24 May -

North Carolina Senate refuses to repeal transgender bathroom law

North Carolina’s Republican-controlled legislature on Wednesday defeated a bipartisan bid to repeal a controversial law restricting bathroom access in the state for transgender people, which has seen months of protests and boycotts by opponents decrying the measure as discriminatory.

A one-day special legislative session ended abruptly after the state Senate voted against abolishing a law that has made the state the latest U.S. battleground over lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) rights.

The legislation to repeal the law, known as House Bill 2 (HB2), was defeated on a vote of 32-16, leaving the bathroom restrictions in place statewide. The rejection followed Republican-led political maneuvering that tied its repeal to a second provision that would have temporarily banned cities from affirming transgender bathroom rights.

WATCH: Incoming North Carolina governor announces intention to repeal ‘bathroom law’

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The Republican-dominated state Senate adjourned without voting on the temporary municipal ban. The state’s House of Representatives, also controlled by Republicans, had already voted to adjourn.

READ MORE: Transgender woman takes selfie in North Carolina bathroom to protest anti-LGBT law

Democratic Senator Jeff Jackson said the repeal was defeated because Republicans reneged on a deal with Democrats to bring the measure to a floor vote with no strings attached.

“They got here with strings attached so it failed,” Jackson said.

Earlier in the week, outgoing Republican Governor Pat McCrory had called the special session to consider scrapping the law, which passed in March and made North Carolina the first state to bar transgender people from using public restrooms that match their gender identity.

WATCH: Department of Justice puts North Carolina on notice their bathroom law violates federal law

Supporters of the statute cited traditional values and a need for public safety, while opponents called it mean-spirited, unnecessary and a violation of civil liberties.

The national backlash was swift and fierce, leading to boycotts that have been blamed for millions of dollars in economic losses for the state as events, such as business conferences and the National Basketball Association’s 2017 All-Star Game, were moved out of North Carolina.

READ MORE: North Carolina bathroom bill makes pepper spray ‘valuable tool’ for students: school board member

The pushback contributed to McCrory’s razor-thin defeat in a fall re-election bid against Democrat Roy Cooper, an opponent of the law.

On Monday, Cooper had said he reached a deal with state Republicans to repeal the law. But Republicans eventually proposed pairing the repeal with a months-long “cooling-off period,” or moratorium, in which local jurisdictions would be banned from enacting their own ordinances regulating public bathrooms, showers or changing facilities.

The moratorium proposal died without the Senate taking any action.

HB 2 was enacted largely in response to a local measure in Charlotte that protected the rights of transgender people to use public bathrooms of their choice.

The Charlotte City Council on Monday repealed its ordinance as a prelude to the state repealing HB 2.

24 May -

Cindy Stowell’s inspirational Jeopardy! run comes to a close

Cindy Stowell’s inspirational Jeopardy! winning streak came to an end Wednesday.

The Stage 4 colon cancer victim, who passed away Dec. 5, just over a week before her appearances on the game show began to air. She reeled off six consecutive wins before finally being bested.

Before dying, Stowell promised to donate her $103,803 in winnings to the Cancer Research Institute, according to the New York Times.

Jeopardy! said in a statement that only a select group of the game show staff, including host Alex Trebek, knew Stowell was ill. Her opponents, however, did not.

“She really saw it as a personal challenge to test herself in this forum that she watched and loved,” longtime boyfriend, Jason Hess, told the New York Times. “She said going in that her main objective was not to embarrass herself. Clearly, she achieved that.”

Trebek paid tribute to Stowell during Wednesday’s airing.

“Appearing on our show was the fulfillment of a lifelong ambition for that lady,” he told viewers. “From all of us here at Jeopardy!, our sincere condolences to her family, and her friends.”


One of Stowell’s opponents spoke kindly of her on 桑拿会所.

The man who ended her run, Sam Scovill, paid tribute to her boyfriend on 桑拿会所.

