OTTAWA – Canada’s national unemployment rate was 5.8 per cent in May. Here are the jobless rates last month by province (previous month in brackets):— Newfoundland and Labrador 14.5 per cent (14.5)— Prince Edward Island 9.3 (11.2)— Nova Scotia 7.2 (6.7)— New Brunswick 7.3 (8.0)— Quebec 5.3 (5.4)— Ontario 5.7 (5.6)— Manitoba 6.5 (6.1)— Saskatchewan 6.8 (6.3)— Alberta 6.2 (6.7)— British Columbia 4.8 (5.0)
HALIFAX – Ottawa will impose new regulations Wednesday that will require boats to keep a healthy distance from marine mammals, just as two inquisitive beluga whales have been drawing onlookers into waters off a Cape Breton beach in encounters experts say could jeopardize the highly social animals.Corey Webster, a federal Fisheries conservation and protection official, said the new Marine Mammal rules require will require vessels to stay 100 metres from most whales, dolphins and porpoises, with variations in distance for certain species such as killer whales.The new provision gives regulatory weight to existing guidelines that previously recommended a 100-metre buffer zone.“The amendments aren’t intended to control whether or not whales approach vessels closely,” he said in an interview in Halifax. “It’s just that we don’t want vessels going out and harassing the whales in terms of chasing them down or separating a mother and calf.”He wouldn’t reveal possible penalties for infractions, saying only that they would be determined on a case-by-case basis.The announcement comes — coincidentally, Webster said — as people continued to flock to an area off Ingonish Beach to see two playful belugas that have been cruising the waters near the shoreline for about a week. The pair — which appear to be a juvenile and young adult —have been captivating locals and tourists for days, with some onlookers getting into the water to swim with them.Videos and photos on social media sites show boats and kayaks surrounding the splotchy white whales as they bob to the surface, coming within reach of the various vessels. One video shows a dog swimming near the animals as one breaks the surface, while someone in a wetsuit swims nearby.Bernie Lamey, 42, was out on the water again Wednesday as the two belugas swam about 50 yards from his kayak. He had previously captured video of the pair swimming near two kayaks, a ribbed vessel full of onlookers and a fishing boat with several people on board.His underwater footage shows the creatures peering at his boat, coming right up to his camera and rolling over as the dull roar of boats is heard in the background.“They’re quite curious and they stare right at you — it’s like they’re looking right into your soul,” he said as the wind whistled in the background. “They’re very interactive. I think they want to know more about us than we want to know about them.”Lamey says that while it’s been a great experience for the community, it may be time “to leave nature alone.”Marine mammal experts agree, saying the close encounters could be harmful to the gregarious whales — and to the people getting a closer look.Catherine Kinsman of the Whale Stewardship Project, which has studied belugas since 1998, said the whales could become too familiar with people and boats, increasing their risk of injury.Having watched the videos online, she said the animals appear to be familiar with people and boats, despite having been there for only a week or so.“I have a grave concern that if these two whales continue to be attracted to and habituated to people that the possibility exists they could become less bonded to each other and become increasingly more interested in all of the activity and objects that they’re interacting with,” said Kinsman, who specializes in beluga whale incidents.“These are wild animals and they need to stay wild for their own protection and survival.”Their comfort around boats could lead to them getting struck, which has happened with other belugas who have spent time interacting with people. Kinsman said belugas that end up getting separated from their mates are at higher risk of injury because they’re seeking social interaction with humans.“They can be severely injured or in some cases have been killed,” she said.In 2015, the federal Fisheries Department looked into reports of people in eastern Newfoundland trying to lasso and ride a beluga whale around Grates Cove. It had been spotted swimming with divers while people were reportedly trying to ride the animal.In 2002, a beluga that had become used to people near Calvert, N.L., was killed when it was hit by a boat propeller.People are at risk of getting hurt if whales start pushing boats around or jostle people in the water as part of their play.“Especially with belugas, never try to feed them or swim or interact with them,” Webster said.—On the web:
VANCOUVER – The British Columbia Court of Appeal has ordered a new trial for the former leader of a religious sect who was acquitted of taking a 15-year-old girl across the U.S. border for a sexual purpose.The Crown appealed the verdict in the case of James Oler, the former leader of a Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints community in Bountiful, B.C., which practises polygamy.A B.C. Supreme Court judge acquitted Oler last year because he was not convinced Oler did anything within Canada’s borders to arrange the girl’s transfer to the U.S. to marry a member of the sect.There was no evidence confirming Oler’s location when he received a phone call from church president Warren Jeffs in 2004 asking him to bring the girl to the U.S., and no record of either Oler or the teenager crossing the border.But special prosecutor Peter Wilson told the Appeal Court that proof of wrongdoing inside Canada was not necessary for a conviction.The law against removing children for a sexual purpose is designed to protect youth who are taken to another country and subjected to an offence that would be a crime under Canadian law, he argued, and it therefore applies to Oler’s alleged actions in the U.S.The Appeal Court agreed and in a written decision released Tuesday said the trial judge erred.“It cannot be said that it would offend international comity for the Canadian criminal law to redress the harm of removing an ordinarily resident child from Canada for the purpose of activity that would be an offence in Canada,” wrote Justice Mary Saunders on behalf of a three-judge panel.“Canada has a compelling interest in protecting this vulnerable subset of the public, even if the accused was not on Canadian soil when the child was removed.”However, Saunders wrote the law does require evidence that the child was in Canada when the accused arranged to have her removed.The trial judge didn’t express a conclusion as to the girl’s whereabouts when Oler allegedly made the arrangements, but he did note the fact that she was “ordinarily resident” in Canada does not prove she was in Canada at the time.Saunders wrote that there was circumstantial evidence that might have shed light on the girl’s location, but the trial judge didn’t explore it.For that reason, she concluded that the Appeal Court could not simply substitute a guilty verdict for Oler’s acquittal and instead must order a new trial.Oler did not have a lawyer at either the trial or the appeal hearing, so the court appointed an impartial adviser to assist the court and provide balance.The 54-year-old was excommunicated from the church around 2012 and now lives in Alberta.He was convicted of polygamy in a separate case and sentenced in June to three months’ house arrest, plus community service and probation, for having five wives.Also on Tuesday, the court denied an appeal from Gail Blackmore, also known as Emily, who was convicted of taking a 13-year-old girl across the border to marry a member of the sect.Her husband Brandon Blackmore was also convicted of the crime.Gail’s lawyer argued her husband likely didn’t tell her the reason for the rushed trip to the U.S. with the teenage girl, as wives are expected to obey husbands without question in the church.The lawyer argued the judge determined Gail helped her husband move the girl based on an incorrect interpretation of circumstantial evidence.But the Appeal Court dismissed the appeal, saying the judge’s conclusion was reasonable.“The trip was hurried, that is, taken on short notice, and it was not insignificant in distance travelled or duration. These features invite the reasonable inference of an explanatory conversation between (husband and wife),” wrote Saunders.She added that it’s not an answer to the charge for Gail to say “anything I did, I did because I was obedient.”The identities of the two girls, who are now adults, are protected by a publication ban.— Follow @ellekane on Twitter.
TORONTO – Police say the alleged target in a shooting at a Toronto playground that left two young girls injured is facing numerous charges.Investigators say the 26-year-old suspect was arrested Friday as officers with the city’s gun and gang task force searched an east-end Toronto home.They say a loaded semi-automatic handgun, ammunition, crack cocaine and heroin were seized.The man is to appear in court on Saturday facing 16 charges, including unauthorized possession of a firearm, possession for the purpose of weapons trafficking and drug possession.Police allege he was the intended target of a June 14 shooting in which two sisters, aged five and nine years old, were struck by gunfire as they and other children were in an east-end playground.Two men, aged 21 and 23, have been charged in the shooting and police say an arrest warrant remains outstanding for another 23-year-old.The two injured girls underwent several surgeries. The five-year-old was shot in her abdomen while the nine-year-old was shot above her ankle.In July, Toronto police announced the force was adding 200 frontline officers to the night shift for the summer.About a month after the playground incident, the girls’ mother spoke out, calling for better education and community support programs, not increased police presence, to curb gun violence in the city.Toronto must reduce the number of young people who turn to crime, Stacey King said at a meeting of the city’s board of health where ongoing research into community violence was being discussed.She suggested children should be taught about issues that lie at the root of gun violence, including bullying and mental health.“We have to have more mentorship programs, we have to have more resources, we have to have more jobs for youth, we have to have more trades for them,” she said. “For (people) to say they want more cops, this is not going to put a stop to it.”
