Roe v. Wade: abortion misinformation spikes following leak, data shows

WATCH: Abortion misinformation spikes following Roe v Wade leak, data shows

As if the internet wasn’t fertile enough ground for abortion misinformation already, new data suggests false and intentionally misleading information has surged following the Roe v. Wade draft leak from the U.S

A May study conducted by Zignal Labs and shared with Global shows there were 186,046 “less reliable mentions” of abortion online in the three days following the leak, coming from both left and right-wing accounts. That’s double the amount of times abortion was mentioned online in the previous month.

On TikTok, videos tagged #roevwade and #abortionban have thrived, some providing unfounded advice on DIY abortions at home, with over 200,000 likes.

diy abortion on tiktok 2

A TikTok video tagged #RoevWade instructs viewers on "safest" at-home abortions. The social media site has flagged the video with a warning: "Participating in this activity could result in you or others getting hurt."

Noor Ibrahim via TikTok

While some false information is being spread unintentionally, abortion rights advocates in Canada say others have a clear agenda to deceive.

“One of the biggest barriers to abortion access in Canada is actually disinformation,” said Tasia Alexopoulos, a national spokesperson for Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada (ARCC). “When we (get) disinformation, what we’re seeing is a lot of playing on emotion and not fact. ”

Alexopoulos said Canada’s biggest disinformation megaphones come from crisis pregnancy centres (CPCs), large lobbyist organizations, and anti-choice politicians.

CPCs are clinics posing as fake abortion providers that disseminate abortion myths to women and pregnant individuals in crisis. Fake abortion clinics in Canada outnumber abortion providers, according to the ARCC.

Many of the false information circulating in the midst of the Roe v Wade discussion is the same recycled myths Canada has seen for years, said Alexopoulos. For example, she points to an unfounded links between abortion and breast cancer, abortion and depression, and Canadian women being able to get an abortion one day before they’re due.

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Conversations on Roe v. Wade south of the border have stirred up Canadians. During the week of the draft leak, Canadians googled “abortion ban” and “home abortion” more than they ever did in the past 12 months, according to Google Trends.

abortion ban google search 2

Searches for "abortion ban" in Canada spike in the week of May 1-7, the largest jump in a 12-month period.

via Google Trends

The highest number of searches came from Manitoba, one of the lowest abortion providers in Canada (about four per province). Searches from New Brunswick, which has regulations to only fund abortions performed in hospital and signed off on by two medical practitioners, came in third.

“Disinformation and misinformation can be really damaging to people seeking abortion, because that decision is very time-sensitive,” said Alexopoulos.

Polling by Maru Public Opinion in May showed 78 per cent of Canadians want abortion rights to be solidified by federal laws. While Canada is a majority pro-choice country, women’s rights advocate Dana Stefov says anti-abortion movements are “alive and well” here too, and there are active movements to elect pro-life MPs to the House of Commons.

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“What we need to be concerned about is anti-choice movements that are seeping into Canada from the US. It would be naive to ignore the impact these movements have on Canada, ” Stefov told Global over Zoom. “We’ve been seeing for at least a decade if not more, its been escalating.

Stefov said that while she’s seen some false information spread domestically since the Roe v Wade leak, Canadians need to “put a lot of the despair in context.” The country has come a very long way in fighting for reproductive rights and has made one of the largest commitments to addressing the neglected areas of the sexual and reproductive rights agenda, she said.

Still, major barriers remain such as the geographical distance and high cost of travel to clinics in other provinces, contraceptives not being covered by many provincial health plans, and inadequate sex-education in schools.

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As discussion continues to unfold, A Trent University professor says political parties like Liberals, Conservatives, and NDPs have been profiting off of panic, ahead of the Ontario election.

“I see political parties angling to encourage their base to mobilize and vote on the basis of this leak,” said Kathryn Norlock, Kenneth Mark Drain Chair in Ethics. “This relies on confusion as to whether or not abortion is legal in Canada, and legal in every province … I think it’s downright disinformation to say there’s something our voters here in Canada have to be newly aware of when abortion rights here have not changed.” 

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Despite Canada being in a very different position than the U.S., Norlock said it’s imperative Canadians pay attention to what’s unfolding south of the border, “because we are not immune to regression of rights.”

