Alberta government denies increase in support funding despite more addicts dying

Written by admin on 06/28/2019 Categories: 苏州美甲学校

A refusal of provincial government funding is putting some Alberta addiction treatment centres at risk of shutting their doors.

The majority of treatment centres in Alberta rely on a per diem rate — a room and board fee that providers can invoice to the provincial government.

The rate currently sits at $40 a day per client and hasn’t increased or been reviewed in almost a decade.

Opioid-related deaths continue to soar in Alberta, up 40% over last year



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    The Alberta Addiction Service Providers, a group representing over 30 treatment centres, appealed to the Ministry of Community and Social Services asking for the rate to be increased to $60 per day.

    The minister responsible denied their request.

    As a result, Simon House Recovery Centre has been forced, for the first time in their history, to ask clients to pay for a portion of their recovery process. Trevor Loria, president and CEO of Simon House, said it’s a choice they didn’t want to make.

    “Our biggest concern is people are dying,” Loria said.

    “When you place barriers like payments, it increases the likelihood they won’t seek help and may become a statistic to this opioid crisis here in Alberta.”

    Alberta accepts call from experts to bolster programs to reduce opioid deaths

    An increasing number of people are dying from overdoses every day in Alberta and those who are in recovery say if they had to pay they wouldn’t have sought treatment.

    Charles Rosevear is going into his fourth month clean and sober from a drug and alcohol addiction.

    “It would have been suicide. I would have used until I died if I hadn’t got into this program,” Rosevear said.

    “If there had a been a fee or someone said I need $2,500, I would have succumbed and I would be on the streets breaking into your house to steal from you to feed my addiction. I guarantee it.”

    The Ministry of Community and Social Services is responsible for the per diem rate. Spokesperson Kate Toogood said in a statement to Global News that the department is “committed to making it easier for Albertans to access help when they need it, whether it’s in the form of residential addictions treatment or opioid dependency treatment.”

    “This fall, we opened new opioid treatment spaces in several facilities in Calgary and Edmonton, providing treatment for more than 2,000 new patients every year,” the statement reads.

    “Some of those new spaces are at recovery centres like Renfrew and Alpha House, so that patients receiving detox can be initiated onto Suboxone or methadone while they are inpatients at those facilities.”

    READ MORE: 241 fentanyl-related deaths in Alberta in first half of 2017

    Toogood went on to say that with the economy still recovering from a downturn, the government has no plans to change the per diem. She said the request would be revisited when the province is in a better financial situation.

    “Instead of making reckless cuts, we are protecting the treatment benefit so that income support and AISH clients can access Residential Addictions Treatment,” Toogood said.

    “This is in addition to addictions treatment funding provided to treatment facilities by the Ministry of Health.”

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Chelsea Carey wins first place showdown over Jennifer Jones at Olympic curling trials

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OTTAWA – Brad Jacobs stood by the hack with his arms crossed. Jennifer Jones was sporting a nonplussed look at the other end of the rink.

Both reigning Olympic champions took it on the chin Wednesday at the Tim Hortons Roar of the Rings.

Jacobs’ playoff chances decreased after he dropped a 9-3 decision to Edmonton’s Brendan Bottcher. Two sheets over, Chelsea Carey posted a 7-5 win over Jones to hand the Winnipeg skip her first loss of round-robin play.



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    “I’d rather it happen now than later on,” Jones said. “It’s just a matter of whether we can rebound from it. We’re made of something a little bit more than just crumbling after one loss.”

    “I expect us to come out tomorrow and play well.”

    Jacobs, from Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., admitted he was shocked to be 2-3 and in must-win mode the rest of the way.

    “I would say that there was a lot of really well-thrown rocks by our team and a huge lack of results,” he said. “It’s hard to put your finger on why.”

    Carey and Kevin Koe – both Calgary skips – were the only unbeaten teams after 13 draws at Canadian Tire Centre.

