The universe might not be flat - it could be curved like an inflating ball

Rob Waugh
Contributor
Cosmic Microwave Background (ESA)

Just thinking about the shape of the universe we live in a slightly mind-boggling idea - but we might have got it completely wrong

Many scientists have believed that the universe is flat, and that things continue in a straight line. 

But data collected by the European Space Agency’s Planck satellite suggests another shape entirely - a curved, closed sphere.

Researchers measured the effect of ‘gravitational lensing’, how gravity distorts light.

Telescopes on Earth commonly detect gravitational lensing where light is ‘bent’ by massive objects on its way towards us. 

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Voyager, the Solar System and beyond

Researchers measured the effect of the gravitational lensing on the cosmic microwave background - the afterglow of the Big Bang. 

The ancient light is being distorted by gravity more than it should be, if our universe is flat. 

But the researchers suggest that the data gathered in 2018 by the Planck satellite shows that our universe might be ‘closed’ and curved. 

The researchers write, “A closed universe can provide a physical explanation for this effect, with the Planck cosmic microwave background spectra now preferring a positive curvature at more than the 99 percent confidence level.

"Here, we further investigate the evidence for a closed universe from Planck, showing that positive curvature naturally explains the anomalous lensing amplitude."

If true, the finding would upend our ideas about our universe. 

The researchers, led by Eleonora Di Valentino of Manchester University, suggest that their findings could call for a "drastic rethinking of the current cosmological concordance model."

  • Palestinian-Canadians rally in Halifax to protest Israeli annexation
    News
    CBC

    Palestinian-Canadians rally in Halifax to protest Israeli annexation

    Hundreds of people gathered in Halifax Wednesday to show their support of Palestinians and to voice opposition to an Israeli plan to annex parts of the occupied West Bank. Israel's plan to bring roughly 30 per cent of the territory under Israeli control has drawn condemnation from the United Nations and many of Israel's close allies. The annexation was set to begin Wednesday, but Israeli officials said at the last moment the plan will be put on hold. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office said he held discussions Wednesday with American diplomats and "additional discussions will be be held in the coming days." Many from the Palestinian-Canadian community in Halifax rallied on the waterfront to speak against the plan. Robin Perry was one of the organizers of the protest, which was designed to send a message to MPs and to the federal government. "I think just really driving home the goal of the demonstration today, which is to show solidarity for Palestinian people and their fight for self-determination and the right to return," she said."Just calling for our government to actively oppose this illegal annexation, which violates international law."Co-organizer Katerina Nikas agreed. "All of our MPs should be signing a pledge and telling PM Justin Trudeau that this is a direct violation of international law," she said. "Annexation is illegal, and in 2020 this is not acceptable."Rana Zaman is a community activist who helped organize the events. She said if Canada is serious about international human rights, it must speak out against the plan. "The Palestinians who live here, who contribute here, consider themselves citizens here. Now every day Canada Day comes, they will have friends, family, countrymen that have been displaced, and they will remember this great atrocity," she said of the proposed annexation. The Palestinian demonstrators were supported by other groups, including Indigenous rights activists and people who support abolishing the police.

  • P.E.I. fishermen surrounded by 'thousands' of jellyfish
    Science
    CBC

    P.E.I. fishermen surrounded by 'thousands' of jellyfish

    Just outside the Tryon River on Prince Edward Island, Brian Campbell's boat motor began to stall as it became surrounded by lion's mane jellyfish. "I've never seen that many before," said Campbell. "They would get caught up in that propeller. There's quite a few of them — I want to say thousands and thousands."Lion's mane jellyfish can grow to two metres in diameter with tentacles as long as 30 metres, roughly the same length as a blue whale. What's more? They sting.High concentration of lion's mane"Wouldn't want to be swimming there that day, that's for sure," said Campbell, who has been a fisherman for 42 years. "It's all right if you got one or two that sting you. But at that point right there, I think you could probably do some harm … if you get 30 or 40 on you."Last Tuesday, Campbell posted on Facebook warning people not to swim in the area. He later added a video of the encounter. Oceanographer Nick Record says the species is common throughout Atlantic Canada and the Gulf of Maine, but this is the first he's heard of such a large group."I'm pretty sure that's the highest concentration of lion's mane jellyfish that anyone has reported to me," said Record, a senior research scientist at the Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences, a non-profit research institution in Maine. 'Just giants'Record said he has noticed a new phenomenon of gigantic lion's mane jellyfish washing up onshore."They're usually about the size of a dinner plate or smaller," he said. "The last 18 months or so there's been a handful, maybe five to 10 instances, where they were like [one and a half to two metres] across — so just giants."Record has been using citizen reports to track the creatures for about a decade. He said it's hard to know whether or not  jellyfish are increasing based on the reports, because while more reported sightings could mean more jellyfish, it could also just mean more people are out on the water.That being said, there are several factors that could impact the population including weather, currents and the food chain. "Partly it's the biology. Jellyfish can reproduce really quickly when conditions are good," said Record. "Partly it's the ocean physics."'I couldn't believe how many there was'"When I first saw it, I thought maybe somebody hit a seal up there just a little ways away," said Chad Gallant, a lobster fisherman in North Rustico, P.E.I."There was a bunch of pink in the water. I thought it might've been blood."It wasn't blood, it was jellyfish. These were moon jellyfish, a different species from those Campbell saw."We just stopped there," said Gallant. "I couldn't believe how many there was."Gallant also posted a video on Facebook. "It's not too surprising to me to see a really high abundance of them," said Record. " But I've never seen a photo where they were that dense before."Moon jellyfish are seasonal and feed on zooplankton, according to Record. He said they "don't generally sting," but some people have sensitivities or allergic reactions to them. "I thought it was kinda cool," laughed Gallant. "It don't bother me from going swimming again." Competing with fish for foodRecord said there are both pros and cons to seeing groups this large. "Some people see jellyfish as a total nuisance and large jellyfish aggregations as an unequivocally bad thing," he said. "Other people see jellyfish as these amazing, beautiful animals and just want to take photos of them all day."They can impact the ecosystem in many ways, too. On one hand, they're prey for sea turtles. On the other, they compete with fish for food. > There's a scientific debate about whether jellyfish are increasing globally or not. — Nick Record, Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences"People have tried to get fish stocks to rebound, but because the [jellyfish] are eating the same food that the fish would be eating, it makes it more difficult for fish stocks to come back," said Record. But unlike other living organisms, the jellyfish can survive and thrive in stressed environments with little oxygen and depleted ecosystems. More data needed"There's a scientific debate about whether jellyfish are increasing globally or not," said Record. "In order to answer the question about whether there's a long-term trend, you need decades of data."We don't really have that in Atlantic Canada." According to Record, this citizen reporting program is "really the only long-term survey for jellyfish in our part of the world." In order to track the sea animal, Record has to know where they are. And to know where they are, he needs people to report them. Record said people can send information regarding sightings to jellyfish@bigelow.org.There's little doubt the videos taken around P.E.I. show a significant number of jellyfish. However, whether this means their population is climbing, the response isn't so clear. "We don't know yet," said Record. "It'll take many years before we can answer that question." More from CBC P.E.I.

