Belgium to keep Brussels on highest threat alert into Monday

Written by admin on 27/07/2019 Categories: 广州桑拿网

BRUSSELS – With hundreds of troops patrolling Brussels for a second day and authorities hunting one or more suspected militants, the Belgian government chose Sunday to keep the capital on the highest state of alert into the start of the workweek to prevent a Paris-style attack.

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Citing a “serious and imminent” threat, Prime Minister Charles Michel announced that schools and universities in Brussels will be closed Monday, with the subway remaining shut down, preventing a return to normal in the city that is also home to the European Union’s main institutions.

“We fear an attack like in Paris, with several individuals, perhaps in several places,” Michel said after chairing a meeting of Belgium’s National Security Council.

While Brussels was kept on the highest of four alert levels, the rest of the country remain on a Level 3 alert, meaning an attack is “possible and likely.”

READ MORE: Security lockdown in Brussels after threat of Paris-style attacks

“Nobody is pleased with such a situation. Neither are we. But we have to take our responsibility,” Michel said.

The situation was tense Sunday night in the wider area around the Grand Place, with police out in force and several raids looking for suspects going on. At one point, security forces closed off streets and yelled at people to stay away.

Western leaders stepped up the rhetoric against the Islamic State group, which has claimed responsibility for the attacks in Paris that killed 130 people and wounded hundreds more; the suicide bombings in Beirut that killed 43 people and injured more than 200; and the downing of the Russian jetliner carrying 224 people in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula. All happened within the past month.

“We will not accept the idea that terrorist assaults on restaurants and theatres and hotels are the new normal, or that we are powerless to stop them,” President Barack Obama said in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

French Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said IS must be destroyed at all costs. “We must annihilate Islamic State worldwide … and we must destroy Islamic State on its own territory,” Le Drian said. “That’s the only possible direction.”

WATCH: Security and military experts have converged for the first time since the Paris attacks. Tom Clark reports.

The decision to put Brussels on the highest alert came early Saturday as authorities frantically searched for Salah Abdeslam, who is believed to have played a key role in the Nov. 13 attacks in France. He is known to have crossed into Belgium the day after the attacks.

Interior Minister Jan Jambon warned that the threat wouldn’t necessarily disappear if Abdeslam was found, because they are looking for several people in connection with a possible planned attack in Brussels.

“The terror threat is wider that just that person,” Jambon said. “We are looking at several things. That is why we are making the big show of power and following everything up by the minute. It’s of no use to hide this.”

Several of the Paris attackers had lived in Brussels, including Abdelhamid Abaaoud, the plot’s orchestrator who was killed Wednesday in a standoff with French police.

Abdeslam is known to have crossed into Belgium on Nov. 14. His brother, Mohamed Abdeslam, went on Belgian TV and urged him to surrender, saying he would rather see him “in prison than in a cemetery.”

READ MORE: Canada urges citizens in Belgium to be cautious

On Saturday, authorities in the Turkish coastal city of Antalya detained a 26-year-old Belgian citizen suspected of being linked to Islamic extremists and possibly to the Paris attacks.

France has intensified its aerial bombing in Syria and Le Drian said the aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle, which has been sent to the Mediterranean to help combat IS militants in Syria, will be “operational” from Monday and “ready to act.”

Also Monday, French President Francois Hollande is scheduled to meet in Paris with British Prime Minister David Cameron and will travel to Washington and Moscow later in the week to push for a stronger international coalition against IS. Cameron is expected to outline his plan for combating the militants as he seeks parliamentary approval to join France, the U.S. and Russia in striking the group’s strongholds in Syria.

Western leaders step up anti-ISIS rhetoric

Western leaders stepped up the rhetoric against the Islamic State group, which has claimed responsibility for the attacks in Paris that killed 130 people and wounded hundreds more; the suicide bombings in Beirut that killed 43 people and injured more than 200; and the downing of the Russian airline carrying 224 people in Sinai. All happened within the past month.

Speaking from Kuala Lumpur, President Barack Obama said the world would not accept the extremists’ attacks on civilians as the “new normal,” and vowed the United States and its international partners would not relent in the fight against the Islamic militants.

WATCH: Obama says coalition against ISIS ‘will not relent’

Russia also is trumpeting action it’s taking to fight IS. It has intensified its airstrikes in Syria in response to the Oct. 31 downing of its passenger plane in Egypt.

