Russian born figure skater Andrei Rogozine gives Canada first men’s junior title since 1978

Andrei Rogozine/Source here

Sotnikova, Rogozine win titles at junior worlds
Posted 7h 29m ago |

GANGNEUNG, South Korea (AP) — Andrei Rogozine gave Canada its first men’s junior title since 1978 (…)

(…)

Rogozine had been third after the short program. But a season’s best 132.86 points in the free skate gave him 200.13 points overall and the title. Keiji Tanaka of Japan finished second and Alexander Majorov was third, giving Sweden its first medal at junior worlds.

(…)

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

Matthew Li of Surrey’s Fraser Heights Secondary wins the Postmedia Canspell competition at Vancouver’s Chan Centre

The winner’s name of Canspell Regional Bee is spelled Li
By Tiffany Crawford, Vancouver Sun March 5, 2011 6:32 PM

Matthew Li of Surrey’s Fraser Heights Secondary celebrates, March 5th,winning the Postmedia Canspell competition at Vancouver’s Chan Centre. Second place finisher, Gregory Sastrawidjaya (L) looks on.
Photograph by: Ward Perrin, PNG

When Matthew Li won The Vancouver Sun Canspell Regional Bee on Saturday after successfully spelling out the letters a-p-o-c-a-l-y-p-s-e, he spun around on stage performing a Tae Kwon Do move.

Li had plenty of reasons to be ecstatic. Not only did he win a trophy, $5,000 and a trip to compete at the Postmedia Canspell National Bee in Toronto on March 27, but this was his final chance to win.

Competing for the third year in a row, it was the Grade 8 student at Fraser Heights Secondary’s final year that he was eligible to attend the bee, which is restricted to students in grades 4 through 8.

Grinning from ear to ear, Li, 13, stood on stage after the competition with his proud parents Julie and Simon Li and performed a few more martial arts manoeuvres.

“Before the competition I was thinking ‘OK. if I win I will do a spin hook kick,” said Li, who recently earned his black belt in Tae Kwon Do.

(…)

“Just reading the dictionary doesn’t get you very far,” he said. “There are goods lists and books like How To Spell Like a Champ — there’s a lot of good tips in that.”

Li’s mother beamed as she talked about her son winning the bee. “It is so wonderful we are just so proud of him,” she said.

Sastrawidjaya was disappointed after he stumbled on the difficult word gummiferous, but the brilliant speller said he was really happy to have made it as far as he did in the bee and plans to return next year for another shot at the title.

Last year’s winner Scott Xiao of Burnaby North Secondary, who also came in second at the national bee last year, made it to the final three but was eliminated after getting stumped on the Spanish word asado.

But not before he stunned the audience with his expert spelling of tough words like gnathion.

Li said he finds words like asado the most challenging because they don’t follow any rules.

“I was quizzing Scott during the break just for the heck of it and he can spell so many words derived from Latin and Greek — I mean he is so good — but the thing is when you end up with a word like asado it is very irregular and it’s too hard to guess.”

He said before he makes his way to Toronto for the national bee he’ll also have to study up on his Italian words with double consonants.

The winner of the national bee will compete June 1-2 at the Scripps in Washington, D.C.

At the start of the bee, 49 eager and nervous students were welcomed by Christopher Gaze, artistic director of Vancouver’s Bard on the Beach, while Sun editor-in-chief Patricia Graham gave each student a medal just for making the regional cut.

Some of the tricky words that led to spellers being eliminated were admiral, stipple, jute and taupe. Others included the native word succotash, the Japanese word mikado and French word manteau.

ticrawford@vancouversun.com
© Copyright (c) The Vancouver Sun

Middle Eastern hookah popular in Edmonton

Smoking hookah may have unknown dangers
Julie Finkelman, Global News: Friday, March 4, 2011
Hookah.
Photo Credit: Justin Sullivan, Getty Images

Many People are under the impression that smoking hookah is safe. But according to a professor at the University of Montreal, this isn’t the case.