    Carey improved to 5-0 while Koe moved to 6-0 after a comfortable 6-4 win over Toronto’s John Epping. Koe locked up a playoff spot with the victory.

    “That’s when the tough games start,” said lead Ben Hebert. “We’d like to finish the round-robin strong, keep playing well and have some confidence going into the playoffs.”

    Winnipeg’s Mike McEwen, who beat Saskatoon’s Steve Laycock 10-4 in the morning draw, was tied for second place at 4-2 with Brad Gushue of St. John’s, N.L. Gushue beat McEwen 8-3 in the evening draw.

    Winnipeg’s Reid Carruthers was at 3-3 following a 10-6 win over Vernon, B.C.’s John Morris (1-3) in the night draw.

    Bottcher and Jacobs were at 2-3. A fourth loss would almost certainly end any hopes of weekend play.

    Carey, meanwhile, moved into sole possession of first place in the women’s standings at 5-0.

    “I’m not worried about end results, I’m not worried about (my) record,” she said. “You sort of think five or six wins will get you something, so step one accomplished.”

    Jones, who won this event in 2013 before taking gold at the Sochi Games in Russia, fell to 5-1. She struggled with her draw weight at times and never recovered after giving up a steal of three in the fifth end.

    “For the most part I crashed on a couple when I just didn’t have the line,” she said. “That will have to be better if we’re going to make the playoffs. I’ll figure it out.”

    RELATED: Cathy Overton-Clapham to be inducted into Canadian Curling Hall of Fame

    Ottawa’s Rachel Homan was tied with Jones at 5-1 after a 10-7 victory over Casey Scheidegger (2-4) of Lethbridge, Alta., in the evening draw. Homan scored four in the 10th end to rally from a 7-6 deficit.

    Krista McCarville of Thunder Bay, Ont., improved to fourth place at 3-2 after beating the 0-6 Allison Flaxey 8-7 in the evening draw. Val Sweeting of Edmonton, who posted an 8-6 morning win over Scheidegger, was fifth at 3-3. Sweeting has won three straight games to get into the playoff mix.

    “A wise friend said, ‘You don’t have to win five games, you just have to win one game five times,”‘ Sweeting said. “I thought that was really good advice.”

    Michelle Englot of Winnipeg outscored Julie Tippin of Woodstock, Ont., 9-6 in the other afternoon game.

    RELATED: Manitoba curler sizing up competition with custom jersey company

    Several groups of boisterous schoolchildren took in the morning draw. Announced attendance was 3,686 in the 17,000-seat venue. A crowd of 3,734 took in the afternoon action.

    Round-robin play continues through Friday night and the finals are scheduled on Sunday. The winners will represent Canada at the Pyeongchang Olympics in February.

    It has been an emotional week for Carey, who’s here with her father, Dan, the coach of the Carruthers team. Carey’s grandfather, John Demkiw, died Saturday at age 93 and the funeral was Wednesday in Winnipeg.

    “It was pretty tough to not be able to be there with my mom,” Carey said. “But he would have wanted me to be here. He would have wanted me to pour all my energy and heart and soul into that game and that’s what I did.”

    Standings through draw 14 (Top 3 qualify for playoffs) 

    x Kevin Koe 6-0
    Brad Gushue 4-2
    Mike McEwen 4-2
    Reid Carruthers 3-3
    Brendan Bottcher 2-3
    Brad Jacobs 2-3
    Steve Laycock 2-4
    John Morris 1-4
    John Epping 1-4

    Chelsea Carey 5-0
    Jennifer Jones 5-1
    Rachel Homan 5-1
    Krista McCarville 3-2
    Val Sweeting 3-3
    Casey Scheidegger 2-4
    Michelle Englot 1-4
    Julie Tippin 1-4
    Allison Flaxey 0-6

    x – Clinch Playoff Spot

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Moose Jaw Times Herald says goodbye to an era

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It’s the end of an era for the Moose Jaw Times Herald, as the final edition of the newspaper hit the streets Wednesday after 128 years.

