B.C. babysitter charged with second-degree murder

August 12th, 2018

VANCOUVER -A Cranbrook, B.C., babysitter has been charged with second-degree murder in the drowning death of 19-month-old Iyanna Teeple.

Tammy Marion Bouvette, 28, was charged after the infant was found face down in a bathtub in Bouvette’s townhouse on May 26.

According to police, Bouvette called emergency crews at around noon. When they arrived, they discovered the baby girl, who wasn’t breathing, said RCMP spokesman Cpl. Chris Faulkner.

Iyanna was taken to East Kootenay Regional Hospital and then flown to Calgary Children’s Hospital, where she was taken off life support on May 28.

Though Iyanna was declared brain-dead a day earlier, she remained on life support for organ-donation purposes, Iyanna’s mother, Renee Savarie, told The Sun on Tuesday.

A forensic autopsy confirmed that she had died from drowning.

Police said Iyanna had been dropped off at Bouvette’s townhouse a few hours before she was found in the tub. The home is located in a modest area of the southeastern British Columbia town, on a street lined with low-rise apartments, duplexes, and detached homes.

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“We were at work at the time,” Savarie said, adding that she’s known Bouvette for a couple of years. “I met Tammy at a pre-natal group,” she said, explaining that they were acquaintances, “not really friends.”

Bouvette, who has four children of her own, sometimes watched Iyanna for Savarie and her husband, Jason Teeple, when Savarie’s mother or their regular sitter were unavailable.

Asked about the charges, Savarie said, “You don’t leave a baby alone in the tub. That’s every mother’s common sense.”

After interviewing Bouvette several times following Iyanna’s death, police collected enough evidence to indicate that foul play was involved, Faulkner said. On June 24, they sent the investigation to Crown counsel, who on Monday approved a charge of second-degree murder.

Faulkner said police wouldn’t be releasing many details about the case. “I’m glad it’s slowly coming to an end,” Savarie said. “We just want to get it over with.”

Iyanna, an only child, “was very polite, happy and really a great baby,” Savarie said.

“She didn’t like to see people upset, so she would do something silly to make you smile. It’s just been an emotional roller-coaster for us. … It was her birthday on the 14th of October,” she said. “We’re planning to have more kids,” she added.

Renee’s younger brother, Mike Savarie, also of Cranbrook, said his niece “was the happiest little thing around. She was always smiling.”

He said the family hopes the trial won’t drag on so his sister and her husband can finally find a way to move on from the tragedy.

Bouvette appeared in Cranbrook Provincial Court Tuesday, but will have to appear in front of a Supreme Court Justice for a bail hearing.

According to the Criminal Code, second-degree murder carries a sentence of life in prison, though the judge can set parole eligibility anywhere between 10 and 25 years. Generally, the charge applies to homicide carried out intentionally but without premeditation.

Maintenance work curbs MEG third-quarter productions; full-year targets intact

August 12th, 2018

CALGARY – MEG Energy Corp. said Wednesday its output was reduced during the third-quarter as its Christina Lake oilsands project underwent three weeks of maintenance downtime, but that it is on track to meet its full-year production targets.

The Calgary-based oilsands operator (TSX:MEG) produced an average of 20,945 barrels of bitumen per day between July and September, higher than the 19,339 barrels it churned out during the same period a year ago, when maintenance work was also undertaken.

During the first nine months of 2011, MEG produced an average of 25,450 barrels per day, and remains on track to meet its guidance range of 25,000 to 27,000 barrels.

“This quarter was a very busy one for us, and it was marked by the successful completion of a full plant turnaround at our Christina Lake facilities in late September,” said chief executive officer said Bill McCaffrey.

“And I’m happy to report that the shut down was completed in a safe and efficient manner with costs coming in as planned.”

MEG shares rose more than 7.5 per cent, or $3.21, to $45.81 Wednesday afternoon on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

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McCaffrey made his remarks on a conference call with analysts to discuss the company’s results during the third quarter, in which MEG booked net and operating losses.

McCaffrey likened a plant turnaround to a driver taking his or her car to the mechanic for regular tune-ups. First, the company inspects its systems for possible problems, then cleans them out and replaces any parts to ensure they keep working smoothly.

“We found that our equipment was in good shape, which is a strong indication that our existing operations are being very effective. Basically it tells us that our field facilities’ designs and operations are quite robust,” McCaffrey said.

Regulators require oilsands companies to undergo regular turnarounds. And since MEG has got a number of expansions in the hopper, future downtime will be needed to make tweaks along the way.

But in time, McCaffrey said it’s possible that such shutdowns will become less frequent – so long as MEG has gained enough confidence its various components can go a longer time without being cleaned or replaced.

“It is our goal, as we go forward, to reduce the amount of time and potentially the frequency of the turnarounds, and our guys are actively working on that.”

Also Wednesday, MEG recorded a net lost $115.2 million, or 60 cents per share, in the three months ended Sept. 30, compared to earnings of $21.2 million or 11 cents a year earlier.

MEG said its third-quarter loss reflected an unrealized foreign exchange loss of $101.4 million in the latest quarter, compared to a foreign exchange gain of $28.8 million in the same year-earlier period.

