24 Nov -

Diplomatic notes show Canadian officials struggled with Donald Trump’s ‘unpredictability’

WASHINGTON – Diplomatic briefing notes show Canadian officials wrestled with the same problem that consumed so many of the world’s political observers this year: making sense of the presidential candidacy of Donald Trump.

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Diplomats monitoring the U.S. election regularly sent notes back to Ottawa – including one on May 25 that described the particular challenge of untangling the candidate’s contradictions and separating fact from fiction.

READ MORE: Justin Trudeau promises to protect Canadian values, interests if Donald Trump goes too far

It listed the Republican candidate talking about crushing ISIS, but avoiding foreign entanglements; ripping up the Iranian nuclear deal, but enforcing its terms; being a neutral arbiter between Israelis and Palestinians, but backing new Israeli settlement construction.

“Analysts have described his foreign policy as contradictory, often uninformed and unpredictable,” said the memo from the Washington embassy, one of several obtained by through the Access to Information Act.

“Mr. Trump, himself, has stated he thinks the United States needs to be more unpredictable.”

Things should become clearer soon.

READ MORE: Justin Trudeau: What is the Prime Minister looking forward to in 2017? 

The tea-leaf-reading, the ceaseless sifting of statements from the stump, will make way for clarity about how this most unconventional president-elect in, possibly, the history of the United States, might actually govern.

The answer is of particular importance to Canada, which sells three-quarters of its exports to the U.S., the proverbial elephant whose every twitch, in the inimitable image invoked by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s father, shakes the neighbour.

There’s a fair bit of optimism from people who watch Canada-U.S. relations closely.

READ MORE: Donald Trump records Electoral College win despite protests across US

In notes back home, Canadian diplomats noted a pattern in Trump’s rhetoric. Yes, he threatened to scrap NAFTA. No, it wasn’t very clear what he wanted in a renegotiation, or how he viewed the original, separate Canada-U.S. trade deal from 1987.

That’s because he rarely mentioned Canada. He didn’t complain about it, much less threaten it. He spoke in every stump speech about building a wall with the southern neighbour – yet, when asked about a northern wall, he scoffed at the idea.

Diplomats noted in their May 25 memo: “China and Mexico have borne the brunt of Trump’s populist campaign rhetoric.”

WATCH: Justin Trudeau: How will B.C. be protected by pipelines?

So what does Trump want from Canada? On one hand, he says he’d approve the Keystone XL pipeline. On the other, he’s threatened to scrap NAFTA and believes other countries’ tax policies are designed to penalize U.S. businesses.

Canada is ready to talk.

A former aide to Justin Trudeau is hopeful. For instance, on NAFTA, Roland Paris says there are ways to improve it – such as changing out-of-date rules on professional visas, which complicate life for companies that send workers to offices across the border.

“I think it’ll be fine,” said Paris, a University of Ottawa professor and former foreign-affairs adviser in the Prime Minister’s Office. “I think there’s real potential for a positive and business-like relationship … (Trump) is a businessman and our countries do an enormous amount of business together.”

READ MORE: Canada, Mexico will also have NAFTA demands if Donald Trump reopens trade deal

In their first chat, the leaders invited each other to visit. Canada’s ambassador to the U.S. said people are floating ideas about a first meeting in Canada, in Washington – or maybe in a non-traditional summit spot, like at the border.

“There’s no decision that’s been taken yet,” David MacNaughton said in an interview.

He had a whirlwind first year as ambassador.

WATCH: Members of the Electoral College across the United States cast their votes for the next President of the United States Monday. Protests broke out around the country as a last stand against Trump’s presidency. Brian Mooar reports. 

In his first few weeks, he presented his credentials to President Barack Obama; accompanied Trudeau on his so-called ‘bromance’ trip to the White House; and worked on agreements related to climate change and faster-flowing border traffic.

Yet perennial irritants persist.

There’s no solution in sight to the softwood lumber dispute, which appears headed toward another years-long round of litigation as it has in the past. Expect Buy American provisions in Trump’s proposed $1 trillion infrastructure plan – which could freeze out foreign companies.

When this happened in 2009, it took the Canadian government months to negotiate a partial exemption. It could be a tough sell this time: protectionist sentiment has grown in the U.S., and Trump has indicated he wants some American-only rules in the bill.

There’s one, final, challenge that is new. That’s Trump’s unpopularity in Canada. Polls suggest people there favoured Hillary Clinton, with a few dozen percentage points to spare.

READ MORE: What President Donald Trump will mean for Canada

It’s something David Wilkins has experienced first-hand.

He was George W. Bush’s ambassador to Canada. He saw a Liberal government base a political campaign on bashing Bush. North-of-the-border antipathy caused Canadian politicians to avoid co-operating on issues where they otherwise might have – like the U.S. missile shield.

Wilkins urged Canadians to give the new guy a chance.

“Try not to jump to conclusions. Not to prejudge. Give our president an opportunity to have his people in place and to effect his policy. Then pass judgment,” said Wilkins, who initially supported other Republican candidates.

“I believe Donald Trump will be good for Canada.”

