Apr 19

Tragedy strikes Alabama family as father, son die in head-on collision with each other

Tragedy struck an Alabama family over the weekend when a father and his son were killed in a head-on collision with each other early Saturday morning.

According to Alabama news website AL长沙桑拿, Jeff Brasher, a 50-year-old bread deliveryman, was on his way to work and his son, Austin, was on his way home when the crash occurred about 16 kilometres from the family’s home.

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Speaking with the news site, Brasher’s sister said her brother was on his way to pick up his orders for the day when bizarre crash occurred.

“It’s an unexpected, unbelievable tragedy,” Pam Dennis told AL长沙桑拿. “There’s no explanation for something so random.”

According to state troopers, the incident happened at 4:10 a.m. when the 2006 Ford pickup truck the elder Brasher was driving collided with his son’s 2004 Chevrolet pickup.

The father died at the scene of the crash while the younger Brasher died in hospital a few hours later.

Police said neither man was wearing a seatbelt at the time of the crash and alcohol was a factor in the accident.

“I can tell you that at 4 a.m. on Saturday morning, lives changed forever,” Dennis told AL长沙桑拿. “I don’t think anybody other than people who are no longer with us know exactly what happened. They were both on that road at the same time, and all of our lives changed. We’re not going to let this separate our family.”

Apparently, Austin was on his way home from a party when the crash occurred, according to his cousin Monica Marie Aker.

“Austin did drink and was coming home from partying when they crashed,” Aker told People magazine. “To know that they collided head-on is one of the hardest things to comprehend. Our whole community is just devastated by this.”

Aker told the magazine that Austin was “very well liked” in high school and known as “the life of the party.”

“In high school, he was quiet, but everyone knew who he was. He was the little guy driving the big truck,” Aker told People. “He was very well liked and could really get along with anybody.”

Aker said that if Austin had survived the crash, it “would have destroyed him” knowing his father died in the accident.

“My worst fear was that Austin would make it through and then kill himself because he wouldn’t have been able to deal with killing his father,” the cousin told People.

A joint funeral is planned for the pair on Wednesday.

Apr 19

Zhang sentenced to 14 years in 2015 fatal North Vancouver kidnapping

A 23-year-old man who was originally charged with first-degree murder in a high-profile kidnapping case in 2015 was sentenced to 14 years for manslaughter and seven years for unlawful confinement and extortion on Tuesday.

The sentences will be served concurrently minus time already served.

On Sept. 29, a body was found in a car in an area near Wellington Drive in North Vancouver. Police were responding to reports of an alleged kidnapping and eventually found the victim deceased.

Investigators at the time believed it was a targeted attack, and a source told Global News it was a kidnapping that went awry.

The victim, now identified as Peng Sun — a Chinese national studying in Canada — was being held for a $200,000 ransom but when the money was procured, it allegedly wasn’t enough. The source says he then tried to escape, but was killed in the process.

WATCH – Oct. 2015: Nadia Stewart has details from the courtroom 

Tian Yi Eddie Zhang was charged with first-degree murder, along with kidnapping and indignity to a body. He pleaded guilty to manslaughter, unlawful confinement and extortion earlier this month.

In a joint submission, Crown and Defence asked for 14 years in jail for manslaughter for Zhang minus time served and seven years to be served concurrently for unlawful confinement and extortion.

In court, Zhang delivered a statement through an interpreter, saying he is full of shame, regret and remorse.

Zhang is one of the four people who were originally implicated in the case.

Twenty-one-year-old Casey Hiscoe was also charged with kidnapping and indignity to a human body. Twenty-year-old Dyllan Green and 18-year-old Jacob Gorelik have been charged with indignity to a human body. Charges against Green and Gorelik have now been stayed.

Hiscoe was the only one of the four with any previous criminal history. He pleaded guilty to conspiracy to unlawfully confine and accessory after the fact to murder, but has not been sentenced yet.

-With files from Amy Judd and Grace Ke 

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Apr 19

Saskatoon Blades in 3-way race for final playoff spot

It’s turning into a three-way battle between the Saskatoon Blades and two other teams for the final wild card spot in the Western Hockey League’s Eastern Conference.

The Blades earned just a single point on a three-game trip through the Central Division over the weekend, falling back into a tie for the final playoff spot.

