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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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RCMP officer injured in Moncton shooting back to work

MONCTON – Nearly two months after the shooting that killed three RCMP officers and injured two others, one of the injured officers spoke publicly for the first time Wednesday.

Constable Eric Dubois spoke to media at the Codiac RCMP Memorial Golf Tournament, mean to honour Cst. Fabrice Gevaudan, Cst. David Ross and Cst. Douglas Larche, who were killed on June 4th.

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“I’m good. I’m good. I’m back full-duty at work,” he said. “I’m glad to be back at work because that’s what, you know, I want to do, be on the street and fight crime every day. Make sure that when you go to work, when you go to the restaurant, you can have a safe environment because that’s what we’re there for.”

Dubois took part in the golf tournament along with more than 30 other RCMP officers from the Codiac detachment. He said he wanted to speak Thursday so that the public could put a face to the name that they’ve heard over the past two months.

The tournament began with a moment of silence, before the teams spread out on the course.

“It’s incredible to think that such a tragic event has allowed such an amazing spirit of community to be visible and vibrant, and to see this,” said Supt. Marlene Snowman, who played in the tournament Thursday, despite admitting she had never been on a golf course before. “It’s been incredible this entire time and it continues to be exactly that.”

RCMP officers react as they attend the regimental funeral of three slain officers at the Moncton Coliseum in Moncton, N.B. on Tuesday, June 10, 2014. Const. David Ross, Const. Fabrice Georges Gevaudan and Const. Douglas James Larche were killed in a shooting spree last Wednesday.

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

The tournament was organized by the Royal Oaks Golf & Residential Community Association, who wanted to do something for the RCMP to show their support.

“It’s also quite emotional,” said Snowman. “And it shows the support of the community and the organizations and the companies of Greater Moncton and the government and the municipality and so many people.

“The spirit behind all of this is just overwhelming.”

Thirty-six teams registered for the tournament and each raised around $6,600 to play. More money was raised during the day through a silent auction. All the money will go to the RCMP Foundation.

Constable Dubois said the show of support from the community has been heart-warming.

“Everybody was praying for me and I can tell you that it works because my healing went so fast,” he said. “Everyone around me said it’s incredible how fast everything went back to normal.”

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Saskatchewan girl helping Haitian children go to school

SASKATOON – A Saskatchewan girl is helping underprivileged children with their education in a developing country.

It all started a couple years back when Taylor DeVos, 12, was watching a World Vision commercial on TV.

“I got inspired by them and wanted to help and for my tenth birthday that’s all I wanted, to sponsor a child from Haiti because they just got a huge earthquake,” said Devos.

Her parents came through on her birthday wish and Taylor chose Mesline to sponsor online.

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The two kids developed a relationship over letters and DeVos learned more about Haiti and the living conditions there.

While perusing a catalogue, Taylor found out she could give more by building schools.

She then set her sights on fundraising. With the help of her family, they started the website, “1 Kids Making a Difference”, where she blogs her journey and accepts donations.

“Social Media like 桑拿会所 and Facebook has helped Taylor reach people from all over the World,” said Cora DeVos, Taylor’s mother.

“The support that she has received from all over Saskatchewan and North America has been incredible over the last two years.”

The DeVos family also began fundraising in Porcupine Plain, Sask. in all sorts of ways from selling Christmas trees or organizing dances.

“Sometimes we were waiting there for a while doing a fundraiser and then we got all nervous because nobody was coming but then all of a sudden there was all these people coming through the door,” said Taylor DeVos.

In November 2013, DeVos was asked to speak at Credit Union Centre (CUC) for We Day in Saskatoon.

Thankfully for DeVos’ nerves, her mother made her a pin with Mesline’s face on it, allowing Taylor to share her story in front of thousands of youth.

Watch the video below: Taylor DeVos speaks at We Day in Saskatoon

DeVos was delighted to announce this past June she had reached her goal of raising $15,000.