On Sunday, Russian law enforcement officers raided a militant hideout in the North Caucasus, killing 11 in an exchange of fire. The militants were part of a group whose members had pledged allegiance to IS, the National Anti-Terrorist Committee said in a statement.

Attacks like those in Paris are aimed partly at provoking the West, as the Islamic State group hopes that stepped-up military action in the region will reinforce its narrative of a clash of civilizations and attract more Muslims to its ranks. IS and other militant groups seize on harsh Western rhetoric and civilian deaths to portray themselves as defending Muslims from modern “Crusaders.”

In an effort to minimize possible targets, Belgian officials recommended that sports competitions and all activities in public buildings be cancelled this weekend, and malls and commercial centres closed.

The security measures left Brussels eerily quiet, with streets deserted and many of the city’s famous beer bars and restaurants largely empty.

Residents were bracing for the impact that the continued clampdown would have on this city of more than 1 million as the workweek began.

READ MORE: Thousands take part in marches in France and Italy ‘for civil rights and peace’ 

“I can’t believe they are closing down the city. It is crazy but they must have a good reason,” said Josephine Lemmens, a physiotherapist.

Lemmens said she didn’t know what she would do with her 11-year-old son now that schools have been ordered closed, but she conceded the measures were justified if they prevented an attack like the one in Paris.

Restaurant worker Raphael Lungo said the decision to keep the subway idle would affect him most.

“This is really going to complicate my life. I take the metro very day and I don’t know what I will do tomorrow,” he said, voicing confidence that the emergency wouldn’t last too long. “Europe succeeded in beating the Nazis,” he said.

The European Union’s executive Commission decided to stay open for business but its vice-president, Kristalina Georgieva, warned people to be vigilant and expect increased security checks.

In France, police issued a new appeal to identify the third attacker who was killed in the assault at the national stadium. They posted a photo of the man on 广州蒲友, asking the public for information that would help identify him.

France has extended a state of emergency, which allows police raids, searches and house arrest without permission from a judge, for three months. On Saturday, it also extended a ban on demonstrations and other gatherings through Nov. 30, when a U.N. climate conference with more than 100 heads of state is scheduled to start.

In a sign of the nervousness in Paris since the attacks, some travellers at the Gare Du Nord station ran out of their trains Sunday after hearing noises they thought were gunshots but actually were caused by a pigeon being electrocuted on the tracks.

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RCMP investigate two bomb threats at Halifax airport

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HALIFAX – RCMP in Nova Scotia are investigating two bomb threats at the Halifax Stanfield International Airport Sunday morning.

First, a Turkish Airline flight was diverted to the airport late last night, making it the second airplane diverted to Halifax in less than a week due to a bomb threat. No explosives were found on board the plane.

Carrying 256 passengers and crew members, the Turkish Airlines Flight 2 plane took off at John F. Kennedy Airport in New York City Saturday evening and headed to Ataturk Airport in Istanbul.

According to an RCMP spokesperson, Turkish Airlines was alerted to the threat and then alerted Halifax Stanfield International Airport. The airport subsequently alerted the RCMP at approximately 11:50 p.m. AT (the RCMP previously incorrectly stated that being one hour prior).

People are exiting the plane. #Halifax #NovaScotia #TK2 pic.twitter广州桑拿网/AWUhfUpAYH

— Steve Silva (@SteveCSilva) November 22, 2015

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The airplane turned around midair, landing at the airport at 12:53 a.m., according to airport spokesperson Peter Spurway.

About an hour later, all passengers and crew members were off the Airbus A330. They were transported inside the airport using Halifax Transit busses.

Nova Scotia RCMP didn’t release many details on the threat to news outlets at the airport.

“The investigation is in its early stages, but we will be looking into the origins of the threat,” said Cst. Tanny Lobb, a media relations officer.

RCMP used several teams, including sniffer dogs, to search the plane and luggage. At 4:25 a.m., the plane was cleared, then moved to a gate less than hour later.

And the plane has left for its gate. #TK2 #Halifax #NovaScotia pic.twitter广州桑拿网/OLij3vsubS

— Steve Silva (@SteveCSilva) November 22, 2015

The plane took off for Istanbul shortly before 7 a.m.

Spurway said five passengers chose not to continue on the flight, though they weren’t able to get their luggage off the plane.

Of the five, most didn’t want to speak to reporters but did confirm they got off the plane due to safety concerns.

