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Submit News to CKA News Thousands of students to stay home as Durham secondary teachers to strike - CTV News
Sun, 19 Apr 2015 20:36:15 GMT

CTV News

Thousands of students to stay home as Durham secondary teachers to strike
CTV News
TORONTO -- Ontario's education minister says she is disappointed that high school teachers in Durham Region will be going on strike after talks broke down with their union. The Ontario Secondary School Teachers Federation says its members will be on the ...
Pine Ridge Secondary School students urge sides in Durham teachers' strike 'to ...durhamregion.com
OSSTF hopes to avoid teachers' strike in Thunder BayCBC.ca
Union representing Durham teachers blames board for 'refusing to negotiate'CP24 Toronto's Breaking News
BlackburnNews.com
all 108 news articles »
Submit News to CKA News Surrey Mounties arrest one man in connection with ?suspicious, sudden? death
Sun, 19 Apr 2015 20:32:36 Z
The RCMP are investigating what they call a suspicious and sudden death at a home in Surrey over the weekend.
Submit News to CKA News Stawamus Chief rock slide raises large dust cloud - CBC.ca
Sun, 19 Apr 2015 20:29:13 GMT

CBC.ca

Stawamus Chief rock slide raises large dust cloud
CBC.ca
The District of Squamish says a geotechnical engineering assessment has been done and a search is under way after a rock slide on the Stawamus Chief this morning. It has not yet released details of the engineer's early report. There have been no reports of ...
Rockslide at Stawamus Chief heard and felt widelyCTV News
Ambulances dispatched after rockslide reported at Stawamus ChiefThe Province
Rockslide from Chief mountain surprises townSquamish Chief
Globalnews.ca -Pique Newsmagazine
all 9 news articles »
Submit News to CKA News Photos: More photos from Vancouver Sun Run 2015
Sun, 19 Apr 2015 20:25:03 Z
More than 40,000 runners took to the streets of Vancouver for the 31th running of the Vancouver Sun Run 10K race.
Submit News to CKA News John Tavares scores winner as Isles beat Capitals in OT
Sun, 19 Apr 2015 16:17:47 EDT

UNIONDALE, N.Y.—Islanders captain John Tavares scored 15 seconds into overtime to lift New York to a 2-1 win in Game 3 of their first-round playoff series over the Washington Capitals on Sunday.

Kyle Okposo also scored for the Islanders, who took a 2-1 series lead.

The game was decided quickly in the extra period, and after the Islanders allowed the Capitals to tie the game on Nicklas Backstrom’s goal with 6:06 remaining in the third.

In overtime, Nikolay Kulemin’s initial shot was stopped by Braden Holtby, who then tried to direct the rebound into the right corner. The puck went directly to Tavares, who shovelled it in before Holtby could cover the right post.

Game 4 is at Long Island on Tuesday.

Submit News to CKA News Photos: The sun?s shining, bees are buzzing
Sun, 19 Apr 2015 20:16:57 Z
Vancouver Sun photographer Jenelle Schneider headed out to the blooming blueberry fields of Richmond where the bees of Honey Bee Zen Apiaries are hard at work doing what bees do best. Here, Amanda Goodman Lee checks out the health of the hives and how the honey-making process is going.
Submit News to CKA News Ottawa Senators extend invite to fans harassed at Habs' home ice
Sun, 19 Apr 2015 16:01:00 -0400
The Ottawa Senators are using the hashtag #WeLoveOurFans to show their support for two sisters who were harassed by Canadiens fans at the Bell Centre in Montreal during Game 2 of the teams? NHL playoffs matchup.
Submit News to CKA News Durham, Sudbury could be first teacher-strike targets
Sun, 19 Apr 2015 19:19:32 Z
The fragile labour peace between Ontario’s Liberals and public school teachers could soon come to an end as two major unions say negotiations have stalled or reached an impasse, with some teachers threatening a strike as early as Monday.
Submit News to CKA News Thousands attend Toronto rally marking 100 years since Armenian genocide
Sun, 19 Apr 2015 15:15:00 -0400
Thousands of people gathered in downtown Toronto Sunday, for a rally marking 100 years since the Ottoman-era killing of an estimated 1.5 million Armenians.
Submit News to CKA News Man dies in targeted shooting in Surrey
Sun, 19 Apr 2015 19:06:15 Z
A recent spree of shootings in Surrey continued with another incident Sunday morning in which a man died.
Submit News to CKA News Here is a house on fire: Fiorito
Sun, 19 Apr 2015 15:05:30 EDT

Senator and former Toronto mayor Art Eggleton is looking into the management structure and the governance of the Toronto Community Housing Corporation. That’s good. I’m glad.

But he should know this:

I had a call the other day from a woman I’ll call Jill. She told me that her cousin Liz died last month. Liz was a tenant of community housing, on Lawrence Ave. E. near Kingston Rd.

Liz died of a heart attack. It took two weeks for anyone to notice. It took another two weeks for the family to find out, and here’s how that happened: Jill’s mother got a call from the property manager asking her when she was going to come over and clear the apartment.

I’m not kidding.

Liz lived alone. She didn’t see her relatives often. She had schizophrenia. And yes, I know — people who live alone tend to die alone.

But where is the “community” in community housing when a person — a neighbour, a friend, a tenant — can die and not be missed for two full weeks, and when it takes two more weeks for the family to find out?

Mr. Eggleton, this is the end product of the management and governance you are looking at. I make that assertion with some confidence, because managers have said for years that TCHC is just a landlord. Just a landlord, when thousands of tenants live with disabilities, in misery both physical and mental?

Sorry, not good enough.

Jill asked me to meet in front of the building where her cousin lived. She wanted me to see the apartment. I began by asking her to tell me a bit about Liz, and she began by asking me if I’d brought a haz-mat suit. I braced myself.

Jill showed me a picture of Liz in grade school — toothy grin, pageboy hair — and then a picture of Liz as an adult — a handsome woman who seemed to be looking at the world the way most of us do, with a slightly puzzled expression.

Jill said, “She was an only child. She was very bright. The schizophrenia started when she was in her early 20s.

“She couldn’t work because of her illness, but she went to school. She was a library technician years ago; she’d update her education now and then.”

Jill said, “She’d had a tumultuous relationship with her mother. When she was off her meds, she could be violent. One time, her mother had to call the police. It took five men to hold her down.”

Yikes.

“I saw her last at her mother’s funeral. She looked good — a bit off the wall, that’s to be expected — but she was cleaned up, neatly dressed.”

And then Jill took me up to the apartment, and this is what Mr. Eggleton should see, and this is what the board of TCHC should look at when they say that the company is just a landlord:

The apartment smelled of death.

The bed was a mess and did not appear to have been used for sleeping because it was black with bedbug feces.

There was dirty clothing scattered all over the floors, and there were dirty cups and dishes here and there, and the place had not been cleaned in months; that is a tangible sign of illness.

The bathroom was a mess. The toilet was inexplicably dry.

There were bugs of all kinds everywhere. Jill suggested that I look behind the armchair in the living room. I had to step over and around mounds of buggy litter to get to it, and when I looked behind the armchair I saw so many bedbugs that it made me sick.

Families are not trained to deal with issues so complex.

TCHC says with some defensive pride that it relies on community services for its vulnerable tenants. TCHC says Liz refused treatment for bedbugs. TCHC says it helped arrange social supports.

Great job, guys.

What do you think, Mr. Eggleton? Is TCHC “just a landlord” when it rents accommodation to tenants who cannot care for themselves? What would you have done if Liz had been renting a room from you?

Governance, indeed.

Joe Fiorito appears Monday, Wednesday and Friday. jfiorito@thestar.ca

Submit News to CKA News Manitoba dad sexually assaulted during break-in: Cops - Toronto Sun
Sun, 19 Apr 2015 19:02:43 GMT

Toronto Sun

Manitoba dad sexually assaulted during break-in: Cops
Toronto Sun
WINNIPEG -- A Brandon, Man., man is accused of breaking into a home and sexually assaulting a father who was in bed. Police were called to the home around 4:45 a.m. Saturday and the male victim was holding the suspect for police. He told cops that the ...
Brandon man sexually assaulted by intruderBrandon Sun

all 5 news articles »
Submit News to CKA News Duffy enjoyed Conservative all-star status prior to scandal: documents - The Globe and Mail
Sun, 19 Apr 2015 18:46:44 GMT

The Globe and Mail

Duffy enjoyed Conservative all-star status prior to scandal: documents
The Globe and Mail
At least 74 former and current Conservative members of Parliament leaned on Duffy at one point or another to appear at their events, record messages for supporters or stump for them on the campaign trail, documents released at the suspended senator's trial ...

and more »
Submit News to CKA News Queen salutes Canadians in WWI commemoration
Sun, 19 Apr 2015 14:43:00 -0400
The Queen joined three Canadian military regiments in London on Sunday, to commemorate the regiments' role in a historic First World War battle.
Submit News to CKA News Poland demands apology over FBI head's Holocaust remarks
Sun, 19 Apr 2015 14:13:00 -0400
Poland's Foreign Ministry urgently summoned U.S. Ambassador Stephen Mull on Sunday to 'protest and demand an apology,' saying the head of the FBI suggested that Poles were accomplices in the Holocaust.
Submit News to CKA News Most Vancouver beaches safe for use after oil spill - The Globe and Mail
Sun, 19 Apr 2015 18:00:50 GMT

The Globe and Mail

Most Vancouver beaches safe for use after oil spill
The Globe and Mail
Some of Vancouver's most popular beaches are safe to use again following an oil spill ten days ago, but two in the harbour remain under health advisories as do several in West Vancouver, according to authorities. The Coast Guard and Vancouver Coast ...
Beaches re-opening, birds recovering after English Bay oil spillThe Province
Most Vancouver beaches have now been re-opened following the fuel spillNews1130
Wild birds affected by fuel spill to be set free at Jericho BeachCKNW News Talk 980
Times Colonist -Troy Media -North Shore News
all 36 news articles »
Submit News to CKA News Thousands of students to stay home as Durham secondary teachers to strike
Sun, 19 Apr 2015 13:53:00 -0400
Ontario's education minister says she is disappointed that high school teachers in Durham Region will be going on strike after talks broke down with their union.
Submit News to CKA News Toronto runners hit the road in Yonge St. 10K - Toronto Star
Sun, 19 Apr 2015 17:29:39 GMT

Toronto Star

Toronto runners hit the road in Yonge St. 10K
Toronto Star
From personal bests to first attempts, many Toronto runners kicked off the season with the Toronto Yonge St. 10K on Sunday morning. The Canada Running Series tweeted that they raised a total of $12,700 for the Red Door Family Shelter. Here are some ...
Lanni Marchant, Eric Gillis fastest at Yonge Street 10KCBC.ca
Closures for Allen Road construction and Yonge Street 10K to create headaches ...CP24 Toronto's Breaking News
Toronto Yonge Street 10K race recapCanadian Running Magazine (blog)

all 8 news articles »
Submit News to CKA News Toronto runners hit the road in Yonge St. 10K
Sun, 19 Apr 2015 13:26:43 EDT

From personal bests to first attempts, many Toronto runners kicked off the season with the Toronto Yonge St. 10K on Sunday morning.

The Canada Running Series tweeted that they raised a total of $12,700 for the Red Door Family Shelter.

Here are some photos from social media of runners celebrating their run.

Submit News to CKA News Canada?s turn as Arctic Council head to end at Iqaluit meeting
Sun, 19 Apr 2015 17:23:36 +0000

Leona Aglukkaq talks to the Canadian Press before handing council leadership over to John Kerry

The post Canada’s turn as Arctic Council head to end at Iqaluit meeting appeared first on Macleans.ca.

Submit News to CKA News Canadian miners grapple with security risks in Mexico
Sun, 19 Apr 2015 17:08:06 +0000

Armed robbery of more than $10-million worth in gold from McEwen Mining's El Gallo mine is 'part of doing business'

The post Canadian miners grapple with security risks in Mexico appeared first on Macleans.ca.

Submit News to CKA News Perth-Andover under evacuation order due to flooding risk - CBC.ca
Sun, 19 Apr 2015 16:53:09 GMT

CBC.ca

Perth-Andover under evacuation order due to flooding risk
CBC.ca
The mayor of Perth-Andover, N.B., says about 200 people have been evacuated from his community after rivers threatened to breach their banks Saturday night. A state of local emergency has also been declared until further notice in the village located about ...
Ice jam prompts evacuation order in New Brunswick village of Perth-AndoverCTV News
Massive ice jam in Perth-Andover, N.B. prompts evacuation order amid flooding ...Globalnews.ca
Evacuation order still in effect for New Brunswick village at risk of floodingThe Daily Courier (subscription)

all 22 news articles »
Submit News to CKA News Ice jam prompts evacuation order in Perth-Andover, N.B.
Sun, 19 Apr 2015 12:42:00 -0400
A massive ice jam on the St. John River is forcing dozens of people from their homes in the New Brunswick village of Perth-Andover.
Submit News to CKA News Russian Arctic activity at highest levels in decades, Kenney says - The Globe and Mail
Sun, 19 Apr 2015 16:34:43 GMT

The Globe and Mail

Russian Arctic activity at highest levels in decades, Kenney says
The Globe and Mail
Canada's Defence Minister says the Russians are increasing their military presence in the Arctic ? a show of strength that comes as tensions between Canada and Russia increase over fighting in Ukraine. ?We have seen an increase in Russian military ...
Most Russian air force activity in Arctic in decades, NORAD tells KenneyCTV News
Canada's turn as Arctic Council head to end at Iqaluit meeting; Kerry takes overWinnipeg Free Press

all 27 news articles »
Submit News to CKA News Canadian women defeat Russia in World Sevens Series rugby stop in B.C.
Sun, 19 Apr 2015 16:00:04 Z
LANGFORD, B.C. - Canada defeated Russia 26-15 on Saturday to open the Canadian stop on World Rugby's Women's Sevens Series on a winning note.
Submit News to CKA News Live Blog: 2015 Vancouver Sun Run
Sun, 19 Apr 2015 15:46:31 Z
See our video live-stream and your latest tweets and photos from the 31st Sun Run.
Submit News to CKA News Keep truckin?: Portraits of Mexico?s morning commuters
Sun, 19 Apr 2015 15:45:04 +0000

Alejandro Cartagena spent a year photographing workers on their morning commute

The post Keep truckin?: Portraits of Mexico’s morning commuters appeared first on Macleans.ca.

Submit News to CKA News Vegetarians, divided: The rise of the flexitarian
Sun, 19 Apr 2015 15:30:04 +0000

Cheeseburger-loving flexitarians are driving a vegan boom?to the ire of some

The post Vegetarians, divided: The rise of the flexitarian appeared first on Macleans.ca.

Submit News to CKA News What we know about monetary policy no longer holds ? for now
Sun, 19 Apr 2015 15:28:28 +0000

In conversation with Stephen Poloz at a meeting of the IMF

The post What we know about monetary policy no longer holds ? for now appeared first on Macleans.ca.

Submit News to CKA News Germanwings crash exposes history of denial on risk of pilot suicide
Sun, 19 Apr 2015 11:04:42 EDT

DUESSELDORF, GERMANY—When Andreas Lubitz sent an email in 2009 seeking reinstatement to Lufthansa’s flight-training program after a months-long absence, he appended what in retrospect was a clear warning signal about his fitness to fly passenger jetliners: an acknowledgment that he had suffered from severe depression.

Lufthansa put the young German back through its standard applicant-screening process and medical tests. But it did not, from everything known about the case so far, pursue any plan to ensure that he was getting appropriate treatment. Nor did it impose special monitoring of his condition beyond that required for any pilot who had a flagged health issue.

Instead, Lubitz haltingly made his way through the training program and ultimately was entrusted as an Airbus A320 co-pilot for Lufthansa’s low-cost subsidiary, Germanwings. Lufthansa was so unaware of the extent of Lubitz’s psychological troubles that the company and its medical staff had no idea of the tortured drama playing out in his mind, peaking in the two or three months leading up to his final flight. Investigators told The New York Times that he visited a dozen or more doctors as he frantically sought treatment for real or imagined ailments.

