Look out Edmonton, there’s a new farmers’ market in town – Edmonton

Watch above: A brand new farmer’s market has opened its doors in the heart of the city. Mother’s Market celebrates its grand opening Sunday. Tom sits down with Robert Holm and Phil Filipchuk to learn more about the new market.

EDMONTON – As more and more Edmontonians make the move to support locally produced food, a new farmers’ market has opened its doors in the city’s downtown.

Story continues below

HangZhou Night Net


    Times are changing down at the Old Strathcona Farmers’ Market

  • City Market Downtown world’s best farmers’ market: National Geographic blogger

Mother’s Market celebrated its grand opening Sunday. Edmonton’s newest indoor market, located in the heart of the city, is open three days a week, 52 weeks a year.

“We’re different than other farmers’ markets,” said Mother’s Market CEO Robert Holm. “We stay open late on Friday so you can pick up groceries before heading home. Also, it’s a great lunch spot. Come in, eat, have a coffee and take a seat on our patio.”

The two-storey, 20,000-square foot market offers everything from fresh eggs, fish and vegetables to baked good and gelato. Upstairs, there are five hot food vendors offering Indian, Mexican, Aboriginal and Polish cuisine.

“What we’re trying to establish is a community feel,” said Holm’s business partner, Phil Filipchuk. “Bring the family down, enjoy the afternoon, just shop around. It’s a relaxed space, we have a jukebox, we have all kinds of fun stuff in there. Plus, we have great food, very healthy items.”

“I think people are really waking up to the foods and health and what we need to be eating and going back to more old school,” added Holm. “When I was young everybody had a garden and a cold room and now nobody is doing that. But the young people are really starting to take that on.”

READ MORE: To market, to market, Edmontonians go

Plans for the market began in November. There are already four markets like this in Calgary, so Holm and Filipchuk thought it was about time to bring one to Edmonton.

“The energy in this place is incredible,” said Holm. “People should go to all the markets in town. However, if you live in the area, come check us out too. We’re trying to get something going here, an answer to Vancouver’s Granville Market right here in Edmonton.”

The market is located in the old Mother’s Music building at 10251-109 Street. It is open Fridays from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, visit the market’s website.

Follow @CaleyRamsay

Canada wins silver at women’s rugby World Cup – National

WATCH: Canada’s women’s rugby team made it to the world finals in Paris this weekend. And as Francis Silvaggio reports, the ladies are setting a fantastic example for girls everywhere.

PARIS – You could almost hear the sigh of relief from her English teammates as Emily Scarratt broke through one tackle, evaded another and touched down in the corner of Canada’s end zone.

Story continues below

HangZhou Night Net

After having to fight for every inch against a resilient Canadian team, England needed a stellar solo effort from its star centre to cement a 21-9 win over Canada in the women’s rugby World Cup final.

Scarratt scored 16 points on Sunday, including 10 straight to close the gold-medal game, as England won its second World Cup and its first in 20 years.

After England dominated in the first half, Canada closed to within two points on a Magali Harvey penalty halfway through the second. But Scarratt kicked a penalty of her own a minute later, then capped the scoring with a try six minutes from the end of regulation.

“We had a couple of opportunities to score tries that could have made a difference, but because we didn’t then they were full of confidence and more physical and fresher than us,” Canada coach Francois Ratier said.

“When you have two opportunities and you don’t score, then it’s almost impossible. It’s not a question of passion or heart. It’s just a question of in the final of any sport, if you don’t score when you have the opportunities, then the other team will take them.”

Scarratt received the ball from a lineout and ran past Mandy Marchak, fended off fullback Julianne Zussman and ran the ball in to give England some much needed breathing room. She kicked a conversion to cap a spectacular tournament for the England centre.

“It’s just a missed tackle,” Ratier said. “We tried to tackle high but (Scarratt) has a really strong upper body. We should have gone lower but that’s the way it is.”

Harvey had all of Canada’s points on three penalties and finished the tournament with 61 points, second only to Scarratt’s 70.

It was Canada’s first appearance in the World Cup final. Its previous best finish was fourth, which it did in three consecutive tournaments from 1998 to 2006. England, meanwhile, ended 16 years of heartache by finally winning it after finishing as runner-up to New Zealand in the last three tournaments.

Harvey was named the IRB women’s player of the year after the game. Canadian captain Kelly Russell was also a finalist for the award.

Harvey and Russell were two of the five Canadian players on the World Cup roster who were on the team that lost to New Zealand in the 2013 Rugby World Cup Sevens final.

Canada fought to a 13-13 draw with England during the group stage, but it looked like a different English side in the first half on Sunday. They keyed in on Harvey and prevented her from making a game-breaking run as she did in Canada’s semifinal win over host France.

On offence, England used its size to exert all sorts of pressure, making several dangerous advances into Canadian territory.

Scarratt opened the scoring 11 minutes into the match. England drew a penalty after an impressive break from Natasha Hunt, who used her speed to run down the middle deep into the Canadian zone.

England could have come away with more early on, but Canada’s defence held firm with some solid tackling.

Canada was spared a try when Hunt was tackled near the touch-line. An official review declared Hunt had not moved the ball into touch when she was brought down by Andrea Burk.

