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Edmontonians of Turkish heritage rally at the Alberta Legislature to condemn recent coup

Hundreds of Edmontonians of Turkish descent gathered at the Alberta Legislature Sunday to condemn an attempted coup in Turkey.

“Our country, our homeland, faced an unprecedented attack,” Sinem Senol, organizer of the event said.

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On July 15, a group used tanks and helicopters in an attempt to bring down the elected government. The Turkish Canadian Society of Edmonton, which organized the rally, said a faction within Turkey’s armed forces was behind the coup. It said the faction is connected to a group the Turkish government describes as a terrorist organization.

READ MORE: Turkey issues arrest warrant for U.S.-based Muslim cleric Fathullah Gulen in failed coup

“It’s important to come together here in Canada because this specific coup was actually orchestrated by a group of people that have set up organizations all over the world, especially in the US and Canada, under the pretense of education, or intercultural faith, multiculturalism — all great values on the surface but actually hidden agendas behind closed doors,” Senol said.

Organizers of Sunday’s event say they stand united on the side of any democratically elected government.

“I may be a critic of the Turkish Government but today there is no party A or B, today there is only one Turkey,” Senol said. “When we face acts of terrorism, there is only one Turkey and Turkish people here are united for that.”

READ MORE: Massive crowds gathers for anti-coup rally in Turkey

“It is something that we want to declare to the whole world, it is something that we condemn, doesn’t matter who we are, what political party we support.”

The coup was defeated by police forces and Turkish citizens.

“This is the day where we have to forget all of these differences,” Senol said. “This is the day where we actually have to defend democracy in our country and everywhere in the world.”

Editor’s Note: This story was originally published Aug. 14, 2016. It was edited Aug. 16 to add attribution.

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Rio 2016: Adam van Koeverden blasts rower Adam Kreek, media over ‘sexist’ coverage

Canadian kayaker Adam van Koeverden blasted his friend and fellow Olympian Adam Kreek over ‘sexist’ comments he made about tennis player Eugenie Bouchard’s performance at Rio 2016.

Kreek, a gold-medal rower from the 2008 Beijing Games, told CBC’s Ron MacLean that he thought the tennis player was more focused on her looks and what she was wearing than in competing.

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“She’s posting photos of herself. She’s holding up the toothpaste. She’s trying out different hairstyles. Maybe she wants something different than being a competitor,” Kreek said.

Van Koeverden responded with a blog post taking Kreek to task.

READ MORE: Rio 2016: Adam van Koeverden ready for Rio after break in training

“I don’t think Adam is an expert on tennis. I’m certainly not. So I initially questioned why he was commenting on Eugenie’s game at all,” van Koeverden wrote. “But at around the one-minute mark, I realized it wasn’t a lesson in tennis Adam needs, it’s a lesson in feminism.”

“He even did a girlish impression of her ‘trying out different hairstyles’, seemingly as evidence that she isn’t focused on winning, or that having an interest in fashion, beauty or anything else might detract from one’s performance,” van Koeverden wrote. “Since when is having a pastime a bad distraction?”

“He may as well have asked her, as one Australian reporter did a few years ago, to ‘give him a twirl.’”

Van Koeverden also chided Kreek over the defensive stance he took when other Olympians expressed concern over his comments on social media.

Van Koeverden then went on to point the finger at the media’s coverage of the Rio Games.

Writing about the four-time medalist at Rio 2016, Penny Oleksiak, van Koeverden wrote that despite all of her accomplishments, too much of the coverage has been focused on her looks.

“She’s strong, performs under an immense amount of pressure, she’s an amazing team player and demonstrates the sportsmanship, media savvy and poise of someone twice her age,” van Koeverden wrote. “Yet sadly, the headline on the cover of the Toronto Sun this week was “Pretty Penny.”

In the post, van Koeverdan also wanted to make it clear that he wasn’t sticking up for the female athletes because “they don’t need my help.” He explained that he believed if he didn’t express his thoughts he would just be adding to the problem.

“If men don’t call out men when we are being sexist, then we are not a part of the solution, and the problem persists,” van Koeverden wrote.

“Feminism isn’t for females. It’s for everyone. Good men should feel comfortable challenging each other’s prejudices, and accept criticism when those prejudices get the better of us, or when we make a mistake.”

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Friend accused of killing Whitefish teens

The man charged with two counts of second-degree murder in the shooting deaths of two northern Alberta teens appeared in court Monday morning.

