Visitors to the New York side of the falls were treated to spectacular views on Sunday (February 21) as a rainbow appeared overhead.
The forecast for Monday predicted more snow and a temperature high of 37 degrees Farenheit.
Visitors to the New York side of the falls were treated to spectacular views on Sunday (February 21) as a rainbow appeared overhead.
The forecast for Monday predicted more snow and a temperature high of 37 degrees Farenheit.
Ottawa will not license any Indigenous "moderate livelihood" fishery in Atlantic Canada unless it operates within the commercial season, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans said Wednesday, siding with a key demand from the region's commercial fishing industry, while angering Indigenous leaders. The statement is a major development in the dispute over treaty rights-based fishing that sparked violence last fall when the Sipekne'katik band launched its own self-regulated 'moderate livelihood' lobster fishery. The fishery in St. Marys Bay in southwest Nova Scotia took place outside the commercial season, angering other fishermen who said it was both unfair and bad for conservation. "Seasons ensure that stocks are harvested sustainably and they are necessary for an orderly, predictable, and well-managed fishery," Fisheries Minister Bernadette Jordan said in a statement, confirming a CBC News report earlier in the day. "In effort-based fisheries such as lobster, seasons are part of the overall management structure that conserves the resource, ensures there isn't overfishing, and distributes economic benefits across Atlantic Canada." WATCH | The history of the Mi'kmaw fishery: DFO indicated a willingness to discuss other details with affected First Nation communities. But Sipekne'katik Chief Mike Sack urged Mi'kmaw bands in Atlantic Canada to reject the federal government's position and told reporters his First Nation will continue to operate its fishery outside DFO seasons in 2021. "They're trying to divide and conquer and throw a carrot to a band or two and have them sign and just hurt everybody's case. So I hope that no other communities do sign. They don't take that low hanging fruit," he said. Sack restated his position that the treaty right was upheld by the Supreme Court of Canada's Marshall decision, and accused DFO of trying to divide and conquer the Mi'kmaq. In 1999, the court affirmed the Mi'kmaw treaty right to fish in pursuit of a "moderate livelihood," but under federal government regulations for conservation. Ottawa spent half a billion dollars integrating Indigenous bands into the commercial fishery through licence buy-backs and training, but it never defined "moderate livelihood." Jordan cited part of the Marshall ruling to justify her authority. She noted the Supreme Court said "treaty rights are subject to regulation provided such regulation is shown by the Crown to be justified on conservation or other grounds of public importance." "That is what we are implementing," Jordan said in her statement. The department is offering Indigenous fishermen in Nova Scotia a pathway to sell lobster harvested in a moderate livelihood fishery. Right now, that catch does not have DFO's stamp of approval. Without authorization, they can't legally sell their catch to licenced buyers, such as lobster pounds and processors. Bands that accept DFO's position will receive a moderate livelihood licence that will allow them to sell the catch in 2021. Under provincial rules, only fish products harvested under federal commercial licences can be purchased by shore processors. The federal government "will balance additional First Nations access through already available licences and a willing buyer-willing seller approach, protecting our stocks and preserving the industry for generations to come," Jordan's statement said. Sipekne'katik First Nation Chief Michael Sack, right, halted talks with the federal Fisheries Department in December after reaching an impasse.(Paul Withers/CBC) The Assembly of Nova Scotia Mi'kmaw Chiefs called the government's conditions "unacceptable" and condemned them as part of a "colonial approach" to the rights-based fishery recognized by the Supreme Court. "DFO continues to dictate and impose their rules on a fishery that is outside of their scope and mandate," said Chief Gerald Toney, the assembly's fisheries lead, in a statement. The right to a livelihood fishery isn't, and shouldn't be, driven by industry or the federal government, he said. "It is something that needs to come from the Mi'kmaq of Nova Scotia. Imposing restrictions independently, without input of the Mi'kmaq, on our implementation of Rights is an approach that must stop." Mi'kmaw leaders and some academics have insisted the fishery in St. Marys Bay poses no risk to stocks because it is too small. It's a claim the commercial industry rejects. One organization representing commercial fishermen said the DFO has made public what it had been telling the industry in private. "This position needs to come from them and they need to come out publicly, more often," said Martin Mallet, executive director of the Maritime Fishermen's Union. Mallet said commercial fishermen expect the DFO to enforce its rules if bands operate out of season, including pulling traps and "potentially arresting individuals that are not keeping up with the law." A group representing harvesters in southwestern Nova Scotia said the government's position "can provide certainty" for both Indigenous and non-Indigenous fishermen. "However, lasting and consistent enforcement that is fair to all harvesters will be critical," the Unified Fisheries Conservation Alliance said in a statement. The ambiguity over moderate livelihood led to violence last year when several bands launched self-regulated lobster fisheries — all taking place outside of commercial lobster seasons. In October, two facilities storing Mi'kmaw catches were vandalized, including one that was later burned to the ground. Indigenous harvesters also said hundreds of their traps were pulled by non-Indigenous commercial fishermen. After tensions abated, the DFO pulled hundreds of Mi'kmaw traps out of the water, many bearing band moderate livelihood tags. On Wednesday, the DFO returned to Sipekne'katik more than 200 traps it had seized last fall. Sipekne'katik First Nation Chief Mike Sack, shown in October, said Wednesday his band will continue to operate its moderate livelihood fishery outside DFO seasons in 2021.(Pat Callaghan/CBC) When defending the self-regulated fisheries, the Mi'kmaq point to the huge number of commercial traps in the water compared to those from bands. The Nova Scotia Seafood Alliance, which represents shore buyers, said that is misleading. Stewart Lamont of Tangier Lobster said he accepts the treaty right but maintains the fisheries must take place within commercial seasons. "The lobster biomass is extremely vulnerable during certain months of the year, most particularly late July, August, September, October, when lobsters are going through their annual molt," said Lamont. "They're literally hungrier than normal. They've taken on a new shell. They are far more readily embraced into a trap." He said hauling lobster at that time is short-sighted. "By the same token, they are of far lesser quality. They tend to be soft and medium shell. It's not a premium product." Commercial lobster fishing season varies across Nova Scotia, in part to maintain a steady supply to the market, and to protect stocks when they are vulnerable. MORE TOP STORIES
