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Mars may have been more Earth-like than previously believed

New data collected by NASA’s Curiosity rover has found traces of chemicals that suggest Mars was once more Earth-like than scientists once thought.

Curiosity’s ChemCam — an instrument that zaps into the surface of Mars to analyze its chemical make-up — detected traces of manganese oxides in Martian rocks.

READ MORE: Opportunity rover finds more evidence of past water on Mars

“The only ways on Earth that we know how to make these manganese materials involve atmospheric oxygen or microbes,” said Nina Lanza, a planetary scientist at Los Alamos National Laboratory and lead author on the study published in the American Geophysical Union‘s journal. “Now we’re seeing manganese-oxides on Mars and wondering how the heck these could have formed.”

It’s unlikely that microbes are responsible for the manganese oxides, the study said. However, what seems likely is that the Martian atmosphere once held more oxygen than it does now.

In front of the Curiosity rover are two holes from the rover’s sample-collection drill and several dark-toned features that have been cleared of dust (see inset images). These flat features are erosion-resistant fracture fills that are composed of manganese oxides, which require abundant liquid water and strongly oxidizing conditions to form.


ChangSha Night Net


  • SpaceX plans to send ‘Red Dragon’ capsule to Mars in 2018

  • Explore Mars in this 360° view from Curiosity rover

  • Curiosity rover confirms ancient lakes once existed on Mars

    Materials rich in manganese oxides can’t form without plenty of liquid water and conditions of oxidation, Lanza explained in the release. At one point on Earth there was plenty of water but no manganese oxides — that is, until oxygen levels in our atmosphere rose as a result of photosynthesizing microbes. Using what they already know, the researchers suggest that similar circumstances occurred on Mars as well, while it had an abundance of water.

    About 4.2 billion years ago, Mars — believed to have had an abundance of water — began to lose its magnetic field. The loss of the field, however, caused the water to break into hydrogen and oxygen. Hydrogen was too light for the low gravity of Mars (which is around 38 per cent that of Earth) and was lost. However, the heavier oxygen remained. Some of the iron oxides, which gives Mars its renowned reddish hue, went into the rocks.

    READ MORE: Is going to Mars really in our future?

    Iron oxides don’t need a lot of oxygen to exist. But for manganese oxide to exist (deeper down in the rocks), it means that at some point the environment had to have had a strongly oxidizing atmosphere — the presence of oxygen.

    “It’s hard to confirm whether this scenario for Martian atmospheric oxygen actually occurred,” Lanza added. “But it’s important to note that this idea represents a departure in our understanding for how planetary atmospheres might become oxygenated.”

    Follow @NebulousNikki

Fort McMurray Fire Aid concert set times released

With just one day left until some of Canada’s biggest artists hit the stage in Edmonton, the set times for the Fire Aid concert in support of Fort McMurray wildfire relief have been released.

The doors at Commonwealth Stadium open at 4 p.m. MT Wednesday, with Dustin Bentall taking the stage first at 4:45 p.m.

READ MORE: Fort McMurray wildfire: Nickelback, Corb Lund, Randy Bachman among Fire Aid concert acts

Each artist will play for approximately 15 to 20 minutes, until the last three performances of the night.

City and Colour’s Dallas Green will hit the stage at 8:35 p.m. and play for about 30 minutes. Blue Rodeo will follow at 9:05 p.m. and play for one hour.

Alberta’s own Nickelback will headline the show, taking the stage at about 10:05 p.m.

The set list for the Fire Aid concert in support of the Fort McMurray United Way.

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  • IN PHOTOS: Fort McMurray residents return to destruction on Day 2 of re-entry

  • IN PHOTOS: Fort McMurray residents return home nearly 1 month after wildfire

  • Fort McMurray fire chief weighs in on rebuild

  • Fort McMurray wildfire: Federal government commits $300M in disaster recovery funds to Alberta

    In addition to the Fire Aid concert, several other performances will take place outside the stadium on the “Stamp It Out” stage. Alberta artists Jesse & The Dandelions, Double Fuzz, The Wisers and Captain Tractor will play for people outside the east entrance of Commonwealth.

    Food trucks, family-friendly activities and the Edmonton Eskimos cheer team will be on hand for the free event, which runs from 2 p.m. until 6 p.m.

