Viral video shows several needles inside bathroom of Regina McDonald’s

A video taken inside the bathroom of a McDonald’s in Regina’s North Central neighbourhood is currently circulating on social media and raising a number of questions regarding the health and safety of its customers.

The video shows numerous needles on the floor and counter, including one needle filled with what appears to be blood.

Neesha Wolfe says she took the video around 10 p.m. Saturday when she stopped at the McDonald’s near Dewdney Avenue and Albert Street for something to eat.

“I walked into the bathroom and I was in shock — I didn’t even wait for my order, I just left,” Wolfe said.

“I had three kids in the car. Imagine if they needed to use the bathroom.”

Wolfe said there were other kids in the restaurant — ones who needed to use the facilities.

“There was one woman in there with her kids, and they were about to use the washroom. I told the mom that her kids didn’t need to see what was in there. What if they went in there and saw that?” Wolfe said.

Wolfe says she tried telling employees about the state of the washroom before leaving but said she didn’t get much response.

In light of the video, the McDonald’s head office released the following statement:

“The experience and safety of guests and crew is McDonald’s top priority. We are aware of the video that was filmed at the Dewdney McDonald’s and can confirm that the restaurant is taking this situation very seriously. After being alerted about this troubling incident, the restaurant immediately followed procedures to clean and sanitize the washroom.”

The McDonald’s head office said the restaurant has launched an investigation and are in contact with police.

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New tech regulation 'inevitable': Apple CEO Tim Cook says

WASHINGTON (AFP) – Apple chief executive officer Tim Cook predicts that new regulations of tech companies and social networks to protect personal data are “inevitable”.

In an interview with news website Axios being broadcast on Sunday (Nov 18) on HBO television, Mr Cook said he expected the United States Congress would take up the matter.

“Generally speaking, I am not a big fan of regulation,” Mr Cook said in an excerpt released by Axios.

“I’m a big believer in the free market. But we have to admit when the free market is not working. And it hasn’t worked here. I think it’s inevitable that there will be some level of regulation.

“I think the Congress and the administration at some point will pass something.”

Mr Cook has previously been a proponent of self-regulation, especially where user data protection is concerned.

But following the scandal that saw data consultancy Cambridge Analytica obtain data from millions of Facebook users, Mr Cook said the industry was now “beyond” the scope of self-regulation.

Facebook has been trying to fend off concerns about how well it protects user data and defends against use of the site to spread misinformation aimed at swaying elections.

Controversies that have battered Facebook since the 2016 presidential election in the United States have raised questions over whether co-founder Mark Zuckerberg should keep his post as chief executive.

Turning to gender inequality in the workplace, Mr Cook said the tech industry has generally been strong in diversity, even though a male-dominated culture prevails.

“I agree 100 per cent from a gender point of view that the (Silicon) Valley has missed it, and tech in general has missed it,” he said.

However, Mr Cook added, “I’m actually encouraged at this point that there will be a more marked improvement over time.”

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Dog owners warned after coyote snatches toy poodle in Point Grey

A Vancouver man is warning other pet owners after his small dog was snatched by a coyote on Saturday in his Point Grey neighbourhood.

David Gens said he was walking his five-and-a-half-year-old teacup poodle, Ellie, near Belmont Street and West 2nd Avenue around 1:30 p.m. when the incident happened.

“[It was] broad daylight. I was with a friend walking my dog. My dog was a little ways in front of us. She was in the middle of the street… and a coyote just came out and grabbed her and ran off,” he said.

“[She] made a little yelp. I think she probably died right away. Me and my friend ran after it screaming and searched…. but we couldn’t find anything.”

The Stanley Park Ecology Society’s coyote sighting map lists several recent coyote sightings in the Jericho Beach area.

Several social media users have also reported aggressive coyote behaviour in the Jericho/UBC area in recent weeks.

Global News has requested comment from the City of Vancouver about whether it is aware of a spike in aggressive coyote incidents and whether animal control is doing anything differently in response.

Gens said the whole thing happened so quickly, he barely had time to react. Ellie was off-leash at the time.

He said it was a painful lesson and that he hopes other dog owners take it to heart.

“You can’t live in total paranoia that your dog is going to be taken by a coyote any time anywhere, but it can happen,” he said.

“I certainly know that I will never let a small dog off the leash again after that experience.”