  • Stage 3 of Ontario's COVID-19 reopening plan looms nearer
    Health
    CBC

    Stage 3 of Ontario's COVID-19 reopening plan looms nearer

    The chances of large parts of Ontario moving soon to Stage 3 of the province's COVID-19 reopening plan are looking bright as the spread of the coronavirus remains slow in most public health units. It's been nearly three weeks since all of eastern and northern Ontario, as well as much of the southwestern part of the province, advanced to Stage 2. That allowed the opening of shopping malls, hair salons, swimming pools, and bar and restaurant patios. Data from those 24 public health units — everywhere but the Greater Toronto Area, Hamilton, Niagara, Windsor-Essex, Lambton and Haldimand-Norfolk — show the spread of the virus remains largely contained."We hope to be able to move into the next stage as soon as possible," Health Minister Christine Elliott said on Tuesday."It's looking very good, but we still need another week's data to really inform the situation, and then decisions will be made about the opening of Stage 3."More than half of Ontario's 34 public health units currently have fewer than 10 active cases (coronavirus cases that are considered to still be infectious). Fifteen health units have three or fewer active cases. The parts of the province that were first to advance to Stage 2 — including Ottawa, Waterloo Region and London — have a combined population of nearly six million. In these areas, since restrictions were eased on June 12:  * The combined number of new cases daily has averaged 27, down from a daily average of 34 in the four preceding weeks.      * The number of new cases reported daily has remained below 35 on all but one day.   The trend in the daily number of new cases is the statistic watched most closely by health officials in determining whether restrictions can be lifted. Provincial-level discussions are currently happening about when to announce Stage 3, Elliott said. She said the decisions to be made include which parts of the province would move ahead and which measures would be relaxed.      "We have to do it safely," Premier Doug Ford said. "We will do it safely, and we're going to do it in steps as we did before. We just have to continue seeing the numbers go in the right direction."  Provincial officials have said any announcements about progressing to the next stage would be made on Mondays. An announcement on Stage 3 could come within the next week or so, according to Dr. Paul Roumeliotis, medical officer of health for eastern Ontario. He told a videoconference with reporters on Tuesday that officials are looking at increasing the maximum size of gatherings and allowing customers inside restaurants. Specific Stage 3 changes not yet clearThe province has not laid out precisely what changes will come in Stage 3 of the reopening. Its general framework released back in April suggested Stage 3 would mean "opening all workplaces responsibly" and "further relaxing the restrictions on public gatherings."Even with a move to Stage 3, mass gatherings such as concerts and spectator sports events would remain prohibited "for the foreseeable future," the framework says.Restrictions currently in place in Stage 2 that could be eased include the closure of playgrounds, the 10-person limit on social gatherings, and the ban on indoor seating at restaurants and bars. While the daily number of new COVID-19 cases is a crucial metric for determining the timing of Stage 3, the other measures that are considered include the availability of hospitals beds, speed of testing, and effectiveness of tracing close contacts of each person who tests positive.    Some public health units see mandatory mask usage in indoor public settings as a key tool in preventing outbreaks and advancing to Stage 3."We want to move to Stage 3," Dr. Vera Etches, Ottawa's chief medical officer of health, said while presenting evidence in favour of a mask policy during a news briefing on Monday. "We want all the businesses to be open. We want people to be able to continue to get back to work." The public health unit covering Kingston — which previously had among the lowest number of COVID-19 cases in the province — ordered masks to be worn in indoor public places in response to an outbreak at a nail salon that is now linked to 27 confirmed cases.Mask wearing, handwashing likely to remainA mask policy takes effect in Toronto on July 7, and it's being considered in Hamilton. The ability to prevent and contain local outbreaks will be one of the province's considerations about whether a public health unit is ready to move to Stage 3, said Dr. Chris Mackie, the London-Middlesex medical officer of health. The province is "watching the data carefully and not rushing into a Stage 3 reopening, which I think is appropriate," Mackie said on Tuesday in a news conference. The province will take the lead on the decisions about Stage 3, according to Dr. Hsiu-Li Wang, medical officer of health for the Region of Waterloo, among the first public health units to advance to Stage 2.  "When we reach Stage 3, it is very likely that many of our current heath measures, such as physical distancing, mask wearing and handwashing, will remain in effect," Wang said in a statement to CBC News.

  • Chief raises concerns over heavily armed RCMP officers on Wet'suwet'en territory
    News
    CBC

    Chief raises concerns over heavily armed RCMP officers on Wet'suwet'en territory

    A Wet'suwet'en hereditary chief is raising concerns about police intimidation after RCMP officers armed with assault rifles were pictured outside his smokehouse in mid-June.Police said the smokehouse is a newly constructed building near the Morice Forest Service Road, on the right of way for the Coastal GasLink LNG pipeline project. Wet'suwet'en demonstrators and their supporters were arrested along the road in early February, sparking solidarity protests and blockades across Canada.An injunction granted to Coastal GasLink on Jan. 7 blocks anyone from stopping the company's work or interfering with its access to the remote forestry road, south of Smithers, B.C.Wet'suwet'en Hereditary Chief Woos said the smokehouse was built in early spring and he was shocked to see photographs of RCMP officers at the site. "That was quite a big surprise. We're at the point in our cultural ways, we're going to be harvesting some moose and elk," Chief Woos said.He said the heavily armed RCMP officers are causing concern among Wet'suwet'en families, who want them to stand down."I think what we do out there is basically our culture and our tradition. We always show respect to [police] but I think it is concerning, this sort of show of force. It is not reasonable at all," Chief Woos said.Smokehouse 'in breach' of injunction: RCMPRCMP verified that the officers in the photos are members of the Quick Response Team, a group of specially trained officers who are familiar with injunction law and are assigned to the nearby Houston detachment to conduct regular patrols and daily checks of the area.In a statement, North District RCMP spokesperson Cpl. Madonna Saunderson told CBC News that the structure is "in breach of the B.C. Supreme Court injunction order" and that Coastal GasLink has posted a notice of the breach on the building.The notice left by Coastal GasLink workers suggested the structure would prevent or impede the company's work in the area on its "permitted construction footprint."Coastal GasLink is stepping up construction across northern B.C, with pipe expected to be put in the ground by September along the 670-kilometre route from gas fields in northeastern B.C. to the Pacific.The $6.6-billion Coastal GasLink pipeline will carry natural gas to a $40-billion LNG terminal under construction in Kitimat, B.C.Accord between chiefs, governmentsConstruction was stalled after conflict erupted over Wet'suwet'en land rights, which resulted in RCMP raids on the pipeline route and, ultimately, demonstrations and rail blockades across the country as Indigenous people and supporters came out in solidarity.The dispute was over part of the pipeline route, which runs through traditional territory claimed by several Wet'suwet'en hereditary chiefs. Work moved forward again after an arrangement was reached in March during talks in Smithers, B.C., involving Wet'suwet'en hereditary chiefs and senior ministers of the federal and B.C. governments. The hereditary chiefs and governments signed a memorandum of understanding in May, setting up timelines on negotiating jurisdiction over land use planning, resources, water, wildlife, child and family wellness and other issues.The elected chiefs of the Wet'suwet'en Nations have said they don't support the memorandum because it was negotiated behind closed doors. The Wet'suwet'en are governed by both a traditional hereditary chief system and elected band councils.RCMP says it's checking in weeklySaunderson said the officers were using "standard equipment available to all police officers across the country" and are fully aware that they are being monitored and captured on camera."We continue to check in with the local Indigenous leaders on a weekly basis to discuss any issues or concerns," said Saunderson.Chief Woos said the building may be in the right of way but said he doesn't believe that the area is specified in the most recent injunction that he has been reading.He said he has no plans to move the smokehouse.

