Sikh pioneer and veteran Lt.-Col. Jauhal dies at age 95 in Surrey

SURREY — Indo-Canadian war veteran, Pritam Singh Jauhal, once banned from Newton Legion for wearing a turban has died at the age of 95.
Jauhal, a Sikh, wore a turban into battle during several wars, including the Second World War as part of 8th British Army actions in North Africa.
In 1993, following a Remembrance Day ceremony, Jauhal and other turban-wearing Sikh veterans were barred from entering Newton Legion due to rules regarding the wearing of “headgear” inside the hall.
The organization eventually changed its policy, following pressure from human rights-minded Canadians.
Jauhal published a memoir called “A Soldier Remembers” in 2013, in collaboration with the Centre for Indo-Canadian Studies at the University of the Fraser Valley.
“I am Commanding Officer of a Canadian Regiment today because of the legacy and sacrifice of (Jauhal) and other Sikh veterans before him,” wrote Harjit Singh Sajjan, now Canada’s Minister of National Defence, in the foreword for the book.
“We both know that there is no greater honour than to serve the nation you call home.”
Jauhal lived in Surrey for many years, and frequently attended Remembrance Day ceremonies at the cenotaph in Cloverdale.
A funeral service for Jauhal will be held at 2 p.m. Sunday, July 3 at Valley View Funeral Home & Cemetery (14644 72nd Ave., Surrey), followed at 3:30 p.m. by a prayer service at Canadian Singh Sabha Gurdwara (8115 132nd St., Surrey).

Britain could still ignore Brexit referendum result. It wouldn’t be the first time in EU’s ‘sorry history’

Rick Noack, Washington Post

LONDON – Only hours after the EU referendum results were released last Friday, millions had signed a petition to repeat it. Since then, some of the politicians most outspoken in support of leaving the European Union have virtually gone into hiding, leaving room for speculations over what will happen next.

“I do not believe that Brexit will happen,” wrote Financial Times columnist Gideon Rachman on Monday, joining a chorus of commentators voicing similar doubts, including U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry.

In theory, there are several ways Britain could avoid carrying out the referendum’s decision to leave the European Union. Legally, the result is not binding, so the parliament could simply overrule it – but such a move would be considered undemocratic and is unlikely. The new prime minister expected to replace David Cameron in September could also call new elections and – if won by pro-EU parties – use that result as a way to override the referendum.

Looking back into EU history, it wouldn’t be the first time.

“Respect for the outcomes of referendums is perhaps not the most prominent feature of the sorry history of the EU,” said Philipp Genschel, a professor at the Schumann Center for Advanced Studies. “However, the standard way not to respect the outcome of a referendum is not open defiance [. . .] but the repetition of the referendum until it yields the ‘right’ outcome.”

In fact, the European Union as we know it today was built on a series of rejections of public votes. When the Danes in 1992 declined to accept the Maastricht treaty – which paved the way for a more integrated political union – the European Union made some concessions and then staged a second referendum in which voters finally approved of it. The same happened in 2001, when the Irish rejected the so-called Nice treaty as the bloc expanded eastward, and in 2008 when they opposed another treaty over further EU integration.

Last year, Greek voters rejected bailout conditions proposed to the country by the European Union. But the leftist government in Athens ended up agreeing to most of those conditions anyway.

Earlier this year, the Dutch voted against closer ties between the EU and Ukraine – a decision which was interpreted as a backlash against the hard-line stances of many EU governments toward Russia. The Dutch government is now considering to simply ignore the outcome of this referendum.

Some political scientists have argued that the EU has always had a troubled relationship with referendums.

“Referendum outcomes are typically respected symbolically at best because it is politically all but impossible to respect them in substance,” said Genschel, referring primarily to incidents when voters of one EU country have opposed an agreement which was reached by all 28 member states.

Referendum outcomes are typically respected symbolically at best because it is politically all but impossible to respect them in substance
In such cases, it remains questionable “whether voters of one member states should be allowed to impose their views on voters in all other member states,” said Genschel.

However, the current British case vastly differs from previous EU referendums that were ignored: Most voters were aware of the possible repercussions, ranging from the prime minister’s resignation to a possible recession. Moreover, “respect for the Brexit vote does not require any cooperation and consent from the other member states,” Genschel explained.

As it looks now, Britain continues to head toward the door, with the EU pressuring the country to start exit negotiations sooner rather than later. But don’t be too surprised if British leaders decide that a second referendum might be necessary – one that yields the result they had hoped for.

