TIME Canada

Nine People Have Been Found Dead in a Mass Murder in Canada

Edmonton Deaths
Jason Franson—AP Police investigate the scene where multiple deaths occurred overnight in Edmonton, Alberta, Tuesday, Dec. 30, 2014.

Police are calling it an act of domestic violence

The bodies of nine people, including two children, have been found at three separate crime scenes in the Canadian city of Edmonton, Alberta in what police are calling a “mass murder.”

Seven bodies — including three women, two men and two young children — were found in the same house, the Los Angeles Times reports.

The body of a middle-aged woman was found at another residence in the city.

The suspect’s body was found in a restaurant in Fort Saskatchewan. He is believed to have killed himself.

Edmonton’s police chief Rod Knecht said the killings were related and that there was no risk to the general public.

[L.A. Times]

TIME Canada

Life in Prison for Murderer Who Sent Victim’s Limbs to Schools

Rocco Luka Magnotta, also known as Eric Clinton Newman and Vladimir Romanov, is shown in this undated handout photo released by Montreal Police
Reuters Rocco Luka Magnotta, also known as Eric Clinton Newman and Vladimir Romanov, is shown in this undated handout photo released by the Montreal Police to Reuters on May 30, 2012

Shipments of body parts horrified Canada

A Canadian jury sentenced a 32-year old former porn actor to life in prison Tuesday for a grisly murder that shocked the nation.

Luka Magnotta was convicted of killing and dismembering his Chinese lover, Jun Lin, 33, and shipping his body parts to Canadian schools and political organizations. He even detailed his plan to a British reporter six months before the crime, according to the Associated Press.

Magnotta’s lawyer, Luc Leclair, argued that his client has schizophrenia and was unable to comprehend the immorality of his actions. Speaking on Magnotta’s behalf, Leclair recognized that the life-sentence was to be expected.

“[Magnotta] accepts the verdict,” he said. “For quite some time now he has been preparing for the verdict with his father, some friends and his therapist. He has been focusing on rebuilding his life.”

In May 2012, Jun Lin’s severed foot arrived at Canada’s Conservative Party headquarters; the Liberal Party received his hand. His torso was later found in a dumpster outside of Magnotta’s apartment complex, and a week later his other foot and hand turned up at two schools in Vancouver.

Jun Lin was a Chinese national who is said to have fallen in love with Montreal and had been living in the city since 2011.

Magnotta will be eligible for parole after 25 years.

[AP]

TIME Canada

Canadian Driver Who Stopped Car to Rescue Ducklings Gets Jail Time

Emma Czornobaj
Graham Hughes—AP Emma Czornobaj, shown here in this June 3, 2014, file photo at the Montreal Courthouse in Canada, was found guilty in the deaths of two motorcyclists who collided with her car after she stopped for ducks on a Montreal-area highway. On Thursday, a judge sentenced her to 90 days in jail.

Motorcyclist and his daughter died after crashing into Emma Czornobaj's stationary vehicle

A Canadian woman who stopped her car on the highway to rescue ducklings, inadvertently causing the deaths of a motorcyclist and his daughter, was sentenced to 90 days in jail and banned from driving for 10 years on Thursday.

Emma Czornobaj, a 26-year-old woman from the Montreal suburb of Chateauguay, was sentenced Thursday to serve three months of jail time on the weekends, CBC reports. She was convicted in July on two counts of criminal negligence in the deaths of Andre Roy, 50, and his 16-year-old daughter Jessie, and had faced a possible life sentence.

In June 2010, Czornobaj parked her Honda Civic in the left lane of a highway in a Montreal suburb after seeing seven ducklings in the road. She said she was trying to gather the ducks and take them home. As she left her parked car to round up the ducklings, Roy crashed his motorcycle into the back of the stationary vehicle.

The incident has been divisive in Canada. A petition on Change.org signed by thousands of people pushed for the country’s legal system to be lenient on a woman who they believe only had the best of intentions in saving the ducks. The victim’s family members, however, have expressed frustration with Czornobaj over the fact that she hasn’t reached out to them.

[CBC]

TIME infectious diseases

Avian Flu Outbreak in British Columbia Spreads to Seven Farms

The virus has affected 155,000 birds in the past week

A sudden spike in avian influenza cases in British Columbia in the past week has now spread to seven farms and affected thousands of birds, according to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.