Amid the commotion, the public can also hear stories about why women “need” an array of healthcare services, she said,  “without being asked if she’s a good or bad person, and without being given political counselling designed to intimidate or scare women.”

ARCC told Global that they’re not worried about DIY abortions in Canada despite the slew of age-old misinformation. But Norlock said it is still a worry that “people who are desperate will turn to people they consider trustworthy, and try whatever they hear.”

All three experts say Canadians need to vocalize to their governments and local MPs continued support for reproductive rights, even if it “doesn’t feel as pressing” as it does in the U.S.

“What the science and the evidence tells us is that abortion rates don’t go down when abortion is criminalized. What happens is an increase in unsafe abortions.”

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

RCMP seek help identifying suspects in QEII drive-by shooting

Olds RCMP is asking for the public’s assistance in identifying two people of interest from a drive-by shooting on an Alberta Highway earlier this month.

Police said the incident occurred on May 11, around 7 p.m., along the QEII between Highway 582 at the Didsbury overpass and Highway 27 at the Olds overpass.

Two vehicles were travelling northbound in the right lane when the suspect vehicle accelerated to overtake the victim and pulled alongside them in the left lane, police said.

While the vehicles were side-by-side, a gun was pointed and “multiple rounds were discharged” at the victim’s vehicle, said the RCMP.

Police did not say if anyone was injured as a result of the shooting.

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They are looking to identify the driver and passenger of the suspect vehicle and describe the driver as a man in his mid-to-late 20s with a short black beard, who was wearing a black baseball cap at the time of the incident. The passenger is described as a woman with dark hair. Police added the suspect vehicle was a grey or black two-door sports car.

Anyone who witnessed the shooting or was in the area at the time of the incident is asked to contact Olds RCMP at 403-556-3323 or anonymously through Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS).

Police are also requesting dashboard camera footage from anyone travelling on the QEll north between Highway 582 and Highway 27 on Wednesday, May 11, between the hours of 6 and 8 p.m.

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Ukraine rules out ceasefire as Russia intensifies push for Donbas region

The Kremlin said the last Ukrainian soldiers in Mariupol’s Azovstal steel plant have surrendered on Friday, amid concerns about how Russia will treat them. The International Committee of the Red Cross registered them as prisoners of war, as part of its role in ensuring the humane treatment of POWs under the Geneva Conventions. Redmond Shannon has the latest developments on the situation in Ukraine.

Ukraine ruled out a ceasefire or concessions to Moscow on Saturday as Russia intensified an offensive in the eastern Donbas region and stopped providing gas to Finland.

After ending weeks of resistance by the last Ukrainian fighters in the strategic southeastern city of Mariupol, Russia is waging what appears to be a major offensive in Luhansk, one of two provinces in Donbas.

Russian-backed separatists already controlled swathes of territory in Luhansk and the neighbouring Donetsk province before the Feb. 24 invasion, but Moscow wants to seize the last remaining Ukrainian-held territory in Donbas.

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“The situation in Donbas is extremely difficult,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said in his nightly address. The Russian army was trying to attack the cities of Sloviansk and Sievierodonetsk, but Ukrainian forces were holding off their advance, he said.

Earlier, Zelenskyy told local television that while the fighting would be bloody, the end would come only through diplomacy and that the Russian occupation of Ukrainian territory would be temporary.

Zelenskyy adviser Mykhailo Podolyak ruled out agreeing to a ceasefire and said Kyiv would not accept any deal with Moscow that involved ceding territory. He said making concessions would backfire on Ukraine because Russia would hit back harder after any break in fighting. Read full story

“The war will not stop (after concessions). It will just be put on pause for some time,” Podolyak, Ukraine’s lead negotiator, told Reuters in an interview in the heavily guarded presidential office.

“They’ll start a new offensive, even more bloody and large-scale.”

Recent calls for an immediate ceasefire have come from U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi.

The end of fighting in Mariupol, the biggest city Russia has captured, could be crucial to its ambitions in Donbas. It gives Russian President Vladimir Putin a rare victory after a series of setbacks in nearly three months of combat.

The last Ukrainian forces holed up Mariupol’s vast Azovstal steelworks surrendered on Friday, Russia said.

