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A group of 14 Canadian diplomats along with their families is suing the government for C$28 million ($21.1 million) after they succumbed to a mysterious illness in Cuba.

The group says the Canadian government took too long to warn, evacuate and treat them.

In 2018, Canadian and US officials were recalled from Cuba after complaining of dizziness and migraines.

The cause of the illness is unknown, but Canada has discounted the idea of a “sonic attack” on its embassy.

In a statement, the group said: “Throughout the crisis, Canada downplayed the seriousness of the situation, hoarded and concealed critical health and safety information, and gave false, misleading and incomplete information to diplomatic staff.”

Cuba Sonic Attack: US Expels 15 Cuban Diplomats

Cuba Sonic Attack: State Department Reveals Details of Suspected Acoustic Attack on US Diplomats

Cuba Mystery Illness: Canadian Diplomat Treated for Hearing Loss and Headaches

According to CBC, staff at the Canadian embassy began experiencing symptoms of the so-called “Havana syndrome” in spring 2017.

Several families were subsequently moved from Cuba, but until April 2018 Canada continued to post new staff to Havana despite warnings from US counterparts who had received similar complaints.

The US withdrew most of its non-essential personnel from Cuba in September 2017 and said 21 embassy employees had been affected.

Last month, Canada said it would be cutting its embassy staff by up to half.

At a news conference in Washington, Canada’s Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland said she was aware of the lawsuit.

She said: “I am not going to comment on the specifics, but I do want to reiterate that I have met with some of these diplomats and, as I said to them, their health and safety needs to be our priority.”

Cuba has repeatedly denied any involvement in the incident.

Cuba’s Foreign Minister, Bruno Rodriguez, said US claims were a “political manipulation” aimed at damaging bilateral relations.

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Two Canadians have been detained in China on accusations of harming national security, as tension continues between the two countries.

On December 13, Canadian businessman Michael Spavor had been detained in addition to former diplomat Michael Kovrig.

Canada drew Chinese protests after it arrested Meng Wanzhou, CFO at telecoms giant Huawei, at the request of the US.

Meng Wanzhou has been bailed but may face extradition for fraud.

She denies violating US sanctions on Iran through Huawei’s business dealings. China has threatened unspecified consequences if she is not released.

Meng Wanzhou: Huawei CFO Arrested in Canada

Huawei denies spying for Chinese government

Huawei and ZTE pose a security threat to the US, congressional panel warns

So high-profile is the case that President Donald Trump said he could intervene if it helped to avoid a further decline in relations between the US and Canada, which are locked in a trade war.

However, President Trump’s own officials frowned on the idea, with US Assistant Attorney General John Demers remarking: “What we do at the Justice Department is law enforcement. We don’t do trade.”

Michael Spavor is a businessman based in Dandong, near the Chinese border with North Korea. He has ties to the North Korean government and has met Kim Jong-un many times.

Ex-diplomat Michael Kovrig currently works for a think tank, the International Crisis Group (ICG), which has said it is concerned for his health and safety.

He is being held officially “on suspicion of engaging in activities that harm China’s state security”.

However, a Chinese foreign ministry spokesman, Lu Kang, suggested another reason, saying the ICG had not been registered as a non-governmental organization (NGO) in China and therefore it was unlawful for its staff to work there.

Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland has said Michael Kovrig’s case was raised directly with Chinese officials.

Canadian foreign ministry spokesman Guillaume Bérubé confirmed that Michael Spavor had contacted them earlier in the week because “he was being asked questions by Chinese authorities”.

Canadian PM Justin Trudeau has confirmed that his country’s intelligence has heard an audio recording of the killing of the Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

He said: “Canada has been fully briefed up on what Turkey had to share.”

PM Trudeau is the first Western leader to confirm his country has listened to the purported tape of the murder at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

On November 10, Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that he had given copies to the US, UK, Germany, France and Saudi Arabia.

“We gave them the tapes,” he told reporters before flying to Paris for a gathering of world leaders commemorating the 100th anniversary of the end of World War One.

“They’ve also listened to the conversations, they know it.”

Image source www.alaraby.co.uk

Jamal Khashoggi Case: Turkey Shared Murder Tapes With Key Foreign Nations

Jamal Khashoggi Case: Saudi Arabia Admits Journalist Was Murdered

Jamal Khashoggi Was Killed in Consulate Fight, Saudi Arabia Says

However, the US has not said whether it has received a tape and France’s foreign minister has said it is not in possession of one as far as he is aware.

Saudi Arabia has admitted a team of agents murdered Jamal Khashoggi, a prominent critic who was living in self-imposed exile in the US and writing for the Washington Post, and it has arrested 18 people allegedly involved.

At a news conference in Paris on November 12, PM Justin Trudeau said Canadian intelligence agencies had been working very closely with Turkey on the murder investigation.

He added: “I had a conversation with Erdogan a couple of weeks ago over the phone. Here in Paris we had brief exchanges and I thanked him for his strength in responding to the Khashoggi situation.”

When asked whether Canada had heard the purported audio recordings, PM Trudeau said “yes”. But he added that he had not listened to them personally.

According to recent reports, the director of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS), Canada’s spy service, travelled to Turkey to discuss the investigation and listened to the recording.

The director then briefed PM Trudeau and other Canadian officials on his visit to Turkey.

Justin Trudeau sidestepped a question about whether such evidence would have consequences for Canada’s relationship with Saudi Arabia.

“We are in discussions with our like-minded allies as to the next steps with regard Saudi Arabia,” he said.

Justin Trudeau has faced calls to cancel a $13 billion arms deal with Saudi Arabia for tanks and armored fighting vehicles built by an Ontario-based unit of the American firm General Dynamics.

Relations between Saudi Arabia and Canada are already strained. In August, Saudi Arabia accused Canada of violating its sovereignty and froze new trade after Canadian officials called for the release of detained civil society and women’s rights activists.

On November 12, Turkey reacted angrily after French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian contradicted President Erdogan’s assertion that France had received an audio recording from the consulate and accused the Turkish leader of playing “political games”.

Jean-Yves Le Drian told France 2 television: “The truth isn’t out yet. We want to know the truth, the circumstances of his death and the identity of the culprits. Then we will take the necessary actions.