Christy Clark shakes up B.C. real estate industry with no more self governance

B.C.’s real-estate industry has lost its status as a self-regulating entity following a massive governance overhaul announced Wednesday by Premier Christy Clark.

The move comes a day after the release of a damning report by an independent advisory group, which had been tasked with looking into governance issues and shady conduct within Metro Vancouver’s real estate industry.

The group, which was chaired by Carolyn Rogers, B.C.’s superintendent of real estate, offered 28 recommendations, including stiffer penalties for licensee misconduct, greater transparency and governance issues.

Ending self-regulation, however, was not one of those recommendations, suggesting the Clark government is preparing to take determined steps to address Metro Vancouver’s housing affordability crisis.

As part of the new measures announced Wednesday, all decision making and rule setting will be taken over by a strengthened superintendent of real estate, who will report directly to B.C.’s minister of finance.

At present, the superintendent of real estate is also responsible for overseeing all credit unions and pension and mortgage brokering industries. Rogers announced last month that she was going to leave the position at the end of the month.

Clark said the search for a new superintendent is underway.

Additional changes announced Wednesday will see the real estate council reorganized to include a majority of public interest, non-industry members.

Clark also said that government will implement all of the recommendations found within the advisory group’s report, including bringing in stiffer penalties and fines for realtors and brokerages that break the rules.

Edmonton police make city’s largest methamphetamine bust

By Claire Theobald

Edmonton police made the largest methamphetamine bust in their history during a traffic stop last Wednesday.

“There’s a lot more drugs out there where these came from,” said Insp. Dwayne Lakusta, the Edmonton police officer in charge of the organized crime branch.
Members of the Edmonton Drug and Gang Enforcement (EDGE) unit began tailing a suspected drug operation in Spring and a suspect already known to police.
After observing what was believed to be drug activity, officers pulled over and stopped a vehicle on June 22, seizing three kilograms of cocaine from inside the car.
“The methamphetamine would equate to over 97,000 single dosages sold to users on the street. The cocaine would result in over 23,000 half-gram dosages,” said Lakusta.

Lakusta said had these drugs been sold in bulk, they could have been worth $900,000 to the dealer. However, once those drugs are broken down for sale on the street, these drugs could have fetched as much as $2 million.
While this is the single largest methamphetamine bust in Edmonton history, Lakusta said it isn’t likely to make much of an impact on Edmonton’s larger meth trade, with the illegal drug showing up on city streets “in abundance,” over the past few months.
“We are scratching the surface, but any time we get an opportunity to take this level of dealer out, it does have an impact on that particular group,” said Lakusta. “I would be naive to think that it will have a larger impact on Edmonton.”
The previous record was set after officers seized five kilograms of meth, and Lakusta described the quantity seized Wednesday as “a significant amount of methamphetamine.”
While officers believe the drugs were going to be trafficked, investigators do not know where the drugs came from or where they were ultimately destined to go.
Ho Tran, 47, is now charged with three counts of possession for the purpose of trafficking.
Tran is currently being held in custody and is due to appear in court in Edmonton on Thursday.

RCMP investigating another shooting in Surrey

Surrey RCMP are investigating after shots were fired in Newton Monday night.

Mounties were called to the 12800-block of 60 Avenue in Surrey at around 8 p.m. Officers found evidence of gunfire in the area. There were no reported injuries.

RCMP say eyewitnesses reported two vehicles leaving the scene soon after shots rang out. Descriptions of the vehicles have not yet been confirmed.

Traffic was closed around 128 Street and 60 Avenue for a few hours while police examined the site for evidence and interviewed witnesses.

This is the most recent case of gun violence in Surrey, which this year had recorded 39 shots-fired incidents by mid-May.

Anyone with information is asked to contact RCMP at 604-599-0502 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.

Fines of up to $250,000 called for in B.C. real estate report


A panel investigating misconduct by B.C. real estate agents is calling for much more punitive fines to a maximum of $250,000 for individuals, from the current $10,000, and to $500,000 for brokerages, from the current $20,000.

“These will be applied for when individual agents or firms do not treat a consumer fairly,” Carolyn Rogers, B.C.’s superintendent of real estate, who led the panel, told a Tuesday morning press briefing that released a long-awaited report.

It follows widespread outcry over unsavoury practices, including so-called shadow flipping and double-ended deals, that take advantage of both buyers and sellers in an “unprecedented” hot market for an agent’s own gain.

