Teens are sleep deprived, suffering due to early school start times: study

Pushing first class to later in the morning could do wonders for chronically sleep deprived teens, according to a new study.

Teenagers often get a bad rap: they’re seen as “tired, irritable and uncooperative” because they choose to stay up too late, and lazy for not wanting to get up early, the study states. But teens don’t run on the same inner clocks as everyone else, and experience “a major biological shift in their sleep patterns” during puberty.

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The findings were published in the Learning, Media and Technology journal and recently presented at the British Science Festival.

Researchers from Harvard and Oxford studied the difference between conventional 9 to 5 schedules, referred to as “social time”, as opposed to the “biological time” the body naturally follows. They found there is no other time than during the teenage years that these two schedules differ more greatly. Adolescents’ biological time dictates a need for nine hours of sleep, and later sleep and wake times.

READ MORE: Tips for parents: making sure your children get enough sleep

When a teen’s alarm goes off at 7:00 a.m., it’s the equivalent of a 4:30 a.m. alarm for the average person in their 50s.

The result of an early wake up call goes beyond sleepy teens; chronic sleep deprivation can produce negative effects, both mental and physical, on the body.

“This level of sleep loss causes impairment to physiological, metabolic and psychological health in adolescents while they are undergoing other major physical and neurological changes,” the study states.

“Failure to adjust education timetables to this biological change leads to systematic, chronic and unrecoverable sleep loss.”

The study is not unique in its findings: in August the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that most middle and high schools in the United States were starting their days too early.

“Getting enough sleep is important for students’ health, safety, and academic performance,” said lead author Dr. Anne Wheaton. “Early school start times, however, are preventing many adolescents from getting the sleep they need.”

In 2014 the American Academy of Pediatrics called a lack of sleep among adolescents “an important public health issue that significantly affects the health and safety, as well as the academic success, of our nation’s middle and high school students.”

READ MORE: Doctors say schools should start later so kids can sleep longer

All three studies urged the same conclusion: let the teens sleep.

The most recent study states that at the age of 16, the biological wake up time is around 8:00 a.m., and school should begin between 10:00 a.m. or 10:30 a.m. At 18 the biological wake up time is closer to 9:00 a.m., and a class time of 11:00 a.m. or 11:30 a.m. would be most beneficial.

The researchers concluded that syncing up educational start times to teens’ body clocks would be a “a relatively simple step” to boost students’ performance and reduce health risks without having to alter teaching methods or at any great expense.

“Good policies should be based on good evidence, and the data show that children are currently placed at an enormous disadvantage by being forced to keep to inappropriate education times,” the study states.


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Ontario mother outraged after bus driver leaves 6-year-old daughter at park alone

WATCH ABOVE: Just two days into the new school year, a six-year-old girl was dropped off by a school bus at a park by herself — rather than being walked over to after-school care. As Caryn Lieberman reports, the situation could have escalated into something much worse.

TORONTO — A Bradford, Ont. mother is outraged after her six-year-old daughter was mistakenly dropped off at a park about 20 minutes from their home, rather than sent to after-school care.

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Juliette, who prefers not to use her last name, told Global News she was mortified to learn that her daughter was put on a school bus rather than walked over to the YMCA daycare, which is attached to the W. H. Day Elementary School.

“I talked to her teacher in the morning and let her know that she would be going to the YMCA care and she went though her folder and said yeah, she did have a list,” Juliette said.

“She just basically had to walk down the hall.”

Melanie Slade-Morrison, a spokeswoman for the Simcoe County School Board, said the school board was “apologetic to the family,” adding that this was an “isolated incident.”

Slade-Morrison insisted the Board isn’t looking to assign blame, but is looking at where there may have been breakdowns in communication.

Juliette said that her daughter Sarena should have been picked up at the bus stop where she was dropped off Tuesday.

When Sarena got off the bus, no one was there to pick her up as her parents assumed she was in her after-school program.

The bus stop is next to a park, so Sarena played there for 45 minutes by herself.

“I’m mortified, I’m sick to my stomach,” said Juliette.

