Thursday, December 22, 2016
AFTER 2 YEARS,EXPERTS SAY MH370 LIKELY NORTH OF CURRENT SEARCH AREA.
SYDNEY, Australia — For two years, a handful of ships have diligently combed a remote patch of the Indian Ocean west of Australia in a $160 million bid to find Malaysia Airlines Flight 370. On Tuesday, investigators made what was surely a painful admission: They have probably been looking in the wrong place.The latest analysis by a team of international investigators concluded the vanished Boeing 777 is highly unlikely to be in the current search zone and may instead be in a region farther north. But though crews are expected to finish their deep-sea sonar hunt of the current search area next month, the possibility of extending the search to the north appeared doubtful, with Australia's transport minister suggesting the analysis wasn't specific enough to justify continuing the hunt.The latest twist in the search for Flight 370 highlights the extraordinary difficulty officials have faced in their attempts to find the aircraft based on the faintest scraps of data. All along, officials have said they are not simply looking for a needle in a haystack — they are looking for the haystack.On Tuesday, the haystack was poised to shift again, with the release of a report by the Australian Transport Safety Bureau, which is leading the search for the plane. The report is the result of a November meeting of international and Australian experts who re-examined all the data used to define the search area for the aircraft, which vanished during a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing on March 8, 2014, with 239 people on board.Since the plane disappeared, experts have analyzed a series of exchanges between the aircraft and a satellite to estimate a probable crash site along a vast arc of ocean in the southern hemisphere. A deep-sea search of a 120,000-square kilometre (46,000-square mile) stretch of water along the arc has so far come up empty.In November, the experts went back over the satellite data, along with the results of a new ocean drift analysis of the more than 20 items of debris likely to have come from the plane that have washed ashore on beaches throughout the Indian Ocean. The analysis, based on where the items washed up and when, suggested the debris originated farther north along the arc from the current search zone.Given the number of aircraft parts found so far, the team concluded that a debris field had floated on the water surface after the plane crashed. So they eliminated areas of the ocean where air crews had searched the surface in the early stages of the hunt.That left a 25, 000-square-kilometre (9,700-square-mile) area immediately to the north of the current search zone as the most likely place where the plane hit the ocean, the report said.The investigators concluded with "a high degree of confidence" that the plane is not in the current search area. And they agreed the new area needs to be searched."The experts concluded that, if this area were to be searched, prospective areas for locating the aircraft wreckage, based on all the analysis to date, would be exhausted," the report said.However, a new search would require fresh funding. The countries involved — Malaysia, Australia and China — agreed in July that the $160 million search will be suspended once the current effort is exhausted unless new evidence pinpoints the plane's exact location.Australian Transport Minister Darren Chester suggested an extension was unlikely, noting that the latest report does not give a specific location of the plane."As agreed at the Tripartite Ministers meeting in Malaysia in July we will be suspending the search unless credible evidence is available that identifies the specific location of the aircraft," Chester said in a statement. "The search for MH370 has been the largest in aviation history and has tested the limits of technology, and the capacity of our experts and people at sea."Malaysia's Transport Minister Liow Tiong Lai did not explicitly rule out a new search, but said in a statement, "We remain to be guided as to how this can be used to assist us in identifying the specific location of the aircraft." When asked about the search, a Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson did not comment beyond noting China's role in the effort so far.Australian government oceanographer David Griffin, who worked on the analysis of how the debris drifted, said he is confident the plane is in the newly identified search area. And he dismissed the idea that the new analysis means the search to date has been a wasted effort, saying that the current search zone was based on the best available data at the time."It could have been where we were searching, absolutely, but the new information does clarify that immediately north is more likely," Griffin said.As part of their analysis, Griffin and his team built replicas of the first piece of debris that was found — a wing fragment known as a flaperon that was discovered on Reunion Island off the African coast in July 2015. The team then set the replicas adrift, measuring how fast they travelled and noting how much the wind influences their rate of speed. They then ran computer simulations of how the aircraft parts could have drifted, which helped paint a picture of where they originated.The newly identified search zone does include an area that was searched very early on in the hunt, but crews didn't comb a wide enough area to rule it out, Griffin said. "They didn't go quite far enough away from the arc to cover all possibilities," he said.The fact that crews were so close to the area now identified as the likeliest crash site — coupled with the lack of commitment to search the new area — is sure to frustrate families of those on board, who have been pushing the governments to continue searching."They should keep searching no matter how much money they will spend," said Li Jingxin, whose brother was on the plane. "The cost of the search has nothing to do with us relatives. They should also raise the amount of compensation (to families) to make up for the time lost while they searched the wrong place."___Associated Press reporter Rod McGuirk in Canberra, Australia, and news researcher Yu Bing in Beijing contributed to this report.Kristen Gelineau, The Associated Press.