In the days just after Lubitz, 27, flew himself and 149 other people into a French mountainside last month, Lufthansa’s chief executive confidently pronounced that Lubitz had been “100 per cent” fit to fly, highlighting how little the airline knew of the pilot who shook confidence in the company’s reputation for training and management rigour.

Lubitz’s journey to the moment when he found himself alone at the controls of Germanwings Flight 9525 from Barcelona, Spain, to Duesseldorf on March 24 exposes a series of failures and weaknesses at Lufthansa and throughout the industry and its regulators in dealing with mental illness among pilots. And it shows how little the industry and its regulators have done to acknowledge and address the most extreme manifestation of those psychological strains: pilot suicide.

Lubitz’s increasingly troubled behaviour in the period leading up to his final flight raised no alarms at the airline.

Although he had passed his standard medical exam by a flight doctor in August, he had more recent notes from specialists declaring him unfit to work that he never shared with his employer.

In the days before his final flight, he seems to have methodically plotted his own demise and that of his passengers. He researched methods of committing suicide, investigators say, and looked into cockpit security procedures. When he left for work on the morning of March 24, scheduled to fly from Duesseldorf to Barcelona and back, his iPad browser, according to one investigator, still had tabs open about two recent airline disasters. They were the mysterious disappearance last year of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 and a Mozambique Airlines flight in 2013 in which the captain was found to have intentionally crashed in Namibia, killing himself, five other crew members and all 27 passengers.

“The airline management, the supervisors, the dispatchers—they do not see the pilots very much,” said André Droog, a former psychologist with the KLM Flight Academy in the Netherlands, who is now president of the European Association for Aviation Psychology. “It puts a lot of responsibility on the individual pilot to be responsible and self-critical and to manage their lives very well.”

Lufthansa had, at most, only a partial sense of the severity of Lubitz’s condition and how long he had been dealing with it.

Information about Lubitz’s history remains sketchy, but there is evidence that his psychological problems were well established by the time Lufthansa was training him to fly. Just days after Lufthansa’s chief executive, Carsten Spohr, vouched for Lubitz’s flightworthiness, German prosecutors disclosed that Lubitz had exhibited suicidal tendencies and been treated by psychotherapists over a long period before earning his pilot’s license.

“If I had known about his medical problems with depression before starting his flying career and during his primary training, I probably would not have accepted him,” said Reiner W. Kemmler, the former head of Lufthansa’s department of aviation psychology.

Airlines and government regulators did not respond in any systematic or urgent way to warnings from their own experts that they were not doing enough to address mental health issues among flight crews.

As recently as 2012, the International Civil Aviation Organization, an arm of the United Nations that serves as the umbrella organization for airline regulation, raised the lack of systemic screening for psychological problems as a weakness that needed to be addressed, particularly with regard to younger pilots. The Montreal-based group’s 2012 Manual of Civil Aviation Medicine cited “an apparent mismatch” between the likelihood that mental rather than physical problems would afflict young pilots, “and the tools being used to detect them (the traditional medical examination).”

The pervasive culture of privacy in Germany created a bias against delving into Lubitz’s condition and effectively blinded the country’s airline regulator to the medical problems afflicting German pilots.

The German Federal Aviation Office, which issues pilot’s licenses, relies entirely on the country’s nearly 500 licensed flight doctors to determine pilots’ fitness to fly. But an audit last year by the European Aviation Safety Agency found that Germany’s strict data protection rules mean that the information that flight doctors submit to the regulator is not sufficiently detailed to allow officials to validate the doctors’ findings.

The European Commission called on Germany in November to fix this among a dozen other oversight failures identified by the aviation safety agency. Berlin responded last year with a series of proposed remedies, which the authorities in Brussels continue to review. A ruling from the commission is expected in the coming months.

Other nations have taken stricter measures than Germany has when it comes to dealing with depression and other mental illnesses among flight crews.

Dr. Richard Soderberg, chief medical officer at the civil aviation and maritime department of the Swedish Transport Agency, said that while depression would not permanently disqualify a pilot in Sweden, the pilot would be grounded during treatment. The agency would then require the pilot to turn over all medical records pertaining to the depression and submit to psychiatric evaluation every six weeks or so, and the pilot would not be allowed to fly alone.

“The privacy of the pilot cannot be traded for aviation safety,” Soderberg said.

Security measures put into place after the Sept. 11 attacks, intended to guard against threats coming from outside the cockpit, failed to anticipate a threat from within it.

Lufthansa, like other European airlines, had installed the armoured cockpit doors insisted on by the United States following 9/11, after they were mandated by regulators worldwide. But European regulators did not follow the United States in additionally requiring that two crew members be in the cockpit at all times.

The point of the policy was not to guard against a rogue pilot but to ensure that someone was available to reopen the locked door for a returning crew member while the remaining pilot was at the controls. European airlines instead permitted a lone pilot in the cockpit, but installed cameras allowing that pilot to check on the identity of anyone at the door, and to decide while seated whether to override keypad entry from the outside.

It was only after the Germanwings crash that Europe reversed course and recommended having two crew members in the cockpit at all times.

A Known Risk

Though the highest-profile example of the pilot-suicide problem, Lubitz was far from an isolated case. In recent years, a series of commercial pilots appear to have crashed their aircraft intentionally or been stopped by fellow crew members as they tried. In most cases, those pilots had been screened for psychological problems.

“There was almost a denial by the industry, and in particular among pilots, that we don’t do things like that,” said Robert Scott, a former British navy pilot and aviation consultant in Vancouver, British Columbia, who also heads a branch of the Canadian Mental Health Association. “It’s not part of our culture. It’s beyond the pale.”

“Now we have so much evidence that we have grudgingly come to accept that, yes, it is a problem,” he added.

Over the past two decades, other episodes were played down or hushed up and did not lead to any major changes in the regulation of the psychological fitness of pilots.

In 1997, a SilkAir Boeing 737 crashed in Indonesia, killing all 104 people aboard. The pilot had recently been demoted in the wake of a complaint about his behaviour and what one U.S. government report termed “cowboy practices.” Investigators later learned he was also under financial and family strains. U.S. investigators concluded that he had committed suicide. But Indonesian investigators ruled out that explanation.

Two years later, an EgyptAir Boeing 767 departing New York crashed into the Atlantic off Nantucket Island and killed 217 people. The National Transportation Safety Board concluded that the co-pilot purposely put the jetliner into a steep dive after uttering repeatedly, “I rely on God.” Under pressure from Egyptian officials, U.S. investigators did not deem the crash a suicide, but ruled out mechanical failures and blamed the co-pilot’s actions at the controls.

That same year, an Air Botswana pilot who had been grounded for medical reasons took off without authorization in one of the airline’s turboprops and threatened to crash into his carrier’s two other passenger planes that were parked on the ground.

Passengers waiting to board one of the planes were quickly moved to safety. U.S. officials documented that the pilot followed through on his threat and slammed into the planes, engulfing them in flames and dying in the crash.

The lack of any substantive evidence of what happened to Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 last year has led investigators to consider the possibility that the plane might be another example of one of the pilots’ deliberately downing the aircraft.

Beyond those cases, there have also been numerous close calls.

On Aug. 20, 2010, court records show, a pilot on a Spirit Airlines flight out of Port-au-Prince, Haiti, took the passenger jet he was flying out of autopilot and accelerated the airplane nearly to maximum speed, pulling the plane up into a rapid climb.

He had exhibited erratic behaviour before, notably in February 2010, when he was found lying on the floor of the cockpit on a flight from San Juan, Puerto Rico. He failed to tell the airline or his medical examiner that he was self-medicating with St. John’s wort, an herbal supplement often used for psychological issues.

In March 2012, a JetBlue flight to Las Vegas was diverted after the captain began talking incoherently about religion, 9/11 and Iraq, and said, “We need to take a leap of faith.”

An off-duty JetBlue pilot on board the flight teamed up with the co-pilot to lock the captain out of the cockpit. Passengers helped subdue the troubled pilot, who was trying to re-enter the cockpit. He was later found not guilty of criminal charges by reason of insanity.

There is a common theme of denial in many cases of pilot suicide, as the responses of the Egyptians and the Indonesians demonstrate. After a Royal Air Maroc captain crashed an ATR-42 turboprop in 1994, killing all 44 aboard, Moroccan investigators concluded that he had committed suicide, according to a U.S. summary of the case, but his pilot’s union disputed the finding.

“We can no longer feel 100 per cent confident in the person sitting beside us in the cockpit,” said Scott, the aviation consultant and pilot. “That is an awful feeling.”

The transportation safety board has cited several of these cases as reasons for improving flight data recorders, including making it harder for pilots to disable recorders and improving ways for the devices to survive crashes and be recovered even when aircraft crash in deep water.

Screening out pilots who are determined to keep flying and are willing to lie will be difficult, experts said.

“At the moment I don’t see tests if somebody doesn’t want to talk about his problems and he’s hiding all his symptoms,” Kemmler, the former Lufthansa official, said. “We don’t have a psychological flight recorder.”

But flight doctors are well aware of the risks.

“It remains astonishing how many pilots with mild or fading depressive disorders taking antidepressants flew without the knowledge of flight doctors—and still fly for us,” Dr. Uwe Stueben and Dr. Juergen Kriebel, who both worked for Lufthansa, wrote in the abstract of a paper published in 2011, while Lubitz was still a trainee.

In 2009, the year Lubitz returned from his months-long absence from training, Stueben was Lufthansa’s director of medical services and would have been involved in evaluating Lubitz’s case, while Kriebel, also employed at Lufthansa’s aeromedical centre at the time, normally performed psychiatric examinations on the young trainees.

Stueben declined to comment for this article. Reached by telephone, Kriebel said, “I won’t comment on the situation because the facts of the crash fall under my obligation of confidentiality.”

European Union regulations that took effect in April 2013 require flight doctors to refer pilots with certain medical or psychological conditions—including depression—to national aviation authorities.

Because of his previous episode of depression there was a mark in Lubitz’s medical file that required flight doctors to examine him for any signs of a recurrence—and to refer the case to regulators only if they suspected that had happened. Lufthansa has declined to disclose the nature or intensity of those examinations.

To questions about the details of how the company handled Lubitz, Lufthansa said, “We do not wish to forestall the investigation of the case by the public prosecutor. For this reason, we will currently not comment on the specific case.”

Passing Unnoticed

The class photo from his high school graduation yearbook shows a scrawny teenager wearing a striped long-sleeved T-shirt, a crew cut and a slightly crooked grin. Andreas Guenter Lubitz appears to have been the opposite of a large personality; his classmates voted him “third most orderly” among the 108 graduates of the Mons Tabor Gymnasium in Montabaur, Germany.

Lubitz stood out in only one way: his passion for flying and goal of becoming a commercial pilot. He began flying gliders at 14. “He was gifted. He was very precise and also absorbed it all quickly,” said Peter Ruecker, 64, who has flown gliders for 50 years and knew Lubitz from the local club.

A full-page advertisement that Lufthansa took out on the back of the Mons Tabor yearbook asked: “Do you want to make your dream of flying a reality?” For Lubitz the answer was most assuredly yes. He applied to join the company’s highly selective flight academy straight out of high school and in 2008 was among the roughly 5 per cent of applicants accepted into the training program.

But he broke off his training and for several months received psychiatric care, spending at least part of that time back home in Montabaur. When he was ready to return to the flight school the next year he sent Lufthansa the email about his “episode of severe depression,” attaching medical documents, the company said. After he was tested and readmitted, Lubitz completed all his requirements and graduated from the program. He received his commercial pilot’s license in 2012.

There appear to be additional delays in Lubitz’s training beyond the break of several months in 2009. He was accepted into the training program, which usually takes 1 ½ to 2 years, in 2008, but did not begin working for Germanwings until September 2013. Even with the 11 months that the company said he worked as a flight attendant, waiting for a pilot slot to open up, significant gaps in his career remain publicly unaccounted for. Lufthansa, citing the continuing investigation, declined to provide a fuller accounting.

The offer to fly for Germanwings was not as prestigious as working at Lufthansa, but for Lubitz it was his first job flying planes.

He split his time between his parents’ house in an upper-middle-class neighbourhood of Montabaur, where he kept a room, and an apartment on the outskirts of Duesseldorf, where he lived with his girlfriend. Residents told local news media they often saw him out and about in his pilot’s uniform.

He was “always laughing, always happy,” said Habibalah Hassani, who sells pizza from a corner stand near the white brick apartment building that was Lubitz’s home in Duesseldorf. “I could not see that he was ill.”

His most recent required checkup with a flight doctor came in August 2014; he passed.

Ruecker from the glider club said he saw Lubitz on four or five weekends last fall, when he returned to renew his glider license, and that he seemed fine. But all was not well with the young pilot.

Lubitz began to visit a series of doctors, complaining first of psychiatric problems and later of difficulties with his vision. He visited the Duesseldorf University Hospital in February and March for diagnostic testing. Doctors could determine no physiological causes for the vision difficulties, leading investigators to conclude that they may have been psychosomatic.

Investigators believe that he visited many different doctors, “well into the double digits,” in part so that none would recognize the true scope of his health problem, according to an official who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of German privacy laws. Prosecutors said Lubitz did not go to Lufthansa for help with his medical condition. That could have grounded him—and possibly cost him his job.

In fact, Lubitz had recent notes from specialists—though not a flight doctor—pronouncing him unfit for work, but he never told Germanwings. He tore up one of the notes and threw the scraps in his wastebasket, where they were found by investigators after the crash.

The jetliner took off from Duesseldorf to Barcelona at 6:45 a.m. on March 24. The captain, Patrick Sondenheimer, flew to Spain but it was agreed that his co-pilot would fly back. The aircraft spent one hour on the ground at Barcelona El-Prat Airport. Lubitz never left the plane, only exiting the cockpit for a moment to exchange greetings with a catering officer. There were few empty seats on the A320, the workhorse of the Airbus fleet, which was filled with students returning from a high school exchange, a pair of highly regarded opera singers and workers in the fashion industry, among many others.

The plane departed from Barcelona 26 minutes late at 10:01 a.m., the flight path a scenic route over the Mediterranean, the Côte d’Azur and the snow-capped French Alps. Before long the plane was cruising at 38,000 feet, the pilots chatting courteously with one another, according to one investigator who has read a transcript of the flight’s cockpit audio recording. The captain decided to go to the restroom at 10:30 a.m. Lubitz was left alone in the cockpit and he set the aircraft on a gradual but unplanned descent.

France’s Bureau of Investigations and Analyses said the readings from the flight’s data recorder showed that Lubitz programmed the autopilot to fly the plane down to an altitude of 100 feet. Not once but several times he accelerated the plane’s descent as it hurtled toward the mountains. Sondenheimer must have realized something was wrong, either as the plane began to descend or at the latest when his co-pilot blocked his re-entry into the cockpit.

Sondenheimer pounded on the door with increasing desperation, demanding to be let in. Air traffic controllers urgently called to say the plane’s altitude was too low. Automated systems repeated their commands for him to pull up. From outside the cockpit came screams from the passengers.

Amid this cacophony, Lubitz was silent. Only his steady breathing could be heard on the audio recording as he flew for the last time. At 10:40 a.m. and 47 seconds the plane dropped off the flight radar at 6,175 feet, roughly the height of the craggy mountains.

Submit News to CKA News Bill C-51 target of park protest - Peterborough Examiner
Sun, 19 Apr 2015 14:41:02 GMT

Peterborough Examiner

Bill C-51 target of park protest
Peterborough Examiner
Protesters attend a Stop Bill C-51 rally to stand in solidarity against the governments? proposed ?Anti-Terrorism? legislation held at Confederation Square across from City Hall on Saturday April 18, 2015 in Peterborough, Ont. The Conservatives say the bill ...
About 70 people demonstrated against Bill C-51 SaturdaySarnia Observer
Bill C-51 protesters demand Tories scrap anti-terror legislationCBC.ca
Protests against Bill C-51 ramp up across CanadaCTV News
The Kingston Whig-Standard
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Submit News to CKA News Islamic State video purports to show killing of captured Ethiopian Christians in Libya
Sun, 19 Apr 2015 10:40:08 EDT

CAIRO—A video released by the Islamic State group on Sunday appears to show the killing of two different groups of captured Ethiopian Christians by the extremist group’s Libyan affiliates.

