Searchers find baby’s body in South Carolina creek, mother said she put girl in water

Written by admin on 14/11/2018 Categories: 老域名出售

SOCASTEE, S.C. – Searchers found the body of a baby in a swollen, murky South Carolina creek on Thursday, two days after a mother said she put the 5-month-old girl into the water, according to police.

Divers found the body about 3:45 p.m., Horry County police Chief Saundra Rhodes said at a news conference. Later, more than a dozen rescuers gathered in a circle, praying. Some of them wiped their eyes.

“All of us have a sense of peace knowing we can lay her to rest properly,” Rhodes said.


On Tuesday, the girl’s mother, Sarah Lane Toney, went to a home about 500 yards across the creek and swamp from her house near Myrtle Beach and told a woman she had put her baby into the creek, police said.

Toney was taken into custody and charged with unlawful conduct toward a child. A judge denied bond Thursday before the body was found.

Toney asked officers at her bond hearing whether her baby had been found, then told the judge she should be released from jail because she didn’t plan to leave the area and needed to take care of her older daughter, who was turned over to her father after she reported her baby disappeared in the water.

“I went into the water with her, and I was unable to hold on to her,” Toney said at her bond hearing. “I didn’t intentionally put her in any danger. I was going with her, and I wasn’t able to hold on to her when the water sucked me in.”

The baby was found less than 75 yards from her home, Rhodes said. The removal of a large tree helped divers find the body, the police chief said. An autopsy has been ordered to determine how the girl died.

WATCH ABOVE: Searchers found the body of a baby in a swollen, murky South Carolina creek on Thursday, two days after a mother said she put the 5-month-old girl into the water, according to police.

Rhodes said her officers will consult with prosecutors, but she expects Toney to face charges in her daughter’s death.

Toney, who also has gone by the last name of Carlson, has an arrest record in South Carolina that dates back to 2008, according to records obtained Wednesday from the State Law Enforcement Division. They included two arrests on criminal domestic violence charges.

The search for the baby, named Grace, could only go on in daylight because the current is so swift and the murky, brown water in the swamp and creek are full of reeds, trees and other vegetation, Horry County Police spokesman Lt. Raul Denis said. Searchers used special sonar equipment, along with boats, canoes and personal watercraft to look in the 6- to 8-foot depths.

Neighbours said Toney kept mostly to herself. Kayle White said she saw Toney pushing the baby around the neighbourhood in a stroller, but they never spoke.

“She’d walk up and down the street, but I’ve never seen that baby up close,” White said.


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Alberta government moves to expand sunshine list

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EDMONTON — Doctors and university professors are on the newest list of people who could find their salaries are public knowledge.

The Public Sector Compensation Transparency Act, introduced on Thursday, expands the province’s sunshine list, to require disclosure of salaries for all employees of public sector bodies, including Alberta Health Services and post-secondary institutions.



  • Alberta’s sunshine list will not include salary information of Crown prosecutors

  • Salaries of top Alberta government earners made public

Bill 5 also requires disclosure of payments to doctors and other health service providers.

Board members of the province’s agencies, board, and commissions will also see their compensation made public, no how matter how much or how little they are paid.

The information will be made public once a year, with the first disclosure scheduled to happen on or before June 30, 2016.

Justice Minister Kathleen Ganley says the government has not heard any objections so far to the expanded disclosure rules.

“Public sector workers, they don’t want their privacy unfairly invaded, but they also understand that this government has a commitment to transparency, particularly when we’re dealing with…over $125,000, so it’s, sort of, higher salary range people.”

Here’s how the new legislation affects each group:

Employees of Public Sector Bodies

Who: Everyone who works for an agency, board or commission governed by the Alberta Public Agencies Act. This includes, but is not limited to, Alberta Health Services, post-secondary institutions, the Alberta Energy Regulator, the Alberta Utilities Commission, the Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission, and Alberta Treasury Branches. Covenant Health will also be included, as well as independent offices of the Legislature, like the Ombudsman and Auditor General.

Threshold: Anyone who makes more than $125,000 per year. That includes base salary, overtime pay, and any other remuneration, with the exception of pension contributions.

What: If the threshold is met, the employee’s full compensation will be released, including pay, employer pension contributions, and any severance paid.

Board members

Who: Members of governing boards of agencies, boards and commissions, as well as board members of Alberta Health Services, Convenant Health, and post-secondary institutions.

Threshold: None. All names and compensation will be disclosed, regardless of the amount.

What: All compensation, including employer pension contributions and any severance paid.

Physicians and other health service providers

Who: Anyone who is paid by the province on a fee-for-service basis, including doctors, optometrists, and dentists.

Threshold: Undecided. If a threshold is set, it will be done as a regulation and not included in the Act itself.

What: Fee-for-service payments, and any other payments made to health service providers by the provincial government, Alberta Health Services, Covenant Health, and the Alberta Medical Association.

Government of Alberta employees

Who: All employees of the provincial government, who are currently covered by disclosure rules introduced by the previous PC government in 2013.

