Toronto police say they have identified a person of interest in the high-profile 2017 homicides of a billionaire philanthropist couple.However, the force says no arrest has been made related to the murders of Barry and Honey Sherman.The founder of generic pharmaceutical company Apotex and his wife were killed inside their Toronto mansion in December 2017.Autopsy results revealed the couple died by "ligature neck compression" and police have said there were no signs of forced entry. The killings shocked the city and made international headlines.The family offered up to $10 million for information that would help solve the case, and hired its own team of private investigators.This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 26, 2020.The Canadian Press
Few students have been in class in Deer Lake this week, as anxiety levels remain high over COVID-19 despite public health officials and the premier urging parents to stay calm.Elwood Elementary closed Monday and Tuesday after a student tested positive for COVID-19, the first case in Newfoundland and Labrador's school system. But barely anyone showed up to the two other schools in the town that remained open on those days.Only 10 of about 280 students at Xavier Junior High showed up for class on Tuesday, and only 10 out of 230 attended Elwood Regional High School the same day.Xavier Junior High student Kara Pinksen, 11 was among those who stayed home the first two days of the week. Pinksen said there were only four other students in her class on Wednesday, instead of the usual 24."It was really stressful because I didn't know what to think of it," Pinksen told CBC News on Wednesday, after finishing school for the day."I think everything is going well, and we're still having classes as normal."She said she has to be extra cautious now that COVID-19 is close to home, adding she knows two people in her community — a friend and the mother of the friend — who tested positive and are currently isolating."I feel like some people are a bit more cautious and are super careful. Some people are quarantined again and self-isolating to make sure that they didn't catch it. Then there's some other people that don't think much of it and they have to make sure they still wear their mask and everything," she said. "I have a feeling that it's all going to be fine, but I know that we still have to be careful and everything."On Wednesday, Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Janice Fitzgerald said everybody in the affected cohort from Elwood Elementary has been tested and there have been no other positive cases found in that group. The school reopened Wednesday, with the one class affected remaining at home with virtual learning in place.'Take a deep breath'In the face of increased absenteeism, Premier Andrew Furey —who is also the MHA for district that includes Deer Lake — asked parents to remain calm, saying COVID-19 protocols in place for schools have proven to have worked over the last few days. "I think that people should be reassured that isolating cohorts within schools work, and it will allow a continued, orderly, calm approach to education and life with COVID-19," Furey said during Wednesday's COVID-19 briefing. Furey said he, too, would feel the same anxiety as the parents who are trying to navigate COVID-19 clusters in their communities while preparing their kids for school. Furey, who has three school-aged children, wants parents to take comfort in public health's protocols keeping people safe and being the "envy" of the rest of the country."They have the results to prove it," said Furey."Just be calm and public health officials will be in contact with you if they need to. If you don't hear from them then your contacts didn't need to be traced. But, if you're fearful, and you feel like your child is developing symptoms, always reach out to 811 to seek advice."Elsewhere in the province parents are also choosing to keep their kids home from school.At Fatima Academy in St. Bride's, a spokesperson from the Newfoundland and Labrador English School District confirmed there was "low" attendance on Wednesday but didn't provide specifics "due to the size of the school."Furey said he couldn't speak to specific families, but again reiterated COVID-19 protocols in schools have been working. "I think people not sending their children to school, they should pause and take a deep breath, and I understand their anxieties, but they should have every confidence in Dr. Fitzgerald and her public health team that have proven, that have earned their stripes, that they implemented these protocols with the safety of children as the number on priority," he said. Schools prepared for virtual learningNLESD CEO Tony Stack echoed the premier's comments.Stack told CBC News the NLESD has had great communication with public health and continues to follow the advice provided to them. Stack said Dr. Fitzgerald told the NLESD there would be "bumps in the road along the way" but the school district is confident with where things stand that it isn't necessary to alter school operations.Schools are ready to move to online learning if necessary, Stack said, and the affected class at Elwood Elementary has already shifted to virtual learning. "We get stronger and stronger every day in preparation. Our schools are prepared to pivot. We've practiced this, we've got professional learning behind it," he said. Stack said Chromebooks are beginning roll out to students. The laptops were ordered ahead of the start of the new school year in case classes shift online for students in Grade 7 to Grade 12. He said the school district is hopeful the laptops will be distributed before the Christmas break.Read more articles from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador
After announcing 349 new cases Wednesday, the province’s chief public health officer said there have been reports of Manitobans travelling out of province to shop. "It’s disappointing to hear about people driving outside the province to do non-essential shopping. We’ve heard reports of driving to Yorkton (Sask.) or to Kenora (Ont.) to do some shopping," said Dr. Brent Roussin, after which he sighed heavily. "Again, our messaging has been really clear. and the reasoning behind our messaging is really clear. There’s a purpose beyond all these orders — it’s to save Manitobans’ lives. Going around those orders puts Manitobans at risk." He strongly advises the public against travel for non-essential reasons. Meanwhile, according to a CTV news story, such shopping expeditions are welcome. A headline from Nov. 24 reads: "Out-of-province shoppers welcome in Yorkton following increased Manitoba COVID-19 restrictions." Yorkton’s mayor, Mitch Hippsley, said the community of 18,000 is very lucky to have shoppers come to town. "We just hope that they will follow the code of health law as in social distancing and masks and hand sanitizing and that goes without saying," Hippsley is quoted as saying. Further, according to the CTV story, some business owners in Yorkton are not worried about the potential influx of out-of-province shoppers Manitoba’s restrictions may bring. The Yorkton Business Improvement District (YBID) even echoed the city on its stance by encouraging Manitoba residents to shop local and follow health guidelines. But Roussin repeated, as he does every day, that Manitobans are advised to stay home. "Right now, non-essential travel … we’re advising strongly against it. We advise people to stay home. We have limits on essential items. We need to ensure Manitobans have access to essential items. But we don’t want in-person, non-essential shopping." Roussin said there are options besides travelling out of province: online shopping and curbside pickup. "But right now, we need to stay home as much as possible, which means not going out for non-essential reasons. Not travelling for non-essential reasons," he said. "It’s really important to get this message, we have 303 people in hospital, 50 of which are in intensive care. We’re asking people not to travel unnecessarily." He said, again, the purpose is to save lives. Similarly, Roussin said that, where possible, people should work from home. "If that’s not possible, then take every step possible to reduce the risk of transmission in your employment setting — decreased crowding, wear masks, hand hygiene, ensure people are screening every day for symptoms," he said. "Employers