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Earlier this year, Stowell, a science content developer from Austin, Texas, passed the online contestant test and moved onto the next round – an in-person audition in Oklahoma City, Okla., according to a statement from the game show.

However, before appearing in person, Stowell received some horrible news, forcing to her to inquire about the timing of the audition and possible taping.

“Do you have any idea how long it typically takes between an in person interview, and the taping date? I ask because I just found out that I don’t have too much longer to live,” Stowell wrote to Jeopardy! contestant producer Maggie Speak. “The doctor’s best guess is about 6 months. If there is the chance that I’d be able to still tape episodes of Jeopardy! if I were selected, I’d like to do that and donate any winnings to … charities involved in cancer research.

“If it is unlikely that the turnaround time would be that quick, then I’d like to give up my try out spot to someone else,” Stowell wrote.

According to the game show, Speak told Stowell to attend the in-person audition and if she qualified, the game show would be booked for a taping as soon as possible.

On Aug. 31, Stowell fulfilled her dream.

Hess and Stowell’s family issued a statement through the game show, saying she played “the game she loved.”

“Cindy came on Jeopardy! to play the game she loved and in doing so, she was able to make a contribution to cancer research in the hopes that no one else would have to go through what she did,” her family said in the statement.

24 May -

Lumby sends long-term campers packing

They’re not exactly luxury accommodations, but the Lumby Lions Campground has turned into long-term affordable housing for some this winter. Now the Village of Lumby says the eight residents who have set up trailers there have to leave by mid-February.

Some campers say they have nowhere else to go and closing the campground is not fair.

“I think it is very unfair and uncalled for,” said camper Darrell Turner.

ChangSha Night Net

“What are we harming? Who are we hurting?”

Turner says he doesn’t know what he will do when they are forced to leave on February 15. His neighbour Virginia Meuier is in a similar situation. Unable to find an affordable place to rent that will accept her dogs, she has been living in her trailer at the campground since October and paying $300 a month.

Read More: Province makes $18.4-million pledge for Kelowna affordable housing

“I don’t think it is fair at all. Some of us have nowhere to go so that’s why we are here,” Meunier said.

The Lions Club has been operating a campground on land owned by the Village of Lumby for years, but this year the club decided to try something new and keep the site open over the winter.

Read More: Vancouver’s housing affordability crisis driving people into homelessness: report

The club says it only found out after accepting winter campers that keeping the site open year round wasn’t allowed.

When the Lions Club asked for permission to keep the site open this winter, the village rejected the request. The mayor says allowing winter camping at the site would put the municipality in a difficult legal situation.

“It would now be viewed as a mobile home park in the eyes of the court so now then we have to start supplying sewer and water,” said Mayor Kevin Acton.

Instead of legitimizing what he considers to be, an unsuitable living situation, the mayor is promising the village will work to find new homes for those who are being displaced. Only one of the campers has a full sewer and water connection.

“We can’t halfway take care of people. We need to either take care of them or not take care of them and I am choosing to take care of them. We are going to find a place for them to live. We are going to find a place that is suitable,” said Acton.

While Turner and Meuier say they have nowhere to go when the campsite closes, others have already made alternate plans. One camper will be house-sitting and another says he will be moving his trailer to his job site. A third camper said he was only staying at the campground for a month while working in the area. He will simply be returning home.

24 May -

Calgary librarian shows off rare first edition of ‘A Christmas Carol’

The Charles Dickens classic A Christmas Carol was published 173 years ago this week – on Dec. 19, 1843 – and a copy of it is in remarkably good condition in Calgary.

Pointing to a handwritten inscription inside the front cover, rare books specialist Annie Murray said:

“Someone called John Adams owned it in 1851 and eventually it made its way to Calgary. Who knows how?”

