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Families of Flight MH17 victims seek answers; parents believe daughter is still alive

WATCH: Jerzy Dyczynski and Angela Dyczynski travelled from Australia to the crash site to honour their daughter who was aboard Flight MH17

TORONTO – The parents of one of the passengers on Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 say they still believe their daughter could be alive and are reportedly threatening to sue anyone who may suggest otherwise without showing clear evidence.

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Jerzy Dyczynski and Angela Dyczynski visited the rebel-controlled crash site last week and said nothing diminished their hope that their 25-year-old daughter Fatima somehow survived.

READ MORE: Rebels lay mines near Flight MH17 crash site

“There is a small possibility that something still survived,” said Fatima’s father in an interview. “The people of Donetsk were first at the crash site and if somebody survived maybe they have taken them.”

Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 went down on July 17 as it flew from Amsterdam toward Kuala Lumpur.  Officials say all 298 people aboard died.

According to the Australian Associated Press, the Dyczynskis said they would be willing to sue anyone who suggested their daughter was killed before indisputable evidence was brought to them.

The couple says they have given DNA samples to the team of investigators who are currently working to identify the bodies of the victims.

“People may say ‘how could she survive a fall of 30,000 feet?’ but it has happened in extremely rare cases that the seat has remained intact,” said Fatima’s father in an interview with The New Zealand Herald.

Fatima’s parents say their daughter, who was travelling to Australia aboard flight MH17, was scheduled to speak at the upcoming International Astronautical Congress in Toronto this September.

Despite government officials advising victims’ families against immediately travelling to Ukraine, the Dyczynskis arrived at the crash site last week and laid down flowers.

“She was full of life,” said Fatima’s mother about her only child.

“She was an aerospace engineer, she was a scientist, she was a young person with new ideas and new perspectives and new horizons,” said Jerzy, a cardiologist and acupuncturist.

Jerzy Dyczynski and Angela Rudhart-Dyczynski whose daughter, 25-year-old Fatima, was a passenger on Malaysia Airlines flight MH17, sit on part of the wreckage of the crashed aircraft in Hrabove, Ukraine, Saturday, July 26, 2014.

AP Photo/Nicholas Garriga

The Dyczynskis say they want their daughter’s colleagues from the space science community to become involved in the crash investigation as they believe the scientists could prevent future incidents.

Fatima’s father said he and his wife also want investigators to pursue other angles as to what may have downed Flight MH17.

“Maybe, other perspectives are important to investigate. It’s not only maybe a missile [that downed MH17] but something more,” he said. “If it would have been a missile, and the rebels shot down this aeroplane, they would not have handed out the black boxes.”

Ukraine national security spokesman Andriy Lysenko said Monday the plane suffered “massive explosive decompression” after it was hit by fragments he said came from a missile.

READ MORE: Missile shrapnel hit Malaysia Airlines, says Ukraine

The data recorders were sent to experts in Britain for examination.

Flight 17 went down on July 17 as it flew from Amsterdam toward Kuala Lumpur. All 298 people aboard died. The U.S. and Ukrainian governments say it was shot down by a missile fired from territory held by armed pro-Russian separatists, probably by mistake.

The separatists deny shooting down the plane; Russia says the Ukrainian military may have shot it down.

Last week, the Dyczynskis travelled from their home in Perth, Australia to honour their daughter.

They crossed territory held by pro-Russian rebels to reach the wreckage-strewn fields outside the village of Hrabove, where they sat together on part of the debris, his arm around her shoulder.

“[Fatima] was for peace. She will be forever for peace,” her father said.

– with files from The Associated Press

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Driver charged after councillor Mary-Margaret McMahon hit by car – Toronto

TORONTO – Toronto city councillor Mary-Margaret McMahon is reinforcing the call for more separated bike lanes after she was struck by a vehicle while riding her bicycle on Sunday.

The Beaches-East York councillor told the Toronto Sun she was hit just before 11 a.m. on Woodbine Avenue near Gerrard Street and was left lying on the ground until help arrived.

McMahon told the newspaper she was taken to hospital and given a CAT scan after paramedics discovered her blood pressure was low.

The driver of the vehicle has since been charged with careless driving.

The Ward 32 councillor has always been a strong advocate for separated bike lanes and maintains more needs to be done to keep cyclists safe.

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Hospital: 33 dead after Guinea concert stampede – National

CONAKRY, Guinea – Hundreds of people leaving a late-night rap concert on a beach in Guinea rushed to leave through a single exit, creating a stampede that killed at least 33 people, officials said Wednesday.

The victims included children as young as 10, and most bodies brought to an overflowing morgue in the capital were still dressed in bathing suits and swim trunks. Some had bled from their mouths after their small bodies were trampled, causing internal bleeding.

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“We are not used to seeing such a large number of bodies at the same time. It’s such a tragedy, these young victims killed in the prime of their life,” said an employee at Donka Hospital where bodies awaited burial.