OTTAWA – Liberal MPs are flooding into Saskatoon to plot strategy for the fall parliamentary sitting which Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says will not include resetting the government’s agenda.Speaking to reporters in Winnipeg Trudeau said the government will not have a new throne speech this fall, instead continuing work on the promises he was elected on, including help for the middle class and creating good jobs.“We are delivering on the plan that we proposed to Canadians some three years ago,” he said.While Trudeau had a pit stop in Winnipeg on his way to the Saskatoon caucus retreat, many of his cabinet ministers were fanning out in and around Saskatoon to talk up the Liberals’ record on the economy, the Canada Child Benefit, and hand out money for crime prevention, infrastructure projects, and pulse crops.But at the caucus retreat, gun violence and border crossers are going to be the main issued raised by Liberal MPs based on what they are hearing in their ridings.Unlike last year — when backbenchers used the annual end-of-summer retreat to berate the government over proposed tax changes that had enraged small business owners — Liberal MPs now seem relatively content with the government’s performance as it heads into the countdown to the next federal election.That’s despite a challenging summer for the Trudeau government, beset by a court ruling that toppled a central pillar of its climate change strategy and NAFTA negotiations that have dragged on without resolution, punctuated by repeated insults and threats to ruin Canada’s economy from U.S. President Donald Trump.Toronto MP John McKay suspects Trump is responsible for the level of satisfaction he’s found among his constituents for Trudeau and his administration.“I think everybody’s concluded that poor Trudeau is dealing with a lunatic and he’s just doing the best he can with what he’s got. Every time Trump tweets, Trudeau looks better,” says McKay, who’s found NAFTA negotiations are the top issue in his riding.Caucus chair Francis Scarpaleggia says NAFTA negotiations have been “on everyone’s lips” in his Montreal riding as well. People recognize it’s “a difficult file,” but Scarpaleggia said he hasn’t heard any negative reaction to the government’s approach.“I get positive vibes with respect to the way the prime minister is handling it, in terms of being diplomatic but at the same time standing up for Canadian interests.”After months of sliding popularity, opinion polls suggest Liberal fortunes have rebounded somewhat over the summer, perhaps due in part to the internal travails of the two main opposition parties.The Conservatives are coping with the scathing indictment of former leadership contender Maxime Bernier, who last month quit what he called the “morally and intellectually corrupt” Tories to start his own party. The NDP, meanwhile, has been struggling with dismal fundraising and polling numbers amid increasingly open discontent with Jagmeet Singh’s leadership.At townhalls he’s held over the summer, Toronto Liberal MP Rob Oliphant said, “People tend to start out by saying they’re generally happy … and then, from the general happiness, they have things that we could do better, which feels like a good place to be in right now.”He says in his Don Valley West riding gun violence is a big concern and a handgun ban is the number one issue he will be raising at the caucus meetings.City councils in Toronto and Montreal have passed motions calling for a ban on hand guns and assault weapons. Trudeau has said the government is considering the matter, along with other ways to beef up legislation that would impose stricter background checks on firearms buyers and new mandatory record-keeping practices for vendors.The Conservatives are already trying to turn the legislation into a reprise of the pitched battle over the controversial long-gun registry, a Liberal creation that was ultimately scrapped by Stephen Harper’s government. McKay, for one, doesn’t relish a repeat of those kinds of “fun and games with the Conservatives,” but said his constituents are virtually unanimous about wanting to ban handguns.“I don’t think I speak out of turn when I say that there is no tolerance for people having guns in Toronto, period — long guns, short guns, in-between guns, fast guns, slow guns,” he said.Kim Rudd, who represents the largely rural Ontario riding of Northumberland-Peterborough South, said she’s received emails and calls on both sides of the issue, but the majority support a ban on handguns.“No one wants our country to mirror the gun violence in the U.S.,” said Rudd. “It’s not just about whether it’s a rural town or an urban town — it’s about how we keep Canada as a country what we want it to be.”While the government must take care to protect the legitimate rights of farmers, hunters and sport shooters, Rudd said, “Most people … question why anyone would need a handgun or need an assault rifle.”Border crossing asylum seekers are also on backbenchers’ radar, although Scarpaleggia said concern about that issue seems to have faded over the course of the summer in his riding.McKay, whose riding is one of the most heavily populated by immigrants, said those who came to Canada through regular channels are particularly upset about asylum seekers “coming through the back door.“People have come to the conclusion that these people are not refugees and they should be returned, sooner rather than later,” he says.“The only fair thing to everybody is to process them quickly, and I think that’s where the government’s weakness is.”Some 30,000 asylum seekers have walked across the border at unauthorized crossings in the past two years. Only about 15 per cent of their refugee claims have been processed, with 47 per cent of those accepted. Only a tiny fraction of rejected claimants have been removed from the country.Oliphant, who chairs the Commons immigration committee, said the government needs to balance a fair process with “expedited results,” where both the determination of refugee claims and deportations are done faster.“If people are not eligible, they should leave quickly,” he said.
The Canadian Press Vancouver says a court decision has reaffirmed the city’s authority to shut down illegal marijuana dispensaries.In a news release, the city says the B.C. Supreme Court’s decision to order the closing of unlicensed retail shops also sets a precedent if illegal operators fight injunctions requiring them to close in the future. The city says it filed 53 injunctions against businesses that were operating outside its regulations, but only 28 stores participated in the legal test case after some closed down.Years before cannabis became legal, illegal marijuana-related businesses grew so the city introduced regulations and fees to control where medical pot dispensaries could operate.Injunctions were filed on May 31, 2016, against the businesses that didn’t have approval to operate but remained open after missing a deadline to close.The city says it has collected almost $3 million from more than 3,700 tickets that were issued against businesses operating outside its regulations.“This (court) decision reaffirms the city’s authority over land use and our municipal business licensing for cannabis retail, and confirms the regulatory regime introduced in 2015 was well within the city’s jurisdiction to establish,” Kaye Krishna, the city’s general manager, development, buildings and licensing, said in the news release.“It also signals that any cannabis retail store operating outside city regulations can and will be enforced against using all the tools at the city’s disposal to the fullest extent moving forward.”No recreational pot shops have been approved in Vancouver since the drug became legal on Oct. 17.The city says since Sept. 19, it has received notification from the province of 14 applications to open recreational marijuana shops. Ten applicants have been told of the next steps they need to follow in the process and the city is reviewing the remaining four applications.