WASHINGTON — The Defence Department took more than three hours to dispatch the National Guard to the deadly riot at the U.S. Capitol despite a frantic request for reinforcement from police, according to testimony Wednesday that added to the finger-pointing about the government response. Maj. Gen. William Walker, commanding general of the District of Columbia National Guard, told senators that the then-chief of the Capitol Police requested military support in a 1:49 p.m. call, but the Defence Department's approval for that support was not relayed to him until after 5 p.m., according to prepared testimony. Guard troops who had been waiting on buses were then rushed to the Capitol. That delay stood in contrast to the immediate approval for National Guard support granted in response to the civil unrest that roiled American cities last spring as an outgrowth of racial justice protests, Walker said. As local officials pleaded for help, Army officials raised concerns about the optics of a substantial National Guard presence at the Capitol, he said. “The Army senior leadership” expressed to officials on the call “that it would not be their best military advice to have uniformed Guardsmen on the Capitol,” Walker said. The Senate hearing is the second about what went wrong on Jan. 6, with national security officials face questions about missed intelligence and botched efforts to quickly gather National Guard troops that day as a violent mob laid siege to the U.S. Capitol. Even as Walker detailed the National Guard delay, another military official noted that local officials in Washington had said days earlier that no such support was needed. Senators were eager to grill officials from the Pentagon, the National Guard and the Justice and Homeland Security departments about their preparations for that day. Supporters of then-President Donald Trump had talked online, in some cases openly, about gathering in Washington that day and interrupting the electoral count. At a hearing last week, officials who were in charge of security at the Capitol blamed one another as well as federal law enforcement for their own lack of preparation as hundreds of rioters descended on the building, easily breached the security perimeter and eventually broke into the Capitol. Five people died as a result of the rioting. So far, lawmakers conducting investigations have focused on failed efforts to gather and share intelligence about the insurrectionists’ planning before Jan. 6 and on the deliberations among officials about whether and when to call National Guard troops to protect Congress. The officials at the hearing last week, including ousted Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund, gave conflicting accounts of those negotiations. Robert Contee, the acting chief of police for the Metropolitan Police Department, told senators he was “stunned” over the delayed response and said Sund was pleading with Army officials to deploy National Guard troops as the rioting rapidly escalated. Senate Rules Committee Chair Amy Klobuchar, one of two Democratic senators who will preside over Wednesday's hearing, said in an interview Tuesday that she believes every moment counted as the National Guard decision was delayed and police officers outside the Capitol were beaten and injured by the rioters. “Any minute that we lost, I need to know why,” Klobuchar said. The hearing comes as thousands of National Guard troops are still patrolling the fenced-in Capitol and as multiple committees across Congress are launching investigations into mistakes made on Jan. 6. The probes are largely focused on security missteps and the origins of the extremism that led hundreds of Trump supporters to break through the doors and windows of the Capitol, hunt for lawmakers and temporarily stop the counting of electoral votes. Congress has, for now, abandoned any examination of Trump’s role in the attack after the Senate acquitted him last month of inciting the riot by telling the supporters that morning to “fight like hell” to overturn his defeat. As the Senate hears from the federal officials, acting Capitol Police Chief Yogananda Pittman will testify before a House panel that is also looking into how security failed. In a hearing last week before the same subcommittee, she conceded there were multiple levels of failures but denied that law enforcement failed to take seriously warnings of violence before the insurrection. In the Senate, Klobuchar said there is particular interest in hearing from Walker, the commanding general of the D.C. National Guard, who was on the phone with Sund and the Department of the Army as the rioters first broke into the building. Contee, the D.C. police chief, was also on the call and told senators that the Army was initially reluctant to send troops. “While I certainly understand the importance of both planning and public perception — the factors cited by the staff on the call — these issues become secondary when you are watching your employees, vastly outnumbered by a mob, being physically assaulted,” Contee said. He said he had quickly deployed his own officers and he was “shocked” that the National Guard “could not — or would not — do the same." Contee said that Army staff said they were not refusing to send troops, but “did not like the optics of boots on the ground” at the Capitol. Also testifying at the joint hearing of the Senate Rules Committee and the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committees are Robert Salesses of the Defence Department, Melissa Smislova of the Department of Homeland Security and Jill Sanborn of the FBI, all officials who oversee aspects of intelligence and security operations. Lawmakers have grilled law enforcement officials about missed intelligence ahead of the attack, including a report from an FBI field office in Virginia that warned of online posts foreshadowing a “war” in Washington. Capitol Police leaders have said they were unaware of the report at the time, even though the FBI had forwarded it to the department. Testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday, FBI Director Christopher Wray said the report was disseminated though the FBI’s joint terrorism task force, discussed at a command post in Washington and posted on an internet portal available to other law enforcement agencies. Though the information was raw and unverified and appeared aspirational in nature, Wray said, it was specific and concerning enough that “the smartest thing to do, the most prudent thing to do, was just push it to the people who needed to get it.” Mary Clare Jalonick And Eric Tucker, The Associated Press
Romanian blockchain start-up Elrond is preparing to have its new global payments app support Bitcoin this month as it looks to rival more established rivals PayPal or Revolut, its CEO said, as it taps surging interest in crypto currencies. Led by a sharp rise in Bitcoin, digital asset markets rose above $1 trillion in early 2021, as big money managers and companies begin to take the sector seriously. "This transforms what once looked like a Mexican standoff, where potential investors waited on the sidelines, into an arms race," Elrond founder Beniamin Mincu told Reuters.
