Monthly Archives: December 2018

Radita trial told starving diabetic boy likely had scurvy

WARNING: This story contains content some readers may find disturbing. Discretion is strongly advised.

A medical expert says starving diabetic teen Alex Radita was literally skin and bones and appeared to be suffering from scurvy when he died at his family’s home.

“To call this neglect, you’d need a new word,” Dr. Michael Seear said Thursday at the first-degree murder trial of the boy’s parents.

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Related

  • Former RCMP officer breaks down on stand at Radita trial

  • Doctor testifies Raditas called in fake blood sugar readings for diabetic son who died

  • Radita trial: BC doctor felt diabetic teen ‘not safe’ with parents in 2003

    READ MORE: Doctor testifies Raditas called in fake blood sugar readings for diabetic son who died

    Emil Radita, 59, and his wife Rodica, 53, have pleaded not guilty in the death of their 15-year-old son, who weighed less than 37 pounds when he died in Calgary in 2013.

    Seear was the attending physician both times that Alex was admitted to the British Columbia Children’s Hospital–initially in 2000 when the child was diagnosed and again three years later.

    He said he has treated countless patients over the years, but the Radita case was “sufficiently unusual” that it stuck in his mind.

    Watch below: Global’s ongoing coverage of the trial of Emil and Rodica Radita

    ‘The child was dead, and now is alive’: Parents of Alex Radita told friends of ‘resurrection’

    02:02

    ‘The child was dead, and now is alive’: Parents of Alex Radita told friends of ‘resurrection’

    01:19

    More details and testimony in Radita trail

    01:42

    Photos of ’emaciated’ Alex Radita released a court case resumes for parents

    00:38

    Photos of 15-year-old Alex Radita released during trial

    02:04

    Crown alleges Calgary parents knew not treating son could kill him

    01:36

    Parents plead not guilty in the first degree murder of teenage son



    Seear appeared visibly shaken as he looked at a number of photos in court, including one of Alex on his 15th birthday, just a few months before the boy’s death. Seear said the teen appeared to be trying to put on a brave face.

    “I see he’s sitting in bed with a blanket over his legs. He is a severely malnourished boy. This boy is emaciated, miserable, with an ulcer on his neck and a bruise on his forehead. He’s very, very miserable.”

    READ MORE: ‘The child was dead, and now is alive’ – Parents of Alex Radita told friends of ‘resurrection’

    But it was pictures taken of Alex on the day he died that caused Seear the most distress. Several times he took a deep breath before answering.

    “Aye, yi, yi. My God,” he muttered.

    “The teeth have rotted down to stumps. There’s blood on his lips and blood on his gums. That is scurvy and that’s something that hasn’t been seen for a hundred years.

    “This is utter neglect with this emaciated corpse in the middle of it. He has no muscle. The common expression is skin and bones. There is only tendon and bones.

    “There’s nothing left.”

    The doctor said the boy’s first visit to the children’s hospital years earlier was pretty much normal for a child presenting with Type 1 diabetes, but the mother was adamant that her son did not have the illness.

    READ MORE: Diabetic teen filled with infection, covered in ulcers, court hears during parents’ murder trial

    Seear told court the boy’s appearance had changed when he saw him again in October 2003.

    “It was such a shocking sight it sticks in your mind. He was in the last stages of malnutrition,” said Seear.

    “He came in the door close to death. He had a swollen belly because of the fluid. He had no ability to mount an immune response. We started him on antibiotics … and as it turned out he had blood cultures that were positive for bacteria,” he testified.

    “You can see how thin his hair is. He looks almost as if he’s had chemotherapy. His hair at this stage would be falling out in clumps.”

    An RCMP constable testified Wednesday about being called to the hospital to investigate a report of possible abuse. Charlene Beck said Alex was a skeleton, couldn’t lift his head, arms or legs and talked in whispers a few words at a time.

    READ MORE: Former RCMP officer breaks down on stand at Radita trial

    “I had never seen a child in that state,” she said as she choked back tears.

    Court has heard Alex was put into foster care after that–and thrived–before being returned a year later to his parents, who eventually moved their family to Alberta.
    Below: Photos of Alex Radita on his 15th birthday, taken just months before his death

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IN PHOTOS: Arcus cloud rolls over Regina

An interesting cloud sighting over Regina excited many on social media Thursday morning.

