Los Angeles: Ruben Fleischer, the director of zombie comedy Zombieland, has explained why it took him ten years to make a sequel, saying that he wanted to maintain a “really high standard” of storytelling. The filmmaker is back with the much-awaited sequel Zombieland: Double Tap with the core cast of Woody Harrelson, Jesse Eisenberg, Emma Stone and Abigail Breslin reprising their fan-favourite characters. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Fleischer said he and film’s writing team struggled to crack the “right story” for the sequel. Also Read – I have personal ambitions now: Priyanka”The easy answer is, I think we all wanted to stretch our legs and try different things. I think we were all excited to do other stuff. But, the other thing is, we just couldn’t figure out the right story to tell. It took a minute to get a story that we all felt was worthy, to come back to Zombieland for,” the director said. “We all have so much love for the original. So, we held ourselves to a really high standard as far as making sure that, if we were going to make a sequel, that it be at least as good, if not better, than original. And that ultimately all comes down to the script.
Bengaluru: Senior Congress leader and former Karnataka Minister D K Shivakumar said the Enforcement Directorate (ED) has issued fresh summons, asking him to appear before it in Delhi on Friday. The ED move comes after the Karnataka High Court had on Thursday dismissed Shivakumar’s petition challenging the summons issued to him in a money-laundering case. “Please don’t take tension, I have not taken tension, there is no need to take tension. I have not committed any mistake. I have not committed any rape or taken money, there is nothing against me,” Shivakumar told reporters here on Friday. Also Read – After eight years, businessman arrested for kidnap & murder “Have received summons from ED late yesterday night at 9.40 PM asking me to appear at 1 PM in Delhi today. Although the sudden scheduling by ED is malafide, I believe in rule of law and will definitely participate and fully cooperate with them and abide by the law of our country,” he tweeted. Alleging that he was facing a political case for protecting some MLAs, Shivakumar said, “Let it be. I will have to face it for doing good to someone. Yesterday, our application in the high court has been dismissed. I will speak to you on all matters. I’m going to Delhi.” Also Read – Two brothers held for snatchings “I have not been able to meet my lawyers. Last night I was issued summons, they have asked me to appear by 1 (PM on Friday) urgently in Delhi. I have to meet my lawyers and have family commitments, after that I will go to Delhi,” he added. The ED had in September last year registered a money-laundering case against Shivakumar and few others on the basis of an alleged tax evasion and hawala transactions case. The agency had booked Shivakumar, Haumanthaiah, an employee at Karnataka Bhavan in New Delhi, and others under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). The case has been filed based on a charge sheet (prosecution complaint) filed by the Income Tax Department against him early last year before a special court in Bengaluru on charges of alleged tax evasion and hawala transactions worth crores. “IT raid on me was politically motivated for hosting Gujarat Congress MLAs. As a loyal soldier of Congress & a responsible politician, I did what party asked me to do, for which I am being targeted. I have full faith in legal systems & will face this legally as well as politically,” he said in another tweet.
Mumbai: An FIR has been registered against a police inspector in Mumbai for “inaction” in the case of allegedrape of a 19-year-old woman who later died at a hospital, police said on Sunday.The woman, who belonged to a Scheduled Caste as per her lawyer, was allegedly raped by four of her friends in Mumbai in the first week of July. She was later admitted to a state-run hospital in Maharashtra’s Aurangabad city where she died on August 28.Based on the complaint by lawyer Nitin Satpute, representing the woman’s family, an FIR was lodged against Chunabhatti police station’s inspector Deepak Surve on Saturday, according to police. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM’In the complaint, Satpute alleged “inaction” by the police in handling the case.He claimed the police also failed to register offences against the accused under the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, as the victim belonged to a Scheduled Caste.”Prima facie, there is a serious flaw on part of the police, who, inspite of the efforts made by the victim’s family to seek action against the gangrape culprits, didn’t bother to act against the accused,” Satpute alleged. Also Read – Farooq demands unconditional release of all detainees in J&K”The First Information Report (FIR) has been registered against police inspector Deepak Surve under the Scheduled Castes/Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act for humiliating the victim,” he added.The alleged rape came to light only when the woman complained of pain in her private parts on July 24 and was admitted to a private hospital in Aurangabad, located around 325 km from here.The doctors suspected that she had been raped and informed the police and she was shifted to the government-run hospital. As per the complaint filed at Begumpura police station in Aurangabad, on July 7 the woman came to Mumbai.Four of her friends decided to celebrate her birthday.After cutting the cake, the four allegedly raped her, police said.The woman later returned to Aurangabad but did not tell her parents about the incident, the official said.The case was subsequently transferred to Chunabhatti police station here.Senior NCP leader Supriya Sule on Friday led the party’s protest march here, demanding an SIT probe into the woman’s death.She accused the BJP-led state government of being “insensitive” towards women safety.The Lok Sabha MP from Baramati, who was accompanied by NCP Mumbai chief Nawab Malik and MLC Vidya Chavan, pitched for forming a special investigation team (SIT), contending the on- going probe into the matter not being carried out “properly”.The NCP also called for immediate arrests of the accused.Later, state Legislative Council’s Deputy Chairperson Neelam Gorhe said she has instructed the Mumbai Police to trace the accused and ensure the charge sheet in the matter is filed properly.
