Forecasters have higher expectations for slow Atlantic hurricane season

Written by admin on 21/07/2019 Categories: 苏州美甲美睫培训

MIAMI – The Atlantic hurricane season will continue to be even quieter than predicted, thanks to atmospheric and oceanic conditions suppressing storm formation, federal forecasters said Thursday.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration still expects three to six hurricanes to form during the six-month season that peaks between mid-August and mid-October.

Officials dropped the number of named storms to between seven and 12 in an updated hurricane season forecast issued Thursday.



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    The forecast calls for zero to two of those hurricanes to be major storms with winds greater than 110 mph.

    READ MORE: Hurricane season forecasts tied to El Nino

    “We are more confident that a below-normal season will occur because atmospheric and oceanic conditions that suppress cyclone formation have developed and will persist through the season.” said Gerry Bell, lead seasonal hurricane forecaster at NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center.

    Those conditions include the likely development of El Nino, which warms part of the Pacific every few years and changes rain and temperature patterns around the world and typically reduces the number and intensity of tropical storms and hurricanes.

    Relatively cooler temperatures on the surface of the Atlantic Ocean also have lowered the probability of hurricane formation.

    WATCH: Hurricane season forecast from May 2014

    “Nonetheless, tropical storms and hurricanes can strike the U.S. during below-normal seasons, as we have already seen this year when Arthur made landfall in North Carolina as a Category 2 hurricane. We urge everyone to remain prepared and be on alert throughout the season,” Bell said.

    Forecasters said there remains a 70 per cent chance that the season will be less busy than normal. A normal year has 12 named storms, six hurricanes and three major storms.

    There have been two hurricanes so far this year: Arthur and Bertha, which did not threaten the U.S. coastline.

    The Atlantic hurricane season begins in June and ends in November. Forecasters name tropical storms when top winds reach 63 km/h; hurricanes have maximum winds of at least 120 km/hh.

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Triple sex assault suspect arrested; EPS believe there may be more cases

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Watch above: Edmonton police have charged a man in connection with three alleged sexual assaults, and police believe there could be more victims. Eric Szeto reports.

EDMONTON – Police have a man in custody for three alleged sexual assaults, and believe there may be more victims.

Police believe the suspect has been targeting individuals who are smaller in stature. Three women of Asian descent were reportedly attacked in central Edmonton between April and July 2014.

The alleged assaults happened in the following areas:

near Commonwealth StadiumKingsway Avenue and 119 Streetand 111 Avenue and 82 Street


In each of the three cases, the women noticed the suspect lingering in a public space. Once they were in a more isolated area, they say he sexually assaulted them.

“The complainants are quite lucky…they didn’t have to be hospitalized, so physical injuries were more minor,” said Staff Sgt. Shawna Grimes.

“But…you can imagine the trauma in something like this. You’re in a public area in the early evening hours, I think we would all feel safe in that circumstance.

“The trauma would be quite lasting, I suspect.”

Police would not confirm the name of the suspect, who remains in their custody. They will only say “he appears to be in his late teens to early 20s, [and]  is approximately six feet tall with a thin build.”

They continue to investigate and are encouraging witnesses or anyone who was sexually assaulted to contact them at 780-423-4567. Anonymous information can be submitted to Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or online.

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Man dies in St. Margaret’s Bay Road crash

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HALIFAX – One man is dead after his vehicle veered off the road for unknown reasons in Timberlea.

Cpl. Jadie Spence with Tantallon RCMP said the crash happened around 3:45 p.m. on Thursday in front of 1643 St. Margaret’s Bay Road.

Police at the scene of 1643 St. Margaret’s Bay Road in Timberlea.

Julia Wong/Global News

The accident scene in front of 1643 St. Margaret’s Bay Road.

Julia Wong/Global News

The vehicle is a Chrysler Cirrus.

Julia Wong/Global News

A traffic analyst sets up pylons on the road.

Julia Wong/Global News

A traffic analyst snaps a picture of the accident scene.

Julia Wong/Global News

RCMP on the scene of the single vehicle accident in Timberlea.

Julia Wong/Global News

Police on the scene of the accident.

Julia Wong/Global News

Police on the scene of the accident.

Julia Wong/Global News

“The car hit the fences [in front of the house] and kept going and flipped over,” Spence said.

“The driver was ejected and was found in the driveway on somebody’s property.”

Spence said the man, who is from Halifax but has not been identified, died at the scene.

Traffic analysts spent time marking points of interest on the road and snapping pictures of the crash.

There’s no word on why the vehicle left the road. The male victim was the only person in the car.

Spence said it is too early to tell whether drugs, alcohol or speed played a factor in the incident.

Police said there was some damage to the fences beside the house. No one was inside the house at the time.

Several blocks of St. Margaret’s Bay Road were shut down for a few hours while emergency crews attended to the scene. It was re-opened around 7 p.m.

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Saskatoon housing starts expected to moderate: CMHC

Written by admin on 25/09/2019 Categories: 苏州美甲美睫培训

SASKATOON 鈥?The pace of new housing starts over the next two years is expected to moderate over concerns of higher inventory and slower employment growth.

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) made the forecast in its fall housing market outlook.

Total starts are expected to reach 3,300 in 2014, up 11 per cent from 2013. The outlook for the following two years are 3,125 and 3,050 units which are still among the highest levels in the last 30 years.



  • August sees boost in Saskatoon housing starts: CMHC

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    Goodson Mwale, CMHC鈥檚 senior analyst for Saskatchewan, says the slight downturn is due to a number of factors.

