US reality star Gary Golding responds after video of him eating dead baby dolphin surfaces

Survivalist Gary Golding is reportedly under investigation after a video showed the Naked and Afraid veteran cutting open a deceased baby dolphin and eating some of its organs.

Laguna Beach Lifeguards and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) are looking into whether he violated the Marine Mammal Protection Act while at Aliso Beach in California.

"We’re looking into the details of this incident" Laguna Beach Lifeguard Capt. Kai Bond told the Orange County Register. "We are in a Marine Protected Area and he may have violated the Marine Mammal Protection Act."

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When reached by Yahoo Entertainment on Wednesday, a spokesman for NOAA Fisheries said, "It is standard NOAA practice not to discuss or confirm any potential or ongoing investigations."

Bond said his team became aware of the incident after the video was posted on TMZ. In the disturbing clip, Golding said he wanted to open up the dead dolphin to see if it has ingested any "plastics" or "balloons."

TMZ obtained video of Naked and Afraid star Gary Golding cutting open a dead dolphin and eating its organs. (Photo: YouTube)

"Hey, I'm the scavenger on Naked and Afraid, right? So I'm going to live up to what I do. I'm going to eat dolphin heart and I guess I'll eat what you'd call dolphin back scrap," the Discovery Channel star explained as he cut open the mammal. "I'm not letting this poor creature just die for nothing and go to waste. I'm going to nourish myself with it."

Golding, known as the "Tarzan of Los Angeles," headed to his grill where he declared, "Time to cook some dolphin."

"Dolphin meat on the grill, look at that," he said before biting into the heart. "Definitely gamey, maybe not seasoned the best."

He continued, "On the beach in Southern California, literally eating baby dolphin. I've never done that before, I've never seen that done before."

Discovery Channel reps aren't commenting. However, the video is not part of anything having to do with the show Naked and Afraid. On Wednesday, Golding addressed the scandal on social media saying he just learned you should "never eat a dead dolphin off the beach" as "researchers need to test them."

The Humane Society condemned Golding's actions in a statement this week.

"The Humane Society of the United States strongly condemns the alleged conduct of a Naked and Afraid contestant who was recently seen apparently slicing into the body of a dead dolphin on a California beach. Not only is eating a dead marine mammal disturbing, but it is also potentially illegal," Sabrina Ashjian, California State Director at the Humane Society of the United States, said in a press release.

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"Violations of the US Marine Mammal Protection Act could be punishable by tens of thousands of dollars in fines and a year in jail," she continued. "The HSUS urges the federal government through the National Marine Fisheries Service to investigate the allegations against Gary Golding and to bring appropriate charges if the news report is accurate."

"There is no place for this act of sheer barbarism in a civilised society. Gary Golding's complete disdain for protecting vulnerable animals is a shocking low," added Sara Amundson, president of the Humane Society Legislative Fund. "We condemn this alleged conduct and urge the National Marine Fisheries Service to swiftly investigate this horrific act to bring justice."

  • Royal rift: UK monarchy will look smaller when dust settles
    News
    The Canadian Press

    Royal rift: UK monarchy will look smaller when dust settles

    LONDON — Prince Charles, the future king, has long been seen as a potential modernizer who wants a more modest monarchy in line with other European royal households — and the streamlining process has already begun with the astounding developments of recent months.But the changes have come at a terrible cost for Charles, who has seen his brother Prince Andrew disgraced and his once close sons, Prince William and Prince Harry, become estranged.The trials and tribulations of Andrew and Harry — one tainted for a close friendship with a convicted sex offender, the other unwilling to continue his high-profile role — will take both out of their royal duties, leaving a smaller, more modest royal apparatus.“Charles has been saying for years and years, ‘Let’s make it smaller,'” said Majesty magazine editor-in-chief Ingrid Seward. “He feels quite strongly that with such a big House of Windsor, there are too many opportunities for things to go wrong. And it’s too expensive. And they need too many houses, too much public expenditure.”She does not expect Charles to take any joy in recent events, though, particularly because of the breakdown between William and Harry.“He’s very saddened, as any parent would be if their children have fallen out. But I think he probably feels that in the fullness of time, hopefully, it will get back on track,” she said.The royal focus going forward was neatly summed up by a rare formal portrait released two weeks ago by Buckingham Palace to mark the dawn of a new decade: Queen Elizabeth II with her three direct heirs: Charles, 71, William, 37, and 6-year-old Prince George.It is a serene image of a 93-year-old monarch surrounded by the three people expected to follow her to the throne, and it masks the behind-the-scenes turmoil and disappointments surrounding Andrew and Harry.Andrew’s fall is a full-blown scandal. His conduct has raised ethical issues in the past, but he had managed to retain his royal role until he completely miscalculated the impact of using an extended TV interview in November to defend his friendship with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, a wealthy financier.The queen’s second son seemed to have a moral blind spot, defending his relationship with Epstein — who died in a New York prison in August in what was ruled a suicide — as honourable. He did not express a word of sympathy for the girls and young women victimized by Epstein.Andrew still faces possible questioning from law enforcement in the U.S. and Britain over allegations that he had sex with a teen trafficked by Epstein, which Andrew denies, as well as questioning from lawyers representing women who have filed civil suits against Epstein’s estate.When the tempest of bad publicity became unbearable, Andrew announced a decision to step down from royal duties. There was no public comment from the queen or from Charles, who was said by the British press to have advised the queen that Andrew could not continue.There is no scandal surrounding Harry, but it seems painful for all concerned. Even the stoic queen, who seems to refer to private matters roughly once per decade, has spoken of her disappointment.With his charming smile and ginger hair, Harry has long been one of the most popular royals, and with his brother, William, was seen as a key part of making the creaky monarchy vital to younger Britons. Much of the world watched enthralled in 2018 when he married Meghan Markle, a successful American actress, at a storybook event at Windsor Castle.The fairy tale has since fractured. Harry and Meghan, feeling trapped by their duties and warring with the British press, have announced plans to drastically reduce their royal roles and spend much of the year in Canada. In a major breach of family etiquette, they announced their plans without prior approval from his grandmother, the queen, earning a rare display of royal pique from Elizabeth.Harry seems torn between the wishes of his wife, Meghan, and his fealty to queen and country.The queen, whose 98-year-old husband, Prince Philip, is ailing, has slowly cut back on her official duties in recent years and passed more to Charles, who often represents her at overseas events. But Elizabeth took centre stage earlier this week when she summoned Charles, William and Harry to a crisis meeting at her rural retreat to deal with issues raised by Harry's plan to break away.Harry's plan puts Charles in a ticklish spot faced by many parents, albeit on a much smaller financial scale. He is in the position to decide whether Harry and Meghan continue to receive money from the Duchy of Cornwall estate, with annual revenue of more than 20 million pounds ($26 million), once they have for the most part abandoned their royal roles.Collateral damage has included the previously close bond between Harry and William, who hold a special place in many Britons’ hearts as the offspring of the late Princess Diana. Many remember them walking silently in her funeral cortege in 1997. William has not commented publicly on the breach, but Harry has said they are now on “different paths.”Removing Andrew and Harry from the equation will leave the monarchy with a smaller footprint: fewer senior royals gathered on the Buckingham Palace balcony to wave to the throngs at national events, fewer to open hospitals and help raise money for charities, and fewer using public funds to pay for official travel and events. There will also be fewer royal households with competing interests.Until these recent seismic events, the royal entourage has grown along with Elizabeth’s family. She is the longest reigning monarch in British history, with four children who have started families of their own. There are grandchildren and great-grandchildren as well. Some have scorned royal titles, but others have not, leading to a proliferation of princes and princesses.Royal historian and author Hugo Vickers cautions that Charles may be misguided in his plans to shrink the monarchy because the extended family actually provides substantial help.“I think it's most unwise because other members of the royal family help with a lot of things the monarch cannot do,” he said. “He'll soon find he needs to be helped.”Gregory Katz, The Associated Press

  • Giuliani associate names Trump, Pence, more in Ukraine plan
    News
    The Canadian Press

