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  • admin 20:52 on 11/09/2018  

    SEATTLE – There are two ways to view the smartphone Amazon introduced to the world on Wednesday: It’s either the latest in a long line of phones with fancy features many people will never use or a magic wand for shopaholics.

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    The phone’s most significant feature, called “Firefly,” employs audio and object recognition technology to identify products and present the user with ways to purchase the items through Amazon. Users can simply snap a photo of a book, for instance, and Firefly will offer up its title and author, give more information about it and provide ways to buy it through Amazon with a single click.

    Seven years after Apple’s iPhone took over the category, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos believes there is room in the market for something different. Even with the dominant leads that Apple and Samsung hold, Bezos told The Associated Press in an interview, “it’s still early” in the wireless device business.

    People change phones all the time, he said. It’s not about taking market share right away, but making a phone that is ideal for a certain customer and hoping it takes hold.

    “We wanted to make a device that’s great for one person,” Bezos said. “It’s like a certain person likes chocolate and another person likes vanilla. The customer can choose.”

    While the new Fire Phone comes with some features that are practically industry standard — like a slim profile, a sturdy glass touchscreen, minimalist buttons and one camera for facing toward and away from the user— it breaks new ground in other areas.

    The phone’s Firefly object recognition feature can identify items and product names captured with the device’s camera. It can also pull in useful information such as phone numbers, website addresses. The company has catalogued more than a hundred million items that Firefly can recognize and has tweaked the technology to recognize words and characters in a variety of real-life situations.

    Another feature, called “dynamic perspective,” uses four infrared, front-facing cameras that tell the phone where the user’s face and eyes are located. The feature adjusts the user interface so that tilting the screen relative to the viewer’s face can toggle through screens, scroll through websites, make online video game characters fly up or down, and render buildings and other custom-made art in 3-D.

    The entry-level Fire phone costs $199 with a two-year AT&T contract, which places it at the high end of smartphone pricing. But the phone comes with 32 gigabytes of memory, double the standard 16 GB. It also comes with 12 months of Amazon Prime, the company’s free shipping, video, music and book subscription plan, which normally costs $99 a year.

    “This is a very aggressive price point for a premium phone,” Bezos said.

    The new device fits with Amazon’s broader aim to create a more efficient shopping experience while steering more consumers to its retail products.

    “It goes back to the mission of Amazon, which is to sell you stuff,” said Ramon Llamas of the research firm IDC. “It reduces the number of steps it takes to buy things on the phone.”

    Fire also comes with a 4.7-inch screen, suitable for using with one hand, and earbuds with flat cords and magnets that are designed to eliminate tangles.

    Persuading consumers to buy the Fire over an iPhone or Samsung phone will be tough, analysts say, particularly because Amazon isn’t offering price breaks the way it has with Kindle tablets. And sophisticated technology such as 3-D will appeal primarily to early adopters of technology.

    “The technology’s cool, but consumers don’t buy technology,” said Julie Ask, an analyst at Forrester Research. “We buy solutions. We buy services. We pay for things that make our lives easier.”

    Charles Golvin, founder of Abelian Research, believes the phone will appeal mostly to people who already use Amazon services heavily.

    “Any loyalist of iPhones or Google is going to have to judge whether there’s enough value in what Amazon is offering with Fire to make the transition,” he said.

    Samsung and Apple dominate worldwide smartphone sales with a combined 46 per cent share, according to IDC. And in the U.S., Apple leads with more than 37 per cent, with Samsung at nearly 29 per cent.

    Amazon could succeed even if it doesn’t steal market share from the top phone makers. Michael Scanlon, managing director with John Hancock Asset Management, said success will be measured by whether Amazon can increase loyalty among its Amazon Prime members and get them to boost purchases.

    Amazon is giving Fire owners a free year of membership, which normally costs $99, and existing subscribers an extra 12 months of membership. Prime offers free two-day shipping, encouraging impulse purchases. It also offers free access to some movies, TV shows, music and books and could encourage consumers to buy additional content, once they are used to the offerings.

    Meanwhile, Firefly could encourage more purchases. The feature lets you snap bar codes, phone numbers and more. It can even direct you to facts and data, such as a Wikipedia entry with information about a painting you snapped. It listens to songs, TV shows and movies and can pull up extra info like lyrics, actor bios and other information through its IMDb database.

    The phone will be available July 25 in the U.S. exclusively through AT&T. People were able to start ordering it Wednesday.

    ___

    Anick Jesdanun reported from New York.

