Blue Jays shortstop suspended after homophobic slur on eye black
Blue Jays shortstop Yunel Escobar is shown in a game Friday night.
September 18th, 2012
11:15 AM ET

Blue Jays shortstop suspended after homophobic slur on eye black

Toronto Blue Jays shortstop Yunel Escobar has been suspended for three games after a photo emerged from Saturday's game showing him with a Spanish homophobic slur in his eye black, the substance ballplayers put below their eyes to reduce the sun's glare.

Escobar acknowledged being the author of the message, but was reticent about the underlying meaning of the words.

"It was not something I intended to be offensive," Escobar said through a translator. "It's something I just put on the sticker on my face."

The team said it met with Escobar, Major League Baseball officials and the MLB Players Association and decided the shortstop will be suspended without pay. The salary he forfeits will be donated to the groups You Can Play and the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD.)

"The Blue Jays want to reaffirm that discrimination of any kind will not be tolerated," the team said in a statement announcing the suspension.

Escobar said his actions were not intentional or directed at anyone in particular and he wanted to apologize to anyone he offended.

"I don’t have anything against homosexuals," Escobar said. "I have friends who are gay. I'd like to ask for the apology of all those who have been offended by this."

Maria Cristina Cuervo, a Spanish professor at the University of Toronto, told Toronto Star columnist Cathal Kelly on Tuesday that the word "is derogatory, but it’s not necessarily homophobic," and in some Spanish-speaking countries such as Argentina, it is more of a teasing insult.

Escobar did not say specifically what he thought the words on his eye black meant, but added the phrase was something that's "been said amongst Latinos."

"It's not something meant to be offensive," he said. "For us, it didn't have the significance to the way it's being interpreted right now. It's a word used often with teens."

When pressed further by reporters, Escobar said that the words he wrote have different meanings depending on how you say it and who you say it to. Reporters then asked what he specifically meant.

"I didn't mean to say anything with it," he said.

Escobar added he has several gay friends, including the person who decorates his house and who cuts his hair. He said those people told him they were not as offended as the larger community.

FULL POST

Post by:
Filed under: Baseball • Canada • Sports
September 7th, 2012
12:02 PM ET

Kids shoes with bone on beach an 'abhorrent' hoax, police say

Children's shoes filled with a meat-like substance and bone that turned up on a British Columbia beach last week were placed there as a hoax, Victoria police say, and now they want to find the person responsible.

The first shoe was spotted by a tourist on the Clover Island beach August 30. He called police, who found two more shoes that day and two the next. Three of the shoes were stuffed with meat and bones that investigators now say was from poultry, CNN affiliate CTV reported.

The shoes were apparently planted to raise fears after other shoes with human remains have turned up on British Columbia beaches over the past several years.

“It was disturbing, and it was sad to think if it was authentic, this could be the remains of a small child,” Victoria Police Detective Lori Beauvais said.

FULL POST

Post by:
Filed under: Canada • Crime
Tens of thousands of dead fish stink up Lake Erie shore
Tens of thousands of dead fish are stinking up a 25-mile stretch of Lake Erie shoreline.
September 5th, 2012
10:20 AM ET

Tens of thousands of dead fish stink up Lake Erie shore

Tens of thousands of dead fish have washed up on a 25-mile stretch of Lake Erie's northern shore, and Ontario environmental officials say they could be victims of a natural phenomenon called a lake inversion.

The inversion brings cold water, which has lower oxygen levels, to the lake's surface and fish suffocate.

"Essentially it's a rolling over of the lake," Ontario Ministry of the Environment spokeswoman Kate Jordan told The Chatham Daily News. "Something - whether it be a storm, or cooler temperatures at night, or strong winds - triggers a temperature change in the lake."

Jordan said it was windy and choppy on the lake Friday night, according to a report in The Windsor Star. The fish kill was reported Saturday.

FULL POST

Post by:
Filed under: Canada • Environment • Fish
August 31st, 2012
01:47 PM ET

Child-sized shoes with bone found on Canadian beach

Three shoes, two of them child-sized, containing bone and a "meat-like" substance have been found on a Canadian beach, police in Victoria, British Columbia, report.