ChangSha Night Net


    Theatre Calgary celebrates 30 years of spirited tradition with ‘A Christmas Carol’

    Preview Theatre Calgary’s A Christmas Carol

    WATCH: Preview Theatre Calgary’s A Christmas Carol

    Murray is a curator at the University of Calgary library, where the book is part of a collection of vintage volumes.

    The first edition of A Christmas Carol is one of only 10 in Canada.

    “This is a morality story. It’s about a person changing for the better,” explained Murray, referring to main character Ebenezer Scrooge gradually coming to appreciate the Christmas spirit of generosity over the course of the story.

    “Dickens was very scarred from childhood experience of poverty,” said Murray. “Having to work while his father was in debtors’ prison, he was very sympathetic to the poor and he felt that by telling a Christmas story, this was the best way for him to help create more attention around charity and giving.”

    WATCH: Theatre Calgary celebrates 30 years of spirited tradition with A Christmas Carol

    Murray feels this timeless tale is particularly timely in Calgary this year, “because of all the people who’ve lost their jobs.”

    “Families are struggling, people need help. And this is a book that reminds you that everybody has something they can give.”

    You’re welcome to stop by the U of C library to check out A Christmas Carol and other rare books.

    The library closes for the holidays on Wednesday, Dec. 22 and reopens on Jan. 3.

24 Apr -

Tweets predicted someone would overdose at Toronto nightclub’s all ages concert

Hours before the Friday night “all ages” concert at REBEL nightclub, chilling tweets foretelling the night circulated.

“Five dollars says one person who’s going to dvbbs overdoses on molly,” said one 桑拿会所 user.

“More than one” chimed in someone else.

“Maybe five,” said another.

ChangSha Night Net

READ MORE: 6 hospitalized in addition to woman who died after overdosing at Toronto nightclub: councillor

That night, a 19-year-old woman died of an apparent overdose.

Friends have identified her as Violet Davidson.

A person describing herself as Violet’s sister posted on Facebook, “Today brings much heartbreak and sorrow,” adding that the Durham College student was “an amazing artist.”

It’s believed six other young people were hospitalized for suspected overdoses after partying at REBEL.

Toronto Board of Health chair and Councillor Joe Mihevc said Toronto has a drug prevention and harm reduction programs in place.

“We need to obviously intensify our efforts. We need to make sure that when these big parties, these big raves occur, that they have appropriate security guards (and) appropriate police presence to deter the activity as much as possible,” said Mihevc.

The dad of a 16-year-old girl rushed to hospital from the concert said she claimed she bought the drugs from someone inside REBEL.

“He was sort of working the floor,” the father said, who has asked to be unidentified to protect his daughter.

REBEL did not respond to specific questions from Global News, but a representative emailed a statement.

“REBEL has a zero tolerance drug policy and also subjects every patron entering the venue to a full search. Anyone who is caught with an illegal substance is immediately denied entry,” the statement read in part.

At the VELD Music Festival in 2014, two young people died after over dosing.

VELD is run by the same company as REBEL, INK Entertainment.

The company did not reply to questions about the deaths at VELD.

READ MORE: Woman dead, 16-year-old girl hospitalized after overdosing at popular Toronto nightclub

One city councillor, who is also on the Board of Health, said she wants private venues holding such events to be required to have an ambulance on site.

“Right now it’s not structured at this location where you have Toronto Paramedics on scene to intervene,” said Paula Fletcher.

However, such venues hire private paramedics for events.

24 Apr -

Convictions for killers of Meika Jordan, 6, upgraded to first-degree murder

The Alberta Court of Appeal has upgraded convictions for the killers of six-year-old Meika Jordan, a Calgary girl who was brutally tortured and murdered in November 2011.

Meika’s father, Spencer Jordan, and stepmother, Marie Magoon, are now both convicted of first-degree murder.

The ruling came down Thursday morning from a panel of three justices.

“We agree with the Crown that constructive first-degree murder was created for cases like this one,” the ruling reads. “We have concluded the appellants should be convicted of first-degree murder.”