25 And there shall be signs in the sun,(HEATING UP-SOLAR ECLIPSES) and in the moon,(MAN ON MOON-LUNAR ECLIPSES) and in the stars;(ASTEROIDS ETC) and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity;(MASS CONFUSION) the sea and the waves roaring;(FIERCE WINDS)
26 Men’s hearts failing them for fear,(TORNADOES,HURRICANES,STORMS) and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth:(DESTRUCTION) for the powers of heaven shall be shaken.(FROM QUAKES,NUKES ETC)
It could be a lot colder: Kelowna historian remembers Okanagan Lake freezing over completely-YAHOONEWS-CBC-December 19, 2016
The current cold spell in B.C.'s Interior has many people pulling on their long johns and digging their parkas out of the closet.But historically this cold snap is almost T-shirt and shorts weather.There have been several winters over the past 100 years where the mercury in the Southern Interior dropped so low, Okanagan Lake completely froze over.In those years people in Kelowna walked, skated and even drove vehicles right across the lake and to other Okanagan communities, said Okanagan Historical Society president Bob Hayes in an interview with CBC Radio One's Daybreak South.The last time Okanagan Lake froze over completely is up for debate, said Hayes."I believe the last time it froze solidly — and that's always the question — was it solidly frozen — was probably 1986 but the year that I think most people will recognize it freezing was the winter of 1968-69," he said."That was a very cold winter."Historical records from the Kelowna Public Archives show Okanagan Lake froze at least eight times over the past 110 years.The lake froze two winters in a row in 1949 and 1950.1958 and 1937 were recorded as particularly cold with stories of people using dynamite to break up ice that formed overnight on ferry routes across Okanagan Lake.-Skating and driving on the lake-"People had fun on the lake too. They would go an skate and they would drive their vehicles," Hayes said."I well remember people doing donuts out on the lake. It was a form of recreation."Hayes said he remembers a motorcycle once fell through the ice.Articles in the Kelowna Public Archives also mention instances of vehicles falling into the lake including a car that successfully drove from Kamloops to Penticton, but fell through ice on the return trip.A team of horses and a tow rope had to be used to remove the car from the water.Hayes said 1968 was the coldest winter he has every experienced growing up in Kelowna."Once the lake freezes, it creates its own climate and it is like being in an ice age or living on a glacier," he said."It was bitterly cold. I just seemed to drag on and on."To hear the full interview, click the audio labelled: Cold? This winter hasn't been cold; Historian remembers years Okanagan Lake completely froze over.
