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Eight Migrants Including 2 Children Found Dead in Canada’s St. Lawrence River

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Eight Migrants Die, Including 2 Children Trying to Cross Canada,US Border

Police in Quebec report the bodies of two more migrants who died trying to cross from Canada into the United States, bringing the death toll to eight, including two children.

Six bodies were discovered Thursday in a marshy area of the St. Lawrence River, which forms the Canada-US border. The victims were described as members of two families of Romanian and Indian descent.

According to Akwesasne Mohawk Police Chief Shawn Dulude, authorities are still looking for Casey Oakes, 30, who was last seen Wednesday operating a boat found near the bodies. The latest two bodies were discovered in the water by a police helicopter.

“At this point, eight bodies have been recovered from the waters.” “All are believed to have tried to enter the United States illegally from Canada,” Dulude said.

According to Dulude, the child discovered on Friday was a Canadian citizen and a member of a Romanian family. An adult woman believed to be an Indian national, was also found dead.

Dulude stated that he had no idea whether Oakes was alive but that he was a person of interest.

Because of its location, the territory is known for being a transit point for human and contraband trafficking. In February, Akwesasne police reported increased human smuggling into Mohawk territory.

“This has exploited our community,” said Grand Chief Abram Benedict of the Mohawk Council of Akwesasne. “This is not the first time a tragedy of this magnitude has occurred in our community.” We’ve had other setbacks.”

The weather in the area was bad Wednesday night, according to Lee-Ann O’Brien, deputy chief of the Akwesasne Mohawk Police Service.

Canada Orders Post Mortem

Six of the bodies, according to O’Brien, were discovered during the search for Oakes, who was reported missing on Thursday. On Wednesday, Oakes of Akwesasne was last seen around 9:30 p.m., boarding a small boat from the east end of Cornwall Island, located in the St. Lawrence River on the Ontario side of the Mohawk territory.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau described the situation as “heartbreaking.” “We need to understand what happened, how it happened, and do everything we can to reduce the chances of this happening again.”

The first body was discovered around 5 p.m., according to the Akwesasne Mohawk Police Service. Thursday was spent in a marsh. A police marine unit, assisted by the Canadian Coast Guard and the Hogansburg Akwesasne Volunteer Fire Department, searched the area further.

The Quebec Provincial Police and the Ontario Provincial Police also provided air support.

To determine the cause of the deaths, post-mortem and toxicology tests have been ordered.

According to Akwesasne police, approximately 80 people have attempted to cross illegally into Canada or the United States through Mohawk territory since January, most of whom are of Indian or Romanian descent.

Akwesasne has territory in Quebec, Ontario, and New York state and straddles the Canada-United States border.

“There have always been people passing through here,” Dulude told AP. “I’ve always been concerned.” It’s just that there’s more focus now.”

He stated that most people travel south to the United States and that it is uncommon for someone to travel north.

 Children Found Dead in Canada's St. Lawrence RiverMigrants Crossing the River

Tony Jackson, an Akwesasne resident, said the weather was calm during the day on Wednesday when Oakes was last seen, but later turned rough. “The east wind around here creates a lot of waves, maybe five feet tall,” Jackson said. He estimated Oakes’ boat to be less than six meters (20 feet) long.

“That called for disaster,” he said, crossing the river in a small boat with many people on board.

He claimed he had never heard Oakes discuss transporting migrants. However, Jackson stated that he had personally witnessed groups of migrants crossing fields with bags in hand and boats transporting large groups of people across the river on occasion.

“You’ll see a couple of them walking down the road with all their bags a couple of times in a month,” he said.

Six Indian nationals were rescued from a sinking boat in the St. Regis River, which runs through Akwesasne Mohawk Territory, in April 2022. A seventh person seen leaving the ship and wading ashore was later identified as a US citizen. U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials called the incident a human smuggling incident.

Trudeau and the U.S. Last week, President Joe Biden announced a plan to close a gap in an immigration agreement that allowed thousands of asylum seekers to travel between the two countries along a back road connecting New York state to Quebec.

The agreement to close an illegal border crossing about 105 kilometers (66 miles) east of Akwesasne went into effect on Saturday. According to O’Brien, it has nothing to do with the closure of the Roxham Road illegal border crossing into Canada.

A Florida man was charged with human smuggling early last year after the bodies of four people, including a baby and a teen, was discovered in Canada near the US border during what authorities believe was a failed crossing attempt during a freezing blizzard between Manitoba, Canada and North North Dakota. The victims were Indian nationals attempting to enter the United States.

 Children Found Dead in Canada's St. Lawrence RiverMigrants are choosing Canada in record numbers.

