Construction work on Mercier Bridge finishes ahead of schedule

As Global News first predicted earlier this week, work on the Mercier Bridge has finished ahead of schedule.

After eight years of complex work, the deck replacement program on the federal section of the Mercier Bridge will be complete by Sunday evening.

READ MORE: Mercier Bridge construction expected to finish ahead of schedule

That is good news for south shore commuters, as all lanes will be open to traffic as of 5 a.m. Monday.

This summer, 78 precast concrete panels were installed at the junction of the south shore access ramp, bringing the total of panels used to create the new deck to 982.

This photo shows the new deck on the Honore Mercier Bridge. Sunday, Aug. 14, 2016.

Courtesy of the Jacques Cartier and Champlain Bridges Incorporated

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    Mercier Bridge construction

    Mercier Bridge tour

  • Final push to finish construction on the Mercier Bridge

    According to the Jacques Cartier and Champlain Bridges Incorporated (JCCBI), the work is expected to increase the longevity of the bridge by 75 years.

    READ MORE: Mercier Bridge reopened after truck crashes into structure

    Despite technical difficulties encountered throughout the project, JCCBI said “work done around the clock, seven days a week,” allowed the work to be done one week ahead of schedule.

    In a written statement, JCCBI thanked all of its partners with a special thanks to the Mohawk Bridge Consortium for the “incredible work done by contractors.” The rehabilitation of the bridge is one of the largest contracts carried out by Aboriginal Canadians.

    Relief from construction work may be short-lived though, as an analysis is currently underway on the provincial section of the bridge which could pave the way to some major work in the near future.

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Rider players thank Stamps QB Bo Levi Mitchell after drama filled week

The drama between the Stampeders and Roughriders continued Saturday night in Saskatchewan —; in fact, it even got better after the game.

If there was ever a time to master the art of lip reading, watching the post game exchange on the field between both head coaches was it.

“It wasn’t anything complimentary,” Dave Dickenson said, about the comments Chris Jones made to him when they said their goodbyes – which is why he didn’t repeat them.

Several reports suggest Jones finished the exchange by saying ‘win with some class’ while he patted Dickenson on the side.

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But by Sunday, Dickenson was over it.

“Things are said and done on a field that don’t happen in normal life. I’m fine with it. Moving on. It was a big win, that was the key,” Dickenson said. “These types of things take away from the game and what’s important. Football’s an emotional game, so we move forward, no hard feelings.”

Stamps QB Bo Levi Mitchell was anything but surprised by it.

“I saw what we always see after a game playing him,” Mitchell said about Jones.

They say loose lips sink ships, but in this case, a tweet made by Bo Levi Mitchell earlier in the week – which ignited the firestorm, made a CFL rivalry that much sweeter and indirectly led to some big money being coughed up by the Roughriders organization.

The Roughriders were fined $60,000 on Thursday after the Canadian Football League completed an investigation into alleged roster violations.

Saskatchewan also had its 2016 salary cap deducted in excess of $26,000 as part of the penalty.

Mitchell has no regrets though about his tweet or how it led to the Riders drama in the first place.

“I said the truth. I didn’t say anything definite. I didn’t say exactly what they were doing or go after them in a bad way. I just said what I felt, something that everybody in the league knew about.”

The best part of it – even members of the riders organization appreciated it.

“About 9 or 10 rider players came up to me and thanked me(after the game). So if people thought there was hostility with me and the riders – they’re wrong. Because all the players were happy about it, they don’t want that kind of thing,” Mitchell said.

Still, it’s a situation that Stamps Head Coach Dickenson wants his players to learn from.

“I don’t mind having opinions, just be careful. We love the league, we love the game and to be honest, I think the league is doing a good job and what they can,” Dickenson said.

Sadly, the series is over between the Riders and Stamps this season and Saturday was their final visit to Saskatchewan’s infamous football stadium. That’s fine by Charleston Hughes though.

“I know it’s the last time we’re ever going to play in that stadium again. So good riddance.”

Jerome Messam felt more nostalgic however.

“There was a lot of emotions going on because of what happened throughout the week. For me – it was my last game at Mosaic (Stadium), so it was a lot of emotions, just good feelings and memories.”

