English institutions ask Philippe Couillard for more funding in open letter

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MONTREAL – Eight institutions that represent anglophones in Quebec have sent an open letter to Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard, urging him to provide proper funding for education.

The letter outlines a major concern with the erosion of the quality of public education in Quebec.

“English schools have a unique place in Quebec. They convey the rich heritage of our communities,” the letter states.

“In addition, they often receive francophone and allophone students, thus helping people from all backgrounds learn to live together.”

“Our public schools teach students to be open to the world and to make important contributions to the development of Quebec society.”

The groups said English students, particularly in the regions, do not always get the help they need because of sustained cuts to the education system.

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Government requests for info on Canadian Facebook users up 47% from 2014

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The Canadian government is requesting more information about Canadian Facebook users than ever.

Government requests for Facebook account data jumped by almost 50 per cent in the first half of 2015 according to a report released Wednesday by the social media giant.

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In the first half of 2015 the company reported 410 requests from the Canadian government concerning 508 accounts relating to “valid requests relating to criminal cases.” Facebook handed data over to the government 79 per cent of the time.

READ MORE: Canadian security officials told to embrace ‘big data’ to identify threats

This was a  47 per cent increase from 2014 when the government made  279 requests involving 355 accounts in the last half of 2014. During this period, Facebook complied with the requests 58 per cent of the time.

Looking at the global picture, Facebook said that requests for account data around the world jumped 18 per cent in the first half of 2015 to 41,214, up from 35,051 requests in the second half of 2014.

Facebook took down 20,568 posts and other pieces of content that violated local laws In the first half of 2015, more than doubling the number taken down in the second half of 2014.

READ MORE: Edward Snowden joins 老域名怎么购买, follows only NSA

When Facebook is requested to take down content, it first analyzes the post to determine whether it violates local law and if so restricts access in that country or territory. For example, Holocaust denial or Nazi propaganda is illegal in Germany and the content will be restricted for accounts in that country.

Facebook says the majority of government requests regard criminal cases, and involve basic items like subscriber information, IP addresses or account content, including people’s posts online.

The report also found more than 60 per cent of government requests globally came from U.S. law enforcement agencies. U.S. agencies requested data from 26,579 accounts up from 21,731 accounts in the second half of 2014.

Security agencies accessing personal data from telecommunications companies became a controversial issue after Edward Snowden revealed several global surveillance programs, many run by the NSA and the Five Eyes, an intelligence alliance comprising Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the U.K and the U.S.

©2015

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Officers charged with killing boy, 6, targets of previous excessive force complaints

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MARKSVILLE, La. (AP) —; Two law-enforcement officers jailed on murder charges for a 6-year-old autistic boy’s fatal shooting in central Louisiana have been targets of previous complaints that they used excessive force or neglected their duties.

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Residents have filed a string of civil lawsuits against Derrick Stafford, 32, and Norris Greenhouse Jr., 23, who have worked as police officers in Marksville but were moonlighting as city marshals when they allegedly opened fire on Chris Few and his son, Jeremy Mardis, inside a car on Nov. 3.

Few was severely wounded but survived the shooting that killed his son. A lawyer for Few told The Associated Press on Monday that a police body camera showed that the father was holding both of his hands up and didn’t pose a threat when the officers began firing at least 18 bullets at the car.

A woman sued Stafford in 2012 over allegations that he shocked her with a stun gun while she was handcuffed. Another lawsuit accused Stafford of breaking a girl’s arm while intervening in a fight on a school bus in 2012.

WATCH: An entire Louisiana community is mourning the loss of Jeremy Mardis after the six-year-old autistic boy was caught in the line of fire as officers tried to apprehend his father. It’s still not clear who fired the fatal shot. John Hadden reports.

Stafford and Greenhouse also are defendants in a lawsuit filed by a man who claims officers used excessive force in arresting him at a 2014 festival. Another suit claims Greenhouse and Stafford “stood idly by and did nothing” when another officer assaulted a teenage boy at a Fourth of July celebration in 2013.

And last year, an Avoyelles Parish jury awarded $50,000 to a man who claimed Stafford arrested him in retaliation for making a complaint about him.

In 2011, Stafford was indicted on a charge he raped a 15-year-old in 2004, when he was 21. The same indictment also charged him with raping another person in 2011. Both charges were ultimately dismissed, though court records don’t indicate why. A spokesman for the local district attorney’s office didn’t return a call seeking comment.