“If the Turkish president has information to give us, he must give it to us. For now, I don’t know about it.”

Asked if that meant President Erdogan was lying, the foreign minister replied: “It means that he has a political game to play in these circumstances.”

The Turkish presidency’s communications director called the comments “unacceptable” and insisted a representative of French intelligence had listened to the tape on October 24.

Fahrettin Altun told AFP: “If there is miscommunication between the French government’s various agencies, it is up to the French authorities – not Turkey – to take care of that problem.”

Brazil has expelled Venezuela’s charge d’affaires Gerardo Delgado.

It came days after Venezuela’s decision to expel the Brazilian ambassador to Caracas, Ruy Pereira.

Venezuela said Brazil had acted illegally in impeaching its former left-wing president, Dilma Rousseff.

On December 23, Venezuela also expelled Canada’s charge d’affaires, accusing him of interfering in internal affairs.

On December 25, Canada announced that Venezuela’s Ambassador Wilmer Barrientos Fernández, who was already abroad, would not be allowed to return.

Venezuela’s charge d’affaires in Ottawa, Ángel Herrera, was also asked to leave.

Relations with Brazil have deteriorated since President Michel Temer took office in 2016, following Dilma Rousseff’s dismissal by Congress for fiscal irregularities.

Image source Wikimedia

Canada Expels Venezuela’s Ambassador and Charge D’Affaires

Venezuela Expels Brazilian Ambassador and Canadian Charge D’Affaires

Venezuela’s President Nicolás Maduro described her impeachment as “a right-wing coup”.

On December 23, the head of Venezuela’s powerful Constituent Assembly, Delcy Rodriguez, said that “diplomatic relations with Brazil will not be restored until the government reinstates the constitutional order it has effectively broken”.

The Brazilian government said the move showed “once again the authoritarian nature of President Maduro’s administration”.

Brazil and Canada have both become outspoken critics of President Maduro.

They accuse Nicolas Maduro’s socialist government of harassing the opposition and violating human rights.

Canada imposed sanctions on senior Venezuelan officials a few months ago.

Brazil and Canada were among many countries critical of President Maduro’s decision to convene a Constituent Assembly, which effectively replaced the opposition-controlled National Assembly.

The announcement prompted mass street protests, which killed more than 120 people in four months.

Venezuela’s opposition boycotted the poll in July and also held an unofficial referendum in which they said more than seven million Venezuelans had voted against the constituent assembly.

Nicolas Maduro’s six-year term ends in 2019. He is due to run for re-election in 2018.

Brazilian Ambassador to Caracas Ruy Pereira and Canadian charge d’affaires Craig Kowalik have been expelled by Venezuela’s powerful Constituent Assembly.

The move was announced by the Constituent Assembly President Delcy Rodriguez.

Delcy Rodriguez accused Brazil of violating the rule of law and Canada of interfering in Venezuela’s internal affairs.

Both countries have strongly criticized the move.

The decision to expel Ambassador Ruy Pereira may have been triggered by Brazil’s recent complaint that President Nicolás Maduro was “constantly harassing the opposition”.

Canada imposed sanctions on senior Venezuelan officials a few months ago.

Venezuela’s diplomatic relations with Brazil have deteriorated since Brazil’s President Michel Temer replaced left-wing leader Dilma Rousseff.

Dilma Rousseff’s impeachment was described by Nicolas Maduro as a “right-wing coup”.

Image source Wikimedia

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US Extends Travel Ban to North Korea, Venezuela and Chad

Delcy Rodriguez said at a news conference on December 23: “Diplomatic relations with Brazil will not be restored until the government reinstates the constitutional order it has effectively broken.”

In response, the Brazilian government said the move showed once again the authoritarian nature of President Maduro’s administration.

Delcy Rodriguez accused Craig Kowalik of “permanent and insistent, rude and vulgar interference in the internal affairs of Venezuela”.

Relations with Canada have been difficult for months. Earlier this year, Ottawa imposed sanctions on Venezuelan officials for alleged human rights violations and corruption.

Last month, Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza said that the sanctions were illegal and accused the Canadian government of “shameful and utter submission to Donald Trump’s administration”.

In response, Canada said to the expulsion of its charge d’affaires by saying it would not be cowed into easing pressure on the Maduro government.

Brazil and Canada were among many countries critical of President Maduro’s decision to convene a Constituent Assembly, which effectively replaced the opposition-controlled National Assembly.

The announcement prompted mass street protests, which killed more than 120 people in four months.

The opposition boycotted the poll in July and also held an unofficial referendum in which they said more than seven million Venezuelans voted against the constituent assembly.

The EU and major Latin American nations have said they will not recognize the new body.

Meanwhile, the US imposed sanctions on President Maduro and the Trump administration labeled him a “dictator”.

Nicolas Maduro’s six-year term ends in 2019. He is due to run for re-election next year.

The opposition has accused President Maduro and his predecessor, the late Hugo Chavez, of destroying Venezuela’s economy with their socialist policies.

Venezuela has one of the world’s highest inflation rates and for years has suffered from a shortage of basic goods, including medicines.

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The US-based Ford Motor company is hoping that their new Omnicraft aftermarket brand of parts made for non-Lincoln and non-Ford cars will increase the company’s presence in the Canadian market and abroad. The New “Quick Lane” service centers have the potential to explode globally and offer not only faster but more inexpensive service options than car dealerships or independently owned auto shops.

Currently, only about a fourth of the service performed at Quick Lane outlets in Canada and the US involve Ford and Lincoln automobiles, but in some of the outlets, it might be as much as fifty percent or more. Before now, the Quick Lane service centers only had minimal parts for non-Ford cars. Now offering more than just wiper blades and an oil change, the new aftermarket parts for off brands has made Quick Lane a more viable business to revolutionize the car service industry.

Recently launched just this past January, Omnicraft parts had to buy products from other suppliers, which was not only more expensive, but it was also a very inefficient way to acquire the parts. In the end, the cost was passed down to the consumer, and it decreased the speed of car service.

Quick Lane isn’t new to the car service industry; Ford originally launched the Quick Lane pilot as far back as 1997. To date, there are now over 815 Quick Lane service centers in North America, and the trend continues to grow. Some of the centers are attached to other Ford dealerships while others are stand-alone storefronts. Available at over 3200 dealerships in the US, the hope is to expand exponentially for the Canadian audience.