At 6:30 a.m, people started posting photos of an eerie looking arcus cloud rolling over the city. This particular cloud is known as a shelf cloud, which is often seen on a stormy day.

Shelf clouds are wedge shaped and appear at the leading edge of a thunderstorm. They are formed by the outflow from a developing storm cell.

Another type of arcus cloud was spotted north of Melville, Sask. by Colleen Schofer early Thursday afternoon. Roll clouds are formed when warm, unstable air moves over cooler air and winds start to shift while changing speed. This causes the cloud to “roll” and take on a cylindrical, rolling pin type shape.

Colleen Schofer snapped this photo of double roll clouds near Melville, SK in the afternoon on June 9, 2016.

Colleen Schofer

There is potential for thunderstorms and severe weather in eastern Saskatchewan Thursday. If you capture any interesting clouds that you’d like to share, send them to [email protected]长沙夜网

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Parliamentary press gallery dinner part of government business: McNeil

Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil says attending the annual press gallery dinner in Ottawa on the weekend was part of government business.

The gala evening was part of a three-day trip to Ottawa, where McNeil says he had meetings with federal ministers and senior government officials.

Asked whether the gala was government business McNeil said “yes.”

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“I would encourage any premier to go to it, I had access to many senior ministers but I would argue equally as important, I had an opportunity to meet many people of the press gallery in Ottawa,” McNeil said.

The Ottawa trip went Friday to Sunday. McNeil said he met with Transport Minister Marc Garneau on Saturday to talk about the Emerson Report, which is a review of the federal transportation act.

McNeil said he specifically talked about foreign ownership in airlines and the “impact that may potentially have on Atlantic Canada.”

READ MORE: Party leaders trade barbs, gags at Parliamentary Press Gallery dinner

McNeil attended the Saturday gala with his top advisor Laurie Graham, whose connections with the press gallery run deep having first been a member of the gallery as a national reporter with CBC and then with CTV. Graham was not on government business for the dinner.

The sold-out dinner was also attended by Prime Minister Justine Trudeau and his wife Sophie Gregoire Trudeau, all three major party leaders, and Governor General David Johnston.

Each politician or political staffer is invited to the dinner by a journalist —; in McNeil’s case he went with a CBC producer. Tickets for the event are paid for by the journalist who invites the guest.

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Shooting of Vancouver gangster Sukh Deo in Toronto ‘targeted,’ police seek witnesses

Police are asking witnesses to come forward in the “targeted” daytime shooting of an alleged Vancouver gangster in midtown Toronto, while releasing limited information on the suspects or the victim’s criminal past and admitting their investigation is operating within a “vacuum.”

Thirty-five-year-old Sukhvir Singh Deo, known to family and friends as “Sukh,” was gunned down at close range while sitting in a white Range Rover on Cowbell Lane, near Yonge Street and Eglinton Avenue, just before 3 p.m. Tuesday.

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Two suspects were seen fleeing the area but police have not provided descriptions of them other than that they were wearing construction vests and fled in a 2001 to 2003 black Honda Civic.

READ MORE: ‘Extremely violent’: Vancouver gangster shot dead in Toronto linked to Wolf Pack gang

“This was absolutely a targeted shooting,” Homicide Det.-Sgt. Joyce Schertzer told reporters at a news conference Thursday.

“I can tell you that he wasn’t a member of this community, it wasn’t a random shooting, it was targeted.”

Several members of the Deo family, including Sukh, were well-known to police in Metro Vancouver. His brother Harjit Singh Deo was convicted in 2007 for a 2005 kidnapping for ransom in which the victim was held inside the Deo family home in New Westminster.

Sukh Deo made headlines in May when he was escorted out of his courtside seat at a Toronto Raptors playoff game for heckling referees.

A police source told Global News that Deo moved to Ontario in 2013 was known to investigators in Vancouver’s Lower Mainland as being affiliated with the Independent Soldiers gang and was suspected of being involved in cocaine trafficking.

