Sierra Leone declared free of Ebola, as Guinea struggles

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FREETOWN, Sierra Leone – Cheers and dancing in the streets erupted Saturday as Sierra Leone marked the end of the Ebola outbreak within its borders, although neighbouring Guinea still struggles to stamp out the deadly virus that has killed more than 11,000 mostly in West Africa.


Nearly 4,000 people have died in Sierra Leone of Ebola since the outbreak began in late 2013. The World Health Organization said 42 days have passed since the country’s last confirmed Ebola patient was discharged on Sept. 25 after two consecutive negative test results.

READ MORE: First full week without any new Ebola cases since March 2014: WHO

Hundreds of people celebrated in the streets of the capital, Freetown, when Anders Nordstrom, Sierra Leone representative for the World Health Organization, declared the end of the Ebola outbreak.

“WHO commends the government and people of Sierra Leone for the significant achievement of ending this Ebola outbreak,” he said.

A country must go 42 days — equal to two 21-day incubation periods — without an Ebola case in order for WHO to declare it free of Ebola transmission. It’s a benchmark that neighbouring Liberia reached in May only to then experience a brief reappearance of cases before it was declared Ebola-free again in September.

Sierra Leone now enters a 90-day intensive surveillance period.

READ MORE: Johnson & Johnson starts Ebola vaccine trial in Sierra Leone

“We have prevailed over an evil virus. We persevered and we have overcome. We must not let down our guard,” said Sierra Leone President Ernest Bai Koroma.

Dead bodies will continue to be swabbed and safe burials will continue for all suspicious cases, he said, adding that they will retain adequate laboratory capacity for tests. He said he is asking parliament to lift a state of emergency.

READ MORE: Scottish nurse in critical condition after rare case of Ebola relapse

Juliet Spencer, a 31-year-old Ebola survivor, acknowledged the news with a heavy heart. She contracted the disease while taking care of her husband who died in December.

“I feel good today that I have survived to see this day, witnessing this ceremony,” she said. “My only regret is that I do not have a good health to carry on my business. I am unable to walk, I have joint pains and ear and eye problems.” She said she wants more help from the government so she can return to work.

Sheikh Fomba Swarray, chief Imam at the Madingo Central Mosque in Freetown, said he was cautiously optimistic.

“As long as a similar declaration has not been made in Guinea, I will always feel we are being hunted by the Ebola disease,” he said. “The threat from Guinea is the saddest part of this ceremony.”

Guinea, where the epidemic began, now remains the only country struggling to rid itself of the disease. WHO has recorded seven new cases in neighbouring Guinea in the past 21 days.

Fode Tass Sylla, spokesman for Guinea’s Ebola task force, said Guineans have abandoned preventative measures in the past three months.

READ MORE: 10 critical mistakes in last year’s Ebola outbreak

“They shake hands, they don’t wash their hands. And in some cases people have deserted sanitary health services to see traditional healers,” he said. A woman left Conakry for Forecariah to see a traditional healer in September, infecting others, Sylla said. She and the healer died, and Sylla said six cases now remain there.

An awareness campaign will resume and villages where the virus persists must be isolated, he said.

“Ebola loves disorder, unsanitary conditions and indiscipline. In Guinea, these three factors are dominant in our everyday behaviour. That’s why Ebola has a bright future here,” said 44-year-old health worker Mamady Kouroumah.

WHO, which will maintain staff in Sierra Leone, has been criticized for its response to the outbreak, as weak leadership, shoddy supplies and infighting worsened the battle against the disease.


Associated Press writer Boubacar Diallo in Conakry, Guinea contributed to this report.

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Zetterberg scores 300th career goal as Wings beat Leafs

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TORONTO – Henrik Zetterberg got his 300th NHL goal in unconventional fashion, hitting the milestone on an important night.

After fellow Swede and former Detroit Red Wings captain Nicklas Lidstrom dropped the puck for a ceremonial faceoff as part of the Hockey Hall of Fame’s induction weekend, Zetterberg became just the fifth player in franchise history to put up 300 goals and 500 assists.

Zetterberg joined Gordie Howe, Alex Delvecchio, Steve Yzerman and Sergei Fedorov in that exclusive Red Wings club.