    鈥淭here is a risk of higher inventory in the months ahead,鈥?says Mwale, pointing to a faster pace of starts in 2014 and construction rising to a 34-year high.

    鈥淲ith slower employment growth and lower net migration also expected through 2016, this will have a moderating effect on housing starts in Saskatoon over the next two years,鈥?he added.

    According to Mwale, multi-unit starts will outpace single-detached starts in 2014, which will continue into 2016.

    鈥淭his will mark the first time in 10 years that multi-family starts will have surpassed single-detached starts,鈥?stated Mwale.

    Mwale points to declining multi-family inventory and an increase in demand for lower-priced options such as condominiums and apartments as factors for increased starts.

    On the resale side, CMHC expects 5,800 MLS sales to take place in 2014, an increase of 4.6 per cent from the previous year.

    Sales are expected to climb to 5,835 in 2015 and edge slightly higher in 2016 to 5,875.

    Resale prices are also up, with the average MLS price projected to rise 2.8 per cent this year to $341,300 with similar gains expected over the next two years.

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WATCH: Baltimore cop viciously beats man in public

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WATCH: A camera was rolling as a Baltimore police officer repeatedly punched a man in public, allegedly knocking him unconscious.

TORONTO – A Baltimore police officer is facing serious charges after he was caught on video June 15 violently assaulting a man – who has since filed a lawsuit against the police department.

Officer Vincent Cosom can be seen in the video throwing huge punches at Kollin Truss’ face. The victim’s girlfriend, Stephanie Coleman, tries to intervene but to no avail.

Cosom now faces second-degree assault and perjury charges.

WATCH: Baltimore cop repeatedly punches suspect before arrest



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    “The other officers participated. They held his arms back. Our client was knocked unconscious on his feet,” said Tony Garcia, the victim’s attorney. “But before he could fall to the ground, he was struck again.”

    Meghan McCorkell, a reporter at CBS Baltimore, claims Cosom is also accused of perjury for allegedly lying on a police report where the officer claimed Truss was the instigator.

    “The police need to understand that the same rules and regulations that are for the citizens are also for them,” another of Truss’ attorneys, Ivan Bates, told WJZ.

    Unfortunately the assault on Truss isn’t new to the Baltimore Police Department. Last month, Jamar Kennedy was allegedly beaten with an officer’s baton and tasered. That incident was also caught on camera.

    Police Commissioner Anthony W. Batts suspended Cosom on September 16.

    Kollin Truss can be seen in a surveillance video getting beaten by Baltimore Officer Vincent Cosom.

    Baltimore Police Department

    Baltimore’s mayor has called for a federal Department of Justice investigation into the incident.

    “This was something that I take very seriously, something that the commissioner takes very seriously. We were very disappointed,” the mayor said.

    According to The Baltimore Sun, Truss’ attorneys filed a $5 million civil lawsuit.

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What’s up with Edmonton’s LRT escalators? They’re not going up

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Watch above: Broken escalators at LRT stations have reached a critical point of frustration. Vinesh Pratap finds out when they could be fixed.

EDMONTON – It’s been an ongoing headache for users of Edmonton’s LRT system: broken-down escalators.

The escalator at the Century Park station in particular has been a source of frustration for commuters.


“They’ve never worked properly at Century Park. They’re kind of hit and miss at Southgate, and these are the newest escalators in the system,” said Mayor Don Iveson.

The escalators at the Century Park, University and Health Sciences stations are currently not operating. According to Edmonton’s Transportation Department, the Century Park escalator has been out of commission since mid-August.

The Bay Station escalators were also down for several months.

“It’s been broken down for a while actually,” said a student at the U of A station. “Mostly, every time I get here.”

“This escalator has been down for over a month,” said another daily commuter. “I wonder where my taxpayer dollars go and the money that I put into my pass for taking the LRT everyday.”

READ MORE: Commuters air frustrations about broken LRT escalators 

The issue isn’t new for the mayor. He’s been hearing about it on 广州蒲友 from Edmontonians.

On Wednesday, a transportation committee meeting was held after Iveson and Ward 10 Councillor Michael Walters asked to look into the issue.

Iveson said he’s brought forward his concerns to the transportation department with unsatisfactory responses.

“It’s kind of one excuse after another.

“‘We can’t get parts’, or ‘they weren’t spected right’, and that’s just not good enough. It’s just not good enough.”

The mayor said he’s willing to spend the money to fix the problem if a permanent solution – and cost – is brought froward.

“I’m going to keep asking the question until we figure out a way,” said Iveson.

“And if we have to spend some money to fix the bloody escalators, then I want to know how much we need to spend, when we need to do it, and get it fixed.”

An inquiry into the number of days the LRT escalators are out of service has been requested.

“It’s driving commuters nuts, and if we’re trying to encourage people to use the system and make it accessible, particularly to people with impairments, then escalators are part of that.”

Several escalators at Edmonton LRT stations have been down for some time. October 30, 2014

Vinesh Pratap, Global News

Several escalators at Edmonton LRT stations have been down for some time. October 30, 2014

Vinesh Pratap, Global News

An escalator at the U of A LRT station, October 30, 2014

Vinesh Pratap, Global News

An escalator at the Century Park LRT station, October 30, 2014

Vinesh Pratap, Global News

An escalator at the U of A LRT station, October 30, 2014

Vinesh Pratap, Global News

“At the top of the year we certainly had some issues with regards to the escalators, steps being the number one issue,” said Phil Henry with the city’s LRT facilities maintenance department.

“The steps had to be re-manufactured and that was a big problem, especially with some of the older escalators,” he added.