Stripped of the effects of unusual items, MEG reported an operating loss of $5.4 million, or three cents per share, compared to profits of $6.1 million, or three cents per share a year ago.

MEG attributed the operating loss to higher interest costs on its debt, higher staffing levels as it undergoes its Christina Lake expansions and higher costs as a result of the maintenance work.

The company develops oilsands deposits in the southern Athabasca region of Alberta using steam assisted gravity drainage, or SAGD, technology. Its key project is the Christina Lake oilsands development.

SAGD oilsands companies pipe steam underground to melt thick tar-like oilsands deposits. The oil is then collected through a second pipeline and pumped to the surface.

MEG said it expects to spend $1 billion on capital projects this year, with the majority invested in the company’s strategic plan to increase bitumen production capacity to 260,000 daily production.

Air Canada may be protecting bottom line by abandoning appeal, say experts

August 12th, 2018

MONTREAL – Air Canada’s decision to abandon a legal challenge of an arbitration ruling with one of its unions may win it some labour goodwill, but the ultimate goal is to preserve the airline’s bottom line, industry observers said Wednesday.

“The last thing that Air Canada needs at this point is more negativity. The whole issue of challenging the pension ruling just optically didn’t look good,” said Robert Kokonis of airline consulting firm AirTrav Inc.

With the economy souring and the key holiday period approaching, the national carrier could ill afford to scare off potential customers amidst a threat of disruptions by customer service workers represented by the CAW union, he said.

The customer service agents represented by the Canadian Auto Workers were the first of Air Canada’s major unionized groups to reach a collective agreement in the current round of contract negotiations.

The deal included a provision to send the difficult issue of pension reform to an arbitrator for what was intended to be a binding resolution.

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Air Canada’s original plan to challenge the arbitrator’s ruling unsettled not only the CAW, but also a hard-won agreement with the Canadian Union of Public Employees – which had agreed to abide by the arbitrator’s decision as well.

Kokonis said Air Canada’s (TSX:AC.B) brand could have been tarnished for several months until case against the CAW arbitration was heard by the Federal Court and Ontario divisional court.

Chief executive Calin Rovinescu said Tuesday the airline would abandon its judicial review “to create a climate of stability so that the company can move forward.”

The move came after he had a telephone conversation with Canadian Auto Workers president Ken Lewenza, who had threatened major disruptions.

Kokonis said more negativity at this point would create a snowball effect for the travelling public.

“As the snowball gets larger and the more the public hears about labour instability as Christmas is coming up, there is a real danger of seeing a material impact.”

Air Canada’s flight attendants union said the airline’s decision to abandon the judicial review brings relief for all bargaining groups.

“I would hope that Air Canada does want to forge peaceful times with the unions and the employees. It has been a rough go,” said CUPE national representative Daniela Scarpelli.

The head of Air Canada’s machinists union, whose members handle aircraft repairs and maintenance and baggage transport, said he was disgusted by the judicial review, calling it ridiculous.

“There was no common sense to that decision so who knows why they came to their senses,” Chuck Atkinson, district chairman of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers said from Ottawa.

The Machinists union resumes negotiations next week with eight days of talks.

Atkinson doesn’t believe the arbitration rulings for customer service agents or flight attendants will set precedents for his union’s members.

It doesn’t accept a two-tier wage system for new hires and opposes a hybrid pension model favoured by the CAW and CUPE.

“We have a separate proposal that we think will meet the needs of the company and the union guys that’s not the hybrid plan.”

The company has put a low-cost carrier on the bargaining table, but the key issues for the Machinists is money. Like other workers, they want to recoup losses from the airline’s 2003 bankruptcy protection and 2009 wage freeze.

And it’s prepared to fight back, possibly through a legal challenge, if Labour Minister Lisa Raitt threatens back-to-work legislation to prevent a strike, Atkinson said.

“We are there to get a deal, to move forward for our members, and we would not like to have a disruption in service but we’ll do what we have to do.”

Air Canada faces intense competition from lower-cost WestJet (TSX:WJA) and Porter Airlines, along with charter operators such as Transat A.T. (TSX:TRZ.B) and Sunwing.

Ian Lee, who teaches strategic management at Carleton University, said Air Canada likely miscalculated when it launched the legal challenge.

But it faces the daunting challenges of an unfunded pension liability exceeding $2 billion, low margins and intense competition.

“I think that they decided from a rational, strategic point of view that going to judicial review on the pensions was not good for their bottom line,” he said in an interview.

Just the noise about possible disruptions – even without a strike – could have affected bookings and further eroded its relationship with customers, added George Smith, a former Air Canada director of employee relations and fellow at Queen’s University.

“If you’re running a fragile business and a highly competitive one…you’ve got a lot of pressure without adding the pressure of labour unrest to the travelling public’s thought about whether and when they travel.”

He said the airline may have been trying, through the legal challenge, to send a message to the flight attendants arbitrator to stay within the bounds of their jurisdiction.

The airline has found itself in a difficult position by having a pension ruling it can’t afford, which now serves as a precedent for other labour groups, he said.

“It’s a little hard after that milk has been spilt to scoop it back into the glass.”