What’s new: Disclosure for government employees is currently required by a Treasury Board Directive. The same employees, and the same rules, will now be part of the new Public Sector Compensation Transparency Act.

Threshold: Originally introduced at $100,000 base salary or severance, the amount increases each year based on inflation. The current threshold is $104,754.

What: All compensation, including employer pension contributions and any severance paid.

The number of people affected is difficult to determine. More than 150,000 people work for government sector agencies, and the government expects several thousand of them will see their salaries disclosed. Figures obtained by the Wildrose party last December showed 9,786 employees of Alberta Health Services alone made more than $100,000 a year in 2013.

Wildrose MLA Jason Nixon says his party is still studying the bill, but he suggests all publicly-paid workers should meet the same standard.

“To us, $104,000 is already a pretty high salary, period. And I think anybody making above $100,000 in the public sector, it’s reasonable for Albertans to know where those salaries are happening.”

The Minister of Justice could also allow some exemptions. The salaries of crown prosecutors, for example, are not released because of concerns about their safety.

Under the existing rules, 3,556 provincial employees saw their pay information released last year. The full list can be found on the Alberta Government website here.


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Sask. gov’t defends carbon capture sales pitch

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REGINA – More questions are being raised about the economic case for SaskPower’s $1.5-billion carbon capture and storage (CCS) facility.

On Thursday, the Opposition NDP cited an internal SaskPower memo leaked to the party, which suggested the project would be experimental.

Dated May 24, 2012, the briefing note said offsetting environmental impacts of coal power would require “vast advancement of existing CCS technology, the economics of which are unclear.”

The CCS plant near Estevan has been criticized in recent weeks because of poor performance and statements from the Sask. Party government and SaskPower officials that led people to believe the CCS project was “exceeding expectations.”

READ MORE: Chart shows capture performance not improving

Bill Boyd, the minister responsible for SaskPower, says despite the early challenges, he expects the project to pay off through sales of carbon dioxide (CO2) and reducing CO2 emissions from the coal-fired power plant the facility is attached to.



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  • Wall defends silence on Boundary Dam shortcomings

“Do we proceed with coal, which we have some approximately 200 to 300 year supply of coal in Saskatchewan, or do we shut it down? We made the decision to go forward.”

Tougher federal standards for emissions would have forced Saskatchewan to make changes to coal power generation by 2019.

On Tuesday, University of Regina environmental economist Samuel Gamtessa told Global News it may be difficult to sell the world on the expertise being gained at Boundary Dam, because other countries and power utilities would simply “learn from our failures.”

“You wouldn’t consider this technology because it’s profitable,” he said. “The consideration is an environmental requirement.”

“If by accident or by luck, we make profit, that’s good.”

Boyd argued that more than 200 companies and organizations have come forward, expressing interest in what SaskPower has learned so far – including the flaws.

“These are experiences SaskPower has now that they didn’t have before,” he said. “That’s very valuable information and I think companies would agree.”

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Invisible wounds, revisited: Canada still falls short in treating soldiers’ psychic scars

Written by admin on 26/04/2020 Categories: 老域名出售

Walter Callaghan says it took him seven years, debilitating alcohol and painkiller addictions, and a torpedoed career to convince the military he needed serious, long-term treatment.

For two years after that, his care was covered. He got back on his feet and went back to school, where he’s in year two of a PhD program.

Then in January he got a letter.

“You have completed your rehabilitation plan,” it said.

“Your Earnings Loss Benefit under the Financial Benefits Program is no longer payable.”

Veterans Affairs was cutting him off: It had decided he no longer needed twice-weekly, even weekly, psychotherapy.

This was news to him, he said, and to his doctors.

INVISIBLE WOUNDS: Crisis in Canada’s military


Callaghan and his physicians managed to save his physiotherapy and massage therapy as long as he re-applies every few months, proving his need.

Callaghan still gets psychotherapy but he’s down to one appointment every two weeks —; not frequent enough to do the prolonged exposure therapy his doctor wanted to use to treat Callaghan’s persistent PTSD.

“That’s where you start challenging some of the memories, some of the trauma,” he said.

“It’s intentionally emotionally stressful. … You can’t do that if you’re going, ‘Well, see you in two weeks.’ It’s a recipe for disaster.”

READ MORE: Men in Canada’s army are killing themselves at 3 times the rate of other military branches

He says Veterans Affairs didn’t believe his psychiatrist when he said he needed more regular sessions.

“[They said], ‘You need more proof that you actually need it. The stuff from your doctor isn’t enough.’”

“I’m still fighting with them.”

READ MORE: Ombudsman on fixes for Canada’s veterans

Callaghan in his office at the University of Toronto.

Anna Mehler Paperny/Global News

Callaghan says he thought he was past that.

So did numerous other current and former members of Canada’s armed forces.

Past having to prove their psychic torment was real enough to warrant ongoing medical care, that despite chronic illness they could —; they needed —; to live fulfilling lives.

