VIDEO: The bombings, three of which went off in the space of 10 minutes, killed at least 27 people, shaking the fragile sense of security Baghdad has maintained despite the Sunni militant offensive raging across northern and western Iraq.
BAGHDAD – Attacks overnight in two Iraqi cities killed at least 16 people, officials said Monday as authorities struggle to stop the Sunni militants’ offensive that has left huge areas in northern and western Iraq outside of government control.
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In one of the attacks, mortar rounds rained down on Shiite neighbourhoods in the town of Mahmoudiya on Sunday night, killing 11 civilians and wounding 31, a police official said. The mixed Shiite-Sunni town is about 30 kilometres (20 miles) south of Baghdad.
And in Baghdad’s western suburb of Abu Ghraib, a roadside bomb struck an army patrol, killing two soldiers and three volunteers who took up arms following the Sunni militant push across Iraq in recent weeks. Eighth people were wounded in that attack, said the police official.
Two medical officials confirmed the casualty figures. All officials spoke on condition of anonymity as they were not authorized to talk to media.
In early January, al-Qaida breakaway extremist group known as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, seized control of the city of Fallujah, west of Baghdad, as well as parts of the nearby city of Ramadi, the provincial capital of western Anbar province.
In June, the Islamic State launched a massive blitz offensive that brought large swaths of northern and western Iraq under their control.
So far, Iraq’s security forces have struggled to retake any of the ground they surrendered to the militants over the past five weeks.
On Friday, the U.S. mission in Iraq said at least 5,576 civilians were killed and another 11,665 wounded in the first six months of this year. Another 1.2 million people have been uprooted from their homes by the violence.
The civilian deaths so far this year mark a sharp increase over the previous year, when just over 7,800 civilians killed, according to U.N.
Associated Press writer Murtada Faraj contributed to this report.
WATCH: Authorities address the collision and derailment between a CN Rail freight train and a Wisconsin Southern train Sunday night
SLINGER, Wis. – A Canadian National Railway Co. train struck another freight train as it rolled through a small village in southeastern Wisconsin, causing cars to derail, injuring two people and spilling thousands of gallons of fuel that prompted the evacuation of dozens of homes.
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The southbound Canadian National train struck several Wisconsin & Southern Railroad cars around 8:30 p.m. Sunday at a rail crossing in Slinger, according to Patrick Waldron, a Canadian National spokesman.
Three engines and 10 railcars derailed, Slinger Fire Chief Rick Hanke said. Slinger is about 35 miles northwest of Milwaukee.
An engineer and conductor on the Canadian National train were taken to a hospital, treated for injuries and released, Waldron said Monday.
About 5,000 gallons of diesel spilled from a locomotive fuel tank, Hanke said. Hazardous materials crews placed booms around the spilled fuel and crews worked to upright the derailed cars Monday morning.
Some 100 people who live near the crash site were evacuated from their homes as a precaution but they were allowed to return around 1:30 a.m. Monday, Hanke said.
The Wisconsin & Southern engineer applied the brakes after an onboard computer sensed something was wrong before the collision, said WSR spokesman Ken Lucht.
“There was an emergency situation prior to impact,” Lucht said.
Investigators will interview the crew members and inspect both trains to determine what specifically triggered the sensor, he said.
The Wisconsin & Southern train was headed northbound from Janesville to Horicon, and was carrying lumber, steel and plastic pellets, Lucht said. Some of the lumber spilled from a rail car. The Canadian National train was southbound from Fond du Lac to Champaign, Illinois, and was carrying sand, Waldron said.
WATCH: Diplomacy is finally picking up steam and the pressure for Hamas to accept a ceasefire is mounting. But the death toll continues to climb, as Israel faces off with militants in the Gaza Strip. Eric Sorensen reports.