He said Trump’s business-friendly, tax-cutting, road-building agenda would create growth: “When our economy does well, generally speaking, the Canadian economy benefits.”

24 Nov -

‘Smog free’ tourism is booming in Beijing as residents deal with record pollution levels

BEIJING (Reuters) – Residents of China’s capital were wearing face masks and using air purifiers to try to avoid heavy pollution blanketing the city for a fifth day on Wednesday, but others were giving up the fight and joining a rush of “smog avoidance” travel.

READ MORE: Smog engulfs cities in northern China for fourth day

Beijing led the country for searches on the travel website Qunar长沙桑拿 for “avoid smog”, “wash your lungs” and other terms related to traveling to escape pollution, said Michelle Qi, a spokeswoman for the site’s parent company, Ctrip长沙桑拿.

WATCH: Beijing wheezes through another day of smog

ChangSha Night Net

Northern China has been shrouded in almost record pollution all week, disrupting flights, traffic and shipping, and closing factories and schools.

Searches for plane tickets from Beijing to southern China, including coastal locations like Hainan province, quadrupled this week, Qi said. Popular foreign destinations include Thailand and Japan, she said

“Good air quality definitely would be one reason to go,” she said.

READ MORE: Flights cancelled, kids taken to hospital due to smog in Chinese city

Pollution alerts have become increasingly common in China’s northern industrial heartland, especially during winter when energy demand – much of it met by coal – rises sharply.

Some Beijing residents, like Jane Wang, 27, and her family, can’t get out of town fast enough.

“My husband and I really wanted to go but our company didn’t let us take off work so we had no choice but to wear a mask and go to work coughing,” said Wang, who works in an automotive technology research center.

Her mother flew to Hainan, where the family has a holiday house, on Monday to avoid the pollution, Wang said.

For those who can’t go too far, travel websites including Ctrip advertise hotels with air filtration systems in places across north China, where numerous cities having issued pollution red alerts.

READ MORE: Mark Zuckerberg takes casual jog in China’s smog; sparks online mockery

“Enjoy a micro forest, live in a fresh air room: enjoy your own a complementary air filtration machine,” reads a banner advertisement on Ctrip’s page for hotel bookings on Wednesday, with a link to a curated list of hotels with the feature.

(Reporting by Jake Spring and Beijing newsroom; Editing by Robert Birsel)

24 Nov -

Jannik Hansen scores twice as Canucks down Winnipeg Jets

VANCOUVER – Jannik Hansen scored twice as the Vancouver Canucks defeated the Winnipeg Jets 4-1 on Tuesday night.

Sven Baertschi and Bo Horvat, into an empty net, had the other goals for Vancouver (14-16-3), which got 31 saves from Jacob Markstrom. Henrik Sedin added two assists.

Blake Wheeler replied for Winnipeg (15-17-3). Connor Hellebuyck stopped 21 shots in taking the loss for the Jets, who in a scheduling quirk will remain in Vancouver and play the Canucks again on Thursday.

ChangSha Night Net

Tied 1-1 after two periods, Hansen scored his second of the night and fifth of the season at 3:19 of the third. The veteran winger took a pass from Daniel Sedin at the blue line and delayed for a moment before ripping a shot past Hellebuyck with Henrik Sedin screening in front.

Hansen, who returned to the lineup on Dec. 11 after missing 16 games with broken ribs, was reunited with the superstar twins on the Canucks’ top line last week and now has three goals in his last two games.

Baertschi then stretched the lead to 3-1 just 3:21 later when he blocked Dustin Byfuglien’s point shot and moved in alone on Hellebuyck before finishing a slick backhand move for his seventh.

Markstrom made a great save on Jets rookie phenom Patrik Laine from the faceoff dot in the dying seconds of a Vancouver penalty with under five minutes to go as Winnipeg pressed.

Horvat killed any thoughts of a comeback when he scored his 10th into an empty net with 2:14 left in regulation.

Trailing 1-0 after a first period where the visitors carried the play, Vancouver got even after a great shift from Hansen and the Sedins. The Canucks cycled the puck in the Winnipeg zone for nearly 40 seconds before Henrik Sedin’s weak pass in front found its way to Hansen, who beat Hellebuyck with a quick shot at 9:18.

The Canucks had two great chances to take the lead late in the period, but couldn’t quite find the range. Hellebuyck stopped Markus Granlund on a breakaway from the hash marks after a turnover with his pad. Hellebuyck then nearly gifted Vancouver the lead with just over a minute to go when he gave the puck away to Horvat behind the Jets’ goal, but the netminder scrambled back into his crease to stop Baertschi.

Winnipeg, now 5-11-2 on the road this season, opened the scoring with 5:52 left in the first period when the Jets’ 25th-ranked power play connected off the rush. Wheeler took a pass from Byfuglien and blew past Canucks defenceman Alex Biega before cutting in on Markstrom to score his 10th.

Winnipeg had a number of other chances in the opening 20 minutes, including great opportunities for both Andrew Copp and Drew Stafford right in front of Markstrom, while Byfuglien rang another shot off the crossbar.

Daniel Sedin had Vancouver’s best look on a shot off the rush that Hellebuyck turned aside, but the hosts generated very little otherwise.

