Trump asks why Obama admin didn’t stop Russia from meddling

New Delhi, June 22 (ANI): As U.S. President Donald Trump on Thursday decried allegations of Russia collusion “a big hoax,” he sardonically questioned why the Obama administration did not stop Moscow from election meddling as it happened under the previous regime.

Trump fired off a series of tweets and said, “By the way, if Russia was working so hard on the 2016 Election, it all took place during the Obama Admin. Why didn’t they stop them?”

“Why did Democratic National Committee turn down the DHS offer to protect against hacks (long prior to election). It’s all a big Dem HOAX!”

“Why did the DNC REFUSE to turn over its Server to the FBI, and still hasn’t? It’s all a big Dem scam and excuse for losing the election!”

“I certainly hope the Democrats do not force Nancy P out. That would be very bad for the Republican Party – and please let Cryin’ Chuck stay!”

His tweets come a day after former Homeland Security Advisor Jeh Johnson testified before the House Intelligence Committee that he hadn’t seen any evidence that Trump or his campaign “colluded, conspired or coordinated” with the Russians – a charge often levied against Trump by detractors, who’ve yet to produce evidence backing the claim.

India’s population to surpass that of China’s around 2024: UN

UNITED NATIONS: India’s population could surpass that of China’s around 2024, two years later than previously estimated, and is projected to touch 1.5 billion in 2030, according to a UN forecast.

The World Population Prospects: The 2017 Revision, published by the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs, said that currently China with 1.41 billion inhabitants and India with 1.34

billion remain the two most populous countries, comprising 19 and 18 per cent of the total global population. “In roughly seven years, or around 2024, the population of India is expected to

surpass that of China,” the report said.

The 2017 Revision of World Population Prospects is the 25th round of official UN population estimates and projections. In its 24th round of estimates released in 2015, it was projected that the population of India will surpass that of China’s by 2022.

The new estimates released here today said that in 2024, India and China are expected

to have roughly a population of 1.44 billion each. After that, India’s population is

projected to continue growing for several decades to around 1.5 billion in 2030 and

approaching 1.66 billion in 2050, while the population of China is projected to remain

stable until the 2030s, after which it may begin a slow decline.

India’s population may eventually see a decline in the half century after 2050 to 1.51

billion by 2100 but it will still be the most populous country in the world.

Police arrest second Abbotsford teen in Lower Mainland gang conflict


Abbotsford police seized a number of drugs and have arrested an 18-year-old man in relation to the ongoing gang conflict throughout the Lower Mainland.

A search warrant was executed June 7 at the home of Akshay Sachdeva, 18. During the search, police found several controlled substances, including Fentanyl.

Police said Sachdeva had been identified as being linked to the Lower Mainland gang conflict that first started as a drug turf war in the Townline Hill neighbourhood of Abbotsford. The investigation has since been expanded and now includes officers and suspects from other jurisdictions.

Sachdeva has since been charged with four counts of possession for the purposes of trafficking in controlled substances. At the time of his arrest, he had been released on conditions relating to a May 2017 assault charge.

News of the arrest was shared exactly a week after Abbotsford police arrested another teen related to the same ongoing conflict.

Inderdeep Minhas, 18, was arrested June 14 after he failed to appear in court on three gun-related charges.

Abbotsford police continue to investigate and ask anyone with information about the conflict to call 604-859-5225 or text 222973 (abbypd). Those who wish to remain anonymous can call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.

Anyone who needs help or advice relating to gang involvement can email or call 604-864-4777.

Mississauga man charged for stealing $12K from donation boxes at local mosques

By David Shum Global News

A 58-year-old man has been charged with multiple counts of theft after $12,000 went missing from six mosques in Mississauga, Ont., earlier this month.

Peel Regional Police said the thefts consisted of money being stolen from donation boxes at six religious faith centres between June 4 and 17.

Police said the suspect would enter the mosques during opening hours and either steal the locked donation boxes or break into them and remove the money.

In two of the cases, the accused managed to enter the mosques after hours and take the cash.

Ashraf Awad of Mississauga was arrested and charged with five counts of theft under $5,000, one count for theft over $5,000, two counts of break and enter and theft, and one count of break and enter instruments.

Anyone with information on this investigation is asked to call investigators at 12 Division Criminal Investigation Bureau at (905) 453–2121, ext. 1233 or Peel Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).

Indo-Canadian, Del Manak appointed police chief of Victoria

Katie DeRosa / Times Colonist

JUNE 13, 2017

After three Victoria police chiefs hired from outside the department left amid controversy, the police board has appointed Victoria-born-and-raised Del Manak to lead the Victoria Police Department.

