Manila: Philippine police say rescuers have plucked more bodies in rough seas where three ferry boats capsized after being buffeted by fierce wind and waves off two central provinces, bringing the death toll to 25 with six missing. Regional police spokesman Joem Javier says the dead were mostly passengers of two ferries that flipped over in sudden gusts of wind and powerful waves Saturday off Guimaras and Iloilo provinces. Fifty-five other passengers and crew were rescued. Javier said Sunday a third ferry, which was not carrying any passenger, also capsized in the Iloilo Strait but its four crewmen survived. Forecasters have warned of heavy monsoon rains, thunderstorms and rain-triggered landslides amid a tropical depression more than 1,000 kilometers (621 miles) off the country’s eastern coast.
WHITEHORSE – Fresh firefighters have arrived from Yukon to help bring British Columbia’s wildfires under control.The territory’s wildfire service says 16 firefighters and an air-tanker group headed to Prince George late last week and over the weekend.That is on top of the 34 firefighters and four administrative staff from Yukon who arrived in the province earlier in the week.Yukon’s fire season is coming to a close, with the fire danger rating dipping throughout the territory.The threat of record-breaking temperatures and the possibility of lightning this week could spark a surge in fire activity across B.C.About 3,700 people remained displaced by the nearly 150 fires still burning as of Sunday evening.(CKRW, The Canadian Press)
MONTREAL — Quebec’s highest court has ruled that tricking a sexual assault suspect into providing his DNA does not constitute a privacy violation.Giovanni D’Amico had appealed his 2014 conviction for the brutal sexual assaults of four Montreal sex workers. Among his arguments was the claim that police had no right to collect his coffee cup during an undercover operation.D’Amico, whom police had identified as a suspect in a string of assaults dating back to 2002, was invited to what he thought was a business meeting in April 2008. He was in fact meeting an undercover Montreal police officer, who cleared their cups from the table when the coffee was done. D’Amico’s was then collected by another undercover officer.A DNA analysis revealed a possible match with genetic material found on two victims of unsolved sexual assaults. That allowed police to obtain a court order to take a formal DNA sample, which contributed to his conviction. He was sentenced to 12 years in prison on three counts of sexual assault, one of sexual assault causing bodily harm and one of assault.The Appeal Court analyzed the question of whether police have the right to collect “abandoned” DNA from citizens and make use of the samples and store them for as long as they see fit.At trial, the accused sought to have the DNA evidence excluded, arguing that his constitutional rights had been violated — in particular the protection against unreasonable search and seizure. He also argued that he enjoyed “an expectation of privacy” with regard to his DNA, which he said is highly private and personal information.The arguments were rejected at trial, and the DNA evidence was allowed. The Appeal Court has upheld that finding in a lengthy decision dated Jan. 22.It found the collection of the cup was planned by police in a public place. D’Amico did not object to the undercover officer clearing the table, and “he continued to work on his computer, without concerning himself with the fate of his cup,” the judgment notes. The Appeal Court added that the subterfuge occurred in the context of the investigation of a murder for which D’Amico was a suspect. (He was later cleared of involvement in the killing.)“The judge concluded with good reason that (D’Amico) abandoned the cup and there was not in this case any violation of his right to respect of his privacy,” wrote Justice France Thibault, one of three appellate judges to hear the case. She noted the police had sufficient grounds to suspect D’Amico based on witness descriptions of the attacker and his vehicle matched his appearance.One of the judges, Martin Vauclair, dissented in part. He concluded the police operation infringed the accused’s Charter right not to be subjected to unreasonable search and seizure.But he said the trial judge was nonetheless correct to allow the evidence. Noting D’Amico’s bodily integrity had not been interfered with and police had not acted in bad faith, he said “exclusion of the evidence would be more likely to bring the administration of justice into disrepute than its admission.”Stephanie Marin, The Canadian Press