Notes: Winnipeg forward Nic Petan returned to the lineup after missing 10 games with a lower-body injury. … Canucks defenceman Christopher Tanev, who turned 27 years old on Tuesday, and brother Brandon Tanev, a forward for the Jets, played against each other in the NHL for the first time.

24 Nov -

Justin Bieber rebuked by PETA for wearing fur coat

NOTE: Graphic language below

Justin Bieber was spotted wearing a thick fur coat for an appearance in Los Angeles on Dec. 19 and animal rights organization PETA has criticized the singer for wearing real fur.

When Bieber was leaving Hyde in WeHo Monday night with the L.A. temperature around 16 C, a TMZ camera operator approached the 22-year-old singer in his car to ask if the fur was real.

“Hell yeah, it’s f***ing real,” Bieber screamed out the window.

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READ MORE: Justin Bieber punches fan, leaves him with bloody lip in Barcelona

“This caveman couture look is a new low for Justin Bieber,” PETA’s Lisa Lange, senior vice-president of communications, told Digital Spy. “Coyotes and other animals trapped for ridiculous coats like this one panic and gnaw at their limbs until a trapper arrives to shoot or beat them to death, often orphaning their helpless babies.

Lange continued: “It’s always astounding to see someone with such great fortune and fame show no mercy for animals who simply want to be left alone to live with their families.”

PETA president Ingrid Newkirk has branded Bieber as “self-absorbed” and guilty of causing “needless suffering” to animals.

In a statement Newkirk said, “I sometimes think that Justin Bieber needs a brain scan, as I suspect his mirror neurons — the seat of empathy — are underdeveloped or undeveloped, given that he acts like a self-absorbed, childish showoff.”

Newkirk continued, “He seems incapable of seeing how his buying habits cause needless suffering to animals, such as baby tigers, baby monkeys, and wild coyotes.”

“Animal groups are tired of having to clean up after him, from the abandoned baby monkey in Germany (now rescued) to the abusive zoo in Canada (now closed) to having to run ads explaining the horrible ways in which animals die for fur,” Newkirk concluded.

READ MORE: Ryan Gosling blames his perfection on his ‘Canadianness’

This isn’t the first time the Sorry singer has been involved in an incident with PETA. In 2013, Bieber’s pet capuchin monkey named Mally was seized by German customs when the then 19-year-old Canadian pop star failed to produce the required vaccination and import papers after landing in Munich for a European tour. Mally is now looked after by a zoo.

Most recently, Bieber was slammed earlier this year for posing with a chained tiger at his father’s engagement party in Toronto.

The organization sent the singer an open letter, which claims that the tiger came from a zoo whose owner was charged with animal cruelty.

READ MORE: There’s now a fantasy league for ‘The Bachelor,’ thanks to ESPN

People on social media took the opportunity to ridicule Bieber:

READ MORE: 11 of the biggest celebrity breakups in 2016

Others tweeted to inform Bieber of the dangers of his fashion choice:

Some people on social media pointed out that One Direction singer Harry Styles also wore fur this week but Bieber was receiving all the backlash:

Bieber and his representatives have not released a statement on the situation.

Follow @KatieScottNews

24 Nov -

Family of boys found murdered west of Edmonton speak at vigil: ‘Never forget them’

On the same day the RCMP confirmed two young boys found dead in a Spruce Grove, Alta. home were the victims of a murder-suicide, hundreds of people gathered at a sombre vigil in the central Alberta town of Whitecourt to mourn the loss Ryder and Radek MacDougall and to show support for their mother and stepfather.

On Monday, 13-year-old Ryder and 11-year-old Radek were found dead along with their 39-year-old father, Corry MacDougall. While the RCMP have not confirmed exactly what happened, they said the deaths were the result of a suicide and that the boys were victims. Police did not describe the father as a victim.

READ MORE: Memorial grows for 2 boys in Spruce Grove; RCMP confirm murder-suicide

Watch below: Friends are coming together to remember two boys killed in a murder suicide in Spruce Grove, Alta. Quinn Ohler reports.

Tuesday evening’s emotional candlelight vigil was held outside the boys’ mother and stepfather’s home where the family is grieving.

View photo gallery of the vigil in Whitecourt below:

Radek and Ryder MacDougall’s mother, Tracy Stark, is consoled by their stepfather – Brent Stark – at a vigil for the two boys held in Whitecourt, Alta. on Dec. 20, 2016.

Craig Ryan/ Global News

Radek and Ryder MacDougall’s mother, Tracy Stark, is consoled by their stepfather – Brent Stark – at a vigil for the two boys held in Whitecourt, Alta. on Dec. 20, 2016.

Craig Ryan/ Global News

Tracy Stark and Brent Stark speak at a vigil for the Radek and Ryder MacDougall held in Whitecourt, Alta. on Dec. 20, 2016.

Craig Ryan/ Global News

Hundreds of people gathered in Whitecourt, Alta. on Dec. 20, 2016 at a vigil held for Radek and Ryder MacDougall.

