News

OTTAWA - The recent infiltration of National Research Council of Canada computers by Chinese hackers comes as the agency is working on an advanced computer encryption system that is supposed to prevent such attacks.

The cyber assault has been met with sharp criticism of the Chinese government by Ottawa — even as Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird is in China laying a path for a visit there this fall by Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

VANCOUVER - An explosion and fire that killed two workers and injured 22 others at a northern British Columbia sawmill in 2012 was "preventable," WorkSafeBC ruled Tuesday, ordering the company that owns the mill to pay more than $724,000 in penalties and levies.

The April 23, 2012 blaze at Prince George's Lakeland Mills Ltd. claimed the lives of 43-year-old Alan Little and 46-year-old Glen Roche and followed a similar deadly explosion only months earlier at the Babine Forest Products sawmill in Burns Lake, B.C.

REGINA - People will soon be able to look up the salaries for First Nations chiefs online.

Tuesday was the deadline for First Nations to submit their financial statements to the federal government.

The salaries of chiefs and councillors will be posted on the federal government website over the next few weeks.

The change comes after Ottawa enacted new legislation that allows the government to post the financials publicly.

The Canadian Taxpayers Federation has been pushing for the salaries to be made public since 2009.

EDMONTON - Former Alberta premier Alison Redford is denying any personal wrongdoing associated with findings by the auditor general that passenger lists on government aircraft were altered so she could fly alone.

Redford issued the denial via Twitter on Tuesday, noting she has not been able to read the auditor general's draft report because it has not been provided to her.

"But I have cooperated fully with the auditor general in the preparation of his report and will continue to do so," she said.

BEIJING - A mob armed with knives and axes rampaged through part of China's volatile northwestern region of Xinjiang and police responded with gunfire, leaving dozens of people dead in the latest violence blamed Islamic militants, state media reported Tuesday.

Many other people were injured in the violence Monday in Shache county near the city of Kashgar, the official Xinhua News Agency said.

However, that official account was disputed by a U.S.-based organization representing the Uighur ethnic group, many of whom live in Xinjiang.

BEIJING - China's ruling Communist Party announced an investigation into a feared ex-security chief, demonstrating President Xi Jinping's firm grip on power and breaking a longstanding taboo against publicly targeting the country's topmost leaders.

If he goes to trial, Zhou Yongkang would be the highest-level official to be prosecuted since the 1981 treason trial of Mao Zedong's wife and other members of the "Gang of Four," who mercilessly persecuted political opponents during the chaotic 1966-76 Cultural Revolution.

Retired lieutenant-general Charles Bouchard, former commander of the NATO-led mission in Libya, told CBC News he had hoped more would have been done to support the Libyan people in their transi

ATLANTA - The last surviving member of the crew that dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima, hastening the end of World War II and forcing the world into the atomic age, has died in the southern state of Georgia.

Theodore VanKirk, also known as "Dutch," died Monday of natural causes at the retirement home where he lived in Stone Mountain, Georgia, his son Tom VanKirk said. He was 93.

CHICAGO - The NCAA agreed on Tuesday to help athletes with head injuries in a proposed settlement of a class-action lawsuit that college sports' governing body touted as a major step forward but that critics say doesn't go nearly far enough.

The deal, filed in U.S. District Court in Chicago, calls for the NCAA to toughen return-to-play rules for players who receive head blows and create a $70 million fund to pay for thousands of current and former athletes to undergo testing to determine whether they suffered brain trauma while playing football and other contact sports.

VICTORIA - A humanitarian group says a British Columbia doctor who recently returned from a trip to West Africa to fight a deadly Ebola outbreak is not under any kind of quarantine, contrary to initial reports.

Samaritan's Purse had told CTV News that Dr. Azaria Marthyman, who returned to Victoria on Saturday after spending several weeks in Liberia, had voluntarily placed himself under quarantine at home as a precaution.

Sasktel says it's time to start memorizing all 10 digits
By Kelly Malone paNOW Staff

People across Saskatchewan will not just be dialing 10 digits, they will have to remember them too.

The province's growth means more people have to use the new 639 area code, according to Tara Tibeau, Sasktel manager of external communications.

"As the province continues to grow and grow... even just people just moving from having one land line to having... multiple devices too, we find that is causing the growth on the new numbers to rise," she said on the Brent Loucks Show Tuesday morning.

AUSTIN, Texas - University of Texas System regents on Tuesday selected one of the top U.S. military special operations leaders as the lone finalist for the job of chancellor to oversee 15 campuses.

