Evacuation order lifted for one Oliver fire as conditions improve

Written by admin on 26/07/2019 Categories: 苏州美甲纹绣培训

WATCH: Many residents are still under an evacuation order. Some, however, are ignoring it, and that’s a big concern for emergency crews who have to respond if something goes wrong. Nadia Stewart reports on the people who stayed in their homes, and why they did it.


Two fires were raging near the picturesque tourist town of Oliver in the Okanagan Valley. Though residents affected by the three-square-kilometre Wilson Mountain fire were allowed home Saturday, about 100 homes near the 15-square kilometre Testalinden Creek fire remain under evacuation order.

“The fire activity out there this morning has been quite a bit milder than what we were seeing last night,” Kevin Skrepnek, chief fire information officer for the BC Wildfire Service, said Saturday.

“Certainly there’s still a lot of work to do out there. The fire at this point is zero per cent contained, but we’re not seeing that incredibly aggressive wind event that came through the area yesterday,” he added.

The Wilson Mountain fire is now estimated at 317 hectares in size. Officials lifted the evacuation order Saturday, but residents in the affected area are still on an evacuation alert.

The Testalinden Creek fire is now estimated at 1,566 hectares, and 100 homes have been evacuated.

One home has also been lost.

However, the fires pose a smaller threat than the previous day, when officials said both blazes posed an imminent threat to the homes on the western edge of the town of 5,000.

WATCH: Night time footage of wildfires spreading near Oliver

On Friday night, close to 300 people registered at the Emergency Reception Centre in Oliver. Most were able to find a place to stay, however some spent the night at the town’s community centre.

Doug and Denisse Allan were forced to retreat to the centre, after watching the fire rapidly approach their home.

“It came a thousand feet from our house,” said Doug.

From the centre, he has a clear view of his home, so he knew early this morning it was fine.

“I can look across the valley and I can see the house and there’s grass around it so it wasn’t bburned but all around it is pretty much black,” he said.

Others were too scared to leave their home–some even ignoring the evacuation order and staying in their homes.

JC Oliveira heeded the order, but he didn’t go far. He loaded up the family van and parked across the street so he could watch fire crews fight to save the homes on his street.

Returning today before the evacuation order was lifted, he and his neighbours are a lot less on edge.

“See the fire over there is pretty extinguished. It cannot burn more than it already did,” said Oliveira.

Dozens of fruit trees that served as the makeshift fire guard were scorched and she expects they’ll have to be replanted.

“But that’s Mother Nature,” Souto said. “You can’t stress out about it.”

The region’s agricultural backbone may have prevented more extensive losses, said a spokesman for the Oliver Fire Department.

READ MORE: Wildfire near Oliver threatens local wineries

“Some of those orchards and vineyards that kept stuff green definitely saved those areas,” said Rob Graham, who was among 30
members of the department who assisted provincial crews.

“There were structures threatened, but that’s why we were there.”

Oliver Mayor Ron Hovanes said approximately 300 people registered Friday night at an emergency reception centre in town. Upwards of 40 evacuees slept there, while others spent the night in their vehicles or bunked with friends and family.

He described the mood Saturday morning as “pretty calm.” following a fitful night.

“Last night it was pretty horrific when you’re at the foot of the hill… and watching flames licking at the backs of houses. It was pretty tense,” Hovanes said.

“And the smoke was thick. You could hardly breathe.”

– With files from Nadia Stewart

GALLERY: Photos of the Oliver fire (all pictures courtesy @br_webb/HomoCulture苏州美甲纹绣培训)

A man on a hillside near Oliver uses a hose to fight a fire threatening his home.

Global BC

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Push underway to make green onion cake Edmonton’s official dish

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WATCH ABOVE: There’s a push to make the green onion cake Edmonton’s official dish. Fletcher Kent has more on the cake crusade.

EDMONTON — It’s fried, it’s flavourful, it’s delicious. Whether it’s at the Edmonton International Fringe Festival, K-Days or Taste of Edmonton, there’s always a bustle of activity surrounding the tent selling green onion cakes.