Air Canada’s pilots will return to the bargaining table in the fall after previously rejecting a tentative agreement.

On the Toronto Stock Exchange, Air Canada’s shares closed down two cents to $1.32 in Wednesday trading.

Alabama boy born without a nose dies at age 2

June 23rd, 2019

The little boy born without a nose who melted hearts and defied medical odds has died at the age of two.

“We lost our little buddy last night,” reads a Facebook message posted by Eli Thompson’s father, Jeremy Finch, on June 4.

“I’m so blessed to have had this beautiful boy in my life! He finished his race a lot earlier than we would have liked, but it was God’s time to bring him back home.”

READ MORE: Edmonton boy with rare disorder aging 8 times faster than normal

Eli was born in Alabama on March 4, 2015, with an incredibly rare condition known as complete congenital arhinia. After an uneventful pregnancy, Eli’s mother said she immediately knew something was wrong when he was born.

“I pulled back and said, ‘Something’s wrong!” Brandi McGlathery told Al杭州桑拿. “And the doctor said, ‘No, he’s perfectly fine.’ Then I shouted, ‘He doesn’t have a nose!”

The boy was born without a nose, nasal passage, or sinus cavities. His parents say doctors never detected any issues before he was born.

Undated photo of Eli Thompson, who died at the age of 2.


Eli lived with a tube in his throat to help him eat and breathe. The boy was expected to undergo facial reconstructive surgery later on in life after he reached puberty.

Details surrounding Thompson’s death have not been released.

A GoFundMe page has been set up to cover funeral expenses, which has already surpassed its goal of $12,000. Any funds left over will be donated to charity, the page states.


ISIS claims stunning attack in Iran which left 12 dead, more than 40 wounded

June 23rd, 2019

TEHRAN, Iran – The Islamic State group claimed responsibility Wednesday for a pair of stunning attacks on Iran’s parliament and the tomb of its revolutionary leader, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, which killed at least 12 people and wounded more than 40.

Tehran Police Chief Gen. Hossein Sajedinia announced late Wednesday night that five suspects had been detained for interrogation, according to a report in the semi-official ISNA news agency. Sajedinia did not offer any further details.


Reza Seifollahi, an official in the country’s Supreme National Security Council, was quoted by the independent Shargh daily as saying that the perpetrators of the attacks were Iranian nationals. He did not elaborate.

The bloodshed shocked the country and came as emboldened Sunni Arab states – backed by U.S. President Donald Trump – are hardening their stance against Shiite-ruled Iran.

The White House released a statement from Trump condemning the terrorist attacks in Tehran and offering condolences, but also implying that Iran is itself a sponsor of terrorism.

READ MORE: Iran attacks: At least 12 dead, dozens injured in twin attacks on parliament, shrine in Tehran

“We grieve and pray for the innocent victims of the terrorist attacks in Iran, and for the Iranian people, who are going through such challenging times,” the statement said. “We underscore that states that sponsor terrorism risk falling victim to the evil they promote.”

In recent years, Tehran has been heavily involved in conflicts in Syria and Iraq against the Islamic State, but had remained untouched by IS violence around the world. Iran has also battled Saudi-backed Sunni groups in both countries.

CCTV footage shows moment of attack on Iran’s parliament


CCTV footage shows moment of attack on Iran’s parliament


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Iran’s powerful Revolutionary Guard indirectly blamed Saudi Arabia for the attacks. A statement issued Wednesday evening stopped short of alleging direct Saudi involvement but called it “meaningful” that the attacks followed Trump’s visit to Saudi Arabia, where he strongly asserted Washington’s support for Riyadh.

The statement said Saudi Arabia “constantly supports” terrorists including the Islamic State group, adding that the IS claim of responsibility “reveals (Saudi Arabia’s) hand in this barbaric action.”

The “spilled blood of the innocent will not remain unavenged,” the Revolutionary Guard statement said.

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the country’s supreme leader, used the attacks to defend Tehran’s involvement in wars abroad. He told a group of students that if “Iran had not resisted,” it would have faced even more troubles.

“The Iranian nation will go forward,” he added.

The violence began in midmorning when assailants with Kalashnikov rifles and explosives stormed the parliament complex where a legislative session had been in progress. The siege lasted for hours, and one of the attackers blew himself up inside, according to Iran’s state TV.

Images circulating in Iranian media showed gunmen held rifles near the windows of the complex. One showed a toddler being handed through a first-floor window to safety outside as an armed man looks on.

READ MORE: Iran vows to release ‘roaring missiles’ on enemies if threatened

The IS group’s Aamaq news agency released a 24-second video purportedly shot inside the complex, showing a bloody, lifeless body on the floor next to a desk.

An Associated Press reporter saw several police snipers on the roofs of nearby buildings. Police helicopters circled the parliament and all mobile phone lines from inside were disconnected.

Shops in the area were closed as gunfire rang out and officials urged people to avoid public transportation. Witnesses said the attackers fired from the parliament building’s fourth floor at people in the streets.

