The need for improved gun control measures in the United States took centre stage at the Democratic National Convention Wednesday, as the party payed tribute to victims of some of the worst mass shootings in the country’s history.
The mother of one of the victims of last month’s Orlando massacre took the stage alongside two survivors of the shooting at the Florida nightclub.
READ MORE: Democrats end 25-hour plus sit-in over gun control legislation
Christine Leinonen said her son Christopher, who died in the attack, was a “big” supporter of Hillary Clinton.
“I know common sense gun policies save lives,” said Leinonen.
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“The weapon that murdered my son fires 30 rounds per minute … Where was that common sense the day he died?”
Gunman Omar Mateen stormed Pulse nightclub in the early hours of June 12, and killed 49 people. The 29-year-old later died in a shootout with police.
Shortly after the massacre the U.S. Senate rejected gun control reform, including proposals for a beefed up system of background checks.
“I never want you to ask that question about your child,” Leinonen said. “That’s why I support Hillary Clinton.”
Erica Smegielski, who lost her mother in the Sandy Hook tragedy when a lone gunman took the lives of 20 young children and six educators, then addressed the crowd with a heart-wrenching speech. Dawn Hochsprung was the principal of the school, and died trying to protect her students.
“I should not be here tonight, I do not want to be here tonight,” Smegielski said as she addressed the crowd. “But my mom was murdered, so I am here.”
READ MORE: Support grows among Americans for stricter gun laws: poll
“I’m here for those lives cut short in a school, in a movie theatre, in a church, at work, in their neighbourhoods or homes. Because those voices should never be silenced,” said Smegielski, bringing the crowd to its feet.
WATCH: Daughter of Sandy Hook principal gets standing ovation at DNC
“I’m here alone, without my mother, while too many politicians cower behind the gun lobby instead of standing with American families.”
While the Sandy Hook tragedy prompted a rallying cry for tighter gun control, many U.S. states have seen expanded gun rights in the years since.
Gabrielle Giffords also appeared on stage; the former Arizona politician survived being shot in the head in a 2011 targeted attack that left six people dead.
“In Congress I learned a powerful lesson: strong women get things done,” Giffords said. “Hillary is tough. Hillary is courageous. She will fight to make our families safer. In the White House she will stand up to the gun lobby —; that’s why I’m voting for Hillary.”
“Speaking is difficult for me. But come January I want to say these two words: madam President.”
Clinton, who is the first woman to be nominated by a major party to run for the White House‘s top job, has pledged to expand background checks to more gun sales, take on the gun lobby, and keep guns out of the hands of violent criminals, domestic abusers and the severely mentally ill.
Americans will head to the polls on Tuesday, Nov. 8.
Toad Fest is an annual tradition at Summit lake near Nakusp.
Visitors gather to help hundreds of thousands of tiny western toads migrate across a local highway.
However, the unique event will be a little different this year as many of the tiny amphibians aren’t ready to cross the road.
“The breeding happened earlier than [it has] for decades and we thought that this would actually be past the peak of the toadlet migration, but as you can see these toadlets they’ve got tiny tails,” event organizer Angus Glass said.
Those tiny tails mean the vast majority of toadlets are not far enough along in their lifecycles for the mass migration.
“If people are coming here to see a large migration, they’re not [going to see that], but you get a feel of kind of what is going on,” Glass said.
One of the key goals of the event is to teach people more about the tiny amphibians. So while visitors won’t be helping as many toads cross the road this year, they can still spot tadpoles massing on the shore of Summit Lake, see their predators in action and learn more about the toads.
“There is a good healthy population of tadpoles…and there [are] specific breading areas around the lake, but we want to keep it like that. They’ve been around for thousands of years we want to make sure that that is still the case,” Glass said.
Toad Fest will wrap up at noon on Thursday.
The mass migration of toads is expected to happen just a few days after the festival finishes.
The western toad has become a political issue in the Summit Lake area. An organization owned by the Village of Nakusp has plans to log in the region and some worry that could impact the toads.