should also be looking at ways to assist their employees who need to stay home when they’re sick, or a person they care for is home sick, or when those individuals are required to self-isolate." Roussin said public health continues to hear reports of cases and contacts being told they need to get to work or their job is at risk. "I certainly don’t understand why an employer wants somebody who’s infectious for COVID at the workplace, or somebody who’s high risk of becoming infectious, such as a contact. You need to work with your employees to find ways to allow people to self-isolate when they’ve been directed to," he said. Finally, Roussin sent the message people need to stop getting angry at public health nurses on the phone. "We’re hearing reports from public health, contact tracers, public health nurses, of very angry people on the other end of the telephone line when they’re advising them that they’re contacts and/or cases and need to self-isolate," he said. "They are more angry when we delve into what self-isolation means." He reminded Manitobans that the purpose of self-isolation is one of the biggest tools at hand to limit the spread of COVID-19. "It’s the most important tool we have, outside of the public health restrictions. If we want to be able to get these restrictions lifted, we have to have very active case finding and isolation and contact finding and isolation. Without that, it’s going to be very difficult to lift the restricted." Roussin asked Manitobans to be respectful.Michèle LeTourneau, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Brandon Sun
SHEET HARBOUR – As president of the Sheet Harbour Heritage Society, Wendy MacKenzie, possesses a natural curiosity and a love for treasured artifacts. Give her a mystery and she gets to work. At MacPhee House Museum, MacKenzie was presented with a small Yardley soap box and the treasures inside, dated 1945, incited her curiosity as to who the rightful owner of the objects may be. She was surprised to discover they were descendants of Joseph Howe, the renown Nova Scotian journalist and premier for the colony of Nova Scotia from 1860 to1863. The first item inside was a smaller box containing a WWII King George VI war medal presented to citizens of the British and Canadian Commonwealth who served full time in the Armed Forces and Merchant Navy 1939-1945. The medal had a ribbon attached in the colours of the Union Jack and the note included read Carl A. Crowell. The second item, loose in the larger box, was a mosaic broach. Folded beside the broach was a handwritten note – “Mosaic broach given to Lillian Crowell by her mother’s cousin - Dorothy Howe Wilson, Weymouth, England in 1945.” There was an antique appraisal for $65 – which MacKenzie surmised may have been for insurance purposes. The investigator got to work by googling Carl A. Crowell and then looking for him under Nova Scotia historical vital statistics, but found nothing. She turned her attention to Lillian Crowell and when finding her obituary Mackenzie says, “…she was my link and was listed as Alice Lillian Crowell – who went by Lillian.” Lillian, MacKenzie discovered, was the daughter of Elizabeth Howe and great-great-great-granddaughter of Joseph Howe. This extraordinary lineage made the find even more interesting and intriguing for the president of the heritage society. The connection with Howe … “made me even more curious and determined to return the items to who I felt were the proper owners.” Through Lillian’s obituary, MacKenzie found Carl’s middle initial should have been an ‘E’ for Ensley – not Ainsley as written in the note with the medal. The medal owner was Carl Ensley McLaughlin Crowell. His parents, Ensley and Sara (who was from Scotland), had met in London during WWI and after the war they married and returned to his hometown of Ellershouse, Nova Scotia. Carl served during the Second World War and earned the medal. “Lillian’s obituary stated she was survived by a brother, Lloyd. I Googled his name and got a phone number. I called and left a message about the broach and the medal and mentioned Carl Crowell and Lillian Crowell and asked if Lloyd was related. An hour and a half later Lloyd’s wife, Pat, returned my call,” MacKenzie says. “I knew I had them then! Pat explained that Lloyd was Lillian’s only surviving sibling out of eight children.” MacKenzie related the story of the mosaic broach and the note and offered it to Lloyd and Pat as she felt they were the rightful owners. “They were grateful to accept it. I asked them if they knew of Lillian and Carl’s children as I’d like to return Carl’s medal.” Pat momentarily left the phone and returned with a civic address for Earl Crowell – Lillian and Carl’s son. “He lives on the 224,” Pat said. Mackenzie, taken aback, replied that she too lived on the 224. As Pat had provided the address, MacKenzie visited Earl Crowell – his father’s war medal in hand. “Earl was both pleased and astounded to see the medal and broach,” MacKenzie said. “During our conversation I told him I had found the Howe connection and he said to me, ‘Oh, yes, I am the great-great-great-great grandson of Joseph Howe.’ “He offered the medal to our Sheet Harbour Heritage Museum but together we decided it was more appropriate to donate it to the legion in Windsor where Carl E. Crowell and his wife, Lillian, had lived in nearby Ellershouse,” MacKenzie said. “I contacted Carrie, the manager of the Hantz County Branch 9 Windsor Legion and Earl and I offered it to them for display.” The legion was pleased to accept this piece of history connected to one of their veterans. The next day the medal was sent for permanent public display and the mosaic broach was sent by courier to the descendants of the original owners. Pieces of history are written by those who take the time to ask the questions and find and record the answers. Janice Christie, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Guysborough Journal
If the novel coronavirus was going to affect an industry in 2020, horse racing was a strong contender. Though it's a major money-maker in the province, generating $2.3 billion of Ontario's GDP, in the past it relied on people having a little extra money to spend, and coming together en masse on race day to place bets. At the beginning of the summer race season, things didn't look good, admits Lakeshore Mayor Tom Bain, who is on the executive of the horse racing association.But once the Lakeshore Horse Racing Association was allowed to have 100 people in the grandstand in Leamington, wagering ended up being as strong as ever."Certainly we were pleased with the comeback that we had and we were able to end up having a very positive season," said Bain. According to Bain, on any given Sunday this summer, the average total wagered was around $24,000. Key to that was online betting. "This year we did do all the simulcast wagering and we got out to a vast market. So maybe next year, hand in hand we'll bet yet again higher than ever," said Mark Williams, president of the association.Williams said people from as far away as Nova Scotia were betting on races in Leamington.This year's season went from early August to the end of October. The association is asking Ontario Racing to add two more race dates next year, but Williams is not optimistic that will happen. Meanwhile, those who depend on the local horse racing industry for their livelihoods are betting on a good year next year. Waverly Livingston is a stable hand at Woodslee Farms where she takes care of race horses and horses who are retired. She says without the local industry she would lose her job."I would have a very hard time finding another job, and there are only so many other farms ... in the area that take people," said Livingston.She is one of three employed at the stables owned by Don and Anita Leschied. Leschied says he spends between $500 and $1,000 a week keeping his horses."One of my first part time young ladies is now a veterinary technician who stayed in Essex County," said Leschied. "We are the second or third largest agricultural industry of the entire agricultural component in the province of Ontario," said Leschied.Leschied adds that the horse racing industry in Essex County, Chatham-Kent and Lambton county employs 10,000 people. More than 45,000 Ontarians owe their permanent jobs to the horse racing and breeding industry, according to research paid for by Ontario Racing.