The push to include more aftermarket parts beyond the Ford company came at the request of Ford dealerships who maintained that only offering basic parts and service was limiting their capacity for both used car sales and services. It made stand-alone outlets barely sustainable. Many in the service industry can relate to how the addition of other parts by Omnicraft will increase the rapidity of service as well as customers’ satisfaction with Quick Lane, especially for non-Lincoln and non-Ford car owners.

Many looking for car service don’t have the luxury of having a Ford dealership nearby. That is what makes the satellite outlet centers attractive, but only if they have something to offer many car brand owners across the board. When limited to only certain brands, it cuts down the ability they have to make an impact on a community and provide the necessary service with convenience.

Quick Lane might have been a pilot just two decades ago, but they are now exploding across North America and cornering the market on car service for many manufacturers and brands. Having found a niche market in quick and convenient service, the hope is that they will overtake the “quick” car service market for vehicle owners looking for more than just a simple oil or windshield wiper change.

It isn’t just the Ford Motor company who is interested in funding and investing in Quick Lane. The new parts supply from Omnicraft is attracting car investors of all makes and models. Offering an alternative to traditional used car dealers in Langley services or expensive independent specific owners, having a literal one-stop shop is very attractive to almost all car owners and has investors interested.

There is hope that adding Omnicraft aftermarket parts will take Quick Lane from small to big-time and fill in the gaps for smaller towns and cities as well as major metropolitan areas. Not having to schedule a time for service, wait for parts to come in, and be without your car for days if not weeks on end, is something that many car owners find appealing.

The goal for Quick Lanes is to offer over 90 percent of different manufacturer parts through Omnicraft and service cars for all makes and brands. Dealerships are an excellent option to service your car, but that doesn’t make them inexpensive or timely. With the addition of Omnicraft to the Quick Lane service centers, the hope is to overtake the US and Canadian markets with fervor.

 

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Elizabeth Tracey Mae Wettlaufer, a 49-year-old nursing home worker in Ontario, has been charged with eight counts of first-degree murder spanning several years.

She appeared in court on October 25.

The victims, five women and three men, were residents in two long-term care facilities where Elizabrth Wettlaufer worked and were between 75 and 96 years old.

Police said seven of the victims were given a fatal dose of a drug.

The victims were all residents of Caressant Care in Woodstock and Meadow Park in London, Ontario.

Woodstock Police Chief William Renton said at a news conference: “The victims were administered a drug… there are obviously a number of drugs that are stored and are available in long-term care facilities.”

Image source Facebook

Image source Facebook

He declined to comment on a possible motive, but did add that investigators are confident that they have identified all victims.

Caressant spokesman Lee Griffi said Elizabeth Tracey Mae Wettlaufer was a registered nurse and left their employment approximately two and a half years ago.

“We deeply regret the additional grief and stress this is imposing on the families involved,” Lee Griffi said in a written statement.

The deaths took place between 2007 and 2014.

Police revealed little details about the motive or circumstances surrounding the deaths, but said that the investigation into all eight deaths started on September 29 after police in Woodstock received certain information.

The criminal case is the largest in Ontario province since 2006, when five men were charged for murdering eight members of the Bandidos biker gang.

All five of the accused men were convicted in 2009.

The investigation was a joint effort between Woodstock Police Service, London Police Service and the Ontario Provincial Police.

Police said they do not know if there are other victims, but that Elizabeth Tracey Mae Wettlaufer worked in other facilities.

They are urging the public to come forward if they have any information.

Police have identified the victims as:

  • James Silcox, 84
  • Maurice Granat, 84
  • Gladys Millard, 87
  • Helen Matheson, 95
  • Mary Zurawinski, 96
  • Helen Young, 90,
  • Maureen Pickering, 79

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Three tobacco companies have been ordered to pay C$15.5 billion ($12 billion) in damages in Canada.

It the largest award for damages in Canada’s history.

The plaintiffs were Quebec smokers who said the companies failed to warn them of health risks associated with smoking.

Imperial Tobacco Canada, Rothmans Benson & Hedges and JTI-MacDonald vowed to appeal against the decision.

The class-action lawsuits were filed in 1998, but only recently went to trial in the courts.Canada tobacco companies damages

The companies argued that Canadians have had a “high awareness” of smoking health risks since the 1950s.

The director of Quebec Council on Tobacco and Health, an anti-smoking lobby group, Mario Bujold, said it had been “a long process” but it was a “big victory for the victims and against the tobacco companies”.

JTI-Macdonald said in a statement: “That awareness has been reinforced by the health warnings printed on every legal cigarette package for more than 40 years.”

However, the plaintiffs argued that the companies did not properly warn their customers and failed in their general duty “not to cause injury to another person”, according to the Quebec Superior Court decision.

They represent nearly one million smokers who were unable to quit or who suffer from throat or lung cancer, or emphysema.

Explaining his ruling, Judge Brian Riordan said: “The companies earned billions of dollars at the expense of the lungs, the throats and the general well-being of their customers.

“If the companies are allowed to walk away unscathed now, what would be the message to other industries that today or tomorrow find themselves in a similar moral conflict?”

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Chris Brown has been forced to cancel shows in Montreal and Toronto after Canadian officials stopped him from entering the country.

The singer wrote in a tweet on February 24: “The good people of the Canadian government wouldn’t allow me entry. I’ll be back this summer and will hopefully see all my Canadian fans!”

Canada did not give a reason for denying entry to Chris Brown.Chris Brown denied entry to Canada

But authorities can declare someone “criminally inadmissible.”

Chris Brown was sentenced to five years of probation for assaulting singer Rihanna before the Grammy Awards in 2009.

Since then the musician has violated the terms of his probation on several occasions.

Live Nation – the promoter of Chris Brown’s Between The Sheets tour – confirmed that the shows were cancelled “due to immigration issues”.

The singer’s spokeswoman, Nicole Perna, said Canadian immigration officials denied Chris Brown entry but said that the musician can apply to return at a later date and plans to do so.

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Canadian police have foiled a plot to carry out a mass shooting in the Halifax area on Valentine’s Day.