Anthony Radosti, vice president of the Metropolitan Crime Commission in New Orleans, said excessive-force complaints should be a “red flag” for a police department to evaluate whether an officer needs to be disciplined or at least retrained.

“Even smaller departments should have an early-warning system,” said Radosti, a retired New Orleans police officer.

Stafford is a full-time lieutenant with the Marksville Police Department. Greenhouse is now a full-time city marshal. Both were on marshal duty on the night of last week’s shooting. Initial reports suggested they were trying to serve Few with a warrant when he fled onto a dead-end road and then reversed his car in their direction.

In this photo combination shows booking photos provided by the Louisiana State Police, Marksville City Marshal Derrick Stafford, left, and Marksville City Marshal Norris Greenhouse Jr., both were arrested on charges of second-degree murder and attempted second-degree murder in the fatal shooting of Jeremy Mardis, a six-year-old autistic boy, on Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2015 in Marksville, La.

But Col. Mike Edmonson, head of the Louisiana State Police, said there was no evidence of a warrant or any gun recovered at the scene.

An FBI spokesman says federal authorities are in “constant communication” with state investigators about last week’s shooting. The State Police is leading the investigation, and the state attorney general’s office is prosecuting the case.

Craig Betbeze, a spokesman for the FBI’s New Orleans division, said in an email Tuesday that he can’t elaborate on why the FBI and Justice Department’s civil rights division have been communicating with the State Police about the case. Edmonson said the State Police routinely share case information with the FBI and will in this case, too.

On Tuesday, State Police investigators met with prosecutors from the state attorney general’s office to discuss their investigation. It was the first meeting between the State Police and Attorney General James “Buddy” Caldwell’s staff since his office took over the prosecution of the case against Stafford and Greenhouse.

Avoyelles Parish District Attorney Charles Riddle recused himself from the case Monday because one of his assistant prosecutors is Greenhouse’s father.

Stafford and Greenhouse were ordered held on $1 million bonds on second-degree murder and attempted second-degree murder charges.

“This was not a threatening situation for the police,” Few’s attorney, Mark Jeansonne, said after he attended a closed-door hearing at the jail where Judge William Bennett issued the bond ruling Monday.

After the AP published Jeansonne’s comments, Bennett issued a sweeping gag order prohibiting anyone involved in the case, including potential witnesses and victims, from providing any information to the news media.

The officers were moved from the jail in Marksville to a lockup in the central Louisiana city of Alexandria after Monday’s bond hearing.

©2015The Associated Press

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Stolen Chrysler 300 among items seized in Calgary fraud bust

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CALGARY – Police have arrested four people allegedly connected to an organized crime group involved in identity theft and the use of counterfeit credit cards.

Three suspects were taken into custody on Thursday, Oct. 22 after officers received a tip that they were attempting to rent a vehicle at the Calgary International Airport using a stolen credit card.

When searching the suspects, officers found forget credit cards, forged government-issued identification cards, altered cards containing stolen credit card data, stolen property and $1,063 in cash.

Two of the three suspects were charged.

Lawrence Culajara, 24, of Calgary, has been charged with one count each of:

Possession of property obtained by crime,Possession of a forged credit card,Unlawfully possessing credit card data,Fraud under $5,000,Possession of identity documents, andMaking or affixing a counterfeit mark.

Culajara is schedule to appear in court on Thursday, Dec. 10, 2015.

Misty Nicole McMaster, 29, of Calgary, has been charged with:

Two counts of possessing a forged credit card,One count of unlawfully possessing credit card data, andTwo counts of fraud under $5,000.

She is scheduled to appear in court on Thursday, Dec. 10, 2015.

Following the arrests at the airport, a search warrant was executed at a home in the 300 block of Midlake Boulevard S.E. on Friday, Nov. 6.

Investigators seized a credit card embosser machine, numerous counterfeit, forged or modified credit cards, credit card data, 4.1 grams of crystal meth, a replica semi-automatic handgun and a stolen Chrysler 300.

Officers charged two additional suspects:

Vivencio Antonio, 30, of Calgary, has been charged with one count each of:

Possession of an instrument for forging credit cards,Unlawfully possessing of credit card data,Possession of a stolen credit card, andPossession of a controlled substance.