Messam wouldn’t comment about what was said between Jones and Dickenson, but was familiar with their history.

“They know each other pretty well, they’ve coached with each other and against each other. So I’m not too sure about the dynamic of their relationship but coach Jones is a pretty fiery guy and Dickie’s not going to back down from anyone,” Messam said.

Mum was the word for stamps kicker Rene Parades, who is just focused on showing up and doing his job, as he helped his Stampeders to their eighth straight win against the Riders, kicking four field goals in the 19-10 victory.

“I don’t read lips and I don’t know too much about it,” Paredes said.

Same goes for Charleston Hughes…sort-of.

“I don’t know, I didn’t see much. I just saw a picture. A picture’s worth a thousand words is what they say right, so you can take your insight on what the picture meant and what was exchanged in that situation,” Hughes said with a chuckle.

As much as the CFL might disagree, players and fans chimed into the chirps and twitter-verse action all week surrounding this weekend’s much anticipated game, which also made for some hilarious crowd signs in Riderville.

“It’s good for the league. It’s fun, it’s stories, it fills the seats. It gets people excited about a game. You hear all the boos and people chirping me   – I think it’s fun,” Mitchell said.

It’s especially fun, when the fire starters walk away with the W.

“To kind of silence them at the end with that throw and that catch with Simon and make a big play to seal the game, was fun,” Mitchell concluded.

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Tension in Kelowna over plans to redevelop popular dog park

Some pet owners in Kelowna are determined to try and keep what they consider the best dog park in the city while the city has plans to redevelop the site.

Last fall, the City of Kelowna approved a master plan for a five-hectare property on the corner of Harvey Avenue and Richter Street, which was sitting vacant for 15 years.

WATCH BELOW: Plans approved for a multi-million dollar piece of Kelowna real estate

The new development, near the dog park, is called Central Green and will be a mixed density neighbourhood, which has some residents worried about what that’ll mean for their beloved dog park.

“I’m going to cry if we lose this,” said resident George Wajsen.

The park is meant for small dogs to run free without a leash. It also has many shady spots thanks to a nearby heritage tree, making it more comfortable on hot Okanagan summer days.

A dog  named Lucy plays in Kelowna’s Rowcliffe Park on Sunday morning.

Neetu Garcha/Global News

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  • WATCH: Kelowna goes to the dogs (and cats and hamsters): named ‘pet-friendliest city in Canada’

  • Open house for new Kelowna park

  • Kelowna residents asked for feedback on future dog parks

    Rowcliffe Park has also been a place for dog lovers to bond for several years.

    “Being new to Kelowna, it’s how I met a lot of people in the area and so it’s social for me as well as for my dog,” said another resident, Patti, who preferred not to disclose her last name.

    “Once it’s gone, I’m going to have problems because I live close by and I don’t really have a yard. This is the only place I can bring my dog to run.”

    Development company Mission Group Homes is partnering with Al Stober Construction to build Central Green.

    READ MORE: New Kelowna residential community gaining ground

    But it’s the City of Kelowna that’s developing the Rowcliffe Park area and it said the park will definitely see big changes.

    There will be a dog run included in the development but much of the space will be opened up for all of the public to use, according to Communications Supervisor at the city, Tom Wilson.

    WATCH BELOW: Old KSS site in Kelowna sold

    Even though the plans are well underway, residents like Wajsen are still hopeful that the city will throw them a bone.

    “I’m going to fight for it, I’m going to [do] whatever it takes,” Wajsen said.

    For the past few months the city has been collecting public input on whether to change its bylaws at a half dozen Kelowna parks where dogs are currently prohibited from.

    WATCH BELOW: Leashed dogs in more Kelowna parks? City seeking input

    The bylaw changes, if approved, would mean as soon as this fall, leashed dogs may be allowed in some city parks.

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2 Houston kids found dead under home; mom in custody

HOUSTON – Two children were found dead under a neighbour’s house Sunday after their mother matter of factly told someone helping her move that she had drowned them in a bathtub, authorities said.

The 30-year-old mother was in custody and not yet charged but “all indications are she is the one who acted alone” in the deaths of her 7-year-old son and 5-year-old daughter, Houston police spokesman Kese Smith said. The woman allegedly said she drowned the children Friday but authorities have not yet confirmed a cause of death.

