HALIFAX – Police have dropped the case against a young Halifax man alleged to have breached a Nova Scotia freedom-of-information website, shifting the issue squarely back to whether the province had basic measures in place to protect its citizens’ private information.In a news release, Halifax police say that after a thorough investigation, “the police have determined there to be no grounds to lay charges in the matter.”The young man’s lawyer, David Fraser, had said repeatedly that the youth — who was arrested after a dramatic raid on his family’s home — had no malicious intent when he downloaded 7,000 documents from the public site.The 19-year-old was collecting information about a teachers’ labour dispute, and hadn’t realized the site didn’t protect other information from a simple download program, Fraser said.“Even though anybody who has looked at it has said these charges would never succeed, there’s always going to be some anxiety associated with it. So, to have this resolution, it’s just a relief,” he said Monday.Personal information ranging from social insurance numbers to documents meant only for the eyes of the applicants were accessed, according to the province.Fraser said the case has “raised awareness about how the government secures information.”NDP house leader Dave Wilson said the onus is now on the government to take responsibility for what happened.Wilson pointed to previous warnings from the province’s auditor general about potential security problems with the website.“Obviously enough wasn’t done to fix those problems and I think the government, the premier, the minister need to take full responsibility for this,” said Wilson.“Definitely I think the government at a minimum should owe this young gentleman an apology,” said Wilson. “They need to take ownership of this.”Police arrested the man on April 11 and said they gave him notice to appear under a rarely used section of the Criminal Code that prohibits unauthorized use of a computer with fraudulent intent.However, in Monday’s news release, Supt. Jim Perrin, said, “as the investigation evolved, we have determined that the 19-year-old who was arrested on April 11 did not have intent to commit a criminal offence by accessing the information.”The family and the youth have said the search with 15 officers left their home in disarray and the 19-year-old deeply distressed over the prospect of potential charges, said Fraser.Police have said any complaints about the search could go through a complaints process, but Fraser said it was too early to comment on whether the family intended to explore that avenue.“Whether the police acted proportionately and appropriately depends on what they were told by the province, and we don’t have insight into that yet,” he said.His client was not immediately available for comment.Perrin said in an interview Monday that when the province first told investigators that a large number of files had been taken, “there was a level of seriousness around the allegation, and our officers did a thorough investigation.”“As you can appreciate it’s more complex when executing a search at a residence than one officer knocking at the door,” he said.“We were looking for computer evidence, possible documentation evidence and there are a lot of places in a residence where these things can be kept.”In a statement, Internal Services Minister Patricia Arab said the government respects the police decision.“We will continue to offer supports for those affected by this breach. Our priority from the outset has been containing the data,” she said in the statement.“As we go forward, we will co-operate fully with the investigation of the Nova Scotia Auditor General and the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner.”Karla MacFarlane, interim leader of the Progressive Conservatives, reiterated her party’s call for Arab to resign over the lack of oversight for the province’s web services.MacFarlane also called on Premier Stephen McNeil to apologize to the 19-year-old.“Right from the very beginning, they threw this young man under the bus in my opinion, and without knowing the facts,” she said.McNeil initially referred to the young man’s actions as “stealing,” but has since backed away from this strong language.Fraser said, “I disagree with that conclusion vehemently, but I don’t know what he was told. So much of this is unknown.”A number of experts on internet law have raised concerns about the arrest, saying if it had led to charges then groups ranging from journalists to archivists could face similar prosecutions for searching public websites without proper security measures in place.
The Canadian Press OTTAWA — A Conservative MP says she would like to see national standards on the use of emotional service animals in public spaces after watching her husband encounter numerous barriers while travelling in Canada with his dog, Midas.Michelle Rempel says her husband, a U.S. military veteran, needs his emotional-service dog for therapeutic reasons and has official documentation from medical specialists.Despite this, he has been barred from taxis and restaurants, faced problems flying on certain airlines and been slapped with fees at hotels and other businesses when his service dog is in tow.Emotional-service animals are not defined by legislation in Canada and are only offered legal protections in some jurisdictions.Rempel, who has been a Calgary MP since 2011, says a national framework is needed to ensure those whose mental health is at risk are able to travel in public spaces with their therapy animals.She hopes to encourage the House of Commons to study the issue and develop a set of national standards — and also hopes this can happen quickly with unanimous support and avoid partisan divisions.