Taylor is donating $10,000 to the Free the Children organization and help build four classrooms at a new school in Manac, Haiti.

The remaining money will go to the organization that originally inspired her, World Vision Canada. These funds will assist the Jaques Romain School Project, which is also in Haiti.

DeVos just recently sent a letter telling 12-year-old Mesline the good news. She says it usually takes a couple months to reach her.

But what’s next for this selfless soon-to-be eighth grader?

She has already set a new goal: raising money to help build more schools and send underprivileged kids to university before she herself graduates high school.

DeVos is also thrilled to have launched a clothing line to fund her future endeavours in making positive change in the world.

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Osheaga gets ready to take over Montreal – Montreal

WATCH ABOVE: You know it’s summer in the city when Osheaga rolls around. The music festival hits Parc Jean Drapeau this Friday to Sunday. Global’s Rachel Lau got a tour of the site on Wednesday.

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PARC JEAN-DRAPEAU – One of Montreal’s biggest music festivals, Osheaga, is just two days away – Outkast is performing, Foster the People are performing and Lorde is set to entertain the crowds at Parc Jean-Drapeau on Sunday.

With some of music’s biggest names set to take the stage, founder Nick Farkas admits he couldn’t be happier.

“Skrillex, Jack White, Outkast, Arctic Monkeys, Lorde, Sam Roberts, Half Moon Run, I think we’ve really covered all the bases,” he said.

“I’m very excited, looking forward to year number nine.”

Things are right on track, which means there’s still a lot left to do before Osheaga officially opens its doors on Friday.

“We try to keep it interesting and keep the festival evolving from year to year so when people show up there’s still that wow factor,” he said.

READ MORE: Lorde, Outkast among acts coming to Montreal’s Osheaga festival

Organizers have made a few changes this year.

Some, like the newly installed delay towers, are supposed to improve sound for festival-goers.

“This year we had engineers of sound coming with me to make sure that we provide the best quality sound for the people who pay the tickets,” said Patrick Fortaich, Director of Production for the festival.

Other additions are just for fun – a good way to showcase local talent.

“As the festival’s grown we’ve gotten more and more recognition,” said Farkas.

“Sometimes it’s hard to find spots for the local bands so we added a sixth stage this year so we can continue to have that mission.”

Celebrity chef Chuck Hughes is also in town to prepare his own stage.

He’s catering the event for the fourth year in a row.

“We’re running around but everything’s going kind of according to plan,” he said.

“This is where the artists come and eat and just hang out and have a good time so we’re kind of setting the tone, setting the mood.”

WATCH: Chuck Hughes flips for Charity

Osheaga is an international hit now, with more than 50 per cent of festival-goers coming from out of town.

Despite its success, Farkas says for him it’s still all about the small things.

“The Replacements are one of my favourite bands of all time,” he said.

“I traveled to see them a lot when I was a kid and the fact that they’ve re-formed after 20 years is a complete shock to me.”

Make sure to watch Friday’s episode of Summer In The City to catch up on all the action.

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Floods in Eastern Europe kill 3, more than 500 people evacuated – National

Watch: Severe flooding left homes and cars under water on Wednesday across parts of Romania.

BUCHAREST, Romania – Three people died and several hundreds were forced to evacuate as surging floodwaters submerged villages in Eastern Europe on Tuesday.

In Bulgaria, authorities said a 61-year-old woman died in the floods and another person was reported missing after torrential rains hit the region of Gabrovo in the central parts of the country.

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Two people, including a 72-year-old man, also drowned in Romania as floods raged in different regions, said Interior Minister Gabriel Oprea. A passenger train derailed in the same area after a small bridge caved in due to flooding, but there were no immediate reports of injuries, the national railway said.

READ MORE: Clean-up begins in the wake of flash flooding and heavy rain in parts of B.C.

Seventy Bulgarian villages and parts of the city of Gabrovo were left without electricity and water supply was disrupted as the flooding destroyed some of the water and sewerage infrastructure. The rains also induced landslides and destroyed bridges, and many roads in the region were blocked by mud and debris.