Last year, nearly 40,000 migrants, a record number, crossed into Canada at an unofficial border crossing at the end of a remote rural road in upstate New York to seek asylum. Many people believe that the country is more welcoming than the United States. Can Canada, however, handle the influx?

Roxham Road is cold and quiet on a snowy winter day. The sound of wheels approaching the end of the path or the crunching of footsteps on snow breaks the silence.

Every day, approximately 150 migrants are dropped off here, determined to enter Canada. Many people began their journey as far away as Brazil, with this road in New York state serving as their destination.

Roxham Road does not serve as an official border crossing. At the other end, there are no border agents, only police officers who arrest those who cross.

However, it has become known as an easy way to enter Canada from the United States to seek asylum.

Last year saw the highest influx of migrants through that route, with thousands drawn by the country’s reputation for assisting those fleeing war and conflict.

The influx has increased frustration on both sides of the border with the path, concerns about its safety, and what the future holds for those who travel it.

Roxham Road gained national attention in 2017 when many migrants fleeing displacement and conflict began crossing there.

Some attribute its sudden popularity to fears of deportation from the United States under Trump’s administration, while others point to a tweet by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau that read: “To those fleeing persecution, terror, and war, Canadians will welcome you.”

 Children Found Dead in Canada's St. Lawrence River

Housing for newly arrived migrants

The influx surprised Canadian officials. The Olympic Stadium in Montreal was briefly converted into housing for newly arrived migrants. The federal government attempted to stem the tide by emphasizing that simply arriving in Canada did not entitle one to stay.

The Covid-19 pandemic closed the route due to federal emergency health measures, but the demand for a haven never subsided.

Thousands of asylum seekers returned when those restrictions were lifted 16 months ago.

Many are from Haiti, wracked by political and gang violence in recent months. There has also been an influx of people from Latin American countries such as Venezuela and Colombia and from as far away as Afghanistan, all dealing with domestic strife.

At the same time, the Biden administration has extended some Trump-era pandemic policies, such as Title 42, which has been used to deny some migrants land entry at the US-Mexico border.

Migrants interviewed by the BBC in Quebec said they increasingly see the United States as a non-viable refugee destination, where asylum claims can often take years to be heard and where they do not feel welcome.

Joshua arrived in Montreal two days after Christmas and lives in a rented flat with other migrants while his claim is heard.

He told the BBC that he had been living in exile in Chile for five years without travel documents when he decided to travel to Canada.

“Other countries aren’t as welcoming to irregular immigrants,” said Joshua, whose name has been changed to protect his identity as a political refugee. But, he claims, Canada has welcomed him.

 Children Found Dead in Canada's St. Lawrence River

Canadian’s Angy at Justin Trudeau

The influx is due to a nearly two-decade-old agreement with the US called the Safe Third Country Agreement, which requires migrants to seek asylum in the first safe country they enter.

A migrant from the United States would be turned away at a Canadian border crossing, but Roxham Road, an unofficial route, provides a detour.

Mr. Trudeau has dismissed calls to close the crossing, claiming that it would be futile given the thousands of kilometers of undefended border with the United States and that migrants would risk crossing elsewhere.

Instead, he has focused on renegotiating the agreement, which he is expected to discuss with Joe Biden when the president visits Ottawa later this week.

However, the prime minister is under pressure to act as new arrivals strain social services, particularly in Quebec, where many migrants settle.

Quebec Premier Francois Legault has declared the province’s situation untenable, claiming that services have been “pushed to the brink” and that some migrants are now homeless.

In February, he stated, “It is becoming increasingly difficult to receive asylum seekers with dignity.”

Canada’s Agencies Overwhelmed

Migrants also face a growing backlog of refugee claims, which increased by 26% from 56,300 in January to nearly 71,000 in December. Claim processing can now take up to two years. Last year, approximately 28% of all claims were denied, indicating that success is not guaranteed.

Work permits are also subject to lengthy waits.

It used to take a week to obtain the documents required to apply for employment as a new asylum seeker. The wait is now nearly two years, according to Maryse Poisson, who works at the Welcome Collective, a Montreal organization that assists newcomers.

A photograph of Joshua’s backside taken in downtown Montreal. He’s dressed in a red baseball cap and parka.

Due to backlogs, Joshua, a Venezuelan migrant, may not receive his Canadian work permit until 2024.

As a result, many migrants have struggled to make ends meet, and some have turned to food banks and other social supports while they wait, according to advocates.

“Some of them are in a position where they have to accept work under the table,” said Suzanne Taffot, a Montreal-based immigration lawyer who assists asylum seekers with their claims.