The 29-minute online video purports to show militants holding two groups of captives. It says one group is held by an IS affiliate in eastern Libya known as Barka Province and the other by an affiliate in the south calling itself the Fazzan Province.

A masked fighter brandishing a pistol delivers a long statement, saying Christians must convert to Islam or pay a special tax prescribed by the Qur’an.

The video then switches between footage of the captives in the south being shot dead and the captives in the east being beheaded on a beach.

It was not immediately clear who the captives were or when they were captured. It was also not clear how many captives were killed.

The video bore the official logo of the IS media arm Al-Furqan and resembled previous videos released by the extremist group, including one in February in which IS militants in Libya beheaded 21 captured Egyptian Christians on a beach.

The Islamic State group has been able to gain a foothold amid the chaos in Libya, where two governments backed by rival alliances of militias are battling each other as well as extremist groups.

The Islamic State group is also advancing in Iraq, where the extremists captured three villages near the city of Ramadi in the western Anbar province and were locked in heavy clashes with Iraqi troops.

More than 90,000 people have fled the Islamic State group’s advance in Anbar, a United Nations humanitarian agency said Sunday.

The Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said in a statement that civilians are fleeing Ramadi as well as the three nearby villages captured by the IS group a few days ago. It said humanitarian agencies have moved quickly to provide assistance, including food, water and shelter.

“Our top priority is delivering life-saving assistance to people who are fleeing — food, water and shelter are highest on the list of priorities,” said Lise Grande, the U.N. humanitarian co-ordinator for Iraq.

Grande expressed concern over the safety of the displaced people, who are mainly heading to Baghdad and the IS-held city of Fallujah.

“Seeing people carrying what little they can and rushing for safety is heartbreaking,” she added.

Iraqi officials in Anbar have described Ramadi as a ghost town, with empty streets and closed shops.

Iraqi troops backed by Shiite militias and U.S.-led airstrikes managed to dislodge the IS group from the northern city of Tikrit earlier this month.

But the troops have struggled against the militants in Anbar, which saw some of the heaviest fighting of the eight-year U.S. military intervention that ended in 2011.

Submit News to CKA News CFIA to cull 27,000 chickens at southern Ont. farm
Sun, 19 Apr 2015 10:32:00 -0400
The Canadian Food Inspection agency will be euthanizing 27,000 chickens on a southern Ontario farm after confirming the presence of H5 avian influenza, the second case this month.
Submit News to CKA News Probes highlight dark past of France?s far-right National Front
Sun, 19 Apr 2015 10:18:14 EDT

PARIS—The timing could not have been worse. Daggers were already drawn in a father-daughter duel within the far-right National Front when a judicial investigation began circling closer and closer to the party leadership.

The probe, one of three currently targeting the National Front or its alliances, has reawakened images of anti-Semitism and jackbooted followers that party leader Marine Le Pen has worked hard to scrub away.

She is hoping to transform the National Front from a political pariah into a voter-friendly alternative to traditional parties amid a fight for the movement’s soul between Marine Le Pen and her father, Jean-Marie, whose anti-Semitic remarks set off the family feud.

These three investigations could end up outing professional and personal secrets and tarnish the respectable veneer Marie Le Pen is applying to the party she inherited in 2011. Under the elder Le Pen’s four-decade leadership, the National Front became emblematic of France’s dark past, from anti-Semitic collaboration with the Nazis in World War II to the brutality of the French colonial war to keep Algeria.

A truce of sorts between father and daughter may end the family bloodletting. But the justice system is beyond the National Front leader’s control as she sets her sights on the 2017 French presidential elections.

The investigations are uncovering a tangled web of alleged illegal financing in Paris and at the European Parliament. The Paris case raises questions about a more extremist side of the National Front under Marine Le Pen, who still works with old university acquaintances with unsavory backgrounds.

Allegations of fraud, money laundering and illegal financing targeting National Front-linked communications company Riwal highlight Marine Le Pen’s long-standing ties with the principal target in that case, Frederic Chatillon. He was a figure in the extreme-right GUD, or Union Defence Group, known for violence when it was active decades ago.

Today, Chatillon runs Riwal. He is among those facing preliminary charges in the case, prosecutor’s spokeswoman Agnes Thibault-Lecuivre said. He, as well as one other person under investigation, recycled himself from his GUD past into a successful businessman. His company has a branch in Syria, where he once hobnobbed with other figures from the extreme right and the Syrian elite of Bashar Assad’s regime.

Two photos carried in the investigative online publication Mediapart show Chatillon in Syria with, among others, Dieudonne, the French comic convicted of anti-Semitism. Chatillon is seen again in Paris with Dieudonne and Robert Faurisson, convicted several times for denying the Holocaust.

Marine Le Pen, in turn, is seen in photos with Chatillon on official party business.

Far-right experts say that Chatillon and Le Pen became acquainted at Assas University in Paris, where she attended law school. Also under investigation is Axel Loustau, another former GUD member. Loustau is treasurer at an organization that raises funds for the National Front. He also owns a security company used by the National Front for major events such as the party’s annual May Day march.

The GUD group was forced out of Assas University in the 1990s and eventually went silent. A younger generation of extreme rightists is trying to bring GUD back to life.

Marine Le Pen, just named by Time as one of the world’s 100 most influential people, did not respond to Associated Press requests for comment on the investigation.

After reports that the investigators might reach high-level figures in the party — and perhaps Le Pen herself — she wrote on Twitter last weekend: “The obviously fantasylike character of the latest judicial offensive shows it is of an exclusively political nature.”

The National Front’s legal problems do not stop there.

The party faces a direct legal challenge at the seat of one of its biggest electoral successes, the European Parliament. The parliament’s anti-fraud unit opened an investigation last month into possible irregularities in the payment of parliamentary assistants for the National Front’s 24 lawmakers, after suspicions of freeloading emerged.

Twenty assistants paid by the parliament are targeted in the probe. They are listed by the National Front as party officials — and 19 of them used the party’s headquarters as their address. That conflicts with rules stating that assistants’ pay must be “directly linked” to the lawmaker’s mandate at the parliament.

The sum of money paid to National Front assistants is considerable. Each lawmaker in the European Parliament was allotted a maximum of 21,379 euros (about $28,000 U.S.) per month in 2014 for assistants who would be paid over the five-year mandate of their bosses, said spokeswoman Marjory Van Den Broeke.

“There have been individual cases ... but this was an exception in that it was so large scale,” she said of the probe into the National Front’s assistants.

France has opened its own inquiry into the parliamentary assistants.

Marine Le Pen has sought to lay down the law within her own party on other fronts. She announced she would oppose her father’s candidacy in December regional elections. Buckling under her authority, the elder Le Pen withdrew his name, all but ending his political career.

A preliminary investigation against Jean-Marie Le Pen for disputing crimes against humanity has been opened after he said Nazi gas chambers were a “detail in history.” He has previously been convicted for making such comments.

A crueler punishment may come at the hands of his daughter, who has ordered him before a party disciplinary board. Among possible punishments: stripping him of the title of lifelong honorary president of the party he helped create.

Submit News to CKA News Book review: A vibrant novel set in Trinidad
Sun, 19 Apr 2015 13:51:40 +0000

The novel's central plot?the love story of Vimla and Krishna?anchors a colourful collection of characters and vignettes

The post Book review: A vibrant novel set in Trinidad appeared first on Macleans.ca.

Submit News to CKA News A suspenseful tale of desert survival
Sun, 19 Apr 2015 13:40:16 +0000

Book review: This engrossing wilderness tale starts with a teen who rides the tramway to the California mountains

The post A suspenseful tale of desert survival appeared first on Macleans.ca.

Submit News to CKA News Shrinking airline seats and the voyage of the crammed
Sun, 19 Apr 2015 09:00:00 EDT

In search of greater revenues, airlines are once again testing their passengers’ tolerance for discomfort.

A week’s worth of headlines show a declining respect for the economy flyer and the risks of where that could lead — more cases of air rage, religious tensions and even potential sexual assault.

“It’s the race to the bottom that we see throughout the industry,” says Halifax-based airline passenger advocate Gabor Lukacs. “They are trying to make profits or extra profit by offering worse service.”

As if things aren’t aggravating enough, two budget carriers, Ryanair and Spring Airlines, recently suggested standing-room flights may be the cost-cutting wave of the future.

While that may be the extreme, the reality is that more economy passengers are already being crammed into the same space on airplanes. To make room, the seats are getting smaller.

Related: Squeezed everywhere

The trend towards maxing out capacity has become enough of a concern that the U.S. Department of Transportation convened a consumers advisory group last week to examine whether squeezing more flyers onto planes presents any danger for those passengers.

They examined everything from whether an increased number of seats makes it harder to evacuate a plane in an emergency to whether that increased capacity might lead to more air rage or whether cramped seating might cause more blood clotting, known as deep vein thrombosis.

Budget flyers shouldn’t expect any immediate relief. The comfort gap is widening between first- and business-class passengers and the rest of us in the back.

Boeing’s new short-haul 737 Max aircraft will be outfitted with 189 seats. The previous generation had 160. Ryanair will shoehorn 200 passengers onto the same plane.

As recently as 2010, 85 per cent of Boeing’s 777s had nine seats per row. About 70 per cent of Boeing’s 777s now have 10 per row, the Wall Street Journal reported.

In Europe, the Airbus A380 double-decker superjumbo jet unveiled last week will squeeze an extra seat into each economy row. The company also received permission from the overlords of European flight safety to bump capacity on its A320neo to 195 from 180.

The result is that the industry norm for an economy seat is now about 43 centimetres wide, compared to 47 centimetres two decades ago.

More air rage

Jonathan Bricker, a psychologist and faculty member at the University of Washington, has studied air travel stress since 1998. He says incidents of full-blown air rage are unusual, though increased overcrowding fosters an environment in which it is more likely to occur.

“The trend of more seats on planes has been going on for about 14 years,” he says. “With that history, we’ve seen more people feeling stress, feeling tension, with some of that flaring up into actual overt aggression. The more typical reaction is physical discomfort, it’s psychological discomfort, and the airlines really haven’t taken it seriously.”

Leon James, a psychology professor at the University of Hawaii, says increased aggravation for flyers begins even before they get to those narrower seats.

With airlines charging for checked baggage, economy flyers often bring as much luggage as possible as carry-on. And with more seats meaning more passengers on every plane, it creates a competitive environment, with people even jostling in line before boarding in order to claim overhead bins.

Too close for religious comfort?

While not directly related to the number of seats on a plane — though it is exacerbated by it — several flights, particularly departures from New York for Israel, have been delayed for religious accommodation.

The issue was ultra-Orthodox Jewish men refusing to take an assigned seat beside a woman. Ultra-Orthodox Judaism forbids physical contact between a man and woman unless they’re married or close relatives. That creates a sensitive situation as flyers board.

Some women agree to change seats, while some find such a request sexist and refuse. Confusion and delays ensue until some compromise can be found.

“I think that the phenomenon is nowhere near as prevalent as some media reports have made it seem,” Rabbi Avi Shafran, director of public affairs at Agudath Israel of America, which represents ultra-Orthodox Jews, recently told the New York Times.

Shafran told the paper many ultra-Orthodox men follow the guidance of Orthodox scholar Rabbi Moshe Feinstein, who counselled that sitting next to a woman on a subway or bus was acceptable as long as there was no intention to seek sexual pleasure from any incidental contact.

Potential sex assaults

An alleged sexual assault on a recent flight to New Brunswick gained national attention when the victim complained about how the groping incident was dealt with by the Air Canada crew.

Lukacs said as horrible as the situation is for the victim, it would “be a stretch to draw a parallel between that and small seats.”

Sara Nelson, international president of the Association of Flight Attendants—CWA, isn’t so sure. She told the CBC that packed flights could lead to more passenger-on-passenger conflict.

“Our airplanes are absolutely packed to the gills and people are right up next to each other,” she said. “It can create physical interaction very easily.”

Air Canada spokesman Peter Fitzpatrick said the airline couldn’t comment on the woman’s case as it is before the courts, but says the crew “responded in a manner considered appropriate based on the information provided at the time” and that “the matter will be reviewed.”

The future

Last week, there was a glimmer of hope for the squeezed and the squished when Southwest Airlines announced that new seats on its Boeing 737-800s would be just over two centimetres wider. They touted the development saying that, at just over 45 centimetres, they would have the “widest economy seats available in the single-aisle 737 market.” The 737 is the most widely flown jetliner in the world.

At the other end of the scale, however, Airbus recently filed for a patent on a hideous-looking method of packing passengers on a plane. Essentially, the seating is a row of saddles, similar to those on a bicycle, anchored to a horizontal pole. A passenger would perch on the saddle, legs hanging almost straight down to the floor, allowing for even less space between rows.

Bricker doesn’t expect things to improve. He says airlines understand that for passengers, the “value of the destination outweighs the discomfort of the process of getting there …

“There’s enough of those passengers who are willing to fly and bear the experience of being crammed on a plane that it’s economically worthwhile to add more seats,” he says. “That’s why I do not see them doing anything about this.”

Submit News to CKA News Bill C-51 opponents march through ByWard Market
Sun, 19 Apr 2015 12:49:15 Z
With a second round of protests against the federal government’s proposed anti-terrorism legislation set for this weekend, an online petition calling for the bill to be scrapped is nearing 200,000 signatures.
Submit News to CKA News The Interview: Adam Trigg on the canoe trip of a lifetime
Sun, 19 Apr 2015 12:35:57 +0000

Adam Trigg on paddling from the Gulf of Mexico to the Arctic Ocean?just for the adventure of it all

The post The Interview: Adam Trigg on the canoe trip of a lifetime appeared first on Macleans.ca.

Submit News to CKA News David Letterman: A dethroned king of comedy
Sun, 19 Apr 2015 12:32:19 +0000

Before David Letterman turned cranky host, he ran TV?s edgiest show?and changed a generation

The post David Letterman: A dethroned king of comedy appeared first on Macleans.ca.

Submit News to CKA News Up to 700 migrants feared dead in Mediterranean sinking
Sun, 19 Apr 2015 07:33:25 EDT

ROME—A crowded fishing boat that one survivor said carried 700 migrants capsized north of Libya overnight, and only a few dozen people were rescued Sunday, raising fears that it could become the Mediterranean's deadliest known migrant sea disaster.

The capsizing prompted more dismay among exasperated Italian officials, refugee aid officials agencies and Pope Francis, all of whom are demanding more European or international action to stop a deadly tide of migration. Migrants have aimed for Europe's shores for many years, fleeing war, persecution and conflict in Africa, the Middle East and Asia. But the turmoil and warfare in Libya has made it easier for smugglers to take to the sea.

Rescuers Sunday were “checking who is alive and who is dead” among the bodies floating on the surface, said Maltese Prime Minister Joseph Muscat, whose tiny Mediterranean nation joined the rescue operations. He called it the “biggest human tragedy of the last few years.”

The 20-meter vessel may have overturned because migrants rushed to one side of the craft late Saturday night when they saw an approaching Portuguese-flagged container ship, the King Jacob, which the Italian Coast Guard had dispatched to help them.

The Coast Guard said at least 28 survivors had been rescued by Sunday morning. Muscat put the number of survivors at 50, and International Organization for Migration spokesman Joel Millman said 49 survived.

“Since the waters of the Mediterranean Sea are not too cold at the moment, the authorities hope to find more survivors,” a statement from Millman said.

The container ship received the Coast Guard's request to help the migrants at 11 p.m. Saturday night “when an overloaded fishing boat was spotted close by the King Jacob's port side,” according to a statement from a spokesmen for the ship owner.

The crew “immediately deployed rescue boats, gangway, nets and life rings. Twenty-two people were pulled to safety” and transferred Sunday to Italian coast guard vessels, that statement said.

A United Nations refugee agency spokeswoman Carlotta Sami tweeted that according to one survivor, the boat had set out with 700 migrants aboard.

Italian Premier Matteo Renzi summoned his top ministers to a strategy session in Rome Sunday evening, saying that the numbers of dead are still provisional but “are destined to rise.'

