Kirushna Kumar Kanagaratnam Fled Sri Lanka For Safety In Canada

Kirushna Kumar Kanagaratnam fled war-torn Sri Lanka for a new life in Canada. Police say he was murdered by alleged serial killer Bruce McArthur.

The latest alleged victim of accused serial killer Bruce McArthur was a Sri Lankan asylum seeker who fled his war-ravaged country in hopes of building a better life for himself in Canada, those who knew him said Tuesday.

Friends and lawyers confirmed that Kirushna Kumar Kanagaratnam was one of 492 Sri Lankan Tamils aboard the MV Sun Sea, a dilapidated cargo vessel that reached the coast of British Columbia in 2010 after a harrowing six-week voyage.

Friends suggested Kanagaratnam led a lonely life after his arrival in Canada, travelling to Toronto to connect with some distant relatives and ultimately having his claim for refugee status denied.

We came to Canada, we were so happy because we were in a safe place.Dinsan Vanniyasingam

Dinsan Vanniyasingam, a fellow MV Sun Sea passenger, said news of his friend’s death felt particularly cruel when contrasted with the optimism that marked the start of their sojourn in Canada.

“I am so shocked,” Vanniyasingam said in a telephone interview. “We came to Canada, we were so happy because we were in a safe place … Why this have to happen again and again?”

Vanniyasingam knew little about Kanagaratnam’s background before he boarded the Sun Sea, but said he emerged as a well-liked and welcome presence on the crowded boat.

Describing his friend as innocent, trusting and helpful, he said Kanagaratnam could often be found singing songs and playing cards with his fellow passengers.

That more outgoing streak, however, may have been more evident to his fellow migrants.

Gabriel Chand, a Vancouver-based lawyer who helped many of the Sun Sea passengers with their refugee claims, got to know Kanagaratnam somewhat before his departure for Toronto but did not shepherd his application through the system.

“I just remember him being a quiet, to-himself guy,” Chand said. “He wasn’t one of the loud ones, he wasn’t one of the boisterous ones.”

Details are murky about the five years Kanagaratnam spent in Canada.

I just remember him being a quiet, to-himself guy.Gabriel Chand

Vanniyasingam did not know what drew Kanagaratnam east to Toronto, but said he had some distant relatives in the area.

While many of the Sun Sea travellers kept in touch, he said Kanagaratnam did not appear to be in regular contact after moving to the city.

Vanniyasingam said his own last interaction with his friend took place in 2014 when the men ran into each other at an east Toronto shopping mall.

Kanagaratnam was struggling with immigration status

The brief exchange yielded a piece …read more

Source:: The Huffington Post – Canada Travel


Kelly Block, MP Who Represents Humboldt, Sask., Delivers A Moving Message Of Hope

Conservative MP Kelly Block is embraced by Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale after her statement on the Humboldt Broncos tragedy in the House of Commons on April 17, 2018.

A Conservative MP who represents the grieving people of Humboldt, Sask. delivered a deeply emotional message of resilience in the House of Commons Tuesday.

Fighting back tears and wearing a Humboldts Broncos jersey, Kelly Block referenced the horrific bus crash that killed 16 players and staff of the junior hockey team earlier this month. The tragedy has sparked an outpouring of support across Canada.

“While there are no words to capture the devastation and heartbreak that too many families are experiencing right now, there is hope,” the veteran MP said.

Block thank the emergency personnel, nurses, doctors, crisis workers and chaplains who worked through the most difficult of circumstances.

Watch the video embedded above for Block’s full speech.

“Saskatchewanians are strong and resilient but this tragedy has reminded us that we need one another. At times like this we draw on our loved ones, friends, and neighbours for strength,” she said.

“The outpouring of support from Canada and around the world, and from members on both sides of this place also reminds us what is truly important in life: faith, love, family and community.

“We love you, Humboldt. And our thoughts and prayers remain with you and with all those touched by this tragedy.”

Block’s remarks were met with a lengthy standing ovation. In another sign of how the crash has urged MPs to set aside partisan differences, Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale — the only Liberal MP from Saskatchewan — crossed the floor to hug her.

A day earlier, MPs wore jerseys in the House and observed a moment of silence in honour of those lost as well as a hurting hockey community.

MPs Wear Hockey Jerseys To Honour Humboldt Broncos

Members of Parliament wore hockey jerseys and observed a moment of silence in the House of Commons Monday to remember those lost in the Humboldt Broncos tragedy.

Posted by HuffPost Canada Politics on Monday, 16 April 2018

Goodale was tapped to give the Liberals’ response to the crash Monday. He read the names of all 16 victims, including their hometowns, into the parliamentary record.

“For those we cannot see again, gone far too soon, we pledge always to remember their zest for life, their skill and talent, the joy they brought into the lives of so many others, and the potential they represented of the very best of Canada,” Goodale said.