Katrina Long knows the pain of losing a loved one to opioids. Her 54-year-old mother, Josephine Mavis Isaac, died from a fentanyl overdose."I hold a lot of grief and guilt about my mom's passing," Long said, fighting off tears."I think I could have done more if I had done something differently."Long said her mother dealt with an alcohol addiction for years, but that escalated to harder drugs after her mom started dating a new man.Long said her mom broke her arm about three years ago and tried her boyfriend's prescription pain medication. She then became addicted to hydromorphone — an opioid used to treat severe pain — and eventually became an intravenous drug user.Long, who has two young kids, said things quickly went downhill after that, especially when the pandemic started.She said her mom ended up getting a total of $6,000 in COVID-19 financial assistance that she didn't qualify for and it basically went to drugs.She died from an overdose within three months.Hope instantly ripped awayLong said she deals with anxiety, which was magnified by her mom's addiction and overdose."I think the hardest thing, when you're dealing with somebody who is dealing with addiction, is that in the back of your mind you always have hope that they'll get better. So, when they pass, that hope is instantly ripped away," she said. Long said dealing with the aftermath has also taken a toll on her and her family."We weren't able to be with [mom] because of COVID, so I wanted to go to the hospital because she was being taken for an autopsy — but we weren't able to see her," she said.It ended up taking about two weeks until she could see her mom, because of pandemic restrictions."The biggest challenge, and what we were scared of, was that we weren't going to be able to say goodbye like we had wanted to," she said.Then there was the daunting task of planning an unexpected funeral during a pandemic, along with going through her mom's house — the place where she died.Long said she had help from her sisters and aunt, but there are many people who aren't as fortunate."We're really lucky that we have each other as a support system because without them it would be definitely really hard, she said.4 suspected overdose deaths in 1 dayFour men — all in their thirties — died from suspected drug overdoses in Regina on Monday.They were all found in different places at different times. Investigators don't think they're connected, police say, aside from fentanyl being believed to be involved in each case."My heart breaks for the families because I know what they're going to be going through," said Long."They're most likely going to feel that they were cheated on their goodbye to their loved ones." The names of the men have not been made public, but Long has a message to their families, along with every other family who has lost a loved one to an overdose."Stick close with your family, get help, go talk to somebody if you need to talk to somebody, because all of the emotions that are going to come up can be a lot for somebody to handle," she said."Don't be scared to ask for help and don't do everything by yourself. Reach out to the people [who] are offering to help because they're going to be your biggest supporters."Long also has advice for people with loved ones who are struggling with addiction."Reach out to them, try to help them, talk to them as much as you can," she said."It has to be the person who wants to make the change, but you can always make sure they know that you love them and just be as supportive as you can."Overdoses more than quadruple in 2020There have been 93 apparent drug overdose deaths in Regina this year — 16 of which happened in November — compared to 21 in all of 2019."I think the numbers obviously reflect that the province has a problem and that the resources that are available aren't enough," said Long.She said she wants to see more supervised consumption sites in the province. The only one is currently in Saskatoon, but it does not receive government funding.Long said she also wants to see a restructuring of provincial rehab facilities and detox programs.She said her mom went to detox and rehab on several occasions, but the treatment never stuck. Long said there was almost always a wait time to get her mom help."When an addict is ready for help, they need help now," she said."They don't need help in 48 hours, or a week, because by that time they most likely went back to using because detoxing is scary."She also wants more compassion not just from the government, but from the community as well."My mom wasn't just a statistic. She was a person and she had tons of people that loved her," she said, noting that a lot of people with addictions are struggling with mental illness or trauma."People just need to be more understanding of people's circumstances and addiction can happen to anybody. It could be your son or daughter, mom or dad, who are dealing with this and try to put yourself in the family's shoes."Province says it is 'taking action'In an emailed statement, the province said it's "taking action to address opioid-related overdoses and deaths."The budget announced in June includes about $1.55 million to establish a new crystal meth treatment facility in Estevan, although the centre may treat people for other addictions as well, according to the statement.The province is also spending more than $1.7 million to fund 28 new detox beds in Regina, Saskatoon, Moose Jaw, Prince Albert, North Battleford and "other potential locations."More than $800,000 is going toward hiring addiction workers in Regina, Saskatoon and Prince Albert.The province has also implemented programs aimed at helping people with addictions, like Take Home Naloxone —which has already distributed more than 5,400 kits so far the year, the statement says — along with Rapid Access Addictions Medicine program, Mental Health and Addiction Services and HealthLine 811.