Craig Ryan/ Global News

Hundreds of people gathered in Whitecourt, Alta. on Dec. 20, 2016 at a vigil held for Radek and Ryder MacDougall.

Craig Ryan/ Global News

Hundreds of people gathered in Whitecourt, Alta. on Dec. 20, 2016 at a vigil held for Radek and Ryder MacDougall.

Craig Ryan/ Global News

A shrine is set up in Whitecourt, Alta. on Dec. 20, 2016 near a vigil held for Radek and Ryder MacDougall.

Craig Ryan/ Global News

Tracy Stark and Brent Stark speak at a vigil for the Radek and Ryder MacDougall held in Whitecourt, Alta. on Dec. 20, 2016.

Craig Ryan/ Global News

Tracy Stark and Brent Stark speak at a vigil for the Radek and Ryder MacDougall held in Whitecourt, Alta. on Dec. 20, 2016.

Craig Ryan/ Global News

Family members lit lanterns to send up to Radek and Ryder MacDougall in heaven at a vigil held for the slain boys in held in Whitecourt, Alta. on Dec. 20, 2016.

Craig Ryan/ Global News

The boys were devoted hockey players and many of their teammates and people from the hockey community showed up to pay tribute to their slain friends. Their stepfather, Brent Stark, is the owner of the Whitecourt Wolverines of the Alberta Junior Hockey League. Stark and the boys’ mother, Tracy Stark, were the ones who made the grisly discovery of the boys’ bodies on Monday.

READ MORE: ‘Beautiful souls’: Stepfather of 2 boys found dead in Spruce Grove home speaks out

Ryder MacDougall (left) and Radek MacDougall (right) pose for a photo with their mother, Tracy Stark, at an Edmonton Oilers game on Dec. 17, 2016.

CREDIT: Facebook/ Tracy Stark

Ryder MacDougall (left) and Radek MacDougall (right) were found dead in a Spruce Grove, Alta. home on Dec. 19, 2016.

CREDIT: Facebook/Tracy Stark

Ryder MacDougall (left) and Radek MacDougall (right) were found dead in a Spruce Grove, Alta. home on Dec. 19, 2016.

CREDIT: Facebook/Tracy Stark

Radek MacDougall (left) and Ryder MacDougall (right) were found dead in a Spruce Grove, Alta. home on Dec. 19, 2016.

CREDIT: Facebook/Tracy Stark

A photo of Radek MacDougall with his mother Tracy Stark. MacDougall and his brother Ryder were found dead along with their father in a Spruce Grove, Alta. home on Dec. 19, 2016.

COURTESY: Tracy Stark

Radek MacDougall was found dead in a Spruce Grove, Alta. home on Dec. 19, 2016.

CREDIT: 桑拿会所/@radekrox

A growing memorial outside the Spruce Grove, Alta. home where two brothers, 13-year-old Ryder and 11-year-old Radek MacDougall, and their father Corry MacDougall, were found dead Monday morning. December 20, 2016.

Quinn Ohler, Global News

A growing memorial outside the Spruce Grove, Alta. home where two brothers, 13-year-old Ryder and 11-year-old Radek MacDougall, and their father Corry MacDougall, were found dead Monday morning. December 20, 2016.

A growing memorial outside the Spruce Grove, Alta. home where two brothers, 13-year-old Ryder and 11-year-old Radek MacDougall, and their father Corry MacDougall, were found dead Monday morning. December 20, 2016.

A growing memorial outside the Spruce Grove, Alta. home where two brothers, 13-year-old Ryder and 11-year-old Radek MacDougall, and their father Corry MacDougall, were found dead Monday morning. December 20, 2016.

A growing memorial outside the Spruce Grove, Alta. home where two brothers, 13-year-old Ryder and 11-year-old Radek MacDougall, and their father Corry MacDougall, were found dead Monday morning. December 20, 2016.

Kendra Slugoski, Global News

A growing memorial outside the Spruce Grove, Alta. home where two brothers, 13-year-old Ryder and 11-year-old Radek MacDougall, and their father Corry MacDougall, were found dead Monday morning. December 20, 2016.

Dave Carels, Global News

A growing memorial outside the Spruce Grove, Alta. home where two brothers, 13-year-old Ryder and 11-year-old Radek MacDougall, and their father Corry MacDougall, were found dead Monday morning. December 20, 2016.

Kendra Slugoski, Global News

A growing memorial outside the Spruce Grove, Alta. home where two brothers, 13-year-old Ryder and 11-year-old Radek MacDougall, and their father Corry MacDougall, were found dead Monday morning. December 20, 2016.

Kendra Slugoski, Global News

Parkland School Division’s Greystone Centennial Middle School in Spruce Grove, where 13-year-old Ryder MacDougall and 11-year-old Radek MacDougall went to school. December 20, 2016.

Kendra Slugoski, Global News

An online tribute logo for Ryder MacDougall and Radek MacDougall. The two brothers were found dead in a Spruce Grove, Alta. home on Dec. 19, 2016.

COURTESY: Tracy Stark

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  • Alberta man found dead with 2 sons described as kind father

    “It’s just a respect thing, you know?” Daylen Black, who plays for the Midget A Whitecourt Wolverines, said. “Ryder was a pretty big part of the hockey community here and it’s just horrible what happened.”