Stephanie Paul, 27, of Calgary, has been charged with:

Two counts of motor vehicle theft,One count of possession of an instrument for forging credit cards,One count of possession of credit card data,Two counts of possession of a stolen credit card,One count of possession of a controlled substance,Once count of fraud under $5,000, andBreach of a recognizance.

Investigators allege that all four people charged were working together to commit fraud.

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UberX expands to Longueuil, Laval

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MONTREAL – The popular ride-sharing service UberX just announced it’s expanding to both the north and south shores.

READ MORE: Montreal taxi authorities crack down on ride-sharing service Uber

Longueuil and Laval have officially been added to the list of cities where UberX will operate.

WATCH: Uber in Montreal

Uber in Montreal

01:54

Uber in Montreal

02:08

Montreal taxis protest Uber

01:48

Montreal taxi drivers egg Uber

00:43

Taxi drivers protest Uber




More than 15,000 people have opened UberX accounts in both cities, prompting the expansion.

READ MORE: Montreal taxi drivers stage protest against Uber

READ MORE: Montreal taxis increase pressure tactics against Uber

The ride-sharing service provides service in more than 30 cities in Canada.

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Riverside and New Frontiers school boards on strike

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MONTREAL – It’s the first of two strike days for teachers, non-teaching professionals and support staff at the Riverside and New Frontiers school boards.

READ MORE: Quebec teachers on strike: 4 things you need to know

All schools, daycares and Access centres are closed as part of ongoing teacher contract negotiations with the Quebec government.

WATCH: Teacher strikes in Quebec

Strikes sweep across Quebec

01:57

Strikes sweep across Quebec

02:22

Quebec teacher unions announce strike days

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The issues Quebec teachers may strike over

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Daycare strikes across Quebec




Public sector workers are also on strike; they have been without a collective agreement since April.

READ MORE: Quebec teacher unions announce strike days

The strike action continues on Friday.

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Camille Runke’s family suggests ankle bracelets for suspected stalkers

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WINNIPEG —; The sister of Camille Runke is suggesting changes to the way protection orders are done, after Runke was allegedly gunned down by her ex-husband.

“I don’t want to cry about it anymore,” said Maddie Laberge, sitting down with Global News Thursday, “I want a solution, lets make her death mean something.”

Laberge said her older sister had done everything within the law to protect herself.

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READ MORE: Winnipeg police investigating husband of homicide victim shot in St. Boniface

And now hopes the Manitoba government can do more to protect people like her sister.  She asking that ankle monitoring bracelet should be given to those who have a protection order with a previous history, as well a phone number to get counselling.

“We could look at this man’s history and find out what he was all about,” said Laberge, “he would have been probably the prime candidate to track to find out where he was.”

WATCH: Camille Runke’s sister wants ankle bracelets given to suspected stalkers

“If the accused is indeed stalking the victim, the ankle bracelet could almost certainly provide evidence if the abuse continues,” said Laberge, “On the other hand, if the accused is innocent, the benefit for them is that they can feel secure in the fact that they may be cleared of such offences.”

The province announced last week it will make changes to its Domestic Violence Act including making it easy for people to get a protection order and their talking to experts about whether they can implement a gun ban and use GPS devices.

“We’ll look at the pros and cons, we’ll look to see what could be the consequences and make sure we try and get this right and strengthen the orders and strengthen the ability of people to obtain those orders,” said Justice Minister Gord Mackintosh.

Camille, 49, was shot dead at the back door of her workplace, BJ’s Trophy Shop on Marion Street, the day before Halloween.

PHOTO GALLERY: 

Camille Runke on the left and sister Maddie Laberge on the right.

Family handout

Camille Runke, 49. was shot and killed Oct 30.

Family handout

Camille Runke, 49. was shot and killed Oct 30.

Family handout

Camille Runke on the left and sister Maddie Laberge on the right.

Family handout

Camille Runke, 49. was shot and killed Oct 30.

Family handout

Camille Runke, 49. was shot and killed Oct 30.

Family handout

Camille Runke, 49. was shot and killed Oct 30.

Family handout

READ MORE: ‘He finally got her, we knew’: Friends of St. Boniface murder victim want change

For months, friends said Camille feared for her life after her ex-husband, Kevin Runke, 44 allegedly began stalking and harassing her.

“She couldn’t go to work,” said Camille’s friend Jen Noone. “She was followed, she couldn’t talk to people he was tapping her phone lines she couldn’t live the life she wanted to because of him.”

