Mud unleashed by a winter storm coursed down rustic Silverado Canyon in the Santa Ana Mountains of Southern California, filling the yards of homes and trapping some cars in hubcap-deep muck. (March 10)
Mud unleashed by a winter storm coursed down rustic Silverado Canyon in the Santa Ana Mountains of Southern California, filling the yards of homes and trapping some cars in hubcap-deep muck. (March 10)
The public school board in Windsor-Essex says it needs more time to prepare for the switch to online learning, and as a result, the return from spring break is being delayed by a day. In a media release on Wednesday, the Greater Essex County District School Board said instruction will resume on Tuesday, April 20. On Monday, when students were originally slated to return from the break, elementary and secondary school teachers will connect with their students to determine technical needs and access to resources. "They will also provide students with some work for the day they can complete, independently," the board said. If a student needs technology to participate in online learning, parents should contact the school, the board said. Schools are switching to online learning for the second time in recent months. Ontario Premier Doug Ford made the announcement on Monday, saying that the province is at a "critical point." "The situation is changing quickly, and we need to respond," he said. "Right now, I'm extremely concerned about the new variants." There are three schools in the region currently in outbreak, Centennial Central Public School, St. Peter Catholic School and St. John Vianney Catholic School. As of Tuesday more than 400 students and staff were isolating following potential COVID-19 exposures, according to public health.
Canada's Liberal government will deliver on its promise to spend big when it presents its first budget in two years next week amid a fast-rising third wave of COVID-19 infections and ahead of an election expected in coming months. Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland has pledged to do "whatever it takes" to support Canadians, and in November promised up to C$100 billion ($79.8 billion) in stimulus over three years to "jump-start" an economic recovery in what is likely to be a crucial year for her party. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's Liberals depend on the support of at least one opposition group to pass laws, and senior party members have said an election is likely within months as it seeks a clear majority and a free hand to legislate.
Nearly $17,000 in fines have been handed out by RCMP in Surrey, B.C., in the last week to a growing number of people who police say are ignoring COVID-19 health orders. RCMP said in a statement that most of the fines were issued over large gatherings, including a $2,300 fine for the host of a wedding where 22 people attended against the provincial health officer's orders. Sgt. Tyler Wickware, with Surrey RCMP's COVID-19 Compliance and Enforcement Team, says officers have seen the number of people and businesses ignoring the health orders "creeping up." Mounties say the majority of the fines announced Wednesday stem from large gatherings, with officers going to five separate homes between April 7 and April 11 to issue fines. Other fines went to a restaurant owner who violated dining-in restrictions and to a man who refused to wear a mask inside a business. Wickware says the sunny weather can make it very inviting to gather with others, but public health orders remain in place limiting those gatherings, even outdoors. Fort St. John church fined RCMP in Fort St. John, B.C., have slapped the leader of a Mennonite church in the Peace Region with a $2,300 fine following an investigation into reports of a large indoor Easter Sunday service gathering. In a statement Wednesday, RCMP said a local media outlet provided police with a video allegedly showing more than 150 people coming out of the Old Colony Mennonite Church in Prespatou, B.C., on April 4. The town is located about 75 kilometres north of Fort St. John. The video shows the church, its parking lot full of vehicles, with people exiting the building not wearing personal protective masks, the statement said. The pastor was issued a violation ticket totalling $2,300, for organizing a non-compliant event contrary to Section 4(1) of the Emergency Program Act, RCMP said.
NEW DELHI (Reuters) -Top intelligence officers from India and Pakistan held secret talks in Dubai in January in a new effort to calm military tension over the disputed Himalayan region of Kashmir, people with close knowledge of the matter told Reuters in Delhi. Ties between the nuclear-armed rivals have been on ice since a suicide bombing of an Indian military convoy in Kashmir in 2019 traced to Pakistan-based militants that led to India sending warplanes to Pakistan. Later that year, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi withdrew Indian-ruled Kashmir's autonomy in order to tighten his grip over the territory, provoking outrage in Pakistan and the downgrading of diplomatic ties and suspension of bilateral trade.
Alberta is to join three other provinces to explore the feasibility of small modular nuclear reactors as a clean energy option. Premier Jason Kenney will join Ontario Premier Doug Ford, Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe and New Brunswick Premier Blaine Higgs in signing a memorandum of understanding today related to exploring the feasibility of small-scale nuclear technology. The virtual signing ceremony for the agreement is set to take place Wednesday at 10 a.m. MT. In 2019, Ford, Moe and Higgs committed to collaborate on developing small modular reactor technology. The Alberta government announced in August that it would enter into the existing agreement. Alberta hopes to diversify energy sector At the time, Kenney said signing on to the memorandum of understanding would help diversify Alberta's energy sector and keep the province at the forefront of any future advancements in the technology. Kenney said the province hopes the nuclear technology will allow the government to provide power to remote communities, diversify the economy, create jobs and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Alberta says small modular reactors could supply non-emitting, low-cost energy for remote areas in the province as well as industries that need steam such as the oilsands. The units are smaller than traditional nuclear reactors with lower upfront capital costs and enhanced safety features. Traditional nuclear reactors used in Canada can typically generate about 800 megawatts of electricity, or about enough to power 600,000 homes at once (assuming one megawatt can power about 750 homes). The International Atomic Energy Agency, the UN organization for nuclear co-operation, considers a nuclear reactor to be small if it generates under 300 megawatts. The technology is also small enough that modules can be transported on a truck, ship or train, and has been touted by the federal government as safer than traditional nuclear reactors.
Max and Katie the Great Danes love corn on the cob, especially with lots of butter and salt. Their owner gives Max (who is deaf) the thumbs up sign, which means good boy!