OTTAWA — A hospital in Ottawa says the people who were critically injured in a deady bus crash Friday have improved.In a tweet, the Ottawa Hospital says the patients who had been listed in critical condition are now considered to be in serious condition.Three people were killed and 23 were hurt when a double-decker city bus hopped the curb at a station and crashed into a transit shelter.The hospital initially said 14 people were taken to hospital in critical condition — two of whom died — and 11 were in serious condition.Meanwhile, the city says the scene of the crash, the Transitway, will reopen Sunday at 7:30 p.m., more than 48 hours after the collision.It says people who want to leave a memento or memorial item are asked to do so at two designated areas: the westbound transitway platform on the lower level and the northwest corner of Scott and Athlone.The Canadian Press
FREDERICTON — Advocates say a horrific case of child neglect in New Brunswick is far from the only case in the province and are urging the public to report any neglect or abuse they see.Two recent reports have highlighted a case in Saint John where five young children were left in a situation of filth and squalor where they were malnourished, suffered serious dental decay, and missed long periods of their schooling.New Brunswick Child and Youth Advocate Norm Bosse says he knows there are other cases out there, and the public needs to report anything they see in order to protect children.Miguel LeBlanc, executive director of the New Brunswick Association of Social Workers, says for the most part the system is working, but government needs to make changes to improve service and reduce burnout among social workers.In neighbouring Nova Scotia, Alec Stratford, the executive director of the province’s College of Social Workers, says the system is on the brink of crisis mode where social workers are increasingly stressed and are burning out.He says more resources are needed to deal with families before they get into a crisis situation.The Canadian Press
WEYBURN, Sask. — A Saskatchewan mayor says no offence was intended when Weyburn’s city council rejected a care home for people with disabilities.Marcel Roy says statements were made by councillors during a meeting earlier this week that don’t properly reflect the council’s values.Roy told reporters that the city would work with the Weyburn Group Home Society and government services to look at other locations for the home.Coun. Brad Wheeler told Monday’s meeting that having the facility in The Creeks neighbourhood would dash the hopes and dreams of people who bought homes there.Wheeler said he knows it’s not politically correct, but there is a stigma attached to having such a group home in the area.The home was to accommodate no more than four adults with mental or physical disabilities, with two to three staff working on rotation around the clock.The Canadian Press
VANCOUVER — When Roy Sasano told his parents he was getting sterilized a few years ago to reduce his carbon footprint, he remembers they weren’t surprised.After all, he had already taken other steps to fight climate change by becoming a vegan, “virtually” eliminating single-use plastic and reducing his consumption as much as is practicable.“I think there was a brief moment of disappointment, but they just laughed it off,” said Sasano, 39, who lives in Vancouver.“I know quite a few people, especially men, who have chosen to get sterilized and I know women who’ve done the same.”Sasano is part of the Voluntary Human Extinction Movement or Vhemt (pronounced vehement) that believes in “refraining” from reproduction.“Why should we be creating more people to create more suffering for ourselves and the rest of the planet?” Sasano said in a recent interview.There are other examples that show the argument against human reproduction isn’t happening on the fringes of the climate change debate anymore.“There’s scientific consensus that the lives of children are going to be very difficult. And it does lead young people to have a legitimate question: Is it OK to still have children?” Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of the U.S. Congress recently asked in an Instagram video.Katharine Hayhoe, an atmospheric scientist and professor of political science at Texas Tech University, said individual decisions matter in the fight against climate change as much as collective action on things like carbon pricing and the Paris agreement.But while each additional child adds more carbon, she said children are also tied to a sense of hope.“Personally, I can’t advocate for people not to have children in order to fix climate change because why am I fixing climate change? I’m doing it because of my child and because of everybody else’s children,” she said. “So that’s what gives us hope. Again, I’m not having 12 children. I have one child.”Hayhoe said the behaviour of people in developed countries like Canada is also a factor in climate change, noting that per capita, Canadians add much more carbon than Zambians.“If the entire world were like Zambia we would not really have much of a problem,” she said. “If the entire world was filled with people with the carbon footprint of the average Canadian though, we would have a huge problem.”Hayhoe said she knows people who’ve decided not to have children because of the environment.“It’s very hard to bring a child into this world but if we decide not to then there’s no hope in the world,” she said. “It’s not black and white. It’s a very, very grey issue.”Alistair Currie, head of campaigns and communications at the U.K.