Day: April 4, 2019

Chief: Family DNA leads police to mother who abandoned baby

COLUMBIA, S.C. — Authorities in South Carolina say DNA submitted to family genealogy sites led them to find and arrest the mother of a baby who was born alive then died abandoned inside a box in a vacant field 29 years ago.

Greenville police Chief Ken Miller says the DNA led them to the probable father of the 6.5-pound (3-kilogram) baby called Julie Valentine.

Miller said at a news conference Thursday that the father named Brook Graham as the baby’s likely mother. She was arrested late Wednesday and charged with homicide by neglect.

Authorities say the 53-year-old Graham has two grown children.

Miller says the baby was discovered wrapped in newspaper and bedding in a box in February 1990 by a man picking Valentine’s Day flowers for his wife.

Jail records didn’t indicate if Graham had a lawyer.

Jeffrey Collins, The Associated Press

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BRUSSELS — Just eight days before Britain is to leave the European Union, senior EU officials still cannot rule out the possibility that customs checkpoints might have to be rebuilt along the volatile Irish border should the U.K. crash out of the bloc without a divorce deal.

In recent days, EU executive commission members have repeatedly warned that a no-deal exit for Britain is now likely, given doubts over whether the U.K. parliament will endorse the Brexit agreement by the EU-imposed deadline of April 12.

“A no-deal scenario is highly likely. Let there be no doubt whatsoever, a no-deal scenario would be extremely costly and disruptive,” commission Vice-President Jyrki Katainen told reporters Thursday.

Should that happen, the largely unpoliced, invisible land border between the U.K.’s Northern Ireland and EU member country Ireland would instantly become a new boundary, raising vexing questions about how to run trade and customs checks.

Until Northern Ireland’s violent sectarian Troubles era ended in 1998 with a peace deal, that border had checkpoints which were routinely attacked by armed militants.

Asked whether border posts would be built there in the case of a no-deal scenario, Katainen said “we have to make sure that products entering to the EU territory are safe and they comply with our quality standards.”

Checks would be done, he said, “in the least possible disruptive manner and, when possible, as much away from the border as is practically useful.”

Some officials have suggested that certain checks could be done at ports or warehouses and high-tech equipment could focus on risky consignments.

The dividing line between Ireland and Northern Ireland stretches for 500 kilometres (312 miles) and is dotted with over 250 official road crossings, more than on Europe’s entire eastern flank. Commercial vehicles cross the border on average 13,000 times each day.

Animals and farm products would require frequent checks. Around 3,000 loads carrying beef, lamb, pork, poultry, eggs or dairy products might have to be stopped each day. Each check might take 10 minutes if things go smoothly, according to Northern Irish food transport experts.

Katainen said EU officials are working closely with the Irish authorities “to clarify the situation.” He said the EU would provide Ireland with additional resources; “technical and financial, to address any additional challenges.”

Both Britain and the EU say it’s paramount to uphold the 1998 Good Friday Agreement that helped dismantle the once militarized Irish border and end a conflict that claimed around 3,700 lives.

“The Good Friday agreement will continue to apply in all circumstances. For us, it is a major political principle. Peace there is absolutely key. The U.K. will remain co-guarantor of that agreement and is expected to uphold it in spirit and in letter,” Economy Commissioner Pierre Moscovici said.

“There will be (border) checks, let’s not be mistaken about that,” Moscovici warned, but they will take place “in the least disruptive manner possible and as much as possible away from the border.”

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How Domestic Abuse Affects Custody in a Divorce

How Domestic Abuse Affects Custody in a Divorce

Family Legal Services

Domestic violence can negatively impact the outcome of a custody case. When there is evidence to support the presence of frequent family ferocity, a judge can make life-changing decisions about child custody and visitation. What that sort of damning evidence doesn’t do, however, is affect the judge’s determination of child support obligations.

Ontario uses a “no-fault” system – one which doesn’t use partner violence as evidence to justify an increase or decrease in equalization or support. Evidence like that is typically used when clients are dealing with relationship and/or safety issues regarding their children. For instance, parents who are attempting to set up joint custody might find it difficult to work together on a schedule. Therefore, a judge may rule in favor of one parent or another and determine visitations to be supervised.

As always, it’s more important to consider the safety of children than it is to consider their financial wellbeing. Violence in the home cannot be ignored, especially during court proceedings. However, it cannot be a factor used to determine monetary values.

On the contrary, violent ex-spouses are generally removed from the premises by law enforcement long before clients reach out to attorneys or appear in court. At times, domestic violence allegations get disputed and can thus not be used as evidence in other court cases until a verdict is found. Usually, sound proof of abuse is required for a judge to make calls regarding child custody and visitation.

If possible, clients should obtain police reports indicating details surround the domestic violence allegations. Reports from on-duty law enforcement can serve as solid evidence in custody hearings simply because they often indicate who is truthful and who is not. As such, numerous factors are considered by the judge before a verdict is rendered.
Although family violence is one of the most common causes of separation and divorce, judges and lawyers understand that several issues play a role in any relationship’s eventual breakdown.

In fact, the following factors are usually considered by the magistrate automatically: •Financial security or hardship
•Housing situation
•Support network
•Relationship with the child

Most experienced family law practitioners work hard to remain compassionate with their clients, especially those who are dealing with a rough separation or divorce due to domestic violence. On a strictly human level, clients who experience trauma or abuse are more likely to need the security of a helping hand, professionally or otherwise.