The hospital’s director, Dr. Fatou Sike Camara, announced the toll of 33 deaths.

President Alpha Conde went on national television to declare a week of national mourning and promised a full investigation. The capital’s beaches also were ordered closed until further notice.

“The president calls on authorities at all levels to take the necessary steps so that this same tragedy never happens again in our country,” his office later said in a statement.

More than 700 people had gathered on the beach in Conakry, the capital city, for a concert celebrating the end of the holy Muslim month of Ramadan, which featured the Guinean rap groups Instinct Killers and Banlieuzart.

Witnesses said the stampede happened after the show ended as the large crowd tried to exit through a small gate. Some people fell to the ground and were trampled.

©2014The Canadian Press

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CFL Coaching legend Don Matthews passes away – Winnipeg

Former B.C. Lions head coach Don Matthews rubs his head after taking off his hat while being inducted into the CFL football team\’s Wall of Fame during halftime of the team\’s game against the Edmonton Eskimos in Vancouver, B.C., on Saturday July 20, 2013. The Montreal Alouettes are bringing back Matthews and adding Turk Schonert as consultants to their coaching staff. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck


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The Canadian Football League has lost a coaching legend with Wednesday’s passing of Don Matthews. The 77 year old from Amesbury, Massachusetts died in Beaverton, Oregon according to the Toronto Argonauts.

The CFL released a statement, describing Matthews as a leader of some of the league’s greatest players and teams, and a mentor to many current coaches. “Upon hearing of the passing of Don Matthews, the Canadian Football League family is both deeply saddened by this loss and grateful for his many contributions to our league. The Don, as he was known, was one of a kind. He was a charismatic star that loved to spar with the media at the same time he commanded the spotlight.”

“The Don” broke into the CFL as an assistant with the Edmonton Eskimos in 1977 and served as a defensive coordinator on five consecutive Grey Cup Champions from 1978-82. The following season he was hired as the Head Coach of the BC Lions, embarking on a 22 year career with Baltimore, Saskatchewan, Edmonton, Toronto, and Montreal that would see him win five more titles to go along with 231 regular season victories and nine Grey Cup appearances. Matthews, a five time winner of the CFL Coach of the Year award, was inducted into the Canadian Football League Hall of Fame in 2011.

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Heat advisory issued for Edmonton Zone – Edmonton

Watch above: Albertans set a new summer record for electricity demand today, and AHS issued a heat advisory for the Edmonton zone. Laurel Gregory digs into the heat and its impact.

EDMONTON – With temperatures in the Edmonton area expected to climb, Alberta Health Services issued a heat advisory Wednesday morning.

The heat advisory will remain in effect for the next 72 hours, until 11:00 a.m., August 2.

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    Helping Edmonton’s homeless during the hot temperatures

“We have an Omega High over western Canada,” said Global Edmonton Meteorologist Nicola Crosbie. “It’s called this because the jet stream is shaped like the Greek Omega symbol and it blocks any systems coming in from the west.”

“When we have a blocking high like this, we tend to break records.  Edmonton’s record today is 32.2 [degrees] from 1939.”

“There were 10 temperatures records broken across Alberta on Tuesday.

“Jasper hit 34.4, breaking a 20 year old record,” Crosbie added.

Just before noon, AHS issued the advisory, recommending that everyone in the Edmonton Zone take precautions to protect themselves and their families from the potentially harmful effects of the sun and heat.

The health authority suggests rescheduling outdoor activities to cooler hours of the day, taking breaks from the heat, drinking plenty of water, wearing sunscreen, and keeping covered from direct sunlight.

It also reminds people not to leave any person or pet inside a closed vehicle.

In July alone, Edmonton Humane Society peace officers were called 72 times about pets allegedly left in hot vehicles. Charges are pending in several cases.

Children are especially vulnerable to heat as well.

“Never leave a child in the car unattended,” said Dr. Chris Sikora, Edmonton Zone’s Medical Officer of Health for AHS.

“It’s just not something that should ever happen.”

“Children have a much larger surface area. They lose water much more easily than you or I would, and the little ones won’t be reaching for a glass of water like I might when I’m outside.”

Symptoms of heat stroke include high body temperature, lack of sweat, disorientation, fainting, and unconsciousness.

“Normal activity that may be safe on a cool day might be dangerous in current weather conditions,” said Sikora.

“If you start to feel overheated, stop your activity immediately, seek shade and drink fluids.”

“Seek medical attention immediately for any individual feeling faint,” Sikora added.  “While awaiting medical attention, move the individual to a shaded area, and remove his or her outer clothing and shoes.  You should also wrap the person in a wet towel until medical care is being provided.”

People who are even more vulnerable to heat include children, seniors, individuals with pre-existing respiratory or cardiovascular conditions, outdoor workers, as well as those who are socially isolated.