Reaction from various sectors to Saskatchewan's newly announced COVID-19 restrictions ranges from disappointment to criticism of "half measures" to a grudging acknowledgment that something had to be done.The latest measures to fight the spread of the coronavirus, which were announced Wednesday and come into effect Friday, include suspending sports competitions, further limiting gatherings at restaurants and in places of worship, discouraging gatherings beyond immediate households and encouraging mask use for younger children.The new provincial rules suspend "all team/group sports, activities, games, competitions, recitals, practices, etc. … including amateur and recreational leagues for all groups."Kelly McClintock, general manager of the Saskatchewan Hockey Association, said the government advised athletics organizations in the province to re-examine their return-to-play guidelines starting last week, so the decision to suspend all games came as a surprise."We assumed that there would be some more restrictive guidelines put in place this week," he said. "We didn't assume that we'd be shut down completely.… It's disappointing."The new measures do say that athletes under the age of 18 can continue to practise, as long as they're masked, physically distanced, and in a group no larger than eight.McClintock says that will be difficult to actually do under the new regulations."Most teams are anywhere from 12 to 20 players … so I'm not sure how many people will actually take advantage of that from a team perspective," he said. Bob Reindl, executive director of Saskatchewan Athletics, said young track and field athletes will face similar challenges. "Right now in Saskatoon they only have an hour to practise anyways," he said. "So you can only have eight people, and it usually takes an hour for 30 kids to go through. It's going to be difficult."Despite those challenges, Reindl said suspending sports was simply the right thing to do. "It had to be done," he said. "There's no doubt about it. The numbers are high, the government had to do something, and we knew it was coming. Both Alberta and Manitoba already shut down sports in their provinces."Until team sports resume, McClintock is worried about how children will cope with one less outlet to keep fit and spend time with friends. There are over 20,000 minor hockey athletes alone in the province, he said."Kids need the activity from a mental health perspective and a physical health perspective," he said. "Now, that's going to be cut down, and that's the disappointing part." 'Have to be some education' on masks: daycareWednesday's new measures also extend mandatory, non-medical masking to all students, employees and visitors in schools and daycares. Children under three are exempt, but those between the ages of three and 12 should wear a mask if they are able to, the new rules say.Nancy Lautner, executive director of Tykes and Tots Early Learning Centre in Saskatoon, says the guideline threads the needle between keeping kids healthy and not setting a bar that would be impossible for them to meet. "I do appreciate that the province worded the masking policy for the young children the way they did, in terms of saying very young children should wear a mask if they are able to," she said."Some of our three to five year olds are certainly capable of wearing a mask and they won't have an issue with it, but some are not. So I appreciate that they've left that leniency." At Tykes and Tots, students in the before- and after-school programs have already been wearing masks, as have staff members.Now, it will be a matter of educating the younger children on how to mask up — but early childhood educators are experts on teaching hygiene to kids."There will certainly have to be some education that staff will have to do, in the same way that they educate about washing your hands and sneezing into your elbow and things like that," said Lautner. 'Each business is in limbo'Restaurants and licensed establishments such as bars and nightclubs will now have to limit their seating to four people per table, and will also have to maintain a record of all their guests.Shawn Moen, a co-founder of 9 Mile Legacy Brewing in Saskatoon, says the limited financial support in the face of increasing public health restrictions have posed a challenge to his business. "Traffic has slowed significantly," he wrote on Twitter. "We are allowed to stay open (and I'm grateful for the operational flexibility) but our customers are being told to stay home. The result has been a slowdown."And he says programs like the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) and Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy (CERS), which are intended to help businesses cover wages and rent, are insufficient."Many public-facing businesses won't have sufficient support from these programs, don't have experiences and products that are portable and will be faced with voluntarily closing due to lack of business or safety concerns," he said. If businesses are forced to shut down by a qualifying public health order, they qualify for additional support through CERS. But for now, in Saskatchewan, restaurants and bars are allowed to stay open. "Each business is in limbo right now [and] they are being asked to close pre-emptively and risk ineligibility for supports or stay open and keep bleeding financially," said Moen. Nurses union 'utterly disappointed'In a statement released on Twitter Wednesday afternoon, the Saskatchewan Union of Nurses criticized the new COVID restrictions for not going far enough, saying its membership is "utterly disappointed" with "half measures."SUN says the limited measures, as opposed to a full "circuit-breaker" lockdown, are not enough to contain the virus and will lead to greater economic disruption and loss of life in the week ahead.
BANGKOK — Thailand said Thursday it transferred three Iranians involved in a botched 2012 bomb plot back to Tehran, as Iran released an Australian academic who was imprisoned for more than two years on spying charges. While Thai officials declined to call it a swap and Iran referred to the men as “economic activists,” the arrangement freed academic Kylie Moore-Gilbert and saw the three men linked to a wider bomb plot targeting Israeli diplomats return home to a hero's welcome. The bombers wore Iranian flags draped over their shoulders, their faces largely obscured by black baseball caps and surgical masks. It was a sharp contrast to other prisoner exchanges Iran has trumpeted in the past, in which television anchors repeatedly said their names and broadcasters aired images of them reuniting with their families. The reason for Iran's refusal to name those freed remains unclear. However, Tehran has long denied being behind the bomb plot and likely hopes to leverage the incoming administration of U.S. President-elect Joe Biden to ease American sanctions imposed by President Donald Trump. Israeli officials declined to immediately comment on the release. In Australia, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said he was “thrilled and relieved” that Moore-Gilbert, 33, had been released but added that it would take time for her to process her “horrible” ordeal. “The tone of her voice was very uplifting, particularly given what she has been through,” Morrison told Australia’s Network Nine. Chatchom Akapin, Thailand’s deputy attorney general, told The Associated Press that Thai authorities had approved the transfer of the prisoners under an agreement with Iran. “These types of transfers aren’t unusual,” he said. “We transfer prisoners to other countries and at the same time receive Thais back under this type of agreement all the time.” A Thai Corrections Department official, who spoke on condition of anonymity as no approval had been granted to speak publicly on the issue with journalists, said only two of the Iranians were sent home Wednesday under the prison transfer agreement, while one received a pardon in September. Under