Ms. Poisson fears some will fall through the cracks without additional government assistance.

“We’re very concerned that the most vulnerable people, those with trauma, those with language barriers, don’t get the help they need at all,” she said.

 Children Found Dead in Canada's St. Lawrence RiverUS border security increased.

Border agents in the United States have noticed an increase in the number of people returning from Canada. In January, the US Border Patrol apprehended 367 people attempting to cross from north to south – more than the previous 12 years combined.

Republican lawmakers have since warned of a “crisis” at the northern border.

Some of those who return have done so out of frustration at not being able to find work in Canada or to reunite with family, according to people who work with asylum seekers in Montreal.

Tyler Tambini is one of a few taxi drivers in upstate New York who transport migrants to Roxham Road for free.

Despite the growing challenges in Canada, migrants continue to cross Roxham Road in record numbers, undeterred even in the depths of winter.

Taxi drivers Terry Provost and Tyler Tambini on the New York side of the border said they frequently drive people to the border from the Plattsburgh bus station, sometimes for free, because some migrants run out of money near the end of their journey.

“This guy had no money, and he’d been waiting and waiting at a motel,” Mr. Provost explained as he dropped off an Afghan asylum seeker.

When the migrants cross, they are met by members of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, who warn them that they will be arrested if they proceed.

Previously a ditch with some brush and trees, the Canadian side of the border has been transformed into a small police compound since 2017, complete with trailers to process those who cross and buses waiting to transport newcomers to nearby hotels.

Mr. Provost observed people hesitating before taking the final step, unsure of what awaited them on the other side.

However, for migrants like Joshua, Canada is the last haven.

He told the BBC, “The American dream died many years ago.” “Montreal is my new home, my only home.”

Geoff Thomas is a seasoned staff writer at VORNews, a reputable online publication. With his sharp writing skills and deep understanding of SEO, he consistently delivers high-quality, engaging content that resonates with readers. Thomas' articles are well-researched, informative, and written in a clear, concise style that keeps audiences hooked. His ability to craft compelling narratives while seamlessly incorporating relevant keywords has made him a valuable asset to the VORNews team.

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Edmonton Oilers Beat The Florida Panthers 5-1 To Force A Game 7 In The Stanley Cup Final

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EDMONTON, Alberta — Connor McDavid was held without a point, so Leon Draisaitl and the Edmonton Oilers’ other best players stepped up, bringing them one win away from the Stanley Cup.

Draisaitl made his first significant contribution to the final by setting up Warren Foegele’s early goal, Adam Henrique and Zach Hyman scored in the second period, and the Oilers forced Game 7 by defeating the Florida Panthers 5-1 in Game 6 on Friday night.

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Oilers | AP News image

Edmonton Oilers Beat The Florida Panthers 5-1 To Force A Game 7 In The Stanley Cup Final

“At the end of the day, we play to win and this is going to be the hardest game for us,” Draisaitl told reporters. “We have to bring our game again.”

They are the first club to tie the final after trailing 3-0 since the Detroit Red Wings in 1945. The Oilers have a chance Monday night in Sunrise to join the 1942 Toronto Maple Leafs as the only NHL teams to overcome a deficit and win the Stanley Cup.

“There was an unshakable belief,” Hyman remarked. “No matter what transpired over the year, we always thought we could make it through. Regardless of the grave situation, we believe we have a shot. It was a protracted season of adversity that prepared us. The next one will be the toughest. It feels surreal to do it in front of this crowd. This is our first chance to win.

The opportunity to make hockey history and break Canada’s three-decade Cup drought exists only due to McDavid’s exploits in Games 4 and 5, which lifted the Oilers from the brink of defeat. This was the first time in his nine-year career that they won a game without him scoring a point or taking a shot on goal.

Draisaitl, his longstanding running partner from Germany who has previously been named league MVP and is regarded as one of the top players in the world, provided a spark in Game 5 after being largely ineffectual against the Panthers.

“He’s a horse,” defenseman Darnell Nurse stated. “He’s always present at the most important occasions. When you look at his postseason performances, he’s one of the best to ever do it.

Draisaitl received the puck at center ice, skated around and between Florida defenders, and placed it on the tape of Foegele’s stick for a tap-in that Sergei Bobrovsky had little chance of stopping. That did not deter the ecstatic sellout crowd of 18,000+ from mockingly screaming, “Ser-gei! Ser-gei!” before the anthems and throughout the night.

The goalie known as “Bob” was scarcely to blame since blunders in front of him also contributed to the 2-on-1 rush that concluded with Henrique beating Bobrovsky off a brilliant feed from Mattias Janmark. In front of their goaltender, the Panthers appeared tight and hesitant, in stark contrast to the juggernaut that reached the final for the second year in a row and won the first three games to claim the franchise’s first championship.