Albertans can also contact Health Link Alberta at 1-866-408-LINK (5465).

“Unfortunately, because of the descending air due to high pressure and lack of wind, pollutants get trapped at the surface,” explained Crosbie.  “Air quality also becomes an issue.”

On Wednesday, Environment Canada had Edmonton’s Air Quality Health Index listed as a level 5 (Moderate risk).

Meanwhile, the Alberta Electric System Operator is asking Albertans to reduce power.

Due to the hot weather, low wind and generators being offline, the electricity system is operating at near full capacity, says AESO. It is requesting all Albertans to voluntarily reduce their use of electricity by:

Turning off unnecessary lights and electrical appliances;Minimizing the use of air conditioning by closing blinds, shades or drapes during the hottest part of the day; and,Avoiding the use of major power-consuming equipment such as dishwashers and washers and dryers during the energy conservation period.

When asked if there was any concern of rolling brownouts, a spokesperson for the AESO said “the system is experiencing very high demand, wind is low and two coal plants are out,” but added that there was still a healthy reserve. “At this point we are good but our system controllers are monitoring the system very closely.”

The AESO will be posting updates on 桑拿会所 @theaeso and on its website.

“A cold front is forecast to come through late Thursday, bringing much cooler, unstable weather for the weekend,” Crosbie said.

The City of Edmonton extended public swim hours at select outdoor pools until Friday, Aug. 1, including:

Wednesday, July 30
Oliver Outdoor Pool (11 a.m. – 9 p.m.)
Mill Creek Outdoor Pool (11 a.m. – 9 p.m.)

Thursday, July 31
Queen Elizabeth Outdoor Pool (11 a.m. – 9 p.m.)
Oliver Outdoor Pool (11 a.m. – 9 p.m.)
Mill Creek Outdoor Pool (11 a.m. – 9 p.m.)

Friday, August 1
Fred Broadstock Outdoor Pool (11 a.m. – 9 p.m.)
Oliver Outdoor Pool (11 a.m. – 9 p.m.)
Mill Creek Outdoor Pool (11 a.m. – 9 p.m.)

Follow @Emily_Mertz

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Lunch with private eye Snowdy: Guergis fallout ‘could have been a lot worse’ – National

WATCH ABOVE: Derrick Snowdy talks about the fallout from the Helena Guergis affair.

TORONTO – Derrick Snowdy is the private investigator who was thrust into the public eye during the “busty hookers” scandal allegedly involving former Conservative MP Helena Guergis.

But he’s also a connoisseur of corned beef.

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    Former MP Helena Guergis must pay $118,560 in legal costs to Harper and others she tried to sue

    Ontario court dismisses Guergis defamation suit against Harper, Tories

    Judge questions lawsuit claim Harper could have fabricated Guergis allegations

So when he has the time – when he’s not stuck doing surveillance in his Chevy Tahoe, eating emergency granola while he waits with a Warren Zevon biography – he tries to get to Moe Pancer’s Deli in North York.

An imposing yet gregarious presence in a black Adidas shirt, with a salt-and-pepper goatee and clear blue eyes, Snowdy orders a corned beef sandwich, medium-fatty, with double potato salad, hold the coleslaw, and a jar of Keen’s hot mustard on the side.

He looks at his guest across the table. “She can have my pickle,” he informs the waitress.

A few days earlier, Snowdy had asked if I had a curfew – only slightly worrying, considering we meet at 11 a.m.

But this is how he rolls, never quite knowing.

“Some days you’re shadowing an individual, you’re living their life and their schedule,” says Snowdy, 42, a divorced dad of two who lives in the affluent Toronto suburb of Oakville, Ont.

“You’re at their mercy.”

Snowdy does not focus on politics per se. He’s more interested in “process investigations” involving regulations and oversight – mostly for corporate clients. One of Snowdy’s current cases revolves around rail safety, but a court-ordered injunction prevents him from saying much.

What he doesn’t do is “the typical cheating spouse crap.”

“Half the time what they want is a hit man,” he says, in a tone that suggests he is only half-joking.

On this particular blistering summer’s day, Snowdy will visit a downtown courthouse, witness an ill patient’s dying declaration, and drive by what seems like an endless number of parking lots – including that of Rob Ford’s campaign office.

Some of his tasks are routine private investigator stuff. He’s not above rifling through trash — dumpster diving — to access documents, or trailing someone for days on end.

But he does get caught up in some controversial cases from time to time.

“A lot of people won’t go near certain files because they think that the person they’re investigating is either too connected, too powerful,” Snowdy says.

“I’ve never let that stop me.”

Derrick Snowdy poses with his Chevy Tahoe in downtown Toronto. (Laura Stone/Global News)

‘Extremely troubling circumstances’

It has been more than four years since the Guergis affair, which involved unconfirmed allegations of fraud, cocaine and prostitutes.