ChangSha Night Net


  • Stepmother appeals conviction in murder of 6-year-old Meika Jordan

  • Parents relive details of 6-year-old Meika Jordan’s torture during killers’ appeal

  • Parents of slain Calgary 6-year-old Meika Jordan anxious before killers’ appeal

    Meika’s mother and stepfather, Kyla and Brian Woodhouse, were in tears as they received news of the decision from the Crown prosecutor.

    “There isn’t a word for what I’m feeling,” Brian Woodhouse told Global News minutes after the decision was handed down.

    “It’s justice,” he said.

    “Six years we have been fighting to get here.”

    READ MORE: Parents relive details of 6-year-old Meika Jordan’s torture during killers’ appeal

    Kyla said she was ecstatic.

    “It’s hard to actually find the words,” she said. “I’m completely over the moon. Finally, justice has been served.”

    The convictions mean Magoon and Jordan will receive automatic life sentences with no chance of parole for at least 25 years.

    The two Crowns who prosecuted the case said the decision is the result of “the hard work of so many.”

    “We are very pleased with the court’s decision and we are encouraged by the potential legal implications ‎for cases involving child homicides,” Hyatt Mograbee and Susan Pepper wrote in a statement to Global News. “We sincerely hope that Meika Jordan’s family gains some comfort from this decision.”

    The pair had first been sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole for 17 years after originally being convicted of second-degree murder.

    A year later in September 2016, both defence and Alberta Justice argued grounds for appeal.

    Watch below: Global’s ongoing coverage of the case

    Parents of Meika Jordan look toward uncertain new year


    Parents of Meika Jordan look toward uncertain new year


Parents relive details of 6-year-old Meika Jordan’s torture during killers’ appeal


Couple convicted of killing Meika Jordan get no parole for 17-years


Family of Meika Jordan hopeful of appeal


Calgary couple found guilty in the murder of Meika Jordan

The Crown had asked the Alberta Court of Appeal to find Meika’s killers guilty of first-degree murder instead of the original trial judge’s finding of second-degree murder. Jordan and Magoon’s hope was to be acquitted or face new trials.

The panel’s ruling states “appeals by both Magoon and Jordan from their convictions are dismissed.”

“I knew it was a possibility, but I honestly didn’t think it would happen,” Brian said, referring to the upgraded conviction.

“This is what winning a lottery must feel like.”

READ MORE: Crown appeals second-degree murder conviction in Meika Jordan case

During the trial and the appeal, court heard Meika was forced to run stairs, was repeatedly hit and was burned. Jordan also dragged her up and down the stairs by her ankles.

24 Apr -

Canada tops Lonely Planet’s ‘Best in Travel 2017’ list

With Canada set to mark its 150th birthday, Lonely Planet marked the world’s second largest country as its number one choice for travellers in 2017.

The respected travel guide recently issued their choices of “Best in Travel 2017” including the top 10 countries, cities, regions and travel bargains.  Canada came out atop the list of countries ahead of Colombia, Finland, Dominica, and Nepal.

Lonely Planet praised Canada for its “inclusiveness and impeccable politeness” as well as “positivity unleashed by its energetic new leader Justin Trudeau,” before talking about the nation’s impending birthday bash.

The guide also pointed to our weak dollar as a positive for travellers looking to taste “Canada’s exciting fusion food and mysteriously underrated wine.”

Lonely Planet also released a list of the best places to be in Canada for its 150th birthday.

ChangSha Night Net

It should come as no surprise that the nation’s capital topped the list as the guide states Ottawa will have “the nation’s biggest birthday bash, with flyovers by the Snowbirds, Canada’s air demonstration squad, a giant street party and free concerts and events, many to be held in the new cultural village being built out of sea containers on York Street.”

While Ottawa seems like an obvious place to be, the second choice might raise an eyebrow or two.

The article’s author, Korina Miller, says that if you can’t make it to Parliament Hill, the next best option would be Charlottetown.