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Bloomberg Gives $1.8 Billion to Johns Hopkins for Student Aid

Michael R. Bloomberg, the billionaire businessman and former mayor of New York City, is donating $1.8 billion to his alma mater, Johns Hopkins University, to create a fund that would help low-income and moderate-income students attend without having to worry about the cost, his charitable organization, Bloomberg Philanthropies, announced on Sunday.

The money would expand the university’s endowment by almost 30 percent, to about $6.1 billion. The fund would be dedicated to undergraduate financial aid and recruitment, and would be enough, a university official said, to cover the full difference between the cost of attending Johns Hopkins and the amount that students and their families can afford to pay.

“America is at its best when we reward people based on the quality of their work, not the size of their pocketbook,” Mr. Bloomberg wrote in an opinion essay published online in The New York Times on Sunday. “Denying students entry to a college based on their ability to pay undermines equal opportunity. It perpetuates intergenerational poverty. And it strikes at the heart of the American dream: the idea that every person, from every community, has the chance to rise based on merit.”

The rising cost of higher education and the heavy debt loads that many students shoulder have become significant political issues in recent years. Liberal politicians like Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont have proposed free public college tuition for all students, and states like Georgia and New York have set up programs to significantly widen access to their state college systems for low-income students.

Mr. Bloomberg’s gift comes at a time when he is considering running for president in 2020. It may help to improve his standing with lower-income families, particularly those who are black or Hispanic.

But Kevin Sheekey, a top adviser to Mr. Bloomberg, said on Sunday that the gift was not made with the election in mind.

“There is absolutely no connection at all,” Mr. Sheekey said. “It’s a natural extension of work that he’s done most of his adult life.”

Mr. Bloomberg has already given more than $1.5 billion to Johns Hopkins for various purposes, including scholarships, but scientific research and endowed professorships have dominated his giving in the past; the new gift, aimed solely at student aid, represents a shift in focus.

Richard Kahlenberg, a senior fellow at the Century Foundation and an advocate of social and economic diversity in college admissions, said that while stronger financial aid was one way to boost the admission of lower-income students, universities also had to make other allowances for them.

“These students are out there, and generous financial aid programs could help more of them be aware of the opportunities that exist for them,” Mr. Kahlenberg said. “But unless Hopkins is also willing to provide a preference in admissions to disadvantaged students, it’s unlikely that they’ll be admitted in large numbers.”

He noted that students from affluent backgrounds enjoy a great many advantages besides their family’s financial means. “The admissions process has just gotten so competitive that even high-achieving low-income students won’t necessarily be admitted,” he said. “You need to provide consideration of the obstacles that they’ve had to overcome, along with generous financial aid.”

The announcement of Mr. Bloomberg’s gift came with a sentimental backdrop. He recalled in his essay that he was able to afford to attend Johns Hopkins only with a National Defense student loan and a job on campus. His father, a bookkeeper, never made more than $6,000 a year, he wrote.

The education he received changed his life, he said, and he was so grateful that he began donating money to the university in 1965, the year after he graduated. His first donation was $5.

He called on others to do what he had done — giving money to their colleges and universities — and on the government to do more.

“Together, the federal and state governments should make a new commitment to improving access to college and reducing the often prohibitive burdens it places on so many students and families,” Mr. Bloomberg wrote.

The money will become available to students in the current admissions cycle, and will also be used to replace loans with grants for some students in the spring of 2019.

Mr. Bloomberg is not asking that his name be attached to scholarships, his aides said. The former mayor is turning over the money as one lump sum, rather than in annual installments, the aides said.

In an email to Johns Hopkins students, faculty and staff, Ronald J. Daniels, the president of the university, called the gift “staggering in its vision and breathtaking in its impact.”

Mr. Daniels said that the gift brought Mr. Bloomberg’s combined donations to Johns Hopkins to more than $3.35 billion. “This constitutes the largest philanthropic investment ever made to any institution of higher education in the United States,” he said.

Many elite colleges are now “need-blind” in their admissions, ignoring ability to pay when selecting students and promising that those it accepts will be offered sufficient financial aid to attend. Johns Hopkins has been effectively need-blind for the past seven years, but had not been able to make the policy permanent, officials said. The announcement from Bloomberg Philanthropies said that until now, the university had one of the smallest endowment funds available for financial aid among its closest academic peers.

The cost of attending Johns Hopkins for the current academic year, including tuition, room and board and books, is $72,566, according to the university. The average grant to students needing financial aid is about $41,000; that is expected to increase significantly, university officials said. The average family contribution is about $23,000 a year, and that figure would be expected to fall, but university officials said they could not yet estimate how much. Loans, work-study jobs and outside grants are currently used to cover the remaining costs for students.