“I was passing by one of the streets. I thought that children were playing with fireworks, but I realized people are hiding and lying down on the streets,” Ebrahim Ghanimi, who was around the parliament building, told the AP. “With the help of a taxi driver, I reached a nearby alley.”

As the parliament attack unfolded, gunmen and suicide bombers also struck outside Khomeini’s mausoleum on Tehran’s southern outskirts. Khomeini led the 1979 Islamic Revolution that toppled the Western-backed shah to become Iran’s first supreme leader until his death in 1989.

Iran’s state broadcaster said a security guard was killed at the tomb and that one of the attackers was slain by security guards. A woman was also arrested. The revered shrine was not damaged.

The Interior Ministry said six assailants were killed – four at the parliament and two at the tomb. A senior Interior Ministry official told Iran’s state TV the male attackers wore women’s attire.

Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani called the attacks a cowardly act.

Saudi Arabia and Iran regularly accuse each other of supporting extremists in the region. Saudi Arabia has long pointed to the absence of IS attacks in Iran as a sign of Tehran’s culpability. For its part, Iran has cited Saudi Arabia’s support for jihadists and its backing of hard-line Sunni fighters in Syria.

Trump’s first overseas visit to Saudi Arabia last month positioned the U.S. firmly on the side of the kingdom and other Arab states in their stance against Iran. His assurances of Washington’s support emboldened hawkish royals in Saudi Arabia, which is at war in Yemen against Iranian-allied rebels.

Map locates Parliament of Iran and Shrine of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, Iran; 2c x 2 inches; 96.3 mm x 50 mm;

The attacks are likely to deepen enmity and sharpen the regional battle for power between the two rivals. Tensions are running high this week following a cut in ties between key Arab powers and Qatar over accusations that the energy-rich nation supports terrorist groups and is aligning itself too closely with Iran.

Saudi Arabia has been a target of numerous lethal attacks by IS affiliates who see the kingdom’s Western-allied leadership as heretics. The group has also targeted Shiites in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. IS militants are fighting Iranian-backed forces in Syria and Iraq, and they view Shiites as apostates.

Nelly Lahoud, an expert on extremism at the International Institute for Strategic Studies in Bahrain, said IS leaders may be looking to rally supporters through the attacks in Iran as they lose ground in Syria and Iraq.

“Now that they are unable to maintain the promise of territory, attacking Iran is to their advantage,” she said. “It wouldn’t surprise me if this were planned for a long time.”

On March 27, the IS group posted a 37-minute video in Farsi threatening Iran. The Clarion Project said the speakers claimed to represent various Iranian Sunni ethnic groups, such as the Baluchis and Ahvazis, and encouraged Iranian Sunnis to join the group.

Wednesday’s attacks, during the holy month of Ramadan that is observed by both Sunni and Shiite Muslims, came as the Islamic State is competing with al-Qaida for jihadi recruits.

Arab separatists are active in Iran’s southern city of Ahvaz, where they killed two policemen three weeks ago. Though most Iranians are Shiite, including separatists in Ahvaz, the eastern Baloch region is majority Sunni, although there are no recent census figures available. There is also a significant Sunni population in southern Hormozgan province.

The attacks drew condemnation from Iran’s allies – and also from the United States. That was notable because of the deep distrust between Tehran and Washington, which don’t have diplomatic relations.

State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said the U.S. expressed condolences to the victims and their families.

“The depravity of terrorism has no place in a peaceful, civilized world,” Nauert said.

Russian President Vladimir Putin sent condolences and confirmed Moscow’s willingness to aid its ally. Syria’s Foreign Ministry also condemned the attacks, which it said were backed by various governments that it did not specify.

The IS group often claims attacks around the world, even when links to the group cannot be confirmed. Iranian security officials have not said who might have been behind the attacks, although state media called the assailants “terrorists.”

There are concerns that a doubling down on security could lead to a wider clampdown on the opposition in Iran. Rights group Amnesty International urged Iranian authorities to carry out impartial investigations into the attacks.

Charlie Winter, a senior research fellow at King’s College London, said the attacks could provoke a disproportionate counterterrorism response in Iran.

“Iranian officials will be called upon to step up intervention in Iraq (and) Syria big time,” he said, adding that Wednesday’s attacks will significantly boost IS morale amid battlefield defeats.

Reality check: This anti-James Comey ad is set to run during ex-FBI boss’ testimony, but how accurate is it?

June 23rd, 2019

An advertisement attacking James Comey’s credibility, and labelling him a “showboat,” is set to air on television Thursday during the former FBI director’s testimony on the Russia investigation and whether U.S. President Donald Trump pressured him to end the investigation.

READ MORE: What you need to know about James Comey’s testimony


And The Great America Alliance, a non-profit “issues” group formed after the Trump’s election to advocate for his administration is taking aim at Comey with an ad which will run on CNN and Fox News Thursday.

Along with calling Comey a “showboat,” the 30-second ad also criticizes his handling of the FBI investigation into Hillary Clinton and being more concerned about politics than his job.

Here’s a breakdown of the claims:

STATEMENT: “As head of the FBI, James Comey put politics over protecting America.”

This statement could be alluding to Comey’s decision to announce he was reviewing more emails relating to Hillary Clinton’s handling of classified information, just two weeks before the election.

