World & Canada News

World News

Tourists in Indonesia may be eating dog meat and not know it:
by Staff/Reuters/July 10, 2017

Tourists on the Indonesian holiday island of Bali may be unknowingly eating dog meat, activists have said, highlighting a rampant trade that is largely hidden from public and official scrutiny.

Up to 100,000 dogs are slaughtered for consumption every year in Bali using inhumane and unsanitary methods, according to Animals Australia (AA), an NGO that conducted a month-long investigation into the practices of dog catchers, slaughterhouses, and street food vendors.

“The dog meat trade in Bali is breaching local food safety and animal cruelty laws,” AA’s Lyn White said in a statement that accompanied video footage of dogs being captured and mistreated. Reuters was unable to verify the authenticity of the footage, which also showed vendors selling meat marked “RW” which stands for “dog meat” in Bahasa Indonesia.

The reports also allege that tourists are unknowingly consuming dog meat.

“They (Australians) won’t come if they keep hearing the story: people are eating dogs,” said one Australian tourist, Colin Carr.

Bali governor Made Mangku Pastika denied allegations that dogs were being mistreated and that their meat was being sold at street stalls.

“The news reports on social media are wrong, I have checked,” he told Reuters.

“The reports say dogs in Bali are killed brutally and sold as ‘satay’, this is not true,” he said, referring to a popular skewered meat dish.

Dog meat is popular in some parts of Indonesia and in other Asian countries like China and Vietnam.

Linda Buller, founder of Bali Dog Adoption and Rehabilitation Centre, has been working for years against the illegal dog trade in Bali.

“We’ve heard the government is holding a summit on dog meat consumption in the second week of July and this is a positive thing to do,” Buller said in an interview with Reuters.

She said the Balinese, a majority Hindu population, do not have a tradition of eating dogs due to their religion, and that the practice was brought in by people who moved here from other parts of Indonesia. The dog meat trade increased because people started stealing dogs to sell to dog meat vendors for extra income, she said.

“The difference is, it is not normal in Bali to eat dog, it’s normal to eat dogs maybe in China, in Vietnam that in Bali it’s never been a normal thing,” Buller said. “So it’s only grown over the last 10 years, so I don’t think it is a difficult thing to actually stop it.”

Animal rights groups are expected to hold discussions with the Bali government later this month and urge them to end the trade.

Canada News

Motorcycle app partners with Harley-Davidson to get riders exploring Canada

By Emily Mertz/Global News/July 11, 2017

A Canadian-made motorcycle app is partnering with Harley-Davidson Canada to mark two big birthdays. Together, they hope to encourage more riders to get out and explore the country.

EatSleepRIDE is a free app for iOS and Android developed by startup veterans out of Toronto.

The app is being embraced by many in the motorcycle community and has also caught the eye of the world’s biggest motorcycle company.

“I think Harley-Davidson wanted to get involved with this app because No. 1 - it’s a really great app, it’s well thought out,” said Koreen Kent Bruneau, co-owner of Harley-Davidson Yellowhead in Edmonton. “They want to get riders riding, get on two wheels, explore the roads - Canada’s got so much to offer!”

EatSleepRIDE has three main features focusing on community, tracking and safety. The app uses GPS to track the rider’s route, which allows users to save their favourite roads and connect with other riders.

“Almost everyone has a smartphone,” said the app’s chief technology officer Alex Crookes. “It’s essentially a computer you can take in your pocket that can help guide you and make decisions with you as you go along. It’s a constant companion.

“By allowing them real-time communication with other riders in their ride group, we can ensure that nobody gets left behind because they took a wrong turn,” Crookes said. “And then the idea that you can actually share your stories with other riders allows you to find new people, make new connections in your riding community.”

The app also has a unique safety feature called CrashLight that can alert friends or family if the rider is involved in an accident.

“The rider picks up to three contacts before they set out and they can configure it to email address, text number and a call number if they want to add that information. In the unfortunate event of an accident, [those contacts] will be notified of where exactly that person is.”

If the rider is OK, they have a few minutes to cancel the message before the alert is sent.

“The CrashLight feature is really exciting because sometimes families worry about their loved one on a ride or a long road trip,” Kent Bruneau said. “It just gives them a little bit of peace of mind.”

In addition to being Canada’s 150th anniversary, this year is also Harley-Davidson Canada’s 100th birthday.

To celebrate, the company is partnering with EatSleepRIDE to run the H-D 100 Challenge. Together, they’re offering challenges to riders across Canada through the app to earn points for the chance to win the grand prize Harley-Davidson Street Glide limited edition motorcycle. The challenge ends on July 29.

Omar Khadr’s assets targeted by relatives of slain U.S. soldier

By Colin Perkel/The Canadian Press/July 10, 2017

TORONTO – The widow of an American soldier killed in Afghanistan will ask a Canadian court on Thursday for an urgent order aimed at preserving any money the federal government paid former Guantanamo Bay prisoner Omar Khadr for breaching his rights, new documents show.

The motion before Ontario Superior Court asks for a freeze on his money – the government reportedly paid Khadr $10.5 million last week - pending the outcome of a request to recognize a US$134.1-million Utah judgment against him.

The default American judgment was handed down in 2015 in Utah in favour of Sgt. Chris Speer’s widow Tabitha and that of another former American soldier, Layne Morris.

“If the assets are not frozen pending the hearing of the application, there may be no assets left in Canada upon which the applicants may execute,” their factum states. “The applicants have repeatedly requested assurances that the assets will not be dissipated. There has been no response.”

The motion also calls on the court to order Khadr to “provide an accounting of the settlement funds, and the current location of all such funds, or property acquired thereby.”

The Utah judgment is based on Khadr’s admission before a discredited military commission in Guantanamo Bay in 2010 - subsequently recanted – that he threw a grenade that killed Speer after a fierce battle in Afghanistan in July 2002 in which Morris was blinded in one eye.

Khadr, now 30, did not defend the suit because he was in prison in Canada at the time.

“It appears that a conscious decision was made not to respond to the Utah action,” the factum states. “The allegations contained in the complaint were deemed to be admitted when Khadr was noted in default in Utah.”

Last Friday, the Canadian government apologized to Khadr as part of a settlement of his civil lawsuit for breaches of his rights during his imprisonment by the Americans in Guantanamo. The government did not confirm the reported $10.5-million payout.

In support of their motion, Speer and Morris lean heavily on Canadian news reports about the money, and about steps he took to ensure the payment was sheltered to prevent Speer’s lawyers from getting at it.

“One may reasonably infer that Khadr may provide some of the settlement funds to his family members, who appear to be unrepentant supporters of violent extremists,” the documents state.

As word broke early last week about the government’s settlement with Khadr, Speer’s Canadian lawyer wrote a Justice Department lawyer to press their points.

In response, the documents show, a government lawyer wrote that the settlement process was confidential and that he “could not answer whether the settlement was finalized and whether funds have been paid to Khadr.”

Khadr’s lawyer, Nate Whitling, did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Monday.

American forces captured a badly wounded 15-year-old Khadr following the battle in which Speer was killed. He spent 10 years in Guantanamo Bay before returning to prison in Canada. He was freed on bail while he appeals his military commission conviction in 2015.