“The current regime was set for transactions of homes, not investments,” said Rogers. “Houses are no longer just homes. They are investments and this has put pressure on a regime that has not changed.”

Fines for administrative infractions such as late filing or breaches in record-keeping will be raised from $1,000 to $50,000.

In addition, the report calls for the “disgorging” of any ill-gotten gains obtained by an agent via fraudulent ways to be returned to a client in a process that would involve the courts, said Rogers.

Critics and experts, mindful of the immense commissions and bonuses made by agents in a single deal, have been pushing for agents found guilty of fraud to pay back any money instead of merely facing a maximum fine.

The report–months in the making–makes 28 main recommendations. Of these, 21 were directed to the Real Estate council, a self-regulating organization, and seven to the government.

Also on the list in Tuesday’s report is a recommendation that the Real Estate Council of B.C. — a self-regulated, provincial organization tasked with overseeing the industry — should increase the number of publicly appointed members from 3 out of 17 to 50 per cent.

Currently, there is a blurring of responsibilities and reporting lines. Public complaints about agents often get taken to B.C.’s private real estate boards because they run and control access to the proprietary Multiple Listing Service, a database that holds information essential for any agent conducting business.

Some of these, including the Greater Vancouver real estate board, have, in recent months, increased their maximum fines. But their investigations or disciplinary decisions remain behind closed doors so it has not been possible to see how they have been handled, if at all, in some cases.

A committee to implement the report’s recommendations will be headed by Dave Peerless, who said he will be appointing members in the next few weeks.

California woman drove a kilometre with man’s corpse lodged in windshield, severed leg on trunk: police



Esteysi Sanchez drove 1.2 km with a man’s corpse embedded in her windshield in a gruesome hi

Esteysi Sanchez drove 1.2 km with a man’s corpse embedded in her windshield in a gruesome hit-and-run that took place early Monday morning in Oceanside, Calif., police said.

The 29-year-old, who also goes by the name of Stacy Sanchez, according to her Facebook page, was driving home from an alleged marathon night of drinking at several different bars in her hometown, Oceanside, when she collided with a pedestrian, police said.

“From what I understand, she was out partying all night and was on the way home,” Sgt. Jeff Brandt of the Oceanside Police told The Washington Post.

The sun had risen about 40 minutes earlier when Sanchez reached the 4000 block of Mission Avenue at around 6:20 a.m., where the victim was walking either to or from the Brother Benno soup kitchen, KGTV reported. Brandt said it’s unclear if he was on the sidewalk or the street at the time of the collision. Police have not released the victim’s name, though the station reported he was a “known transient in the area.”

The driver’s teal Pontiac sedan was moving so fast and the impact was so forceful that one of the man’s legs was ripped from his torso at the waist, flew through the back window and landed on the trunk of her car, KNSD reported.

The rest of his body slammed into the front windshield, shattering it and leaving him “impaled into the vehicle,” according to Brandt. He crashed through the window such that the top of his head rested on the passenger seat while his body remain lodged in the jagged hole in the windshield.

The driver continued — with the man’s body in the car and his severed leg on the vehicle’s trunk — for more than a kilometre, riding along the sidewalk at one point and crashing through residential landscaping, before coming to rest in a cul-de-sac, where she parked the car, got out and walked to her nearby house, KGTV reported.

When she arrived home, her husband contacted paramedics and the Oceanside Police Department.

The victim was pronounced dead at the scene.

At the scene of the collision, police found the victim’s shoes and pants, which contained keys and identification, alongside shards of Sanchez’s windshield. Police then questioned Sanchez, who admitted to drinking and driving, Brandt told The Post.

She has been booked into the Vista Detention Facility for felony DUI and vehicular manslaughter. It remains unclear if she has retained a lawyer, according to the Associated Press.

From what I understand, she was out partying all night and was on the way home

Edwin Esparza claimed to have witnessed the crash while changing the oil in his car in the early morning.

“There’s no words to really describe it. I mean, just seeing that up close and personal, it’s kind of traumatizing in a way,” Esparza told KNSD.

His brother echoed the sentiment.

“My brother went to go investigate the car, and he said he saw a body in there,” Edgar Esparza told the station. “It’s really disturbing. I never really saw a dead body until now.”

One of Sanchez’s neighbors said he noticed the car but didn’t want to take a closer look, since he could tell it was an upsetting scene.

