• I hate checking a suitcase when I fly, so Im usually trying to look relaxed while hefting a too-heavy backpack through airport security like its a breeze (its not). This is a carefully orchestrated system, with my pockets empty and my book, phone, passport and wallet all strategically stashed for easy access.

    Burnaby firefighter carries his daughter at Vancouver International Airport on Monday May 4, 2015.Burnaby firefighter carries his daughter at Vancouver International Airport on Monday May 4, 2015.

    So the news that thieves are targeting travellers at Vancouver International Airport is troubling. Richmond RCMP are investigating a string of thefts with a common theme: thieves distract their victims in an attempt to rob them.

    These techniques include dropping a five- or ten-dollar bill on the ground and claiming that it was dropped by the victim; damaging part of a vehicle owned by the victim to lure them out to survey the damage; and spraying paint, ketchup, or spilling a beverage on the victims clothing,explained RCMP Corporal Dennis Hwang.

    Along with the thefts at the Vancouver airport, Hwang said the RCMP has recently found similar crimes in Richmond with victims who

    Read More »from As if flying isn’t stressful enough, now worry about this too
  • Alberta is pulling out all the stops to help prevent a disgusting ooze from creeping across the U.S. border.

    Invasive quagga and zebra mussels, already a scourge in Canada’s Great Lakes, might be making their way west, and Alberta is taking steps to ensure the destructive creatures don’t hitch a ride south into Montana.

    Officials in that state are understandably nervous: it’s one of only five states in the western United States that has so far remained free of the invaders, according to a New York Times article earlier this month that highlighted the extent of the problem with the headline “A Western showdown with mussels.”

    Quagga and zebra mussels are thought to have arrived on this continent in the 1980s, discharged from the ballast water of European cargo ships into Lake Erie. The nickel-sized creatures erupt into massive colonies in freshwater lakes and large rivers, filtering out the nutrients other species need to survive. They blanket lakebeds with sharp shells and produce

    Read More »from Alberta sniffer dogs protecting waters from invasive zebra mussels
  • Students protest McGill University's fossil fuel holdings. PHOTO COURTESY: Divest McGillStudents protest McGill University's fossil fuel holdings. PHOTO COURTESY: Divest McGill

    A cluster of tents is spread across Community Square on the McGill campus this week, as students protest the university’s financial holdings in fossil fuel companies.

    Julianna Duholke, one of the organizers with Divest McGill, says the students have been petitioning the school for two years to completely divest in the non-renewable fuel.

    “We’re asking them to at least freeze their investments in fossil fuels while they deliberate their investments,” she tells Yahoo Canada News.

    The pressure to get universities to divest funds from fossil fuels is taking place on campuses across North America and Europe. Last year, Concordia became the first Canadian university to divest, following the lead of such schools as the University of California and the University of Glasgow

    The divestment movement has spread from universities, churches and institutions to include large pensions and insurance companies, according a new report by Arabella Advisors.

    In August, the United Church of Canada

    Read More »from McGill students erect tent city over school’s fossil fuel holdings

    Environmental groups are hailing Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton’s opposition to the Keystone XL pipeline as a turning point in the fight against climate change.

    Clinton’s pronouncement as she campaigns for the nomination is a reversal of her previous stance on the project that would link the Alberta oilsands to the U.S. Gulf Coast.

    “It’s a tribute to grassroots activism that she has now said ‘I’m against this project and I’m against this project on climate grounds,’” says Keith Stewart, a climate and energy campaigner for Greenpeace Canada. “That’s a huge shift.”

    Tanking oil prices have helped, Stewart says, “but this is primarily a victory of the climate movement.”

    In 2010, as secretary of state, Clinton said she was inclined to approve the pipeline proposed by TransCanada Corp.

    “We’re either going to be dependent on dirty oil from the Gulf or dirty oil from Canada,” she said at the time.

    But Keystone has galvanized environmental groups, indigenous groups,

    Read More »from Clinton's Keystone opposition a victory for climate movement
  • The Canadian music icon, 74, wins the $50K annual music prizeThe Canadian music icon, 74, wins the $50K annual music prize

    Using words like “journalistic” and “like a photographer,” Buffy Sainte-Marie explains her songwriting and music in terms that one doesn’t expect.  At 74, the creator of more than 20 albums and hit singles such as “Starwalker" and “Up Where We Belong” still expresses astonishment at capturing the $50,000 Polaris Prize earlier this week.

