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Monthly Archives: March 2019

Sierra Leone releases its last Ebola patient – National

MATENEH, Sierra Leone – Health authorities in Sierra Leone released the country’s last known Ebola patient from the hospital on Monday, a milestone that allows the nation to begin a 42-day countdown to being declared free of the virus that has killed nearly 4,000 people here.

President Ernest Bai Koroma presented a certificate of discharge to Adama Sankoh, 40, who contracted Ebola after her son died from the disease late last month.

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“The Ebola fight is not yet over – go and tell members of your community that,” the president said when presenting the certificate to the woman. “Go back to your community and continue to live life as you used to. “

Sankoh, whose 23-year-old son contracted Ebola in the capital of Freetown before travelling to his home village, thanked everyone who provided her care during her illness. She also vowed to be the last person infected in Sierra Leone with the virus.

READ MORE: How does Ebola spread? 5 things you need to know

“Although my child died of Ebola I am very happy that I have survived today,” she said upon leaving the Ebola treatment centre in Mateneh village on the outskirts of Makeni, the president’s hometown.

If Sierra Leone is declared free of transmission of the Ebola virus it would leave just one country with the disease – Guinea – after an epidemic that has killed more than 11,200 people since late 2013.

But first Sierra Leone must go 42 days – equal to two incubation periods of 21 days – without another Ebola case in order for the World Health Organization to make such a declaration. It’s a benchmark that Liberia reached in May only to then experience a brief reappearance of cases.

Associated Press writer Krista Larson in Dakar, Senegal contributed to this report.

©2015The Associated Press

Louisiana trooper dies after being shot in head while helping stranded motorist – National

WATCH ABOVE: Louisiana State Police Superintendent, Mike Edmonson says they’re mourning the loss of their friend and a very loyal trooper.

NEW ORLEANS – A Louisiana trooper died Monday, a day after an apparently stranded motorist shot him in the head and then stood over him to tell him he was going to die soon, state police said.

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Authorities plan to charge the accused shooter with first-degree murder after the death of Senior Trooper Steven Vincent, 43. Vincent had been trying to help a man whose pickup truck was stuck sideways in a ditch, Col. Mike Edmonson said.

“This loss exacts an enormous emotional toll on the state police family, but we will do what is necessary and proper to honour Steve and support those who knew and loved him,” Edmonson said in a statement Monday morning.

Edmonson said Kevin Daigle, 54, of Lake Charles, was under arrest at a hospital where he was taken after other motorists saw the fallen policeman and wrestled Daigle to the ground.

Police video showed Vincent, a 13-year state police veteran in southwest Louisiana and member of a law enforcement family, very professionally trying to talk a man out of the vehicle stuck sideways in a ditch, Edmonson said during a news conference Sunday.

WATCH: Suspect arrested following fatal shooting of Louisiana State Trooper

He said the truck door opened and Daigle came out with the shotgun.

“That shotgun wasn’t to do anything else but hurt someone. Kill someone,” Edmonson said.

He said the tape shows the shotgun blast. “I saw my trooper go backwards and back toward his unit, where he was going to try to get some help out there,” Edmonson said.

After the shooting, he said, Daigle wandered into the road and over to Vincent, asking if he was alive.

“You could hear him breathing, telling him, ‘You’re lucky. You’re lucky – you’re going to die soon.’ That’s the words that came out of his mouth,” Edmonson said.

He said two or three drivers stopped immediately, one of them spinning around on the two-lane highway.

That driver wrestled the shotgun away from Daigle, and, with the others, got him to the ground, and snapped Vincent’s handcuffs on his wrists, Edmonson said. As far as he knew, he said, the good Samaritans were unhurt.

Edmonson said Daigle had “numerous DWIs” and other arrests that he wouldn’t discuss because he didn’t know whether they resulted in convictions.

Sgt. James Anderson, southwest Louisiana spokesman for state police, said Daigle was hospitalized for some scrapes and other injuries he sustained while the other motorists subdued him.

Both Daigle and the trooper who was shot are white, he said.

Edmonson said Vincent leaves behind a wife, Katherine, and a 9-year-old son, Ethan. Edmonson said one of Vincent’s brothers is also a state trooper, while another is police chief in the nearby town of Iowa.

“His family lives and breathes law enforcement,” Edmonson said.

©2015The Canadian Press

Large sunspot could trigger northern lights this week

TORONTO – A large sunspot group has the potential to unleash a powerful solar flare this week — and that might mean the chance of northern lights for us.