    ©2014The Canadian Press

     
  • admin 20:52 on 11/09/2018  

    FARMINGTON, Utah — A Utah teenager pleaded guilty Wednesday to two counts of murder, acknowledging that he intentionally and knowingly stabbed his two younger brothers to death last year.

    The 16-year-old agreed to the first half of the plea deal Wednesday in a juvenile court in Farmington, Utah, as his parents sat in the front row. His father wiped tears from his eyes while his mother sat in silence.

    The teen, whose name The Associated Press is not revealing because of his age, remained serious throughout the proceeding. He did not cry as he repeatedly told the judge he understood the parameters of the deal.

    The agreement calls for him to serve time for one count of murder in juvenile detention until he turns 21. At that time, he’ll be transferred into the adult court system and serve a sentence of 15 years to life in adult jail. He’ll be in adult court later Wednesday to formally accept that part of the deal.

    The teen did not say anything about what happened, but his attorney, Todd Utzinger, said the boy is sorry for what he did. The teen decided to take the deal in part to avoid putting his parents through a trial, Utzinger said.

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    The agreement brings resolution to a case that sent shockwaves through the middle-class subdivision where the family lives in West Point, a city of 9,800 about 25 miles north of Salt Lake City.

    The teen’s younger brothers, 4 and 10, were found dead in May 2013 when his mother returned home from taking another sibling to a dance recital. At first, the older brother was thought to be a third victim because he was missing from the crime scene, but police found him hours later with traces of blood on him.

    Authorities said they believed stabbings were an unplanned attack.

    In signing off on the deal, juvenile court Judge Janice Frost said the agreement adequately balances public safety needs while giving the teen access to treatment and rehabilitation services in juvenile court that he needs.

    Frost implored the teen to take advantage of treatment he’ll receive in juvenile detention and the opportunity to finish his high school degree. She said it’s clear he needs guidance and direction he would not receive in adult prison.

    Frost told him multiple times that how he behaves in juvenile detention will impact how long he spends in state adult prison.

    “You can’t make up for what happened. But you can commit to doing better and being better,” Frost said. “It’s a sad thing that happened, but you can move forward from this. I hope you can take advantage of your opportunity.”

    Outside court, Utzinger said sending the teen first to juvenile detention gives him a real chance at rehabbing. He did not discuss what issues he’s dealing with or the motive of the killings.

    “It would be inhumane for any 16-year-old child to go straight to the prison without first having an opportunity for treatment and rehabilitation,” Utzinger said. “That’s what we’re trying to accomplish.”

    ___

    ©2014The Canadian Press

     
  • admin 20:52 on 11/09/2018  

    WATCH ABOVE: Police are investigating a fatal hit-and-run accident on Queen Mary in Cote-des-Neiges, just a few feet away from Snowdon metro. Rachel Lau reports.

    MONTREAL – Police are investigating a fatal hit-and-run accident on Queen Mary in Cote-des-Neiges, just a few feet away from Snowdon metro.

    The accident occurred near the corner of Westbury Avenue at about 10:40 p.m.

    Police are investigating a fatal hit-and-run accident on Queen Mary in Cote-des-Neiges, just a few feet away from Snowdon metro on June 17, 2014.

    Yannick Gadbois/Global News

    “Investigators are on site now to try and get some info from people around,” said Jean-Pierre Brabant, a spokesperson with the Montreal police.

    “They’re going to be looking at video surveillance this morning to get more information on the vehicle.”

    The 70-year-old woman was transported to hospital where she was pronounced dead.

    Police are investigating a fatal hit-and-run accident on Queen Mary in Cote-des-Neiges, just a few feet away from Snowdon metro on June 17, 2014.

    Noemie Cabana/Global News

    According to police, the driver got out of the car, looked around for a few moments and then got back in the vehicle and drove away.

    “We’re looking at an SUV that could be dark or black,” said Brabant.

    “That’s the only information we have, according to witnesses, so that’s why we’re looking for the help of the population.”

    According to Albert Barchichit, a close family friend, the woman was a Dollard-des-Ormeaux native.

    “She was here two weeks ago, you know?” he said.

    “It’s too bad when you know the people, it’s very bad?”

    Police are investigating a fatal hit-and-run accident on Queen Mary in Cote-des-Neiges, just a few feet away from Snowdon metro on June 17, 2014.

    Noemie Cabana/Global News

    He said that she was eating dinner nearby and was probably on her way home when she was hit.

    “I know her family very well. I have to call them,” he said.

    “This lady, her husband passed away two years ago.”

    Police are asking anyone with information to contact them at 9-1-1 or Info-Crime at 514 393 1133.