Canada’s Foreign Affairs Minister “appalled” by reports of rocket stockpiles in UN-run school given to HamasPalestinian-Canadians protest on Ottawa’s Parliament HillAir Canada cancels Tuesday evening flight bound for Tel Aviv, will “evaluate” future flightsFAA restricts U.S. airlines from flying to Tel Aviv; European Aviation Safety Agency “strongly recommends” refraining from flying to Tel AvivOne Israeli soldier was killed Tuesday and another Israeli soldier is missing; some reports suggest he is deadDiplomatic efforts between the UN, U.S. and Egypt have intensified to end the two weeks of violence
TORONTO and JERUSALEM – A rocket fired from the Gaza Strip landed near Israel’s main airport Tuesday, wounding one Israeli and prompting the U.S., Air Canada and some European airlines to suspend flights to Israel in a reflection of high anxiety over air travel after last week’s attack on a Malaysian jet over Ukraine.
The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has restricted all U.S. airlines from flying to Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion Airport for 24 hours, and Air Canada has cancelled its Tuesday evening flight.
Air Canada, which operates direct flights from Toronto’s Pearson International Airport to Ben Gurion International Airport, said it is “evaluating” the situation in Tel Aviv moving forward, and cancelled Tuesday’s flight.
We have cancelled our Tel Aviv flight tonight AC84 YYZ-TLV and return AC85 TLV-YYZ 23/07. Will continue to evaluate going forward & update.
— Air Canada (@AirCanada) July 22, 2014
The FAA’s 24-hour prohibition on Tel Aviv-bound flights went into effect at 12:15 p.m. ET.
The notification came shortly after Delta Airlines, United Airlines and U.S. Airways cancelled flights to Israel’s second most populated city and amid more rockets fired at the city from the Gaza Strip.
“The notice was issued in response to a rocket strike which landed approximately one mile from Ben Gurion International Airport,” a statement on the FAA’s website read.
WATCH: Aftermath of rocket attack that caused flight cancellations to Tel Aviv
One Delta flight with 290 passengers and crew on board was already en route from New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport to Tel Aviv when the airline cancelled its flights. Delta said the flight was diverted to Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris.
American Airlines (which recently merged with U.S. Airways) said flights have been cancelled in response to “security concerns” at Tel Aviv airport.
“For customers with future travel plans to Tel Aviv, we have extended our travel advisory and our flexible ticketing policy through August 31. Customers who choose to change their travel plans can do so without change fees,” said American Airlines spokesperson Michelle Mohr in an email to Global News.
The FAA said it will continue to monitor the situation and issue “updated instructions as soon as conditions permit.”
Germany’s Lufthansa, Air France and Alitalia have also suspended their flights, some of them for the next 36 hours. The European Aviation Safety Agency said it “strongly recommends” that airlines refrain from operating flights to and from Tel Aviv, and said it would “monitor the situation and advise on any update as the situation develops.”
Israel’s Transportation Ministry called on the airlines to reverse their decision and said it was trying to explain that the airport was “safe for landings and departures.”
The fallout from the rocket was the latest blow to Israel on a day when it announced that an Israeli soldier went missing following a deadly battle in the Palestinian territory, where the Israelis are fighting Hamas militants in the third conflict in just over five years.
With the casualty toll mounting on both sides, the international community has stepped up diplomatic efforts and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon met with Egyptian and Israeli officials in a bid to revive a cease-fire proposal that was rejected by Hamas.
Palestinian militants have fired more than 2,000 rockets toward Israel, and several heading toward the area of Ben-Gurion Airport have been intercepted by Israel’s Iron Dome defence system, but police spokeswoman Luba Samri said Tuesday’s landing was the closet to the airport since fighting began on July 8.
Follow our live blog for updates:
WATCH: Rockets continue to rain down between Israel and Gaza as diplomatic efforts continue
The disruption to air travel came as Israel is increasingly suffering from the effects of the war in Gaza after nearly two weeks of largely remaining insulated as the air defence system dependably zapped incoming Hamas rockets from the skies and the military successfully repelled infiltration attempts on the ground and from the sea.
Meanwhile, Israeli airstrikes pummeled a wide range of locations in Gaza and diplomatic efforts intensified to end the two week war that has killed at least 609 Palestinians and 29 Israelis – 27 soldiers and two civilians. The U.N. office of humanitarian affairs estimates that at least 75 per cent of the Palestinian deaths were civilians, including dozens of children.
Later on Tuesday, Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird said he was “appalled” by reports that aid workers found stockpiled rockets in a school run by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA).
He was equally upset by Israeli allegations that UN workers gave the rockets to Hamas.