Three suspects were arrested and a fourth reportedly shot himself dead after police surrounded his home.

At least two suspects had intended “to go to a public venue… with a goal of opening fire to kill citizens, and then themselves”, police said.

Police officials said the motive did not appear to be terrorism, without providing further details.

Brian Brennan, commanding officer of the Nova Scotia Royal Canadian Mounted Police, said the plot had involved a 19-year-old man from the Halifax suburb of Timberlea and a 23-year-old woman from the US state of Illinois.

The two, he said, had had access to firearms.

When police went to arrest the 19-year-old man from the Halifax suburb of Timberlea, he killed himself, a senior police official told AP news agency on condition of anonymity.Halifax shooting plot Canada

A 20-year-old Canadian man was arrested along with the woman at Halifax Stanfield International Airport. The fourth suspect, a 17-year-old Canadian boy, was arrested at a house.

The roles of the latter two suspects were still to be determined by investigators, police said.

Brian Brennan said he would describe the alleged plotters as a “group of individuals that had some beliefs and were willing to carry out violent acts against citizens but there’s nothing in the investigation to classify it as a terrorist attack”.

“I can tell you that it’s not culturally based,” he added.

Police believe they have apprehended “all known individuals in this matter and eliminated the threat”, he added.

According to the official who spoke to AP, the man who killed himself had told them he had no guns but he shot himself as he was coming out of the house.

The suspects had been on a chat stream and were apparently obsessed with killing and death and had many photos of mass killing, the anonymous official added.

Steven Blaney, the minister for public safety, said the arrests were a “great example of the fine work they do on a daily basis to help keep Canadians safe”, Canada’s CBC News reports.

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Nine people, 7 adults and two children, have been found dead at three separate locations in the Canadian city of Edmonton after a man carried out what police called a “senseless mass murder” linked to “extreme domestic violence”.

The gunman is believed to have killed himself after the murders. Police are not looking for any other suspects.

The incident unfolded in three different locations in Edmonton, in the western province of Alberta.

Seven bodies were found in the same house, police chief Rod Knecht said.

Two “very young” children are among the dead, Rod Knecht said.

He said it was the worst mass killing in Edmonton since six people were killed in 1956.

“It appears to be an extreme case of domestic violence gone awry,” Rod Knecht told a press conference, describing the killings as “planned and deliberate”.

“This series of events are not believed to be random acts, and there is no risk to the broader public. These events do not appear to be gang-related, but rather tragic incidents of domestic violence.”Edmonton mass murder December 2014

Police say that the gunman used a stolen 9mm handgun and later killed himself at a restaurant north of Edmonton. They have only released the names of one of the victims and have not detailed the relationship between the shooter and his victims.

Rod Knecht said that the man who committed suicide had a criminal record going back to 1987.

Police discovered the body of a woman, Cyndi Duong, 37, at a house in south Edmonton at 18:00 local time on December 29, he said.

They later responded to reports of a despondent and depressed man at an address in north Edmonton at around 20:30 but were unable to find him.

When they returned at about midnight after receiving new information they found seven bodies – three women, two men and two children.

Rod Knecht said that the house where the seven bodies were discovered presented his officers with a “horrific and chaotic” scene – the worst crime he had dealt with in 39 years of policing.

In the early hours of December 30, they found a body matching the description of the suicidal male at a restaurant 25 miles north-east of Edmonton.

Rod Knecht said police would not be releasing the names of all the victims or the killer yet.

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Midwest and parts of Canada have been hit by an Arctic blast with temperatures plummeting by as much as 40F in days.

The sharply cooler temperatures are a result of frigid air pushed in by a powerful storm that hit Alaska with hurricane-force winds.

Parts of Wisconsin, Minnesota and Michigan saw over a foot of snow overnight on November 10.

More than 150 flights were cancelled at the Minneapolis airport.

Michigan’s Upper Peninsula was expecting as much as another two feet of snow after accumulating more than a foot on November 10.

Midwest and parts of Canada have been hit by an Arctic blast with temperatures plummeting by as much as 40F in days

Midwest and parts of Canada have been hit by an Arctic blast with temperatures plummeting by as much as 40F in days

In Minnesota, state police said at least two people were killed in accidents on icy roads.

Snowy roads were blamed for a Wisconsin school bus crash that sent two adults to hospital, according to a local broadcaster.

Terri Sommerfeld, a clerk at Ace Hardware in Webster, Wisconsin, said the store had sold six or seven snow-blowers in two days, the same amount they sell in a typical winter.

The unseasonably cold temperatures are expected to move further east on November 12.

What made this chill more of a shock was the way it struck so quickly after warm autumn weather.

David Phillips, a climatologist for Environment Canada, says Calgary experienced its warmest October for 50 years. The average temperature was 8.3C and it’s usually 5.2C.

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Justin Bieber has been arrested and charged with assault and dangerous driving after crashing his quad bike into a minivan.

The 20-year-old singer was arrested near his hometown of Stratford, Ontario, after apparently getting into a fight with the other driver.

Ontario Provincial Police confirmed they were called to the scene to investigate and then made the arrest.

Police said they then released Justin Bieber on what’s called a “promise to appear” in court on September 29.

According to a police statement, an investigation “revealed that after colliding, the driver of the all terrain vehicle and an occupant of the minivan engaged in a physical altercation”.

There were no reported injuries from the collision, but law enforcement sources wouldn’t say whether injuries had resulted from the fight.

Justin Bieber’s lawyer, Brian Greenspan, said in an emailed statement: “Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez’ peaceful retreat in Stratford this weekend was unfortunately disrupted by the unwelcome presence of paparazzi.

“This has regrettably resulted in charges of dangerous driving and assault.”

This is the latest in a long line of run-ins with the police.

The singer is serving two years probation for throwing eggs at his neighbor’s house in LA.

Justin Bieber already faces an assault charge in Toronto following an altercation between a limo driver and a passenger last December and is expected in court on September 8 to answer that charge.

 

Canada will donate up to 1,000 doses of an experimental Ebola vaccine to help battle the disease’s outbreak in West Africa.

The announcement comes after the World Health Organization (WHO) said it was ethical to use untested drugs on Ebola patients.

However, experts say supplies of both the vaccine, and experimental drug ZMapp are limited and it could take months to develop more supplies.