GUYSBOROUGH – International Women’s Day (IWD) is Monday, March 8. This global day of celebration honours the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women and promotes gender parity. In Guysborough County, there are many women to celebrate – from small business owners, front-line workers, women in trades, to stay-at-home mothers and many more. In this year of pandemic, one line of work most parents have come to appreciate, perhaps more than ever, is the role of educator. This year The Journal is highlighting the women leading the team at Chedabucto Education Centre /Guysborough Academy (CECGA): Principal Barbara Avery and Vice Principle Tera Dorrington. What follows is an online interview with Avery and Dorrington discussing their careers and the importance of female role models. Journal: What is your position and how long have you been in that position? Avery: I have been in administration at CECGA for a little over eight years, six of those as a Principal. I grew up and attended school here in Guysborough and feel very fortunate to have been able to return and give back to this school community. Dorrington: My current position at Chedabucto Education Centre/Guysborough Academy is Vice Principal. I have been in this role for almost six years. My first two years in this position was at SAERC in Port Hawkesbury, and I was here at CECGA for almost four years. I am grateful to be able to return to my old school and community. Journal: Who were your role models in the field of education – and in life in general? Avery: As I look back and reflect on my educational journey, there are many people who supported me along the way. First and foremost were my parents. They taught me the importance of hard work and perseverance and to take pride in everything I did – no matter how big or small – and to always believe in myself. They were strong believers that our experiences help shape who we become so I was always actively involved both in school and community. I was also blessed with many great teachers and administrators throughout my public education who lent a hand in inspiring me to be an educator myself. When I was a student there were not as many women in secondary education, but those who were made a big impact. I was fortunate to have women role models as teachers and administrators and now as colleagues. I also feel that the male teachers and administrators I had also encouraged me in my pursuit in the Math and Science field and continue to feel supported by my male colleagues. Dorrington: I am surrounded by so many positive and inspiring people, which granted me many role models. I am lucky to work beside such an amazing and dedicated principal every day. Barbara is full of knowledge. If I ever need advice or guidance, she is my ‘right-hand woman.’ There are also some hard working, successful men and women who work behind the scenes at the senior administration level and, as busy as they are, they always find time to mentor and support me. I have so many colleagues with such a wealth of expertise and experience and they inspire me each day. During my time at StFX, I had two professors who encouraged and inspired me. Dr. Agnes Calliste and Dr. Ottilia Chareka were both such positive influences. Although they have both passed away, I often reflect on their words of encouragement and the life lessons they taught me. I even dedicated my mEd thesis to Ottilia! I can’t forget my parents. I wouldn’t be where I am today without their sacrifices, encouragement and ongoing support. They taught me the importance of hard work, perseverance and resilience. Journal: What did you want to be when you were a child? Did you see women in those roles? Or in the role you currently hold? Dorrington: When I was a child, I wanted to be a teacher. I loved playing school with my dolls and mini chalkboard. In high school, I had Angela MacKeen as an English teacher (who also happens to be Barbara’s sister). Angela always seemed to be having so much fun as she taught English, especially Shakespeare, that I decided I wanted to be an English teacher too! In my grade 12 year, Elizabeth Teasdale was the principal, but there were only three female high school teachers that I can recall. Journal: Ms. Dorrington, how has being a mother impacted your career trajectory? Dorrington: Being a mother has impacted my career trajectory in a positive way. It pushes me to reach my goals. I have two daughters who are watching and learning from me. I am modelling the value of the importance of hard work. As I continue my own education, I hope that it shows them that there will always be new things to learn. I want them to know that their possibilities are endless and grow up be strong and independent women. I hope that I am a role model for them. Journal: What impact do you think it has on students and colleagues to see two women in the top positions at the school? Dorrington: I think that having two females in our role, shows promise. It shows that success can be achieved regardless of your gender, race or the community you’re from. It shows that barriers can be broken. I hope it encourages them to achieve their own dreams, no matter what they are. It’s not about being at the top, it’s about doing something that you love. Journal: Based on your own experience, what advice would you give to women considering pursuing top level positions in your field? Dorrington: The advice I would give to women considering pursuing top level positions in our field would be to remember that a school would not be successful without the teachers, TAs, guidance counsellors, support staff and students. Treat them well. Also, make sure you eat a good breakfast, get plenty of rest and wear comfy shoes. It is a rewarding job. Like all professions, make sure it is something that you love, and it won’t feel like work. Journal: How important is it for women to lift each other up and what does that mean to you? Dorrington: It is very important for women to lift one another up, and we need to raise our children to do the same. As women, we need to clap and cheer for each other. We need to empower each other. Take advantage of programs such as Techsploration and get involved in your community. A message I would send out to young women about pursing their careers is to set your goals high and don’t stop until you get there. Work hard and never give up. Don’t compare yourself to others, embrace your own strengths. Most importantly, always look a challenge in the eye and give it a wink. Avery: I am pleased to see advancements being made in public education since I attended in supporting and providing women the opportunity to explore under-represented careers by offering programs such as Techsploration in schools. The Techsploration program helps to inspire women to explore careers in Science, Trades, Engineering and Technology; through engagement with female role models, students learn about these careers while participating in hands-on workshops. Journal: This year’s IWD campaign theme: #ChooseToChallenge; could you comment on that? Dorrington: In regard to this year’s IWD theme, let’s remember that challenge means change. As we are raising our daughters to be strong and independent women, we also need to raise our sons to be allies as we strive for a world of inclusion and equality. Journal: On International Women’s Day, what is the most important message you want to send out to young women thinking about their careers? Avery: My message to all students is not to be scared to be a self-promoter; celebrate your successes and make your own way in this world by following your passion. Lois Ann Dort, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Guysborough Journal
Scottish leader Nicola Sturgeon on Wednesday defended her handling of sexual harassment complaints against her predecessor Alex Salmond in high-stakes testimony on an issue that threatens to scupper her dream of leading Scotland to independence. Describing the feud with Salmond as "one of the most invidious political and personal situations" she had ever faced, Sturgeon denied Salmond's accusations that she had plotted against him and misled the Scottish parliament. The feud between the pair, once close friends and powerful allies in the cause of Scottish independence, has reached fever pitch in recent weeks, threatening the electoral prospects of the Scottish National Party (SNP) at a crucial time.