Jennifer O’Loughlin is a Professor of Preventative Medicine, and recently did a study that shows young people who smoke hookah are likelier than those who don’t to try other drugs or smoke cigarettes.

Hookah, which is completely legal, is offered at some restaurants and retail outlets in Edmonton. Advocates say that it is only dangerous is you smoke tabacco through the hookah and most people, they say, smoke something herb or spice based. But O’Loughlin says either way is unsafe.

An Egyptian hookah, or shisha.

“The health effects of waterpipes which range from pulmonary disease, lung cancer, infectious disease because kids share the pipes…there are separate hoses but even that’s problematic because breathe their germs down into the pipes.”

Dr. Andre Corriveau, the Chief Medical Officer for Alberta, tells Global News he has concerns about hookah and will be discussing his concerns with colleagues in the coming months before coming up with a plan to combat that increase.

With files from Vassy Kapelos

Haitian presidential candidate Mirlande Manigat urging Haitian-Montrealers to vouch for her

Haitian presidential candidate visits Montreal to drum up support
Published On Fri, 04 Mar 2011
Paul Chiasson/THE CANADIAN PRESS
The Canadian Press
Haitian presidential candidate Mirlande Manigat arrives for a news conference Friday, March 4, 2011 in Montreal.

MONTREAL—One of the two remaining Haitian presidential election candidates is urging her compatriots to take advantage of the democratic process by voting in the March 20 runoff.

Mirlande Manigat says she will be happy with a 50 per cent turnout.


Manigat, who will face off against former singer Michel (Sweet Micky) Martelly to determine who becomes president of the Caribbean nation, is in Montreal today and Saturday to meet local Haitians.

She is urging Haitian-Montrealers to encourage their friends and relatives back home to vote for her.


Manigat won the initial election in late November, beating out runner-up Jude Celestin and the third-placed Martelly.

The election results were marked by fraud and led to widespread violence in the streets.

(…)

Manigat is hoping former presidents Jean-Bertrand Aristide and Jean-Claude Duvalier keep a low profile in the run-up to the vote.

The ousted Aristide is not currently in Haiti.

James Bing Jun Louie admits he killed his two children and tried to kill their mother

Crown wraps up in Louie trial
Ying Tang testifies on Thursday, March 3, 2011.
ctvcalgary.ca

Updated: Fri Mar. 04 2011 16:39:18

It has been an emotional few days in a Calgary courtroom as the mother of the two children who were killed by their father recounted the horrific events of that day.

The crown has now wrapped up their part in the case.

Ying Tang continued her testimony on Friday. Under cross examination, she described her unhappiness in her marriage to James Louie. She told court that Louie appeared to have a split personality in the days leading up to the murder.

(…)

James Louie is escorted by Calgary police officers in November 2009.

Tang says she arrived home and the house was pitch black. When she went to her daughter’s room she thought the little girl was sleeping. She touched her face and realized she was not.

She dialed 911 on her cell phone and within seconds James had a rope around her neck. She struggled and ended up on the bathroom floor, face down.

At that point, city police burst in and interrupted the altercation. They found 13-year-old, Jason and 9-year-old Jane dead in the home. Tang survived the terrifying ordeal and was taken to hospital.

Louie admits he killed his two children and tried to kill their mother. He has pleaded not guilty to the charges. The defence plans to argue that Louie’s mental state made him not criminally responsible.

The defence will begin their case on Monday.

Illegal immigrant Nevin Joseph convicted in Felicia Hosany’s murder

Felicia Hosany

Man convicted in florist slaying
Victim’s husband disappointed in second manslaughter conviction
By SAM PAZZANO, Courts Bureau

Last Updated: March 4, 2011 5:33pm

A second killer in the suffocation death of beloved North York florist Felicia Hosany pleaded guilty Friday to manslaughter.