“She went into the park and played for about 45 minutes by herself.”

That’s when a passerby noticed her and asked if she could help.  Juliette had written the name of the school on Sarena’s backpack so the woman called the school, which then alerted her parents as to where she was. Eventually Sarena’s aunt rushed to the park to pick her up.

Juliette, who works as a Doula and registered massage therapist and was in a Toronto hospital helping to deliver a baby, said she asked Sarena if she considered walking home from the park but the little girl said she wouldn’t leave the area because her mom taught her never to cross the street alone.


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Big grocery chains about to put the squeeze on shoppers: report

Consumers may be about to feel the full weight of the country’s two dominant grocery chains, both of whom have added considerable heft and could be planning to start throwing it around, according to experts.

With job cutsand store closureslargely behind them, Loblaw Co. Ltd. and Empire Co. Ltd. (owner of Sobeys and Safeway) are now turning their combined attention toward the end-game of their blockbuster acquisitions of Shoppers Drug Mart and Safeway, respectively, last year: netting a bigger slice of cash from shoppers, experts say.

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“The big consolidations of 2014 should finally begin to bear fruit,” CIBC World Markets retail stock analysts said in a recent research report.

The fruit will come in the form of pricing and promotional strategies that mean lesshead-to-head competition between chains, and more sales squeezed from customers, the analysts said.

“Already we have seen some coordination of advertising programs to avoid direct item conflicts,” the CIBC report said. “But more importantly, the reduction in the number of competitors in both drug and food makes price checking and price signalling that much easier,” the analysts said.

“It fosters a much calmer, more coordinated market.”

Loblaw announced in July it was closing 52 unprofitable stores over the next year to help boost its bottom line. That announcement followed a similar one from Empire in mid-2014 that it was closing about 50 locations following its $5.8-billion purchase of Safeway Canada.

The pair of mega-deals, which were approved by regulators after Loblaw and Empire agreed to sell offsome stores, mean about half of Canadian supermarket sales are controlled by the two retailers, CIBC estimated.

MORE: Are discount grocery stores becoming a myth?

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Scrutiny urged

Loblaw and Empire each argued that their added scale would benefit shoppers by allowing the retailersto buy more wholesale volumes. The savings they got from the bulk purchases would give them the flexibility to pass the discounts onto customers, they said.

But consumer groups and some academics warned when the deals were first announced that shoppers could suffer from higher prices.

“We view this as a loss of competition,” Bruce Cran, president of the Consumers’ Association of Canada, said of the deals.

MORE: Scrutiny urged over supermarket mega-mergers

In a paper published on the Loblaw-Shoppers transaction, Douglas West, an economist and chair of the Department of Economics at the University of Alberta, called for an extensive analysis of prices on overlapping product lines.

“You have all these local markets across the country and the competitive intensity will vary by market,” West said at the time.

“I live in a little suburb of Vancouver, and we’ve got a Safeway and a Sobeys,” the CAC’s Cran said.

The loonie’s sharp decline as well as skyrocketing meat prices have already accelerated growth in supermarket prices. Food inflation remained relatively stable for several years following the recession, but began rising sharply at the beginning of 2014, Statistics Canadadata show.

MORE: Shoppers spending more on food thanks to loonie’s drop

Click here to view data »

Loblaw did not respond to requests for comment.On a conference call Thursday, Empire executives said hiccups with theirintegration efforts in the latest quarter had createddelays in introducing the grocer’s new pricing strategies, but the holdupsweren’t significant.

Next year

CIBC’s analysts said Loblaw and Empire still have work to do, but their respective pricing strategies should be fully phased in by next year. “By 2016, the most important element – pricing strategy – should be determined and coordinated,” the report from Aug. 12 said.

Empire is clearly showing it’s still a work in progress. The company said Wednesday earnings fell 14 per cent compared to the same period last year, citing costs associated with the integration of Safeway.

“From a pricing and promotional point of view it’s been more business as usual, with a few experiments here and there,” Marc Poulin, Sobeys CEO said on the call.“We’ve always said we want to make the transition to the new systems and processes first and foremost before we look at the way we market.”