Ion Manta, deputy mayor of the southwest Romanian town Novaci, said 500 people had been evacuated from three villages there and some 75 houses were cut off by floods after the River Gilort burst its banks. A local government official said waters reached 3 metres (10 feet).

A man uses a chainsaw to cut tree stumps to free a washed up car carried downstream by the recent flash flood, in Bascov city, Arges, Romania, Wednesday, July 30, 2014.

AP Photo/Octav Ganea, Mediafax

The Romanian government sent three helicopters to flooded areas in the foothills of the Parang mountains and the army dispatched dozens of troops to help with rescue efforts. Prime Minister Victor Ponta, accompanied by aides, arrived in the area in the afternoon.

Forecasters issued the red code weather warnings for both Bulgaria and Romania Tuesday.

Romania has had its wettest summer in years and the heavy rainfall has also caused several flash floods in eastern Bulgaria, the heaviest in the Black Sea resort city of Varna in June when 13 people were killed.

©2014The Canadian Press

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CP won’t immediately dismantle community gardens along Arbutus corridor – BC

Canadian Pacific Railway says it won’t be taking down property and community gardens along the Arbutus corridor come August 1.

Over 15,000 people living along the corridor have been given notices by CP asking them to clear any property that runs along the train tracks by July 31.

CP began asking people to clear the line in April. They say gardens and small structures along the line are causing problems and must be removed so CP employees can do their job.

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Ed Greenberg with CP says the company won’t begin immediate dismantling of community gardens after the deadline passes.

But we have a plan in place to continue track improvement in this area and will handle the removal of encroachments as work progresses.

Should encroachments still exist on CP track as work progresses, a suitable plan will be developed to remove each one in an appropriate manner.

CP has stayed committed to a formal a set-by-step process that began in April and it is our intention to continue this approach as we move forward and identify any items still encroaching on the railway’s right-of-way.

Greenberg says the company has been communicating with area residents by sending out letters, attending community meetings and having one-on-one discussions, and has received good feedback so far.

WATCH: CP wants Arbutus corridor train track cleared

There have not been any trains on the line for 14 years.

In 2005, the Supreme Court ruled that the City of Vancouver has final say on developing the corridor.

Mayor Gregor Robertson has repeatedly said he is against the reactivation of cargo trains along the route.

“The corridor is a unique, green route running from False Creek to the Fraser River, crossing several residential neighbourhoods, and our vision for it is to maintain it as greenway for residents of Vancouver until there’s a viable case for rail transit use,” says Robertson.

The mayor says the city is prepared to buy the land along the corridor for “fair market value” after an independent appraisal.

READ MORE: Striking a deal with CP over Arbutus Corridor could mean financial windfall for the city

With files from Amy Judd and Justin McElroy

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Site C dam a threat to ecological values: report

VANCOUVER – Major development projects such as the Site C dam in British Columbia’s Peace River watershed could threaten up to $8.6 billion in ecological values, suggests a report commissioned by the David Suzuki Foundation.

Faisal Moola, a chief scientist with the environmental group, said the 56,000-square kilometre watershed is a “Fort Knox” of ecological wealth, with ecosystems providing benefits including clean air, clean water, carbon storage and flood and erosion control.

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BC Hydro is proposing an $8-billion hydroelectric dam in the Peace River Valley, which would flood an 83-kilometre stretch of land along the river. It would be the third dam on the river, downstream from the W.A.C. Bennett and Peace Canyon dams.

Moola said carbon stored in forests, wetlands and grasslands are conservatively worth $6.7 billion to $7.4 billion a year, while other ecological services amount to $1.2 billion annually.

Policy-makers typically ignore ecological advantages because they appear to be provided by nature for free, he said.

The study, authored by ecological economist Sara Wilson from the Toronto-based firm Natural Capital Research and Consulting, included satellite images of the watershed and used modeling techniques to ascribe a dollar value to services such as water filtration by trees.