    Tickets are still available for the star-studded concert. Tickets are $35, $60 and $99 through Ticketmaster.

    Watch below: Vignettes reminds us about the Fort McMurray wildfire’s devastating effect on the city, the upswell of support for evacuees and their return to begin rebuilding the community.

    Fort McMurray Wildfire Reflection 1


    Fort McMurray Wildfire Reflection 1


    Fort McMurray Wildfire Reflection 2


    Fort McMurray Wildfire Reflection 3

    In hopes of raising awareness and making the concert a sell-out, Chris Scheetz from CISN Country is camped out in the bucket of a fire truck 90 feet above Yellowhead Trail between highway 60 and 44. Scheetz will spend 30 hours in the ladder truck, with visitors from the concert coming to help him in his efforts.

    Watch below: A local radio host is hoping to draw awareness for the Fort McMurray benefit concert by hanging 90 feet above Yellowhead Trail in Edmonton.

    Global Edmonton’s Gord Steinke and Margeaux Morin will be live from the concert during Wednesday evening’s Global News Hour at 6.

    Follow @CaleyRamsay

Canada’s rising subnational debt unsustainable, PBO warns

OTTAWA – The federal budget watchdog is sounding the alarm about the growing level of net debt being accumulated by Canada’s provinces, territories and local governments.

The parliamentary budget office said Tuesday that the combined net debt of Canada’s so-called subnational governments — currently at 32.5 per cent of GDP — is projected to rise to more than 200 per cent over the next 75 years.

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READ MORE: Debt binge has left Canadians more ‘vulnerable’ to economic shock: PBO

At that level, debt service payments would reach 11 per cent of gross domestic product, the report warned.

The subnational outlook, which excludes the federal government, has worsened since last year due to increased spending projections for health care and public sector administration, the analysis said.

On the federal side, the office found the sustainability of Ottawa’s fiscal outlook had deteriorated compared to 12 months ago. It does, however, expect the federal net debt to remain manageable and to be eliminated in 50 years.

WATCH: PBO says Canada’s economic health worse than expected 

Ottawa’s outlook, the report added, has declined due to weak economic growth and temporary spending measures, such as the Liberal government’s decision to move old age security eligibility back to 65 years old, from 67.

The new government has also reduced federal fiscal room through changes to child benefits and its commitment to increase infrastructure spending, the document said.

But overall, the analysis said the combined fiscal path of the country’s federal, provincial, territorial, local and aboriginal governments — as well as their public pension plans — was unsustainable.

“The total government sector in Canada … is not fiscally sustainable without permanent increases in revenues or reductions in program spending,” the document said.

The office said some combination of higher federal transfers, spending cuts and boosts to government revenue would be necessary to improve the subnational outlook.

READ MORE: Liberals promised to empower budget watchdog, haven’t responded to his budget request

During last year’s election campaign, the federal Liberals vowed to balance the books by 2019-20 and to lower the country’s net debt-to-GDP ratio in each year of their mandate to 27 per cent, from 31.2 per cent in 2015-16.

The ratio, also known as the debt burden, represents a government’s capacity to pay back debt.

The Liberals’ March budget, however, did not specify when Ottawa would eliminate the deficits and only projected the net debt-to-GDP ratio to start falling after the next election in 2020-21 — and only to 30.9 per cent.

With the federal net debt-to-GDP ratio on track to decrease over time, the office’s report Tuesday said Ottawa has some fiscal wiggle room to cut taxes or increase spending.

The Liberals’ spring budget projected Ottawa to add $113.2 billion in red ink over the next five years, due in large part to increased spending in numerous areas, such as post-secondary education, infrastructure, the recently unemployed, veterans and seniors.

Here’s how Disney princesses are influencing your daughter – and son, too

She’s wearing a tight blue dress, long hair swept back in a braid and she’s singing about her new-found independence. Elsa, from Disney’s wildly popular film Frozen, has become a ubiquitous fixture to kids around the world and new research suggests the franchise’s princess culture is shaping a generation of little girls – and little boys, too.

