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Canada

11Police Ask If Domestic Violence Victim "Deserved To Get Hit" In Accidental Voicemail Recording (Audio)

The commander of Nova Scotia’s RCMP, or Royal Canadian Mounted Police, is apologizing to a victim of domestic violence after officers accidentally left a message on the woman’s voicemail mocking her abuse allegations (audio below).

The initial domestic violence complaint happened after the woman and her boyfriend got into an argument and he left with her cellphone. She was worried that he would make harassing phone calls to her family and friends, so she went to retrieve it from him, and that’s when the physical abuse took place.

The woman contacted police and filed a report, and some time after, the inadvertent phone call by officers happened. According to reports, an officer had his cellphone in his pocket and mistakenly dialed the woman’s home. She did not answer, but the voicemail did pick up, and the officers were recorded mocking the woman’s claims.

"The way she was talking she was very nonchalant about everything," said one officer on the recording.

"She said it was from the fucking door jamb or something like that, on the door," said another officer, adding, “It's fucking foolish."

"So did she deserve to get hit?" asked an officer.

When the woman eventually heard the message on her voicemail, she immediately called the RCMP and filed a complaint.

"I was ashamed to be a female from Nova Scotia," said the anonymous woman. "How could I do my own job to advise people to contact the RCMP for help? When it was clearly apparent that there was no help to be had. We're not in the '70s. We are in 2014. People need to learn that when they get paid to do a public service, they need to actually do their jobs and not be Neanderthals. That's exactly what I feel like I've been dealing with. Not only my partner but with the RCMP, the local RCMP, I'm appalled and stunned.”

Responding to fallout from the accidental voicemail, RCMP Chief Brian Brennan said that the comments made by the officers were completely inappropriate.

"The RCMP has zero tolerance for this type of behaviour," said Brennan. "As the commanding officer, I was extremely disappointed. The comments on this recording in no way reflect the core values of the RCMP. It's not how I want our members to be talking in terms of victims and domestic violence.”

The RCMP has reportedly met with the woman and apologized to her for the incident. They also confirmed that the woman’s boyfriend has been charged with assault.


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11Taco Bell Says Canada Won’t Be Getting Breakfast Until They Take Back Justin Bieber (Video)

Taco Bell president Brian Niccol told Redditors Thursday that the fast food giant won’t be rolling out breakfast in Canada until they “take Justin Beiber back.”

“I am Brian Niccol, President of Taco Bell,” Niccol wrote under the username RealTacoBell. “Today is the biggest launch in Taco Bell history as we bring breakfast to America. AMA!”

During an “Ask Me Anything” session Niccol was asked, “Only to America? When is this coming to Canada?”

“When you take Justin Bieber back,” Niccol responded.

Taco Bell just introduced the new Waffle Taco as part of the "largest menu expansion in Taco Bell's 50-year history." The move has McDonald’s on the run. They announced Friday that McCafe will be offering free coffee nationwide for two weeks.

Taco Bell ads released this week poked fun at their competitor, showing men name Ronald McDonald eating Taco Bell for breakfast.

Sources: UPI, Fox News


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11Snowstorm Blows Weathermen Off Camera (Video)

The Canadian Maritimes got hit by a mighty snowstorm yesterday.

According to CBC.ca, 100 mph winds closed government offices and schools, cancelled almost all flights in Halifax and knocked out power for about 17,000 people in Nova Scotia.

However, weathermen Mark Robinson and Chris Scott braved the blizzard to give a live report from Grand Etang, Nova Scotia, for Canada's Weather Network (video below).

According to Mediaite.com, they literally got blown off camera by the powerful snowstorm, but managed to make it back to warn viewers (who still had power) about the frigid conditions outside.

Sources: Mediaite.com and CBC.ca


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11Canadian Woman Files Human Rights Complaint On Behalf Of 6-Year-Old Transgender Daughter

A Saskatchewan woman has filed a complaint with the Canadian province’s Human Rights Commission, demanding the removal of the sex listed on anyone’s birth certificate because her child is a transgender.

Fran Forsberg filed the complaint on behalf of her child, Renn, after the provincial Vital Statistics Agency (VSA) rejected the mother’s request to change Renn’s sex designation from “male” to “female” on the 6-year-old’s birth records, CBC News reports.

Forsberg’s child was born with male genitalia, but has identified as a girl since she was just 3 years old.

Forsberg submitted reports from a physician and psychologist confirming that Renn identifies as female, but the VSA refused to make the change because a Saskatchewan resident can only change the sex designation on birth certificates when a person has undergone sex reassignment surgery.

Forsberg argues that confusion and discrimination can be triggered when the gender marker – M to F – on a birth certificate, driver’s license or passport doesn’t match someone’s physical presentation.

“We used to have race on our birth certificates—also, what your father did for a living. It’s irrelevant,” the mom told CBC News. “What I would like to see is for gender to be removed completely from birth certificates.”

Even though birth certificates fall under provincial law, Canada’s federal government requires them for passports.

Forsberg says that Renn showed obvious signs that she was a transgender about three years ago. She started self-harming by banging her head against the wall if she wasn’t allowed to wear girls’ clothing and be called a girl.

Now, Renn’s 11-year-old sister, Krista, helps her select different outfits to wear – from black sequin halter dresses to fancy pink gowns.

Renn is also allowed to go to the girls’ bathroom at her elementary school.

Their mother stressed the importance of healthy self-esteem in her children.

"I want people to understand that my kids do not have an issue with their gender or their gender expression," Forsberg said. "It is society's issue."

CKOM reported that Forsberg has received criticism including that Renn is too young to really identify as a transgender. But Forsberg argues tackling the issue while she’s young will help her daughter as she becomes older and other people like her.

"I don't want my kids to think that they have something to hide or that they have something to be ashamed about, because they don't," she adds.


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11Man Devastated At Hospital After Girlfriend Lies About Being Pregnant With Quints

A Canadian man who thought his girlfriend was pregnant with quintuplets was devastated on delivery day, when a Montreal hospital told him she wasn’t even pregnant.

Paul Servat, 35, furnished a nursery in his home with five cribs and had picked out names for all the babies. Most of the baby items were donated to the family after they set up a Facebook page about the pregnancy.

"I lost everything, it was my whole life,” Servat said.

His girlfriend, Barbara Bienvenue, 37, lied to him for 34 weeks. But Bienvenue was actually convinced she was pregnant. Bienvenue’s belly swelled and her breasts began lactating, a condition known as false pregnancy.

She told Servate in September that she was expecting.

"We were so happy," he said. "Even my parents, they were so looking forward to having grandchildren."

Over time, Bienvenue told Servat she was having twins, then triplets, then quadruplets and finally said she was expecting quintuplets.

On Wednesday, her self-imposed delivery date, Servat took her to a hospital, where staff said there was no file for the pregnancy.

A nurse eventually took him aside and explained that a blood test showed Bienvenue wasn’t pregnant.

Doctors kept her for psychiatric evaluation.

"The doctors told me it was a phantom pregnancy," said Servat.

Apparently, Bienvenue believed so strongly that she was pregnant that her belly grew and her breasts lactated as if she was. Phantom pregnancy, also known as false pregnancy or pseudocyesis, can last weeks, months or even years. Symptoms include all the same symptoms of a real pregnancy.

Bienvenue, who met Servat online last summer, never had the pregnancy confirmed by a doctor.

"I'll return all these things to people who sent them or give them (away)," Servat said of the baby items. "I'm a good person and I have nothing to do with these lies."

Sources: Daily Miner and News, Toronto Sun


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11'Bureaucratic Screw Up' Sends Family Of Dead Soldier One-Cent Check

Defense Minister Rob Nicholson is apologizing to the family of deceased soldier Cpl. Justin Stark after the federal government sent Stark's family a one-cent check.

Cpl. Stark died of a suicide in 2011 just months after returning from a tour in Afghanistan.

For Stark’s mother, receiving a one-cent check in the mail two-and-a-half years after her son’s death was insulting at best.

“It’s humiliating and degrading,” said Kevin Ellis, speaking on behalf of the Stark family. “It took the wind out of her sails. It’s been 2½ years and she gets a check in the mail from the government addressed to her son for one cent? This woman lost her son, and it seems like all these things keep falling on her.”

The check was labeled as “release pay.”

Defense Minister Nicholson called the check “absolutely ridiculous” and blamed it on an “insensitive bureaucratic screw up.”

“I've just learned of it now and I will take steps immediately to ensure that something like this should never happen again,” Nicholson said.

Nicholson told CTV News he will make a personal call to the family to offer his apologies and condolences.

“I extend the apologies of...everyone in the government to his mother,” Nicholson said during a recent Q&A session. “And we thank this individual for the service that he gave his country.”

Ellis told CBC News that the Stark family wants to see corrective actions, not apologies, taken by the government.

“If it had been in the first year, she would have understood. But this is inexcusable,” Ellis said. “At the end of the day, this is a young man who defended our country. He deserves better.”

Sources: CBC, CTV News


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11Female WestJet Pilot Receives Sexist Note From Passenger

A female WestJet pilot received a sexist note from a male passenger this weekend after a flight from Victoria to Calgary.

Pilot Carey Steacy had just finished her trip when a member of the cleaning crew brought her the note written on a napkin. It was written by a David in seat 12 E.

“The cockpit of an airline is no place for woman,” the note read. “A woman being a mother is the most honor.”

The note went on to insist that the country needs more mothers, not pilots.

Steacy, who has 17 years of flying experience, posted the note to Facebook and received mass amounts of support.

“You were more than welcome to deplane when you heard I was a ‘fair lady’. You have that right,” Steacy wrote. “Funny, we all, us humans, have the same rights in this great free country of ours.”

WestJet issued a statement noting that the company is proud of their pilots’ professionalism and expertise, and disappointed to see the note.

Sources: DailyMail, Global News


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11Six-Year-Old Freezes to Death As Temperature Drops to 30 Degrees Below Zero

A six-year-old Minnesota girl was found dead on Thursday after she fell asleep outside in temperatures that dropped to 30 degrees below zero.

The unidentified girl was found on the steps of her apartment building’s front entrance at 6:23 a.m.

When her mother and neighbor found her, they immediately called 911.

Investigators arrived at the scene, and noting the girl’s exposure to the weather she was pronounced dead. While police do not believe foul play was involved, they are trying to connect a timeline from the time the child went missing to when she was discovered.

Temperatures in the area recently reached 27 below zero with wind chills dropping to minus-40 degrees.

Bemidji is just south of International Falls, the Canadian border known as the “icebox of the nation” because of its regularly freezing temperatures.

Sources: DailyMail, Investment Watch


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11Man Who Beheaded, Cannibalized Fellow Bus Passenger May Be Granted More Freedom

A man who beheaded and cannibalized a fellow passenger on a Greyhound bus in 2008 may soon be granted unescorted day trips outside of the mental hospital where he is currently committed.

A psychiatrist is asking a Criminal Code Review Board to let Vince Li, 46, have more freedom.

"From a clinical perspective, he has progressed excellently," Dr. Steven Kremer said at a hearing Monday.

Li, once diagnosed with schizophrenia, is reportedly no longer suffering from delusions and is considered non-violent. 

"Our overall goal is to eventually have Mr. Li reintegrate into the community,” Kremer said.

Li was found not criminally responsible for stabbing, beheading, and eating Tim McLean in July 2008.

McLean didn’t know Li. He was simply sitting next to him on a bus ride from Edmonton to Winnipeg. Unprovoked, Li attacked him.

Li claimed he heard voices telling him to kill.

Since he was placed in Selkirk Mental Health Centre he has been allowed to take escorted day trips to Winnipeg and other areas. Kremer wants to grant Li unescorted day passes into Silkirk, relocation into a ward of the hospital that is unlocked, and more relaxed supervision on his escorted trips outside the hospital.

Crown attorney Susan Helenchilde didn’t oppose the request.

"Mr. Li has done everything that has been asked of him,” she said.

The victim’s mother, Carol de Delley, says Li doesn’t deserve any freedom, and she has fought to toughen laws on criminal responsibility.

"I don't think it should matter whether you're mentally ill or not mentally ill. If you kill someone, you should lose your freedom, period," de Delley said outside the hearing. "I'm standing out here by my damn self for six years now, and they're going to ultimately let this person free. And if he reoffends, [they'll say], 'Oh well, statistically it shouldn't happen'. But guess what? It does, and it does and it does."

She founded a website where she tracks cases of people found not criminally responsible who reoffend.

Sources: Toronto Star, CTV News


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11Texas Teen Jailed For Sandy Hook-Related Facebook Comments Still Faces Charges

A Texas teenager who posted a seemingly sarcastic comment on Facebook after the 2012 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School is still stuck in legal limbo, the Dallas Observer reports. 

The teen, 18-year-old Justin Carter, was involved in a comment thread on the social media site when he posted the following message: “I’m f----- in the head alright, I think I’ma SHOOT UP A KINDERGARTEN.” In context, the comment may have had something to do with a relatively innocuous argument about the video game League of Legends, Reason reports. Without the context, the commenter quickly found himself entangled in a bureaucratic battle of 21st-century Kafkaesque proportions.

An individual from Canada who was following the thread ended up taking a screenshot from his or her cell phone before forwarding the photo to the local law enforcement agency. The Canadian police force subsequently forwarded the photograph to a law enforcement agency in Texas, who found that Carter lived within 100 yards of an elementary school. 

Federal law enforcement officers quickly charged Carter with third-degree terrorism and arrested him while he was working at the drapery shop where he had been employed. He was held for four months in jail on a $500,000 bail. 

Don Flanary, Carter’s attorney, claims that prosecutors failed to read the entire thread on the site prior to convicting him. He also claims that Carter displayed no true malicious intent, and that his client’s comments should not be considered as a terrorist threat. 

“When you’re dealing with speech ... it is absolutely, 100 percent important that the words that you are charging people with are actually the words that they said and not some misrepresentation,” Flanary said.

Carter’s case is an interesting example of the legal implications of content posted on Facebook. The social media site has been used in several First Amendment cases — such as the one in which judges ruled that the “like” button constitutes free speech — but it has also been used as evidence to convict criminal suspects. 

Despite being released on bail by an anonymous donor, Carter still faces charges. 


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