Contact us at any time:

Mazzeo Law Barristers & Solicitors

3300 Hwy 7 Suite 904
Vaughan, Ontario L4K 4M3

Email: [email protected]
Phone: (905) 851-5909
Fax: (905) 851-3514



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In the news today, April 4

Five stories in the news for Thursday, April 4



Families of people who died in the Humboldt Broncos bus crash say scholarships, events and places named in their honour help to keep their memories alive. Sixteen people were killed and 13 others were injured a year ago when the junior hockey team’s bus and a semi collided at a rural intersection in Saskatchewan. Dozens of bursaries and scholarships have since been created in the memory of those who died. Their names are also attached to arenas, dressing rooms, playgrounds and even a snowmobile shack. Scott Thomas of Saskatoon, who lost his son Evan in the crash, says the memorials mean the world to his family. Both he and other parents say it lets others know what kind of people they were.



April 6th, 2018, is a day many want to forget, so friends and family of the Humboldt Broncos bus crash victims have chosen to get tattoos to remember the people instead. Ten players, the head coach, an assistant coach, the athletic therapist, a broadcaster, the bus driver and the team’s statistician died when a semi and the team’s bus collided at a rural crossroads in Saskatchewan. Several of the players, including Ryan Straschnitzki, who was partially paralyzed, have a tattoo of head coach Darcy Haugan’s favourite saying: “It’s a great day to be a Bronco, gentlemen.” Survivor Layne Matechuk and his father have the word “Believe” — along with his jersey number — inked on their arms, because they believe he will recover from his brain injury.



Lawyers representing Quebec smokers and provincial governments are pushing back against an Ontario court ruling that suspended legal proceedings against three major tobacco companies. The companies — JTI-Macdonald Corp., Rothmans, Benson & Hedges and Imperial Tobacco Canada Ltd. — were granted protection from their creditors last month after they lost an appeal in Quebec. The Quebec Council on Tobacco and Health led two class actions against the companies and won in 2015, with the court ordering the companies to pay more than $15 billion to smokers who either fell ill or were addicted. Lawyers for the council say they will ask the Ontario court today to revoke creditor protection for the companies if they intend to appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada.



Parliament’s spending watchdog says he still does not have access to all the data his office needs to determine the amount of money the federal government loses each year to offshore tax havens and tax avoidance schemes. Parliamentary Budget Officer Yves Giroux says the Canada Revenue Agency would only give his office aggregate tax data for a study his office has for years wanted to complete on Canada’s tax gap. Without a more fulsome, independent study of how big the problem of tax avoidance and evasion is, Giroux says it’s hard for the government to understand how best to address it.



The fish boats on British Columbia’s coast have returned to their home ports after a successful spring herring roe fishery, but opponents of the catch are already gearing up for next season. Conservation, environmental and some Indigenous groups say the threat of overfishing could harm B.C.’s marine ecosystem, particularly struggling chinook salmon and threatened southern resident killer whales. Pacific Wild’s Ian McAllister says the fishery should be suspended indefinitely before the Strait of Georgia herring stock collapses, as has occurred in other B-C waters. But Department of Fisheries and Oceans scientists say the herring population is the healthiest it’s been in almost 70 years, which is the major reason it approved a roe fishery this year.



— Hearings continue today in Ottawa in the criminal trial of Joshua Boyle.

— The Parliamentary Budget Officer will release two reports on EI sickness benefits.

— Alberta NDP Leader Rachel Notley, UCP Leader Jason Kenney, Liberal Leader David Khan and Alberta Party Leader Stephen Mandel participate in a televised debate ahead of the April 16 election.

— Nobel Peace Prize laureate Malala Yousafzai is scheduled to speaks at an event hosted by the Art of Leadership for Women in Calgary.

The Canadian Press

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The Latest: Spokesman says Nissan’s ex-chair Ghosn arrested

TOKYO — The Latest on the criminal case against Nissan’s former Chairman Carlos Ghosn (all times local):

10 a.m.

Nissan’s former Chairman Carlos Ghosn says he has been arrested a fourth time by Tokyo prosecutors investigating him for alleged financial misconduct.

The prosecutors said they will issue a statement soon but declined immediate comment. Japanese TV footage showed officials entering Ghosn’s apartment in Tokyo on Thursday morning, and a car later going to the prosecutors’ office.

Ghosn declared his innocence and had strong words about his detention in a statement issued by his family’s spokesman. The spokesman would not be identified due to the sensitivity of the matter.

It said: “My arrest this morning is outrageous and arbitrary. It is part of another attempt by some individuals at Nissan to silence me by misleading the prosecutors. Why arrest me except to try to break me? I will not be broken. I am innocent of the groundless charges and accusations against me.”

Ghosn was first arrested in November and twice in December, each one prolonging his pretrial detention.


7:20 a.m.

Japanese prosecutors have taken Nissan’s former Chairman Carlos Ghosn for questioning barely a month after he was released on bail ahead of his trial on financial misconduct charges.

Japanese TV footage showed officials entering Ghosn’s apartment in Tokyo Thursday, and a car later going to the prosecutors’ office.

He may face what will be his fourth arrest under Japanese law. He was first arrested in November on charges of under-reporting his compensation. He was re-arrested twice in December, including on breach of trust charges. The arrests prolong detentions without trial.

The latest charge appears to be related to the investigation by Nissan Motor Co.’s French alliance partner Renault about payments in Oman to a major dealership, some of which is suspected of having been channeled for Ghosn’s personal use.

The Associated Press

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