CUPW requests mediator as deadline for Canada Post offer expires without deal

The Canadian Union of Postal Workers issued a request Saturday for the federal government to appoint a mediator in its contract talks with Canada Post, as it rejected the Crown corporation’s latest offers.

Canada Post issued new, time sensitive, proposals last week aimed at reaching agreements with its approximately 42,000 urban employees and 8,000 rural and suburban carriers.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau weighed in Saturday night with a last-minute plea to the two sides, just hours before the midnight deadline on the Crown corporation’s offers expired.

In a Twitter post, Trudeau cited the arrival of the holiday shopping season and urged both sides “To resolve their differences quickly and reach a deal.”

But as the deadline on the offers passed, CUPW issued a statement that said it had responded “By presenting the Corporation with our own global offers that address our needs and demands.”

The union also said that it had asked the government to appoint a mediator to help the two sides reach an accord after nearly a year of talks, adding “We believe that our proposals can be the basis of collective agreements.”

CUPW had said on Friday that the new proposals from Canada Post made positive steps, but not enough to end the rotating strikes that have shut down postal operations in more than 200 communities, creating a huge backlog of undelivered mail.

It said it would not bring the offers to a vote of its members, although both sides remained at the bargaining table.

Source: Read Full Article

VPD seeks ‘person of interest’ after woman followed, attacked in West End

Vancouver police want help identifying a “person of interest” after an early morning assault in the city’s West End.

It happened just before 3 a.m. Saturday morning, near the intersection of Bute and Pendrell streets.

Police said a woman reported that a man followed her into an apartment building and attacked her. Investigators believe the man’s motive was sexual in nature.

The woman was taken to hospital for treatment of minor injuries, and has since been released.

Police are now trying to identify a man whose image was captured on the building’s security camera.

He is described as Caucasian, in his 20s or 30s, with a slim build, short dark hair and dark facial stubble.

He was wearing a black zip-up jacket, blue jeans, a burgundy toque and may walk with a limp.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Vancouver police at 604-717-0601, or Crime Stoppers if they wish to remain anonymous.

Source: Read Full Article

Enbridge ups pressure on repaired gas line after explosion near Prince George

PRINCE GEORGE, B.C. – Enbridge Inc. says it has increased flow of natural gas through a segment of a pipeline that ruptured and burned near Prince George, B.C., more than a month ago.

The company says it will increase pressure to 85 per cent of its full capacity, up from 80 per cent, on a 91-centimetre pipeline following an amendment order from the National Energy Board.

The federal regulator had ordered Calgary-based Enbridge to limit gas flows at 80 per cent pressure levels from the blast site.

The Oct. 9 explosion ruptured the 91-centimetre natural gas pipeline, but did not damage an adjacent 76-centimetre pipeline, which was supplying natural gas on a reduced basis to about a million customers in the province.

The company says it is continuing to work to ensure gas flows are back to full operating capacity while conducting safety inspections.

Once the repaired segment is returned to full service, Enbridge has said the system is expected to deliver between 23 and 25 million cubic metres of natural gas per day to B.C.’s Lower Mainland and the U.S. Pacific Northwest.

Source: Read Full Article

Peel police say 96-year-old woman found after car stolen with her still inside

MISSISSAUGA, Ont. – Police say a 96-year-old woman has been found safe after a car was stolen with her inside in Mississauga, Ont.

Peel Regional Police say the driver stepped out of the blue Toyota Sienna van that was parked in a plaza on Saturday afternoon.

Police say the driver then observed someone getting into the vehicle and driving off with the woman still inside.

They say the woman was found about an hour later in Oakville, Ont., where the vehicle was abandoned.

Investigators are still searching for the suspect, described as a white man, 20 to 30 years old, with short, brown hair.

Source: Read Full Article

Clashes break out after Greeks march to mark 1973 student revolt

ATHENS (Reuters) – Greek police clashed with young protestors in central Athens on Saturday after thousands marched to mark the anniversary of a violently quashed student uprising in 1973 that helped topple the military junta.

More than 10,000 demonstrators marched peacefully through the center of Athens, which was heavily guarded by police.

They held banners reading “Resistance” and chanted slogans related to Greece’s eight-year debt crisis that led to three international bailouts in exchange for deep austerity cuts.

