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Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou to appear in Vancouver court for bail hearing

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A top executive of China’s Huawei Technologies Co Ltd who is under arrest in Canada is set to appear in a Vancouver court on Friday for a bail hearing as she awaits possible extradition to the United States.

Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou, 46, who is also the daughter of the company founder, was arrested on Dec. 1 at the request of the United States.

The arrest, revealed by Canadian authorities late on Wednesday, was part of a U.S. investigation into an alleged scheme to use the global banking system to evade U.S. sanctions against Iran, people familiar with the probe told Reuters.

Coverage of Huawei on Globalnews.ca:


The news roiled global stock markets on fears the move could escalate a trade war between the United States and China after a truce was agreed on Saturday between President Donald Trump and Xi Jinping in Argentina.

Trump did not know about the arrest in advance, two U.S. officials said on Thursday, in an apparent attempt to stop the incident from impeding talks to resolve the trade dispute.

Details of the case against Meng, to be heard in the Supreme Court of British Columbia, remain sparse.

READ MORE: Trudeau says government had no involvement in arrest of top Huawei executive

Canada’s Justice Department has declined to provide details of the case and Meng has secured a publication ban, which curbs the media’s ability to report on the evidence or documents presented in court.

The bail hearing could be just a preliminary session to set out a schedule, lawyers said.

The Crown counsel is expected to argue that Meng poses a flight risk and should be kept in a detention facility, legal experts said. The onus will be on Meng’s lawyer to provide evidence that she will not flee, they added.

Huawei, which has confirmed Meng was arrested, said on Wednesday that “the company has been provided very little information regarding the charges and is not aware of any wrongdoing by Ms. Meng.”

A Huawei spokesman declined to comment on Thursday and said that Wednesday’s statement still stands.

Long fight

If granted bail, Meng will likely have to post bail with “a surety of several million dollars,” Vancouver lawyer Gary Botting, who has experience with extradition cases, said. She would also have to give up her passport, he said.

Meng could also be fitted with electronic monitoring equipment, and the court could go so far as to order security to monitor her while she awaits a decision on extradition, lawyers said.

If Meng fights extradition, her case could go on for years, lawyers said, pointing to examples like Lai Changxing, a Chinese businessman who fled to Canada after he was implicated in a bribery case and fought extradition to China for 12 years. If she chooses not to fight, she could be in the United States within weeks, experts said.

“You need massive material and evidence to support detention release,” said Richard Kurland, a Vancouver-based immigration lawyer.

He said Meng would likely be returned to detention if there was no decision on bail.

It is unclear where Meng is being held in Vancouver. Several lawyers have noted that detention facilities in the region are spartan and she would likely be sharing her quarters with other inmates.

Huawei, which employs about 1,000 people in Canada, faces intense scrutiny from many Western nations over its ties to the Chinese government, driven by concerns it could be used by Beijing for spying.

READ MORE: China calls on Canada, U.S. to release Huawei CFO after being arrested in Vancouver






The United States has also been looking since at least 2016 into whether Huawei violated U.S. sanctions against Iran, Reuters reported in April.

More recently, the probe has included the company’s use of HSBC Holdings Plc to make illegal transactions involving Iran, people familiar with the investigation said. HSBC is not under investigation, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Huawei has said it complies with all applicable export control and sanctions laws and other regulations.



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Small Alberta village honours founding families for Black History Month

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Long before the province officially recognized Black History Month, the tiny village of Breton in north-central Alberta had been commemorating and honouring the African American immigrants who helped settle the area.

“It started out as very low-key, very humble beginnings with the local tea here at the museum,” said Breton and District Historical Museum curator and manager, Allan Goddard. “At that time, we still had a number of the first generation family members that were still alive.”

Alberta officially recognized Black History Month for the first time in 2017 but the folks in Breton have been celebrating their founding families annually since the mid-90s — around the same time the federal government began recognizing it.


READ MORE:
John Ware legacy carries on as Calgary celebrates Black History Month

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Every February the museum holds a special event to commemorate those who helped settle the area which was originally known as Keystone.

At this year’s event, 89-year-old Vant Hayes, who was born in Keystone, shared stories of his and his family’s life in the area.

“My parents came at the turn of the century,” Hayes said. “We lived in a log house and I’m not kidding you, the weather we had a day or two here, we get up in the morning and the water in the pail would be frozen.”

Hayes’ family was one of 52 that immigrated to the area at around the same time. Many, like his parents, were fleeing areas in the southern United States where state and local racial segregation were being enforced and violence was escalating.

“The African American settlers who founded Keystone in 1910, 1911 — they were leaving some very harsh conditions in primarily Oklahoma but some other states too,” Goddard said.

“At that time period, the Jim Crow laws were in effect and [immigrants] looked northward to Canada,” Goddard said. “Supposedly all homestead land was available and conditions of more tolerance.”


READ MORE:
Edmonton man shines light on Alberta’s racist past with interactive archive

Hayes didn’t provide details but alluded to stories he was told of violence his parents experienced in both Mississippi and Oklahoma.

While the family wasn’t completely free from racism once they arrived in Alberta, Hayes beamed when he talked about how his family was one of the first to help settle the area.

“I’m the only one left,” he said.

His sentiment is echoed by others whose families also helped settle other parts of Alberta.

“Our people did come up in the early 1900s to help settle the Prairie provinces so we are a part of the development of Alberta and Saskatchewan, so it’s important that the roots are told,” said Deborah Dobbins, whose family settled in the Wildwoods area of Alberta.

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.