  • Photo of toddler sitting on slain grandpa angers Kashmiris
    News
    The Canadian Press

    Photo of toddler sitting on slain grandpa angers Kashmiris

    SRINAGAR, India — A photo of a toddler sitting on the chest of of his dead grandfather has outraged residents of Indian-controlled Kashmir after the victim’s family accused government forces of shooting the 65-year-old man during a clash with rebels in the disputed region.Suhail Ahmed, the victim's son, said on Thursday that his father, Bashir Ahmed Khan, was “dragged out of his car and shot in cold blood” in front of his 3-year-old grandson during a gunbattle Wednesday between Indian troops and rebels in northwestern Sopore town. He said troops later placed the child on his father's chest and took pictures.A series of pictures by an unidentified photographer were widely shared on social media shortly after the gunbattle. Hundreds of angry people staged anti-India protests, accusing the government forces of using the child’s images as a PR stunt.Police said the man was killed when rebels fighting against Indian rule shot at paramilitary soldiers from a mosque attic in Sopore. They said the attack killed one soldier and wounded three others.Kashmir's inspector-general of police, Vijay Kumar, denied the family’s account, saying the man was killed by militant firing. He said troops rescued the child during the fighting and accused the family of blaming the government forces under militant pressure.According to the family, Khan was driving in his car with his grandson from his home in the main city of Srinagar.“The police version is a blatant lie. If he was caught in crossfire, his body would have been inside his car or his car would have suffered some damage. There’s not even a scratch or a bullet mark on his car,” Ahmed said, as he wailed. "This is such heartlessness, such cruelty.”One of the photos showed a policeman holding the child in his lap and another showed the crying toddler, blood stains on his shirt and cookies in both of his hands, inside a police jeep.The Indian chapter of Amnesty International criticized the police for disclosing the child's identity, saying it was a violation of juvenile justice and the Convention on the Rights of the Child.Despite the coronavirus outbreak, violence has escalated in Kashmir in recent months as India has stepped up its counterinsurgency operations. Militants have also continued attacks on government forces and alleged informants.At least 143 rebels, 54 government troops and 32 civilians have been killed in more than 100 military operations across Kashmir since January, the Jammu-Kashmir Coalition of Civil Society, a prominent local rights group, said in a recent report.India and Pakistan both claim the territory in its entirety. Muslim Kashmiris generally support the rebels' goal of uniting the territory, either under Pakistani rule or as an independent country.Rebels have been fighting Indian rule since 1989, with tens of thousands of lives lost, including civilians, militants and government forces.India accuses Pakistan of arming and training the anti-India rebels. Pakistan denies this, saying it offers only moral and diplomatic support to the militants and to Kashmiris who oppose Indian rule.Relations between India and Pakistan have been strained further over Kashmir since last August, when India stripped the portion of Kashmir it administers of its status as a semi-autonomous state.Security forces imposed blockades and a communications blackout on internet and phone service that officials said were necessary to stop anti-India protests and better integrate Kashmir.The tensions in Kashmir come after a deadly face-off between Indian and Chinese soldiers June 15 along the Asian giants' disputed border in Ladakh that left 20 Indian soldiers dead.Aijaz Hussain, The Associated Press

  • Jeffrey Epstein associate Ghislaine Maxwell arrested
    News
    The Canadian Press

    Jeffrey Epstein associate Ghislaine Maxwell arrested

    British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell was arrested by the FBI on Thursday on charges she helped procure underage sex partners for financier Jeffrey Epstein.An indictment made public Thursday said Maxwell, who lived for years with Epstein and was his frequent travel companion on trips around the world, facilitated Epstein’s crimes by "helping Epstein to recruit, groom, and ultimately abuse " girls as young as 14. It also said she participated in the sexual abuse.Epstein, 66, killed himself in a federal detention centre in New York last summer while awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges.Maxwell has, for years, been accused by many women of recruiting them to give Epstein massages, during which they were pressured into sex. Those accusations, until now, never resulted in criminal charges.The indictment included counts of conspiracy to entice minors to travel to engage in illegal sex acts, enticement of a minor to travel to engage in illegal sex acts, conspiracy to transport minors with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity, transportation of a minor with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity and two counts of perjury.Jennifer Araoz, a woman who says Epstein raped her in his New York mansion in 2002 when she was 15, said she feared the financier's ring of conspirators for years.“Now that the ring has been taken down, I know that I can’t be hurt anymore," she said in a statement. "Day after day, I have waited for the news that Maxwell would be arrested and held accountable for her actions. Her arrest is a step in that direction, and it truly means that the justice system didn’t forget about us."Messages were sent Thursday to several of Maxwell’s attorneys seeking comment. She has previously repeatedly denied wrongdoing and called some of the claims against her “absolute rubbish."Among the most sensational accusations was a claim by one Epstein victim, Virginia Roberts Giuffre, that Maxwell arranged for her to have sex with Britain's Prince Andrew at her London townhouse. Giuffre bolstered her allegations with a picture of her, Andrew and Giuffre that she said was taken at the time.Andrew denied her story. He was not mentioned by name in the indictment.Maxwell, 58, said in one deposition that Giuffre was “totally lying.”“I have been so absolutely appalled by her story and appalled by the entire characterization of it,” she said, apologizing for growing so frustrated that she began banging on a table.Brad Edwards, an attorney who represents Giuffre and several other Epstein victims said his clients were relieved by the charges. “Today is a very good day," he said.The court papers said Epstein's abuse of girls occurred at his Manhattan mansion and other residences in Palm Beach, Florida; Sante Fe, New Mexico and London.Maxwell was described in a lawsuit by another Epstein victim, Sarah Ransome, as the “highest-ranking employee” of Epstein’s alleged sex trafficking enterprise. She oversaw and trained recruiters, developed recruiting plans and helped conceal the activity from law enforcement, the lawsuit alleged.The indictment mirrored many of the claims previously made in civil lawsuits against Maxwell. But it includes allegations that predate Giuffre's claims against Andrew, saying Maxwell, as early as 1994, would “entice and groom” minor girls by asking them about their lives, their schools and their families.“Through this process, Maxwell and Epstein enticed victims to engage in sexual activity with Epstein. In some instances, Maxwell was present for and participated in the sexual abuse of minor victims,” the indictment said.The indictment said Maxwell repeatedly lied when questioned about her conduct. It says she committed perjury in 2016, in part by denying knowledge of Epstein's scheme to recruit underage girls.At the time the crimes occurred, Maxwell was in an intimate relationship with Epstein and also was paid by him to manage his various properties, according to the indictment, which included a photograph of Epstein with his arm around Maxwell and his head nuzzling hers.Epstein was initially investigated in Florida and pleaded guilty to state charges in 2008 that allowed him to avoid a lengthy prison sentence. He was free a little after a year in prison.At the time, a federal prosecutor in Florida signed off on an agreement, initially filed in secret, that barred the federal government from charging “any potential co-conspirators of Epstein.” Alexander Acosta, President Donald Trump's former labour secretary, resigned last year after coming under fire for overseeing that deal when he was U.S. attorney in Miami.Geoffrey Berman, the former U.S. attorney in Manhattan, argued that federal prosecutors in New York were not bound by that agreement and brought a sweeping indictment against Epstein. Berman vowed to continue seeking justice for Epstein's victims even after the financier's death but was abruptly fired last month.Maxwell's indictment was celebrated by lawyers for some of Epstein's accusers. Spencer T. Kuvin, who represents some of the women, said Maxwell was “hopefully be the first of many co-conspirators to face the consequences of this horrific crimes.”___Associated Press writer Curt Anderson contributed to this report from Miami and Danica Kirka contributed from London.Jim Mustian And Larry Neumeister, The Associated Press

