Teens say parkour keeping them fit and out of trouble

first_imgMatt Thordarson APTN National NewsYouTube videos have helped turn the sport of parkour into a craze.Now the practice is catching on with Indigenous youth who are making their own videos, often from remote communities.It’s an activity that encourages getting active and keeping fit.mthordarson@aptn.calast_img

Oil giant Chevron needs no costs protection from poor Ecuadorians court told

first_imgTORONTO – Forcing a group of Ecuadorian villagers to come up with almost $1 million before they can pursue a claim against oil behemoth Chevron would deprive them of access to justice, Ontario’s top court heard Wednesday.The notion that Chevron, which makes billions a year, needs to be protected from legal costs if the Indigenous Ecuadorians lose their fight is absurd, their lawyer said.The villagers are asking the Canadian courts to make Chevron Canada pay a hard-fought US$9.5-billion award they won in Ecuador in 2013 over environmental devastation and the health problems caused. The Supreme Court has said the group’s case can be heard here.However, an Ontario judge ruled Chevron Canada is a separate entity and can’t be held liable for the judgment against its parent. The Ecuadorians are appealing that ruling, but a judge has ordered them to first put up $943,000 to cover Chevron’s legal costs if they lose.Alan Lenczner, who speaks for 37 of the 47 representative plaintiffs, told the Ontario Court of Appeal that the “prohibitive” costs order should be set aside so the appeal can proceed on its merits.“How can it be just that these plaintiffs are denied an appeal?” Lenczner said. “An order for security for costs is an ultimate barrier preventing justice.”In his submissions, Chevron Canada’s lawyer Benjamin Zarnett said the judge’s discretionary costs order was fair. The villagers led no evidence to show they don’t have the money to pay the costs, despite having had the opportunity to do so, he said.Chevron won in the lower court and must now respond to an appeal and is therefore “entitled to a measure of protection” for its legal costs, Zarnett argued. In addition, he said, the judge found the Ecuadorians did not have a strong chance of winning on appeal.“It is not a case that has a good chance of success,” Zarnett said.Lenczner argued, however, that Chevron’s request for a security deposit was merely a tactic. He said the Ecuadorians had gone through an “epic struggle” to win their award in Ecuador.That money, Lenczner said, would not go to the plaintiffs but instead would be put in trust and used to remediate the lands and water, and improve their health conditions.“These people have nothing personally to gain other than good health,” he said.Chevron, Lenczner said, with 1,500 subsidiaries and $225 billion annual revenues, does not need the $943,000 security deposit from Ecuadorians, whose average income is about $20 a day.The villagers first sued in 1993 after Texaco, later bought by Chevron, polluted about 1,500 square kilometres of rain forest, fouling streams, drinking water and garden plots.Both Ontario’s Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court have recognized the region in which the “poor and vulnerable” Ecuadorians live has suffered extensive environmental pollution that seriously disrupted their lives.Lenczner noted the initial action was launched in the United States. However, Chevron successfully argued for the case to be heard in Ecuador.The company insists the award in the case was obtained fraudulently, citing rulings in the U.S. it says supports that contention. However, the American decisions did not invalidate the Ecuadorian judgment, Lenczner told the Appeal Court panel.The Canadian action, begun in 2012, aims to have Chevron Canada pay the US$9.5-billion award on the basis that it has a “significant” relationship with its parent. It cannot be the case that a company can hide behind a subsidiary to avoid its creditors, Lenczner said.Rock legend Roger Waters, who spoke in favour of the Ecuadorians outside court on Tuesday, took in part of the proceedings Wednesday wearing a jacket with “Resist.” emblazoned on the back.The Appeal Court reserved its decision on the security deposit.last_img read more

Small fire breaks out at the Country Side Apartments in Fort St

first_imgFORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The Fort St. John Fire Department was called to a fire Sunday afternoon at the Country Side Apartments on 86 street.Firefighters were called after residents saw smoke on the third floor of the building.  Upon arrival, firefighters cleared the building. They found light smoke in one apartment and discovered the smoke was coming from a bathroom fan.  Once firefighters opened the roof, they were able to quickly knock down the fire in the attic of the building. No one was home in the unit at the time.  There was minimal damage done to the unit, but residents will need to find another place to stay while repairs are made.The exact cause of the fire remains under investigation.last_img

