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Preview: Seattle Post-Intelligencer: Canada Canada News from the Associated Press


Hawaii mother's airplane child assault conviction overturned

Sat, 21 Jan 2017 00:41:50 UT

A jury convicted Watanabe of assault in 2015 after a trial where prosecutors said she cursed at her daughter, smacked her in the head, hit her in the face with a stuffed doll and yanked out tufts of her hair. "The magistrate judge abused his discretion by allowing the government to present lay opinion testimony regarding whether defendant's actions were within the authority of parental discipline," Kobayashi's order said. To passengers and flight attendants on that May 3 flight from Anchorage to Honolulu, Watanabe was unnecessarily rough to a generally well-behaved toddler, Assistant U.S. Attorney Marc Wallenstein told the jury during last year's trial.

Las Vegas Sands paying $7M to settle corrupt practices probe

Fri, 20 Jan 2017 06:24:35 UT

With the agreement, Las Vegas Sands Corp. resolved twin probes of more than $60 million paid to an unnamed agent retained in 2006 to acquire a Chinese basketball team, plus other business dealings that include a Beijing real estate deal to promote casinos on the Cotai Strip of Macao, U.S. Justice Department and FBI officials said. Certain Sands executives knowingly and willfully failed to ... adequately ensure the legitimacy of payments" to the consultant, the government said, and "continued to make payments to the consultant despite warnings from its finance staff and an outside auditor that the business consultant had failed to account for portions of these funds. [...] the Sands finance department employee who raised concerns about the payments was fired, the government said.

Canadians plead guilty to violations at parks across US West

Fri, 20 Jan 2017 01:50:47 UT

(AP) — Three Canadians will be banned from federal lands for five years after pleading guilty to walking on a sensitive hot spring in Yellowstone National Park and other crimes at parks across the Western U.S., park officials said Thursday. The defendants also used drones in closed areas, rode bikes in a wilderness area and took commercial photographs without a permit, according to authorities. In addition to being banned from public lands, Gamble and Lyakh were ordered to serve a week in jail and pay more than $2,000 in fines, restitution and community service payments.

Oregon man admits groping 13-year-old girl on flight

Thu, 19 Jan 2017 20:50:49 UT

Chad Camp, 26, was scheduled to be sentenced May 3 with a recommendation for a 14-month prison term and credit for time already served, Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas Edmonds said. Authorities said an American Airlines flight attendant delivering snacks early in the flight noticed Camp's hand in the girl's crotch area, and a tear falling down her face. Camp, of Gresham, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Michael Mosman to making an indecent sexual proposal to a minor and assault with intent to commit abusive sexual contact of a minor.

APNewsBreak: Sweden not giving up fight over lobster imports

Thu, 19 Jan 2017 17:00:22 UT

European Union officials turned away that request in October after American and Canadian scientists and politicians raised concerns about a lack of evidence that the lobsters warranted such a sweeping ban. [...] Swedish officials told the AP that the country remains concerned that American lobsters could interfere with European lobsters, which have economic value. Brockmark and other Swedish officials did not provide more specifics about Sweden's upcoming proposal, other than that it will address invasive lobsters with countrywide and regional measures as opposed to an international ban. Beth Casoni, executive director of the Massachusetts Lobstermen's Association, said her organization is working with others in the industry, as well as American and Canadian government agencies, to help prevent American lobsters from escaping in Europe.

Q&A: Denver law will allow pot in public, details up in air

Thu, 19 Jan 2017 14:48:56 UT

DENVER (AP) — Denver has started work on the nation's first law allowing marijuana clubs and use in public places such as coffee shops or art galleries. An informal workgroup made up of police, restaurants, state health authorities and marijuana activists is meeting to suggest regulations for the city licensing authority, but the final call will be made by city regulators. Regulators are debating whether it's better to lump the pot shops together in a common area, giving police an easier time patrolling the clubs, or whether it's better to require clubs to be dispersed, giving more neighborhoods a place where adults can consume pot legally. Marijuana activists envisioned a system where marijuana could be consumed alongside wine and cocktails at participating bars, but the Colorado Liquor Control Board blocked any pot bars. After the Denver vote, the state liquor regulators approved a rule saying that businesses with a liquor license could not allow marijuana consumption.

Drug deaths reach record high in British Columbia last year

Thu, 19 Jan 2017 03:11:06 UT

VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) — Canada's Pacific coast province of British Columbia reached a new peak of 914 illicit drug overdose deaths last year with the arrival of the deadly opioid fentanyl. British Columbia Health Minister Terry Lake says the federal government should declare a public-health emergency on the overdose crisis, saying it's not just a provincial problem.

Rabbis plan response to white supremacist threats in Montana

Wed, 18 Jan 2017 22:27:11 UT

(AP) — Orthodox Jewish rabbis said Wednesday they will counter white supremacists' harassment of the Jewish community in the Montana town of Whitefish by sending students to visit the Auschwitz concentration camp and by mailing a Torah to every Jewish family in the state. Whitefish became a focal point for white supremacist anger late last year after the mother of white nationalist leader Richard Spencer said a local real estate agent pressured her to sell her property in town. A website called the Daily Stormer called for an internet troll storm against "Jews targeting Richard Spencer's mother for harassment and extortion," which prompted death threats to members of the Jewish community and a group that promotes diversity called Love Lives Here in the Flathead Valley. The delegation also met with legislative leaders and representatives from northwestern Montana before they headed to Whitefish to meet with Jewish community members.