  • Canada's Supreme Court dismisses appeal of long-delayed Trans Mountain oil pipeline
    News
    Reuters

    Canada's Supreme Court dismisses appeal of long-delayed Trans Mountain oil pipeline

    WINNIPEG, Manitoba/OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canada's Supreme Court removed an obstacle to expansion of the Trans Mountain oil pipeline on Thursday, dismissing an appeal of a lower court decision that had backed Ottawa's approval of the project. The pipeline has put Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's government, which bought it in 2018 to ensure the expansion overcame legal and regulatory hurdles, in a political quandary. The ruling ends seven years of legal challenges, Alberta Energy Minister Sonya Savage said, adding that most Canadians, including many indigenous communities, want to share its economic benefits.

  • Astronauts complete 2nd spacewalk to swap station batteries
    Science
    The Canadian Press

    Astronauts complete 2nd spacewalk to swap station batteries

    CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — Astronauts completed their second spacewalk in under a week Wednesday to replace old batteries outside the International Space Station.Commander Chris Cassidy and Bob Behnken quickly tackled the big, boxy batteries. For every two outdated batteries coming out, a new and improved one goes in to supply power to the space station on the night side of Earth.Within a couple hours, the astronauts had installed another new battery, the third one in this latest series of spacewalks that began last Friday. NASA plans to send the pair out twice more in July to finish the battery swap-outs that began in 2017. The new lithium-ion batteries should last the rest of the space station’s life, according to NASA.With their main chore completed, Cassidy and Behnken jumped ahead to loosen the bolts on the batch of old batteries coming out next time and remove other equipment. Some of the bolts required extra muscle, and another stubborn mechanism just wouldn’t come off.“Boy, it put up a good fight,” Cassidy radioed. “These batteries, they like their home.”The astronauts had enough time to route power and Ethernet cables outside the 260-mile-high (420-kilometre-high) outpost, before the six-hour spacewalk drew to a close.“Good thing there’s an Earth down there” to tell up from down, Cassidy said.NASA wants the battery work completed before Behnken returns to Earth in August aboard a SpaceX capsule. He's one of two test pilots who launched on SpaceX's first astronaut flight in May.Cassidy and Behnken have now logged eight spacewalks — totalling nearly 50 hours — apiece.A space tourist might get a chance to join the prestigious spacewalking ranks — for the right price.Virginia-based Space Adventures Inc. is seeking a paying customer to not only fly to the space station, but do a spacewalk with an experienced Russian cosmonaut. Before launching from Kazakhstan, the space tourist would need to undergo extra training in Star City, Russia.Space Adventures is not divulging the cost of the two-week mission. The flight would take up two tourists in 2023, one of whom would step outside. The Russian rocket company Energia has teamed up with Space Adventures for the expedition.Plenty of specialized training would be needed before someone ventures out on a spacewalk, Behnken told The Associated Press earlier this week.NASA considers spacewalks one of the riskiest parts of any mission, and astronauts spend hours practicing underwater — the closest simulation to spacewalking on Earth.“I think it could be really challenging for a tourist to go on a spacewalk,” Behnken said. Any tourist would want multiple practice sessions in order to be "prepared for the space environment.”___The Associated Press Health and Science Department receives support from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Department of Science Education. The AP is solely responsible for all content.Marcia Dunn, The Associated Press

  • Fox News fires Ed Henry after sexual misconduct allegation
    Entertainment
    The Canadian Press

    Fox News fires Ed Henry after sexual misconduct allegation

    NEW YORK — Fox News on Wednesday fired daytime news anchor Ed Henry after an investigation of sexual misconduct in the workplace.The network said it had received a complaint last Thursday from an attorney about the misconduct. An outside investigator was hired and, based on the results of that probe, Fox fired Henry.Fox offered no details of the complaint that resulted in Henry’s firing, only to say that it happened “years ago.” A lawyer for Henry, Catherine Foti, said he denied the allegations “and is confident that he will be vindicated after a full hearing in an appropriate forum.Henry, who co-anchored “America's Newsroom” between the hours of 9 a.m. and noon on weekdays, had slowly rehabilitated his career on Fox following a four-month leave of absence that ended in 2016. That followed published reports of Henry's extramarital affair with a Las Vegas cocktail waitress.Meanwhile, HarperCollins said Wednesday that it would no longer publish a book by Henry that had been scheduled for September. Titled “Saving Colleen: A Memoir of the Unbreakable Bond Between a Brother and Sister," it was about Henry donating part of his liver to his sister.The alleged victim is represented by noted sexual harassment attorney Douglas Wigdor. He also would not provide any details of the case.Henry's former co-anchor, Sandra Smith, announced the firing on the air. Fox said she'll continue in her role with rotating co-anchors until a full-time replacement is hired.Henry, a former White House correspondent for Fox, was only recently elevated to the role on “America's Newsroom.” He got the job after Bill Hemmer moved to Shepard Smith's afternoon time slot.In a memo to staff, Fox News Media CEO Suzanne Scott and President Jay Wallace reminded employees of Fox's 2017 overhaul of its human resources operation and the avenues they can follow with a sexual harassment complaint.Fox's late former chairman, Roger Ailes, was fired in 2016 following harassment allegations made by former anchor Gretchen Carlson. Prime-time anchor Bill O'Reilly lost his job a year later following the revelations of settlements reached with women who had complaints about his behaviour.David Bauder, The Associated Press

  • British family moving to Africa's smallest island to save its coral reefs
    News
    Yahoo News Canada

    British family moving to Africa's smallest island to save its coral reefs

    The island in the Seychelles, measuring just 400 metres long by 300 metres wide, will play host to the family’s land-based coral farm.

