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seattlepi.com: Canada News from the Associated Press





 



Quebec lawmakers pass law obliging citizens to uncover faces

Wed, 18 Oct 2017 21:48:26 UT

MONTREAL (AP) — Quebec legislators passed a religious neutrality bill Wednesday that will oblige citizens to uncover their faces while giving and receiving state services, triggering criticism that the law targets Muslim women. Quebec's two main opposition parties opposed the bill because they argued it didn't go far enough in restricting the presence of conspicuous symbols of all religions in the public sphere. The new law has two basic components: It bans the wearing of face coverings for people giving or receiving a service from the state and it offers a framework outlining how authorities should grant accommodation requests based on religious beliefs.



Former hostage says his American wife was rushed to hospital

Wed, 18 Oct 2017 19:01:06 UT

SMITHS FALLS, Ontario (AP) — An American woman who was rescued with her family last week after five years held by a Taliban-linked group has been hospitalized, her Canadian husband said. Joshua Boyle told The Associated Press in an email that his wife Caitlan was admitted to a Canadian hospital on Monday and remained there on Wednesday. He did not specify why she was taken to the hospital. "My wife has been through hell, and she has to be my first priority right now," Boyle wrote. Pakistani troops rescued the Boyles and their three children on Oct. 11, five years after the couple was abducted in Afghanistan on a backpacking trip. The children were born while the family was being held by the Taliban-linked Haqqani network.



Negotiators give up hope of rewriting NAFTA this year

Tue, 17 Oct 2017 23:33:31 UT

WASHINGTON (AP) — Talks to rewrite the North American Free Trade Agreement have stalled over tough American demands, dashing hopes that a deal can be reached this year. A fourth round of negotiations between the U.S., Mexico and Canada ended in mutual exasperation Tuesday. Talks will continue next month in Mexico City and will spill over into next year. The negotiators had originally hoped to reach an agreement this year — before Mexico's presidential election and U.S. midterms turn up the political pressure in 2018. President Donald Trump, who called NAFTA a job-killing "disaster" on the campaign trail, has threatened to withdraw from the 23-year-old pact if he can't get what he wants.



Minnesota judge allows 'necessity defense' in pipeline case

Tue, 17 Oct 2017 19:33:38 UT

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A Minnesota judge has taken the unusual step of allowing four protesters to use a "necessity defense," enabling them to present evidence that the threat of climate change from Canadian tar sands crude is so imminent that they were justified in trying to shut down two Enbridge Energy oil pipelines last year. Emily Johnston and Annette Klapstein freely acknowledge they turned the emergency shut-off valves on two pipelines on Oct. 11, 2016, in Clearwater County in northwestern Minnesota. It was part of a coordinated action by Climate Direct Action activists to shut down five pipelines that carry tar sands crude from Canada to the U.S. in Minnesota, North Dakota, Montana and Washington state.



Ex hostage tells AP why he had kids in captivity

Mon, 16 Oct 2017 16:37:08 UT

TORONTO (AP) — Former hostage Joshua Boyle said Monday he and his wife decided to have children even while held captive because they always planned to have a big family and decided, "Hey, let's make the best of this and at least go home with a larger start on our dream family." Boyle, his American wife, Caitlan Coleman, and their three children were rescued Wednesday, five years after the couple was abducted in Afghanistan on a backpacking trip. The children were born in captivity. "We're sitting as hostages with a lot of time on our hands," Boyle told The Associated Press in an email Monday. "We always wanted as many as possible, and we didn't want to waste time. Cait's in her 30s, the clock is ticking.



Ex-hostages back in Canada after harrowing raid to free them

Sat, 14 Oct 2017 22:32:02 UT

SMITHS FALLS, Ontario (AP) — A couple held hostage for five years by a Taliban-linked extremist network in Afghanistan was safely back in Canada on Saturday after what the husband described as a harrowing firefight during a raid to free the family. Joshua Boyle played with one of his sons in the garden of his parents' home. The boy appeared happy and healthy, digging in the grass as his father showed off the different plants and later spoke on a cellphone. In a video released by Pakistan's military that was filmed before he left that country for home, Boyle said Pakistani security forces positioned themselves between the hostages and their Haqqani network captors to keep the family safe amid the gunfire.