A tourist walking along the beach found the first of the shoes Thursday evening, a child-sized one with a bone sticking out of it, according to a Victoria police statement. The tourist called cops, and a search of the beach turned up the other two shoes.

"We don't know right now whether they have washed up or were in the water for a while, whether they were just placed there. That is something our forensic team is going to look at," police Constable Mike Russell is quoted as saying by CNN affiliate CBC.

The shoes were turned over to the coroner to determine whether the "meat-like" material was from a human and, if it is, a possible identification of the remains, the police statement said.

"Once this determination is made, it will help guide the investigation. This examination is predicted to take days to weeks to complete," the statement said.

The shoes are the latest in a string of such finds on British Columbia beaches. The CBC reports that there have been a dozen in the past five years, and DNA matches have found several of those to be suicide cases.

At least one of those cases turned out to be a hoax. In 2008, the British Columbia Coroners Service said someone had placed a "skeletonized animal paw" in a sock and athletic shoe packed with seaweed.

Police said it's too early to determine whether there is any link between the shoes found Thursday and any of the previous cases.

Dismembered remains from woman, 41

Woman's torso found in Niagara River

Post by:
Filed under: Canada • Crime
Millions of dollars in maple syrup stolen
As much as 80% of the world's maple syrup comes from Quebec.
August 31st, 2012
12:44 PM ET

Millions of dollars in maple syrup stolen

Talk about sticky-fingered thieves. They've struck in Quebec, snatching millions of dollars worth of maple syrup from a warehouse in Saint-Louis-de-Blandford, between Montreal and Quebec City.

Up to 10 million pounds of syrup was in the warehouse, according to a statement from the Federation of Quebec Maple Syrup Producers, which bills itself as keeper of  the global strategic maple syrup reserve.

Officials could not say exactly how much of the product was stolen, but a Quebec police official told The Globe and Mail it was a substantial quantity.

“We know that it’s millions of dollars that was stolen,” Sgt. Richard Gagné is quoted as saying. “It’s a very large amount.”

The 10 million pounds of syrup that was in the warehouse is worth more than $30 million, according to the federation statement.

The theft was discovered during a routine inventory check of the warehouse, which "had been secured by a fence and locks, and visited regularly," federation president Serge Beaulieu said in the statement.

The barrels that originally contained the syrup were empty, meaning it was somehow transferred to some other kind of containers to complete the theft, the federation said.

The warehouse where the theft occurred was being used to temporarily store the sweet stuff while a new facility was being prepared.

As much as 80% of the world's maple syrup comes from Quebec, the federation said.

FULL POST

Post by:
Filed under: Agriculture • Canada • Crime • Food
August 24th, 2012
03:47 PM ET

Report: Pilot error led to woman's fatal fall from glider

A passenger who tumbled about 1,000 feet from a hang glider to her death in Canada fell because she wasn't strapped to the craft and because the pilot failed to ensure attachment before takeoff, according to an investigation by a gliding industry group.

Pilot William Jonathan Orders, who previously was charged on suspicion of swallowing a possible video recording of the flight, didn't perform a required "hang check" that would have revealed Lenami Godinez-Avilla wasn't attached to the glider, the Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association of Canada (HPAC) said this week.

Godinez-Avilla, 27, fell to her death on April 28, not long after she and Orders took off from Mount Woodside over a heavily wooded area near Agassiz, British Columbia, authorities have said.

"A review of the events leading up to takeoff suggests that there were multiple distractions that may have resulted in a breakdown of standard operating procedures," said the HPAC's report, which cited witness accounts and its examination of the glider and equipment.

Orders, 50, was charged in May with attempting to obstruct justice on suspicion of swallowing a memory card of an onboard video camera that might have recorded the flight, an action he said he admitted doing. Orders passed the card while in custody days later, and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) said Thursday that they've viewed the card's data but aren't discussing the contents.