“We open at noon. I’ve got people at the door at 11 going, ‘Are you open yet? Are you open yet?’” said Mark Britton, a green onion cake vendor at this year’s Fringe Festival.

“It’s a Fringe staple for me. This is the first thing I do. I mean, on the first day of the fringe the first place I come is this green onion cake tent,” said Fringer Kory Mathewson.

The green onion cake originated in northern China, but a local restaurateur started serving a slightly altered version of the dish at Edmonton festivals in the early 80s. Now, there’s a push underway to make the local delicacy Edmonton’s official dish.

“My mission is to have the green onion cake declared the official dish of Edmonton,” said Salma Kaida, who has started a blog and online petition to do just that.

Kaida hopes to get 5,000 signatures on her petition. The cake crusader believes the green onion cake is a culinary link to what makes a person an Edmontonian.

“I think it is about culture. I think that sometimes Edmontonians struggle to describe themselves and this is just one little piece of the conversation,” she said.

“I feel proud to know that there’s something that’s uniquely Edmontonian,” added Mathewson. “There’s not many things that I can celebrate as being Edmontonian. If the green onion cake is one of them, I say I’ll embrace that to the end of the earth.”

Take Our Poll

With files from Fletcher Kent, Global News.

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It’s wedding day for Pierre Karl Péladeau and Julie Snyder in Quebec City

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QUEBEC – More than 400 people are expected to celebrate today’s wedding of Parti Québecois (PQ) Leader Pierre Karl Péladeau and television star Julie Snyder in Quebec City.

Mayor Régis Labeaume will officiate the ceremony in a 17th-century building and home of the historic Musée de l’Amérique francophone, a museum dedicated to francophone culture in North

Preparations at the Musee de l’Amerique francophone for the wedding of Quebec Opposition Leader Pierre-Karl Peladeau and Julie Snyder Thursday, August 13, 2015 in Quebec City. Over 400 guests will attend the event on Saturday, August 15.

Jacques Boissinot /

Past premiers Pauline Marois and Bernard Landry are scheduled to attend the ceremony, which begins at 5:15 p.m. eastern.

Other likely guests include Bloc Quebecois Leader Gilles Duceppe,Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre and most of the PQ caucus.

READ MORE: 5 things you didn’t know about Pierre Karl Péladeau

Singer Celine Dion couldn’t make the nuptials, but will send a special message.

Snyder is expected to wear three separate dresses and will arrive in a Tesla electric car, while Péladeau will travel by tandem bike along with his son, Thomas.



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Edmonton-area Second Cup stores selling Italian Centre baked goods

Written by admin on 25/09/2019 Categories: 苏州美甲纹绣培训

EDMONTON — If you’re tired of coffee shop baked goods that have been factory-made, frozen and re-heated, a recent change at Second Cup will have you jumping for joy.

The coffee chain has partnered with locally-owned and operated Italian Centre to serve fresh baked goods at its 40-plus stores in the Edmonton-area.

The menu includes locally-sourced ingredients such as eggs from a local Hutterite farm and flour milled in Alberta. Fresh-baked goods will be delivered to Second Cup stores daily.

Some of the menu offerings include: Italian biscotti, Nutella fudge brownies, almond croissants, mini lemon poppyseed loaves, cinnamon rolls, as well as a selection of tarts, cookies, muffins, and bagels.

The Italian Centre Shop is an iconic local family business. Italian immigrant Frank Spinelli opened the first Italian Centre near downtown Edmonton in 1959.

The company is now run by Spinelli’s daughter Teresa, who has expanded it to include a second store on the south side at 51st Avenue on 104A Street, a third store in the west end on 170th Street and 90th Ave, and a Calgary location.

READ MORE: Italian Centre Shop, an Edmonton institution, comes to Calgary

Founded in 1975, Second Cup is a Canadian coffee chain operating over 335 franchised and company-owned locations, serving more than one million customers each week.