Loggers say they won’t be logging cut blocks this summer, in part because of a larger number of young toads.
But they defend the logging saying precautions will be taken to protect the toads as part of their operations.
Saskatoon’s St. Vincent of Lerins Orthodox Church greeted the Kursk-Root Icon Wednesday – an item believers say is capable of miraculous healing.
The gold and jewel-laden image depicts the Virgin Mary and the Christ Child. The icon has been viewed by millions, according to Father Florin Soane with the church.
“In a visible way, we can say, the Mother of God, the Mother of Church, is coming to us,” Soane said.
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The icon was discovered in 1295 in a forest near Kursk, Russia. When a hunter picked up the artifact, its first miracle occurred and a gush of water appeared, church leaders said.
The Kursk-Root Icon was nearly destroyed multiple times, including an attempted burning during a Tatar invasion in 1383.
In 1918, during the Russian Revolution, the icon was stolen from the Cathedral of the Sign. It was later found and travelled with people displaced during the Second World War.
Since 1951, its permanent home has been in New York. However, it travels the world for people to see.
Darby Sovyn attended the church Wednesday in hopes of praying for health and wellness. She called it a “once in a lifetime opportunity.”
“I’ve got three children and that’s always a mother’s main goal to keep them safe and healthy and happy,” Sovyn said.
Twelve-year-old Anna Hrycay didn’t want to miss what she considered “a big deal.”
“To come here and venerate it, that’s a big opportunity. It doesn’t happen all the time, really,” she said.
After departing Saskatoon, the icon is scheduled to travel to Regina and Winnipeg.
A screengrab of Donald Trump’s late mother Mary surfaced recently and has been causing a stir on 桑拿会所.
The picture is from an interview Mary Trump conducted with Foxtel in 1997 which was recently re-aired in Australia as part of a documentary entitled “Who Is Donald Trump?”
READ MORE: ‘Fear of Trump’ not enough for Clinton to win over some Sanders supporters
Mary Trump’s hair is swept over to one side and the resemblance to her son is pretty clear.
In the video, Mary Trump ironically reportedly says, “I don’t think the life of a politician would suit him. He’s too used to doing things his way and doing them right,” according to the New Daily.
READ MORE: Obama explains what scares him about a Donald Trump presidency
Of course, given how controversial a figure the Republican presidential candidate is these days, 桑拿会所 users have been pretty savage in comparing his mother to a character from a sci-fi film.
Mary Trump looks like the villain’s mother in a Dario Argento film. pic.twitter长沙桑拿/K5I2Kyt80I
— Graham Linehan (@Glinner) July 26, 2016
Mary Trump was the inspiration for The Capitol in the Hunger Games. pic.twitter长沙桑拿/hxUbP93Re8
— Mark Moffitt (@Mark_theMoff) July 27, 2016
not even in terry gilliam’s wildest dreams could he dream up mary trump https://t.co/RxCKc5na2k
— raucous aurelius (@thetelemachy) July 27, 2016
I worry that the more you all tweet that photo of Mary Trump the more likely it is we’re actually awakening an ancient, blow dried evil
— Ash Warner (@AlsBoy) July 27, 2016
A whole host of other 桑拿会所ers are posting comparison photos.
Mary Trump via @sranysovok Dracula via F.F Coppola pic.twitter长沙桑拿/cp9ZkYo7yY
— Rojtszwaniec (@rojtszwaniec) July 27, 2016
Mary #Trump reminds me of someone … #Trump2016 pic.twitter长沙桑拿/OjRIXXpOl5
— Flo (@fco6464) July 27, 2016
Others are using the pic as a way to simply explain Trump’s oft-discussed hairstyle.
You know when sometimes suddenly everything sort of starts to make sense? Well this is Trump’s mother… pic.twitter长沙桑拿/YG218CPEOt
— Ed Brody (@chiefbrody1984) July 25, 2016
One man even took time to give her mane a name.