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  • Calgary Hitmen top Saskatoon Blades 3-2

  • Lethbridge Hurricanes beat Saskatoon Blades 6-2 for third win in a row

  • Vince Loschiavo scores OT winner as Kootenay Ice beat Saskatoon Blades 3-2

    READ MORE: Markson Bechtold back with Saskatoon Blades after back injury

    After suffering a 3-2 overtime loss to the last-place Kootenay Ice on Friday, the Blades dropped a 6-2 decision to the Lethbridge Hurricanes on Saturday.

    But the big blow came on Sunday, a 3-2 defeat at the hands of the Calgary Hitmen, who have been chasing the Blades for a wild card spot.

    Both clubs now have 54 points but the Hitmen have a game in hand.

    Calgary trails the Red Deer Rebels by just two points for third in the Central Division, so the Blades need to finish ahead of one of those teams to make the playoffs.

    READ MORE: Saskatoon Blades get McCarty and Dach back to relieve injury woes

    The Rebels are currently two points up on Saskatoon in the standings, but have played one more game.

    The Blades meet both teams once more this season, both on the road. They take on Red Deer on March 7 and then head to Calgary the following day to take on the Hitmen.

    The Blades are back in action on Wednesday when the Regina Pats, the top-ranked junior team in the country, heads to Saskatoon. Game time is 7:05 p.m. CT at SaskTel Place.

Apr 19

Exciting? Sure. Staged? Maybe. What a grainy video’s murky origins tell us about fake news

The first thing we have to say is that it was pretty good reality TV.

A female cyclist, somewhere in England, is harassed by some obnoxious guys in a van.

She chases them down, finds the van parked a few blocks away …

… wrenches the side mirror off and makes her escape.

It’s exciting to watch, and morally satisfying in a jungle-justice kind of way. And, as the motorcycle rider who’s been filming the whole thing from his helmet cam says, they arguably had it coming. (Well, he was less even-handed.)

READ: Fake news: Not just for conservatives any more

You can see the video here; the version we’re linking to has over a million views.

As you might have guessed, there’s no basis to believe it happened as presented.

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    Ontario minister Brad Duguid apologizes for blurting out ‘fake news’ during press conference

  • Fake news: Not just for conservatives any more

  • Donald Trump brands mainstream media ‘enemy of the American people’

  • Fake news: The 2014 Parliament Hill attack went unreported

    British content provider Jungle Creations, where the video originally surfaced, later conceded they had no idea where it had come from and pulled it down. But by the time that happened, several mainstream British news outlets that apparently found it too good to check, had republished it. The Evening Standard ran an uncritical online story about the video, followed by a more carefully hedged version after doubts arose about its origins.

    (The Sun, to its credit, sent a reporter who talked to a construction worker who said he’d seen a man coaching both the cyclist and the men in the van.)

    READ: Expect more fake news from Russia, top NATO general says

    “The pressure for clicks has pushed many news organizations to take an increasingly lax attitude to checking whether a great story is made up,” the Guardian’s Jasper Jackson argues.

    (As dashboard cams and helmet cams become more common, confrontations between cyclists and drivers have become better-documented, if not more common. Thousands and thousands of the resulting videos have made their way to Youtube. So a video like this, like a lot of fake news, catches us with our guard a bit down, since there’s lots of similar real material out there. It doesn’t trigger our surprise instincts to any great extent.)

    This instance is fairly harmless, as these things go. However, it reminds us of this recent warning that making high-quality faked or staged video is going to become easier and easier and time goes on. Much of the fake news in circulation is of wretched quality and easy to spot if you’re even somewhat alert, and little of it involves any kind of video, but we shouldn’t count on that being true forever.

    READ: Ontario minister Brad Duguid apologizes to media over ‘fake news’ comment

    WATCH: President Donald Trump addressed the reports about his administration’s ties to Russia calling them “fake news” and defended former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn in a very combative news conference.