Smith said investigators were still interviewing the woman and had not determined a motive. She was turned into police by an acquaintance who came upon her throwing away trash in a field, where she allegedly told him she needed help moving right away.

When the man asked about her kids, she calmly said she had killed them, Smith said.

“She was so matter of fact about it he didn’t think she was serious. He thought she was joking,” Smith said. “He continued to help her pack.”

Smith said the man eventually realized something was wrong when he asked again and got the same answer. He then drove the woman toward a nearby police precinct and flagged down an officer, Smith said.

The mother apparently tried burying the children at first but put them under a neighbour’s house when that proved too difficult, Smith said.

Authorities were not immediately aware of the woman having any history of mental health problems, Smith said. He said police had been to the home before but for “nothing major.”

In 2001, Houston mother Andrea Yates drowned her five children ranging in age from 7 years to 6 months in the bathtub of her family’s home. She was eventually found not guilty by reason of insanity in July 2006 and sent to a state mental hospital.

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Police officer fatally shot in Georgia, suspect remains on the loose

ATLANTA – A police officer in a small, central Georgia city has been shot and killed by a suspect who remains on the loose, authorities said Sunday.

Eastman Patrol Officer Tim Smith was fatally shot about 9:30 p.m. Saturday in a residential area of the city located about 60 miles southeast of Macon, Georgia Bureau of Investigations spokesman Scott Dutton said.

Smith, 31, was responding to a suspicious person call when he encountered Royheem Delshawn Deeds, exited his patrol car and was shot, Dutton said.

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Dutton said Deeds, 24, then fled the scene. He is being sought by police.

READ MORE: Milwaukee officials call for calm after unrest over police shooting

Smith was not wearing a body camera.

Smith had been with the Eastman Police Department since 2011. He is survived by three children.

Smith’s death came just hours before two 15-year-old suspects were arrested after exchanging gunfire with officers in the suburban Atlanta city of Marietta.

Officer Scott Davis was shot in the leg early Sunday, Marietta police spokeswoman Kelah Wallace said. Davis, a 10-year veteran, was taken to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries and is recovering after surgery.

The shooting occurred outside the Gallery Apartments when three officers responded to a call about people breaking into cars, Wallace said.

READ MORE: New Mexico village cop gunned down; motorist shot; 3 in custody

The officers approached two suspects who were inside a vehicle, Wallace said. One of the suspects from the vehicle started shooting at the officers, striking one of them.

Three officers returned fire, hitting one of the suspects. Both suspects were eventually arrested, Wallace said. The wounded suspect was taken to the hospital with injuries that were not life-threatening.

Davis and the two other officers will be placed on administrative leave as per policy standards.

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Your Saskatchewan – Saskatoon: August 2016

Every day on Global News at 6 and Global News at 10, we feature a viewer submitted photo for Your Saskatchewan.

To submit a picture for Your Saskatchewan, email to [email protected]长沙夜网.

Pictures should be at least 920 pixels wide and in jpeg format.

GALLERY: Your Saskatchewan – Saskatoon: July 2016

August 1: This Your Saskatchewan photo was taken by Dawn Blanchette at Brightsand Lake.

Dawn Blanchette / Supplied

Aug. 2: This Your Saskatchewan photo was taken by Jeff Wiz by Cranberry Flats of a storm rolling in to Saskatoon.

Jeff Wiz / Viewer Submitted

Aug. 3: This Your Saskatchewan photo of the Great Sandhills was taken by Meghan Mickelson.

Meghan Mickelson / Viewer Submitted

Aug. 4: This Your Saskatchewan photo was taken by Jim MacKenzie of life returning back to normal a year after the Nemeiben Lake forest fires.

Jim MacKenzie / Viewer Submitted

Aug. 5: This Your Saskatchewan photo was taken by Garfield MacGillivray of some western grebes at Quill Lakes.

Garfield MacGillivray / Viewer Submitted

Aug. 6: This Your Saskatchewan photo was taken by Nicole Hawkins at Brightsand Lake.

Nicole Hawkins / Supplied

Aug. 7: This Your Saskatchewan photo was taken by Jenine Boser of her Alaskan malamute puppy at Lovering Lake.