Manak, 52, was named Victoria’s top cop three weeks after former chief Frank Elsner stepped down amid two ongoing misconduct investigations.

Manak has served as interim chief since December 2015.

Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps said the police board broke with tradition and decided not to hold a province-wide or nationwide competition for the chief’s job. Board members interviewed members of the senior command, front-line officers and community members to get feedback on Manak’s performance as interim chief.

“He’s got the smarts, he’s got the passion, he’s got the experience and he has come up within the ranks of this department,” Helps said at a news conference at Victoria police headquarters.

It’s the first time in 26 years the department has promoted a chief from within the ranks. The police board has typically hired chiefs from outside the department, which has rankled some deputy chiefs.

Elsner was the third police chief to leave the department amid controversy.

Bill Naughton was appointed interim chief after Paul Battershill was forced to resign in August 2008 when he was accused of having an affair with a police board lawyer. Naughton was passed over for the job in favour of retired Vancouver police chief Jamie Graham, who was twice found guilty of misconduct.

Manak, who became deputy chief in 2010, was also passed over for an outsider when Elsner, then chief of Sudbury police, was hired in January 2014 to take the reins from Graham after he retired.

Manak said in 24 years with the department, he’s hired almost a quarter of the staff. He acknowledged the department has faced uncertainty amid the allegations against Elsner and said he’s proud of how his officers have conducted themselves during a difficult time.

Manak promised to bring a “sense of stability” and a “sense of strong leadership” to the job.

He said hiring from within sends a message to officers moving up the ranks that they have a chance of landing the top job one day.

Manak said trust between police officers and the public has eroded in other countries, alluding to police shootings and the Black Lives Matter movement in the United States. “We want to avoid this divide and embrace the diversity of our communities.”

He became emotional when thanking his wife, Nicky, 17-year-old son, Rajan, 15-year-old daughter, Kamryn, and 80-year-old mother, Avtar, for their support.

Manak attended George Jay and Central Middle schools before graduating from Mount Douglas Senior Secondary.

His first job was as a paper boy at age 13, delivering the Daily Colonist and working up to sub-manager. He worked at Canadian Tire and volunteered at the Fairfield community police station and the youth detention centre while trying to break into policing.

He was hired by Vancouver police in 1990, spending four years there before joining Victoria police.

Manak worked five years in the Victoria police traffic section and was a collision analyst. He was officer in charge of human resources and ran the department’s patrol division.

“So, to have come up through the ranks and be in a leadership position, I really have an opportunity to connect with our young students and be a role model and inspire them,” said Manak, who received the Order of Merit of the Police Forces in 2010.

Manak has been a visible presence in Victoria and Esquimalt council chambers and at community meetings since taking over as interim chief. He successfully argued for more funding for two new mental-health officers and raised concerns about the demands on frontline officers as they police the region’s urban core.


Gunman dressed as UPS employee fatally shoots 3 at San Francisco warehouse

By Staff Reuters

SAN FRANCISCO – A man dressed in a UPS uniform and armed with an “assault pistol” opened fire at a United Parcel Service Inc package sorting hub in San Francisco, killing three people before turning the gun on himself, police said.

Police did not identify the suspect or say if he was a UPS employee. They told a news conference the incident was not terrorism-related and they recovered two firearms from the scene.

United Parcel Service vans are seen parked outside a UPS facility after a shooting incident was reported in San Francisco.

Two other people were shot and have been taken to an area hospital, police said.

The shooter and the victims were all drivers, said Steve Gaut, head of investor relations at UPS. The incident took place while the workers were gathered for their daily morning meeting before going out on their routes, he added.

Gaut said the facility’s employees have been released from work and he believes most have left the building. The company is providing trauma and grief counseling to employees.

“The company is saddened and deeply concerned about affected employees, family members and the community we share. Our thoughts and prayers are with all those touched by this incident,” UPS said in a statement.

Victims were taken to the Priscilla Chan and Mark Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital, spokesman Brent Andrew said. He said he could not say how many patients were taken to the hospital or give their conditions.

In 2014, a man shot and killed two of his supervisors before turning the gun on himself at a UPS distribution center in Birmingham, Alabama. The gunman had recently been fired from the facility.

Surrey: NDP takes six of nine ridings


(Vancouver Sun)

B.C. NDP MLAs for Surrey talk victory


In the last election, the NDP’s Jagrup Brar lost the riding he had held for nine years by just 200 votes. On Tuesday night, he was redeemed.