Brittany HobsonAPTN National NewsWhile traveling across Canada David Serkoak uses a drum and his late father’s song to help share the story of his people.His father started the song before his death in the 1980s but never got the chance to finish it.That’s because a forced relocation almost 70 years ago nearly wiped out the small Inuit community of the Ahiarmiut of Ennadai Lake.“We were moved just like that,” Serkoak told APTN at a special event at the Canadian Museum for Human Rights (CMHR).“You go out your tent and the plane was waiting. Away we went.”On Dec. 10, the International Day of Human Rights, hundreds filled the halls of the CMHR in Winnipeg for special programming including a citizenship ceremony and the launch of a brand new exhibit exploring 150 years of Canada’s human rights history.The exhibit is called Rights of Passage: Canada at 150 and it explores 33 different human rights stories over the course of the last 150 years.The relocation of the Ahiarmiut is one of the stories featured as part of the exhibit.About a year ago Serkoak sat with curators of the exhibit to share his people’s story. He was on hand for the official launch.In 1949 the Ahiarmiut were one of the Inuit communities forced to move by the Canadian government.They were relocated five times before finally settling in Eskimo Point, which is now known as Arviat.Serkoak was five-years-old when he had to move during the second relocation to Henik Lake in 1957.Memories of the move are vivid for him today.“The government had a tent for us with a bit of ration in each tent. When the food ran out then everyone started to wonder where they were going to get food for the next day for their families.”After the move, starvation began to set in.The Ahiarmiut relied on hunting, fishing and trapping for sustenance.They were relocated because the government at the time believed hunting opportunities in the area were scarce.The Ahiarmiut believed they were fine to stay at Ennadai Lake but many were too scared to challenge the government.“All Inuit listened to the white man, whether it’s a priest, welfare worker, RCMP or any white man,” Serkoak said. “If they told you to leave, you leave. If they signal you…you come.“If they want to hit you they can hit you.”After the relocation, many died from starvation, disease or natural causes, according to Serkoak.He said it’s hard to predict what would have happened to his people had they been allowed to stay at Ennadai Lake.In 1985 some of the remaining Ahiarmiut went back to Ennadai Lake. They drummed and danced.For many, it was the first time they were able to practice their culture since the move.“We were told you have to change right now. You have to forget your Inukness,” Serkoak said. “Leave your culture, leave your language outside the door.“Here you only use English.”But this wasn’t the only loss for the community.Serkoak estimates there are less than 30 living survivors.There is one remaining elder alive from the first relocation.A photo of her and her family from a Life Magazine feature released in 1956 on the Ahiarmiut hangs in the exhibit.The exhibit uses mediums like oral interviews, radio, television and social media to explore key moments in Canada’s human rights history.While it’s part of the Canada 150 celebrations, Indigenous Content curator Karine Duhamel says the exhibit is meant to be an opportunity for people to think about the journey over the past 150 years and how much more still needs to be done.“We really wanted to stress the idea of multiple perspectives, lots of different stories and fundamentally of Indigenous peoples’ original occupancy and rights in this place.”The Ahiarmiut exhibit includes an interview with Serkoak. He also lent old artefacts such as antler carvings and a toy canoe to help share his peoples’ history.“Now they are here for Canada and the world to see,” said Serkoak.firstname.lastname@example.org
The increase in the alert level signals an outbreak of human to human transmission in at least one country, which increases the risk of a global epidemic, but does not mean a pandemic is inevitable.“Given the rapidly evolving situation [it was felt] that it was important to give a strong signal to countries that now is a good time to strengthen preparations for possible pandemic influenza,” World Health Organization (WHO) Assistant Director-General Keiji Fukuda told reporters in Geneva. Mr. Fukuda explained that the emergency committee of health experts, set up to deal with the recent outbreak of the swine flu virus, raised the alert level because the virus had already spread to the United States, Mexico, and Canada, with a verified case in Spain. He underscored the importance for authorities to protect the health of individuals and to focus their efforts on mitigating the disease rather than attempt to stop its spread, stressing that “containment is not a feasible consideration.”WHO would not recommend the closing of borders or the restriction of travel, which would have little to no effect in stopping the movement of the virus, Mr. Fukuda said. Phase 5 of the WHO pandemic alert levels is characterized by human-to-human spread of the virus into at least two countries in one WHO region.