Worlds largest parrot dwarfs its modern cousins

first_imgMelbourne: Scientists have discovered fossils of the world’s largest parrot, standing up to one metre tall and weighing seven kilogrammes (kg) with a massive beak able to crack most food sources. The new bird, described in the journal Biology Letters, has been named Heracles inexpectatus to reflect its Herculean myth-like size and strength — and the unexpected nature of the discovery. “New Zealand is well known for its giant birds,” said Trevor Worthy, Associate Professor at Flinders University in Australia. Also Read – Saudi Crown Prince ‘snubbed’ Pak PM, recalled jet from US”Not only moa dominated avifaunas, but giant geese and adzebills shared the forest floor, while a giant eagle ruled the skies. However, until now, no-one has ever found an extinct giant parrot — anywhere,” Worthy said. The fossil is about the size of the giant ‘dodo’ pigeon of the Mascarenes and twice the size of the critically endangered flightless New Zealand kakapo, previously the largest known parrot. Like the kakapo, it was a member of an ancient New Zealand group of parrots that appear to be more primitive than parrots that thrive today on Australia and other continents, researchers said. Also Read – Record number of 35 candidates in fray for SL Presidential pollsExperts from Flinders University, University of New South Wales is an Australian (UNSW) and Canterbury Museum in New Zealand estimate Heracles to be one metre tall, weighing about seven kg.The new parrot was found in fossils up to 19 million years old from near St Bathans in Central Otago, New Zealand, in an area well known for a rich assemblage of fossil birds from the Miocene period. “We have been excavating these fossil deposits for 20 years, and each year reveals new birds and other animals,” said Worthy. “While Heracles is one of the most spectacular birds we have found, no doubt there are many more unexpected species yet to be discovered in this most interesting deposit,” he said. “Heracles, as the largest parrot ever, no doubt with a massive parrot beak that could crack wide open anything it fancied, may well have dined on more than conventional parrot foods, perhaps even other parrots,” said Professor Mike Archer, from the UNSW Sydney Palaeontology. “Its rarity in the deposit is something we might expect if it was feeding higher up in the food chain,” he said, adding parrots “in general are very resourceful birds in terms of culinary interests.” “New Zealand keas, for example, have even developed a taste for sheep since these were introduced by European settlers in 1773,” Archer said. Birds have repeatedly evolved giant species on islands. As well as the dodo, there has been another giant pigeon found on Fiji, a giant stork on Flores, giant ducks in Hawaii, giant megapodes in New Caledonia and Fiji, giant owls and other raptors in the Caribbean.Heracles lived in a diverse subtropical forest where many species of laurels and palms grew with podocarp trees. “Undoubtedly, these provided a rich harvest of fruit important in the diet of Heracles and the parrots and pigeons it lived with. But on the forest floor Heracles competed with adzebills and the forerunners of moa,” said Professor Suzanne Hand, also from UNSW Sydney. “The St Bathans fauna provides the only insight into the terrestrial birds and other animals that lived in New Zealand since dinosaurs roamed the land more than 66 million years ago,” said Paul Scofield, Senior Curator at Canterbury Museum.last_img read more

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Du Plessis misses out De Kock to lead SA in T20s against

first_imgJohannesburg: Quinton de Kock on Tuesday was named South Africa’s new Twenty20 skipper for the three-match series against India in September, which will not feature former captain Faf Du Plessis in the squad. However, du Plessis will continue to lead South Africa in the three-Test series that follows the T20s, with Temba Bavuma named his vice-captain, Cricket South Africa announced. “I would like to stress that Faf du Plessis remains an important part of our plans for white-ball cricket,” said CSA Acting Director, Corrie van Zyl. Rassie van Der Dussen will play deputy to de Kock in the T20 squad. “The T20 Series gives us the last chance to have a look at our leadership and batting options as the next edition of the T20 World Cup is now little more than a year away which is why we have gone with an inexperienced leadership group. This is our last chance to do this before we settle on an established squad,” he added. Also Read – Puducherry on top after 8-wkt win over ChandigarhMeanwhile, both T20 and Test squads will feature three uncapped players. Pacer Anrich Nortje features in both the squads, batsman Bavuma, spin bowling all-rounder Bjorn Fortuin will feature in the T20 squad. Wicketkeeper Rudi Second and spin-bowling all-rounder Senuran Muthusamy were handed Test caps. “All three newcomers to the Test side have more than earned their spurs through impressive performances in last season’s Four-Day Franchise competition,” van Zyl said. “As far as the T20 squad is concerned, Temba Bavuma and Bjorn Fortuin were two of the standout players in the CSA T20 Challenge last season while Nortje was outstanding in the Mzansi Super League until ruled out by injury.” CSA also said Aiden Markram, Theunis de Bruyn and Lungi Ngidi were not considered for the T20s as they will be preparing for the Test series by playing in South Africa A’s four-day matches against India A.last_img read more