Surrey-Fleetwood, which was won by Liberal Peter Fassbender four years ago, once again swung to the left.
Jagrup Brar has been elected in the riding of Surrey-Fleetwood for the BC NDP.

This was a riding to watch because BC Liberal incumbent Peter Fassbender was hoping to hold on to his seat during this election.

Surrey-Fleetwood was considered one of the closest races in one of the most important election battlegrounds in the Lower Mainland, backed up by the fact that both party leaders made a point of visiting during the campaign.

Fassbender may have been one of Liberal Leader Christy Clark’s top cabinet ministers, most recently holding the portfolios of community development and TransLink, but he won by a narrow margin in the 2013 election and the riding boundaries changed in 2015, bringing in as many as 700 NDP voters.

After the riding was called for Brar, who won with 52 per cent of the vote, he addressed the NDP crowd gathered at Surrey’s Riverside Banquet Hall, and talked about building a new hospital and schools in Surrey to loud applause.

“This election was very important to the people of Surrey,” Brar told the crowd. “We did not get from the B.C. Liberals what we deserved. But I promise to you today, that if the people of B.C. elect an NDP government, in Surrey things are going to change, and we are going to work for you.”

Before polls closed Tuesday, Fassbender told Postmedia the new riding boundaries had made the race “more interesting for sure, but I just keep my eye on the ball.”

Asked about speculation the changed boundaries could benefit the NDP, Fassbender said: “There’s all kinds of speculation, I’m sure that the opposition wants to believe that… But I don’t worry about those things. Worry makes you old.”

The win appeared to be on trend for the NDP in Surrey, which at deadline looked to carry six of the city’s nine ridings in B.C.’s second most populous city.

Another riding to watch was Surrey-Guildford (formerly Surrey-Tynehead), where incumbent Amrik Virk, a former RCMP inspector, was challenged and defeated by another retired Mountie, the NDP’s Garry Begg.

In 2013 Virk won the riding previously held by longtime Liberal MLA Dave Hayer by just over 1,600 votes. However, with the name change came boundary adjustments and the opportunity for the NDP to pose a real threat.

Begg rose to the occasion and won with 49 per cent of the vote. Tuesday night before the final election results had been called, he told NDP supporters: “We’ve come pretty close to making this a fantastic night.”

“We promised during this campaign that we would put people at the centre of government, and I expect that you will hold us to that promise,” Begg said. “This campaign was run on volunteers, and courage. We were told that it was a big and daunting fight, and it was. But we prevailed, we did the right thing, and we won.”

When asked what may have factored into his defeat, Virk said it was hard to speculate, but suspected it was a variety of issues, from tolls to taxis to the redrawing of riding boundaries.

“Overall, the public has spoken and determined what their priorities are,” Virk said. “I hope they stay engaged going forward.”

  • The boundaries and candidates have changed over the years, but the political preference in Surrey-Cloverdale has not. Tuesday, the longtime Liberal riding (since before the 1991 election) went to Marvin Hunt, a former city councillor first elected for the Liberals in 2013 in Surrey-Panorama.
  • Surrey-Green Timbers has long been an NDP riding. Sue Hammell held the riding from the time it was created in 1991 until 2001, when she was defeated by Brenda Locke. Hammell took it again in 2005 and has held it ever since, but announced her retirement earlier this year. Locke ran again for the Liberals, but was unable to unseat the NDP, with newcomer Rachna Singh winning with 56 per cent of the vote.
  • Surrey-Newton is the city’s smallest riding and has a colourful history, going from SoCred to NDP in 1991, to Liberal in 2001 and back to NDP in 2005. That’s when Harry Bains won the riding for the NDP with 58 per cent of the vote. Bains won again in 2009 and 2013, and continued the streak on Tuesday with another win over new Liberal challenger Gurminder Parihar.
  • Surrey-Panorama was one of the tightest Surrey races of the evening as results poured in. The riding has seen a rotating cast of MLAs since it was created in 2009 — all of them Liberal. But Tuesday evening the tide turned for the NDP, with Jinny Sims, a veteran politician with the federal NDP, winning 50 per cent of the vote to finish eight points ahead of Liberal newcomer Puneet Sandhar. Sims, the NDP MP for Newton-North Delta from 2011 to 2015, told a boisterous crowd of NDP supporters following the win: “This election is about you, each and every one of you… We’re taking B.C. back.”
  • In the new riding of Surrey South, Stephanie Cadieux won for the Liberals. Cadieux, who was first elected in 2009 and served as Minister of Children and Family Development since 2012, won with 49 per cent of the vote, defeating NDP newcomer Jonathan Silveira. Although the riding is new, the area covered by Surrey South has traditionally voted Liberal. It will be the third riding Cadieux has served — she was first elected in Surrey-Panorama, and then won Surrey-Cloverdale in 2013 with 59 per cent of the vote.