The RCMP investigated and found no wrongdoing, but not before Guergis was forced to resign from the Tory caucus. She ran as an independent in 2011 but lost her southwestern Ontario seat to Conservative Kellie Leitch.

Guergis has called the allegations “absolutely false.”

Snowdy became involved because he was investigating Nazim Gillani, who had business ties to Guergis’ husband, former MP Rahim Jaffer. A Toronto Star investigation documented their relationship, including allegations made by Gillani that Jaffer had claimed to “open up the Prime Minister’s Office” – a claim Jaffer later denied.

A card-carrying Conservative, Snowdy contacted the party’s lawyer Arthur Hamilton about Guergis.

“I knew a couple hours before anybody else did that (Guergis) was resigning,” Snowdy claims. He assures he’s never accepted a cheque from a political party.

“It’s been a very surreal journey, the story that just won’t go away.”

Hamilton later told police there was an apparent video of Guergis snorting cocaine off the breasts of a prostitute.

Snowdy says that particular detail was the result of “broken telephone.”

He says he spoke with Hamilton and their “careful conversation” led to the possibility of a video of Jaffer, Guergis and Gillani together at Sassafraz restaurant in Toronto’s tony Yorkville neighbourhood.

But Snowdy says he never confirmed to Hamilton such a video existed.

“I finally said, ‘Look, if you want me to assure you that nobody has a video of her doing rails of blow off some hooker’s tit, I can’t guarantee you that doesn’t exist,’” Snowdy says.

“And that’s how the conversation got started.”

Snowdy later testified at a Parliamentary committee he had no evidence or information about Guergis.

Guergis’ lawyer, Stephen Victor, said in an email he would not be responding to this story. Hamilton did not return request for comment.

In 2012, Guergis sued Snowdy, Hamilton, and Prime Minister Stephen Harper, among others.

The lawsuit originally alleged defamation, conspiracy, infliction of mental suffering and negligence.

In court, Harper’s lawyer called Guergis’ claim “gibberish” and “a fiction.” The claim against Harper and the Conservative party was quashed by the Ontario Court of Appeal in June 2013.

Guergis has since dropped all but Hamilton, his law firm Cassels Brock and Heritage Minister Shelly Glover from the lawsuit.

(Guergis claims Hamilton breached solicitor-client privilege, and that Glover defamed her. None of the allegations has been proven in court.)

Hamilton and Cassel Brock’s lawyer, Paul Le Vay, did not respond to a request for comment, but told the Ottawa Citizen that the suit is without merit and his client will continue to vigorously defend the matter.

For his part, Snowdy says he’s “really disappointed” Guergis decided not to pursue legal action against him.

“I always knew it was never going to go anywhere. The truth of what transpired is wildly unpalatable to most people,” he says.

He claims the RCMP only investigated a small window of allegations regarding Jaffer and Guergis. He says there are still questions about the nature of business transactions allegedly conducted by Jaffer in Guergis’ office, as well as dealings in China that Snowdy documented in court in 2012.

A lawyer who previously represented Jaffer did not immediately respond to an email from Global News.

Jaffer has denied lobbying the government on behalf of his company, using parliamentary perks for business or doing illegal drugs.

Nevertheless, Snowdy maintains Guergis is lucky.

“There were extremely troubling circumstances, and I think (Guergis) should be grateful the way it ended up the way it did. It could have been a lot worse,” Snowdy says.

What else is there?

“There’s lots,” he laughs.

Snowdy in Guinea-Bissau in 2010 outside the presidential palace where Joao Bernardo Vieira was killed. (Handout/Derrick Snowdy)

Derrick Snowdy

Bouncing back from bankruptcy

At the request of one of Snowdy’s clients, we’re driving through the parking lot of Rob Ford’s campaign office, located in a strip mall in Scarborough, looking for a yellow convertible.

But Snowdy doesn’t see it. So we do the next logical thing.

“Want to stop and get a bobblehead doll?”

The sparse office is decorated with Ford Nation paraphernalia, and a boy of about 10 is working the phones.

A volunteer asks for Snowdy’s name and address.

“Kevin Robinson,” he replies, without hesitation. “2345 Enfield Pl., Mississauga, L4Y 3Y9.” He adds something about us getting away “from the kids.”

Snowdy remembers all of his aliases – some one-offs, others part of a more consistent identity.

“If I’m ever asked, a month from now, what was the information I gave, I can tell you exactly who it is. Even though I’ve never used that name before and I never will,” he says.

“I can drum it off like that, because I now associate those details with that address.”

Born in Germany to a father in the air force, Snowdy lived in six provinces by the time he was 16. He also has Indian status through Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg First Nation in Quebec, even though he’s never set foot on the territory.

He credits his nomadic upbringing as his inspiration to investigate. “I liked pulling the stuff apart,” he says.