Follow @KarenBartko



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Spirit Airlines passengers claim they were kicked off flight because of their skin colour

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A number of Spirit Airlines passengers are claiming skin colour is the reason a flight attendant kicked them off a plane bound for Dallas Monday night.

The group is alleging that confusion over a seat at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) led to a white flight attendant accusing at least one black male of being a threat.

“The flight attendant proceeded to tell the man that he must switch because it [wasn’t] his assigned seat, so he must take his assigned seat,” witness Ty Walker told CBS. “And he said ‘If the lady isn’t asking, you know, to move then why move?’ [Then the attendant] said, ‘Sir you must get up and move.’”


Cellphone footage recorded by passenger Alexandria Wright shows an African American man speaking with police on board Flight 868 about witnesses who could apparently confirm he “wasn’t causing any problems” and that the flight attendant had been rude.

“The flight attendant said something smart out of his mouth and the guy said ‘I’m not talking to you, don’t talk to me,’” Walker said. “After the guy said that, [the attendant] said ‘Well sir, you need to get off this flight.’”

The unidentified male was travelling with Wright and at least four others. His companions, including Wright, were escorted off the plane by police after questioning the action taken.

“It was more than just us having the conversation. Why is it that six black people got kicked off the plane?” Wright asked CBS at LAX.

However, at least one passenger confirmed the group had indeed been disruptive.

WATCH: Spirit Airlines passenger Willie French recounts the moments on board his flight when a group of African Americans were asked to leave the plane before takeoff.

“Obviously someone was in his seat and he wanted them to move. I guess he went about it wrong and the stewardess got a little nervous and they wanted him to leave the plane,” witness Willie French told KTVT at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport once the flight had landed.

The airline has since acknowledged the incident in a statement that did not include any mention of discrimination.

“Four passengers became unruly and were causing trouble with other passengers,” the statement read. “Flight crew asked them to stop. When they did not, law enforcement was called and they were removed from the flight.”

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New Facebook software is smart enough to play games, describe your photos

Written by admin on  Categories: 苏州美甲纹绣培训

SAN FRANCISCO – 苏州美甲纹绣培训 is studying the ancient Chinese game of Go for insights as it works on building an artificial brain – one that it hopes to turn into a virtual personal assistant that can also sort through a mountain of photos, videos and comments posted by its next billion or so users.


The social networking company is touting the work of its artificial intelligence team at an industry conference this week. Among its accomplishments: the development of software that can analyze a photo and answer questions about what it shows, or study a picture of toy blocks and predict whether they will fall over.

Sure, you could pay a human expert to examine a photo and answer those questions, but mustering an army of such organic brains wouldn’t be cheap. “The beauty of AI systems is that we can get enough scale to deploy this to everyone on the planet,” Mike Schroepfer, 苏州美甲纹绣培训’s chief technology officer, said in a briefing for reporters.

WATCH: 苏州美甲纹绣培训’s director of AI research discusses the project

苏州美甲纹绣培训 isn’t the only tech company working on these problems. Google, Apple, Microsoft and IBM are all studying artificial intelligence, as are several smaller tech firms that are vying to develop more useful digital services for consumers and businesses. Many are competing to hire the most talented scientists from universities, according to Mike Tung, CEO of Diffbot, a Silicon Valley startup that uses artificial intelligence to scour the Web and extract data that clients can use in their business.

苏州美甲纹绣培训 recently began limited testing of an online personal assistant, called “M,” that uses a combination of human workers and software to answer questions and carry out tasks like ordering food or flowers for a friend. Schroepfer said 苏州美甲纹绣培训 is using artificial intelligence software to assist and study those interactions, so it can learn the best responses and eventually perform tasks that now require human assistance.