“When you retire looking back you might think, ‘Yeah it means a lot,”‘ Zetterberg said. “Obviously it’s fun to reach these numbers.”

“I couldn’t have done it without the players that’s been surrounding me for all these years. Without them I would not be close.”

Fedorov was at Air Canada Centre Friday night along with Lidstrom and the rest of the Hall of Fame’s class of 2015 to see Zetterberg score as the Red Wings beat the Toronto Maple Leafs 2-1 in overtime.

Jakub Kindl scored the OT winner, but Zetterberg’s goal will be shown on blooper reels for a while.

From just inside the blue line, Zetterberg flicked an innocent shot toward the goal late in the first period. The puck went off goaltender James Reimer’s right pad and trickled into the net.

“I think I will remember this one,” Zetterberg said with a smile. “I just tried to get it on net there. To be honest I don’t really know it went in.”

Zetterberg barely celebrated the goal, which could go down as one of the flukiest of his 13-season career.

The 35-year-old said after the morning skate that he really wanted to hit No. 300 in the Hall of Fame game with so much of the focus on the Red Wings’ recent past.

“We’ve marked this day on the calendar for a while and (were) looking forward to this game. Having Nick and Sergei here and being a little bit a part of their weekend, it’s special.”

In addition to winning the Stanley Cup with Lidstrom in 2008, he and Zetterberg won a gold medal with Sweden at the 2006 Olympics. That connection still means a lot to Zetterberg.

“When I came over (to North America in 2002), Nick was a huge help for me,” he said. “It was just Nick and (Tomas) Holmstrom was the Swedes on the team. … Obviously he’s a big part of my career and a big part of what kind of person I am.

Even though his team lost a tough game, Leafs coach Mike Babcock could appreciate a big night for Zetterberg, his former captain in Detroit.

“He’s a great human being, he’s a great, great pro, knows how to play, is strong on the puck, makes his teammates better,” Babcock said. “He’s just a guy you want to be around. He’s been a real good captain there ever since Nick left. He likes hockey. You couldn’t ask more from a captain.”


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Argentina says fugitive drug boss ‘El Chapo’ could be in the country

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BUENOS AIRES, Argentina – Argentina’s top security official says the government is acting on a tip that fugitive Mexican drug boss Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman could be in the South American nation.

Security Minister Sergio Berni says authorities “received information that ‘El Chapo’ tried to cross the Chilean-Argentine border.”



  • New audio reveals hammering sounds before El Chapo’s escape from Mexican prison

  • 4 more officials, 2 in Mexican intelligence, held in ‘El Chapo’ escape

  • Tour of El Chapo’s tunnel shows audacity of drug lord’s escape

READ MORE: Mexico AG announces 6 arrests in drug lord Joaquin ‘El Chapo’ Guzman’s prison break

Berni said Friday that extra federal agents were being sent to the border while the information was being analyzed. He did not elaborate on the source or nature of the tip.

Nor did he specify where along the long border, which includes the Andes mountain range and large swaths of thick Patagonian forest, other than to say it was in the “southern” part of the country.

Guzman is head of Mexico’s Sinaloa cartel. He has twice escaped maximum-security prisons, most recently in July.

©2015The Associated Press

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Remembrance Day: Afghan war through the eyes of vets in ‘War Story’

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The daily dispatches of casualties have ceased. So too have the ramp ceremonies to honour the Canadians who died in combat.

Now, four years after the Canadian battle group withdrew its last troops from Kandahar HISTORY is looking at the war through a different lens.


“It’s really no longer journalism,” says War Story: Afghanistan director Barry Stevens. “It’s just beginning to be history. Journalists write the first draft of history and we write the second.”

The six-part series investigates the origins of the war. It begins with the 9-11 terrorist attacks before embarking on a linear journey through Canada’s involvement in the war, from Canada’s first troops on the ground to hunt al Qaeda in 2002 to its long-term mission policing the province of Kandahar.

READ MORE: ‘Portraits of Honour’ artist works tirelessly to pay tribute to Canada’s fallen

It was there that the Canadian military changed “from being the nice guys with blue helmets”, as Stevens says, to an army on a combat mission.