Gurugram: The Gurugram municipal corporation has begun the ambitious target of making sure that lakhs of properties residential and commercial will now have an identity.The survey for the process has already started. If implemented well this will streamline the process of homeowners and shopowners to avail all the government services online. It is also expected to curtail the corrupt practices where a large number of residential units after getting the occupation certificate were converting into commercial units and inturn causing losses to the government exchequer. Also Read – After eight years, businessman arrested for kidnap & murderFor the implementation of the process, the Municipal Corporation has begun the process of giving the circulars to the employees wherein it has urged the citizens to provide the relevant information pertaining to their properties. The process has been outsourced to the agency that will be taking the information from the residents. There will be no fee that will be levied in the process of gathering the information. “There is a requirement of transparency and the greater penetration of the internet and technology has made our lives easier in achieving this outcome. It will now be easy for the residents to track all the detail relating to their properties once this project is implemented fully,” said a senior official from MCG. Also Read – Two brothers held for snatchingsThe project of giving each property in the city identification is seen as an extension of the process where every family in Haryana will also be given an I -card by the state government. Providing the detail of the project District Commissioner Amit Khatri said that a first of its project that is going to be implemented in any state Gurugram will be taking a lead. The senior public official highlighted that by issuing this I-card the government will be able to not only identify its residents better but it will also aid them in the dispensation of public services more effectively. Once implemented the official site that it will enable them to reduce pilferage in providing government services and also help them in getting to know the citizen needs and provide the services to them. The project which is just in its initial stages will contain more detail locally than what actually is provided in other forms of registration like the Aadhar. A pilot project has kickstarted with the participation and registration of public officials. “There is still a lot of corruption and problems of service delivery in government services. The state I card will be an effective medium in allowing us to know the citizens and thereby providing the services. These services will be for the use of the state government,” said a senior public official.
New Delhi: A 57-year-old driver who fled with his employer money was arrested from Firozabad in Uttar Pradesh on Saturday.According to police on Saturday, at around 8 AM, one Yameen Khan informed the cops of Maidangarhi police station that he had to pay some fine to get one challan compounded at Rewari. “For the same, he had deputed his driver Jhaabu, who was entrusted with the task of getting the same done and was handed over Rs 1.16 lakh by him to complete the challan process at RTA, Rewari,” said police. Also Read – After eight years, businessman arrested for kidnap & murderAdding further, after taking money from his employer Jhaabu did not reach Rewari and has also stopped taking his call. Immediately, a case under section 408 of IPC was registered. Additional Deputy Commissioner of Police (South) Parvinder Singh said that after initial technical assistance, a team was sent to Firozabad (accused village) where enquiry from family members was done. “It was revealed that Jhaabu would be reaching his village in sometimes. The team waited there and ensured that family members do not establish any communication. Finally, after a long wait, accused reached his village late in the evening. He was apprehended,” Singh said adding that upon search, the entire amount of cash was recovered from his possession. “The prompt action of investigating officer ASI Shyambir Singh helped in the arrest of accused within 12 hours of reporting and also helped in the recovery of the entire amount,” police said.