    Giuliani associate names Trump, Pence, more in Ukraine plan

    WASHINGTON — A close associate of President Donald Trump's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani is claiming Trump was directly involved in the effort to pressure Ukraine to investigate Democratic rival Joe Biden.Lev Parnas says he delivered an ultimatum in May, at Giuliani's behest, to the incoming president of Ukraine that no senior U.S. officials would attend his inauguration and vital American security aid would be withheld if an investigation into Biden wasn't announced.He said Trump was aware of Giuliani's efforts to secure an investigation and the president was briefed regularly.If true, Parnas' account undercuts a key Republican defence of Trump during the impeachment investigation — that Trump's withholding of vital military aid to Ukraine last summer wasn't a quid pro quo for Biden investigations.“President Trump knew exactly what was going on," said Parnas, a Soviet-born Florida businessman facing a raft of criminal charges related to campaign finance violations. "He was aware of all my movements. I wouldn't do anything without the consent of Rudy Giuliani, or the president.”For his part, Trump on Thursday repeated denials that he is acquainted with Parnas, despite numerous photos that have emerged of the two men together , including at a April 2018 dinner with about a half dozen others at the president's Washington hotel.“I meet thousands and thousands of people as president. I take thousands of pictures,” Trump said, speaking to reporters in the Oval Office. “I don't know him, I never had a conversation that I remember with him.”Parnas made several potentially explosive claims in an extended interview with MSNBC's Rachel Maddow, segments of which were aired Wednesday and Thursday.The day after Parnas said he delivered the message, the State Department announced that Vice-President Mike Pence would no longer be attending the inauguration of Ukrainian President Volodymir Zelenskiy.Parnas alleged that Trump ordered Pence to stay away at the behest of Giuliani to send a clear message to the incoming Ukrainian administration that they needed to take seriously the demand for an investigation into Biden, a Democratic presidential candidate seen as a potential threat to Trump's 2020 reelection.Parnas said every communication he had with Zelenskiy's team was at the direction of Giuliani, whom he regularly overheard briefing Trump about their progress by phone.Giuliani called Parnas' statements “sad."“I feel sorry for him,” Giuliani said Wednesday in a text message to an AP reporter. “I thought he was an honourable man. I was wrong.”Asked directly if Parnas was lying, Trump's lawyer replied, “I'm not responding yet.”Parnas said he also heard Giuliani and another Trump-aligned defence lawyer, Victoria Toensing, briefing Attorney General William Barr by phone about their efforts to pressure the Ukrainian government to announce the investigation into Biden and his son Hunter's business dealings.“Barr was basically on the team,” Parnas said.The Justice Department said in September that Trump had not spoken to Barr about having Ukraine investigate the Bidens and that the attorney general had not discussed Ukraine with Giuliani. Justice Department spokeswoman Kerri Kupec said Wednesday that Parnas' claims were “100% false.”Toensing posted on Twitter that Parnas “absolutely lied" about her conversations with Barr.Pence, who Parnas said raised the need for an investigation into the Bidens in a September meeting with Zelenskiy in Poland, added to the flurry of denials issued Thursday.“I don’t know the guy,” said Pence, who has himself been photographed standing with Parnas. The vice-president called Parnas' claim that he had participated in the effort to spur the Ukrainians to open an investigation into the Bidens “completely false.”Parnas also said Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and former Energy Secretary Rick Perry played roles in the scheme. Both have denied wrongdoing.The new accusations came as House Democrats made public a trove of documents, text messages and photos from Parnas' smartphones that appear to verify parts of his account.The documents, released just ahead of the start of Trump's Senate impeachment trial, could raise pressure on the Senate as it debates whether to hear witnesses.A federal judge earlier this month ruled that Parnas could provide the materials to Congress as part of the impeachment proceedings. Democrats voted in December to impeach Trump for abuse of power and for obstruction of Congress.House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, one of seven Democratic impeachment managers who will effectively act as prosecutors during Trump's Senate trial, said Thursday they are reviewing Parnas’ interviews and documents “to evaluate his potential testimony." It is likely that the House managers, not senators, would make a motion to call witnesses such as Parnas.“Mr. Parnas’ public interviews in the last 24 hours shed additional insights into the origins of the scheme, the work he and Rudy Giuliani were doing on the president’s behalf, and other members of the administration who were knowledgeable,” Schiff said.But Senate Republicans appeared largely unmoved, with some suggesting they were unfamiliar with who Parnas is, despite months of media coverage and prior testimony in the House about his ties to Giuliani's efforts in Ukraine.“If I had ever heard of him before yesterday I'm not aware of it," said Sen. Roy Blunt, a Missouri Republican. "This is the indicted guy, right?”House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy deflected questions about donations from Parnas to a political action committee he runs and a photo of him with Parnas at Trump's inauguration in 2017."People come to events, and they take photos with me,” McCarthy said. The GOP leader added that in his view Parnas “lacks all credibility'' and accused the news media of trying to build him up.Democrats, meanwhile, pointed to text messages among the newly disclosed materials that have raised questions about the possible surveillance of former Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch before she was ousted by the Trump administration last spring.The messages show that Robert F. Hyde, a Republican candidate for Congress from Connecticut, disparaged Yovanovitch in messages to Parnas and gave him updates on her location and cellphone use.FBI investigators were observed Thursday morning at Hyde's home and business addresses. Charles Grady, a spokesman for the FBI in Connecticut, confirmed that agents had been at the locations tied to Hyde but said he could not provide additional information.The text and phone records show Parnas communicating with Giuliani multiple times a day before Yovanovitch's removal, as well as a handwritten note that mentions asking Ukraine's president to investigate “the Biden case.”Among the documents is a screenshot of a previously undisclosed letter from Giuliani to Zelenskiy dated May 10, 2019, which was shortly after Zelenskiy was elected but before he took office. In the letter, Giuliani requests a meeting with Zelenskiy “as personal counsel to President Trump and with his knowledge and consent.”The Associated Press reported in October that Zelenskiy had huddled three days earlier, on May 7, with a small group of key advisers in Kyiv to seek advice about how to navigate the insistence from Trump and Giuliani for a probe into the Bidens. He expressed his unease about becoming entangled in the American elections, according to three people familiar with the details of the three-hour meeting. They spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the diplomatic sensitivity of the issue, which has roiled U.S.-Ukrainian relations.One of the documents released by Democrats is a note from Parnas handwritten on stationery from the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Vienna that says “get Zalensky to Annonce that the Biden case will be Investigated."Parnas told Maddow he took the notes as he was speaking by phone to Giuliani, receiving precise instructions about the demands Trump wanted to convey to Zelenskiy's team.Trump asked Zelenskiy in a July 25 call to investigate the Bidens. Hunter Biden served on the board of a gas company based in Ukraine.In a segment aired Thursday, Parnas said he no longer believes that former Vice-President Biden did anything improper and said the concerted effort he'd been involved in to push for an investigation was just about politics.Parnas and his business partner, Igor Fruman, both U.S. citizens who emigrated from the former Soviet Union, were indicted last year on charges of conspiracy, making false statements and falsification of records. Prosecutors allege they made outsize campaign donations to Republican causes after receiving millions of dollars originating from Russia. The men have pleaded not guilty.In several of the documents released as part of the impeachment inquiry, Parnas communicated with Giuliani about the removal of Yovanovitch. The ambassador's ouster, ordered by Trump, was at the centre of the Democrats’ impeachment inquiry. Yovanovitch testified in the House impeachment hearings that she was the victim of a “smear campaign.”Trump on the July call told Zelenskiy that Yovanovitch was “going to go through some things.” She had been recalled from her diplomatic post roughly three months earlier.Parnas told Maddow that Trump actually ordered Yovanovitch fired several times, including once in his presence, but Pompeo and then-national security adviser John Bolton refused to go along. Democrats and a handful of Republicans have been calling for Bolton to testify as part of Trump's Senate trial.On April 23, just before Yovanovitch was directed to return to the United States, Giuliani texted Parnas, "He fired her again." Parnas texted back, “I pray it happens this time I'll call you tomorrow my brother.”After texting about the ambassador, Hyde gave Parnas detailed updates that suggested he was watching her. In one text, Hyde wrote: “She’s talked to three people. Her phone is off. Her computer is off.” He said she was under heavy security and “we have a person inside.”Hyde texted Parnas that ''they are willing to help if we/you would like a price,” and “guess you can do anything in Ukraine with money ... is what I was told.”In a Twitter post Tuesday, Hyde called Parnas a “dweeb” and suggested the messages about surveilling the ambassador were a joke. He said he welcomed an investigation.Parnas, in turn, also said Wednesday that Hyde's texts shouldn't be taken seriously.The text messages show that Parnas consulted Giuliani in January 2019 after the U.S. denied a visa to former Ukrainian Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin. Giuliani replied: “I can revive it.”The following day, Giuliani told Parnas, “It’s going to work I have no 1 in it.” Giuliani then predicted "he will get one," before giving Parnas the phone number for Jay Sekulow, the leader of the president's personal legal team. Sekulow is expected to be part of Trump's legal team during the impeachment trial.Among the materials released from Parnas' phone this week were more photos of him with Trump, as well as the president's son Donald Trump Jr., first daughter Ivanka Trump, and her husband, Jared Kushner.Asked by Maddow about Trump’s denial of knowing him, Parnas said he had spoken one-on-one with the president numerous times.“He lied,” Parnas said of the president. “I mean, we’re not friends. Me and him didn’t watch football games together, we didn’t eat hot dogs. But he knew exactly who we were, who I was especially.”___Associated Press writers Michael Balsamo, Lisa Mascaro, Zeke Miller and Matthew Daly in Washington, and Michael Melia in Hartford, Connecticut, contributed.___Follow Associated Press investigative reporter Michael Biesecker at http://twitter.com/mbieseck , Mary Clare Jalonick at http://twitter.com/MCJalonick and Eric Tucker at http://twitter.com/etuckerAP___Contact AP's global investigative team at Investigative@ap.org.Michael Biesecker, Mary Clare Jalonick And Eric Tucker, The Associated Press

  • Bangladesh says once-submerged island ready for Rohingya
    News
    The Canadian Press