Chris Daken is taken aback by the outpouring of attention, support and condolences his family is receiving in the wake of unspeakable tragedy. Lexi Daken, daughter to Chris and Shawna Betts, sister to Piper and Brennah, student at Leo Hayes High School, friend, athlete, teenager, took her own life last Wednesday. She was just 16. A week earlier, Lexi had been taken to the emergency room at Fredericton's Dr. Everett Chalmers Hospital by a guidance counsellor who was concerned about her mental health. She waited for eight hours without receiving any mental health intervention. After she was told by a nurse that calling a psychiatrist would take another two hours, Lexi left the hospital with a referral for followup. Since her death, Daken said, the family has been bowled over by the offers of support, from here in New Brunswick and right across the country. "Lexi's story has touched a lot of people in ways we would never have imagined," he said. Chris Daken with daughter Lexi, when she was about 2-years-old. (Submitted by Chris Daken) 'Lexi didn't get the help she went there for' On Tuesday, one day after Lexi's funeral service, Daken told CBC News his heart is aching but his mission is clear: to shine a spotlight on the broken system that allowed this to happen, and to never let it fade until things change. "It can't be acceptable that a person could go to the hospital and not get the care they need, that they be made to feel like a burden and pushed away," he said. "Lexi didn't get the help she went there for, and I really believe the government has to take a good look in the mirror and … at the decisions that were made that day." That's part of the reason Daken said his family made a conscious choice to speak openly about the tragedy. "The day after her death, we started getting calls from media," he said. "We sat down as a family to decide whether we should ignore the publicity and deal with Lexi's death in our own way, or speak out about it to everyone." Ultimately, they decided that "keeping it in the dark" would only perpetuate the stigma around mental health issues. "This has happened too often," Daken said. "We can't let this go away. We want to keep the momentum going, and hopefully it leads to change." That can't happen if people aren't talking about it, he said. "We want kids to know there's help out there. We're hoping to make mental health an easier subject to talk about. … It's no problem for people to talk about having a broken bone, so why can't we talk about having a broken brain?" Green Leader David Coon said Tuesday he will push the government to call for a public inquiry in the wake of Lexi Daken's death, noting "I will be relentless about it."(CBC News file photo) Family supports call for a public inquiry For this reason, the family also supports Green Party Leader David Coon's call for an inquiry into the province's handling of suicidal youths in emergency rooms. In an interview Tuesday morning, Coon said he plans to push the government to call a public inquiry into Lexi's death, noting "I will be relentless about this." "Too many teens in crisis have been turned back from emergency rooms without getting help, without getting admitted into a safe place where they won't be able to harm themselves," he said. "Something has to be done. We can't keep going with this broken system." Coon said he'd like to see "everyone along the chain" called as witnesses at the inquiry, from the psychiatrist and nurse on duty the day Lexi visited the hospital to the hospital management. Lexi Daken shown here with her sisters. From left to right, Brennah, Piper and Lexi. (Submitted by Chris Daken) Daken said he spoke with Coon about his plan at Lexi's vigil, and he supports it completely. "I think it's a good thing," he said. "The public is looking for answers just as we are." Daken sees a public inquiry as another crucial step on the road to real change. "What we have seen over and over again in the past, when a teen has taken their own life, there's a big outcry for a week or two, and then after a while it just quietly goes away," he said. "We don't want that to happen this time." The sheer number of individuals and groups who have contacted Daken and his family to offer help and support gives him hope that this time, it really will be different, he said. "We've had mental health associations reaching out from across the country, people here in the community organizing fundraisers, we've had [People's Alliance Leader] Kris Austin and the Liberals and Mr. Coon in touch with us," he said. "None of us wants to let this fade away. "So as tragic as Lexi's death is, we hope some good can come out it." If you need help: CHIMO hotline: 1-800-667-5005 / http://www.chimohelpline.ca Kids Help Phone: 1-800-668-6868 Canada Suicide Prevention Service: 1-833-456-4566.
A wild rally in shares of Rocket Companies that saw the stock rise 70% in an apparent short squeeze has attracted fresh bets that the stock price will decline. Shares of Rocket, the parent of mortgage lender Quicken Loans, were down 31.7% to $28.43 in afternoon trading on Wednesday. The heavily-shorted stock had surged more than 70% on Tuesday in a move that analysts said was likely sparked by bearish investors unwinding bets against the stock as its share price surged.
The European Union promised legal action on Wednesday after the British government unilaterally extended a grace period for checks on food imports to Northern Ireland, a move Brussels said violated terms of Britain's divorce deal. Since it left the EU last year, Britain's relations with the bloc have soured, with both sides accusing the other of acting in bad faith in relation to part of their trade agreement that covers goods movements to Northern Ireland. The British government extended a grace period for some checks on agricultural and food products imported by retailers to Northern Ireland until Oct. 1 in a move it said was necessary to ensure the free flow of goods to the British region.
Music's ability to connect us, even if only virtually, is on display in the latest film project by Vicki Van Chau in collaboration with the Calgary Chinese Orchestra. Van Chau is co-director and editor for a new documentary and music video called Off to the Races. The film features interviews and a music collaboration of 72 musicians playing a classic Chinese erhu song, Horse Race. The erhu is a Chinese violin. The idea to produce the 12-minute doc came from Jiajia Li, the artistic director of the Calgary Chinese Orchestra and a flutist. Vicki Van Chau is the co-director and editor of the film.(Kai Sunderland) Li wanted to do something to honour the Lunar New Year despite restrictions on the ability to gather. Van Chau and Li connected in November and opened up the call for submissions from artists playing the song on their instruments. Li chose the song, which was composed in the 1960s, for its upbeat and hopeful theme. And because it's less than three minutes long, it would be easy for submitting musicians to learn and record in time. There were so many submissions that the music producer, Warren Tse, wrote an intro and interlude so that more musicians could be included in the final performance. Erhus, pipas, fiddles, pianos and other instruments are played alongside each other in the video featuring 72 submission from Calgary, Vancouver, Toronto, Singapore, the United States and China. The video was released via YouTube on Feb. 14. With files from Huyana Cyprien and the Calgary Eyeopener.
VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis is pushing ahead with the first papal trip to Iraq despite rising coronavirus infections, hoping to encourage the country’s dwindling number of Christians who were violently persecuted during the Islamic State's insurgency while seeking to boost ties with the Shiite Muslim world. Security is a concern for the March 5-8 visit, given the continued presence of rogue Shiite militias and fresh rocket attacks. Francis, who relishes plunging into crowds and zipping around in his popemobile, is expected to travel in an armoured car with a sizeable security detail. The Vatican hopes the measures will have the dual effect of protecting the pope while discouraging contagion-inducing crowds. Francis’ visit is the culmination of two decades of efforts to bring a pope to the birthplace of Abraham, the prophet central to Christian, Muslim and Jewish faiths, after St. John Paul II was prevented from going in 1999. “We can't disappoint this people a second time," Francis said Wednesday in urging prayers for the trip. The trip will give Francis — and the world — a close-up look at the devastation wrought by the 2014-2017 IS reign, which destroyed hundreds of Christian-owned homes and churches in the north, and sent tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians and other religious minorities fleeing. The trip will include a private meeting with Iraq’s top Shiite cleric, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, a revered figure in Iraq and beyond. ___ WHAT'S THE VIRUS SITUATION IN IRAQ? Iraq is currently seeing a resurgence of infections, with daily new cases nearing the height of its first wave. For months, Francis has eschewed even small, socially distanced public audiences at the Vatican, raising questions about why he would expose Iraqis to the risk of possible infection. Francis, the Vatican delegation and travelling media have been vaccinated, but few ordinary Iraqis have been given shots. The Vatican has defended the visit, insisting that it has been designed to limit crowds and that health measures will be enforced. But even then, 10,000 tickets have been prepared for the pope's final event, an outdoor Mass at a stadium in Irbil. Spokesman Matteo Bruni said the important thing is that Iraqis will be able to watch Francis on TV and “know that the pope is there for them, bringing a message that it is possible to hope even in situations that are most complicated.” He acknowledged there might be consequences to the visit, but said the Vatican measured the risks against the need for Iraqis to feel the pope's “act of love." ___ HOW WILL CHRISTIANS REACT TO POPE'S INTERFAITH MESSAGE? Before IS seized vast swaths of northern Iraq, the Rev. Karam Shamasha ministered to 1,450 families in his hometown of Telskuf, 20 miles (about 30 kilometres) north of Mosul. Today, the families of his Chaldean Catholic parish number 500, evidence of the massive exodus of Christians who fled the extremists and never returned. Shamasha says Francis will be welcomed by those who stayed, even though his message of interfaith harmony is sometimes difficult for Iraqi Christians to hear. They faced decades of discrimination and envy by the Muslim majority well before IS. “The first ones who came to rob our houses were our (Muslim) neighbours,” Shamasha told reporters ahead of the trip. Even before IS, when a Christian family built a new house, Muslim neighbours would sometime say “‘Good, good, because you’re building a house for us’ because they know or believe that in the end, Christians will disappear from this land and the houses will be theirs," he said. Francis is going to Iraq precisely to encourage these Christians to persevere and remain, and to emphasize that they have an important role to play in rebuilding Iraq. Iraqi Christians were believed to number around 1.4 million in 2003. Today there are about 250,000 left. Arriving in Baghdad, Francis will meet with priests, seminarians and nuns in the same cathedral where Islamic militants in 2010 slaughtered 58 people in what was the deadliest assault targeting Christians since the 2003 U.S.-led invasion. On Francis’ final full day in Iraq, he will pray in a Mosul square surrounded by four destroyed churches, and visit another church in the Christian city of Qaraqosh that has been rebuilt in a sign of hope for Christianity's future there. ___ WHY WILL FRANCIS MEET WITH GRAND AYATOLLAH? One of the highlights of the trip is Francis’ meeting with al-Sistani, the grand ayatollah whose 2014 fatwah calling on able-bodied men to fight IS swelled the ranks of Shiite militias that helped defeat the group. Francis has spent years trying to forge improved relations with Muslims. He signed a historic document on human fraternity in 2019 with a prominent Sunni leader, Sheikh Ahmed el-Tayeb, the grand imam of Al-Azhar, the seat of Sunni learning in Cairo. There are no plans to add the 91-year-old al-Sistani's signature to the document. But the fact that the meeting is happening at all is enormously significant, said Gabriel Said Reynolds, professor of Islamic studies and theology at the University of Notre Dame. “It’s hard not to see this as accompanying his relationship with Ahmed el-Tayeb,” Reynolds said, noting al-Sistani's place as a revered figure of religious, political and intellectual influence in Iraq and beyond. “I think there would be a lot for them to speak about," he said. ___ WHAT ARE THE SECURITY CONCERNS? Security concerns were an issue well before twin suicide bombings claimed by IS ripped through a Baghdad market Jan. 21, killing at least 32 people. They have only increased after a spate of recent rocket attacks, including at least 10 Wednesday, resumed targeting the American presence in the country, attacks the U.S. has blamed on Shiite militias. Those same groups, strengthened after al-Sistani’s fatwa, are accused of terrorizing Christians and preventing them from returning home. Iraqi government and religious officials are concerned these militias could carry out rocket attacks in Baghdad or elsewhere to show their displeasure over al-Sistani’s meeting with Francis. Asked if this 33rd foreign visit was Francis' riskiest, Bruni replied diplomatically. “I wouldn’t get into a competition of riskiest journeys, but I would say this is certainly one of the most interesting.” Nicole Winfield, The Associated Press
Orban announced the decision in a letter to the chairman of the EPP, Manfred Weber, on Wednesday, making good on his threat to leave the grouping over changes to its rules.View on euronews
Starting Thursday, non-essential travellers who are already required to present proof of a negative COVID-19 test on the Windsor side of the land border must participate in on-site testing at the Ambassador Bridge or Windsor-Detroit Tunnel. Trailers in the duty-free parking lots of both the Ambassador Bridge and Windsor-Detroit Tunnel, set up by the Public Health Agency of Canada and the Canadian Red Cross, will be used for tests of non-essential, Canadian travellers coming back into Canada — as well as those who have landed from out of the country. Testing will begin Thursday at 7 a.m. at both the Windsor-Detroit Tunnel and Ambassador Bridge. An onsite testing trailer can be seen in the duty free store parking lot at the Ambassador Bridge. (Sanjay Maru/CBC) "This won't affect [essential workers]. They'll pull up to the customs lanes. They'll say they're an essential worker and they'll do what they've done for the past year," said Chris Tremblay, general manager for Windsor Detroit Borderlink, the company which operates the tunnel. Melanie Soler, vice president of emergency management response operations for the Canadian Red Cross, said individuals who partake in on-site testing at the land border will be given two testing kits. The first kit will be self-administered by the traveller inside the testing trailer. "Our personnel will observe them administering their own sample and packaging their own sample," said Soler. "Once the traveler deposits that sample in a safe and sanitary spot, our personnel will put that in a refrigeration package to make sure it gets to the lab for testing." It's not mandatory for individuals to be supervised by Red Cross staff when they self-administer their "day one" test, but the option is there in case they have any questions about it or need assistance, she added. In fact, a non-essential traveller can self-administer the "day one" swab in their personal quarantine location, if desired, according to PHAC. The general manager of the Ambassador Bridge says while it may seem redundant to come to the border with proof a COVID-19 test result only to be swabbed again on site, it's an added measure to keep people safe.(Sanjay Maru/CBC) After the first test is done, the traveller will be given a second testing kit which they will self-administer on "day 10" of quarantine. "The Public Health Agency of Canada is leading the collection of samples from travellers at land borders in coordination with federal partners including Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness and the Canada Border Services Agency," said PHAC in a statement. In all instances of on-site testing, travellers will be pulled away from the flow of essential traffic to ensure border flow keeps moving. 'A lot can happen within 72 hours' Since Feb. 15, non-essential travellers entering Canada through the land border have been required to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test conducted 72 hours before arrival. According to the Public Health of Agency of Canada, this on-site testing effort will help travellers "meet day one arrival requirements." But that doesn't mean on-site testing will replace the need for a pre-arrival test. Non-essential travellers will still have to show up to the border with proof of a negative result even if they participate in on-site testing. In fact, travellers without that pre-arrival test result may be directed to a designated quarantine facility by PHAC officials, according to the CBSA. COVID-19 testing trailers like these have been setup near Windsor's two international land border crossings. (Sanjay Maru/CBC) "From our level, is it redundant? Sounds like it's redundant," said Ambassador Bridge general manager Randy Spader. "I'm going to give you a negative test — and you're going to test me?" He adds, however, that "a lot can happen within 72 hours," and the federal government is seemingly doing whatever it can to prevent the cross-border spread of COVID-19. "Somebody who takes a test on Thursday, they're at the border on Sunday. What were they doing for those three days?" he said. "I think it's just a precaution to ensure the testing ramps us and Canada has the most information available to them for people wanting to get home." An invalid or inconclusive "day 10" test result will result in another test being mailed out to the traveller. The federal governments adds that failure to complete either of the self-administered swabs "could lead to fines of up to $750,000 or imprisonment."
