2:49 pm – Alberta Health Services has issued advisories for all zones saying that air quality is expected to vary for the coming days and potentially, weeks due to the B.C. Wildfires. Read More.
2:37 pm – Red Deer RCMP are searching for a suspect who rammed a police car while driving a stolen truck early this morning, resulting in minor injuries to a Red Deer police officer. Read More.
10:21 am – Grants have been awarded to 16 organizations across Alberta to support voluntary restorative justice programs, including at the John Howard Society of Red Deer, the Innisfail Restorative Justice Society and Three Hills and Area Restorative Justice Society. Details Here.
9:50 am – Red Deer County will begin accepting Business License applications on July 17, 2017. This means all existing and new businesses are afforded the opportunity to register their business prior to December 31, 2017, at no cost. Read More.
9:29 am – A 17 year old Maskwacis youth is facing charges after a vehicle owner was thrown from a moving truck bed while trying to stop it from being stolen in Wetaskiwin on Saturday. Read More.
9:15 am – Road and trail closures to make note of in the City of Red Deer today. Details Here.
9:08 am – The Provincial 4H Dairy Show is getting underway at Red Deer’s Westerner Park today. It runs from July 17th – 19th. Read More.
9:00 am – Meteorologists with Environment Canada have issued a special air quality statement for all of southern Alberta, including the Red Deer region. Smoke from forest fires in B.C. and southern Alberta is causing poor air quality and reducing visibility. Read More.
Canada signs $20B compensation agreement on First Nations child welfare
OTTAWA — The federal government says it has signed a $20-billion final settlement agreement to compensate First Nations children and families harmed by chronic underfunding of child welfare.
The Assembly of First Nations and plaintiffs in two class-action lawsuits agreed to the deal, which also accounts for the government’s narrow definition of Jordan’s Principle.
Indigenous Services Canada says the settlement is the largest in Canadian history.
The $20 billion accounts for half of an overall $40-billion deal that aims to reform the child-welfare system, including five-year funding for the First Nations Child and Family Services program.
The deal must still be approved by the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal and Federal Court.
The court had dismissed Canada’s application to review two human-rights tribunal orders around child welfare and Jordan’s Principle, which is meant to eliminate jurisdictional squabbles in paying for services for First Nations kids.
AFN Manitoba Regional Chief Cindy Woodhouse says in a statement she is proud of this “historic milestone” for First Nations children and their families.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 4, 2022.
The Canadian Press
Putin declares victory in embattled Donbas region of Luhansk
POKROVSK, Ukraine (AP) — Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday declared victory in the eastern Ukrainian region of Luhansk, one day after Ukrainian forces withdrew from their last remaining bulwark of resistance in the province.
Russia’s Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu reported to Putin in a televised meeting Monday that Russian forces had taken control of Luhansk, which together with the neighboring Donetsk province makes up Ukraine’s industrial heartland of Donbas.
Shoigu told Putin that “the operation” was completed on Sunday after Russian troops overran the city of Lysychansk, the last stronghold of Ukrainian forces in Luhansk.
Putin, in turn, said that the military units “that took part in active hostilities and achieved success, victory” in Luhansk, “should rest, increase their combat capabilities.”
Putin’s declaration came as Russian forces tried to press their offensive deeper into eastern Ukraine after the Ukrainian military confirmed that its forces had withdrawn from Lysychansk on Sunday. Luhansk governor Serhii Haidai said on Monday that Ukrainian forces had retreated from the city to avoid being surrounded.
“There was a risk of Lysychansk encirclement,” Haidai told the Associated Press, adding that Ukrainian troops could have held on for a few more weeks but would have potentially paid too high a price.
“We managed to do centralized withdrawal and evacuate all injured,” Haidai said. “We took back all the equipment, so from this point withdrawal was organized well.”
The Ukrainian General Staff said Russian forces were now focusing their efforts on pushing toward the line of Siversk, Fedorivka and Bakhmut in the Donetsk region, about half of which is controlled by Russia. The Russian army has also intensified its shelling of the key Ukrainian strongholds of Sloviansk and Kramatorsk, deeper in Donetsk.
On Sunday, six people, including a 9-year-old girl, were killed in the Russian shelling of Sloviansk and another 19 people were wounded, according to local authorities. Kramatorsk also came under fire on Sunday.
An intelligence briefing Monday from the British Defense Ministry supported the Ukrainian military’s assessment, noting that Russian forces will “now almost certainly” switch to capturing Donetsk. The briefing said the conflict in Donbas has been “grinding and attritional,” and is unlikely to change in the coming weeks.
While the Russian army has a massive advantage in firepower, military analysts say that it doesn’t have any significant superiority in the number of troops. That means Moscow lacks resources for quick land gains and can only advance slowly, relying on heavy artillery and rocket barrages to soften Ukrainian defenses.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has made capturing the entire Donbas a key goal in his war in Ukraine, now in its fifth month. Moscow-backed separatists in Donbas have battled Ukrainian forces since 2014 when they declared independence from Kyiv after the Russian annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea. Russia formally recognized the self-proclaimed republics days before its Feb. 24 invasion of Ukraine.
In his nightly video address, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy acknowledged the withdrawal, but vowed that Ukrainian forces will fight their way back.
“If the command of our army withdraws people from certain points of the front where the enemy has the greatest fire superiority, in particular this applies to Lysychansk, it means only one thing: We will return thanks to our tactics, thanks to the increase in the supply of modern weapons,” Zelenskyy said.
Since failing to take Kyiv and other areas in Ukraine’s northeast early in the war, Russia has focused on Donbas, unleashing fierce shelling and engaging in house-to-house combat that devastated cities in the region.
Russia’s invasion has also devastated Ukraine’s agricultural sector, disrupting supply chains of seed and fertilizer needed by Ukrainian farmers and blocking the export of grain, a key source of revenue for the country.
In its Monday intelligence report, Britain’s defense ministry pointed to the Russian blockade of the key Ukrainian port of Odesa, which has severely restricted grain exports. They predicted that Ukraine’s agricultural exports would reach only 35% of the 2021 total this year as a result.
As Moscow pushed its offensive across Ukraine’s east, areas in western Russia came under attack Sunday in a revival of sporadic apparent Ukrainian strikes across the border. The governor of the Belgorod region in Western Russia said fragments of an intercepted Ukrainian missile killed four people Sunday. In the Russian city of Kursk, two Ukrainian drones were shot down, according to the Russian Defense Ministry.
In other developments:
— Ukrainian soldiers returning from the front lines in eastern Ukraine’s Donbas region — where Russia is waging a fierce offensive — describe life during what has turned into a grueling war of attrition as apocalyptic.
— Two Russian airplanes departed Bulgaria on Sunday with scores of Russian diplomatic staff and their families amid a mass expulsion that has sent tensions soaring between the historically close nations, a Russian diplomat said.
Associated Press journalists Maria Grazia Murru and Oleksandr Stashevskyi contributed from Kyiv, Ukraine.
Follow AP’s coverage of the Russia-Ukraine war at https://apnews.com/hub/russia-ukraine
Francesca Ebel, The Associated Press
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