Edmonton Oilers Beat The Florida Panthers 5-1 To Force A Game 7 In The Stanley Cup Final

“We have one game to go,” Panthers defenseman Dmitry Kulikov said. “We were ready from the beginning to play a seven-game series, and nothing has changed. We went up three, and they played three good games. Now it is up to us to win at home.”

Florida had only six shots on goal halfway through the game and ended with 21. Oilers goaltender Stuart Skinner made key stops to stop the Panthers, allowing only one goal to Aleksander Barkov less than 90 seconds into the third period.

The first time Barkov got the puck past him, 10 seconds after Henrique’s goal, Edmonton coach Kris Knoblauch successfully challenged for offside. A thorough analysis revealed that Sam Reinhart entered the attacking zone about an inch or less before the puck, prompting a shout from supporters.

“I actually didn’t think it was that close,” Knoblauch explained. “In my mind, it was definitely offside.”

That wasn’t the loudest Rogers Place got; there were many contenders for that honor. When the Oilers took to the ice to Metallica’s “Enter Sandman,” the decibel meter on the video screens read 113.8.

Ryan McLeod and Nurse scored empty-net goals in the final minutes, eliciting chants of “We want the Cup!” “We want the Cup!” and a raucous celebration at the outdoor viewing party.

Edmonton Oilers Beat The Florida Panthers 5-1 To Force A Game 7 In The Stanley Cup Final

That was the fever level for a city bathed in blue and orange downtown in the hours leading up to puck drop. Friday might as well have been a holiday in Edmonton, where almost a million people can now dream of the Oilers hoisting another white championship banner to the rafters — and doing it in the most unlikely way possible.

We’re just excited to keep our season going,” McDavid added. “That is what it has been about. Take each game and each day as it comes. “I look forward to the next one.”

SOURCE – (AP)

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South Korea Summons Russian Ambassador As Tensions Rise With North Korea

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SEOUL, South Korea — On Friday, South Korea summoned the Russian ambassador to protest the country’s new defense pact with North Korea, as border tensions remained high due to vague threats and brief, seemingly accidental incursions by North Korean forces.

Earlier Friday, the powerful sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un issued a vague threat of retaliation after South Korean activists flew balloons carrying anti-Pyongyang propaganda leaflets across the border, while South Korea’s military said it fired warning shots the day before to repel North Korean soldiers who briefly crossed the rivals’ land border for the third time this month.

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Korea AP Image

South Korea Summons Russian Ambassador As Tensions Rise With North Korea

That happened two days after Moscow and Pyongyang signed an agreement promising mutual defense aid if either was attacked, and a day after, Seoul responded by stating that it would consider giving armaments to Ukraine to combat Russia’s incursion.

South Korean Vice Foreign Minister Kim Hong Kyun summoned Russian Ambassador Georgy Zinoviev to denounce the agreement between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Kim Jong Un and urged Moscow to immediately suspend its purported military collaboration with Pyongyang.

Kim, the South Korean official, emphasized that any collaboration that directly or indirectly assists the North in developing its military capabilities would violate United Nations Security Council resolutions, represent a threat to South Korean security, and warned of the ramifications for Seoul’s relations with Moscow.

According to Russia’s embassy’s X account, Zinoviev told Korean officials that any attempts to “threaten or blackmail” Russia were inappropriate and that his country’s agreement with North Korea was not intended for specific third nations. The South Korean ministry said Zinoviev agreed to relay Seoul’s concerns to his superiors in Moscow.

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres reminded Russia and referenced U.N. Security Council sanctions against the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, the country’s official name, which prohibits all countries from supplying the DPRK with material for nuclear or ballistic missile programs.

“Any relationship that any country has with the DPRK, including the Russian Federation, must entirely abide by those sanctions,” he told reporters at the United Nations headquarters in New York.

Leafleting activities by South Korean citizen activists in recent weeks have resulted in a resurgence of Cold War-style psychological warfare along the inter-Korean border.

South Korean civilian activists led by North Korean defector Park Sang-Hak claimed to have sent 20 balloons with 300,000 propaganda leaflets, 5,000 USB sticks containing South Korean pop music and TV dramas, and 3,000 US dollars from the South Korean border town of Paju on Thursday night.

According to observers, Pyongyang resents such material because it worries it may demoralize front-line troops and people, weakening Kim Jong Un’s grasp on power.

In a statement released by North Korea’s official Korean Central News Agency, Kim Yo Jong, one of her brother’s top foreign policy officials, referred to the campaigners as “defector scum” and threatened punishment.