Jenine Boser / Supplied

Aug. 8: Jeff Seime took this Your Saskatchewan photo at the Battlefords provincial park.

Jeff Seime / Viewer Submitted

Aug. 9: Felicia Glasser took this Your Saskatchewan photo near Buffalo Narrows.

Felicia Glasser / Viewer Submitted

Aug. 10: This Your Saskatchewan photo was taken by Landon Sealey of the hold back road that gave way during the Arborfield flooding.

Landon Sealey / Viewer Submitted

Aug. 11: Cary Fischer snapped this Your Saskatchewan photo of the legislative building in Regina.

Cary Fischer / Viewer Submitted

Aug. 12: This Your Saskatchewan photo was taken by Karen Wolaniuk at Buffalo Pound provincial park.

Karen Wolaniuk / Viewer Submitted

Aug. 13: This Your Saskatchewan photo was taken by Alexander Miller from Unity.

Alexander Miller / Supplied

Aug. 14: This Your Saskatchewan photo was taken by Rachael Lerat near Southey.

Rachael Lerat / Supplied

Aug. 15: Andries Muller took this Your Saskatchewan photo at Waskesiu on his first camping trip since immigrating to Canada 14 years ago.

Andries Muller / Viewer Submitted

Aug. 16: Christina Hryb took this Your Saskatchewan photo in Domremy.

Christina Hryb / Viewer Submitted

Aug. 17: This Your Saskatchewan photo was snapped in Horseshoe Bay at Turtle Lake by Taya Grueter.

Taya Grueter / Viewer Submitted

Aug. 18: Darryl Hildebrandt took this Your Saskatchewan photo near Southend.

Darryl Hildebrandt / Viewer Submitted

Aug. 19: This Your Saskatchewan photo was taken at the Rabbit Lake mine site at Wollaston Lake by Margaret Naldzil.

Margaret Naldzil / Viewer Submitted

Aug. 20: This Your Saskatchewan photo was taken by Wendy Howse at Porcupine Plain.

Wendy Howse / Supplied

Aug. 21: This Your Saskatchewan photo was taken by Mike McCloy after a morning of fishing on Wakaw Lake.

Mike McCloy / Supplied

Aug. 22: This Your Saskatchewan photo was taken by Cary Fischer in Moose Jaw.

Cary Fischer / Viewer Submitted

Aug. 23: Brittany Olsen took this Your Saskatchewan photo in Prince Albert.

Brittany Olsen / Viewer Submitted

Aug. 24: This Your Saskatchewan photo of the Prairie Lily in Saskatoon was taken by Gerry Lopaschuk.

Gerry Lopaschuk / Viewer Submitted

Aug. 25: Kristin Watson took this Your Saskatchewan photo in Lloydminster.

Kristin Watson / Viewer Submitted

Aug. 26: This Your Saskatchewan photo was taken in Île-à-la-Crosse by Teniley Petit.

Teniley Petit / Viewer Submitted

Aug. 27: This Your Saskatchewan photo was taken by Clint Janzen Near Harris.

Clint Janzen / Supplied

Aug. 28: This Your Saskatchewan photo was taken by Diane Kacher near Aberdeen.

Diane Kacher / Supplied

Aug. 29: This Your Saskatchewan photo was taken by Rosie Ross at Crean Lake.

Rosie Ross / Supplied

Aug. 30: This Your Saskatchewan photo was taken by Global’s Eric Beck at Lake Diefenbaker on the beach west of Coteau Power Station.

Eric Beck / Global News

Aug. 31: This Your Saskatchewan photo was taken by Pablo Benitez of harvest now complete in Conquest.

Pablo Benitez / Supplied

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  • Your Saskatchewan – Saskatoon: June 2016

  • Your Saskatchewan – Saskatoon: May 2016

  • Your Saskatchewan – Saskatoon: April 2016

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Donald Trump goes on Twitter rant to scold media

WASHINGTON — Donald Trump‘s campaign on Sunday went on a new tear against the media, blaming the “disgusting” press for a week of distractions at a time when Republicans have urged him — again — to focus on Democratic rival Hillary Clinton.

