World and Canada News - Oct 19, 2017

In the World

U.S. indicts Canadians, Chinese in major drug bust

Highly addictive fentanyl sold via internet, Justice Department says

Thomson Reuters/Oct. 17, 2017

Five Canadians - along with three U.S. residents and two Chinese nationals - have been indicted by the U.S. Department of Justice on charges of making and selling highly addictive fentanyl to Americans over the internet.
Chinese nationals Xiaobing Yan, 40, and Jian Zhang, 38, were charged with conspiring to manufacture and distribute large quantities of fentanyl and similar drugs into the United States, the Justice Department said Tuesday. They were charged in separate indictments unsealed on Monday in Mississippi and North Dakota.
"For the first time, we have indicted major Chinese fentanyl traffickers who have been using the internet to sell fentanyl and fentanyl analogs to drug traffickers and individual customers in the United States," Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein said in a statement.
Rosenstein described a "money laundering … and international drug conspiracy" that brought fentanyl and other drugs into the U.S. from China.
"Agents and prosecutors traced the source of those illegal drugs … finding they had gone through Oregon and Canada," he said.
Rosenstein did not name the Canadian suspects, but commended the Royal Canadian Mounted Police for its efforts in the investigation, which also involved U.S. agencies, including the Internal Revenue Service, the Department of Homeland Security and the Drug Enforcement Administration.
"Fentanyl trafficking is a worldwide problem - and clearly knows no borders," said RCMP Assistant Commissioner Joanne Crampton.
A spokesperson with the U.S. Department of Justice told CBC News the following Quebec natives were indicted, though their locations and the specific allegations in relation to the indictment were not immediately clear: Jason Joey Berry, 34; Xuan Cahn Nguyen, 38; Marie Um, 37; Vannek Um, 39; Linda Van, 25.
Berry is already serving a prison sentence for previous drug convictions, according to a recent Vice.com report.
The suspects also include two residents of Florida and a resident of New Jersey who, like the Canadians, were indicted in connection with Zhang's case.
Drug czar nominee withdraws
Earlier Tuesday, U.S. President Donald Trump said his drug czar nominee, Rep. Tom Marino, a Republican congressman from Pennsylvania, had withdrawn his name from consideration.
Marino was cited in a joint Washington Post-CBS 60 Minutes report on Sunday as spearheading legislation to neuter the Drug Enforcement Administration's power to crack down on opioid manufacturers who were flooding the market with the addictive painkillers.
The U.S. is dealing with a major epidemic of opioid overdoses. In 2016, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimated that 20,000 Americans were killed by fentanyl, a highly addictive synthetic painkiller.
With files from CBC News 

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
World's first 3D-printed bridge opens to cyclists in Netherlands

Crossing printed from 800 layers of concrete could take weight of 40 trucks, designers say

Agence France-Presse/Oct. 18, 2017

Dutch officials have toasted the opening of what is being called the world’s first 3D-printed concrete bridge, which is primarily meant to be used by cyclists.
There was applause as officials wearing hard hats rode over the bridge on their bikes at the inauguration in the southeastern town of Gemert on Tuesday.
“The bridge is not very big, but it was rolled out by a printer, which makes it unique,” Theo Salet, from the Eindhoven University of Technology, told Dutch broadcaster NOS.
Work on printing the bridge, which has some 800 layers, took about three months after starting in June and it is made of reinforced, pre-stressed concrete, according to the university.
“One of the advantages of printing a bridge is that much less concrete is needed than in the conventional technique in which a mould is filled,” it said on its website. “A printer deposits the concrete only where it is needed.”
The eight-metre (26-ft) bridge spans a water-filled ditch to connect two roads, and in conjunction with the BAM Infra construction company was tested for safety to bear loads of up to two tonnes.
“We are looking to the future,” said the head of BAM, Marinus Schimmel, adding in a statement that his company was constantly “searching for a newer, smarter approach to addressing infrastructure issues and making a significant contribution to improving the mobility and sustainability of our society”.
3D printing meant “fewer scarce resources were needed and there was significantly less waste”, he added.
The Netherlands is among countries, with the United States and China, taking a lead in the cutting-edge technology of 3D printing, using computers and robotics to construct objects and structures from scratch.
Last year a Dutch architect unveiled a unique 3D printer with which he hopes to construct an “endless loop” building.
And a Dutch start-up called MX3D has begun printing a stainless steel bridge, of which a third is already completed. The aim is to finish printing by March and lay the bridge over an Amsterdam canal in June.