  • The latest numbers on COVID-19 in Canada
    News
    The Canadian Press

    The latest numbers on COVID-19 in Canada

    The latest numbers of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Canada as of 1:43 p.m. on July 1, 2020:There are 104,271 confirmed cases in Canada._ Quebec: 55,524 confirmed (including 5,527 deaths, 24,949 resolved)_ Ontario: 35,068 confirmed (including 2,672 deaths, 30,344 resolved)_ Alberta: 8,108 confirmed (including 154 deaths, 7,405 resolved)_ British Columbia: 2,916 confirmed (including 174 deaths, 2,590 resolved)_ Nova Scotia: 1,063 confirmed (including 63 deaths, 998 resolved)_ Saskatchewan: 785 confirmed (including 13 deaths, 684 resolved)_ Manitoba: 314 confirmed (including 7 deaths, 300 resolved), 11 presumptive_ Newfoundland and Labrador: 261 confirmed (including 3 deaths, 258 resolved)_ New Brunswick: 165 confirmed (including 2 deaths, 158 resolved)_ Prince Edward Island: 27 confirmed (including 27 resolved)_ Repatriated Canadians: 13 confirmed (including 13 resolved)_ Yukon: 11 confirmed (including 11 resolved)_ Northwest Territories: 5 confirmed (including 5 resolved)_ Nunavut: No confirmed cases_ Total: 104,271 (11 presumptive, 104,260 confirmed including 8,615 deaths, 67,742 resolved)This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 1, 2020.The Canadian Press

  • Jack Russell sad to see kittens on display in store window
    News
    Rumble

    Jack Russell sad to see kittens on display in store window

    Ari is very sad to see a kitten displayed in a very small place during a walk. So sweet!

  • Will And Kate Send Thanks To B.C. Hospital Workers In Video Call
    Celebrity
    HuffPost Canada

    Will And Kate Send Thanks To B.C. Hospital Workers In Video Call

    The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge called a group of B.C. hospital workers Wednesday.

  • 24 shot to death in attack on drug rehab centre in Mexico
    News
    The Canadian Press

    24 shot to death in attack on drug rehab centre in Mexico

    MEXICO CITY — Gunmen burst into an unregistered drug rehabilitation centre in central Mexico and opened fire Wednesday, killing 24 people and wounding seven, authorities said.Police in the north-central state of Guanajuato said the attack occurred in the city of Irapuato. Three of the seven wounded were reported in serious condition.Apparently the attackers shot everyone at the rehab centre. State police said nobody was abducted. Photos purporting to show the scene suggest those at the centre were lying down when they were sprayed with bullets.Guanajuato is the scene of a bloody turf battle between the Jalisco cartel and a local gang, and the state has become the most violent in Mexico.No motive was given in the attack, but Gov. Diego Sinhue Rodríguez Vallejo said drug gangs appeared to have been involved.“I deeply regret and condemn the events in Irapuato this afternoon,” the governor wrote. “The violence generated by organized crime not only takes the lives of the young, but it takes the peace from families in Guanajuato.”Mexican drug gangs have killed suspected street-level dealers from rival gangs sheltering at such facilities in the past. It was one of the deadliest attacks on a rehab centre since 19 people were killed in 2010 in Chihuahua city in northern Mexico. More than a dozen attacks on such facilities have occurred since then.Mexico has long had problems with rehab centres because most are privately run, underfunded and often commit abuses against recovering addicts. The government spends relatively little money on rehabilitation, often making the unregistered centres the only option available for poor families.In addition, addicts and dealers who face attacks from rivals on the streets sometimes take refuge at the rehab clinics, making the clinics themselves targets for attack. Still other gangs have been accused of forcibly recruiting recovering addicts at the centres as dealers, and killing them if they refused.The Associated Press

  • Indian PM Modi shuts Weibo account after banning Chinese apps
    News
    Reuters

    Indian PM Modi shuts Weibo account after banning Chinese apps

    Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has deleted his account on Sina Weibo, China's answer to Twitter, an Indian government source and the company said, as tensions between the two countries continue to simmer over a border skirmish. Since posting on Sina Weibo the first time in 2015 during a visit to China, Modi has been an infrequent user of the Chinese social media platform. Sina Weibo announced the closure of the account late on Wednesday and the removal comes a few days after India banned dozens of Chinese apps, including Sina Weibo and ByteDance's TikTok, following the border clash between the two nations.

  • Amid a housing crisis, should Montrealers be allowed to convert duplexes into single-family homes?
    News
    CBC

    Amid a housing crisis, should Montrealers be allowed to convert duplexes into single-family homes?

    When Hugo Levasseur bought a duplex in Villeray three years ago, he figured that as his family grew, he would be able to renovate the building into a single-family home.But he says new rules aimed at predatory landlords and large developers mean he can't transform his 800-square-foot apartment into a 1,600-square-foot family home, and that the regulations will drive more people to the suburbs.Villeray—Saint-Michel—Parc-Extension is among several Montreal boroughs that are moving to ban property owners from transforming duplexes, triplexes and larger buildings into a single-family homes, due to a growing housing crisis in Montreal.With vacancy rates at a 15-year low, the borough has halted issuing renovation permits as it moves forward with the regulation change."It's kind of like trying to fill a large sinkhole with a few pebbles, and the pebbles happen to be families like ours," said Levasseur on CBC Montreal's Daybreak."We're not taking five blocks and turning it into a single-family home of 3,000 square feet," he said. Levasseur says he recognizes that the housing crisis is a severe problem, but measures like these are not an effective way to tackle the crisis.If he is unable to convert his apartment to suit his growing family, Levasseur says he likely will have no choice but to consider moving off the island, because it will be hard to find a home that meets his family's needs, at a price that is affordable.But housing advocates say that families are already being forced out by landlords looking to renovate their homes, and then rent them out again for higher rents: a practice they say the new regulations would help curb. "Which families do we want to keep in Montreal? Is it only the ones who have the means to acquire property and to carry out a major renovation, or is it also the longer-term tenants who are low income and who face being pushed out of their neighbourhoods altogether?" asked Amy Darwish, a community organizer with Comité d'Action de Parc-Extension. The same regulations preventing Levasseur from transforming his duplex, she said, gives those tenants a fighting chance to remain in their homes. Evictions are on the rise, said Darwish, and many landlords are not occupants of the properties they wish to renovate. She said those who are most affected end up being those who live with lower incomes, or are immigrants."Should people be forced onto the streets in the midst of a global pandemic because somebody wants a larger home?" she said.The debate also comes in the context of widening wealth gaps between owners and renters, according to a study released Tuesday by not-for-profit research group Institut de recherche et d'informations socio-économiques (IRIS).Speculative practices over the past 20 years in the housing market drove up property values, says the report, reducing access to housing. It concludes government intervention, such as revising how property tax is calculated, is needed to protect affordable housing.Vacancy rates are unlikely to rise unless fewer people move to the city, according to the Canada Mortgage Housing Corporation (CMHC). Levasseur says he's open to working with others to find a solution."The best way to solve the crisis is to sit together and collaborate to find constructive solutions that will satisfy all parties involved," he said.