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Eat Smart kale salad kit recalled due to possible Listeria contamination

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This 340-gram Eat Smart brand Sweet Kale Vegetable Salad Bag Kit, with a best before date of Feb. 16, has been recalled in N.L., N.B., and Ontario. (Canadian Food Inspection Agency)

A ready-to-eat salad kit has been recalled in Newfoundland and Labrador, New Brunswick and Ontario due to possible Listeria contamination.

On Feb. 17, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency issued the recall for the 340-gram Eat Smart brand Sweet Kale Vegetable Salad Bag Kit.

Codes on the products being recalled have UPC 7 09351 89145 8 and best-before dates of Feb. 16.

Anyone with the product at home should throw it in the garbage, the CFIA says on its website.

The CFIA website said the distribution may also be national, but the recall notice as of early Monday morning lists just the three provinces.

CFIA’s food safety investigation is ongoing, and may lead to other recalls, according to the website.

According to the website, there have been no reported illnesses connected with eating this product.

Symptoms of Listeria can include vomiting, nausea, persistent fever, muscle aches, severe headache and neck stiffness.

Food contaminated with Listeria may not look or smell spoiled, but can still make you sick.

Pregnant women infected with the bacteria may experience only mild, flu-like symptoms, but the infection could lead to premature delivery, infection of the newborn or stillbirth, CFIA says on its website.

Read more articles from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador



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Man beats fentanyl trafficking charge due to charter violation. Here’s the video of the dog sniffing the car

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A B.C. Justice recently threw out the case against a man charged with trafficking 27,500 fentanyl pills.

In a decision published in January, he said it wasn’t clear if the dog sat or not.

And new video, obtained exclusively by Global News, shows the entirety of the traffic stop, including the moment the dog investigates the vehicle.  

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READ MORE: Did the drug-sniffing dog sit or not? Debate leads to man’s acquittal in B.C. fentanyl bust

Here’s why the extent of the dog’s sit matters: If the dog properly sat down, it would have indicated the dog was “in odour,” meaning it had found drugs.

But in the case of Sandor Rigo, who was stopped on a Chilliwack highway in April 2017, the dog, named PSD Doods, was unable to sit down all the way. The police officer who made the stop said this was because a curb was in the way.

An officer who stopped Rigo – only identified by the Justice’s decision as Corporal Catellier – said he believed the dog was in odour and had the car towed so it could be thoroughly searched. Police say over 27,000 fentanyl pills were found in the wheel well.

The dash-camera video from the RCMP vehicle, obtained by Global News, offers a partial view of what happened.

The video shows the officer pulling over Rigo, who was driving a Dodge Caravan. The officer can be heard asking Rigo where he was going and why he appeared to be shaking. Rigo answered that he was picking up used tires from a friend and he was shaking due to hypoglycemia, a condition which requires people to eat frequently to keep their blood-sugar levels stable.

Rigo was then asked to exit his van and sit in the RCMP vehicle. That’s when Cpl. Catellier brought PSD Doods to sniff the outside of the van.

RCMP PDS Doods sniffs Sandor Rigo’s van.

HO / RCMP dashcam video of traffic stop

The dog can be seen sniffing the outside of the driver’s side of the van. She is then directed to the passenger side of the van, which is out of view of the dash camera, and next to a high concrete curb.

On the video, the moment in question can be heard, but only partially seen. The officer repeatedly says, “Good girl,” to PSD Doods, as she is seen at the side of the car. .

A partially obstructed view of PSD Doods sniffing Sandor Rigo’s vehicle.

Court Handout

An expert witness in court said the dog wasn’t showing other signs of being in odour — which normally includes wagging her tail.


READ MORE:
Vancouver Island police seize huge trove of guns, explosives, homemade silencers

But the officer testified at the time that she displayed the other signs when she was out of sight of the video.

In his decision, which was made public in January 2018, Justice Michael Brundrett said since the dog was only shown in a “partial form of ‘alert,’” there wasn’t reasonable grounds to search the vehicle.

Brundrett said Rigo’s charter rights were violated, specifically articles 8 and 10(b), which pertain to the right to be secure against detainment, search and seizure, and the right to a lawyer.

Because of this, all evidence collected after the charter breach had to be thrown out.

Criminal lawyer Dino Bottos said even if the officer is proven correct because drugs were found in the car after the fact, in cases like these the public has to remember that “the ends do not justify the means.”

He said the judge has to maintain impartiality.

When a judge excludes evidence obtained during an unlawful search and seizure, he or she is doing so not to favour a particular accused, but rather to uphold what is written into our Constitution,” he explained. 

Anything obtained after the charter violation – in this case that would be the physical drugs as well what appears to be a video of Rigo’s confession – is “considered fruit from the poisonedtree.”

“If we’re serious about protecting rights and freedoms, that means that we need to exercise control over police state actions,” Bottos explained. “Which means in this case, when there is a breach of a right, then the only reasonable remedy is to exclude the evidence found as a result of that breach.”

Almost a dozen Canadians died every day from opioid overdoses last year. Since 2016, more than 8,000 have lost their lives, primarily to fentanyl. In British Columbia, the problem has become so bad that life expectancy has dropped for the first time in decades.

WATCH: Global News investigation into the deadly fentanyl trade in Canada






The amounts traffickers are bringing in are believed to be so vast that investigators suspect their money laundering has disrupted the Vancouver-area housing market. It has also put a spotlight on casinos. But when police seize their illicit cash, traffickers often just walk away, seemingly unfazed.

Brundrett said in his decision that it was a serious case, because of the “evils” of fentanyl trafficking, but the integrity of the justice system had to be taken into account.

*With files from Sam Cooper 

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.



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