Snowdy got his start in the security business more than 20 years ago, working jobs in the entertainment industry, personal protection and transporting valuable goods.

“We spent a lot of hours on the road late at night, nothing but my stereo and my gun.”

His work has taken him to Beirut, Guinea-Bissau in West Africa, Bahamas and Jamaica. He once worked security for a building on Church Street in Toronto, where he says he met Luka Magnotta. The accused killer filed numerous police reports about being stalked – using unique sets of handwriting.

Snowdy went on to run a large national security company. But it went bust in 2007 after a dispute between Snowdy and his former business partner. Both have sued and counter-sued.

In 2009, Snowdy filed for personal bankruptcy with more than $13.3 million in liabilities. The bulk of Snowdy’s bankruptcy filing consisted of an $11 million lawsuit from his former partner, as well as $2 million owed to the Canadian Revenue Agency, which Snowdy claims he didn’t know was missing.

He now has a soft spot for fraud cases, offering his services for a reduced price, or for free. “I take that personally,” he says.

Snowdy’s bankruptcy filing came to light as the Guergis affair blew up. His private life crumbled.

“The marriage took a beating over the Guergis thing and pretty much finalized it. That was kind of the final straw,” he says. He has a daughter, 7, and four-year-old son.

He seems to revel in the attention the Guergis case has brought him, even as he rebuffs it. “I’m staying out of it. My name was nowhere near it and it really did have nothing to do with me.”

Snowdy now runs a small company with a handful of people, but refuses to divulge its name. He keeps all his files in a storage locker.

“I don’t need to go looking for clients. I’m very particular when it comes to whom I work for.”

(An Ontario ministry of community safety and correctional services spokesman confirmed Snowdy has a private investigator’s licence “in good standing.”)

He doesn’t regret how things turned out for him.

No longer at the helm of a national company with hundreds of employees and major clients, Snowdy is back doing what he loves – driving around town, checking out leads, filling up on corned beef when he has the time.

“I have no desire to ever have a big company. Never. Never never never. You get away from the thing that you love doing just to run the day-to-day business. You lose yourself,” he says, as he weaves through the streets of downtown Toronto.

“I like the chase. I like the hunt. I like the game.”

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Canada’s Benfeito, Filion win synchro diving gold

EDINBURGH – Meaghan Benfeito couldn’t hide her disappointment.

The Canadian diver had just made a critical mistake on her and partner Roseline Filion’s fourth attempt in the women’s synchronized 10-metre platform final at the Commonwealth Games – an error that left their medal hopes hanging in the balance.

But instead of dwelling on the flubbed back 3 1/2 somersault, Benfeito gathered herself in hopes of still securing a top-three finish.

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“There’s still another dive left. I know how to do all my dives properly,” said 25-year-old. “I think our last dive is our strongest one and I knew if we nailed it we could get on the podium.”

And nail it they did.

READ MORE: Tremblay wins Canada’s 3rd wrestling gold at Commonwealth Games

Benfeito and Filion produced a textbook back 2 1/2 somersault with 1 1/2 twists to not only get on the podium Wednesday, but win a gold medal that seemed improbable just minutes earlier.

“I wasn’t expecting to come out of this with a gold,” said Benfeito. “I knew that we were still in the hunt for a medal. Gold, I didn’t think so, but our last dive is a strong dive and it’s the reason it’s our last dive.

“We did it pretty well and we’re happy with the result.”

Montreal’s Benfeito and Filion, of Laval, Que., scored a total of 310.65 points, just ahead of England’s Sarah Barrow and Tonia Couch with 307.92. Malaysia’s Pandelela Rinong Pamg and Nur Dhabitah Sabri took bronze with a score of 300.12.

Benfeito and Filion were awarded 76.80 points on their final dive, but the 2012 Olympic bronze medallists could only wait for the leaders’ final attempts.

When Barrow and Couch tallied just 70.08 on the same dive, the Canadians knew they had pulled out the tricky event that was delayed by 35 minutes due to a technical glitch that forced judges to display scores using flip cards.

“It was tough for everyone,” said Filion. “I knew it was going to be close, but I didn’t expect to win at all.”

The 27-year-old has partnered with Benfeito for more than a decade and said they weren’t affected by the late start.

“We were prepared for all these kinds of problems,” said Filion. “Our team manager said in a meeting ‘You never know what’s going to happen. Be prepared, be ready.’

“We could wait the amount of time it took. We were there to compete and dive and that’s what we did.”

Wednesday marked the first of four competition days at the cosy Royal Commonwealth Pool in Edinburgh, about a 75-kilometre drive from Glasgow.

Laval’s Jennifer Abel and Pamela Ware of Beloeil, Que., were set to take part in the women’s synchronized three-metre springboard final later Wednesday.