The main runway was closed for several hours, but the airport otherwise operated normally.

WestJet plane delayed by bomb threat

Later in the morning, RCMP responded to another bomb threat at the airport.

Police were called at 6:41 a.m. for WestJet Flight 229 from Halifax to Calgary, which was at the terminal with 75 people on board.

Following a search of the plane at 9:15 a.m., no explosives were found.

RT @HfxStanfield: @WestJet Flight 229 Hfx-Calgary cleared by @RCMPNS. Re-boarding and departure to follow shortly.

— RCMP, Nova Scotia (@RCMPNS) November 22, 2015

The plane was supposed to leave at 7:30 a.m.; it has since been delayed to 10:30 a.m.

The RCMP are investigating both threats.

On Wednesday, an Air France plane was diverted to Halifax after an anonymous threat. After similar threats, a fourth plane made an emergency landing in Salt Lake City the same day.

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Iran sentences Washington Post journalist to unspecified prison term

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TEHRAN, Iran – Iran has sentenced detained Washington Post journalist Jason Rezaian to an unspecified prison term following his conviction last month on charges that include espionage, Iranian state TV reported Sunday.

Gholam Hossein Mohseni Ejehi, the spokesman for Iran’s judiciary, announced the punishment in a statement on the TV station’s website.

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“In brief, it is a prison sentence,” he said. The verdict is “not finalized,” he added, referring to an expected appeal.

READ MORE: Iran court concludes final hearing for Washington Post reporter charged with espionage

Ejehi was responding to a question from a local reporter at a weekly news conference. He said the verdict has not been officially communicated to Rezaian or his lawyer.

Rezaian’s lawyer, Leila Ahsan, told The Associated Press she had not been informed of the verdict — let alone details of the sentence.

“I have no information about details of the verdict,” she said. “We were expecting the verdict some three months ago.”

Rezaian was detained with his wife, Yeganeh Salehi, and two photojournalists on July 22, 2014. All were later released except Rezaian, a dual U.S.-Iranian citizen.

Rezaian went on trial in four closed-door court hearings at Tehran’s Revolutionary Court, which hears cases related to national security. Last month, he was convicted of spying and other charges.

The Post has vigorously denied the accusations against its correspondent.

READ MORE: Family of detained US journalist in Iran urges authorities to set him free

“We’re aware of the reports in the Iranian media, but have no further information at this time,” Washington Post foreign editor Douglas Jehl said in a statement.

“Every day that Jason is in prison is an injustice. He has done nothing wrong. Even after keeping Jason in prison 488 days so far, Iran has produced no evidence of wrongdoing. His trial and sentence are a sham, and he should be released immediately.”

Rezaian, who has covered Iran for the Post since 2012, grew up in Marin County, California and spent most of his life in the United States. The Post, U.S. officials and Rezaian’s family have all called for his release. Iran does not recognize dual-nationality.

“By withholding information about the verdict and sentence, the Iranian government shows that its pursuit of Jason Rezaian on bogus espionage charges is nothing but a facade to prolong his unjust imprisonment,” said Sherif Mansour, the Middle East and North Africa program co-ordinator for the U.S.-based Committee to Protect Journalists.

“The authorities should immediately drop all charges against Jason Rezaian and release him, along with all journalists imprisoned in Iran in relation to their work,” he said.

The CPJ says 30 journalists were behind bars in Iran in 2014, making it the second worst jailer of reporters, after China.

Iran’s state media, citing the indictment, have said Rezaian collected information on Iranian and foreign individuals and companies circumventing sanctions and passed them on to the U.S. government. Iranian state TV has repeatedly called Rezaian an “American spy.”

Earlier this month, the intelligence department of the powerful elite Revolutionary Guard claimed in a report to parliament that Rezaian is an agent seeking to “overthrow” Iran’s Islamic ruling system.

His incarceration and trial played out as Iran and six world powers, including the U.S., negotiated a landmark agreement in which Tehran agreed to curb its nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief.

Iranian media in August quoted officials discussing the possibility of swapping Americans detained in Iran for 19 Iranians held in the U.S. It’s unclear, however, whether that’s been seriously discussed between Iranian and U.S. officials.

___

Associated Press writer Joseph Krauss in Cairo contributed to this report.

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Alberta to implement carbon tax in climate change policy

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EDMONTON – Alberta has released its long-awaited report on climate change policy that includes a carbon tax that would apply across the economy.