“As the birthplace of Confederation, Charlottetown always celebrates Canada Day in a big way, and for 2017 they’ll be cranking it up a notch,” the article states.

The rest of the top six includes Canada’s National Parks, Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal.

Number 7 on the list is SESQUI, a multimedia dome village which will travel across Canada in 2017.

The top 10 list concludes with Calgary, Dawson City and Regina.

24 Apr -

WestJet says passengers upset with Calgary airport connection travel times

WestJet says passengers are unhappy with the distance between the airline’s international and domestic connections from the Calgary airport’s new international terminal.

“I got in at 9:30 last night, was supposed to be flying out at 9:30,” traveller Cam Lainchbury said. “I ran from one end of the airport to the other, made it to watch my plane fly away.”

ChangSha Night Net


  • Airplane noise complaints a growing concern at YYC Calgary International Airport

    On Wednesday, Lainchbury was still waiting to catch a flight he says he should have been on Tuesday night. He flew into Calgary on a WestJet flight, but missed his connecting flight at the other end of the airport in the international terminal.

    READ MORE: Top 5 things to do while stuck at YYC Calgary International Airport during the holidays

    WestJet officials suggest it’s happening too often.

    “Some of our guests connecting—say from Kelowna through Calgary—and taking off for Los Angeles, are experiencing up to a two-kilometre walk or essentially 25 minutes depending on exactly where their gates are,” WestJet spokesperson Robert Palmer said.

    WestJet says the problem is where its international gates are located in the new terminal: the furthest point away from the domestic wing.

    “This is our home, this is our hub and yet we have a configuration that’s not working for us,” Palmer said.

    WestJet said it’s added more time to its schedules to allow for the connections, which costs more money. The company says it plans to raise the issue with YYC Calgary International Airport’s new CEO, Bob Sartor, in January.

    READ MORE: A first look at the Calgary airport’s new terminal

    The Calgary airport said its partners are an “important part of growth and development plans” and it looks forward to “further collaboration” in 2017.

    “The new international terminal opened successfully Oct. 31, 2016 and was designed and planned in collaboration with, and with input from, our airline partners,” reads the statement to Global News.

    “The design was endorsed prior to the start of construction in 2011 by all major airlines operating at YYC Calgary International Airport.”

    While there is a shuttle to the new terminal, WestJet says the frequency and seating are limited and suggests it can’t handle large groups of connecting travellers.

    But the airport said airlines were also consulted on the shuttle system and moving walkways.

    “The YYC LINK [shuttle] design, schedule and operations were developed in collaboration with our airline partners,” the airport statement said. “The shuttle is a first in Canada and these 20 vehicles run on a scheduled service that moves YYC passengers from end to end in six minutes.”

    With files from Erika Tucker

24 Apr -

Colorado inmate mistakenly released early, jailed again asks judge to remain free

A convicted Colorado robber who was sent back to prison after being mistakenly released decades before serving his 98-year sentence asked a judge Wednesday to set him free again, arguing it would be unfair for him to remain imprisoned after he started a family, got a steady job and reformed himself.

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Rene Lima-Marin, 38, was convicted in 2000 on multiple counts of robbery, kidnapping and burglary after he and another man robbed two suburban Denver video stores at gunpoint. A judge issued him back-to-back sentences for a total of 98 years.

But a court clerk mistakenly wrote in Lima-Marin’s file that the sentences were to run at the same time. Corrections officials depend on that file to determine how much time an inmate should serve.

READ MORE: Inmate surrenders after being accidentally released from Vancouver Island prison

Lima-Marin was released on parole in 2008. He held a steady job as a window glazer, got married and had a son before authorities realized the mistake in January 2014, when a team of police officers returned him to prison to complete his sentence.

First Assistant Attorney General James Quinn said the case was an unfortunate mistake but not official misconduct, as Lima-Marin’s attorneys allege.