Smog chokes Chinese cities, grounding flights, closing roads-[The Canadian Press]-YAHOONEWS-December 20, 2016
BEIJING — Thick, grey smog fell over Beijing on Tuesday, choking China's capital in a haze that spurred authorities to cancel flights and close some highways in emergency measures to cut down on air pollution.Beijing and much of industrial northern China are in the midst of a "red alert," the highest level in China's four-tiered pollution warning system. The alert has affected 460 million people, according to Greenpeace East Asia, which calculated that about 200 million people were living in areas that had experienced levels of air pollution more than 10 times above the guideline set by the World Health Organization.Members of the public closely watch levels of PM2.5, particles measuring 2.5 microns across that are easily inhaled and damage lung tissue. The World Health Organization designates the safe level for the tiny, poisonous particles at 25 micrograms per cubic meter. On Tuesday morning, the PM2.5 reading in Beijing climbed above 300. In many northern Chinese cities, the reading has exceeded 500 micrograms per cubic meter.State media reported that 169 flights have been cancelled at Beijing Capital International Airport, where visibility fell at one point to 300 metres (984 feet). Sections of Beijing's sixth ring road, the outermost highway encircling the city of more than 20 million people, were shut down in a bid to keep cars off the roads.Authorities have even removed charcoal grills from restaurants and banned spray painting in parts of the city, state media reported.Adding to a sense of crisis, local news in recent days reported that hospitals were encountering a boom in cases of children with respiratory problems and preparing teams of doctors to handle the surge of pollution-related cases. Photos showed waiting rooms crowded with parents carrying youngsters wearing face masks.Outside the Capital Pediatrics Institute on Tuesday, parents voiced frustration about the toxic air for throat infections and the flu."He is coughing and breathing short, and always feeling sputum in his throat," said Du Renxin, an IT worker, who was with his 2-year-old, who has had to make monthly visits to the doctor.China has long faced some of the worst air pollution in the world, blamed on its reliance of coal for energy and factory production, as well as a surplus of older, less efficient cars on its roads. Beijing and other cities have tried to improve air quality by switching power plants from coal to natural gas and rolling out fleets of electric buses and taxis.But despite its public commitment to reduce carbon emissions, China remains the world's largest producer and consumer of coal, with plans to build new factories and increase production. Government officials, facing rising energy prices earlier this year, lifted caps on production days for many mines.Since the red alert went into effect, more than 700 companies stopped production in Beijing and traffic police were restricting drivers by monitoring their license plate numbers. Dozens of cities closed schools and took other emergency measures."The smog has serious repercussions on the lungs and the respiratory system, and it also influences the health of future generations, so under a red alert, it is safer to stay at home rather than go to school," Li Jingren, a 15-year-old high school student in Beijing, said Monday.In nearby Tianjin, authorities cancelled 350 flights and closed all highways in the municipality. Public transportation services were increased as restrictions on cars were imposed.Authorities in the northern province of Hebei, which surrounds Beijing, ordered coal and cement plants to temporarily shut down or reduce production.The alert is expected to end Wednesday.___Associated Press researcher Liu Zheng contributed to this report.Nomaan Merchant And Wayne Zhang, The Associated Press.
DRUG PUSHERS AND ADDICTS
1 PET 5:8
8 Be sober,(NOT DRUGED UP OR ALCOHOLICED) be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:
23 And the light of a candle shall shine no more at all in thee; and the voice of the bridegroom and of the bride shall be heard no more at all in thee: for thy merchants were the great men of the earth; for by thy sorceries (DRUGS) were all nations deceived.
21 Neither repented they of their murders,(KILLING) nor of their sorceries (DRUG ADDICTS AND DRUG PUSHERS), nor of their fornication,(SEX OUTSIDE MARRIAGE OR PROSTITUTION FOR MONEY) nor of their thefts.(STEALING)
More pregnant women are smoking marijuana to tame morning sickness: study-Global News-YAHOONEWS-December 20, 2016
More pregnant women are smoking pot to calm their nausea and morning sickness, a troubling new report from Columbia University warns.
FIRES AND EXPLOSIONS
7 The first angel sounded, and there followed hail and fire mingled with blood, and they were cast upon the earth: and the third part of trees was burnt up, and all green grass was burnt up.