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Suspect charged with murder attempted murder in Toronto van attack

first_imgA 25-year-old man has been charged with 10 counts of first-degree murder in connection with the deadly van attack in Toronto on Monday.Alek Minassian, who is from Richmond Hill, appeared in court on Tuesday morning, where he also faced 13 charges of attempted murder.Minassian was arrested after a van plowed into pedestrians on Yonge Street between Finch Avenue East and Sheppard Avenue.A motive for the horrific attack is not yet clear.He will be appearing in court again, via a video link, on May 10.last_img read more

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Trump administration softwood threat from Trudeau government inappropriate

first_imgWASHINGTON – The Trump administration says it won’t be pressured by trade threats from the Canadian government, responding Saturday to a warning that the northern neighbour could start targeting American industries in the event of a protracted dispute over softwood lumber.The administration’s commerce secretary issued a statement calling the threats inappropriate, and insisting they would have no effect on the U.S.’s course of action in the lumber dispute.Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said the decision to slap duties on Canadian lumber was based on the facts presented — not on political calculations.The U.S. has contended for decades that Canada’s lumber companies are unfairly subsidized through cheap access to public land, and the issue has repeatedly resulted in disputes that include duties, lawsuits, and temporary settlements.The Canadian government now says it wants a long-term settlement — or else. It’s preparing to target specific industries in the U.S., to put pressure on those Americans backing a hard line on lumber.Government sources have told The Canadian Press they are weighing two separate actions.The first was revealed Friday by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. He sent a letter to the premier of B.C., announcing he was seriously considering banning U.S. coal exports from that province and that trade experts were studying it.Sources say the next step targets the state of Oregon.The federal government has begun studying all business subsidies in that state, home to Democratic Sen. Ron Wyden. Following that, the Canada Border Services Agency could examine duties on Oregon’s plywood, wine, flooring, wood chips and packaging materials.Ross brushed aside the threat.“The decision to impose tariffs on Canadian softwood lumber was based on the facts presented, not on political considerations,” he said in a statement. “If any Canadian or British Columbian official wishes to present additional information (about lumber), we will consider it carefully and impartially…“Threats of retaliatory action are inappropriate and will not influence any final determinations. We continue to believe that a negotiated settlement is in the best interests of all parties, and we are prepared to work toward that end.”last_img read more

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A look at what minimumwage workers get paid across Canada

first_imgThe Ontario government has announced plans to raise its minimum wage to $14 an hour on Jan. 1, 2018 and to $15 an hour the following year. Here’s a look at what minimum-wage workers are paid across the country:Alberta – $12.20 an hour, rising to $13.60 this year and reaching $15 an hour on Oct. 1, 2018.British Columbia – $10.85. It’s expected to rise to at least $11.25 this year.Manitoba – $11. The government plans to raise it every year along with the rate of inflation.New Brunswick – $11. Adjusted annually relative to the consumer price index.Newfoundland & Labrador – $10.75 rising to $11 on Oct. 1, 2017.Northwest Territories – $12.50Nova Scotia – $10.85. Adjusted annually April 1 based on the consumer price index.Nunavut – $13. Adjusted annually April 1.Ontario – $11.40.Prince Edward Island – $11.25.Quebec – $10.75, rising to $11.25 per hour May 1.Saskatchewan – $10.72. Adjusted annually Oct. 1 relative to the consumer price index and average hourly wage.Yukon – $11.32. Adjusted annually April 1 based on the consumer price index.Source: The Canadian Press, Retail Council of Canadalast_img read more