Some 155,000 birds have either died or will be euthanized, the Associated Press reports.

The outbreak originated in the Fraser Valley near Vancouver last week, where turkeys and chickens from two farms tested positive for the H5N2 strain of the virus.

Although the bug does not pose a major threat to humans as long as the meat from these birds is cooked properly, its sudden resurgence a huge blow to the region’s poultry industry.

[AP]

TIME

Watch Canada’s Prime Minister Cover Guns N’ Roses at a Christmas Party

A politician can only dream of rock stardom

In what can only be described as a very subdued form of letting loose, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper pulled out his best Axl Rose at the Conservative Party holiday festivities yesterday. Harper was backed by his band, the Van Cats, for a seven-song set that included covers of John Denver, The Beatles and Guns N’ Roses. Barring this classical guitar rendition, their cover of “Sweet Child O’ Mine” is just about the least rock and roll version of the song ever to hit YouTube. Then again, this is the Conservative Party.

It’s a little surprising the set didn’t feature more Canadian artists, though Harper did replace Denver’s lyric about West Virginia with a reference to western Alberta. Still, without hoping to incite any kind of North American musical rivalry, there’s really no comparison to Barack Obama’s much too short cover of Al Green’s “Let’s Stay Together” at the Apollo Theater in 2012. We’re still waiting for the full song.

Read next: Please Watch Macaulay Culkin Play the Kazoo While Wearing a Pizza Mask

TIME Canada

Canadian Radio Host Jian Ghomeshi Charged With Sexual Assault

Jian Ghomeshi
Chris Young—AP Jian Ghomeshi in Toronto on Jan. 22, 2010.

Radio host has been accused of assault by 11 women and one man

After weeks of revelations and allegations, Canadian radio host Jian Ghomeshi has been charged with four counts of sexual assault and one count of choking.

The news was announced by the Toronto Police Services on Wednesday in a statement that revealed Ghomeshi had surrendered to police and would be appearing in court later that day. He has been formally charged with “four counts of sexual assault” and one count of “overcome resistance – choking,” according to the statement which also went on to define sexual assault as “any form of unwanted sexual contact. It includes, but is not limited to, kissing, grabbing, oral sex and penetration.”

The charges mark a dramatic turn in the unfolding scandal that has gripped Canada since Oct. 26, when Ghomeshi was fired from his job at the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC). As the host of pop culture radio show Q — one of CBC’s flagship programs — 47-year-old Ghomeshi had long enjoyed celebrity status in Canada. When he revealed in a long Facebook post days later that he had been fired because he enjoyed “adventurous forms of sex” and was being smeared by a jealous ex-girlfriend, many people immediately rallied to his defense. Ghomeshi’s Facebook statement also said, “my tastes in the bedroom may not be palatable to some folks…. But that is my private life.” He also filed a $55 million (US$48.9 million) lawsuit against the CBC for breach of faith and breach of confidence.

But Ghomeshi’s post prompted the Toronto Star to publish a story they’d been investigating for months, featuring allegations by three women who said that they had been punched or choked by Ghomeshi without consent and allegations of sexual harassment by a former Q employee. The Toronto Star story inspired more people to come forward with their own allegations. To date eleven women and one man have accused the former radio host of harassment, physical abuse and sexual assault.

Many women shared explicit details of the alleged assaults. In an interview with the CBC radio show The Current, Lucy DeCoutere, an actress on the Canadian TV show Trailer Park Boys said when she’d gone home with Ghomeshi after a date, “he did take me by the throat and press me against the wall and choke me.” She added, “There was no build-up. When it went from smooching to smacking, there was no build-up.”

Another woman, lawyer Reva Seth, writing in The Huffington Post, alleged that in 2002 Ghomeshi unexpectedly attacked her one night: “Jian had his hands around my throat, had pulled down my pants and was aggressively and violently penetrating me with his fingers. When it was over, I got up and it was clear I was really angry. My sexual interactions until then had always been consensual, enjoyable and fun.”

As the story dominated Canadian media support for Ghomeshi fell away, as friends and colleagues publicly denounced his actions and offered support for the women coming forward. Toronto Police announced that their sex crimes unit had opened an investigation on Oct. 31.