“When you do something you were clearly warned not to do, it’s only natural that you will find yourself dealing with something you didn’t have to,” she said, without mentioning what the North might do.

Following previous leafleting by South Korean activists, North Korea released over 1,000 balloons into South Korea, dropping tonnes of rubbish, destroying roof tiles and windows, and causing other property damage. Kim Yo Jong suggested that balloons could become the North’s routine response to leafleting, stating that the North would retaliate by “scattering dozens of times more rubbish than is being scattered on us.”

In response, South Korea resumed anti-North Korean propaganda broadcasts with military loudspeakers deployed at the border for the first time in years, prompting Kim Yo Jong to issue another official media statement warning that Seoul was “creating a prelude to a very dangerous situation.”

Tensions between the Koreas have reached their greatest point in years, as Kim Jong Un advances nuclear weapons and missile development and seeks to bolster his regional position by uniting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in a standoff with the US-led West.

South Korea, a rising arms exporter with a well-equipped military backed by the United States, has said it is considering increasing its support for Ukraine in response. Seoul has previously supplied humanitarian aid and other assistance while supporting the US-led economic sanctions against Russia. However, it has not directly provided weaponry, citing a long-standing policy of not sending weapons to countries actively involved in conflict.

South Korea Summons Russian Ambassador As Tensions Rise With North Korea

Putin told reporters in Hanoi, Vietnam, on Thursday that delivering arms to Ukraine would be “a very big mistake,” and that South Korea “shouldn’t worry” about the pact if it isn’t plotting an attack on Pyongyang.

According to South Korea’s Foreign Ministry, Minister Cho Tae-yul spoke with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Japanese Foreign Minister Yoko Kamikawa separately on Friday to discuss the new accord. According to Cho’s ministry, the diplomats agreed that the pact poses a major danger to regional peace and stability and pledged to deepen trilateral coordination to address the challenges posed by Moscow and Pyongyang’s alignment.

North Korea is particularly sensitive to criticism of Kim’s dictatorial regime and attempts to reach its people through global news and other media.

When South Korea resumed loudspeaker broadcasts in 2015 for the first time in 11 years, North Korea launched artillery rounds across the border, leading South Korea to respond, according to South Korean officials. There were no casualties reported.

South Korea’s military said there are indicators that North Korea is placing its speakers near the border, albeit they are not yet operational.

In the most recent border incident, South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said that several North Korean soldiers engaged in undefined construction work temporarily breached the military demarcation line that separates the two countries around 11 a.m. Thursday.

South Korea Summons Russian Ambassador As Tensions Rise With North Korea

The South Korean military issued a warning and fired warning shots, prompting the North Korean soldiers to retreat. The joint chiefs did not immediately provide any information, such as why the material was released a day late.

South Korea’s military believes recent border incursions were unintentional, as North Korean soldiers did not return fire and left after the warning shots.

The South’s military has spotted the North sending massive numbers of soldiers on the front lines to construct suspected anti-tank barriers, reinforce roads, and place mines in an apparent attempt to bolster their side of the border. Seoul says the actions are intended to deter North Korean people and military from fleeing to the South.

SOURCE – (AP)

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Barry Sanders Says He Experienced ‘Health Scare’ Related To His Heart

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DETROIT  — a Pro Football Hall of Fame running back, Barry Sanders, said he “had a health scare related to my heart” last weekend.

“It was unexpected and served as a reminder of the importance of staying vigilant about our physical well-being, even when we are feeling fine,” the former Detroit Lions star wrote in a message on social media Friday.

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Sanders | lions wire

Barry Sanders Says He Experienced ‘Health Scare’ Related To His Heart

The Lions posted their social media statement, stating, “Get well soon Barry.”

“I am grateful for the amazing doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals for providing me with needed care,” Sanders told CNN. “My family and I appreciate your prayers and support at this time. As my doctors have advised, I am utilising this opportunity to prioritise my health and well-being. I appreciate your understanding and ongoing support.”

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Barry Sanders | AP news Image

Barry Sanders Says He Experienced ‘Health Scare’ Related To His Heart

Sanders, who turns 56 next month, was a six-time All-Pro with the Lions from 1989 to 1998 before retiring abruptly. He carried for 15,269 yards and 99 touchdowns, including 2,053 yards in his MVP season of 1997.

He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2004.

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Barry Sanders | AP news Image

Barry Sanders Says He Experienced ‘Health Scare’ Related To His Heart

Sanders played his entire career for the Lions, who took him with the third overall pick in the 1989 NFL draft following his Heisman Trophy-winning season at Oklahoma State.

SOURCE – (AP)

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