Edmonton woman has warning for people with glass patio tables – Edmonton

WATCH ABOVE: An Edmonton woman is warning others after her glass patio table shattered into a million little pieces. Quinn Ohler reports.

EDMONTON – An Edmonton woman is still picking up pieces of glass after her patio table seemingly exploded last week.

Lillian Courtney got a call last Thursday from her neighbour, who noticed her table was in smithereens.

At first, she assumed it was vandals. Then she and her husband checked the feed from their outdoor surveillance camera.

“We’re watching it and all of a sudden it’s just like in Mythbusters — the whole table fell down onto the patio.”

WATCH: Surveillance video shows the glass of the patio table shatter

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She believes the tempered glass shattered due to the heat. Temperatures reached nearly 30°C that day.

Courtney adds that she’s just grateful nobody got hurt. Just four days earlier she had dozens of people over for a backyard birthday party. Her dogs also often slept under the table.

“I can’t imagine the magnitude of glass falling on them,” Courtney said.

“There was no warning.”

She now has this word of advice: “If you have a glass [patio table] and you can afford to replace it, it might be something to consider. Children could get hurt, you could get hurt.”

According to Warren Yadlowski, who has worked for years with patio funiture, what happened is unusual.

“They’re meant to withstand the -30 to plus 30, so there’s going to be extremes where it’s very, very cold and very, very hot.”

Still, he says most people have moved away from glass tops. Those who haven’t should ensure they’re buying quality tempered glass, he says. Yadlowski also stresses the importance of making sure glass tables are covered during the winter and heavy snow is removed.

Follow @TrishKozicka
-With files from Quinn Ohler, Global News

Burlington flood victims receiving much needed help from neighbours – Toronto

MISSISSAUGA – Flooded Burlington residents are coming to each other’s aid after a record rainstorm flooded much of the city with two month’s worth of rain in just a few hours.

Debbie Hannon’s brother was caring for their elderly mother when the rain started outside of their childhood home.

“He said it filled up the basement in less than a minute,” Hannon said.

The family is now trying to salvage anything they can from the basement of the home.

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She describes, with much affection, helping her late father build the house 60 years ago, when she was a child.

“He gave me my own hammer and nails,” she said. “This would kill him.”

READ MORE: Burlington hit by the worst flooding in nearly 20 years 

She feels consoled however by the sight of her neighbours offering assistance. Some of her neighbours are facing the same heavy task of uncovering years of memories and possessions buried in mud and water.

A thunderstorm poured between 100 and 120 mm of rain on parts of Burlington Monday. 



Burlington residents pump, vacuum and dig out of mess left by Monday flood



Radar timelapse of massive storm that hit Burlington



Burlington cleaning up after record rainstorm


News At Noon Toronto

Burlington cleaning up after record rainstorm


News Final Toronto

Burlington under water



Burlington hit with flooding after heavy rain

When the rain let up, dozens of homes were left flooded, many with severe damage.

Ten-year-old Hannah Dick was visiting her grandmother in Burlington at the time when the storm ended.  There was no damage to her grandmother’s residence, so Hannah set out with her mother to help.

“You have to admit you feel a little guilty looking at them drive by and not doing anything,” Hannah said.

With a broom in hand, the little girl was standing alongside her mother, Kim Haswell, pushing a thick mixture of earthly-brown mud and sludge toward the curb of Mark Palowich’s home – who moved into the home two months ago.

“They’re great – they’re fantastic,” he said, praising the young girl and her mother.

Next door, the Dilworth family has all gathered too to help clean up the mess left in the wake of the storm.

“It was like Niagara Falls,” Mary Dilworth said. “There was a sea of water.”

The family spent the entire day with a gas powered sump pump trying to remove water that reached to the ceiling of the basement.

“Any more and it would have been the whole house,” Mary said.

Winkler mother donates bike to special needs boy – Winnipeg

WINNIPEG — “Yes, yes, yes, a new bike!” Jacob screamed Tuesday afternoon.

The energetic 10-year-old is autistic. His bike with custom-made reinforced training wheels was locked in the backyard of his Elmwood home when it was stolen Saturday night.

