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The Monday news briefing: An at a glance survey of some top stories – CP
by ahnationtalk on April 18, 201711 Views
Source: The Canadian Press
Apr 17, 2017
Highlights from the news file for Monday, April 17
KHADR’S CRIMINAL RECORD CONTAINS MISTAKES: Omar Khadr’s official criminal record in Canada contains oddities and errors that are at odds with how the federal government viewed him on his return from the notorious prison on the U.S. naval base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. The record, obtained by The Canadian Press, makes no reference to the fact that Khadr, 30, was convicted by an internationally condemned U.S. military commission for purported offences he committed as a 15-year-old in Afghanistan. Instead, the document states only that he was convicted at “Guantanamo Bay, Cuba (Youth Court).” It makes no reference anywhere to the United States or the commission. While it’s not clear when the record was first created, Khadr’s Canadian lawyers call it bizarre. For one thing, they note there’s no such thing as a Guantanamo Bay youth court. However, despite the document, the Canadian government argued strenuously for years against treating Khadr as a young offender _ placing him, for example, in a series of maximum security adult prisons on his return to Canada in September 2012. Additionally, the lawyers say, the record appears to formalize the fact that Khadr was convicted as a youth for alleged crimes that occurred in a war zone, which would make him a child soldier _ a label the government has also always avoided.
LIBERALS SAY NO PLAN FOR POT-CONVICTION AMNESTY: The federal public safety minister says the plan to legalize recreational marijuana does not include a general amnesty for past pot convictions. Ralph Goodale tells The Canadian Press not to expect a blanket pardon for people with records for possessing small amounts of the drug. The C.D. Howe Institute, a prominent think-tank, has recommended the government consider pardoning people convicted of pot possession _ and drop any outstanding charges _ to free up much-needed resources for legalization. Goodale notes there is already a formal process to have a criminal record set aside. Those convicted of simple possession of up to 30 grams of marijuana are eligible to apply for a pardon, now known as a record suspension, five years after their sentence is completed. An internal Public Safety Canada briefing note, released last year under the Access to Information Act, said the issue of record suspensions would be “important to consider during the marijuana legalization discussions.”
N. KOREA ACCUSES U.S. OF CREATING SITUATION FOR NUCLEAR WAR: North Korea’s deputy UN ambassador accused the United States on Monday of turning the Korean Peninsula into “the world’s biggest hotspot” and creating “a dangerous situation in which a thermonuclear war may break out at any moment.” Kim In Ryong told a news conference that “if the U.S. dares opt for a military action,” North Korea “is ready to react to any mode of war desired by the U.S.” He said the Trump administration’s deployment of the Carl Vinson nuclear carrier task group to waters off the Korean Peninsula again “proves the U.S. reckless moves for invading the DPRK have reached a serious phase of its scenario.” He stressed that U.S.-South Korean military exercises being staged now are the largest-ever “aggressive war drill” aimed at his country, formally the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. Tensions have escalated over North Korean moves to accelerate its weapons development. The North conducted two nuclear tests and 24 ballistic missile tests last year, defying six Security Council sanctions resolutions banning any testing, and it has conducted additional missile tests this year including one this past weekend that failed.
AIR CANADA APOLOGIZES FOR BUMPING CHILD: Air Canada is apologizing to a Prince Edward Island family after the airline bumped a 10-year-old boy from a flight. Brett Doyle booked four tickets from Charlottetown to Costa Rica for his family last August. A day before the vacation during March break, Doyle says he checked his family in for the flight online, but could not select a seat for his son. After hours on the phone with Air Canada, Doyle’s wife drove to the airport and was told the flight was oversold and their son had been bumped. The family drove to Moncton, N.B., to catch a different Air Canada flight to meet the Costa Rica flight in Montreal, but when that flight was cancelled they were forced to drive to Halifax and stay overnight in a hotel. Air Canada said in an email that the airline has apologized to the Doyle family, and that the situation should not have occurred. Doyle said he was offered a $2,500 voucher, which expires in one year, and was told Air Canada may cover his expenses.
GRASSY NARROWS HOLD VIGIL FOR TEEN, SEEKS ANSWERS FOR HER DEATH: Family and supporters of a young girl found dead near a Kenora, Ont., hospital last year are holding a vigil Monday to renew a demand for an inquest into her death. Azraya Ackabee-Kokopenace, 14, from Grassy Narrows First Nation was brought by provincial police to the hospital last April. She reportedly decided to leave the hospital on April 15, and was found dead two days later. The cause of her death has not been released and her family has said that has left too much uncertainty. Her family and friends will call for a coroner’s inquest into her death during the vigil at a local church and they’ll be joined by the local member of the Ontario legislature Sarah Campbell. Alex Hundert of Grassy Narrows Youth Organization says the fact that Ackabee-Kokopenace died while nominally under the protection of three institutions that should help at-risk youth _ police, child services, and the hospital _ shows a “systemic failure.”