More than 1,000 people have been killed by the current outbreak.

Canada says between 800 and 1,000 doses of the vaccine, which has only been tested on animals, will be donated to the WHO for use in West Africa.

However, it will keep a small portion of the vaccine for research, and in case it is needed in Canada.

The current outbreak has infected people in Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia and Nigeria.

Canada will donate up to 1,000 doses of an experimental Ebola vaccine to help battle the disease's outbreak in West Africa

Canada will donate up to 1,000 doses of an experimental Ebola vaccine to help battle the disease’s outbreak in West Africa (photo WHO)

Dr. Gregory Taylor, deputy head of Canada’s Public Health Agency, said he saw the vaccines as a “global resource”.

He said he had been advised that it would make sense for health care workers to be given the vaccine, given their increased risk of contracting the disease.

Even if Canada releases most of its existing doses, experts warn it could take four to six months to make a quantity large enough to have any real impact at preventing the illness.

On Tuesday, the WHO said that in light of scale of the outbreak and high number of deaths, it was “ethical to offer unproven interventions with as yet unknown efficacy and adverse effects, as potential treatment or prevention.”

Last week the WHO declared the Ebola outbreak was a global health emergency.

Liberia says it is getting an experimental drug, ZMapp, after requests to the US government.

However, the WHO said there were only 12 doses.

ZMapp maker Mapp Biopharmaceutical said on Tuesday: “The available supply of ZMapp has been exhausted. We have complied with every request for ZMapp that had the necessary legal/regulatory authorization.

“Drug has been provided at no cost in all cases.”

ZMapp has been used on two US aid workers, Dr. Kent Brantly and Nancy Writebol, who have shown signs of improvement, although it is not certain what role the medication played in this.

A Roman Catholic priest, infected with Ebola in Liberia, who died after returning home to Spain is also thought to have been given the drug.

Ebola’s initial flu-like symptoms can lead to external hemorrhaging from areas like eyes and gums, and internal bleeding which can lead to organ failure. Patients have a better chance of survival if they receive early treatment.

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Hurricane Arthur, which was weakened to a post-tropical storm, has battered south-east Canada leaving more than 200,000 homes and businesses without power.

Nova Scotia and New Brunswick bore the brunt of the storm’s torrential rain and strong winds.

Forecasters say Arthur will move north-east through the Gulf of St Lawrence towards Newfoundland on Sunday.

On Friday, Arthur hit North Carolina with hurricane-force winds and later skirted New England.

Tropical storm Arthur has battered south-east Canada leaving more than 200,000 homes and businesses without power

Tropical storm Arthur has battered south-east Canada leaving more than 200,000 homes and businesses without power

Late on Saturday, the Canadian Hurricane Center said Arthur was centered near Moncton in New Brunswick after making a second landfall in Canada.

Trees were blown down and power was cut to more than 141,000 customers in Nova Scotia and 110,000 in New Brunswick.

The largest number of outages was reported in Fredericton where winds of more than 62mph had brought down a number of large trees.

Police in Saint John, New Brunswick, said some roads were closed by flooding.

The storm also caused flight cancellations and delays at the region’s largest airport in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police in Prince Edward Island said electricity poles had been knocked down and roads were blocked by fallen trees.

New England was largely spared major damage although about 19,000 people in Maine and 1,600 in Vermont were left without power.

Daniel Brown, a specialist at the US National Hurricane Center, said Arthur had now lost its tropical characteristics and had become “more a wintertime-type low”.

Arthur was the first hurricane to hit the US since Superstorm Sandy devastated New York and New Jersey in October 2012.

The “catastrophic” winter storm that gridlocked traffic, left flights cancelled, and knocked out power in the East Coast, has pushed into eastern Canada.

As much as 24in was expected to fall in some areas by the end of Friday, blown about by heavy winds from Quebec to Newfoundland.

Authorities closed a 124 mile section of the Trans-Canada Highway in Quebec.

The storm has been blamed for the deaths of more than two dozen people.

In the US, about half a million of people and businesses remained without power in the typically mild southern states on Friday, some for a third day, after the storm destroyed power lines and knocked down trees.

The weather system tapered off as it crawled farther north, but was still strong enough to bring almost 30cm of snow to areas of Quebec and parts of Newfoundland on Friday, with high winds of more than 60 mph.

Other parts of the eastern provinces and Nova Scotia saw heavy rain from the same storm.

In eastern Quebec, several motorways, including the Trans-Canada Highway from Quebec City to Riviere-du-Loup, were partially shut after the snow and high winds dangerously hindered visibility.

The “catastrophic” winter storm that gridlocked traffic, left flights cancelled, and knocked out power in the East Coast, has pushed into eastern Canada

The “catastrophic” winter storm that gridlocked traffic, left flights cancelled, and knocked out power in the East Coast, has pushed into eastern Canada

Canadian weather officials have issued a number of winter storm warnings as another unrelated system is expected to bring severe weather to the Atlantic Provinces again on Saturday and Sunday.

The storm struck first on Wednesday in the US South, where it covered trees and power lines with as much as an inch of ice and caused traffic jams across the region.

South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley compared the damage to the aftermath of a hurricane.

One electric co-operative in the state lost 50 poles in the ice storm, compared to 21 in the last cyclone, officials said. Those still in the dark in the US South may wait several more days before electricity is restored.

The storm then moved up the East Coast, dumping heavy snow from North Carolina to Boston over a 24-hour period. Parts of New York state saw as much as 27in.

Washington-area offices of the US federal government were closed on Thursday to spare workers the dangerous commute.

At least 25 deaths have been blamed on the storm.

In the US, road conditions remained treacherous in some areas on Friday. Thirty people were injured, five severely, in a multiple vehicle pile-up near Philadelphia on Friday morning.

Officials said it would take many hours to clear damaged vehicles, including lorries. The crash spawned a traffic jam stretching for 5 miles.

Many schools remained closed in eight states from Virginia to Maine. Almost 1,700 flights were cancelled on Friday, and 6,500 a day earlier.

The foul weather also has delayed tens of thousands of deliveries of Valentine’s Day flowers.