Sunspot group 2403 is facing Earth and the Space Weather Prediction Center (SWPC) is calling for a 55 per cent chance a powerful solar flare could be unleashed.

One such flare was already blasted into space on Monday.

A large solar flare erupted from the sun (lower centre) on Aug. 24.

NASA/SOHO

Solar flares are often followed by coronal mass ejections (CME) which can trigger the northern lights. Though the M5-class solar flare — a high mid-level flare — was one of the largest flares we’ve seen in some time, the SWPC said that it may not have been followed by a CME.

CMEs trigger the northern lights, or aurora borealis, when the sun’s plasma particles travel along the solar wind. Once they reach Earth, they interact with our magnetic field, resulting in colourful displays at the north and south poles.

READ MORE: Why do we get the northern lights?

Another way northern lights can be triggered is by coronal holes. This is an area of the sun that is less dense than the surrounding areas. When these open, plasma and particles stream out and once again, those particles travel along and, if we’re in the right place at the right time, produce northern lights.

And that’s just what happened early Sunday morning.

Particles from a coronal hole reached Earth, producing beautiful displays that were seen across Canada and as far south as the United States (usually the northern lights are relegated to northern latitudes).

The northern lights as seen near Lake Diefenbaker, Saskatchewan.

Garry Stone

The sunspot group will be facing us for a few more days. So stay tuned and keep an eye out to the northern skies: you may get a treat.

Follow @NebulousNikki

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  • The best northern lights photos of St. Patrick’s Day from across Canada

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Harper attacks opponents’ ‘clearly damaging’ policies as stock market tumbles – National

WATCH ABOVE: All the federal leaders are calibrating how to respond to the economic uncertainty after Monday’s stock market losses. Vassy Kapelos reports.

Conservative leader Stephen Harper said Monday morning’s stock market fumble re-enforces what he’s been saying over the last three weeks of the campaign – the economy is the most important election issue.

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  • PBO vs. Finance on budget deficit: Who’s got the numbers right?

“I’m not going to get in to that kind of discussion on the markets other than to say what I’ve been saying, the most important thing facing this country economic challenges because we are living in an unstable global economy,” he said after being asked if the drop in markets was a “buying opportunity” like he suggested during a 2008 drop in the stock market.

Harper made the comments while fielding questions from reporters at a campaign stop in Drummondville, Quebec Monday morning, shortly after North American markets opened significantly lower.

The composite index for shares on the Toronto Stock Exchange fell 767 points, or 5.7 per cent at the opening bell while the Dow Jones Industrial average dropped over 1,000 points.

WATCH: Asian stocks continued to plummet Monday morning amid fears China’s economic slowdown could signal global economic trouble. Jill Wagner is at the New York Stock Exchange with the latest.

Harper also suggested his policies, including a budget he claims is balanced (it’s probably not), have created a “good competitive situation for the country.” His opponents policies’ on the other hand, are “clearly damaging,” Harper said.

“The alternative, what the other guys are proposing, at a time of enormous market instability, is that they would embark on large-scale permanent spending increases, they would finance that through deficits and through big tax increases, including big tax increases on workers and job creating businesses, and we think that is clearly the wrong track,” Harper said.

The Liberal candidate for Regina-Wascana said in a statement Monday afternoon that the “Liberals have cleaned up Conservative fiscal failures in the past, and we will do it again.”

“If Stephen Harper thinks stock market performance is the best indicator of good economic stewardship, he should look in the mirror. Performance indicators are only slightly higher today than they were the day he became Prime Minister, almost ten long years ago,” Ralph Goodale said.

Mulcair fired back at the Conservative leader while answering questions from reporters Monday afternoon, saying Harper’s policies have put Canada’s economy in a “precarious position.”

“Don’t forget that the reason we’re in such a precarious position in Canada right now is because Stephen Harper made a huge bet on one number; oil and gas,” Mulcair said.

WATCH: The federal party leaders are all discussing the right way to handle and run the Canadian economy as stock markets continue to tumble. Laura Stone reports.

“And when that number didn’t come in, guess what, we were left with a more precarious position for all Canadians. Four hundred thousand manufacturing jobs were lost in this country on Stephen Harper’s watch, that didn’t start a couple weeks ago.”

A July Ipsos poll bolsters Harper’s suggestion that the economy is on the minds of Canadian voters. In a poll of 2,000 Canadians conducted between July 23 and July 27, 54 per cent of respondents said the rising cost of living was their most important issue. That was followed by 40 per cent most concerned by rising food prices, and 36 per cent concerned about a shaky economy.