England kept coming, and Scarratt kicked her second penalty of the game at the 25-minute mark to put England up 6-0.

Canada had trouble getting into England’s zone and it proved costly when Danielle Waterman capped a series of crisp passes and scored the game’s first try at the 33 minute mark. Scarratt missed the convert as England went up 11-0.

“We were not able to match physically. At times we were dominant but they were more consistent,” Ratier said.

“They won some balls and we were not able to attack on the outside. We tried, but they were just better at defence.”

Canada finally started to get some momentum late in the half, and it paid off with a key penalty before the break when England was called for offside. Harvey converted the kick on the last play of the half to cut the deficit to 11-3.

Harvey started the second half with two long penalties, the second from 42 yards out, and Canada suddenly looked dangerous trailing just 11-9.

But that was as close as Canada would come. Scarratt responded with a penalty one minute later to restore England’s advantage to five points.

Canada had some opportunities to close the gap, but Scarratt rescued her team when she scored a try with six minutes left in regulation, and added two points on a conversion.

Canada continued to press for their first try of the game as time ran out. While the Canadians were able to get deep into England’s zone, the English did an excellent job of preventing any runs on the outside from getting through.

“I was happy with how I played, how my team set me up, how they played,” Harvey said. “It’s too bad it couldn’t go until the end, so it wasn’t enough.”

Magali’s scoring, including an incredible try against France where she ran the length of the field, has made her the breakout star of the Canadian team. Ratier said while she is a good teammate and a good player, she is still only one part of the team.

“She’s a winger, so she scores tries because it’s her job,” Ratier said. “She’s the first to get a bit annoyed when she’s made out to be the star of the team, because she doesn’t feel like that at all.”

But Ratier sees the value of having someone like Harvey become the face of the team, especially for a sport like women’s rugby which is still finding a foothold in the Canadian sports landscape.

“It’s good for visibility, it’s good for marketing, it’s good for promotion of the sport, it’s good for the image big time,” he said.

Farm honours Derek Jeter by carving his likeness into 5-acre corn maze – National

SOUTH BRUNSWICK, N.J. – As far as corny Derek Jeter tributes go, this one will be tough to beat.

A farm in central New Jersey carved an image of the New York Yankees captain and a thank you message to him into its five-acre corn maze. The VonThun Farm in South Brunswick is about 55 miles south of Yankee Stadium.

“Thanks Captain Clutch” is carved into the maze, along with a baseball with Jeter’s No. 2 on it. Farm owner Cindy VonThun said the maze will be open from Sept. 20 through Halloween.

Story continues below

HangZhou Night Net

“This was just something totally different,” she said. “To walk out in the field and to be on a path and to say, ‘I’m in Derek Jeter’s chin,’ it’s pretty cool.”

Jeter is retiring after 19 seasons with the Yankees. He has been honoured at Major League ballparks around the country this year, including by former President George W. Bush, who presented him with a photo from his presidential library last month in Texas.

But this is the first known instance of him being honoured with a corn maze.

VonThun said the original idea was to do a design this year with a tractor carrying pumpkins. She said that the company in Utah that it contracts with to build the maze, The Maize Company, came up with the idea to honour Jeter.

“You’re in the middle of Jeter Country, why wouldn’t you be doing a tribute to this man, he’s wonderful,” she said of the company’s thoughts. “Everyone’s going to love that more than they’re going to love a tractor pulling some wagons, pulling some pumpkins. We thought about it and thought why not.”

She said that company maps out the image and then uses chemicals to prevent corn from growing in the spots that become the pathways of the maze, which can take an hour or longer to go through.

The farm celebrated its 100th anniversary last year and is known for its fall corn maze. The farm has previously carved a salute to Rutgers football into the maze.

The Maize Company also recently created a maze with “Today” show weatherman Al Roker’s likeness on it for a farm in Iowa.

©2014The Canadian Press

‘It limits our creativity’: Edmonton bartender on Alberta liquor law

EDMONTON – As the demand to prepare original, inventive cocktails grows in Alberta, some bartenders believe an Alberta liquor policy is tying their hands, creatively speaking.

“We have to work around these rules,” said Brady Grumpelt, manager and instructor at Edmonton’s Fine Art Bartending School.

“There are definitely things that I would like to be doing but I simply can’t.”

Story continues below

HangZhou Night Net


  • Construction kicks off on massive new liquor distribution centre in Alberta

  • Should Alberta allow liquor sales in grocery stores?

According to the Alberta Liquor and Gaming Commission, “it is prohibited to adulterate or alter liquor in any way. Nothing may be added (including ice, mixes or flavouring agents) until the liquor is used to prepare a drink requested by a patron.”

The main concern with the policy for bartenders is the fact they aren’t able to infuse their own liquors.

“As a bartender, it limits our creativity a little bit,” said Grumpelt. “Being limited to only certain pre-made brands really holds back on what we’re able to give to the customers as an experience.”

Grumpelt says if Alberta bartenders were able to infuse their own liquors, it would drastically increase the variety of customized cocktails they’re able to offer customers.

“We can age cocktails for anywhere from a few days to a few weeks; and that is one of the methods that is very popular down in the States, out in Vancouver, Toronto and we’re just not able to do it here,” Grumpelt said, recalling a barrel-aged Manhattan he really enjoyed while in Victoria.