MORE: Facing leaner times, Alberta grocery shoppers ‘trade down’

Belt-tightening among shoppers in Western Canada, where Safeways outnumber Sobeys, could also keep a lid on price growth, experts say.

Supermarket prices in regionssideswiped by the oil downturn will be difficult to raise and could actually tick lower, Kenric Tyghe, a retail stock expert at financial services firm Raymond James, said. “Necessitated by a more price sensitive Western Canadian consumer.”

Still, grocery shoppers elsewhere won’t likely seeanything close to lower food prices, the CIBC research note said. Next year “should be the culmination of consolidation: a distinctly less competitive marketplace.”

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Vancouver Whitecaps, B.C. Lions compete for fans, but who is winning?

WATCH: The B.C. Lions and the Vancouver Whitecaps don’t compete in the same sport, but they do compete for fans. Barry Deley looks at who is winning.

The Vancouver Whitecaps and B.C. Lions share a stadium and attract roughly the same number of fans to their home games, but the two teams appear to be heading in opposite directions.

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The Whitecaps, who currently sit atop MLS standings after a 2-0 win over the Colorado Rapids on Wednesday, have developed a young, diverse fan base that brings an undeniable buzz and energy to B.C. Place.

“You only need to look out at the crowd or watch the crowd coming in on a game day and it’s families, it’s ethnic groups, hipsters–I think that’s what they call them–so from that perspective we feel like we’ve got a fan base that can grow with us,” said Whitecaps President Bob Lenarduzzi.

The Lions are struggling to attract a younger, more diverse demographic and their 4-5 record isn’t helping matters. The Leos have reduced seating capacity, but still have 6,000 to 7,000 empty seats per game.

“We have an older demographic, but one that continues to trend in the right way with younger people, but I’d say not to the same ratio as the aging demographic is,” said Lions President and CEO Dennis Skulsky.

Youth sports may be a factor. Around 130,000 kids play soccer in B.C. compared to just a few thousand who play football. The Whitecaps work with BC Soccer and the Canadian Soccer Association to get young players in the stands.

“Every game day we have a youth soccer group in and that number can be anywhere from 1,000 up to 2,500,” said Lenarduzzi.

Geography may also be an issue. Many Lions fans are based in the Fraser Valley, which translates into a long drive into downtown Vancouver to watch a losing team.

Skulsky admits the team has to get back to its winning ways if it wants to attract fans of all ages.

“The best marketing is winning, the second best marketing is winning. The third best marketing in this marketplace is playing an exciting brand of football. You need that to attract people and to keep them here,” said Skulsky.

-With files from Barry Deley


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Woman killed in brazen shooting along 16 Avenue NW identified

CALGARY – Police are investigating a fatal shooting that happened in front of North Hill Centre on Wednesday, and looking for a man who may have been injured in the attack.

The brazen attack involved “multiple shots” and took place in the intersection of 16 Avenue N.W. and 19 St N.W at around 11:15 p.m.

When emergency crews arrived, they found a woman in her mid-20s suffering from serious injuries who was sitting in the driver’s seat of a white sedan. Paramedics rushed her to hospital in critical, life-threatening condition where she later died. Calgary police have identified the victim as 23-year-old Kallen Carothers.

Global News has learned Carothers worked at a Calgary Moxie’s Grill & Bar.

“It’s just a tragic,” said Moxie’s vice president Jim Weidinger. “She was super friendly and social, and just got along well with everyone. She really will be missed.”

Sources have identified the victim in a brazen Calgary shooting Sept. 9, 2015 as Kallen Carothers.

Obtained by Global News

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Witnesses reported hearing several shots fired and seeing a man, who had been in the vehicle’s passenger seat, leave the scene. Investigators believe that man may have been injured in the shooting.

“We want to find this gentleman who may have been injured,” said Calgary Police Duty Inspector Paul Wyatt at an afternoon news conference.

Wyatt described the man as black, believed to be in his 20s between five foot ten and six feet tall with a thin build. Wyatt said the man was wearing white pants at the time.