More than a year ago, Global News documented the struggles Canada’s soldiers and veterans go through in coming to terms with and seeking help for severe mental illness related to their work.

The award-winning series provided intimate portraits of a hidden crisis in the wake of a spate of soldier suicides.

Marcus Cirillo, 5, the son of Nathan Cirillo, accompanied by his aunt, Natasha Cirillo, holds a flag during a short pause as the body of Nathan Cirillo is escorted through the streets toward his funeral service in Hamilton, Ont., on Tuesday, October 28, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Peter Power


Last year, in the wake of Corporal Nathan Cirillo’s shooting death at Canada’s War Memorial in Ottawa, Global News revealed persistent inequities in the benefits given to reservists and their families when reservists are hurt or killed serving their country.

Fewer than 24 hours after the Global News report, the Conservative federal government promised to rectify that disparity. Six months later, it did.

Some things have gotten better: The military more readily discusses mental illness and the need for ongoing treatment. National Defence and Veterans Affairs, the bifurcated departments bookending a soldier’s career, are starting to mesh their bureaucracies to ease the transition from one to another.

Some of the people Global News profiled are healthier, more stable, happier, and say they’re getting the support they need.

Others say they are still fumbling alone in the dark.

Canada’s military still does not consistently track suicides and post-traumatic stress disorder. Years of simmering antipathy boiled over in this year’s federal election campaign, which featured an “Anyone But Conservative” movement made up of veterans who’d lost faith in the federal Conservatives.

Then-Veterans Affairs Minister Erin O’Toole dismissed the campaign as representing a fringe group of disgruntled vets backed by “union money.”

Things have improved, he said. Sick people aren’t being forced out of the military any more.

“Putting up your hand for support is not a direct exit to the door,” he told Global News.

“It bothers me when people suggest that.”

READ MORE: Ways to retrain traumatized brains


Phillip Kitchen watched a man die in his arms on a mountain in Afghanistan, the victim of friendly fire.

His convoy was caught in a fatal miscommunication with the Afghan National Army.

Outwardly, Kitchen emerged unscathed.

Friends called him “Rooster.”

Not because he was cocky. But because, like the protagonist in the eponymous Alice in Chains song, “he ain’t gonna die.”

He just became the king of close calls and night terrors.

Kitchen spent seven months outside the wire in Afghanistan. He was among the first responders after American aircraft fired on Canadian troops in September 2006, killing Pte. Anthony Graham. He’d been in Afghanistan two weeks.

“The mass casualty scene was something I’ll never get over,” he said.

“I was so unprepared for that job.”

But he excelled at it. Too much for his own good, it turned out.

When Kitchen returned to Canada in February 2007 he was “red-flagged” for a psychiatric assessment immediately, he says, and diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder shortly afterward.

Being flagged should have guaranteed him prompt, thorough treatment.

Instead, Kitchen said he found himself working harder than ever.

“There was nothing set up for me. No appointments were made. They just said, ‘Go back to work.’”

So he did, providing “all-source intelligence” to front-line forces in Afghanistan.

“I knew the information I could provide saved lives so I really got right back into high-intensity,” he said.

“I was busy with work. It was so important to me that there was really nothing else that could shake my focus.”

That is, until he began relying on pot to ease uneasy nights. And when he owned up he found himself out of a job.

He’d been named “Soldier of the Year”; “Station-person of the year”; “Service Member of the Quarter.” But now Kitchen was discharged —; “unfit for military service.”

He was less than two years shy of a decade of service. Instead, Kitchen was left with $10,000, no prospects, and an untreated illness.

Three times, Kitchen submitted grievances for his dismissal.

The third time, three years after being booted from the military, Kitchen won and got a medical release.

His PTSD, which the Canadian Forces had diagnosed in 2007, was treated for the first time. He began receiving income again.

“It’s been a journey,” he says.

But he acknowledges things are better. Kitchen is getting regular Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing therapy, designed to salve the pain of his most traumatic memories.

He loves being a stay-at-home dad to Logan, Dillan and Emily. “It’s a full day’s work,” he laughs.

“The kids are a big source of happiness.”

Six months ago he got a service dog, a black labrador retriever named Canty.

But he’ll probably never have a paid job.

“My symptoms, sometimes, are not work-friendly.”

Canty helps.

“She vets everyone,” he said.

And his treatment by the organization to which he devoted his life still rankles.

“It’s been a really hard pill for me to swallow,” he said.

“You give your life to serve and you expect, you know, a little bit of cushion for the fall.”

The experience has been made more bitter by Kitchen’s inclusion in a National Defence recruitment video he says is still in use.

“I’m still recruiting for the Department of National Defence,” he said.

“They tell me I’m not fit to serve, yet they can have me on their website for the last 11 years.”


Nov 3, 2009 – Capt Wayne Johnston attends the repatriation ceremony of Sapper Steven Marshall in Trenton.

Charla Jones/Globe and Mail via CP Images

Wayne Johnston knows he’s lucky.

He’s been retired more than a year. He’s doing all right financially, and he says his treatment is keeping his PTSD under control.