    Bangladesh says once-submerged island ready for Rohingya

    DHAKA, Bangladesh — A Bangladeshi island regularly submerged by monsoon rains is ready to house 100,000 Rohingya refugees, but no date has been announced to relocate people from the crowded and squalid camps where they've lived for years, officials said Thursday.Flood protection embankments, houses, hospitals and mosques have been built on Bhasan Char, or floating island, in the Bay of Bengal, officials said.“Bhasan Char is ready for habitation. Everything has been put in place,” Bangladesh refugee, relief and repatriation commissioner Mahbub Alam Talukder told The Associated Press.The island is built to accommodate 100,000 people, just a fraction of the million Rohingya Muslims who have fled waves of violent persecution in their native Myanmar.About 700,000 people came after August 2017, when the military in Buddhist-majority Myanmar began a harsh crackdown against Rohingya in response to an attack by insurgents. Global rights groups and the U.N. called the campaign ethnic cleansing involving rapes, killings and torching of thousands of homes.Foreign media have not been permitted to visit the island.Saleh Noman, a Bangladeshi freelance journalist who recently visited, described a community emerging there.“I saw a market with about 10 grocery shops and roadside tea stalls. Some were selling fish and vegetables,” he said. “All is set there with a solar power system and water supply lines.”Bangladesh is a low-lying delta nation. The island, 21 miles (34 kilometres) from the mainland, surfaced only 20 years ago and was never inhabited.The Bangladesh navy has been implementing a multimillion-dollar plan to bolster the swampy island, which is submerged for months during annual monsoon season.International aid agencies and the United Nations have vehemently opposed the relocation plan since it was first proposed in 2015, expressing fear that a big storm could overwhelm the island and endanger thousands of lives.Mostofa Mohamamd Sazzad Hossain, a spokesman for the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees in Bangladesh, said Thursday the agency isn't ready to endorse the relocation and is waiting for a chance to visit the island after a November trip was cancelled."The U.N. has emphasized the importance of undertaking independent and thorough technical and protection assessments that consider safety, sustainability, and protection issues prior to any relocation taking into place. The assessment process should include onsite visits to Bhasan Char,” Hossain said.The current refugee camps near the beach town of Cox's Bazar are overcrowded and unhygienic. Disease and organized crime are rampant. Education is limited and refugees aren't allowed to work.Still, most Rohingya are unwilling to return to Myanmar due to safety concerns. Government officials didn't have an estimate of how many refugees would be willing to be relocated to the island.On Thursday, two Bangladeshi contractors involved with development of the island described construction there. They spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to the media.“We have built quality infrastructure. Bangladeshi villages have never seen such good work. This is like a modern township project,” one contractor said.“We have built multifamily concrete homes, hospitals, mosques, schools, playgrounds and roads. There are solar-power facilities, a water supply system. We constructed raised concrete buildings that could be used as cyclone shelters. Many trees have been planted,” he said.Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has repeatedly told the U.N. and other international partners that her administration will consult them before making a final decision on the relocation, and that no refugees will be forced to move.Bangladesh attempted to start sending refugees back to Myanmar under a bilateral framework last November, but no one was willing to go.The Rohingya are not recognized as citizens in Myanmar, rendering them stateless, and face other forms of state-sanctioned discrimination.A U.N.-sponsored investigation in 2018 recommended the prosecution of Myanmar’s top military commanders on charges of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity for the violence perpetrated against the Rohingya.Myanmar is defending itself in the International Court of Justice in the Hague, Netherlands, after the West African nation of Gambia brought a case backed by the Organization for Islamic Cooperation, Canada and the Netherlands.Gambia in its submission said there was a “serious and imminent risk of genocide recurring” and called for emergency measures to prevent Myanmar from committing any further atrocities or erasing any evidence. The court is expected to deliver a decision on Jan. 23 on what measures should be imposed.Kamal Hossain, Bangladesh's top government official in Cox’s Bazar, said Thursday that discussions attempting to convince refugee families to move to the island are continuing. “We are ready. This is a continuous process,” he said.Julhas Alam, The Associated Press

  • 'We have huge expectations from everyone': Past, present and future of Disney's Epcot
    Yahoo News Canada

    'We have huge expectations from everyone': Past, present and future of Disney's Epcot

    When Epcot opened at Florida’s Walt Disney World in 1982, it was the materialization of Walt Disney’s vision of an ever-changing experience with evolving technology. In 2020, this area of the park will go through a historically robust upgrade.“We know guests love Epcot and we’re leaning into the things that they know and love, our festivals, our great iconic attractions like Spaceship Earth, our nighttime spectacular the World Showcase,” Michael Hundgen, executive producer with Walt Disney Imagineering told Yahoo Canada. “But we’re now bringing attractions and experiences that also relate to some of the newest guests who are coming to the park...we’re trying to make this park more Disney, more timeless, more relevant and more family.”There’s no doubt that there is a lot of pressure on the Disney team to execute the upgrade with great precision and accuracy, particularly with the emotional attachment so many have to the brand, its parks and legendary films.“I think everybody feels pressure because, obviously we have huge expectations from everyone,” Marilyn Meyreles, producer for Disney Parks live entertainment told Yahoo Canada. “But I think our teams have worked together so closely for so many years and even with newcomers who have that passion for Disney, that it’s always going to show in all the work that we do.”Meyreles worked on Epcot’s newest nighttime spectacular, Epcot Forever.“Imagine yourself being around the lagoon and you hear this little girl say with one little spark, and you hear Walt’s voice and all of a sudden the music starts,” she said.In order to decide which elements of the past should be included in Epcot Forever, the creative team gets together to brainstorm the elements that will spark emotions for guests. With tears in her eyes, Meyreles explained that the show is a celebration of the past, present and future of Epcot and Disney.“To me, the little girl represents the future...when I hear the little girl talk, they’re singing...I just feel like it’s really bringing it home that this is a new generation so we’re looking to the future,” Meyreles said.What experts are most excited aboutIf you’ve never been able to experience Epcot before, Meyreles says Spaceship Earth is a must.“It kind of brings everything together, it’s one world,” she said. “I love to visit the pavillions because there aren’t many opportunities that you can go and visit all these countries in one promenade around the world.”While you’re at the pavilions, there are a ton of food options for guests to enjoy, but Chelsea Florig, project manager for food and beverage at Epcot, and Al Youngman, culinary director at Epcot, have some favourites.“The salmon at the Yukon Holiday Kitchen is amazing,” Florig told Yahoo Canada. “Salmon with like a Crown maple whiskey glaze...it’s really good.”“The Arepas at Three Kings, I think that’s just so, it’s warm and cheesy, you get shrimp or cheese Arepas,” Youngman said. “The cookie stroll, that’s a really good one,... we have peppermint cookies, gingerbread men, chocolate pecan, we have a linzer cookie, a black and white cookie.”In terms of upcoming attractions, Hundgen says the upcoming enhancements to the France pavilion will be a must-see in summer 2020.“When I think about what I’m excited about next year it’s Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure,” Hundgen said. “The whole France pavilion, you’re going to have a new film, a new creperie with sweet and savory crepes, and you’ve got this really great new family attraction, nestled in sort of a beautiful part of the park that we haven’t been to before.”If you’re looking for a way to get to or from Disney, the Skyliner is the way to go. You don’t have to wait for a particular bus to arrive and you can take a beautiful, leisurely ride to and from Epcot. It’s part transportation, part park attraction. The Skyliner connects Disney’s Hollywood Studios and the International Gateway at Epcot, and four resorts on the property: Disney’s Riviera Resort, Disney’s Art of Animation Resort, Disney’s Pop Century Resort, Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort.

  • Microsoft plans to erase its entire carbon footprint by 2050
    Global News

    Microsoft plans to erase its entire carbon footprint by 2050

    On Thursday, Microsoft announced that it aims to remove more carbon from the atmosphere than it emits by 2030 and that by 2050, it hopes to have taken out enough to account for all direct emissions the company has ever made. CEO Satya Nadella said Microsoft will invest $1 billion to speed up development of the carbon removal technology.

  • News
    CBC

    Metro Vancouver properties worth a combined $7.5 million sought in civil forfeiture

    The province is trying to seize more than $7.5 million in Metro Vancouver houses it alleges were used to launder drug trafficking money.In a statement of claim filed in a B.C. Supreme Court, the B.C. Civil Forfeiture Office alleges six homes in Burnaby, Maple Ridge, Coquitlam and Mission were bought or maintained with money from trafficking fentanyl, heroin, cocaine and methamphetamine. It also alleges Can Auto, an auto and appliance repair business registered at one of the properties, was used as a front to conceal operations of the drug ring. The defendants named in the suit are Ashok (Roy) Kumar Naidu, his current or former spouse Gina Chinamma Naidu, their son, Avenel Naidu, and his girlfriend, Alisha Ann Watkins.None of the allegations have been proven in court and a statement of defence has not been filed.According to the suit, the New Westminster Police Department began investigating the alleged drug trafficking ring in September 2017.Police allege Avenel Naidu was one of the leaders of the drug ring and that he and his father were directors of Can Auto.In June 2018, search warrants were issued for the properties.Police found drugs, including an opioid analgesic that is almost eight times as potent as morphine, guns, jewelry, more than two dozen cellphones, Louis Vuitton, Gucci and YSL handbags and Rolex watches, some of which were stolen.Police also found about $200,000 Canadian dollars as well as Mexican and U.S. currency, which the provincial agency is seeking to have forfeited.The suit alleges the money garnered from drug trafficking was deposited into various bank accounts in amounts less than $10,000 so as not to raise suspicion. Between November 2014 and February 2018, Ashok Naidu allegedly deposited more than $275,000 in cash into the accounts at different branches. The deposits were often large numbers of $5 to $100 bills, not consistent with legitimate business income, the suit says. The family would then allegedly use the money to pay mortgages on existing homes and buy new ones. Furthermore, the defendants are alleged to have prepared fraudulent employment letters, pay statements and tax documents to support the laundering. The suit alleges the properties acted as meeting places for the drug trade, storage for drugs and space for an unlicensed marijuana grow operation. The property and related bank accounts have been frozen as the civil suit progresses.The suit alleges Can Auto's business bank accounts were not consistent in size and frequency of deposits for a business involved in auto repair work."Avenel Naidu exhibited a level of personal expenditure and asset ownership inconsistent with being employed at Can Auto," the suit says.Furthermore, it alleges it could not be explained by other legitimate sources of income. The suit asks that the money, jewelry, handbags and the six properties, as well as their proceeds, be forfeited to the government. If not, the suit says the properties will "likely" be used for unlawful activity in the future.