As COVID-19 cases surge in Alberta, there are new concerns that testing delays could spark further spread of highly contagious variants of concern. Juliana Hagans has to wait almost a week to get her eight-year-old daughter tested for COVID-19 despite being deemed a close contact of a case in her Calgary elementary school. "As a parent, it's very concerning," she said. Hagans was notified in a letter from Alberta Health Services (AHS) on April 9 that her daughter was a close contact and was exposed in her classroom three days earlier. The letter states the exposure could be related to a variant of concern. According to Hagans, a second student has since tested positive and the parents of both children were notified that it was, indeed, a variant. But when she tried to book her daughter for a test through the AHS online booking portal, the earliest appointment was Thursday — nearly a week after the AHS notification and nine days after the potential exposure. "Are we doing the best we can is my biggest concern and question," she said. "Why is it that we're having to wait until Thursday when this variant of concern is supposedly such a big issue?" According to Alberta Health guidelines, when someone is deemed a close contact, that person must quarantine for 14 days, but their household members are not required to do so unless there is a positive test result. Hagans' two other children are still attending school, and she's worried either she or her husband could unknowingly spread the virus while they wait for the test. "There's just so many people that we come across … and that amount of time is concerning to me because if she is, in fact, positive, then the amount of people that would have been infected [during the wait] would be quite substantial." Hagans says her daughter recently developed symptoms, including a high fever, and she tried calling Health Link numerous times to move up the appointment, only to be repeatedly cut off due to high call volumes. And there are other Calgarians reporting similar delays. CBC was contacted by another individual who tried to book a test online Monday after developing a symptom but was unable to get an appointment until Friday. They were also unable to get through on Health Link. Dr. Craig Jenne is an associate professor of microbiology, immunology and infectious diseases at the University of Calgary.(Jennifer Lee/CBC) 'Time and speed are really critical' The delays are a concern for Dr. Craig Jenne, associate professor in the department of microbiology, immunology and infectious diseases at the University of Calgary. According to Jenne, the wait times elevate the risk in the community because there is no requirement for family members to isolate until the close contact (in this case, Hagans' daughter) tests positive. "Time and speed are really critical," he said. "We are looking at a period of time where people should be isolating because they've been exposed to the variant.… They're out in the community, potentially spreading the virus — and this is probably one of the driving forces as to why we see so many variant cases in Alberta currently." Jenne says demand for COVID-19 testing is rising because case numbers are growing, and a recent policy change means close contacts are now offered testing twice. "These delays make it very difficult to get ahead of the viral growth and make it also very difficult to understand exactly where and when this is spreading." AHS ramps up testing AHS says it isn't aware of any appointment delays. It says Albertans should receive test results within 24 to 36 hours once testing is completed. In a statement emailed to CBC News, a spokesperson said there are no known issues with Health Link at this time. AHS acknowledges the growing demand for testing and says appointments are being ramped up. "Over the last few weeks, AHS Calgary Zone has been testing approximately 4,500 symptomatic individuals a day across eight testing sites. Demand for testing has been increasing, and even more appointments are being made available this week. Between 200 and 300 appointments are being added each day," the email said. The number of daily COVID-19 tests in the province peaked at over 23,000 during the height of the second wave in December. While Alberta has not reached those heights since then, the numbers are climbing, hitting 15,738 daily tests on Wednesday, after a significant drop in February.
Sixteen new cases of COVID-19, affecting two health zones, were reported in New Brunswick on Wednesday. The majority of the new cases are in the Edmundston region, Zone 4, which has 107 of the province's 141 active cases. Eleven of the 14 cases reported in the Edmundston region are contacts of a previously confirmed case and three are under investigation. Three zones — the Campbellton, Bathurst and Miramichi regions — have no active cases. In a news release, Public Health said the 16 new cases break down in this way: Saint John region, Zone 2, two cases: an individual 50-59. This case is travel related. an individual 60-69. This case is a contact of a case. Edmundston region, Zone 4, 14 cases: three people 19 and under an individual 20 to 29 three people 40 to 49 two people 50 to 59 three people 60 to 69 two people 70 to 79 The number of confirmed cases in New Brunswick is 1,752. Since Tuesday, seven people have recovered for a total of 1,577 recoveries. There have been 33 deaths, and the number of active cases is 141. Nineteen patients are hospitalized, including 13 in an intensive care unit. A total of 270,515 tests have been conducted, including 1,259 since Tuesday's report. There are currently 141 active cases in the province.(CBC News) Public Health tweaks its COVID-19 dashboard Sharp-eyed New Brunswickers may have noticed that some information that was previously posted on the province's COVID-19 dashboard is no longer available. The dashboard, which provides data on COVID-19 cases, testing, vaccines and other related statistics, is a public site that is updated daily. Earlier this week, under its Vaccine Statistics tab, the "Doses administered this week" section was removed. On Wednesday, the "Number of doses received" section, referring to doses delivered to the province, was also removed. Asked about the changes on Wednesday, Public Health spokesperson Shawn Berry explained that the "doses administered this week" section was removed because the data "was sometimes lagging by several days." "Vaccines are being administered in hundreds of locations in the province and the 'administered this week' section is not an accurate reflection," Berry said in an email. "The total number of people vaccinated with at least one dose is still being reported." And while the "doses received" section was removed from the Vaccine Statistics tab, that data "continues to be provided on the Vaccine Timetable graphic," Berry said. The province tweaked its public COVID-19 dashboard this week, removing two sections under the Vaccine Statistics section. In one case, the data was "lagging" and in the other case, the data is provided in another section of the dashboard, Public Health said.