“Canada unequivocally calls on the United Nations to launch an immediate independent investigation to determine the facts surrounding these reports. Canada also calls on the United Nations to ensure that in the second case, no rockets are returned to Hamas,” Baird said in a statement.
“If proven true, this would fly in the face of all that the United Nations should stand for as an institution committed to the peace and security of its members.”
But the aid agency says it merely followed its own prior practices by returning the rockets to Palestinian authorities not connected to Hamas.
“As soon as the rockets were discovered, UNRWA staff were withdrawn from the premises … The Agency immediately informed the relevant parties and is pursuing all possible measures for the removal of the objects in order to preserve the safety and security of the school,” it said in a statement issued prior to Baird’s.
“UNRWA will launch a comprehensive investigation into the circumstances surrounding this incident.”
The agency provides assistance and protection to about five million registered Palestine refugees in the Gaza Strip, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria and the West Bank, according to its website.
Tuesday wasn’t the first time Israeli media accused the UN agency of aiding Hamas.
The UNRWA made headlines over the weekend when Israel’s Channel Two news network was forced to retract a story that falsely claimed a UNRWA ambulance was used to transport militants in Gaza on Saturday night. It was the second Channel Two retraction related to UNRWA’s neutrality record, after an October 2012 incident.
“There are many false reports circulating about UNRWA right now. This is another regrettable example in that long catalogue of sloppy journalism,” said UNRWA spokesman Chris Gunness in the release, referring to Sunday‘s retraction.
Earlier on Tuesday, hundreds of Palestinian-Canadian protesters marched through Ottawa Tuesday, demanding Prime Minister Stephen Harper denounce Israel’s military actions in Gaza.
There were screams of “shame, shame” when a handful of pro-Israel demonstrators draped in an Israeli flag shouted “no more terror” from a nearby sidewalk, but police and march organizers were able to contain the crowd and keep the two sides apart.
Harper has insisted Canada stands firmly at Israel’s side in the ongoing conflict.
The fate of another Israeli soldier who went missing following a deadly battle in the Gaza Strip remained unknown, a defence official said Tuesday.
It was not immediately known if the missing soldier was alive or dead, the Israeli defence official told The Associated Press. The disappearance raised the possibility that he had been captured by Hamas – a nightmare scenario for Israel. In the past, Israel has paid a heavy price in lopsided prisoner swaps to retrieve captured soldiers or remains held by its enemies.
Military officials said the soldier, identified as Sgt. Oron Shaul, was among seven soldiers in a vehicle that was hit by an anti-tank missile in a battle in Gaza over the weekend. The other six have been confirmed as dead, but no remains have been identified as Shaul, the officials said. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the incident with media.
Hamas’ claimed earlier this week that it had captured an Israeli soldier. Israel’s U.N. ambassador initially denied the claim but the military neither confirmed nor denied it.
A representative of Shaul’s family, Racheli Gazit, said that “so long as the verification has not been completed … as far as the family is concerned Oron is not a fallen soldier.”
WATCH: U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is in the Middle East Tuesday morning, trying to work out a cease-fire between Israel and Hamas militants. Tracie Potts reports.
Abductions of Israeli soldiers have turned in the past into drawn-out mediation with opponents leading to prisoner releases. In 2008, Israel released five Lebanese militants in exchange for the remains of two soldiers killed in the 2006 Lebanon war.
Also in 2006, Hamas-allied militants seized an Israeli soldier in a cross-border raid and held him captive in Gaza until Israel traded more than 1,000 Palestinian prisoners for his return in 2011.
Hamas had threatened in the past to kidnap more Israelis and Israel says the militant group’s attacks through tunnels that stretch into Israel are for this purpose.
READ MORE: Cease-fire negotiations could give rise to new peace talks: Egypt
Egypt, Israel and the U.S. back an unconditional cease-fire, to be followed by talks on a possible new border arrangement for Gaza. Israel and Egypt have severely restricted movement in and out of Gaza since Hamas seized the territory in 2007.
In Cairo, U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry met Egyptian officials Tuesday in the highest-level push yet to end the deadly conflict. Ban then travelled to Israel.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu urged the international community to hold Hamas accountable for the latest round of violence, saying its refusal to agree to a cease-fire had prevented an earlier end to the fighting.