  • Philippine residents retrieve animals, belongings amid threat of volcano eruption
    News
    Reuters

    Philippine residents retrieve animals, belongings amid threat of volcano eruption

    Thousands of residents under orders to evacuate from a town near the Philippine volcano Taal were allowed to briefly visit homes on Friday to rescue their animals and recover some possessions, taking advantage of what appeared to be waning activity. Daniel Reyes, mayor of the Agoncillo town inside the danger zone of the 311 meter (1,020 feet) volcano, said he allowed around 3,000 residents to check their properties and retrieve animals, clothes and other possessions. A long line of cars, trucks, motorcycle taxis carrying pigs, dogs, television sets, gas stoves and electric fans, were seen leaving Agoncillo, among the towns blanketed in thick layers of volcanic ash.

  • News
    CBC

    Calgarians get modest utility bill break after city argues customers overcharged

    Calgarians should expect to see a modest reduction on their utility bills starting this month after the City of Calgary successfully argued that customers were being overcharged for the natural gas distribution fee.The adjustment comes after the Alberta Utilities Commission (AUC) agreed with submissions made by the city's gas, power, and telecommunications committee that customers were being overcharged for I.T.-related services in a 10-year contract with ATCO.The city announced on Thursday that the AUC decided to implement a 13 per cent reduction of those costs on customer bills in the first year of the $1.2-billion agreement.It should result in a 1.4 per cent reduction in annual natural gas distribution rates — which works out to about 83 cents a month for the average household, or $10 a year, according to Oyin Shyllon, an economist and regulatory lead with the City of Calgary.He also said customers will receive the savings regardless of who their gas marketer is."Anybody who has a natural gas connection — residents, businesses — they would receive it," Shyllon said.Action taken by city 'saved a lot of money,' Chu saysCalgary Coun. Sean Chu, the chair of the gas, power, and telecommunications committee, said Thursday that many of the details of the case are protected by commercial confidentiality agreements."At the end of the day, the City of Calgary saved a lot of money — including a lot of homeowners — because of the action we took," Chu said.While some Calgarians might not consider savings of $10 a year substantial, Shyllon said that the reduction is notable in part because of its rarity."These are significant savings because it is unusual for these types of reductions to occur," Shyllon said. "The cost of doing business increases every year, and typically utility charges go up, and to have this type of reduction is pretty rare."The city said that costs will be reduced by a further 4.61 per cent in each of the remaining nine years of the contract, but the dollar amount customers should expect their utility bills to decrease cannot be calculated beyond 2020.

  • World's biggest yearly human migration begins again in China
    News
    The Canadian Press

    World's biggest yearly human migration begins again in China

    BEIJING — As the Lunar New Year approaches, Chinese travellers flocked to train stations and airports Friday to take part in a nationwide ritual: the world's biggest annual human migration.Around 3 billion trips will be made during the Spring Festival travel rush, China's Transport Ministry has estimated. The period began this year on Jan. 10 and is expected to last through Feb. 18, well after Lunar New Year's Day on Jan. 25.The festivities are a time for family reunions and abundant feasts. For migrant labourers who work in cities far from home, it may be the one time in the year that they can see their relatives.Extra precautions will be taken with this year's journey, as a viral pneumonia outbreak has struck central China. In the city of Wuhan, 41 people have been diagnosed with a new type of coronavirus, a family of viruses with consequences ranging from the common cold to severe diseases like SARS. Two patients have died.Transport hubs will strengthen disinfection, monitoring and prevention measures, said Wang Yang, the Chinese Ministry of Transport's chief engineer.“The emergence of the epidemic may cause panic among people, especially in areas where people are concentrated during the Spring Festival travel period,” Wang told reporters at a news conference last week.There were no signs of additional screening or other measures to combat the spread of germs Friday morning at Beijing South Station, where thousands thronged the station's main hall. Officers at a police outpost said they were not aware of the coronavirus outbreak. A woman named Wang Liu at the station's service counter said she "hadn't heard of" the situation.___Associated Press journalist Dake Kang contributed to this report.Yanan Wang, The Associated Press

  • It's a boy for 1st Japan Cabinet member on paternity leave
    News
    The Canadian Press

    It's a boy for 1st Japan Cabinet member on paternity leave

    TOKYO — Japan's environment minister became father to a boy and is going ahead with his planned paternity leave — still a rarity in Japan where men are under pressure to put work before family.Shinjiro Koizumi said his wife, former newscaster Christel Takigawa, gave birth to their first child late Thursday, just two days after he announced he was taking two weeks off over the next three months.“It has already started," he said, noting that he had left his office early on Thursday so he could be present during his wife's delivery.Koizumi is the first Cabinet minister to take paternity leave, hoping to get more working fathers to follow his example. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's government has adopted a policy to free up time for mothers and get more of them back into Japan's shrinking workforce in a fast-aging nation where the birthrate dwindles and the population declines.Japan has relatively generous parental leave policies, allowing men and women partially paid leave of up to a year.While recent surveys show a majority of eligible male employees hope to take paternity leave in the future, changes are coming slowly and few fathers of newborns take time off due to intense pressure to focus on work. Only 6% of eligible working fathers took paternity leave in 2018, according to the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare, far short of the government's modest 13% target for 2020.Koizumi's announcement has received mixed reaction. Some people said two weeks of paternity leave is marginal and that he may be only trying to get attention. Others welcomed his decision as the beginning of change.On Friday, he reassured that he will take time off flexibly so that his paternity leave won't affect his department.“I understand that opinions are still divided," he said. “I will set aside time (for my family) while making sure to prioritize my public duty and be fully prepared for any emergency."Koizumi, the son of maverick former Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi and a future leader hopeful, said he was “delighted and also relieved" that both his wife and the baby, who is not yet named, are in good health.___Follow Mari Yamaguchi on Twitter at https://www.twitter.com/mariyamaguchiMari Yamaguchi, The Associated Press

  • Mara the elephant to leave Argentina for Brazil sanctuary
    News
    The Canadian Press