Moose Jaw Times-Herald Closes

“It just got to the point where as our subscriptions dropped and our revenue dropped,” Doug Lix, director of reader sales and distribution said. “It just didn’t make a viable business anymore.”


The decision to close the doors of the Times Herald came in early November. The first paper was published as a weekly in 1889 and later became a daily publication in 1906.

Moose Jaw Times Herald to publish last paper Dec. 7

“If your look at the newsroom across Canada, they’re tiny compared to what we had,” Lix said. “Ten years ago we had four people just in our sports department. We only have a team of four or five people in our newsroom now.”

Lix adds the closure is part of a trend facing print media across the country, but it also means the loss of 25 jobs, including Rick Smith who has been delivering newspapers for the Times Herald for the past 19 years.

“It’s sad that it’s going to be going,” he said. “I liked going out and delivering the paper and the customers were very nice to me.”

Over the years, the Herald Times has also been a training ground for many journalists fresh out of school.

“We’ve always been a small daily,” Lix said. “But this is where everyone kind of cut their teeth, they come out of journalism school and got their first job in a daily newspaper and they’ve moved on. So there’s people in newsrooms all across Canada if not in North America that have worked here.”

Sarah Ladik has been working in print for the past five years; she started at the Times Herald only eight months ago.

“There will always be stories to tell, people will always want to hear stories about themselves, about their community, about their family and about their friends,” she said.

“I am willing to bet a fair bit amount of money that you can walk into nearly any house in this town and see a Times Herald article pinned to the fridge.”

While she’s already found a new job, others like Rick Smith are saying goodbye and looking forward to what comes next.

The building officially closes its doors to the public on Friday.

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Cleanup of Chilliwack homeless camp finds more than 1,300 discarded needles

Written by admin on 09/28/2019 Categories: 苏州美甲学校

A major cleanup effort is underway at a former homeless camp on the banks of the Chilliwack River.

Huge piles of garbage — everything from laptops, bike parts, and old batteries — have been collected from the former campsite.

“It kept getting larger and larger as far as the encampment was concerned,” Chilliwack angler Rick Jessome said.

So much garbage has been collected that a helicopter has been brought in to move it out of the area.

Most worrying is the huge number of discarded needles that have been found at the site — more than 1,300 at last count.

WATCH: Chilliwack residents blame homeless camp for mess


Once a popular spot for families and fishermen, some say the area became a hot spot for hostility, drug use and theft.

“Sometimes there were confrontations with the residents that took up shelter here,” Jessome said. “You didn’t know if you wanted to go through there or not.”

After trespass notices were issued nearly two weeks ago, residents of the camp left without incident.

With water levels rising, crews rushed in to clean up the area so the trash wouldn’t be swept into the river.

Chilliwack parents taking action to clean up school grounds near homeless camp

“Just the thought of having needles or propane canisters or other garbage or debris or contaminants entering the stream would be absolutely catastrophic,” natural resources officer Kyle Bueckert said.

Residents say such camps are becoming all too familiar. A homeless camp was cleared from the area in March along with 17,000 pounds of garbage.

Bueckert said the camp returned because this year’s wildfires stretched his office’s resources thin.

“Unfortunately, since there weren’t enough of us and not enough presence around there, the individuals, or some of the individuals, came back to the river and set up camp again,” he said.

Some are asking the province to do more to help the homeless and protect the river, an important waterway for several species of fish and wildlife.

“You know, it’s sad, [the homeless] need somewhere to go but the river is not the right place,” resident Vicky Fuller said.

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Intuitive husband credited with saving wife’s life after she fell down embankment in north Okanagan

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It is an incredible tale with a miraculous ending.

Trevor Koenig knew something was wrong when his wife of 33 years didn’t come home on Monday evening.

“I thought something must have happened, maybe car trouble,” he said.

The Vernon man tried calling his wife Caroline on her phone but quickly realized she had forgotten it at home.