Consumers filed complaints with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in record numbers in 2020, according to a report released Monday by the U.S. Public Interest Research Group, a non-profit consumer advocacy group. Credit reporting issues were cited in 282,000, or 63%, of the complaints. The majority noted “incorrect information” on credit reports or “information belongs to someone else,” the report said. Not only did complaints about credit report errors lead the list of consumer grievances, but the three major credit-reporting bureaus — Experian, TransUnion and Equifax — were the top three companies complained about. ERRORS CAN ENDANGER YOUR SCORE Accuracy matters since credit report errors can suggest identity theft or fraudulent activity on your accounts. And because credit report data provides the raw material for credit scores, errors can lower your score. Some of the volume of complaints may be an unintended consequence of payment accommodations mandated by the 2020 coronavirus relief bill and temporary concessions offered by lenders and credit card issuers. But credit report errors were common even before the pandemic, says Ed Mierzwinski, senior director of the advocacy group’s Federal Consumer Program and author of the report. Payment accommodations may have led more people to check their credit reports and find those errors, he says. Mierzwinski recommends that “any consumer with any credit account” check their credit reports. People who have common names may be at particular risk of a mix-up, he says. HOW TO GET YOUR FREE CREDIT REPORTS You can get a free credit report from each of the three major credit bureaus by using AnnualCreditReport.com. You’ll be asked to provide personal identifying information — your name, Social Security number, birthdate and address. You will also be asked security questions to verify your identity. Some of those can be tough. If you aren’t able to answer correctly, call 877-322-8228 to request your credit reports by mail. You can also download and mail a request form to: Annual Credit Report Request Service, P.O. Box 105281, Atlanta, GA 30348-5281. HOW TO READ YOUR CREDIT REPORTS Your reports from the three bureaus won’t look exactly the same. Not every creditor reports to all three and the bureaus present information in different formats. But you can use a similar procedure for reading your credit reports. First, check your identifying information. Errors such as misspellings of a former employer are unimportant, but something like an address you’ve never lived at could suggest identity theft. Next, check account information. Each credit account you have (and some that are closed) should be listed and include: — Creditor’s name, account number and date opened. — Type of account (credit card, loan, etc.). — Account status and whether you’re current on payments. Accounts that were in good standing when pandemic-related payment accommodations began must continue to be reported that way until the accommodation ends. — Whether you are a joint account holder, primary user or authorized user. — Credit limit and/or the original amount of a loan. — There may be negative information, such as collections accounts or bankruptcy records. Be sure that you recognize it and that it is accurate. HOW TO DISPUTE ERRORS The Fair Credit Reporting Act holds both the creditor that reports to the credit bureaus and the credit bureaus responsible for making sure the information in your credit reports is accurate. If you spot an error in one credit report, check for it in the other two. Dispute the error with each bureau that’s reporting it. You can dispute by mail, phone or online — the credit report will include information on how to file your dispute. Credit bureaus must investigate and inform you of the result. You can also contact the business providing the incorrect information. It must inform the bureaus of the dispute and, if it finds the information was wrong or incomplete, ask the credit bureaus to delete it. If disputing doesn’t resolve the issue, Mierzwinski recommends filing a complaint with the CFPB and asking for an investigation. That can bring additional pressure to correct misinformation, he says. The CFPB’s acting director, Dave Uejio, has said one of his goals is “making sure that consumers who submit complaints to us get the response and the relief they deserve.” ______________________________ This article originally appeared on the personal finance website NerdWallet. Bev O’Shea is a writer at NerdWallet. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Twitter: @BeverlyOShea. RELATED LINKS U.S. PIRG: Consumers in peril https://uspirgedfund.org/reports/usf/consumers-peril NerdWallet: How to Get Your Annual Credit Reports From the Major Credit Bureaus http://bit.ly/nerdwallet-credit-reports AnnualCreditReport.com request form https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/pdf-0093-annual-report-request-form.pdf NerdWallet: How to Read a Credit Report http://bit.ly/nerdwallet-report-reading NerdWallet: How to Dispute Credit Report Errors http://bit.ly/nerdwallet-report-errors Bev O'Shea Of Nerdwallet, The Associated Press
Britain is more than doubling to 100 pounds ($139.75) the limit on contactless payments made with debit or credit cards, the finance ministry said on Wednesday, as COVID-19 accelerates a shift to electronic payments from cash. The finance ministry said that while legally in force from Wednesday, the changes to limits from the current ceiling of 45 pounds will not happen in practice immediately, as firms will need to make the necessary systems changes. The banking industry is due to implement the new 100 pound limit later this year, it said.