But what riles him is that many others are in a far worse position.

“If you do not have a degree of financial security —; by that I mean, ‘I can feed the kids, I can pay the mortgage, I can make the car payments’ —; if you don’t have that, you can never, ever, ever work on your mental health.

“And I say that from experience.”

The predominance of lump-sum payments to people leaving the military, instead of monthly payments, leaves vulnerable sick people without long-term stability, he said.

“I try and put myself in the mind of a 25-year-old. … You give him a lump sum of $90,000 and you expect him to work on his mental health as he’s released from the forces.”

Johnston calls the rancorous election campaign —; and the months preceding it —; “blue on blue.”

“This election has caused veterans to really fight with each other,” he said.

But he’s optimistic things will get better, although he knows the government will need to work some actuarial wizardry to reconcile monthly payments to people who’ve already been released with a lump sum.

“I think there’s a great deal of hope with the Liberal platform.”


Stephan Moreau gets all the help he needs because he knows now he has to ask for it.

“At a personal level, I’ve been pretty fortunate,” he said.

Sports have worked wonders: Since his medical discharge following a PTSD diagnosis, Moreau has started studying mechanical engineering. He’s competed in multiple triathlons and in last year’s inaugural Invictus Games. The games, held in London, are meant to “support rehabilitation and generate a wider understanding and respect for wounded, injured and sick Servicemen and women,” according to the website.

There, Moreau got to meet royalty in the forms of princes William and Harry, above. But he also got to feel strong and proud —; valuable emotions that can be tough to come by if you’ve got a chronic illness.

“Stuff like this really gets me going,” he said.

Support is out there, Moreau said.

But “you still have to reach out, you know?”

If you aren’t persistent, the help isn’t there.

“Veterans Affairs is pretty short-staffed,” he said.

“My case manager, she’s awesome. … She’ll call me once in a while, but unfortunately their workload has probably doubled.”

And it’s toughest to be your own advocate when you’re sick.

“Reaching out is not always easy when you suffer from PTSD,” Moreau said.

“If you walk around with a broken leg, somebody will say, ‘Hey, listen man, let’s call an ambulance.’ They’re not going to let you just sit on the sidewalk with a broken leg.”

Moreau’s own stubbornness has helped him cope, he says.

“I want to adjust and live my life and I want to accomplish stuff.”

Last week he started neurofeedback therapy for his PTSD. Veterans Affairs is covering it. But he had to ask first.

“It’s something I had to reach out for. They didn’t call me and say, ‘Do you want to try neurofeedback?’”

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6 white rhinos arrive in San Diego to be surrogate mothers

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SAN DIEGO – The San Diego Zoo has welcomed six white rhinos from South Africa.

The six female southern white rhinos are part of the zoo’s efforts to save the critically endangered northern white rhino. There are just four northern white rhinos left in the world.

The zoo said Friday that the six southern white rhinos will act as surrogate mothers. They’ll be implanted with northern white rhino embryos in hopes of saving the subspecies, which has been decimated by poachers.

Researchers are hoping a northern white rhino calf could be born from a surrogate within 10 to 15 years.

The six southern white rhinos arrived to the zoo Thursday after a 22-hour flight from Johannesburg. They were transported in individual crates and unloaded into fenced yards for a 30-day quarantine.



  • US-born endangered Sumatran rhino arrives in Indonesia on mission to mate

  • Rare northern white rhino dies in Africa as population dwindles

  • North meets South: Rare white rhino – Europe’s last – eyeing possible subspecies partner

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Alberta military veteran moves back into newly-accessible home

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EDMONTON – It’s been seven years since Sgt. Kevin Nanson was injured by an improvised explosive device in Afghanistan. As of Friday, he has a place he can truly call his own.

Nanson and his family are moving back into their home after more than two years of construction, complications, and bureaucratic red tape.

“The other day when they finally took all the boxes away, that’s when it really hit me: It’s happening. We’re finally moving home,” said Nanson at his home in Gibbons, Alta.



  • Wounded Edmonton soldier battling bureaucracy fears he’ll be homeless

“I can’t even describe how long of a torturous couple of years it’s been. But it’s done and it’s happening. I’m over the moon. I can’t put it into words. It’s incredible.”

In 2008, Nanson was in a truck that was hit by an IED. In the attack, Nanson suffered a traumatic brain injury, multiple skull fractures, and his back was broken in three places. Since the explosion, Nanson has been wheelchair bound, and has had several reconstructive surgeries.

“It’s been a long road,” said Nanson. “A very, very long road.”

After coming home, Nanson qualified for the government’s Home Modifications Benefit. The benefit states that an Armed Forces member is entitled to receive funds for home renovations if “the member sustains a permanent catastrophic impairment.”

The home renovations began in early 2013. Nanson, his wife, and his two youngest daughters moved away to an on-base home at CFB Edmonton while the renovations took place. However, work on the house took much longer than expected.

Issues came up with the first contractor hired by the government to do the work.