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Oilers honour victims of Edmonton truck attack before home opener against Flames

first_imgEDMONTON – An Edmonton police officer attacked last weekend was honoured by the Oilers ahead of their home opener against the Calgary Flames on Wednesday night.Constable Michael Chernyk received a standing ovation as he walked on to the ice during a pre-game ceremony and stood beside anthem singer Robert Clark for his performance of O Canada.Chernyk was handling crowd control at a Canadian Football League game on Saturday night when he was hit by a speeding car that rammed through a barrier and sent him flying five metres through the air.The driver got out, pulled out a large knife and began stabbing Chernyk, a 10-year veteran of the police force, as he was lying on the ground. Chernyk fought back and the suspect fled on foot.Before police could arrest the attacker he hit four civilians with another vehicle he had been driving.Edmonton police Chief Roderick Knecht was also present on Wednesday as the Oilers played a video honouring the victims of the attack as well as police and other first responders.Abdulahi Hasan Sharif made his first court appearance Tuesday on 11 charges, including five of attempted murder.last_img read more

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Pregnant woman without doctor not the norm in Nova Scotia health minister

first_imgHALIFAX – Nova Scotia’s health minister is sidestepping questions about whether he thinks it’s acceptable that a Cape Breton woman who is halfway through her pregnancy still doesn’t have a family doctor.Kirsten DeJong, who moved to Boularderie, N.S., from Ontario in 2015, said Thursday that she now has an appointment with an obstetrician at the end of the month, but only after months of phone calls to nurse practitioners, clinics and doctor’s offices.“I get there’s a shortage, but come on. We’re in Canada and I’m pregnant,” said the 32-year-old woman.“The biggest thing when you get pregnant is you want that confirmation. You want to hear the heartbeat. You want to see the baby. You want something. I haven’t been able to get that.”Health Minister Randy Delorey told reporters that it’s “important to recognize” the Nova Scotia Health Authority does have a referral process in place to address situations like DeJong’s — adding that “to my knowledge this isn’t the norm of situations that take place in the province.”“This situation does show that the individual did get the referral and is getting in to see the specialists that they need to help manage and monitor their progress,” said Delorey.Delorey did say he was concerned about the number of times DeJong had to reach out for help, but again wouldn’t say whether her story was a symptom of growing problems with the province’s health care system.He said short-term solutions that would provide immediate patient access “don’t exist” in Nova Scotia or elsewhere in the country.“What does exist is recognizing that we do have to take steps to improve the availability of primary care providers.”Delorey said that’s why the province has been highlighting steps like increasing the number of residency positions and planned expansions to collaborative care teams — although the effects of those initiatives are likely years away.DeJong said she became pregnant in late July and soon after called the closest midwife, about a half hour’s drive away, but was turned down because of the distance.DeJong, who is on the health authority’s wait-list for a family doctor, said she called countless nurse practitioners and doctor’s offices looking for a family doctor or an obstetrician, but nobody was taking on new clients.She then attempted to book an appointment with a pre-natal clinic at a hospital in Sydney, N.S., but was told she needed to go to an emergency or walk-in clinic for a referral to a doctor.DeJong eventually caved in and visited the emergency clinic at the end of September and obtained a referral for an obstetrician, but she still hadn’t heard anything a month after her visit.She remembered the doctor’s name so she called herself, and was told they had been trying to reach her, but were apparently calling an incorrect number. Nevertheless, they were calling to say they could not take her on. After pleading with them, they eventually agreed to see her at the end of November.DeJong said her plight highlights the province’s doctor shortage, which she said has reached “crisis” levels in Cape Breton.“As soon as you cross that causeway, I swear we’re cut off … The midwives said they could have hooked me up with a doctor in Antigonish. That’s horrible. I can get a doctor if I go on the other side of the causeway, but I can’t get one here where I live,” said DeJong, who has one daughter.In addition to the doctor shortages, the province’s health care system has been plagued by chronic problems related to emergency room closures in rural areas and overcrowding in hospital emergency rooms.Delorey said there are no “instant fixes” to problems that have existed for years, and in a province that is only two years into a significant restructuring of health care administration — moving from 10 health authorities to two.Still, he insists improvements have been made.“We see individuals in the province who under the old model would be waiting on wait lists … and not have the opportunity to transfer and receive those services in another community where wait lists may be shorter,” Delorey said. “Under the new authority we are already seeing that happen.”last_img read more

