World & Canada News - June 21, 2018 issue

In the World . . .

Kim Jong-un visits China after Trump summit

BBC World News/June 19, 2018

North Korea's Kim Jong-un has met Chinese leader Xi Jinping in Beijing, local media report, a week after meeting US President Donald Trump.

Chinese state TV did not say what the two leaders had talked about.

However they were expected to discuss sanctions and Mr Kim's general commitment to denuclearise the Korean peninsula.

Beijing, North Korea's only economic ally, has already suggested sanctions against North Korea could be eased.

Meanwhile, the US and South Korea have confirmed they have suspended planning for their next joint military drills.

That follows a pledge made by Mr Trump at the Singapore summit. His latest visit was, unusually, reported by Chinese state media.

State TV showed Mr Xi hosting Mr Kim at the Great Hall of the People with a military honour guard.

On 12 June, Mr Trump and Mr Kim signed what the US president called a "comprehensive" agreement.

North Korea agreed to denuclearisation - something it had also committed to in talks with South Korea - while Mr Trump said the US would end its joint military exercises with South Korea.

Ending the war games had been a long-standing demand of both North Korea and China. But both South Korea and Japan - the other main US ally in Asia - said the joint drills were very important.

Mr Trump's announcement appeared to catch South Korea off guard and there was confusion as to how it would be implemented.

There was also confusion over Mr Trump calling the drills "provocative", a term hitherto used by North Korea to describe them. The US had always insisted they were purely defensive in nature.

There are about 29,000 US soldiers based in South Korea and each year the two countries regularly conduct large-scale military drills.

The next exercise was scheduled for August with some 17,500 US military personnel due to take part.

Officials in Washington and Seoul confirmed on Tuesday that planning for that drill had been suspended.

"South Korea and the US plan to continue discussions for further measures," South Korea's defence ministry said, adding, "No decisions have been reached for other ensuing drills."

White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders earlier told reporters that "as long as the North Koreans continue to act in good faith, as we saw in Singapore, then we expect those things to be on pause at this point".


And in Canada . . .

Record-holding wingsuit flyer from B.C. dies in skydiving accident over the weekend

Reginald Hurlbut ‘made the sport what it is,’ says friend and fellow skydiver

By Clare Hennig/CBC News/June 19, 2018

An experienced Kamloops skydiver, who holds numerous world records for wingsuit flying, died in a skydiving accident on Friday while training for an upcoming record attempt.

Reginald Hurlbut, who went by the nickname Veggie Reggie because of his avid gardening and generosity sharing baskets of vegetables with fellow flyers, was at a training camp in rural Illinois.

"I was on the same jump with him," said Danny Grant, a friend of Hurlbut's.

"The parachute opened and something happened between that and the landing. He just appeared to not have complete control."

La Salle County investigators and the Federal Aviation Administration are still investigating the cause of the accident.

There were about 44 skydivers on the jump that day, all wearing wingsuits, Grant said.

Wingsuit flying is skydiving with a special suit that allows the skydiver to glide through the air in formations between leaping from the airplane and deploying their parachutes.

Legacy of drive

Hurlbut, 68, was well known in the world of wingsuit flying.

"He made the sport what it is," Grant told Chris Walker, the host of CBC's Daybreak South.

He was part of a Guinness World Record attempt several years ago to have 100 wingsuiters in formation.

"Since then, he's been part of, as far as I know, every world record leading up and progressing through - as the formations got bigger and bigger - and that was something we were working on this past weekend," Grant said.

Grant says he plans to continue jumping despite the accident.

"The events of this past weekend really just kind of drove it home - this was Veggie Reggie. He was turning 69 this year and he was out to beat again one of his own records," he said. "For a lot of us, we really just [want to] live by this drive."  u

Federal, Indigenous officials begin finalizing proposed languages act

'We want to enhance, revitalize and promote our languages,' says AFN national chief

Hilary Bird /CBC News /June 19, 2018 

The federal government is one step closer to creating a national Indigenous Languages Revitalization Act after government and Indigenous officials met in Yellowknife on Tuesday.

The legislation is currently being co-developed between the federal, provincial and territorial ministers of culture and heritage and the Assembly of First Nations, Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami and the Métis Nation.

The proposed act was a promise made by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at an Assembly of First Nations meeting in December 2016.

If approved, the legislation would mean Ottawa would have a financial responsibility to keep all 58 Indigenous languages — many of which have only a handful of speakers left - from dying out.

Representatives from each group met at the Explorer Hotel in Yellowknife on Tuesday evening to begin finalizing the proposed legislation.

"It can't be unilaterally cut like a policy or program. There is going to be a law in place," AFN National Chief Perry Bellegarde told CBC News after the meeting.

"We don't want the residential school system to win. We want to enhance, revitalize and promote our languages."

Trudeau has also promised the creation of an Indigenous languages commissioner to oversee enforcement of the act.

Bellegarde said he's hopeful the legislation will be finished in time to be tabled in the House of Commons this fall.