Meanwhile, a sheriff in north-eastern Georgia declared in an apparently tongue-in-cheek Facebook post that the weather had rendered the Oconee County region a “No Valentines [sic] Day Zone”.

Sheriff Scott Berry declared all men in the area were exempt from having to buy chocolate or other gifts for their partners until next Tuesday.

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The European Union (EU) and Canada have struck a free trade agreement aimed at boosting growth and employment.

The deal will lower tariffs, streamline regulation, and cut red tape.

European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso and Canadian PM Stephen Harper agreed the deal at a meeting in Brussels on Friday.

Jose Manuel Barroso said they had reached a “breakthrough in negotiations” to achieve “a great agreement for both the European Union and Canada”.

The deal still requires approval by parliaments and EU member states.

European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso and Canadian PM Stephen Harper agreed the deal at a meeting in Brussels

European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso and Canadian PM Stephen Harper agreed the deal at a meeting in Brussels

Once approved, the agreement aims to make it easier for companies in Canada and the 28-member EU bloc to invest in and sell to each other.

The EU is Canada’s second-largest trading partner behind the US.

Stephen Harper said the agreement was “the biggest (trade) deal our country has ever made”. It will give Canada access to a market of some 500 million people in the EU, making it bigger even than the country’s North American Free Trade Agreement signed with the US and Mexico.

The European Commission expects the deal to increase bilateral trade in goods and services by a fifth to 25.7 billion euros ($35 billion) a year.

The EU is negotiating trade pacts with more than 80 countries on behalf of the bloc’s members following the collapse of the Doha global trade talks.

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Recent reports claim that Justin Bieber has been attacked in a nightclub in his native Canada.

Justin Bieber, 19, was mingling with patrons in a Toronto nightspot at 3 a.m. on Saturday when an angry man charged at him.

Justin Bieber has been attacked in a Toronto nightclub in his native Canada

Justin Bieber has been attacked in a Toronto nightclub in his native Canada

His rival got a hold of his shirt but was prevented from tackling Justin Bieber by quick acting bouncers, who grabbed the assailant and dragged him to the floor.

In pictures shown on TMZ, Justin Bieber then appears to land some sneaky kicks while his opponent is on the ground.

According to eyewitnesses, Justin Bieber had left the safety of the club’s VIP section to mingle with ordinary clubgoers.

This is when the angry young man rushed at him, grabbed his shirt and attempted to take him to the floor.

While his assailant was escorted out of the club, Justin Bieber soon made his way home of his own accord.

According to reports, police were never called about the nightclub fracas.

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According to Canadian police, 28 bodies have now been found following the train disaster in the Quebec town of Lac-Megantic.

Another 22 people are missing and presumed dead after the train carrying oil derailed and exploded in the town.

Meanwhile, a candlelight vigil scheduled for Friday evening was cancelled due to police concerns over large crowds.

Investigations are continuing into the cause of blast, which saw some 2,000 residents forced to flee their homes.

The town centre – where large areas have been wiped out – is being treated as a crime scene.

Saturday will mark one week since the disaster.

The train, carrying 72 cars of crude oil, was parked shortly before midnight on Friday in the town of Nantes about 7 miles away.

It later rolled downhill, gathering speed until it derailed in Lac-Megantic and exploded.

Officers working in the disaster zone have had “a great deal of difficulty” because of strong petrol fumes, Quebec provincial police spokesman Michel Forget said.

Police say they have identified eight of the recovered bodies.

Investigations are continuing into the cause of Lac-Megantic train blast, which saw some 2,000 residents forced to flee their homes

Investigations are continuing into the cause of Lac-Megantic train blast, which saw some 2,000 residents forced to flee their homes

One has been named as 93-year-old Elianne Parenteau.

Mourners laid flowers and tributes in memory of those killed at a church near the crash site on Friday.

The town’s mayor cancelled the first vigil planned, saying it would overwhelm the town.

“Our capacity to welcome visitors is really saturated,” Mayor Colette Roy-Laroche said.

“We are still in an emergency situation.”

Other vigils are being held across Quebec, including in Montreal, Gatineau and Trois-Rivieres.

Quebec Premier Pauline Marois visited Lac-Megantic on Thursday, and criticized the rail company’s response to the crash.

She said Rail World chief executive Edward Burkhart’s attitude was “unacceptable” and “deplorable”.

She also announced a C$60 million ($57 million) fund to help victims and rebuild the town.

Edward Burkhardt revealed on Wednesday that an engineer who was in charge of driving the train had been suspended without pay, after being accused of failing to set a series of hand brakes.

“I understand the extreme anger,” he said.

“We owe an abject apology to the people in this town.”

Authorities have asked the relatives of those still missing to provide DNA samples.

Officials have also warned that some of the bodies may have been burnt to ashes in the explosion.

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Canada, a very large country, is a haven for real estate investors. The country is composed of ten provinces and three territories. If you are considering an investment in the real estate sector of the country, you can definitely expect a sizeable return of investment (ROI), taking into consideration the fact that Canada is a highly developed country, and there are plenty of investors who want to gain a foothold on the very promising Canadian Real Estate sector. Because of the very large expanse of land area comprising the territory of Canada, investors should have a very keen eye for the right real estate investments which will definitely net them a high return of investment.

Image via Flickr

How to know the Potential ROI of a said Property?

A prospective real estate investor, before purchasing land, acreages for sale, or any vacant land, should take into consideration several factors. First, you have to calculate and have good data on the annual income of the real property. Likewise, you should know the cost of all potential taxes and mortgages relative to the property. These numbers will definitely give you an overall idea of the possible return of investment from buying the property.

The formula for this is quite simple. You have to calculate the total amount of income you will get from a property; then, you should divide this total by the sale price of the property.

Likewise, one should know the Debt Coverage Ratio (DCR) involved in a property. Usually, the Debt Coverage Ratio (DCR) is calculated by dividing the Net Operating Income by the Annual Mortgage Payments. The minimum acceptable DCR is 1.25.

There are other ways you can get an idea of the ROI, like calculating the Cash-on-cash return (COC) by dividing the Cash flow of the investment before taxes.

Risk Management and Evaluation

Image via Flickr

In order to diminish the risk involved in any prospective real estate investment in Canada, one should be able to mitigate the risks involved or do a risk management and evaluation. Say for instance, you would like to purchase a property in Toronto; then, you should be wary of the different risks involved in the investments to be able to mitigate the risks involved in your investment.