READ MORE: Should Alberta modernize its liquor laws?

The policy came under review a couple of years ago, but was found to be appropriate for protecting the health and safety of consumers, according to the AGLC. A spokesperson with the AGLC says it’s also important to ensure consumers know exactly what they’re putting in their bodies.

“The concern is – with mixing liquor products or adding food or any kind of additive – it does change the composition and level of alcohol in the product,” said Tatjana Laskovic, a spokesperson with the AGLC.

“The goal is to be responsive to industry and consumer trends, but we also need to balance that with social responsibility.”

However, Grumpelt maintains that – if done correctly – infusing liquor doesn’t drastically alter the alcohol content.

“This is just another regulation that’s thrown on there which ultimately just ties bartenders’ hands.”

According to the province, 76 per cent of Albertans consume alcohol; and the province leads the way nationally in alcohol sales growth.

Earlier this summer the AGLC said it was in the process of preparing a broad-based review of liquor laws and policies in the province, which were last overhauled in 2008.

Follow @CaleyRamsay

Ice bucket challenge brings in millions to ALS research – Montreal

WATCH ABOVE: The ALS Ice Bucket challenge has taken social media by storm but is it making any money? Rachel Lau examines whether the fundraising efforts have paid off.

MONTREAL – In less than a month, the ice bucket challenge has become a regular sight on social media.

READ MORE: West Island football team takes the Ice Bucket Challenge

“What’s nice about this campaign is all you need to participate is a smart device and access to the internet,” said Ethan Cox, social media expert.

“Everyone can access water and ice and a bucket. It’s not too hard.”

The ice bucket challenge is an online campaign to raise money for  amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).

WATCH: Weather specialist Aalia Adam takes on the ice bucket challenge

Story continues below

HangZhou Night Net


  • Friend of Ice Bucket Challenge creator dies celebrating ALS fundraising

  • What is ALS? The disease behind the ice bucket challenge

    ALS charity ‘ice bucket challenge’ goes viral

    Bieber takes Ice Bucket Challenge

“As it picks up steam, it becomes an awareness and a fundraiser,” said Claudine Cook, Executive Director of the ALS Society of Quebec.

“It was not just get a bucket of ice dunked on you, make a donation and spread the word.”

The idea of the challenge is a simple one.

“The interesting question with these things is to what extent are we raising awareness quote unquote and to what extent are we actually having an impact,” said Cox.

READ MORE: What is ALS? The disease behind the ice bucket challenge

Yet, it has been more successful raising money than previous fundraisers.

“We’re definitely seeing that it is making a difference,” said Tammy Moore, interim CEO of ALS Canada.

“Last year in comparison we had less than $1000 in donations at this time and now we’re heading more into the six figures.”

ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, is a neuromuscular disease that kills nerve cells leaving the muscles paralyzed.

“It’s a fatal disease,” said Cook. “People have a life expectancy of 2-5 years. There is no cure and there’s nothing to slow it down so it’s a devastating disease.”

The challenge to find a cure is quickly picking up steam.

WATCH: West Island football team takes the ice bucket challenge

Global News takes on the ice bucket challenge.

Gloria Henriquez/Global News

It made its way to Montreal just one week ago.

“When I saw it coming, I said you know what, I better do my dunk so I did and then I challenged our board members and staff,” said Cook.

“It’s the funds that are coming in and it’s a message of hope for people who have been touched by ALS, who are living with ALS, that our voice is being heard and there’s a movement behind supporting our cause.”

The movement has been an inspiration for many and it shows no sign of slowing down.

“It’s gone viral. People’s awareness levels are massively raised and also millions of dollars have been raised,” said Cox.

For people to do the ice bucket challenge, they usually have to be nominated.

Global News wants to nominate all our viewers.

You can post your videos on our Facebook page, or e-mail them to us at [email protected]桑拿按摩

Public inquiry only way to get to bottom of Lac-Megantic disaster: CCPA

WATCH: One day before the Transportation Safety Board is set to release its long-anticipated report on the deadly Lac-Megantic rail disaster, a think tank is calling for an independent public inquiry. Mike Armstrong reports.

OTTAWA — One day before the Transportation Safety Board (TSB) is set to release its long-anticipated report on the deadly Lac-Megantic disaster, one Canadian think tank has made a call for an independent public inquiry.

Story continues below

HangZhou Night Net

The call comes amid concerns the federal report will be tempered, not going hard enough on Transport Canada officials who may have fumbled their regulatory responsibilities, said Bruce Campbell, executive director of  the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, a left-leaning think tank.

For his report, Campbell gathered evidence and records, much of which were publicly available through parliamentary committees and news reports. Once compiled, he found the finger pointing squarely at the federal government.

READ MORE: What’s safer (and not) since the Lac-Megantic disaster

“I found multiple instances of regulatory failure,” he said in an interview Monday. “Transport Canada has not taken any responsibility, at least publicly, for any regulatory failures.”

Instead, Transport Minister Lisa Raitt has blamed the tragedy on the negligence of certain individuals, including the train’s sole engineer and the railway company, MM&A, Campbell said.

When asked, a spokeswoman for the minister did not provide a reaction to Campbell’s findings, nor to whether the office would consider a public inquiry.

