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Justin Trudeau condemns fatal shootings at mosques in New Zealand

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  • OTTAWA — Justin Trudeau is condemning the fatal shootings at two mosques in New Zealand, saying attacking people during prayers is “absolutely appalling.”

    In a brief statement on Twitter this morning, the prime minister said Canadians join New Zealanders and Muslim communities around the world in grieving.

    At least 49 people were killed at mosques full of worshippers attending Friday prayers in Christchurch.

    One man was arrested and charged with murder in what appeared to be a carefully planned racist attack.

    There are unconfirmed reports that the shooter was influenced by Alexandre Bissonnette, the Laval University student convicted of killing six people at a mosque in Quebec City in January 2017.

    A now-deleted Twitter account that is believed to be linked to the accused shooter shows what appears to be three assault-rifle magazines, one of which has Bissonnette’s name on it.

    The Quebec City mosque attacked by Bissonnette posted the following brief message: “We are following with worry the terrorist attack that occurred against two mosques in New Zealand.”

    The Canadian Press

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    New Afghanistan memorial will be opened to public, Gen. Jonathan Vance says

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  • OTTAWA — Canada’s top military commander says soldiers, veterans and their families can now visit the Afghanistan memorial at the new National Defence headquarters.

    Gen. Jonathan Vance says in a statement that the memorial, which once was the cenotaph at Kandahar Airfield, was opened without enough thought to how people who aren’t regularly in the headquarters’ secure zone would be able to see it.

    He says the monument is designed to be a daily reminder for staff at headquarters of the cost of war, while a public monument close to downtown Ottawa would be the national memorial for Canada’s Afghanistan mission.

    Vance asks for forgiveness for the decision and communications that “alienated and angered” the same people the military meant to honour.

    He says members of the military, veterans and families can schedule a visit, or show military identification at headquarters to be escorted inside.

    Vance says the memorial hall will be opened to everyone who wishes to visit once security concerns are dealt with.

    The Canadian Press

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    New air passenger rights: What they say and when they land

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  • OTTAWA — The federal government unveiled new regulations for air travel Friday, requiring compensation for passengers suffering from flight delays, tarmac delays, trip cancellations and other headaches. The passenger-rights rules apply to all flights to, from and within Canada and come in two waves. Here’s what’s coming and when each measure arrives:

    Starting July 15:

    — Airlines will have to compensate anyone who is denied boarding for situations within an airline’s control, such as over-booking. Delays of up to six hours will cost $900, when the compensation doubles to $1,800; it’s $2,400 if the delay is longer than nine hours. Payment will have to happen at the time the passenger is notified of the denied boarding.

    — Airlines will have to provide passengers clear, concise and accessible information about delays, cancellations, denials of boarding, lost or damaged baggage and the seating of children under 14, and provide updates on flight status as soon as possible and then every 30 minutes until a new departure time is set.

    — Airlines will have to let passengers get off planes if a tarmac delay hits three hours, unless within the next 45 minutes there is an imminent probability that the flight can depart. After the extra time, if the plane is still on the ground, everyone has to get off unless there’s a safety or security reason against it.

    — During tarmac delays, passengers must have access to working lavatories, food and drinks, and the plane must be properly ventilated, heated or cooled.

    — Airlines will have to pay up to $2,100 for lost or damaged luggage.

    — Musical instruments will be allowed on flights, either as checked or carry-on baggage, but airlines will have to create policies detailing size restrictions, cabin-storage options, and transportation fees.

    Starting Dec. 15:

    — A new compensation structure takes effect for any passenger whose flight is delayed from departing or cancelled. Large airlines — those that transport more than two million passengers annually — will have to pay $400 for delays between three and six hours, $700 for delays stretching to nine hours, and $1,000 for delays beyond that. The compensation levels for smaller airlines are $125, $250 and $500.

    — To get the money, passengers will have to file a claim with the airline, which then has 30 days to pay up or explain why it doesn’t think it has to pay.

    — Passengers will get to decide whether to take cash, vouchers or rebates. If a passenger chooses non-cash compensation, the value will have to be higher than the cash offer, and can never expire.

    — Once a delay hits two hours, airlines will have to offer “reasonable quantities” of food and drink and amenities such as free Wi-Fi.

    — Once a delay hits three hours, passengers will have to be booked on the next available flight, or potentially on a competing airline. If rebooking doesn’t meet a passenger’s travel needs — if they no longer need to fly, for instance, because they’ve missed what they were flying for — they can get a refund and an extra $400 from large airlines, and $125 from small carriers.

    — Children under age five will have to be seated next to a parent or guardian at no extra cost. Children five to 11 years old can be separated by no more than one seat in the same row, while 12- and 13-year-olds can’t be separated from guardians by more than one row.

    The Canadian Press

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