Venezuelan protesters march again – National

CARACAS, Venezuela – Thousands of anti-government activists marched peacefully Sunday to an upper-class Caracas district shaken by more than two weeks of unrest, trying to maintain the movement’s momentum during a long holiday break.

Afterward, several hundred protesters erected barricades, burned tires and threw rocks and fireworks at National Guard troops, who responded with tear gas in what has become a nearly nightly ritual of clashes since mid-February. No injuries were immediately reported.

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President Nicolas Maduro had sought to dampen protesters’ spirits by declaring a seven-day holiday weekend coinciding with Carnival and historical commemorations and by promoting the Sunday sale of subsidized food at government-run markets.

“Happiness will conquer the embittered,” Maduro said in a TV appearance at a recreation centre. “The Venezuelan people have won because happiness and peace have conquered.”

Whether they headed for balmy beaches or joined the barricades in anti-government protests, many people are fed up with crippling inflation, shortages of food stuffs and medicine, unchecked violent crime and government mismanagement of the economy in a nation with the world’s largest proven oil reserves.

Hundreds queued up at one central Caracas market, an increasingly common sight across the country, where coffee, flour, cooking oil, toilet paper and other staples have been in short supply for a year. Longer lines have been seen at such markets in the provinces.

The unrest is Venezuela’s worst since President Hugo Chavez died of cancer a year ago and the opposition came within a hair of winning the presidency in April’s election, but it remains to be seen if it will spread to include the lower classes who benefited from Chavez’s generous social welfare programs.

Most of the marchers on Sunday, whether students or their grey-haired elders clad in white shirts and wearing hats with the Venezuelan flag’s colours, hailed from the upper classes. But there were some from poorer sectors.

One marcher from the poor district of Catia said many people there had been intimidated into silence by pro-government militias but are now beginning to join the protests. “People there are starting to wake up. The insecurity has become unbearable,” said Liomar Moreno, a 21-year-old graphic design student.

Saturday night had been the first evening in 16 days when the wealthy, opposition Chacao district where Sunday’s march ended was not shrouded in tear gas from pitched battles between young protesters and security forces.

But the confrontations resumed Sunday, and had about them a choreographed dynamic. Protesters, many of them teens, showed up with beer boxes full of Molotov cocktails and shields made of aluminum siding, handles fashioned from garden hoses. National Guardsmen protected themselves not just with plastic shields but also with semi-permanent chain-link barricades. Protesters wore heat-resistant gloves on their throwing hands to hurl tear gas canisters back at guardsmen.

Elsewhere in Venezuela, protesters have similarly maintained burning barricades in cities from Valencia in the industrial heartland to Merida and San Cristobal in the west.

By government count, 18 people have been killed and more than 260 injured in the unrest since Feb. 12.

Early Sunday, the government released 41 people arrested Friday in Caracas’ wealthy east as radicals hurled Molotov cocktails, rocks and bottles at National Guard troops. It said they had all been ordered to appear in court within 30 days.

Others were still in custody, including a top opposition leader, Leopoldo Lopez.

The opposition has spurned Maduro’s attempt to engage in a “peace dialogue” until the government frees detainees. Other demands include creation of a “truth commission” to determine how those who died in protests were killed. Pro-government thugs are accused of gunning some down.

Maduro says the unrest constitutes a coup attempt by “the fascist right wing” and is backed by the United States. Washington denies the accusation and says Maduro is trying to silence the opposition by repressing free speech.

“Nobody is tiring here, and we’re all going to fight until (the government) falls,” said one marcher on Sunday, Carlos Eduardo Vega, who works for the food company Polar.

But 14-year-old Heliot Bello, who lives on the street where Sunday’s street battle occurred, wasn’t optimistic.

“The only thing we’ve gotten out of this in two weeks is blocking the highway a few times and lots of dead students. But what else can you do?” he said.

Chacao’s mayor, Ramon Muchacho, complained of fatigue from the violent tactics of student protesters who have made his district the epicenter of Caracas’ unrest. They lack clearly defined goals, he said.

“The student leaders need to set clear objectives for those in the streets. How are we going to change the government?” Muchacho said. “I think they should be preparing them for a long battle.”

Associated Press writers Frank Bajak and Andrew Rosati and photographer Fernando Llano contributed to this report.

©2014The Canadian Press

Lupita Nyong’o, Jennifer Lawrence among Oscar fashion stars

NEW YORK – That’s a wrap, Lupita Nyong’o, but may all the best dresses keep coming your way.