YANGON, Myanmar — Authorities in Myanmar have charged Associated Press journalist Thein Zaw and five other members of the media with violating a public order law that could see them imprisoned for up to three years, a lawyer said Tuesday. The six were arrested while covering protests against the Feb. 1 military coup in Myanmar that ousted the elected government of Aung San Suu Kyi. The group includes journalists for Myanmar Now, Myanmar Photo Agency, 7Day News, Zee Kwet online news and a freelancer. Lawyer Tin Zar Oo, who represents Thein Zaw, said the six have been charged under a law that punishes anyone who causes fear among the public, knowingly spreads false news, or agitates directly or indirectly for a criminal offence against a government employee. The law was amended by the junta last month to broaden its scope and increase the maximum prison term from two years. AP’s Thein Zaw, 32, was taken into custody on Saturday morning in Yangon, the country’s largest city. He is reported to be held in Insein Prison in northern Yangon, notorious for housing political prisoners under previous military regimes. According to the lawyer, Thein Zaw was remanded into custody by a court and can be held until March 12 without another hearing or further action. The AP has called for his immediate release. “Independent journalists must be allowed to freely and safely report the news without fear of retribution," Ian Phillips, AP vice-president for international news, said after the arrest. "AP decries in the strongest terms the arbitrary detention of Thein Zaw.” The Committee to Protect Journalists joined that call. “Myanmar authorities must release all journalists being held behind bars and stop threatening and harassing reporters for merely doing their jobs of covering anti-coup street protests,” said Shawn Crispin, CPJ’s senior Southeast Asia representative. “Myanmar must not return to the past dark ages where military rulers jailed journalists to stifle and censor news reporting.” Thein Zaw was arrested as police charged toward protesters gathered at an intersection in Yangon that has become a meeting point for demonstrators. Authorities escalated their crackdown on the protesters this past weekend, carrying out mass arrests and using lethal force. The U.N. Human Rights offices said it believes at least 18 people were shot dead Sunday in several cities when security forces opened fire on demonstrating crowds. The coup reversed years of slow progress toward democracy after five decades of military rule. In December 2017, two journalists working for the Reuters news agency were arrested while working on a story about Myanmar’s Rohingya minority. They were accused of illegally possessing official documents, although they argued that they were framed because of official opposition to their reporting. Although their case attracted international attention, they were convicted the following year and were sentenced to seven years behind bars. They were freed in 2019 in a mass presidential pardon. The Associated Press
As the B.C. government enters Phase 2 of its COVID-19 vaccination plan, thousands of Indigenous people in rural and remote communities are celebrating getting their first and second dose of the vaccine. But it's not without mishaps including what leaders call a lack communication, racism and outstanding questions about vaccinating urban community members. More than 19,200 First Nations people have received their first dose of either Moderna or Pfizer vaccines and 5,258 have received their second dose. In total, 24,515 Indigenous people in 113 communities have received vaccine. "We have been anticipating this day for an extremely long time, but we will never be able to get back what we lost" said Chief Grace George of the Katzie First Nation whose sister died of COVID-19. The provincial government made vaccines a priority on First Nations reserves since they are disproportionately affected by COVID-19 due to limited housing and health care facilities and lack of trust in the health system. Katzie leaders held a ceremony for the nurses and the vaccine in their community on Friday. Nurses from the Fraser Health Authority stand in front of the Katzie health center as community leaders sing and drum to welcome them and the vaccine to the Katzie First Nation near Pitt Meadows, B.C. (Angela Sterritt/CBC) "It's a happy day for me, it is the beginning of the end of the pandemic," said Katzie Coun. Rick Bailey who was among the first to be vaccinated in his Fraser Valley community. Bailey, 61, who almost lost his brother to COVID-19, said he was initially hesitant about being vaccinated after hearing about allergic reactions in the U.K. After doing some research, he realised it is safe and effective. And he is not alone, 81 per cent of the Katzie community has been vaccinated. Bailey was excited to return in 42 days to get his second shot, but those doses are now put on pause, which has caused some confusion. Battling misinformation and miscommunication Some Indigenous leaders were not briefed on the reason for the delay of the second dose until after the public was informed, leading to rumours that they were no longer being prioritized. In fact, the province announced Monday it is extending the time between first and second doses of COVID-19 vaccine to four months. It means every eligible person in B.C. will receive the first dose of vaccine by mid-to late July. Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said data from the B.C. Centre for Disease Control shows "miraculous" protection of at least 90 per cent from the first dose of a Moderna or Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. For George, on top of addressing communication gaps, she's had to deal with misinformation and racism from non-Indigenous people who don't understand why First Nations have been prioritized. "We sadly have many examples of how COVID-19 has impacted First Nations communities," she said. This winter, COVID-19 cases among First Nations in the northern region were double that of the rest of population and triple in the Vancouver Island region. She said Indigenous communities on-reserve face overcrowding with limited housing and many live in multigenerational homes, increasing the risk of transmitting the virus. Some Indigenous people are also fearful of hospitals given the racism they've experienced, making the risks more severe. Urban Indigenous left out Indigenous leaders say their relatives and community members living off-reserve face the same imperils, but are not being prioritized. Katzie health director Allison Carcamo vaccinates Chief Grace George with her first dose. George said she felt relieved but sad that those who died didn't have access to this life-saving vaccine.(Submitted by Chief Grace George) "It doesn't matter where they live, our Indigenous populations are at an increased risk," said Nisga'a Valley Health Authority CEO, Brandi Trudell-Davis. "I would like to know that there is some considerations [for those urban populations]," she said. About 78 per cent of all Indigenous people in B.C. — including all First Nations members, Metis and Inuit — don't live on reserves. Shannon McDonald, acting chief medical officer at the First Nations Health Authority, says she has been advocating for urban Indigenous people from day one. "The virus has impacted populations, for example, in the Downtown Eastside in Vancouver quite heavily and people have gotten sicker and there have been several deaths there," she added. The Ministry of Health said it will vaccinate Indigenous people aged 65 and over living off-reserve in its current Phase 2 Indigenous peoples aged 45-65 will be able to be vaccinated in Phase 3 from April through June. CBC British Columbia is hosting a town hall on March 10 to answer your COVID-19 vaccine questions. You can find the details at cbc.ca/ourshot, as well as opportunities to participate in two community conversations on March 3, focused on outreach to Indigenous and multicultural communities. Have a question about the vaccine, or the rollout plan in B.C.? Email us: email@example.com
SoftBank aims to double user numbers at its PayPay QR code payment app in the next three to four years, an executive at its domestic internet subsidiary Z Holdings told Reuters on Wednesday, as it seeks to extend its lead in cashless payments. PayPay has used SoftBank's sales network and aggressive rebates to attract 36 million users in the three years since launch, driving a shift to push Japanese consumers to digital payments away from their traditional preference for cash. "We want to double the user base during the investment phase," Z Holdings co-CEO Kentaro Kawabe said in a joint interview with fellow co-CEO Takeshi Idezawa.