WATCH: Former Vancouver gangster killed in Toronto

Staff Sgt. Lindsey Houghton, with the B.C. Combined Forces Special Enforcement, told Global News Deo was aligned with several people in leadership positions of the notorious B.C. gang, which extends into the “shell company” criminal organization known as the Wolf Pack.

“People who would self identify as being a part of the Wolf Pack even though they may belong to other gangs such as the Hells Angels, do have a presence in Ontario, they have a presence almost entirely across Canada,” Houghton said.

“If history tells us anything, especially here in British Columbia, when we have individuals —; no matter where they are placed on the gang hierarchy if you will —; any time one of them is a victim of violence, whether its murder or attempt on their life, in the past 10 years we’ve seen tit for tat reprisals.”

Houghton said that police in B.C. regularly work closely with other police jurisdictions across the country in targeting violent gangs like the Independent Soldiers and Wolf Pack, adding that they had been “very actively communicating with them on sharing intelligence.”

READ MORE: Toronto shooting victim identified by father as Sukh Deo, former Vancouver gangster

“I can tell you that he was known to police. All I can say is he had no prior contact with the Toronto Police Service, but that he was known to the police,” Schertzer said in response to questions about Deo’s gang affiliations.

“At this time and point in the investigation this is all that I’m prepared to release to the public and I understand that we’re operating in somewhat of a vacuum but I would really like and appreciate information on this vehicle.”

Schertzer said Deo was visiting friends or “socializing” at the time of the shooting and he was pronounced dead at the scene by paramedics. 

Deo’s father, Parminder Singh Deo, is also wanted in an Interpol warrant from India with charges including narcotic drug smuggling, forgery, thefts, and criminal conspiracy.

Toronto Police say Sukh Deo was ‘new to us’ prior to deadly shooting Tuesday

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Toronto Police say Sukh Deo was ‘new to us’ prior to deadly shooting Tuesday

02:01

Toronto Police read email written by Sukh Deo’s family



A statement from the family said that they were going through a “difficult time” and that they were “shattered” by his death.

“There have been many things written and said about Sukh alleging all manner of things that are not true,” the statement read.

“To his family, he was a loving son, a loving brother and a loving husband and father of two very young children.”

Schertzer echoed the previous statement of 53 Division Unit Commander Supt. Reuben Stroble, who called the shooting in the “quiet” midtown neighbourhood “shocking.”

READ MORE: Deadly shooting in Toronto’s Yonge and Eglinton neighbourhood, police seek 2 suspects

“We’ve had great cooperation from the public so far and we’re hoping through your help that cooperation can continue,” Stroble said Thursday.

“This individual was not known to the Toronto Police Service, we have no investigations, no history with him, he is new to us. So, again, any information that we’ve received, I mean you’ve mentioned Vancouver, this is the same type of information that we’re now starting to gather that’s again all new to us.”

An image of the Honda Civic the suspects escaped the area in was released and Schertzer said the car was identifiable because it had “distinctive rims” that were once popular among car owners but are no longer common.

Police have released this image of a 2001 to 2003 Honda Civic allegedly driven from the scene of the fatal shooting of Sukh Deo on June 7, 2016.

Toronto Police Service/Handout

“We have downloaded hours and hours of video and accessed a number of different CCTV cameras in the area depicting different angles. We’re still analyzing that video,” she said.

“For the time being, I wanted to release this while it’s still maybe fresh in the minds of some potential witnesses if they saw this vehicle or know of a vehicle. … if I had a plate number I’d probably be releasing it.”

Schertzer said witnesses can upload video and images they had recorded at the scene of the shooting to investigators directly via Toronto police’s website, in addition to contacting 53 Division, homicide detectives or Crime Stoppers anonymously.

With files from Andrew Russell and John Daly

Police respond to a shooting in Toronto’s Yonge and Eglinton neighbourhood on June 7, 2016.

Craig Wadman/Global News

Police respond to a shooting in Toronto’s Yonge and Eglinton neighbourhood on June 7, 2016.

Craig Wadman/Global News

Police respond to a shooting in Toronto’s Yonge and Eglinton neighbourhood on June 7, 2016.

Ashley Carter/Global News

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Fewer high school kids having sex, study finds

NEW YORK – The troubles with kids these days … are not as common as they used to be. U.S. teens are having a lot less sex, they are drinking and using drugs less often, and they aren’t smoking as much, according a government survey of risky youth behaviours.