The 22-year-old Abel was a bronze medallist in three-metre synchro at the 2012 Olympics with former partner Emilie Heymans, and again at last year’s world championships with the 21-year-old Ware.

Abel won gold in the one- and three-metre individual events – as well as a silver with Heymans in the three-metre synchro – at the Commonwealth Games four years ago in New Delhi.

Benfeito and Filion’s come-from-behind victory capped an impressive season for the pair, who finished 2014 with a podium appearance in each of their eight international events.

But even with a gold medal hanging around her neck, Benfeito was still kicking herself for her miss on the fourth attempt.

“It’s a dive that causes me a lot of problems, but it’s usually good in synchro,” she said. “I am disappointed that I missed because we could have won by a lot more, but it happens.

“It’s in the past. You’ve got to move on, you’ve got to do another really good dive and that’s what we did.”

Benfeito and Filion won silver in 10-metre syncho at last year’s world championships, and will compete in the individual 10-metre event here as veterans on a young Canadian team that has seen a number of retirements in recent years, including Alexandre Despatie.

“It’s so weird because we used to be the babies on the team,” said Filion. “It’s interesting for me because I get to give a little bit of advice, when I used to get all the advice.”

Added Benfeito: “The transition has been really easy so I think that makes the team even stronger.”

What the young Canadian divers here in Scotland learned on Wednesday from their now-veteran teammates was simple.

“Anything can happen and it’s definitely not over until the last dive,” said Benfeito. “You have to give everything you can until the end.”

©2014The Canadian Press

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IWK hospital banks on scanning system to track breast milk – Halifax

HALIFAX – The IWK Health Centre recently unveiled a new scanning system it hopes will allow for better tracking and storage of breast milk within its facilities — the first such system in Atlantic Canada.

The $100,000 system uses barcodes and scanning devices to help nurses and milk technicians ensure breast milk is properly received, store and prepared.

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After moms express breast milk (collect it for future use), it’s stored in bottles, which are labeled with a barcode. The bottles are then stored in either the milk fridge or freezer.

Milk technicians are responsible for dividing the breast milk into various portions for the baby, and sometimes additives or electrolytes are added.

The breast milk and a barcode on the baby are scanned to ensure they are a match, and nurses also visually double-check the labels with the mother. Only when the system reveals the barcodes are identical does the baby get fed.

Darlene Inglis, the manager of the NICU at the IWK, said the hospital decided to bring in the system due to the rise in breastfeeding.

“Our volumes [of breast milk] have increased a great deal — just the sheer volume of utilizing breast milk in this way, and to safely handle, store and inventory it was really important,” she said.

Inglis said there have been a few times in the past where a baby received breast milk from the wrong mother.

“We’ve had a couple of adverse events like that in the last few years. It is rare, but on average, probably about once a year,” she said.

Milk technician Lindsay Kraitberg said the new system is streamlining her work.

“It makes tracking the breast milk and preparing the breast milk just really easy,” she said.

“When I want to find a certain bottle for a baby, I can just select the name and it tells me where those bottles are, so whether it’s in the milk room fridge or freezer or maybe it’s in the NICU [Neonatal Intensive Care Unit].”

Inglis said the system also eliminates the possibility of breast milk getting left behind at the hospital once the baby is discharged.

Mother Jennifer Greenough of Lower Sackville describes the new system as comforting. Greenough’s daughter Quinn was born about three months premature and is still in the NICU.

Every three hours, Greenough uses a breast pumping machine and fills bottles with breast milk for her daughter.

“It gives me a sense of security,” she said. “I see them scan [the label] at her bedside. When the nurses scan it, they get me to check the label with them to make sure it’s the correct number, that it is my name and that [Quinn] is my baby.”

Greenough said that she has a lot on her mind with a baby in the NICU but the breast milk tracking system gives her one less thing to worry about.

“[The doctors and nurses] are letting me see them scan it and they’re double checking it with me. It makes me feel involved and it gives me that extra sense of security,” she said.

“What this tells me is they’re paying attention. When you have a baby in the NICU, you don’t want any mistakes.”

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Black Creek woman to run the length of Vancouver Island in 17 days for MS awareness – BC

A 25-year-old woman from Black Creek is planning to run the length of the Vancouver Island in the span of 17 days in support of her father.

Jacquelyn Janzen plans to run 12 marathons, or 500 kilometers, from Port Hardy to Victoria to raise awareness about multiple sclerosis and lupus.

Janzen’s father was diagnosed with MS 12 years ago.

Multiple sclerosis is a debilitating disease of the central nervous system.

It is estimated 100,000 Canadians have MS.

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Jacquelyn will also be running for her friend, who has been diagnosed with lupus last year.

“They are so strong. I don’t know how they do it with those daily challenges, where you don’t have an option to just not deal with it,” she says. “This run is a choice that I have made, but they don’t have a choice about those things.”

The second-year nursing student ran her first marathon in October.