transfer agreements, returnees are supposed to serve the remainder of their sentences in their home country. Thailand has such agreements with about three dozen countries. However, Iranian state television video of the men's arrival suggested that a return to prison seemed unlikely as officials showered them with flowers and offered shouted praise to God and the Prophet Muhammad. The plane that carried the men from Bangkok to Iran had a tail number linking it to an Australian private air carrier called Skytraders, which describes itself as a “principal provider of air services to government.” An employee at the company declined to comment when reached by the AP. The plane had flown twice this week from Bangkok to Tehran, and then on to Doha, Qatar, flight data obtained by the AP showed. Authorities declined to say where Moore-Gilbert was Thursday, though she thanked Australia’s government and diplomats in a statement for securing her release, as well as supporters who campaigned for her freedom. Despite her ordeal, Moore-Gilbert said she had “nothing but respect, love and admiration for the great nation of Iran and its warm-hearted, generous and brave people.” Asked about the swap, Australia's prime minister said he “wouldn’t go into those details, confirm them one way or the other.” However, Morrison said he could assure Australians there had been nothing done to prejudice their safety and no prisoners were released in Australia. Thai police discovered the three Iranians' plot in 2012 when an accidental explosion blew apart their rented Bangkok villa. At the time, Iran was suspected in two bombing attempts in India and the former Soviet republic of Georgia targeting Israeli diplomats amid heightened tensions over its nuclear program. Its own nuclear scientists, meanwhile, had been killed in attacks long suspected to have been carried out by Israel. Police say one of the Iranians, Saeid Moradi, threw a grenade at officers that bounced backed and exploded, shearing away his legs. Moradi was sentenced to life for attempting to murder a police officer. Another man, Mohammad Kharzei, received a 15-year sentence for possessing explosives. The sentence of the third man, Masoud Sedaghatzadeh, wasn't immediately known. Kharzei was the Iranian who was said to have been pardoned this past September, the Thai corrections official said. Their release along with Moore-Gilbert's represents another case in which Iran held a Westerner on widely criticized espionage charges. Activists and U.N. investigators believe Iran systematically leverages their imprisonment for money or influence in negotiations with the West. Tehran denies it, though there have been similar exchanges in the past. Moore-Gilbert was a Melbourne University lecturer on Middle Eastern studies when she was picked up at the Tehran airport as she tried to leave the country after attending an academic conference in 2018. She was sent to Tehran’s notorious Evin prison, convicted of spying and sentenced to 10 years. She vehemently denied the charges and maintained her innocence. Moore-Gilbert wrote in letters to Morrison that she had been imprisoned “to extort” the Australian government. Her detention had strained relations between Iran and the West at a time of already escalating tensions, which reached a fever pitch earlier this year following the American killing of a top Iranian general in Baghdad and retaliatory Iranian strikes on a U.S. military base. International pressure had been building on Iran to release Moore-Gilbert. She had gone on repeated hunger strikes and her health had deteriorated during long stretches in solitary confinement. She also alleged Iran subjected her to “grievous violations” of her rights, including psychological torture. ___ Perry reported from Wellington, New Zealand. Associated Press writers Isabel DeBre and Jon Gambrell in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, and Amir Vahdat in Tehran, Iran, contributed to this report. Tassanee Vejpongsa And Nick Perry, The Associated Press
Glen Quann, a 60-year-old London man, is dead following a collision on Highway 401 earlier this week, the Ontario Provincial Police said in a news release. The crash, which occurred around 11 a.m. Monday, took place after Quann's vehicle and another collided in the eastbound lanes of Highway 401, east of County Road 42. The passenger in Quann's vehicle was brought to hospital with life-threatening injuries. The driver and passenger of the other vehicle were not injured. At the time, police closed the eastbound lanes of Highway 401 at County Road 42 for several hours to complete an investigation. An investigation is still ongoing and police ask that anyone with information to contact the Ontario Provincial Police at 1-888-310-1122 or the Chatham-Kent detachment at (519) 352-1122. More from CBC Windsor
ST. MARY’S – The Municipality of the District of St. Mary’s’ newest councillors have asked staff to explore making pension plans available to elected officials. The move would be a first for St. Mary’s, where councillors have been responsible for looking after their own retirement savings. But, said district one Councillor Courtney Mailman, “It’s kind of nice to be breaking new ground.” Mailman, district two Councillor Charlene Zinck and district three/five councillor, Warden Greg Wier – all newcomers to council – spearheaded the notion at the committee of the whole meeting on Nov. 18. “Because myself, Warden Wier and Councillor Zinck are all under retirement age and we all have full-time jobs, we wanted to look at the possibility of investing back into a retirement plan,” Mailman said. “Warden Wier had mentioned it to me and I expressed an interest, and he had mentioned it to Councillor Zinck and she expressed an interest, and then the other councillors were on board with looking into it.” Still, she added, “the sole responsibility for this would fall on us. We are not expecting, you know, a 50/50 split or a matching from the municipality. This is just something that we thought we would look into. We may all go ahead, or one of us may, but it would set a precedent for the future, for full-time working councillors to have that option.” Chief Administrative Officer Marvin MacDonald confirmed that staff are now working on the initiative. “We just got direction to go ahead and pursue it,” he said. “It [a pension plan] would just be through a bank. It would basically be an RRSP kind of thing.” It’s not clear what, if any, management costs the municipality might incur as a result of such a scheme. Currently, the Municipal Government Act in Nova Scotia does not require elected representatives to “buy in” to the one or more types of pension plans that are mandatory for, and administered on behalf of, town and city staff. In St. Mary’s, councillors, the warden and deputy warden don’t receive salaries, per se, but active “remunerations” set in each year’s operating budget. In the fiscal year ending March 31, 2021, each St. Mary’s councillor will earn $13,043; the warden, an additional $8,300; and the deputy warden, a further $5,929. Regarding any future pensions, Mailman said, “It would be taken off our income as councillors and then just go out into some form of investment for us to have down the road.” Before that, MacDonald said, “We’re going to get somebody in to talk to us about it. The councillors can ask questions directly then.”Alec Bruce, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Guysborough Journal
A police officer overseeing enforcement at the Vancouver airport testified in court on Thursday that he had concerns about a plan by Canadian federal police to arrest Huawei Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou on the plane she arrived on two years ago. Meng's nearly three-hour interrogation by Canadian border agents prior to her December 2018 arrest by Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) on a U.S. warrant has become a flash point in her ongoing extradition hearing.
