Monthly Archives: June 2019

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Thousands attend Bernie Sanders rally in show of support for Obamacare

WARREN, Mich. – Thousands of people showed up in freezing temperatures on Sunday in Michigan where Sen. Bernie Sanders called on Americans to resist Republican efforts to repeal President Barack Obama’s health care law, one of a number of rallies Democrats staged across the country to highlight opposition.

Labour unions were a strong presence at the rally in a parking lot at Macomb County Community College in the Detroit suburb of Warren, where some people carried signs including “Save our Health Care.”

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Lisa Bible, 45, of Bancroft, Michigan said she has an auto immune disease and high cholesterol. She says the existing law has been an answer to her and her husband’s prayers, but she worries that if it’s repealed her family may get stuck with her medical bills.

“I’m going to get really sick and my life will be at risk,” she said.

President-elect Donald Trump has vowed to overturn and replace the Affordable Care Act and majority Republicans in Congress this week began the process of repealing it using a budget manoeuvr that requires a bare majority in the Senate.

“This is the wealthiest country in the history of the world. It is time we got our national priorities right,” Sanders told the Michigan rally.

The law has delivered health coverage to about 20 million people but is saddled with problems such as rapidly rising premiums and large co-payments.

WATCH: Congressman Mike Coffman leaves town hall meeting early after huge crowd of constituents shows up to speak out against repeal of the Affordable Care Act

Britt Waligorski, 31, a health care administrator for a dental practice, said she didn’t get health insurance through work but has been covered through the health law for three years. While the premiums have gone up, she said she is concerned that services for women will be taken away if it is repealed.

READ MORE: Obamacare repeal vote passes in U.S. House of Representatives

“It’s done a lot for women for their annual checkups, for mammograms —; women’s health in general. If this gets repealed, we’re going to go back to the old days when that’s not covered,” she said.

The health law has provided subsidies and Medicaid coverage for millions who don’t get insurance at work. It has required insurers to cover certain services such as family planning and people who are already ill, and has placed limits on the amount that the sick and elderly can be billed for health care.

WATCH: Bernie Sanders warns U.S. Senate that ‘many thousands’ will die if they repeal Obamacare

Sanders, a strong supporter of the law, made several visits to the state last year during the Michigan primary and defeated Hillary Clinton in the state. But in a major surprise, Michigan narrowly voted for Trump on Nov. 8, the first Republican presidential candidate to carry the state since 1988.

Rallies in some other cities in support of the health law also were well attended. Police estimated about 600 people showed up in Portland, Maine. Hundreds also attended a rally in Newark, New Jersey.

READ MORE: States move to protect birth control options before Donald Trump repeals Obamacare

Republicans want to end the fines that enforce the requirement that many individuals buy coverage and that larger companies provide it to workers.

But they face internal disagreements on how to pay for any replacement and how to protect consumers and insurers during a long phase-in of an alternative.

WATCH: Thousands rally across the U.S. in support of Obamacare. Claudia Rupcich reports.

Mark Heller, 45, a civil rights, immigration and labour attorney who drove to the Michigan event from Toledo, Ohio, said that stopping Republicans from repealing the law may take more than attending rallies.

“I think that it’s going to take civil disobedience to turn this around because they have the votes in both the Senate and the House, and the president,” he said.

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Virtual demo at Mewata Armoury creates realistic battlefield scenarios

A computer simulation exercise called Virtual Scout was conducted at the Mewata Armoury Sunday.

The command post exercise, conducted by the King’s Own Calgary Regimen (KOCR), creates realistic battlefield scenarios to help soldiers prepare for upcoming training events. It focuses on “route and zone reconnaissance.”

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    “They will practice their basic crew skills in this environment, so they are able to re-find those skills prior to going out into the field later this spring,” Lieutenant Colonel Christopher Hunt, commanding officer of the KOCR, said.

    “They will see a virtual replica of what they would see on the battlefield. So they will see other armoured vehicles and explosions. They are able to practice their communication skills and use a radio. Crew commanders will be able to give their gunners gunnery commands prior to getting into the real vehicles and going into the field.”

    Captain Brandon Frizzell said it’s also a cost effective training program and gives soldiers the opportunity to practice basic skills in a controlled environment first.

    “We can follow our crawl-walk-run mentality and practice the basics here, before going out into the elements and increasing the difficulty,” Captain Frizzell said.

    “Taking what these guys are doing here right now, in terms of controlling their vehicles … in a scenario like this, is significantly easier than doing it out in the field when it’s -30 C and it’s snowing and the elements play a huge part in the difficulty of controlling soldiers.”

    Cpl Hunt said, “It’s gotten more realistic and I think for anyone that has experience with computer software and computer games, the graphics have gotten better, there’s more complexity, it’s able to model things more accurately, and so that has progressed with the training simulators over time as well.”

    The King’s Own Calgary Regiment is a reserve armoured unit that is part of 41 Canadian Brigade Group in 3rd Canadian Division. The Regiment trains armoured fighting vehicle crews of part-time professional soldiers.

    There are two armoured reconnaissance squadrons. ‘A’ Squadron is based in Calgary at Mewata Armoury, and ‘B’ Squadron is now recruiting in Foothills communities and is based near Okotoks and High River.

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Should authorities in B.C. ‘name and shame’ alleged drunk drivers?

British Columbia already has some of the toughest drunk driving laws in the country, but would naming and shaming alleged impaired drivers act as an even stronger deterrent?