Jana Régimbal said only the investigations and legal proceedings, some still underway, will “need to run their course.”

READ MORE: Feds stressed fatigue, workload concerns just before Lac-Megantic disaster

It was the middle of the night during the first week of July last year when a runaway train carrying tanks of oil came barrelling into the heart of Lac-Megantic, Que. The engineer had left for some rest when the tanker cars derailed and exploded, destroying the downtown area, killing 47 people and contaminating waterways.

“Is the Transportation Safety Board report going to come down on the side of the minister or is it going to say there were significant regulatory breaches?” Campbell asked. He said he isn’t sure, though he’s hoping for the latter.

The TSB is, Campbell stressed, a reputable body that has put in a tremendous amount of work on this file. But its independence is questionable, he said.  Although the board acts as an independent body, its members are appointed by, and serve, the government.

“So how far up the hierarchy of responsibility in government is it going to go in terms of identifying [regulatory breaches]?”

READ MORE: Crude awakening: a Global News series on oil

Transport Canada has made a number of changes to rail safety regulations in the wake of Lac-Megantic regarding braking systems, locking locomotives and reducing speed, for example.

Campbell said he anticipates a thorough report Tuesday, though he’s not certain whether it will answer all questions — including who allowed the train to operate with a one-person crew.

As it stands, the regulatory system for transporting dangerous goods along Canada’s railroads has some rules that are too vague, and is one in which exceptions to those rules are sometimes granted in a non-transparent manner, Campbell wrote in his report.

“Then, if you’ve got a relationship between the regulator and the regulated company that’s a little too comfortable and you’re lacking proper enforcement and oversight, you’ve got the ingredients for regulatory failure,” Campbell said.

READ MORE: Would you want these rail cars rolling through your backyard?

For those reasons, he is calling for an independent public inquiry, saying that is the only way to get to the bottom of who and what caused the disaster.

“I don’t think the TSB report will be the last word,” he said. “This accident was the most devastating rail accident in a century. I think it warrants a full and comprehensive judicial-type inquiry … Transport Canada is not going to be able to investigate itself and I think we need to have a full airing of what actually went wrong.”

Here are the eight areas where the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives says the government fell down and therefore contributed to the fatal tragedy and continued suffering in Lac-Megantic:

Establishing vague rules that are sometimes inadequately enforced.Granting permission to MM&A to operate with one-person crews, even when carrying dangerous goods.Allowing railways to transport volatile cargo in unsuitable tank cars.Lacking oversight and enforcement of the government’s own Safety Management Systems.Having flawed risk assessment protocols and processes.Allocating insufficient regulatory resources despite exponential increases in the amount of oil travelling by rail.Allowing industry to lobby and compromise public safety.

Charges laid after Red Deer RCMP cruiser rammed by truck

RED DEER, Ab – RCMP have arrested two people accused of ramming a police cruiser with a truck in Red Deer over the weekend.

Officers were called to the neighbourhood of Highland Green around 1 a.m. on Sunday over reports of suspicious activity.

Witnesses reported seeing someone in a truck exiting their vehicle in an attempt to get into other cars parked in a parking lot.

When police arrived at the scene, they discovered the truck in question had a stolen license plate.

Story continues below

HangZhou Night Net

One officer positioned a police cruiser behind the truck and approached the driver’s side.

At that point, police say the truck reversed and repeatedly rammed the police vehicle before speeding from the parking lot.

As the truck raced off, it struck several parked vehicles as well as a moving one, before colliding with a tree.

At that point, a male driver and female passenger ran from the truck.

Red Deer RCMP say they located the female suspect a short time later, hiding in the backyard of a residential home.

Meanwhile, an RCMP dog tracked the male suspect to a wooded area off a walking path.

The RCMP officer whose cruiser was rammed by the suspects was not injured.

RCMP have charged 35-year-old Daniel Edward Apetrea of Red Deer with a handful of offences including assaulting a police officer with a weapon and Dangerous operation of motor vehicle.

Police have also laid several charges against 25-year-old Jessica Lynn Masyk of Red Deer, including assaulting a police officer with a weapon and flight from police.

Anyone with information about the incident is asked to contact Red Deer RCMP at 403-343-5575.

Credit-rating agency Moody’s worries about Manitoba debt – Winnipeg

WINNIPEG – A major credit-rating agency has downgraded its outlook for the Manitoba government’s finances and raised new doubts about the NDP’s promise to balance the books by 2016.

Moody’s Investor Services on Monday maintained the government’s credit rating at Aa1, but switched its outlook from stable to negative, due to a string of deficits that started in 2009.

Story continues below

HangZhou Night Net

“Expenditure pressure and prospects for modest (economic) growth will make it challenging for the province to achieve its target of a return to a modest surplus and stabilizing debt burden by 2016-17,” Moody’s analyst Kathrin Heitmann wrote.

“Manitoba’s debt burden is expected to reach about 150 per cent of revenues in 2016-17 versus … 101 per cent recorded in 2008-09. This trend in debt metrics represents a risk to the province’s credit worthiness.”

Finance Minister Jennifer Howard called the decision disappointing and said it will result in a small increase in the interest the province pays on its borrowings.