(Government of New Brunswick) MLA calls for return of compassionate care exemptions Green MLA Megan Mitton is calling for the return of compassionate care exemptions between New Brunswick and Nova Scotia now that the reopening of the Atlantic bubble has been pushed back. Mitton, who represents the riding of Memramcook-Tantramar on the border with Nova Scotia, made the comments after the Atlantic premiers announced the return of the bubble would be delayed by two weeks. The bubble was supposed to open on April 19 but is now delayed until at least May 3. Mitton said that since January, the province hasn't allowed caregivers to cross the border without going into quarantine, and regardless of the bubble, the premiers should work together to allow crossing the border for compassionate care. "There are people [whose] caregiver may live 20 kilometres away in Amherst," said Mitton. "They live in Sackville and suddenly they lost that care. That was really important to them." Mitton said the province needs to figure out a way to reopen the Atlantic bubble, and keep it open, even with future outbreaks. "We know that that is likely to continue to happen in the future, so they need to have a plan, so that the bubble doesn't burst all the time," said Mitton. Green MLA Megan Mitton is calling for the return of compassionate care exemptions between New Brunswick and Nova Scotia as the reopening of the Atlantic bubble has been pushed back.(CBC News file photo) Mitton said the loss of the bubble has been tough on her constituents, many of whom are accustomed to travelling across the border regularly. "People's families have been impacted ... It's hard on people's day to day lives. So many people, you know, live near the Nova Scotia, New Brunswick border and many cross it daily." Mitton said she's still calling for better communication with residents about the rules and why they're in place. "The rules have changed constantly and it's been really hard on the people who live here and deal with it daily to figure out 'What am I supposed to be doing,'" said Mitton. "There needs to be better communication from government. I've been saying that for a year or so." More possible exposures Saint John region: March 29 and April 1, Guardian Drugs-Herring Cove Pharmacy (924 Rte. 774, Unit 2, Welshpool, Campobello Island) March 31, Service New Brunswick (73 Milltown Blvd., St. Stephen) March 31, Giant Tiger (210 King St., St. Stephen) March 31, Kent Building Supplies (188 King St., St. Stephen) March 31, Carman's Diner (164 King St., St. Stephen) Edmundston region: April 7, 8 and 9, Canada Post (4 Grondin St., Edmundston) April 8 and 9 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., Fenêtre Unique (130 Rivière à la Truite Rd., Edmundston) April 8 and 9, National Bank, (111 de l'Église St., Edmundston) April 9 between 12:00 p.m. and 1:30 p.m. – Shoppers Drug Mart (160 Hébert Blvd., Edmundston) April 8 between 6:30 a.m. and 7:00 a.m., April 7 between 6:30 a.m and 7:00 a.m., and April 6 between 6:30 a.m. and 7:00 a.m. – Tim Hortons (262 Isidore-Boucher Blvd., St-Jacques) April 7 between after 6:00 p.m., April 6 after 6:00 p.m. – Epicerie Chez ti-Marc (256 Isidore-Boucher Blvd., St-Jacques) April 7 between 10:00 a.m. and 12:00 p.m., and April 6 between 10:00 a.m. and 12:00 p.m. – Dollarama (787 Victoria St., Edmundston) April 7 between 10:00 a.m. and 12:00 p.m., and April 6 between 10:00 a.m. and 12:00 p.m. – NB Liquor, (575 Victoria St., Edmundston) April 7 between 10:30 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. – Jean Coutu (177 Victoria St., Edmundston) April 7 between 6:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. – Subway (180 Hébert Blvd., Edmundston) April 7 between 6:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. – Atlantic Superstore (577 Victoria St., Edmundston) April 6 between 6:30 a.m. and 7:00 a.m. – Scotiabank (75 Canada Rd., Edmundston) March 26 to April 8 – Napa Auto Parts - (260 Canada St., Edmundston) March 20 to April 9, Atlantic Superstore (577 Victoria St., Edmundston) April 5 at 11 a.m. – Shoppers Drug Mart (160 Hébert Blvd., Edmundston) April 1 – Royal Bank (48 Saint-François St., Edmundston) March 31 between 12 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. – Scotiabank (75 Canada Rd., Edmundston) March 30 between 12 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. – Scotiabank (75 Canada Rd., Edmundston) March 29 between 8:45 a.m. and 4 p.m. – Scotiabank (75 Canada Rd., Edmundston) Moncton region: April 8 between 4:45 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. – COSTCO Wholesale customer service (140 Granite Drive, Moncton) April 6 between 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. – YMCA Vaughan Harvey, (30 War Veterans Ave., Moncton) April 4 between 10 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. – Moncton Wesleyan Church (945 St. George Blvd., Moncton) April 3 between 8:00 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. – Kelseys Original Roadhouse (141 Trinity Dr., Moncton) April 1 between 12 p.m. and 1 p.m., April 3 between 1 p.m. and 1:30 p.m., April 6 between 12:30 p.m. and 1:30 p.m., April 8 between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. – CF Champlain (477 Paul St., Dieppe) Fredericton region: March 31 – Murray's Irving Big Stop (198 Beardsley Rd., Beardsley) Saint John region: April 9 between 2:10 p.m. and 2:40 p.m., GAP Factory East Point, (15 Fashion Dr., Saint John) April 9 between 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. – McAllister Place, 519 Westmorland Rd., Saint John April 8 between 12 p.m. and 1 p.m., – McAllister Place, 519 Westmorland Rd., Saint John April 8 between 1:15 p.m. and 2 p.m. – Service New Brunswick, 15 King Square North, Saint John April 1 between 6 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. – YMCA of Greater Saint John (191 Churchill Blvd., Saint John) What to do if you have a symptom People concerned they might have COVID-19 symptoms can take a self-assessment test online. Public Health says symptoms shown by people with COVID-19 have included: Fever above 38 C. New cough or worsening chronic cough. Sore throat. Runny nose. Headache. New onset of fatigue, muscle pain, diarrhea, loss of sense of taste or smell. Difficulty breathing. In children, symptoms have also included purple markings on the fingers and toes. People with one of those symptoms should: Stay at home. Call Tele-Care 811 or their doctor. Describe symptoms and travel history. Follow instructions.