    Mara the elephant to leave Argentina for Brazil sanctuary

    BUENOS AIRES, Argentina — Mara listens to her trainer say “up, down, blow,” obediently raising her trunk so a saline solution can be introduced, then lowering it and expelling the liquid into a bag for analysis. She gets a piece of fruit as a reward.The Asian elephant is being prepared for the medical tests to be done while in quarantine in Argentina ahead of her transfer to Elephant Sanctuary Brazil. The sanctuary in Brazil's Mato Grosso state is better suited to her needs than her current enclosure in Buenos Aires' old zoo, which was converted into an ecopark in 2016, where she is surrounded by tall buildings and traffic sounds.Water samples taken from her trunk can be given microbiological tests to see if she suffers from infectious diseases, such as tuberculosis.Surrounded by the enclosure's thick bars during the training session, Mara patiently presents her front feet, then her back feet, then an ear to her trainers who study them through windows at various heights in the enclosure. They plan to draw her blood from these parts for analysis.“It is a positive thing that she will be in a place with more space and be living with other Asian elephants,” said Natalia Demergassi, co-ordinator of the Ecopark's veterinary section. “The animal's presence will be missed here, but you have to leave that ??selfishness behind and think how she will be in a better place.”Mara, who weighs more than 4 tons and is believed to be a bit more than 50 years old, takes turns using the enclosure with African elephants Pupi and Kuki. Mara can't live with Pupi and Kuki because they belong to different species. The elephants alternate between an open area and a covered enclosure.But the solitary life of Mara at the Buenos Aires' ecopark will soon change. Sometime in the next four months — the exact date has not been determined — she will be moved to Elephant Sanctuary Brazil, which is the first such facility in Latin America and is run by Global Sanctuary for Elephants and ElephantVoices. The main permits for the move have been approved by authorities in Argentina and Brazil.The more than 1,000-hectare (nearly 2,500-acre) sanctuary is covered in pastures and streams for elephants that have been rescued from captivity or high-risk situations. Elephants there can interact with other members of their species, learning how to be elephants.Mara was born in captivity in India — before 1970, it is believed — and was commercialized and held in captivity in Germany. She later formed part of a circus in Uruguay, then two circuses in Argentina. After the last circus went bankrupt, she was held as a judicial deposit in the Buenos Aires zoo in 1995.She still bears the scars of her mistreatment in the circuses. She has a joint deformation on her front right leg from where she was chained, which causes her to distribute her weight in an abnormal fashion.“She will not be totally independent in Brazil because animals that have been cared for by humans always have some level of dependence,” said Federico Iglesias, head of the ecopark.The park has sent more than 800 animals held in the antiquated zoo to better living spaces, including its most famous former resident, Sandra the orangutan, transferred last year to the Center for Great Apes in the U.S. state of Florida.The old zoo, which was more than a century old, was located in central Buenos Aires amid busy traffic and urban buildings with limited space, and its conditions were considered unacceptable by animal rights groups and many experts.Mara also is being trained to prepare for the metal container that will hold her during the 2,500-kilometre (1,550-mile) trip by highway to Brazil, which will last three to four days. The idea of sending Mara by plane was ruled out because of the difficulties of takeoff and landing.The long trip to Brazil implies “certain risks," Iglesias acknowledges. “But we believe the benefits of assuming the risk are worth it because the quality of her life will be infinitely better than what we can give her here.”Mara will be accompanied by Brazilian park personnel and Argentine handlers during the trip to Chapada dos Guimarães, the city near the elephant sanctuary. The container has been installed in her living space in Buenos Aires so she can get used to it and being inside it.“We work so that the animals are awake and calm in the container; so they can live, eat, rest and play and not feel enclosed,” said Marcos Flores, one of the elephant's handlers. There will be a large sustaining harness in the container so Mara can rest during the trip.“It is very good that they are moving an animal like the elephant Mara who has no sense of being in Argentina today,” said naturalist Claudio Bertonatti, scientific adviser to the Félix de Azara Natural History Foundation. “She has no partner. There is no reproductive or environmental plan for her.”___Associated Press journalist Víctor Caivano contributed to this report.Almudena Calatrava, The Associated Press

  • News
    CBC

    Salt Spring Island's boat-dwellers will voice concerns at town hall meeting

    Boat-dwellers in Ganges Harbour on Salt Spring Island, B.C., will be able to voice concerns their boats might be seized at an upcoming town hall meeting with their member of parliament, Elizabeth May.Some of them have expressed fears about rumours the federal government would enforce navigational regulations that would disrupt their living situations.Laura Patrick, an elected trustee with Islands Trust, will be at the meeting. She says there is no data collected on the exact number of people who live in the harbour, but she estimates it's around 50. She says there is confusion over what is permitted in the harbour because of jurisdiction. "The federal government has the navigation. We've got the provincial government that has the right to the seabed, and we have ourselves — the local trust committee — that has zoning across the surface," Patrick said.  In addition, local boat-dwellers have been in a bit of grey zone because local zoning does not recognize dwellings as a permitted use on the surface waters of the harbour. But Patrick says the municipal body does very little enforcement, especially as there's a shortage of housing on the island."In Island Trust, we're very well aware that there's a shortage and that people are finding ways finding homes wherever they can. So we're, as the elected body, not proactively out there enforcing," she explained. She says the concerns over enforcement are rumours at this point, but she is hoping this meeting and further meetings with all stakeholders — provincial, federal and municipal — can clarify what is permissible."We need to make sure that we're having a regional approach, that we can have some regional rules, and get some clarity for people who wish to live this way."Saanich-Gulf Islands MP Elizabeth May holds her town hall Friday night at 7 p.m. PT at Gulf Islands Secondary School.

  • City, LRT builders apologize for latest breakdown
    News
    CBC

    City, LRT builders apologize for latest breakdown

    Officials are apologizing after a power line atop one of Ottawa's new LRT trains snapped as it entered St-Laurent station Thursday, halting service between Hurdman and Blair stations and throwing the afternoon commute into turmoil for thousands of riders.The broken line was repaired overnight, so Confederation Line service was restored by Friday morning.The inspections and testing necessary to get full service back on the Confederation Line were finished at about 4:15 a.m., said Rideau Transit Group (RTG) chief executive officer Peter Lauch at a news conference later Friday morning.Lauch said it appears the power cable snagged on something as the eastbound train entered the station around 10:50 a.m., but said the exact cause of the incident is still under investigation. On Thursday, he said RTG hadn't experienced a similar problem during testing last fall.OC Transpo's operations director Troy Charter explained it's at St-Laurent where the wire, which hangs free at open-air stations, becomes fixed to the ceiling.A timelineLauch explained there's a tension sensor on the system's power lines that detect when something goes wrong and immediately "de-energizes" the system, which is what happened Thursday."It's like a fuse in your house," he said, adding that passengers' safety was never at risk.Crews made sure the power stayed off as they cut and removed the wire from the train, Lauch said, before moving the train to a storage facility where it's undergoing repairs.About 35 metres of overhead guiderail for the power line was damaged and some supporting parts were bent or broken in the incident, he said.Lauch said workers repaired the guiderail, restored power and conducted tests, all in time to resume normal service Friday morning.Pat Scrimgeour, OC Transpo's director of customer systems and planning, said there were four different contingency plans in case the system wasn't ready for 5 a.m., but they weren't needed.Serious disruptionEast-end commuters had to rely on backup bus service through the afternoon rush hour.The nearly 15-hour disruption was by far the longest since the Confederation Line's launch in September.Scrimgeour said this was the first time they had to call in all 60 to 70 replacement R1 buses OC Transpo has available."This really sucks, actually — waiting in this cold weather with this amount of people waiting for a bus just to get home," OC Transpo customer Joe Green, bundled in a toque and hoodie, said Thursday.."Me as a construction worker, I don't have [an option to work] at home," said Rory Brissett. "The train is my only access [to work] other than driving.""This is not the level of service our customers are expecting, and not the level of service we want to be offering," Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson said Friday.

  • News
    CBC

    Calgary councillor raised by 2 moms to bring forward motion to ban conversion therapy

    A Calgary city councillor is bringing forward a motion calling for conversion therapy to be banned in the city.Ward 8 Coun. Evan Woolley, along with Councillors Druh Farrell, Gian-Carlo Carra, Jyoti Gondek, Peter Demong and Mayor Naheed Nenshi plan to bring forward the notice of motion to committee on Monday.Conversion therapy is a practice that aims through counselling or religious teachings to change an individual's sexual orientation to heterosexual or gender identity to cisgender, which means a person who identifies with the sex assigned to them at birth. It's discredited by most major expert bodies as psychologically damaging, opposed by the Canadian Psychological Association and World Health Organization which has stated conversion therapy poses a "severe threat to the health and human rights of the affected persons."Woolley said in an emailed release that the issue is one close to his heart, as he was raised by two moms. "Growing up in the 1980s and 1990s it was impossible for them to be open about who they were, and this is still the case for many of our citizens today," he said. "I want to raise my child in a city that is welcoming of all people regardless of who they love. Conversion therapy works to counter that ideal and we as a community must stand against this hurtful practice."Vancouver, Edmonton and St. Albert city councils have passed motions to ban the practice, and in Edmonton businesses face a $10,000 fine if found guilty of breaking that rule.In December, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau sent a mandate letter to Justice Minister David Lametti, asking that the Criminal Code be amended to ban the practice and take other steps to end conversion therapy in Canada.But despite a likely federal ban on the way, Farrell said the issue is too important to wait for other levels of government to take action."Having city council ban conversion therapy will send an important message to our LGBTQ2 community. Conversion therapy is abusive and it simply doesn't belong in Calgary," Farrell said in the release.The councillors also plan to ask the city to advocate for the practice to be banned across Alberta.The marshals of Calgary's 2019 pride parade were members of a dismantled working group that had been studying how to end conversion therapy in the province.The informal working group was set up by the former NDP government and cancelled by the governing UCP.Brandon Beavan, one of the members of that group and a conversion therapy survivor, spoke to CBC News at the time. "It was probably the most traumatic points of my life to have people tell me I am going to die early, I am never going to be loved that I'm never going to have anyone that cares about me — for years on end," he said, adding that it hurts to think children are still being forced to go through what he went through.On Friday, federal Health Minister Patty Hadju was in Calgary and said she did not receive an answer from the Alberta government when Ottawa asked the provinces to ban conversion therapy. In response, a spokesperson for Alberta Justice Minister Doug Schweitzer forwarded a letter dated Aug. 20, 2019, addressed to Hadju's predecessor. It says the power to amend the Criminal Code is solely within federal jurisdiction and that conversion therapy is banned "by all relevant professional licensing bodies in Alberta.""While the federal government has not presented us with any proposals for changes to the Criminal Code, we would welcome the opportunity to examine any proposals the federal government puts forward to criminalize conversion therapy," reads a portion of the letter, signed by Schweitzer.Beavan said in September the man who practised conversion therapy on him is still operating in Calgary.The next council meeting is scheduled for Feb. 4.