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Trump will get another chance to reset his campaign on Monday when he is expected to lay out his plan for defeating what running mate Mike Pence on Sunday called, “radical Islamic terrorism” with “real specifics” on how to make the United States safer.

But Trump set up that address with extensive new complaints about the latest disastrous week of coverage and reports of campaign chaos. Not to blame, Trump suggested, were his own remarks that gun rights supporters could “do something” if Hillary Clinton becomes president and appoints liberal judges, or his repeated insistence on the falsehood that President Barack “Obama founded ISIS.”

READ MORE: Feds preparing for potential effects of U.S. election

“If the disgusting and corrupt media covered me honestly and didn’t put false meaning into the words I say, I would be beating Hillary by 20 percent,” he tweeted before noon. That tweet was followed by: “My rallies are not covered properly by the media. They never discuss the real message and never show crowd size or enthusiasm.” His anti-media tweet storm topped a half-dozen posts by midafternoon.

It was the latest in a series of implicit acknowledgements by the Republican presidential nominee that he is not winning and in fact could be headed for a big loss to Clinton on Election Day in less than three months. Signs were popping up across the political landscape that Trump’s year-plus flirtation with presidential politics was in danger of not advancing much further.

Gaffe-by-gaffe, additional Republicans have come forward to say they’re not supporting his bid, with Carlos Gutierrez, secretary of commerce under President George W. Bush, announcing his support for Clinton on Sunday. Meanwhile, GOP leaders in Washington and in the most competitive states have begun openly contemplating turning their backs on their party’s presidential nominee and putting their money and effort instead behind the party’s House and Senate candidates.

WATCH: Donald Trump calls for a restriction of press freedom in the US while he demands protesters be removed (March 4,2016)

Frustratingly for Republicans, Trump’s missteps have overshadowed difficult news for Clinton: The new release of 44 previously-unreleased email exchanges Clinton had while at the State Department. They became public on Tuesday and showed her interacting with lobbyists, political and Clinton Foundation donors and business interests while serving as secretary of state.

The New York Times on Sunday catalogued a culture of crisis inside the Trump campaign.

That set off Trump on a 桑拿会所 rant Sunday morning. He called the report “fiction” and reiterated that he is not about to change what he sees as a winning campaign formula. “I am who I am,” he tweeted.

Given that, Trump’s allies set out Sunday to bat down bad publicity and warn people not to write Trump off.

READ MORE: Donald Trump struggles for support in Great Lakes region on road to 270

Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., warned that the “campaign is not over” and described Trump as still being in transition from the bulldog who beat 16 rivals in the GOP primary to a general election candidate who communicates differently to a wider electorate what he wants to do differently than Clinton.

WATCH: Donald Trump lashes out at media over coverage on charitable donations

“He’s got to wrestle in his own heart, how does he communicate who he is, what he believes, the change he thinks he can bring to America, why what he’s doing is fulfilling the desires of the American people,” Sessions said on ABC’s “This Week.”

WATCH: Trump’s campaign chair accused of links to corruption in Ukraine

Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort criticized the news media for not focusing on what otherwise would have been a substantive week of dueling economic speeches from Trump and Clinton. He said Trump is continuing to raise millions of dollars while traveling to key battleground states — Ohio, Pennsylvania and Florida — and remains personally “very connected” to the operations of his campaign.

“You could have covered what he was saying, or you could try and take an aside and take the Clinton narrative and play it out. And you chose to do that instead,” Manafort said on CNN.

Pence said on “Fox News Sunday” that he remains proud to be Trump’s running mate and advised: “Stay tuned, it’s very early in this campaign. This coming Monday, you’re going to see a vision for confronting radical Islamic terrorism.”

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

RIO DE JANEIRO – On the heels of winning the fourth Olympic medal of his career, Adam van Koeverden just stopped.

He stopped training, stopped working out casually and decided to get a job.

The Canadian kayak legend didn’t retire from racing after the 2012 Games in London, but he also wasn’t sure if he had the desire to continue.

“I stopped being physical,” said van Koeverden. “That was a bad choice.”

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The Oakville, Ont., native finally got back into his boat after working for a Toronto marketing firm for a few months, but something wasn’t right.