BRUSSELS – The North Atlantic Treaty Organization is lending its support to the U.S.-led coalition against the group calling itself the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.“NATO joining the coalition to defeat (ISIL) is a strong political message of unity in the fight against terrorism,” Sec.-Gen. Jens Stoltenberg said Thursday.The decision came as NATO leaders are gathering in Brussels to discuss how they can better share the cost of defence and co-ordinate efforts in the fight against terrorism, which was once again thrust into the spotlight after the deadly attack on a concert arena in Manchester, England this week.Those are the main items on the agenda, but the main motivation behind this ad hoc meeting is to introduce U.S. President Donald Trump to NATO — a military alliance he once called “obsolete” — and convince him it is still relevant today.All 28 NATO allies, including Canada, are already part of the anti-ISIL coalition, and the military alliance has been involved in training Iraqi forces.Still, Trump had been urging the alliance to take on a bigger role.Stoltenberg said that by formally joining the coalition, NATO will be better able to co-ordinate its efforts there, but it does not mean it will be involved in combat operations.It will mean practical support, such as more flying hours for its fleet of its surveillance aircraft, information-sharing and air-to-air refuelling.NATO will also set up a new terrorism intelligence cell at its headquarters in Brussels, which will include getting better at sharing intelligence on foreign fighters, and appoint a special co-ordinator to oversee the counter-terrorism efforts.Trump has also been vocal about his demand for the other members of NATO to pick up their fair share of the tab when it comes to defence spending, which is where things could get uncomfortable for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.Canada spends just over one per cent of its GDP on defence, which is just half of NATO’s target and puts the country among the bottom third of allies.The Liberal government has argued that its contribution is bigger than the numbers suggest, pointing to its commitment to send up to 455 troops to head up a multinational mission in Latvia, as part of efforts to curb Russian aggression in the Baltics, as another way to contribute.There seemed to be some support for that notion from Stoltenberg.“This is not just about cash, but also modern capabilities and meaningful contributions to NATO’s missions, operations and engagements,” Stoltenberg said Thursday.“Today, we will take steps to keep up the momentum,” adding that NATO members will agree to come up with annual national plans to help them meet the target.There has been much speculation about the role that Russia will play in the talks, especially given explosive allegations and domestic U.S. investigations of close ties between the White House and Russia.Eastern European partners are concerned with Russian aggression and there are also growing concerns around the relationship between Turkey and Moscow, and their roles in the Syrian conflict.Stoltenberg, though, tied the issue of Russia to the one of burden-sharing, which is top of mind for Trump.“One of the reasons why we are investing in our collective defence, why we are increasing our presence in the eastern part of the alliance, is of course as a response to the aggressive actions of Russia we have seen in the Ukraine,” Stoltenberg said.“So, Russia is on NATO’s agenda,” he said.Stoltenberg also said that NATO will assess its “level of support and the future of the mission” in Afghanistan, where the alliance currently has 13,000 troops involved in training.“Our aim is to train the Afghan forces to enable them to step up their efforts in stabilizing their own country, countering Taliban but also fighting different terrorist groups in Afghanistan, including (ISIL),” Stoltenberg said.Stoltenberg said NATO will decide on exact troop levels later this year, but will not return to a combat operation in Afghanistan.— Follow @smithjoanna on Twitter
WASHINGTON – A Washington law professor answered with nary a nanosecond’s hesitation when asked what advice he’d offer President Donald Trump’s eldest son Monday, as the Russia scandal inched its way through the First Family.”I would tell him that he should get a lawyer,” said Paul Berman of George Washington University.He made that suggestion in an interview just before 3 p.m. Within the hour, Donald Trump Jr. confirmed in a statement that he had, in fact, retained legal counsel in this mushrooming controversy.It followed Trump Jr.’s own admission over the weekend that he met a Russian lawyer with ties to the Putin government during the last election, in the hope of gaining dirt on Hillary Clinton.That news was compounded by an explosive new report in The New York Times late Monday. The newspaper said that before attending the meeting Trump was informed in an email, from the friend who set it up, that the damaging information about Clinton came from the Russian government in a bid to help his father’s candidacy.These developments mark the first evidence that the Trump family sought electoral assistance from someone in Russia, after months of allegations that officials from that country stole and distributed emails to influence the U.S. election.Lawyers for two former White Houses said this means legal trouble.The chief ethics lawyer to George W. Bush, Richard Painter, likened it to treason, and to conspiring with a burglar: ”Going to a known (thief) to buy a TV can get you charged with attempting to buy stolen goods. Going to the Russians for info on Clinton(?)…”In the Bush Administration we would have had him in custody for questioning by now.”Barack Obama’s White House counsel pointed in another direction: campaign law. Bob Bauer said it’s illegal to assist foreign nationals seeking to influence a federal election, illegal to solicit their help, and illegal to co-ordinate with them.In a statement, Trump Jr. said he didn’t know who Natalia Veselnitskaya was when he met her. He said a business associate put them in touch. And she offered no useful information when he met her at Trump Tower in June 2016, along with then-campaign manager Paul Manafort and presidential staffer and son-in-law Jared Kushner, Trump Jr. said.But Bauer said it strains credulity that three senior staffers sat down with Veselnitskaya, without realizing they were soliciting help from a foreign national, which he called willful blindness: ”(That) is not helpful to their legal position.”Several members of Trump’s family have now hired attorneys in the Russia affair: the president himself, Kushner, and now Trump Jr.The president’s son characterized the news as no big deal. In one tweet Monday, Trump Jr. said he’d gladly answer questions from a congressional committee.He also joked that the story of collusion was a non-issue: ”Obviously I’m the first person on a campaign to ever take a meeting to hear info about an opponent… went nowhere but had to listen.”Berman also sees potential legal landmines in espionage laws and disclosure of information — it’s a crime to fail to disclose significant contacts with foreign nationals upon entering a government job. Kushner did not initially include multiple contacts with the Russians on his security-clearance paperwork.Jonathan Turley, professor of public interest law at George Washington University, sees disclosure as the lone problem area. He said he’s had to fill out the same government form as Kushner and would list even brief meetings with academics at conferences.As for the rest, he said he sees no obvious criminal act based on current information.”It is hardly shocking to see a willingness to gather dirt during that election,” Turley wrote in a blog post. ”Quite frankly, most people in (Washington) look at that account and snicker that Trump Jr. was a fool to personally attend such a meeting. Other campaigns would have used surrogates…”Unless there is more (and this is worthy of investigation), I see nothing close to treason or a crime in this account. That obviously does not fit with the breathless accounts given the story but the criminal code is not a code of political etiquette.”