CBC had also filed a notice of motion to dismiss Ghomeshi’s lawsuit on grounds the legal action was “without merit and an abuse of the court’s process,” shortly after it was originally filed. According to the Star, CBC had made the original decision to fire Ghomeshi after he came to them about potential allegations being made in the press and “showed CBC executives… a video which revealed bruising on the torso of a woman he had dated. He also showed them text messages that referred to a ‘cracked rib.’ A source said Ghomeshi had showed it as an example of how rough sex that causes bruising can be consensual.”

This week, Ghomeshi agreed to drop his lawsuit against the CBC and pay the broadcaster $18,000 (US$16,000) in legal fees, before he turned himself in to Toronto police. The last statement he made on Facebook before deleting his social media accounts, was on Oct. 30 when he wrote, “I intend to meet these allegations directly.”

TIME nhl

Jack Johnson’s Shocking Bankruptcy Story; Maple Leafs Point Fingers

Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman Jack Johnson (7) during the game between the New Jersey Devils and the Columbus Blue Jackets played at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J. on Nov. 1, 2014.
Rich Graessle—AP Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman Jack Johnson (7) during the game between the New Jersey Devils and the Columbus Blue Jackets played at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J. on Nov. 1, 2014.

Johnson, currently playing the fourth season of a seven-year, $30 million deal, has less than $50,000 in assets and more than $10 million in debt

The hockey world has been taught a couple of vitally important lessons this week.

From Ottawa Senators GM Bryan Murray, who is suffering from terminal cancer, we’ve learned of the life-saving potential of colonoscopies. It’s an uncomfortable thought, especially for men who tend to shrug off medical care for anything short of limb reattachment, but the preventative value of this simple procedure is enormous.

And then we learned that if you make your living in this game, you need to get yourself a good agent. It’s advice that would have saved Jack Johnson from bankruptcy.

The story of the financial ruination of the Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman that was told this morning by Dispatch writer Aaron Portzline is both shocking and heartbreaking. Johnson, currently playing the fourth season of a seven-year, $30 million deal, has less than $50,000 in assets and more than $10 million in debt, the result, Johnson says, of “picking the wrong people who led me down the wrong path.”

Those people, according to Portzline, were Johnson’s own parents.

Earlier in his career Johnson had Pat Brisson, one of the best agents in the game, looking after his affairs. But the two parted ways in 2008 and Johnson signed a power of attorney that turned over full control of his finances to his mother, Tina Johnson.

In hindsight, the decision to put millions of dollars into inexperienced hands was incredibly naive. But these were his parents. The two people in the world he trusted the most. Put into the same situation, there are plenty of us who might have done the same thing.

Fortunately, most of us don’t have parents like Johnson’s. The picture of them that’s painted by Portzline’s research is beyond ugly. Instead of making safe, conventional investments that would protect the financial future of their son, the pair blew through past and future earnings via a complicated series of risky loans at high interest rates, defaults on which resulted in massive fees, higher interest rates and three lawsuits against Johnson.

There are also reports of lavish spending on houses and travel, leaving Johnson not just broke but essentially working for nothing as garnishments swallowed his massive bi-monthly paychecks.

“I’ve seen lots of instances of parents riding their kid’s coattails around,” a league source told Portzline. “I’ve never seen a case as ugly as this one, where the parents took such advantage of their kid.”

Johnson has since surrounded himself with competent attorneys and financial experts who actually have his best interests in mind. Assuming relief will be provided in bankruptcy, he has a chance to climb out of this hole, save his future and maybe put his focus back on playing hockey.

But his relationship with his parents? That’s a tragic casualty of this mess. And one that no court can piece back together.

This article originally appeared on SI.com

TIME U.K.

Terrorism Suspects to be Excluded From U.K Even If It’s Their Home

Counter-terrorism legislation aims to halt jihadis who want to come home from Syria and Iraq

As an idea it appears beautifully simple: stop potential terrorism by stopping potential terrorists at your borders—even if they’re your own citizens. Canada has already started revoking the passports of its nationals who are thought to have traveled to join Islamic extremist groups in Syria and Iraq. Australia is piloting new legislation to impose prison sentences of up to 10 years on anyone returning to the country from overseas conflict zones who cannot prove a legitimate reason for the trip. And on Nov. 14 during Prime Minister David Cameron’s sojourn in Australia for the G20 summit, he unveiled his own plans to limit the increasing flow of “gap-year jihadis” by preventing Britons from coming home to the U.K. after a spell in the ranks of ISIS or some other violent Islamist organization.