The Latest: Freed hostage says captors 'ran like cowards'

Sat, 14 Oct 2017 18:17:22 UT

TORONTO (AP) — The Latest on the U.S.-Canadian family rescued from captivity (all times local): 2:00 p.m. A video clip released by the Pakistani military shows former hostage Joshua Boyle recounting the firefight in which he and his family were rescued after five years in captivity to the Haqqani extremist network. Boyle says the car they were being transported in was "riddled with bullets" and Pakistani security forces got between them and their captors to make sure the family was safe. He calls the people that held the family "pagan" and said they "ran like cowards" from the firefight. Boyle, his wife and their three children were rescued Wednesday, five years after the couple was abducted while in Afghanistan on a backpacking trip.



Canadian ex-hostage says Haqqani network in Afghanistan killed his infant daughter in captivity

Sat, 14 Oct 2017 03:40:24 UT

TORONTO (AP) — Canadian ex-hostage says Haqqani network in Afghanistan killed his infant daughter in captivity.



GM, union reach deal that may settle Canadian strike

Sat, 14 Oct 2017 02:01:55 UT

DETROIT (AP) — General Motors and Canada's autoworker union on Friday reached a deal that will likely end a 26-day strike at a factory in Ontario that makes a hot-selling SUV. The deal with Unifor still must be voted on by members. Terms were not disclosed. The 2,500 members of Unifor Local 88 went on strike Sept. 17 at the factory in Ingersoll, Ontario, west of Toronto. The workers make the Chevrolet Equinox, a compact sport utility vehicle that is a hot seller. The union wanted GM to designate the plant as the main Equinox manufacturer. The company can make the same vehicle at two plants in Mexico, drawing the disputed North American Free Trade Agreement into the labor dispute.



Canadian man held hostage in Afghanistan tells AP on plane he and his family have "unparalleled resilience"

Sat, 14 Oct 2017 01:03:21 UT

TORONTO (AP) — Canadian man held hostage in Afghanistan tells AP on plane he and his family have "unparalleled resilience"



An American woman and her Canadian husband held hostage in Afghanistan have arrived in Canada

Sat, 14 Oct 2017 00:54:48 UT

TORONTO (AP) — An American woman and her Canadian husband held hostage in Afghanistan have arrived in Canada.



Sears Canada granted OK to liquidate remaining stores

Fri, 13 Oct 2017 17:34:05 UT

TORONTO (AP) — Sears Canada received court approval Friday to liquidate all its remaining stores, putting 12,000 employees out of a job. Ontario Superior Court heard that despite weeks of discussion, no viable buyer has been found. Justice Glenn Hainey approved Sears Canada's motion to liquidate its remaining 130 stores, and said he was satisfied there was no viable alternative. The embattled retailer sought protection from its creditors in June. A buyer-group led by Sears Canada executive chairman Brandon Stranzl had been in discussions to purchase the retailer and continue to operate it. But a lawyer for Sears Canada told the court that although it had remained optimistic, no executable transaction exists.



The Latest: Parents of rescued US hostage express relief

Fri, 13 Oct 2017 12:44:28 UT

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on the release of an American-Canadian family held by a Taliban-linked group for five years (all times local): 8:45 a.m. The parents of an American woman, who along with her Canadian husband and their children had been held captive by Taliban-linked extremists, say they were relieved to finally speak to their daughter after five years. Lynda Coleman told ABC News that the opportunity to finally speak to her daughter was "incredible." Coleman said: "I've been waiting to hear that voice for so long. And then to hear her voice and have it sound exactly like the last time I talked to her." Caitlan Coleman's father, Jim Coleman, said he is angry at his daughter's husband for taking her to Afghanistan.



Family says man killed by Alaska officer had 7 bullet wounds

Fri, 13 Oct 2017 01:19:45 UT

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — The body of a man killed by an Alaska police officer during a routine traffic stop had seven bullet holes, including one contact wound under his left arm aimed at his lung and heart, his sister said Thursday. Micah McComas was killed by a Seward police officer on Oct. 1 after being detained following the discovery of drugs in his wallet during a traffic stop. His sister, Krista Smith of Greenville, South Carolina, said Thursday the family has a number of unanswered questions and wonders if lethal force was necessary.