“The Taliban really thought the Canadians were a little soft,” says Stevens. “‘The Americans have gone to Iraq. We can take them on and take back Kandahar.’ They failed. The Canadians did stop them.”

But it came at a price: 158 would lose their lives and over 2,000 wounded — including Paul Franklin who lost both his legs in the car bomb attack that killed diplomat Glyn Berry.

It was January 15, 2006, and Franklin was driving Berry back to the base. What happened next is a blur. His co-driver called, “car right.” Franklin swerved just enough, but the Mercedes G-wagon corkscrewed in the air. Berry was dead, Franklin’s legs had been blown off.

At the hospital, he had tourniquets put on his legs while doctors worked on other soldiers.

“I’ve got to make it to the next minute,” he remembers. “As a medic I have to slow my breathing because if I pass out the blood vessels will relax and I’ll bleed out.”

He then did what came naturally — he started telling jokes.

“I was just saying there’s no way I’m to run again. Climbings out of the question. I was just laughing it up.”

Today, Franklin does speaking engagements about his experiences. Despite his injuries he maintains Afghanistan was a “moral war” and that the true mission was to protect the women and children and help rebuild a country torn apart by the Taliban.

His helmet and tourniquets from the day he lost his legs now rest in the Canadian War Museum.

“Was the sacrifice worth it?” he asks. “That’s the question. And it’s a difficult one to answer. I lost my wife, we separated. My son is great, he’s doing awesome. It broke the marriage as well as the legs.”

READ MORE: Remembrance Day reflections from Global News staff

The documentary also details operation Medusa, the largest military operation Canada had undertaken since the Korean war. It would be described as a victory for the Canadian forces.

But on Sept. 4, 2006, an American piloting an A-10 warthog opened up on the Canadians, wounding 38 and killing one. Moncur oddly enough remembers being happy that morning he grabbed beans and wieners for breakfast.

“I’d had the unfortunate luck of getting ham steak and mustard sauce three days in a row, so I made sure I was one of the first to get in line.”

And then, like Franklin, it all happened in a blur. He thought it was fireworks at first or that someone had thrown live ammunition in a fire. He got knocked down and came to with his arm flailing around as he says “like a fish.”

He would have 5 per cent of his brain removed.

“After the surgery I lost the ability to read, write, walk and my talking was slurred,” he says. “So, I eventually came back and did extensive occupational therapy.”

But once back home in Windsor, Ont. he says he fell between the cracks. He was given a lump sum payment on his pension of $22,000 which he says wasn’t enough “to pay for my groceries.”

In 2010, he was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder and finally began to get the treatment he needed. He went back to school but struggled with his short term memory.

“I liken it to this,” he says, “Climbing a mountain isn’t a problem for me but reading a book about climbing a book is a problem for me.”

He eventually went to work for NDP MP Joe Comartin to fight for veteran’s rights.

HISTORY is owned by Shaw Communications Inc., parent company of Global News.

Follow @MDroletGlobalTV


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Boy with autism braves haircut thanks to barber’s unique technique

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Jamie Lewis and Denine Davies’ son Mason was diagnosed with autism a few months ago, and the couple had struggled to find a barber who could help Mason feel comfortable during a haircut. Because of the sensory overload people with Autism Spectrum Disorder can experience, haircuts are often difficult and even painful.


The family was recommended James Williams’ barber shop ‘Jim the Trim’ in Briton Ferry, Wales. The family built up a relationship with the barber with trips to the shop over a three month period because Mason, like others with autism, have a difficult time adjusting to change. Then, during one visit Mason finally received his long awaited haircut —; while he lay playing on the floor.

READ MORE: Autism Society of B.C. says Sesame Street’s character with autism is exciting news

“I know how difficult it can be and my main concern was making sure Mason was happy and not upset,” James Williams told Britain’s Daily Mail.

“So when I saw he was comfortable on the floor, I thought nothing of getting down on my belly and having a go.”

Mason had been lying on the floor playing with his mother’s phone and Williams jumped at the opportunity; he joined the four-year-old on the floor to give the boy his first haircut in two years.