Camille and Kevin married in 2013 but things fell apart this summer.

Camille would tell her friends every time Runke would allegedly do something, including smashing her vehicle windows, cutting her brake lines, even attempting to flood her basement on July 24th. That’s the day Camille applied and got a protection order against Kevin.

“We all watched Camille unbearably suffer and we all had our hands tied,” said Laberge. “There wasn’t anything anyone could do, not even Winnipeg’s finest police officers.  I’m not here to point fingers, I want to change laws. The current laws prevented anyone from coming to her rescue.”

From June to October, Camille told Winnipeg police about 22 incidents.  She was told by police to install security cameras outside her home and more lights.

READ MORE: Winnipeg police confirm husband of woman murdered in St. Boniface is dead

“Camille Runke did everything she could to reasonably sever her relationship and protect herself,” said Deputy Chief Danny Smyth on November 4th..

Smyth said police had warned Kevin several times to leave Camille alone and on October 23rd, a week before she was killed, he was warned again.

Winnipeg police had actually submitted a report to the Crown’s office to consider criminal harassment charges against Runke but on October 30th at 6 a.m., Camille was killed.

“If it’s not this idea, let’s get another idea,” said Laberge, “let’s get people thinking about this, we need to come up with something.”

Laberge lives in Edmonton but is asking Winnipegger’s to help her change a system that failed to protect her sister.

“If you agree, contact your MLA and/or MP and tell them your story, or simply say you want this idea to be discussed and examined.  This is a solution to consider.  Laws can and need to change,” pleaded Laberge. “Let’s save some lives.  I wish I could have saved Camille.”

The Provinces says it wants to hear Manitoban’s ideas on how to better the system.  They hope to make changes as early as December.

Kevin Runke, took his own life after police found him driving near St. Malo on November 2nd.

©2015

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Mayor Denis Coderre descends into sewage interceptor

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MONTREAL – Mayor Denis Coderre went into the belly of the beast after announcing on 老域名怎么购买 that he would be going inside the south-east sewage interceptor to “personally see how the work is going.”

He descended into the 30 km sewage pipe at 12:30 p.m. Thursday.

Wednesday at 12:01 a.m., the City of Montreal started dumping eight billion litres of untreated sewage into the Saint Lawrence River.

READ MORE: Thousands sign anti-sewage petition in Montreal

The sewer hole that Denis Coderre inspected, Thursday, November 12, 2015.

Kelly Greig/Global News

Coderre came out swinging several times over the controversial plan, insisting the dump is necessary so the city can temporarily close a large sewer that feeds sewage to a treatment facility.

WATCH: Montreal sewage dump

Coderre explores sewage pipe

02:12

Coderre explores sewage pipe

01:52

Day 1 of Montreal sewage dump

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Coderre answers questions on sewage dump

00:35

How much is 8 billion litres of sewage?

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Denis Coderre outlines investments Montreal will make to counter health risks of sewage dump

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Denis Coderre stands by decision to dump 8 billion litres of sewage into Saint-Lawrence River

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Environment Canada sewage dump decision

02:15

Montreal free to dump sewage into St. Lawrence




He said alternative solutions would be too costly.

READ MORE: Ottawa appoints trio of scientists to study Montreal sewage dump plan

The discharge will take up to a week.

Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre compares an old and new sewage pipe, Tuesday, November 10, 2015.

Martin Hazel/Global News

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Irving pleads not guilty to safety charges

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HALIFAX – A lawyer for Irving Shipbuilding entered a not guilty plea Thursday to charges under Nova Scotia’s Occupational Health and Safety Act after a worker suffered a serious head injury at the Halifax Shipyard in 2014.

Mick Ryan entered the plea during a brief hearing in provincial court, where the case will return Dec. 8 to discuss trial dates.

Ryan said outside court that he expects a trial would take up to six weeks because of the amount of disclosure in the complicated case, though the Crown said they would need much less time.

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“Four to five days is what they’re suggesting it will take them to present their case and in my opinion, it’s going to take a lot longer than that,” he said.

“You haven’t seen the disclosure package we’ve received from the Crown. It’s about eight inches thick.”

An information to obtain a search warrant filed with the court says the charges relate to work that was being done on Canadian Coast Guard patrol vessels on Jan. 3, 2014.

An occupational health and safety officer alleges in the document that a wire rope loop attached to a ship’s cradle broke as it was being pulled by a winch, striking a worker employed by Irving Equipment Ltd. in the head.

