NBC news reporter Jay Gray provides the latest updates on Hurricane Laura from Lake Charles, Louisiana.
Canadian featherweight T.J. (The Truth) Laramie will make his UFC debut Sept. 19 in Las Vegas against Darrick Minner.The 22-year-old from Windsor, Ont., is the only Canadian to earn a UFC contract on Dana White's Contender Series, now in its fourth season. He won his way into the promotion Aug. 11 when injured opponent Daniel (Agent Orange) Swain was unable to come out for the second round."[An] absolute savage ... I love savages. I love guys that fight like this kid fights. Welcome to the UFC, kid," White told Laramie after the bout.Laramie (12-3-0) wept in the cage following the victory, which came on his late mother's birthday. Minner (24-11-0) lost his UFC debut on short notice as an injury replacement in February when he was submitted in the first round by Grant (KGD) Dawson.Minner was slated to fight Jordan Griffin in June but had to pull out after getting sick during his weight cut. Veteran Canadian strawweight Randa (Quiet Storm) Markos is also slated to fight on the Sept. 19 card, taking on Mackenzie Dern.Markos (10-8-0) is coming off a decision loss to Amanda Ribas in March. The 35-year-old from Windsor is 6-7-1 in the UFC while Dern (8-1-0) is 3-1-0.The Sept. 19 card will be headlined by a welterweight bout between former champion Tyrone Woodley, currently ranked No. 5 among 170-pound contenders, and No. 2 Colby (Chaos) Covington.Covington won the UFC interim welterweight title in June 2018 with a win over Rafael dos Anjos but was later stripped of the title. He lost by TKO to champion Kamaru Usman at UFC 245 last December.
Haleema Mustafa, a Toronto-area woman, has been arrested over allegations she left Canada to join a terrorist group, the Public Prosecution Service of Canada confirmed Wednesday.Mustafa has been charged with two terrorism-related offences and will appear in court either Thursday or Friday, a spokesperson for the service said. Global News first reported Mustafa had been arrested by police in Markham, Ont.Mustafa is accused of leaving Canada to participate in the activities of a terrorist group pursuant to section 83.181 of the Criminal Code and under section 83.18, which forbids participation in the activities of a terrorist group.A spokesperson for the RCMP said they would not comment on the arrest until tomorrow.In December 2019, Mustafa's husband, Ikar Mao, was also charged with two terrorism offences and remains in custody after being denied bail. Many of the details of Mao's case are covered by a court-ordered publication ban.The couple left Toronto in June 2019 bound for Turkey. According to Turkish records reviewed by CBC, they were arrested because of fears they were attempting to join the Islamic State in neighbouring Syria.The two were detained by Turkish authorities in Sanliurfa, a border town that once served as a launch point for foreign nationals looking to cross into Syria to join the Islamic State.The Islamic State has suffered a series of military setbacks in recent years as a coalition of Western nations and armed fighters in Iraq and Syria has helped to dismantle much of the group's so-called "caliphate."On a website for travellers looking for free accommodation, Mao had written that he and his wife wanted to travel to the region to learn Turkish and Arabic.The previous Conservative government amended the Criminal Code in 2013 to make it a crime to travel or attempt to travel abroad to participate in acts of terrorism.
A collaboration between a Chinese company and a Halifax research team aiming to carry out Canada's first clinical trials of a potential COVID-19 vaccine has been abandoned amid rising tensions between the two countries.The partnership between the National Research Council of Canada and CanSino Biologics was announced by the federal government in May.A team at the Canadian Centre for Vaccinology at Dalhousie University was supposed to work with CanSino to run the first Canadian clinical trials for a possible COVID-19 vaccine. CanSino's vaccine, called Ad5-nCoV, was already being run through human trials in China and has shown promising results.In May, Health Canada gave the go-ahead for the Canadian trials to begin, and the hope was that clinical trials in Halifax could begin within weeks.But in late July, The Canadian Press reported that the Canadian-Chinese partnership was on the rocks, saying China had held up shipments the company was supposed to send to the Halifax researchers by the end of May.In an emailed statement, the National Research Council (NRC) said the vaccine candidate had not been approved by Chinese customs to ship to Canada.The statement said CanSino's collaborators in the Chinese government — the Beijing Institute of Technology and the Ministry of Science and Technology, which had provided funding to CanSino — reviewed the agreement between the NRC and CanSino before it was signed."Subsequent to signing, the government of China introduced process changes regarding shipping vaccines to other countries," the NRC said in its statement."The process is not clear to the NRC, but CanSino does not have the authority to ship the vaccine at this time."The NRC did not say what, if any, role the ongoing tensions between Canada and China played in this development.CBC News has reached out to CanSino, but did not get a response by the time of publication. However, company chairman and CEO Dr. Xuefeng Yu told The Globe and Mail, which first reported this story on Tuesday, that bureaucratic indecision was the reason behind the shipping delays, and now the time to do the trials had "already passed."Yu told the newspaper that some divisions of the Chinese government were not clear on whether the vaccine should "go to global trials or how to handle it." Study 'past its best-before date'Scott Halperin, the director of the Canadian Centre for Vaccinology, said it was disappointing to not be able to work with CanSino."We were ready to start the study, had all the approvals back in June, but the company had been trying to ship us the vaccine but had not been permitted to do so," he said."No matter what they tried, they were not able to get approvals to ship the vaccine."Based on the amount of time that's gone by, Halperin said the study has become less relevant. "At this point, CanSino's already ready to go into Phase 3 studies," he said. "So this study, which was going to provide some more information, I think it's past its best-before date."He said CanSino's vaccine is one of the vaccines that's furthest along worldwide in terms of its approval process, so it could have potentially been one of the first vaccines available to Canadians if all the studies continued to look good.Halperin said there are always risks in collaborating with other countries, which is why Canada has been pushing to make sure there will be Canadian-manufactured vaccines available."There are other vaccines in the pipeline, and there will be plenty of other studies that are [being] done with other vaccines that will hopefully also look good."MORE TOP STORIES