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Scientists out of Brigham Young University in Utah are warning that Disney princesses could “influence preschoolers to be more susceptible to potentially damaging stereotypes.” While Elsa may be crooning about loving herself, including her flaws, little girls are zeroing in on her tiny waist and soft-spoken voice.

Little boys, on the other hand, ended up with better feelings about their bodies and were, generally, more helpful to others the more they interacted with Disney princesses through movies and toys.

READ MORE: Want your daughter to break barriers? Dads should do chores, study suggests

“I think parents think that the Disney Princess culture is safe. That’s the word I hear time and time again – it’s ‘safe.’ But if we’re fully jumping in here and really embracing it, parents should really consider the long-term impact of the princess culture,” Dr. Sarah M. Coyne, a family life professor at BYU, said in a university statement.

“We know that girls who strongly adhere to female gender stereotypes feel like they can’t do some things. They’re not as confident that they can do some things. They’re not as confident that they can do well in math and science. They don’t like getting dirty, so they’re less likely to try and experiment with things,” Coyne said.

For her study, Coyne worked with 198 preschoolers, looking at how often they were exposed to Disney princesses in movies or games and toys.

Parents and teachers were interviewed while the kids completed tasks, such as ranking their favourite toys from a collection of “girl” toys, “boy” toys, and gender-neutral toys. This is how the researchers measured “gender-stereotypical” behaviours.

READ MORE: What makes a voice attractive? Familiarity plays a key role, study suggests

Turns out, 96 per cent of the girls and 87 per cent of the boys watched Disney princesses. A whopping 61 per cent of the girls played with their Disney princess toys at least once a week.

Across the board, for both boys and girls, the more they interacted with the princesses, the more likely “female gender-stereotypical behaviours” would crop up.

Boys had softer tendencies, they had confidence in their bodies and shared with others.

The girls worried about their appearance, though.

“Disney princesses represent some of the first examples of exposure to the thin ideal. As women, we get it our whole lives and it really does start at the Disney princess level, at age three or four,” Coyne warned.

She said her research changed the way she talks to her daughter. After watching Brave, the pair talked about how strong Princess Merida was.

“It’s frustrating when the dentist sees my daughter and says, ‘Look at the little princess!’ because she’s so much more than that,” Coyne said.

READ MORE: Concerned about your child’s weight? Here’s some food for thought

Parents don’t need to pull away from Disney princesses altogether, Coyne said. Make them part of a well-rounded group of interests and hobbies instead. Talk to your kids about the media they’re watching, too.

Read the full findings published in the journal Child Development.

[email protected]长沙夜网
Follow @Carmen_Chai

Brexit fallout: How low can the British pound go?

The British pound was up against the U.S. dollar Tuesday morning, trading at above US$1.33, after two days at 31-year lows. That may be good news for now, but it doesn’t mean the outlook for sterling is all too sunny.

ChangSha Night Net


  • World stocks stabilize as investors’ Brexit anxiety eases

  • Brexit: Pressure mounting for quick negotiations as EU meets in emergency session

  • Brexit fallout: U.K. Treasury chief tries to calm fears over vote to leave European Union

    “I wouldn’t put too much weight on this move — we’re in uncharted territory now,” ING chief international economist Rob Carnell told the Wall Street Journal Tuesday. “I wouldn’t be going out and filling my boots with sterling,” he said.

    READ MORE: U.K. stripped of top credit rating following Brexit vote

    The shockwaves of the vote for the United Kingdom to leave the European Union continue to shake markets and banks around the world, and Britain has been smacked with a lower credit rating and the threat of falling into recession.

    In the wake of last week’s referendum result, the value of the pound plunged to its lowest since 1985, when it traded at US$1.05.

    If the slide continues, some analysts have envisioned it spending much of the next six months in the $1.20 to $1.30 range — or even going as low as hitting parity with the greenback by the end of the year, according to a report Monday from MarketWatch.

    The pound may not necessarily reach that level, but no one appears to be predicting it will strengthen until the political situation is sorted out.

    WATCH: Brexit vote has exposes painful fault lines over wealth, immigration. Eric Sorensen reports.

    Currency fluctuations, even dramatic ones, aren’t just a part of the overall economic shock but also a part of the economy recovering from that shock, Conference Board of Canada deputy chief economist Pedro Antunes said.