“The declaration of Phase 5 is a strong signal that a pandemic is imminent and that the time to finalize the organization, communication, and implementation of the planned mitigation measures is short,” says the agency’s website.Noting that flu season is now kicking into gear in the southern hemisphere, Mr. Fukuda said it is prudent to continue production of general influenza vaccines that prevent severe illness and death from seasonal influenza.However, the emergency committee also advised WHO to “take all steps to facilitate production and development of a swine flu influenza vaccine that would be effective in [treating] people against this new virus.”A new vaccine would normally take four to six months to develop and for the production of initial batches. The manufacture of significant amounts of the vaccine would require further months, by which time the threat of pandemic could be over, warned Mr. Fukuda.In an unscheduled address to the press this afternoon, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon told reporters “The UN system is responding, quickly and effectively, with the Director General of the World Health Organization [WHO], Dr. Margaret Chan, taking the lead.”Announcing that the World Bank and other UN development and humanitarian agencies will provide funding to countries needing additional resources to combat an epidemic, Mr. Ban said that the poorer nations must not be hit disproportionately hard by a potential health crisis.“So far, our response has been an example of multilateral cooperation at its best. I am confident that it will continue to be so,” he added.Meanwhile, a team of experts from the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) is helping to determine if the new virus strain has a direct connection to pigs. FAO will also dispatch a team of animal health experts to Mexico this week to help the Government assess the origin and transmission of the infection in the pig production sector.So far, the spread seems to be solely humans to human. Evidence that the virus entered the human population directly from pigs has not yet been established. “There is no evidence of a threat to the food chain; at this stage it is a human crisis and not an animal crisis, but we have to be alert and prepared,” said FAO Chief Veterinary Officer Joseph Domenech. He added that FAO and others must first “ascertain if the new strain is circulating in pigs, establish if there are any direct linkages between the illness in the human population and animals and explain how this new virus has obtained genetic materials from human, bird and pig influenza strains.” 27 April 2009With increasing numbers of people contracting the deadly swine flu virus, the United Nations health agency today elevated the international pandemic alert to phase 4, on a six-point scale, for the first time since the current warning system was introduced in 2005 in response to the avian influenza crisis.
Global investment in green energy rose by 32 per cent last year, driven largely by wind farms in China and small-scale solar panels on rooftops in Europe, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) said in a new report on renewable energy trends released today.Investors put a record $211 billion into renewable energy projects last year, about a third more than the $160 billion invested in 2009, and a 540 per cent rise since 2004, according to the report, entitled “Global Trends in Renewable Energy Investment 2011,” prepared for UNEP by the London-based Bloomberg New Energy Finance.For the first time, developing economies overtook developed countries in terms of new investments, spending on utility-scale renewable energy projects and the provision of equity capital for renewable energy companies.Some $72 billion was invested in developing countries, compared $70 billion in developed economies, which contrasts with 2004, when new financial investments in developing countries were about a quarter of those in developed countries, according to the report, which was launched by UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner and Udo Steffens, President and chief executive officer of the Frankfurt School of Finance & Management.China, with $48.9 billion in new investments in renewable energy, up by 28 per cent, was the world leader last year, but other emerging economies also showed strong growth.Investments in South and Central America rose by 39 per cent to $13.1 billion, while in the Middle East and Africa they were up by 104 per cent to $5 billion. India’s investment rose by 25 per cent to $3.8 billion, while other developing countries in Asia saw a 31 per cent increase to $4 billion.Another positive development highlighted in the report, with implications for long-term clean energy developments, was government research and development. That category of investment rose by 120 per cent to well over $5 billion.“The continuing growth in this core segment of the Green Economy is not happening by chance,” said Mr. Steiner. “The combination of government target-setting, policy support and stimulus funds is underpinning the renewable industry’s rise and bringing the much-needed transformation of our global energy system within reach,” he added.He said the UN climate change conference in Durban, South Africa, later this year, and the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) in Brazil next year offered key opportunities to accelerate the positive transition to a low-carbon, resource-efficient green economy.“The finance industry is still recovering from the recent financial crisis,” said Mr. Steffens. “The fact that the industry remains heavily committed to renewables demonstrates its strong belief in the prospects of sustainable energy investments,” he added. 7 July 2011Global investment in green energy rose by 32 per cent last year, driven largely by wind farms in China and small-scale solar panels on rooftops in Europe, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) said in a new report on renewable energy trends released today.