And with some frustrating results starting to wear on him, he linked up with the Australian national team, a move that, along with some sage advice from a few confidants, gave him the boost he needed to push on to the Rio Olympics.


“He knew he had to take some big steps to get back in the game,” said Canoe Kayak Canada sprint high performance director Scott Logan. “He took them, and here he is. He’s back.”

Van Koeverden will be on the water at Lagoa Stadium on Monday when competition in the 1,000-metre singles race – known as the K-1 1,000 – gets underway with the heats and semifinals. The final goes Tuesday.

The 34-year-old won a gold and bronze at the 2004 Games in Athens before picking up silvers in Beijing in 2008 and London in 2012.

An eight-time medallist at the world championships, including golds in 2003 and 2007, van Koeverden is realistic about his chances of getting to the podium in Brazil, but he’s also quietly confident.

Rio 2016: What to watch in week 2 of the Olympics

“My goal on Monday is to make the final because that’s all I can do on Monday,” he said. “I’ll worry about Tuesday when I make the final. They don’t mail the medals out at the Olympics, they don’t decide beforehand who’s going to be the best. I hate the term ‘supposed to win.’ Nobody’s supposed to win. There’s no pre-destiny. You get on the water and you paddle as hard as you can because you want to win.

“Making the final is not a given to anybody.”

Monday’s heat will be van Koeverden’s first race at 1,000 metres since finishing third at last summer’s Pan Am Games.

Canadian star kayaker Adam van Koeverden claps accepting his bronze medal for the K1 1000m final at the 2015 Pan Am Games in Welland, Ont., in a July 13, 2015, file photo.


He said he took time off because his body was overworked in some areas and underworked in others, while also adding his iron levels were very low.

“I knew that under the right circumstances he could get back, but I think everyone had some doubts at one point,” Logan said of van Koeverden’s journey post-London.

“But you only have to know the guy a little bit to know that if anybody can do it, he can. Even during his worst days he was still one of our best athletes.

“This guy prides himself on being on podiums and he’s been there four times. It’s quite amazing.”

Gone are the days of van Koeverden constantly pushing his body to the limit in training, now instead preferring a more selective regimen.

“When I was 22, 23 years old I had a literal super power. I could recover from any kind of physical abuse,” he said. “I just recovered.

“I credit that little super power, for the time that I had it, with a lot of my success. It was probably the reason I was able to get as good as I did as fast as I did when I was young.”

Like most Olympians in the twilight of their careers, van Koeverden is coy about what the future holds after this week, but he does plan on racing at the Canadian nationals after the Games.

“I’ve been thinking about it non-stop,” he said. “I don’t have an answer yet.”

– With files from Canadian Press sports reporter Frederic Daigle

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Boko Haram video of kidnapped Chibok girls offers proof to some parents their kids are still alive

MAIDUGURI, Nigeria — The mother of one of the Chibok girls kidnapped more than two years ago by Nigeria’s Islamic extremists on Sunday saw the first proof her daughter is alive — a video of her begging Nigeria’s government to exchange detained militants for the girls’ freedom.

Chibok community leader Pogu Bitrus said to The Associated Press the video was being watched at the weekly rally of the Bring Back Our Girls campaign at Unity Fountain in Abuja, the capital.

WATCH: Relatives of kidnapped schoolgirls feel ‘helpless’ after release of new Boko Haram video

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Some of the abducted Chibok schoolgirls have been killed by Nigerian military air strikes, according to a new video from Boko Haram, which shows one kidnap victim pleading for authorities to bow to the extremists’ demands that they release detained militants in return for the girls.

It’s not clear how many schoolgirls have died among the 218 who remain missing.

READ MORE: Islamic State group announces new Boko Haram leader

The video posted Sunday on 桑拿会所 shows a young woman, covered in a hijab with just her face showing, who was one of the students abducted from a remote school in northeastern Nigeria in April 2014. She claims that some of her kidnapped classmates died in aerial bombardments by the Nigerian Air Force. She also said that 40 have been “married” to fighters.

The video shows a militant warning in the Hausa language that if President Muhammadu Buhari’s government battles Boko Haram with firepower, the girls won’t be seen again.

