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In The News for March 27 : A final goodbye to two fallen Edmonton police officers

In The News is a roundup of stories from The Canadian Press designed to kickstart your day. Here is what's on the radar of our editors for the morning of March 27 ... What we are watching in Canada ...
Peace officers hug during the procession for Constable Travis Jordan and Constable Brett Ryan in Edmonton on Tuesday March 21, 2023. A regimental funeral is set to be held today for two Edmonton police officers who were shot and killed by a 16-year-old boy. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson

In The News is a roundup of stories from The Canadian Press designed to kickstart your day. Here is what's on the radar of our editors for the morning of March 27 ...

What we are watching in Canada ...

A regimental funeral is set to be held today for two Edmonton police officers who were shot and killed by a 16-year-old boy.

Police say a 2 1/2-kilometre procession from the Alberta legislature to Rogers Place in Edmonton's downtown is scheduled to begin just before noon.

The funeral for Const. Travis Jordan, who was 35, and Const. Brett Ryan, who was 30, is planned to be held in the afternoon at the home arena for the Edmonton Oilers of the National Hockey League.

The service is not open to the public but there will be a livestream, which is to be broadcast in an outdoor plaza near the arena.

Police have said the officers were responding to a family dispute at a northwest apartment complex on March 16, when the teen shot at them multiple times.

They said the boy next shot and wounded his mother during a struggle for the gun, then shot and killed himself. 

Police said the same gun had been used in a shooting days earlier at a nearby Pizza Hut, leaving a man injured.

Police had also been called to the boy's home in November. Police said he was apprehended under the Mental Health Act and taken to hospital for an assessment.


Also this ...

Lettuce prices are likely to rise next month and could stay high into the summer, agriculture experts say, as flooding in a key California farming area becomes the latest example of extreme weather’s effect on the food chain.

The Salinas Valley, where a vast amount of lettuce and other produce eaten in North America is grown every year, has seen severe rain and storms since the beginning of the year, said John Bishop, national buyer for produce distributor Fresh Start Foods.

All that extra water has flooded fields and delayed planting, Bishop said, causing hundreds of thousands of dollars in crop damage. 

“It’s been very concerning,” he said. 

Tens of thousands of acres of farmland have flooded in Salinas since the beginning of the year, Mark Shaw, vice-president of operations for California-based Markon Cooperative said in an email. Below-average temperatures are adding to farmers’ struggles, he added. 

Salinas is the same region where disease struck lettuce crops last fall, creating severe shortages and persistently high prices in iceberg and Romaine lettuce that caught the attention of Canadian consumers at grocery stores. It was a situation Bishop said he’s never experienced in his many years in the produce business.

Every November, production of lettuce and some other vegetables shifts to warmer desert areas, notably in Yuma, Ariz. as well as California’s Imperial Valley. But the second week of April is when most production moves back to Salinas, said Bishop — and this spring, the region won’t be ready.

“Basically, we are setting up for another demand-exceeds-supply market driving up prices as we experienced last October, November and December,” said Shaw, who anticipates four to six weeks of limited supply. 

But Bishop anticipates a “significant gap” could even last until July.


What we are watching in the U.S. ...

NEW YORK _ North Carolina-based First Citizens will buy Silicon Valley Bank, the tech industry-focused financial institution that collapsed earlier this month, rattling the banking industry and sending shockwaves around the world.

The sale involves the sale of all deposits and loans of SVB to First-Citizens Bank and Trust Co., the FDIC said in a statement late Sunday. Customers of SVB automatically will become customers of First Citizens, which is headquartered in Raleigh. The 17 former branches of SVB will open as First Citizens branches Monday.

The collapse of Silicon Valley Bank on March 10 prompted the FDIC and other regulators to act to protect depositors to prevent wide financial turmoil.

The bank, based in Santa Clara, California, failed after depositors rushed to withdraw money amid fears about the bank's health. It was the second-largest bank collapse in U.S. history after the 2008 failure of Washington Mutual.

On March 12, New York-based Signature Bank was seized by regulators in the third-largest bank failure in the U.S.

In both cases, the government agreed to cover deposits, even those that exceeded the federally insured limit of $250,000, so depositors at Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank were able to access their money.

Mid-sized San Francisco-based First Republic Bank, which serves a similar clientele as Silicon Valley Bank and appeared to be facing a similar crisis, was in turn battered by investors worried that it, too, might collapse. That led 11 of the biggest banks in the country to announced a $30 billion rescue package.

The acquisition of SVB by First Citizens gives the FDIC shares in the latter worth $500 million. Both the FDIC and First Citizens will share in losses and the potential recovery on loans included in a loss-share agreement, the FDIC said.


What we are watching in the rest of the world ...

TEL AVIV, Israel _ Israel's Airports Authority says departing flights from the country's main international airport have been grounded following a strike called in protest against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's planned judicial overhaul.

The strike was called on Monday by the country's largest trade union grouping and could paralyze large swaths of Israel's economy.

Tens of thousands are expected to be affected by the flight changes.

Planes will for the moment still be able to land at Ben-Gurion Airport, outside the sprawling seaside metropolis of Tel Aviv.