  • Residents want beach access back after rock pile installed in Wood Islands
    News
    CBC

    Residents want beach access back after rock pile installed in Wood Islands

    Residents in Wood Islands, P.E.I., want access to a local beach restored after a rock pile was put in place last year. In June 2019, Bell Aliant installed a nearly eight-metre-high rock wall on the beach at the end of Pioneer Cemetery Road. It was installed by Bell Aliant to protect an undersea fibre-optic cable.John Keuper lives at the opposite end of that road and owns a business nearby. He said this is the primary access point for that local beach and since the barrier has been in place, it's completely blocking access."I think it's important around the Island how we consider our beach access and that it remains as a public resource," he said. The rocks were so big that our full-size dog fell into the hole and couldn't get out. — John Keuper, Wood Island resident"There's a lot of beauty there. And we need to value it more so than just a place to land a cable."He said when he was approached by the company about the project, he wasn't against it, but said he thought it would take residents' suggestions into consideration before moving forward."We recommended that they use some other method other than a stone wall," he said.Rocks in place to protect infrastructureIn an email to CBC, a spokesperson for Bell Aliant said "the rock structure is protecting an undersea cable that is an important part of the Island's telecommunications infrastructure."Keuper said he's not asking for the rock wall to be removed. He said he would have preferred a solution that fits everyone's needs — especially those that live in the area. Keuper said he also has concerns about safety. "We tried to look at the positives of it, but the rocks were so big that our full-size dog fell into the hole and couldn't get out."Municipality pushing for solutionsGarth Gillis, the mayor of the rural municipality of Belfast, said council drafted a letter to the province expressing the community's concerns about the project. CBC contacted the province for comment but did not hear back immediately.Bell Aliant said it did consult with the federal, and provincial government as well as local residents about the project. Keuper said he will continue to work toward finding a solution, like installing a set of stairs or another way of safely getting to the beach, until everyone has access again. More P.E.I. news

  • Partnership brings new life to St. Anthony fish plant, but does it kill a neighbour?
    News
    CBC

    Partnership brings new life to St. Anthony fish plant, but does it kill a neighbour?

    A community leader in Black Duck Cove is worried a proposed fish plant deal in St. Anthony will mean the death of her community.Millie Dredge was horrified when the fish plant in Black Duck Cove burned down last May. As a member of the local service district committee, she was even more upset to learn the company that owned the plant, Quin-Sea Fisheries, is proposing to take over another one in St. Anthony.Dredge said the company owes her community and the 75 employees who spent 20 years of their lives working there."Now you imagine, a new company for St. Anthony, and [they] take the insurance money they got for the plant in Black Duck Cove and and invest it in St. Anthony, and the workers in Black Duck Cove get nothing."Quin-Sea Fisheries have yet to return calls from CBC News.The Black Duck Cove plant burned to the ground in a massive, fast-moving fire on May 15. It broke out around 7 p.m., while workers were still inside. Nobody was injured.The company offered to move the workers to its other plants, namely its plant in Old Perlican — more than 900 kilometres away.FFAW hopeful for jobsThe company is proposing a joint venture with Clearwater, one of the largest holders of shellfish licenses in the country.St. Anthony's plant, about an hour away from Black Duck Cove, is 75 per cent owned by Clearwater and 25 per cent owned by the non-profit group St. Anthony Basin Resources Inc. A new proposal would see SABRI give up its entire stake in the plant. I will be accepting the board's recommendation. \- Fisheries Minister Gerry ByrneThe fisheries union says it's hopeful and optimistic the proposal will bring new jobs to the region with an increase in the amount of fish processed at the plant."This is certainly good news for the people of St. Anthony," wrote Fish, Food and Allied Workers president Keith Sullivan.Dredge said the workers feel slighted by the union's optimism."Did they forget the 75 workers that worked in the Black Duck Cove plant an hour's drive from St. Anthony?"Deal depends on review boardThe proposal is not a done deal — it's still dependent on a review from the province's licensing review board.Provincial Fisheries Minister Gerry Byrne said the final decision is entirely up to them."There will be a very thorough review of this proposed sale and the board will report to me and I will be accepting the board's recommendation," he said.Gudie Hutchings, the region's member of Parliament for the region, said she's encouraged by the proposal but wants to see more information on the impact on Black Duck Cove."While this operation will prove to be a tremendous opportunity for the people of the St. Anthony area, I look forward to learning more about the implications this may have on the workers of the former Quin-Sea plant in Black Duck Cove," she wrote on Twitter.Dredge said she feels the town's only hope is the provincial government shutting down the proposal after the review process."They have an obligation to Black Duck Cove, too," she said.Failing that, she fears there will be dire circumstances for Black Duck Cove."Our community dies."Read more from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador

  • Andrew Yang's wife details alleged sexual assault by doctor
    News
    The Canadian Press

    Andrew Yang's wife details alleged sexual assault by doctor

    WASHINGTON — The wife of Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang says she was sexually assaulted by an obstetrician while she was pregnant with the couple's first child.Evelyn Yang said in an interview televised Thursday by CNN that the assault happened in 2012 and that she was initially afraid to tell anyone. She and 31 other women are now suing the doctor and the hospital system, saying they conspired and enabled the crimes.Yang said she was encouraged to speak out after seeing the positive reception she and her husband had been getting on the campaign trail by being open about their son's autism."Something about being on the trail and meeting people and seeing the difference that we've been making already has moved me to share my own story about it, about sexual assault," she told CNN.Yang said she first began seeing Dr. Robert Hadden in New York in early 2012. As the months went on, Yang said, Hadden began asking her inappropriate questions about her sexual activity and spent more time conducting examinations.When she was seven months pregnant, Yang said, she believed her appointment was done and she was getting ready to leave when the doctor told her abruptly that he thought she might need a cesarean section. She said Hadden pulled her to him and undressed her, then used his fingers to examine her internally.“I knew it was wrong. I knew I was being assaulted,” she said.But Yang said she “just kind of froze” and didn't react. “I remember trying to fix my eyes on a spot on the wall and just trying to avoid seeing his face as he was assaulting me, just waiting for it to be over," she told CNN.After the doctor left the room, she left the practice and didn't return.Hadden's lawyer has denied Yang's allegations in legal filings. His attorney declined a request to be interviewed by CNN.Yang said she initially didn't tell anyone what had happened to her. She said she blamed herself, thinking she must have done something to “invite this kind of behaviour.”Months later, after the couple's son was born, Yang got a letter in the mail saying Hadden had left the practice. Curious, she looked him up online and saw that another woman had made a police report accusing him of assaulting her.She said she realized then that she wasn't to blame for his actions."This was a serial predator, and he just picked me as his prey," she told CNN.She said only then was she able to reveal the abuse to her husband.In a statement Thursday, Andrew Yang said he was "proud” of his wife and no one deserves to be treated as she was.“When victims of abuse come forward, they deserve our belief, support, and protection,” Yang said. "I hope that Evelyn's story gives strength to those who have suffered and sends a clear message that our institutions must do more to protect and respond to women."He later tweeted, “I love my wife very very much.”Evelyn Yang said several women came forward with similar stories about Hadden, and she learned the Manhattan district attorney's office had an open case against him.In 2016, she said, the DA's office agreed to a deal with Hadden in which he pleaded guilty to one count of forcible touching and one count of third-degree sexual assault. He also lost his medical license and had to register as the lowest level of sex offender.Yang said she felt betrayed by the plea deal, which allowed the doctor to avoid jail. The counts he pleaded to didn't involve her case, she said.Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. said in a statement to CNN, “Because a conviction is never a guaranteed outcome in a criminal trial, our primary concern was holding him accountable and making sure he could never do this again -- which is why we insisted on a felony conviction and permanent surrender of his medical license."Yang and 31 other women are now suing Columbia University, where Hadden worked, along with its affiliates and the doctor itself, saying they "actively concealed, conspired, and enabled" Hadden's crimes, according to CNN.The lawsuit claims that medical assistants who worked with the doctor knew of the abuse but didn't intervene because of a power imbalance and lack of training, CNN said.Hadden has denied the additional allegations in court papers, CNN reported. Columbia University and the hospital system are fighting the lawsuit on procedural grounds, according to CNN.A university spokeswoman told CNN in response to a detailed list of questions that the accusations are “abhorrent” and they “deeply apologize to those whose trust was violated.”___Catch up on the 2020 election campaign with AP experts on our weekly politics podcast, “Ground Game.”The Associated Press