Vast majority of public remain exposed to dangerous secondhand smoke – UN

The World Health Organization (WHO) report noted that last year some 154 million more people no longer endured tobacco smoke in workplaces, restaurants, bars and other indoor spaces as Colombia, Djibouti, Guatemala, Mauritius, Panama, Turkey and Zambia implemented comprehensive smoke-free laws.However, only 5.4 per cent of the world’s population was covered in 2008 by such legislation, up from 3.1 per cent in 2007, according to the 2009 WHO report on the Global Tobacco Epidemic.“The fact that more than 94 per cent of people remain unprotected by comprehensive smoke-free laws shows that much more work needs to be done,” said WHO Assistant Director-General for Non-communicable Diseases and Mental Health Ala Alwan. “Urgent action is needed to protect people from the death and illness caused by exposure to tobacco smoke,” added Dr. Alwan, stressing that there is “no safe level of exposure to second-hand tobacco smoke.”WHO chose to make smoke-free environments the focus of the report not only because second-hand smoking kills, but it also causes crippling and disfiguring illnesses, as well as economic losses amounting to tens of billions of dollars annually.In addition, the report tracks the global tobacco epidemic, providing evidence showing where interventions aiming to reduce tobacco consumption have been effective and where more progress is needed. It also gives figures on tobacco use in individual countries as well as information about cigarette taxation, bans on tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship, support for treatment of tobacco dependence, enforcement of tobacco-free laws and monitoring of the epidemic.“Comprehensive tobacco control will help countries to reduce the rising number of heart attacks, strokes, cancers and other non-communicable diseases,” said Douglas Bettcher, Director of the WHO Tobacco Free Initiative.“People need more than to be told that tobacco is bad for human health,” said Dr. Bettcher. He said they need governments to implement the 2005 WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, which has been ratified by nearly 170 countries.Tobacco use continues to be the leading preventable cause of death, killing more than 5 million people per year, and unless urgent measures are taken to control the tobacco epidemic, the annual death toll could rise to 8 million by 2030, according to the WHO report. 9 December 2009The vast majority of the world’s population is still exposed to the harmful effects of second-hand smoke, responsible for 600,000 premature deaths annually, despite the ban on smoking in public places being extended to seven more countries last year, a United Nations report warns today. read more

UN chief honours civic servants on Public Service Day

23 June 2010Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon paid tribute today to public servants around the world who use their services on behalf of their towns, cities, or countries, and called on young citizens everywhere to explore dynamic and diverse careers in public service. “Public service is not always an easy career choice to make, but it can be immensely rewarding for the opportunity it offers to get involved in addressing the challenges of our time,” the Secretary-General said in a message in observance of Public Service Day.“In an era of increasingly complex challenges, from climate change to food insecurity and the financial and economic crisis, the world needs its public servants to be more creative and talented than ever.”The UN General Assembly designated 23 June “to celebrate the value and virtue of public service to the community” and to encourage young people to pursue careers in the public sector.“We need to recruit into the public service an ever-increasing tide of ambitious youth who want to use their technological and scientific skills for the common good if we are to defeat poverty, disease, illiteracy and gender inequality and achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by 2015,” Mr. Ban said.In recognition of the Day, the UN honours 23 public institutions – from Asia and the Pacific, Europe and North America, Western Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean – with the UN Public Service Awards.The awards are divided into four categories: improving transparency, accountability and responsiveness in the public service; improving the delivery of services; fostering participation in policymaking decisions through innovative mechanisms; and advancing knowledge management in government.This year’s awards ceremony and forum are focused on the theme of “The Role of Public Service in Achieving the Millennium Development Goals: Challenges and Best Practices,” and will be held in Barcelona, Spain.The awards are organized by the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA), the Division for Public Administration and Development Management (DPADM) and the Government of Catalonia. read more

