Lenami Godinez-Avila had just started a tandem hang-gliding flight with an instructor – a gift from her boyfriend – when she fell from the glider, plunging hundreds of feet to her death Saturday in a heavily wooded part of western Canada, authorities say.
Investigators trying to determine why she fell are accusing the instructor of trying to hide what might be a key piece of evidence – a possible onboard video recording of the flight – in his digestive tract.
William Jonathan Orders, 50, was arrested Saturday and charged this week with obstructing justice, accused of swallowing a memory card from a video camera that accompanied the pair on the flight near Agassiz, British Columbia, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police said.
Orders is scheduled to appear Friday afternoon in provincial court in Chilliwack for a hearing to determine whether he can be released on bail. But it’s unclear if it will be postponed – as it was Wednesday – if authorities haven’t retrieved the memory card, said Neil MacKenzie, communications counsel with the province’s criminal justice branch.
X-rays confirmed the card was in Orders’ body, and authorities as of Thursday morning still were waiting for the object to pass, RCMP Constable Tracy Wolbeck said. Investigators hope to recover the object.
“It’s difficult to speculate” whether the card will have retrievable video, Wolbeck said. “We’re just going to have to wait and see.”
A Harley-Davidson motorcycle believed to have traversed the Pacific Ocean to western Canada after being swept from coastal Japan during a March 2011 tsunami has been claimed by a Japanese man.
Ikuo Yokoyama, 29, of Yamamoto, Japan, says a Harley-Davidson representative tracked him down after the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. ran a story about the bike, which was found in a storage container on British Columbia’s Haida Gwaii islands, the CBC reported.
Harley-Davidson now intends to restore the bike, which had rusted but still had its Miyagi Prefecture license plate, and send it back to Yokoyama, Japanese broadcaster NHK reported Wednesday.
Yokoyama, who NHK reported lost three family members and his home in the disaster, said he was "so glad that (the motorcycle) will be returned to me.”
“I would like to thank the man who found my bike in person,” Yokoyama said in an NHK interview aired on the CBC.
Peter Mark, a Haida Gwaii resident, told the CBC that he found the container – and the motorcycle, golf clubs, camping equipment and tools inside – on a beach on April 18.
[Updated at 12:28 p.m. ET] An explosion at a sawmill in western Canada has killed one person and injured 23 others, officials said Tuesday.
The blast happened in Prince George, British Columbia.
Ten people remained hospitalized Tuesday morning. Another 13 had been treated and released, according to a statement from University Hospital of Northern British Columbia.FULL STORY
Editor's note: This post is part of the Overheard on CNN.com series, a regular feature that examines interesting comments and thought-provoking conversations posted by the community.
A report released Monday about an incident that sent several passengers flying out of their seats on an Air Canada flight on January 14, 2011, has got many of our readers testing out their commenting wits. The report says the first officer woke up from a nap - the rules allow for a brief "controlled rest" period at cruising altitude - and suddenly mistook the planet Venus to be another plane overhead. He panicked and the plane went into a dive before the crew corrected its position so an actual approaching C-17 plane could pass underneath.
How does something like this happen?
HitomiAdrien: "This doesn't make sense to me. Why would he make such a brash move? Even if it were another plane, at the size of a dot there has to be other protocol (trying to locate that other plane on their GPS?) and a significant amount of time to get out of the way considering how big Venus isn't from the Earth. Therefore; why take a nose dive on a dot of light before taking other precautions that you were trained to do in school and through experience?"
WithReason7: "Venus on a clear night at 35,000 feet is brighter than airplane lights. Had it been plane on a collision course, they probably would have had about five seconds to avoid collision, not enough time to check GPS and have a nice chat ..."
This person gave an actual piloting perspective.
jsnight: "It happens more than you think. A pilot almost turned an airplane upside down when he mistook stars for yard lights and thought they were upside down. I have over 20,000 flight hours and although I've never taken any evasive action, I have been startled. You can look down at a chart, look up and think you're in an unusual attitude."