MONTREAL – A Quebec woman is taking legal action against her doctors after she delivered her 13-pound baby naturally in what court documents describe as a “traumatic and chaotic” childbirth.Documents filed in Quebec Superior Court on behalf of Anik Bourbeau and Pascal Lessard allege the baby was born with a permanently paralyzed arm and the mother was left with significant tearing and other damage following the 2010 birth.The documents allege the couple’s doctors failed to evaluate the size of the baby and recommend a caesarean section before Bourbeau gave birth, despite signs that pointed to the possibility of a large baby.They asking for $1.4 million in damages from the defendants, who include five of Bourbeau’s doctors and a hospital in Shawinigan, Que.The baby’s birth “took place in the context of a traumatic and chaotic birth that caused numerous damages to the plaintiffs, notably a permanent paralysis to the [baby’s] right arm,” the document reads.The amount claimed includes general damages, loss of income for both parents as well as future medical costs for the child.None of the claims have been tested in court. The law firm representing the defendants declined to comment, citing confidentiality.The documents allege the medical professionals did not do an ultrasound on Bourbeau to check the size of the baby despite her medical history, which included a difficult pregnancy in the past.“The defendants omitted to proceed to an evaluation of the child’s size, while the clinical evolution of Madame Bourbeau demanded it,” it reads.Doctors “did not obtain free and informed consent” from Bourbeau regarding the method of delivery and did not recommend a C-section despite the fact she had clearly expressed her willingness to have one, the document claims.According to the documents, the baby wasn’t breathing and weighed more than 13 pounds when he was delivered in December 2010.The case will be heard in Superior Court in May 2018.
TORONTO – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was one of the scores of people paying tribute at the funeral for Liberal MP Arnold Chan on Saturday morning in Toronto.Chan, the member of parliament for Scarborough-Agincourt, died of cancer earlier this month at age 50.Trudeau was one of several speakers at the ceremony, along with Chan’s wife Jean Yip and their three sons as well as childhood friends.Former Ontario premier Dalton McGuinty read from the Bible, and many of Chan’s colleagues were honorary pallbearers, including Conservative MP Erin O’Toole and Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen.Chan was remembered as principled and optimistic, a devoted family man and a talented musician, and an MP completely engrossed with the political process.In an emotional tribute, Trudeau described Chan as man with deep conviction, calling him “one of the most honourable members of that House of Commons.”He said the last time he saw Chan, they sang Elton John’s “Your Song” together, with Chan on piano.“You all know that I don’t sing often, and there’s a reason for that,” Trudeau said. “But Arnold had me belting out the words while he played beautifully.“Arnold, your song will forever be ours.”Trudeau also quoted Maya Angelou: “Your legacy is every life you’ve touched.”“I look around this room, I look back at the days that followed the tragic news of our friend’s passing, and I see Arnold’s lasting legacy,” he said. “A legacy that goes far beyond the bills he authored or the votes he won. Far beyond the victories he celebrated and the losses he bore.”Chan grew up in Toronto. He earned masters degrees in political science and urban planning, and also has a law degree. He was named the Liberal Party’s deputy House leader after they took power in the 2015 federal election.In June he gave an impassioned speech to his fellow MPs, urging them to reject acrimonious debate and what he called “canned talking points” in favour of civility. At the time, Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale called the speech “truly extraordinary.”Chan was diagnosed with nasopharyngeal carcinoma shortly after he won the Scarborough-Agincourt seat in a 2014 byelection. He began a difficult treatment regime of radiation and chemotherapy, but revealed in March 2016 the cancer had returned.His funeral was jointly officiated by Toronto MP Rob Oliphant, an ordained minister, as well as Rev. Sarah Chapman. Other politicians in attendance were Toronto Mayor John Tory and Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne.Note to readers: This is a corrected story. A previous version erroneously said Rob Oliphant was the only officiant at the funeral.