Final day of Enbridge Line 9 pipeline hearings cancelled over security concerns

TORONTO — The final day of hearings on a proposal to reverse the flow of a pipeline that runs between southern Ontario and Montreal were cancelled Saturday due to security concerns.But that didn’t deter hundreds of protesters who rallied outside the site of the scrapped hearing to oppose Enbridge’s plan to reverse its Line 9 and increase its capacity to carry crude oil.“They try to make it seem like we’re not going to have a spill. And it’s very likely that a spill will happen somewhere along this line,” said protester Nigel Barriffe, who lives near Line 9 in northwest Toronto.Enbridge was to make its closing submissions to the National Energy Board on its plan to reverse the line and increase the pipeline’s capacity to move crude oil.But the National Energy Board announced late Friday that Saturday’s hearings were off, saying the way the previous day’s hearings ended raised concerns about the security of participants. Protesters were out in force for Friday’s panel hearing, but there was no violence during that demonstration or Saturday’s rally.The NEB didn’t provide a date for when Enbridge will present its closing arguments.Protest organizer Amanda Lickers said the NEB should have found a way to let Enbridge make its case in support of the reversal.“I think that if they were really concerned about security they could have still done it over the web… there could have been ways to make the presentation happen.”The panel heard this week from interveners stating the reversal would put First Nations communities at risk, threaten water supplies and could endanger vulnerable species in ecologically sensitive areas.Jan Morrissey of a Toronto residents’ group showed up early Saturday morning for the hearing, only to learn it was cancelled.Morrissey said she’s disappointed she won’t get to hear Enbridge’s final reply to arguments made to the board by critics of the reversal.“It’s sort of like reading a book and not getting to see the last chapter,” she said.The reversal would increase the line’s capacity to 300,000 barrels of crude oil per day, up from the current 240,000 barrels.Enbridge has also asked for permission to move different types of oil, including a heavier form of crude from the Alberta oilsands.Opponents claim the crude Enbridge wants to transport is more corrosive and will stress the aging infrastructure and increase the chance of a leak.But Enbridge has said what will flow through the line will not be a raw oilsands product — although there will be a mix of light crude and processed bitumen.Line 9 originally shuttled oil from Sarnia, Ont., to Montreal but was reversed in the late 90s in response to market conditions to pump imported crude westward.Enbridge is now proposing to flow oil back eastward to service refineries in Ontario and Quebec. read more

Embassy rejects claims on Paris killing

Mathinthiran was shot at least three times when he was leaving the office of the TCC at Pyrenees in Paris 20, reports said. Mathinthiran was given with the nom de guerre Reagon when he joined the LTTE in 1983. He received his military training in the 2nd batch of the LTTE’s training programme provided by India. Some of his batch mates in the training camp in India were Kumarappa, Bhanu, Ranjan Lala and Vasu, reports said.Reagon took part in the early operations of the LTTE against the military in Mannar, Jaffna and Vanni. He was a middle-level commander when he left the LTTE in the early 90’s. “It would not be appropriate for me to comment on something that is obviously under investigation by the French authorities, except to say that the culture of lethal violence of the Tiger/pro-Tiger milieu seems to be very much intact. It is this culture of violence that exercises tremendous psychological coercion upon and within the Tamil Diaspora and prevents the emergence of truly democratic, pluralist politics. As for the ridiculous accusations by certain pro-secessionist propagandist websites, I am quite certain that the French law enforcement authorities will investigate this crime and identify, apprehend and prosecute the perpetrators as well as those behind it,” he said. The Sri Lankan Embassy in France termed as “ridiculous” accusations that the military intelligence was behind the assassination of a former LTTE commander in France.Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to France, Dayan Jayatilleka, told The Sunday Leader that the French law enforcement authorities are investigating the incident.Nadarajah Mathinthiran alias Parithi, an ex-LTTE commander who had left the movement in the early 90′s and later coordinated Tamil political activities in France since 2003, was killed on Thursday evening outside the office of the Tamil Coordinating Committee (TCC) in Paris. read more

Story of deadly Boston Marathon bombings massive manhunt leads to big week

AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email Story of deadly Boston Marathon bombings, massive manhunt leads to big week for news networks NEW YORK, N.Y. – The deadly Boston Marathon bombings and the massive manhunt for two suspects made for a big week in television news.Fox News Channel had higher prime-time ratings than any other cable network last week for the first time since the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in 2005.The Nielsen ratings company said on Tuesday that Fox eclipsed the second-place USA Network by a quarter-million viewers on average. CNN also was buoyed by the big story and finished in third place.The ABC, CBS and NBC evening news broadcasts collectively had 3.6 million more viewers than they had the week before.Two bombs near the marathon finish line killed three people and injured more than 260 others. Two brothers were identified as the prime suspects. One died after a shootout with police, and the other was captured. by David Bauder, The Associated Press Posted Apr 23, 2013 4:08 pm MDT read more