Henry said the department is working with the service providers to “close the gaps.”

“Now, we’re getting into our annual maintenance schedules and so we’re seeing some of the escalators down for servicing.”

He said the Century Park LRT station is unique.

“The approach from the outside is only two or three steps before people hit the escalator, and we’ve incurred more maintenance on that escalator than we’d like to. So, right now there’s a major overhaul on the step chains and the drive mechanisms.”

Henry said the Century Park LRT escalator will be back in service within next few days.

“Safety is our top priority. So, when we have an issue with an escalator, it’s our responsibility to ensure that it’s serviced properly.”

All Edmonton LRT stations are also equipped with an elevator.

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WATCH: LeBron James huddles all of Cleveland in stirring new Nike ad

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CLEVELAND – LeBron James huddles with teammates before each game, pulling them close to deliver a message. In a new TV commercial, James does the same to bring an entire city together.

To celebrate James’ homecoming in Cleveland, Nike launched a stirring advertisement on Thursday to coincide with the Cavaliers’ season opener against the New York Knicks.

James returned to the Cavs this summer after four years in Miami, coming back to Northeast Ohio to try and end the city’s 50-year drought without a pro sports championship.



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    Filmed in black and white, the two-minute ad titled “Together” opens with James being introduced before a home game. As the team gathers at midcourt, James implores his teammates – including a cameo by all-star guard Kyrie Irving – to work hard.

    He tells them they “owe” Cleveland something.

    Fans begin trickling down to the floor to join the Cavs in a tight circle as others flock from around the city to Quicken Loans Arena.

    Soon, Clevelanders, their arms wrapped around each other’s shoulders, bob and chant in unison with James in the middle of them.

    The commercial, set to debut during the telecast of the opener, includes exterior shots of some Cleveland landmarks like The Q, Terminal Tower and restaurants along East Fourth Street. There are cameos by James’ mom, Gloria, and his high school coach, Dru Joyce, as well as children from the star’s family foundation.

    In addition with the season opener, the ad is timed with the launch of James’ new shoe, the LeBron 12 Hrt of a Lion, which retails for $200.

    READ MORE: Five things we can learn from LeBron James’ low-carb diet

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Prince Charles donates to fund helping families of slain soldiers

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OTTAWA – Prince Charles has made what is being described as a substantial donation to the families of the two Canadian soldiers killed recently in separate attacks.

Clarence House confirmed a donation was made to the True Patriot Love Foundation, which is managing the flood of money coming in through the Stand on Guard Fund. The contribution was made explicitly for the families of Cpl. Nathan Cirillo and Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent.


The Prince of Wales’ Charitable Foundation isn’t revealing the amount of the donation, but a source close to the matter called it “substantial.”

Bronwen Evans, managing director of the True Patriot Love Foundation, said the organization is thrilled – but not surprised – by the donation from Prince Charles, given his support for the military.

READ MORE: Governor General pays respects to Cpl. Cirillo at memorial

“I think it says to the families that he recognizes the sacrifices that military families make,” said Evans.

“Certainly given the particular circumstances around how these two soldiers were killed, I think it says that he recognizes the important role that our military plays, not just abroad, but also at home in terms of protecting our democracy and freedoms.”

The Stand on Guard Fund was created by a pair of Conservative friends in the wake of last Wednesday’s fatal shooting of reservist Cpl. Nathan Cirillo in front of the National War Memorial in Ottawa.

READ MORE: Jitters remains as MPs return to the scene of last week’s Ottawa shooting

It has since taken off, and the organizing committee – which includes individuals of all political stripes – pegged the total as of Thursday at $700,000. Donations have come from 26 countries, and ranged from $1 to $50,000.

All the donations will be divided equally between Cirillo’s family and that of Vincent, who was struck by an assailant’s car two weeks ago in St-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Que.

Donations can be made through 苏州美甲美睫培训standonguardfund苏州美甲美睫培训.

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‘I’m not a criminal’: Jailed with no charge, no sentence, no oversight

Written by admin on 25/08/2019 Categories: 苏州美甲美睫培训

Sitting in a glassed-off visiting cubicle, Masoud Hajivand pulls up the sleeve of his orange inmate uniform, rotates wrist upward to show ropy scars up his left arm.

That’s from the second time this year the Canadian Border Services Agency tried to deport him to Iran. The first time, two months earlier, six CBSA officers gave up on trying to drag him out of his cell as he wept and clung to the bars.

This time, they got him as far as a cell at Pearson International Airport, where he tried to slit his wrists with a piece of metal he found in the cell.


“I tried to kill myself,” he says into the phone connecting him to the other side of the glass.

“I didn’t have a choice – what’s the difference? If I go on the airplane I’m going to die.”

For his pains he spent two days under suicide watch, in a bare cell dressed only in a tear-proof smock.

Hajivand wears the same orange jumpsuit, lives on the same range, uses the same facilities as hundreds of other inmates at the sprawling Maplehurst jail complex in Milton, Ontario, northwest of Toronto.

But unlike the men he lives with, the majority of whom are held on remand, Hajivand has never been charged with a crime.

“I’m not a criminal,” he repeats, like a mantra whose truth needs constant reaffirmation.

“I don’t know what I’m doing here.”

Hajivand is one of more than 200 immigration detainees held in Ontario’s notoriously crowded jails, many of them without charge. Their cases are reviewed monthly, but in practice they could be incarcerated indefinitely.

All of them, Global News has learned, have been hidden for years from Red Cross attempts to ascertain their well-being and ensure Canada’s living up to its international human rights obligations.