With a supporting actress Oscar now in her possession, a tearful Nyong’o concluded a red-carpet season Sunday night as a fashion darling for sexy silhouettes and colours that wow.

She didn’t disappoint at the 86th Academy Awards, wearing a pale blue Prada goddess gown and a sparkly gold-and-diamond headband from Fred Leighton.

Actresses Jennifer Lawrence and Lupita Nyong’o attend the Oscars held at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 2, 2014 in Hollywood, California.

Michael Buckner/Getty Images

Nor did Jennifer Lawrence in a $2 million, 100-carat diamond necklace from Neil Lane to accent her girl-on-fire orange-red strapless dress from Dior.

Jennifer Lawrence attends the Oscars at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 2, 2014 in Hollywood, California.

Christopher Polk/Getty Images

On Cate Blanchett’s ears were 33 carats of opal in a huge drop design that did justice to her beaded Armani gown in a light tan colour.

Cate Blanchett arrives at the Oscars on Sunday, March 2, 2014, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles.

Blanchett’s heavily embellished gown sparkled under the lights at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles when she collected her Oscar for best actress in Blue Jasmine.

While she’s not under contract by Giorgio Armani, Blanchett does favour the house. “Armani has made donations to the theatre that she and her husband run in Sydney, so she’s very loyal to him,” said Hal Rubenstein, editor at large of InStyle magazine.

Muted colours, like those worn by Blanchett and Nyong’o’s ice blue, were one of the night’s big trends, said Estee Stanley, a stylist who worked with Portia de Rossi, in a regal Naeem Khan halter with beads and lace, and Jessica Biel, dressed in a metallic sparkler from Chanel dripped with diamond jewelry from Tiffany.

Actress Portia de Rossi (L) and TV personality Ellen DeGeneres attend the 2014 Vanity Fair Oscar Party hosted by Graydon Carter on March 2, 2014 in West Hollywood, California.

Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

Jessica Biel attends the Oscars held at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 2, 2014 in Hollywood, California.

Jason Merritt/Getty Images

Fitted, body-conscious gowns prevailed on the red carpet, said fashion bloggers Tom Fitzgerald and Lorenzo Marquez.

“The colours of the night were pinks and blues. Statement necklaces were back,” Fitzgerald said.

But Marquez mused: “A general sameness hung over the whole thing. There was not enough experimentation.”

While some of the necklines plunged, said Rubenstein, “there was nothing overtly sexy. They were all fairly reserved.”

Here’s our five to talk about:

LUPITA NYONG’O

Actress Lupita Nyong’o attends the Oscars held at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 2, 2014 in Hollywood, California.

Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

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  • Gallery: 5 best 2014 Oscar fashion moments

  • ‘Gravity’ dominates but ’12 Years a Slave’ wins Best Picture at Oscars

“I felt Lupita’s dress was glorious,” Rubenstein said. “She’s just not making a mistake.”

He praised her colour choice and the full-pleated gown with a plunging bodice. The colour, he said, was perfect for her dark skin tone. He called her jeweled headband a nice touch of youth and wit.

“There are now so many other awards shows where you can take chances. You can be silly, you can be funny. The Oscars is like coronation night. On Oscar night you look for classic glamour, you look for the glamour that really is defined for us by Hollywood, by the movies that we’ve seen. All those great Edith Head costumes. … The way Grace Kelly was dressed by Hitchcock. That’s what we have drilled into our head as what glamour is and so many people reference that type of glamour,” Rubenstein said.

On this night, Nyong’o was among them.

“She carries herself so beautifully. She has such poise. Such grace,” he said.

Marquez added: “I loved this, full stop. Every single bit of it. The colour is perfect, the way the skirt flows and moves is sublime. She won the entire night as far as I’m concerned.”

Fitzgerald said he “loved it, but not as much. I think the neckline is too plunging and too wide. Everything else about is pretty close to perfect, though. It’s a fresh take on the princess gown, with an even fresher take on the tiara.”

JENNIFER LAWRENCE

Jennifer Lawrence, left, and Channing Tatum shake hands at the Oscars on Sunday, March 2, 2014, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles.

Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP

Ok, so yeah, she tripped again, this time on the red carpet as opposed to running up the Oscar steps to collect a statuette, but she giggled it off and stunned in strapless Dior akin to the bright colour of a Calvin Klein she wore in 2011.

Of a Lupita versus Jennifer smackdown, Rubenstein chided: “C’mon now, they both looked beautiful. Jennifer’s was also a beautiful colour.”