Judge Carlos A. Samour Jr. did not immediately decide whether Lima-Marin should be released, saying he needed time to do more legal research. He got the case after Colorado’s highest court refused to free Lima-Marin earlier this year, saying he should ask a lower court to consider his release instead.

Lima-Marin fought back tears as he told the judge he’s experiencing severe emotional pain because of his separation from his wife, her son who he adopted and another son they had together during his freedom.

“I’m supposed to be the head of the household, the person who’s supposed to guide and lead them … and I’ve been taken away from them,” he said. “I was stupid, and a dumb kid who made a mistake.”

READ MORE: 2 California inmates at large after rappelling out of jail, 2 others apprehended

But prosecutors said Lima-Marin should not be freed because he knew about the clerk’s error and never notified authorities as he set about rebuilding his life.

Lima-Marin’s co-defendant, Michael Clifton, also would have been mistakenly released early, but the error in his file was uncovered after he filed an appeal in his case. Clifton is serving 98 years in prison.

Lima-Marin filed his own appeal of his sentence in 2000 but, in a rare move, asked that it be dismissed less than a year later. Prosecutors said that showed he learned of the clerical error while in prison, and feared further court action on his appeal would call attention to the clerk’s mistake.

Lima-Marin said he asked few questions when his public defender told him he would serve much less than 98 years and urged him to withdraw the appeal.

“All I knew was, my prayers had been answered,” Lima-Marin said of his early release from prison.

24 Apr -

Syrian refugees reflect on one year in Regina

This is a much different December for Chairin Ghanam and her husband Oamr Ezzeddin.

The couple are among the hundreds of Syrian refugees who are now calling Regina their new home, after fleeing Syria and landing in Jordan.

“It’s so special coming to Canada because it’s safe and life is good,” Ghanam said.

“Every day [there is] a bomb. Every day children are killed… I don’t know what’s happening in my country,” she added.

ChangSha Night Net


  • Syrian refugee family celebrate 1 year anniversary of being welcomed to Winnipeg

  • Bana Alabed, Syrian girl with viral 桑拿会所 account, safely evacuated from Aleppo

  • Syrian refugees in Saskatoon fear for family still living in Aleppo

    Ghanam’s husband, Oamr Ezzeddin, echoed those sentiments. The couple has been watching the situation unfold in Aleppo, Syria and said the contrast to Canada is immeasurable. Esseddin said in Canada, he feels safe.

    “My country is not safe because of the war… Canada is very wonderful. Very peaceful,” he said.

    Ezzeddin said him and his wife now face a new challenge —; adjusting to life in Canada. He said the frigid Saskatchewan temperatures were a shock, but he is getting used to the winter.

    The Regina Open Door Society (RODS) has been helping the family integrate into Canadian society. Ghanam and Ezzeddin are taught English and other critical life skills

    “Everything from catching a bus to how to manage their household, how to dress for winter… Language is very important but we have done life skills [to help] introduce them to the community,” RODS settlement and family services manager Getachew Woldyesus said.

    RODS is also helping Syrian newcomers find work in Canada. According to language and employment services manager Tatiana Zotova, the biggest challenge facing newcomers are the language skills needed to be employed. Zotova said the group remains highly motivated.

    The Ezzeddins are marking their first-year in Canada from Syria.

    Taryn Snell / Global News

    “It takes time, it takes effort. You need to be motivated. But I think our clients are doing really well because they see language as a really important part of the integration,” Zotova said.

    In Syria, Ezzeddin repaired sewing machines for over 25 years. He has been learning English at RODS and said he is making progress.

    “I’m learning English at Open Doors. I think after my English is better, I will find a job,” he said.

    His daughters are also quickly integrating into Canadian life – they even like music idol Justin Bieber.

    “His songs, I like his songs. He’s a Canadian,” Lana said.

    “I like his hair,” she added with a laugh.

    Follow @ChristaDao

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