When Global viewer Naomi Fehr saw Jacob’s story, she knew she could help.  Her son’s bicycle was practically identical to Jacob’s.

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“I just know how much joy that brought him and to know that joy was taken away from another child, it really impacted me,” Fehr explained.

Fehr’s nine-year-old son Joshua passed away two years ago from cancer. His bike was collecting dust in their Winkler garage. Fehr contacted Global News, asking for help to bring her late son’s bike to Jacob and joy to another boy with special needs.

“Anything that can better the life of someone else, I’m all for it,” Fehr said.

Jacob’s mom, Arlene Reid, was brought to tears when Global News brought the bicycle from Winkler to the Reids’ home in Winnipeg.

“I can’t tell you how much he appreciates this,” Arlene said. “Thank you Joshua. Thank you.”

The bike stolen from the yard was returned to the family on Monday afternoon. But the custom-made cycle was damaged. Spray-painted handle bars, no brakes and no training wheels made it impossible for Jacob to ride.

His mom and dad feared it would take months for the Children’s Rehabilitation Centre to build another.

“When he got his bike back he was distraught. He couldn’t ride it, and he kept coming outside and falling over. With this new bike, he’s got his freedom back again.”

Jacob, ovewhelmed with the generosity, said ” Thanks” to Fehr. And quickly hopped on his bike to take it for a spin.

The Reids told Global News they will be hitting the pavement Wednesday for a family bike ride.

Brantford woman trying to get 8-year-old daughter out of Gaza – Toronto

TORONTO – A Brantford woman is hoping a renewed ceasefire in Gaza will allow her daughter to finally get home.

When Wesam Abuzaiter packed her 8-year-old daughter Salma off for a visit to her homeland she had few worries.  Her husband Hassan, a doctor, was returning to Gaza to work in a hospital and Salma was going with him for the summer.

She would have a chance to stay with her grandmother and see the place where her parents were born:  Gaza City.

The two left in June when the region was relatively peaceful – but in July the crisis exploded and the borders closed.

Hassan Abuzaiter was working 24-hour shifts at the hospital dealing with the wounded.  His mother would tell Wesam not to worry, that the bombs were falling far away.  When pressed for specifics, Hassan’s mother said she meant the next street over.

Communications with Hassan and Salma were sporadic and frustrating but they did make occasional contact via the internet.

READ MORE: Israel, Hamas to negotiate Gaza border deal after truce


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Palestinian-born Toronto doctor daring plan to help Gaza children


Dr. Izzeldin Abuelaish

A Palestinian doctor now teaching at U of T proposes to bring 100 wounded children from Gaza to Ontario for treatment.

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Meanwhile, horrific images were being beamed out of Gaza of wounded and dead children.

“I was watching the news 24/7,” said Abuzaiter in an interview with Global News in her Brantford living room.

“The whole day and the whole night. Every line I was reading it. Because I was afraid.”

She launched frantic and frustrating efforts to get her daughter out of Gaza and reached out to Canada’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs for advice.

There were a couple of humanitarian convoys out of Gaza but Salma was too young to travel on her own and Abuzaiter’s brother was unable to accompany her because of his Palestinian citizenship.

News of the latest ceasefire allowed Abuzaiter to exhale.

“I was so happy. Yesterday night I can tell you was maybe the first time that I had a little bit of a sleep,” she said.

Abuzaiter hopes that the period of relative calm will allow her brother to get out to Egypt with Salma and bring her home to Brantford.

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

WATCH: Experts are just beginning to assess the environmental impacts of the tailings pond breach at the Mount Polley mine and as Linda Aylesworth reports, we’re learning more about what chemicals may be in the tailings.

The bad news: Spilling five million cubic metres of tailings represents a massive failure of a mine-waste storage method designed to be safe and secure for decades (and on whose safety guarantee permission to develop mines is supposed to rest).

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

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The good news: It’s rare – “very rare,” says University of British Columbia groundwater hydrologist Leslie Smith.

