious.

    Victims are being befriended on dating websites, said Richmond RCMP spokesman Const. Dennis Hwang.

    “A suspect then entices the victim in performing intimate acts streamed over webcam or mobile device. Unbeknownst to the victim, the interaction is secretly recorded,” Hwang said.

    “The suspect then threatens to release the video online unless they are paid by the victim.”

    The Mounties said the suspects generally are using free dating or companionship sites. Contact may be innocuous for days or even weeks. The suspect avoids meeting in person and may only be able to talk or chat at odd hours.

    The RCMP is cautioning the public against sharing intimate photos online or sending money if they end up targeted.

    Reminiscent of Amanda Todd case

    Police

    Read More »from 'Sextortion’ scams on the rise: What to watch for
  • The scenes are disturbing.

    A man is undressing a drunk woman while his friend wields a video camera. He turns to the camera and thanks the viewer for keeping their mouth shut.

    A man leans over a woman at her desk and starts massaging her shoulders, to her obvious discomfort. He thanks the viewer for minding their own business.

    A teenage boy shows revealing photos of a girl to his friends, thanking the viewer for keeping the secret.

    Another man drops white powder into a woman’s drink at a bar while she’s not looking. He thanks the viewer for not telling anyone.

    In just over a week since it was launched, the ad from the government of Ontario’s sexual violence awareness campaign has been viewed an estimated seven million times, according to the premier’s office.

    The #WhoWillYouHelp ad has been tweeted 31,000 times. Wynne’s own tweets on the campaign received more than 22,000 retweets. On Youtube, the one-minute spot has had more than 230,000 views. It’s also been circulated in online ads

    Read More »from #WhoWillYouHelp: Ontario PSA seeks to encourage onlookers to prevent sexual assaults
  • Toronto police chief Bill Blair walks by officers at the memorial for constable John Zivcic. REUTERS/Fred ThornhillToronto police chief Bill Blair walks by officers at the memorial for constable John Zivcic. REUTERS/Fred Thornhill

    More than half the 8,000 members of the Toronto Police Force earned more than $100,000 last year, including one constable who pulled in close to a quarter million dollars, according to figures released under Ontario’s so-called sunshine law.

    The data, released Monday by the department under the Public Sector Salary Disclosure Act, shows more than 4,100 Toronto officers earned more than $100,000 in 2015. Roughly half of them were pushed into six figures thanks to things like overtime and paid duty — voluntary work on days off at events such as escorting funerals or providing security at sporting events.

    But with base salaries for constables ranging from roughly $90,000 to $98,000, it didn’t take much to push many officers above the $100,000 threshold required for disclosure on the province’s sunshine list.

    The head of the Toronto Police Association calls the list “irrelevant.” The $100,000 threshold dates from 1996 when the salary-disclosure law was first passed, said Mike McCormack.

    Read More »from Ontario's 'Sunshine List': High-earning cops not just a Toronto problem
  • Jeff and Carla Unger's daughters Maryn and Neeve pose with residents of Tanna, Vanuatu. (Carla Unger/supplied)Jeff and Carla Unger's daughters Maryn and Neeve pose with residents of Tanna, Vanuatu. (Carla Unger/supplied)

    A Victoria family that just returned from Vanuatu is desperately hoping for word about the friends and colleagues they left behind after a cyclone ripped apart the tiny South Pacific nation.

    Dr. Jeff Unger, his wife Carla and their two daughters returned to Canada two weeks ago after spending seven months on the island of Tanna as part of the Victoria-Vanuatu Physician project, a grassroots development project that has sent doctors to the remote community for more than two decades.

    “It’s absolutely devastating,” Unger told Yahoo Canada News.

    “My wife and I, in the midst of trying to unpack and get life going again here, really are spending large parts of our day not only trying to connect with people but trying to figure out what we can do to help.”

    Samuel kicks a ball through the ruins of their family home in Port Vila, Vanuatu March 16, 2015. (AP)Samuel kicks a ball through the ruins of their family home in Port Vila, Vanuatu March 16, 2015. (AP)

    Pictures from Vanuatu show scenes of utter devastation in the wake of Cyclone Pam, which tore through the South Pacific on the weekend. Homes have been flattened, trees uprooted and the countryside is littered with debris.

    Major

    Read More »from Canadians recently returned from Vanuatu await for word on friends, colleagues

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