“What we’re seeing here with Hamas is another instance of Islamist extremism, violent extremism that has no resolvable grievance,” Netanyahu said at a joint press conference with Ban in Tel Aviv. He compared Hamas with al-Qaida and extremist Islamic militant groups in Iraq, Syria and Africa.
“Hamas is like ISIS, Hamas is like al Qaida, Hamas is like Hezbollah, Hamas is like Boko Haram,” he said.
WATCH: Israel PM Benjamin Netanyahu said in the face of extremism and violence from Hamas that Israel has no choice to defend itself.
Netanyahu was responding to a call by Ban that the sides address the root causes of the fighting and work toward bringing about a two-state solution.
“My message to Israelis and Palestinians is the same: stop fighting, start talking and take on the root causes of the conflict so we are not back to the same situation in another six months or a year,” Ban said. Netanyahu responded that Hamas, a group whose charter calls for the destruction of Israel, does not want a two-state solution.
Hamas, with some support from Qatar and Turkey, wants guarantees on lifting the blockade before halting fire. The Islamic militant group has no faith in mediation by Egypt’s rulers, who deposed a Hamas-friendly government in Cairo a year ago and tightened restrictions on Gaza – to the point of driving Hamas into its worst financial crisis since its founding in 1987.
READ MORE: John Kerry caught on hot microphone criticizing Israeli operation
Laub reported from Gaza City, Gaza Strip. Associated Press writer Ibrahim Barzak in Gaza contributed to this report.
With files from The Canadian Press
Palestinian-American teen talks about police beating in Israel
Fierce battle in Gaza leads to deadliest day in Israel, Hamas conflict
Protests held across Canada over Israeli military action in Gaza
UN Security Council holds urgent meeting on Gaza
and The Associated Press
EDMONTON – Canadian shoppers will be able to see next month if the beef they’re buying has been mechanically tenderized.
Labelling regulations to take effect Aug. 21 are designed to protect consumers after the largest meat recall in the country’s history two years ago.
Health Canada says beef that has been mechanically tenderized must have a sticker saying that.
Packaged steaks must also have cooking instructions that the meat must reach an internal temperature of 63 C and must be turned at least twice.
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READ MORE: U.S. audit gives Canada low grade on food safety
Health Canada says the rules are meant to ensure that tenderized meat is labelled from the processor to the consumer, since it’s hard to tell just by looking at it.
But Bruce Cran, president of the Consumers’ Association of Canada, said the cooking requirements are too complicated for most people and he wants mechanical tenderizing banned outright.
“What average Canadian having a beer and a steak is going to measure the temperature of the meat?” Cran asked.
“This process has the potential to seriously sicken people or cause fatalities.”
Mechanical tenderizing is a process for tougher cuts of meat where needles or blades are used to penetrate or pierce the surface, or to inject the meat with a marinade or tenderizing solution.
While it makes the meat more tender, it can also inject E. coli bacteria that may be on the surface of the meat into the centre. That makes the bacteria harder to kill when cooking, particularly if a steak is done rare.
Federal officials began looking at issues surrounding mechanically tenderized meat after a massive E.-coli-related beef recall from Alberta’s XL Foods in 2012.
The plant was shut down for about a month when E. coli was found in processed beef. Eighteen people fell ill after eating meat linked to the plant.
Cran says irradiation of all meats is the best way to ensure meat is safe.
READ MORE: Report raises questions over XL Beef recall
Health Canada received an application to irradiate ground beef, poultry, shrimp and prawns a decade ago, but a spokesman says the public was worried about the process.
Another application from the industry is under consideration.
Mark Klassen, director of technical services with the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association, supports irradiation but says mechanically tenderized beef is safe as long as it’s cooked properly.
“We’ve had very few cases of illness, even though mechanically tenderized beef has been in Canada in large quantities for a long time,” Klassen said.
“It’s had a very good safety record.”
Klassen said the association was involved in the research that supported the new labelling, including the cooking instructions. He says it also tested the labels with a sample of Canadians to make sure they were understandable and practical.
He said the research determined that earlier Health Canada instructions to bring the meat to the same internal temperature as ground beef, 71 C, made the beef tougher. He said 63 C is safe as long as the meat is turned at least twice.
