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Human body parts sent to Canada schools

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MONTREAL — Human remains sent in separate packages were found Tuesday at two schools in the western Canadian city of Vancouver, police said, following the grisly dismemberment of a Chinese student in Montreal.

Investigators emphasized that they could not yet link the discoveries in Vancouver to the murder of Lin Jun, who was allegedly killed by Luka Rocco Magnotta, the suspect dubbed the “Canadian Psycho” who was arrested in Germany.

“The first package containing what appeared to be a human hand was opened by a staff member” at a Vancouver elementary school, police said in a statement.

The second package “containing what appeared to be a human foot” was found by staff at another school a few hours later, they said, emphasizing that there was so far “no indication of an identity” of the victim.

“The investigation will center on identifying the victim and from where the packages were mailed. Investigators will liaise with any outside police agencies as required,” Vancouver police said.

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Earlier in the day, police in Montreal confirmed that a severed hand and foot sent to the offices of Canadian political parties belonged to Lin Jun, who had been dating the 29-year-old Magnotta.

Magnotta was arrested in an Internet cafe in Berlin on Monday after a days-long global manhunt and is now in German custody awaiting extradition to Canada.

The suspect has been dubbed the ‘Canadian Psycho’ for allegedly killing Lin with an ice pick, carving up his body and sending the victim’s hand and foot to the offices of the Conservative and Liberal parties of Canada.

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Magnotta is widely believed to have filmed the crime and posted the video online, where it went viral.

The victim’s torso, which has also been identified as belonging to Lin, was discovered in a suitcase outside Magnotta’s apartment building, authorities had earlier said.

Police sources in Montreal had said Lin’s head, a hand and a foot were still missing.


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Trump’s tax law threatened TurboTax’s profits — so the company started charging the disabled, the unemployed and students

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The 2017 tax overhaul vastly expanded the number of people who could file simplified tax returns, a boon to millions of Americans.

But the new law directly threatened the lucrative business of Intuit, the maker of TurboTax.

Although the company draws in customers with the promise of a “free” product, its fortunes depend on getting as many customers as possible to pay. It had been regularly charging $100 or more for returns that included itemized deductions for mortgage interest and charitable donations. Under the new law, many wealthier taxpayers would no longer be filing that form, qualifying them to use the company’s free software.

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Trump’s packed Supreme Court backs ‘forced arbitration’ that bars workers from taking abusive bosses to court

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Corporations are rapidly rendering sexual harassment, race and gender discrimination, life-threatening workplaces and wage theft immune to employee legal action.

They achieve this by forcing the vast majority of non-union private-sector workers to sign away their rights to go to court or use class or collective arbitration. Instead many millions of workers are being forced to forgo these efficient legal ways to resolve issues and to file individual arbitration claims.

A new report from the Economic Policy Institute and the Center for Popular Democracy says that by 2024 more than 80% of non-union private-sector workers will find courthouse doors chained shut by forced arbitration clauses that ban lawsuits and collective actions. (EPI is a nonprofit, nonpartisan think tank created in 1986 to press the needs of low- and middle-income workers in economic policy discussions.)

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Corporations can legally put carcinogens in our food without warning labels — here’s why

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A recent study by the Environmental Working Group revealed something horrifying: Glyphosate, the active ingredient in the popular weedkiller Roundup, was present in 17 of the 21 oat-based cereal and snack products at levels considered unsafe for children. That includes six different brands of Cheerios, one of the most popular American cereals.

I've written before about the limits of corporate free speech when it comes to public safety, but on that occasion I discussed this insofar as it involved corporate-sponsored climate change denialism. Yet here we have something more tangible, more direct: The safe glyphosate limit for children is 160 parts per billion (ppb), yet Honey Nut Cheerios Medley Crunch has 833 parts per billion and regular Cheerios has 729 ppb. While the potential risks of glyphosate are fiercely debated, many scientists believe that it is linked to cancer.

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