She’s been training 20 hours a week in the lead-up to her run.

In May, Janzen overcame a running injury that forced her to take two months off.

She came up with the idea for the run last May, but kept it secret until Christmas.

The event was her dad’s Christmas gift.

“He cried,” says Janzen.

Jacquelyn hopes to raise $50,000 through her journey. It will cost her $10,000 to fund the run.

She is accepting donations and selling special T-shirts on her website. She is also encouraging people to run with her for a $100 donation.

“That does not mean you have to run the full day. If you can only do 10 km, come join me for 10 km,” says Janzen. “I would love to have more people run with me. That kind of support, I think would be really awesome to have.”

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Wetaskiwin RCMP ask for help investigating death of young woman – Edmonton

EDMONTON – After finding the body of a 20-year-old Maskwacis woman near a Wetaskiwin business on July 18, the RCMP is asking anyone with information to come forward.

On Friday, July 18, the body of Jessica Wyoma Lynn Boysis was found in a treed area next to a Wetaskiwin business.

Boysis was last seen alive on the evening of Monday, July 14 around 8:30.

The RCMP is looking for information about her activities and whereabouts between July 14 and July 18.

Officers would like to speak to anyone who may have been in contact with her during that time.

Anyone with information is asked to call the RCMP at (780) 312-7267.

The community was originally named Hobbema. The community, including the hamlet portion within Ponoka County, was renamed Maskwacis on January 1, 2014.

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Recipe: Grilled tomatoes and burrata

Often, the best dishes are the simplest. A common feeling among chefs is that if you use the best-quality ingredients and treat them lightly, you will be rewarded. I couldn’t agree more.

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  • Recipes: Spicy-sweet tomato jam and cheese-stuffed tomatoes

  • Recipe: Tomato and avocado salad with gingered tomato vinaigrette

  • Recipes: Watermelon lemonade and spicy watermelon salad

This is illustrated perfectly by this recipe for grilled tomatoes on the vine with burrata. Tomatoes with mozzarella is one of my favourite combinations, and I love it even when the tomatoes are less than perfect and the mozzarella is a little bland. But take a bunch of cherry tomatoes on the vine, grill them and serve them with burrata and some grilled bread and you’ve got an amazing dish!

The hardest part of this recipe is treating the fragile tomatoes carefully so that they don’t fall off the vine. You want to brush or rub them with a little olive oil to protect them, then season them lightly with kosher salt. Place the tomatoes vine side up on the cooking grate and do not turn them.

The heat of the grill will intensify the natural juices and sugars, making the sweet tomatoes even more flavourful. The warm tomatoes can be served immediately with the burrata, a touch of extra-virgin olive oil, and a bit of salt and pepper. I like to serve this as a shared plate with grilled ciabatta bread.

Smear a little burrata on the ciabatta and top with a grill-roasted tomato. You can either spread the tomato, breaking the skin and smoothing out the juice on top of the cheese and olive oil, or keep it whole. Personally, I like to smear the two together, making a soft, rich juicy bite!


This will become your go-to appetizer of summer. It is delicious and luxurious, but simple to make. The hardest thing about this recipe is making sure that the cherry tomatoes don’t fall off the vine! Can’t find burrata? Substitute a large ball of fresh mozzarella.

Start to finish: 15 minutes

Servings: 6

2 clusters cocktail tomatoes on the vineExtra-virgin olive oilFlaked sea salt16-ounce ball of burrata or fresh mozzarella cheeseGround black pepperArtisan bread or ciabatta, to serve

Heat a grill to medium-low.

Carefully rinse the tomatoes, but leave them on the vine. Drizzle oil over the tomatoes and lightly rub it in, then sprinkle them lightly with salt.

Place the tomatoes, vine side up, directly on the grill’s cooking grate. Grill with the lid down for about 5 minutes, or until the tomatoes are warmed through and blackened in spots. Gently remove the tomatoes.

Place the cheese on a serving plate and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, then arrange the tomatoes around it. Serve with bread to sop up the juice from the tomatoes and the buratta.

Nutrition information per serving: 480 calories; 250 calories from fat (52 per cent of total calories); 27 g fat (13 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 65 mg cholesterol; 40 g carbohydrate; 3 g fiber; 4 g sugar; 19 g protein; 620 mg sodium.

©2014The Associated Press

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WATCH: Jane Lynch reflects on Cory Monteith, coming out

ABOVE: Watch Jane Lynch on Global’s The Morning Show.

TORONTO — Jane Lynch remembered Canadian actor and Glee co-star Cory Monteith on Wednesday as a “really nice man” who was grateful for the success he had.

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“We don’t forget him,” Lynch said during an appearance on Global’s The Morning Show. “He was such a big part of this show and he was one of those guys who knew that we were breathing rarefied air. He really knew that this show was something special.”

Monteith died in July 2013 of an overdose in Vancouver. He was 31.