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I would draw the line candidate for premier opposes abortion for rape

first_imgREGINA – One of the leading candidates in the race to become the next premier of Saskatchewan says he doesn’t believe in abortion, even in the case of sex assault victims.Ken Cheveldayoff, a long-time Saskatoon member of the legislature for the Saskatchewan Party, also says anyone under 18 should need parental consent for the procedure. And he thinks abortions should further be restricted to women facing medical risks, not victims of sexual assault.“No. I think it’s when the life of the mother is in jeopardy — that’s where I would draw the line,” he told The Canadian Press on Wednesday.His comments follow an interview recently posted on a website belonging to the Ottawa-based group Right Now, which is dedicated to electing anti-abortion politicians. It ranked Cheveldayoff as the most preferable candidate to replace outgoing Premier Brad Wall.Wall, who has been one of Canada’s highest-profile premiers, is retiring after a decade in office. Cheveldayoff and five others are in the running to lead the Sask. Party, and one is to be chosen Jan. 27.Cheveldayoff, the former minister of parks, culture and sport, told Right Now that he would support any provincial legislation that protects “the unborn child, anything that emphasizes that life begins at conception.”He told The Canadian Press that his comments represent his own personal beliefs as a father of two children and that abortion is also one of the top five issues people talk to him about.“It is an issue that has to be discussed in every caucus and every political party in the country,” he says. “And again I’d welcome those discussions within the caucus if I’m fortunate enough to be elected premier.”Candidate Rob Clarke, a former Conservative member of Parliament and retired Mountie, also told Right Now that he is anti-abortion and Indigenous people are as well.“Here’s an interesting aspect that I think most people don’t realize, especially amongst non-Aboriginals, and that is that First Nations don’t believe in abortion. I’m First Nations and I don’t believe in abortion.“It’s a stereotype, where many people believe that First Nations and the Metis are so left-wing and vote NDP.”A spokesman for Clarke’s leadership campaign says the posted interview is accurate and that Clarke is letting the interview stand without further comment.Former environment minister Scott Moe told Right Now that he doesn’t support abortion and, if made premier, he would support a discussion of parental notification for abortions.Abortion is a sensitive but important issue, Moe told The Canadian Press.“If it was caucus’s will to have a discussion with respect to a topic such as this, I would support having that discussion. And I would support and encourage each of our caucus members to participate on behalf of their own beliefs and also on behalf of the beliefs of the people they represent,” he said.“It would be the will of those caucus members that would ultimately become the will of the government.”Former justice minister Gord Wyant didn’t tell Right Now whether he is for or against abortion, but said in his posted interview that politicians cannot attempt to influence the judiciary.“The courts have mandated the procedure has to be provided as per federal law and restrictions would be unconstitutional.”The website ranked the two remaining candidates in the leadership race, both women, as the least preferred. Right Now says Tina Beaudry-Mellor, former social services minister, and Alanna Koch, the premier’s former deputy minister, did not respond to its interview requests.Officials with Right Now did not respond to calls from The Canadian Press.— By Chris Purdy in Edmontonlast_img read more

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Smartphone pedometers underestimate steps but valuable health tool study