    “The market adjustment that we’re seeing in the exchange rate right now, this is a shock absorber of sorts,” Antunes told Global News in a phone interview Monday. “We have seen markets and economies that have free floating exchange rates take big hits — including our own currency, which took a very big hit in late 2014 to adjust for much weaker oil prices.”

    READ MORE: Brexit fallout: U.K. Treasury chief tries to calm fears over vote to leave European Union

    HIstorically, the Canadian dollar has been hit in times of uncertainty more than currencies that are seen as more stable.

    “Generally, what we have in these kinds of periods … you typically have currencies like the Canadian dollar [and] the Australian dollar weaken, currencies like the Japanese yen [and] the U.S. dollar strengthen,” said Eric Theoret, the associate director of foreign exchange risk management at Scotiabank.

    He said the current situation is reflective of a greater environment of uncertainty and global political risk.

    Among that uncertainty and risk: will other EU members hold their own votes on pulling out – and what would happen if the  unconventional Republican candidate — Donald Trump — is elected president of the United States?

    READ MORE: What Brexit voters and Donald Trump supporters have in common

    “I think on a relative basis, it really does make Canada look quite solid when you consider the lack of any political turmoil within our borders.”

    Although banks and economists expected a period of political and economic uncertainty following the vote to leave the EU, Theoret said it’s not likely to ease for a while yet.

    WATCH: London mayor wants more decision-making powers for city

    The U.K. will have to go through formal negotiations to exit the EU and the governing Conservatives will have to choose a new leader who will become prime minister following the resignation of David Cameron. And negotiations to leave EU likely won’t begin until after Cameron’s replacement is chosen.

    READ MORE: Brexit: Pressure mounting for quick negotiations as EU meets in emergency session

    The country is also faced with having to negotiate a slew of new trade deals it once had within the EU or bilateral agreements non-EU governments had with the EU.

    “They’re in this weird kind of purgatory right now,” Theortet said.

    Follow @nick_logan

Edmonton, Calgary pounded with hail, rain during thunderstorm watches and warnings

Roads were flooded, fires were triggered and hail blanketed the ground like snow in some spots when wild weather on Tuesday struck central and southern Alberta.

Basements were drenched and motorists were trapped in their vehicles in southwest Calgary when afternoon thunderstorm activity unleashed heavy rain. Lightning struck trees and sparked fires in two houses, but there were no reports of injuries or significant damage to either home. People in and around Okotoks and Aldersyde, south of Calgary, had to deal with mounds of hail after the storm passed.

ChangSha Night Net


  • Calgary weather: summer thunderstorm season underway

  • What can Calgary learn from Airdrie’s $450M hail storm in 2014?

    Heavy rain and hail also hit the Edmonton region, creating traffic snarls in a few areas.

    Environment Canada issued severe thunderstorm watches and warnings for parts of south and central Alberta on Tuesday, warning that conditions were favourable for the development of severe storms in the late morning and afternoon.

    The City of Edmonton was under a severe thunderstorm warning as of 2:15 p.m. Shortly after 5 p.m., the warning was dropped to a watch and later the watch was dropped as well.

    It was possible for parts of southeast Edmonton to see up to 70 mm of rain Tuesday afternoon, Environment Canada said.

    “At 3:20 p.m. MST Doppler RADAR indicated that this severe thunderstorm was located over east and northeast Edmonton,” stated the Environment Canada warning.

    The storm was expected to track west in to the city.

    A thunderstorm rolls through Edmonton Tuesday, June 28, 2016.

    Paul Rampersaud, Global News

    “Nickel-sized hail and very heavy rain have been observed in east Edmonton. As of 3:20 p.m. MST, Doppler RADAR indicates the eastern part of the city may have received up to 70 mm of rain,” Environment Canada’s warning stated.

    Hail was reported at Commonwealth Stadium at 3:30 p.m. Tuesday.

    The majority of central and southern Alberta remained under either a thunderstorm watch or thunderstorm warning Tuesday afternoon but by 10:30 p.m., only a few parts of southern Alberta remained under watches and no thunderstorm warnings were in effect in Alberta.

    Environment Canada said “conditions are favourable for the development of severe thunderstorms this afternoon and this evening over portions of central Alberta.”