Full control of Mariupol gives Russia command of a land route linking the Crimean Peninsula, which Moscow seized in 2014, with mainland Russia and areas of eastern Ukraine held by pro-Russia separatists.

Ukrainian forces in the separatist-controlled regions of Luhansk and Donetsk said on Saturday they had repelled nine attacks and destroyed five tanks and 10 other armored vehicles in the previous 24 hours.

Russian forces were using aircraft, artillery, tanks, rockets, mortars and missiles along the entire front line to attack civilian structures and residential areas, the Ukrainians said in a Facebook post. At least seven people were killed in the Donetsk region, they said.

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Russian troops destroyed a bridge on the Siverskiy Donets River between Sievierodonetsk and Lysychansk, Luhansk regional governor Serhiy Gaidai said. There was fighting on the outskirts of Sievierodonetsk from morning through the night, he said on the Telegram messaging app.

Sievierodonetsk and its twin Lysychansk across the Siverskiy Donets River form the eastern part of a Ukrainian-held pocket that Russia has been trying to overrun since mid-April after failing to capture Kyiv.

Russia’s state gas company, Gazprom GAZP.MM, said it halted gas exports to Finland, which refused Moscow’s demands to pay in roubles for Russian gas after Western countries imposed sanctions over the invasion.

Finland and Sweden applied this week to join the NATO military alliance.

Finnish state-owned gas wholesaler Gasum, the Finnish government and individual gas consuming companies in Finland have said they were prepared for a shutdown of Russian flows.

Most European supply contracts are denominated in euros or dollars. Last month, Moscow cut off gas to Bulgaria and Poland after they refused to comply with the new terms.

Western nations also have stepped up weapons supplies to Ukraine. On Saturday, Kyiv got another huge boost when U.S. President Joe Biden signed a bill to provide nearly $40 billion in military, economic and humanitarian aid.

Moscow says Western sanctions, along with arms deliveries for Kyiv, amount to a “proxy war” by the United States and its allies.

The Russian military said it had destroyed a major consignment of Western arms in Ukraine’s Zhytomyr region, west of Kyiv, using sea-launched Kalibr cruise missiles. Reuters could not independently verify the report.

Thousands of people in Ukraine have been killed in the war that has displaced millions and shattered cities.

(Reporting by Natalia Zinets, Max Hunder, Tom Balmforth in Kyiv, David Ljunggren in Ottawa and Reuters bureaux, Writing by Madeline Chambers, Richard Pullin and Doina Chiacu; Editing by Frances Kerry, Timothy Heritage, David Gregorio and Nick Zieminski)

© 2022 Reuters

Autism Assistance Dog life-changing for Kelowna boy

It's become more and more popular to use guide dogs, assistance dogs and emotional support animals to navigate the world. Having an Autism assistance dog has changed a Kelowna family's life. Sydney Morton introduces us to Aadyn and his support dog Stewart.

Stewart has changed the Francoeur family forever. For nine months the Autism Assistance Dog from Lions Foundation of Canada Dog Guides has been Aadyn Francoeur’s best friend and support.

“Every time I get stressed he always goes right on me and just puts a smile on my face immediately after that and I don’t feel stressed anymore after that,” said Aadyn.

The family picked up Stewart in Vancouver on July 17, 2021, and ever since he has been part of the family while supporting Aadyn who has been diagnosed with Autism and Epilepsy.

“Dog Guides has made a huge difference in our everyday life with Aadyn as far as helping him go outside and go into the community and enjoy it,” said Geraldine Francoeur, Aadyn’s mother.

“The things we take for granted every day, he struggles with.”

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Stewart however isn’t Aadyn’s first autism assistance dog. A black lab named York was Aadyn’s shadow for 9 years, but he was diagnosed with cancer and died about a year and a half ago.

His death left a hole in the family. So they reached out to Lions Foundation of Canada Dog Guides in hopes of being paired with a new Autism Assistance Dog.

“It was a tough year and a half for many reasons,” said John Francoeur, Aadyn’s Father. “He just shrunk back into his old ways again.”

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“We started to lose him. He was quiet again he went back into his room and he would prefer the quietness instead of going out to see people,” said Geraldine.

“So when Stewart came in, it was eye-opening. He loves going out with his dog and showing off the dog.”