The levy would start at $20 a tonne of greenhouse gases in 2017 and will move to $30 a tonne the next year.

The government is moving to phase out the province’s coal-fired power generation by 2030.

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Related

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    Canada’s environment minister attends climate change talks in Paris

    READ MORE: Alberta climate change plan – ‘War on coal’, ‘unfair hit’ or positive step forward?

    “This is the day we step up, at long last, to one of the world’s biggest problems – the pollution that is causing climate change,” Premier Rachel Notley said as she announced her government’s new policy in Edmonton on Sunday.

    “Climate change is real, it is caused by human activity and it demands an effective response.”

    The provincial New Democrats will also cap greenhouse gas emissions from the oilsands at 100 megatonnes, which leaves plenty of room to expand the industry.

    Notley will take the plan to a meeting of first ministers in Ottawa on Monday and to an international gathering in Paris at the end of the month.

    Watch below: Notley releases long-awaited report on climate change policy

    READ MORE: Alberta to release part of climate-change plan a week before Paris meeting

    The plan’s success is seen as critical to improving Alberta’s environmental reputation and in improving acceptance of the province’s energy exports.

    Notley noted the importance of the energy industry to the economy, but she said previous inaction on climate change played a role in President Barack Obama’s decision to reject the proposed Keystone XL pipeline.

    She acknowledged the presence of industry and environmental representatives who were also at the announcement with her.

    Murray Edwards of Canadian Natural Resources Limited, who took the stage immediately after Notley, said it’s a difficult time for the oil and gas industry and said the targets the NDP government are setting are “ambitious.” But he said they would allow innovation and growth in the oil industry to continue while also addressing climate change.

    “This plan recognizes the need for a balance between the environment and the economy. One that should provide greater predictablity for both the industry and the province on a go-forward basis,” Edwards said.

    READ MORE: Reaction to Alberta’s ‘ambitious’ climate change plan 

    Notley promised to work in co-operation with companies that generate, regulate and distribute electricity in Alberta to help east the burden of their transition away from coal, and she also pledged to make sure power prices remain stable for consumers.

    Two-thirds of coal generation will be replaced with renewable energy, she said. Money collected through the carbon price will be invested into measures to reduce pollution, and to help families, small businesses and First Nations working in the coal industry.

    The announcement is the result of months of consultation and study by an expert panel convened to help the government write the policy. Andrew Leach, a University of Alberta energy economist, led the panel, which received thousands of pages of submissions from citizens, industry and environmental groups.

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Fighting for his life: Lethbridge baby’s struggle with cancer

Written by admin on 26/07/2019 Categories: 广州桑拿网

LETHBRIDGE – It’s a reality no family wants to face: helping your infant fight for his life.

Two months ago 8-month Mason Lammers old got what his mother Karli Doll thought was just a small cold. She took him to their family doctor, who told them there was nothing to be concerned about.

Two weeks went by and little Mason was not getting any better, so his parents rushed him to Chinook Regional Hospital in Lethbridge.

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“They did some blood work and he actually had a white blood cell count of 500, a normal range is between 4-14, and right away they told us they figured it was leukemia,” Doll said.

Mason was rushed by STARS to the Alberta Children’s Hospital in Calgary. Doctors determined he had high risk Acute Myeloid Leukemia

“It was devastating,” Doll explained. “You think why us? It’s not fair.”

Baby Mason has just finished his first of four cycles of Chemotherapy, receiving a total of nine blood transfusions. Doll said she never realized the importance of blood donations until now.

“A lot of people don’t think about childhood cancer and donation until it actually happens to them and you know these kids need that blood so bad to even have a fighting chance.”

She’s thankful to every donor who helped her son continue his fight.

“He wouldn’t have a chance to fight if it wasn’t for you guys. Honestly, if I could hug every single one of you I would,” she said.

Mason not only needs blood but doctors say he also requires a bone marrow transplant.

Doll knows it’s going to be a tough battle, but she said Mason’s happy goofy personality makes a difficult time for her family a little less painful.

To follow Mason’s story visit MASON’S AML JOURNEY.

8-month Mason at the Alberta Children’s Hospital in Calgary.

Karli Doll / submitted

8-month Mason at the Alberta Children’s Hospital in Calgary.

Karli Doll / submitted

8-month Mason at the Alberta Children’s Hospital in Calgary.