“How can it be that we daily are witnessing a tragedy?” Renzi asked.

U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees Antonio Guterres said in a statement Sunday that 219,000 people crossed the Mediterranean by sea and 3,500 died last year. This year, 35,000 asylum seekers and migrants have reached Europe so far and more than 900 are known to have died in failed crossings. Last week, 400 people were presumed drowned when another boat capsized.

The smugglers are capitalizing on the migrants' desperation and taking advantage of chaos and violence in Libya, where rival militias, tribal factions and other political forces have destabilized the country since bloody end of the long dictatorship of Moammar Gadhafi in 2011.

In Italy's Parliament, the leaders of foreign affairs and defence commissions pushed for the EU and the UN to prepare a naval blockade of Libya's coast to stop the human trafficking.

Without a military blockade, “the traffickers will continue to operate and make money and the wretched will continue to die,” said Pier Fernando Casini, the Senate foreign affairs commission president.

The pope joined the political calls for action, urging “the international community to act decisively and promptly, to prevent similar tragedies from occurring again.”

Until this Sunday's tragedy, calls for a naval blockade had mainly risen in Italy from the anti-immigrant Northern League party. That top lawmakers are now joining the chorus reflects rising impatience for decisive European action.

“Europe can do more and Europe must do more,” said Martin Schulz, president of the European Parliament. “It is a shame and a confession of failure how many countries run away from responsibility and how little money we provide for rescue missions.”

The EU's foreign minister, Federica Mogherini, added migration as a last-minute emergency issue to an EU foreign ministers' meeting on Monday in Luxembourg.

Europe must mobilize “more ships, more overflights by aircraft,” French President François Hollande told French TV Canal +. He said he called Renzi to discuss emergency action.

The prime minister of Spain, another Mediterranean nation, also urged Europe to take swift action.

“Today, and this is the umpteenth time, we hear of yet another human tragedy in the Mediterranean, off the Libyan coast,” Mariano Rajoy told a political rally. “It's a daily drama. Three days ago it was 400 people. Four days ago they were 10. Words won't do any more.”

There was no immediate way to determine how many were on board the fishing boat, nor how many might still be rescued, the Coast Guard and other authorities said. The total number of passengers was expected to be clarified as authorities interview survivors.

Given that the sea is as deep as 5 kilometres or more in the area, it is possible that many bodies will never be recovered, as was the case in similar tragedies off the coasts of Libya, Italy, and other Mediterranean nations in recent years.

“There are fears there could be hundreds of dead,” Pope Francis told the faithful in St. Peter's Square on Sunday. He bowed his head in silent prayer, as did many of the tens of thousands below him.

When asked whether migrants rushed to one side as the Portuguese vessel pulled alongside, Italian Border Police Gen. Antonino Iraso replied: “The dynamics aren't clear. But this is not the first time that has happened.”

Rescuers reported seeing wreckage in the sea.

“There are large fuel stains, pieces of wood, life jackets,” added Iraso, whose force has boats deployed in the rescue effort, told Sky TG24 TV.

The numbers of migrants attempting the dangerous crossing from Libya in overcrowded or unseaworthy boats swells as the springtime weather improves, providing calmer seas and warmer water.

Submit News to CKA News Jian Ghomeshi scandal exposes workplace markers
Sun, 19 Apr 2015 11:21:32 +0000

Report on Ghomeshi scandal reinforces need for safe work environments

The post Jian Ghomeshi scandal exposes workplace markers appeared first on Macleans.ca.

Submit News to CKA News ISIS video purports to show killing of captured Christians in Libya
Sun, 19 Apr 2015 07:19:00 -0400
Islamic State militants in Libya shot and beheaded groups of captive Ethiopian Christians, a video purportedly from the extremists showed Sunday. The attack widens the circle of nations affected by the group's atrocities while showing its growth beyond a self-declared caliphate in Syria and Iraq.
Submit News to CKA News Migrant ship capsizes with 100s aboard; just dozens rescued
Sun, 19 Apr 2015 07:14:00 -0400
A smuggler's boat crammed with hundreds of people overturned off Libya's coast as rescuers approached, causing what could be the Mediterranean's deadliest known migrant tragedy and intensifying pressure on the European Union Sunday to finally meet demands for decisive action.
Submit News to CKA News Armenian Genocide: 100th anniversary of a ?great catastrophe?
Sun, 19 Apr 2015 07:00:00 EDT

In 1915, the Ottoman Empire’s Armenians were declared enemies of the state by the ruling junta of ultranationalists, who denounced them as supporters of their wartime foe, Russia.

Even in the dark depths of the First World War, what followed was unique in its calculating brutality.

Fiercely denied by the Turkish government, it would be denounced as the 20th century’s first genocide: an organized attempt to ethnically cleanse the Armenians from their homeland. By the time the massacres and deportations were done, as many as 1.5 million men, women and children had perished.

On April 24, Armenians throughout the world will commemorate the 100th anniversary of the event that destroyed their families, pillaged their patrimony and set them adrift with few, if any, mementos of their past.

A century later, the world is closer to understanding the facts of the “great catastrophe” that befell the Armenians, as histories of the massive killings have swelled.

In Turkey, the history is hazier.

“What happened in 1915 is the collective secret of Turkish society, and the genocide has been relegated to the black hole of our collective memory,” says Turkish writer Taner Akcam in a foreword to Turkey and the Armenian Ghost.

“Confronting our history means questioning everything — our social institutions, mindset, beliefs, culture, even the language we speak. Our society will have to closely re-examine its own self-image.”

As recently as this week, Turkey sharply criticized the Vatican after the Pope denounced the massacres as genocide, calling on all heads of state to recognize it and oppose such crimes “without ceding to ambiguity or compromise.”

More than 20 countries, including Canada, have passed bills recognizing the killings as genocide. The U.S. does not officially recognize the term, although President Barack Obama had used it before his election.

For decades, Turkey has insisted that the killings were part of civil war and unrest rather than organized genocide, that the Armenians had revolted against the Ottoman Empire by siding with the invading Russians in the First World War, and that although Armenians experienced a “tragedy,” they were only one of many groups that suffered heavy losses during the war.

However, “back in 1915, there was nothing controversial about the catastrophe,” Thomas de Waal writes in Foreign Affairs. The Young Turkish government, headed by Mehmed Talat Pasha and two others, had joined with Germany against its longtime foe, Russia. And two million Christian Armenians, who lived in what is now eastern Turkey, were targeted as internal enemies.

“Talat ordered the deportation of almost the entire people to the arid deserts of Syria. In the process, at least half of the men were killed by Turkish security forces or marauding Kurdish tribesmen,” said de Waal, author of the bookGreat Catastrophe: Armenians and Turks in the Shadow of Genocide. “Women and children survived in greater numbers but endured appalling depredation, abductions and rape on the long marches.”

Diplomats in the region were shocked by the carnage, including U.S. ambassador Henry Morgenthau, who accused Turkey of “a systematic plan to crush the Armenian race.”

Their reports cited torture, rape, pillage and massacres. Some Armenians were thrown into the Black Sea and drowned. One spoke of mass graves with bodies piled up “as far as the eye can see.”

But in a part of the world riven by ethnic fault lines, no historical landscape is smooth.

“Armenians were divided in the Ottoman Empire,” says Ronald Suny of the University of Michigan, author of “They Can Live in the Desert and Nowhere Else”: A History of the Armenian Genocide. “In cities of Western Turkey like Izmir and Constantinople they were relatively successful, and there were Muslim resentments toward them.”

But those in eastern Anatolia, their historical homeland, were “mostly peasants, craftsmen and workers,” who often felt themselves victims of well-armed nomadic Kurds. “Armenians only got permission (to carry arms) in 1908, but they didn’t have many weapons. It was a dangerous and insecure region.”

Consequently, their leaders demanded government reforms that would give them more rights and protection. “When that failed some joined revolutionary movements, but they were in small numbers. There were small bands that tried to defend the Armenians. Some tried to get Western powers interested in promoting and protecting their interests.”

But Suny says the great majority of Armenians were seeking improved rights and reforms within the Ottoman Empire — not to subvert the government. Nor were they “dreaming of a separate state.”

So why would the Ottoman leaders launch such sweeping attacks?

Some historians dwell on the war, territorial conflicts between Armenians and Kurds, political ambitions of the Young Turks, religious motivations and Armenian appeals to foreign countries for aid. But Suny dug for deeper philosophical and psychological causes.

“All of those background events, and the experience of Armenians, Turks and Kurds roughly from the 1870s to the genocide itself, constituted a moment I call ‘affective disposition,’ ” he said. “A mental and emotional universe formed in which the Young Turks imagined the Armenians as an existential threat so profound in their imagination that they had to be destroyed.”

From the time of Sultan Abdul Hamid II, he says, Armenians were seen as treacherous, agents of the West, and a minority that upset the natural balance of the mainly Muslim country.

The incipient Armenian revolutionary movement fuelled the flames, and grudgingly-accepted reforms urged by Europe backfired on the Armenians. Attitudes hardened as ordinary Turks were freer to go out on the streets, start boycott campaigns and make anti-Christian views public.

When the First World War broke out, some Armenians looked to the Russians as protectors against the Turks. The majority sided with the Ottomans, but efforts to prove their loyalty by joining the Turkish army and supporting the war effort failed and they were attacked and demonized as enemies within. Fear and resentment turned to hatred of Armenians.

“The organizers of the killings were the Young Turks, who ordered mass deportations and in some cases massacres,” says de Waal. “But a lot of the killing was done in a freelance, opportunistic way, often by Kurds.” Other Caucasus minorities joined in.

The Kurds, who have their own experience of repression, have apologized for their part in the killings, which they recognize as genocide. They have opened churches and spoken of reconciliation.

The Turkish government has maintained its hard line, although President Recep Tayyip Erdogan did take an unexpected step forward last year with a message of condolence to Armenians. But many were disappointed that the government scheduled a ceremony to commemorate the First World War battle of Gallipoli on the same day as their 100th anniversary.

On the ground, however, things are beginning to change, and resolution may eventually come by evolution. The path to the past may be through the future.

Descendents of Armenians who survived by converting to Islam and intermarrying with Turks and Kurds are “coming out of the shadows,” says de Waal. “They’re acknowledging they had Armenian grandparents. Now there are people who aren’t exactly Turks, and aren’t Armenians either. They are a bit of both.”

Submit News to CKA News Hundreds of migrants feared dead after boat sinks off Libya
Sun, 19 Apr 2015 10:56:52 +0000

Italian news agency ANSA says boat may have held 700 passengers.

The post Hundreds of migrants feared dead after boat sinks off Libya appeared first on Macleans.ca.

Submit News to CKA News Megan Follows remembers Jonathan Crombie
Sun, 19 Apr 2015 10:49:15 +0000

Canadian actor dies of brain hemorrhage at age 48

The post Megan Follows remembers Jonathan Crombie appeared first on Macleans.ca.

Submit News to CKA News Durham high school teachers poised to strike
Sun, 19 Apr 2015 10:35:51 +0000

Teachers say wages are not the only issue in negotiations

The post Durham high school teachers poised to strike appeared first on Macleans.ca.

Submit News to CKA News Alberta election 2015: How do you measure anger?
Sun, 19 Apr 2015 10:28:43 +0000

At the midpoint of the Alberta campaign, Alberta premier is being forced to rewrite the script

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Submit News to CKA News Bird flu confirmed on second farm in Ontario
Sat, 18 Apr 2015 22:24:31 -0400

Preliminary testing has confirmed the presence of H5 avian influenza on a second Ontario farm, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency said on Saturday.

Canadian Editorial/Opinion Newswatch

Warning: MagpieRSS: Failed to parse RSS file. (Undeclared entity error at line 68, column 54) in D:\Hosted Sites\canadaka.net\www\includes\rss_fetch\rss_fetch.inc on line 238 Submit News to CKA News John Tavares scores winner as Isles beat Capitals in OT
Sun, 19 Apr 2015 16:17:47 EDT

UNIONDALE, N.Y.—Islanders captain John Tavares scored 15 seconds into overtime to lift New York to a 2-1 win in Game 3 of their first-round playoff series over the Washington Capitals on Sunday.

Kyle Okposo also scored for the Islanders, who took a 2-1 series lead.

The game was decided quickly in the extra period, and after the Islanders allowed the Capitals to tie the game on Nicklas Backstrom’s goal with 6:06 remaining in the third.

In overtime, Nikolay Kulemin’s initial shot was stopped by Braden Holtby, who then tried to direct the rebound into the right corner. The puck went directly to Tavares, who shovelled it in before Holtby could cover the right post.

Game 4 is at Long Island on Tuesday.

Submit News to CKA News Here is a house on fire: Fiorito
Sun, 19 Apr 2015 15:05:30 EDT

Senator and former Toronto mayor Art Eggleton is looking into the management structure and the governance of the Toronto Community Housing Corporation. That’s good. I’m glad.

But he should know this:

I had a call the other day from a woman I’ll call Jill. She told me that her cousin Liz died last month. Liz was a tenant of community housing, on Lawrence Ave. E. near Kingston Rd.

Liz died of a heart attack. It took two weeks for anyone to notice. It took another two weeks for the family to find out, and here’s how that happened: Jill’s mother got a call from the property manager asking her when she was going to come over and clear the apartment.

I’m not kidding.

Liz lived alone. She didn’t see her relatives often. She had schizophrenia. And yes, I know — people who live alone tend to die alone.

But where is the “community” in community housing when a person — a neighbour, a friend, a tenant — can die and not be missed for two full weeks, and when it takes two more weeks for the family to find out?

Mr. Eggleton, this is the end product of the management and governance you are looking at. I make that assertion with some confidence, because managers have said for years that TCHC is just a landlord. Just a landlord, when thousands of tenants live with disabilities, in misery both physical and mental?

Sorry, not good enough.

Jill asked me to meet in front of the building where her cousin lived. She wanted me to see the apartment. I began by asking her to tell me a bit about Liz, and she began by asking me if I’d brought a haz-mat suit. I braced myself.

Jill showed me a picture of Liz in grade school — toothy grin, pageboy hair — and then a picture of Liz as an adult — a handsome woman who seemed to be looking at the world the way most of us do, with a slightly puzzled expression.

Jill said, “She was an only child. She was very bright. The schizophrenia started when she was in her early 20s.

“She couldn’t work because of her illness, but she went to school. She was a library technician years ago; she’d update her education now and then.”

Jill said, “She’d had a tumultuous relationship with her mother. When she was off her meds, she could be violent. One time, her mother had to call the police. It took five men to hold her down.”

Yikes.

“I saw her last at her mother’s funeral. She looked good — a bit off the wall, that’s to be expected — but she was cleaned up, neatly dressed.”

And then Jill took me up to the apartment, and this is what Mr. Eggleton should see, and this is what the board of TCHC should look at when they say that the company is just a landlord:

The apartment smelled of death.

The bed was a mess and did not appear to have been used for sleeping because it was black with bedbug feces.

There was dirty clothing scattered all over the floors, and there were dirty cups and dishes here and there, and the place had not been cleaned in months; that is a tangible sign of illness.

The bathroom was a mess. The toilet was inexplicably dry.

There were bugs of all kinds everywhere. Jill suggested that I look behind the armchair in the living room. I had to step over and around mounds of buggy litter to get to it, and when I looked behind the armchair I saw so many bedbugs that it made me sick.

Families are not trained to deal with issues so complex.

TCHC says with some defensive pride that it relies on community services for its vulnerable tenants. TCHC says Liz refused treatment for bedbugs. TCHC says it helped arrange social supports.

Great job, guys.

What do you think, Mr. Eggleton? Is TCHC “just a landlord” when it rents accommodation to tenants who cannot care for themselves? What would you have done if Liz had been renting a room from you?

Governance, indeed.

Joe Fiorito appears Monday, Wednesday and Friday. jfiorito@thestar.ca

Submit News to CKA News Toronto runners hit the road in Yonge St. 10K
Sun, 19 Apr 2015 13:26:43 EDT

From personal bests to first attempts, many Toronto runners kicked off the season with the Toronto Yonge St. 10K on Sunday morning.

The Canada Running Series tweeted that they raised a total of $12,700 for the Red Door Family Shelter.

