Transport Safety Board’s Lac-Megantic report due in August

GATINEAU, Que. – The Transportation Safety Board of Canada will release its report on the deadly Lac-Megantic train derailment later this month.

The TSB says it will hold a news conference in the Quebec town on Aug. 19.

BY THE NUMBERS: Lac-Megantic rail disaster

A train carrying crude oil derailed and exploded in Lac-Megantic on July 6, 2013, wiping out dozens of buildings and killing 47 people.

Three employees of the now-insolvent Montreal, Maine and Atlantic Railway, the company at the centre of the disaster, have each been charged with 47 counts of criminal negligence causing death, one for each victim of the crash.

The MMA itself is also facing the same charges.

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  • Lac-Megantic’s ‘train from hell’ goes on the auction block

  • 3 people, rail company face charges in Lac-Megantic railway disaster

  • Montrealers remember Lac-Megantic tragedy

  • Quebec gives more money to help Lac-Megantic

©2014The Canadian Press

Wednesday August 6th on The Morning News – Halifax

With BBQ season in full swing, here’s hoping your summer so far has been filled with more good food and few food borne illnesses. It’s a fact that approximately one in eight people will get sick every year in Canada from poor food handling and preparation techniques. At 6:45 we’ll chat with Darren Leyte of Health Canada about tips for storing, cleaning, and grilling raw meat in order to prevent illness.

At 7:15 gardening expert Niki Jabbour will give us a tour of her own personal garden and provide us with some tips on how to keep plants growing throughout the summer months.

It’s a collection that will make sports fans rush to Costco and buy in bulk! Ontario based @PHGsports has set up shop at Costco in Dartmouth Crossing with hundreds of signed jerseys, helmets, and other items from some of the biggest names in sports past and present for sale for the next couple weeks. At 7:45 we’ll meet the man behind the memorabilia, Todd Rewakowski, who promises to bring along a replica of The Stanley Cup for us to check out.

At 8:15 we’ll get an update from Tim Rissesco from the Downtown Dartmouth Business Commission who will tell us all about free fitness classes and other highlights planned for the rest of the summer.

Dylan Guthro is in it to win it! The musician just released a hot summertime single with Halifax rapper Quake and will be hosting a secret series of shows over the next eight weeks. Catch up with him while you can- Wednesday at 8:45!

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Could a Canadian family abandon their baby carried by surrogate mom?

TORONTO – Baby Gammy and his surrogate mom are garnering worldwide attention: an Australian couple allegedly abandoned the months-old baby with Down syndrome and a congenital heart condition, separating him from his healthy twin sister who they took back to Australia.

Now, Gammy’s in the care of his 21-year-old surrogate mom in Thailand.

“That could happen pretty much anywhere,” according to Sara Cohen, a fertility lawyer with Toronto’s Fertility Law Canada.

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“It’s a tragedy but it isn’t a widespread phenomenon – at least not in Canada,” Cohen told Global News.

READ MORE: Down syndrome baby boy abandoned by Australian parents in Thailand

Surrogacy involves a woman carrying an implanted embryo in order to give birth. It’s also expensive. There are medical fees, lawyer fees and other expenses you’re on the hook for when you look after a surrogate mom, fertility lawyer Sherry Levitan said.

Paying a woman to carry your child is illegal in Canada, but it is legal if rather than paying her directly, you cover any expenses related to the pregnancy: maternity clothes, multivitamins, health care services, child care, and time off work. Even small details are looked after – if the surrogate needs to drive across town to get to the doctor’s office, her gas mileage is covered too, for example.

“The only reason people go abroad is to save money,” Levitan said.

“It takes a lot of time and effort and there are protocols in place in Canada. If people want to short circuit the system, they’ll go abroad,” she explained.

READ MORE: Thai surrogate mom would be ‘happy’ to get twin back

In Pattaramon Chanbua’s case, reports say she was paid 300,000 Thai baht or $9,300. The entire process could cost couples at least $60,000 if they’re in Canada, Levitan said in comparison.

In the meantime, the 21-year-old food vendor says she didn’t receive the full payment she was promised. She told the Associated Press that she would be happy to have the boy’s healthy sibling returned to her.

“I want her back because she is my baby. She was in my womb,” Chanbua said.