Karli Doll / submitted

8-month Mason at the Alberta Children’s Hospital in Calgary.

Karli Doll / submitted

8-month Mason at the Alberta Children’s Hospital in Calgary.

Karli Doll / submitted

8-month Mason at the Alberta Children’s Hospital in Calgary.

Karli Doll / submitted

8-month Mason at the Alberta Children’s Hospital in Calgary.

Karli Doll / submitted

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TIFF 2015 reflects a world ‘afraid of events that it cannot control’

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TORONTO – The Toronto International Film Festival celebrates its 40th edition this week with a heck of a guest list: Johnny Depp, Matt Damon, Sandra Bullock, Helen Mirren and Keith Richards are just a few of the stars set to walk the red carpet for this milestone year.

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Related

    From fledgling fest to heavyweight: TIFF turns 40

    Stars set to relive ‘Princess Bride’ in Jason Reitman’s live read event at TIFF 2015

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    Ellen Page, Ethan Hawke star in Canadian films coming to TIFF

    Buzzy films already generating chatter include the star-packed muckraking thriller Spotlight, starring Michael Keaton and Mark Ruffalo as part of a team of reporters investigating sex abuse allegations involving the Catholic Church; Scott Cooper’s gangster flick Black Mass, with a bald Depp portraying ruthless wise guy James (Whitey) Bulger; and Ridley Scott’s outerspace thriller The Martian, with Damon playing an astronaut abandoned on the red planet.

    Then there’s the Irish-Canadian Room, about a five-year-old’s account of growing up with his mother locked in a shed, which he believes is the whole world; he’s unaware they are captives.

    “I think there’s a lot of films that deal with the notion of traumatic events changing your life and what it does to you,” TIFF CEO Piers Handling said of trends at this year’s festival.

    “There’s such uncertainty in people’s personal lives as well as politically, socially…. I think it’s a more anxious world, it’s a more connected world, so it’s a world that is a bit afraid of events that it cannot control.”

    WATCH: Trailer for Black Mass, starring Johnny Depp

    This year’s opening film comes from Quebec director Jean-Marc Vallee, the C.R.A.Z.Y. auteur who this time helms the studio-backed English-language drama Demolition. It stars Jake Gyllenhaal as an investment banker who responds to the sudden death of his wife with random acts of destruction.

    Canadian titles this year include a new outing from Deepa Mehta, who switches gears with an action-packed gangster tale, Beeba Boys; Remember from festival veteran Atom Egoyan, who enlisted Christopher Plummer and Martin Landau for the Nazi revenge thriller; the war saga Hyena Road from actor/director Paul Gross; and The Forbidden Room from the assuredly strange Guy Maddin.

    Celeb stalkers will undoubtedly be on the lookout for legendary Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards – dare say we, ambling about town with his pirate brother Depp? – as he premieres his Netflix documentary, Keith Richards: Under the Influence, from Oscar-winning director Morgan Neville (Twenty Feet from Stardom).

    The doc screens as part of TIFF’s new TV section, Primetime, which promises to feature the best in global television – but on the big screen. The program’s six titles include the Hulu comedy Casual, executive produced by Jason Reitman, and the second season premiere of France’s supernatural drama The Returned.

    But the focus for many cinephiles at TIFF, of course, is on finding the upcoming awards-season contenders. Traditionally seen as a launching pad for Oscar hopefuls, TIFF has a proven track record for launching the next Slumdog Millionaire or The King’s Speech.

    At the very least, several flicks seem certain to provoke: Michael Moore unleases his new documentary Where to Invade Next; Oscar-winner Eddie Redmayne plays a transgender painter in Tom Hooper’s The Danish Girl; Charlie Kaufman experiments with stop-motion animation in Anomalisa; Netflix enters the conversation with its child soldier saga Beasts of No Nation; and Argentine auteur Pablo Trapero documents a spate of real-life brutal kidnappings in The Clan.

    Artistic director Cameron Bailey had a hard time choosing standouts and instead singled out a new competitive program called Platform, which features “artistically ambitious cinema.”

    “A lot of attention has been paid to the Ben Wheatley film High-Rise, which is terrific and I think people are going to love it, but there are some other films in that section that will really surprise people,” says Bailey.

    WATCH: Esther Garnick showcases a variety of products labeled as TIFF essentials.