He knew he had to go looking for her.

“I just thought, you know what, this story doesn’t end with her being by herself,” he told Global News.


While Koenig had no idea where his wife went, what he did know is she would sometimes go for a drive along Highway 6 so that’s where he headed.

“I just drove 50 kilometres an hour with my high beams on close to the shoulder and watched the shoulder the whole way for any highway tracks,” he said.

After driving about 150 kilometres, he noticed tire tracks in the snow. Koenig got out of his vehicle and with flashlight in hand went to investigate. He couldn’t believe what he saw down the steep embankment.

“I saw a car pinned in a tree,” he said.

He immediately began making his way down to the vehicle about 20 metres below the road.

“I was afraid to look in the car, I thought my wife was dead in the car,” Koenig said.

But when he arrived at the mangled vehicle, he discovered it was empty.

He investigated further and discovered his wife hunched over a tree another 30 metres below.

“She wasn’t moving and I got in front of her and I lifted up her face and her eyes were just staring blank and I thought, ‘oh, I was too late, and then she blinked,” he said. “She thought she was dreaming, she asked if I was real.”

About 15 hours after the crash, Koenig was finally hoisted up to the roadway.

The rescue involved the Lumby Fire Department, B.C. Ambulance Paramedics, RCMP and Vernon Search and Rescue. Crews had to rappel down the embankment to bring Koenig to safety.

While all of the agencies played a role in Koenig’s rescue, it wouldn’t have been possible without her husband’s heroic efforts.

“It’s amazing he was led to that spot and to find her in the conditions that he was faced with,” Trevor Honigman with Vernon Search and Rescue said. “It’s a miracle, it really is.”

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Skirball Fire burns Rupert Murdoch’s winery, threatens large Bel-Air estates

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LOS ANGELES – A wind-whipped wildfire raged on Wednesday into a wealthy Southern California neighborhood, destroying at least six homes, threatening hundreds more and scorching a building at a winery owned by billionaire media mogul Rupert Murdoch.

The so-called Skirball Fire, which erupted early on Wednesday morning as the latest in a rash of major blazes fueled by hot, dry Santa Ana winds, had burned about 150 acres near large estates in the Bel-Air neighborhood of Los Angeles by early afternoon and was only 5 percent contained.


READ MORE: California wildfires: Here’s what you need to know about infernos engulfing Los Angeles area

Firefighters battled to save multimillion-dollar homes in the path of the flames, which also forced the closure of the San Diego (405) Freeway in both directions, and warned that if the winds picked up again in the evening the situation could become even more dire.

“We are expecting some extreme wind behavior this evening,” Los Angeles County Fire Chief Daryl Osby told reporters at an afternoon news conference.

WATCH: Wildfires spreading in southern California

Murdoch’s winery, Moraga Vineyards, was evacuated on Wednesday morning as the fire descended on the grounds, a spokeswoman said. Later a structure on the property was seen on fire as crews worked to extinguish the flames.

The new fire also prompted the nearby Getty Center museum to close the doors at its hilltop campus to prevent damage to its world-class art collection.

The Skirball Fire in the area south of scenic Mulholland Drive and north of Sunset Boulevard is just one of several major out-of-control brush fires that have sprung up in Southern California since Monday, when Santa Ana wind conditions set in.

WATCH: Powerful aerial footage shows the devastating scope of California wildfires

In Ventura, some 50 miles (80 km) northwest of Los Angeles, more than 1,000 firefighters battled the largest, the Thomas Fire, which has already destroyed more than 150 homes and threatened thousands more.

California Governor Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency on Tuesday, freeing state funds and resources to assist firefighters. The Federal Emergency Management Agency said it approved grants to help cover the cost of emergency work for the Thomas Fire and two others.

READ MORE: Hundreds of homes feared destroyed as wildfires roar through California communities

U.S. President Donald Trump said on Wednesday his thoughts and prayers were with everyone in the path of the wildfires.