A Kelowna RCMP officer has been charged with assault after he was caught on camera repeatedly punching a man in the head during an impaired driving arrest last year. The charge against Const. Siggy Emmit-Steven Pietrzak was sworn on Wednesday in Kelowna Provincial Court, according to the B.C. Prosecution Service. An RCMP news release says he is currently suspended from duty with pay. Pietrzak became the subject of an internal investigation following the May 30, 2020, arrest of 30-year-old Tyler Russell in a Kelowna parking lot. According to RCMP, officers were responding to reports of a suspicious vehicle and when they arrived on scene, they found Russell inside intoxicated. Police allege he was unco-operative and clenched his fists as he struggled with the officers. Two videos of the arrest later surfaced showing an officer punching Russell in the head at least 10 times while two other RCMP officers restrained him. Russell claims he was bloodied, bruised and swollen after he was punched repeatedly by an RCMP officer during an arrest in May.(submitted by Bridge Law Corporation ) According to RCMP spokesperson Staff Sgt. Janelle Shoihet, the results of an internal investigation into the arrest were reviewed by another police agency before the file was forwarded to Crown prosecutors for charge approval. Russell has filed suit against Pietrzak, alleging the encounter left him with "serious injuries and consequences, including: post-traumatic stress disorder, diminished self-worth, depression, anxiety and loss of enjoyment of life," among other consequences. In his response to the claim, Pietrzak has said the punches were justified after he saw his fellow officers struggle to arrest Russell, who was "larger and stronger" than they were. None of the allegations in Russell's claim or Pietrzak's response have been proven in court. Pietrzak is scheduled to make his first appearance in court on the assault charge on May 3.
A First Nations chief whose reserve has seen only a tiny fraction of the total tax-sharing revenue in the province says he doesn't feel the system is unfair to his community. Tobique First Nation chief Ross Perley says Premier Blaine Higgs should be applauding Indigenous entrepreneurship rather than ripping up tax-sharing agreements for being "unfair" to some reserves. "The premier and the minister should be proud of their First Nations communities that are successful, not try to oppress them," he said. Higgs said Wednesday on CBC's Information Morning Fredericton that the tax deals were unfair to other First Nations because Madawaska Maliseet First Nation collected 40 per cent of all the revenue in the province last year. Premier Blaine Higgs on Wednesday said a gas-tax-sharing program with First Nations in New Brunswick was creating 'super wealthy' Indigenous communities.(CBC News) He was responding to a question from a listener who asked why he doesn't raise taxes on "super-wealthy" New Brunswickers like the Irving family. "You could apply that logic right here in this situation," Higgs said. "Because this model does create super wealthy [reserves and] that is not shared with the other populations." According to figures from the Finance Department, Tobique had the lowest revenue last year of the 13 First Nations with tax sharing agreements, bringing in only $230,000. But Perley said he doesn't resent Madawaska's runaway success or accept Higgs's use of it as a rationale to terminate the deals. "We applaud communities when they become successful," Perley said. "We don't stomp on them or try to oppress success, because they've planned and invested and become a model for all of us to follow. "It's shameful that the premier had to go there in defence of the Irvings, who are the real super-wealthy family in New Brunswick. We're talking billions." Madawaska Maliseet First Nation's Grey Rock Power Centre has been a successful business venture for the community located next to Edmundston.(Julia Wright / CBC) Madawaska Maliseet First Nation's success has been fuelled largely by the sprawling Grey Rock retail complex located on the Trans-Canada Highway near the main exit to Edmundston. The band brought in $18 million under the tax agreements last year, less than one one-100th of this year's $1.9 billion estimate of Arthur Irving's net worth by Forbes Magazine. Minister distances herself from premier's comments Higgs's aboriginal affairs minister distanced herself from the premier's "super-wealthy" comment Wednesday. Arlene Dunn said she wouldn't use the same terminology to describe the almost $18 million that the Madawaska Maliseet First Nation collected last year. Aboriginal Affairs Minister Arlene Dunn on Wednesday said she wouldn't use the same terminology Higgs used to describe the money the Madawaska Maliseet First Nation collected under the agreement last year.(Jacques Poitras/CBC News) "The premier has a historical perspective with these tax arrangements that I don't necessarily have," she told CBC News. "So his perspective is what it is." "I can't speak to his perspective. I know there are disparities in these tax agreements that are weighing heavily on his mind." But she said it's "a valid point" that some Indigenous communities located near major highways have cashed in thanks to the tax deals, while others have not. She referred to the financial figures provided at what she termed "the premier's announcement." 'There's always a better way to do things' Higgs and Dunn shared a podium Tuesday when they said they were giving notice to 13 First Nations bands that they were cancelling the agreements. Some will end next year and others will be terminated in 90 days. Dunn said she regretted how chiefs from those communities learned of the decision: in a conference call with Finance Minister Ernie Steeves in which he read a prepared statement and took no questions. She called the brief call "very abrupt" and "very unfortunate" and said she understood why chiefs were upset by it. "There's always a better way to do things," she said. "I've very sad to learn of that." "She's going down the road of being the worst Indigenous affairs minister in history in New Brunswick..." - Tobique First Nation Chief Ross Perley Perley compared the call to Dunn's earlier refusal to hold a public inquiry into systemic racism following two separate police shooting deaths of two Indigenous people. "This is the same pattern of action that's been happening since they took office. It's crazy that she regrets it, but she did it," Perley said. "She's going down the road of being the worst Indigenous affairs minister in history in New Brunswick, at the rate she's going." The tax agreements have allowed retailers on First Nations reserves to keep 95 percent of provincial tax revenue. Provisions added when they were renewed in 2017 cap that at $8 million. The bands get 70 percent of revenue beyond that. Higgs says that on top of being inequitable between First Nations, the agreements put non-Indigenous business owners near reserves at a competitive disadvantage. But he said the concentration of wealth at Madawaska Maliseet First Nation, which has only two per cent of the Indigenous population in the province, violates the principle of taxation that everyone pays for services available to all. "There are over half of the population, I would say, that do not receive any great benefit from these tax agreements," he said. "This is not shared among First Nations as a collective."