MONTREAL — Olga Maria Ruiz is reluctantly sending her 11-year-old daughter back to school in Montreal this year, armed with a few extra masks and reminders not to hug her classmates and teachers.As many Quebec children return to class this week, some parents and teachers say the normal nervousness surrounding this time of year has been amplified by the COVID-19 pandemic as well as by the government's back-to-school plan they say fails to protect them and their families."I'm not feeling happy about it," Maria Ruiz said in a phone interview Wednesday. "I'm concerned. I'm angry. And I'm worried.""We're worried about what's going to happen and the potential for her to get contagious and the potential to transfer this contagion to myself."Unlike other provinces such as Ontario, Quebec isn't offering a remote learning option — except for students who are severely ill or who live with someone at risk of serious complications from COVID-19.Students in Grade 5 and above will be required to wear masks in hallways and in common areas, but not in class. Students up through Grade 9 will physically be in class for the whole day. Children won't have to social distance with their classmates, but each class will be it's own "bubble" kept separate from others.The Quebec government has repeatedly defended its plan, which it says was developed in consultation with public health experts.Health Minister Christian Dube and Premier Francois Legault have noted that keeping children home can have negative consequences on their schooling and mental health, and have pointed out that elementary schools outside the Montreal area reopened in May, with voluntary attendance and without a spike in COVID-19 cases.But the plan has not calmed the fears of anxious parents and teachers, who have repeatedly called for measures such as mandatory mask-wearing, remote learning options, smaller class sizes or classes taught outside.Doug Liberman, an administrator of a Facebook page called Quebec Parents Stand Together, describes the government's plan as "negligent."He said there's "no excuse" for the government not to have offered a remote learning option, which would have allowed for smaller class sizes and more physical distancing for those who remain in class."Having six months to figure it out and not having it done is crazy," he said.Maria Ruiz has concerns about the ventilation in the school her daughter attends, which was built in 1908. Since there's no online options that would let her keep her child home, she can only hope the parents of the 25 or so other children in her daughter's class will be responsible.She fears the government hasn't learned from the mistakes it made this spring in long-term care facilities, which have accounted for about half the province's 5,747 deaths attributed to the novel coronavirus."They reacted instead of being proactive, and their decisions led to the number of deaths related to that," she said.Teachers are also feeling anxious, according to the president of one of the unions representing them."Teachers are eager to rejoin their students, but there are worries for their own security and for that of students and colleagues," Sylvain Mallette of the Federation Autonome de l'Ensignement, said Wednesday in an interview.He said he was surprised the province opted to have most students return full-time, since most teachers expressed a preference for a mix of in class and remote learning.Mallette said the pandemic has caused some teachers to retire early or go on leave, exacerbating an already-existing teacher shortage. Montreal's largest service centre — the equivalent of a school board — is missing 500 people, he said.He said the government hasn't announced enough funding to help teachers, who are facing the challenges of helping students catch up with their schoolwork while simultaneously being given more responsibilities for supervising students and implementing health measures."The equivalent of $20 per student to manage the effects of the pandemic is clearly insufficient," he said of the government funding.For now, Maria Ruiz has little choice but to send her daughter back to school. But she hopes a lawsuit being filed on behalf of parents demanding a remote learning option will eventually succeed and give her more choices.Liberman says he and the parents he's met on Facebook aren't giving up. For now they're writing letters, making calls, liaising with teachers to get them the resources they need, and contemplating a social media campaign aimed at convincing more kids to wear masks in school or to even start a one-day "sit out" from school as a protest.Ultimately, they'll keep up the pressure until the government changes its plan, he said.This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 26, 2020Morgan Lowrie, The Canadian Press
SAN DIEGO — Arson is suspected as the cause of a July 12 fire that left extensive damage to the USS Bonhomme Richard docked off San Diego, and a U.S. Navy sailor was being questioned as a potential suspect, a senior defence official said Wednesday.The sailor was being questioned as part of the investigation by the Naval Criminal Investigative Service and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the official said, adding that defence department leaders were notified of the development. The official, with knowledge of the investigation, spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity to provide details not yet made public. The sailor was not detained.The amphibious assault ship burned for more than four days and was the Navy’s worst U.S. warship fire outside of combat in recent memory.The ship was left with extensive structural, electrical and mechanical damage and its future remains uncertain.The development in the investigation was first reported by KGTV, the ABC affiliate in San Diego. The Navy declined to answer questions.“The Navy will not comment on an ongoing investigation to protect the integrity of the investigative process and all those involved,” said Lt. Tim Pietrack, a Navy spokesman. “We have nothing to announce at this time.”The Naval Criminal Investigative Service also declined to comment on the case.The amphibious assault ships are among the few in the U.S. fleet that can act as a mini aircraft carrier. If the Bonhomme Richard is not repaired, it could cost the Navy up to $4 billion to replace it, according to defence analysts.The Bonhomme Richard was nearing the end of a two-year upgrade estimated to cost $250 million.About 160 sailors and officers were on board when the flames sent up a huge plume of dark smoke from the 840-foot (256-meter) amphibious assault vessel, which had been docked at Naval Base San Diego while undergoing the upgrade.Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Mike Gilday visited the ship a day after the blaze was extinguished. He said then that the Navy thought it had the fire under control only hours after it broke out the morning of July 12 in the ship’s lower storage area, where cardboard boxes, rags and other maintenance supplies were stored. But winds coming off the San Diego Bay whipped up the flames and the fire spread up the elevator shafts and the exhaust stacks.Then two explosions — one heard as far as 13 miles (21 kilometres) away — caused it to grow even bigger, Gilday said. The Navy was looking into what caused the explosions, though Gilday said at that time that they had not found any indications yet of foul play.The fire sent acrid smoke billowing over San Diego, and local officials had recommended people avoid exercising outdoors.Firefighters attacked the flames inside the ship while firefighting vessels with water cannons directed streams of seawater into the ship and helicopters made water drops.More than 60 sailors and civilians were treated for minor injuries, heat exhaustion and smoke inhalation._____Baldor reported from Washington.Julie Watson And Lolita C. Baldor, The Associated Press