“I think you can call this the cautious generation,” said Bill Albert, spokesman for the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy.

Among a decline in several risky behaviours, a sharp decline in sexual activity stood out to researchers.

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Related

  • Montreal teen who penned viral sex-ed quiz answers wasn’t suspended

    The survey found 41 per cent said they had ever had sex, after it had been about 47 per cent over the previous decade. It also found marked declines last year in the proportion of students who said had sex recently, had sex before they were 13, and students who had had sex with four or more partners.

    The results come from a study conducted every two years by the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention. The surveys included 16,000 students at 125 schools, both public and private. Participation was voluntary and required parental permission, but responses were anonymous. Results were released Thursday.

    National surveys have seen a levelling off in recent years in the proportion of kids who said they had sex, after earlier declines. That led researchers to largely attribute continuing declines in teen pregnancies and abortions to more and better use of birth control.

    But the new numbers suggest less sex is a factor, too. The drops are surprising enough that government officials said they’d like to see what the next survey shows to make sure it’s not a statistical blip.

    If it is a true drop, the reason is not clear why. “We’re trying to look at reasons why this might be happening,” said Dr. Stephanie Zaza of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, who oversees the survey.

    One possibility, Albert said:

    “It may be that parking at Lookout Point has given way to texting from your mom’s living room couch,” he said.

    READ MORE: Online porn, sexting should be included in sex ed. curriculum, Alberta professor says

    In the new survey, about 42 per cent said they played video or computer games or used a computer for something that was not school work for more than three hours per day on an average school day.

    Beth Mattey, who until last year was a nurse at a high school in Wilmington, Delaware, suggested a factor may be how much more common it is for teens to openly discuss sex and sexual orientation.

    “We want kids to have a healthy sexuality built around self-respect and self-esteem,” said Mattey, who is now president of the National Association of School Nurses.

    READ MORE: ‘Like spreading peanut butter’: Bad sex ed makes you believe the ridiculous

    Why would more discussion of sex reduce the amount of sex kids are having? One theory: “Culturally we may have shifted away from sex being a taboo that adolescents would sort of reach out for,” said Beth Marshall, a Johns Hopkins University scientist focused on adolescent health.

    The survey found the 30 per cent of the students surveyed said they’d had sex in the previous three months, down from about 34 to 35 per cent reported in each of the previous six surveys.

    About 11 per cent had four or more sex partners, down from the 14 to 15 per cent seen over the previous decade. And about 4 per cent said they’d had sex before they turned 13, down from 6 to 7 per cent.

    Other findings from the survey:

    SMOKING

    Fewer than 11 per cent of the teens smoked a cigarette in the previous month — the lowest level since the government started doing the survey, when the rate was more than 27 per cent. But the fall is not surprising — another CDC survey has put the high school smoking rate at about 9 per cent.

    DRINKING

    Just under a third had at least one alcoholic drink in the 30 days before the survey, down from 35 per cent in the last survey and down from 45 per cent in 2007. About 63 per cent had ever had a drink, down from 66 per cent in 2013 and 75 per cent in 2007.

    VAPING

    The survey for the first time asked about electronic cigarettes, which have exploded in popularity in the past few years. It found about 24 per cent had used electronic cigarettes or vaping products in the previous month — a much higher estimate than seen in other recent CDC youth surveys. CDC officials noted that the surveys are done differently, so a variation in the numbers is not that surprising.

    TOKING

    A little under 22 per cent of teens said they used marijuana in the previous month. That’s down a bit from the previous two surveys. The proportion who said they had ever tried marijuana, and who had tried it before they were 13, also slid a bit. The finding is considered mildly surprising, but is consistent with drops in the use of other illegal drugs like heroin (2 per cent), cocaine (5 per cent), ecstasy (5 per cent), and hallucinogenic drugs like LSD (6 per cent).

    USING PRESCRIPTION DRUGS

    About 17 per cent of the surveyed students said they had taken prescription drugs without a prescription, in response to a question that listed as some possible examples painkillers like Oxycontin and Vicodin and ADHD drugs like Adderall and Ritalin. That statistic has been declining, but is still alarmingly high, Zaza said.

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