NYON, Switzerland — Red Star Belgrade was punished by UEFA on Wednesday for racial abuse aimed toward Zlatan Ibrahimovic when the club hosted AC Milan in a Europa League game meant to be played without fans in the stadium. Ibrahimovic was sitting in the stands as a substitute for his Italian team during a Europa League round of 32 game in Belgrade in February. Footage published online detailed insults shouted at Ibrahimovic targeting his Balkan family roots. He was born in Sweden to parents from Bosnia-Herzegovina and Croatia. UEFA said its disciplinary committee found charges proven of racist behaviour and “provocative, offensive chanting.” Red Star must play its next European competition home game in an empty stadium. The Serbian league leader is likely to serve the ban in July when the Champions League first qualifying round is played. UEFA deferred a second stadium ban for a one-year probation period and also fined the club 25,000 euros ($30,000) for “transmitting a provocative message of an offensive nature.” It was unclear exactly who shouted the abuse at Ibrahimovic. Red Star officials and guests were in the main stand though no tickets should have been sold to fans. UEFA also fined Red Star 5,000 euros ($6,000) for breaching health protocol rules during the COVID-19 pandemic by allowing in spectators and not enforcing social distancing. ___ More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/hub/soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports The Associated Press
WASHINGTON (Reuters) -U.S. spy agency leaders said on Wednesday that China is an "unparalleled" priority, citing Beijing's regional aggression and cyber capabilities as they testified at a public congressional "Worldwide Threats" hearing for the first time in more than two years. "Given that China is an unparalleled priority for the intelligence community, I will start with highlighting certain aspects of the threat from Beijing," Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines told the Senate Intelligence Committee. She described China as increasingly "a near-peer competitor challenging the United States in multiple arenas."
LOS ANGELES — The suspect in the 1996 disappearance of California college student Kristin Smart killed her while trying rape her in his dorm room and his father helped hide the body, the San Luis Obispo County district attorney said Wednesday. District Attorney Dan Dow said prosecutors would seek to prove Paul Flores tried to sexually assault Smart by showing prior sex acts he engaged in and crimes they believe he committed in more recent years. Prosecutors filed a first-degree murder charge against Paul Flores, 44, and an accessory after murder charge against his father, Ruben Flores, 80, for helping him conceal Smart’s body, which has never been found. The two were arrested Tuesday after years of investigation and a search last month using ground-penetrating radar and cadaver dogs at the elder Flores' home that led to evidence connected to Smart’s death, authorities said. They didn't revealed what was found. Smart, 19, of Stockton, was last seen May 25, 1996, with Flores while returning to her dorm at California Polytechnic State University campus in San Luis Obispo after an off-campus party. She was inebriated at the time, and Flores, a fellow freshman, had offered to walk her home. Dow revealed that investigators think Flores killed Smart in his dorm room during the Memorial Day weekend when many students had left the campus. Investigators, who launched a renewed search Tuesday at his father’s property in nearby Arroyo Grande, believe they know where the body was buried but have not yet found it or disclosed the location. Paul and Ruben Flores are in jail and scheduled to be arraigned Thursday in San Luis Obispo Superior Court. A lawyer for Paul Flores declined to comment on the arrest or charges. Harold Mesick, a lawyer for Ruben Flores, told the Los Angeles Times his client is “absolutely innocent.” Paul Flores has remained mum through the years, invoking his Fifth Amendment right to not answer questions before a grand jury and in a deposition for the lawsuit brought against him. Susan Flores, the mother of Paul and estranged wife of Ruben, broke years of public silence last month in an interview with KSBY-TV in which she said her family had no role in the death and her son had been a scapegoat. “They keep trying to find the answers with us and they keep failing because the answers are not here,” she said. “We have no responsibility for her disappearance and what happened to that young woman.” Susan Flores hung up the phone when contacted by The Associated Press on Tuesday. The criminal charges include a disclosure that prosecutors intend to admit evidence of prior sexual acts by Paul Flores. “These prior sexual acts include ... incidents described in the investigative reports and audio/video provided to defence, and other alleged incidents of abuse, which will be provided as they are obtained by the prosecution,” the document said. Dow said investigators have evidence Paul Flores continued to prey on women after Smart's death and the prosecutor appealed to any victims to come forward. Dow didn’t disclose what investigators found, but said Flores frequented bars around his home in the San Pedro area of Los Angeles area since 2005 and may have committed crimes there. He has a record of several convictions for driving under the influence. “We have evidence that we do believe there were other people not yet identified that have had some kind of a criminal act perpetrated on them by Mr. Flores,” Dow said. “We’re concerned about sexual assault.” Flores has been under suspicion from the earliest days of Smart's disappearance. He has gone from being a “person of interest” to a “suspect” to “the prime suspect” — and, now, defendant. Sheriff Ian Parkinson acknowledged Tuesday that early missteps by law enforcement, including a slow response to reports of Smart's disappearance, hampered the investigation. The revelation that the alleged crime scene was in Paul Flores' dorm room highlighted one of those failures. Smart was reported missing May 28, 1996, but no search began until two days later. Flores' room wasn't searched for another two weeks — after he had moved out for the summer. Smart’s family, who welcomed news of the arrest as a step toward bringing their daughter home, noted that “an indifference and lack of resolve we experienced early on set the course for many years.” A renewed effort to investigate the case led to new witnesses coming forward and warrants that allowed investigators to intercept and monitor Paul Flores’ phone and text messages and search his own home, along with those of his mother, father and sister that turned up new evidence, Parkinson said. He declined to offer more details because search warrants are sealed. Investigators served over 40 search warrants at 16 locations over the years, collected nearly 200 new items of evidence and used modern DNA techniques to test more than three dozen older pieces of evidence. So much evidence was compiled that it would fill three terabytes on a computer hard drive, he said. Brian Melley, The Associated Press