In Ontario, the Durham Regional Police Service has taken to publishing the names of those accused of driving under the influence.

Bob Rorison, president of Mothers Against Drunk Driving Metro Vancouver, thinks it’s time authorities in B.C. consider a similar strategy.

“If public shaming will work and it’s legal, let’s use it,” he said.

WATCH: Ontario police posting alleged drunk drivers names on the web

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Defence lawyer Paul Doroshenko has concerns about naming people suspected of driving under the influence, since under the law they are presumed innocent until proven guilty.

“More innocent peopled are charged with that offence than any other offence in the country,” he said. “There are a lot of innocent people who go through that process of being charged with that offence.

“Should they be stigmatized as well by the police going out and publishing their names and publicizing it? I don’t think that’s appropriate.”

Social media analyst Jesse Miller said even if a suspect is found not guilty in court, posting charges online means an innocent person could face a different verdict in the court of public opinion.

READ MORE: 3 B.C. cities make top 10 drunk driving list

“The scary part here is that once you do publish something online, it is part of their dossier online for the rest of their lives,” he said. “How do you directly impact their career?”

In a statement to Global News, the Ministry of Public Safety said:

“British Columbia’s tough drinking and driving penalties take alcohol-affected drivers off the road immediately and are a serious financial deterrent.

“Public humiliation is not considered an effective way to change behaviours around drinking and driving.”

– With files from Rumina Daya

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Nazi camp excavations unearth link to Anne Frank

JERUSALEM – Researchers excavating the remains of one of the most notorious Nazi death camps have uncovered a pendant that appears identical to one belonging to Anne Frank, Israel’s Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial said Sunday.

Yad Vashem says it has ascertained the pendant belonged to Karoline Cohn – a Jewish girl who perished at Sobibor and may have been connected to the famous diarist. Both were born in Frankfurt in 1929, and historians have found no other pendants like theirs.

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The triangular piece found has the words “Mazal Tov” written in Hebrew on one side along with Cohn’s date of birth. The other side has the Hebrew letter “heh,” an initial for God, as well as three Stars of David.

READ MORE: Anne Frank may not have been betrayed to Nazis: new study

Researchers are now trying to reach out to any remaining relatives of the two to confirm whether they were related.

Since 2007, the Israel Antiquities Authority, together with Yad Vashem, has been conducting excavations at the former camp in Poland in a novel approach to Holocaust research. The camp was destroyed after an October 1943 uprising, with the Nazis levelling it and planting over it to cover up their crimes. Yet, archeologists have managed to uncover the gas chamber foundations and the original train platform.

More than 250,000 Jews were killed in Sobibor, in eastern Poland, one of the most extreme examples of the Nazi “Final Solution” to eradicate European Jewry. Frank died at the Bergen-Belsen camp, in northern Germany, in 1945.

Unlike other facilities that had at least a facade of being prison or labour camps, Sobibor and the neighbouring camps Belzec and Treblinka were designed specifically for exterminating Jews. Victims were transported there in cattle cars and gassed to death almost immediately.

“These recent findings from the excavations at Sobibor constitute an important contribution to the documentation and commemoration of the Holocaust, and help us to better understand what happened at Sobibor, both in terms of the camp’s function and also from the point of view of the victims,” said Havi Dreifuss, of Yad Vashem’s International Institute for Holocaust Research.

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Injured Calgary paramedic highlights risks first responders face every day

A Calgary paramedic is undergoing surgery on Monday, after a dangerous takedown at a home in the community of Parkhill last week.

Three paramedics were allegedly assaulted while treating an apparent drug overdose.

According to Emergency Medical Services (EMS), the patient became violent and one paramedic had their finger broken. All three practitioners remain off-duty, recuperating from various injuries.

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“One practitioner will be requiring surgical repair to a significantly injured finger. The injuries obviously resulted in that physical altercation. The other two practitioners still remain off-duty,” Adam Loria, with EMS, said.

It happened in the 3900 block of Stanley Road S.W. at around 8 a.m.

READ MORE: Suspect in custody after 3 paramedics injured during southwest Calgary medical call

EMS said incidents like this are a reminder of the unique risks their first responders face every day.

“That scene turned unsafe very quickly,” Loria said. “It happens and yes it’s an inherent part of our job and we do our best to mitigate it, but we do work in a very dangerous environment and things can happen in a moment’s notice.”

Loria said paramedics take a non-violent crisis intervention course when they’re hired but they also work closely with law enforcement and the dispatch centre to ensure the scenes are safe to the best of their ability.

EMS said all involved will have full support as a result of any traumatic event.

WATCH BELOW: An attack on paramedics, a lengthy standoff with police, and dramatic video showing how it ended. Mia Sosiak has more on a frightening incident in the southwest neighbourhood of Parkhill.

A man is facing criminal charges after the incident, Calgary police said Thursday.

“We believe it was a heroin overdose,” Staff Sgt. Peter Siegenthaler said. “EMS initially attended to check on him. A family member called us.”

Police said the investigation is ongoing and such incidents happen “frequently” for first responders.

“A medical distress call can easily turn into a struggle,” Siegenthaler said.

“We try to de-escalate it at any point, but it happens more often than we think that emergency personnel, fire, police and EMS get assaulted. That does happen.”

EMS have not confirmed how long the three practitioners will be off-duty for.