Stewart and Aadyn bonded immediately and have been inseparable ever since, making going out into the world and attending college classes much easier.

It costs approximately $35,000 to breed, raise, train and place a guide dog. To continue helping families like the Fancoeurs, the Lions Foundation of Canada Dog Guides needs to raise funds. They are doing that with a Pet Valu Walk for Dog Guides event that is happening in 300 cities across Canada including communities in the Okanagan on May 29.

For more information about how you can take part or donate visit www.walkfordogguides.com

 

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Surrey mayor under renewed pressure to resign as newly released court docs discredit claims

We're learning more tonight from the court documents obtained exclusively by Global News in the public mischief case against Surrey Mayor Doug McCallum. As Catherine Urquhart reports, the revelations have more people calling for McCallum to step aside.

Doug McCallum is facing increased pressure to resign as mayor of Surrey.

The pressure comes after Global News reported details of previously sealed court documents related to his public mischief charge. They were unsealed Friday after Global News launched a court challenge.

McCallum was charged with public mischief in December after contacting Surrey RCMP claiming he had been hit by a car on Sept. 4, 2021 in a Save-On-Foods parking lot.

“McCallum provided a version of events that has been partially disproved based on the statement provided (by the driver) … and the video surveillance obtained from the Save-On-Foods,” investigators stated, in part, in the documents.

The Information To Obtain documents are the basis for police obtaining search warrants in a case.

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Surrey Coun. Jack Hundial, a former police officer, urged the embattled mayor to step aside.

“This man needs to step down,” he said in an interview Saturday. “Voters and taxpayers are tired of this behaviour. It comes to be a black eye for the City of Surrey.”

As part of the investigation, officers obtained a search warrant for McCallum’s running shoes worn the day of the alleged incident. Production orders were also delivered for his medical records, surveillance videos at Save-On-Foods and the Peace Arch Hospital, along with media interviews.

Owen Bird lawyer DanBurnett said the ITO indicates officers viewed some footage in the case, and don’t believe it matches up with what McCallum has previously claimed.

McCallum’s legal bills continue to be paid for by Surrey taxpayers.

“This is not right,” said Coun. Linda Annis on Saturday. “This is public money and the public deserves to know how much is being spent on these legal bills.”

Through his media relations officer, McCallum said he won’t comment on this story while the matter is before the courts.

McCallum is scheduled to be tried on the public mischief charge in October, two weeks after the next municipal election. None of the allegations have been proven in court and he has pleaded not guilty.

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Kelowna's Knox Mountain Hill Climb returns

It's the 63th annual Leavitt Machinery Knox Mountain Hill Climb, where over 30 different vehicles race up the mountain side, weaving through nine tight turns and climbing more than 244 vertical metres.

Kelowna’s north end neighbourhood is alive this weekend as hundreds of spectators from across the region gathered at Kelowna’s Knox Mountain.

It’s the 63th annual Leavitt Machinery Knox Mountain Hill Climb, where over 30 different vehicles race up the mountain-side, weaving through nine tight turns and climbing more than 244 vertical metres.

It’s the grand return of the annual competition as it hasn’t taken place in over two years.

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“It’s an amazing turnout. I think there’s been a lot of pent-up demand and desire to get out into the community, both in terms of coming out here, watching and participating,” said Bryan Fulton, the head organizer of the event.

Spectators of all ages were out enjoying the nice weather and of course, some fast cars.

“We’ve been living in Kelowna for more than ten years and we’ve actually never been to this event, so just enjoying the weather and checking it out, lots of fun, blew away my expectations actually,” said Kelowna resident Nuri Fisher.

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“It’s very great to see it on again. My dad started bringing me here in the 60s, so my son is coming here with me and he’ll have to carry on the tradition as he’s got a daughter on the way,” said Kevin Edge, a Summerland resident.

David Neveaux, a competitor from the Lower Mainland has been coming for more than 20 years. He says the history of the event is what keeps him coming back.

“It’s been running for over 60 years, and it used to be gravel,” said Neveaux.

“Some of the great Indy drivers and Nascar drivers used to compete here. There’s a lot of history here, and it’s a pretty big deal for a lot of people.”

The event runs all weekend.