“Any breach at all would be a rare event.”

The big uncertainty: Just about everything – what was in the suspended solids in the mass of spilled sludge; how far it went; whether it can be cleaned up; how much risk it poses right now; and what impact it will have on the environment, animals and humans – from spawning salmon to drinking humans – over the long term.

READ MORE: What 5 million cubic metres of tailings looks like

The tailings are what’s left over when Imperial Metals is done extracting, in this case, gold and copper from its Mount Polley mine. And any risk posed by the wall of slurry that flowed out of the tailings pond Monday comes down to what’s in it – what’s in the water, and what’s in the solids muddying it up.

“You can’t assume that every pond … is toxic,” Smith said. “The impact of the release has to be assessed. We can’t assume it’s terrible; we can’t assume it’s benign.”

Indeed, Imperial Metals has said the water in its tailings pond “is not toxic” and is “very close to drinking water. … The water itself is relatively benign.” The suspended solids that spilled along with it, however, may be another story.

The first good news: According to Imperial Metals, the tailings water was alkaline, not acidic, with a pH of 8.5 (7 is neutral; anything below 7 is acidic). Most metals dissolve faster in acidic water, so alkaline tailings are a good thing.

But it still isn’t clear how much of a risk the spilled tailings pose, or even how far they reached.

READ MORE: Tailings pond breach has eco-tour operators worried

An Environment Canada filing from Mount Polley Mine lists all the substances disposed of in the tailings pond – including manganese, cadmium, phosphorous and mercury. But to get a really good idea of the massive spill’s impact and toxicity, you’d need to know how mobile those substances are.

In the immediate term, the biggest concern is what was in the water itself, Smith said.

“If you’re a fish in Quesnel Lake, what you’re going to be exposed to first is what was  in the tailings pond water, not what was in the tailings themselves,” he said.

But in the longer term, any suspended solids left in the environment could cause problems.

“Those will start to weather and potentially release metals and we need to figure out what the concentrations of that would be,” he said. “Every mining company I know knows what’s in their pond.”

Cleanup, if it’s feasible, could be pretty basic: Think “truck and shovel,” Smith said, to recover any solids.

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

In the minds of environmental groups who’ve been fighting the development of similar mines from B.C. to Newfoundland, Monday’s massive breach proves there’s no safe way to dispose of the gunky leftovers from open-pit mines.

“A spill like that is devastating,” said Leila Darwish, B.C. and Yukon organizer for the Council of Canadians. And for many, the uncertainty’s the worst part.

“People don’t know the extent of the contamination, how far its moved into different water systems … what’s going to happen to that sludge.”

Darwish hopes the fallout from this spill will give ammunition to communities that oppose mining development near them.

“The safe thing would be not to have these mines,” she said. “What we’re risking is too high.”

Roger Beckie, hydrologist and head of UBC’s Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences department, isn’t so hasty.

“I don’t think there’s a need for a general panic but we have to learn what happened here … and how we can improve. Because this is not acceptable.”

Substances listed as disposed “on-site” in Imperial Metals’ 2013 Mount Polley Mine report (Note: We still don’t know how mobile these solids were, how much was in water, and how much spilled as solids in Monday’s massive breach)

Phosphorus – 41,640 tonnesManganese – 20,988 tonnesCopper – 18,413 tonnesVanadium – 5,047 tonnesZinc – 2,169 tonnesCobalt – 475 tonnesNickel – 326 tonnesAntimony – 14 tonnesArsenic – 406,122 kgLead – 177,041 kgSelenium – 46,136 kgCadmium – 6,487 kgMercury – 3,114 kg

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Rob Ford musical finds its star

TORONTO – After campaigning nearly as hard as a candidate in Toronto’s mayoral race, Sheldon Bergstrom of Prince Albert, Sask., has landed the role of Rob Ford in an upcoming new musical comedy about the city’s embattled mayor.

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“I’ve been fascinated by him for a long time,” the actor-singer-comedian told The Canadian Press on Tuesday. “All across Canada, all throughout the world, people are watching this man, this mayor of … Canada’s greatest city, and he has managed to pull off some amazing things and pull off some crazy things in his time as mayor.”