Edward Gladue, 19, made a brief court appearance in High Prairie. The case was put over until Sept. 19.

Gladue, 19, faces two charges of second-degree murder in the shooting deaths of Cory Grey and her boyfriend, Dylan Laboucan – and family say he’s no stranger to them.

Laboucan’s mother, Becky Thunder, said “that was Dylan’s friend, they went to school together.”

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READ MORE: ‘They’ve taken our babies from us’: 2 northern Alberta teens deliberately killed

Gladue would regularly play basketball with Laboucan and his cousins and had been invited inside his aunt’s home numerous times.

Brenda Auger trusted him – but not anymore.

“I’m really shocked and really hurt. I feel betrayed.”

Grey’s older brother, Clint Grey, feels the same way – saying he now has difficulty trusting his own friends.

“It hurts, you know? I never thought that I’d be losing my younger siblings.”

Thunder said to add insult to injury, Gladue came to her house while the community was searching for the teens.

She asked if he’d seen them and he said no.

READ MORE: Mother says arrest in case of slain northern Alberta teens ‘brings a little ease’

Then he started texting Laboucan’s cousins, asking about the investigation.

“Did they search the lot? Are the cops there? What’s going on now? Are the dog teams going to come?,” Auger said.

She’ll never understand why he did that.

“I just pray that justice will be done.”

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‘The Big Swim’ for charity a success, despite bad weather

Swimmers takings part in ‘The Big Swim’ were disappointed by a change in plans due to weather, but organizers say the event was still a success.

Swimmers, kayakers and volunteers collected $148,000 in donations to send approximately 150 children to Brigadoon Village —; a year-round facility that offers camps to children living with chronic illness, chronic conditions or specials needs.

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Swimmer Bobby Lou Reardon from Yarmouth took part in the swim for the third time.

“I’m doing it because I love to swim and we’re helping all kinds of kids get to go to camp,” Reardon said.

READ MORE: Moncton father and daughter team up for ‘Big Swim’ across Northumberland Strait

Participants were originally going to be swimming 14 kilometres across the Northumberland Strait from New Brunswick to Prince Edward Island, but bad weather and water swells caused a change of plans.

Organizers say they aired on the side of caution and had swimmers stick to the  New Brunswick coast instead of swimming alongside the confederation bridge. The weather also caused a two-hour delay —; it was the first time the route had to be changed in the six-year history of the event.

Swimmer Darren Forest participated for the first time and says he’s disappointed he won’t be able to cross “swim from New Brunswick to PEI” off his bucket list.

“It’s disappointing, but better safe than sorry,” Forest said.

The event was organized by Give to Live. Co-founder and board member Todd McDonald says the weather was disappointing, but told swimmers that life doesn’t always go in a straight-line.  He says everyone needs to live life to the fullest.

“If you can imagine being a chronically ill child with Crohn’s or colitis, or the loss of a parents or cancer or something like that —; that life doesn’t go in a straight line and so what I tried to explain to the swimmers was ‘just change your expectations,” McDonald said.

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Toronto’s Bob Hayes was the first swimmer to land at Murray Corner —; completing the distance in under two hours.

The biggest swim yet

Organizers the event set the record for the largest recorded group to complete the big swim at once.

62 swimmers and 70 kayakers completed approximately 12 kilometres.  Kayakers paddled alongside swimmers to ensure their safety.

Organizers say the event has raised a combined $700,000 to support Cystic Fibrosis Canada and Brigadoon Village over the past six years.

Donations are being accepted until September 15, 2016.

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‘Racist and hate-filled’ comments after fatal shooting must stop: Brad Wall

Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall is condemning what he calls “racist and hate-filled” comments on social media and other online forums that stem from last week’s fatal shooting of an aboriginal man on a farm.

Wall said in a Facebook post on Sunday afternoon that the comments betray the values and character of Saskatchewan.

READ MORE: Murder charge laid in farm shooting near Biggar, Sask.

Colten Boushie, 22, was shot last Tuesday after a car he was in went onto the rural property near Biggar.

A cousin of Boushie’s said they were headed home to the Red Pheasant First Nation near North Battleford when they got a flat tire and needed help, but said a man on the farm smashed their window and fired shots as they tried to drive away.

Wall said that he has every confidence in the RCMP to investigate the circumstances of Boushie’s death.