CALGARY – A defence lawyer says the world has always been pitted against two brothers with fetal alcohol syndrome who repeatedly sexually assaulted a teenage girl they randomly abducted at a bus stop.Sentencing arguments concluded Thursday for Cody and Corey Manyshots, who pleaded guilty two years ago to kidnapping, uttering threats, sexual assault and robbery.Court heard the brothers, both in their 20s, have poor cognitive function, low intelligence and mental-health issues. But that was not enough for the defence to argue they were not criminally responsible because of a mental disorder.“These two men fell through the cracks of life,” Alain Hepner, Cody’s lawyer, told the court. “They didn’t stand a chance from the minute they were born.”The pair approached a 17-year-old girl at a northeast Calgary bus stop in November 2014, forced her into an alley and sexually assaulted her.They then abducted the Grade 12 student and took her to their home, where they sexually assaulted her another 15 times until she was able to escape about eight hours later when they fell asleep.Excerpts from reports read in court suggested the brothers need to live in a structured, supervised environment to ensure their well-being and the safety of others.While a penitentiary would provide that sort of setting, everyone agreed putting the brothers behind bars indefinitely is not an option.There was discussion of what support might be available to the men after their prison terms conclude.“What more of a disability could an accused have?” provincial court Judge Terry Semenuk asked. “I’ve never seen a case like this.”Semenuk is to deliver a sentence Jan. 26.Hepner proposed about nine years in prison for his client, taking into account time already in custody.The lawyer said there is no treatment for fetal alcohol syndrome, but he hoped there is a way the brothers can get the resources they need to lead meaningful lives once their sentences end.Hepner, who said Cody does have some insight into his crime, presented a statement on behalf of his client, who cannot read.“He said he’s truly sorry for the pain he caused the young girl and he can no longer blame alcohol or drugs,” said Hepner, who added the man wants to get counselling for substance abuse.Corey’s lawyer, Mitch Stephensen, asked for a 6 1/2-year sentence, including time already spent behind bars.He said his client can barely read or write, functions at the level of a four to six year old and will become overwhelmed if given too much information at once.“Corey will not do well in treatment that he doesn’t have the mental capacity for,” said Stephensen, who cited one of the reports.“But in my respectful submission, we have to make the attempt.”The Crown had earlier proposed a 12-year sentence. Prosecutor Jonathan Hak argued the two show little empathy for the victim and there is a relatively high risk they will reoffend.Having them stay voluntarily at a residential facility following their sentence should not be considered, he added.“I think in the real world, that’s not going to happen,” Hak said.“I can’t imagine either of these offenders willing to go to a residential-type facility to live out the balance of their life.”Angelina Manyshots, the men’s mother, also addressed the court.“I really love my sons,” she said. “I’ll do everything I can to help them.”Note to readers: This is a corrected story. An earlier version had the incorrect spelling of Stephensen
OTTAWA – A member of the Canadian Forces has been charged with sexually assaulting another soldier during a training exercise in New Brunswick.National Defence says Cpl. George MacLeod of 36 Combat Engineer Regiment reserve unit in Sydney, N.S., was charged in relation to an alleged incident at Base Gagetown in August.The National Investigation Service offered no other details, saying only that the incident involved another member of the Armed Forces.MacLeod faces one count of sexual assault under the Criminal Code.The investigation service says the charge could go before a military court martial.