-based charity Population Matters, said choosing to have fewer or no children is essential to ensuring people have a “decent living” on the planet in 50 years’ time.It’s hard to estimate how many people are choosing not to have children mainly because they feel judged, Currie said, although the perception is slowly changing.“Particularly women,” explained Currie, whose organization campaigns to achieve a sustainable human population. “We get this all the time, women feeling judged somehow as being inadequate or selfish.”The United Nations projects the world population will increase by more than one billion people within the next 15 years, reaching 8.5 billion in 2030, then increasing to 9.7 billion in 2050 and 11.2 billion by 2100.Sixty per cent of the global population lives in Asia, 16 per cent in Africa, 10 per cent in Europe, nine per cent in Latin America and the Caribbean, and the remaining five per cent in Northern America and Oceania.“We can keep feeding people in their billions for a long time,” said Currie, who has one son. “But we cannot do it without the planet staying healthy and sustaining its soils … water and our forests.”Currie said there are other factors that have an impact on climate, adding that an American produces about 160 times the amount of carbon as someone living in Niger. People in countries like India and China are also generating more carbon as they become more affluent.“That sounds like a more concerning situation when you are looking at both sides … each person producing more carbon and there being more people.”Hina Alam, The Canadian Press
OTTAWA — The federal government is rolling out changes to a payment program for canola farmers to help those affected by China’s decision to ban the Canadian product.Agriculture Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau says the maximum loan limit through the program will be boosted to $1 million from $400,000, and the portion that will be interest free is rising to $500,000 from $100,000.The government’s announcement comes after China barred Canadian canola from two of the country’s biggest exporters in what is considered retaliation for the detention of Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou.China imported $2.7 billion worth of Canadian canola seed last year, which ensures any prolonged blockage will hurt farmers, the industry and the broader economy.Trade Diversification Minister Jim Carr says he will lead a canola trade mission to Japan and South Korea in early June to help farmer find new markets for their product.He also says he will be promoting canola in all of his upcoming visits, including in France.The Canadian Press
OTTAWA (NEWS 1130) – The federal government has passed legislation that bans whale and dolphin captivity in Canada.Introduced four years ago, the bill will phase out the practice of keeping captive whales, dolphins and porpoises, but grandfathers in those that are already being held at two facilities in the country.Marineland in Niagara Falls, Ont., and the Vancouver Aquarium are the only two places that currently keep captive cetaceans.The bill bans the capture of wild cetaceans, captive breeding and the import and export of those animals, with limited exceptions.The bill was first introduced in the Senate in 2015 and eventually made its way into the House of Commons, where it had its third and final reading on Monday.The Vancouver Park Board approved bylaw amendments that effectively ban the captivity of cetaceans at the Vancouver Aquarium in May of 2017. The aquarium is suing both the Park Board and the City over financial impacts it says the ban has had on its operations.Clint Wright, the Executive Vice-President and COO of Ocean Wise, which runs the aquarium, says the organization is still involved in cetacean research and rescues in the wild, but is comfortable with the decision to no longer have them at the facility.“It was a difficult decision when you consider that the Vancouver Aquarium has had cetaceans as the very fabric of the aquarium since 1964,” he says. “Making a massive change like that, to suddenly not have those animals, was a big decision and it has taken time to work through that and to work on other plans.”SPCA applauds moveLorie Chortyk with the B.C. SPCA says the passing of this legislation marks a great day for animal rights.“This is something that has been so important to us because we know so much more now about whales and dolphins — how intelligent they are, how important their family relationships are, how deep they dive, how far they swim in a day,” she explains. “Keeping these amazing, social, and intelligent animals in small little pools confined for their lives is just causing them mental and physical pain and suffering. We’re so excited to see Canada take this step.”Chortyk says the organization has been working toward this goal for the past several years, and adds the SPCA is “ecstatic” that Bill S-203 has now been passed.Related article: Vancouver Park Board pleased, aquarium worried about proposed federal law banning cetaceans in captivityShe believes this latest move shows Canada is taking a stand to fight for these animals. While she admits many people enjoy seeing these aquatic mammals at shows and at facilities, Chortyk says it’s just “not worth it,” considering the suffering they endure.She points out the law will still allow facilities to care for sick and injured animals before they are returned to the wild.Chortyk notes there was a lot of public support from B.C. on the matter.“It was studied for four years, it’s had its ups and downs as it went through the parliamentary process, and we had such an amazing response from our own supporters and British Columbians who emailed their members of parliament to ask for their support in this final vote.”
