24 Nov -

Year in review 2016: political moments that caught us off guard (not involving Donald Trump)

The biggest political story of the year undoubtedly was Donald Trump‘s stunning victory over Hillary Clinton in the U.S. presidential election.

Trump provided soundbites that both excited and frustrated voters, and was at the centre of what may have been the biggest political video of 2016 — the leaked Access Hollywood tapes.

Trump may have grabbed most of the headlines this year, but there were still plenty of other amazing “caught-on-camera” moments involving politicians.


When a small bird landed on Bernie Sanders podium during a Portland rally in March, it was a moment that galvanized his supporters and symbolized the positive campaign he preached.

Excited supporters erupted into thunderous applause as Sanders looked curiously at the bird.

“I know it doesn’t look like it, but that bird is really a dove asking us for world peace. No more wars,” he said after it flew away.

The incident inspired #BirdieSanders and provided levity during a long Democratic nomination process that can often be overtaken by negativity.

‘What is Aleppo?’

No, that’s not a Jeopardy answer to, “What is Syria’s largest city?”

That was the cringe-worthy response Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson gave during a live interview with MSNBC in September, when he was asked how he would handle the humanitarian crisis in the Syrian city if he were elected president.

READ MORE: Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson baffled by question on Syrian conflict

“You’re kidding?” the MSNBC interviewer responded.

Eastern Aleppo became a war zone over the past five years, as rebel fighters fought with government forces and Russian airstrikes. The besieged portion of the city was retaken by the government in recent weeks and the ruined neighbourhoods were evacuated of any remaining residents.

Johnson followed up that gaffe with another equally embarrassing moment in front of the camera just weeks later. During another televised interview, Johnson drew a blank when he was asked to name a political figure he respected. He called that gaffe another “Aleppo moment.”

Libertarian Party candidate dances, strips on live television

Johnson may have provided enough embarrassment for his party during the presidential campaign, but he wasn’t the only Libertarian who left supporters cringing this year.

A candidate running for the chairman of the Libertarian Party chose an odd way to drop out of the race in March.

James Weeks dropped his pants live on C-Span in a “dare” he said was intended to inject a “little bit of fun” into the party’s national convention.

Reaction was mixed, with some people calling the display a “mockery” to the democratic electoral process.

‘Fart’ comment by Conservative MP doesn’t blow over well with Elizabeth May

But it wasn’t just the U.S. that experienced its share of foul behaviour from politicians.

Green Party Leader Elizabeth May refused to let a comment from Conservative MP Michelle Rempel blow over, so to speak, in November.

While speaking about the plight of unemployed Albertans, Rempel accused the Liberal government of treating the province “like a fart in the room that nobody wants to talk about or acknowledge.”

<strong:READ MORE: Elizabeth May creates stink over Conservative MP’s ‘Fart’ comment

This prompted May to chide her colleague over what she characterized as “distinctly unparliamentary” language, even spelling out f-a-r-t rather than say the word.

“Is my colleague actually serious?” Rempel replied, during what has to stand as one of the more remarkable points of order in the history of the House of Commons.

May has hailed herself as a champion of professional decorum in the House of Commons – perhaps she’s taking her crusade for clean behaviour a little too far.

Icelandic politician breastfeeds baby during televised parliamentary speech

The debate over breastfeeding in public was taken to another level during a session in Iceland’s parliament this past fall.

Unnur Bra Konradsdottir, an MP for Iceland’s Independence Party, breastfed her six-month-old daughter while addressing her colleagues on an immigration project during an October parliamentary session.

“She was hungry and I had not expected to go to the pulpit,” Konradsdottir explained.

The public display was another feminist achievement for Iceland, which has often led the way on women’s issues. The island nation has regularly been named the best place in the world for women to live.

Philippine president likens himself to Adolf Hitler

President-elect Donald Trump has been criticized for controversial comments he’s made over the last year, but so too has tthe “Filipino Donald Trump.”

Since his election in May, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has arguably made more outlandish statements than Trump has.

Duterte has offered “medals” to citizens who kill drug dealers, called the UN “stupid,” claimed the U.S. were “fools” and “monkeys,” and claimed the U.S. “had lost” after announcing he would build closer ties with China.

Duterte admitted to personally patrolling streets on a motorcycle looking for criminals to kill while he was mayor of Davao City. He also called Barack Obama a “son of a bitch” and threatened to “swear” at him if he asked about the extrajudicial killings, but later said he would stop cursing as a promise to God.

But the Duterte comment that garnered the most attention was when he raised the rhetoric over his bloody anti-crime war in September by comparing it to the Holocaust and himself to Adolf Hitler.