The Gazette notification constituting the number of members to the Local Government (LG) bodies was published today, the Government Printer said.
Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Valerie Amos, who is currently on a four-day visit to Darfur, said she was disappointed that after 10 years of humanitarian operations, the region is still not self-reliant.Darfur has been in a state of crisis for ten years, and the numbers of people affected have grown steadily during that time. According to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), there are now 1.4 million people receiving humanitarian assistance in nearly 100 displacement camps across Darfur.Ms. Amos said that stronger bridges need to be built between humanitarian and development work. However, this has become increasingly difficult as many non-governmental organizations are facing a serious funding shortage and do not have the resources to meet growing humanitarian needs.Over the past six weeks, more than 10,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) have been registered in Kalma camp, just outside Nyala, the capital of South Darfur. Kalma was already home to an estimated 82,000 people, many of whom had been living there for years.“The humanitarian community needs to think about how it can strengthen its capacity to meet the urgent needs of these people (in Kalma) and the more than 1 million others like them throughout Darfur,” said the Head of Office in Sudan for OCHA, Mark Cutts. “Our focus should shift where possible to building resilience among those affected by the conflict.”Earlier today Ms. Amos met with internally displaced people at the Zam Zam camp, and held talks with authorities and the head of the joint African Union-United Nations Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) in El Fasher.
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← Previous Story HANDBALL PERSON 2014 – Nikola Karabatic! Next Story → Hansen and Gensheimer flying to Kiel with Turkish Airlines? Carlos Ruesga MKB MVM Veszprem playmaker Carlos Ruesga get injured during the match of the national teams (Spain – Germany) last weekend, after it is clear that season for him is over. Ruesga injured crucial knee ligaments, which will put him out of the court for a while. This means that Antonio Carlos Ortega can’t count on him for the another historical chance of Hungarian champions to win the VELUX EHF Champions League on 30 and 31 of May in Cologne.Veszprem will play against THW Kiel in the semi-final.
BITCOIN’S ATTEMPTS TO be recognised as a legitimate currency suffered a blow as the Norwegian government says it doesn’t qualify as real money.The country, which is one of the richest nations in the world, will treat Bitcoin as an asset instead and will charge owners of the virtual currency a capital gains tax.The director general of taxation in Norway, Hans Christian Holte, told Bloomberg that the currency doesn’t “fall under the usual definition of money or currency.” He said that he plans to work with other countries to work out the legal aspects of Bitcoin.The virtual currency has suffered a number of setbacks over the last few weeks. During the weekend, South Dublin County Council rejected a motion calling for it to accept payments using Bitcoin, calling the motion “premature.”Also, the lack of regulation around it is a problem for many organisations and governments. Both the Bank of France and the European Banking Authority issued warnings regarding the financial risks of Bitcoins, while Thailand’s government made the currency illegal due to a lack of applicable laws.In China, where the bulk of Bitcoin trading is done, its regulators have banned financial institutions from using the currency due to fears that it would be used for illegal activities.Read: Confused by Bitcoin? This guy explains it well… >Read: China now the biggest market for Bitcoin trading >
By Paul Hosford Company fined €300,000 over death of worker at Corrib gas tunnel He received fatal head injuries when a pipe he was working under collapsed on top of him. http://jrnl.ie/3443030 Wednesday 14 Jun 2017, 9:08 AM 5 Comments Short URL 13,434 Views Share14 Tweet Email2 Tunnel boring machinery near the Corrib Gas Pipeline. Image: Niall Carson A GERMAN CIVIL engineering company has been fined €300,000 over the death of a contractor in 2013.Wayss and Freitag Ingenieurbau AG contractor Lars Wagner, who worked for Herrenknecht AG, was killed on 8 September 2013 at the Mayo project.He received fatal head injuries when a pipe he was working under collapsed on top of him as a result of an overpressure event in the pipe system.The accident occurred in the gear chamber of a tunnel boring machine that was constructing the tunnel. Wagner was engaged in maintenance activity at the time of the accident.The machine was in operation while Wagner was in the gear chamber, contrary to the manual that stated that maintenance work should only be carried out on a stopped tunnel boring machine.The company yesterday pleaded guilty to offences under Section 12 of the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005 and the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work (General Application) Regulations, 2007 at Castlebar Circuit Criminal Court.Judge Rory McCabe imposed a combined fine of €300,000 for both.Brian Higgisson, Assistant Chief Executive of the Health and Safety Authority said:“Maintenance operations can be dangerous and should always take place in a planned and controlled manner. The most important consideration is to make sure that work does not place anyone in danger, in this case the failure to follow safety procedures led to tragedy.”Read: Residents at London tower block had warned of fire safety concernsRead: There have been ‘a number of fatalities’ as massive fire engulfs west London tower block Image: Niall Carson Tunnel boring machinery near the Corrib Gas Pipeline. Jun 14th 2017, 9:08 AM Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article