“A greater degree of risk to immigrant detainees”

The Canadian Red Cross has conducted annual inspections of immigration detention conditions since 2008, sending its findings in confidential reports to the federal government. Global recently obtained the reports under access-to-information laws.


Canada’s non-citizens paid to leave, jailed without charge, die in secret

Jailed with no charge, no sentence, no oversight

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Deaths in detention: CBSA’s fatal failure to learn from its mistakes

Year after year, its inspectors slammed the practice of putting immigration detainees in provincial jails in British Columbia and Alberta – the provinces they were allowed to see.

And year after year, its inspectors tried and failed to gain access to Ontario’s jails.

Ontario signed an agreement with the CBSA on October 20 allowing Red Cross access.

“Now we are working on finalizing an agreement with the Canadian Red Cross so that they have more regular access to immigration detainees,” said Yasir Naqvi, Ontario’s correctional minister.

(The Red Cross would not confirm it’s in talks with the province)

Getting to that point took years, however.

The 2008-09 Red Cross report describes access to Ontario jails as a “work in progress.”

The 2013 report says the Red Cross “remains concerned that it cannot currently fulfil its mandate to monitor the detention conditions of all places where immigration detainees are being held in Canada.”

Red Cross spokesperson Celine St-Louis wouldn’t comment on these reports, saying they’re “confidential to the government.

“So I can’t discuss the findings, or the recommendations, or any of the aspects of those reports.”

Federal Public Safety Minister Steven Blaney refused to speak with Global News for this story.

What the Red Cross has seen, it has condemned as risking the safety and wellbeing of vulnerable individuals in Canada’s care.

It’s expressed concerns around “co-mingling” immigration detainees with criminals and accused criminals in jails, where they’re often triple-bunked and cut off from family or legal counsel.

Jails “serve a largely punitive function,” the Red Cross report for 2012-13 reads.

Mixing convicted criminals and people on remand with detainees “presents a greater degree of risk to immigration detainees who are co-mingled with a volatile corrections population, some serving, or awaiting trial for violent or gang-affiliated crimes.”

CBSA spokesperson Pierre Deveau did not directly address questions about detainees’ physical safety in jails. Simply put, border officials put immigrant detainees in jails when they need the space or they think they pose a risk.

“The CBSA relies on provincial correctional facilities to detain higher-risk detainees (for example, those with a violent criminal background); lower-risk detainees in areas not served by an immigration holding centre; and for those detained over 72 hours in the Vancouver area,” he wrote in an email.

Perversely, says immigration lawyer Guidy Mamann, a detainee can end up in jail because he or she has health problems that more lenient detention facilities can’t deal with.

“So they send them to somewhere where there are adequate medical facilities – namely, a full-blown jail.”

In fiscal 2013-2014, the CBSA paid Ontario more than $21 million for jail space for immigration detainees, Deveau said. That works out to about $250 per inmate per day.

Navqi couldn’t say whether Ontario could ease crowding in its correctional system by not renting jail space to the CBSA.

“I am not in a position to give you a response because, honestly, I have not thought about that,” he said.

Family photos show Pam and Masoud in happier times before his arrest.


“This is not a detention centre. This is a high-security jail.”

Deeper within Maplehurst, heavy steel doors click open, then make an echoing boom when they’re locked again.

Hajivand’s status as an immigration detainee makes him something of a pariah, he says. He gets last dibs on the phone and shower, which can mean days without access to either, he says. He recalls being nonplussed when, on first arriving in jail, he was asked if he had anything to smoke.

“I’ve never lived with these people in my life. I don’t know why I’m here,” he says.

“This is not a detention centre. This is a high-security jail.”

But silent treatment and social isolation aside, Hajivand may be one of the lucky ones.

“We have seen people come out of the jails black and blue, literally. Eyes punched, welts on their back, arms bruised,” Mamann said.

“We’ve heard credible complaints of multiple sexual abuse of people who have no criminal record, and who want to say nothing during or after these experiences. During, because no one’s going to care, and you’re in a vulnerable situation, and after, because ‘I just want to put it behind me, I don’t want to remember it, and I certainly don’t want my spouse to find out what happened.’”

Naqvi told Global News he takes these allegations “very seriously.”

“Making sure inmates that are in our care and custody are safe is a responsibility we take very seriously.”

WATCH: Videographer Liam Maloney talked to Pam Shiraldini and Melika Mojarrab, Masoud Hajivand’s wife and stepdaughter, during their long, bleak weekly drive to the Lindsay jail complex.

“They just throw in the towel and go home”

At any given time, between 520 and 550 people are in immigration detention in Canada. About 40 per cent of them end up in Ontario provincial jails.

And those kept in jail are detained, on average, for longer: Detainees in Ontario jails spend an average of 40 days in custody – twice the 20-day average for immigration detainees in general.

People can end up in immigration detention because of a criminal background, doubts about their identity or an immigration officer’s concern they won’t show up if ordered to be deported.

But that could include almost anyone: Refugee claimants frequently lack adequate identification. And CBSA officers could cite virtually any reason as suspicion a claimant is a flight risk or won’t show up for a hearing or deportation.

“When they are called in to Immigration, there are a number of landmines placed in front of them,” Mamann says.

“They say, ‘Your application to stay in Canada has failed, and we’re now thinking of sending you home: How do you feel about that?’ ‘Well, I’m not really crazy about returning to Mexico, or Hungary.’ ‘Why?’ ‘Well, I don’t have a job there, my parents are dead, I don’t really have much to go to.’ ‘Would you like to stay here?’ ‘Oh, sure, I’d love to stay here.’ ‘Okay, can you just wait one minute?’