GOOSE BAY, N.L. – Once frightened, lonely children who lost their culture and innocence rose in a standing ovation Friday as the prime minister at last said it for all Canadians: It was wrong, and we are sorry.“I humbly stand before you to offer a long-overdue apology,” Justin Trudeau said through tears. “To all of you, we are sorry.”Many of the 300 people gathered for the ceremony in Goose Bay bowed their heads and cried. Others tried to comfort those who sobbed openly.Trudeau offered the apology for beatings, sexual abuse, neglect and loss of Innu and Inuit language and culture at residential schools in the province. They were located in North West River, Makkovik, Cartwright and Nain — all in Labrador — and one in St. Anthony in northern Newfoundland.The International Grenfell Association ran three of the schools, while the Germany-based Moravian missionaries ran the other two.Trudeau said parents were promised their children would be cared for and would be safe.Instead, kids as young as five were isolated from their families and stripped of their identity. They were made to feel “irrelevant and inferior” and taught to be “ashamed of who they were and where they were from.”“The kind of thinking that led to the establishment of the residential school system and left deep scars for so many has no place in our society,” Trudeau said. “It was unacceptable then and it is unacceptable now.”The former students were left out of a compensation package and national apology in 2008 by former prime minister Stephen Harper. His Conservative government argued that Ottawa didn’t oversee those schools, but the Liberal government offered last year to settle a class-action lawsuit for $50 million.Toby Obed accepted the prime minister’s apology on behalf of former students.Approaching the stage, his arms raised in triumph, Obed yelled: “We got it!”“Because I come from a patient and forgiving culture I think it is proper for us to accept an apology from the Government of Canada,” he said.Obed led the almost decade-long legal fight for recognition. He was among 29 former students who were the only ones in Canada forced to testify in open court about what happened to them.“This apology is an important part of the healing,” Obed said, stopping at times to collect himself. “Today … we can finally feel a part of the community of survivors nationwide across Canada.”“And it’s in person, it was not on the news. We didn’t have to go out to them, they came to us,” he said to cheers from the crowd.Not everyone was ready to accept the gesture.Innu Nation leaders boycotted the event.“I’m not satisfied that Canada understands yet what it has done to Innu and what it is still doing,” Grand Chief Gregory Rich said in a statement late Thursday.It says Innu children were abused in Roman Catholic schools and in the homes of teachers and missionaries in Sheshatshiu and Davis Inlet. And it calls on Ottawa to be full participants in a provincial inquiry into how child welfare systems continue to split Innu families.Trudeau was also asked Friday about Indigenous residents who’ve faced arrest and jail time for peacefully protesting how the Muskrat Falls hydro dam under construction in the region could contaminate crucial wild foods.The prime minister said the apology is a sincere gesture toward lasting reconciliation but conceded there’s more work to be done.Miriam Saunders of Goose Bay, whose daughter Loretta was murdered in Halifax in 2014 by a man she had sublet her apartment to, said the scope of the class-action settlement caused deep hurt because of those it left out.She said her father and others who attended the schools before 1949 suffered too.“He was beaten,” she said, and later refused to teach her Inuktitut to spare her a similar fate.The $50-million class-action settlement reached with Ottawa last year did not include students who attended before Newfoundland joined Confederation in 1949. Before then, it was a separate dominion.“The British government should be apologizing,” Saunders said.Memorial candles were also lit in honour of more than 120 former students who died waiting for a resolution.They glowed in front of a striking stage backdrop depicting a broken red heart rising to a whole heart on a silver grey seal skin. It is a piece called The Healing by Rigolet artist Inez Shiwak.Inuk elder Sarah Anala recalled crying into her pillow as a child in her dorm bed, mouth open so no one would hear her.She told of a prophesy that the deep troubles of her people would ease when once-outlawed drums were heard again.“The drum is back,” she said. “And who brought it back? Our youth.”Follow @suebailey on Twitter.
TORONTO – A Progressive Conservative government in Ontario would not implement a planned minimum wage increase next year, no matter who ends up winning the race to lead the party through the spring election.In an hour-long debate Thursday, the four candidates vying for the top Tory post were united in their opposition to a key Liberal government promise to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour in 2019.The forum was the first chance for former Tory legislator Christine Elliott, lawyer Caroline Mulroney, former city councillor Doug Ford, and parental rights advocate Tanya Granic Allen to present themselves as the best choice to replace former leader Patrick Brown, who resigned last month amid sexual misconduct allegations.The candidates provided few concrete details on their plans for the province but were clear about their intention to scrap the wage hike, saying the Liberal plan would hurt the province’s economy, particularly small businesses, which have complained about the January increase from $11.60 to $14 per hour.Ford, the brother of notorious late Toronto mayor Rob Ford, called the wage hike a “tax grab” for Premier Kathleen Wynne’s Liberals and said he would instead eliminate provincial income tax for those making minimum wage.