“Rob Ford the Musical: Birth of A Ford Nation” is set to debut at Toronto’s Factory Theatre from Sept. 16 to 28.

The 90-minute show has 10 original tunes and sees a “spiritual guide” leading Ford through the past year of his tumultuous life — including his admitted drug use and stint in rehab.

Bergstrom, 42, said he was starring in the musical “Hairspray” in Edmonton when auditions for the role of Ford were held earlier this summer, so he wrote to the producers and creators “and begged them and pleaded” for an opportunity to try out.

When they agreed, he sent them “love letters” as well as a video of him singing “Mustang Sally” and what he calls “a Rob Ford version” of Amy Winehouse’s “Rehab.”

He later sent them more videos and had friends, family members and fellow actors from across Canada campaign for him via Facebook and 桑拿会所.

Producers say he ended up winning the role over nearly 100 other hopeful actors, including one who’s starring on Broadway.

“He’s kind of like a Shakespearean cartoon character,” Bergstrom said at the Factory Theatre, wearing a Ford-esque suit complete with a red tie and a handkerchief to wipe the perspiration off his forehead.

“I am so lucky to be playing him.”

Bergstrom said he was also keen on getting the part because he wanted to work on a new musical and had long been wanting to collaborate with book/lyrics writers Brett McCaig and P. Joseph Regan, as well as composer Anthony Bastianon.

The portly performer also bears a resemblance to Ford — something he’s further emphasized by cutting his brown hair short and dyeing it blond.

McCaig said that resemblance, as well as Bergstrom’s talent, got him the part.

“Sheldon has been very genuine. We looked all over Canada and we saw a ton of people and he was the perfect Rob Ford.”

Liz Gilroy directs the show, which has several other recognizable characters, including councillor brother Doug Ford and novelist Margaret Atwood. She’ll be played by Lisa Horner, who recently made a splash as Madame Thenardier in a Toronto production of “Les Miserables.”

Bergstrom said before landing his part, he was mostly familiar with Ford’s “dark side” — the “crazy antics” he’d catch on the news in Saskatchewan.

“Every once in a while they’ll show him exploding in the middle of a city meeting and just scaring people to death, and I would think: ‘First of all, that guy looks like me, and second of all, he’s kind of crazy, someone should write a show about him.’”

McCaig said they only recently wrote the last few pages of the script, as they were waiting to see if Ford’s life would take yet another unexpected turn.

“We’ve got the ending … but we’re leaving room for possible antics,” he said.

He also put a “shout out” to the Ford brothers to see the show but hasn’t heard back, he added.

“I’d love Rob to come down and give the opening-night speech or the closing-night speech. This is not 90 minutes of Ford bashing. It’s a balanced look at the whole year, of all the players in it.”

Bergstrom is happy the script gives Ford “a fair shake.”

“I don’t want him to feel like he’s been picked on and made fun of. It’s not about that,” he said. “This is a musical comedy, so there’s certainly some jabs, but the best thing about the script is that nobody is safe.”

McCaig said he’s hoping the show will have an extension, and he has ambitions of going off-Broadway with the production — depending on how the mayoral race turns out.

“The story dies if Rob doesn’t get voted back in,” he said. “If Rob gets voted back in, I think we’ve got legs for a continued run, for sure.”

— Follow @VictoriaAhearn on 桑拿会所.


Online: robfordthemusical桑拿按摩

©2014The Canadian Press

‘They were lucky’: Paramedics talk about helping family struck by lightning – Toronto

TORONTO – The paramedics who helped save a family who was hit by lighting in Monday’s storm say the victims are lucky to be alive.

“They were lucky. We were lucky. It was a good outcome. There are many cases where it’s not,” said paramedic Alan Williams.

Williams and his partner, Lindsey Inwood, were the first ones to arrive. They had to work under a severe storm to help the victims. In fact, while emergency officials were on the scene, another bolt of lightning hit just metres away.