    “One of my favourites is a film called Neon Bull, from Gabriel Mascaro. When I watched it I had the same feeling that I had the first time I saw a David Lynch film. The sense of being drawn into a world that is entirely new and seeing things that are really surprising.”

    Among emerging Canadian filmmakers, he picked Stephen Dunn’s debut feature Closet Monster, calling it “one of the strongest films in our lineup.”

    “It’s just a terrific coming of age and coming out story – beautiful stylish, very emotional. It’s about as good as you could ever get from a debut feature.”

    The Toronto International Film Festival kicks off Thursday.

    – With files from Canadian Press reporter David Friend

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Vancouver police searching for two possible witnesses following deadly fight

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Police are asking for the public’s help in locating two possible witnesses to an incident in downtown Vancouver that resulted in the death of a 26-year-old man.

The incident happened at the corner of Abbott and West Pender Street on Aug. 18 at about 1:15am when the victim allegedly got into a verbal exchange with several women and an unknown man intervened. What followed, according to VPD, was a confrontation that turned physical.

The 26-year-old victim was taken to the hospital for what was initially thought of as a minor injury but later died. The cause of his death is currently unknown.

The city’s Major Crime Section believes there were witnesses in the area at the time of the alleged argument and released photos of the possible witnesses. Police said these women are not suspects in the case.

Anyone who may know the identities of the two women are asked to call Vancouver Police Homicide Detective Shane Aitken at 604-717-2546.

PHOTO GALLERY

Vancouver police would like to identify these possible witnesses of a deadly fight that happened on Aug. 18.

VPD handout

Vancouver police would like to identify this possible witness of a deadly fight that happened on Aug. 18.

VPD handout

Vancouver police would like to identify this possible witness of a deadly fight that happened on Aug. 18.

VPD handout

Vancouver police would like to identify this possible witness of a deadly fight that happened on Aug. 18.

VPD handout

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Harper shrugs off actions of key Conservative senators in spending scandal

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WATCH ABOVE: Stephe Harper responds to claims ‘wheels are falling off’ his campaign

MISSISSAUGA, Ont. – Stephen Harper appears to have absolved some of his top senators from any responsibility in the Mike Duffy affair, despite court testimony detailing their handling of a controversial independent audit before it was completed.

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Duffy’s trial for fraud, breach of trust and bribery, which is on a break until November, heard that Sen. Irving Gerstein asked for information from a contact at Deloitte about the audit of Duffy’s expenses in early 2013.

Aides in the Prime Minister’s Office wanted to know if Deloitte would refrain from reaching conclusions about Duffy’s Senate residency – if he repaid his expenses.

Harper’s former chief of staff, Nigel Wright, testified that Sen. David Tkachuk first suggested the audit could be quietly called off if the expenses were repaid. Tkachuk was chairman of the Senate’s powerful internal economy committee.

READ MORE Liberals picking up momentum in Ontario, B.C., according to latest seat projections

Harper has repeatedly balked at the suggestion any of Wright’s subordinates should be held accountable for the affair. While senators as parliamentarians are not junior to anyone, Harper stuck to his position on Tuesday that only two men – Duffy and Wright – bear any responsibility for the scandal.

“The audit firm itself has attested to the propriety of the audit,” Harper said. “That’s their responsibility and this is a matter for the Senate.”

Deloitte executive Michael Runia told the RCMP that Gerstein asked him what would happen to the audit if Duffy repaid the funds. The two men knew each other because the Conservative party is a Deloitte client.

READ MORE: Tory leader Stephen Harper made another campaign promise Tuesday – to double the federal grants of RESPs for low and middle-class families

Terms of the audit commissioned by the Senate were strictly confidential. Only a handful of people had access to information; Gerstein was not one of them.

It’s unclear what Gerstein learned from Runia, but afterward, Harper’s staff exchanged emails about what they believed they could count on from Deloitte.

“Just heard from Gerstein. Here’s the latest and most useful information yet from Deloitte,” parliamentary affairs aide Patrick Rogers wrote in one email.

READ MORE: Harper boasts about Canada’s record on refugees, but gets some things wrong

“Any repayments will not change Deloitte’s conclusions because they were asked to opine on residency. However, they can’t reach a conclusion on residency because Duffy’s lawyer has not provided them anything.”

Harper’s former director of issues management, Chris Woodcock, admitted to the court last month that the actions around the audit made him “uncomfortable.”