The procession ended at the embassy of the United States, which many Greeks accuse of having supported the 1967-1974 seven-year military dictatorship.

After the march ended, clashes broke out between police and protesters hurling stones and petrol bombs at them in the district of Exarchia, home to Athens Polytechnic, where dozens died in 1973.

Greek TV station Alpha showed images of police firing tear gas at demonstrators locked in the Polytechnic. Other protesters built street barricades with chairs or threw petrol bombs from rooftops. Police deployed a water cannon to disperse the crowd.

Earlier, many people laid wreaths and carnations at the Athens Polytechnic to honor those killed in the 1973 revolt.

Source: Read Full Article

One dead and 47 injured in fuel tax protests in France

The woman died after being hit by a vehicle in the eastern Savoie region, according to an official. The driver of the vehicle had reportedly accelerated in panic after being caught up in a demonstration.

Across France, an estimated 124,000 protesters targeted tollbooths, roundabouts and major roads, many wearing yellow jackets that all French drivers must keep in their vehicles in case of breakdowns.

The taxes they are angry about are part of President Emmanuel Macron’s strategy to move France away from fossil fuels.

But many say they simply increase the burden on France’s poorer people.

One protester, Esteban, told Sky News the cost of fuel was so high that he was considering a second job to help pay for his transport to school and work.

He said: “I think [the taxes] are not about the environment – it’s for the money.

“I’m very disappointed. I really hope he’s going to listen to us but I don’t have a lot of hope for that.”

Sky’s Adele Robinson, who is in Paris, was forced to move away from the scene of one protest after being overcome by what appeared to be tear gas.

Sky News footage showed people covering their mouths and some coughing, along with a man who appeared to have collapsed and was being treated by police.

Earlier, she said: “This is just one of many hundreds of protests across France.

“We’ve seen a little bit of unrest here and in the rest of the country.

“Cars have tried to go through blockades causing a bit of aggression and police have said they will fine or arrest anybody who causes disruption to public order.”

She said the price of diesel, for example, had risen 23% in the past 12 months.

“This isn’t just about fuel prices, this is about President Macron and his government and also this feeling of a division between what many describe as the urban elite, represented by President Macron, and ordinary working people.”

Source: Read Full Article

Peel police charge Brampton man in sexual assault case

BRAMPTON, Ont. – Police say a man from Brampton is facing multiple charges following a sexual assault investigation.

Peel Regional Police say a woman was in her home early in the morning of Sept. 2, when a man broke in and allegedly sexually assaulted her before fleeing.

Investigators say they determined that this incident was connected to another break and enter in the city.

Police say 39-year-old Clayton Alexander Williams was arrested on Friday.

He’s been charged with two counts of break and enter, possession of stolen property, sexual assault, sexual interference and breach of the Sex Offender Registry Information Act.

Source: Read Full Article

Over 40 killed in attack on refugee base in Central African Republic

BANGUI (Reuters) – More than 40 people were killed and dozens wounded in Central African Republic in an attack on a Catholic mission sheltering 20,000 refugees, a regional lawmaker said.

The attack happened on Thursday in Alindao, a town 300 km (200 miles) east of the capital Bangui. Thousands of people were forced to flee when the mission was set on fire, the United Nations said.

“We have counted 42 bodies so far, but we are still searching for others. The camp has been burnt to the ground and people fled into the bush and to other IDP (internally displaced person) camps in the city,” Alindao lawmaker Etienne Godenaha told Reuters.

A humanitarian source confirmed that more than 40 people were killed.

U.N. humanitarian coordinator in Central African Republic Najat Rochdi said in a statement: “This vicious cycle of repeated attacks against civilians is unacceptable.”

Thousands have died and a fifth of Central African Republic’s 4.5 million population have fled their homes in a conflict that broke out after mainly Muslim Seleka rebels ousted President Francois Bozize in 2013, provoking a backlash from Christian anti-balaka militias.

Depite electing a new leader in 2016, the country has continued to face political instability and tit-for-tat inter-communal violence.

Source: Read Full Article

Rouhani sees Iran, Iraq expanding trade despite U.S. sanctions

DUBAI (Reuters) – Iran and Iraq could raise their annual bilateral trade to $20 billion from the current level of $12 billion, President Hassan Rouhani said on Saturday, amid concerns in Tehran over the economic impact of renewed U.S. sanctions.