“That will benefit the companies, it will benefit the person leaving their office or their factory at the end of the day,” he said.Mulroney, daughter of former prime minister Brian Mulroney, said she would increase the minimum wage by 25 cents over four years, while Elliott also said she would phase in a hike gradually.“The minimum wage law is a classic example of the way the Liberals have been governing this province, making decisions that help them in the short term — in this case their electoral chances — and hurt the rest of us in the long term,” Caroline Mulroney said. “Small businesses are suffering. It was too much too soon.”Wynne responded to the criticism of the wage hike in a video posted on Twitter prior to her town hall event in Windsor, Ont., saying raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour will make the strong Ontario economy even stronger.“We know Conservatives say over and over again that it’s too much, it’s too fast and today they made it clear that a Conservative government would deny that raise,” Wynne said in the video.“But we know that when they say not now, what they’re really saying is not ever, because they want to put wealthy business owners ahead of working people. That’s not okay.”While all four candidates said they opposed a carbon tax to replace the Liberals’ current cap and trade, none of them offered specifics on how they planned to make up for the estimated $4 billion from the tax that was to fund a 22 per cent income tax cut and other key election promises in the party’s platform.Instead, all four suggested savings could be found by cutting waste from the Liberal provincial budget.“In a $141 billion dollar budget, do you think we can find two or three per cent (in savings)?” Ford said.Mulroney said she would deliver her own fully costed plan if she’s elected leader.“This government needs to learn to do more with less,” she said.Elliott, who recently served as the province’s health ombudsman, pitched herself as the experienced candidate best positioned to win the spring election.“I know Kathleen Wynne. I’ve debated against her before,” she said, noting later that with an election in less than 100 days, the party could not afford a “leader-in-training.”Granic Allen, an outspoken critic of the Liberals’ updated sex-education curriculum, pulled no punches during the debate, attacking Brown as a “corrupt leader” who alienated grassroots members with social conservative views and “left the party in tatters.”Brown’s abrupt resignation in late January threw the Progressive Conservatives into turmoil, prompting a hastily called leadership race that will see a new leader in place by March 10. Brown has vehemently denied the allegations and has vowed to clear his name.Genevieve Tellier, a political science professor at the University of Ottawa, said Thursday’s debate didn’t bring any major revelations but confirmed that the candidates appear split into two camps.Elliott and Mulroney have positioned themselves as more moderate, centrist options, and seem to be addressing voters across the province, while Ford and Granic Allen, who lean more to the right, appeal to grassroots members, she said.The candidates stopped short of making any detailed policy commitments, noting they would wait for further consultations on key issues, making it difficult to know where they stand, Tellier said.“They’re cautious, they really don’t know where to go, what to target,” she said. “They are all unclear.”In the next, and last debate, set for the end of the month, “they will have to come up with some more precise policy actions that they want to take,” she said.
HALIFAX – Heat waves in the world’s oceans are getting longer and more frequent, according to a new study that warns the phenomenon will likely continue to alter marine ecosystems, harm fisheries and kill various species.Eric Oliver of Dalhousie University in Halifax, who led a team of researchers from Australia, the United States and the United Kingdom, said they found that annual marine heat-wave days increased by 54 per cent between 1925 and 2016.The oceanography professor said that means a marine ecosystem now experiences 45 marine heat-wave days per year, compared to 30 days of extreme heat annually in the early 20th century.“We will continue to see impacts on our marine ecosystems, making them less stable and predictable,” Oliver said in a release. “These are systems that many around the world rely on for food, livelihoods and recreation.”The team, which used satellite and on-site observations of sea surface temperatures, defines marine heat waves as “prolonged periods of unusually warm water at a particular location.”The study, released Tuesday in the journal Nature Communications, found the prolonged heat can harm biodiversity, as well as fisheries and aquaculture. For example, the authors say a marine heat wave off western Australia in 2011 altered the plant composition in an ecosystem once dominated by kelp. He said that shift remained even after water temperatures returned to normal, suggesting the changes may be long-lasting if not permanent.A year later, high temperatures that lasted from 2014 to 2016 in the Gulf of Maine caused the lucrative lobster fishery to be flooded with cheaper early landings, while persistent warm water in the North Pacific caused fishery closures, strandings of marine mammals and harmful algal blooms along the coast.“It even changed large-scale weather patterns in the Pacific Northwest,” the release states.Oliver said the increased frequency in heat waves is due likely to a global increase in mean ocean temperatures. Because of that, the team says that will likely continue since they expect ocean surface temperatures to continue to warm.
MONTREAL – The bodies of two men have been discovered in a van parked on a Montreal street.Police were called at about 8 p.m. about the two men in the vehicle in the Villeray district northeast of downtown.There was no immediate word on how the men died.Autopsies will be performed to determine the cause of death.