READ MORE: 苏州美甲纹绣培训 changes ‘Real Names’ policy again after harsh criticism

The social network, which boasts 1.5 billion global users, has also sponsored efforts to build drones and laser networks to help reach billions more people who currently don’t have Internet access. Schroepfer said 苏州美甲纹绣培训 can use artificial intelligence to understand the vast amounts of information those users will upload and anticipate which messages they will want to see.

“We need systems that can help us understand the world and help us filter it better,” he added.

Schroepfer plans to describe some of 苏州美甲纹绣培训’s work in a speech at this week’s international Web Summit conference in Dublin.

One project combines a new technique for identifying visual images with the ability to field questions posed in natural language. In a demonstration video, the program answered spoken questions about a photo of a baby, describing what the baby was doing and what kind of room he was in.

Another effort uses “predictive learning” to study images and make informed predictions of what will happen, such as whether a stack of blocks is stable enough to stand or fall over.

READ MORE: 苏州美甲纹绣培训 expands search to include public users posts

苏州美甲纹绣培训 has also developed a program to play the board game Go, which is considered a tougher challenge than chess for computers. Players in Go have thousands of options for arranging stones on the board, and the best human players appear to recognize visual patterns without trying to calculate each potential outcome. Schroepfer said 苏州美甲纹绣培训’s team is using visual recognition algorithms rather than just “brute force” computing to examine every possible move.

It may be years before some of this work finds its way into 苏州美甲纹绣培训’s services, Schroepfer added – but it’s definitely on its way.

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Scandal at Volkswagen widens with new problems in 800,000 vehicles

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BERLIN – Germany’s Volkswagen, already reeling from the fallout of cheating on U.S. emissions tests for nitrogen oxide, said Tuesday that an internal investigation has revealed “unexplained inconsistencies” in the carbon dioxide emissions from 800,000 of its vehicles – a development it said could cost the company another 2 billion euros ($2.2 billion).


The investigation was undertaken by the company after the revelations that many of its vehicles had software that allowed them to deceive U.S. nitrogen oxide tests. CEO Matthias Mueller promised Tuesday that Volkswagen “will relentlessly and completely clarify what has happened.”

READ MORE: Volkswagen also violated emission rules in large-engine vehicles, EPA says

“It is a painful process, but for us there is no alternative,” said Mueller, who took over after CEO Martin Winterkorn resigned in September because of the emissions-rigging scandal. “For us, only one thing counts, and that is the truth.”

The news is the latest in a string of problems identified with Volkswagen emissions, which have caused share prices to plummet.

In September, the company admitted it had installed software designed to defeat tests for nitrogen oxide emissions for four-cylinder diesel engines on 11 million cars worldwide, including almost 500,000 in the U.S. It has already set aside 6.7 billion euros ($7.4 billion) to cover the costs of recalling those vehicles – and analysts expect the emissions scandal to cost the company much more than that.

READ MORE: Volkswagen suffers Q3 loss due to scandal but sales hold up

That scandal had already widened this week, when the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said Volkswagen had installed software on thousands of Audi, Porsche and VW cars with six-cylinder diesel engines that allowed them to emit fewer pollutants during tests than in real-world driving. Volkswagen has denied the charge, but faces the prospect of more fines and lost sales.

It was not immediately clear whether the 800,000 vehicles announced Tuesday with the newly discovered carbon dioxide emission problems were among those already affected. Volkswagen did not identify any models by name.

It did say the 800,000 were “predominantly vehicles with diesel engines,” raising the possibility for the first time that some Volkswagens with gasoline-powered motors may also have emissions problems.

A VW spokesman did not immediately return a phone call seeking clarification.

Volkswagen’s board of directors said in a separate statement that they learned of the development “with dismay and concern.”

“The board of directors and the committee specially established to investigate will meet soon to discuss further measures and consequences,” the board said.

Despite the new issue, the company assured customers that the safety of the vehicles in question “is in no way compromised.”

It said Volkswagen “will endeavour to clarify the further course of action as quickly as possible and ensure the correct CO2 classification for the vehicles affected” with the responsible authorities.