Police: 9 dead, 70 hurt in blast at Mexican fireworks market-[The Canadian Press]-December 20, 2016-YAHOONEWS
TULTEPEC, Mexico — An explosion ripped through Mexico's best-known fireworks market on the northern outskirts of the capital Tuesday, killing at least nine people, injuring scores more and sending a huge plume of charcoal- grey smoke billowing into the sky.Mexican Federal Police announced via its official Twitter account what it called the preliminary toll from the afternoon blast at the open-air San Pablito Market in Tultepec, in the State of Mexico."My condolences to the families of those who lost their lives in this accident and my wishes for a quick recovery for the injured," said President Enrique Pena Nieto via Twitter.Sirens wailed and a heavy scent of gunpowder lingered in the air after the afternoon blast at the market, where most of the fireworks stalls were completely levelled . The smoking, burned out shells of vehicles ringed the perimeter, and first responders and local residents wearing blue masks over their mouths combed through the rubble and ash. Firefighters hosed down still-smouldering hotspots.Crescencia Francisco Garcia arrived in the afternoon to buy fireworks and said she was near the middle of the grid of stalls when the explosions began around 2:30 p.m."All of a sudden it started booming," the 41-year-old Mexico City resident said. "I and the others surrounding me all took off running."Eventually Garcia was able to find her daughter, son-in-law and three grandchildren who were waiting in a car just inside the perimeter fence.The Mexican Red Cross said it sent 10 ambulances with 50 paramedics to the scene.National Civil Protection Coordinator Luis Felipe Puente told Milenio television that some nearby homes were also damaged. The scene remained dangerous and he asked people not to come within 3 miles (5 kilometres ) to avoid hampering the emergency response.Fireworks continued to pop off long after the blast, and Puente added that there was no choice but to let any unexploded fireworks be consumed.A fire engulfed the same market in 2005, touching off a chain of explosions that levelled hundreds of stalls just ahead of Mexico's Independence Day. A similar fire at the San Pablito Market also destroyed hundreds of stands in September 2006.Many in Mexico traditionally celebrate holidays — including Christmas and New Year's — by setting off noisy firecrackers and rockets.___Associated Press writer Christopher Sherman reported from Tultepec, Mexico, and Peter Orsi reported from Mexico City.Christopher Sherman And Peter Orsi, The Associated Press.
Obama bans future oil leases in much of Arctic, Atlantic-[The Canadian Press]-December 20, 2016-YAHOONEWS
HONOLULU — President Barack Obama on Tuesday designated the bulk of U.S.-owned waters in the Arctic Ocean and certain areas in the Atlantic Ocean as indefinitely off limits to future oil and gas leasing.The move helps put some finishing touches on Obama's environmental legacy while also testing President-elect Donald Trump's promise to unleash the nation's untapped energy reserves.The White House announced the actions in conjunction with the government of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, which also placed a moratorium on new oil and gas leasing in its Arctic waters, subject to periodic review.Obama is making use of an arcane provision in a 1953 law to ban offshore leases in the waters permanently. The statute says that "the president of the United States may, from time to time, withdraw from disposition any of the unleased lands of the outer Continental Shelf."Environmental groups hope the ban, despite relying on executive powers, will be difficult for future presidents to reverse. The White House said it's confident the president's order will withstand legal challenge and said the language of the statute provides no authority for subsequent presidents to undo permanent withdrawals.The Atlantic waters placed off limits to new oil and gas leasing are 31 canyons stretching off the coast of New England south to Virginia, though some had hoped for a more extensive ban that would have extended further south.Existing leases aren't affected by the president's executive actions.The administration cited environmental concerns in both regions to justify the moratorium. Obama also cited the importance of the Chukchi and Beaufort seas in providing subsistence for native Alaskans and the vulnerability of