And in Canada

American hostage rescued with family from Afghanistan admitted to hospital

Caitlan Coleman ‘has been through hell’, says her husband Joshua Boyle, without explaining why she needs treatment

The Guardian/ Staff and agencies/Oct. 18, 2017

An American woman who was rescued with her family last week by Pakistani troops has been rushed to hospital, her husband said.
Joshua Boyle told the Associated Press in an email that his wife, Caitlan Coleman, was admitted on Monday. His email did not specify why she was taken to the hospital.
“My wife has been through hell and she has to be my first priority right now,” Boyle wrote.
Boyle, Coleman and their three children were rescued on Wednesday, five years after the couple was abducted in Afghanistan on a backpacking trip. The children were born in captivity.
Boyle said after landing at Toronto’s airport on Friday that the Taliban-linked Haqqani network had killed an infant daughter and raped his wife during the years they were held.
In a prior email exchange with AP, Boyle did not respond to a question about the fourth child but later told Canadian broadcaster CBC that it was a forced abortion. The Taliban said in a statement it was a miscarriage.
On Monday, Boyle told AP that he and his wife had decided to have children even while held captive because they always planned to have a big family and decided: “Hey, let’s make the best of this and at least go home with a larger start on our dream family.”
Boyle told AP: “We’re sitting as hostages with a lot of time on our hands. We always wanted as many as possible, and we didn’t want to waste time. Cait’s in her 30s, the clock is ticking.”
Boyle said their three children are now four, two and “somewhere around six months”.
The parents of Coleman have said they are elated she is free, but also angry at their son-in law for taking their daughter to Afghanistan.
“Taking your pregnant wife to a very dangerous place, to me and the kind of person I am, is unconscionable,” her father, Jim Coleman said, told ABC News.
Associated Press contributed to this report. 

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Marijuana storefronts booming in Vernon, despite lack of licencing

By Megan Turcato/North Okanagan Reporter/Oct. 17, 2017

Marijuana storefronts are a booming industry in the north Okanagan. Even though they are illegal, the number of pot shops in Vernon has grown steadily over the last few years.
The city has been taking a hands off approach. It’s no longer issuing them business licenses but it’s also not moving to shut them down.
However, the city’s approach could change. Council is expected to receive a staff report on possible approaches to marijuana storefronts at its next meeting.
Medical marijuana dispensary MMJ Total Health Care has been operating in Vernon for roughly three years.
It used to have a city business license but their most recent license expired at the end of 2016 and when the business went to renew it wasn’t able to.
“We just want to play by the rules. We want to be licensed. We want to be regulated just like everybody else. We offer a public service to people,” said MMJ president Jeff Gaudette.
The city stopped licensing marijuana storefronts this year.
Instead the city opted to wait and see what the framework for legal marijuana sales will be. Recreational marijuana is expected to become legal next summer.
However, B.C. had yet to announce its plans for legal sales, which may or may not allow for private pot shops.
“What we didn’t want to do is set up a precedent by having some of the shops saying we were granted grandfathered business licenses back in 2017,” said Mund.
While the city has taken a hands off approach the number of pot shops in the city has grown steadily. Gaudette said there are now 10 operating in the city along with a number of delivery services.
“A lot of us were responsible to not set up in school zones… but you run out of space and more and more people are seeing that it is being tolerated. And they are going to keep pushing it to the next level. It is unfortunate but when you don’t regulate an industry this is what happens.”
The mayor argues it is difficult for the city to set rules when it doesn’t know what legalization will look like.
“It is something that we want to make sure that we are not spending a lot of time and effort on because we know it is going to change. The goal post are going to be set up by the provincial government we’ve got to wait for that. At the same time you have people on both sides and I get that,” said Mund.
© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.