Ottawa city council has expanded its mandatory mask bylaw to require everyone cover their mouth, nose and chin in the common areas of apartment buildings and condominiums, including lobbies and elevators."I've heard loud and clear this was a concern," said Bay ward Coun. Theresa Kavanagh. She said seniors in particular were worried when they discovered common areas in their buildings didn't fall under the original mandatory mask bylaw passed in July."There's friction now," agreed Coun. Riley Brockington.Ottawa's medical officer of health, Dr. Vera Etches, wrote building managers on Aug. 6 to strongly recommend they require residents to wear masks outside their units, but the policy had not been widely adopted.During a virtual meeting Wednesday, city council made it an enforceable bylaw, effective immediately.Multi-unit residential buildings were not on the list of places covered by the original bylaw, which included everything from stores to restaurants to hotel lobbies, because they weren't considered spaces open to the general public.High-risk outdoor zonesThe expanded bylaw also gives the city the power to designate specific outdoor areas as high-risk zones where people will need to wear masks at certain times.For instance, such a zone might be enforced on Clarence Street in the ByWard Market or on Elgin Street during the busy bar hours of 10 p.m. and 2 a.m., suggested the general manager in charge of emergency services, Anthony Di Monte.Di Monte said such an order could only be given if the medical officer of health deems it necessary — if there have been substantiated complaints, for example.The mandatory mask bylaw has been extended until at least Oct. 31.State of emergency extendedMayor Jim Watson said the city will remain in a state of emergency until at least the end of September because that makes it easier to procure necessary goods such as personal protective equipment during the pandemic.Watson first declared the municipal state of emergency on March 25. As head of council, such a declaration is in effect until Watson decides it's over.Meanwhile, the city treasurer is expected to deliver an update about the financial pressures created by COVID-19. Earlier this month, Ottawa learned it would receive $124 million from upper levels of government toward its $192 million projected shortfall, and the city manager is hopeful they'll close the rest of that gap.City staff working from home have been directed to continue doing so until the end of 2020.
Roderica Ribbonleg had big plans to make her family proud and her first milestone was her high school graduation.Her cousin, Tracey D'Or, says the 15-year-old from a remote northern Alberta First Nation was determined to attend university.That bright future was stolen when Roderica was killed and her body discarded in a forested area near John D'Or Prairie, Alta., in July."She was just a child at heart," D'Or says. "She didn't even get to experience life yet."Jason Alec Tallcree, 35, also of John D'Or Prairie, was charged with first-degree murder Aug. 19. He made his first court appearance on Monday and his next court date is Oct. 5.John D'Or Prairie is one of three remote communities that make up the Little Red River Cree Nation, more than 750 kilometres north of Edmonton. John D'Or, Fox Lake and Garden River have about 5,500 members between them.Many people are asking how a young innocent life could be taken within the boundaries of their own community, D'or says. Most people knew the five-foot-two teen with shoulder-length black hair, brown eyes and a big, bright smile full of braces. D'or says the girl's quick wit and insatiable sense of humour used to make many people laugh.Roderica was living in Garden River to attend Sister Gloria School, where D'Or works as an educational assistant. D'Or is also sister-in-law to the girl's mother."She was a very helpful young lady in our school. She was always helping out in the kitchen, setting up tables for lunch hour."The teenager would often visit her cousin's classroom during breaks. She would talk about things that made her happy and sad — teenage love, friendships and frustrations.D'Or says she will always remember the huge smile crossing Roderica's face when she talked about inviting all her friends to her graduation."She said she was going to graduate and move out of our reserve to go to a city school … to make something of herself and do something that her family could be proud of," D'Or says. "She had plans."In her spare time, Roderica was always doing artwork or out walking with her friends.When the pandemic hit in the spring, her school was forced to shut down, so Roderica moved home to John D'Or Prairie. D'Or says she often wonders what would have been different if her teen cousin had stayed.Roderica vanished on July 5.All three communities began to look for her. People started going door to door. Eventually, ground searches began. D'Or says everyone was holding onto hope that the girl would be found safe.But terrible news came quickly. RCMP received a report of clothing being found in a forested area. Police said remains were found nearby on July 12.An autopsy confirmed it was Roderica.Chief Conroy Sewepagaham said in a video posted on his Facebook a few days later that he had encouraged investigators to leave no stone unturned. Garden River and John D'or Prairie went into lockdown for many days to ensure a thorough investigation.The chief also discouraged animosity between people in the remote communities."The last thing we want is vigilante justice," he said. "I understand a lot of people are saddened by the loss of our tiny home fire."D'Or says she doesn't personally know the man accused in Roderica's death, but she has seen him around. Most people know his history, she says.In 2014, Tallcree was charged with second-degree murder and interfering with a dead body in the death of his common-law partner Marlena Loonskin.Court records show the charges were stayed in 2015, two weeks before Tallcree was to have a hearing aimed at determining whether there was enough evidence to hold a trial.D'Or says she was involved in the search for Loonskin six years ago. The young mother's body was found in a wooded area near her home.Both tragedies are almost too much to comprehend, D'Or says. She really worries for the young people who will be going back to school knowing their classmate was killed. D'Or says many don't know how to talk about it so they just bottle it up inside.A video being shared on social media to honour Roderica shows her with friends at school, eating pizza, fishing and driving around. Messages from friends say she will be missed.D'Or says walking through the school's hallways is not going to be the same without her little cousin's daily classroom visit."She was a great spirit," she says."She didn't deserve to go this way. She wasn't ready ... It wasn't her time."This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 26, 2020Kelly Geraldine Malone, The Canadian Press