Christiano Fontana paid more than $120,000 over the asking price for a home in Windsor, yet he considers himself one of the fortunate. "I got lucky," he told CBC News Wednesday. But he later followed that up with a laugh and said, "I don't know if you'd call me lucky or not, but I got one you know?" "Lucky" in this market typically means paying tens of thousands over asking price, as Fontana had to. It's a sign of this hot market, realtors told CBC News, that homes are routinely being listed well below what they're expected to sell for. From the price of home sales to permits for new builds, everything in Windsor-Essex's housing market is flying off the shelves — an increased demand that is making it harder for people to afford a home. Experts in Windsor's real estate market say the industry continues to hit new highs compared to last year, but with dwindling supply, prices keep rising. Fontana said the home he bought was listed at $299,000, but in the end he paid more than $420,000 for it and only beat out the other top offer by $4,000. Christiano Fontana is getting married this year and has been looking to buy a home. Though he paid way over the home's asking price, he says he's just happy that he at least got into the market.(Jacob Barker/CBC) "It's just the way it is," he said. "It's unfortunate ... I have a lot of friends, they don't have a choice but to rent and they will rent for the rest of their lives unless prices come down somewhat." In a virtual roundtable discussion with Windsor Mayor Drew Dilkens on Wednesday, members of Ontario's and Windsor-Essex's real estate market, along with the city's planner and permit services chief talked about the growth the region has seen. "It's a very cruel game of musical chairs where you have more and more people circling fewer and fewer chairs, so as inventory goes down, you have more and more people that will engage in bidding wars, prices go up, there will be frustrated buyers," said Tim Hudak, chief executive officer of the Ontario Real Estate Association. According to information provided by the City of Windsor: The average price of a home in Windsor-Essex has increased by 25 per cent from February 2020. Every month since July 2020, the total number of houses sold has been outpacing the same month the previous year. New builds have increased from 360 in 2018 to 796 in 2020. In the first quarter of 2021, there were 108 permits were new apartment unit builds — a number not seen in Windsor for decades. In the last year, the city says it has issued 60 permits for new residential builds in the Zone 1 area, which is north of Tecumseh Road between Prince Road and Pillette Road. The city says this is an older area but one that would benefit from new residential builds. "The break neck speed of growth over the past 12 months is just staggering," said Dilkens. As for who's buying, the Ontario Real Estate Association says 40 per cent of the sales are from within Windsor, 25 per cent is first time buyers and four per cent of activity was from Greater Toronto Area buyers. Percentage of people moving to Windsor from elsewhere in the province.(Ontario Real Estate Association) Thousands on affordable housing waitlist During the roundtable, CBC News asked what measures are in place to make things affordable and what the government can do to help. Windsor's City Planner Thom Hunt said the affordability conversation is happening across the province, with talk of federal, provincial and municipal incentives for private developers to make a portion of their buildings affordable. But ideas such as rent control or changes to taxation were dismissed during the roundtable discussion. Some 5,400 people are currently on a wait list for affordable housing in the region, according to the Windsor Essex Community Housing Corporation. Sellers on Cloud 9 It's a seller's market, so those pitching up the For Sale sign, like Al Soultani, are doing a happy dance. Al Soultani and his family sold their home for $200,000 over asking. Soultani says the sale feels like he did 'win the lottery.'(Maggie Chen) Soultani's Windsor home sold for $200,000 over asking. "It does feel like winning the lottery," Soultani told CBC News. And he's not the only one on Cloud 9. Dean Cooper's home in Woodslee sold two weeks ago for a little more than $600,000, a price that was about $100,000 over what he listed it at. "It felt really great," Cooper told CBC News. "I would have never expected it to go that high but that's the part of this biddng war." Dean Cooper sold his Woodslee home for about $100,000 over the asking price.(Submitted by Dean Cooper) To get more people interested in the property, Cooper and his realtor employed a tactic now being used by many: low-ball the home's listing price. That's according to Damon Winney, president of WE county association of realtors, and Goran Todorovic with Re/MAX Care Realty. But, according to the Real Estate Council of Ontario, even homes listed at their value are selling way above. "This is the absolutely best opportunity for them to sell their home," Todorovic said. Another way realtors are getting homeowners on the market is by calling them directly and telling them how much their property could sell for. As for Cooper, he said he's decided to invest the funds he made, downsize and move into an apartment in Leamington. "When retirement comes the decision will be a lot easier," he said.
Councillors with the Town of Tecumseh have decided to reconsider allowing cannabis retailers within the municipality. The town's council voted in favour of reconsidering its previous decision to opt out of allowing cannabis retail. The municipality's administration is now expected to bring a report to council by June that will include community feedback. "We never said never," said Tecumseh Mayor Gary McNamara. McNamara said the retail cannabis industry was fairly new back when his council decided to opt out on Dec. 11, 2018. At the time, he said he didn't know the impact the industry would have. He said he was concerned with loitering, whether increased policing would be needed and whether it would "create havoc" in the community. But based on the rollout across the province, he said none of these issues seem to have come to the forefront. The town is the only municipality in Windsor-Essex that has yet to approve cannabis retailers. On Tuesday evening, Tecumseh councillors heard from three delegates — Sam Katzman, Robert Katzman and Melissa Boow — about the need for cannabis retailers in the area. The Katzmans own and operate Greentown Cannabis and The We Store Cannabis in Windsor. The father-son duo said the stores would bring jobs to the area and noted that they have two locations in mind for Tecumseh retail spots. "It's a fantastic opportunity from all different sides," said Robert. Meanwhile, Boow, who owns House of Hemp Inc. in Tecumseh, said her shop is looking to include cannabis products. While she said she can appreciate the "level of concern and uncertainty surrounding the emerging cannabis industry," she noted that if distribution and regulation remain responsible, the industry can benefit the community. As of Wednedsay, there are 24 retail stores in Windsor-Essex approved and another 27 seeking approval from the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario, which regulates the industry. Most recently, LaSalle opted in to the budding industry in March.