Enbridge Energy defends plan to replace Line 3 oil pipeline

Thu, 12 Oct 2017 00:51:18 UT

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Enbridge Energy disputed a state agency's recommendation against the company's proposal for replacing its aging Line 3 oil pipeline across northern Minnesota, insisting in filings Wednesday that the project is needed to ensure adequate crude supplies for Minnesota and other Midwestern refineries for decades to come. The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission is considering whether to grant a certificate of need for the project, which has aroused opposition from environmental and tribal groups because of the potential impacts on climate change and pristine waters where Native Americans harvest wild rice.



Members of Congress urge protections for Alaska fishery

Wed, 11 Oct 2017 23:02:32 UT

JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — More than 40 U.S. House and Senate members have asked President Donald Trump to maintain protections for Alaska's Bristol Bay region, which produces about half of the world's sockeye salmon. The Democrats, in a letter dated Wednesday, say a proposal by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to lift restrictions on mining in the region that the agency once pursued is egregious and illogical. The letter, spearheaded by Sen. Maria Cantwell of Washington and Rep. Jared Huffman of California, seeks additional public hearings and comment time. Public hearings were scheduled for Wednesday and Thursday in the Bristol Bay region ahead of the expected close of the current 90-day comment period next week.



Police arrest 10 in drinking death of LSU fraternity pledge

Wed, 11 Oct 2017 21:58:31 UT

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Ten people were arrested Wednesday on misdemeanor hazing charges in the death of a Louisiana State University fraternity pledge whose blood-alcohol content was more than six times the legal limit for driving, officials said. One of the 10 suspects — Matthew Alexander Naquin, 19, of Boerne, Texas — also faces a felony negligent homicide charge in the death of 18-year-old Maxwell Gruver, a freshman from Roswell, Georgia, who was trying to join Phi Delta Theta. Witnesses said Naquin singled out Gruver during a hazing ritual involving 18 to 20 pledges the night before he died, forcing him to drink more than other pledges, according to a police report on the Sept. 14th death that was released Wednesday.



The Latest: Fraternity member 'targeted' pledge who died

Wed, 11 Oct 2017 20:35:48 UT

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — The Latest on hazing charges against 10 people in the death of a Louisiana State University fraternity pledge (all times local): 2:45 p.m. Witnesses told police that a Louisiana State University fraternity pledge died last month after a member singled him out during a hazing ritual and forced him to drink more than other pledges. A police report released Wednesday says witnesses said 19-year-old Matthew Alexander Naquin "targeted" Maxwell Gruver because the 18-year-old pledge was frequently late for events. Ten young men were arrested Wednesday on hazing charges. Only Naquin faces an additional felony charge of negligent homicide in Gruver's death.



Swiss team shatters distance records in gas balloon race

Wed, 11 Oct 2017 16:15:13 UT

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A Swiss team has won the annual America's Challenge gas balloon race, traveling the farthest and shattering previous distance records for the annual competition. Based on tracking and landing coordinates provided by the team of Nicolas Tieche and Laurent Sciboz, their balloon covered 2,278 miles (3,666 kilometers) while aloft for nearly 60 hours. They landed in a remote area of Canada near the Newfoundland border after taking off Saturday from the Albuquerque International Balloon Festival in New Mexico. The previous America's Challenge record of 1,998 miles (3,215 kilometers) was set in 2000 by brothers David and Alan Levin.



Lawyers for Canadian cite mental illness in NY terror case

Tue, 10 Oct 2017 21:52:05 UT

NEW YORK (AP) — A Canadian citizen who's admitted plotting to attack Times Square, the subway and other New York targets in the name of the Islamic State group has struggled with drug addiction and unspecified psychological problems, according to court papers made public this week. Abdulrahman El Bahnasawy has "a long history of drug use, drug treatment and relapse," his lawyers wrote in a letter filed under seal earlier this year. Another letter from 2016 complaining about conditions at the Metropolitan Correctional Center — a federal jail in Manhattan known for housing high-profile defendants in other terrorism cases — said the 19-year-old El Bahnasawy "suffers from significant mental health issues.