At the time, Trump praised the announcement.

“The FBI has just sent a letter to Congress, informing them they have discovered new emails pertaining to the former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s investigation and they are reopening the case into her criminal and illegal conduct that threatens the security of the Unites States of America,” Trump said during an October campaign rally. “I have great respect for the FBI for righting this wrong.”

Just two days before the election, Comey announced he had reviewed emails and continued to believe she should not be prosecuted. Clinton went on to blame Comey, among others, for her stunning defeat

STATEMENT: “After the FBI banned terms like radical Islam for political correctness, Comey allowed the dangerous practice to continue.”

Trump made reference to “radical Islamic terrorism” throughout his campaign and had previously criticized Barack Obama and Clinton for not saying those three words.

However, before his first foreign trip as president, Trump was reportedly warned to not use term “radical Islamic terrorism” because it doesn’t help with U.S. relations with its allies in the fight against terrorism.

Trump had previously been warned about using the term “radical Islamic terrorism,” when National Security Adviser H. R. McMaster reportedly told staff that the term was not helpful because terrorists are “un-Islamic.”

During his first foreign trip as president, Trump dropped the term, replacing with words to the likes of Islamic extremism and “evil losers.”

STATEMENT: “When terror attacks were on the rise last year, Comey was consumed with election meddling, and after he testified before the US Senate, Comey’s own staff admitted some of his answers were flat out wrong.”

Comey had testified in Congress that Clinton’s campaign aide Huma Abedin had forwarded “hundreds and thousands” of emails to her husband’s laptop in a potential security breach. His comments were deemed inaccurate and the FBI was forced to send a letter to Congress saying Comey had misspoken.

STATEMENT: “James Comey: just another DC insider only in it for himself”

The Great America Alliance ad is dubbed “Showboat,” something Trump referred to Comey as just after he fired the FBI boss.

“He’s a showboat, he’s a grandstander, the FBI has been in turmoil,” Trump said in an NBC interview shortly after Comey’s firing. “You take a look at the FBI a year ago, it was in virtual turmoil, less than a year ago. It hasn’t recovered from that.”

Trump had previously said he terminated Comey’s based on a recommendation from Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.

Edmonton study suggests not to rely on home blood pressure monitors

June 23rd, 2019

New University of Alberta research suggests those who rely on home blood pressure monitors to make health decisions could leave themselves susceptible to serious implications.

Home blood pressure monitors are unacceptably inaccurate 70 per cent of the time, according to the study.

“High blood pressure is the number one cause of death and disability in the world,” medical researcher Jennifer Ringrose said.



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    “Monitoring for and treating hypertension can decrease the consequences of this disease. We need to make sure that home blood pressure readings are accurate.”

    READ MORE: One-fifth of Canadians diagnosed with hypertension don’t actually have it: study

    Dozens of tests were performed on home monitors by Ringrose and her team, which found the devices weren’t accurate within five mmHg about 70 per cent of the time. Additionally, the devices were off track by 10 mmHg about 30 per cent of the time.

    The study examined 85 patients, which had researchers compare the results of home monitors to those when two medical professionals took several measurements, with a third person monitoring the results.

    The study also found the readings were more inaccurate in men than in women.

    “Arm shape, arm size, the stiffness and age of blood vessels, and the type of blood pressure cuff are not always taken into account when a blood pressure machine is designed and validated,” U of A professor of medicine Raj Padwal said.

    “Individual differences, such as the size, age and medical background of the person using the blood pressure monitor are also contributing factors.”

    READ MORE: ‘Masked’ hypertension: You may have high blood pressure and not even know, docs warn

    Millions of patients around the world are told to monitor their blood pressure through a home monitor and asked to report the results to their doctor.

    The researchers suggested comparing the blood pressure from a home monitor to the blood pressure measurement from a clinic before relying on the home device.

    “What’s really important is to do several blood pressure measurements and base treatment decisions on multiple readings,” Ringrose said.

    “Taking home readings empowers patients and is helpful for clinicians to have a bigger picture rather than just one snapshot in time.”

    READ MORE: A new low for blood pressure says landmark study

    The U of A researchers also recommended not starting or changing drug-use based on one or two measurements unless the measurements are clearly elevated.

    The researchers don’t know why the inaccuracies are happening with the home monitors because they don’t have access to the formulas the devices use to determine blood pressure, which isn’t required to be released by manufacturers.

Daughter of missing Surrey woman pleads for information about her disappearance

June 23rd, 2019

“My mom is the pillar of our family as she always puts everyone before herself.”

The daughter of a missing Surrey is imploring anyone with information about her mother’s disappearance to talk to police.

San Li Liao, also known as Sandy Liao, was reported missing on May 29 and was last seen leaving work in the 14900-block of 54A Avenue on May 26.

She has not been seen or heard from since.


“We are very worried and anxious of her well being because this is very out of character for her and it has already been almost two weeks,” said Liao’s daughter, Cindy Cheng. “She has never gone missing before and would never travel for long periods of time without notifying us, and we know she would never leave us behind.”

Investigators say it is possible that she may have travelled to Vancouver Island, where she has some friends, but police are following up on all possible avenues.