A Facebook post including pics of the trim has since gone viral, having been shared thousands of times across social media. On the post Williams said he went to give Mason their usual high-five that they do at the end of their visits, but the boy wasn’t having it.

“The finishing touch I asked for a high 5 he gave me a hug instead that’s true #barberlove.”


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Catch Hardy Cup Semi Final on Global

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EDMONTON — It will be a historic weekend in Canadian university football as the Hardy Cup Playoffs will be broadcast live on Global TV. For the first time, Global will carry a Hardy Cup Semi Final followed by next week’s Hardy Cup Final. It’s an opportunity to showcase university football on a large scale.



  • Calgary Dinos set for Hardy Cup semi-final

  • Calgary Dinos still No. 1 as final push to Hardy Cup begins

“Canada is home to outstanding university level sports and we’re proud to showcase that nationally through our broadcast of this season’s Hardy Cup playoffs on Global,” said Phil Piazza, vice president of Global TV’s Marketing & Content Acquisitions, .

Saturday’s semi final will see the defending Hardy Cup Champion (8) Manitoba Bisons visit the (6) UBC Thunderbirds.

On paper, UBC is the favourite coming into contest riding a four-game win streak and having swept both games against Manitoba this season, outscoring the Bisons 75-58 in the process.

Of course, T-Birds Head Coach Blake Nill knows all too well that you can’t take the Bisons lightly. Nill had led the Calgary Dinos to a record six straight Hardy Cup Championships until losing in last year’s final.

If Manitoba hopes for a repeat, they’ll need returning quarterback Theo Deezar to step up to the plate. Deezar missed the final two games of the regular season with an upper body injury but should be good to go on the west coast. Deezar was second in the conference with 17 touchdown passes and 64 per cent completion rate.

The Hardy Cup Semi Final kicks off at 1 p.m. MT and can be seen LIVE across the country on Global TV.

SEMI FINAL 2: Saskatchewan Huskies vs. (1) Calgary Dinos

The other Hardy Cup Semi Final will feature the undefeated Calgary Dinos taking on the Saskatchewan Huskies. (Watch LIVE on at 1 p.m. MT)

Calgary has been unstoppable this season and looks to advance to their record eighth straight appearance in the Hardy Cup Final.

The Dinos are led by quarterback Andrew Buckley who set a CIS record for 3,162 passing yards while adding 19 touchdowns and just one interception.

Just how dominant is Calgary’s offense? They nearly doubled the amount of points scored by the Huskies this season (471 – 280). In two meetings this season, the Dinos blew past the Huskies 59-19, and 44-15.

Saskatchewan comes into the game as a major underdog. The Huskies squeaked into the post season with a last minute win over Regina coupled with an Alberta Golden Bears loss to Calgary. They’re also riding a six-game post season losing streak – their last win back in 2009.

The semi final winners will meet in next week’s 79th Hardy Cup Final (Nov. 14) which can be seen live on Global TV.


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Rescue puppy receives B.C.’s first ever canine open heart surgery

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A rescue puppy has received B.C.’s first ever canine open heart surgery and is recovering well.

Taylor, a seven-month-old German Shepherd / Doberman cross, was rescued by the Whistler Animal Shelter, which is run by the non-profit Whistler Animals Galore (WAG) society.

When Taylor was rescued, staff at the shelter noticed he was clearly in medical distress and his abdomen was distended and filled with fluid.


They turned to Canada West Veterinary Specialists (CWVS) for help. Dr. Marco Margiocco, B.C.’s only animal cardiologist, did cardiac ultrasounds and a CT angiogram to determine Taylor had a rare congenital heart defect. A membrane had been retained in the right atrium, impeding blood flow returning to the heart and causing pooling in the abdomen.

When Taylor didn’t respond to a standard, less invasive procedure, it was determined the only chance he had was with open heart surgery to remove the membrane.

Dr. Michael King performed the surgery, which only allows a two-minute window before the lack of blood flow to other areas of the dog’s body could be fatal.

Taylor’s surgery was done in one minute and 40 seconds.