    Police are investigating a fatal hit-and-run accident on Queen Mary in Cote-des-Neiges, just a few feet away from Snowdon metro on June 17, 2014.

    Noemie Cabana/Global News

    Watch: Raw video from the scene of the accident in Cote-des-Neiges

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  • admin 15:26 on 29/01/2019  

    CALGARY- One year after the 2013 June flood, Kananaskis Country continues to rebuild. Over 300 millimetres of rain fell in the mountain park, sprouting pop-up mountain creeks that quickly became angry rivers gnawed through highways and bridges. About 1,200 people had to evacuate from the park, including many who became stranded.

    “Everyone had their close calls throughout the flood…mine was a little dramatic,” says Gareth Short, a Kananaskis park ranger.

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    Short could have drowned when his truck broke through the damaged Rocky Creek bridge. Well after midnight on June 20, 2013, he was headed north on Highway 40 after checking some mudslides further south. From his truck, the bridge appeared to be in good shape.

    “I didn’t know it at the time, but the water had eroded all the soft material underneath this asphalt and left it hanging in the air,” he remembers. “I took it at 60 or 70 kilometres an hour and I felt a large, jarring jolt to my front end. My front wheels actually caved in a portion of that asphalt.”

    Instead of sliding backwards into the three metre by three metre hole and down into the icy, fast moving creek, Short got a flood miracle that night.

    “My truck sort of skipped over the hole, my back end went in, shattered my leaf springs, and I ended up on all four tires on this side of the bridge.”

    “I don’t know how exactly I ended up being as lucky as I was.”

    Minutes later, his luck — and foresight — would also save the life of RCMP Cpl. Jane Boehr, who works out of the K-Country detachment.

    She had stopped further south on Highway 40 at Grizzly Creek.  She could see water on the road, but not how much.

    “I sat there probably for five to 10 minutes trying to figure out what I needed to do,” Boehr says.

    Eventually, through the downpour, she spotted a road sign flickering ominously ahead, and made a frightening realization.  Had she continued to drive she would have run straight into a wall of water, flowing about two metres deep over the road.

    “The water was just pouring over this road sign, and… it would ebb and flow up and down,” she says.  “I don’t know if you would have been able to stop in time, it was so dark out.”

    She turned around and headed back north towards the bridge that crumbled under Gareth Short’s truck as he drove over it minutes earlier. Fortunately, he radioed her to tell her about his experience at Rocky Creek, and warned her not to try and cross.  It would be a second close call for the officer in just a few minutes.

    “That would have been a whole different story. I potentially could have ended up in the creek,” she says.

    But the police officer was now stranded near a steep slope, between two raging creeks. During her career, she has she has worked  through a tornado and an armed standoff.  She says spending the night in her truck next to a steep slope where she was vulnerable to another mudslide, was “more” harrowing.

    “I was scared.  At one point it was like, I have no control.  That’s when you really realize you have no control.”

    20 hours later, a helicopter plucked her out — one of 70 rescue flights during what would be a massive evacuation of the entire park.

    “No one was hurt, no one was injured in Kananaskis during that evacuation, and I think we can be proud of that,” says Michael Roycroft, manager of Canmore Nordic Centre Provincial Park.

    Among the evacuees was a group of 16 Grade 12 students from Prairie Christian Academy in Three Hills. They were on a school camping trip to Carnavon Lake, in the Highwood Pass area. They were wet, cold and stranded in the backcountry, with a lot of people very worried about them.

    “The rain was too thick, we couldn’t get in, and we tried literally three times. It was the third time we got in and we were finally able to sling them out,” Roycroft remembers. He was helping coordinate the evacuations from the Emergency Operations Centre in Canmore.

    “They said afterwards they weren’t sure they were going to make it another night…there was some very appreciative parents and teachers, that we got their kids back,” Roycroft added emotionally, tearing up.

    It was one of over 70 rescue flights, with support from the army. Frank Doll and his wife were camping at Mt. Kidd RV Park in Kananaskis when soldiers knocked on their trailer door. Bridge washouts on Highway 40 on either side of the RV park had stranded everyone in the campground.

    “The army trucks were on the other side of the washout so we went down ladders and so on and loaded up into the backs of these [army] trucks, Doll says. “Good people helped us out and we’re very thankful for sure.”

    The students who were rescued from high in the backcountry were cold but uninjured. The school now has a satellite phone it sends along on all camping trips.  Their bus was stuck near Highwood Junction for several months after the flood until the highway was repaired.