“My mom is the pillar of our family as she always puts everyone before herself,” Cheng said.

“We really miss her and this is why our family is currently going through an extremely difficult time with this situation, and we are under a lot of stress while going through various emotions. Everyone is very concerned and worried about her well-being and it is very upsetting to imagine any other possible outcomes. Her safe return would mean the world to our family because without her our family will never be complete.”

Police are releasing updated photos of Liao in the hopes of locating her.

Liao is described as a 54-year-old Asian woman, 5’1 tall, 110 pounds, with a thin build, long shoulder length brown hair and brown eyes. She may be wearing glasses. There is no information on what she was wearing at the time of her disappearance.

Liao’s vehicle, a green 2000 Toyota Sienna, with B.C. licence plate 731 XEJ, was found in the area of the Guildford Recreation Centre, of which she is a frequent user, on May 29.

Stock photo of the vehicle.

Surrey RCMP

Surrey RCMP say they are exploring all avenues of investigation including partnering with multiple agencies to locate Liao.

Surrey Search and Rescue told Global News extensive searches for Liao were completed Monday night.

“At present we are waiting for any other pertinent information from the RCMP that would activate the team, until that time we are at a stand down status,” Cameron Clark with Surrey Search and Rescue said.

Investigators have also spoken to numerous persons and canvassed areas for more information and possible video surveillance.

Anyone with information about the whereabouts of Liao is asked to contact the Surrey RCMP at 604-599-0502, or Crime Stoppers, if they wish to remain anonymous, at 1-800-222-8477.

Buffalo launches special court to help address opioid problem

May 23rd, 2019

Buffalo’s justice system is addressing the local opioid problem in a unique way: opening a court dedicated to treating people with opioid addiction who come into contact with the law.

The Buffalo, N.Y., court program, which began in early May, offers drug treatment to everyone who has an identified opioid problem, according to Judge Craig Hannah, who supervises the program at Buffalo City Court.



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    READ MORE: At least 2,458 Canadians died from opioid-related overdoses in 2016

    Everyone who is arrested in Buffalo goes through a routine medical examination in the holding centre, he said. If they admit to having a recent overdose or to recently having used opioids, their case may be referred to the court. Then, they will be offered an option to participate in the program and receive treatment that medical staff recommend.

    “Once they’ve discussed everything with their lawyers, they get released from jail to go either to inpatient treatment or directly from jail to the outpatient facility,” said Hannah.

    In the meantime, their court case is put on hold.

    READ MORE: Calgary police chief cites economy, new drugs in crime increase: ‘we need more help’

    It normally takes between three months to a year for a case to go to trial, said Hannah, and the court was finding that it was sometimes too late for people to wait that long to get help.

    “Sometimes we do get death certificates for an individual or the DA moves to dismiss a matter because the person was deceased by the time the matter went to trial.”

    Erie County, which includes the City of Buffalo, has a huge opioid crisis, according to Gale Burstein, the county’s commissioner of health.

    “This year has really been a terrible year. We’re averaging one to two overdose deaths a day coming to our medical examiner’s office,” she said. There were 296 opioid-related deaths in Erie County in 2016.

    People who are participating in the opioid court are able to receive medication-assisted treatment to help get stabilized, she said, and these costs can often be covered by Medicaid.

    READ MORE: Latest Fentanyl news from Globalnews杭州桑拿

    According to Hannah, a participant first completes about 30 days of inpatient care, if it’s appropriate in their case, and then will graduate to an intensive outpatient program for another 30 days. While in that program, they attend group and one-on-one meetings and are required to report to him in court every day.

    “They have constant contact, constant motivation and constant monitoring that they’re staying drug- and alcohol-free,” he said.

    If someone breaks the rules, they might be taken out of the program, put back on the regular court calendar and be required to post bail, he said. And not everyone is eligible: they wouldn’t put a convicted drug dealer in their drug treatment group, for example.

    “To use the vernacular, you’re putting the fox in the henhouse, you know?” he said.

    WATCH: From ‘Band-Aid’ solutions like safe-injection sites, to decriminalization and the stigma associated with drug use: the topic of Canada’s ‘overdose crisis’ generated input from a diverse audience of harm reduction workers, physicians and Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer.

    Once the participant successfully completes their mandated strict outpatient program, they’re placed into a looser outpatient program and their case is scheduled again to be heard in court.

    “I think the main advantage is, we’re getting them healthy,” said Hannah. “And once we get them healthy, especially for a defendant, when they’re healthy they can participate in their defence better as opposed to just having a plea to get them out of court.”

    “You get them healthy, you get them productive, you get them back in society.”

    Although the program has only been operating for about a month, so far they haven’t lost a defendant before their court date, he said. They’ve had about 56 participants and have the capacity for 100.

    READ MORE: Ontario doctor who lost everything speaks out on fentanyl addiction ahead of sentence

    Hannah believes this novel approach is making a difference and is much better for people and society than the old “lock everybody up” approach to drug-related crime.

    “One person we had recently just finished his 30 days of daily contact and now he’s going into traditional outpatient services. And the main thing he said was he really appreciated us staying on top of him. Because a lot of times you just need that extra push and having people carrying and pulling for you to make a change in your life.”