VANCOUVER – There’s little evidence that legalized marijuana poses a threat to public health and safety, and there may be benefits, says a new study from Canadian doctors and researchers.The report, submitted to the Senate this week, outlines the positive and negative impacts legalization has had in other jurisdictions.“It hasn’t been a public health disaster or crisis yet, but there are some key areas that we need to watch,” said Rebecca Haines-Saah, a public health specialist at the University of Calgary and one of the report’s authors.The federal government has promised to legalize recreational marijuana later this year under Bill C-45, which is expected to go to a final vote in the upper house Thursday.Dr. M.J. Milloy with the B.C. Centre on Substance Use worked on the study and said researchers did not find significant declines in road safety in American states where marijuana had been legalized, but they did find a drop in alcohol sales.They also found that rates of fatal opioid overdoses went down in some places.“There is evidence to suggest that when legal cannabis is available, people substitute that for other substances,” he said.“We are hopeful that we might see some of the same benefits here.”B.C. declared a public health emergency because of overdose deaths in April 2016. The provincial coroner’s service has said there were more than 1,400 fatal overdoses across B.C. last year.The Senate report also outlines 28 indicators to watch for as Canada legalizes marijuana, grouped under the themes of public safety, cannabis use trends, other substance use trends, cardiovascular and respiratory health, and mental health and cognition.The indicators include instances of cannabis-impaired driving, rates of use among youth and the number of marijuana-related calls to poison control centres.Watching those areas will be key to determining if marijuana policy has been a success, said Haines-Saah.It’s possible some of the negative indicators will see an uptick, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that legal pot is having a detrimental affect, said Haines-Saah.She noted that some American jurisdictions have reported increases in cannabis-related calls to poison control centres following legalization.Those incidents may have been happening previously, too, but parents were too scared to call because the drug was illegal, Haines-Saah said.It’s important to look at the broad picture instead of specific instances, she said.“I think we’ll see more people reporting use and harms in the first few years, but that doesn’t mean they’re real harms. It just means that reporting bias has been removed because of the stigma.”Data about many of the suggested indicators is already being collected by various levels of government, and researchers or statisticians can use that to look at the impact of changes to marijuana policy, Milloy said.Legalization is a “fundamental change” and decisions about public health need to be informed by scientific evidence, he added“We really think that closely monitoring and evaluating the possible impact of cannabis legalization on public health is key.”
WINNIPEG – A Statistics Canada report says 46 per cent of all incarcerated youth across Canada were Indigenous in 2016-17. Here is a breakdown by province of admissions to custody of Aboriginal youth during that time (in per cent):Newfoundland and Labrador: Males 6; Females 0Prince Edward Island: Males 13; Females 0New Brunswick: Males 11; Females 15Ontario: Males 10; Females 15Manitoba: Males 81; Females 82Saskatchewan: Males 92; Females 98British Columbia: Males 44; Females 60Yukon: Males 74; Females 100Northwest Territories: Males 94; Female 60Nunavut: Males 100; Females 100Source: Statistics Canada. Note: There was no information listed for Nova Scotia, Alberta or Quebec.
OTTAWA – A former soldier facing a murder charge in Ontario has lost a bid to halt his trial over concerns about delays in the case.The Supreme Court of Canada declined to hear Adam Picard’s challenge of an appeal court decision dismissing his arguments about the time it took to bring the case to trial.Picard was arrested in December 2012 in the killing of 28-year-old Fouad Nayel, who went missing in June that year.The trial was set to begin in 2016 but the Ontario Superior Court of Justice stayed the first-degree murder charge in light of new time limits established by the Supreme Court.In its appeal, the Crown argued the judge mischaracterized the nature of the delays, failed to consider the complexity of the case and did not properly account for a transitional period in applying the new rules.The Ontario Court of Appeal allowed the appeal last September and ordered the trial to proceed, prompting Picard to take his case to the Supreme Court.
SASKATOON — A Saskatchewan scientist is telling a three bears story of a different kind.Doug Clark of the University of Saskatchewan says he’s got the first recorded proof of grizzly, black and polar bears all using the same habitat.Clark says the three kinds of bears are in Wapusk National Park in northern Manitoba and there’s no evidence they are confronting each other.He says his team has video of all three species wandering through the same part of the park, sometimes within a few hours of each other.Clark suggests the situation is a result of grizzlies moving in from the North.He says it’s hard to know just exactly what’s driving the change and what its consequences are, but it’s likely to make a big difference in how bears are managed in the area. The Canadian Press
BEIJNG, China — China is confirming that it has detained two Canadian men, saying they were being detained on suspicion of “endangering national security.”Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said today that entrepreneur Michael Spavor and former Canadian diplomat Michael Kovrig were taken into custody on Monday.Lu says Canada has been informed of the detentions, but declined to say whether the men have been provided with lawyers.He says they are being handled separately.The two cases ratchet up pressure on Canada, which is holding an executive of Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei wanted by the United States.China has demanded the immediate release of Meng Wanzhou, Huawei’s CFO and the daughter of its founder.Asked if the men’s detentions were related to Meng’s arrest, Lu said they were being handled according to Chinese law.The Associated Press