“Hitler massacred three million Jews,” he said. “There’s three million drug addicts. There are. I’d be happy to slaughter them.”

With files from The Associated Press, Reuters and Global News

ChangSha Night Net


  • Philippines’ President Duterte labels Americans ‘sons of bitches’ over aid review

  • Presidential nominee Gary Johnson: you can’t go to war with places you don’t know exist

  • Irish MP’s musical Christmas tie interrupts parliament

24 Nov -

Young Canadians most wary of new pot laws, research finds

OTTAWA – Young Canadians are skeptical of marijuana legalization, new research shows.

A series of 24 focus groups on perceptions of new pot laws commissioned by the federal Liberal government found that the youngest teenaged participants were the most cautious about the policy shift.

ChangSha Night Net


  • Why marijuana laws still apply as Ottawa moves to legalization

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    READ MORE: How will legal marijuana be taxed? The black market may play a role

    The government has been laying the groundwork for months on a major public education and awareness campaign that will accompany the looming legalization of recreational marijuana.

    Health Canada commissioned a series of focus group surveys last June to plumb public perceptions around legalized cannabis, including the health impacts and attitudes to drug-impaired driving.

    According to Earnscliffe Strategy Group, which won the $136,000 research contract in March, an “overwhelming majority” of focus group participants in Vancouver, Toronto, Montreal and Halifax were aware of the promised end to pot prohibition and that “most, particularly those over the age of 18, were generally comfortable with the idea.”

    WATCH: The road to legalized pot in Canada, and the potential speed bumps

    The notable outliers among the focus groups were 13- to 15-year-olds – and in some cases their parents.

    “The one audience that held slightly less positive views about the legalization of marijuana were youths 13-15,” says the report, noting some were “not at all familiar with marijuana.”

    The focus groups were heavily weighted toward younger Canadians, using six distinct cohorts. Three cohorts covered ages 13-15, 16-18 and 19-24, while another two involved parents of younger and older teenagers. Only one group in each city included general participants aged 25 and up.

    READ MORE: Pot at the pharmacy? Here are some ways marijuana could be sold in Canada

    The youngest participants struggled to identify advantages perceived by older participants – perceptions that included economic benefits from taxing the product, standardized and reliable marijuana quality, an end to black-market activity and reduced strain on police and the court system from marijuana possession charges.

    The 13-to-15 year olds – and some of their parents – were also the most skeptical about perceptions on limiting marijuana accessibility. By contrast, most participants felt legalized pot would not increase either cannabis usage or accessibility for youngsters.

    WATCH: Federal task force explains logic behind age limit of 18 for cannabis 

    Marijuana use and teenage rebellion pre-date the 1965 hit by The Who, The Kids Are Alright, but some older focus group participants felt legalization might kill the buzz.

    “In fact, some argued that teens’ access to and use of marijuana may decline with legalization because the stigma of doing something rebellious would be eliminated …,” the report said.

    The focus groups also provided sobering perceptions of cannabis-impaired driving, with most saying it was less dangerous than drunk driving and a few suggesting marijuana use can improve driving skills.

    “Marijuana-impaired drivers were often described as more relaxed, calm and cautious,” said the report.

    “In fact, a few participants felt that some people they knew were better drivers under the influence of marijuana than they were sober.”

    However mixing alcohol, cannabis and driving was universally rejected.

    WATCH: Task force recommends similar punishments for cannabis as alcohol 

    Health risks associated with marijuana mostly centred around smoking issues, although an “overwhelming majority, across all audiences” felt health risks varied by age, with the developing brains of younger users most at risk.

    The focus groups also assessed a number of existing public awareness advertisements for drugs and alcohol and how they might apply to marijuana. Some age-specific differences in perception emerged.

    READ MORE: Canada’s pot laws must consider risks to mental health: expert

    Ads using humour, for example, were well received by older audiences but were particularly frowned upon by the 13-to-15-year-olds, who “did not feel it would be appropriate to make light of marijuana use.”

    Scare tactics were widely considered ineffective, especially by those older than 15, while there was generally a positive reaction to “friendly, non-judgmental, informative” advertising.

    “All this suggests that a layered, multi-phased campaign will be required to reach the various audiences with targeted communications and messaging about marijuana,” said the report.

    A spokesman for Health Minister Jane Philpott said Tuesday the government has been clear that a public education campaign will accompany legalization.

    “Certainly as part of the introduction of legislation, there will be a key component related to public awareness,” said Andrew MacKendrick.

    The Liberal government has promised a bill legalizing and regulating recreational marijuana production and sale next spring.