The extra turning is necessary, he explained, to ensure that outer area of a steak is cooked. The testing determined that sometimes the internal temperature can be OK but the outside can still be undercooked.
“We’ve been able to achieve our food safety objectives and we’ve been able to achieve a more consistent temperature, which contributes to a better eating quality as well,” Klassen said.
Keith Warriner, a food science professor at the University of Guelph, said labelling is good as long as the message is simple.
“Labels alone aren’t enough to change people’s attitudes and behaviours,” Warriner said, noting an education campaign might be needed.
The labels will appear in supermarket meat coolers at a point in the summer when barbecue season has already been sizzling for some time.
George Fleming, sales supervisor at Barbecue Country in Edmonton, said customers aren’t usually talking about mechanical tenderizing when shopping for grills.
But he said he usually tells them to go to a butcher shop for the best cuts.
“You pay a little more but you know the meat hasn’t been tenderized.”
©2014The Canadian Press
TAMPA, Fla. – A Palestinian-American teen left with stitches and bruises from his detention by Israeli security forces said Sunday he was beaten, kicked and blindfolded on a family trip to the Middle East after a cousin there was abducted and killed.
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Fifteen-year-old Tariq Abu Khdeir flew home to Florida last week and told The Associated Press that he holds out hope he can visit the region again and “come back safe.”
READ MORE: Fierce battle in Gaza leads to deadliest day in Israel, Hamas conflict
Israeli authorities released Tariq three days after he was detained and sentenced him to nine days of house arrest while they investigated what they said was his participation in violent protests over the death of his cousin, 16-year-old Mohammed Abu Khdeir, a Palestinian living near Jerusalem.
Seated beside his mother, the teen told AP that he did not take part in rock-throwing disturbances shortly before he was picked up by Israeli security forces. He said he just was watching and listening to a commotion surrounding the investigation of his cousin’s disappearance when Israeli forces began shooting rubber bullets and tear gas into a crowd that had formed.
“I didn’t do anything to them (Israeli authorities) to do this to me,” he said.
IN PICTURES: Gaza’s deadly day
The teen said in the first moments of being picked up, he was slammed down. And during the ordeal, he said, he was kicked in several parts of his body and blindfolded.
At the time, the family was on a trip that began in June and was expected to last about six weeks.
Tariq said he and Mohammed had struck up a quick friendship. They visited sacred sites including the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem. He said they helped set up lights in neighbour’s homes before the start of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.
“He took me to as many places as he could,” Tariq said.
Mohammed was killed the fifth week of the visit, Tariq said. He said he had gone off to a bakery for about five minutes the day Mohammed disappeared, returning to find him gone.
After Mohammed was found dead, a crowd filled with family members formed and started screaming at the police, Tariq said.
“Everything was getting so tense,” he recalled.
READ MORE: More than 330 Palestinians killed as Gaza ground offensive grows
The neighbourhood calmed before security forces came back and started shooting rubber bullets and tear gas, according to Tariq. He saw people on his left running and screaming for help. Right behind them were three soldiers, he said. Everyone scattered and ran from the alley. Tariq said he tried to jump a gate but fell.
“I was running because I didn’t know why they (Israeli authorities) were running after me,” he said.
Tariq said he was slammed down, head first, when he was detained. He added that his hands were tied behind his back and he was kicked in the face, stomach and ribs and went unconscious for a time. Tariq was taken to jail where he was blindfolded and still handcuffed, he added.
Tariq said he felt the hits again when he watched a video of his beating after his release.
“I couldn’t believe it. All the stuff I went through,” Tariq said. “I was getting hit so much, I couldn’t even say words. They beat on me like … there was no problem.”
©2014The Canadian Press
EDMONTON – Alberta Occupational Health and Safety is investigating the death of a teenager at a construction site southeast of Drumheller.
The teen was working for Arjon Construction on a gravel crushing operation at Wintering Hills.
OHS said there was an issue with a conveyor belt at the site.
A co-worker described the incident as a freak accident.
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Alberta company fined in 2009 Saskatchewan workplace death
Man fined $5,750 in construction site death of 12-year-old boy
“It shouldn’t have happened, I agree. The company is a very safe company. I can tell you the boy was wearing all his proper equipment. He did everything right,” said Mathew Blackburn.