SHERBROOKE – Historic Sherbrooke Village has asked municipal council for a letter supporting its application to the federal Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA) for a grant that could be worth as much as $1 million. The money would be used to kickstart the Rural Institute for Cultural Heritage and Environmental Sustainability (RICHES), a program designed to expand cultural tourism and stimulate community economic development in the area. Earlier this year, the living museum received nearly $1 million from the provincial department of Culture and Heritage both to repair many of its historic buildings and leverage matching funds from ACOA under an existing economic development formula. Sherbrooke Village’s Executive Director Stephen Flemming was not available for comment, but Marvin MacDonald, Chief Administrative Officer of the Municipality of the District of St. Mary’s, confirmed the museum head issued the request during a presentation to the committee of the whole meeting (COTW) on Nov. 18. “His ask to council was just a letter,” he said. “There was no specific funding request [that] night.” In an interview earlier this month, the village’s Director of Visitor Experience Robin Anderson said the funding application, “has been put across the desk of ACOA for final review and recommendation. All indicators are that they are encouraged.” She added that the initiative will also require a municipal and/or private sector component. “Certainly, the top priority now is the development of some sort of fundraising committee,” she said. In other business, the COTW also heard from Whale Sanctuary Project (WSP) Executive Director Charles Vinick, who recently completed a two-week stint in self-isolation at a Halifax hotel after arriving from his California headquarters late last month. “His presentation was great,” MacDonald said. “It was just an opportunity for him to report on where the project is and address a few questions from council.” Vinick represents a multinational effort to relocate beluga whales – rescued from marine captivity across North America – at a special coastal refuge near Port Hilford. Over the past several months, the initiative has generated extensive international coverage and broad support within the local community. “They (WSP) are going to be moving into the permitting stage and there’s going to be some investigation into what permits are required and that type of thing,” MacDonald said. Alec Bruce, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Guysborough Journal
In Libya's frontline city of Sirte, parts of which still lie in ruins, the commission set up to oversee warring rivals' recent ceasefire has put its name on a large downtown conference centre - an outward sign of its commitment to peace. The rivals in a civil war that has left thousands dead and the country in chaos have yet to withdraw troops from frontline positions, open a major coastal road linking Sirte to Misrata and rid their ranks of foreign mercenaries.
Although the Italian government says it won't make a COVID-19 vaccine compulsory - there is growing hesitation among Italians over its safety.View on euronews
While Fairview Personal Care Home struggles with a COVID-19 outbreak, the executive director of Rotary Villas a few blocks away worries about the potential spread to the 94 people living under her care. "I was just informed by Prairie Mountain Health Home Care (Program) this afternoon that a number of their staff members are being seconded to Fairview," said Jody Kehler. Rotary Villas is an assisted living facility. Kehler, a licensed practical nurse, is the only health professional. Residents who require health care receive it from Prairie Mountain Health or a third-party nursing service. Kehler explained that, as she understands it, home care workers who help residents at Rotary Villas in the morning will potentially be helping out at Fairview in the afternoons. "The population of our residents at Rotary Villas … We do have increased age. We’ve got residents with chronic health conditions and multiple comorbidities. I just have a really big concern about health-care workers going from a COVID-positive site to Rotary Villas," she said. Kehler appreciates that Fairview needs help, but she believes the increased risk to the Rotary Villas could lead to an outbreak. "The consequences of COVID in our community would be very close to what Fairview is seeing right now. And we don’t have health-care staff on site. In order for us to deal with an outbreak here, we’re not trained health-care professionals — except for myself," she said. "I begged and pleaded with home care. I said, I understand Fairview needs help, right now. I get it. But if their health-care workers are seconded, can they not come here?" But Kehler said she was told the direction is coming from higher authorities, that the direction is "this needs to happen." "They also explained the health-care workers will be wearing universal PPE (personal protective equipment). But, we have a fragile population," she said, adding a number of residents at Rotary Villas have spouses at Fairview. "But we can’t take care of Fairview at the sake of increasing the risk of other vulnerable populations." Prairie Mountain Heath officials were not immediately available to answer questions. At the daily COVID-19 update Wednesday, Manitoba’s chief provincial public health officer, Dr. Brent Roussin, responded to a separate question regarding health-care workers going to multiple sites. "We know we have the one-site public health order to limit the amount of sites that a health-care worker can work at personal care homes. The order has always and continues to have an exemption for extreme times," Roussin said. "At many of these sites, there are extreme pressures on staffing. On some sites, we’ve provided an exemption to that. It doesn’t really allow someone to work in multiple sites, but is able to come to one site that is under those strains." Lanette Siragusa, provincial lead for health system integration and quality and chief nursing officer for Shared Health, also weighed in, saying the one-site model exists to prevent a person going to multiple sites. Lorraine Winters — whose mother, Simone Goulet, turned 94 earlier this year and resides on the first floor at Fairview — has similar concerns, though hers hit closer to home. The outbreak at the personal care home is contained, but for one case, to the fourth floor. But as The Brandon Sun reported yesterday, there are reports health-care workers work in both COVID-positive wards, as well as other wards without COVID, and are lacking adequate personal protective equipment. Prairie Mountain Health officials and union officials disagreed on what is taking place at Fairview. "I’m scared to death that it will spread to other floors," Winters said. "So far, it’s been contained, except for one case, apparently, is on another floor, but not on the first, yet. I have to say, though, that if there ever was an outbreak on the first floor, I would probably take her out of there for a period of time." But Winters said for now, she thinks her mother is OK. Communications with Fairview are good. Winters is kept informed, and if she has questions, staff are quick to get back to her. And she’s being assured that staff are following all safety protocols. "She’s being very, very, very well taken care of. She has no complaints ever. She says the staff is wonderful to her," said Winters. When all residents were tested, her mother’s results were negative. Winters speaks to her mother every day, often twice a day. Goulet is a very social person, so she’s a bit depressed currently, but is doing well overall. Siragusa said she hadn’t heard the differing perspectives regarding what’s taking place at Fairview. "We do have guidelines that are in place. We are working with the region, and Prairie Mountain Health has, I believe, good relationships with Fairview and has been supporting them," Siragusa said. "So we can look at that situation a little bit closer. We do know we have adequate PPE, so if that’s not there, that’s a solution that’s fairly easy to fix. The issue about cohorting can be challenging just depending on the physical layout, but certainly there are ways that we can do the best case possible. So I will follow up and talk to the leadership there and see if there’s opportunities where we can do better and, for sure, we want to make sure that our staff and the residents are protected."Michèle LeTourneau, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Brandon Sun
Air Canada has offered concessions related to its proposed acquisition of Canadian tour operator Transat to address EU antitrust concerns, a European Commission filing showed on Thursday. The Commission, which oversees competition policy in the 27-nation European Union, said the commitments had been submitted on Nov. 25. The Commission opened an investigation in May on concerns that the deal could push up prices and reduce choice for flights between Europe and Canada.