“If she is happy, then I, as a mother, am also happy. I don’t want to bring her back to suffer or anything. A mother would never want her child in trouble,” she said.

Surrogacy involves placing some trust on both ends of the relationship, the experts say.

“I deal with the intended parents all the time and they’re always worried about the surrogate keeping the baby. Statistically, the worry is the other way around – she should worry,” Levitan said.

Under most provincial laws, the surrogate is presumed to be the child’s mother until the intended parents take custody of the baby. It’s a process they must initiate.

In Ontario, and depending on the case, the court can determine that a child was born through surrogacy, isn’t genetically related to the surrogate parent and has intended parents.

“The surrogate has to trust that no one is going to abandon her and they’ll take care of her. And the intended parents have to trust that she won’t want to keep the baby and will be making good choices all day, every day,” Cohen explained.

But the experts, both with decades of experience in their field, say that intended parents walking out on their child and surrogate mom is an anomaly.

“Ninety-nine per cent of the cases are happy,” Levitan said.

– With files from the Associated Press

[email protected]桑拿按摩
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Bouchard bounced from Rogers Cup – Montreal

MONTREAL – Tennis fans in Montreal are hanging their heads in disappointment following the early exit of Eugenie Bouchard from the Rogers Cup.

The Westmount native lost in three sets, 6-0, 2-6, 6-0 to American qualifier Shelby Rogers.

The loss is a big blow to Bouchard who has been having a spectacular year.

She reached the semifinals of both the French Open and Australian Open, and reached the finals of Wimbledon last month.

But the 20-year-old ranked eighth in the world on the WTA Tour was no match for Rogers, ranked 113.

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Bouchard hit frequent unforced errors and appeared flat from the moment the match began.

Rogers, by contrast, came out firing with blistering ground strokes and returns of serve.

Bouchard’s energy level seemed to peak in the second set with Montreal fans cheering her on and she managed to win the set.

But her level of play wasn’t sustained and Rogers easily won the third set.

“I feel like a Montrealer who just lost a game. Like a Canadiens game. And it hurts. But I mean this is the game; the girl played well and I’m happy for her but we lost Genie,” one Montreal tennis fan said.

“I found her nervous in the start. Maybe all the people here in her hometown, that’s what creates it,” said another immediately following Bouchard’s loss.

Tournament organizers are also disappointed but they say ticket sales won’t suffer.

Eugenie Bouchard didn’t fare well at the Rogers Cup in Montreal.

Tim Sargeant, Global News

Eugene Lapierre, the tournament director expects to set a world attendance record for a one-week, female-only event.

There are still plenty of other headliners competing including the well known Williams sisters and the hard-hitting Russian star, Maria Sharapova.

Second round matches continue all day and evening on Wednesday.

Concerns about Mount Polley tailings pond were raised 3 years ago

VANCOUVER – It turns out that in recent months, Imperial Metals had accumulated more water than it could handle, partly due to runoff and it was in the process of applying for more capacity.

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Early Monday morning the tailings pond at Mount Polley Mine breached, and an estimated 10 million cubic metres of water and 4.5 million cubic metres of toxic waste — equivalent to 2,000 Olympic-sized swimming pools — spilled into Hazeltine Creek, Quesnel Lake and Polley Lake.

After two days of pressure from the public, the president of Imperial Metals, Brian Kynoch, faced the press and concerned residents in the town of Likely, B.C.

“I apologize for what happened,” said Kynoch. “If you would have asked me two weeks ago if that could happen, I would say that couldn’t happen. So I know that for our company it’s going to take a long time to earn the community’s trust back.”

READ MORE: Before and after photos show devastation of Mount Polley tailings pond breach

However, concerns were raised about the Mount Polley Mine tailings pond three years ago. The mine was reportedly dealing with more water than it could handle from operations and runoff.

The company made an application to government to dump the waste water from the mine into the local watershed.

There was huge opposition from the community including local aboriginal bands who hired an independent environmental consultant who made two key recommendations regarding water treatment.

He said those recommendations were not followed to his knowledge.

“I think when something like this happens you have to be surprised,” said consultant Brian Olding. “I mean you just don’t wake up in the morning expecting to hear something like this happened but in retrospect, knowing what I know about it, the situation that was in place, no. I’m not surprised.”

“That’s why we put those recommendations in place. Period.”