The strike by the Histadrut umbrella group, which represents more than 700,000 workers in health, transit and banking, among many other fields, could paralyze large parts of Israel's economy, which is already on shaky ground, ratcheting up the pressure on Netanyahu to suspend the overhaul.

The growing resistance to the plan came hours after tens of thousands of people burst into the streets around the country in a spontaneous show of anger at Netanyahu's decision to fire his defence minister after he called for a pause to the overhaul. Chanting "the country is on fire,'' they lit bonfires on Tel Aviv's main highway, closing the throughway and many others throughout the country for hours.

The overhaul, driven by Netanyahu, who is on trial for corruption, and his allies in Israel's most right-wing government ever, has plunged Israel into one of its worst domestic crises. It has sparked a sustained and intensifying protest movement that has spread to nearly all sectors of society, including its military, where reservists have increasingly come out publicly to say they will not serve a country veering toward autocracy.

The crisis has further divided Israel, magnifying long-standing and intractable differences over the country's character that have riven it since its establishment. The protesters say they are fighting for the very soul of the nation, seeing the overhaul as a direct challenge to Israel's democratic ideals. The government has labelled them anarchists out to topple a democratically-elected leadership.

The crisis has also shined a light on Netanyahu himself, Israel's longest serving leader, and the lengths he may be willing to go to maintain his grip on power, even as he battles the corruption charges. The firing of his defence minister at a time of heightened security threats in the West Bank and elsewhere, appeared to be a last straw for many, prompting a new surge of opposition.

"Where are we leading our beloved Israel? To the abyss,'' Arnon Bar-David, the union group head, said in a rousing speech to applause. "Today we are stopping everyone's descent toward the abyss.'' The group had sat out the monthslong protests but the defence minister's firing appeared to provide the impetus for the drastic measure.


On this day in 1883 ...

Pile-O'-Bones, later renamed Regina, was made capital of the Northwest Territories, which then included Alberta, Saskatchewan and what became the Northwest Territories.


In entertainment ...

PARK CITY, Utah _ The man suing Gwyneth Paltrow over a 2016 collision at one of the most upscale ski resorts in North America is expected to take the stand on Monday as the closely watched trial goes into its second week in Utah.

Attorneys said Friday that retired optometrist Terry Sanderson, 76, would likely testify first on Monday, before his attorneys rest and hand the courtroom over to Paltrow's defence team to make their case. Paltrow's attorneys are expected to call her two children _ Moses and Apple _ and a ski instructor who was present the day of the collision.

Sanderson is suing Paltrow for more than $300,000, claiming she skied recklessly into him from behind, breaking four of his ribs and head trauma that post-accident manifested as post-concussion syndrome. Paltrow has countersued for $1 and attorney fees, alleging that Sanderson was at fault and veered into her from behind in a first gradual and then sudden crash.

After Paltrow testified Friday that the collision began when Sanderson's skis veered between her two legs, attorneys will likely question Sanderson on his recollections. Craig Ramon, the sole eyewitness of the crash, testified that he heard a loud scream and saw Paltrow hit Sanderson, causing his skis to fly up into the air before he plummeted down on the beginner run in a "spread eagle'' position.

Attorneys will also likely question Sanderson on the post-concussion symptoms that medical experts and his doctors testified about last week. And Paltrow's attorneys are expected to ask about his references to Paltrow's fame and whether the lawsuit amounts to an attempt to exploit it.

Though the courtroom in Park City, Utah, was far from full throughout the first week of the trial, the case has emerged as the most closely watched celebrity trial since Johnny Depp took Amber Heard to court almost a year ago in Virginia. Clips of attorney outbursts and Paltrow's Friday testimony have been cut and circulated widely on social media, while observers have debated the motivations on both sides to sustain the prolonged legal battle seven years after the collision.

The amount of money at stake for both sides pales in comparison to the typical legal costs of a multi-year lawsuit, private security detail and expert witness-heavy trial.


Did you see this?

EDMONTON _ The families of two Edmonton police officers fatally shot earlier this month have issued statements thanking the public for their support.

The statements from the families of Const. Brett Ryan and Const. Travis Jordan, released through the Edmonton Police Service, came on the eve of a regimental funeral for the officers Monday at Rogers Place arena.

The Ryan family statement notes the father-to-be's absence is profound, and it thanks the public for its "selflessness expressed through thoughtful words, blue ribbons, touching tributes, acts of kindness, and much more.''

The Jordan family, meanwhile, says "the incredible outpouring of support'' it continues to receive in Edmonton and across the country "has not gone unnoticed and is deeply appreciated.''

Both statements thank people for respecting their privacy.

Police say the officers were responding to a family dispute at an apartment complex March 16 when they were gunned down by a 16-year-old boy who then killed himself after injuring his mother during a struggle for the gun.

Edmonton police said last week there's still no apparent motive for the shooting, but they have released that the shooter was apprehended in November under the Mental Health Act and was taken to hospital for assessment.

They've said the gun recovered at the scene has also been linked to a shooting at a nearby pizza restaurant a few days earlier.


This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 27, 2023.

The Canadian Press