Eight Migrants Including 2 Children Found Dead in Canada’s St. Lawrence River
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.
Migrants 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.
Migrants 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.”
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.
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.
US 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.”
Some ‘Diablo IV’ Players Report Invalid License Error Message After Early Access Launch
Washington, D.C. The highly anticipated action role-playing video game “Diablo IV” launched its early access on Thursday night. However, there were some delays, particularly for PlayStation players.
While many players who pre-purchased eligible “Diablo IV” editions experienced no problems with the early access launch, some PS5 users reported getting an invalid licensing error message. After initially stating that a server-side balance update had been implemented, Blizzard acknowledged the problem.
A software upgrade known as a hotfix focuses on a single problem and normally does not cause service interruptions.
The most recent game in the Blizzard “Diablo” series, which debuted in 1996, is titled “Diablo IV” and was released in May 2012. This is more than ten years after “Diablo III”‘s debut. Although the game’s early access began on Thursday, the launch is set for the following week.
Diablo’s general manager, Rod Fergusson, referred to “Diablo IV” as “our most brutal vision of Sanctuary,” the make-believe setting for the game. He continued, saying that it incorporates “the darkness of the original game” and expands on significant elements from other games in the franchise.
Activision Blizzard, the parent business of Blizzard Entertainment, announced in April that its net sales for the first quarter of 2023 increased to $2.38 billion from $1.77 billion. Activision reported that “Diablo IV” presales were robust, indicating that the game had undergone successful public testing.
What you need to know about “Diablo IV’s” upcoming official release and early access launch on Thursday is provided here.
WHEN DOES DIABLO IV COMMENCE?
Depending on your local time zone, “Diablo IV” will be formally published on Tuesday or Wednesday next week. The game will begin in the United States on Tuesday at 7 p.m. ET (4 p.m. PT).
Although “Diablo IV” is set to be on sale next week, early access started a few days earlier, on either Thursday or Friday, depending on where you are. Players who pre-purchased the game’s digital deluxe or ultimate edition were expected to have early access.
Additionally, some devices allow players who have previously purchased “Diablo IV” to pre-load the game. According to Blizzard, pre-loading is possible for Windows PC, Xbox, and PlayStation.
DIABLO IV “UNABLE TO FIND LICENCE”?
Although early access appeared to open without incident for the majority of gamers, some PS5 users reported receiving an error message that stated, “unable to find a valid licence for Diablo IV,” according to posts on Blizzard’s community forums and social media. Players on the PS5 appeared to be the ones most affected by the problem, but some other users said they also received the notice on Xbox and other platforms.
In a forum post late Thursday night, Blizzard recognized the PlayStation customers’ complaints. Adam Fletcher, director of global community development, later claimed that “Diablo IV” had received a server-side balance update implemented across all platforms.
How many early access players were affected by the problem is unknown. On Blizzard’s forum, some angry customers reported that they were still having access issues as of Friday morning.
The Associated Press requested statements from Blizzard and PlayStation on Friday morning.
WHAT CLASSES DO DIABLO IV CHARACTERS FALL INTO?
“Diablo IV” reportedly takes place decades after the events of “Diablo III: Reaper of Souls.” The angel Inarius and the demon Lilith have started a battle and are at odds.
In “Diablo IV,” players can choose from one of five classes: Druids, Rogues, Sorceresses, Barbarians, or Necromancers.
At launch, “Diablo IV” will support couch co-op and cross-platform play on Windows PC, Xbox Series X, Xbox One, PlayStation 5, and PlayStation 4, among other platforms.
Financial results for Activation for 2022, Microsoft Deal
In 2022, Activision, the company behind “Call of Duty,” “Candy Crush,” and “World of Warcraft,” recorded net revenues of $7.53 billion, a decrease from the $8.8 billion reported in 2021.
Microsoft revealed plans to buy Activision in January 2022, but the historic transaction is doubtful more than a year later. Last month, the European Union authorized the $69 billion purchase, but British regulators halted it due to concerns about competition. Authorities in the US are also attempting to block the merger.
Regulators worldwide have scrutinized the agreement because of concern that it will give Microsoft and its Xbox platform control of popular s. PlayStation maker rival Sony has led a ferocious opposition.
Activision and Microsoft have appealed to a tribunal about the U.K. ruling. Liam Deane, a gaming industry analyst at digital research and consultancy firm Omdia, previously told The Associated Press that if the appeal is unsuccessful, Microsoft would be compelled to either cancel the arrangement or carve out the U.K. as a distinct market, which appeared to be an impractical choice.
SOURCE – (AP)
Passenger Train Derails In India, Killing At Least 50, Trapping Many Others
NEW DELHI — At least 50 people were killed, and hundreds more were trapped inside more than a dozen damaged rail cars when two passenger trains in India crashed on Friday, according to officials.
According to officials, the disaster occurred in eastern India, around 220 kilometers (137 miles) southwest of Kolkata, and about 400 people were sent to hospitals. The cause was being looked into.
Amitabh Sharma, a spokesman for the railway ministry, reported that ten to twelve coaches of one train derailed, and pieces of some of the damaged coaches fell onto an adjacent track.
According to Sharma, a passenger train traveling the other way struck the debris, and up to three coaches of the second train also derailed.
According to the Press Trust of India news agency, a third goods train was reportedly apparently involved, but there was no immediate confirmation from railway authorities.
Television photos from the aftermath showed rescuers scaling the rubble to pry open doors and windows and use cutting torches to free trapped survivors.
A passenger train traveling the other way struck the debris, and up to three coaches of the second train also derailed.