Minister of Mines and Energy, Bill Bennett said Imperial Metals has been operating in B.C. for many years and added that for the most part, they have been compliant. “It had an out of compliance incident in May, in terms of the water level in the tailings pond being too high,” said Bennett. “The water level was reduced and we monitor that on a monthly basis and they have been in compliance up until this point.”

The last time ministry staff inspected the mine was in September, 2013.

– With files from Rumina Daya

Samsung, Apple agree to drop lawsuits outside US

SEOUL, Korea, Republic Of – Samsung and Apple Inc. have agreed to end all patent lawsuits between each other outside the U.S. in a step back from three years of legal hostilities between the world’s two largest smartphone makers.

However, Samsung Electronics Co. said Wednesday that it and Apple will continue to pursue existing cases in U.S. courts. The two companies did not strike any cross-licensing deal.

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“Samsung and Apple have agreed to drop all litigation between the two companies outside the United States,” the South Korean company said in a statement. “This agreement does not involve any licensing arrangements, and the companies are continuing to pursue the existing cases in U.S. courts.”

The announcement is a significant lessening of corporate hostilities after years of bitter patent disputes over the intellectual property rights for mobile designs and technology. The legal fights spanned about a dozen countries in Asia, North America and Europe.

Lawsuits and other legal actions by Samsung and Apple will come to an end in countries including Germany, England, France, Spain, Italy, the Netherlands, South Korea, Japan and Australia.

The patent cases in the U.S. have come with bigger awards for damages than other countries. In May, a California jury awarded Apple $119 million in a patent battle with Samsung. The same jury also ordered Apple to pay $158,400 to Samsung finding that Apple had infringed one of Samsung’s patents in creating the iPhone 4 and 5. In a separate 2012 jury verdict, Samsung was ordered to pay Apple $930 million. Samsung appealed.

Some analysts said the two companies would eventually bury the hatchet and sign a cross-licensing deal, following the usual pattern of patent cases in the technology industry. There were earlier signs that tensions had eased between two companies. The two agreed to drop their appeals at the U.S. International Trade Commission in June.

But at other times, it seemed the differences were too wide to be bridged. The chief executives of both companies reportedly met several times at the recommendation of a U.S. judge to discuss out of court settlements.

Not all outcomes from the patent actions were damaging to Samsung and Apple. While the two rivals faced damage claims and sales bans of old products here and there, Samsung vaulted to the leading position in the global smartphone market during the last three years.

The series of high-stake lawsuits over some of the world’s most popular gadgets began in April, 2011 when Apple accused Samsung, the maker of Galaxy phones, of slavishly copying the iPhone. Samsung responded by charging Apple of stealing its mobile technology.

©2014The Canadian Press

Canadian professor forced to leave Myanmar over Buddha tattoos

TORONTO – A backpacking Canadian professor said Tuesday he was forced to leave Myanmar after his leg tattoos caused a stir.

Jason Polley, who teaches English at Hong Kong Baptist University, said the problem started a day after he arrived in the country last Tuesday, when a local person took a picture of his Buddha tattoos and posted it to Facebook.

The photo apparently went viral in the southeast Asian country, which experiences Buddhist-Muslim conflict and has many who consider lower body parts unclean.

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In an interview from Bangkok, Polley said about 15 tourism officials came to his hotel in Inle Lake, north of the capital Yangon, on Saturday night and “accosted” him in the lobby.

“They said: ‘Why would you put these tattoos on your leg? You understand that you’re a Facebook star in Myanmar?”‘ he said by phone.

Polley, of Russell, Ont., is a Mahayana Buddhist and his tattoos, which chart the religion’s development, are on his leg to represent a pillar of support.

He said most Myanmarese practise a different branch of the religion, and officials told him they were there for his protection as radicals might hurt him over the tattoos.

In addition to demanding the couple’s passports, Polley said, six officials repeatedly photographed him and his leg, and one tried to grab him when he stood up.

“He was the only official who really made things extremely uncomfortable for both of us,” Polley said, adding the others were cordial.

“I would have gladly fought him right there. In retrospect, I would still want to fight him, even though it would be a bad idea.”

Polley said the officials’ tone became kinder after questioning him when they seemed to realize he wasn’t an Islamic “fundamentalist.”

They told them not to leave the hotel until Sunday morning, when they said they expected to hear back from the country’s tourism minister.