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — Second-half goals by Patrick Mullins and Justin Morrow gave injury-riddled Toronto FC a 2-1 win on the night and 3-2 aggregate victory over Mexico's Club Leon in Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League play Wednesday. An unmarked Fernando Navarro got a goal back for Leon in the 80th minute, knocking a Yairo Moreno cross past goalkeeper Alex Bono to set the stage for a furious finale. One more away goal and Leon would have capped a remarkable comeback. But Toronto held on, with Bono making a 90th-minute save on substitute Emmanuel Gigliotti's low shot. Five minutes of tense extra time ensued. Toronto advances to play Mexico's Cruz Azul in the quarterfinals of CONCACAF's flagship club competition. The Liga MX leader thumped Haiti's Arcahaie FC 8-0 Tuesday in Mexico City, outshooting the Haitians 23-0, after the first leg finished 0-0. The odds were against Toronto, which had to dig deep into its roster to make up the numbers against a Mexican side in season and enjoying domestic success. But Toronto was full value for the round-of-16 triumph, leaving the Leon players wondering what hit them. Toronto went ahead in the 55th minute after captain Michael Bradley found Jacob Shaffelburg and the speedy winger threaded a low cross through the legs of one defender and out of the reach of another. It made for a simple tap-in for Mullins, who started in place of the injured Jozy Altidore. Morrow made it 2-0 in the 71st minute, taking a pass from teenage midfielder Ralph Priso and somehow bundling the ball in as he collided with goalkeeper Rodolpho Cota. TFC's high press made the goal with a Leon defender, under pressure, giving the ball way to Priso. It was the first win for new head coach Chris Armas — a famous victory given the circumstances. Toronto and Leon drew 1-1 last Wednesday in Mexico. But while Toronto came into the rematch with the advantage of an away goal — thanks to a Leon own goal — the MLS side was missing a ton of talent. Toronto's injury list grew with Altidore and centre back Eriq Zavaleta both sidelined after starting last week. That meant the team was arguably without at least six starters Wednesday. Despite the absentees, Toronto had its chances early at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex and had a first-half Noble Okello goal controversially called back. Leon, in contrast, looked out of sorts and while it had more of the ball, did little with it. Altidore, Spanish playmaker Alejandro Pozuelo, defenders Chris Mavinga and midfielder Jonathan Osorio did not dress. Goalkeeper Quentin Westberg and fullback Morrow, who were not part of the matchday squad in Mexico, made the bench along with midfielder Nick DeLeon. Westberg was not injured but arrived in Florida late due to personal reasons. DeLeon did not dress last week as a coach's decision. Despite the long list of absentees, Armas said there would be no excuses whatever happened Wednesday. Mullins and 20-year-old defender Luke Singh came in for Altidore and Zavaleta. Altidore had to leave last week's game with a low-grade strain while Zavaleta is believed to have suffered a knock in training and was held out as a precautionary move. Singh, who signed a second short-term contract to make the squad, came on in the 87th minute last week for his TFC debut. Armas' starting 11 featured an 18-year-old (Priso), two 20-year-olds (Singh and Okello) and a 21-year-old (Shaffelburg). In all, there were five Canadian starters, including the 26-year-old Richie Laryea, although the Brampton-born Singh represented Trinidad and Tobago at youth level. They did not disappoint. Influential captain Luis Montes returned to the Leon midfield after sitting out last week's game through suspension, while Osvaldo Rodriguez slotted in at fullback. Forward Joel Campbell was unavailable due to quarantine issues after international duty with Costa Rica. Montes came close in the sixth minute but his shot went just wide after a fine cross from Rodriguez. Singh had a free header off a Bradley corner in the 12th minute but could not put it on target. Okello, put through by Mark Delgado, had two great back-to-back chances to score in the 16th minute but Cota got a hand and then a shoulder to the ball. The speedy Shaffelburg was a threat down the flank throughout the first half. A 29th-minute headed goal by the six-foot-four Okello, off a Bradley cross, was negated by an offside call with Armas grabbing his head in disbelief on the sidelines. There was no video review available. Laryea was put in alone in the 50th minute but Cota was quick off his line to block the shot. Morrow and DeLeon were introduced in the second half to help defend the lead. Toronto was playing just its second competitive match since Nov. 24. Leon, in contrast, is well into its season and came into the game unbeaten in its last six outings (4-0-2) in all competitions. After a slow 2-6-2 start to its domestic league season, Leon has won four straight in Liga MX play and stands seventh in the standings. Wednesday's game was originally scheduled for Osceola Heritage Park, about a half-hour drive away. But it was moved after CONCACAF ruled that a retaining wall was too close to the pitch. Rather than shrink the playing surface, TFC opted to move the game to the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex that hosted the MLS is Back Tournament last summer. Toronto also played a pre-season game there against Columbus on April 1. Both Toronto and Leon exited in the round of 16 in their most recent Champions League participation. TFC was beaten by Panama's Club Atletico Independiente in 2019 while Leon was eliminated by Los Angeles FC in 2020. Toronto reached the tournament final in 2018, losing to Guadalajara in a penalty shootout. The Champions League winner represents CONCACAF at the FIFA Club World Cup. This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 14, 2021 The Canadian Press