“We know for example that forests are really important in terms of filtering water, but on the other hand, grasslands and farmland are really important in terms of providing habitat for bees and pollinators, which is something that is critical to sustaining agricultural commodities,” Moola said.

“If we actually make a decision to further degrade the amount of natural forest cover we have in an area, that will incur explicit costs. And in the case of water filtration, it’s been very well documented that this will actually increase the cost to local municipalities to provide potable drinking water. And typically, those costs are downloaded to rate payers.”

BC Hydro said in a statement that officials are reviewing the report, the project is undergoing a three-year, federal-provincial environmental assessment process, and the foundation presented its perspective at federal Joint Review Panel hearings last December.

The economic values in the report are for a watershed of about 5.6 million hectares but the amount of land that’s expected to be flooded for the reservoir is about 5,550 hectares, the utility added.

“All new electricity-generation projects have effects and Site C is no different,” the statement added. “While Site C has the potential to result in some significant effects, we believe those effects are justified by the need for the project, and the benefits it would provide for our province.”

The utility has said the Site C dam would generate enough energy to power 450,000 homes a year.

Further development in the area could erode its ecological benefits, Moola said.

“The Peace region is already some two-thirds developed. Essentially, it’s a perfect storm of logging, mining, conventional and unconventional oil and gas development. And there’s a proposal to build a major dam on the Peace River that will further the cumulative impacts of industrial development on this region.”

Along with the two existing dams, the region has more than 16,000 oil-and-gas well sites and about 8,500 petroleum and natural gas facilities. The area would also be the heart of B.C.’s proposed liquefied natural gas industry.

Earlier this year, a joint review panel concluded the dam would have significant adverse effects on the environment and wildlife. But it also said the benefits of the project are clear and there are few alternatives to provide the type of long-term, inexpensive energy source proposed by the Crown utility.

The panel report, released in May, did not give a clear yes or no answer. The federal and provincial governments are expected to release a final decision later this year.

Provincial Energy Minister Bill Bennett has said that if approved, construction could begin in January 2015, and the dam would be completed by 2024. He has also said that the benefits of the project will outweigh the impacts cited in the review.

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City opens new downtown bike lanes on Richmond St. and Adelaide St. – Toronto

Watch above: New bike lanes in the city are a magnet for drivers looking to park. Jackson Proskow reports. 

TORONTO – The city’s newest bike lanes opened Thursday, running along Richmond Street and Adelaide Street.

Councillor Denzil Minnan-Wong, who chairs Public Works, admitted the city will need to enforce bylaws to stop cars from blocking the lanes.

“I drove downtown this morning and cyclists I know are disappointed, and I’m disappointed when you see trucks and taxis parked in these cycle tracks,” he said at an early morning press conference. “What we have to do is make sure these cycle tracks are clear for cyclists, because if they’re blocked, all this is for naught.”

But Minnan-Wong wouldn’t commit to supporting separated bike lanes along these streets: Some areas require different infrastructure, he said.  And painted lines make snow removal much easier.

The lanes are part of a $300,000 downtown bike lane pilot project.

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The city has already installed bike lanes on several downtown streets including on Simcoe Street and Bathurst Street, Richmond Street from Bathurst to Niagara Street and Phoebe Street from Beverley Street to Soho Street.

The Richmond and Adelaide Street bike lanes are council’s final cycling project before this term ends in late October but Minnan-Wong, who’s running for re-election, said he’d like the next council to keep building more cycling infrastructure.

(A couple of years ago, Toronto became one of the only cities in the world to dismantle bike lanes when it took them off of Jarvis street.)

“We also need to encourage cycling in the suburbs and I’d like to see more cycling infrastructure at subway stations,” he said. “So people can ride from their homes to a subway station where they can park their bike and come to work.”

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WATCH: 4 former Vancouver mayors throw their support behind the Vancouver Aquarium

VANCOUVER – Four former mayors of Vancouver have written letters to the current Mayor of Vancouver, Gregor Robertson, and the Vancouver Park Board, showing their support for the Vancouver Aquarium.