But an hour later, Polley said, he and his Hong Kong girlfriend, Margaret Lam, were given two hours to gather their belongings. The officials then put them on a 15-hour car ride to the airport, Polley said.

While officials initially told him he was to be deported, Polley said, other officials said he was being asked to leave the country for his own safety.

Polley said there is no Canadian embassy in Myanmar, and his guidebook told him to contact the Australian embassy, which was closed Saturday night. He and Lam were able to ask friends in Hong Kong to contact Canadian and Chinese officials on Sunday morning.

Chinese officials responded almost within the hour and got a Burmese speaker on the phone to talk to local authorities, but the Canadians did not get back to him.

Polley planned to finish the rest of his 23-day vacation in Thailand and Laos, though he did not rule out returning to Myanmar in future.

“The officials, who included the district chief of tourism in Myanmar, were so kind as to invite us back once cooler heads prevail and the situation improves,” he said.

Foreign Affairs spokesman John Babcock said in a statement countries have the “prerogative” in determining whom to keep in their borders and consular officials cannot intervene if Canadians do not meet “entry requirements.”

©2014The Canadian Press

Likely residents wait for water samples from Mount Polley mine disaster

The town of Likely, B.C. has a population around 300 people.

It seemed almost all of them were packed into the community hall on Tuesday evening.

For the first time since 4.5 million cubic metres of toxic waste spewed from the Mount Polley Mine tailings pond into surrounding rivers and lakes, the people of the community were able to speak directly with officials from the provincial government and Imperial Metals, which owns the mine.

“We knew that they didn’t have a lot of answers, but people needed to yell and scream, while knowing there’s going to be a another meeting with more information soon,” said Robin Hood, Likely Chamber of Commerce president.

“It was very beneficial.”

A Public Information Session was held at the Likely Community Hall on Tuesday, the first time residents have gathered to hear information on the Mount Polley spill, which released 4.5 million cubic of trailings into the ecosystem.

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  • Concerns about Mount Polley tailings pond were raised 3 years ago

  • Before and after photos show devastation of Mount Polley Mine tailings pond breach

  • What’s in Imperial Metals’ Mount Polley tailings? Should you be worried?

  • Mount Polley tailings spill: What 5 million cubic metres looks like

  • Tailings pond breach has local eco-tour operators concerned

  • Water from breached tailings pond near Likely B.C. almost drinkable: Imperial Metals president

There was venting by some, asking questions that won’t be answered until the results of water samples are released on Thursday.

“I’ve sat through with three or four meetings with Mount Polley about discharging effluent,” said one man at the meeting.

“They can fill you with so much chemical [information], but we don’t understand it, I don’t understand it, it’s a waste of god damn time. All I want to know, after these water samples are done, can we drink the water or not.”

Others asked how the pond could have been breached in the first place, why there was a gap in officials getting to the scene, and why previous warningsweren’t heeded.

MORE: Concerns about Mount Polley tailings pond were raised 3 years ago

But others in the community preached calm as they wait.

“Things like this don’t happen overnight, and they’re not cleaned up overnight,” said Diane Gibson, who runs the town post office and restaurant.

“Before one points a finger, let’s wait and see. It’s devalued my property, it’s devalued a lot of people’s property, now deal with it.”

“It’s unfortunate that it’s happened here in our little Shangri-La, but is has. Mount Polley is up against it, and it doesn’t matter where the blame lies now, we as business people need to carry on.”

WATCH: Imperial Metals president Brian Kynoch answers Global News reporter Jas Johal’s questions about reestablishing trust in the community.

Minister of Mines Bill Bennett flew over the site on Tuesday, and said all resources at his disposal would be put towards dealing with the consequences.

“We don’t know if it’s really, really terribly bad, or not so bad. We don’t know. We hope it’s not so bad, but it could be really bad,” said Bennett.

“We have to find out quickly as possible and manage the situation. I have to take a step back as the Mines Minister and take a look at every single tailings pond, every single dam in this province, and make sure we’re doing what we should be doing.”

For those dependent on ecotourism or the mine for their livelihood, the short-term effects are already ‘really bad’.

Hood says miners at Mount Polley have been sent letters telling them not to report for work, and it’s still unknown when – or if – the mine will reopen.

