Thursday, October 22, 2020

Death toll from quake, tsunami in Indonesia rises to 832

The toll from an earthquake and tsunami in Indonesia soared on Sunday to 832 confirmed dead, with authorities fearing it will only climb as rescuers struggle to reach outlying communities cut off from communications and help. (Globe & Mail)

One dead in shooting at North Las Vegas high school

LAS VEGAS - The North Las Vegas Police Department reports that one person has been killed on school grounds at Canyon Springs High School, near Alexander Road and 5th Street. (KSNV)

Police name two Russian suspects in Novichok poisonings

SALISBURY - Two Russian nationals have been named and charged over the novichok poisoning of Sergei and Yulia Skripal in Salisbury, Wiltshire. British police and prosecutors made the announcement on Wednesday. (The Guardian)

Firefighter’s suicide

EDMONTON - Hundreds of firefighters from the Edmonton area gathered Saturday at the funeral of one of their own, as the fire chief spoke openly about mental health and post traumatic stress disorder.  Marc Renaud, 29, died by suicide last weekend. Renaud, who was off-duty, had been with Edmonton Fire Rescue Services for approximately 7 years.  (Global)
  • Suicide
  • Force deeply devastated
  • OPP union president urges members to seek help
  • Reworking support system
  • Internal review
  • Passenger plane stolen

    SEA-TAC AIRPORT - At about 8pm Friday Sea-Tac Airport officials said an airline employee conducted the unauthorized takeoff with no passengers onboard.   Alaska Airlines officials said this involved a Horizon Air Q400.  Pierce County deputies tweeted that the plane had crashed into Ketron Island. Two military F-15s chased the plane but was they were not involved in the crash.  Police said the man in the plane was a 29-year-old Pierce County resident who acted alone.  (KIRO 7)

    Assault on city

    GHAZNI - Afghan forces were still battling the Taliban in parts of Ghazni on Saturday, a day after the insurgents launched a multi-pronged assault on the eastern city.  The Taliban claim to have seized parts of the city and to have killed local officials.  The city of about 140,000 people was in lockdown for the second day as residents stayed indoors and reported sporadic gunfire. The highway from Kabul to Afghanistan's southern provinces, which runs through Ghazni, is still closed.  (AP)

    Google tracking your movements

    SAN FRANCISCO - Google wants to know where you go so badly that it records your movements even when you explicitly tell it not to.  An Associated Press investigation found that many Google services on Android devices and iPhones store your location data even if you've used privacy settings that say they will prevent it from doing so.  (AP)

    Positive signs of change at the IIO

    This past month the new Chief Civilian Director of the Independent Investigations Office (IIO) Ronald J. MacDonald released a report into an incident in which a man died of a self-inflicted pellet rifle shot during an encounter with Burnaby RCMP. The incident occurred on December 20, 2017. The report was released on  February 20, 2018 just two months after the event. In the IIO’s five year history this has never occurred. They have been averaging 18 months from date of incident to investigation completion and report issued. This has certainly been a bone of contention with me and others critical of the organization. Just a month ago at the Coroner’s Inquest into the death of Tony Du, the IIO came under criticism for taking so long to complete that investigation. They said they were essentially done after 11 months but had to wait an additional 7 months for ballistics. Huh? Why they would need ballistics testing in a VPD officer involved shooting in which only one officer fired his service weapon? He said it was him and gave a statement. This is not a stone-cold whodunnit. The IIO had the weapon, the brass and the remaining bullets in the magazine. What’s to test to examine the facts of the shooting? Du was a distraught man swinging a 2X4 at police at 41st & Knight St. in traffic. VPD trying to deal with him fired multiple bean bags rounds at him but that didn’t stop him. As he advanced towards the police swinging the...

    Three strikes on the IIO

    Two weeks ago, on June 18, Coquitlam RCMP received reports of shots fired by a distraught man at an address on Audrey Drive in what is normally a quiet residential neighbourhood. Police attended which ultimately resulted in an exchange of gunfire. The distraught man retreated to cover behind a vehicle and a stand-off ensued. The Integrated Lower Mainland Emergency Response Team were called and ultimately secured the male using flash bangs and stun grenades. The man was discovered dead. The RCMP initially issued a press release saying they thought he died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Specifically, they said this: “The male was later located deceased by ERT members behind a vehicle with what is believed at this time to be a self-inflicted injury.” Note the use of the words “believed” and “at this time.” That is a preliminary statement and hardly definitive. Nor could they be definitive without conducting an investigation which, in BC, is the responsibility of the Independent Investigations Office (IIO). Yet, following an autopsy, Marten Youssef, spokesman for the IIO, was quick to put out a follow up media release saying the RCMP’s initial information was incorrect and the death was not self-inflicted. There was a tone that implied the RCMP tried to mislead but clearly that was not the case. The Mounties release was based on preliminary information and said as much. Youssef went on to say, “The IIO has interviewed approximately 30 witnesses and six police officers.” Now, that statement was patently misleading. How so? Well, the reality is that...