Howard said she remains committed to balancing the budget by 2016 without major tax increases, but added the province will not fixate on that target if it means turning its back on victims of floods or other disasters.

She also said the province could have balanced the budget sooner through deep spending cuts, but felt there is more to government than spending cuts and a balance sheet.

“We look at the impact on our kids. We look at how we want to build a province that our children want to live in, that our parents want to grow old in.”

Manitoba is not alone. Other provinces such as Ontario have had their outlook downgraded this year by Moody’s. Still, the decision is bound to provide political ammunition for the Opposition.

The NDP government started running deficits in 2009 and said during the 2011 election campaign that it would balance the budget by 2014 without major tax increases.

After winning the 2011 election, the government expanded the provincial sales tax to cover more items, including home insurance, and pushed back its target date for balancing its books. In 2013, the province raised the sales tax to eight per cent from seven.

The next provincial election is expected in April 2016.

©2014The Canadian Press

California solar power station burning, killing birds in mid-air – National

Watch the video above: Aerial view of massive Ivanpah solar energy facility which uses more than 300,000 mirrors to take in the sun’s energy and make electricity.

TORONTO – A solar-power generating station in central California is killing birds as they catch fire in the reflection of light from its massive array of mirrors, and now there are concerns that initial estimates of bird losses are too low.

Story continues below

HangZhou Night Net


  • Kimberley set to become home to largest solar plant in Western Canada

  • Solar-powered airplane leaves California on first leg of trip to several US cities

Workers at the $2.2 billion Ivanpah solar plant, which opened in December 2013, have a name for the birds unfortunate enough to be caught up in the mirrors’ light: streamers. This is due to the puff of smoke as the birds ignite in mid-air and fall to the ground.

READ MORE: Calgary company harnesses solar power for southeast retail centre

Instead of an estimated one thousand birds dying annually, that number could be as high as 28,000 a year, according to The Associated Press. And of particular concern to environmental groups is the planned project in another part of the state.

This October 2013 photo provided by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service shows a burned MacGillivray’s Warbler that was found at the Ivanpah solar plant in the California Mojave Desert.

AP Photo/U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

BrightSource, NRG Power and Google are all investors in the massive generating station.

The solar plant doesn’t produce energy the way traditional solar cells do. Instead 300,000 mirrors are spread across 3,500 acres at the Ivanpah Dry Lake where they reflect sunlight to boilers that sit on top of three 459-foot tall towers. There they fluid in the boilers’ pipes, creating super-heated steam. That steam is then piped from the boiler to a turbine that generates power, providing electricity to 140,000 California homes.

In April the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service produced a report that chronicled their findings from three solar energy facilities in California, including Ivanpah.

WATCH: Ivanpah solar energy facility having negative effects on wildlife

“Ivanpah…produces solar flux, which is intense radiant energy focused by the mirror array on the power-generating station,” the report reads. “Objects that pass through this flux, including insects and birds, encounter extreme heat, although the extent of heating depends on many variables, including the duration of exposure and the precise location in the flux beam.”

A total of 141 dead birds were collected by officials over one year and five months, which included the construction phase. Of those, 47 died due to solar flux injury. The birds’ feathers were curled, charred, melted or broken.

The second most common cause of death at Ivanpah was impact trauma, believed to be caused when many of them collided with the mirrors. It could be because the mirrors reflected the blue sky which birds may have mistaken for water in the desert area.

A truck drives through an array of mirrors at the Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System near Primm, Nev. The site uses over 300,000 mirrors to focus sunlight on boilers’ tubes atop 450 foot towers heating water into steam which in turn drives turbines to create electricity.

According to The Associated Press, with the new concerns raised, California’s energy commission attempting to determine whether pushing the limits of solar technology is worth the added damage to wildlife from the novel form of solar energy.

READ MORE: WATCH – Solar plane completes successful flight

Brightsource has plans to build another plant in Palen, California, that would be twice as big as Ivanpah.

“We need more data before any more of these projects get approved,” said Lisa Belenky, senior attorney for the Center for Biological Diversity.

“We need to understand more about how many birds will be killed and we need to understand more about potential ways to stop that, if it’s possible.”

The proposed tower would produce a flux area that would be more than three times as large as the existing towers at Ivanpah, Belenky explained. And that could possibly pose more danger to migratory birds that travel from the Colorado River and Salton Sea.

The Palen Solar Power Project is currently in front of the California Energy Commission.

There are no projects like this in Canada.

–with files from The Associated Press

Texas Gov. Rick Perry formally pleads not guilty to power abuse charges – National

WATCH: Republican Governor Rick Perry of Texas turned himself in to authorities on Tuesday after he was indicted by a grand jury on a pair of felony charges for alleged abuse of power.

AUSTIN, Texas – Republican Texas Gov. Rick Perry has formally pleaded not guilty to criminal charges of leveraging his power to try to oust a Democratic district attorney convicted of drunken driving, according to court documents obtained Wednesday.

Story continues below

HangZhou Night Net


  • Texas Gov. Perry says indictment is abuse of power, will fight against it

    Rick Perry’s most memorable quotes

    Republican presidential hopeful Rick Perry appears on David Letterman after debate gaffe

The potential 2016 presidential candidate entered his plea in a Travis County court filing. He also waived an arraignment that had been set for Friday.