Mike Harcourt, Philip Owen, Larry Campbell and Sam Sullivan wrote separate letters (embedded below).

The Vancouver Aquarium says they have also received an open letter signed by dozens of influential people in Vancouver showing their support for the aquarium, which has come under fire recently for the practice of keeping captive cetaceans.

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The Vancouver Park Board held two special meetings to hear from people in the community who are for and against the issue.

More than 130 people signed up to speak.

The board also received a report by an independent scientist who found that the aquarium meets industry standards but said more research is needed to evaluate the ethics of the practice.

The topic of keeping cetaceans at the Vancouver Aquarium has been a controversial topic in the past year.

The issue has prompted local petitions, protests and plenty of public comment. The movement gained traction ever since the popularity of the documentary Blackfish about orcas in captivity at Sea World.

READ MORE: ‘Cove’ director and ‘Blackfish’ stars wade into aquarium debate

In addition to the public, several city officials and Dr. Jane Goodall have also publicly urged the Vancouver Aquarium to phase out the cetacean exhibits.

The aquarium currently holds two Arctic beluga whales and two Pacific white-sided dolphins and they want to expand the tanks for these animals next year.

Philip Owen letter of support

Mike Harcourt letter of support

Sam Sullivan letter of support

Larry Campbell letter of support

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WATCH: Here’s why Israel says it wants to destroy Hamas tunnels – National

Watch above: A video released Tuesday appears to show Hamas militants emerging from a tunnel into Israel and carrying out a deadly attack at a military border post. Please note: This video has been edited to remove footage appearing to show the killing of an Israeli soldier.

Israeli assaults on the Gaza Strip have killed more than 1,300 people in the past 23 days. But the government, while insisting it makes every effort to limit civilian deaths, puts the blame for the loss of Palestinian lives on Hamas.

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The Israelis accuse Hamas of putting civilian lives at risk, by firing rockets from populated areas, encouraging people to act as human shields and using civilian facilities to store artillery—the rockets Hamas hides in its network of underground tunnels.

READ MORE: Dozens killed, hundreds wounded in Israeli strikes on Gaza market, UN school

The tunnels, most of which connected the Gaza Strip with Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula, have been a lifeline for Gazans to get much needed goods — such as food, fuel, building supplies and even cars — that aren’t easily accessible because of the seven-year-old Israeli blockade.

But they ultimately keep Hamas alive, allowing the faction — designated as a terrorist organization in Israel, the U.S., Canada and several other countries — to earn money off goods as well as to build its arsenal.

READ MORE: How much will it cost and how long will it take to rebuild Gaza?

The Israeli Defense Force (IDF) refers to the passages as an “underground terror network” to attack Israeli military installations (which it has) and possibly kidnap Israeli soldiers or even civilians.

The Israeli government’s security cabinet on Wednesday ordered the IDF to continue its ground operations until the tunnels are destroyed, the Jerusalem Post reported.

Hamas not only uses the tunnels to conceal rockets and sneak in materials to build them, it uses the them to infiltrate Israeli territory.

The tunnels are “a new strategy in confronting the occupation and in the conflict with the enemy from underground and from above the ground,” National Geographic quoted former Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniya saying.

READ MORE: Gaza analysis: Israel exit scenarios begin to take shape

Five IDF soldiers died Monday when members of Hamas’ armed wing, the al-Qassam Brigades, used one such tunnel to cross into Kibbutz Nahal Oz and attacked an Israeli border post.

Al-Qassam Brigades purportedly captured the infiltration, and seemingly the killing of one Israeli soldier, on video.

The video reportedly aired on the Hamas-run al-Aqsa television network Tuesday night.

The video hasn’t been independently verified, but it is consistent with details of the attack and the IDF confirmed the five soldiers were killed at Nahal Oz.