Mary Trump ‘s tasty wave pic.twitter长沙桑拿/8NAthPf4wr
— Mike Glazer (@glazerboohoohoo) July 27, 2016
WARNING: This story contains disturbing content. Discretion is strongly advised.
The words of a Grade 12 student who was kidnapped and repeatedly raped by Calgary brothers Cody and Corey Manyshots will not be heard—at least not in open court.
The Crown prosecutor made the request to read the statement on behalf of the victim Tuesday. One defence lawyer took no position, while the other objected.
The judge’s denial of the request has prompted backlash against the decision.
“That is so upsetting,” executive director of Calgary Communities Against Sexual Abuse Danielle Aubry said.
“It is so concerning that a judge would have that lack of consideration for someone who has been victimized in this way. That is just so disgraceful and totally, totally insensitive.”
In November 2014, the brothers kidnapped the 17-year-old girl from a northeast Calgary bus stop. For the next eight hours, they took turns raping and sodomizing her.
Watch below: Global’s past coverage of the Manyshots brothers’ case
Calgary judge refuses to hear victim impact statement at hearing for Manyshots brothers
Calgary judge refuses to hear victim impact statement at hearing for Manyshots brothers
Manyshots brothers admit to kidnap and repeated rape of Calgary teen
Bail denied for Manyshots brothers
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Manyshots brothers admit to kidnap and repeated rape of Calgary teen
The impact on the girl has been devastating, life-changing.
READ MORE: Manyshots brothers admit to kidnap and repeated rape of Calgary teen
For those who have been sexually abused themselves, and know firsthand the importance of victim impact statements, the ruling was a shock.
“It gave me a voice. I can tell you I was 28 and I was very scared,” sexual abuse victim Sheldon Kennedy said. “That fear is real and that impact is real, and we wonder why sometimes the victim may not want to read their impact statement and it’s because they can’t.”
READ MORE: Bail denied for Manyshots brothers accused of kidnapping and sexual assault
Hundreds of people have taken to social media to express their disgust with the decision.
Many are wondering why the common practice of having the Crown read the victim’s statement was denied in this case.
The law allows victim impact statements to be read by someone else, including the prosecution, but it is at the judge’s discretion.
Defence lawyer Balfour Der says provincial court Judge Terry Semenuk did nothing wrong.
“The purpose, and I repeat, the purpose of this victim impact statement is to allow the judge to know how this has impacted the victim. The judge in this case knows it because it’s been marked as an exhibit…the important thing is not that you all in the public get to hear what the victim has to say, that’s not what the Criminal Code section is for,” Der said.
He added the point of the statements isn’t to punish the accused.
But victim’s advocates say it’s critical the statements are read out and are calling on increased accountability for judges.
“The victim has a right to tell a person or people how they were impacted by this crime. That’s why we have victim impact statements,” Aubry said.
Alberta Justice declined to comment on the matter Wednesday as it remains before the court.
A date has yet to be set for the continuation of the sentencing hearing.
A simple act of random kindness has inspired a Halifax man to encourage others to be kind to one another.
Paul LeBlanc runs an advertising firm. On his way into work one day he heard the story about Matthew Jackson. LeBlanc says it motivated him to pay it forward.
“This man who lived the life the way he did, and did so many nice things for so many people, affected people all around the world and not just hearsay, not just with a nice rant. I actually built a company out of it because I believe the world needs it,” LeBlanc tells Global News.
READ MORE: Man dies 24 hours after paying $200 grocery bill for stranger
In honour of Jackson’s memory, LeBlanc along with his business partner launched the Be Human Campaign, a clothing company that fashions t-shirts, hats, and sweatshirt with the slogan “behuman” to encourage people to engage in acts of kindness towards one another.
“It’s not always about spending money, hold the door and say please and thank you… send an unsolicited note to somebody you know is going through a hard time and just tell them you are thinking about them. The hope is that when people are wearing this brand they will feel some responsibility or obligation to it.”