OTTAWA — Beijing has pushed back against Foreign Affairs Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne's most recent call for the release of two Canadians detained in China, saying it is up to Canada to make the first move to secure their release. Champagne raised the cases of former diplomat Michael Kovrig and entrepreneur Michael Spavor on Tuesday during a meeting with Chinese counterpart Wang Yi in Rome, which the Canadian minister is visiting as part of a multi-country tour.The two Michaels were arrested in apparent retaliation shortly after Canadian authorities in Vancouver detained Meng Wanzhou, the chief financial officer of Chinese telecom giant Huawei. She is wanted in the United States on fraud charges.Meng, who has denied any wrongdoing, is now facing possible extradition to the U.S. while Chinese authorities have indicted the detained Canadians on what many observers believe are trumped-up spying charges."I would like to stress once again that things between China and Canada have come to this stage not because of China," Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said during a news conference in Beijing on Wednesday."The Canadian side is well aware of the crux of the problem. It should take immediate and effective measures to correct the mistakes and create conditions for bilateral relations to return to the right track."The comments appear to pour cold water on hopes that Champagne's meeting with Wang in Rome would lead to a breakthrough for the two Michaels.A summary of the ministers' meeting released by Global Affairs Canada said the two discussed the importance of global co-operation in dealing with COVID-19, including when it comes to developing and rolling out a vaccine."Minister Champagne again reiterated that the cases of Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor remain a top priority for the Government of Canada and that Canada continues to call on China to immediately release both men," the department added.Champagne was also said to have asked for clemency for all Canadians sentenced to death in the country. Four Canadians found guilty of drug charges have been sentenced to death since Meng was arrested in December 2018.Global Affairs Canada repeated past calls for immediate consular access to the two Michaels, who have not been allowed to see Canadian officials since January. The department has accused China of violating international law.The back and forth follows calls from former Canadian politicians and ambassadors for the federal Liberal government to intervene in the extradition process and free Meng to secure the release of Kovrig and Spavor.Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has said doing so would encourage more countries to arbitrarily arrest Canadians to put pressure on Ottawa for their own interests.Meng's legal team recently suffered a defeat in its bid to stop extradition proceedings against their client as a federal court judge rejected their requests for the contents of six confidential documents to be released.Justice Catherine Kane's Aug. 21 ruling, made public on Tuesday, found the information contained in the documents was not relevant to the allegations of abuse described by Meng's legal team.Kane added that the attorney general of Canada and a friend of the court submitted a joint proposal that included the lifting of some redactions, but they agreed disclosing the remainder would hurt national security or international relations.The friend of the court is a lawyer with security clearance who was appointed to view the documents and advise Meng's team on whether any were worthy of dispute, but he was not allowed to share their contents.This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 26, 2020.Lee Berthiaume, The Canadian Press
Renee Korchinski, the sister of Regis Korchinski-Paquet, said the family was “totally disgusted” with the findings of the Special Investigations Unit (SIU) report, which ultimately determined that police would not face charges as a result of the incident which ended in Regis' death. Knia Singh, the lawyer for the family, also thanked people for their support before chants of “say her name” and “not another Black life” erupted from people who had gathered to hear them speak.
Auli?i Cravalho’s life changed forever at age 14 when she was cast as the voice of Disney’s “Moana.” The Hawaiian native loved singing and acting, but they were just hobbies to her. So were horseback riding, swimming and microbiology, for that matter. A career in Hollywood seemed implausible at best.“But life decided to surprise me,” said Cravalho, who went from obscurity to performing at the Oscars in just a few months.Now at 19, Cravalho is checking off another milestone: Her first live-action film, “All Together Now,” is being released on Netflix Friday. And once again, she’s in the lead.Based on Matthew Quick’s novel “Sorta Like a Rock Star,” the film from director Brett Haley finds Cravalho playing a very different kind of character from the adventurous Polynesian princess. Amber is a high school student with a to-die-for voice, an unflappable optimism and a dream of going to Carnegie Mellon. She also happens to be living in a school bus with her alcoholic mother.“This felt like the next step,” she said. “I’m a little older and I love the challenge of showing these tougher emotions and telling these deeper stories.”She’d actually auditioned for Hayley before. She didn’t get that part, but he promised he’d remember her.“I was like, sure, OK, I’m never going to hear from this guy again,” she laughed. And then Amber Appleton came along.“I really related to Amber. I genuinely I understood her optimism,” she said. “I am an optimist almost to a fault myself. I also have to kind of get real and be like, ‘Oh, wait, I can reach out and ask for help.’”Cravalho had already had some on-camera experience, including in the short-lived television show “Rise,” which was cancelled after one season. (“My first heartbreak.”) But she was nervous about a feature film and acting opposite people like Carol Burnett.“My biggest challenge is figuring out what to do with my face on screen,” she said.Thankfully, she had an unusually empathetic and supportive director in Haley, who helped her feel comfortable and gave her space to play around with her character and lines. And he’s excited for audiences to see her in a more dramatic role.“Yes, she’s optimistic. Yes, she’s bright and shiny. But she also has a depth of emotion. She really is layered. She’s not just this Disney princess,” Haley said. “I think you can see that in her performance. She goes to so many different places in the role.”Cravalho has for the past few years been living outside of Hawaii, first in New York and now in Los Angeles. She finished up high school on her laptop from the set of “Rise,” and she empathizes with all the students having to do that now.For now, she’ll continue pursing acting and already has another series in the works in Amazon’s thriller “The Power,” but she’d also like to go to college and keep her options open. She’s only 19, after all.“I’m not really sure where my career will take me. I’ve been lucky to play strong women characters so I hope I’ll continue on that path,” she said. “But I’m also young and figuring out what fuels me as a person and figuring out that my career (can be) different from who I am.”___Follow AP Film Writer Lindsey Bahr on Twitter: www.twitter.com/ldbahrLindsey Bahr, The Associated Press
Having a Grammy award-winning mother setting the standard wasn't always easy for singer Lola Lennox - but any initial intimidation she felt she managed to turn into drive, she said. The 29-year-old, who is the daughter of singer-songwriter and former Eurythmics star Annie Lennox, has just released the single "Back At Wrong." Lola Lennox, who started singing when she was eight years old, said becoming a singer wasn't always a smooth journey.