TORONTO — Torstar Corp. says it has sold digital advertising technology developed by its subsidiary, Eyereturn Marketing Inc., to Loblaw Companies Ltd.Financial terms of the agreement were not immediately available.Loblaw says the deal complements and strengthens Loblaw Media, its full-service digital marketing agency launched in 2019.The grocery and drug store retailer says the new technology and expertise will help Loblaw Media connect brands and consumers online through targeted ad campaigns and promotions. Loblaw says it will also will reduce the company's reliance on third-party media technology.Loblaw has more than 1,050 grocery stores and nearly 1,400 Shoppers Drug Mart and Pharmaprix locations.———Torstar holds an investment in The Canadian Press as part of a joint agreement with subsidiaries of the Globe and Mail and Montreal's La Presse. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 26, 2020.Companies in this story: (TSX:L)The Canadian Press
SHERBROOKE – If a good deal of politics is learning how to soothe savage breasts, then a background in music wouldn’t be the worst thing a budding municipal councillor could offer. Courtney Mailman, the new district one councillor in the Municipality of the District of St. Mary’s, says staff and colleagues could not have been more accommodating. “I have a lot to learn, but I’ve really enjoyed it so far. I’ve been doing some municipal training, and the councillors who were already there have been very helpful and willing to share their knowledge.” That’s a good thing for the music therapy graduate from Acadian University and current Recreation Director at High-Crest Sherbrooke nursing home. Otherwise, she might have had to pull out her guitar or roll in her piano. “I also sing,” she laughs. Mailman is one of four rookie councillors who were either acclaimed (as she, Greg Wier and James Fuller were) or elected (as Charlene Zinck was) into office in the October municipal election. Her reasons for throwing her hat into the ring are clear. “Being a municipal councillor is a new role for me and I am excited and eager to take on this new challenge,” she says. “My main priority is to get to know the people and businesses in my district, to hear their ideas and concerns and to represent them to the best of my ability. Integrity and transparency are important to me and I plan to work hard for my community. I look forward to partnering with other committees and agencies for the betterment of the Municipality of St. Mary’s.” She comes by these commitments honestly enough. Born in Halifax and raised in towns and communities across the province, the 37-year-old’s parents emphasized the importance of giving back. “My dad always told me not to complain about something if I’m not going to do anything about it,” she says. “He always said that if I wanted change, I should jump in and be a part of that.” To this end, perhaps, she’s worked for The Salvation Army as a community services liaison in Kentville, where a big part of her job was advocating for clients and building community partnerships. She also administered its food bank and Christmas hamper programs. “Plus, my family has fostered children since I was 15 and I had always been very involved and invested in the children who came to stay in our home,” she says. Sure, but why local politics now? Between her job and volunteering, her husband Kyle and their dog Tillie, it’s not as if she hasn’t enough to do. “Believe it or not, I wanted to take a more active role,” she says. “I want to be a voice for the people in my district, in the development of our community.” And in these fractured times just about everywhere, that might be music to many ears. Alec Bruce, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Guysborough Journal
Premier John Horgan has revealed a new slate of cabinet ministers who will lead B.C. through the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the economic fallout. The cabinet includes some new faces at the helm of major portfolios like finance and education, while some NDP party stalwarts will remain in charge of ministries like health."The pandemic has turned the lives of British Columbians upside down," Horgan said in a news release after Thursday's swearing-in ceremony. "We have come a long way together, but we have much further to go. This skilled, diverse team is ready to continue our fight against COVID-19 and build an economic recovery that includes everyone."The NDP are returning to power this fall with an unprecedented majority for the party, holding 57 of 87 seats in the legislature. The new executive council is gender-balanced, with an equal number of men and women in cabinet positions, and includes 20 ministers and four ministers of state.Perhaps the least surprising news out of Thursday's cabinet announcement was that Adrian Dix will stay on as health minister, after helping guide B.C.'s pandemic response from the beginning. Mike Farnworth is still public safety minister and solicitor general, Bruce Ralston remains as energy minister, and George Heyman stays on as minister of the environment. Selina Robinson is the new finance ministerDavid Eby will remain as attorney general, but he will also take on a new portfolio as housing minister, which was formerly paired with municipal affairs under Selina Robinson's watch.Robinson has moved on from that role in the new government, taking on the high-profile finance posting, as the province struggles to keep an even fiscal keel during the turmoil caused by the pandemic. She steps in where Carole James left off before retiring from politics this year."I have tremendous trust in her capacity," Horgan told reporters after the new cabinet was sworn in.Although James is no longer serving in politics, the premier revealed she will continue to serve as a personal adviser to him for a fee of $1 a year."I offered her five bucks for a five-year contract; she said 'I'll take it a year at a time,'" Horgan joked.Ravi Kahlon will also join B.C.'s effort to rebuild from the pandemic as the new minister for jobs and innovation, with an additional responsibility for economic recovery folded into his portfolio."We have had a cross-government approach to recovery since the beginning, but Ravi will be the point person," Horgan said.Rob Fleming is out as education minister, heading up transportation and infrastructure instead. Newbie Jennifer Whiteside is his replacement in the education portfolio.Horgan denied that Fleming was shifted out of education in response to conflict over reopening schools during the pandemic."