‘We will keep the sticks by the door’

Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer, who also represents …read more

Source:: The Huffington Post – Canada Travel


Facebook’s Facial Recognition Tech Leads To Class-Action Lawsuit

Silhouettes of laptop users are seen next to a screen projection of Facebook logo in this picture illustration taken March 28, 2018. A U.S. federal judge ruled on Monday that Facebook must face a class action lawsuit alleging that the social network unlawfully used a facial recognition process on photos without user permission.

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) — A U.S. federal judge ruled on Monday that Facebook Inc must face a class action lawsuit alleging that the social network unlawfully used a facial recognition process on photos without user permission.

The ruling adds to the privacy woes that have been mounting against Facebook for weeks, since it was disclosed that the personal information of millions of users was harvested by the political consultancy Cambridge Analytica.

U.S. District Judge James Donato ruled in San Francisco federal court that a class action was the most efficient way to resolve the dispute over facial templates.

Facebook said it was reviewing the ruling. “We continue to believe the case has no merit and will defend ourselves vigorously,” the company said in a statement.

Lawyers for the plaintiffs could not immediately be reached for comment.

Earlier on HuffPost Canada:
Facebook Is Even Keeping Track Of You Offline How Facebook Collected Android Call, Text Data For Years

Facebook users sued in 2015, alleging violations of an Illinois state law about the privacy of biometric information.

The class will consist of Facebook users in Illinois for whom Facebook created and stored facial recognition algorithms after June 7, 2011, Donato ruled. That is the date when Facebook launched “Tag Suggestions,” a feature that suggests people to tag after a Facebook user uploads a photo.

In the U.S. court system, certification of a class is typically a major hurdle that plaintiffs in proposed class actions need to overcome before reaching a possible settlement or trial.

(Reporting by David Ingram; Editing by Sandra Maler and Cynthia Osterman)

Also on HuffPost:

…read more

Source:: The Huffington Post – Canada Travel


Starbucks to temporarily close 8,000 locations across America to ‘conduct racial-bias education’

Hold on to your lattes: Starbucks is going to close some 8,000 stores across the United States on May 29th in order to “conduct racial-bias education geared toward preventing discrimination in our stores,” the company announced Tuesday. Approximately 175,000 Starbucks employees will receive the training, and it will be incorporated into the training for new hires as well.

The decision follows a Philadelphia store manager calling the police on two black men last week for “trespassing” while they were waiting in the Starbucks for a business meeting. Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson told Good Morning America on Monday that the company would be “look[ing] more broadly at the circumstances that set that up just to ensure that never happens again.” Executive chairman and founder Howard Schultz said in Tuesday’s statement: “The company’s founding values are based on humanity and inclusion. We will learn from our mistakes and reaffirm our commitment to creating a safe and welcoming environment for every customer.”

Read the company’s entire announcement below.

JUST IN: Starbucks to close more than 8,000 company-owned stores in the U.S. on May 29 “to conduct racial-bias education geared toward preventing discrimination in our stores.”

— ABC News (@ABC) April 17, 2018

…read more

Source:: The Week – Lifestyle


HuffPost Canada ‘Backbenchers’ Episode 4: Trudeau Tries To Crack A Kinder Surprise

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau arrives on Parliament Hill before a meeting with B.C. Premier John Horgan and Alberta Premier Rachel Notley, on the deadlock over Kinder Morgan's Trans Mountain pipeline expansion in Ottawa on April 15, 2018.

Just as the hullabaloo around his controversial trip to India began to (sort of) quiet down, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was handed a Kinder surprise.

Kinder Morgan, the Texas-based company behind the contentious Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, announced earlier this month it would be suspending all non-essential work and spending on the project.

The extension, which was approved by Trudeau in 2016 and would run from Alberta to B.C., has faced fierce opposition from the latter province’s NDP government.

Kinder Morgan also set a deadline of May 31 to get “certainty” on the project so it could alleviate the concerns of its shareholders, which caused the feds to scramble.

On the fourth episode of “Backbenchers,” we take a look at how Trudeau responded to the company’s sudden ultimatum and explain how we got to this point in the first place.

We also have a glimpse of some drama in the Tory ranks that was started by a … book that hasn’t even come out yet. Watch the full video embedded above.

This episode’s stories:
B.C. Premier To Keep Blocking Pipeline Expansion After MeetingAlberta Will Buy Trans Mountain Pipeline If It Comes To That: PremierJustin Trudeau To Sit Down With B.C., Alberta Premiers Over Trans Mountain DisputeTory MP Accused Of ‘Peddling Division’ In Party With Book Excerpt

Missed the last episode? Watch it here.

Catch “Backbenchers” every other Tuesday, right here on HuffPost Canada.