    WATCH: Here is some of the best footage from viewer submitted videos of a summer storm in southern Alberta.

    Calgary battered by summer storm

    The City of Calgary was under a severe thunderstorm watch, which was upgraded to a warning at 3:15 p.m.

    A brief but powerful storm eventually hit the city, keeping emergency crews extremely busy for several hours. The Calgary Fire Department said they responded to over 60 emergency calls, most of which were a direct result of the storm, within a two-hour period.

    WATCH BELOW: Global’s Tony Tighe captured this footage of flooding in Calgary’s Woodbine neighbourhood.

    A house in the area of Stranraer Place  S.W. and Strathcona Drive SW was struck by lightning Tuesday afternoon. Pictures taken at around 4 p.m. showed smoke coming from the top of the home.

    A house fire in the area of Stranraer Place and Strathcona Drive SW in Calgary Tuesday, June 28, 2016.

    Tom Reynolds, Global News

    According to the Calgary Fire Department, a gas line had been damaged and was venting. Fire crews successfully kept the fire from spreading to neighbouring buildings and extinguished the fire in the attic.

    WATCH: A Calgary couple is thanking the quick thinking of neighbours for quickly flagging down Calgary fire crews after their house was struck by lightning. Global’s Mia Sosiak reports.

    Emergency crews were called for multiple reports of trees which had been truck by lightening.

    Due to a heavy downpour, the southwest part of the city sustained sudden flooding on some roadways, trapping motorists in their cars and creating significant traffic delays.

    By 5 p.m. the warning was dropped back to a watch for the City of Calgary. The watch was later dropped as well.

    Severe thunderstorm warnings are issued when people in the area should be on the lookout for adverse weather conditions and take necessary safety precautions.

    Severe thunderstorm watches are issued when atmospheric conditions are favourable for the development of thunderstorms that could produce large hail, damaging winds or torrential rainfall.

    Watch below: Global viewer Zach Terlier sent in this footage of flooding at Macleod Trail and Canyon Meadows Drive.

    According to Environment Canada, an unstable air mass is in place over much of the province, and thunderstorms are ongoing in parts of southern Alberta.

    “Some of these thunderstorms have the potential to become severe with hail to the size of quarters and rainfall in excess of 50 mm the main threats.”

    To get your weather on the go, download Global News’ Skytracker weather app for iPhone, iPad and Android.

    Flooding in Calgary’s Woodbine neighbourhood Tuesday, June 28, 2016.

    Dani Lantela, Global News

    Flooding in Calgary’s Woodbine neighbourhood Monday, June 28, 2016.

    Dani Lantela, Global News

    Flooding in Calgary’s Woodbine neighbourhood Monday, June 28, 2016.

    Dani Lantela, Global News

    Severe weather near Okotoks, June 28, 2016.

    Paul MacEachern, Global News

    Hail along Highway 22 Tuesday, June 28, 2016.

    Paul MacEachern, Global News

    Hail along Highway 22 Tuesday, June 28, 2016.

    Paul MacEachern, Global News

    Storm clouds over Calgary Tuesday, June 28, 2016.

    Paul MacEachern, Global News

    Storm clouds over Calgary Tuesday, June 28, 2016.

    Paul MacEachern, Global News

    Storm clouds over Calgary Tuesday, June 28, 2016.

    Paul MacEachern, Global News

    Storm clouds over Calgary Tuesday, June 28, 2016.

    Paul MacEachern, Global News

    With files from CHQR and

Benghazi report faults lax security, slow response; no new Clinton allegations

WASHINGTON – Republicans on the House Benghazi Committee harshly faulted the Obama administration Tuesday for lax security and a slow response to the deadly 2012 attacks at the U.S. diplomatic outpost in Libya. But they produced no new allegations about then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

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The attacks, which killed four Americans, including U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens, have been repeatedly cited by Republicans as a serious failure by the administration and by Clinton, the presumptive Democratic nominee for president.

READ MORE: Clinton uses Benghazi hearing to set foreign policy framework for campaign

But the committee’s 800-page report, released by Republican members, offered no “smoking gun” about Clinton’s role. Rep. Trey Gowdy, the panel’s chairman, has repeatedly said the report was not aimed at her, though Democrats have accused the committee’s Republican majority of targeting her throughout.