Wright secretly repaid Duffy’s $90,000 in living expenses in April 2013, after negotiations between figures in the PMO and Duffy and his lawyer. Several people knew about either the payment, elements of the agreement with Duffy, or both.

Harper has also refused to assign any blame to other senior staff in his office who were involved, telling the CBC in an interview that nobody but Wright acted unethically or irresponsibly.

READ MORE: Haven’t paid attention to the election campaign? Here’s what you missed

On Tuesday, NDP candidate Francoise Boivin said Canada’s director of public prosecutions should be reviewing the actions of PMO staff. She called on outgoing Justice Minister Peter MacKay to refer the matter.

Wright revealed during the trial that he had been in contact with Novak as recently as two weeks before his testimony began. And Woodcock was seen speaking to his successor at the PMO in the hallways of the courthouse.

“(MacKay) has a responsibility to make sure any possible political interference with a witness giving testimony under oath is reviewed by the director of public prosecutions and referred to the proper authorities,” Boivin said.

Several of the PMO players involved went on to other prime positions inside the Conservative government. Ray Novak was promoted, taking over from Wright when he left as Harper’s chief of staff in the wake of the scandal. Novak is currently a senior campaign director.

Gerstein kept his position as chairman of the Conservative Fund and Senate banking committee. Gerstein’s name still pops up on requests for money sent to party donors.

He told a Conservative convention in 2013 that he rejected Wright’s request for repayment of Duffy’s expenses, despite the fact the party was prepared to pay a lesser amount of $32,000.

Harper was in Mississauga, Ont., to announce that a re-elected Conservative government would increase the amount of money it kicks in when low- and middle-income families invest in education savings plans.

The increase to the Canada education savings grants would mean that a family earning up to $44,000 would receive $200 for the first $500 socked away for their child’s higher education plan each year. A family earning up to $88,000 would receive $100 on the first $500 each year.

“This is an important but it is an affordable commitment,” Harper said.

And you know that when we Conservatives make such a commitment, because it is affordable, we will deliver on that commitment.”

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4 ways your digital gadgets are ruining your body

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Your thumb and wrist are throbbing, your eyes are bloodshot and you’re pretty sure you have “text neck.” Sitting hunched over and tapping away at your smart phone comes with its share of consequences.

“I’m often seeing people with a lot of neck and shoulder pain and it’s mainly because of bad posture they have when they’re using their devices, especially when it comes to smart phones and tablets,” says Dr. Katherine Tibor, a chiropractor and spokesperson for the Ontario Chiropractic Association.

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Tibor and Dr. Sophia Da Silva are even seeing patients as young as eight years old, adolescents and teenagers.

“It’s leading to increased stress, force and weight on structures in your body that aren’t designed to maintain these sustained postures,” Da Silva told Global News. She’s a Toronto-based chiropractor at Kew Garden Health Group.

READ MORE: Baby steps — 6-month-olds are using smartphones, tablets, study suggests

Here are four ways your smart phones, laptops and tablets are wrecking your body.

Text neck: The poor posture from looking at your smart phone starts with your head bowed over as you look down onto your lap to study your phone or by your waist as you’re walking and texting.

The result? You feel a tightness in your shoulders and in the back of your neck.

“Most people will say it’s stiffness and toughness and a dull ache they have. Others feel a pain that spreads past their shoulders into their arms,” Tibor described.

READ MORE: Why your smartphone is wreaking havoc on your back

Tibor uses this analogy: Imagine a tree with a heavy bag hanging off of a single tree branch. The branch will start sagging with the bag’s hefty weight. That’s your neck propping up your head as you hunch over while playing Angry Birds.

Sore upper and lower back: As your roll forward through your shoulders, you’re relying on your pectoral muscles and accentuating the curve in your back.

Too much hunching forward through the upper back will affect your lower back, too, along with all of the muscles that follow your spine.

READ MORE: Sit up teens! How slouching leads to posture problems

“Your spine and your body have to support the weight of your head and if you’re in a proper posture, your body is adapted to withstand that stress. When you’re looking down and tilting your head forward, you’re increasing stress in the neck, upper back and lower back,” Da Silva warned.

Shooting pain in your wrist and forearm: You’re probably guilty of clutching onto your smart phone as you walk from point A to point B throughout the day. That grip, for extended periods of time, isn’t good for your wrist and your forearms because they’re constantly flexed or bent instead of relaxed.