Investigators have been canvassing nearby businesses to find out if anyone captured the shooting on CCTV video, or if any of the cameras in the area caught the possible shooter or the passenger on tape.

WATCH: A fatal shooting on one of Calgary’s busiest roadways has left one woman dead and homicide investigators searching for suspects. Global’s Jenna Freeman reports.

Officers don’t believe the incident was random, and think it was a targeted attack. Wyatt said a dark sedan was seen leaving the area. Police said there were no persons of interest or suspects as of 1 p.m.

Police later expanded the original crime scene to include a nearby parking lot, where blood was found.

“It’s safe to say CPS is concerned about the prevalence of gun attacks that have been happening in the community,” said Wyatt. “We’re acutely aware of the rise in shootings recently and we’re looking into it.”

The Calgary Police Service Homicide Unit is leading the investigation.

Anyone with information is asked to call police or contact Crime Stoppers.

GALLERY: Brazen shooting on 16 Avenue N.W.

Calgary police investigate a brazen shooting along 16 Avenue N.W. on Wednesday, September 9, 2015.

Global News

Calgary police investigate a brazen shooting along 16 Avenue N.W. on Wednesday, September 9, 2015.

Global News

Calgary police investigate a brazen shooting along 16 Avenue N.W. on Wednesday, September 9, 2015.

Nathan Luit / Global News

With files from Jenna Freeman and Nancy Hixt


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Rivero, Techera score in the second half to lead Whitecaps over Rapids 2-0

VANCOUVER _ Four minutes was all it took for the Vancouver Whitecaps to turn a frustrating night into a comfortable victory.

Octavio Rivero and Cristian Techera scored in the second half Wednesday as Vancouver overcame a sluggish performance to defeat the Colorado Rapids 2-0.

What had been a dull affair finally got an injection of excitement in the 73rd minute when Rivero headed home his 10th goal of the season off a lovely ball over the top from Techera before the pint-sized midfielder buried his sixth of the campaign in the 77th to seal it.

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“You can play all the pretty football you want _ all the exciting stuff _ the quick transitions, get bums off seats and you get three points,” said Whitecaps head coach Carl Robinson. “(Or) you can play with not much quality and have a moment of magic and get three points. So we’ll take the three points.”

The win moves the Whitecaps (15-10-3) into top spot in Major League Soccer with 48 points, two ahead of the Los Angeles Galaxy.

Colorado (8-10-9), which came in having won three straight, is fighting for its playoff life in the Western Conference and already had two victories over Vancouver in Commerce City, Colo., earlier this season.

“It was always going to be a banana skin for us, but the guys showed great character to keep going,” said Robinson. “When you’ve got quality in your team, like we have, you can change a game in a moment and that’s certainly what happened.”

Both from Uruguay, Rivero and Techera have been instrumental in the Whitecaps’ attack as they continue to churn towards their first home playoff date since joining MLS with six league matches left in the regular season.

“Me and Octavio, we get along pretty well,” Techera said through a Spanish interpreter. “It’s nice we have that same understanding (on the pitch).”

Prior to the breakthrough in the second half, it looked like the Rapids might at least get a point out of the game. Both teams were coming off 10-day breaks and neither generated much going forward, with Vancouver noticeably lacking a sense of urgency early on and Colorado content to sit back.

“From the first five minutes they took about 10 seconds every time to take a throw in,” said Robinson. “You do that away from home.”

WATCH: Whitecaps vs B.C. Lions

The Whitecaps were without midfielder Matias Laba and defender Kendall Waston after both were sent off in Vancouver’s 2-0 road loss to the Houston Dynamo on Aug. 29, while striker Darren Mattocks (Jamaica), Russell Teibert (Canada) and Sam Adekugbe (Canada) were all away on international duty.

Pa-Modou Kah returned to the lineup after suffering a facial fracture last month, partnering with rookie Tim Parker in the centre of defence, while captain Pedro Morales dropped deeper in the Whitecaps’ five-man midfield to take up Laba’s spot.