    It’s early days yet, but Hannah is optimistic that the court will help make a difference in some people’s lives. “I’m very concerned about the [opioid] crisis but I’m encouraged by the way everyone is trying to come together and deal with it.”

OPP appeal to public after possibly poisoned pepperoni stick found on Norfolk County property

May 23rd, 2019

It’s a pet owner’s worst nightmare.

A woman went to the Norfolk County OPP detachment at roughly 10 a.m. Wednesday to report an animal complaint.

East-end Toronto posters warn of poisoned dog treats after owner doesn’t pick up dog waste

According to police, sometime between 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. on Monday, the woman was walking her dog on her property on Church Road in Townsend when the dog picked up something from the grass. The woman went to remove it from the dog’s mouth and discovered a pepperoni stick that had been hollowed out and filled with what police believe to be rat or mice poison.

“After speaking to the resident it was further explained that they had been finding deceased squirrels and chipmunks along their property as well,” said Const. Ed Sanchuk.

The dog did not consume the item and appears to be in good health, but Sanchuk notes this could have been a lot worse.

Norfolk County OPP Cst. Ed Sanchuk told AM980 it appears the pepperoni to be filled with either rat or mice poison.

Norfolk County OPP


“It kind of makes your stomach turn when you think that someone would take that opportunity to throw something like that on the property, especially if there’s young children in the area,” he explained.

“If that young child happens to pick that up, starts eating that pepperoni stick … we’re looking at a different ball game here especially if it’s any type of rat poison. You’re looking at a seriously injured child, dog, or even more than likely potentially death.”

Poisoned cat food in Verdun sparks investigation by Montreal SPCA, Animex

Sanchuk added that in his four years as a media officer, he’s only seen one other similar case where a pet died in Simcoe after ingesting antifreeze mixed into rice and bacon. He says that investigation is ongoing.

“I have an animal myself. It’s not just an animal, it’s a family member. This type of reaction, when you’re having someone dropping off a pepperoni stick or throwing some type of pepperoni stick with what appears to be poison inside, it’s very concerning not only to the resident but also to police.”

Anyone with information is urged to contact police or Crime Stoppers.

In photos: Major Canadian city skylines then and now

May 23rd, 2019

With Canada’s 150th anniversary of Confederation upon us, Canadians can reflect back on the major changes their cities have witnessed. In the last decade, places such as Toronto, Vancouver and Edmonton have seen major developments.

Canada 150: What travellers have to say about Canadians

Global News has gathered past and present photos of some Canadian cities to see how they’ve evolved over the years. Included are a mix of recent and archive photos throughout the century.


CANADA – Canada – British Columbia – Vancouver – Skyline (Photo by John Mahler/Toronto Star via Getty Images)

VANCOUVER, CANADA – The city skyline and Coal Harbour is viewed in this photo taken from Stanley Park on June 30, 2016, in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. (Photo by George Rose/Getty Images)

(Photo by George Rose/Getty Images)


Archive photo (City of Edmonton) circa 1964

EDMONTON, CANADA – JULY 1: The downtown skyline, with its new highrise office buildings, is viewed on July 1, 2013 in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. (Photo by George Rose/Getty Images)


Regina, Saskatchewan; ca.1930–Cities – Skyline view looking along Scarth St., from the Hotel Saskatchewan, Regina. (CP PHOTO) 1999 (National Archives of Canada) PA-119921

The Regina, Saskatchewan cityscape as seen from Taylor Field on Sunday, May 29, 2005. Regina is the second largest city in Saskatchewan and the provincial capital. (CP PHOTO/Geoff Howe)


Winnipeg Skyline, ca. 1920 Photo: City of Winnipeg

WINNIPEG, MB –  An aerial view of the Winnipeg skyline by the Red River on June 15, 2013 in Winnipeg, Manitoba. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)

Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images


CANADA – MAY 08: Canada – Ontario – Toronto – Skyline – 1972-75 (Photo by Doug Griffin/Toronto Star via Getty Images)

TORONTO, ONTARIO, CANADA – 2016/08/19: CN tower in Toronto skyline seen from Lake Ontario. (Photo by Roberto Machado Noa/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Roberto Machado Noa / File / Getty Images


Montreal, Canada: Aerial showing St. Helene’s Island and the Jacques Cartier Bridge. The skyline of Montreal is seen in the background (Photo: Getty Images)

Canada, Quebec Province, View of Montreal city. (Photo by: JTB/UIG via Getty Images)


View of Halifax, Nova Scotia, from the Citadel looking North Northeast to Dartmouth with Brunswick Street, foreground and centering on the Trinity Episcopalian Church, Poplar Grove. Circa 1892-1893. (Novia Scotia acrchives)

A sailboat is seen in front of the Halifax skyline on Sunday, July 31, 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darren Calabrese

Darren Calabrese/CP

WATCH: Canada Day celebrations that aren’t in Ottawa


How the British election could change what happens with Brexit

May 23rd, 2019

If you thought the Brexit debate was over, think again.