the ecosystem to an oil spill to justify his directive.Obama also noted the level of fuel production occurring in the Arctic. Obama said just 0.1 per cent of offshore crude production came from the Arctic in 2015, and at current oil prices, significant production would not occur in future decades."That's why looking forward, we must continue to focus on economic empowerment for Arctic communities beyond this one sector," Obama said.Still, industry officials objected to Obama's memorandum, calling it "last minute political rhetoric.""Instead of building on our nation's position as a global energy leader, today's unilateral mandate could put America back on a path of energy dependence for decades to come," said Dan Naatz of the Independent Petroleum Association of America.And Alaska Gov. Bill Walker, an independent, said Obama's move marginalized local voices. He said no one is more invested than Alaskans in making sure Arctic habitats are protected."To lock it up against any further exploration or development activity is akin to saying that the voices of activists who live in Lower 48 cities have a greater stake than those to whom the Arctic is our front yard and our back yard," he said in a statement.In issuing a permanent ban, Obama appears to be trying to tie the hands of his successor. Trump has vowed a domestic energy revolution and is filling his Cabinet with nominees deeply opposed to Obama's environmental and climate change actions.Environmental groups were calling for a permanent ban even before the presidential election, but Trump's victory has provided greater urgency for them and for businesses that rely on tourism and fishing. Trump has said he intends to use all available fuel reserves for energy self-sufficiency — and that it's time to open up offshore drilling."This decision will help protect existing lucrative coastal tourism and fishing businesses from offshore drilling, which promises smaller, short-lived returns and threatens coastal livelihoods," said Jacqueline Savitz, a senior vice-president at the advocacy group, Oceana.A key question to be answered is how difficult it will be for future presidents to overturn Obama's decision should they seek to do so.The American Petroleum Institute pointed to 2008 when President George W. Bush used a simple memorandum to remove previously withdrawn lands and make all Outer Continental Shelf lands available for leasing except marine sanctuaries."Fortunately, there is no such thing as a permanent ban," said the institute's Erik Milito.But White House officials in a conference call with reporters said previous "indefinite withdrawals" remain in place and voiced confidence that Obama's decision will stand.Advocacy groups were already warning that they were prepared to file suit to protect the ban during future administrations."If Donald Trump tries to reverse President Obama's withdrawals, he will find himself in court," said Marissa Knodel of Friends of the Earth.Frank Knapp, president of the South Carolina Small Business Chamber of Commerce in Columbia, said he was "extremely disappointed" in the decision not to extend drilling protections to the entire Atlantic seaboard.Knapp and his group were among a number of business groups in the southeast who had advocated for banning new drilling leases off their shores, arguing that the environmental impacts would hurt fishing, tourism and other businesses the region relies upon. He'd gone to Washington to meet with Obama administration officials, and believed the entire Atlantic was to be protected.The decision came as Obama spends the holidays in Hawaii. Some Democratic lawmakers applauded Obama, while some Republicans were highly critical."As President-elect Trump nominates fossil fuel allies to his Cabinet, President Obama has instead put the interests of millions of Americans ahead of those of Big Oil with these permanent protections," said Democratic Sen. Ed Markey of Massachusetts."The extremes to which this president will go to appease special interests never ceases to amaze," countered Rep. Rob Bishop, R-Utah, and chairman of the House Committee on Natural Resources. "This is not a moral calling; it's an abuse of power."__Associated Press writers Josh Lederman in Washington, Jason Dearen in Gainesville, Florida, and Becky Bohrer in Juneau, Alaska, contributed to this report.__On Twitter, reach Kevin Freking at https://twitter.com/APkfreking-Kevin Freking, The Associated Press.