European telecoms firms are cashing in on the money-making power of masts, as tower companies line up to pay multi-billion dollar price tags for antennas buzzing with ever more data ahead of the advent of 5G. Upgrading networks, including towers, for 5G - which promises an age of self-driving cars and brain surgery performed at a distance - will soak up some $890 billion between 2020 and 2025, the GSMA industry body says. European operators are increasingly willing to exploit assets to help finance those build-outs.
The rollout of COVID-19 vaccinations in Ontario is happening at 34 different speeds, with each public health unit taking its own approach. The pace in the province's largest public health unit is notably slower than average. Officials in Toronto can't say when people aged 80 and up will be eligible to get vaccinated and are urging people not to call the public health hotline with questions about the timeline. Meanwhile, several public health units covering large urban areas have already started giving shots to that age group. York Region and Windsor-Essex both began their vaccinations of 80-plus-year-olds on Monday. In York Region, 20,000 of the roughly 45,000 people eligible have already booked appointments. People aged 80 and older line up outside a sports centre in Richmond Hill, Ont. on Monday to be among the first participants in York Region's mass vaccination program against COVID-19.(Evan Mitsui/CBC) During a City of Toronto news conference on Monday, officials were asked specifically when people in this age group in can expect to get the shot. There was no clear answer. Medical officer of health Dr Eileen de Villa spoke for two and a half minutes without addressing the question. WATCH | Questions and concerns continue around the timeline for Ontario's COVID-19 vaccine rollout: Next, Fire Chief Matthew Pegg, leading Toronto's COVID-19 emergency response, said bookings would begin once the province's appointment system launches (slated for March 15), and added that vaccinations would begin in "early April." De Villa then jumped in to say that vaccinations of some sub-groups of people in this age group could begin this month, but added, "We need supply to be more readily available to get into the large-scale administration of vaccine for that 80-plus population." Given that all of Ontario's public health units are facing the same supply constraints, why is Ontario's largest city weeks behind other major population centres in the province? Ontario's timeline for vaccinating people against COVID-19 puts 2.1 million people in its Phase 1 priority group, including long-term care residents, health-care workers and people aged 80 and older.(Ontario Ministry of Health) The chair of Toronto's board of health, Coun. Joe Cressy, blames a vaccine allocation mismatch: the province is distributing doses to each public health unit based solely on its total population, not based on its population in the high-priority groups. In short, the argument is that Toronto is hampered from moving on to vaccinate seniors aged 80 and older because it has yet to receive enough doses to vaccinate those who were first in line -- such as hospital workers. "We have a disproportionately large number of people who qualify in phase 1 because they are more vulnerable," Cressy told the news conference. That leads to a question: why didn't the province provide a larger number of vaccines to places with a larger number of people in priority groups? Solicitor-General Sylvia Jones acknowledged Tuesday that Toronto's explanation for its slower pace "makes sense." But when asked whether the province should have distributed doses on an as-needed basis instead of a per-capita basis, she didn't directly answer. Toronto Medical Officer of Health Dr. Eileen de Villa, left, gives Ontario Premier Doug Ford, centre, and Toronto Mayor John Tory, right, a tour of a vaccination clinic for health-care workers in January. (Frank Gunn/The Canadian Press) "The focus on the over 80 (age group) is critical," Jones told a news conference. "We'd love to have more vaccines to give to our public health units." Just don't ask the provincial government how many vaccine doses it has actually given to its public health units. The Ministry of Health refused CBC's request for this data on Tuesday, citing security concerns. The government also refused to provide a breakdown of how many vaccine doses have been administered by each public health unit, even though the ministry reports a province-wide total every day. The lack of disclosure makes it challenging to prove or disprove the claim that the distribution of vaccines has been unfair to Toronto. However, some figures disclosed by health units allow for rough math. The Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit says it has received 12,285 doses of vaccine, while Toronto has received 195,440 doses. Using population data from Public Health Ontario, those shipments are enough to give one dose to 10.8 per cent of people living in Haldimand-Norfolk, but just 6.3 per cent of the population of Toronto. Toronto Public Health estimates that 325,000 people are eligible to be vaccinated against COVID-19 under Phase 1 of Ontario's vaccine rollout. (Evan Mitsui/CBC) What is less clear is the evidence for Toronto's claim of being home to a disproportionate number of people in the priority groups for vaccination. People aged 80 and over are part of phase 1 of Ontario's vaccination timeline. But before getting to them, public health units were told to target the province's top-priority categories: long-term care residents and staff, other front-line health-care workers and Indigenous people. Ontario estimates 1.15 million people belong to those highest-priority groups. That is roughly eight per cent of the province's total population. Toronto Public Health could not provide an estimate Tuesday of how many people in the city are in those top-priority groups. But for Toronto to have a disproportionate burden, the number would need to be more than 240,000. Another comparison stick is the number of people eligible for vaccination through the whole of phase 1. Toronto Public Health says it's 325,000 people in the city, roughly 11 per cent of Toronto's population. That is no higher that the proportion of Ontario's population eligible in phase 1. Toronto Public Health COVID-19 vaccination numbers 195,440 doses of vaccine have been shipped to Toronto around 325,000 people are eligible to be vaccinated in phase 1 around 135,000 of them are aged 80 and above, including some 10,000 residents of long-term care
Peel police say they've charged five people with first-degree murder in the shooting death of a man in Brampton late last year. The shooting happened in the basement of a home in the area of Scott and Church streets on the night of Dec. 17, 2020. In a statement Tuesday, police identified the victim as 23-year-old Uchenna Achioso. The five people charged range in age from 17 to 33 years old and include two men, two women and a boy. All five were arrested at different points between January and March this year and have already appeared in court, police said. The victim and all of the accused are from Brampton, police said.