  • NB Power rate used to justify smart meters 'low,' says expert
    News
    CBC

    NB Power rate used to justify smart meters 'low,' says expert

    Questions about whether NB Power has padded the business case supporting its proposed purchase of smart meters continue to dog the utility at Energy and Utilities Board hearings.A U.S. expert hired by NB Power to independently evaluate the reasonableness of its smart meter plan said he found a key interest rate input used by the utility to calculate costs of its project — known as a discount rate — to be "low""A lower discount rate will increase a positive result," said Erik Gilbert in explaining the significance of the issueGilbert, a Colorado-based energy consultant, testified at hearings into NB Power's smart meter plan Wednesday and Thursday and said the utility supplied his company with a discount rate of 5.25 per cent to calculate the interest cost of money that will be invested in the smart meter project.The rate was below what was used by other utilities undertaking similar projects Gilbert investigated, but he said it was not unbelievably low and he assumed, wrongly, it was a rate generally used by NB Power in its other capital planning."Typically when we do one of these benefit cost analyses, we obtain this rate, directly from the utility finance folks," said Gilbert.   "And as long as that rate is  being broadly used in say an IRP (integrated resource plan) or in other  proceedings, long range planning and so on, then we  consider it reasonable.".EUB lawyer Ellen Desmond asked Gilbert if he had investigated why the rate was selected or if he looked into whether NB Power typically uses the 5.25 per cent rate.  He hadn't."I did not personally review the IRP," he said "Every utility has different discount rates and different factors. And so we didn't consider the 5.25 to be an outlier, it was just low."   NB Power's most recent integrated resource plan, which was updated in 2017 and is on file in a separate EUB matter,  states the company generally uses a discount rate of 5.9 per cent "for all present value analysis."Gilbert's own work showed that Nova Scotia Power recently used a discount rate of 6.96 per cent in its own smart meter application in 2017 and BC Hydro used a discount rate of eight per cent.According to Gilbert's report every one per cent swing in the discount rate used in NB Power's smart meter plan would add or subtract about $7 million in net benefits, depending if it was moved higher or lower."It is important. It is an important factor yes," said Gilbert.Although hired by NB Power, Gilbert said he was asked to evaluate the company's application, not support it, and he was free to criticize any faults he found.  He said overall he found the business case professional and reasonable and "on the balance" built using conservative assumptions."We were retained to do an independent and impartial review of NB Power's business case and their benefit cost analysis, and that is how I view the role," said Gilbert."To provide input to the Board, expert opinion to the Board, and the evidence that we have introduced as an impartial expert and to help the Board make an appropriate decision for New Brunswick."  NB Power has insisted from the start of hearings that it used conservative estimates and assumptions in building its business case that smart meters will generate a $31.1 million net benefit over 15 years.But interveners, especially EUB lawyer Ellen Desmond, have been chipping away at that number.  In addition to questions about the discount rate, interveners earlier raised questions about $4.7 million in benefits NB Power has claimed in its business case will flow from replacing inefficient older meters that undercount electricity consumption with newer, more accurate smart meters.

  • Cobequid Pass reopens after blowing snow, slippery conditions shut it down
    News
    CBC

    Cobequid Pass reopens after blowing snow, slippery conditions shut it down

    Whiteout and slippery conditions forced the closure of the Cobequid Pass for about 14 hours on Friday.The major link between Nova Scotia and the rest of Canada was shut down at around 7:30 a.m. AT due to high winds and poor visibility, Nova Scotia's Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal announced on Twitter.The stretch remained closed until just before 9:30 p.m.A series of collisions on Highway 102 between exits 9 (Milford) and 11 (Stewiacke) forced RCMP to shut down that road, which reopened about an hour later.RCMP Cpl. Jennifer Clarke said there were at least three collisions and she warned of continued poor driving conditions."We're asking people to take some extra time, really consider whether they need to be out there today and definitely adjust their driving to the weather conditions," she said Friday morning.High winds in the afternoon knocked down a power line in Dartmouth, causing the utility pole to catch fire.Halifax Regional Police were on scene near Portland Street and Portland Hills Drive shortly before 2 p.m.Roughly 5,000 people in the area were without power for several hours and outbound traffic on Portland Street was down to one lane."Our crews quickly went to site and they secured it from a safety standpoint," said Matt Drover, director of regional operations with Nova Scotia Power.The winds also forced Halifax's MacKay Bridge to restrict crossings for heavy and high-sided vehicles for most of the morning, including transit buses. The bridge reopened to those vehicles shortly before 10 a.m.Cape Breton Regional Police asked people this morning to avoid any unnecessary travel."Roads are covered in snow and drifts, and visibility is very limited," they tweeted.MORE TOP STORIES

  • NDG's beloved Coop la Maison Verte is closing its doors for good
    News
    CBC

    NDG's beloved Coop la Maison Verte is closing its doors for good

    After more than two decades in the heart of Notre-Dame-de-Grâce, Coop la Maison Verte will close at the end of the month.With debt piling up and the cost of running the store heavily outweighing revenue, members who attended Thursday evening's meeting voted overwhelmingly in favour of closing the co-op, located just east of Melrose Avenue on Sherbrooke Street West.The vote was 41 for, seven against and five abstentions."This co-op means a lot to a lot of different people," said board member Sheena Swirlz. But nowadays there are a lot of competing franchises and businesses with deeper pockets and support, where the Coop la Maison Verte is run by a small team of co-ordinators and a board of directors. "We've been operating under an old model for a really long time and we haven't done the work that needs to be done to kind of look at, analytically, the situation and make the changes required to become a more viable store," she said.Several board members have quit in recent years, succumbing to the stress of managing a shop that was falling deeper and deeper into debt while struggling to stock its shelves with products customers want, Swirlz said.Without that stock available, customers were heading elsewhere, she said.22 years in the makingThe co-op was established in 1998 by a group of seven NDG residents who wanted to defy consumer culture while breathing new life into the neighbourhood — boosting local trade and providing a community hub. Over the years, it became just that. Members of the co-op paid $10 for a lifetime membership, getting 10 per cent off bulk foods, coffee and detergent. The shelves are stocked with an array of local wares, crafts and beers as well as ecological products aimed at reducing waste.Meanwhile, there was a coffee shop inside and a sitting area that doubled as a community space for regular meetings and events. Over the years, it has become a social hub and gathering place for neighbours, friends and groups.The co-op has garnered more than 10,000 members and developed strong partnerships with local non-profit organizations, artists and businesses in the region that are equally dedicated to environmental and food issues.In 2010, the co-op bought its building in an effort to keep the dream alive, but the building was riddled with problems and in need of expensive repairs. The board eventually sold it and began paying rent once again.Despite the dedication of its members, staff and volunteers, Coop la Maison Verte has been unable to sustain itself and has accumulated tens of thousands of dollars in debt.Now, remaining board members are struggling to sort out how to pay that debt off and who exactly is on the hook for the bill.Hoping for a solutionRalph Olynyk first visited the co-op about 12 years ago on a whim, tried the coffee "and I haven't left since."Beyond the coffee, he said he particularly enjoyed all the community events, activities and social interaction that goes on there as he was introduced to new ideas, initiatives and friends. He attended the vote, hoping they would be able to find a new way to make the place viable once again. But he didn't get his wish and, after years of keeping a stool warm at the coffee bar, he's going to have to look for another place to sip java and chat with passersby."There's no café around here that attracts me," he said. "In my neighbourhood, there's almost nothing."

  • 'Second-class citizens': Parents demand changes to Durham board's French immersion plan
    News
    CBC

    'Second-class citizens': Parents demand changes to Durham board's French immersion plan

    He's only midway through senior kindergarten, but Sharon Gomez says her son Kaden is already agonizing over a difficult decision: whether to stay in the same school with his older brother or sister when he enters Grade 1."It's about which sibling is he going to stay with and which sibling is he going to leave behind," said Gomez."That's ripping him right down the centre."The Gomez family is one of dozens bracing for what could be a major disruption at Maple Ridge Public School in Pickering, which the Durham District School Board (DDSB) may convert from a dual track to a strictly French immersion school this September.If the plan goes ahead, some 217 students in the existing English stream will be moved to Vaughan Willard Public School, which is 1.6 kilometres away.For the Gomez family, which has children in both streams, the move would split up their kids and force parents to navigate tricky pick-up, drop-off and child care routines."It's going to be an issue," Gomez said. "I really don't know how I'm going to handle it."Other parents have criticized the school board, accusing it of rushing the plan, which could ultimately affect English students much more than those in French immersion."It's a very irresponsible proposal," said James Hummel, who has three children in the school's English stream.He likened the proposal to an "eviction" of English students."We feel like we're being treated as second-class citizens," he added.Decision not yet made, board saysDDSB staff are recommending the move due in part to overcrowding at Maple Ridge PS, which has nine portable classrooms to accommodate students.The school introduced its French immersion program in 2014, and enrolment has steadily risen. It's got 456 kids this year, more than double the number of English students, though students in French immersion come from a variety of feeder schools in the area.In a statement to CBC Toronto, the board said moving the remaining English students to nearby Vaughan Willard PS would "balance future portable needs between both schools."However, the plan has not yet been approved and the board insists a final decision has not been made."The process is in keeping with past boundary change or program relocation consultation process practice," wrote superintendent of education Jim Markovski in a statement."There is and will be opportunity for parent/guardian voices and concerns to be heard."However, many parents are not convinced that their questions and concerns will be considered given the timing of the proposed change."They don't really have time if they're going to make this radical move in September," said Erika Roberts, who has a daughter in Grade 5.Her child began walking to school for the first time this year, and Roberts worries a move will prevent her from enjoying her new independence."It's kind of to show face," she said of the consultations and open house events scheduled this month. "That's the feeling we're getting."Parents asking for alternativesParents are also angered because the recommendation does not include any alternatives to the full French immersion conversion.They say the board could consider a range of possibilities, including introducing French immersion programs at more schools in the area, or even grandfathering existing English students until they move on to high school.The school board plans to host an open house on Jan. 21 to hear from families about the proposed change. It has also set up a dedicated email address and phone line where parents can share their thoughts.Hummel plans to keep pressuring the board to abandon the proposal, but he is not expecting success."As much as we are fighting this ... there is still that sense that this is a done deal," he said.