“You’re using your bicep and forearm to cradle handheld devices and it’s an added weight. I’ve got people coming in because of elbow pain, and wrist and forearm pain from squeezing onto their iPhone,” Tibor warned.

READ MORE: First the ‘BlackBerry thumb,’ now ‘smartphone face’

“Some people will complain that it’s almost bruised or a shooting pain. It’s that constant repetitive pain in muscles, tendons, ligaments and nerves in that area as well,” Tibor described.

If you’re using your device, make sure you keep a neutral wrist so it isn’t flipped backwards or dropped forwards either. You’re tightening your muscles that control the wrist and if it’s held in contraction for too long, or used too much, you’ll get a repetitive strain injury, the experts say.

A throbbing thumb tapping away: Tiny muscles located in your hand control your thumb as you type away on your smart phone’s miniature keyboard.

The notion of a “BlackBerry thumb” came about from too much texting, swiping and scrolling.

“It’s a repetitive stress and force with a structure that isn’t designed to work in that manner. Humans have opposable thumbs for gripping and grasping but when you have a repetitive movement on a small screen, you’re straining tendons in your thumb, and that’ll cause inflammation from overuse,” Da Silva said.

Eye strain from looking at tiny text: The text on a screen is not as sharp as on a page and this forces us to strain our eyes when we’re focusing. If you’re sitting in front of the computer screen with breaks in between to look at your smart phone, it’s no wonder the muscles in your eyes are strained.

“There’s a muscle in the eye called the ciliary muscle and we use them to help our eyes focus on short or near distances. Holding that muscle contracted for hours can make us tired,” says Dr. Radhika Chawla, chair of the children’s vision committee at the Ontario Association of Optometrists.

Each minute, we typically blink about 18 times, but when we’re zeroing in on the computer screen, we don’t blink as much causing our eyes to dry out. Blurry, foggy vision, headaches, twitching eyelids along with cramped muscles are the fallout.

How to recover from too much time on your smart phone:

    Take breaks: Da Silva tells her patients to set an alarm for every 30 minutes on their phones to stretch, move around and then get back to work on their phones, laptops and tablets.Hold your phone at eye level: Whenever you can, try to look at your device without having to hunch over or tilt your head down. That way, your neck doesn’t have to work overtime to prop your head up. Use voice recognition when you can.Don’t look at your screen all day: Chawla recommends the 20/20/20 rule, in which optometrists call on patients to take a break every 20 minutes for 20 seconds to look away from their screen and about 20 feet ahead (or far enough that our eyes don’t have to work so hard to focus).

Keep your computer screen at about an arm’s length away, set it so that you’re looking only slightly downward at your screen and adjust text so it’s at a comfortable size. Minimize the reflective glare on your screen and don’t read your screen in a dark room.

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Bail hearing pushed to November for 3 men charged in death of Nicholas Hannon

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WATCH: Police recover a body and announce murder charges in the death of Surrey teen Nicholas Hannon. Rumina Daya reports on how the victim’s family is reacting to the news that three of his friends are the accused.

Three men have been charged with murder in connection with the death of 19-year-old Nicholas Hannon.

Nicholas was reported missing on Feb. 27, 2014 after police found his vehicle abandoned at the dead end of McKinnon Crescent in Langley.

He was last seen by his younger brother on Feb. 26.

Despite numerous searches and tips from the public, the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team took over the case of Hannon’s disappearance last August.

Now three men have been charged with first-degree murder in the teen’s death.

WATCH: Craig Hannon speaks about his son’s murder

Twenty-year-old Bradley Flaherty, 20-year-old Keith Tankard and 21-year-old Connor Campbell appeared in a Surrey court on Sept. 8. An initial bail hearing was on Oct. 5,  where Campbell appeared in court in person and both Flaherty and Tankard by video, but it has now been pushed back to Nov. 4.  They will all remain in custody until their next appearance.

The three accused appeared in court on Sept. 8.

Nicholas’ dad, Craig, said these three men were friends of his son and had been welcomed into the family home many times before.

“Until this weekend, my family maintained a glimmer of hope that, just maybe, Nick would come barging through the front door and shout ‘I’m home!’,” said Craig. “Now we know that will never happen.”

He said the family is devastated and they feel betrayed by the three accused. “Never again will I be able to hug him and say ‘I love you buddy’.”

“Nicholas James Hannon was a great son,” added Craig. “He had a smile that would light up a room. Now the room won’t be so bright.”

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