first_imgVANCOUVER – A recent study looking at iPhone’s built-in pedometers is a step toward using the tool as a clinical intervention in improving people’s health, a University of B.C. researcher said.Smartphones pose an opportunity for researchers to gather objective data on the public’s health and physical activity but before they can be used, the accuracy of the devices need to be tested, lead author Mark Duncan said in an interview Saturday.“This was very much a first step to make sure that we understand what the data looks like and how well it represents the actual behaviour,” he said.The study involved 33 participants testing the phones in regular living conditions and in a lab.Comparing users’ step count on the iPhone pedometer with an accelerometer worn on their waists in their day-to-day life, the study found the iPhone was underestimating the number of steps by 21.5 per cent or 1,340 steps.The phones fared better in lab tests where accuracy was within five per cent when users walked at a normal pace.At a slow pace of only 2.5 kilometres an hour, the accuracy of the phones dropped between 7.6 and 9.4 per cent.Duncan said the discrepancy is likely due to people forgetting to carry their phones at all times.“If someone goes off to the washroom or to the kitchen and leaves their phone on their desk, obviously it’s not going to count those steps,” he said.While the accuracy of the device isn’t strong enough to be a primary research tool, Duncan said the information is valuable for the average user interested in improving their health.“If your goal is the standard 10,000 steps per day and the phone says you’ve completed that, chances are you’ve done a bit more which is not a bad thing for your health,” he said.It could also be a tool for physicians to monitor and prescribe more activity to their patients, especially as more Canadians carry smartphones.“There is quite a lot of research saying physicians want to be able to prescribe more physical activity and help their patients to become more physically active but they lack the time and the tools to do so,” he said. “This is potentially one tool that a health care provider could use to both assess physical activity and tell their patients to use it as a tool to increase their physical activity.”He said now that researchers understand the accuracy of the devices, they can begin testing whether it’s effective to use smartphone pedometers as a motivational tool to increase a user’s physical activity.Smartphones could also be used to compliment other studies by providing an indicator of participants’ past level of physical activity. Duncan said a challenge with trials is that some people increase their level of activity because researchers are monitoring them, skewing outcomes, and having that historic data can help flag a change in behaviour.The study was published last month in the Journal of Sports Sciences.—Follow @Givetash on Twitter.last_img read more

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Calendar of mermaidtailed men raises 300000 for mental health in Newfoundland

first_imgST. JOHN’S, N.L. – A calendar of bearded, mermaid-tailed Newfoundlanders has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for mental health.Last year, around 30 burly guys donned sparkly mermaid tails to pose as “merb’ys” — a portmanteau of “mermaid” and “b’y,” a Newfoundland term meaning “boy” or “buddy.”The whimsically dressed models posed by the sea, at a barber shop and in a pumpkin patch for the 2018 calendar.The Newfoundland and Labrador Beard and Moustache Club said it would donate proceeds from their sales to a Newfoundland therapy service.Organizer Hasan Hai tweeted a photo on Sunday of people rejoicing around a giant cheque for more than $300,000 made out to Spirit Horse NL, a service that builds mental health and life skills for children and adults as they ride and care for horses.“Fins well-donned, me Merb’ys,” tweeted Veterans Affairs Minister Seamus O’Regan, who is the MP for St. John’s South-Mount Pearl.Before the grand total was revealed at an event Saturday night, Hai told the crowd that the project was intended to break down barriers and promote a broader definition of masculinity.“We’d take our shirts off, and put some tails on,” Hai said, according to a Facebook video of the event. “We stepped outside of our own comfort zones, sometimes showing our lumps and our bumps.“We presented ourselves in a very vulnerable way physically and emotionally, and showed the world that it’s okay.”He said the admittedly silly project went from an idea to a printed calendar in a little more than two months, and eventually became a global hit.last_img read more

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Manitoba premier announces no wrong door harassment policy for all staff

first_imgWINNIPEG – The Manitoba government is implementing a new harassment policy following allegations that a former NDP cabinet minister tickled and groped female staffers.Progressive Conservative Premier Brian Pallister says the policy’s “no wrong door” approach gives employees more options to report complaints, including the independent clerk of the executive council and the civil service commission.The policy will also cover employees outside the legislature — those with Crown corporations, municipalities, universities, schools and in the health system.The premier made the announcement at a news conference Thursday alongside Rochelle Squires, the minister responsible for the status of women.“I don’t care who you are. Harassment is not on,” said Pallister.“The woman who comes here every morning and cleans the railings on the stairs is as important as Rochelle to me on this. Everybody deserves to feel safe in the workplace. Everyone.”Several women who came forward earlier this month said Stan Struthers, an NDP cabinet minister from 2003 to 2014, tickled them, groped them or made sexual remarks. They also said Struthers touched them in front of others.Former NDP premier Greg Selinger has apologized, but said he never witnessed inappropriate behaviour and was unaware at the time that anything had happened.He announced this week that he will resign his legislature seat on March 7.Two women who worked with Struthers have said they complained to their boss and were told that matter was taken to Selinger’s chief of staff. They said they were later informed they would have to “suck it up.”The NDP earlier announced that it was appointing two women to lead a commission that will develop a safe workplace policy for the party. NDP Leader Wab Kinew said Thursday that a draft policy has been completed.He said the policy change had been in the works long before the accusations against Struthers.“This is something that transends party lines. We all have to do better,” said Kinew.Pallister said he will make respectful workplace training mandatory for all his cabinet, caucus and political staff.Employees need to feel respected and heard, and not fear reprisal or an impact on their careers, he said.“There’s been a culture where there was at least a perception that people in senior positions were untouchable,” said Pallister.“It was a culture of concealment … and it is over.”Provincewide employee consultations are to be held so officials can learn about past harassment, added Squires. An external consultant will also be hired to review the government’s policy and make any further recommendations.Pallister said the policy also requires the government to release an annual, public report listing the numbers and types of harassment complaints it receives.last_img read more