In talks with the authorities – whom Volkswagen did not identify – the company said it hoped to come up with a “reliable assessment of the legal, and the subsequent economic consequences, of this not yet fully explained issue.”

The news broke after Germany’s DAX was closed for the day, but Volkswagen shares ended down 1.51 per cent to 111 euros.

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Activision to buy ‘Candy Crush’ maker for $5.9 billion

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Activision Blizzard will pay $5.9 billion to buy Candy Crush maker King Digital Entertainment, combining a console gaming power with an established player in the fast-growing mobile gaming field.

Activision, which owns the extraordinarily successful “Call of Duty” series, said the deal will create one of the largest global entertainment networks with more than half a billion combined monthly active users in 196 countries.


It also will help Activision get its games out of the living room and into the hands of potential players through smartphones and tablets, a market with seemingly unlimited growth potential.

Activision said mobile gaming is expected to generate more than $36 billion in revenue by the end of 2015 and grow cumulatively by more than 50 per cent from 2015 to 2019.

The deal also will help Activision diversify its customer base. CEO Robert Kotick told CNBC on Tuesday that about 60 per cent of King’s audience is female.

“Attracting women to gaming is a really important part of our strategy,” he said.

READ MORE: Mark Zuckerberg may have finally killed ‘Candy Crush’ requests for good

Still, questions remain about what the advantage will be for the two companies, and perhaps more importantly, to gamers.

King has struggled to follow up on the success of its Candy Crush series, a game so pervasive that a British lawmaker was admonished after being caught playing it during a Parliamentary committee hearing.

King’s revenue fell 18 per cent to $490 million in the second quarter, and gross bookings also dropped 13 per cent, both of which the company attributed to the maturing of its Candy Crush franchise.

Jefferies analysts Brian Pitz and Brian Fitzgerald said that replicating the success of Candy Crush is a daunting task.

“We expect a heavy dose of skepticism from investors especially given the large deal size,” the analysts wrote in a research note.

Activision Blizzard Inc., based in Santa Monica, California, will pay $18 in cash for each King share, a 20 per cent premium over its Friday closing price. Kotick said the deal gives his company “a very productive way” to use foreign cash that had not been earning a lot of money.

U.S. tax rates prompt companies to avoid transferring money earned overseas back home to the parent.

The boards of both companies have approved the deal, but King shareholders must still vote on it and regulators in Ireland must also sign off. The companies expect it to close next spring.

Shares of King Digital Entertainment Plc., which went public in March 2014, jumped 15 per cent, or $2.34, to $17.88 Tuesday in pre-market trading and after the deal was announced. Meanwhile, Activision slipped 12 cents to $34.35.

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Stay-at-home dad charged with 13 sex related offences involving youths

Written by admin on 25/08/2019 Categories: 苏州美甲纹绣培训

TORONTO – A Toronto father of two has been charged with 13 sex related offences involving female youths between 13 and 16 years of age and police believe there may be more victims.

Police allege the suspect approached the girls while they were leaving school in the Rathburn Road and Renforth Drive area between April 1 and Oct. 27.

In four of the five incidents, the accused would ask the victims for directions when the conversation quickly turned sexual in nature.


“He would change a simple conversation for directions to totally sexual overtones,” said Sex Crimes Detective Dan Luff during a press conference Tuesday morning.

“He would talk about their physical appearances and sexual experiences.”

In one case, police said the suspect approached a youth while his child was in the car with him.

“The child was in the car at the time of the incident,” said Luff.

Police said the accused also used social media to develop an online relationship with a 15-year-old girl who was subsequently coerced into a one-on-one meeting and sexually assaulted.

The suspect has been identified as 29-year-old Fathi Rashid who faces four counts of sexual assault, four counts of sexual interference, four counts of criminal harassment and one for invitation to sexual touching.

Police said Rashid also had been using the aliases Malik Gavin D Sweeti, Gavin D Sweetie or variations of these names to contact girls online.