  • Border town pays price for Sweden's no-lockdown as Norway reopens
    News
    Reuters

    Border town pays price for Sweden's no-lockdown as Norway reopens

    The Swedish border town of Stromstad is paying a heavy price for Sweden's decision not to lock down its economy like neighbouring Norway and other Nordic nations to halt the spread of COVID-19. Stromstad is just a two-hour drive from Oslo and popular with Norwegians who shop for cheaper consumer goods in Sweden, but Norway's lockdown, imposed in mid-March, put a stop to that.

  • Johnny Depp's 'wife beater' libel case can go ahead, UK judge rules
    Celebrity
    Reuters

    Johnny Depp's 'wife beater' libel case can go ahead, UK judge rules

    A British judge ruled on Thursday that Hollywood star Johnny Depp's libel case against The Sun newspaper over claims he abused his ex-wife can go ahead next week after rejecting the publication's bid to have the case thrown out. Depp, the 57-year-old star of the "Pirates of the Caribbean" films, is suing the tabloid's publisher, News Group Newspapers, and its executive editor, Dan Wootton, at London's High Court for libel over an article Wootton wrote in 2018 calling Depp a "wife beater". Last week, Judge Andrew Nicol ruled that Depp had not fully complied with a court order by not supplying details of mobile phone texts to his assistant which the Sun's legal team said referred to obtaining drugs for the actor.

  • Labrador hit hard by Air Canada cuts, as leaders question airline motives
    Business
    CBC

    Labrador hit hard by Air Canada cuts, as leaders question airline motives

    Political leaders in the Big Land are unhappy with Air Canada's slashing of routes to the region, saying flights will now be scarcer and more expensive, and questioning the company's motives.The airline announced on Tuesday it was pulling out of Wabush Airport, as well as dropping its flights from Happy Valley-Goose Bay and the island, as part of a 30-route cutback across Canada.Air Canada's only service to Labrador is now its flight between Goose Bay and Halifax."To have the mat pulled underneath our feet from Air Canada here, it's devastating," said Wally Andersen, the mayor of Happy Valley-Goose Bay, noting the impacts ripple out to Labrador's north and south coasts, where people rely on travel through Goose Bay to get to medical appointments on the island.The MHA for Labrador West echoed those concerns, with Jordan Brown calling the move "a big blow to the region.""We get so busy here in Lab West, especially when the mines are having any rebuilds or anything like that. So this is going to create a massive bottleneck in the availability to travel out of the region," he said.Both see all sorts of traffic affected, from leisure tourism to medical appointments, to construction workers commuting to jobs. With the current push for summer staycations in the province, Andersen said the Air Canada move means any extra boost of visitors to Labrador is "going to be almost impossible.""We went through COVID-19 and were all looking forward to opening up a little bit. But to have your travel limited, it's not something we were looking forward to," he said.COVID a convenient excuse?They also predict the price of remaining flights to and from the Big Land, already costly and in short supply, are set to skyrocket.A regular return ticket from Goose Bay to St. John's easily tops $1,000, with last minute flights far more than that, and Andersen is left wondering about Air Canada's rationale for the move."For them to say they weren't making money, when their planes were basically full ... I question the reason why they're pulling out of Goose Bay," he said.> I think they used this COVID as an excuse to just cut ties altogether with the region. \- Jordan BrownAir Canada has stated the cutbacks are an attempt to staunch the financial bleeding its experienced since the start of the pandemic, as plane travel has nosedived. The carrier had a net loss of more than $1 billion in the first quarter of 2020 alone and trimmed its workforce by 20,000.Brown shares Andersen's skepticism, noting that Air Canada has "slowly deteriorated" the quality of its Wabush service for years, downsizing from jets to an 18-seater Beechcraft."I think they used this COVID as an excuse to just cut ties altogether with the region," he said.Wabush Mayor Ron Barron took things a step further Tuesday, telling CBC News he sees the loss as a potential ploy for Air Canada to angle for a federal bailout.Other airlinesBarron said he had spoken to PAL Airlines about possibly taking up some of Air Canada's slack. PAL declined an interview with CBC, instead pointing to a statement it made on social media that did not address any future expansions.On Facebook, PAL stated its operations "will not be affected by Air Canada's announcement."Brown said he had no commitments as of yet from other carriers to step in and fill the Air Canada void in Wabush, while Andersen said regional leaders would be coming together to reach out to other airlines and advocate for more service.Wabush Airport is still served by PAL, as well as Pascan Aviation and a few other small regional carriers. Goose Bay remains served by PAL and its subsidiary Air Borealis.Read more articles from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador

  • News
    The Canadian Press

    Hague court: Italy has jurisdiction in 2012 Indian shooting

    An international arbitration court has sided with Italy and decided the European country, not India, has jurisdiction to prosecute two Italian marines accused of killing two Indian fishermen in 2012. The Hague-based Permanent Court of Arbitration determined the two marines have immunity from Indian prosecution. Italy had argued as such since the men were Italian government employees acting in their official capacities when the fishermen were shot.

  • Boost in support for Liberals the biggest for a minority government in 60 years
    News
    CBC