“They essentially destroyed my house,” said Nanson. “It was worth nothing.”

READ MORE: Wounded Edmonton soldier battling bureaucracy fears hell be homeless

More than $200,000 was paid out to the original contractor, while the home’s move-in date was pushed further and further back.

Nanson asked for a new contractor, but was denied.

To make matters worse, Nanson was originally scheduled to be released from the military on June 30, which would have eliminated his government funding.

In an effort to help out the renovation, local companies and members of the community came out to volunteer time and money for the work.

“We had people offering time, offering services. People offered us what they could,” said Nanson.

“All the way up from major companies offering cement to people in the community saying, ‘I don’t have any skills, but I can swing a hammer.’”

A local contractor even offered to help with some of the renovations.

During construction, Nanson and his family lived in on-base housing at CFB Edmonton, in a home built for disabled veterans. Recently, the Nansons have been staying in hotels, waiting to move back into their home.

Nanson had seen photos of his new home online, but had only been able to visit the finished home recently.

“To come in and see it for yourself, the pictures don’t do it any justice,” he said.

“My little girls have rooms now, and they’re gonna be able to live in a safe environment, and we’re gonna be able to have a house again.”

After getting an extension, Nanson will now officially leave the military on Nov. 27.

Now that work on the house is finished, he and his family will finally have a place to come home to.

“It’s been such a long battle and to know that it’s coming to an end and that we’re going to have a house we can live in… it’s wonderful.”


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University returning $1M donation from Coke for obesity research centre

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NEW YORK – The University of Colorado School of Medicine is returning a $1 million contribution from Coca-Cola to start a group that says it’s dedicated to ending obesity.



  • Coca-Cola is changing Canadian recipe to save calories

  • Coca-Cola multi-language ad sparks online fury, skeptism

    Coca-Cola defending use of artificial sweeteners in new ad

The money was provided to establish the Global Energy Balance Network, which says it is working on an “evidence-based approach to ending obesity.” Since a New York Times story noted its funding from Coke in August, the group has been criticized for trying to play down the role sugary drinks play in fueling weight gain and instead playing up the importance for physical activity.

The group’s president, James Hill, is a professor at the university.

“While the network continues to advocate for good health through a balance of healthy eating habits and exercise, the funding source has distracted attention from its worthwhile goal,” the university said Friday in a statement.

A representative for the university was not able to provide further details.

READ MORE: Health blog recommending sugary soda? Beware of sneaky marketing

In a statement, Coca-Cola said it agreed with the university that the money will instead be given to the Boys & Girls Clubs of America.

“While the network continues to support a vigorous scientific discussion of the contributions of dietary and physical activity behaviours to the obesity epidemic, it has become evident that the original vision for GEBN has not been realized,” Coca-Cola said in a statement.

In a video announcing the Global Energy Balance Network, one of the group’s leaders had said the media focuses on “eating too much, eating too much, eating too much – blaming fast food, blaming sugary drinks, and so on.” That video has since been taken down.

The network has said that the suggestion that its work promotes “the idea that exercise is more important than diet in addressing obesity vastly oversimplifies this complex issue.”

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Concerns raised over “disappointing” sockeye salmon returns

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NEAR CHASE – The natural phenomenon that is the Adams River sockeye salmon run attracts considerable attention, particularly in years when the number of salmon is at its peak. Even in down years like this one, many still flock to see the spectacle.

However, this year the number of sockeye returning to the Adams River is down sharply from the number originally expected. Now a local environmental group is raising concerns the return may be a sign of even bigger problems.


“It was pathetic,” says Jim Cooperman, president of the Shuswap Environmental Action Society.

“That tells me that there is something majorly wrong happening in our oceans [and] in our rivers. We don’t have exact reasons for it but you have to think [of] as salmon as the canary in the coal mine. If we are seeing the salmon numbers plummet as we have seen this year…we have some major concerns and it is not just the salmon.”

READ MORE: Cooling rivers take heat off returning salmon

Fisheries and Oceans Canada says it is too early to confirm exact numbers but says the Adams River sockeye return is disappointing.

“At this point in time we can’t give a definitive number but we can say the returns are significantly below what we had preseason forecast,” says Stu Cartwright, Fisheries and Oceans Canada’s acting area director for the B.C. Interior.

Cartwright says federal authorities don’t know why fewer sockeye returned this year than originally expected.

“It is evident that the numbers just haven’t materialized and at this point in time we don’t understand [why],” he says. “Of course over time, effort will be put into trying to understand what environmental conditions and other impacts may have affected the returns.”

However, Cooperman is willing to speculate on what might be behind the low numbers.

“The major concern of course is climate change,” says Cooperman. “If we look at what the potential cause is for this crash, we can look at the warming ocean. There is a warm blob off the coast and that is affecting sea life and it could be one of the main reasons why we are seeing so few salmon this year.”

Meanwhile, Fisheries and Oceans Canada is still working on final sockeye return numbers, which aren’t expected to be released till 2016.