Minutes after the riding was called for Cadieux Tuesday evening, she told Postmedia that even though the riding was new, it was carved out of parts of Panorama and Cloverdale, two ridings she had previously represented.

“For me, it’s home,” Cadieux said. “I wasn’t nervous to run there.”

  • Unsurprisingly, Surrey-Whalley stuck with the NDP, re-electing Bruce Ralston with 58 per cent per cent of the vote, more than 17 percentage points ahead of Liberal challenger Sargy Chima. The riding was NDP from 1991 until 2001, when it went to the Liberals. Ralston first won the riding in 2005 and has held it ever since.
  • Former Coast Capital Savings CEO Tracy Redies maintained the decades-long Liberal grip on Surrey-White Rock, where she defeated the NDP’s Niovi Patsicakis, winning 49 per cent of the vote. Redies became the Liberal candidate after four-term MLA Gordon Hogg announced in October that he would not be running again.

B.C. Election 2017: Lieutenant-governor asks Christy Clark to govern

Rob Shaw

B.C Liberal party leader Christy Clark arrives at the Liberal HQ to speak to supporters after the Provincial election, Vancouver, May 10 2017.
B.C Liberal party leader Christy Clark arrives at the Liberal HQ to speak to supporters after the Provincial election, Vancouver, May 10 2017.GERRY KAHRMANN / PNG

B.C. Lieutenant-governor Judith Guichon has asked Premier Christy Clark to continue to govern the province with her current minority of seats.

Clark and Guichon spoke this morning by phone, and she also spoke to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau

“The voters are never wrong,” Clark told media Wednesday. “And we got a result from the voters and British Columbians told us what they wanted really out of this election is they wanted to make sure we do things different, they elected a really significant Green presence… so I intend to listen to that.”

Clark said she’s still waiting for the outcome of absentee ballots, but whether she maintains a minority government or grows a majority she intends to “do government differently, a lot less fighting, a lot less yelling.”

“Whatever the outcome is, whether it’s a minority or a majority I do intend to work across party lines,” she said. She also said she’ll lead a change in dialogue in government.

Clark also singled out B.C. Green Leader Andrew Weaver as collaborative, and said she spoke to him last night and realizes the electorate wants him to play a larger role in the legislature.

B.C. Green party leader Andrew Weaver speaks to supporters at election headquarters at the Delta Ocean Pointe on election night in Victoria, B.C., on , Wednesday, May 10, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS / CHAD HIPOLITO

“I’ve had a good relationship with working with Dr. Weaver in the past, he’s a smart thoughtful reasonable guy,” she said.

Clark said she hopes to speak to NDP Leader John Horgan later Wednesday.

The move will theoretically allow Clark to reconvene the legislature at a time of her choosing, where she would have to pass a throne speech, budget and other legislation.

And it would appear, at least temporarily, to dampen the immediate possibility of a coalition government between the NDP and Greens.

However, there are at least four ridings in which recounts are likely and one, in Courtenay-Comox, where the margin of victory was only nine votes and could be changed when the absentee and out-of-district advance ballots are tallied during Elections B.C.’s final count, beginning May 22.

Depending on the outcome, it could shift either the NDP or Liberals into a majority government situation.

B.C. Election 2017: Christy Clark and the Liberals unable to repeat 2013’s miracle


Scrappy Liberal leader Christy Clark, who surprised nearly everyone when she led her party to a hard-fought come-from-behind victory in 2013, struggled to repeat the miracle again this year.

At deadline, either the Liberals or the NDP could be forming the next government, and who would be premier remained unclear. What is known is that the party has lost the support of many voters since 2013.8

A deflated crowd at Liberal election headquarters waited late into the evening for Clark to arrive, the charismatic leader presumably not wanting to address her supporters until she had learned whether she had won or lost.

Despite the long campaign and disappointing finish, Clark delivered a barn-burner speech to the party faithful, whipping up the crowd until they were shouting “Christy, Christy, Christy!”

“And so tonight we won the popular vote…. And we have also won the most seats,” she shouted, dressed in a Liberal-red suit with her teenage son Hamish at her side.