Ethics watchdog investigating Canadian PM's vacation

Mon, 16 Jan 2017 17:28:29 UT

In a letter to opposition Conservative lawmaker Blaine Calkins, who was among those who filed formal complaints, Dawson said she is looking into both Trudeau's stay at the island and his use of the Aga Khan's private helicopter to get there. The vacation included Trudeau, his family, Liberal lawmaker Seamus O'Regan and Liberal party president Anna Gainey, all of whom took part in the chopper flight from Nassau to get to the secluded island.

Trudeau says the Canadian oil sands needs to be 'phased out'

Sat, 14 Jan 2017 03:41:28 UT

The prime minister was asked about his government's approval of pipelines and whether that was consistent with the promise to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Alberta opposition leader Brian Jean said the oil and gas industry provides thousands of good-paying jobs and if Trudeau wants to shut it down he'll have to go through him and four million Albertans first. Jason Kenney, a former federal Conservative minister and leadership candidate for Alberta's provincial Conservative party, said the oil sands represent trillions of dollars of future wealth for Canadian families.

Killer whales could have quiet space off Washington coast

Sat, 14 Jan 2017 00:28:16 UT

SEATTLE (AP) — The federal government is considering whether it should set up an area off Washington's San Juan Island where endangered killer whales would be protected from motorboats and other disturbances. The zone is a common-sense approach that can be implemented immediately, Orca Relief Citizens' Alliance, Center for Biological Diversity and Project Seawolf said in a petition filed with NOAA Fisheries. The agency announced Thursday it is seeking input from industry, tribes, government agencies and others on the November petition before deciding whether to proceed. "The petition presents an opportunity to revisit that idea and get input from the public on this type of protection for the whale," Lynne Barre, NOAA Fisheries recovery coordinator for the southern resident killer whales, said in a statement.

EPA says it can't pay economic damages from mine spill

Fri, 13 Jan 2017 22:50:57 UT

DENVER (AP) — The Environmental Protection Agency announced Friday it will not repay claims totaling more than $1.2 billion for economic damages from a mine waste spill the agency accidentally triggered in Colorado, saying the law prohibits it. [...] attorneys for the EPA and the Justice Department concluded the EPA is barred from paying the claims because of sovereign immunity, which prohibits most lawsuits against the government. "The agency worked hard to find a way in which it could pay individuals for damages due to the incident, but unfortunately, our hands are tied," EPA spokeswoman Nancy Grantham said. A total of 73 claims were filed, some by farmers who lost crops or had to haul water because rivers polluted by the spill were temporarily unusable for irrigation and livestock. An EPA-led contractor crew triggered the spill while doing exploratory excavation work at the mine entrance in advance of a possible cleanup. Last month, the EPA said it would pay $4.5 million to state, local and tribal governments to cover the cost of their emergency response to the spill, but the agency rejected $20.4 million in other requests for past and future expenses, again citing federal law.

Plan offers 4 options for restoring grizzlies to Washington

Thu, 12 Jan 2017 22:47:47 UT

Federal officials want to restore the population and on Thursday released a draft plan with four options, ranging from taking no action to varying efforts to capture bears from other locations and transplant them to 9,800 square miles of mostly public land in and around North Cascades National Park. In Washington state, the grizzly plan has stoked intense debate as federal officials sought input in 2015 as it developed the draft environmental impact statement released Thursday. "Returning this magnificent animal to the North Cascades is a rare opportunity to restore our natural heritage," said Joe Scott of the nonprofit Conservation Northwest, one of several groups that cheered the plan's release. Federal officials note that grizzly bears tend to avoid areas of human activity, and the animals would be relocated in remote areas, away from grazing allotments. The bears are at risk of local extinction, and recovering them would enhance the population's survival, restore the animal as part of the area's cultural heritage and provide people the chance to experience the animals in their native habitat, federal officials say. The North Cascades ecosystem offers some of the best habitat to recover the animals, and a federal 1997 plan designated the area as one of five grizzly bear recovery zones.

Jane Fonda says people should not be fooled by Trudeau

Thu, 12 Jan 2017 02:37:36 UT

TORONTO (AP) — Actress Jane Fonda said Wednesday that people should not be fooled by "good-looking liberals" like Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau who "disappointed" her by approving pipelines from the Alberta oil sands. [...] he also pushed ahead with a national carbon price and he rejected Enbridge's Northern Gateway project to northwest British Columbia, which would pass through the Great Bear Rainforest as his Liberal Party government tries to balance the oil industry's desire to tap new markets in Asia against the concerns of environmentalists. Fonda, a 79-year-old political activist and two-time Oscar winner for best actress, is the latest celebrity to visit and express concerns about the Alberta oil sands. Notley said Fonda should not lecture oil workers about getting jobs elsewhere and added that it was "super tone deaf" for the actress to visit Fort McMurray, Alberta, so soon after devastating wildfires that destroyed 2,400 homes and buildings. Notley, who leads the left-leaning New Democratic party, also said Alberta has a plan that makes the province a climate leader in North America.