Lawrence, with a swept-back bob, pulled off a bit of ruffle at the hip. It was a form-fitting dress in contrast to her full gown at last year’s Oscars, when she stumbled as she made her way up the stairs to collect her award for Silver Linings Playbook.

“The Dolby is a very big theatre and when you wear a dress with a lot of volume like she did last year, you kind of get lost in that volume,” Rubenstein said. “The more body-conscious dress really focuses on you.”

Fitzgerald and Marquez were not quite as impressed.

“I’ll say it: I’m bored,” Marquez said. “It has none of the drama of last year’s Dior gown. It’s just another slinky gown on a night with more than enough of them.”

Fitzgerald added: “I have to agree. And the red seems kind of done. It just doesn’t feel very fresh.”

SANDRA BULLOCK

Nominee for Best Actress in ‘Gravity’ Sandra Bullock arrives on the red carpet for the 86th Academy Awards on March 2nd, 2014 in Hollywood, California.

ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images

Was it Navy blue? Royal blue? Simply, dark blue? Whatever. It was a deep-tone Alexander McQueen and an example of an edgy fashion house offering up an Old Hollywood-style stunner, Rubenstein said.

Both Rubenstein and Stanley called the look Navy, noting a pleated draping that fell to one side. It was in line with a lot of blue, some green, and not quite so much red as in years and carpets past.

Marquez called it, “Another stunner for the night – and a personal best for her. She tends toward colorless, slinky dresses and pin-straight hair. It’s refreshing to see something with some shape.”

Fitzgerald also lauded her loose, sideswept hair – a deep and dramatic side part another trend of the night.

He called the dress “crazy-dramatic. It’s the kind of look, top to bottom, that makes you step back and say ‘Now, that’s a movie star.”‘

CHARLIZE THERON

Charlize Theron attends the Oscars at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 2, 2014 in Hollywood, California.

Christopher Polk/Getty Images

Black made a reappearance, said Rubenstein, and it remains a dynamic colour.

Theron was elegant in black Dior, paired with a $15 million Harry Winston necklace that had a cluster of diamonds at the centre.

“Her simple dress and massive necklace was a classic yet fresh look,” Stanley said.

The look had invisible straps and a curvy plunge, clinging to her body with a partially sheer train in back.

“As far as I’m concerned, this is the look that won the night,” Fitzgerald said. “She’s serving up serious Madame X here,” as in sexy, dark and mysterious.

Theron’s short hair fell over her forehead from the evening’s popular side part.

AMY ADAMS

Actress Amy Adams attends the Oscars held at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 2, 2014 in Hollywood, California.

Christopher Polk/Getty Images

She wore a blue column strapless by Gucci with a lapel-like, fold-over at the strapless part. It was another Navy and stuck close to the body, flowing into a short train at the hem.

“There were columns, columns, columns,” Rubenstein said of that time-tested silhouette, and Adams was a prime example.

The simple silhouette left plenty of room for her Tiffany jewels. They included rhodochrosite, lapis and turquoise earrings with diamonds in 18-karat yellow gold, worth $35,000, and a $1.4 million yellow diamond bracelet, also in 18-karat yellow gold.

The earrings? “Stunning,” Stanley said.

©2014The Associated Press

Gallery: Canucks fall to Senators in Heritage Classic

The Vancouver Canucks fell 4-2 to the Ottawa Senators at BC Place during the NHL’s Heritage Classic Sunday.

In addition to the action on the ice, the event featured Sarah McLachlan singing the national anthem, a performance by Tegan and Sara and fireworks at the end of the game.

More than 50,000 fans attended the event, which was the first Heritage Classic ever to be played indoors.

PHOTOS: Heritage Classic at BC Place 

The Heritage Classic took place at BC Place on March 2, 2014. Credit: Neil Khare

The Heritage Classic took place at BC Place on March 2, 2014. Credit: Neil Khare

Members of the 1994 Vancouver Canucks team reunited on Sunday at the Heritage Classic game at BC Place. Credit: Neil Khare

The Heritage Classic took place at BC Place on March 2, 2014. Credit: Neil Khare

The Heritage Classic took place at BC Place on March 2, 2014. Credit: Neil Khare

The Heritage Classic took place at BC Place on March 2, 2014. Credit: Neil Khare

The Heritage Classic took place at BC Place on March 2, 2014. Credit: Neil Khare

The Heritage Classic took place at BC Place on March 2, 2014. Credit: Neil Khare

The Heritage Classic took place at BC Place on March 2, 2014. Credit: Neil Khare

The Heritage Classic took place at BC Place on March 2, 2014. Credit: Chris Gailus


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Canadian dollar lower on Ukraine tensions – National

TORONTO – The Canadian dollar closed slightly lower Monday even as traders flocked to the perceived safe haven of the American dollar after Russia occupied Ukraine’s Crimean peninsula.