Morales was subbed off with a tight right hamstring at halftime – Robinson didn’t sound overly concerned afterwards – with Kianz Froese taking his place.

The Whitecaps came out with more intent after the break, with Rivero rising to meet a Jordan Harvey cross in the 55th minute before Kekuta Manneh sent another shot just wide moments later.

The Rapids’ only real opportunity came two minutes before Rivero gave the Whitecaps the lead when substitute Kevin Doyle’s header was stopped and held on the line by Vancouver goalkeeper David Ousted.

“We didn’t click attacking-wise (until the goals), but we certainly defended very well. Maybe a year or two ago we might have lost that game 1-0,” said Robinson. “When you don’t play well and
you can win it’s always a good sign.”

Notes: The Whitecaps’ next game is a home date against Honduran side CD Olympia in CONCACAF Champions League play next Wednesday…. The Rapids hosts D.C. United in MLS on Saturday.

©2015Canadian Press

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Helicopters pluck residents to safety as rains lash Japan

WATCH ABOVE: An entire city in Japan has been flooded by a tropical storm on Thursday, washing away homes and forcing residents to the top of their houses. Jeff Semple has the story.

JOSO, Japan – Raging floodwaters broke through a berm Thursday and swamped a city near Tokyo, washing away houses, forcing dozens of people to rooftops to await helicopter rescues and leaving one man clinging for his life to a utility pole.

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There were no immediate reports of casualties, but rescue officials said they were overwhelmed by pleas for help. More than 30,000 people fled their homes, and hundreds more were stranded by the water.

As heavy rain pummeled Japan for a second straight day, the Kinugawa River broke through a flood berm at 12:50 p.m., sending water gushing into the eastern half of Joso, a city of 60,000 people about 50 kilometres (30 miles) northeast of Tokyo.

Aerial footage showed a wide swath of cityscape underwater, more than one story deep in some places. The rains came on the heels of Tropical Storm Etau, which caused flooding and landslides elsewhere Wednesday as it crossed central Japan.

Raw Video: Japanese town virtually submerged by flood waters

Japanese broadcasters showed live aerial footage of rescuers being lowered from helicopters and clambering onto second-floor balconies to reach stranded residents.

In one dramatic scene, a rescuer descended four times from a military helicopter over 20 minutes to lift up four people one by one as a deluge of water swept around their home.

People inside houses wait to be rescued as the houses are submerged in water flooded from a river in Joso, Ibaraki prefecture, northeast of Tokyo Thursday, Sept. 10, 2015.

Kyodo News via AP

Nearby, a man clung to a utility pole as the waters rose. He was taken up by a rescue worker who had to be first lowered into the rushing water so he could make his way over to the man.

Others waved cloths from their decks or roofs to get attention as torrents of water washed away cars and knocked over buildings. Photos from Japan’s Kyodo News service showed people waiting for help on top of cars and a 7-Eleven delivery truck, surrounded by water that nearly submerged the cars.

WATCH: Japan reels from flooding after typhoon.  CBS’ Seth Doane reports.

By evening, muddy water was still rising on a street heading to Joso City Hall, and police were blocking traffic in that direction.

“Looks like this place is going to be flooded soon,” said Shogo Kobayashi, a 29-year-old resident of a nearby town who came to check on friends in Joso. “I’m getting scared.”

Akira Motokawa, a city evacuation official, told national broadcaster NHK that rescuers have been unable to keep up with the volume of calls for help.

As of 7 p.m., authorities had rescued 70 of the 176 people who had requested help. Another 100 people were reported trapped on the second floor of a flooded supermarket, and 80 more in a nursing home.

More than 31,000 people in the affected 37 square-kilometre (14 square-mile) area shelter at schools, community centres and other safer areas. Defence troops were delivering food, blankets and water to about 780 people in several communities who were stranded but not seeking rescue.

A person inside a house waves to a helicopter as the house is submerged in water flooded from a river in Joso, Ibaraki prefecture, northeast of Tokyo Thursday, Sept. 10, 2015.