Here are some photos from social media of runners celebrating their run.

Submit News to CKA News Germanwings crash exposes history of denial on risk of pilot suicide
Sun, 19 Apr 2015 11:04:42 EDT

DUESSELDORF, GERMANY—When Andreas Lubitz sent an email in 2009 seeking reinstatement to Lufthansa’s flight-training program after a months-long absence, he appended what in retrospect was a clear warning signal about his fitness to fly passenger jetliners: an acknowledgment that he had suffered from severe depression.

Lufthansa put the young German back through its standard applicant-screening process and medical tests. But it did not, from everything known about the case so far, pursue any plan to ensure that he was getting appropriate treatment. Nor did it impose special monitoring of his condition beyond that required for any pilot who had a flagged health issue.

Instead, Lubitz haltingly made his way through the training program and ultimately was entrusted as an Airbus A320 co-pilot for Lufthansa’s low-cost subsidiary, Germanwings. Lufthansa was so unaware of the extent of Lubitz’s psychological troubles that the company and its medical staff had no idea of the tortured drama playing out in his mind, peaking in the two or three months leading up to his final flight. Investigators told The New York Times that he visited a dozen or more doctors as he frantically sought treatment for real or imagined ailments.

In the days just after Lubitz, 27, flew himself and 149 other people into a French mountainside last month, Lufthansa’s chief executive confidently pronounced that Lubitz had been “100 per cent” fit to fly, highlighting how little the airline knew of the pilot who shook confidence in the company’s reputation for training and management rigour.

Lubitz’s journey to the moment when he found himself alone at the controls of Germanwings Flight 9525 from Barcelona, Spain, to Duesseldorf on March 24 exposes a series of failures and weaknesses at Lufthansa and throughout the industry and its regulators in dealing with mental illness among pilots. And it shows how little the industry and its regulators have done to acknowledge and address the most extreme manifestation of those psychological strains: pilot suicide.

Lubitz’s increasingly troubled behaviour in the period leading up to his final flight raised no alarms at the airline.

Although he had passed his standard medical exam by a flight doctor in August, he had more recent notes from specialists declaring him unfit to work that he never shared with his employer.

In the days before his final flight, he seems to have methodically plotted his own demise and that of his passengers. He researched methods of committing suicide, investigators say, and looked into cockpit security procedures. When he left for work on the morning of March 24, scheduled to fly from Duesseldorf to Barcelona and back, his iPad browser, according to one investigator, still had tabs open about two recent airline disasters. They were the mysterious disappearance last year of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 and a Mozambique Airlines flight in 2013 in which the captain was found to have intentionally crashed in Namibia, killing himself, five other crew members and all 27 passengers.

“The airline management, the supervisors, the dispatchers—they do not see the pilots very much,” said André Droog, a former psychologist with the KLM Flight Academy in the Netherlands, who is now president of the European Association for Aviation Psychology. “It puts a lot of responsibility on the individual pilot to be responsible and self-critical and to manage their lives very well.”

Lufthansa had, at most, only a partial sense of the severity of Lubitz’s condition and how long he had been dealing with it.

Information about Lubitz’s history remains sketchy, but there is evidence that his psychological problems were well established by the time Lufthansa was training him to fly. Just days after Lufthansa’s chief executive, Carsten Spohr, vouched for Lubitz’s flightworthiness, German prosecutors disclosed that Lubitz had exhibited suicidal tendencies and been treated by psychotherapists over a long period before earning his pilot’s license.

“If I had known about his medical problems with depression before starting his flying career and during his primary training, I probably would not have accepted him,” said Reiner W. Kemmler, the former head of Lufthansa’s department of aviation psychology.

Airlines and government regulators did not respond in any systematic or urgent way to warnings from their own experts that they were not doing enough to address mental health issues among flight crews.

As recently as 2012, the International Civil Aviation Organization, an arm of the United Nations that serves as the umbrella organization for airline regulation, raised the lack of systemic screening for psychological problems as a weakness that needed to be addressed, particularly with regard to younger pilots. The Montreal-based group’s 2012 Manual of Civil Aviation Medicine cited “an apparent mismatch” between the likelihood that mental rather than physical problems would afflict young pilots, “and the tools being used to detect them (the traditional medical examination).”

The pervasive culture of privacy in Germany created a bias against delving into Lubitz’s condition and effectively blinded the country’s airline regulator to the medical problems afflicting German pilots.

The German Federal Aviation Office, which issues pilot’s licenses, relies entirely on the country’s nearly 500 licensed flight doctors to determine pilots’ fitness to fly. But an audit last year by the European Aviation Safety Agency found that Germany’s strict data protection rules mean that the information that flight doctors submit to the regulator is not sufficiently detailed to allow officials to validate the doctors’ findings.

The European Commission called on Germany in November to fix this among a dozen other oversight failures identified by the aviation safety agency. Berlin responded last year with a series of proposed remedies, which the authorities in Brussels continue to review. A ruling from the commission is expected in the coming months.

Other nations have taken stricter measures than Germany has when it comes to dealing with depression and other mental illnesses among flight crews.

Dr. Richard Soderberg, chief medical officer at the civil aviation and maritime department of the Swedish Transport Agency, said that while depression would not permanently disqualify a pilot in Sweden, the pilot would be grounded during treatment. The agency would then require the pilot to turn over all medical records pertaining to the depression and submit to psychiatric evaluation every six weeks or so, and the pilot would not be allowed to fly alone.

“The privacy of the pilot cannot be traded for aviation safety,” Soderberg said.

Security measures put into place after the Sept. 11 attacks, intended to guard against threats coming from outside the cockpit, failed to anticipate a threat from within it.

Lufthansa, like other European airlines, had installed the armoured cockpit doors insisted on by the United States following 9/11, after they were mandated by regulators worldwide. But European regulators did not follow the United States in additionally requiring that two crew members be in the cockpit at all times.

The point of the policy was not to guard against a rogue pilot but to ensure that someone was available to reopen the locked door for a returning crew member while the remaining pilot was at the controls. European airlines instead permitted a lone pilot in the cockpit, but installed cameras allowing that pilot to check on the identity of anyone at the door, and to decide while seated whether to override keypad entry from the outside.

It was only after the Germanwings crash that Europe reversed course and recommended having two crew members in the cockpit at all times.

A Known Risk

Though the highest-profile example of the pilot-suicide problem, Lubitz was far from an isolated case. In recent years, a series of commercial pilots appear to have crashed their aircraft intentionally or been stopped by fellow crew members as they tried. In most cases, those pilots had been screened for psychological problems.

“There was almost a denial by the industry, and in particular among pilots, that we don’t do things like that,” said Robert Scott, a former British navy pilot and aviation consultant in Vancouver, British Columbia, who also heads a branch of the Canadian Mental Health Association. “It’s not part of our culture. It’s beyond the pale.”

“Now we have so much evidence that we have grudgingly come to accept that, yes, it is a problem,” he added.

Over the past two decades, other episodes were played down or hushed up and did not lead to any major changes in the regulation of the psychological fitness of pilots.

In 1997, a SilkAir Boeing 737 crashed in Indonesia, killing all 104 people aboard. The pilot had recently been demoted in the wake of a complaint about his behaviour and what one U.S. government report termed “cowboy practices.” Investigators later learned he was also under financial and family strains. U.S. investigators concluded that he had committed suicide. But Indonesian investigators ruled out that explanation.

Two years later, an EgyptAir Boeing 767 departing New York crashed into the Atlantic off Nantucket Island and killed 217 people. The National Transportation Safety Board concluded that the co-pilot purposely put the jetliner into a steep dive after uttering repeatedly, “I rely on God.” Under pressure from Egyptian officials, U.S. investigators did not deem the crash a suicide, but ruled out mechanical failures and blamed the co-pilot’s actions at the controls.

That same year, an Air Botswana pilot who had been grounded for medical reasons took off without authorization in one of the airline’s turboprops and threatened to crash into his carrier’s two other passenger planes that were parked on the ground.

Passengers waiting to board one of the planes were quickly moved to safety. U.S. officials documented that the pilot followed through on his threat and slammed into the planes, engulfing them in flames and dying in the crash.

The lack of any substantive evidence of what happened to Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 last year has led investigators to consider the possibility that the plane might be another example of one of the pilots’ deliberately downing the aircraft.

Beyond those cases, there have also been numerous close calls.

On Aug. 20, 2010, court records show, a pilot on a Spirit Airlines flight out of Port-au-Prince, Haiti, took the passenger jet he was flying out of autopilot and accelerated the airplane nearly to maximum speed, pulling the plane up into a rapid climb.

He had exhibited erratic behaviour before, notably in February 2010, when he was found lying on the floor of the cockpit on a flight from San Juan, Puerto Rico. He failed to tell the airline or his medical examiner that he was self-medicating with St. John’s wort, an herbal supplement often used for psychological issues.

In March 2012, a JetBlue flight to Las Vegas was diverted after the captain began talking incoherently about religion, 9/11 and Iraq, and said, “We need to take a leap of faith.”

An off-duty JetBlue pilot on board the flight teamed up with the co-pilot to lock the captain out of the cockpit. Passengers helped subdue the troubled pilot, who was trying to re-enter the cockpit. He was later found not guilty of criminal charges by reason of insanity.

There is a common theme of denial in many cases of pilot suicide, as the responses of the Egyptians and the Indonesians demonstrate. After a Royal Air Maroc captain crashed an ATR-42 turboprop in 1994, killing all 44 aboard, Moroccan investigators concluded that he had committed suicide, according to a U.S. summary of the case, but his pilot’s union disputed the finding.

“We can no longer feel 100 per cent confident in the person sitting beside us in the cockpit,” said Scott, the aviation consultant and pilot. “That is an awful feeling.”

The transportation safety board has cited several of these cases as reasons for improving flight data recorders, including making it harder for pilots to disable recorders and improving ways for the devices to survive crashes and be recovered even when aircraft crash in deep water.

Screening out pilots who are determined to keep flying and are willing to lie will be difficult, experts said.

“At the moment I don’t see tests if somebody doesn’t want to talk about his problems and he’s hiding all his symptoms,” Kemmler, the former Lufthansa official, said. “We don’t have a psychological flight recorder.”

But flight doctors are well aware of the risks.

“It remains astonishing how many pilots with mild or fading depressive disorders taking antidepressants flew without the knowledge of flight doctors—and still fly for us,” Dr. Uwe Stueben and Dr. Juergen Kriebel, who both worked for Lufthansa, wrote in the abstract of a paper published in 2011, while Lubitz was still a trainee.

In 2009, the year Lubitz returned from his months-long absence from training, Stueben was Lufthansa’s director of medical services and would have been involved in evaluating Lubitz’s case, while Kriebel, also employed at Lufthansa’s aeromedical centre at the time, normally performed psychiatric examinations on the young trainees.

Stueben declined to comment for this article. Reached by telephone, Kriebel said, “I won’t comment on the situation because the facts of the crash fall under my obligation of confidentiality.”

European Union regulations that took effect in April 2013 require flight doctors to refer pilots with certain medical or psychological conditions—including depression—to national aviation authorities.

Because of his previous episode of depression there was a mark in Lubitz’s medical file that required flight doctors to examine him for any signs of a recurrence—and to refer the case to regulators only if they suspected that had happened. Lufthansa has declined to disclose the nature or intensity of those examinations.

To questions about the details of how the company handled Lubitz, Lufthansa said, “We do not wish to forestall the investigation of the case by the public prosecutor. For this reason, we will currently not comment on the specific case.”

Passing Unnoticed

The class photo from his high school graduation yearbook shows a scrawny teenager wearing a striped long-sleeved T-shirt, a crew cut and a slightly crooked grin. Andreas Guenter Lubitz appears to have been the opposite of a large personality; his classmates voted him “third most orderly” among the 108 graduates of the Mons Tabor Gymnasium in Montabaur, Germany.

Lubitz stood out in only one way: his passion for flying and goal of becoming a commercial pilot. He began flying gliders at 14. “He was gifted. He was very precise and also absorbed it all quickly,” said Peter Ruecker, 64, who has flown gliders for 50 years and knew Lubitz from the local club.

A full-page advertisement that Lufthansa took out on the back of the Mons Tabor yearbook asked: “Do you want to make your dream of flying a reality?” For Lubitz the answer was most assuredly yes. He applied to join the company’s highly selective flight academy straight out of high school and in 2008 was among the roughly 5 per cent of applicants accepted into the training program.

But he broke off his training and for several months received psychiatric care, spending at least part of that time back home in Montabaur. When he was ready to return to the flight school the next year he sent Lufthansa the email about his “episode of severe depression,” attaching medical documents, the company said. After he was tested and readmitted, Lubitz completed all his requirements and graduated from the program. He received his commercial pilot’s license in 2012.

There appear to be additional delays in Lubitz’s training beyond the break of several months in 2009. He was accepted into the training program, which usually takes 1 ½ to 2 years, in 2008, but did not begin working for Germanwings until September 2013. Even with the 11 months that the company said he worked as a flight attendant, waiting for a pilot slot to open up, significant gaps in his career remain publicly unaccounted for. Lufthansa, citing the continuing investigation, declined to provide a fuller accounting.

The offer to fly for Germanwings was not as prestigious as working at Lufthansa, but for Lubitz it was his first job flying planes.

He split his time between his parents’ house in an upper-middle-class neighbourhood of Montabaur, where he kept a room, and an apartment on the outskirts of Duesseldorf, where he lived with his girlfriend. Residents told local news media they often saw him out and about in his pilot’s uniform.

He was “always laughing, always happy,” said Habibalah Hassani, who sells pizza from a corner stand near the white brick apartment building that was Lubitz’s home in Duesseldorf. “I could not see that he was ill.”

His most recent required checkup with a flight doctor came in August 2014; he passed.

Ruecker from the glider club said he saw Lubitz on four or five weekends last fall, when he returned to renew his glider license, and that he seemed fine. But all was not well with the young pilot.

Lubitz began to visit a series of doctors, complaining first of psychiatric problems and later of difficulties with his vision. He visited the Duesseldorf University Hospital in February and March for diagnostic testing. Doctors could determine no physiological causes for the vision difficulties, leading investigators to conclude that they may have been psychosomatic.

Investigators believe that he visited many different doctors, “well into the double digits,” in part so that none would recognize the true scope of his health problem, according to an official who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of German privacy laws. Prosecutors said Lubitz did not go to Lufthansa for help with his medical condition. That could have grounded him—and possibly cost him his job.

In fact, Lubitz had recent notes from specialists—though not a flight doctor—pronouncing him unfit for work, but he never told Germanwings. He tore up one of the notes and threw the scraps in his wastebasket, where they were found by investigators after the crash.

The jetliner took off from Duesseldorf to Barcelona at 6:45 a.m. on March 24. The captain, Patrick Sondenheimer, flew to Spain but it was agreed that his co-pilot would fly back. The aircraft spent one hour on the ground at Barcelona El-Prat Airport. Lubitz never left the plane, only exiting the cockpit for a moment to exchange greetings with a catering officer. There were few empty seats on the A320, the workhorse of the Airbus fleet, which was filled with students returning from a high school exchange, a pair of highly regarded opera singers and workers in the fashion industry, among many others.

The plane departed from Barcelona 26 minutes late at 10:01 a.m., the flight path a scenic route over the Mediterranean, the Côte d’Azur and the snow-capped French Alps. Before long the plane was cruising at 38,000 feet, the pilots chatting courteously with one another, according to one investigator who has read a transcript of the flight’s cockpit audio recording. The captain decided to go to the restroom at 10:30 a.m. Lubitz was left alone in the cockpit and he set the aircraft on a gradual but unplanned descent.

France’s Bureau of Investigations and Analyses said the readings from the flight’s data recorder showed that Lubitz programmed the autopilot to fly the plane down to an altitude of 100 feet. Not once but several times he accelerated the plane’s descent as it hurtled toward the mountains. Sondenheimer must have realized something was wrong, either as the plane began to descend or at the latest when his co-pilot blocked his re-entry into the cockpit.

Sondenheimer pounded on the door with increasing desperation, demanding to be let in. Air traffic controllers urgently called to say the plane’s altitude was too low. Automated systems repeated their commands for him to pull up. From outside the cockpit came screams from the passengers.