…read more

Source:: The Huffington Post – Canada Travel


I gave birth and I didn’t even get a good story out of it

When Seth Meyers told the dramatic tale of his second son’s birth last week — his wife Alexi Ashe delivered in the lobby of their NYC apartment building — I felt the required levels of awe and “aww!” Plus, if I’m honest, some background level envy. Because my two kids’ births, while they were a pretty big deal for me and my husband, didn’t really give us much material. I mean, we were in shock that we’d produced a person and could barely form words, but our birthing stories were a snooze-fest — a calm sea of epidurals, averages, and, “Yep, that’s what the book said would happen.”

While I’m extremely grateful that nothing much went wrong, part of me thinks a romping great twist would have been cool. Nothing medical, mind you. And not, “Uh-oh, two heads!” or, “Is that a human foot?” But, oh — to give birth in the bustling lobby of your building while the fire department looks on and then, to top it off, one of New York’s bravest cuts the cord. Now THAT’S a great icebreaker.

So many people I know dined out, and probably still do, on their kid’s grand entrance. There was the mom in my birthing group who labored for weeks without pain meds; the baby’s head was basically a watermelon. I also know more than one woman who gave birth up against a hospital vending machine. And while having someone fall out of your body as you cling to a contraption that provides junk food to exhausted medics is distinctly less glamorous than speedily dilating on what I’m sure was a very nice towel in a very nice co-op building foyer, I think I could have spun it into something awesome. Instead, the best tale I could tell while lying in a hospital bed the day after my son was born in 2015 was, “So, the matzah ball soup they brought me for lunch was watery.” No, really. That happened.

Yeah, I know: This is all ridiculous. It doesn’t matter how babies come into the world. As long as you get to take them home afterward, it’s a good birthing story.

Well, sure.

But we’re pre-set as modern parents to want all anecdotes involving our kids — their every wiggle and yawn, right from the get go — to be social media gold. And we’re pretty corrupt about it. Hands up if you’ve slightly …read more

Source:: The Week – Lifestyle


Stephen Colbert and Jimmy Kimmel do a happy two-step on Sean Hannity’s Michael Cohen unmasking

President Trump’s lawyer, Michael Cohen, “was in court today, desperately trying to keep his very small client list private,” Jimmy Kimmel said on Monday’s Kimmel Live. He had three clients — Trump, for whom he paid off porn star Stormy Daniels to keep her quiet about their alleged affair; Elliot Broidy, for whom Cohen paid a Playboy model $1.6 million after impregnating her during an extramarital affair; and mystery Client No. 3. “And shockingly, that client turned out to be my pal Sean Hannity of Fox News,” Kimmel said.

“Besides the implications that are raised, it’s a big deal because Sean Hannity’s been, like, the chief propaganda guy for Trump’s legal team,” Kimmel said, and “he never disclosed that he is also represented by a member of that legal team. If this is the biggest witch hunt in history, as they say it is, we’re running out of spots on the broomstick.”

Stephen Colbert let CNN unmask Hannity — “you’ve earned this,” he said on The Late Show. But he wasn’t afraid to celebrate. “Jon Stewart, after the show I’m going to come over and we’re just gonna spoon,” he said. “This is crazy! Cohen only has two other clients, and all he does for them is pay off mistresses. Which raises the obvious question: Who did Sean Hannity have sex with?” He had a suggestion, but didn’t linger on it.

“How did Fox News let him go on the air with this massive conflict of interest?” Colbert asked. “Did he not tell them, or did he tell them and they just ignored it? I’m going to go with the first one, because I know Sean Hannity, and delivering factual information is not his strong suit.” He had a brief but lovely moment of seeing Hannity’s frail humanity, then ran through the Cohen court appearance, the cameo by Daniels herself, and Trump’s efforts to intercept Cohen’s documents. Watch below.

…read more

Source:: The Week – Lifestyle


Colbert’s Late Show edits together an alternate Sean Hannity reaction to his outing as Michael Cohen’s client

On Monday night’s Hannity, Fox News star Sean Hannity faced a mild dressing-down from guest Alan Dershowitz for not disclosing while discussing the Michael Cohen raids last week that he had sought legal advice from Cohen — or, as Cohen’s lawyers claimed in court Monday, that Hannity was one of Cohen’s three clients. Hannity defended himself and claimed his “discussions with Michael Cohen never rose to any level that I needed to tell anyone.” But what if he had just owned up to making a mistake? The Late Show created that alternate Hannity, and you can watch Hannity excoriate himself below, via the magic of television editing.