“They’re working at the mine, they’re making $100,000 a year, they’ve got shiny new boats and snowmobiles and trucks and boom, the paycheck stops tomorrow morning,” he said.

“There’s a limit to how long people withstand that. There’s a lot of stress right now.”

MORE: Tailings pond breach has local eco-tour operators concerned

Meanwhile, a number of lodges in the area have seen a surge of cancellations for the rest of the summer.

“We’re scrambling,” said Skeed Borkowski, who runs Northern Lights Lodge with his wife Sharon.

“We have lots of cancellations. It’s tough.

“When we’re fly fishing with clients, I would take a cup because I’m so proud of this water. I think we should give [the mine’s] management free rooms here, and we’ll get them a glass a day, and see how that works out.

“Where was the Ministry of Mines? We’re regulated with our fly fishing, and compliance is a big part of our business. How can the biggest disaster in this province, how can that happened when they’re regulated by a ministry?”

Aerial photo of the breach site, Global News.

Global News

“It’s hard to look out at this water and see all this stuff,” said Sharon. “You have no idea what’s in it. I can’t use any water that we have here.”

READ MORE: Water from breached tailings pond near Likely B.C. almost drinkable: Imperial Metals president

The economic impacts are secondary to those in Likely at the moment. For now, they want to see the water sample results. And they have their fingers crossed.

“I would like to know as soon as possible what test results come from water samples,” said Borkowski, “and then we can move on.”

– With files from Jas Johal and John Daly

9-year-old boy dies after repeated playground stabbing by 12-year-old – National

WATCH: A 12-year-old boy accused of stabbing and killing a 9-year-old on a playground has officially been charged with murder

KENTWOOD, Mich. – A 9-year-old boy died after being repeatedly stabbed by a 12-year-old boy at a playground, police said Tuesday.

Michael Conner Verkerke ran home and collapsed on the porch around 6 p.m. Monday after he was stabbed at a mobile home park in western Michigan, according to police. Investigators said the older boy then left the playground and called police from a nearby home to turn himself in.

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The 12-year-old pleaded not guilty to a murder charge in juvenile court on Tuesday, according to his attorney. He was ordered held in a juvenile detention centre.

Barb Poelman told The Associated Press she was sitting on her deck in a mobile home park when “we heard the kids run across the front … screaming. He (Michael) ran with the kids that were with him.”

She said the boy’s mother was distraught, pleading for help as she lay on the grass outside the family’s home.

“She was screaming, ‘Where is the ambulance?’ while her boy was laying on the porch bleeding,” Poelman said. “The kids, I thought they were just playing.”

Witnesses told investigators that four children were playing when one of them, for unknown reasons, pulled a knife and stabbed the boy.

Glen Stacy, who lives nearby, told The Grand Rapids Press that the older boy approached him after the attack and asked to use his phone. He said the boy called police to report the attack and turn himself in. Stacy said he also called police and described the boy as “very calm.”

“The only time he raised his voice was when the police came,” Stacy said.

When police arrived at the mobile home park, they first went to aid the stabbing victim, but the older boy wanted the officers to pick him up and yelled, “‘Hello, I’m right here. You’re going the wrong way,”‘ Stacy said. The motive in the attack was still being investigated, Police Chief Thomas Hillen said.

Tiffany Armijo said her son was playing with Michael during the stabbing, adding that she had never seen the 12-year-old before. She declined to discuss any details about the attack, but said Michael was “a good kid” and her son’s best friend.

“He was playing with Michael and his brother, and my kid, too,” she said. “They always played together. He was at my house almost every day.”

Police said the 12-year-old boy was evaluated at a hospital then taken to the county juvenile detention centre. Defence attorney Charles Boekeloo said he entered a not-guilty plea for the boy during a hearing Tuesday afternoon in juvenile court, adding that he may seek a mental evaluation to determine if the boy is competent to stand trial.

Poelman said the boy lived with his parents and two siblings in the mobile home park. A man who identified himself as Michael’s grandfather when the AP called a phone number listed for his home declined to comment.

©2014The Canadian Press

WATCH: Foreign Worker Changes Impact Okanagan Ski Resorts

It is the second largest ski resort in B.C. and it attracts visitors and workers from all over the world.

But this year Big White says it’s got a big problem.

Every year the resort, like many others in Canada, relies heavily on highly skilled instructors from countries like Australia and New Zealand to teach visitors how to ski and snow board.