“None of us should be jumping to any conclusions about what happened. We should trust the RCMP to do their work,” Wall said in the post.

“I call on Saskatchewan people to rise above intolerance, to be our best and to be the kind of neighbours and fellow citizens we are reputed to be.”

Comments continued over the weekend on numerous online sites. Some were anti First Nation, while others supported vigilante justice against the suspect in the case.

First Nations leaders said last week that a police news release about the shooting was biased, and they called for an RCMP review of communication policies and writing guidelines.

WATCH: FSIN accuse RCMP of fuelling racial tensions after fatal Biggar, Sask., shooting

An initial news release said people in the car had been taken into custody as part of a theft investigation.

Superintendent Rob Cameron in Regina responded that officers handled the investigation fairly and competently.

Wall said the hateful comments that have appeared online must stop.

“There are laws that protect citizens from what this kind of hate may foment. They will be enforced,” he said.

The suspect, Gerald Stanley, 54, has been charged with second-degree murder in connection with the case.

Stanley is to make his next court appearance in North Battleford on Aug. 18 to face the allegations.

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Related

  • FSIN accuse RCMP of fuelling racial tensions after fatal Biggar, Sask., shooting

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Demands for inquest after husband’s death at Winnipeg Remand Centre

WINNIPEG – The wife of a man who died after suffering an epileptic seizure while in custody at the Winnipeg Remand Centre says facility staff denied her husband his epilepsy medication in the days leading up to his death.

Rochelle Pranteau was on the phone with her 26-year-old common-law husband Errol Greene from the institution when he began slipping into a seizure May 1.

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“He said he could feel the numbing feeling in his hands, and his jaw started locking and grinding and then he could hardly talk,” said Pranteau, 27, who has three children with Greene and is pregnant with a fourth. “Usually I can stop it when I’m face-to-face with him … but because I wasn’t there physically, I couldn’t stop it.

“I heard him fall, and then the phone dropped and was just dangling there.”

Pranteau said she listened helplessly for 20 minutes while guards and inmates responded.

“I could hear (the guards) throw him on his stomach and put cuffs on him … You could tell he was struggling for his breath. He was on his stomach and it sounded like a guard was on him,” said Pranteau. “They were trying to tell Errol to calm down, but how could he calm down? He’s having his episode, let him have it.”

Manitoba Justice said Greene was taken to hospital where he died. The department is investigating.

Greene was taken into custody the evening of April 29 for breaching a probation order not to consume alcohol. He had been out on bail awaiting trial for a mischief under $5,000 charge.

Pranteau said Greene told her remand centre staff denied him his epilepsy medicine — which he took three times a day to ward off seizures — from the time he arrived at the institution.

The president of the Manitoba Government and General Employees’ Union, which represents remand centre staff, expressed sympathy to Greene’s family and said the union will encourage its members to participate in the investigation.

“I think it’s important for everyone to withhold judgment on what happened until all the facts are known,” said Michelle Gawronsky in a statement.

A spokesperson for Manitoba Justice would not say whether Greene was refused his medication, citing privacy legislation, but said inmates sometimes need to see institutional doctors before medication is approved.

“If the offender is on medication and it can be verified, generally it is continued. If the medication cannot be verified through community health-care providers or if there are any potential issues, the offender is booked to see the institutional physician,” the department said in a statement.

“A contract physician attends each business day. Offenders waiting to see the institutional physician may be monitored in a correctional centre medical unit if needed, based on their condition.”

The department wouldn’t say whether Greene, who was arrested on Friday and died Sunday, was waiting until the next business day to see an institutional doctor.

Pranteau is demanding an inquest to determine why her husband was not allowed to take his medicine and to find out exactly where and when he died. Inmates have told her paramedics pronounced Greene dead at the remand centre around 3 p.m., but officials told Pranteau he died several hours later in hospital.

“So what is the story? Did he die at the hospital or did he die at the remand centre? It’s not matching up,” she asked. “I want to know what happened to him, every damn detail.”

Mark O’Rourke, director of the office of the chief medical examiner, said the investigation will determine whether an inquest will be held. An inquest is only mandatory when a person in custody dies “as a result of a violent act, undue means, or suddenly of unexpected cause,” he said.

“We’re still in the process of investigating,” he said. “It’ll take us several months. When the report’s done, we’ll review our file and we’ll be in a position to make a decision.”

