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TSB to weigh in on Iran report and Nygard's bail appeal: In The News for March 18

In The News is a roundup of stories from The Canadian Press designed to kickstart your day. Here is what's on the radar of our editors for the morning of March 18 ... What we are watching in Canada ...

In The News is a roundup of stories from The Canadian Press designed to kickstart your day. Here is what's on the radar of our editors for the morning of March 18 ...

What we are watching in Canada ...

OTTAWA - The Transportation Safety Board, Canada's air-safety investigator, says it will comment this morning on a report from Iran on the downing of a passenger jet by its military in January 2020.

The final report from Iran's civil aviation body blames "human error" as the reason why the Revolutionary Guard shot down Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752 minutes after it took off from Tehran on Jan. 8 last year.

Iran's Civil Aviation Organization says an operator fired two surface-to-air missiles after misidentifying the Boeing 737-800 as a "hostile target" and despite not getting a green light from superiors, per procedure.

The Canadian government has rejected the report outright, describing it as "incomplete" and devoid of "hard facts or evidence."

A group representing families of the victims also dismissed the report as riddled with inconsistencies and "fabrications" that are "grossly inadequate" to explain the shootdown.

All 176 people on board the jetliner were killed, including 55 Canadian citizens, 30 permanent residents and dozens of others bound for Canada.


Also this ...

WINNIPEG - A Canadian fashion leader facing charges of sex trafficking and racketeering in the United States is appealing a judge’s decision to keep him behind bars.

The judge who denied Peter Nygard's bail request last month cited concerns the 79-year-old could contact witnesses if released.

Nygard was arrested in December in Winnipeg under the Extradition Act and faces nine counts in the Southern District of New York.

Authorities there accuse Nygard of using his influence in the fashion industry to lure women and girls with the promise of modelling and other financial opportunities.

Nygard is also the subject of a class-action lawsuit in the U.S. involving 57 women with similar allegations.

He stepped down as chairman of his company after the FBI and police raided his offices in New York City in February 2020.


What we are watching in the U.S. ...

Asian Americans were already worn down by a year of pandemic-fueled racist attacks when a white gunman was charged with attacking three Atlanta-area massage parlours and killing eight people, most of them Asian women. 

Hundreds of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders turned to social media to air their anger, sadness, fear and hopelessness. 

The hashtag #StopAsianHate was a top trending topic on Twitter hours after the shootings that happened Tuesday evening.  

Many were also outraged that the suspect, 21-year-old Robert Aaron Long, was not immediately charged with hate crimes. Authorities said Long told police the attack was not racially motivated, and he claimed that he targeted the spas because of a “sex addiction." 

Six of the seven slain women were identified as Asian.  


What we are watching in the rest of the world ...

MANDALAY - A Myanmar construction magnate with links to military rulers claimed he personally gave more than half a million dollars in cash to deposed leader Aung San Suu Kyi in a broadcast on state television aimed at discrediting the ousted civilian government. 

The statement by Maung Waik could pave the way for more serious charges against Suu Kyi, who has been detained since the Feb. 1 military takeover while security forces increasingly use lethal force against a popular uprising demanding the restoration of democratically elected leaders.  

The military has already tried to implicate Suu Kyi in corruption, alleging she was given $600,000 plus gold bars by a political ally. She and President Win Myint have been charged so far with inciting unrest, possession of walkie-talkies and violating a pandemic order limiting public gatherings.  

Meanwhile, a Myanmar court has issued an arrest warrant for the country's U.N. ambassador, Kyaw Moe Tun, on charges of treason, the state-run newspaper Global New Light of Myanmar reported.


On this day in 1929 ...

Ground was broken for the Windsor-Detroit tunnel under the Detroit River.


In business ...

REGINA - A Saskatchewan condo corporation has purchased thousands of dollars worth of bitcoin in hopes of eventually eliminating fees for residents, but experts say such cryptocurrency investments come with risks.

Regina-based Thornton Place Condominium Corp. announced Wednesday that it recently bought 0.4 bitcoin for $25,000 through cryptocurrency platform Kraken and has allocated $700 per month for future purchases of the cryptocurrency.

The investment made by the corporation behind a 32-unit building on Smith Street amounts to about five per cent of its reserves and six per cent of its monthly operating fund contributions.

With the value of Bitcoin rising from about $7,000 per coin to roughly $70,000 over the last year, the model may seem tempting to copy, but experts believe condo corporations should think twice because cryptocurrency can be risky.



When Carly Blake recently felt something plow into the back of her head, she thought someone had thrown a chunk of firewood at her.

But it turned out to be a great horned owl that had been skulking around in the trees near her home in the coastal Labrador community of Rigolet.

Local conservation officer David Wolfrey says he received other reports from people saying they had heard of an owl attacking humans.

He says attacks by the birds, which can weigh as much as two kilograms, are very rare.

Wolfrey caught and killed the owl after the March 4 attack on Blake, noting that a bird that size could do a lot of damage if it went after a child.

Blake needed a stitch in her head after the incident and still has bumps where the bird's talons dug in, and she says she and her children will no longer hoot at owls.


This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 18, 2021

The Canadian Press

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