The risk of accidental conflict is rising because of tension in the South China Sea and around Taiwan and communication must be maintained to reduce the risk of miscalculation, Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen said on Thursday. Democratic Taiwan, claimed by Beijing as "sacred" Chinese territory, has complained of Chinese military activities near the island, in what it says in an attempt to force Taiwan to accept Chinese sovereignty. The United States and China have also been conducting military exercises near Taiwan and in the disputed South China Sea.
In the face of mounting pressure for transparency and rising tensions in Kinngait, Nunavut, the territory's top Mountie made the unusual decision to release details of an investigation into the February shooting death of a man in the community. Attachie Ashoona was killed because he went after an officer in his home while wielding a knife and threatening to kill others in the house, Nunavut RCMP's Chief Supt. Amanda Jones told CBC News.The Ottawa Police Services conducted an investigation and issued a short press release earlier this week, clearing the officer of criminal wrongdoing in the incident. When serious incidents such as shooting deaths occur, the RCMP in Nunavut bring in either the Ottawa or the Calgary police to investigate. "It is important that the relationship with our communities is maintained and that community members know that our members were acting in line with their duties and in scope of their training," Jones said. The RCMP have been facing growing pressure for more transparency and accountability from Nunavut and other Canadian leaders. > The lack of information that we're providing is obviously causing angst to the communities. \- Amanda Jones, Nunavut RCMP commanding officerBut investigations of police by another police force have been roundly criticized by experts for years. After investigating, the Ottawa or Calgary police usually issue a short press release with little information besides their finding. Jones said people would be right to doubt such investigations because of the lack of transparency. "The lack of information that we're providing is obviously causing angst to the communities, not just the community itself but to Nunavut as well," Jones said before providing more information.Jones's account provides only the narrative from the Ottawa police investigation. A coroner's inquest is legally mandatory when police kill a Nunavut citizen and provides numerous other narratives and witnesses, including locally. The Nunavut coroner's office told CBC the inquest into Ashoona's death has not yet been scheduled but it hopes to conduct the inquest in 2021. 'Within 3 feet she discharges her firearm'According to Jones, two officers responded to a domestic call on Feb. 26 and were told that a woman was screaming and being dragged. A second emergency call said a man was also being beaten, Jones said. > Nobody wants to do that. No one wants to take a life. And it's devastating for [the officer], it's devastating for the family. \- Amanda Jones, Nunavut RCMP commanding officerWhen the officers arrived, Jones said Ashoona's father stood outside the house bleeding and they heard Ashoona yelling from inside the house that he was getting a knife. The officers climbed the steps to the house and at the door saw Ashoona with a knife saying he was going to kill them and they should shoot him, Jones said. The officers warned Ashoona to drop the knife and stop moving but Jones said he didn't comply. Jones said an officer stepped into the house to evade Ashoona, and became "stuck" in the home. Jones said that's when Ashoona turned and went toward that officer, telling her "he's gonna stab her."The officer warned him to stop, said Jones. "He doesn't stop, and within three feet, she discharges her firearm," Jones said. "Nobody wants to do that. No one wants to take a life. And it's devastating for [the officer], it's devastating for the family, and obviously for Ashoona."When asked why officers did not shoot Ashoona to stop him rather than to kill him, Jones said that's not how police officers are trained. "Our training is that we shoot to stop somebody, and you shoot at the centre of mass, because if you shoot an arm or a leg, you could miss," she said. RCMP increase officer staffing in KinngaitNumerous incidents partially depicting interactions between RCMP and Kinngait citizens have been posted online in recent months. One that went viral and garnered national attention in June involved a young Inuk man taken down by an RCMP truck. Jones said investigations into that incident — an internal code of conduct investigation, one by the Ottawa Police Service and one by the Civilian Review and Complaints Commission for the RCMP — are all still underway and no update is available.Jones assured Kinngait residents that their safety remains the RCMP's top concern.But the detachment is the busiest in the territory, Jones said, with 300 more files opened this year compared to the same time last year. Her division has funding to station six members in Kinngait but because of the high volume and severity of crime, Jones said there are currently ten officers there. "The members are not getting any rest and they're run off their feet. So in order to make sure that the community is safe and our members are safe, we're maintaining them at 10," Jones said. Like other communities in Nunavut, alcohol is behind much of the crime, she said. "Collectively as a government, the police, the community, we need to figure out how to reduce that alcohol consumption and the drivers for that," said Jones.