PHOTOS: Provided by Canada West Veterinary Specialists

While King and other vets at CWVS do have a lot of familiarity doing other procedures around the heart, they had never done a canine open heart surgery before. King actually contacted a cardiac surgeon in Colorado, who gave him some pointers about what they could expect.

“So the difficult thing to doing open heart surgery is that you’ve got blood flowing all the time, so you have to temporarily stop that to allow access to work and do what you need to do,” said King.

The total cost of the procedure, including pre-care, medications and after-care, is $24,000.

“It went incredibly well, he did beautifully well with the anesthesia,” said King “The actual sort of couple of minutes went very quickly as you would imagine, but [he] really did great. His heart was beating the whole time.”

He said everything went as well as he could have hoped.

Within a few hours of the surgery, Taylor was up and eating and even wagging his tail. “The next day he was looking to go outside and resume normal activity,” said King. “He certainly bounced back a lot more quick than a person would after a similar procedure.”

Taylor will now be released back to the WAG team, and will soon be up for adoption.

“The prognosis is excellent,” said King. “To be honest, now that we’ve broken this down the blood flow has returned to normal, he shouldn’t have any problems in the future. [The] cardiologist assessed him again yesterday with an ultrasound of the heart and confirmed we achieved exactly what we had wanted to achieve, so we are not expecting Taylor to have any issues at all.”

“He should go on to have a completely normal life.”

PHOTOS: Provided by Canada West Veterinary Specialists

Taylor, recovering after his surgery.

Global News


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Calgary man charged with attempted murder in officer-involved shooting

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Police have charged a Calgary man with attempted murder in relation to events that led up to an officer-involved shooting that shut down multiple roads in the city’s downtown core Tuesday night.

Einar James Bearhat, 20, is also charged with assault with a weapon and possession of stolen property.



  • Officer-involved shooting closes roads near Langevin Bridge in Calgary

Police were initially called to Dermot Baldwin Way and 4 Avenue S.E. at around 4:30 p.m. for a hit and run involving a cyclist and black SUV, which police believe may have been stolen. While police described the victim as a cyclist, EMS said reports indicate the man, believed to be in his 40s, was walking the bike at the time he was hit.

Officers believe the SUV intentionally struck the man with the bike, then left the scene. The driver later returned, at which time it’s alleged he intentionally drove his SUV directly at police. One officer dove out of the way, narrowly avoiding being struck by the vehicle. A police van was hit and significantly damaged.

As this was happening, an officer discharged his firearm at the suspect. The vehicle eventually came to a stop on Riverfront Avenue S.E.

Police said Friday the SUV used in the hit and run is associated with “other violent incidents that occurred throughout the day” but individuals’ connections to those crimes remains under investigation.

A male suspect was taken to hospital with a non-life-threatening gunshot wound and has since been released. A second suspect, a woman, was also arrested, but has since been released without being charged. Police said Friday night they’re still searching for a third potential suspect.

The man with the bike was taken to hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

The Alberta Serious Incident Response Team (ASIRT) is investigating the incident.

With files from Global News


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Regina Transit removes street furniture to stop loitering

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REGINA – It’s no surprise that Regina has a homeless problem, which can sometimes lead to loitering.

Initiatives are already in place to stop it, but is removing street furniture the right solution?

A tactic to deter loitering has led to the removal of a transit bench at the corner of Victoria Ave. and Broad St.


“We removed that bench in August of this summer and we were just asked by Regina Police Services and property owners to remove the bench from that location,” said Brad Bell, Regina Transit’s director of transit services.

One transit user who noticed the difference was not enthused.

“It makes me a little upset… I know lots of people that medically need to be able to sit down,” explained transit user John Klein.

Klein inquired about the removal via 老域名怎么购买, but upon reading Regina Transit’s real reasoning, he was not impressed.

“It doesn’t portray Regina in a positive light, that we restrict how many people can use public space based on class and income,” said Klein.

But Regina Transit says they were just doing what they were told.

“We were just requested from Regina Police Service to remove the bench to not promote that as a loitering area of the city,” said Bells.

It’s an explanation that didn’t sit well with Klein.