The leaders of the two communities in Cyprus, President Demetris Christofias and Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu, continued the discussion on the property issue on Wednesday in a very good atmosphere, Alexander Downer, Special Adviser of the UN Secretary General on Cyprus, said. Surely, we are trying to build a better relation, which will have a political effect with positive results in the effort.Speaking after their meeting during the day Downer said that the leaders had a meeting, for slightly under two hours, in a very good atmosphere. “It was a very positive atmosphere today. “They continued the discussions about property, and the representatives will be meeting again on Friday afternoon (30th July) to continue with those discussions, and the leaders are to meet again on the 4th of August next week, and then they have a meeting on the 10th of August as well,” he said. The two leaders followed up their meeting with a dinner at Eroglu’s residence in Cyprus occupied areas. President Christofias told the Press before departing from Eroglu’s residence that they spent a pleasant evening as the leaders of the two communities and added: “Surely, we are trying to build a better relation, which will have a political effect with positive results in the effort” to solve the Cyprus problem. He also said thank you to Eroglu and his spouse for the dinner. Eroglu also made statements, speaking in Turkish without an official translation. According to an unofficial translation, the Turkish Cypriot leader said, inter alia, that they did not discuss the Cyprus issue. “We have become friends and this friendship will be continued on the negotiations table,” he said. Special Adviser of the UN Secretary General on Cyprus Alexander Downer described the dinner as “not an evening of negotiations but an evening of confidence building”. Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram
Quand les chiens japonais mangent de la baleine en biscuitUne société japonaise propose aujourd’hui des biscuits pour chiens constitués de viande de baleine qui serait issue d’Islande.La société Michinoku Farm, basée à Tokyo, a récemment proposé des biscuits pour chiens fabriqués avec de la chair de rorqual commun d’Atlantique Nord, une espèce pourtant menacée. Selon l’entreprise, cette viande est bonne pour la santé des chiens puisqu’elle est “basse en calorie, pauvre en graisse, et riche en protéines”.À lire aussiMaladie de Charcot : symptômes, causes, traitement, où en est on ?Alors que la chasse à la baleine annuelle du Japon provoque déjà de vives critiques, les écologistes de l’association Ikan qui ont découvert cette publicité se sont dits outrés. “La raison la plus probable pour que des boutiques vendent de tels biscuits, c’est viser une clientèle friquée qui veut uniquement montrer son argent en achetant ça”, estime Nanami Kurasawa, la responsable de cette ONG. En effet, seuls des propriétaires de chiens fortunés pourront payer ces biscuits à 3.780 yens (28,7 euros) les 500 grammes. Ikan indique que la viande de baleine utilisée pour la confection de ces biscuits proviendrait d’Islande, un pays baleinier qui, avec la Norvège, n’a pas signé la charte de la Commission Baleinière Internationale (CBI) pour cesser la chasse au rorqual. Mais ceci n’apaisent pas les écologistes qui ont d’ailleurs émis des doutes quant à cette origine. Interpelé par le scandale créé, Takuma Konno, le PDG de la compagnie a dit être sûrement mal informé sur la “teneur du débat sur la chasse à la baleine” et la vente de ces biscuits s’est arrêté dès mercredi 29 mai. Néanmoins, Michinoku Farm ne proposerait pas que des biscuits à la baleine. La société vendrait aussi sur son site internet des produits à base de cheval de Mongolie ou de kangourou.Le 30 mai 2013 à 18:47 • Maxime Lambert
Keto Turns Your Smartphone Into Your Car KeysCovert Dock for Nintendo Switch Fits in Your Pocket Stay on target Back in the early days of video gaming, monochrome vector images were pretty hot stuff. Asteroids. Battle Zone. Now someone’s figured out how to draw those images not on a screen but right in the air.The best part: you can buy the gadget that can do it, or at least make a pledge that will get you one when production goes ahead as planned. What is the wondrous device? It’s called Holovect, and it’s already surpassed its funding goal on Kickstarter.Creator Jaime Ruiz-Avila says that it’s the world’s first laser-based desktop holographic display. While the Holovect fits the definition of a holographic display, Ruiz-Avila is quick to remind that the images it creates are definitely not holograms. They’re three-dimensional images projected into the air.What kind of images can Holovect project? Anything you feel like drawing up! Ruiz-Avila shows off a vector of the USS Enterprise that was created on Plotly, but you can use other apps as well. Objects can be as large as a 12cm cube — beyond that size they start to get a bit sloppy because of the Holovect’s limitations.They can move, too. Holovect is capable of drawing vectors at up to 50 fps. Oh, and you’re not limited to green. As awesomely nostalgic as it would be to, say, recreating the tank-hunting experience from your Commodore 64 days, there is a Holovect that do RGB images.It’s a little more expensive, though. For the monochrome Holovect, you’ll have to pledge at least $799 (all the early bird units are spoken for). The RGB-capable model will set you back another $1000.