All kinds of people can relate. FULL POST
The U.S. Coast Guard has deployed a ship to sink a fishing trawler that was swept away more than a year ago by the tsunami off the coast of Japan and is now adrift near Alaska.
The crew of the coast guard's 110-foot CG Cutter Anacapa plans to assess the deserted trawler's condition Thursday morning, said Chief Petty Officer Kip Wadlow.
If its assessments are satisfactory, the crew will attempt to sink the vessel, named the Ryou-Un Maru, with the 25-millimeter cannon on board the cutter, Wadlow said.
The rust-stained trawler is part of a giant debris field in the Pacific Ocean that was generated by the devastating wall of water that struck northeastern Japan following a magnitude 9 earthquake on March 11, 2011.FULL STORY
Editor's note: This post is part of the Overheard on CNN.com series, a regular feature that examines interesting comments and thought-provoking conversations posted by the community.
People always joke that they are going to move to Canada if XYZ happens. Turns out that the top court in the province of Ontario has legalized brothels, saying Canadian prostitution laws unfairly discriminate against prostitutes and their ability to work in safe environments. So our readers are contemplating whether to stay or go.
This was the most-liked comment:
prairiedoc: "Our Canadian cousins seem to look at the world in more practical ways. While we have politicians who want to regulate woman's bodies, prohibit contraception and otherwise tell us what morality we're to follow or what we can or can't do in our homes, our northern friends have taken a bite out of crime by letting prostitutes legally ply their trade. Couple this decision with Canada's health care program and you have a country and government that makes the US seem to be in the dark ages!"
Some made comparisons to current affairs in the states.
RejctReligon: "Ontario legalizes brothels. The U.S. wants to regulate contraception ... Which country was founded on freedom again?"
There goes the neighborhood? FULL POST
A Canadian icon could face extinction in the coming decades, researchers say.
A study by scientists at McGill and Concordia universities says rising temperatures are reducing the availability of frozen ponds, which eventually could mean the end of outdoor hockey.
The headlines are dire:
"Global warming could spell the end of Canada's outdoor hockey rink," reads one from the National Post.
"Thin ice: Canada's outdoor rinks face meltdown," reports The (Montreal) Gazette.
"Climate change melting backyard hockey rinks," The Record in Waterloo, Ontario, says.
"Outdoor ice hockey could perish in some areas," reads The Spectator in Hamilton, Ontario.
"Outdoor skating rinks threatened by climate change," the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. reports.
The men behind the science are Lawrence A. Mysak and Nikolay Damyanov of McGill University and H. Damon Matthews of Concordia University.
[Updated at 8:03 p.m. ET] Baseball Hall of Fame catcher Gary Carter, who played 19 Major League seasons and won a World Series with the New York Mets in 1986, died Thursday in Florida after battling brain cancer, according to Carter's family and the Hall of Fame.
He was 57.
"He is in heaven and has reunited with his mom and dad," said a message on the family's online journal chronicling Carter's health. "I believe with all my heart that dad had a standing ovation as he walked through the gates of heaven to be with Jesus."
Carter's death comes less than a month after the family announced that more tumors were found on Carter's brain. Carter initially was diagnosed with inoperable brain tumors in May.
Carter, an 11-time All-Star and two-time All-Star Game MVP, batted .262 with 324 home runs and 1,225 runs in a career that began and ended with the Montreal Expos (1974-1984; 1992), who retired his No. 8 in 1993, 10 years before he would be elected to the Hall of Fame.
He also played for the Mets (1985-1989), the San Francisco Giants (1990) and the Los Angeles Dodgers (1991). MLB Commissioner Bud Selig said Carter, driven by a remarkable enthusiasm for the game, "became one of the elite catchers of all time."
"'The Kid' was an 11-time All-Star and a durable, consistent slugger for the Montreal Expos and the New York Mets, and he ranks among the most beloved players in the history of both of those franchises," Selig said in a statement released Thursday. "Like all baseball fans, I will always remember his leadership for the '86 Mets and his pivotal role in one of the greatest World Series ever played."