The charges allege that Irving Shipbuilding did not ensure the operator of a machine or tool was competent and that it failed to take every reasonable precaution to ensure the health and safety of people at or near the workplace.

The ship was being moved along a series of tracks at the shipyard during a launch attempt when the loop broke.

The document says the worker suffered a fractured skull and brain injury.

It outlines a series of events that led to the accident in a procedure that had been completed on six ships previously.

“However on this attempt, the cradle failed to move, resulting in a static line pull,” the officer alleges in the document.

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Russian TV stations air ‘secret’ nuclear torpedo plans

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MOSCOW – Details of a new Russian submarine-launched nuclear torpedo have been shown on state-controlled TV, a secret the Kremlin said should never have been aired. Some observers, however, saw it as a deliberate leak.

The airing of the video on television channels under tight Kremlin control raised suspicions that it was done intentionally to scare the West at a time when its ties with Russia are at the lowest point since the Cold War.

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NTV and Channel One showed a large document – filmed over a general’s shoulder during a meeting with Putin – with drawings and details of a prospective weapons system called Status-6.

The system developed by St.Petersburg-based Rubin design bureau includes nuclear submarines carrying long-range torpedoes, which could create “extensive zones of radioactive contamination” that would make enemy coastal areas “unsuitable for military, economic, business or other activity for a long time,” the document said.

READ MORE: North Korea warns it has restarted all nuclear bomb fuel plants

The channels later removed the footage, which was shot during a meeting on Monday in Sochi.

“It’s true that some secret information was caught by the camera and therefore it was subsequently removed,” Putin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said late Wednesday. “We hope this will not happen again.”

Independent experts noted, however, that it would be hard to imagine cameramen of state TV stations closing up on any documents on the table during a Kremlin meeting on military issues. Most saw the incident as a deliberate leak intended to warn Washington and its allies that Russia is working on a new devastating weapon that would tip the scales in case of conflict.

“I have a feeling it was shown in order to scare the world,” said Alexander Golts, an independent Moscow-based military analyst. “It’s an attempt to offer an asymmetrical answer to the U.S. missile defence.”

Putin has held four meetings on defence issues in as many days this week, reflecting the close attention he is paying to military modernization at a time of heightened tensions with the United States and Europe over the crisis in Ukraine.

READ MORE: Putin says Russia will respond to US missile shield by deploying new weapons

The Russian leader described NATO’s U.S.-led missile defence program as an attempt to break nuclear parity and warned that Moscow would counter it by deploying new strike weapons capable of piercing the shield.

Military experts and commentators traced the nuclear torpedo concept to the 1950s, when it was first offered by Andrei Sakharov, the father of Soviet thermonuclear bomb who later came to defy the Soviet system and won a Nobel Peace Prize. He proposed targeting the U.S. with high-yield nuclear torpedoes that would create huge tsunami waves and high levels of radioactivity to render large coastline areas uninhabitable.

The proposal was rejected, partly because naval technology of the era wouldn’t allow a Soviet submarine to approach the U.S. shore undetected.

The Status-6 appears to be a new reincarnation of the old idea, said Pavel Felgenhauer, an independent military analyst.

“The plan is to deliver a 100-megaton nuclear bomb to the U.S. shores,” he said. “It would cause a highly radioactive tsunami.”

The details of the new weapon shown on Russian state TV indicated that the torpedo should have a trans-Ocean range of 10,000 kilometres, something military experts considered impossible.

But while the torpedo’s real range could be much shorter, its relatively small size, a purported operational depth of 1,000 metres  and a speed of 105 kilometres  appear realistic, making it difficult to spot and destroy, some observers said.

“Detecting it could be significantly different from detecting a submarine,”said Pavel Podvig, an independent analyst based in Geneva, where he runs his research project, “Russian Nuclear Forces.”

The government daily Rossiyskaya Gazeta alleged that in order to achieve the stated purpose of “extensive radioactive contamination” of coastal areas, the project could envisage using the so-called cobalt bomb, a nuclear weapon designed to produce enhanced amounts of radioactive fallout compared to a regular atomic warhead.

Podvig said the apparent deliberate leak of the Status-6 details looks menacing, irrespective of how realistic the project is from the technological viewpoint.

“The whole thing just strikes me as crazy,” he said.

©2015

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