“Now, the client is feeling pretty good. He thinks: ‘Finally, there’s a human being who might take an interest in my case.’ Then the officer returns with two burly CBSA officers, who put handcuffs on him and detain him.”

Immigration lawyer Max Berger goes over a carefully worded response with his clients in which they balance enthusiasm for Canada with a willingness to be deported until they can repeat it perfectly.

“I sit with my client, I have them rehearse that line back to me three or four times, so I’m sure that he has it straight,” Berger said.

Almost three-quarters of male immigration detainees in Ontario jails are held in the Central East Correctional Centre in Lindsay, far from Toronto-based family, counsel or support networks. Detainees in Lindsay stay an average of 82 days there (allowing for early release, that’s equivalent to a four-month jail sentence for someone in the criminal justice system).

Some detainees in Lindsay have been boycotting their monthly detention reviews, says immigration activist Syed Hussan.

“They say that the reviews are bogus, that they are stacked against them, they feel that their voices are not being heard, that every time they show up they get the same decision, month after month after month,” he said.

In September, the advocacy group No One Is Illegal estimated 50 inmates were participating, but, Hussan says, it’s hard to get an accurate number: “people are often moved around, and the numbers are constantly shifting.”

Often, Mamann said, being held in jail indefinitely convinces would-be refugees to simply give up and go home.

“The reality is that the situation becomes so expensive, so frustrating, we’ve denied really effective access to counsel, we’ve cut him off from his family, they just throw in the towel and go home,” he said – even “ in situations where they have good rights of appeal, they have good grounds for staying, where there are serious reasons that they’re going to be harmed abroad.”

Ontario plans to move immigration detainees to a Toronto-area jail in 2015, Naqvi said. In the meantime, the province has set up a shuttle bus system for detainees’ visitors.

At the visitor’s entrance to the Central East Correctional Centre, in Lindsay, ON, Pam and Melika stash personal possessions, mobile phones and other items prohibited from being taken inside the prison in a locker. Their weekly visit with Masoud lasts 20 minutes.


“I’m used to seeing him every day, and hugging him”

Before being arrested and jailed without charge, Hajivand had been living in Canada for seven years – his status perpetually shaky.

The Immigration and Refugee Board rejected his initial 2007 claim, that he was fleeing a police crackdown on protest that had already killed his younger brother, because of inconsistencies in his statements (although the tribunal officer “generally observed that the claimant’s demeanour while testifying was satisfactory, and that the claimant was otherwise generally credible”).

A spousal sponsorship fell through when Hajivand’s relationship with his then-Canadian common-law spouse went sour.

Immigration officials ordered him to present himself for deportation in August, 2011. He didn’t – while he admitted in an affidavit that “my conduct was wrong,” he claims to have been “in a complete panic” and didn’t know what else to do.

At that point, a warrant was issued for Hajivand’s arrest. But he continued to live and work in Canada for years after.

He fell in love with Iranian-Canadian Pam Shiraldini and, with her, evangelical Christianity, which he said in an affidavit offered him “a sort of home” when he felt adrift in a new and not always welcoming country.

They met at a party in 2012.

“It was a connection. We talked, and felt comfortable with each other,” Shiraldini said. “We were best friends before he moved in. It was a great connection between us. ”

Shiraldini was delighted that Hajivand bonded with her daughter Melika Mojarrab, then 13.

“I was so grateful that there was a connection so fast between these two. She was so happy to have someone besides me that she could rely on. That was a very good feeling for me, as a mother.”

Melika Mojarrab, Masoud’s 15-year-old stepdaughter, at the rally in Toronto’s Dundas Square to protest his impending deportation.


“It’s really hard for me, because I’m used to seeing him every day, and hugging him, and talking to him face to face, and now I have to travel an hour and a half to see him, and I have to talk to him through glass,” she reflects. “It’s hard.”

Hajivand and Shiraldini were baptized at a Toronto church on New Year’s Eve, 2013.

This, he and his advocates argue, poses an additional danger should he be deported. The Iranian state, which frowns on any religious alternative to orthodox Shiite Islam, saves a special wrath for ex-Muslims.

According to UN diplomat Ahmed Shaheed Iranian law “allows for the application of capital punishment in cases of apostasy.

Between July 2013 and June of 2014, Shaheed estimated, Iran executed at least 852 people – more than 16 a week.

And thanks, ironically, to his supporters, Hajivand’s religious conversion is now all too public should any Iranian border officer care to check.

“These online campaigns began after I was detained by the CBSA, but now that I have learned of them, I am very worried about how they will affect my safety in Iran,” Hajivand wrote in an affidavit.

But the Immigration and Refugee Board rejected his latest argument on these grounds. Hajivand claims he didn’t know what documents he needed.

This puts one arm of a government that’s pulled its ambassador from a country its Prime Minister has declared has an “appalling record of human rights abuse” and “frightens me” in the position of forcing a man to go back there.

It wouldn’t be the first time: Canada has deported 423 people to Iran since 2004; last year, it sent 31 people there.

Blaney’s office referred a question regarding the apparent contradiction to the CBSA.

“Everyone ordered removed from Canada is entitled to due process before the law and all removal orders are subject to various levels of appeal,” spokesperson Esme Bailey wrote in an e-mail.

“Prior to being removed, those under removal order are entitled to have their risk of returning to their country assessed through: the refugee determination process, a pre-removal risk assessment or an application for permanent residence based on humanitarian and compassionate grounds.”