Jackson just wanted to help others. Last year, Global News brought you Jackson’s story about how he helped an Ontario woman living in California by paying for her $200 grocery bill. He tragically died in a car accident one day later, and the brief encounter sparked a social media movement.
Matthew Jackson died less than 24 hours after paying a $200-plus grocery bill for a complete stranger. Handout
Matthew Jackson died less than 24 hours after paying a $200-plus grocery bill for a complete stranger.
Jamie-Lynne Knighten says all he asked her to do in return was pay it forward.
It’s a request she has kept alive and strong to this day. Sadly, the same afternoon Knighten met Matthew he was killed in the accident. To honour his memory and to keep paying it forward, Knighten started a Facebook page called Matthew’s Legacy.
“There is a lot of negativity so to see just tiny little bits of positivity come through via his story and on the Facebook page it is just amazing,” Knighten says.
Since LeBlanc launched the Be Human Campaign, he, Knighten, and Jackson’s family have all connected. They carry the same purpose —; to bring more good to the world the same way Jackson did.
“He loved to express his love for me and for his friends and let everybody know how much he loved me, and so he was special, he was very special. He was full of so much joy and I imagine him just laughing and just saying oh my gosh this is awesome, this is so awesome,” LeeAnn Krymow, Jackson’s mother, tells Global News.
Krymow says Jackson used to tell his friends who were going through hard times, “there is purpose in your pain, you are going to use this for good.” Krymow says since her son’s death she has received dozens of messages from people telling her how Jackson’s story has inspired them to help others, making the pain of his loss a little more bearable.
“People would tell me how they live life differently now, they see things differently, and they look opportunity, to express kindness… where they maybe would not have done that before.”
A portion of the proceeds from the Be Human Campaign clothing will go towards what is being referred to as a “random act of love” given to any one or organization who has paid it forward —; keeping Matthew’s legacy alive and perhaps allowing people to focus more on the good.
WATCH: The mother of Matthew Jackson tells Global News her son wanted everyone to know they were loved. She said the global reaction to her son’s act of kindness before his untimely death has been “bittersweet.” Angie Seth reports.
The Saskatoon Health Region announced plans to cut $34 million in costs by implementing a hiring freeze and by allowing current employees to apply for vacant positions.
The region ended the 2015-16 fiscal year with a $35.7 million deficit.
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“The only target is balanced,” said the health region’s CEO, Dan Florizone. “What we’re saying today is, it’s going to be a big challenge.”
The hiring freeze would be specific to external job applicants with the exception of “hard to recruit areas,” Florizone said.
Last November, officials warned of possible layoffs to balance the health region’s budget.
“Our objectives are to minimize layoffs and if we could avoid them altogether, we will be doing that,” Florizone said.
READ MORE: Saskatoon Health Region to slash jobs to offset $45 million deficit
About 78 per cent of the region’s expenses are related to salaries and benefits, according to a news release.
The health region reported a $2.7 million average monthly gap between expenses and revenues in the first quarter of the 2016-17 fiscal year.
The average monthly gap in the first three quarters of 2015-16 was $5 million.
Officials will present the budget for the Saskatoon Health Region at a board meeting in September.
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On a hot summer day, public fountains provide a perfect way for parched Edmontonians to rehydrate and recharge while they’re on the go.
But it turns out, the city has capped off 20 of Edmonton’s 78 water fountains this summer.
According to the city, the reason for fountains going dry is concern about the safety of the water.
A photo of a closed public water fountain in Edmonton’s Victoria Park on July 27, 2016. Global News
A photo of a closed public water fountain in Edmonton’s Victoria Park on July 27, 2016.
In an email to Global News, a City of Edmonton spokesperson said the water quality concerns came about as a result of “infrequent use of the fountains” that results in stagnant water. They also said the stagnant water makes it difficult to maintain “an acceptable level of chlorine in the water.”