New Brunswick Premier Blaine Higgs misunderstood details of a federal program to rescue municipal transit systems after leaving discussions that created it and has been providing inaccurate information to the public about the program for the past month."We finished our agreement and they [other provinces] said we need more from the federal government," Higgs said in an interview Wednesday evening. "It was a discussion Chrystia Freeland had primarily with the other provinces after we had concluded our agreement."New Brunswick Progressive Conservatives have been promising a fuller explanation this week of why Higgs rejected funding from a federal program designed to bailout struggling municipal transit systems, and a draft statement was prepared by the party to address "confusion" on the matter.An interview with Higgs about the statement suggests the province was never fully aware special transit pandemic assistance for operational losses was available to it.New Brunswick doesn't need subwaysHiggs has been dogged by questions for the past month about why he walked away from an offer from Ottawa to cost share a multi-million dollar bail out package for the provinces's four municipal transit systems, all of which saw their ridership evaporate and financial situation deteriorate during the pandemic. His answers have alternated between assertions that no relief money for transit pandemic costs was rejected by his government, and claims Ottawa was only ever offering to fund big new capital projects for transit systems like subways, which New Brunswick does not need."There seems to be some real confusion around what I accepted or didn't accept," Higgs told reporters on Aug. 11 about the transit assistance offered by Ottawa for Moncton, Saint John, Fredericton and Miramichi and rejected by his government."The money that was being reported that I was not accepting was related to infrastructure funding for big infrastructure projects." That claim, repeated several times over the last month, was not true. Offer was to help with revenue losses related to pandemicThe specific offer from the federal government was to compensate individual transit systems across Canada for pandemic related revenue losses and enhanced cleaning and other expenses, if host provinces would share half the cost. The new statement from New Brunswick PCs aimed at cleaning up the matter is attributed directly to Higgs and was shared with CBC News Wednesday evening. In it the PC leader acknowledges directly for the first time he "opted out" of the federal transit relief program and drops all references to his earlier claim the relief program was for capital infrastructure. Higgs now says he believed transit relief funding was for infrastructure projects because that is where discussions were headed when New Brunswick removed itself from the talks."It was very clearly stated and I remember Doug Ford saying this that this was for infrastructure funding so we didn't pursue it any further," said Higgs "We had concluded our discussions and those discussions went on afterward between those three provinces (BC, Ontario and Quebec) and the federal government." However those talks eventually produced a program open to all provinces and offered compensation to any municipal transit system needing it, including the four systems in New BrunswickThe party also offered a new reason for not participating in the relief program, that it was only meant to serve Canada's big cities, but that claim is also dubious"It was designed for large urban areas with significant transit infrastructure," said Higgs in the new written explanation of why he did not participate, but dozens of smaller communities have already benefited from the program elsewhere in the country.In Ontario, which did participate in the transit relief program 110 municipalities have been awarded compensation for COVID-19 related losses suffered by their transit systems, many of those with similar municipal transit systems to New Brunswick cities.In Sarnia and North Bay, which have comparable annual ridership numbers to Fredericton Transit, bus services were granted $1.1 million and $1.2 million respectively from the program to cover pandemic related losses they incurred between April 1 and Sept. 30. Larger services closer in size to Saint John Transit and Moncton's Codiac Transpo were given more extensive help from the program, including bus services in Barrie ($2.6 million), Thunder Bay ($3.2 million), Sudbury ($3.5 million) and Peterborough ($3.6 million). Province didn't need extra funding Higgs said it is a surprise to him that smaller municipalities have been funded under the program but maintains New Brunswick got everything it wanted from Ottawa in its main agreement and so did not need extra funding for its four transit systems. A separate federal pandemic relief program the province did sign onto includes money for municipalities they can use to make up for pandemic related losses, including transit losses and Higgs said that is all the province needed."Any transit funding requests we may receive from our municipalities can be more than adequately covered under the $41 million municipalities stream of that same agreement," he said.
China said on Thursday that the end to a partnership on a coronavirus vaccine between Chinese firm CanSino Biologics and Canada is unrelated to diplomatic relations between the countries. The Chinese government supports Chinese companies cooperating with other countries according to law, foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said at a daily news briefing. Canada's National Research Council said on Wednesday that it had ended its partnership on a coronavirus vaccine with CanSino, saying the company lacked the authority to ship the vaccine at this time.
It's a world teetering on the edge of an event with the power to alter everything.That's the premise of director Christopher Nolan's latest film Tenet — but it could also be a description of the theatrical business itself. Aiming to be a saviour for an industry starving for new content, Tenet arrives in the darkest of timelines. Last year the global box office set a record of $42.5 billion US. For 2020, it's currently hovering around $1.8 billion and is down about 75 per cent according to some reports.As Canada made progress containing COVID-19, theatres began reopening in late June. Cineplex vice-president of operations Daniel Seguin says with new cleaning and physical distancing practices in place, they're ready. "The experience that we had has shown that what we have put in place has been serious and it works," he said.WATCH: CBC's Eli Glasner takes viewers inside a theatre to watch TenetNew movies started reappearing in Canadian theatres a few weeks ago with Unhinged starring Russell Crowe and The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run. Highly anticipated, Tenet was originally supposed to open July 17 but was pushed back several times because of the pandemic. It hit theatres for evening screenings in Canada last night and is scheduled to open across the U.S. on Sept. 3.In it, John David Washington plays a covert agent drawn into battle with mysterious forces that can invert time itself. Some theatres for Tenet are already selling out, albeit at limited capacity. Seguin says there are plans in place to meet the wave of movie fans the industry is hoping will return."When there's an increase in terms of the flow [of customers], we need to ensure proper social distancing in our lobby or theatre environment," he said. "If we're not able to ensure proper safety inside of our lobby, there will be a line up at the exterior of the theatre."Overall, Seguin says, early feedback to the safety protocols has been positive."We've been getting a lot of comments that people feel safer in a movie theatre than anywhere else." The medical opinion on moviesBut some medical experts say the very things that make the movies an enjoyable escape add to the risk.Dr. Tasleem Nimjee is an emergency room physician in Toronto and the lead for Humber River Hospital's COVID response team. While theatres are encouraging