He is also known to approach his victims in a white 2010 Hyundai Sonata and blue 2014 Mazda CX5.

The accused is scheduled to appear in court on Nov. 4.

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Donald Trump’s book offers little in the way of new policy details

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NEWARK, N.J. – U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump is out with a new book that reads like a campaign manifesto, boasting success stories but offering few details on how he would implement his policy goals.

“Crippled America” does, however, provide insights into how the billionaire businessman, former reality TV star and Republican White House hopeful uses the media to his advantage.



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    The book speaks directly to voters, making the case that Trump has the experience and business savvy to accomplish things that traditional, all-talk, no-action politicians can’t. It comes as Trump is continuing to adjust to a new phase of the campaign in which the once undisputed front-runner is now facing heightened competition from a number of his Republican rivals.

    “This book is designed to give the reader a better understanding of me and my ideas for our future,” Trump writes. “I’m a really nice guy, but I’m also passionate and determined to make our country great again.”

    In many ways the book is an exhaustive version of the stump speech Trump has been delivering at rallies across the country, laying out what he sees as the biggest challenges facing the country and how he plans to solve them. And it is signature braggadocios Trump, complete with a 14-page biography and a list of some of the properties he has developed, managed and licensed over the years. The book also includes a note declaring that Trump’s net worth has increased since he launched his campaign.

    Trump also talks at length about his relationship with the news media, which he has used deftly to promote his campaign, saving him millions in television advertising.

    “I use the media the way the media uses me – to attract attention,” he writes, explaining that he “learned a long time ago that if you’re not afraid to be outspoken, the media will write about you or beg you to come on their shows.”

    “I have a mutually profitable two-way relationship with the media,” he adds. “We give each other what we need. And now I am using that relationship to talk about the future of America.”

    The book includes chapters on favoured Trump subjects including the dangers of illegal immigration and his commitment to Second Amendment rights for gun owners. And it delves into more details in some areas, particularly on how he plans to force Mexico to pay for a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, his signature campaign promise.

    “We could increase the various border fees we charge. We could increase the fees on temporary visas. We could even impound remittance payments derived from illegal wages,” Trump offers. “Foreign governments could tell their embassies to start helping, otherwise they risk troubled relations with America.”

    On education, he falls short of a call for a reinstatement of corporal punishment, but said says schools need stricter discipline, with trained security officers to enforce the rules.

    But Trump also makes no apologies for his often hazy plans.

    “A lot of times when I speak, people say I don’t provide specific policies that some pollster has determined what people want to hear. I know that’s not the way the professional politicians do it – they seem to poll and focus-group every word. But there’s nobody like me,” he writes, with dramatic line breaks. “Nobody. I ask people to look at what I’ve done throughout my whole career. Look at how successful I’ve been doing things my way.”

    He also works to try to push back on potential weaknesses, providing a list of conservative credentials to present to those who accuse him of being too liberal, and assurances that he is a practicing Christian.

    “God is in my life every day,” he says.

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Terrence Ross signs 3 year extension with Toronto Raptors

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TORONTO – Terrence Ross is staying with the Toronto Raptors.

Ross agreed to a multi-year contract with the Raptors late Monday that would keep him in Toronto.

“Happy to say I will be in #Toronto 4 more years! I want to thank God, my family, management, and the @Raptors!” said Ross from his verified 广州蒲友 account, adding a WeTheNorth hashtag.

The 24-year-old Ross had until midnight on Monday to sign a deal. If he did not, he would have become a restricted free agent on July 1.

Ross, who plays as a shooting guard and a small forward, is averaging 12.3 points, 2.7 rebounds and an assist per game this season.

All those numbers are improvements over his career averages of 9,2 points, 2.6 rebounds and 0.9 assists per game.

“Terrence has shown growth with each season,” said Raptors president and general manager Masai Ujiri. “We are excited that he will be part of what we are building in Toronto. He is a great teammate and has worked hard to become one of our best shooters.”