Hajivand doesn’t buy it.

“I never ever, ever, ever thought that any country would do this to people,” he said.

“This is human rights? … Lock up people who haven’t done anything and tell them you have to go to Iran?”

TORONTO, ON: Pan Shiraldini at the rally in Toronto’s Dundas Square to protest her husband Masoud Hajivani’s impending deportation. About 20 members of the community held signs and stood silently in the square at 5PM, occasionally answering questions from curios bystanders.


“They are using my taxes to keep me here.”

Immigration officials claim Hajivand’s a flight risk because of the missed 2011 removal date. But he claims he hasn’t exactly been on the run.

He has a common-law partner, treats her daughter as his own, is actively involved in a church and has been working as superintendent at a construction site for years.

“From the day I got a job, I’ve been paying taxes,” he says, and chuckles darkly.

“They are using my taxes to keep me here.”

Nevertheless, he was arrested at a June 27 meeting with immigration officers. He’s been held ever since – first at Lindsay, then at Maplehurst, now at Lindsay again.

That creates particular hardship for Shiraldini and Melika, now 15, who make the trek to Lindsay from Toronto every weekend.

“It takes about an hour and a half, an hour and 45 minutes to come to see Masoud,” Shiraldini explains. Sometimes there are lockdowns, and we don’t have a chance to see him. We can only talk to him for 20 minutes.”

Pam Shiraldini’s face is reflected in the rear-view mirror near Lindsay as she drives to the Lindsay jail.


 “He’ll be out of reach”

In the meantime, he’s in limbo: The most recent of Hajivand’s monthly hearings took place last week in a busy industrial area near Toronto’s Pearson International Airport.

Hajivand attended via video feed and had a Farsi translator but no lawyer (Hajivand’s lawyer Anthony Navaneelan said he didn’t show up because they had no viable plan to get Hajivand bail).

Shiraldini and Melika are there, however, watching Hajivand on the monitor. ‘Minister’s counsel’ Matthew Tong, who acts as a prosecutor, tells the hearing the CBSA is “actively working” to find a way of deporting Hajivand to Iran.

Because Hajivand arrived on an Air Canada flight without valid documents, the government wants the airline to pay for his ticket out of the country, Navaneelan says.

Air Canada wouldn’t comment on specific cases, and wouldn’t say how many flights like this it pays for.

Hajivand’s lawyer says the stalemate is whether CBSA can oblige Air Canada to pay for a charter flight for Hajivand, since his bitter resistance makes it impractical to put him on a commercial flight. He estimates the cost at about $300,000.

In the meantime, lawyers for the government say Hajivand’s fear of being deported to Iran make him enough of a flight risk to warrant his continued incarceration.

Christopher Marcinkiewicz, the Immigration and Refugee Board member overseeing the hearing, agrees. Hajivand is sent back to his cell until November 24 – or until the CBSA and Air Canada reach an agreement on a charter flight. He has no idea which will come first.

As of today, he’s spent 180 days in jail, equivalent to about a nine-month sentence.

Shiraldini, a Canadian citizen, has applied to sponsor Hajivand.

But that will take months – maybe more than a year, his lawyer says. In that time he could still be deported.

“[A CBSA] officer said that you can apply for him from outside the country,” Shiraldini said, fighting to control her emotion.

“I said: ‘I think you don’t understand exactly what’s happening here. If he leaves Canada, how could I apply for him? He’ll be out of reach – it will be impossible.”

In the meantime, Hajivand says, he has nightmares of men in CBSA uniforms coming into his cell to take him to the airport.

“Two days a week I can relax – the CBSA won’t come for me on Saturday or Sunday,” he said.

“I ask for sleeping pills, but when they give them to me the same nightmares return. … It just keeps playing, like a tape.”

With files from Anna Mehler Paperny and Leslie Young

The Canada Day deportation attempt
A CBSA e-mail describes the failed attempt to get Hajivand out of his cell and on a plane to Iran on Canada Day. On September 18, a second deportation was cancelled when Hajivand tried to slit his wrists with a piece of metal he found in his cell at Pearson International Airport. “I didn’t have a choice – what’s the difference?,” he later explained. “If I go on the airplane I’m going to die.”
Click on the excerpt to read the whole thing.

PC=”person concerned,” ie. Hajivand, IHC=”Immigration Holding Centre,” LBPIA=”Lester B. Pearson International Airport,” MCC=”Maplehurst Correctional Centre,” “GTEIOD“=Greater Toronto Enforcement and Intelligence Operations Division (CBSA’s Airport Road headquarters), “A&D“=Arrivals and Departures (at Airport Road), “G4S“=a private security company.

READ: Affidavit of Masoud Hajivand

View this document on Scribd

READ: Red Cross report on Canada’s immigration detention, 2012-13

View this document on Scribd

Tell us your story: Do you have experience as a refugee or immigration detainee in Canada? We’d love to hear it. 

Note: We may publish your submission in future stories

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Top 5 tech tricks to make your Halloween extra spooky

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TORONTO – It’s time to bust out the decorations – the spookiest night of the year is almost upon us.

But if Halloween has crept up on you, don’t worry – there are plenty of last-minute ways to scare trick-or-treaters using everyday household gadgets.

From costumes to homemade decorations, here are five tech inspired ideas to make this year the scariest Halloween yet.

Animated costumes

No need to worry if you don’t have a costume picked out yet – all you need is an old t-shirt and your trusty smartphone. Costume company Digital Dudz sells special smartphone pocket t-shirts that come with a free download of one of their creepy animations – but if short on time or money, you can create an at-home version.