But this year because of changes to Canada’s temporary foreign worker program, hiring instructors from abroad comes at a cost of $1,000 per worker.

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“We normally use 55 temporary worker ski instructors. These are dedicated ski and snow board professionals that we need to run our organization. We can’t afford the $55,000 it will cost this year,” says Michael J. Ballingall.

The senior Vice President of sales and marketing for Big White says the new head tax means more than half of those 55 foreign workers will not be hired back this coming season.

Unfortunately he says it’s a void that can’t be filled here at home either.

“The most important people need to understand Canada does not produce enough ski and snowboard instructors to utilize in ski industry. If there is a full time person that wants to work at Big White or any other resort in Western Canada that is a level three or four they have a full time job offer,” says Ballingall.

Ballingall says the foreign ski instructors are being lumped in with servers in fast food restaurants.

It was their employers who broke the rules prompting Ottawa to act and revamp the program for all foreign workers.

“This is not just a Big White story, this is a Silver Star story, there is Sun Peaks, Revelstoke, Fernie. We are all in this same boat together. This story will have a huge impact on Whistler Blackcomb,” says Ballingall.

The impact is already being felt at Big White.

Ballingall says he’s already lost four highly qualified instructors to American resorts because of the restrictions—and along with them, clients who have cancelled stays at Big White to follow those instructors.

“It has a huge financial impact not only to lift company but restaurants, spas, different activities. People are gone, those holiday makers are gone,” says Ballingall.

Before and after photos show devastation of Mount Polley Mine tailings pond breach

VANCOUVER – A look at some before and after photos of the Mount Polley Mine tailings pond shows some of the devastation of what has happened in the region.

A breach of the tailings pond early Monday morning sent five million cubic metres of toxic waste into Hazeltine Creek, Quesnel Lake and Polley Lake.

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Residents and visitors to the area, close to Likely, B.C., have been issued a complete water ban, affecting close to 300 homes. It extends to the entire Quesnel and Cariboo River systems up to the Fraser River, including Quesnel Lake, Cariboo Creek, Hazeltine Creek and Polley Lake.

Several employees of the mine, who wished to remain anonymous to protect their jobs, have told Global News the same tailings pond had a minor breach three months ago.

But president of Imperial Metals, Brian Kynoch, says the dam has never failed before.

Common minerals and elements found in tailings, which is the waste material left over from the extraction of metals, can include arsenic, mercury, sulfur and cyanide.

“We have never detected mercury in the tailings pond at Mount Polley,” says Kynoch. “There’s no mercury there.”

“Another one I’ve heard talked about is arsenic. Arsenic levels are one-fifth of drinking water.”

He adds that the company regularly performs toxicity tests on the water in their tailings facility and it is not toxic to rainbow trout, which spawn there.

He says that once the solids are removed from the water he would drink it.

Minister of Energy and Mines Bill Bennett issued a statement saying in part:

“This is a serious incident that should not have happened. We are devoting every appropriate resource working with local officials to clean up the site, mitigate any impacts to communities and the environment, and investigate the cause of the breach. We will determine the cause of the event and we are determined to prevent an incident like this from happening again.”

GALLERY: Before and after photos of the area:

A photo of the Mount Polley Mine tailings pond, taken in 2013.

Submitted

A photo of the Mount Polley Mine tailings pond, taken in 2013.

Before and after, credit Elaine Lucas.

Elaine Lucas

Damage from a tailings pond breach is seen near Likely, B.C., Tuesday, August 5, 2014. A tailings pond that breached Monday, releasing a slurry of contaminated water and mine waste into several central British Columbia waterways, had been growing at an unsustainable rate, an environmental consultant says. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

Damage from a tailings pond breach is seen near Likely, B.C., Tuesday, August 5, 2014. A tailings pond that breached Monday, releasing a slurry of contaminated water and mine waste into several central British Columbia waterways, had been growing at an unsustainable rate, an environmental consultant says. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

A aerial view shows the damage caused by a tailings pond breach near the town of Likely, B.C. Tuesday, August, 5, 2014.

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

Tailings bond breach at Mount Polley Mine near Likely, BC.

Where the tailings came down, credit Larry Chambers.

Larry Chambers

Post-breach, credit Larry Chambers.