Kyodo News via AP

Dozens of residents had evacuated to City Hall, carrying small bags of personal items. They rested in conference rooms, and the waiting area on the first floor opened for them to stay overnight.

Soldiers in camouflage uniforms and helmets rushed around, while wet uniforms and raingear hung from chairs to dry.

Tokyo was drenched with rain, but the hardest-hit area was to the north in Ibaraki and Tochigi prefectures. One woman was missing hours after a landslide hit houses at the foot of a steep, wooded incline. Bullet train service was partially suspended.

The Fire and Disaster and Management Agency said 15 people were injured by Etau, including two elderly women who were seriously hurt when strong winds knocked them over.

Moritsugu reported from Tokyo.


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Blame game being played out inside lumbering Conservative campaign

WATCH ABOVE: Prime Minister Stephen Harper is feeling the pressure to do more for refugees trying to flee Syria. Jacques Bourbeau reports. 

WELLAND, Ont. – The blame game has begun in earnest among some senior Conservatives, as interpersonal rivalries bubble away below the surface and longtime stalwarts worry about the state of the campaign.

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Stephen Harper himself finds himself an even more solitary figure this week, with his right-hand man and friend Ray Novak dispatched to work in the party’s war room in Ottawa rather than accompany the leader. Campaign manager Jenni Byrne is also back in the capital this week.

Where lively personalities such as Sen. Mike Duffy and the late finance minister Jim Flaherty used to pump up events during the 2011 election, the energy of the campaign now often rests almost solely on Harper’s shoulders.

READ MORE: Voters think Mulcair, Trudeau are better choices to deal with shaky economy: Ipsos poll

On Wednesday, for example, Foreign Affairs Minister Rob Nicholson appeared only for introductory and closing comments at an event, despite the Syrian refugee crisis continuing to dominate headlines.

Indeed, Harper should be showcasing the experience and expertise his cabinet has gained, suggested one longtime Conservative activist.

“In a very long campaign like this you can afford to take ministers along with you. He has a lot of advantages as the incumbent.”

Disadvantages, too – most notably the inertia and sluggishness that can naturally afflict a party that has spent nearly a decade in power.

Several senior Conservative insiders – speaking to on the condition of anonymity for fear of party reprisals – had different opinions and gripes about what is ailing the campaign.

READ MORE: Haven’t paid attention to the election campaign? Here’s what you missed

They all agreed it clearly “wasn’t firing on all cylinders,” as one person put it.

One source said cabinet ministers are being encouraged by party stalwarts to speak to Harper about how the campaign can be helped.

Regional organizers and ministers are not being consulted regularly nor drawn into the loop on issues as they arise in the campaign, the source said. The assessment is one of a general lack of nimbleness, which means Harper’s rivals have been able to frame parts of the electoral debate.

“It’s down to the bunker,” said another, noting Harper has made the circle of advisers around him even tighter than previous elections.

One Conservative went so far as to call it “open mutiny,” saying many Tories are simply not pitching in to help with the campaign out of disenchantment.

READ MORE: Here’s what the leaders have promised in exchange for your vote

Campaign manager Jenni Byrne is a polarizing figure, with some defending her record as a competent strategist and organizer. Others say her hyper-partisan instincts have resulted in Harper being poorly advised on the Syrian refugee crisis in particular.

“(Byrne) speaks to the worst instincts in Harper,” said another Conservative.

While the core “base” of the Conservative party might not be in favour of bringing in more refugees, the issue is one that has Canadians talking and the premiers and mayors across the country springing to action.

Harper repeats his campaign promise to bring in another 10,000 Syrian refugees, but the government’s current 10,000 promise has brought in only 1,074 people to date. He will not comment on how the government is speeding up the process.

At a campaign Q&A event with the Ontario Chamber of Commerce in Welland, Ont., supporters heckled reporters as they asked a series of questions about the crisis spreading across Europe.

Byrne’s decision to travel on and off with Harper on the road rather than manage the campaign full time from headquarters in Ottawa is also being raised repeatedly as a bad idea – it’s hard to see the big picture from inside the election-bus bubble.

