Erdogan proclaimed winner of Turkey’s presidential election

ISTANBUL (AP) — President Recep Tayyip Erdogan won Turkey’s landmark election Sunday, the country’s electoral commission said, ushering in a new system granting the president sweeping new powers which critics say will cement what they call a one-man rule.

The presidential and parliamentary elections, held more than a year early, complete NATO-member Turkey’s transition from a parliamentary system of government to a presidential one in a process started with a referendum last year.

“The nation has entrusted to me the responsibility of the presidency and the executive duty,” Erdogan said in televised remarks from Istanbul after a near-complete count carried by the state-run Anadolu news agency gave him the majority needed to avoid a runoff.

Speaking early Monday, Supreme Election Council head Sadi Guven said 97.7 of votes had been counted and declared Erdogan the winner.

Guven said that based on unofficial results, five parties passed the threshold of 10 percent of votes required for parties to enter parliament.

Cheering Erdogan supporters waving Turkish flags gathered outside the president’s official residence in Istanbul, chanting, “Here’s the president, here’s the commander.”

“Justice has been served!” said Cihan Yigici, an Erdogan supporter in the crowd.

Thousands of jubilant supporters of the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party, or HDP, also spilled into the streets of the predominantly Kurdish southeastern city of Diyarbakir after unofficial results from Anadolu showed the party coming in third with 11.5 percent of the legislative vote — surpassing the 10 percent threshold needed to enter parliament.

The HDP’s performance was a particular success since presidential candidate Selahattin Demirtas, eight more of its lawmakers and thousands of party members campaigned from jails and prisons. HDP says more than 350 of its election workers have been detained since April 28.

The imprisoned Demirtas, who has been jailed pending trial on terrorism-related charges he has called trumped-up and politically motivated, was in …read more

Source:: Deseret News – U.S. & World News

Toronto Pride Parade Both Joyful And Sombre As Community Mourns Losses

As a tribute to those lost from the community, people march with We Will Not Rest #UntilWe'reSafe posters and t-shirts during the Toronto Pride parade on June 24, 2018.

TORONTO — Crowds of people filled the streets of Toronto on Sunday to celebrate the annual Pride Parade, though the tone was subdued at times by tensions between the LGBTQ community and the city’s police force.

More than 120 groups marched along the rainy downtown route in this year’s parade — but uniformed officers are not among them.

Earlier this year, members of the LGBTQ community accused Toronto police of failing to seriously investigate the disappearances of men linked to the city’s gay neighbourhood for years — until January, when 66-year-old landscaper Bruce McArthur was arrested and subsequently charged with eight counts of first-degree murder.

Mike Morris, a 29-year-old nursing student who came to the parade bare-chested and in a rainbow Speedo, said the allegations against McArthur and strain between the community and police reaffirmed his desire to attend the parade.

He said the LGBTQ community needs to come together during “difficult situations.”

Tensions involving police and the parade started brewing in 2016, when members of Black Lives Matter abruptly halted the march to present several demands, among them that uniformed police, their floats and cruisers be excluded.

The group cited tensions between the force and black citizens arising from racial profiling, among other things.

This is the second consecutive year uniformed officers have been excluded from marching in the parade, but police are on hand as the streets are flooded with hordes of spectators.

Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath wore a black arm band around her wrist Sunday as a signifier of the “poignant” and “painful” moment the community is facing after the deaths of eight of McArthur’s alleged victims.

“There are still tensions with the police and I believe that dialogue has to continue to happen and that it will resolve with respect from both sides, but those things …read more

Source:: The Huffington Post – Canada

Government seeks forfeiture of casino chips seized from suspected money launderer

The director of civil forfeiture has filed suit against an alleged international money launderer to get casino chips seized from him forfeited to the B.C. government.

The lawsuit targeting $75,000 worth of chips taken from Dan Bai Shun Jin last month was filed June 13, according to documents obtained by Postmedia News.

The RCMP arrested Jin at River Rock Casino in Richmond on May 25 — a day after the Canada Border Services Agency detained a woman arriving at Vancouver International Airport with US$20,000 allegedly intended for Jin.

The government suit says CBSA agents “determined that Mr. Jin was the subject of an arrest warrant issued from the state of Nevada … regarding an alleged $1.4 million US fraud.”

Jin, also known as Dan Bui Shin Jin, was in possession of the chip, as well as $805 in U.S. cash, the suit says.

Police searched Jin’s room at the River Rock on May 26 and found “documents relating to crime proceedings involving Mr. Jin in Australia” and “documents associating Mr. Jin to the importation of $20,000 US into Canada.”

The director claims Jin’s “casino chips and money are proceeds and instruments of unlawful activity.”

“The casino chips and money have been used by Mr. Jin to engage in unlawful activities which variously resulted in, or were likely to result in, the acquisition of property, or interest in property, or cause, or were likely to cause serious bodily harm,” the suit alleges.

Jin’s crimes include money laundering, possession of proceeds of crime and failure to pay income tax, the court documents allege.

“Mr. Jin did not have sufficient legitimate income to have acquired the casino chips and money.”

Jin, who was being held in immigration detention pending his deportation, has not filed a response to the civil forfeiture suit,

The RCMP earlier released some details of the joint investigation into the …read more

Source:: Vancouver Sun

Canadian Peacekeepers Arrive In Mali For Yearlong Mission

Chief of the Defence Staff General Jonathan Vance arrives with the first Canadian troops at a UN base in Gao, Mali, on June 24, 2018.

GAO, Mali — Canadian troops started to take up their positions in the world’s most dangerous peacekeeping mission on Sunday, as a dozen Forces members flew into an isolated United Nations’ base to begin work on Canada’s year-long commitment to help bring peace and stability to this strife-riven African nation.

The sun beat down on the tarmac as defence chief Gen. Jonathan Vance led the small contingent out of the Hercules transport plane that had carried them into the country and were met by a German convoy covered in the red dust that seems to be everywhere.

Vance and the 12-member advance team, whose task will be to lay the groundwork for the eventual arrival of the eight helicopters and 250 military members who comprise Canada’s mission in Mali, were scheduled to arrive the day before.

But a horrific dust storm, pictures of which showed a scene straight out of a movie, had forced Vance and the others to remain in Mali’s capital, Bamako, the previous night. It’s testament to one of the unpredictabilities of this mission — the weather.

Asked his first impression upon landing, a master warrant officer from Quebec who previously served in Afghanistan and Bosnia and who will act here as the camp sergeant major, replied: “It’s very hot. It’s very, very hot.”

But Nick, who like most others could only identified by his first name due to security reasons, was also clearly excited about the prospect of getting on with the mission after months of training — and nearly 10 years after he last deployed into Afghanistan.

It’s very hot. It’s very, very hot.Nick, Canadian soldier

“When the ramp of the Herc goes down on the tarmac, that’s a very, very good feeling,” he said. “It’s hot, you can feel it here in the desert. But that feeling is great.”

The arrival of …read more

Source:: The Huffington Post – Canada