“He’s a little older than the other kids so we kind of bonded on that,” said Lynch, 54. “He was extremely grateful for this show and he knew what he had and he really lived every day. He was a really nice man.”

(Later, on Global’s News at Noon, Lynch said: “We miss him terribly. He was such a mensch.”)

Lately, it seems like Lynch is everywhere. The Emmy-nominated host of Hollywood Game Night recently finished a run in the Broadway production of Annie and is about to start work on the final season of Glee.

But, Lynch insisted she doesn’t feel overworked.

“It’s funny, I have a lot of free time,” Lynch said. “Those things don’t take a lot of time so give me more!”

That “more” is a faux-PSA Lynch did for a condition called “noseblindness,” created for Febreze by Funny Or Die.

Lynch said she was a fan of the odour eliminator before being asked to promote it.

“I’ve been using Febreze forever and I Febreze everything,” she said. “I’m kind of a fanatic about how things smell.”

Lynch conceded that her career certainly hasn’t suffered since she came out as gay.

“Times are different now and one of the reasons that I was able to kind of waltz down the path I’m walking now, which is being honest about who I am and not hiding, is because of people like Melissa Etheridge and Ellen DeGeneres,” she said, “and the people who came out when it wasn’t the cool thing to do and the people who actually took a risk at saying ‘this is who I am.’

“I’m very grateful for that.”

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Chief Bill Blair’s contract won’t be renewed in 2015 – Toronto

Watch above: Bill Blair won’t get his wish for another five years on the job. Sean Mallen reports. 

TORONTO – The Toronto Police Services Board won’t renew Chief Bill Blair’s contract.

He will be out as chief in April, 2015.

The board issued a statement Wednesday afternoon saying that “after considerable discussion” board members have “decided not to renew” Blair’s contract.

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The statement lauded Blair’s “long and distinguished policing career” and called him a “champion of community policing.”

“He has demonstrated his commitment to issues of human rights, diversity and integrity, among many others, and has served Toronto admirably and tirelessly,” the statement read.

The chief declined interviews Wednesday, saying through police spokesperson Mark Pugash he wants to “thank the board for their consideration.”

During his decade as police Chief Blair oversaw the development of the Toronto Anti-Violence Intervention Strategy (TAVIS), designed to target some of the city’s poorest and most violent neighbourhoods.

Blair succeeded Julian Fantino as chief of police and served two five-year terms.  Blair had until July 25 to ask the board for an extension – which he did, according to board Chair Alok Mukherjee.

That 10-year tenure’s still relatively long for a Toronto police chief:  Since 1980, everyone else served an average of five years.

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Mukherjee wouldn’t say however how individual board members voted but said the board is “very proud” of Blair’s time as chief.

But his tenure hasn’t been without controversy.

Blair withstood calls for his resignation after G20 protests culminated with riots and the arrests of over 1,100 people in 2010, and was criticized both for his handling of the event itself and standing by police actions – including a “kettling” tactic that trapped hundreds of bystanders for hours in the rain – later found to be out of line.

Mukherjee said the G20 “was not a factor” in choosing to forego a contract extension.

Last year, Blair called for a review of the way police deal with people in crisis following the shooting death of 18-year-old Sammy Yatim. He has already pledged to implement the many recommendations that came out of that report, presented last week.

WATCH: Toronto mayor Rob Ford thanks Bill Blair for his service and looks forward to working with the new chief in 2015

Blair also presided over a still-ongoing police investigation of Mayor Rob Ford.

Last November, he made headlines when he confirmed reports in the Toronto Star and Gawker that a video did indeed exist showing the mayor smoking what looked like crack cocaine.

The police investigation of the mayor and Blair’s statement he was “disappointed” by what he saw in the video led to calls from Doug Ford for Blair to resign. Ford called him the “most political police chief we’ve ever had.”

Doug Ford also said the police investigation of his brother boded ill for Blair’s chances of having his contract renewed.

But despite the vitriol both Ford brothers levelled at Chief Blair for months over Project Brazen, the police investigation into the mayor, they took a more conciliatory tone Wednesday.

Doug Ford thanked Blair “for his service.”

““I just wish the chief all the best and he’s worked hard for the city and I’m sure he is going to enjoy retirement,” Doug Ford said.

“He served the chief well for nearly ten years.”

WATCH: Toronto Police Services Board chair Alok Mukherjee addresses the decision to not renew Bill Blair’s contract

Rob Ford thanked the police chief for his service during a short speech Wednesday afternoon.

“I want to thank chief Bill Blair for his service to the people of this great city for the last ten years,” Ford said. “This is a decision that was made strictly by the police services board.”

The mayor refused to answer questions.

Mukherjee said neither the chief’s relationship with the mayor played “absolutely” no role in choosing not to extend Blair’s contract.

With a report from Patrick Cain

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