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California wildfire destroys 4 homes as crews battle the blaze and heat

LOWER LAKE, Calif. – Flames racing through dry brush destroyed at least four homes and forced more than 1,000 people to flee a northern California lake community that was evacuated in a devastating wildfire last year.

Authorities ordered about 1,200 residents to leave 500 homes as the blaze surged south of the town of Lower Lake. The wildfire spread to more than 2 square miles by early Sunday, and crews faced hot weather and little cloud cover as they tried to get a handle on the flames burning largely out of control.

“The fire activity could change in a moment’s notice right now,” said Suzie Blankenship, a spokeswoman for the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.

WATCH: Coverage of the wildfires in California

Helicopters battle wildfires near San Bernardino County, California

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Helicopters battle wildfires near San Bernardino County, California

00:59

Roads help cut off devastating wildfire near Big Sur, California

01:10

Aerial footage shows extent of wildfire in drought-ravaged California

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‘Very extreme fire behaviour’: 1 dead, thousands evacuated as California wildfires rage

01:33

Sand canyon wildfire continues in California

02:56

Video shows massive wildfire spreading in Santa Clarita, California

01:20

Amateur video shows wildfire burning out of control in California

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Deadly wildfire burns houses in California



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Cal Fire spokesman Daniel Berlant said more evacuations were ordered Sunday afternoon in the Copsey Creek subdivision, east of Lower Lake.

More than 700 firefighters are battling the 2-square-mile wildfire burning east and southeast of Highway 29 in Lake County, and many more are expected to join the fight throughout the day, he said.

The fire was throwing embers and spreading rapidly because of parched conditions brought on by the state’s historic drought, officials said. Large, explosive fires have torn through dried-out or hard-to-reach areas across California this summer, including a stubborn blaze near the picturesque Big Sur coastline that has burned 113 square miles since late July and destroyed nearly 60 homes.

READ MORE: 5,300 homes evacuated as California wildfire surges

Californians braced for heat Sunday, with high temperatures expected to soar 10 degrees above normal in the southern part of the state. Some counties in far Northern California also were warned of gusty winds and increased fire danger, officials said.

In Lake County, the fire threatened the houses of an additional 3,000 people in Hidden Valley Lake, a subdivision south of the blaze, and they have been told to stay vigilant in case they need to evacuate, Blankenship said.

Danielle Colbeck, 36, saw the flames from her home Saturday and decided to get out. She told the Press Democrat newspaper in Santa Rosa that she loaded her car with her two cats and important papers and headed to a friend’s house.

“When you see black smoke and flame from your driveway, you don’t want to take a chance,” said Colbeck, who lost her rental home and all of her belongings in the massive fire that evacuated Lower Lake last year.

READ MORE: More homes evacuated as California wildfire continues surge

That blaze killed four people and destroyed more than 1,300 homes. It was considered California’s third-most-destructive wildfire after ravaging most of rural Lake County and parts of Napa County about 90 miles north of San Francisco. A report issued this week concluded that faulty wiring in a hot tub ignited the 120-square-mile fire.

Another blaze that broke out Saturday afternoon forced the evacuation of 135 homes south of Lake Nacimiento in central California, the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s office said. It burned more than 2 square miles, but no homes have been lost, and it’s partially contained.

In the south, residents were readying for a heat wave. Temperatures were expected to reach triple digits in valley areas north of Los Angeles, stoking an increased risk of wildfires in inland regions through at least Wednesday, the National Weather Service said.

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Surrey mother talks to IIO about son’s death

The mother of 20-year-old Hudson Brooks of Surrey, is still in shock over learning from the Independent Investigations Office this week, that he died in moments after coming in contact with police.

“You can’t just kill him at close range,” said Brook’s mom Jennifer.

Early in the morning of July 18 last year, Brooks was heard  yelling and wandering down 18th Avenue towards the South Surrey RCMP station.

The IIO told his mom how the last moments of his life played out.

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“He then proceeded to bang on the hood of the police car screaming ‘help,’ two officers walked behind the car, Hudson ran up to them completely unarmed,” Jennifer said.

“An officer opened fire and shot him at close range.”

READ MORE: Rally held for man fatally shot by Surrey RCMP in 2015

She says his son wasn’t wearing shoes or a shirt at the moment of the incident.

For the past year  family and friends have held protests demanding answers as to why police fired on Brooks instead of restraining him.

The IIO could not give the answer, because the officer who shot Brooks has not have provided a statement.