During his first run with the Expos, from 1974 to 1984, he frequently was among the National League's top 20 batters in home runs, slugging percentage and runs batted in, even leading the league in RBI in 1984.
One of his career highlights came in 1986, when Carter was a key part of one of the wildest rallies in World Series history.
With the Mets one out away from losing the series to the Boston Red Sox, who were ahead 5-3 in the bottom of the 10th in Game 6, Carter singled and eventually was driven home with the singles of two teammates.
Later that inning with the score tied - in one of baseball's most memorable moments - the Mets' Mookie Wilson hit a grounder that slipped through the legs of Red Sox first baseman Bill Buckner, allowing the Mets' Ray Knight to score the winning run. That improbable victory kept the Mets alive for Game 7, which they won two days later.
Earlier, Carter was a hero of Game 4, hitting two home runs and a double in the Mets' 6-2 win.
Wilson and other baseball stars from Carter's playing days recalled his enthusiasm for the game Thursday.
"The one thing I remember about Gary was his smile," Wilson said in a statement released by the Mets. "He loved life and loved to play the game of baseball."
"No one enjoyed playing the game of baseball more than Gary Carter," pitching great Tom Seaver said through the Mets, one of Seaver's former teams. "He wore his heart on his sleeve every inning he played. He gave you 110% and played the most grueling position on the field and that was something special."
Mets officials said Carter's nickname, "The Kid," captured "how Gary approached life."
"He did everything with enthusiasm and with gusto, on and off the field," said Mets chairman and CEO Fred Wilpon, President Saul Katz and COO Jeff Wilpon in a statement released after Carter's death. "His smile was infectious. He guided our young pitching staff to the World Series title in 1986 and he devoted an equal amount of time and energy raising awareness for a multitude of charities and community causes. He was a Hall of Famer in everything he did."
Jane Forbes Clark, chairman of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, said Carter's "enthusiasm, giving spirit and infectious smile will always be remembered in Cooperstown," the Hall of Fame's home.
"Our thoughts are with ... the entire Carter family on this very sad day," Clark said.
A jury in Kingston, Ontario, resumes its deliberations Sunday in the "honor" murder trial of three members of a Montreal family who are accused of killing four relatives.
Mohammed Shafia, 58; his wife, Tooba Mohammad Yahya, 42; and their son, Hamed, 21, are charged with four counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of Shafia's three teenage daughters and his first wife in his polygamous marriage.
The family members were all recent immigrants to Canada from Afghanistan. They have all pleaded not guilty.
Sunday will be the second day of deliberations for the seven women and five men on the jury.
The three Shafia sisters - Zainab, 19, Sahar, 17, and Geeti, 13 - were found dead inside a car that plunged into the Rideau Canal in Kingston on June 30, 2009. Shafia's first wife, 50-year-old Rona Amir Mohammad, also died.
Prosecutors allege the girls' father, mother and brother all plotted to kill the four women in an "honor" murder. Investigators claim that hours of wiretapped conversations reveal a premeditated plan to punish rebellious, Westernized daughters and their permissive advocate, Rona.FULL STORY
Just three weeks ago, Canadian freestyle skier Sarah Burke was preparing to defend her 2011 Winter X Games ski superpipe gold medal. On Thursday, athletes kicked off the 2012 event without her, memorializing the fallen skier with stickers, ribbons and a torchlit tribute.
Dozens of athletes with torches gathered on the top of a darkened Buttermilk Mountain halfpipe in Aspen, Colorado, and wordlessly skied to the bottom as part of a tribute during ESPN's Winter X Games broadcast Thursday night. Many then embraced Burke's relatives, who were waiting at the bottom.
Burke, a four-time Winter X Games gold medalist credited with getting women's ski halfpipe into the 2014 Winter Olympics, died January 19 as a result of a training accident nine days earlier.