TORONTO — Ontario’s top court says a provincial law that slashed the size of Toronto’s city council nearly in half last year is constitutional.In a split decision, the Ontario court of appeal has sided with Premier Doug Ford in his dispute with the City of Toronto, which had challenged his unprecedented intervention.Ford passed the Better Local Government Act partway through last year’s municipal election, cutting the number of council seats to 25 from 47.A lower court ruled the law infringed on the free-expression rights of candidates, but the province won a stay of the ruling pending the outcome of its appeal, and the election went ahead with 25 wards.The city had asked the appeal court to declare the law, better known as Bill 5, unconstitutional, but to leave the results of the municipal election as is until the next vote in 2022.Three members of the appeal panel have ruled the law stands, while two dissenting judges say the province’s appeal should be dismissed, which increases the likelihood the Supreme Court of Canada will have to weigh in on the issue. The Canadian Press
MEDICINE HAT, Alta. — Scientists have found fossil evidence from the last ice age of a sabre-toothed cat in southern Alberta — the northern-most record of the predator.A study by the Royal Ontario Museum and the University Toronto was published Friday in the Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences. “We were describing the different cat fossils that were found in the Medicine Hat area in Pleistocene deposits,” said Ashley Reynolds, a graduate student at the Royal Ontario Museum who led the study as part of her PhD at the University of Toronto.“We found potentially four different species, (including) the Smilodon fatalis, which is the famous sabre-toothed cat.”Reynolds said the sabre-toothed cat is most commonly represented in popular culture, such as Diego from the children’s “Ice Age” movies and from the end credits of “The Flinstones” television cartoon.Researchers also documented three other types of cats, including the American lion, a lynx or bobcat and potentially a cave lion. The fossil of the cave lion had previously only been found in fossils in Yukon and Alaska.Supersized cats went extinct at the end of the Pleistocene epoch, which was about 11,000 years ago. They hunted large herbivores — such as camels, horses, giant ground sloths and young mammoths — that were also present at the time.The sabre-toothed cat fossil is a partial bone of one of the cat’s large forepaws.“Prior to this being described and its record being confirmed … the previous northern-most record was in Idaho, which is about 1,000 kilometres south of Medicine Hat,” Reynolds said.Her co-author and supervisor, David Evans, said it’s an unusual find.“Smilodon is best known from tar pit deposits in California and South America,” he said in a news release. “So, it’s both exciting and surprising to find evidence of this iconic sabre-toothed predator in Canada.”Reynolds said her interest in comparing the anatomy of big cats led her to specialize in the study of pre-historic ones.“I was looking through our drawers in collections on another project,” she said. “I found a little bag that had a bone in that was labelled as Smilodon and I thought that doesn’t seem right.“I went to our collections manager and my supervisor and said, ‘Do you guys know anything about this?’”After reviewing the bone, which was first collected from the area in the late 1960s and later donated to the museum, it turned out that it was a sabre-toothed cat fossil.“It was really exciting,” said Reynolds. “This is way cooler than we thought it would be.”This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 4, 2019.— By Colette Derworiz in Edmonton. Follow @cderworiz on Twitter.The Canadian Press
Annie Lennox is fronting this year’s Nordoff Robbins Christmas Appeal.“This Christmas, Nordoff Robbins is raising money so that it can provide more music therapy sessions for those who unlike you and I, struggle every day to make themselves heard and to communicate their hopes, feelings and fears,” she said. “Please take two minutes of your time to look at this inspirational film that I have made with Nordoff Robbins to see some of the life changing work that they do.“Please donate as much as you possibly can to help Nordoff Robbins provide more life changing music therapy sessions for those that need it the most over this festive season.”This Christmas, Nordoff Robbins needs to raise enough money to fund 10,000 music therapy sessions. Each session costs just £25 and will transform the lives of some of the most vulnerable people in the UK. Please give what you can to provide a lifeline, through music, to those who need it.Find out more here.
Final preparations are underway for a July 6 event at Chicago’s Soldier Field, bringing together top soccer talents from around the globe for a match that will raise money for the charity spearheaded by international superstar Lionel Messi.The match is set to begin at 6 p.m. CDT.“I am happy that this upcoming event is coming together, and am glad I can be a part of it”, said Messi in a recent statement. While a similar match scheduled for Los Angeles earlier in the week was canceled due to irreconcilable issues with the local promoter, the Chicago event is officially confirmed to continue as planned, and is being independently organized.In addition to the four-time Ballon d’Or winner as FIFA’s most valuable player, the event will feature Pablo Aimar, Carlos Bocanegra, Jose de Jesus Corona, Thierry Henry, Ezequiel Lavezzi, Florent Malouda, Ariel Ortega, Pablo Daniel Osvaldo, Julio Cesar Soares, Santiago Solari, Alex Song, Gerardo Torrado, and John Viafara.Russian national team manager Fabio Capello and Arthur Antunes Coimbra (better known as Zico), former manager of CSKA Moscow and the national teams from Iraq and Japan, will be the all-star coaches. The match will also feature a unique opportunity for five stars from the 2011 and 2012 Big Ten Champion Northwestern University men’s soccer team. Gerardo Alvarez, Gerardo Blades, Mark Eliason, Brandon Medina and David Roth will take the field with the international superstars at this Saturday’s game.Fans interested in tour packages, including staying at the same hotel as the players, can go to www.messichicago.com. The official site for the friendly includes special arrangements with the Hyatt properties in Chicago. Hyatt is an official sponsor for the July 6 event.Select players and coaches will also appear at a press conference, taking place at the Hyatt Regency in Chicago at 8 p.m. CDT on Friday, July 5.Messi and Friends vs. the World is a special international showcase in support of the Leo Messi Foundation and its ongoing initiative to help sick and at-risk Argentine children access opportunities to lead full, healthy lives. The charity was founded in 2007 by Lionel Messi, the highly decorated international soccer sensation. In 2010 UNICEF named Messi a goodwill ambassador, focused on supporting children’s rights.