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“There is no way you could not hear it. You heard it. Felt it,” said Williams. “It was an amazing amount of energy. We were almost joking afterwards it was biblical.”

Inwood said paramedics were taking one of the victims to a truck when the lightning struck.

“The bolt hit the tree and possibly the ambulance and disabled the truck right there. No one was in the truck luckily,” said Inwood.

The family was enjoying a picnic at Morningside Park when the severe storm moved in. According to Toronto Police Service, four of the family members took refuge under a tree at a picnic table. Witnesses say lightning struck the tree.

“It’s possible it wasn’t a direct hit. The bolt comes down and sprays off a bunch of different electrical currents, so they might not have had the full effect of the lightning bolt,” said Inwood.

What happens when a person is struck by lightning

Health officials say the effects of a lightning strike on the body can range from mild to severe. Dr. Tony Stone with Lakeridge Health said the biggest risk is when you have a big shock to the heart and your heart stops. But there are minor strikes.

“With more minor strikes you can have brief loss of consciousness, confusion, memory loss, tingling and numbness,” said Dr. Stone.

Moderate strikes, he said, can impact the body even more.

“You might have a lot of muscle pain with it, and you can have other neurological features as well. You might have some ongoing lingering effects like irritability, tingling and numbness,” he said.

Witnesses say Monday’s storm came very suddenly. The lightning came soon after the downpour of rain. While some may seek shelter from the rain under a tree, Dr. Stone said that is not the best spot.

“Lightning tends to try and find the highest point,” he said. “What will happen is strikes will hit the tree but have a perimeter. A lot of injuries actually occur when the energy’s actually transmitted from an object to you”

Dr. Stone said only 5 per cent of injuries are caused by direct strikes, so he recommends seeking shelter indoors.

The family of four were all transported to a nearby hospital with non-life threatening injuries. Paramedics say it’s a miracle everyone is okay.

“It’s definitely something you remember. It’s one of those calls you can’t stop talking about,” said Inwood.

Petition launched to end animal trapping in Calgary parks – Calgary

CALGARY- Calls for the city to change its animal control methods are growing, after a beaver was caught in a body grip in a trap in Fish Creek Park.

Last month, park users were horrified to come across the animal struggling to free itself.

“There were still days after when I still felt so distraught, and I still have a vision in my mind of seeing that beaver,” remembers Linda Lelonde, who found the beaver. “Finding out that it was possibly chewing off its leg, it’s so disturbing that an animal was put in a position to do that.”

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  • Animal lover furious after beaver found trapped in Calgary park

A petition has since been launched to get the city to end their trapping practices, which already has over six hundred names.

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The city says the trap was set to stop the beaver from blocking a culvert and potentially flooding a foot path.

“It would be irresponsible for the City of Calgary to allow beaver activity to occur in areas where the safety of the public is put at risk, or there’s damage to public infrastructure,” explains James Borrow from Integrated Pest Management for the City of Calgary.

He adds they plan to review the case.

“We would always be interested in looking at how we would mitigate damage. As I said, this is part of an ongoing program that the city does in any case. We always look at our current practices and how we may improve.”

Councillor Diane Colley-Urquhart would also like to see an end to the practice, and plans to bring a motion before council in September.

-With files from Tracy Nagai

What you need to know about sleep deprivation – Toronto

Watch above: Dr. Samir Gupta explains what you need to know about sleep deprivation. 

TORONTO – The former English Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher was known for working long days, sleeping very little and once said “sleep is for wimps.”

New research suggests some people with a genetic mutation might have more in common with the former prime minister than they might like.

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Scientists at the Centre for Applied Genomics in Philadelphia recently discovered that some people can get by with less than the recommended amount of sleep due to a genetic mutation to the so-called “clock gene.”

“They focused in on a set of genes called the clock genes that seem to regulate our sleep-wake cycles,” Global News medical contributor Dr. Samir Gupta said. “On average, the people who have this [genetic mutation] seem to require one hour less of sleep than people who don’t have it.”

The scientists studied a group of 100 people and found those with the genetic mutation performed mental tasks better than those without after 38 hours without sleep, and needed roughly 90 minutes less than those without the variant to recover from the sleep deprivation.