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Missing Alberta plane with four people on board found in US no

first_imgCALGARY – A plane from southern Alberta with four people on board that was reported missing in the United States has been found with no survivors.John Kaupp says his brother, father and two family friends left Alberta on Wednesday in a Piper Lance and were forced to land in Grand Junction, Colo., because of bad weather.The plane then took off on Thursday morning for Albuquerque, but did not arrive at its destination.On Friday afternoon, search and rescue officials detected a signal from an emergency transmitter in an area near the Colorado-Utah state line.Later in the day the Kaupp family posted a message on social media that the aircraft had been found with no survivors.Jamie Metzger, the daughter of Bill Kaupp, one of the men on board, said family and friends were contacted by RCMP and sheriffs in the U.S.“We are heartbroken,” she said. “We have lost four amazing men.”Metzger said they were waiting to hear more details.The Kaupp family thanked friends and family for their condolences and best wishes.“In the future I will talk about how great the four people that we lost were to everyone that knew them, but for now we are going to grieve,” the family said in a post on Facebook.Media reports say the others on board included Clint Kaupp, Tim Mueller and Ron Mckenzie. (CTV Calgary, The Canadian Press)last_img read more

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Vancouver police say mom accused of parental abduction may have dyed boys

first_imgVANCOUVER – Vancouver police say a woman who allegedly abducted her nine-year-old son contrary to a custody order may have changed his appearance and dyed his hair.Police say Shawana Chaudhary, also known as Shawna, could also have changed her own appearance and may be using an old legal name.She was previously called Virjinia Leeman, which could be spelled Virginia Leman.Police say the boy, named Emerson, was last seen on Friday morning with his mother and six-year-old sister, who is not believed to be the subject of a custody order.Police say Emerson’s father went to pick him up on Friday after school as per his court-ordered parenting time, but the boy was missing.Chaudhary is 34 and police say she may also be travelling with one or two dogs.last_img read more

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Four groups join forces to study seamounts near Haida Gwaii in BC

first_imgVANCOUVER – The protection and understanding of underwater mountains near the islands of Haida Gwaii in British Columbia will be the focus of a new partnership and expedition involving four groups.Fisheries and Oceans Canada says it’s joining forces with the Haida Nation, Oceana Canada and Ocean Networks Canada to share resources and knowledge about seamounts.It says seamounts, or underwater mountains, are internationally recognized as highly structured environments that are ideal for coral and sponge growth and as foraging habitat for fish and other marine life.A news release from Fisheries and Oceans Canada says the groups will spend 16 days in July aboard a state-of-the-art vessel studying three seamounts, which are found in every ocean but are particularly abundant in the Pacific.Haida Nation president Peter Lantis says he and his members are looking forward to improving management of the culturally, spiritually and economically important seamounts.Fisheries Minister Dominic LeBlanc says the expedition will study some of Canada’s most unique marine ecosystems and that collaboration is essential to finding the best ways to achieve meaningful conservation that benefits both the environment and coastal communities.last_img read more