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    To create a creepy animated costume, all you need to do is create a pocket for your smartphone in an old t-shirt, cut out a hole about the size of your smartphone screen and decorate the front of the shirt with fake blood.

    Then create the effect of an open wound with a beating heart animation, or go for a cyborg effect with an animated eye by downloading an animation or finding a video to loop on YouTube.

    Animated pumpkins

    The same idea can be used for upping the scare-factor of your pumpkin.

    Try buying a smaller pumpkin to accompany your larger carved pumpkins – but only carve a hole big enough for your smartphone screen. All you need to do is download an eye animation, place your phone inside and wait for trick-or-treaters.

    DIY creepy glowing eyes

    Want to scare your trick-or-treaters big time on a small budget? Get ready to raid your recycling bin.

    All you need for this DIY project is a few toilet paper rolls, some battery powered LED lights (which you can find at most hardware stores) and a pair of scissors. Simply cut out a few different eye shapes on each roll, stash the LED lights inside and hide them in your bushes. Here is a similar tutorial using glow sticks.

    Ghoulish projections

    Don’t have the energy to drape your house in cobwebs, or turn your front lawn into a fake graveyard?  Turn your house into a haunted haven by hooking up your computer to a projector, or flat screen TV.

    AtmosFEARfx has downloadable digital decorations that appear as life-sized ghostly images – from ghosts, to headless horsemen – at $10 each. Simply connect your computer to your TV and place it in front of a big window where trick-o-treaters can see it.

    Scream-worthy sound effects

    If you aren’t feeling crafty enough for any of the above, why not make your own spooky soundtrack?

    Using a program like Apple’s Garage Band, download some scary Halloween music and record a few evil laughs, cackles and maybe the occasional “Boo” overtop. Save the track as a song on your smartphone and play it through a BlueTooth speaker you hide somewhere outside.

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‘Thanks Alcohol!’ New Alberta awareness campaign targets binge drinking

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EDMONTON – A new awareness campaign is using posters showing people in bad situations following a night of binge drinking to educate people about the issue.

The campaign – titled ‘Thanks Alcohol!’ – was created by the Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission (AGLC).  It officially launches on Friday and will run until Nov. 24.

The posters show a young woman in a very emotional state, a man with injuries from a fight, another man vomiting on someone, and two people in bed together looking quite awkward.

Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission’s ‘Thanks Alcohol!’ campaign. October 2014

Supplied: AGLC

Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission’s ‘Thanks Alcohol!’ campaign. October 2014

Supplied: AGLC

Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission’s ‘Thanks Alcohol!’ campaign. October 2014

Supplied: AGLC

Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission’s ‘Thanks Alcohol!’ campaign. October 2014

Supplied: AGLC



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    The AGLC says the campaign targets binge drinking “in a clever way” to remind young adults “they need to think about their drinking choices.”

    “We went out with an edgy creative campaign to really demonstrate the types of situations you can find yourself in as a young person if you’re not on your guard and you’re not really paying attention to the amount that you’re drinking,” said AGLC President Bill Robinson.

    The ‘Thanks Alcohol!’ website includes the tagline: ‘it can’t always be the alcohol’s fault.’

    WATCH: AGLC President Bill Robinson appears on the Morning News to talk about the new ‘Thanks Alcohol!’ awareness campaign. 

    READ MORE: Scientists suggest some prefer alcohol more than others 

    There is also a quiz posted online to determine what kind of drinker you are.

    “The quiz is a bit of a fun way to bring a very important point home,” said Robinson.

    “It’s a way of going [online] and really asking yourself some questions through the quiz and really seeing the type of ways you can go out and exercise moderation.”

    Robinson said the campaign targets the 18-24 age group.

    “If you find yourself overindulging or you find yourself in a situation you’re not comfortable with, you should really review your choices.”

    The site also includes tips on how to take control – like eating a full meal, slowing down the alcohol consumption, setting aside a specific amount of cash for the night, and making sure you’re with a good group of friends – and links to other resources.

    Follow @Emily_Mertz

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Hundreds of sailors return home to Halifax aboard HMCS Athabaskan

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HALIFAX – It was an emotional day in Halifax as families were reunited when HMCS Athabaskan returned to its home port.

The ship had been deployed as part of Operation CARIBBE, which is Canada’s contribution to a multinational campaign against illegal trafficking by organized crime in the Caribbean basin and eastern Pacific Ocean.

HMCS Athabaskan helped support multiple aircraft patrols and participated in six intercept operations, one of which resulted in the seizure of 820 kilograms of cocaine.



  • International warships in Halifax ahead of major training exercise

    “What we did down there, it’s something to be proud of for sure,” said Master Seaman Allan Wrathall. “We flew the flag proudly down there and we accomplished what we wanted.”

    The Royal Canadian Navy has deployed seven warships as part of the operation this year. In total, more than six metric tons of cocaine has been seized to date.

    The Canadian Armed Forces has been conducting Operation CARIBBE since November 2006.

    HMCS Athabaskan spent 53 days away from home, 37 of which were spent at sea.

    “It’s been our longest [deployment] so far,” said Denyse Walker.

    WATCH: HMCS Athabaskan applauded in Parliament after returning home

    Walker has two young children and says it was a difficult two months, but she’s proud of her husband.

    “It’s a little difficult, but we got through it,” she said. “A lot of emails exchanged, and when they could, he called, so that kept them in contact and happy.”

    Once the ship carefully made its way into port, families and loved ones of the sailors were invited to climb aboard.