The IDF also posted, on 桑拿会所, a graphic showing how tunnels connect to Nahal Oz to Shujaiya —the site of one of Israel’s most destructive and deadly assaults in its 23-day offensive against Hamas and other militant organizations in the Gaza Strip.

Since the start of the Israeli ground offensive on July 17, following a similar infiltration — there have been at least four incidents since the beginning of Israel’s Operation Protective Edge — the IDF claims to have uncovered and destroyed more than 30 tunnels inside the Gaza Strip and, in the process, discovered weapons, ammunition, communication devices and IDF uniforms.

READ MORE: Hamas militants wearing Israeli military uniforms killed soldiers: IDF

Egypt, whose current government is no friend to Hamas, has also destroyed dozens of tunnels in the past weeks. But in the nearly 13 months since the Egyptian military toppled the government of Mohammed Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood —an ally and forefather to Hamas — Egypt claims to have destroyed more than 1,600 tunnels.

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Canada’s Drouin, Theisen-Eaton win gold

GLASGOW, Scotland – There was a moment Wednesday night when Derek Drouin was waiting to make his final attempt in high jump. In the tunnel to the track, Brianne Theisen-Eaton and Jessica Zelinka were waiting for their final event of the heptathlon.

All action had paused for a medal ceremony. It was for Canadian Jim Steacy’s gold medal in the hammer throw from the previous night.

The “O Canada” moment wasn’t lost on any of them.

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“The national anthem played right before my last attempt and I thought, ‘If this isn’t going to get me pumped up I don’t know what’s going to,’” Drouin said.

Drouin and Theisen-Eaton would both go on to claim gold, while Jessica Zelinka won silver in the heptathlon and Mike Mason took bronze in the high jump. Julie Labonte added a bronze in shot put for a five-medal night for Canada at the track.

“When we were in the tunnel … I was listening to the Canadian anthem and thinking, ‘An hour and that could be me,’” Theisen-Eaton said.

Drouin, from Corunna, Ont., cleared 2.31 metres to win his first major international high jump title, while Mason, from Nanoose Bay, B.C., won the bronze with 2.25 metres.

Theisen-Eaton won the heptathlon with a score of 6,597 and Zelinka scored 6,270 for silver.

“We got four medals in the span of about two minutes there, so we’re definitely moving in the right direction. Good things are happening,” Drouin said. “And Mike and I got to pass our (Canadian) flags on to the heptathlon girls, so it was a pretty special five minutes there.”

Added Theisen-Eaton: “All of a sudden, all of once, Scott (MacDonald, Athletics Canada’s high performance director) was trying to give everybody flags. Good problem to have.”

After another strong day, Canada remained in third place in the overall medal standings with 51 medals (22 gold, seven silver, 22 bronze). Australia leads with 106 medals, one more than England.

David Tremblay of Windsor, Ont., won gold in the men’s 61-kilogram category, Dori Yeats of Montreal won the women’s 69-kilo title and Arjun Gill of Surrey, B.C., won gold in the men’s 97-kilo event.

Jill Gallays of Saskatoon and Braxton Stone-Papadopoulos of Pickering, Ont., won bronze medals. Gallays finished third in the women’s 53-kilo category and Stone-Papadopoulos was third in the women’s 58-kilo class.

In diving, Montreal’s Meaghan Benfeito and Roseline Filion of Laval, Que., won gold in the women’s synchronized 10-metre platform. Laval’s Jennifer Abel and Pamela Ware of Beloeil, Que., later added silver in the three-metre springboard.

The 24-year-old Drouin, who won bronze at both the 2012 London Olympics and 2013 world championships, had hoped to go higher. He’s broken the Canadian record three times in less than a year, and in his first meet this season, cleared 2.40 metres to join an exclusive club — only about a dozen jumpers in history have jumped that high.

It wasn’t to be on a blustery night at Hampden Park, as he missed all three attempts at 2.35.

“I would really love to jump 2.40 again. I’d like to get up to those high heights again,” he said.