Going forward, students who qualify for need-based aid will no longer have to take on loans as part of their financial packages, though work-study will remain a component.

Nearly half of Johns Hopkins undergraduates now receive financial aid, and the proportion is expected to grow with the Bloomberg gift. The percentage of students eligible for federal Pell grants, a measure of poverty, is expected to rise to 20 percent in 2023 from 15 percent now, because more students from poor families would be able to attend, officials said.

Unlike some “need-blind” schools, Johns Hopkins said it would not set a specific income threshold for determining whether students are eligible for financial aid. Instead, officials said that eligibility would depend on an analysis of the family’s full financial circumstances, including income, assets, the number of other children in college and the like.

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Edmonton-area man completes 10-year trek on Trans Canada Trail

A Sherwood Park, Alta. man is back home after completing the Trans Canada Trail, an epic journey that saw him hike to the country’s three coasts.

Dana Meise, 44, spent the last 10 years doing the 21,000 kilometre hike from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean then north to the Arctic Ocean; to put it into perspective, the distance from Sydney, Australia to London, England is roughly 17,000 kilometres.

“I dropped and I was exhausted and I just cried,” Meise said about completing the journey.

“The tears literally froze to my face.”

Dana Meise takes a selfie on Nov. 13, 2018.

Meise, who is a forestry technician, started thinking about the hike around 2000, saying he always enjoyed nature and exploration.

Then his father, who had had a brain aneurysm when Meise was younger and had to re-learn how to walk, suffered a stroke.

“He lost his ability to walk. That’s when it struck me. What if I lost my ability to walk and I wanted to do this walk?” he said.

Meise said that moment was a catalyst for him to put plans into motion to trek across the Trans Canada Trail.

“I promised him I would walk enough for the both of us,” he said.

The native British Columbian started hiking the trail in May 2008 in Newfoundland. It would eventually take him six years to hike to the Pacific Ocean as he coped with injuries and dealt with raising funds so he could complete the journey.

Meise said he would take time off to heal as well as make money then return to the exact metre where he had stopped previously.

“I’m not in a race with anybody. There’s no one to win,” he said, adding he enjoyed getting to know different communities and discovering the diversity across the country.

He made previous attempts to reach the Arctic Ocean but had to pull the plug after concussions, severing his tongue during a fall and, in one case, having birds shred his tent in Dawson City.

Hiking to the Arctic

Meise, who said his promise to his father was the motivation to keep him going, made his final push to complete the trail in mid-September.

“I wasn’t afraid of the cold until I got up there and that was the first time I was really humbled by nature,” he said.

“The body will follow the mind. You’re always uncomfortable and in pain. You always have blisters. I lost all my toenails many times.”

Meise, who got frostbite at the base of his neck and his mid-section, credits the generosity of those who encountered him on the Inuvik Highway with keeping him going.

“They’d stop and give me water. I didn’t have to worry about that anymore. Then they’d offer food. I realized I can slim down the stress and the pack I had, and talking to locals, I realized it was going to be okay,” he said.

“One guy would bring me root beer and I don’t really like root beer but I drank it. Then he thought I loved root beer so he’d bring my root beer all the time.”

Meise is quite candid describing how he felt when he finished the 10-year trek in Tuktoyaktuk, NWT.

“It was anticlimactic. I began with myself with nothing. I ended the same way, with a few people there of course,” he said.

“But that was how it was supposed to be. Because it wasn’t about the end – it was about everything in between.”

Back home

Meise, who returned to Sherwood Park Friday night, said he plans to call his father Sunday to tell him about his accomplishment. He has plans to write a book about his journey and start a podcast sharing stories about the country.

He said the story of his journey may be one way Canadians can experience all the different facets of their country, including the North.

“Stunningly beautiful for one thing. Culturally amazing. Unlike anywhere else in the country and it’s a place most may not ever go,” he said.

Meise is settling back into the comforts of his normal life but said he hopes others are inspired by his journey.

“When people look at the big scope of any project, whether you’re going to go to college, whether you’re going to start a weight-loss program, whether you’re going to read a book, it doesn’t matter. Just start. Just do it,” he said.

“One step at a time gets you where you want to go.”

You can read more about The Great Hike here.