Navy Adm. William McRaven, head of U.S. Special Operations Command in Tampa, Florida, has been credited with spearheading the operation that led to the death of Osama bin Laden in a raid on his compound in Pakistan in 2011.

FULL SCHEDULE/PHOTOS: PA’s Exhibition rides in full flight
paNOW Staff

Tuesday was the first day of Prince Albert’s 131st annual Exhibition, and there was no shortage of excited families ready to take it all in.

Here is a full schedule of the daily events for people to enjoy:

PHOTOS: Youths charged after northern Sask arena trashed
paNOW Staff

Six young people are now being charged with break and enter and mischief after the Montreal Lake Hockey Arena suffered extensive damage.

Waskesiu and Montreal Lake RCMP were called to the building Monday where they would find several broken windows in the lobby.

SURREY, B.C. - It was just before 1 a.m. during an overnight cycling race when loud explosions disrupted the solace of a rider along Highway 1 in British Columbia.

At first, Craig Premack, 59, thought he was hearing firecrackers near Spences Bridge while he was taking part in a 600-kilometre, two-day cycling event called the Cache Creek 600.

"But then my right forearm just blew up," Premack said at a police news conference Tuesday. "Seconds later I could feel the warmth of the blood rolling down my leg. I quickly realized that I had been shot and pedalled faster to escape."

TORONTO - Aboriginal people in Ontario are prepared to lay down their lives to protect their traditional lands from any unwanted development, a group of First Nations chiefs said Tuesday.

Five aboriginal chiefs served notice on the Ontario and federal governments, developers and the public that they'll assert their treaty rights over their traditional territory and ancestral lands.

ST. PAUL, Minn. - Former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura won $1.8 million Tuesday in his two-year fight to prove he was defamed by a military sniper and bestselling author who claimed to have punched out Ventura at a bar for bad-mouthing the Navy SEALs.

MONTREAL - The CEO of the international organization that represents the world's air carriers has targeted military and intelligence agencies, saying they have a moral duty to ensure that innocent people are not put in harm's way.

"All these agencies of government, including intelligence or military defence agencies, have as their overriding responsibility the safety and lives of innocent people," Tony Tyler of the International Air Transport Association said Tuesday.

OTTAWA - Canadians are becoming increasingly pessimistic about the economy and the availability of jobs — except those in the booming West — a new survey suggests.

The Conference Board's latest consumer confidence survey for July shows that optimism is waning or remains at very low levels in most regions of the country, except in the prairies and British Columbia.

Nationally, the Ottawa-based think-tank's confidence index slid one point to 85.9 in July, the third consecutive monthly dip.

GAZA, Palestinian Territories - Israel unleashed its heaviest air and artillery assault of the Gaza war on Tuesday, destroying key symbols of Hamas control, shutting down the territory's only power plant and leaving at least 128 Palestinians dead on the bloodiest day of the 22-day conflict.

MONTREAL - Moody's Investors Service has decided to maintain Quebec's Aa2 credit rating, saying the province has a stable outlook.

The U.S. agency says the rating reflects Quebec's ability to minimize the impact of recent and ongoing deficits, which have accumulated since 2008, on the province's large debt burden.

Moody's noted that the Liberal government elected in April showed it is serious about achieving its budget targets by moving quickly to implement a series of measures, including a 20 per cent reduction in business tax credits.

CHICAGO - A key feature of a proposed settlement of a head-injury lawsuit against the NCAA is the creation of a $70 million fund to pay for medical evaluations of current and former college players in several sports. The provision raises some sticky medical questions. Here are some of them:

WHAT WILL THE EVALUATIONS BE LOOKING FOR?

WASHINGTON - The body of a young stowaway was found inside a compartment near the wheel well of an Air Force cargo jet that had landed in Germany, U.S. military officials said Tuesday, triggering questions about the security of an aircraft that had made several stops in Africa.

SARASOTA, Fla. - A 9-year-old U.S. girl who was struck by a plane that crash-landed on a beach while she walked with her father has died from her injuries, law enforcement officials said Tuesday.

Oceana Irizarry's father also was killed Sunday. The two were walking along a Florida beach when the 1972 Piper Cherokee plane made an emergency landing after reporting problems.

The Canadian military is looking for an air defence system to protect its VIP aircraft, including the one used by Prime Minister Stephen Harper, from surface-to-air missiles.