“Obviously there are problems with homelessness in Regina and I think giving people houses first, as it’s worked in Medicine Hat for example, would be a better way to deal with it than taking away places for them to sit properly where the only other option is to sit on the curb or the gutter,” said Klein.

While Regina Transit couldn’t identify the number of business or customer complaints, the organization that oversees the downtown community says they will look in to the matter.

“We’ll probably reach out to those businesses in that location in the near future just to find out what was going and perhaps find another solution.” said Judith Veresuk, the executive director for the Regina Downtown Improvement District.

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Mormon rule change bans baptism for children of gay parents

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SALT LAKE CITY – Gay and lesbian Mormons and their supporters are reeling over a rule change by church officials that says members in same-sex marriages can be kicked out and their children are to be barred from being baptized unless they disavow homosexual relationships.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints disseminated the handbook changes this week to local church leaders around the world. The goal was to provide clarity to lay leaders who run congregations, church spokesman Eric Hawkins said.


But the revisions triggered a wave of anger, confusion and sadness for a growing faction of LGBT-supportive Mormons who had been buoyed in recent years by church leaders’ calls for more compassion and understanding for LGBT members.

READ MORE: Salt Lake City close to electing 1st openly gay mayor

“It feels like they are extending an olive branch and hitting you with it,” said Wendy Montgomery, a Mormon mother of a 17-year-old gay son. “It’s like this emotional whiplash.”

Montgomery said Friday the news left her son sobbing and forced her and her husband to consider leaving a religion they’ve belonged to for generations. She said the couple has been trying desperately to stay in the church despite a harsh reception to their son coming out.

Montgomery also echoed a response shared by many on social media: She can somewhat understand the hard stance on same-sex marriage, but she can’t comprehend singling out gay couple’s children.

“We just put a scarlet letter on these kids,” Montgomery said.

“This isn’t my church. I don’t see God in it. I don’t see divinity it. It just feels evil.”

Hawkins noted the church is simply reiterating its doctrine, which clearly states homosexual activity is a sin and that God intended marriage be between a man and a woman.

“The Church has long been on record as opposing same-sex marriages,” Hawkins said in a statement. “While it respects the law of the land, and acknowledges the right of others to think and act differently, it does not perform or accept same-sex marriage within its membership.”

The changes come as other religious groups that oppose gay marriage struggle with how to approach the issue of children of same-sex spouses.

READ MORE: Houston LGBT nondiscrimination ordinance rejected by voters

The new rules stipulate that children of parents in gay or lesbian relationships – be it marriage or just living together – can no longer receive blessings as infants, be baptized when they are about 8 years old, or serve mission as young adults unless they:

– Disavow the practice of same-sex relationships.

– Turn 18 and no longer live with gay parents.

– Get approval from their local leader and the highest leaders at church headquarters in Salt Lake City.

The church views these key milestones as acts that bind a person to the faith and as promises to follow its doctrine.

The changes align with the way the church addresses children in polygamous families, said Matthew Bowman, associate professor of history at Henderson State University. They’ve left Mormons everywhere shaken up, he added.

The handbook revisions also for the first time list being in a same-sex relationship as an offence that can lead to being ousted from the religion.

This is a category known as apostasy, which until now has been reserved primarily for people who practice polygamy, teach inaccurate doctrine or publicly defy guidance to church leaders.

READ MORE: Vatican dismisses gay priest who came out on eve of big bishops’ meeting on the family

Last month, two high-ranking church leaders delivered speeches that gave LGBT advocates hope that the faith was moving toward greater acceptance. The leaders reiterated the religion’s commitment to promoting families led by married heterosexual couples but also urged people not to shun those with opposing views.

That message of “fairness of all” appeared to distance the faith from the blowback that came when it was a major backer of California’s gay marriage ban in 2008.

Mormons appear to be slowly growing more accepting of homosexuality, albeit at rates that still put them among the least accepting among major religions, a new survey from the Pew Research Center shows.

In a survey done last year, 36 per cent of Mormons said homosexuality should be accepted by society. That’s up from 24 per cent in 2007, the last time Pew conducted its U.S. Religious Landscape Study.

Support for gay marriage is lower, with just 25 per cent of Latter-day Saints approving same-sex unions.

©2015The Associated Press

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