     
  • admin 15:26 on 29/01/2019  

    Watch the video above: Cost of living increases make for creative education savings

    SASKATOON – As tuition fees across Saskatchewan continue to rise, parents are pinching pennies to put children through post-secondary schooling.

    Kelly Dash is the mother of four-year-old Jack and 16-month-old Joe.

    She and her husband have been balancing the cost of the bare necessities of life with activities their boys are involved in, like soccer and blastball.

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    • Paying for tuition especially difficult for Sask students, says report

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    “We’re just doing our best. We’re trying to save as much as we can put away,” said Dash.

    “It can just be overwhelming at times; knowing the right place to commit your money to make sure it’s the right growth for when they need it.”

    It is a struggle parents nationwide can understand.

    Tuition and compulsory fees in Saskatchewan ranked fourth-highest in Canada in 2012-13.

    These costs are projected to hit $7,912 in 2016-17, according to a report by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives.

    Blogger and mother of three, Tenille Lafontaine, knows what it takes to be Feisty, Frugal & Fabulous. Parents frequent her blog looking for advice and recommendations.

    Saving hard earned cash is, as the title of the blog would suggest, a hot topic.

    “Parents want to find ways to do it that’s easy and not really impacting their life a lot,” explains Lafontaine.

    “Definitely couponing, coupon apps, consignment sales. If you’re going to put clothing in a garage sale or kids’ items in a garage sale – take that money and put that into an RESP.”

    Saskatoon-based financial advisor Sarah King says parents need to sit down and have an open discussion about money.

    Parents are advised to decide where money is best spent and what type of position they would like to be in.

    “I think right away, as soon as the baby is born, you get a social insurance number. You can start into an RESP. It can be as little as $25 a month,” said King, with Independent Financial Services.

    Four out of ten students graduate debt-free from post-secondary institutions, according to the Canadian University Survey Consortium Graduating Student survey.

    Thirty per cent of debt-saddled grads wind up owing less than $12,000. On average, they owe $24,600.

     
  • admin 15:26 on 29/01/2019  

    CALGARY- Despite a State of Emergency being issued due to flood fears, the city of Medicine Hat says it doesn’t think people will need to evacuate their homes.

    An updated forecast from Environment Canada shows a peak river flow of 2,400 cubic metres per second by Saturday, which is half of what was originally anticipated.

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    • Medicine Hat declares state of emergency amid flood fears

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    • State of Emergency continues in several southern Alberta communities

    Crews are still working to shore up areas that could be affected, but it appears the South Saskatchewan River won’t rise as much as initially feared.

    An emergency operations centre was opened last Tuesday, and an evacuation centre was set up.

    READ MORE: Several southern Alberta communities under state of emergency

    Sean Balfour’s home was flooded last year, and on Thursday he was out sandbagging, saying he’d rather be safe than sorry.

    “Most of us haven’t even finished rebuilding from last year, it’s exasperating,” he said. “It’s very tiring, it’s a huge weight on our shoulders.”

    During the 2013 floods, 10,000 people in Medicine Hat were forced to leave their homes, and hundreds of homes were flooded.

    -With files from the Canadian Press and CHAT 

     
  • admin 15:26 on 29/01/2019  

    REGINA – New motorcycle laws have taken effect in Saskatchewan.

    Riders in the motorcycle graduated driver licensing (MGDL) program must now display a placard on their motorcycle plate. Learner riders have to display a red “L” while novice 1 and 2 riders are required to display a green “N”.

    Another change is the hours MGDL learners can ride. Riding is not allowed from one-half hour before sunset to one-half hour after sunrise.

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    There are also new equipment requirements for those in the program. MGDL riders must now have arms and legs covered, wear hand-covered gloves, boots that cover ankles and an approved three-quarter, modular or full-face helmet.

    Starting July 16, people wanting to get a motorcycle learner’s licence must hold a Class 5 or higher license and have either passed a basic ability test or completed an approved motorcycle training program beforehand.

    A change that affects all riders is an increase in safe driver recognition and driver improvement program points for certain traffic convictions.

    Also, inspections are now required for all motorcycles deemed a total loss or that were most recently registered in another jurisdiction.

    The province approved the changes after the recommendations were made by the motorcycle review committee earlier this year.

     
  • admin 21:10 on 29/12/2018  

    WATCH: Every disaster is an opportunity and for Iraq’s Kurdish population, this may be a chance to go it alone. Stuart Greer reports from Erbil.

    Please note: This post, originally published June 18, has been updated to include new reporting from inside the Kurdistan region

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    Kurdish-controlled areas of Iraq have been largely spared the country’s worsening turmoil as Islamist militants make their way further south, taking over cities and towns en route to Baghdad.