MAIN PARTIES CAMPAIGN ON HEALTH CARE, JOBS IN B.C.: New Democrat Leader John Horgan is promising to build team-based urgent care centres to address British Columbia’s shortage of family doctors and ease pressure on emergency rooms. He made the promise Monday in Burnaby during the campaign for the May 9 election, flanked by two B.C. residents who can’t find a primary care provider as well as a doctor who works in a team-based practice. Horgan says Christy Clark’s Liberals are letting patients down as 700,000 people don’t have a family doctor, causing them to wait for hours at walk-in clinics or emergency rooms. Campaigning in Campbell River, Clark highlighted her government’s record in helping business, such as phasing out the provincial sales tax on electricity that she says would save businesses $160 million a year, including pulp and paper companies in the northern part of Vancouver Island. Vancouver Island has been a stronghold for the NDP but Clark says the province has a successful economic record on the island because of Liberal policies. She said the unemployment rate in the north island is half what it was under the last NDP government before the Liberals came to power in 2001.
RISING FLOOD WATERS FORCE MANITOBANS FROM HOMES: Rising ice and flood waters have forced hundreds of people from their homes in Manitoba. Jason Small of the Canadian Red Cross says 107 people from the Opaskwayak Cree Nation are being temporarily housed in hotels in The Pas about 500 kilometres northwest of Winnipeg. He says another 325 people were evacuated from their homes earlier this month from five other First Nations. Manitoba forecasters issued a flood warning on the weekend for some areas affected by ice jams on the Carrot and Saskatchewan rivers. The province says water levels were going down in some rivers until storms dumped about 25 millimetres of precipitation on the weekend. Small says the evacuees are being provided with lodging, food and other living expenses. The other First Nations affected include the Peguis near Winnipeg, the Sioux Valley and Canupawapka Dakota near Brandon, the Waywayseecappo near Russell and the Long Plain near Portage la Prairie. Manitoba says it issues warnings when rivers or lakes are expected to exceed flood levels within the next 24 hours. There was no immediate word on when people might be allowed to return to their homes.
EVACUATION UNDERWAY IN ONTARIO FIRST NATION: An evacuation due to flooding fears was underway Monday at a remote First Nation community in northern Ontario. Kashechewan First Nation Deputy Chief Hosea Wesley said more than 300 people from his community flew to Kapuskasing, Ont., on Sunday and about 200 residents were expected to leave over the course of Monday and Tuesday as major ice jams about 20 kilometres upriver threaten to flood the community near the mouth of James Bay. Children, the elderly and the sick are being evacuated from the area first as a precautionary measure, Wesley said, noting that the exodus has become an annual voyage for the community that sits on the Albany River. Local officials in consultation with the province will monitor the ice as open water moves towards the reserve where more than 2,000 people live. Flooding occurs when the ice jams, which causes water levels to rise and puts pressure on the dike wall next to Kashechewan, Wesley said. High water can simply spill over the top of the dike.
GLACIER MELT REROUTED IN RARE CASE OF ‘RIVER PIRACY’: Scientists have witnessed the first modern case of what they call “river piracy” and they blame global warming. Most of the water gushing from a glacier in northwest Canada last year suddenly switched from one river to another. That changed the Slims River from a deep, raging river to something so shallow that it barely was above a scientist’s high top sneakers at midstream. It also means the water from the glacier ends up in the Pacific Ocean instead of the Arctic’s Bering Sea. Study chief author Dan Shugar of the University of Washington Tacoma said it seemed to happen in about one day last May. A canyon formed at the end of the glacier, rerouting the water to another river. The study is published in Monday’s journal Nature Geoscience.
BUNNY RESCUES PREPARE FOR BUSY SEASON POST-EASTER: Rabbit rescue organizations are preparing for an influx of surrendered and stray bunnies as Easter weekend comes to an end. Kaylie Ngo, president of London, Ont.,-based Hoppy Hearts, said the peak season for her rescue starts in June and July _ and much of the volume stems from bunnies that were hastily purchased as Easter gifts for kids. Bunnies are usually given as gifts when they’re about eight weeks old, Ngo said. But after a few months, their personalities start to shift. “They start becoming very hormonal and active little teenagers that like to poop and pee and start destroying things,” she said. The executive director of Rabbit Rescue Inc. in Cambridge, Ont., said oftentimes, parents who buy the animals for their kids don’t understand what they’re getting into. “They’re really similar to cats and dogs, not like hamsters and gerbils,” Haviva Porter-Lush said. They can’t be kept in a small cage, for instance. Both Hoppy Hearts and Rabbit Rescue Inc. send rabbits that are up for adoption to foster homes _ neither organization has a dedicated shelter space. In fact, Ngo said her rescue has become so busy that it’s had to stop accepting owner-surrendered bunnies. Right now, she said, Hoppy Hearts is only taking in rabbits that have been abandoned outside.
INDEX: NATIONAL POLITICS
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