    Boost in support for Liberals the biggest for a minority government in 60 years

    Governing parties across Canada are enjoying a surge in support as they confront the COVID-19 pandemic. Justin Trudeau's Liberals are no exception.But for a party heading up a minority government to be in such a position is rare. The Liberals' polling bump is the biggest for a minority government in over 60 years.The Liberals were in a state of post-election stagnation in late February and early March, averaging about 33 per cent in the polls. That's exactly where they were on election night nearly nine months ago.Since then, however, the Liberals have seen their support increase significantly. It has risen to between 39 and 42 per cent support among decided voters, according to a monthly average of national polls.That's a big increase of between six and nine percentage points compared to the last election. To understand how remarkable that is, you have to go back through decades of Canadian political history.Since modern political public opinion polling began in Canada in the 1940s, 10 elections have ended with minority governments. Most of the time, the first nine months of a newly elected (or re-elected) minority government do not see wide swings in public opinion.The increase in support for the Liberals — which seems to have settled around 7.5 points — eight to nine months after an election is the largest for a minority government since John Diefenbaker's Progressive Conservatives surged by 11.5 points in 1957-58.That's the only case of a minority government experiencing a larger increase in support than the one lifting up the Liberals now.Minority governments since the end of the Second World War have had a mixed record of political success — three were re-elected with majorities, three had to settle for subsequent minority mandates and three were defeated. But Diefenbaker's first minority ended with the biggest majority win in Canadian history.From minority to majority governmentsDiefenbaker rode a wave of popularity into election day in 1957 that continued into the first months of his new minority government.The PCs kept up a frenetic pace in the early days, following through on popular election promises. After three months in office, support for the PCs ballooned from 38.5 per cent to 47 per cent, according to Gallup. Between six and eight months after the 1957 election, the PCs were polling at 50 per cent among decided voters.Diefenbaker's support was boosted by the lacklustre performance of the newly-minted Liberal leader, Lester Pearson, who clumsily suggested the PCs willingly hand power back to his party. With the wind in his sails, Diefenbaker dissolved Parliament and called a new election. It delivered him 54 per cent of the popular vote and the highest share of seats in the House of Commons ever won by a party.After being reduced to a minority government in the 1972 federal election, Pierre Trudeau had to govern with the support of the New Democrats. He introduced new social welfare policies that helped boost Liberal support.The gains weren't enormous — four points after eight months — but it was enough to put the Liberals back into majority territory. After being defeated on a budget vote in 1974 when the NDP withdrew its support, Trudeau increased his party's share of the vote by five points over 1972 and returned to Parliament with a majority government.Stephen Harper, re-elected with a minority government in 2008, did see a short-lived boost in support in the early months of his second term when the Liberals, NDP and Bloc Québécois tried to form a coalition to boot him from office. But before long, Harper's Conservatives were down in the polls again, slipping as much as 7.5 points seven months after the 2008 election.Harper's minority government hung on, however, and it wasn't until 2011 that the opposition finally defeated the Conservatives in the House and forced an election. The result was a Conservative majority government.Pearson, Harper re-elected with minoritiesThe Pearson minorities and Harper's first term in 2006-08 featured few big swings in the polls. After ousting Diefenbaker in 1963, Pearson's Liberals retained their support over the next few months and, when Pearson decided to call an election, the result in 1965 was scarcely different from the outcome in 1963.The polls wobbled back and forth during the first months of Pearson's second term. It wasn't until Pearson stepped aside and was replaced by Pierre Trudeau that the Liberals were able to break the logjam in 1968.Harper's first term had a similarly stable polling trend line and his minority government lasted for nearly three years. By 2008, when Harper called an election, the Conservatives had done a good job of undermining Liberal leader Stéphane Dion — but it only got them another minority government.Going from minority to defeatThere are a few minority government horror stories, of course.After five years in office, Diefenbaker's PCs were unpopular and had been reduced to a minority government in 1962. The once-active Tories were now looking incompetent. The cabinet was in revolt and support for the PCs had dropped four to five points. Diefenbaker's weakened minority government lost a vote of confidence in the House and the election in 1963.Joe Clark, who won a shaky minority government in 1979 despite finishing significantly behind the Liberals in the popular vote, could not fulfil his election promises once in office. Support for Clark's PCs plummeted by nine points after only eight months. In 1980, they were defeated and back on the opposition benches.Paul Martin, once seen as the head of a Liberal juggernaut, was significantly damaged by the sponsorship scandal and held on with only a minority government in 2004. The Liberals managed to retain a lead in the polls going into the 2005 election campaign but it could not be sustained. By January 2006, the Liberals were out and Harper was in.When to pull the plugTiming matters with minority governments. Had Martin become prime minister earlier and called an election in late 2003, he might have secured a majority government that would have been in a better position to survive the sponsorship scandal.Had Diefenbaker not cashed in on his popularity very quickly in 1958, he might not have won his historic majority government. Had Clark handled his minority in the House better, he might have staved off defeat in 1980 long enough for Pierre Trudeau to make his planned retirement from politics.Not surprisingly, minority governments that decide their own fates have tended to fare better than those forced to call elections due to defeats in the House. The record is not perfect, however — which shows why campaigns still matter.There's also no guarantee that the trend in the polls after less than a year in a minority Parliament will continue indefinitely. The records of the past nine minority governments show that on only four occasions did the trend line after nine months (positive or negative) stay the same straight through to election day.When an election is called well after a minority government's first eight or nine months in office are over, the polling trends can be more unpredictable. Opinions shift over time, so troubled governments tend to get quickly defeated by opportunistic oppositions — and popular ones tend not to hesitate to renew their mandates.That brings us to today.The surge in support for Trudeau's Liberals is historically abnormal. The unprecedented pandemic is one reason for that — but if COVID-19 prevents an election call despite the government's strong support, that also would make for an abnormal situation.

  • Right time to 'get stupid again': Beavis, Butt-Head comeback
    Entertainment
    The Canadian Press

    Right time to 'get stupid again': Beavis, Butt-Head comeback

    LOS ANGELES — Beavis and Butt-Head are coming back to TV in a reimagined version of the animated series about a pair of Gen X slackers.“It seemed like the time was right to get stupid again,” Mike Judge, the creator and voice of both characters, said in a statement.“Beavis and Butt-Head,” which debuted in 1993 on MTV, is moving in its new iteration to ViacomCBS corporate sibling Comedy Central, it was announced Wednesday.The channel said it has ordered two seasons of the new series that will feature themes “relatable to both new and old fans," including Gen Z kids and their Gen X parents.Judge will write and produce the series and again will voice the characters in a deal that includes other spin-offs and specials.The original series, which drew praise for its social satire and criticism for its raunchy humour and violence, aired until 1997 and was briefly revived in 2011. The characters jumped to the big screen in 1996 with “Beavis and Butt-Head Do America."“Beavis and Butt-Head were a defining voice of a generation, and we can’t wait to watch as they navigate the treacherous waters of a world light-years from their own,” Comedy Central executive Chris McCarthy said in the announcement, which didn't include an air date.Judge’s other TV series credits include “Silicon Valley” and “King of the Hill.”Lynn Elber, The Associated Press

  • Petition calls on Sask. government to hire Black mental health therapists
    Health
    CBC