The waiver was no surprise given that Perry has signalled no intention of the felony charges interrupting a busy travel schedule to court Republican voters.

READ MORE: Texas Gov. Perry says indictment is abuse of power, will fight against it

The governor has dismissed the case as a political ploy, laughing off concerns that it could be potentially unflattering as he strongly considers a second presidential run in 2016. Many top national conservatives are lining up to support him, including some potential future White House rivals.

Perry’s plea was filed with the court late Tuesday, shortly after the longest-serving governor in Texas history was fingerprinted and had his mug shot taken. He tweeted a picture of himself stopping for vanilla ice cream on the way back from his booking.

Perry was indicted last week on charges of coercion and official oppression for vetoing $7.5 million for the state public integrity unit, which investigates wrongdoing by elected officials and is run by the Travis County district attorney’s office. Perry threatened the veto if the county’s Democratic district attorney, Rosemary Lehmberg, stayed in office after a drunken driving conviction.

Lehmberg refused to resign and Perry carried out the veto, drawing an ethics complaint from a left-leaning government watchdog group.

Perry was indicted by a grand jury in Austin, a liberal bastion in otherwise mostly fiercely conservative Texas.

WATCH: Gov. Rick Perry turns himself in to authorities

If convicted on both counts, Perry could face a maximum 109 years in prison – though legal experts across the political spectrum have said the case against him may be a tough sell to a jury. No one disputes that Perry has the right to veto any measures passed by the state Legislature, including any parts of the state budget.

But the complaint against Perry alleges that by publicly threatening a veto and trying to force Lehmberg to resign, he coerced her. The Republican judge assigned to the case has assigned a San Antonio-based special prosecutor who insists the case is stronger than it may outwardly appear.

The governor has hired a team of high-powered attorneys, who are being paid with state funds to defend him.

Perry is the first Texas governor to be indicted since 1917. Top Republicans have been especially quick to defend him, though, since a jail video following Lehmberg’s April 2013 arrest showed the district attorney badly slurring her words, shouting at staffers to call the sheriff, kicking the door of her cell, and sticking her tongue out. Her blood alcohol level was also three times the legal limit for driving.

©2014The Canadian Press

Cyber attacks an ongoing threat to business – National

TORONTO – More than one-third of Canada’s IT professionals know – for sure – that they’d had a significant data breach over the previous 12 months that could put their clients or their organizations at risk, a cybersecurity study suggests.

And as startling as that statistic may be, the actual number of breaches could be higher since the same international study found 56 per cent of the 236 Canadian respondents said they believed threats sometimes fall through the cracks.

Story continues below

HangZhou Night Net

“Even the best-protected networks have regular security incidents,” says Jeff Debrosse, director of security research for Websense, a U.S.-based security company that commissioned the study.

“It’s a 24-7 onslaught. It’s a barrage of attacks and attempts to penetrate the defences.”

Debrosse says it’s a real challenge for organizations to understand their vulnerabilities, let alone prevent breaches. Technology is improving, he adds, but it’s more important to share information about attacks within and among organizations.

“It’s not just about the vendors, it’s about creating this ecosystem of threat intelligence. And that’s a very important area of focus today,” Debrosse says.

A Statistics Canada report in June said that six per cent of the 17,000 private Canadian enterprises it surveyed had experienced an Internet security breach in 2013. About one-quarter of those reporting a breach – representing roughly 260 companies – said client or proprietary information had been corrupted, stolen or accessed without authorization.

“It’s a bit misleading because we’re not 100 per cent sure exactly how accurate the numbers are, really,” says Mike Park, an Ottawa-based cybersecurity expert now working for Trustwave, which has its global headquarters in Chicago.

“It seems, in the last couple of years, the only time you’re really heard anything – a major breach or anything like that – is when it has become such big news that no one can keep a lid on it . . . or when its politically expedient.”

A couple of recent examples of highly publicized Canadian breaches both involved the federal government.

The Canada Revenue Agency discovered in April that somebody had exploited the Heartbleed security flaw, causing the CRA to call in the RCMP and temporarily shut down its public website for a weekend at a busy time of the tax year. Days later, the agency revealed that 900 social insurance numbers had been compromised.

The Canadian government said in July that a “highly sophisticated Chinese state-sponsored actor” had hacked computer systems at the National Research Council, forcing it to shut down its IT network and isolate it from other government systems.

Park points out that in Canada, there’s no federal law that requires private companies to disclose breaches to the government or those affected. That may change with Bill S-4, the Digital Privacy Act, now before Parliament.

The act proposes making it mandatory for federally regulated businesses, as well as federal government agencies, to report significant breaches to the federal privacy commissioner and to customers and clients whose private information was leaked.

The Websense report done by the Ponemon Institute, a private-sector think-tank that conducts independent research on privacy, data protection and information security policy, was based on responses from 4,881 IT and IT security specialists in 15 countries surveyed in November.

Among other things, Ponemon found 36 per cent of the Canadian companies in the study had experienced one or more cyber attack over the previous year that infiltrated networks or enterprise systems.

It also found 89 per cent of the Canadian respondents said they personally know another security professional whose company had sensitive of confidential data stolen as a result of an inside threat.