On Saturday, Nov. 23, thousands of participants in 75 cities will gather for the St. Jude Give thanks. Walk., a noncompetitive 5K that to date has raised more than $11 million to help St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital continue to lead the way the world understands, treats and defeats childhood cancer and other deadly diseases.Participants are encouraged to form teams and fundraise for St. Jude. This year, all registered participants who receive 10 online donations between November 1 and November 22 will be entered into a drawing to win a trip for two to New York City, two tickets to a live taping of LIVE! with Kelly and Michael and a photo opportunity with co-host and St. Jude friend, Michael Strahan. Participants must be 18 years old to qualify. Additional contest rules apply.Unlike any other hospital, St. Jude relies on funding from individual contributors to help support its mission of finding cures to save children battling cancer. Because of donations, families never receive a bill from St. Jude for treatment, travel, housing or food because all a family should worry about is helping their child live.The Quinlan family of Florida has witnessed firsthand the impact of St. Jude’s mission and the significance of this event. Last December, 13-year-old Brian Quinlan passed the five-year cancer-free mark after receiving treatment at St. Jude for leukemia when he was just four. The family will not wait until Thanksgiving Day to give thanks and plans to participate in the St. Jude Give thanks. Walk. in Palm Beach County. Brian’s mom Nancy describes the fundraising event as a wonderful gathering of families and friends.“The atmosphere on the day of the walk is so energizing,” she says. “It is amazing to participate in a St. Jude fundraiser after being a patient family at St. Jude. We are so grateful for Brian’s good health, and we want to make sure that the hospital has everything we can contribute to help other children and families in the future.”The St. Jude Give thanks. Walk. serves as the official kick-off event for the St. Jude Thanks and Giving campaign, an unprecedented union of celebrities, media, retail and corporate partners that asks consumers to donate during the holiday season and join St. Jude in finding cures and saving children.“The St. Jude Give thanks. Walk. has truly become a national event uniting people from across the country to raise funds and awareness for our fight against childhood cancer,” said Richard Shadyac Jr., CEO of ALSAC/St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. “Every person who walks gives hope to our kids and their families by supporting the pioneering research and care at St. Jude, and that is an inspiring way to begin the season of giving.”The St. Jude Give thanks. Walk. brings together not only friends and family members, but also St. Jude celebrity friends and local personalities. History Channel’s American Pickers star Mike Wolfe and supermodel Lily Aldridge will be at the Nashville event walking alongside participants. Actresses Jennette McCurdy, Elise Neal, Elisabeth Rohm, Olivia Holt and Kalia Prescott will join walkers in Los Angeles on the course around Paramount Pictures Studio. In New York City, radio personality Elvis Duran and businessman Eric Trump have been busy fundraising as part of their walk team, “Elvis Trumps Cancer,” and two-time cancer survivor and reality television personality Diem Brown will also attend that event. Chicago walkers will get a warm welcome from Chicago Fire actor Joe Minoso.The event also receives support from National Partner Teams New York & Company, AutoTrader.com and Brooks Brothers as well as National Volunteer Teams Delta Delta Delta, Epsilon Sigma Alpha, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. and Iota Phi Theta.To register for the walk today and help kids like Brian receive lifesaving care, visit www.givethankswalk.org.
Artists from Across the Galaxy have teamed up to help needy children this Christmas Season in the first-ever Mandalorian Ar(t)mor Benefit Auction.In conjunction with Winter Festival benefitting Toys for Tots, the hosts of the Star Wars: In Character Podcast have organized this one-of-a-kind Auction of Original Star Wars Art to be held Sunday, November 24th at 6:00 PM EST, at TheBigToyAuction.com/ Artmor.html.Proceeds will be given to the Toys for Tots organization at this year’s Winter Festival.Dozens of artists have taken up the challenge of adding their own artistic vision to Blank Mandalorian Armor Plates for the project. The results span the entire Star Wars Saga from the Original Trilogy to Episode VII. In addition, many of the artists have included such varied themes as Game of Thrones, Evil Dead, Spider-Man & Marvel Comics, The Simpsons, Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Fallout, Superman, He-Man, Transformers, and many more. All of the pieces are on display and available for bidding in the online Gallery here.Artists include such notable legends as Gus Lopez, Tom Hutchens, Curt Hanks, Eric Moore, Mike Demaine, Ralph Thompson, Jeff McGee, Kenneth Polly, David Ramsay, Taylor Lymbery and more.Auction Registration is free. Preview and Internet Bidding are available NOW via the online gallery here.