Her brittle relationship with campaign chairman Guy Giorno is another factor in the bellyaching behind the scenes. Some Conservatives are loyal to Giorno, while others say Byrne is unfairly bearing the brunt of the blame.

“If Ray (Novak) is back in the war room and Harper needs someone with him he can trust, Jenni (Byrne) would fill that role,” said an Ottawa insider.

Meanwhile, there are dark stories travelling through the ranks about poor polling numbers in places like Edmonton, where several seats could be in jeopardy.

When asked by a reporter Wednesday how he was going to give his campaign a boost, Harper repeated his main message.

“For our government, we’re going to continue a plan that created jobs, a plan based on a balanced budget and lower taxes, and I’m convinced that will be the choice of voters,” Harper said.


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Liberals rethinking leaders debate over ticket costs, lack of French

WATCH ABOVE: Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau was in Edmonton Wednesday night, looking to make gains. Shallima Maharaj was there.

EDMONTON — The federal Liberals are threatening to pull out of a leaders debate on foreign policy later this month over concerns that it won’t be bilingual as promised.

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The debate on foreign policy comes as the campaign has focused on the Syrian refugee issue in Europe, a matter Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau talked about during an event in Toronto Wednesday morning, and then again hours later in a campaign rally speech to supporters in Edmonton.

In a letter sent to the organizers of the Munk Debate on Wednesday, the co-chairs of Trudeau’s campaign team said they were reviewing whether to take part in the debate on Sept. 28.

The letter says that organizers promised the debate would be bilingual as a condition of Liberal involvement.

When Liberal officials looked over the format for the debate, they felt there wasn’t enough time allocated to debate issues in French. One campaign official said it looked like 15 to 20 per cent of the debate would be in French and the debate moderator was a uniligual anglophone.

“We agreed in principle, under the presumption that this was a bilingual debate; however, this is clearly not a bilingual debate,” the letter says.

Liberal officials also say they were concerned with the $95 per ticket price tag to get into the debate audience, as well as preferential treatment for Munk members, leading to what the letter described as an “exclusive list of Canadians” who would be able to attend.

“We cannot accept that,” reads the letter, signed by campaign co-chairs Katie Telford and Dan Gagnier.

“The days of political leaders auditioning in front of the country’s wealthiest elite are behind us. Debates should be open to all Canadians, regardless of where they live or with whom they associate.”

Telford and Gagnier wrote that Trudeau would only take part in the debate if organizers met their concerns “in a material way.”


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Georgia mother’s terrifying 911 call: ‘My children are trying to kill me’

WATCH ABOVE: Two brothers from Snellville, Georgia were arrested on Saturday after allegedly trying to drug and kill their parents for insurance money. Blayne Alexander reports.

Two Snellville, Georgia brothers have been arrested after allegedly trying to kill their parents.

In a shocking 911 call to police on Saturday, Yvonne Ervin is heard speaking to an operator about her two sons attempt to drug her and her husband.

“They’re trying to strangle us and shoot us,” Ervin said while hiding in an upstairs bedroom.

“They beat me up, they beat him up,” she also said.

Her husband was in the garage trying to honk the car’s horn to get the attention of neighbours.

“And they put Xanax in our food,” Ervin added.

Xanax is a drug mostly used to treat anxiety and panic disorders. Side effects include dizziness and drowsiness, which Ervin mentions in the phone call.

“We didn’t understand why we were so sleepy, but that’s why,” she said about her and her husband’s condition.

Ervin’s children were arrested and identified as Cameron Ervin, 17, and Christopher Ervin, 22. Neighbours say the brothers are respectful individuals.

Police said it looked like the two men had a plan to try and cover up the attempted murder due to the fact officers smelled a strong natural gas odor when they arrived on scene.

“Based on the evidence that has been gathered thus far, it is apparent that the brothers launched a plot to kill both of their parents,” police said in a press release.

The mother said she believes her sons were after the family’s insurance money.

Ervin has since been released from hospital while her husband remains in stable condition.

Both brothers are scheduled for a preliminary court hearing on Friday.