Trudeau admits he was 'cheeky' when he made comments on bilingualism-[The Canadian Press]-December 20, 2016-YAHOONEWS
OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau admits he may have been a little "cheeky" when he made a comment last week on bilingualism.When questioned by a Radio-Canada journalist if he supported the idea of Ottawa being designated a bilingual city, Trudeau asked whether the western Quebec town of Gatineau was ready to do the same."Is the city of Gatineau open to becoming officially bilingual?" Trudeau responded, with a little smile.Trudeau said Monday he was fully aware the comment would get him in trouble."I knew it," he said in an end-of-year-interview with The Canadian Press. "I was being cheeky, I admit it."Trudeau said, however, he was not questioning or criticizing Quebec's law making French the sole official language in the province."Not at all, not at all," he insisted. "Quebec has to be French in order for Canada to be bilingual."The prime minister said he is an ardent defender of the country's linguistic duality."I taught French in Vancouver," he said. "I know how important bilingualism is."He said any decision about whether Ottawa should become officially bilingual needs to be made by municipal leaders and not by the federal government.Quebec's language laws state municipalities in the province can be designated as bilingual if more than half of their residents have English as a mother tongue.According to the 2011 census, only 11 per cent of Gatineau's residents fit the criteria.In Ontario, municipalities are either administered entirely in English or in both of the country's official languages.The debate over whether Ottawa should be bilingual resurfaces periodically and was rekindled due to the attention surrounding Canada's plans to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Confederation in 2017.Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson has spoken out against the idea on several occasions.Isabelle Miron, head of an association representing Ottawa francophones, told Radio-Canada that Trudeau's original comment "alienated everyone, francophones and the people of Gatineau alike."Melanie Marquis, The Canadian Press.
Trump cruises to Electoral College victory despite protests-[The Canadian Press]-YAHOONEWS-December 19, 2016
WASHINGTON — There were many protesters but few faithless electors as Donald Trump won the Electoral College vote Monday — ensuring he will become America's 45th president.An effort by anti-Trump forces to persuade Republican electors to abandon the president-elect came to practically nothing and the process unfolded largely according to its traditions. Trump's polarizing victory Nov. 8 and the fact Democrat Hillary Clinton had won the national popular vote had stirred an intense lobbying effort, but to no avail."We did it!" Trump tweeted Monday evening. "Thank you to all of my great supporters, we just officially won the election (despite all of the distorted and inaccurate media)."He later issued a statement saying: "With this historic step we can look forward to the bright future ahead. I will work hard to unite our country and be the President of all Americans."Even one of Trump's fiercest Republican rivals, Ohio Gov. John Kasich, said it was time to get behind the president-elect."We want unity, we want love," Kasich said as Ohio's electors voted to back Trump at a statehouse ceremony. Kasich refused to endorse or even vote for Trump in the election.With all states voting, Trump finished with 304 votes and Clinton had 227. It takes 270 Electoral College votes to win the presidency. Texas put Trump over the top, despite two Republican electors casting protest votes.Befitting an election filled with acrimony, thousands of protesters converged on state capitols across the country Monday, urging Republican electors to abandon their party's winning candidate.More than 200 demonstrators braved freezing temperatures at Pennsylvania's capitol, chanting, "No Trump, no KKK, no fascist USA!" and "No treason, no Trump!"In Madison, Wisconsin, protesters shouted, cried and sang "Silent Night." In Augusta, Maine, they banged on drums and held signs that said, "Don't let Putin Pick Our President," referring to Russian President Vladimir Putin.Despite the noise outside state Capitols, inside, the voting went pretty much as planned.In Nashville, Tennessee, one audience member tried to read out some Scripture before the ballots were cast, but was told he could not speak."We certainly appreciate the Scripture," State Election Coordinator Mark Goins said from the podium. "The answer is no."With all Republican states reporting, Trump lost only the two electors in Texas. One voted for Kasich, the Ohio governor; the other voted for former Texas Rep. Ron Paul.Clinton lost four electors in Washington state — three voted for former Secretary of State Colin Powell and one voted for Native American tribal leader Faith Spotted Eagle. She also lost an elector in Hawaii to Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders. Clinton beat Sanders in the Democratic primaries.Several Democratic electors in other states tried to vote for protest candidates but they either changed their votes to Clinton or were replaced.The Electoral College has 538 members, with the number allocated to each state based on how many representatives it has in the House plus one for each senator. The District of Columbia gets three, despite the fact that the home to Congress has no vote in Congress.Republican electors were deluged with emails, phone calls and letters urging them not to support Trump. Many of the emails are part of co-ordinated campaigns.In Baton Rouge, Louisiana, elector Charlie Buckels reached out to Trump's opponents after the New York businessman got all of the state's eight votes."For those of you who wished it had gone another way, I thank you for being here," said Buckels, the state GOP finance chairman. "I thank you for your