  • News
    CBC

    How Twitch viewers helped police narrow down location of possible child abuser in just hours

    "Oh my God, this is the craziest thing I've ever seen."That was a video game streamer's first thought on Dec. 16, when he spotted a video on social media — the disturbing video that would lead the Canadian to spend the next 24 hours tracking down evidence and providing it to police.It resulted in a Calgary woman being charged for allegedly assaulting a child.CBC News has agreed not to name the sleuthing streamer, so his employment won't be affected.The video was originally posted to Twitch, a live-streaming platform for gamers.It shows a woman playing the game Fortnite as she repeatedly slaps and then bites a screaming toddler, seemingly frustrated with the child for distracting her from the game.The video then cuts to a few hours later, showing her roughly handling an infant before throwing the child onto the bed that she's sitting on while playing the game.The streamer said he immediately sent the video to a contact at Twitch and then he searched on the user's social media for her location — it turned out to be Calgary — before calling the local police.But he still felt like he hadn't done enough. So he decided to scour the site, downloading evidence just in case it vanished. "I would say probably within 60 minutes of my bringing it to the attention of Twitch staff, they had suspended this person's account," he said.He wasn't the only one dismayed by what he'd seen. CBC News was contacted by concerned gaming fans, as far away as the United Kingdom, who said they had reported the video to Crime Stoppers or police. Police said that within two hours of first receiving tips about the video, officers were able to track the online gamer to a Calgary home, where officers found a woman, man and two children.  CBC News is not naming the woman or her account username to protect the identity of the children.The woman has been charged with one count of assault, and the children were taken away. Possibly more charges relating to other videos are on the way, police said.Staff Sgt. Peter Siegenthaler, with the Calgary Police Service's child abuse unit, said police rely on tips from the public in cases like this."It's hard, because sometimes [online] videos have been circulated for years, and it's hard to determine the origin and time these videos are produced."As the sleuthing streamer dug through the videos to download evidence, he discovered a different user who had also posted hours of concerning videos with a child.The videos showed the person loudly berating the child while using expletives, at one point coughing into the child's eye and threatening to withhold medication if the child didn't stop interrupting her game. CBC News has seen those videos.As with the first user's video, some of the time-stamps were as recent as mid-December.The streamer reported those videos to police as well. That user has since deleted all of the videos from her channel.Police in the U.S. city where that user lives initially said they were not investigating but have since said they have reached out to the streamer who saw the videos for more information.An ethical obligationThe streamer who reported the videos to police said that while the internet can be a nasty place and vigilantism doesn't always pan out, he's extremely proud of how quickly the Twitch community rallied to help the children in the videos."People, in general, are a lot more inherently good than we tend to give them credit for.… I wouldn't have been able to live with myself had I simply let this go," he said. Nicole Letourneau, chair of parent-infant mental health at Alberta Children's Hospital Foundation, said everyone should take direction from how the online community quickly took action in response to the videos."I think members of the public are ethically obligated to protect children of parents who don't protect children.… It just needs to be reported," she said.  If you're someone who's finding that your kids are annoying you and you're playing a game, it might be a red flag that things aren't quite as they should be. \- Nicole Letourneau, parent-infant mental health expertShe said this situation holds lessons for parents, too.Letourneau studies how toxic stress can undermine the relationships between parents and children, and how different factors like mental illness or addiction can undermine a parent's ability to be attentive, responsive or nurturing to their child."A parent who is mentally well or doesn't have an addiction gets rewards from their children," Letourneau said. But in a situation where a parent isn't well, she said, that reward system isn't functioning properly, and the child becomes an interference — blocking the parent from enjoying gambling, substances, video games or browsing social media on their cellphone. "The early years for children are fleeting … everything seems to be tied in to positive early nurturing environments," Letourneau said. "If you're someone who's finding that your kids are annoying you and you're playing a game, it might be a red flag that things aren't quite as they should be."

  • Break up big tech's 'monopoly', smaller rivals tell Congress hearing
    News
    Reuters

    Break up big tech's 'monopoly', smaller rivals tell Congress hearing

    In April 2019, Tile.com, which helps users find lost or misplaced items, suddenly found itself competing with Apple Inc, after years of enjoying a mutually beneficial relationship with the iPhone maker. Apple carried Tile on its app store and had sold its products at its stores since 2015. It had even showcased Tile's technology at a big event in 2018.

  • CBU prof says he's developed device that cheaply cleans waste water
    News
    CBC

    CBU prof says he's developed device that cheaply cleans waste water

    A Cape Breton University chemistry professor is looking for help commercializing an electrical device that uses a natural chemical to inexpensively remove pollutants from industrial waste water.Xu Zhang said he's invented an electrical device and found a natural chemical that acts as a catalyst to rid industrial effluent of pollutants.Zhang said the device is inexpensive and the natural catalyst makes the technology cost-effective.He said the device can easily run on solar power or a single AA battery and can be automated and run remotely by computer.How it worksThe device works by adding the catalyst to contaminated effluent and running it past electrodes that remove the pollutants, said Zhang."Actually, it's more like just burning molecules, but it's very difficult, or it's very expensive, to make a device to burn some organic pollutant molecules in water," he said.The catalyst is non-toxic and it takes itself out after the process is complete, leaving behind a salty solution that is similar to seawater, Zhang said.The university recently issued a tender for a consultant to determine the best way to commercialize the technology.Zhang said that could mean selling the invention to a business that would then contract it out to customers, or it could mean starting a company and licensing the technology to industrial users.The device could be used to remove heavy metals such as arsenic or cadmium and other toxic chemicals like dioxins, pesticides or pharmaceuticals, he said.Food processors, pharmaceutical companies and other industrial operations that produce contaminated waste water find it expensive to treat their effluent, Zhang said."Pharmaceutical companies, sometimes 10 per cent of their cost is essentially associated with the waste treatment," he said."With our cost-effective technology, I believe I can help them to reduce their cost."Drawing inspiration from Cape Breton's pastCape Breton's history of coal mining and steel making left behind a lot of industrial waste water, said Zhang, so it was natural to look for a solution to that problem."It's not just limited to just Sydney or Cape Breton, but also Nova Scotia, even Atlantic Canada," he said."This is a global ... issue for people wanting to get clean and safe water to drink, so therefore we believe if we can develop some cost-effective technology, it will help a lot of people."MORE TOP STORIES

  • News
    CBC

    2 infants died after not receiving emergency air transport to Winnipeg Children's Hospital: report

    Two infants died after not receiving emergency air transport to Winnipeg's Children's Hospital near the end of 2018, Manitoba Health's latest critical incident report reveals.One of the infants was taken by ground ambulance to the hospital because air transport was not available, the quarterly report says. The infant, who was in unstable condition, had a heart attack on arrival.The report, released on Thursday, says intubation was difficult, and the infant was admitted to the pediatric intensive care unit. Treatment was later withdrawn and the infant died.Another infant, who was premature and in unstable condition, was also taken to the hospital by ground ambulance. The report says transportation by the Lifeflight air ambulance was declined.The infant had surgery for a bowel obstruction and died the next day.While the exact circumstances of the deaths are not known, the two incidents happened at a time when tensions were high between Lifeflight staff and the province — which oversaw the air ambulance service for decades before shuffling it over to Shared Health, the organization that co-ordinates health care in Manitoba, last October.In December 2018, the doctors who work for the air ambulance service threatened to stop working on private medevac planes if the province didn't hire more pilots and fund annually required training for pilots, citing safety concerns.The move came after the province signalled the possibility of privatizing the service.30 incidents, including 7 deathsThe critical incident report, released quarterly by the province, details serious health-care events reported to Manitoba Health. It provides short descriptions of each event, but does not provide identifying factors or specific locations."While we can provide general information on recommendations that have come from critical incidents, we are unable to provide information about specific incidents (including recommendations)," a provincial spokesperson said.The two-page Oct. 1 to Dec. 31, 2018, report lists 30 such incidents. Of those, seven resulted in death.The report also lists a patient who fractured a hip after being pushed onto the floor by another patient as a major incident and not a death — although the patient died two days later.The report also refers to an incident where a patient died after a STARS air ambulance arrived late and without a doctor.The patient initially arrived at the emergency room with chest pain and had a heart attack, but was resuscitated. A transfer via a STARS air ambulance was needed, but the ambulance arrived almost two hours late without a physician on board, the report says.Staff were initially unable to intubate the patient, and later made the decision to transport the person by ground, but the patient was dead on arrival at the destination, the report says.Choking, misdiagnoses, overdoseThe report says another patient, who was supposed to be supervised during mealtimes, choked to death while eating unsupervised. The report says the need to supervise the patient "was not consistently communicated to the entire care team."The report also details misdiagnoses, including a patient who received an invasive procedure that was not indicated for their condition.Another didn't get expert consultation for a skin condition that turned out to be misdiagnosed, resulting in a delay in appropriate treatment.A patient who was assessed for an acute condition and sent home later died after "the opportunity to immediately consult expert medical services to assess the patient's risk was not realized," the report says.The report also details falls that led to serious injuries, and a miscalculation that led to a medication overdose, requiring the patient to be resuscitated.