FULL POST

Post by:
Filed under: Accidents • Canada
August 21st, 2012
01:03 PM ET

Dismembered remains in Toronto from woman, 41, police say

[Updated at 12:36 p.m. ET] The body parts found in two Toronto area waterways in the past week belong to Guang Hua Liu, a 41-year-old woman from Toronto, police said Tuesday.

Liu was last seen on Friday, August 10, Peel Regional Police Inspector George Koekkoek said, according to a report from CNN affiliate CTV.

Liu was a Canadian citizen of Chinese descent who once owned a spa in Toronto, according to CTV.

Police have no suspects in the case, Koekkoek said, according to a report from the Toronto Star.

She had three children, one now an adult and two others who live with their father, CTV cited Koekkoek as saying.

[Posted at 10:08 a.m. ET] Police in the Toronto area were executing search warrants in the case of body parts found in two waterways in the past week, according to local news reports on Tuesday.

The parts - a head and foot found in the Credit River in Mississauga last Wednesday and Thursday, and an arm, two calves and a thigh found in West Highlands Creek in Toronto over the weekend - are likely from the same person, police said, according to a report in the Toronto Star. The two sites are about 60 kilometers (37 miles) apart.

"We have a female victim who unfortunately we’ve been able to find portions of her body in two jurisdictions," Peel Regional Police Sgt. Pete Brandwood said Monday, according to a report from CNN affiliate CBC.

He said there are "obvious similarities between the discovery of those body parts in Toronto and the recent discovery of our body parts here in Peel," the CBC reported.

FULL POST

Post by:
Filed under: Canada • Crime
August 17th, 2012
10:40 AM ET

Severed head, foot found along Ontario river

Police are combing an Ontario river on Friday after a severed head and foot were found in and near the waterway this week.

“We have a foot and a head at this point. We’ll be looking for the entire victim,” acting Inspector Randy Cowan of the Peel Regional Police told reporters Thursday in a news conference near the Credit River in Mississauga.

Cowan said the head was that of a woman and the foot had painted toenails, leading authorities to suspect it was also from a woman. However, tests would be needed to conclude they were from the same victim, he said. The foot was found Wednesday and the head on Thursday.

“Common sense tells us this is most likely related,” he said.

FULL POST

Post by:
Filed under: Canada • Crime
July 12th, 2012
02:13 PM ET

Police to reopen Detroit-Windsor tunnel closed after bomb threat

[Updated at 5:15 p.m. ET] The major tunnel between Windsor, Ontario, and Detroit was scheduled to reopen at 5 p.m. ET Thursday following a shutdown because of a bomb threat, Windsor police said.

Police "fully inspected" the tunnel before reopening it, Windsor authorities said.

The bomb threat led to traffic backups as drivers on both sides of the border were rerouted.

Employees at the Detroit-Windsor Tunnel received an anonymous phone call around 12:30 p.m. from someone saying there was a bomb in the tunnel, Sgt. Matthew D'Asti with Windsor police told HLN.

Authorities were working together on both sides of the border to investigate and search the tunnel for any possible device, D'Asti said.

FULL STORY
Post by:
Filed under: Canada • Michigan
June 19th, 2012
11:05 AM ET

Suspect in dismemberment killing due in Canada court

A Canadian porn actor suspected of killing and dismembering a university student in Montreal is due to appear in court there Tuesday by video link, Montreal police said.

Luka Rocco Magnotta, 29, faces first-degree murder and other charges in the death and dismemberment of Jun Lin, a 33-year-old Concordia University student from China.

He arrived in Canada on Monday from Germany, a police official said. He was in police custody when he flew back aboard a Canadian military plane.

FULL STORY
Post by:
Filed under: Canada • Crime • Montreal
Fallen ski champ Sarah Burke to enter Canadian Olympic Hall of Fame
Sarah Burke, 29, died in January after a training accident in Utah.
June 12th, 2012
08:11 PM ET

Fallen ski champ Sarah Burke to enter Canadian Olympic Hall of Fame

Canadian freestyle skier Sarah Burke never did reach the Olympics. But her efforts to get her event into the games before dying in a training accident this year have helped her achieve a high honor from her country’s Olympic committee.

Burke will be inducted into the Canadian Olympic Hall of Fame in September, the Canadian Olympic Committee said Tuesday.

Burke, a pioneer of freestyle skiing and a four-time Winter X Games gold medalist, was a major force in getting the ski half pipe event added to the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, both the Canadian Freestyle Ski Association and the COC have said.

She was considered a medal contender for the event’s 2014 Olympic debut. But she died at age 29 on January 19, days after falling and rupturing a vertebral artery during a training run at Park City Mountain Resort's superpipe in Utah.

FULL POST

Post by:
Filed under: Canada • Olympics • Skiing • Sports
A catch straight out of the deep blue sea
Canadian lobsterman Bobby Stoddard caught this rare blue lobster in early May. He's not sure what to do with it.
June 11th, 2012
09:46 PM ET

A catch straight out of the deep blue sea

A rare event is said to happen once in a blue moon. But a blue moon has nothing on a blue lobster.

Canadian lobster boat captain Bobby Stoddard said he and his crew were hauling in their lobster traps one day in early May when one of the men called out, "Hey, we got a pretty one in this trap!"

"I turned around and said, 'Holy smoke!' " said Stoddard, 51, of Clarks Harbour, Nova Scotia.

In the trap with three other, ordinary greenish-brown lobsters was a remarkably bright blue one, the first lobster of that hue Stoddard had seen in his 33 years of fishing for a living.

"This is the only one that I've ever seen," he told CNN. "And my dad has been a lobsterman of about 55 years, and he caught one about 45 years ago, but hadn't seen one since." FULL POST

Post by:
Filed under: Animals • Canada • Food • Lobsters • Science
June 7th, 2012
09:21 AM ET

Mutilated student's family travels from China to Montreal to take him home

The distraught family of a university student allegedly killed and dismembered by a Canadian porn actor have journeyed from their village in China to Montreal, where the grisly act took place.

The family of Jun Lin, 33, met with investigators Wednesday, Montreal police told CNN affiliate CTV.

Yan Shi, the head of the Chinese student association at Concordia University, where Lin was studying, told CTV that Lin's mother was extremely emotional and could not get through her words without constant tears.

"We come to take you home now," she said.

In the grisliest Montreal crime in years, police believe porn actor Luka Rocco Magnotta killed and dismembered Lin and posted a 10-minute video of it online. Montreal police Cmdr. Ian Lafreniere said the video shows Magnotta engaged in sexual acts involving body parts and also included evidence of cannibalism.

Police believe Magnotta sent Lin's body parts by mail to Ottawa and Vancouver. Magnotta then fled Montreal for Europe.

Police arrested Magnotta in Berlin on Monday after he was spotted in an Internet cafe. He will be extradited to Canada to face first-degree murder charges.

Suspect and victim knew each other, though has not defined the nature of their relationship.

FULL STORY
Post by:
Filed under: Canada • Crime • Justice • Montreal • World
Report: Canada dismemberment suspect arrested in Germany
Luka Rocco Magnotta
June 4th, 2012
10:56 AM ET

Report: Canada dismemberment suspect arrested in Germany

Investigators in Berlin have detained a man whom they believe to be Luka Rocco Magnotta, a porn actor wanted in Canada for killing and dismembering someone and mailing body parts to political parties, a spokesman for the police in Berlin, Guido Busch, said Monday.

Authorities detained him after someone in an internet cafe told them she thought she recognized a customer in the cafe as the suspect, Busch said. The suspect offered no resistance when police took him into custody.

Magnotta is wanted on charges of first-degree murder in connection with the killing of 33-year-old Jun Lin, a Concordia University student from China, and threatening, among others, Canada's prime minister after mailing him a severed foot.

The case began last week when a package addressed to Prime Minister Stephen Harper arrived at his majority Conservative Party headquarters, and a hand was later found at a post office addressed to the minority Liberal Party, authorities said.