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Alberta's Writing-on-Stone preserving Blackfoot heritage despite continued vandalism

Writing-on-Stone Provincial Park/Áísínai’pi is home to a historically rich site in southern Alberta containing Blackfoot carvings.

After years of advocacy, in 2019, Writing-on-Stone joined five other Alberta locations such as the Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Suzanne Lodermeier, the park’s visitor services program supervisor, said this designation adds another layer of protection for the area.

“(The Niitsitapi peoples) only written history is found here — or some of the written histories, I guess — is here at Áísínai’pi,” she explained. “They actually carved or wrote with paint on the rocks themselves.”

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The park’s visitor centre opened on Friday, just in time for the May-long weekend.

It’s full of educational materials for the public to take in, which Lodermeier said is a vital aspect of appreciating and protecting the landscape and carvings.

Indigenous peoples continue to access the sacred site for ceremonial purposes and to consult the rock art.

“There was of course a time in history when they weren’t allowed to come and practice their culture, their traditions here at the park,” Lodermeier continued.

“So we really work to let people know the entire history.”

As a provincial park, it boasts camping and access to Milk River.

Rory Gibson, a Lethbridge resident, visited the park for the first time on Saturday.

“I’ve actually worked around here a decent bit and I’ve (driven) by for work. I’ve never been here before and I like hiking and walking around,” he said, adding he would recommend the park to other first-timers.

“Especially if you live in southern Alberta, even Calgary, it’s worth the drive to come for a day or camp out.”

Writing-on-Stone also offers guided tours.

Kainai Elder and park interpreter Saa’kokoto has been with the park for about five years, taking the public through the land.

He refers to it as the archives of the Blackfoot culture.

“This is an opportunity to share the rich culture, and also to really bring the spirit into the stories and to share the richness of the culture, how the people lived on the land, how they survived,” he said.

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“How (tour participants) receive the information is really important, and they’ve been very respectful, they ask a lot of questions,” Saa’kokoto continued.

While many visitors are careful and respectful, others ignore warnings against graffiti and vandalism.

A walk through the trails will show signs of more recent carvings, like initials.

“There was the archeological preserve that was put in in the 1970s and it definitely helped limit access to that area where the greatest concentration of rock art is, and it definitely has helped protect that area from additional vandalism,” Lodermeir said.

However, the hoodoo exploration area between the visitors centre and the campground continues to be a prime target, said Lodermeier.

She added not all of the rock art can be seen with the naked eye, but is only viewable using special colour programming. They work to protect it all.

“It is illegal to carve on the stones and a lot of people don’t know that,” Lodermeier said. “We try to communicate that out to our visitors so that we are protecting the site for future generations.”

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

With fans on edge amid the Battle of Alberta, rekindled rivalry may actually be reducing stress

WATCH ABOVE: With many Oilers and Flames fans on edge amid the Battle of Alberta playoff series, could it be that the rekindled hockey rivalry may actually be reducing stress? Chris Chacon takes a look.

A fierce hockey rivalry between Alberta’s two largest cities is set to continue Sunday when the Edmonton Oilers and Calgary Flames make their way to the provincial capital for Game 3 of their epic playoff series.

The NHL‘s first playoff edition of the Battle of Alberta in more than 30 years has piqued more than the interest of hardcore hockey fans, but also other Edmontonians and Calgarians now enthusiastically exhibiting their civic pride. A PhD student at the University of Alberta’s psychology department said that she believes it will bring mental health benefits.

“We can’t just be worried all the time,” Christine Kershaw told Global News on Saturday, noting the past two years have been hard on people because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“(It’s good for people to) bring themselves together, especially since we’ve been so apart these past two years, both through physical distancing and the politics.”

Global News spoke with several Oilers fans on Saturday. Sporting an Oilers jersey on the street, Paige Broz said she grew up in Alberta but was too young to really understand the significance of past playoff series between the province’s two NHL teams. She said its positive impact this spring is clear to see though.

“It’s been a long couple of decades here and a long, really tough two years,” Broz said.

“This is exactly what we need. People are out. People are excited. It just doesn’t get any better than this.”

Not only has the second-round playoff series seen fans pack the two cities’ arenas, but thousands are gathering in public squares or at outdoor viewing parties to cheer on the Flames and Oilers as they battle to emerge victorious and inch their way closer to a Stanley Cup final.