“I think we got a taste of what Scottish weather was like,” he added, of the conditions. “It was funny, within a matter of about two minutes we had a problem of rain and then the sun being in our eyes. It’s just what you have to deal with, it obviously wasn’t perfect but we dealt with it.”

Theisen-Eaton, a 25-year-old from Humboldt, Sask., won five of the seven events — high jump, shot put, 200 metres, long jump and the 800 — over the two days for her first major international victory. She won silver at both last year’s world indoor and outdoor world championships.

“So this gold medal makes me really happy,” she said. “I always said I don’t think I would get choked up but I had to fight back a few tears (on the podium). It’s just representing your country and knowing everybody back home is happy and watching and supporting you. It feels really good.”

Theisen-Eaton’s husband Ashton Eaton — a world record-holder and Olympic and world champion in the decathlon — cheered her on from the stands. The American even wore a Canada T-shirt.

“Ashton obviously knows what it’s like to be out there as an athlete, and knows that sometimes it’s hard to fire yourself up,” Theisen-Eaton said. “So at the long jump, he walked over and said, ‘Bri, come here!’ and I go over there, he was like, ‘Come on, you’ve got to get fired up for this one!’

“He just amps me up.”

The heptathlon marked the first time Theisen-Eaton and Zelinka had battled head-to-head since the London Olympics. The 32-year-old Zelinka, from London, Ont., took last year off from the multi-events, needing a break.

Earlier this season, Theisen-Eaton broke Zelinka’s Canadian record of 6,599 points, recording 6,641 in Gotzis, Austria.

Theisen-Eaton had a virtually unbeatable 326-point lead after six of the seven events, and they capped the two days with a hard-fought 800. Theisen-Eaton won in two minutes 11.46 seconds, Zelinka finishing eight-10ths of a second behind her.

“I wanted to be competitive and show I’m back, and I’m strong mentally in this event,” said Zelinka, who won the two events that Theisen-Eaton didn’t — the 100-metre hurdles and javelin.

“This is kind of like a little opening ceremonies for me coming back. It’s good to play again, it was playing. It was fun.”

Asked for her reaction to Theisen-Eaton’s victory, Zelinka said: “No reaction, I knew she could do it. She was second coming in. In the world. I was 20th. So it was no surprise. But I still wanted to challenge her, because that’s what we do in heptathlon.”

Zelinka, who was seventh in both the hurdles and heptathlon in London, almost didn’t qualify for Glasgow, as the cut-off date to qualify was June 1. She missed the qualifying standard at a meet in May, so decided at the last minute to try again.

“I did a race in Texas at 9 o’clock, drove four hours, got to bed at two, started the hep at about 10 o’clock the next day just to try again and I got (the qualifying standard),” she said. “I haven’t not made a national team since I was pregnant, every year I’ve been on the national team, and it really means a lot.”

Zelinka echoed the praise of all the Canadians for the raucous crowd in the 44,000-seat Hampden Park — normally the home of Scotland’s national soccer team, but transformed into the track and field venue for the Games.

The noise from the crowd for every event was deafening.

“It took us forever to get around that (victory) lap, everyone is so into it here,” Zelinka said. “It’s such a great crowd, very genuine and very supportive of just great efforts, no matter what country.”

The 24-year-old Labonte threw 17.58 metres for the shot put bronze. Valerie Adams of New Zealand won the gold with 19.88, while Cleopatra Borel of Trinidad & Tobago was second with 18.57.

Canada has 10 medals in track and field, including five gold, with three days of competition to go. The Canadian team brought home 17 medals in the sport from the Games four years ago in New Delhi.

Kyriakos Ioannou of Cyprus was second in the high jump with 2.28 metres.

England’s Jessica Taylor won heptathlon bronze with a score of 5,826.

Labonte threw 17.58 metres. Valerie Adams of New Zealand won the gold with 19.88, while Cleopatra Borel of Trinidad & Tobago was second with 18.57.

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