Nevin Joseph, 25, also admitted he and criminal mastermind Andre “Andrew” Clarke committed three other robberies before the fatal hold-up of Hosany on Feb. 28, 2008, at her Flowers by Felicia store on Wilson Heights Blvd. Continue reading

David Chen paves road to Bill C-60, the Citizen’s Arrest and Self-Defence Act

Source here

Bill would allow use of force to defend life and property
By Brian Lilley, Parliamentary Bureau
Last Updated: March 4, 2011 6:21pm

Ian Thomson, of Port Colborne, Ont. was in court to face charges for firing over the heads of attackers who threw firebombs at his house. Two charges were dropped. Thomson still faces charges for careless storage of a firearm. (DAVE JOHNSON QMI Agency)

OTTAWA – Should people defending their own homes or lives be able to use force to protect themselves or their property?

That question is central to a debate in Ottawa right now as politicians debate Bill C-60, the Citizen’s Arrest and Self-Defence Act.

“Law-abiding Canadians should not be the target of the criminal justice system,” Prime Minister Stephen Harper said when he announced the bill in mid-February.

The act expands the ability of storeowners to conduct citizen’s arrests and was prompted by the case of Toronto grocer David Chen. Chen was charged with kidnapping for arresting a career criminal attempting to rob him for the second time in a single day.


The second half of the law defines the steps a person can take to protect their own life, the life of another person or to protect their property. Essentially, the law would allow the use of force to fend off an attacker or intruder.

“In principle, we support clarifying those provisions,” said Liberal justice critic Marlene Jennings.
(…)

The Bloc Quebecois and NDP were less enthusiastic.

“We don’t want to become a far West,” said Bloc Quebecois house leader Pierre Paquette.

The NDP’s Nathan Cullen said he’s concerned the bill would lead to vigilantism.

“I don’t trust the government to get the word out to Canadians as to where the boundaries are. What can you do in defence of self,” Cullen said.

Earlier this week Ian Thomson, a man from Port Colborne, Ont., was in court to face charges for firing over the heads of attackers who threw firebombs at his house. Two charges were dropped. Thomson still faces charges for careless storage of a firearm.

Toronto: Assassinated Christian Pakistani politician Shahbaz Bhatti honoured by Munir Masih and his family

Rally honours slain Pakistani politician
By KEVIN CONNOR, Toronto Sun

Last Updated: March 4, 2011 3:49pm

Shahbaz Bhatti (9 September 1968 – 2 March 2011) was a Pakistani politician and elected member of the National Assembly from 2008. He was the first Federal Minister for Minorities from 2008 until his assassination on 2 March 2011 in Islamabad. Bhatti, a Roman Catholic, was an outspoken critic of Pakistan’s blasphemy laws and the only Christian in the Cabinet. Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan claimed responsibility for his killing and called him a blasphemer of Muhammad. (Wikipedia)

Munir Masih and his family owe their lives to a Christian Pakistani politician who was assassinated this week.

Masih was one of dozens of Christian Pakistanis who gathered at Queen’s Park Friday to mourn Shahbaz Bhatti — who was outspoken on the rights of religious minorities in Pakistan.


Masih refused to convert from Christianity and that is when his persecution began, which included an assault on his two-year-old daughter.


Bhatti took the Masih family under his wing and hid them for five years until they could make it to Canada.


“I am here because he saved my family’s lives and provided us shelter. His efforts got us here in Canada and today we are enjoying life and freedom,” Masih said.


Bhatti helped to found the All Pakistan Minorities Alliance in 1985, but started to get death threats in 2009 when he spoke in support of Christian Pakistanis during rioting in the Punjab province.

“We are here to protest the assassination of Shahbaz Bhatti and send a message to the Pakistan government to stop these assassinations. We want the Canadian government to talk to Pakistan so minorities can enjoy equal rights,” said Tabassum Igbal, one of the event’s organizers.

Amber Obeid, 25, is a member of the Pakistan Christian Youth, an organization started by Bhatti.