World Cup Crib Notes Day 12

It’s time for the last round of the group stage, which means the complex hypothetical scenarios for how each team will finish in each group will finally achieve resolution. The Netherlands and Chile are already guaranteed a trip to the Round of 16, but whom will they face? It depends on who wins and what happens in Group A, where Brazil isn’t yet guaranteed a berth. If the Selecao do make it, it’s not clear whether they’ll be first or second in their group, which means it’s not clear how it’s best to avoid Brazil in the next round, which means it’s not clear whether the Netherlands or Chile want to win or lose, which means … oh, God. Somebody pass the remote.Australia vs. Spain: 12 p.m. EDTNetherlands vs. Chile: 12 p.m. EDTCameroon vs. Brazil: 4 p.m. EDTCroatia vs. Mexico: 4 p.m. EDTIN BRIEFSee our World Cup predictions for the latest probabilities.IN DEPTHOnce you find a remote, choose your television’s picture-in-picture option. Without it, a choice must be made: there are two sets of overlapping games Monday. Ignore the Australia-Spain match, unless you have an affinity for fallen dynasties or former penal colonies. Australia’s star striker, Tim Cahill (he of the gunpowder foot), is barred from playing because of back-to-back yellow cards in the Socceroos’ previous two games. And Spain’s two losses against the Netherlands and Chile have taken 3.36 points off its Soccer Power Index (SPI) mark — still good for eighth in the world, but that doesn’t matter anymore. Sixteen teams are going on to the knockout round, and Spain’s not one of them.The more important noon match is in Sao Paolo, Brazil, where the Netherlands and Chile have everything to play for and nothing to lose. The two teams are separated by only a 1.56-point gap in the SPI rankings (Chile is fifth in the world; Netherlands seventh), and both teams have already earned six points in the group and a spot in the Round of 16. But what happens in this game sets other events in motion come the next round. Chile has a 40 percent chance of beating the Dutch, according to our model, which would place it No. 1 in Group B and mean it would play the No. 2 finisher from Group A (Brazil, Mexico, Croatia and Cameroon’s group). If the Dutch can overcome those odds to win (they have a 33 percent chance), they’ll nab the top slot. If the two teams tie, they’ll have the same number of points but the Dutch will own the top position because of their higher goal differential (+5 to +4). In other words, the Dutch have about a 60 percent chance of being the No. 1 seed, even though the most likely outcome of the game is that they lose.But whom will the Netherlands and Chile play? One will probably be playing Brazil, unless Cameroon pulls off the biggest surprise of the tournament. The Indomitable Lions have a 2 percent chance of beating Brazil. That’s about the same chance as No. 16 seed Weber State had of beating No. 1 seed Arizona in the 2014 NCAA men’s basketball tournament, and far less than the 9 percent chance Mitt Romney had of beating President Obama in 2012 (according to an Election Day read from FiveThirtyEight prime). Neither overcame the odds.If Cameroon can’t win, a tie could upend the group’s seedings. Brazil would finish with five points and a +2 goal differential, meaning it wouldn’t be guaranteed the top slot coming out of Group A, but it would make it to the next round.But if Brazil wins, which it has a 90 percent chance of doing, it isn’t guaranteed the top slot. That depends on what happens when Croatia and Mexico face off as Brazil and Cameroon are still on the pitch.The winner of Croatia vs. Mexico will advance to the Round of 16. If Mexico beats Croatia by two goals more than Brazil beats Cameroon, then Mexico will be the top seed. (There’s another, unlikely scenario that has Mexico beating Croatia by only one more goal than Brazil and Cameroon’s margin that can still give Mexico the top seed, but we’re dealing with enough scenarios already.) For what it’s worth, FiveThirtyEight’s model predicts that Brazil will beat Cameroon by about three goals more than Croatia beats Mexico.What we do know for sure: Croatia almost certainly needs a win (a 39 percent chance) — a tie will work only if Brazil loses, and we know the odds of that happening (2 percent, remember?). If Croatia loses, it’ll be out of the tournament; if it ties, advancement will be a long shot.Mexico is in better position: All it needs to do is tie or win (31 percent chance), and it’ll go on to the knockout stage. I’d say that’s the simplest of scenarios, but it gets complicated again when we try to predict whom Mexico will face in the Round of 16. That depends on the outcome of the Netherlands and Chile match … which brings us back to the beginning.YESTERDAYFalling behind the Portuguese was not the start the U.S. wanted Sunday. Entering the match, Portugal had never failed to win a World Cup match when scoring first (11-0-0), and the U.S. had never won when allowing the first goal (0-16-4).After conceding the goal, the United States played well for the rest of the first half, eclipsing its shot total from the entire Ghana match, but trailed 1-0 at the break. This also was cause for concern, because Portugal had won all eight of its World Cup matches when leading at halftime, whereas the U.S. had earned only one point in 15 tries when trailing at half (2010 vs. Slovenia).The Americans’ equalizer came from an unlikely source. Jermaine Jones scored for the first time in 27 matches for his country and did so on a shot from outside the penalty area. It was the third goal the U.S. has scored from outside the box since the 1950 World Cup.Clint Dempsey gave the U.S. the lead with his sixth touch in the attacking penalty area, which led all players in the match, but the Americans could not hold the lead. Silvestre Varela’s goal at 90 minutes + 4:33 is the latest recorded World Cup goal in a 90-minute match. The equalizer came on a cross by Cristiano Ronaldo, his only cross attempt of the match. Still, it was one more cross than the Americans completed; they were 0 for 14.Portugal completed 85.2 percent of its passes, the second-highest percentage allowed by the U.S. in a World Cup match since 1950. The highest was 85.9 percent in a 2-1 win against Colombia 20 years ago to the day.Portugal took the early lead on Nani’s fifth-minute goal, the seventh World Cup goal the U.S. has allowed in the first five minutes of a match — the most in World Cup history. All of those goals have come since 1998, and they have come in six of the U.S.’s past 15 matches.The goal came on a defensive error by Geoff Cameron, who was playing at center back. Cameron did not make a defensive error leading to goal in 37 Premier League matches for Stoke City this season, but his primary position for the Potters was right back. — Jacob Nitzberg, senior stats analyst, ESPN OFF THE PITCHThe Netherlands and Chile have a track record of cooperation, particularly when it comes to research. There have been multiple joint research projects in recent years, which have focused on things such as improving Chilean flower bulbs, implementing water recycling and reuse and understanding how Antarctic seals ingest plastics. But that relationship doesn’t extend to cross-migration or cross-tourism. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development shows that only 147 Chileans migrated to the Netherlands in 2011; 81 Dutch moved the other way. Similarly, Chile’s Ministry of Economy, Development and Tourism shows that 17,374 Dutch visited Chile in 2011 — just 0.1 percent of the Netherlands’ population at the time. The Netherlands doesn’t provide data on Chilean tourism specifically.  — Hayley MunguiaFURTHER READINGHow the Portugal Draw Boost the U.S.’s World Cup OddsNumbers Don’t Back Up the Notion that American Soccer Is ‘Too Honest’CORRECTION (June 23, 11:58 a.m.): An earlier version of this article misstated the position Geoff Cameron played for Stoke City; he played right back, not right midfield. read more

