Mars One, which offered 1-way trips to Mars, declared bankrupt

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Mars One, a Dutch company that planned to send humans on a one-way trip to Mars and start the first human colony on the Red Planet, has been declared bankrupt.

The declaration was made in a Swiss court on Jan. 15 — and posted on Reddit this past weekend — officially dissolving Mars One Ventures AG. The company has not issued a statement and has not yet responded to CBC’s request for comment.

Mars One began accepting applications in 2013 for a mission to establish a permanent settlement on Mars. It planned to launch a total of 24 people in groups of four every two years starting in 2024. The company claimed it could do so using existing technology.

It estimated launching the first four people would cost $6 billion US, and said it planned to raise the money through broadcasting rights and sponsorships.

More than 200,000 people from 100 countries applied, including more than 8,000 Canadians.

The company announced a shortlist of 100 people in 2015, including six Canadians.

However, experts questioned the plan and pointed out that it had some potentially deadly flaws, and some critics openly questioned whether it was a scam.

« The fact is the money is not there, the technology is not there, » Elmo Keep, a journalist who has been investigating the company, told CBC Radio’s q this past November.

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Mistrial declared in Dennis Oland’s murder retrial over ‘improper’ background checks on jurors

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A Court of Queen’s Bench judge has declared a mistrial in Dennis Oland’s murder retrial after the Crown became aware of « improprieties » related to the jury selection process.

The jury has been dismissed and the Oland’s retrial for the murder of his father will continue by judge alone. 

The body of Richard Oland, 69, was discovered face down in a pool of blood in his Saint John office the morning of July 7, 2011. He had suffered 45 sharp- and blunt-force blows to his head, neck and hands.

A jury found his only son, Dennis, guilty in December 2015, but the New Brunswick Court of Appeal overturned the conviction in October 2016 and ordered a new trial, citing an error in the trial judge’s instructions to the jury.

The defence asked last year that the retrial be heard by a judge alone, but the Crown refused to give the required consent and Morrison denied the application.

More to come.

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