Ross tied the franchise record with a 51-point outing January 25, 2014 against the Los Angeles Clippers at Air Canada Centre. He also set career highs for field goals made (16), three-pointers made (10), free throws made (9) and minutes played (44) in that game.

The Portland, Oregon native was selected eighth overall by Toronto in the 2012 NBA Draft and averaged 6.4 points and 2.0 rebounds, making 65 three-pointers, in 73 games his rookie season. He followed that with career highs of 10.9 points and 3.1 rebounds in 81 games. He also posted career bests in three-point field goal percentage (.395) and three-point field goals made (161) in 2013-14.

Last season, Ross appeared in all 82 games averaging 9.8 points and 2.8 rebounds with 145 three-pointers as the Raptors won a franchise-best 49 games. In 11 career playoff appearances, he has averaged 5.7 points, 1.8 rebounds and 24.1 minutes.

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New screening process for migrants tested on Greek island

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LESBOS, Greece – A garbage-strewn hillside on this Greek island has become the European Union’s testing ground for a new fast-track registration process for migrants. If it works, authorities plan rapid expansion to other refugee “hotspots” struggling to cope with the influx of hundreds of thousands of people fleeing war and poverty.



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    Thousands are camping out here in a tent city that has sprung up around the police registration centre chosen for the pilot program, which includes translators and police interviewers who use a secret questionnaire aimed at helping to quickly determine the migrants’ country of origin.

    The EU chose to launch the program on Lesbos, because it is on the front-line of Europe’s migrant crisis. The island has been stretched to the limit with more than 300,000 migrants processed here this year, more than three times the island’s population – and most have landed in the past six weeks. Germany said Monday it expects other fast-track registration centres at migrant hotspots to begin functioning by the end of the month.

    Francisco Ramos, a soft-spoken Spanish policeman, is currently in charge of running the new program, which is housed in a converted freight container surrounded by razor-wire and guarded by riot police. Ramos and his colleagues interview more than 1,000 migrants and refugees per day to try to quickly establish their identity and pass the information on to police forces and authorities around the EU.

    “First the migrants are identified. They are screened. The purpose of this step is to establish the real nationality,” he said. “There are some migrants who are not telling us their real nationality.”

    Interviewers include interpreters familiar with regional dialects, and police officers who use picture books to help applicants point out answers. Questions are closely guarded to prevent migrants from studying potential answers beforehand. The migrants are fingerprinted – their palm and each finger – using a scanner before the information is relayed to Greek police.

    The migrants are screened by Frontex before receiving provisional travel passes from the Greek police – which does not have a formal screening process – while their details are entered in a database available to other European Union police forces. So far, the information has not been used to stop asylum-seekers travelling on to other parts of Europe.

    Frontex, the EU border protection agency, runs the service in addition to providing police and coast guard patrol support. It staffs the registration centre together with officials from European migration and asylum agencies.

    “This is part of a pilot project aimed at … speeding up the process. To try to put together the different steps of the registration process altogether in one place,” Ramos said. “Before, it might have all been in different buildings.”

    The registration scheme is being tested as authorities in Greece grapple with the question of what to do with migrants considered ineligible for asylum in Europe. Last week, Greek migration minister Yiannis Mouzalas said the government has ruled out mass detentions of migrants reaching Lesbos and other Greek islands, despite pressure for such camps from other European governments.

    The Lesbos hotspot, Ramos said, was built to help stretched Greek authorities deal with the massive scale of the problem. On a typical day several dozen boats arrive on this island carrying refugees from the civil war in Syria – and every bit of help counts.

    “Everybody understands this situation is exceptional,” Ramos said.

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Tearful relatives identify Egypt plane crash victims; investigators analysing black boxes

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ST. PETERSBURG, Russia – The first 10 bodies of victims of Saturday’s plane crash over Egypt were identified by their families Tuesday, a string of tearful relatives leaving the city crematorium.