    Brent and Tracy Stark delivered the final goodbyes at the end of the vigil when they spoke to the crowd that had assembled.

    “I know Ryder and Radek are looking down and I just, I just don’t know what to say,” Tracy said. “I know they’re going to give you strength to get through this, as they do me and everybody else.

    “I just thank you for being here and supporting and loving us. Just never forget them I guess.”

    “We’re lost for words,” Brent said. “We don’t know really what to say. It’s been a long 48 hours.”

    “I completely broke down,” said family friend Ty Prokipchuk. “I couldn’t believe it. They didn’t deserve that.”

    “We surround them with our love and with our hope,” said family friend Rodney Koscielny. “We surround them as a community. As we go through the shock phase right now, eventually grief but never forgetting.”

    Family members lit lanterns to send up to Radek and Ryder in heaven and throughout the evening, many people with candles in their hands could be seen with tears streaming down their cheeks.

    “I don’t think any of us know what kind of support we have until something tragic happens,” Koscielny said.

    -With files from Sarah Kraus.

24 Nov -

Year in Review: Best photos from around the world in 2016

As 2016 comes to a close, Global News takes a look back at some of the most compelling images that captivated our audience this year.

News and Politics

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The devastating wildfire in Fort McMurray, Alberta in the early spring captivated much of our headlines. In May, the wildfire forced nearly 90,000 people from the area as “the beast” of a wildfire ripped through the community, destroying hundreds of homes and businesses. It wasn’t until June that residents were allowed to return to Fort McMurray.

In the U.S., Donald Trump shocked much of the country when voters went to the polls on Nov. 8 and elected the real estate mogul as the country’s 45th president.

The refugee crisis and the Syrian conflict dominated international headlines as hundreds of thousands of refugees fled the war-torn country, many ultimately dying trying to cross the Mediterranean Sea trying to reach Europe.

A protester uses a tennis racket to return a tear gas canister at a demonstration against the French government’s proposed labour law reforms in Nantes on June 2, 2016.

REUTERS/Stephane Mahe

Republican U.S. presidential nominee Donald Trump speaks as he accepts the nomination during the final session of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio, on July 21, 2016.

REUTERS/Brian Snyder

A body is seen on the ground after at least 30 people were killed in Nice, France.  A truck drove into a crowd that was celebrating Bastille Day on July 14, 2016.

REUTERS/Eric Gaillard

A demonstrator protesting the shooting death of Alton Sterling is detained by law enforcement near the headquarters of the Baton Rouge Police Department in Louisiana on July 9, 2016.

REUTERS/Jonathan Bachman

Air Force One, carrying U.S. President Barack Obama and his family, flies over a neighbourhood in Havana, Cuba on March 20, 2016.

REUTERS/Alberto Reyes

Syrian men carrying babies make their way through the rubble of destroyed buildings following a reported air strike on the rebel-held Salihin neighbourhood of Aleppo on September 11, 2016.

Ameer Alhalbi/AFP/Getty Images

A Syrian gamer uses the Pokemon Go app on his mobile phone to catch a Pokemon amidst the rubble in the besieged rebel-controlled town of Douma, east of the capital Damascus on July 23, 2016.

Sameer Al-Doumy/AFP/Getty Images

Wrecked boats and thousands of life jackets, used by refugees and migrants during their journey across the Aegean Sea, lie in a dump in Mithimna, Greece on February 19, 2016.

Aris Messinis/AFP/Getty Images

Nidhi Chaphekar, a 40-year-old Jet Airways flight attendant, is seen after being wounded in Brussels Airport in Belgium after explosions rocked the airport on March 22, 2016.

Ketevan Kardava/Georgian Public Broadcaster via AP

Heat waves are seen as cars and trucks drive past a wildfire south of Fort McMurray, Alberta on May 6, 2016.


Residents console each other at a memorial near the La Loche Community School in Saskatchewan on Jan. 24, 2016 after four people were shot and killed at the school.


A giant fireball is seen as a wildfire rips through the forest just south of Fort McMurray, Alberta on May 7, 2016.


An honour guard is seen at former Toronto mayor Rob Ford’s casket at city hall on Monday, March 28, 2016.


The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and their children Prince George and Princess Charlotte arrive in Victoria, B.C. on Saturday, September 24, 2016.


The Tragically Hip’s Gord Downie performs during the first stop of the Man Machine Poem Tour at the Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre in Victoria, B.C. on July 22, 2016.


Mexican army soldiers escort drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman to a helicopter to be transported to a maximum security prison in Mexico City on Jan. 8, 2016.

AP Photo/Eduardo Verdugo

Migrants jump into the water from a crowded wooden boat as they are helped by members of an NGO during a rescue operation in the Mediterranean Sea, just north of Libya on Aug. 29, 2016.

AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti

An audience member reacts as U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump greets her at a campaign rally in Lowell, Massachusetts on Jan. 4, 2016.

REUTERS/Brian Snyder

A woman with a Ziggy Stardust tattoo visits a mural following the death of David Bowie in Brixton, south London on Jan. 11, 2016.

REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth


Rio de Janeiro hosted the 2016 Summer Olympics in August, where Team Canada brought home 22 medals. Penny Oleksiak, 16, emerged as the country’s newest swimming sensation after becoming the first Canadian to win four medals at a single Summer Olympic Games.

The Toronto Blue Jays made it to the post-season for a second year in a row, where the Jays were bested by the Cleveland Indians four games to one.

In the CFL, the Ottawa Redblacks were crowned Grey Cup champions after beating the Calgary Stampeders in Toronto.

Ottawa Redblacks’ Travon Van, left, and Trevor Harris hide under a plastic covering after defeating the Calgary Stampeders in overtime of Grey Cup football action on Sunday, Nov. 27, 2016 in Toronto.


Canada’s bronze medal winner Brianne Theisen Eaton catches her breath after the 800-metre of the heptathlon at the 2016 Summer Olympics on Aug. 13, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.


Canada’s Kelly Russell rips the shirt off of Great Britain’s Katy McLean as she tackles her during the bronze medal match in women’s rugby sevens at the 2016 Olympic Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on Aug. 8, 2016.


A man signs a memorial wall as thousands of people line up to pay their respects to Gordie Howe as the casket rests in the Joe Louis Arena in Detroit on June 14, 2016.


Winnipeg Blue Bombers Ryan Smith dives for the goal line to score his second touchdown against the B.C. Lions during first half western semifinal football action in Vancouver, B.C., on Nov. 13, 2016.

Darryl Dyck /

Canada’s Andre De Grasse celebrates bronze in the men’s 100-metre final during the athletics competition at the 2016 Olympic Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on Aug. 14, 2016.


Toronto Blue Jays celebrate their walk-off win to eliminate the Texas Rangers during the 10th inning of the American League Division Series in Toronto on Oct. 9, 2016.


San Francisco 49ers outside linebacker Eli Harold, left, quarterback Colin Kaepernick, centre, and safety Eric Reid kneel during the national anthem before a game against the Dallas Cowboys in Santa Clara, Calif., on Oct. 2, 2016.

AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez

Denver Broncos’ Peyton Manning holds up the trophy after winning Super Bowl 50 on Feb. 7, 2016, in Santa Clara, Calif.

AP Photo/Matt York

A bodyboarder rides a wave during a surfing session at Praia do Norte in Nazare, Portugal on Nov. 19, 2016.

Patricia De Melo Moreira/AFP/Getty Images

Jamaica’s Usain Bolt jokes with Canada’s Andre De Grasse after they crossed the finish line in the Men’s 200-metre semifinal at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games on Aug. 17, 2016.

Olivier Morin/AFP/Getty Images

Canada’s Penny Oleksiak celebrates winning silver in the women’s 100-metre butterfly final during Day 2 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games on Aug. 7, 2016.

Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Vancouver Whitecaps’ Christian Bolanos tries to direct a header despite pressure from Toronto FC’s Justin Morrow during first half Canadian Cup action in Toronto on June 21, 2016.


Toronto Blue Jays’ Troy Tulowitzki throws his bat after making the final out in Game 5 of the American League Championship Series against the Cleveland Indians in Toronto on Oct. 19, 2016.


A picture taken with an underwater camera shows Britain’s Thomas Daley competing in the men’s 10-metre platform semifinal at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games on Aug. 20, 2016.

Francois-Xavier Marit/AFP/Getty Images


From New Year’s celebrations to beautiful fall foliage, photographers captured some unique slices of life in 2016.

People walk on a sightseeing platform in Zhangjiajie, in China’s Hunan Province on Aug. 1, 2016.


A displaced Iraqi woman holds her cat, Lulu, as she waits for transport in the Iraqi Kurdish checkpoint village of Shaqouli on Nov. 10, 2016.

Odd Andersen/AFP/Getty Images

Two Scottish short hair cats dressed with red hats are pictured during a cat exhibition in Bishkek, on Oct. 16, 2016.

Vyacheslav Oseledko/AFP/Getty Images

Members of a human tower team form a “castell” during the XXVI human towers competition in Tarragona, Spain on Oct. 2, 2016.

Lluis Gene/AFP/Getty Images

A baby giraffe kisses his mother on Aug. 31, 2016 at the zoo of La Fleche, in northwestern France.

Jean-Francois Monier/AFP/Getty Images

A woman dances during the Toronto Pride Parade on July 3, 2016.


A woman walks through a tidal pool along the shore of Semiahmoo Bay during low tide in White Rock, B.C., on March 11, 2016.


Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, dressed as the Pilot from The Little Prince, and his son Hadrien, dressed as the Little Prince, have a treat after trick-or-treating at Rideau Hall on Oct. 31, 2016 in Ottawa.


Fireworks light the sky over Copacabana beach during New Year’s Eve celebrations in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on Jan. 1, 2016.

AP Photo/Mauro Pimentel

A man walks through a garden on an autumn day in Srinagar, Kashmir on Nov. 15, 2016.