“(It’s a good thing) if it gives people a break from the past two years,” Kershaw said. “(It) promotes people going outside… (and helps with) re-establishing community ties.

“Ultimately, people want to feel good about themselves. They want to be proud of where they’re from and they want to know or have a clear understanding of their place in the world.

“In some ways it’s great because people can not think about things that make them different from their fellow citizen, and instead how they’re better than someone else.”

Mark Ferguson has been an Oilers season-ticket holder for over 25 years. He believes the series has been unifying, even though Albertans are split on which team they support.

“It actually brings the two cities closer together with the competition,” he said. “I think it’s good for the whole community, the city and the province as a whole.

“It’s the best feeling ever to be amongst the fans in the building.”

Kershaw noted there can be negatives that emerge from a passionate hockey rivalry.

“I’ve seen videos of people celebrating by putting down other people, and I think that’s an easy way of galvanizing your group, but it’s also pretty common and I don’t think that’s super great for relationships in the future,” she said, adding that overall, the playoff series has been a “healthy competition” for both players and fans.

In terms of so many Edmontonians and Calgarians sporting their Oilers and Flames jerseys, Kershaw suggested such acts help to create camaraderie.

“You might not even know these people at the bar but you know if someone is wearing the same uniform as you, you know they’re going to be equally as excited, they’re going to have the same values, and you know that if they’re excited, you can be excited.”

Kershaw noted that the rivalry between Edmonton and Calgary goes beyond the ice.

“It’s kind of in the history of both cities to have this competition between them,” she said. “The Battle of Alberta is just the latest iteration, while in some ways I think it’s one of the strongest iterations because people really identify more with sports than say transportation or education.”

Kershaw said the city whose team loses the series may well latch on to something else where they believe they are superior.

“If maybe the Oilers win, then Calgarians might say, ‘Well, we still have better transportation.’ And then it Just goes right back to a discussion of who is better.”

Fans

Edmonton Oilers and Calgary Flames fans watch warm-up prior to NHL second round playoff hockey action in Calgary, Alta., Friday, May 20, 2022.

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

Despite some worrisome moments during Game 2 on Friday night, Ferguson said he has “never lost faith in the Oilers.”

“I think they’re gonna go all the way this year,” he said.

Broz suggested that psychology perhaps played somewhat of a role in the Oilers’ win Friday night.

“Áfter about the 10-minute mark, the confidence kind of took a turn, and the team just said, ‘We can win this.’ And they sure did.”

–With files from Chris Chacon, Global News

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Three hospitalized after 'serious police incident' in Vancouver

Three people have been hospitalized after a “serious police incident” in Vancouver on Saturday morning that shut down local traffic for several hours.

Police roped off eastbound lanes on 41st Avenue between Inverness and Sherbrooke streets and cordoned off several houses in the neighbourhood, tweeting the closure around 8 a.m.

Investigators could be seen Saturday morning marking evidence outside the homes, including what appeared to be a large blood stain on the sidewalk.

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In an emailed statement to Global News, BC Emergency Health Services confirmed four ambulances attended a 1200-block residence of 41st Avenue at 6:45 a.m. Three patients were brought to the hospital.

In a news conference that afternoon, Const. Tania Visintin said she could not provide any details beyond the fact that a “serious police incident” had taken place.

The streets in the area reopened around 2:40 p.m.

 

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

1 dead, 8 injured after overnight shooting at California hookah lounge

One person was killed and eight people were wounded during an overnight shooting at a party that drew about 100 people to a Southern California hookah lounge, police said Saturday.

San Bernardino police officers dispatched late Friday found the person who was killed outside the lounge, where the party advertised on social media was held in a strip mall in the city east of Los Angeles, Sgt. Equino Thomas said.

He said eight people who were shot and wounded were treated at hospitals. Some were taken to hospitals by ambulance and others went on their own, he said. Police said injuries did not appear to be life-threatening.

Police did not know if one or more people fired shots, no suspects have been arrested or identified and authorities were seeking the public’s help for information to help the investigation, Thomas said.

The shooting started inside the hookah lounge after an argument and people spilled into the parking lot, where more shots were fired, he said.

The victims did not seem to have been intentionally targeted, Thomas said.

© 2022 The Canadian Press

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