“And with absentee ballots still to be counted I am confident they will strengthen our margin of victory… So it is my intention to still lead British Columbia’s government.”

Voters, she said, reminded the party that “we are far from perfect,” that the Liberals need to be humble and “stay focused on things that are important to ordinary British Columbians.”

She said as protectionism mounts south of the border, Liberals must listen to voters who are telling them to “get along” better with the other parties.

“I will work with the other parties to do what needs to be done to keep fighting to protect” B.C., she said to a large round of applause.

Last night, Clark spoke to Green Leader Andrew Weaver by phone. If there is a minority government, Weaver could hold the balance of power.

She did not speak to NDP Leader John Horgan, a Liberal insider said.

Clark thanked her son Hamish during her speech. “Having a mom in politics is just not easy,” she said. The crowd laughed when he responded, “It sucks.”

The tight results were not surprising. Polls suggested the NDP was ahead early in the campaign and tied with the Liberals at the end, as well as the Greens surging in a few ridings.

The Liberals lost ground in Metro Vancouver, with key MLAs losing their seats: Amrik Virk and Peter Fassbender in Surrey, Suzanne Anton in Vancouver, and Naomi Yamamoto in North Vancouver.

The Liberals won the new ridings of Surrey South and Richmond-Queensborough, as well as Delta South after independent Vicki Huntington retired. But the party lost many other Metro Vancouver seats, in particular in Surrey.

Clark’s campaign was not flawless — snubbing a voter named Linda and being indecisive about a value-added tax were two of her fumbles. The first two weeks of the four-week campaign were also a dull affair for the Liberals, who bored the electorate with their single message of jobs and the economy.

That allowed the NDP and its aggressive leader John Horgan to take an early lead in the campaign. Clark stormed back in the last two weeks, though, staking her claim as the candidate who would fight for British Columbians — in particular with her skirmish with the U.S. over softwood lumber.

But her campaign was criticized at times for being uncaring, as her focus appeared to be more one of economics than social services.

The Liberals have been in power for 16 years, and Clark has been premier for the last six — having taken over the party leadership in 2011 when Gordon Campbell stepped down.

She wanted to cement four more years in power, to allow her Liberals to match the accomplishment of Social Credit’s W.A.C. Bennett, who was premier for two decades — a B.C. record.

Clark refers to Bennett as “the greatest premier” — she holds his former Kelowna riding, and among her closest advisors are several people who were close to Bennett, including his grandson Brad.

In an interview as the election results trickled in Tuesday night, Brad Bennett said the comparison isn’t a prefect one because while his grandfather served as premier for all 20 years, Clark is just running for her second term.

“She is still fresh in the job in many ways. She has a lot of unfinished business to get done,” Bennett said. “She is a brilliant campaigner, and a very effective campaigner.”

In 2013, the Liberals won a surprisingly decisive majority with 49 seats, compared to 35 for the NDP, one Green and one independent. When the parliament dissolved, the Liberals’ seats had fallen to 47, due to a byelection loss and a MLA charged with assault.

There were two new seats in this election, for a total of 87, so the Liberals needed 44 to secure another majority.

The Liberal victory in 2013 was based on wins in rural B.C., the Fraser Valley, Surrey, Richmond, Delta, and the North Shore. The NDP dominated in Burnaby, Coquitlam, New Westminster, Vancouver, and Vancouver Island.

Statement by the Prime Minister of Canada on Israel Independence Day

The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, today issued the following statement in celebration of Israel Independence Day:

“Today, we join our Israeli friends and Jewish communities in Canada and around the world to celebrate the 69th anniversary of the founding of the State of Israel.

“Canada was one of the first countries to officially recognize Israel, and we are proud to call Israel our partner and call Israelis our friends.

“Canada and Israel are closely linked in heart and in mind by common democratic values and close people-to-people connections. These provide the foundation of an expanding bilateral relationship, which includes ongoing efforts to promote peace and stability in the Middle East.

“Today, while we celebrate Israel’s independence, we also reaffirm our commitment to fight anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism. Israel and its people continue to face threats throughout the world, including here in Canada. We stand on guard against a resurgence of anti-Semitism, hate, and discrimination in all its forms.

“On this Independence Day, I am proud to renew Canada’s commitment to a safe and secure homeland for the Jewish people, and to a lasting peace between all peoples in the Middle East.

“On behalf of the Government of Canada, Sophie and I wish everyone celebrating Israel Independence Day a Yom Ha’atzmaut Sameach.