Campaigning in Denver, Clinton said that it was “time to move on” and that the report had “found nothing, nothing to contradict the conclusions of the independent accountability board or the conclusions of the prior multiple earlier investigations.”

The report from the two-year, $7 million investigation severely criticizes the military, CIA and administration officials for their response as the attacks unfolded the night of Sept. 11, 2012, and their subsequent explanation to the American people.

WATCH: Hillary Clinton faces tough questions on Benghazi, emails

Eight hours after the two assaults began, “Not a single wheel of a single U.S. (military) asset had turned toward Libya,” Gowdy, R-S.C.., told reporters at a Capitol Hill news conference. “Think about that for a second.”

He said military leaders told the committee that they thought an evacuation was imminent, slowing any response.

The Libya attacks became immediate political fodder, given their timing in the weeks before Obama’s re-election, and that has not abated despite seven previous congressional investigations. There has been finger-pointing on both sides over security at the U.S. diplomatic outpost in Benghazi and whether the White House initially tried to portray the assault as a protest over an offensive, anti-Muslim video, instead of a calculated terrorist attack.

The GOP report offers no major revelations, but that won’t quiet the criticism of Clinton from conservatives, likely Republican rival Donald Trump and other detractors. The committee interviewed more than 100 witnesses and reviewed some 75,000 pages of documents, but an almost accidental discovery by the panel last year has overshadowed Clinton’s candidacy.

The committee disclosed that Clinton had used a private email server to conduct government business, a practice that is the subject of an FBI investigation.

There was division even among the panel’s seven Republicans. Two of them, Mike Pompeo of Kansas and Jim Jordan of Ohio, wrote what amounts to a dissenting report that is far more scathing toward Clinton and Democrats generally.

Pompeo called Clinton’s actions in the wake of the attacks “morally reprehensible,” and he and Jordan said her public comments about the attacks differed sharply from her private assessments to members of her family and diplomats from other countries.

READ MORE: Hillary Clinton seeks to close book on Benghazi

Gowdy said he was not prepared to pass judgment on Clinton and said that opinions about her do not appear in the panel’s report.

“This is not about one person,” he said.

Republican insistence that the investigation was not politically motivated was undermined last year when House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., suggested that the House committee could take credit for Clinton’s then-slumping poll numbers. The remark contributed to McCarthy’s failure to win election to House speaker.

The report documents that the U.S. was slow to send help to the Americans “because of an obsession with hurting the Libyans’ feelings,” Gowdy said. The report also portrays a “series of heroic acts” by Americans under attack.

Military leaders have testified repeatedly that they didn’t have intelligence information on what was happening or the resources on alert to respond in time to the two attacks, hours apart.

Committee Democrats released their own report Monday saying that while the State Department’s security measures in Benghazi that night were “woefully inadequate,” Clinton never personally turned down a request for additional security. Democrats said the military could not have done anything differently that night to save the lives of the Americans.

On Tuesday, the panel’s Democrats denounced the Republicans’ report as “a conspiracy theory on steroids — bringing back long-debunked allegations with no credible evidence whatsoever.” The statement added: “Republicans promised a process and report that was fair and bipartisan, but this is exactly the opposite.”

The State Department also issued a statement Tuesday, saying that the “essential facts” of the attacks “have been known for some time,” and have been the subject of numerous reviews, including one by an independent review board.

Spokesman Mark Toner said the department had implemented most of the recommendations of the independent review board and was continuing to expand security at its facilities and improve its threat assessment.

Associated Press reporter Matthew Lee contributed to this report.

Possible service disruption as Winnipeg postal workers vote for strike mandate

WINNIPEG —; Mail service disruptions could soon hit Manitoba, as early as Saturday, after postal workers voted in favour of a strike mandate for their union.

The contract dispute between Canada Post and the Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW) stretches back to late 2015, as the two sides aim to reach a new agreement for 50,000 workers.

The deadline to reach a new deal is July 2.