passion for our country."There is no constitutional provision or federal law that requires electors to vote for the candidate who won their state — though some states require their electors to vote for the winning candidate.Those laws, however, are rarely tested. More than 99 per cent of electors through U.S. history have voted for the candidate who won their state. Of those who refused, none has ever been prosecuted, according to the National Archives.Some Democrats have argued that the Electoral College is undemocratic because it gives more weight to less populated states. That is how Clinton, who got more than 2.8 million more votes nationwide, lost the election to Trump.Some have also tried to dissuade Trump voters by arguing that he is unsuited to the job. Others cite the CIA's assessment that Russia engaged in computer hacking to sway the election in favour of the Republican."When the founders of our country created (the Electoral College) 200-plus years ago, they didn't have confidence in the average white man who had property, because that's who got to vote," said Shawn Terris, a Democratic elector from Ventura, California. "It just seems so undemocratic to me that people other than the voters get to choose who leads the country."A joint session of Congress is scheduled for Jan. 6 to certify the results of the Electoral College vote, with Vice-President Joe Biden presiding as president of the Senate. Once the result is certified, the winner — almost certainly Trump — will be sworn in on Jan. 20.___Associated Press writers Paul Weber in Austin, Texas, Julie Carr Smyth in Columbus, Ohio, Marc Levy in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, Scott Bauer in Madison, Wisconsin, Erik Schelzig and Jonathan Mattise in Nashville, Tennessee, Kathleen Floody and Alex Sanz in Atlanta, Melinda Deslatte in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Marina Villeneuve reported from Augusta, Maine, Rachel La Corte in Olympia, Washington, and Juliet A. Williams in Sacramento, California, contributed to this report.___Online:AP interactive on election results: http://interactives.ap.org/2016/road-to-270/___Follow Stephen Ohlemacher on Twitter at: http://twitter.com/stephenatapStephen OhlemacHer, The Associated Press.
Cyberstalking more prevalent among single, never-married women, study shows-[CBC]-YAHOONEWS-December 20, 2016
Cyberstalking is more prevalent among single, never-married young women, a new study from Statistics Canada shows.The study of internet users aged 15 to 29 also showed those with a history of being victimized are much more likely to experience cyberstalking, or cyberbullying.The results come as no surprise to Ron MacLeod, a cybersecurity specialist who has worked in the industry for about 30 years and is currently the president of the High Technology Crime Investigation Association for Atlantic Canada.Young women tend to live their social life online, through online dating sites and the use of social media, said MacLeod, the father of two teens."Unfortunately, the online world is a bit of a jungle and within that jungle there are predators with malicious intent that will take that information and sort of use it against you," he said.He urges people to carefully consider what personal information they share, who they share it with and how they share it."You know perhaps we don't necessarily need to know where you're having lunch that day, or what your plans are for this weekend, or when you're travelling or who your latest romantic involvement is with," he said."So I ask people to step back and take a very close look at the types of information that they're readily sharing out to the ether."In 2014, seven per cent of young women reported that they had been cyberstalked, versus five per cent of young men., according Statistics Canada. Similarly, the single/never-married population was also more at risk of being a victim of cyberstalking, at six per cent, compared with four per cent for those who had ever been (or were currently) married or living common-law.-Correlation with past abuse-About 17 per cent of the population aged 15 to 29 that accessed the internet at some point in the previous five years reported they had experienced cyberstalking or cyberbullying. Of those, 31 per cent reported experiencing both.Young Canadians with a past experience of victimization were significantly more likely to experience cyberbullying and cyberstalking. For example, 31 per cent of those who were physically or sexually assaulted before the age of 15 experienced either cyberstalking or cyberbullying, compared with 13 per cent of those who did not report an experience of assault.MacLeod believes the correlation between cyberstalking or cyberbullying and people who have previously been victimized in another way is due to the fact they are more readily able to recognize abuse.Being a victim of either cyberstalking or cyberbullying raises the risk of having a reported emotional, psychological or mental health condition and a low level of trust in people at school, work, or in the neighbourhood, the report found.-May continue for another generation-MacLeod said the results left him with an "overwhelming sadness that, you know, we're still dealing with this and the knowledge that we're going to be dealing with it for maybe another generation.""There are lot of people that look at these situations and say, 'We've got to get out there and have awareness programs,' and there's sort of an underlying belief that perhaps we can correct this in a couple of years," said MacLeod."But the truth is we are just in the very early stages of the adoption of a new technology that is radically influencing the way that we live our lives and it may be a generation or two before we would mature enough into our use of that technology that we would begin to address these types of problems."In the meantime, people should not live in fear, he said, but should take precautions to protect themselves.