But the study didn’t look at whether the genetic variant prevents the damaging effects of chronic sleep deprivation.

So does this mean you can get by with less than the recommended 8 hours? Not so fast. Gupta is quick to point out that there have been numerous studies detailing the detrimental effects of sleep deprivation.

But he did note there’s no scientific evidence pointing to a blanket recommendation of how much sleep people should get.

Samir Gupta’s five facts about sleep deprivation:

1. There are acute effects

The acute effects of sleep deprivation are wide-ranging and can include increased response time, decreased attention span and problems with logical reasoning.

But a lack of sleep can also affect a person’s mood and judgement or lead to increased accidents at work and on the road.

In fact, data obtained by Global News showed a spike in pedestrian injuries in the week following the fall daylight saving time, when clocks are pushed back an hour.

2. There are chronic effects

A routine lack of sleep has been associated with a increased risk of high blood pressure and cardiovascular problems including heart attacks.

Gupta suggests less hours spent sleeping can impair a person’s immune system and increase their susceptibility to the common cold.

There is also an association between chronic sleep deprivation and obesity, Gupta said.

3. It’s not just how many hours you’re asleep that’s important

The quality of your sleep is just as important as the amount of time.  Researchers at Tel Aviv University’s School of Psychological Sciences found a link between interrupted sleep and cognitive impairment.

“Even if you get eight hours, if you’re awoken four times in that eight-hour sleep period, your disruption in function the next day is as much as if you had only four hours of sleep,” Gupta said. “We want uninterrupted sleep.”

4. Turn off your cellphone

“We know light affects our day-night cycle, or our circadian rhythm, but particularly the short-wave or blue light from cellphones has a strong impact,” Gupta said.

The light emitted from a cellphone can suppress the production of melatonin, Gupta said, a hormone which regulates a person’s circadian rhythm.

5. Everybody’s different 

Each person will need a different amount of sleep – whether or not they have a genetic variant that will allow them to spend more time outside of the bedroom.

“I think people need to be practical about it,” Gupta said. “If you’re falling asleep when you don’t want to fall asleep, if you’re sleepy all day, if you’re not refreshed in the morning, you’re probably not getting enough sleep.”

Gallery: JAMBANA One World Festival 2014 – Toronto

The JAMBANA One World Festival took place on Sunday August 3 and Monday August 4, 2014 at the Markham Fairgrounds. Global’s Carolyn MacKenzie hosted a portion of the event on Sunday and brought her husband and kids along to enjoy the event. The festival had a family-friendly atmosphere with exciting entertainment, delicious food and plenty of activities for the whole family.

On Monday, Global News had a tent on site with face painting and colouring for kids as well as a photo booth where festival-goers could take photos on a neat JAMABNA background featuring Carolyn MacKenzie.

Despite a little rain on Monday, attendees were in great spirits and enjoyed all the fun and entertainment the festival offered.

Photo from Global News’ JAMBANA One World Festival “photo booth”

Global News

Photo from Global News’ JAMBANA One World Festival “photo booth”

Global News

Photo from Global News’ JAMBANA One World Festival “photo booth”

Global News

Photo from Global News’ JAMBANA One World Festival “photo booth”

Global News

Photo from Global News’ JAMBANA One World Festival “photo booth”

Global News

Photo from Global News’ JAMBANA One World Festival “photo booth”

Global News

Photo from Global News’ JAMBANA One World Festival “photo booth”

Global News

Photo from Global News’ JAMBANA One World Festival “photo booth”

Global News

Photo from Global News’ JAMBANA One World Festival “photo booth”

Global News

Photo from Global News’ JAMBANA One World Festival “photo booth”

Global News

Photo from Global News’ JAMBANA One World Festival “photo booth”

Global News

Photo from Global News’ JAMBANA One World Festival “photo booth”

Global News

Photo from Global News’ JAMBANA One World Festival “photo booth”

Global News

Photo from Global News’ JAMBANA One World Festival “photo booth”

Global News

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