It also found 23 per cent of the Canadian cyber security teams never speak with their executive team. Of those who did, nearly half did so only annually or semi-annually, while only two per cent talked weekly with executives about security.

“If the conversation is happening less than monthly, that’s a pretty significant problem,” Debrosse says.

That’s because there needs to be an ongoing assessment of what personnel, software, hardware or outside security vendors are required to deal with the risks. There also has to be an understanding, at the top, of the potential costs so they can be included in the organization’s budgeting and pricing decisions.

“If they’re not calculating the probability of a cyber event (and) loss due to various incidents, when they’re hit with one of them it is a major ordeal,” Debrosse says.

Charles Henderson, a U.S.-based director within Trustwave’s SpiderLabs, which uses hacking techniques to detect vulnerabilities for clients, says Canadian companies face different types of threat than their U.S. counterparts.

“You do see different systems targeted,” Henderson says.

Canadians credit and debit cards, for instance, use computer chips and passwords that are more secure than the magnetic stripes still used commonly in the United States. That means criminals are more likely to target transactions where card information is entered without a physical contact.

Henderson says that in both countries there are companies that will do the minimum to deal with cyber security.

“This should be an absolute red flag for an executive, if they see it in an organization.”

©2014The Canadian Press

Winnipeg Blue Bombers unveil new helmets – Winnipeg

WINNIPEG – The Winnipeg Blue Bombers looked more blue than gold during Monday’s practice.

Players wore their new CFL Signature helmets while running drills. They feature a light blue digital camouflage print over a dark blue helmet.

“I like it,” said Bombers quarterback Drew Willy. “It’s something different. You see every team has a little bit of a different flair to their uniforms. For us, it’s a good look.”

Story continues below

HangZhou Night Net

“Ehn,” disagreed Bombers slotback Paris Cotton. “It’s different. Just the pattern, it’s kind of off.”

The full uniforms won’t be unveiled until Tuesday.

The league has partnered up with Reebok to design new jerseys for each team.

Take Our Poll

The Bombers (5-3) will debut the uniforms during Friday’s home game against the Montreal Alouettes (1-6).

Winnipeg will wear the new jerseys once this season.

THIRD DOWN: The Bombers have signed receiver Kemonte’ Bateman and offensive Chad Anderson to their practice roster.

Bateman was released by the Edmonton Eskimos this off-season. The Los Angeles product originally signed with the team last September. Bateman spent time with the NFL’s Denver Broncos before heading to Edmonton.

Anderson previously played for the NFL’s Indianapolis Colts. He’s the brother of current Bombers defender Zach Anderson.

READ MORE: Global News coverage of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers

Want to discover a planet? You can do that and more with citizen science – National

TORONTO – If you’ve ever wanted to be a scientist but life took you on a different career path, your dream isn’t over.

Around the world, thousands of people have made contributions to science from discovering potential planets, counting sunspots, measuring the darkness of the night sky, understanding whale calls, classifying tropical cyclones and more.

It’s called citizen science and it’s something that’s gained popularity over the past few years.

Story continues below

HangZhou Night Net


  • WATCH: UBC engineering camps get kids excited about science

  • How carving up Newfoundland’s dead whales is helping science

  • Space telescope spies water plumes on dwarf planet Ceres

READ MORE: Another Earth? Astronomers spot most Earth-like planet yet

What is it?

These types of projects involve the everyday person – no scientific background involved. Most often it’s analyzing images or patterns – it’s quick and it’s easy, and you can do it on your own time, likely the reason for the increased popularity.

One organization that has several citizen science projects is Zooniverse. It offers projects ranging from space to climate to humanities.

“It started with one project, Galaxy Zoo. We were interested in the problem of how we ended up with a mix of galaxies that we have around us in the universe today,” said Zooniverse director Chris Lintott. “And if you want to understand that, you need to understand what shape the galaxies are.”

Barred Spiral Galaxy COSMOS 3127341. Citizen scientists around the world have helped classify distant galaxies like this one.

NASA, ESA, K. Sheth (Spitzer Science Center, California Institute of Technology), and P. Capak and N. Scoville (California Institute of Technology)

Lintott said that he and his team quickly realized that it was a fairly easy task: human beings could tell the difference between shapes – whether it was elliptical or a circle with a bar in the centre, for example. And it turns out, humans are better at it than computers.

“This didn’t use to be a problem, except that modern astronomical surveys produce millions of images,” Lintott said. After a graduate student looked at 50,000 images, he and his team realized that this was the way to go.

READ MORE: There are billions of Earth-like, just-right planets out there, study says

Lintott and his team quickly put up a website, Galaxy Zoo, and were surprised at the response it received.

“This idea of contributing to something and to be able to spare a few minutes to do some science, turned out to be really popular,” Lintott said.

Lintott said that soon enough other scientists were contacting him.

“They kind of said, ‘You know your people who want to look at galaxies, do you think they’d also want to look at my data?’ And so we realized that this was something we could do for all sorts of things.”

One of the most successful of the projects is Planet Hunters. This was a surprise to Lintott.

“The idea that people will look at graphs for fun, which is essentially what we’re asking people to do…really speaks to this idea that people are taking part in these projects because they want to contribute to science, not because they’re enjoying browsing images.”

That project – Planet Hunters – resulted in the discovery of the first planet in a four-star system.