[I'm] very proud of the work he's done, but I wanted to move him on to other things," Horgan said.Meanwhile, Sheila Malcolmson is taking on the tricky portfolio of mental health and addictions, following Judy Darcy's exit from provincial politics. Malcolmson enters her new role as drug overdoses are killing five British Columbians every day.Some of the other new faces include former Tofino mayor Josie Osborne, who becomes the minister of municipal affairs, and Mitzi Dean as minister of children and family development.Full cabinet for the new NDP governmentPremier: John HorganAttorney General (and Minister Responsible For Housing): David Eby * Parliamentary Secretary - Anti-Racism Initiatives: Rachna SinghAdvanced Education and Skills Training: Anne Kang * Parliamentary Secretary - Skills Training: Andrew MercierAgriculture, Food and Fisheries: Lana Popham * Parliamentary Secretary - Fisheries and Aquaculture: Fin DonnellyCitizens' Services: Lisa BeareChildren and Family Development: Mitzi Dean * Minister of State for Child Care: Katrina ChenEducation: Jennifer WhitesideEnergy, Mines and Low Carbon Innovation (and Minister Responsible for The Consular Corps of British Columbia): Bruce RalstonEnvironment and Climate Change Strategy (and Minister Responsible for Translink): George Heyman * Parliamentary Secretary - Environment: Kelly GreeneFinance: Selina Robinson * Parliamentary Secretary - Gender Equity: Grace LoreForests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development: Katrine Conroy * Minister of State for Lands, Natural Resource Operations: Nathan Cullen * Parliamentary Secretary - Rural Development: Roly RussellHealth (and Minister Responsible for Francophone Affairs): Adrian Dix * Parliamentary Secretary - Seniors Services & Long Term Care: Mable ElmoreIndigenous Relations and Reconciliation: Murray RankinJobs, Economic Recovery and Innovation: Ravi Kahlon * Minister of State for Trade: George Chow * Parliamentary Secretary - Technology & Innovation: Brenda BaileyLabour: Harry Bains * Parliamentary Secretary - New Economy: Adam WalkerMental Health and Addictions: Sheila MalcolmsonMunicipal Affairs: Josie OsbornePublic Safety and Solicitor General: Mike Farnworth * Parliamentary Secretary - Emergency Preparedness: Jennifer RiceSocial Development and Poverty Reduction: Nicholas Simons * Parliamentary Secretary - Community Development & Non-Profits: Niki Sharma * Parliamentary Secretary - Accessibility: Dan CoulterTourism, Arts, Culture and Sport: Melanie Mark * Parliamentary Secretary - Arts and Film: Bob D'EithTransportation and Infrastructure: Rob Fleming * Minister of State for Infrastructure: Bowinn Ma
Some gym and yoga studio owners in Newfoundland and Labrador have taken extra steps to keep people safe this week, knowing they could be among the first to close if the province moves back a level.Heather Murphy, owner of Islander Athletics, watched with approval Monday as Premier Andrew Furey withdrew the province from the Atlantic bubble.With cases on the rise in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, she decided to post a new rule for her gym in St. John's — anyone in contact with a person who has travelled within the Atlantic provinces is asked to stay away for two weeks."We've taken it an extra couple steps further and I know that's on us," Murphy said. "I've seen a lot of other studios doing the same kinds of things to really try and prevent a second closure from happening."Gyms and fitness studios were ordered closed in March, and remained shuttered for in-person sessions until late June.It was a devastating blow for many of the small gyms in the province, and Islander Athletics was no exception. They used the break to change locations, with hopes of reopening in a better place. What saved them was the family they'd built within their membership, she said.Murphy checked out all of Islander Athletics' equipment to the members and shifted to online classes. People went home with everything the gym owned. In exchange, she managed to keep much of the customer base throughout the downtime.Now, with small spikes in cases around the province, people like Heather Murphy are again watching the daily updates with anxious eyes.A pair of small towns are dealing with outbreaks, and as of Wednesday afternoon Newfoundland and Labrador had 25 active cases. The school district reopened an elementary school in Deer Lake on Wednesday, after a student tested positive earlier in the week.More than 30 kids in the child's class cohort tested negative.Moda Yoga owner Jill Holden said the actions business owners are taking to prevent the spread are not just about business — they're about doing the right thing."I think we all have a social responsibility to act from a place of kindness and compassion, but not just for ourselves," she said. "That's really what we're about in the yoga practice. We don't just act for ourselves, but for the greater good."Holden's studio has policies simliar to ones in place at Murphy's gym. They've tightened restrictions in recent days, after outbreaks in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick collapsed the Atlantic bubble.Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil announced Tuesday that all fitness and recreational facilities, libraries, museums and casinos would close for two weeks. Restaurants are open only for takeout.In Newfoundland and Labrador, Premier Andrew Furey says he wants to avoid that tangle."We don't want to have to close our businesses here. We want to protect the freedoms we've come to enjoy, while in line with public health measures of course. We want to avoid a full lockdown that we are seeing across the country," he said at Wednesday's briefing."We want to ensure that the local economies can continue to operate as much as possible."Measures put in place by the provincial and federal governments helped small businesses like gyms and fitness centres survive the last lockdown.Holden said she'll oblige any restrictions put in place but she doesn't want to have to rely on those subsidies again."It was difficult and thankfully we got through it," she said. "Having to go through it for a longer period of time again, I'm not sure that's really viable in the long run because these subsidies we've been taking advantage of have been really helping, but I know that won't last forever."Newfoundland and Labrador recorded only one new case on Wednesday, and both Holden and Murphy hope the spread is slowing and a second lockdown isn't in the cards."It's hopeful," Murphy said. "I'm optimistic we'll be able to avoid it."Read more from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador