Vancouver mother, doctor, killed in Taliban attack in Afghanistan – BC

WATCH (above): Condolences are pouring in tonight for Roshan Thomas, the Vancouver woman killed in an attack in Afghanistan. John Daly has the story of her life and legacy.

Roshan Thomas, a teacher and an optometrist from Vancouver, was one of the Canadians killed in a Taliban attack in Afghanistan.

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Sources have confirmed to Global National that Thomas was one of two Canadians killed when gunmen opened fire on a luxury hotel in Kabul.

Thomas’ husband, Dr. Rahim (Roger) Thomas is an ophthalmologist in Richmond. The couple have three children.

“She was doing what she loved to do,” said Samira Thomas, Roshan’s daughter. “She spent her life living the ethics of her faith and part of that meant going and serving communities that she felt she could enable in helping them. So she was running early childhood development centres there, and she had been for the last 10 years.”

Her son, Karim, said one of the things that was always important to his mother was that educated Afghan people gave back to their country. “Some of the students, there are students there right now actually, who have done exactly that, and there are others back here in Canada who have done that already.”

Foreign Affairs will only say two Canadians died.

Senator Mobina Jaffer tweeted that her friend worked hard for the education of Afghan girls:

She also tweeted that Roshan was about to become a grandmother for the first time.

Roshan and her husband had a long history of working in Afghanistan, providing eye services to refugees and others in vulnerable communities.

In 2003 October, Roshan and her family travelled to Afghanistan to open the country’s first independent school of excellence – the SPARKS Academy in Kabul.

WATCH: Two of Roshan’s children and some of her students talk about her work and legacy.

They had started working in refugee camps in Pakistan years before, delivering eye care to those in need, and that is where they first came to know about the Afghan people and what their country was going through.

Global News has learned teenage gunmen gained access to the tightly-secured Serena Hotel in Kabul by telling security they wanted to enjoy Nowruz, the Persian New Year celebrated in Afghanistan.

Sources say the gunmen waited three hours until the restaurant was full before attacking foreigners at around 9:45 p.m. local time. Nine people were killed in total.

Thomas’ colleagues, who were also at the hotel, were offered refuge and assistance at the Canadian embassy, located 3.2 kilometres from the hotel.

WATCH: Video of Roshan Thomas provided by her family.

Sources told Global News the second Canadian victim is from Calgary.

Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird issued the following statement about the attack:

“Canada condemns this brazen and cowardly terrorist attack on the Serena Hotel, in Kabul, which has claimed the lives of many and left several people injured.

“On behalf of all Canadians, we extend our sincerest condolences to the families and friends of those who were killed and injured. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of two Canadian citizens who were killed in this attack.

“Many of these people dedicated their lives to helping everyday Afghans build a better country for themselves, including education, and enhancing the role of women and girls in Afghan society. For this selfless work to be met with violence, especially on the occasion of Nowruz, just further proves the depravity of the Taliban and those who support them.

“Acts of terror must not go unpunished, and those who perpetrated and supported this violence must be held accountable.

“While events like this highlight the security challenges that remain in parts of Afghanistan, it only strengthens our resolve to combat the scourge of terrorism in all its forms.

“Canadian consular officials in Kabul are in contact with local authorities to gather additional information and are providing consular assistance.

“Due to privacy concerns, and out of respect for the families of those Canadians killed in today’s attack, further information will not be made available.”

The funeral for Roshan will be held Monday, March 31 at 12, at Headquarters Jamatkhana, 1250 Gladwin Drive, North Vancouver.

The Thomas family will arrive at 11 am and last respects will commence at 12 noon.

The public is asked to arrive anytime before 12.

Donations can also be made to Roshan’s foundation, the Sparks Humanitarian Society at:

1443 W 48th Avenue
Vancouver, BC
V6M 2P1

Or online at 杭州夜生活sharethespark杭州夜网.

Cheques made out to Sparks Humanitarian Society can also be sent to the same address.

©2014Shaw Media

New drug coverage plan passes in New Brunswick legislature – New Brunswick

FREDERICTON – The first phase of a new provincial drug plan passed Friday morning in the New Brunswick legislature.

The plan was an election promise made by the Alward government back in 2010 to cover drug costs for people who don’t have insurance through an employer.

It also covers people who can’t get drug coverage through social assistance programs.

Health minister Hugh Flemming spoke to health officials after the plan passed and called it a “great day for the people of New Brunswick.”

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“Today is why I get into politics,” he said.

“It’s to do something constructive for people. I’ll be 60 my next birthday. This isn’t a job. I’ve had a job for the best part of 35 years.

“This was a wonderful opportunity to contribute to the people of New Brunswick. I’ve been privileged to be able to do that today.”

The first phase of the plan is expected to begin May 1. The second phase begins in 2015, at which time the plan will be made mandatory.

The plan will cover any prescription drugs that are on the provincial formulary, which is a list of covered drugs. It has been criticized for not including certain drugs. 

Flemming was emotional while he spoke about the plan, but said it’s “not a crime” to be emotional — and he said he’s not alone.

“It’s emotional to 170,000 people who don’t have drugs and who are going to get it.”

©2014Shaw Media

Recipe for herbed matzo-stuffed roasted chicken

Why is it that we only stuff poultry one day a year?

Let’s face it, stuffing takes an already delicious dish – roasted poultry – and makes it even more so by adding flavourful, fat-soaked carbs to the mix. Yet outside of Thanksgiving, few of us ever think to stuff and roast a bird. Admittedly, most of us don’t have the time to prepare a stuffed turkey on a weeknight. But why not try a chicken?

The beauty of a roasted chicken is that aside from about 15 minutes prep, nearly all of the time is hands off. And we can keep the roasting time itself pretty minimal by spatchcocking the chicken (cutting out the backbone and roasting the bird flat) before stuffing and roasting it.

Since Passover is coming up, I decided to play around with a matzo-based herb stuffing. But if you’d rather stick with a more traditional stuffing base, the same technique works just as well.


Start to finish: 1 hour 20 minutes (15 minutes active)

Servings: 6

2 tablespoons olive oil, plus extra1 medium yellow onion, diced4 stalks celery, finely chopped4 ounces button mushrooms, sliced2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme1 teaspoon dried basil5 sheets (5 ounces) salted matzo, crumbledChicken brothKosher salt and ground black pepper5-pound whole chicken
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  • Passover recipe for spring matzo ball soup

  • Recipe for simple roast chicken with fresh herb sauce

  • Passover recipe for spiced hazelnut ingberlach

Heat the oven to 400 F. Coat a 13-by-18-inch baking pan with cooking oil.

In a large skillet over medium-high, heat the oil. Add the onion, celery and mushrooms and cook until lightly browned, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the oregano, parsley, thyme and basil and cook for another minute. Add the crumbled matzo. Stir well, sprinkling in just enough broth to make a moist stuffing, about 1/2 cup. Season with salt and pepper, then spread the stuffing evenly in the prepared baking pan.

Place the chicken on the cutting board with the breast down. One on side of the backbone, use kitchen shears to carefully cut from the neck hole down the length of the backbone and out the rump. This will require a little effort, but the shears should cut through the bones without too much difficulty. Repeat the cut along the other side of the backbone, removing and discarding it.

Spread open the chicken, exposing the cavity, then overturn the bird and set it over the stuffing in the pan. Season under the skin with salt and pepper. Rub the outside of the skin with olive oil, then season with salt and pepper. Roast for 1 hour to 1 hour and 10 minutes, or until a thermometer inserted in the thigh reads 165 F. If the chicken browns too quickly, cover it with foil.

Nutrition information per serving: 710 calories; 400 calories from fat (56 per cent of total calories); 45 g fat (12 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 185 mg cholesterol; 24 g carbohydrate; 2 g fiber; 2 g sugar; 50 g protein; 580 mg sodium.

©2014The Associated Press

Farley Chatto shows luxury furs at Toronto fashion week

TORONTO – Farley Chatto received a warm welcome back to the Toronto runway as the longtime homegrown designer presented a collection of luxury furs.

In a recent interview, Chatto said his last official show in 2008 featured menswear, but he was motivated to return to the catwalk to show a full fur line after seeing others incorporate bits and pieces of fur in their collections.

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    Friends Claudette Floyd and Helmer debut collections at World MasterCard Fashion Week

  • David Dixon unveils bridal line for Kleinfeld Hudson’s Bay

  • Melissa Nepton brings a dose of glam to sporty styles for fall 2014

His collection – dubbed “Far & Away” – was unveiled on Thursday at Toronto’s World MasterCard Fashion Week, with luxury furs including mink, fox and chinchilla featured in a variety of coats, capelets, vests, stoles, scarves and trapper hats.

“Predominantly, the biggest change you’re going to notice is the fit. There are going to be much more fitted, much narrower,” Chatto said about the new line.

“You’re going to get nice fitted tops, narrow armholes, narrow sleeves – as much as you can do with fur – but still showing the luxury and the beauty of fur by having these beautiful sweeps, as we call it, full, flared jackets.”

As a fresh twist on the oversized furs from decades past, men are also seeing more trimmed and tailored styles of coats, Chatto added.

The line was awash in vibrant shades, with coats, stoles and infinity scarves featured in rich red, blue, green and mauve hues – sometimes fusing multiple colours within a single garment.

Womenswear designer Caitlin Power said she was inspired to work with fur following the presentation and was impressed by Chatto’s creativity. She singled out a blue and black coat in the range among her standouts.

“This is the first time I’ve seen anything from Farley, so I was blown away.”

©2014The Canadian Press

Indian court gives 4 men life in prison for raping call-centre op – National

Watch above: A look at the charges they were convicted of and why an Indian court sentenced four men to the maximum punishment.

NEW DELHI – An Indian court sentenced four men to life in prison on Friday for raping a call-centre operator last year inside an abandoned textile mill in the financial hub of Mumbai.

Prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam said the Mumbai court delivered the maximum punishment to the four after finding them guilty of rape, unnatural sex and abduction.

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  • Indian police say village elders ordered gang-rape of woman

The court delayed until Monday the sentencing of three of the defendants and a fourth person in the rape of another woman, a photojournalist, that occurred several weeks later at the same location, Nikam said.

READ MORE: Analysis: Mumbai gang rape case highlights lingering gender issues in progressive Indian city

Nikam said he might ask for death sentences for the three defendants because of their involvement in two rape cases.

The four sentenced on Friday are expected to appeal the verdict in a higher court.

Both trials were completed in seven months by the fast-track court. Rape cases are being handled more rapidly since December 2012, when a 23-year-old medical student was fatally gang-raped on a moving bus in New Delhi. Widespread protests following that attack also prompted stricter anti-rape laws.

Four men have been sentenced to death in the New Delhi rape case.

©2014The Canadian Press

Northern Saskatchewan students ready for trip abroad

Watch above: some Stony Rapids students are fundraising their way to Europe

STONY RAPIDS, Sask. – A group of students from Stony Rapids Community School in northern Saskatchewan will be heading to Europe this summer on a one-of-a-kind class trip at the end of June.

The school has raised roughly $64,000 towards the trip, but Stony Rapids principal Shawn Morris says the group still needs to cover the cost of travel to and from Saskatoon, as well as their hotels. The students’ goal is to raise around $72,000

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“We back everything that’s going on here, so we rally around good causes,” said Morris, who is originally from Atlantic Canada. He added that fundraising is a large part of the school year.

“We fundraise a lot for the trip,” said Gerald Robillard, a ninth grade student at the school.

The school received a ‘learning opportunities’ grant from the government for $6,000, while the rest was collected through fundraising. The students ran events like bingo and movie nights to grow their funds.

The price tag may be hefty, however administrators at the school say the trip helps expand their students’ worldview and allows them to easier transition to high school in a large community, such as La Ronge or Prince Albert. Stony Rapids Community School only offers classes up to the ninth grade.

“That will prepare them even more for when they have to move down south for grade ten, eleven, twelve, because they’re going to be going through that shift of a new place and new faces,” said Rebecca Gibbs, a teacher at the school.

This isn’t the first trip for Morris and his staff; in 2012, 11 students visited China on a tour. The same number of students is expected to travel to Europe this summer.

“They want them to feel what’s on the outside, abroad, like Paris and England,” said Daniel Powder, the mayor of Stony Rapids.

Free smartphone app helps you keep track of your vaccination schedule – National

WATCH: (Mar. 22, 2014) We are all often overwhelmed by paperwork and keeping track of your kids’ vaccinations are no exception. Now the Canadian government is introducing a free app meant to keep immunizations on track. As Christina Stevens tells us, this may be the first national app of its kind in the world.

TORONTO – If you are like most people, you have absolutely no clue when you last had a tetanus shot or when your polio booster is due. Even if you have a yellow immunization book, you may not know where to find it.

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And if you’re a parent, you may have a hard time keeping track of when your daughter is due for an HPV vaccination or which vaccinations your son will get in Grade 9.

A new smartphone app could make those hassles a thing of the past.

READ MORE: Canadians eager for more virtual, mobile health care solutions

The free and bilingual ImmunizeCA app can log a whole family’s vaccination history, sending you reminders of when you or your children are due for vaccinations, tailoring the alerts to the schedule in the province or territory in which you live. It can also link you to reputable information about those vaccines.

“As a parent who thinks vaccination is important, I think this is a brilliant idea,” said Dr. Michael Gardam, head of infection control at Toronto’s University Health Network.

“It is remarkably old fashioned that these things are (still) written in books. Half the time when I see people’s vaccination records I can’t even read what’s written there,” said Gardam, who was not involved in the project.

The app was developed by researchers at the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute in conjunction with the Canadian Public Health Association and the organization Immunize Canada. The work was funded by the Public Health Agency of Canada.

READ MORE: 10 health apps recommended by experts

The app is available for iPhones, Androids and Android-enabled Blackberrys. It can be downloaded at the App Store, Google Play and Blackberry World.

Information will be stored on individual phones, but people can also upload it to the iCloud or Google Drive. That way, if you lose or replace your phone, the information itself is not lost.

The project was the brainchild of Dr. Kumanan Wilson, a senior scientist at the Ottawa Health Research Institute. He and Cameron Bell, an electrical engineering student at McGill University, had earlier developed a prototype version of this app, geared solely to residents in Ontario and available only for iPhones.

WATCH: Dr. Kumanan Wilson explains the genesis of the ImmunizeCA app, and what benefits it could have for users of all ages.

Wilson said the app won’t be an official immunization record, but will help people manage their own health information and to get accurate information on immunizations.

The app can and should be password protected, he said. And people who use apps that can scrub data remotely from a lost or stolen phone would be able to remotely delete their immunization records too.

Wilson says if provinces or territories change their immunization schedules, updates can be built into the program. The program could also notify people of outbreaks of vaccine preventable diseases near them and tell them the corresponding vaccine status of every member of their family.

“We designed this for individuals to help them with their health information. But in the process we think we can help public health,” he said.

“Recent outbreaks across Canada show us that infectious diseases can still be a threat if your vaccinations aren’t up to date,” Ian Culbert, executive director of the Canadian Public Health Association said in a statement.

“It is imperative that we all maintain our vaccinations, from infancy to your senior years, and the ImmunizeCA app can help us, right at our fingertips.”

‘Big Brother Canada’ evictee Paul Jackson predicts Arlie win

TORONTO — For the second week in a row, a Big Brother Canada evictee has predicted Arlie Shaban will win it all.

“Arlie’s playing a really good social game,” said Paul Jackson, who got kicked out on Thursday night.

“He seems to have the respect of the boys but he’s also really soft with the ladies in the house.”

Jackson, 43, was evicted by a 6-4 vote.

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READ MORE: Full coverage of Big Brother Canada

During an appearance Friday on Global’s The Morning Show, the Toronto-based motivational speaker admitted he expected to stay in the house at least another week.

“I really wanted to see Heather’s face when they said ‘Heather, you’ve been evicted’ but it didn’t work out that way,” he said.

Jackson said he entered the Big Brother Canada house with a plan to be competitive.

“I came in the game to play the game. I didn’t want to come to the game and be a floater,” he said.

“I knew that Canadians wanted to see someone play the game so I came in with that mindset. I was going to play it, I was going to call people out and I was going to clash with them. That’s just who I am as a person.”

So far this season, Kyle Shore and Anick Gervais have also been evicted from Big Brother Canada.

Big Brother Canada airs Wednesday on Slice. The show will air three nights a week on Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays on Slice.

The Big Brother Canada Side Show airs Thursdays, while Big Brother Canada After Dark airs seven days a week from 2 a.m. to 5 a.m. ET/11 p.m. to 2 a.m. PT.

Slice is part of Shaw Media, parent company of Global News.

©2014Shaw Media

Regulators give green light to Loblaw-Shoppers takeover deal

Competition regulators have approved the $12.4-billion takeover of Shoppers Drug Mart by Loblaw Cos. Ltd., removing the last obstacle in a deal that sees the largest grocery company in the country acquire Canada’s largest pharmacy chain.

In a statement, the federal Competition Bureau said it has reached a “remedy” to “competition concerns” related to the blockbuster deal, which was first announced by the two companies last summer.

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  • How the Loblaw-Shoppers merger will affect consumers

Loblaw will sell 18 retail locations between the two merged chains, as well as sell a total of nine pharmacies within its grocery outlets to independent competitors, the bureau said.

The approval also comes with “behavioural restrictions” for the newly merged company, the bureau’s statement said.

READ MORE: Scrutiny urged over supermarket mega-mergers

Brampton, Ont.-based Loblaw is the largest food retailer in Canada with more than 1,000 corporate and franchise supermarkets that operate under 22 different banners, including No Frills, Great Canadian Superstores and Fortinos.

Shoppers oversees a retail pharmacy chain of more than 1,200 locations across the country, making it the biggest pharmacy in the country.


Shoppers Drug Marts that must be sold:

— Sechelt, B.C.
— Devon, Alta.
— Innisfail, Alta.
— Westlock, Alta.
— Aylmer, Ont.
— Chelmsford, Ont.
— Exeter, Ont.
— Kingsville, Ont.
— Mount Forest, Ont.
— Port Hope, Ont.
— Petrolia, Ont.
— Tantallon, N.S.
— St. Stephen, N.B.
— Montague, P.E.I.

Other Loblaw-branded stores being sold:

— No Frills in the Ontario communities of Blenheim and Elmira, as well as Barrington Passage, N.S.

— Save-Easy in Dalhousie, N.B.

Loblaw pharmacies being sold to independent operators:

— Almonte, Ont.
— Embrun, Ont.
— Ingersoll, Ont.
— Listowel, Ont.
— Port Perry, Ont.
— Prescott, Ont.
— Tillsonburg, Ont.
— Bay Roberts, Nfld.
— Carbonear, Nfld.

The bureau said Friday the merged company would own a retail network of 2,738 stores and 1,824 pharmacies.

The decision will impose limits on Loblaw in how far it can go in forcing its suppliers to lift prices on Loblaw’s competition, and that such “behavioural restrictions” will be in place for the next half decade.

Without them, the market power of the new entity could lead to higher prices, the decision said.

“The bureau determined that without restrictions on certain Loblaw programs and agreements, the proposed transaction would likely lead to higher wholesale prices paid by other retailers to suppliers and, in some circumstances, higher retail prices for consumers,” the federal agency said.

On July 15, the pair announced a friendly takeover of Shoppers by Loblaw, a deal shareholders approved in September. Consent from competition regulators was the last remaining obstacle in the deal’s path to closing.

The merger follows the takeover of Safeway Canada by rival Sobeys for $5.8 billion last year, the country’s second-biggest grocer with a dominant chain in Western Canada.

READ MORE: Walmart makes bigger push into grocery aisle

Experts say both deals were made by Canadian grocery operators to help fend off a deeper push among U.S. discount chains into the Canadian market, and supermarket sales in particular.

“This Agreement addresses the most significant negative competitive effects of the merger by ensuring that consumers continue to benefit from competitive prices in the retail sale of drugstore and pharmacy products in Canada,” John Pecman, commissioner of the Competition Bureau said.

“The Bureau will continue to investigate Loblaw’s programs related to its relationship with suppliers to ensure that Canadian consumers benefit from vigorous competition.”

Troubles, tricks and tragedies:Financial abuse of powers of attorney – National

It is difficult to believe that siblings or trusted friends could abuse a position of trust and confidence. You might discover that your parents’ foreign property has been transferred to one of your siblings, or that a very generous transfer of funds has been put in a sibling’s name. It could also be as simple as a family member using your parents’ bank account like an ATM or making sporadic transfers here and there.

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Sometimes people are fortunate enough to discover asset transfers or the transfer of money prior to a loved one’s death. However, in many instances, these transfers are not discovered until after death. This blog will focus on what options are available to you if you discover untoward behaviour while a loved one is alive and a power of attorney is being used to facilitate such behaviour.

A continuing power of attorney for property is a document in which a person (the legal terminology calls such a person a grantor) gives another individual (the attorney) the authority to deal with his or her property and finances. There is a significant element of trust in such an appointment and therefore significant room for financial abuse.

If you suspect financial abuse by an attorney, depending on the severity of the abuse, there are a few options to consider. They are: (1) whether the power of attorney can be terminated to prevent further abuse; (2) whether the attorney can be compelled to pass his or her accounts; (3) if the grantor does not have capacity, whether the attorney can be removed and a guardian appointed by the court. I will deal with each of these options below.

1) Stop Further Financial Abuse. A continuing power of attorney can be terminated where:

i) a new continuing power of attorney is signed;
ii) the grantor of the power dies;
iii) the grantor revokes the power of attorney;
iv) a guardian is appointed by the court; or
v) the attorney resigns, dies or becomes incapable (and there is no substitute attorney appointed in the power).

2) Review of Previous Transactions. An attorney for property is required to keep accounts and can be ordered by the court to “pass” his or her accounts. This means that the accounts are filed with the court and transactions can be objected to by interested parties. Therefore, small or large gifts to one’s self (or gifts purportedly made by the grantor), trips to the Yogen Fruz and Yorkville shopping sprees will all be scrutinized and ordered to be repaid. It should be remembered that an attorney is entitled to compensation, which can be increased or decreased by the court.

3) Removal of Attorney. In certain circumstances, an attorney can be removed by the court. The court will look at the welfare of the grantor and whether it is in the grantor’s best interest that the attorney be removed. The court will also look at whether there is evidence of an attorney’s negligence or misconduct. It is not easy to remove an attorney as the court gives deference to a person’s right to choose their attorney. If an attorney is removed, the court will appoint a guardian of property.

Lastly, if an attorney has abused his or her position of power (thereby breaching his or her duties), a court can order the attorney to pay a portion or a majority of costs of the litigation. However, the payment of such costs is highly dependent on the facts in each case.