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Finnish president confirms forestry chat with Trump – but does not remember details

Finland’s president can recall discussing forestry with President Donald Trump but is not sure if the subject of raking came up.

Mr Trump told reporters on Saturday while visiting the ruins of the Northern California town where a fire killed at least 76 people that wildfires were not a problem in Finland because crews “spend a lot of time on raking and cleaning and doing things” to clear forest floors.

Finnish President Sauli Niinisto said in an interview published on Sunday in the Ilta-Sanomat newspaper that he spoke briefly with Mr Trump about forest management on November 11, when they both were in Paris for Armistice Day events.

Mr Niinisto said their conversation focused on the California wildfires and the surveillance system Finland uses to monitor forests for fires.

He remembered telling Mr Trump “We take care of our forests”, but could not recall raking coming up.

The US leader’s comment generated amusement on social media in Finland, which manages its vast forests with scientific seriousness.

Forests cover over 70pc of Finland’s 338,000 square kilometres.

The Nordic country with a population of 5.5 million is home to some of the world’s biggest paper and pulp companies.

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RCMP officer seriously injured in Richmond

An RCMP officer was taken to hospital in serious but stable condition after an incident in Richmond, B.C., on Sunday morning.

BC Emergency Health Services (BCEHS) confirmed the deployment of two ambulances — one basic life support unit and one advanced life support unit — to the 7600 block of Steveston Highway around 9:30 a.m. Sunday.

It is unclear how the officer was injured or if anyone else was involved in the incident.

Global News has requested comment from the Richmond RCMP.

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Regina Pats fall short in Saturday night’s matchup against Victoria Royals

The Regina Pats (7-15-0-0) are now 0-3 on their current seven-game road trip after falling to the Victoria Royals (11-6-0-0) 2-1 Saturday night in WHL action.

Pats captain Jake Leschyshyn scored the game’s first goal and his 15th of the season at the 12:57 mark of the first period.

Royals forward Kaid Oliver responded just four minutes later with his 13th goal of the year to tie the game at 1-1.

After a goalless second period, Royals winger Tanner Sidaway buried his second goal of the season — and the eventual game-winner — with just under three minutes of play left in the third period.

Pats goalie Max Paddock stopped 25-of-27 shots in the loss and was named the game’s third star. Royals netminder Griffen Outhouse stopped 17 of the 18 shots he faced.

The Pats went 0-for-3 with the man advantage. The Royals went 1-for-7.

The loss comes one night after being blown out by the Vancouver Giants 10-4. The Pats continue their road trip on Tuesday when they face the Kamloops Blazers (7-9-1-1).

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'Total devastation' – Trump visits Californian town destroyed by wildfires as death toll rises to 76

The death toll from the Northern California wildfire has climbed to 76, while nearly 1,300 people remain unaccounted for.

Authorities said five more bodies were found on Saturday, including four in the decimated town of Paradise and one in nearby Concow.

Officials also raised the number of people on the missing persons list, hours after president Donald Trump surveyed what remained of a decimated community.

Butte County Sheriff Kory Honea pleaded with fire evacuees to check the list of people reported as unreachable by family and friends and to call in if they are safe.

Hundreds of people have already been located, but the overall number keeps growing because officials are adding names, including those reported as missing during the disaster’s chaotic early hours, he said.

“It’s really very important for you to take a look at the list and call us if you’re on the list,” he said.

Mr Trump toured the area on Saturday, joined by California’s outgoing and incoming governors, both Democrats who have traded sharp barbs with the Republican administration.

He also visited Southern California, where firefighters were making progress on a wildfire that tore through communities west of Los Angeles from Thousand Oaks to Malibu, killing three people.

The president pledged the full support of the federal government.

“We’ve never seen anything like this in California, we’ve never seen anything like this yet. It’s like total devastation,” Mr Trump said as he stood amid the ruins of Paradise.

Firefighters are racing to get ahead of strong winds and low humidity expected on Sunday. Rain was forecast for mid-week, which could help firefighters but also complicate the search for remains.

Northern California’s Camp Fire has destroyed nearly 10,000 homes and torched 233 square miles. It is 55 per cent contained.

The fire zone in Northern California is to some extent Trump country, and that enthusiasm was on display as dozens of people cheered and waved flags as his motorcade went by.

In Southern California, Trump also briefly met families and first responders touched by the shooting at the Borderline Bar & Grill in Thousand Oaks more than a week ago.

Trump called the shooting at a country music bar, which left 12 dead, “a horrible, horrible event”.

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