Thursday's tribute on the superpipe was part of a seven-minute segment dedicated to Burke on ESPN. A 90-second video showed performance highlights and old interview clips of the skier.
"She was a superstar with the humility of a rookie," one of ESPN's hosts for the Winter X Games, Sal Masekela, said before the video was shown. "She is the reason that women’s ski pipe is at Winter X, and why it will be in the Olympics in 2014. So if you are looking for her legacy, you will find it in all the faces that you see here tonight, and all those that line halfpipes and come-down mountains around the world for years and years to come."
[Updated at 4:44 p.m. ET] A Canadian freestyle skier who was seriously injured during practice in Utah last week has died, her family said Thursday in a statement released by her publicist.
Sarah Burke, 29, died Thursday morning at the University of Utah Hospital in Salt Lake City, where she had been treated for injuries she suffered during a training run at Park City Mountain Resort's superpipe.
Burke reportedly fell while trying a trick and "whiplashed" onto her side at Park City Mountain Resort's superpipe on January 10, officials have said. She ruptured a vertebral artery in the fall, leading to an intracranial hemorrhage that caused her to go into cardiac arrest at the accident site, according to a statement released by her publicist, Nicole Wool.
Emergency workers gave her CPR at the site, during which time she remained without a pulse or voluntary breathing. She was taken to a hospital, where she was put on life support and underwent successful surgery to repair the artery – one of four major arteries supplying blood to the brain - the next day, according to the statement.
But after the surgery, tests determined she suffered "irreversible damage to her brain due to lack of oxygen and blood after cardiac arrest," the statement reads.
The family of freestyle ski champ Sarah Burke canceled a planned news conference Monday as they await the results of further tests on the injured athlete, an official for the University of Utah hospital said.
Burke was critically injured during practice in Utah last week. She had successful surgery Wednesday to repair a vertebral artery tear, which had caused bleeding in her skull, the hospital said.
On Friday, the hospital said there would be a press conference concerning Burke on Monday. But Monday morning that was canceled.
"Late last night, Rory Bushfield, Sarah's husband, and members of her family met with physicians to discuss the results of Sarah's most recent neurological tests and assessments. Based on the information they received, we regret to inform you that they have decided to cancel today's press conference in order for further tests to be conducted this morning and in the coming days," according to an e-mail from hospital spokeswoman Nicole Wool.
A Canadian freestyle skier who was critically injured during practice in Utah this week had successful surgery Wednesday to repair a vertebral artery tear, which had caused bleeding in her skull, a statement released by her publicist said Thursday.
Sarah Burke, 29, still was in critical condition Thursday at University of Utah Hospital in Salt Lake City, two days after her fall during a training run at Park City Mountain Resort's superpipe, according to the statement.
The statement was the first to give details of Burke's injuries. The tear in Burke's artery in her neck, which supplies blood to the brain, caused an intracranial hemorrhage, the statement said.
"With injuries of this type, we need to observe the course of her brain function before making definitive pronouncements about Sarah’s prognosis for recovery," said Dr. William T. Couldwell, who performed Wednesday's surgery and is neurosurgery chair at University of Utah. "Our Neuro Critical Care team will be monitoring her condition and response continuously over the coming hours and days."
[Updated at 4:21 p.m. ET] Canadian freestyle skier Sarah Burke remains in critical condition a day after suffering a serious fall during a training run in Park City, Utah, according to the Canadian Freestyle Ski Association.
Local media reports said she had been in a coma in a Salt Lake City hospital.
“Sarah sustained serious injuries and remains intubated and sedated in critical condition,” Safdar Ansari, a neurointensivist with University of Utah Health Care, said in a statement released by the Canadian Freestyle organization.
Hospital officials declined to give further details on her condition.
Burke, 28, reportedly fell after completing a trick on the superpipe at the Park City Mountain Resort and "whiplashed" on to her side, officials said. The Canadian Freestyle Ski Association said they couldn't be sure exactly what happened just yet. A resort spokesman said she sustained a serious injury and was taken by helicopter to the University of Utah hospital in Salt Lake City.