Australian lawmakers warmly applauded Cameron’s proposals, whilst calls for the U.S. to adopt similar measures are growing louder. Yet reactions back in Britain are mixed. Three overlapping concerns dominate the debate: are such measures just, do they square with international law and would they really work?

Nobody denies the scale of the problem. The U.K. authorities estimate that between 500 and 600 Britons have traveled to Syria and Iraq to wage jihad. More than half of these have already returned to the U.K. while a further 25-30 are thought to have died in battle. That leaves around 250 whose eventual homecoming presages a raft of possible dangers and pressures. The security services are already stretched thin trying to keep tabs on radicals whose foreign travels have furnished them with the contacts and the skills to launch attacks at home or narratives to help the ISIS recruitment drive. Deradicalization programs have proved effective but struggle under the weight of numbers.

From that perspective, says Jonathan Russell, the political liaison officer of the counter-terrorism think tank Quilliam Foundation, there could be short term gains from restricting the influx of returnees. The British government plans to publish its proposed new bill before the end of November and get it onto the statute books by January, enabling officials to turn away suspect Britons for two years at a time if they refuse to submit to tough re-entry conditions such as facing prosecution or submitting to close supervision. The law is also expected to penalize airlines that fail to observe no-fly lists.

“It’s likely to stop dangerous people entering the U.K. and ease the pressure on the security services and their surveillance operations and make sure they can’t commit terrorist attacks in the U.K. in the two years they’re held up.” says Russell, but he is unconvinced by the move. “If we’re looking for longterm security I can’t see why it would have any impact.”

Russell is concerned that a large number of the Britons trying to return home would likely do so via Turkey, and find themselves stranded there, creating fresh problems and a diplomatic headache with Turkey which is likely to be at best an unpredictable partner in any resulting negotiations. Sara Ogilvie, policy officer for the U.K.-based human rights organization Liberty raises a different objection: excluding Britons from Britain is, she believes “clearly unlawful.” “If the result is to render someone stateless that will be a breach of our international obligations and will be subject to challenge,” she says.

Britain’s Supreme Court is already testing a related case, of a Vietnam-born naturalized Briton, known for legal reasons only as “B2,” who was stripped by the British government of his adopted citizenship in 2011 because of suspicions he was an al Qaeda supporter. Vietnam refuses to accept he is a Vietnamese national, so the British decision made B2 effectively stateless, in potential contravention of a key United Nations convention. When the Cameron first mooted new, tougher counter-terrorism laws in September, he floated the notion of permanently disowning British-born U.K. nationals involved with ISIS but has since accepted that there is no legal way to do so. The idea of two-year renewable exclusion orders to keep out British jihadis is intended to comply with international law. Ogilvie is skeptical: “If you’re a U.K. citizen but you can’t get into the U.K. what’s the point of you having U.K. citizenship? You don’t get the value of it. So we think that will definitely be challenged in the courts.”

The issue of the U.K’s relationship with the European Union is also complicated. Currently U.K passport holders have the right to travel throughout the E.U. but it is not clear how exclusion orders will affect their rights to remain in the E.U.

Ogilivie also argues that the proposed law infringes the values of democracy and the rule of law that it purports to safeguard. This is an issue Quilliam’s Russell also raises. The measure and the rhetoric around it “feeds into the narrative of the West being at war with Islam,” he says, adding an important clarification. “I wouldn’t say that counter-terrorism legislation makes people radical. It is a grievance that is exploited by radicalizers.” In his view, rather than seeking to exclude returning fighters, the U.K. authorities should do as much as possible “to engage with them ideologically, change their views and deradicalize them.”

On this point Margaret Gilmore, senior associate fellow of the Royal United Services Institute, RUSI, agrees, but she sees a potential benefit from the measure. “There’s been a lot of discussion in the Muslim community here, with some people saying if people want to come back it’s going to be more difficult now because they will be stopped and questioned,” she explains. “Yes they will be stopped and questioned but there will be some who welcome the fact that they will be stopped and questioned and can say ‘look I really have moved on, these are the reasons, I want to go back to my family, move back into the mainstream of thinking’.”

In this scenario, the kinds of returnees who are susceptible to rehabilitation will find it more easily. “It’s a very clear route to come back in and be helped back into the mainstream,” Gilmore says. The jury is out on that point, or may be soon enough.