(RED), rock group U2 and Bank of America have announced a partnership that will generate more than $10 million to fight AIDS.L-R: Deborah Dugan, CEO, (RED); Mark Dybul, Executive Director, The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria; Patrice and Precious Motsepe; Anne Finucane, Bank of America; Bono, co-founder, (RED); President Mahama, Ghana; Bill McDermott, SAP.The partnership will kick off with a commercial during the February 2 Super Bowl that will feature U2 performing a new song, “Invisible.” The song will be available as a limited edition release on iTunes for free download during the game and for the following 24 hours. For every download during that timeframe, Bank of America will donate $1, up to $2 million total, to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, which provides life-saving HIV/AIDS treatment, testing and prevention services to tens of millions of people in the world’s poorest countries.(RED) has already generated more than $240 million for the Global Fund since being founded in 2006 by U2 lead singer Bono and Bobby Shriver in order to drive corporate donations to the fight against AIDS. The additional funding from Bank of America will help (RED) surpass a quarter billion dollars raised.Bono said, “Bank of America coming on as a (RED) partner to help the Global Fund’s efforts to eliminate AIDS is great news. It’s the kind of game-changing influence that will not just deliver millions of dollars but raise consciousness and keep public pressure on putting an end to this devastating pandemic which has already taken the lives of 35 million people. And just in…the bank’s commitment of $10 million has resulted in the Gates Foundation, SAP and Africa’s Motsepe Family matching for a total of $22 million. Incredible.”Key to the success of this initiative will be raising awareness among Bank of America’s vast customer base and more than 240,000 employees, and providing opportunities for them to take action at this critical moment in the global effort to eradicate mother-to-child transmission of HIV by 2015. Bank of America serves one in two U.S. households with a network of approximately 5,100 retail banking offices and 16,300 ATMs, has one of the most visited websites in the world, and more than 30 million online banking users and 14 million mobile users.Brian Moynihan, CEO, Bank of America, said, “Just as we dedicate all of our resources to serving customers and clients in the U.S. and around the world, we can bring these capabilities to (RED) and the global health community in the fight against AIDS. Most importantly, we’re encouraging our customers and employees to join the fight.”(RED) funds are fighting AIDS in eight African countries – Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Rwanda, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania and Zambia – and are used to support HIV/AIDS grants which provide treatment, testing and prevention and care services, with a focus on ending mother-to-child transmission of HIV and achieving an AIDS-free generation. Of the more than $240 million generated by (RED), 100 percent has gone directly to the Global Fund for on-the-ground services, with no overhead taken out by (RED). (RED) and its partners – from Bank of America, to Starbucks, Apple and more – are united in a global push to end mother-to-child transmission of the deadly HIV virus by 2015, in accordance with the UN Millennium Development Goals.Mark Dybul, executive director, the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, said, “We’d like to thank Bank of America, (RED) and U2 for this innovative partnership to deliver much-needed funds and awareness to our fight to eliminate AIDS. This partnership will have a tremendous impact over the coming years.”Find out more here.Source:PR Newswire
The Lourdes Foundation, an international organization compassionately empowering and lifting up the lives of youth to build a stronger foundation for the future leaders of our global community, hosted His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama in Los Angeles February 25-26, 2014.During this special visit, His Holiness addressed universal responsibility & alleviating inner turmoil through compassion in the 21st Century at two events. The first event was a public talk at the Forum, Presented by Chase on February 25th followed by a Q & A Session with Ann Curry on the 26th at the California Science Center where Eric Benet was joined by David Foster on piano for a special tribute to His Holiness. Guests included community leaders such as President of the Los Angeles Police Commission Steve Soboroff, Former Governor Grey Davis, American Engineer and former NASA Astronaut Garrett Reisman, Philanthropist Lynda Oschin, along with high profile attendees including Larry King, Sharon Stone, Naomi Watts, Jeremy Renner, Rosario Dawson, Eva Longoria, Amber Valletta, Lupita Nyong’o, Diane Kruger, Joshua Jackson, Ahna O’Reilly, Christina Hendricks, Geoffrey Arend, Camilla Belle, Malin Akerman, Sandra Oh, Minka Kelly, Mandy Moore, Jim Carrey, Kathy Bates, Constance Zimmer, Nikki Reed, Amber Heard, Alia Shawkat and more.“His Holiness brought enlightening messages about the value of social integrity and how compassion, non-violence and fruitful dialogue can achieve peace,” said Lama Tenzin Dhonden, the Personal Peace Emissary to His Holiness. “It is hoped His Holiness’ words will make a significant contribution to minimizing the stresses people face in today’s world, where financial, environmental and social conflicts are constant.”Sean Lourdes, Chairman of The Lourdes Foundation, and President of its benefactor, Auge Media, added, “It was an exceptional honor to host His Holiness in our great city. Our belief is that fundamental change in our global community begins with change within oneself and one’s own community and that change can come through a better understanding of the messages of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. The more people who hear the message of peace and compassion, the more positive impact it will have on creating lasting change.”Source:PR Newswire