    The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) took over areas that have large Kurdish populations, including Iraq’s second-largest city Mosul last week, but the Sunni Muslim militant group’s fighters haven’t attempted to move into Kurdish-controlled areas so far.

    Erbil, the capital of autonomous Iraqi Kurdistan, has become a haven for displaced people fleeing ISIL’s violent advances.

    With Iraq on the brink of bloody sectarian conflict between Sunnis and Shiites – again – and amid fears the country could fall apart, the Kurdistan region in the north may have a chance to achieve a greater degree of independence.

    Iraqi Kurdistan is safe – for now

    The Kurds may not have the strongest relationship with the Shiite-led government of Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, but they’re by no means pledging allegiance to ISIL, as local Sunni groups in captured cities have.

    Iraq’s Kurds see ISIL as a terrorist group and, with the advance on Mosul June 6, the Kurdistan Regional Govenment mobilized peshmerga forces to protect the autonomous region’s recognized borders.

    Peshmerga forces protected Kurdish territory and moved into Kirkuk – the oil-rich city the Kurds have long claimed as their capital, but which has been under Iraqi government control – and areas of the northwestern province of Niveneh, where Mosul is located.

    Meanwhile, areas inside Iraqi Kurdistan have become a refuge for those fleeing the violence.

    About 300,000 people fled Mosul last week and sought refuge in Kurdish cities and towns, according to the United Nations High Commission for Refugees.

    An Iraqi boy who fled fighting between security forces and al-Qaida inspired militants in his hometown of Tal Afar carries his belongings at Germawa camp for displaced Iraqis, in a hot dusty plain in the largely-autonomous Kurdish area of Dahuk, 430 kilometers northwest of Baghdad Tuesday, June 17, 2014.

    AP Photo

    That’s in addition to about 250,000 Syrian refugees that have fled into Iraqi Kurdistan in the past three years, and thousands of others seeking refuge from fighting in Iraq’s Anbar province this year, according to Rudaw, a Kurdish news network.

    Are Kurdish forces fighting with ISIL?

    Iraqi Kurdistan Regional Government Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani told BBC on Tuesday that peshmerga fighters would not assist Iraqi efforts to reclaim Mosul.

    “It would be a mistake to fight the ISIS at this stage,” Kurdish politician Arif Taifour told Rudaw . “We should defend our own Kurdish territories outside the Kurdistan Region and not become part of the religious fight in Iraq.”

    A peshmerga officer told Rudaw ISIL promised to keep its fighters out of Kurdish controlled areas: “If you don’t attack us, we [will] not attack you,” the group reportedly said in a message sent by courier Sunday.

    But there have been clashes between ISIL militants and peshmerga fighters in the past two weeks in areas claimed by both Kurds and the Iraqi government, such as in Niveneh and Diyala province.

    Six peshmerga were injured Wednesday in the town of Jalula, about 125 kilometres northeast of Baghdad, where the ISIL are fighting to take control.

    Kurdish peshmerga fighters wounded in fighting with al-Qaida-inspired Sunni militants recover in a hospital bed in Erbill, a city in the Kurdish controlled north 350 kilometers north of Baghdad, Iraq, Wednesday, June 18, 2014. Kurdish security and hospital officials said Wednesday that fighting has been raging since morning between Kurdish fighters known as peshmerga and militants who are trying to take the town of Jalula, in the restive Diyala province some 125 kilometers northeast of Baghdad.

    AP Photo

    Will Iraqi Kurdistan become independent?

    That’s anyone’s guess. But the prime minister and deputy prime minister of the Kurdistan Regional Government said, in separate interviews, they expect Iraq could end up divided.

    “We’ve said all along that we won’t break away from Iraq but Iraq may break away from us, and it seems that it is,” Deputy Prime Minister Qubad Talabani told TIME, adding that Iraq looks like it may become three separate states – Kurdistan in the north, a Sunni state through central Iraq and a Shia state in the south.

    Kurdish Prime Minister Barzani told the BBC it would be “almost impossible” for Iraq to go back to the way it was before the ISIL advances.

    “Regarding a solution, is for the Sunni areas to decide, but the best model is to have a Sunni region like we have in Kurdistan,” Barzani told Rudaw.

    Kurds suffered under Saddam Hussein: Between 3,200 and 5,000 people died when Hussein ordered a gas attacks on the Kurds in 1988, and between 50,000 and 100,000 more were killed or disappeared during a seven-month campaign that completely wiped out villages.