“They are killing humanity. It was a great cause that he died for. We need to appeal to the Canadian government and every Canadian citizen … those who can take action should take action,” Obeid said.

“Killing this one person has silenced a lot of voices.”

(…)

“Shahbaz Bhatti was killed by the Taliban. If you talk about the prophet you get killed. I am out here to spread the word on Christian rights,” Bennett said.


If a Christian says anything against the Koran there is a mandatory death sentence, Suleman Khokhar said.

“There are numerous deaths, but no one really knows how many,” Khokhar said.

kevin.connor@sunmedia.ca

The Manitoba Islamic Association and Immigrant Centre Manitoba among eight groups receiving federal funding

Federal government funds security enhancements for Immigrant Centre, Islamic Association
Public Safety Minister Vic Toews makes a funding announcement in Winnipeg on March 4.
ctvwinnipeg.ca
Updated: Fri Mar. 04 2011 15:50:39

Federal Public Safety Minister Vic Toews announced Friday the federal government is providing $99,000 to help ensure the safety of community groups, including two Manitoba organizations.

The money is for groups deemed at risk of being targeted in hate crimes, Toews said. It will go towards security assessments, alarm systems, lighting, video surveillance and staff training.

“Hate-motivated crime often leaves more than physical damage to a building, it can put entire communities into a state of fear and anxiety,” said Toews. “This is unacceptable.”

The Manitoba Islamic Association and Immigrant Centre Manitoba are among eight groups from across Western Canada that are receiving funding.

Both groups have been targeted in the past.

In 2006, the Manitoba Islamic Association’s Hazelwood Mosque was vandalized with racial slurs and swastikas spray-painted all over the walls. On other occasions, vandals have smashed windows, thrown eggs and smeared feces on the sacred building.

Volunteers at the immigrant centre have been targeted with faith- and race-based attacks, officials with the organization said.

“I think it’s important for people coming from a prior place to feel more secure in a new home, to feel welcome, to feel confident they can go forward and flourish,” said Keith Solomundson.

Some of the security improvements are already underway, officials said.

-with a report from CTV’s Stacey Ashley

Toronto 18: Shareef Abdelhaleem’ s cheek thicker than pigskin

Convicted Toronto 18 member handed life sentence
ctvtoronto.ca
In this courtroom sketch, Shareef Abdelhaleem is seen during his emotional address at the Ontario Court of Justice courthouse in Brampton, Ont., Friday, March 4, 2011. (Alex Tavshunsky for CTV News)

Updated: Fri Mar. 04 2011 12:48:33

Shareef Abdelhaleem, the final member of the Toronto 18 to be sentenced for his crimes, has been handed a life sentence with no chance of parole for 10 years.

Abdelhaleem, 35, was sentenced Friday just before noon for his role in a homegrown terror plot to detonate bombs at the Toronto offices of CSIS, the Toronto Stock Exchange and an Ontario military base. He was found guilty last year of participating in a terrorist group and intending to cause an explosion.

Ahead of his sentence, Shareef delivered a 23-minute rambling speech, in which he claimed he never intended to harm anyone. He also said that Canadians have been silent on the blatant injustice of his case.

He asked the judge to sentence him as if he were a “white Catholic and not a Muslim.”

Justice Fletcher Dawson responded that his decision had nothing to do with Abdelhaleem’s religious affiliation.

Abdelhaleem’s lawyer told CTV that his client was disappointed but not surprised by the verdict, as eleven of the men arrested in the so-called Toronto 18 case have already faced convictions. The mastermind of the plot, Zakaria Amara, 24, was also sentenced to life, the first time the maximum sentence had been handed down under Canada’s anti-terrorism laws.

Abdelhaleem was arrested on June 2, 2006. He has already spent four years and eight months in jail, so will be eligible for parole in about five years. He has 30 days to appeal the sentence.

With a report by CTV Toronto’s John Musselman

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