Vandana Kaleda, a passenger, said to the New Delhi Television news station that she “found people falling on each other” as her carriage shook erratically and deviated from the lines. She claimed that her survival was fortuitous.
Another survivor, who wished to remain anonymous, claimed that the impact woke him up while he was asleep. He claimed to have observed other people with damaged faces and shattered limbs.
At least 50 persons were reported dead, according to Balasore district’s senior administrator Dattatraya Bhausaheb Shinde. At least 70 people had died, according to The Press Trust.
According to Pradeep Jena, the state’s chief executive officer of Odisha, there were close to 500 police officers and rescue personnel at the scene, along with 75 ambulances and buses.
Rescuers were working to release 200 individuals who were thought to be trapped in the rubble, according to Shinde.
The Coromandel Express, which derailed, was traveling from Howrah in West Bengal state to Chennai, the state capital of southern Tamil Nadu, according to The Press Trust.
Narendra Modi, the prime minister of India, expressed sympathy for the deceased families.
Having spoken with the railway minister, Modi tweeted, “May the injured recover soon,” adding that “all possible assistance” was being provided.
Several hundred incidents happen annually on India’s railways, the world’s largest train network with single management, despite government efforts to increase rail safety.
The deadliest train catastrophe in Indian history occurred in August 1995 when two trains crashed close to New Delhi, killing 358 people.
Human mistakes or out-of-date signaling equipment are the main causes of trains accidents.
Every day, 14,000 trains carrying more than 12 million passengers traverse India’s 64,000 kilometers (40,000 miles) of railway.
SOURCE – (AP)
Tommy Prine, 27, Doesn’t Dodge His Father’s Legacy But Makes His Own Way
NASHVILLE, Tenn. Tommy Prine spoke about his father’s passing in front of a crowded audience in The Basement, one of Nashville’s most intimate music venues.
During a recent sold-out performance, he observed, “It stinks to lose a parent at any age — in my case, when he was the world’s greatest songwriter.”
Singer-songwriter John Prine, Prine’s father, passed away in April 2020 at 73 due to coronavirus complications. Even for a period when grieving had grown commonplace, his death sparked a flood of global mourning.
In the music industry, the heartbreak was especially severe. The bonds John Prine formed with his music were only strengthened by his generosity to budding musicians. Many others tried to digest the unthinkable by expressing their sadness through memorial songs.
It turns out that Prine’s own family was experiencing a similar situation.
Last year, Tommy Prine published “Ships in the Harbour,” a song about his father that is as heartfelt and open-hearted as ever. It resists the urge to curl up in the fetal position rather than flee from what he lost. It gets the closest of any song to properly expressing the immense weight of grief brought on by the pandemic.
Tommy Prine, now 27 years old, is set to release a whole album of songs that deal with growing up, love, and grief. The film “This Far South,” which will be released on June 23, is daring in how it faces his father’s passing head-on and how the son of a legend handles the inevitable concerns that arise from working in the same field.
Tommy Prine keeps going and works hard on a risky project. He created a unique album, and it is captivating.
According to Prine, “honestly, even if my Dad wasn’t who he was, I feel like I would’ve made the same record,” he stated in an interview with The Associated Press. Because of who he is, “I didn’t include these songs, but I also didn’t shy away from them.”
Writing songs enabled Prine to process everything he had lost. His father’s legendary position feels almost incidental to the intimacy of that journey.
“I’m Tommy Prine, and I lost my Dad in the pandemic, and that’s going to be the focal point of what I’m trying to get across,” he said. And while I am aware that it was a fairly public event and that most people will be aware of the background, I believe that they are optional.
I believe people may just listen to it from the viewpoint of a young man who lost his father unexpectedly.
The few allusions, such as the card games and talks they avoid, are vivid without ever becoming cloying. In a lovely song called “By the Way,” he discusses the singular sensation of occasionally hearing his father’s voice.
Prine sings, “I don’t want to talk about the day you slipped away.” The tunes we used to sing still make it difficult to hear your voice.
But Tommy also has other weaknesses and is more or less influenced by those who aren’t his biological father. For instance, the anthemic flourishes and introspective lyrics on the album show co-producer Ruston Kelly’s influence. The song “Reach the Sun” begins with a manic episode in the middle of the night but eventually soars to resemble Kelly’s best work, including the excellent album he recently published.
In an interview conducted after Kelly’s performance with Prine at The Basement, Sufjan Stevens was named another artist who influenced both. Prine heard a sound that matched the wistful desperation he wanted to express while listening to Stevens’ “Carrie & Lowell” album, which Kelly had directed him towards.
Tommy spoke about his father’s passing in front of a crowded audience in The Basement, one of Nashville’s most intimate music venues.
It was “probably the last thing I wanted to do for the rest of my life,” according to Prine, but it ended up being a “saving grace” for him as he dealt with the hardship of losing his father.
Listeners would do well to consider how they would react if they weren’t aware that this album was produced by the legendary John Prine’s son, given the darkness that hangs over anyone named Prine who dares to try his hand at making original music. Social media and other modern methods of music distribution make it plausible, if not probable, that Prine’s music will reach a brand-new audience. His father may not be well-known to some listeners his age or younger, but these songs will draw comparisons on their own.
But everyone who pays attention will hear the promise of a creative person who bravely followed his heart. Fans of John Prine may recognize elements of the album’s disarming honesty, but they will also hear a new voice presenting intense music that crackles.
Tommy claims that although having considered it, he rarely worries about the legacy issue. But that’s simply another thing he has arranged in its appropriate position.
“I’m just making the music I want to make, and music that is a representation of who I am as a person,” he stated. I have my tale to share because I had quite different childhood experiences than my father.
SOURCE – (AP)
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