24 Nov -

San Jose Shark beat Calgary Flames 4-1 for 5th win in 6 games

Joonas Donskoi forgot the feeling of scoring and once he got it back, he wanted to continue it.

Donskoi scored twice and the San Jose Sharks beat the Calgary Flames 4-1 Tuesday night for their fifth win in six games.

“You get the one goal and it kind of gets you going a little bit,” Donskoi said. “Everything feels easier. I don’t know why but something opens up mentally maybe. I hope I’ll get more.”

ChangSha Night Net


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    Patrick Marleau and Paul Martin also scored for the Sharks, who are 7-2 at home since dropping two in a row in early November. Martin Jones stopped 20 of 21 shots for his fourth victory in five starts.

    “He’s such a good player. It’s only a matter of time he gets his opportunity, he works so hard,” Martin said of Donskoi. “Sometimes he just has to put it to the net and good things happen. I was happy for him.”

    Sam Bennett scored for the Flames, who lost for just the third time in 10 games. Chad Johnson recorded 30 saves in 34 chances.

    “It was a tough game all the way around,” Johnson said. “We didn’t start the way we wanted to and we took some penalties. In the second period, they came at us and they made plays, got deflections. They’re tenacious around the net.”

    READ MORE: Calgary Flames defenceman T.J. Brodie’s fiancée is putting MS on ice

    The Sharks muscled up to score four times within an 11-minute span in the second period, which included Donskoi’s first career multi-goal contest.

    “We kind of broke through in the second period,” Sharks captain Joe Pavelski said. “Each line fed off each other.”

    Marleau was in front of the net when Marc-Edouad Vlasic’s shot bounced off Johnson’s pads and to his stick, from where he nailed the easy shot.

    Less than four minutes later, Martin took an awkward shot from about 15 feet away that appeared to knuckle and bounce over a couple of sticks and gloves into the net.

    Donskoi’s first goal was set up when Tommy Wingels kicked the puck away from Johnson, took it behind the net and passed to an open Donskoi.

    The second goal came when Donskoi picked off an attempted clearing shot just in front of the net.

    Sam Bennett got the Flames on the scoreboard early in the third period after taking a nice pass from Matthew Tkachuk, who has six assists over the last five games.

    “Our start wasn’t good. They were all over us,” Bennett said. “In the second, we came out flat again. They were doing everything we should have been doing. They were getting pucks deep, they were not turning it over and we really didn’t do any of that tonight.”


    Sharks C Joe Thornton became the 37th NHL player to appear in 1,400 games. With Patrick Marleau, whose played in 1,444 games, it becomes the third occurrence of teammates with 1,400 games played each and the first since Mike Modano and Niklas Lindstrom with the Detroit Red Wings in 2010-11. … Martin recorded points in back-to-back games for the first time this year. … Sharks’ Timo Meier appeared in his first NHL home game. … The Flames recorded points in each of their previous four road games and six of seven overall. … Johnson entered the game with a 2-0-1 mark and a 1.64 GAA against the Sharks.

    UP NEXT:

    Flames: Host Vancouver on Friday night to start a stretch of four of five at home.

    Sharks: Host Edmonton on Friday night.

24 Nov -

West Kelowna family of 3 flees home after chimney fire

A family of three was forced to flee their home Tuesday night after the fire burning in their chimney grew out of control. 

West Kelowna firefighters were called to the home on Vector Drive in Lakeview Heights neighbourhood just before 9 p.m. 

ChangSha Night Net

Everyone inside was able to escape the home safely and no one was hurt in the small blaze.

Firefighters were able to contain the flames to the chimney and extinguish the fire quickly before it spread anywhere else in the home.

West Kelowna fire chief Brolund said the fire was caused by a creosote buildup inside the chimney. 

“Our reminder to the public is they should have a proper technician to check their chimney and clean it if required,” Brolund said. “In these cases, a small amount of preventative maintenance can prevent a devastating event.”

“It can lead to a much bigger fire.”

This is the second chimney fire West Kelowna firefighters have been called to in a week and at least the fourth in the central Okanagan in the past two weeks.

READ MORE: Chimney fire forces Kelowna family of 5 from their home

READ MORE: Chimney fire in West Kelowna prompts safety reminder

West Kelowna fire chief Brolund said The fire was caused by a creosote buildup inside the chimney.

“Our reminder to the public is they should have a proper technician to check their chimney and clean it if required,” Brolund said.

“It can lead to a much bigger fire.”

The family was able to go back inside once firefighters finished their work.

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.

ChangSha Night Net

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

ChangSha Night Net


  • 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

ChangSha Night Net

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

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