The resource-sensitive loonie was off 0.08 of a cent to 90.22 cents US with losses limited by sharp run-ups in oil and gold prices.

Russia calls the move into Crimea a necessary protection for the country’s citizens living there. There are worries that Russia might seek to expand its control by seizing other parts of eastern Ukraine.

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“Risk appetite is extremely muted as we begin the start of a new week, largely predicated on continued tensions in Ukraine,” said Mark Chandler, head of Canadian FIC Strategy at RBC Dominion Securities.

Oil prices spiked more than $2 a barrel as Russia’s military advance into Ukraine raised fears of economic sanctions against a country that is one of the world’s major energy producers.

The April contract in New York jumped $2.33 to US$104.92 a barrel.

Traders seeking safety also pushed April gold bullion up $28.70 to US$1,350.30 an ounce.

May copper lost two cents to US$3.17 a pound. Prices for the metal were also pressured by Chinese data as both the official and HSBC versions of the country’s monthly manufacturing survey showed the sector was weaker last month than in January.

The HSBC purchasing managers index fell to 48.5 from 49.5, but was above the preliminary version from last month. The official gauge dipped to an eight-month low of 50.2 for February, off from January’s 50.5.

On the economic front, U.S. consumer spending rose 0.4 per cent in January following a tiny 0.1 per cent gain in December. Income grew 0.3 per cent in January following no increase at all in December.

And the Institute for Supply Management’s manufacturing index showed greater expansion in the sector, rising to 53.2 in February from 51.3 in January.

The major event for the loonie this week is the Bank of Canada’s latest interest rate announcement on Wednesday. The bank is widely expected to hold off on raising its key rate from one per cent until early next year.

February employment data for Canada and the U.S. will be released on Friday. Canadian job growth is expected at around 19,000 jobs.

U.S. employment gains are expected to come in around 150,000 with results impacted by severe winter weather for a second month in a row.

UPDATE: IHIT takes over case of missing Langley teen; foul play suspected – BC

WATCH ABOVE: The Integrated Homicide Investigation Team believe foul play is now suspected in the disappearance of Nicholas Hannon. Rumina Daya reports.

UPDATE: The Integrated Homicide Investigation Team (IHIT) announced this afternoon they will be taking over the case of missing 19-year-old Nicholas Hannon. IHIT will be investigating the missing teen because foul play is suspected and it is believed he is dead. 

IHIT says in mid-April there was enough evidence to support the theory that Hannon met with foul play.

He would have been 20 years old in just a few days.

IHIT says the know there are people in the community who know what happened to Hannon.

“Whether it is a change in lifestyle that brings you forward or the guilt of watching this family suffering from the loss of Nicholas, we are urging the individuals that have information to do the right thing and contact Police, ” says Staff Sergeant Jennifer Pound.

(Photos of Nicholas growing up)

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If you have information call the IHIT tipline at 1-877-551-4448, or, if you wish to remain anonymous call Crimstoppers at 1-800-222-8477.

Previous story:

A Langley family is offering a $10,000 reward for any information leading to the whereabouts of their 19-year-old son, who has been missing for nearly a week.

A Search and Rescue team from Central Fraser Valley Search and Rescue fanned out across Derby Reach Park on Sunday looking for any sign of Nicholas Hannon.

Police say there has been no sign of the teen since he last spoke with his father on Tuesday. Nicholas’ vehicle was found abandoned on Thursday at a dead end of McKinnon Crescent in Langley. The doors were locked, with GPS and the stereo system still inside. There’s also been no activity on his phone or bank account since he went missing.

Nicholas Hannon’s father Craig says his son’s disappearance is very out of character, but his gut feeling is telling him something went wrong.

“Somebody has done something to him,” he said, choking back tears. “Somebody’s got him for whatever reason, and they are hurting him.”

Forty volunteers came out to help with the search last night. The RCMP called out another search today, saying the physical search of the area has been already completed.

Hannon is described as Caucasian, 5’9″, with a slim build and very short dark brown hair.

If anyone has any information about Nicholas’ whereabouts, contact the Langley RCMP at 604-532-3200.

Watch: Missing teen’s father appeals for information

©2014Shaw Media

Golds limit TSX losses amid Ukraine tensions – National

TORONTO – The Toronto stock market closed little changed Monday, one of the few global markets to avoid racking up sharp losses in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine’s Crimean peninsula.