“I encourage everyone to heed the advice and orders of local and state officials,” Trump wrote on 苏州美甲学校. “THANK YOU to all First Responders for your incredible work.”

Although no casualties have been reported, the fires have forced mass evacuations, cancellation of classes at dozens of schools and resulted in the loss of power at more than 250,000 homes in Ventura County.

In the San Fernando Valley north of Los Angeles, the Creek Fire destroyed at least 30 homes, blackened more than 11,000 acres and forced the evacuation of 2,500 homes and a convalescent center north of Interstate 210 on Tuesday.

WATCH : Wildfire in Ventura County, California continues to burn

Three firefighters were injured and hospitalized in stable condition, the Los Angeles Fire Department said.

The Santa Ana winds, which blow westward from the California desert, were forecast to top out at 70 miles per hour (115 km per hour) on Wednesday and remain strong through the week.

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Woman alleging sexual misconduct against Jeremy Piven says she came forward because of daughter

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A woman accusing actor Jeremy Piven of sexual misconduct says she decided to come forward about the alleged incident because it is was what she “would demand” her daughter to do.

Ariane Bellamar tweeted about the alleged incident on Oct. 30, following the #MeToo movement that saw accusations against prominent Hollywood stars and producers like Harvey Weinstein and Kevin Spacey.

READ MORE: Jeremy Piven dropped as guest on ‘The Late Show’ amid sexual harassment allegations

The Canadian actress and model said she met Piven while working as an extra on the HBO show Entourage.

In a series of tweets, Bellamar alleged Piven grabbed her while in his trailer. But she added it was a conversation she had with her daughter more than a decade later that pushed her to come forward about the alleged incident.


“My daughter Emma and I were just sitting in the kitchen and … she knows that I’m publicly involved in 苏州美甲学校 and I was like, ‘Yeah, this #MeToo campaign is awesome, it’s really bringing people out,’” Bellamar said.

“She’s like …’Do you have any kind of experience or has anything like that happened to you?’ And I was like, ‘Yeah…’ and she’s like, ‘Well did you report it?’ And I said, ‘No.’”

Bellamar said at that point she realized she “had not done something that I would demand my daughter to do.”

“I realized that I had not done the bare basics. And so right then and there, sitting next to my daughter at the breakfast bar… Me too,” Bellamar said.

READ MORE: Why you’re seeing ‘me too’ all over your social media feeds

After tweeting the accusations, Bellamar said she has received backlash online because of her past working as an adult film actress.

“That’s the old, ‘She’s wearing the skirt too short, she deserved it argument and I thought we got rid of that a long time ago,” she said.

Since Bellamar came forward with her allegations, three other women have spoken with media about other alleged incidents of sexual misconduct against Piven.

READ MORE: Jeremy Piven ‘unequivocally’ denies sexual assault allegations on ‘Entourage’ set

There are no charges against Piven and Bellamar said she never went to police.

Piven released a statement on 苏州美甲学校 denying the allegations against him.

“Let me begin by saying that the accusations against me are absolutely false and completely fabricated,” he said in the statement.

Piven’s legal team said in a letter to Global News that according to HBO, the network never received complaints about Piven during his time with the hit TV show Entourage.

Lawyers for Jeremy Piven said the actor has taken and passed a polygraph test. However, despite asking to see results, lawyers did not send along proof to support the claim.

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Nigel Brennan reacts to being called ‘heroic’ in judgment of Lindhout case

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Australian photographer Nigel Brennan says he’s appreciative of an Ontario judge calling him “heroic” as a guilty verdict was handed down in the Amanda Lindhout kidnapping case, but he says he was “never going to leave her behind” even if he was given the opportunity to do so.

Ontario Superior Court Justice Robert Smith handed down the verdict against Ali Omar Ader on Wednesday after a 10-day trial.


Brennan said in a Skype interview Wednesday he learned the news after receiving texts from his “point of contact” with the RCMP.