    In fake news news:

    The New York Times looks at a new calling-out-fake-news site, in this case run by the Russian foreign ministry. “It was hard for some critics to take the ministry’s fake news detector seriously,” the Times wrote, given that just this week Russia’s defence ministry announced a unit devoted to information warfare. The site “doesn’t seem to offer much in the way of debunking,” as Buzzfeed says, just screenshotting a story with a red FAKE stamp, with the cut-and-paste text “This article puts forward information that does not correspond to reality.”The Times also explains how fake news efforts linked to Russia may have helped defeat a referendum last year in the Netherlands on free trade with Ukraine, and examines East Stratcom, the EU’s attempt to keep up with a flood of fake news, a task it calls “overwhelming.” Staff members have had death threats, the Times reports, and one has been accused of espionage on Russian TV.The Eskilstuna Kuriren, a daily paper in Eskilstuna, Sweden, published a long investigative story last week by a reporter who took a job in a “troll factory” in which people armed with a script call journalists or other public figures and try to get them to say something unguarded or compromising. They are paid based on whether the conversations get social media traction. There’s an English-language summary here, and Chrome will offer a rough but serviceable translation of the original.Vitaly Churkin, Russia’s ambassador to the UN, died suddenly this week in New York. His cause of death is not clearly understood, and tests by city medical examiners may take weeks. (Churkin is the second Russian diplomat to die recently in New York in mysterious circumstances; Sergei Krivov was found in the Russian consulate with fatal head injuries on U.S. Election Day, Nov. 8.) Churkin’s death was immediately tweeted by a botnet apparently under Russian control, says the Digital Forensics Lab, an arm of the Atlantic Council. The bots “were all vocal supporters of U.S. President Donald Trump,” the Digital Forensics Lab explains in this Medium post. “They had avatar pictures of attractive women in revealing outfits.” Many used avatar images taken from real people’s accounts.The BBC looks at fake news in Germany, where it is causing alarm in the lead-up to elections there this fall. Reporter Amol Rajan floats a theory — established German media are responsible to a fault, but dull. “Germany’s conventional media market has created an opening for fake news, which of its very nature is salacious and exciting.”Buzzfeed’s Craig Silverman probes deeper into the murky relationship between marketing efforts for the “psychological horror thriller film” A Cure for Wellness, which opened last week, and fake news sites such as the Houston Leader. The controversy caught The Leader, a real weekly in Houston, in the blowback. Silverman also looks into who might be behind the five fake news sites that were part of the movie promotion. And as France heads toward first-round presidential elections in April, 17 French news organizations, drawn from a mix of old and new media, are collaborating to fact check online news.

Apr 19

Ontario minister Brad Duguid apologizes to media over ‘fake news’ comment

An Ontario cabinet minister issued an apology to the media after using the term “fake news” to defend the province’s multi-million dollar investment into an innovation and technology hub in Toronto.

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Ontario Minister of Economic Development & Growth Brad Duguid was referencing the opposition’s assault on the fledgling MaRS Discovery District when he blurted out the phrase during a press conference on Tuesday.

“We’re doing everything we can to ensure Ontario is competitive in the new economy. That means being a global leader in innovation,” Duguid said.

“That means doubling down on investments like we made here with MaRS, in the face of incredible opposition, of rhetoric, fake news if you want to call it that, about the state of this building.”

READ MORE: Fake news: Not just for conservatives any more

The comment was taken to task by a reporter who questioned the minister’s wording and prompted a clarification.

“My comment was based on the opposition. Not at our news media at all. You reported on the facts as you knew them at the time so let’s be very clear about that,” he said.

“You know me. I don’t go after the media on any occasion. Even when you come after me, I don’t come back at you because I recognize you’re just doing your jobs.”

READ MORE: Expect more fake news from Russia, top NATO general says

Duguid later issued an apology on 桑拿会所 and in-person to the media covering the Ontario legislature.

“In defending MaRS’ success this morning, I used the wrong term – apologies to our professional media who do a fantastic job every day,” the minister tweeted.

“Fake news is a real and troubling problem, but our Ontario media is professional and vital. My intention wasn’t to call that into question.”

READ MORE: Jimmy Fallon re-enacts U.S. President Trump’s press conference: ‘You’re all fake news’

Fake news, fictitious articles meant to deceive readers, engulfed U.S. politics during the presidential election.

The term was brought into the mainstream when U.S. President Donald Trump used it to describe an online news article in January that the Russian government allegedly had compromising information on him.

Since then, the U.S. president has continued to use “fake news” to refute unfavorable media reports on his administration.