“Presently, some of the girls are crippled, some are terribly sick and some of them, as I had said, died during bombardment by the Nigerian military,” the fighter says, appearing before a group of more than 40 young women in hijabs, some holding babies.

“If our members in detention are not freed, let the government and parents of the Chibok girls know that they will never find these girls again,” he said.

The video, cited by the SITE Intelligence Group, was posted by Ahmad Salkida, a Nigerian journalist known to have good contacts in Boko Haram. Salkida says he was given the video by associates of Abubakar Shekau, who is in a leadership battle with a lieutenant named by the Islamic State group as the new leader of what it calls its West Africa Province.

The mass abduction brought Boko Haram to the world’s attention and even got the participation of U.S. first lady Michelle Obama in the #Bring Back Our Girls social media campaign, promising her husband would do all in his power to help liberate them.

READ MORE: Boko Haram kills 18 at funeral in northeast Nigeria

The government came under increased pressure from parents and Bring Back Our Girls campaigners after the May escape of one young woman, a proof of life that they said should encourage the military and government to redouble rescue efforts. The escapee said some of the girls had died but scores remained in captivity under heavy guard.

Sunday’s video is another proof of life.

“The girl in the video spoke in the Chibok language and identified her mother by name. Her mother has now seen the video and identified her daughter,” Chibok leader Pogu Bitrus told the AP.

The young woman in the video, probably speaking under duress, begs for help.

“Oh you, my people and our parents, you just have to please come to our rescue: We are suffering here, the aircraft have come to bombard us and killed many of us. Some are wounded. Every day we are in pains and suffering, so are our babies … No one cares for us.

“Please go and beg the government of Nigeria to release the members of our abductors so that they too can free us to let us come home.”

The video goes on to show bodies from an alleged air raid, including that of a girl whose eyes flicker open briefly.

Nigeria’s Air Force has reported near-daily bombardments of Boko Haram camps and the military of increased ground assaults in which they have freed thousands of captives, though none of the Chibok girls.

READ MORE: Harjit Sajjan: spread of terrorism in Africa on Canada’s peacekeeping radar

Boko Haram has been forced out of most towns and has turned to assaulting remote villages and using suicide bombers to attack soft targets such as mosques and marketplaces.

More than 20,000 people have been killed in the 7-year-old Islamic uprising that has spread from Nigeria to neighboring countries and driven 2.2 million people from their homes.

Aid workers say there is a catastrophic humanitarian crisis in newly freed but still dangerous areas where half a million people are starving and babies dying daily. There has also been a resurgence of polio in areas that had been under Boko Haram’s control.


Faul reported from Lagos. Associated Press photographer Sunday Alamba contributed to this report from Lagos, Nigeria

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7,000 rescued as storms, flooding wreak havoc on Louisiana

TICKFAW, La. – In high-water vehicles, boats and helicopters, emergency crews worked Sunday to rescue scores of south Louisiana residents from deadly flooding as the governor warned that it was “not over.”

From the air homes in southwest Louisiana looked more like little islands surrounded by flooded fields. Farmland was covered, streets descended into impassable pools of water, shopping centres were inundated with only roofs of cars peeking above the water.

From the ground it was just as catastrophic. Drivers tried to navigate treacherous roads where the water lapped at the side or covered the asphalt in a running stream. Abandoned cars were pushed to the side of the road, lawn furniture and children’s toys floating through the waters.

And in many places, the water was still rising.

WATCH: Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards says about 7,000 people have been rescued from historic flooding in south Louisiana and officials say the flooding could get even worse.

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Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards said Sunday that at least 7,000 people have been rescued so far. Edwards says the storm has “subsided in its intensity” but he called on people to refrain from going out to “sightsee” even as the weather gets better.

“This is a serious event. It is ongoing. It is not over,” said the governor, emphasizing that in some areas water is continuing to rise.

He said the fatalities have not risen from the three dead reported on Saturday. One person is unaccounted for in St. Helena Parish.

Mike Steele, spokesman for the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness, said there was an overnight spike in flood rescues in the eastern part of Baton Rouge. Two nursing homes were being evacuated.