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Undercover agents target cybersecurity watchdog

first_imgNEW YORK — The Associated Press has found that researchers who reported the role of Israeli spyware in the targeting of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s inner circle are in turn being targeted by international undercover operatives.Twice in the past two months men masquerading as socially conscious investors have lured members of the Citizen Lab internet watchdog group to meetings at luxury hotels to quiz them for hours about their work exposing Israeli surveillance.Citizen Lab Director Ron Deibert on Friday described the stunts as “a new low.”Who these operatives are working for remains a riddle, but their tactics recall those of private investigators who assume elaborate false identities to gather intelligence or compromising material on critics of powerful figures in government or business.Raphael Satter, The Associated Presslast_img read more

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Timeline of the deadly Ethiopian Airlines crash

first_imgADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia — The news of the plane crash in Ethiopia shattered more than two years of relative calm in Africa’s skies. As millions on the continent headed to church on Sunday morning, an Ethiopian Airlines plane took off on a routine flight from Addis Ababa for Nairobi and quickly lost control. Six minutes later, all contact was lost. All 157 people aboard were killed, representing a staggering 35 countries. Here is a timeline of how the day unfolded. All times local.___8:38 a.m.: Flight ET302 takes off from Bole International Airport in Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa. Records shared by Flightradar24 show that the plane’s vertical speed quickly becomes erratic.Shortly afterward: The pilot issues a distress call and is told to return.8:44 a.m.: Contact with the plane is lost.10:48 a.m.: The office of Ethiopia’s prime minister in a Twitter post gives first word of the crash, offering “deepest condolences to the families of those that have lost their loved ones on Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 on regular scheduled flight to Nairobi, Kenya this morning.”11:15 a.m.: Ethiopian Airlines says it believes 149 passengers and eight crew members were on board the plane that crashed near Bishoftu, some 50 kilometres (31 miles) outside the capital.1:35 p.m.: Ethiopia’s state broadcaster reports that all passengers are dead.2:45 p.m.: Ethiopian Airlines publishes a photo of its CEO standing in a crater amid the wreckage. Little of the plane can be seen in the freshly churned earth.3:30 p.m.: The Ethiopian Airlines CEO and Kenya’s transport minister say Canadians, Chinese, Americans and others are among the more than 30 nationalities of victims.4:50 p.m.: The office of Ethiopia’s prime minister says he has visited the crash site, expressed his “profound sadness” and ordered a full investigation.5:35 p.m.: Ethiopian Airlines issues a new list of crash victims that includes 35 nationalities.6:20 p.m.: As sunset approaches at the site, searchers and a bulldozer continue to pick through the scattered remains of the plane. The bulldozer digs for deeply embedded debris.6:40 p.m.: Ethiopian Airlines says Ethiopian authorities, plane manufacturer Boeing and other international stakeholders will collaborate on an investigation into the cause of the crash.8:25 p.m.: Ethiopia’s House of People’s Representatives declares Monday a national day of mourning for all victims.The Associated Presslast_img read more

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Storm leaves more than 275000 people without power in southern Quebec

first_imgMONTREAL — Hundreds of thousands of people are still without power in southern Quebec after the region was hit freezing rain and strong winds.Quebec-Hydro says the storm Monday caused branches and trees to come in contact with their network, leaving 275,000 people without power by early Tuesday morning.Significant damage on the north shore. Approximately 360 crews will be in the field over the next few hours, including teams from our transmission network and private contractors. Also, #HydroSherbrooke teams will join us to speed up the work. #outages pic.twitter.com/ZZVWEeq1Uw— Hydro-Québec (@hydro_customer) April 9, 2019The Crown corporation says the hardest hit areas were Laval, Lanaudiere and the Laurentians.Meanwhile, the city of Laval opened two community centres for the night to help people without electricity.By Tuesday morning, more than 80,000 people in the city were without power, while more than 90,000 were still left in the dark in Lanaudiere. The mass outages have forced some schools to cancel classes for the day.@client_hydro teams are hard at work in #Laval where 70,000 people are still out of electricity after Monday’s freezing rain and strong winds pic.twitter.com/XLyvbWXTEQ— Aimée Lemieux (@ALemieuxNews) April 9, 2019Hydro-Quebec spokesman Louis-Olivier Batty said Monday evening that teams from regions less affected by the power outages had been called in as reinforcements.Authorities in Laval urged residents to exercise caution after five people were sent to hospital in two separate incidents.In one case, two adults and two children, 13 and 11, were sent to hospital after a barbecue was used inside a home. In the other, an adult male was transported to hospital. All are recovering.Some 40% of Laval lost power in the past 24 hours. Community centre Lausanne is busy with children and the elderly seeking warmth. @BTCityNewsMTL pic.twitter.com/fta4up5eA4— Emily Campbell (@emkcampbell) April 9, 2019Firefighters reported high levels of carbon monoxide inside both homes.The City of Laval says two community centres have been made available to residents needing to shower, charge their phones or warm up.Yellow alertWeather conditions are impeding mail delivery in the Montréal, Que. region. While every effort is being made to deliver the mail, some customers may not receive mail today. Delivery will resume once it’s safe to do so.— Canada Post Helps (@canadaposthelps) April 9, 2019A special weather statement remains in effect for the regions warning of an additional five to 10 centimetres of snow expected to fall today. There’s also a continued risk of freezing rain according to Environment Canada.The weather agency also cautions the snow and freezing rain could bring an additional weight on structures and trees that are already covered in freezing precipitation.-with files from CityNews Montreallast_img read more

