Category Archives: World News

Floods Force Dramatic Rescues In Phoenix Area

Floods Force Dramatic Rescues In Phoenix Area, Arizona authorities have rescued two residents and three dogs from a flooded house north of Phoenix after more than four inches of rain pummeled some areas of the state.

Dramatic television footage showed the residents in New River, about 30 miles north of Phoenix, waving a white towel out of a window as floodwaters raged around the house. A helicopter hovered above and lowered a rescuer down onto the roof.

Phoenix Fire Capt. Benjamin Santillan (san-tee-YAHN’) says two women and three dogs were pulled to safety with no injuries.

A separate rescue played out as water submerged a minivan and authorities pulled a woman from the vehicle.

New Fatal Police Shooting Near Ferguson

New Fatal Police Shooting Near Ferguson, Police shot dead a knife-wielding man Tuesday near the U.S. town roiled by 10 days of protests over the police killing of an unarmed black teenager, threatening to further ratchet up tensions.

It came as the attorney for the family of Michael Brown, who was shot dead by police in Ferguson on August 9, said that the 18-year-old college student’s funeral would be held on Monday.

Civic leaders in Ferguson, in Missouri, had called for “night-time quiet and reconciliation” after another night of protests and violence in the majority black town.

But, a short drive away in St. Louis proper, police – who have been criticized for an aggressive response to the demonstrations – faced yet more scrutiny when they shot dead an apparently agitated man armed with a knife who yelled “kill me now” and approached a patrol.

The world’s media descended on the street, dozens of reporters having been in nearby Ferguson covering the ongoing unrest that has cast an unfavorable light on the United States’ racial divide, as well as law-enforcement tactics.

Onlookers gathered at the yellow incident tape sealing off the scene of Tuesday’s shooting outside a convenience store, some of them chanting the slogan of the protests: “Hands up, don’t shoot.”

Islamic State Claims Beheading Of U.S. Journalist

Islamic State Claims Beheading Of U.S. Journalist, Jihadist group the Islamic State on Tuesday claimed to have executed American journalist James Foley in revenge for U.S. airstrikes against its fighters in Iraq.

The Islamist group released a video showing a masked militant purportedly beheading the reporter, who has been missing since he was seized by armed men in Syria in November 2012.

“Find James Foley,” the campaign run by his family to secure the 40-year-old freelancer’s release, posted a public message online following the release of the video asking for time “to seek answers.”

Foley was an experienced correspondent who had covered the war in Libya before heading to Syria to follow the revolt against Bashar al-Assad’s regime for the Global Post, AFP and other outlets.

Kenya Bans West Africa Travellers Amid Scramble To Fight Ebola

Kenya Bans West Africa Travellers Amid Scramble To Fight Ebola, Kenya on Saturday became the latest country to ban travellers from parts of Ebola-hit west Africa as Nigeria scrambled to stop the the deadly disease spreading through the continent’s most populous nation.

Health Minister James Macharia said Kenya is closing its borders to travellers from Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone — the countries most affected by the worst-ever Ebola outbreak.

National carrier Kenya Airways also said it would suspend its flights to Freetown and Monrovia when the ban takes effect on Wednesday.

The move comes amid an international appeal to help contain the deadly virus, which has already killed 1,145 people across west Africa this year.

Nigeria on Saturday said it has trained 800 volunteers to help in the fight against Ebola as the country’s already weak healthcare system struggles to cope with the outbreak.

U.S. Launches Airstrikes To Help Retake Mosul Dam

U.S. Launches Airstrikes To Help Retake Mosul Dam, The United States has launched airstrikes around the Mosul Dam in northern Iraq in support of a ground operation by Kurdish and Iraqi forces to retake the strategic dam which was seized by ISIS fighters earlier this month.

The status of the dam has been a concern for Iraq and the United States because a breach could release a torrent of water that could flood Mosul and possibly reach as far down as Baghdad.

U.S. officials confirm that fighter planes and drones launched airstrikes near the Mosul Dam. Earlier Saturday, Kurdish local media cited eyewitness reports that airstrikes had taken place by the dam on Friday night.

At the time it was unclear if the airstrikes had been launched by U.S. or Iraqi aircraft.

According to one official “the strikes are in support of ground operations” by Kurdish and Iraqi forces to retake the dam. The official labeled the strikes as significant.

The size of the Iraqi and Kurdish ground operation is unclear, but it would have to be sizable to counter the large number of ISIS fighters located at or near the dam. One U.S. official said it is believed that there are a few hundred ISIS fighters in the vicinity of the dam.

Casey Kasem Dies at 82-Years-Old

Casey Kasem Dies at 82-Years-Old, Casey Kasem, the internationally famous radio broadcaster with the cheerful manner and gentle voice who became the king of the top 40 countdown with a syndicated show that ran for decades, died Sunday. He was 82.

Danny Deraney, publicist for Kasem’s daughter, Kerri, says Kasem died Sunday morning. A statement issued by the family says he died at 3:23 a.m. surrounded by family and friends.

Kasem’s “American Top 40″ began on July 4, 1970, in Los Angeles. The No. 1 song on his list then was “Mama Told Me Not to Come,” by Three Dog Night.