Jim Lester lost the district of Mount Pearl North by 109 votes to Liberal Lucy Stoyles in the 2021 provincial election. (Patrick Butler/Radio-Canada) After losing his seat by 109 votes in last month's provincial election, PC candidate Jim Lester is turning to the courts in the hopes of having the results voided and a new election called in his former district, but he also wants a ruling on whether the vote adhered to Newfoundland and Labrador legislation. "It's very important to have faith in the outcome of elections," Lester told reporters on Wednesday. Liberal Lucy Stoyles won the district of Mount Pearl North with 2,428 votes, compared with 2,319 cast for Lester. Lester is representing himself in his controverted election application, which cost more than $600 to file in Supreme Court of Newfoundland and Labrador. He's asking the courts to examine whether the campaign process was "in line with what's constitutionally and legally accepted" under the province's Elections Act. Concerns with phone sign-up "One of the biggest concerns that I have … is the sign-up of voters by phone," Lester said. But, he said, he heard of other problems that plagued the 10-plus week campaign. He said a senior told him they repeatedly called Elections NL when their ballot didn't arrive, despite registering several weeks ahead of time. "What really affected our voters was the outbreak of the COVID virus," he added. He said a lot of his supporters are working families, people who had a lot of "stress factors" that affected their ability to sign up for mail-in ballots. None of Lester's accusations have been proven in court. NDP Leader Alison Coffin filed court papers on April 1 for a recount in the district of St. John's East-Quidi Vidi, where she lost her seat to Liberal John Abbott by 53 votes. NDP Leader Alison Coffin announced her court challenge of the election results in her former district on April 1.(Alison Coffin/Twitter) Less than two weeks after that, Coffin and another applicant, filed a separate legal action demanding last month's election results be thrown out and a new vote ordered. Alison Coffin and another applicant, a St. John's resident who claims he was denied the right to vote, jointly filed a court challenge Monday containing scathing accusations against Newfoundland and Labrador's elections agency, alleging widespread and illegal mishandling of the electoral process and demanding the province's Supreme Court void the election's outcome. The 45-page application argues that the process employed by Elections NL discriminated against voters on the basis of ethnicity, age or disability, disproportionately excluding people without access to the internet and people in Indigenous communities. NDP provincial president Kyle Rees clarified Monday afternoon the application will target the St. John's East-Quidi Vidi district. "We are specifically bringing evidence related to that district, but there's no reason why the lessons that we learn from this district … can't be applied broadly across the province," said Rees, adding that a judge could overturn results in all 40 districts based on this application 'We will challenge' election in legislature: PC Party In a statement released Wednesday, the PC Party said its executive met Monday for the first time since election results were announced March 27. Interim PC Leader David Brazil says his party will not challenge the results of the election in court but will focus instead on moving on. (Terry Roberts/CBC) While the party continued to take swipes at Premier Andrew Furey for calling an election when he did, accusing him of "gambling on a mid-winter election," the statement indicated the party won't pursue a legal challenge. "We do not believe that the people of the province want to see another election at this time.… We will challenge the 2021 election in the legislature," reads the statement. "Individuals may challenge the results of the election in court, and the court proceedings have begun in some cases. We will be keenly watching the ongoing legal challenges. However, we will not, as a party, be taking legal action at this time." The PCs and Furey have at least one thing in common, and that is a wish to modernize the Elections Act. "We will ensure that nothing like this ever happens again," said the PCs in a statement, echoing a comment Furey made on Monday. Read more from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador
PARIS (Reuters) -The European countries party to the Iran nuclear deal told Tehran on Wednesday its decision to enrich uranium at 60% purity, bringing the fissile material closer to bomb-grade, was contrary to efforts to revive the 2015 accord. But in an apparent signal to Iran's arch-adversary Israel, which Tehran blamed for an explosion at its key nuclear site on Sunday, European powers Germany, France and Britain added that they rejected "all escalatory measures by any actor". Israel, which the Islamic Republic does not recognise, has not formally commented on the incident at Iran's Natanz site, which appeared the latest twist in a long-running covert war.
Whale researchers and conservationists are urging boaters in the waters off Vancouver to slow down and give adequate space to an injured humpback whale that's been seen in the area. Jessica Scott, a biologist with Ocean Wise Conservation Association, said the whale was spotted three days ago with a deep cut on its tail stock, the muscular part of the tail between the body and the fluke. She said the injury appears to be a strike wound likely caused by a vessel travelling at relatively low speed. The conservation group is reminding boaters to slow to below 7 knots when within 1,000 metres of the animal, and to give it a minimum of 100 metres space. Scott said humpbacks are particularly vulnerable to ship strikes because they exhibit random travel patterns, sometimes remain underwater for more than 15 minutes, and tend to feed at the water's surface. An injury to the tail stock of a humpback whale seen swimming in the waters off Vancouver's west side is noticeable in recent photographs.(Vanessa Prigollini) She said the injured humpback has been seen in the waters off the Point Grey neighbourhood since early April. On April 11, a crew member from a whale watching vessel photographed the animal with a deep laceration behind its dorsal fin. Humpbacks are listed as being "of special concern" under Canada's Species at Risk Act, even as they have made a comeback in the past five decades. Scott said the whale also appears to have scars associated with an entanglement with fishing gear. So far, researchers believe the animal can recover from its injury if people keep their distance. She pointed out boaters need to keep an eye out for signs of whale presence, such as blows, splashes, or aggregations of birds. Scott said the Department of Oceans and Fisheries is monitoring the whale but there are no plans to intervene. She urges people to download the Ocean Wise WhaleReport app to notify the organization of whale sightings, which can then be transmitted to large commercial vessels in the area.
A 25-year-old man has been arrested and charged after $3.5 million in cocaine was seized at Blue Water Bridge. On March 31, a commercial truck driven by a man from Brampton, Ont. entered Canada at the bridge in Point Edward, Ont., Canada Border Services Agency said in a news release Wednesday. The truck was sent for a secondary examination, during which officers found 62 kilograms of cocaine. Canada Border Services Agency said officers arrested the driver and transferred him into the custody of Windsor detachment RCMP officers, who are performing an investigation. The suspect is charged with importation of a controlled substance and possession for the purpose of trafficking. The man is expected to appear in Sarnia's Ontario Court of Justice on April 20. More from CBC Windsor