Depending on which party wins Thursday’s snap election, Britain’s Brexit decision could be reopened.

WATCH: U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May calls snap election


But Prime Minister Theresa May has already triggered Article 50, meaning the formal two-year process of leaving the European Union has begun. The choice then is between a “hard Brexit” and a “soft Brexit.” A hard exit would mean leaving the single market, making new trade deals, ending EU migration and revoking all EU laws and regulations, according to BBC News.

British Prime Minister Theresa May on May 25.

Geert Vanden Wijngaert/AP

In the soft exit scenario, Britain would stay in the single market, but would lose its seat at the EU table. The country would enjoy the “four freedoms” of the EU — free movement of goods, services, capital and people — without officially being in the union.

Here’s how the election outcome would likely impact what happens with Brexit:

Conservatives win a majority

If Theresa May returns as prime minister with a majority of seats in the House of Commons, the Conservatives will go ahead with their original “hard Brexit” plan.

Britain would leave the EU in March 2019.

Conservatives win a minority

Things get a little more complicated if the Conservatives win the election, but lose their majority. The opportunity arises for other parties — the Labour Party, Scottish Nationalist Party and the Liberal Democrats — to form a coalition. Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn would become prime minister in this case, and he is likely to opt for a “soft Brexit,” The Independent UK reports.

Britain\’s Labour party leader Jeremy Corbyn speaks at an event on June 7.

Peter Byrne/PA via AP

Labour wins a minority

In a minority situation, a Labour government with the support of other parties is still possible.

It’s unclear if Corbyn would actually form a coalition though. When asked about it earlier in June, he said: “You’d better ask me on June 9th,” according to The Telegraph UK.

Labour wins a majority

Although Corbyn had supported the “No” Brexit vote, he has pledged to honour the House of Commons’ decision to back Brexit. In February, MPs voted overwhelmingly to support leaving with a decisive 498 votes to 114.

“Labour wants a jobs-first Brexit,” Corbyn said, according to The Independent UK. “A Brexit that safeguards the future of Britain’s vital industries, a Brexit that paves the way to a genuinely fairer society and an upgraded economy.”

— With a file from The Associated Press

Your Saskatchewan – Regina: June 2017

May 23rd, 2019

Every day, Global Regina features a viewer submitted photo for Your Saskatchewan on Global News Morning, Global News at 6 and Global News at 10.

Submit your photo with a description and location via Facebook, 桑拿会所 or by email to [email protected]杭州桑拿.

Photos should be added to the email as an attachment, in jpeg format, landscape orientation and at least 920 pixels wide.

READ MORE: Your Saskatchewan – Regina: May 2017

June 1: This Your Saskatchewan photo was taken by Taya Grueter near Saskatoon.

Taya Grueter/Submitted

June 2: This Your Saskatchewan photo was taken by Barbie Krushlucki in Regina.

Barbie Krushlucki/Submitted

June 5: This Your Saskatchewan photo was taken by Mitchell Langois.

Mitchell Langois/Submitted

June 6: This Your Saskatchewan photo was taken by Annette Wylie of Wakaw, Sask.

Annette Wylie/Submitted

June 7: This Your Saskatchewan photo was taken by Nicole Bateman in Shaunavon, Sask.

Nicole Bateman/Submitted

June 8: This Your Saskatchewan photo was taken by Claire Sauve.

Claire Sauve/Submitted

June 9: This Your Saskatchewan photo was taken by Candace Woodside of Lake Athabasca, Sask

Candace Woodside/Submitted

June 12: This Your Saskatchewan photo was taken by Kenneth J. Friedt on the Tor Hill Golf Course in Regina.

Kenneth J. Friedt/Submitted

June 14: This Your Saskatchewan photo was taken by Taya Grueter near Saskatoon.

Taya Grueter/Submitted

June 15: This Your Saskatchewn photo was taken by Karen Wolaniuk in Douglas Provincial Park.

Karen Wolaniuk/Submitted

June 16: This Your Saskatchewan photo was taken by Cara Giesbrecht.

Cara Giesbrecht/Submitted

June 19: This Your Saskatchewan photo was taken by Lawrence Pagan.

Lawrence Pagan/Submitted

June 20: This Your Saskatchewan photo was taken by Mike Petty in Pike Lake, Sask.

Mike Petty/Submitted

June 21: This Your Saskatchewan photo was taken by Travis Viczko of Anglin Lake, Sask.

Travis Viczko/submitted

June 22: This Your Saskatchewan photo was taken by Norman Brown in the Avonlea Badlands.

Norman Brown/Submitted

June 23: This Your Saskatchewan photo was taken by Monica Iron of Saskatoon.

Monica Iron / Submitted

June 27: This Your Saskatchewan photo was taken by Danilo Zambuchini.

Danilo Zambuchini/Submitted

June 28: This Your Saskatchewan photo was taken by Karen Wolaniuk near Drake, Sask.

Karen Wolaniuk/Submitted

June 29: This Your Saskatchewan photo was taken by Wanda Millard near Livelong

Wanda Millard/Submitted

June 30: This Your Saskatchewan photo was taken by Nicole Zieglgansberger.

Nicole Zieglgansberger/Submitted