“If you as an officer shoot and kill a young unarmed man, you should be demanded to make a statement,” Jennifer said.

The RCMP member who witnessed the shooting is required to provide the IIO with a statement. But the subject officer who pulled the trigger, does not.

READ MORE: Few answers into deadly police shooting of Hudson Brooks

“Subject officers do sometimes, they do provide us with a voluntary statement. They do sometimes come in for an interview but that is their own decision, that’s the purview,” Marten Yussef, IIO Spokesperson said.

“We cannot compel subject officers to testify, only the courts are able to do that.”

Youssef also confirmed that even the RCMP’s own incident report about the shooting is not legally required to be handed over to investigators.

“How did this happen? I want that officer charged. I want that officer charged because this is not OK . I will never ever, ever, have my son back.”

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Richard Henry Bain trial: No verdict on Day 2 of deliberations for Quebec 2012 election shooting

There will be a third day of deliberations in the trial of the man charged in Quebec’s 2012 election-night shooting, as the jury concluded its work without reaching a verdict on Sunday.

READ MORE: Richard Henry Bain trial: Judge tells jurors they’ll deliberate four of six charges

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  • Richard Henry Bain trial: No verdict on day 1 of deliberations

    Richard Henry Bain closing arguments

  • Richard Henry Bain trial: Evidence complete at trial of accused election night shooter

    Richard Henry Bain, 65, is charged with first-degree murder in the death of stagehand Denis Blanchette, as well as three counts of attempted murder.

    The charges against Bain are connected to events outside the Metropolis nightclub as then-premier designate Pauline Marois was inside celebrating the Parti Quebecois‘ election win.

    READ MORE: Richard Henry Bain trial: Psychiatrist who assessed Bain says he was ‘likely’ psychotic night of shooting

    The five men and seven women on the jury spent all weekend weighing a case that hinges on Bain’s mental state on the night of the Sept. 4, 2012, shooting.

    Bain has pleaded not guilty to the charges – his lawyer has argued his client was mentally ill at the time and should be found not criminally responsible for his actions.

    But the Crown has argued Bain was of sound mind and that the shooting was premeditated and triggered by his anger over the Parti Quebecois election victory.

    READ MORE: Richard Henry Bain trial: Crown asks jury to find accused guilty in election-night slaying

    The jury will resume deliberations at 9 a.m. Monday morning.

    WATCH: Richard Henry Bain in court.

    Richard Henry Bain closing arguments

    01:48

    Richard Henry Bain closing arguments

    01:57

    Richard Henry Bain cross-examined

    02:28

    Richard Henry Bain explains ‘vision’

    01:17

    Richard Henry Bain has ‘no memory’ of attack

    03:09

    Richard Henry Bain testimony continues

    01:35

    Richard Henry Bain testifies

    02:04

    Richard Henry Bain trial begins

    02:09

    Richard Henry Bain in court



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Nova Scotia farmers welcome rain after struggling with dry conditions

Following a significant period of hot and dry conditions, rain finally fell in Nova Scotia on Sunday.

“It’s a million dollar rain. It’s fantastic,” said Ted Hutten, co-owner of Hutten Family Farm in Lakeville, N.S.

“All I can say is, ‘Praise the Lord,’” said Phil Daniels, owner of Daniel’s U-Pick, a farm in Windsor Forks, N.S., where customers pick apples off trees themselves.

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READ MORE: Nova Scotians struggle with dried-up wells

Over the past week, the dry spell has caused problems with firefighting, salmon populations, and wells.

“Not in my memory in the last three decades have I seen a summer like this, in this community at least,” said Hutten.

He said he’s lost somewhere between 10-20 per cent of some crop varieties and up to a 50 per cent loss in production.

“I don’t know anyone in the valley in this business that has not been dealing with a lot of stresses. There’s a lot of financial stress that comes with it,” said Hutten.

READ MORE: Dry weather makes for extremely low water levels in Halifax-area lakes, rivers

Daniels said that about 15 of the more than 200 trees he planted this year have died due to the dry conditions. Some trees that are decades old have also suffered.

“This is my livelihood. You know, I go ten months of the year with no money, basically,” he said.

The farm opens to the public next weekend, and an expectation things will get better is still alive.

“That’s what farming is all about, is having faith. You’ve got to have faith or you’re just going to be a nervous wreak,” said Daniels.

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