Amid this cacophony, Lubitz was silent. Only his steady breathing could be heard on the audio recording as he flew for the last time. At 10:40 a.m. and 47 seconds the plane dropped off the flight radar at 6,175 feet, roughly the height of the craggy mountains.

Submit News to CKA News Islamic State video purports to show killing of captured Ethiopian Christians in Libya
Sun, 19 Apr 2015 10:40:08 EDT

CAIRO—A video released by the Islamic State group on Sunday appears to show the killing of two different groups of captured Ethiopian Christians by the extremist group’s Libyan affiliates.

The 29-minute online video purports to show militants holding two groups of captives. It says one group is held by an IS affiliate in eastern Libya known as Barka Province and the other by an affiliate in the south calling itself the Fazzan Province.

A masked fighter brandishing a pistol delivers a long statement, saying Christians must convert to Islam or pay a special tax prescribed by the Qur’an.

The video then switches between footage of the captives in the south being shot dead and the captives in the east being beheaded on a beach.

It was not immediately clear who the captives were or when they were captured. It was also not clear how many captives were killed.

The video bore the official logo of the IS media arm Al-Furqan and resembled previous videos released by the extremist group, including one in February in which IS militants in Libya beheaded 21 captured Egyptian Christians on a beach.

The Islamic State group has been able to gain a foothold amid the chaos in Libya, where two governments backed by rival alliances of militias are battling each other as well as extremist groups.

The Islamic State group is also advancing in Iraq, where the extremists captured three villages near the city of Ramadi in the western Anbar province and were locked in heavy clashes with Iraqi troops.

More than 90,000 people have fled the Islamic State group’s advance in Anbar, a United Nations humanitarian agency said Sunday.

The Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said in a statement that civilians are fleeing Ramadi as well as the three nearby villages captured by the IS group a few days ago. It said humanitarian agencies have moved quickly to provide assistance, including food, water and shelter.

“Our top priority is delivering life-saving assistance to people who are fleeing — food, water and shelter are highest on the list of priorities,” said Lise Grande, the U.N. humanitarian co-ordinator for Iraq.

Grande expressed concern over the safety of the displaced people, who are mainly heading to Baghdad and the IS-held city of Fallujah.

“Seeing people carrying what little they can and rushing for safety is heartbreaking,” she added.

Iraqi officials in Anbar have described Ramadi as a ghost town, with empty streets and closed shops.

Iraqi troops backed by Shiite militias and U.S.-led airstrikes managed to dislodge the IS group from the northern city of Tikrit earlier this month.

But the troops have struggled against the militants in Anbar, which saw some of the heaviest fighting of the eight-year U.S. military intervention that ended in 2011.

Submit News to CKA News Probes highlight dark past of France?s far-right National Front
Sun, 19 Apr 2015 10:18:14 EDT

PARIS—The timing could not have been worse. Daggers were already drawn in a father-daughter duel within the far-right National Front when a judicial investigation began circling closer and closer to the party leadership.

The probe, one of three currently targeting the National Front or its alliances, has reawakened images of anti-Semitism and jackbooted followers that party leader Marine Le Pen has worked hard to scrub away.

She is hoping to transform the National Front from a political pariah into a voter-friendly alternative to traditional parties amid a fight for the movement’s soul between Marine Le Pen and her father, Jean-Marie, whose anti-Semitic remarks set off the family feud.

These three investigations could end up outing professional and personal secrets and tarnish the respectable veneer Marie Le Pen is applying to the party she inherited in 2011. Under the elder Le Pen’s four-decade leadership, the National Front became emblematic of France’s dark past, from anti-Semitic collaboration with the Nazis in World War II to the brutality of the French colonial war to keep Algeria.

A truce of sorts between father and daughter may end the family bloodletting. But the justice system is beyond the National Front leader’s control as she sets her sights on the 2017 French presidential elections.

The investigations are uncovering a tangled web of alleged illegal financing in Paris and at the European Parliament. The Paris case raises questions about a more extremist side of the National Front under Marine Le Pen, who still works with old university acquaintances with unsavory backgrounds.

Allegations of fraud, money laundering and illegal financing targeting National Front-linked communications company Riwal highlight Marine Le Pen’s long-standing ties with the principal target in that case, Frederic Chatillon. He was a figure in the extreme-right GUD, or Union Defence Group, known for violence when it was active decades ago.

Today, Chatillon runs Riwal. He is among those facing preliminary charges in the case, prosecutor’s spokeswoman Agnes Thibault-Lecuivre said. He, as well as one other person under investigation, recycled himself from his GUD past into a successful businessman. His company has a branch in Syria, where he once hobnobbed with other figures from the extreme right and the Syrian elite of Bashar Assad’s regime.

Two photos carried in the investigative online publication Mediapart show Chatillon in Syria with, among others, Dieudonne, the French comic convicted of anti-Semitism. Chatillon is seen again in Paris with Dieudonne and Robert Faurisson, convicted several times for denying the Holocaust.

Marine Le Pen, in turn, is seen in photos with Chatillon on official party business.

Far-right experts say that Chatillon and Le Pen became acquainted at Assas University in Paris, where she attended law school. Also under investigation is Axel Loustau, another former GUD member. Loustau is treasurer at an organization that raises funds for the National Front. He also owns a security company used by the National Front for major events such as the party’s annual May Day march.

The GUD group was forced out of Assas University in the 1990s and eventually went silent. A younger generation of extreme rightists is trying to bring GUD back to life.

Marine Le Pen, just named by Time as one of the world’s 100 most influential people, did not respond to Associated Press requests for comment on the investigation.

After reports that the investigators might reach high-level figures in the party — and perhaps Le Pen herself — she wrote on Twitter last weekend: “The obviously fantasylike character of the latest judicial offensive shows it is of an exclusively political nature.”

The National Front’s legal problems do not stop there.

The party faces a direct legal challenge at the seat of one of its biggest electoral successes, the European Parliament. The parliament’s anti-fraud unit opened an investigation last month into possible irregularities in the payment of parliamentary assistants for the National Front’s 24 lawmakers, after suspicions of freeloading emerged.

Twenty assistants paid by the parliament are targeted in the probe. They are listed by the National Front as party officials — and 19 of them used the party’s headquarters as their address. That conflicts with rules stating that assistants’ pay must be “directly linked” to the lawmaker’s mandate at the parliament.

The sum of money paid to National Front assistants is considerable. Each lawmaker in the European Parliament was allotted a maximum of 21,379 euros (about $28,000 U.S.) per month in 2014 for assistants who would be paid over the five-year mandate of their bosses, said spokeswoman Marjory Van Den Broeke.

“There have been individual cases ... but this was an exception in that it was so large scale,” she said of the probe into the National Front’s assistants.

France has opened its own inquiry into the parliamentary assistants.

Marine Le Pen has sought to lay down the law within her own party on other fronts. She announced she would oppose her father’s candidacy in December regional elections. Buckling under her authority, the elder Le Pen withdrew his name, all but ending his political career.

A preliminary investigation against Jean-Marie Le Pen for disputing crimes against humanity has been opened after he said Nazi gas chambers were a “detail in history.” He has previously been convicted for making such comments.

A crueler punishment may come at the hands of his daughter, who has ordered him before a party disciplinary board. Among possible punishments: stripping him of the title of lifelong honorary president of the party he helped create.

Submit News to CKA News Shrinking airline seats and the voyage of the crammed
Sun, 19 Apr 2015 09:00:00 EDT

In search of greater revenues, airlines are once again testing their passengers’ tolerance for discomfort.

A week’s worth of headlines show a declining respect for the economy flyer and the risks of where that could lead — more cases of air rage, religious tensions and even potential sexual assault.

“It’s the race to the bottom that we see throughout the industry,” says Halifax-based airline passenger advocate Gabor Lukacs. “They are trying to make profits or extra profit by offering worse service.”

As if things aren’t aggravating enough, two budget carriers, Ryanair and Spring Airlines, recently suggested standing-room flights may be the cost-cutting wave of the future.

While that may be the extreme, the reality is that more economy passengers are already being crammed into the same space on airplanes. To make room, the seats are getting smaller.

Related: Squeezed everywhere

The trend towards maxing out capacity has become enough of a concern that the U.S. Department of Transportation convened a consumers advisory group last week to examine whether squeezing more flyers onto planes presents any danger for those passengers.

They examined everything from whether an increased number of seats makes it harder to evacuate a plane in an emergency to whether that increased capacity might lead to more air rage or whether cramped seating might cause more blood clotting, known as deep vein thrombosis.

Budget flyers shouldn’t expect any immediate relief. The comfort gap is widening between first- and business-class passengers and the rest of us in the back.

Boeing’s new short-haul 737 Max aircraft will be outfitted with 189 seats. The previous generation had 160. Ryanair will shoehorn 200 passengers onto the same plane.

As recently as 2010, 85 per cent of Boeing’s 777s had nine seats per row. About 70 per cent of Boeing’s 777s now have 10 per row, the Wall Street Journal reported.

In Europe, the Airbus A380 double-decker superjumbo jet unveiled last week will squeeze an extra seat into each economy row. The company also received permission from the overlords of European flight safety to bump capacity on its A320neo to 195 from 180.

The result is that the industry norm for an economy seat is now about 43 centimetres wide, compared to 47 centimetres two decades ago.

More air rage

Jonathan Bricker, a psychologist and faculty member at the University of Washington, has studied air travel stress since 1998. He says incidents of full-blown air rage are unusual, though increased overcrowding fosters an environment in which it is more likely to occur.

“The trend of more seats on planes has been going on for about 14 years,” he says. “With that history, we’ve seen more people feeling stress, feeling tension, with some of that flaring up into actual overt aggression. The more typical reaction is physical discomfort, it’s psychological discomfort, and the airlines really haven’t taken it seriously.”

Leon James, a psychology professor at the University of Hawaii, says increased aggravation for flyers begins even before they get to those narrower seats.

With airlines charging for checked baggage, economy flyers often bring as much luggage as possible as carry-on. And with more seats meaning more passengers on every plane, it creates a competitive environment, with people even jostling in line before boarding in order to claim overhead bins.

Too close for religious comfort?

While not directly related to the number of seats on a plane — though it is exacerbated by it — several flights, particularly departures from New York for Israel, have been delayed for religious accommodation.

The issue was ultra-Orthodox Jewish men refusing to take an assigned seat beside a woman. Ultra-Orthodox Judaism forbids physical contact between a man and woman unless they’re married or close relatives. That creates a sensitive situation as flyers board.

Some women agree to change seats, while some find such a request sexist and refuse. Confusion and delays ensue until some compromise can be found.

“I think that the phenomenon is nowhere near as prevalent as some media reports have made it seem,” Rabbi Avi Shafran, director of public affairs at Agudath Israel of America, which represents ultra-Orthodox Jews, recently told the New York Times.

Shafran told the paper many ultra-Orthodox men follow the guidance of Orthodox scholar Rabbi Moshe Feinstein, who counselled that sitting next to a woman on a subway or bus was acceptable as long as there was no intention to seek sexual pleasure from any incidental contact.

Potential sex assaults

An alleged sexual assault on a recent flight to New Brunswick gained national attention when the victim complained about how the groping incident was dealt with by the Air Canada crew.

Lukacs said as horrible as the situation is for the victim, it would “be a stretch to draw a parallel between that and small seats.”

Sara Nelson, international president of the Association of Flight Attendants—CWA, isn’t so sure. She told the CBC that packed flights could lead to more passenger-on-passenger conflict.

“Our airplanes are absolutely packed to the gills and people are right up next to each other,” she said. “It can create physical interaction very easily.”

Air Canada spokesman Peter Fitzpatrick said the airline couldn’t comment on the woman’s case as it is before the courts, but says the crew “responded in a manner considered appropriate based on the information provided at the time” and that “the matter will be reviewed.”

The future

Last week, there was a glimmer of hope for the squeezed and the squished when Southwest Airlines announced that new seats on its Boeing 737-800s would be just over two centimetres wider. They touted the development saying that, at just over 45 centimetres, they would have the “widest economy seats available in the single-aisle 737 market.” The 737 is the most widely flown jetliner in the world.

At the other end of the scale, however, Airbus recently filed for a patent on a hideous-looking method of packing passengers on a plane. Essentially, the seating is a row of saddles, similar to those on a bicycle, anchored to a horizontal pole. A passenger would perch on the saddle, legs hanging almost straight down to the floor, allowing for even less space between rows.

Bricker doesn’t expect things to improve. He says airlines understand that for passengers, the “value of the destination outweighs the discomfort of the process of getting there …

“There’s enough of those passengers who are willing to fly and bear the experience of being crammed on a plane that it’s economically worthwhile to add more seats,” he says. “That’s why I do not see them doing anything about this.”

Submit News to CKA News Up to 700 migrants feared dead in Mediterranean sinking
Sun, 19 Apr 2015 07:33:25 EDT

ROME—A crowded fishing boat that one survivor said carried 700 migrants capsized north of Libya overnight, and only a few dozen people were rescued Sunday, raising fears that it could become the Mediterranean's deadliest known migrant sea disaster.

The capsizing prompted more dismay among exasperated Italian officials, refugee aid officials agencies and Pope Francis, all of whom are demanding more European or international action to stop a deadly tide of migration. Migrants have aimed for Europe's shores for many years, fleeing war, persecution and conflict in Africa, the Middle East and Asia. But the turmoil and warfare in Libya has made it easier for smugglers to take to the sea.

Rescuers Sunday were “checking who is alive and who is dead” among the bodies floating on the surface, said Maltese Prime Minister Joseph Muscat, whose tiny Mediterranean nation joined the rescue operations. He called it the “biggest human tragedy of the last few years.”

The 20-meter vessel may have overturned because migrants rushed to one side of the craft late Saturday night when they saw an approaching Portuguese-flagged container ship, the King Jacob, which the Italian Coast Guard had dispatched to help them.

The Coast Guard said at least 28 survivors had been rescued by Sunday morning. Muscat put the number of survivors at 50, and International Organization for Migration spokesman Joel Millman said 49 survived.

“Since the waters of the Mediterranean Sea are not too cold at the moment, the authorities hope to find more survivors,” a statement from Millman said.

The container ship received the Coast Guard's request to help the migrants at 11 p.m. Saturday night “when an overloaded fishing boat was spotted close by the King Jacob's port side,” according to a statement from a spokesmen for the ship owner.

The crew “immediately deployed rescue boats, gangway, nets and life rings. Twenty-two people were pulled to safety” and transferred Sunday to Italian coast guard vessels, that statement said.

A United Nations refugee agency spokeswoman Carlotta Sami tweeted that according to one survivor, the boat had set out with 700 migrants aboard.

Italian Premier Matteo Renzi summoned his top ministers to a strategy session in Rome Sunday evening, saying that the numbers of dead are still provisional but “are destined to rise.'

“How can it be that we daily are witnessing a tragedy?” Renzi asked.

U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees Antonio Guterres said in a statement Sunday that 219,000 people crossed the Mediterranean by sea and 3,500 died last year. This year, 35,000 asylum seekers and migrants have reached Europe so far and more than 900 are known to have died in failed crossings. Last week, 400 people were presumed drowned when another boat capsized.

The smugglers are capitalizing on the migrants' desperation and taking advantage of chaos and violence in Libya, where rival militias, tribal factions and other political forces have destabilized the country since bloody end of the long dictatorship of Moammar Gadhafi in 2011.

In Italy's Parliament, the leaders of foreign affairs and defence commissions pushed for the EU and the UN to prepare a naval blockade of Libya's coast to stop the human trafficking.

Without a military blockade, “the traffickers will continue to operate and make money and the wretched will continue to die,” said Pier Fernando Casini, the Senate foreign affairs commission president.

The pope joined the political calls for action, urging “the international community to act decisively and promptly, to prevent similar tragedies from occurring again.”

Until this Sunday's tragedy, calls for a naval blockade had mainly risen in Italy from the anti-immigrant Northern League party. That top lawmakers are now joining the chorus reflects rising impatience for decisive European action.

“Europe can do more and Europe must do more,” said Martin Schulz, president of the European Parliament. “It is a shame and a confession of failure how many countries run away from responsibility and how little money we provide for rescue missions.”