Sneak peek of ‘Hannity’ tonight…

— The Late Show (@colbertlateshow) April 16, 2018

…read more

Source:: The Week – Lifestyle


Alexandre Bissonnette Reportedly Said He Regrets Not Killing More People

Alexandre Bissonnette, who pleaded guilty to the 2017 murders of six Muslim men at a Quebec City mosque, is shown in a police evidence photo.

QUEBEC — The man who murdered six Muslim men in 2017 told a social worker several months after the killings that he wished there had been more victims, evidence tabled in court Monday indicated.

In her report tabled by the Crown, social worker Guylaine Cayouette said Alexandre Bissonnette told her he had idolized serial killers since his adolescence and he wanted to make a splash of his own.

“I regret not having killed more people,” Bissonnette reportedly said in September 2017, eight months after he entered a Quebec City mosque and shot dead six men following evening prayers. “The victims are in the sky and I’m living in hell.”

Cayouette’s report was entered as evidence during sentencing arguments for Bissonnette, who pleaded guilty last month to six charges of first-degree murder and six of attempted murder in the shooting.

The victims are in the sky and I’m living in hell.Alexandre Bissonnette

She had met Bissonnette on the request of a nurse, who said he had not been feeling well. Cayouette noted that as soon as the 28-year-old entered her office in the Quebec City prison, he began to cry.

The social worker added that Bissonnette also told her, “I wanted glory.”

Also Monday, Aymen Derbali, who lost the use of his legs in the shooting, testified in court.

He was the first of Bissonnette’s victims to take the stand.

Derbali, who now uses a wheelchair, said he was configuring his son’s television on Jan. 29, 2017, when he realized he was likely going to be late for 7:30 p.m. prayers.

He said he hesitated a bit, and then decided to go to the mosque.

Derbali, a father of three, had just entered the mosque when he heard gunshots.

“I was the closest one,” he told the court.

He said he was hit in the leg and fell to the floor.

Derbali, 41, said he tried to crawl and stop the shooter, but then Bissonnette blasted him.

Bissonnette fired seven bullets into Derbali’s body, including one that remains lodged in his spinal cord.

Derbali was asked by reporters what it was like to be in the courtroom along with Bissonnette.

“I didn’t look at him at all,” Derbali said. “He was just — I didn’t look at him at all.”

Bissonnette looked up guns, Trump, feminism, ISIL

Earlier in the day, a report of Bissonnette’s internet search history on his laptop indicated he visited websites about guns, U.S. President Donald Trump, feminism, Islam and the terrorist group ISIL in the …read more

Source:: The Huffington Post – Canada Travel


Humboldt Broncos Give Update On What Will Happen To $12M In Donations

A GoFundMe page for the Humboldt Broncos is seen on a computer near Tisdale, Sask. on April, 10, 2018. The fundraiser had raised more than $12 million at the time of publication.

The GoFundMe page dedicated to the Humboldt Broncos, believed to be the largest of its kind in Canadian history, will remain open for two more days before being transferred to a newly created memorial fund, the team’s officials announced Monday.

More than 130,000 individuals and businesses from Canada and other countries have donated between $20 and $50,000 to the GoFundMe campaign, called Funds for Humboldt Broncos. The campaign was started by Humboldt, Sask. resident Sylvie Kellington after the horrific bus crash earlier this month, which killed 16 players and staff. In nine days, the online campaign has raised more than $12 million.

Humboldt Broncos president Kevin Garinger announced at a news conference in Saskatoon that the campaign will remain open until midnight Wednesday, at which point all funds will be transferred to the new Humboldt Broncos Memorial Fund. The $12 million raised will serve its intended purpose of paying for expenses of the victims’ families, Garinger said, adding that it’s too soon to give a more specific breakdown of the way the funds will be allocated.

“Sylvie was hoping to raise $5,000 to maybe buy coffee and support maybe parking, and that sort of thing, to help families,” he said. “It of course grew much larger than that.”

Watch: these are the victims of the Humboldt bus crash

Garinger also said the team will continue to accept donations through another new organization, the Humboldt Strong Community Foundation, which he said will “support Humboldt Broncos players, employees, families and volunteers, as well as first responders and emergency services personnel, teams, athletes, related organizations and communities affected by the crash.”

The creation of the new foundation will clear up any existing confusion about which memorial items are considered to be sanctioned by the team. From now on, only initiatives that direct their proceeds to the Humboldt Strong Community Foundation will be considered officially endorsed by the Broncos as an organization, Garinger said.

“The Broncos cannot and will not be able to verify the legitimacy of any other event, or the dispersal of funds raised by any other such events,” he said.

Concerns about unauthorized sales

In recent days, concerns have been mounting about the sale of unauthorized merchandise that uses the team’s name, logo, or the slogan “Humboldt Strong” without donating any of the funds to the victims or their families.

It’s common for people to want to buy items that will allow them to show their support after a …read more

Source:: The Huffington Post – Canada Travel