It’s not all doom and gloom for salmon returns though. Fisheries and Oceans Canada says the return of Chinook salmon appears to be on track in the South Thompson.

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2 Louisiana police officers arrested, accused in autistic boy’s shooting death

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NEW ORLEANS – Three days after a 6-year-old autistic boy was killed and his father wounded when marshals opened fire on their vehicle in a Louisiana town, authorities have arrested two of the four officers involved in the shooting, the head of the state police announced Friday.

Col. Mike Edmonson, in a late-night press conference, gave few details of what exactly unfolded Tuesday night that led authorities to arrest the officers. But he made his disgust clear.


Speaking of the body camera footage that was recovered from the officers, he said: “It is the most disturbing thing I’ve seen, and I will leave it at that.”

Six-year-old Jeremy Mardis was shot and killed and his father, Chris Few, was wounded when officers opened fire on their vehicle on Tuesday night in the central Louisiana town of Marksville.

READ MORE: Autistic boy, 6, gunned down when officers tried to apprehend his father

Edmonson said Friday that the two officers are being booked on charges of second-degree murder and attempted second-degree murder in the shooting. Edmonson identified the two officers as Norris Greenhouse Jr. and Derrick Stafford. Both were working secondary jobs in Marksville as marshals when the shooting happened, Edmonson said.

State police have been investigating the Tuesday night shooting that raised questions almost from the start. Edmonson said earlier that no weapon was found in the vehicle.

State police are combing through forensics evidence, 911 calls, conducting interviews and reviewing the body camera footage, Edmonson said, as the investigation continues.

Two other officers were involved in the incident. When Edmonson was asked whether he anticipated any more arrests, he said: “We’ll see where it takes us.”

WATCH: A six-year-old boy with autism is dead after getting caught in the line of fire

It’s still unclear what led police to pursue Few and what triggered the shooting. The parish coroner said earlier this week that the officers were serving a warrant on Few when he fled, but Edmonson later said he had no information about a warrant.

Few’s 57-year-old stepfather, Morris German, has accused the marshals of indiscriminately opening fire on the vehicle. German said Few was heavily sedated, unable to talk and has bullet fragments lodged in his brain and lung. He described Few as a loving father and added the man’s son “was his whole life.”

German added that the 6-year-old had been diagnosed with autism, describing him as a delightful child who “loved everything, everybody.” German said the boy had no siblings and the family had recently moved to Marksville from Hattiesburg, Mississippi.

“I know a 6-year-old should not have been shot,” German said.

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Leaders of China and Taiwan hold historic first meeting in 66 years

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SINGAPORE – The leaders of China and Taiwan met Saturday for the first time since the formerly bitter Cold War foes split amid civil war 66 years ago, and though no concrete agreement resulted, both hailed the meeting as a sign of a new stability in relations.

Chinese President Xi Jinping and Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou came together on neutral ground in the Southeast Asian city-state of Singapore, walking toward each other in a hotel ballroom in front of a backdrop of yellow – a traditional colour of Chinese emperors.



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The two men smiled broadly as they shook hands for more than one minute, turning slightly to the side to accommodate a host of photojournalists in the ballroom. No national flags were present – a necessary work-around to overcome China’s refusal to recognize Taiwan’s sovereignty or its government’s formal legitimacy – and the two men were referred to merely as “Mr. Xi” and “Mr. Ma” to further reduce the chances of bruised sensitivities.

In brief opening remarks in front of reporters before going into a closed-door meeting, Xi said, “History will record this day.” He alluded to China’s long-cherished goals of unification with Taiwan, saying, “We are one family,” and “No force can pull us apart.”

“Both sides should respect each other’s values and way of life,” Ma said, while adding that relations between the sides were “the most peaceful and stable they have ever been.”

When they split in 1949, both sides aspired to absorb the other, with each claiming the mantle of the only legitimate government of all of China, Taiwan included. Communist Party-ruled China still demands that Taiwan eventually be unified with the mainland, by force if necessary, while many citizens of democratic Taiwan increasingly prefer to simply maintain the separate status the island has carved out over more than six decades.

WATCH ABOVE: About 35 people gathered in front of the parliament building in the Taiwanese capital Taipei on Saturday to protest the meeting between the presidents of Taiwan and China because they believe it to be a precursor to Taiwan becoming part of China.

Critics of Ma in Taiwan are wary that his meeting with Xi and similar contacts will pave the way for Beijing to assert greater control over the island, further deepening its international isolation.

However, Ma said at a post-meeting news conference that he discussed with Xi the Taiwanese people’s desire for greater participation in global society, particularly for nongovernmental organizations. China refuses to acknowledge the island as anything other than a breakaway province, and pressure from Beijing keeps Taiwan out of the United Nations and other major multinational organizations.

Ma said Xi told him that China would “appropriately handle” Taiwanese moves toward greater participation on a case-by-case basis.

Each leader hopes to seal his legacy as one who helped bring decades of division and mistrust to a mutually acceptable end. But the meeting was more about the symbolism of coming together than about substance. Both sides had said no agreements would be signed or joint statements issued.