    The Iraqi Special Tribunal charged Hussein with genocide in April 2006, but was never tried. He was executed on Dec. 30, 2006 after the tribunal convicted him of him crimes against humanity for the 1982 murders of 148 Shiites in Dujali, north of Baghdad.

    But since Hussein’s fall, Iraq’s Kurdistan region thrived – largely thanks to the oil industry. It’s grown about 10 per cent annually, according to an Oct. 2013 report in the New York Times.

    International oil companies are pouring billions of dollars into Iraqi Kurdistan, home to about 45 billion barrels of oil, according to Forbes magazine.

    And the Kurds have built a new pipeline to Turkey that will eventually allow 400,000 barrels per day to flow to the Turkish port of Ceyhan.

    Turkey, which has a collegial relationship with Iraq’s Kurds but not its own Kurdish population, supports the possibility of Iraqi Kurdistan independence. Huseyin Celik, spokesperson for Turkey’s governing Justice and Development Party, told Rudaw the people of Iraqi Kurdistan “would have the right to self-determination like other nations” if Iraq splits apart. But he said Turkey would rather Iraq stay united.

    With files form The Associated Press

     
  • admin 21:10 on 29/12/2018  

    QUEBEC CITY – “My family, people close to me, we’ve all heard about it.”

    It’s an election promise and something close to the Quebec premier’s heart. Bullying is a plague, said Philippe Couillard, that despite laws that have been passed, still poisons thousands of Quebecers, from children to the elderly.

    “We don’t solve a problem like this only by laws and regulations.” 

    “You solve it by showing it’s a priority,” he said.

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    “I’m the chief of the government of Quebec and I’m telling the population that this is an utmost priority for me.”

    In 2012, the previous Liberal government forced school boards to implement anti-bullying and anti-violence plans, where rules of conduct and safety measures had to be explained to students at a civics session each year.

    MORE: Montreal kids beat bullying series 

    However, the media kept getting wind of more bullying cases, often ones that involved teens resorting to drastic measures to make it stop.

    Jasmin Roy, an openly gay television personality, said he believes more work needs to be done.

    “People want to find solutions against bullying and violence, so what they need now is to be supported,” said the founder and president of the Jasmin Roy Foundation, a charity that works to fight bullying.

    The premier is investing $200,000 towards a forum on bullying, scheduled for October 2 in Quebec City, launching online consultations for anyone with something to say on the issue and mandating his team to consult with youth centres.

    Opposition parties said they’re on board and compared the collaboration to the non-partisan Dying with Dignity consultations.

    “I hope that we will be able to apply concrete measures after this forum, within six months,” said Coalition Avenir Quebec house leader François Bonnardel.

    Although Premier Couillard didn’t promise millions towards this initiative, he did promise the fight against bullying would start at the top. He admonished one of his MNAs for bullying Quebec Solidaire’s Manon Massé in the hallways at the National Assembly.

     
  • admin 21:10 on 29/12/2018  

    WATCH: Hero nurse Chris Burden talks about how he saved the man’s life who had been struck by lightning

    TORONTO – Chris Burden was in the clubhouse at Stouffville’s Bethesda Grange Golf course, taking shelter from the severe storm rolling through southern Ontario Tuesday, when lightning struck and the room was “overwhelmed” by thunder.

    Someone was hit.

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    Burden and his brother, a police officer in Halton, ran outside and saw four people injured. One of them, a 60-year-old man, was lying face down about 50 yards from the 18th hole.

    Witness Peter Epstein said the man appeared dead, his clothing was melted and his skin was burned.

    “He wasn’t breathing and he didn’t have a pulse, and he wasn’t conscious. He was dead,” Epstein said Tuesday.

    Burden, an ICU nurse, said his instincts immediately took over.

    “His body was burned, his face, his hands, everything we could see was burned,” he said. “He was purple, he was ashen at the time. His eyes had rolled back into the back of his head and it was just purely instincts to start CPR.”

    WATCH: Witness describes scene after four men were struck by lightning at Toronto-area golf course

    READ MORE: Ontario’s deadliest tornadoes 

    He rolled the man over and started CPR with his brother.

    “This guy’s not going to go now, me and my brother have to do what’s got to be done until somebody can come with better tools than we have.”

    Burden finished two minutes of chest compressions and CPR. His brother was about to start when there was another clap of thunder overhead and Burden thought he was also going to be hit.

    But as his brother started giving CPR, the man started breathing.

    “His eyes started to open, he started to move his hand and started to move his arms,” Burden said. “I started looking at my brother as if to say, I think we got him, I think we got him back.”