Some of the risks involved in purchasing a property include fraudulent sales, adverse possession, building component failures, cash shortfall, economic downturn, market decline, and many more. A good and wise prospective buyer would take into consideration all these potential risks to diminish and mitigate them, and at the same time, be able to recuperate a higher return of investment from the property which one wants to buy.

Bright prospect of Real Estate Property Sales in Canada

In the recent years, the sales of recreational real estates are definitely rebounding across B.C., while residential property in Greater Vancouver are cooling and slowing down. There is a remarkable 22% rise in sales of recreational property in B.C. While vacation home prices likewise are beginning to peak up.

National home sales in Canada rose more than 0.6% from the months of March to April. Likewise, the Canadian housing market still remains in balanced territory. Moreover, the national average sale price definitely rose 1.3% on April. These statistics are good indications of the gradual rise in the sales of real property in Canada.

In the past two years, Toronto had suffered a relatively 36% decline in new condominium sales. These years include 2011 and 2012. There were an estimated 144 skyscrapers which are under construction in the late February in Toronto, Canada, which is comparatively higher than in any other part of the world. Yet, there is a remarkable resurgence in the sales of new condo units in 2013, giving prospective investors a positive glimpse of what could be a recuperating process in the return of investments in real estate properties in Canada. However, we could not help but think that the previous weakening of Canada’s economy—which is highly touted as an example of stability—may be an indication that Canada’s economy is in the process of stalling.

 

A Japanese fishing vessel swept away by the March 2011 tsunami has been spotted bobbing in the seas near British Columbia in western Canada.

The trawler is part of the 5 million tons of debris that were swept into the ocean by the devastating tsunami when a magnitude-9.0 earthquake struck Japan.

The 23ft wall of water struck the east coast of the island nation following a 9.0 earthquake, sweeping everything from cars to houses into the ocean leaving a wake of devastation.

A Canadian military air patrol spotted the vessel – 4,703 miles away from where it was originally moored – floating towards the shore.

It has been determined that the boat has been adrift without anybody at the helm since March 11 last year.

The 50-foot-long (15-meter-long) vessel was recently about 160 miles (260 kilometers) west of Haida Gwaii, islands off the north-coast of British Columbia, slowly drifting toward shore.

The Japanese trawler is part of the 5 million tons of debris that were swept into the ocean by the last year tsunami

The Japanese trawler is part of the 5 million tons of debris that were swept into the ocean by the last year tsunami

A maritime warning has been issued because the vessel could pose a navigational hazard.

The Japan Coast Guard identified the owner of the fishing trawler after being contacted by Canadian officials, who were able to provide the identification number on the hull of the ship.

The vessel, which was used for squid fishing, was moored at Hachinohe in the Aomori prefecture when the tsunami hit, said Toshiro Yoshinaga, a Coast Guard official.

Canada’s transport ministry is monitoring the vessel for marine pollution and to see if it becomes an obstruction though there are no reports of leaks from the vessel.

The tsunami last March generated more than 25 million tons of debris, say researchers at the University of Hawaii. Between four and eight million tons were washed into the ocean, with one to two million tons still floating on the surface.

The main mass of the debris is not expected to make landfall in North America until March 2014.

Maria Cantwell, US senator for Washington state, said the boat was expected to drift slowly south.

“On its current trajectory and speed, the vessel wouldn’t make landfall for approximately 50 days,” Senator Maria Cantwell said in a statement.

The earthquake, which struck about 230 miles northeast of Tokyo, was the largest in the country’s history.

Thousands of people were killed when the earthquake triggered the tsunami and other giant waves that devastated cities and rural areas.


According to the official toll, the disasters left 15,839 dead, 5,950 injured, and 3,642 missing.

 

 

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Taylor Van Diest, a teenager from Armstrong, British Columbia in Canada, who died after being beaten unconscious on Halloween was dressed as a zombie and covered in fake blood the night of her killing.

Taylor Van Diest, 18, died in hospital on Monday.

The teenager had been found unconscious near some railway tracks after a search by police, friends and family.

Royal Canadian Mounted Police said on Friday there are still no suspects in the case.

Taylor Van Diest, a teenager from Armstrong, British Columbia in Canada, who died after being beaten unconscious on Halloween was dressed as a zombie and covered in fake blood the night of her killing

Taylor Van Diest, a teenager from Armstrong, British Columbia in Canada, who died after being beaten unconscious on Halloween was dressed as a zombie and covered in fake blood the night of her killing

On Thursday police released a photo of Taylor Van Diest from Halloween night in the hope that it might produce some leads.

Taylor Van Diest was supposed to meet a friend to go trick-or-treating, Canada.com reports.

The teenager family contacted police after they got a call from someone who had found her cell phone.

The girl was then reported missing, with the family telling officers the last time they spoke with her was about 7.30pm.

RCMP spokesman Gordon Molendyk said that police have now assigned 40 officers to the case.

Taylor Van Diest was supposed to meet a friend to go trick-or-treating

Taylor Van Diest was supposed to meet a friend to go trick-or-treating

Family said Taylor Van Diest left her home at 5:50 p.m. on Monday and headed to the railway tracks which are about 10 minutes away.

Gordon Molendyk said he did not know if she met someone there or was followed.

He added that there is a shortcut where the suspect could have been lurking.

Gordon Molendyk said police are now checking her phone for clues.

“We are pulling all available resources that we can put into this case.

“We want to solve this crime,” he said.

The spokesman added that police are waiting on an autopsy report before they can any information on how Taylor Van Diest was killed.

 

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Canadian police officers shot and killed two cows that escaped on their way to the slaughterhouse on a rural road in Gatineau, Quebec on Thursday afternoon.

Officers later claimed that they thought the animals were “threatening” and “dangerous”.

The cows were shot repeatedly and killed as they evaded capture running amok on a rural road in Gatineau.

Canadian police officers shot and killed two cows that escaped on their way to the slaughterhouse on a rural road in Gatineau, Quebec on Thursday afternoon

Canadian police officers shot and killed two cows that escaped on their way to the slaughterhouse on a rural road in Gatineau, Quebec on Thursday afternoon

A tourist, who captured the moment on video, watched in horror as the officers surrounded one of the cows with their cars, sirens blaring, before shooting it dead.