Vancouver – The westbound state Highway 14 onramp to northbound Interstate 5 will be closed between 10 a.m and 11:30 a.m. this morning.The Washington State Patrol will close the ramp to conduct an investigation, according to the Washington State Department of Transportation. Drivers will need to choose an alternative route during that time.Drivers can get up-to-date travel information at the WSDOT Travel Alerts Page, www.wsdot.com/traffic/trafficalerts/SouthWest.aspx.
Related Items:#AgricultureholdsfirstOpenDay, #magneticmedianews Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppTurks and Caicos, June 23, 2017 – Providenciales – The Department of Agriculture today celebrated farming down town at the Town Center Mall from 10am to 3pm. Farmers, mainly from North Caicos will be on island for a showcase of their produce and livestock.Residents were welcomed out for the Agriculture Open Day which will also featured, introduction to new technologies in farming, other government agencies including National Trust, DECR, Environmental Health and display by Shining Stars Preparatory school, plus gardening supplies. Magnetic Media was there to host part of the day, and that meant filming of Turquoise Morning.We captured many views on farming, the event and official comments including the opening by Health Minister, Edwin Astwood.#MagneticMediaNews#AgricultureholdsfirstOpenDay
Diego Maradona accused the media of trying stir up trouble between himself and Lionel Messi, who he rates as the world’s best playerThe Argentine legend appeared to question Messi’s leadership qualities by stating that he’s not mentality up to the task.“Messi’s a great player, but he’s not a leader,” said Maradona last week. “Let’s stop making a God out of Messi. Messi is just another player for Argentina.”Maradona also added that Messi goes “to the bathroom 20 times before a game”.Quiz: How much do you know about David Villa? Boro Tanchev – September 14, 2019 Time to test your knowledge about Spanish legendary forward David Villa.But now the Dorados manager claims his comments were misquoted and suggested that it may have been a deliberate attempt to drive a wedge between himself and Messi.“I know who Leo is, I know he’s the best player in the world,” said Maradona on Clarin. “If I said a player goes to the toilet 20 times before a game, I never named Lionel Messi.“They want to put me into a confrontation with Messi but they cannot. The friendship I have with Lionel is bigger than anything they can write, and I’m saying that he’s the greatest in the world.”
Two men accused of being accomplices in a fatal shooting earlier this month in the VanMall neighborhood pleaded not guilty Wednesday to first-degree murder charges.Shawn Fortner, 19, of Bend, Ore., and Jonathan Hensey, 21, of East Wenatchee entered their pleas in front of Clark County Superior Court Judge David Gregerson. They’re accused of participating in the Feb. 4 homicide of Craig Moritz, 21, of Vancouver. Moritz’ body was found in a field in the 7700 block of Northeast Vancouver Mall Drive.Fortner and Hensey remain in Clark County Jail on $750,000 and $500,000 bail, respectively. Gregerson on Wednesday scheduled their trial for Sept. 8.About a dozen family members of Fortner and Hensey sat in the courtroom’s public gallery during Wednesday’s hearing. Following his not guilty plea, Fortner winked at them as he was escorted out of the courtroom. The family members declined to comment to reporters after the hearing.The fatal shooting was the result of “a drug deal gone bad,” Clark County Senior Deputy Prosecutor Kasey Vu said.According to a court affidavit, Moritz and his friend, Aaron Smith, went to Northeast Vancouver Mall Drive to sell Fortner some marijuana. Fortner and Hensey picked up Moritz and Smith in a minivan and drove them to a parking lot in the same block.In the parking lot, a masked man emerged from the back of the minivan and held Moritz and Smith at gunpoint, the affidavit says. Smith told police that the masked man threatened to shoot them and demanded that they hand over all of their belongings.