REUTERS/Danish Ismail

A migrant eats a biscuit on the Migrant Offshore Aid Station ship after being rescued off the coast of Libya on June 23, 2016.

REUTERS/Darrin Zammit Lupi

A Guardsman faints during the annual Trooping the Colour ceremony in central London, England on June 11, 2016.

REUTERS/Dylan Martinez

An escaped chimpanzee screams after as a man tries to capture the animal in northern Japan on April 14, 2016.

REUTERS/Kyodo News

A giant panda cub falls from a stage while 23 giant pandas are seen on a display at the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding in China’s Sichuan province on Sept. 29, 2016.

China Daily/via REUTERS

24 Nov -

Survivor of 1986 West Edmonton Mall roller-coaster crash wants tribute

EDMONTON – It’s been 30 years since Rod Chayko was flung from a flying roller-coaster at West Edmonton Mall, and it bothers him still that there is no memorial at the site to honour the three people who died that day.

Chayko was the lucky one, the only survivor in the last car that jumped the track on the popular Mindbender ride on June 14, 1986. The car had been going about 100 km/h when it struck a pillar and hurled its four passengers to the concrete floor below.

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    The Mindbender — the world’s largest indoor triple-loop roller-coaster in the world’s largest indoor amusement park in what was once the world’s largest shopping centre — had also been billed as one of the world’s safest rides.

    It shut down for more than a year and, after safety modifications, remains a main attraction at the mall.

    READ MORE: 5 deadly roller coaster accidents

    Chayko, a 55-year-old retired welder, lives in Revelstoke, B.C., his once broken body a source of daily pain that he treats with medical marijuana. He kicked prescription painkillers more than a decade ago.

    Raw video: Rod Chayko, the man who survived a roller-coaster crash at West Edmonton Mall in 1986 that killed three people speaks to Global News.

    He’s been back to the mall several times over the years, on visits with his children and grandchildren. And although he won’t ever go on the Mindbender again, he doesn’t want to discourage others from getting on the ride.

    The crash was “an accident — plain and simple,” he says.

    But it’s one that should be remembered.

    “David, Tony and Cindy are dead and it changed my life forever,” says Chayko.

    “I think about it every day.”

    READ MORE: Amusement park injuries should be better tracked: safety group

    Chayko had been living in Fort McMurray when he and his friend David Sager, 24, of Calgary travelled to the mall for a night of fun. Chayko describes his friend as a thrill-seeker who liked fast cars and had just won an amateur strip-tease contest at a bar a night earlier.

    The pair were last to get on the Mindbender and sat in the last car behind Tony Mandrusiak, 24, and his fiancee Cindy Sims, 21.

    “I remember feeling it sway and grabbing onto the handle,” recalls Chayko. “The next thing, I was landing on the ground.”

    Watch below: He’s the lone survivor of a horrific and deadly roller-coaster crash at West Edmonton Mall 30 years ago. Now, Rod Chayko says the mall needs some sort of tribute to his three friends who died that day. Kent Morrison reports. 

    The crash shattered his lower legs, crushed half his left shoulder and broke his feet, pelvis, lower back and every rib on his left side.

    Doctors who couldn’t count all the fractures in his legs thought they might have to amputate, but opted to surgically insert metal plates so the bones might heal. After six months in hospital, Chayko stood in leg braces and married his girlfriend, Joanne.

    Chayko eventually ditched the braces and doctors removed the plates from his legs. He continued working for 15 years before he retired because of chronic back pain.

    Watch below: This Global News report from 1986 details an inquiry done into the fatal roller-coaster crash at West Edmonton Mall.

    A provincial inquiry eventually blamed the crash on a defunct West German company for design and manufacturing flaws. It found that four bolts had worked loose, allowing a wheel assembly to fall off the roller-coaster car.

    Chayko says he received an undisclosed settlement from the mall after the accident. “I’m famous but I ain’t rich.”

    And the mall gives him free tickets to mall attractions whenever he asks.

    But he has also requested a few times over the years for the mall to put a memorial bench near the Mindbender. Staff offered instead to put a plaque on an office wall, Chayko says.

    “I said, ‘No, no,’” he says. “To me that’s not a memorial.”

    Chayko says he doesn’t want to make a fuss, but is still hopeful the mall might change its mind.

    Tony Mandrusiak’s mother Bertha and her husband still live in Edmonton, but she can’t look at the mall never mind go inside.

    “If I go to the Misericordia [Hospital] or something, I look the other way,” Mandrusiak says. “It bring awful memories.”

    “I wouldn’t mind having a plaque,” she says. “All these people go there and I’d like them to know it’s not all fun all the time.”

    Mandrusiak says no one from West Edmonton Mall has ever got in contact with her.

    A spokesman for the mall declined comment.

    To honour the anniversary of the crash this year, Chayko ordered custom hoodies, with “survivor” stitched on the arm.

    Not every one knows his story, he says, but when he explains that he was on the Mindbender when it crashed, people nod.

    “‘I remember where I was that day’ — everybody says that one,” says Chayko.

    With a file from Kent Morrison, Global News

24 Nov -

Ex-cop charged with killing 4 men in gangland-style attack

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y.  – A retired police officer has been accused of killing four men who went missing during a drug deal this year, and authorities have discovered the remains of four bodies on property linked to him.