British Columbia approves oil pipeline to coast from Alberta

Thu, 12 Jan 2017 01:52:30 UT

VICTORIA, British Columbia (AP) — Canada's Pacific Coast province of British Columbia on Wednesday approved the expansion of Kinder Morgan's Trans Mountain pipeline from the Alberta oil sands that would allow oil exports to Asia. British Columbia Premier Christy Clark announced the conditions her government placed on the project have been met with a deal that will help fund environmental protection projects. Both the federal government and the provincial government of British Columbia and Alberta are trying to balance the oil industry's desire to tap new markets in Asia against the concerns of environmentalists. British Columbia's conditions included world-leading oil spill response and prevention, aboriginal participation in the project, a fair share of its economic benefits for the province, and successful environmental reviews.

Opposition stalls end of Yellowstone grizzly protections

Thu, 12 Jan 2017 00:55:01 UT

(AP) — A deluge of opposition from dozens of American Indian tribes, conservation groups and some scientists is tying up a decision on lifting protections for more than 700 grizzly bears in and around Yellowstone National park. Officials had planned to finalize by the end of 2016 a proposal to turn management of grizzlies over to state officials and allow limited hunting. Researchers tallied 106 Yellowstone-area grizzlies killed in Montana, Idaho and Wyoming during the past two years, often by wildlife managers following attacks on livestock and occasionally during run-ins with hunters. Officials in Wyoming, Idaho and Montana have been lobbying heavily to take grizzlies off the threatened species list.

Girl gets back special teddy bear lost in airport shooting

Tue, 10 Jan 2017 23:10:17 UT

(AP) — Yards from where workers finished the cleanup from the Fort Lauderdale airport shooting, a girl was reunited Tuesday with the teddy bear she left behind while fleeing. Courtney Gelinas, 10, smiled as Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport spokesman Greg Meyer opened the trunk of his SUV to reveal Rufus, the teddy bear the Windsor, Ontario, fifth grader had received from her dying grandfather a decade ago. Courtney was with her parents and siblings and about to board a plane home when officials say Esteban Santiago fatally shot five people one floor below them Friday. The airport has returned a "substantial" portion of the 25,000 stranded items left behind by fleeing passengers, including luggage, cellphones, baby strollers and "lots of Hello Kitty backpacks," Meyer said. Only the area around the baggage carousel where the shooting happened remained sealed off as workers replaced carpeting, Meyer said. Officials say he had arrived on a connecting flight from Anchorage, retrieved his gun from its checked carrying case and began randomly shooting people.

Trudeau shuffles Cabinet, Freeland named top Canada diplomat

Tue, 10 Jan 2017 22:44:06 UT

TORONTO (AP) — Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau shook up his Cabinet on Tuesday, less than two weeks before Donald Trump's inauguration as U.S. president. Trudeau named Chrystia Freeland as Canada's new foreign minister amid worries Trump will renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement. Trudeau said: Her ability to deal with multiple situations around the world was well demonstrated in her tremendous success in her negotiating the Canada-Europe trade agreement. Another experienced hand, John McCallum, who oversaw the arrival of more than 39,000 Syrian refugees as immigration minister, is retiring from Parliament to become ambassador to China as Trudeau embarks on a free trade agreement with that Asian country. News of the shuffle leaked Monday just as Trudeau's office confirmed that his two top aides, Chief of Staff Katie Telford and Principal Secretary Gerald Butts, have been meeting with some of Trump's senior advisers seeking to build bridges to the incoming administration.

U2 to play full 'Joshua Tree' album on stadium tour

Mon, 9 Jan 2017 16:58:01 UT

LOS ANGELES (AP) — U2 will play the entirety of its classic 1987 album, "The Joshua Tree," at each stop during a summer stadium tour to celebrate the 30th anniversary of its release.

California bracing for storm that closed Yosemite Valley

Sat, 7 Jan 2017 01:11:05 UT

Rangers at Yosemite on Friday closed all roads leading to the park's valley floor, a major attraction for visitors from around the world eager to view gushing waterfalls and gaze up at towering granite rock formations such as El Capitan and Half Dome. "If you live long enough in this canyon, you experience lots of natural disasters — floods, fires, rock falls," said Hilling, from his family's home in El Portal. Each storm is welcomed, but officials say several more like this are needed to replenish depleted groundwater supplies, forcing some residents to live on bottled water. Forecasters anticipate the storm surge stretching from Hawaii in the Pacific — called an atmospheric river — could dump up to 8 inches of rain from Sonoma to Monterey counties. The storm's mild temperatures will drive up the snowline to above 9,000 feet throughout the Sierra Nevada, causing runoff in the lower elevations, said Zach Tolby, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Reno. Crews worked to secure storage drums filled with hazardous materials to stop them from floating away as they have in past floods.