    Petition calls on Sask. government to hire Black mental health therapists

    Latoya Reid says the death of George Floyd — along with retraumatizing posts, videos, newscasts and conversations about anti-Black racism — have led to sleepless nights.She said it propelled her to seek mental health help in Regina. This in turn made her keenly aware of a gap in services in the province. She says she was unable to find any Black counsellors or therapists in Saskatchewan.For Reid, that means confiding in someone that doesn't, and will never, understand the racial and intergenerational trauma she faces as a Black woman from the Caribbean, a descendant of slaves who went through colonialism and someone who experiences racist microaggressions to this day.She has started an online petition calling on the province to acknowledge systemic racism in the mental health system, hire more people of colour, provide specific treatments to people of different racial groups, and run mandatory training sessions on anti-racism and multiple ethnoracial perspectives. "If you're constantly being told over and over and over again that your experiences do not matter you're not going to want to seek help for them if they're not being validated," she said.NDP MLA Trent Wotherspoon met Reid at one of the Black Lives Matter rallies in Regina and committed to helping her with the petition. He said she's exactly the kind of community leader the government should be in consultation with. He said the rallies highlighted a call for change and that Reid has given the government a map. "Here is a very practical path to make some change and do so in a way that will not just improve people's lives but to hopefully save people's lives," said Wotherspoon. 'Right person, for the right job': says SHAThe Saskatchewan Health Authority does not have any mental health or addictions programs designed specifically for the Black community. "Mental health and addictions services provided through the SHA are expected to be appropriate for anyone who accesses those services, regardless of cultural background," said the Ministry of Health in a statement emailed to CBC. The government didn't make any commitments, but said it's interested in learning how to improve mental health and addictions services offered through the SHA. The SHA's First Nation and Métis Relations offers culturally-responsive education opportunities to all SHA staff, with a focus primarily on but not limited to the experience of those two communities. The SHA said it doesn't have an action plan to hire more Black workers, saying, "We are about the right person, for the right job, at the right time, with the right skills and demonstrating the right behaviours to service the people of Saskatchewan." Reid said white therapists may empathize with Black patients, but they often hold the stereotype that everyone who is part of one racial group is the same. She said her own experience is far different from someone who moved to Canada from Africa. "Yes, people will see us as Black and may direct oppression toward us based on the hue of our skin, but underneath it all there are different traumas that we respond to," she said. Reid said people who are mixed race also have their own experiences, as do Black people with lighter skin tones.She said those providing therapy have to understand the context of those experiences and not diminish or minimize their oppression because they don't share the same perspective. She said one therapist she spoke to convinced her she was stressed out because she was being too hard on herself. Later, she realized it was the rest of the world that was making her feel pressure. For example, when she came to Canada, she was told she might fail in her career, which motivated her to graduate at the top of her class in social work. "It's the society that tells me that unless I am twice better than my white allies, unless my resumé is packed, unless I have a masters in social work, unless I have a PhD, I'm not going to be seen," said Reid. 2 inquests into deaths of young Black people in Sask. this yearReid said she wants interpreters in the health-care system for people who speak different languages. She is also calling for an advocacy group for Black people who go to the hospital, as there is for Indigenous people at RGH.She said the deaths of Kaleab Schmidt and Samwel Uko prove that things need to change. The SHA told Uko's uncle in a conference call that he visited the Regina General Hospital twice on May 21 for mental health help. The 20-year-old was escorted out the second time and was found dead in Wascana Lake a few hours later. The province just announced it was launching an inquest into his death. An inquest for Schmidt, who died by suicide on his family's farm near Balgonie in 2018 at the age 13, was held in March. The inquest heard that he was bullied repeatedly about being Black while attending Greenall High School.Belan Tsegaye, who will be in Grade 12 next year at Miller Comprehensive High School in Regina, was Schmidt's best friend. She said his death made her hit rock bottom. "Kaleab's passing really affected me, like it took a very big toll on my mental health where I didn't even want to get up from bed anymore," said Tsegaye. "It just broke me into pieces I didn't think I could get back up from."Friend of suicide victim wants more support in schoolsNow, Tsegaye is an advocate for mental health support. She said parents need to talk openly about mental health with their children, but that she thinks more conversations could be had at schools. She has been pushing for more support to be available. She suggested mental health clubs, mental health groups separated by grade and mental health education for teachers so that they can spot warning signs and properly respond. "We usually focus on drugs and alcohol, but sometimes people do drugs and alcohol to get away from mental health and that's just something we need to talk about," said Tsegaye. "It seems to me that they only care when someone's gone, but they need to be here for us while we're still here."The inquest into Schmidt's death called for the Prairie Valley School Division to re-evaluate school policies and anti-bullying efforts. The division recently acknowledged that no policy changes were made in response to the inquest, emphasizing that they were made earlier, after Schmidt's death. Tsegaye said she's been called the n-word at school many times and has been asked if her clothes were stolen, if she made them out of cotton or if her dad left her. She said the only action that has been taken by teachers is the student gets a talking to. She said it would help if there were more educators and guidance counsellors of colour. "Speaking to a Caucasian person about our feelings and about the racism we go through, they can't say the same or they might not be able to relate to us," she said. University student says many young Black people stigmatizedUniversity of Regina student Damaris Fadare, 28, said she could've easily "slipped through the cracks" seven years ago during a mental health crisis. She said there is a stigma in the Black community about speaking to counsellors or even the family doctor about mental health. She said she didn't know what she was experiencing and was fearful the doctor wouldn't understand or would think she wasn't normal. She said most of her issues stem from racial trauma and intergenerational challenges, as is the case with many young Black people."When they face racial trauma and they can't talk about it, slowly down the road it manifests itself in a different way," she said. "They might have a mental health issue and just the stigma attached to coming out and approaching a medical professional or even saying the right word."'You're being silenced'When Fadare did seek help, she was happy and surprised when her doctor referred her to a Black psychiatrist who also immigrated from Nigeria. She was diagnosed with depression and anxiety and sent to a non-Black counsellor. Fadare said people from the Black community who seek help often spend much of their time over-explaining and teaching the therapist about their experiences, rather than using it to unpack their trauma and get the needed support.She said there isn't just a need for Black counsellors, but a need for counsellors with cultural awareness."We need to adopt policies that are unique to our needs," said Fadare. "There is not a one-size-fits-all approach to this."Fadare said she is in a better place now and wants to speak out to reduce the stigma. She encourages other young Black people to seek medical help as soon as they need it and said it's also important to learn about mental health so that people can watch for symptoms in themselves and are better able to express what they need. She also said people should try other doctors or counsellors if there's isn't the right fit. Reid, who started the petition, said it's time for the health-care system to take accountability and make a change so that people like Schmidt and Uko aren't burdened with overcoming struggles on their own.  "If someone isn't seeing stuff from your perspective, over time...you're being silenced."

  • Politics
    The Canadian Press

    Trump allies take aim at his global media chief for firings

    Seven U.S. senators, including two strong allies of President Donald Trump, harshly criticized Trump's new chief of U.S.-funded global media on Wednesday for firing the heads of several international broadcasters without consulting Congress. Marco Rubio of Florida and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, the group questioned the leadership of Michael Pack, Trump’s pick to head the Agency for Global Media, which runs the flagship U.S. broadcaster Voice of America, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Radio Free Asia, Middle East Broadcasting Networks and the Cuba-focused Radio/TV Marti.

  • Canadian government warns travel to Hong Kong could lead to arbitrary detention
    News
    CBC

    Canadian government warns travel to Hong Kong could lead to arbitrary detention

    The Canadian government warns that travelling to Hong Kong could put you at risk of arbitrary detention and extradition to China. Hong Kong police have quickly used a new national security law, concocted by China's leadership, to make arrests and suppress calls for independence.