The star's husband, Rory Bushfield, and other members of her family are with her in the hospital, the Canadian Freestyle Ski Association.
“Sarah is a very strong young woman and she will most certainly fight to recover,” Bushfield said in a statement.
The Canadian Freestyle Ski Association said that it did not have any word on specifically what happened to cause the injury but that it was told Burke wasn't doing any new tricks or anything out of the ordinary at the time of the incident.
News of her injury was weighing heavily not just on her family and friends but on the entire industry, the association said.
“We’re a bit shell-shocked right now,” Peter Judge, CEO of the Canadian Freestyle Ski Association, told the Toronto Star. “It’s tough to read. The signs are dramatic and catastrophic, but it’s hard to gauge how dramatic and catastrophic. The same treatment and symptoms can be on a broad scale.”
[Updated at 5 p.m. ET Friday] U.S. Customs and Border Protection says the "assertion that a traveler was admitted into the U.S. using solely a scanned image of his passport on an iPad is categorically false."
The Canadian man who made the claim had a driver's license and a birth certificate, "which the [U.S. border officer] used to determine identity and citizenship in order to admit the traveler into the country," CBP said in a statement released this week.
Scanned images are not accepted forms of identification, the CBP said.
[Initial post, 4:01 p.m. ET Wednesday] Forgot your passport? There’s an iPad for that.
At least in the singular case of a Montreal photographer who left home without the important document on his way to the United States. Martin Reisch said he was able to show a scanned copy of his passport to an American border guard and was given entry into the U.S., according to news reports.
To be sure, the incident was not without trepidation. "There was a slight hesitation; he didn't really seem like he was impressed," Reisch told CBC News. But the guard soon gave him back his iPad, and he was on his way to Vermont.
But isn't this a technological breakthrough? Could this be the Apple-white dawn of a new age of digital facsimile?What would Steve Jobs have thought?
“He’d probably say: ‘Here’s something to work on for the future.’ Maybe have some kind of digital certification or encryption to let people travel like this,” Reisch told The Montreal Gazette.
The tooth fairy's trash became another man's treasure Saturday when a discolored molar that once belonged to John Lennon was put up for auction.
The winning bid came in at 19,500 pounds (U.S. $31,200), according to auction results posted online.
Michael Zuk, a Canadian dentist, is claiming responsibility for the winning bid. Omega Auction House, which sold the tooth, did not immediately respond to requests for comment Saturday.
Lennon gave the tooth to Dorothy "Dot" Jarlett when she worked as his housekeeper at his Kenwood home in Weybridge, Surrey, according to her son, Barry. Jarlett, who was employed between 1964 and 1968, developed a warm relationship with Lennon, her son said.FULL STORY
Editor's note: iReporters all over the globe are showing us what Occupy Wall Street is like in their towns and cities through the Open Story: from the Aleutian Islands to Raleigh, North Carolina; from Reykjavik, Iceland, to Zadar, Croatia. Check out a map of the reports, videos and pictures here.
The Occupy Wall Street movement, which swept across the United States as thousands demanded that government institutions change to help fix a struggling economy, gained a major boost as the world began to come together in solidarity over shared economic frustrations.
As the sun rose on each country, one-by-one in the same way each stock market would open, protesters took to the streets. What began as a movement that was largely ignored by the mainstream media can't be dismissed anymore, not when thousands of people are sharing rally cries from Zucotti Park in New York to City Hall Square in Copenhagen, Denmark. Perhaps that's what organizers hoped for when they called the global day of protest "Solidarity Saturday."
But that global push may not end with the one day of solidarity. Some would say it has bolstered the ambitions and confidence of those who began Occupy Wall Street. It was a hint that, with the right support and organization, they can spread the message they've so desperately tried to get across: They want change, and they want it now. And even though the frustrations and complaints may differ from country to country, the theme remains that governments aren't handling economic crises properly.