Alexei Smirnov of the Russian emergency situations ministry said that a total of 140 bodies and more than 100 body parts were delivered to St. Petersburg on two government planes on Monday and Tuesday and that a third plane is expected to bring more remains later on Tuesday.

READ MORE: Metrojet plane crash: What the data tells us

Metrojet’s Airbus A321-200 en route from Egypt’s Sharm el-Sheikh to St. Petersburg crashed over the Sinai Peninsula on Saturday, killing all 224 on board. The overwhelming majority of the passengers were Russian holidaymakers flying home.

A portrait of 10-month-old Darina Gromova, a victim of a plane crash, is surrounded by flowers and candles at an entrance of Pulkovo airport outside St. Petersburg, Russia, Monday, Nov. 2, 2015.

AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky



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    Egypt’s civil aviation minister said the joint investigation committee will start examining the data from the black boxes retrieved from the crash site.

    Hossam Kamal said the committee — which includes Egyptian and Russian experts as well as representatives from Ireland, where the Metrojet Airbus A321-200 was registered — will conclude its last field inspection at the crash site by the end of the day Tuesday and start working on the black boxes.

    Kamal said it “will take some time” to produce the final report and that the committee “has all the tools and experts to deal with the investigation.”

    Mourners continued to come to St. Petersburg’s Pulkovo airport on Tuesday to lay flowers and leave paper planes and soft toys at the arrivals hall. On the outskirts of town, tearful families of the victims were leaving the premises of the crematorium where the identification procedures are taking place.

    In this photo made available Monday, Nov. 2, 2015, and provided by Russian Emergency Situations Ministry, Egyptian military officials approach a plane’s tail at the wreckage of a passenger jet bound for St. Petersburg in Russia that crashed in Hassana, Egypt, on Sunday, Nov. 1, 2015.

    Maxim Grigoriev/Russian Ministry for Emergency Situations via AP

    The Tass news agency on Tuesday quoted Alexander Rzhanenkov, an official at the St. Petersburg city hall, as saying that the first two bodies could be released to their families on Tuesday. He did not identify the victims but said they were from the St. Petersburg suburbs and a neighboring region.

    Alexander Agafonov, head of the Russian rescue mission in Egypt, said in a televised conference with other officials Tuesday afternoon that searchers have not found a single additional body on Tuesday having combed a 28 square-kilometer (10.8 square-mile) area. Emergency Situations Minister Vladimir Puchkov said the site “should be studied centimeter by centimeter.”

    “If you need to sift through the sand where the remains or pieces of the fuselage could be, do it,” he said.

    READ MORE: Timeline of the Russian flight which crashed in Egypt

    Confusing reports and theories have emerged as to what could have caused the crash.

    Some aviation experts raised the possibility that a bomb on board the Airbus brought it down, while others cited an incident in 2001 when the aircraft grazed the runway with its tail while landing.

    Metrojet firmly denied that the crash could have been caused by either equipment failure or crew error.

    In Egypt, the U.S. Embassy has instructed its staff not to travel anywhere in the Sinai Peninsula pending the outcome of the investigation into the crash as a “precautionary measure.”

    The United States, Germany and Britain all had overflight warnings in place for the Sinai. They advised airlines to avoid flying over the peninsula below 26,000 feet and to avoid the Sharm el-Sheikh airport due to extremist violence and, notably, the use of anti-aircraft weapons.

    Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi insisted on Tuesday that the security situation in the Sinai Peninsula is under “full control” and that claims by the Islamic State group that it downed the plane were “propaganda” aimed at damaging the country’s image. In an interview with the BBC released Tuesday, el-Sissi also reiterated his assertion that the cause of the crash may not be known for months and that, until then, the causes should not be speculated on.

    Islamic State militants said on the day of the crash that they had “brought down” the Russian plane to avenge those killed as a result of Moscow’s recent air campaign in Syria, launched in support of IS adversary President Bashar Assad.

    But the group did not provide any evidence to back up its claim, and militants in northern Sinai have not to date shot down commercial airliners or fighter jets.

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