“It could have happened to me. It happened. It’s a dangerous site.”
The death is not being treated as criminal. Friends and family have identified the victim as 15-year-old Chris Lawrence.
According to OHS, anyone aged 15 to 18 can work at any type of job as long as they don’t work between midnight and 6 a.m.
“Employers are responsible for making sure that their employees are fully trained and that they are aware of all the workplace hazards,” explains Lauren Welsh from OHS. “It appears that this worker was in training to be able to work on this site.”
The gravel operation has since been shut down for the investigation.
The Alberta Federation of Labour calls the fatality a “tragic reminder of Alberta’s unsafe work laws.”
“Alberta’s child labour laws are among the most lax in Canada,” said Siobhan Vipond, AFL secretary treasurer.
“The AFL has repeatedly made recommendations to improve working conditions and safety standards, specifically for young workers. This weekend’s tragic news is yet another reminder that much more needs to be done to keep Albertans safe at work.”
“It’s always terrible,” Vipond told Global News on Tuesday.
“Nobody goes to work and doesn’t expect to come home, and nobody’s family expects someone not to come home.
“It’s particularly tragic when we’re talking about a young worker, 15, because you think about all the things someone could have done with their lives. But it does make you examine what are we not doing right – that we’re not protecting our kids… We know it’s summer, construction season is upon us. Kids like to go out, earn some summer money, but this isn’t what should happen.”
In April, a submission to the Employment Standards from the AFL included several pages of recommendations on young workers.
“Alberta needs targeted inspections of workplaces that employ 15-17 year-olds, especially in construction and other comparatively dangerous occupations,” said Vipond. “The AFL made urgent recommendations earlier this year, and this past weekend we are sadly reminded why these changes are so desperately needed in Alberta.”
The province is currently conducting an Employment Standards Code review, and has consulted roughly 4,000 Albertans and organizations for feedback.
Would the province look at restricting young workers from certain industries that are more dangerous?
“That question is open for discussion, and I think that’s what’s being discussed right now as part of the larger Employment Standards Code review that’s going on,” said Brookes Merritt, spokesperson with the Alberta government’s Occupational Health and Safety department.
“Generally speaking, youth workers are in a higher risk category, largely due to lack of experience in the workforce.”
“And when you combine youth with certain industries that are higher risk in general like the construction industry or the mining industry, certainly that’s a concern to the government of Alberta, and we do look very closely at what the working conditions are for youth workers in industries like that,” explained Merritt.
He said, in the last three years, there have been three young people killed on the job in Alberta.
Alberta youth fatalities on the job Supplied, Occupational Health and Safety
Alberta youth fatalities on the job
Supplied, Occupational Health and Safety
“For every workplace fatality, an Occupation Health and Safety inspection is set in motion, an investigation, and that’s occurring in this case too,” said Merritt. “Given the young age of the worker here, we’re also running a parallel Employment Standards investigation, and that’s looking at things like hours of work, rest periods, rates of pay, etc.”
“We expect and demand – in the province of Alberta – that, regardless of the age of the worker or the nature of the work, that employers take the responsibility – and they must by legislation – ensure that their workers are operating in a safe manner.”
A report on the province’s Employment Standards Code review is due to be presented in the fall.
Occupational Health and Safety Results 2013
UPDATE: After searching for more than two months for a bone marrow donor, Montreal leukemia patient Mai Duong has found a compatible cord blood donor. It’s not the perfect solution, but doctors say it’s the next best thing.
It is not being released where the donor came from.
“A woman has given birth to her child and has donated her baby’s umbilical cord to save another life,” said Duong in a statement.
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“Thank you dear mommy, we cannot fathom the importance of your gesture. I am very moved and I profoundly thank you for what you’ve done.”
VANCOUVER — Mai Duong, 34, only has six weeks left to get a life-saving stem cell or bone marrow transplant — and she’s pleading with the Lower Mainland’s Asian population to save her.
The mother of one was born and raised in Montreal. She’s had good health for most of her life, until she was diagnosed with leukemia in January 2013, while pregnant with her second child. Doctors told her she had to terminate the pregnancy — she was at 15 weeks — and start chemotherapy immediately.