“From my point of view, it was a fairly horrific thing that I had to go through and my family had to go through … so I’m pleased this has gone through the process,” he said.

In August 2008, he and Lindhout were seized by armed men in Mogadishu, beginning 15 months in captivity for the pair. They were released upon payment of a ransom.

READ MORE: Amanda Lindhout’s kidnapper found guilty of hostage-taking

As Smith read his decision, he called Brennan “heroic” for refusing to leave Lindhout behind even though enough money had been secured for his release.

Asked about the judge’s remarks, the photographer said he appreciated the words.

“I wasn’t aware that the judge had called me heroic,” he said. “I was just doing what I thought I had to do and that was to protect Amanda as a fellow hostage in captivity. So I was never going to leave her behind even if I was given the opportunity to be released. It’s very kind for the judge to use those words.”

Ader’s arrest and conviction was a result of a multi-year police investigation that involved luring Ader to Canada under the premise of a book deal about Somalia.

Ader met a business agent — actually an undercover Mountie — whom he had developed a business relationship with on the island of Mauritius and, according to the Mountie, spoke freely of helping the hostage-takers in return for US$10,000 in ransom money.

WATCH: Amanda Lindhout trial hears testimony about torture

With the trial now over and the verdict handed down, Brennan said he was looking forward to discovering more about how Ader was lured to Canada.

He said he was not aware of the tactics used by the RCMP to bring Ader to Canada and was told by the Mounties they could not reveal that information until the verdict.

In terms of his communication with Lindhout, Brennan said since the verdict they had not been in touch.

“Since the ordeal, we’ve kept in contact for the first 18 months very closely and then I guess as time’s gone on that has sort of stopped,” he said. “Before the trial, Amanda sent me an email and since the verdict I haven’t heard anything from her.”

WATCH: Crown says ‘justice served’ with guilty verdict in Amanda Lindhout kidnapping case

Since being released, Brennan has become a father and he said that following what occurred “you can be a victim or you can be a survivor” and he decided to be a survivor and move on with his life and had a son in the past eight years.

With files from

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CanniMed enters medical cannabis supply agreement with PharmaChoice

Written by admin on 08/27/2019 Categories: 苏州美甲学校

CanniMed Therapeutics Inc. says it has entered into a definitive agreement with PharmaChoice to supply herbal, oils and oil derivative cannabis products to its more than 750 pharmacy locations across Canada.



  • Saskatchewan funds, Toronto investment manager back Aurora-CanniMed takeover bid

  • Aurora Cannabis formally launches hostile takeover bid for CanniMed Therapeutics

  • Shareholders told to wait while CanniMed reviews Aurora offer

    The Saskatoon-based company (TSX:CMED) said PharmaChoice has committed exclusively to CanniMed as its sole supplier of cannabis products, subject to CanniMed meeting certain product and volume requirements.

    TSX defers consideration of CanniMed Therapeutics shareholder rights plan

    Earlier this year, CanniMed signed a letter of intent with member-owned co-operative PharmaChoice to be its exclusive medical cannabis distributor and to train its pharmacists and pharmacy technicians.

    The company said its deal with PharmaChoice is still conditional on Health Canada’s approval of medical cannabis product distribution through pharmacies.

    CanniMed adopts shareholder rights plan in hostile takeover bid by Aurora Cannabis

    CanniMed’s supply agreement comes a day after it was notified that the Toronto Stock Exchange will defer consideration of a shareholder rights plan adopted by the company in a bid to defend itself against a hostile takeover offer by Aurora Cannabis Inc.

    The rights plan prevents Vancouver-headquartered Aurora from acquiring any CanniMed shares other than those tendered to its hostile bid or from entering into any lock-up agreements other than those it has already signed and filed, CanniMed has said.

