World and Canada News Nov 2, 2017

In the World

Ambush wounds 'anti-Putin plotter' and kills wife near Kiev

BBC News/Oct. 31, 2017 

A Chechen man accused of plotting to kill Russian President Vladimir Putin was wounded and his wife killed when their car was ambushed near Ukraine's capital, Kiev.

Adam Osmayev, wounded in one leg, said his wife Amina Okuyeva was shot in the head. A hail of bullets hit their car in Hlevaha village, a rural area.

Ukrainian officials suspect that the Russian state was involved.

Okuyeva has hero status in Ukraine for having fought the pro-Russian rebels.

Speaking to Ukrainian TV in hospital Mr Osmayev said: "She was shot in the head. I drove as much as I could until the car stopped, I don't know, the engine was also hit. I tried to give her first aid, but she was shot in the head."

It is the second time this year that the couple have been assassination targets. In June, a gunman posing as a French journalist opened fire at Mr Osmayev in Kiev, but Ms Okuyeva fired back, wounding the man, who was reported to be a Chechen criminal.

In 2012, Russian officials said Mr Osmayev was suspected of being part of a plot by Islamists to kill Mr. Putin.

Russian media reported at the time that the plotters were planning to plant mines on Kutuzovsky Avenue in Moscow, used by Putin on a daily basis.

Russia later asked Ukraine to hand over Mr Osmayev - but the Kiev authorities refused to do so, saying they wanted to wait until the European Court of Human Rights considered his appeal against extradition. He was freed after two-and-a-half years in a Ukrainian prison.

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200 feared dead after tunnel collapses at North Korean nuclear test site, Japanese TV claims

by Katherine Lam/Fox News/Oct. 31, 2017

About 200 people are feared dead in North Korea after underground tunnels at a nuclear test site that was feared to be unstable reportedly collapsed, crushing 100 people in the initial cave-in and 100 others when the tunnels again gave way on top of rescuers.

The collapse at the Punggye-ri test site on Oct. 10 occurred while people were doing construction on the underground tunnel, Japan’s Asahi TV reported, citing a source in North Korea. The television station also said North Korea’s sixth nuclear test on Sept. 3 most likely caused the tunnel to crumble and created serious damage in the region.

No officials have confirmed the Japanese TV station’s claims, but experts have feared for more than a month that the test site was on the verge of crumbling since the nuclear blast. North Korea said it detonated a hydrogen bomb, calling it a “perfect success.” It was the country’s most powerful bomb tested to date and the blast was reportedly 10 times more powerful than the nuclear bomb that was dropped over Hiroshima at the end of World War II.

The test triggered a 6.3-magnitude earthquake that day and multiple tremors have been detected from the area since then. Satellite images obtained by 38 North, which specializes in North Korea issues, showed several landslides occurred after the Sept. 3 test. Also a possible “collapse chimney crater” was seen on Mount Mantap, possibly caused by the underground tests.

It’s unclear if the mountain will collapse in the near future, but the report said there was “significant cracking” and “irreversible strain” on the land because of the nuclear test.

Some experts also said Mantap was suffering from “tired mountain syndrome” due to the stress on the ground, the Washington Post reported. Chinese scientists have also warned the mountain could collapse and release radiation. Radioactive xenon-133 was detected in South Korea after the test.

Additionally on Tuesday, North Korea rebuked Trump and the U.S., saying "the Trump group's vicious vituperation against the DPRK is an expression of their frustration, fear and horror,” according to a statement released by state-run Korean Central News Agency. The day before, the Hermit Kingdom blamed Trump’s “extreme, direct and long threats” for driving them to obtain "complete nuclear deterrence.”

“The U.S. has to ponder over the possible consequences,” the statement said.

 

And in Canada

Dad of missing woman says police took DNA to test against B.C. farm remains

By Laura Kane and Gemma Karstens-Smith/The Canadian Press/Oct. 31, 2017 

The father of a missing woman says police told him his DNA would be tested against remains found on a farm in British Columbia that is the subject of a large-scale search.

Darcy Genereaux said he was asked to give blood last week as part of the investigation into the disappearance of his daughter, Traci Genereaux, who was 18 when she was last seen in May in Vernon, B.C.

As he was giving his blood, he said a constable told him the coroner would test it to see if his DNA matched remains found on a north Okanagan property that is the subject of the police search.

"I'd still rather her not be there. I'd like to know she's still somewhere out having fun and safe," Genereaux said on the phone from Vernon.

"It doesn't look like that's going to be the case. There are a couple of ways to look at it. One is that we'll get some closure, I guess. But it's definitely not the closure I'm looking for."

RCMP Cpl. Dan Moskaluk would not confirm that the DNA request was linked to the search of the property.

"Multiple investigative steps have been taken, which is common during these types of investigations. And we have no further specifics to discuss at this time," he said in an email.

Genereaux questioned why his DNA was not taken six months ago when his daughter disappeared if it's common practice.

"It's kind of leaning heavily towards me thinking you found my baby girl out there," he said.

Police began scouring the rural property on Salmon River Road south of Salmon Arm earlier this month. On Oct. 21, they announced human remains had been found.

Moskaluk said the search is ongoing.

A forensics team specializing in recovering evidence was brought in to help last week and Moskaluk said the RCMP's underwater recovery team has been conducting searches of the Salmon River, which runs through the 10-hectare property.

A title search shows the property is owned by Wayne and Evelyn Sagmoen.

It is not known whether they are related to Curtis Wayne Sagmoen, who was charged Oct. 17 with disguising his face with intent to commit an offence, uttering threats and weapons offences.

The charges came after police issued a warning to "the general public and women sex workers" about a possible risk around Salmon River Road after an incident on Aug. 28 when a woman was allegedly threatened with a firearm.

Sagmoen's lawyer, Lisa Jean Helps, declined comment after her client appeared in court last week in Vernon.

"We are expecting that this may take some time to work its way through the justice system and we look forward to this all being litigated in front of a court of competent jurisdiction," she said.

Sagmoen is scheduled to appear in court in Vernon on Nov. 23.

Five women have gone missing in the same area of the north Okanagan in the past 20 months.

Police have not linked the property search with any ongoing investigation or with the public warning.

Genereaux said his daughter had been splitting her time between his house and her mother's home, which are five to 10 minutes apart on foot.

He last saw her on the afternoon of May 29 when she stepped out to get a telescope from her mom's place.

"We were going to sit outside and watch the stars that night," he said.

When she didn't return, he thought she had decided to stay with her mom. He began to worry a couple days later when he phoned her mother and learned she wasn't there.

A friend of his daughter's then phoned him to say he had seen her speaking to a man in a white van outside Vernon's bottle depot on May 29.

Genereaux said his daughter had made some poor decisions in the past but she was getting her life on track. She had begun volunteering at the SPCA and wanted to be a veterinarian, he said.

Her 19th birthday was on Oct. 4. Her favourite colour was purple, Genereaux said, so as a tribute he dyed some of his hair violet, while his 21-year-old son dyed his whole head.

He said his daughter is artistic, funny and loud.

"She got out of her bad decisions, got back to being happy and she was the life of the party. She didn't need a party, she was just the life of it," he said.