“Horrific. Yeah, never in my whole life have I heard a story like this,” Lou Torres told KNSD. “It was so strange that I couldn’t imagine any scenario that would cause this.”

Morbid as the details of the case are, it’s by no means the first of its kind.

Just last week, 30-year-old Anya Tucker was charged with leaving the scene of an incident without reporting, first-degree endangerment, and refusal to submit a breath test after allegedly killing Patrick Duff in Clifton Park, N.Y., by hitting him with her BMW in December of last year. Court documents said she drove around with his body impaled in the BMW’s windshield for more than an hour, WTEN reported.

And in March of last year, 33-year-old Jose Antonio Santiago reportedly struck 62-year-old Anna Lewis near Allentown, Pa., with his Saab sedan so forcefully that the car severed her body at the waist. The top half of her torso broke through the front windshield, coming to a rest on the passenger side floor. Even then, Santiago insisted to police he hadn’t hit anyone with his car.

“I would’ve stopped,” he said, according to “I’m not a bad person.”

A police report on the collision involving Sanchez and the pedestrian had not been completed as of early Tuesday morning. It is also not clear if she’s entered a plea yet to the charges against her.

Toronto shooting victim identified by father as Sukh Deo, former Vancouver gangster

Global News


The father of a man killed during a daylight shooting in a quiet Toronto neighbourhood has identified him as 35-year-old Sukh Deo, a reputed gangster from Vancouver’s Lower Mainland.

Toronto police have not yet identified Deo as the shooting victim but said a man was shot at close range through the driver’s side window of a luxury SUV in an alley on Cowbell Lane, near Yonge Street and Eglinton Avenue, just before 3 p.m. Tuesday.

Parminder Singh Deo spoke to Global News by phone Wednesday and confirmed his son was fatally shot in Toronto Tuesday.

“We don’t have anything, we don’t know anything,” Deo said. “We just arrived here, so we don’t know anything yet.”

Sukh Deo made headlines in May when he was escorted out of his courtside seat at a Toronto Raptors playoff game for heckling referees.

Several members of the Deo family, including Sukh, were well-known to police in Metro Vancouver. His brother Harjit Singh Deo was convicted in 2007 for a 2005 kidnapping for ransom in which the victim was held inside the Deo family home in New Westminster.

Parminder Singh Deo is also wanted in an Interpol warrant from India with charges including narcotic drug smuggling, forgery, thefts, and criminal conspiracy.

In Toronto, police and nearby residents were shocked by the shooting.

“I was outside and we heard this loud, ‘Bang! Bang! Bang!’” said Jessie Leamon, who works in the area. “That’s where everyone in the office walks through so it’s scary.”

Two male suspects considered armed and dangerous were allegedly seen fleeing the area in a black car, with one spotted wearing a green construction vest and the other an orange construction vest.

“We will find out who you are and you will be arrested,” 53 Division Unit Commander Supt. Reuben Stroble said of the suspects. “Get a lawyer, turn yourself in.”

Investigators are speaking to witnesses and looking at surveillance footage in the area in an attempt to identify the suspects.

With files from Caryn Lieberman and John Daly

New Delhi (CNN)When India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi concludes his three-day visit to Washington on Wednesday, he will likely reflect on how the relationship between the world’s two biggest democracies is becoming ever closer, a step towards fulfilling U.S. President Barack Obama’s prophesy that India and the United States would form “one of the defining partnerships” of the 21st century.

At the very least, Modi deserves credit for generating an impressive amount of air miles. This week marks his fourth U.S. visit since assuming office in 2014. It is also the seventh time he has met Obama.
But there is an important first this week too: Wednesday will mark the first time Modi has been invited to address a Joint Meeting of Congress in the House Chamber — an honor bestowed on just a few world leaders every year.
Wednesday’s address to Congress will complete an unlikely turnaround for Modi, going from outcast to prize in just over two years.
The clouds hanging over Modi’s reputation date back to 2002 when he was Chief Minister of the western state of Gujarat. More than a thousand Muslims were killed by rampaging Hindus in the final act of an ugly spate of riots. Human rights activists have long alleged that Modi was complicit; India’s courts have been unable to prove any truth to those claims.
Reacting to the controversy over Modi’s alleged role, U.S. officials denied him a visa in 2005 on the grounds of a little-used clause of the Immigration and Nationality Act barring foreign officials from entry if they were deemed responsible of what the Act calls “violations of religious freedom.”
When Modi became Prime Minister the clause was rendered irrelevant. The leader of the world’s biggest democracy was simply too important.
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On his first visit to New York Modi stunned the city by drawing a crowd of twenty thousand supporters to his speech at Madison Square Gardens. Modi had arrived. He appeared at another rally in the company of ‘Wolverine’ actor Hugh Jackman. In subsequent visits he was seen with Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg and SpaceX founder Elon Musk.