Duong went into remission, but ten months later the cancer was back. And this time it was more aggressive and chemotherapy wouldn’t work, she was told. Instead, she needed stem cells or a bone marrow transplant.
“Even though I’m on the international registry list for donors, I did not have a match for the bone marrow. I was devastated when they told me that,” she told Global News.
It turns out the problem of finding a match, and a perfect one at that, is more common among those of Asian descent. In 2012, 2-year-old Jeremy Kong of San Francisco was diagnosed with leukemia and couldn’t find a match until he went public. After doing so, he found a nine out of ten bone marrow donor match and underwent a transplant, but died a year later. Experts say Vietnamese, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Filipino and other South Asian populations are behind Caucasians when it comes to donating blood and organs.
Jeremy Kong, File Photo.
Jeremy Kong, File Photo.
“We’re severely underrepresented in the international list. So it’s not even a local or a national problem; it’s a global problem,” said Duong.
Duong is turning to Vancouver because of its large Asian population, and urging people to get tested. She needs a donor of Vietnamese or Filipino descent for a perfect match, and she needs to find them within six weeks or it’s unlikely she’ll survive.
For more information on how you can help Duong, visit her Facebook page or website and get tested at OneMatch桑拿按摩.
–With files from Darlene Heidemann.
Watch above: a monument unveiled at Back to Batoche Days honours Métis veterans
SASKATOON – For the past four days, over 20,000 people have come to celebrate Métis culture at the Back to Batoche Days Festival north of Saskatoon.
During this year’s event, a historic monument was unveiled.
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Kids train for run to honour Métis veterans
Historic Bell of Batoche inspires new generation
Bell of Batoche displayed at Saskatchewan historic site
“We built the only Métis veterans monument that will have all of the names of the Métis veterans that fought in 1885, World War I, World War II, Korea,” said Robert Doucette, president of the Métis Nation of Saskatchewan.
“I’m hoping at some point it will also be the peacekeepers that fought in Afghanistan.”
Lennard Morin comes from a proud Métis military family.
“My uncle was in World War I and he was captured, and he died as a prisoner from wounds as a P.O.W. So he’s buried in France,” Morin explained.
Morin said the Métis people who fought in World War I were promised they would be heroes when they came home but that promise wasn’t kept.
“Because they were Métis, they weren’t. So they came home emotionally scarred,” said Morin.
Morin made it his goal to have a monument erected to recognize all that Métis veterans have sacrificed for Canada.
After years of lobbying and pushing for government funding, Morin’s dream was finally realized with the monument’s unveiling on Sunday.
The festival is widely recognized as the biggest Métis cultural event in Canada. It draws more than 5,000 visitors daily.
“It has been just another great year in Batoche. We’ve got people from the United States, people from all over the world. Batoche has come to symbolize a family gathering,” said Doucette.
After Sunday’s mass, Métis leaders and church members embarked on a traditional walk from the Batoche cultural grounds to the national historic site where the Bell of Batoche was brought out and rung with pride.
ABOVE: UN Security Council President comments on the emergency Isreal/Gaza session of the Security Council
The U.N. Security Council emerged from an emergency session late Sunday on the worsening situation in Gaza expressing “serious concern” about the rising civilian death toll and demanding an immediate end to the fighting.
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The council met at the request of Jordan, which proposed a more strongly worded draft resolution for consideration. The resolution, obtained by The Associated Press, expressed “grave concern” at the high number of civilians killed in Gaza, including children, and called for an immediate cease-fire, “including the withdrawal of Israeli occupying forces from the Gaza Strip.”
READ MORE: Hamas claims kidnapping of Israeli soldier in deadliest day of offensive
The first major ground battle in two weeks of Israel-Hamas fighting on Sunday killed at least 65 Palestinians and 13 Israeli soldiers and forced thousands of terrified Palestinian civilians to flee their neighbourhoods.
U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon has called Israel’s latest incursion “atrocious,” and said it must do far more to protect civilians.
The draft resolution called for the protection of civilians, the lifting of the “Israeli restrictions imposed on the movement of persons and goods into and out of the Gaza Strip” and immediate humanitarian assistance to civilians in Gaza.