Miss Canada uses beauty pageant to fight China on human rights-[The Canadian Press]-YAHOONEWS-December 20, 2016
VANCOUVER — Anastasia Lin says when she first learned about allegations the Chinese government was harvesting organs from religious prisoners to fuel its transplant industry, she decided to use an unconventional platform to raise awareness.Lin spoke out about the alleged plight of Falun Gong practitioners in China while taking part in the 2015 Miss World Canada beauty pageant, which she won.Since then, she has become an outspoken critic of the Chinese government."To not do anything is just so wrong," said Lin, 26, who is based in Toronto but spent her teenage years in Vancouver after emigrating from China with her mother."Public pressure works. We have way more leverage than we think we do," she said. "We might think that China is this big, tough bully that just doesn't listen to anyone. But that's not true."Falun Gong is a spiritual practice that emerged in China in the early 1990s, but by the end of the decade it had prompted a crackdown by the Chinese Communist Party.Falun Gong spokesman Joel Chipkar alleges the persecution was prompted by the organization's unwillingness to cede control to the Chinese government.Reports from human rights organizations such as Amnesty International have emerged of thousands of imprisoned Falun Gong followers being executed for their body organs.Multiple requests for comment to the Chinese Embassy in Ottawa and the Chinese Consulate in Vancouver went unanswered. But Fang Hong, a spokeswoman for the Chinese Embassy in Washington, told The Associated Press last week in a story about Lin that the allegations of the Chinese government harvesting organs are "sheer fabrications of the Falun Gong cult."Lin said she was originally inspired to take a stand on the issue by the advocacy work of former Miss World Canada Nazanin Afshin-Jam, who is married to former federal attorney general Peter MacKay.In 2015, Lin was declared persona non grata by the Chinese government and barred from entering China when she tried to travel there to represent Canada in that year's Miss World pageant.Miss World 2016 took place in Washington, D.C., and this year Lin was able to take part."My one goal was not the tiara," Lin said. "I just wanted to be on Chinese television. ... If they can see me on stage they will know (I have not given up), so neither should they."She also wanted to be seen by her father, who she said has been barred from leaving China because of her activism.Miss World 2016 wrapped up last weekend, with the contestant from Puerto Rico taking the crown.Chipkar, a Toronto-based spokesman for Falun Gong, applauded Lin for helping shed light on the organ-harvesting allegations."Any awareness to these crimes is like a light bulb that comes on in a dark room," Chipkar said. "As soon as the light comes on, the darkness disappears."Chipkar said there has never been any communication between Lin and the Falun Gong organization.As for Lin, she said she isn't interested in competing in any more beauty pageants. Instead, she wants to focus on her acting career and continue her advocacy through that medium."I think art is really ultimately what touches the heart, and I'm very encouraged by that," she said."I'm not a politician or a human rights activist by nature. I'm really just not an activist, but art is such a powerful way to get your message across."— Follow @gwomand on Twitter-Geordon Omand, The Canadian Press.
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