‘They’re okay’: woman breathes sigh of relief finding out parents are safe from flooding


‘They’re okay’: woman breathes sigh of relief finding out parents are safe from flooding


Man saves several puppies during Louisiana flooding


Deadly floods hit Louisiana


Heavy rain leads to flooding and state of emergency in Louisiana


Louisiana under a state of emergency with severe flooding

Police were rescuing people from cars stranded on a miles-long stretch of Interstate 12, which was closed from Baton Rouge to Tangipahoa Parish.

One of those motorists was Alex Cobb of Baton Rouge, who has been stuck since around 11 a.m. Saturday morning.

Reached by telephone Sunday, she said she was on her way to a bridal shower she was supposed to host Saturday when flooding closed off the highway.

She said she had food intended for the bridal shower and a produce truck about a 1/4 mile up the road shared its stock with drivers.

“They opened up their truck and started giving out fruits and vegetables to people,” she said.

Cobb said some of the people stranded were actually fleeing flooding in their homes when they got caught on the freeway. Nearby her were a pregnant woman and an 80-year-old woman.

“People are surprisingly upbeat. I don’t know how long that is going to last because it’s getting kind of hot,” she said. “We just want water.”

READ MORE: 2 dead, more than 1,000 rescued in Louisiana floods on Saturday 

Steele said the flooding that started Friday has damaged more than 1,000 homes in East Baton Rouge Parish, more than 1,000 homes in Livingston Parish, and hundreds more in other areas, including St. Helena and Tangipahoa parishes.

“It never slowed down last night,” Steele said Sunday morning. “For the last few hours, there has been just as much activity as at any point.”

Gov. Edwards declared a state of emergency Saturday, calling the floods “unprecedented” and “historic.” He and his family were even forced to leave the Governor’s Mansion when chest-high water filled the basement and electricity was shut off.

In one dramatic rescue Saturday, two men on a boat pulled a woman from a car almost completely underwater, according to video by WAFB. The woman, who’s not initially visible on camera, yells from inside the car: “Oh my god, I’m drowning.”

WATCH: An MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew rescued three people from a rooftop in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. The Coast Guard is assisting local, state and federal agencies in conducting rescues and evacuations due to flooding in Baton Rouge.

One of the rescuers, David Phung, jumps into the brown water and pulls the woman to safety. She pleads with Phung to get her dog, but he can’t find it. After several seconds, Phung takes a deep breath, goes underwater and resurfaces — with the small dog. Both the woman and dog appeared OK.

As of Sunday morning, some 5,050 people were staying in parish and Red Cross shelters, said Department of Children & Family Services Secretary Marketa Garner Walters. The governor said even more people were staying in private shelters like churches.

Walters said the Red Cross is also looking for volunteers.

In Baker, just north of Baton Rouge, residents were rescued by boats or waded through waist-deep, water to reach dry ground. Dozens of them awoke Saturday morning on cots at a makeshift Red Cross shelter only a few blocks from their flooded homes and cars.

Shanita Angrum, 32, said she called 911 on Friday morning when she realized flood waters had trapped her family in their home. A police officer carried her 6-year-old daughter, Khoie, on his back while she and her husband waded behind them for what “felt like forever.”

“Snakes were everywhere,” she said. “The whole time I was just praying for God to make sure me and my family were OK.”

Beginning Friday, 6 to 10 inches of rain fell on parts of Louisiana and several more inches of rain fell on Saturday, according to the National Weather Service. Some areas got even more rain. In a 24-hour period, Baton Rouge had as much as 11 inches while one weather observer reported more than 17 inches in Livingston.

Forecasters expected a turn to the north Sunday by the system, warning portions of central and northern Louisiana could see heavy rain into next week.

Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant declared a state of emergency for several counties in his state as it also battled the heavy rainfall.

WATCH: Bus driver praised for helping save three lives during flooding in China

As floodwaters swallowed Lyn Gibson’s two-story home in Louisiana’s Tangipahoa Parish, she hacked away on a hole near the roof, desperately trying to get to safety. She used a saw, a screwdriver and her feet, knocking her way through wood, vinyl and sheet rock and was eventually rescued by National Guard soldiers on a boat.

“I just kept picking and hitting and prying until I could get a hole big enough,” the slightly built, 115-pound woman said.


Kunzelman reported from Baton Rouge. Rebecca Santana contributed from New Orleans.

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