US Senator John McCain heads to the Senate floor ahead of votes on Capitol Hill in Washington, US on 6 December 2017. Photo: ReutersUS senator John McCain, the maverick Republican who survived a Vietnam War prison camp and ran unsuccessfully for president, is discontinuing medical treatment for an aggressive form of brain cancer, his family said in a statement on Friday, a year after he announced his diagnosis.”John has surpassed expectations for his survival,” the family said, adding that the disease’s progression and McCain’s age, 81, have led him to stop treatment for the “aggressive glioblastoma.””With his usual strength of will, he has now chosen to discontinue medical treatment,” the family said.McCain, who has represented Arizona in the Senate and House of Representatives for 35 years, has said the cancer was discovered in July 2017 and he has not been at the US Capitol this year. He also had surgery for an intestinal infection in April.McCain has had a reputation for speaking his mind, which led to a running feud with President Donald Trump. Sources close to McCain have said Trump would not be invited to the funeral.The McCain-Trump relationship grew heated in 2015 when McCain said Trump’s candidacy had “fired up the crazies.” Trump retorted that the senator was “not a war hero” and referred to McCain’s years as a prisoner of the North Vietnamese by saying: “I like people who weren’t captured.”McCain castigated Trump last month for his summit with Russian president Vladimir Putin, issuing a statement that called their joint news conference “one of the most disgraceful performances by an American president in memory.” He said Trump was “not only unable but unwilling to stand up to Putin.”McCain sought the Republican presidential nomination in 2000 but lost out to George W. Bush. He secured the nomination in 2008 but was defeated by Democratic nominee Barack Obama.McCain has been known as a conservative and a foreign policy hawk with a traditional Republican view of world affairs. He has had a reputation for a hot temper and rarely shied away from a fight but has had Democratic fans who admired the way he could take a civil, bipartisan approach.McCain is the chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee and his colleagues named the $716 billion defense policy bill for him. Trump did not mention McCain when he signed it earlier this month.”Very sad to hear this morning’s update from the family of our dear friend @SenJohnMcCain,” Republican Senate leader Mitch McConnell said on Twitter. “We are so fortunate to call him our friend and colleague. John, Cindy, and the entire McCain family are in our prayers at this incredibly difficult hour.”Former secretary of State John Kerry, a Democrat who served in the Senate with McCain, tweeted, “God bless John McCain, his family, and all who love him – a brave man showing us once again what the words grace and grit really mean.”McCain is the son and grandson of Navy admirals and after graduating from the US Naval Academy became a fighter pilot during the Vietnam War. He was shot down during a bombing run over Hanoi and captured on 26 October 1967. The crash and assault by his captors left him with two broken arms, a broken leg, broken shoulder and numerous stab wounds.He spent the next 5-1/2 years in various prisons, including the notorious “Hanoi Hilton,” where he was tortured and left with lasting disabilities.McCain provided one of the most dramatic moments in recent Senate history in July 2017 when he voted against a Trump-backed bill that would have repealed the healthcare law pushed through by President Barack Obama.The vote came late at night not long after McCain’s diagnosis and he still bore a black eye and scar from the surgery when he gave an emphatic thumbs-down gesture to scuttle the measure.Trump was furious about McCain’s vote and frequently referred to it at rallies but without mentioning McCain by name.McCain was elected to the House in 1982 and after two terms was elected to the Senate to replace retiring conservative leader Barry Goldwater.