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CUPW represents two groups of workers: urban city centres and rural/surburban areas. According to the union’s news release, 98 per cent of urban workers in Manitoba voted for a strike mandate, while 100 per cent of rural workers voted in favour. Across the country, urban workers voted 94 per cent in favour of the mandate and 91 per cent of rural workers voted in favour.

READ MORE: Governments, online retailers prepare as Canada Post work stoppage looms

Aalya Ahmad, spokesperson for CUPW said “there is every indication Canada Post is heading towards a lockout.” Ahmad said Canada Post has begun warning its biggest volume customers to prepare for service disruptions.

Canada Post last presented an offer to the union on Monday.

The last work stoppage at Canada Post was in 2011, when an initial rotating strike turned into a lockout. The disruption in service was ended after the Conservatives passed back-to-work legislation.

Governments have begun making plans in the event a strike or lockout comes to fruition. Manitoba government – which mails approximately 50,000 cheques every month – has set up designated pickup locations for essential mail.

Canada Post has also recommended that all local, regional, national and expedited mail be sent by June 29 to ensure parcels are delivered properly.

Judge rejects Michael Applebaum’s request to have corruption charges dropped

MONTREAL – A judge has rejected former Montreal Mayor Michael Applebaum‘s request to have all the charges against him thrown out.

READ MORE: Former Montreal mayor Michael Applebaum asking court to dismiss corruption charges

He had argued that there’s been an unreasonable delay in his trial, which was set to start in September 2017.

Applebaum faces 14 charges, including fraud, breach of trust and conspiracy in relation to related to several alleged questionable real estate projects between 2006 and 2011, while he was mayor of Côte-des-Neiges-Notre-Dame-de-Grâce.

WATCH BELOW: Michael Applebaum faces corruption charges

Michael Applebaum wants charges dismissed


Michael Applebaum wants charges dismissed


Applebaum prelim underway


Applebaum trial update


Applebaum case put off

He was arrested by Quebec’s anti-corruption unit, UPAC, at his home on June 17, 2013.

READ MORE: Quebec judge rules Michael Applebaum corruption case to go to trial

Applebaum resigned as mayor of Montreal the next day, but maintained the allegations against him were unfounded.

Judge Robert Marchi announced the trial will now start Nov. 14, 2016.

ChangSha Night Net


  • Former Montreal mayor Michael Applebaum asking court to dismiss corruption charges

  • Quebec judge rules Michael Applebaum corruption case to go to trial

  • Corruption-related prelim hearing starts for ex-Montreal mayor Michael Applebaum

Dangerous summer toys: U.S. consumer group releases its 2016 list

BOSTON – Toy guns, kiddie pools, hoverboards and backyard trampolines are among the playthings that made a consumer watchdog’s annual list of hazardous summer toys.

The Massachusetts-based World Against Toys Causing Harm, or W.A.T.C.H., presented its annual report Tuesday at a children’s hospital in Boston.

ChangSha Night Net


  • ‘I would say it’s an epidemic’: Lethbridge orthopedic surgeon sees trampoline accidents weekly

  • Arrests made after girl, 7, dies while playing on a bouncy castle

    Joan Siff, W.A.T.C.H.’s president, said the toys specifically named on the list aren’t the only risky playthings on the market. She says they’re simply meant to represent the range of hazards faced by children with summer toys.

    The non-profit group notes that some toy guns shoot projectiles with enough force to cause eye injuries while toy helicopters, boomerangs and other flying objects have rigid or sharp edges that can cause facial injuries.

    They warn that self-balancing scooters, as known as hoverboards, remain on the market, despite being banned by some retailers, airlines and schools because of ride-related injuries as well as the risk that some models can spontaneously catch fire.

    The group also urges parents to take caution when their children use baby pools, inflatable pool toys and flotation aids. It says some 87 per cent of fatal drownings to children under 5 years old occur at someone’s home.

    Inflatable bounce houses and backyard trampolines also made the list. The group says trampolines have been associated with fractures, cervical spine injuries, paralysis and other catastrophic injuries.

    WATCH: Time to get rid of backyard trampolines?

    The summer months account for nearly half of all injury-related deaths to children and over 2.5 million children are injured in accidents each summer, according to W.A.T.C.H.

    W.A.T.C.H. has released a “worst toys” list for more than 30 years.