Monthly Archives: April 2019

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Human error behind duck-related road deaths: Quebec police – Montreal

MONTREAL – A police investigator said that human error was behind the deaths of two people whose motorcycle slammed into the back of a car as the motorist was allegedly helping some ducks.

Emma Czornobaj has pleaded not guilty to two counts each of criminal negligence causing death and dangerous driving causing the deaths of Andre Roy and his 16-year-old daughter, Jessie.

Watch: Duck trial continues

Witnesses have said the accused was tending to a family of ducks when the accident occurred.

A Quebec provincial police officer tasked with reconstructing the scene of the accident in June 2010 told the accused’s jury trial on Monday that Czornobaj’s vehicle was parked in the left lane of a busy highway south of Montreal but that she wasn’t in it.

Samuel Beaudet said Roy’s motorcycle was going as fast as 121 km/h at the time of impact and that both victims were wearing helmets that did not meet safety standards.

But the investigator said neither of those factors contributed to their deaths.

A jury composed of 10 men and two women is hearing the evidence.

Watch: Trial begins for reckless motorist who stopped for ducks

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Related

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  • Quebec driver on trial after stopping to help family of ducks

  • WATCH: Wisconsin police officer escorts ducks across busy road

©2014The Canadian Press

Nigerian students overwhelmed to return to Canada to continue studies – Regina

REGINA – Two Nigerian students say they are overwhelmed to be back studying in Canada after being deported for violating visa rules by taking jobs at Walmart.

Victoria Ordu and Favour Amadi have been readmitted to the University of Regina and both of their scholarships at the school have been reinstated.

“I’m still in shock that I’m here today,” Ordu said Monday on the university campus.

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“I’m still in shock that I can see the faces I saw a few years ago. I’m still in shock that I will be going back to classes, because I was on the verge of losing three years of education and I felt all hope was lost.”

Amadi, who is taking international studies, said getting an education is empowering, especially for women.

“It’s really important to me because when I go back to Nigeria, I would love to (impart) what I’ve learned here down to my country,” said Amadi. “I would love to serve as a role model to other people, other women and other people in general, who are going through similar situations and be of help to them whichever way I can.”

Ordu and Amadi were told in June 2012 that they had to leave Canada because they took summer jobs off campus at Walmart without proper student work permits. They only had social insurance cards that allowed them to work on campus and said they didn’t realize the mistake.

The Canada Border Services Agency said at the time that the responsibility to understand the limitations of working in Canada lies with international students.

The women took refuge in a Regina church for nearly 500 days before they agreed to leave Canada last fall.

University of Regina president Vianne Timmons said there was “relentless pushing behind the scenes” to get the students back.

“You know the saying, ‘It takes a village to raise a child?’ It took a village to get these young women back in Canada,” said Timmons.

“There were advocates in the federal government. The provincial government was a huge advocate. The NDP were advocates. All behind the scenes there was a lot of pressure that continued on, and I think that pressure helped make sure that this came quickly.

“And eight months may not be seen as quickly, but these young women may not have got a study permit to get back to Canada if we hadn’t kept the pressure on.”

Timmons said kicking the girls out of Canada was too severe a consequence.

The rules changed in January and what the girls did is no longer illegal.

“The fact that they persevered and advocated so hard, I think that was instrumental in changing federal laws. For these young women, I hope that they recognize that fight and that battle and that time they put in has changed it for other young people from other countries.”

The young women also said that getting an education is important, especially in light of the kidnapping of hundreds of girls in Nigeria.

Boko Haram militants shocked the world and caused outrage in April when they abducted more than 300 school girls in the town of Chibok. Some girls escaped by themselves, but an estimated 272 remain captive.

“It could have been me. I could have been studying in classes and that situation could have happened to me,” said Amadi.

“I feel really, really, really bad for what has happened to them and I’m really hoping that something good comes out of it at the end of the day.”

©2014The Canadian Press

Pinehurst No. 2 will be the true star of this week’s U.S. Open – National

To many, Pinehurst No. 2 is the masterwork of Scottish architect Donald Ross. Public golfers pay up to US$410 to be beaten up by the course, and to try, often without much success, to putt on its famed domed greens.