Authorities quickly traced the address on the packages to the Montreal apartment of Magnotta, where they discovered a torso in a suitcase in a trash bin.

And the crime, Montreal police say, was captured on a graphic video posted to the Web. It features a man - who authorities believe is Magnotta - killing another man, dismembering the corpse and performing sexual acts.

"We believe he filmed himself," LaFreniere said last week. "It's gross. ... This is a very deranged person. He is looking for attention, and he got it, but not in a positive way."

Not all the body parts have been recovered, and LaFreniere said forensic evidence and DNA were used to identify the victim as Jun.

Authorities believe Magnotta killed Jun on May 24 or May 25, posted the video, and on May 26 fled the country by plane to Europe.

That prompted Interpol, the global police agency, to alert authorities in 190 countries.

FULL STORY
Post by:
Filed under: Canada • Crime • Germany
May 23rd, 2012
10:47 AM ET

After Niagara suicide attempts, questions about how and why

After two people tried to commit suicide by going over Niagara Falls in two days, local media were asking questions about the falls, including:

What could enable a person to survive a plunge?

Are suicide attempts from the falls on the rise?

Is a coming high-wire stunt walk over the falls encouraging the suicide attempts?

On Monday, a man plunged 180 feet over the Horseshoe Falls on the Canadian side of the Niagara River. He's now in a Hamilton, Ontario, hospital recovering from injuries that include several broken ribs, a collapsed lung and gashes to his head and shoulders, according to a report in the Buffalo News.

He was pulled to safety by emergency crews after collapsing in waist-deep water, according to a report from CNN affiliate WGRZ in Buffalo.

He is only the fourth person to survive a plunge over the Horseshoe Falls, historian Paul Gromosiak told the News.

The others include a 30-year-old Canadian man in 2009, a Michigan man in 2003 and a 7-year-old boy in 1960, according to the news reports.

The Toronto Star reports that thousands of people have gone over the falls, especially in the 19th and 20th centuries, and asks why the known survivor cases are predominantly recent.

FULL POST

Post by:
Filed under: Canada • Niagara Falls
Gotta Watch: Unconventional weddings
A twister touches down near a Kansas wedding.
May 22nd, 2012
07:41 PM ET

Gotta Watch: Unconventional weddings

Saying "I do" under unusual circumstances – Most wedding ceremonies are predictable and filled with special traditions and customs. However, we've found a few unconventional weddings off the beaten path, and they are worth a look!

See how a tornado, mermaids and one man's surprise plot played a role in these weddings.

Close

Tornado touches down during wedding

Caleb and Candra Pence exchanged vows as a tornado touched down near their outdoor wedding ceremony in Harper, Kansas.

Close

This underwater wedding has mermaids

Two couples in China held their wedding ceremonies underwater in an aquarium.

Close

Unsuspecting woman gets surprise wedding

One woman was shocked when her boyfriend surprised her with a proposal, immediately followed by their wedding.

Post by:
Filed under: Canada • China • Gotta Watch • Kansas • Nature • Tornadoes
May 22nd, 2012
12:03 PM ET

Man survives plunge over Niagara Falls; 2nd attempt reported Tuesday

A man survived a 180-foot plunge over Niagara Falls on Monday, becoming only the fourth person to do so without any protective devices, according to news reports.

The man, who has not been identified, climbed over a retaining wall above the Canadian Horseshoe Falls before jumping into the Niagara River and being swept over the falls, according to a report from CNN affiliate CTV.

Thought to be around 40 years old, the man sustained injuries including several broken ribs, a collapsed lung and gashes to his head and shoulders, according to a report in the Buffalo News.

He was pulled to safety by emergency crews on the Canadian side of the river after collapsing in waist-deep water, according to a report from CNN affiliate WGRZ in Buffalo.

FULL POST

Post by:
Filed under: Canada • Niagara Falls
May 20th, 2012
06:39 AM ET

Transgender Miss Universe Canada contestant falls short of title

Jenna Talackova, the 23-year-old woman who forced Donald Trump and his Miss Universe Canada pageant to end its ban on transgender contestants, fell short of the national title Saturday night at the pageant in Toronto.

The crown went to Sahar Biniaz, an Indian-born, Iranian-raised actress from Vancouver. Biniaz, 26, will represent Canada at the Miss Universe pageant in December, according to the Miss Universe Canada website.

Talackova didn't walk away from the pageant empty-handed. In addition to finishing among the top 12 semi-finalists, Talackova tied with three other contestants for the title of Miss Congeniality.

FULL STORY
Post by:
Filed under: Canada • Gender • Showbiz • World
May 15th, 2012
10:15 AM ET

Hang glider pilot apologizes for deadly flight

The pilot of a tandem hang glider from which a British Columbia woman fell to her death last month has apologized to the woman's family and said he won't return to the skies again.

"I failed in such a major way," William Jonathan Orders said in a statement he read Monday. "I want so much to relive that day and have it turn out differently."

Lenami Godinez-Avila, 27, was on her first flight on a hang glider on April 28, when she fell 1,000 feet to her death in a forest clearing near Agassiz, British Columbia.

Witness Nicole McLearn told the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. that when the glider was in the air, Godinez-Avila appeared to be wearing her harness, but it wasn’t attached to the glider.

FULL POST

Post by:
Filed under: Canada • Crime
May 7th, 2012
10:28 AM ET

Report: 'Hang on! I love you!' hang glider flier's boyfriend screamed

Hang-gliding enthusiasts gathered at the site of a fellow flier's death over the weekend as witnesses recalled the last words the victim's boyfriend yelled during her deadly flight over British Columbia.

Lenami Godinez-Avila, 27, was on her first flight on a hang glider on April 28, when she fell 1,000 feet to her death in a forest clearing near Agassiz, British Columbia.

Fellow hang glider pilots, most of whom had never met the woman, got together in the clearing on Saturday, erecting a cross and planting a cherry tree as a memorial, Canada's CTV reported.

"We embraced her as our own, and so because of that, the deep sorrow is like losing someone close to us," said a tearful Jason Warner, a safety officer for the Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association of Canada.

Meanwhile, Nicole McLearn, a witness to the accident, told Post Media News in Canada that Godinez-Avila and her boyfriend were "joyous" as they watched other hang gliders take to the air that Saturday.

Another witness, Frederic Bourgault, said Godinez-Avila flashed a big smile as she prepared for the tandem flight with instructor William Jonathan Orders.

Both witnesses said as Orders and Godinez-Avila ran for their takeoff, something looked wrong, according to the Post report.

“Oh, she’s hanging low,” Bourgault told the Post he said out loud.

McLearn thought their silhouettes "didn't look right," according to the report.

McLearn told the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. that when the glider was in the air, Godinez-Avila appeared to be wearing her harness, but it wasn’t attached to the glider.

"He was horizontal but she was now hanging vertically, and it looked like in essence she had him in a bear hug around the chest area," McLearn told the CBC.

"I could see her starting to slip down his body ... past the waist, down the legs. Finally she got to the feet and tried to hang on and obviously couldn't hang on for that much longer and let go, tearing off the tandem pilot's shoes in the process," McLearn said.

Back at the launch site, Godinez-Avila's boyfriend watched her fall, according to the Post report.

“Lenami! Hang on! I love you!” he screamed, the Post reported.

She was in the air about 30 seconds before she fell.

After the flight, Orders was arrested and charged with obstructing justice. Police say he swallowed a memory card possibly containing video of the fatal accident.

He was granted bail on Friday after posting bond of 5,750 Canadian dollars, said Neil MacKenzie, communications counsel with the province's criminal justice branch.

The recording has since passed and is now in police custody, MacKenzie said. He declined comment on whether anything retrievable could be taken from the card.

Orders is expected to be released from custody on Monday, CTV reported.

Post by: ,
Filed under: Canada • Courts • Crime • World
« older posts
newer posts »