    Burden and his brother focused on keeping the man stable and moved him to a safer position, off the course, away from the golf clubs and out of the rain.  Paramedics came and took the man to hospital in critical condition.

    “Did that just really happen?” asked Burden.

    Three other men were hit and injured on the golf course as the storm moved through much of southern Ontario, flooding some streets in Toronto and damaging hundreds of homes when a tornado touched down in Angus, Ontario.

    After the paramedics came, Burden and his brother went back to the clubhouse and ordered a burger and a drink.

    When crowds of people started to form, they left.

    “My brother’s a cop, I’m a nurse, we’re public servants. We do our job for others, we don’t do it for ourselves,” said Burden. “We work to make other people better and safer and we’ve done that for years and years now. So the hero thing, it’s a title. I just did what I knew I could do in that situation. Luckily what I did, it helped save this guy. I hope what I did has given him a chance at another 30 years of life. I hope.”

    – With files from Mark McAllister

     
  • admin 21:10 on 29/12/2018  

    WASHINGTON – The Libyan militant accused of masterminding the deadly Benghazi attacks that have become a flashpoint in U.S. politics awaited his first court appearance Saturday amid heightened security at a federal courthouse.

    Ahmed Abu Khattala was scheduled to appear before a magistrate judge, according to the U.S. attorney’s office. He is charged in connection with the assaults on the U.S. diplomatic compound in the eastern Libyan city on Sept. 11, 2012, that killed the U.S. ambassador and three other Americans.

    U.S. special forces captured Abu Khattala in Libya two weeks ago, marking the first breakthrough in the investigation. Officials had been questioning Abu Khattala aboard a Navy ship that transported him to the United States.

    This undated image obtained from Facebook shows Ahmed Abu Khattala, an alleged leader of the deadly 2012 attacks on Americans in Benghazi, Libya, who was captured by U.S. special forces on Sunday, June 15, 2014, on the outskirts of Benghazi. (AP Photo)

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    HangZhou Night Net

    The prosecution reflects the Obama administration’s stated position of trying suspected terrorists in the American criminal justice system even as Republicans call for Abu Khattala and others to be held at the U.S. detention facility in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

    Critics say suspected terrorists don’t deserve the legal protections afforded by the American court. The administration considers the civilian justice system fairer and more efficient.

    Abu Khattala was flown early Saturday by military helicopter from the ship to a National Park Service landing pad in the Washington’s Anacostia neighbourhood, according to a U.S. official who was not authorized to discuss the transfer publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity.

    READ MORE: Female activist assassinated in Benghazi on election day

    A criminal complaint filed last year and unsealed after Abu Khattala’s capture charges him with terror-related crimes. They include killing a person during an attack on a federal facility; that crime can be punishable by death.

    At the initial hearing, the government was expected to outline the charges against him. He almost certainly will remain in detention while the Justice Department seeks a federal grand jury indictment against him.

    The violence in Libya on the 11th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon quickly became a political controversy at home.

    Republicans accused the White House, as the 2012 presidential election neared, of intentionally misleading the public about what prompted the attacks. The White House said Republicans were politicizing a national tragedy.

    Abu Khattala was a prominent figure in Benghazi’s circles of extremists. He was popular among young radicals and lived openly in the eastern Libyan city, spotted at cafes and other public places, even after the Obama administration publicly named him as a suspect.

    He is accused of being a member of the Ansar al-Shariah group, the powerful Islamic militia that the U.S. believes was behind the attack.

    WATCH: Video shows U.S. capture of terror suspect Abu Anas al-Libi

    He acknowledged in an interview with The Associated Press in January that he was present during the storming of the U.S. mission in Benghazi. But he denied involvement in the attack, saying he was trying to organize a rescue of trapped people.

    In the attack, gunmen fired rocket-propelled grenades and stormed the mission, with many waving the black banners of Ansar al-Shariah.

    The compound’s main building was set ablaze. Ambassador Chris Stevens suffocated to death inside and another American was shot dead.

    At the time, several witnesses said they saw Abu Khattala directing fighters at the site.

    Later in the evening, gunmen attacked and shelled a safe house, killing two more Americans. No evidence has emerged that Abu Khattala was involved in the later attack.

    Abu Khattala is one of just a few cases in which the administration has captured a suspected terrorist overseas and interrogated him for intelligence purposes before bringing him to federal court to face charges.

    Those cases include Osama bin Laden’s son-in-law, Sulaiman Abu Ghaith, who was arrested in Jordan in March 2013 and turned over to U.S. agents. A jury in New York City convicted him in March of conspiring to kill Americans.