    “I didn’t think I was going to win,” said Sainte-Marie, whose “Power in the Blood” album beat out the likes of Drake, The New Pornographers, Ghostface Killah and former winner Caribou. 

    An 11-member jury made the announcement in Toronto on Monday night — unveiling the Canadian album of the year, based on artistic merit rather than sales. Last year’s winner was throat singer Tanya Tagaq for “Animism.”

    “I listened to all the other artists [and] I came up with my own shortlist. I couldn’t come up with a winner,” divulged Sainte-Marie, who wouldn’t go further to reveal her list.

    Born on the Piapot Cree First Nation Reserve in the Qu'Appelle Valley,

    Read More »from Q&A with Polaris Prize winner Buffy Sainte-Marie
  • Tofino areaTofino area

    The El Nino weather system is expected to hit the West Coast this winter, with experts predicting it will be more extreme than other years.

    But that isn’t phasing businesses along Vancouver Island’s coast, with many of them saying the stormy weather is a boost to business.

    Ian Walker, a professor of geography at the University of Victoria, is part of a group of researchers across the Pacific examining El Nino and La Nina weather systems. He says the data they’ve collected,which was published this week in Nature Geoscience, suggests that the West Coast can expect the extreme weather based on elevated water levels.

    “We can have an average coastal storm, which are typical in our winters, superimposed on tens of extra centimetres of water and maybe closer to a higher tide, causing much more damage than that storm would have in the year before,” he told Yahoo Canada News.

    El Nino and La Nina are related to what happens to the tropical Pacific in terms of ocean currents. During an El Nino

    Read More »from Extreme El Nino weather a boon for some on Vancouver Island
  • Monday’s rescue of nine fishermen from the Atlantic Charger near Iqaluit is one of Newfoundland and Labrador’s good news stories of marine distress. But the province has had its share of maritime tragedies and near-misses going back hundreds of years.

    Though less tragic than losses, the near-misses can also be harrowing. About 12 hours passed between the first contact the nine-man crew of the Atlantic Charger made with marine rescue on Monday and when they were safely aboard the Paamiut, a Danish fishing vessel, Rear-Admiral John Newton, commander of Maritime Forces Atlantic and the Joint Rescue Co-ordination Centre, tells Yahoo Canada News.

    “The seas were rolling high and the wind was blowing strong,” Newton says of Monday’s conditions near Frobisher Bay, where the crew — who couldn’t be reached at press time — disembarked onto a life boat and the Atlantic Charger later sunk.“It shows how dangerous the sea is.”

    Newfoundland and Labrador’s history of sea disasters is as long as its

    Read More »from Atlantic Charger’s sinking a reminder of Newfoundland’s long history of danger at sea
  • A Canadian tourist got a taste of American-style justice when he was jailed in Atlanta for a minor traffic infraction.

    Randy Kaniuk, of Shaunavon, Sask., was on his way to see a Toronto Blue Jays/Atlanta Braves game last week when he got into a fender bender trying to pass a truck on the road. Police charged him with “failure to maintain lane.” Then they put him behind bars.

    “I was there for six hours,” he told Yahoo Canada News on Tuesday.

    He said the officer told him he was taken into custody because he was a foreigner, and he might leave the state without paying the fine.

    “I never got my Miranda rights. I didn’t even know I was being arrested,” Kaniuk said by phone from Kitchener, Ont., where he’d stopped en route home. “I asked him why he had the cuffs on so tight, and he said it was procedure.”

    The name of the officer who issued the ticket is noted as Kyle McClendon. A LinkedIn profile for that name describes him as a state trooper with the Capitol Police, which provides security

    Read More »from Sask. man jailed in Atlanta over minor traffic infraction
  • Researchers at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto believe they have uncovered a link between traumatic brain injuries in children and young adults, and the consumption of high-stimulant energy drinks.

    Teens who reported a traumatic brain injury in the past year were seven times more likely to have consumed at least five energy drinks in the past week than those without a history of TBI, the study said.

    This is not cause and effect. Their study doesn’t prove the drinks cause or lead to injuries.

    But there are certainly some over-lapping – and outright alarming – numbers.

    “We examined students attending grade 7 through grade 12, either in public schools or Catholic schools, throughout Ontario,” said Dr. Gabriela Ilie, a researcher at the hospital’s Division of Neurosurgery, and professor of psychology at the University of Toronto.

    “We tapped into 93 per cent of all the adolescent population in the province.”

    Shock number one – the sheer number of injuries:

    “We found that one in five

    Read More »from Possible link between energy drinks and brain injuries in Ontario kids


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