The S&P/TSX composite index edged 3.15 points higher to 14,212.74 with any TSX losses held in check by energy and gold stocks, which rose alongside oil and bullion prices as traders generally avoided riskier assets such as equities and base metals.

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  • Canada considering options with Russian ambassador as Ukraine crisis continues

Gains in oil and gold also helped support the Canadian dollar, which was faring better than some other currencies. The loonie declined 0.08 of a cent to 90.22 cents US.

Investors sought the perceived safe haven of U.S. dollars and Treasuries after Russia took effective control of the Crimean peninsula, calling it a necessary protection for citizens living there. There are worries that Russia might seek to expand its control by seizing other parts of eastern Ukraine.

U.S. indexes tumbled as traders weighed the potential economic consequences of Russia’s move and the effect of possible sanctions.

“It’s a surprise. I don’t think we’ve had this level of political events impact the markets in some time,” said Patrick Blais, managing director and portfolio manager at Manulife Asset Management.

The Dow Jones industrials dropped 153.68 points to 16,168.03, the Nasdaq gave back 30.82 points to 4,277.3 and the S&P 500 index fell 13.72 points to 1,845.73.

European stocks also tumbled with Frankfurt’s DAX falling three per cent and the Paris CAC 40 down 2.66 per cent. Russia’s benchmark stock index plunged 12 per cent.

The gold sector led TSX advancers, up about 1.65 per cent as traders seeking safety pushed April bullion up $28.70 to US$1,350.30 an ounce.

“Gold is a sentiment-driven market and the (gold) equities as well,” observed Blais.

“And with news of this sort, gold names could have a pretty good run. The backdrop is definitely supportive. With the uncertainty I think they’ll keep moving higher.”

The energy sector rose 0.23 per cent with oil prices spiking more than $2 as Russia’s military advance into Ukraine raised fears of economic sanctions against a country that is one of the world’s major energy producers. The April contract in New York jumped $2.33 to US$104.92 a barrel.

Pengrowth Energy Corp. (TSX:PGF) had an $91.1-million net loss, equivalent to 17 cents per share, in the fourth quarter. Analysts had expected a net loss of three cents a share and its stock slipped 45 cents to $7.01.

The TSX was also supported by a strong earnings report from auto parts giant Magna International (TSX:MG). Its quarterly net earnings rose 31 per cent from a year ago to US$458 million or $2.03 a share as sales jumped 14 per cent to US$9.17 billion. The company also raised its quarterly dividend by 19 per cent to 38 cents per share and Magna shares gained $5.18 to $103.75.

The base metals component was down 2.57 per cent as May copper lost two cents to US$3.17 a pound. Prices for the metal were also pressured by Chinese data as both the official and HSBC versions of the country’s monthly manufacturing survey showed the sector was weaker last month than in January.

Madi Vanstone pleads with Wynne to cover cystic fibrosis drugs – Toronto

ABOVE: 12-year-old Madi Vanstone talks about what she said to Kathleen Wynne during their meeting – and what the Premier told her in return. Cindy Pom reports. 

TORONTO – A 12-year-old girl with a rare form of cystic fibrosis pleaded for the Ontario government to pay for an expensive drug to treat her disease.

Premier Kathleen Wynne met with 12-year-old Madi Vanstone Monday, as the girl fights for payments to help cover the very expensive annual treatment for her condition.

Vanstone and 60 classmates took a bus to Queen’s Park to ask the government to help pay for the coverage.

The drug, Kalydeco, costs $350,000 a year and her father’s health insurance only covers half. Vanstone said the doses she’s had so far has improved her life “significantly.”

“I didn’t have any energy, I had headaches all the time, bellyaches,” she said. “And now, that’s just gone.”

WATCH: Madi, her mother Beth, and MPP Jim Wilson held a press conference ahead of their meeting Monday with Kathleen Wynne

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Meanwhile, the drug company pays 20 per cent, leaving Madi’s family with a monthly bill of $6,000.

Thus far, donations from the community are helping to pay for her treatments.

Her mother Beth says she’s appealed to the government to pay for the drug, but was told that it’s not available because they’re negotiating the price. She urged Wynne to speed things up.

“There are people who are getting sicker and sicker,” she said. “The wheels have been spinning and we’re not going anywhere.”

Watch: Why does Queen’s Park fund some drugs and not others? Alan Carter reports. 

Beth says the price of the drug has been negotiated in 15 other countries, but Ontario has been negotiating the price for more than a year. Wynne said Monday that there is “no question” her government wants to fund the drug but is being hampered by ongoing negotiations.