Come Wednesday, the rehabilitation will be whole. Modi is now known around the world mostly for his electrifying oratory, for being decisive on foreign policy, and for talking up domestic successes – even while some of his main projects are stymied by political gridlock.

Why Washington?

This is largely a win-win visit for both leaders.
For Obama, India could be seen as a foreign policy success, far away from the crises of Syria and Libya, the unease with Russia, or the competition with China. New Delhi has emerged as a partner in the Indian Ocean and a hedge against China’s ambitions. U.S.-India ties in defense, intelligence sharing, trade, and investment have gotten stronger. A steady stream of U.S. CEOs make their way to India every month, looking to cash in on a country that is increasingly seen as a rare growth spot in a bleak global economy.
Inviting Modi to Washington is Obama’s way of sealing one part of his foreign policy legacy.
As India’s Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar put it to reporters at a briefing in New Delhi last week, there are very few world leaders Obama wants to see in his remaining months in office. Modi is clearly one of them.
Modi, meanwhile, can’t get enough of the United States. Modi’s global travels get unprecedented coverage at home, but none more so than his visits to America. The Indian media has often trumpeted the so-called chemistry between the two leaders, branding it a “bromance.” In reality, Modi has been wise to be effusive in public while keeping private any lingering resentment and embarrassment from his erstwhile travel ban.
For Modi, the benefits of a strong American friendship are clear: being aligned closer to Washington means he can attract more business and trade, which has always been his top priority. As the Brookings Institution’s Tanvi Madan points out, U.S.-India trade has jumped from $60 billion in 2009 to $107 billion in 2015; sales of U.S. defense equipment to India now reach $14 billion, up some 50-fold from a decade ago. The U.S. is also expected to help India join the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), a club of countries trading materials for nuclear energy.
Crucially for India, which has in the past flirted more with the Soviet Union than the United States, New Delhi’s friendship with Washington hasn’t cost it its own independent views. While cozying up to the White House, India has continued to forge ahead with investments in Iran, for example, such as its recent development of the Iranian port, Chabahar.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

What to expect

As with many pow-wows between big leaders, don’t expect too much of substance to emerge. This week is more about symbolism and ironing out plans long in the works, such as military cooperation and minor shifts in energy policy.
It is significant that Modi will be arriving in the U.S. from Switzerland, and traveling onwards to Mexico — both are countries that are members of the NSG, and crucial to rallying support for India’s bid to join the group.
America’s support will be vital too. In return, Obama may push Modi to advance his climate change agenda following the Paris Agreement signed in 2015.

Looming controversies?

While Modi is clearly no longer an outcast in Washington, he may yet have to answer some uncomfortable questions. He is expected to meet with lawmakers on Capitol Hill, some of whom have been vocal about Modi’s human rights record, including what many see as a rising climate of hostility towards Muslims in India.
More publicly, a congressional commission will hold a hearing on Tuesday examining human rights in India. The session is expected to take place right as Modi and Obama meet.
Modi will not have a chance to project beyond Obama just yet. This will likely be Modi’s final meeting with President Obama as the world wonders who Modi’s next counterpart will be.

Modi, Obama welcome work on nuclear reactors in India

India and the U.S. Export-Import Bank intend to work together toward a competitive financing package.
U.S. President Barack Obama and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday welcomed the start of preparatory work on six nuclear reactors in India, a key step in closing the first deal stemming from a U.S.-India civil nuclear accord struck over a decade ago.
The two leaders said in a joint statement that India and the U.S. Export-Import Bank intend to work together toward a competitive financing package for the project and will work to finalize contractual agreements by June 2017.
“Once completed, the project would be among the largest of its kind, fulfilling the promise of the U.S.-India civil nuclear agreement and demonstrating a shared commitment to meet India’s growing energy needs while reducing reliance on fossil fuels,” the joint statement said.
Mr. Obama said he and Mr. Modi discussed how to ensure a worldwide agreement forged in Paris to curb climate change could be enacted swiftly.
“We discussed how we can, as quickly as possible, bring the Paris agreement into force,” Mr. Obama told reporters .