A police spokesman told CTV:

“The cops, at one point they have to decide, is it threatening for the population? Is it too dangerous?

“So they did realise, and they did decide at one point that they had no choice to shoot the animal and kill the animal.”

The video, which has been viewed over 58,000 times on YouTube, has caused anger from animal rights groups.

Esther Klein of the Animal Defence League of Canada said that officers should be better prepared to deal with animals.

She told CTV: “One way or another, there has to be responsibility taken for these situations.”

“If it’s going to end up being the police, then police need the training and the tranquilizer guns and everything that is required to deal with this situation.”

Lucille Cloutier, who took the video while on vacation from Ontario, said that she would have expected the officers to have used tranquilizers rather than shooting the cows dead.

“This would’ve been the most appropriate thing to do,” Lucille Cloutier told CTV.

Police said that they are investigating the shooting but have no plans to use tranquilizer guns.

Officers in Ottawa last year shot dead several moose after they roamed into the city.

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A small passenger aircraft crashed on Russ Baker Way, a busy street from Richmond, Canada, injuring all nine aboard, but miraculously all passengers were alive.

The aircraft broke in half and burst into flames as it hit the ground near Vancouver International Airport on Thursday afternoon.

Three people, two of them believed to be crew members, are in critical condition. A person on the ground was also injured in the crash and taken to hospital.

A small passenger aircraft crashed on Russ Baker Way, a busy street from Richmond, Canada, injuring all nine aboard, but miraculously all passengers were alive

A small passenger aircraft crashed on Russ Baker Way, a busy street from Richmond, Canada, injuring all nine aboard, but miraculously all passengers were alive

The Beech King Air 100 caught fire after it came to rest on a street just 900 meteres from Vancouver International Airport.

Witness Steven Baran told CBC News that the aircraft slammed onto the road and slid into a car before stopping.

Steven Baran, who works for the post office at the airport, said no-one in the car appeared to be hurt and his first instinct was to help the plane passengers.

“The rear door was ajar and one of the fellows pulled it down. One after another, we just pulled passengers out real quick.”

According to Alyssa Polinsky, spokeswoman for Vancouver Coastal Health, three people were taken to Vancouver General Hospital in critical condition, while three more were stable.

Another three people were taken to the nearby Richmond General Hospital with injuries considered to be non-life threatening.

A pedestrian was also sent to hospital after being struck by a flying object. The person’s condition was unknown.

Two people in a car were also reported to have suffered minor injuries.

During an interview, Alyssa Polinsky said:

”We have everything from burns to fractures and back injuries.”

She also said she had no information on any identities.

The aircraft capacity is up to nine passengers.

“The plane’s basically broken in half, as far as I can see,” said Graeme Wallace, who works at a nearby pilot supply store.

Graeme Wallace also said about half of the plane was burning, but emergency crews put out the fire.

The aircraft was operated by British Columbia-based Northern Thunderbird Air and was bound for Kelowna.

According to Bill Yearwood, from the Transportation Safety Board of Canada, the flight took off at 3:40 p.m. but turned around when the crew got the “indication of a problem” about 15 minutes after take-off.

The plane did not make it back to the airport, crashing on Russ Baker Way in Richmond, about 900 metres short of the runway.

In an audio recording, obtained by CBC News, the pilot can be heard telling air traffic control that he is declaring an emergency and turning back to Vancouver, but is confident he can reach the airfield.

The air traffic controller asks the pilot to confirm whether he “doesn’t need equipment or help” on the runway.

The pilot responds: “Negative, everything’s good here at the moment”.

Visibility was good with clear skies at the time of the crash, according to meteorologists.

Vancouver Airport Authority went into emergency mode at 4:12 p.m. local time.

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[googlead tip=”lista_mare” aliniat=”stanga”]Authorities around Niagara Falls were searching for the body of a young woman presumed dead Monday after she fell into the water above the famous waterfall and vanished.

 

[googlead tip=”patrat_mic” aliniat=”stanga”]Police warned tourists Monday not to climb a railing at the top of Niagara Falls after an international student from Japan fell off the edge and was swept over the falls on the weekend.

The woman was swept over Horseshoe Falls, which straddles the US-Canadian border and is the widest and most spectacular of the three cataracts that comprise Niagara Falls.

Police warned tourists Monday not to climb a railing at the top of Niagara Falls after an international student from Japan fell off the edge and was swept over the falls on the weekend

Police warned tourists Monday not to climb a railing at the top of Niagara Falls after an international student from Japan fell off the edge and was swept over the falls on the weekend

Police on the Canadian side of the falls, where the accident apparently occurred, said the unidentified woman was enjoying the view from an area known as Table Rock about 8:30 p.m. Sunday.

Another woman with her was not injured. News reports identified the pair as students in their 20s and said the incident was captured on surveillance video and that no foul play was suspected.

 

Niagara Parks Police and emergency workers combed the area with helicopters and boats, but couldn’t find the woman, who is presumed to have drowned.

 

Search crews instead found male remains in a whirlpool of the lower Niagara River, but police said there is no connection to the missing student.

[googlead tip=”patrat_mic” aliniat=”stanga”]“The woman, who came from Japan and studied at a Toronto-area school, was visiting the falls with a friend around 8:30 p.m. Sunday,” police said.

She climbed over the railing and straddled it to look at the falls. When she stood up, the student apparently lost her footing and fell into the river 24 metres (60 feet) upstream from the brink of the falls. The swift current swept her over.

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“Scaling the wall is clearly dangerous and prohibited, but visitors do it every day,” said Niagara Parks Police Chief Doug Kane.

Still, the police chief said it’s the first time he’s heard of a tourist tumbling off the edge in that spot.

“We get about 11 million people a year here who view that annually – this is the first occurrence of this nature that I can recall,” said Doug Kane, who has worked in the region for 35 years.

 

Police said the incident was captured on surveillance video and foul play is not suspected.

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Authorities were working with the Japanese consulate Monday to contact the student’s family.

Early Sunday, a 27-year-old man survived an almost 10-metre fall down the Niagara Gorge.