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Winnipeg Transit delays could last until December

WINNIPEG — The city has apologized for the short notice transit riders were given in a massive reduction in bus services that could now last several months.

At a press conference Thursday officials announced a back log of broken buses had left it with no choice but to reduce the number of available buses on certain routes until December.

The City first broke the news to the public in a tweet around 7 pm Wednesday night.

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“I would like to apologize to Winnipeg Transit users and customers for the short notice of these service changes,” CAO Doug McNeil said.  “We could have managed the impact to citizens…much better.”

Amanda Klassen says delays earlier this week left her behind schedule by more than two hours.

“Bus fees keep going up every year, and they keep cutting things on us,” the frustrated rider said.

Transit says a key issue is the city has one of the lowest number of available spare buses out of any transit service in the country.  But that they also went into this week “optimistic” they could handle it’s fall schedule.  On Tuesday, 15 buses broke down, some due to an emissions systems issue, and Transit says that’s when it became clear they could not handle the load.

“We decided instead of proceeding with unplanned service interruptions, to provide advance notice, as much as we could,” Dave Wardrop, Director of Winnipeg Transit, said.

But the union representing both drivers and mechanics said they’ve been warning this could happen for months, if not years.

“They are high maintenance coaches and we didn’t allow for that extra service requirement,” John Callahan, President of the Amalgamated Transit Union, said.

Routes with frequent or alternative transit service will have some service reduced in an effort to minimize overall disruption to the Transit system. No further solution was offered to solve the problem, beyond the reduction in services.

The city will release their revised fall transit service schedule Friday at 4 a.m. and the revised schedule will remain in effect until December.

Routes most likely to be affected include:

Morning rush hour:

17, 21, 22, 25, 29, 34, 44, 46, 54, 55, 58, 66, 75, 78, 137, 160, 162, 163

Afternoon rush hour:

11, 12, 14, 16, 17, 18, 19, 21, 25, 26, 29, 41, 44, 46, 55, 58, 75, 77, 183


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#Elxn42: Race in Mount-Royal riding heats up

WATCH ABOVE: The battle for the riding of Mount Royal was in full swing Wednesday night.

MONTREAL — Liberal candidate Anthony Housefather opened his campaign headquarters in the Mount-Royal riding Wednesday night.

At the same time, Conservative candidate Robert Libman was handing out food baskets for Rosh Hashanah.

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“The riding has been Liberal for 75 years but everyone feels that we are on the cusp of a historic breakthrough and we can pull this off,” Libman told Global News.

READ MORE: Clash of the titans – two political foes battling it out for coveted federal seat

A few blocks away, Housefather supporters crowded into the Côte-Saint-Luc mayor’s campaign headquarters.

About 200 people came out to show their support for Housefather’s campaign; including EMSB Chair Angela Mancini, NDG Mayor Russell Copeman and representatives from various cultural groups in Montreal.

“The other campaigns in this riding are trying to win one particular group. We are working for the support of every community in Mount-Royal,” Housefather told the cheering crowd.

Polls show the Conservatives aren’t too far behind the Liberals in Mount-Royal with five and a half weeks left in the campaign.


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Australian principal fired for building ‘calm down’ cage for autistic child

An Australian principal had a cage-like structure built in a Canberra school as a “calm down” space for a student with autism. The principal has since been fired and “won’t be going back to a school.”

The details of the cage are outlined in a report released this week after an independent inquiry into the matter.

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The 2m x 2m x 2m structure, which had a self-closing door and a latch, was constructed in March by an independent contractor and dismantled 14 days later. The 10-year-old autistic boy it was built to contain was placed in the structure once by staff during that time.

READ MORE: Ontario couple turn to crowdfunding to help expand school for people with autism

The principal used $5,915 in school funds to have the cage built “without input, consultation or approval” from the school board. It was the principal’s decision to install the cage, which was removed after a complaint was filed.

The report notes that support services are available to schools, including behaviour specialists and counsellors, but the principal did not make a request for such assistance before the “inappropriate” structure was installed.

The name of the school was not released in order to protect the child’s identity.


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