The EU's foreign minister, Federica Mogherini, added migration as a last-minute emergency issue to an EU foreign ministers' meeting on Monday in Luxembourg.

Europe must mobilize “more ships, more overflights by aircraft,” French President François Hollande told French TV Canal +. He said he called Renzi to discuss emergency action.

The prime minister of Spain, another Mediterranean nation, also urged Europe to take swift action.

“Today, and this is the umpteenth time, we hear of yet another human tragedy in the Mediterranean, off the Libyan coast,” Mariano Rajoy told a political rally. “It's a daily drama. Three days ago it was 400 people. Four days ago they were 10. Words won't do any more.”

There was no immediate way to determine how many were on board the fishing boat, nor how many might still be rescued, the Coast Guard and other authorities said. The total number of passengers was expected to be clarified as authorities interview survivors.

Given that the sea is as deep as 5 kilometres or more in the area, it is possible that many bodies will never be recovered, as was the case in similar tragedies off the coasts of Libya, Italy, and other Mediterranean nations in recent years.

“There are fears there could be hundreds of dead,” Pope Francis told the faithful in St. Peter's Square on Sunday. He bowed his head in silent prayer, as did many of the tens of thousands below him.

When asked whether migrants rushed to one side as the Portuguese vessel pulled alongside, Italian Border Police Gen. Antonino Iraso replied: “The dynamics aren't clear. But this is not the first time that has happened.”

Rescuers reported seeing wreckage in the sea.

“There are large fuel stains, pieces of wood, life jackets,” added Iraso, whose force has boats deployed in the rescue effort, told Sky TG24 TV.

The numbers of migrants attempting the dangerous crossing from Libya in overcrowded or unseaworthy boats swells as the springtime weather improves, providing calmer seas and warmer water.

Submit News to CKA News Armenian Genocide: 100th anniversary of a ?great catastrophe?
Sun, 19 Apr 2015 07:00:00 EDT

In 1915, the Ottoman Empire’s Armenians were declared enemies of the state by the ruling junta of ultranationalists, who denounced them as supporters of their wartime foe, Russia.

Even in the dark depths of the First World War, what followed was unique in its calculating brutality.

Fiercely denied by the Turkish government, it would be denounced as the 20th century’s first genocide: an organized attempt to ethnically cleanse the Armenians from their homeland. By the time the massacres and deportations were done, as many as 1.5 million men, women and children had perished.

On April 24, Armenians throughout the world will commemorate the 100th anniversary of the event that destroyed their families, pillaged their patrimony and set them adrift with few, if any, mementos of their past.

A century later, the world is closer to understanding the facts of the “great catastrophe” that befell the Armenians, as histories of the massive killings have swelled.

In Turkey, the history is hazier.

“What happened in 1915 is the collective secret of Turkish society, and the genocide has been relegated to the black hole of our collective memory,” says Turkish writer Taner Akcam in a foreword to Turkey and the Armenian Ghost.

“Confronting our history means questioning everything — our social institutions, mindset, beliefs, culture, even the language we speak. Our society will have to closely re-examine its own self-image.”

As recently as this week, Turkey sharply criticized the Vatican after the Pope denounced the massacres as genocide, calling on all heads of state to recognize it and oppose such crimes “without ceding to ambiguity or compromise.”

More than 20 countries, including Canada, have passed bills recognizing the killings as genocide. The U.S. does not officially recognize the term, although President Barack Obama had used it before his election.

For decades, Turkey has insisted that the killings were part of civil war and unrest rather than organized genocide, that the Armenians had revolted against the Ottoman Empire by siding with the invading Russians in the First World War, and that although Armenians experienced a “tragedy,” they were only one of many groups that suffered heavy losses during the war.

However, “back in 1915, there was nothing controversial about the catastrophe,” Thomas de Waal writes in Foreign Affairs. The Young Turkish government, headed by Mehmed Talat Pasha and two others, had joined with Germany against its longtime foe, Russia. And two million Christian Armenians, who lived in what is now eastern Turkey, were targeted as internal enemies.

“Talat ordered the deportation of almost the entire people to the arid deserts of Syria. In the process, at least half of the men were killed by Turkish security forces or marauding Kurdish tribesmen,” said de Waal, author of the bookGreat Catastrophe: Armenians and Turks in the Shadow of Genocide. “Women and children survived in greater numbers but endured appalling depredation, abductions and rape on the long marches.”

Diplomats in the region were shocked by the carnage, including U.S. ambassador Henry Morgenthau, who accused Turkey of “a systematic plan to crush the Armenian race.”

Their reports cited torture, rape, pillage and massacres. Some Armenians were thrown into the Black Sea and drowned. One spoke of mass graves with bodies piled up “as far as the eye can see.”

But in a part of the world riven by ethnic fault lines, no historical landscape is smooth.

“Armenians were divided in the Ottoman Empire,” says Ronald Suny of the University of Michigan, author of “They Can Live in the Desert and Nowhere Else”: A History of the Armenian Genocide. “In cities of Western Turkey like Izmir and Constantinople they were relatively successful, and there were Muslim resentments toward them.”

But those in eastern Anatolia, their historical homeland, were “mostly peasants, craftsmen and workers,” who often felt themselves victims of well-armed nomadic Kurds. “Armenians only got permission (to carry arms) in 1908, but they didn’t have many weapons. It was a dangerous and insecure region.”

Consequently, their leaders demanded government reforms that would give them more rights and protection. “When that failed some joined revolutionary movements, but they were in small numbers. There were small bands that tried to defend the Armenians. Some tried to get Western powers interested in promoting and protecting their interests.”

But Suny says the great majority of Armenians were seeking improved rights and reforms within the Ottoman Empire — not to subvert the government. Nor were they “dreaming of a separate state.”

So why would the Ottoman leaders launch such sweeping attacks?

Some historians dwell on the war, territorial conflicts between Armenians and Kurds, political ambitions of the Young Turks, religious motivations and Armenian appeals to foreign countries for aid. But Suny dug for deeper philosophical and psychological causes.

“All of those background events, and the experience of Armenians, Turks and Kurds roughly from the 1870s to the genocide itself, constituted a moment I call ‘affective disposition,’ ” he said. “A mental and emotional universe formed in which the Young Turks imagined the Armenians as an existential threat so profound in their imagination that they had to be destroyed.”

From the time of Sultan Abdul Hamid II, he says, Armenians were seen as treacherous, agents of the West, and a minority that upset the natural balance of the mainly Muslim country.

The incipient Armenian revolutionary movement fuelled the flames, and grudgingly-accepted reforms urged by Europe backfired on the Armenians. Attitudes hardened as ordinary Turks were freer to go out on the streets, start boycott campaigns and make anti-Christian views public.

When the First World War broke out, some Armenians looked to the Russians as protectors against the Turks. The majority sided with the Ottomans, but efforts to prove their loyalty by joining the Turkish army and supporting the war effort failed and they were attacked and demonized as enemies within. Fear and resentment turned to hatred of Armenians.

“The organizers of the killings were the Young Turks, who ordered mass deportations and in some cases massacres,” says de Waal. “But a lot of the killing was done in a freelance, opportunistic way, often by Kurds.” Other Caucasus minorities joined in.

The Kurds, who have their own experience of repression, have apologized for their part in the killings, which they recognize as genocide. They have opened churches and spoken of reconciliation.

The Turkish government has maintained its hard line, although President Recep Tayyip Erdogan did take an unexpected step forward last year with a message of condolence to Armenians. But many were disappointed that the government scheduled a ceremony to commemorate the First World War battle of Gallipoli on the same day as their 100th anniversary.

On the ground, however, things are beginning to change, and resolution may eventually come by evolution. The path to the past may be through the future.

Descendents of Armenians who survived by converting to Islam and intermarrying with Turks and Kurds are “coming out of the shadows,” says de Waal. “They’re acknowledging they had Armenian grandparents. Now there are people who aren’t exactly Turks, and aren’t Armenians either. They are a bit of both.”

Submit News to CKA News Durham Region secondary teachers on strike, schools will be closed Monday
Sat, 18 Apr 2015 20:59:16 EDT

Durham Region secondary school teachers will officially be on strike as of Monday and all Durham District School Board secondary schools will be closed until further notice.

The board made the announcement Saturday night after the Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation notified the board that their members, including secondary teachers and secondary occasional teachers, will be on strike effective April 20.

That means as of Monday, all regular instructional programs for students in Grades 9 to 12 are cancelled, along with extracurricular activities, field trips and school events.

The board said teachers may be picketing outside Durham secondary schools and the Education Centre.

Buses will only be running for elementary school students, and all Durham board elementary schools and the Education Centre will remain open.

The provincial government and the teachers’ union came to an impasse on Friday.

Items like salaries and sick leave are handled at the provincial level, while board and union district issues are looked at locally.

The union previously said it would only return to negotiations with the province and the school boards’ association when they “are ready to enter serious discussions.”

The province has said, however, that raises will not be possible and that there is no extra money.

“I’m certainly disappointed. There’s been a process of movement towards strike action both at the provincial and the local level,” Michael Barrett, president of the Ontario Public School Boards’ Association, which is also at the provincial bargaining tables, said on Saturday night.

“We find it unfortunate that we’re breaking off talks, but we’re still committed to staying at the table.

The association’s biggest concern is the students, he added. “We’ll still be working to get through this process, and get our students back as soon as possible,” Barrett said.

“Our teachers would much rather be inside classrooms with their students,” stated Dave Barrowclough, District 13 president, in a message on the OSSTF website.

“But this employer’s refusal to engage in real negotiations has really left us no option. They refuse to enshrine in the collective agreement even language that would clearly enable us to improve our teaching practices. Until they undertake a wholesale change of approach, progress isn’t possible, although we will remain ready to engage in meaningful bargaining at any time.”

The union previously said that if its 2,000 teachers hit the picket lines in Durham, they would remain there until a deal is negotiated.

With files from Star staff

Submit News to CKA News Edmonton Oilers win NHL draft lottery
Sat, 18 Apr 2015 20:16:40 EDT

Connor McDavid wore a blue and white checked shirt. Maple Leafs president Brendan Shanahan wore a shamrock.

But it was the Edmonton Oilers — incredibly — who won the NHL draft lottery on Saturday for the third time since 2010 and will pick first for the fourth time since 2010.

“They’ve got some luck,” said Shanahan, whose team had a 9.5 per cent chance of winning the lottery but who seemed relieved the Leafs retained the fourth overall pick. “You (worry) about sliding down to five. Happy we’re at four. There are some good players there.

“Obviously everybody came here today hoping to get the gold ticket,” Shanahan added. “The odds were stacked against most teams. There are a lot of good players in this draft. There is so much focus on the first couple of guys, and they’re fantastic players. It’s a very deep draft.”

Almost assuredly the Oilers will pick McDavid, sliding him onto a young team that features Taylor Hall (first overall in 2010), Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (first overall in 2011) and Nail Yakupov (first overall in 2012).

“It’s a game-changer,” said Oilers GM Craig McTavish. “The team looks pretty exciting from our standpoint. It’s a real special moment for all the fans who have supported us.”

The Oilers will open a new downtown arena in 2017, and McDavid will be the likely centrepiece.

The league assembled the four top prospects Saturday: McDavid, Erie Otters teammate Dylan Strome and Boston College defenceman Noah Hanifin. Boston University centre Jack Eichel chimed in on a conference call.

McDavid said all the right things, that he wouldn’t take being drafted first overall as a done deal. But he did allow that his heart was racing during the league’s televised reveal.

“Now is when it all starts, the talk for 1-2, and who somebody might pick and whatever happens,” said McDavid. “It can all go a bit crazy now (heading to) the draft.”

The lottery was held at the Sportsnet studios in the CBC building, with all involved sequestered with cellphones removed.

The winning number was 1-5-6-14 for Edmonton, sandwiched between two Arizona numbers (1-5-6-13 and 1-5-7-9). The closest the Leafs had was 1-5-6-8.

The drop of the balls took less than a minute. There was an audible groan from one of the team representatives, but it was impossible to tell which one.

The players kept to themselves while the league and team executives, including Shanahan, watched the balls drop.

“We kind of refrained from talking about what’s going to happen with some ping pong balls,” said Strome, who could land with the Leafs. “Ping pong balls are allowed to define someone’s fate and career. Hopefully, it works out for him.”

The Sabres will pick second for the second year in a row and will likely take Eichel, the Boston University centre nearly as highly touted as McDavid. Eichel, 18, won the Hobey Baker award as the top player in the NCAA and was named Saturday to the U.S. team that will play at the world championships in May.

Sabres GM Tim Murray didn’t hide his disappointment at losing the top pick for the second year in a row. Buffalo had a 20 per cent chance at winning the top pick due to having the worst record in the league.

“We’ll get over it and get ready for the draft,” said Murray.

Arizona has the third overall pick and could choose from among Hanifin, the third-rated prospect according to most lists, Strome or London Knights centre Mitchell Marner.

Hanifin is a sleek, fast, puck moving defenceman who would give the Coyotes a dynamic 1-2 blue line with Oliver Ekman-Larsson. If the Coyotes pass on him, he’d do the same for the Leafs with Morgan Rielly.

“Arizona is pretty nice and warm,” said the Massachusetts-born Hanifin. “I’ve been to Toronto a few times. You can tell, anywhere in Canada, it’s all hockey highlights. It’s the hub of hockey for the world.”

That would leave the Leafs to take the Mississauga-born Strome, who led the OHL in scoring and stood out on an Otters team that was without McDavid for seven weeks as the result of a broken hand and time spent with the world junior team.

“Growing up, I was rooting for Toronto,” said Dylan Strome, whose brother, Ryan, plays for the New York Islanders. “Now with the possibility of being on any team in the NHL, it’s kind of changed.

“I wouldn’t call it weird (to be drafted by Toronto), I would call it exciting. I’m just looking forward to the whole process. At the end of the day, it’s if one general manager likes you, it’s where you’re going to end up for a while.”

Shanahan reiterated there would be “no shortcuts” back to respectability for the Leafs as he prepares for the June 27 draft. And he wasn’t tipping his hat whether he’d draft for a particular position.

“You’re looking for the best guy available,” said Shanahan.

He added he has an open mind as to whether the player the Leafs draft at No. 4 makes the team in the fall.

“You can’t have your mind made up,” said Shanahan. “If somebody is going to develop the best playing in the NHL, and is ready, then you have to have that option open for him. If somebody needs a bit more time, then that’s okay as well.”

This article has been amended from a previous version that incorrectly stated that the Edmonton Oilers had won the NHL draft lottery four times since 2010.

Submit News to CKA News Anchored in hope: How Toronto is learning from Cleveland?s return to prosperity
Sat, 18 Apr 2015 19:56:07 EDT

If you’ve ever imagined a worst-case scenario for Toronto, it probably looks something like this: a burst housing bubble, massive job losses, crumbling roads, rapid economic decline and spiralling inequality.

That’s the nightmare that Cleveland has already lived in spectacular style.

The silver lining? It survived, thanks in part to an ambitious undertaking known as the anchor mission, which harnesses the massive spending power of a city’s so-called “anchor” institutions, such as universities and hospitals, to keep business and opportunity closer to home.

Think of it as a live, buy and hire local project on a grand scale.

The strategy has been so successful at reviving the Rust Belt town, now affectionately known as Comeback City, that Toronto is taking notice.

The city has begun a yearlong partnership with leaders at some of Toronto’s largest public employers to explore what an anchor mission might look like in a Canadian context.

“People had all these big dreams,” says Denise Andrea Campbell, director of social policy for the City of Toronto, who is heading up the city’s efforts. “I was very inspired by that.”

Rise and decline

During the mid-1800s, Cleveland came into its own as a manufacturing powerhouse, attracting business magnates such as John D. Rockefeller, who built flashy mansions along Euclid Ave.

A century later, the street once known as Millionaire’s Row found itself flooded with foreclosed homes and abandoned businesses, symptoms of broader social and economic turmoil.

Between 1980 and 2005, the city lost more than 100,000 manufacturing jobs. Its population dropped by more than 50 per cent as predominantly white residents fled to the suburbs, leaving a core of economically marginalized African-American communities.