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But in reality, the course—which hosts this week’s U.S. Open and is regarded as “the St. Andrews of American golf”—is a supreme test of all facets of the game, which is why it is perennially ranked among the best golf courses in the world. And for this U.S. Open it has been tweaked by architect Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw to create a more natural look, with wayward tee shots rolling into sandy expanses.

Already great, somehow Pinehurst No. 2 managed to get better and will appear quite different from 2005 when New Zealander Michael Campbell held off Tiger Woods to win the tournament.

Neither Campbell, who had personal issues and withdrew from the tournament, nor Woods, who is injured, will be in the field this week, but that means Pinehurst No. 2’s star turn is that much more important. The course will play an important role not only in the men’s event, but also in the Women’s U.S. Open, which for the first time will be played on the same course next week.

Graham DeLaet is the only Canadian in the field.

“It is a true test of all the parts of your game, more than any other course I’ve played,” DeLaet said. “Everything is a little scary once you get out on that golf course.”

For DeLaet, the course might play into his strength, which is finding greens, though the putting surfaces are notoriously difficult. What’s the winning score on such a beast of a course? DeLaet didn’t even want to hazard a guess, but admitted even par would be solid.

“If I see even par I’d be really happen and might even be drinking beer out of the U.S. Open cup,” he suggested.

Canadian golf architect Ian Andrew, a member of the American Society of Golf Architects, argues that Pinehurst No. 2 is the standard against which all golf courses are designed.

“It is almost the perfect example of what a golf course should be,” said Andrew. “It is difficult for the good player to score well there, but if the lesser player is not as aggressive, they can post a good number. The more aggressive you get, the nastier the punishment for failure becomes. It is a flawless course.”

Even before it gained international attention for hosting the 1999 U.S. Open, Pinehurst was recognized most for its difficult greens, which some characterize as unfair.

Unlike the majority of putting surfaces you’ll find on courses, which offer rolls within a subtly undulating surface, Pinehurst’s greens appear like inverted bowls, rounded at the top with edges that slide away. However, the greens at Pinehurst, which have come to be representative of Ross’ style, actually have little to do with the architect.

It was famed golf designer Pete Dye who first pointed out Pinehurst No. 2’s greens had evolved since Ross created the course in 1935 as a resort destination. Dye, who first played the course nearly 50 years ago, said the greens were far less severe than they are currently.

Dye’s notion was supported by a Golf Digest story by architecture editor Ron Whitten that suggested the greens had been altered several times over the past few decades, most recently by Rees Jones in preparation for the 1999 U.S. Open. Coore and Crenshaw didn’t tweak the greens, instead creating naturalized areas using native grasses.

Whitten argues that the greens built up over time due to maintenance procedures, but rather than having curved sides, as they do today, the fall-off areas were once more severe. A previous owner of the course, for reasons no one is certain of, used a bulldozer to smooth the edges and make the fall-off areas more curved.

“Those crowned greens are not really what [Ross] did anywhere else,” Dye said in the introduction to Brad Klein’s book Discovering Donald Ross. “This is because they’ve been top-dressed so much that they now look like perched-up angel cakes . . . So they are quite different from what Ross planned.”

The diabolical nature of the greens was highlighted in 1999 when the best golfers in the world last tested Pinehurst No. 2 under U.S. Open conditions. Most notably the troubled John Daly struggled mightily with the testy surfaces, and on the eighth hole in his final round, Daly lost it, taking a total of 11 strokes. Daly’s most notable meltdown on the hole occurred when he swiped at a ball that was rolling back off the putting area, incurring a two-stroke penalty.

Daly complained loudly after his round, saying the United States Golf Association, which sets up the course for the tournament, had gone too far.

“I think the USGA likes to embarrass people who play in this tournament,” he said.

Many have difficulty seeing the course as great. Rather, they view it as relatively straight-forward tee-to-green, with unfair putting surfaces.

Despite its detractors, Pinehurst’s greens were central to the drama of the 1999 U.S. Open, won by Payne Stewart. Stewart holed a remarkable, snaking 20-foot putt on the final hole to make par and win the championship, narrowly avoiding a Monday playoff with Phil Mickelson.

“I said to myself, ‘You’ve always wanted a putt to win the U.S. Open,’” Stewart noted following his victory. “I can’t describe the feeling in my body when I looked up and the ball was going in the hole. It was unbelievable.”