The show continued in varying forms – and for varying syndicators – until his retirement in 2009. In his signoff, he would tell viewers: “And don’t forget: keep your feet on the ground and keep reaching for the stars.”

In recent years, Kasem was trapped in a feud between his three adult children and his second wife, former actress Jean Kasem. In 2013, his children filed a legal petition to gain control of his health care, alleging that Kasem was suffering from advanced Parkinson’s disease and that his wife was isolating him from friends and family members. Kasem also suffered from Lewy Body Disease, a form of dementia.

A judge in May temporarily stripped his wife of her caretaker role after she moved him from a medical facility in Los Angeles to a friend’s home in Washington state. Jean Kasem said she moved her husband to protect his privacy and to consult with doctors. Casey Kasem developed a severe bedsore while in Washington and was in critical condition by the time he was hospitalized in early June.

It was a sad, startling end for a man whose voice had entertained and informed music lovers worldwide.

Casey Kasem Dies at 82-Years-Old

Liberal Party Votes To Legalize Assisted Suicide

Liberal Party Votes To Legalize Assisted Suicide, At its convention in Montreal, the party voted in favour of decriminalizing medically-assisted death, but leader Justin Trudeau did not say if he’s running with the idea., Trudeau skips out as Liberal conventioneers vote to legalize assisted suicide, Federal Liberals have voted in favour of legalizing assisted suicide but whether Leader Justin Trudeau will run with the idea is a mystery.

Trudeau was not in the room Sunday when delegates to the party’s national convention passed a resolution urging that voluntary, medically assisted death be decriminalized – although moments earlier he had been just outside the convention hall, cheering as the Canadian men’s hockey team won Olympic gold.

He was in the room later when delegates gave him an overwhelming, after-the-fact endorsement of his decision to kick senators out of the Liberal caucus.

Delegates also passed a raft of potentially costly resolutions that included supporting many big-ticket items:

- An $18-billion-a-year investment in infrastructure.

- Creation of a basic annual income.

- A national transportation strategy.

- Funding for aboriginal education on reserves equal to that spent on provincially operated schools.

- Increased funding for mental health services.

- Expansion and enhancement of the Canada Pension Plan.

None of the resolutions are binding on the leader and, since he gave no closing remarks and did not hold the traditional wrap-up news conference at the convention’s end, it was unclear which resolutions Trudeau believes should make their way into a 2015 election platform or how a Liberal government would pay for them.

He did give a number of one-on-one television interviews – which were taped before the resolutions were voted upon.

In an interview with Global’s Tom Clark, Trudeau, who has promised not to hike corporate or income taxes or the GST, said the debate to come will be over where to spend the surplus the Harper government has forecast for next year.

In an interview with CTV’s Question Period, he declined to give his personal view on assisted suicide, saying he’s waiting for the Supreme Court to rule on some pending cases which could provide guidance on the issue.

He did allude to the “death with dignity” resolution, jointly proposed by the party’s women’s and youth commissions, in relatively positive terms during a keynote convention speech Saturday, but stopped short of taking a clear stand.

The resolution, Trudeau said in the speech, challenges Liberals “to expand our idea of what it means to be a free citizen in a modern democracy” and “to reflect on giving terminally afflicted Canadians the choice to end their pain and suffering and plan their own death with dignity.”

Voluntary, medically assisted death should be decriminalized, states the resolution – after a public consultation to recommend the criteria for allowing terminally ill Canadians to choose to end their lives and an oversight system to protect the vulnerable.

In The Social Media Age, Can Anything Be Truly Private?

In The Social Media Age, Can Anything Be Truly Private?, With over 50 per cent of people of survey repsondents admitting to some form of ‘sexting,’ our ideas of privacy have to change., Electronic spying: In the age of Facebook and Twitter, nothing can be considered private, Privacy is a relatively new “right.” In 1965 the U.S. Supreme Court had to invent a right to privacy to permit access by a married couple to contraception; again, more famously, it arose in 1973 Roe v Wade to protect a woman’s right to abortion on demand. The court pretzeled the 14th Amendment to the Constitution to create this right.

For its part, the Constitution does not mention privacy.

Indeed, the degree of privacy that today’s Americans and Canadians consider the norm would have been risible a generation ago.

Bluntly, “privacy” is a modern affectation. And one which technology now has made electronically irrelevant; the government’s protestations of adherence to law should be skeptically viewed.

Privacy, moreover, is a circumstance that appears less and less relevant to most citizens. Social media is replete with photos and videos that in days of yore would have been regarded as “soft porn.” Users of social media are cautioned against postings that might come back to haunt them if they are applying for jobs and/or security clearances. Or, since the Internet lasts forever, what their children and (heaven forbid) grandchildren might get to see. But actual users appear indifferent; perhaps they implicitly conclude that when actions, such as open sexual activity or the use of mind-altering substances become universal, they are relevant only to the individuals concerned, and general society could care less. With polls indicating that more than 50 per cent of the respondents have engaged in “sexting” and/or explicit sexual language in email, Twitter or other electronic media, it has become the norm rather than the exception. When was the last prosecution in civilian courts for fornication? Adultery?

What remains important, however, are the protections conferred by the U.S. Fourth Amendment to the Constitution which ensures that “the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”