In all, the two men met for an hour. Afterward, the two sides held separate news conferences, handled for the Chinese side by spokesman Zhang Zhijun of the Taiwan Affairs Office and for the Taiwanese side by Ma himself.

“We are here today so that the tragedies in our history cannot be replayed,” Zhang quoted Xi as saying at the meeting.

Zhang said that China understands Taiwan’s desire for greater international space, but that Beijing cannot agree to moves that would “split the country,” reflecting its insistence that only it can represent the Chinese nation.

Ma also said they discussed upgrading a hotline between their Cabinet-level agencies responsible for contacts between the sides and agreed to study the issue of establishing representative offices on each other’s soil, a long-shot proposal that has languished for years.

He said he also told Xi about fears in Taiwan that China might make good on its military threats, as seen in the scores of missiles based directly opposite the island and recent Chinese war games that appeared to simulate an attack on Taiwan’s presidential office.

Ma said Xi told him that China’s defence was “comprehensive” and not directed at any parties in particular.

Following his news conference, Ma joined Xi at a banquet at the upscale Shangri-La Hotel, where the meeting was held.

Three decades of hostilities followed the 1949 split, occasionally bursting into warfare in the Taiwan Strait – including over the once heavily militarized Matsu and Kinmen island group – making dialogue all but impossible. Tensions eased after China shifted to endorsing the option of “peaceful unification” alongside military threats in 1979, although it wasn’t until 1993 that representatives of the two governments met in Singapore to establish the groundwork for future talks.

While subsequent talks achieved little, they began bearing fruit after Ma’s election in 2008, resulting in 23 agreements on trade and technical matters. Although that has failed to produce Beijing’s desired progress on political matters, Saturday’s meeting was seen as moving the relationship into a new stage.

“It is because of what has been accumulated over the past seven years that the two sides of the strait can take this historic step today,” Xi said.

In China, where nationalism runs high, many have cheered the meeting as a further step in what they consider an inevitable trend toward unification.

Beijing salesman Huang Xiaojie said the compromise required to arrange the meeting boded well for cross-Strait relations. “At an official level, it will definitely accelerate Taiwan’s return,” he said.

Many in Taiwan are wary of such a result, and several hundred protesters gathered at the Economic Affairs Ministry in Taipei, waving banners warning that Ma was aiming “to sell out Taiwan.”

However, others see Xi’s willingness to meet with the top Taiwanese leader on foreign soil as a nod of respect toward the island’s government – even if the meeting’s negotiated protocol demanded that the two leaders refer to each other with the title “Mr.” rather than “President.”

“If the two sides meet each other, only then will they understand more and gradually become more familiar with each other,” said 50-year-old Taipei resident Peter Sun.

Ma is required to step down after two terms next year, with elections in January to choose his successor. He has denied that the meeting with Xi was aimed at affecting the polls, and the event’s effect on voter sentiment remains to be seen.

Zhang, the Chinese official, said China had no interest in meddling in Taiwan’s election, but was concerned only that cross-Strait relations continue to develop “in a correct manner.”

Associated Press news assistant Liu Zheng in Beijing and writer Ralph Jennings in Taipei, Taiwan, contributed to this report.

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Canadians held ‘hostage’ in Cuban hotel room after damage to room

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TORONTO —; Two Canadian tourists say they were virtually held hostage in their Cayo Coco, Cuba hotel room because their credit cards couldn’t be accessed to pay $400 in room damages.

“I could not sleep at night knowing any other tourist would go through this,” said Katharine Foran, 26, of Vancouver, who just returned to Canada.

Foran and her partner, Adam Babuik, 30, also of Vancouver, say they ran into trouble before checkout at the Hotel Playa Coco.


Admitting they damaged a wall and broke a light bulb inside their room, they were ordered to pay the hotel for damages. They say they agreed.

Foran says the hotel couldn’t process payment using their credit card; not because of insufficient funds, but because of the card issuer.

“Because we were a part of a credit union in Vancouver, they didn’t accept that in Cuba,” said Foran, who told Global News the couple’s other card, a TD debit Visa, couldn’t be processed either.

“This is not fair: You can’t hold someone hostage in a room for a broken wall, a broken lamp.”

The couple say they were prohibited from making phone calls or contacting the Canadian Embassy in Cuba or to get legal assistance.

“I was floored,” said Foran.

When family members in Vancouver couldn’t reach the couple in Cuba, one filed a missing person’s report with Vancouver police, which confirmed information was circulated to agencies including the RCMP and the Canadian Border Services Agency.

Incredibly, the couple’s release may have been ordered by Cuba’s highest political official.

At one point while in detention, they say a police officer took a phone call from someone who made loud demands.

“The police told us the president said to let us go,” said Foran.

“We asked afterward and they said it was (Raul) Castro,” president of the Council of State of Cuba, she said.

Soon after, they were escorted to the airport, put on a Sunwing aircraft and flown back to Toronto, without paying any of the charges demanded.