By 2003, the U.S. Census Bureau had declared Cleveland to be the poorest big city in America.

But Euclid Ave. still had one thing going for it: it was home to some of the city’s finest anchor institutions, including Case Western Reserve University and two of the nation’s best hospitals: the Cleveland Clinic and University Hospitals.

The hospitals alone represented the region’s two biggest employers, and had $3 billion (U.S.) worth of spending projects planned.

Evidently, wealth remained. The question was how to harness it.

Throwing out the rule book

Anchor institutions, by definition, are those that are unlikely to leave the city, have significant resources and require a large workforce. The most common examples are universities, hospitals and other publicly oriented employers.

The anchor strategy is built on the premise that these institutions, by virtue of their economic heft and permanence, are uniquely placed to pump money into local economies through conscientious spending and hiring decisions.

With Cleveland, as is the case with most schools and hospitals across North America, it was common practice for its anchors to award contracts to the lowest bidder, and to buy goods and services with little regard for anything but cost.

Critics argued that the approach did little to support local jobs and businesses, which was ultimately self-defeating. Even the most prestigious establishments, they said, could not thrive if the communities surrounding them were failing.

“This wasn’t about charity, but how we could create a win-win for both the anchors and the neighbourhoods,” says India Pierce Lee of the Cleveland Foundation, the city’s influential philanthropic body.

The community-oriented foundation served as a neutral convenor between rival institutions, convincing them to support a new, expansive project to redirect spending. Its goals included greater efforts to buy and hire locally, investments in local infrastructure and community engagement.

Independent evaluations show that the city’s anchors now buy about a quarter of all goods and services from the surrounding area. At University Hospitals, any purchase greater than $20,000 must include at least one bid from a local, minority-owned business, and lucrative long-term contracts are now conditional on firms relocating part of their operations locally.

The anchors have also expanded efforts to employ neighbourhood residents, originally aiming for 500 new hires by 2022. They have already far exceeded that goal, hiring 539 locals in 2013 alone.

Along with the Cleveland Foundation and the City of Cleveland, the anchors also invested in a new rapid transit system, converted abandoned warehouses into business incubators, and created a workforce development centre to train underemployed locals for health-care jobs.

Mary-Beth Levine, vice-president of resource management at University Hospitals, says the strategy makes both moral and business sense.

“This matters to the people that we hire, particularly the new generation.”

Community roots

eZ Exchange convenience store sits in a bare plaza on the edges of the low-income Hough neighbourhood. Inside, customers shake their heads when asked if the nearby hospitals benefit locals.

Instead, many worry that their expansion is pushing out the surrounding African-American population.

“They call that business,” snorts one local resident.

Cleveland’s anchors may be taking transformation seriously, but overcoming deep-rooted distrust is hard.

“It’s kind of like, how do you eat an elephant one bite at a time,” says Danielle Price, who works for the non-profit community-building group Neighborhood Connections.

Price’s organization, funded by the Cleveland Foundation, is a vital partner in the city’s anchor strategy. In addition to providing grants for local community projects, it communicates local residents’ aspirations to anchor executives.

Gwendolyn Garth has lived within a stone’s throw of these institutions her entire life. Real change, she argues, requires a strong partnership with those still confronting a history of exclusion.

“We need people who genuinely care,” she says of the city’s leaders. “It’s a spiritual thing that has to happen.”

“Comeback City”

Although concerns about gentrification remain, those spearheading Cleveland’s anchor strategy seem finely attuned to it.

“I think people came to a realization that, for Cleveland to ever totally excel, then everyone has to participate in our economy,” says Tracey Nichols, director of the City of Cleveland’s department of economic development.

To that end, the city’s anchor initiative brought on the non-profit Democracy Collaborative to design and launch three worker-owned co-operative businesses to provide living-wage jobs with benefits to 120 low-income residents.

The co-ops provide in-demand services to nearby anchors and other clients. Its workers can opt in to an affordable housing program that provides low-cost mortgages on four- and five-year terms, and generally come from neighbourhoods with median incomes of $18,500 or less.

“We give everybody a shot,” says Sharon Kaiser, 28, who works at the Evergreen Co-operative Laundry. “Why not? There’s got to be second chances.”

Green City Growers, the newest of the three co-operatives, is particularly symbolic of Cleveland’s efforts to reinvent its so-called Rust Belt image. Located in one of Cleveland’s poorest areas on land that once housed an abandoned school, the co-op is now the country’s largest urban hydroponic greenhouse, employing some 30 locals.

In communities facing an unemployment rate of 24 per cent, these numbers are still a drop in the bucket. Even the strongest advocates for Cleveland’s anchor strategy acknowledge that progress will need a lot of patience.

“I think it’s showing results,” says Ziona Austrian, a professor at Cleveland State University who leads the yearly evaluations of the anchor project. “The thing is, the problems here are so deep. It’s definitely affecting hundreds of people. Is it affecting 50,000 people? Not yet.”

But the appeal of the city’s mission lies in slowly building a new precedent: one where community — not just cost — informs business decisions.

For Gwendolyn Garth, who is now artist-in-residence at Neighbourhood Connections, having a voice in that process is half the battle.

“That’s why I like it here,” she says. “It’s full of hope.”

By the numbers

2.7 billion: The amount of money spent by Cleveland’s three main anchors buying goods and services in 2013

24%: The amount of goods and services bought locally by anchor institutions in 2013

539: Number of new hires from local low-income neighbourhoods in 2013

Submit News to CKA News Judge orders 10-year-old girl be vaccinated for measles against mom?s wishes
Sat, 18 Apr 2015 19:12:40 EDT

The mother had plenty of arguments as to why her 10-year-old daughter should not receive the measles vaccine — ranging from “most diseases today are very rare” to “unmistakable links” between vaccines and severe reactions.

Problem was, Brantford Superior Court Justice R. John Harper wasn’t buying any of it.

He recently ruled that the girl, whose identity is protected by a publication ban, be given a vaccination for measles, mumps and rubella, or whatever else her family doctor recommends, prior to her trip to Germany later this month to visit extended family.

By ruling that vaccination is in the best interests of the child, Harper was siding with the girl’s father, who is separated from the mother and shares joint custody, as well as with the overwhelming scientific evidence that has proven the effectiveness and extremely low risk of the measles vaccine.

“The parents are at the extreme end of high conflict and their positions relative to the issue of vaccinations is equally polarized,” Harper wrote.

“The tragedy in such circumstances is that the child is placed in the middle of parents who she deeply loves. The parents have discussed the issues with the child and it is my view that no 10-year-old child should be put in a position such as the child in this case.”

The April 10 decision comes amid a recent measles outbreak that swept through North America, including Ontario, which Harper acknowledged “is at the centre of the controversy before this court.”

“This case shows the courts sensibly disdain those with a blind spot for science, whether it be denying that vaccines work, or denying that the earth is round,” said Amir Attaran, a law and medicine professor at the University of Ottawa.

The parents’ names are also covered by a publication ban to protect the identity of their daughter. The father represented himself in court.

“This decision is an offence to the administration of justice,” the mother’s lawyer, Gloria Ichim, told the Star in an email.

“It is unprecedented for a court to order that vaccines should be administered or that they are in the best interest of the child. To vaccinate or not is a medical conclusion that should be made by the patient in consultation with their medical professionals, NOT imposed by the court.”

The parents had a consent order that gave them joint custody, and “included a term that the parents had agreed to not vaccinate their child before she reached 12 years of age,” the ruling says.

The order, which Harper said “does not reflect any reasoned analysis,” went on to say that the girl could make her own decisions on vaccinations upon reaching the age of 12. The father said he only agreed to the order to end the litigation around separation and custody, according to the decision.

The case raised a number of issues, Harper wrote, including the degree of input a child should have in making her own medical decisions. He said it also “highlights the polar opposite positions” of those who refuse to vaccinate their children under any circumstances and those who feel it is necessary to prevent the spread of a disease.

Harper wrote that the mother is “an adherent to the homeopathic approach to health and treatment,” who brought in two of what he described as “alleged experts” to back up her claims that vaccines are harmful.

The mother’s arguments, which she said in her affidavit are “key indisputable facts,” included:

  • “Most diseases today are very rare or are considered mild.”
  • “There are unmistakable links between vaccines and severe reactions, including SIFS, autism, meningitis, joint pain and fibromyalgia.”
  • “Most diseases were due to conditions of overcrowding, lack of sanitation and poor hygiene — all of which are not a risk today.”
  • The mother also put forward that her daughter was afraid of vaccinations because she became “aware” at age 8 that her pet cat had died as the result of a vaccination. This led Harper to also order that the mother “is not to communicate with the child in a manner that would be negative to the child receiving the vaccinations.”

    When parents are fundamentally at odds with each other, the best interests of the child will almost always trump everything else in court, said Trudo Lemmens, the Scholl Chair in Health Law and Policy at the University of Toronto’s faculty of law, who called Harper’s decision “reasonable.”

    “(Parents) do have discretionary powers within the realm of reasonableness, but if their decision-making creates a significant risk to the child, the judge has to act on the child’s best interests,” he said.

    Submit News to CKA News Yemen?s skaters at a time of war
    Sat, 18 Apr 2015 17:54:57 EDT

    When Faisal Yahya Alwazir was 16 and living with his older brother and parents in Sanaa’s picturesque historic district, life seemed pretty easy.

    Longtime autocrat Ali Abdullah Saleh had been pushed from power and the streets were buzzing with the talk of change. Alwazir was back studying, hanging with his older brother and, of course, there was skateboarding.

    Alwazir was one of the “Arabian Skaters” — a loosely organized group of teenagers with dreams of making it big. If he identified himself in any way that was it, as a skater, not by his religion, tribal affiliations or heritage.

    In 2012, when we last met, he said his friends just never discussed their backgrounds. “It was kind of rude to ask,” he said at the time.

    He wasn’t political either; while he supported the Arab Spring demonstrations, he was not on the streets marching every day.

    Now Alwazir is 19, a high-school graduate and aspiring doctor — and his country is at war. All the hope that the Arab Spring ushered in is gone.

    As the United Nations’ human rights chief has warned, Yemen is “on the verge of total collapse.” With airports and borders shut, many of the country’s 26 million people are essentially trapped.

    Yemen’s conflict is roughly between the Houthis, a northern rebel group comprised mainly of Zaydis (a Shia sect of Islam popular in Yemen’s north and reportedly backed by Iran) against supporters of President Rabbo Mansour Hadi, who replaced Saleh in 2012 (and is supported by Saudi Arabia).

    But, Yemen’s fault lines are much more complicated. One example is that Saleh, who famously said ruling the fractious country was like “dancing on the heads of snakes,” never really left Yemen. He now has an alliance of convenience with the Houthis, a group he once brutally suppressed.

    The only clear winner in the current chaos seems to be Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. In the last two weeks, AQAP has taken control of a major airport, oil export terminal and emptied a bank and prison.

    Alwazir says some nights he can hear the bombs of the Saudi-led aerial offensive known as “Operation Decisive Storm,” which Iran’s Supreme Leader has condemned as “genocide.”

    “It’s an enormous reality shift. One day you’re avoiding homework, the other you’re huddled up with your family in the basement. Makes one appreciate what he has,” he wrote this week on Facebook Messenger.

    “Am I an activist? The situation around me imposes me to be so.”

    Alwazir, who is Zaydi, says he has recently become a member of the Popular Committees that support the Houthis. He plans to start a Facebook page providing reports from Yemen along with his friends.

    Medical school applications will have to wait.

    Across town, his friend Majd Aldouis can also hear the bombings in his Hadda neighbourhood. On Friday night, the mountains near where he lives were hit, shattering all the windows in his home.

    “I hope we live,” he wrote, before signing off for the night.

    And Sanaa, he says, is much safer than the southern port town of Aden, which has suffered three weeks of Saudi strikes, or Taiz, where clashes broke out this week.

    “It’s like a street war,” Aldouis wrote in texts about those cities.

    The UN said on Friday that at least 150,000 people have been displaced and the death toll will surpass 750. Schools, mosques, hospitals and factories have been hit in the Saudi operation.

    Aldouis, 19, was also an Arabian Skater and, like Alwazir, not particularly political.

    He was studying petroleum engineering at the private Emirates International University when the Houthis took over Sanaa last fall. Now, instead of learning about petrol, he has joined the hundreds who line the streets by foot or in cars for the country’s dwindling gas reserves.

    The Arabian Skaters were never emblematic of Yemeni youths. They belonged to a small middle class, in a country where much of the population is poor and the elite are rich — very rich.

    But they defied the usual stereotype of a country with nothing to offer except terrorism and gingerbread architecture.

    They were optimistic about their futures. They talked of girls. When asking about terrorism they mistook the question as one about “tourism.”

    But, as Alwazir says, after the Arab Spring the “same old faces stayed.”

    “2011,” he wrote this week, “proved to be nothing more than an illusion.”

    Follow Michelle Shephard on Twitter @shephardm

    Submit News to CKA News Canada?s wild digital frontier needs policing
    Wed, 09 Feb 2011 03:08:26 Z
    John Ivison: The copyright bill has a number of provisions that are far less favourable to Canada’s performers and creators, who are about to see take a big hit to their pocket-books
    Submit News to CKA News Election buzz, stale rhetoric ? Parliament has deja vu all over again
    Tue, 01 Feb 2011 11:42:28 Z
    John Ivison: If you missed Question Period Monday, don’t worry — you have a golden opportunity to miss it again Tuesday
    Submit News to CKA News Death of Personal Responsibility: Think outside the lunchbox
    Thu, 27 Jan 2011 14:50:39 Z
    Neil Seeman: So what should the role of the state be in combating obesity? It’s time to think outside of the lunchbox, and try a whole new idea: healthy living vouchers, or HLVs
    Submit News to CKA News Don?t give Quebec a nickel
    Wed, 26 Jan 2011 23:57:55 Z
    Jonathan Kay: If Harper says no to the Bloc's demands, he will be going to the voters as a man of principle who stood his ground on a subject far more important to this country than corporate tax rates
    Submit News to CKA News Stelmach more than a victim of changing attitudes
    Wed, 26 Jan 2011 03:38:13 Z
    Kevin Libin: Alberta Premier Ed Stelmach bet the fortune of his party’s unparalleled political dynasty on a leadership strategy that failed to pan out
    Submit News to CKA News Dave Taylor a mixed blessing for fledgling Alberta Party
    Tue, 25 Jan 2011 02:34:30 Z
    Kevin Libin: The addition of former Liberal MLA Dave Taylor to the Alberta party gives it a legitimacy boost, but does the outspoken former radio personality fit with the party's post-partisan dreams?
    Submit News to CKA News Playing by China's rules
    Sun, 23 Jan 2011 19:21:17 Z
    Rex Murphy: China has reached an agreement with the Newfoundland government to begin the importation of seal and seal products into its potentially vast market. This is both very good and rare news for Newfoundland sealers
    Submit News to CKA News Canada: Nanny AND wimpy state?
    Thu, 20 Jan 2011 20:08:14 Z
    Before, there actually had to be a violent protest before public institutions caved in and cancelled controversial events. Now, a group of unhinged zealots make a couple of angry phone calls and – poof! – they silence free speech and free assembly
    Submit News to CKA News Executives probably not swayed by Liberal tax plan
    Tue, 18 Jan 2011 23:54:00 Z
    Scott Stinson: It’s a safe bet that Mr. Ignatieff did not win many converts with his tax-increase sales pitch to Canadian executives on Tuesday. This is not a great surprise
    Submit News to CKA News Conservatives missed the call for more civilized debate
    Mon, 17 Jan 2011 19:58:11 Z
    Kelly McParland: The federal Conservatives’ brain trust must have been somewhere else when President Barack Obama delivered his speech in Arizona last week, calling for greater civility in political debate.
    Submit News to CKA News Harper's five years: Canadians better off, even if they don't feel it
    Sat, 15 Jan 2011 13:21:36 Z
    John Ivison: Jan. 23 marks the fifth anniversary of Stephen Harper’s 2006 election victory and in early February, he will pass Lester B. Pearson’s time in office to become Canada’s 11th longest-serving Prime Minister

    Sources:

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