TIME Companies

Toronto Wants to Kick Uber Out of the City

Uber Toronto
Bloomberg/Getty Images The Uber Technologies Inc. logo and website are displayed on an Apple Inc. iPhone 5s and laptop computer.

"Uber's operations pose a serious risk to the public"

Toronto is the latest city trying to give Uber the red light.

The City of Toronto has filed an application for injunction against Uber Canada, requesting the end of the company’s activities in the Ontario city, officials announced in a Tuesday statement. The statement said that Uber has been operating in Toronto without a license since 2012.

Like other major cities cracking down on Uber, Toronto is concerned that “Uber’s operations pose a serious risk to the public, including those who are signing on as drivers.”

The City is specifically worried that a lack of vehicle inspection and driver training is threatening both passenger and driver safety. Officials also say Uber’s insurance covering passengers and drivers in the event of an accident is below what’s required by the Municipal Code. Outside of safety concerns, the City cites unregulated fares and Uber’s “possible threat to the taxi industry.”

“With Uber, Torontonians have enjoyed real competition and greater choice,” an Uber spokesman told Bloomberg in an e-mail. “It’s disappointing that city bureaucrats have deployed expensive legal tactics to attempt to halt progress.”

Similar claims have successfully banned the car service in two German cities, major losses that Uber has managed to avoid in major hubs like New York and London.

Cities’ opposition to Uber is only one of many problems being tackled by the company, which is known for its ability to overcome several dead-serious controversies. Most recently, Uber CEO Travis Kalanick offered a Twitter apology after reports that an Uber exec said he wanted to hire researchers to dig up dirt on journalists criticizing the company.

 

 

TIME

The Politics of the Keystone XL Pipeline in 3 Stories

House Votes On Full Passage Of Keystone Pipeline
Mark Wilson—Getty Images Members walk down the steps of the House side of the US Capitol after voting on the Kyestone XL Pipeline, Nov. 14, 2014.

The controversy around the project is not just a matter of environmental impact

On Friday, as the House voted to approve a proposal for the long-debated Keystone Pipeline, we rounded up TIME’s past coverage of the environmental questions behind the controversial pipeline — but, with the Senate is expected to vote Tuesday on their own version of the proposal, it’s clear that the environmental impact isn’t the only factor influencing decision-making.

As these three stories make clear, the politics are nearly as complex as the science:

July 22, 2013: Beyond the Keystone Pipeline

Michael Grunwald posits that the energy agenda could be a big part of President Obama’s legacy, and that there are reasons beyond the climate why he might want to veto the pipeline even if the legislature approves it, as has been suggested he will:

It’s true that Keystone isn’t the ideal battleground for the fight against global warming. The Canadian tar-sand glop that Big Oil hopes to send to refineries along the Gulf of Mexico might come out of the ground even if the pipeline is rejected. Oil isn’t quite as awful as coal, and its competitors aren’t yet as viable as coal’s. But the Montgomery, Ala., bus system wasn’t the ideal battleground, either; it was just where Rosa Parks decided to fight. Presidents don’t get to choose what activists care about. Presidents just get to choose sides. “After all he’s done on climate, I just can’t imagine that he’d approve this,” says Tom Steyer, a billionaire Obama donor who is bankrolling a crusade against the pipeline. “It would be so disappointing to his supporters. Such a self-inflicted wound.”

Nov. 13, 2014: The Politics Behind Mary Landrieu’s Pipeline Power Play

Alex Rogers analyzes Senator Mary Landrieu’s call for the Senate to bring the matter to a vote:

The frantic maneuvering started Wednesday morning when Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell promised [Landrieu’s challenger Bill] Cassidy a spot on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee if Cassidy beats Landrieu in the December runoff. Landrieu chairs the committee and has touted her tenure there as a symbol of her influence on Capitol Hill.

Nov. 13, 2014: GOP Prepares for an Energy Battle

Denver Nicks takes a look at broader feelings about energy and the environment among the Republican leadership, revealing that the pipeline is just the beginning:

Near the top of [Mitch McConnell’s] to-do list is bringing the Keystone XL pipeline to a vote. Climate activists have made a priority of killing the proposed pipeline from oil sands in Canada to the Gulf of Mexico, but it may soon become their Alamo. With the cooperation of a handful of centrist Democrats, the GOP could have a filibuster-proof majority on the question, forcing President Obama to approve or veto the project. Either way, he will be forced to show his hand on a question about which he’s been coy to date.

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