The protests spread amid the growing financial troubles for several Western countries. Maybe that's why it's no surprise the global movement came during a G20 meeting of ministers and bankers in Paris. Finance ministers with the Group of 20 pledged Saturday to take "all necessary actions" to stabilize global markets and ensure that banks are capitalized.
Europeans turned out to protest amid debt troubles and austerity plans in Greece, Belgium, Italy, Spain, Ireland, Portugal and Germany. And in an increasingly intertwined global economy where Americans watch what happens in the Greek debt crisis, the world too is watching to see how the United States is handling its economic issues.
In the spirit of that solidarity, thousands stepped out to support the frustrations of the unemployed in the U.S. and, in some cases, to share their own grievances.
We're taking a look at scenes from across the world to find out more about the main frustrations being lodged and how the protests are drawing support from each other through the lenses of our reporters and iReporters around the world.
The movement gained traction in London especially because of the presence of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. Some Brits, who have not been shy to share their frustrations with their economic situation during riots months earlier, echoed American sentiments that governments need to focus not just on the rich but on the little man.
Amedeo d'Amore , an iReporter, was at a demonstration near St. Paul's Cathedral, where he said there were about 1,500 to 2,000 protesters along with a few hundred police officers.
"Essentially, they are very disappointed by the current economic system," he said. "From my understanding, they feel that governments have done too much to protect companies while doing very little to assist the average citizen."
A man who didn’t start running marathons until he was 89 is hoping to become the first undisputed centenarian known to have completed the 26.2-mile race.
Fauja Singh, 100, of the United Kingdom, is expected to run the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon on Sunday in Canada. If he completes it, Guinness World Records will recognize him as the world’s oldest marathoner.
“He’s really happy, and looking forward to it,” his coach, Harmander Singh, told the Canadian Broadcasting Corp.
Guinness had recognized Dimitrion Yordanidis, 98, as the world’s oldest marathoner for running in Athens in 1976. Yordanidis isn’t among the records kept by the Association of Road Racing Statisticians, which already recognizes Fauja Singh as the oldest for the last marathon he ran, at age 93 in 2004.
Singh, nicknamed the Turbaned Tornado, took up running 20 years ago – around the time he moved to England from India – after losing his wife and son, the CBC and the marathon’s website say.
He began running marathons at 89, completing seven through age 93. He set the current world record for people 90 and older with a time of five hours, 40 minutes and four seconds in Toronto in 2003.
A radio station promotion that awarded five couples in vitro fertility treatments Tuesday as part of a “Win a Baby” contest has drawn the ire of Canadians on both sides of the issue.
Hundreds entered the contest held by Ottawa station Hot 89.9 for a chance to win a round of IVF treatments. After several weeks of having hopefuls campaign and write essays on why they should be chosen, the station whittled the competition down to five couples.
Hot 89.9 assembled the families in a room Tuesday, as posted on the station's website, and announced the award after a tense setup. “You’re all getting up to three fertility treatments. Congratulations!” radio host Jeff Mauler said as loud sobs from the women can be heard in the background.
“There's not a dry eye in the house,” Mauler said. "A lot of hugs and a lot of tears," he said describing the emotional scene in the room. “Once again with 'Win a Baby' all five of our finalists are getting three fertility treatments, up to three fertility treatments, and hopefully having their dreams come true.”
The contest has touched a political vein in Ontario, where residents - unlike their neighbors in Quebec - don't get government-funded IVF coverage. In July 2010, Quebec became the first jurisdiction in North America to fund IVF. Last month a Canadian survey showed that 75% of Ontario residents supported health insurance coverage for in-vitro fertilization treatments.
A 6.7 magnitude earthquake struck near Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Friday afternoon, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.
The epicenter was about 175 miles west of the city of Vancouver and nearly 50 miles underground.
There was no immediate danger of a tsunami, authorities said.FULL STORY