the use of masks, she says, opening concession stands sends contradictory signals."We're making sure that our children of senior kindergarten age are wearing masks in school, and then when you go to movies, you can take them off and munch on popcorn for two-and-half hours. So, it's very confusing, which is why not a lot of us are in love with the idea."With the current conditions, Nimjee says, you need to ask, how badly do you want to see that movie?"It's a long period of time to be kept in an enclosed space," she said. "Movies can be emotional. People can cry. People can laugh. So, you're adding the risk of maybe spreading some of those [coronavirus] droplets."If you do go, here are some factors Nimjee suggests you consider: * Do you want to take your mask off to eat? * How many people will be at the screening? * How new is the theatre's ventilation system? Christopher Nolan to the rescueWhile health experts recommend caution, theatre owners are looking for a lifeline. Paul Dergarabedian is the senior media analyst for the media measurement company Comscore. He says the arrival of Tenet is pivotal."For the big theatre chains — AMC and Cinemark and major chains all around the world — this is very important to get theatres up and running again," said Dergarabedian. While other films, such as Trolls: World Tour and Greyhound, have gone straight to streaming, Dergarabedian says, Tenet director Christopher Nolan is a big part of the push for the big screen."He is a huge proponent of the movie theatre experience, and Warner Brothers is a very filmmaker-centric studio," Dergarabedian said. "I think that's what this is really all about. It's a commitment by a studio to a filmmaker ... who believes that's the best way for movie fans to see his movies." While Tenet is filled with stunning locations and the kind of spectacular stunts that have become Nolan's signature, Dergarabebian says, for films the size and scope such as Tenet, which reportedly has a budget over $200 million US, straight to streaming was never an option. "Look at Avengers: Endgame," he points out, "which earned about $2.8 billion US worldwide. That's movie theatres alone." But with theatres in many parts of the United States still closed and others at reduced capacity, can Tenet ever reach the billions Warner Brothers studio is dreaming of?Dergarabebian suggests the race for opening weekend box office has become a marathon. With fewer titles competing, he says, the focus will be on longevity as audiences decide whether to unpack Nolan's latest puzzle in person. "We may see films increasing in gross over time as people dip their toe in the water and hear about how great a movie and the movie-going experience is."WATCH: How cinemas are reopening during COVID-19:
VICTORIA — Health officials in British Columbia are reporting 62 new cases of COVID-19.In a joint news release on Wednesday, Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry say the number of active cases has gone down slightly from 925 to 896.There have been no new deaths as a result of the illness, leaving the province's death toll at 203.The health officials say 2,730 people are under active monitoring by public health workers as a result of exposure to known cases.There are 21 people in hospital with COVID-19, including seven in intensive care, while 4,199 people who tested positive have recovered.Henry and Dix also addressed the province's latest update on back-to-school plans, saying the blueprint is the outcome of people coming together in each school district to take established public health guidelines and apply them to meet the specific needs of each school."School will be new for everyone this year — just as how we spend time with friends and how we operate our businesses has required a different way of doing things than we have ever done before," their statement read."With COVID-19 in our communities for many months to come, new routines will be needed that can sustain families for the entire school year."There have been a total of 5,304 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in B.C. so far.This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 26, 2020.The Canadian Press
Seven months after Iranian intelligence agents arrested and imprisoned him in Tehran, an Edmonton software engineer says he still feels trapped.Behdad Esfahbod, 38, says he was subjected him to days of interrogation before his captors coerced him, under threat of death, into becoming an informant for the state.He says the ordeal has ruined his marriage, derailed his career and damaged his mental health.He's now speaking publicly against the abuses he suffered in a desperate attempt to protect friends and family members who remain in Iran. He fears they may become silent victims of the country's repressive regime — collateral damage in the false deal he brokered in an attempt to regain his freedom.'Turning the tables'"What are my options? They have leverage on me," Esfahbod said in an interview from his home in Edmonton. "They have physical access to my relatives and friends."They have leverage on me to try to coerce me to do things. I don't have anything on them. Going public gives me leverage so now I'm turning the tables and I'm playing the game by my rules, not theirs."Now, if something happens to my family, the whole world will know." For Esfahbod, an accomplished software engineer who was working at Facebook in Seattle, the nightmare began Jan. 15 during a trip to Tehran.He grew up in northern Iran and returned to the capital city often to visit family and conduct business meetings.He said he was waiting for a taxi when he was accosted in the street and arrested by four officers with the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), an arm of the Iranian military.The plainclothes intelligence agents had a warrant for his arrest. He was accused of endangering the security of the country and of having cooperated with organizations hostile to the regime."There are multiple intelligence agencies in Iran and they each work independently. This is a deadly one that you don't want to deal with."Esfahbod was taken to Tehran's Evin Prison, where generations of political prisoners have been held or executed under brutal conditions.He surrendered his passports, credit cards and electronic devices. His captors downloaded more than a decade's worth of his digital history and used it as evidence of his alleged crimes against the regime. Esfahbod says he was held in solitary confinement, in a filthy cell, for six days. Blindfolded, he was interrogated daily about messages and images found on his confiscated electronic items.After three days he asked for a lawyer. His captors laughed, he said. He said he was told that if he didn't cooperate, he could suffer the same fate as Zahra Kazemi, an Iranian-Canadian freelance photojournalist who was raped, tortured and killed by Iranian officials following her arrest in Iran in July 2003.It was "psychological torture," Esfahbod said. "They basically said I could be killed and it could be passed off as a mistake."His interrogators initially accused him of being a covert internet activist. They said his acquaintances had been involved in the 2009 Green Movement protests, uprisings which demanded the removal of then-president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad from office.Then his captors changed their approach. They tried to coerce him into being a spy for the regime.'They tried to cut the deal'He said he was told if he wanted his freedom, he would need to act as an informant and feed the government information on his contacts in the Iranian tech sector."They made it clear I wasn't going anywhere soon and then they tried to cut the deal," he said.Convinced that he would not get out of prison if he didn't cooperate, he finally accepted their terms. But he never had any intention of following through."It's a sad moment for me," he said. "I was disillusioned. Before, I thought the IRGC was hijacked by a few bad apples and then completely derailed. Now I realize the IRGC is an abusive terrorist force that has hijacked the whole country and is not giving up."A sister in Tehran posted bail for Esfahbod. After a harrowing trip through airport security, he left the country. Then, in mid-June, after he was safely out of Iran, he began receiving encrypted messages through his social media accounts. Agents contacted him on Instagram and called him multiple times.He ignored the coded messages. Then, his sister in Tehran began receiving threatening calls, reminding her of the deal he made. Esfahbod received a summons, delivered to his sister's house, giving him five days to report to the Revolutionary Court for further questioning. It was then that he decided to write about his ordeal in a blog post and go public with his story. Shockwaves through communityThe blog post sent shockwaves through the Iranian community, said Nima Fatemi, an Iranian activist in exile who knows Esfahbod from the tech industry.Fatemi is a U.S.