Nicholas Tartaglione was arrested on Monday on charges of murder and conspiracy to distribute 5 kilograms and more of cocaine, U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said.

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“While all murders tear at the fabric of our communities, when the alleged perpetrator of a gangland-style, quadruple homicide is a former police officer, that strikes at the heart of civilized society,” Bharara said.

Tartaglione, who used to work for the Briarcliff Manor police department and lives in Otisville, pleaded not guilty. His lawyer, Mark DeMarco, did not immediately return a telephone message requesting comment.

READ MORE: Walter Scott murder trial on hold after juror blocks guilty verdict for cop

Prosecutors said Tartaglione participated in the killing of Martin Luna, Urbano Santiago, Miguel Luna and Hector Gutierrez in April in and around a bar called the Likquid Lounge in Chester while conspiring to sell cocaine. They said some of the victims were just in the wrong place at the wrong time.

“These four men had not been seen or heard from since the day of their alleged murder,” said Bharara, who hoped the arrest brought “some measure of comfort to the victims’ families and loved ones.”

Chester police Chief Peter Graziano said one or two of the victims had been involved in some kind of drug activity.

READ MORE: Minnesota cop Jeronimo Yanez charged with 2nd-degree manslaughter in fatal shooting of Philando Castile

He told The Journal News the four bodies were recovered in Otisville, about 60 miles north of New York City, on Tuesday on property rented by Tartagliano. He said the remains were being sent to the county’s medical examiner’s office for identification.

Tartaglione, who’s 49 years old, joined the Briarcliff Manor police department in 1996 after stints as a police officer in Mount Vernon and Pawling, The Journal News said. He retired on disability in 2008.

24 Nov -

Russia doubts killer of ambassador acted alone

MOSCOW – The spokesman for Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday refused to offer theories behind Monday’s assassination of the Russian ambassador to Turkey but indicated that Moscow doesn’t believe the gunman acted on his own.

“We shouldn’t rush with any theories before the investigators establish who were behind the assassination of our ambassador,” said spokesman Dmitry Peskov, though he offered no theories about who those people might be.

READ MORE: Turkish police detain 6 after Russian ambassador killed

The ambassador, Andrei Karlov, was killed Monday evening in front of stunned onlookers at a photo exhibition in Ankara. The assassin, Mevlut Mert Altintas of Ankara’s riot police squad, was killed in a police operation.

WATCH: British Foreign Minister Johnson condemns killings in Berlin, Turkey

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On Tuesday, Russia flew a team of 18 investigators and foreign ministry officials to Turkey to take part in the probe. Their plane returned with Karlov’s body and his family home. Russian officials and Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu who was visiting Moscow met the family at the Vnukovo airport late on Tuesday.

READ MORE: Turkey ambassador killing a ploy to wreck Syrian peace process says Vladimir Putin

Ankara has not made public any theories. But a senior Turkish government official, who spoke Tuesday on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to release details to the press, said it was unlikely Altintas acted alone.

WATCH ABOVE: Camera captures moments following fatal shooting of Russian ambassador to Turkey

The official said the killing had all the marks of being “fully professional, not a one-man action.”

Peskov told reporters that Moscow on Wednesday the Kremlin will wait for the investigation to wrap up before voicing any theories.

Earlier on Wednesday, the Russian State Duma voted on a resolution that urged authorities to take extra steps to protect Russian diplomats abroad.

24 Nov -

Sears online customers fuming over undelivered Christmas gifts

Nancy Hurstfield-Meyer is part of a group of online shoppers fuming over undelivered gifts purchased from Sears just days before Christmas.

“These are toys that the kids were looking to get for Christmas. They were on their list,” Hurstfield-Meyer told Global News.

Hurstfield-Meyer said she placed an order with Sears on Dec. 6 and that it was scheduled to be delivered in three to seven business days.

The Sears Facebook page has been inundated with negative comments from shoppers with similar complaints.

READ MORE: New poll says Canadians tightening their belts on gifts this holiday season

“I made a purchase on sears长沙夜网 for on November 23rd, their website confirmation said that I will receive my package within 3 to 7 business days. After that I haven’t heard anything from Sears,” Punit Godhani wrote.

“Worst customer service ever!! Ordered November 27th. Still has not shipped. On the phone waiting 45 min. Then I had to get transferred to another representative. Still waiting after another 15 min??? Ridiculous!,” wrote Tammy Stuckless Tetford.

ChangSha Night Net

Sears told Global News gifts are being shipped out but that some customers were willing to wait until after Christmas. However, the retailer admitted others have also cancelled their orders.

READ MORE: Canadians plan to spend less on holiday shopping this year: poll

Hurstfield-Meyer got word late Tuesday afternoon that three of the four gifts have been shipped but there’s no guarantee they’ll arrive on time for Christmas.

“I placed an order Saturday with The Bay and it was in my doorstep on Monday, same with Wal-Mart. I placed an order Friday and it was on my door Monday. These companies are going to get my business going forward.”

-With a file from Tom Hayes

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