    ©2014The Canadian Press

     
  • admin 21:10 on 29/12/2018  

    FREDERICTON – The city of Fredericton is warning drivers a 12 week rehabilitation project on the city’s Westmorland St. Bridge will create some serious traffic delays over the summer if people don’t change their driving habits.

    The Government of New Brunswick is investing $4.3-million into the project, including $950,000 for paving Devonshire Drive.

    Construction begins June 23.

    “There’s two phases in the project. Phase one will be on the upriver side of the bridge and all the associated ramps,” said Darren Charters, the city’s traffic engineer.

    “Essentially they’re cutting the bridge in half and working on half at a time. Once they’re done of the upriver side, they’ll flip it and work on the down river side lanes, and ramps, so the ramps is what makes it very difficult for access to the bridge.”

    The City of Fredericton has the summer’s construction projects identified on their website.

    City of Fredericton

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    HangZhou Night Net

    Over 51, 000 vehicles use the bridge each day. Once the project is complete, the bridge is expected to be able to withstand decades of traffic, connecting the south side to the north side of the city.

    In the meantime, the city is asking the public to change their commute if they routinely use the bridge, or use a different mode of transportation.

    “Walking, cycling, active transportation, carpooling is huge, there’s not many people in Fredericton who carpool and that makes a huge difference. Using transit is a big advantage to the traffic congestion,” Charters said.

    For phase one of the project, people will be unable to cycle or walk across the bridge for safety reasons.

    READ MORE: Westmorland Street Bridge Construction 2014

    Some sustainable transportation advocates are hoping the project will mean more people turning to other methods of transportation.

    “Get on your bike, drive to work, you get yourself to work, you change, you’re healthy, you’re happy and you’re ready to tackle your day,” said Dorian Beggs, with Capital City Cycles. “And at the end of the day, you’ll be driving by everyone who’s steaming in traffic.”

    Capital City Cycles is a community program trying to get more bicycles and less vehicles on Fredericton roads.

    The city is also hoping more people will turn to Fredericton transit. There have been complaints about a lack of frequency and the need for transit in growing areas of the city.

    The transit system hasn’t changed significantly in two decades, and both sides of the city have become much denser over the past 20 years.

    The city is hosting two open houses, asking for people’s input in ways to improve the transit system.

    READ MORE: Transit changes to be presented at open houses

    Making the changes will take some time, but for this summer, it could be a better option than driving, the city says.

     
  • admin 23:44 on 27/11/2018  

    TORONTO – In the hours after the Conservative government announced it would conditionally approve the Northern Gateway proposal, Canadians’ opinions were splitalmost equally into thirds – but most said the oil pipeline would be built regardless of public opinion.

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    HangZhou Night Net

    Related

    • Northern Gateway a ‘maybe,’ Conservative spokesman says

    • Northern Gateway: Could the feds be any less pumped about this pipeline?

    • GALLERY: Large anti-pipeline protest following Northern Gateway decision

    And the poll comes after a spokesman for Natural Resources Minister Greg Rickford told Global News the government’s stance is just a “maybe,” rather than an approval.

    READ MORE: Northern Gateway a ‘maybe,’ Conservative spokesman says

    The Angus Reid Global (ARG) poll showed 37 per cent of people surveyed think the government’s decision to allow the pipeline to be built through Alberta and B.C. after meeting 209 conditions is right. Almost the same number, at 34 per cent, said the decision is wrong. But nearly one-third, at 29 per cent, said they aren’t sure.

    Forty-three per cent said the 209 conditions are enough to address concerns about the pipeline, but 37 per cent disagree. Another 20 per cent aren’t sure.

    The majority of Canadians polled, at 58 per cent, said environmental protection should take top priority in shaping Canada’s energy policy; 42 per cent said it should be economic growth.

    But the biggest agreement came regardless of views on approval: 68 per cent of respondents said they believe it will eventually be built.

    Support depends where you live

    As past polls have suggested, disdain for the pipeline is much higher in B.C. than oil producer-heavy Alberta: 40 per cent of British Columbians polled said the decision to go ahead was wrong (40 per cent of Quebecers responded the same), while only 18 per cent of Albertans shared that view.

    Meanwhile, the highest level of support came from Alberta, where 58 per cent of respondents said approval is the right decision. But the split opinion is also seen within B.C.: A surprisingly high 38 per cent of British Columbians said the approval was the right decision.

    In the rest of Canada, highest opposition after B.C. and Quebec was Ontario at 35 per cent. Saskatchewans and Manitobans replied more similarly to Albertans, with 44 per cent supporting the feds’ approval.

    Take Our Poll

     
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