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Former Eskimos star Warren Moon sued for sexual harassment

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Warren Moon, a former Edmonton Eskimos star who quarterbacked the team to five Grey Cup championships in the 1970s and 1980s, is facing allegations of sexual harassment and misconduct in a civil lawsuit filed this week by a woman who worked for a sports marketing firm that lists him as its president.

A statement of claim filed on Monday shows Wendy Haskell is suing Moon for unspecified damages for sexual harassment she alleges she endured upon being hired as his executive assistant this summer.



  • Breaking the silence: new survey reveals more than half of Canadian women sexually harassed at work

  • TIME names ‘The Silence Breakers,’ voices behind #MeToo movement, as its Person of the Year

    Among the many allegations made in the claim are that she was made to sleep in the same bed as him on business trips and that on one occasion, Moon grabbed her crotch while she was sleeping.

    Haskell also alleges Moon would walk into the bathroom while she was showering in hotels on business trips. She said Moon asked her not to lock the door so that he could use the bathroom if he needed to.

    Additionally, Haskell alleges Moon once ripped her clothes off despite her objections.

    The allegations in the statement of claim have not been tested in court. It’s not clear whether a statement of defence has been filed.

    The lawsuit was filed in California against Moon and his company, Sports 1 Marketing, and according to Haskell’s lawyer, the defendants have 30 days to respond upon being served.

    Diana Fitzgerald also told Global News she had not pursued criminal charges at this time and that they “have not made a decision as far as the criminal aspect of the case.”

    Haskell’s lawsuit seeks unspecified damages.

    Global News called Sports 1 Marketing twice for comment on Wednesday but on both occasions were told nobody was available to speak.

    “We have no comment on this matter,” the Edmonton Eskimos said in an email to Global News responding to a request for comment on the allegations.

    Moon works as a radio analyst for the Seattle Seahawks. On Wednesday evening, the team tweeted that it had accepted Moon’s request for a leave of absence.

    As an Eskimo, Moon won two Grey Cup MVP awards and became the first professional football player to pass for 5,000 yards in 1982.

    In 1984, Moon took his talents to the National Football League where he played parts of 17 seasons with teams in Houston, Minnesota, Seattle and Kansas City. He was elected into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2006.

    You can view the entire filed complain against Sports 1 Marketing and Warren Moon below:

    View this document on Scribd

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Jared Kushner questioned over New York property by Democratic lawmakers

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A group of Democratic lawmakers on Wednesday wrote to Jared Kushner, U.S. President Donald Trump‘s son-in-law and adviser, asking whether in his talks with foreign officials he had ever discussed financing for a deeply indebted Kushner Companies property in Manhattan.


The property at 666 Fifth Avenue has a $1.15 billion mortgage due in less than two years, and has raised concerns among lawmakers that it could pose a conflict of interest for Kushner.

READ MORE: Jared Kushner told Michael Flynn to contact the Russians: reports

Kushner headed Kushner Companies until he sold his interest to a family trust earlier this year. He is a senior adviser to the president and has been involved in Middle East policymaking.

The 13 Democratic lawmakers, in their two-page letter to Kushner and seen by Reuters, said: “We are concerned that you may be leveraging your White House position to seek financial assistance for 666 Fifth Avenue, which according to various reports has at least $1.2 billion in debt, of which more than half is owned” by Kushner Companies.

A White House spokesman declined comment on the letter and referred the matter to Kushner‘s lawyer, Abbe Lowell. Lowell could not immediately be reached for comment.

Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who is probing possible collusion between Russia and Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign, has questioned Kushner. It is not known whether Mueller’s team is looking into issues involving 666 Fifth Avenue.

READ MORE: Jared Kushner questioned by special counsel Robert Mueller’s team on Michael Flynn

Trump has denied any collusion between his campaign and Moscow officials.

The letter from the lawmakers, led by Rep. Ted Lieu of California, asked whether, since Trump’s election on Nov. 8, 2016, Kushner has discussed the property “with any foreign nationals or entities” in Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, China, Israel, France or other countries.