Twitter via @Gallen4presCalifornia wildfires reaching LAA dangerous new wildfire erupted in the tony Bel Air area of Los Angeles early Wednesday as firefighters battled three other destructive blazes across Southern California.Flames exploded before dawn on the steep slopes of the east side of Sepulveda Pass, which carries heavily traveled Interstate 405 through the Santa Monica Mountains where ridge tops are covered with expensive homes. At least two could be seen burning.Hundreds of firefighters battled flames on the ground as aircraft dropped water and retardant near neighborhoods on the east side of the pass. Commuter traffic snarled in the pass and beyond.When firefighters told Maurice Kaboud to evacuate his home in Bel Air he decided to stay and protect his home. The 59-year-old stood in the backyard of his multimillion-dollar home as fires raged nearby.“God willing, this will slow down so the firefighters can do their job,” Kaboud said.Hundreds of homes burned in the area during the famous Bel Air Fire of 1961. The Getty Center art complex, on the west side of the pass, employs extensive fire protection methods. Its website says it was closed to protect its collection from smoke.Elsewhere, use of firefighting aircraft has been constrained by the same winds that have spread the fires.The planes and helicopters essential to taming wildfires have been mostly grounded because it’s too dangerous to fly them in the strong wind. Tuesday saw gusts of over 50 mph (80 kph).Commanders hoped to have them back in the air Wednesday to battle flames that spurred evacuation orders for nearly 200,000 people, destroyed nearly 200 homes and remained mostly out control.“The prospects for containment are not good,” Ventura County Fire Chief Mark Lorenzen said at a news conference Tuesday. “Really, Mother Nature’s going to decide when we have the ability to put it out.”Southern California’s Santa Ana winds have long contributed to some of the region’s most disastrous wildfires. They blow from the inland toward the Pacific Ocean, speeding up as they squeeze through mountain passes and canyons.The largest and most destructive of the fires, a 101-square-mile (262-sq. kilometer) wildfire in Ventura County northwest of Los Angeles, had nearly reached the Pacific on Tuesday night after starting 30 miles (48 kilometers) inland a day earlier.The wildfire jumped the major artery U.S. Highway 101 to a rocky beach northwest of Ventura, bringing new evacuations, though officials said the sparse population and lack of vegetation in the area meant it was not overly dangerous, and the highway was not closed.The fire had destroyed at least 150 structures, but incident commander Todd Derum said he suspects hundreds more homes have already been lost. Firefighters have been unable to assess them.Lisa Kermode and her children returned to their home Tuesday after evacuating Monday to find their home and world in ashes, including a Christmas tree and the presents they had just bought.“We got knots in our stomach coming back up here,” Kermode said. “We lost everything, everything, all our clothes, anything that was important to us. All our family heirlooms — it’s not sort of gone, it’s completely gone.”Mansions and modest homes alike were in flames in the city. Dozens of houses in one neighborhood burned to the ground.John Keasler, 65, and his wife Linda raced out of their apartment building as the flames approached, then stood and watched the fire burn it to the ground.“It is sad,” Keasler said. “We loved this place. We lost everything.”Linda Keasler said they were just glad to be alive despite losing so much.“Those things we can always get back,” she said. “The truth is it is just things and thank god no one died.”Some 12,000 structures were under threat.A spokesman for the American Red Cross expected a shelter in Ventura County to be at capacity Tuesday night. Fred Mariscal said the shelter is serving meals, providing a mobile shower truck and has doctors and nurses on hand to provide medication for residents who were displaced by the wildfire.While the blazes brought echoes of the firestorm in Northern California that killed 44 people two months ago, no deaths and only a handful of injuries had been reported.In the foothills of northern Los Angeles, 30 structures burned. Mayor Eric Garcetti said the gusty winds expected to last most of the week had created a dangerous situation and he urged 150,000 people under mandatory evacuation orders to leave their homes before it’s too late.“We have lost structures, we have not lost lives,” he said. “Do not wait. Leave your homes.”Fires are not typical in Southern California this time of year but can break out when dry vegetation and too little rain combine with the Santa Ana winds. Hardly any measurable rain has fallen in the region over the past six months.Fires in suburban settings like these are likely to become more frequent as climate change makes fire season a year-round threat and will put greater pressure on local budgets, said Char Miller, a professor of environmental analysis at Pomona College who has written extensively about wildfires.“There are going to be far greater numbers that are going to be evacuated, as we’re seeing now,” Miller said. “These fires are not just fast and furious, but they’re really expensive to fight.”In LA County, television shows with large outdoor sets including HBO’s “Westworld” and CBS’s “S.W.A.T.” halted production of because of worries about the safety of cast and crew.And the Los Angeles Rams of the NFL, which hold workouts near the Ventura County fire, canceled practice Wednesday. Share