“Of course we don’t put a price on a human being’s life,” Wynne said in the legislature.

The price of Kalydeco has been negotiated in the following countries: United States, England, Scotland, Northern Ireland, Wales, Ireland, France, Germany, Italy, The Netherlands, Austria, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Greece.

-with a file from The Canadian Press

A star-studded selfie, pizza and Liza: 5 memorable moments from the Oscars

WATCH: Selfies and pizza made for some memorable moments at Sunday’s Oscars

TORONTO — Couldn’t stay up late for the three-and-a-half-hour 86th Academy Awards on Sunday night?

Here are some highs and lows from Hollywood’s big night:

Liza dissed… but keeps her Oscar

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Liza Minnelli appeared slightly put off when Oscar host Ellen DeGeneres called her “one of the most amazing Liza Minnelli impersonators I’ve ever seen in my entire life.” DeGeneres added: “Good job, sir.” But Minnelli seemed moved by Pink’s powerhouse performance of “Over the Rainbow,” a song made famous by Minnelli’s mother Judy Garland in The Wizard of Oz.

Minnelli also got to keep the Best Actress Oscar she won in 1973 for Cabaret. In January, she promised Matthew McConaughey: “Honey, if you don’t win the Academy Award, I’m giving you mine.” McConaughey won.

Travolta renames Idina Menzel

John Travolta raised eyebrows and set off a social media storm when he read a glowing introduction to performer Idina Menzel — but called her “the one and only Adele Dazim.” If she was taken aback, she didn’t let it show as she went right into a rendition of “Let It Go” from Frozen.

Icon-ic moments

Surgically-enhanced Vertigo star Kim Novak, 81, presented an award with Matthew McConaughey, who used his hand on her back to focus her attention and move her closer to the microphone. Later, 72-year-old singer Darlene Love took the spotlight from the producers of the documentary 20 Feet From Stardom to belt out part of a song. It earned her a standing ovation. Also getting the audience to its feet was Bette Midler, 68, who sang her 1989 hit “Wind Beneath My Wings” following the In Memoriam tribute.

Selfie power

Oscar host Ellen DeGeneres posted a star-packed selfie and challenged the audience to break the record for the most retweets. The record was broken — and 桑拿会所, too. DeGeneres came on stage later to announce the social media tool briefly went down. The selfie was epic, though. Taken by Bradley Cooper, it included stars like Julia Roberts, Brad Pitt, Channing Tatum, Meryl Streep, Jennifer Lawrence and Kevin Spacey.

At one point in the Oscar show, Ellen DeGeneres and a delivery guy from Big Mama’s & Papa’s Pizzeria walked through the audience offering slices to the stars. Those who took some pizza included Julia Roberts, Meryl Streep, Dax Shepard, Brad Pitt, Jennifer Lawrence, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Harrison Ford and Channing Tatum. Leonardo DiCaprio declined. Later in the show, DeGeneres passed the hat — Pharrell Williams’ hat, of course — to collect money for the pizza.

©2014Shaw Media

Calgary weather: when will it warm up? – Calgary

CALGARY – The bitterly cold weather isn’t over yet. But when can we expect some relief?

Global Calgary Meteorologist Jordan Witzel suggests more moderate temperatures are on their way – but not until the end of the week.

Monday’s forecasted high is a biting -17°C.

The mercury will rise slightly on Tuesday, before gradually climbing to a high of -5°C on Friday.

By the weekend, we might even see highs in the double digits.

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The cold snap started on Friday, with the temperature plummeting over the weekend.

EMS say they responded to 18 cold weather calls of frostbite and hyperthermia over the weekend.

Calgary’s seven day weather forecast

Burst Pipes

Burst pipes caused problems at several Calgary businesses, including a Safeway in Brentwood and The Kahanoff Conference Centre in the downtown core.

Officials say the sprinklers at the Safeway burst early Monday morning, causing water to pour into the grocery store.

There is no word on when the store will reopen.

At the Kahanoff Centre, a burst pipe flooded the first floor of the building.

Meanwhile, the cold weather is being blamed for a plumbing break at Robert Thirsk High School. The incident caused the closure of the school on Monday.

Calgary Board of Education

Officials say all Calgary Board of Education schools will remain open on Monday despite the cold weather, but warn there may be bus delays due to the extreme cold.

The CBE says Southland and First Student bus carriers tried to keep their mainly diesel-fueled buses from freezing throughout the weekend, but despite their efforts, there is a chance that some buses will have cold-related problems on Monday.