Rouhani’s remarks, made after a meeting with visiting Iraqi President Barham Salih, came about two weeks after the United States restored sanctions targeting Iran’s key oil industry as well as its banking and transportation sectors.

“… through bilateral efforts, we can raise this figure (for bilateral trade) to $20 billion in the near future,” Rouhani said in comments broadcast live on Iranian state television.

“We held talks on trade in electricity, gas, petroleum products and activities … in the field of oil exploration and extraction,” Rouhani said.

Iraqi officials told Reuters last week that Iraq had agreed to trade Iraqi food items in return for Iranian gas and energy supplies.

Baghdad is seeking U.S. approval to allow it to import Iranian gas for its power stations. Iraqi officials say they needs more time to find an alternative source than a 45-day waiver granted to it by the United States.

“It will be important to create free trade zones at our shared border and to connect the two countries’ railways,” Salih said.

“We will not forget your support for the Iraqi people in the fight against (Iraqi dictator) Saddam (Hussein). Neither do we forget Iran’s stand in the recent fight against terrorism,” added Salih, an Iraqi Kurd.

Iran wields wide influence in Iraq, its smaller Arab neighbor, where its Revolutionary Guards played a key role in training and arming the mainly Shi’ite militias that helped defeat Islamic State.

Iraq imports a wide range of goods from Iran, including food, agricultural products, home appliances, air conditioners and spare car parts. The goods element of Iranian imports to Iraq was worth about $6 billion in the 12 months ending March 2018, or about 15 percent of Iraq’s total imports for 2017.

Energy contracts also contribute to the total volume of bilateral trade.

Iraqi central bank officials said in August that their country’s economy was closely linked to non-Arab Iran, which is engaged in several proxy wars with Saudi Arabia in the region.

Source: Read Full Article

Pence vows no end to tariffs until China bows

PORT MORESBY (Reuters) – The United States will not back down from its trade dispute with China, and might even double its tariffs, unless Beijing bows to U.S. demands, Vice President Mike Pence said on Saturday.

In a bluntly worded speech at an Asia Pacific Economic Co-operation (APEC) summit in Papua New Guinea, Pence threw down the gauntlet to China on trade and security in the region.

“We have taken decisive action to address our imbalance with China,” Pence declared. “We put tariffs on $250 billion in Chinese goods, and we could more than double that number.”

“The United States, though, will not change course until China changes its ways.”

The stark warning will likely be unwelcome news to financial markets which had hoped for a thaw in the Sino-U.S. dispute and perhaps even some sort of deal at a G20 meeting later this month in Argentina.

U.S. President Donald Trump, who is not attending the APEC meeting, is due to meet Chinese President Xi Jinping in Argentina.

Pence’s warning on Saturday contrasted with remarks made by Trump on Friday, when he said he may not impose more tariffs after China sent the United States a list of measures it was willing to take to resolve trade tensions.

Trump has imposed tariffs on $250 billion worth of Chinese imports to force concessions on a list of demands that would change the terms of trade between the two countries. China has responded with import tariffs on U.S. goods.

Washington is demanding Beijing improve market access and intellectual property protections for U.S. companies, cut industrial subsidies and slash a $375 billion trade gap.

There was no hint of compromise from Pence.

“China has taken advantage of the United States for many years. Those days are over,” he told delegates gathered on a cruise liner docked in Port Moresby’s Fairfax Harbour.

He also took aim at China’s territorial ambitions in the Pacific and, particularly, Xi’s Belt and Road Initiative to expand land and sea links between Asia, Africa and Europe with billions of dollars in infrastructure investment.

“We don’t offer constricting belts or a one-way road,” said Pence.

While not referring directly to Chinese claims over various disputed waters in the region, Pence said the United States would work to help protect maritime rights.

“We will continue to fly and sail where ever international law allows and our interests demand. Harassment will only strengthen our resolve.”

Just minutes earlier, Xi had spoken at length about his initiative and the need for free trade across the region.

“It is not an exclusive club closed to non-members, nor is it a trap as some people have labeled it,” Xi said of his brainchild project.

He also called protectionism a “shortsighted approach” that was “doomed to fail”.

“History has shown that confrontation, whether in the form of a Cold War, hot war, or trade war will produce no winners,” said Xi.

Source: Read Full Article