-based tech entrepreneur and founder of Kandoo, a non-profit organization that provides cybersecurity services to vulnerable populations.He said Esfahbod became a target even though his work was politically benign."It doesn't get any easier by the number of times you hear a story like this," Fatemi said. "It's still shocking."He said it's especially sobering for Iranian nationals living abroad.> It reminds us that these threats are very real and they can follow us everywhere. \- Nima Fatemi"It reminds us that these threats are very real and they can follow us everywhere."Jason Rezaian, an Iranian-American journalist who served as Tehran bureau chief for The Washington Post, said the Esfahbod case draws similarities to his own arrest by the IRGC in 2014.Accused of espionage, Rezaian was imprisoned for more than 500 days.He said Esfahbod's experience proves that the regime forces Iranians in the diaspora to gather information for their intelligence services."The state has a very bad and long habit of using foreign nationals and dual nationals as hostages to extract political leverage on other countries," Rezaian said."This is something that a lot of people have suspected for quite a long time. The question then becomes how many people have made similar agreements and are living by them?"'I became a machine'Months after his ordeal, Esfahbod remains shattered by its effects.Following his incarceration, he was forced to go on medical leave from his job at Facebook. As the coded messages began to trickle in, he was crippled by the pressure of work. The prospect of international travel was terrifying.As his mental health deteriorated, Esfahbod asked for new medication to help him cope. He returned to work but the pills aggravated his bipolar disorder.For weeks, he said, he was paranoid, angry and untethered from reality. He quit his job at Facebook, left Seattle and moved in with a sister in Edmonton."For a month I was manic. And I was starting fights. It felt like I wasn't feeling anything. Nothing. No depression, no happiness. "I became a machine." Esfahbod said he was never a political activist; instead, he said he was dedicated to a career that saw him take senior positions at Facebook, Google and multinational software company Red Hat.Defying the regime means he can never return to his home country but with his career on pause and his exile from Iran assured, he feels compelled to speak out. "I had always made the choice not to attack the Iranian regime," he said. "But they decided to involve me in all of this, so I will carry out my fight to the end."
The tide on the North Shore of the Island was high and the water was rough when Kele Redmond headed down to the beach with four friends on Friday.Diving through the waves Redmond thought to herself, "I'm having the swim of my life."And, she said, "It very nearly was the last swim of my life."When Redmond turned around she quickly realized how far she'd been carried out to sea. Although she isn't sure how far that was, as someone who grew up swimming the Island waters, Redmond knows it's further than she'd ever been in her entire life. > 'I got to do something else because I'm not going to make it. -Kele Redmond"I thought, 'Oh well I'll just swim in,' and I started to swim and I couldn't make any traction," she told Island Morning's Laura Chapin."The waves were big and then panic."Caught in a rip current, Redmond was far from her friends and couldn't touch the bottom."I just immediately leaned on my back and I just prayed like, 'Is this my time? I'm not ready.'"Another warning ThursdayParks Canada issues warnings for P.E.I. National Park whenever conditions are ripe for rip currents to develop.The agency has just posted its second one this week, saying "entering the water is not recommended" at beaches within the park's boundaries. The warning said the current air temperature as of 9 a.m. Thursday is 18 C and the water is measuring 16 C. From the warning: "Rip currents are a hazard on P.E.I. beaches and form when waves break near the shoreline; piling up water between the breaking waves and the beach. One of the ways this water returns to sea is to form a rip current; a narrow stream of water moving swiftly away from shore. The danger is when swimmers become trapped in the rapid current and are swept offshore."Current structures 'sitting there waiting'According to Chris Houser, a professor in the school of environment and the dean of science at Windsor University, the changing weather has an impact on how rip currents form.He said in the spring, storms will pull sandbars close to the beach further from shore. As the season ends, smaller waves will then move sand on that bar back toward the beach, becoming more three-dimensional. When the water breaks over the shallow spots, it is then funnelled out through the deeper spots."That all starts to set itself up into the summer," said Houser. "So they're just sitting there waiting.""All you need is one windy stormy day and now what has looked like a fairly calm safe beach, the channel's already there. The waves are now breaking. The current has been activated."'I'm not going to make it'Remembering what she knew about rip currents, Redmond said she tried to conserve her energy by following the pattern: swim, rest, swim, rest.Growing tired, she thought: "I got to do something else because I'm not going to make it."So stuck in the ocean, Redmond began to scream. But with the wind blowing, she said her friends back on shore couldn't hear her."I watched, you know, like as if I was in a movie, in the water struggling and them just continuing about their playful activities. It was the loneliest feeling."Redmond said "by the grace of the universe" the wind died down and her friends heard her calls."They came rushing down the beach."With their encouragement, Redmond said she kept swimming gently, eventually managing to strike a rock and used her foot to push off it."I got a little bit of hope, I got a little bit of strength from there," she said."Next thing I knew, I hit the bottom of the ocean."After a few more strides Redmond said she was in her friends' arms.'Respect the ocean'"She did exactly what she's supposed to do," said Houser."Try to swim, not against it, but away from it or to the side parallel to the beach. Float for a little while getting your feet up, your mouth out of that water. And then when you can find traction — grab it." Houser said the system that creates rip currents is an important process that helps the beach recover from storms. Sometimes, even when the waves are big, the spot that looks the calmest isn't always the safest, he said."The safest beach is the one with lifeguards."As for Redmond, she said she still plans to go swimming but perhaps will stick to the south side of the Island for the rest of the season."Oh God, don't wish it on anybody," she said. "I just want people to respect the ocean."More from CBC P.E.I.
Ontario Premier Doug Ford said on Wednesday that his government is hiring 500 new public health nurses for schools, and laid out other investments taken to ensure a safe back-to-school plan including $30 million to hire more staff and teachers, $50 million to update ventilation systems among other measures.