They’re asking parents not to leave children unattended at local bus stops, and to make sure kids have an alternative place to seek shelter, like at a neighbour’s home.

Parents and guardians whose children access charter bus service can view the status of their bus by visiting myschoolbusmonitor杭州夜网.

Rocky View Schools

For information on bus delays or cancellations, call the Rocky View Transportation Late Bus Line at 403.250.0016.

For information on school closures, call the Rocky View Transportation Information line 403.250.0016, visit the Rocky View Schools website, or check their Facebook and 桑拿会所 accounts.

To get your weather forecast on the go, download our Skytracker Weather App.

Bedford private health clinic opens with unique CT scanner – Halifax

HALIFAX – Patients visiting a new private medical clinic in Bedford will soon be able to get a CT scan from a device that’s the first of its kind in Canada.

Picture Your Health Medical Centre, the facility operated by Atlantic Medical Imaging Services, will provide the services of an Aquilion ONE (Vision Edition) CT scanner, which the company says is cutting-edge technology.

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“The standard detector is four centimetres. This detector is 16 centimetres, so it can scan a complete organ in one pass,” said Jamal Instrum, the CEO of the centre.

Joan Burt, the centre’s vice-president of communications, said the machine gives off up to 90 per cent less radiation than other scanners in use today.

The scanner, which weighs three tons and has a table capable of supporting a patient up to 660 pounds, is worth $3 million.

Burt said it serves several purposes.

“We can catch the heart all in one beat,” she said, adding it can do brain studies and is “wonderful for pediatrics because of the low dose.” She said it can also perform virtual colonoscopies.

Alan Brydie, the head of diagnostic imaging for Capital Health, says the regional health authority has five capable scanners, including one that’s considered high-end.

“It’s still to my understanding, the fastest type of scanner that’s installed in Canada,” he said.

That high-end scanner is only used for cardiac and vascular scans, and Brydie said its use wasn’t always required.

“For the vast majority of what we do, some of these bells and whistles really don’t add anything.”

Brydie said the longest wait time for a CT scan is 40 days, but half of 1,200 scans monthly are emergency cases, performed the same day.

Instrum said at his private clinic, the wait is shorter.

“If you want better screening, or you want to get in faster to find out what’s happening, there’s an opportunity now to be able to pay for it and get it done,” he said.

The Nova Scotia Workers’ Compensation Board uses both the public and private systems to help get people back to work as quickly as possible and plans to contact the Picture Your Health centre.

“If they offer services that we think will help injured workers facilitate a safe and timely return to work, then we would be very interested in what they have to offer,” said Shelley Rowan, the organization’s vice-president of prevention and service.

The board will also assess the service’s cost to determine whether or not it will be used.

Patients will require a doctor’s requisition for a scan, however, whether it’s through a public or private facility.

©2014Shaw Media

Russia says troops in Ukraine are protecting its citizens – National

GENEVA – Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on Monday justified the use of Russian troops streaming into neighbouring Ukraine’s Crimea region as a necessary protection for his country’s citizens living there.

The use of Russian troops is necessary “until the normalization of the political situation” in Ukraine, Lavrov said at an opening of a month-long session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva.

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READ MORE: Pro-Russian troops take over Crimea ferry terminal

“This is a question of defending our citizens and compatriots, ensuring human rights, especially the right to life,” Lavrov said.

Ukraine has accused Russia of a military invasion and has called on the Kremlin to withdraw its troops. Lavrov dismissed the criticism, and said that “new provocations are being committed, including against the Russian Black Sea fleet,” which is based in Ukraine’s Crimea, a strategic peninsula now effectively under Russian control.

“Those who are trying to interpret the situation as a sort of aggression and threatening sanctions and boycotts, these are the same partners of ours who have consistently encouraged their political forces in the ultimatum to refuse dialogue and ultimately have polarized Ukrainian society,” Lavrov said. “We call upon them to show a responsibility and to set aside geopolitical calculations and put the interests of the Ukrainian people above all.”

Lavrov will meet later Monday with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to discuss the tense situation.

READ MORE: U.S., Ukraine urge Putin to pull back his troops as Russia tightens its grip on Crimea

“Human rights is too serious a matter to be used either as a bargaining chip in geopolitical games, or a means of imposing one’s will on others, not to mention as a pretext for regime-change operations,” Lavrov told the Council.

“As experience shows, military interventions on the pretext of civilian protection produce the opposite effect, compounding the sufferings of innocent civilians and depriving them of a fundamental human right, the right to life,” he said.