If so, they asked, “did you discuss anything related to helping finance, purchase, or assist with the debt on 666 Fifth Avenue?”

The lawmakers asked Kushner to respond by Dec. 12. (Reporting by Warren Strobel; Editing by John Walcott and Grant McCool)

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Here are the most talked about moments on Facebook 2017

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International Women’s Day was the most talked about moment on Facebook both in Canada and around the world in 2017.

It had over 430 million interactions from 165 million people —; more than double the interactions on the same topic in 2016.

These were the top YouTube videos in Canada during 2017

In Canada, the other most talked about events were Gord Downie’s death and the Las Vegas Massacre.

The Women’s March on Jan. 21 also took the crown for the largest Facebook event in 2017 – with over half a million people participating both on and off the platform.

WATCH: Globalnews苏州美甲学校 coverage of the Women’s March 

Women’s March on Washington: Torontonians show support for rally in DC


Women’s March on Washington: Torontonians show support for rally in DC


Women’s March On Washington: thousands gather across US, worldwide to send message to Trump


Celebrities share messages of hope, strength, love during Women’s March On Washington


Donald Trump to women’s march protesters: Why didn’t they vote?


Women’s March important no matter where you live

The company said it also sparked more than 15,000 other related events on the day, in which millions of people from over 100 countries took part.

Other top talked about moments in Canada included celebrity deaths, mass shootings and the viral video of a passenger being dragged off a United Airlines plane.

“This data shows that this year was a hard one, sometimes wrought with painful events that caused harm to people around the world,” the company said in a statement. “But through these tough times, people showed their resilience and how there is true strength when communities support one another.”

Here are the top ten talked about moments on Facebook:

    International Women’s DayGordon Downie’s deathLas Vegas ViolenceA missing 15-year-old Missasauga girl who was found safeTom Petty’s deathChris Cornell’s deathChester Bennington’s deathUnited Airlines incident and videoMeryll Streep’s Golden Globe speechQuebec City mosque shooting

WATCH: Donald Trump slams Meryl Streep’s Golden Globes speech on 苏州美甲学校

On a global scale, the top three events were International Women’s Day, Superbowl 51 and the Las Vegas Massacre.

Video related to the Super Bowl was viewed over 262 million times.

Other notable events include the earthquake in Mexico, Hurricane Harvey and the One Love Manchester concert, in which people offered support.

Another major event both on and off the social media website was the Solar Eclipse. The company says there were over 20,000 related events in 80 countries.

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Record-breaking python caught and killed in Florida Everglades

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A Florida python hunter snagged a record-breaking snake last Friday.

After finding the 17’1” (5.2 m) python submerged in water at around 2:45 Friday morning, Jason Leon managed to pull the 132-lbs. (59 kg) snake out of the water before killing her.

READ MORE: Seattle child finds python in apartment toilet

“Got her out, shot her right in the head while I was holding her,” Leon said Monday in a video released by the South Florida Water Management District.


“We’re going to find a 20-footer tonight,” Leon joked in the video.

READ MORE: German police detain drunk man with python hidden in his pants

The massive python was the biggest so far in the district hunt established as a way to to raise the profile of the spread of the invasive species. The Miami Herald reports the snakes are in part to blame for diminishing the population of small mammals, including marsh rabbits and raccoons.

Leon also holds the state record for the biggest ever python kill. In 2013, he bagged a 18’8” python.

READ MORE: Calgary friends find ball python in condo laundry room, name it T. Swift the snake

Leon’s district record tops Dustin “Wildman” Crum’s record, 16’11”, which was set on Nov. 1.

Since March, the program has eradicated more than 700 snakes in on District lands in Miami-Dade, Broward and Collier counties, which, if laid out end to end, would measure over 1.4 km and weigh over 4,500 kilos.

The python hunters are paid just $8.10 per hour for their work plus bonuses. They get an extra $50 for each python up to four feet and another $25 for each foot above that mark. So in total, the snake was worth $375.

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