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Supreme Court to rule on controversial case of Alberta woman found dead

first_imgOTTAWA — The Supreme Court is to rule today on the case of an Ontario trucker acquitted in the death of an Alberta woman in what could set a precedent in Canada’s sexual assault laws.Bradley Barton claimed that Cindy Gladue died after a night of consensual rough sex in an Edmonton motel in June 2011.A jury found him not guilty of first-degree murder and manslaughter, after a trial in which Gladue was continuously referred to as a native prostitute and her preserved vaginal tissue was an exhibit.The Crown appealed following nationwide protests and the Alberta Court of Appeal ordered a new trial.The Appeal court ruled serious errors were made in the original trial and in the judge’s charge to the jury about Barton’s conduct and on sexual assault legislation pertaining to consent.The Supreme Court heard arguments last October on several procedural matters, but could also decide for the first time whether an “objective likelihood of harm” cancels out sexual consent.The Alberta Crown, as well as attorneys general in other provinces, argued for such an addition to the law.Barton’s lawyer, Dino Bottos, has said it would be a big deal if the court agreed and noted the Crown brought up a consent versus harm argument on appeal — not at trial — so it shouldn’t affect his client’s case.Barton testified that he hired Gladue for two nights of sex that included putting his fist in her vagina. When he woke up after the second night, he said, he found her dead in the tub and called 911.Court heard Gladue had an 11-centimetre cut in her vagina and bled to death.A medical examiner testified that the wound to Gladue’s vaginal wall was likely to have been caused by a sharp object and, in a rare move, he used Gladue’s preserved vaginal tissue as an exhibit.Some interveners in the case said they believe Gladue didn’t consent and noted the Metis mother of three deserved better at trial.The Canadian Presslast_img read more

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Canadian general named honorary parade marshal to mark 1919 Victory Stampede

first_imgCALGARY — This year’s Calgary Stampede parade will be marking the 100th anniversary of what was called the Victory Stampede after the First World War.The event in 1919 was the first after the Great War and was officially opened by Brig.-Gen. H.F. McDonald, who was commanding Military District 13 at Camp Sarcee in Calgary.The Victory Stampede offered a place for everyone to come together and build community at a time of difficulty.Brig.-Gen. Stephen Lacroix, Commander 3rd Canadian Division, has been named honorary parade marshal for this year’s event.To acknowledge First World War soldiers, Lacroix will ride in the parade escorted by two officers from the Lord Strathcona Mounted Troop.The Royal Canadian Mint is also to unveil a silver collector coin next month to mark the Victory Stampede.“It is a privilege to continue the Canadian Army’s long partnership with the Calgary Stampede,” said Lacroix.“2019 is a year of great significance for 3rd Canadian Division and our participation in the 100th anniversary of the Victory Stampede both honours and celebrates this.”Canadian actress Amber Marshall from the long-running CBC drama series “Heartland” was named official parade marshal earlier this month.The Stampede will run from July 5 to July 14. The Canadian Presslast_img read more

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