Expect more unbelievable moments this year, as the best in golf challenge what many think is one of the best and most difficult golf courses created.

2 Quebec jail breaks have 1 thing in common

MASCOUCHE, Que. — The prison breaks in both St-Jerome last year and in Quebec City over the weekend have one thing in common.

The type of helicopter used in both events appears to be the same: a Robinson R-44.

It’s one of the more popular choppers in the world and it’s find them at many airports in the Montreal area.

The type of helicopter used in both Quebec jailbreaks appears to be the same: a Robinson R-44.

Martin Hazel/Global News

The type of helicopter used in both Quebec jailbreaks appears to be the same: a Robinson R-44.

Martin Hazel/Global News

The type of helicopter used in both Quebec jailbreaks appears to be the same: a Robinson R-44.

Martin Hazel/Global News

The type of helicopter used in both Quebec jailbreaks appears to be the same: a Robinson R-44.

Domenic Fazioli/Global News


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Tour companies have a preference for them, as they’re only 40 feet long, and pilots say that they can take off and land with ease.

Experienced helicopter pilot and instructor Stephane Grenier told Global News that they’re practical for getting in and out of “tight spots.”

“Fifty feet by 50 feet, we can land on that,” Grenier said Monday.

“If it’s not surrounded by tall trees we can land and we can take off from there.”

This is probably one of the reasons why the helicopters have been used in the daring jail breaks.

READ MORE: Massive manhunt for three inmates who escaped Quebec prison

Another reason is that they can hold quite a bit of fuel.

“The fuel tank of the chopper is 150 litres,” said Yves LeRoux of Mascouche-based Passeport Helicopters.

“It can fly for three hours with a full tank of gas.”

LeRoux said that he guesses the escaped prisoners may be hiding out in remote part of Quebec or in another province altogether.

“The chopper’s maximum speed is about 200 kilometres an hour,” LeRoux noted.

“After three hours, you’ve flown 600 kilometres straight line.”

Cybercrime costs global economy $445 billion a year: report – National

TORONTO – Cybercrime is a profitable industry.

According to a new report from the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), cybercrime costs the global economy almost US$445 billion per year, putting it in the ranks of drug trafficking in terms of economic harm.

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The report, sponsored by software security firm McAfee, found that four of the largest economies in the world were the most affected by cybercrime.

Cybercrime is estimated to cost the U.S., Germany, China and Japan about US$200 billion per year combined.

READ MORE: Ethical hackers say government regulations put information at risk

The report breaks harm from cyber attacks into three categories – the largest being intellectual property theft, the second largest being financial crime and the last being theft of confidential business information.

Losses connected to personal information, such as credit cards, were among the largest categories, according to CSIS.

“Putting a number on the cost of cybercrime and cyberespionage is the headline, but the dollar figure begs important questions about the damage to the victims from the cumulative effect of losses in cyberspace,” read the report released Monday.

“The cost of cybercrime includes the effect of hundreds of millions of people having their personal information stolen.”

According to the report, by some estimates more than 800 million individual records were stolen in 2013, which would result in US$160 billion in losses on its own.

And 2014 has already been an eventful year for cybercrime and hacking scandals.

In April a flaw found in OpenSSL encryption technology dubbed the Heartbleed bug left millions of users worldwide open to hackers. Over 900 social insurance numbers were stolen from the Canada Revenue Agency as a result of the security bug.

In May, popular e-commerce site eBay was hacked, allowing attackers to compromise a database containing encrypted passwords and personal information for 145 million users.

The report calls on governments to start collecting and publishing data on cybercrime in order to help other countries and companies make better choices about risk and policy.

“Cybercrime costs are big, and they’re growing,” said Stewart A. Baker, a former Department of Homeland Security policy official and a co-author of the report.

“The more that governments understand what those costs are, the more likely they are to bring their laws and policies into line with preventing those sorts of losses.”

READ MORE: Law enforcement faces ‘enormous challenge’ in preventing cyber crime, says FBI director

CSIS came up with a range of estimates for the report – from US$375 billion to US$575 billion in total losses – by comparing published data on cybercrime from governments around the world and through interviews with officials in 17 countries.

The report also factors in the cost of recovery from cyber attacks.