Cleaning up the Con

first_imgMiramar Mining has successfully re-started the autoclave at the Con mine as part of its ongoing reclamation activity at the mine in Yellowknife, Canada. The autoclave will process all of the remaining arsenic bearing sludges and calcines left on site from historic roaster operations prior to Miramar’s ownership of the mine. This process will generate an environmentally safe and stable arsenic mineral called scorodite. This final stabilization of all of the remaining arsenic sludges and calcines is expected to be completed in the third quarter of 2007 paving the way for the final cleaning and demolition of the surface processing facilities at the Con mine (the blend plant, the mill and the autoclave) in late 2007 or early 2008.After a four year period and the contributions of a working group comprised of technical experts representing the federal and territorial governments, the City of Yellowknife, the Stanton Regional Health Board, local Aboriginal groups and other stakeholders, the Closure and Reclamation Plan for Con Mine was approved by the McKenzie Valley Land and Water Board. “Although clean up activities have been underway for some time, we are pleased to be in a position to officially start reclamation of the Con mine following the recent approval of the Con Mine Closure and Reclamation Plan by the Mackenzie Valley Land and Water Board.” said Tony Walsh, Miramar’s President and CEO. “Although mining at the Con has come to an end, we look forward to continuing our partnership with the City of Yellowknife, the Northwest Territory and it’s constituents for many years to come. We endeavour to maintain a high level of environmental stewardship in all of our activities and operations.”Miramar also announced the launch of a website dedicated to communicating the status and progress of reclamation at the Con Mine to all residents of Yellowknife and to the public at large. This site can be accessed at the following internet address: http://www.conmine.ca/s/Home.asp . Provision has been incorporated at this site for Yellowknife residents to request information from Miramar on the status of its reclamation activity at the Con site.Miramar also congratulated the N.W.T. Mining Heritage Society on their publication of a new history book entitled “Con Mine – A Pictorial History“. It is more than just a history book, Miramar says, in that the book was designed primarily as a photo history combined with stories of the many people who lived and worked at the Con. The book will be distributed to former and current Con employees (many of which contributed to the book with their stories and photographs). The book will also be sold as a fundraising vehicle through the NWT and Nunavut Chamber of Mines, the Northern Frontier Visitors Centre or directly through the Heritage Society for C$20.00 a copy. Miramar commissioned and funded the book as a dedication to the Con mine and to the City of Yellowknife.Larry Connell, General Manager Environment, Miramar Mining, Tel: (604) 985-2572 Fax: (604) 980-0731Toll Free: 1-800-663-8780 Email: info@miramarmining.comlast_img read more