An artist’s illustration of Kepler-64b or PH1, a planet discovered by volunteers from the Planet Hunters citizen science project. PH1, shown in the foreground, is the first reported case of a planet orbiting a double-star that, in turn, is orbited by a second distant pair of stars.

Haven Giguere/Yale

And the fun part is that if you do help with a discovery, you get your name on the discovery announcement.

READ MORE: Habitable planets – Is E.T. out there?

“I think that just being able to tell people, that just a few moments of time that they spared has lead to the discovery of something, is really exciting,” said Lintott.

But even if you don’t get into one of those announcements, Lintott was quick to point out that you’re still making a contribution: Scientists are able to get a better understanding of the subject that they’re studying.

And people shouldn’t be scared off by the idea that they’re doing real science: the data that they look at is also looked at by others in order to get a consensus. It then goes on to the scientists of the program.

Not just space

There are several projects on Zooniverse’s site, and not just in space science.

Lintott said that more than a million pages of have been catalogued in the Old Weather project that aims to transcribe ships’ logs. There’s also cataloguing whale calls, examining soldiers’ diaries from World War I, and exploring the ocean floor, to name a few.

Citizen scientists can help classify whale calls.

File/Global News

Marc Kuchner, principal investigator for Goddard Space Flight Center’s Disk Detective project – part of Zooniverse – said that citizen science can play an important role in discoveries.

“I think it’s an underutilized resource for scientists,” he said.

But it shouldn’t be. Kuchner notes that there are 277,000 sources of images for Disk Detective and since it was launched in January, there have been more than 800,000 classifications.

“It boggles the mind,” he said.

For the Disk Detective project, astronomers can learn more about the the formation of planets, thus providing us with a better understanding of our planetary evolution. And this is something extraordinary to Kuchner.

“This is the window into the origin of our planet.”

The future of citizen science

Lintott said that there are many more projects on the way. But he doesn’t just mean just through Zooniverse. The team hopes that scientists will be able to use their tools to build their own projects.

And there are other citizen science sites available. Crowdcrafting is another one that currently has eight projects, including Dark Skies ISS, which asks people to classify images taken from the International Space Station.

Kuchner is grateful to have people interested in contributing to science, no matter what the field.

“It’s wonderful to live in an era when we can actually involve people in the joy of doing it; involving people in the process of making a scientific discovery,” he said.

“And that lights up my face every time.”

Liberal leader Justin Trudeau looking to win back seats in Alberta

WATCH ABOVE: The federal Liberals are holding their summer caucus in Edmonton this week. Tom Vernon sat down with party leader Justin Trudeau.

EDMONTON —  The Liberal Party of Canada has an eye on Alberta, in hopes of breaching the Conservative stronghold in the next federal election.

Justin Trudeau and his three dozen Liberal MPs gathered in Edmonton Monday for a three-day caucus retreat.

Story continues below

HangZhou Night Net


  • Justin Trudeau re-evaluating travel schedule after Ottawa home broken into with family inside

  • Justin Trudeau now says pro-life incumbent MPs must vote pro-choice on abortion

  • WATCH: Justin Trudeau says if he becomes PM, Northern Gateway Pipeline will not happen

  • EKOS poll shows support for Tories drops in Saskatchewan

Global Edmonton’s political affairs reporter Tom Vernon will sit down with the party leader for an interview. Possible topics include the recent break-in at Trudeau’s Ottawa home, the Northern Gateway and Keystone XL pipelines, his stance on legalizing marijuana and the Liberal’s prospects in Alberta.

The Liberals have said they could win as many as six inner-city ridings in Calgary and Edmonton, with an outside chance at snagging Fort McMurray, where the party placed a strong second in a June 30 byelection.

In the past 60 years, the most seats the Liberals have help at once in Alberta is four, and they’ve frequently wound up with none.

The Grits lost their only seat in Alberta during the 2006 election, when Conservative Laurie Hawn defeated Liberal Anne McLellan in Edmonton Centre.

A recent EKOS poll on the political landscape in Canada shows if they were to vote in an election today, 37.8 per cent of respondents would choose the Liberals, up from the 18.9 per cent in 2011.

On Monday in Edmonton, Justin Trudeau said he doesn’t put much stock in public opinion surveys.

“Polls don’t mean anything, as we all know and as we all say,” he said.

As he heads into a crucial year of non-stop campaigning before the next scheduled election in 2015, Trudeau said he prefers to rely on other indicators: the enthusiastic response of Canadians everywhere he goes, the party’s success in a series of byelections, and improvements in party membership and fundraising numbers.

“All those things together, plus the extraordinary candidates that we’re drawing to us across the country, give us a sense that … we’re doing the right kind of work to earn Canadians’ trust,” Trudeau said.

READ MORE: Trudeau confident Liberals can lead federal government in 2015

But he acknowledged those signs of momentum won’t necessarily translate into victory a year from now.

“As much as we can say, ‘Oh yeah, the Liberal party is doing well’ and great, that’s nice to see and nice to hear, we’re still at only 30-some-odd seats in the House of Commons.

“We’ve got an awful lot of work to do to demonstrate that we are the alternative government, that we are ready to form a responsible government in 2015,” he said.

With files from the Canadian Press