But Jordan’s proposed resolution was not discussed, and the acting council president, Rwanda’s U.N. Ambassador Eugene-Richard Gasana, emerged to read elements of a more limited press statement that called for the need to improve the humanitarian situation in the region and welcome Egypt’s efforts to broker a cease-fire.
The Palestinian United Nations envoy, Ambassador Riyad Mansour, was disappointed. “We were hoping for the Security Council to adopt a resolution to condemn the aggression against our people,” he told reporters. But he said Sunday’s council statement was “a test” for Israel to see if it would comply.
READ MORE: Death toll reaches 501 in Gaza as diplomatic efforts step up
Before the meeting, Mansour issued a challenge to the council, asking reporters, “If the world body in charge of peace and security is not stopping the killing of our people, where shall we go?”
Russian Ambassador Vitaly Churkin stepped out of the meeting briefly and complained to reporters that the council had been summoned to meet without a specific proposal to discuss.
“Why have this meeting?” Churkin asked. “The Security Council is put in a very awkward position. Obviously, nothing is going to come out of it.”
After the meeting, the U.S. ambassador to the U.N., Samantha Power, tweeted: “Gaza ceasefire would let us address urgent humanitarian needs & underlying issues. Must work to get off this dangerous path & restore calm.”
©2014The Associated Press
WATCH ABOVE: Toronto Honda Indy held two races on Sunday due to weather conditions on Saturday causing some issues for race car drivers. Cindy Pom reports.
TORONTO – Mike Conway was the surprise winner of a collision-filled second race at the Honda Indy Toronto.
Conway, a road- and street-course specialist, went to the pits early for new tires then stayed out on course as the leaders pitted to put him in position to win the 11-turn, 2.81-kilometre race at Exhibition Place on Sunday.
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A collision returned cars to pit lane under a red flag with under five minutes to go after the race was changed from 65 laps to a timed, 80-minute event.
When the race resumed all Conway needed to do was hit the throttle and take the checkered flag after starting 11th on the grid.
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Tony Kanaan finished second while Will Power was third.
The win is Conway’s second of the season after he finished first at Long Beach in April, and the fourth of his career.
Sebastien Bourdais won the opening race from the pole for his first IndyCar victory in six years. Overall points leader Helio Castroneves finished second, followed by Kanaan.
Bourdais also previously won in Toronto in 2004. Prior to Sunday his last victory was in the now defunct Champ Car series in 2007 at Mexico City.
Both races were held Sunday after rain Saturday postponed the first race of a planned weekend doubleheader.
The afternoon race featured a standing start, which is rare for IndyCar. Justin Wilson’s stalled start was the only blip, although a yellow flag was waved before the opening lap was completed when Kanaan lost power heading into a corner.
Everything went well through the first 11 laps. But then, once again, the rain began to fall.
Canadian James Hinchcliffe, Juan Pablo Montoya and Mikhail Aleshin were the first victims of the wet surface. Montoya slid into a corner and Aleshin followed by wedging underneath Montoya. Hinchcliffe slid into the tire barrier in the same corner but had to wait for safety crews to pull Montoya’s car off Aleshin.
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The incident wiped out any hope Hinchcliffe had of winning a race that has caused him nothing but heartache during his four-year IndyCar career. The Oakville, Ont., native finished 18th in the afternoon after settling for eighth place in the morning, which matched his career best in Toronto.
More spins followed as cars tried to adjust to the suddenly wet track.
Castroneves held his lead, helped out by Power’s inability to make a pass on the slick corners. Drivers appeared hesitant to overtake – just staying in one piece because the priority.
But Power finally made his move on Lap 43. His car danced around the outside of Castroneves on a corner, although another yellow flag kept him from opening up a gap. Meanwhile, away from the action, Conway went to the pits early to get on fresh tires as the track dried.
Power held his advantage when the leaders went to the pits for a tire change, but several drivers including Conway stayed out on track to move to the front of the grid.
Conway took the lead on Lap 51, while Castroneves dropped off the pace. Conway benefited from yet another delay when another collision collected several cars including Ryan Hunter-Reay and triggered a red flag.
Castroneves, who led 32 laps of the race, finished 12th.
©2014The Canadian Press