    “We like to welcome the families on board because they’re part of our extended family,” said Cmdr. Matt Plaschka.

    Cpl. Alex Amirault met up with his wife, who is expecting the couple’s second child.

    “It’s good. It’s always good to be back home,” he said.

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Islamic State group kills dozens of former Iraqi police

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BAGHDAD – The Islamic State group wanted to send a warning against anyone who might plot against its rule.

Back when the extremists took over the northern Iraqi city of Mosul in June, police Col. Mohammed Hassan was among some Sunnis in the security forces who surrendered, handed over their weapons and pledged to cut ties with the police. In return, the militants gave them “repentance badges” granting them some safety. But now, the Islamic State group suspected Hassan was engaging in activities against it.



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    So last week, IS fighters stormed Hassan’s house at night. Hassan and his son fought back, killing three attackers before they were gunned down. The militants then hung his mutilated body from a fence for several days near his home as an example, according to two residents who witnessed the battle and were aware of the events leading up to it. They spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisals.

    READ MORE: Canadian jets join anti-ISIS campaign in Kuwait

    The past few weeks, the Islamic State group has been hunting down former policemen and army officers in areas it controls, apparently fearing they might join a potential internal Sunni uprising against its rule.

    While world attention has been focused on the battle to fend off the extremists’ assault on the town of Kobani across the border in Syria, the group has killed dozens of its opponents this month in Iraq. In several instances, Sunnis have been lined up in public squares and gunned down or beheaded as a warning.

    The aim is to prevent the Baghdad government and the U.S.-led alliance from finding Sunni allies against it at a time when Kurdish fighters and Shiite militias backed by U.S.-led airstrikes have made some gains, taking back several towns from the militants.

    The campaign of killings adds a new bloody chapter in the Islamic State group’s legacy. In its blitz capturing a swath of Iraq and neighbouring Syria, it gained a grisly notoriety for butchering its opponents and members of sects it considers heretical.

    READ MORE: Is the world ready to deal with a generation of ISIS child soldiers?

    Human Rights Watch on Thursday said that the extremists carried out a mass killing of around 600 Shiite Muslim inmates being held in Mosul’s main prison when the group captured the city in June. The Shiites were separated from several hundred Sunni and Christian inmates who were set free, then the Shiites – along with a number of Kurds and Yazidis – were forced to kneel on the edge of a nearby ravine and were mowed down with automatic weapons, Human Rights Watch said in a report, based on interviews with survivors.

    But killings of former police are of a new, different sort – a campaign to eliminate those who the extremists fear could become the nucleus of a revolt against their control.

    In new killings, the militants on Wednesday paraded 30 Sunni tribal fighters through the western city of Hit then shot them all to death on a main street, according to a provincial official and other residents. Their bodies were found later that day, followed by another mass grave of 48 tribal fighters discovered on Thursday. The fighters, mostly from the Al Bu Nimr tribe, were captured when the extremists overran Hit earlier in the month.

    READ MORE: Syrian rebels enter Kobani to help in fight against ISIS militants

    Mosul, the largest city in the group’s self-styled “caliphate,” has seen increased killings. Last week, Mosul’s governor, Atheel al-Nujaifi, who was driven out of the city in the militant takeover, said pro-government Sunni militias were being formed in the city, made up of mainly of former army and police officers.

    Soon after, Islamic State group militants rounded up 20 former police officers from villages south of Mosul. Hours later, their bodies – all with gunshots to the head – were handed over to the morgue, according to morgue officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of retaliation.

    In a separate incident, the militants shot to death police Col. Issa Osman after parading him through Mosul’s streets. Osman’s battalion was the last unit to give up fighting in Mosul during the June takeover, and afterward he also renounced ties to the security forces, receiving a “repentance badge” from the extremists.

    Military spokesman Brig. Gen. Saad Maan Ibrahim also said anti-IS militant groups have been formed in Mosul. Whether they are part of armed groups or not, former police and army officers are a potential threat to the militants because they “have the expertise on how to plan an armed uprising and they have good knowledge of weapons and military operation,” Maan told AP.

    There have been similar slayings elsewhere under the extremists’ domain the past week. Three days ago, IS fighters shot to death two former army officers and three policemen in a public square in the northern city of Beiji, residents said. They announced to a crowd that the men had carried out mortar attacks on the militants’ positions in the city, according to the residents.

    At the same time, about 20 former policemen and army officers were rounded up by IS fighters in the town of Shurqat and taken to an unknown location, with no word since on their fate, said an official in Salahuddin provincial council.

    On Wednesday, IS fighters beheaded policeman Bahjat Salman in a public square in Ana, a town west of Bagdad, proclaiming him a “traitor,” residents said. The residents of Ana and Beiji and the Salahuddin official spoke to AP on condition of anonymity for their own safety.

    So far, there has been little sign of an armed revolt in Mosul or other parts of northern and western Iraq under IS control. But the killings could be a sign the extremists’ confidence has been shaken by the air campaign.

    The group was able to expand with lightning speed across Sunni-dominated regions of Iraq starting in June, in large part because of the minority community’s deep hatred of the Shiite-dominated government in Baghdad. Sunnis have long complained the government discriminates against them and marginalizes them. Government forces collapsed as the extremists swept over Mosul, then south toward the capital, capturing towns and cities along the way.

    But there has been resentment among some Mosul residents fueled by the group’s enforcement of its extremist interpretation of Islamic law, a lack of public services and stagnation in business.

    “Most Mosul people want to get rid of this savage organization,” said a resident speaking on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisals. “We are waiting for any effort to save us.”

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