Ban said he would emphasize to Lavrov ways of de-escalating the crisis and may seek creation of a “contact group” led by Swiss President Didier Burkhalter in his role as chairman of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.

“Both sides should lower their temperature … and engage in a dialogue,” Ban told reporters.

©2014The Canadian Press

Stars, surreal moments at Elton John’s Oscar bash

LOS ANGELES – The Academy Awards were on at Elton John AIDS Foundation’s viewing dinner party, but the real entertainment came from the performances, celeb watching, and the surreal moments of the evening.

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Lady Gaga, members of the Kardashian clan (including new mom Kim), Steven Tyler, Britney Spears, Heidi Klum, Quincy Jones, Whoopi Goldberg and more were among the celebrities taking part in the 22nd annual event, which raises funds for those afflicted with HIV and AIDS.

The event was held in a cavernous tent a few miles away from where the actual awards were taking place. Huge screens adorned the venue as party-goers watched the Oscar action.

“If Pharrell Williams doesn’t win best song, then I’m (expletive) going home early,” John bellowed to the crowd after Williams performed his nominated song “Happy” (Williams didn’t win, but thankfully for the crowd, the award was handed out late in the ceremony, making John’s threat moot).

READ MORE: Who won what at the Academy Awards

The crowd laughed with host DeGeneres and whooped when various winners took the stage (and let out a loud moan when a brief technical glitch knocked out the telecast for a few minutes).

But the night got more interesting when the broadcast ended and the party got into full swing. First there was an auction of key items; Neil Patrick Harris jokingly offered to make out with the top bidder (and go a bit further than that) for an item featuring tickets to his upcoming Broadway show, Hedwig and the Angry Inch.

Not to be outdone, Steven Tyler told a few bawdy jokes of his own as he helped to auction off five nights in his Hawaiian getaway, which raised $100,000.

Elton John also got in on the auction act, taking crowd requests and playing a few of his hits on a piano that was auctioned off for $220,000.

It seemed as if that brief instrumental performance would be the only one from John on the night. But late, he joined the night’s performer, Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran, for a rendition of John’s classic “Candle in the Wind”

The party didn’t end there. Dinner was followed by dancing, as more celebrities came: Among those who were on hand included Olympic ice dancing gold medallists Meryl Davis and Charlie White, along with bronze bobsledder Aja Evans, all with their medals, holding up for medals for admirers to see — and take selfies as well.

The evening raised $5.1 million for the foundation, according to organizers.

©2014The Associated Press

University of Manitoba downs UBC for CIS volleyball title – Winnipeg

REGINA – The University of Manitoba Bisons defeated the University of British Columbia Thunderbirds in straight sets to capture their first CIS women’s volleyball championship since 2002 on Sunday.

Set scores were 25-22, 25-22, and 25-20.

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UBC entered the gold-medal final having won the last six national titles, tied with Winnipeg and Alberta for the longest streak in CIS women’s volleyball history. The Thunderbirds were the top seed going into this weekend’s tournament after sweeping Manitoba in straight sets in last week’s Canada West final.

With the win, the Bisons claimed their seventh overall CIS volleyball title, moving into a tie for second place all-time with Winnipeg and Alberta, and three behind UBC.

Manitoba’s Rachel Cockrell was named the championship MVP after registering a match-high 18 kills on 34 attempts in the final with just one error for a .500 hitting percentage. Cockrell was also in on five blocks for the Bisons.

Taylor Pischke finished with six kills and six digs for the new champs, Brittany Habing recorded a match-high 28 assists to go along with five blocks, and Emily Erickson and Jordana Milne posted six blocks apiece.

UBC was led by CIS player of the year Lisa Barclay, who had 13 kills and nine digs in a losing cause. Abbey Keeping also had double-digit kills with 10, while Kirsty Setterlund chipped in with 27 assists and four digs.

Earlier, Laval earned its first CIS medal since 2011, defeating Dalhousie in four sets (23-25, 25-22, 25-23, 25-15) for bronze.

Laval’s Alyssa Fields-Bouchard had a match-high .429 hitting percentage with 13 kills and just one error on 28 total attacks. Eve Thibault led Laval in both kills (18) and digs (20) while hitting .340 for the match.

Esther Gilbert had 15 kills, and Sophie Dallaire tied Fields-Bouchard for the team lead with five blocks. She also had 18 of Laval’s 99 digs.

Dalhousie’s Maggie Li had 17 kills and hit .341 for the Tigers, while Desiree Nouwen led all players with 19 kills. Katherine Ryan totalled 28 digs and Marisa Mota added another 21.

©2014The Canadian Press

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