Larry Chambers

Aerial photo of the breach site, Global News.

Global News

Aerial photo of the lake and breach, Global News.

Global News

Abraham Lincoln’s handwriting verified on library book justifying racism – National

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – For years, librarians at a small central Illinois library gossiped that a tattered book lying on one of its shelves justifying racism may have been in the hands of none other than Abraham Lincoln, the Great Emancipator.

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On Tuesday, state historians confirmed that theory by announcing Lincoln’s handwriting had been found inside the cover of the 700-page text, at the same time taking great pains to offer reassurance that the former president who ended slavery in the U.S. didn’t subscribe to the theories at hand, but likely read the book to better educate himself about his opponents’ line of thinking.

“Lincoln was worried that the whole idea that you could segregate one group of people based on some brand new thinking would just carry on into other realms,” Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum Curator James Cornelius Tuesday said of Lincoln. “He could foresee the whole country coming apart over the issue that different people could be barred from different things based on different qualities.”

Types of Mankind makes a case that different races were formed at different times and places and thus can’t be equals. It was seized upon by slave owners during the Civil War era as support for their way of life. The authors suggested that Africans and Native Americans were fundamentally different from Caucasians, and enslaving them was part of the natural order.

Like so many other supposed Lincoln artifacts discovered in places the former president frequented, the authenticity of the inscription remained in question for years, until a new library director decided to have it inspected by experts at the state historical museum this summer.

“We didn’t know whether we should take it seriously,” Vespasian Warner Public Library Assistant Director Bobbi Perryman said.

But shortly after the 700-page book arrived at the Lincoln Library and Museum, Cornelius made a swift assessment by looking at handwriting and spacing between letters, one that was quickly backed up by other experts on staff, as well as an outside expert the museum asked to inspect the book.

“There are certain letters of the alphabet that Lincoln wrote in a way that were not common to his era,” Cornelius said, referencing Lincoln’s style of writing E’s and N’s. “A forger can typically do some of the letters in a good Lincolnian way. They’ll give themselves away on a couple of the others. This all adds up.”

Types of Mankind was published in 1854 and circulated for decades by the Vespasian Warner Library in Clinton, Illinois.

Local attorney Clifton Moore, a colleague of Lincoln’s, had donated thousands of books to the system, which formed the basis of the library’s circulating collection when it opened in the early 1900s.

The inscription inside Types of Mankind doesn’t bear Lincoln’s signature – but a note in his handwriting on one of the first pages states that the copy rightfully belongs to Moore. Below that inscription is an attestation by another local attorney noting that Lincoln wrote inside the book in 1861, just before he left for Washington after being elected president.

Perryman said the library doesn’t know exactly when the book was retired from circulation – only that it suffered significant wear and tear from being borrowed for so many years.

Perryman said the library is currently keeping the book in its safe deposit box, with plans to restore it eventually and put it on display in a secure place.

©2014The Canadian Press

14 hurt, 3 seriously after 2 double-decker tour buses crash in NYC

NEW YORK – A traffic accident involving two double-decker tour buses in New York City’s Times Square on Tuesday afternoon sent shattered glass flying and injured 14 people, three of them seriously.

None of the injuries was believed to be life-threatening, the Fire Department of New York said.

Tourist Cara McCaskill, of Winnipeg, Canada, saw the scene of the accident moments after it happened as she walked out of her hotel.

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“I saw fire trucks trying to get through all the crazy traffic,” the 16-year-old said. “And I saw ambulances and blood on the ground.”

The accident occurred around 47th Street and Seventh Avenue in Manhattan, an area of Times Square usually teeming with tourists near a TKTS discount Broadway tickets booth and the Hershey’s Chocolate World store. It shut down a stretch of Seventh Avenue.

At least eight people, including several bus passengers, were treated at the scene, city officials said.

One of the buses crashed into a light pole, causing it to topple, witnesses said.

The glass in the front of the bus was shattered, and glass was strewn on the pavement.

Bystanders said the scene was initially chaotic, with people running around trying to help.

Rose Cantillon was visiting the city from Ireland and was nearby.

“I was sitting on a bench, and I turned around and heard screaming, and I ran,” she said.

The cause of the accident was under investigation. Telephone calls to the tour bus companies seeking comment were not immediately returned Tuesday.

©2014The Canadian Press