Initially, the couple said Air Canada wanted to charge additional fees for their return to Vancouver. However, after a request by Global News, Foran and Babuik were allowed to fly home to Vancouver at no extra cost.

Canada’s Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development and Cuba’s tourist office in Toronto did not return phone calls about the couple’s allegations.

The couple say they were made to feel like criminals.

“It was not a debt for a damaged wall and a lamp; it was like we had killed someone in Cuba and we were going to go to jail for it,” said Foran.


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113,000 passengers affected by Lufthansa cabin crew strike

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FRANKFURT, Germany — A union representing striking Lufthansa flight attendants rejected the latest offer from the company Monday as the two sides prepared for more cancellations at the airline’s German hubs.

Union head Nicoley Baublies said the latest offer was only a “minimal” improvement.



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Lufthansa said it offered improvements including increasing a one-time signing bonus to 3,000 euros ($3,300) from 2,000 euros previously. The company also proposed a summit meeting between union leaders and top management — including CEO Carsten Spohr — to resolve remaining issues on the condition that labor representatives immediately end the strike.

Baublies said union officials would meet Spohr at any time, but “without preconditions.

The company called the stoppage by the UFO flight attendants union “irresponsible.”

The strike action, launched Friday, is set to last all week, with shifting targets. On Monday, about 113,000 passengers on 929 flights were affected at the Frankfurt, Munich and Duesseldorf airports.

Canceled flights appear on a board at the airport in Frankfurt, Germany, Friday, Nov. 6, 2015.

The union wants to secure transition payments for its 19,000 members if they retire early as part of its contract dispute with Lufthansa, which is trying to cut costs.

For Tuesday, UFO said, only long-haul international flights will be affected at Lufthansa’s Munich and Frankfurt hubs, the dpa news agency reported. At Duesseldorf, all flights, long-distance and shorter ones within Germany and Europe, however, will be struck.

The travel disruptions highlight the pressure Europe’s flagship carriers are under as they struggle to compete with Gulf airlines on long-haul flights between Europe and Asia and with budget brands on regional routes.

UFO called on all members to walk out Monday from 4.30 a.m. to 11 p.m. (0330 GMT to 2200 GMT) in Frankfurt and Duesseldorf and until midnight (2300 GMT) in Munich. Lufthansa said 929 flight segments were cancelled, out of 3,000 planned connections.

Lufthansa | WanderBat

The union wants to secure transition payments for its 19,000 members if they retire early as part of its contract dispute with Lufthansa, which is trying to cut costs. The strikes don’t affect Lufthansa subsidiaries such as Eurowings, Germanwings, Swiss and Austrian Airlines.

Lufthansa, which has also had more than a dozen pilot strikes over the past 18 months, is trying to hold down costs as it competes against low-cost airlines such as Ryanair on European routes. On its lucrative long-haul business, Lufthansa faces pressure from airlines in the Persian Gulf region such as Emirates, Ethihad Airways, and Qatar Airways. Lufthansa says that the Gulf carriers receive unfair backing from their governments.

The German airline is not alone. Air France-KLM has also been looking to trim costs and seen labor unrest in which union activists stormed a meeting and ripped the shirts off two managers.

Helped by lower fuel prices, Lufthansa’s net profit jumped to 794 million euros in the third quarter, from 561 million in the same quarter a year ago, an increase of 42 percent. That has helped sharpen the labor relations climate as worker representatives say the airline has the money. The airline cautions that it can’t count on temporary factors such as the oil price and must continue to press for competitive cost structures.

©2015The Associated Press

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Angry Kelowna transit driver kicks mom and crying child off bus

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KELOWNA, B.C. – B.C. Transit is investigating after a woman and her toddler child were kicked off a bus Wednesday night in downtown Kelowna.

Jessica van Gemert says the driver was upset because her tired and grumpy two-year-old daughter was crying.

“He just stopped the bus and got off his seat and I couldn’t really hear what he said before that but he just told me to get off,” says van Gemert. “I just couldn’t believe it happened.”


“I didn’t really want to argue with him. It was already embarrassing enough that my kid is kind of having a tantrum and then to be kicked off the bus was just really embarrassing.”

Bus passenger Mundia Ingram says she and other riders were outraged with the driver’s actions.

“Especially because it was dark, it was late and it was cold,” says Ingram. “It was actually windy and she has this baby that’s already crying and that’s just not a good situation.”

B.C. Transit says at least two other complaints were filed about the incident.

“We are investigating what actually occurred and making sure we get to the bottom of it,” says spokesperson Mike Russell. “What she described is very inappropriate and shouldn’t be happening.”

This past summer, Global Okanagan News brought similar complaints to B.C. Transit from other mothers with young children about bus driver behaviour in Kelowna.

“We are definitely hearing feedback from the community in terms of service provision, certainly from a large group of mothers out there, who are feeling that the service is not up to par. So it’s certainly something we are looking at,” says Russell.

Van Gemert phoned her mother-in-law to get a ride home to West Kelowna.

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