Officials said fountains near Victoria Park, Rundle Park and Hawrelak Park are most vulnerable to the stagnant water issue.
Another city official told Global News the problem is compounded by ongoing construction in Edmonton’s River Valley. There is concern about pipes that fill the fountains sitting stagnant as well as rust in the infrastructure.
According to the city, the issue is being addressed by installing new fountains, aiming to put water sources closer to fountains, or putting fountains in public buildings near problem fountains.
A public water fountain is drained in Hawrelak Park so it can be filled with clean water in time for the Heritage Festival. July 27, 2016. Global News
A public water fountain is drained in Hawrelak Park so it can be filled with clean water in time for the Heritage Festival. July 27, 2016.
On Wednesday, the city was draining serveral water fountains in Hawrelak Park so they could be filled with clean water in time for the Heritage Festival this weekend.
The city said some fountains may have to remain out of service indefinitely.
A public water fountain in Hawrelak Park is shown. Global News
A public water fountain in Hawrelak Park is shown.
-With files from Kent Morrison & Ted Bauer, Global News
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A new car-sharing app has come to Calgary in an effort to put parked cars to good use and allow residents to make some extra cash.
Dubbed the AirBnB of car rentals, the U.S.-based app Turo started business in the city April 19.
READ MORE: Turo launches in Canada, lets people rent out their vehicles
The app allows owners of vehicles to lend out their cars to pre-approved travelers.
It’s something that’s made a difference for one Calgary driver who recently lost his job.
“It’s bringing in about $600 a month,” said Calgary driver Ryan McCourt. “So that more or less covers the cost of the car, and being laid off, any extra bit helps.”
READ MORE: Does Canada need a women-only ride-share service?
The average price to rent a vehicle through Turo is typically 30 per cent cheaper than traditional car rentals, with some options in Calgary currently as low as $28 a day.
“To make sure that the experience is a safe experience we screen every traveller on the platform,” said Cedric Mathieu, head of Canadian operations for Turo. “We verify people’s identity, we verify their age, their driver’s licence. We also analyze the risk, and based on that we make an eligibility decision.”
Turo also covers the cars with their own commercial insurance through Intact Insurance and belairdirect. The insurance includes $2-million third party liability, up to $75,000 in physical damage repair, and 24-hour roadside assistance.
If an accident happens while the car is being rented out, Turo’s commercial insurance will cover the claim instead of the personal insurance of the car owner.
Turo is still working on bringing other Canadian insurance companies on board with the car-sharing app, so vehicle owners won’t have to deal with increased premiums to stay covered.
Membership is free for all travelers and car owners.
Currently Turo is in Alberta, Ontario, and Quebec, and will continue to expand nationwide. Founded in 2009, it now operates in over 2,500 cities across the continent.
NEW YORK – Florida health officials are investigating two more mysterious cases of Zika infection that do not appear to be related to travel, bringing the total to four.
The cases have raised the possibility that mosquitoes in the U.S. have begun to spread the virus. Florida officials say they are still looking into the cases and have not come to a conclusion.
The four cases are in neighbouring Miami-Dade and Broward counties.
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The cases fit a similar pattern seen when mosquito-borne clusters of two other tropical infections, dengue fever and chikungunya, occurred in Florida in the past, according to Tom Skinner, a spokesman for the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
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“Evidence is mounting which points to local transmission via mosquitoes,” he said of the Florida cases.
The virus is mainly spread by mosquitoes, as well as sex. So far, the 1,400 infections reported in the U.S. have been linked to travel to countries with Zika outbreaks in Latin America or the Caribbean.
Zika causes only a mild illness in most people. But scientists recently confirmed that infection during pregnancy can lead to severe brain-related birth defects.
READ MORE: Here’s what Zika virus symptoms look like in pregnant women
The tropical mosquito that spreads Zika and other viruses is also found in the southern U.S. Health officials have predicted that mosquitoes in the U.S. would begin spreading Zika this summer and have mobilized to keep it from spreading beyond isolated clusters.